The Ranger companion says to add your proficiency bonus to the animals attack roll. Does this replace the animals proficiency bonus or add to it?

Ie does a 5th level ranger flying snake get +9 bonus or +7? The snakes natural +6 is it's +4 dex bonus and it's +2 proficiency bonus so does the ranger replace the +2 with her +3 bonus or add her +3 to the +6?

The players hand book says not to add your proficiency more than once which might suggest the +7 but technically the snakes proficiency and your proficiency are not the same bonus which would suggest the +9.


It would replace the animal's proficiency bonus. So for your example, it would be +7 for now, which will increase in the future as the ranger's proficiency increases.

My answer is based on how proficiencies work in 5e. They don't stack, in any application, under any circumstances. And it doesn't even make any sense for a creature to have its own proficiency and the ranger's proficiency, and have both apply. As with pretty much every other effect in 5e, if two of the same effect apply to a situation, only one can be used. Pick the better one of the two, and that is the answer.

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    \$\begingroup\$ What is your answer based on? The literal wording of the paragraph says "Add your proficiency bonus" not replace it's with yours. \$\endgroup\$ – Steve Bauer Jan 17 '18 at 6:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you are most likely right based on the way the revised ranger is written in unearthed arcane but I think to come to that answer you had to read a lot into the text. I think Dale's answer below has merit also as the more straight forward reading of the text. I agree proficiency don't stack but they also don't increase your armor class or damage rolls, and they don't appy to another person. Also reading just the players handbook there is no way you would conclude that the stat blocks their have a proficiency bonus in them to swap out. \$\endgroup\$ – Steve Bauer Jan 17 '18 at 13:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm fairly certain this is wrong and that Dale is correct. You are raising, training, commanding, etc this beast that already has it's own "proficiency" (whatever that means in this context) and adding your skill to the effective skill of this companion. \$\endgroup\$ – goodguy5 Mar 27 '18 at 17:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ Don't edit a post to “call out” the voters. Voting is sacrosanct at RPG.se. I've undone that edit. If you wish to have a meta-discussion about the voting, Role-playing Games Meta is available for that. (Though keep in mind that “calling out” voters is still not recommended there, as it's very hard to do that without attacking others, contrary to the code of conduct — better to just ask for information in the spirit of improvement.) \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Mar 30 '18 at 18:31

Just do what it says

It says add your proficiency bonus to the creatures attacks, so add your proficiency bonus to the creatures attacks.

Creature stat blocks do not identify a proficiency bonus and while you can (in general) reverse engineer it it is really only relevant for a DM who is creating or modding a creature; not for a PC.

If the rule wanted you to replace it it would have said so and have to have told you how to work it out.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I think Phil's answer might be more correct but I think I will go with yours as the beastmaster is under powered anyway and most beast aren't going to keep up with the ranger as a replacement attack so giving them a +2 to attack seems like a good idea. \$\endgroup\$ – Steve Bauer Jan 17 '18 at 13:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ As written, Dale's answer is definitely the RAW interpretation. If that's not the intended interpretation, then the language used in the Beast Master subclass description is very misleading/incomplete. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Mar 30 '18 at 6:03

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