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Building Blocks 29: Stats 5

Intelligence

What it represents:

  • ·         The ability to learn and reason
  • ·         Analytical skill
  • ·         How smart you are
  • ·         Your IQ
  • ·         Tactical thinking

How you know if you have it:

  • ·         You solve the most difficult puzzles before others know its a puzzle
  • ·         Your teachers ask you to teach the class
  • ·         When you speak, people just smile and nod because they have no idea what you said
  • ·         New things come quickly and easily for you
  • ·         Your battle strategies set the standard taught centuries later

How you know if you don’t:

  • ·         Puzzles are just one more thing in the world to smash
  • ·         Big words are confusing
  • ·         Lessons must be repeated several times before they are learned
  • ·         Your battle strategy consists of charging and smashing 

Racial modifiers:

  • ·         Drow: +2
  • ·         Half Orc: -2

Skills that use it:

  • ·         Disable device
  • ·         Repair
  • ·         Search

Feats that have an intelligence prerequisite:

  • ·         Combat expertise – 13
  • ·         Insightful reflexes – 13

How it applies to gameplay:

  • ·         Primary casting stat for wizards and artificers
  • ·         Modifier determines spell points and spell DCs
  • ·         Stat score determines highest level spell that can be cast (10+spell lvl required)
  • ·         Determines skill points
  • ·         Characters get 4 skill point per int mod at level 1
  • ·         At each other level characters get 1 skill point per int mod
  • ·         Primary DC modifier for the rogue assassinate ability
  • ·         With Insightful Reflexes, modifier for reflex saves
  • ·         Some runes require intelligence to use

Special considerations:

  • ·         Only your permanent int mod (tomes, level increases and your base score) apply to skill points.
  • ·         Temporary intelligence increases will allow you to cast spells that would normally be too high a level

Who likes it:

  • ·         Wizards and artificers for their casting abilities.
  • ·         Rogue and artificer for trap skills
  • ·         Rogue assassin abilities benefit from intelligence
  • ·         Builds that utilize combat expertise or advanced tactical feats (that have combat expertise as a pre req)

How much should you have:

Wizards will generally max out their intelligence to maximize their spell DCs and to increase their smaller SP pools.  There are a few rare wizard melee builds that are not concerned with DCs and may go for a lower intelligence but will still need an intelligence high enough to cast spells.

Artificers similarly need intelligence for spells but typically don’t need to max out int for DCs. They tend to go for a middle ground and can use int to increase their combat abilities through their spells and trap skills.

Rogues who are going for assassin will likely spend a few points here for assassin DCs.  If they do it will generally not be more than 4-6 points.  More than that tends to stretch build points very thin.

Builds who need combat expertise will need to reach 13 intelligence, but with a +2 tome that only means 3 build points.  This would include tanks and tactical melee.

Monks and bards tend to minimize intelligence because these classes tend to be stat heavy and neither has any class abilities dependent on int.  Most builds also minimize int even if they seem like a skill dependent class.  The fact is that most skills aren’t needed.  Even trappers have enough skill points to fill out their trapping skills unless they are deep multiclass builds.

If you are a spell casting wizard and artificers, as much int as you can afford is good. Artificers might have more stat considerations but wizards shouldn’t have any problems maxing int.  Rogues, at least assassins, generally take a few points in int to supplement their abilities, but shouldn’t be looking to spend more than 6 points here since they will likely have other stat considerations.  If you need combat expertise make sure you have enough int to qualify.  Otherwise, int should be considered a dump stat.  If you have a couple points left over and can’t afford to increase more important stats you could spend them here, but otherwise you shouldn’t worry about it.

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