On today’s episode of Handbooker Helper we’re tackling some fundamentals of D&D role-playing: ability checks, proficiency bonuses, and saving throws. ♫ Don’t know how to play? ♫ ♫ We’ll show you the way ♫ ♫ Handbook, handbook, handbook ♫ ♫ Handbook-er helper ♫ Handbooker Helper ♫ Ding ♫ My name is Rachel Seely and you’ve probably seen me around the internet or on a D&D show called Girls Guts Glory. Now imagine you’re playing Dungeons and Dragons, role-playing up a storm and you’ve just attempted something a little bit risky. Well, your DM may tell you to make an ability check to see if you successfully complete that challenge. Now, when making ability checks the DM will choose which ability score, or skill, the challenge best touches on along with how difficult this challenge actually is. The difficulty is known as the difficulty class, or DC. DCs can range from incredibly easy to practically impossible depending on what you’re trying to do. If you want to hop over a log as you traverse through the forest like, a fairly– fairly big log? That’s probably not super difficult, so a lower DC, maybe 10. But if you want to see through rain and fog to spot at enemy 300 yards away I mean, that’s gonna be a little bit more difficult and this gets a higher DC, like 30. Now, in order to make an ability check simply roll a d20 and add the requested ability modifier. If your total equals or surpasses the DC, it’s a success. Enjoy the spoils of your victory over that log! But if it is below the DC? It’s a failure. That enemy was just too damn far away, and boy is it rainy! Now, if the ability check is pretty general, like that hop over a log it’s probably just a straight dexterity check. However, the specificity of looking for an enemy through rain and fog? That might require a delve into your skills. Use these skills, like acrobatics or perception, investigation or performance and more, to hone your abilities. If you are proficient in a certain skill that means you get to add your proficiency bonus to that ability check for a better chance of success. Proficiency bonus, “What’s that?” you ask. Well, it is a nifty set of numbers that get set up when you create a character, and gets higher as you level up. It’s kind of exactly what it sounds like: a bonus that you get because your character is good at something. It’s generally based on your class or your background and that bonus gets applied to proficiency ability checks, skills saving throws, and attack rolls, along with some of your tools. On the flip side of ability checks, are saving throws. These come up when you’re trying to resist or avoid something unexpected. Poison, a spell, a trap, some kind of threat on your person. They’re something that you’re forced to make rather than an action that you’re attempting like, a constitution saving throw to resist a poison attempting to creep through your veins. Now your class determines which two saving throws you are proficient in meaning which saves you get to add your proficiency bonus to. For example: Fighters get to add their proficiency bonus to strength and constitution saving throws as they tend to be rather strong and hardy buggers. If you successfully make the DC on a saving throw typically you either take no damage, or at least reduce damage and sometimes avoid a terrible condition from affecting you. But a failure results in the full effect of whatever nastiness is headed your way. These are some of the most important building blocks to actively using your character in combat and in role-playing. You may now consider yourself proficient in Handbooker Helper. ♫ Handbook, handbook, handbook ♫ ♫ Handbook-er Helper ♫ Handbooker Helper ♫ Ding ♫ [music]