One of my players want to play an extremely stupid Orc fighter (yes, I know, a classic one). How stupid is as fool? What stats govern this and how low should they be? How do I get them that low besides house-ruling? How does being a fool interact with other aspects of game (combat, skill challenges etc.)

And when I say stupid, I mean this stupid (from one of previous games)

At blacksmiths shop:

"I have this much shiny" - shows full hands of gold bags (around 1000 GP) - "Can I get the biggest sword for this much shiny?"

"You have a deal"

Walks away with a standard broadsword.


2 Answers 2


I can't give a clear answer, but I think there is a degree of difference between Common Knowledge and Intelligence. I believe that being stupid would qualify more under "Thinking Ahead" which comes under Intelligence and Wisdom. Therefore, I'd reduce the Intelligence and Wisdom scores, and deny him the Diplomacy, Insight and Bluff skills, and say that the other skills under Int and Wis needs to have some form of in-character experience as a reason for the knowledge. That is to say; if you perform an History/Arcana check it must be something the character has experienced or heard directly as he would never have read a book.

Religon is a pretty wide subject and I'd say that the character can have general knowledge but no depth to that knowledge (since its such a huge part of the D&D world).

Heal, it doesn't really require knowledge of the body's structure in order to understand an injury, how to treat simple injuries and what herbs help against what. But I'd say that the character would need to have some form of practical experience with it.

Dungeoneering and Nature, same here- experience, I would have the Player explain how the "stupid" Character has experience in the matter he is checking against. (Simple Example: Nature check on animal; Reason - Have fought such an animal before)

Perception, I'd say that perception outside of combat should either be denied or given a severe penalty, but inside combat he'd have normal perception (perhaps even a slight boost since as a fool he'd often have to rely on his 'feelings' for things).

Streetwise is more along Intuition, and fools tend to act on what they Feel rather then on what they Think, so I wouldn't penalize or deny rolls on this skill unless it would determine some kind of deep thinking.

In situations I guess that the 'Stupid' Orc would kick in the door rather then making a perception check or does that fall under 'Air Head'?


I think is one of those areas that causes a lot of disagreement over 4e.

On the one hand, you have a camp which argues that you can't have more than one stat below an 8, so you can't really be all that dumb. And gold is used to balance your character mechanically, so you can't really buy a basic sword for 1K gp because those 1K gp are needed to buy a magical item to keep your skills on par with the challenge ratings.

On the other hand, you have a camp which argues that your personality isn't really tied to your stats at all, just your heroic capabilities. You can role play your character however you want, and you don't have to be penalized mechanically for it at all. You are free to make the character you want rather than the one the rules say you have.


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