Proficiency Bonus (PB)

What is the Proficiency Bonus (PB) in DnD 5e?

The Proficiency Bonus is a fixed number added to a character is proficiency check. It establishes a baseline to express a character’s level of expertise based on their level, class, and race. Checks include:

  • Skill checks (e.g., Acrobatics, Athletics)
  • Saves Throws (e.g., Strength, Wisdom)
  • Weapon and Spell attacks
  • Defensive Class for spells and skills.

This bonus relates to a character’s total level, and its values range from +2, increasing every four levels, to a maximum of +6 for players. Monsters have their proficiency, reaching up to +9 based on their Challenge Rating.

When do you use the Proficiency Bonus?

The Proficiency Bonus is added to checks involving character expertise. Characters train in certain skills or have a natural talent, reflected in their class proficiencies and increasing with level advancement. For instance, a Level 3 Barbarian with a strength of 18 has a modifier of 4. If they roll a 10 for an Athletic Check and are proficient in Athletics, the total is 16 (10 + 4 + 2). Only one Proficiency Bonus is applied per throw, unless the character is an “expert,” where it’s doubled.

How do you Calculate the 5e Proficiency Bonus?

Characters’ skills are categorized into basic knowledge, proficiency, and expertise. While Ability scores can’t exceed +5, the Proficiency Bonus usually significantly impacts roles involving characteristics. The formulas to calculate it are:

  • [2 + (Total character level -1)/4] (rounded down)
  • 1 + (total character level)/4 (rounded up)

Both yield the same result. However, for most cases, players should refer to the Character Advancement Table, providing the exact bonus per level.

Are there alternatives to the Proficiency Bonus?

The guide doesn’t mention a direct alternative, but emphasizes understanding the bonus’s calculation and application.


It’s a specific table that lists the Proficiency Bonus values for each character level. This table is preferable for determining the bonus rather than manual calculations, especially for standard play.

Note: The proficiency bonus for Monsters and Creatures is typically pre-included in rolls in materials like “Tasha’s Caldron of Everything.”

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