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D&D Skills 101

Nerdarchy > Dungeons & Dragons  > D&D Skills 101
5E D&D Deception skill check Stealth skill challenge

5 Stealth Skill Challenges for 5E D&D

Salutations, nerds. We’ve arrived at the penultimate set of skill challenges for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Be proud of me because you have no idea how tempted I was to skip Stealth, go straight to Survival and make a joke about how you failed your Perception checks. I resisted the urge! So today is all about you making 5E D&D NPCs fail their Perception checks, so let’s get to it. As a note, per the usual each skill challenge is geared toward small moments of conflict to show those hard earned skills off and give a little more conflict to situations that would have otherwise gone smoothly. They are not intended as hooks to bigger adventures but as you well know, no plan survives first contact with the players so know your table and be prepared for what they’re likely to do with what you hand them. Now, roll for stealth.

5E D&D Deception skill check Stealth skill challenge

5 Sleight of Hand Skill Challenges for 5E D&D

Salutations, nerds, and we’re back with another 5 skill challenges for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. This time it’s Sleight of Hand’s turn in the skill challenge spotlight and I’m going to be honest with you, this one was kind of difficult because Sleight of Hand is one of those 5E D&D skills characters typically instigate themselves by pickpocketing or trying to pilfer small objects in plain view. However, I wasn’t about to skip this one just because it’s difficult. Be prepared though, because things are about to get a little bit wacky and I’m hoping you laugh as hard as I did about it.

5 Religion Skill Challenges for 5E D&D

Salutations, nerds! Buckle up and cross your fingers I don’t burst into flames about three quarters of the way through typing this one because today we’re going to be talking about Religion skill challenges for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Per the usual these are meant to be momentary stumbling blocks for 5E D&D characters and chances for them to show off their skills rather than the hooks to some other grand adventure, though as we all know the plan never survives first contact with the players. That said, get ready and try not to get smote.

5E D&D mason's tools

Are You Ready to Rock? | Tool Time with Mason’s Tools in 5E D&D

Masonry is everywhere in Dungeons & Dragons. From elven spires towering into the sky to ornate dwarven halls literally carved into the mountains the stonework of fantasy worlds are staples of the genre. Before we begin let’s remember while proficiencies are a core mechanic of fifth edition D&D, tool proficiencies don’t really fit neatly into the idea of proficiencies when it relates to skills and are more nebulous by design. When playing a character with an intrinsic tool proficiency, make sure to talk with your Dungeon Master about how you want that to look for your character. And with that out of the way, let’s talk about mason’s tools in 5E D&D!

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5 Performance Skill Challenges for 5E D&D

Salutations, nerds! It’s that time of the week again and we’re going to be talking about Performance skill challenges for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. As usual, the point here isn’t to send characters off on some grand epic quest so much as to provide a momentary stumbling block giving those skill heavy 5E D&D characters a chance to shine! So without farther ado prepare your world to be a stage. I hope you’ve all practiced those soliloquies.

Shiny! | Tool Time with Jeweler’s Tools in 5E D&D

If you’re like me and easily distracted by shinies then this is the post for you because today we’re talking about jeweler’s tools in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons! As a quick aside proficiencies are a core mechanic of 5E D&D. However, tool proficiencies don’t fit neatly into the mechanic due to their more nebulous nature. Your own Dungeon Master might rule things differently from how we present things in this post so talk with your own DM and ask how they treat tool proficiencies, especially if you make that a core component of your character. With that out of the way let’s cover jeweler’s tools and how you might use them in your own game.

5E D&D archer

5 Perception Skill Challenges for 5E D&D

Salutations, nerds, and today we’re going to to be talking about five flash skill challenges for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons based on Perception. For example, did you notice the word ‘to’ was written twice in the previous sentence? The point of these is to give you a quick 5E D&D challenge to throw at characters for a moment of conflict when you need one or feel the need to slow things down. None of them are meant to send the party on some epic quest (though it’s always possible with the right — or wrong — group of players). Let’s get ready to roll some Perception checks.

little shop of horrors audrey II

Never Leaf Home without One! | Tool Time with Herbalism Kit in 5E D&D

Plants are one of those things in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons that perpetually perplex me. Many fantasy video games with a crafting system incorporate herbalism and have at least a small list of specific plants used as ingredients in various potions, dyes and the like. However, 5E D&D hasn’t provided extensive coverage for plants as of yet (at least, not at the time of this writing). What’s more it’s explicitly stated in official materials that proficiency with an herbalism kit allows you to concoct healing potions at half cost. It absolutely blows my mind how many people don’t know this or think it’s tied to alchemist’s supplies. As a quick disclaimer, while proficiencies are a core mechanic of 5E D&D, tool proficiencies are distinctly more nebulous than those for skills or weapons and your own Dungeon Master might rule how to apply tools differently from how we present here. With that out of the way let’s talk about the herbalism kit.

5E D&D archer

5 Nature Skill Challenges for 5E D&D

Salutations, nerds. We’re back with another set of five flash skill challenges for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. This time we’ll be tackling Nature, which covers quite a few things. Per usual the point here is not to send 5E D&D characters on some epic quest but instead to give them a momentary diversion for those moments in the game where they’re breezing through the adventure too fast and you need to slow things down, or when you have a player who keeps trying to roll a certain skill when you don’t have anything for it so you can give them a little spotlight. So, without further ado, Nature checks.

Through the Looking Glass | Tool Time with Glassblower’s Tools in 5E D&D

What mineral derived substance is more prevalent in the daily lives of construction workers, jewelers, churches and nearly everyone else in the fantasy world? If you answered glass, congratulations! You got it right, and we’re talking all about glass today when it comes to fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. After a hiatus from this series we’ve returned with our coverage of tool proficiencies in 5E D&D to go over what they contain, how to use them and creative applications for your games. As a quick disclaimer, while proficiencies are a core mechanic of 5E D&D, tool proficiencies are distinctly more nebulous than those for skills or weapons and your own Dungeon Master might rule how to apply tools differently from how we present here. With that out of the way let’s talk about glassblower’s tools.

5 Medicine Skill Challenges for 5E D&D

Salutations nerds. We’re back again with another set of flash skill challenges for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons and this time we’re talking about Medicine. If you ask me this is one of the more neglected skills in 5E D&D since there are so many healing spells to cast. Of course a couple of these could be solved with a quick healing spell but the vast majority of them require an actual skill check and this is, in fact, the idea. The idea here is to give you a few small encounters based around a skill challenge you can drop into your 5E D&D game to slow the action down and give characters a chance to flex their skills they don’t get to use perhaps as often. Let’s get to it, shall we?

5E D&D Deception skill check Stealth skill challenge

5 Investigation Skill Challenges for 5E D&D

Salutations, nerds! Continuing with the theme of five flash encounters for the skills in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons, today we’re talking about Investigation. So put your detective hats on, get out your magnifying glasses, because we have some small mysteries to solve today. The idea here is to give you a few small encounters based around a skill challenge you can drop into your 5E D&D game to slow the action down and give characters a chance to flex their skills they don’t get to use perhaps as often. Investigation comes up fairly frequently anyway and sometimes it can be nice to have investigation for investigation’s sake. So with farther ado…

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5 Intimidation Skill Challenges for 5E D&D

Salutations, nerds. For context, the past few weeks I’ve presented five flash encounters based around a skill challenge you can drop right into your fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons game at any point and aren’t meant to take up too much time or serve as longer plot hooks. The idea is to get dice rolling if things get slow, or stretch to give yourself more table time if players are chewing through your material too quickly (not that that ever happens to me…). I’m moving right along with these flash skill challenges and I realized something very important this week — and event for Intimidation is kind of hard to specify. While there are absolutely situations you can color to make it seem like a deceptive or a persuasive statement are the best way to handle them, typically Intimidation is one of those things either a certain kind of person engages in or one characters reach for as a bit of a last resort. In light of this, instead of coming up with situations only Intimidation works for I’ve gathered up five situations where Intimidation is a valid option and won’t make characters come across like jerks! Let’s get to it, shall we?

diana acrobat 5E D&D acrobatics

5 Insight Skill Challenges for 5E D&D

Salutations nerds. Today we’re going to be rolling some Insight checks. Get ready to cast detect bullcrap without using a spell slot because that’s where we’re headed with this fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons material. For those of you just hopping in with this series the purpose is to give you a set of flash encounters based around a skill challenge you can drop right into your game at any point and aren’t meant to take up too much time or serve as longer plot hooks. The idea is when things start getting slow at your table you can reach for one of these, give some spotlight to a 5E D&D skill and create a little conflict that won’t take over your entire session. So without farther ado, let’s see whose lying.

Games within Games | Tool Time with Gaming Sets in 5E D&D

Games are the thing around here — Nerdarchy revolves around gaming as a hobby. How to play games better, how to make games funner and new games that come out are just a few of the many nerdy things we cover here along with deep dives into fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. How a society relaxes and the kinds of games its people play reveals a lot about the society’s core values, structures and even how the people think on a perspective level. Today, we’re talking about games and we’re really going meta with the concept. Get ready to have some fun as we start this wheels-within-wheels style conversation of gaming sets in 5E D&D but from a tools perspective! Before we dive into this, it’s important to state that tool proficiencies are a staple in 5E D&D and their relationship to skills can seem concealed at best, as we’ve discussed in previous posts. That being said, every Dungeon Master treats tool proficiencies a bit differently so if you’ve got questions, ask your DM how they treat tools and tool proficiencies. All DMs are encouraged by the Dungeon Master’s Guide to adjust rules to suit their tables, so be flexible with your DM.

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