[RPG] Does 5th edition have the equivalent of Taking 20


In 3rd edition D&D there was the option to Take 10 or Take 20 on a skill check. Does an equivalent rule exist in 5th edition?

If the answer is no, have you tried houseruling it in, and what effect did it have on your game?

Best Answer

10 yes (sort of), 20 no.

Taking 20 was not a thing in 4th edition, and is similarly absent from 5th. Taking 10 however is sort of a thing in 5th, but it's not implemented the way you might think it should be.

Basically, the way "taking 10" works in 5e is that every ability (And by extension, skill), has a "passive" score (Basic Rules v2 page 59). This is 10 + modifier, and it sort of represents your natural, not at all under pressure ability in a specific discipline.

The best example of this is Passive Perception. Basically, if you walk into a room, your passive perception is what you instantly notice. Many items in 5e have a higher DC if someone is passively looking for it than when they are actively doing so. But Passive Perception doesn't draw attention that actively looking might.

Ultimately, when it comes to taking 20, this gets back to a fundamental D&D principle. If failure isn't interesting on a specific roll, there is no sense in rolling the check at all. This is the problem that take 20 solved, and while 5e could fall victim to it, I've found in practice that it really doesn't. I've run several sessions where there was no need to roll dice at all, as situations pretty much just were RP and the characters often found automatic success on things like Diplomacy or bluff etc because their passive scores are high, but also because the DCs were really low for things like that (what can I say, folks in Phandalin aren't shy when it comes to telling PCs stuff).