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D&D 5E Idea for Int

Einlanzer0

Explorer
It seems to be pretty commonly held that Int is a bit too much of a dump stat in 5e. I've spent time considering ways to make it more generally attractive without stepping on the toes of other attributes, making anything over- or under-powered, being too finicky, or resulting in too much bookkeeping.

What if your Int modifier was used to modify your effective level in determining your proficiency bonus? I.e. a 1st level character with an 18 Int would use the proficiency bonus of a 5th level character, or +3. For purposes of completing the chart, you can imagine anything below 1st to be a +1 or anything above 20th as being +7.

Thoughts?
 

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Einlanzer0

Explorer
Connecting INT to an attack role seems odd.

I disagree. In essence, Intelligence is about knowledge, tactics, and quick thinking, which means that it basically benefits everything you do. The fact that it provides an advantage to basically everything is mitigated by the size of the advantage, roughly 1/4 the effect of something more specialized like Str or Dex.

In other words, Int is of particular benefit to versatile characters who do a variety of things.
 

Ezequielramone

Explorer
I wouldn't touch the proficiency.
I'd go with this, in the case I want to use int to represent in a heavier way your capability to learn, add +5% xp per +1 bonus. You could apply a max of 15% with a +3 on int.
 


Einlanzer0

Explorer
I wouldn't touch the proficiency.
I'd go with this, in the case I want to use int to represent in a heavier way your capability to learn, add +5% xp per +1 bonus. You could apply a max of 15% with a +3 on int.


In a lot of ways that makes more sense, but it has the problem of requiring actual calculations and bookkeeping.
 


Einlanzer0

Explorer
Doing that for languages and tools would be fine, I think.

The thing is, though, despite what a lot of people seem to think, I feel that Int should actually a play small-moderate direct role in combat, and not just in RP or skill encounters. Years ago I came up with a Tactics mechanic that involved rerolls and utilized Int, but it's a bit heavy for people who don't really like straying from the core rules.
 

n0nym

Explorer
If you touch Intelligence, you have to do it in a way that doesn't favor Wizards too much since it's obviously a free gift for them.

Your idea is good, but I would change Wizards' spellcasting ability then (make it Wisdom).

Additional tools / languages has always seemed to me the fairest modification though. My players disagreed unfortunately, so I decided to grant them +1 skill per Intelligence bonus point and moved Wizards spellcasting ability to Wisdom (and Cleric's to Charisma, but that's another topic).
 

WarpedAcorn

First Post
Doing that for languages and tools would be fine, I think.

I think this is the extent that Int should play a role outside of its current form. I also don't think its a dump stat, although I'm not sure that every DM is making players make knowledge or investigation checks to learn useful information as they should.
 

Giant2005

First Post
You should check out my submission for the Dungeon Master's Guild: Intelligence Matters (don't worry - it is free). It has feats, spells, optional rules, and subclasses which all help mitigate the Intelligence issue you are referring to.
 

Einlanzer0

Explorer
I think this is the extent that Int should play a role outside of its current form. I also don't think its a dump stat, although I'm not sure that every DM is making players make knowledge or investigation checks to learn useful information as they should.

It's kind of a core problem with the attribute that it has a very soft role in the game outside of Wizards, meaning that getting the full use out of it is dependent on the DM running the game in a certain way. I don't think it's ideal, honestly, and the argument you're making here could be made to some degree for the other attributes as well, despite the fact that they also have significant direct effects on gameplay (with the possible exception of Charisma, which is in a similar boat to Int but is at least used by a lot more class mechanics).

My ideal for the game is that pretty much every attribute is attractive to pretty much every class, making characters more diverse and score choices more impactful. I think Int creates the biggest outlier, where there is generally no dilemma whatsoever with it. If you need it for your class, which is rare, you pump it. Otherwise, you dump it, because every other stat is significantly more useful.
 
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I think this is the extent that Int should play a role outside of its current form. I also don't think its a dump stat, although I'm not sure that every DM is making players make knowledge or investigation checks to learn useful information as they should.

My consideration would be for any non-physical skill too (not • Athletics • Acrobatics• Sleight of Hand• Stealth) but it would make sense for a smartie to know more of the rest of the list, tools, languages.
 

Satyrn

First Post
The thing is, though, despite what a lot of people seem to think, I feel that Int should actually a play small-moderate direct role in combat, and not just in RP or skill encounters. Years ago I came up with a Tactics mechanic that involved rerolls and utilized Int, but it's a bit heavy for people who don't really like straying from the core rules.
Maybe comb through the features that are usable X times per day and make appropriate ones usable +int times per day.

Or even more fiddly, give one pool of Extra Uses (=Int bonus). these Extra Uses can be spread amongst all appropriate powers. Replenish on a long rest.

Super Fiddly, appropriate powers have different Extra Use costs. Could help balance by having the strong ones require 4 Extra Uses points.
 


Agreed. I think adding extra skill and tool proficiencies based on Int would be a good choice, as Horwath suggests. That gives them a slight advantage in broad coverage without overly enhancing their existing focus areas.

That being said, I haven't seen Int used as a dump stat so much in my campaigns. I always try to incorporate diverse skill checks and saving throws. If acrobatics and athletics show up as skill checks, you can bet I'm going to balance that out with some sort of arcana or history check.

If you touch Intelligence, you have to do it in a way that doesn't favor Wizards too much since it's obviously a free gift for them.
 

What if your Int modifier was used to modify your effective level in determining your proficiency bonus?
Could be a bit much.

Thoughts?
It does make sense. More simulatoinists games, like the classic RuneQuest threw INT into all sorts of % success formulae, because INT realistically is that nice to have across the board. But Proficiency Bonus is a very delicate place to poke 5e.

Simply calling for INT checks, like Investigation frequently, as a DM, might well be enough to discourage dumping the stat. More INT saves could do it, too.

A traditional place to use INT bonus would be Known Languages, add INT bonus in additional languages. In 5e, that could maybe be Tool Proficiency, too.
 

MrHotter

First Post
I've tried to think of ways to make int more appealing as a stat as well.

One of my house rules was to remove the investigation skill but let players use Int for their perception skill if they want.

I've thought about letting the players use Int for their initiative bonus, but my players with high Int already have high Dex, so it has not been needed in my games.

A well rounded party should have at least one player with high intelligence. Unless the DM does not have many cases where someone can roll history/arcana/religion in the game, the Int player should have a role to fill in the party.
 

What if your Int modifier was used to modify your effective level in determining your proficiency bonus? I.e. a 1st level character with an 18 Int would use the proficiency bonus of a 5th level character, or +3. For purposes of completing the chart, you can imagine anything below 1st to be a +1 or anything above 20th as being +7.
That's a fairly complicated rule, for how little impact it would have. Sometimes it would give you a +1, and sometimes it would do nothing. Wizards would benefit more than anyone else.

Connecting INT to an attack role seems odd.
There's a degree of precedence in many other games. If you're smart, then you learn things faster, which gives you more skill points to spend in some games where weapons are just a skill.

I'd go with this, in the case I want to use int to represent in a heavier way your capability to learn, add +5% xp per +1 bonus. You could apply a max of 15% with a +3 on int.
I'm not sure that it's enough of a penalty to really hurt anyone, but it's enough of a bonus that wizards would be more popular than sorcerers since they gain that benefit at no cost.
I have considered, but not implemented, using the INT bonus as a means to grant more proficiencies
I honestly don't see any problem with that. Let the smart fighter pick up Stealth and Acrobatics, because they're a quick learner.
 

What if your Int modifier was used to modify your effective level in determining your proficiency bonus? I.e. a 1st level character with an 18 Int would use the proficiency bonus of a 5th level character, or +3. For purposes of completing the chart, you can imagine anything below 1st to be a +1 or anything above 20th as being +7.

Thoughts?
I have a concern that I haven't seen mentioned on this thread yet: the variable windows of relevance this creates. The only time you will be guaranteed to see a benefit from this rule is if your character has 20 Intelligence (or more). For lower values, your character will have a +1 bonus to their proficiency at n/5ths of their levels, where n is their Int bonus. The rest of the time, there will be no difference between them and a character with an Int of 10. For example, a 14 Int character sees the bonus at levels 3 and 4, but not 1, 2, or 5.

This creates large blocks of campaign time where the character's intelligence is mechanically irrelevant, and thus the rule is not doing what you wrote it to do. Furthermore, it seems strange from a verisimilitude perspective for the character's extra competence to turn on and off like this.

(Remember how in 3E, sorcerer progression was one level behind wizards, so half the time they couldn't cast the same highest-level spells and half the time they could? Same problem.)
 

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