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

Marandahir

Crown-Forester (he/him)
I feel like I would run it where if PLAYERS are trying to deceive, it would be Deception vs DC Int Mod.
If an NPC is being shifty and PLAYERS want to do the Sherlock thing to figure out what they're hiding from their body language, it would be Insight vs DC Cha Mod.
 

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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.

Again. This is on you, not the system.

Also: wisdom is the stat to notice things. Investigation is used to draw logical conclusions.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Far as I'm concerned... when the only difference between a supposed genius and a regular person is 5 modifier points... I have found the belief that "dump stats" actually matter and are a bad thing to be relatively overblown. Especially when you are adding a d20 to either of their uses, which means even the "dumb" 8 INT person can still hit perfectly reasonable DC 10 and DC 15 checks quite often.

Could the game have a few more things that "officially" require the INT mod added to them on checks? Sure. But even if it doesn't... there's plenty of ways for DMs to bump things if it really bothers them that much. For me... I call for enough INT (Arcana / Religion / Nature / History) checks for the parceling out of campaign information, and INT (Investigation) checks used for finding traps, secret doors, and other hidden objects to inspire plenty of players to not skimp on the stat.

But if the one or two melee tanks want to play "dumb" brutes? Fine! Because even if they do... these supposed "dumb" brutes will still occasionally hit the DCs for information like I mentioned above, thereby not really making them seem that "dumb" after all.
 


tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
Again. This is on you, not the system.

Also: wisdom is the stat to notice things. Investigation is used to draw logical conclusions.
No. This is not a gitgud problem, the design causes problems on on objective levels then demands the GM handle them.
Arcana (ancient mysteries, magic traditions, arcane symbols, cryptic phrases, constructs, dragons, magical beasts)
Architecture and engineering (buildings, aqueducts, bridges, fortifications)
Dungeoneering (aberrations, caverns, oozes, spelunking)
Geography (lands, terrain, climate, people)
History (royalty, wars, colonies, migrations, founding of cities)
Local (legends, personalities, inhabitants, laws, customs, traditions, humanoids)
Nature (animals, fey, giants, monstrous humanoids, plants, seasons and cycles, weather, vermin)
Nobility and royalty (lineages, heraldry, family trees, mottoes, personalities)
Religion (gods and goddesses, mythic history, ecclesiastic tradition, holy symbols, undead)
The planes (the Inner Planes, the Outer Planes, the Astral Plane, the Ethereal Plane, outsiders, elementals, magic related to the planes)
Most of those are gone or condensed into Arcana & a selection of wisdom based skills before being condensed the,selves from a specialized array too large to know down to single skills. It was possible for anyone to be skilled in a niche knowledge related to their niche but intelligence as a star had value because it was the only way to bump them all & because int mod added to skill points. Now players are better off all just taking Arcana and dumping into if the gm intends to make those missing skills important.

The existence of a skill other than perception for a similar function in the context of d&d's game play constraints was not forgotten or overlooked. 5e removes magic item churn & makes magic items a thing the math does not consider causing a skill for where's Waldo problematic. The Sherlock Holmes aspect of investigate is likewise not very fitting with being an important part of d&d as a game. Yes a gm could make a mystery adventure that tries to make investigation important but A: that only goes so far before it feels forced because d&d is not a detective ttrpg and B: it's just not important that players find the clue unless the gm intends to shoot the investigation in the skull when players fail to find or connect the clues.

In earlier editions characters had less extensive toolsets to invoke & the skill system itself was largely whatever felt reasonable to the gm. That no longer works because characters have dramatically larger skillsets to draw upon while there is a skill system that largely hangs on dexterity charisma & wisdom.


"Gitgud & be a better gm" is not the sole source of problem that devalues intelligence into a rewarding dump stat & penalizing primary attribute.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Most of those are gone or condensed into Arcana & a selection of wisdom based skills before being condensed themselves from a specialized array too large to know down to single skills. It was possible for anyone to be skilled in a niche knowledge related to their niche but intelligence as a star had value because it was the only way to bump them all & because int mod added to skill points. Now players are better off all just taking Arcana and dumping into if the gm intends to make those missing skills important.
The 5E game defaults Arcana, History, Nature and Religion all to INT. Basically all four Lore skills are INT. So I'm not sure I'm understanding how INT is getting condensed down to just Arcana in your view? I'm probably misunderstanding you.

But this point is part of the reason why to me it seems odd that so many people seem to think INT has no use when almost every single check for lore or information defaults to INT. Unless those DMs just don't require INT checks for lore or information and just give it out freely? I suppose that's possible but seems a weird gameplay choice to me. Or is it the idea that only one member of the party needs the high INT in order to get all the lore and info the party needs and thus everyone else can "dump" it? I suppose I can understand that way of thinking too... but from a party member perspective I don't know if I'd want us all to put all those eggs into a single Wizard basket and expect them to recall all our answers all the time. Spreading the "recall lore" wealth seems a safer and better bet to me. But maybe that's just me?
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
But this point is part of the reason why to me it seems odd that so many people seem to think INT has no use when almost every single check for lore or information defaults to INT. Unless those DMs just don't require INT checks for lore or information and just give it out freely?
Yeah it's kind of like that. A lot of tables focus on combat more than any other pillar of the game, and lore/info checks in combat are rare. I know a couple of DMs who just waive it altogether, freely giving the players the info they need to advance to the next combat scene.

It's not how I roll, but it's not uncommon.
 
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"Gitgud & be a better gm" is not the sole source of problem that devalues intelligence into a rewarding dump stat & penalizing primary attribute.

I did not say it is a gitgud problem. You said, it can be replaced by player knowledge and arcana.

I count a few more skills and I pointed out, that you can ask for knowledge checks.

I also acknowledged, that int needs a bit more. So if you feel offended, I am sorry.
But if you think, you can replace int fully by player knowledge, this is on you.
 

Yeah it's kind of like that. A lot of tables focus on combat more than any other pillar of the game, and lore/info checks in combat are rare. I know a couple of DMs eho just waive it altogether, freely giving the players the info they need to advance to the next combat scene.

It's not how I roll, but it's not uncommon.

This is totally ok, if someone wants to play that way.
It is also totally ok to ignore encumbrance and social skill rolls.
But then one should not complain about useless stats if one willfully ignores them.

It is totally different to say: we use those mechanics and still feel it is not enough for game balance (which I agree with in the case of int and even cha).
 

SteveC

Doing the best imitation of myself
If you're not playing an Int based class, removing Int from adding extra skills pretty much dumped the importance for a long time. I don't expect this to change it.

I don't like playing dumb characters, but I know that Int is pretty much a flavor thing for characters if their class isn't based on it.
 

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