Ability Scores

There are six ability scores in D&D: Strength (STR), Dexterity (DEX), Constitution (CON), Intelligence (INT), Wisdom (WIS), and Charisma (CHA). Each character will have a score associated with these six abilities to represent their relative aptitude in each area.

Each ability score influences different aspects of your character’s statistics. For example, Constitution will influence your hit points, while Strength will influence your ability to make melee attacks in combat.

10 or 11 is considered the normal human average score for each ability. A player character (PC) can only have a maximum of 20 in any given ability score. In addition, ability scores have ability modifiers, based on the raw score value. The modifier is typically what’s added to dice rolls using that statistic.


The key thing to remember is that in most situations you’ll roll 1d20 + the appropriate ability modifier. The GM will inform you as to what’s appropriate for what you want to do.


Measures: Natural athleticism, bodily power, raw physical force
Important for: Barbarian, fighter, paladin
Common tasks: Lifting, pushing, or breaking something; forcing your body through a space; climbing, jumping, or swimming; breaking free of bonds; attacking with a melee weapon


Measures: Physical agility, reflexes, balance, poise
Important for: Monk, ranger, rogue
Common tasks: Moving nimbly, quickly, or quietly; keep from falling on tricky footing; perform dives, rolls, somersaults, and flips; concealing or stealing an object; hiding from or sneaking past enemies; pick a lock or disable a trap; attacking with a ranged weapon


Measures: Health, stamina, vital force
Important for: Everyone
Common tasks: Holding your breath; marching or labouring for hours without rest; going without sleep; surviving without food or water


Measures: Mental acuity, information recall, analytical skill
Important for: Wizard
Common tasks: Draw on logic, education, memory, or deductive reasoning; look around for clues, hidden objects, or information; pull together a disguise; estimate the value of an item; communicate without using words


Measures: Awareness, intuition, insight
Important for: Cleric, druid
Common tasks: Read body language; understand someone’s feelings; notice something about the environment; care for an injured person; calm down or control an animal; follow tracks, hunt wild game, and other wilderness survival skills


Measures: Confidence, eloquence, leadership, charm
Important for: Bard, sorcerer, warlock
Common tasks: Influence or entertain others; make a strong impression; tell a convincing lie; intimidate and threaten others; find sources of news, rumours, and gossip; blend into a crowd

Ability Scores

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