- "Int" redirects here. For other uses, see Int (disambiguation).
Intelligence determines how well a character learns and reasons. Intelligence is important for wizards because it affects how many spells they can cast, how hard their spells are to resist, and how powerful their spells can be. It is also important for any character who wants to have a strong assortment of skills; however increasing intelligence will not grant bonus skill points retroactively.
Specials: The (base) intelligence modifier is added to skill points gained each level, subject to a minimum of 1 skill point per level. (At character level 1, this is done before quadrupling the points.)
Intelligence is a moderately important ability for many players, as a shortage of skill points is often a concern. On the other hand, increasing intelligence at the expense of other abilities is typically not beneficial to anyone but a wizard. Base scores of 10-14 are fairly common, with the higher end often motivated by feat prerequisites. Some players will, though, do without the skill points and "dump" intelligence, intentionally leaving it as low as possible so that more ability points are available for other uses in the point buy system.
An intelligence lower than 9 affects conversations in some modules. While not enforced in any way, this is a convention established by BioWare in the official campaigns. The more significant effect is the inaccessibility to low-intelligence characters of many "insight" dialog lines, lines that allow the player character to deduce information from subtle observations of another character or the environment. The more noticeable effect is the inability of low-intelligence player characters to speak properly, but this is restricted to the original campaign and a few user modules, due to the time it takes to implement (essentially, all dialogs must be written twice, once normally and once for the "dumb-speak").
The core scripts (specifically
nw_i0_plot) define three ranges for intelligence — "low" (less than 9), "normal" (at least 9), and "high" (15 or more). Whether or not these ranges mean anything depends on the module being played. (For example, the official campaigns often require "normal", and sometimes "high", intelligence to receive "insight" dialog lines, and the original campaign uses the "low" range for determining if a character is unable to speak properly.) The ready availability of these ranges does make these breakpoints likely, if intelligence ranges are used at all.
Wizard spellcasting is intelligence-based (but not the spellcasting of bards and sorcerers, as players of previous editions of Dungeons & Dragons might assume). This has several consequences. The highest spell level that a wizard can learn or cast is the caster's base (unmodified) intelligence score minus ten, while bonus spells are given to wizards based on the caster's current (modified) intelligence modifier. In addition, the intelligence modifier is added to the DCs of spells cast by a wizard.