Questions tagged [ability-scores]

For questions primarily about ability scores (and their associated abilities), mechanical components of a character in all editions of D&D that represent the character's innate attributes: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma.

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33
votes
4answers
18k views

Can I increase an ability score above 30?

Can I increase an ability score over 30 with an item such as a Manual of Bodily Health? [After reading] this book... your Constitution score increases by 2, as does your maximum for that score.
54
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13answers
217k views

Is it better to take the array and be Joe Average, or to roll for the odds of getting on average better scores?

I am new to D&D. I was looking at character creation for D&D 5th edition. There were a few ways one could generate ability scores. I assumed the optional method of taking the numbers 15,14,13,...
37
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1answer
50k views

What happens when ability scores reach 0?

D&D 5E does not seem to have rules for ability score damage (that I could find), although it does mention that if CON is decreased, your maximum HP is reduced. In addition, the Shadow monster in ...
25
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9answers
9k views

Can multi-classing prerequisite ability score(s) be met through a magic item?

The multiclassing rules (PHB, p. 163) state: To qualify for a new class, you must meet the ability score prerequisites for both your current class and your new one [...] Without the full training ...
64
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3answers
14k views

Death by leveling? The effects of 0 max HP and leveling with negative CON

Since per Jeremy Crawford's twitter and Is there a floor for maximum HP? you can get into a situation where your max HP is zero due to leveling up… what happens next? What happens when your max HP is ...
29
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3answers
25k views

At what point does a character's INT drop far enough to lose sentience?

How low does an INT score have to be to prevent a player character from being able to cast spells? Use items or weapons?
20
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2answers
74k views

Multiclassing: How do Ability Score Improvements work?

Given that every class gets a minimum of 5 ability score improvements each at levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 19 (Rogue and Fighter get more at other levels), do these ability score improvements occur by ...
15
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4answers
5k views

What are the ramifications of switching the spellcasting ability of a class?

With the exception of multiclassing, is there any big reason that if you were to change the spellcasting ability of a (spellcasting) class it would be a bad idea? As a specific example: Let's say I ...
19
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3answers
11k views

What happens to HP when Constitution decreases?

WotC recently released the Basic Rules for the DM, and with it came a few items like the Amulet of Health: Wondrous item, uncommon (requires attunement) Your Constitution is 19 while you wear ...
17
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7answers
12k views

How do character stats affect the personality of the character?

When creating a character we obviously place our stats where they are needed. What I am wondering is how do those stats effect the character itself from a role playing perspective. I went back and ...
13
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3answers
3k views

Can a creature be brought to consciousness while they have a max HP of 0?

As explored in this question there is at least one situation where a character’s Max HP could be reduced to 0 without explicitly or immediately killing them. We've recently been looking into what does ...
37
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3answers
22k views

How important is it for a spellcaster to increase primary ability scores quickly to 20 to remain at “party level”?

One can increase ability scores at 4th and 8th level, or take a feat instead with the optional rule. Assuming player-characters are built with point-buy rules, one is probably going to start with a ...
28
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6answers
34k views

How much of a hindrance should my cleric's low intelligence score be?

I'm playing D&D 5e with a group of friends, and for most of us (me included) it is our first time. We rolled for ability scores, and as luck would have it, on one of my rolls I got all ones (which ...
26
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1answer
55k views

Are Constitution changes retroactive when calculating max HP?

Lets say I'm a fighter that just leveled up to level 4, and decide to bring my Constitution up from 16 to 18. How many hit points do I have? Level 1 = 10 (base) + 3 (Con mod) = 13. Level 2 = 10 + 6 (...
26
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1answer
24k views

Do you get skill points retroactively for increased Int?

In D&D 3.5 you don't get skill points retroactively, only from the next level onwards after you increase your intelligence enough to gain an increased bonus, leading to extra skill points per ...
16
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4answers
4k views

Can you ever use an ASI to increase an Ability Score above 20?

My question stems from this one: Does the Star card from the Deck of Many Things increase your ability score above 20? How exactly does increasing an ability score above 20, by any means, work at all?...
12
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1answer
2k views

Does Durable improve the Con of a Wild Shape form?

I am Durable. Durable. Hardy and resilient, you gain the following benefits: Increase your Constitution score by +1, to a maximum of 20. When you roll a Hit Die to regain hit points, the ...
7
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2answers
1k views

What are the impacts of changing a Ranger's spellcasting ability?

Background As a follow up to this question: What are the impacts of allowing Rangers to cast Arcane spells? If we assume that my DM is fine with letting the Ranger use the Wizard spell list instead of ...
46
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23answers
14k views

How can I avoid problems that arise from rolling ability scores?

Rolling ability scores is a time-honored tradition across many editions of D&D. However, it can sometimes cause problems for players and/or the DM. For example, one player character may end up ...
34
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10answers
17k views

The group I DM for insists on rolled stats, but I don't want unbalanced PCs to cause group conflicts later

I'm going to be running a new campaign for my players, with our session 0 starting tomorrow. I was leaning towards the traditional ability score method of generation (roll 4d6, drop the lowest). I ...
17
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2answers
80k views

Does the Thrown property mean I can attack with my DEX?

On page 194 in the PHB for D&D 5e, it says: The ability modifier used for melee weapon attack is Strength, and the ability modifier used for ranged weapon attack is Dexterity. Weapons that ...
32
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4answers
7k views

How do I determine if a creature is too intelligent to be a controlled mount?

The section on mounted combat in the Player's Handbook says: While you're mounted, you have two options. You can either control the mount or allow it to act independently. Intelligent creatures, ...
24
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1answer
6k views

What do your base stats do for your character other than set your modifiers?

I'm new to D&D, and I'm not getting what base stats do for your character during play. It seems as if the only thing that really matters during an adventure are the modifiers that you get to add ...
10
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1answer
6k views

Does an intelligence boost retroactively give skill points?

If I add my bonus ability point gaining by achieving the 12th level, to an odd intelligence score, should I gain retroactively a skill point for each past level?
9
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1answer
2k views

Just how immune to paralysis is a creature that's immune to paralysis?

Is there a distinction between paralysis and a paralysis effect? The Monster Manual Glossary on paralysis says, "Unlike hold person and similar effects, a paralysis effect does not allow a new save ...
5
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2answers
5k views

Belt of Giant's Strength with Manual of Gainful Exercise

Suppose your STR score is 8 but you attune to a belt of storm giant strength (your STR becomes 29). You then use a manual of gainful exercise (+1 to STR and maximum STR). What is your current STR ...
5
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4answers
9k views

How can I calculate the distribution of “roll 4d6, keep rerolling 1s and 2s, and drop the lowest die” in AnyDice?

I am joining a D&D group. To generate each ability score, the DM has us roll 4d6, reroll any 1 or 2, and then drop the lowest die. If the reroll is a 1 or 2, then reroll again and again until the ...
5
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1answer
2k views

When is +2 Dex better than Crossbow Expert?

This answer to a previous question about crossbow builds without Crossbow Expert is relevant to me; my Rogue is about to reach 4th level. If you only hit on a 20, the Crossbow Expert feat (PHB, p. ...
14
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1answer
17k views

Do the Manuals and Tomes allow you to exceed 20 in an ability score? And can they be stacked?

I am looking at items like Manual of Bodily Health, Tome of Clear Thought, etc. Quoting from Manual of Bodily Health If you spend 48 hours ... your Constitution score increases by 2, as does ...
9
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2answers
7k views

Do druid animal companions get ability points due to high HD?

I'm not sure about that one, and I can't find any explicit text in the rules. I know that regular HD for improved monsters also improves one ability by one point every four Hit-dices, but is it also ...
-1
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1answer
8k views

How can a negative CON stat affect my character development? [closed]

I have a friend who has made a character, and they have focussed on making their character as Strong, Dextrous, Intelligent, Wise, and Charismatic as possible. The downside is that their Constitution ...
8
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1answer
2k views

What type of choices would a wise but unintelligent PC make? [closed]

I will be playing a wise, but unintelligent Moon Druid. He is attempting to hide from a cult of evil Druids of which he was a former member. One idea I had is that his name is, for example, Tom, and ...
63
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4answers
31k views

Why do Sorcerers use Charisma?

Sorcerers use Charisma as their primary Ability Score for spell-casting in Dungeons and Dragons. Wizards use Intelligence to cast, and Clerics use Wisdom. Intelligence and Wisdom make sense for the ...
36
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3answers
4k views

What would happen to my Intelligence score if I am affected by Feeblemind and attuned to a Headband of Intellect?

The description of the Headband of Intellect says: Your Intelligence score is 19 while you wear this headband. It has no effect on you if your Intelligence is already 19 or higher. The ...
16
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8answers
5k views

Is there a safe way to determine how powerful an opponent is?

I'm playing with a DM that usually makes us encounter strong enemies in the middle of nowhere. That's fine since we can choose to fight or not, but the real challenge is determining how strong the ...
14
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4answers
18k views

Can I increase my intelligence from a Headband Of Intellect?

2 sessions ago, my wizard found a headband of intellect, and used it to up his spells. Your Intelligence score is 19 while you wear this headband. It has no effect on you if your Intelligence is ...
13
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5answers
22k views

Are there rules for increasing ability scores after character creation in Basic D&D?

Are there any rules (house or otherwise) for increasing ability scores after character creation in Basic D&D or any of its retro clones? (Other than magic items or wishes.) When we generated ...
6
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2answers
15k views

Whats the highest possible Charisma score a character can acquire in Pathfinder?

Whats the highest possible Charisma score you can end up with in Pathfinder, using official Paizo material only, assuming that you have an equivalent wealth level of a level 20 character?
25
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2answers
3k views

What happens when a Wizard loses Intelligence after preparing his spells?

A Wizard prepares a number of spells equal to his Wizard level + his Intelligence modifier. But what happens if he loses Intelligence (the most obvious way I can think of is unattuning to a Headband ...
13
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2answers
1k views

Are attack/damage modifiers recalculated for a druid in Wild Shape if its ability scores changed?

Are attack/damage bonuses recalculated if the ability scores are changed while in Wild Shape? For example: I transform into a Giant Scorpion. My Str bonus is +2. A shadow drains my strength from 15 ...
12
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4answers
4k views

How can my wizard get strong enough to carry basic gear?

I play a wizard in 3.5, but I was unfortunate in my dice rolls and got rather low strength starting out. Is there some way I could bulk up my wizard without sinking a fortune into magic gear? Does the ...
3
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2answers
2k views

Can you use a feat if your ability falls below the prerequisite?

My character's strength is normally 20. I had the feat Power Attack. My strength dropped to 6 due to poison. Does that mean I no longer can use Power Attack until I regain my strength?
36
votes
4answers
7k views

Does a character with 10 Constitution only need to eat every 4 days?

According to the food rules, A character can go without food for a number of days equal to 3 + his or her Constitution modifier (minimum 1). At the end of each day beyond that limit, a ...
21
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2answers
2k views

Can a changeling increase their Charisma by +3 at character creation?

In Eberron: Rising from the Last War, the changeling race says the following (p. 18): Ability Score Improvement. Your Charisma score increases by 2. In addition, one ability score of your choice ...
21
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3answers
2k views

Can the Bag of Beans increase an ability score above 20?

The Bag of Beans states: [...] 81-90: A nest of 1d4 + 3 eggs springs up. Any creature that eats an egg must make a DC 20 Constitution saving throw. On a successful save, a creature permanently ...
14
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1answer
1k views

Skills with different abilities: How to adjudicate what combination to use?

In the D&D 5e Player’s Handbook, there is a variant option called Skills with Different Abilities: Normally, your proficiency in a skill applies only to a specific kind of ability check. ...
14
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5answers
16k views

Is there an Ability Modifier equation?

Is there an equation to determine the Ability Modifier? I'm not talking about the chart that lists 1 = −5 2-3 = −4 4-5 = −3 6-7 = −2 etc. I mean a legit equation that, if I somehow misplaced this ...
11
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1answer
5k views

Do I add negative ability modifiers to skills? [duplicate]

I'm a new GM and am running a game with new players. I'm helping them make first-level characters. One player's bard has a −1 wisdom modifier and proficiency in perception (a wisdom-based skill). At ...
11
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3answers
2k views

Can Elegant Courtier cause a penalty to your Charisma (Persuasion) with negative wisdom?

The Samurai fighter subclass (Xanathar's Guide to Everything, p. 31) has the level 7 feature Elegant Courtier, part of which states: Whenever you make a Charisma (Persuasion) check, you gain a ...
11
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7answers
63k views

Why does Intelligence seem so useless in 5e? [closed]

Of the base stats, it seems that some are more generally useful than others. It's a common observation that Dexterity is more useful than Strength, as an example. However, the thing that's bugging me ...