Intelligence vs Wisdom, any practical differences?

jonthefox

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jan 3, 2015
Messages
1,358
Reaction score
516
Primarily Uses
@Wavelength Ah I see.  I have some serious questions regarding your argument then.  Maybe you would consider this particular type of world or magic system an exception to the "poor choices of terms" claim, but I think most games imply a game world or magic system similar to this, so I'd ask you to elaborate with regard to the following example:


Consider that the ability for a person to use magic would be analogous to playing a musical instrument, or reading a book, or learning another language, or learning biochemistry, etc. - just as in real life there are multiple forms of intelligence, but intelligence is essentially the ability to learn and effectively perform a task in whatever sphere we're talking about--so too with magic and its different types, it could be said that "intelligence' is the term most apt to describe someone who can learn and become proficient with casting spells.  


Now, I'm guessing you're with me so far, since it seemed like above you have no problem using intelligence to describe this, but when it comes to magic defense, you don't see how this "intelligence" quality could be separated from "wisdom."    I am having a hard time seeing the logic here.  Let me explain why-


To me, being "intelligent" is not a necessary condition for magic defense - someone could have no skill at all at using magic, but be streetsmart and savvy and experienced at avoiding it.  Hence being "wise" without necessarily being intelligent.   Now, you might agree with this but say that even though intelligence isn't a necessary condition for magic defense, it still COULD lead to magic defense.  I don't disagree with this, but I think the way intelligence would lead to magic defense would be through the use of casting your own spells (which niten ichi ryu above first cited as his example of correlating the two), but I would say this would be manifest through the casting of "magic barrier" spells...so an intelligent caster could cast spells that buff his magic defense or elemental defense or whatever, but this is significantly different since it relies on him having MP, not being silenced, etc., as opposed to just intuitively and instrinsically being able to take less damage from magic.   


I had to rush this post since I'm off to a seminar for the day, but I look forward to seeing your response!  By the way, I also don't think these are perfect terms for magic atk and def, but for slightly different reasons--but I wouldn't call them "poor" - they're very reasonable to me, if one's magic system operated the way that is commonly implied.  
 

Wavelength

Edge of Eternity
Global Mod
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
5,150
Reaction score
4,459
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
@Wavelength Ah I see.  I have some serious questions regarding your argument then.  Maybe you would consider this particular type of world or magic system an exception to the "poor choices of terms" claim, but I think most games imply a game world or magic system similar to this, so I'd ask you to elaborate with regard to the following example:


Consider that the ability for a person to use magic would be analogous to playing a musical instrument, or reading a book, or learning another language, or learning biochemistry, etc. - just as in real life there are multiple forms of intelligence, but intelligence is essentially the ability to learn and effectively perform a task in whatever sphere we're talking about--so too with magic and its different types, it could be said that "intelligence' is the term most apt to describe someone who can learn and become proficient with casting spells.  


Now, I'm guessing you're with me so far, since it seemed like above you have no problem using intelligence to describe this, but when it comes to magic defense, you don't see how this "intelligence" quality could be separated from "wisdom."...


Jon - thanks for laying out the scenario.  To answer your question - I do still consider this a relatively poor choice of terms, unless several specific conditions are met.


I can get behind the idea that using magic can be analogous to playing an instrument, learning a language, understanding biology, etc.  I think that in a way, learning to effectively wield a sword or perform martial arts is a lot like learning an instrument, though admittedly it's not so much like understanding biology so let's ignore the parallels to physical damage for now.  If you clearly depict your most "magical" characters and NPCs as more intelligent than less magical ones, and the characters don't grow in "Intelligence" through killing monsters to the point where, for example, a less 'intelligent' character could end up with double the Intelligence stat of your smart character because he wailed on a bunch of enemies - then yes, Intelligence could be reasonably used as a Magic Attack type of stat.  Not only that, but I think it would be a really interesting hook for some world-building.


I see less of a way that Wisdom would be properly applied as a magic defense stat.  Aside from the incredible amounts of ambiguity in the word "wisdom" to start with, if we take your definition of "street-smart and savvy" it still doesn't make a whole lot of sense to use it as MDF.  Being "street smart" is going to help you resist a torrent of fire or an evil hex?  A more naive person is going to be more vulnerable to that torrent of fire?  Eh, I'm really not seeing that.  Again, there are probably scenarios that it can work - for example, in Naruto the entire class of "genjutsu" revolves around (oversimplifying a bit here) planting false images or other false senses into your target's mind.  It's clearly shown that savvier characters tend to be more resistant to such tricks because they can keep their wits about them and spot inconsistencies with what they know to be true.  So if your entire system of magic revolves around mind tricks, illusionary pain, and other things that a savvy character would actually be able to resist well, and characters who are better at this are consistently shown as being "savvier" than other characters - sure, go for it and make Wisdom your MDF stat (and even then, I might recommend "Wits", "Clarity", or "Sanity" as less ambiguous names).


But most games don't do anything like this.  You're casting things like fire and rocks, and in many of these games some of the mages are depicted as complete airheads, yet they have high magic and magic resist.  I remember playing Star Ocean: The Last Hope and scoffing at mostly-physical fighters like Reimi and Bacchus, clearly depicted as some of the smartest members of your party, having Intelligence stats near zero.  It ran completely counter to the story being told.  In such games, I feel it's much more appropriate to use terms like "Magic" and "Magic Defense" (or terms with little contextual load - like "Attunement", "Force", "Resistance", or "Aura" - if you want to be less on-the-nose).
 

LaFlibuste

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jun 28, 2015
Messages
382
Reaction score
315
First Language
French
Primarily Uses
First off, sorry I haven't read everything.

As for the original post: I think you are looking at this from the wrong end. You should think "Hey, I have these 6 stats, what could I do with them?", you should think "I want to do this, how many stats do I need?" and then "I need those [insert number] stats for my game, how should I name them given their function?". Maybe you only have one kind of magic and you don't need an extra "mental" stat. Maybe you're looking for a name for "magic def" and you think "wisdom" sounds rad (or not). Maybe you want some sort of complex  turn order or critical hit/miss system and you would benefit from separate dexterity & agility stats instead. Maybe you are doing a game without traditionnal battles and you really only need perception, intelligence and charisma (or something along those lines). Don't take anything as gospel because [insert big shot gaming system's name] does it that way. See what you need for your game to work and be balanced and fun and see how you can name all of this to make sense within your setting.
 

eadgear

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jul 22, 2016
Messages
92
Reaction score
71
First Language
english
Primarily Uses
I think merging is the best choice. The more simple the game is the more it is for player to think carefully and it will makes the game clear. It may gives confusion to the player.
 

jonthefox

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jan 3, 2015
Messages
1,358
Reaction score
516
Primarily Uses
I see less of a way that Wisdom would be properly applied as a magic defense stat.  Aside from the incredible amounts of ambiguity in the word "wisdom" to start with, if we take your definition of "street-smart and savvy" it still doesn't make a whole lot of sense to use it as MDF.  Being "street smart" is going to help you resist a torrent of fire or an evil hex?  A more naive person is going to be more vulnerable to that torrent of fire?  Eh, I'm really not seeing that. 


But most games don't do anything like this.  You're casting things like fire and rocks, and in many of these games some of the mages are depicted as complete airheads, yet they have high magic and magic resist.  


Ah, so I think our different points of view may come down to what we think "magic defense" actually represents.   A torrent of fire is going to mess anyone up pretty bad, but the savvy person will be more likely to anticipate that they're in a dangerous position and should take cover somewhere that will avoid the fire hitting them directly, or know how to best respond if the ground beneath them begins shaking.  Essentially, to me, magic defense represents the ability to anticipate and react to magic so that one doesn't get directly scorched by the fireball or whatever--not the ability to get hit by the fireball and take less damage (that would be an elemental resistance for me).   Does that make sense?  Because turn-based combat in rpgs is representational, I don't look at the defense and magic defense stats as literal damage mitigation ("an axe is swung and hits you in the torso, but your high defense score reduces the damage you take") - no, rather I look at it as--an axe is swung and your high defense score means that most of the time you are able to get out of the way, and the damage you take to your HP is essentially the EV (expected value) of the attack given their potency, and your defense. This is especially true since I, like you, don't like to use the RNG of hit chance/evasion (except for rare edge cases of 100% evade chance for 1 turn or whatever).  So defense and magic defense are for me, are more about representing a person's ability to avoid receiving damage...and elemental resistance would be what represents an actual mitigation/reduction for that damage type.  


For this reason it also bothers me when games depict mages as airheads, that wouldn't be consistent with my conception of how magic worked in my game world..however if magic in the game world has nothing to do with intellect, then i suppose it could be fine (hard to imagine this being the case though, in a typical jrpg where you have to level up and progress and "learn" (i.e. intelligence is involved) how to use magic.  
 

Niten Ichi Ryu

Grey Lords Emissary
Veteran
Joined
Jul 27, 2012
Messages
1,316
Reaction score
1,222
First Language
French
Primarily Uses
RMMV
the "savy" person being able to take cover, wouldn't that, beyond the preservation instinct that tho fireball will scorch you bad, be something related to his reflex? If the fireball comes fast, you need to dodge it fast. More of a survival instinct/combat training than a mental attribute, as wisdom is generally considered.


And if the magic attack is actually a physical affliction (like a poison curse) maybe your strong constitution will help you withstand it?


As wavelength gave the example with the genjutsu, being wise (so have a strong wisdom stat) would mostly be helpful to oppose a mental affliction.


I think the issue is that wisdom as an RPG stat is derived from its use in the D&D system where its useful for will saves and divine magic. so when you don't stick to a rather similar system, its becomes rather abstract.


back to the fireball, in D&D, if the spell is cast successfully (related to INT, WIS or even CHA depending on the caster class) the damage mitigation would be subject to a reflex save.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

jonthefox

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jan 3, 2015
Messages
1,358
Reaction score
516
Primarily Uses
Yes, I think reflexes are also part of magic defense (although in the case of a fireball or most magic, I would assume anticipation plays a greater role since you're probably not gonna be able to dodge a fireball), which is why I already said I agree that using "intelligence" and "Wisdom" are imperfect terms and I think it's better to stick to the broad 'Magic Attack" and "Magic Defense."   Just as physical defense is a combination of mental anticipation and the ability to physically react, so too is magic defense a combination of mental anticipation and the ability to physically react.     


Again, I might have misinterpreted the OP, but I thought he was asking about how one sees intelligence vs. wisdom, and to me intelligence is more attack oriented and wisdom is more defense oriented.  But neither encompasses the full range of features that would play a role in attacking or defending, because they're very specific terms.  
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Marsigne

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Sep 7, 2013
Messages
1,836
Reaction score
4,643
First Language
No
Primarily Uses
N/A
@jonthefox - I think there's a problem in your implementation IMO and it's that you're taking the terms and changing them in an effort to make them sound realistic, but jrpgs were never meant to be ultra realistic in the first place.  Heck, a lot of things in it aren't. You can slash the opponent with your sword multitude of times and the same can't be said in real life. Same with magic: you can get hit by multiple fireballs, but in real life you'd be pulverized by one. The jrpg culture has always been like that, and your implementation is essentially abstractions of what you see in the game, which can get confusing to players.
 

AwesomeCool

Bratty and spoiled little sister
Veteran
Joined
Jul 20, 2013
Messages
2,877
Reaction score
1,954
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
 wisdom = knowledge


Intelligence = innate potential to gain and retain info


Hence why wisdom governs exp growths in many games and governs miracle like spells mostly (wise people use their knowledge to grow more and/or understand the true nature of the world), while Intelligence generally governs spells (for someone with high intelligence can memorize spell chants and memorize how to use innate mana better).


...my opinion on it anyway.
 

jonthefox

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jan 3, 2015
Messages
1,358
Reaction score
516
Primarily Uses
To me, in an rpg, wisdom implies not just knowledge but also the ability to use that knowledge well.   Like wavelength said, an intelligent person would acquire the knowledge that a tomato is a fruit, but a wise person would not put it in a fruit salad.  Similarly, an intelligent person might "know" that he should watch out for the enemy who is channeling a big fireball, but might be too arrogant to apply this knowledge, whereas the wise person makes better decisions, basically.  All of the virtues related to humility, mindfulness, being self-aware, etc., I'd put under the umbrella of wisdom.   
 

Niten Ichi Ryu

Grey Lords Emissary
Veteran
Joined
Jul 27, 2012
Messages
1,316
Reaction score
1,222
First Language
French
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I'm going to go back to the good ol D&D comparison, mostly because it was were the use if WIS came from.


a priest could have high wisdom(18) but low intelligence(10) He is attuned to the way of the gods yet is not a scholar.


for me wisdom isn't knowledge, it is insight.


johnthefox, why would an intelligent person be more arrogant than a wise person? An intelligent mage would recognize the rote casting of a fireball and determine quickly the best counterspell. And apply it.


Also. an evil priest could have high wisdom yet know nothing about humility.
 

jonthefox

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jan 3, 2015
Messages
1,358
Reaction score
516
Primarily Uses
Wisdom describes a character’s willpower, common sense, perception, and intuition. While Intelligence represents one’s ability to analyze information, Wisdom represents being in tune with and aware of one’s surroundings. 


It's not about an intelligent person being more arrogant than a wise person; it's about anyone--intelligent or not--being prone to a poor habit or mindset, e.g. arrogance...but wise people would be less prone to these foibles.  
 

Marquise*

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jul 9, 2014
Messages
4,866
Reaction score
8,183
First Language
French-Canadian
Intelligence; what you retain and learn trough school and books in theory.


Wisdom; what you experienced or learned from others experience and gut feelings that proven true in times.


Intelligence-> How to get the girl


Wisdom-> How to get the right girl forever


Intelligence-> How to get money fast


Wisdom -> How to get money legally and keep it longer and make profit over it
 

Dr. Delibird

Also known as HRforges
Veteran
Joined
May 16, 2014
Messages
270
Reaction score
150
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I think the definitions of wisdom and inteligence do not really matter too much. By that I mean regardless of their meaning they are too similar in definition to be used as stat names in the scope of a lot of games (in fact I would only say their use is well placed in table top games since that is where it came from).

I think it is better off being that the names are super unrealistic (Attack/Magic Attack, Attack/Special Attack) for the sake of clarity for the player. Make the names too vague and your player ends up with all the same sort of questions that have popped up in this thread ("what even is wisdom and how is it much different from inteligence). If the naming conventions used in a game are not clear on what they mean you create confusion (and not he good kind) which is quite problematic, especially when it comes to something as important as a stat. 
 

M.I.A.

Goofball Extraordinaire
Veteran
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Messages
893
Reaction score
751
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
For stats...


Intellgence and wisdom.


Merge the two? Or keep them separate?


If it's best to keep them separate, what are the meaningful differences between the two?


My instinct is to merge them - am I missing anything big for design purposes?


Hi there!!


Just an example of what I typically like to do with the two in my projects..


INT is usually changed to MIND (or something similar :) ) for me. Which is usually the deciding factor on how hard a spell hits. MIND can also determine how effective Items are by certain Actors. Whereas WIS is usually changed to SPIRIT (or something similar) for me. Which usually is used to determine how much resistance/defense to spell damage a target has. SPIRIT can also be used to determine how much Healing (or Dmg Vs. Undead) a spell can do.


Hope you find this helpful!! :)


-MIa
 

Marquise*

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jul 9, 2014
Messages
4,866
Reaction score
8,183
First Language
French-Canadian
@MiacuroI loved the tristat system of BESM for that; Body/Mind/Soul.  Now get your pen and paper and RP on my table :p
 

Frozen_Phoenix

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Nov 15, 2014
Messages
133
Reaction score
75
First Language
Portuguese
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Idc about the names, but you can have two stats governing magic spells if you want, e.g. intelligence for material spells like casting a fireball and spirit/soul for ethereal/soul based spells depending on the concept of soul in the game.


If you want to have both intelligence and wisdom, give them distinct functions that doesn't make one better than the other, but useful in different ways.
 

M.I.A.

Goofball Extraordinaire
Veteran
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Messages
893
Reaction score
751
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
Idc about the names, but you can have two stats governing magic spells if you want, e.g. intelligence for material spells like casting a fireball and spirit/soul for ethereal/soul based spells depending on the concept of soul in the game.


If you want to have both intelligence and wisdom, give them distinct functions that doesn't make one better than the other, but useful in different ways.


This also is notable. They can apply solely to the principle of a mechanic or utility in your game, so long as it's clear to the player in some fashion how it operates within the game. Nomenclature is more or less irrelevant.


Hell, in one of my projects that is HEAVILY magically influenced, nearly all base stats are listed as elements.


Max HP


Max MP


Fire [in place of ATK]


Energy [in place of DEF]


Water [in place of INT]


Earth [in place of WIS]


Bolt [in place of AGI]


Wind [in place of LUK]


Since any Actor can learn any spell, and all spell formula are based off these stats, I don't even have to trifle with INT/WIS.


EX: Flame-a-geddon's damage formula will be (respectively): [a.Fire + a.Earth] x 2


EX: Healing Touch's healing formula will be (respectively): [0.5 x a.Water] x [a.Energy]


.. I'm rambling.. the point is.. the stat and stat names mean absolutely NOTHING stand alone. It's how you choose to use them within the confines of your project and project theme that's important. :)


-Mia
 

EmperorZelos

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jul 9, 2016
Messages
63
Reaction score
17
First Language
Swedish
Primarily Uses
Intelligence: The ability of a mind to process new information in relation to old and draw parallels and make proper and likely connections such that it can derive knowledge from the two that neither old nor new information given contained.


Wisdom: The knowledge of the world and a deeper insight to the value of it to human existence. Or in another way, it is knowledge + deep philosophy about the knowledge they possess. A knowledgable man knows that compared to all animals, humanity is nothing special. A wise man knows that despite our lack of uniqueness on a grand scheme of things, we are still unique and important because we are important to ourselves and in the grand scheme of things, that is all that matters as we are the arbiters of importance and value.


That is my take on it.


For gameplay I'd say both are utter ****e and other stats are more informative and less value loaded.
 

wintyrbarnes

Jack of a Few Trades
Veteran
Joined
Aug 12, 2015
Messages
95
Reaction score
62
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
My take on it is much like the "tomato in a fruit salad" post earlier. Intelligence is raw knowledge, Wisdom is the application of that knowledge--so as traits with points, Intelligence represents how much a character knows or has the capability to know, and Wisdom is a measurement of how well they can apply that knowledge. A character with low Intelligence and high Wisdom would be very good at what they're able to do. High Intelligence and low Wisdom, a character who has great ideas that completely fail in practice. 


In a battle, I think Intelligence could represent how much and what kind of special abilities or magic a character can know, and Wisdom the implementation of that. Wisdom could therefore work as a damage modifier, the ability to learn more powerful version of some spells, or even in accord with Accuracy and Agility. 
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Latest Threads

Latest Posts

Latest Profile Posts

Almost 100,000 Threads! We should make a celebration. Make a 100K logo? :p
Cursed problem: Multiple language switches. Say, you want to switch to EN language from JP but you have no idea where the language switch in JP menu language.
Tonight I'm finally going to start putting the dungeons my team has made on grid paper into the engine. That's the final step of making the game world.
Yay! My new Doomsday machine..... er... "Heroic" machine is ready!
//pushes button :LZSexcite:
Uh oh what's that rumbling?!
// Game explodes :kaoback:
That's the fourth time this week! :kaolivid:
// Gets to work building next "Heroic" Machine. :LZSskeptic:
I was just reflecting back on an old project of mine. I was creating a Wizardry-like game but with a little more complexity. It was being made with RPG Maker VX Ace.



Forum statistics

Threads
99,429
Messages
965,153
Members
131,044
Latest member
hgby6r6y6ryt6rby6rtfrdfcf
Top