A character’s basic attributes are represented in the game by six “ability scores.” These abilities are Strength (Str), Dexterity (Dex), Constitution (Con), Intelligence (Int), Wisdom (Wis), and Charisma (Cha). The fi rst three represent the character’s physical qualities, and the second three his or her mental ones. Each of these abilities is represented by a number from 3-18, the higher the better. The Game Master (“GM”) will decide how you should generate these scores. For a truly brutal game, characters are generated using 3d6 for each ability in order. Because these numbers will be relatively low (compared to other methods for generating scores, described hereafter) and cannot be switched around, the players will be forced to use their utmost skill in creating a party of adventurers from whatever raw material the dice hand to them.
Many GMs will allow the players to roll up six ability scores and then decide which scores will go with which ability. This gives the players more fl exibility to create a good party and to decide among themselves who will be playing which class. A player may come to the table wanting to play a particular type of character, and unless the gamers agree that they want to test their skills with a completely random challenge it is usually best to let the players take on the fantasy roles that satisfy them most.
As well as eliminating or reducing the randomness of a character’s strengths and weaknesses, the GM may also allow players a bit of a numerical advantage. Many GMs permit ability scores to be rolled using 4d6, dropping the result of the lowest die. This method, obviously, will tend to result in higher scores.
Strength (“Str”) is a measure of physical power, and is the most important attribute for fighters. If a fighter, paladin, or ranger character rolls an 18 strength, the player then rolls a d%, and that number is added as a decimal, or percentage, to the 18 strength. (See the table below for details.) A roll of 00 on the percentage die indicates a strength score of 19. Members of other classes cannot naturally gain strength in excess of 18. The following table summarises the bonuses and penalties for strength scores. Note that an “Extraordinary Success” indicates the possibility for extremely strong characters to perform exceptional or normally impossible feats of strength, such as opening a door which is held closed by some relatively minor magic rather than a lock.
|Strength||Bonus to Hit||Bonus to Damage||Encumbrance Adjustment (lbs)||Minor Tests (d6)||Major Tests (d%)|
|18.91-18.99||+2||+5||+200||1-4 (1 in 6 extraordinary)||35|
|19||+3||+6||+300||1-5 (1 in 6 extraordinary)||40|
Dexterity (“Dex”) is a measure of the character’s speed, handeye coordination, and nimbleness of foot. It affects the accuracy of missile fi re and the character’s ability to dodge blows, so a high dexterity score can be extremely useful to characters of any class. It is the most important ability score for thieves.
Except in surprise situations, dexterity does not modify the initiative roll in melee combat. However, it may modify initiative in missile combat (see “Combat”)
|Dexterity||Surprise Bonus||Missile Bonus to Hit||AC Adjustment|
Constitution (“Con”) is a measure of the character’s overall health and vitality. A high constitution score can give the character bonus hit points (“hp”), so it is a desirable score for any character class. Constitution is also important in two other regards, for it determines both a character’s ability to survive being raised from the dead (Survive Resurrection/Raise Dead) and to survive a traumatic magical change in form, such as that caused by a polymorph spell (Survive System Shock).
|Constitution Score||Hit Point Bonus per Die||Survive Resurrection/Raise Dead (d%)||Survive System Shock (minor test) (d%)|
|17||+2 (+3 for Fighters, Paladins, and Rangers)||98||97|
|18||+2 (+4 for Fighters, Paladins, and Rangers)||100||99|
|19||+2 (+5 for Fighters, Paladins and Rangers)||100||99|
Intelligence (“Int”) is a measure of a character’s raw mental power—his or her ability to calculate, recall facts, and solve abstract problems. It is the most important attribute for magic users and illusionists. Intelligence also determines how many additional languages the character may learn beyond those he or she knows at the start of play.
Characters with intelligence higher than 18 are not affected by certain spells of the illusion type (whether cast by a magic user, cleric, illusionist, etc.). A character with intelligence 19 is immune to the effects of fi rst level illusion spells. If a character were somehow to attain the godly intelligence of 20, he or she would also be immune to second level illusion spells, and so on.
|Intelligence Score||Maximum Additional Languages|
A character’s wisdom score (“Wis”) indicates how “in tune” the character is with his or her surroundings. This translates not only to general awareness, but also to mystical attunement and the ability to understand peoples’ motives. It is, in many ways, a measure of the “sixth sense.” Wisdom is the most important attribute for clerics and druids
|Wisdom Score||Mental Saving Throw Bonus|
Charisma (“Cha”) determines the character’s maximum number of henchmen (see Chapter III), the henchmen’s loyalty (which is also applied as a modifier to the henchmen’s morale scores, see “Morale” in Chapter III) and a Reaction Bonus. The Reaction Bonus should be added to the d% roll which indicates how an NPC or creature reacts to negotiation approaches; scores under 30% will generally indicate hostility or attacks, while higher scores may indicate a willingness to negotiate or even make friends. Note that a character is not always permitted a Reaction roll, since some creatures will be hostile irrespective of the character’s charisma, and of course any negotiation approaches must be made in a language that the creature understands
Charisma does not determine the outcome of negotiations, although it will affect them. The GM may well wish to roleplay through the encounter and determine the creature or NPC’s reactions based on what the player says rather than the scores on the character sheet.
For players who understand the importance of henchmen and use them intelligently, charisma is the most important attribute in OSRIC.
|Charisma Score||Maximum Henchmen||Loyalty Bonus (d%)||Reaction Bonus (d%)|