Content of the article: "Results of Ability Scores: Most-to-Least Important"
Many people may be wondering why I started this survey, but I wanted to know something. I've seen it discussed that Dexterity is the god stat of 5e and Intelligence is the dump stat from here, GiantitP, D&D Beyond, many class optimization guides, etc. But I wanted to see if the general view of the importance of ability scores may differ than the view for each individual class.
The survey was short, and split into two parts. The first was dedicated to the general view while the second covered each individual class. There were a couple of important variables that were made clear when relevant. Individuals may not have noticed or cared, but the information was present.
- There was a direct link to the results provided at the start of the survey. A "No" option was available for people who were only interested in ranking general ability scores, but not for those who wanted to skip the survey.
- For the individual classes, multiple ability scores could be ranked the same. In the case of Fighter, Strength and Dexterity may be ranked 1st to indicate that either may be important depending on build.
Again, this information was included, and only in the sections they were relevant to prevent confusion.
The results of the ability scores' general importance will come as a surprise to know one. The major saving throws rank in the top and the minor at the bottom. Dexterity was ranked most important while Intelligence was ranked least important.
What is important to note is that these results were the same for people who chose to rank the individual classes, people who chose to skip them, and all results combined.
For individual classes, however, the results (predictably) varied wildly. (Note: As of this writing, these results were based on 69 out of 134 responses who agreed to rate the classes individually.)
As can be seen in the charts, some of these ability scores may not be best representative of how the class works. The most prominent examples are Cleric (where STR or DEX are important depending on subclass) and Fighter (where STR or DEX could arguably share 1st). Despite eldritch knight, arcane archer, and arcane trickster wanting higher INT, it still ranked 6th and 5th respectively for fighter and rogue.
The results are not perfect. There are multiple variables that could shift ability scores up or down in the ratings after they have been presented. That's not what I was interested in. I was interested in finding patterns across the classes, not the best and the worst. Here's what I noticed:
- For most martial classes, INT was rated as the least important score. The sole exception is rogue, where STR took the spot.
- For most caster classes, STR was rated as the least important score. The sole exception is cleric, where INT took the spot.
- For artificer, CHA was rated as the least important score. Additionally, artificer had the most number of "Unsure" answers. Both of these answers are likely skewed due to the class still being new.
- For most classes, the most-likely stat used for their attack and damage rolls ranked the highest. The exception was fighter, as it could use either, but STR rank 1st by a fair margin.
- Contrary to the results of the general survey, CON almost always ranked as more important than DEX. The four exceptions were fighter, ranger, and rogue (who use it as their main stat) and bard.
- The weighted average of the ability scores for each class was as follows.
Weighted Average (per Class)
Personally, I do think players and DMs may be biased to the importance of Dexterity. Dexterity does a lot (important save, useful skills, finesse melee and ranged attack, adds to AC, adds to initiative), but Constitution is important regardless of your class between HP, concentration, and an important save (possible the most used saving throw by spells and monster abilities). I rarely see players put anything less than a 14 in their Constitution, and never see them put less than a 12. Dexterity may do a lot, but I think the importance and prominence of Constitution should be considered more.
Despite Intelligence being so ragged on, Strength is just as bad. The benefits of Intelligence are: 2 classes use it, 4 skills which are DM and campaign-dependent, and 1 skill that is usually passed over for Perception. The benefits of Strength are: 2.75 classes use it, 1 skill which is useful but no other skills, rules for jumping, lifting, dragging, and carrying capacity which very few groups use, remember, or pay attention to.
But those are just my opinions. Make of the results what you will.
- Important Adjustments to Creature Statblocks to work as PCs
- Assigning Ability Scores to environments
- Class and Race combinations that were made for each other
© Post "Results of Ability Scores: Most-to-Least Important" for game Dungeons & Dragons Online.
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