Physical attributes define the condition of a character's body. They indicate how strong, agile and resilient a character is. Physical attributes should be taken as the primary category for an action-oriented character.
Social attributes delineate a character's appearance, charm and ability to interact with society. These traits are paramount in determining a character's first impressions, personal dynamics and relations with other individuals.
Charisma is a character's ability to entice and please others through her personality. Charisma comes into question when a character tries to win another character's sympathies or encourage others to trust her. Charisma does not necessarily indicate a silver tongue or a skill with bullying. Rather, it is the simple power of a character's charm and influence. Charisma delineates a character's ability at convincing others to see her point of view.
Manipulation measures a character's ability for self-expression in the interests of getting others to share her outlook or follow her whims. In short, it's getting others to do what she wants. Manipulation comes into play when a character tries to influence or subtly guide another's behavior. Manipulation is used to trick, bluff, fast-talk and railroad other characters. Whether or not the characters in question actually like the manipulator is irrelevant (this is why Manipulation differs from Charisma); a skilled manipulator can even employ the talents of people who hate her.
The Appearance attribute is a measure of a character's attractiveness. More than simple looks, however, Appearance is the sum of a character's visible grace, beauty and the indefinable je ne sais quoi that makes people desirable.
Appearance is both more and less than words-- it appeals to the lower levels of the psyche, so it shapes first impressions and the nature of memories thereafter. No matter how open-minded a person is, no matter how vehemently he claims "Her personality is more important than her looks", a person still thinks of another in relation to the subject's appearance.
Mental attributes define a character's cerebral capacities, including such aspects as memory, intelligence, awareness of one's surroundings and the ability to think, learn and react.
Perception measures a character's ability to observe his environment. This may involve a conscious effort, such as searching an area, but it is often more intuitive, as the character's keen senses notice something out of the ordinary. Perception is a sensitivity to the character's surroundings, and is seldom present in the cynical or jaded (who have seen it all before).
Perception is used to determine whether or not a character understands a given situation or detects an environmental stimulus. It can warn a character of ambushes, help a character identify a metaphor, distinguish a clue from a pile of refuse or uncover any other hidden or overlookable detail, whether physical or otherwise.
The Intelligence attribute refers to a character's grasp of facts and knowledge. More importantly, however, it governs a character's ability to reason, solve problems and evaluate situations. Intelligence is almost a misnomer, as the attribute also includes critical thinking and flexibility of thought.
Intelligence does not include savvy, wisdom or common sense, as those are properties of the character's personality, not traits. Even the smartest character may be too foolish to keep her mouth shut or too daft to assume the thugs who want her car keys are up to no good.
Characters with low Intelligence aren't necessarily stupid (though they might be), they are just uneducated or simple thinkers. Likewise, characters with high Intelligence aren't all Einsteins; they may be better at rote memorization or have particularly keen judgment.
The Wits trait measures the character's ability to think on her feet and react quickly to a certain situation. It also reflects a character's general cleverness. Characters with low Wits scores are thick and mentally lethargic, or maybe gullible and unsophisticated. By contrast, characters with high Wits traits almost always have a plan immediately and adapt to their surroundings with striking expedience. Characters with high Wits also manage to keep their cool in stressful situations.