You got your dice and you got your character sheet
well, it's time to roll some Ability Scores.
We're gonna break down the six basic Ability Scores and what they mean
on today's Handbooker Helper.
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Now, when you looked at the far left of your character sheet
you will see the stack of six boxes framed in a delicate filigree.
Your character is built off of these six abilities
Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma.
Now, the higher the Ability Score means a higher Modifier
which means the better you are in that department
but first, let's break down what these stats actually mean.
Strength determines...well, your strength.
This is reflected in your Athletic skill
as well as utilizing your brute force in situations.
Want to be able to push a foe in battle, or
move a boulder out of the way of the entrance of a tomb?
Well, hope you didn't skip leg day!
Most melee weapons favored by brute force classes
like a barbarian or fighter, use Strength to attack, which means
you want to be pretty strong, so you have a better chance of hitting your enemies.
I mean, war hammers are heavy.
Dexterity is your ability to be light on your feet
the more dexterous you are the better chance you have
at balancing on a thin board to cross an acid pit
or dodge out of the way from a triggered trap.
Now, this ability affects your Acrobatics, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth skills.
Ranged weapons and more finesse-based blades,
like rapiers and daggers, use Dexterity for their attacks.
If you're playing a Rogue, you're definitely gonna want to be dexy and dodgy.
Constitution measures your general hardiness
like your Health and Stamina.
A higher Constitution Modifier also means more hit points each level.
Examples of Constitution checks would be to
see how long you can hold your breath
survive in extreme weather conditions
or resist fatigue on long travels.
It's also very important when it comes to resisting poisons, or
physical corruption from nasty spells.
Now, think of Intelligence as book smarts.
Intelligent characters are generally more logical
with good mental recall
and a breadth of learned knowledge about the world.
Arcana, History, Investigation, Nature, and Religion
are all Intelligence-related skills.
Book-learned Wizards use Intelligence as the basis of their spellcasting
their deep knowledge helping them shape the elements with their mind
Wisdom reflects how intuitive and in touch you are
to the subtleties of the world.
How perceptive you are.
Trying to pick up on if a noble is lying to you?
Want to figure out if someone has camped recently at a mysterious fire pit?
Well, a higher Wisdom can help you with all those.
Animal handling, Insight, Medicine, Perception, and Survival
are all Wisdom-based skills.
Now, classes like Clerics and Druids use Wisdom as their spellcasting abilities
being that they are very in touch with the world around them
and the divinity they worship.
There is often confusion on the difference between Wisdom and Intellect.
Intellect is about knowing, Wisdom is about feeling.
At last, but certainly not least: Charisma.
Whether you're looking for your character to be charming
commanding, or just plain confident when it comes to interacting with others
you're gonna want a high Charisma.
The social encounters in D&D can be almost as brutal as to combat encounters
with just as many consequences if...
And sometimes a successful Persuasion, or Intimidation attempt, can end
or circumvent a combat encounter before it even begins!
Every adventuring party needs a people person.
Now that you know what these abilities represent
it's time to figure out your Ability Scores.
Now, there are a few ways that you can do this based on your DM's preference
and we'll cover the others in a separate video
but for this example?
We'll show the method we use on Critical Role.
Grab 4d6, or four six-sided dice
roll, and drop the lowest number of those four.
Add up the remaining three
and jot that number down on some scratch paper.
Do this five more times, and you'll be left with your six scores
that you can then plug where needed to build your character
however you like!
Just be mindful of what class you're playing
so you can favor the stats that are most helpful for your character abilities.
Don't forget to add any additional bonuses
that your character chosen Race or Feats may provide
but do note that the natural maximum an ability score can climb to
Once you have your six Ability Scores
it's time to figure out your Modifiers.
The Modifiers are the numbers that you add to your dice rolls.
The Player's Handbook has this handy chart on page 13
to help you figure it out, but let's break it down.
Ability Scores of ten are considered average
just right down the middle, not great
but not bad either.
So, a score of ten gives you a Modifier of zero
meaning you won't really be adding anything to those d20 rolls.
From here think of it like a sliding scale that can go in either direction.
Every even number above ten you get a +1 to your Modifier.
So, a twelve is a +1, a fourteen is a +2, sixteen is a +3, and so on.
For every odd number below ten you get a -1 to your Modifier.
Nine is a -1, seven is a -2, five a -3
you get the picture.
As a note: don't fret about having a couple lower Ability Scores.
I mean, if placed well
that can help define a lot of your role-playing fun with the character
weaknesses often make for memorable story points.
We'll end today's episode here for now
but future videos will cover how these scores affect your skills and saving throws.
See you soon, and...
Is it game night yet?
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