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
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.