It’s an essential first step in understanding any game that you have an instinctive knowledge of the character you control. This is done by knowing their attributes. Thankfully, attributes tend to be similar across many games and genres, which makes it an easy (though less than ideal) option to rely on assumption rather than knowledge in order to win more than your fair share of encounters.
In this short series of guides, we’re going to cover each of the game’s attributes in detail, so that we can explain why each matter and how you should approach improving them. We’ll start with the most obvious and fundamental ones, Basic Attributes, which form the basis of character ability and advancement. But before we look at the attributes themselves, there are a couple of things you need to be aware of.
The first is that you can massively affect your Basic Attributes before your character even exists. When you select ‘New Character’ you are given a series of three questions that, apart from explaining your presence at the start of the game, allows you to augment your Basic Attributes by 12 points (4 points per answer). Each Basic Attribute starts at 17, so, if you choose answers that add to your base Armour attribute, you can start the game with an Armour level of 29 - which equates to +36 to your Defence Attributes. Clearly, if you have a particular weapon you wish to specialise in from the start, you should tailor your answers accordingly.
The second thing to note is that you receive a single Attribute Point whenever you reach a new level, which, since you start at level 1 and should reach level 10 within a few of hours, means you can make quite a difference to your character very early on in the game. Of course, it helps to know about each attribute in order to understand what those differences could be, so let's look at them individually:
STRENGTH: As you might expect, Strength affects how heavily you strike in combat. It’s an important attribute for melee warriors who wish to rain down crushing blows upon their enemies.
Each level of Strength adds +6 to Slashing Damage, Blunt Damage and Piercing Armour Penetration. If at character creation you answered each question with “+Strength” answers, you would start these stats with +72.
AGILITY: As Strength is to a melee warrior, so Agility is to those armed with a bow or musket. However, Agility isn’t simply about ranged combat. Generally, Agility allows for greater penetration, but Strength delivers more damage. Don’t worry, we’ll explain the distinction in a subsequent guide.
Each level of Agility adds +6 to Piercing Damage, Slashing Armour Penetration and Blunt Armour Penetration. If at character creation you answered each question with “+Agility” answers, you would start these stats with +72.
ARMOUR: The Armour attribute is primarily used to offset the damage caused by a weapon. The higher your Armour attribute is, the less Health you will generally lose when hit.
Each level of Armour adds +3 to Piercing Defence, Slashing Defence and Blunt Defence. As we’ve already established, if at character creation you answered each question with “+Armour” answers, you would start with +36 to all Defence attributes.
TOUGHNESS: Not all characters can rely on Armour alone and those that are fast-moving probably would rather rely on their Agility to avoid incoming damage. In either case, an individual’s Toughness is their last line of defence. Once Health reaches zero, it’s game over.
Each level of Toughness adds 100 to Health (to a base, currently, of 16,700 HP). If at character creation you answered each question with “+Toughness” answers, you would start with +1200 Heath.
That’s all for this guide. In the next part we’ll be going over General Attributes, then concluding with a look at Combat Attributes.