[RPG] Does proficiency in perception increase passive wisdom?


I have a halfling rogue with a wisdom modifier of 0 with proficiency in perception, so my passive perception is 12. Is my passive wisdom (perception) 10 or 12?

Best Answer

Passive Wisdom checks aren't mentioned anywhere in the D&D 5e rules - only Passive Perception (and maybe Passive Insight) - though passive checks of any sort can be made at the DM's discretion. And proficiency in a specific skill doesn't affect other ability checks that use the same ability.

Note that specific skill checks are generally referred to in the rules by the ability they're associated with, such as a "Dexterity (Acrobatics) check" or a "Wisdom (Perception) check".

The rules for passive checks:

A passive check is a special kind of ability check that doesn’t involve any die rolls. Such a check can represent the average result for a task done repeatedly, such as searching for secret doors over and over again, or can be used when the GM wants to secretly determine whether the characters succeed at something without rolling dice, such as noticing a hidden monster.

Here’s how to determine a character’s total for a passive check:
10 + all modifiers that normally apply to the check

If the character has advantage on the check, add 5. For disadvantage, subtract 5. The game refers to a passive check total as a score.

For example, if a 1st-level character has a Wisdom of 15 and proficiency in Perception, he or she has a passive Wisdom (Perception) score of 14.

Your Passive Perception = 10 + your Perception bonus

(your Perception bonus = your Wisdom modifier + your proficiency bonus)

So if you're a level 1 character with a Wisdom mod of +0 and proficiency in Perception, your Passive Perception is 12.

If your DM decided a "passive Wisdom" check was appropriate for whatever reason, then your Passive Wisdom would be 10. But I've never heard of a Passive Wisdom check.

Perception checks can alternately be called "Wisdom (Perception) checks"; this simply specifies which ability score mod is being applied. Theoretically, your DM could call for a Perception (or other) check that uses a different ability score mod than the typical Wisdom one, if that ability score would be more relevant to the specific reason the check is being made.

For instance, the DM could ask you to make an "Intelligence (Perception) check"; this would be determined by rolling 1d20 (as usual) and then adding your Intelligence modifier (and your proficiency bonus, if you're proficient in the Perception skill) to the roll. The corresponding "Passive Intelligence (Perception) check" (which would probably never be called for by the DM) would be 10 + Int mod + proficiency bonus (if proficient).

The relevant section of the rules:

Normally, your proficiency in a skill applies only to a specific kind of ability check. Proficiency in Athletics, for example, usually applies to Strength checks. In some situations, though, your proficiency might reasonably apply to a different kind of check. In such cases, the GM might ask for a check using an unusual combination of ability and skill, or you might ask your GM if you can apply a proficiency to a different check. For example, if you have to swim from an offshore island to the mainland, your GM might call for a Constitution check to see if you have the stamina to make it that far. In this case, your GM might allow you to apply your proficiency in Athletics and ask for a Constitution (Athletics) check. So if you’re proficient in Athletics, you apply your proficiency bonus to the Constitution check just as you would normally do for a Strength (Athletics) check. Similarly, when your Half-Orc Barbarian uses a display of raw strength to intimidate an enemy, your GM might ask for a Strength (Intimidation) check, even though Intimidation is normally associated with Charisma.