The Bard's Tale Wiki

Each character has five basic attributes which defines physical and mental prowess. When you create a character each attribute is assigned a value from 1 to 18, with the higher number reflecting higher capability.

There are no negative penalties for low stats. For example, a low constitution will not give you low hps.

Strength (ST): Strength is physical power and chiefly affects the amount of damage a character can do to an opponent in hand-to-hand combat. Make sure your fighting characters are strong.

Gives damage bonus on hit only with a 17 or 18 ability score. 17 = +1 damage, 18 = +2. 

Intelligence (IQ): Intelligence is mental power. A high intelligence will enable your Magic Users to get bonus spell points.

Gives bonus spell points with mages. Base spell points per level is 1-4 plus +1 per intelligence over 14. So mages with an intelligence of 17 will receive 5-7 spell points per level up. Intelligence then constitution are max priorities.

Dexterity (DX): Measures agility & nimbleness. A high score makes your characters harder to hit and helps them strike the first blow in combat.

Dexterity gives bonus AC -1 point per stat over 14. 18 dexterity gives -4 AC bonus.

Constitution (CN): Measures healthiness. It takes more damage to kill a character with a high constitution score. This is reflected in bonus "hit points," the character's life span.

Constitution over 14 gives +1 hitpoints per stat per level up, so 18 constitution can give +4 hitpoints. A warrior with 18 constitution would get a max 1-16+4 = 5-20 hitpoints each level up.

LUCK (LK): Luck is an ambiguous attribute, as it has a number of unseen effects on gameplay. For example, lucky characters are more likely to resist evil magic, avoid traps, and hide in the shadows.