Is there any way to have ability scores above 20 without having magical items? Or is this the only way?

Background of why question was asked: I guess if it is, it is then up to the DM to decide when players can go above 20. Unless there are spells I do not know that can create magical items that increase abilities so characters could make themselves magical items that increase abilities.

The reason I ask is if there is away to increase beyond 20 without the DM allowing it, i.e. character progression and choice.


1 Answer 1


The only way (currently) to increase your ability scores above 20 without using magic is to be a level 20 Barbarian. At level 20, the Barbarian gets a feature that increases their Strength and Constitution by 4 each, and raises the cap on Strength and Constitution to 24 instead of 20.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Additionally, the Dungeon Master's Guide contains "Epic Boons and Blessings" (granted at XP stages above 20th level) which can raise ability scores AND their maximums by +2. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 17, 2017 at 3:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RobStening If you read the question, it's explicitly looking for ways to increase ability scores above 20 that aren't the purview of the DM. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Mar 17, 2017 at 3:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ My mistake, sorry. Epic is at the DM's option, but then so is level 20, 19, 18, all levels above 1st are DM-dependent in a way. I mean, as those are the only printed rules for Epic, every campaign beyond 20 will automatically have them, unlike magic items. I'm used to playing beyond 20 so that was my subconscious logic. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 17, 2017 at 3:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .