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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83
votes
17answers
19k views

How should a DM resolve a smooth-talking player with a weak Charisma score PC? [closed]

If a player is naturally a smooth-talker, does well with on-the-spot dialogue, is instinctively persuasive, and is overall great in social situations, but role-plays a character with a poor Charisma ...
64
votes
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 ...
63
votes
4answers
34k 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 ...
57
votes
13answers
223k 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, ...
51
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25answers
17k 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 ...
51
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10answers
6k views

Does a PC know the general strengths and weaknesses of their stats?

Recently I had a minor discussion with our DM about whether my character knows that he is not charismatic or not. I believe that my character should know that he is not charismatic, our DM however ...
41
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6answers
37k views

Is Dexterity overpowered compared to Strength?

Finesse weapons allow you to use Dex for attack and damage rolls. This allows most of classes, including even some first-line fighters, to dump Str for Dex - you do not lose in attack rolls, only a ...
39
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1answer
58k 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 ...
38
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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 ...
37
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3answers
24k 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 ...
36
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11answers
18k 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 ...
36
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4answers
21k 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.
36
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3answers
5k 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 ...
32
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9answers
5k views

How can I reasonably prevent Manual of Bodily Health abuse? [closed]

I'm running D&D 5e. My players have recently come into possession of a Manual of Bodily Health. The very first thing they thought of was how to abuse it. They are planning on reading it and then ...
32
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4answers
8k 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, ...
32
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3answers
83k views

Are there balance issues with homebrewing a magic item setting a character's Wisdom, Charisma, or Dexterity score to 19?

The DMG provides the following stat-increase items: Gauntlet of Ogre Power (Strength) Headband of Intellect (Intelligence) Amulet of Health (Constitution) Each of those set a stat to "19" unless it'...
31
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3answers
13k views

What is the narrative difference between a Charisma and Wisdom saving throw?

Relatively few spells in D&D 5e require a Charisma saving throw, and when they do it's often difficult to describe the in-game reasons for why they require such a throw. One of my players told me ...
31
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3answers
5k views

How will ability scores be unbalanced if I remove the 20 cap?

My party is a fan of dice throwing. A lot. And although they are not analysing things, they prefer visible improvements, like in numbers: proficiency bonus, ability scores, skill scores, etc. Because ...
30
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3answers
30k 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?
30
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1answer
183k views

What reason has been given for the "standard array" being lower than the expected average from the rolled method? [closed]

When one levels up and gets an increase in maximum hit points, one can either roll or take the average roll rounded up. Statistically, you're better off with the non-random method. For ability scores,...
28
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4answers
7k views

Does this low-Str/low-Dex idea for a Fighter work out?

I've been playing around with the idea for a new character, but I'm curious whether I'm going to run into unforeseen problems at later levels. The idea is to take a Variant Human Fighter and pick up ...
28
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4answers
7k views

How does one calculate the distribution of the Matt Colville way of rolling stats?

Specifically, the Matt Colville way of rolling stats is: Roll 4d6, drop the lowest value die for 1 stat; If this roll is lower than 8, reroll it; Repeat steps 1 and 2 until you have a set of 6 stats ...
28
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6answers
36k 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 ...
28
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1answer
63k 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 (...
28
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3answers
3k views

How is Cure Wounds affected by a negative modifier?

It's well documented that in 5e, you can deal 0 (but not negative) damage on an attack roll, usually if you have a negative ability modifier. The same, presumably, would apply to spell damage. A 1st-...
26
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8answers
7k views

How do I handle players simply un-hiding and re-hiding after a poor Stealth roll?

Recently I've faced with the following situation and was really surprised with the rules: Let's consider the following situation: A party is located in a quite deep forest. They know that there is an ...
26
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4answers
7k views

How is it possible to have an ability score that is less than 3?

The “Ability Scores and Modifiers” table on page 13 of the PHB indicates that an ability score of 1 (resulting in a -5 modifier) or 2 (resulting in a -4 modifier) is possible. This, however, does not ...
26
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9answers
11k 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 ...
26
votes
1answer
25k 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 ...
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 ...
24
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2answers
3k views

Can a stressful Wish's Strength reduction be cured early by a Greater Restoration spell?

Casting a stressful Wish has dire consequences, including a Strength reduction: The stress of casting this spell to produce any effect other than duplicating another spell weakens you. [...] In ...
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 ...
24
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3answers
3k views

Does your initiative change if your dex changes?

After combat has started will changes to your DEX stat (sufficent to change your dex bonus) change your initiative score? Example: Wizard Bob sees a goblin approaching and initiative is rolled; the ...
23
votes
1answer
6k views

Why are Clerics and Druids Wisdom-based?

Since early D&D, the cleric/druid/priest-analogue classes have been Wisdom-based spellcasters. Does anyone know why that is and/or what justification was given originally (if any)? There are ...
22
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2answers
2k views

When are Ability Scores (not modifiers) used in D&D 5e?

In D&D, the main ability is a score from 1-30, while the modifiers range from -5 to +10 (score -10/2 round down) In the Player's Handbook, it states: Because ability modifiers affect almost every ...
22
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1answer
1k views

Can a character with a low Intelligence score take the Ritual Caster feat and choose the Wizard class?

The Ritual Caster feat (PHB, p. 169) has this prerequisite: Prerequisite: Intelligence or Wisdom of 13 or higher. You also have to choose one of the following classes: bard, cleric, druid, ...
21
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4answers
2k views

Considerations for assigning Constitution buff within the party

We've recently acquired the manual of bodily health, which grants a permanent +2 to Constitution score. What are the optimisation considerations (e.g. increased HP, better at maintaining concentration)...
21
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3answers
23k views

How can I shoot a bow using Strength instead of Dexterity?

Is there some official mechanic in any class, feat, spell or magic item that allows someone to use strength for ranged attacks? As an example (but opposite) The Monk gets the feature Martial Arts ...
21
votes
2answers
94k 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 ...
21
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1answer
3k views

Is it unbalanced to allow a player to move the tiefling's +1 Int bonus to a different ability score?

I'm in the planning phases of a campaign for D&D 5e, but using the Planescape setting. Since this setting is the one which introduced tieflings, I sent the table of potential tiefling traits to my ...
21
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2answers
3k 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
3k 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 ...
20
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3answers
5k views

Are racial stat bonuses every level or just once at creation?

Me and a few of my group members came to a disagreement about when racial stat bonuses apply. I believe that your racial ability score increases are only applied once at character creation. However, ...
20
votes
2answers
82k 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the Dexterity score of Bigby's Hand for?

This was inspired by Can Bigby's Hand attempt Strength and Dexterity saving throws? (and in fact this first bit was copy-pasted from it, but with different bold emphasis): The spell description ...
19
votes
3answers
13k 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
5k views

Will it cause problems in a campaign if everyone in the party has the same high stats and the same low stats?

My friends and I have made a campaign and intend to start soon but everyone has been instructed to make their characters in advance which we are sharing with each other on D&D Beyond. We are ...
19
votes
5answers
4k views

How can I consistently deal bludgeoning damage with DEX, WIS, INT, CHA?

Inspired by the newly introduced UA I am considering an build where my character randomly gets into a "precision-flow". So I aim for critical chance, high number of attacks and advantage. ...
19
votes
5answers
119k views

Which magic items use Charisma or boost Charisma?

I'm trying to find relics that influence or are influenced by Charisma, but I cannot seem to find any. What are the magic items that use Charisma or boost Charisma?
19
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does the pre-gen Drow Rogue have a 0 Str modifier but a Strength score of 8?

I just began a campaign with the pre-gen characters from the WotC page, and we can't explain some stats. One of them is this Drow Rogue STR modifier. As it has STR 8, it should be -1 instead of 0, ...

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