Feeblemind nevermind?


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I have read a few thread that tiptoed around the topic such as ''Feeblemind versus Rogues... can they still sneak?''.

My question is: What happends to the fighter's attack (or attacks) once feebleminded ?

The spell specificly states as few things a fighter can do:
The affected creature is unable to use Intelligence- or Charisma-based skills, cast spells, understand language, or communicate coherently. Still, it knows who its friends are and can follow them and even protect them.

Attacking is clearly not a Int or Cha skill. Such is without contest. I would think that ''Protect them'' would include attaching back when attacked.

What I find lacking in the text description is the degree of effectiveness of the attacks of a Int 1 character.

Some points have been made that since a animal has the possibility to have multiple attacks then the fighter should too.My take on it is that the animal had his whole life to to develop its attack with the little inteligence it has. Not the fighter in question.

I would think the fighter would simply ''Hulk out'' grab the biggest thing around and to one big attack with it. If sword in hand prier to the spell, fine. If only shield then shield it is. Big rock? Go nuts.

Would somebody realy permit a feebleminded fighter to quick-draw his sword and go full attack?

Liberty's Edge

The spell doesn't limit what attacks, and how many, they can employ. So if pressed into a situation of self defense of himself or a friend, he should get all available attack forms he could normally employ simply because it doesn't say he cannot do so.

The spell only prohibits what is listed, not what you think it implies by having a 1 Int, in regards to other stuff like feats and attack routines.

Skeletons have a 0 int score and can still make full attacks and retains all the natural weapons, manufactured weapon attacks, and even weapon proficiencies of the base creature.


hogosha wrote:
Would somebody realy permit a feebleminded fighter to quick-draw his sword and go full attack?

I would. Feeblemind in AD&D was pure anti-spellcaster effect; the 3.x/PF isn't quite as monofocused, but wouldn't interpret it as hurting fighters and the like beyond those specific enumerated items.


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Quote:
What happends to the fighter's attack (or attacks) once feebleminded ?

Feeblemind only does the following:

* Cha/Int go to 1.
* The affected creature is unable to use Intelligence- or Charisma-based skills
* can't cast spells
* can't understand language
* can't communicate coherently

None of that has anything to do with a fighter's attack or attacks *unless* they're tied to Intelligence or Charisma-based skills.

There is one corner case here. Since feeblemind is neither ability damage, a temporary penalty (it is a permanent debuff), or ability drain. . . it's a bit difficult to figure out what happens to feats that require a certain ability Charisma or Intelligence score as a prerequisite (e.g. Combat Expertise requiring 13 Int). I would argue that while under the affect of feeblemind, these feats (and feats that use these feats as prerequisites) are unavailable to the fighter.

Reasoning:

Quote:
Some spells and abilities cause you to take an ability penalty for a limited amount of time. While in effect, these penalties function just like ability damage, but they cannot cause you to fall unconscious or die.

Feeblemind does not cause you to take an ability penalty for a limited amount of time. It literally sets your scores to a specific number -- even with enhancement/inherent bonuses applied.


Everybody seem to skip over the Int 1 as if it would not affect a fighter (sad guys. very sad).
Ok then. other way around. What can a Int 1 character do beside eat, sleep, walk/run around and bash one thing on another thing ?

Shadow Lodge

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Once you receive enough training, combat skill is largely instinctive. When you're dealing with muscle memory, that Int 1 doesn't matter so much.

I would prohibit a Feebleminded character from doing anything particularly tactical, however. For example, switching to a secondary silvered weapon when fighting a lycanthrope, since I'd consider recognizing monster weaknesses an "Int-based skill" even if no actual, Knowledge roll is made.


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Quote:

Handle Animal

Special: You can use this skill on a creature with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2 that is not an animal, but the DC of any such check increases by 5. Such creatures have the same limit on tricks known as animals do.

On the rare occasions it comes up in my games I point this out and tell the PC's player to pick 3 tricks from the list that they can do (with the Perform trick covering odd things like Sleight of Hand).

If the rest of the party want them to do something that isn't covered by the tricks picked, they can try to push them (DC 30).

Liberty's Edge

hogosha wrote:

Everybody seem to skip over the Int 1 as if it would not affect a fighter (sad guys. very sad).

Ok then. other way around. What can a Int 1 character do beside eat, sleep, walk/run around and bash one thing on another thing ?

Sorry you didn't get the justification you we're looking for. I guess everyones thinking but yours is wrong.


I would agree with Weirdo.

(And spells are complicated enough... So stick to what they say. lol)

Ultradan


Oh well. My heart of ex-fighter bleeds a little. I guess my next one will have a Int of 3.


A character with an intelligence of 3 (let alone 1) would be unplayable, since he/she couldn't even comprehend the most basic of commands, not to mention the idea of a quest. So no great hope for xp there.

But a seasonned fighter (say, level 14) who suddenly becomes an int3 character would be just as unplayable... But the trainning and reflexes would still be in there somewhere, so would be able to defend himself quite viciously.

Ultradan


I see your point Ultradan. The character would have to be led to water to drink then taken out back for pressing matters. Not much of a game. So if there is no friend around to defend and he is not himself attacked, he would not go on the offensive ?


Nope. He'd just sit there playing with his fingers...

Ultradan

Shadow Lodge

Well, if you're talking about out-of-combat function, then an Int 1 (or really any Int less than 6) becomes pretty crippling. HerosBackpack's idea of using Handle Animal tricks for an Int 1 isn't a bad one for out of combat. I would assume that the actions of an Int 1 character would be very animalistic. He would follow any familiar, friendly people, would obtain food and water, find shelter, sleep, and defend himself or friends if attacked. He might defend possessions or anything the character would reasonably consider his "territory." He might investigate unfamiliar objects in a very crude way (ex: poke, shake, put in mouth). But unless pushed, that's about it. An Int 3 character would probably be a little more capable, but not much. I've assumed Int 3 is enough to understand a small selection of words, count, and understand the concept of time, but not necessarily enough to have a Theory of Mind, for example.

But once it gets down to "Hit someone" the average fighter is at close to full ability. No tactical decisions based on monster weakness, no ability to use feats like Improved Feint or Dazzling Display that use Int or Cha-based skills, and probably no ability to use feats with Int scores as a prerequisite (I agree with meabolex on that one). But any combat ability that does not directly and explicitly rely on Int or Cha functions normally. Quickdraw is fine. Power Attack is fine. Weapon Focus is fine. TWF is fine. Weapon and Armour training bonuses are fine. Sunder and Bull Rush are fine, though limited by tactical decision making (for example, you can't recognize and sunder a holy symbol to prevent the cleric from casting).


Weirdo wrote:

Once you receive enough training, combat skill is largely instinctive. When you're dealing with muscle memory, that Int 1 doesn't matter so much.

I would prohibit a Feebleminded character from doing anything particularly tactical, however. For example, switching to a secondary silvered weapon when fighting a lycanthrope, since I'd consider recognizing monster weaknesses an "Int-based skill" even if no actual, Knowledge roll is made.

A lot of things would just become rote and be based of muscle memory. It would be hard to train a fighter to do much with only 1 int but it would not be tough to retain fighting skills that you practiced with. So I pretty much agree with Weirdo as well.


Thank you Weirdo. I think you have fair view of the potential actions of a feeblemided character. Gives me a better feel of what would happen.


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hogosha wrote:
Oh well. My heart of ex-fighter bleeds a little. I guess my next one will have a Int of 3.

This was done quite a lot in the old days. 3 is a level of Human Intelligence. It might be low intelligence, but it's still intelligence. A 3 Intelligence means only a -4 to Int based skill rolls, nothing else. You're not handicapped or anything, just not great with a handful of skills.

An average person has a 55% chance to identify someone's ethnicity, dangerous construction, recent or significant historical events, local laws and traditions, common plants and animals, current rulers, the names of the planes, a common deity's symbols, or a common monster with less than 1 CR.

With 3 Int, you'd have a 35% chance. That's it.

And you know what? An untrained person with human maximum Intelligence (20) would only have a 80% chance.

People need to stop reading too much into ability scores, especially Intelligence.


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Ok, so I spent about an hour doing this...

Image of Intelligence by Ability Score

Numbers 3 through 18 are based on 3d6 rolls and their comparison to the standard IQ scores by percentile. Yes, player characters are almost ALWAYS more powerful, but those are PCs - the heroes of the world. 3d6 is representative of Golarion in general. I had to extrapolate for scores of 1, 2, 19, and 20. Now, obviously the DnD world doesn't stop with scores of 20, but that's well beyond the purview of this conversation since we're discussing low stats...

For a score of 1 - Severe Mental Retardation - Severely retarded individuals may master very basic self-care skills and some communication skills. Many severely retarded individuals are able to live in a group home.

Someone who has lived with these symptoms their whole life can obviously handle it much better than an average intelligence person who suddenly finds their mental functions sapped to a fraction of normal. All in all, I'm going to agree with Wierdo that some very basic things are possible, but tactics are not and handle animal would be a viable way for allies to get you to do anything beyond the very basics.


Int 1 fighter should react like an Int 1 animal, fight or flight basically...

...the rest of the party would just have to be cautious who they point him at. But they should be fine if they're used to handling Paladins.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

Think about it like this. By RAW is a fighter created with Int 1 limited in how it can fight. The answer with the exception of feats that have an Int requirement is NO. The only thing Int affects is skill points and spell casting for prepared casters. Is this realistic, probably not but as has been pointed out, fighting is mainly muscle memory and animals with Int 1 fight perfectly well and even utilize rudimentary tactics.

Shadow Lodge

Int 3 isn't just "low intelligence," it's the lowest possible intelligence that still qualifies as sentient. Game-wise, the effects can be described as "decreased skill points" and "-4 on Intelligence-based skills." But there really should be further less quantifiable problems that a character that dumb would run into.

Let's phrase this in the other direction. I have an animal companion. I use the ability score increase to boost that animal companion's intelligence to 3, or have them wear a Headband of Intelligence +2. Do they suddenly go from "Sit, Stay" to as smart as a fully functioning human, except with a 20% lower chance to identify facts?

Str 3 is crippling. Your light load is 10 lbs or less, so any sort of armour takes up your entire carrying capacity. But obviously with that strength you're a wizard, so no armour. You can carry a light crossbow (4 lbs), 10 bolts (1 lb), your spellbook (3 lbs), and a backpack to carry it in (2 lbs) before hitting medium encumbrance. If you take a sling as your backup weapon or are a sorcerer and don't need heavy spellbooks you get a few extra pounds, but forget about carrying your own water (8 lbs for a day's worth). Someone else will have to carry it for you, or you'll have to forage or rely on a party member with Create Water (not a sorc/wiz spell). And don't forget that coins have weight...

Con 3 is crippling. You get -4 HP/level, which means depending on class and HP rolls, your HP is likely close to your HD. One good hit could take you out. Not to mention your window between unconscious and dead is tiny.

Dex 3 is pretty bad, too. With a 20% greater chance of being hit in combat and a 20% greater chance of failing a Reflex save, you'll go through HP pretty fast.

Ability score 8? No problem, you're a little below average, but it's probably not noticeable. Score 6? Okay, now you might get a bit of a reputation for being clumsy or slow-witted, but you can manage. But score 3?

Having that low a score in one of the physical ability scores will be a big deal for a character. So why aren't Int 3, Wis 3, or Cha 3 so significant? The direct mechanical effect might not be that bad if you're not a caster, but it absolutely is going to require a lot of effort to compensate for that glaring weakness, just like the mage who is too physically weak to carry his own water for a day's hike.

EDIT:

MechE_ wrote:

Ok, so I spent about an hour doing this...

Image of Intelligence by Ability Score

I appreciate the work that went into that and think in general it's a very handy reference. However, since it's impossible to have a sentient character with Int 1 or 2, I don't think you can accurately extrapolate human intelligence into that range. I think that Int 3 needs to encapsulate Moderate-Severe Mental Retardation while Mild Retardation qualifies as Int 4. I think this fits rather well as it illustrates the fact that while these individuals may be able to function, they will need a significant amount of help from those around them and are probably not suited to an adventuring environment.


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Weirdo wrote:
Int 3 isn't just "low intelligence," it's the lowest possible intelligence that still qualifies as sentient. Game-wise, the effects can be described as "decreased skill points" and "-4 on Intelligence-based skills." But there really should be further less quantifiable problems that a character that dumb would run into.

Why would you want to ignore the rules and punish low Int characters more?

Weirdo wrote:
Let's phrase this in the other direction. I have an animal companion. I use the ability score increase to boost that animal companion's intelligence to 3, or have them wear a Headband of Intelligence +2. Do they suddenly go from "Sit, Stay" to as smart as a fully functioning human, except with a 20% lower chance to identify facts?

Yes.

Weirdo wrote:
Str 3 is crippling. Your light load is 10 lbs or less, so any sort of armour takes up your entire carrying capacity. But obviously with that strength you're a wizard, so no armour. You can carry a light crossbow (4 lbs), 10 bolts (1 lb), your spellbook (3 lbs), and a backpack to carry it in (2 lbs) before hitting medium encumbrance. If you take a sling as your backup weapon or are a sorcerer and don't need heavy spellbooks you get a few extra pounds, but forget about carrying your own water (8 lbs for a day's worth). Someone else will have to carry it for you, or you'll have to forage or rely on a party member with Create Water (not a sorc/wiz spell). And don't forget that coins have weight...

You just quoted a block of rules text about what Strength does. You're not going above and beyond what the mechanics say strength do to penalize them. You're not forcing them to make Fortitude saves to avoid fractures from walking or nonsense like that. You are penalizing exactly by the rules--carrying capacity.

Weirdo wrote:
Con 3 is crippling. You get -4 HP/level, which means depending on class and HP rolls, your HP is likely close to your HD. One good hit could take you out. Not to mention your window between unconscious and dead is tiny.

Again, all rules text. Where's the conjecture like you're proposing for Int 3? Where's the constant checks against colds and filth fever from sleeping too close to the privy and all the other nonsense. Con takes away your HP--that's what it does. That's it.

Weirdo wrote:
Dex 3 is pretty bad, too. With a 20% greater chance of being hit in combat and a 20% greater chance of failing a Reflex save, you'll go through HP pretty fast.

Wait, it's ok for Dex 3 to just give you -20% to succeed on stuff, but that's insufficient for Int 3?

Weirdo wrote:
Having that low a score in one of the physical ability scores will be a big deal for a character. So why aren't Int 3, Wis 3, or Cha 3 so significant?

Because that's not in the rules for Int, Wis, and Cha. All the problems you're citing are in the rules--why do you want to go beyond the rules for the mental stats?

Shadow Lodge

Because mental stats are not valued by the rules in the same way that physical stats are, and that bothers me. If Str 3 or Con 3 is crippling to any character, no matter what class, then Int 3, Wis 3, or Cha 3 should also impose steep penalties on non-spellcasting classes. Those penalties are hard to codify because mental limitations are by nature less measurable than physical limitations. Therefore they should be addressed in roleplay.

Now, I'm not expecting that an Int 8 fighter is going to be dumb muscle, but if he has Int 3-4 that should do something other than just a penalty on Knowledge and Appraise and a lost skill point. People in the bottom 1% of intelligence have more problems than just being worse at remembering facts, including less developed language and mathematics skills and a need for assistance in performing complex activities such as in our world handling finances and in an adventuring setting implementing complex tactics.

I know that PF players are generally nerdy and tend to overvalue Intelligence, and I know that adventuring is for non-spellcasters already a pursuit skewed towards the physical, but it does not sit well with me that a Con 3 character would be unplayable and an Int 3 character (or Cha 3 character) would be business as usual.

mplindustries wrote:
Wait, it's ok for Dex 3 to just give you -20% to succeed on stuff, but that's insufficient for Int 3?

The -20% on Dex hurts more because it applies more often and to more painful things. The fighter can avoid making Int-based skill checks. It is much harder, almost impossible to avoid the -20% evasion on attack rolls and reflex saves, and absolutely impossible to avoid the -20% initiative unless you're in a rare no-combat game. The Dex 3 character is going to feel that penalty within the rules structure more than the Int 3 character will.

mplindustries wrote:
Weirdo wrote:
Let's phrase this in the other direction. I have an animal companion. I use the ability score increase to boost that animal companion's intelligence to 3, or have them wear a Headband of Intelligence +2. Do they suddenly go from "Sit, Stay" to as smart as a fully functioning human, except with a 20% lower chance to identify facts?
Yes.

I appreciate your consistency but don't feel that the jump between Int 2 and Int 3 should be the single most important ability point in the game.


Thank you Weirdo, I think you are getting to the core of the matter. Raw gives us metrics to deal with physical stats (-20% chance of X with y Dex) but the rules are pretty lax in day to day consequances of low mental stats. Im hearing a lot of muscle memory this and animal instinct that. Both of which are interpretation and not covered by raw. So the guy has the mental power and charisma of a sea urchin or the prime minister of Quebec. Fine. but can anybody quote me REALLY what he cant do ?

Shadow Lodge

Unfortunately there isn't a lot of RAW here to define reasonable actions for low-Int characters to take. mlpindustries is right in pointing that out.

Within RAW for Feeblemind, I think all you can do is exactly what's within the spell description - prevent them from using Int or Cha skills at all, casting, or using language. And again I think that since your scores are "set" to 1 you lose feats with Int or Cha prerequisites. You can probably RAW ban tactical decisions based on monster weakness on the ground that strictly they rely on a Knowledge check to identify those weaknesses. Out of combat, the Handle Animal rules are decent but I don't think I'd call them RAW since the spell doesn't explicitly impact the character's out of combat actions except to prevent them from using Int or Cha skills or language.

Strictly by RAW, if a Feebleminded character wants to do something that does not fall into one of those categories, they are allowed. A Feebleminded caster could use wands or staves since losing the ability to cast spells doesn't prevent you from activating a spell-trigger item with a spell on your list. You could have a highly effective Feebleminded doctor, since Heal is Wis-based, and in fact, a Feebleminded person could practice any profession, since Profession is a Wis-based skill. You could have a Feebleminded innkeeper or midwife, or even by RAW a Feebleminded lawyer, architect, librarian, or engineer.

This is why I think a bit of GM discretion is necessary.

hogosha wrote:
So the guy has the mental power and charisma of a sea urchin or the prime minister of Quebec.

I think you mean "Premier" of Quebec. It's currently still a part of Canada and thus does not have its own Prime Minister


Weirdo wrote:
Because mental stats are not valued by the rules in the same way that physical stats are, and that bothers me. If Str 3 or Con 3 is crippling to any character, no matter what class, then Int 3, Wis 3, or Cha 3 should also impose steep penalties on non-spellcasting classes. Those penalties are hard to codify because mental limitations are by nature less measurable than physical limitations. Therefore they should be addressed in roleplay.

I understand and can appreciate your concerns, but I feel like you're misdirecting your frustration here.

You are upset that mental stats don't matter as much in the rules, and that's a valid complaint. But the way to fix that is not to randomly buff Feeblemind to the point of removing tactical decisions and whatnot (which many would suggest is Wisdom anyway), but rather you should be arguing for an increased mechanical presence for those three stats.

See, you're suggesting that having a high Intelligence doesn't actually help you in any extra way--you don't get more action choices or the ability to do more things. You strictly get penalized if you have a low one. That's not right. That's not any more right than someone with 18 Con having the same amount of HP as someone with 10, even though someone with 3 Con would have 4 fewer HP per level than either.

In other words, you have to change the rules on mental stats before you can fairly apply the penalties you're looking to apply with Feeblemind.

Shadow Lodge

You're right, my stance is partly influenced by general frustration with the limitations of accurately portraying mental ability scores in an RPG.

I do believe high Int and Wis characters should be given hints as appropriate as to tactical points or things that are illogical or "feel funny" about a situation, beyond the strict province of ability or skill checks. NPCs also should react more positively to high Cha characters even before anyone makes a Diplomacy check - high Cha people make a better first impression. (Of course, if they're not trained in Diplomacy, the average-Cha diplomat will have an edge once negotiations start.) This should balance out the fact that I expect extremely low scores to be played as such, though it's a bit harder to model and reward very high mental ability than it is to handicap very low ability.

My group's method of stats generation doesn't allow for scores under 6, so scores that low are magically inflicted and don't come up as much. When they do it can be fun to role-play. For example, my druid's response to Feeblemind is to turn into a dinosaur until the effect is removed and act appropriately (including charging/mauling anything that threatens her friends, tactics be damned).

As for the Feeblemind buff, it's already much more effective to use against a caster than a fighter, so I don't see a problem with allowing tactical penalties when it happens to affect a non-optimal target. At bare minimum, however, the spell description explicitly says you can't make an Int-based skill check. A character who not only has a very low Int but is expressly forbidden to even make an Int-based check should not be able to identify a monster weakness (such as materials-based DR), since doing so is in the domain of the Knowledge check.

The Exchange

Well, I'm with weirdo on this one. It is the province of the GM to adjucate what happens when things that are not covered by the RAW happen.

Fall 300 feet into a 3 feet puddle of acid...GM call.

I think the guidelines for handling a 1 int fighter and a 1 int animal are pretty good.

I do think that friends would be able to make suggestions without needing a handle animal score. But the flip side is you don't have the ability to communicate clearly.

The one int character has no idea what opponents are. No idea if he SHOULD hit something. Everytime the ref places a monster it is presumably an unknown entity (unless perhaps it is a racial enemy).

If you are a dwarf in a parties of dwarves - and your int 1 attacks things in dungeons - do you attack things when you go to a human town?

GM should not announce what creatures are.

Cannot activate magic items. Does not know what potions are. Does not know how to open them...

Shadow Lodge

cp wrote:

I do think that friends would be able to make suggestions without needing a handle animal score. But the flip side is you don't have the ability to communicate clearly.

...

If you are a dwarf in a parties of dwarves - and your int 1 attacks things in dungeons - do you attack things when you go to a human town?

That's going too far. Animal intelligence is perfectly capable of mimicry - an Int 1 Feebleminded character should be perfectly capable of observing that his friends aren't attacking these new creatures and that therefore they aren't to be attacked.

In fact, demonstration is probably the best way to get a Feebleminded character to perform specific tasks.


There is also nothing stopping GMs from making players roll Int Checks to perform tasks in RAW as far as I know. Someone tries to open a jarred door and they need to make a Str Check to do it, so I do not see why asking people to make Int checks on occasion would be that much different.

The most annoying thing about low Int is that I can not attack it very easily as a GM, which seems odd since it could be the best dump stat there is if you do not role-play things out. If someone had a low Str I would just throw them up against a Shadow as soon as possible and see what type of character they roll next, or blast them with Ray of Enfeeblement. There needs to be a Ray of Enfeeblement for Int, then I would have no issue with any of it.


Timothy Hanson wrote:
The most annoying thing about low Int is that I can not attack it very easily as a GM, which seems odd since it could be the best dump stat there is if you do not role-play things out.

Er, I think you're talking about Charisma. Most people (other than Humans with 2+skills per level) like to have skills.

Timothy Hanson wrote:
If someone had a low Str I would just throw them up against a Shadow as soon as possible and see what type of character they roll next,

That is insanely douchey and I hope you're joking. GMs that metagame (by picking monsters specifically to exploit their weaknesses) explicitly to kill players are a subset of the worst GMs.

Timothy Hanson wrote:
or blast them with Ray of Enfeeblement. There needs to be a Ray of Enfeeblement for Int, then I would have no issue with any of it.

Ray of Enfeeblement stops someone's Strength from going below 1. It's actually a life saving spell when facing Shadows.

Shadow Lodge

People are definitely more likely to dump Cha than Int because Int at least gets skill points love within strict mechanics. So many people ignore charisma.

I also take issue with a DM choosing a monster specifically to kill a particular PC. I can't think of anything that would justify it.

Also, Touch of Idiocy? Though like Ray of Enfeeblement, you can't use this to drop a dump stat to 0.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
mplindustries wrote:
Timothy Hanson wrote:
or blast them with Ray of Enfeeblement. There needs to be a Ray of Enfeeblement for Int, then I would have no issue with any of it.
Ray of Enfeeblement stops someone's Strength from going below 1. It's actually a life saving spell when facing Shadows.

Ray of enfeeblement can't drop you strength below 1 but it don't stop other sources for further reducing it.

On the other hand, as it is a negative enhancement it don't count as damage or drain, so the shadow will not kill you faster when you are under the effect of a ray of enfeeblement.


wolves have a 1ish int. they still flank, use complex tactics, apply teamwork, and target different body parts when the one they tried to hurt isn't affected. they can also communicate with one another.

most wild felines, having the same 1ish int as wolves, are masters of positioning, ambush tactics, anatomy, estimating whether or not thier prey is worth it, and using a great deal of judgement to assist thier hunting.

so if wolves and panthers can apply complex tactical decisions, a feebleminded fighter can change weapons to damage specific foes, use different weapons in different situations, flank, ambush, and is otherwise, an unhindered fighter. a feebleminded rogue can do the same plus sneak attack.


Diego Rossi wrote:
Ray of enfeeblement can't drop you strength below 1 but it don't stop other sources for further reducing it.

By common sense, you're right, but by RAW, you are incorrect.

"The subject's Strength score cannot drop below 1."

The spell actually prevents your Strength from dropping below 1 while it is in effect. It does not stipulate in any way that this sentence only applies to the penalty inflicted by Ray of Enfeeblement itself. It's a pretty clever trick for RAW environments (like PFS) and for GMs who are likely to re-read it, laugh, and applaud you for cleverness while letting it work.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
mplindustries wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Ray of enfeeblement can't drop you strength below 1 but it don't stop other sources for further reducing it.

By common sense, you're right, but by RAW, you are incorrect.

"The subject's Strength score cannot drop below 1."

The spell actually prevents your Strength from dropping below 1 while it is in effect. It does not stipulate in any way that this sentence only applies to the penalty inflicted by Ray of Enfeeblement itself. It's a pretty clever trick for RAW environments (like PFS) and for GMs who are likely to re-read it, laugh, and applaud you for cleverness while letting it work.

Exhibit 1:

PRD wrote:

Create Spawn (Su) A humanoid creature killed by a shadow's Strength damage becomes a shadow under the control of its killer in 1d4 rounds.

Strength Damage (Su) A shadow's touch deals 1d6 points of Strength damage to a living creature. This is a negative energy effect. A creature dies if this Strength damage equals or exceeds its actual Strength score.

Exhibit 2:

PRD wrote:

For every 2 points of damage you take to a single ability, apply a –1 penalty to skills and statistics listed with the relevant ability. If the amount of ability damage you have taken equals or exceeds your ability score, you immediately fall unconscious until the damage is less than your ability score. The only exception to this is your Constitution score. If the damage to your Constitution is equal to or greater than your Constitution score, you die. Unless otherwise noted, damage to your ability scores is healed at the rate of 1 per day to each ability score that has been damaged. Ability damage can be healed through the use of spells, such as lesser restoration.

Some spells and abilities cause you to take an ability penalty for a limited amount of time. While in effect, these penalties function just like ability damage, but they cannot cause you to fall unconscious or die. In essence, penalties cannot decrease your ability score to less than 1.

A) characteristic damage don't reduce a characteristic, it apply a "penalty to skills and statistics listed with the relevant ability".

B) You are killed by a shadow "if this Strength damage equals or exceeds its actual Strength score." It is irrelevant if your temporary strength score can go below 1 or not.

c) Read the last row on how ability damage work.

Any GM with a bit of rule knowledge will laugh at your attempt to game the rules.

Shadow Lodge

Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:

wolves have a 1ish int. they still flank, use complex tactics, apply teamwork, and target different body parts when the one they tried to hurt isn't affected. they can also communicate with one another.

most wild felines, having the same 1ish int as wolves, are masters of positioning, ambush tactics, anatomy, estimating whether or not thier prey is worth it, and using a great deal of judgement to assist thier hunting.

so if wolves and panthers can apply complex tactical decisions, a feebleminded fighter can change weapons to damage specific foes, use different weapons in different situations, flank, ambush, and is otherwise, an unhindered fighter. a feebleminded rogue can do the same plus sneak attack.

First off, wolves and wild felines are Int 2. So are camels, vultures, small birds, rats, and bison. Int 1 monsters include snakes, sharks, crocodiles, and turtles. So I wouldn't expect any wolf-like coordination or cat-like tactics from an Int 1 character.

Fleeing if the fight isn't worth it, absolutely. Flanking, ambushing, and avoiding difficult terrain, fine, that's basic. I'd also allow recognizing anatomy with sneak attack, or even using "judgment" in terms of something like focusing fire or hitting a soft target. I would allow a Feebleminded character to switch weapons at random if the one they're using isn't working due to DR, maybe even allow him to mimic his allies' choice of weapons.

Remembering that werewolves are vulnerable to silver - nope. Not happening. That's a knowledge check, expressly disallowed by Feeblemind if not the Int 1, that's the Feeblemind. They are also explicitly prohibited in the Feeblemind description from communicating effectively at all, so any cooperative tactics more complex than mimicry or pointing is out.

Complex tactics I would disallow, though it's not strict RAW:
- Targeting a particular enemy because of weaknesses you shouldn't be able to identify ("I have a silver weapon, I'll get the werewolf, you take the other guy.")
- Sundering a holy symbol (Sundering a held weapon is OK)
- Delaying an action until the caster can use an area spell or touch buff
- Deciding whether or not to Power Attack, TWF, etc based on what you estimate AC is (if you have the feat, you use it)


Diego Rossi wrote:
Any GM with a bit of rule knowledge will laugh at your attempt to game the rules.

You are right that it doesn't save you from Shadows. It does still help against ability drain, however. No need to get snippy.


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mplindustries wrote:

By common sense, you're right, but by RAW, you are incorrect.

"The subject's Strength score cannot drop below 1."

The spell actually prevents your Strength from dropping below 1 while it is in effect. It does not stipulate in any way that this sentence only applies to the penalty inflicted by Ray of Enfeeblement itself. It's a pretty clever trick for RAW environments (like PFS) and for GMs who are likely to re-read it, laugh, and applaud you for cleverness while letting it work.

If someone tried this at my table, I would definitely laugh.

Because I would assume they were joking.

Because that's just silly.

The Exchange

Weirdo wrote:
cp wrote:

I do think that friends would be able to make suggestions without needing a handle animal score. But the flip side is you don't have the ability to communicate clearly.

...

If you are a dwarf in a parties of dwarves - and your int 1 attacks things in dungeons - do you attack things when you go to a human town?

That's going too far. Animal intelligence is perfectly capable of mimicry - an Int 1 Feebleminded character should be perfectly capable of observing that his friends aren't attacking these new creatures and that therefore they aren't to be attacked.

That was entirely my point. If you are going to hang back and mimic what your "friends" do in town - you should have the same behavior in the dungeon. Ie., look to see what your "friends" are doing - since you don't know.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Weirdo wrote:
First off, wolves and wild felines are Int 2. So are camels, vultures, small birds, rats, and bison. Int 1 monsters include snakes, sharks, crocodiles, and turtles. So I wouldn't expect any wolf-like coordination or cat-like tactics from an Int 1 character.

Another big difference is that those are normal intelligence exemplars of their species. They had hundred of millennia to develop their instinct, the 1 intelligence feebleminded character is a damaged exemplar of his specie. That level of damage generally impact even automatic reflex mechanisms.

To get an idea of what will be the action and reaction of a feebleminded character a person suffering from the late stages of degenerative mental diseases is a better example.
Firing off word at random, regardless of the need for silence, wandering in a random direction and so on should all be very probable behaviours for a feebleminded character.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
mplindustries wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Any GM with a bit of rule knowledge will laugh at your attempt to game the rules.
You are right that it doesn't save you from Shadows. It does still help against ability drain, however. No need to get snippy.

Re-read the rules about ability damage I cited. Ray of enfeeblement and similar magic wouldn't help against any characteristic damage as that kind of damage is counted separately from the effect of those spells.

The ability damage is always totalled separately and compared to the permanent ability score.
When the ability damage is equal to the permanent ability score you become unconscious or die.

Feeblemind change the permanent ability score so it become easier to totally disable the character, but that require actual damage, not a negative enhancement like ray of enfeeblement.

I see you persist in your attempt to game the rules too. No, it don't help in any way against ability damage. The limit to the strength is for the spell only. Re read the citation, last row. It explain how characteristic penalties work.

Shadow Lodge

cp wrote:
Weirdo wrote:
cp wrote:

I do think that friends would be able to make suggestions without needing a handle animal score. But the flip side is you don't have the ability to communicate clearly.

...

If you are a dwarf in a parties of dwarves - and your int 1 attacks things in dungeons - do you attack things when you go to a human town?

That's going too far. Animal intelligence is perfectly capable of mimicry - an Int 1 Feebleminded character should be perfectly capable of observing that his friends aren't attacking these new creatures and that therefore they aren't to be attacked.
That was entirely my point. If you are going to hang back and mimic what your "friends" do in town - you should have the same behavior in the dungeon. Ie., look to see what your "friends" are doing - since you don't know.

Right, but in either setting your ability to mimic them is highly limited by intelligence. You can easily mimic "attack," "not attack," and "navigate obstacle," but more complicated behavior might not be possible, depending largely on DM interpretation.

I'm not entirely sure whether you're agreeing or disagreeing with me...


You know I am starting to see this kind of thing a lot. People trying to shoe horn more stuff into an ability or what not based on what they think "Makes sense." Ether to get more power out of something or to screw someone else over more.

What makes sense has no effect on the game. Otherwise the whole thing would get torn apart rather easily. Spells/abilities and so on do what they say they do not what else you want to shoehorn into them.

If you want to house rule it fine but take it to the houserules forum.

Shadow Lodge

There's no specific house rule being discussed, and a good chunk of this discussion is about the RAW. For example, I'm arguing that by RAW if you lose the ability to make int-based checks and communicate, you will lose the ability to do anything that requires you to make an int-based check or communicate, such as identify a monster weakness (which requires a Knowledge check or your buddy saying "use silver"). This doesn't just make sense, it's basic logic. If X requires that you do Y and you cannot do Y, you cannot do X. If X implies Y and not Y, then not X.

Now, I'm also arguing outside RAW that if your Int is set to 1 you should lose the ability to perform any other actions that a creature with Int 1 would not normally be able to perform. This is obviously subjective, but as long as the table is consistent it's fair and equalized between the players using the ability and the villains using the ability against the players. Maybe this part of the discussion does belong in the General Discussion forum, but since there's no specific house rule under discussion I don't think it would fit there.


Diego Rossi wrote:
I see you persist in your attempt to game the rules too. No, it don't help in any way against ability damage.

I said ability drain, which does directly lower the attribute. And I've never done it nor would I. You're seriously misrepresenting me here. It's a weird quirk in the wording--it's funny to point out. That is all.

Liberty's Edge

mplindustries wrote:
It's actually a life saving spell when facing Shadows.

The description is calling out that the spell itself cannot drop/penalize your Str score below 1, not that you have a protection from Shadows Str draining you to 0 and killing you.

Interesting thought though.


I know this isn't very useful to the discussion, but...

I'm lucky enough to have players who roleplay the crap out of these situations - I very rarely have to wade in and enforce things like the broader implications of Int or Cha 1, or how they would act when charmed, because they do it themselves. I occasionally have to tell them they don't have to be so hard on themselves.

Lucky me!


Wisdom represents a character's ability to act instinctively when Intelligence is lacking.


Winterwalker wrote:
The description is calling out that the spell itself cannot drop/penalize your Str score below 1, not that you have a protection from Shadows Str draining you to 0 and killing you.

It absolutely does not say that the spell can't drop the subject below 1, it says the subject's Strength cannot be reduced below 1.

It's the difference between saying that you cannot kill me and saying that I cannot be killed.

Yes, it implies what you're suggesting, and it's almost certainly the intent, but it's not what it actually says.

It doesn't actually help against Shadows, though--as further discussion revealed, I was forgetting that Pathfinder handled ability damage differently. It does still technically help against drain, but that's rare enough that it might not matter.

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