42

As a DM, you have the authority to set DCs and other things and the game was designed expecting you to use this responsibility: Many unexpected things can happen in a D&D campaign, and no set of rules could reasonably account for every contingency. […] The direction we chose for the current edition was to lay a foundation of rules that a DM ...


38

Just give advantage I’ll get to the math in a minute, but the math really should be moot: there is no guidance for altering DCs based on PC actions because the point of the advantage mechanic is to eliminate the hundreds of ways of tweaking situational probability. Advantage (and disadvantage) exist entirely to handle exactly these sorts of situations. ...


37

Mechanically, I would say the main difference is that advantage is easier and provides more stable results (As your result chances go from evenly distributed, to a favorably skewed curve). 5e favors using advantage/disadvantage as a quick, simple, effective way to deal with temporary bonuses. Narratively, advantage is a temporary bonus to one action, while ...


35

This is answered on page 7 of the PHB: 3. Compare the total to a target number. If the total equals or exceeds the target number, the ability check, attack roll, or saving throw is a success. Otherwise, it’s a failure. [...] The target number for an ability check or a saving throw is called a Difficulty Class (DC). And on page 174: If the total ...


26

Advantage is the usual way DnD 5e seldom uses situational modifiers to rolls. Advantage is the usual way for the system to describe something is particularly easy because of some circumstance. Advantage is more conventional than lowering the DC, and your players are more likely to be used to it than changing modifiers or DCs. Advantage is more transparent ...


25

Jonathan Tweet invented 3e’s core mechanic and its DC concept Difficulty Class did indeed make its D&D debut in 3e,1 and has been traced by Shannon Appelcline's historical work directly to Jonathan Tweet, lead designer of Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition. Initial 3e work began without a design vision shortly after WotC acquired TSR, and CEO Peter ...


25

From p. 237 of the Dungeon Master's Guide, under the "Using Ability Scores" header: When a player wants to do something, it’s often appropriate to let the attempt succeed without a roll or a reference to the character’s ability scores. For example, a character doesn’t normally need to make a Dexterity check to walk across an empty room or a Charisma check ...


19

There's no "DC" for either of those, any more than there's a DC for killing an enemy in combat with a sword. Instead, there's grapple checks (like AC) and damage rolls that progress toward death or unconsciousness (depending on non-lethal vs lethal damage). If your players are asking for a homebrew save-or-die in grappling, tell them there is absolutely no ...


19

Don't bother yourself with rolls for such things. The PCs are not hiding, the bandits have sentries, then they would automatically spot the PCs. Next time, the PCs may think about hiding... Right now they are obvious as heck. Putting it a different way would your PCs scream and moan if the situation was reversed? (Mine would). Now if you want to know ...


19

DC 11 The Monster Manual entry for the Drow states under Innate Spellcasting (emphasis mine): The drow’s spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 11). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components. Generally, the spell save DC will be listed in a similar section for all monsters with Innate Spellcasting.


18

Sometimes the Rules Are Guidelines... According to the Player's Handbook, "[Y]ou can use [Knowledge skills] to identify monsters and their special powers or vulnerabilities. In general, the DC of such a check equals 10 + the monster's HD. A successful check allows you to remember a bit of useful information about that monster" (78). And there just ain't ...


18

The DC for Channel Divinity abilities is described in the main description for your Sacred Oaths, in your list of class features. Specifically, it's: Some Channel Divinity effects require saving throws. When you use such an effect from this class, the DC equals your paladin spell save DC. You can find this (and some other general information about how ...


18

Your analysis is correct (mostly). Minor illusion is a good example of this. The text (PHB 260) says: ... the creature can determine that it is an illusion with a successful Intelligence (Investigation) check against your spell save DC. If a creature under the control of the DM uses its action to investigate the illusion, the DM rolls the d20, adds the ...


18

It is the spellcaster's spell save DC The DC to resist one of your spells equals 8 + your spellcasting ability modifier + your proficiency bonus + any special modifiers. (PHB - Saving Throws) So the person that casts the spell sets the DC (as indicated by the term "you"/"your" which the PHB uses throughout this section to refer exclusively to the caster)....


17

I believe your best option would be to model the effects of the room off of one of the Heat Metal Spells from one of the older editions of Dungeons and Dragons. The way the spells are engineered, the longer your victims remain in the room, the more pentalties, and eventually damage they suffer. Perhaps an increasing DC Constitution saving throw against the ...


17

From The Pathfinder SRD page on the Cleric : The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a cleric’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the cleric’s Wisdom modifier. The page on the Wizard has this : The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a wizard's spell is 10 + the spell level + the wizard's Intelligence modifier. So the generic formula ...


17

DC 11 Typically a spell save DC is 8 + spellcasting ability modifier + proficiency bonus (PHB p205). In the case of the Drow that would be 8 + 1 + 2 = 11. Proficiency bonus is based on the creature's CR. There's a chart in the Monster Manual (p8) that you can use to check it. However. I don't know what version of the Monster Manual you're reading because ...


15

A +29 on Intimidate is a very large bonus. Especially on a fighter, who has few skill points and little use for Charisma in most cases; almost all of that is probably from skill ranks, which implies a very high level character. Such a person should be trivially succeeding on attempts to demoralize most anything. Anything short of an actual god should be an ...


15

A DC could be any (real) number you like. The reference table shows descriptors for DCs of 10, 15, 20, &c. This is just to provide you some touchstones--you can set intermediate DCs any time you'd like. (However, the fine-tuning by 5% probabilities that provides isn't, in my experience, that useful and increases my cognitive load more than necessary. I'...


15

On page 278 of the DMG, it includes this paragraph: Alternatively, you can calculate a monster's save DC as follows: 8 + the monster's proficiency bonus + the monster's relevant ability score. You choose the ability that best applies. For example, if the effect is a poison, the relevant ability is probably the monster's Constitution. If you take a ...


15

...Actually, I think I found it after examining the hydra. The DC formula is DC = 10 + ((Hit Dice)/2) + Stat Modifier. 10 + (7/2, rounded down = 3) + 3 = 16. That's how it's calculated. So, the Bog Nixie, being a Nixie with the Advanced creature template, would be calculated as DC = 10 + (2/2 = 1) + 6 = 17. ...I recently read something about how ...


14

No The text you've quoted pretty much answers your own question. Add your proficiency bonus to the beast’s AC, attack rolls, and damage rolls, as well as to any saving throws and skills it is proficient in. A Wolf is proficient in Perception and Stealth, so you add your proficiency bonus to those. You increase the Wolf's AC of 13 by your proficiency, ...


13

Glad you could reverse-engineer the save DC calculation. It is actually described in the SRD - and in several other places. Kept that one as an example. Step 8: Special Abilities and Qualities Most special abilities that cause damage, such as breath weapons, give a save (Fortitude, Reflex, or Will depending on the ability). The DC for almost all ...


13

Advantage/Disadvantage NEVER uses more than 2 dice With one weird exception: The Lucky feat allows you roll 1 extra dice (after rolling the first 2) and pick 1 of the dice you rolled. This can turn advantage or disadvantage into a kind of super advantage especially since you can see the first 2 dice before spending a luck point. Obviously, lucky people can ...


13

There is no rule about which is harder DMG p. 239 says the following regarding setting the Difficulty Class (DC): When you do so, think of how difficult a task is and then pick the associated DC from the Typical DCs table. Very easy 5 Easy 10 Moderate 15 Hard 20 Very hard 25 Nearly impossible 30 The numbers associated with ...


12

Let the players choose how to handle it Rather than simply telling the players that the Orcs are trying to intimidate them and roll X to resist, I'd suggest asking the players how they would like their characters to try to resist. Some examples: Be Intimidating right back, cursing at the orcs and calling them cowards Perform a feat of great Athleticism, ...


12

Yes, in the Starter Set. In the introduction section of the Lost Mines of Phandelver there is a primer section for new DMs which includes descriptions of what type of activities would make up the Easy, Moderate, and Hard DC check levels. Easy (DC 10). An easy task requires a minimal level of competence or a modicum of luck to accomplish. Moderate (...


12

You are correct. Spell saves are 10 + spell level + spellcasting stat modifier (+ any miscellaneous bonuses). They don't go up directly with character level, except insasmuch as character level lets you cast higher level spells, get higher stats, and get feat like Spell Focus that boost your DCs. As you become a higher level caster you need to either ...


12

This is partly DM prerogative, but the Dungeon Master's guide does give handy guidelines. The DC is typically more of a fixed thing, representing the difficulty of the task (though still set by the rules or the DM). For arbitrary tasks it gives some examples such as: Easy = 10, Medium = 15, Hard = 20 However, the DMs guide speaks of advantage and ...


11

The rules state that you make an ability check when the DM calls for it. Therefore, if 1 + your bonus is higher than the DC, the DM can decide to let you auto-succeed instead. Bear in mind that if crit fails on a natural 1 are allowed (they're an optional rule), he might still have you roll. PHB, page 173: An ability check tests a character’s or monster’...


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