64

The situation here is complex and hinges on several issues that come up in play, namely player attention, difference in player-character skills, social contract etc. Because of that I'll try to establish a general rule with exceptions, instead of having a huge discussion not suited to RPG.SE format. If a player forgets a story detail the PC knows, remind ...


48

Though it is not as clear as in previous editions, I believe that you would use the various intelligence skills based on what creature you are trying to learn about. PHB, page 177 - 178, Intelligence Checks Your Intelligence (Arcana) check measures your ability to recall lore about ... the inhabitants of planes Your Intelligence (Nature) check ...


32

Let the loremaster improvise. Start with the premise that "loremaster" doesn't mean "omniscience" or "retrocognition." There are many things that are not written down, not on the grid, were never recorded in lore, or have simply been forgotten or altered with time. Make sure the player has a solid grasp of the themes of the game. When it comes time for ...


25

Generally, it is up to the DM. Each of the knowledge-based skills has some overlap with the others, and it is up to the DM to choose which skill is most appropriate (or if an ability check without the benefit of a skill proficiency is most appropriate). There are no rules for making this decision other than the descriptions of the six abilities and their ...


22

I'm going to take a slightly different tack here, because it sounds like the question is about games where the GM doesn't want to cede the authority to the player to "just make stuff up." And even in games where the GM does, sometimes it's not appropriate. The method I've used, with reasonable success, goes something like this: Keep the information per ...


19

This sounds less like a combat issue than a roleplaying issue. If the DM is having a wizard show up completely randomly and they are attacking you, then you need to discuss with the DM. How are they tied to a story, why are they attacking you, where are they supposedly coming from etc. However, if the DM is having a Wizard show up completely at random but ...


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 ...


16

Related: Should I warn my players when they're about to do something stupid? Short answer: The PCs are not their players. They should know and remember things independently. Don't make them roll to remember unless there's an in-universe reason for them to be particularly forgetful - being drugged, charmed, diseased or poisoned, perhaps. Or perhaps just ...


15

Be unpredictable The reason that the player can do this is that the rules are well-known. In order to avoid this problem, introduce some mystery. When the player rolls a skill check where the quality of the result shouldn't be known by the character, you should also roll (in secret of course). If your roll is in the high half of the die range, then treat ...


14

These are the ones that I can find (thanks to guildsbounty for pointing out the Rogue's Mastermind) Battle Master: Know Your Enemy If you spend at least 1 minute observing or interacting with another creature outside combat, you can learn certain information about it's capabilities compared to your own. The DM tells you if the creature is equal,...


13

Caveat I do not think this question makes a lot of sense as a system-agnostic question, and I am answering on the basis of systems with which I am most familiar. I strongly suspect that there are other systems where what I say would be flat-out and explicitly wrong. However, there have been claims that 95% of systems handle these things the same way, which, ...


13

Per the Knowledge rules for identifying creatures, it would normally be a Knowledge (Local) check against a DC† of 10 + CR of the humanoid being observed. Since that table is material-plane-centric though, it would be reasonable to think of a human on its non-native plane — being checked out out by a native of that plane — as more like an outsider for ...


12

In D&D 4e, "fumbling" a skill check on a natural 1 is a house rule only. By the rules as written, a natural 1 on a skill check is not even an automatic failure, much less a fumble — it's just 1 less than a roll of 2. The critical hits and automatic misses introduced in D&D 4e are only in the context of combat, and nowhere else. (This is why ...


12

This confusion is an inheritance from D&D - particularly the Forgotten Realms. Region-based skills had particular rules in that campaign setting. I believe it was most clearly explained in the 3.0 Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (Pages 8-9): Character Region The Player's Handbook only requires you to choose a race and a class, but the ...


11

The way I see knowledge (local) working, I consider it to be more of an 'ability to collect and remember information', rather than something you already knew all along. Instead of treating a character with a high local knowledge skill as some sort of clairvoyant know-it-all, I prefer to look at the character as a 'tourist'. Whenever there is downtime they ...


11

There are no, concrete RAW monster knowledge checks in 5e The PHB, MM, and DMG do not mention anything like a monster knowledge check as existed in previous editions. Tied with that is the fact that monster types are not directly tied to skills. As such I can only offer guidelines based on my own experiences with 4e and 5e and what I have done as a GM. Go ...


11

It is usually an INT check According to the Player's Handbook, a DM might ask for an Intelligence check when a character needs their memory. See page 177, "Using Ability Scores", "Intelligence" (emphasis mine): Intelligence measures mental acuity, accuracy of recall, and the ability to reason. An Intelligence check comes into play when you need to ...


10

No action is required From the Rules Compendium pg 130. Action: No action. A character either knows or doesn't know the information.


10

Let the player use what they remember In my experience players get frustrated if they as a player remembers something, but their character is not allowed to remember it. However, some of my players has started voluntarily to roll int checks to see if they remember something. So they set them self a target number and say I'll remember it on a 15 or higher. I ...


10

It could have been the Mnemonic Enhancer (rating * 9,000 nuyen) from the core rulebook (page 460): Mnemonic enhancer: This highly concentrated growth of grey matter gets attached to the brain’s memory centers, improving both short- and long-term memory. Add the enhancer’s Rating as a dice pool bonus to your Knowledge, Language, and memory-related ...


10

Yes. From the PRD: Each level, your character gains a number of skill ranks dependent upon your class plus your Intelligence modifier. Investing a rank in a skill represents a measure of training in that skill. You can never have more ranks in a skill than your total number of Hit Dice. In addition, each class has a number of favored skills, called class ...


10

Not exactly a skill, but there is a related feat, entitled Dungeon Delver, which gives the benefits You have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks and Intelligence (Investigation) checks made to detect the presence of secret doors. You have advantage on saving throws made to avoid or resist traps. You have resistance to damage dealt by traps. ...


9

The effect of the spell includes a bonus on Knowledge checks. That means that, for checks made during the duration of the spell, you have that bonus. But the check you’re talking about was rolled outside the duration of the spell (specifically, prior to it). The bonus has no effect on it. It only affects checks made during that duration. And the Knowledge ...


8

Here's a range of options, suited to different playstyles. Also you can mix-and-match. "You Don't Know": If the player fails a roll, the GM says they don't know. This is probably the simplest approach. What about "botching?" Shouldn't you make it more than just "You don't know." Enh, maybe they still don't know. Even in games that feature special "critical"...


8

Sure! Just because it's unique doesn't mean the party doesn't have a chance to know something about it that they've picked up through their adventures. Each creature in the Monster Manuals has such information, even the unique ones.


8

The DMG (p.237) says, that Intelligence checks are used for memory and reason, so this would be a fitting check. [...] or do I have to describe the roads one by one until they find it again (which is not a problem) This would be a "test the characters, not the players" situation. I would strongly discourage you from doing so, except you aim for exactly ...


8

This is not a purely mechanical answer, but is more focused on how I run my games. I try to give my players information via flavor text when possible...I want them to have a sense for what they are up against. But, as you say, this is hard to do with a spellcaster. (Unless you're up against someone like Mordenkainen, whose eyes crackle with eldritch power ...


8

Whether they use a skill or not it should be an Intelligence check. Intelligence checks... draw on logic, education, memory, or deductive reasoning.  (Emphasis mine) Wisdom has more to do with how attuned you are to the world around you and represents perceptiveness and intuition. Whether to allow the person to use History proficiency depends on ...


8

History, Arcana and Nature Depending on the types of traps you are interested in, each of these skills could provide you with information. From the rules on Intelligence checks: History. Your Intelligence (History) check measures your ability to recall lore about historical events, legendary people, ancient kingdoms, past disputes, recent wars, and ...


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