How to work with Portent for replacing enemy rolls

It seems like, RAW, if a Divination Wizard is in the party then the DM would have to ask that player whether they want to interrupt the roll … on every single roll that any NPC makes.

That’s going to be really tedious 🙁 It could also sometimes include rolls that the players might not otherwise know had been made.

Clearly allowing the Wizard to make the call after the roll is known would be hugely broken, as would making a judgement as a DM as to whether they likely want to use it.

How do DMs normally handle that?

Is there any balanced way to apply Portent after the initial roll?

How does Diviner Wizard’s Portent work with bonuses/penalties? [duplicate]

I’ve been trying to find the answer to this question, but haven’t been able to find it yet, as I seem to find conflicting answers online.

The description of Portent is as follows:

When you finish a long rest, roll two d20s and record the numbers rolled. You can replace any attack roll, saving throw, or ability check made by you or a creature that you can see with one of these foretelling rolls. You must choose to do so before the roll, and you can replace a roll in this way only once per turn. Each roll can only be used once.

My group has been having some questions:

  • An enemy has to roll 1d20 + 5 for an ability check. The wizard uses portent to replace the ability check with 2. Does the enemy still add +5 (2+5 = 7)? The Portent text doesn’t mention it only replaces the roll, but the "ability check", so we’re unsure if only the die is changed, or the entire check.
  • An ally would roll for an attack roll, but the wizard replaces it to 20 with Portent. Is that considered a critical hit and roll critical damage as appropriate? (same for replacing an enemy roll with 1.
  • A character would roll with disadvantage/advantage. The wizard uses Portent. Does the character still roll one die, and check for advantage/disadvantage (higher/smaller between his roll and the Portent number), or the check itself is replaced in it’s entirety, no need to roll the second die?

So, it’s three questions:

  • Do bonuses (+/- to roll) apply to the Portent chosen number?
  • Does critical success/failure apply to the Portent chosen number?
  • Does Portent both rolls in the case of advantage/disadvantage rolls?

As we understand, the die is never really rolled, as it’s result is defined by the Wizard in the foretelling. So far, we’ve been considering if the Portent roll was 8, then no bonuses are applied at all, no advantage/disadvantage second die is rolled, and the result is just a flat 8.

Does the NPC wizard ‘Diviner’ regain their Portent ability on use of a scroll?

Most NPCs use a flat-basic stat block in lieu of character classes. Please observe the Diviner, a 15th level caster, from Volo’s Guide. This Diviner wizard has (1) class feature, the daily use of ONE ‘Portent’ ability, similar to the PC class ability:

Portent (Recharges after the Diviner Casts a Divination Spell of 1st Level or Higher). When the diviner or a creature it can see makes an attack roll, a saving throw, or an ability check, the diviner can roll a d20 and choose to use this roll in place of the attack roll, saving throw, or ability check.

In contrast with the PC’s Diviner sub-class, NPC wizards can ‘recharge’ this Portent-ability after the use of any spell from their Divination spell-list. Handy. Why?

Explanation on relevance: PCs tend to lack Legendary Resistances and equivalents. Such a Diviner could modify any save or suck spell or situation. Say this wizard observes a PC group against a Beholder, Medusa or Dragon, they need only cast a single divination spell to change dice rolls accordingly. Less need for a Long Rest. Logically, these wizards (of 18+ intelligence) would want as many (cheap) divination spell slots as possible.

Thus, such a wizard would seek to restore spell slots via things like a Pearl of Power. As the magic item list in 5e is extensive, let us focus on spell scrolls. These magic items are relatively easy to make (1st level spell-scrolls are ‘common’ magic items) and seem to approximate a wizard casting their own spell.

  • If it is relevant, the answer below can include spell scrolls made specifically by this Diviner-wizard themselves &/or those made by other caster-enchanter-scribes. Perhaps it makes a difference if they are casting their ‘own’ spell or not?

  • If possible, i would be thankful if the answer could also include the infamous Rings or Ioun Stones of Spell Storing, but only if this does not incur the wrath of Stack Exchange Mods. Perhaps it makes a difference if they wizard is regaining their ‘own’ spell via some external source?

Question Specific & Detailed: Can the NPC ‘Divination’ wizard (from Volo’s Guide) restore their daily Portent ability by casting a divination-type spell from a spell scroll magical item – or can this Portent-reuse only be gained via memory-slot spell casting?

Question Simpler: NPC-Volo Wizard-Diviner tries ‘divine spell-scroll’ to restore portent. Works? Yeash? Nope? If ‘nope’, what DOES work? Anything?

Still SimplerCan a smart NPC-Diviner exploit their 1/day Portent-recharge with a magic item?

So Simple Wize guy so dat, wot?

My thanks in advance.

Can Bardic Inspiration be used on a roll replaced by Portent?

A creature with a Bardic Inspiration die can roll it to add the result to an ability check, saving throw, or attack roll, while the Divination wizard’s Portent feature overrides the roll before the roll is made.

Because the roll has never been made, does this mean that a roll replaced by Portent cannot be improved by the Bardic Inspiration die?

Portent feature: is it replacing only the d20 roll or the final outcome?

The divination wizard’s Portent ability states (emphasis mine)

You can replace any attack roll, saving throw, or ability check made by you or a creature that you can see with one of these foretelling rolls. You must choose to do so before the roll, and you can replace a roll in this way only once per turn.

The PHB (pag 7, "The D20", 3rd paragraph) describes saving throws, attack rolls and ability checks as

[…] the three main kinds of d20 rolls, forming the core of the rules of the game.

All three of them consists of a d20 roll and then modifiers are applied to this die roll. The description of Portent is quite foggy: the first sentence suggests that it allows to replace the final result (d20+mods), while the second part of the description mentions the roll, without specifying if it just refers to the d20 roll or to d20+mods.

Is Portent allowing the wizard to replace the final result or just the d20 roll?

This topic is covered in several answers and questions related to Portent working with other rules/aspects of the game: these report some tweets by Jeremy Crawford. On one hand, the Sage Advice Compendium ("Official Ruling" section) states they are not considered official anymore, on the other hand in the very same section is stated that they could be a preview of rulings that will appear here [i.e. in Sage Advice]. Jeremy’s tweet about this issue have not been still included in any version of Sage Advice Compendium, at the best of my knowledge.

Can a Divination wizard in the Border Ethereal use the Portent feature to influence rolls of creatures on the Material Plane?

A particular School of Divination wizard is native to the Ethereal Plane (he was created by a wish spell replicating simulacrum cast on that plane).

While this wizard is in the Border Ethereal, can he use his Portent feature to affect the rolls of creatures on the Material Plane?

Balancing a Portent feat based on the Lucky feat

I am looking to make a homebrew feat based on the Lucky feat but using the Portent mechanic, and am trying to find the balance point on the amount of dice.

Disclaimer: I don’t think Lucky is overpowered, neither does anyone at my table, but as it is the closest feat to what I am looking for I am trying to use it as the balancing point for the new feat. This is not an attempt to homebrew a powerful feat.

For completeness:


When you finish a long rest, roll two d20s and record the numbers rolled. You can replace any attack roll, saving throw, or ability check made by you or a creature that you can see with one of these foretelling rolls. You must choose to do so before the roll, and you can replace a roll in this way only once per turn. Each foretelling roll can be used only once. When you finish a long rest, you lose any unused foretelling rolls.


You have 3 luck points. Whenever you make an attack roll , an ability check, or a saving throw, you can spend one luck point to roll an additional d20. You can choose to spend one of your luck points after you roll the die, but before the outcome is determined. You choose which of the d20s is used for the attack roll , ability check, or saving throw. You can also spend one luck point when an attack roll is made against you. Roll a d20, and then choose whether the attack uses the attacker’s roll or yours. If more than one creature spends a luck point to influence the outcome of a roll, the points cancel each other out; no additional dice are rolled. You regain your expended luck points when you finish a long rest.

Lucky is widely applicable to pretty much any roll, and powerful because it can be used after the result.

Portent is powerful because it can force an auto-failure or auto-success, but less applicable because if the rolls are middling they are less powerful.

How many Portent dice would be balanced against the 3 points (dice) from the Lucky feat?

I am currently leaning towards 2, but that is more based on gut feeling than anything as I have neither used, nor seen in use either of these abilities yet.

Addendum: If it matters, and it might, this is intended to be used by a Divination Wizard, so if adding extra Portent dice is simply too powerful, that would be an acceptable answer, although one I would have to be convinced by.