[RPG] How much of a hindrance should the cleric’s low intelligence score be


I'm playing D&D 5e with a group of friends, and for most of us (me included) it is our first time. We rolled for ability scores, and as luck would have it, on one of my rolls I got all ones (which gave me a 3 for one of my ability scores). I decided to be a human (to bump that 3 to a 4) cleric, and put the 4 into intelligence (I had no idea how bad of a mistake that was at the time). Combat hasn't been an issue yet, just everything else. For example, while everyone was off gathering information at an inn, my cleric had to sit in the corner and "behave" because he could barely speak or put thoughts together. I'm essentially barred from doing anything other than combat.

If this helps, here's a list of all my human cleric's ability scores:

  • Strength: 9
  • Dexterity: 9
  • Constitution: 10
  • Intelligence: 4
  • Wisdom: 16
  • Charisma: 10

(We used the standard 4d6 keep best 3 and assign how you want method, I just got really really bad rolls. Everyone else in the group had much better ability scores (rolls) than me. I didn't realize how much of a problem 4 intelligence would be, otherwise I would have put the 4 into a different ability score.)

My question is, should my characters low intelligence give me less control (agency) of him during non-combat sections in a campaign, in this case lack of action?

Please leave some examples of NPCs or creatures with low intelligence that don't just sit around and watch other characters "do stuff" to compare my character with. How should I explain to my group that I can do more actions during non-combat sections? Should I give up and give him an adventurers death the next battle we encounter and hope for better rolls on abilities for my next character?

Best Answer

How intelligent is your character

Basically you can compare your Intelligence with the following (according to MM):

  • Baboon
  • Giant Octopus
  • Giant Weasel

There are more creatures with an Intelligence score of 4, but those are some examples. More importantly, what does the Intelligence score mean?

What Intelligence means in 5e

Intelligence measures mental acuity, accuracy of recall, and the ability to reason.

Your character is more like a child, which does not really concentrate, unable to support arguments in discussions and is badly educated.

Also intelligence (in D&D 5e) is in no way related to things like languages etc., so you can fluently speak your languages.

With a wisdom score of 16 he has decent "intuition" and "instinct" and can read body language and emotions pretty well, he can handle animals etc.

All in all it seems like the counterpart of whatever 'Sheldon Cooper' has/is.

Regarding rolling your ability scores

I know you didn't ask about this, but I just want to mention that in games like D&D or Pathfinder our group had the rule "when you roll stats, the sum of ability modifiers have to be at least +3", to prevent such a bad array.