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Armor Check Penalty

Endurance is a Constitution-based skill. Make an Endurance check to stave off ill effects and to push yourself beyond normal physical limits.


You can hold your breath for long periods of time, forestall the debilitating effects of hunger and thirst, and swim or tread water for extended periods. Some environmental hazards — including extreme temperatures, violent weather, and diseases — require you to make an Endurance check to resist and delay debilitating effects.

  • Endurance: No action required.
    • DC: See the table. The check DC varies based on the situation and the level of a hazard.
    • Success: You endure a particular situation.
    • Failure: You can’t try again until circumstances change or a certain amount of time has elapsed.

Example DCs are listed below, but are superseded by other sources.

Task Endurance DC
Endure extreme weather Base 15
Resist disease Varies
Ignore hunger 10 + 2 per day [PH:185]
Ignore thirst 15 + 4 per day [PH:185]
Hold breath (each round after 5) 10 + 1 per round [PH:185]
Swim or tread water (after 1 hour) 15 + 2 per hour [PH:185]
Exceed daily exploration speed (each hour after 10 hours) 20 + 5 per additional hour[RC:169]


For each hour of swimming, the character makes an endurance check (DC 10 for calm water, DC 15 for rough, DC 20 for stormy), increasing by 2 for each additional hour. On a failure, the character may no longer make athletics checks to swim until the end of an extended rest, and sinks one square. [RC:145]

Starvation, thirst and suffocation

At the end of a given period of time (3 minutes for suffocation, 3 days for thirst, 3 weeks for starvation), the character makes a DC 20 Endurance check.

A success buys the character an additional minute for suffocation, or an additional day for starvation or thirst, but increases the DC by 5.

On a failure, the character loses a healing surge (if none left, instead takes damage equal to their level), and still needs to continue making checks against the increasing DCs. Surges and hitpoints lost cannot be regained until the character eats a meal, drinks or gains access to air (depending on the cause of the loss.)

If suffocating in strenuous situations, needs to make a DC 20 Endurance check at the end of his or her turn in a round in which he or she takes damage.

Environmental Dangers

Every 8 hours in an area with an environmental danger, the character must succeed on an Endurance check. On a failure, the character loses a healing surge (or if none remain, takes damage equal to his or her level.) [DMG:159]

Example DCs:

Condition Endurance DC
Severe weather 20
High altitude 21
Extreme altitude 26
Cold 22
Frigid cold 26
Heat 22
Stifling heat 26
Pervasive smoke or ash 26
Pervasive necromantic energy 31

During a period of time that includes an extended rest, the character gains a +2 bonus to these endurance checks.

Endurance utility powers

Characters trained in Endurance may obtain a skill-based utility power instead of one from their class:

See also

  • Unearthed Arcana Game Changers - Dragon 423: Rules for tougher deprivation. Gives a -1 penalty to attack rolls, checks, and saving throws for each day without food, water, or sleep. Accumulating a -3 penalty starts requiring Endurance checks.

Bonus sources

  • If used to treat a disease, Chirurgeon's Tools grants a +2 bonus to the next check to resist a disease.
  • Cold-weather clothing gives a +2 bonus to endurance checks against cold weather.
  • Desert clothing gives a +2 bonus to endurance checks to resist heat or avoid effects of persistent dust or sun glare.
  • Sun balm gives a +2 bonus to endure heat.