Let us suppose a character has increased their Intelligence score temporarily through some spell effect, and it lasts through their rest while they level up. Does their enhanced Intelligence Modifier also increase the number of Skill Points they gain? Or do you perhaps look at a (relatively) unmodified Intelligence score, counting only permanent changes?

On the flip side, should that apply the same to, say, a curse dropping the Intelligence score? Or is it/could there be a double standard here?

Ultimately my question is: Do temporary changes to your Intelligence Score affect your Skill Point gain during a Level Up?

I am asking because I haven't found anything on here regarding that, and I have looked at 5e so much that my knowledge of 3.5e is rusty. I am interested in a RAW interpretation, mostly.


1 Answer 1



Temporary intelligence bonuses don't give you extra skill points.

Fox Cunning

[...]This spell doesn’t grant extra skill points.

Even a band of intellect enhancing intelligence as long, as it is worn ( does not give you any extra skill points.

[...] The headband adds to the wearer’s Intelligence score in the form of an enhancement bonus of +2, +4, or +6. This enhancement bonus does not earn the wearer extra skill points when a new level is attained; use the unenhanced Intelligence bonus to determine skill points.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ There are several boosts to Intelligence due to magic items that don't have such a note (e.g. common item effects (Magic Item Compendium 233-4), the belt of magnificence (Miniatures Handbook 42)). And, for instance, there's also leveling up while affected by polymorph any object (PH 263). (I don't know what to do about those, but if you can find a general rule instead of specific examples, that'd be great.) \$\endgroup\$ Aug 31, 2016 at 0:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ One of my primary concerns(for some reason) is the plain old enhancement bonus on an item(price calculated by Bonus squared times 1000 gp). \$\endgroup\$
    – Javelin
    Aug 31, 2016 at 1:14
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @javelin Given the RAW examples Momonga cites it's pretty clear that the intent is that intelligence bonuses and penalties should not affect skill points. Beyond that, ruling the other direction begs metagaming garbage and should be avoided regardless of whether the author of the particular item description remembered to include the qualifying text. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rominus
    Aug 31, 2016 at 18:35

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