Attributes are numerical representations of character's inherent abilities. There are seven attributes which dictate many aspects of the characters.
Everyone distributes a sum of 32 Attribute Points among the seven Primary Attributes. Each race has a minimum and maximum point distribution for each of the Attributes. For example, a Human has 1 being the minimum and 10 being the maximum for all of their Attributes, where as a Ghoul has a 1 being the miminum and 8 being the maximum for strength, but Perception having a mimum of 4 and a maximum of 13.
Raw physical strength. A high Strength is good for physical characters. Strenght is primarily relevant to two game mechanics: carry weight and satisfying the minimum Strength requirements for weapons. Each item in the game has some weight value, and if the sum of item weight exceeds your's, your movement in combat and on the world map gets cut in half. Each weapon has a strength requirement, this is the lowest possible value your strength can be to wield that weapon. Strength also plays a part in determining the Atheltics, Melee, and Pugilism skill, as well as the skill's damage.
The ability to see, hear, taste, and notice unusual things. A high Perception is important for a sharpshooter. Perception modifies how far you can be placed in a random encounter, as well as how high your sequence is. Perception also determines initial Craftsmanship, Energy Weapons, Explosives, Investigation, Lockpick, and Pilot skills.
Stamina and physical toughness. A character with a high physical Endurance will survive where others will not. Endurance modifies your initial hit points, poison and radiation resistance, and the Heavy Weapons and Survival skill.
A combination of appearance and charm. A high charisma is important for characters that want to influence people with words. Charisma helps decide initial reactions of NPC's by modifying the Barter, Deception, and Persuasion skills.
Knowledge, wisdom, and the abiltiy to think quickly. A high intelligence is important to any character. Intelligence determines the number of skill points you can distribute each level, and the Academics, Mechanics, Medicine, and Science skills.
Coordination and the ability to move well. A high agility is important to any active characters. Action point correlation is based on the agility stat. Therefore, a character who wishes to fight should have their agility ability be average to high. Armor Class is also affected by Agility, as with the Light Weapons, Stealth, and Thievery skills.
Perhaps the most ambiguous statistic, Luck is everything and nothing. Characters with a high amount of Luck just tend to have things go their way, and characters with a low amount of Luck always seem to be standing under the scaffolding just when someone drops that brick. Luck directly affects the Critical Chance secondary statistic. Rolls against Luck are made at the GM's discretion; Luck rolls can determine if, when your character is out of ammo and lying half-unconscious on the ground, he happens to find that loaded shotgun lying concealed and forgotten in the dust.
Perhaps the most important statistic in the game, as hit points determine if your character is alive and breathing or dead. Dead characters cannot be played or revived. Ever. Hit points can be recovered with time, drugs, the correct skills, or an able doctor. The base number of Hit Points is 15 + (Strength + (2 * Endurance)). In addition, a character gains more maximum hit points every level equal to 3 + (1/2 * Endurance). Hit points can never be healed above the maximum.
NOTE: If Hit Points go to zero, a character does not die immediately. Instead, a character with hit points in between -5 and 0 is knocked unconsious; they slump to the ground and cannot move. That character begins to recover Hit Points as if they were resting. That means an unconscious character will eventually wake up, but it could take several hours, or even days. Until then, they must be carried or protected until recovery.
Armor Class reduces the amount of damage your character takes from things that seek to harm them. Armor class is measured as a percentage. Your character's base Armor Class is equal to their Agility. In addition, any armor they are wearing can make their Armor Class higher. For example, if a character has an Agility of 5 and they don a leather jacket with an Armor Class of 6, their total Armor Class goes to 11(%). Armor Class affects the chance to hit; in the above example, if a Mutant sniper was taking potshots at the character with the leather jacket, the mutant's chance to hit would be reduced by 11%.
Action Points determine the number of actions your character can take each turn while in combat. Moving one square (5 ft x 5 ft) takes one Action Point. Reloading a weapon often takes 2 Action Points. Taking a shot often takes 5 Action Points. See the chart below for determining how many Action Points you have.
How much equipment your character can carry on his back, in his pockets, or in his backpack and fanny pack. Every item in the game weighs something. Carry Weight is 15 lbs + (15 X Strength). A character with a Strength of 6 can carry 105 lbs of equipment. Now, finding room for that much stuff may be a problem...
This is how much damage your character does in unarmed combat and combat with melee weapons. The more melee damage your character does, the harder she or he hits. Strong characters can hit very hard. See the chart below for determining Melee Damage, based upon Strength:
And so on. . .
In addition to Strength, damage done with melee weapons also depend on your Melee Weapons skill. You gain +1 to Melee Damage for every 20 skill points in Melee Weapons.
In addition to Strength, unarmed damage also depends on your Pugilism skill. You gain +1 to Unarmed Melee Damage for every 20 skill points in Melee Weapons.
Even in the post-nuclear world, there are certain chemicals that just don't mix well with human anatomy. Poison resistance is equal to (5 * Endurance). A character with an endurance of 6 will have a 30% Poison Resistance. That means they have a 30% chance of antibodies eliminating the poison.
In the post-nuclear world, radiation is always a concern. Some places are naturally radioactive, like the blast centers where nukes went off. Some are more radioactive than others; near the center of the blast, you are guaranteed to find more rads than 5 miles away. Radiation Resistance is equal to 2 * Endurance. It can be increased with chems (see Equipment: Chems) and with certain kinds of armor. A character with an Endurance of 8 has 16% radiation resistance. This means that 16% of the rads that hit his skin do not go in. If he was standing at the rim of a blast crater and was taking 1000 rads every ten minutes, only 840 of those rads would enter his body. That still means he's going to glow like a lightbulb, but his skin won't fall off - right away.
One of the nastier weapons in the wastes, gas attacks can cause massive amounts of damage to a large number of people, or cover a large area in a relatively small amount of time. Some gasses do not damage a target, but are merely designed to incapacitate it. Gas Resistance is based entirely on armor, race, and equipment. There are two kinds of gas attacks: Inhaled and Contact gasses. Inhaled gasses must enter the lungs before causing ill effects; Contact gasses are more like clouds of acid vapor, damaging any biological substance they come into contact with. Gas resistance is given in a X/X number, with the first variable representing Inhaled gasses and the second variable representing Contact gasses. Unless the character is a robot, the beginning Gas Resistance is always 0/0.
This measures how resistant a character is to electricity. Whenever the character takes damage from electricity, the amount of damage is reduced by their electricity resistance (a percentage). Unless a character’s race has built-in electrical damage, this number always starts at 0.
Damage Resistance is determined entirely by armor. Unless the character has some built in damage resistance because of their race, this is 0%.
Damage Threshold represents how much damage a piece of armor actually prevents. A character does not have any actual Damage Threshold until they are wearing armor of some kind.
Sequence determines who goes first in a combat round. Of course, if you are the one initiating the combat, you automatically get to go first (you sneak up on a guard and clobber him in the head), but all the combat turns after that get broken down by Sequence, with highest Sequence going first, and so on down the line. Sequence is equal to (2 * Perception).
Life possesses the remarkable ability to heal itself naturally. Your character's Healing Rate is the number of hit points they heal naturally in a day (24 hours) of activity, or in six hours of resting. Use this table to determine healing rate, based upon Endurance.
A character with an Endurance of 7 would have a healing rate of 2 and heal 2 hit points in a 24-hour period where they were active (fighting, walking around, etc) and will heal 8 hit points in any 24 hour period where they are resting (sleeping, watching TV, etc.). Note that Robots do not naturally heal themselves, and therefore automatically have a Healing Rate of “0”.
This is the base chance to cause a critical hit in combat. High weapons skills and weapons of high quality can modify this number later. If a to-hit roll is successful and low enough that it fell within the character’s Critical Chance, the hit becomes critical. A base Critical Chance is equal to a character's Luck. A character with a luck of 3 has a 3% base chance to critical hit.