SRD:Listen Skill

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Listen (Wis)[edit]


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.

Listen DC Sound
–10 A battle
0 People talking1
5 A person in medium armor walking at a slow pace (10 ft./round) trying not to make any noise.
10 An unarmored person walking at a slow pace (15 ft./round) trying not to make any noise
15 A 1st-level rogue using Move Silently to sneak past the listener
15 People whispering1
19 A cat stalking
30 An 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 Modifier Condition
+5 Through a door
+15 Through a stone wall
+1 Per 10 feet of distance
+5 Listener 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.

Epic Check[edit]

You can pinpoint the location of an invisible creature, or detect an illusion with an auditory component.

DC Task
80 Defeat illusion with auditory component
Defeat Illusion[edit]

You can automatically detect any illusion with an auditory component for what it truly is. No Will save is required, and you don’t have to interact with the illusion (but you must be able to hear its auditory component).


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[edit]

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


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, or halfling 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.

A character can use Listen to notice the presence of an invisible creature (generally opposed by a Move Silently check). If the character beats the DC by 20 or more, he or she can pinpoint the location of the invisible creature, though it still maintains total concealment from the character (50% miss chance).

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