For example, why would it affect wisdom or intelligence?

...or am I just misunderstanding the rule?

Thank you!

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, welcome, good first question! Also, just for future reference, it's generally good practice to wait a couple of days before accepting an answer. It will tend to attract more and possibly better answers. In this case, Quentin wrote what I came here to write, so probably no harm done. \$\endgroup\$
    – gomad
    Feb 11, 2015 at 15:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ Cool thank you. I really dig this community. More forums should be structured this way. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 12, 2015 at 0:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Jerimiah It's not a forum - it's a question-and-answer site ;) Woe upon he who tries to use Stack Exchange for open-ended discussions. \$\endgroup\$
    – Riking
    Feb 12, 2015 at 4:04

1 Answer 1


The practical answer is that a general −1 to everything is a simpler rule with less bookkeeping that makes the game run faster.

For an in-fiction explanation: Wearing clumsy armour is tiring, uncomfortable and distracting. These all make it harder to think straight and be alert.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That you! That's what I suspected. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 11, 2015 at 10:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ If it does not give penalty to something, then someone will power-game it to abuse that :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Nelson
    Feb 11, 2015 at 17:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, if it gave a penalty only under certain circumstances, it could lead to a lot of arguments whether those circumstances are actually in effect in a certain situation or not. \$\endgroup\$
    – vsz
    Feb 11, 2015 at 19:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ It might be worth noting that while the -1 penalty is an explicit, mechanical part of the Clumsy tag it's not the only thing it implies. If Armor is clumsy it's difficult for the character to wear and could feasibly be dangerous to them in some situations. A Fighter can probably haul themselves up a climbing rope while wearing plate armor with no problems but the weedy Wizard would be in serious danger if he tried the same, quite possibly prompting a Defy Danger with STR with the danger being a nasty fall or other injury. \$\endgroup\$
    – Aiken
    Feb 12, 2015 at 12:34

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