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A player in my new game chose the Knowledge domain, gaining the feature Blessing of Knowledge:

At 1st level, you learn two languages of your choice. You also become proficient in your choice of two of the following skills: Arcana, History, Nature, or Religion.

Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses either of those skills.

My player chose two of the skills but had the other two from elsewhere and thus noted double proficiency in all four.

I'm pretty certain that double proficiency is only gained on the chosen two skills, because

I told the player my reading of the feature and they accepted it without problem, however, they said they find the wording ambiguous.

My question is: Are my assumption above correct and can blessing of knowledge give double proficiency in skills that you might or might not have?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Your profile says you are Germany. Is German your native language? If so, perhaps someone has access to a German-language PHB that may help answer the question. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 19 '20 at 20:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @indigochild It is, but all my books are English and nobody else around has 5e Books. \$\endgroup\$
    – Anagkai
    Jul 19 '20 at 20:50
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Only for the chosen two

The main clincher is your third point. "Either" is defined in Merriam-Webster as:

being the one and the other of two : each

Therefore it must refer to the two chosen options and cannot refer to four.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The second meaning on the very same page omits "of two". English is not my first language, so I have to ask: Is it really that uncommon to use "either" in such a way that it could be replaced with "any"? This seems to be the main question about interpreting this rule. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 19 '20 at 11:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ You can use either in lists of more than two perfectly fine. You can either agree with this, disagree with it, or somehow do neither. This usually only happens when "either" is used to introduce a list. (You gain proficiency in either History, Arcana, Nature, or Religion is perfectly valid and a common construction that has been studied) \$\endgroup\$ Jul 19 '20 at 11:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MarsPlastic If either is used to refer to more that one thing, it refers to two. As Medix2 said, you can use it in longer lists, but only in the meaning of "one of the listed things", not as "all of the listed things". \$\endgroup\$
    – Szega
    Jul 19 '20 at 12:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mars that's my reading as a native speaker of English \$\endgroup\$ Jul 19 '20 at 16:17

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