Intelligence is mental ability. Wisdom is accumulated knowledge. Therefore Spout Lore should use +WIS not +INT, no?

Intelligence is mental ability. Wisdom is accumulated knowledge. Therefore Spout Lore should use +WIS not +INT, no?

Intelligence is mental ability. Wisdom is accumulated knowledge. Therefore Spout Lore should use +WIS not +INT, no?

23 thoughts on “Intelligence is mental ability. Wisdom is accumulated knowledge. Therefore Spout Lore should use +WIS not +INT, no?”

  1. You have that backwards. Intelligence is mental ability, pure and simple. Wisdom comes from experience & learning; ie., knowledge. Intelligence influences how fast you can learn, but wisdom is your experience. All that you’ve learned. You can be highly intelligent and know little, or know lots and not be very intelligent.

  2. The game uses the stats of D&D, and in D&D, Wisdom is for things like perception, sensing motives, and so on.  Intelligence is used for Knowledge skills.  So even if the descriptors are a bit off here, that’s why they do what they do… Dicerning Reality for Wisdom, Spouting Lore for Int.

  3. “Intelligence” has about a billion different definitions, but one constant of “wisdom” is that if you can’t apply your knowledge usefully, regardless of how much you have, you ain’t wise. So discern realities is more appropriately done with WIS, leaving spout lore for INT. Considering one of the more common definitions of intelligence is knowledge acquired through perception and observation, this seems fine to me.

    The rulebook’s only definition of the stats comes from Defy Danger, where intelligence means quick thinking and wisdom means mental fortitude.

  4. Tom Miskey Wisdom makes sense for sensing motives and the like. You learn what to expect from people through experience. INT for knowledge skills in D&D makes little sense to me. I think they’d be better served by WIS. Discern Reality could be served by either, depending on the situation. INT for spotting/percieving things. WIS for knowing where to look. Spout Lore says:

    “When you consult your accumulated knowledge about something, roll+Int.”

    That seems wrong. You’re using wisdom not intelligence.

    Johnstone Metzger I think the definition I gave for “intelligence” serves it best: mental ability. I don’t agree that you have to apply wisdom usefully for it to be wisdom. Some just pass their wisdom to others and let them use it. Or not. But truth is truth. Wisdom is different from the quality of being wise. It’s the knowledge/experience itself. Quick thinking is appropriately INT. Seems to me “mental fortitude” is more intelligence too.

  5. That’s cool and everything, but your ideas of what these words mean are competing with older definitions that have a much higher saturation, so they are probably not going to catch on.

    Like, Wizards at least had the ability to bludgeon customers into associating physical perception with wisdom, even though the two had been unconnected for more than 2,500 years.

  6. Johnstone Metzger I don’t think game mechanics really redefine the words, they’re just game mechanics that don’t really make sense. I’m just saying those game mechanics fly in the face of what those words mean and how they’re used in reality.

  7. I haven’t seen a definition for either in DW yet, but I’m still reading. In reality though knowledge and intelligence are two different things. Intelligence is about reasoning and other mental abilities.

  8. Like mr. Metzger said, the only definition about what those stats mean is in defying danger.

    However, if you want to switch moves, so that spout lore is on wis and discern realities is on int, it’s cool! Clerics turn into holy scholars (similar to actual medieval priests) and wizards in like investigative magician guys. Constantine! Thieves would come to prefer int over wis when exploring dungeons. The only problem I see is rangers & druids losing their wild exploration flavour, but that’s easily resolved.

  9. That’s what I’ve been concerned about – what do I need to consider if I want to fix it? And how much work would it be? I’ve only started reading. I don’t understand why you think fixing it would change the flavour of a class…

  10. Because certain classes require certain stats.  Clerics require Wisdom to cast spells, and Wizards require Intelligence.  Other classes have other abilities that use certain stats.  So unless you change all of them too, you drastically change the flavor of those classes. 

  11. I’m not sure that answers the question. Wizards learn magic through study, sure, but they have to prepare their spells, storing them in working memory, to use them. That’s intelligence. No change there. Clerics using wisdom… well, clerics are granted spells by their deity, so whatever stat you want to use works for me. No change there either. It’s sometimes just a matter of calling things what they are, but it’s more involved in something like the d20 system.

  12. Mike Smith

    I think your entire point is a bit, well… moot. Look at the definition of Dexterity from Wiktionary: Skill in performing tasks, especially with the hands.

    I’d say that melee combat requires “skill”, yet it is by default a feat of strength in DW, which doesn’t make that much sense.

    Also by default, Constitution is the stat that determines how well you defend something from physical harm. By doing anything less than act like a “body shield” this doesn’t make sense either.

    All these stats have abstract meanings in the game, both in DW and by convention in a lot of other games.

    Your definition of wisdom is one of many. Wiktionary states six, one of them yours, but not the only one.

    You also seem to be a bit narrow minded with regard to the definition of “intelligence”. My wife is currently majoring in Psychology, perhaps the only field that can study intelligence in any kind of objective way, and even they struggle with it because no one really agrees what intelligence is.

    It has even been suggested that the only meaningful way to define a concept of intelligence that can be applied across all living species would be to make intelligence “a measure of the species’ ability to survive in its native environment”, aka “intelligence = fitness level”.

    This is of course an argument of semantics, but so are yours. You suggest that your definition of intelligence is a universal truth, which it is not.

    Dungeon World is a game, not an emulator. It uses fancy words that by convention are used to describe specific things, even though these words may not accurately describe the things the designers wish them to.

    The point of DW is to facilitate play and having fun. If the wording of the game in any way makes the game worse to you, then change it. The devs won’t kick down your door and bludgeon you with a thesaurus.

    My point is that changing the wording will not change the game at all, so I just figured; why bother?

  13. In case the above sounds a little condescending, then please don’t take it like that. I just don’t see the point in changing the words because of somewhat arbitrarily defined meanings.

    But given that you feel you need to do it, I don’t understand why you can’t just systematically replace each “Intelligence” and “INT” with respectively a “Wisdom” and a “WIS” and vice versa?

    Or for that matter just switch the stats governing the Spout Lore and Discern Realities move.

  14. I quite like the definition used in LotFP: “Intelligence is the measure of a character’s knowledge prior to the start of play. Intelligence does not measure a character’s memory or ability to solve puzzles; it is the player’s wits that must be used in these situations.”

  15. Kasper Brohus I think it does make sense to make STR the default. Combat makes use of strength and/or dexterity, and DEX is usually to hit but once you land a blow it’s strength that generally determines how damaging the hit was. From what I’ve seen CON in DW is used for defence when you defend and take the damage. If you were holding the attacker off with a shield it may be purely a feat of strength in which case I think it’d make sense to roll +STR in that instance.

    I’m aware there’s other definitions for intelligence and wisdom, but it seems fairly clear that if you’re talking about knowledge or experience you’re talking about wisdom, and if you’re talking about one or more mental abilities you’re talking about intelligence. I know there’s debate about what intelligence is which is why I think the definition of “mental ability” is best. It seems to me to cover everything one is reasonably talking about when referring to intelligence and only those things.

    Using “intelligence” as a measure of survival makes no sense since intelligence may have nothing to do with it and isn’t necessarily even a survival trait. Not in all species anyway.

    Words are communication and there are already established conventions of communication which D&D and DW seem to be violating here. As I’ve said I am considering changing it, but I need to learn the system first to know how. I’m concerned about unforeseen consequences. Changing the wording for Spout Lore would seem to change the game because it then relies on a different stat. I just need to determine if fixing WIS & INT everywhere would affect game balance in a negative way.

    I didn’t find your post condescending really, you raised what you thought were reasonable criticisms.

  16. Ivan Vaghi But wits are intelligence. It’s quick-thinking, which is mental ability, and very useful in problem solving. Intelligence is more a measure of how fast or well you can learn, not how much you have learned or what you’ve learned..

  17. Mike Smith The problem with stats in most roleplaying games is that they often mean “more” in the game than in real life, especially the mental stats.

    Knowledge is often linked to intelligence since intelligence is widely accepted to govern memory. Intuition is linked to wisdom which make it somewhat reasonable to link perception to it.

    Also, sometimes the division is made for balance reasons. Imagine if we dropped Wisdom in DW, and made Intelligence the governing stat for all uses of Wisdom. That would make Intelligence a much more desirable stat than Charisma, for example, and we don’t want these imbalances as they provide us with “non-choices”.

    We don’t want to split it up either, because there’s a limit to how many stats we want in a game. I personally believe that World of Darkness are pushing at these boundaries by having 9 base stats… Some of them are rarely rolled, like composure, but have a more mechanical effect than the others, which creates confusion about what base stats are meant to represent.

  18. Kasper Brohus slow down! Burning Wheel has more stats than you can count and still is one of the coolest game around! Stats mean different things to different games. In DW we have stats because they stimulate the fiction by highlightnening certain archetypes and behaviors. In, say Marvel Heroic RP, you have a character sheet full of dice and traits to have the player actively put into the game every significant aspect of his character by a superheroes POV (like if he likes to fight solo or what powers does he have) in every important scene. In BW, there are lots of stats because it is a deep and convoluted modular game, so you have Steel to make the characters feel like real people with fears and doubts, Circles to to make the world a living place with lots of people behind the scenes, and so on.

  19. Kasper Brohus Well, knowledge uses long term memory and influences your wisdom much more than intelligence. Your working memory is what has great influence on measures of intelligence. Intuition is largely inductive reasoning drawing from experience which is why it fits more with wisdom.

    Whether INT would be so much more desirable than CHA if it absorbed wisdom would depend on what the players do no? If it’s a more political/social game with a focus on PC-NPC interaction that might load it towards CHA. Or lots of trading & haggling. Or if the PC group is leading a group/organization.

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