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The Reliably Talented Skill Monkey | D&D 5e Build Guide

Original Video:



*This article is an edited version of the script for this video


Race:

Vedalken, there are plenty of races that give you 1-2 skill proficiencies and any of them would work but I like Vedalken the best since it gives you a skill proficiency and an additional d4 added to the roll when you use that skill


Background:

-Any background will work, we just need our 2 skill proficiencies


Ability Scores(point buy):

Str: 11(+1)

Dex: 14(+2)

Con: 10

Int: 13

Wis: 13

Cha: 13


Ability Score Priorities(if rolling):

#1: Dex

#2: Wis and Cha for multiclassing and skills

#3: Int, good for skills but we don’t need it for multiclassing


Ideal Equipment:

-Hand Crossbow

-Half Plate

-Thieves’ Tools and whatever additional tools you take proficiency with.


Level 1: Rogue 1

-4 starting skill proficiencies bringing us to 7 total.

-Sneak Attack, one of our main sources of damage. Damage isn’t the builds main focus but it will still do ok damage when it needs to.

-Expertise: You can pick whichever two skills you like but I would recommend focusing on skills you think you’ll be using a lot to get the maximum value from Expertise. We’ll get this again at level 6 in Rogue.


Level 2: Cleric 1

-Spells: The only one we need for the build is Guidance. This is one of the main reasons we’re taking this cleric dip. This will be an additional d4 to most of our skill checks.

-Multiclassing into cleric also gets us medium armor proficiency which is something we want to pick up early with how low our Con is.

-Divine Domain: Knowledge Domain

—We get proficiency and expertise with 2 additional skills. Our options here aren’t the most commonly used skills but it does bring us closer to our goal and we are now at 9 total skill proficiencies.


Levels 3-12: Rogue 2-11

-Cunning Action

-Roguish Archetype: 3 Options

—Inquisitive: Gives you a mini Reliable Talent for Insight as well as advantage on Perception and Investigation. It also lets you make an ability check to be able to use your sneak attack which is great on a character like this that’s focusing more on skills than damage.

—Phantom: Phantom does give you some nice damage and defensive benefits with Wails from the Grave and Tokens of the Departed but I think the main reason it could be a good pick for this build is the Whispers of the Dead feature. We’re going to be able to get proficiency in every skill but not proficiency with every tool, not even close. With an ability like this you can temporarily become proficient with any tool effectively giving you proficiency with all tools if you have enough time. If you don’t want to go with this subclass and you still want something like that you could get a similar ability by taking a 2nd level of Knowledge Cleric and getting its Channel Divinity: Knowledge of the Ages

—Soulknife: If you just want to have the highest skill checks possible, Soulknife is probably the way to go. With the Psi-Bolstered Knack feature we can add our psionic energy die, which is eventually a d10, to any of our ability checks that use a skill or tool we are proficient with and we will eventually be proficient with all skills.

-Uncanny Dodge and Evasion: Both great defensive boosts that are very welcomed with our Con of 10.

-3 ASIs or Feats:

—Skilled, 3 more skill proficiencies bringing us to 12

—Crossbow Expert

—Sharpshooter

—Both Crossbow Expert and Sharpshooter are to help us keep up in terms of damage

-Reliable Talent: So good it’s in the name of the build. This makes it so we can’t roll lower than a 10 for any skill we’re proficient with. By the end of the build we will have at least a +8 to all of our skills so the minimum we can roll on our worst skills will be an 18.


Levels 13-16: Bard 1-4

-1 skill proficiency from multiclassing into Bard bringing us to 13

-Spells: The only one that can help with our skills is Enhance Ability. Other than that, take whatever spells you’d like.

-Bardic Inspiration: Lets you use a bonus action to give an ally a d6 they can add to any d20 roll

-Jack of All Trades. Usually a very strong feature on a bard but for this build it will only be boosting our initiative by the end.

-Expertise: Again, try to choose skills that you find yourself using often.

-Bard College: College of Lore

—Bonus Proficiencies: 3 more skill proficiencies bringing us to 16

—Cutting Words: You can use a reaction to subract your Bardic Inspiration die from an enemy’s attack roll, ability check, or damage roll.

-ASI or Feat: Skill Expert: +1 to Wis. An additional skill proficiency bringing us to 17 and an additional expertise as well.


Levels 17-20: Ranger 1-4

-1 skill proficiency from multiclassing into ranger and this is the last one bringing us to a total of 18 skills which is every skill in the game.

-Deft Explorer: This optional feature from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything can get us one additional expertise.

-Fighting Style: Archery

-Spells: None that are important to the build so pick whichever spells you’d like.

-Ranger Conclave: I would probably go with Beast Master or Drakewarden since the companion can potentially help with ability checks but any subclass that increases damage like Hunter or Fey Wanderer would work great as well.

-ASI or Feat: +1 to Int and +1 to Cha to bring them both to 14.


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