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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 Spells[]

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

Formula[]

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 also[]