PDA

View Full Version : [3.5]On Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma



Nemoricus
2008-09-03, 08:02 PM
So, the physical attributes all have means in-system to determine what they mean in real-life terms. The three mental do not.

How do you calibrate their scale? Knowing this would be very useful in figuring out how to play and roleplay characters of significantly greater or lesser ability than the average human.

Copacetic
2008-09-03, 08:06 PM
There is no relatve scale when it comes to mental stats. Does the INT 5 orc thnk hs INT 7 half-orc cousin think he is a genuis? Yes, because he is to him. But they both fairly stupid when it comes to human level.

MisterSaturnine
2008-09-03, 08:08 PM
The PHB describes Intelligence as smarts, Wisdom as perception (however broad you want to make that), and Charisma as force of personality. It goes on to give examples of what people with high and low scores in Int/Wis/Cha would be like--one of these examples was of high Int/low Wis, which it described as an absent-minded genius.

A particular fun example of what happens when you mix and match these scores was talked about in the playground a while ago, which was High Cha/High Int/Low Wis. Basically, the person came up with good plans and was very persuasive and really got them into peoples' heads when talking about them...but the plans are usually missing one, very important detail. For example, they might plan an aerial assault to get over a wall, gather up the wizards they need to cast flight on people, and then later realize that none of the wizards are high enough level to cast Fly.

Tengu_temp
2008-09-03, 08:14 PM
Intelligence is the ability to come up with solutions.
Wisdom is the ability to judge, both intents and ideas.
Charisma is the ability to make others do what you want.

Thurbane
2008-09-04, 02:45 AM
INT = mental DEX
WIS = mental CON
CHA = mental STR

...at least, that's how I look at it.

BobVosh
2008-09-04, 04:26 AM
INT = mental DEX
WIS = mental CON
CHA = mental STR

...at least, that's how I look at it.

I would do
INT = Mental STR How much mental force do you shove behind it?
WIS = MENTAL DEX How quick do you think?
CHA = Dump. Er. Mental CON How much personality do ya got?

Anyway. I remember one person I know saying 1 INT =10 IQ. No clue where he got that, but seems fairly reasonable to me, excluding those silly wizards.

TeeEl
2008-09-04, 04:36 AM
I think the question in the OP is not what the abilities themselves represent, but what different scores are benchmarking.

Unfortunately this is problematic, since objective measurement of mental abilities in real world terms is itself a topic of intense debate. The closest thing I could suggest would be to look at ability score distribution. Assuming the basic population uses 3d6 for ability score generation (they're not PCs, so no fancy rerolls or point buy for them!), 1 in 216 (about 0.5%) will have an Intelligence score of 3 or 18--actually not that rare. An Intelligence score of 3 would probably be equivalent to a severe learning disability, but would still be functional; we're not talking about drooling vegetables here. An Intelligence score of 18 is highly intelligent but not world-shattering genius. A student who graduates from college with a GPA of 3.9-4.0 may be a good benchmark here.

Note that these ability scores are for young adults, as mental abilities increase with age and experience. Theoretically a human character in 3.5e can get up to 26 Intelligence pre-epic without magic and without needing any obscure ability-boosting PrCs (+5 from the ability increase every 4th level and +3 from venerable age), but upper level D&D is clearly beyond the bounds of strict realism even when magic's out of the picture. More realistically, we could say 21 Intelligence represents one of those graduates who does not aggressively pursue intellectual goals during their later career or simply proves unsuccessful at them (+3 from age, no ability increase). 22 Intelligence would be the culmination of a successful career in an intellectual field (one ability increase), 23 represents intellectual achievements of historic magnitude (two ability increases), and 24 would easily be one of the smartest minds in the history of the human race (three ability increases).

Past that, 25 or 26 aren't achievable until you get well into levels that are truly fantastic in their scope. They are technically beyond realistic human achievement but are believable as a theoretical ideal; an amazingly intelligent character in a work of fiction might display this level of intelligence without straining credulity too much. At 26 Intelligence, you have a +8 modifier to an untrained knowledge check. You can pull up basic knowledge about any academic subject as readily as a brilliant student who is fully trained in that subject (18 Int + 4 skill ranks) or a competent veteran in the field (say 14 Int + 6 skill ranks). There is a limit to what information is available with an untrained knowledge check, but if you make even a cursory study of the topic (1 skill rank) you can outperform either of the above.

At the other end, 3 Intelligence gets you a -5 penalty on knowledge skills. By dint of great effort, a character at that level who studied that topic intensively through their young adult years (4 skill ranks) would have difficulty matching the performance of an average person off the street with no prior study or training in the subject (-1 skill modifier vs. +0 skill modifier). They could occasionally come up with details that a layperson would simply never know (trained skill check vs. untrained), but not very reliably (it would only come up on a DC of 11 or greater, which they have less than 50% chance to make).

Wisdom and Charisma are a bit trickier, since they are defined even more murkily than Intelligence is, but the same general reasoning can be applied.

Nemoricus
2008-09-04, 04:57 AM
The above post is spot-on, but not quite what I need.

I need more benchmarks for scores between 0 and 20, not beyond.

Above 20, things probably start getting a little weird period.

Riffington
2008-09-04, 05:19 AM
Note that the .5% derived from the bellcurve applies to heroes - not to the average population. A 20 or higher would be legendary amongst humans.

So for Intelligence:
20 - Richard Feynman.
18 - You can get a PhD in astrophysics while learning Chinese in your spare time.
16 - You can get a PhD in astrophysics.
14 - You can get As at MIT
12 - You can get As at a regular university.
10 - Average. IQ 105.
8 - You can pass a mediocre college with difficulty.
6 - Minimum intelligence to function in modern society. A GED is above you, though you may have got a "social pass" from your high school.

Bayar
2008-09-04, 05:28 AM
While you are discussing this, maybe someone could determine mental stats for Stephen Hawking...

Eldariel
2008-09-04, 05:28 AM
Generally, I've found that the "Int X 10 = IQ"-system holds pretty well for Ratio IQs. Greatest geniuses fall in the 210-line, which should be the very edge of what a Human can possess (or what can effectively be measured at any rate), and coincidentially also on the edge of what a Human in D&D can have. 10 is the average, as is 100 (duh - it's base-100 system).

JackMage666
2008-09-04, 05:37 AM
Ooo, ooo, I wanna do Charisma!

6 - You always screw up when talking to people. Socially awkward and unable to express yourself properly, generally. Not to say you can't be social, but generally you have to work at it, for a long time. This could, in some ways, represent some (not all) people with Autism, who have trouble functioning in social settings.
8 - Slightly socially awkward, and a horrible speaker or liar. You likely have a speech impediment that people would notice. As well, most people sense something is off in you, and won't approach without reason.
10 - Human average for Charisma. You can talk to people easily, and have an OK time making friends with people you see regularly.
12 - Slightly above average. You're generally one of the people your friends turn to for help with meeting people or dating advise. You normally can hold a conversation, and convince others to join.
14 - Above average! People notice you, even without you trying, for the right reasons. You have a sort of aura radiating your charisma to onlookers. You normally find yourself in conversation, and can often impress and perhaps change the views of those you speak to.
16 - Masterful charisma. You have a natural above average charisma, and have honed it to a science. You've likely taken several psychology, communication, or marketing class that allow you to show yourself at a far better angle. You make your points boldly, and people notice your presence.
18 - Master of charisma - You not only took the classes, but you've used them in real world situations. You're likely a marketer or a lawyer, using your strong force of personality to convince others of your points, as well as having a mastery of body language and vocal sciences to make yourself remembered by everyone you speak to.
20 - Leader of Man. By this point, you've likely reached a point of high authority, be it Senator, Protest Leader, or other position where you're the central voice of thousands. People not only trust your actions, but they want to follow whatever you endorse. Your mastery of communication has made you a household name, and most people would at least recognize it if they heard it.

Adumbration
2008-09-04, 06:08 AM
I would just like to know how to roleplay my Wisdom 30 spirit shaman...

Kurald Galain
2008-09-04, 06:11 AM
Open any White Wolf book. They do very good descriptions of the various kinds of attribute and skill ranks. Extrapolate from 1-6 to 3-18. Done.

BobVosh
2008-09-04, 06:17 AM
I would just like to know how to roleplay my Wisdom 30 spirit shaman...

How about adding a headband of intelligence. How do you roleplay that?

My epic wizard has 26 natural intelligence, and with items he has a 40.

10 wisdom.

25 natural charisma, with items it is a 30.

How exactly do I roleplay that? Espically if I put it on and off?

Tengu_temp
2008-09-04, 06:26 AM
INT = mental DEX
WIS = mental CON
CHA = mental STR


Int = mental Str. Pure physical power, pure mental power.
Wis = mental Con. The ability to endure.
Cha = mental Dex. Manipulation of objects, manipulation of people.

I disagree with the statement that IQ = Int/10, or that 18 Int somehow makes you a super-duper genius. Int increases with levels and with age, which IQ doesn't, and every Int-based character ends up with a crapload of this stat. Not to mention that if a character with 10 in a stat has 50% chance to succeed in something, a character with 18 in this stat has 70%. That's only 40% better. People are seriously overestimating high stats here.

Riffington
2008-09-04, 07:33 AM
Not to mention that if a character with 10 in a stat has 50% chance to succeed in something, a character with 18 in this stat has 70%. That's only 40% better. People are seriously overestimating high stats here.


The percentages are just an unrealistic part of the d20 system.
4 ranks in a skill is a competent expert (albeit not a famous superstar).
So 10 vs 18 Int is the same as the difference in picking locks between a kid who's never picked up a lockpick, and your friendly neighborhood locksmith.


[the age thing is a weird part of the D&D world. Use it or not, but it isn't like the real world.]

Riffington
2008-09-04, 08:19 AM
How about adding a headband of intelligence. How do you roleplay that?

My epic wizard has 26 natural intelligence, and with items he has a 40.

10 wisdom.

25 natural charisma, with items it is a 30.

How exactly do I roleplay that? Espically if I put it on and off?

You can only reliably tell the difference in intelligence with regard to people 2 points higher than yourself. In other words, if you're a pretty smart guy (14), you can tell the difference between someone of your intelligence and someone with Int 16. You couldn't reliably tell the difference between a 16 and an 18.
So if you're trying to roleplay an Intelligence 18 Wizard, you find smart quotations and work them into your conversation. Play him as smart as you possibly can.
If you're trying to roleplay an Intelligence 26 wizard, you do the exact same thing. If he takes off his headband that he's used to, play him as absolutely brilliant - yet who continually calls himself dumb "Oh man, I can't believe I just forgot about the flux correction for using dire bat guano. I really need to reread Elminster's classic on the seventh principle of matter"

monty
2008-09-04, 10:17 AM
While you are discussing this, maybe someone could determine mental stats for Stephen Hawking...

Brace yourself...

IT'S OVER NINE THOUSAND!

TempusCCK
2008-09-04, 10:22 AM
Two points of Interest to add to this discussion.

Average I.Q is based on a 100 point system, however, now the average I.Q of America (I realize not all of you live in America, but I do) is now 90.

I.Q doens't actually measure intellect, it means the ability you have to collect information and spew it back correctly, a person can have a low IQ and still be really smart, just a slow learner, however, that's not usually the case.

monty
2008-09-04, 10:30 AM
I.Q doens't actually measure intellect, it means the ability you have to collect information and spew it back correctly, a person can have a low IQ and still be really smart, just a slow learner, however, that's not usually the case.

It's supposed to measure intellect, though (hence "Intelligence Quotient"), it just does so poorly. If it were to accurately measure the intelligence of everybody, it would probably compare roughly to the d20 system. That is, it would compare your level of intelligence to that of other people on a numerical scale.

Prometheus
2008-09-04, 12:20 PM
Two points of Interest to add to this discussion.

Average I.Q is based on a 100 point system, however, now the average I.Q of America (I realize not all of you live in America, but I do) is now 90.
I call BS. If you change the statistical interpretation of an IQ test and fix it at a constant ability, than IQ increases, rather than decreases, this is known as the Flynn Effect. The Flynn effect is caused by increasing standards of living, health, nutrition, and education.

If instead you are keeping the statistical interpretation of IQ and comparing it to the rest of the world, I do not doubt that the United States' status as a developed country puts its IQ way above that of developing counties with significantly greater problems with starvation and literacy.

If you then are comparing America to other developed countries (where, presumably, its easier to administer and IQ test and the convenience bias is obvious) than maybe I can believe the IQ was measured to be 90. But really its a roundabout way of saying "Europe is better" or "America is overrated". You know, I thought it might be a good thing for NATO to progress together and that it might be okay for us all to be friends even when we don't have a security dilemma but apparently there are some people who are more concerned about relative gains.

Epinephrine
2008-09-04, 01:01 PM
I'm going to go with the statistical setup mentioned by the 3d6 roller above.
IQ is roughly normal, and thus we can say that ~95% of people lie within ~2 standard deviations of the mean. With the 3d6 mean being 10.5, and the mean IQ being 100, the standard deviation of IQ is ~15points, so 70-130 IQ is roughly the same as the span of Int 6-15; roughly 99.7% of people lie within 3 standard deviations, so IQs of 131-145 are represented by Int scores of 16-17 or so (and likewise, 55-69 IQ corresponds to the 4-5 range), and above 145 IQ gets into the 18+ range.

If you want a slightly more precise mapping, it might look like:
Int......IQ
<=3......<55
4......55
5......60
6......70
7......73
8......78
9......84
10......92
11......108
12......116
13......122
14......127
15......130
16......140
17......145
>=18......>145


The old 3d6 system with /00 for scores of 18 would allow mapping the higher IQs to percentiles within the 18+ bracket, but since one can't generate scores higher than 18 on 3d6 all IQs above 145 are in the 18 category.

I think labelling it as "could graduate from M.I.T." etc. is a poor system, as I know bright people who flunked school, and other not very bright folks who simply worked their butts off to get through their programs. Oh, and folks who cheat to get by - the number of engineering students I caught cheating on tests and assignments is astounding.

For wisdom, if you wanted to treat it as perception, one could use distributions of eyesight/hearing, but if it represents force of will (Will saves) as well as common sense, practicality, and groundedness, those don't so much have scales associated with them.

monty
2008-09-04, 01:22 PM
For wisdom, if you wanted to treat it as perception, one could use distributions of eyesight/hearing, but if it represents force of will (Will saves) as well as common sense, practicality, and groundedness, those don't so much have scales associated with them.

Eyesight/hearing seems like a poor way to measure wisdom; I'm very myopic, but that shouldn't affect how wise I am in any way (in D&D terms, it'd just be a penalty to Spot).

chiasaur11
2008-09-04, 01:27 PM
Brace yourself...

IT'S OVER NINE THOUSAND!

And as for why he hasn't solved all the world's problems:

Stephen Hawking is a bastard.

Epinephrine
2008-09-04, 01:29 PM
Eyesight/hearing seems like a poor way to measure wisdom; I'm very myopic, but that shouldn't affect how wise I am in any way (in D&D terms, it'd just be a penalty to Spot).

Agreed, it's a really poor operational definition, but I'd argue that IQ is likewise a suboptimal operational definition of intelligence, since recall seems to be linked to intelligence (knowledge checks) as do skills such as forgery, woodworking (or other crafts), appraisal, and the ability to search thouroughly - none of which I would suspect are strongly correlated with IQ.

TempusCCK
2008-09-04, 01:33 PM
I call BS. If you change the statistical interpretation of an IQ test and fix it at a constant ability, than IQ increases, rather than decreases, this is known as the Flynn Effect. The Flynn effect is caused by increasing standards of living, health, nutrition, and education.

If instead you are keeping the statistical interpretation of IQ and comparing it to the rest of the world, I do not doubt that the United States' status as a developed country puts its IQ way above that of developing counties with significantly greater problems with starvation and literacy.

If you then are comparing America to other developed countries (where, presumably, its easier to administer and IQ test and the convenience bias is obvious) than maybe I can believe the IQ was measured to be 90. But really its a roundabout way of saying "Europe is better" or "America is overrated". You know, I thought it might be a good thing for NATO to progress together and that it might be okay for us all to be friends even when we don't have a security dilemma but apparently there are some people who are more concerned about relative gains.

I'm not changing the interpretation of anything, I'm saying that when a large majority of Americans are administered the test, they tend to score average 90, whereas when the test was designed the average was supposed to be 100. The test hasn't changed, just how well people as a whole are doing on it.

Man, you point out a fact and some geek has to turn it into a freaking calculus class, maybe the answer is something simpler than crunching numbers?

Destro_Yersul
2008-09-04, 01:35 PM
And as for why he hasn't solved all the world's problems:

Stephen Hawking is a bastard.

Atomic Robo says so. It must be true!

As for the penalties to specific things, let's go with a TV example. Dr. House. He's a total jerk, but he can bully people into doing what he wants them to do. How does that work for Charisma? Loads of ranks in Intimidate? Anyone that caustic shouldn't be allowed to have a high CHA score.

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-09-04, 01:39 PM
Atomic Robo says so. It must be true!

As for the penalties to specific things, let's go with a TV example. Dr. House. He's a total jerk, but he can bully people into doing what he wants them to do. How does that work for Charisma? Loads of ranks in Intimidate? Anyone that caustic shouldn't be allowed to have a high CHA score.He's a Montebank 1/Expert 19. He gets Int to his social skills.

Douglas
2008-09-04, 02:05 PM
Note that the .5% derived from the bellcurve applies to heroes - not to the average population. A 20 or higher would be legendary amongst humans.
No, heroes get 4d6 drop low which gives quite a bit more than .5% with 18. The 3d6 distribution is for the average population.

Epinephrine
2008-09-04, 02:12 PM
I'm not changing the interpretation of anything, I'm saying that when a large majority of Americans are administered the test, they tend to score average 90, whereas when the test was designed the average was supposed to be 100. The test hasn't changed, just how well people as a whole are doing on it.

Man, you point out a fact and some geek has to turn it into a freaking calculus class, maybe the answer is something simpler than crunching numbers?

I didn't see any calculus.

I doubt that you are correct about the average IQ being 90; the IQ tests are recalibrated regularly to keep the average at 100, and as previously mentioned, there is a tendency for IQ to increase over the years. Can you cite a source? I don't know of any good national estimates of IQ, and most people generate their IQ estimates from the ACT, SAT, or other tests.

Riffington
2008-09-04, 02:21 PM
The average IQ in the US is 98... pretty close to 100.

Obviously, IQ, "graduated from MIT", etc are imperfect measures. Everyone knows someone brilliant who went to community college, and someone who tests well but never otherwise seems smart. They're just good shortcuts.

As to 4d6... well, that's for PC heroes - not just regular heroes.

Nemoricus
2008-09-04, 02:39 PM
Eyesight/hearing seems like a poor way to measure wisdom; I'm very myopic, but that shouldn't affect how wise I am in any way (in D&D terms, it'd just be a penalty to Spot).

It is. I see wisdom more as the ability to judge things for importance. How this relates to perceiving things is simply that a higher wisdom means that you more easily recognize important things.

IQ is meaningless for roleplaying. I don't have a standard of comparison. Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma are similar in that no real standard exists to judge them by.

I'm for ideas for a standard.

Shazzbaa
2008-09-04, 03:00 PM
ARRGH the internet ate my post. @[email protected] And it was long, too! Alright, let's see what I can remember.

I was gonna say that in terms of having a scale of what is "normal," I watched the Olympic weightlifting recently and compared the weights lifted with the "lift over head" on the STR tables (yes! I am that much of a geek!) and found that most Olympic weightlifters had a STR of 22-23.

From this, I'd assume that 22-23 is like, as far as real people can push. 24-25 could be a real person, but that would rarely happen. Anything above that? You're dealing with something legendary, that real people aren't capable of.


Regarding the IQ discussion, I did want to mention that being a slow learner would, frankly, mean a low INT score (less skill points per level), but that "intelligent" and "stupid" are also components of personality, which are not directly related to a high or low INT. I'm still utterly convinced that someone could be perceived as "intelligent" and not have a high INT, and vice-versa (for anyone familiar with the D&D Doodles characters, you may be surprised to learn that Damon has a higher INT than Raidea. He's an ignorant farmboy, so he comes across as a moron, but he actually picks up on stuff very quickly).

WIS, on the other hand, could affect so many different things that it's really just better for individual players to determine what their WIS score means. If it's high, are you just perceptive? or are you, well, wise? or are you strong-willed? It affects clerics' spellcasting -- perhaps a high WIS just means you're close to your god? If it's low, are you unobservant? are you foolish? are you gullible? or are you slightly out of your mind?
I think calling it "Wisdom" has the unfortunate side effect of making people believe that it has to do specifically with your judgement; but it actually affects a myriad of things.

Lastly, CHA. I disagree with this:

16 - Masterful charisma. You have a natural above average charisma, and have honed it to a science. You've likely taken several psychology, communication, or marketing class that allow you to show yourself at a far better angle.
CHA is very intangible, and it's very possible to have a high CHA without consciously "honing" it or taking any sort of classes.
The most charismatic person I ever knew in real life was an obsessive, aggressive, androgynous girl, an admittedly scary person whose swearing would embarrass a sailor. She was never "polite," she rarely censored herself, and more often than not she couldn't keep her mouth shut, never afraid to say the wrong thing to the wrong people. But she had ridiculously high CHA because, despite all of this, everyone noticed her, everyone listened to her, everyone believed her. When she would talk -- about anything -- her exasperated, profanity-filled stories would begin to draw an interested crowd, no matter where she was. She had many friends, many admirers; people liked her, people would turn to her for advice, though they admitted they weren't sure why. It quickly became clear that almost anyone who didn't like her simply felt threatened by her; it was frighteningly impossible to disagree with her without feeling like an ignorant moron.

Not everyone with a high charisma has a silver tongue.

TempusCCK
2008-09-04, 05:32 PM
No, I can't site a source off-hand.

Can you site a source for any of your claims? Including the recalibration of the test?

To me, recalibrating an IQ test is like saying "Alright, we know the high jump is hard, so let's jsut take down the starting height and record it from inches over the bar instead of ground, that way, we're still as talented as before!"

chiasaur11
2008-09-04, 06:28 PM
No, I can't site a source off-hand.

Can you site a source for any of your claims? Including the recalibration of the test?

To me, recalibrating an IQ test is like saying "Alright, we know the high jump is hard, so let's jsut take down the starting height and record it from inches over the bar instead of ground, that way, we're still as talented as before!"

Not the most reliable source, but I found, in less than a minute, a well known site saying IQ testing is on a curve.

Now, don't you feel a little silly? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IQ)

Epinephrine
2008-09-05, 07:18 AM
No, I can't site a source off-hand.

Can you site a source for any of your claims? Including the recalibration of the test?

To me, recalibrating an IQ test is like saying "Alright, we know the high jump is hard, so let's jsut take down the starting height and record it from inches over the bar instead of ground, that way, we're still as talented as before!"

Sure can. Richard Lynn's "Intelligence and the Wealth and Poverty of Nations" to look at international IQ measurement, the recent paper on intelligence in the USA IQ and the Wealth of States (Kanazawa S, 2006), The Flynn effect and U.S. policies: the impact of rising IQ scores on American society via mental retardation diagnoses., (Kanaya T, Scullin MH, Ceci SJ, 2003), The book "The Mismeasure of Man, by Stephen Jay Gould, my introductory Psych text...

For example, from Kanaya T, Scullin MH, Ceci SJ (2003)

"Over the last century, IQ scores have been steadily rising, a phenomenon dubbed the Flynn effect. Because of the Flynn effect, IQ tests are periodically renormed, making them harder."

DigoDragon
2008-09-05, 07:52 AM
As for the penalties to specific things, let's go with a TV example. Dr. House. He's a total jerk, but he can bully people into doing what he wants them to do. How does that work for Charisma? Loads of ranks in Intimidate? Anyone that caustic shouldn't be allowed to have a high CHA score.

That's a good question and a valid point to the intangibility of the mental stats. Your thought is probably the easiest way to explain it in game terms. As a simple example, House with a CHA 8 and 4 ranks in Intimidate certainly would be a start to explain his people skills. :smallsmile:

Shazzbaa
2008-09-05, 10:08 AM
That's a good question and a valid point to the intangibility of the mental stats. Your thought is probably the easiest way to explain it in game terms. As a simple example, House with a CHA 8 and 4 ranks in Intimidate certainly would be a start to explain his people skills. :smallsmile:
Or a CHA of 16 and a beefed up version of the "abrasive" trait.

Also, note that House is a jerk, but... have you ever listened to House fans? Especially female House fans? "He's a jerk but I love him" seems to be the most common sentiment. I'd have to watch the show to say for sure, but it seems not unlikely that House may be another one of those people who's super-charismatic despite his behaviour.
Then again, House is extremely smart, so a high INT and lots of ranks to spare makes sense...

And here's something else, just to further confuse matters: with mental stats, it's entirely possibly to make up for one stat with another. Imagine someone with a high INT studying and learning how to present himself to appear as though he has a high CHA. Someone with a low WIS score might make up for it with INT by analysing everything, making very good judgement calls and training himself to be more observant than he is naturally. Someone with a high WIS might be able to come to the same conclusions as someone with a high INT, since he can pick up on all of the details involved.

The confusing thing about WIS, INT, and CHA is that we have less stats directly based on them. CHA affects nothing but skills and some magic (and magic's just hard to apply to the real world). INT affects how many skill points you get, and other than that... it affects some skills and magic. WIS affects will saves, and other that that... skills and some magic. Since skills also fluctuate based on how many ranks you put where, they're not a very good marker.
So all we really have is:
CHA -- you're good with people I guess?
INT -- you pick up on stuff quickly (more skill points)
WIS -- you have a strong will*
Overall, I really think there's a lot of room for interpretation. The only real way to get a solid marker for any of this would be to look at STR or DEX and figure out what number is average. What's noticeably impressive, what's just sort of above average, what's below average, and what scores will get you ridiculed? And then extrapolate those numbers to figure out what's "average" intelligence.
I also like the idea of rolling 3d6 to determine what's "normal" and what rarely happens. TeeEl's post I can get behind, it's supported by game mechanics and doesn't try to arbitrarily stick accomplishments or IQ numbers (which is doesn't really tell us much; I don't even know the IQs of most of the people I know. I don't even know my own) as solid markers. Why not just keep going from there?

...hang on.
A quick Google search pulled up this article (http://www.frontiernet.net/~jamesstarlight/Statistics.html), which seems somewhat related, though I guess my biggest question would be -- is 18 really a genius who would impact all of humanity? I have a relative with I.Q. 198, and while everyone in his high school and college knew his name when he was younger, he's not a world-changing man; he's just really intelligent and good with complex mathematics and programming and computers.

That might be a good marker, though: 18 in INT as "so high that everyone in school would have heard of you."

Unfortunately we can't extrapolate that to other stats... since if you have a high WIS or CHA, your peers might not even consciously recognise it. >_>

*Will saves are also kind of hard to imagine in the real world; I know some people who've compared it to "not taking that last donut," but given that a good will save can keep you from dying, I think it's a little more extreme than that.
I use, instead, the way one friend of mine described her attempts to save herself from drowning. She described that being underwater and unable to breathe put her mind in a sort of panic, a desperate need to overcome it at all costs, which faded away as she ran out of air. The panic was gone, and she felt happy, and comfortable, and somewhere in the back of her mind she knew that meant she was about to die. In her words "I had to pull back that panic," to force herself to keep struggling. In my mind, THAT is a Will save to not die.

Ixtli
2008-09-05, 10:12 AM
According to me is impossible to roleplay properly very high non-physical stats.
A common player (average Int, Wis, Cha) can rolepay properly a character that has similar (or lower) characteristics.

For example: I'm always thinking that my uber-smart mage should solve that riddle in no more than 20 seconds while solving 2 Rubik cubes ... even if, after 10 minutes, I'm just hitting a wall hoping that some idea enters my mind.

In an old Ravenloft module, the DM was suggested to play Strahd as he knew every PC move. This just to simulate his supra genious intelligence, because Strhad was supposed to be smarter than the DM :)

I think that as long as a character is well defined (with habits -even bad ones- and attitudes etc.) and players and DM enjoy the evening ... it doesn't matters if he is acting as a 12 Int monkey instead of a 26 Int genius.

Two more things:
- even smart people can act in a supid way.
- what I have written for Int can be referred also to Wis and Cha.

Shazzbaa
2008-09-05, 10:18 AM
Eh, I'm all for INT checks giving hints, but honestly?

The DM is getting the same problem you are. Sure, your wizard should be able to solve any puzzle the DM gives you -- he's probably smarter than the DM -- but then, the DM created that puzzle to be the work of an ancient race with understanding beyond that of normal humans, something he's not capable of creating, any more than you are of instantly solving whatever your wizard could solve.

So, by making the players solve the puzzle, we're basically assuming that the puzzle that the players actually solve is a stand-in for the much more difficult puzzle that the ancient race created, which the wizard would actually struggle with. :smalltongue:

only1doug
2008-09-05, 10:51 AM
I had a GM who decided to make a int based puzzle to be a lock on a (trapped) door, my character (big stupid slow) really needed to get thru and clearly wasn't going to be able to break it down.

I asked the GM if i could roll an int check and he let me, then got pissed off 'cos i rolled a crit success. he changed his mind and said i couldn't do so, gave me a copy of the code lock and smirked that there was no way i would get thru.

I examined his paper for 10 minutes, pushed a few random buttons (triggering crossbow bolts). The Gm was convinced he'd created an impossible puzzle.

My character was guaranteed to die if he didn't open the door so i told the GM that he would be pushing random buttons.... then told him the sequence of buttons that i was "randomly pressing" he looked very pissed off when he told me that the door swung open and told me that i wasn't roleplaying my (stupid) character properly (even though i had had a crit success).

Well, i don't play with that guy anymore, he was a jerk anyway.

monty
2008-09-05, 10:55 AM
Wait, so now "getting lucky" is the same as "bad roleplaying"? If he did that a lot, I can see why you don't play with him anymore.

only1doug
2008-09-05, 12:54 PM
well the guy was a Computer science A level student, so he was going to college 30 hrs a week, he lived at home with his parents who charged him 80 a week rent (this is 16 years ago) and he was forced to work 30 hrs a week at the video store to pay his rent.

sarcasm alert Popular guy, everyone liked him, especially his parents.

when my friend ran a DnD campaign he turned up with a pregenerated wizard with 18/00 str, 18 dex and 18 int.

sarcasm alert we really liked him, he was a great person.

But what had really pissed him off was the several hours he had put into creating the puzzle that i solved in about 10 minutes. this pissed him off because he was convinced he was smarter than the rest of us.

But in my view if he wanted my character to use his intelligence to solve the puzzle.... well i had rolled and he didn't accept that and i had done that first so i felt entitled to crack his puzzle.

Riffington
2008-09-05, 02:04 PM
ARRGH the internet ate my post. @[email protected] And it was long, too! Alright, let's see what I can remember.

I was gonna say that in terms of having a scale of what is "normal," I watched the Olympic weightlifting recently and compared the weights lifted with the "lift over head" on the STR tables (yes! I am that much of a geek!) and found that most Olympic weightlifters had a STR of 22-23.


This isn't quite fair. The "lift over head" given in D&D describes what a character can do using just raw strength. But Olympic athletes aren't just using raw strength. They train intensively, and essentially have ranks in a skill "Power Lifting" that allows them to lift more than their STR score might otherwise indicate. Consider that Mike Tyson was renowned for his mighty punches, but his bench press was only half of the world record bench press. Mike Tyson represents the peak of human strength (18 or maybe 20), but he was trained as a boxer rather than as a weightlifter.

drengnikrafe
2008-09-06, 09:37 PM
I can say this about myself: My spot and listen checks are awful. Seriously, awful. In fact, without my glasses, I think I take a -10 penalty if it requires any level of detail beyond 5 feet. However, I have some level of wisdom. Generally, when one is wiser to the ways of the world, they can also observe it. It's a lot easier then making 2 stats, one for how wise you are, and one for how well you can observe things.

As a result, I say I have a high wisdom, but massive circumstance penalties to Spot/Listen. Circumstance penalties, people, They can make up for what you're missing. Don't like a subject? Your Inteligence modifier may not seem as high as it usually is. This is a circumstance penalty. They exist everywhere, but to put every penalty possible into every instance would take hours upon hours, so most of them are left out when it comes to D&D. But, the world is full of them. Circumstance Penalties, and Bonuses too.

Xenogears
2008-09-07, 09:31 AM
To me, recalibrating an IQ test is like saying "Alright, we know the high jump is hard, so let's jsut take down the starting height and record it from inches over the bar instead of ground, that way, we're still as talented as before!"

{Scrubbed} Supposedly a high score on a test nowadays is the equivalent of an average score of 40 years ago in the English section on the SAT. The Math has only very recently gotten back up to the standards it had 40 years ago.

As to how the scores compare to real life....
Well an average human is supposed to have a 10 in all scores. So a ten is an average person. a 12-14 is probably a gifted person but not a genuis. Maybe someone who can take AP classes and not need to try hard to pass. A 14-16 is a genuis. They can pick up almost any kind of knowledge and are at the top of their field. An 18 might be Steven Hawking or Sir Isaac Newton. On the other side. An 8-10 is someone who struggles to pass a normal class. A 6-10 is a person who needs special classes. Anything lower is bordering on inability to function in society without help. {Scrubbed}

nagora
2008-09-07, 10:09 AM
That is the American way of increasing our scores on tests. Especially for the SAT. People can't do analogies.... scrap 'em. Whats even worse is that not only will the government make the test easier but they will then rescore all the old tests by the standards of the new test so that the old scores look better. Great method. Supposedly a high score on a test nowadays is the equivalent of an average score of 40 years ago in the English section on the SAT. The Math has only very recently gotten back up to the standards it had 40 years ago.
This is not just an American trait, the UK has been suffering the same problem for a couple of decades now since politicians realised that lowering the standard makes it look like the quality of education is increasing. It's now got to the point that, for example, a student can get an A* (they had to introduce new types of 'A' because so many people are getting them) in French and not be able to write a letter in French that a French person can understand. The entire qualification system has basically collapsed from secondary school up to university levels as a result.

To go back on-topic: I just think in terms of the 3d6 "normal people" curve. This means that 18 is the top .5% of the population, which should work out at something like an IQ of 150+, as an earlier poster suggested.

3 or 18 should crop up only in one individual per 216 of the populations, before modifications for age etc.

Having said all that, I think IQ sucks as a measurement at either the top or bottom end. Genius is not like being good at a physical activity. A true genius like Feynman, Einstein, Shakespeare, or Darwin isn't like a really, really, really fast runner; they're like someone who can teleport.

Likewise, meeting a really charismatic person is like being hit over the head with a hammer; it's not like meeting someone who's just very likable. You actually have to fight to apply critical thought to what they're saying. Charismatic people are worrying.

hamishspence
2008-09-07, 12:56 PM
All stats are upgradable: for wisdom: study logic, train brain, develop your perception as high as it will go. For intelligence: similar, but focus on memory, mathematical ability, puzzle solving. For charimsa, public speaking skills, learning how to Make Friends and Influence People, etc.

It is possible, however, that this may only correspond to a 1 or 2 point boost, in D&D terms.

Flickerdart
2008-09-07, 12:58 PM
All stats are upgradable: for wisdom: study logic, train brain, develop your perception as high as it will go. For intelligence: similar, but focus on memory, mathematical ability, puzzle solving. For charimsa, public speaking skills, learning how to Make Friends and Influence People, etc.

It is possible, however, that this may only correspond to a 1 or 2 point boost, in D&D terms.
Well, in D&D, you get very few natural increases. So yes, you'll only have a handful of points, considering most of us won't be higher than a few levels of Commoner or Expert.

hamishspence
2008-09-07, 01:04 PM
I was pointing out that, in real world, people can develop their brains and social skills over time, without necessarily developing their job skills. Like getting a stat boost, but not levelling up.

Flickerdart
2008-09-07, 01:07 PM
I was pointing out that, in real world, people can develop their brains and social skills over time, without necessarily developing their job skills. Like getting a stat boost, but not levelling up.
Well, Human Paragon gives a stat boost on level 3. But yeah, Oblivion's skill/level system is more reflective of how real life works than D&D's.

Yahzi
2008-09-07, 01:09 PM
Average I.Q is based on a 100 point system, however, now the average I.Q of America (I realize not all of you live in America, but I do) is now 90.

An interesting note on the uselessness of IQ tests: average test scores have climbed 10 pts per generation for the last 60 years (this is not obvious because the tests are recalibrated every year; but if you gave a person today a test from 60 years ago, he would score 30 pts higher. This is called the Flynn effect, after the guy who uncovered it).

Are we really 30% smarter than our grandparents? No, I don't think so. I might believe 10% - I mean, disco. What the hell were they thinking? :smallbiggrin:

Roland St. Jude
2008-09-07, 01:42 PM
Sheriff of Moddingham: Please don't take this discussion in a political direction. That will result in a thread lock and warnings/infractions. Thanks.

kjones
2008-09-07, 02:05 PM
when my friend ran a DnD campaign he turned up with a pregenerated wizard with 18/00 str, 18 dex and 18 int.


But only fighters can have fractional strength scores!

If he's so smart, then how come he can't even play by the rules, huh? :smalltongue:

Ravyn
2008-09-07, 02:06 PM
I find that roleplaying absurdly high stats is difficult, but not impossible, and that one of the best ways to simulate it is giving the player more time to think.

One of my favorite chat-game characters is practically an embodiment of this principle. See, I consider myself to have decent mental scores and dubious social scores--I can work my way around words, but I'm not very good at reading people or talking to them. She, on the other hand, was statted as above average intelligence and wits and as a devastating social monster, particularly when it comes to manipulation and oratory. And with the Internet between me and my audience, and a couple minutes to think of responses, I managed to fake it almost unnervingly well. I mean, there was one time when she, IC, managed to convince her PC then-significant other that she didn't like manipulating people (this coming from a woman who was practically addicted to spywork and dirty politics) and make it stick without a single die leaving my hand. And most of this, I think, came from the fact that I could take the time to figure out my responses and look them over.

DigoDragon
2008-09-08, 07:27 AM
That might be a good marker, though: 18 in INT as "so high that everyone in school would have heard of you."

Or you might be a nobody if you have an 18 INT and are so shy you don't make many friends. Maybe due to a low CHA or such? :smallsmile: Conversely you could be wll known having any stat really high...

nagora
2008-09-08, 07:33 AM
Or you might be a nobody if you have an 18 INT and are so shy you don't make many friends.
Which is why all those Magic Users end up living alone in towers in the middle of nowhere :smallsmile:

Tengu_temp
2008-09-08, 09:36 AM
A common player (average Int, Wis, Cha) can rolepay properly a character that has similar (or lower) characteristics.


If you ask me, a common RPG player has above-average Int.

only1doug
2008-09-08, 10:36 AM
<snip>

Are we really 30% smarter than our grandparents? No, I don't think so. I might believe 10% - I mean, disco. What the hell were they thinking? :smallbiggrin:

You blame disco on your Grandparents generation? or on your Grandparents specifically?

Either way: thanks, you just made me feel Old....

drengnikrafe
2008-09-08, 09:24 PM
I claim the right to disagree that 18 is paragon of race. According to perfectly fair rolls, any given person has a 1/216 chance of having a particular stat as an 18. When you take feats, or reach 4th/8th/12th level, ect, you can gain a higher score. Therefore, a few kids at any given school should (in theory) have an 18 in a stat. Or, a few people in a workplace. Or, something. People like Stephen Hawkings have... a 22, or something. They're that high level/can afford stat increase books, ect.

With all this, I claim 18 INT, since I'm the paragon of my school. Alternatively, I claim pathetic other stats, and Educated Feat (I am human, after all).

My good buddy, the DM, made a theory. He said that only heroes get x + int mod x4 skill points at first level. Everyone else just gets x + int mod. This helps to explain the whole "so few people have 4 ranks in any given thing" theory.

Shazzbaa
2008-09-08, 09:55 PM
Or you might be a nobody if you have an 18 INT and are so shy you don't make many friends. Maybe due to a low CHA or such?
The other problem with judging mental stats is that the only ways we have of measuring it are inherently flawed because true Intelligence/Genius/whatever-you-wanna-call-it can manifest in many different ways. Saying someone is stupid because they make low grades is like saying a cat is stupid because it can't do tricks. Anyone who owns a cat (that isn't functionally retarded) will tell you that cats are very clever, despite the fact that they refuse to perform on command.

But, the point of this thread, as I understood it, was not to try to identify our own stats or the stats of those around us, but to find something to compare our D&D characters to so that we know what a 16 INT is like, what an 8 WIS is like, etc.

So, even though it's impossible for us to look at someone and know what their INT is based on IQ or grades in school, we *can* say, "Well, a 16 is probably as smart as those people who make A's while hardly trying" or "An 18 is probably as smart as those two people in school (you know who I'm talking about) that everyone has heard of because they're brilliant." It's entirely possible to be that brilliant and never have anyone care that you exist, but that's irrelevant for the purpose of having something to look at and say, "Okay, my character is probably about that smart."

Also, nagora, that is the best description of a charismatic person ever.

Dr Bwaa
2008-09-08, 11:45 PM
Not going to read this whole thread, but there was a really good thread a while back that dealt with these issues, and tried to come up with ways to test them IRL. Things I can remember that we were considering:

1 INT != 10 IQ This formula quickly goes berzerk. We came up with a better one.
WIS is badly defined and awkward. Testing Spot and Listen may have very little to do with your WIS, as these things relate to your eyesight and hearing, not any actual mental capacity.
Testing CHA we thought about getting a large group together with some kind of impartial test via many games of Mafia. There was a formula for this, too.

Lastly and most importantly, all the mental stats are inextricably linked, so it's exceedingly difficult to test just one at a time. In the Mafia example, WIS and INT are definitely involved. If you do use and IQ formula, you have to realize that IQ factors both INT and WIS. And so on.

EDIT: tried to search for it but the search page hates me and I don't want to wait two minutes every time I retry :smallannoyed: maybe tomorrow, hehe.

DigoDragon
2008-09-09, 07:31 AM
Saying someone is stupid because they make low grades is like saying a cat is stupid because it can't do tricks.

Yeah, ask Einstein. Most people say he was a genius, but he got poor grades all the time in school. :smallsmile: But I agree that with mental stats it's pretty much guesswork to just think of the average IQ of a group to equate to about INT 10 and (like in your example), the few people who seem super smart have something akin to an 18 INT.

Tengu_temp
2008-09-09, 01:21 PM
I think the reason why senses are connected to Wis is because a wiser character is more likely to recognize the brief glimpse of an odd colour in the bush as important, while a less reasonable one will ignore it as nothing.

nagora
2008-09-09, 01:37 PM
I think the reason why senses are connected to Wis is because a wiser character is more likely to recognize the brief glimpse of an odd colour in the bush as important, while a less reasonable one will ignore it as nothing.
I think it's because someone somewhere confused "perceptive" and "perception".

Shazzbaa
2008-09-09, 02:37 PM
I see the "Spot" skill and WIS-related sight as less of a "read the smallest line of letters on the eyechart" ability and more of a "notice that your friend got a new haircut" ability.

I can see just fine (with my glasses on), but I have an unsurpassed ability to enter the same room, year after year after year, and only notice on the 5,000th time looking around that the walls are yellow. This isn't because I couldn't see the walls; it's because I didn't notice the walls.

Same with hearing. I can hear (for the most part) pretty decently, but sometimes people are talking to me and I just don't pick up on it.

The perception side of WIS is not the strength of your senses, it's your ability to gather information from your senses.

The only thing I find weird is why the stat is called "Wisdom" instead of "Perception."

Nemoricus
2008-09-09, 03:04 PM
Possibly and probably to retain a more fantastic feel.