Effects of awarding extra skill proficiency for high intelligence score

After a discussion in my Pathfinder group about D&D 5e, someone threw the (often heard) complaint that intelligence was mostly a useless stat outside of the classes for whom it is a primary stat. Seeing as the knowledge skills heavily depends on the GM’s style, investigation is, in my experience, usually replaced with perception (again partially the DM’s fault) and added to the fact that there seem to be only a few classes that uses Int for their ability.

We eventually came up with a house-rule suggestion :

  • An Int score of 14 grants an additional skill/tool proficiency.
  • An Int score of 16 grants another proficiency.
  • An Int score of 18 grants double proficiency for a single skill (similar to Expertise)
  • An Int score of 20 grants another double proficiency.

Since none of us have extensive experience with the D&D 5e system, we’re not sure if this rule would break the system at some point. Has anyone used a similar rule or sees a reason this might imbalance the party?

Is there a minimum intelligence score needed to make use of non-natural abilities?

In a recent session a character who was under the influence of a Potion of Flying was turned into an ant by a hostile spellcaster. The DM rules that even though the potion’s effect persisted and gave the ant a 60ft fly speed, the character could not use the fly speed because "an ant doesn’t know how to fly and isn’t intelligent enough to find out." He later clarified that the ant was specifically a worker ant and as such doesn’t naturally fly in its life cycle.

I find this to be unconvincing. While polymorph states that "The creature is limited in the actions it can perform by the nature of its new form", the Fly spell or Potion of Flying isn’t dependent on the natural form of the creature it targets to begin with. Ants are able to move of their own will and nothing in the spell description states that creatures need to learn how to use the fly speed they gain (after all, humans also cannot fly by nature).

I also find it problematic to assume that polymorph can render a character unable to use their buffs, even though it nowhere states that it interferes with other magical effects. I phrased the question in a nonspecific way, because this would just as much go for a potion that, say, allows the character to breathe fire or breathe underwater. The effect doesn’t specify that the character needs any kind of special training or skill to use it, it does not involve spellcasting but describes a relatively straightforward physical action like breathing or moving.

Nonetheless, I also can see the point that certain actions or decisions could be expected to require a certain value of intelligence or wisdom to perform or conceive of. Is there any guidance on the rules as to how a character whose intelligence is reduced below human levels or whose form is changed to one with low intelligence can still act and which abilities beyond the natural and instinctive they can use? Is there anything about whether effects that give the character a new ability automatically imbue them with the knowledge of how to use them and whether this requires a minimum mental ability score to work?

What is the minimum intelligence for a cultist under Juiblex or Zuggtmoy?

In Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes one can gain Demonic Boons for joining specific cults, changing one’s abilities, spells, resistances and even modify combat abilities. Various Demon-Lords (Juiblex, Yeenoghu and Zuggtmoy specifically) also offer an ‘equal penalty’ for intelligence, wisdom & charisma (though Yeenoghu leaves ‘wisdom’ untouched) – and this penalty can be quite severe. Given a loss of four to eight points many otherwise-enthusiastic cultists are left quite mindless, which is the point of the cult, story-wise. But what is the minimum? Inquiring minds want to know:

Cultists: Just how stupid can they get?

Low-Ability History: Player Characters in 5e may have a minimum of three and maximum of twenty for any ability score. Note that previous editions even had negative ability scores, especially charisma (this gave fear-aura abilities) – but such a mechanic is not in 5e. Many automatons, oozes and slimes in the first edition of AD&D had ‘non-intelligent’ or a zero-intelligence score – but with 5e even iron golems have a surprisingly clever score of 3. Even ‘utterly mindless’ (i.e. ‘actually devoid of all brain-matter’) undead non-player skeletons only have a penalty of -4 (DM’s Guide p.282).

So, just to specify &/or reiterate: Do cultist-creatures (humanoid or otherwise) have a minimum intelligence score, if any?

Reason for asking: Many spells focus easily on targets with low ability scores, especially those with low wisdom – this would change game-play. Also, if any creature’s lowest score was below that of a Violet fungus, the target may enter a non-ambulatory &/or vegetative state. If this reduction were allowed to go below zero, one must assume instant death for any such gormless person joining such cults (this is a very possible and reasonable ruling – demonic cults are not known for their kindness nor protection of specific minorities). Thus, any rulings – even Crawfordonian ones – would be welcome.

Snare spell: when do creatures get an Intelligence Check to spot it?

The description of the snare spell says the trap it creates is near invisible, but can be discerned:

This trap is nearly invisible, requiring a successful Intelligence (Investigation) check against your spell save DC to be discerned.

I’m not sure under which conditions the check can be attempted. Does anyone passing near the trap gets an automatic investigation check to spot it? Or maybe it requires spending an action explicitly looking for traps?

Can I increase my intelligence from a Headband Of Intellect?

2 sessions ago, my wizard found a headband of intellect, and used it to up his spells.

Your Intelligence score is 19 while you wear this headband. It has no effect on you if your Intelligence is already 19 or higher without it.

Now I am close to getting an ability score increase and I want to increase my intelligence. So my question is, can I increase his intelligence from 19 to 20, or do I have to go from my non-modified intelligence?

What creatures exist (besides the Githzerai) that associate psionics with anything besides Intelligence?

My understanding of psionics in D&D is that it is usually tied to Intelligence.

Going by player classes, the UA Mystic class was Intelligence-based, and going by monsters, many of them who are capable of psionics appear to be Intelligence-based as well, such as the Mind Flayers (MM, p. 222):

Innate Spellcasting (Psionics). The mind flayer’s innate spellcasting ability is Intelligence

However, I am aware that the Githzerai, both the playable race and the monsters, use Wisdom instead.

The playable race, from MToF (p. 96):

Githzerai Psionics.Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

And an example of one of the "monsters", a Githzerai Monk (MM, p. 161):

Innate Spellcasting (Psionics). The githzerai’s innate spellcasting ability is Wisdom

Even the Githyanki (both playable race and monsters) use Intelligence, like most of the other psionic creatures in D&D. As far as I can tell, it’s just the Githzerai who are different in this regard.

I really want to ask "why do the Githzerai use Wisdom for psionics when everyone else uses Intelligence?", but that’s off-topic due to being a designer-reasons question. So instead, I will check my assumption, since I’m assuming that the Githzerai are the only ones who buck this trend, simply because I’ve not managed to find any further examples (i.e. "all swans are white").


Are there any other creatures who have psionic abilities (and the ability must be called out, either in lore or with the psionics tag, as being psionic; not just any old source of psychic damage or similar effects) that are not tied to Intelligence? If so, what creatures don’t follow this pattern, and what do they use instead of Intelligence (if anything)? Or is it literally just the Githzerai who buck this trend?

My understanding is based on D&D 5e, but I’d be interested in answers that consider psionics throughout all editions of D&D if that wouldn’t be asking too much (and if such a question would even make sense, given how the rules change between editions). If such a question would be too broad, or wouldn’t make sense, I’m happy to reduce the scope back to "just D&D 5e".

What classes are based on intelligence but not reliant on magic/supernatural power?

My knowledge of 5th edition’s class options is far from exhaustive. I want to play an intelligence-based class whose class features are not centered on magic, alchemy, or psychic powers. Does such a class exist?

I enjoy playing a “nerd”, but was looking for something to be other than a magical nerd. If weapon-focused classes are the only alternative to magical classes, then that’s the direction I’m trying to go in, but I want to leave open the possibility of a character whose focus is neither weapons nor magic, in case such exists. To be clear, I’m fine with finding and using magic items — I’m just looking to break the wall that seems to exist between mental stats and contributing in nonmagical ways.

Simply, I want to contribute to the party in a manner that frequently leverages a high intelligence score, without having to use magic as a means by which to apply that mental ability score to practical situations. Whether that means attacks in combat, skills, etc. isn’t as important as a) being smart & clever, b) not needing magic to contribute.

Applicable material is anything 1st-party, including UA and anything else of comparable official-ness. I don’t know what the campaign will consist of, but I suspect that it will be high-RP with fewer but more challenging combats.

Is Artificial intelligence simply taking decisions on the basis of values produced by a machine learning model

I am researching on AI and its working. Whenever I try to search for AI algorithms, ML algorithms come up. Then, I read the differences between ML & AI. One of the key points mentioned was “AI is decision making” & “Machine learning is generating values and learn new things”.

I come up with a conclusion that ML allows us to take generate some sort of values and using AI we can make decisions with those values.

But I am confused with “The weather forecast” problem. Our machine learning model will directly generate the decision that will it rain or not? Is our ML model lies in the AI domain or I am wrong? Help me!

Skill Base Ability Score Changing Diplomacy from Charisma to Intelligence

I’m not sure if my google-fu is just off tonight or if there’s a way to change the 3.X/Pathfinder skill Diplomacy from being a Charisma based Skill to an Intelligence based skill.

I’d prefer 3.X (including sources like Kingdoms of Kalamar) and Pathfinder to be open… as well as a few other not so specific sources like Green Ronin press, or Book of Erotic Fantasy, etc…

I’m trying not to homebrew something myself, or to at least use outher sources as a reference. I’ve already looked at the X to Y reference, but didn’t find anything for changing Diplomacy form a Charisma based skill to Intelligence…