Character Attributes in Ultima II
Characters in Ultima II have different statistics that affect gameplay. This article will attempt to cover these characteristics.
Characters have "hitpoints" that determine the maximum number of damage they can recieve. Any character in Ultima II begins with 400 hitpoints, and these are increased by paying tribute to either Lord British or the Lord of Castle Barataria. Note that the higher the hit points are, the lower the gain per unit of gold.
Experience is obtained by killing monsters. One hundred experience points (Exp) are needed to go up one level, but a character's level seems to be only a "score gauge", with no other noticeable effects.
Characters in this game have six attributes or statistics (often abbreviated as "stats"), each with a value from 10 to 99, which govern different aspects of gameplay:
- Strength: heaviest armor that can be worn; damage done by a character (if agility allowed to hit).
- Agility: most powerful weapon that can be wielded; chance to hit; chance to successfully steal (although stealing is unnecessary).
- Stamina: absorb part of damage suffered (whereas the armour determines evasion rate).
- Charisma: prices in shops.
- Wisdom: ability to successfully cast spells (Cleric and Wizard only).
- Intelligence: both prices in shops and spellcasting power (for one Wizard's spell only).
These attributes can be raised (somewhat randomly) by visiting the clerk at the "Desk" of "The Hotel" (California) in New San Antonio in the year 1990 A.D. For a donation of 100 gold, there is a 50% chance of him raising an attribute.
When creating a new character, the following steps are taken, in order:
- Distribute 90 points between the six attributes, in order. Each attribute must have at least 10 points allocated to it (but not all points must be spent)
- Choose a gender (M/F)
- Choose a race (#1-4, see above)
- Choose a profession ("Type," #1-4, see above).
- Assign the character a name (maximum of 12 letters).
| Actually, it is more convenient to plan ahead backwards (e.g. on a piece of paper):
Ultima II allows each character to be either male or female. The choice of gender affects attributes as follows:
|Gender||Attribute bonus||Notes and suggestions|
|Male||Strength +5|| Both genders give a bonus to one of the most important attributes. |
Because of bonus size, it is apparent that a female character is more powerful than a male.
|Race||Attribute bonus||Notes and suggestions|
|1. Human||Intelligence +5||Choose race and profession that give bonus to different attributes.|
|2. Elf||Agility +5|
|3. Dwarf||Strength +5|
|4. Bobbit||Wisdom +10||A larger starting bonus to the attribute that is useless at game start.|
Characters can be one of four professions. The player's choice of profession does not affect choice of weapons or armour, but does determine which spells the character can cast, if any (see Sosarian Magic for details).
The following table shows the attribute bonuses each profession receives (in the IBM-PC version; bonuses in other ports may vary slightly)::
|Profession||Attribute bonus||Notes and suggestions|
|1. Fighter|| Strength +15
(+10 in C64 port)
|Cannot use magic, therefore during the random attribute-raising, about 4000 GP will be wasted on Wisdom.|
|2. Cleric||Wisdom +10, 6 spells||The best dungeon crawler, but less powerful at game start.|
|3. Wizard||Intelligence +10, 6 spells||The most powerful class.|
|4. Thief||Agility +10||The least powerful profession: she is just a "wizard without magic" or a "fighter with less strength".|