[RPG] the maximum number of tool proficiencies a character can gain


For the purposes of this question, we're going to ignore the rules, found in either the Player's Handbook (pg. 187) or Xanathar's Guide to Everything (pg. 134), that allow a character to learn a tool proficiency as part of their adventure downtime. For our purposes, we assume that these methods of gaining tool proficiencies are not available to us.

So given that constraint and the constraints below, what is the maximum quantity of tool proficiencies a character can learn as part of their normal progression?

The constraints:

  • Only officially published 5th Edition sourcebooks
  • No Unearthed Arcana, however tempting it might be to include the newly released Artificer revision there is an officially released version of the Artificer, and that is valid.
  • Temporary effects, i.e. tool proficiencies gained from from spells should only be included if the character in question is capable of applying/maintaining said effects themselves.
  • No proficiencies gained from magic items
  • No use of downtime activities to learn new proficiencies (PHB pg. 187 or Xanathar's pg. 134)

Best Answer

12 Tool Proficiencies, 15 if you count musical instruments, 16 if you also include gaming sets.

Let's take this piece at a time.


Human with the Prodigy Feat, Envoy Warforged, Rock Gnome, or Dwarf. Nets +1 Tool Proficiencies.


Any House Agent background (Eberron), except Kundarak, Medani, or Tharashk (Because those grant Thieves Tools, which is a waste of a slot) Nets +2 Tool Proficiencies


Skilled, obviously. +3 Tool Proficiencies. That's the only feat that grants Tool Proficiencies, and you cannot take it more than once.


Bard: 1 level IF you are counting musical instruments. They get 3 Musical Instrument proficiencies at level 1. This must be your First Class, or you only get 1 musical instrument

Rogue: 3 Levels, Mastermind. +3 Tool Proficiencies (Thieves' Tools, Disguise Kit, Forgery Kit) and +1 gaming set

Cleric: 1 level, Forge Domain. +1 Tool Proficiency (Smith's Tools) OR Knowledge Domain (Channel Divinity to gain temporary access to Proficiency with any 1 Tool)

Monk: 3 levels, Drunken Master. +1 Tool Proficiency (Brewer's supplies) OR Kensei (Calligrapher or Painter's Tools)

Fighter: 3 levels, Battlemaster. +1 Tool Proficiency (Your Choice)


There are no spells that grant temporary proficiency. The only magical effect that lets you 'fake' proficiency is found in the Knowledge Domain Cleric, which only lasts for 10 minutes (not long enough for a major project), but it's a choice between that one, and a Forge Domain cleric (which grants a permanent proficiency). So, do you want short term flexibility, or a full proficiency?

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