wisdom dnd 5e

Wisdom represents your character’s perceptiveness, intuition, and practical intelligence. Wise characters notice things that others don’t, understand things about others’ intentions, and know how to apply those details in a way that benefits them.

Wisdom is important for Clerics, Druids, and Rangers, who use Wisdom for spellcasting. It’s also important for Monks, who use Wisdom for their AC calculations and Ki save DC.

For Clerics, Druids, and Rangers, spell attack bonus is equal to Wisdom modifier + proficiency bonus, and spell save DC is equal to 8 + Wisdom modifier + proficiency bonus.

For Monks, unarmored AC is equal to 10 + Dexterity modifier + Wisdom modifier, and their Ki save DC is equal to 8 + Wisdom modifier + proficiency bonus.

Wisdom Checks

General Wisdom checks might come up when you’re trying to decide on the best course of action, but there’s usually an appropriate Wisdom-based skill you can apply instead. Below are examples of Wisdom-based skill checks tied to these specific skills.

Animal Handling

  • Preventing a mount from becoming spooked

  • Calming a domesticated animal

  • Understanding what an animal wants

  • Controlling a mount

  • Influencing an animal

  • Training an animal

  • Influencing the behavior of wild animals

  • Luring or scaring beasts


  • Determining a creature’s intentions

  • Predicting what a creature will do

  • Detecing lies

  • Noticing that you’re being followed

  • Picking up on hidden messages


  • Stabilizing a dying creature

  • Diagnosing a disease, illness, poison, etc.

  • Preparing an antidote

  • In place of Nature or Arcana, when the medicinal properties of a natural or magical product are in question

  • Determining how many hit points a creature has (DM-dependent)

  • Granting extra hit points at the end of a short rest to one player (DM-dependent)

  • Fixing a lingering injury (DMG 272) (DM-dependent)


  • Noticing other creatures that are hiding or attempting to ambush you

  • Overhearing conversations

  • Noticing specific details

  • Observing things that are somewhat hidden or obscured

  • Recognizing or identifying things you’ve seen before

Note: Passive Perception is equal to 10 + your Perception modifier. While all skills have a passive score calculated this way, Passive Perception is the most frequently used in DnD 5e, since it determines whether you notice hidden features automatically without making a check, as well as hidden creatures waiting in ambush.


  • Tracking creatures

  • Hunting and gathering

  • Finding a path through unknown and/or difficult terrain

  • Identifying signs of nearby creatures

  • Avoiding natural hazards

  • Predicting the weather

Examples of Wisdom

  • Animal Handling. n the serene glades of the Whispering Woods, Lyria moved effortlessly among the woodland creatures. Wild creatures, from nimble squirrels to majestic owlbears, regarded her with trust. Lyria’s gentle touch and keen intuition allowed her to communicate with the animal realm. Her connection with nature made her an invaluable ally, her wisdom guiding the party through the untamed wilderness.

  • Insight. In opulent halls, Lady Elowen sensed the deceit woven into Lord Harrowmont’s words. Her wisdom transcended courtly veneers. As the nobleman spun tales of benevolence, Elowen’s discerning gaze pierced through the facade. The subtle quiver in Harrowmont’s voice betrayed his hidden agenda. After the meeting, she exposed the nobleman’s falsehoods, her insight safeguarding the party from treacherous alliances.

  • Perception. Beneath the ancient ruins of Taldor’s Tomb, Sylas ventured, his perceptive eyes scanning the shadows. As the party faced a deadlock, Sylas noticed a subtle seam in the stonework—a hidden door. His wisdom allowed him to discern the crucial details that eluded others. With a knowing nod, Sylas unveiled the concealed passage, revealing the path forward.

Player’s Handbook, pg. 178

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