I vaguely recall Wishes in 1e affecting ability score increases going something like this:

  • a single Wish spell could increase any ability score to 16
  • you needed another Wish spell to get to 18
  • then it was one Wish spell per point over that (with like 5 Wishes needed to get to 18/00 STR)

But now, looking through the 1e DMG, I can't find any of this. Ideally, I'd like information on how a Wish spell would interact with ability score increases for each edition of D&D.

What's the historical interaction between the Wish spell and increasing ability scores?


AD&D1e has rules for this, on p. 11 of the DMG. A wish per point of ability, up to 16, then a wish per tenth of a point.

BECMI D&D has rules for Clerical wishes on p. 40 of the Rules Cyclopedia and for Magic-User wishes on p. 61. Raising an ability by one level requires as many wishes as the number of the new level, all of which must be cast within a week.


3/3.5e are the only editions to explicitly allow an increase in ability scores using Wish.

  • OD&D - no Wish
  • Greyhawk supplement 1 - Wish is introduced, but no explicit effects, it's basically up to the DM
  • 2e - Wish has no explicit effects again
  • 3e - "Grant a creature a +1 inherent bonus to an ability score. Two to five wish spells cast in immediate succession can grant a creature a +2 to +5 inherent bonus to an ability score (two wishes for a +2 inherent bonus, three for a +3 inherent bonus, and so on). Inherent bonuses are instantaneous, so they cannot be dispelled. Note: An inherent bonus may not exceed +5 for a single ability score, and inherent bonuses to a particular ability score do not stack, so only the best one applies."
  • 4e - wish isn't in this edition
  • 5e - no interaction
  • \$\begingroup\$ May wanna check BECMI \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Aug 1 '20 at 5:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Pleasestopbeingevil It's in there, but I don't have any of the source books or know a good site to confirm the rules. \$\endgroup\$ – user-024673 Aug 1 '20 at 5:32

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