For a feature that is limited by your ability score modifier, how does usage count change if your ability score changes midday?

The specific scenario in question is Flash of Genius on our negative intelligence Artificer, who thanks to the minimum can use it once per day to apply penalty to a saving throw (the feature notably does not limit it to allies).

If they used this feature, then wore a Headband of Intellect, would they now have 3 more uses, though with +4 instead of a negative modifier? If not, how would it work? The headband uses attunement, yes, but only confers the benefit while worn on the head, so it can easily change partway through the day.


I'm unaware of any specific errata or advice in 5e about this specific situation, but there's no reason why if the Artificer's ability text says the uses per day are based on his Int modifier and his Int modifier increases, his uses per day would not also increase. That seems to be basic logic in the situation.

PF and DnD 3.5e had a rule about ability score increases and bonus spells/uses per day of abilities that required the item or whatever was increasing the thing to be continuously there for 24h before extra uses/spells became available, but 5e to my knowledge has no such rule.

  • \$\begingroup\$ PF & 3.5 had that for some purposes, but not all. Some things were (eg.) CHA + 3 times per day, and CHA changes changed the thing's number of uses per day. The thing checked "have I been used less than CHA + 3 times today, using the creature's current CHA?"; if "yes", the creature could use the thing; if no, they couldn't (ie., gaining 2 CHA, using the thing for the "CHA + 3"-th time that day, losing the bonus, and re-gaining 2 CHA didn't get a use back). \$\endgroup\$ – minnmass Jul 22 at 3:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ And would you say this still works if they regularly don/doff the Headband so they can use Flash of Genius as a debuff, then later in the day use it as buff? \$\endgroup\$ – Abigale Moore Jul 22 at 6:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AbigaleMoore: not sure if that was targeted at me or the answerer, but my answer would be "yes, but they'd have to do it in that order". Each use of Flash of Genius would look at the Artificer's current INT and the number of times Flash has been used since its uses reset. If the Artificer uses Flash while wearing the Headband then doffs it and tries to use Flash again, the second attempt would fail since INT (= -1 or min 1) <= Flashes Used (= 1 or more). \$\endgroup\$ – minnmass Jul 22 at 21:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @minnmass Okay, that was what I was looking for- my question was for either, and that comment was the clarification I was looking for, thanks! \$\endgroup\$ – Abigale Moore Jul 22 at 21:41

As far as i know ability score changing items should be treated same as your stats as long as you wear them. wearing the Amulet of health will increase your HP, and the Gauntlets of ogre power will make your STR attacks to add 4 to damage.

Similarly, since his INT is a (+4) as long as he wears the headband, all the INT related effects will be modified accordingly.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour and read the help center if in need of guidance. Your answer isn't wrong, but it looks like your answer doesn't bring something new or different to the already existing answer, You should avoid answering a question with elements that are already in others answer, except if you add crucial details or information about it missing in other answers (you may also want to comment under answer to point the missing details). \$\endgroup\$ – Zoma Jul 22 at 7:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Zoma Eh, sometimes rewording/reorganizing answers can be valuable; I wouldn't get too hung up on an answer being similar to existing ones in most cases, particularly not from a new user. The bigger issue here is that this is “as far as [Daniel] know[s],” i.e. not backed up. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jul 22 at 12:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan true, but most of the time it's better to have the first answer edited than having multiple similar answers, right? And yeah, I forgot to mention this flaw in the above answer, good thing that you pointed it. \$\endgroup\$ – Zoma Jul 22 at 12:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zoma upvoting or downvoting is based on whether you think the answer answers the question, +/- any other factors that detract from that like formatting and readability. You can and should upvote multiple answers per question if they all answer the question and are useful. \$\endgroup\$ – user2754 Jul 23 at 1:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user2754 Yes, I know and do that. What I'm talking about is not about having multiple answers that actually answer the question, I'm talking about multiple answers which have exact same or really close meaning. \$\endgroup\$ – Zoma 2 days ago

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