Your character's basic stats are Strength (Str), Intelligence (Int) and Dexterity (Dex). These are determined by your species and background and grow as you gain experience, equipment, intrinsic abilities, and mutations. They may be damaged by sickness or certain monster abilities, and if one of them reaches 0, you will suffer some penalties.
Your starting stats are determined by two things: your species and your class. While they do not by any means define your character, it is easier to build your character in a way that is compatible with your stats.
Each starting stat is equal to:
2 + Species Contribution + Class Contribution
Not all species are created equal; some have higher total stats than others, with High Elves and Demigods having the highest, and Ghouls having the lowest. The "gain" column describes how the race automatically gains stats as they level up: a letter indicates the stat beginning with that letter can be chosen, and the number before the colon indicates the frequency of stat gains. So a Human, who would gain one Str, Int, or Dex every 4 levels, is represented by 4:SID. See Gaining Attributes below for further details.
- Demigods do not gain stats randomly. See Gaining Attributes.
Your class also contributes to your starting stats, although to a lesser degree than your species. Unlike with species, the sum of the starting stats is the same across all classes (12).
*A wanderer's starting stats are random, but will also total 12. However, if a stat is greater than 17, it is 50% less likely to be increased.
Your initial strength, intelligence and dexterity cannot be less than 3. In any case where a class/species combo causes a value to be less than three, it is increased and random other stat decreased until it reaches 3.
72 is the absolute maximum value for strength, dexterity, and intelligence. These ability scores can never go above 72, regardless of racial bonuses, equipment, mutations, or any other bonuses.
Characters will increase attributes naturally as they level, with their race determining which attributes they gain and how often they gain them. Additionally, they get to increase an attribute of their choice every three levels. Demigods gain two stat points from this instead of one, but they do not gain any stats randomly from leveling.
- Barachim - A random stat every 4 levels.
- Centaurs - Str or Dex every 4 levels.
- Deep Dwarves - Str or Int every 4 levels.
- Deep Elves - Int every 4 levels.
- Demigods - Special, see above
- Demonspawn - A random stat every 4 levels.
- Draconians - A random stat every 4 levels.
- Formicids - Str or Int every 4 levels.
- Felids - Dex or Int every 5 levels.
- Gargoyles - Str or Int every 4 levels.
- Ghouls - Str every 5 levels.
- Halflings - Dex every 5 levels.
- High Elves - Int or Dex every 3 levels.
- Hill Orcs - Str every 5 levels.
- Humans - A random stat every 4 levels.
- Kobolds - A random stat every 5 levels.
- Merfolk - A random stat every 5 levels.
- Minotaurs - Str or Dex every 4 levels.
- Mummies - A random stat every 5 levels
- Nagas - A random stat every 4 levels.
- Octopodes - A random stat every 5 levels.
- Ogres - Str every 3 levels.
- Spriggans - Dex or Int every 5 levels.
- Tengu - A random stat every 4 levels.
- Trolls - Str every 3 levels.
- Vampires - Dex or Int every 5 levels
- Vine Stalkers - Str or Dex every 4 levels.
The extra 2 that all characters get to all their stats is a holdover from when stats were randomized: previously there were eight stat points that would be allocated randomly, with a slight tendency to raise lower stats in preference to higher ones; the remaining two were added to the class stat points, which used to total 10 instead of 12.
Additionally, Wanderers' stats used to total only 6, making the class considerably more difficult. Artificers' totaled 9, although that difference was less significant. As for species, numerous small changes have been made over the years, but one of the more significant ones is to Mummies: they have gone from having some of the worst starting stats (7/3/3, or 13 total) to being among the higher-stat races (though still extremely difficult to play).