Abilities

Overview

Each ability partially describes your character and affects some of his actions.

Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells

Bonus Spells (by Spell Level)
Score Modifier 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1 –5 Can’t cast spells tied to this ability
2–3 –4 Can’t cast spells tied to this ability
4–5 –3 Can’t cast spells tied to this ability
6–7 –2 Can’t cast spells tied to this ability
8–9 –1 Can’t cast spells tied to this ability
10–11 0
12-13 1 1
14–15 2 1 1
16–17 3 1 1 1
18–19 4 1 1 1 1
20–21 5 2 1 1 1 1
22–23 6 2 2 1 1 1 1
24–25 7 2 2 2 1 1 1 1
26–27 8 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1
28–29 9 3 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1
30–31 10 3 3 2 2 2 2 1 1 1
32–33 11 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 1 1
34–35 12 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 1
36–37 13 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 2
38–39 14 4 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 2
40–41 15 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 2 2
42–43 16 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 2
44–45 17 5 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 3

Strength (STR)

Strength measures your character’s muscular and physical power. This ability is especially important for those who engage in hand-to-hand (or “melee”) combat, such as fighters, paladins, and some rangers. Strength also determines the maximum amount of equipment your character can carry.

You apply your character’s Strength modifier to:

  • Melee attack rolls.
  • Damage rolls when using a melee weapon or a thrown weapon (including a sling). (Exceptions: Off-hand attacks receive only half the character’s Strength bonus, while two-handed attacks receive one-and-a-half times the Strength bonus. A Strength penalty, but not a bonus, applies to attacks made with a bow that is not a composite bow. If your character has a higher Wisdom modifier than Strength modifier, then apply the Wisdom modifier to damage when using a thrown weapon instead of the Strength modifier.)
  • Offensive Combat Maneuver (OCM) rolls and difficulty class.
  • Fortitude saving throws.
  • Climb and Swim checks. These are the skills that have Strength as their key ability.
  • Strength checks (for breaking down doors and the like).

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 (rangers and barbarians) or no armor at all (wizards, and sorcerers). This ability is vital for characters seeking to excel at ranged weapons, such as the bow or sling.

You apply your character’s Dexterity modifier to:

  • Melee attack rolls
  • Ranged attack rolls, including those for attacks made with bows, crossbows, throwing axes, and other ranged weapons.
  • Defensive Combat Maneuver (DCM) rolls and difficulty class.
  • Armor Class (AC), provided that the character can react to the attack.
  • Reflex saving throws, for avoiding fireballs and other attacks that you can escape by moving quickly.
  • Initiative rolls.
  • Acrobatics, Disable Device, Escape Artist, Fly, Ride, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth checks. These are the skills that have Dexterity as their key ability.

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 classes. Some creatures, such as undead and constructs, do not have a Constitution score.

You apply your character’s Constitution modifier to:

  • Each roll of a Hit Die (though a penalty can never drop a result below 1—that is, a character always gains at least 1 hit point each time he advances in level).
  • Fortitude saving throws, for resisting poison, disease, and similar threats.

If a character’s Constitution score changes enough to alter his or her Constitution modifier, the character’s hit points also increase or decrease accordingly.

Intelligence (INT)

Intelligence determines how well your character learns and retains information, and how quickly your character is able to process that information. This ability is important for wizards because it affects how many spells they can cast, how hard their spells are to resist, and how powerful their spells can be. It’s also important for any character who wants to have a wide assortment of skills.

You apply your character’s Intelligence modifier to:

  • The number of languages your character is proficient with at the start of the game.
  • The number of skill points gained each level, though your character always gets at least 1 skill point per level.
  • Reflex saving throws, for avoiding fireballs and other attacks that you can escape by reacting quickly.
  • Initiative rolls.
  • Appraise, Craft, Knowledge, Linguistics, and Spellcraft checks. These are the skills that have Intelligence as their key ability.

A wizard gains bonus spells based on his Intelligence score. The minimum Intelligence score needed to cast a wizard spell is 10 + the spell’s level.
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, awareness, intuition, and capability to make good decisions. While Intelligence represents one’s ability to store and process information, Wisdom represents being in tune with and conscious of one’s surroundings. Wisdom is the most important ability for clerics and druids, and it is also important for paladins and rangers. If you want your character to have acute senses, put a high score in Wisdom. Every creature has a Wisdom score.

You apply your character’s Wisdom modifier to:

  • Ranged attack rolls, including those for attacks made with bows, crossbows, throwing axes, and other ranged weapons.
  • Damage rolls when using a ranged weapon or a thrown weapon (including a sling). (Exceptions: If your character has a higher Strength modifier than Wisdom modifier, then apply the Strength modifier to damage when using a thrown weapon instead of the Wisdom modifier.)
  • Will saving throws (for negating the effects of charm person and other spells).
  • Heal, Perception, Profession, Sense Motive, and Survival checks. These are the skills that have Wisdom as their key ability.

Clerics, druids, paladins, and rangers get bonus spells based on their Wisdom scores. The minimum Wisdom score needed to cast a cleric, druid, paladin, or ranger spell is 10 + the spell’s level.

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. Charisma is the most important ability for paladins, sorcerers, and bards. It is also important for clerics, since it affects their ability to channel energy. Every creature has a Charisma score.

You apply your character’s Charisma modifier to:

  • Will saving throws (for negating the effects of charm person and other spells).
  • Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Perform, and Use Magic Device checks. These are the skills that have Charisma as their key ability.
  • Checks that represent attempts to influence others.
  • Channel energy difficulty classes (DC) for clerics and paladins attempting to turn zombies, vampires, and other undead.

Sorcerers and bards get bonus spells based on their Charisma scores. The minimum Charisma score needed to cast a sorcerer or bard spell is 10 + the spell’s level.

Ability Score Advancement Bonuses

The rules and language presented below are Open Game Content

This variant rule around ability ability bonuses places more power in the hands of characters while reducing their reliance on items. Further this permits NPCs to be more challenging without drastically increasing their gear carried.

From fourth level onward, every time a character gains an even-numbered level he may increase an inherent bonus to an ability of his choice by 1. This inherent bonus may be increased in this way up to a maximum bonus of plus one-quarter the total character level. Thus, a level 20 character has a limit of a +5 inherent bonus for any given ability score. Only elite characters, such as PCs, garner these bonuses. Characters of races with monstrous classes receive the inherent bonus for each hit die they acquire rather than each character level.

Level Bonus Points Max per ability
1 0 +0
2 0 +0
3 0 +0
4 1 +1
5 1 +1
6 2 +1
7 2 +1
8 3 +2
9 3 +2
10 4 +2
11 4 +2
12 5 +3
13 5 +3
14 6 +3
15 6 +3
16 7 +4
17 7 +4
18 8 +4
19 8 +4
20 9 +5

To accommodate this change, all items that grant ability bonuses are rather less common and accordingly more expensive.
Items and spells that grant temporary enhancement bonuses remain as they are.
Generally speaking all items or conditions that grant permanent enhancement bonuses no longer exist save as follows:

Belt of Giant Strength:
This iron-studded wide belt is made of thick leather and boasts a huge metal buckle. The belt adds to the wearer’s Strength score in the form of an enhancement bonus between +1 and +6
Aura: Moderate transmutation; CL 15th
Slot: belt; Price: 2000 G (+1), 10 000 G (+2), 26 000 G (+3), 58 000 G (+4), 122 000 G (+5), 250 000 G (+6); Weight: 1 lb.
Requirements: Craft Wondrous Item, bull’s strength.
Gloves of Dexterity:
These thin leather gloves are very flexible and allow for delicate manipulation. They add to the wearer’s Dexterity score in the form of an enhancement bonus between +1 and +6. Both gloves must be worn for the magic to be effective.
Aura: Moderate transmutation; CL 15th
Slot: hands; Price: 2000 G (+1), 10 000 G (+2), 26 000 G (+3), 58 000 G (+4), 122 000 G (+5), 250 000 G (+6); Weight: 0.5 lbs.
Requirements: Craft Wondrous Item, cat’s grace.
Amulet of Health:
This amulet is a golden disk on a chain. It usually bears the image of a lion or other powerful animal. The amulet grants the wearer an enhancement bonus to Constitution between +1 and +6. An amulet of health may also take the form of a tunic.
Aura: Moderate transmutation; CL 15th
Slot: neck; Price: 2000 G (+1), 10 000 G (+2), 26 000 G (+3), 58 000 G (+4), 122 000 G (+5), 250 000 G (+6); Weight: 0.1 lbs.
Requirements: Craft Wondrous Item, bear’s endurance.
Headband of Intellect:
This device is a light cord with a small gem set so that it rests upon the forehead of the wearer. The headband adds to the wearer’s Intelligence score in the form of an enhancement bonus between +1 and +6. This enhancement bonus does not earn the wearer extra skill points when a new level is attained; use the unenhanced Intelligence bonus to determine skill points.
Aura: Moderate transmutation; CL 15th
Slot: headband; Price: 2000 G (+1), 10 000 G (+2), 26 000 G (+3), 58 000 G (+4), 122 000 G (+5), 250 000 G (+6); Weight: 0.5 lbs.
Requirements: Craft Wondrous Item, fox’s cunning.
Manual of Physical Augmentation:
This thick book contains advice on a variety of topics possibly including physical excercise, health, diet and more, but entwined in the words is a magical effect that takes place only the first time the manual is ever read, increasing that character's inherent bonus to a specific physical ability score (strength, dexterity, or constitution, depending on the topic of the manual) by 1, from 0 to +1, from +1 to +2, from +2 to +3, from +3 to +4, or from +4 to +5, depending on the volume number of the manual, I to V respectively. After the book is read the first time, the magic fades, and it becomes a normal book.
Aura: Strong evocation; CL 17th
Slot: —; Price: 30 000 G (Vol. I), 32 000 G (Vol. II), 36 000 G (Vol. III), 42 000 G (Vol. III), 50 000 G (Vol. IV), 60 000 G (Vol. V); Weight: 5 lbs.
Periapt of Wisdom:
Although it appears to be a normal pearl on a light chain, a periapt of wisdom actually increases the possessor’s Wisdom score in the form of an enhancement bonus between +1 and +6 (depending on the individual item).
Aura: Moderate transmutation; CL 15th
Slot: neck; Price: 2000 G (+1), 10 000 G (+2), 26 000 G (+3), 58 000 G (+4), 122 000 G (+5), 250 000 G (+6); Weight: 0.1 lbs.
Requirements: Craft Wondrous Item, owl’s wisdom.
Cloak of Charisma:
This lightweight and fashionable cloak has a highly decorative silver trim. When in a character’s possession, it adds an enhancement bonus between +1 and +6 to her Charisma score. A Cloak of Charisma may also take the form of a circlet.
Aura: Moderate transmutation; CL 8th
Slot: shoulders; Price: 2000 G (+1), 10 000 G (+2), 26 000 G (+3), 58 000 G (+4), 122 000 G (+5), 250 000 G (+6); Weight: 2 lb.
Requirements: Craft Wondrous Item, eagle’s splendor.
Ioun Stones:
These crystalline stones always float in the air and must be within 3 feet of their owner to be of any use. When a character first acquires a stone, she must hold it and then release it, whereupon it takes up a circling orbit 1d3 feet from her head. Thereafter, a stone must be grasped or netted to separate it from its owner. The owner may voluntarily seize and stow a stone (to keep it safe while she is sleeping, for example), but she loses the benefits of the stone during that time. Ioun stones have AC 24, 10 hit points, and hardness 5.
Regeneration from the pearly white ioun stone works like a ring of regeneration. (It only cures damage taken while the character is using the stone.) The pale lavender and lavender and green stones work like a rod of absorption, but absorbing a spell requires a readied action, and these stones cannot be used to empower spells. Stored spells in the vibrant purple stone must be placed by a spellcaster but can be used by anyone (see ring of minor spell storing).
Aura: Moderate varied; CL 12th
Slot: —; Price: varies, see below; Weight:
Requirements: Craft Wondrous Item, creator must be 12th level.
Color Shape Effect Market Price
Clear Spindle Sustains creature without food or water 4000 G
Dusty rose Prism +1 insight bonus to AC 5000 G
Dark blue Octahedron Alertness (as the feat) 10 000 G
Deep red Sphere +2 enhancement bonus to Dexterity 10 000 G
Incandescent blue Sphere +2 enhancement bonus to Wisdom 10 000 G
Pale blue Octahedron +2 enhancement bonus to Strength 10 000 G
Pink Octahedron +2 enhancement bonus to Constitution 10 000 G
Pink and green Sphere +2 enhancement bonus to Charisma 10 000 G
Scarlet and blue Sphere +2 enhancement bonus to Intelligence 10 000 G
Vibrant purple Prism Stores three levels of spells, as a ring of spell storing 36 000 G
Iridescent Spindle Sustains creature without air 18 000 G
Pale lavender Ellipsoid Absorbs spells of 4th level or lower1 20 000 G
Pearly white Spindle Regenerate 1 point of damage per hour 20 000 G
Pale green Prism +1 competence bonus on attack rolls, saves, skill and ability checks 30 000 G
Orange Prism +1 caster level 30 000 G
Lavender and green Cabochon Absorbs spells of 8th level or lower2 40 000 G
1 After absorbing twenty spell levels, the stone burns out and turns to dull gray, forever useless.
2 After absorbing fifty spell levels, the stone burns out and turns dull gray, forever useless.
Rod of Splendor:
The possessor of this rod gains a +2 bonus to Charisma based skills and checks for as long as she holds or carries the item. Once per day, the rod creates and garbs her in clothing of the finest fabrics, plus adornments of furs and jewels.
Apparel created by the magic of the rod remains in existence for 12 hours. However, if the possessor attempts to sell or give away any part of it, to use it for a spell component, or the like, all the apparel immediately disappears. The same applies if any of it is forcibly taken from her.
The value of noble garb created by the rod ranges from 7,000 to 10,000 gp (1d4+6 x1,000 gp)—1,000 gp for the fabric alone, 5,000 gp for the furs, and the rest for the jewel trim (maximum of twenty gems, maximum value 200 gp each).
In addition, the rod has a second special power, usable once per week. Upon command, it creates a palatial tent—a huge pavilion of silk 60 feet across. Inside the tent are temporary furnishings and food suitable to the splendor of the pavilion and sufficient to entertain as many as one hundred persons. The tent and its trappings last for one day. At the end of that time, the tent and all objects associated with it (including any items that were taken out of the tent) disappear.
Aura: Strong conjuration and transmutation; CL 12th
Slot: none; Price: 25 000 G; Weight: 5 lbs.
Requirements: Craft Rod, eagle’s splendor, fabricate, major creation.
Tome of Mental Augmentation:
This thick book contains advice on a variety of topics possibly including logic, philosophy, psychology and more, but entwined in the words is a magical effect that takes place only the first time the tome is ever read, increasing that character's inherent bonus to a specific mental ability score (intelligence, wisdom, or charisma, depending on the topic of the manual) by 1, from 0 to +1, from +1 to +2, from +2 to +3, from +3 to +4, or from +4 to +5, depending on the volume number of the tome, I to V respectively. After the book is read the first time, the magic fades, and it becomes a normal book.
Aura: Strong evocation; CL 17th
Slot: —; Price: 30 000 G (Vol. I), 32 000 G (Vol. II), 36 000 G (Vol. III), 42 000 G (Vol. III), 50 000 G (Vol. IV), 60 000 G (Vol. V); Weight: 5 lbs.

Categories: General Campaign Rules

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