[RPG] Would a character reduced to Int 1 by Feeblemind still be able to feed themselves and do basic tasks neccessary for survival without assistance


In a previous question I mentioned you could reduce an entire village to a mindless horde using Feeblemind, and given a high enough DC, they'd be unable to save against it.

Someone I talked to in real life mentioned that they could all die by just forgetting to eat and do other basic tasks necessary to survive (using the restroom, sleeping/meditating, etc.) I was wondering whether this would be true in the game world.

Nothing in Feeblemind addresses this, presumably because someone afflicted by it would still have friends and companions who would take care of it, as the spell description does mention a character could still "identify its friends, follow them, and even protect them."

I'm inclined to say yes, the villagers could still function because each victim repeats the save every 30 days. It wouldn't make sense to have a save that long if the victim would just die after a few days.

Are there any official rulings on this, or are there similar spells or relevant rules that address what level of intelligence is required to perform basic tasks necessary to survive?

Best Answer

I don't think there is anything in the rules about this. But, in addition to the portion of the spell you quote, you can extrapolate from known monsters: Creatures with Int 1 include frog, seahorse, various giant forms of vermin (although the giant fly rates a 2), and similar.

But I'd also consider this:

The DM might ask you to make a Wisdom (Survival) check to follow tracks, hunt wild game, guide your group through frozen wastelands, identify signs that owlbears live nearby, predict the weather, or avoid quicksand and other natural hazards.

There's nothing about penalties to one check due to low abilities in another — someone can have a very sickly Con of 1 but still be the World's Best Athlete with Dex and Str of 20 each. It seems that Feeblemind targets very specific parts of the mind concerned with language, communication, and personality — leaving perception and insight unaffected.

A whole village of feebleminded victims with no caretakers would probably have a hard time functioning for a long time — and maybe 30 days is a stretch — but it's not unreasonable to expect animal-level functional survival, given that creatures with Int 1 do survive on their own, plus what the spell itself says, plus the description of actions powered by Wisdom.

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