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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 good they are at logical puzzles, how good their long term memory is, 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, common sense, and street-smarts, and sometimes how good their imagination and lateral thinking ability is. 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 or a Ditzy Genius 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. Meanwhile, any shade of The Philosopher tends to rank high in both Intelligence and Wisdom.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 about 5 to about 20 as the expected player range, with 10-11 being the "average" score, but other scales are common, some with a potentially infinite ceiling on how high your scores can go.


Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • The Stands of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure have Destructive Power (str), Speed (dex), Range (how long from its user it can go), Power Persistence (con), Precision (int), and Development Potential (how much it can improve, and the only stat you generally want to see go down).

    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 characters 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.
  • Betrayal at House on the Hill combines Strength and Constitution into "Might", Intelligence and Wisdom into "Knowledge", and renames Dexterity "Speed". Charisma is replaced with a Sanity Meter.
  • Mazes and Minotaurs: Strength, Dexterity, and Charisma are respectively renamed to Might, Skill, and Grace. Wisdom gets separated into Wits (alertness and cleverness) and Will (resolve and self-discipline). Constitution and Intelligence are replaced by Luck.
  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay includes the six stats in the core Characteristics that are tied to specific Skill Scores and affect secondary abilities: Strength (encumbrance and melee damage), Toughness (Damage Reduction), Agility (Action Initiative in 2nd Edition; named Dexterity in 1e), Intelligence, Willpower (intuition and mental fortitude), and Fellowship (social skills). Characteristics also include Weapon Skill, Ballistic Skill, and other edition-specific additions. In all cases, they're ranked from 1% to 100%, indicating the chance of succeeding on a challenge of average difficulty, with an average score of 30% for a human with no special training.

    Toys 
  • Most if not all Transformers action figures come with Tech Specs, which consist of Strength, Intelligence, Speed, Endurance, Rank, Courage, Fireblast, and Skill.

    Video Games 
  • Many of the Dungeons and Dragons RPGs (Baldur's Gate, Planescape: Torment, etc), for obvious reasons.
  • Might and Magic uses different terms (might, accuracy, endurance, intellect, personality, luck) and adds a seventh "speed" stat.
  • Fallout uses the SPECIAL system, which is likewise these six stats plus a luck stat.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II uses five of the six: Strength for large melee weapon damage and carrying capacity; Finesse for light weapon and bow damage; Constitution for Hit Points; Intelligence for spell damage; and Wits for perceptiveness, Initiative, and Critical Hit chance. Charisma is replaced by a "Memory" attribute; the closest equivalents are the "Persuasion" and "Bargaining" Civil Abilities, which are optional and have a separate Point Build pool.
  • The Outer Worlds uses six stats: Strength (affects melee attack power, carry weight, and TTD duration), Dexterity (affects reload speed, melee attack speed, and rate of durability depletion), Intelligence (affects critical damage and unlocks bonus dialogue options at low intelligence), Perception (affects accuracy and weakpoint damage), Charisma (affects Relationship Values with factions), and Temperment (affects health regeneration and companion capabilities).
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