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Genetics of Magicosm
Posted Wednesday, March 28, 2001

Characters in Magicosm have a set of attributes that describe the basic nature of their character. These attributes will have long term effects on what the character is good (or bad) at, so choose carefully. We'll try to warn you during the character creation process if you've chosen attribute values that are so low that your character will be prohibited from doing something in the future, or if you've chosen values that will make you especially good at some things.

The basic character attributes fall into three categories : Physical attributes, Mental attributes and secondary attributes. Physical attributes are associated with the character's body ; mental attributes are associated with the character's mind. Some special abilities will allow transfering a mind from one body to another or disembodying a mind ; in these cases, the character gets the physical attributes of the current body.

Physical Attributes

Strength Increases melee damage and offsets wieldiness penalties for heavy weapons.
Agility Increases chance to hit with melee and missile weapons. Gives bonuses to dodge.
Dexterity Bonuses for some thieving skills such as picking pockets, removing traps, etc. Also required for some mage skills and spells.
Constitution Resistance to disease and damage.

Mental attributes :

Willpower Resistance to mind control and pain.
Intelligence Bonus for learning knowledge from books, spellcasting, most research, etc.
Faith Measure of the strength of your spiritual link to the gods and the supernatural.
Charisma The influence one exerts over the weaker minded (i.e. non-player controlled) denizens of Magicosm by sheer force of personality. Charisma also affects the efficacy of some mind affecting spells and skills, even on player characters.
Perception How aware you are of the world around you. It determines how well you detect feints by your opponent, how well you can "size up" an opponent, etc.

Attribute values range from one to one hundred. Fifty is an average value for a human. All of your attributes will start at the average value for your race, and you will have a pool of bonus points to increase your attributes. Notice that it costs more from your pool to increase an attribute that is already high, i.e. going from 50 to 51 is going to cost much less than going from 99 to 100. Notice also that you can decrease attributes to gain more points in your pool. There is a law of diminishing returns, as you decrease the attribute further and further you will get fewer and fewer points for it. Don't leave any points in your pool ; the pool is only good for increasing your attributes.

The values that you specify here are the base attribute values. Your attributes will improve over time, but never to better than 50 % over your base attribute value (refered to as your peak attribute value), unless you obtain magic to improve your attributes. Note that virtually no magic item except for earrings improves your attributes.

Magicosm uses a skill web to determine how good your character is at virtually everything. This skill web is a huge list of skills that your character can have, and many of the skills depend on other skills. For example, your skill in "long sword" may depend on your "swordsmanship" skill, which in turn depends on your "melee weapon" skill, which in turn depends on your "strength". Note that strength, one of your attributes, is counting as a skill here. All of your attributes form the "roots" of this skill tree. Every skill you have is, at some level, based on one or more of your attributes, and your attributes depend on no other skill. Even though your attributes are based on no other skill, using some skills will improve your attributes towards their peak value.

There are also some secondary attributes. These typically represent values that have some maximum when you're at full normal health, and which diminish as they're used up. Then, when you rest or otherwise recuperate, these values come back up to their maximum. These secondary attributes are as follows :

Hit points The amount of damage a character can absorb. This secondary attribute is based on your constitution and can be increased by developing certain skills.
Stamina The amount of work your character can do before he gets tired. This secondary attribute is based on your strength and can be increased by developing certain skills. This will determine how many times you can swing a sword or how far you can sprint before you collapse.
Power The amount of mana your character has available to do magic. This secondary attribute is based on your willpower and either your faith or your intelligence, whichever is higher. Power can be increased by developing certain skills. Note that power refers only to your character's inherent mana (see this for a further description of magic). Characters may also have other banks of mana. For some character races this inherent mana type is Faery mana, for most it is Natural mana.

You can double click on your attribute to see specifically how it will affect your character's abilities. For example, double clicking on strength will show the damage bonus and wieldiness offset for your character's current strength.

Every point in your attributes counts. For some attributes, changes that you make now will not appear to affect your bonuses and penalties. For example, the bonuses between a 50 and a 51 strength may not be apparent now. As your character advances small differences in starting attributes become more important. If you want to bump all your stats down by one point to increase your agility over the threshold to give yourself another point of bonus to dodge, go ahead. However, at some point in your character's career that one point that you took off of each other stat _will_ affect you. Consider yourself warned.

If you make a mistake in assigning your attribute values, don't be too concerned. There are ways that you can "refocus" your character as time goes on, and iron out the mistakes you might have made during character creation.

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