Attributes are the core stats of a character that determine things like the skills you can get, your success chances for certain abilities or your ability to resist certain ailments.
Your attribute modifier for each attribute is determined by
(attribute value-16)/2, rounded down.
Your attribute modifiers are used to determine roll bonuses in the respective attribute. They can be increased in multiple ways. The easiest way is to level up, as specific levels grant you plus one to all stats. Some mutations can increase Strength, Agility, and Toughness as well. Consuming an Eater's Nectar Injector has a chance to randomly increase one of your attributes (although these are rare and expensive.) Lastly, specific items or randomized relics can increase attributes. This bonus is applied/removed immediately when equipped/unequipped.
When you gain attributes at a later point any gains you would have gotten since level 1 are awarded immediately (intelligence:skill points, toughness:max hp) with no loss to total skill points/hp.
Leveling and attributes:
Every 6 levels, beginning with 6 you'll get +1 to all attributes automatically. (6,12,18,24)
Every 6 levels, beginning with 3, you'll get +1 attribute point to distribute as you see fit. (3,9,15,21)
Creatures other than the player character also have the same attributes, and theirs function the same way. Only other creatures do not distribute their attribute points unless you possess them via Domination or similar effect and distribute the attribute points for them.
"Your strength score determines how effectively you penetrate your opponents' armor with melee attacks, how much damage your melee attacks do, your ability to resist forced movement, and your carry capacity."
Strength is important for a lot of melee characters, as it determines the Penetration Value for most melee weapons. You get extra PV equal to your strength modifier when using melee weapons, up to the weapon's maximum PV value - early-game weapons have a low PV cap, which reduces the utility of very high strength values until later in the game. It will also let you carry heavier equipment to raise your Armor Value to decent levels to compete in late game; you have 15 pounds of carrying capacity for every point of strength. Note that unarmed strikes (hand bone cybernetics included) have effectively no PV cap.
|Charging Strike||19||Axe||Cleave, Charge|
|Charging Strike||19||Cudgel||Bludgeon, Charge|
|Kickback||19||Bow and Rifle|
|Strapping Shoulders||19||Heavy Weapon|
|Hook and Drag||23||Axe|
|Improved Aggressive Stance||23||Long Blade|
|En Garde!||23||Long Blade||Requires (23 Strength and 29 Agility) or (29 Strength and 23 Agility)|
"Your agility score determines your accuracy with both melee and ranged weapons and your ability to dodge attacks."
Agility is very useful for any melee or ranged character as it increases chance to hit. In order to hit an opponent, your d20 roll + agility modifier must be greater than the enemy's d20 roll + DV. For ranged attacks, this roll is also affected by the distance to the opponent and the weapon's innate accuracy; additionally, agility reduces ranged weapons' cone-of-fire, increasing the chance that their projectiles will pass through the tile of the targeted creature to be eligible to have a chance of hitting them in the first place. It also contributes to defence in the form of increasing Dodge Value.
|Offhand Strikes||17||Dual Wield|
|Steady Hands||19||Bow and Rifle|
|Draw a Bead||19||Bow and Rifle|
|Suppressive Fire||19||Bow and Rifle||Draw a Bead|
|Wounding Fire||19||Bow and Rifle||Draw a Bead|
|Sure Fire||19||Bow and Rifle||Draw a Bead|
|Ambidexterity||21||Dual Wield||Offhand Strikes|
|Sling and Run||21||Pistol|
|Pointed Circle||23||Short Blade||Juke|
|Improved Defensive Stance||23||Long Blade|
|En Garde!||23/29||Long Blade||Requires (23 Agility and 29 Strength) or (29 Agility and 23 Strength)|
|Flattening Fire||25||Bow and Rifle||Draw a Bead, Suppressive Fire|
|Disorienting Fire||25||Bow and Rifle||Draw a Bead, Wounding Fire|
|Beacon Fire||25||Bow and Rifle||Draw a Bead, Sure Fire|
|Two-weapon Fighting||25||Dual Wield||Ambidexterity|
|Empty the Clips||27||Pistol|
|Ultra Fire||29||Bow and Rifle||Draw a Bead|
|Fastest Gun in the Rust||29||Pistol|
"Your toughness score determines your number of hit points, your hit point regeneration rate, and your ability to resist poison and disease"
Toughness is very important stats as it affects the amount of Hit Points you get per level and some of the more useful skills are unlocked by having decent toughness. You can never go wrong with extra health.
A level 1 character's max hp is the same as its toughness. Leveling up increases your max hp by a random amount from 1 to 4, plus your Toughness modifier. For example, if a character starts with 18 Toughness (+1 modifier), when they level up to level 2, the game will roll a 1d4, and give the character that much more max health, plus an additional 1 max health from the +1 Toughness modifier. Toughness' influence on previous max hp increases is retroactive, so if you spend 2 ability points to increase Toughness to 20 on that same character, they'll gain an additional 1 max health for every level after 1, and an additional 2 from level 1.
Toughness and willpower determine your rate of health regeneration. Each point in your toughness and willpower modifiers makes you heal 2 more health every 100 turns. The exact formula for health regeneration is 20 + 2 * (Willpower Modifier + Toughness Modifier) health per 100 turns. At 16 willpower and 16 toughness, this is 20 health every 100 turns. However, upon taking damage, this health regeneration is interrupted for 5 turns.
Also increases the maximum tonics you can ingest at once, further increased by Juicer skill from endurance tree.
"Your intelligence score determines your number of skill points and your ability to examine artifacts."
Intelligence determines the number of skill points your character earns each time they gain an experience level. Having decent or high intelligence can help you survive more easily early on in the game as you can unlock important skills earlier. Not to mention that it helps to identify artifacts and create/modify them with the tinker skill. In addition, your intelligence is used to spot hidden threats, such as Young Ivories.
At 10 intelligence, mutants earn 50 skill points and true kin earn 70 skill points upon leveling up. Each point you are above 10 intelligence will increase how many skill points you earn on level-up by 4 (ex: a 11 intelligence mutant nets 54 skill points upon level-up). Just like with toughness and max hp, intelligence's influence on skill points is retroactive - your total earned skill points will act like you had your current intelligence during all previous level-ups.
|Wilderness Lore: Flower Fields||15||Wayfaring|
|Wilderness Lore: Marshes||15||Wayfaring|
|Meal Preparation||15||Cooking and Gathering|
|Harvestry||15||Cooking and Gathering|
|Butchery||15||Cooking and Gathering|
|Lay Mine / Set Bomb||17||Tinkering|
|Wilderness Lore: Mountains||17||Wayfaring|
|Wilderness Lore: Canyons||17||Wayfaring|
|Spicer||17||Cooking and Gathering|
|Carbide Chef||17||Cooking and Gathering|
|Dueling Stance||17||Long Blade|
|Wilderness Lore: Jungles||19||Wayfaring|
|Wilderness Lore: Salt Pans||19||Wayfaring|
|Tactful||19||Customs and Folklore|
|Set Limb||19||First Aid|
|Wilderness Lore: Ruins||21||Wayfaring|
|Trash Divining||21||Customs and Folklore|
|Improved Dueling Stance||21||Long Blade||Dueling Stance|
|Tinker II||23||Tinkering||Tinker I|
|Tinker III||29||Tinkering||Tinker II|
"Your willpower score modifies the cooldowns of your activated abilities, determines your ability to resist mental attacks, and modifies your hit point regeneration rate."
Each point of willpower above 16 (not each point of modifier, as with most other attribute effects, but each actual point of willpower) decreases your ability cooldowns by 5%, stacking additively up to a maximum reduction of 80% at 32 willpower or a minimum cooldown of 5 rounds. Similarly, each point of willpower below 16 increases the length of your ability cooldowns by 5%.
Willpower and toughness determine your rate of health regeneration. Each point in your toughness and willpower modifiers makes you heal 2 more health every 100 turns. The exact formula for health regeneration is 20 + 2 * (Willpower Modifier + Toughness Modifier) health per 100 turns. At 16 willpower and 16 toughness, this is 20 health every 100 turns. However, upon taking damage, this health regeneration is interrupted for 5 turns.
|Mind Over Body||29||Self-discipline|
"Your ego score determines the potency of your mental mutations, your ability to haggle with merchants, and your ability to dominate the wills of other living creatures."
Ego is another very important stat, especially for Esper/Esper-like mutants, because it can boost mental mutations over their level 10 cap. Other than that it is useful for extra profit when trading with merchants. This can be useful if you plan on investing skill points in Tinker II and Tinker III as higher tier data disks cost a lot.
The effects of Ego on merchant buy and sell prices are modeled below; note in particular that Ego yields diminishing returns for buy prices. An ego bonus above +9 (including the effective +2 from Snake Oiler, if applicable) has no effect. Note that this means that Snake Oiler will eventually become useless for completely Ego-focused builds.
|Merchant Sell Price||Sell Price Change||Merchant Buy Price||Buy Price Change|
|Gameplay Mechanics||Achievements - Character Creation(Calling - Arcologies) - Cooking and Gathering - Cooking Recipes - Desecration - Dismemberment - Journal - Faction Hero - Psychic Glimmer- Psychic Assassin - Modification - Relic - Scrap & Bits - Tinkering - Trade - Water Ritual - Reputation - Wish/Cheats|
|Character Mechanics||Attributes - Quickness - Move Speed - AV - DV - Mental Armor - Hitpoints - Experience - Temperature - Skills - Mutation - Cybernetics - Mutants - True Kin|
|Major Categories||Artifacts - Armor & Equipment - Weapons - Monsters - Factions - Locations - Quests|
|Elemental Damages >||Acid - Electrical - Cold - Heat - Astral - EMP - Explosive - Light - Mental - Vibration|
|Status Effects >||Astrally Burdened - Astrally Tethered - Bleeding - Confused - Dazed - Fates Have Their Way - Fear - Flaming - Frozen - Ill - Itchy Skin - Lovesick - Paralyzed - Phased - Poison - Prone - Sleep - Slipped - Sprinting - Stuck - Stunned|