What follows is a description of attributes used in the Shadowrun game as well as a general idea of what is high and low. Keep in mind that the chart directly below indicates what may be expected in NPCS, with metahumans raising and lowering those averages by their own modifiers.

Human Attribute Ratings
Rating Description
1 Weak
2 Underdeveloped
3 Average
4 Improved
5 Superior
6 Maximum Unmodified Human

Physical Attributes

Physical attributes are what others can see about you, how strong or fast or durable you are. They are often measures of a character's athletic or combat prowess.


Strength is a measure of what your muscles can do. Characters with a low Strength score may be small, skinny, slight, overweight, or too busy to work out. A high Strength score may indicate someone who is tough, wiry, able to use their body to their best advantage, or simply BIG.


Body represents your stamina, resistance to disease and injury, how well you heal and how well you adapt to physical changes. A low score may represent someone who is prone to injury or disease, is underfed or malnourished, is fragile or gets winded easily. A high Body score may be unbelievably durable, highly immune to disease, or able to recover from physical shocks with ease.


Quickness represents a character’s motor reflexes, balance, metabolism, running speed, flexibility and coordination and much more. Low scores in this attribute may mean that you are clumsy, unable to react swiftly, freeze up in battle, or have some sort of physical injury or impairment that makes movement difficult. A high Quickness may reflect heightened coordination, exceptional agility from years of training in gymnastics or martial arts, athletic training, and so forth.

Mental Attributes

Mental attributes are more nebulous than Physical attributes, but none the less important. They are often important to technological and magical characters, although all archetypes may find them significant.


Charisma is a nebulous attribute. More than just looks, Charisma represents a character’s personal aura, self-image, ego, willingness to find out what people want and give it to them, and ability to recognize what he can and can’t get out of people. A high Charisma does not mean you are beautiful. A low Charisma does not mean you are ugly. A character with a low Charisma might have social problems in dealing with other people, or may have a poor attitude or an inability to control their temper. A person with a high Charisma might be good at putting people at ease, have a good rapport with other metahumans, the ability to read subconscious body language and signs, or have a commanding personality.


Intelligence is a sign of many factors, not the least of which is your ability to analyze information, remember things, how fast you can learn and adapt. A low Intelligence doesn't mean you are stupid or unable to learn, but you may have trouble vocalizing what you know, may be easily distracted, have perception problems or rely on their gut instead of thinking things through. Those with high Intelligence may simply have had more chances to learn information, or may be gifted with the ability to notice small details, think laterally, or a gift of multi-tasking. School learning is not always an indicator of Intelligence.


Willpower is a measure of your raw determination and self-control. A person with a low Willpower might be easily led or who crumple in the face of danger. Those with high Willpower have a never say die attitude or are capable of pushing themselves far beyond the average man. John McClane is an example of this sort of thing. Willpower is also a deciding factor on both sides of Magic, both for casters and resisting mental magical manipulations.

Special Attributes

These attributes do not follow the above chart, and can be modified by various outside influences and/or are determined by other attributes.


Reaction is a measure of how quickly a character can react in the face of danger and under pressure. A character with good reflexes will have a high Reaction. Reaction is determined by the average of the character's Intelligence and Quickness, rounded down.


Essence is a measure of the nebulous things that make up the character, their life force and cohesive strength. Things that corrupt or invade the body such as drugs or cyberware decrease a character's Essence. A starting PC will have an Essence of 6, and this number is reduced due to cyberware, some toxins, long-term drug or chip use, and some paracritters.

Bio Index

Bio Index is an attribute that measures the amount of invasive bioware the character may have installed. This score may not exceed the character's Essence Rating +3, nor may it exceed 9 total points regardless of Essence.


Magic is a measure of the character's ability to perform magical tasks such as summoning elementals or casting spells. The higher the Magic Rating, the more magic the character is able to handle without causing harm to themselves. A character with a 0 in Magic is unable to use magic at all. Some drugs, cyberware and bioware all have an impact on the character's Magic Rating.

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