So I started playing d&d a while ago, but when I was building my first character ever I didn’t completely know what I was doing so I assigned my rolls to abilities I didn’t totally need to have high stats to and vice versa. Anyway, I’m playing a rogue and I’m at a point where I can pick two things I can double my proficiency with (6th level Expertise feature). I need better Investigation to check for traps etc., but my Intelligence is 11(+0).

My question is can I pick Investigation as one of the things I can double my proficiency with? In other words if my proficiency bonus is +3 (so +6 at this level cause I get to double it)when I roll for Investigation can I add that proficiency bonus to my Investigation roll even though I have +0 intelligence?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the stack Thorn Sixx. I've made some minor changes to your question for clarity/readability/specificity and provided and answer that I hope solves your problem. While you're here, take the tour to learn more about the site. Good luck, and enjoy your game! \$\endgroup\$ Jul 19, 2021 at 18:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ With regard to ability scores assignment: if this bothers you, you may ask your DM to switch them around. Explain the mistake, and that you feel bad about it. Worst they can say is no. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 20, 2021 at 7:54

1 Answer 1


You must be proficient in Investigation to select it for the Rogue's Expertise feature.

The Rogue's Expertise feature states:

At 1st level, choose two of your skill proficiencies, or one of your skill proficiencies and your proficiency with thieves’ tools. Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses either of the chosen proficiencies.

At 6th level, you can choose two more of your proficiencies (in skills or with thieves’ tools) to gain this benefit.

As long as you are already proficient in investigation, you can select it for this feature and double your proficiency bonus for investigation checks. You intelligence modifier does not matter for eligibility. If you are not proficient in Investigation, then it is not an eligible choice for this feature.

I understand where you're coming from, this can lead to some counter intuitive results. Suppose a 20th level Rogue happens to find himself to be the victim of a feeblemind spell, having his intelligence reduced to 1. With an intelligence modifier of -5, one would expect him to be quite poor at something like investigation. Not so! Our Rogue selected investigation for his Expertise skill at 6th level, bringing his bonus to Intelligence (Investigation) checks to a respectable +7, despite being as stupid as the game's rules will allow.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I find the low-Strength or Small character with Athletics Expertise particularly amusing. More than once, I've seen a martial type not take Athletics, figuring they can bank on a solid Strength bonus... only to be surprised when the rogue can bust something they fail to. It's all in the technique. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – T.J.L.
    Jul 20, 2021 at 12:17

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