There are 7 Primary Statistics that describe various attributes of a character: Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck. These are the character’s strengths and weaknesses, and are the limits by which other aspects of a character are determined. In general, Primary Statistics are not altered after the game begins.
Primary Statistics influence the Secondary Statistics, and are sometimes rolled against to determine different effects (Perception to notice a thief filching your wallet, etc). All characters start life “average” — that is, they have 5 in every Primary Statistic, more or less, depending on race. The player then has 5 “character points” to distribute as he or she sees fit among the Statistics. In addition, Statistics may be reduced to raise another Statistic. This can be done so long as points are not “lost” (i.e., if a point is subtracted it must be added somewhere else). Statistics can never go below racial minimums and can never go above racial maximums. Sometimes, this means that a Stat must be adjusted up or down, and the numbers must be re-distributed to other Stats. If you chose a trait that effects a Statistic, keep this in mind as you are distributing your points; traits cannot (usually) raise Stats above racial maximums or lower Stats below racial minimums, either, so there is no use in wasting a point. Remember to adjust Statistics for Traits after assigning your points.
Every race has its racial minimum, average and maximum statistic numbers. You may notice, that when you add all the stats, some races will have more points than the others. All characters start life “average” — that is, with their racial average numbers. Each player has also 5 character points to distribute among the Statistics. In addition, Statistics may be subtracted from if the player wants to add to another Statistic. This can be done so long as points are not “lost” (i.e., if a point is subtracted it must be added somewhere else).
If you chose a trait that effects a Statistic, keep this in mind as you are distributing your points; traits cannot (usually) raise Stats above racial maximums or lower Stats below racial minimums, either, so there is no use in wasting a points! Remember to adjust Statistics for Traits after assigning your points. A Trait which raises your Stat will also raise racial minimum, and a trait which lowers it, will also affect racial maximum.
Primary Statistics Descriptions:
A measure of your character’s physical strength and muscle power. This statistic is used in the secondary statistics Carry Weight, Melee Damage, and Hit Points. All weapons have a minimum Strength requirement as well. Rolls against Strength are used when characters try to break doors down, bend the bars on their prison cell, and do other feats that require sheer muscle
Perception is your character’s awareness and instinct. Perceptive characters notice details instantly, like smells, sounds, and sights that don’t fit a “normal” picture. Perceptive characters tend to be able to read another person’s reactions, and can even tell when another person is lying. This statistic is used in the Sequence secondary statistic, and in several skills such as Lockpick, Traps, First Aid, and Doctor. The primary use of this statistic is to determine the maximum distance your character can shoot a ranged weapon effectively. A high Perception is imperative for a sniper. Rolls against Perception are used when there is a little detail the character has a chance of noticing, such as the glisten off the scope of the sniper taking an aim at his or her head.
Endurance measures the body’s constitution and overall health. Characters with a high Endurance have great immune systems, goodcardiovascular fitness, and can outrun and outswim others. The Hit Point, Poison Resistance, Radiation Resistance, and Healing Rate secondary statistics are based on Endurance, which also modifies a character’s Outdoorsman skill. Rolls against Endurance determine things like whether your character can hang on to that rope over a canyon, or can resist a deadly cloud of bacteria.
Charisma is a measure of physically attractiveness of your character is, and how adept they are at knowing exactly what to say and do in social situations. Beauty as well as grace and leadership ability contribute to Charisma. A Charismatic character will be the leader of the pack, and everyone will follow his or her orders. No secondary statistics are based on Charisma. It heavily influences Barter and Speech skills. Rolls against Charisma are made when a character is attempting to schmooze past some guards or trying to pick someone up in a bar.
Intelligence is a character’s higher reasoning power. Characters with high intelligence have better memories and are better at solving problems than people with low intelligence. No secondary statistics are based on intelligence; however, many of the non-combat skills use it for their base values. Intelligence also determines the number of skill points your character gains each level. Rolls against intelligence are made when characters are attempting to guess a password or determine the sequence of electric charges running through the pattern on the floor.
Agility measures the speed of a character’s reactions. More or less,
Agility describes how quickly an impulse is received by the brain, is encoded into the appropriate message, travels through the Central Nervous System, and reaches the character’s arm, which appropriately jerks out of the way right before a bullet hits it. This statistic is the basis for the Armor Class and Action Point secondary statistics. It modifies the greatest number of skills as well, especially combat skills. Rolls against Agility are made when your character dodges a poison dart trap or attempts to jerk his arm out of the sewer before a mutated rat bites it off.
Perhaps the most ambiguous statistic, Luck is everything and nothing.
Characters with a high amount of Luck just tend to have things go their way, and characters with a low amount of Luck always seem to be standing under the scaffolding just when
someone drops that brick. Luck directly affects the Critical Chance secondary statistic as well as influences the Gambling skill. Rolls against Luck are made at the GM’s discretion; Luck rolls can determine if, when your character is out of ammo and lying half-unconscious on the ground, he happens to find that loaded shotgun lying concealed and forgotten in the dust.