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

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
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?
Yes it does. It does so after combining a bunch of distinct subskills that were the reason why the character sheet knowledge section
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  • The single skill arcana is combined from all of these once distinct subskills: ancient mysteries, magic traditions, arcane symbols, cryptic phrases, constructs, dragons, magical beasts)Architecture and engineering (buildings, aqueducts, bridges, fortifications
  • The single skill history is combined from these once distinct subskills: royalty, wars, colonies, migrations, founding of cities
  • The single skill nature is combined from all of these once distinct subskills: animals, fey, giants, monstrous humanoids, plants, seasons and cycles, weather, vermin
  • The single skill religion is combined from all of these once distinct subskills: gods and goddesses, mythic history, ecclesiastic tradition, holy symbols, undead
On top of no longer having +intmod or +[intmod times N] to how many skills you have a player can now conceivably know the entire array with ease.

I did not say it is a gitgud problem. You said, it can be replaced by player knowledge and arcana.
"What kind of breath does a blue dragon have?", "does a mummy have a phylactery like a lich?", " does X have Y"? is absolutely a thing player knowledge can avoid needing to ask to begin with. The trouble with making some of the other arcana examples critical is the fact that a GM needs to get that information to the players somehow or they are confused & don't know enough to understand things if not just stuck at a roadblock with no idea what to do.
I count a few more skills and I pointed out, that you can ask for knowledge checks.
I agree there are those skills just that they tend to be pretty far into the extreme niche of the kinds of plots stories & gameplay that d&d itself specializes towards. If those are important they suffer the same "players need to get the info somehow or...." as arcana. Even then a good sized group is bound to have nature & religion across a druid/ranger/cleric/paladin & history itself is pretty niche even compared to those.
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.
None taken. I think we were talking about a different flavor of player knowledge that changes some of the context in important ways & the reasons why frequent checks of importance don't really do it. Hopefully we can point at the same metaphorical page a bit better now :D
 
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Gorck

Prince of Dorkness
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.
Wait, where are the Initiatives listed in the monster stat blocks?!?!?! I've been using their DEX modifiers all these years.
 

Horwath

Legend
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
there is too few points in point buy pool.
4d6D1 gives you around 31/32 pts worth of abilities.
point buy is only 27

PF1 got it right by having 32pt point buy pool. It's 20 by you start with all 10s instead of 8s.

raising point buy pool to 32 while still limiting max "bought" ability to 15 would do wonders to prevent dump stats.
Yes, you could still go for 15,15,14,14,8,8. For that 17&16 with +2 and +1. But that would be in minority. At least with every table that I played.

maybe have 22 pts pool and starting with 10,10,10,10,10 and 8. So you can only dump one ability. And to have option of having an 8 as character flaw if you really wish it.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
  • The single skill arcana is combined from all of these once distinct subskills: ancient mysteries, magic traditions, arcane symbols, cryptic phrases, constructs, dragons, magical beasts)Architecture and engineering (buildings, aqueducts, bridges, fortifications
  • The single skill history is combined from these once distinct subskills: royalty, wars, colonies, migrations, founding of cities
  • The single skill nature is combined from all of these once distinct subskills: animals, fey, giants, monstrous humanoids, plants, seasons and cycles, weather, vermin
  • The single skill religion is combined from all of these once distinct subskills: gods and goddesses, mythic history, ecclesiastic tradition, holy symbols, undead
On top of no longer having +intmod or +[intmod times N] to how many skills you have a player can now conceivably know the entire array with ease.
I still think I'm not getting it? Or at least how your explanation of Knowledge skills is making INT less desirable? The condensation of dozens of INT-based Knowledge subskills down to 4 "super-skills" doesn't reduce the number of times INT is used or asked for... it just reduces the number of proficiencies that are required to get better at any of those things.

All those subskills you mention all still use INT as their baseline stat... regardless of whether or not the check asked for is the subskill itself, or the 5E skill that it falls under. If you ask players for a check about the Migration of X tribe... in 3.5E and 5E they both will add your INT mod to the check. In 5E it'd be an INT (History) check... in 3E a Knowledge (Migration) check that includes the INT modifier in it. In all cases... the checks made will include the INT modifier. That number doesn't change. The only thing that changes is the other bonus amount from skill points or proficiency bonus.

Now granted... there are several skills in 3E that use INT specifically and do not necessarily have a corresponding INT-based check in 5E. Appraise in 3E uses INT... and in 5E the DM would have to choose for themselves which ability score would apply (probably INT, but it doesn't necessarily have to be). Disable Device in 3E uses INT, whereas in 5E it would probably be DEX (Thieves Tools). Forgery in 3E uses INT, but in 5E again it would be up to the DM to choose which ability score you'd add the proficiency in Forgery Kit to. Probably INT again... but not necessarily. And finally anything Spellcraft related in 3E would fall under Arcana in 5E and thus use INT as well. So all told 5E lost INT use in disarming traps (which COULD be a big deal and number depending on campaign) and there might be a few other occasional checks lost to INT in 5E... but those seem few and far between to me.

I do not disagree that 3E uses INT for more different things than 5E-- the additional skill points gained for high INT being the main thing-- but in terms of the Knowledge skill / subskill condensing? That doesn't affect the use of INT at all as far as I can tell. They are all INT checks and the only different is the proficiency/skill point bonus you add to it.
 


DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
maybe have 22 pts pool and starting with 10,10,10,10,10 and 8. So you can only dump one ability. And to have option of having an 8 as character flaw if you really wish it.
Can't speak for anyone else... but I do not see how going from an 8 to a 10 means you've "removed dump stats". After all... you're talking about a single modifier point. If only 1 point is required to change a "dump stat" to a "non-dump stat"... I think the concept of "dump stats" are merely in the mind of the beholder.

I just have a really hard time thinking that a 15 / 14 / 13 / 12 / 10 / 8 standard array is some sort of massive dump stat issue... but a 15 / 14 / 12 / 11 / 10 / 10 is perfectly fine.
 

Horwath

Legend
Can't speak for anyone else... but I do not see how going from an 8 to a 10 means you've "removed dump stats". After all... you're talking about a single modifier point. If only 1 point is required to change a "dump stat" to a "non-dump stat"... I think the concept of "dump stats" are merely in the mind of the beholder.

I just have a really hard time thinking that a 15 / 14 / 13 / 12 / 10 / 8 standard array is some sort of massive dump stat issue... but a 15 / 14 / 12 / 11 / 10 / 10 is perfectly fine.
it is only +1 in modifier, that is true.

But, maybe it's in perception of how much highest and lowest stat differ.

15 is much higher than 8. having 10 as minimum might look nicer, and look less like min-maxing.

or even if you want to have a balanced character and have 12 as lowest stat, you now can have 13,13,13,12,12,12 with +1/+1/+1 will give you 14,14,14,12,12,12. Certainly, it looks nice, but it's little lacking in "main stat" and you cant have a 4th level half feat and get an 16 main stat.

with 5 more points in point buy you could make:

15,14,12,12,12,12 and with +2/+1 you could have 17 and 15 or 16 and 16.

or go with 14,14,13,13,12,12 with +1/+1/+1 to have 15,14,14,14,12,12 and have option to get a half feat and have 16 at 4th level.


I really like the 13,13,13,12,12,12 on some characters.
A friend played half-elf barbarian with those stats, we have bonus 1st level feat house rule.
H-elf with tasha's floating stats and skill expert feat; 3rd level barbarian::
STR:13+2+1(skill expert)
DEX: 13+1
CON: 13+1
INT, WIS and CHA: 12
8 skills plus 1 expertise.
great fieldcraft character that was.
 

Amrûnril

Adventurer
Can't speak for anyone else... but I do not see how going from an 8 to a 10 means you've "removed dump stats". After all... you're talking about a single modifier point. If only 1 point is required to change a "dump stat" to a "non-dump stat"... I think the concept of "dump stats" are merely in the mind of the beholder.

I just have a really hard time thinking that a 15 / 14 / 13 / 12 / 10 / 8 standard array is some sort of massive dump stat issue... but a 15 / 14 / 12 / 11 / 10 / 10 is perfectly fine.

Yes, the issue with dump stats is that some ability scores isn't what the minimum score is. It's that some scores can be set to that minimum level with negligible consequences. This makes it hard to allow low scores in a point buy system, as whatever score is set as the minimum quickly becomes the default, rather than the distinguishing factor it could be.
 


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