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Attributes are traits that measure a character's innate capabilities in both the Storyteller and Storytelling systems; most are common to both systems, though a few are different in each. They are one of the three main categories of traits, alongside Abilities or Skills - with which they are often combined to form dice pools – and Advantages.

In both systems, the majority of characters have nine attributes, grouped into three categories: Physical, Social and Mental. Normal mortal humans and most animals are limited to ratings of between 1 and 5, though in extreme cases they may have attribute ratings of zero. Especially large or fast animals may have Physical attributes beyond this range, though they rarely outclass humans in the other categories.

Supernatural creatures, including vampires, werewolves, Prometheans, Novas and Exalts, are often capable of raising their attributes beyond mortal capability. These greater limits may be temporarily granted by the application of supernatural powers, or permanent, as the creature's supernatural body and mind have potential beyond the limitations of mortals.

Storyteller System attributes

The attributes used in the Storyteller and Revised Storyteller Systems, and thus by World of Darkness, Exalted, and Trinity Universe games, are as follows:

  • Physical attributes:
    • Strength - raw physical strength.
    • Dexterity - speed and ease of movement, covering both full body movement (i.e. gymnastics) and hand-eye coordination.
    • Stamina - physical hardiness, including resistance to disease and physical trauma and how fast you can recover.
  • Social attributes:
    • Charisma - how you come across to others socially; how you conduct yourself in public when not actively interacting with others.
    • Manipulation - how easily you bend others to your will, either through persuasion or threats.
    • Appearance - your level of attractiveness; may be raised temporarily with clothing or other adornment.
  • Mental attributes:
    • Intelligence - memory and raw brain power.
    • Perception - your ability to notice things, to perceive the world around you, through all your senses.
    • Wits - quickness of thinking; measures how easily you make leaps of logic or intuition.


Main article: Spirit (WOD)

Spirits in the Classic World of Darkness do not possess attributes; instead they are defined in terms of Willpower and the Werewolf: The Apocalypse traits of Rage and Gnosis. Some beings from the Umbra, such as certain Umbrood and demons, are not technically spirits (at least, not mechanically); these beings may have Attributes instead of (or in addition to) Rage and Gnosis ratings.


Main article: Mega-Attribute

Novas, from the Trinity Universe games (most notably Aberrant), did not increase their base Attributes beyond five dots; instead, they could acquire Mega-Attributes, each are normally rated from 1 to 5 dots, which represented exponentially greater power than the regular Attributes.

Storytelling System attributes

In the Storytelling System, attributes are classed as either Power, Finesse or Resistance attributes, with one of each in the three categories. Some of these attributes contribute to other traits, and most resemble those of the old system, except where noted:

  • Physical attributes:
    • Strength - Physical Power. Directly contributes to a character's Speed trait.
    • Dexterity - Physical Finesse. Directly contributes to a character's Speed trait, and affects a character's Defense trait.
    • Stamina - Physical Resistance. Directly contributes to a character's Health trait.
  • Social attributes:
    • Presence - Social Power.
    • Manipulation - Social Finesse.
    • Composure - Social Resistance; the ability to stay focused and calm under emotional pressure, and to resist emotional manipulation. Directly contributes to a character's Willpower trait, and used with Wits for perception related tasks.
  • Mental attributes:
    • Intelligence - Mental Power.
    • Wits - Mental Finesse. Used with Composure for perception related tasks, and affects a character's Defense trait.
    • Resolve - Mental Resistance; a character's strength of will and intellectual focus. Directly contributes to a character's Willpower trait.

Creatures of Twilight and Shadow

Spirits, ghosts and similar ephemeral beings have only three attributes: Power, Finesse and Resistance. As they also do not possess skills, they use these attributes for all tasks.