Ability Scores

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The Different Abilities

Each describe an apsect of your characters abilities, and affects his or her actions.

Should an ability score change during the game, all attributes derived from that score change accordingly. This includes hitpoints, as well as skill points.

Example:

Ability Score Modifier
STR 11 -
DEX 7 -2
CON 13 +1
INT 13 +1
WIS 11 -
CHA 10 -
PER 8 -1


Lack of abilities

Some creatures lack certain ability scores. This is not the same as having a score of 0 (zero). Lacking an ability scores equals a modifier of +0

Generating ability scores

3d6 vs. "4d6 keep 3"


Ability Scores

Abilities and Spellcasters

The ability that governs bonus spells depends on what type of spellcaster your character is: Intelligence for wizards; Wisdom for clerics, druids, paladins, and rangers; or Charisma for sorcerers and bards. In addition to having a high ability score, a spellcaster must be of high enough class level to be able to cast spells of a given spell level. (See the class descriptions for details.)

Ability Modifiers

Each ability, after changes made because of race, has a modifier ranging from –5 to +5. Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells shows the modifier for each score. It also shows bonus spells, which you’ll need to know about if your character is a spellcaster.

The modifier is the number you apply to the die roll when your character tries to do something related to that ability. You also use the modifier with some numbers that aren’t die rolls. A positive modifier is called a bonus, and a negative modifier is called a penalty.

Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells

Score Modifier Bonus Spells (by Spell Level)
0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1 –5 Can’t cast spells tied to this ability
2–3 –4 Can’t cast spells tied to this ability
4–5 –3 Can’t cast spells tied to this ability
6–7 –2 Can’t cast spells tied to this ability
8–9 –1 Can’t cast spells tied to this ability
10–11 0
12–13 +1 1
14–15 +2 1 1
16–17 +3 1 1 1
18–19 +4 1 1 1 1
20–21 +5 2 1 1 1 1
22–23 +6 2 2 1 1 1 1
24–25 +7 2 2 2 1 1 1 1
26–27 +8 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1
28–29 +9 3 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1
30–31 +10 3 3 2 2 2 2 1 1 1
32–33 +11 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 1 1
34–35 +12 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 1
36–37 +13 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 2
38–39 +14 4 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 2
40–41 +15 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 2 2
42–43 +16 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 2
44–45 +17 5 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 3
etc. . .