Now that I have told you about the die roll and the Difficulty Class,
we can now move on to the stats (also called abilities). These stats
not only define your character, but also impact your actions. A high
score in an ability will give you a bonus to an action that uses that
stat. A low score in an ability will give you a negative to those
actions. The gods have allowed each of us the choice to define who we
are; thus, we choose our own stat scores. However, there are only a
certain number of points to be spent, so spend those points wisely! I
chose to have a low Constitution, and for that, colds have been the
bane of my life every winter without fail. First, let us examine the
stats that define who and what we are.
Half-Orcs are strong...
but also very ugly.
This stat represents
how strong a character is
physically, ie: your muscles. A Strength of 18 is a muscle bound
champion weightlifter whilst a Strength of 4 is some 6 year old girl
scout whose cookies you can easily take. This ability effects melee
combat adding to your chances to hit and increasing your damage. The
classes who best benefit from a high Strength are Fighters, Paladins,
Rangers, and Barbarians. The skills associated with this stat are Jump
and Swim. In addition, there are objects in the game (such as doors or
levers) that require a high Strength to open.
This stat represents
your agility, hand-eye
coordination, and sense of balance. A person of Dexterity of 18 can
easily juggle multiple objects while doing somersaults and such, while
a Dexterity of 4 is somebody like my Aunt Emeralis who can’t
stir her coffee without spilling it all over the floor. Dexterity adds
to your chance to hit in ranged combat (bows and thrown weapons) and
factors into your Reflex Save. (We will discuss Saves later on.) It
also adds to your Armor Class (which we’ll discuss in our
combat section). Dexterity is the primary stat for Rogues and is useful
for those wearing medium, light, or no armor to help their Armor Class,
such as Barbarians, Rangers, Wizards, and Sorcerers. Skills affected by
Dexterity are Balance, Hide, Move Silently, Open Lock, and Tumble.
Dwarves have a
represents your physical stamina. Its primary importance is that it
adds to your hit points, which is coveted by all the classes.
Constitution also impacts your Fortitude Save. The skill associated
with Constitution is Concentration, an important skill for magic users.
A person with a low Constitution is somebody who is frail and gets sick
all the time (such is my life in my old age!), whilst a person with a
high Constitution never gets sick and eats nuclear hot wings by the
bucket with no ill effects.
Intelligence is your
ability to reason and think, representing how smart you are. This stat
is coveted by Wizards as it modifies our spell points (how much we can
cast before resting) and how difficult it is for their enemies to
resist the Wizard’s spells. It is also useful for other
classes, especially Rogues, as that it adds to the skill points that a
character gets every level to spend on increasing what skills they
already have or getting new skills. Skills that use Intelligence are
Disable Device, Repair, and Search. I, as a learned loremaster and
sage, have an incredibly high Intelligence. Otto, the stable boy whose
job is to muck out the dung and who has a vocabulary of about twenty
words, has a very low Intelligence.
Elves are very dextrous
...and smoking hot.
Wisdom represents your
common sense, intuition, perception, and being in tune with your
surroundings. Wisdom is the most important stat for Clerics, but is
also desirable by Paladins, Rangers, and Monks (for Monks,
it’s added to their Armor Class). Wisdom affects Will Saves
and the following skills: Heal, Listen, and Spot. Wisdom adds spell
points (like Intelligence does for Wizards) for Clerics, Rangers, and
Paladins. For those three classes, the minimum Wisdom to cast a spell
is 10 plus the spell level. A third-level Ranger spell thus requires 13
Wisdom. A Monk who meditates and is one with the world has a high
Wisdom, while I, having a low Wisdom, don’t even realize that
I’m standing in a stream…a cold, cold stream. Did
I ever tell you about how my original adventuring party
wouldn’t let me stand watch after those cast-iron golems
sneaked up on me while I was on watch one night?
Halfings, while not very strong.
make deadly Rogues.
your force of personality, how attractive you are physically, your
personal magnetism…basically, if you have
“it.” That seductive Sorceress who you know is up
to no good, but you just can’t say no? She has Charisma to
spare. Boil-Face Charlie? He can’t even get a dog to come
close to him even with a steak tied around his neck, much less anybody
actually paying him any attention. Yours truly has a high Charisma.
I’ve spent many a warm night in a maiden’s bed
during my travels. There’s no need to look so surprised, my
friend! While I am old and wrinkled now, that wasn’t always
the case. Old Prelixin was a hit with the ladies.
To help you in creating your character, here is a handy chart detailing
the modifiers for the stat ranges.