Acquiring Proficiencies

Even newly created, 1st-level characters have proficiencies. The number of proficiency slots that a character starts with is determined by his group, as shown in Table 34. Each proficiency slot is empty until the player “fills” it by selecting a proficiency. If your DM allows nonweapon proficiencies, the character's Intelligence score can modify the number of slots he has, granting him more proficiencies (see Table 4). In both cases, new proficiencies are learned the same way.

Consider the case of Rath, a dwarf fighter.
Table 34 gives him four weapon proficiency slots (he is a warrior). If nonweapon proficiencies are used, he has three slots and his Intelligence of 11 gives him two additional proficiency slots (according to Table 4) for a total of five nonweapon proficiency slots. The player must assign weapon or nonweapon proficiencies to all of these slots before the character goes on his first adventure. These represent what the character has learned before beginning his adventuring career.

Thereafter, as the character advances in experience levels, he gains additional proficiency slots. The rate at which he gains them depends on the group he belongs to.
Table 34 lists how many weapon and nonweapon proficiency slots the character starts with, and how many levels the character must gain before he earns another slot.

Initial Weapon Proficiencies is the number of weapon proficiency slots received by characters of that group at 1st level.

# Levels (for both weapon and nonweapon proficiencies) tells how quickly a character gains additional proficiency slots. A new proficiency slot is gained at every experience level that is evenly divisible by the number listed. Rath (a warrior), for example, gains one weapon proficiency slot at every level evenly divisible by 3. He gets one new slot at 3rd level, another at 6th, another at 9th, and so on. (Note that Rath also gains one nonweapon proficiency at 3rd, 6th, 9th, etc.)

Penalty is the modifier to the character's attack rolls when he fights using a weapon he is not proficient with. Rath, a dwarf, chose to be proficient with the warhammer. Finding himself in a desperate situation, he snatches up a flail, even though he knows little about it (he is not proficient with it). Using with weapon awkwardly, he has a -2 penalty to his chance to hit.

Initial Nonweapon Proficiencies is the number of nonweapon proficiency slots that character has at 1st level. Even if you are playing with weapon proficiencies, nonweapon proficiencies are optional.

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