Attributes are basic characteristics of your character. Two of these, honour and prestige, are based much on outside perception, i.e. what other people think of your character. Skills, on the other hand, are what your character has learnt and trained.
Most actions in game have a chance of gaining you a point of prestige or honor. Things like bureaucracy work that courtiers can do, police work, civil work, investments, even looting, all give you a chance to gain honor and prestige. The easiest and fastest way to gain prestige and honour is through battles however.
Sending messages, even as a courier or ambassador, will not gain you honour or prestige. This is likewise (confirm?) true for drafting treaties. That is because it would be too easy to game the system.
Honour represents how courageous the character is. Generally, this mostly depends on the number of battles your character fights. Soldiers who avoid battle are usually viewed as less honourable than soldiers who are always there to meet with the enemy. Also, which kind of battles you choose affects your honour. Fighting even when outnumbered raises it more, as long as you are not leading your men on a suicide mission (which may be courageous, but not honourable). As a young inexperienced noble, you start with 8 honour.
Honour also determines the number of troops you may lead. You start the game with a small amount of honour, representing earlier deeds that brought you into your current position. The number of infantry or archers you can have in your unit depends on your honour. You may only command less than half as many Cavalry or Special Forces with the same amount of honour. If you are a Courtier you command even less.
Certain positions require a minimum amount of honour. For instance, in order to normally be eligible for being elected ruler, you need at least 20 honour.
Important victories, such as the defence or assault of a major city, bring even more prestige. You start the game with a prestige of 1. Some unit types can only be commanded after you reached a certain prestige value. Cavalry requires a prestige of at least 5 and Special Forces require a prestige of at least 10.
In addition, you need certain prestige values to become eligible for titles, command posts or to be elected as a realm ruler. For instance, you need a minimum of 10 prestige in order to run in a government election and a minimum of 3 prestige to be appointed to a region lordship.
Your character can also learn to do certain things better. Skills improve through using them, but can also be trained at the academy. If you do not use skills for a long time, they will deteriorate. They will also deteriorate with age, noticeably after age 30. Note that some skills are only available to certain character classes.
Skills available are:
- Swordfighting - used in duels, tournaments, while commanding infantry/mixed infantry, and sometimes, to fend off an attacking infiltrator
- Jousting - used in tournaments and while commanding cavalry
- Leadership - (Note that a captain's leadership skill is added to your unit for the purposes of things that are unit-specific)
- influences the percentage rate at which your unit can withdraw (both how low and how high)
- influences how likely your unit is to actually follow the withdrawal rate, and for example not break early
- marshals with high leadership will have more formation options
- Trading - increases trade distance
- Bureaucracy - used by courtiers to improve region statistics such as morale, loyalty, and production
- Infiltration - used while carrying out infiltrator actions
- used by priests to convert commoners to his/her religion
- used by diplomats to influence the attitudes of a region towards a realm
- Adventuring - Used by adventurers for several actions, such as hunting and gathering
- Spellcasting - used by any noble performing a ritual as written down on a scroll