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CHARACTER ABILITIES

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 collection.

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 collection.

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 level.

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.



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