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Thread: Is INT useless?

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    Default Re: Is INT useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Which I find to be far more typical of murderheroes. For some reason finding a logical way for enemies to gather information on them outside of the battle at hand always seems to take some special DM fiat of EvOrg2 deciding to research them prior to getting involved with them.
    Villains can just bribe "neutral parties" for information about the battle. Villagers who witnessed the battle for example.

    Also smart villains can have a reconnaissance team watch (but not engage) the battle from a hidden position or use scry-type spells to observe the battlefield. I like to use "radiomen" in my important villain teams, who relay back to HQ if the battle is going too poorly (i.e. sending). They can spells like speak with dead to gain information from corpses.

    Magic is the fantasy world's equivalent of radio communication and satellite observation. In some ways it's easier to obtain post-battle information than our mundane planet.

    Villains aren't the ones who dumped INT, remember?
    Last edited by Nargrakhan; 2018-01-02 at 02:29 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Or they don't leave any enemies alive to report back to "evil organization #2" (EvOrg1 haivng already been destroyed by the PCs in Tier 1) on their strengths and weaknesses.

    Which I find to be far more typical of murderheroes. For some reason finding a logical way for enemies to gather information on them outside of the battle at hand always seems to take some special DM fiat of EvOrg2 deciding to research them prior to getting involved with them.

    Also, recurring villians are a problem.
    Huh. In my last campaign the party was so good at avoiding battles and defusing tension that it got a little hard to keep track of all the antagonists who were stll alive. Partially, this was purposeful on their part, as they were deliberately trying to build their reputation for political advantage.

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    Default Re: Is INT useless?

    in other editions and in pathfinder INT is one of the most broken stats as a bonus to this stat gave additional access to skills and languages, i think the game designers in this edition wanted to make it less useful for game balance reasons.

    its still useful, just not broken anymore. the most broken stat now is probably con as it increases the HP at EVERY level gained... or dex because it gives bonuses to both AC and to hit with certain weapons, while strength is mosty just for weapons... look for game designers to make more changes to this in later editions

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    Default Re: Is INT useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nargrakhan View Post
    Villains can just bribe "neutral parties" for information about the battle. Villagers who witnessed the battle for example.
    Real murderheroes don't leave witnesses.

    Also smart villains can have a reconnaissance team watch (but not engage) the battle from a hidden position or use scry-type spells to observe the battlefield. I like to use "radiomen" in my important villain teams, who relay back to HQ if the battle is going too poorly (i.e. sending). They can spells like speak with dead to gain information from corpses.
    This assumes they know the PCs are coming, and need to observe their tactics.

    Seriously though, IMX the most common situation is that the PCs are effectively an seek & destroy pseudo-special ops team, who locate the bad guys (or at least a location that contains bad guys), go in, and clean it out completely. Bad guys don't know anything about them prior to assault, and PCs don't leave any survivors or observers to report back to any other locations containing related bad guys.

    That's not always going to happen, so my points were semi in jest. But it sure is common, both IMC and in the vast majority of campaigns I've played in. Having generic enemies, or even specific enemy organizations, target the PCs weaknesses is almost always DM fiat that doesn't have much realistic tie-in to in-game events.

    edit: What's the best color for "I'm mostly joking around here, but based on what I've generally experienced"?
    Last edited by Tanarii; 2018-01-02 at 03:03 PM.

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    Default Re: Is INT useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Real murderheroes don't leave witnesses.
    lol... that's a level of hardcore I haven't experienced yet.

    Are we sure the PC's are the good guys?

    All true villains should follow the Evil Overlord List:

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...ilOverlordList
    Last edited by Nargrakhan; 2018-01-02 at 03:30 PM.

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    Default Re: Is INT useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nargrakhan View Post
    lol... that's a level of hardcore I haven't experienced yet.

    Are we sure the PC's are the good guys?
    Haha yeah I should probably have qualified it as "among the bad guys". It's just that often bad guys are the only ones around when they're getting massacred.

    If they don't leave any whitness at all even when non-bad are around, they're probably murderhobos or bad guys themselves, not murderheroes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nargrakhan View Post
    lol... that's a level of hardcore I haven't experienced yet.

    Are we sure the PC's are the good guys?
    It's actually happening in my current gaming group that I'm DMing. It's quite effective. Law enforcement is still pretty far from their tail. And no I'm not sure they're the good guys lol. One of them I actually have pegged as evil. I just haven't said anything because alignment is optional in my world and I don't want him to fall into the stereotypes. In fact I don't plan on ever doing anything about it. I can't seem to find any mechanical effects either; I think 5e took them out on purpose. Little known murderhobos saving the world is 110% cool with me.

    In case you're wondering they've killed the innocent once. Hence the legal trouble. They have a good reason for it, it's just not the greatest reason. And technically the character who did most of the murder isn't in the group anymore.

    Back on topic I think you should probably have a 12+ int for roleplay purposes if you want to be a tactician. Otherwise yeah it's pretty reasonable in and out of character to leave it low. It's useful for some things, but not very much except for a few classes that use it. Even 6+ can still think and make ok decisions. If someone with an int 6 laid out a complex battle plan with careful positioning and a sequence of events OTOH, then as a DM I'd say "Uh... that's technically legal but a bit meta-gaming".
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    Default Re: Is INT useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nargrakhan View Post
    lol... that's a level of hardcore I haven't experienced yet.

    Are we sure the PC's are the good guys?

    All true villains should follow the Evil Overlord List:

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...ilOverlordList
    Well you know, there are those annoying, tropey stories where "we're on the run from the law" or "the constable is in league with the bad guys" or worse "he's just insistent on getting in our way for no reason." The PCs have to defend themselves from things that slow down the game.

    Actually, having played CCC mods and a bunch of the first party ones, kill every NPC you meet. Most of them will backstab you, so cut them out of the overloaded final encounter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Way to ignore "Int is as useful as the DM makes it".
    Litreral Oberoni that supports my above statement.
    As for playing the game, by no means roleplay your low Int stat. A decent wisdom score fulfills the same roles. Wisdom skills actually overlap heavily with Int rolls as it is. Past that Passive Insight and Perception are not rolls, and as such they can't be covered by bonuses to rolls like Guidance. So even you think int is good, you really have to spend the points in wisdom if your class doesn't expand Int's use.

    Further more, not that I sohould be pointing out the obvious, but it doesn't matter for spells if one person in your team dumped int or all of them did; the DM is aiming for people with low int and if those people won't be making the saves anyway, after 1 cast you're down 1 guy anyway, etc.
    Last edited by Snowbluff; 2018-01-02 at 04:32 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    All gaming systems should be terribly flawed and exploitable if you want everyone to be happy with them. This allows for a wide variety of power levels for games for different levels of players.
    I dub this the Snowbluff Axiom.

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    Default Re: Is INT useless?

    I'd say it's less useful than in PF/3.5 where it tied into a mechanic for every class (skills), but I'd say its new weakness or rather lack of importance is largely a good thing. It's nice my fighter can jump and climb and see and hear and whatever skills his background gives without being as smart as the party wizard. The real problem with Int is it has become very situational, but in those situations, you want it badly. That said, if you want to know things (lore wise) it will probably be good to have on hand.

    So yeah, unless you're a wizard, I'd say it's mostly corner cases, but if you want to be a sage type who isn't a wizard, I'd still invest at least a bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    Litreral Oberoni that supports my above statement.
    As for playing the game, by no means roleplay your low Int stat. A decent wisdom score fulfills the same roles. Wisdom skills actually overlap heavily with Int rolls as it is. Past that Passive Insight and Perception are not rolls, and as such they can't be covered by bonuses to rolls like Guidance. So even you think int is good, you really have to spend the points in wisdom if your class doesn't expand Int's use.

    Further more, not that I sohould be pointing out the obvious, but it doesn't matter for spells if one person in your team dumped int or all of them did; the DM is aiming for people with low int and if those people won't be making the saves anyway, after 1 cast you're down 1 guy anyway, etc.
    I'm gonna disagree. A lot of 5e runs on DM fiat. That the usefulness of the stat is so DM dependent is just part of 5e. That doesn't mean it isn't situational.

    In fact, that can't be the Oberoni fallacy at all, since that deals with "the erroneous argument that the rules of a game aren't flawed because they can be ignored, or one or more "house rules" can be made as exceptions." No one is saying the rules are or are not flawed. 5e just relies on what is essentially each DM having house rules to fill the gaps the game wants DMs to cover individually, rather than giving static rules for all tables.
    Last edited by Luccan; 2018-01-02 at 04:41 PM.
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    Default Re: Is INT useless?

    Well the newest UA presented us with this:

    Tactical Wit
    Starting at 2nd level, your ability to quickly assess tactical situations allows you to act quickly in battle. You gain a bonus to your initiative rolls equal to your Intelligence modifier.
    http://media.wizards.com/2017/dnd/do...zardVF2017.pdf

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    Default Re: Is INT useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Burnteyes View Post
    Well the newest UA presented us with this:



    http://media.wizards.com/2017/dnd/do...zardVF2017.pdf
    Psst, that's in Xanathar's now

    That is still a wizard thing though. But at least it doesn't apply to spellcasting specifically
    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
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    Default Re: Is INT useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Luccan View Post
    I'm gonna disagree. A lot of 5e runs on DM fiat. That the usefulness of the stat is so DM dependent is just part of 5e. That doesn't mean it isn't situational.

    In fact, that can't be the Oberoni fallacy at all, since that deals with "the erroneous argument that the rules of a game aren't flawed because they can be ignored, or one or more "house rules" can be made as exceptions." No one is saying the rules are or are not flawed. 5e just relies on what is essentially each DM having house rules to fill the gaps the game wants DMs to cover individually, rather than giving static rules for all tables.
    I'm saying it's flawed. The OP is saying it's flawed. The armies are saying it's flawed! It is flawed!

    As in Int doesn't have enough uses. It is Oberoni if his argument is based on DM intervention.

    It's not a case "some DMs do this and some do that." I'm saying, from the presentation of materials in the game, that other stats not tied to your features will still be more useful. Wis (and Dex for slightly more useful stats, and con for incredibly more useful stats) saves simply occur more often than int saves do, for example. The Wis passive checks work it's better to have Wis specifically. Hence my earlier statement about "disproportionate." The game mechanics support this, as every vlass gets one good save and one bad one, with int being the bad one for 3 classes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Burnteyes View Post
    Well the newest UA presented us with this:



    http://media.wizards.com/2017/dnd/do...zardVF2017.pdf
    Well, it's a Wizard thing. It's nice, but Wizards already want good int. They also happen to be one of the classes actually good with int saves and skills. Now, I'm not saying classes should just randomly have Int to abilities (I won't play a Swashbuckler purely for Cha to init, for example), but something like +1 language per mod would be nice.

    I recently played a CCC mod that treated every dialect of Primordial as a separate language, so it would be nice. Man that was so dumb... the PHB presents them as one language. You don't even have the option to pick them individually as far as I can tell, but I digress.
    Last edited by Snowbluff; 2018-01-02 at 04:55 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    All gaming systems should be terribly flawed and exploitable if you want everyone to be happy with them. This allows for a wide variety of power levels for games for different levels of players.
    I dub this the Snowbluff Axiom.

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    Default Re: Is INT useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    Litreral Oberoni that supports my above statement.
    There is nothing Oberoni about claiming that RAW mechanics for Int are as useful as your DM makes them. Oberoni is about Rule 0. My statement has nothing to do with Rule 0. It is entirely about how the DM chooses to use RAW, in terms of how often they call for Intelligence checks.

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    Default Re: Is INT useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    I'm saying it's flawed. The OP is saying it's flawed. The armies are saying it's flawed! It is flawed!

    As in Int doesn't have enough uses. It is Oberoni if his argument is based on DM intervention.

    It's not a case "some DMs do this and some do that." I'm saying, from the presentation of materials in the game, that other stats not tied to your features will still be more useful. Wis (and Dex for slightly more useful stats, and con for incredibly more useful stats) saves simply occur more often than int saves do, for example. The Wis passive checks work it's better to have Wis specifically. Hence my earlier statement about "disproportionate." The game mechanics support this, as every vlass gets one good save and one bad one, with int being the bad one for 3 classes.


    Well, it's a Wizard thing. It's nice, but Wizards already want good int. They also happen to be one of the classes actually good with int saves and skills. Now, I'm not saying classes should just randomly have Int to abilities (I won't play a Swashbuckler purely for Cha to init, for example), but something like +1 language per mod would be nice.

    I recently played a CCC mod that treated every dialect of Primordial as a separate language, so it would be nice. Man that was so dumb... the PHB presents them as one language. You don't even have the option to pick them individually as far as I can tell, but I digress.
    Technically, the OP is saying it's useless. Which it isn't, just limited and I'd argue that's largely a good thing, setting all houseruling and what have you aside. Whether or not its level of usefulness in the base game is actually a flaw will, I think, fall to personal opinion.

    Also, ok you're arguing it's flawed, but that doesn't mean the statement "Its usefulness is DM dependent" is arguing that 1. There is no flaw and 2. That the DM will fix it with houserules. All that statement means is that depending on the DM, Intelligence usefulness will vary. If you never need to make Int checks to know things, then yeah, its pretty useless. If you need to make Int checks to know things a lot, you'll probably want at least an average Int. Or if you face a lot of illusions. Or potentially if your DM makes you roll for any of the following:

    Quote Originally Posted by srd
    Communicate with a creature without using words

    Estimate the value of a precious item

    Pull together a disguise to pass as a city guard

    Forge a document

    Recall lore about a craft or trade

    Win a game of skill
    Of course, your DM may never call on Intelligence checks for any of those. But that's the thing, 5e expects DMs to make their own calls on the applicability of stats in the majority of cases. By the game's very nature, the usefulness of any stat in the game is DM dependent.

    All this to say it will depend on how often your DM calls for Intelligence rolls and how important those rolls turn out to be
    Last edited by Luccan; 2018-01-02 at 05:31 PM.
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    Default Re: Is INT useless?

    Smart people donít often endeavor to make a living exploring trap filled holes and fighting legendarily deadly beasts...

    Iím more surprised that I often see an entire group of adventurers with 8 Strength

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    Default Re: Is INT useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Naanomi View Post
    Smart people donít often endeavor to make a living exploring trap filled holes and fighting legendarily deadly beasts...
    High risk, high return. Even intelligent people are willing to gamble everything if they believe the odds or rewards are worth it. Sometimes life deals you cards where you've got nothing else to lose. More importantly: some of those trap filled holes and fighting legendarily deadly beasts contain the secrets to immortality and omnipotence.

    Of course you could hire a bunch of risk takers to go in there and get it for you... but then those would be your hired PC's adventurers... and they might do things with the rewards that you wouldn't approve of. Like kill you with those god powered treasures and 20 levels of gained experience.

    Besides... genius level intellect still make mistakes. I'd argue they make the worst kinds, because such disasters would require other genius intellect to fix.

    Or... maybe not: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6R1m9fjdwjI
    Last edited by Nargrakhan; 2018-01-02 at 07:11 PM.

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    Default Re: Is INT useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Naanomi View Post
    Smart people donít often endeavor to make a living exploring trap filled holes and fighting legendarily deadly beasts...


    Iím more surprised that I often see an entire group of adventurers with 8 Strength
    Variant Encumbrance rule changes that pretty quick. Especially if the PCs want to get rich quick. (In 5e that's mostly on the players to give PCs that motivation of course. There's no direct reward like XP for GP.)

    The other thing that helps is not letting PCs look at a mixed pile of copper, silver and gold, and somehow instantly pick out the gold and maybe silver. What, they hauled a coinstar into the dungeon with them?
    Last edited by Tanarii; 2018-01-02 at 07:17 PM.

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    Default Re: Is INT useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    There is nothing Oberoni about claiming that RAW mechanics for Int are as useful as your DM makes them. Oberoni is about Rule 0. My statement has nothing to do with Rule 0. It is entirely about how the DM chooses to use RAW, in terms of how often they call for Intelligence checks.
    When there are in fact fewer, less frequent uses for the skill, one of us has an objective argument and the other is relying on the DM to fill that hole. Applying to a classical analogy in 3.5, it's like me saying "Knowledge Engineering is a useless skill" and you come to me and say "ALL DMs USE SKILLS DIFFERENTLY!" Just because some DMs would apply it some of the time doesn't mean it's valuable all of the time. So the stat is underpowered, which leads us back to the start: the DM being able to fix by doing, as you say, disproportionately increase the number of int checks thereby ignoring (see Oberoni F.) their scarcity, which is what this line of argument is about (see way above when the person said he'd greatly increase the number of int save spells used on his players) that doesn't make the case.


    Also a funny fact about determining the GP value of an item: it's kind of a wash as magic items aren't necessarily something you can purchase with GP, and most other uses don't rely on having a whole lot of it.

    Having GP isn't always super great, but neither are the encumbrance rules. I think a big issue with low Str people is that finesse weapon and ranged buffs made Dex a bit of a god stat (Str is to Dex as Int is to Wis, except athletics is far more useful than any knoweldge skill, even in a game where having knowledge is good). There isn't really a good way of fixing this, however.
    Last edited by Snowbluff; 2018-01-02 at 07:41 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    All gaming systems should be terribly flawed and exploitable if you want everyone to be happy with them. This allows for a wide variety of power levels for games for different levels of players.
    I dub this the Snowbluff Axiom.

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    Default Re: Is INT useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    When there are in fact fewer, less frequent uses for the skill, one of us has an objective argument and the other is relying on the DM to fill that hole. Applying to a classical analogy in 3.5, it's like me saying "Knowledge Engineering is a useless skill" and you come to me and say "ALL DMs USE SKILLS DIFFERENTLY!" Just because some DMs would apply it some of the time doesn't mean it's valuable all of the time. So the stat is underpowered, which leads us back to the start: the DM being able to fix by doing, as you say, disproportionately increase the number of int checks thereby ignoring (see Oberoni F.) their scarcity, which is what this line of argument is about (see way above when the person said he'd greatly increase the number of int save spells used on his players) that doesn't make the case.
    Yeah, you're still missing the point here. There's no way to know how often an ability score will be checked at a table. So saying "When there are in fact fewer, less frequent uses for the skill" is not actually a fact. All DMs use skills differently is the entire point here ... it's entirely DM dependent. There's no magical baseline you can point at and say "this is the amount of uses for the skill" and claim it's a fact. The entire 5e resolution system is based around all six ability scores, and there's no way to know how often DMs will call for checks, and which ability score they will call for. Nor can you discount ability score checks and try to determine the value of checks from class features or spells or saves or the like, because until you play with a DM, you don't know if he'll call for checks (and which ones) more often than you'll use your features.

    tl;dr you're trying to invent fact where there is none.

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    Default Re: Is INT useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Yeah, you're still missing the point here. There's no way to know how often an ability score will be checked at a table. So saying "When there are in fact fewer, less frequent uses for the skill" is not actually a fact. All DMs use skills differently is the entire point here ... it's entirely DM dependent. There's no magical baseline you can point at and say "this is the amount of uses for the skill" and claim it's a fact. The entire 5e resolution system is based around all six ability scores, and there's no way to know how often DMs will call for checks, and which ability score they will call for. Nor can you discount ability score checks and try to determine the value of checks from class features or spells or saves or the like, because until you play with a DM, you don't know if he'll call for checks (and which ones) more often than you'll use your features.

    tl;dr you're trying to invent fact where there is none.
    Except there there is a fact. In general, when making a value judgement, we are DM agnostic (hence Oberoni, we can't speak on a common ground if we're all assuming our DM will play a specific way or another), and we'll look at the writing. Let's say all six ability skills are being used equally, which is wrong simply because a lot of skills are more useful than others from my experience playing modules (for example, perception is factually used more frequently, as a matter of course, Athletics is more common than Acrobatics in writing and uses, and most uses of investigate won't yield results as not every door is trapped, STEVE!). So, what's next? We look at save effects. Wisdom, Dexterity, and Constitution saves appear far more frequently than Intelligence, Strength, and Charisma saves. This is further supported by the way classes are designed; Intelligence was DESIGNED to be far less useful than the other stats as a result. This a fact, and I don't see how being contrarian and demanding "facts" in the face of the raw data that has already been referenced will support claims against Int being less useful.

    It's a simple matter of organization. If you spent points in int, the odds are against it being as useful.

    EDIT: In hindsight, Cha might be even worse. I am considering the efficacy of checks in addition to their frequency; even if I make a lore check against a monster, knowing if a vampire (not applicable for lore from Nature or Arcane, IIRC, but we'll give it this) is weak to radiant doesn't help me much if we have no such damage ,etc. I have never had charisma be a useful skill in any mod I've played, and I've only made a single charisma against a banishment, and a couple against vestiges.
    Last edited by Snowbluff; 2018-01-02 at 08:26 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    All gaming systems should be terribly flawed and exploitable if you want everyone to be happy with them. This allows for a wide variety of power levels for games for different levels of players.
    I dub this the Snowbluff Axiom.

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    Default Re: Is INT useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post

    Gotta love this DMing style. Players won't put points into a stat that isn't useful? Then use a corner case mechanic to punish them for doing the right thing.
    a substantial part of what makes those spells effective is that danged near *everything* in the universe is dumping int and int saves. using those spells with the expectation that they'll work on most enemies is what basically everyone who casts those spells does, because more often than not they're absolutely correct... unless it's a wizard, the great majority of the time a target will have a mediocre int save at best, and far more often than not will have a terrible int save.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Or they don't leave any enemies alive to report back to "evil organization #2" (EvOrg1 haivng already been destroyed by the PCs in Tier 1) on their strengths and weaknesses.

    Which I find to be far more typical of murderheroes. For some reason finding a logical way for enemies to gather information on them outside of the battle at hand always seems to take some special DM fiat of EvOrg2 deciding to research them prior to getting involved with them.

    Also, recurring villians are a problem.
    i find that has more to do with DMs running enemies as mindless drones that are for some reason not terribly concerned about living until tomorrow. that's fine if you're talking about a colony of ants or a necromancer's horde of skeletons, but is a fair bit more ridiculous when you're talking about most creatures, but it still usually happens. certainly, players will try to stop those enemies from escaping more often than not, but that doesn't mean they're going to succeed every time. plenty of enemies are just faster, or able to fit into places the PCs can't follow, or otherwise have some method of escaping rather than getting killed.

  22. - Top - End - #82
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    Default Re: Is INT useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by SharkForce View Post
    a substantial part of what makes those spells effective is that danged near *everything* in the universe is dumping int and int saves. using those spells with the expectation that they'll work on most enemies is what basically everyone who casts those spells does, because more often than not they're absolutely correct... unless it's a wizard, the great majority of the time a target will have a mediocre int save at best, and far more often than not will have a terrible int save.
    The person I was quoting was speaking from a meta position of malice. IE, "my players are making informed decisions about how they are building their characters (making them "optmizers"), ergo, I will attack them ("challenge") them using relatively uncommon spells and out of game knowledge about their character sheets."

    Of course in game, it makes sense to make the dumb ogre, but the person made it VERY CLEAR that's not what they were saying.

    i find that has more to do with DMs running enemies as mindless drones that are for some reason not terribly concerned about living until tomorrow. that's fine if you're talking about a colony of ants or a necromancer's horde of skeletons, but is a fair bit more ridiculous when you're talking about most creatures, but it still usually happens. certainly, players will try to stop those enemies from escaping more often than not, but that doesn't mean they're going to succeed every time. plenty of enemies are just faster, or able to fit into places the PCs can't follow, or otherwise have some method of escaping rather than getting killed.
    Sometimes I find the situations where I fight enemies in modules rather contrived, and in some cases it seems suicidal to engage a party of adventurers. Sometimes it's a bunch of bandits or highwaymen, but instead of attacking defenseless civilians they've gone after a group of heavily armored and armed men that outnumber them...

    I do agree more guys should run away, but also players should be given XP for successfully routing them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    All gaming systems should be terribly flawed and exploitable if you want everyone to be happy with them. This allows for a wide variety of power levels for games for different levels of players.
    I dub this the Snowbluff Axiom.

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    Default Re: Is INT useless?

    We house-ruled INT to be more in line with previous editions, so each +1 ability bonus you have nets you a free language, tool, musical instrument, kit, or vehicle proficiency - basically anything that's trainable in downtime.

    We've found players really dig that, and they use it to develop more character-defining traits that have paid off in out-of-combat situations in a bit way. I know I have an ASI coming up soon, and I'll add the +1 to take it to an even number to grab a new tool - woodcarving so I can fletch my own arrows.

    As DMs, we're also house-ruling more monster attacks to be INT-based, so those saves are a bit more worthwhile.

    We don't have to do much, it's not *that* bad, but it is worth a bit of attention.
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    Default Re: Is INT useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nargrakhan View Post
    lol... that's a level of hardcore I haven't experienced yet.

    Are we sure the PC's are the good guys?
    Heheh, the current Chult game I am in is pretty damn borderline. Fortunately, Chult is not very ambiguous. We have an Illithid with Tome of the Tongue who eats some brains, a Lizard who eats well, pretty much everything he can cook, a Yuan-Ti that believes in killing everything but humanoid because at least he's not sacrificing humans, another Lizard that is a "monster slayer" and really just wants to kill things because they are "monsters", a reserved and quiet human and a crazy human.

    It is an extremely veteran table and we are mostly just playing extreme characters because why not.

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    Default Re: Is INT useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beelzebubba View Post
    We house-ruled INT to be more in line with previous editions, so each +1 ability bonus you have nets you a free language, tool, musical instrument, kit, or vehicle proficiency - basically anything that's trainable in downtime.

    We've found players really dig that, and they use it to develop more character-defining traits that have paid off in out-of-combat situations in a bit way. I know I have an ASI coming up soon, and I'll add the +1 to take it to an even number to grab a new tool - woodcarving so I can fletch my own arrows.

    As DMs, we're also house-ruling more monster attacks to be INT-based, so those saves are a bit more worthwhile.

    We don't have to do much, it's not *that* bad, but it is worth a bit of attention.

    These are nice approaches. I like them a lot. Subtle yet substantial.

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    Default Re: Is INT useless?

    They backfired when they tried to make the mental stats even with physical ones.

    quick summary of 5.0 stats in personal ranking
    #1 Dexterity. Governs your Initiative, Armor class, ranged attack damage & hit, and melee damage & hit of finesse weapons.
    #2 Constitution. Effects Hit Points, and Concentration for spells.
    #3 Strength. carrying capacity, Useful if you have Strength based melee weapons
    tied
    #4 Wisdom. Useful if you have Wisdom Spells, Perception and Passive Perception
    #5 intelligence. Useful if you have Intelligence Spells
    # 6 charisma. Useful if you have Charisma Spells

    Unless you have proficiency in a Save stat or a skill based on that stat its not much use.
    Last edited by Chaosticket; 2018-01-02 at 09:48 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    I do agree more guys should run away, but also players should be given XP for successfully routing them.
    of course they should, it's right there in the rules.

    you don't get XP for killing things. you get XP for defeating enemies. an enemy that you have forced to run away is an enemy that you have defeated.

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    Default Re: Is INT useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by willdaBEAST View Post
    As others have mentioned, it's really dependent on the DM and how much metagaming your table allows. From what I've experienced, there's a tendency to flavor characters for roleplaying, but most players have a lot of trouble not playing themselves strategically.

    IMO a character with 10 INT should not be a tactical genius, quickly able to adapt to unique situations and improvise on the fly. I think players have the tendency to play 8 INT as a borderline vegetable, so it can get exaggerated too far in the opposite direction (although that's as low as you can stat in AL). I think INT in 5e isn't utilized as effectively as it can and people tend to give way more leniency towards that stat in terms of role playing, metagaming or character decisions.

    You could even house rule certain things like high INT characters are allowed to give tactical advice OOC to allies, while low INT characters aren't. I played a super genius tactician in AL and I tried to impress upon my allies that he was running them through drills during downtime to prevent things like more than 2 party members ever being in a line when facing a breath weapon, etc.

    In terms of game mechanics, you can discourage dumping INT by using history checks to recall who a NPC is, why they're important, etc. If you wanted to really highlight that kind of check, you could severely limit note taking by players (not very elegant imo), or honor their notes, but have the player make a check to see if their character can actually recall that info. I wouldn't want to punish anyone who bothers to jot down important information, so maybe give them some kind of bonus to the check.

    I think part of the problem is that the players are living and breathing in the game world like their characters. When you have a week or longer break between games, it's harder to identify something that your character would easily remember and what was a fleeting detail.

    You could also reward characters with higher INT by having them know things about whatever foe they're facing.
    The biggest problem with this idea is that is presupposes that the character with the highest IN is played by the player with the highest tactical knowledge.

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    Default Re: Is INT useless?

    This perspective might be useful, I dunno:

    DEX, WIS, CON are mostly "defensive" abilities (they are good for saves, AC, initiative, perception, etc) - they might be good for EVERYBODY. From this 3, DEX is the one with more "non-defensive" uses, while WIS is used offensively by some casters.

    STR, CHA and INT are mostly "offensive" abilities. Non-DEX melee/thrown-oriented PCs will use STR offensively. As for CHA and INT, they are used offensively by spellcasters (and shillelagh-like abilities) and for SKILLS.

    From the second trio, you can see that: STR is basically "useless" if you have a higher DEX (in most cases), and CHA and INT are basically "useless" if you can't cast spells and don't want to use skills (maybe because someone in your party can do it for you).

    OTOH there is a balance there: even DEX, that many think to be the greatest ability, can be near-useless if you have STR 20 (yes, you get saves, but you can use STR for attacking, AC, grappling, escaping a grapple, etc).

    The main problem with INT and CHA skills is that your GM can let one character make a roll for the whole group (you can have a "brain" or "face" in the party).

    These abilities will be more useful if they are interchangeable, or if the optional DMG rules of combining different abilities with skills is used. For example, your GM might allow you to choose between Nature and Survival for some rolls, or even Perception and Investigation - the idea is not absurd in 5e, it mirrors grappling IMO.

    So, while INT might be the weakest of the 6 in many circumstances, there is no real "dump stat" in the game.

    Sure, a few extra uses of INT might be useful. Or moving Medicine to Intelligence (and Religion to WIS?).
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    Default Re: Is INT useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket View Post
    They backfired when they tried to make the mental stats even with physical ones.

    quick summary of 5.0 stats in personal ranking
    #1 Dexterity. Governs your Initiative, Armor class, ranged attack damage & hit, and melee damage & hit of finesse weapons.
    #2 Constitution. Effects Hit Points, and Concentration for spells.
    #3 Strength. carrying capacity, Useful if you have Strength based melee weapons
    tied
    #4 Wisdom. Useful if you have Wisdom Spells, Perception and Passive Perception
    #5 intelligence. Useful if you have Intelligence Spells
    # 6 charisma. Useful if you have Charisma Spells

    Unless you have proficiency in a Save stat or a skill based on that stat its not much use.
    I'd argue you can easily swap Cha/Int and Str/Wis on your list, at the very least, depending on character. Obviously, all are swappable based on build, but consider: More casting classes use Charisma (3 out of 6 full casters, 1 of 2 half casters). If you're multiclassing at all, that's more likely to be useful, plus unless you RP out all social interactions or don't participate, Cha will be useful at some point. More so than Int, at least; I've never seen a table police having a good idea, not matter how low your Int. Str matters if you bother with encumbrance or if carrying a lot on your person matters for your character. If not, Perception is useful for literally everybody (unless your Perception expert never needs to sleep), Wisdom has the second most number of casters, and is one of the more common saves.

    I'd argue the "best" time to dump Charisma is a Strength-based Eldritch Knight (Dex EKs will probably dump Str unless they need it for something else).

    Int is arguably the best universal dump stat, but not for certain character types.

    At the same time, I'd argue against dumping any stat without considering at least mechanical implications, if not roleplaying ones (I know many people choose to ignore their stats in roleplaying situations).
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Diaz View Post
    So, while INT might be the weakest of the 6 in many circumstances, there is no real "dump stat" in the game.

    Sure, a few extra uses of INT might be useful. Or moving Medicine to Intelligence (and Religion to WIS?).
    Agreed on Int.

    Medicine has its own problems as a skill in just its listed use being both limited and really only needed in extremely desperate circumstances, at least. Also, Religion is knowledge about religion (and other things), so that wouldn't really fit either. But I could see making Int based Medicine checks to diagnose a disease or something (Int is specifically called out as handling memory and education) or even flat out having a doctor character with low Wisdom, so your DM lets you key-off Int. Which is kinda the point of the skill system, you could be making skill checks keyed off of any stat as your DM feels befits the situation.
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