Every character has six randomly generated ability scores. These
scores fall within a range determined by the race and class of the
character (see the Range of Ability Scores later in this collection).
For humans, that range is from 3 (low) to 18 (high).
Depending on the character class, one or more of these abilities will
be a prime requisite. A prime requisite is an ability especially valuable
to a given class (strength for a fighter, wisdom for a cleric, etc.).
Characters receive bonus experience points when their prime requisite
scores are at or above a certain number (16 in most instances).
Non-human characters may receive modifiers to the basic ability scores
to reflect differences between the races. Dwarves, for instance, get a
+1 constitution bonus and may have a maximum constitution of 19 instead
of 18. When a character is generated with the CREATE NEW CHARACTER command,
all racial modifiers are calculated automatically.
Strength (STR) is the measure of physical power. The higher a character's
strength, the more he can carry, the more likely he is to hit in melee
combat, and the more damage he can do when he does hit. Fighters, rangers,
and paladins with an 18 strength also have a percentage value from 1 to
100. The maximum percentage values vary from race to race. Strength is
most important for fighter type characters (fighters, rangers, paladins).
If it is 16 or higher, fighters receive a bonus of 10% additional experience
points. Paladins must have strength and wisdom of 16 or higher to get
the experience bonus. Rangers must have strength, intelligence and wisdom
of 16 or greater to receive the bonus.
Non-human fighters may have a lower maximum level if their strength
is less than 18. There is a Strength table on the Miscellaneous Information
Intelligence (INT) is the measure of learning ability. Magic-users with
an intelligence of 16 or higher receive a 10% experience point bonus.
Non-human spell-casters may have a lower maximum level if their intelligence
is less than 18. Rangers must have strength, intelligence and wisdom of
16 or higher to receive a 10% experience point bonus.
Wisdom (WIS) is the measure of ability to understand the ways of the
world and to interact with the world. Clerics get the 10% experience bonus
if their wisdom is 16 or higher. Paladins must have strength and wisdom
of 16 or higher to get the experience bonus. Rangers must have strength,
intelligence and wisdom of 16 or greater to receive the bonus. Clerics
with a wisdom of 14 or higher receive additional low level spells. There
is a Wisdom Bonus table for clerics in the Cleric Experience Tables..
Dexterity (DEX) is the measure of manual dexterity and agility. Thieves
especially benefit from high dexterity. Thieves receive a 10% experience
bonus if their dexterity is 16 or higher. For every dexterity point from
15 to 18, a character receives a corresponding one point improvement in
his armor class. For every dexterity point from 16 to 18, a character
receives a one point improvement on his ability to hit with missile weapons.
It is highly recommended that all characters have a high dexterity. This
is considered essential for magic-users and thieves. There is a Dexterity
effects table in the Miscellaneous Information collection.
Constitution (CON) is the measure of overall health. Fighters receive
one extra hit point (HP) per hit die for each point of constitution above
14. Non-fighters receive similar benefits except they receive a maximum
of two extra HP per level (no HP benefits for constitutions above 16).
There is a Constitution Effects table in the Miscellaneous Information
Charisma (CHA) is the measure of how others react to a character. Charisma
is sometimes a factor when the character has an encounter with NPCs. The
higher a character's charisma, the more that character can persuade others
to do what he wants.
Each character also has three other important values that change as
the game goes on: Experience Points (XP), Level, and Hitpoints (HP).
Experience Points (XP) are a measure of what the character has learned
on his adventures. Characters receive XP for actions such as fighting
monsters, finding treasures and successfully completing quests. See the
Advancement Tables for each class' XP requirements.
Level is a measure of a character's ability in his class. As characters
gain XP, they may go up in levels. New characters begin the game at 1st
When characters have enough XP they can go to a hall and receive the
training required to increase in level. Characters may only advance one
level at a time. If a character has gained enough XP to go up two or more
levels since the last time he has trained, he goes up one level and loses
all XP in excess of one point below the next level.
Example: A 3rd level thief enters a training hall with 12,000 XP. He
leaves as a fourth level thief with 10,000 XP, only 1 XP below the needed
amount to advance to fifth level.
Hitpoints (HP) represent the amount of damage a character can take before
he becomes unconscious or dies. Characters gain HP every time they increase
in level. Bonuses for high constitutions are calculated automatically.
The maximum potential number of HP a character can have is referred
to as Hit Dice (HD). A 4th level fighter, for example, has 4 d10 hit dice.
This means that his theoretical hitpoint maximum is (4 * 10 = 40) plus
any constitution bonus.
Note: Dice (d) is the term used to describe the range for a randomly
generated number. Dice are referred to by the range they represent. A
d6 has a range from 1 through 6, a d10 has a range from 1 through 10.
When a character takes enough damage that his HP reaches 0 (or less),
he is unconscious. An unconscious character leaves combat and wakes near
the entrance to the current region. When you view a character, his HP
on the screen will never displayed as less than 0.