Strength affects the following:
- Slightly increases weapon and unarmed combat damage.
- Reduces the impact your armour's encumbrance rating has upon your accuracy, evasion, and spellcasting success rate.
- Slightly increases your SH bonus with shields or large shields.
- Increases the chance of doing auxiliary attacks.
- Increases constriction damage.
- Increases the chance of doing retaliatory headbutts when you are a minotaur.
Dexterity is often more useful than strength. The bonus damage from strength is fairly minor, while boosting your evasion is helpful for any character. However, a high strength score can go a long way toward allowing you to cast spells or dodge attacks while wearing heavy armour, and significant boosts to strength (e.g. an artefact with +10 strength) will boost melee damage considerably.
If your strength is ever reduced to 0 or lower, you will suffer stat zero.
Prior to 0.18, each weapon type had a strength weight that determined how much strength contributed to damage and accuracy. Now strength increases damage equally for all weapons, and does not affect accuracy.
Prior to 0.15, characters could only carry a certain weight of gear at any given time, measured in aums. Strength increased your carrying capacity by 25 aum per point. Also, ranged combat was significantly more complicated, and strength played a role in determining your attack delay with ranged weapons (see weapon damage and ranged combat for details).