An attribute is a measurable property of a given character. Generally attributes define how developed a character is in regards to different aspects of the game. Sometimes attributes will remain the same throughout the duration of the game, while other times, as a character progresses, these might be altered by the game. Character classes might also play a role in determining default attributes for a character. Below is an list of some common attributes used:
- Strength: A measure of physical force that can be exerted upon other things, or the ability of a character to perform some physical action.
- Dexterity: A measure of physical control, accuracy, or precision in relation to certain actions.
- Agility: A measure of speed or the deftness of movement.
- Vitality: Also "constitution" or "vigor". A measure of health or the ability to resist physical ailments like poison or illness.
- Toughness: Also "stamina" or "fortitude". A measure of the ability to resist fatigue and strain resulting from activity, combat, or otherwise. Sometimes interchangeable with "vitality".
- Wisdom: A measure of mental aptitude, which might affect the strength or efficiency of magic, and the ability to detect things or have some sort of increased foresight.
- Luck: A measure of how favorable the odds are against the character, for things such as treasure drops or damage rolls.
- Charisma: Although generally near useless it does warrant mentioning since several major roguelikes inherited it as part of standard D&D attribute set. Measure of how good a character is at bartering in spite of what the name suggests.
Some attributes are constantly changing, depending on the situations in the game:
- Health: Also "hit points". A measure of how much damage a character can sustain. Death almost always occurs after health falls to a certain point. Health can usually be regained by using potions or spells, or through regeneration.
- Mana: A measure of the character's ability to perform magic or other skills. Mana can usually be recovered by using potions or regeneration, similar to health.
- Hunger: A measure of how "hungry" a character is. Usually this describes how inept a character is to perform a given action, or might cause death once reaching a critical point. Food will decrease the amount of hunger a character has, but the availability of it may or may not be scarce.
- Fatigue: A measure of how physically and mentally able a character is, and how the character is affected in-game.
- Wealth: Some games do not treat possessed gold as physical item but instead opt just to hold numerical value of collected money.
- Accuracy: More often labeled "to hit chance". Describes how likely a character is to successfully hit. Melee and ranged accuracy are often two different attributes.
- Damage inflicted: A measure of how capable a character is at killing monsters with attacks that hit. Usually expressed as a range and is not always explicitly stated.
- Encumbrance: Indicates how much weight is carried. Passing certain levels of encumbrance may inflict penalties on character.
Attributes that continually increase (or increment in one direction), have their own classification. They may reset after reaching a certain point, but generally these will accumulate, reflecting the progress the character has made.
- Experience: A measure of how much a character has developed, usually over the course of a game. This might be increased by defeating enemies, collecting items, completing quests, or simply progressing through the game. Many experience systems award an increase in character level after a certain mark has been reached.
- Level: An extension of the experience attribute. Typically, once enough experience has been gathered, a character may advance to a higher level, where more spells, abilities, locations, et cetera, may now be accessible.