I'm filling out a pdf character sheet for my character who is a high elf wizard and I'm not sure how the skill box works. I've got all my saving throws done but I'm really just confused with the dots down the side.

Which dots do I fill in and how does that change the number beside it?

If this helps my saving throw totals are:

  • +1 Strength
  • +4 Dexterity
  • +1 Constitution
  • +6 Intelligence
  • +3 Wisdom
  • +3 Charisma
  • \$\begingroup\$ What character sheet are you talking about? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 7, 2020 at 4:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ Usually there are dots beside the saving throw numbers too, do you know what those are for? \$\endgroup\$
    – Szega
    Aug 7, 2020 at 4:37
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  • \$\begingroup\$ Attaching a pic of the part of the character sheet in question would ensure we're all on the same page. \$\endgroup\$
    – aaron9eee
    Aug 8, 2020 at 15:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ To clarify the comments above: there are multiple official character sheets available, and the two main layouts do put the ability scores and skills in different places. One groups saving throws and skills together under the associated ability scores; the other lists saving throws and skills in separate lists apart from the scores. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 9, 2020 at 0:22

1 Answer 1


Dots on character sheet indicate proficiency

The dot in the skills section is used to indicate the skills in which you have proficiency. Being proficient in a skill means you get to add your proficiency bonus as well as your relevant ability score bonus. You might also be interested in How do I calculate my skill modifier? for more information on how to determine the total bonus.

Proficiency Bonus is determined by your character level. Having the dot filled means you get to add it for the relative skill. At first level your proficiency bonus is +2. Wizards are proficient in Intelligence and Wisdom savings throws, which is how you get +6 and +3 respectively.

For example you have a +4 Intelligence bonus. Say you have proficiency in Intelligence (Arcana) you would fill in the dot for Arcana and roll +6 when the DM asks for an Arcana check. But for other Intelligence based skills, for example Intelligence (Nature), if you don't have proficiency you would only add +4 from your based Intelligence modifier.

Proficiency bonus increases as you level up. The reason we use a dot, instead of just calculating the number, is to remind you to update this skill modifier when your proficiency bonus changes. You can learn more about Proficiency Bonus and its advancement at later levels in the Basic Rules.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Minor note: most sheets will also include dots for other kinds of marking; Death saves, whether a spell is prepared, or ammo, potions, and torches depending on what they include. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Aug 7, 2020 at 7:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ Minor note, in my group we decided to use a circle around the dot for skills that can be used with double proficiency bonus. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Aug 7, 2020 at 7:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mołot I always just put an X next to the skill to show it had eXpertise. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 7, 2020 at 21:00

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