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The Six Stats

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The six typical stats of a character. Dating all the way back to the granddaddy of all RPGs, they have been passed on into other gaming systems (either wholesale or with minor variations), and even farther into non-RPG media. Characters' stats are often argued about on various forums, in relation to where they would fit according to the typical 1-20 stat range in most Tabletop RPGs. Even in systems which do not use the six stats directly, their influence can often be seen, with many systems simply renaming them, or modifying them to moderate degrees.

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  • Strength - The stat that represents a person's physical power. Used to determine how strong they are and how hard they hit. Used by mostly martial classes.note 
  • Dexterity - Dexterity represents a person's physical nimbleness. Used to determine fine motor skills, reaction time, and aiming. May or may not turn out to be The God Stat, particularly for combat purposes. Used by mostly stealth or ranged classes.note 
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  • Constitution - The stat representing a character's physical toughness. Used to determine how much damage someone can take and how well they resist poisons, illnesses, etc. Used almost universally by all classes (everybody wants Hit Points), but mostly focused on by those that use endurance. Also often associated with a particular form of willpower, namely the ability to take a hit without even flinching or to go far far longer than anyone really should be able to by sheer force of stubborness.
  • Intelligence - The stat representing how smart a character is. Used to show how skilled a person is, how quickly they learn, how many languages they can speak, etc. Used by mostly arcane magic classes.
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  • Wisdom - The stat representing a person's prudence and street-smarts. Used to determine a character's perception, willpower, and decision-making skills. Used by mostly divine classes, and so sometimes associated with piety as well. Also often used as a measure of sanity. For comparison, an Absent-Minded Professor is high in intelligence but low in Wisdom, while someone with Wisdom from the Gutter or Street Smart is often not that intelligent, but is quite wise.note 
  • Charisma - The stat representing a person's force of personality. Used to determine how well someone can influence others by speeches, diplomacy, fear, lying, etc. To a player whose preferred solution is Hack and Slash, this is a Dump Stat; to a player who likes to roleplay, or wants to run a Manipulative / Magnificent Bastard, it's the stat of choice. If social situations are at all important, this will be the stat for them. Asking whether or not this stat includes personal appearance or beauty is a good way to start a Flame War in certain circles. As the poster child of the Dump Stat, this is the first stat to go in many variant systems, although some systems instead handle its reputation by broadening its scope, to things as esoteric as "luck" or "stability of the soul".
    • In addition, if systems play with this system to add a seventh stat, it is usually "luck" or some variant.

Stats are usually measured in single-to-double digit numbers, ranging from 1 to 23 as the "human" levels of stats, 1 being the bare minimum and 23 being the utmost attainable after a lifetime of effort and overspecialization; 18 is the peak of "average human" potential. Anything from 24 and up is considered greater-than-mortal.

In order to list examples on the wiki, the stats have been broken down into varying tiers as follows

  • 12-15 - Above Average. Characters whose stats fall into this stat-tier are better than most "normals", meaning they're better than, say, 50% of everyone else out there.
  • 16-19 - Genius-level. Characters whose stats fall into this stat-tier are considered geniuses, savants, "gifted," what have you. These are your Olympic-level athletes, chess masters, etc.
  • 20-23 - Superhuman. Characters who stats fall into this stat-tier are pushing the boundaries of "realistic" to the extreme. Expect movie physics to be evoked for physical feats, while characters on the more intellectual end fall into Magnificent Bastard and Manipulative Bastard territories.
  • 24+ - These characters are just too uber to be real. These are characters who are the paragons of their stats, and who first come to mind when mentioning a stat. Of course, statted characters from e.g. roleplaying textbooks easily go up to 40.
  • 40+ - cosmic-scale or Eldritch Abomination monsters, demon overlords, The Archmage, and so forth: these kind of epic characters will usually have a 40 strength, charisma, or intelligence respectively.

This scale is based on 3rd edition Dungeons And Dragons. Other editions of D&D have different scales (2-25, 5-60, 8-30, and 3-20); see below.

Note that 11 on down aren't even listed, as "normal" is just too broad a range to cover. For characters whose weakest stat ranges from about 1-5, check Dump Stat.


Examples:

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    Comic Books 
  • The Marvel Universe has its Power Grid, which lists str, dex, con, int, fighting ability and energy projection. It has a seven-point scale, which by its description maps to 1-8 (1), 9-11 (2), 12-15 (3), 16-19 (4), 20-23 (5), 24-30 (6), and 30+ (7).
    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons, the Trope Maker. Early editions commonly houseruled in two additional stats, i.e. perception and appearance. Although the scale of the stats depends heavily on edition:
    • In first and second edition, starting characters rank from 2 (minimum on the die roll and racial penalty) to 19 (maximum roll and racial bonus). Top-level characters can theoretically go up to 25, although increasing stats is pretty hard and unlikely. Everything in the whole world has a cap of 25.
    • In third and 3.5th edition, starting characters rank from 5 (minimum point buy and racial penalty) to 22 (maximum point buy and racial bonus). Top-level characters commonly reach 36 (easily, using standard magical items) and with enough optimization they can get above 60.
    • In fourth edition, starting characters rank from 8 (minimum point buy; racial penalties don't exist) to 20 (maximum point buy and racial bonus). Top-level characters reach around 26 normally, or up to 30 if optimized.
    • In fifth edition, starting charaters rank from 3 (minimum die roll; racial penalties don't exist) to 20 (maximum die roll and racial bonus). Characters have a hard cap of 20, so it's entirely possible to start at this cap and never improve.
  • Pathfinder, being a spin-off of the above.
  • Alternity, mostly unrelated to D&D but by the same company,
  • Played with in The World of Darkness, which uses these six, but adds wits, manipulation, and appearance.
    Video Games 
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