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Wisdom VS Intelligence: Dungeons & Dragons

Wisdom VS Intelligence: Dungeons & Dragons

Games are played by not only kids but also by adults who enjoy certain kinds of games. There’re thousands of games created every day, but only some get to be enjoyed by almost every age, and such games are made with an incredible and enjoyable layout.

Dungeons & Dragons is known as a fantasy tabletop role-playing game and is abbreviated as D&D or DnD. It was designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson and was first published by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc in the year of 1974.

It was published by Wizards of the Coast in 1997 and now it’s a subsidiary of Hasbro. Dungeons and Dragons is created with miniature wargames, moreover, there was a variation with the game Chainmail of 1971 which is provided as the initial rule system. The publication of the game Dungeons & Dragons is known as the beginning of modern role-playing games and the role-playing game industry. In 1977, it was split into two branches, one is considered basic Dungeons and Dragons with a rules-light system, and the other is called Advanced Dungeons and Dragons with a rules-heavy system. D&D has been releasing new editions and the last one was released in 2014.

The difference between Intelligence and Wisdom is that, when a character has Wisdom, but not Intelligence, they are aware of the things that are happening around them, but can’t interpret what things mean. Such characters will know the difference between a clean and dirty wall, but they wouldn’t be able to deduct that a secret door is there. In contrast, when a character is intelligent but does not have any wisdom, they will be clever, but oblivious. This means the character might not be able to know the difference between a clean and dirty wall immediately, however, if asked why it’s clean, they can deduce it within seconds.

Keep reading to know more.

How is Dungeons and Dragons different from other games?

D&D isn’t like the traditional war games, it allows each player to create a character that they prefer to play with instead of a military formation. In the game, the characters take on different adventures within a fantasy context.

Moreover, a Dungeon Master (DM) plays the role of the game’s referee and storyteller, maintains the setting of the adventure, and plays the role of the inhabitants of the game world.

The character creates a party in which they interact with the inhabitants of the setting and with each other. Together, they’re supposed to solve dilemmas, explore, fight in battles, and accumulate treasure and knowledge.

In 2004D&D made it to the list of the best-selling role-playing games in the US. The estimation of people that played the game was about 20 million people and US$1 billion in equipment and book sales globally. In the year 2017, it made the record of “the most number of players in its history—12 million to 15 million in North America alone”. In the 5th edition of D&D sales, 41 percent were up in 2017 and flew 52 percent more in 2018, it’s considered now the game’s biggest sales year. Dungeons & Dragon has won innumerable awards and has been translated into several languages.

Here’s a fun video that talks about Dungeons and Dragons with such passion.

All about Dungeons and Dragons

Differences between wisdom and intelligence in Dungeons and Dragons

To understand Dungeons & Dragons, we must learn about its characters and what makes them different. Intelligence and wisdom are two of the things that characters have, if a character has both of them, it would be quite difficult to defeat him, moreover the chances of winning increase. If the character has only one of them, it’ll surely be challenging to win, although not inevitable.

Here is a table for the differences between Wisdom and Intelligence

Wisdom is considered the right brainIntelligence is the left brain
It answers the question, of what something is through prior knowledge about it.It answers the question, of what something means through logic and reasoning.
Helps the character to perceive the surroundingsIt gives the character ability to understand why things are a certain way
Difference between Wisdom and Intelligence


Wisdom is a measure of a character’s practical intelligence, cleverness, perceptiveness, and how tuned in they are with the surroundings around them. Characters that have a lot of wisdom are perceptive, observant, and sensible. They can take care of animals on their own, and pay attention to subtle details about the motives of any creature. Moreover, such characters can easily make decisions when the right choice isn’t clear.

Wisdom is important for characters like Clerics, Monks, and Rangers. Wisdom is used to cast a spell in the case of Clerics, Druids, and Rangers. For Monks, Wisdom improves their class features like Armor Class.


Intelligence refers to the ability of reasoning, having incredible memory, logic, education, and deductive reasoning. A character’s intelligence comes to play when they’re required to draw on logic, education, memory, and deductive reasoning. When a character looks for clues and makes conclusions based on those clues, they’re making an Intelligence check.

When a character deduces locations for hidden objects, knows the weapon that was used from the appearance of a wound, or examines the weak point in a tunnel to prevent the collapse, the character is super intelligent.

A dragon figurine
Wisdom and Intelligence are both crucial for D&D characters

Wisdom gives the ability to perceive what is around them, whereas Intelligence will help them answer the question of why things are a certain way.

What is Wisdom used for in D&D?

Wisdom is a prime aspect for a character as it gives them the ability to recognize what is happening around them. Wisdom can be used to read body language, understand feelings, pay attention to the things in its surroundings, and care for someone who is injured.

Wisdom checks can include Animal Handling, Insight, Perception, Medicine, and Survival Skills. Although, there’re many other Wisdom checks that can be called for.

  • Animal Handling: When a situation occurs where one has to calm down an animal or recognize an animal’s intentions, it can call for a Wisdom check.
  • Insight: When one has to determine the true intentions of a creature Wisdom (insight) check is called for. For Example, when trying to predict someone’s next move.
  • Medicine: A Wisdom (Medicine) check is called when you have to stabilize a dying person or diagnose an illness.
  • Perception: Your Wisdom (Perception) check grants you the ability to spot, hear, or detect the presence of someone or something.
  • Survival: A Wisdom (Survival) check lets you follow the tracks, help your group get through frozen wastelands, hunt wild, and predict the weather or other natural hazards.

What is intelligence in Dungeons and Dragons?

A Dungeons and Dragons dice
There’re several intelligence checks that are required when the situations occur.

Intelligence is a measure of a character’s mental acuity and the ability to reason. A character’s intelligence is required when there’s a situation where logic and deductive reasoning is needed. For example, when you look for hints and clues to conclude something.

Another example is when the character is able to find the locations of hidden objects, recognize the weapon by merely looking at the wound, and know the weakest point in a tunnel, such tasks call for intelligence.

How do you use Intelligence in D&D?

Using Intelligence is described as Intelligence Checks, such checks are called when they’re required and there’re many Intelligence checks. Some of them are Arcana, History, Investigation, Nature, and Religion Skills.

  • Arcana: An Intelligence (Arcana) check gives you the ability to call lore about Spells, magical traditions, magic items, eldritch symbols, planes of existence, and inhabitants of those planes as well.
  • History: Your Intelligence (History) check has the ability to recall historical events, ancient kingdoms, past disputes, legendary people, recent wars, as well as lost civilizations.
  • Investigation: An Intelligence (Investigation) check lets you deduce the Location of objects that are hidden, recognize a weapon by looking at a wound, and determine the weak point in a tunnel.
  • Nature: Your Intelligence (Nature) check measures your ability to recall lore about the terrain, plants and animals, the weather, and natural cycles.
  • Religion: Your Intelligence (Religion) check lets you recall lore about rites and prayers, deities, religious hierarchies, holy symbols, as well as the practices of Secret cults.

Why is Wisdom important for druids?

A statue of a Hydra
Druids have had Wisdom since their introduction as the playable class, thus Wisdom is a prime aspect for Druids.

Druids use Wisdom to cast a Spell, which helps them in determining the saving throw DCs of Spells that are cast by them. Moreover, wisdom improves their class features like Armor Class.

Druids are priests of a neutral-type religion and they’re considered a combination of clerics or magic users. Their uses of magic range from 5th to 7th level.

How important is Intelligence in DND?

Intelligence is the hardest to come by, but the most useful skill. Intelligence helps the most when there’s a situation in which wrong choices can cost lives. Therefore, intelligence is considered the most powerful aspect of D&D.

Intelligence is most important in D&D for the characters. Through Intelligence, characters are able to call for different kinds of Intelligence checks to deal with different kinds of situations. Moreover, the DM guides the characters by giving useful information for successful Intelligence checks.

To Conclude

Dungeons and Dragons was and still is played by every age. It has been releasing editions with many more features that will make it more enjoyable.

There are many aspects of D&D that make it such good of a game that it made it to the list of best-selling games.

Intelligence and Wisdom help a character in many situations, even without one of them, the character can lose its way. Thus both of them are equally important.

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