There are three attributes in Skyrim; Magicka, Health and Stamina. All of these attributes start out at 100, and every time your character level increases you can improve one of these three attributes by ten points per character level. Although perk points are the real meat of character creation, attributes can’t be ignored when it comes to planning your build, either. After all, a low Health warrior won’t be in the fight for long regardless of where they spend their points, and a character with low Stamina won’t be able to sprint or perform power attacks/aimed shots as frequenty, and mages with low Magicka will… well… okay, Magicka doesn’t really matter. Anyways, onto the attributes!
Magicka is consumed whenever you cast spells, the exact amount depends on the potency of the spell, your skill level in the spell’s related skill tree and what perks you have invested in said skill tree. This might seem like an obvious investment for aspiring magic-users, but alas, this attribute isn’t worth improving if you plan to spend some time leveling up your skills. If you level up your Enchanting skill you’ll be able to create armor that reduces the Magicka cost of a spell school, and several such pieces worn together can eliminate the Magicka cost of such spells entirely. Properly enchanted you can wear whatever armor you wish and cast up to two spell schools without worrying about Magicka a bit. Only if you plan to quickly play through the game as a mage should you invest in Magicka.
Health should be pretty self-explanatory, but in case there’s anybody out there who hasn’t played an RPG before (and doesn’t have a firm grasp on the English language), health reflects the fortitude of your character. What? Synonyms aren’t helpful? Oh, fine. The more health you have, the more abuse you can take before your character dies. Dying is counter-intuitive to the whole not-dying thing, so having a healthy fund of… Health… is a good thing. In fact, it’s arguably the best attribute in the game, since Magicka is unnecessary and you only really need so much Stamina.
Performing power attacks and shield bashes, zooming in with your bow, rolling while in stealth, blocking and sprinting all consume Stamina. Every ten points of Stamina also increases your Carry Weight limit by five points. Zooming in with your bow provides obvious offensive benefits, as do power attacks and shield bashes. Stamina, therefore, can be considered the attribute which funds much of your offense, but has enough convenience for any character to be worth a look.
How to Allocate Attribute Points?
This is all going to be fairly subjective, depending on your gameplay goals, but this character creation section is dedicated more towards the power-gamer, what makes the best character in the long run. That being the case, Magicka is worth ignoring. Just pick your two favored spell schools and eliminate their Magicka costs. Even better, make different suits of armor to cover all the spell schools you want to use, and equip them as necessary.
As for Health and Stamina, it’s suggested you invest in Health and Stamina at a 2:1 ratio, if you’re not overly ambitious, ending with around 500 Health and 300 Stamina. If you plan to make some skills legendary and keep advancing, a 3:2 ratio works better, aiming for 700 Health and 500 Stamina… preferrably hitting the 500/300 mark, and then distributing points equally from there. Anything in excess of this, however, should go towards Health, as you really don’t need more than 500 Stamina. Still, the 500/300 split is a good goal for most power-gamers, and anything above that is really excessive.