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I have a disguise kit from my bard's initial equipment (Entertainer's Pack). Do I need proficiency in such kit to be able to use it, or would proficiency simply increase my chance of having success while using it?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hi, I've edited your question to change Artist Kit to Entertainer's Pack. I believe this is what you meant, but I might be wrong. If I am, please feel free to change it back! \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 13:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NathanS If the rules being referred to are from another language, sometimes the translations make for interesting variations. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 13:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast I had not considered that. I'd be pondering over what an Artist Kit is for a while before concluding that it might have been an Entertainer's Pack. At least now I know a likely way that it ended up as that! \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 13:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast -- an Entertainer is a Performing Artist. The OP is probably speaks a latin language. \$\endgroup\$
    – ravery
    Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 17:19

3 Answers 3

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You can use it without proficiency

Going by what the Basic Rules say (on D&DBeyond), it seems as though anyone can use a disguise kit (or any tool, for that matter), but proficiency simply allows you to use it better. The tool itself is needed to do something you otherwise can't do, but you needn't be proficient to try to use the tool.

A tool helps you to do something you couldn't otherwise do, such as craft or repair an item, forge a document, or pick a lock. Your race, class, background, or feats give you proficiency with certain tools. Proficiency with a tool allows you to add your proficiency bonus to any ability check you make using that tool.

And

Disguise Kit. This pouch of cosmetics, hair dye, and small props lets you create disguises that change your physical appearance. Proficiency with this kit lets you add your proficiency bonus to any ability checks you make to create a visual disguise.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Your DM might actually limit the scope of its usage. Someone not trained might only be able to do rudimentary things with a set of tools or a kit. Example: you could use Tinker's tools to make a balance but probably not a clockwork unless you had been trained. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 13:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Slagmoth True, the exact nature of how one may use a given tool is up to the DM, and proficiency is something that may influence the DM's decision about whether a certain thing is achievable with the tool or not... \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 13:48
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Page 144 of the Player's Handbook should help clear this up:

First, in the description of Tools:

Proficiency with a tool allows you to add your proficiency bonus to any ability check you make using that tool.

Then later, in the disguise kit itself:

Proficiency with this kit lets you add your proficiency bonus to any ability checks you make to create a visual disguise

So as far as I understand it, you can use it without proficiency, just not as well.

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You can use a disguise kit without proficiency.

As per the description of the item:

Proficiency with this kit lets you add your proficiency bonus to any Ability Checks you make to create a visual disguise.(PHB, p. 154)

Tools help you

to do something you couldn't otherwise do (PHB, p. 154)

Proficiency with the Disguise Kit (and indeed most tools) allows you to add your proficiency bonus to checks made with the tool; you are not normally restricted from using the tool if you don't have proficiency with it.

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