This is meant to be a short guide for beginners with some thoughts regarding the distribution of your Character Creation Points to raise Attributes with a view to game mechanics.
Attributes are very important for your character, as they will determine your chance to succeed at Rolls for all sorts of activities and Adventures, as well as your abilitiy to raise Skills.
They further influence 4 derived Attributes (and Luck possibly one more).
Game Mechanics of Attributes
Attributes used in rolls determining success
When you have to make a Roll to succeed at a choosen activity (Actions, Spells, Abilities) or at an choice in an Adventure, all Rolls involve the use of an Attribute (except were based on an percentile chance).
See Rolls (Guide) for further explanation.
Attributes in Raising Skills
Attributes also determine how easily you can raise a subskill by Actions or Abilites, or when attending your classes and embarking on an Adventure. The recommended level is 6 - you can train skills in a minimum number of SkillSteps (usually 1) up to skill level 11. Attribute of 7 allows to train to skill 13 without penalties, attribute 8 to skill 15 etc.
Expansions to Subskills are given in "Skill Steps" (SS) as opposed to "Skill Levels". In instances where your subskill in question is sufficiently low before attempting to raise it and the attribute corresponding to that skill is sufficiently high, a single skill step will suffice to raise the subskill a full level. Later on, you might have to get several steps to raise a level.
Having a meek 1 Attribute in a study subject (the 6 Skills determined when you choose a College at Character Creation) will mean you have to put up some effort to get a nice grade at the exams because it will take many activities in the sparse time you have to raise all relevant Subskills and Study Levels adequately. If your attribute is quite high, say 4, on the other hand you will find yourself excelling in corresponding Skills with little effort.
Hence, raising Attributes before raising related Skills over a certain threshold means using your time more effectively. Fitness and Insight have some potential early on.
All of the 3 to 7 Subskills of a Skill are almost always connected to the same Attribute, e.g. all 7 History Subskills use Intelligence. There are some exception, mostly School Survival where different Subskills hinge an different Attribute.
Some Attribute/Skill combinations may seem distributed strangely.
The formula is probably floor((Skill_Multiplier * max(1,floor(Current_Skill/Attribute)))) + Skill_Modifier (by Seloun http://academagia.invisionzone.com/index.php?showtopic=1117#entry7079)
Raising Attributes at Character Creation
You will start with all 7 Attributes at "1". Can't raise them all with 5 points, the maximum you can get at this stage is a "3" to single attributes. You can, however, raise all single attributes by choosing certain options at the subsequent stages. Using those options on top, you can raise any Attribute to a starting level of 5; Strength can potentially start at 6, Finesse at 7!
Think about using other options instead of plainly putting a point into an Attribute, that will raise your attributes by a point and give you added benefits on top (possibly at the costs of other penalties).
Importance of single Attributes
ALL Attributes are of importance, no hard and fast rule here. Your choice will also hinge on your playing style. Attributes have different numbers of skills connected to them, so first, here are the hard facts:
Skills are differently important. While it is hard to see how e.g. architecture can possibly play part in a pupils life at school, all play a role in the manifold actions, adventures and random encounters. Might run into a test of architecture here as one possibility to solve a puzzle.
There are, however, skills of high importance. First of all the magical skills.
- Incantation (Finesse) with a range of hostile and beneficent spells especially for duelling
- Negation (Fitness) as your defense against hostile spells, especially in duels
- Revision (Intelligence) as your bread and butter change reality spells for numerous occasions
- Glamour (Charm) - Cast Illusions and Emotions
- Astrology (Luck) - some slick Abilities and Actions
- [somebody want to say something about Enchant?]
Can't really go without those. And the two forbidden magical arts:
Points for Fitness
That is 3x Fitness up to here! And now some other skills:
- Athletics (Fitness) Want to run, swim, punch or wrestle someone? Can't go without.
- Rimbal (Fitness) The ball-game Rimbal was taken out of the first year, but will probably be introduced to play some role when competing with other Colleges.
Read the Article on Stress for further information.
You can't go wrong with investing 3 points on Fitness-related Character Creation choices.
A low level skill boost for Fitness occurs at Acrobatics 3.
Points for Insight
Insight is a key skill for Religion. Religion - Piety 7 opens Cleanse and Remake (Spell) that boosts all attributes by at least 3 and makes it very easy to level up skills to high levels even if you don't have a high relevant attribute. Also, Pray for Money (Ability) (Religion 10) gives 20-200 gold daily and is very easy to level up in the Temple of Iudocia.
There are a couple of low-skill abilities that boost Insight (see Category:Expand Insight):
Points for Intelligence
Highly important for Revision and lots of skills, including Study Habits, Dialectic, Gossip. On par with Insight.
Getting a high Insight to learn Research will lead to tons of options to raise Intelligence later on.
Points for Finesse
Not to miss wholly out on. Additionally it determines, how much gear you can conceal on your body (see Concealment) and possibly reduces Chance of Discovery in areas where you have no business officially.
Points for Charm
The above three skills are of eminent importance.
Points for Luck
Astrology is quite outstanding with some powerful spells. Apart, Luck may be of influence in general Chances of Success and definitely in choices only doable on simple Luck (possibly the "Pure Luck" Skill that is governed by it). No hard facts to corroborate that, but there may be more to it than it seems.
Points for Strength
Lastly Strength appears to have nothing so outstanding apart from Bully by which you can force duels via Vendetta (very late in the game) and School Survival - Schoolyard Education might be worthwhile expanding so you can defend against bullies and do some business instead.
Apart, Strength determines how much you can carry, see Encumbrance.
A lot of choices will hinge on your playing style. You can never be perfect at everything, but work around deficits with spells and other abilities ("buffs").
[who can recommend Forge?]