In addition to primary attributes, characters also possess attributes that are either "fluff" statistics or statistics used to derive other statistics (see Derived Attributes, below).
A character's level represents an arbitrary rating of experience and overall "toughness". Characters increase levels by gaining experience. "Advancing a level" is a mini-game where players spend skill points and perk slots after they achieve the next highest requisite experience point total. A character's level affects the following things:
- Total hit points
- Total skill points
- Total perks
- Access to perks
Experience points more finely represent what level does: "adventuring" experience and overall toughness. Characters earn experience points by doing tasks (solving quests, killing monsters, using skills, figuring things out). When characters get enough experience, they can advance a level. Experience points only affect one thing: character level.
Race is not ethnicity (skin color, for our purposes). Race specifies if the character is a human, super mutant, ghoul, animal, plant, or robot. Race affects a variety of statistics. Most notably, it affects the following:
- Primary attributes: super mutants have bonuses to strength, ghouls have bonuses to intelligence, but both have penalties to charisma (for example).
- Secondary Attributes: super mutants and ghouls can have much higher age values, and their body frame choices are limited. Available traits are also limited by a creature's race.
- Derived Attributes: many races have inherent thresholds and resistances. For instance, super mutants have several inherent damage thresholds, ghouls have high radiation resistance, and all living creatures have the highest possible EMP thresholds (robots do not).
Age is simply a value associated with a character. It has no inherent value, but players should assign attributes appropriately for the age of their character.
This is the character's biological sex. It has no direct effect on any other statistics.
This basically defines the skin color of the character for humans (Caucasian, Asian, African, Hispanic, etc.) and possibly some ghouls. It has no direct effect on any game stats.