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Characters can increase an ability by one at levels: 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, and 24.
The "comeliness" statistic is used in some versions of tabletop D&D but is not used in DDO. Abilities are also sometimes named attributes or stats.
Strength measures your Player Character’s muscle and physical power. This ability is especially important for fighters, barbarians, paladins, and rangers because it helps them prevail in combat. Strength also limits the amount of equipment your character can carry.
You apply your character’s Strength modifier to:
- Melee attack rolls.
- Damage rolls when using a melee attack. (Exceptions: If your Strength modifier is positive, two-weapon off-hand attacks receive only half the usual modifier, and two-handed weapons receive one-and-a-half times it. Negative Strength modifiers apply at normal values in all cases.)
- Damage rolls when using a thrown weapon. (Please Note: attack rolls for thrown weapons apply your Dexterity modifier unless you have the Feat Brutal Throw.)
- If negative, applies to damage rolls when using a bow. Positive Strength modifiers only add to bow damage if the character possesses the Bow Strength feat. This applies to all Shortbows, Longbows, Composite Shortbows, and Composite Longbows.
- Jump and Swim checks. These skills have Strength as their key ability.
- Strength checks to break down some doors and pull some levers/valves.
Note #1: Negative Strength modifiers cannot reduce a damage roll below 1 point.
Note #2: Several of the damage adjustments on this page do not display correctly in your wielded weapons' mouseover descriptions. They are listed correctly in the details at the bottom of your inventory panel, however.
Dexterity measures hand-eye coordination, agility, reflexes, and balance. This ability is the most important one for rogues, but it’s also high on the list for Player Characters who typically wear light armor (rangers and barbarians), medium armor (barbarians), or no armor at all (monks, wizards, and sorcerers), and for anyone who wants to be a skilled archer.
- Ranged attack rolls, including those for attacks made with bows, crossbows, throwing axes, and other ranged and thrown weaponss.
- Armor Class (AC), provided that the character can react to the attack.
- Reflex saving throws, for avoiding fireballs and other attacks that you can escape by moving quickly.
- Balance, Hide, Move Silently, Open Lock and Tumble checks. These are the skills that have Dexterity as their key ability.
You apply your character’s Constitution modifier to:
- The number of Hit points you get each level.
- Fortitude saving throws, for resisting poison and similar threats.
- Concentration checks. Concentration is a skill, important to spell casters, that has Constitution as its key ability.
- A monk's stable ki level is also equal to his or her total Concentration skill.
Intelligence determines how well your Player Character learns and reasons. This ability is important for wizards or artificers as it affects how many spell points they have, how hard their spells are to resist, and how powerful their spells can be. It's also important for any character who wants to have a wide assortment of skills.
- Disable Device, Repair, and Search skill checks. These are the skills that have Intelligence as their key ability.
- The amount of bonus spell points you gain as a wizard or artificer.
- The number of skill points gained each level.
At first level (character creation), the number of skill points given is equal to (Class modifier + Intelligence modifier) * 4. At each further level gained in a class, a character receives a number of skill points equal to Class modifier + Intelligence modifier (with a minimum of 1 skill point).
Wisdom describes a Player Character’s willpower, common sense, perception, and intuition. While Intelligence represents one’s ability to analyze information, Wisdom represents being in tune with and aware of one’s surroundings.
Wisdom is the most important ability for Clerics, and it is also important for Paladins, Rangers, Druids and Monks. If you want your character to have acute senses, put a high score in Wisdom. Every creature has a Wisdom score.
You apply your Player Character’s Wisdom modifier to:
- Will saving throws (for negating the effect of charm person and other spells).
- Heal, Listen, and Spot checks. These are the skills that have Wisdom as their key ability.
- Using Wisdom-based stat runes.
- Armor Class bonus for Monks. Several Monk ki attacks, such as Stunning Fist and the granted attacks from Shintao Monk enhancements use Wisdom to determine DCs.
Charisma measures a Player Character’s force of personality, persuasiveness, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and physical attractiveness. This ability represents actual strength of personality, not merely how one is perceived by others in a social setting. Charisma is most important for paladins, sorcerers, and bards. It is also important for clerics, since it affects their ability to turn undead. Every creature has a Charisma score.
You apply your character’s Charisma modifier to:
- Bluff, Diplomacy, Haggle, Intimidate, Perform, and Use Magic Device checks. These are the skills that have Charisma as their key ability.
- Checks that represent attempts to influence others.
- Turning checks for clerics and paladins attempting to turn zombies, vampires, and other undead.
- Healing capacity of Lay on Hands.
- Increasing the saving throws of a level 2 (or higher) paladin via Divine Grace.
Each ability has a modifier that is 0 for an ability score of 10 and increases by 1 every 2 ability points above (or decreases by 1 every 2 ability points below). This modifier is the number you apply to the die roll when your character tries to do something related to that ability. You also use the modifier with some numbers that aren’t die rolls. A positive modifier is called a bonus, and a negative modifier is called a penalty.
When an ability modifier changes, all attributes associated with that modifier change accordingly. Note that a character does not retroactively get additional skill points for previous levels if they increases their intelligence; however, a character who increases their constitution will get additional hit points.
See the modifier page for a table giving the modifier tied to an ability score.