When Bad Monsters Get Smart

Roleplaying gamers don’t always demonstrate the same Intelligence scores as their heroic characters, and most of us have the anecdotes to prove it. Supergenius wizards fall for the Head of Vecna rouse again or forget that fire elementals aren’t immune to fire, while dumb-as-bricks fighters manage to solve fiendish puzzles and outsmart gods. Stories like these are what make the Dungeons & Dragons game truly memorable.

However, players may find it unrealistic when the DM has their characters constantly outwitted by creatures with the Intelligence score of a small duck. Likewise, even clever Dungeon Masters may find themselves hard pressed to represent the truly deific intelligence of a Pit Fiend. As a Dungeon Master you’re not strictly required to play monsters to their listed Intelligence score, but but to do so can add verisimilitude and make the game more engaging. Read on to find out how.

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