In my next campaign I will be playing Druid. I didn't really understand how skill / saving throw proficiency works while wildshaped and other posts on the internet didn't help.

I will try to explain how I think it works and I would like to be corrected.

Skill: Dexterity (Stealth)

My Dexterity: +2 (15)
Animal Dexterity: +1 (12)

My Proficiency Bonus: +3
Animal Proficiency Bonus: +2

Modifier if I am proficient in stealth but the animal is not:
1 (Animal Dex) + 3 (My Proficiency Bonus) = 4

Modifier if the animal is proficient in stealth and I am not:
1 (Animal Dex) + 2 (Animal Proficiency Bonus) = 3

Modifier if both I and the animal are proficient in stealth:
1 (Animal Dex) + 3 (max. of 3 (My Proficiency Bonus) and 2 (Animal Proficiency Bonus)) = 4

Is this correct or did I understand the rules wrong?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, I've read that post but I wasn't really sure if I understood it correctly so I wanted to ask again. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 19, 2019 at 11:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ The other post's answers are confusing because the situation is confusing, the rules are written ambiguously, and designer quotes have made it more confusing rather than clearing things up. This section needs errata. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Jul 19, 2019 at 11:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Did you add that up to six or four for your last example? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 19, 2019 at 14:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ I added up to 4. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 19, 2019 at 15:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NovaShadowflame D&D Beyond now answers this. I've added an answer to the linked question with step by step instructions and examples \$\endgroup\$
    – BlueMoon93
    Aug 26, 2019 at 19:21

1 Answer 1


You use whichever is higher for this Stealth check

To break down the rules from the PHB (emphasis mine):

Your game Statistics are replaced by the Statistics of the beast, but you retain your Alignment, personality, and Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores.

Your beast form's Strength, Dexterity and Constitution cover ability/proficiency checks for the wild shaped form, and your PC/Druid's Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma scores cover the other ability/proficiency checks.

You also retain all of your (druid PC) skill and saving throw proficiencies, in addition to gaining those of the creature.

If the creature has the same proficiency as you and the bonus in its stat block is higher than yours, use the creature's bonus instead of yours.

If the creature has any legendary or Lair Actions, you can't use them.

For mental (INT, WIS, CHA) abilities, saving throws and skills you still roll with your own (Druid PC) stats + proficiency bonuses.

For physical ones (STR, CON, DEX), you choose the highest between your proficiency bonus and the beast's proficiency bonus, whichever is higher. (It is either / or, not and) and then add the beast's physical attribute.

Modifier if both I and the animal are proficient in stealth: 1 (Animal Dex) + 3 (max. of 3 (My Proficiency Bonus) and 2 (Animal Proficiency Bonus))

That result would be 4.

If like me your druid has the Resilient (Constitution) feat, this allows you to use your own constitution proficiency bonus instead of the (more often than not) weaker one of most beasts.

TL;DR: For mental abilitiy scores, you keep your own ability score. For physical ability scores, you take the beast's ability score: To those you add the proficiency bonus which is higher, yours or the beast's.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think you are just re-iterating the confusing aspect. Do you add your Con modifier (as though using your Con score) + your proficiency mod if the total (ability mod + prof bonus) is higher. Or do you still use the creature's Con ability mod + your proficiency mod. Your answer implies the former. The other linked answer implies the latter. \$\endgroup\$
    – PJRZ
    Jul 19, 2019 at 14:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ I edited this to break it down with even more detail. Please review and edit again if its meaning got mixed up. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 19, 2019 at 14:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ In this answer, in a few places you seem to not make the distinction between stat bonus and proficiency bonus, and I think your aim is to focus on the proficiency bonus. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 19, 2019 at 14:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ So if I understood this correctly: I always use the Ability Modifier of the beast, but the highest available proficiency bonus. So if only one of the druid and the wildshape is proficient it's only their proficiency bonus and if both are proficient it's the highest of both proficiency bonuses? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 19, 2019 at 15:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Catar4 D&D beyond now shows how to do this (see the linked question). You always add your proficiency bonus, not the beast's. It's the end ability bonus that you then compare, and use the beast's if it is higher \$\endgroup\$
    – BlueMoon93
    Aug 26, 2019 at 19:22

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