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Table: Attribute scores
ScoreCostModifier
1 –5
2–3 –4
4–5 –3
6–7 –2
8 0 –1
9 1 –1
10 2 +0
11 3 +0
12 4 +1
13 6 +1
14 8 +2
15 11 +2
16 14 +3
17 18 +3
18 22 +4
19 N/A* +4
20–21 N/A* +5
22–23 N/A* +6
24–25 N/A* +7
26–27 N/A* +8
28–29 N/A* +9
30–31 N/A* +10
Etc. N/A* Etc.
* A character may not purchase these scores at creation.

Your character’s most basic strengths and weaknesses are defined by six “attributes” — Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma — each of which begins with a score of 8 to 18.
Your character’s attribute scores begin at 8 each. You may spend 36 points to increase these scores, as shown on Table: Attribute Scores.

Example: Kevin uses his 36 points to purchase a Strength of 13 (6 points), a Dexterity of 15 (11 points), a Constitution of 11 (3 points), an Intelligence of 12 (4 points), a Wisdom of 12 (4 points), and a Charisma of 14 (8 points).

Assign the highest scores to the attributes that represent your character’s strengths and the lowest scores to the attributes that represent his weaknesses. Keep in mind that certain attributes are more important than others for certain classes, and that your Origin often adjusts one or more of them as well (see Table 1.2: Origin Benefits, page 19).
Your character’s attribute scores rise as you gain Career Levels and may rise or fall due to events that happen during your game. After all adjustments are made to your attribute scores, refer to Table: Attribute Scores to determine your character’s attribute modifiers. A positive modifier is called a bonus, while a negative modifier is called a penalty. These are used in a variety of ways, as described in the following sections.

strenGth (str)

Strength measures your character’s physical power and musculature . This attribute is especially valuable to a character who wants to be skilled with hand-to-hand combat or use heavy weapons with high recoil.
Your character’s Strength modifier is applied to:

  • Melee and unarmed attack checks.
  • Damage rolls made when your character successfully attacks using his bare hands or a melee weapon, and sometimes a hurled weapon (though never an explosive, such as a grenade).
  • Overcoming the recoil penalties of powerful weapons.
  • Acrobatics, Athletics, and Intimidate skill checks for which Strength is the key attribute.

dexterIty (dex)

Dexterity measures your character’s hand-eye coordination, reflexes, agility, and balance. This attribute is especially valuable to a character who wants to be good at driving or skilled with firearms. Your character’s Dexterity modifier is applied to:

  • Ranged attack checks, including those made with firearms and hurled weapons.
  • Initiative checks made at the beginning of combat to determine the order in which actions occur.
  • Base Defense, provided that your character can react to the attack.
  • Reflex saving throws, which are made to avoid expected explosions, hurled acid, and similar attacks, to prevent stand offs and taking delayed attacks against teammates and allies, and to instinctively circumvent other pitfalls.
  • Acrobatics, Blend, Drive, Sleight of Hand, and Sneak skill checks for which Dexterity is the key attribute.

constItutIon (con)

Constitution determines your character’s health and toughness. A character’s wound points are initially equal to his Constitution score, so this attribute is important for everyone, but it’s especially valuable to a character who wants to sustain great physical abuse before he goes down. Your character’s Constitution modifier is applied to:

  • The number of vitality points your character gains each time he rises in level. Special Note: A Constitution penalty never reduces the vitality points gained during any single level increase below 1 (i.e. a character always gains at least 1 vitality point each time he gains a level).
  • Fortitude saving throws, which are made to stay awake a long time and resist contagions, critical injuries, and many types of damage.
  • The amount of subdual damage your character may sustain before he must make Fortitude saves to avoid falling unconscious (see page 339).
  • The length of time your character may hold his breath.
  • Athletics and Resolve skill checks for which Constitution is the key attribute.

IntellIGence (Int )

Intelligence represents your character’s ability to learn and reason. This attribute is especially valuable to a character who wants a wide variety of skills. Your character’s Intelligence modifier is applied to:

  • The number of skill points your character gains each time he rises in level. Special Note: An Intelligence penalty never reduces the number of skill points gained during any single level increase below 1 (i.e. a character always gains at least 1 skill point each time he gains a level).
  • The number of skill focuses your character gains at Level 1. Special Note: An Intelligence penalty never reduces the number of skill focuses you possess.
  • Knowledge checks made to determine whether your character is familiar with something that you, the player, are not.
  • Analysis, Computers, Cultures, Electronics, Falsify, Mechanics, Medicine, Science, Search, and Security skill checks for which Intelligence is the key attribute.

WIsdom (WIs)

Wisdom measures your character’s willpower, common sense, intuition, and perception. This attribute is especially valuable to a character who wants a handle on the world around him. Your character’s Wisdom modifier is applied to:

charIsma (cha)

Charisma determines your character’s attractiveness, personality , persuasiveness, and guile. This attribute is especially valuable to a character who wants to lead, trick, or seduce others. Your character’s Charisma modifier is applied to:

  • The number of gear picks your character gains during the Intel Phase of each mission (see pages 211–212).
  • Your character’s Wealth, which determines his Lifestyle, Possessions, and Spending Cash (see pages 211 and 215).
  • Request checks, which are made to gain gear picks in the field.
  • The limit of Joint Actions and many other activities involving multiple characters (including cooperation with most skill checks).
  • Blend, Bureaucracy, Impress, Investigation, Manipulate, Networking, Profession, Sense Motive, Sneak, Streetwise, Survival, and Tactics skill checks for which Charisma is the key attribute.