Without skill proficiency, the rules from XGtE don't apply.
The bonuses mentioned in XGtE only apply when you have proficiency in both the skill and the tool, and use of both the skill and the tool apply to the ability check:
Advantage. If the use of a tool and the use of a skill both apply to a check, and a character is proficient with the tool and the ...
Magic, if a Wizard is doing it
This might depend on the specifics of who is the one performing the check and winning, but in this case, you're mentioning a wizard, who might be limited in the spells they can cast normally.
That said, you could always have them succeed on their strength check (Say, natural 20 versus a roll of 12 by the Orc), and use it as a ...
There are a number of options
Don't roll when the result isn't in question.
This option is supported by the rules and is often overlooked. The DM chooses when to ask for rolls in 5e D&D. The players state what they are trying to do, the DM determines if a roll is needed, describes what the roll is, and the player rolls it.
Here, the DM simply doesn't ...
Only ask for rolls, if you don't know the actual outcome from the start!
For example: A halfling wants to arm wrestle an ogre. Don't let them roll in the first place; the ogre just automatically wins.
Don't forget: The player describes what they want to do. The DM tells the outcome and calls for rolls if needed.
If needed the DM sets a DC (most oftenly ...
If a task is specific to the dice, then you should set a target amount to hit. People think "nat 20's" let you do anything, but they don't. A task may be "impossibly high" to do, but a person with great skill & a nat 20 may pull it off. But, the high skill check would keep that task out-of-reach of normal folks just trying.
There are lots of options, but remember in a DnD world even more than the real world strange things happen.
First as others have pointed out don't make it a single role, make it a series of rolls. Also if it is impossible don't even let them roll, but this is not impossible just improbably, if the wizard was asleep it would be impossible.
How to deal with ...
It's not a contest. See the PHB p. 174
Sometimes one character's or monster's efforts are directly opposed to another's... In situations like these, the outcome is determined by a special form of ability check, called a contest.
The players aren't free by the normal rules to directly oppose the other person, merely use strength. If it was a true contest ...
Use group checks when an individual failure would mean the group fails.
First, the rules for group checks:
When a number of individuals are trying to accomplish something as a group, the DM might ask for a group ability check. In such a situation, the characters who are skilled at a particular task help cover those who aren't.
To make a group ability check, ...
Model the contest as multiple steps, e.g. win by two
This greatly amplifies a statistical advantage, making the final odds of winning the round much more in favour of the stronger (and proficient-in-Athletics) contestant.
Having the math odds be very unlikely opens the door to weirder narrative explanations, like a fluke muscle cramp, on top of brilliant ...
Use passive checks for peaceful situations
Rolling d20 for every side and adding modifiers is called a contest.
The rules suggest using contests in the context of combat:
Battle often involves pitting your prowess against that of your foe. Such a challenge is represented by a contest.
Player's Handbook p. 195 Contests in Combat
Sometimes one character's or ...
I'd say in the case of the wizard vs the barbarian, I'd allow the wizard to roll. A 20 would mean that the wizard managed to get the jump on the barbarian and actually push the barbarian's arm down, about 3/4 of an inch. At which point the barbarian would simply push the wizard’s arm down. However, the fact that the wizard got the jump on him, if just for a ...
As a GM, I generally try to put the onus on my players to explain why something worked.
The wizard might explain that they realized that the surface of the table was uneven, so they picked a spot where they knew the orc wouldn't have a stable place to put their elbow. The wizard might have turned their hand and squeezed their thumb to hit nerve endings in ...
With feats of strength, there are good days and bad days.
From a rules perspective, it is abundantly clear that a contested Strength (Athletics) check is called for here:
Sometimes one character's or monster's efforts are directly opposed to another's. This can occur when both of them are trying to do the same thing and only one can succeed, such as ...
Going over the top
The gates for being successful are already created by the stats of the two entities and the dice and modifiers help tell that tale. If you're looking for reasons why an outcome happened, just get creative! Maybe they sneezed, were distracted, or something purely incredible happened with the PC to have gone over the top and won. Heck, if ...
If failure/success doesn't make sense, don't let them roll in the first place
Let's see what the rules say about ability checks (emphasis mine):
The DM calls for an ability check when a character or monster attempts
an action (other than an attack) that has a chance of failure. When
the outcome is uncertain, the dice determine the results.
You said you ...
In other games I GM'ed (not specificially D&D), I explained it to players as the following...
Intimidation makes the target do exactly what you want, but they won't like it
Diplomacy lets them choose how they comply, but on better terms
Intimidating Ira intimidates the guard to let her in.. NOW. She succeeds. But, no one likes being bullied. So, ...
It does not stack with itself, apparently
The general rule is that you can't benefit from a skill training twice:
You can’t gain training in a skill more than once.
(PHB, Skill Training)
A race normally gives you a +2 skill bonus, not a skill training. Racial skill bonus does stack with the class skill training. PHB explicitly says this in the "Skill ...
If you read the skill description from the pathfinder 1e reference document, you will notice that it says that intimidation affects "an opponent" and that their "wisdom modifier" plays a role. My conclusion would be that anything which has a wisdom modifier and is capable of comprehending your attempts at intimidation can potentially ...
Per the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, Intelligent items are treated as constructs. Which as stated are immune to mind effecting effects.
Intelligent items can actually be considered creatures because they have Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. Treat them as constructs.
The Pathfinder FAQ states
Intimidate, in particular, is a mind-affecting fear ...
I would be inclined to make a roleplaying challenge. If the player can give me a decent description of how they would do it, I'd let it work. Maybe as simple as "licking the wounds" as a dog, or something like that. Medicine is not by any means an overpowered skill, so I'm inclined to let it be as useful as the players can make it.
What a Wild-Shaped druid can physically do is up to the GM
The rules on Wild Shape include the following (emphasis mine):
[...] You retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them if the new form is physically capable of doing so. However, you can’t use any of your special senses, such as darkvision, unless your ...
You can get expertise in fourteen skills (plus one from skill empowerment), and nine tools
Classes: Rogue (Scout) 6, Bard (Lore) 10, Cleric (Knowledge) 1, Fighter (Rune Knight) 3
Use the Sailor background to get proficiency in Athletics, Perception, Navigator's Tools, and Vehicles (Water). Be a Half-Elf so you can pick up another 2 proficiencies (Acrobatics ...
With a level 17 Rogue/Cleric/Bard
Race: Half-Elf, so you can pick up another 2 proficiencies and you qualify for the Prodigy racial feat from Xanathar's
Any background that gives us two skill proficiencies
Prodigy (XGE) + 1 expertise in any skill and 1 additional proficiency
Skill Expert (TCE) + 1 expertise in any skill, 1 additional ...