A Newbie’s Guide to DDO: Part 1 - The Basics - Page 2

Updated Tue, Apr 12, 2011 by jeffprime

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The Stats

Now that I have told you about the die roll and the Difficulty Class, we can now move on to the stats (also called abilities). These stats not only define your character, but also impact your actions. A high score in an ability will give you a bonus to an action that uses that stat. A low score in an ability will give you a negative to those actions. The gods have allowed each of us the choice to define who we are; thus, we choose our own stat scores. However, there are only a certain number of points to be spent, so spend those points wisely! I chose to have a low Constitution, and for that, colds have been the bane of my life every winter without fail. First, let us examine the stats that define who and what we are.

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Half-Orcs are strong...
but also very ugly.
Strength (STR): This stat represents how strong a character is physically, ie: your muscles. A Strength of 18 is a muscle bound champion weightlifter whilst a Strength of 4 is some 6 year old girl scout whose cookies you can easily take. This ability effects melee combat adding to your chances to hit and increasing your damage. The classes who best benefit from a high Strength are Fighters, Paladins, Rangers, and Barbarians. The skills associated with this stat are Jump and Swim. In addition, there are objects in the game (such as doors or levers) that require a high Strength to open.

Dexterity (DEX): This stat represents your agility, hand-eye coordination, and sense of balance. A person of Dexterity of 18 can easily juggle multiple objects while doing somersaults and such, while a Dexterity of 4 is somebody like my Aunt Emeralis who can’t stir her coffee without spilling it all over the floor. Dexterity adds to your chance to hit in ranged combat (bows and thrown weapons) and factors into your Reflex Save. (We will discuss Saves later on.) It also adds to your Armor Class (which we’ll discuss in our combat section). Dexterity is the primary stat for Rogues and is useful for those wearing medium, light, or no armor to help their Armor Class, such as Barbarians, Rangers, Wizards, and Sorcerers. Skills affected by Dexterity are Balance, Hide, Move Silently, Open Lock, and Tumble.

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Dwarves have a
strong Constitution.
Constitution (CON): Constitution represents your physical stamina. Its primary importance is that it adds to your hit points, which is coveted by all the classes. Constitution also impacts your Fortitude Save. The skill associated with Constitution is Concentration, an important skill for magic users. A person with a low Constitution is somebody who is frail and gets sick all the time (such is my life in my old age!), whilst a person with a high Constitution never gets sick and eats nuclear hot wings by the bucket with no ill effects.

Intelligence (INT): Intelligence is your ability to reason and think, representing how smart you are. This stat is coveted by Wizards as it modifies our spell points (how much we can cast before resting) and how difficult it is for their enemies to resist the Wizard’s spells. It is also useful for other classes, especially Rogues, as that it adds to the skill points that a character gets every level to spend on increasing what skills they already have or getting new skills. Skills that use Intelligence are Disable Device, Repair, and Search. I, as a learned loremaster and sage, have an incredibly high Intelligence. Otto, the stable boy whose job is to muck out the dung and who has a vocabulary of about twenty words, has a very low Intelligence.

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Elves are very dextrous
...and smoking hot.
Wisdom (WIS): Wisdom represents your common sense, intuition, perception, and being in tune with your surroundings. Wisdom is the most important stat for Clerics, but is also desirable by Paladins, Rangers, and Monks (for Monks, it’s added to their Armor Class). Wisdom affects Will Saves and the following skills: Heal, Listen, and Spot. Wisdom adds spell points (like Intelligence does for Wizards) for Clerics, Rangers, and Paladins. For those three classes, the minimum Wisdom to cast a spell is 10 plus the spell level. A third-level Ranger spell thus requires 13 Wisdom. A Monk who meditates and is one with the world has a high Wisdom, while I, having a low Wisdom, don’t even realize that I’m standing in a stream…a cold, cold stream. Did I ever tell you about how my original adventuring party wouldn’t let me stand watch after those cast-iron golems sneaked up on me while I was on watch one night?

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Halfings, while not very strong.
make deadly Rogues.
Charisma (CHA): Charisma represents your force of personality, how attractive you are physically, your personal magnetism…basically, if you have “it.” That seductive Sorceress who you know is up to no good, but you just can’t say no? She has Charisma to spare. Boil-Face Charlie? He can’t even get a dog to come close to him even with a steak tied around his neck, much less anybody actually paying him any attention. Yours truly has a high Charisma. I’ve spent many a warm night in a maiden’s bed during my travels. There’s no need to look so surprised, my friend! While I am old and wrinkled now, that wasn’t always the case. Old Prelixin was a hit with the ladies.

To help you in creating your character, here is a handy chart detailing the modifiers for the stat ranges.

Stat Score: Modifier: Stat Score: Modifier:
0 - 1 -5 16 - 17 +3
2 - 3 -4 18 - 19 +4
4 - 5 -3 20 - 21 +5
6 - 7 -2 22 - 23 +6
8-9 -1 24 - 25 +7
10 - 11 0 26 - 27 +8
12 - 13 +1 28 - 29 +9
14 - 15 +2 30 -31 +10

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