Each character has six ability scores that represent his character’s most basic attributes. They are his raw talent and prowess. While a character rarely rolls a check using just an ability score, these scores, and the modifiers they create, affect nearly every aspect of a character’s skills and abilities. Each ability score ranges from 7 to 18, although racial bonuses and penalties can alter this; an average ability score is 10.
For every 4 levels, characters increase an ability score by 1.
The Abilities Edit
Strength (Str) Edit
Strength measures muscle and physical power. This ability is important for those who engage in hand-to-hand (or “melee”) combat, such as fighters, monks, paladins, and some rangers. Strength also sets the maximum amount of weight your character can carry. A character with a Strength score of 0 is too weak to move in any way and is unconscious. Some creatures (such as incorporeal creatures) do not possess a Strength score and have no modifier at all to Strength-based skills or checks. You apply your character’s Strength modifier to:
- Melee attack rolls.
- Damage rolls when using melee weapons, composite bows or thrown weapons.
- Athletics skill checks.
- The carrying capacity.
- Strength checks (for breaking down doors and the like).
(**Exceptions: Off-hand attacks receive only half the character’s Strength bonus, while two-handed attacks receive 1.5 times the Strength bonus. A Strength penalty, but not a bonus, applies to attacks made with a bow that is not a composite bow.)
Dexterity (Dex) Edit
Dexterity measures agility, reflexes, and balance. This ability is the most important one for rogues, but it’s also useful for characters who wear light or medium armor or no armor at all. This ability is vital for characters seeking to excel with ranged weapons, such as the bow. A character with a Dexterity score of 0 is incapable of moving and is effectively immobile (but not unconscious). You apply your character’s Dexterity modifier to:
- Ranged attack rolls and many ranged spell attacks like scorching ray or searing light.
- Melee attack rolls if combined with Weapon Finesse feat and weapon with the Finesse Wielding trait.
- Melee damage rolls if the character has the Rogue Finesse Training feature or Fencing Grace feat.
- 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.
- Mobility, Trickery, and Stealth skill checks.
Constitution (Con) Edit
Constitution represents your character’s health and stamina. A Constitution bonus increases a character’s hit points, so the ability is important for all classes. Some creatures, such as undead and constructs, do not have a Constitution score. Their modifier is +0 for any Constitution-based checks. A character with a Constitution score of 0 is dead. You apply your character’s Constitution modifier to:
- Hit points gained per level.
- Fortitude saving throws, for resisting poison, disease, and similar threats.
If a character’s Constitution score changes enough to alter his or her Constitution modifier, the character’s hit points also increase or decrease accordingly.
Intelligence (Int) Edit
Intelligence determines how well your character learns and reasons. This ability is important for wizards because it affects their spellcasting ability in many ways. Creatures of animal-level instinct have Intelligence scores of 1 or 2. Any creature capable of understanding speech has a score of at least 3. A character with an Intelligence score of 0 is comatose. Some creatures do not possess an Intelligence score. Their modifier is +0 for any Intelligence-based skills or checks. You apply your character’s Intelligence modifier to:
- Number of skill points gained each level. Note: Intelligence related skill progression is half normal level in Pathfinder: Kingmaker due to there being less skills implemented compared to the tabletop game.
- Knowledge (Arcana) and Knowledge (World) skill checks.
Wisdom (Wis) Edit
Wisdom describes a character’s willpower, common sense, awareness, and intuition. Wisdom is the most important ability for clerics, druids and inquisitors, and it is also important for monks and rangers. If you want your character to have acute senses, put a high score in Wisdom. Every creature has a Wisdom score. A character with a Wisdom score of 0 is incapable of rational thought and is unconscious. You apply your character’s Wisdom modifier to:
- Will saving throws (for negating the effects of charm person and other spells).
- Lore (Nature), Lore (Religion) and Perception skill checks.
Charisma (Cha) Edit
Charisma measures a character’s personality, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and appearance. It is the most important ability for paladins, sorcerers, and bards. It is also important for clerics, since it affects their ability to channel energy. For undead creatures, Charisma is a measure of their unnatural “lifeforce.” Every creature has a Charisma score. A character with a Charisma score of 0 is not able to exert himself in any way and is unconscious. You apply your character’s Charisma modifier to:
- Checks that represent attempts to influence others.
- Channel energy DCs for clerics and paladins attempting to harm undead foes.
- Persuasion, and Use Magic Device skill checks.
Ability Modifiers Edit
An ability modifier is a number representing how much an ability score affects the game. Often, this involves adding the modifier to a die roll, such as an attack roll, saving throw, or skill check. A positive modifier is called a bonus, and a negative modifier is called a penalty.
The modifier for a given ability is +1 for every 2 points above 10 in that ability score (or -1 for every 2 points below 11). Mathematically, the modifier is (score − 10) / 2, rounded down. For example, an ability score of 14 corresponds to an ability modifier of +2, while a score of 9 corresponds to -1.
Modifiers are adjusted retroactively by level if their pertinent ability scores are altered.
Spellcasters receive bonus spell slots for high casting ability scores. As with most in-game effects of abilities, these bonuses are determined by the modifier for the relevant ability: with the exception of some archetypes; intelligence for wizards, magi and alchemists; wisdom for clerics, druids, inquisitors, paladins, and rangers; and charisma for sorcerers and bards. In order to receive a bonus spell slot of a given level, the caster must have spell slots of that level by virtue of class level. For this purpose, having "0" spell slots counts (but having "—" spell slots does not).
Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells Edit
|Modifier||Bonus Spells per Day (by Spell Level)|
|3||-4||can't cast spells tied to this ability|
|10-11||0||—||can't cast these level spells|