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I ran out of time making my own Elven character, so I grabbed the pre-made one from the starter set. Then I realized that the skill selection is impossible. The included High Elf Wizard comes with proficiency in 5 skills. Arcana, Insight, Investigation, Religion, and Perception.

In the PHB, you get Perception from race and you choose two from being a Wizard. So why does the starter set pre-made character get 5 proficient skills?

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This comes from the Elf's Acolyte Background.

From BD&D:

Proficiencies: Insight, Religion (p37)

So here's how this breaks down.

  • Elf: Perception
  • Acolyte: Insight, Religion
  • Wizard: Arcana, Investigation

That is now you get to 5 skills.

It's important to note that most characters will get skill proficiencies from their race, class and background.

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    \$\begingroup\$ There are plenty of races that do not grant skill proficiencies. It is true, however, that all classes and backgrounds each grant 2 skill proficiencies. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Mar 20 '18 at 4:34
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Each Background grants you two skill proficiencies (as well as other things). One skill from being an Elf, two skills from being a Wizard, and two skills for the character's Background makes five total.

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