Character Attributes (RPG)

All Characters of note in a RPG game of BattleTech have a set of basic attributes. These attributes influence as a whole the basic baseline for a character. Characters have seven basic attributes which define the character. Less attributes may be assigned to other characters in cases where the extra traits would be irrelevant, like minor characters, such as thugs, which really only need STR, BOD, and RFL, and a WILL attribute, in the event that the players only engage with these characters through combat. Similarly, buerocrats might only need INT and CHA attributes for when the player is negotiating with them.

(Almost) all of these have an influence on any Skill check a character may have to face, as most skills are tied to an attribute. Martial Arts for example is tied to STR (indirectly), as well as DEX and WILL. In general, Attributes shouldn't be checked against if it can link to a relevant skill instead.

These attributes haven't changed very much since the Classic Battletech RPG, Second Edition.

An attribute at 0 usually means some form of major disability. A Body attribute of 0 is generally accepted to mean that the character is dead.

The "average character" should have an attribute of 5 in all skills before anything else about them changes.

  1. STR (Strength)
  2. BOD (Body)
  3. RFL (Reflexes)
  4. INT (Intelligence)
  5. WILL (Willpower)
  6. CHA (Charisma)
  7. EDG (Edge)


Strength is effectively a raw measure of the character's raw physical power. This at the basic level influences the damage that goes into melee attacks, and also influences how much the character can carry. Many physical combat oriented skills tie into strength, including the ranges of throwing weapons. Your average clan Elemental has an attribute of 7 here.


Body is a measure of how fit, and in shape a character is. This is an important attribute for any character expecting to be caught in a fight. The body attribute directly influences how much of a beating a character can take before they start taking critical wounds. If a character ever receives damage in battle that doubles this value, they will die.


This attribute is a measure of how well a character can "think fast". A higher attribute in this field generally leads to faster response times, and overall quicker movement. This is not to be confused with dexterity though.


Dexterity is a measure of how well the character can handle fine motor activity, from handling a computer system, to operating a firearm. In general it implies better hand-eye coordination. Overall this attribute improves the character's ability to do complex, fine tasks, such as lock picking.


As would be inferred, this attribute is a measure of the character's mental capacity, and ability to reason. This attribute is usually tied to specific fields of expertise, such as being a technician.


This trait might be construed to be synonymous with "stubbornness". This trait measures the overall bravery of the character. This attribute helps a character to overcome fear, and keep going, even while injured.


This attribute is a measure of the character's general appearance, and overall capacity to charm people. This attribute ties into quite a few non-combat related traits, from interrogation to bartering and negotiating.


Synonymous with luck. A character with edge is overall more lucky! This trait doesn't tie into many skills, but it can be "burned" to either reroll a bad roll of dice when the character fails at a task, or this can be used to further improve the result of a success. This can be "burned out" and make the character "run out of luck". Depending on the game master, Edge can be earned back over time, or it in some cases can be bought with spare XP, if the game master allows it.


A Time of War