A dump stat in roleplaying gaming is an informal term for an ability score — in Dungeons & Dragons, Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma — which gives little to no benefit to a particular player character build.
Some players consider it advantageous to keep such an ability score as low as the rules allow, that is, to dump the ability score. This allows more beneficial ability scores to be higher. Other players choose not to dump an ability score, preferring the versatility of a balanced spread over the specialization a dump stat enables.
Dump stats in D&D
In older editions of Dungeons & Dragons, some players considered Charisma to be a common dump stat, believing it to affect little else but social interactions with NPCs. The notion of Charisma as a universal dump stat in D&D, and the resulting stereotype that D&D players eagerly trade characters' personability for power, has been the subject of gaming humor and parody.
In 4th edition, dump stats vary between classes, and sometimes vary even between different builds within the same class. Charisma, for example, provides benefits useful across many classes, such as the Will defense bonus.
- Key ability, an ability score that is highly beneficial to a build