# Help w/Character Sheet: What are ability modifiers and how do I calculate them?

So I was filling out the character sheet and suddenly I saw an "ability modifier". I'm confused, and am asking these questions for clarification:

• Where do you put your "Standard Array" number. In score? Abil Mod? Mod + 1/2 Lvl?

• What is MOD? (As my concern, Abil Mod is the table of chart from -5 to +5)

• In Fort, Ref, Will, do I put my total of score, abil mod, or mod + 1/2 lvl

• How many healing surges do I have? It says Ability Modifier, but in the score table, abil mod or mod + 1/2 lvl?

• Finally. In skill, what do I write in the Abil Mod + 1/2 lvl?

(Yes, you can tell me that I'm confused :p )

• I'm human. I can add +2 to one ability. Where should I put it, will it modify the score and the ability modifier?

• Since I'm human, my healing surge is 6 + constitution modifier. My Cons abil mod is 1, will it means that I got 7?

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First, for Reference, a zoomed-in segment of the 4e character sheet available for download on WoTC's site.

The Score is the number coming from the Array (or total via pointbuy) such as 16, 12, 8 etc. By RAW rules you cannot have more than 1 stat lower than 10 and that one stat can only go as low as 8.

Ability MOD is short for Modifier. It is derived from the ability score.

To calculate an Ability mod: (Ability Score - 10) / 2 = Mod. Always round down. For example a score of 16 would equal a Mod of 3, a score of 15 would equal a Mod of 2.

Mod + 1/2 Level is the number you use for skill checks

When you have no appropriate skill your DM will tell you to use the Stat that most makes sense. Its simply there as a shortcut to prevent you from having to do the math when it comes up. For example your character is trying to decipher an ancient tome, History is probably the appropriate skill, but you aren't trained so your DM instead has you roll an INT check. You roll 1d20 and add your Mod + 1/2 your level number to your die roll.

Mod means Mod, not Mod + 1/2 level.

Whenever something references Mod, Ability Modifier or (for example) says STR Mod it means the Modifer number only.

You only want to put the ability mod "ABIL MOD" because in one of the boxes you are already adding 1/2 your level, the 10+ 1/2 your level box.

Filling out skill boxes

You would write the mod + 1/2 level number in the box on the skill section of the sheet because skills you aren't trained in by default just use the related Mod + 1/2 your level whenever you would attempt to do a skill test related to it. Again, this is here simply to save you time later.

Which is whatever stat your class uses to make attacks. In your case if you are playing a Bow Ranger that would be Dex and if you are playing a Melee Ranger that would be STR.

Yes your # of Surges is based on your class + Con mod

Certain races & feats can give you more, but in the example you gave, yes the number of healing surges you would get is 7.

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That explains why somehow the game is so easy. Thanks. Should I tick it or just wait for another response? One extra question: What should I put in the huge circle in the defense? The total of all mambo jumbo or just the abil mod? – Realdeo May 5 '14 at 16:20
@realdeo If you are able to wait for a bit, someone might write a more comprehensive answer, check back in a few ours or a day and then tick it. Thanks for using our site! once you get 20 rep feel free to join our chat. chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/11/rpg-general-chat – Joshua Aslan Smith May 5 '14 at 16:22
+1: Very easy to read and straight to the point. – Vereos May 5 '14 at 16:35
@Realdeo To answer your question about the meaning of the big circles in the Defenses column. You add up all the numbers in the boxes and put it in the Circle. Do that for each row. These are the numbers the GM will use to determine if an NPC's attack hits you or not. – MC_Hambone May 6 '14 at 5:56

Where do you put your "Standard Array" number. In score? Abil Mod? Mod + 1/2 Lvl?

In the "Standard Array" you have 6 numbers you can rearrange to fit your character's needings. These numbers, once rearranged, will be your scores.

For example, I can say «my PC's Strength score is 15».

What is MOD? (As my concern, Abil Mod is the table of chart from -5 to +5)

Mod stands for modifier and it's the number that you'll effectively use in your Ability Checks (added to the half of your level most of the times). It gives a quick representation of your PC's abilities. While you can use the chart to determine your modifiers, you can use this easy expression:

Modifier = (Score - 10) / 2 [Rounded down to the closest integer number]


For example, I can say «my PC's Strength score is 15, so his Strength modifier is 2».

Modifier = (15-10)/2  =  5/2  =  2.5  =  2 (rounded down)


In this case, while filling your sheet, you must write (assuming your PC is level 1) 15 in score, +2 in mod and +2 in mod + 1/2 lv (because 2 + 0.5 = 2, rounded down).

Note that 10 and 11 have 0 as a modifier. In fact, 10 is the average score for a common person.

In Fort, Ref, Will, do I put my total of score, abil mod, or mod + 1/2 lvl

You should fill all the fields, if you have a bonus.

Let's try with Fortitude, always assuming you are Level 1. In the great circle you will have to write the total, let's skip it for now.
In 10 + 1/2 lv you would write 10 (because 10 + 0.5 = 10); In Ability, you would write your Strength/Constitution modifier, whichever the best. Let's say you have 12 Constitution (+1 modifier): you will only consider the Strength one (since you have 15 Str), so we will write 2.
The rest (in order) stands for Class, Feat, Enhancement, Miscellaneous, and must be filled only if you have some bonuses in it. Assuming we don't have any of those, our final Fortitude score is 12 (10+2);

How many healing surges do I have? It says Ability Modifier, but in the score table, abil mod or mod + 1/2 lvl?

If it says Ability Modifier, then it's Mod :P

Finally. In skill, what do I write in the Abil Mod + 1/2 lvl?

Like above, you need to write the Ability Modifier plus half of your level (for example, you would write 2 in Athletics).

### Follow-Up Questions Edit

I'm human. I can add +2 to one ability. Where should I put it, will it modify the score and the ability modifier?

You usually choose the ability depending on your class. For example, if you are a Fighter, you will need more Strength or Constitution. That +2 gets added to your score. Given the previous example, your final Strength score would be 17 (+3 modifier).
Remember that all the spells/feats/whatsoever affects your abilities, affects your score. From the new score, you can calculate your new modifier (+3 in this case).

Since I'm human, my healing surge is 6 + constitution modifier. My Cons abil mod is 1, will it means that I got 7?

Healing Surges are usually given by classes. Are you sure you didn't mean Warlock/Wizard/Rogue/Ranger? However, yeah, the result is correct! :)

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Hold on a second. So in level 1, my Mod + 1/2 level is equal to my abil mod? (And when rolling, i'm using my Mod + 1/2 lever no just plain abil mod?) – Realdeo May 5 '14 at 16:37
Sure. In D&D the .5 numbers almost always get rounded down. Usually whether you have to use Abil Mod or Abil Mod + 1/2 LV depends on the situation, but at Level 1 is the same thing. – Vereos May 5 '14 at 16:39
@realdo yep, odd levels it never goes up so the+ 1/2 level number only increases if the base mod goes up or you hit an even level – Joshua Aslan Smith May 5 '14 at 16:54

Where do you put your "Standard Array" number. In score? Abil Mod? Mod + 1/2 Lvl?

You put into the score slot

What is MOD? (As my concern, Abil Mod is the table of chart from -5 to +5)

Modifier = (Skill/2)-5 rounded down

In Fort, Ref, Will, do I put my total of score, abil mod, or mod + 1/2 lvl

Ability modifier as there is a slot for 1/2 level

How many healing surges do I have? It says Ability Modifier, but in the score table, abil mod or mod + 1/2 lvl?

Just the constitution modifier + class base

Finally. In skill, what do I write in the Abil Mod + 1/2 lvl?