Stats (short for statistics) are vitally important to RPGs as they determine the outcome of a character's, NPC's, or monster's actions. By using stats, a game designer can determine the powers and skills of characters, monsters, and RPGs as well as run battles smoothly. In short, stats are what separate a Giant Pirate from a common slime and a fighter from a mage.

The Essential RPG Stats

There are four essential RPG stats, hit points, mana, attack, and defense. With these four stats, you can make a very simple RPG. Technically, mana is not quite essential, but as most RPGs include some kind of spell casting element, it has been included.

  • Hit points (HP) - the life "energy" of a character.
  • Mana or Magic Points (MP) - the magic "energy" of a character.
  • Attack - the attack modifier of a character.
  • Defence - the defense modifier of a character.

Secondary Stats

In addition to the four essential RPG stats above, there are several "Secondary Stats". These stats modify the stats above.

  • Agility/Dexterity - affects defense and "armor rating" also sometimes used to determine a character's Ranged 'to hit' chance.
  • Strength - affects maximum damage and in some RPGs, the hit roll.
  • Wisdom - affects spells and natural magic defense.
  • Ranged - affects character competency with ranged weapons
  • Luck - affects both Attack and Defence stats by a small amount.

Non-Combat Oriented Stats

Sometimes games will have stats that are unrelated to combat.

  • Charisma - affects how well you are able to communicate with NPC'S.
  • Mercantile - affects store prices.
  • Perception - able to see things that would normally be invisible.

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