D&D 5E Removing INT, replacing it with?


Ok, how about strip out Knowledge skills and checks. Then reduce to 4:

Brawn: Strength and Constitution
Dexterity: As-is
Willpower: Remaining Intelligence, and Wisdom
Fate: Charisma, Death saves, HP on even levels

You add your Brawn bonus (or penalty) to your HP on odd levels, and Fate bonus to your HP on even levels.

Paladins, Sorcerers, Bards and Warlocks are Fate casters. Artificers, Wizards, Clerics, Druids and Rangers are Willpower casters.

PCs get 2 good saves. Classes whose 2 proficient saves overlap get a good Fate save.

Death Saves:
A Death Save is a Fate Save. You do not automatically fail one when damaged at 0 HP or below, instead you make a death save with a DC equal to the damage taken. If you are hit with a critical hit, you make the Death Save with disadvantage.

Rolls of 20+ on a death save at the start of your turn result in you gaining 1 HP. Doing so in response to getting damaged does not do so.

Fate Points:
PCs can get Fate points. When you fail a saving throw, you can risk a Fate point to make a Fate save against the same DC; if this reroll doesn't succeed, you don't lose the Fate point, and can try again against another saving throw some other time.

Either the DM can hand out Fate points, or you could simply give each PC 1 Fate point when they gain a level (max 1; use it or lose it).


I think this makes all 4 stats pretty competitive. Also, all of the Charisma save abilities really map over to "make a Fate save" reasonably well.

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And I'd change Wis right to Willpower. Since the character stat isn't going to do a darn thing to help the player make the PC make wise choices.
Yes, this, or take a leaf from Lords of Gossamer and call it Psyche.
Same with classes: a druid should just know basic stuff about animals, fighters can identify type of enemy troops, rangers should know best about their favored terrain/enemies, spellcasters know about magic, etc.
You could a lead from Savage Worlds with Common, which covers all this kind of thing.
Physical: a combination of Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution.
Mental: a combination of Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma
Magical: a measure of one's affinity to magic, the supernatural, and the paranormal
Power: a measure of your character's ability to affect others in some way
Defense: a measure of your character's ability to resist others in some way
Luck: a measure of your character's good fortune.
Interestingly the Omni system, the same system that Atlantis of the Second Age uses, has CR (Combat Rating), and MR (Metaphysics Rating).
Each stat is a number between 1 and 6. You "build" your character by distributing 21 points among those six stats however you like. A stereotypical "warrior" character would have 6 for Power and Physical, and 1s for Mental and Magical, for example.
I like this a lot.
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It would take some explaining, but you could replace it with something like quick (QCK), for ability to think quickly. You could move warlocks and bards into QCK casters, leaving sorcerers and paladins as more "force of will" charisma casters. I suspect rangers and arcane trickster thieves would be good QCK casters as well. It would be natural to tie it to initiative, move deception checks into QCK, and allow performance to be either charisma or quick. The initiative would make it valuable for fighters and giving them some deception and performance skills would let them do more out of combat.


Mind Mage
The Intelligence ability can more specifically be the abilities of Lore and Perception.

The Investigation skill might use either one, depending on the nature of the effort.

The Investigation skill also includes intuitions and hunches, in addition to extensive library research: ways of knowing.


Heck... why not try the Fate Accelerated route where you don't have numbers for actual Abilities at all, but instead have numbers for your method for accomplishing what you're trying to do? Rather than Abilities, FAE calls them your Approaches. And depending on how you are trying to do something will dictate which Approach you will use.

  • Careful: A Careful action is when you pay close attention to detail and take your time to do the job right. Lining up a long-range arrow shot. Attentively standing watch. Disarming a bank’s alarm system.
  • Clever: A Clever action requires that you think fast, solve problems, or account for complex variables. Finding the weakness in an enemy swordsman’s style. Finding the weak point in a fortress wall. Fixing a computer.
  • Flashy: A Flashy action draws attention to you; it’s full of style and panache. Delivering an inspiring speech to your army. Embarrassing your opponent in a duel. Producing a magical fireworks display.
  • Forceful: A Forceful action isn’t subtle—it’s brute strength. Wrestling a bear. Staring down a thug. Casting a big, powerful magic spell.
  • Quick: A Quick action requires that you move quickly and with dexterity. Dodging an arrow. Getting in the first punch. Disarming a bomb as it ticks 3… 2… 1…
  • Sneaky: A Sneaky action is done with an emphasis on misdirection, stealth, or deceit. Talking your way out of getting arrested. Picking a pocket. Feinting in a sword fight.

Adapted to D&D, your PC will have the same 3-18 scores and same modifiers for their Approaches based on their stylistic preferences on accomplishing actions, and you'd still have Skills like normal to add your prof bonus on top of them. Then based on what your PC is trying to do and how they are trying to do it, that will tell the DM which Approach you roll and whether or not you add your Skill prof bonus. Now yes, more often than not the players will choose their Approaches for actions based on what they are best at... but that just means if rolls fail, the results that come out of it will be based on how they tried to do it. If your PC does most actions Flashy... the reactions of the people around you when you succeed or mess up will be much different than if you do things Carefully.

In a lot of ways... this basically makes the 'Alternative Ability Score' game variant more up front. Rather than trying to Intimidate and asking (or the DM deciding) to use STR rather than CHA... you now can make that choice straight away when you do it-- Intimidate Forcefully or Cleverly depending on how you do it.

Believe it or not, back in like 1st Ed, your class allowed you to just "know stuff". There were so skills. The Wizard obviously knows magical lore stuff. The Ranger or Druid obviously know about plants and animals. The Thief obviously knows the value of gems and how to use rope.

And if it was something that might require a roll you just rolled against the stat. "While the Wiz does know this is ancient elven, roll under your INT of 18 to see if he knows the secret!"

Anywho, removing a stat is not a good idea IMO. People dont RP a high/low WIS or high/low CHA either. That's what the DM and rolling the dice is for. After some RP: "With your high charisma roll you convince the King to give more reward."
This. Definitely this.

I think the traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws, when played thoroughly, do more for RPing than any attribute. Most tables I have seen just use attribute and skill rolls like candy. The wizard doesn't understand the ruin, so the cleric tries, and when they don't get it, the druid tries, and when they don't get the monk tries. Same goes with intelligence, wisdom, and charisma rolls. Sometimes the player is particularly charismatic and hams it up, and other times they just roll.

But the ideals, bonds, traits and flaws - they can stick and definitely make for more organic roleplay.


@vincegetorix , i still like your original idea. Str, Dex, Con, Awa, Wis, Cha. (However, awareness doesn’t abbreviate well as a three-letter descriptor. Acumen (Acu) works better however)

initiative, perception, insight, survival in Awareness/Acumen. Not sure what to do with investigation now that perception is in the same ability. It was already a bit redundant, now even more so.

wizards, arcane tricksters and eldritch knights (and artificers) can now multiclass with druids, clerics, paladins and rangers with greater ease (and vice versa); I’d need to think about that whether that’s a good thing, a bad thing, or a non-issue.

Wisdom as an ability brings it more toward an older definition of the word (wisdom=knowledge) of wise-men and wise-women as spellcasters. I like that.

I’m also good with an old school-ish class-based and/or background-based knowledge. When in doubt, wisdom check. In this regard, I’d like to see a return of some kind of « bardic lore » feature.

All together, it works without reinventing the (D&D) wheel.


As long as i get to be the frog
Just remove intelligence and let wizards and artificers use wisdom. There's not a mental stat that makes sense for Wizards to use to cast that isn't overly broad like int or too narrow or just outright nonsensible.

Then for skills take all the knowledge skills and remove and stat bonus from them - instead grant certain classes proficiency in them and if proficiency is gained from another source then expertise.

Bard = History
Cleric = Religion
Druid = Nature
Wizard = Arcana
Ranger = Nature

That would leave wisdom with animal handling, investigation, insight, perception, survival and medicine.

Presumably you could even branch off something a few of those skills - possibly perception and animal handling into skills not tied to ability scores.

le Redoutable

I mean you no harm
just to mention :
Teachers and Students ===> Int and Wis
Student ===> Int = Scholarship Level x Tolerance/Smartness
Teacher ===> Wis = Understanding x Dedication

Level Up!

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