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

ad_hoc

(he/they)
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.

I'm not saying that it should be covered by Int.

Int covers the ability to memorize facts.

All that other stuff is also not covered by Int either.

The point is that if a player wants to play a 'stupid' character here are other ways to do it that may accomplish what they're looking for, depending on what it is they're actually looking to do. The point is that people aren't stupid.

If they want to be perceived as being stupid then playing a foreigner might be a way to do so.
 

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ad_hoc

(he/they)
I don’t think this is a wise joke to make in a thread as heated as this.

I edited in the explanation of the joke though I think it should be clear at this point that I think intelligence is nonsense and it's a joke about that. The idea that the OP is objectively poorly written because there are people arguing over it is absurd. People have trouble understanding all kinds of things for many different reasons. Write anything and someone is going to have trouble understanding it because they approach it from a different frame of reference, they infer things based on their cultural background that aren't there, etc. etc.
 

ReshiIRE

Adventurer
If they want to be perceived as being stupid then playing a foreigner might be a way to do so.
Jesus, mr / mx, think about what you're saying.

Going into potentially very murky ground with something that plays into racist tropes and ideas is not the way to combat ableism.

I don't think it's wrong to say portray how people foreign to a culture are treated as 'stupid' when they're not and people from the dominant culture are being ignorant, but I would certainly not play a character who is foreign just so I could portray someone as 'stupid'.
 

ad_hoc

(he/they)
I agree with the point you’re trying to make, but this is a really terrible way to express it.

It's truth though.

And it would be a good exploration of what it means be considered 'intelligent'.

I'm talking fictionally. I don't think it's a good idea to take an actual real life culture that isn't yours and imitate it. That's terrible.
 


ad_hoc

(he/they)
Jesus, mr / mx, think about what you're saying.

Going into potentially very murky ground with something that plays into racist tropes and ideas is not the way to combat ableism.

I don't think it's wrong to say portray how people foreign to a culture are treated as 'stupid' when they're not and people from the dominant culture are being ignorant, but I would certainly not play a character who is foreign just so I could portray someone as 'stupid'.

Again, don't portray someone as 'stupid'.

Just don't.

That's the whole point.
 

squibbles

Adventurer
Look, I am sorry, I have been searching of a summary of this excellent video on the infamous Bell Curve book, and why it's *******, and ineed so much of the ******** around IQ, but I can't find one.

It's just... it is a long video, and I myself haven't watched all of it, but god damn. The part at teh ending reviewing the political motivations of a lot of these people promoting and funding this research should be chilling enough.

I mean, hell, the fact that someone mentioned that IQ scores have to continuing being normalised because well, apparently, people today crush earlier ones... doesn't that prove it's all crap? Doesn't that prove it's a measure of a certain type of education, and resources we have today? Are we seriously suggesting that the human beings alive are somehow smarter than earlier ones... when really, we just have access to better and better resources?
The Flynn effect doesn't prove that general intelligence is crap. There are reasonable and interesting explanations for it. One, for example, is that human nutrition has improved substantially in the countries that have experienced it. Just as peoples' height has grown substantially in a lot of countries as a result of rising living standards, so has general intelligence.

There are thoughtful and reasonable scholars trying to understand these phenomena. Try for example, looking up an academic review article about the state of intelligence research--like any academic subfield, there are many differing but reasonable evidence-based views.

That's not to say it can't also be true that political actors use this research to advance an agenda.

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.
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.
Inaccurate nonsense in D&D, I'd completely agree.

The intelligence ability score governs arcana, history, investigation, nature, and religion checks, wizard and artificer spellcasting, and saves against a rare and not especially coherent grab bag spells and monster abilities. It is just as well to think of it as an abstraction of book-learning, rather than anything else.
 


ad_hoc

(he/they)
An insulting way to do so. You could even say xenophobic.

I thought you were trying to avoid insulting portrayals.

I have no idea how it is insulting to play a character who isn't from Faerun or whatever. People can come from different places.
 


Just to be clear, I think this is a really really bad idea:
R.b8e2677a879d3231174dff0326464652

Again, I reiterate: bad bad idea. Don't try this at home kids.
 

Faolyn

Hero
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).
Joke or not, maybe instead of saying "they aren't very intelligent," go back and see if you were as clear as you thought you were.
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
It's truth though.

And it would be a good exploration of what it means be considered 'intelligent'.

I'm talking fictionally. I don't think it's a good idea to take an actual real life culture that isn't yours and imitate it. That's terrible.
You should try to consider the optics of your arguments a bit more. Yes, it is (unfortunately) true that a lot of people think foreigners are stupid. Suggesting that if someone wants to play a character who is perceived as stupid they ought to play a foreigner makes it look like you are one of those people. I understand that you aren’t, but that might not be as clear to all readers, and people will be less inclined to take your argument charitably if they get the impression that you’re a xenophobe. Moreover, people arguing in bad faith will absolutely not hesitate to take advantage of this potential misunderstanding, painting you as the bigoted one.
 

pming

Legend
Hiya!

Not what I said. I said the attitudes fostered and normalized therein.

I should hope reasonable and mature adults would take responsibility for what they are promoting while playing their children's pretend game.
I think you are misunderstanding me a bit.
There is a stark difference between:
"LOL! Stupid characters are hilarious!"
..and...
"LOL! Stupid people are hilarious!"

That's my point. A game is not 'reality' and people that think something in a game (or book, movie, comic, etc) is somehow directly congruent to reality are the ones with the "problem", not the person or people writing/enjoying the portrayal. Does that make more sense? (and no, I'm not singling out anyone as "no...you are!"; I'm trying to express why I don't think there's any problem with playing a stereotypical [insert stereotype] 'thing' in a game).

You are just 100% missing the point here.
Apparently I am. And just blurting out "you are 100% missing the point here" isn't doing anything to help me grasp "the point". I thought "the point" was "if you play a stupid PC because you have a low Int/Wis, then you are doing something bad"...and my point is, "No, it isn't, because it's an RPG and not real".

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 

Voadam

Legend
Int covers the ability to memorize facts.

All that other stuff is also not covered by Int either.
Narratively in D&D intelligence is more than memorizing facts.

5e PH page 12

Intelligence
Measures: Mental acuity, information recall, analytical skill
Important for: Wizard

Page 177
INTELLIGENCE
Intelligence measures mental acuity, accuracy of recall, and the ability to reason.
INTELLIGENCE CHECKS
An Intelligence check comes into play when you need to draw on logic, education, memory, or deductive reasoning. The Arcana, History, Investigation, Nature, and Religion skills reflect aptitude in certain kinds of Intelligence checks.
 

ad_hoc

(he/they)
Okay look.

Lots of people want to play illiterate characters who don't know things and call them 'stupid'.

Now to that I say don't play stupid characters. If you want that experience there are lots of different ways to do it through traits and behaviours.

One of those is to play as a foreigner.

Imagine you've lived in one country your whole life and only know the language you're from. Now move to another country where no one knows your language and you don't know theirs and there is a bunch of magic you've never seen before.

You're going to have a tough time but it isn't because you're 'stupid'.

Maybe this will accomplish achieving the experience you wanted when you set out to play a 'stupid' character and maybe it won't. If it won't pick another trait or behaviour.

I'm going to say it once more for those in the back and then I'm not repeating it any more.

Don't play 'stupid' characters.
 


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