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D&D 5E How do you determine your initial Attributes?

How do you determine your initial Attributes?

  • Rolled

    Votes: 46 39.7%
  • Standard Array

    Votes: 26 22.4%
  • Point Buy

    Votes: 44 37.9%

  • Total voters
    116

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Does that take a 6 to think of?
It takes a lot more reasoning ability than a horse or a dog have, and those two are smarter than your typical animal.
Why would it need the mental capability of someone who only gets a -2 on history, arcana, etc, checks to know that you don't hit something if it hurt the first time or to know that it can use basic tools?
It's because of the limitations of the game mechanics. The game only goes down to -5 and a basic animal is at -4. A monkey who is smarter than basic animals should be at -3. That puts apes at -2. You could more accurately reflect things if there were more penalties, such as if every number below 10 was a penalty of 1, instead of every other.
 

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Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I actually think a 6 is appropriate for apes. The DM should know that the ape isn't going to have history, arcana, etc. and just not allow those rolls. The outcomes is not in doubt, so the answer is no. However, if that gorilla punches the knight in plate mail and hurts his fist, it's going to be smart enough to reason out that the grabbing that big stick to bash in the side of the knight's helmet will be more effective and involve less knuckle pain.

Are we talking a D&D Gorilla punching, or a real Gorilla punching. The D&D one only has a 16 Strength... and some huge dinosaurs only have a 19. I'd like to bemoan the silliness of the 5e strengths for creatures too.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
It takes a lot more reasoning ability than a horse or a dog have, and those two are smarter than your typical animal.

It's because of the limitations of the game mechanics. The game only goes down to -5 and a basic animal is at -4. A monkey who is smarter than basic animals should be at -3. That puts apes at -2. You could more accurately reflect things if there were more penalties, such as if every number below 10 was a penalty of 1, instead of every other.

But are they using intelligence or wisdom?

Intelligence
Wisdom
Does not hitting things that hurt when you do and using sticks as tools seem more like an intelligence thing or something with perception and survival?
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
But are they using intelligence or wisdom?

Intelligence
Wisdom
Does not hitting things that hurt when you do and using sticks as tools seem more like an intelligence thing or something with perception and survival?
It's reasoning ability, which is explicitly intelligence in 5e. There might be a component of wisdom to it. It's wiser not to hit something hard with your fist 5 times before you reason out a solution, but the solution is reasoning. The hunting tactics of chimps and advanced tool use of apes came about from intelligence.
 

I like how Alternity handled Intelligence and Personality (ie Charisma) for non-sapient creatures. They had a score indicating those abilities in relation to sapient beings, and a score in parentheses that compared them to other non-sapient creatures. You would use the value that made the most sense in a particular situation.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
It's reasoning ability, which is explicitly intelligence in 5e. There might be a component of wisdom to it. It's wiser not to hit something hard with your fist 5 times before you reason out a solution, but the solution is reasoning. The hunting tactics of chimps and advanced tool use of apes came about from intelligence.
It's not the same kind of reasoning as spell casting, writing, and history though, is it? Why would apes with an int of six not easily be able to be taught what a random other humanoid with an int of six can do? If they can't do everything an arbitrarily chosen creature with an int of six could do, then do they have an int of six or a lower int with proficiency in tool using?

Isn't hunting part of survival which is under wisdom?
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
It's not the same kind of reasoning as spell casting, writing, and history though, is it? Why would apes with an int of six not easily be able to be taught what a random other humanoid with an int of six can do? If they can't do everything an arbitrarily chosen creature with an int of six could do, then do they have an int of six or a lower int with proficiency in tool using?

Isn't hunting part of survival which is under wisdom?
Hunting is. Tactics are not. What the Chimps do goes well beyond tracking down prey and killing it.
 


Gygax may or may not have said something along those lines a half century ago, but then again he said a lot of things. It's coincidence that the range of intelligence times 10 roughly coincides with the range of IQ, so personally I find it a useful general approximation.

In any case, ability scores in D&D are a broad oversimplification and IQ is not much (if any) better.

Just for reference, according to this site, the AD&D 1e MM states that "Intelligence indicates the basic equivalent of human 'IQ'" and that that the IQ = 10x INT thing originates from Dragon Mag #8. The former would have been a Gygax thing, the latter was Brian Blume.
 





Amrûnril

Explorer
You can draw any kind of assumptions you want, but it's still a strawman. It's just coincidence that there's any correlation at all. In both cases they're just a simplified approximation. I know someone with a 18 intelligence is really, really smart. Just like someone who scored a 180 IQ. Just like people on average have around a 10-11 intelligence and average IQ is a little above 100.

The rules say nothing about the distribution of intelligence in the general population.

If anything, I'd argue that it's the proposed IQ-correspondence that's the coincidence. The 3d6 system was designed to generate all six abilities, but I've never seen any comparable relationship put forward for dexterity or wisdom. It's exactly the sort of system you'd design, though if your goal was to generate a bell curve that could be mapped onto other bell curves, whether or not those other curves are explicitly defined.

But whatever the original intent, I agree that the current rules say nothing about ability score distributions in the population. My primary reasoning in using the 3d6 bell curve interpretation is simply that I find it to be intuitive and to correspond well with the small mechanical effects of ability score differences.
 



Amrûnril

Explorer
I would think some of them would differ a lot on stats going from the bonobo to the gorilla.

True, but if you insist on that level of granularity everywhere, you end up with a monster manual of nothing but real-world creatures*. Presumably the black and brown bear are distinguished because the developers saw bears as more likely combat opponents than non-humanoid apes.

*which could actually be fun, but only if you came up with better ways of differentiating them than ability scores, hp and damage
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
True, but if you insist on that level of granularity everywhere, you end up with a monster manual of nothing but real-world creatures*.

A book of real life animals around the world with quality pictures and stats would be something I'd buy. Even having a single entry for groups of animals, but having pictures and brief ecology notes for them around the world would be cool. Six kinds of eagles from different continents? Five songbirds each from NA, SA, Africa, Europe, South Asia, East Asia, Australia and the Pacific Islands? Herd animals from around the world etc...
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Just for reference, according to this site, the AD&D 1e MM states that "Intelligence indicates the basic equivalent of human 'IQ'" and that that the IQ = 10x INT thing originates from Dragon Mag #8. The former would have been a Gygax thing, the latter was Brian Blume.
I have some of my old books, including the 1E AD&D book. The entry on intelligence simply states what intelligence corresponds to with 1 being animal intelligence and 19-20 being "supra-genius". If it's there I'm missing it.

In any case that still has nothing to do with the distribution of intelligence in the general population being determined by a 3d6 bell curve.
 

Voadam

Legend
True, but if you insist on that level of granularity everywhere, you end up with a monster manual of nothing but real-world creatures*. Presumably the black and brown bear are distinguished because the developers saw bears as more likely combat opponents than non-humanoid apes.

*which could actually be fun, but only if you came up with better ways of differentiating them than ability scores, hp and damage
A 4e style bestiary where there were unique combat mechanics for each animal would be a lot of fun.

In 3.5 there was The Bestiary: Predators for those who want 250 pages of CR 1/8 to 9 real world animal predators.

The balance issue of course would be 5e druids and wildshape which sort of keeps animals in a low CR low AC, few mechanical effect monster role and in part discourages lots of animal development for fear of druids running away with it.
 

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