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An attribute is a piece of data (a "statistic") that describes to what extent a fictional character in a role-playing game possesses a specific natural, in-born characteristic common to all characters in the game. That piece of data is usually an abstract number or, in some cases, a set of dice. Some games use different terms to refer to an attribute, such as statistic, (primary) characteristic or ability. A number of role-playing games like Fate do not use attributes at all.
A statistic in role-playing games is a piece of data that represents a particular aspect of a fictional character. That piece of data is usually a (unitless) integer or, in some cases, a set of dice.
A role-playing game is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting, or through a process of structured decision-making regarding character development. Actions taken within many games succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines.
In mathematics, logic, and philosophy, a property is a characteristic of an object; a red object is said to have the property of redness. The property may be considered a form of object in its own right, able to possess other properties. A property, however, differs from individual objects in that it may be instantiated, and often in more than one thing. It differs from the logical/mathematical concept of class by not having any concept of extensionality, and from the philosophical concept of class in that a property is considered to be distinct from the objects which possess it. Understanding how different individual entities can in some sense have some of the same properties is the basis of the problem of universals. The terms attribute and quality have similar meanings.
There is no uniform consensus on what ability scores are, even if many role-playing games have them, but games that use them have a common theme. According to the BBC Cult TV website "All characters have Attributes — basic physical and mental abilities."and in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game "Each character has six ability scores that represent his character's most basic attributes. They are his raw talent and prowess. While a character rarely rolls a check using just an ability score, these scores, and the modifiers they create, affect nearly every aspect of a character's skills and abilities." In some games, such as older versions of Dungeons & Dragons the attribute is used on its own to determine outcomes, whereas in many games, beginning with Bunnies & Burrows and including more modern versions of D&D, the attribute works with a skill to affect the overall outcome.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, and it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees. It employs over 20,950 staff in total, 16,672 of whom are in public sector broadcasting. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time, flexible, and fixed-contract staff are included.
The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game is a fantasy role-playing game (RPG) that was published in 2009 by Paizo Publishing. It extends and modifies the System Reference Document (SRD) based on the revised 3rd edition Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) published by Wizards of the Coast under the Open Game License (OGL), and is intended to be backward-compatible with that edition.
Dungeons & Dragons is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game (RPG) originally designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. It was first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. (TSR). The game has been published by Wizards of the Coast since 1997. It was derived from miniature wargames, with a variation of the 1971 game Chainmail serving as the initial rule system. D&D's publication is commonly recognized as the beginning of modern role-playing games and the role-playing game industry.
There is no standard amongst role-playing games as to which attributes are important for the game, though there is a school of design which says you pick the attributes after you decide what the game is about.
Dungeons & Dragons used six attributes (there were brief attempts to add a seventh, Comeliness, in Unearthed Arcana and Dragon magazine, but this was short-lived). The six attributes used in D&D are:
Unearthed Arcana is the title shared by two hardback books published for different editions of the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game. Both were designed as supplements to the core rulebooks, containing material that expanded upon other rules.
Dragon was one of the two official magazines for source material for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game and associated products; Dungeon was the other.
Physical strength is the measure of an animal's exertion of force on physical objects. Increasing physical strength is the goal of strength training.
Physical fitness is a state of health and well-being and, more specifically, the ability to perform aspects of sports, occupations and daily activities. Physical fitness is generally achieved through proper nutrition, moderate-vigorous physical exercise, and sufficient rest.
Intelligence has been defined in many ways, including: the capacity for logic, understanding, self-awareness, learning, emotional knowledge, reasoning, planning, creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving. More generally, it can be described as the ability to perceive or infer information, and to retain it as knowledge to be applied towards adaptive behaviors within an environment or context.
These range from about 3 to 18 (depending on the edition).
The attribute sequence in D&D was originally: Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Dexterity, Constitution, and Charisma, sometimes referred to as "SIWDCC".This listed the four "prime requisites" of the character class families before the "general" stats: strength for fighters, intelligence for magic-users, wisdom for clerics, and dexterity for thieves. The current "SDCIWC" sequence was introduced in AD&D 2nd edition in an attempt to divide physical and cognitive traits into two groups.
Many other notable games have followed suit while slightly varying the attributes, like Traveller (Strength, Dexterity, Endurance, Intelligence, Education, Social Standing) or like Cortex System games such as the Serenity RPG and the Cortex Plus Leverage with Agility, Alertness, Intelligence, Strength, Vitality, and Willpower.
Others use more, some fewer. Tri-Stat dX (including Big Eyes, Small Mouth ), as the name would suggest, uses three (Body, Mind, and Soul), whereas a more common division of three, and used in the Cortex Plus game Firefly is Physical, Mental, and Social, but expands with the Storyteller System's attributes.
The first three editions of Shadowrun had three separate headings of Physical attributes, Mental Attributes, and Special Attributes, with three stats in each. With the six non-special attributes being Strength, Quickness, Body, Charisma, Intelligence, and Willpower, and two of the three special attributes relating to magic and the third being derived, this is arguably a six attribute system.
The Storyteller System used in games like Vampire: The Masquerade took this one step further, breaking the attributes down into three by three classifications. Power, Finesse, and Resistance, and Mental, Physical, and Social, leading to nine different combinations each of which has a separate name with, for example, Mental Finesse being the attribute Wits and Social Resistance being Composure.
Some games think that attributes are not and should not be treated as entirely independent, and therefore make a lot of their attributes dependent on others. GURPS uses two levels of statistic - four primary statistics (Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, Health), and four statistics derived directly from those (Fatigue which defaults to strength or health depending on edition, Hit Points (health or strength depending on edition), Willpower (defaults to intelligence), and Speed (defaults to half the average of health and dexterity)). Hero System 5th edition has eight primary statistics, and a further five derived from them.
Some game systems such as those using the Cortex Plus system or those Powered by the Apocalypse work on the basis that the attributes should emphasise elements of the setting thus making them different from game to game even within the same family. So, for example, Dungeon World is meant to resemble a game of D&D so it uses the same statistics as above, whereas Monsterhearts, with its mix of teen drama and paranormal romance uses the statistics Hot, Cold, Violent, and Dark.
Attributes are commonly referred to by a three letter abbreviation (Str, Int, etc.).
The Generic Universal RolePlaying System, or GURPS, is a tabletop role-playing game system designed to allow for play in any game setting. It was created by Steve Jackson Games and first published in 1986 at a time when most such systems were story- or genre-specific.
DragonQuest is a fantasy role-playing game originally published by Simulations Publications (SPI) in 1980. Where first generation fantasy role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons restricted players to particular character classes, DragonQuest was one of the first games to utilize a system that emphasized skills, allowing more individual customization and a wider range of options.
The Storytelling System is a role-playing game system created by White Wolf, Inc. for the Chronicles of Darkness, a game world with several pen and paper games tied in. The Storytelling System is largely based on the Storyteller System, the rule set used for White Wolf's other, older game setting, the World of Darkness.
In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, Psionics are a form of supernatural power similar to, but distinct from, arcane and divine magic.
The monk is a character class in a number of role-playing tabletop and video games. In those games which follow the Dungeons & Dragons traditions, monks are characters with excellent martial arts skills and who specialize in unarmed, unarmored combat.
The Star Wars Roleplaying Game is a d20 System roleplaying game set in the Star Wars universe. The game was written by Bill Slavicsek, Andy Collins and JD Wiker and published by Wizards of the Coast in late 2000 and revised in 2002. In 2007, Wizards released the Saga Edition of the game, which made major changes in an effort to streamline the rules system.
The Dungeon Revealed is a dungeon crawl computer game created by John Raymonds and published by Woodrose Editions in 1987. A demo and shareware version of the game entitled The Dungeon of Doom were released in 1986 and 1987 respectively to promote the commercial release of "The Dungeon Revealed" which came in 1987. Both were released for Mac OS, and were compatible with versions as late as System 7. "The Dungeon Revealed" can still be played with Mac OS 10.4.10 in Classic but suffers from an absence of sound. "The Dungeon of Doom" and shareware releases, were not 32-bit clean and thus not compatible with Mac OS 7.5 and up.
DC Heroes is an out-of-print superhero role-playing game set in the DC Universe and published by Mayfair Games. Other than sharing the same licensed setting, DC Heroes is unrelated to the West End Games DC Universe or the more recent Green Ronin Publishing DC Adventures game.
The fighter is one of the standard playable character classes in the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game. A fighter is a versatile, weapons-oriented warrior who fights using skill, strategy and tactics.
A character class is a fundamental part of the identity and nature of characters in the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. A character's capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses are largely defined by its class; choosing a class is one of the first steps a player takes to create a Dungeons & Dragons player character. A character's class affects a character's available skills and abilities. A well-rounded party of characters requires a variety of abilities offered by the classes found within the game.
In the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, game mechanics and die rolls determine much of what happens. These mechanics include:
The Buffyverse role-playing games - the Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel role-playing games - are complementary, officially licensed role-playing games (RPGs) published by Eden Studios, Inc. The Buffy the Vampire Slayer Core Rulebook was published in 2002, while the Angel Corebook followed in 2003. Both games use a streamlined version of Eden Studios' popular Unisystem game engine, also featured in CJ Carella's WitchCraft and All Flesh Must Be Eaten, two of Eden's better-known original product lines. In both games, players are able to take on the roles of characters from the respective television series or create wholly original characters as they and their group see fit, effectively building their own Buffyverse series in the process.
The Megaversal system, sometimes known as the Palladium system, is a set of mechanics specifically employed in most role-playing games published by Palladium Books, with the exception of Recon. It uses dice for roll-under percentile skill checks, roll-high combat checks and saving throws, and determination of damage sustained in melee encounters by which a character's Hit Points, Structural Damage Capacity (S.D.C.), or Mega-Damage Capacity (M.D.C.) is reduced accordingly.
Unisystem is a generic role-playing game system produced by Eden Studios, Inc. It is used in All Flesh Must Be Eaten, the Buffyverse role-playing games, CJ Carella's WitchCraft, Conspiracy X , and several other games. Games designed using Unisystem have been nominated for, and won, Origins Awards.
Dungeons & Dragons: Warriors of the Eternal Sun is a role-playing video game developed for the Sega Genesis in 1992 by Westwood Associates. The game tells the story of a party of adventurers who have been transported to an unknown world and must survive against its hostile inhabitants while learning about their new home and seeking allies. It is based on the Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) game rules, and uses creatures and themes from the D&D Hollow World campaign setting, such as Blacklore elves, the Azcans, beastmen, Malpheggi lizardmen, and dinosaurs.
The End All Be All game system, commonly known as EABA and pronounced "ee-buh", is a role-playing game system from Blacksburg Tactical Research Center (BTRC). It is a generic gaming systems designed to adapt to any imaginary gaming environment. It was created by Greg Porter in 2003. The game cites the Hero System, GURPS and Call of Cthulhu as influences in its development.
The Cortex System is a generic RPG system based on the Sovereign Stone System, and was developed by Margaret Weis Productions, Ltd for the Serenity Role Playing Game. It was subsequently used for their licensed Battlestar Galactica and Supernatural RPGs, and brought out as a stand-alone system in the Cortex System Role Playing Game book. Serenity, using the Cortex System, was the 2005 Origins Award Gamer's Choice Role Playing Game of the Year.
Cutthroat: The Shadow Wars is a fantasy role-playing game designed by Nathan Kaylor and first published by StormWorld Games in 1988.
Dungeon World is a fantasy tabletop roleplaying game created by Sage LaTorra and Adam Koebel. The game uses the Powered by the Apocalypse engine originally designed for Apocalypse World and used in Monsterhearts and other games. The game is advertised as having old school style with modern rules. The text of the game was released under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.