RPG Crossing Home Forums Create An Account! Site Rules & Help

RPG Crossing
Go Back   RPG Crossing > Feedback & User Resources > Gaming Advice
twitter google facebook


Thread Tools
Old 01-20-2018, 10:33 PM
MemoryBeast's Avatar
MemoryBeast MemoryBeast is offline
Wreathed in Flame
User Statistics
Last Visit: 08-22-2019
RPXP: 3936
MemoryBeast MemoryBeast MemoryBeast MemoryBeast MemoryBeast MemoryBeast MemoryBeast MemoryBeast MemoryBeast MemoryBeast MemoryBeast
Posts: 2,569
The way you role-play your character would really have a lot more to do with Wisdom and Charisma than with Intelligence. It's possible to talk to someone with a great intellect, memory, etc. for some time without it really being obvious (unless they demonstrated that intelligence in the course of the conversation). But if you're talking to someone who is extremely perceptive, strong-willed, charismatic, etc. - that's generally going to come across at once. Same thing goes in reverse - you could spend a while talking to someone without realizing that they're not very bright, but if they're slow-witted, weak-willed, or just plain unlikable, you're probably going to notice right away.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2018, 10:43 PM
Agemegos's Avatar
Agemegos Agemegos is offline
Over-educated dilettante
User Statistics
Last Visit: 05-23-2018
RPXP: 50
Posts: 12
Originally Posted by dirkoth View Post
I agree... I basically run the ability scale as Score x 10 equal IQ
I think that might produce too many extreme values. Normalised IQ is distributed as ~Z(100, 15), so only 0.1% of the population have an IQ over 145 and only 0.1% have an IQ under 55. Meanwhile 3d6×10 has a standard deviation of about 29.6, which is nearly twice as high. About 4.6% of 3d6 rolls come out under 5.5, and about 9.3% come out above 14.5.

To get a distribution more like that of normalised IQ (which is not necessarily your goal), you could use values more like these:

3d6	 IQ

 3	 62
 4	 67
 5	 72
 6	 77
 7	 82
 8	 87
 9	 92
10	 97
11	103
12	108
13	113
14	118
15	123
16	128
17	133
18	138
IQ = (INT × 5) + 47.5 is close enough.

Last edited by Agemegos; 01-21-2018 at 11:00 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2018, 12:18 PM
Grouchy's Avatar
Grouchy Grouchy is offline
Great Wyrm
User Statistics
Last Visit: 08-22-2019
RPXP: 3223
Grouchy Grouchy Grouchy Grouchy Grouchy Grouchy Grouchy Grouchy Grouchy Grouchy Grouchy
Posts: 1,691
With a low INT score, I often give a reason to go with it. One of the PCs I had in here on a now-dead campaign had an INT of 8. I justified it by saying he wasn't stupid, he just never learned how to read so he was not very book smart. I see an INT of 8 more as people who had little patience for book learning and the like. Lower than that, then I'll play a bit dumb.
Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2018, 03:01 AM
Solitaire64's Avatar
Solitaire64 Solitaire64 is offline
Very Old Dragon
User Statistics
Last Visit: 08-22-2019
RPXP: 1015
Solitaire64 Solitaire64 Solitaire64 Solitaire64 Solitaire64 Solitaire64 Solitaire64 Solitaire64
Posts: 618
This may sound ridiculous but the Forrest Gump movie gives a decent model on how a person could roleplay a low Int character. Overly literal in response to questions or instructions, unable to grasp subtle sarcasm in others, lacking the imagination to worry about possible consequences of complete honesty, and more can be seen in that character.
Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2018, 03:09 PM
GreatSage72 GreatSage72 is offline
Juvenile Dragon
User Statistics
Last Visit: 05-31-2018
RPXP: 137
GreatSage72 GreatSage72
Posts: 41
As others have said, a score of 9 isn't terrible - just below-average. If you've ever watched Critical Role's first campaign, it's perfectly possible for a low-Int character to have a sudden epiphany. Travis's character Grog had an Int of 6. Often times he'd speak with simple words and misinterpret what others say, taking things literally or missing sarcastic remarks. Importantly, with so low a score, he couldn't read and had a very poor grasp of numbers, often attempting to haggle up rather than down. He essentially had the reasoning and problem solving skills of a young child.

Once in a while Grog would say something insightful (his Wisdom was a 10, on that note), and it was either based off of his previous experiences or due to a "simple is better" approach to the problem. On rare occasion, if Grog said something that seemed far beyond his realm of understanding, Matt would make a dice roll (d4 or d6) for Psychic damage against Grog "for attempting to think too hard" (Critical Role Ep92, 00:59:33 which, coincidentally, I'm watching as I write this). Not a necessary element, but could be a fun and funny way to play a low-Int character.

Again, your score isn't so low that you suffer the same problems as Grog, so I wouldn't let it greatly hinder your thought processes while playing such a character. As for the converse (having high Int but you yourself not feeling quite up to the task), it's a game first with role-playing second. Leaving much of your character's deliberations to dice rolls rather than your own mental flexibility is perfectly fine, I'm sure.
Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2018, 09:10 PM
ruffdove's Avatar
ruffdove ruffdove is offline
Community Supporter
User Statistics
Last Visit: 08-22-2019
RPXP: 11755
ruffdove ruffdove ruffdove ruffdove ruffdove ruffdove ruffdove ruffdove ruffdove ruffdove ruffdove
Posts: 2,251
I think Kelly Capour has pretty much nailed how to role-play a very HIGH Int character...

Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2018, 09:37 PM
J Miracle's Avatar
J Miracle J Miracle is offline
Adult Dragon
User Statistics
Last Visit: 08-25-2018
RPXP: 216
J Miracle J Miracle J Miracle
Posts: 125
I agree with the weirdness that Character INT vs. Player INT can sometimes invite. One thing that I think makes it worse is that INT is so often the "dump stat" that no one invests too much in unless they are going Wizard. So often a party of all 8 - 11 INT characters, yet the party still goes full strategic at every turn if the group is experienced. Creates some oddball situations that seem difficult to believe. But hey, I admit it is still tough to pour resources into a high INT if you want to play a tactical-minded Fighter just to live up to your own sense of realism. The DEX, CON, WIS, etc. are just more tempting to spend on.
Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2018, 12:29 PM
Disaster Master's Avatar
Disaster Master Disaster Master is offline
Natural 20 ;)
User Statistics
Last Visit: 08-20-2019
RPXP: 4784
Disaster Master Disaster Master Disaster Master Disaster Master Disaster Master Disaster Master Disaster Master Disaster Master Disaster Master Disaster Master Disaster Master
Posts: 3,153
I agree that in 5e, INT much like STR is an ability that is not very important to most classes. As STR is not a mental ability, it does not interfere as much with role-playing a character as INT does.

I am currently playing a bard whom I deliberately gave CON 9 and INT 14. From a min-max point of view, this does not make much sense, but I don't want to play a dumb bard. Hopefully, the character will survive long enough despite the low CON score.
Playing: Maja human mystic Cassandra protector aasimar paladin Thora sun elven fighter Vierna dark elven cleric
DMing: Out of the Abyss Taken the Oath of Sangus.
Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2018, 01:42 PM
Sarge6's Avatar
Sarge6 Sarge6 is offline
Old, Crusty, and Cranky
User Statistics
Last Visit: 05-24-2019
RPXP: 1547
Sarge6 Sarge6 Sarge6 Sarge6 Sarge6 Sarge6 Sarge6 Sarge6 Sarge6 Sarge6 Sarge6
Posts: 3,516
I've played in a table top game where each character had 2 stats of 18 but 2 stats of 2. Yes, it is very difficult.

Intelligence; 4-5 would essentially be simple talk; Like Follow Me, Sit, Stop, Eat, Fight, Shhh anything that requires thought wouldn't be understood. This is the area where characters have difficulting separating right from wrong, shapes, tie a rope, fishing, using a door, or learning manners.

Intelligence; 2-3 Basic survival. Hungry? Hunt, Eat. Angry? Attack (fight or flee). No concept of religion, No concept of colors, shapes, clothing self. If you are in a bar, you don't go to the bartender for a drink; Instead you go directly to the nearest tabe and pour the drinks down your throat. If you see an attractive barmaid, you jump her and let nature take it's course. You don't get the concept of privacy.
I'm just a Z trying to survive the world of SENORITA
Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2019, 11:59 AM
RedCloud's Avatar
RedCloud RedCloud is offline
Young Adult Dragon
User Statistics
Last Visit: 03-23-2019
RPXP: 87
Posts: 90
Reading all these posts helped me as well. To everyone thank you.
I've also created a character with low Intelligence (8) however he does have high Wisdom (16). So it seems that to roleplay my character he would be great at spotting traps and tracking animal footprints it just that he won't be able to solve puzzles or riddles. Lastly, if I came up with a plan or an idea to solve a problem I could just roleplay that my character just took a step and Observe his situation, use common sense on how to solve the problem. Or I could say that my mentor taught me and I just happened to remember it.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2019, 06:35 AM
CaptainRadio's Avatar
CaptainRadio CaptainRadio is offline
Mind Fillet
User Statistics
Last Visit: 08-20-2019
RPXP: 2730
CaptainRadio CaptainRadio CaptainRadio CaptainRadio CaptainRadio CaptainRadio CaptainRadio CaptainRadio CaptainRadio CaptainRadio CaptainRadio
Posts: 935
I'm currently playing a character (Clawmarked, Goliath Warlock) that has an INT & WIS of 8. Long story short, I inherited this character after the original player had to bow out of the game. The original player went for the obtusely dumb angle, which I found fitting and funny, but I also found hard to replicate without merely playing him as Hulk from the Avengers movies. That felt a bit restricting on character development, to me.

Instead, I tried to put a spin on it, where he is a Goliath of few words and tends to focus on simpler things, like how his friends are doing, or trying, unsuccessfully, to pet our party druid who prefers to stay in cat form. It works for me without having to sacrifice the potential for character development later on, since a truly dumb creature seems like it would just stay a plodding behemoth forever, never really learning anything new. There's a small part of him that knows he's not very bright, but doesn't understand why, so he does the best he can, which sometimes involves some questionable decisions by me as a player. The trick is trying to balance the character's supposed dullness without being a constant liability to the party.
VACATION TIME: I will be on vacation with my family from August 16 to August 26, and have limited time/internet access. All DMs are welcome to post for my characters, if needed. Ping me on Discord if something urgent comes up. Make it a little weird, just to keep things interesting.

Last edited by CaptainRadio; 02-04-2019 at 06:37 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2019, 11:45 AM
TronTheAllmighty TronTheAllmighty is offline
User Statistics
Last Visit: 02-05-2019
RPXP: 50
Posts: 4
Unless you go lower than eight there wouldn't be much difference, but 7 and below you get into the realm of dumb brutes.
Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2019, 07:57 PM
mpls's Avatar
mpls mpls is offline
Young Adult Dragon
User Statistics
Last Visit: 06-03-2019
RPXP: 155
mpls mpls
Posts: 57
Originally Posted by BattlingBard View Post
... my character has an Intelligence of 9. Does that mean I should keep quiet about it as my character would never have thought of such a solution?
My recommendation is that players should play smart. The game itself already accounts for your 9 int: certain saving throws might suck, your ability to repair certain things might suck, your ability to analyze the enemy's financial documents while they use the bathroom might suck. Therefore, as a player, you are liberated to do whatever you can to make your character the best they can be.

Clarification: The suckyness would be a reflection of the -1 modifier to your skill. So, to analyze the financial document quickly would be, for example, a DC 16, but you have to roll a 17 or higher to succeed because you might have a -1 ability modifier to intelligence.

Last edited by mpls; 03-02-2019 at 08:05 PM. Reason: Clarification
Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2019, 09:51 PM
strumdaddy strumdaddy is offline
Young Dragon
User Statistics
Last Visit: 05-23-2019
RPXP: 123
strumdaddy strumdaddy
Posts: 23
It's interesting, I'm running a PBP game with an NPC who CSL (Common-Second-Language), there's really a lot of pantomime and trying to rhyme syllables. I find it to be a fun challenge. Intelligence is not generally something that separates people in cliques. Go with what you want to roleplay as, and just follow what the dice tell you.

A lot of things we think of as Intelligence related tend to be either Memory related or Wisdom related instead. This discounts the role of experience and interest as well. If you grew up as a horse-breeder, you will still know far more about horses than a 180IQ Mensa member who has never seen or ridden a horse before.
Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2019, 09:59 PM
BlackDouglas BlackDouglas is offline
Adult Dragon
User Statistics
Last Visit: 07-25-2019
RPXP: 243
BlackDouglas BlackDouglas BlackDouglas
Posts: 108
When playing a character with 9-11 intelligence, and wondering what they would do - ask yourself - are you any smarter?

If you're just a pleb like the most of us, and you can apply the level of reasoning required to figure something out, then odds are, so can your character.

No DM (that I know of) would have the player try to break down a door to see if his character could. Instead, a strength check is rolled. Similarly, if the character is smart but the player can't solve a puzzle, roll an intelligence check.
Well I suppose that's another thing, we sort of overplay strength and dexterity a bit in some games. I know some very agile people - but it doesn't mean they can dance.
I also know some strong people, but headbutting the centre of a door isn't often going to open it - you need to know where to put the force. - Your big ol' barbarian who grew up carving rocks into smaller rocks might not actually know how doors work, and whilst simply putting a foot through the timber might work, perhaps a little advice on physics (or door manufacturing) from the rogue that grew up in cities could make all the difference.

IRL - most people who you meet and deal with on a daily basis will have (lets say for the sake of it) all their stats between 9-11. The difference that you can observe will mostly be their knowledge and skills.


Last edited by BlackDouglas; 03-22-2019 at 10:09 PM.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:57 AM.
Skin by Birched, making use of original art by paiute.(© 2009-2012)

RPG Crossing, Copyright ©2003 - 2019, RPG Crossing Inc; powered by vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. Template-Modifications by TMB