I'm building a very gimmicky multiclass crit-confirmation paladin, and as a part of my build I have a feature that lets me reroll a failed attack roll as a reaction. The idea is that I want to fail at least one attack roll per turn so that I can roll again and potentially get a crit; but the thing is, I'm not sure if I can intentionally not add proficiency bonus to the attack roll of a weapon I'm proficient in. If I'm on the last attack on my turn and haven't missed yet, can I choose to make a sloppy attack as though I didn't know how to use a weapon to get that extra chance at crit confirmation?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you interested only in an answer to the specific question about choosing to ignore proficiency, or would an answer including other strategies to accomplish the outcome be acceptable? \$\endgroup\$
    – Upper_Case
    Feb 3, 2021 at 22:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ I feel something is missing from the details. As it sounds, you want to intentionally miss one roll, to get another roll and hope for a crit. What is the reason for not trying to get a crit with the roll you want to flub? You are just swapping one roll for one roll, but with the downside of using up your reaction. \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Feb 3, 2021 at 22:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MivaScott The crit is a hit no matter the modifiers. Since they want crits, and reroll on a miss, more misses means more crits. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 3, 2021 at 22:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Blckknght for clarity (i didn't want to bloat the original post) the feature's exact text is as follows: "Aura of Determinacy Starting at 7th level, you are surrounded by a 10-foot aura of providence. When a friendly creature within this aura fails a saving throw or misses an attack, you can use your reaction to cause the creature to repeat the roll under the same circumstances, possibly changing the result. At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet." \$\endgroup\$ Feb 3, 2021 at 22:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Blckknght I'm using reckless attack on barbarian for advantage, so if I miss with advantage and reroll under the same circumstances, my new attack will also have advantage; hence I want to make my modifier for the attack as low as possible for that attack. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 3, 2021 at 22:51

5 Answers 5


Multi-class into (or hang around with) a Divination Wizard

Starting at 2nd level when you choose this school, glimpses of the future begin to press in on your awareness. When you finish a long rest, roll two d20s and record the numbers rolled. You can replace any attack roll, saving throw, or ability check made by you or a creature that you can see with one of these foretelling rolls.

Use your low rolls to make sure you miss. Admittedly, this only works a limited number of times, but it gives you the best chance to assure a miss.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, but it overcomes the downfall of the other answers. Since, per the description, "you can use your reaction to cause the creature to repeat the roll under the same circumstances", if you do an action to make the first roll bad, you must suffer the same deficit on the re-roll; so you'd have to use the non-proficient weapon and/or swing with your eyes closed. \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Feb 3, 2021 at 23:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure this helps, since it replaces the first roll you'd make, without you actually rolling it to see if you got a crit. \$\endgroup\$
    – Blckknght
    Feb 4, 2021 at 0:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Blckknght, you're not rolling it on your first roll. You're using it instead of the roll you're hoping to fail anyways. \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Feb 4, 2021 at 2:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ The very next sentence after your quote is: "You must choose to do so before the roll". I believe that OP wants to make an attack, hope to get a nat 20, and if no nat 20 happens, then fail the attack and reroll. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dan B
    Feb 4, 2021 at 3:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ Sheesh - Can I get a badge for most hated accepted answer? \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Feb 4, 2021 at 15:38

The proficiency bonus just gets added but...

As worded , the proficiency bonus simply gets added to your attack rolls:

Proficiency Bonus: You add your Proficiency Bonus to your Attack roll when you Attack using a weapon with which you have proficiency, as well as when you Attack with a spell.

But you can simply switch to a weapon with which you are not proficient if you want to perform a less accurate attack.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Unfortunately, as a Paladin, they would be hard pressed to find a weapon the character is not proficient in. Also, since this is something they potentially want every round, the constant juggling of good weapon/bad weapon would be limiting (stow one, draw one, drop it, draw good weapon, stow weapon, pick up bad weapon....etc) \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Feb 3, 2021 at 22:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, the weapon proficiency might be an issue. And the juggling would be annoying to manage but that is the cost of trying to force this miss/reaction shenanigans although some rounds you would simply miss due to an actual bad roll. \$\endgroup\$
    – Steve
    Feb 3, 2021 at 22:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MivaScott this is my current problem, since I'm multiclassed into 5 separate classes I'd need to find an exotic weapon for that to work. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 3, 2021 at 22:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ An improvised weapon might square the circle here, unless the character has Tavern Brawler. \$\endgroup\$
    – Upper_Case
    Feb 3, 2021 at 23:34

There is nothing in the rules that allows for this.

The rules for making an attack state:

You add your proficiency bonus to your attack roll when you attack using a weapon with which you have proficiency, as well as when you attack with a spell.

The language here does not make this optional, and there are no rules elsewhere that make this optional.

You might be able to give yourself disadvantage by closing your eyes.

Disadvantage can easily be gained:

When you attack a target that you can't see, you have disadvantage on the attack roll.

Announce, “I close my eyes before swinging my sword”, and you get disadvantage on the attack roll, but your mileage may vary depending on how the feature is worded and how annoyed your DM is with this tactic.

Also disadvantage means you have almost no chance at a crit on the initial roll (1/400).

  • \$\begingroup\$ i didn't even think of closing my eyes that would work great! \$\endgroup\$ Feb 3, 2021 at 22:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MoxieRiles If the retool is also disadvantage, that doesn’t help at all. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 3, 2021 at 22:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ normally giving yourself disadvantage intentionally would be terrible; fortunately one of our supplement books has a spell that allows you to crit if either of the rolls would have crit when you have disadvantage. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 3, 2021 at 22:44

Attack with an improvised weapon

As a paladin, you would be hard-pressed to find a weapon that you are not proficient with. However, you can attack with an object that is not a weapon at all (say, a rock you found on the floor or even your shield), turning it into an improvised weapon. Unless you have the Tavern Brawler feat, you are not proficient with improvised weapons.

Throw your weapon

In case you do not have anything at hand that is not a weapon (or no free hand), there is still another option available to you: You can throw your (melee) weapon. Just make sure that it does not have the thrown property by accident and it will again be treated as an improvised weapon for this attack.

Just remember that you then don't have a weapon anymore, until you retrieve it or draw another one.


As other answers have stated, there is no way to not add the proficiency bonus while attacking with a weapon you are proficient with, but here are two other options to increase your chance to miss with an attack.

Option 1: Attack with a poor score

Depending on other factors of your build, make either Strength high and Dex low, or Strength low and Dex high, and choose a finesse weapon (which can use either Strength or Dex for attacks). Then on your normal I-want-to-hit attacks, attack with the high score and its associated bonus, and on your final I-want-to-miss attack, attack with the low score and its associated penalty.

Option 2: Human shield

Hire a squire to be interposed between you and your enemy, thus granting your enemy either half (+2 to AC) or three-quarters (+5 to AC) cover, depending on the size of the squire. This has the advantage of working in conjunction with option 1, but the disadvantage of likely burning through squires at an alarmingly high rate, so be sure you have a good supply.

Half cover:

A target with half cover has a +2 bonus to AC . . . if an obstacle blocks at least half of its body. The obstacle might be a low wall, a large piece of furniture, a narrow tree trunk, or a creature, whether that creature is an enemy or a friend.

Three-quarters cover:

A target with three-quarters cover has a +5 bonus to AC . . . if about three quarters of it is covered by an obstacle. The obstacle might be a portcullis, an arrow slit, or a thick tree trunk.


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