Intelligence is the hardest stat for character's and Dungeon Master's to roleplay. If the player has a 12 intelligence and their character has a 20 how can they possibly roleplay that properly? If a monster has a very high intelligence and the Dungeon Master doesn't it is also difficult for them to portray the monster in an appropriate manner.
It is easier if a player has a higher intelligence than their character. The danger there is they just use their own intelligence level without lowering it down to a sub-par level. How do you work around these issues?
Edited: Kyrroeth on 27th Dec, 2017 - 7:56pm
I have a easy time playing intelligent creatures due to my intelligence of only being a 4. I find it very easy to play highly intelligent monsters as well as the low almost plant like monsters *smile* It is all the choices that one makes as a highly intelligent creature will have contingencies in place in case things go south.
There are various kinds of intelligence that involved in Dungeon Mastering. Tactical intelligence is the one typically used when playing combats and strategies of your npcs, creative intelligence when detailing the world/event/scene, and social intelligence in adjusting the game to the levels needed for the players and npcs involved. If you are a Dungeon Master who is lacking in some aspect of those three attributes, you can improve the others to compensate. If you are not able in any of those three, then your role as a Dungeon Master will usually be routine and scripted by modules you purchase and run. Most Dungeon Masters of the third stripe don’t last long as Dungeon Masters. The first kind of Dungeon Master are the ones that can adjust their world to fill in any packs and make the game enjoyable.
I could say two things here.
First, its just like role-playing wisdom, how wise is the character to know what's happening and what should be done. Sometimes this can go both ways… you could actually be more unwise than your character.
Second, the Dungeon Master should at some point object about actions that a character isn't intelligent enough to do / know by saying something like "Your character wouldn't know that or be smart enough to do that" to keep the player in check.
Comments: The Dungeon Master should be a big factor in that. If the character's intelligence is very high then the character will know something that the player isn't and the Dungeon Master should state that.
While some characters have a high intelligence that does not mean that they know of a certain item. This is what history checks or knowledge checks are for. If the character would have knowledge about a certain thing I do let them know if I am the Dungeon Master.