View Full Version : What happens when you reduce a PC's int to below 3?

2011-02-08, 02:31 AM
I'm running a campaign, and our beguiler has just started looking at touch of idiocy. Normally this spell isn't much... But also on the team is a half-ogre with an int score of 4. Naturally 2/3 times this spell will knock him below 3. Which happens to be the threshold of PC-type sentience. And the beguiler on the group seems to think this is a fun idea (is it in bad taste to curse an ally? Probably, but the character's sort of a prankster type anyway)

So I'm wondering what would happen in such a situation. I'm almost certain it isn't officially ruled, so I'm asking for some ideas. In particular, how would he react to the party members? Even without int, would he retain his emotional responses to those he has traveled with?

More than that, I sort of wonder how he would act once he came back to normal int. Would he retain memories of his time as an animal? Furthermore, if a ranger was to use wild empathy during this time, would the half-ogre keep the new level of friendliness when he has his clarity restored?

2011-02-08, 02:43 AM
First, the front of his armor would get all slobbery, assuming it wasn't already.

He wouldn't be able to speak. He could still recognize friends, not-friends-but-not-enemies, and enemies. He could recognize that someone is acting in a hostile or not-friendly manner, and may start growling or even bite them. If he's already holding his club/sword/whatever then he'll probably attack with it in combat, but if he's not already holding any weapons he would probably attack unarmed. He wouldn't charge into a row of opponents holding spears out, but he wouldn't use any sort of tactical positioning, assuming anything would even change in that regard.

The Beguiler should pick up Ray of Stupidity, it deals 1d4+1 Int damage, so it could actually knock him down to 0 and put him into a coma. It automatically disables any animal it hits, which makes it extremely unfair in many situations.

2011-02-08, 02:54 AM
His subtype wouldn't change from humanoid (or giant) to animal, but he would be pretty damn stupid. You will probably need to set up a rolling system to see when he'll even understand instructions properly or not.

2011-02-08, 08:11 AM
Well, it offers rather unique RP possibility. You could theoretically use the Handle Animal skill to give the ogre commands. It also opens up the possibility of a reverse "flowers for Algernon" thing, with the ogre constantly losing and regaining Int, remembering what it's like to be an animal (and be treated as such) each time. Could lead to treating animals differently.

2011-02-08, 08:16 AM
"what happens when you reduce a PC's int below 3?"



2011-02-08, 08:22 AM
I would say that a humanoid with an INT of 1 or 2 is different from an animal.

Animals are well-adapted to their low INT scores. They can cope just fine. Similarly, an ogre is well-adapted to its somewhat higher, but still below-human-average score--an ogre with an INT of 4 is not as disabled as a human with an INT of 4. (In this case I am defining "disabled" as "not having a skill that society expects of the average person." Ogre society does not expect high intelligence, and ogres in general have abilities--like strength and instinct--that help them function despite their low INT scores.)

So not only is he not an animal--he's not the same as a human with that low an INT, either. In the case of a human, you could easily study real-life severe cognitive impairment and base your RP on that; but with an ogre, it's not as straightforward. Ogres aren't supposed to be that smart. The average ogre has an INT score of 6--a score that 95% of humans will surpass. They're still around and a credible threat for a reason, and that's because ogres are strong and tough, and while they don't think fast, their perception and intuition (Wisdom) is just as good as a human's. Your INT 4 ogre would only be a slightly below average specimen for his race, the "C" student of the ogre world.

So--sure, your ogre will be in a lot of trouble at 1 or 2 INT. But he won't be in as much trouble as an equivalent human would be, because ogres don't depend on their intelligence nearly as much as humans do.