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Grey Watcher
2006-08-11, 10:54 PM
Does anyone else think that limiting Animals to an Int score of 1 or 2 is a little steep? I can understand not wanting to give them Human-level Intelligence, but it always seemed to me that an Animal should be able to go as high as 6 (this would be an extremely intelligent animal).

I suppose it goes to the 3d6 method of stat generation, which means you can have apparently functional humans with an Int score of 3, but whether you're instead using Point Buy, or you're simply using the 1 point of Int = 10 points of IQ method, the general understanding is that a Human with an Intelligence of less than 8 is seriously impaired (and 8 isn't doing terribly well by his brains, either).

Anyway, that's my little rant about an abusrdity of D&D. THe reason this is in Homebrew and not the main Gaming forum is that I'm encouraging people to share alternate rules, systems, stats, or other fixes to the issue of Animal stupidity.

TheOOB
2006-08-11, 11:53 PM
Animals being restricted to one or two int is more of a game rule reason why they can't take class levels and cast spells and stuff just like humans.

Besides, int represents logical thinking and bookish learning, neither of which animals are very good at. Animals primarly rely on intiuition and instinct, both of which or wis based qualities.

BelkarsDagger
2006-08-11, 11:57 PM
Well, the absolute dumbest people in existence are 3's. A smart animal having twice that Intelligence? Ummm, no. Dog's and horses are smart, and I can imagine gifted ones going as high as 3, but nothing higher.

Fizban
2006-08-12, 12:35 AM
I'd say up till 4. Definitley up to 3. 4 would be reserved for apes and those animals you deems to have mega int, ex: dolphins, deynonicus, etc.

Fax Celestis
2006-08-12, 02:00 AM
I don't think it's steep, because Int 3 means you're able to speak and communicate in a humanlike language.

TheOOB
2006-08-12, 02:03 AM
Essentially, if you raise the max for animals, then your going to have to raise to min or sepient creatures by the same amount. In RAW, if you gave an animal 3 or more int it would be able to have an alingment, learn languages, and gain experiance, non of which an animal should do.

Matthew
2006-08-12, 09:11 AM
This is likely to rather quickly become a question of 'what does D&D Intelligence represent?' Rather than assigning it a definition and then trying to fit things to it, we ought probably to note that one of the properties of D&D Intelligence is that it differentiates between Animal and Human by capping Animal Intelligence.

Feegle
2006-08-12, 10:38 AM
New poster here; go gentle on me. :)


I don't think it's steep, because Int 3 means you're able to speak and communicate in a humanlike language.

I don't think Intelligence is linked to the ability to communicate. Who says, for example, that dogs aren't smart enough to talk if they had the physiology to form words in human language? They're not limited by intelligence - research shows that the average dog has a vocabulary of 50 human words - but rather, by their physical evolution.


This is likely to rather quickly become a question of 'what does D&D Intelligence represent?' Rather than assigning it a definition and then trying to fit things to it, we ought probably to note that one of the properties of D&D Intelligence is that it differentiates between Animal and Human by capping Animal Intelligence.

Well said.

kailin
2006-08-12, 02:40 PM
It has sort of bugged me that animals are either "dumb" or "more dumb." A bison is as smart as a chimp, one point more than a fish. I dunno. But on the other hand, it doesn't really come up much, and it gets rid of annoying questions and stupid things like teaching the elephant 16 combat tricks, so I'm happy enough to let stupid dogs lie.

TheOOB
2006-08-12, 02:49 PM
For animals it's primarly wisdom that determines how "dumb" or "smart" they are. Nothing restricts animals like chimps and dolphins from having very high wis scores.

The Vorpal Tribble
2006-08-12, 02:58 PM
Well, considering that the difference between the smartest animal in the world and some of the most mentally retarded humans are vast...

If you raise an animal's intelligence to 6 what would a human be? No human has the intelligence of an animal. If they aren't vegetables they can most certainly reason better. An hour-old child already has abilities far in advance of a 20 year old cocker spaniel.

I think the system as it is is quite sufficient as the mental faculities between a dolphin and an aligator aren't nearly as much as one human to another. Sure one might could reason better, but as their reasoning capabilities are already pretty dirt poor the difference isn't that vast.

Wizzardman
2006-08-12, 04:19 PM
Well, considering that the difference between the smartest animal in the world and some of the most mentally retarded humans are vast...


I'm not so sure I agree on that. Have you ever taken an Abnormal Psych class?

Hour-old children are theoretically smarter than ANYBODY; they can absorb and recognize more information faster than any adult, and come to understand things [such as language, sight, texture, and shapes] over a matter of months, compared to the years it takes older children and adults to develop similar skills for the first time.

In comparison, parrots can learn basic linguistic skills over the course of two or three years, and many of those trained have vocabularies larger than most people you'd meet on the street at random. Not as good as babies, obviously, but still pretty darn good for a nonhuman. And considering their trained as adult parrots, where their minds have already formed basic connections, and any new information recieved has to compete with old information for space in there, that's VERY good.

And as for intelligence being equal to communication: well, higher int bonus means more free languages, so it obviously has to be somewhat linked.

But I don't think that animals necessarily deserve higher int bonuses, however. Humans and most other animals think in such entirely different/alien ways that comparing animal and human int scores is like comparing apples to bananas: they're the same basic idea, but they don't work the same way at all, and they don't look much alike from an outside perspective.

Of course, this doesn't explain why Illithids and other completely alien beings get Intelligence scores; its probably just a game balance/rules/ease of play thing.

Edit: Added a few things.

lsfreak
2006-08-12, 04:32 PM
I agree. If you've ever watched a pack of wolves hunt... that's far more than Int 2.
However, as others said, a lot of "animal intelligence" is more based on wisdom. Intelligence is tool-using, manipulating or at least taking advantage of your environment (mainly in terms of hunting/not being hunted), communicating, etc. Wisdom is instinct, perception, senses, etc.

4Dsheep
2006-08-12, 04:38 PM
Chimps can be trained to be able to communicate with humans through pictograms and sign language on a reasonable level, even making full sentences (if I'm not mistaken, one even formed its own syntax). If I remember correctly, one even talked to itself (if that isn't a sign of human intelligence, I don't know what is). They could teach it to other chimps, too. If we assume human babies are a 3 (having only the slightest understanding of right and wrong and little to no language, not to mention zero knowledge), most chimps are at least that. These trained chimps are at least a 4 (because they actually know a language). Dumb chimps may have a 2, but should they drag down the whole species? Or are the 4-lings human while the 2-lings are animal?

Not to mention dolphins. They most likely have some kind of language, we in the real world just don't understand it yet (they communicate with sonar, and nobody really understands what they're saying so it must be pretty complex). Could someone in a fantasy world take dolphin language, or understand it with comprehend languages? Or does that require speak with animals, just because its type is animal? I'm not very familiar with the rules but it's certainly an interesting point.

Not to mention magically enhanced animals. How does fox's cunning work on foxes, anyway?

lsfreak
2006-08-12, 04:51 PM
Yea, some of the chimps that have been taught language are amazing in terms of what they do. They come up with new words, based on what they know, for new things - an orange (the fruit) became "orange-colored apple," for example.

However, this is much different than trained animals. Dogs that sit on command, for example, have been conditioned to do such, and have no understanding of the word but rather connect a certain sound with a certain action (and a certain reward). And talking parrots, if I remember correctly, just mimic human language and really don't know what they're saying.

Wizzardman
2006-08-12, 05:07 PM
However, this is much different than trained animals. Dogs that sit on command, for example, have been conditioned to do such, and have no understanding of the word but rather connect a certain sound with a certain action (and a certain reward). And talking parrots, if I remember correctly, just mimic human language and really don't know what they're saying.

Right on everything except the parrots, I'm afraid. Parrots have been shown to actually understand what they're saying, to a certain extent.

Part of it is conditioning, yes, but keep in mind that conditioning isn't fully understood; there's plenty of evidence that operant conditioned responses [the voluntary ones, such as sitting on command, rather than salivating when someone rings a bell] are due to the animal thinking about what's going to happen, rather than simply responding as directed. The only psychologists who still believe that operant conditioning does not result from learning/intelligence/thinking are behaviorists, and behaviorists don't believe that any creature [including humans] actully thinks.

The only way a dog sitting on command, or a parrot saying 'polly want a cracker' when its hungry, or even a human going into its kitchen for a snack would not be operant conditioning [and therefore voluntary actions thought out by the subject] would be if somehow sitting or speaking or walking to the 'fridge became involuntary.

NullAshton
2006-08-12, 07:25 PM
Intelligence 3 and over means self-conscious... means you "think therefore you are."

Intelligence 1 and 2 is the non-sentient intelligence scale. - is the lowest end(bugs and stuff), 1 is around the middle, 2 is the high scale. Dolphins are 2 because they're on the top for animal intelligence. In some ways, an intelligence of 2 is greater than an intelligence of 3. It's just how the intelligence scale works.

DMgrinder
2006-08-12, 07:39 PM
I'd say up till 4. Definitley up to 3. 4 would be reserved for apes and those animals you deems to have mega int, ex: dolphins, deynonicus, etc.

Ah, you watched jurassic park didn't ya? Deynonicus were not even as smart as apes are now. Micheal Chriton really exaggerated them in his novels. They were the size of a dog and about 30mph tops. Now there is a dinosaur that, physically, is the same as he describes; the Utahraptor. They weren't even as fast as the deynonicus, or as smart as Mikey said, but they were that big and deadly.[/dinosaur nerd]

Wizzardman
2006-08-12, 09:27 PM
Ah, you watched jurassic park didn't ya? Deynonicus were not even as smart as apes are now. Micheal Chriton really exaggerated them in his novels. They were the size of a dog and about 30mph tops. Now there is a dinosaur that, physically, is the same as he describes; the Utahraptor. They weren't even as fast as the deynonicus, or as smart as Mikey said, but they were that big and deadly.[/dinosaur nerd]

Wait... you know how smart the Deynocius was HOW?
:P

NullAshton, I'd argue the self-conscious point, but... it'd be too long and unsupported a discussion for a gaming thread. As you said, Int 2 is occasionally greater than Int 3---the int scale really is just a way of separating monsters into "can take class levels" and "can't take class lvls."

NullAshton
2006-08-12, 10:24 PM
That's basically what I said. Except you said it with more D&D mechanics terms. Hmmm.

lsfreak
2006-08-12, 10:45 PM
Actually, the Jurassic Park velociraptors were based on deinonychus (as it was previously specilated that deinonychus was, in fact, a member of the velociraptor genus), although the size is more of that of the Utahraptor. I can prove this by the 1990 copywrite date on my copy of Jurassic Park, and the first Utahraptor was found in 1991 :P Also, deinonychus did have extra large eyes and a large skull, implying a large brain, but there's really no way to prove how smart it was [/former dino nut]

Anywho...

As NullAshton said, Int2>Int3, because it seems WotC essentially combined 2 different Intelligence scales.




The only way a dog sitting on command, or a parrot saying 'polly want a cracker' when its hungry, or even a human going into its kitchen for a snack would not be operant conditioning [and therefore voluntary actions thought out by the subject] would be if somehow sitting or speaking or walking to the 'fridge became involuntary.

I never said it wasn't operant conditioning :P
From the I learned in my AP Psych course last year on the subject was that it's universally accepted that operant conditioning involves thought process, not mindless behavior. "Sit" spoken --> dog realizes reward might be in order because of past experience --> sits b/c of potential reward. Same thing when the pizza delivery person comes :P Except, technichally they are a bit different, because of (most likely) different frequency distributions...

TheOOB
2006-08-13, 12:09 AM
Int is an abstraction anyways, it's not like animals have a great need for int. The only skill they would use that is int based in search(which you could make based on wis for animals, much likw how undead base concentraition on cha). I suppose they deserve a few more skill points then they currently get, but then you could just say that bonus skill points for animal HD are based on Wis, I doubt your animals will be overpowered.

Wizzardman
2006-08-13, 12:17 PM
That's basically what I said. Except you said it with more D&D mechanics terms. Hmmm.

I know; that's why I said it's basically what you said...

Of course, couldn't it be said that our understanding of language is mostly based off of operantly conditioned expectations of actions resulting from the words spoken?

Meh. Doesn't matter. Thread over.

Lord Iames Osari
2006-08-13, 01:25 PM
Personally, I would change the higher primates to the humanoid type and let them have human-like intelligence, at least the low end of human intelligence. Say, an Int of 6. Dolphins would be pretty much the same, Int-wise, only their type wouldn't change. And I might allow class levels on a case-by-case basis...

Overlord
2006-08-13, 02:10 PM
I agree. If you've ever watched a pack of wolves hunt... that's far more than Int 2.
However, as others said, a lot of "animal intelligence" is more based on wisdom. Intelligence is tool-using, manipulating or at least taking advantage of your environment (mainly in terms of hunting/not being hunted), communicating, etc. Wisdom is instinct, perception, senses, etc.

Exactly. It's easy to confuse Int and Wis when there isn't even an exact definition of what separates them. However, things like instinct and perception have been clearly defined as Wisdom, while some of the other like things you mentioned like reasoning, using tools, etc. have been defined as intelligence. Of course, some animals are excellent problem solvers. Raccoons for example. But it's hard to say whether or not that is related to intelligence or wisdom.

Take the wolf example. Wolves are incredibly cunning when they hunt. But they were born knowing the basic hunting principles. Wolves don't wonder why they've been doing things the same way for thousands upon thousands of years (well, we don't know what they're thinking, but they certainly haven't done anything about it). Wolves have probably been hunting using the same methods ever since they established what animals they hunt.

I watched an interesting show about cavemen and humans on the Discovery channel the other day. Some of the ideas were way out there, and others were less rediculous, but they made an interesting point about what separates humans from animals and even monkeys: Invention. Chimps seem very smart with their way poking termite mounds with sticks to eat the termites, but they haven't been using sticks for anything else, have they? This one type of caveman used a sharped piece of flint to cut things like an axe. And yet, a million years later, they apparantly were still using the same tools for the same jobs. The host explained "They weren't even smart enough to put their axe on the end of a stick. They weren't stupid, their brains just weren't wired they way ours are." (I'm quoting from memory here) I think that's an interesting way of separating the animals from the humans.

Fax Celestis
2006-08-13, 03:13 PM
I don't think Intelligence is linked to the ability to communicate. Who says, for example, that dogs aren't smart enough to talk if they had the physiology to form words in human language? They're not limited by intelligence - research shows that the average dog has a vocabulary of 50 human words - but rather, by their physical evolution.
The only reason I qualify intelligence into language is because of the fact that high intelligence nets you more languages in D&D.

lsfreak
2006-08-13, 04:38 PM
I watched an interesting show about cavemen and humans on the Discovery channel the other day. Some of the ideas were way out there, and others were less rediculous, but they made an interesting point about what separates humans from animals and even monkeys: Invention. Chimps seem very smart with their way poking termite mounds with sticks to eat the termites, but they haven't been using sticks for anything else, have they? This one type of caveman used a sharped piece of flint to cut things like an axe. And yet, a million years later, they apparantly were still using the same tools for the same jobs. The host explained "They weren't even smart enough to put their axe on the end of a stick. They weren't stupid, their brains just weren't wired they way ours are." (I'm quoting from memory here) I think that's an interesting way of separating the animals from the humans.

Here's something interesting, though, that many people don't seem to realize - only small groups of chimps have used the stick-and-termite thing. Each different group has their own tools and own "customs," based at least partly on where they live. If one group is introduced to another, their ways of life change, sometimes dramatically, with the introduction of the others' tools and habits. Reminds me very much of, say, Eastern and Western culture, only on a much smaller scale.

Overlord
2006-08-13, 05:03 PM
Here's something interesting, though, that many people don't seem to realize - only small groups of chimps have used the stick-and-termite thing. Each different group has their own tools and own "customs," based at least partly on where they live. If one group is introduced to another, their ways of life change, sometimes dramatically, with the introduction of the others' tools and habits. Reminds me very much of, say, Eastern and Western culture, only on a much smaller scale.

Yes, that's true, but just because it's a trait we share wit h animals doesn't mean that it's an intelligent trait. As a matter of fact, I would classify social development and pack mentality under Charisma. Things like government and economics, of course, require intelligence.

NullAshton
2006-08-13, 07:59 PM
If you give chimps an intelligence of 6, then you also make it a player character... as well as making it impossible for anyone to train them. Animal intelligence never going above 2 is needed for many game effects as well.

InaVegt
2006-08-13, 08:23 PM
If you give chimps an intelligence of 6, then you also make it a player character... as well as making it impossible for anyone to train them. Animal intelligence never going above 2 is needed for many game effects as well.
that's not true, just give it an la of -

NullAshton
2006-08-13, 08:33 PM
Meh. That's the cheap way of doing it.

Still needed for it to be 1 or 2 in the mechanics. Thog wouldn't like it if a smelly animal had a better intelligence score than him. Unless it was a puppy.

Hyrael
2006-08-14, 11:54 AM
Ah, you watched jurassic park didn't ya? Deynonicus were not even as smart as apes are now. Micheal Chriton really exaggerated them in his novels. They were the size of a dog and about 30mph tops. Now there is a dinosaur that, physically, is the same as he describes; the Utahraptor. They weren't even as fast as the deynonicus, or as smart as Mikey said, but they were that big and deadly.[/dinosaur nerd]

NullAshton
2006-08-14, 01:41 PM
Whooo, a post with nothing except a single quote.

Anyway, if you wanted to, you could assign animals an intelligent value relative to how smart they are on an animal scale: From 3 to 18, like sentient beings. This would only be used with comparisons, and to replace the dice roll when awakened. The normal 1-2 intelligence values would stand for game values.

Fax Celestis
2006-08-14, 01:53 PM
Whooo, a post with nothing except a single quote.

Anyway, if you wanted to, you could assign animals an intelligent value relative to how smart they are on an animal scale: From 3 to 18, like sentient beings. This would only be used with comparisons, and to replace the dice roll when awakened. The normal 1-2 intelligence values would stand for game values.
You mean like exceptional strength in AD&D? 18/76 and all that?

NullAshton
2006-08-14, 01:55 PM
No clue what you're talking about.

martyboy74
2006-08-14, 01:55 PM
No clue what you're talking about.
Try reading the 2nd edition players manual.

Fax Celestis
2006-08-14, 02:20 PM
AD&D had "ranks" of STR 18. If you managed to roll triple-sixes for STR, you got to roll percentile dice, and it sat next to your score as a nice reminder that you probably fudged the dice.

But it also augmented a bunch of your statistics: Carry, push, damage, etc.

So, in essence, there were different grades of STR 18.

The confusing bit was that it went: ...16, 17, 18, 18/10, 18/20, 18/30, 18/40, 18/50, 18/60, 18/70, 18/80, 18/90, 18/99, 18/00, 19, 20, 21...

Perhaps different grades of INT 2 would be appropriate (albeit confusing and a throwback to a system gimmick I didn't really understand) here.

Matthew
2006-08-14, 08:20 PM
Also, in 1.x, the Cavalier and Paladin (by the time of Unearthed Arcana a Sub Class of Cavalier) made use of the percentile system for Strength, Dexterity and Constitution, all of which gradually went up level by level. Entry requirements were harsh:

Minimum 1.x Cavalier Paladin stats

Strength 15
Dexterity 15
Constitution 15
Intelligence 10
Wisdom 13
Charisma 17

Man, they let anybody in these days...

Kevlimin_Soulaxe
2006-08-14, 11:16 PM
ex: dolphins, deynonicus, etc.

Not only did you butcher the spelling (all of you, it's Deinonychus), but by the usual method of converting IQ to Int (IQ/10=INT), no dinosaur would even register a real 1.

They estimate the smartest dinosaurs (Troodon) to be about 5.8 IQ.

Oh, and they were Velociraptors in Jurassic Park, not Deinonychus. Deinonychus were four feet tall at the hip, Utahraptors eight, and Velociraptors one point seven, so the ones in the movie's size was modeled after...nothing. They were about six foot at the hip, and no raptors were that size. Not even the little known Dromaeosaurus, a one point five foot raptor, and definetly not the Megaraptor.

"Animals Aren't Morons!". Ha. Yes they are. A medical "moron" is ANYTHING with an IQ under 70. Whether this is normal or not doesn't matter.

Animals are morons, and so are most people Dino-IQ.

Wizzardman
2006-08-15, 12:37 AM
Not only did you butcher the spelling (all of you, it's Deinonychus), but by the usual method of converting IQ to Int (IQ/10=INT), no dinosaur would even register a real 1.

They estimate the smartest dinosaurs (Troodon) to be about 5.8 IQ.


Out of sheer curiousity, what are they basing these estimations on? If its brain size, they're beating an undead horse; brain size, area, and folding amounts have all been disproven as intelligence-determining factors, and the actual shape of brain centers can't be proven based off of fossils alone.

Also, the IQ/10=Int thing is silly. IQ is usually measured in a standard deviation 15 bell curve, with 95% of people having IQs less than 130. You usually roll 13+ on 3d6 more often than just 1 in every 20 times.

Kevlimin_Soulaxe
2006-08-15, 01:24 AM
That was the way the Official Wizards website said it.

Can't remember if it was D&D or Modern, but it was in a Q/A article.


Okay, I'll admit I misread EQ (Encephalization Quotient) as IQ. Which, now that I know what it is, pretty much means nothing in regard to actual intelligience. Cortical folding is worth something, but we can't tell that. Yet.

Fizban
2006-08-15, 05:04 AM
Ah, you watched jurassic park didn't ya? Deynonicus were not even as smart as apes are now. Micheal Chriton really exaggerated them in his novels. They were the size of a dog and about 30mph tops. Now there is a dinosaur that, physically, is the same as he describes; the Utahraptor. They weren't even as fast as the deynonicus, or as smart as Mikey said, but they were that big and deadly.[/dinosaur nerd]
Yes I did, it was my favorite movie when I was a kid.


Not only did you butcher the spelling (all of you, it's Deinonychus), but by the usual method of converting IQ to Int (IQ/10=INT), no dinosaur would even register a real 1.

They estimate the smartest dinosaurs (Troodon) to be about 5.8 IQ.

Oh, and they were Velociraptors in Jurassic Park, not Deinonychus. Deinonychus were four feet tall at the hip, Utahraptors eight, and Velociraptors one point seven, so the ones in the movie's size was modeled after...nothing. They were about six foot at the hip, and no raptors were that size. Not even the little known Dromaeosaurus, a one point five foot raptor, and definetly not the Megaraptor.
I spelled it wrong cause I didn't want to look it up. I used the deinonychus because that's what's in the MM. I think we all know that it was velociraptors in Jurassic Park.
Incidentally, anyone else find it amusing that WotC contradicted the EBCS with the MM errata? Anyway....
I've read the arguments, and I like the idea of basing animal skill points off wisdom.
Also, lots of intellegent (sp?) creatures can be trained, mostly as mounts: pegusai, dragons, etc. So an int 6 chimp would be trainable, you'd just have to bribe it or something. Course, I'd say the most genious animals would have a max int of 4, just cause I like smart animals.
And just for parting shot: there's a raptor PC race on the boards, just cause they're that smart. (I know, it proves nothing, but lets me have my fun.)

martyboy74
2006-08-15, 08:43 PM
Out of sheer curiousity, what are they basing these estimations on? If its brain size, they're beating an undead horse; brain size, area, and folding amounts have all been disproven as intelligence-determining factors, and *the actual shape of brain centers can't be proven based off of fossils alone.

Also, the IQ/10=Int thing is silly. IQ is usually measured in a standard deviation 15 bell curve, with 95% of people having IQs less than 130. You usually roll 13+ on 3d6 more often than just 1 in every 20 times.

True, but PCs are heroic. After all, this is heroic fantasy.

Wizzardman
2006-08-16, 01:19 AM
True, but PCs are heroic. After all, this is heroic fantasy.

Good point. But that also implies that there are a LOT of NPCs with IQs of 140 or greater [at least with the elite array, and even with the standard array, you still end up with an incredibly large number of human experts with at least 120].