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D&D 5E What tools would you choose?

NaturalZero

Adventurer
I just jumped into a RofFM campaign and, with the advent of Tasha's, I find that I have a pile of tool proficiencies. More, in fact, than I even know what to do with.

The dim light of the entire storyline has given me the opportunity to run a duergar without worrying about sunlight sensitivity and, with the new Tasha's options, base dwarf gives me 5 tool profs. My background gives me another, and the rune knight gives me smithy's tools. The fire rune gives me double proficiency bonus on all tool ability checks, so I've stumbled into the role of "tool guy."
duergar 3.png

Smithy's Tools are a lock and Thieves' Tools seems super practical. If you won the tool prof lottery, what would you pick?
 

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The three "useful" tools are Thieves' Tools, Herbalism Kit, and Disguise kit. (Many disagree about how useful they are, but they do at least have defined uses.) Theoretically, Poisoner's Kit and Forgery Kit also have uses, but I'd call them a slightly lower tier, personally.

If you're a Duergar Rune Knight, Calligrapher's Supplies might make sense, representing your attention to the power of language and depicting runes in graphical form before applying them to forged or carved items. Likewise, forgery might be something in your wheelhouse if you want to play up the language angle. Jeweler's, Carpenter's, Mason's, and Glassblower's tools could all also make sense if your expertise with rune-carving came out of professional interest originally; Carpenter/Mason/Leatherworker/Glassblower/Calligraphy implies an architectural or furniture-crafting origin, while Herbalism/Disguise/Calligraphy/Jeweler/Forgery might imply a more criminal/larcenous origin.

Alchemist's Supplies has the potential to let you craft both alchemical items and social-use items (perfume and soap), if your DM permits crafting and/or makes social presentability a concern. That could be interesting, and act more as a complement to rune magic rather than something directly related to it.

Cooking stuff is always a fun way to be useful to the group, assuming your group tracks food (or your DM lets you create food that is better than simple rations). Pairs nicely with Brewer's Supplies, since that lets you purify otherwise-undrinkable water during the course of a long rest.

Since you've mentioned sunlight isn't a problem, you're probably underground. Cartographer's Tools would let you make maps and orient yourself more easily, which could help avoid getting lost.

Most of the other options feel like they would be best chosen if they align with a character idea (e.g. Painter's + Potter's implies a highly artistic background, creating painted urns or statuary) rather than for any utility per se.
 



I just jumped into a RofFM campaign and, with the advent of Tasha's, I find that I have a pile of tool proficiencies. More, in fact, than I even know what to do with.

The dim light of the entire storyline has given me the opportunity to run a duergar without worrying about sunlight sensitivity and, with the new Tasha's options, base dwarf gives me 5 tool profs. My background gives me another, and the rune knight gives me smithy's tools. The fire rune gives me double proficiency bonus on all tool ability checks, so I've stumbled into the role of "tool guy."
View attachment 129255
Smithy's Tools are a lock and Thieves' Tools seems super practical. If you won the tool prof lottery, what would you pick?
What did you go with?
 

NaturalZero

Adventurer
What did you go with?
Alchemist's Supplies, Calligrapher's Supplies, Mason's Tools, Poisoner's Kit, Smith's Tools, Thieves' Tools, Tinker's Tools.

The character is a clan craftsman who's defecting from duergar society in order to start a worker's revolution. Anything crafty seemed like a decent fit.
 

GMMichael

Guide of Modos
If you won the tool prof lottery, what would you pick?
Gnomish Pressure Cooker. Makes food and does damage.
Spectacles. Perceive doesn't work without them.
Rope. So I can Use Rope. Wait, I think they fixed that in fifth ed...

I forgot that the herbalism kit lets your craft healing potions. That has potential.
Wounded Fighter: Herbalist! I need healing!

Herbalist: Show me your ailment, that I may heal you.

WF: Show you? I lost 22 hit points!

Herb: And what may I heal? How did you lose those hit points?

WF: I, uh, my armor is scratched?

Herb: Can't help you.

WF: Well, I have some scrapes on my knees and elbows. Look at 'em!

Herb: Let the blood dry. You'll be fine.

WF: Fine, I have a gaping wound in my gut! Heal me!

Herb: You need someone with Stitching Tools, not herbalism. Or a priest's Last Rites kit. . .
 

7 tool proficiencies... I would have to rethink a lot of things before I allowed a player to do something like that. Just makes me think Tasha's is not a good addition :(
 

Thieves tools (if there's not already a rogue in the party) and herbalism kit would certainly get my vote. Though, I'd confirm with the DM that they'll be okay with you crafting them - without spoiling anything, due to the nature of the campaign, I could see some DMs saying that the resources aren't available.

Additionally, navigators tools and water and/or land vehicles could be useful.

I forgot that the herbalism kit lets your craft healing potions. That has potential.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
In my game cartographers tools are the most important. On my VTT there is an option to have sight keep areas of the map that have been explored revealed. That option is only on if at least one character has cartographer tool proficiency and they are using it as their passive ability, meaning they are not checking for traps, watching for ambushes, etc. Other characters need to be keeping a look out and checking for traps, etc.

I also use the rules in Xanathar's to make tool proficiencies more useful.

I'm running an old-school-inspired mega-dungeon crawl, so thieves tools are very useful.

Masons, Carpenters, Smithing, and similar tools were much more important at tier one. But now, because of spells available at higher levels, and because the characters are rich, many of those trade-craft type tools don't come into play much.
 

NaturalZero

Adventurer
7 tool proficiencies... I would have to rethink a lot of things before I allowed a player to do something like that. Just makes me think Tasha's is not a good addition :(
Outside of theives tools, my experience is that 99% of tool profs are fluff or roleplaying opportunities that are heavily mediated by how the DM runs a table. Getting calligraphy and stone mason's knowledge on top of your existing build is hardly going to unbalance anything, but might add a few plot point opportunities.

I'd highly recommend the new character building options in Tasha's. The entire table is using character races for classes that wouldn't have otherwise matched up because now they can just choose flavor that seems cool without chasing the mechanical bonuses of the "right" racial ability score mods.
 

Outside of theives tools, my experience is that 99% of tool profs are fluff or roleplaying opportunities that are heavily mediated by how the DM runs a table. Getting calligraphy and stone mason's knowledge on top of your existing build is hardly going to unbalance anything, but might add a few plot point opportunities.

I'd highly recommend the new character building options in Tasha's. The entire table is using character races for classes that wouldn't have otherwise matched up because now they can just choose flavor that seems cool without chasing the mechanical bonuses of the "right" racial ability score mods.

I think the pushback is because you're kind of bending a rule to switch out 4 (redundant due to class) weapon proficiencies for 4 tool proficiencies.

The racial rules proficiency swaps arent really meant for that. They're meant to reflect an upbringing divergent from the stereotype of your race, not 'swapping out redundant proficiencies due to class.'

It's not broken, and it is RAW, and there is nothing stopping you, but it its not really what the rules are there for.
 

GMMichael

Guide of Modos
I think the pushback is because you're kind of bending a rule to switch out 4 (redundant due to class) weapon proficiencies for 4 tool proficiencies.
. . .
It's not broken, and it is RAW, and there is nothing stopping you, but it its not really what the rules are there for.
Maybe s/he comes from a peaceful upbringing - less dependent on weapons and more interested in...tooling things?

Anyway, a weapon proficiency is a tool proficiency (which are both skill proficiencies), so I wouldn't throw a flag on the play.
 

Outside of theives tools, my experience is that 99% of tool profs are fluff or roleplaying opportunities that are heavily mediated by how the DM runs a table. Getting calligraphy and stone mason's knowledge on top of your existing build is hardly going to unbalance anything, but might add a few plot point opportunities.

I'd highly recommend the new character building options in Tasha's. The entire table is using character races for classes that wouldn't have otherwise matched up because now they can just choose flavor that seems cool without chasing the mechanical bonuses of the "right" racial ability score mods.
Thieves' tools for everyone is certainly a concern. But since you can already build custom backgrounds that grant it I'm not so concerned.

And, as I said, it's not something I would just say no to outright, but something I would have to think about.

For me, choices have consequences, meaningful ones. There should be trade-offs, pros and cons for each decision made. If those don't exist, then for me the rules don't work.
 

Maybe s/he comes from a peaceful upbringing - less dependent on weapons and more interested in...tooling things?
Im sure you could justify it however you wanted.

Point stands though. This is just swapping out redundant (due to class) proficiencies with weapons with tools, which wasnt really the point of the rule.
 

NaturalZero

Adventurer
For me, choices have consequences, meaningful ones. There should be trade-offs, pros and cons for each decision made. If those don't exist, then for me the rules don't work.
The races still get different amounts of proficiencies and completely different racial features. There are still trade-offs, it's just that what they are is qualitatively different after Tasha's. For example, people claim that the mountain dwarf is the best because of the sheer number of proficiencies and combos, but I chose duergar for the concept but also because they get innate magic tricks that the mountain dwarf doesn't. The choice still has meaning, but it isn't just about higher ability score numbers and math now.

Im sure you could justify it however you wanted.

Point stands though. This is just swapping out redundant (due to class) proficiencies with weapons with tools, which wasnt really the point of the rule.
I don't think the developers are naive enough to think players aren't going to just take extra proficiencies when they're specifically handed the option. This isn't some weird corner case - it's just using the option they directly presented us with in the book.

What you're saying is like claiming that people just use the greatsword because the damage dice are higher and it wasn't intended to be used for higher damage, just for flavor.
 

What you're saying is like claiming that people just use the greatsword because the damage dice are higher and it wasn't intended to be used for higher damage, just for flavor.

No, Im not saying the rules exist for flavour. They exist for players who want to deviate from the racial stereotypes of the PHB when creating a character from that race.

You're just doing it because the weapon proficiencies are obsolete due to your class and then trying to justify it after the fact.

Like I said, it all good RAW and all, but hence the pushback.
 

Delazar

Adventurer
Guess we're going into OT land, but I kinda agree with Flamestrike.

Personally, in my games I'll allow only "equal" switches - tool for tool, weapon for weapon, but not weapon for tool.
 

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