Here’s the description of all the attributes I wrote up for an attempt at a roleplay a little while back (early August to be exact).
Attributes (atts for short) basically describe a character’s personality, worldview, and approach to solving problems. They’re a little like a horoscope in reverse—instead of getting qualities based on what category
you’re in, based on your qualities you get a category.
There are 16 in all, divided into two types: Directed (D) and Undirected (UD). Directed attributes relate to things that give you agency—such as strengths—while Undirected attributes relate to things that take agency away from you—weaknesses, major problems.
- Synthesis (S): Tends to be strictly neutral and logical, and/or think quickly in a way that focuses on connections. May come up with creative ways seemingly unrelated things go together. May be bad at treating other people as people and not clockwork gears to assemble.
- Unity (U): Tends to approach things very calmly and intuitively, and/or have somewhat mystical views, and/or be good at harmonising with other people and/or the environment. Might not be super good at mechanically complex problems that require a lot of logical thought/specific experience; also, some may be better at teamwork than working alone.
- Machination (M): Tends to make elaborate plans yet also be good extemporaneously, with an ability to react and adjust quickly to the environment; may be a good leader. Will often have a somewhat fluid façade persona/views that can change depending on what’s needed to succeed, perhaps allowing them to sneak in and manipulate the system in rather Machiavellian ways. May overthink things, and/or make people distrustful by doing too much covertly without explaining to them what’s going on.
- Fantasy (Fn): Tends to daydream impractically and prolifically and/or be very imaginative; often a little detached from reality and the matter at hand, and often doesn’t want to get up and actually solve problems. If
they can actually realise their ideas they’re often a real sight to behold though; could well become some kind of great reformer or something.
- Verity (V): Tends to operate based on knowledge/objectivity/facts over emotions/beliefs and doing what is objectively the best option in the big picture, and/or have a big “quest” to solve some huge big-picture problem. Tends to be “the smart one” who knows best, but in preferring facts may sometimes appear to be cold and heartless. May also be hugely indecisive if no option is objectively the best.
- Faith (Ft): Tends to believe/act before thinking, and/or be very compassionate, and/or have a great capacity to be dynamic and motivational and rush out to fight seemingly impossible odds. Unfortunately many are quick to get themselves into big trouble this way.
- Esteem (Es): Tends to have a somewhat idealised picture of things and operate through charisma/awesomeness. Somewhat like Fantasy but actually want to solve problems and will try their very best. Above all else, tends to handle things like failures gracefully, always striving to be a better role model and leader. May silently fuss over little details and be deeply hurt by implications they’re rude, unmajestic, or going nowhere.
- Will (W): Tends to disregard everyone else in favour of self, and/or be very forceful, pushy, and/or tough/endurant. Tends to be kind of friendless but if they have friends, they’ll stand firm and power through whatever is causing their friends trouble.
- Totality (T): special attribute for somebody who is all the Directed attributes at once (uncommon), or none of them in particular (common).
- Nothing (N): UD parallel to Totality. Special attribute for somebody who is all the Undirected attributes at once (uncommon), or no attribute in particular and generally kind of empty (less uncommon).
- Incongruity (I): UD parallel to Synthesis. Tends to think in chaotic ways that don’t make any sense, and/or do things without having any idea why, perhaps only to be horrified later after realising what happened. Alternatively, usually expert at coming up with funny/absurd things to say; may be good at distractions and generally confounding people. Additionally their crazy ideas seem to succeed way more often than they should.
- Eternity (Et): UD parallel to Unity. Tends to be very darkly pessimistic and assume nothing will ever get better on its own. However, tends to avoid being outright depressed by treating this as everyday and unavoidable.
- Frustration (Fr): UD parallel to Will. Tends to feign strength/competence/etc. and try to force things to work, unable to accept own weaknesses and the fact that certain things don’t work no matter how hard you force them. Alternatively, extremely persistent and vehement to an almost scary extent; will never just hear something negative and give up, but instead just leap up and try to destroy oppressors.
- Clarity (Cl): UD parallel to Machination. Blank slate; tends to “blank out” with no idea what to do and/or fail to be skilful/mysterious/finesse-capable; may come across as naïve. Alternatively, may just be exceedingly “pure” and untainted, and an ideal impartial hero, if they can be prepared to accept like an adult that they will sometimes do stupid/naïve things.
- Portent (P): UD parallel to Fantasy. Tends to get troubling intrusive thoughts/future visions, or just think really dark thoughts to improbable extents, and/or just have a general sense of unease. May timidly avoid doing things for fear that something bad will happen. Alternatively, may be really good at preparing for the worst.
- Compulsion (Cp): UD parallel to Faith. Tends to be very paranoid and suspect that no matter what they do it will somehow be wrong and they will be attacked for it; may be afraid that people will improperly label them a “bad guy” for no reason, or to deliberately screw them over. Constantly not sure whether their problem is real and they will be persecuted or they’re just overly worried, or other people are trying to make them feel this way even though it isn’t real, or a combination of both. May frequently self-censor and feign opinions they don’t really have to avoid conflict. Alternatively, their ability to make up perspectives to blend in may actually be really useful.
- Desolation (D): UD parallel to Verity. Tends to have no idea what should be done, but unlike Clarity know there is something in particular and have this nagging suspicion they should be doing something. But, since they don’t know what, they can’t really do anything, so they tend to just kind of objectively observe the situation and wander restlessly looking for the answer (sometimes literally). May have strong feelings of desertion. Their ability to be neutral and (mostly) calm about the situation may be useful though.
- Ruin (R): UD parallel to Esteem. Tends to, somewhat like Eternity, assume things aren’t going to get better, but instead of just giving up on everything only give up on the thing that didn’t work out, and move along aimlessly doing other things while occasionally contemplating the failed thing. Alternatively, they may (living up to the name) start brute-forcing everything in a messy, destructive way. However, it’s very hard to make them feel bad about themselves or anything really when they just don’t care to begin with.
Don’t worry about attributes too much; I’ll likely pick them for you based on your character description to keep things simple (I’m still revising what each attribute means so it’s not as if you could master the definitions right now anyway). (The way they work in RFS is it’s basically a set of statistic bars and depending on the balance a character will be labelled with 3~4 max, usually with 1~2 acting as the “main” one.)
One thing I should mention though is that attributes affect the abilities a character gets among other things so they’re not trivial.