Ability Scores

Cosmology / Powers and Deities / Dramatis Personae /
Rules and Mechanics / Character Creation / Equipment

Primary Attributes

Each character has six ability scores that represent his character’s most basic attributes. They are his raw talent and prowess. While a character rarely rolls a check using just an ability score, these scores, and the modifiers they create, affect nearly every aspect of a character’s skills and abilities. Each ability score generally ranges from 3 to 18, although racial bonuses and penalties can alter this; an average ability score is 10.

Ability Scores

Strength (Str)

Strength measures your character’s muscle and physical power. Strength also limits the amount of equipment your character can carry. A character with a Strength score of 0 is too weak to move in any way and is unconscious. Some creatures do not possess a Strength score and have no modifier at all to Strength-based skills or checks.

Dexterity (Dex)

Dexterity measures hand-eye coordination, agility, reflexes, and balance. This ability is the most important one for rogues, but it’s also high on the list for characters who typically wear light or medium armor or no armor at all, and for anyone who wants to be a skilled archer.

Constitution (Con)

Constitution represents your character’s health and stamina. A Constitution bonus increases a character’s hit points, so the ability is important for all characters. Some creatures, such as undead and constructs, do not have a Constitution score. Their modifier is +0 for any Constitution-based checks. A character with a Constitution score of 0 is dead.

Intelligence (Int)

Intelligence determines how well your character learns and reasons. An animal has an Intelligence score of 1 or 2. A creature of humanlike intelligence has a score of at least 3.

Wisdom (Wis)

Wisdom describes a character’s willpower, common sense, perception, and intuition. While Intelligence represents one’s ability to analyze information, Wisdom represents being in tune with and aware of one’s surroundings. If you want your character to have acute senses, put a high score in Wisdom. Every creature has a Wisdom score.

Charisma (Cha)

Charisma measures a character’s force of personality, persuasiveness, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and physical attractiveness. This ability represents actual strength of personality, not merely how one is perceived by others in a social setting. Every creature has a Charisma score.

Ability Score Bonuses

Some spells and abilities increase your ability scores. Ability score increases with a duration of 1 day or less give only temporary bonuses. For every two points of increase to a single ability, apply a +1 bonus to the skills and statistics listed with the relevant ability.

Ability Score Damage

Diseases, poisons, spells, and other abilities can all deal damage directly to your ability scores. This damage does not actually reduce an ability, but it does apply a penalty to the skills and statistics that are based on that ability.

For every 2 points of damage you take to a single ability, apply a –1 penalty to skills and statistics listed with the relevant ability. If the amount of ability damage you have taken equals or exceeds your ability score, you immediately fall unconscious until the damage is less than your ability score. The only exception to this is your Constitution score. If the damage to your Constitution is equal to or greater than your Constitution score, you die. Unless otherwise noted, damage to your ability scores is healed at the rate of 1 per day to each ability score that has been damaged. Ability damage can be healed through the use of spells.

Ability Score Penalties

Some spells and abilities cause you to take an ability penalty for a limited amount of time. While in effect, these penalties function just like ability damage, but they cannot cause you to fall unconscious or die. In essence, penalties cannot decrease your ability score to less than 1.

Secondary Attributes

Health (HP)

Health represents a character’s overall ability to sustain damage. A character’s base health is equal to 10 + his or her Constitution score. Every time a character takes damage, their current health decreases. If a character’s current health falls to zero or below, they are knocked unconscious and can only be revived if their current health rises above zero.

A character whose current health falls into the negatives loses one additional health every round unless they receive medical treatment. When a creature’s hit points reach a negative total equal to its Constitution score, it dies.

Characters naturally heal damage that they suffer equal to their Constitution modifier every day.

Will Save

These saves reflect your resistance to mental influence as well as many magical effects. You add your Wisdom modifier to your Will saving throws.

Fortitude Save

These saves measure your ability to stand up to physical punishment or attacks against your vitality and health. You add your Constitution modifier to your Fortitude saving throws.

Reflex Save

These saves test your ability to dodge area attacks and unexpected situations. Apply your Dexterity modifier to your Reflex saving throws.

Ability Scores

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