How dumb is 8 Int?

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As the title asks. I always try to put at least a 10 in int for RP reasons yet so many min-maxed builds put int at 8. Thus, I am wondering, do people like RPing really dumb characters or is 4e's definition of 8 int different from the way 8 int was defined in the 3.5e era? I remember back in the 3.5e era 8 int was considered "mentally disabled" and in Neverwinter Nights, which was based on 3.0-3.5e putting an 8(or less) in int made it so your character spoke in  "thog speak."(Aka 'FIGHTER SMASH!!" type talking.) However, a lot of the people who I have met that play 4e put 8 int on their rogues and clerics for Min-Max reasons mainly and it makes me wonder how they get away with not RPing them as low-int to the point of disability(for seirous RPers) or "thog speak" idocy(for the RPers who gravitate towards tropes/cliche's or those that don't care much for RPing.)

So, my question is simple: Just how dumb is 8 int in 4e?
However dumb or smart you want it to be.
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I would not get too hung up on it. Personally I interpret 8 INT to mean that it might take you a little bit longer to work through complex thoughts, not that you are actually stupid. Just a little slow, like that friend you know who smoked way too much pot in high school but is still perfectly capable.

If you are really hung up on it for whatever reason (I know some groups pay strict attention to these things), I think that "disabled" is probably way too strong a word. Supposedly 10 is average. If 10 is average, then something like 50% of the population of the Forgotten Realms are disabled in some way. Plus that would mean that 12 is gifted. If 12 is gifted, what the hell is an 18? Obsessing over these things will just get you twisted into knots.

A character with 8 strength is slightly disadvantaged in the strength department. The same should be true of INT. Otherwise you would have 8 WIS characters sticking their tongues in light sockets and 8 dexterity characters who could barely walk. That gets so silly so fast you might as well be playing Straights & Stooges. Mechanically -1 is a negligiable disadvantage so I would treat it the same for RP. (If you want to get really technical, -1 is 5% less than 0, so I guess if average IQ is 100, that would mean that an 8 INT character has a 95 IQ, which is still average. But again, I recommend not getting hung up on it.)
If 10 is average, 8 being mentally disabled seems like a pretty huge leap [Insert joke about the intelligence of the "average person", everybody laugh, roll on snare drum, curtain]. By that logic, 12 int is like Stephen Hawking level, and all these 20 Int Wizards we got running around know everything about everything that will ever be (I mean, yeah, they're pretty knowledgeable, but my extrapolations suggests more along the lines of being able to immediately deduce the location of the BBEG, what allergies he has, and developing the perfect plan to poison him all in the first 30 seconds of the campaign, which of course makes for a pretty turrble story). 
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Hi guys! So, I'm a sort of returning player to Magic. I say sort of because as a child I had two main TCG's I liked. Yu-Gi-Oh, and Pokemon. Some of my friends branched off in to Magic, and I bought two pre-made decks just to kind of fit in. Like I said, Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon were what I really knew how to play. I have a extensive knowledge of deck building in those two TCG's. However, as far as Magic is concerned, I only ever used those two pre made decks. I know how the game is played, and I know general things, but now I want to get in the game for real. I want to begin playing it as a regular. My question is, are all cards ever released from the time of the inception of this game until present day fair game in a deck? Or are there special rules? Are some cards forbidden or restricted? Thanks guys, and I will gladly accept ANY help lol.
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And that's why you should never, ever call RP Jesus on being a troll, because then everyone else playing along gets outed, too, and the thread goes back to being boring.
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Not only was that an obligatory joke, it was an on-topic post that still managed to be off-topic due to thread derailment. RP Jesus does it again folks.
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.....would it be a bit blasphemous if I said, "PRAYSE RPJAYSUS!" like an Evangelical preacher?
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You... You... Evil something... I actualy made the damn char once I saw the poster... Now you made me see it again and I gained resolve to put it into my campaign. Shell be high standing oficial of Cyrix order. Uterly mad and only slightly evil. And it'll be bad. Evil even. And ill blame you and Lizard for it :P.
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I'm trying to work out if you're being sarcastic here. ...
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58335208 wrote:
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112114441 wrote:
we can only hope it gets the jace treatment...it could have at least been legendary
So that even the decks that don't run it run it to deal with it? Isn't that like the definition of format warping?
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The most common answer is that they are what RPJesus would call "[Debutantes avert your eyes]ing."
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This just won the argument, AFAIC.
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HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THE BEAR PRODUCING WORDS OF WILDING?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!
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So, could I have an 8 int character who, say, excelled/was very smart in a specific area of intrest but totally inept in all others? Or say an 8 int character who was exceptionally cunning, shrewed and manipulative but for some reason just dose not excell in acdemics?(This kind of character I'd expect to be high wis and high-cha, though I'm not sure how much cha and wis would be needed for this.)
I would see it along the lines of Forrest Gump. Slow and naive, but still able to function normally in a society. Also the family from The Castle, if you have seen it, would be a good example.
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So, could I have an 8 int character who, say, excelled/was very smart in a specific area of intrest but totally inept in all others? Or say an 8 int character who was exceptionally cunning, shrewed and manipulative but for some reason just dose not excell in acdemics?(This kind of character I'd expect to be high wis and high-cha, though I'm not sure how much cha and wis would be needed for this.)



Yes.  Like pretty much everything in 4e, ability scores are abstract.  (Heck, Intelligence is pretty damned abstract and immeasurable in real life, anyway.)  You may be absolutely brilliant, but without a lot of actual book-learning (which is why your Knowledge checks tend to come up poor).  Or, with your example, perhaps the reason he doesn't excel in academics is because he's so cunning, shrewd, and manipulative he never had to study hard; he got other people to do his work for him.
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So, could I have an 8 int character who, say, excelled/was very smart in a specific area of intrest but totally inept in all others? Or say an 8 int character who was exceptionally cunning, shrewed and manipulative but for some reason just dose not excell in acdemics?(This kind of character I'd expect to be high wis and high-cha, though I'm not sure how much cha and wis would be needed for this.)



The ability scores define what kind of advantage your character gets in certain areas, not what he knows.

Think of intelligence as mental dexterity. A high intelligence character has a nimble mind that adapts quickly to new information, that processes and reacts with blinding speed compared to a low INT character. A low INT character receives no advantage from intelligence because it takes them too long to work through difficult or complex problems. Instead they rely on other abilities to compensate. A low INT character can still be very well educated and their knowledge and perspective can still be valuable assets to the party.

I think Forrest Gump might still be a little slower than I would consider for an 8, but it's a good example of a character who is slow but not necessarily stupid. When Forrest works at something, he can eventually figure it out and understand it as well as anybody else, but because he has to work harder and it takes him longer he inevitable falls behind.

Shrewed and cunning, like most words that describe a person's mental faculties, are too imprecise to tell us exactly which ability score best represents that character's skills. It would depend on how that cunning manifests itself. If the character can calculate the odds of success for an elaborate and dangerous plan in minutes, then it would be Intelligence. If the character could plot the perfect bank robbery if he had a week to work out the details, then it is probably normal intelligence but high wisdom. If the character can manipulate anybody around them to put them in the perfect position for a promotion, it would be high charisma. Of course even moreso than physical abilities the mental abilities are abstractions, so no description will be perfectly accurate.
Yeah, I agree. Forest is probally too slow an example. He was certainly high-wis, but from what I remember of the film was also "mentally disabled", and since the general concencessous is that 8 int is not in the disabled range Forest would probally be lower then that. As for shrewed and cunning, I meant able to trick people well and come up with sound, generally flaw-free(or if flawed the flaws are minor) plans. Basicly your typical evil mastermind type of thing. Making sound schemes and using people and events to your advantage. I think a good example from media for this kind of thing would be the typical high school queen bee/popular snob that you see in so many teenage dramas and such. She's probally not the top of the class acdemicly, but she knows how to read people and use them for her own ends. I mean that kind of cunning. Able to read people and events and twist them to your advantage, and make good evil plots(with prep time). Not making split second calculations or anything like that.

Likewise, could you also have an 8-int character who actually had a lot of potentinal inteligence/is actaully brilliant but has some kind of learning disability or other impediment that makes reasoning and learning exceptionally harder for them then the average person?
As for shrewed and cunning, I meant able to trick people well and come up with sound, generally flaw-free(or if flawed the flaws are minor) plans. Basicly your typical evil mastermind type of thing. Making sound schemes and using people and events to your advantage. I think a good example from media for this kind of thing would be the typical high school queen bee/popular snob that you see in so many teenage dramas and such. She's probally not the top of the class acdemicly, but she knows how to read people and use them for her own ends. I mean that kind of cunning. Able to read people and events and twist them to your advantage, and make good evil plots(with prep time). Not making split second calculations or anything like that.



Depending on the Queen Bee's characterization, she might be really intelligent but simply have different priorities. Popularity affords her more of an immediate advantage than academics so that's where she expends her effort. In most cases, though, I think the Queen Bee has exceptionally high charisma and may or may not have high intelligence. In my interpretation of 8 INT, and 8 INT Bee is possible but she would probably get tripped up by a more ambitious Bee eventually.


Likewise, could you also have an 8-int character who actually had a lot of potentinal inteligence/is actaully brilliant but has some kind of learning disability or other impediment that makes reasoning and learning exceptionally harder for them then the average person?



Well the ability scores factor in so many things that they can only really reflect effective intelligence, not potential intelligence, if that answers your question. I'm not really sure I understand what you are getting at, though. Are you referring to something like dyslexia? I think an 8 intelligence would be a fine way to represent dyslexia but I honestly don't feel like something like that needs any mechanical representation unless you really want it.
Yeah, I agree. Forest is probally too slow an example. He was certainly high-wis, but from what I remember of the film was also "mentally disabled", and since the general concencessous is that 8 int is not in the disabled range Forest would probally be lower then that. As for shrewed and cunning, I meant able to trick people well and come up with sound, generally flaw-free(or if flawed the flaws are minor) plans. Basicly your typical evil mastermind type of thing. Making sound schemes and using people and events to your advantage. I think a good example from media for this kind of thing would be the typical high school queen bee/popular snob that you see in so many teenage dramas and such. She's probally not the top of the class acdemicly, but she knows how to read people and use them for her own ends. I mean that kind of cunning. Able to read people and events and twist them to your advantage, and make good evil plots(with prep time). Not making split second calculations or anything like that.

Likewise, could you also have an 8-int character who actually had a lot of potentinal inteligence/is actaully brilliant but has some kind of learning disability or other impediment that makes reasoning and learning exceptionally harder for them then the average person?



As I said, ability scores, like everything else in D&D, is abstracted.  You can explain it however you want.
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I've always assumed a good estimate to be Int*10=IQ, so a character with Int 8 has an IQ of somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 or so.  That's dull, but not in the spectrum of retardation as it is usually defined.  an 8-int character is somewhat slower to grasp complex concepts than normal folk, but in general can lead an essentially ordinary life. 

Of course, as with all role-playing there remains grounds for interpretation: an 8 int character could also be played as a normal to above normal person with a crippling deficency in one or more subsets of what int determines.  Or, on the other hand, you could say that 8 is close enough to the norm that you don't really need to determine how you play your character in large: on the whole, he or she is normal, though this time you have your character's slight obtuseness to blame if you missed an important bit while in the restroom or munching some manner of noisy food.

While Wisdom seems to be the favored dump-stat in my neck of the woods (After all, you've got to be just a bit insane to be an adventurer), I've seen a few well played low-int characters, most notably the 8 int but 18 wis cleric who was mostly just close-mouthed except where talking about matters of faith or other elements of his particular expertise, because he understood via wisdom that he was not the great problem-solver that the rest of the (int at least 12) party was.  He never came off as stupid or made a fool of himself, but he did tend to set out the complicated schemeing.

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It really depends on your DM, and how good you are at persuading him that the fluff and crunch should be separate.  You could argue that your social and mental stats don't represent blanket deficiency across all items that fall within the purview of the stat. 

Consider that CHA is subject to expression as compelling presence, affability, charm, good looks, and other qualities that allow you to influence the reactions people have to you.  Some of those aren't reliant upon one another, and can even be mutually exclusive.  Consider a character whose CHA manifests itself as an imposing presence.  He draws attention wherever he goes, and his words are terribly compelling because people are fascinated by (and a little afraid of) him.  He'll have trouble making friends.  Consider Tyrion Lannister from A Game of Thrones.  Is he personable?  Is he pretty?  Is he well liked?  Does he talk his way out of certain death over and over and over again?  One could convincingly argue that a low CHA doesn't mean you're ugly, oafish, abrasive or any other specific trait we'd associate with a lack of charisma, but that there's something about the character that prevents them from being very compelling.  You could be likeable, but nobody takes you seriously because you're short and unassuming.  You could be fascinatingly beautiful, but callous and arrogant.  You could be capable of making very compelling arguments, but you can't hold peoples' attention because of your stuttering, monotone delivery.


Same goes for your INT, as far as I'm concerned.  You could be cunning, but completely uneducated.  You could just be misguided, having grown up in a theocracy that raised you on a mixture of propaganda and revisionist history that you now take for absolute, incontrovertible fact (to the point that you deny matters of common knowledge and historical fact as heathen slander).  You could have a retentive memory, but for trivia that's not useful for things that require check rolls in the game.  You could have a great mechanical aptitude and spatial understanding, but a rotten memory.  All that a low INT necessarily represents in game is doing poorly on knowledge checks and not being able to use specific class abilities to great effect.  Express that however you like.


If you played a high CHA, high WIS character, I think it would be totally valid to make your character a shrewd student of human nature who's clever and cunning, but uneducated.  You don't need to know sums and figures to lead a gang or work a crowd, or know when it's time to leg it the other way.       
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I'm currently playing an 8 Int monk, and I approached it this way.  The actual crunch effect of Int on gameplay is pretty limited (which is why it's such a common dump stat).  A low int character is:
-bad at Religion, Arcana, and History.
-if also low Dex, has poor reflexes, but my monk, of course, has very high dex, so this isn't a concern.

My character comes from another continent and a vastly different culture in the game world (set in a magical version of 16th century Earth, he's a Congolese pygmy hunter, and the campaign takes place in North America).  He isn't dumb, although he certainly isn't educated in any sense that the natives would recognize.  But more importantly, he's had no prior access to knowledge about any religion, magical technique, or history that would apply to the immediate campaign setting, and this is expressed as a -1 to all of these skills (as well as none of them being trained, of course).  When it comes down to a raw Int check (which it never has, in fact), his small penalty can be rationalized that he just doesn't think and construct logic in the same way others around him do, so he'll come off as simple and be bad at solving certain kinds of problems.

Regardless, there are just as many variations on low Int as there are variations on low Cha, and 8's shouldn't be ridiculously low on anything.  Again, they're about 1 standard deviation from average among the general populace, and no farther from normal than a 12 is. 

My character comes from another continent and a vastly different culture in the game world (set in a magical version of 16th century Earth, he's a Congolese pygmy hunter, and the campaign takes place in North America).  He isn't dumb, although he certainly isn't educated in any sense that the natives would recognize.  But more importantly, he's had no prior access to knowledge about any religion, magical technique, or history that would apply to the immediate campaign setting, and this is expressed as a -1 to all of these skills (as well as none of them being trained, of course).  When it comes down to a raw Int check (which it never has, in fact), his small penalty can be rationalized that he just doesn't think and construct logic in the same way others around him do, so he'll come off as simple and be bad at solving certain kinds of problems.



Just want to say I think this is a very good way of looking at it. Cultural differences could definitely explain a low (effective) intelligence. It's important to always remember that the ability scores are all about what advantage your character gleans from a particular ability, not some objective measure of his worth.

In the last edition, races often took a penalty to CHA based on how different their culture was to human culture (the baseline), to indicate that humans would likely find them alien and difficult to interact with.
I played an int8 ranger that used to scout ahead.

he had truble remembering names of mosters especialy if we haden't encounters one before or not in a long time.

would cone back witha  report like there are 2 big guys in the next hall they look like bulls with horns and stuff wielding axes.
anather player would make a remark like do you minautaurs 
i would react with a yes it was at the tip of my tongue just coulsen't remember what they are called so fast



 

 From the very beginning of the game, 8-12 has always been designated as the normal range for most humans' ability scores.

 An 8 Int gives you a -1 to intelligence-based skill rolls. There's no mechanical difference between having an 8 intelligence and having a 9 intelligence.
A character who gets -1 to intelligence-based skills either hasn't had a significant amount of education on those subjects or just isn't particularly good at them. They're hardly drooling idiots.

An 8 Int character just isn't the type to come up with complex plans and is more likely to let other people do the heavy lifting when it comes to figuring things out. Or maybe thinking on their feet just isn't their thing. They're not really slow, they're just not exceptionally bright.

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All an 8 Int tells you is that your character is slightly worse than average at knowledge-based skills.  That's it.  No, really.  That is the only thing you would need to include, avert, subvert, or ignore (yes, ignore) in your roleplaying.  If and how that penalty manifest in the roleplaying of your character is completely 100% up to you. 

So if you want to make it a big deal and roleplay your character as dumb as bricks, he is.  If you want your low int to manifest as a minor personalty or background quirk, such as a poor education or avoiding big words, then it is so.  And if its to small of a point to bother it, so be it.

And really, a -1 is not even that much worse than average.  A drop in the bucket.  Put an 8 Int Fighter and 10 Int Fighter side-by-side in a int-based skill challenge and, all other things being equal, you could probably never figure out which one was the smater one without looking at their character sheets.  Training, Skill Focus, racial bonuses, and items all have a much larger effect on your ability to perform on intellgence-based tasks.  So my 8 Int char still has an good chance of being the smartest character in the party.  So, yeah.  Not a big deal.  YMMV though.
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I tend to think of bonuses like this:

10-11: "Average." Like, for Int, you got B's and C's in school. Or for Str, you could lift an average amount of weight.
12-13: "Above average." You usually got A's and B's in school. You spent a decent amount of time in the gym.
14-15: "Excellent."  You were one of the smartest kids in your school. You were a credit to your high school football team.
16-17: "Professional."  You were one of the smartest kids in your city or state.  You were a credit to your college football team.
18-19: "Nationally professional."  You were a finalist in the national spelling bee.  You played football in the NFL.
20-21: "Rare talent." You invented something memorable. You were a hall-of-famer in the NFL.

Going the other direction looks sort of like:

8-9: "Below Average." You got C's and D's in school. You can't hold up heavy objects for long.
6-7: "Poor." You failed a lot of classes. You have difficulty with loaded bags of groceries.
4-5: "Injured." You qualify for special learning classes. You can't lift things without support.

Having an 8-Int isn't really low enough to affect your personality, I think. It's just more like that one friend you had in college who always needed help studying for an exam.

 From the very beginning of the game, 8-12 has always been designated as the normal range for most humans' ability scores.

 An 8 Int gives you a -1 to intelligence-based skill rolls. There's no mechanical difference between having an 8 intelligence and having a 9 intelligence.
A character who gets -1 to intelligence-based skills either hasn't had a significant amount of education on those subjects or just isn't particularly good at them. They're hardly drooling idiots.

An 8 Int character just isn't the type to come up with complex plans and is more likely to let other people do the heavy lifting when it comes to figuring things out. Or maybe thinking on their feet just isn't their thing. They're not really slow, they're just not exceptionally bright.



This is pretty much how I would view it.

I recently played an 8 Int, 18 Wis character. So I tried not to come up with complex plans and had a 'stick to what he knows' attitude, ie. he tended to be very pragmatic, not think outside the box, a 'what you see is what you get' kinda guy. But at the same time, if he had time to mull over something and consider things from all angles, he could say things that might be considered more intelligent. I viewed that as his Wisdom kicking in. 

Am I the only one who read the gnome racial trait as, "Speak with Small Breasts,"?

Seems to me that intelligence is more along the lines of memory then anything else. So 8 Int would be someone who forgets their mothers birthday, and doesn't know the difference between a daisy and tulip. Not someone who forgets to put underwhere on.  They are the ones with the cofee cup on the roof of the car.

Ones with the gas station hose trailing from the car is more like 6 Int.

Smart animals are 4. (talk's in simple launguage).

Other animals would be 2. 

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F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

I tend to think of ability scores primarily in terms of the skills they govern. The Int-based skills are areas of knowledge that would generally require formal education to master. Wis-based and Cha-based skills are picked up more through practice and trial-and-error, or are simply a result of natural talent, rather than being things you'd learn in school. So Int, to me, is mostly about being able to quickly and accurately recall fairly esoteric information, usually as a result of significant formal education. A sorcerer with Int 8 and a wizard with Int 18 might seem equally 'bright' in most contexts, but the sorcerer has little or no formal education and has no real idea how his magic actually works (and also has little knowledge of history, geography and other formal systems of knowledge), while the wizard probably wrote a 20,000 word treatise on the nature of magic before he reached puberty and can recite the dates of every major battle in the local area going back a thousand years. The sorcerer might even seem more clever than the wizard to most people because he's witty, confident and good at bluffing his way through things. Only someone with a similar level of knowledge/education to the wizard would be able to tell that the wizard really did know his stuff and that the sorcerer was just BSing.
"There's an old saying that all it takes for evil to triumph is that good people do nothing. I've always had a problem with that. If you do nothing to oppose evil, then how are you 'good'? To turn aside and allow evil to flourish is to collaborate with it. You ask for mercy. You claim you have done nothing. That 'nothing' is why you deserve no mercy." - Lorian Karthfaerr, drow paladin of Avandra Robin Laws says I'm a Storyteller:
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Based on the skills you can also think of INT as the amount of book learning someone has done - i.e. not realted to how quickly they pick things up, but just how much time they have spent sitting down and reading up on arcana, religion etc. They've spent years reading about it, and probbaly writing papers on it. The fighter down the block isn't necessarily less nitelligent, and if he had spent the same amount of time as the wizard on that, he may be at the same place, further behind or further ahead, but he didn't. He skiived class to go work out at the gym instead, so he doesn't know much. The scrawny wizard may have been equally as strong, stronger, or weaker than the fighter had he done the same, but probably by only a point or so, or an extra years work or whatever.
I tend to think of ability scores primarily in terms of the skills they govern. The Int-based skills are areas of knowledge that would generally require formal education to master. Wis-based and Cha-based skills are picked up more through practice and trial-and-error, or are simply a result of natural talent, rather than being things you'd learn in school. So Int, to me, is mostly about being able to quickly and accurately recall fairly esoteric information, usually as a result of significant formal education. A sorcerer with Int 8 and a wizard with Int 18 might seem equally 'bright' in most contexts, but the sorcerer has little or no formal education and has no real idea how his magic actually works (and also has little knowledge of history, geography and other formal systems of knowledge), while the wizard probably wrote a 20,000 word treatise on the nature of magic before he reached puberty and can recite the dates of every major battle in the local area going back a thousand years. The sorcerer might even seem more clever than the wizard to most people because he's witty, confident and good at bluffing his way through things. Only someone with a similar level of knowledge/education to the wizard would be able to tell that the wizard really did know his stuff and that the sorcerer was just BSing.



This is a good way to look at it, and it meshes well with the high number of 4e characters who drop an 8 in Int due to its limited adventuring use.  In 3e, where Int measured general learning capacity through the number of skill points it got you, that gave it a reasonably wider perview, but this works very well for thinking about the abilities of 4e characters, and makes the odd high-Int ones stand out.
The way I always saw 8 int- Since 8-12 is average, 8 is just on the slower side. He doesnt come up with complex plans on the go (and if low on wisdom, that often as trial and error either), and while hed know what common monsters were, they wouldnt be able to tell orc clans right off, unless its a drastic difference. Have a hard time with formulae and int based puzzles. But by no means 'stupid'- just one of the students in class who needs a math equation explained a few times before they get it.

Now, on the other hand, I've play a 5 int half orc. He -was- stupid. Raised by dwarfs (favored class : fighter, this was 3.5 and the reflavor fit) he was called to his face 'anvil head.' He knew he wasnt the sharpest spoon in the crayon box, and accepted it. What he did excel in was wisdom though, so despite broken talking, he often said some of the most philosophical things. A good example is "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" became "Better have one one drake than be greedy." And yes, he was a philosohpical class too- Fighter/Monk (focussing on training and wisdom, less on meditation and calmness)
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But what if I want my cleric to be an evil schemer who makes villainous plots? I would need at the least 10 int, I assume...and thats where my major issue comes in; I like playing evil masterminds who possess DARK MAGIC(That means SHADOW keyword.) and heroes of shadow provided nothing to allow me to play that.  There was a homebrew class I always loved but, because it's homebrew...NOBODY would let me use it. It's not even broken or OPed, it was just that nobody really wanted to allow a non-offical class and you can forget running it at encounters. So, this is where my issue lay. I want to play a villainous mastermind with dark necromantic magic(aka SHADOW or something else dark-based) of the leader or controller roll(NO STRIKERS)...and since heroes of shadow failed to deliever a good necromancer class, I'm left with the cleric, which is really not the platform I want.(Ideally I'd have an int/cha character with dark necromantic magics who is either a controller or leader; I hate strikers unless they are hybrided with a leader or controller class.). However, Wizards has no such thing, espcially for the lordly, domineering characters I like to play who would never ever willingly be a follower to somebody else.

So, that is my issue. I want a lordly, leaderly character with dark magic and an int/cha focus...and no's such thing exsists that is offical except for ONE build I have seen which is a lazy cleric//ardent build which PURPOSLY wants to miss with some of it's cleric attacks(so it only puts wis at 13 and wears plate to take an attack penalty, focusing on lazy powers/powers that don't take an attack roll.) and focuse mostly on Cha and Con, but also putting points into int and making use of rituals and such...However, that is a very specific build and from time to time I want another domineering lordly character with dark magic...so yeah...thats my issue.
A necromancy or nethermancy wizard seems to fit the bill exactly.
Heya everyone, here are my homebrew threads: (yes there is only one right now, but there are more to come!) And Let There Be Fish-Men: KUO-TOA
But what if I want my cleric to be an evil schemer who makes villainous plots?



Those two words bolded above?  Those mean he's an NPC, which means you can give him whatever stats you feel like.
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Infernal pact warlock, or warlock/wizard, with an emphasis on necrotic powers. Or even a reflufed class. Also, you seem to be a complainer.
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Warlocks are strikers, and I already mentioned my distaste for that roll when not hybrid with a leader or conroller class. Likewise, the necromancy wizard is horridly underpowered and I have heard people compair it to the 3.5e monk in some cases and that turns me off to it since I don't like being underpowered compaired to everybody else. Also, to the person who said evil games and PCs don't exsist, your dead wrong. While the writers try to beat it into our skulls that PCs are not evil and even desgine the game with non-evil PCs in mind, 4e has no offical mechanical aligenment system. Yes, an "aligenment" system exsists, but unlike 3.5e it has no mechanical impact on the game. I could write Pasta as my aligenment and it would have no effect on the game mechanically, it only comes into play during RP and just because a character is evil dose not mean they would refuse to openly consort or even work with non-evil people for their own gain. 

Most 4e games I run and play in tend to often have at least 1-2, if not more characters who you can't really class as good.  4e is morally ambigious and thus the kind of evil I am talking about is not the kind you probally assume when the term is thrown around. I'm not talking a cackeling, card carrying saturday morning cartoon style evil, here. More like a sneaky, manipulative evil that consorts with/uses team good for their own plans. The kind of guy who will still give to charity, still save the princess and still help to take down the BBEG, but in the end is only doing it for selfish, self-serving, morally bankrupt reasons, usually with the aqusition of personal power(both political and magical) as their ultimate goal. Basicly, it's like the cliche theif who adventurers only for the cash, except replace theif with a magic-using class and cash with power. Evil can work with good and vice versa so long as evil is played more as selfish and power-hungry but willing to do good things as well as bad to fowrard their own ends as appose to the saturday morning villain charactaure that gose out of their way to be evil and backstab party members most people assume when the evil aligenment is thrown around. An adventuerer can still have evil motives and and be ruthless, and still fight alongside team good like any other party member; their evilness only becomes an issue when it causes them to assult/betray a party member or be evil stuiped. If you avoid evil stuiped and can justify why your selfish jerk decided to decline the BBEGs' offer to join him and not take advantage of oppertunites to betray the party then evil can work with good and vise-versa.

As for nethermancer, heard about it, never bothered checking it out. I heard it's summon sucks and that was kind of a turn off, though the other things I heard about it where pretty good. I may check it out, but part of the reasons I checked out the death cleric was because of two powers...servitude in death and shackles of the grave. Those two summons are WAY better then ANY undead-related stuff the wizard gets, and I'd like to use them on a "necromancer" character. I suppose I could get what I want by going as a wis-secondary arcanist and multiclassing cleric for those powers while picking up mostly nethermancy, necromancy and other "dark" themed powers(such as grasping shadows?)? Or would a strait nethermancer mage just be better for this, even though it is sevearly lacking in the summon department?

Anyway, I apologize if I seem complainy about this, but the lack of a good necromancy class has been something that has been bugging me since 4e has been released and heroes of shadow's terrible necromancy specality combind with the general distaine for good homebrew and 3rd party classes that I find in the 4e community have only served to make this worse. So I apologize if I come off as complaining too much about this, it's just that I've had to deal with a lot of disapointment over this issue(both at the necromancer wizards produced and the unwillingness of people to allow 3rd party and homrbrew that dose necromancy right.) so I've become quite bitter over it. However, I'll try to better control my words as this discussion continues as none of you really deserve to listen to it for stuff that you had no hand in and can't fix.
Hot damn, that's a long post.

Warlocks: Basically controllers if you want them to be.

Evil Alignment: I agree with you here. But the person who pointed it out isn't really in the wrong, since so many people tend to do evil pcs badly and it's best to assume at first glance that someone mentioning it will do it wrong. 

Necromancy Wizard: You're still a wizard, and wizards are ridiculously powerful. I am slightly talking out of my ass since I've never looked at the exact necromancy wizard, but really people are probably making it sound worse then it is. I mean you get to choose out of all the wizard powers still, just throw in a few necromancy or nethermancy ones. You have enough power slots to do it.

Nethermancer: Take the nethermancy powers, which aren't that bad, but just take the normal wizard summons if the nethermancy ones are so underpowered. Tack on "undead" in front of the summons name, and bam there you go. Actually now that I think of it a reskinned druid might work with all the summons it gets... but then again refluffing doesn't seem to be an option you care for.

In the end I think you're just making it harder than it has to be to have a Good Necromancer. It's pretty hard to be underpowered in 4e. Still, I kinda feel your pain since I'm jealous of pyromancers being a thing but no cryomancers (no not a wizard with the power of tears).
Heya everyone, here are my homebrew threads: (yes there is only one right now, but there are more to come!) And Let There Be Fish-Men: KUO-TOA
The Necromancy specality mage is aweful from an OP standpoint....it's been comparied to the 3.5e Monk and the 4e binder....it lacks any hard control and has mostly blasty-powers, but yet has no class features that help it be better at blasting sans the ability to get around necrotic resistance at higher levels. So essentually, it's the wizard equlivilent of the binder.  A "controller" that lacks any true hard control and just has blasts that is stuck with no way to actually be a good blasting.(Unlike the pyromancer, who CAN enhance his blasting and thus make up for his lack of hard control.) There are only a few good Necromancy powers; Nethermancy is strictely better and the only thing I've seen Necromancy used for in character Op is as a secondary school for pyromancers, since many of the good necromancy powers deal with fire damage as well as necrotic. Ironicaly, however, while nethermancy has all good powers except for it's summon which sucks, necromancy is the oppsite...it has a fairly decent summon, but horrid powers otherwise. If you could be a nethermancer and take the necromancy summon, my issues would be solved, but unfortinutly, if you specalize in nethermancy you can't do that are are forced to take the crappy nether summon or no shadow-based summons(Though you can still take standard summoning powers...but those are not "evil" enough for me sans the demons...everything else is too "nice.") at all.

So yeah, the necromancy mage is just that bad. Nethermancy is better, but, as I said, lacks a good summon...and having minions is my NUMBER ONE concern...
1. Pretty sure the Mage can choose from the entire Wizard power list.  Can't open the CB right now to check.
2. Reflavor it.  Instead of Fire Warrior?  It's Fire Demon.  Describe it as being demony.  And so forth.
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It's a D student.
It's a D student.


And then all of a sudden there was a post that actually has to do with the thread title.
I'm thinking more C- to B- range for 8 int though.

(also don't wanna post in the char op thread, but yeah Wizard|Warlock is a good bet)    

Heya everyone, here are my homebrew threads: (yes there is only one right now, but there are more to come!) And Let There Be Fish-Men: KUO-TOA
Warlocks are strikers, and I already mentioned my distaste for that roll when not hybrid with a leader or conroller class.

The easiest way to make a good striker/controller hybrid is to play a pure warlock.


"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
It's a D student.


And then all of a sudden there was a post that actually has to do with the thread title.
I'm thinking more C- to B- range for 8 int though.

(also don't wanna post in the char op thread, but yeah Wizard|Warlock is a good bet)    




Ok... let me rephrase. It's a student with a GPA of 1.0-1.4 :P

In game terms, the average is 10. So, 8 would be slightly below average. Not debilitating by any means.
I really don't get what Akatsuki_Emperor's problem is. There's plenty of room on any character to take decent stats to support your class and throw a 12 in whatever you need for flavor. That'll put you quite above average, which apparently is just what you need.
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You've probably known people with 8 intelligence. I know I have. And they still manage to tie their shoes and get to work in the morning.
Be a summoner wizard, and call your summoned creatures ghouls and zombies.

Or if you're amenable to a slightly different concept than the evil mastermind necromancer (who's about as subtle as an assassin who skulks around dressed in black and scowls at everyone,) what about an evil mastermind invoker?  Why wait until people are dead to dominate them?
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