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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Intelligence Score vs. Intelligence Type

Just a quick note on some stray thoughts in the post about how the Judges Guild Ready Reference Sheets handle animal intelligence, and how these would integrate with the system for assigning ability scores to monsters that I once wrote about. In the latter post, I suggested just making Int for most monsters equal to their hp, halving it for primates, reducing it to a third for most animals (or a quarter, for invertebrates.) This maps pretty well onto the three categories from the ref sheets or U&WA:

  • Intelligent: Int = hp (+5 for humans, +10 for mind flayers)
  • Semi-Intelligent: Int = hp/2
  • Unintelligent: Int = hp/3

Wisdom is also usually the same score. These scores are used for comparisons to judge the effects of simple ruses or concealment, mostly. For other uses of mental ability, the category is going to override the score: semi-intelligent creatures can figure out some tools, but can't make anything sophisticated, and unintelligent creatures can't learn languages.

This does mean that bigger monsters (more hit dice) will have higher Int scores, but since the categories determine behavior, not the scores, this shouldn't matter much.

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