If you’re confused on AC vs DC, I created a guide that will be extremely helpful. Whether you’re trying to inflict physical damage or make an Intelligence saving throw, this will cover all the bases. When thinking about in DnD 5E who wins ties, the simple answer is: Tie goes to the roller.
Table of Contents
Do you have to beat AC or match it?
When you’re trying to inflict damage on enemy, you must at least match the enemy’s AC. So yes, you need to beat the AC, but matching the AC would be included in that as well.
So, for example, let’s say I’ve swung a battle axe trying to hit a Kobold, and the Kobold’s AC is 13. If my to-hit roll is 13, the swing connects. If it’s anything above 13 then, obviously, that connects as well.
AC and DC, essentially, mean the same thing. If someone is attempting an attack, skill check or saving throw, then the roll needs to be the same or greater than the DC (Difficulty Class) to succeed. If not, it’s a fail.
Related –> How to Determine Saving Throws in D&D
Attack Rolls (Roll + Mods = AC)
*If a character equals an AC on a to-hit roll, is it a hit?*
The DnD player handbook (PHB) says the following: “To make an attack roll, roll a d20 and add the appropriate modifiers. If the total of the roll plus modifiers equals or exceeds the target’s Armor Class (AC), the attack hits.”
So, in this case, if you roll a to-hit attack and it is the same or better than the armor class of the enemy, your attack goes through. Again, tie goes to the roller.
Saving Throws (Roll + Mods = DC)
*If a character equals the DC on a saving throw, do they save?*
For saving throws, the PHB says the following: “To make a saving throw, roll a d20 and add the appropriate ability modifier. For example, you use your Dexterity modifier for a Dexterity saving throw.”
It’s interesting, because it also says the saving throw can change based on situational bonuses or penalties, allowing advantage or disadvantage according to the discretion of the DM.
Skill Checks (Roll + Mods = DC)
*If a character equals the DC on a skill check, do they succeed?*
The PHB says the following when it comes to making saving throws: “To make an ability check, roll a d20 and add the relevant ability modifier. As with other d20 rolls, apply bonuses and penalties, and compare the total to the DC. If the total equals or exceeds the DC, the ability check is a success”.
Ability Checks (Roll + Mods = Roll + Mods)
*If a character equals the DC on an ability check, do they succeed?*
I’d apply the same logic here. If a character is attempting to make an ability check roll and tie, than the character that rolled would succeed.
And that’s the guide! At this point, you’re well on your way to be a good DnD player.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you contest a grapple?
Understanding how saving throws and ability checks work in DnD, the next question to think about is how a contested grapple works. Here is how a grapple contest works:
- The attacker makes a Strength (Athletics) check to see if they can grapple their enemy. The defender, to prevent the grapple, can make either a Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) roll. If the attacker rolls better, the defender has the “grappled” condition.
That’s what happens when the grapple is first initiated. For the individual who was grappled, they can attempt to break the grapple as an action on their turn. They must make the same check as before.
Also, one thing to note, the individual who has grappled someone can move at half speed, unless the grappled individual is two or more sizes smaller.
Who wins a tie in a grapple check 5E?
Is grapply meet or beat? Surprisingly, there’s a different rule here than what was explained above.
Interestingly, according to D&D Wiki, there’s a different rule for grapple ties. In the case of a grapple tie, the combatant that has the better grapple check modifier wins (Strength/Athletics for attacker and Strength/Athletics or Dexterity/Acrobatics for defender).