A Bard can add their Proficiency Bonus to checks they make with a Musical Instrument they're proficient with. It says on p.154 under Musical Instruments in the Player's Handbook:

If you have proficiency with a Musical Instrument you can add the proficiency for what ever you do with it. A bard can use a musical instrument as a spellcasting focus,...

I wonder, can I do the equivalent as a Wizard, with an Arcane Focus (staff) doubled as a Quarterstaff?

Related Question: Is it possible to use a weapon as a normal weapon and an arcane focus at the same time?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I meant adding it to rolls... \$\endgroup\$ May 14, 2020 at 17:11
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ To put it another way... What makes you think a bard is special or different from any other spellcaster? \$\endgroup\$
    – T.J.L.
    May 14, 2020 at 18:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ I guess the OP means attacking with Quarterstaff and adding proficiency bonus to the attack roll. \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    May 14, 2020 at 21:03
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Is this question about tool proficiencies? Because arcane focuses are not tools, which may be why so many people are confused about the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Blckknght
    May 15, 2020 at 0:21
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Please don't edit your solution into the question. Once the question is reopened you can answer it yourself with the reasons you came up with. \$\endgroup\$
    – linksassin
    May 15, 2020 at 2:30

1 Answer 1


Your proficiency bonus is already applied to spell save DCs and spell attacks

The Basic Rules clarify, in the chapter on Spellcasting (emphasis mine):

The DC to resist one of your spells equals 8 + your spellcasting ability modifier + your proficiency bonus + any special modifiers.


Your attack bonus with a spell attack equals your spellcasting ability modifier + your proficiency bonus.

Using a spellcasting focus only replaces certain material components...

A character can use a component pouch or a spellcasting focus in place of the components specified for a spell.

...so being proficient with an arcane focus has no affect on the details of spellcasting.

As an additional note, this is true not only for arcane foci that double as quarterstaffs, but also for such characters as bards of the College of Swords who gain:

If you’re proficient with a simple or martial melee weapon, you can use it as a spellcasting focus for your bard spells.

  • \$\begingroup\$ It's not true that you always use your proficiency bonus when casting spells. Notable exceptions are counterspell and dispel magic. \$\endgroup\$ May 15, 2020 at 2:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RyanC.Thompson Fair enough. Title fixed \$\endgroup\$ May 15, 2020 at 2:41

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