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 disease or 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 generally easier to build your character in a way that is compatible with your stats.
Each starting stat is equal to 2 + your species contribution + your class contribution.
Note that not all races 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 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 Demigod, who would gain one Str, Int, or Dex every 2 levels, is represented by 2:SID
Your class also contributes to your starting stats, although to a lesser degree than your race. Unlike with race, the sum of the starting stats is the same across all classes: it always totals to 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 the case where a class/race combo causes a value to be less than three, it is increased and another decreased until equal to 3. Currently, this is only ever relevant to ghoul berserkers and possibly ghoul wanderers.
Characters get to increase an attribute of their choice every three levels; in addition, there is a level-based increase based on race.
- Centaurs gain Dex or Str every 4 levels.
- Deep Dwarves gain Str or Int randomly every 4 levels.
- Deep Elves gain Int every 4 levels.
- Demigods gain a random stat every 2 levels.
- Demonspawns gain a random stat every 4 levels.
- Draconians gain a random stat every 4 levels.
- Ghouls gain Str every 5 levels.
- Felids gain Dex or Int every 5 levels.
- Gargoyles gain Str or Int randomly every 4 levels.
- Halflings gain Dex every 5 levels.
- High Elves gain either Int or Dex randomly every 3 levels.
- Hill Orcs gain Str every 5 levels.
- Humans gain a randomly chosen stat every 4 levels.
- Kobolds gain Dex or Str every 5 levels.
- Merfolk gain a random stat every 5 levels.
- Minotaurs gain Dex or Str every 4 levels.
- Mummies do not gain any extra stats.
- Nagas gain a random stat every 4 levels.
- Ogres gain Str every 3 levels.
- Octopodes gain a randomly chosen stat every 5 levels.
- Spriggans gain Int or Dex every 5 levels.
- Tengu gain a random stat every 4 levels.
- Trolls gain Str every 3 levels starting at level 3.
- Vampires do not gain any extra stats.
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 not too significant. As for races, 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.