Jack of all Trades (JOAT) is a capability that bards have at the second stage that improves their abilities in certain areas.
In particular, the capability says:
“Starting at the 2nd level you’re able to include half of your proficiency bonus that is rounded down to any ability test you perform that doesn’t contain your bonus for proficiency.”
It’s not a bad skill.
However, it’s not as strong as many people believe.
Because the bonus is reduced by a factor, the majority of bards will receive a +1 bonus on the ability roll for abilities they’re not experts in.
When they reach level 10, the bonus for proficiency increases by 4 points, and JOAT will grant a +2 bonus to these skills checks.
At level 17 once the proficiency bonus increases to 6, the JOAT bonus is increased to +3
Bards can earn a range of proficiency levels, however, they will not be able to receive any extra points on rolls in exchange to test their abilities for areas in which they already have the ability.
This limits the utility of JOAT.
In the same way, JOAT does not provide bonus points for other types of rolls, like attacks as well as saving throws.
If you stopped the page now, you’ll probably consider, “Meh. Yes, JOAT’s not so cool as I had thought it was.”
There is one way to make this talent very impressive.
Initiative rolls constitute a kind of ability test.
Because you cannot improve the rolling initiative of a bard, they always get the JOAT bonus for the initiative.
As there aren’t many methods to boost your initiative, this is a great benefit for bards, particularly since (a) bards typically possess a high level of dexterity, which gives them an advantage in the initiative, in addition, (b) bards typically gain substantially by starting early in the initiative order, allowing them to use powerful control spells before the enemy can do anything or get into the in the.
It’s a good thing to take advantage of the fact that your initiative earns you an added benefit.
Be aware of those instances when you are unable to master an inexperienced technique.
It’s not frequently, however you can be very satisfied when it does.