Wisdom ability needs redefinition

What is Wisdom in D&D ?

What in Wisdom is not covered by pure Intelligence, Charisma, Dexterity, a mix of Intelligence and Charisma or a mix or Intelligence and Dexterity ?
The religious aspect of Wisdom is also not so clear, as Charisma is already a word taken from religion. And the Charisma ability is a natural choice to call upon when creating religious classes.

The problem with the Wisdom ability is even more clear when we talk about a skill like Perception.

Why perception is a wisdom related skill ?
Dexterity parameters require good eyes, ears and touch. Even smell or taste to trigger some defense reflexes.
Intelligence grows through all senses.
Charisma relies on a lot of things, including aesthetic and the five senses to grow.

A low Wisdom would restrict all these ability scores ? Or is it just that Wisdom is totally redondant as it is defined ?

Seriously, animals with more average wisdom than humans when almost all of them are unable to recognize themselves in a mirror ? Why a mental skill would reflect the survival reflexes of animals when their autonomy is already reflected by the fact that they live, have fully functional dexterity and have basic Intellignece ?

The basic survival ability should be the Dexterity score, not the Wisdom score (whatever it is outside Dexterity, Intelligence and Charisma).

My opinion is that Wisdom should be the balance of Dexterity, be the "advanced survival ability" representing the civilized part of the individual.

It would includes "special civilized human traits" like the urge to build, initiative, faiths or arts.

With this redefinition of Wisdom and Dexterity, a lot of anomalies are solved :
• Average rogue do not rely on Wisdom with Perception as a Dexterity skill. Wise individuals do not attack the civilization that protects their race when the level of corruption is acceptable. The average rogue is a thief, so wise rogues should not be average.
• Advanced craft, arts and religious skills then make total sense under Wisdom score, as well as Clerics or Bards using Wisdom within their classes (good music players are not always very charismatic).
• As taking initiative is not an animal or a reactive trait, Wisdom could become used for initiative checks instead of Dexterity. And Dexterity would be still used to react during surprise round. Initiative would make even more sense as opposed level checks to reflect the combat experience
• Animals would make more sense with low Int, 0-2 Wisdom, and high dexterity scores. Most animals are hard to surprise, but most animals that surprise you were hidden. Initiative bonus linked to Dexterity does not make more sense when speaking about animals.
• History would make more sense as a Wisdom skill as it takes more than logic and adaptability to analyze this very large domain that includes influences like craft, arts and religions.


Side note about Dexterity being too powerful, as I propose to give it Perception, even if initiative is removed from it :
Just use strength score as a bonus on heavy armors !
The more you are strong, the more you are able to move easily with heavy things on you.
And then use the strength score for damage reduction or bonus hps to reflect the fact that to grow high strength score always involves enduring pain.
Then what Dexterity gains in and outside combat is balanced by strength giving more combat benefits.
Wisdom represents insight and life's experiences.

Access to divine spells does not require charisma, it requires insight and knowledge of life's experiences.
You need charisma to lead people, but you don't need it to have access to the divine based spells themselves.
The move from insight to perception is not that far off. 
For my part I believe STR and CON belong to the same stat named Toughness...

Wisdom is keyed to Nature respect/lore and Harmony...

edit:
INT for its part could well get arranged mit DEX into a Tools/Technics ability,
while CHA can split out to Influence and Relational;
Relational relies much on Harmony, so
WIS could be relabelled Survival Instinct, which comes from CON...
Wisdom represents insight and life's experiences.

Access to divine spells does not require charisma, it requires insight and knowledge of life's experiences.
You need charisma to lead people, but you don't need it to have access to the divine based spells themselves.
The move from insight to perception is not that far off. 

I won't discuss about class mechanics here, as deciding how somebody gains divine spells is another matter of choice from the designers. I could object that cloistered clerics should be able to cast divine spell, even with their very limited "life's experience". I'm not sure it's wise to decide how faith functions (bad joke, but it has to be done Wink)

Life's experience is also represented by strength, dexterity, Charisma, Constitution or Intelligence, as they all represent reactions to what life has thrown in our faces.

Insight is a vague term that can concern Intelligence and analysis, conscious or not, or Charisma, as relation to others is also a matter of social perception or "insight".

I only propose to organise abilities in a way that make Wisdom its own ability, as D&D will never drop the six iconic abilities.

Strength and Constitution overlap, but they are identifiable, Strength beeing the body strength mostly under the influence of your choice of life, and Constitution mostly beeing the body strength given by nature and environment.

Intelligence and Charisma can be opposed as internal and external relations to the world. Some parameters of these two abilities are your responsabilities, but a good part is imposed by nature and environment.

Dexterity is a complex ability, as it requires a coordination between Strength, Constitution and the five senses to work. It imposes itself as the basic survival ability, or Instinct. The physical interaction with the world.

As it is, Wisdom is as complex as Dexterity but fail to be clearly identifiable.
My idea is to make Wisdom the "opposite" of Dexterity, Mental vs Physical, Soul vs. Flesh, instinct vs. civilization.
I searched an aesthetical symmetry that made sense while keeping the six iconic abilities.

So my proposal is to make Wisdom a complex ability that requires coordination between Intelligence, Charisma and the five senses to work. It then imposes itself as an "advanced survival" ability, the representation of the strength of physically weak intelligent people : building civilizations to survive. It could represent the "philosophical interaction" with the world.
I've always equated the mental stats with the physical ones.

STR = INT
DEX = WIS
CON = CHA

Intelligence is how mentally strong you are, Wisdom is how mentally agile, and Constitution is mental toughness.

int = booksmart, wis= streatsmarts.  That's what I meant by "life experiences".
Reactions to life are not the same as being well versed in "life experiences",  You don't even have to have lived out in the world to know these things. Some people are just born very "Wise".

It's great if you want to build a new world that isn't D&D, but this is how D&D has always done/explained things.

Moving perseption to Wisdom is fairly new, but it's based on equating "insight" with "noticing things others don't". Which makes sense.

I'm sure you could rename Wisdom to Insight if you really want to, it comes down to the same thing. 
I've always equated the mental stats with the physical ones.

STR = INT
DEX = WIS
CON = CHA

Intelligence is how mentally strong you are, Wisdom is how mentally agile, and Constitution is mental toughness.


Normally, Con = Wis because both were used for saving throws and defences.
There's a lot of abstraction and arbitrary defining going on here, and the attributes could stand a little clean up work.  My biggest issue is that most people equate intelligence with "booksmarts" and wisdom with common sense, when in reality there is no dichotomy there; street smarts is nothing but intelligence combined with learning and situational familiarity.  

Intelligence should be renamed Intellect, because it speaks more specifically to the  mental attributes that intelligence is supposed to encapsulate - reasoning and problem solving skills, depth of thought, and breadth of education.    

What might make more sense than Wisdom is Focus.  People who exhibit the stereotypical "absent minded professer" don't lack wisdom (they are usually in fact very wise due to their education and introspection), they lack focus.  They are scattered easily and frequently lost in their own thoughts.  People with strong focus tend to be more alert and perceptive.  It is also possible to be very intelligent but have bad focus, be very focused but not terribly intelligent, be bad at both and be good at both.   

Religion/divine attunement is a different matter.  I sort of agree with an above poster that this could easily be rolled into Charisma and in many ways even makes more sense.  Religion is all about influencing others and, to be blunt, has nothing to do with wisdom.

Again, though, it's a tough thing to get a handle on.  Dexterity in many ways is both a physical and mental stat, so you could argue for some shifting around there as well.
Charisma in D&D has changed, why not Wisdom in the same proportions ?

I'm sorry, but animals are not streetwise or even wise and have no insight, it still makes no sense for me. Animals are far better to perceive physical stimuli and are build to act and react to them, but having animals with 12 to 16 in a mental ability is a joke.

How intelligence can only be "booksmart" when low intelligence doesn't even allow to speak or read ?

As with every edition, D&D has to better clear and streamline their abilities, but this time, after Charisma, it's time to attack Wisdom.
There's a lot of abstraction and arbitrary defining going on here, and the attributes could stand a little clean up work.  My biggest issue is that most people equate intelligence with "booksmarts" and wisdom with common sense, when in reality there is no dichotomy there; street smarts is nothing but intelligence combined with learning and situational familiarity.  

Intelligence should be renamed Intellect, because it speaks more specifically to the  mental attributes that intelligence is supposed to encapsulate - reasoning and problem solving skills, depth of thought, and breadth of education.    

What might make more sense than Wisdom is Focus.  People who exhibit the stereotypical "absent minded professer" don't lack wisdom (they are usually in fact very wise due to their education and introspection), they lack focus.  They are scattered easily and frequently lost in their own thoughts.  People with strong focus tend to be more alert and perceptive.  It is also possible to be very intelligent but have bad focus, be very focused but not terribly intelligent, be bad at both and be good at both.   

Religion/divine attunement is a different matter.  I sort of agree with an above poster that this could easily be rolled into Charisma and in many ways even makes more sense.  Religion is all about influencing others and, to be blunt, has nothing to do with wisdom.

Again, though, it's a tough thing to get a handle on.  Dexterity in many ways is both a physical and mental stat, so you could argue for some shifting around there as well.

I totally agree, and my proposal is of course totally arbitrary within the imposed parameters of these six iconic abilities and my personal aesthetism.

Intelligence is knowledge and IQ.  An intelligent person knows that smoking a cigarette is bad for you and that you shouldn't do it.

Wisdom is intuition and being able to draw on your life experiences to help resolve issues.  An unwise, but smart person knows that smoking a cigarette is bad for you, but smokes anyway.  The wise one does not smoke.

Charisma is your sense of self, personality and ability to lead and influence others. 

None of the three mental traits cover another of the three mental traits, so all of them should be retained.
In 5e I may house rule wisdom as purely a perception stat and have clerics use charisma for their magical ability stat.

 Any Edition

There's a lot of abstraction and arbitrary defining going on here, and the attributes could stand a little clean up work.  My biggest issue is that most people equate intelligence with "booksmarts" and wisdom with common sense, when in reality there is no dichotomy there; street smarts is nothing but intelligence combined with learning and situational familiarity.

 

IMO the ability scores are largely abstractions and therefore when discussing them the discussion will be very abstract.  Your assesment of how most people view intelligence may be true, but I generally think of int. as the ability to learn.  High Int. creatures learn things faster than lower int. creatures.  Having a high int. score does not automaticly equate to extensive booksmarts IMO.

Concerning street smarts, seeing street smarts as a funtion of int. is passable, I find it more plausable as the ability to read people which is a function of Wis. IMO.   

Intelligence should be renamed Intellect, because it speaks more specifically to the  mental attributes that intelligence is supposed to encapsulate - reasoning and problem solving skills, depth of thought, and breadth of education.

    

It's quite possible that intellect is a more fitting word than intelligence as you say.  For me though the two words are so similar in their meanings that it really doesn't clear up a lot for me.  That's not saying I would be against such a renaming though.

What might make more sense than Wisdom is Focus.  People who exhibit the stereotypical "absent minded professer" don't lack wisdom (they are usually in fact very wise due to their education and introspection), they lack focus.  They are scattered easily and frequently lost in their own thoughts.  People with strong focus tend to be more alert and perceptive.  It is also possible to be very intelligent but have bad focus, be very focused but not terribly intelligent, be bad at both and be good at both.

   

IMO the absent minded professor has high Int/low Wis.  Usually high education in D&D is a function of Int., I've already given my opinion that such is not needed for a high int. score, but in general that is probably more common.  In that case saying the professor is educated does not = high Wis.  In your example absent minded professor is the intelligent, low focus character, or so it seems to me.
 
Religion/divine attunement is a different matter.  I sort of agree with an above poster that this could easily be rolled into Charisma and in many ways even makes more sense.  Religion is all about influencing others and, to be blunt, has nothing to do with wisdom.



Religion in D&D funtions differently than real world religion IMO.  In D&D the gods make their presence know much more strongly, followers of exeptional faith perform miracles in the names of the gods in the present D&D timeline.  This makes it much less dependent on the preachers Cha. to persuade the masses to believe in said gods.  

There's also a difference between organized religion and a personal connection with a divine being.  Organized religion is largely driven by charasmatic individuals, probably in the imaginary D&D world and real world.  Having a personal connection with a divine being is something I'm not going into for the real world, but in the D&D world I would imagine it would be Wis. based.  I can see a case for this to be Cha. based, but I still feel Wis is a better fit IMO, not a clearly supperior one though.  

Again, though, it's a tough thing to get a handle on.  Dexterity in many ways is both a physical and mental stat, so you could argue for some shifting around there as well.


I can agree with your thoughts on Dex, so at least we don't disagree about everything ;P.
I've always equated the mental stats with the physical ones.

STR = INT
DEX = WIS
CON = CHA

Intelligence is how mentally strong you are, Wisdom is how mentally agile, and Constitution is mental toughness.

You have that all wrong. It goes like this:

STR is physical power - CHA is mental power
CON is physical endurance - WIS is mental endurance
DEX is physical agility/skill - INT is mental agility/skill

Explanation
Show
There's plenty of evidence for this in the actual mechanics of the game, and it also has to deal with how defenses were grouped in 3.5 as compared to 4E:

3.5 CON towards Fortitude, 4E added STR as an option
3.5 DEX towards Reflex, 4E added INT as an option
3.5 WIS towards Will, 4E added CHA as an option

This wasn't coincidental or random. They were like that for a reason, and that reason, at least when it comes to Fortitude and Will, was that they began considering "the best defense is a good offensive" to be valid.

Said another way, remember back in 3.5 where there were opposed rolls? Think of it like that. An effect that targets your bodily fortitude can either be defended against via a defensive ability (CON, as in 3.5) or opposed by an offensive ability (STR, as added in 4E). Likewise, an effect that targets your mental fortitude (Will) can either be defended against via a defensive ability (WIS, as in 3.5) or opposed by an offensive ability (CHA, as added in 4E).

WIS is clearly the mental CON, and that becomes especially obvious when you consider that kinds of things that it does, particularly for classes like the Cleric. Faith and focus are mental unshakability, the ability of the internal self to keep from being affected by external force.
CHA is clearly the mental STR, and that becomes especially obvious when you consider the kinds of things that it does, particularly for classes like the Sorcerer. Spirit and influence are mental power, the ability of the self to exert force and affect the external.

You can even see it in skills with things like Athletics being shows of exerting physical influence on one's physical surroundings while Endurance is a defense of the physical self from physical forces. Diplomacy is a shows of exerting mental influence on other minds while Sense Motive is a defenses of the mental self from mental influence.

It's really DEX and INT that are the odd ones out when considering those dualities, but then they parallel one another so perfectly as physical-mental variation of agility and skill, with DEX being physical agility and skill and INT being mental agility and skill, something beyond the simple offense and defense. I think that's why INT became an option for Reflex in 4E, because moving out of the way of something isn't always as simple as physically automatic reflexes, and physically automatic reflexes just aren't going to help against something like an explosion or lightning strike once it's already happened. It's INT that helps you avoid those things through a mental reflex, quickly interpreting and then reacting to information before your body gets the message, knowledge and prediction.

So, as far as I can see, this is the only possible logical conclusion:

STR is physical power - CHA is mental power
CON is physical endurance - WIS is mental endurance
DEX is physical agility/skill - INT is mental agility/skill


I've been in agreement with other threads suggesting CON be dropped, so I similarly have little problem with having the mentally analogous WIS dropped. There's no WIS-based mechanic that I can think of that I can't either (a) just as well move to another ability or (b) make entirely ability-independant.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
I've always equated the mental stats with the physical ones.

STR = INT
DEX = WIS
CON = CHA

Intelligence is how mentally strong you are, Wisdom is how mentally agile, and Constitution is mental toughness.

You have that all wrong. It goes like this:

STR is physical power - CHA is mental power
CON is physical endurance - WIS is mental endurance
DEX is physical agility/skill - INT is mental agility/skill

Explanation
Show
There's plenty of evidence for this in the actual mechanics of the game, and it also has to deal with how defenses were grouped in 3.5 as compared to 4E:

3.5 CON towards Fortitude, 4E added STR as an option
3.5 DEX towards Reflex, 4E added INT as an option
3.5 WIS towards Will, 4E added CHA as an option

This wasn't coincidental or random. They were like that for a reason, and that reason, at least when it comes to Fortitude and Will, was that they began considering "the best defense is a good offensive" to be valid.

Said another way, remember back in 3.5 where there were opposed rolls? Think of it like that. An effect that targets your bodily fortitude can either be defended against via a defensive ability (CON, as in 3.5) or opposed by an offensive ability (STR, as added in 4E). Likewise, an effect that targets your mental fortitude (Will) can either be defended against via a defensive ability (WIS, as in 3.5) or opposed by an offensive ability (CHA, as added in 4E).

WIS is clearly the mental CON, and that becomes especially obvious when you consider that kinds of things that it does, particularly for classes like the Cleric. Faith and focus are mental unshakability, the ability of the internal self to keep from being affected by external force.
CHA is clearly the mental STR, and that becomes especially obvious when you consider the kinds of things that it does, particularly for classes like the Sorcerer. Spirit and influence are mental power, the ability of the self to exert force and affect the external.

You can even see it in skills with things like Athletics being shows of exerting physical influence on one's physical surroundings while Endurance is a defense of the physical self from physical forces. Diplomacy is a shows of exerting mental influence on other minds while Sense Motive is a defenses of the mental self from mental influence.

It's really DEX and INT that are the odd ones out when considering those dualities, but then they parallel one another so perfectly as physical-mental variation of agility and skill, with DEX being physical agility and skill and INT being mental agility and skill, something beyond the simple offense and defense. I think that's why INT became an option for Reflex in 4E, because moving out of the way of something isn't always as simple as physically automatic reflexes, and physically automatic reflexes just aren't going to help against something like an explosion or lightning strike once it's already happened. It's INT that helps you avoid those things through a mental reflex, quickly interpreting and then reacting to information before your body gets the message, knowledge and prediction.

So, as far as I can see, this is the only possible logical conclusion:

STR is physical power - CHA is mental power
CON is physical endurance - WIS is mental endurance
DEX is physical agility/skill - INT is mental agility/skill


I've been in agreement with other threads suggesting CON be dropped, so I similarly have little problem with having the mentally analogous WIS dropped. There's no WIS-based mechanic that I can think of that I can't either (a) just as well move to another ability or (b) make entirely ability-independant.



The problem with dropping con is that many people are strong, but not healthy or do not have a high endurance or vice versa.  One does not equate to the other, though they are linked to a degree.
The problem with dropping con is that many people are strong, but not healthy or do not have a high endurance or vice versa.  One does not equate to the other, though they are linked to a degree.

The proposals that I've seen for dropping CON do not give all of its stuff over to STR. Instead, they make what CON used to do ability-independent.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
According to the 5e rules:
"Wisdom reflects how attuned you are to your surroundings, representing general perceptiveness, intuition, insight, and other, less tangible senses."

According to a popular online dictionary Wisdom is:
"The quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment."

So one of the issues with wisdom is that it's something different in D&D than what we are likely to assume it is.

If we keep the current definition, then there is a good case for renaming it to perception to avoid this confusion.  There is also a good case for moving Clerics to another primary stat.  I like charisma for this, but an in-depth debate on why is probably worth a standalone thread.

If we go back to the real-world definition (which was also the definition used in the first few editions), you would likely want to move perception (the skill) to a different ability.  There is also a fairly good argument for not needing it as a core ability at all, as experience and knowledge don't really belong in that initial 'layer' of character generation and 'good judgement' is a minor facet of character that could easily be rolled into INT.
I'm confused.

wis·dom
noun


1.
the quality or state of being wise;  knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight.



Doesn't that more or less cover everything wisdom covers in D&D?

People seem to have problem with the whole perception thing, because they want to look at it as senses = perception.  In the past couple editions, sharp senses have been simulated by feats (alertness, quick recon, etc..), and I imagine DDN will include sharp senses as a theme of some kind.  Wisdom is used for perception because most of having good perception is being able to discern (or judge) what's important.  Sharp senses just give you a bonus.

Some examples...

1) While a rogue player is crawling through an underground tunnel, an explosion caused by the wizard player inadvertantly causes a torrent of water to start rushing through the tunnel.  The DM asks the rogue player to make a perception check.  It isn't just about whether the rogue hears the sound of rushing water.  What's important is whether she hears it and is then able to discern that this is the sound of an incoming torrent of water and not a pretty waterfall in a cave up ahead, or maybe even something more incorrect like the call of a strange beast or the roaring of a large furnace (it might sound ridiculous on paper, but in reality, identifying sounds you've heard is often not easy -- especially under pressure).

2) Several characters enter a temple room with symbols covering the walls.  The DM calls for a perception check to see if they notice anything.  In this case, every character can see the symbols, but it takes a wisdom check to notice that one of the symbols doesn't belong (perhaps a clue?).

3) A characters is keeping watch, looking towards a forest on a windy day.  While having sharp vision might help the character notice that several bushes are swaying a little too much, his low wisdom score might cause him to write it off as "probably nothing" or to not even register the discrepancy as relevant.  Wisdom, however, might have allowed the character to notice the rustling as unusual, alerting him to the approach of hidden foes.

Or a real life example...

4) I'm sitting on my computer posting on the D&D forums when I hear a strange sound coming from outside my window.  I immediately hear the sound and identify it as the call of a barking seal.  However, I live in Toronto, a city where seals do not regularly roam the streets.  My wisdom and judgement tell me that the "seal call" I heard must just be a barking dog that happens to sound exactly like a seal.


 
Religion/divine attunement is a different matter.  I sort of agree with an above poster that this could easily be rolled into Charisma and in many ways even makes more sense.  Religion is all about influencing others and, to be blunt, has nothing to do with wisdom.



Religion in D&D funtions differently than real world religion IMO.  In D&D the gods make their presence know much more strongly, followers of exeptional faith perform miracles in the names of the gods in the present D&D timeline.  This makes it much less dependent on the preachers Cha. to persuade the masses to believe in said gods.  

There's also a difference between organized religion and a personal connection with a divine being.  Organized religion is largely driven by charasmatic individuals, probably in the imaginary D&D world and real world.  Having a personal connection with a divine being is something I'm not going into for the real world, but in the D&D world I would imagine it would be Wis. based.  I can see a case for this to be Cha. based, but I still feel Wis is a better fit IMO, not a clearly supperior one though.  



I agree with this 100%.  In a world where gods are established to be real, having "knowledge of what is true or right" is important for understanding the gods mysteries and true motives.  If you can't understand a gods true motives and/or lack the judgement to enact his or her will through your actions, why would that god trust you with any sort of special power?

In my opinion, characters with low wisdom would be much more likely not to believe in the gods outright, which in the world of D&D is incorrect.  The gods are very real in D&D and high wisdom characters are more likely to realise that.
The problem with dropping con is that many people are strong, but not healthy or do not have a high endurance or vice versa.  One does not equate to the other, though they are linked to a degree.

The proposals that I've seen for dropping CON do not give all of its stuff over to STR. Instead, they make what CON used to do ability-independent.



Hmm.  You have a link to one of those threads?  I'd be interested in seeing the proposals.
According to the 5e rules:
"Wisdom reflects how attuned you are to your surroundings, representing general perceptiveness, intuition, insight, and other, less tangible senses."

According to a popular online dictionary Wisdom is:
"The quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment."

So one of the issues with wisdom is that it's something different in D&D than what we are likely to assume it is.

If we keep the current definition, then there is a good case for renaming it to perception to avoid this confusion.  There is also a good case for moving Clerics to another primary stat.  I like charisma for this, but an in-depth debate on why is probably worth a standalone thread.

If we go back to the real-world definition (which was also the definition used in the first few editions), you would likely want to move perception (the skill) to a different ability.  There is also a fairly good argument for not needing it as a core ability at all, as experience and knowledge don't really belong in that initial 'layer' of character generation and 'good judgement' is a minor facet of character that could easily be rolled into INT.



Wisdom has been experience, knowledge and good judgment for 4 editions now.  I think a better case could be made to try and convince WoTC not to mess with wisdom and just leave it be.  Perception is not a "stat", but rather a skill or secondary ability. 
It's an interesting shift to see Wisdom as Insight and to then adjust the skill accordingly in both directions.  Not sure if I like it or not, but that's what they have done so far.
In my experience, Wisdom has always been the most problematic attribute to define as well. In large part, I think this is because it both has the most nebulous and inconstant definition (as demonstrated above), and because it is the hardest to measure. All of the stats are abstractions to some degree, but some moreso than others. I've considered before that "Wisdom" might be more accurately named "Awareness", though that isn't immune from these problems either. Language is an imperfect tool, and there really isn't a word for exactly what Wis is supposed to represent.

Regarding Wisdom and divine casting, I always interpreted that as in a world where the gods' power is very real, your ability to connect to that greater power is determined by your ability to percieve, and spiritually connect to it. Alternatively, if you prefer the more distant gods and strength through personal conviction approach, it can be seen as a way of attuning one's inner being with one's surroundings, through which your power is manifested (good for Druids), or that a powerful awareness and founded perception of the outside world grants the internal conviction needed for divine power; those who are uncertain of the world cannot have the faith to overcome it (my preferred approach).

The one modification I did actually instate to the attribute rules of 3.x was the way Will saves worked. Wisdom gave its bonus on saves vs. Illusions, but Cha gave its bonus to saves vs. Enchantments.

Regarding the neccessity of Wis (and Con), this is ultimately an arbitrary issue. All of the stats overlap on some level or another when you look deep enough, and through rebranding and reattribuing uses you can make any number of functional combinations. Some games only use base attributes, while others have none are are entirely skill-based. The question is what do we want for D&D. At this point, I'm willing to say keep the classic 6. Even if there are marginally-better names they could go by, StrDexConIntWisCha is iconic enough to be worth it. Especially given the more attribute-based system 5e is looking towards, I don't think it's a good idea to consolidate it down to just 4. 6 is a good number for that; you need at least some breadth, but too much defeats the purpose of simplifying.

And regarding the OP, there are a lot of problems with the "mirror test", but that's an entirely different issue.
Charisma in D&D has changed,



??  How so?
The problem with dropping con is that many people are strong, but not healthy or do not have a high endurance or vice versa.  One does not equate to the other, though they are linked to a degree.

The proposals that I've seen for dropping CON do not give all of its stuff over to STR. Instead, they make what CON used to do ability-independent.



Hmm.  You have a link to one of those threads?  I'd be interested in seeing the proposals.



Here you go: 

community.wizards.com/dndnext/go/thread/...

Never something that they'd ever do in 5e, but some interesting posts in there.
Here's why Charisma makes more sense to me as a Divine magic stat than Wisdom: it's not because of Charisma as your presence and charm (although you would expect evangelists to have those things; keep in mind, the gods are real but there are more than one, so churches still need to go out and hustle for influence and worshippers in a crowded spiritual marketplace), but because Charisma also represents your sense of self and your force of personality. 

In a world of millions and millions of lower beings who all clamor for attention, who does a God or Goddess decide to listen to and impart some of their power to? People whose self-knowledge and self-possesion (the "strong aura" or "old soul" we find in genre fiction) pushes them ahead of the crowd.

I suppose the answer here is to draw the lines slightly differently:


  • Option A: you could focus Wisdom to be more genuinely about perception and insight, so that it involves things like Perception, Search, and Sense Motive, but not things like Healing, Survival, Profession (which should definitely be Int, Con?, and Int) and Divine Magic (which would be shifted to Charisma), and the Charisma as will-power and force of personality side of things is emphasized. 

  • Option B: you could make Wisdom genuinely about will-power, self-knowledge, and force of personality, and make Charisma more specifically about how well you understand and interact with other people. (After all, plenty of strong-willed, self-knowing, and forceful personalities experience social difficulties because other people see them as arrogant and pushy). I'd move the perception-based stuff into either Intelligence or Dexterity, and Healing, survival and Profession as above. 

Race for the Iron Throne - political and historical analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire.
Charisma in D&D has changed,



??  How so?

Charisma didn't include beauty before. The first "solution" was to create a Beauty ability, but it wasn't a nice patch (AD&D 1st ed.).

Now, it's accepted that beauty can be a parameter of a strong Charisma. Charisma is more flexible, the player determining the nature of the character's Charisma. (stunning beauty, animal magnetism, frightening presence, serene presence or else).

I'm confused.

wis·dom
noun


1.
the quality or state of being wise;  knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight.



Doesn't that more or less cover everything wisdom covers in D&D?

People seem to have problem with the whole perception thing, because they want to look at it as senses = perception.  In the past couple editions, sharp senses have been simulated by feats (alertness, quick recon, etc..), and I imagine DDN will include sharp senses as a theme of some kind.  Wisdom is used for perception because most of having good perception is being able to discern (or judge) what's important.  Sharp senses just give you a bonus.




I think this is a pretty compelling argument.  Allow me to fill in the missing conclusion.

So perception, is:

1. Obtaining sensory input (the chance of doing so and/or the quality thereof being improved by sharper senses)
2. Having relevant experience
3. Applying #2 to #1 to reach a conclusion.  I guess you'd want an ability to do that, maybe one that reflects 'your ability to reason, recall information'.

That makes perception an INT check, with #1 perhaps represented by a feat as you suggest, and #2 perhaps represented by background bonuses.

That same reasoning supports the idea that Wisdom doesn't really belong in the core abilities; if it's just experience/knowledge then there are already better mechanics available to represent that.




I'm confused.

wis·dom
noun


1.
the quality or state of being wise;  knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight.



Doesn't that more or less cover everything wisdom covers in D&D?

People seem to have problem with the whole perception thing, because they want to look at it as senses = perception.  In the past couple editions, sharp senses have been simulated by feats (alertness, quick recon, etc..), and I imagine DDN will include sharp senses as a theme of some kind.  Wisdom is used for perception because most of having good perception is being able to discern (or judge) what's important.  Sharp senses just give you a bonus.




I think this is a pretty compelling argument.  Allow me to fill in the missing conclusion.

So perception, is:

1. Obtaining sensory input (the chance of doing so and/or the quality thereof being improved by sharper senses)
2. Having relevant experience
3. Applying #2 to #1 to reach a conclusion.  I guess you'd want an ability to do that, maybe one that reflects 'your ability to reason, recall information'.

That makes perception an INT check, with #1 perhaps represented by a feat as you suggest, and #2 perhaps represented by background bonuses.

That same reasoning supports the idea that Wisdom doesn't really belong in the core abilities; if it's just experience/knowledge then there are already better mechanics available to represent that.






To be honest, I always kind of felt that Intelligence was the problem.  I feel like if you're going to have three "mental" stats, calling one of them "intelligence" is ridiculously broad.  I tend to think of Intelligence in D&D as specifically relating to knowledge and memory, but the dictionary definition of intelligence includes much more than that.

In my opinion, a lot of checks that traditionally use Wisdom or Charisma, and even some that use Dexterity could be argued to use Intelligence instead (and under the new system, likely will be).  I don't think the problem is that Wisdom, Charisma, or Dexterity are poorly defined.  I think the problem is that Intelligence is.
int = booksmart, wis= streatsmarts.  That's what I meant by "life experiences".
Reactions to life are not the same as being well versed in "life experiences",  You don't even have to have lived out in the world to know these things. Some people are just born very "Wise".

It's great if you want to build a new world that isn't D&D, but this is how D&D has always done/explained things. 



Yeah, Wisdom is "street smarts" (understanding people/having "common sense" about the world around you... totally separate from how good you are at intellectual endeavors).

We've all known people who were quite intelligent, but have absolutely no common sense (high INT, low WIS... the nutty professor type guy)

And we've known people who were just the opposite, with a low intellect, but very good at just reading/understanding people and the world around them (low INT, high WIS). 

And then of course there is Charisma, which doesn't have to do with smarts at all. It is instead "personal magnetism/attractiveness", be it physical or mental or both, which is completely unrelated to whether they are street smart or have a high intellect.
Leadership and class choice should have NOTHING to do with each other, EVER. Conflating the two is simply horrendous game design.
Str (lift weights) = Int (recall memory)
Dex (agility) = Wis (perception-art)
Con (endurance) = Cha (willpower-rapport)
It's an interesting thought, but it never bothers me.
I always think of it with the old:
A character with high intelligence and very low wisdom builds a boat to cross the river.
A character with high wisdom and very low intelligence walks 15 miles till he finds a safe crossing point.
A player with high charisma gets other people to fix the problem for him, and if he can't, he doesn't get nervous if he has to swim across. 
A few guidelines for using the internet: 1. Mentally add "In my opinion" to the end of basically anything someone else says. Of course it's their opinion, they don't need to let you know. You're pretty smart. 2. Assume everyone means everything in the best manner they could mean it. Save yourself some stress and give people the benefit of the doubt. We'll all be happier if we type less emoticons. 3. Don't try to read people's minds. Sometimes people mean exactly what they say. You probably don't know them any better than they know themselves. 4. Let grammar slide. If you understood what they meant, you're good. It's better for your health. 5. Breath. It's just a dumb game.
just to add something:

as in Ad&d 2.9 (Player's Option: Skills and Powers), stats were split in two:

STR = Muscle x Stamina
DEX = Aim x Balance
CON = Fitness x Health
INT = Intellect x Knowledge
WIS = Intuition x Willpower
CHA = leadership x Appearance 

 

I'm confused.

wis·dom
noun


1.
the quality or state of being wise;  knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight.



Doesn't that more or less cover everything wisdom covers in D&D?

People seem to have problem with the whole perception thing, because they want to look at it as senses = perception.  In the past couple editions, sharp senses have been simulated by feats (alertness, quick recon, etc..), and I imagine DDN will include sharp senses as a theme of some kind.  Wisdom is used for perception because most of having good perception is being able to discern (or judge) what's important.  Sharp senses just give you a bonus.




I think this is a pretty compelling argument.  Allow me to fill in the missing conclusion.

So perception, is:

1. Obtaining sensory input (the chance of doing so and/or the quality thereof being improved by sharper senses)
2. Having relevant experience
3. Applying #2 to #1 to reach a conclusion.  I guess you'd want an ability to do that, maybe one that reflects 'your ability to reason, recall information'.

That makes perception an INT check, with #1 perhaps represented by a feat as you suggest, and #2 perhaps represented by background bonuses.

That same reasoning supports the idea that Wisdom doesn't really belong in the core abilities; if it's just experience/knowledge then there are already better mechanics available to represent that.

There's another problem with Wisdom as "knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight" : From there Wisdom makes no more any sense as a spellcasting ability for the clerics.

Faith is the reverse of knowledge by definition. You believe without knowledge, you just believe. In the end, the fact is no one can prove that a god exist or not as it is believed to be. Even in D&D, who can tell if D&D gods are not cosmic vampires sucking the faith of intelligent races ? Are they the equivalent of flowers from a different point of view, maybe not higher but just different ?

If Wisdom is defined as a kind of knowledge, then it makes no more sense as a cleric spellcasting ability than Strength for a cleric of a divinity of war, Charsima for a cleric of a divinity of beauty or Intelligence for a cleric of a divinity of Knowledge (an old paradox).

"Knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action". Then we just have to roll a Wisdom check and if we succeed, the DM just tell us what is true or right and tell us the best action to take next ? The more Wisdom we have, the more right we are ?
 
I take another definition :

Intelligence
noun
1. capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding, and similarforms of mental activity; aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts, meanings, etc.
2. manifestation of a high mental capacity.
3. the faculty of understanding.

As I understand it, you can not be wise without being intelligent before.


Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma can not work as defined in dictionaries. When playing, these words means exactly what is written in dictionaries, but on the character sheet, these terms are defined by the rules of the game.


And just because I'm a bad guy...

Dexterity
noun
1: readiness and grace in physical activity; especially : skill and ease in using the hands
2: mental skill or quickness

By definition, Dexterity is a mental skill ! Specialized in the use of the hands Laughing


All of this just to say that I am really not sure that dictionaries will help us at all in our d&D discussions Wink

As I understand it, you can not be wise without being intelligent before.


Exactly.  Wisdom is a function of knowledge/experience applied to a given situation by use of reasoning (i.e. Intelligence).  And knowledge/experience is situational.  So the old wizard might seem very wise in situations involving deep metaphysical quandries, but come across as a doddering fool when pressed for romantic advice by the rogue or required to track a pack of wolves through the forest.
Yeah. I really don't think intelligence is linked to wisdom.   I look at from the perspective of being foolish or a just slow learner.     Intelligence  is your ability to learn and wisdom is your ability to apply that knowledge.        An intelligent fool might know that the bottle infront of him likely contains poison, but if dared to drink it he just might.    Likewise, a person with a learning disability might not be foolish enough to play chicken with the cars on the highway.

There is a component that is missing from D&D and that's creativity.    Intelligence doesn't breed creativity.

I'm confused.

wis·dom
noun


1.
the quality or state of being wise;  knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight.



Doesn't that more or less cover everything wisdom covers in D&D?

People seem to have problem with the whole perception thing, because they want to look at it as senses = perception.  In the past couple editions, sharp senses have been simulated by feats (alertness, quick recon, etc..), and I imagine DDN will include sharp senses as a theme of some kind.  Wisdom is used for perception because most of having good perception is being able to discern (or judge) what's important.  Sharp senses just give you a bonus.




I think this is a pretty compelling argument.  Allow me to fill in the missing conclusion.

So perception, is:

1. Obtaining sensory input (the chance of doing so and/or the quality thereof being improved by sharper senses)
2. Having relevant experience
3. Applying #2 to #1 to reach a conclusion.  I guess you'd want an ability to do that, maybe one that reflects 'your ability to reason, recall information'.

That makes perception an INT check, with #1 perhaps represented by a feat as you suggest, and #2 perhaps represented by background bonuses.

That same reasoning supports the idea that Wisdom doesn't really belong in the core abilities; if it's just experience/knowledge then there are already better mechanics available to represent that.



There's another problem with Wisdom as "knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight" : From there Wisdom makes no more any sense as a spellcasting ability for the clerics.

Faith is the reverse of knowledge by definition. You believe without knowledge, you just believe. In the end, the fact is no one can prove that a god exist or not as it is believed to be. Even in D&D, who can tell if D&D gods are not cosmic vampires sucking the faith of intelligent races ? Are they the equivalent of flowers from a different point of view, maybe not higher but just different ?

If Wisdom is defined as a kind of knowledge, then it makes no more sense as a cleric spellcasting ability than Strength for a cleric of a divinity of war, Charsima for a cleric of a divinity of beauty or Intelligence for a cleric of a divinity of Knowledge (an old paradox).





I disagree with the way you're approaching this.  Even within the context of Earthly religions, faith is not belief without knowledge, it's belief without proof.  Someone who possesses true faith knows that their god is real, regardless of whether or not this is actually true.  However, in the case of any D&D campaign with divine magic, this is true.  Someone who knows this with all of their being has knowledge of what is true or right in D&Dland.

However, I think a lot of the above isn't even valid, because in my opinion, faith in the D&D universe is less about having faith that the gods are real and more about having faith that your god is the correct choice.  Plus, the cleric is being rewarded for his faith with divine magic.  That seems like a pretty wise call to me.  In fact, in a world where there are clerics that can literally heal wounds and even raise people from the dead doubting the existance of the gods would be unwise, if anything.

Whether or not that applies to the real world, isn't a topic for discussion here.  You can't compare religion in D&D to religion in the real world.  They manifest in completely different ways.



"Knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action". Then we just have to roll a Wisdom check and if we succeed, the DM just tell us what is true or right and tell us the best action to take next ? The more Wisdom we have, the more right we are ?
 
I take another definition :

Intelligence
noun
1. capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding, and similarforms of mental activity; aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts, meanings, etc.
2. manifestation of a high mental capacity.
3. the faculty of understanding.

As I understand it, you can not be wise without being intelligent before.


Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma can not work as defined in dictionaries. When playing, these words means exactly what is written in dictionaries, but on the character sheet, these terms are defined by the rules of the game.


And just because I'm a bad guy...

Dexterity
noun
1: readiness and grace in physical activity; especially : skill and ease in using the hands
2: mental skill or quickness

By definition, Dexterity is a mental skill ! Specialized in the use of the hands 


All of this just to say that I am really not sure that dictionaries will help us at all in our d&D discussions 



Actually, under the rules of D&D Next it will totally matter, because the rules of the game don't define the terms.  In 3e and 4e skills were tied to abilities.  D&D Next leaves it up to the DM.  Unless DMs are provided with a list of actions matched to ability scores, how are they supposed to just assume that words don't mean what they mean?

That's why I think it's wonderful that you've brought this up, even if I disagree with your conclusion.

I assume the classic 6 ability scores are too iconic for Wizards to change them without "ruining the game" for a lot of people.  However, I really think the system would be much more graceful if the abilities were changed to STRength AGIlity CONstitution LOGic WISdom & CHArisma.  I feel like that set of abilities would retain the flavour of the originals, while making it slightly clearer as to what ability should cover what during play.

This is especially important for new players.  Especially new DMs.

In fact, I would even go so far as to change CONstitution to TOUghness and CHArisma to CHArm.  I'm sure some people would see this as "dumbing the game down", but if so, I want you to ask yourself how often you use the words "constitution" and "charisma" when you're not talking about D&D?

I'm confused.

wis·dom
noun


1.
the quality or state of being wise;  knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight.



Doesn't that more or less cover everything wisdom covers in D&D?

People seem to have problem with the whole perception thing, because they want to look at it as senses = perception.  In the past couple editions, sharp senses have been simulated by feats (alertness, quick recon, etc..), and I imagine DDN will include sharp senses as a theme of some kind.  Wisdom is used for perception because most of having good perception is being able to discern (or judge) what's important.  Sharp senses just give you a bonus.




I think this is a pretty compelling argument.  Allow me to fill in the missing conclusion.

So perception, is:

1. Obtaining sensory input (the chance of doing so and/or the quality thereof being improved by sharper senses)
2. Having relevant experience
3. Applying #2 to #1 to reach a conclusion.  I guess you'd want an ability to do that, maybe one that reflects 'your ability to reason, recall information'.

That makes perception an INT check, with #1 perhaps represented by a feat as you suggest, and #2 perhaps represented by background bonuses.

That same reasoning supports the idea that Wisdom doesn't really belong in the core abilities; if it's just experience/knowledge then there are already better mechanics available to represent that.



There's another problem with Wisdom as "knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight" : From there Wisdom makes no more any sense as a spellcasting ability for the clerics.

Faith is the reverse of knowledge by definition. You believe without knowledge, you just believe. In the end, the fact is no one can prove that a god exist or not as it is believed to be. Even in D&D, who can tell if D&D gods are not cosmic vampires sucking the faith of intelligent races ? Are they the equivalent of flowers from a different point of view, maybe not higher but just different ?

If Wisdom is defined as a kind of knowledge, then it makes no more sense as a cleric spellcasting ability than Strength for a cleric of a divinity of war, Charsima for a cleric of a divinity of beauty or Intelligence for a cleric of a divinity of Knowledge (an old paradox).





I disagree with the way you're approaching this.  Even within the context of Earthly religions, faith is not belief without knowledge, it's belief without proof.  Someone who possesses true faith knows that their god is real, regardless of whether or not this is actually true.  However, in the case of any D&D campaign with divine magic, this is true.  Someone who knows this with all of their being has knowledge of what is true or right in D&Dland.

However, I think a lot of the above isn't even valid, because in my opinion, faith in the D&D universe is less about having faith that the gods are real and more about having faith that your god is the correct choice.  Plus, the cleric is being rewarded for his faith with divine magic.  That seems like a pretty wise call to me.  In fact, in a world where there are clerics that can literally heal wounds and even raise people from the dead doubting the existance of the gods would be unwise, if anything.

Whether or not that applies to the real world, isn't a topic for discussion here.  You can't compare religion in D&D to religion in the real world.  They manifest in completely different ways.

I just opposed faith and knowledge as dictionaries definitions were involved.

I forgot these ones, then Laughing

Knowledge
noun
1. acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from studyor investigation; general erudition: knowledge of many things.
2. familiarity or conversance, as with a particular subject or branch of learning.
3. acquaintance or familiarity gained by sight, experience, or report.
4. the fact or state of knowing  the perception of fact or truth; clear and certain mental apprehension.
5. awareness, as of a fact or circumstance.

Faith
noun
1. confidence or trust in a person or thing.
2. belief that is not based on proof.
3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion.
4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit,etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.
5. a system of religious belief.


Charisma
noun,plural charismata
1. Theology . a divinely conferred gift or power.
2. a spiritual power or personal quality that gives an individual influence or authority over large numbers of people.
3. the special virtue of an office, function, position, etc., that confers or is thought to confer on the person holding it anunusual ability for leadership, worthiness of veneration, or the like.


Knowledge is represented by intelligence and wisdom if we follow the dictionary, but faith is only bound to these abilities by the fact that they allow an individual to believe.
And by definition, Charisma is a granted "spellcasting ability" by a divinity...

I always joke about D&D parasitic gods, and it is based on the (D&D) facts that D&D gods take a lot and give very little or nothing at all. The eat the total faith of all their worshippers to gain and maintain their positions. And in return they give big supernatural abilities to a little number of people that are "formed" to gather more faith for their patrons.

Faith, in D&D, is very complicated.
When I discovered the Forgotten Realms setting and its Wall of the Faithless, my first hope with the setting was that there was a mean to escape or destroy this abomination or the gods themselves. It wasn't the case. What is faith in the forgotten Realms ? Pure Fear of the afterlife ? The faithless must be saints overloaded with willpower to not bow to the realms gods !
Having faith in a good aligned god in the forgotten realms is believing that this god is good when it makes nothing against an abomination like the Wall of the Faithless. This wall is the ultimate proof that gods in the realms despise free will.
I know it's not coherent with the profile of some FR gods, and 4th edition version has at least ended this incoherence.

Having faith in a god in D&D is even more complicated by divine classes. They can heal and pick who will live and who will not ? Why these genocidal adventurers and not our poor sick girl ? Why don't gods give healing powers to any good willed people ? And so on.

When you talk about comparing religion in the real world, do you include the radically different polytheistic "faith systems" from our past ? Praying to gods was more to keep them quiet than to adore them most of the time. I think D&D should assume this point of view and adopt cultures where the average worshiper worship an entire pantheon, and more to stay out of trouble than anything.
In this case, it is showing Wisdom to give some respect to gods ! Wink

To give my point of view about divine spellcasting ability : they should use the ability best represented by the worshipped god. Worshiping a god of madness with a high Wisdom is funny, but doesn't make sense... Oh wait ! if it doesn't make sense, it then makes sense... But if it makes sense, your god won't be happy and kill you, isn't it ?

I've always equated the mental stats with the physical ones.

STR = INT
DEX = WIS
CON = CHA

Intelligence is how mentally strong you are, Wisdom is how mentally agile, and Constitution is mental toughness.



You have that all wrong. It goes like this:

STR is physical power - CHA is mental power
CON is physical endurance - WIS is mental endurance
DEX is physical agility/skill - INT is mental agility/skill



I don't see it like that at all for the following reasons.

Charisma is force of personality, and how easily your personality is overcome, and how much easier you can overcome the personality of others. Con is your physical hardiness, and how quickly you succumb to poisons and diseases. They are both resistance abilities.

Dexterity is how quickly you move or react, the more dexterious the faster you move, the more you can twist by fast moving traps, and other hazards. Wisdom allows you to see what others cant, and notice things before others, and use pure intuition without prior knowledge. These are also both reactive abilities.

Finally Strength is pure power, as is Intelligence. The purely physical fighter uses strength, and the purely mental wizard uses Intelligence. A fighter has to work out to build his strength, and the more a wizard studies the more he knows and can recall, you must exercise both to get the most use out of them.

I don't see it like that at all for the following reasons.

There was a huge spoiler block after my statement explaining just how perfect my reasoning is. I find it hard to believe that you read it or else you wouldn't have replied the way that you did, because your analogues are extremely poorly reasoned, based on pretty much nothing, while mine is based almost entirely on the actual mechanics of the game.

Charisma is force of personality, and how easily your personality is overcome, and how much easier you can overcome the personality of others. Con is your physical hardiness, and how quickly you succumb to poisons and diseases. They are both resistance abilities.

If that definition for Charisma were true, then it would have been Charisma that we traditionally used for Will saves. But it wasn't, it was Wisdom. What you're describing for Charisma makes it an offensive ability that can be used a defensive only as far as opposing itself, like a mental opposed-Strength check. Constitution does not have such a property.

Dexterity is how quickly you move or react, the more dexterious the faster you move, the more you can twist by fast moving traps, and other hazards. Wisdom allows you to see what others cant, and notice things before others, and use pure intuition without prior knowledge. These are also both reactive abilities.

All that you just did was describe Dexterity and Wisdom. You've completely failed to show how the two are in any way similar. Plus, any reasoning that tries to use Wisdom's ties to perception skills is going to be flawed, because those ties are widely regarded as tenuous at best. Even your statement of their both being reactive abilities is misleading, as Dexterity is not a purely reactive ability.

Finally Strength is pure power, as is Intelligence. The purely physical fighter uses strength, and the purely mental wizard uses Intelligence. A fighter has to work out to build his strength, and the more a wizard studies the more he knows and can recall, you must exercise both to get the most use out of them.

Fighter and Wizard are not analogous, though, on the martial-arcane scale. The proper analogy would be more like Fighter : Sorcrer :: Rogue : Wizard. What the Fighter does with strength requires no physical flexibility or skill, just brute force, and what the Sorcerer does with Charisma requires no mental flexibility or skill, just brute force. What the Rogue does with Dexterity and what the Wizard does with Intelligence, on the other hand, those do require flexibility and skill physically and mentally respectively. Having to "exercise" to get better is an attribute of every ability score, for example with the Rogue stretching and practicing its tricks to get more out of Dexterity and the Cleric praying and meditating to get more out of Wisdom.

If what you say were true, then, for example, 4E would have used Intelligence and Charisma for Will Defense and then would have used Dexterity and Dexterity and Wisdom for Reflex defense.

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I did read it, and I don't agree with it. Is it that hard to grasp that even with all you said I still can't agree even with your "perfect" logic?

Just because that is how they did it in 4e does not means I agree with how they did it. I have always thought that DEX or Wisdom should be used for reflex. For one you got the hell out of the way because you are quick, the other, you got out of the way because you saw, or just felt it coming. The same for AC.

I also feel that CHA could have been used for HP. For the Con based, you can take a bunch of abuse because you are tough, for the other you just refuse to give up and are able to push yourself past your body's natural limits. CHA can also attacks someone's wisdom, to see thorugh lies for example. Your personality versus his intuition.

Wisdom is not a buildable score like intelligence and strength. Doing Where's Waldo on a daily basis will not make you better at noticing Waldo, studying on a daily basis will make you more intelligent and be able to recall more of the information.

Finally a sorcerer manipulates magical energies by sheer will of force, it's not from learned experience, his personality controls the elements. A wizard uses his knowledge to make it work

Also, because you feel that it is based on nothing does not mean it is. I didn't need to get into a long winded explination, nor will I now. But I will say just because something hasn't been, doesn't mean that I feel it should be. This is one of those agree to disagree things, so I'll leave it at that.


Having faith in a god in D&D is even more complicated by divine classes. They can heal and pick who will live and who will not ? Why these genocidal adventurers and not our poor sick girl ? Why don't gods give healing powers to any good willed people ? And so on.




In my opinion as a DM, if a cleric isn't in line with her deity's beliefs, she should lose her ability to use divine magic until she returns to the path, or begins serving a different deity who supports what she stands for.

According to the Wikipedia article on Pelor, for example:
"Pelorians believe that the life-giving sun is the best cure for all of Oerth's ills. Justice and freedom are brought about through charity, modesty, perseverance, and self-sacrifice. Pelor's priests teach that the truly strong don't need to prove their power. Pelorians strive to perform so many good acts that evil has no room in which to exist, though they will fight if necessary. Pelor is wrathful against the forces of evil, and is especially opposed to the undead. However, Pelor urges his followers to remember that excessive attention to things of evil can blind one to the truly important things: compassion and goodness. These are what must be emphasized above all."

Simply put, if a player decides to play a cleric who worships Pelor and then refuses to heal a poor sick girl, Pelor should take note of this.  Similarily, how could a cleric who is constantly saving the lives of the dying, claim to be favoured by Nerull?  In my opinion, players shouldn't play divine characters just for the mechanical advantages.  They should play them because they want to roleplay a divine character.

I remember I had a player in 3.5e who made an aventi (underwater human) wizard.  He described his character as having lived his entire life trapped in an underwater cave by his father.  When asked if there were any books or tomes of any kind in the cave, he explained that there weren't.  When asked then, how he learned magic, he responded that "he just did".  And what kind of magic did he specialise in?  Fire magic, of course!

According to the rules, this was technically all fine.  Sometimes it's up to the DM and players to realise that the rules need to be overruled in certain specific cases based on roleplaying and characterisation.  If a player roleplays a certain character type unrealistically, that character's never going to make sense.

Then again, sometimes it is fun to just see what kind of wacky hijinks an untrained underwater-dwelling fire mage can get up to...



When you talk about comparing religion in the real world, do you include the radically different polytheistic "faith systems" from our past ? Praying to gods was more to keep them quiet than to adore them most of the time. I think D&D should assume this point of view and adopt cultures where the average worshiper worship an entire pantheon, and more to stay out of trouble than anything.
In this case, it is showing Wisdom to give some respect to gods ! 




I agree, although more along the lines of how it played out in those past cultures' mythologies than actual reality (which I think might be what you mean too).  In Greek mythology, for example, ordinary people prayed to the gods to "keep them quiet" as you said, and also to offer minor blessings.  Great heroes, however, often received greater gifts from the gods who were in line with their cause, just like the heroes in D&D.


To give my point of view about divine spellcasting ability : they should use the ability best represented by the worshipped god. Worshiping a god of madness with a high Wisdom is funny, but doesn't make sense... Oh wait ! if it doesn't make sense, it then makes sense... But if it makes sense, your god won't be happy and kill you, isn't it ?





I'm not sure I agree.  In my opinion an insane character who has managed to gain the favour of a god of madness doesn't worship that god solely because he's insane.  If anything, his insanity grants him a unique insight and perspective on the universe.  Most characters in the world see only a chaotic god of madness, but this character is actually able to understand the mad gods true purpose and goals.  Other characters may see this cleric as deranged and inhuman, but that doesn't prevent him from possessing a dark and cryptic wisdom.  There is often a fine line between insightful brilliance and insanity, especially in the world of fantasy.