Ability scores

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Ability scores are the numerical values for a character's six abilities. They represent a creature's physical and mental attributes. The scores translate directly into ability score modifiers - the bonuses or penalties that are added to (or subtracted from) most dice rolls in the game.

Overview[edit | edit source]

Each a ability describes a creature's capability in a different area:

Ability scores are bought with points during character creation. The minimum ability score during character creation is 8, and the maximum is 15, before any lf the ability score increases are applied.

Ability scores can be permanently increased through the Ability Improvement class feature (presented in the list of feats), though this cannot raise them above 20.

Ability score modifiers[edit | edit source]

Each ability has an ability score modifier, which is derived from its respective ability score. The modifier is added to dice rolls in the game, including attack rolls, damage rolls, ability checks and saving throws.

Ability score modifiers are decreased by 1 for every odd ability score below 10, and are increased by 1 for every even ability score above 10.

For example, a Strength score of 8 or 9 has a Strength modifier of -1, and a Strength score of 12 or 13 has a Strength modifier of +1.

The formula used for calculation an ability score's modifier is Modifier = (Score − 10) ÷ 2 (rounded down).

Ability score modifier chart
Ability score Modifier value Ability score Modifier value
1 -5 16-17 +3
2-3 -4 18-19 +4
4-5 -3 20-21 +5
6-7 -2 22-23 +6
8-9 -1 24-25 +7
10-11 +0 26-27 +8
12-13 +1 28-29 +9
14-15 +2 30 +10

Interactions with classes[edit | edit source]

Primary and secondary abilities[edit | edit source]

Each class has designated primary and secondary abilities. While these have no particular mechanical significance, they are mentioned in the game's tooltips, and serve as recommendations for players unfamiliar with the rules of the game.

The primary abilities for the classes are:

Spellcasting ability[edit | edit source]

For more information, see Spellcasting ability and proficiency.

Every class has an ability that affects their spellcasting. These affect the attack rolls and Difficulty Class of their spells. The primary ability of casters classes always corresponds to their spellcasting ability, with the exception of rangers and classes that gain spellcasting via a subclass class feature.

Racial spells may use their own designated ability. For example, the cantrip granted during character creation by the elf or half-elf race always uses Intelligence, regardless of the creature's class.

Overview of abilities[edit | edit source]

Strength[edit | edit source]

Associated skills: Athletics.

A creature's Strength score increases that creature's carrying capacity and jump distance. The Strength modifier improves chances of success of shoving or resisting being shoved. It is also added to the result of attack and damage rolls for melee weapons.

Dexterity[edit | edit source]

Associated skills: Acrobatics, Sleight of Hand and Stealth.

A creature's Dexterity modifier is added to the results of attack and damage rolls of ranged weapons and, when the creature's Dexterity score is higher than their Strength score, melee weapons with the Finesse property.

A creature's Dexterity modifier is also added to their Armour Class (AC), but the bonus added may be limited depending on what armour they have equipped.

Medium armour usually limits the bonus added to the creature's AC to +2, whereas, heavy armour tends to ignore the bonus entirely.

Dexterity is a common ability used for saves against spells, often halving the damage rolls of those spells.

Constitution[edit | edit source]

Associated skills: None.

A creature's Constitution modifier is added to the amount of hit points it gains on level up. This increase is applied retroactively.

Constitution is commonly used for saves against poisons, and is a common ability used in saves against spells. It is also what is used to maintain Concentration on a long-duration spell and needing to roll saves against concentration being broken.

Intelligence[edit | edit source]

Associated skills: Arcana, History, Investigation, Nature and Religion.

Intelligence is the spellcasting ability of wizards, fighters and rogues.

Wisdom[edit | edit source]

Associated skills: Animal Handling, Insight, Medicine, Perception, and Survival.

Wisdom is the spellcasting ability for clerics, druids and rangers, and is an important ability score for monks, as several of their class features depend on it.

Wisdom is also a commonly used ability for saves against spells.

Charisma[edit | edit source]

Associated skills: Deception, Intimidation, Performance, and Persuasion.

Charisma is the spellcasting ability for bards, sorcerers, warlocks and paladins

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • While ability scores cannot normally be increased over 20, certain permanent bonuses can permanently increase ability scores over 20.
  • Ability scores may be temporarily increased above 20 through various enhancements, such as magical spells, elixirs, or special equipment.
  • Some supernatural or magical effects (like Devour Intellect) can drain abilities, reducing one or more of the target's ability scores, potentially to zero. If any score is reduced to zero, the target dies instantly.