In Dragon Warrior, there are four primary statistics, and two secondary statistics. The four primary stats are based directly on the character's level and name, while the secondary are based from Strength and Agility.
The name is used to determine both the base stats, and which of the two statistics are used to grow more quickly.
Only the first four characters in the player's name affect stats, and only if they are not blank. To determine the result, look on the table to the right for a given character, and select the top-most row to get the "number" of a given letter (either a number itself, or from "a" to "f", the numbers 10 through 15.) Add them, and divide the result by 16; the remainder is used to determine the stats.
The usually preferred remainder, 12 for STR/HP, is obtained simply by naming your character either "!" or "J". Another very good one, 14, is obtained from "L", for STR/AGI, giving more first-strikes, among others. The other great choices have the remainder within the range 12 through 15.
Effect of statistics
The base attack power is equal to the character's strength, and is modified by the weapon the player is using.
The base defense power is equal to one half of the character's agility. It is modified by the armor and shield carried by the character.