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Ability Scores, sometimes referred as attribute scores are what determine a creature’s mental and physical attributes, they’re crucial to player characters since they’re one of the main factors to determine whether the characters may dual class as well as contribute to various bonus scaling, but they matter much less to NPC/enemies because a large portion of the actual combat status of these creatures are based on enemy specific effects and equipment which can’t be dropped.

For player characters, there’re many ways to alter the scores, some are permanent such as reading tomes, manuals, consuming Tears of Bhaal, drawing Deck of Many Things or operating Lum’s Machine; More are temporary, which are granted by spells, potions or equipment. The highest possible value for any score is 25, it can not be raised further by any means.

If any of the ability scores is reduced to less than 1, the creature will be killed.


  • Melee THAC0 adjustment: How likely melee weapons may hit the target
  • Melee damage adjustment: How hard melee weapons will hit the target
  • Ranged damage adjustment for some throwing weapons (throwing daggers, slings + bullets, throwing hammers and throwing axes; but not darts), does not increase damage for darts, bows and crossbows
  • Weight allowance (lbs): Determines how much weight the character can carry before being slowed or unable to move, the 16 inventory limit still apply
  • Bashing: Whether a character can bash open a locked door or chest, no exp if successful, many locks cannot be bashed even with 25 str, thieves' Open Locks are more reliable and gainful
  • Equipment requirement: Most armor and weapons have minimum strength requirements. Heavier equipment requires a higher strength score, most of the time, most notably the Composite Longbow at 18
  • Survival against strength drain: Some enemies can inflict strength drain on hit, which not only weakens characters but also kills anyone who gets drained down to 0
  • Dialogue checks: Opens bluffing dialog options or make them more likely to succeed
  • Dual-classing: High (permanent) strength score is required, if the desired combination involves fighter, ranger, or shadowdancer


  • Ranged THAC0 adjustment: How likely missile weapons including throwing arsenals may hit the target
  • Armor Class adjustment: A lower armor class makes a character more difficult to be hit by melee and ranged attacks
  • Thieving skills adjustment: Apply to Pick Pockets, Open Locks, Find / Disarm traps, Hide In Shadow / Move Silently, and Set Traps, modifications not limited to thief class
  • Dual-classing: High (permanent) dexterity score is required, if the desired combination involves ranger, or thief


  • Hit Point adjustment: Subtract or add HP for the first 9 levels for warriors and priest group and first 10 levels for others. Whenever a character's constitution score is altered, hit points are adjusted immediately
  • Regeneration: At 20+ constitution scores, creatures start regaining lost HP over time
  • Shorty saving throw bonus: Gnomes, Dwarves and Halflings receive a bonus to certain saving throws, depending on their score. This bonus is between 0-5
  • Fatigue: Determines how long characters can last without rest before becoming fatigued, as well as how fast they advance in fatigue level. Fatigue inflicts a luck penalty, and worsened with its level
  • Intoxicated: How much alcohol can make a character drunk, instilling negative luck but boosting morale


  • Mage spell level EE: In Enhanced Editions, this score limits the level of arcane spells that may be learnt, counting in temporary boost such as Potion of Genius. Once the spell is learnt, it can be cast freely even if intelligence is down again after a temporary boost expired
  • Max # of learnable mage spells per spell level: Determines how many spells a wizard may scribe to spellbook for each spell level, counting in temporary boost. Once the spell is scribed, it remains in the spellbook even if temporary intelligence boosts expires
  • Chances to learn mage spells: Determines the chance a wizard can learn a new spell from a mage spell scroll, counting in temporary boost
  • Wand scrolls usage: A character of 8 or below is illiterate and unable to use wands or scrolls irrespective of class. A few items require even higher intelligence, e.g. 16 for the Golem Manual
  • Lore bonus: Number added or subtracted to the Lore, which determines which magical items may be identified by the character without using Identify spell or other means to identify an object
  • Survival against intelligence drain: Some dangerous enemies drain 5 intelligence on each hit, which kills anyone who gets drained down to 0.
  • Resistance against Maze spell
  • Dialogue checks: Unlock insight dialog options or make them more likely to succeed
  • Dual-classing: High (permanent) intelligence score is required, if the desired combination involves mage. Temporary boosts don't help here.


  • Priest spell level before Throne of Bhaal LOADCNTR00004 Icon ToBBaldur's Gate II:
    Throne of Bhaal
    This icon indicates content from the original Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal campaign.
    : Limits the level of divine spells that may be cast, the limits are removed upon the introduction of Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal
  • Bonus priest spell slot: The number of additional spell slots a cleric or druid receives, which are cumulative
  • Improves some wizard spells (Wish and Limited Wish)
  • Lore bonus: Works the same way as intelligence, all bonuses are cumulative
  • Dialogue checks: Reveals comprehensive dialog options or make them more likely to succeed
  • Dual-classing: High (permanent) wisdom score is required, if the desired combination involves cleric or druid


  • Reaction adjustment: How a non-player-character reacts. The game generates a random number between 8 and 12, then applies bonuses or penalties based on the combined reputation and charisma factors. Negative reactions often mean a quest isn't offered, while positive reactions may lead to a better quest reward. Reaction also affects shop prices.
  • Dialogue checks: Presents charismatic dialog options or makes them more likely to succeed.
  • Dual-classing: High (permanent) charisma score is required, if the desired combination involves druid or shadowdancer

In Character Generation[]

Dungeons & Dragons sees strength, constitution, dexterity, intelligence, wisdom, and charisma as characters' 'stats' or sometimes 'attributes' of other games, though D&D games were the progenitors of the stats system. Those scores are required by certain classes; the computer handles this by never rolling those numbers lower than the requirements, which skews the totals somewhat.

The abilities screen at Character Generation is weighted in favor of 'secondary' classes that have high attribute requirements. These numbers are always a set amount, and can only be equal to or higher than that, and the other numbers are rolled as normal, rather than being adjusted - it can be compared with a magic weapon; a +1 dagger will do 2-5 damage instead of 1-4; the +1 is the threshold that attributes cannot go under.

In general, it can be said that the lower the requirements, the lower the ability rolls will be, although this is within a range of 10 or so ability points out of around 85-95 ability points in total. It is usually time-consuming to obtain total ability scores near or above 90.

Human Elf Half-elf Dwarf Halfling Gnome Half-orc
Strength 3/18 3/18 3/18 8/18 6/17 (-1) 6/18 4/19 (+1)
Dexterity 3/18 7/19 (+1) 6/18 3/17 (-1) 8/19 (+1) 3/18 3/18
2/17EE (-1)
Constitution 3/18 6/17 (-1) 6/18 12/19 (+1) 10/18 8/18 4/19 (+1)
Intelligence 3/18 8/18 4/18 3/18 6/18 7/19 (+1) 3/16 (-2)
1/16EE (-2)
Wisdom 3/18 3/18 3/18 3/18 3/17 (-1) 3/17 (-1) 3/18
2/17EE (-1) 2/17EE (-1)
Charisma 3/18 8/18 3/18 3/16 (-2) 3/18 3/18 3/18
1/16EE (-2)
Fighter Ranger Paladin Cleric Druid Mage Thief Bard Sorcerer Monk Shaman
Strength 9 13 12
Dexterity 13 9 12 9
Constitution 14 9 9 12
Intelligence 9 13 9
Wisdom 14 13 9 12 9 12
Charisma 17 15 15 9

Class kits have different minimum scores, for example, specialist Mages, an interesting group of requirements, adding other attributes to the expected Int:

Abjurer Conjurer Diviner Enchanter Illusionist Invoker Necromancer Transmuter
Dexterity 16 15
Constitution 15 16
Intelligence 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
Wisdom 15 16 16
Charisma 16

Multi-class characters have requirements that are combinations of their two classes, which are not, of course, cumulative; consequently, they are often redundant with respect to the enhanced stat rolls. More importantly, all of the non-redundant combinations are combinations of classes with low requirements, with the exception of Druid-Fighter, which works out to rolls in between the low-stat requirement group and the high.


Increase any of the six attribute score to 25.

Godlike Achievement icon BG1EE
Godlike (Baldur's Gate)
Godlike Achievement icon BG2EE
Godlike (Baldur's Gate II)
Increase an attribute score to 25 during Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition. [Read more]

See also[]