The player's four attributes are represented not by numbers, but by a bar graph, with blue and green bar representing the value before and after any item enchantments, curses or drains. The attributes are:
- Strength — determines how much damage is done in hand-to-hand combat, and the Maximum Weight the player can carry. (The Maximum Bulk is fixed at 1,000,000 cm³ and, in practice, is not a limiting factor.)
- Dexterity — determines how likely a player is to hit and to block a hit in hand-to-hand combat, and gives the player a chance to avoid damage when he sets off a trap. Also affects Armor Value.
- Intelligence — determines the player's maximum Mana.
- Constitution — determines the player's maximum Hit Points. If a player's Constitution falls too far below its base level, his or her maximum Hit Points will reach zero and he or she will die.
The other standard characteristics include:
- Special attributes (resistances/vulnerabilities to Cold, Fire, Lightning and Drain Life, vulnerability to Acid, and Levitating).
- Hit points and Armor Value, as described in Battle Mechanics.
- Mana, as described in Magic.
- Weight and Bulk: The player's body weight and bulk are not counted here, only the items he is wearing or carrying.
- Copper: The sum of all money, not just copper, carried in the purse and on deposit at the bank.
- Gender: A purely aesthetic choice that determines the default icon.
- Custom Icon: Another aesthetic choice that, when used, makes Gender irrelevant.
Experience and levels
HP and mana increase on level-up, but the four base attributes do not. The experience required to level up is as follows:
- Every player starts Part I at Level 1, with 0 experience.
- 20 experience points are needed to reach Level 2.
- For n > 2, the experience requirement for Level n are those for Level n – 1 plus 20 points at Easy difficulty, 40 at Intermediate, 60 at Difficult, and 80 at Experts Only.
- The maximum level, 30, requires 10,695,475,180 xp at Easy, 16,106,127,320 at Intermediate, 21,558,722,500 at Difficult and 27,011,317,680 at Experts Only.
- Experience rewards for killing monsters range from 1 xp for a Giant Rat or Goblin to 344 xp for Surtur. (Reaching Level 30 by repeatedly killing Surtur would mean doing so 31,091,498, 46,820,138, 62,670,705 or 78,521,272 times, depending on the difficulty level.) Disarming a trap yields 1 to 4 xp.