Skill Passives

houserules for D&D 5 and probably other games too

Ok so instead of rolling 1d20 and adding attribute + proficiency for every skill every time, we are going to do three things.

  1. We give every skill a ‘passive’ score. A skill’s ‘passive’ score is you character’s attribute bonus +5, plus your proficiency bonus (if proficient, of course). For a first level character, you will generate passive scores from 5 to 11.
  2. Any time you would be asked to roll a skill check where the DC is less than your skill’s passive rating, you simply succeed. You’re skilled enough that such a task is routine, or the knowledge is obvious to you.
  3. Any time the DC is higher than your passive, you roll 1d10 and add your skill’s passive rating. If that roll is higher than the check’s DC, you pass.

This system evens out some of the peaks and valleys of the traditional 1d20+proficiency+attribute scheme and makes characters more reliable. It probably fits the fiction better but you lose a lot of the wildness. I think I’d like to run a session or two with these houserules (and a couple others) and see what happens.

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