(Apparently, i’ve never blogged about this, which is weird.)
Back in my youth, i used to play D&D. Mind you this was in the Version 2/3 days of “let’s make a fantasy role playing game for accountants!” era of D&D with thick tomes about fall damage and portage tables, but the other bits were fun.
As anyone who’s played will tell you, your character has a bunch of stats that are core. Two of these are a source of near endless confusion for many, Intelligence (INT) and Wisdom (WIS). Most folks can guess what INT is good for, but know that WIS has more to do with spell casting than anything else.
i view them a bit differently. To me, intelligence and wisdom are complementary. Intelligence generally allows you to understand complex math or literature, or scientific principles like quantum physics, where wisdom lets you understand why you don’t hand your wallet to strangers or why you take blind curves wide.
Oddly, i’ve met a lot of folks that tend to score high on one of these and not the other, and that’s generally fine. You can be highly intelligent and still struggle to open doors from time to time. You can be exceptionally wise and not understand how airplanes work.
i am starting to wonder if there might be a new category that i’ve missed. i’ve decided to call it “Clever”. (Granted, anyone who knows me knows that i tend to not smile on “clever” since that usually means you’ve forgotten how to document it and in six months you stare at it as the completely unfathomable solution that it is. Let’s ignore that for now.) A Clever person is someone who comes up with a new approach or technique to a problem. It may not be based on prior experience or it may use prior experience in a unique way.
Clever is the source of a lot of the redneck engineering that you see, well, the stuff that didn’t get someone killed. The first guy to tie balloons to a lawn chair and remember to bring a pellet gun was clever. i’d suppose that one could be high in Clever and low in Wisdom or Intelligence and still go far (possibly with reduced lifespan, but it’s possible).
Still, some amount of clever is required to do a lot of technical work. Clever gives you insights into potential solutions or alternate approaches that might work better for your situation (again, provided you document them so that the less clever person can later work out what the hell is going on).
i guess i’m just glad that it wasn’t added to the character sheets, back in the day. There would be a lot of folks trying to figure out how to apply that stat to a situation.
Well, except the clever folks.
But then the DM would call out “Right, rocks fall, everyone dies!” more often.