In Vampire roleplaying, Attributes are interwoven into storytelling; in V:tM-R, the familiar physical stats of Strength and Dexterity are used very much as they are in most computer RPGs. On the surface, the rest more closely resemble a technology tree in a real-time strategy game; for the years of the zenith of the game, they were widely considered to be mostly just requirements for skills, or Disciplines, or the consumption of Discipline Tomes.
Throughout the years of playing since then, players have noted the telling details that point to many of the mental skills as being more closely tied to the success of skills than the purchase of additional dots. Just as the physical attributes have a bearing on damage and to-hit chances and other game mechanics, Wits, for example, affects the success rate of Feed, and makes it easier to avoid Frenzy. Manipulation affects the selling price of loot. Charisma has a bearing on the success of Dominate and Presence-based skills such as Awe.
Stamina has a very different effect on survivability than its counterparts in other games. Instead of contributing to the health pool, Stamina acts as damage reduction.
Affects melee damage. Although it does not share the same direct effect on ranged weapon damage, it has a pretty close correlation there also; heavy weapons such as chainguns and rocket launchers also have high strength requirements. Dark Ages armor requires strength; modern does not. Generally speaking, the more damage a melee weapon has, the less Accuracy it has. As in most games, there is a tension between the need for more Strength for more damage, and more dexterity for more accuracy. In the Damage Formula, the attacker's Strength is, roughly speaking, compared with the defender's Stamina
Significantly affects the percentage chance of hitting a target; consequently its effect on damage over time is more than significant. In the Damage Formula, a comparison of the attacker's Dexterity with the defender's Dexterity is one of the factors that determines the chance to hit. Suffiiciently high dexterity, then, makes it possible to evade attacks. It seems likely, although it is not proven, that it affects the chance for Lethal weapon wielders to decapitate enemies.
The amount of extra listed points of accuracy on weapons like a Flamberge is always higher than the reduction in damage points, when compared to Falchions and the like. If this works out in the damage formulas as a higher stat, then this would make the more dexterous weapons a better deal in terms of reducing the need for Attribute points to be spent. More accurate weapons are certainly more reliable; in a game with Save and Reload, though, reliability can be replaced by repetition.
Dexterity is also used as a prerequisite for the wielding of bow weapons.
Affects damage taken. 50 Stamina, which is what Erik starts with, gives 15 resistance to Blunt and Lethal, and 10 to Aggravated damage. The amount can easily be seen by removing all armor. In the Damage Formula, the defender's Stamina, Soak, Fortitude bonus, etc, are subtracted from the attacker's Strength and damage bonuses.
Required for, and affects the success of, Presence's awesome Awe skill. Additional dots in the skill do not affect success at all, only duration. 100 points of Charisma, though, raises the success rate by a little under 50%. Specifically, a base 2/3 success rate is increased to over 90%.
Affects prices at shops. The formula for price increase on items sold is very close to .7% per point spent. A Light Helm, for example, sells for 98 cash at 20 MAN, 102 at 25 MAN, and 120 at 50 MAN. Expect the increase of the money gained for such an ~100 cash item to follow the progression of an increase of 1 cash for each of two points spent, then no increase, then an increase of 1 cash for each of three spent, then no increase, then two, then none, then three, then none, etc. 1, 1, 0, 1, 1, 1, 0, etc. Enough Manipulation, and you can buy items for less than you sell them. Not really faster even once you get it high enough, than saving and reloading at loot chests, since the big-ticket items from chests are so lucrative. And since players that equate privation with gameplay will disdain Manipulation manipulation, not a more legit substitution either. Required for Animalism, Dementation, and Dominate's first two skills
Appearance can be increased to a great extent with normal non-magic jewellery - rings, bracelets and necklaces. The full maximum of 100 can be acquired with a full set of Diamond jewellery; only Nosferatu or characters using Skin of the Adder would need more than 80, with characters starting at 20. 50 is required for Entrancement.
Required, in general, for direct-damage spells such as in the Thaumaturgy paths and eg Mortis' Plague Wind. Additional intelligence does not affect damage at all.
A very useful attribute. It is required for Obfuscate skills and the Thaumaturgy disciplines Blood Magic, Blood Rituals, Lure of Flames and Hands of Destruction. Also, for Mortis' first skill of raising, and second skill of controlling dead creatures. Required for The Forgetful Mind. It also represents the character's natural resistance against mind-affecting disciplines. It can be very effective against certain enemies like Setites and their annoying Eyes of the Serpent discipline, but only if raised high enough (75 or more).
Most Discipline tomes do not have requirements; here are the exceptions. Note that many disciplines will have differing requirements for individual skills within the same discipline group, and the requirements for tomes are often different from the skills as well.
- Thaumaturgy-Blood Rituals, Lure of Flames, Blood Magic, all require 25 Intelligence and Wits. Hands of Destruction requires these, and also for Humanity to be lowered from its base of 70 to 60 (Christof starts with 60 in single player but player choices can raise it by 50, not past the maximum of 100)
- Protean and Auspex require 25 Perception
- Mortis, Numina (human only) and Obfuscate, all 25 Wits
- Animalism and Dominate both require 25 Manipulation
- Dementation 25 Charisma
- Faith (human only) = requires 25 Faith. The Faith replaces vampires' Frenzy on the character display of humans