I'm playing my first D&D 5e character, a Wood Elf Fighter with the Soldier background. I have proficiency in the skills Acrobatics and Survival from the Fighter class, and Athletics and Intimidation from the Soldier background

I've just reached level 5, so my proficiency bonus increases from +2 to +3.

It makes sense that this bonus increase applies to my Fighter skills, since my level as a Fighter has increased, but do I also increase the proficiency in the two background skills?


1 Answer 1



Proficiency isn't tied to anything except your character level (i.e if you multiclass for example Rogue 3 / Cleric 2, your character level is 5, which means your proficiency bonus is +3).

Your proficiency bonus increases everything you're proficient in, full stop. This applies to attacks with weapons you're proficient with, saving throws you're proficient in, skills you're proficient in, etc.

From the Basic Rules, p. 7:

Proficiency Bonus

The table that appears in your class description shows your proficiency bonus, which is +2 for a 1st-level character. Your proficiency bonus applies to many of the numbers you’ll be recording on your character sheet:

  • Attack rolls using weapons you’re proficient with
  • Attack rolls with spells you cast
  • Ability checks using skills you’re proficient in
  • Ability checks using tools you’re proficient with
  • Saving throws you’re proficient in
  • Saving throw DCs for spells you cast (explained in each spellcasting class)
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You may want to add that proficiency advances by character level (despite being shown on the class tables), not class level, to make it perfectly clear that proficiency is not tied to class or class skills. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 12:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LegendaryDude it should be clear because it's shown on the character advancement table on PHB pg 15. \$\endgroup\$
    – Escoce
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 15:54
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Escoce Sure, it's clear if you read that table in the PHB, but if you read this answer and the information contained within it, it is not. From the answer, which quotes the Basic Rules: "The table ... in your class description shows your proficiency bonus." \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 15:56

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