The Bard's Jack of All Trades says you can add half of your proficiency bonus to rolls to skills that you otherwise can't add your proficiency bonus. And the Rogue's Reliable Talent feature lets them roll a minimum of 10 on any skill that benefits from their proficiency bonus.

So if I am a Rogue 11/Bard 2, does the half-proficiency from JoAT let me roll a minimum of 10 on ALL skills via Reliable Talent, or does half the proficiency bonus not count as activating Reliable Talent?


4 Answers 4


As of 2019, the new Sage Advice Compendium clearly states that they don't interact.

These aren't allowed to work together on a single check.

Can the rogue’s Reliable Talent feature be used in conjunction with Remarkable Athlete or Jack of All Trades?

No. Each of these features has a precondition for its use; Reliable Talent activates when you make an ability check that uses your proficiency bonus, whereas the other two features activate when you make an ability check that doesn’t use your proficiency bonus. In other words, a check that qualifies for Reliable Talent doesn’t qualify for Remarkable Athlete or Jack of All Trades. And Remarkable Athlete and Jack of All Trades don’t work with each other, since you can add your proficiency bonus, or any portion thereof, only once to a roll.

An earlier Jeremy Crawford tweet restates this:

Making sure this is clear: these features work together on a character. They don't work together on the same ability check.

This is definitive, and contradicts earlier apparent rulings, i.e. from the 2017 SA compendium.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 22:18

A character with Jack of All Trades has a baseline for all skills of half their proficiency bonus. They are not however proficient in those skills, nor do they "Add their proficiency bonus" to those skill rolls. They add half of their proficiency bonus.

Thus a Rogue 11/Bard 3 would not benefit from Reliable Talent for skills where they benefit from Jack of All Trades.

This is slightly gray in that you are adding half the bonus, but I think it's fairly clear cut. You add only half, and Reliable says you "Add your proficiency bonus" which I'd take as needing to apply at least the whole thing.

A similar ruling would be in play for Fighter 7/Rogue 11 with the Champion path and remarkable athlete.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The 2019 Sage Advice Compendium supports this answer. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 23, 2020 at 16:25

Short answer, RAW says yes but most DMs would houserule against it.

According to the RAW on page 173/174 of the PHB, adding half your proficiency bonus is still adding your proficiency bonus. You can add your proficiency bonus only once and multiply or divide that bonus only once, but adding half your proficiency is still adding your proficiency, so Reliable Talent does stack with Jack of all Trades/Remarkable Athlete according to the RAW.

Conversely, the RAW disallows Jack of all Trades to stack with Remarkable Athlete. I think this is the wrong way around. Jack of all Trades with Reliable Talent is overpowered (never roll below a 10+2 from JoaT on any ability check at level 13?) whereas Jack of all Trades with Remarkable Athlete is decidedly underpowered (gain proficiency in up to 4 skills at level 5 instead of having Extra Attack or 3rd-level spells, bearing in mind you probably already had half your proficiency in all skills at level 2, making this bonus next to useless).


Jack of All Trades and Reliable Talent should work together.

This is also implied by the Proficiency Bonus rules (PHB, p. 173), which state:

Your proficiency bonus can't be added to a single die roll or other number more than once. (...) Occasionally, your proficiency bonus might be multiplied or divided (doubled or halved, for example) before you apply it. For example, the rogue's Expertise feature doubles the proficiency bonus for certain ability checks. If a circumstance suggests that your proficiency bonus applies more than once to the same roll, you still add it only once and multiply or divide it only once.

Therefore, you cannot get less than 10 on any ability check as a rogue 11 / bard 2. (Including initiative.)

(Initiative is a Dexterity check. Under Initiative in the PHB: "every participant makes a Dexterity check to determine their place in the initiative order. (p. 189)")

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. As indicated by the top 2 answers, this is not quite accurate; adding half your proficiency bonus to an ability check doesn't mean you're adding your proficiency bonus to it. Even if it were, this simply quotes the rule that Michael Robert Denton's answer already refers to; could you clarify what new information you're adding? \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Dec 7, 2019 at 9:23

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