Playing a character with 8 Int and 8 Cha


Advice

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Well, for min-max reasons, I'm playing a Barbarian with the following stats:

Str 20
Dex 16
Con 16
Int 8
Wis 16
Cha 8

I've been playing nothing but wizards for the past several years, so I thought this might be a nice change of pace. Now, I suppose I should just accept that I have gimped myself for all out of combat purposes, but even so, does anyone have suggestions for how to effectively roleplay such a character? Right now, I'm more or less acting like Thog from Order of the Stick.

Does this seem about right? Is an 8 Int and Cha that huge a leap from 10 Int and Cha that I have a speech impediment and can't figure out the simplest problems?

Now let's say I HAVE to roleplay him as an idiot; anyone have suggestions on how I can use my dumb as a rock barbarian as a medium to share clever ideas that I, the player, have thought of?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

8 is not that low.

Village Idiot has a 4 intelligence.

8 is average guy working at McDonalds.


Well, you still have 16 wisdom; so you can hand out useful parcels of information, albeit at a diminished vocabulary.

Think Durkon with Thog's speech patterns.

I agree with BBT though, 8 is not that low; remember that 10 is an average score.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
8 is average guy working at McDonalds.

ROFL

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Abilites

Standard Intelligence:
Low Fantasy 11 --> Int 8 = IQ 72
Standard Fantasy 11-12 --> Int 8 = IQ 66-72
High Fantasy 12 --> Int 8 = IQ 66
Epic Fantasy 12-13 --> Int 8 = IQ 62-66

Int. 8 => IQ 72 (or lower)
--> IQ below 70: Mental retardation

Mortalis wrote:
(...) remember that 10 is an average score.

-> Int 8 = IQ 80

;-)

other point of view:
(INT+CHA+WIS)/3 = IQ => (8+8+16)/3 = 10,67 => Standard IQ


No 8 is not that big a step down at worst you can think of it as a 20% below average intelligence but in terms of mods and what not it means you're only 5% less capable at those tasks than your average guy essentially anything the average guy gets a C in you pulled in a very low C- does that sound like a guy with a speech impediment and an inability to solve simple problems?

Now should you choose to play it as such, use your Wisdom score as your applied stat of choice, you'll want to make it all common sense when you need to chip in. Apply anecdotes "Mama always told me to be careful wandering into the dark, maybe Ralph the Rogue should give it a look first?" etc.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

You might be Jock smart, but you are not the Down Syndrome Adventurer.

If you assume 8 is an idiot, than a 12 is a genius.


I'm gonna have to agree with some other folks. 8 Int is dumb, sure, but not that dumb. You can still form a sentence, you're just not gonna be doing much complex math.

Look at it this way: In a class skill that requires Int, say Knowledge (Nature), 1 skill rank ends up with you at a +3 bonus. You're still capable of learning things if you apply, you're just a little slow. Similarly for your Charisma: He's not completely blah, or repulsive, he's just a little awkward socially.


I suppose if I ever get tired of the Thog shtick, I'll ask my GM if I can suffer a head injury and switch to Int 10 and Wis 14.

Somehow that negative modifier in Int can make a world of difference to peoples assumptions about how your character should act, so 10 Int might be all I need. From there I can roleplay a more normal person, (10 Int) with some shrewd insights, (Wis 14) but can be a little awkward/unpleasant in conversation. (Cha 8)

...but for now I'll try the Thog persona but play up his common sense, as gnomersy suggested.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Hell, you hit 7, and you are basically Peter Griffin.

The 8 charisma?

Well, you know that guy in your gaming group who lacks a bit of the "social skills".

He is a 8 charisma PC.


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Der Origami Mann wrote:


other point of view:
(INT+CHA+WIS)/3 = IQ => (8+8+16)/3 = 10,67 => Standard IQ

That's an interesting way to calculate it; makes sense? Reminds me of the saying:

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt."

So my character may be slow, but his Wis should actually put enough of a filter on what comes out of his mouth that he can effectively hide it. Occasionally he can come up with a good idea, but when he doesn't he's shrewd enough to know to leave it to the others to figure it out. He should have a good gut instinct; "That sounds about right." ...even if he couldn't come up with the idea himself.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

If you run with the 8 int as a babbling moron, and 8 cha as a socially inept ugly horror, then the opposite must be true.

The 12 int PC is a genius, and the 12 cha PC is a beautiful master manipulator.

Liberty's Edge

I tend to think every point of bonus equates to around a standard deviation (15 IQ points, in the case of IQ). That puts Int 18 at around an IQ of 160, and Int 8 at IQ 85 or so...below average, but not seriously incapable.

With Int 8 your character should be a bit slow, and sometimes not know commonly known facts about any Knowledges he lacks ranks in, he'll likely use short, simple, words as opposed to long complex ones, but probably not drop connecting words or otherwise drop into hulk-speak.

With Cha 8, he'll likely be either shy and quiet/taciturn, or overly loud and boisterous, with no real good way to judge what's appropriate to say in social situations..but again, not as bad as all that. Slightly offputting, but not outright awful or completely unlikable.

But with Wis 16, he also has excellent judgement, a wealth of common sense, startlingly good intuition, and is an excellent judge of character. He's also perceptive as hell and stubborn as the day is long.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

If you run with the 8 int as a babbling moron, and 8 cha as a socially inept ugly horror, then the opposite must be true.

The 12 int PC is a genius, and the 12 cha PC is a beautiful master manipulator.

This. Exactly this.


Simply put, if 10 is an average score, then you probably know a lot of people in real life that have 8 Int or Cha (but not so many with 18 Int or Cha, if any at all).


PRD wrote:
The ability scores for a basic NPC are: 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, and 8.

So 1/3rd of the ability scores for the average commoner, expert, adept, artistocrat, or warrior (making up the main population) are either 8 or 9.

Which means that 1/3rd of the general population of the world have INT 8 or 9. That indicates that this level of intelligence is only slightly below average, and far from being "dumb as a rock" (to use the OP's phrasing).


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Play it any way you want to. There is NO wrong way to play this. As long as you are having fun go for it. Does an 8 have mental retardation or a low IQ? NO, not unless the player wants it to. Remember these are game stats and have NO relation to real life. The player has an IQ not his character and his character has an Int score not the player. Just remember you have a -1 to certain skills for a reason, so pick something that would give you a minor penalty and role play that if you wish to have your stats mean something in a role play sense.

Dark Archive

With a 8 Int and Cha your character is obviously the most intelligent and charming person in the room, most min maxxers will tell you the same, it is only a -1 minus off of a 10.

To me the character would be a lil stoopid and slightly obnoxious, kind of like me.

The Exchange

I would go with the fact that you have a good wisdom and use that as you give good advice, can assess situations well, and overall have a working knowledge of how to stay alive.
The Intelligence and Charisma being low I would play as you think you know a bit of everything....like if a monster shows up you are sure it is a ______. You are obviously wrong but no one can tell you that without you insisting they are the idiot. You see a section of wall that is a different material than usual....Oh, that's malachite! You can tell by the purple squares in it.
You make up stuff to try to make yourself look smart and then act like a jerk when called out on being wrong.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

If you run with the 8 int as a babbling moron, and 8 cha as a socially inept ugly horror, then the opposite must be true.

The 12 int PC is a genius, and the 12 cha PC is a beautiful master manipulator.

I have vergotten the IQ-curve

  • Standard ability:
    Low Fantasy 11
    Standard Fantasy 11-12
    High Fantasy 12
    Epic Fantasy 12-13

  • + (INT+CHA+WIS)/3

  • + IQ-curve

  • = IQ

--> But we still must def. IQ +/- 25, IQ +/- 50 in numbers, for example:

-->"Standard-Fantasy"-Character-IQ:
(INT+CHA+WIS)/3 = 19-20 => IQ 150
(INT+CHA+WIS)/3 = 17-18 => IQ 137,5
(INT+CHA+WIS)/3 = 15-16 => IQ 125
(INT+CHA+WIS)/3 = 13-14 => IQ 112,5
(INT+CHA+WIS)/3 = 11-12 => IQ 100
(INT+CHA+WIS)/3 = 9-10 => IQ 87,5
(INT+CHA+WIS)/3 = 7-8 => IQ 75
(INT+CHA+WIS)/3 = 5-6 => IQ 62,5
(INT+CHA+WIS)/3 = 3-4 => IQ 50

I think this could work :-)

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Oh, the "minmax" line.

I knew it would be forcibly inserted here.

Silly, but those same people would scoff at the idea of the 12 int PC who claims his PC is a genius. Throw the same reasoning in to support their view.

That is the same level of play, but anything below 10 sets a "true roleplayer" aflame in the colon region.

Madness I say.

Contradictory in so many ways, the "true roleplayer" raises himself above all others, naming his opinion, not only the best opinion, but instead, a "fact".

He does not even see the roleplay value of scores below 10.

He wallows in a pool of self-righteousness, pleasuring himself with off-hand remark, and self-delusion.


8 int, 16 wis, 8 cha?

Jed Clampett :-)


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I have two thoughts about this.

First, I think everybody playing PF should consider navigating well clear of clumsy talk about Down syndrome, village idiots, mental retardation, and people working at McDonalds.

When sitting down to role play PCs who have lower IQs, the LAST thing anyone should be doing at a gaming table is adopting those kinds of stereotypes.

I know this sounds scoldy. But fantasy gaming operates in risky territory on a lot of issues, race, violence, sexism, etc. It's possible to have a crap-load of fun while also avoiding trip-wires.

I guarantee you, there is someone at your gaming table who has someone in their world with intellectual limitations or developmental disabilities.

Second, as a DM, I've mostly outlawed dump-stats.

For one thing, the kind of games I run don't function well without fairly bright, alert and (reasonably) charismatic PCs.

As a result, I was finding a lot of Int 8/Cha 8 characters trying to get away with acting like Sherlock Holmes.

But I also just don't like the way these characters start to look on paper, far too attenuated and meta-gamed.

So my house rule is that you have to come to me first with a story reason or a role-playing strategy that makes a lot of sense.

Only then can you dump-stat.

--Marsh


Think Homer Simpson.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

8 is not dumped.

It could just be a 10, with a -2 racial modifier.

Of course, that means you are a dirty, dirty, dirty, minmaxer.

You and your "below 10"!

Evill! Badwrongfun!

I am above your nefarious ways!


Hahaha!


I actually do allow 8s with a -2 racial modifier without a DM consult. Again, it's not so much about being a minmaxer, though I think that stuff gets pretty dull. It's about trying to play a "story" game of Pathfinder with PCs who look and feel completely meta-gamed.

-Marsh

Liberty's Edge

8 Int and Cha is simply not a quick thinker, and does not express himself well...but with a 16 Wis, he might well be the guy some come to for advice, once they get to know him...but they still aren't going to expect him to lead.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
It could just be a 10, with a -2 racial modifier.

That´s true. But like animals (Chimpanzee VS Bird) there are high and low intelligent races in the fantasy world. For example a "standard" Ork (-2 INT) is not as intelligent like an "standard" Elf (+2 INT);-)

I have started a thread about this and would like to hear your ideas on this:
Character-intelligence-quotient

Silver Crusade

darkwarriorkarg wrote:

8 int, 16 wis, 8 cha?

Jed Clampett :-)

Naw man, Jed's very personable and nice. His charisma's much higher then an 8. He's also pretty bright, he just lacks the information. Jed's like a high level fighter who bought absolutely no knowledge ranks and hasn't been dealing with anything except animals as threats. He defers to Jethro because he has knowledge skills, even though Jethro's got nothing but negative intelligence mods and like one rank at best in knowledge skills.

Man, we're incurring the darkest of all RPG sins, now I want to stat sitcom characters.

8 intelligence is just, kinda not bright. You need to get to like 6 or below though before you start encountering real problems.

I have a 10 int, 8 wisdom knight in an old 3.5 game. Dude's not a floundering idiot with no judgement, but I play it as he tends to be a little honor before reason.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Some still overestimate low scores, and underestimate high scores, as they believe it will make better roleplaying.

False.

Bad roleplayers will be bad roleplayers, no matter the scores.

Minmaxers will be Minmaxers, no matter the scores.

It is this universal truth, that many forget.

Liberty's Edge

I'd generally play him as a shrinking violet socially...he has the wisdom to stay quiet unless there's a glaring common sense failure, or someone just needs some good basic advice. Play to his wisdom, you know.


I've always played low INT characters as having a lack of linguistics. That is to say they don't use a lot of big words or words that get used so little often that people call them big words regardless of how many syllables there are.

Ever go back and read some of your old writings from middle school? Compare the difference to your writing nowadays and you have the basic difference.


master_marshmallow wrote:
I've always played low INT characters as having a lack of linguistics. That is to say they don't use a lot of big words or words that get used so little often that people call them big words regardless of how many syllables there are

.

In the real world, the most significant difference between low-normal IQ and average or high-normal IQ is the ability to generalize, and specifically how fast and accurately you can do it.

E.g., if you are practiced at making a ham and cheese omelet, but someone wants an apricot jam and almond omelet instead, how hard would it be to whip one up? How much jam to do you use, how many almonds, do you cook it for the same length of time, and so forth.

From a realistic point of view, the most significant thing about an Int 8 character vs. an Int 12 should not be that the Int 8 doesn't know how to button a shirt or form complex sentences, but simply that he gets "out of his comfort zone" quickly because he doesn't deal well with change.

As for low charisma, an 8 could be ugly-but-nice, rude, personable-but-shy,.... there's all sorts of ways to play it.

But 8 should not be crippling in any stat.

I'm playing an Int 8/Cha 8 druid in my current campaign. He's basically a little bit slow in figuring things out, speaks slowly, and is extremely shy (the joke is that you can tell if he likes you because he's looking at YOUR shoes instead of his own). It works.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
E.g., if you are practiced at making a ham and cheese omelet, but someone wants an apricot jam and almond omelet instead, how hard would it be to whip one up?

This is off topic I'm sure, but that sounds disgusting.


Here's how I gauge it.

Int represents your ability to figure new things out. It's your ability to piece together observations into new knowledge. A person with high Int is very good at putting together observations into new facts; scientists have good intelligence. Low intelligence means you're not good at dealing with new info. You're more "set in your ways". You've been taught that the Earth is flat and no amount of new info is going to change your mind on that. Animalistically low intelligence (ie. 1-2) is the barest of the bare ability to act beyond raw observations and instincts.

Wis represents your ability to link what you know to what you observe. It's your ability to apply what you know to situations. A person with high Wis is very good at predicting outcomes based on what he knows. For example, Survival, a Wis skill, allows you to apply your knowledge of weather to survive harsh weather conditions and apply your knowledge of plants and animals to track down food. Sense Motive allows you to apply your knowledge of people and psychology to discern subtle cues in behavior to distinguish honestly from deception. Low wisdom means you don't apply what you know to situations; you ignore what you know and what you should do and do something else not warranted by the situation. In short, you are Ignorant (derived from the word 'ignore'). You're bad at making observations and bad at acting on them. A person with very high Intelligence and very low Wisdom is the classic "absent-minded professor" who is very poor at making the observations himself, but when he has the raw data collected for him and laid out in front of him, he can piece it together better than anyone. A genius with poor observational skills. Hitting 0 Wisdom tends to spawn insanity; conditions where you observe things that aren't even real.

Cha is, honestly, the most difficult for most people to understand because it gets applied to so many disparate things. But the best term I've found to nail down a definition for it is 'confidence'. High Cha means you're very confident of your actions. It doesn't matter whether they're right or wrong, what matters is that you have confidence in them. You start with a presumption of success. You are, in essence, an optimist. By contrast, a person with low Cha has low confidence; he's a pessimist who starts with a presumption of failure. This is your "mind over matter" stat.

So, a character with 8 Int/16 Wis/8 Cha. I'd play that off as, first and foremost, being highly observant. He can pick out raw info very well and makes very keen observations. However, it's somewhat harder for him to figure out things he's never seen or abstract concepts that defy observation. He's a very "seeing is believing" type of character. Also, with 8 Charisma, he's a little pessimistic and, more often than not, thinks things won't turn out in his favor. If you feel he's more introverted, this lends well to the "loner" type; his lack of confidence in dealing with people reinforces a natural desire not to interact with them. By contrast, if he's an extrovert, he will try to interact with people despite his lack of confidence and that's where you get the crass, grating "low-charisma" stereotype. I suggest you read the basic description of the MBTI Sensory/Judging personality and possibly the 4 subset personalities to get a good idea of the core of the character. If you really want to go for it, go ahead and take the full personality test, but answer the questions as if it were your character rather than you yourself to get a full picture of his temperament and that can provide a foundation from which you base the development of their personality based on their mental stats.


Mortalis wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
E.g., if you are practiced at making a ham and cheese omelet, but someone wants an apricot jam and almond omelet instead, how hard would it be to whip one up?
This is off topic I'm sure, but that sounds disgusting.

Actually, dessert omelets are quite common in Europe, and quite tasty -- well, I hate omelets in general, but if you can get past the whole `omelet' thing, they're quite tasty.

But that's part of the reason I picked that example. For the huge percentage of American readers that have never had a dessert omelet, it will be a little odd-sounding. But for the huge percentage of forum readers who have average or above intelligence, it sounds odd but not scary or difficult, and for the slightly smaller percentage of forum readers who have average or above intelligence and who know how to make omelets, something they could obviously do.

Life would be a little different at IQ 80; the omelet would sound not just odd, but hard.

(ETA: It's the French. They gave us sweet omelets and savory pancakes. What can you expect?)


You have built Caramon from Dragonlance. The slightest bit slow to think things through, But you always get there in due time and socially a little measured in how you speak, and how often, but very wise and far more preceptive than given credit for.

I wouldnt play him as crass, just a little quiet and a little reserved until you are sure you have the right answer. You may even think your are not as smart as you really are and therefore hold back deliberately thus feeding the notion your a little slow when in truth your a font of practical wisdom gleaned from real life experiences.


I'm not sure omelette-making is directly related to IQ. I tend to score fairly well on IQ tests, but I failed horribly the last time I attempted to make an omelette :)


Are wrote:

I'm not sure omelette-making is directly related to IQ. I tend to score fairly well on IQ tests, but I failed horribly the last time I attempted to make an omelette :)

Craft (omelet) is an Int-based skill.


I'd play an 8 Int, 16 Wis, 8 Cha barbarian as someone who's in tune with the world around him, but not that educated about it - he notices most things, and can draw intuitive conclusions well, but he's not very good at piecing things together, and generally uneducated about the world around him - if he's presented with information he can put it together reasonably well, but he doesn't seek out learning on its own, just lets the world wash over him. He doesn't spend a lot of time with people, and considers them unpredictable and confusing (poor social skills). He's more of a loner, and spends his time outdoors or with animals.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Are wrote:

I'm not sure omelette-making is directly related to IQ. I tend to score fairly well on IQ tests, but I failed horribly the last time I attempted to make an omelette :)

Craft (omelet) is an Int-based skill.

Ah, but Profession (Chef) is wisdom. :p

I see what you mean about the omelette, it didn't occur to me they were eaten sweet. I suppose it's the same as how French toast can be eaten sweet in the US, but here in Australia it's almost exclusively savory.


Mortalis wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
E.g., if you are practiced at making a ham and cheese omelet, but someone wants an apricot jam and almond omelet instead, how hard would it be to whip one up?
This is off topic I'm sure, but that sounds disgusting.

Dude, you need to try some baked brie with a puff pastry exterior, an apricot jam glaze and a few shaved almonds to add texture. Like all the best things in life it's quick, easy and decadent.

You're welcome =p


Mortalis wrote:


I see what you mean about the omelette, it didn't occur to me they were eaten sweet. I suppose it's the same as how French toast can be eaten sweet in the US, but here in Australia it's almost exclusively savory.

... and the fact that you could so quickly generalize and grasp the underlying principle is one reason I suspect you have average-or-above inteliigence.

Once you've made that connection, a whole new world of culinary experiments opens up before you. Dessert soup? Sure, no problem. How about "cream of cherry"? I'm not sure how to turn cake into a main course, but that just shows the limitations of my ability to generalize.

But there are not only people who not only wouldn't generalize that fast, but who wouldn't accept the idea of sweet omelets in the first place, 'cause that's not what an omelet is like.

ETA: Back on topic. One way to play a low Int, low Cha character, then, is as a sort of provincial "ugly American." Everything he's not used to is wrong. What's this 'wine" stuff; people are supposed to drink beer, and kidneys for breakfast instead of bacon is just wrong!

Easily put out of his comfort zone, and not especially well-mannered about it.


Lazurin Arborlon wrote:

You have built Caramon from Dragonlance. The slightest bit slow to think things through, But you always get there in due time and socially a little measured in how you speak, and how often, but very wise and far more preceptive than given credit for.

While the OP is free to play it this way if he wishes, it is best to remember Caramon and Raistlin DIDN'T have any dump stats. I know the horror and audacity of a developer playing a role WITHOUT the stats to support such a role... shocking!


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Back in 3.5 I made a barbarian once that had an Int of 8. He firmly believed he was a paladin (painted his armor and club white cause that's what a paladin would do). Made him because usually I ended up being party leader in whatever campaigns I was in and wanted a char that would not be party leader.
And yes, I named him Thog.

First session:
Cleric: Who do you worship?
Thog: hmmm, who do you worship?
Cleric: Lathander.
Thog: Thog will worship Lathander too.
Thog: Thog Holy Paladin of Lathander
(Cleric dies in next encounter...karma?)

He had a child-like mentality (he would play with children while the party was gathering info in towns). He would do things that he thought paladins would do, he only accepted 10% of party loot cause that's tithing. his power attacks were his smite evil. Always referred to himself in the third person.
During one quest, the party helped a creature that gave everyone a wish, Thog asked for chicken (he was hungry).
The rest of the party loved him, the campaign became known as Thog's Campaign, and I loved rp'ing him.


I'd ask for chicken, too.

I'd make an 8 int, 8 cha guy real blue collar. Enjoys a cold beer and a big stick to hit people with.

The Exchange

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...Well, ever seen Firefly? Jayne Cobb springs to mind; brutish, comically rude, a bit simple-minded and always as direct as possible - although like your character, he's got enough Wisdom to deal with matters that interest him* in a capable manner. Put him in a potential combat situation and he focuses all his attention on it; for anything else... well, that's why he hangs out with people who are better at plans than he is.

* Specifically, getting paid, hurting people, girls, scaring people, getting paid, playing tricks and getting paid.


This is the guy you are looking for with int 8 and cha 8, although his wis would also be low...

http://cartoonnetwork.wikia.com/wiki/I.R._Baboon#Modal


I generally hold with the 2 points equals one standard deviation explanation of stats. Back in 1st/2nd edition, I just used the curve formed by the 3d6 distribution (thus an 18 was one in 216, about 2 and a half or so sigmas).
Given the first explanation, how low is an 8. Well, grab 100 random people and line them up in order of intelligence or charisma. Mr 8 is right around the 16th or so at the low end of the line. He's not particularly smart or a particularly strong personality, but he's not putting in any outrageously exceptionally low performances either. 16th percentile. If people's social circles weren't incredibly sorted these days most people would know a fair number of them. Such people actually do pretty well in societies with a lot of clear, bright-line rules to prevent smarter or more glib people from taking advantage of them.

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