Character Generation - Part 2

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Attributes

Attributes in Witchcraft and Wizardry are very different from the standard traits found in most role-playing games. Rather than measuring strictly physical and mental qualities like strength or intelligence, these attributes focus on more conceptual qualities. They might be thought of as personality traits, or one's natural behavioral tendencies. They describe how a character approaches tasks. The advantage of attributes like these is that each attribute can be used for physical, mental, social, and even magical rolls.

The five attributes are named as adjectives to help players consider how much that trait applies to their character. Is the character especially precise? Tenacious? Forceful?

You have 13 points to spend on your five attributes; each point is worth 1 rank in a given attribute. Every attribute must have at least 1 rank, but no more than 4. Consider character, as attributes never change. They represent inherent aptitudes and core traits.

The Five Attributes

Abstract

Abstract is the most unusual of the five attributes, as its uses are not as straightforward as the others. This attribute measures one's aptitude for seeing and functioning "outside the box". It is the ability to connect ideas and perceive patterns others might not see, and to take advantage of those. This also translates into one's creativity and artistic talent.

Example Uses of Abstract

  • Magical: Divination, spell alteration, creating new spells, spells that involve creative expression (e.g. Hairstyling Charm, Living Portrait Spell)
  • Mental: Creative thinking, artistic expression, invention, strategy/tactics, analysis
  • Physical: Initiative in combat (due to the ability to see order in the chaos, apply strategy, and act effectively upon it)
  • Social: Artistic expression or performance (e.g. painting a portrait, performing a dance, reciting a poem)

Precise

This measures one's finesse, focus, and precision. This is the "doing" attribute, used when taking direct action, particularly that which requires accuracy over raw power.

Example Uses of Precise

  • Magical: Spells that require aim or finesse (e.g. Disarming Charm, Arrow-Shooting Spell)
  • Mental: Academic research, searching a room, coding a program
  • Physical: Targeted attacks, picking a lock
  • Social: Manipulation, coercion, and persuasion

Intense

This attribute measures one's force and follow-through. This is the "affecting" attribute, useful for overwhelming one's target or pushing through resistance.

Example Uses of Intense

  • Magical: Spells that overwhelm or utilize raw power over precision (e.g. Cannon Curse, Full Body-Bind Curse, total transformation)
  • Mental: Recalling information from memory
  • Physical: Overpowering attacks, kicking a door in, weightlifting
  • Social: Browbeating, raw charisma

Responsive

Responsive determines how well one reacts to external forces. It measures quick thinking, reaction time, and the ability to avoid danger.

Example Uses of Responsive

  • Magical: Spells used as a quick response (e.g. Shield Charm)
  • Mental: Noticing something unusual (i.e. passive perception, as opposed to active searching), answering a trivia question on the spot
  • Physical: Dodging an attack, quick reflexes, driving defensively
  • Social: Empathy, sniffing out a lie

Tenacious

Tenacious measures one's ability to suffer though hardship and withstand opposition. This is the "enduring" attribute, useful for resisting undesirable effects.

Example Uses of Tenacious

  • Magical: Shaking off or resisting magical effects, spells that bolster defense (e.g. Hardening Charm)
  • Mental: Test of patience, willpower
  • Physical: Enduring pain, resisting fatigue/sleep
  • Social: Keeping one's composure in the face of emotional turmoil
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