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77 votes

Was this the right call? Player rolled a great Intimidation check on an enemy that wouldn't normally be intimidated

Unless there was a relevant house rule, the right call was probably not to roll. The first and most important thing to note is that a nat 20 has no special meaning on a skill check. If a result is ...
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70 votes

How can I prevent the rogue from placing items in my character's backpack?

Tell them to stop If it’s bothering you as a player, that should be enough. PvP is only fun if it’s fun for everyone. If it’s bothering you as a character, then the rogue may or may not stop. If they ...
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  • 189k
61 votes
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What to do when a player roleplays an extremely persuasive argument, but flubs their Persuasion check?

Options, Options, Options A game master has numerous options for resolving the potential dissonance between a spoken arguments and contrary dice results - options that work with either part being poor....
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  • 10.6k
34 votes

Was this the right call? Player rolled a great Intimidation check on an enemy that wouldn't normally be intimidated

While Timothy's answer is correct, I'm copying my answer from another similar question as it is also relevant. Natural 20 has no bearing on Ability Checks The rules for Natural 20 state: If the d20 ...
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  • 28.2k
31 votes

Does taking 10 increase the time it takes to perform an action?

No such rule exists, you can read the entire rules for Taking 10 on page 86 of the core rulebook: When your character is not in immediate danger or distracted, you may choose to take 10. Instead of ...
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  • 5,568
29 votes

How can I prevent the rogue from placing items in my character's backpack?

This doesn't really seem like a problem to be solved in-game. You're not having fun, and the ultimate cause is another player choosing to have fun at your (not just your character's) expense. You need ...
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  • 4,711
26 votes
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How much is darkvision worth compared to a skill pick?

It is an official equivalence In Tasha's Cauldron of Everything is the Custom Lineage, which has among the options: Variable Trait. You gain one of the following options of your choice: (a) ...
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  • 26.1k
25 votes

If an ability says characters can tell that something is not real with a successful ability check, do characters automatically attempt the check?

The rules expect the DM to decide on a case-by-case basis First and foremost, there are no skill checks in 5e anymore. Things like "Wisdom (Insight) check" are ability checks, and they ...
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  • 61.6k
25 votes

What to do when a player roleplays an extremely persuasive argument, but flubs their Persuasion check?

"I am not my character." One of my players occasionally says, "My character is smarter than I am, and I need a hint." And she's right; that's an issue! A similar situation is the ...
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23 votes
Accepted

Is a weapon proficiency also a skill proficiency, or are the two things completely distinct from each other?

Weapon proficiencies are not skills Skills are defined in chapter 7 of the Player's Handbook (and the Basic Rules). They are a specific set of proficiency which will let you add your proficiency on ...
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  • 43.5k
23 votes

Was this the right call? Player rolled a great Intimidation check on an enemy that wouldn't normally be intimidated

The player should have waited for the DM to ask for a roll (or not) Your game seems to have gone down in the wrong order: Your player rolled Your player said what they were going to do You said what ...
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  • 3,717
22 votes

Does taking 10 increase the time it takes to perform an action?

No your GM's ruling was wrong. There is no time increase when "Taking 10". Taking 10 is not about "doing something slowly & carefully", but about doing something in a routine ...
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  • 1,599
21 votes

Can a 6th level rogue select Investigation for their Expertise feature even if their Intelligence modifier is +0?

You must be proficient in Investigation to select it for the Rogue's Expertise feature. The Rogue's Expertise feature states: At 1st level, choose two of your skill proficiencies, or one of your ...
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21 votes

Does taking 10 increase the time it takes to perform an action?

There is a clarification from Sean K Reynolds, one of the people who wrote the core rulebook: Taking 10 requires only as much time as making one check.
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  • 1,168
21 votes

What to do when a player roleplays an extremely persuasive argument, but flubs their Persuasion check?

There are some excellent answers here relating to this specific situation, but I'm going to present a simple one that's more generally applicable to any and all situations where a character should ...
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21 votes
Accepted

How can I implement a "passive stealth" that is mathematically equivalent to rolling stealth vs. passive perception?

Option 1: Answering the question as written It's possible just to invert everything: Since the player normally rolls only once, roll the d20 only once for the guards (with different bonuses if ...
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21 votes
Accepted

Can a Druid understand language while Wild Shaped?

Yes, you can understand language if the form can hear The relevant rules text is: You retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them if the new form is ...
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20 votes
Accepted

Is the DC table applied to characters with or without proficiency?

The rules assume you are not proficient To quote page 239 of the DMG: [...] Keep in mind that a character with a 10 in the associated ability and no proficiency will succeed at an easy task around 50 ...
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  • 72.2k
18 votes

Was this the right call? Player rolled a great Intimidation check on an enemy that wouldn't normally be intimidated

Only ask for a check if there is a chance of success, a chance of failure, and a consequence of failure The PHB gives you guidance for this on p. 174: An ability check tests a character’s or monster’...
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18 votes

Medicine and Stabilizing

A successful DC 10 Wisdom (Medicine) check will stabilize a dying creature. The rules for stabilizing a creature state: You can use your action to administer first aid to an unconscious creature and ...
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17 votes

What check determines if a whip successfully latches onto a tree branch?

You probably don't need a check at all. I read this question and my first thought was similar, there's probably a skill check involved. But that got me thinking: how hard should this actually be? So I ...
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16 votes
Accepted

Are there rules for "doubletalk" (i.e. a character conveying a message to allies while hiding that message from enemies)?

It was in 3.x, but not anymore The Bluff skill from the previous edition had the exact case you're asking about: Delivering a Secret Message You can use Bluff to get a message across to another ...
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  • 61.6k
15 votes

Are there rules for "doubletalk" (i.e. a character conveying a message to allies while hiding that message from enemies)?

Thieves' Cant Rogues gain the class feature Thieves' Cant at 1st level: During your rogue training you learned thieves’ cant, a secret mix of dialect, jargon, and code that allows you to hide ...
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  • 24.6k
15 votes

How can I prevent the rogue from placing items in my character's backpack?

Let's assume you want to mess with the rogue, not do something boring like talking to him. And since you're playing a wizard I'll focus on spells. Alarm (audible): As mentioned by ShadowRanger, put an ...
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  • 197
15 votes
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Can you use the Sleight of Hand skill to stack the Deck of Many Things?

The Deck of Many Things in 5e has: Before you draw a card, you must declare how many cards you intend to draw and then draw them randomly [...] Any cards drawn in excess of this number have no effect....
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  • 3,389
14 votes

How can I prevent the rogue from placing items in my character's backpack?

Fight fire with fire You are a wizard. You should know better than to use a backpack, which will ruin your precious books anyway. No, a proper wizard uses a lightweight travel crate from wood with a ...
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  • 26.9k
13 votes

How can I implement a "passive stealth" that is mathematically equivalent to rolling stealth vs. passive perception?

The DM secretly rolls From the PHB p.6 (my emphasis): ... the DM decides what happens, often relying on the roll of a die to determine the success of an action. It doesn't say who makes "the ...
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  • 189k
13 votes

What does it mean in-game to be better at Deception than Persuasion?

Persuasion and Deception are largely different things, as called out in the PHB, pp178-179: Deception. Your Charisma (Deception) check determines whether you can convincingly hide the truth, either ...
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  • 13.9k
13 votes
Accepted

What percentage of Call of Cthulhu characters start drowning on average?

63% start drowning, 54% drown For this answer I am assuming the investigator is not insane, is in his 20s or 30s (no changes to rolled CON) and the swimming is of regular difficulty. Interestingly, ...
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12 votes
Accepted

Where was the computer skill split up into operation, programming and hacking?

This was added in Classic BattleTech Companion (FanPro #10975), an expansion to 3rd edition first published in 2003. The relevant text is on page 107. This skill has been revised as a cascading skill ...
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