[RPG] What happens if the Order of the Mutant blood hunter’s celerity mutagen would reduce their Wisdom score to 0 or less


Suppose I have an Order of the Mutant blood hunter who has a Wisdom score of 3, and is level 9 (or greater) so has a "mutagen bonus" of 3+.

If this character uses the celerity mutagen, the following effects apply:

Your Dexterity score increases by an amount equal to your mutation score, as does your Dexterity maximum.

Side effect: Your Wisdom score decreases by amount equal to your mutation score.

This would mean the mutagen drops the blood hunter's Wisdom score to 0 (or less, if they're higher level). What consequence does using the mutagen have for this character?

Best Answer

This is really an instance of a broader question: What happens to a character if an ability score is reduced to 0?

There are no official rules for this as far as I'm aware. Ability score damage/reduction is incredibly rare in 5th edition with currently only a few monsters that do it (Shadows deal strength damage; an Intellect Devourer can reduce your intelligence score to 0).

For monsters, in each case, it specifies what happens when an ability is reduced to 0. This implies it depends on what actually causes the ability damage (e.g. for Shadows it states that the character dies, but this is a specific rule for Shadows).

Since it doesn't say what happens in the Blood Hunter feature, I would say it would be up to the DM (until Matt Mercer declares otherwise!).

A reasonable answer, in a general case, would be that a character is stunned when Wisdom reaches 0, although if that makes the feature useless for a very unwise character (he must be if he took this feature with a low Wisdom!) then a compromise would be to just say "to a minimum of 1 Wisdom".

Related question (as posted by MACN in the comments above)

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