Rules Clarification

The purpose of this page is to ensure that the most recent clarifications and comments are available to the players.

Skills and Abilities
Monster Knowledge Checks:
There are little official mechanics for DM guidance regarding monster knowledge checks. The PHB has a few rules that are mainly based on class.

Rangers are given advantage on Intelligence checks to recall information on favored enemies (PHB, Pg. 97).

Fighters who take the Battle Master archetype can spend one minute observing another creature to learn basic information. The DM tells the player if they are equal, superior or inferior in two categories.

Strength Score
Dexterity Score
Constitution Score
Armor Class
Current Hit Points
Total Class Levels (if any)
Fighter Class Levels (If any)
(PHB, pgs 73 – 74)

According to the PHB (pgs 177-178):

Your Intelligence (Arcana) check measures your ability to recall lore about … the inhabitants of planes
Your Intelligence (Nature) check measures your ability to recall lore about .. plants and animals
Your Intelligence (Religion) check measures your ability to recall lore about … practices of secret cults
You Intelligence (History) check measures your ability to recall lore about … legendary people.
In summary, there are no hard and fast rules published by D&D to guide Monster Knowledge Checks. This may be intentional to provide the DM some leeway into running their table.

Characters and Classes
Many magical items require that the player attune themselves to the item in order to use them. The player is only allowed to have three items attuned to them at a time. (DMG, pg. 138)

However, in managing the number of items attuned, the player may decide to not attune a magical item so that they can attune a more desired item.

For example: Bosun currently wears a suit of plate mail armor + 1 with cold resistance. However, he is at his limit of three items. During his adventures, Bosun finds an immunity stone of frost, granting immunity to cold damage and the slowed condition. He decides that he wants to attune the stone and unattune the armor.

The question this raises is, what happens when you wear armor that you are not attuned to? One would think that it would simply become a simple suit of plate armor, without magical benefits. However, we, as players, have been proven wrong on these things before.

Luckily, the DMG agrees with common sense. DMG pg. 138 states that the attunment of an item is required to use the magical benefits associated with that armor. Otherwise, the magical armor is simply plate armor.

It should be noted that the attunement rules also state that the same period used to attune (short rest) cannot be used to learn the item’s properties. (DMG, pg. 138)

What’s the difference? Identifying the properties of an item allows the player to know what the item does. Attunement allows the player to actually use the item. For more regarding identifying the properties of an item, please refer to DMG, pg. 136.

Rules Clarification

Dwell in Darkness Yanos