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Baldur's Gate 3

Intelligence Explained in Baldur's Gate 3

Nathan Garvin

Intelligence is one of the six Ability Scores that define a character’s physical and mental attributes. In Dungeons and Dragons, Ability Scores for player character races generally range from 3-18 - the result of rolling 3d6. In Baldur’s Gate 3, your player character’s starting Ability Scores will range from 8-15 by default, with racial modifiers potentially boosting them up to 17. On their own, Ability Scores don’t directly influence anything, but the higher an Ability Score is, the higher its associated modifier will be, and different Ability Score modifiers cumulatively affect just about every aspect of the game, including Attack Rolls, Damage Rolls, Skill Checks, Saving Throws, spell potency, and many, many more core aspects of the game. This page will explain what the Intelligence Ability Score does in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Vitally important for Wizards due to its influence over their spellcasting abilities, Intelligence also contributes to the Arcana, History, Investigation, Nature and Religion skills.

What Does Intelligence Do In Baldur’s Gate 3

Memory and mental power.

Affects your 5 Intelligence Skills and improves spellcasting for wizards.

  • Skills: You add (or subtract) your Intelligence modifier to a wide variety of skills, including Arcana, History, Investigation, Nature and Religion. These skills vary a good bit in utility, and many of them are incredibly circumstantial, but they pop up enough while exploring and in dialog to make them worthwhile.

  • Saving Throws: You add your Intelligence modifier to Intelligence Saving Throws.

  • Wizard Spellcasting: Wizards are by far the biggest beneficiaries of Intelligence, as their Intelligence modifier affects their spellcasting in three ways: First, the Saving Throws their spells impose is equal to 8 + Proficiency + Intelligence modifier - the higher a spell’s Saving Throw, the less likely enemies are to resist, mitigate or otherwise avoid the effects of your spells. Second, your Attack Rolls with spells are boosted by your Intelligence modifier (10 + Proficiency + Intelligence modifier), so any spells that have an Attack Roll will be more likely to hit. Finally, the number of spells you can have prepared at any given time is equal to your character level plus your Intelligence modifier - the higher your Intelligence, the more spells you’ll have access to.

Few skills have declined in importance as much as Intelligence has. In 3rd Edition, your Intelligence score determined how many Skill Points you earned each level - a concept that doesn’t exist anymore in 5th Edition. That said, Intelligence does still contribute to nearly a third of the skills in the game, but if you’re not a Wizard, Intelligence probably isn’t a skill you need to invest in.

If you are a Wizard, however, Intelligence is vitally important, as you add your Intelligence modifier to the Saving Throws on your spells as well as to the Attack Rolls made with spells you cast, generally making your spells more effective. While you no longer gain bonus spells based on your Intelligence score, your Intelligence modifier does directly affect how many different spells you can have prepared at a time. For example, a 1st-level Wizard initially knows six 1st-level spells, has two 1st-level spell slots, and they can prepare a number of these spells equal to their character level (one) plus their Intelligence modifier. You can only prepare spells you know, and you can only cast spells you have prepared, meaning the higher a Wizard’s Intelligence modifier, the more spells they can have at the ready at any point in time. It’s a huge versatility boost, in addition to the potency their spells will gain from their Intelligence modifier, making it a must-have stat for Wizards.

Intelligence Score Intelligence Modifier
1 -5
2-3 -4
4-5 -3
6-7 -2
8-9 -1
10-11 0
12-13 +1
14-15 +2
16-17 +3
18-19 +4
20-21 +5
22-23 +6
24-25 +7
26-27 +8
28-29 +9
30 +10
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Guide Information
  • Publisher
    Larian Studios
  • Platforms,
    Mac, PC, PS5, XB X|S
  • Genre
    Adventure, RPG
  • Guide Release
    6 April 2023
  • Last Updated
    26 March 2024
    Version History
  • Guide Author

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Baldur’s Gate 3 is an immersive roleplaying game set in the Dungeons & Dragons universe. It features a rich story with multiple outcomes for almost every encounter, and plenty of character customization features including more races, classes, subclasses and party combinations than you are ever likely to explore. The seemingly endless possibilities and numerous choices that you can make throughout your journey make a helping hand always welcome, and that’s where we come in! This guide features the following:

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