Roleplaying 3 Int. Realistic? Possible?


Advice


I thought this was on the boards before, but my search Fu is weak.

Anywho since it's possible to end up with a minimum int of 3, what would it be like to RP someone that dumb? Its barely above human, yet sentient enough to take most skills and feats.

What if they're also high Wis and charisma? HOW can you be charismatic yet barely capable of thought (without being a politician)?


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Pick up an "Incredible Hulk" comic from the 1970s.

Or, model him after your favorite politician.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

By standard point buy, it's actually NOT possible to go below 7 INT. It is, however, possible to suffer ability drain/damage down to that level...or your group may roll for stats, I guess.

INT is the stat for learning/memory/logic. I'd role play it like a 2-3 year old child. You forget how to put your pants on. You can't ever remember how to tie your shoes. If you want something, you want it...even if it belongs to someone else and you just can't understand why "it's not yours" makes any difference. Stuff like that. At least that's how I'd try it.


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You don't think those two don't reflect low wisdom WITH low intelligence?


You can be too dumb to tie your shoes, but wise enough to know that you need to wear boots with no shoe laces. Etc.


Intelligence determines how well your character learns and reasons.

That's from the Ability Score section.

A person with a 3 INT is very slow thinking and has extreme difficulty understanding complex ideas. They would also have a learning disability and would barely be able to count without using fingers, if they have even grasped that concept.

Think early caveman perhaps or if it helps an Ogre has an INT of 6.


Actual ability score parallels are hard.

1 is animal intelligence, but some dog breeds can be as smart as a 5 year old and have deductive reasoning.

So does 1 intelligence encompass the super smart breeds of dogs?

If it does, that means 3 would actually be quite clever, far above a 6 year old.

Like a 10 year old maybe.


Brain in a Jar wrote:


Think early caveman perhaps .

Just one of my personal pet peeves. "Early cavemen" were as smart as you or me. They just didn't have the cultural or technological advancements.

If you want to see how smart an early caveman was, try to find the right type of rocks and construct your own arrow points and spear points.


Fleshgrinder wrote:

Actual ability score parallels are hard.

1 is animal intelligence, but some dog breeds can be as smart as a 5 year old and have deductive reasoning.

So does 1 intelligence encompass the super smart breeds of dogs?

If it does, that means 3 would actually be quite clever, far above a 6 year old.

Like a 10 year old maybe.

Dogs have a 2. 1 is "unintelligent" animals. Cats, dogs, dolphins and the like ate usually 2s, while snakes, frogs, fish and such are usually a 1.

I do see what you're saying, but a human is at their prime learning capability at elementary age. At no point in life do they learn more in quantity; in fact the only thing that keeps children from learning multifaceted problems is the sheer time it takes to learn the things prevrequisite to them.

If you took a 20 year old who never learned math it'd take five times as long. Adults simply don't have the plasticity of children.Comparing it to a kid just doesn't seem to work to me. Kids learn phenomenally fast, provided all the building blocks necessary are in place. They just don't have the built up reserve of knowledge from a lifetime of learning (I.e. wisdom) that adults have.


Well, there was always the slow kid. You could use that as the model.


Fleshgrinder wrote:
Well, there was always the slow kid. You could use that as the model.

Wouldn't that be Dex?

XD


I meant slow as in "K is for Cat" slow :P


thegreenteagamer wrote:

I thought this was on the boards before, but my search Fu is weak.

Anywho since it's possible to end up with a minimum int of 3, what would it be like to RP someone that dumb? Its barely above human, yet sentient enough to take most skills and feats.

What if they're also high Wis and charisma? HOW can you be charismatic yet barely capable of thought (without being a politician)?

Forrest Gump.


ImperatorK wrote:
thegreenteagamer wrote:

Anywho since it's possible to end up with a minimum int of 3, what would it be like to RP someone that dumb? Its barely above human, yet sentient enough to take most skills and feats.

What if they're also high Wis and charisma? HOW can you be charismatic yet barely capable of thought (without being a politician)?

Forrest Gump.

Good call!

"I'm not a smart man, but I know what Lawful Good is."


Keep in mind that you are just barely intelligent enough to speak. The only reason you might get a second language is because your race grants it to you. The only reason you can read and write is because the rules say you can.

The world may be a complicated place for you, or a simple one, depending on how aware you are of your condition. I hope the experience is rewarding for you as a player, more than a hassle, and I hope your party members are good sports. Good luck.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Sorry, Gump doesn't cut it. He was a high-functioning um... political-correctness-prevents-me-from-using-a-clinical-term-here. He'd be around an IQ of 80. That equates to an Int of about 8.

Int 3 is only marginally more intelligent than the brightest of animals. You're looking at VERY fragmented language - at best. So maybe a vocabulary of a dozen words. Pick those 12 words and only ever use them. You also won't tend to do much tactically on the battlefield beyond the obvious things like flanking and very basic use of terrain.

The decent Wisdom allows you to recognize motivations around you. You can tell friends from foes, and you can tell when someone's trying to help you. You have a healthy fear of snakes, fire, cliff-edges, and won't put things in your mouth that don't look like things you've (safely) eaten before.

High Charisma means that you're well-liked. Despite your shortcomings, you're loyal and obviously so. It makes many people WANT to help you in turn. You're never mean, never abusive (to your friends), share your food, warmth, and shelter with others. Your face is expressive and you're good at getting non-verbal messages to others. You're not smart enough to be a leader, but everyone wants to pick you for their team because you're never a quitter.

Intelligence is the ability to literally reason. To calculate. To stop and anticipate the consequences of different choices and select the best amongst them. Wisdom is closer to intuition and instinct. You understand fundamental truths but can't explain them in concrete terms or manipulate them. You know guilty from innocent but you can't necessarily prove either. Charisma is force-of-personality. The way you convey yourself to others and the impressions you give. Some people are rarely noticed, some are very offensive, and some are paragons of personality that gather followers for good or evil.

So hey. This character is JUST this side of a really loyal and cute chimpanzee.


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Grod have 5 Int.

You speak like Grod, but more stupider.

Not say Grod stupid.

Grod smart.


thegreenteagamer wrote:

I thought this was on the boards before, but my search Fu is weak.

Anywho since it's possible to end up with a minimum int of 3, what would it be like to RP someone that dumb? Its barely above human, yet sentient enough to take most skills and feats.

What if they're also high Wis and charisma? HOW can you be charismatic yet barely capable of thought (without being a politician)?

It's very hard to say. There are no hard and fast rules for mental statistics and what they mean. You're literally trying to define the wonders of the mind in 3 numbers that actually don't mean much of anything. For example, would you actually know someone that had an exceptionally low Intelligence, if their Wisdom and Charisma were moderately high? Would you consider them stupid? Perhaps not. Overall intelligence, as we perceive intelligence in reality is spread over a wide array of different levels and understandings.

For example, someone who with shameful math skills may be an exceptional poet or abstract thinker. Likewise, someone who could solve exceptional equations and reason beyond all his peers might not be able to comprehend social etiquette that seem to come naturally to others.

D&D and by proxy Pathfinder does not do mental retardation. It's not supposed to. In many cases, mental ability scores seem to mean entirely different things to entirely different people and creatures. Some creatures for example have a +2 Charisma because they're exotically beautiful, others are described as exotically beautiful but have a -2 penalty. Meanwhile, creatures that look like they left their faces on a waffle iron for an our and then sun dried have Charisma scores higher than dryads (notice that this isn't about Charisma specifically, or appearances, merely that using the same gauge that was used to justify the mental statistic boost in one race is obviously not gauging the others).

Want to roleplay a 3 Intelligence realistically? Well what do we know for fact? You have...


  • No bonus languages (but can speak and write 1-2 languages).
  • You have a -4 penalty to Intelligence based checks. Intelligence based checks in Pathfinder are more or less entirely skill checks. That means that you begin out of the gate with a -20% to all Knowledgee skills, Spellcraft, Linguistics, and so forth. This means that, for a fact, we know that your character simply does not know as much as most people. You cannot take 10 and know anything higher than DC 6. So even if you've lived in an area your whole life, you might not know the name of the Duke's niece, even though your average person can take 10 and get the DC 8-10 Knowledge check.
  • You have a -4 penalty to skill point acquisition. Minimum 1 skill point. You're not the brightest crayon in the box, but you're still a crayon. You can still function well in society if your other mental statistics are at least average, you might make for a gosh aweful artisan, but you might have a great head for numbers and instead have Profession (Accounting), or you might instead be a musician or entertainer with ranks in Preform.
  • You simply do not have the mental capability to cast arcane spells as a wizard. Even if you study it (putting ranks in Knowledge: Arcana, and Spellcraft), you might become an expert in magic, but you can never seem to actually put any of that knowledge into practice for even the most basic spells.

Now how you roleplay this is entirely up to you and no one else. However, you should make sure that your roleplaying fits with the mechanical side-effects of your low Intelligence. For example, a character who is severely under educated might be a good example of a character with an exceptionally low Intelligence, such as a character who might have been smarter if they didn't grow up in conditions that prevented them from learning in their youth. Now they're playing catch-up and sucking at it.

Or you might play your character as a bit ADD. Maybe you can' stand what you call "over thinking" things, and go with your gut instead of cold hard logic.

Or maybe you're actually just brick stupid, and you playfully talk in broken english at the table, like "Am hungry, food for me, nao!". But don't feel like you have to. In fact, more than likely, if you wanted to be honest about it, to have a truly brick stupid individual, you'd probably need ability scores in all areas to be quite low.

Someone with a 3 Intelligence, 3 Wisdom, and 3 Charisma might be much closer to what you might think of as someone that was actually handicapped. This individual would be exceptionally gullible, easily manipulated, and have excessive difficulty, and wouldn't be able to feed themselves or survive in society without the aid of someone else. Yet you would still have enough understanding and mental capacity to understand the difference from right and wrong, to love, to hate, to fear, to speak, and even write a little bit.

For truly handicapped (to the point that you cannot handle your own physical needs), you would need at least one ability score that was a 0. Full body paralysis might be 0 in Strength or Dexterity. Mentally handicapped to that degree would require at least one ability score to be drained to 0. Just pointing this out there, because some people seem insistent that someone with a 3 in any score couldn't function in society. Odds are, we know more people with 3 in scores than we think we do.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Assuming your a generating average stats with 3d6. An int of 3, puts you in the 1/216 or in approximation the bottom half percentile of human populations.

I tend to think most players way over play the negatives of below average stats. And underplay high powered stats. But a base 18 is just as common as the base 3 stat.


Anguish wrote:

Sorry, Gump doesn't cut it. He was a high-functioning um... political-correctness-prevents-me-from-using-a-clinical-term-here. He'd be around an IQ of 80. That equates to an Int of about 8.

Int 3 is only marginally more intelligent than the brightest of animals. You're looking at VERY fragmented language - at best. So maybe a vocabulary of a dozen words. Pick those 12 words and only ever use them. You also won't tend to do much tactically on the battlefield beyond the obvious things like flanking and very basic use of terrain.

The decent Wisdom allows you to recognize motivations around you. You can tell friends from foes, and you can tell when someone's trying to help you. You have a healthy fear of snakes, fire, cliff-edges, and won't put things in your mouth that don't look like things you've (safely) eaten before.

High Charisma means that you're well-liked. Despite your shortcomings, you're loyal and obviously so. It makes many people WANT to help you in turn. You're never mean, never abusive (to your friends), share your food, warmth, and shelter with others. Your face is expressive and you're good at getting non-verbal messages to others. You're not smart enough to be a leader, but everyone wants to pick you for their team because you're never a quitter.

Intelligence is the ability to literally reason. To calculate. To stop and anticipate the consequences of different choices and select the best amongst them. Wisdom is closer to intuition and instinct. You understand fundamental truths but can't explain them in concrete terms or manipulate them. You know guilty from innocent but you can't necessarily prove either. Charisma is force-of-personality. The way you convey yourself to others and the impressions you give. Some people are rarely noticed, some are very offensive, and some are paragons of personality that gather followers for good or evil.

So hey. This character is JUST this side of a really loyal and cute chimpanzee.

One could argue that from 3 to 18 is the range of normal human intelligence, and that mental disability or damage would actually count as a disease or condition in the rules, and would reduce the int to 2 or 1.

The problem with doing direct IQ comparison, which I've also tried, is that it means anyone with 14 Int is a genius (by our standards today of IQ).

Though the IQ scale, to me, works better in steps of 5.

10 = 100
9 = 95
8 = 90
7 - 85

etc.

Puts 5, the lowest point buy score possible, at 65 IQ. Puts an 18 at 140.


Joel Rosenberg (the author, not the pundit) wrote that high Int/low Wis was Nixon: Good ideas, no reality check. High Wis/low Int was Archie Bunker: Full of folk wisdom but unable to make a decision for himself.

YMMV.


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Hef just pawn in game of life.

Liberty's Edge

Patrick Harris @ SD wrote:

Joel Rosenberg (the author, not the pundit) wrote that high Int/low Wis was Nixon: Good ideas, no reality check. High Wis/low Int was Archie Bunker: Full of folk wisdom but unable to make a decision for himself.

YMMV.

I don't have my copy of that book anymore, but I'm pretty sure the character used Edith Bunker as the example. She wasn't necessarily well educated or able to do complex reasoning, but she gave good advice and knew how to keep the various members of her family and neighborhood functioning together.

Scarab Sages

thegreenteagamer wrote:

I thought this was on the boards before, but my search Fu is weak.

Anywho since it's possible to end up with a minimum int of 3, what would it be like to RP someone that dumb? Its barely above human, yet sentient enough to take most skills and feats.

What if they're also high Wis and charisma? HOW can you be charismatic yet barely capable of thought (without being a politician)?

Go look up a movie called Forest Gump.

Aside from answering your question, it is a very good movie.


The Great Rinaldo! wrote:
Patrick Harris @ SD wrote:

Joel Rosenberg (the author, not the pundit) wrote that high Int/low Wis was Nixon: Good ideas, no reality check. High Wis/low Int was Archie Bunker: Full of folk wisdom but unable to make a decision for himself.

YMMV.

I don't have my copy of that book anymore, but I'm pretty sure the character used Edith Bunker as the example. She wasn't necessarily well educated or able to do complex reasoning, but she gave good advice and knew how to keep the various members of her family and neighborhood functioning together.

Hm. I can't find my copy to check, but you're right, that makes a lot more sense.


Yeah Archie was kind of a tool. :P

Low Int / High Wis sounds way more like Edith I think. Archie couldn't even tell that Lionel was poking fun at him all the time (Lionel, the Jeffersons' son knew Archie was a bit dumb and a bit racist, so he would always frame his insults in ways that Archie thought were compliments, much to the humor and delight of the audience). Archie seems like the sort of fellow who might be lacking slightly in all ability scores. He doesn't seem particularly bright in the Int, Wis, or Cha department, and probably makes up for his deficiencies in skill points. Even still, he occasionally had his moments of brilliance (few and far between as they were).

I believe Fleshgrinder had the right of it when he said:

Quote:
One could argue that from 3 to 18 is the range of normal human intelligence, and that mental disability or damage would actually count as a disease or condition in the rules, and would reduce the int to 2 or 1.

In 3.x, it was actually outright impossible for a sentient creature to have less than a 3 Int without ability damage/drain. A creature with a -2 to Int couldn't go below 3 Int naturally, even if their base Int was 3. D&D/Pathfinder is not meant to express mental disorders or disabilities through ability scores, any more than having a low Wisdom means you have turrets or bite your nails. Those are entirely separate from your ability scores. They might be traits you assign to your character as an explanation for something your ability scores influence (such as explaining the social drawbacks of a low Charisma as stemming from your turrets or nervousness demeanor) but are not functions of the scores themselves.


I assume you mean tourettes, and not turrets.


I'd say an INT of 3 would be about the intelligence of Patrick Star on a good day...


Ciaran Barnes wrote:
I assume you mean tourettes, and not turrets.

Yep, sure do! Thanks. :3


Some other things to consider- along the path of Ashiel's RAW evaluation:

Someone with a 3 int who puts their 1 skill point into a class skill knowledge skill knows as mucha bout it at level 1 as the average, int 10 guy does without said skill points.

Or to put it another way- they have to make their one skill focus in life that thing, in order to even get common knowledge on it.

So- what does that mean? read through all the knowledge skills and the DC's. This guy doesn't know that stuff. "Common Knowledge" isn't common to him.

So with a take 10 he can't:
Identify mineral, stone, or metal
Identify a creature's ethnicity or accent
Know recent or historically significant event
Know local laws, rulers, and popular locations
Identify a common plant or animal
Know the names of the planes
Identify a monster's abilities and weaknesses (10+ monster CR)

He's also going to have trouble holding down any kind of crafting job. And lets face it- its not like there are tons of walmarts for dude to go hang out and play stocker at. If he can't make something he's gonna have a hard time in life, aside from just.. well.. digging ditches or helping Farmer Brown plow the field.
(technically he will be able to craft but he'll suck at it. the -4 means that if he makes a craft his sole life's ambition that he'll be as good at it at level 1 with his skill point and class bonus as would the average person be untrained. Add in skill focus and it gets a little better but there's *never* any getting around the fact that he's 4 full points behind anyone else of his same experience level. this means he's making pots while the guy beside him is making weapons. and he's making bolts and arrows while the guy beside him is making full plate.).

I'd print out the knowledge skill frame though in the PRD and keep it with your character sheet.. Thats really your golden standard. Absent skill points invested in them, its a really good idea fo what your guy actually can or can't do.

One thing to keep in mind is that by raw the int 3 guy talks just as fluently (or not) as someone with a 45 billion int. Languages are toggles. You either check "yes" or you leave it unchecked. There's no mechanic in game for halfway or 1/3 way or 1/10th way knowing how to talk. This doesn't mean your guy has to be spouting nuclear physics but it also doesn't mean your guy has to be drooling when everyone else is using words that have more than 2 syllables, too. Again- tie it in with the knowledges.

-S


In my opinion a good example would be Hodor from GoT... No verbal skills to speak of (all he says is his name), very limited ability to follow directions, and emotional responses override reason consistently.

Grand Lodge

Can I also get examples for int, wis, cha scores ranging from 3 to 7 ?

Dark Archive

Every time I play a druid, I end up playing someone with an Int of 10-ish, and another someone with an Int of 2, so I think I could do a 3.

Less smart than I play my familiars. A hair smarter than I play my horse. So, play him like one of those horses that can count to five, or something... :)

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