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Skill, Listen (Wisdom)

This material is Open Game Content, and is licensed for public use under the terms of the Open Game License v1.0a.

Eavesdropping. Oil on canvas, 55.5 x 37 cm Date 1880 Théodore Jacques Ralli (1852-1909), Skill, Listen
Eavesdropping. Oil on canvas, 55.5 x 37 cm Date 1880 Théodore Jacques Ralli (1852-1909)

Check

Your Listen check is either made against a DC that reflects how quiet the noise is that you might hear, or it is opposed by your target’s Move Silently check.

ListenDC Sound
-10A battle
0People talking1
5A person in medium armor walking at a slow pace (10 ft./round) trying not to make any noise.
10An unarmored person walking at a slow pace (15 ft./round) trying not to make any noise
15A 1st-level rogue using Move Silently to sneak past the listener
15People whispering1
19A cat stalking
30An owl gliding in for a kill
1 If you beat the DC by 10 or more, you can make out what’s being said, assuming that you understand the language.
Listen DC ModifierCondition
+5Through a door
+15Through a stone wall
+1Per 10 feet of distance
+5Listener distracted

In the case of people trying to be quiet, the DCs given on the table could be replaced by Move Silently checks, in which case the indicated DC would be their average check result.

Action

Varies. Every time you have a chance to hear something in a reactive manner (such as when someone makes a noise or you move into a new area), you can make a Listen check without using an action. Trying to hear something you failed to hear previously is a move action.

Try Again

Yes.You can try to hear something that you failed to hear previously with no penalty.

Special

  • When several characters are listening to the same thing, a single 1d20 roll can be used for all the individuals’ Listen checks.
  • A fascinated creature takes a -4 penalty on Listen checks made as reactions.
  • If you have the Alertness feat, you get a +2 bonus on Listen checks.
  • A ranger gains a bonus on Listen checks when using this skill against a favored enemy.
  • An elf, gnome, has a +2 racial bonus on Listen checks.
  • A half-elf has a +1 racial bonus on Listen checks..
  • A sleeping character may make Listen checks at a -10 penalty. A successful check awakens the sleeper.
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