Skills usage

Note that in this campaign, there are no interaction skill rolls between Players’ characters. So skills like Insight, Deception, Persuasion or intimidation are exclusively used with Non Players Characters.

Our approach to skills in 5th Edition is based on the following philosophy: Using a skill can not be as powerful as any related special ability provided by a class, race or feat.

Helping another and group checks

Helping someone else on a skill roll requires proficiency in that skill, or toolkit, and provides advantage to the character doing the roll.
Note that if a check is specialized (see below), the help action can’t be use for that check.
Help can be provided with half-proficiency for a +2 bonus instead of advantage. There is no cumulative effect of multiple helpers, only one type of help is used, albeit for some actions multiple bodies may be needed to accomplish something (for example, when pulling a very heavy weight, the sum of all the carrying capacity of those participating to the pull is added together, while an athletic check can be required) .

Helping someone on an attribute check is possible. Each helper have to make their own check, and the highest roll is used as the starting value, and then for each other helper, their check represent the attribute value and they each add the related attribute bonus to this value, up to their own modifier for this attribute (with a minimum of +1). Furthermore, the helpers must be able to help for that specific check (DM’s discretion).

Some skills are strictly individual, and can’t benefit from the help action outside of Group Checks or Skill challenges : Perception, Insight, Stealth, Acrobatics, and any Knowledge skill (Arcana, Religion, History and Nature)

You can help one person stand up from prone if you use a readied action while being 5’ from them, and a reaction during their turn. The character helped can reduce their required speed spent to stand-up by 5’ (and the helped character can not change his condition until their own turn).

You can’t help someone else for a group check (you can simply use your own check to do the same thing if you are in position to do so).

Group checks are used when all the members of the group are helping each others to do a task that can be undertaken as a group, as per PHB p 175 rules. Group check scope is used when the activity does not warrant using the Skill Challenges rules (a group check can have a maximum of two different checks).

If at least half of the checks for each skill succeed, the check is a success. If all the group’s checks success it is a total success instead.

If more than half of check fail, the group check is failed, and if all the checks failed, it is a total failure.

If a skill check result for a group check is 20+, the amount above 20 is added to the highest failed check.
If a skill check result for a group check is 1 or under, the amount below 1 is deducted from the lowest successful check.

Proficiency with tools and knowledge checks

When using a knowledge skill or a tool a character is proficient with, the player can always chose before making a check to use the proficiency die (see DMG p 263) instead of the default proficiency bonus for this roll.
lvl 1-4 → d4 (Default is +2)
lvl 5-8 → d6 (Default is +3)
lvl 9-12 → d8 (Default is +4)
lvl 13-16 → d10 (Default is +5)
lvl 17-20 → d12 (Default is +6)

Never add two proficiency bonuses
The only way to add two proficiency bonuses together to any check is from the rogue’s Expertise feature or the prodigy feat.

A tool proficiency is never added to a skill proficiency. If a check associates a skill and a tool, the proficiency roll of the tool is made with advantage if the character is proficient both with the tool and the skill, and the highest proficiency bonus is used, not the sum of both.


In discord, the bot command to use is !prof (use this command before making the regular check!) or !prof adv if the character is proficient with both skill and tool. A bonus/penalty will be given to the follow-up skill check.


Simple checks

Some checks are called simple checks. Those checks can still be made by anyone, but those lacking the required proficiency have no penalty to the check other than not gaining the proficiency bonus.
- Any natural 20 on a simple check triggers a learning progress check toward that proficiency (using Practice).

Those with the proper proficiency can use an open-ended proficiency die (if the result is the dice maximum result, another dice is rolled and added to the total and so on for each max result)

Simple checks can be invoked for knowledge checks and some checks requiring the usage of tool kits. For example, cooking, carpentry or masonry are always considered simple checks.

Specialized checks

Some checks are called specialized checks. Those checks can still be made by anyone, but those lacking the required proficiency are going to make the check with disadvantage.
- Specialized checks can’t benefit from the Help action.
- Crew bonuses can’t be added for specialized checks unless everyone in the crew is proficient.

The most common specialized checks are obviously foreign knowledge checks and some checks requiring the usage of tool kits. A few other checks like guiding or finding a good campground also fall into the specialized checks category.

Detailed skills usage

Animal training

Animal handling
The details for training animals can be found here.

Arcana

Arcana check can also be used to identify aberrations, construct or undead creatures.

Breaking a fall

Acrobatics check
As per RAW, you take 1d6 of falling damage for each 10’ of fall.
You also drop the objects in your hand, except for a shield that has been strapped.
If you take damage from the fall, you fall prone at landing, else you are standing up.

The creature falling can make an acrobatics roll to lessen the damage.
With a penalty of -2 In medium armor, +1 per magical bonus (max 0)
With a penalty of -5 In heavy armor, +1 per magical bonus (max 0)

Another creature can also help break the fall with their own acrobatic check, as a reaction if they are located within their reach of the space at the bottom of the fall. This creature (and anyone helping) will automatically take half damage from the fall and also fall prone, if the creature falling receives any damage from the fall.

A DC 10 Acrobatics check is allowed to either keep one item in hand or cancel 1d6 of potential damage. This choice is made again for every 5 points above the DC.
Anyone trained in acrobatics cancels one d6 of damage, regardless of the result of the check.

Catching someone starting to fall

Athletics check
As a reaction, you can catch someone the same size as you that is just starting falling with a moderately difficult Athletics check provided you have one free hand, and the distance is less than the sum of both individual’s reach. The check’s DC becomes Difficult for creatures one size larger, and Easy for creatures one size smaller.

Chasing someone

Survival or Dexterity and Perception/Stealth
Check the rules for chasing here.

Climbing

Athletics check
A climbing roll is made for each move or dash action spent climbing. The difficulty of the climb can be assessed before starting the climb. Without climbing speed, the distance is half the regular move speed of the character (except when climbing down using a rope or ladder – see below).
With only one hand free, the check is done with disadvantage
With medium armor, with a -2 penalty^ (1 per magic bonus – up to 0)
With heavy armor, with a -5 penalty^ (
1 per magic bonus)
^if the check fails because of the armor penalty, an acrobatic check is allowed to remain on the wall, with the same penalty and DC.

Regular pitons can be used to provide an easier climb, making climbing very easy regardless of the surface when they are spaced 5’ from each others. It takes one action to place each new piton, and when doing so the one putting the pitons in must make a regular climbing check for the surface. This is noisy (hammering) and time consuming (use the action, no dash possible), and the pitons can’t be recovered. If pitons are placed 10’ from each others, the climb becomes easy, and moderately difficult if they are spaced 15’ from each others.

Special pitons (from the climber’s kit) are re-usable, and can be anchored or removed with one action. They provide the same advantage as regular pitons, but once anchored, these special pitons (and rope) also prevent falling more than 25 feet from where the closest one has been anchored.

While climbing, if you receive a critical hit from an attack, you must make an athletic check with a DC equal to the damage received to avoid falling.

Using a rope provides advantage to the climbing check, and when going down, a rope allows to use one’s full movement speed, even without any climbing speed.

A rope can also be used with an action to haul someone the same size as you with a moderately difficult Athletics check provided you have two free hands, provided the encumbrance allows for that total weight to be lifted/pulled.
The check’s DC becomes Difficult for creatures one size larger, and Easy for creatures one size smaller, and is made with a +5 bonus when lowering someone.
Each extra helper forfeit their action, and can make an athletic roll too, while providing their strength modifier bonus to the haul regardless of the roll.
The maximum distance pulled in one round is equal to 10’ + sum of strength modifiers, provided at least one athletics check succeeds. This distance is doubled when lowering someone.
If all athletic check fails, an anchor check must be done (see below). If all anchor checks fails, the hauler lose grip on the rope who falls out of their hand.

Someone with two free hands can hold a rope and maintain it as an anchor while it is being used to climb. An easy strength check is required to maintain the anchoring every time the rope is used to climb, as long as the weight on the rope does not exceed the lift capacity of the character.
If more than one person help anchor the rope this way, only one of them needs to succeed the check to maintain the anchor.

Coating injury poison on a blade

Sleight of hands check
On a failed check, the coating is inefficient and the poison has no effect. On a roll of 20+, the save DC is increased by +2. If the check roll is 5 under the DC, the character injures himself with the poison, suffering its effects.

If a character spends a full round coating a blade or ammo tip, the DC is 5, for the coating to be inefficient.
if the character spends one action only, the DC is 10, for the the coating to be inefficient.
If the character spends one bonus action only the DC is 15, for the the coating to be inefficient.

Faertouched weapons grants advantage to the roll to coat the weapon with poison.

Bargaining for an item

Two skills out of Persuasion, Insight and Deception
The rules for bargaining can be found here.

Crafting

Usually a skill challenge involving an ability check. See Crafting for more details.

Disarming traps

Sleigh of Hands, Investigation and Thieves tools
Both skill checks need to succeed to disarm a trap successfully, and the character must have thieves tools available. If a character is proficient with the thieves tools, the proficiency bonus is used on both checks, else each check is specialized.

If both check succeed, the time required to disarm a trap is equal to its DC in rounds, minus 1 per point of success above the DC of the lowest roll (minimum one round).

If only one check succeeds, the time is a number of minutes equal to its DC, minus 1mn per point of the highest roll (minimum 1 minute). Also, the trap triggers but any damage are halved before any other rolls.

As usual, any result of 1 causes Complications, usually the trap making a critical hit, but it can vary according to the trap’s design.

Engineering

Knowledge skill challenge
See Engineering Skill

Falling

Acrobatics check
As per RAW, you take 1d6 of falling damage for each 10’ of fall.
You also drop the objects in your hand, except for a shield that has been strapped.
If you take damage from the fall, you fall prone at landing, else you are standing up.

The creature falling can make an acrobatics roll to lessen the damage.
Another creature can also help break the fall with their own acrobatic check, as a reaction if they are located within their reach of the space at the bottom of the fall. This creature (and anyone helping) will automatically take half damage from the fall and also fall prone, if the creature falling receives any damage from the fall.

A DC 10 Acrobatics check is allowed to either keep one item in hand or cancel 1d6 of potential damage. This choice is made again for every 5 points above the DC.
Anyone trained in acrobatics cancels one d6 of damage even if they fail the acrobatic check.

Finding a camp site

Survival
The rules for finding a camp site can be found here.

Foraging

Survival and Nature
The rules for Foraging can be found here.

Guard duty

Perception
When on guard duty, a character is using a perception action every round, and always roll a Perception check to hear any incoming threat, contested by the stealth check of the intruder. If the check is lower than the passive perception of the guard, the passive perception is used instead.

Hide action and movement

Stealth check
See the Stealth and hiding summary page.

Identifying a non magical potion or substance

Medicine check
As part of using a potion, a medicine check can be made to recognize what it is before drinking it, with the following difficulties.
Healing potions – Very easy
Poisons -Moderately difficult to very difficult
Antidotes – Moderately difficult to very difficult
Remedies – Difficult
Chemical compounds -Difficult to Very difficult

Note: A medicine check result of 20+ will always find out if a potion or substance is magical, without further information. Identification with detect magic or identify spells would be required to get more information.

Jump

Athletic check
An Athletic check is always made when jumping. If the Athletic check is superior to the character’s STR value, the result of the Athletic check is used as the STR value (and to determine STR mod too).

In all cases (including magical help) the distance covered with an horizontal jump can never be higher that the total move for the character when using a move and a dash action, and the distance covered with a vertical jump can never be higher than the move speed for the character.

If an horizontal jump covers a distance superior to the regular move speed of the character, the character must use the dash action(s) to cover the full distance of the jump, and the character must make a very easy acrobatic check to avoid ending the jump prone. The difficulty increases by +5 for each dash action used, and another +5 if the landing terrain is difficult.

Knowledge skills

The five knowledge skills are Arcana, Nature, History, Medicine and Religion
- Players can always state before rolling that they are going to use the proficiency die when making a knowledge check.
- When a character examines something with the intent to extract knowledge from it, the character can name one of the five knowledge checks, and will focus their mind on trying to recall information in that specific field when making their check. Characters can only do one knowledge check per item/name and the choice of knowledge they make determine the skill they chose to use. Further information requires using the Research Downtime activity.
- Relevant expertise bonuses always apply to Knowledge checks.
- If relevant, mastery of the appropriate language provides a +2 bonus to a knowledge check.
- Knowledge related to any living thing is now strictly under Nature, even if the creature is from other planes or magical (except for aberrations, constructs and undeads, for which related knowledge is Arcana, and devils, demons and celestials for which related Knowledge is Religion).
- Due to their class training, Clerics and Paladins get advantage on their proficiency dice for all religion checks and can’t roll lower than the proficiency bonus
- Due to their class training, Wizards get advantage on their proficiency dice for all Arcana checks and can’t roll lower than the proficiency bonus
- Due to their class training, Druids get advantage on their proficiency dice for all Nature checks and can’t roll lower than the proficiency bonus
- Due to their class training, Bards get advantage on their proficiency dice for all History checks and can’t roll lower than the proficiency bonus.
- Due to their class training, Rangers get advantage on their proficiency dice for all Medicine checks and can’t roll lower than the proficiency bonus.

Nature

Nature check is used to identify any living being (except for constructs and undeads, which relate to Arcana, and demons, devils and celestials, which relate to Religion)

Perception

Check the Perception page for details.

Performing

Check the Performing page for details.

Picking locks

Sleigh of Hands and thieves tools
Thieves tools must be available to attempt this action, and this action requires the other hand to be free. A character with proficiency with Thieves tools add the tool’s proficiency bonus to the sleight of hand roll, else the check is specialized (unless the lock specifically requires proficiency with Thieves Tools).

It takes one action to try to unlock and open a locked door. The character can decide to use more time, using a full round for a +2 bonus (uses an action, then make the check at the end of the character’s next turn), or a full minute for a +5 bonus.

On a roll of 1, Complications will occur (breaking the thieves tools). The complication roll uses the same bonus as the pick lock modifier for time spent.

Religion

Religion check can also be used to identify demons and devils as well as celestial beings.

Search.

Perception/Investigation check
Check the rules for Search.

Stealth

Check the Stealth summary page for details.

Swimming

Athletics
A swimming check is made when someone is entering the water without getting in it on their own volition, if the swimmer failed a swimming check the previous round, or other special circumstances decided by the DM. Characters with a swimming speed always have advantage to any swimming check.
In calm waters (currents speed of 10’ or under), it is a very easy check.
In quick waters (current speed 15 to 25’), it is an easy check
In rough water (current speed (30’ to 40’), it is a moderate check
In other conditions it is a difficult check.

If a swimming check fails, the swimmer move speed is halved (if it was already halved, it is 0) and sinks under the surface for 5’ + 5 extra feet for each size above small.
This sinking applies before any encumbrance or current speed is applied.

Tailing someone (urban areas)

Stealth and Investigation
The rules for tailing someone are included with the chasing rules here.

Tracking someone (Outdoor areas)

Survival
The rules for tracking someone are included with the chasing rules here.

Skills usage

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