(added 8/25/2000)

Thanks to Tom Stabler for sending this one my way. I had never heard of it before, but it works and just goes to show that you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.

Caveats: I have only checked this under the v.213 patch, so I do not know whether it works in the unpatched version and it is only available for custom classes (pre-made classes bypass the screen).

When you are setting up your starting attributes, you can add up to 25 points to any attribute, provided that you subtract an equal number of points from others. For example, you can boost your STR and SPD to a max of 75 each if you reduce other attributes by a total of 50 points. The idea is to have your starting attributes average out to 50. But each attribute can have as many as 10 points added to it when you actually roll up the character. As Tom pointed out, the point distribution is pretty much a standard bell curve with the center at and average of 55 points per attribute, plus 6 to 14 "gimme" points. This means that your character could have as low as 406 total attribute points, or as high as 494 attribute points, but will probably wind up somewhere in the middle at around 450 points. This is pretty much what the designers consider a "workable" starting character.

Now for the cheat. You can add up to 25 points to any attribute (or all, if that's what takes your fancy) and hit the "U" key to take the undistributed total to 0. In effect you can change your starting range from the normal 50-60 points to a super-charged 75-85 points (plus the 6 to 14 "gimme" points).

This also means that you can easily beef your character to 100-point attributes by the time you hit the final quest. On a cautionary note, however, having a super-charged character takes a lot of fun out of the game (critters keeling over every time you sneeze gets really old really quick). Tom's recommendation (and I concur) is to limit yourself to the high end (494) starting attribute points. If the game gets too boring too quickly, don't say you weren't warned.