Intelligence stat

Bear with me, this might be a stupid question, it's based only on a quick readthrough of the playtest material.

It seems like there's not much point to Intelligence - no extra skills, bonuses only on Lore and Search - it seems like it's just going to be a universal dump stat for anybody not a Wizard. Am I missing something?
Extra languages (see races) and checks to realize or remember something, lore skills, also, are quite important.

I think it deserves more spells depending on it as a saving throw. There are only a few.
The most common thing I've noticed come up is search checks.
Intelligence has traditionally been a dump stat for non-wizards, and Next is all about tradition!

< /sarcasm >

The above is essentially true though: 1E/2E didn't really give non-wizards much of a reason to invest in Int. 3E and 4E used Int as a prerequisite for a range of feats, and the fact that the higher of Dex or Int determined your AC and Reflex defense in 4E gave it greater prominence there, but 5E has rolled both of those back.

The fact that it's up against Wisdom - the borg of the mental stats - as a competitor for things to do doesn't help matters.
Our DM gives out lots of "make this intelligence check and be given this cool piece of hidden information" checks. This makes intelligence important, but you're right it's not the best stat.
The Oberoni fallacy only applies to broken rules, not rules you don't like. If a rule you don't like can be easily ignored, it should exist in the game for those who will enjoy it.
There's a huge imbalance between the six abilities. It helps that each is used for saving throws, but the problem is that Int saves are incredibly rare. There's also an imabalance in how useful the abilities are that goes beyond checks, saves and skills. Dexterity, for example, applies to AC and ranged attacks. Constitution gives you more hit points. That makes both of those abilities very valuable for any type of character. The problem is, the other abilities don't offer such benefits. Strength does determine weight limits and applies to melee attacks, but you can easily ignore strength if you don't care about lifting alot of weight (which nobody does once they get a bag of holding) or if you use a finesse weapon, which lets you totally ignore strength in favor of Dex.

I think they need to do the following:
1. Int should be the ability used for saving throws against illusion and confusion effects, on top of things like maze. Wisdom is used for far too many saving throws. They also need to clarify just what is the difference between a wisdom and charisma save. Right now the difference seems really vague.

2. Strength should always be what is used for weapon damage, even for ranged and finesse weapons. You can't tell me archers and monks don't benefit from having a high strength! The only weapons that shouldn't use strength for damage are things like crossbows and blow guns. Crossbows should have a "built-in" strength bonus instead, and blow guns should just do 1 damage (their only purpose being to deliver poison).

3. Each ability needs to offer a secondary benefit. Strength gives higher weight limits, Dexterity gives AC and Con gives HP. But the mental abilities don't do anything, other than Int giving extra languages. I think Int should give a bonus skill or language for each point of bonus. The experimental rule that Charisma determines how many magic items you can have attuned to you could be made official. Cha can also determine max henchmen/bound summoned creatures. That just leaves Wisdom. I'm not sure what benefit it should offer. Ideas?
I would let wisdom determine initiative rather than dex. Ive never understood why being nimble means you get faster at grasping a tactical overview and thus act higher in initiative. Sure you can twitch faster, but a turn is more than just a twitch, it's Calculated actions for which you must show some thought. Death to dex superiority!

Int should be the ability used for saving throws against illusion and confusion effects, on top of things like maze. Wisdom is used for far too many saving throws. They also need to clarify just what is the difference between a wisdom and charisma save. Right now the difference seems really vague.



I'd like to see saves broken down like this:

Strength:
Avoid being pushed or knocked down
Breaking free of restraints (though more often a check than a save)
Avoid being swallowed or engulfed

Dexterity:
Dodging blasts or objects (mosts saves against weapon or energy damage)
Balancing and avoiding falls
Dodging touch and ray attacks

Constitution:
Resist necrotic, poison, disease, thunder, energy drain
Avoid petrification, polymorph, and other physical transformation
Pain effects
Status conditions imposed by physical effects (stunning by a blow, blinding by bright light, deafened by loud sound, etc)
Swarm damage

Wisdom
Resist psychic damage
Avoid being charmed
Resist being magically slowed or put to sleep
Saves against illusion effects
Avoid magical blindness/deafness
Resist capture, destruction of the soul or spirit

Intelligence
Avoid or end confusion effects
Resist mind reading
Avoid/end puzzle-type effects like Maze
Resist language-oriented effects like Zone of Truth

Charisma
Resist fear
Resist domination (charm and other effects where the caster gets to choose your actions)
Resist mental paralysis/restraint like hold person
Avoid banishment/forced teleportation

You can't have too many combat spells that use Int, since they will be virtually impossible to avoid for beasts and other low Int creatures.

For detecting illusions, I'd say you should get a passive Wis check to notice something funny about an illusion (if you paying attention at all), and/or you can take an action to make an Int check to detect that it is an illusion.

1. In some cases it's up to the DM to give meaning/importance to certain stats. If the game is all about combat then Intelligence and Wisdom are really only important to arcane/devine spellcasters. If the GM builds in traps and information gathering then anyone can benefit from passing perception or recall/research attempts.

2. I've always been tempted to split out the 6 abilities into more specific categories.

Take 'Dexterity' - being agile or fast on your feet doesn't necessarely mean you're going to have great small motor skills. Just because you can punch quick doesn't mean you can pick a lock. I'd split the traditional Dexterity into
Agility - large motor skills
Dexterity - small motor skills

Agility - initiative, 'finesse' combat, climbing, acrobatics, hiding in the shadows, etc....
Dexterity - Lock picking, disarming traps, ranged combat, slight of hand, palming objects... etc.    


Wisdom.
Split it into Fortitude and Common Sense.
Fortitude - resisting certain spells, standing up to torture, enduring physical harm.
Common Sense - dermining motive, detecting lies, avoiding being cheated in a sale.
Both traits combine for Devine Magic. 

Intelligence.
Split it into Memory and Problem Solving.
Memory - Recalling Lore, remembering the layout of a dungeon if you're not mapping, recalling a spell.  
Problem Solving - figuring out how a trap or lock works, fixing a object you never saw before, sailing a boat if you have that as a skill. In otherwords - figuring out any task that you haven't already been trained in. 

So now a Rogue who wanted to be able to pick locks and disarm traps would need intelligence and dexterity or Problem Solving and Dexterity - problem solving to figure out how the lock works and dexterity to have the skill to manipulate the tools to pick the lock.

                   
I would let wisdom determine initiative rather than dex. Ive never understood why being nimble means you get faster at grasping a tactical overview and thus act higher in initiative. Sure you can twitch faster, but a turn is more than just a twitch, it's Calculated actions for which you must show some thought. Death to dex superiority!


I have long thought that using Cha for initiative would be best. It seems counter-intuitive, but really makes sense. First, acting quickly is not really about being able to move fast, or to think fast. It's about being able to quickly decide to do something, no matter what it is. The first to act will be the person who doesn't hesitate but just acts. I think that can very reasonably be thought of as part of charisma, since the same quickness and self-assurance is a lot of what makes someone convincing in a verbal discussion.

Second, charisma is about leadership, and leaders should lead. I think it makes a lot more sense for the valiant paladin to lead the charge than the deft rogue, the clever wizard, or the wise cleric.

But this will never happen, init will remain dex. If it didn't change in 4e, it certainly won't change now.
I would let wisdom determine initiative rather than dex. Ive never understood why being nimble means you get faster at grasping a tactical overview and thus act higher in initiative. Sure you can twitch faster, but a turn is more than just a twitch, it's Calculated actions for which you must show some thought. Death to dex superiority!


I have long thought that using Cha for initiative would be best. It seems counter-intuitive, but really makes sense. First, acting quickly is not really about being able to move fast, or to think fast. It's about being able to quickly decide to do something, no matter what it is. The first to act will be the person who doesn't hesitate but just acts. I think that can very reasonably be thought of as part of charisma, since the same quickness and self-assurance is a lot of what makes someone convincing in a verbal discussion.

Second, charisma is about leadership, and leaders should lead. I think it makes a lot more sense for the valiant paladin to lead the charge than the deft rogue, the clever wizard, or the wise cleric.

But this will never happen, init will remain dex. If it didn't change in 4e, it certainly won't change now.



from a meta game perspective I 100% agree that cha should be for init, as it gives combat value to the only stat that doesn't already have it. A reason for the gamer/min maxer(im pro min max) to take cha rather than it only being for the theatrical roleplayer Type player.
I can't follow the logic about why to use it though quick decisions is for me something a smart spotty tactician wargamer (18 int/wis 8 cha) excels at, not the blonde socially smart bimbo (8 int/wis 18 cha)

I would argue that a "bimbo" isn't socially smart, and probably doesn't have a high charisma no matter how nice she looks. Charisma isn't about looks, it's about leadership. It isn't about being likable, it's about being able make people like you, or fear you, or respect you, as the situation requires. It isn't about being emotional, its about being able to communicate and inspire emotions effectively.

I think some of the underlying characteristics that you need in order to do those things are self-assurance, decisiveness, and a healthy dose of ambition. Decisivness in particular is normally portrayed as a leadership trait, and my point is that decisiveness should be the deciding factor for who acts fastest, not physical speed or even alertness.

An examples from literature: Tyrion in Game of Thrones is charismatic, even though he has substantial physical issues to overcome. Nonetheless, I think one of the themes of the series is that Tyrion is really the best leader of his generation among the Lannisters. He is certainly decisive and quick to act. Is he particularly wise? No, he makes some real blunders that a wise character would avoid. Neither is he dextrous. He is certainly intelligent, but the two occasions that I think best exemplify his initiative were not marked by thought and were probably pretty dumb.
Show
When he took up arms to help defend King's Landing, and when he shoots his father.


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Or put it this way: think of characters from books or film (or real life) who you feel had good "initiative." Ask yourself whether they were best described as dextrous, wise, intelligent or charismatic.
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