Saturday, November 16, 2013

Educated idiots and foolish geniuses

In the game of AD&D 1E (and OSRIC as well) there are six character ability scores that determines a characters "power" in the game, so to speak.

Intelligence (INT) is one of these scores and Wisdom (WIS) is another. These are what I want to look at today. I don't know about you or other DM/GM's out there, but I find from time to time a need to check against a PC's ability score to determine if they would be likely to know something in particular, would be able to reason a problem out in a certain amount of time, if they were very gullible or not, etc...

In the game, INT is supposed to be a catchall for all things "smart". some people would lump in sensibility along with that, but I don't. WIS already has "street smarts" covered in taking one's life experiences and the ability to draw upon those experiences to inform a decision or even change a decision process entirely.

Essentially, I look at INT as covering education (mostly formal) combined with the ability to "think on one's feet".

WIS on the other hand is the ability to learn from one's experiences (how good their "gut" is) and how gullible or naive one is.

Looking at it this way, you can certainly reflect "real life" situations in PC's by having highly intelligent and educated characters who get conned and buffaloed constantly. You can also have the canny and savvy person who never really went to school for whatever reasons.

Find that character with a high WIS and INT score and there you have someone who will usually get along just fine in the world no matter who or what they are up against. Wait a minute, you have Detective Columbo!!

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