Low-Int Brawler in Conversation?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


I've been wondering about Brawler's Cunning and its applications to roleplay. I am aware that functionally it has no connection to skills, powers or interests of the brawler, but I am curious nonetheless.

If I played a brawler with 7, 8, or 10 intelligence, would you as a GM allow me to play him as a more-than-intelligent person because of his unorthodox cunning? Would you limit it merely to that he can read others' fighting styles as an intelligent person, or would it merely mean he has a different way of seeing things?


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I would probably say that it allows you to qualify for combat feats that require 13 Int.

Liberty's Edge

I'd say it makes you, very specifically, a surprisingly cunning fighter and would thus not object to complex and detailed tactical plans and scenarios in combat specifically, even if I felt they'd otherwise be beyond a character of the Brawler's intellect.

Outside combat? Yeah, it's utterly useless.


DominusMegadeus wrote:
I would probably say that it allows you to qualify for combat feats that require 13 Int.

This.

I dont Think monks or Rangers need to roleplay the feats they get without prerequsite either.


I don't tell players how to RP. It is pointless. There are many different ways to represent a certain number.

As an example I have a friend who is very good at math, but any other subject he is average at best so if he was a Pathfinder character he might have between a 9 to 11 for intelligence, but he might have a +4 competence modifier for math related issues.


INT 7 is below average, but FAR from the minimum. It would be odd to play the character as all-around intelligent, but that's on you...

If the GM gives out xp for roleplaying, I would rp an INT of 7 as simple-minded, but possibly focused (Forrest Gump comes to mind).

The fact that a class feature allows you to qualify for stuff you wouldn't normally be able to take doesn't really change how INT works.

OP, the last point you made probably makes the most sense. He just sees things a bit differently/he has what may be above average intelligence specifically in regards to feats/combat. Doesn't affect his ability to be a tradesman, engineer, linguist etc...

Sovereign Court

Even if you go by Int * 10 = IQ his IQ is 70 - which is a hair above legally disabled. (I think of it as more of a bell curve myself - so a 7 Int would be closer to an IQ of 85ish *shrug*) If you recall - both Peter Griffin & Forest Gump are supposed to be a bit below the line. So at the minimum - you'd still be smarter than them - and they likely both have a low Wis too.

So - I wouldn't worry about it so long as the Brawler doesn't try to discuss philosophy or some such. (unless he intentionally does it badly - which could be amusing)


LOL play him like Peter Griffin, I would love to see a character like that.


"Tell me about the rabbits, George."

Shadow Lodge

I'd say you could play him as clever in things regarding combat, as clever as say a 13 Int?

Brawler: "This is how you disarm without getting nicked in the face - first, move left, then right and come up inside of their swing! Hyahh!"

Outside of combat techniques... I'm generally in the Peter Griffin camp.

I have an 8 Int character in PFS play, who made a friend a few scenarios ago of an NPC (and is his first NPC friend):

That PC: *claps* I made a friend! Oh, happy day! Should I buy him a present?

A lot of GMs are aggravated when folks tank Int and Wisdom (i.e. both 7) and somehow present complex, well-articulated arguments, outlining the cause-effect relationship of political machinations of empires, etc. Maybe once as an epiphany when it's heavily related to PC backstory, but continuously will draw ire...

For example, I see Forrest Gump as having Profession (fisherman) with decent ranks, so he could go on and on about shrimping boats like he was a trained scholar in them.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

People vary in what they think of ability scores.

Some people think that Int 7 makes someone a simpleton.

Others think it makes them a mere 10% less likely to know the answer to a question compared to the average person.


I would like to point out that you have to increase an INT of 7 by 50% to reach a score that is considered average.

7 is pretty simple. I mean, it isn't 3, but you can probably tell the difference in casual conversation.

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wakedown wrote:
For example, I see Forrest Gump as having Profession (fisherman) with decent ranks, so he could go on and on about shrimping boats like he was a trained scholar in them.

How about Profession (Lawyer) or Spellcraft? In Pathfinder your "Gump" could easily have either or both.


Petty Alchemy wrote:
wakedown wrote:
For example, I see Forrest Gump as having Profession (fisherman) with decent ranks, so he could go on and on about shrimping boats like he was a trained scholar in them.
How about Profession (Lawyer) or Spellcraft? In Pathfinder your "Gump" could easily have either or both.

In Pathfinder he could be a high level cleric or sorcerer, put skills in advanced maths... stop time, heal magically...

doesn't mean he's smart. Just means he has gained levels and allocated skill points.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

In the ring, you're like Rocky.

Out of the ring, you're like Rocky.


alexd1976 wrote:

I would like to point out that you have to increase an INT of 7 by 50% to reach a score that is considered average.

7 is pretty simple. I mean, it isn't 3, but you can probably tell the difference in casual conversation.

That metric is utterly meaningless.

It's 3 points, not "half as good".

At the worst, you're 30% dumber than the average person. But closer to the mechanics you're only 10% dumber (a -2 on Int based checks). You're 10% less likely to be able to answer common knowledge questions most people can Take 10 on with a 10+ Int, but you know everything you need to know to survive, and then some.

You retain less information. That's it, really.


How about am monk that have int 5 but can take improved trip. Do you play him as intelligent when he is legsweeping. "E=MC^2 and Down you go. Huh?"


Petty Alchemy wrote:
wakedown wrote:
For example, I see Forrest Gump as having Profession (fisherman) with decent ranks, so he could go on and on about shrimping boats like he was a trained scholar in them.
How about Profession (Lawyer)

Let the lawyer jokes commence.

Sovereign Court

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pennywit wrote:
Petty Alchemy wrote:
wakedown wrote:
For example, I see Forrest Gump as having Profession (fisherman) with decent ranks, so he could go on and on about shrimping boats like he was a trained scholar in them.
How about Profession (Lawyer)
Let the lawyer jokes commence.

If you have enough ranks in Profession (Lawyer) snakes will refuse to attack you...

professional curtesy.


Int 7 is not mentally handicapped.

That would be the int 4 village idiot.

Please stop associating IQ with int * 10. It doesn't work that way.


Int 7 is whatever you want it to be. Just ignore the rest of this noise and adapt it to your character. I would speculate the numbers fit a bell curve rather than being linear or exponential. But ultimately people should role play as they like.


Int 7 could also be reflective of an antipathy to book learning. A lot of athletes are very brainy, it's just that they've put all their brain training into the parts of their brain that control their limbs, body movement, proprioception, hand-eye coordination, visual reasoning (i.e. if I want to catch that ball, I need to move this fast and in that direction and put my hand out now), and so on. Physical intelligence, rather than intellectual, is not stupidity.

An int 7, high wisdom character could be well-spoken and articulate, but also aware of his limitations. When an intellectual subject comes up, he politely bows out of the conversation. Ask him about fighting styles or body-building techniques, though, and he'll talk your ear off.


From what I see, int is more of your ability to learn rather than how much you know, as evidenced by your skill ranks being determined by int. A person with 7 int probably isn't drooling in conversation, but they'll probably need things brought down to simple terms or have things repeated.

They also probably know enough to avoid attacks of opportunity in combat and other basic tactics, but nothing special like tripping someone as they walk past.


HyperMissingno wrote:

From what I see, int is more of your ability to learn rather than how much you know, as evidenced by your skill ranks being determined by int. A person with 7 int probably isn't drooling in conversation, but they'll probably need things brought down to simple terms or have things repeated.

They also probably know enough to avoid attacks of opportunity in combat and other basic tactics, but nothing special like tripping someone as they walk past.

It's hilarious that you think tripping someone as they walk past is such a "special" tactic that to takes someone of above average intelligence to think of it.


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Rynjin wrote:
HyperMissingno wrote:

From what I see, int is more of your ability to learn rather than how much you know, as evidenced by your skill ranks being determined by int. A person with 7 int probably isn't drooling in conversation, but they'll probably need things brought down to simple terms or have things repeated.

They also probably know enough to avoid attacks of opportunity in combat and other basic tactics, but nothing special like tripping someone as they walk past.

It's hilarious that you think tripping someone as they walk past is such a "special" tactic that to takes someone of above average intelligence to think of it.

I panicked and it was the only thing I could come up with.


HyperMissingno wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
HyperMissingno wrote:

From what I see, int is more of your ability to learn rather than how much you know, as evidenced by your skill ranks being determined by int. A person with 7 int probably isn't drooling in conversation, but they'll probably need things brought down to simple terms or have things repeated.

They also probably know enough to avoid attacks of opportunity in combat and other basic tactics, but nothing special like tripping someone as they walk past.

It's hilarious that you think tripping someone as they walk past is such a "special" tactic that to takes someone of above average intelligence to think of it.

I panicked and it was the only thing I could come up with.

Well to be fair, by game mechanics you're correct.

Scarab Sages

Except for all those int 2 animals and mindless vermin with the trip ability.


Akbar the Great probably had a fairly below-average Int score, but he's gone down in history as one of the wiser, more successful emperors in history. He disdained book learning and spent most of his time exercising, but he also spoke with religious scholars every day and even started his own religion. He outmaneuvered and destroyed every army he came across, and he had policies that created a cohesive and consolidated empire.

His low Intelligence didn't make him dumb. He didn't talk like an imbecile, and he was known for remarkable cunning and skill. So I tend not to make an intelligence score less than 10 something that makes people talk like "Me Grawg. Me like kitten!" I think it's a silly trope and something that doesn't need to be propagated ad infinitum.


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Imbicatus wrote:
Except for all those int 2 animals and mindless vermin with the trip ability.

We normally call those 'filthy powergaming munchkin'-animals and -vermin.


Those int 2 animals and mindless vermin with the trip ability have it because of other factors - they might not be intelligently, tactically INTENDING to trip the same way a PC intends to, it is a "side benefit" to their natural attack.


mardaddy wrote:
Those int 2 animals and mindless vermin with the trip ability have it because of other factors - they might not be intelligently, tactically INTENDING to trip the same way a PC intends to, it is a "side benefit" to their natural attack.

Yeah...no.

Prime example: The wolf. Look at how wolves hunt IRL. That's what their Trip ability is based off of.

It's 100% intentional.

The only thing more pointless than Trip/Disarm/Steal/Feint/Etc. requiring 13 Int and Combat Expertise is vainly attempting to pretend it makes any sort of sense.


Puna'chong wrote:

Akbar the Great probably had a fairly below-average Int score, but he's gone down in history as one of the wiser, more successful emperors in history. He disdained book learning and spent most of his time exercising, but he also spoke with religious scholars every day and even started his own religion. He outmaneuvered and destroyed every army he came across, and he had policies that created a cohesive and consolidated empire.

His low Intelligence didn't make him dumb. He didn't talk like an imbecile, and he was known for remarkable cunning and skill. So I tend not to make an intelligence score less than 10 something that makes people talk like "Me Grawg. Me like kitten!" I think it's a silly trope and something that doesn't need to be propagated ad infinitum.

Akbar wasent made on a point buy and he wasent alone so we have no way to guess his Intelligence. But i know of nothing that indicates that he was below avarage.

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