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Terminology Question: Characteristics vs Attributes


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I know that BRP uses both terms. I am purely asking about the collective term for the basic character traits (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, etc).


So, when developing what would become BRP, Greg Stafford went with the term "Characteristics". However, Gygax went with "Attributes" which (based on my personal experience of 30+ years gaming) seems to be more common.


Does anyone know why this difference began? Where it may have started if I haven't found the sources in my mini-description above? etc

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RQ always used Characteristics for STR/CON/SIZ/INT/POW/DEX/CHA and Attributes for derived things, such as Hit Points/Strike Ranks.


As to why this is different from D&D, I haven't a clue. Maybe because they are different games and wanted to differentiate themselves? Maybe because it makes sense for the two to have different terms.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 


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Guest Vile Traveller

Who knows why - I would have assumed it was because different writers had different ideas about how best to describe their version. There are plenty of games that use the same word so I doubt it was a copyright thing even if that were possible. D&D / AD&D uses the term 'abilities', not attributes, by the way.


Every gamer I've ever played with calls them 'stats', anyway!  :P

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