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Example Ability Check DCs

Acrobatics

10 Maneuver quickly through a light crowd; rappel safely down a rope

15 Do a standing flip; keep your balance in a sudden, strong earthquake

18 Balance along a tightrope; swing from a chandelier

20 Contort into a space too narrow for your body to fit through; escape basic shackles


Animal Handling

10 Calm a warhorse startled in battle; de-escalate aggressive urban wildlife

15 Calm a riding or draft horse startled by battle; de-escalate territorial wildlife

20 Earn the immediate trust of urban wildlife; drive a warhorse into extreme peril

22 Befriend hostile wildlife; drive an untrained mount into battle


Arcana

10 Notice the telltale signs of a mage’s lab; pick out a spellbook among mundane tomes

15 Detect places of latent magical energy; recall an uncommon arcane method

18 Identify the purpose of an esoteric ritual circle; notice signs of planar disturbance

22 Wow an archmage with your expertise; recreate a complex ritual from memory


Athletics

10 Climb a rock face with obvious hand and footholds; climb a secured rope

15 Climb a ship’s rigging in inclement weather; climb a cliffside

18 Jump from a moving carriage to another; stay on a horse as it makes a daring jump

20 Long jump while carrying a Medium or Small creature; climb an overhang


Culture

10 Conduct yourself appropriately in an unfamiliar culture; know commonplace traditions

15 Give a crash course on etiquette; express yourself without a shared language

18 Integrate seamlessly into exclusive circles; twist the law to escape reproach

22 Earn a comfortable living in an urban environment through nothing more than trading


Deception

10 Communicate a simple secret message to an ally

15 Decipher a simple cipher or code

 

Deception is usually contested by a creature’s passive Insight. The following modifiers are appropriate.

–2 Victim wants to believe the lie, as it’s convenient or beautiful

–2 Victim trusts the liar deeply and implicitly

+2 Victim stands to lose something from the lie

+4 Victim is undertaking serious risk by believing the lie

+10 Lie is far-fetched, and the victim would be a fool to take it at face value


Engineering

10 Spot a dangerous structural instability; identify a weak point in a small construction

15 Determine if a building is condemned from outside; build a simple, single-purpose device

20 Identify a weak point in a grand construction such as a stone bridge; quickly synthesize a useful chemical compound from limited available resources

22 Assess the causes of long-past structural damage; rig a small structure to fall at a specific time


History

10 Recall famous legends about a specific region; remember the name of a famous hero

15 Assess the historical importance of an ancient artwork; identify long-lost heraldry

20 Know the childhood nickname of a famous noble; accurately recall an entire family’s genealogy dating back a century


Insight

Also see Deception.

10 Assess the mood of someone not hostile to you

15 Determine someone’s true opinion of you; learn someone’s current, most immediate desire

20 Understand the general meaning of someone speaking a language you don’t know


Intimidation

10 Push around someone you could take in a fight; force a battered opponent to surrender

15 Verbally rebuke someone who holds authority over you; demoralize foes stronger than you

20 Turn a threat back on someone more dangerous than you; demoralize a stronger foe while bloodied


Investigation

10 Notice an old and frequently-used secret door; find out what inn someone’s staying at

15 Discern simple truths from a crime scene; find a specific passage in a daunting tome

18 Identify patterns of thieves’ cant in a town; determine how long ago a recent event took place

20 Get dangerous gossip on a well-known local; assemble a timeline of suspicious happenings going back as far as 6 months


Medicine

10 Assess a broken bone or other obvious injury; stabilize a bleeding creature

15 Identify the cause of death on a recent corpse; diagnose early signs of a plague

18 Surgically remove a foreign object in a non-vital area; identify cause of death on an old corpse

20 Keep a maimed or dismembered creature alive; amputate an infected limb


Nature

10 Tell a poison berry from a safe one; identify contact-hazardous plants such as poison ivy

15 Intuit what kind of wildlife inhabits the surrounding environment; identify medicinal plants

18 Detect signs of fey crossing or other woodland spirits; predict weather up to 7 days in advance

20 Anticipate natural disasters from local animal behavior; assess the long-term health of a natural environment from a short examination


Perception

Also see Sleight of Hand and Stealth.

10 Spot a hunter’s trap before bumbling into it; notice signs of a recent campsite

15 Notice a well-concealed pressure plate; spot campfire smoke from a long distance

20 Detect the rumbling of a rockslide or avalanche before it’s too late; hear flowing water from a long distance


Performance

10 Earn room and board at a common inn; busk to impress passersby

15 Give a performance that catches the attention of a potential patron; show off for a minor noble

18 Draw a substantial crowd through busking; cause a massive distraction

20 Give a performance worthy of a lavish party; win over a wealthy patron


Persuasion

10 Persuade a shopkeeper to lower a price on common goods; talk your way past underpaid guards

15 Make fast friends at a social gathering; recruit someone’s aid for minimal rewards

18 Recruit someone untested into potential danger; inspire a demoralized and bloodied ally

22 Lead folks into imminent peril without fear; convince a noble to offer you a substantial loan with insufficient collateral


Religion

10 Recognize a holy symbol or important site at a glance

15 Sense the presence of a holy or unholy aura; identify signs of undead or fiends

20 Convert someone with strong beliefs to your faith; recognize the rituals of long-dead religions


Sleight of Hand

Sleight of Hand is often contested by the passive Perception of the creature you’re trying to trick.

10 Perform an amusing “magic trick”; palm or sleeve a coin

15 Make an object the size of a deck of cards “disappear”

18 Hide a dagger or similarly sized weapon on your person

25 Hide a shortsword or similarly sized weapon on your person


Stealth

Stealth is almost always contested by the passive Perception of the creature you’re hiding from. The following modifiers are appropriate.

–2 The hider is wearing distinctive or bright garments

–2 The area is still and there’s little movement otherwise

+2 The hider is wearing common or subdued garments

+2 The area is active and there are distractions


Survival

10 Determine which way is north aboveground; light a campfire, predict the weather, identify common plants

15 Identify rare plants, determine whether food or water is safe to consume; determine which way is north belowground

20 Light a campfire in the driving rain; figure out the direction of the nearest natural water source

In addition, see the Journey rules in Trials and Treasures for more information on tracking. The following modifiers are appropriate.

–2 The quarry has traveled on a commonly used path

–2 The environment is firm and the quarry’s tracks are harder to see

+2 The quarry has traveled on a newly beaten path or directly through the brush

+2 The environment is yielding and the quarry’s tracks are easier to see

+2 The quarry is in a group of 6 or more