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D&D 5E Don't play "stupid" characters. It is ableist.

ad_hoc

(he/they)
First off, I completely agree with your basic premise. However, as I pointed out in my initial post here (and others have pointed out as well), you went about this a bad way. Because Intelligence, the D&D score, isn't about how people perceive you; it's about your actual abilities. So if you're playing a person with Int 7, but you decide to play this person as being from a very different country and having problems adapting, you're saying "foreigner = stupid." Especially since your Int doesn't become higher if you were to travel back to your country, since that's not how D&D works. Same thing for any of the other ideas you posted there; none of them are really tied to Intelligence, the D&D stat--or any other D&D stat. At most, they're Personality Traits (to go along with Bonds, Ideals, and Flaws). "I am new to this country and I'm not adapting well."

Intelligence in D&D is about your ability to memorize facts and a character with an 8 Int has a marginally worse ability to do so.

No, this has nothing to do with stats when someone wants to play a 'stupid' character.

I'm not saying "foreigner = stupid" I'm staying no one = stupid.

I'm not providing alternate ways to play stupid characters because people shouldn't play stupid characters.
 

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Faolyn

Hero
Intelligence in D&D is about your ability to memorize facts and a character with an 8 Int has a marginally worse ability to do so.

No, this has nothing to do with stats when someone wants to play a 'stupid' character.

I'm not saying "foreigner = stupid" I'm staying no one = stupid.
Right. But your initial post was incredibly vague, considering that this is a game that has attributes for mental characteristics.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I played a lot of hockey when I was younger. I aslo played football (the sissy kind with the pads) as well as a ton of other sports. I fear that many of the posters here would run screaming from their first practice or the first game, when the trash-talking starts.
Mod Note:
We discussed how you were going to have to be more respectful. Outright insulting people is right out.

You've earned yourself a week's vacation from EN World. If you choose to return, please don't treat people so shabbily.
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
First off, I completely agree with your basic premise. However, as I pointed out in my initial post here (and others have pointed out as well), you went about this a bad way. Because Intelligence, the D&D score, isn't about how people perceive you; it's about your actual abilities. So if you're playing a person with Int 7, but you decide to play this person as being from a very different country and having problems adapting, you're saying "foreigner = stupid." Especially since your Int doesn't become higher if you were to travel back to your country, since that's not how D&D works. Same thing for any of the other ideas you posted there; none of them are really tied to Intelligence, the D&D stat--or any other D&D stat. At most, they're Personality Traits (to go along with Bonds, Ideals, and Flaws). "I am new to this country and I'm not adapting well."
Right, which illuminates the underlying issue of the socially constructed idea of “intelligence” as an inherent quality of someone’s brain functionality that can be be described with a single number and rated on a bell curve. It’s inaccurate nonsense in D&D and in real life. Don’t worry about “roleplaying your character’s intelligence,” give your character traits that you want to play, and let the system math do its thing.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
There has never been a direct correlation between IQ distribution and the 3d6 bell curve ever mentioned in an official D&D book.
I think the 10/1 ratio is mentioned in the 1e DMG (might be the PH). I'll look up a page reference later if anyone cares.
 

Faolyn

Hero
So this is where you are going now in this thread? Assuming I am bigot, especially with kids around?
Did I say you were? No. I didn't even imply you were. I asked why a hypothetical fellow gamer--in an incredibly loud place, according to you--would come over to your table to say you were being offensive? Right now, you're trying to claim that something... bad? would happen because one day a person might come over to you and say you're being offensive. This is a thing that hasn't even happened yet, but you're treating it as an inevitability.
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
Did I say you were? No. I didn't even imply you were. I asked why a hypothetical fellow gamer--in an incredibly loud place, according to you--would come over to your table to say you were being offensive? Right now, you're trying to claim that something... bad? would happen because one day a person might come over to you and say you're being offensive. This is a thing that hasn't even happened yet, but you're treating it as an inevitability.
You may have missed it, but the poster you’re responding to has been suspended for a week, so they won’t be able to answer you.
 




ReshiIRE

Adventurer
I'm not saying "foreigner = stupid" I'm staying no one = stupid.
I pretty much agree with you (since the 18 pages of arguing isn't over whether your post could be understood, it's really about well... people not actually engaging in, you know, the premise and idea and screaming about being criticised maybe a little bit and then bringing in fecking IQ of all things to try to disprove your point?!), but you did say:
Maybe they find themselves in a culture which is very different than their own and they struggle to adapt. Their common isn't very good and the way they view the world is different than those around them.
That isn't reflective of what the INT score means; as problematic in aspects as it is, INT is more so treated as objective of a character's abilities. All of your other examples are fine, but this one wouldn't be covered by INT.

However, you are right in that people do often assume someone who is primarily speaks a different language or has a different culture to the place they currently find themselves in are often treated as if they are 'dumb' or 'stupid'.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
Some would brag...others would complain...it's a can't win situation. :)
Yeah, I don’t see the appeal personally. I mean, I kind of do - improvisational acting can be a lot of fun, especially with a cool premise and interesting characters. But, you don’t need D&D to do that. D&D is also a game, with rules and strategy and all that junk. When I want to play D&D, I want to engage in both.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
does that mean we should ban driving trucks?
You know we heavily regulate driving trucks, right? Like…it’s much more restricted than anything suggested in this thread.
that if you want a D&D game where no PC has a stat lower than average,
No one suggested that.
And we do. If someone at our table were low intelligence, nobody would make fun of that person or try to roleplay a low intelligence when it might make that person feel bad about himself. So long as nobody at our table is below average in intelligence, though, it's no harm, no foul. My players aren't going to suddenly start going out and making fun of low intelligence people just because we roleplay low intelligence PCs.
I’ve seen you comment on ADHD before. Your ADHD never lead to people talking to you like you’re stupid?

Because every time someone equates low intelligence to bad memory I certainly like that person a bit less than I did before. Just one example.

I’ve also had people call me stupid because I didn’t pay attention to something because my mind was running away on a wild tangent that I couldn’t stop.
Well, I can tell that some people posting here have never had a relative classified as mentally handicapped or had a friend with a relative like that.
exactly.
Not commenting on the actual point, but I do find it interesting to see it made here while so much of Tumblr and Twitter are pretty enamored by the himbo and herbo archetypes for characters
“Herbo”? I have never seen that word before. I’ve only seen people call such characters a himbo, regardless of gender.
 

ad_hoc

(he/they)
Right, which illuminates the underlying issue of the socially constructed idea of “intelligence” as an inherent quality of someone’s brain functionality that can be be described with a single number and rated on a bell curve. It’s inaccurate nonsense in D&D and in real life. Don’t worry about “roleplaying your character’s intelligence,” give your character traits that you want to play, and let the system math do its thing.

This.
 

ad_hoc

(he/they)
I think the fact that people have spent a chunk of these 18 pages trying to figure out what exactly you meant says otherwise.

Maybe they just aren't very intelligent.


(to be clear I think intelligence is a load of nonsense. It's a joke made to make fun of someone who is insistent that I'm not making sense because there are lots of pages arguing over the OP).
 
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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
I pretty much agree with you (since the 18 pages of arguing isn't over whether your post could be understood, it's really about well... people not actually engaging in, you know, the premise and idea and screaming about being criticised maybe a little bit and then bringing in fecking IQ of all things to try to disprove your point?!), but you did say:

That isn't reflective of what the INT score means; as problematic in aspects as it is, INT is more so treated as objective of a character's abilities. All of your other examples are fine, but this one wouldn't be covered by INT.

However, you are right in that people do often assume someone who is primarily speaks a different language or has a different culture to the place they currently find themselves in are often treated as if they are 'dumb' or 'stupid'.
The thing is, the int score only “measures your reasoning and memory,” while intelligence checks are used “when you need to draw on logic, education, memory, or deductive reasoning,” with the various skills under the umbrella of intelligence all “measure(ing) your ability to recall lore” about a particular subject and investigation being used for making logical deductions.

Basically, the only things Intelligence represents are the things it directly affects rolls to do. There’s no need to roleplay anything in particular based on your character’s intelligence, the rules of the game will insure that you succeed more or less often on intelligence related tasks as appropriate to your intelligence score.

If you want to roleplay traits typically associated with certain levels of intelligence, using them as personal characteristics like personality traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws, or simply making them roleplaying choices will help keep the focus on them being individual traits that aren’t directly related to a number that claims to represent the character’s level of intellectual capability.
 
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