Do Proficiency bonuses stack?

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I am relatively new to D&D and my friend & I slightly confused with the Player's Handbook.

My question is two-fold:
1) Do proficiency bonuses (that overlap) stack?
i.e.:
- 1st level Dwarf Cleric starts with Dwarven Weapon Proficiency (which grants proficiency [+2 Atk Bonus] to throwing hammers and warhammers).
- He then takes Dwarven Weapon Training (which grants proficiency to axes and hammers) as his 1st level Feat.
- He chooses a warhammer as his starting weapon. (Warhammer falls under the weapon category/type of hammer.)
~ Does he get +4 Atk Bonus to his melee attacks? or does he only get +2 Atk Bonus?

2) Can you take the same Feat multiple times?


Side-question: Do clerics start out with a holy symbol as one of their starting pieces of equipment?
1. He has a +2.  You are either proficient with a weapon, or you are not.

2. Only if the feat expressly states that you can.  The vast majority, you cannot.

3. No, if you want one, you'll need to purchase it (though you don't need it to use any of your implement powers).

Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
1. He has a +2.  You are either proficient with a weapon, or you are not.

2. Only if the feat expressly states that you can.  The vast majority, you cannot.

3. No, if you want one, you'll need to purchase it (though you don't need it to use any of your implement powers).


Thank you for answering the main two questions. Is there a written source that confirms your answers? (Not interested in making anymore mistakes.)

Why does it say on p. 222 of the PHB that a holy symbol is 10gp (with no stats listed), but later in the book, there is a +1 holy symbol listed for 360gp?

I was intending to purchase a holy symbol as part of the 100gp starting gear limit, but did not care to waste anything on a useless trinket that is simply called "holy symbol".

Is there any difference between the two (aside from price)?
A +1 holy symbol is a magical one with a +1 Enhancement bonus. The 'plain' holy symbol has none.

Unless you have a specific feature or feat that REQUIRES you to be using a holy symbol, the nonmagical one doesn't do anything. The magical one, like a magical weapon, will improve your attacks used through it.

(I don't think there's anything in the PHB1 that requires the use of a holy symbol, but there is elsewhere.)
There should be a section in the PHB that states that bonuses of the same type do not stack, so even if 2 feats grant you proficiency, you still only get a 'proficiency' bonus once.

Also, granting proficiency with a weapon and getting the bonus are 2 different things. The feat makes you proficient with the weapon, being proficient with the weapon grants you the proficiency bonus. So both the feats listed make you proficient with the weapon, but you can only be proficient with a weapon once, so one feat is esentially wasted.

Feat 1 Grants Proficiency \
                                           Proficient with weapon -> gives proficiency bonus.
Feat 2 Grants Proficiency /

So you see how the 2 feats basically meld into a single bonus once they get 'down the line'.
Simple answer - the general rule is that bonuses of the same type never stack unless a specific rule says otherwise, and that's very rare.  "Proficiency bonus" is a type of bonus so two proficiency bonuses can't stack.  If you have two proficiency bonuses that apply to the same weapon you take the greater of the two bonuses, not both.  So in this case you just get a +2.

Player's Handbook describes how bonuses and penalties work on page 275.

And no, in the PH, there is no reason anyone needs a non-magical holy symbol.  However, in PH2 and other books there are implement expertise feats and other game elements that would give you bonuses to implement attacks and/or other benefits when using any holy symbol for an implement attack, even if it's not magic

I was confused by this with the first 4e character I made, a Paladin.  I kept asking myself, why do they even have mundane holy symbols on the equipment list if they aren't good for anything?  Do I need one to do my implement powers?  The answer is no.  But Wizards DO need an implement (mundane or magical) to take advantage of certain class features (read their section for more info.)

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

Stacking rules aside, the more fundamental reason why proficiency bonuses don't stack is because you can never get more than one proficiency bonuses.  Ever.

Feats, abilities, and class features can all grant proficiency with a weapon.  But that's not the same thing as a proficiency bonus.

The proficiency bonus is a property inherent of the weapon.  In the same way that a weapon can't be extra off-hand or doubly light blade, a weapon only has one proficiency bonus to give.  Having proficiency with a weapon simply gives you access to that weapon's proficiency bonus.  And as Salla said above, you are either proficient with a weapon or not.  Gaining profiency from multiple sources does not provide any additional benefit in the same way that having multiple people flipping a light switch on does not make the light any brighter.
Thinking about creating a race for 4e? Make things a lil' easier on yourself by reading my Race Mechanic Creation Guide first.
I was confused by this with the first 4e character I made, a Paladin.  I kept asking myself, why do they even have mundane holy symbols on the equipment list if they aren't good for anything? 

Technically if you don't have a non-magical holy symbol, you can't use the Enchant Magic Item ritual to make an enchanted one. So there is that. Also Expertise (and other) feats work with non-magical ones.
There is the Role play aspect of a Divine character wanting to carry a non magical holy symbol as a badge of office or rank.
The sea looks at the stabillity of the mountian and sighs. The mountian watches the freedom of the sea and cries.
Stacking rules aside, the more fundamental reason why proficiency bonuses don't stack is because you can never get more than one proficiency bonuses.  Ever.

Feats, abilities, and class features can all grant proficiency with a weapon.  But that's not the same thing as a proficiency bonus.

The proficiency bonus is a property inherent of the weapon.  In the same way that a weapon can't be extra off-hand or doubly light blade, a weapon only has one proficiency bonus to give.  Having proficiency with a weapon simply gives you access to that weapon's proficiency bonus.  And as Salla said above, you are either proficient with a weapon or not.  Gaining profiency from multiple sources does not provide any additional benefit in the same way that having multiple people flipping a light switch on does not make the light any brighter.

Or, you could just say that bonuses of the same type don't stack and not confuse the new player for the sake of being unnecessarily precise.  ;)

(Kind of like how I argue that all magic armor is NOT automatically masterwork in a literal sense, even though practically speaking, it is.)   

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

There is the Role play aspect of a Divine character wanting to carry a non magical holy symbol as a badge of office or rank.

If someone wanted to do that, I wouldn't make them spend money on it.  But yeah, the roleplaying component shouldn't be discounted as I often do.

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

Or, you could just say that bonuses of the same type don't stack and not confuse the new player for the sake of being unnecessarily precise.  ;)


I wouldn't call it be unnecesarily precise.  Reading bonuses where they don't exist can also cause a new player lots of cascading issues in the future as well.  The simple answer has already be given several times over.  I thought it prudent to explain exactly what was happening and why.  Being an experienced player, it's easy to take such fundamental concepts for granted.

Though I might have been overly verbose.  I tried not to be.

Thinking about creating a race for 4e? Make things a lil' easier on yourself by reading my Race Mechanic Creation Guide first.
Thank you for everyone's swift replies in clearing up these questions.

Actually, one more question: What does Armor proficiency grant? When I look at the p.212 of the PHB (where there is a basic armor chart), there is no proficiency column (like in the weapons chart).

My initial guess is that Armor proficiency grants a bonus to AC.
Armor Proficiency

An adventurer’s class specifies the kinds of armor that he or she has proficiency with, and an adventurer can take feats to learn the proper use of other kinds of armor. If an adventurer wears armor that he or she does not have proficiency with, the armor makes the adventurer clumsy and uncoordinated: That character takes a -2 penalty to attack rolls and to Reflex. Armor proficiency is irrelevant to a monster. If it’s wearing armor, that fact is noted in its stat block, and it is able to use the armor effectively.
To clarify, the armor still works.  Your Wizard still gets the full +8 armor bonus of Plate, for example.

Does amusing things in builds where you don't make attack rolls, actually.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Thank you for everyone's swift replies in clearing up these questions.

Actually, one more question: What does Armor proficiency grant? When I look at the p.212 of the PHB (where there is a basic armor chart), there is no proficiency column (like in the weapons chart).


My initial guess is that Armor proficiency grants a bonus to AC.




It means you can use the type of armor you're proficient with without any kind of penalty to attack rolls or Reflex defense. Speed and check penalties still apply.

Thank you for everyone's swift replies in clearing up these questions.

Actually, one more question: What does Armor proficiency grant? When I look at the p.212 of the PHB (where there is a basic armor chart), there is no proficiency column (like in the weapons chart).


My initial guess is that Armor proficiency grants a bonus to AC.




It means you can use the type of armor you're proficient with without any kind of penalty to attack rolls or Reflex defense. Speed and check penalties still apply.


Right.  You don't get any bonuses just for being proficient in armor.  Being proficient just makes it so you don't get the non-proficiency penalities.  (-2 to attacks and REF).  Any speed or skill check penalties for wearing that armor still apply though, proficient or not.

For shields, you can also use any kind of shield you want, proficient or not, but if you're not proficient you don't get the shield bonus to AC and REF and you will still take any applicable skill penalties regardless of whether you are proficient or not.

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

There is a feat to ignore the move penalty and one to ignore skill check penaltys, if you want to make a character who defines himself by how much he has trained in his platemail.
The sea looks at the stabillity of the mountian and sighs. The mountian watches the freedom of the sea and cries.
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