Attributes in D&D have always been the same six: rolled the same way (3-18 range on 3d6 roll), focusing on the same concepts and changing - from edition to edition - only minor aspects (like modifiers or related skills like opening doors or bending bars); IMHO they describe pretty good the character.. well, pretty often but not always.
For example, you could have strange combinations like a character with Strength 16 and Constitution 5, or Intelligence 4 and Charisma 19.. WTF!??
I mean, how can an adventurer supposed to be charismatic when he talks or thinks like a caveman? Or being able to stand a fight when he's tough like a brat?
That happens because D&D's Abilities have always been unrelated.
For this reason - and also thanks to Vault Keeper and his article about Beasts, Men & Gods - I've decided to reconsider Attributes mixing them up in a new shape.
As usual you need to do is just rolling 3d6, sum them together and write them on your character sheet; write the modifier too, because you apply it whenever you have to roll the dice using that Attribute (for a test or a Saving Throw). Repeat this process for all the six Attributes.
Table 1: Attribute Score Modifiers
Having a low attribute score gives you a penalty in performing tasks, while a high attribute grants a positive modifier: write it close to the proper attribute. Upon creation your character could have at least one score below average, and if this happens don’t worry: heroes are not perfect beings, and low attribute scores just represent flaws. Scores don’t matter, the way you use them do: that’s what marks the difference, making your character worth of renown in future bard’s songs.
It measures character’s sheer power and his overall physical endurance (mixture of STR and CON), and it affects Endure Saving Throws. Muscle is the Prime Attribute for the Brave Man class.
It represents character’s intelligence and analytic power (mixture of INT and the cognitive WIS), and it affects Discernment Saving Throws. Brain is the Prime Attribute for the Erudite Man class.
It describes character's sensorial awareness and reflexes (mixture of sensorial WIS and DEX, excluding precision), affecting Evasion Saving Throws. Readiness is used as Prime Attribute for the Stray Man class.
It is a combination of charisma and determination (mixture of WIS and CHA), and it affects Willpower Saving Throws. Bearing it the Prime Attribute for the Zealous Man class.
That’s what makes your character really different from the others (fighting STR, precision DEX, and other kind of skills), what he learned before getting involved into perilous and fascinating adventures: if it’s something other characters can do, you do it better. It affects Counter Saving Throws, and its score must be at least equal to 13 in order to get the XP Bonus from class’ Prime Attribute.
It just tells how much fate blesses or curse your character in different scenarios, and it affects Curse Saving Throws.