5E Underpowered INT solution - Bonus Skill Proficiencies for high INT

S'mon

Legend
Forked from the CHA thread, a bit of early morning design work. Thoughts? Polite, respectful & friendly criticism? :D

Bonus Skill Proficiencies for high INT

A PC may begin play with a number of additional skill proficiencies from their class skill list equal to their INT bonus.

ie 12-13 = +1, 14-15 = +2, 16-17 = +3 etc. Multiclass characters choose from their starting class skill list.

If INT is raised during play, additional class skills up to the bonus limit may be learned using the Downtime rules in XGTE, ie 10 weeks - INT bonus per skill.
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It's intentional that very high INT PCs may max out their class skill list, then being unable to take additional skills. It favours Wizards and to a lesser extent Rogues, which I think is ok.
 

Horwath

Explorer
I have a similar house rule, except mine is “a number of additional language, tool, or Intelligence-based skill proficiencies equal to your Intelligence bonus”.
I would add weapon proficiency also to the list

int based skill,
tool+language,
weapon+language,

or for every 2 bonus proficiency trade for 1 expertise.
 

S'mon

Legend
It doesn't solve the problem of INT itself not being useful.

It puts a bandaid on the problem by redirecting you back to the actually useful skills and stats.
I want it more 'desirable'; I don't much care about how often you're rolling on your INT score.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
I want it more 'desirable'; I don't much care about how often you're rolling on your INT score.
More desirable but still not worth it is just cosmetics, seems to me.

If you have a penalty, does it reduce skills prof? If not 8 Int dump stat is still a thing.

Do you see someone building a character dropping say a 14 con to 10 to raise a 10 int to 14 in order to get 8 proficiencies instead of 6 at first level? Any character can start with at least 6 ptofivirnces in skills+tools, some more. Two more is not that big compared to moving a +2 worth of bonus from a stat they will use.

This seems to be going to accomplish two things to me...

Move wizards into having more skills, plus any others who already have reason to spin higher INT. Its rewarding more those who already emphasize INT for other reasons.

In a few cases push other dump stats - maybe put 8 in STR instead of INT for more dex skills for your agile fighter? Ard you better off just sliding dump stats around ?

In my experience, in actual play, wizards dont need "more" - they do well in and out of combat and work very well in all pillars.
 
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S'mon

Legend
More desirable but still not worth it is just cosmetics, seems to me.

If you have a penalty, does it reduce skills prof? If not 8 Int dump stat is still a thing.

Do you see someone building a character dropping say a 14 con to 10 to raise a 10 int to 14 in order to get 8 proficiencies instead of 6 at first level? Any character can start with at least 6 ptofivirnces in skills+tools, some more. Two more is not that big compared to moving a +2 worth of bonus from a stat they will use.

This seems to be going to accomplish two things to me...

Move wizards into having more skills, plus any others who already have reason to spin higher INT. Its rewarding more those who already emphasize INT for other reasons.

In a few cases push other dump stats - maybe put 8 in STR instead of INT for more dex skills for your agile fighter? Ard you better off just sliding dump stats around ?

In my experience, in actual play, wizards dont need "more" - they do well in and out of combat and work very well in all pillars.
Thanks - ok, that seems a reasonable critique (though IMCs players soon learn not to dump STR!).

My preferred stat gen method is roll 3/4d6 in order then replace 1 stat with a 15, which makes stat dumping less of an issue than with Point Buy. OTOH I tend to feel 5e PCs have too few skills, especially Rogues & Wizards, and this could help with that.
 

Shiroiken

Adventurer
I modify your languages and tool proficiencies by your Int modifier. Having a bonus gives you extra, but having a penalty reduces it. I don't like to adjust actual skills, because I feel those are stronger than the others.
 

dnd4vr

Hero
Like many, this is a standard house-rule for us. Each mod of INT grants one proficiency. You can use it for anything: skills, language, armor, weapons, tools, or kits. If you have an INT penalty, you must give up a proficiency.

We also make languages a skill, modified by INT and proficiency bonus. Skill in language is not automatic, although that does simplify things.
 

Esker

Explorer
I think letting INT grant armor proficiency is too strong. What wizard wouldn't like to be proficient in medium armor at least?

Would definitely be on board with letting INT grant additional proficiency in INT-based skills, but it doesn't make a lot of sense to be able to pick Acrobatics, say. Languages, certainly; but there are so many ways to get on-demand language proficiency through magic that that's not that big an incentive. As for tools, some make more sense than others.

How about the following chargen variant:

You know a number of languages equal to your INT mod. These are in addition to language proficiencies you get from other sources. In addition, you can pick a number of skill proficiencies equal to your INT modifier, selected from Arcana, History, Investigation, Nature, Religion. These do not count against the number of skills you are proficient in by virtue of your class or background. You may choose to forego proficiency in one or more of these skills to instead gain proficiency in two tools for each skill proficiency you forego, selected from the list of artisan's tools, gaming sets, herbalism kit, navigator's tools, or poisoner's kit. You may pick the same skill or tool more than once, or pick skills or tools that you already have proficiency in from another source: if you pick a skill or tool twice, you add 1.5 times your proficiency bonus to all checks made using that skill or tool; if you pick it three times, you add twice your proficiency bonus.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I think I would limit the bonus proficiencies to tools and languages. Both would be very useful to have in my games. Additional skill proficiencies is a bit much in my view. For languages, what you could also do is limit all PCs to standard languages and then grant bonus standard or exotic languages according to the Intelligence modifier.

In truth, however, what I find is that if the game has traps and secret doors, both of which the rules suggest may call for an Intelligence check in order to figure them out to disable or operate them, this issue of Intelligence as a "dump stat" works itself out. Of course, that may call for presenting more dungeons in this game of Dungeons & Dragons and I realize that is often seen as quaint. Rolling for stats in order also helps, though I know that's not for everyone or every game.
 

Laurefindel

Explorer
Like posters above, my intuition would be to limit it to tools and languages. Weapon/shield/armor proficiencies could provide the counter-intuitive effect of making wizards - who by nature are designed to be poor with all this "martial stuff" - just as apt as rangers and barbarians in combat (lower hit points non-withstanding). I'm on the fence about skill proficiencies.

Other possibilities to consider:

- Reduce the use of Perception and make better use of Investigation. Essentially, make Perception a saving throw vs ambuscades and use Investigation for all "do I see X" questions. Or even simpler, scrap Perception entirely and use WIS or INT saves for all "gotcha?" situations. Hey, we could actually see some INT saves happening!

- Change Initiative modifier from DEX to INT. It would have the additional benefit of diminishing the (over)importance of DEX. It would also make wizards more likely to act first in combat, which I'm still debating whether this is a good thing or not...

- Use INT as some sort of multiplier during downtime activities (reduce times required to learn new languages, allow multiple research/gather information checks, make bigger income, etc)
 

Hawk Diesel

Explorer
Like posters above, my intuition would be to limit it to tools and languages. Weapon/shield/armor proficiencies could provide the counter-intuitive effect of making wizards - who by nature are designed to be poor with all this "martial stuff" - just as apt as rangers and barbarians in combat (lower hit points non-withstanding). I'm on the fence about skill proficiencies.

Other possibilities to consider:

- Reduce the use of Perception and make better use of Investigation. Essentially, make Perception a saving throw vs ambuscades and use Investigation for all "do I see X" questions. Or even simpler, scrap Perception entirely and use WIS or INT saves for all "gotcha?" situations. Hey, we could actually see some INT saves happening!

- Change Initiative modifier from DEX to INT. It would have the additional benefit of diminishing the (over)importance of DEX. It would also make wizards more likely to act first in combat, which I'm still debating whether this is a good thing or not...

- Use INT as some sort of multiplier during downtime activities (reduce times required to learn new languages, allow multiple research/gather information checks, make bigger income, etc)
I'm in the same boat. I feel like if you just give bonus skill proficiencies, is too powerful. I am also reluctant to allow Int to modify initiative just because that is a unique ability for the warmage, and I don't want to step on their toes. I also don't think that would solve much, since Dex is still so important otherwise that I don't see anyone but wizards prioritize Int for initiative.
 
Bonus Skill Proficiencies for high INT
A PC may begin play with a number of additional skill proficiencies from their class skill list equal to their INT bonus.
...
It's intentional that very high INT PCs may max out their class skill list, then being unable to take additional skills. It favours Wizards and to a lesser extent Rogues, which I think is ok.
I think it's a fine idea, /except/ for wizards, who hardly need any sort of boost. Reduce the number of skills the wizard starts with to keep it reasonable.

Might let it 'roll over' into languages (or tool proficiencies) once you've maxed out you class skills.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
I think it's a fine idea, /except/ for wizards, who hardly need any sort of boost. Reduce the number of skills the wizard starts with to keep it reasonable.

Might let it 'roll over' into languages (or tool proficiencies) once you've maxed out you class skills.
We do bonus languages for Int. I'm hesitant to boost Wizards by giving them bonus stuff.

That said, Wizard could be reduced to 1? Or just "Int Mod from this list:" or something like that?
 
I'm hesitant to boost Wizards by giving them bonus stuff.
That said, Wizard could be reduced to 1? Or just "Int Mod from this list:" or something like that?
I was thinking Arcana + INT mod. Or just INT mod from list...
...oh, maybe with a minimum? Just in case someone does play a 10 INT wizard (it's not exactly non-viable).
 
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Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
Yeah, I was thinking just in case. It's pretty edge that you'd need that minimum, but...

Heck, maybe them's the breaks you get for playing a 10 Int Wizard? No skills from your class ;P
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
It doesn't solve the problem of INT itself not being useful.

It puts a bandaid on the problem by redirecting you back to the actually useful skills and stats.
On this point. I wouldn't say that Int isn't useful. Just not AS useful. All the Int skills come up in play often in the games I play/see/run, especially Investigation which my table uses for finding traps and such.

Int is tied for most skills with Wisdom, they're just all on theme for Int where Wis has a spread of skills.

The real problem is that only one core class has Int as a key stat. Warlock should have been Int.

Sure eldritch knight and arcane trickster need some Int, as does the Mastermind, but still.

They're trying to find more uses for it, or reasons not to dump it. I saw one of the UA cantrips is an Int save. XGE tripled the # of INT save spells out there to 6! :)
 

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