Character Details - Stats
Our mud follows standard DnD mechanics, including the use of various statistics (stats) to portray a character’s strengths and weaknesses. Their physical and intellectual capacity can be simply recognized by the use of these six stats, giving a solid basis from which to further develop a character’s personality. Please click the below for further details of each stat:
Strength measures your character’s muscle and physical power. This ability is especially important for fighters, rangers and knight classes because it helps them prevail in combat. Strength also limits the amount of equipment your character can carry.
Muscle: Muscle measures the sheer power a character can exert at a moment’s notice. A character with a higher muscle ratio than his stamina will look quite strong. Males will have bulging biceps, broad chests, and wide shoulders. While females don’t generate the muscle mass of males, they will have well-defined, strongly toned forms.
Stamina: Stamina determines muscle efficiency. A character with a higher stamina than muscle may not have masses of huge muscles, but the muscles he has will be rock hard. Characters like these may surprise others; not because they can lift four hay bales at once, but because they can lift one or two at a time for 10 hours straight.
Applications of strength modifier:
* Melee attack rolls (unless weapon finesse is applicable)
* Damage rolls when using a melee weapon
* How much your character can carry (encumbrance)
1-3, very weak; about that of a young child (aged 3-5)
4-6, weak; about that of a child (aged 5-9)
7-9, below average; you lack muscle tone, and find lifting most things to be out of your range.
10-11, average; the “standard” strength of an adult male and female.
12-13, above average; you are able to lift more and have some muscle tone.
14-15, toned/fit; you posses more muscle mass and raw strength than your average person. Your strength is often complemented and praised. Usually characters with a strength this high have spent some time in the military, on a farm, or involved in some physical labor.
16-17, very fit; you have an athletic body, with well-defined muscle tone and in most circles could be considered very strong. Your stamina and muscle mass are near peak, allowing you to accomplish many things that others would find physically impossible.
18-19, extremely fit; your body and muscles are at their peak, able to lift most things with ease. Serious definition can usually be seen.
20-21, supremely fit; your strength is one that leaves many in awe of how you’ve trained your body. Your muscles and build are much more pronounced, usually with some bulging.
22+, legendary strength; your strength is the stuff myths and legends are made of. Bards create stories about your mythical strength.
Dexterity measures hand-eye coordination, agility, reflexes, and balance. This ability is the most important one for thieves, but it’s also high on the list for characters who typically wear light or medium armor or no armor at all, and for anyone who wants to be a skilled archer.
Aim: A character with skilled aim might be an expert marksman or a sleight-of-hand artist.
Balance: A character possessing good balance may be an acrobat or a tightrope walker.
Applications of dexterity modifier:
* Ranged attack rolls
* Melee attack rolls (if weapon finesse is applicable)
* Armor Class (AC), provided that character can react to attack
* Reflex saving throws
* Some skills gain a bonus from dexterity
1-3, very clumsy; walking across the room causes you to trip and fall. You lack any coordination.
4-6, clumsy; you have a very hard time to keep from tripping and falling. Your coordination leaves much to be desired. You often miss, horribly, when using missile weapons.
7-9, below average; you trip and fall often, finding it hard to stay balanced. Such things as tightrope walking, dancing, and even acrobatics are very difficult (if not impossible) for you to learn.
10-11, average; the “standard” dexterity of an adult male and female
12-13, above average; you have some natural grace with balance and coordination. You can excel at simpler feats of dexterity, like basic dance steps, or being able sometimes hit the bull’s-eye of a target.
14-15, nimble; you have a sense of natural balance and grace. You find ease in being able to coordinate your movements and hands together. Acrobatic feats, dancing, even ranged weapons you are able to pick up on with a few practice lessons.
16-17, acrobatic; your feats of dexterity often leaves others in awe. You are able to easily perform acrobatic feats, dancing seems natural to you, and people often refer to you as being very coordinated.
18-19, lightning; your dexterity is at its peak. Your coordination, balance and reflexes blend in such a way that you make springing off the wall, flipping through the air, and then landing on your left hand seem easy.
20+, legendary dexterity; your dexterity is the stuff myths and legends are made of. Others might think there is elven blood in your family, or worse drow!
Constitution represents your character’s health and stamina. A constitution bonus increases a character’s hit points, so the stat is equally important for all classes.
Fitness: A character with high fitness has great endurance and can suffer more damage than other characters while continuing to function.
Health: A character with good health would seldom get sick and be little affected by allergies and other ailments.
Applications of constitution modifier:
* Overall hit points of the character
* Fortitude saving throws
* Your stamina for prolonged combat or travel, via the endurance skill
1-3, very unhealthy; you are often sick, coughing and ravaged by the effects of pollen, mold, and multiple allergies. Many people speculate when you are going to die (often they think within the next few days!)
4-6, unhealthy; you were perhaps a “sickly” child that’s left some lingering effects on you as an adult. Your health is in horrible shape. You tire often from just crossing the room, or going up half a flight of stairs.
7-9, below average; you are more prone to sickness and illness than most people. When a cold or plague roll around, you often have the feeling you are going to get it (and often do!)
10-11, average; the “standard” constitution of an adult male and female
12-13, above average; uour health is better than that of the average person. You sometimes get sick and maybe have one or two allergies. On a whole though, you are fairly healthy
14-15, healthy; you rarely get sick, maybe once every 2 years. Your fitness is at a level that it takes a while for you get tired or exhausted.
16-17, durable; you could count easily the number of times you’ve gotten sick, for you rarely do. Your fitness is a near peak level, meaning you seem to keep going, and going and going with little or no rest. You have a rather high tolerance to pain, physically.
18-19, hardened; you can count the number of times you have been sick on one hand (if even ever!). Your body and health is at its peak. You seem to have a never ending supply of stamina that keeps you going through the day, moving from one task to another. You have a very high tolerance to pain, physically.
20+, legendary constitution; your health is the stuff myths and legends are made of. Some might wonder if your have some troll or dwarven blood in you.
Intelligence determines how well your character learns and reasons. This ability is important for wizards and psions because it affects how many spells they can cast, how hard their spells are to resist, and how powerful their spells can be. It’s also important for many skill bonuses.
Knowledge: This is a measurement of the character’s educational experiences-whether in a school or on the streets, his grasp of languages, and his memory capacity. A character with vast knowledge can speak many languages, knows something about several subjects, and can remember the slightest detail of a past event.
Reason: This defines how well a character handles new information. A character with good reason would be good at solving riddles and puzzles, and would be talented at using deductive, logical thinking.
Applications of intelligence modifier:
* The number of languages your character begins with, and how many can be learned overall
* Some skills gain a bonus from intelligence
* Psions and mages gain bonus spell slots based on intelligence.
1-3, moronic; your vocabulary is limited to a few words and lots of grunts. Things such as sentences are just beyond you.
4-6, dim; you tend to speak in very simple words, like that of a 4 to 6 year old child. Puzzles and riddles often leave you confused. New information thrown at you usually leaves you feeling disoriented or confused.
7-9, below average; you can manage to fumble your way in a conversation, though you stick to simple words. Puzzles and riddles throw you off, often taking a few days to figure out some of the moderate ones, and the harder ones often months or years. You come across as being “unschooled”, never really having any formal training.
10-11, average; the “standard” intelligence of an adult male and female
12-13, above average; you are able to pick up on things easier than the normal individual. Learning a new language or bits of history tends to be somewhat easier for you. Your vocabulary might have a few fancier words thrown in like, opulent or plethora.
14-15, smart; others call you smart. Learning a new language or bits of history and lore is rather easy for you. You’re able to carry on a conversation with more scholarly folk with some ease. There are a few subject matters where you are able to recite events from without any hesitation. (example Ancient History of Tsavren, Religon, A History of Art, or even Magical Theory)
16-17, brilliant; your brilliance leaves others often astounded or jealous. You are able to pick up on new languages with ease and could be considered a master in many fields of knowledge (such as those mentioned above or plant lore, demon lore, undead lore, a history of warfare)
18-19, genius; you are a true genius. You can solve complex riddles and puzzles in your free time for fun. You have a wide range of subjects that you can recite detailed information about. Some might consider you a sage in a few fields, and seek you out for your brilliance.
20+, legendary intelligence; your intelligence is the stuff legends are made of. People are left in awe at (or perhaps even a bit spooked) just how smart you are.
Wisdom describes a character’s willpower, common sense, perception, and intuition. While intelligence represents one’s ability to analyze information, wisdom represents being in tune with and aware of one’s surroundings. Wisdom is the most important ability for clerics and druids, and it is also important for paladins and rangers. If you want your character to have acute senses, put a high score in wisdom.
Intuition: A character with good intuition likely would be very perceptive and good at making educated guesses, and would be difficult to fool or lie to effectively.
Willpower: This gauges a character’s strength of will, ability to resist magical forces, and sense of commitment to a cause. A character with high willpower would be difficult to harm with mind-affecting magic spells, could be quite stubborn, and would resist interrogation.
Applications of wisdom modifier:
* Some skills gain a bonus from wisdom
* Will saving throws
* Clerics, druids, rangers and paladins gain bonus spell slots based on wisdom.
1-3, foolish; you were the reason why the term a Fool and his money are soon parted was invented. It’s almost laughable how easy it is to tempt you to do something. The idea of even torture often makes you black out, and you easily give up any information, in detail, to those interrogating you.
4-6, naive; you are easily swindled, and very naive about the world. Someone could tell you the sky is bright green and the clouds are actually fat elves floating in the sky, and you would believe them. You have no mental tolerance for torture or interrogation.
7-9, below average; you tend to lack any “common sense”, meaning you do silly or dangerous things often, that tend to backfire on you. It’s rather easy for someone to lie to you, though not to the extent of a naive person.
10-11, average; the “standard” wisdom of an adult male and female
12-13, above average; you posses a fair amount of common sense. It’s more difficult for people to lie or swindle you, but still possible if they have a believable tale. You have some slight resistance to torture, though you could never hold out. Interrogations might take a few minutes or even an hour to get you to crack.
14-15, clever; your common sense and intuition often helps you out when you need it most. It’s more difficult for people to lie to you, and you are often not swindled when dealing with a merchant. You have a slight resistance to torture, able to mentally endure the pain for awhile before screaming out. Interrogations take a few hours to get you to crack.
16-17, wise; others often come to you for advice on every day life, for your wisdom shines forth. Your common sense and intuition are strong and solid, making it extremely difficult for others to lie to you. Merchants often run the other way when they see you coming to market, for they find you almost impossible to swindle. You are able to mentally hold out in torture for a great length of time. When interrogated, your willpower makes it extremely difficult for them to make you talk.
18-19, sage; you have an “iron will”, meaning it is damn hard to get past you. Your common sense and intuition are extremely strong and solid, aiding you in everday life. It’s nearly impossible for others to lie or swindle you. When tortured, your iron allows you to mentally resist much of the pain, keeping you from crying out. When interrogated, your iron will makes it supremely difficult for others to make you talk. Others might consider you “stubborn”.
20+, legendary wisdom; your wisdom and willpower is as solid as adamantium or diamond. Your will is nearly impossible to break, and you can spot lies a mile away often. Your Wisdom is the stuff of legends and myths.
Charisma measures a character’s force of personality, persuasiveness, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and physical attractiveness. This ability represents actual strength of personality, not merely how one is perceived by others in a social setting. Charisma is most important for bards and sorcerers, and also contributes heavily to some paladin abilities.
Leadership: A character with high leadership often may be a group’s leader, or at least its spokesman. Generals and those who can calm or incite a mob with a few words all have good Leadership scores.
Appearance: This determines the physical presence and attractiveness of the character. A character with a high appearance score would be handsome or beautiful, perhaps even famous for outstanding looks (such as Helen of Troy).
Applications of charisma modifier:
* Aggressive creatures may ignore a character with a high charisma score.
* Some skills gain a bonus from charisma
* Sorcerers and bards gain bonus spell slots based on charisma.
1-3, garish; you lack any social graces or personal magnetism. Your appearance would be classified as horrific, frightening many men, women and children. Some people might even chase you out of town!
4-6, uncouth; your social graces and personal magnetism leave much to be desired. In social settings you exhibit a lack of manners. Your appearance is ghastly, frightening many. Inns sometimes lock their doors when they see you coming.
7-9, below average; you tend to exhibit poor manners. Others often ignore you when you try to lead them. Your personal magnetism is low, making it hard for you to find friends. Your appearance could be classified as homely, very plain, or even some deformity or body modification has altered in a rather unattractive manner.
10-11, average; the “standard” charisma of an adult male and female
12-13, above average; you tend to be more friendly than your average person. You have a bit of a “spark” in your personal magnetism that might draw others to you. Your appearance, while above average, often can be described as “kind of cute/pretty”. You exhibit some social graces, that puts you a step above the average person.
14-15, friendly; you have a certain spark that draws people to you. Others want to get to know more about you, finding you rather personable. You can usually lead or command a small group, using your persuasiveness to sway them, though a large group you often struggle with. Your appearance could be described as “pretty/cute”.
16-17, charismatic; you find lots of people are drawn to you, and seem to want to be your friend or even in your company. You find it easy to lead or command a group of people, swaying them with your charismatic presence to your side. Your appearance could be described as “handsome/beautiful”
18-19, blinding; when you walk into a populated area, you find that people (usually in large number or clusters) are drawn to you. You find it extremely easy to lead or command people, even to the point of leading a great army! You can sway others with your charm to your side with little difficulty at all. Your appearance could be described as “breathtaking/alluring”.
20+, legendary charisma; your charisma is the stuff that legends are made of. With a charisma this high your charm seems to ooze out of you, causing many people to flock to your side and to support you in almost anything you do. You can lead a kingdom to war, if so desired. A charisma this high often is associated with a dryad, nymph, succubus or incubus. Your appearance is one that bards write poems and ballads about, artists try to immortalize, and one that could cause wars.
When we’re rolling statistics for a character, our minds are primed to think in terms of mechanics, or at least advantage. And that’s not a crime; the game can be very unforgiving when it comes to stats. This file is meant to help you with practical suggestions on stat mechanics and also how to incorporate your numbers into your role play and character concept. Consider them guidelines rather than rules. Let the numbers help your imagination rather than stifle it. And, as always, feel free to contact an immortal if you require assistance.
Its important to consider the concept of an “average” score when contemplating the meaning of your stats. We’re used to comparing ourselves to our peers (i.e. other adventurers) when thinking about stats, but that can be misleading. Adventurers (PCs and NPCs) have high stats. Part of this is built in for you by means of the random generator and bonus points. Another part of this is continual “stat inflation” as SGs players and immortals have continued to strive for an edge, designed more challenging areas, made better gear, and wanted to universally be able to beat the tar out of their enemies. It sometimes causes us to forget that truly “average” human stats are now 10 or 11. Don’t sell yourself short on the quality of your stats in your RP. For example, an INT of 14 might not sound that high if all of your peers are mages and psions with 18’s. But, in fact, a 14 translated into the real world full of average people is probably a noticeably bright person. Not a genius, but sharper than most people.
Because of the aforementioned “stat inflation” it is advisable that you strive for at least a couple of good stats. Most characters have 16-18’s in three stats. A 17 or 18 in your class’s prime stat should be your first priority. You can identify your class’s prime stat by reading its help file “help classname”. Warrior type classes (fighter, ranger, and the knight family) derive most of their potency from strong, accurate melee attacks and need high Strength to stay competitive. A high Dexterity is suggested for any class that can’t benefit from heavy armor, but especially for thieves. Spellcaster classes must have an 18 in their prime stat in order to cast their highest level spells. This includes Intelligence for mages and psions and Wisdom for clerics. A high Constitution and Charisma is beneficial for any class. Unfortunately, there are very few suggestions on how to prioritize your non-prime stats because they will largely depend on your playing style and character concept. Every stat is beneficial for a variety of reasons. It is noteworthy that “hybrid” type classes (rangers, bards, and cavaliers that intend to develop into anti/paladins) often require good scores in multiple stats to remain competitive and complement their other powers. Carefully read your class’s help file. If a minimum score is listed for a stat, it is likely beneficial to prioritize those stats. For instance, while we know that the melee-based ranger will need a high Strength, the class’s requirements also suggest that they will benefit from high Dexterity and Wisdom scores. To help you prioritize your own stats mechanically, here is a brief table of what each stat modifies:
Strength (Str) Hit bonus, damage bonus, carrying capacity
Dexterity (Dex) Armor class bonus, thief skill bonus, ranged weapon hit bonus, adds to a few skills
Constitution (Con) Hit points at every level-up, stamina level, ability to resist some special attacks, one skill
Intelligence (Int) Spell number and potency for mages, psions and bards, languages known and learning speed, gives a bonus to many skills
Wisdom (Wis) Spell number and potency for clerics, rangers and paladins, ability to resist magic attacks, gives a bonus to several skills
Charisma (Cha) Prices offered by shops, aggressiveness of monsters, and largest influence over role play, gives a bonus to several skills
What follows is a more detailed description and interpretation of each stat. These are, of course, guidelines rather than rules:
The Physical Stats
Strength (Str): Strength can be conceived of as a combination of actual muscle mass, body size, and physical economy. While an extremely low or high STR is likely noticeable, it doesn’t have to mean you’re either a twig or a mobile wall of muscles. Consider your race, height, training and health when describing and role playing your strength. Recall that even some small creatures can reach extraordinary strength. Dancers and acrobats are usually very strong, but you wouldn’t necessarily know it while they were wearing winter clothing.
Dexterity (Dex): Is usually defined as a combination of balance, hand-eye coordination, grace, agility, speed, manual dexterity, muscle memory and basically every other kind of physical activity more complex than running through a door. Its probably not the easiest stat to demonstrate with your role play, because in real life many of those abilities are handled by very different physiological systems. As a guideline though, people with high dexterity are generally physically talented. They’re the kids that performed well at camp or gym class regardless of the activity for the day. People with low dexterity got picked last for dodge ball, unless they had a really high Charisma (discussed later). Because of the wide abilities covered by dexterity, its certainly possible to role play up or down certain aspects. For example, a high-Dex klutz with great talents requiring manual dexterity (painting, lock picking, watchmaking) is not out of the question.
Constitution (Con): Is a measure of health, fitness and physical resilience. Toughness is another word that comes to mind. Even more so than Strength, a high or low Constitution might not be immediately obvious by looking at someone’s body. But extreme scores are probably noticeable. Remember that your Con score is a measure of healthiness throughout your character’s life. It has affected and been effected since conception and might impact a character’s natural lifespan (as if adventurers ever die of natural causes!). As part of the trio of physical stats, it is interrelated to Str and Dex. Extreme differences between Con and Str or Dex might be a feeding ground for interesting physical quirks or bad habits for your character. Similarly, healthy beings are usually considered more attractive, even between species, so don’t forget to compare Con and Cha for interesting character ideas.
The Mental Stats
Intelligence (Int): Humans have spent whole careers over centuries describing intelligence, its forms, how its different from Wisdom or learning. They don’t have a convincing answer, so neither do I. But here’s an attempt to interpret the score for the purposes of the game. Intelligence is both your character’s raw, natural talent to acquire and process factual information as well as the amount of information you have absorbed. It is both a measure of potential “smartness” and an indication of how “smart” you are currently, so you get some wiggle room as to how you decide to role play this. Intelligence is one of those scores that people might feel inclined to downplay. The truth is, you probably know plenty of bright people in the real world that behave “smartly,” but even clever people wouldn’t deviate far from above average INT. It is rare and unusual to know real people that would have an INT score of 17 or 18. So don’t dumb down your PC with an INT of 14–they’re above average. In fact, its pretty reasonable to assume that no one role plays their 18/19 INT correctly, but its frankly pretty impossible to conceptualize how to RP someone almost assuredly smarter than we are.
Wisdom (Wis): There is more to the mind than successfully accumulating facts. If there wasn’t, we’d all have the personality of a cash register. Wisdom encompasses most of the mental processes that fall out of the domain of Intelligence. Standard gaming definitions for Wisdom have included perception, common sense, street smarts, willpower, awareness of self, awareness of others, and experience. Wisdom is a pretty nebulous stat, but there are some guidelines and examples that you may find useful. Intelligence is often something that could be learned out of a book. Wisdom is something that you have to personally experience, or be able to relate to personal experience. Ask yourself (your real-life self) “could a new person learn everything they need to know about my job from a book?” The answer is probably “no way!”. It is those things you learn from experience and not from training that are under Wisdom’s control. Wise characters are also empathetic (not necessarily sympathetic!), learn quickly by example, and are able to build the big picture.
Charisma (Cha): Is conventionally defined as a combination of appearance, personal magnetism, social skills, and “force of personality.” Please note that Charisma and its benefits are cross-species, and cross-sexual orientation. Even though a human probably wouldn’t want to mate with a high-Cha bugbear, that bugbear’s high Charisma still gives it social advantage, probably bullying. This is why we have to consider what the rule books mean by “force of personality.” They are suspiciously silent on the matter. Conceptualize force of personality as the ability to impose change on your environment (in most cases, a social environment) through mental effort alone. When I think about the phrase I am reminded of a saying about the definition of Irish Diplomacy: “the ability to tell a man to go to Hell in such a way that he’ll look forward to the trip.” It really doesn’t matter how that’s done, a person with a high charisma could do it with deception, empathy, manipulation, kindness, seduction, intimidation or any other social tool. But they can do it. In later editions, they can even pull magic out of the air with that force. Consider also the fact that most dragons, by their nature, have extremely high Charisma. Is it because they are sexually attractive? Probably only to a kobold. No, it is because they are majestic, awe-inspiring, terribly beautiful and very good Irish Diplomats.
Of special note, Charisma is probably one of the few stats which is actually overplayed by players, and this is against the spirit of the game. The primary offenders are lavish describes detailing how appealing the character is. This is really only helpful in notifying every other player “Hey! I have a high charisma. I might not know how to use it, but I’m fluffing up my describe in case that helps.” The jury is still out on if this helps you or hinders you. Extremes in Charisma, like Intelligence, can be very hard to role play unless you are naturally a very sly or very dull player. Even typing skills can affect this. The challenge is compounded by the fact that we can’t really compel other PCs to obey your high-CHA character. We CAN do this with our NPCs during plots however. Another problem often encountered with Charisma is when players take excessive liberties playing up or down aspects of this stat. The most common offense are players with low-to-average Cha that choose to disfigure their characters in order to be able to play extremely friendly, persuasive or magnetic personalities. This level of “wiggling” within the stat is abuse, and against the spirit of the game. The point is this: Make sure you can role play your Charisma before you choose a high or low one, and seek guidance from others if you need help resolving the issue.
Yes, the mental stats are difficult to pull apart. The mind and brain of the real world are not conveniently packaged in two or three stats. Examples may aid you in your quest to assimilate your stats into your role play. The favorite example from rule books is the ‘absent-minded professor’ archetype, a person with high INT, low WIS/CHA. A bumbling genius with abysmal social skills and often forgetful. That’s a fine example, but consider the converse: We’ll call her ‘the grandma.’ The grandma is an aging woman born in some backwater nation that never attended more than 24 months of schooling but somehow managed to be always right. She’s low INT, high WIS, and probably was that way her entire life. Her strength was in her experience, her ability to find connections between events, and predicting human behavior. Consider next ‘the poser.’ This person might have low-to-average INT AND WIS, but such remarkably high Charisma that no one can tell she’s an idiot because she just seems so darned important. What about PCs that don’t have contrast, but consistently high mental stats? This mental giant could be “the super detective,” able to not only identify clues but to assemble them into a whole crime scene through reason and an understanding of human nature. Low scores can also inspire interesting personality traits: Consider ‘the toady,’ a character with low WIS and CHA. The toady doesn’t have the willpower or force of personality to stand up for themselves, and even if they are bright they would probably end up a henchmen or sidekick to a less competent leader. A character with low WIS and INT might manifest as a ‘brute,’ someone unwilling to take advice or learn from experience, and only believes what he or she can stick a sword through. Try to identify your own example from literature or the real world that would have mental stats similar to your character’s.
At the end of the day, the stats you have serve to shape the character you have created, but they do not stand in isolation of other character traits. Use them as a tool and guideline for building a truly unique personality. Also be sure to consider your character’s alignment, class, race, and background. Ask for help or suggestions when necessary.