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An ability modifier is the bonus or penalty associated with a particular ability score. Ability modifiers apply to die rolls for character actions involving the corresponding abilities -- such as attack rolls, saving throws and skills. The modifier is also used with some numbers that aren't die rolls. A positive modifier is called a bonus, and a negative modifier is called a penalty.

The modifier is equal to +1 for every 2 points above 10 in that ability score (or -1 for every 2 full points below 11). For example, constitution 14 provides +2 hit points per level. Strength will apply a 50 percent bonus (rounded down, if there is a bonus) to the damage modifier when wielding a weapon two-handed, or the combined bonus when dual-wielding (again, rounded down). See also Combat Insight.

Be aware NWN2 has a hardcoded ability score cap of 50 (+20 modifier). Any score above 50 will not work properly and will, in most cases, be treated as a score of 50.

In addition, ability scores determine the number of bonus spells for spellcasters. The ability those spells relate to depends on the type of spellcaster:


Spellcasters must have a 10 or higher in the appropriate ability score to cast any spells. In addition to the ability score required for bonus spells, a spellcaster must be capable of casting spells at a given spell level in order to utilize bonus spells for that given spell level.

Ability Modifier and Bonus SpellsEdit

Modifier and spell slots
Score Modifier Bonus spell slots by spell level
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
3 -4 cannot cast spells tied to this ability
4-5 -3
6-7 -2
8-9 -1
10-11 0 - cannot cast these spell levels
12-13 +1 1 - -
14-15 +2 1 1 - - -
16-17 +3 1 1 1 - - - -
18-19 +4 1 1 1 1 - - - - -
20-21 +5 2 1 1 1 1 - - - -
22-23 +6 2 2 1 1 1 1 - - -
24-25 +7 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 - -
26-27 +8 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 -
28-29 +9 3 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1
30-31 +10 3 3 2 2 2 2 1 1 1
32-33 +11 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 1 1
34-35 +12 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 1
36-37 +13 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 2
38-39 +14 4 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 2
40-41 +15 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 2 2
42-43 +16 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 2
44-45 +17 5 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 3
46-47 +18 5 5 4 4 4 4 3 3 3
48-49 +19 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 3 3
50-51 +20 5 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 3
52 +21 6 5 5 5 5 4 4 4 4

FormulaEdit

bonus = (ability – (spellLevel + 1) * 2) / 8
  • Division is rounded down, to 0 minimum.
  • 0-level spells receive no bonuses.
  • If ability is less than 10+spellLevel, no spells of that level can be cast.
  • Ability should be 0 or greater.
  • SpellLevel should be between 1 and 9.


modifier = ability / 2 – 5
modifier = (ability – 10) / 2
  • Division is rounded down.
  • Ability should be 0 or greater.

See alsoEdit

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