The skill Profession requires a creature to put at least 1 rank in a Profession skill specialty to use that Profession skill specialty beyond the Profession skill's most basic use. (The Profession skill's entry Untrained says, "Untrained laborers and assistants (that is, characters without any ranks in Profession) earn an average of 1 silver piece per day" (Player's Handbook 80), and that's pretty much all there is about untrained Profession skill checks!)

In official or third-party material, is there a special ability that enables a creature to make untrained Profession skill checks as if the creature were trained in all Profession skill specialties?

This special ability can be granted by a feat with few prerequisites, an inexpensive magic item, a race with no Level Adjustment, a base class, or a prestige class that is relatively easy to enter; the more uncomplicated, the better, and the more consistently available, the better. If no other options present themselves, a spell (preferably low-level therefore suitable for making into potion or putting into wand or eternal wand) could work, but that's a last resort: I'd like the creature to be able to practice any trade without first having to employ a spell effect.

Note: Keep in mind that while an answer could generate a list, such a list should not be unbounded and will likely be quite short. While I suspect it won't be an issue given the request's obscurity, if, when composing an answer, your list appears to be running long, narrow it to the least complicated and most consistently available options (as per the question), but perhaps still mentioning in passing complicated and inconsistently available possibilities. (More can be read on Meta about the site's stance on list questions in this question.)

Anyway. While building sample characters for an upcoming campaign, once again I happened upon one of my favorite feats, the Secrets of the Mantis feat Military Mind (79), Secrets being part of AEG's Oriental Adventures line and bearing the Wizards of the Coast-approved seal. The Military Mind feat's benefit allows the creature to use its Strength modifier instead of any other ability score modifier when making Knowledge, Craft, and Profession skill checks. (Yeah, I know! I was thinking Conan the Librarian, too! High five!) Obviously, leveraging this with feats like the Complete Champion feat Knowledge Devotion (60-1) and the Dragon #339 feat Craft Expertise (34) make the Military Mind feat more fun, but, because I'm struggling to get access to a number of Profession skill specialties to make that part of the feat's benefit worthwhile, I'm wondering if there's a workaround.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Note: in the same vein as Military Mind, AEG, Feats has Knowledge of the Sage and Wisdom of the Ages which let you apply (from ECL 9 on) your Intelligence (resp. Wisdom) bonus to all skills with 2+ ranks, and half of it to all other skills and all ability checks. Less "Conan" like, though. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 18:00

2 Answers 2


War of the Lance, a 2nd party book by Sovereign Press but fully endorsed by WoTC gives us the Master base class -- effectively a PC version of the Expert NPC class. It is a branched class that allows it to function as a Sage (focus on Knowledge), Craftsman (Craft), Professional (Profession) or Performer (Perform).

A 1st level knack available to any of these branches is one that allows the character to apply half their ranks in their highest associated skill as ranks in ALL untrained associated skills. So a Master Professional with 10 ranks in Profession(Bartender) would also be considered to have 5 ranks in Profession(Fisherman), as long as the latter were untrained.

This being a 1st level knack makes it extremely dip-friendly with the added benefit of a +2 to all associated skill checks and a nice chunk of skill points.

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    \$\begingroup\$ That's… pretty awesome. (I get the sense you've been sitting on that for factoid a long time, waiting for the right opportunity!) The only thing that'll top that is a dirt cheap magic item or a feat without that messy Int 13 prerequisite. (Gnarg the wild orc may have military mind, but Gnarg not very bright!) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 19:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan It IS one of my favorite dip classes, yeah. Although I prefer it as a 1st level on a Dragonfire Adept taking Draconic Knowledge. 'Half trained ranks + 8' in any knowledge skill is frankly just sweet. The only drawback of the Class is, like any class, you can take it only once. So no double dipping for all the different ones (although later you CAN pick up a secondary specialisation). \$\endgroup\$
    – Weckar E.
    Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 19:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is really sweet! I like playing intelligent melee characters, for which Knowledge Devotion is a staple, and a single-dip in Sage would both be very apropos and quite helpful (raising all 10 of them to land the meet the DC 36 required to get +5 is quite the endeavor). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 18:10

The feat Jack of All Trades (Complete Adventurer 110) allows you to use all skills as if you had a ½ rank in them, enabling you to make Profession skill checks for any Profession skill specialty all the time. The feat's sole prerequisite is an Intelligence score of 13 or higher.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you, and duh on me for missing the obvious. The only issue is that while the feat Jack of all Trades says, "You can use any skill as if you had 1/2 rank in that skill [and this 1/2 rank] allows you to attempt checks with skills that normally don’t allow untrained skill checks," the Player's Handbook says, "If [the trained only] notation is included in the skill name line, you must have at least 1 rank in the skill to use it” (66). I mean, of course, the DM can just overrule the seeming dysfunction and a specific versus general case can be made , but alternatives would be great. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 17:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ Haven't turned up any good alternatives with a little digging (besides "take a rank in a bunch of profession skills"), but the SRD does have a slightly differently-worded version of Jack of All Trades, which avoids the 1/2 rank ambiguity: d20srd.org/srd/divine/divineAbilitiesFeats.htm#jackOfAllTrades I'm not sure which has precedence. \$\endgroup\$
    – A_S00
    Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 17:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ While the exact release dates of the SRD are, I think, uncertain, the Jack of All Trades feat appears in — in order of publication — Song and Silence, Deities and Demigods, and Faiths and Pantheons. Since the SRD section on deities draws from and (in my opinion, inadequately) updates feats from Deities and Demigods, the Complete Adventurer version likely stands. Amusingly, the somewhat embarrassing ambiguity of the Complete Adventurer version is avoided by all of the feat's earlier versions! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 19:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ It could be argued that the SRD functions as both an extension of the 'main three' AND their 'updated' reprints (which due to release date supersede even the Rules Compendium, strangely). WoTC has also previously, yet informally, stated that the SRD gets by under the 'primary source' provision that covers the 'main three', so release date should not matter. [Too lazy to source right now, sorry] \$\endgroup\$
    – Weckar E.
    Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 19:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Wouldn't this be a case of specific overriding the general clause? \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 23:31

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