Ability Score

Ability Scores

Each character has six ability scores that represent his character's most basic attributes. They are his raw talent and prowess. While a character rarely rolls a check using just an ability score, these scores, and the modifiers they create, affect nearly every aspect of a character's skills and abilities. Each ability score generally ranges from 3 to 18, although racial bonuses and penalties can alter this; an average ability score is 10.

You have 20 skill points to use for character creation. The cost is on the table that follows: This does not include what bonuses and negavites you get from your race, so be sure to take those into account! You can also go to Calculator to help generate these if you hate math.

Determine Bonuses

The score you have in an ability generates an ability modifier. These are used for skills, bab, and all kinds of other things. This chart lists that for you.

Ability Score Modifier
1 –5
2–3 –4
4–5 –3
6–7 –2
8–9 –1
10–11 0
12–13 +1
14–15 +2
16–17 +3
18–19 +4
20–21 +5
22–23 +6
24–25 +7
26–27 +8
28–29 +9
30–31 +10
32–33 +11
34–35 +12
36–37 +13
38–39 +14
40–41 +15
42–43 +16
44–45 +17

Abilities and Spellcasters

Information pending

The Abilities

Each ability partially describes your character and affects some of his actions.

Strength (Str)

Being the raw muscle power of a Character, Strength determines how much physical damage the Character can inflict with a blow, as well as how many blows he or she can withstand; how many items he or she can carry; and how far any given item can be hurled. Some weapons have a minimum Strength requirement to operate them effectively; a person without sufficient brute Strength will be unable to wield them.

Table: Encumbrance Effects

Load Max Dex Check Penalty Speed Run
- - (30 ft.) (20 ft.) -
Medium +3 –3 20 ft. 15 ft. ×4
Heavy +1 –6 20 ft. 15 ft. ×3

Strength measures muscle and physical power. This ability is important for those who engage in hand-to-hand (or “melee”) Strength also sets the maximum amount of weight your character can carry. A character with a Strength score of 0 is too weak to move in any way and is unconscious. Some creatures do not possess a Strength score and have no modifier at all to Strength-based skills or checks.

You apply your character's Strength modifier to:

  • Melee attack rolls.
  • Damage rolls when using a melee weapon or a thrown weapon, including a sling. (Exceptions: Off-hand attacks receive only half the character's Strength bonus, while two-handed attacks receive 1–1/2 times the Strength bonus. A Strength penalty, but not a bonus, applies to attacks made with a bow that is not a composite bow.)
  • Climb and Swim checks.
  • Strength checks (for breaking down doors and the like).

Your Strength score determines your characters carrying capacity (see chart below.

Temporary Bonuses: Temporary increases to your Strength score give you a bonus on Strength-based skill checks, melee attack rolls, and weapon damage rolls (if they rely on Strength). The bonus also applies to your Combat Maneuver Bonus (if you are Small or larger) and to your Combat Maneuver Defense.

Ability Damage: Damage to your Strength score causes you to take penalties on Strength-based skill checks, melee attack rolls, and weapon damage rolls (if they rely on Strength. The Ability Damage penalty also applies to your Combat Maneuver Bonus

Lifting and Dragging

Lifting and Dragging: A character can lift as much as his maximum load over his head. A character's maximum load is the highest amount of weight listed for a character's Strength in the heavy load column of

A character can lift as much as double his maximum load off the ground, but he or she can only stagger around with it. While overloaded in this way, the character loses any Dexterity bonus to AC and can move only 5 feet per round (as a full-round action).

A character can generally push or drag along the ground as much as five times his maximum load. Favorable conditions can double these numbers, and bad circumstances can reduce them by half or more.

Table: Carrying Capacity

Dexterity (Dex)

Dexterity measures agility, reflexes, and balance. This ability is the most important one for rogues, but it's also useful for characters who wear light or medium armor or no armor at all. This ability is vital for characters seeking to excel with ranged weapons, such as the bow or sling. A character with a Dexterity score of 0 is incapable of moving and is effectively immobile (but not unconscious).

You apply your character's Dexterity modifier to:

Temporary Bonuses: Temporary increases to your Dexterity score give you a bonus on Dexterity-based skill checks, Ranged attack rolls, initiative checks, and Reflex saving throws. The bonus also applies to your Armor Class, your Combat Maneuver Bonus (if you are Tiny or smaller), and your Combat Maneuver Defense.

Permanent Bonuses: Ability bonuses with a duration greater than 1 day actually increase the relevant ability score after 24 hours. Modify all skills and statistics as appropriate. This might cause you to gain skill points, hit points, and other bonuses. These bonuses should be noted separately in case they are removed.

Ability Damage: Damage to your Dexterity score causes you to take penalties on Dexterity-based skill checks, Ranged attack, initiative checks, and Reflex saving throws. The Ability Damage penalty also applies to your Armor Class, your Combat Maneuver Bonus (if you are Tiny or smaller), and to your Combat Maneuver Defense.

Constitution (Con)

Constitution represents your character's health and stamina. A Constitution bonus increases a character's hit points, so the ability is important for all classes. Some creatures, such as undead and constructs, do not have a Constitution score. Their modifier is +0 for any Constitution-based checks. A character with a Constitution score of 0 is dead.

You apply your character's Constitution modifier to:

  • Each roll of a Hit Die (though a penalty can never drop a result below 1—that is, a character always gains at least 1 hit point each time he advances in level).
  • Fortitude saving throws, for resisting poison, disease, and similar threats.

If a character's Constitution score changes enough to alter his or her Constitution modifier, the character's hit points also increase or decrease accordingly.

Temporary Bonuses: Temporary increases to your Constitution score give you a bonus on your Fortitude saving throws. In addition, multiply your total Hit Dice by this bonus and add that amount to your current and total hit points. When the bonus ends, remove this total from your current and total hit points.

Ability Damage: Damage to your Constitution score causes you to take penalties on your Fortitude saving throws. In addition, multiply your total Hit Dice by the Ability Damage penalty and subtract that amount from your current and total hit points. Lost hit points are restored when the damage to your Constitution is healed.

Notes:

  • Constructs do not have a Constitution score. Any DCs or other Statistics that rely on a Constitution score treat a construct as having a score of 10 (no bonus or penalty).
  • Undead creatures do not have a Constitution score. Undead use their Charisma score in place of their Constitution score when calculating hit points,Fortitude saves, and any special ability that relies on Constitution(such as when calculating a breath weapon’s DC).

Intelligence (Int)

Intelligence determines how well your character learns and reasons. This ability is important for wizards because it affects their spellcasting ability in many ways. Creatures of animal-level instinct have Intelligence scores of 1 or 2. Any creature capable of understanding speech has a score of at least 3. A character with an Intelligence score of 0 is comatose. Some creatures do not possess an Intelligence score. Their modifier is +0 for any Intelligence-based skills or checks.

You apply your character's Intelligence modifier to:

* The number of bonus languages your character knows at the start of the game. These are in addition to any starting racial languages and Common. If you have a penalty, you can still read and speak your racial languages unless your Intelligence is lower than 3.

A wizard gains bonus spellpoints based on his Intelligence score (seeDetermining spell points). The minimum Intelligence score needed to cast a wizard spell is 10 + the spell's level.

Temporary Bonuses: Temporary increases to your Intelligence score give you a bonus on Intelligence-based skill checks. This bonus also applies to any spell DCs based on Intelligence.

Permanent Bonuses: Ability bonuses with a duration greater than 1 day actually increase the relevant ability score after 24 hours. Modify all skills and statistics as appropriate. This might cause you to gain skill points, hit points, and other bonuses. These bonuses should be noted separately in case they are removed.

Ability Damage: Damage to your Intelligence score causes you to take penalties on Intelligence-based skill checks. The Ability Damage penalty also applies to any spell DCs based on Intelligence. See Ability Score Damage below.

FAQ
Do intelligence items that increase my intelligence score give me retroactive skill points?

Core yes on aldium no

Notes:

Animals have Intelligence scores of 1 or 2 (no creature with an Intelligence score of 3 or higher can be an animal).
Oozes do not have an Intelligence score, and as such they have immunity to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects). An ooze with an Intelligence score loses this trait.

Regular plants, such as one finds growing in gardens and fields, lack Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores; even though plants are alive, they are objects, not creatures.

Vermin do not have an Intelligence score, and as such they have immunity to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, patterns, and phantasms). Mindless creatures have no feats or skills. A vermin-like creature with an Intelligence score is usually either an animal or a magical beast, depending on its other abilities.

So how smart is my character?

Some more detailed information on Intelligence scores in comparison to real life can be found Here

Wisdom (Wis)

Wisdom describes a character's willpower, common sense, awareness, and intuition. Wisdom is the most important ability for clerics and druids, and it is also important for Martial Artistsand rangers. If you want your character to have acute senses, put a high score in Wisdom. Every creature has a Wisdom score. A character with a Wisdom score of 0 is incapable of rational thought and is unconscious.

You apply your character's Wisdom modifier to:

Will saving throws (for negating the effects of charm person and other spells).
Heal, Perception, Profession, Sense Motive, andSurvival checks.

Clerics, druids, and rangers get bonus spells based on their Wisdom scores (seeDetermining spell points). The minimum Wisdom score needed to cast a cleric, druid, or ranger spell is 10 + the spell's level.

Temporary Bonuses: Temporary increases to your Wisdom score give you a bonus on Wisdom-based skill checks and Will saving throws. This bonus also applies to any spell DCs based on Wisdom.

Permanent Bonuses: Ability bonuses with a duration greater than 1 day actually increase the relevant ability score after 24 hours. Modify all skills and statistics as appropriate. This might cause you to gain skill points, hit points, and other bonuses. These bonuses should be noted separately in case they are removed.

Ability Damage: Damage to your Wisdom score causes you to take penalties on Wisdom-based skill checks and Will saving throws. The Ability Damage penalty also applies to any spell DCs based on Wisdom. See Ability Score Damage below.
Notes:

Regular plants, such as one finds growing in gardens and fields, lack Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores; even though plants are alive, they are objects, not creatures.

Charisma

Charisma measures a character's personality, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and appearance. It is the most important ability for paladins, sorcerers, and bards. It is also important for clerics, since it affects their ability to channel energy. For undead creatures, Charisma is a measure of their unnatural “lifeforce.” Every creature has a Charisma score. A character with a Charisma score of 0 is not able to exert himself in any way and is unconscious.

You apply your character's Charisma modifier to:

Bluff, Diplomacy,Disguise, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Perform, and Use Magic Device checks.
Checks that represent attempts to influence others.
Channel energy DCs for clericsand paladins attempting to harm undead foes.

Bards, paladins, and sorcerers gain a number of bonus spells based on their Charisma scores (seeDetermining spell points). The minimum Charisma score needed to cast a bard, paladin, or sorcerer spell is 10 + the spell's level.

Temporary Bonuses: Temporary increases to your Charisma score give you a bonus on Charisma-based skill checks. This bonus also applies to any spell DCs based on Charisma.

Permanent Bonuses: Ability bonuses with a duration greater than 1 day actually increase the relevant ability score after 24 hours. Modify all skills and statistics as appropriate. This might cause you to gain skill points, hit points, and other bonuses. These bonuses should be noted separately in case they are removed.

Ability Damage: Damage to your Charisma score causes you to take penalties on Charisma-based skill checks. The Ability Damage penalty also applies to any spell DCs based off Charisma and the DC to resist your Channeled energy . See Ability Score Damage below.
Notes:

Regular plants, such as one finds growing in gardens and fields, lack Intelligence, Wisdom , and Charisma scores; even though plants are alive, they are objects, not creatures.

Ability Score Bonuses

Some spells and abilities increase your ability scores. Ability score increases with a duration of 1 day or less give only temporary bonuses. For every two points of increase to a single ability, apply a +1 bonus to the skills and statistics listed with the relevant ability.

Temporary Bonuses

Strength: Temporary increases to your Strength score give you a bonus on Strength-based skill checks, melee attack rolls, and weapon damage rolls (if they rely on Strength). The bonus also applies to your Combat Maneuver Bonus (if you are Small or larger) and to your Combat Maneuver Defense.

Dexterity: Temporary increases to your Dexterity score give you a bonus on Dexterity-based skill checks, ranged attack rolls, initiative checks, and Reflex saving throws. The bonus also applies to your Armor Class, your Combat Maneuver Bonus (if you are Tiny or smaller), and your Combat Maneuver Defense.

Constitution: Temporary increases to your Constitution score give you a bonus on your Fortitude saving throws. In addition, multiply your total Hit Dice by this bonus and add that amount to your current and total hit points. When the bonus ends, remove this total from your current and total hit points.

Intelligence: Temporary increases to your Intelligence score give you a bonus on Intelligence-based skill checks. This bonus also applies to any spell DCs based on Intelligence.

Wisdom: Temporary increases to your Wisdom score give you a bonus on Wisdom-based skill checks and Will saving throws. This bonus also applies to any spell DCs based on Wisdom.

Charisma: Temporary increases to your Charisma score give you a bonus on Charisma-based skill checks. This bonus also applies to any spell DCs based on Charisma and the DC to resist your channeled energy.
Permanent Bonuses

Ability bonuses with a duration greater than 1 day actually increase the relevant ability score after 24 hours. Modify all skills and statistics related to that ability. This might cause you to gain skill points, hit points, and other bonuses. These bonuses should be noted separately in case they are removed.

Ability Score Damage

Diseases, poisons, spells, and other abilities can all deal damage directly to your ability scores. This damage does not actually reduce an ability, but it does apply a penalty to the skills and statistics that are based on that ability.

For every 2 points of damage you take to a single ability, apply a –1 penalty to skills and statistics listed with the relevant ability. If the amount of ability damage you have taken equals or exceeds your ability score, you immediately fall unconscious until the damage is less than your ability score. The only exception to this is your Constitution score. If the damage to your Constitution is equal to or greater than your Constitution score, you die. Unless otherwise noted, damage to your ability scores is healed at the rate of 1 per day to each ability score that has been damaged. Ability damage can be healed through the use of spells, such as lesser restoration.

Strength: Damage to your Strength score causes you to take penalties on Strength-based skill checks, melee attack rolls, and weapon damage rolls (if they rely on Strength). The penalty also applies to your Combat Maneuver Bonus (if you are Small or larger) and your Combat Maneuver Defense. A character with a Strength score of 0 is too weak to move in any way and is unconscious. Some creatures do not possess a Strength score and have no modifier at all to Strength-based skills or checks.

Dexterity: Damage to your Dexterity score causes you to take penalties on Dexterity-based skill checks, ranged attack rolls, initiative checks, and Reflex saving throws. The penalty also applies to your Armor Class, your Combat Maneuver Bonus (if you are Tiny or smaller), and to your Combat Maneuver Defense. A character with a Dexterity score of 0 is incapable of moving and is effectively immobile (but not unconscious).

Constitution: Damage to your Constitution score causes you to take penalties on your Fortitude saving throws. In addition, multiply your total Hit Dice by this penalty and subtract that amount from your current and total hit points. Lost hit points are restored when the damage to your Constitution is healed. A character with a Constitution score of 0 is dead.

Intelligence: Damage to your Intelligence score causes you to take penalties on Intelligence-based skill checks. This penalty also applies to any spell DCs based on Intelligence. A character with an Intelligence score of 0 is comatose.

Wisdom: Damage to your Wisdom score causes you to take penalties on Wisdom-based skill checks and Will saving throws. This penalty also applies to any spell DCs based on Wisdom. A character with a Wisdom score of 0 is incapable of rational thought and is unconscious.

Charisma: Damage to your Charisma score causes you to take penalties on Charisma-based skill checks. This penalty also applies to any spell DCs based off Charisma and the DC to resist your channeled energy. A character with a Charisma score of 0 is not able to exert himself in any way and is unconscious.

Ability Score Penalties

Some spells and abilities cause you to take an ability penalty for a limited amount of time. While in effect, these penalties function just like ability damage, but they cannot cause you to fall unconscious or die. In essence, penalties cannot decrease your ability score to less than 1.

Ability Drain

Ability drain actually reduces the relevant ability score. Modify all skills and statistics related to that ability. This might cause you to lose skill points, hit points, and other bonuses. Ability drain can be healed through the use of spells such as restoration.

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