So you want to play Dungeons and Dragons?
Skills and Feats
Some checks are made against a Difficulty Class (DC). The DC is a number (set using the skill rules as a guideline) that you must score as a result on your skill check in order to succeed.
When your character uses a skill, you make a skill check to see how well he or she does. The higher the result of the skill check, the better. Based on the circumstances, your result must match or beat a particular number (a DC or the result of an opposed skill check) for the check to be successful. The harder the task, the higher the number you need to roll.
Circumstances can affect your check. A character who is free to work without distractions can make a careful attempt and avoid simple mistakes. A character who has lots of time can try over and over again, thereby assuring the best outcome. If others help, the character may succeed where otherwise he or she would fail.
A skill check takes into account a character’s training (skill rank), natural talent (ability modifier), and luck (the die roll). It may also take into account his or her race’s knack for doing certain things (racial bonus) or what armor he or she is wearing (armor check penalty), or a certain feat the character possesses, among other things.
To make a skill check, roll 1d20 and add your character’s skill modifier for that skill. The skill modifier incorporates the character’s ranks in that skill and the ability modifier for that skill’s key ability, plus any other miscellaneous modifiers that may apply, including racial bonuses and armor check penalties. The higher the result, the better. Unlike with attack rolls and saving throws, a natural roll of 20 on the d20 is not an automatic success, and a natural roll of 1 is not an automatic failure.
Table: Difficulty Class Examples
|Difficulty (DC)||Example (Skill Used||
|Very easy (0)
|Notice something large in plain sight (Spot)|
|Easy (5)||Climb a knotted rope (Climb)|
|Average (10)||Hear an approaching guard (Listen)|
|Tough (15)||Rig a wagon wheel to fall off (Disable Device)||
|Swim in stormy water (Swim)|
|Formidable (25)||Open an average lock (Open Lock)||
|Leap across a 30-foot chasm (Jump)|
|Nearly impossible (40)||Track a squad of orcs across hard ground after 24 hours of rainfall (Survival)|
An opposed check is a check whose success or failure is determined by comparing the check result to another character’s check result. In an opposed check, the higher result succeeds, while the lower result fails. In case of a tie, the higher skill modifier wins. If these scores are the same, roll again to break the tie.
Table: Example Opposed Checks
|Task||Skill (Key Ability)||Opposing Skill (Key Ability)||
|Bluff (Cha)||Sense Motive (Wis)||
|Pretend to be someone else
|Disguise (Cha)||Spot (Wis)||
|Create a false map
|Forgery (Int)||Forgery (Int)||
|Hide from someone
|Hide (Dex)||Spot (Wis)||
|Sneak up on someone
|Move Silently (Dex)||Listen (Wis)||
|Steal a coin pouch
|Sleight of Hand (Dex)||Spot (Wis)|
|Tie a prisoner securely||Use Rope (Dex)||Escape Artist (Dex)|