pathfinder 1e – How does the 5th (and higher) level Unchained Rogue Skill unlock for the Intimidate skill would interact with the Taunt feat?

How does the 5th (and higher) level Unchained Rogue Skill unlock for the Intimidate skill would interact with the Taunt feat?

All of the likely interpretations lead to weird results,

a) If you rule that the skill unlock applies whenever I use the Taunt feat, then it follows that it’s possible for me to unlock the Intimidate skill’s extra abilities with 5 ranks of Bluff, even if I have zero ranks of Intimidate, since Bluff would be doing it’s job. This doesn’t seem right, and violates the text of the rule, but this is still a fairly sensible interpretation of an unusual situation, since the feat specifically references the Intimidate Skill to describe what it does.

b) If you rule that the skill unlock requires 5 ranks in Initimdate to open, then I end up activating the Intimidate Skill abilities at a time when I’m actually using Bluff. This actually seems like the Rules-As-Written interpretation, but that doesn’t make it any less strange.

c) If you rule that I can’t use the skill unlock at all while using the Taunt feat, then you’re gutting the text of the feat itself, which states “You can demoralize opponents using Bluff rather than Intimidate (see the Intimidate skill description for details).”

I think all three answers lead to fairly odd outcomes, so there’s no sensible way to decide between them other than GM interpretation. Thoughts?

dnd 5e – Are rolls to ‘Players can tell if X is real with a skill check’ passive?

Passive checks are typically used for tasks that are done repeatedly.

The rules for passive checks state:

Such a check can represent the average result for a task done repeatedly, such as searching for secret doors over and over again, or can be used when the DM wants to secretly determine whether the characters succeed at something without rolling dice, such as noticing a hidden monster.

A check against an illusion spell is more like a one-and-done check, so an active check should be made. If you are fooled once by the illusion, you believe it is real until it is proven otherwise.

dnd 5e – Is there a mechanism for gaining proficiencies or skill improvements in play?

Skill/ability is deliberately handled in a very broad/simple way in 5e D&D, and gaining levels is the method by which they are improved

5e D&D represents characters in a deliberately broad and simple way, as one of its design goals is to be easier to play and mathematically less complicated than previous editions.

In that vein, skill and ability is generally represented quite simply.

  • Your Ability Modifier is a measure of your generic ability – how strong you are, how smart you are, etc. – and each modifier broadly applies to a large range of checks. Improving an ability score means you are generally better at any checks based on that score.
  • Your Proficiency Bonus is a measure of your experience and learned ability. Your proficiency bonus improves as you gain levels as you simply get better at whatever it is that you do.
  • Whether or not you are Proficient with a given skill, weapon, or tool is the measure of your focused learning and training. You’re better at things you are proficient in than things you’re not.

In general, 5e represents your focused ability with specific skills by determining whether or not you are proficient in their use. If you have proficiency with a skill, it is assumed that as you gain levels, you will be doing the necessary practice and training with that skill in order that you get better at it (as represented by your increasing proficiency bonus).

Certain feats or class features – like the Rogue’s Expertise class feature – allow you to double your proficiency bonus with certain skills. This is the closest that the game comes to allowing you represent a specific focus on learning and improving a skill above and beyond your broad competencies. Even then, you will only be able to gain expertise by choosing a class or feat that grants that benefit at an appropriate time when making your character or levelling up; there’s no mechanism for gaining proficiency, or expertise, in a skill simply by practising it in play (with the exception that you can learn proficiency with a certain kind of tool or language in downtime).

The upshot of all this is that D&D is not a very granular system for representing complex characters, at least not with player classes. These rules are for representing adventurers; exceptional, multitalented individuals who are typically broadly competent at a wide range of things. It doesn’t want an individually detailed representation of precisely how good you are at certain things because it’s decided that is overly complex and detracts from the game it is trying to be.

That at least is in contrast to previous editions, specifically 3e – which does feature a much more complex skill system where you assign a number of ranks to individual skills and competency in different skills is much more variable and specific. However, even then, the number of ranks available to you to spend on skills is based on your class and levels, spent when you gain levels, and there is a cap on how good you can be at any given skill based on your level.

In short – you only get better at things by gaining levels, and gaining a level make you better in lots of ways at once. Besides the largely incidental tool proficiencies and learning languages, the system offers no way to represent training and practice improving your abilities – these are things it is simply assumed you are doing, and it pays off when you have sufficient experience to level up.

What rules govern group skill checks?

A number of published adventures mention rolling a “group stealth check” and other group checks where, theoretically, a proportion of the players try to beat the DC.

Are there formal rules for this, and if so, where?

dnd 5e – How does D&D 5e handle group skill checks?

I have looked at the Lost Mine of Phandelver and see many times where a skill check for wisdom is vital, I want to get my group to work together, like everyone contributing and cooperating, instead of having the guy with the highest skill mod take the lead every time.

Thus, I come to the conclusion that I want to put in a group skill check system of some kind. I saw a few people mentioning in past editions about their way:

All PC rolls, person with highest value will be the one to pass that check.

This seems alright, but I didn’t know if it fits with this edition.

I also thought it would make sense if another character could help with the search and give him an advantage on the check. 2 is better than one right? Thematically, everyone would help search.

The problem I have is that many traps, among other things require the PC to actively search. Unless, I am allowed to yell at them to make a wisdom check prior to the trap?

So how does DnD 5e handle group skill checks? Are there rules for this kind of thing already? Or does anyone have any tried and tested house rules that they’ve implemented?

The reason I’m asking is because the 5 PC in my campaigns have pretty low Wis, max of 12.

dnd 5e – What ability or skill check would cover surfing on a shield down stairs, and what would the DC be for such an action?

Acrobatics (PHB 176 – emphasis mine)

Your Dexterity (Acrobatics) check covers
your attempt to stay on your feet in a tricky situation, such as when you’re trying to run across a sheet of ice, balance on a tightrope, or stay upright on a rocking ship’s deck. The DM might also call for a Dexterity (Acrobatics) check to see if you can perform acrobatic stunts, including dives, rolls, somersaults, and flips.

Note that if all four of them are attempting to stay on a single shield, this would be a group check.

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, everyone in the group makes the ability check. If at least half the group succeeds, the whole group succeeds. Otherwise, the group fails. Group checks don’t come up very often, and they’re most useful when all the characters succeed or fail as a group.

What guidelines if any exist to guide the DM in establishing difficulty level?

Based on your description, I would likely assign this as somewhere between Moderate and Hard. You know more precise information that should factor into your decision – Polished marble steps? Unevenly worn stone? Carpeted? Are the stairs particularly steep or shallow? What is lighting like? etc. You also know the tone of your campaign – gritty realism or romantic fantasy?

You should choose a number that reflects your assessment of how difficult this task is for these characters in this situation in your world.

pathfinder 1e – Please clarify Soulknife’s Blade Skill Multiple Throw?

Please clarify Soulknife’s Blade Skill Multiple Throw?

Multiple Throw: The soulknife can throw a number of mind blades per round equal to the number of melee attacks she could make. A soulknife must be at least 14th level to choose this blade skill.

Does mean you are only allowed to throw one mind blade per round of combat unless you have this Blade Skill and be Lv14 Soulknife and how does effect having Twin Strike Blade Skill at Lv8?

Twin Strike: When making a single standard attack and wielding two mind blades, the soulknife may attack with both of her mind blades at the normal penalties for two-weapon fighting. She may also utilize this ability when making attacks of opportunity, but not for any other special attacks, unless specifically stated otherwise. The soulknife must be at least 8th level to choose this blade skill.

dnd 5e – When replacing the Variant Human race with a lineage, do you keep the skill proficiency gained through the Prodigy feat?

You quote:

… you can keep the following elements of that race: any skill proficiencies you gained from it and any climbing, flying, or swimming speed you gained from it.

Further, The rules for lineages state (emphasis mine):

If you choose a lineage, you might have once been a member of another race, but you aren’t any longer. You now possess only your lineage’s racial traits.

This is quite clear in what exactly can carry over.

The Variant Human rules allow us to pick a feat as a racial ability, but what we get from such a feat isn’t itself a racial ability. Further, bonuses granted as part of a feat are just that: part of the feat.

Prodigy doesn’t say “add one skill proficiency of your choice to your list of racial skill bonuses.” We gain the skill proficiency from the feat, not by virtue of being Variant Human.

dnd 5e – Are you able to apply your tool proficiency bonus when there is an overlap with a skill but you are not proficient in that skill?

So for DnD 5e, XGtE expanded/clarified the use of Tool Proficiencies and very specifically talks about when skill and tool proficiencies overlap and what to do in those situations (advantage or added benefit).

My question is about the situation where you are proficient with a tool but not a skill and there is a potential overlap in an ability check, are you able to apply your tool proficiency bonus to that ability check?

For example, say you are proficient in “Smith’s Tools” and a ability check comes up when examining a Sword. According to XGtE there is an overlap in skills with Arcana, History, and Investigation when examining metal objects. However you are not proficient in any of those 3 skills. How is that ability check handled?

  1. Apply tool proficiency bonus to an Intelligence Check


  1. Apply advantage to an Intelligence Check

Another example which is definitely nitpicking I will add is Mason’s Tools. In XGtE they state there is an overlap in Perception when examining a structure crafted from brick. Now Perception from my understanding is what you are able to notice with your 5 senses rather than say a dedicated Investigation. So you wouldn’t really bring out your tools (unless it is to enhance your senses like a spyglass but Mason’s Tools only consist of a trowel, a hammer, a chisel, brushes, and a square).

So is XGtE suggesting when looking at a structure composed of brick you are able to do a Wisdom check and add your proficiency bonus (because you are proficient with Mason’s Tools) w/o the need of pulling out Mason’s Tools?

pathfinder 1e – What are the advantages of using the Intimidate skill over using the Diplomacy skill for the same purpose?

It depends on how much time you have to spend. Diplomacy typically represents a reasonable amount of back and forth negotiation that could span several minutes whilst Intimidation can be as quick as a single threat and a show of steel.

When using Diplomacy, you also typically take their opinion into account for the DC. They may be friends, enemies, random bystanders, sycophants or someone you accidentally insulted. After all, it’s much easier to convince your old drinking buddy to let you into a restricted area than it would be to convince the xenophobe who thinks adventurers are little better than hobos.

Conversely, Intimidation doesn’t care how much the person likes you, it depends on whether they believe you can make good on your threat. Of course, if you regularly intimidate your friends, they may not be your friends for much longer.

This we come to our final difference. Consequences. Intimidation is typically quicker and easier for your average burly Warrior to get what he wants, but it can leave a mess. Diplomacy takes longer and make cost concessions, but is less likely to bite you in the long run.