Ability Scores

Ability Scores

Ability scores are a type of statistic which measures how much of a certain attribute a character has. For example, if a character has a strong strength stat, they can lift much more than someone with a low strength stat. Though this may seem straightforward and simple, in reality the way that ability scores shape one's character is incredibly versatile, and depends on the implementation of those statistics.


Strength is used when attacking, defending, and when using any skill which is assigned the "STR" ability modifier. It is commonly characterized as literal muscular strength, though some adaptations and flavorings of this attribute can assign it to strength provided by magical means. It is common for magical weapons and armor to grant a bonus to a character's strength due to its important uses in battle.


Dexterity is used as a measure of a character's agility, and affects a wide variety of rolls and tasks, including dodging and any skill which adds the "DEX" modifier. Dexterity is mostly thought of as being countered against strength, and is most commonly used to a higher degree in "weaker", quicker characters such as rogues and rangers.


Constitution determines a character's ability to withstand damage and remain solid during battle. If strength is a measure of fierce power, constitution serves as a measure of "hardiness", and is important to characters who may take a large quantity of damage during battle. Constitution is used when determining hit points, as well as for many savings checks, in addition to any ability which applies a "CON" modifier.


Intelligence is... exactly what it sounds like. This ability score represents a character's "book-smarts". Within the context of D&D, Intelligence serves as a pivotal statistic for magic-users who use it as their spellcasting modifier, most notably the Wizard. In addition to affecting spellcasting, intelligence is used in a number of skill checks, including any which add the "INT" modifier.


Wisdom is a unique statistic in D&D in that its implementation is very flexible depending on the character using it. In a cleric, wisdom is seen as being sage-like, and acting as a sort of wise-man, while in a class like rogue or fighter wisdom can be seen as a sort of "street-smarts", knowledge learned simply by existing in the world as that character knows it. Above all, characters with a high wisdom score will be reasonable, and possess an ability to make well thought-out decisions. Wisdom is applied to any skill which adds the "WIS" modifier, and is commonly seen in decision-making and spellcasting contexts.


Charisma measures a character's charm, and is an essential stat for bards, illusionists, and rogues alike. Consider charisma to be more than just a measure of beauty or physical charm, but as a combination of factors which determine a character's likeability, or their ability to control what people think of them. Used often in persuasion, deception, and spellcasting contexts, the Charisma score is added to any roll which takes into account the "CHA" modifier, and can be used to avert, control, or even instigate conflict in many situations.