D&D (2024) Intelligence is your lie detecting stat - is it still a dump stat?

I hate the idea of dump stats and that the point buy and stat array force you to have them. Yes you can use your points and spread them out, but that mechanically weakens your character

It is not necessarily true. You can easily spread out your stats by just accepting a 14 or 15 in your main stat. If you drop a 17 down to 15, save 4 points, which can be used to raise your 8 to 12.
As a ranger, for example, a 14 or 15 in dex is sufficient to get you through the early levels. With a 15, you can take medium armor master at level 4, raise it to 16 and have great AC. Damage and to hit is no problem due to hunter's mark and bow fighting style.
 

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CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
My favorite fix for Intelligence is to use it for Initiative rolls instead of Dexterity. "Initiative is more about quick thinking," I tell my players. "Save throws are about quick reflexes." The rogue hates it (they hate everything), but everyone else likes the change.

Strength-as-a-dump-stat was a problem at my table for a while, until I started enforcing the rules for Encumbrance. The Variant Encumbrance rules in the DMG worked like a charm.
 

SkidAce

Legend
Supporter
My favorite fix for Intelligence is to use it for Initiative rolls instead of Dexterity. "Initiative is more about quick thinking," I tell my players. "Save throws are about quick reflexes." The rogue hates it (they hate everything), but everyone else likes the change.

Strength-as-a-dump-stat was a problem at my table for a while, until I started enforcing the rules for Encumbrance. The Variant Encumbrance rules in the DMG worked like a charm.
I see your point, but then wolves would almost always go last (-4 int mod). And they are portrayed as quick.

We used to joke that initiative should be based on a +1 per 10 ft of movement. Never actually tried it though.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I see your point, but then wolves would almost always go last (-4 int mod). And they are portrayed as quick.
Yeah, things get weird if you try to apply it uniformly across all living things in the game. I always use the Initiative listed in the stat blocks for monsters. Only player characters and certain NPCs use Intelligence for their initiative rolls.
 

Branduil

Hero
I hate the idea of dump stats and that the point buy and stat array force you to have them. Yes you can use your points and spread them out, but that mechanically weakens your character
I don't think the existence of the dump stat is a problem, there's not much point in stats if everyone can be equally good at everything. The problem is the existence of universal dump stats, and the converse universally necessary stats. Every single character can benefit from Dex, Con, and Wis, but the other ones can easily be dumped, depending on the class. Intelligence in particular has suffered from gradually losing benefits until it's become something like a vestigial "wizard" stat.

I think ideally, every stat would have distinct but universal benefits, and deciding on your "dump" stats would always be a painful but necessary choice.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
So one major (and likely controversial) change from the latest packet: Insight is no longer your primary "lie detector" type stats. Deception is now opposed by the intelligence score of the person you are trying to bluff.

This is a major flavor change, no longer is your wise cleric the one sniffing out lies, its your book nerd wizard.

Intelligence has long been thought of as a dump stat for characters not focused in it. Do you think this change will help that? Do you think this change makes sense?
I just know that this "wisdom solves all" idea must die.
 

I don't think the existence of the dump stat is a problem, there's not much point in stats if everyone can be equally good at everything. The problem is the existence of universal dump stats, and the converse universally necessary stats. Every single character can benefit from Dex, Con, and Wis, but the other ones can easily be dumped, depending on the class. Intelligence in particular has suffered from gradually losing benefits until it's become something like a vestigial "wizard" stat.

I think ideally, every stat would have distinct but universal benefits, and deciding on your "dump" stats would always be a painful but necessary choice.

I think having 3 major and 3 minor stats is not bad at all.

You know all, that I disagree that a fighter going dex will be universally better than a fighter going str, but having 3 stats that are a bit less important is good for the game. If you can't afford to have a few lower stats, there is only one possibility to assign stats. 13,13,13,12,12,12. I don't think we want that.

That does not mean, that a little bit of use should be gotten out of the minor stats.

Str, with unarmed combat/ shove/ grapple and encumbrance/armor is ok.
Charisma with its relevance in social interaction is also in an ok spot. I'd also guess that we see cha in the bastion/homebase system a bit more.

Now having int join those stats by being the social defense seems cool. I'd also add language and/or tool proficiencies for high int.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
I think having 3 major and 3 minor stats is not bad at all.

You know all, that I disagree that a fighter going dex will be universally better than a fighter going str, but having 3 stats that are a bit less important is good for the game. If you can't afford to have a few lower stats, there is only one possibility to assign stats. 13,13,13,12,12,12. I don't think we want that.

That does not mean, that a little bit of use should be gotten out of the minor stats.

Str, with unarmed combat/ shove/ grapple and encumbrance/armor is ok.
Charisma with its relevance in social interaction is also in an ok spot. I'd also guess that we see cha in the bastion/homebase system a bit more.

Now having int join those stats by being the social defense seems cool. I'd also add language and/or tool proficiencies for high int.
Intelligence is not "a bit less important" to a pc, it's completely unimportant to a pc charisma & strength will at least be felt should the PC ever need to do social stuff or interaction with heavy stuff... Intelligence checks can be entirely filled by player knowledge and the give mind of another player making a lucky d20 roll.
 

Intelligence is not "a bit less important" to a pc, it's completely unimportant to a pc charisma & strength will at least be felt should the PC ever need to do social stuff or interaction with heavy stuff... Intelligence checks can be entirely filled by player knowledge and the give mind of another player making a lucky d20 roll.

If you substitute player knowledge for character knowledge, there is nothing you can do.
If you do frequent lore/investigation checks a we do, int is not totally a waste.

Do you have players flex their muscles if you want them to open a door? Or do you let them always smooth talk to have their characters get something in game?

The problem with int and cha to an extend is, that some people who play that game are absolutely against using those two stats to solve social encounters or mental challenges. They think that this is something the player's charisma and knowledge should do. If you as a DM encourage that, yes, int and cha are always dumb stats. And if noone bats an eye, that the 8 int barb solves every puzzle and the 8 cha druid is the face of the party, that is cool. And then, if noone objects, that every str 8 character carries 1000s of coins, even better. But if you ignore rules and complain about dump stats, that is at least partially on you.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
If you substitute player knowledge for character knowledge, there is nothing you can do.
If you do frequent lore/investigation checks a we do, int is not totally a waste.

Do you have players flex their muscles if you want them to open a door? Or do you let them always smooth talk to have their characters get something in game?

The problem with int and cha to an extend is, that some people who play that game are absolutely against using those two stats to solve social encounters or mental challenges. They think that this is something the player's charisma and knowledge should do. If you as a DM encourage that, yes, int and cha are always dumb stats. And if noone bats an eye, that the 8 int barb solves every puzzle and the 8 cha druid is the face of the party, that is cool. And then, if noone objects, that every str 8 character carries 1000s of coins, even better. But if you ignore rules and complain about dump stats, that is at least partially on you.
No it's not a "you as a gm" thing where the lack of value to intelligence can be blamed on the gm. Most of the things that int checks cover are things that can be player knowledge unless the gm starts creating new mechanics or just declaring that int is needed for this lock/survival check/Athletics check/acrobatics check /etc.

edit: Wisdom is the stat to understand things. Intelligence is the stat to know things. That's always been the case but 5e compressed the skills & things is pretty much just arcana.
 
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