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I have a character that has an uncanny ability to be able to anticipate the enemy and figure out what they will do. He can watch how they array themselves for battle and intuitively know what actions they will take. But I don't want him to be infallible so I would like to roll against an ability.

What ability stat would be responsible?

I don't think it is intelligence because it isn't a matter of studying and learning something. It's more like when you are crossing the road and you judge whether the gap is wide enough for you to get all the way across without being trapped in the middle.

For example, being able to tell whether they will try to flank you or whether they will create a diversion etc. Things you can just tell will happen BEFORE they happen so that you can organise your own side to be ready for it. When you watch a movie you can always tell what's going to happen before the protagonist does.

The only one that seems likely is wisdom but that's not what it is usually used for...

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Not too familiar with ADnD 1e, but wouldn't this just fall under the general combat statistics like THAC0? \$\endgroup\$ – nick012000 Nov 14 at 9:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Nov 14 at 9:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nick012000. THAC0 is 2e. The to hit tables in the DMG are only for whether you hit them when you attack. I'm talking about being able to tell whether they will try to flank you or whether they will create a diversion etc. Things you can just tell will happen BEFORE they happen so that you can organise your own side to be ready for it. When you watch a movie you can always tell what's going to happen before the protagonist does. \$\endgroup\$ – Jerry Jeremiah Nov 14 at 9:43
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Since you describe this as an "uncanny ability", AD&D wouldn't typically model this with an ability score check against Wisdom or Intelligence, since everyone has those attributes to some degree. This sounds like a fairly close fit for the psionic Precognition devotion (PHB p 113). Precognition allows for a not-always-successful predicting of the future, with declining accuracy the farther out you go, and the success is affected by the sum of the intelligence and wisdom scores of the psionic character. ESP and Empathy could also be relevant.

Of course, psionics are an optional rule not used in all campaigns, but the "uncanny" adjective is frequently used in conjunction with psychic powers in pop culture, so this may be a fit. Another alternative could be some of the Oriental Adventures rules, where various character classes (Monk, Kensai), proficiencies (Tea Ceremony) and martial arts special maneuvers (Meditation and All-around sight) allow for an enhanced awareness of the immediate tactical situation. Typically, these give bonuses to avoiding surprise, gaining initiative and/or armor class.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That sounds like it! I have NEVER used the Psionics bit - it always seemed a bit unnecessary but if this character can see how his enemy is situated and just kind of know what they will do, is sounds exactly like Precognition. (Think of a soccer goalie that always knows which way to dive.) I'll look into that. Thanks very much! \$\endgroup\$ – Jerry Jeremiah Nov 20 at 21:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Glad I could help. Keep in mind that if you feel this is a good answer to your question, you can "accept" the answer. \$\endgroup\$ – ucbpaladin Nov 20 at 21:47
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In AD&D 1st edition no such uncanny ability is available during character creation, and AD&D doesn’t allow players to just create new abilities for their characters. It’s not that kind of game.

Ask your DM

To give your character such an ability you will need DM permission and then have to work with your DM to decide on rules for how it works.

It will probably use Wisdom, if it ends up using an ability roll at all, since that is the ability that represents intuition.

Wisdom is a composite term for the character’s enlightenment, judgement, wile, will power, and (to a certain extent) intuitiveness. It has a certain effect on saving throws against some magical attack modes. (AD&D 1e, PHB, p. 11)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I am the DM and I am trying to figure out the rules. Thanks very much for the advice. I figure everything someone can do must be covered by one or more of the 6 abilities. I would appreciate any more detailed ideas about how to make this work that you can share. \$\endgroup\$ – Jerry Jeremiah Nov 14 at 19:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @JerryJeremiah If you’re the DM looking for support in managing such an ability, you can edit the question to make that clear. (It currently reads like a player asking how to make their character idea.) Regardless though, the question will boil down to “what ability score is used for situations involving intuition?”, which is Wisdom, as the last bit of this answer covers. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Nov 15 at 0:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ citation for wisdom = intution added. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Nov 21 at 18:29

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