Difficulty class

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Difficulty Class (DC) is a number that determines how hard a particular action is. When a character's action has a DC, that action will only be successful if the character rolls a d20 (20-sided die), adds all relevant modifiers, and ends up with a number that is greater than or equal to the DC. If the result is less than the DC, then the action fails. (So the higher the DC, the harder the action.)



One action associated with a DC is the use of a skill. The DCs for these skill checks are determined using various methods, as indicated in each skill's description. Two common methods are opposed checks and explicit formulas. For most other skills, the DC is set (or left as the default) by the module designer.

Saving throws

Another action associated with a DC is an attempt to avoid a harmful effect (e.g. a spell, trap, or aura). This attempt is called a saving throw.

When a spell allows a saving throw, the DC is determined by the spell level, the caster's primary ability modifier, and the caster's feats, as follows:

  • DC = 10 + spell level + ability modifier + feat modifier.

The feat modifier is +2 for spell focus, +4 for greater spell focus, +6 for epic spell focus, +8 for legendary spell focus and +10 for paragon spell focus. The feat modifiers are not cumulative.

When a trap or aura allows a saving throw, the DC is set (or left as the default) by the module designer.


The primary difference between an opposed check DC (like KD) and a saving throw DC (like save vs a spell) is that;

  • an opposed check (skill check vs an opponent) must equal to or beat the opposed roll in order to succeed. If the DC of the opposed roll cannot be beaten, then the skill check fails, even if the opposed check rolls a 1.
  • a saving throw DC check will always succeed on a 20 and always fail on a 1, regardless of the final number comparison. That is why people with enormously high saving throws can still die to a low level spell. If you roll a 1 vs an implode, you die (unless of course you are implode immune).


  • In standard NWN rules, the DC for the implosion spell is the above formula plus 3; however, this bonus is removed on Higher Ground. Read the text on individual spells to determine whether there are any modifiers in addition to ability and spell foci.



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