Some monsters or effects can cause a character's ability scores to be decreased.

The Greater Restoration spell can end "any reduction to one of the target's ability scores".

Is there any other way to reduce or remove ability score damage in 5e?


There are no generalised rules for ability score decreases, reductions, penalties, or damage. Every effect that reduces an ability score is highly specific, and sets its own rules and conditions. It might be worth mentioning that (as far as I'm aware), no such effect uses the term "ability score damage".

For examples, the Shadow can reduce Strength, and said reduction lasts until the target finishes a short or long rest.

On the other hand, the Intellect Devourer can reduce Intelligence to 0, and does not specify a way to regain Intelligence, so only effects like Greater Restoration that specifically remove reductions to ability scores would be effective here.

And for something completely different, the Feeblemind spell reduces Intelligence and Charisma to 1, specifying that the target can be fixed by making a saving throw, or any of Greater Restoration, Heal, or Wish.

So the short answer is that it depends entirely on the source of the ability score reduction. However, the only general solutions appear to be Greater Restoration and Wish.

  • \$\begingroup\$ You're right about it not being referred to as "ability score damage" anywhere I can see in 5e either. I was going to edit the question to correct that, but figured it may be easier for others with prior-edition experience to find as-is. \$\endgroup\$ – PurpleVermont Oct 17 '15 at 1:05

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