1. ## Your Real Ability scores

I can't possibly be the only one whose wondered what their ability scores in real life are, so here's a thread for bouncing around ideas for how to calculate ability scores in the 3.5/3.75 systems.

I'll set up a post for each ability score to put the best ideas into for easy access for everyone.

2. ## Re: Real Ability scores

How to calculate your Strength score:

3. ## Re: Real Ability scores

How to calculate your Dexterity score:

4. ## Re: Real Ability scores

How to calculate your Constitution score:

5. ## Re: Real Ability scores

How to calculate your Intelligence score:

This one can be pretty straight forward, using IQ scores.

An IQ of 100, which is average, is equal to an Intelligence score of 10, which is also average.

An IQ of 140 is commonly accepted as genius level, as is an Intelligence score of 18.

Thus, if we use 100 as our base line, the for every 5 points of IQ you have, your intelligence increases by 1.

[OP idea, still open to discussion]

6. ## Re: Real Ability scores

How to calculate your Wisdom score:

7. ## Re: Real Ability scores

How to calculate your Charisma score:

8. ## Re: Your Real Ability scores

Well... goes to show that even if your DnD style INT is high, you don't feel (and probably aren't) particularly bright. That is, referring to myself.

Any plans to give us a method for calculating our BaB?

9. ## Re: Your Real Ability scores

So here's one idea for how this could work. Ability scores represent a lot of different things. Charisma is your appearance, your ability to influence people, musical talent, sense of humor, etc. The way I look at it is that your ability bonus is basically just counting which of these traits you possess. Someone who is physically durable and can hold their liquor has +2 for their con score. But if they're prone to illness, that -1 brings them down to a +1.

I find choosing a trait for each of those pluses is a lot easier that coming up with a numeric scale for something that may not represent the stat all that well.

10. ## Re: Your Real Ability scores

Suggestion: do it by percentile, rather than straight scaling. If we're assuming D&D ability scores have any meaning, let's go all out and assume that all normal humans roll 3d6 in order to get their scores. That lets us determine how rare specific ability scores are. For instance, 1 in 216 people will have an 18 in any given ability score. That puts that person around the 99.5th percentile. Conclusion: if you're stronger/quicker/smarter than 99.5% of the population, you can give yourself an 18 in that ability score.

So, step one: somebody more sober than I am should figure out the percentiles for each ability score.

Step two (the hard one): Come up with some measurable achievement for each ability score. For instance IQ probably works for intelligence. Strength might be bench press, or squat, or deadlift, or some combination. The important thing here is that it's a straight ability check - there's no skill involved, so skill ranks and feats can't screw things up.

Step 3: ??????

Step 4: Profit.

11. ## Re: Your Real Ability scores

What's your IQ? Almost nobody knows, except for the people who take internet IQ tests and get a score of 150 . So they'll just put what they think they should have. How much can you bench press? Again, most people don't know this, so they'll just put down something that corresponds with how strong they imagine they are. This results in everyone finding out what score they think they have, not what score they actually have.

If you want to administer a useful test, it should be something that people can do in the comfort of their own home. Dexterity test: spin a quarter on its end. How long were you able to make it spin for? Constitution/strength test (hard to say which one): do a plank for as long as you are able to (problem - how do you know they did it correctly? Most people have terrible technique, but this is a problem with most exercises).

Wisdom test: flash pictures with various colored circles , they have to click the one of a specified color. Do it ten times to calculate their score (based on spot)

Make it a 30 minute test, 5 minutes of stuff for each ability score (and you can do each one at a separate time) and you might have something which is actually new and interesting

12. ## Re: Your Real Ability scores

Originally Posted by TheStranger
Step two (the hard one): Come up with some measurable achievement for each ability score. For instance IQ probably works for intelligence. Strength might be bench press, or squat, or deadlift, or some combination. The important thing here is that it's a straight ability check - there's no skill involved, so skill ranks and feats can't screw things up.
I would start with one of these: http://www.exrx.net/Testing/WeightLi...Standards.html (not necessarily just using bench, that's an example). Base it on that. Elite is 18, Advanced is 16, Intermediate 14, Novice 12, and Untrained 10. You'd probably have to pick a weight to stick to (I'd aim high for this, since we're talking about peak strength, not strength relative to your weight) and maybe average it over a couple different lifts.

This method puts me at a 15 str for bench and deadlift, 14 for overhead press, and 12 for squat. Average that out to a 14 and I'm relatively happy with that. I lift 4 days a week, but I'm not particularly athletic or on steroids.

13. ## Re: Your Real Ability scores

In an early issue of The Dragon or The Strategic Review, there was an article on doing this. The only one I remember is Wisdom.

Your Wisdom score was defined as 20 minus the number of hours a week you spend playing, reading, or thinking about D&D.

(When the article came out, my Wisdom score came in at about negative ten, as I recall.)

14. ## Re: Your Real Ability scores

There was a thread on this a while ago on Media Discussions that might be of use - digging through the archive gives me this: link.

I remember doing a far bit of number crunching and for INT at least, doing it by percentiles doesn't really work out. Doing a straight IQ/10 = INT score seems to be more reflective of real life.

15. ## Re: Your Real Ability scores

You can calculate your Strength with the carrying capacity.
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/carryingCapacity.htm#weight

Very straightforward.

Can't think of any way to measure Dexterity precisely.

Can't think of any way to measure Constitution precisely.

Intelligence can precisely be measured by how many languages you speak (not counting languages you've gone out of your way to learn in adult life). For each language above 1 you have 2 more int above 10. For instance, I am bilingual so 12 or 13.
IQ is a bad way to measure intelligence, IQ tests only test a limited part of your logic, not your ability to learn. High intelligence in D&D = lots of knowledge, you need to take education into account.

Wisdom is barely even clearly defined, charisma even less so. Both of these tie into mysticism which strictly can't be measured.

16. ## Re: Your Real Ability scores

Originally Posted by Mastikator
Intelligence can precisely be measured by how many languages you speak (not counting languages you've gone out of your way to learn in adult life). For each language above 1 you have 2 more int above 10. For instance, I am bilingual so 12 or 13.
I don't think that's a very good measure as it doesn't allow for any INT score below 10.
Additionally, you haven't defined what fluency level counts as being able to speak a language and why the arbitrary cut-off limit of adulthood?

In the UK, schools typically teach two of three foreign languages - does that mean everybody has INT 14? I knew a pair of brothers who could speak Italian, Spanish, French and English fluently plus they were learning Japanese and I seriously doubt they were INT 18 (knowing one Romance language makes it surprisingly easy to pick up another).

I personally have varying fluency in about 6 languages/dialects - I am most certainly not 20 INT (I'm either 13 or 17 depending on whether you use the IQ/10 or population percentile method - I lean towards 13).

17. ## Re: Your Real Ability scores

Originally Posted by Mastikator
YIntelligence can precisely be measured by how many languages you speak (not counting languages you've gone out of your way to learn in adult life). For each language above 1 you have 2 more int above 10. For instance, I am bilingual so 12 or 13.
That has excellent rules support and absolutely no possible basis in reality.

People learn multiple languages when young if and only if they are around multiple languages in their home or similar; there is no connection to intelligence, as all but the most horrifically damaged children can learn any languages that are in use. Similarly, learning languages when an adult is less an exercise of intellect and more an exercise of patience and persistence. Speed of learning language as an adult might be connected to intelligence, or more likely to something a little different, but number known? No.

18. ## Re: Your Real Ability scores

Any thread like this is bound to fail as communication breaks down, no one can agree on what stats actually mean or represent in real life, we have the "I am rather bright so I have 16 int and I rarely get sick so I have 18 con" people on one side and "I am an average human so I have 10s across the board, maybe 12 int because I have a PhD" on the other, and overall it's a recipe for a headache.

But you can be sure of one thing: 95% posters will give themselves at least above average intelligence.

19. ## Re: Your Real Ability scores

Strength: Complete an overhead press and a dead lift at your one-rep maximum. Compare these maximums to the Carrying Capacity table. For instance, my OP is around 120 (str 12) and my DL is around 350 (str 14). Averaging these results gives me a Strength score of 13.

Dexterity: Take some online reflex test that aggregates results and gives you a score compared to others. Use the standard deviation (if provided) to determine your score. Mine was average, so I'm a 10 dex.

Constitution: Hold your breath. Divide the seconds by 12, that is your "base" con score. If this is over 2:12, subtract 1 for every additional 12 seconds. Secondly, run at your maximum speed (around 12 mph for most humans) for as long as you can. Divide the seconds by 6. If it's over 1:06, subtract 1 for each additional 6 seconds. Take the average of these two scores.

My Con is 8 (held my breath a max of 96 s, ran max speed for 48 s).

Intelligence: NPC average is 10.5 with a standard deviation of 2.96, while IQ average is 100 with a sd of 15. An IQ of 115, then, should be about 13.46, 130 ("genius") would be 16.42, and 145 would be 19.38. Not a perfect measure, but you aren't far off with the +5 IQ = +1 Int.

I don't know my proper IQ; done online tests (154), but those almost certainly aren't valid. It should be higher than average, since I have a master's degree, but can't be above 11 because I only speak 1 language. Weird, but them's the rules. ALL smart people in D&D learn a second language.

Wisdom: Very difficult to quantify. You could get standard vision and hearing tests done, and compare your result to an average and sd. For example, I have slight tinnitus and I'm nearsighted (but a good sense of smell!) so my Wisdom is probably slightly below average. Let's say 9.

Charisma: Possibly the most difficult to quantify, since there isn't a base use in the rules to which it can be compared. At best, you might be able to judge charisma based on your number of sexual partners (lifetime average is around 6-8) or something, but that isn't an ideal measure. Plus, who's to say any of us have reached our lifetime maximum? Depending on your age and relationship situation you can probably estimate an adjustment. I'd place myself just on the high end of average, 11.

So there I am: Str 13, Dex 10, Con 8, Int 11, Wis 9, Cha 11. That's only 14 points, so I'm 1 shy of an NPC point buy of 15. The standard (non-elite) array would require me to change one of my 11s to a 12; maybe I should learn another language!

20. ## Re: Your Real Ability scores

Originally Posted by prufock
Strength: Complete an overhead press and a dead lift at your one-rep maximum. Compare these maximums to the Carrying Capacity table. For instance, my OP is around 120 (str 12) and my DL is around 350 (str 14). Averaging these results gives me a Strength score of 13.
langua
I get a 14 on this one too. I wonder if WotC consulted the same tables as I did in my earlier suggestion. I wasn't expecting consistency between those two emthods.

21. ## Re: Your Real Ability scores

Originally Posted by tuggyne
That has excellent rules support and absolutely no possible basis in reality.
[snip].
So then there's no possible basis in reality. Because the IQ thing only covers a small portion of what intelligence covers.
Basically strength is the only thing you can measure, because you can measure how much someone can carry and compare to the carrying capacity chart. After that, stop.

22. ## Re: Your Real Ability scores

Originally Posted by Mastikator
So then there's no possible basis in reality. Because the IQ thing only covers a small portion of what intelligence covers.
Basically strength is the only thing you can measure, because you can measure how much someone can carry and compare to the carrying capacity chart. After that, stop.
Save carrying capacity, Strength also governs attack rolls, damage, grapple checks, trip/bull rush etc. checks, with some rather arbitrary and imprecise things numbers like "+3".

All those things are not easy to measure, and while they're generally positively related with sheer free weights achievements, it's pretty weak correlation.

So D&D "Strength" isn't really very measurable either.

23. ## Re: Your Real Ability scores

I get a 14 on this one too. I wonder if WotC consulted the same tables as I did in my earlier suggestion. I wasn't expecting consistency between those two emthods.
I've only played 2nd ed. is 40 reasonable? (Or is this more of an example of my intelligence score...)

EDIT: wrong column, 19. Put a 3 down for INT too!

24. ## Re: Your Real Ability scores

Originally Posted by Mastikator
So then there's no possible basis in reality. Because the IQ thing only covers a small portion of what intelligence covers.
Basically strength is the only thing you can measure, because you can measure how much someone can carry and compare to the carrying capacity chart. After that, stop.
Constitution. You can hold your breath for 12 seconds per point of con, and run at top speed for 6 seconds per point of con. You get a DC 10 con check after you reach your max, so mathematically it's pretty easy to model. There's no skill for it or anything, it's a flat equivalency. The only modifier would be if someone has Endurance, but unless you're a professional diver, swimmer, or long-distance runner, you probably don't.

25. ## Re: Your Real Ability scores

Originally Posted by Brother Oni

I remember doing a far bit of number crunching and for INT at least, doing it by percentiles doesn't really work out. Doing a straight IQ/10 = INT score seems to be more reflective of real life.
No it isn't. IQ scores don't go up to 180.

Mensa is a society that admits only the top 2% smartest people. In D&D terms using a 3d6 spread, that means intelligence 17 or up. In IQ terms, that means 130 and up.

26. ## Re: Your Real Ability scores

Ah, I love these threads. /dons NBC suit

Originally Posted by prufock
Charisma: Possibly the most difficult to quantify, since there isn't a base use in the rules to which it can be compared. At best, you might be able to judge charisma based on your number of sexual partners (lifetime average is around 6-8) or something, but that isn't an ideal measure. Plus, who's to say any of us have reached our lifetime maximum? Depending on your age and relationship situation you can probably estimate an adjustment. I'd place myself just on the high end of average, 11.
I know it's a hard one to quantify (though I'd say wisdom is trickier), but number of sexual partners is a terrible metric. That's a balance of skills (diplomacy, bluff, sense motive, use magic device) and lifestyle choice. Charisma and wisdom definitely factor in, but so do constitution, dexterity and strength. I got married at 24 and am unshakably loyal to my partner. Prior to dating my wife, I was in a 3-year relationship that looked like it was headed for marriage. Regardless of my charisma, I will definitely have fewer sexual partners than the brain-damaged meth-addicts who haunt some of my city's pool halls.

Anyway, as near as I can tell, this would be my character sheet.

You may prefer my Pathfinder sheet. Those numbers are honed from 6 years of "what would your real ability scores be?" threads on this forum.

27. ## Re: Your Real Ability scores

Originally Posted by OverdrivePrime
Ah, I love these threads. /dons NBC suit
I'm curious how you use magical devices to get partners :P

28. ## Re: Your Real Ability scores

Strength: Pretty weak, though I think I've got a decent back. Probably 8-9ish, I guess, maybe a little lower.
Dexterity: Hard to say. I'm extremely clumsy, but I also do some fairly fine, detailed work on things. I'll take a guess at 11, maybe 12.
Constitution: I think I'm reasonably tough. No allergies, I get sick sometimes but usually not as bad as the person who gave it to me, basically no broken bones, no serious illnesses, ate a lot of dirt as a child, drank the tap water in Bali and just felt a bit queasy a day later. 14 or so, maybe as high as 16 but that's probably pushing it.
Intelligence: I did pretty well in high school, got a double degree with a distinction average, I'm curious and fairly well-read. On the other hand, I think I've let my brain go pretty slack recently. I think my good education and reasonable most-other-things-Intelligence-related makes me 12-13ish, might've been more like 14-15ish a few years ago.
Wisdom: Abysmal. I've run into an open door before, walked straight past a snake no more than a couple of feet away from me, and asked if I should go see where a friend was when she was literally standing a metre or two in front of me. No more than 6, probably less.
Charisma: Ranges all over the place. I think I look awful to okay to pretty decent depending on mood and how prettied up I am, I'm reasonably well liked but incredibly tactless and tend to make a few enemies, outside this forum I'm pretty forgettable, I make friendly acquaintances pretty easily but not so good at the good friends bit, have a reasonably good grasp of social niceties but tend to get flustered when put on the spot... I think I'm gonna go with 12ish, but probably more likely just average.

29. ## Re: Your Real Ability scores

Originally Posted by Kurald Galain
I'm curious how you use magical devices to get partners :P
Spoiler

30. ## Re: Your Real Ability scores

Strength 16
Dexterity: 20
Constitution: 18
Intillgence, Intgeence, Entilligence, Um, "book smarts": 18
Wisdom: 18
Charisma: 18

The strength and dexterity scores are because I'm a hobbit.

#### Posting Permissions

• You may not post new threads
• You may not post replies
• You may not post attachments
• You may not edit your posts
•