Passive-Only Skills

This may help you understand Passive Perception, Passive Investigation, and Passive Insight. The potential for making Passive versions of all of these the default is something I’m still considering.


We’ve previously explored where to draw the line between passive and active skills. Today, we’re taking that analysis one step further: Are there skills which should only function as passive skills?


Passive perception is the most prevalent passive skill in the rules. This makes sense. It’s something that you can’t stop doing without impairment.

So, it’s definitely passive. But, when does it become active? We can think of all sorts of examples:

  • Squinting or shading your eyes to see through glaring light.
  • Cupping your hand to your ear to listen for noise.
  • Closing your eyes to savor a tasty morsel.
  • Drawing a deep breath to discern a scent.

These techniques allow us to focus our perception specifically. But, we already have a word for actively using our senses to deduce information. It’s called investigation.

Perception and investigation are the passive and active sides of the same coin. They’re…

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