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I am playing a rogue that I built a little over a year ago for my first ever game of D&D. We play about once a month or so in an ongoing campaign. My DM set my ability scores for me when we began, because I had no idea what I was doing at the time!

I could use an extra point to my wisdom, 13→14. My strength is a dump stat at 10 and doesn't need the boost. (We did 5d6 best 3 for scores.) However, I would like to gain proficiency in Strength saving throws. I want proficiency in Wisdom saving throws too, but that will come once I get Slippery Mind at Rogue level 15 (PHB p. 96).

My question is: can I take the Resilient feat (PHB p. 168) now, to gain that extra point in Wisdom and proficiency in Wisdom saves, and then once Slippery Mind comes to grant me Wisdom save proficiency again, pick another ability of my choice to gain a save proficiency in instead? The PHB says that skills and tools work this way, but doesn't mention this for saves. (There aren't any conflicting ways to gain save proficiencies other than the Resilient feat as far as I know.)

I'd love to know if there's an official rule for this, but if not, I may just have a case to make to our DM.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @TuggyNe Please do not guess at the system tag. It doesn't help us and our policy is to not do it. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener May 21 '17 at 15:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ re: "there aren't any conflicting ways..." multiclassing'll do it, too. Consider a Pa1/Ro15, for instance: WIS save from that first level of paladin, then WIS save from slippery mind. \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Jun 28 '17 at 16:27
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You don't get to choose a different save proficiency

The rule you're thinking of that lets you choose a different skill or tool proficiency if you gain a proficiency you already have isn't a general rule, it's a rule only for proficiencies gained from Backgrounds. The rules is on page 125 of the PHB, and is part of the rules on how to apply the benefits offered by Backgrounds. In addition, Backgrounds are only available at level 1 during character creation, so that rule will never apply during later character advancement choices.

Since Slippery Mind and Resilient aren't Backgrounds, if you gain a redundant proficiency from one of them, that rule doesn't apply. And since there's no similar general rule that lets you choose a different proficiency when gained from a non-Background source, getting to choose an alternative proficiency isn't something the game lets you do.

Unfortunately, you'd just gain proficiency in Wisdom again, which would grant the character nothing new.

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I misunderstood the question. With respect to shared Ability Score proficiencies between Slippery Mind and Resilient Feat, please see this answer.

I had thought the question was whether or not it was possible to go back and change a feat choice based on getting Slippery Mind later. My response below is in answer to that.

Ask your DM

Unfortunately, you have a situation where you are wanting to change your character design later based on a new ability/feat/item. This is not a RAW capability, but asking your DM is the best way to go about resolving this.

However, do not be upset if they say no. Part of the feat choice is a decision (just like Ability score, race, spells, etc.) and decisions generally have consequences. Outside of early level Adventurer League play, there aren't any RAW methods to 'rebuild' your character. Having the ability to always 'maximize' your character by adjusting or changing choices you've made in the past reduces the impact of those decisions and the development of your character.

Consider how you'd roleplay that decision

When asking your DM, consider how that mechanical change of Resilient from WIS to something else would happen. If you can come up with a reasonable set of circumstances, they may be more open to that. Otherwise, it feels very much like metagaming/min-maxing with regard to character development.

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  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Variant rules still have their own rules text, so I’m really not sure what the relevance of this being a variant is. Presumably the game is using the variant, hence the question. The question is about how that variant works. It being a variant does not automatically mean that it’s impossible for us to answer that question. This is very close to a null answer, in my opinion; “ask your DM” is always an answer which it generally means it doesn’t need to be said. What makes for a good answer is to analyze the rules and demonstrate that asking your DM is the only available answer. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan May 19 '17 at 17:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan That's a fair assessment. I changed the answer accordingly. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch May 19 '17 at 17:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ It took me a minute to understand how this answer relates to the question. I think I see now: you're assuming that he would be retroactively choosing a different proficiency for Resilient; however, I think the question is asking if the redundant proficiency from Slippery Mind lets him choose a different proficiency for Slipper Mind (like redundant proficiencies from backgrounds do, PHB p. 125), not retroactively for Resilient. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie May 19 '17 at 18:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the input. It's a pretty relaxed game, but it's the first for most of us, and the first for the DM to be a DM. We make mistakes and clean up as we go. And if most groups come with a walking-talking rulebook, I'm usually ours! It sounds like, by the rules, what I asked to do is not allowed. This case is a bit minor. Still, if I had known these mechanics 13 months ago, I'd had moved one point from Str to Wis - I am a half-elf and one of my ability score points at character creation went to Str to bring it up to a 0 modifier. Live & learn! There are other options to pursue too. \$\endgroup\$ – Red-Ranger8 May 19 '17 at 19:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch In regards to your edits about misunderstanding the question, this answer is very applicable all the same. I may not have personally made the choice about my starting stats, but my case is a good example of decision and consequence in building a character, and how early choices affect the build at higher levels. \$\endgroup\$ – Red-Ranger8 May 19 '17 at 20:00
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You can't have your cake and eat it too.

If a DM allowed you to have this, you would get these benefits for free:

  1. Wisdom saving throw proficiency from now until level 14
  2. Extra stat in Wisdom that you didn't have to spend in Str (your dump stat)
  3. Proficiency in Strength saving throws at level 15 with no side cost of one stat into a dump stat.

Why do you want strength saves though, and not a different save? I do not think there are many saving throws for strength, and Con would make more sense, and it isn't a throwaway stat for anyone. You could take +1 in wisdom and +1 in another even stat that isn't throwaway, and take a feat that gives a +1 in whatever other stat that is (such as Con). Of course, you would then have to survive until level 15 to get proficiency in wisdom saves.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I could go into detail on many other options I've considered for my Rogue, but to focus on this topic, if I had played D&D before and chosen my starting scores myself instead of taking whatever my DM chose, I'd have avoided running into this question from the get-go. I really just wanted to know what the official rule was for duplicate saving throw proficiencies, and what other more experienced players' opinions were of a rule bend in this particular case. \$\endgroup\$ – Red-Ranger8 May 19 '17 at 22:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fair enough, thanks for the answer! I looked and could find saves from fighter maneuver(trip) and monk flurry to be pushed back, which could be valid reasons to want strength saves. \$\endgroup\$ – General Anders May 19 '17 at 23:02

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