A characteristic is a quality that allows to identify something or someone, distinguishing it from its peers. It can be about temperament, personality or symbolic issues, but also physical appearance. For example: “The police released the characteristics of the attacker to alert the population”, “I have already asked the supplier to inform me about the characteristics of the new machine”, “This device includes a special feature: it turns off in heat ”.
The characteristics, therefore, make the proper and specific character of a living being or a thing. To say that a man is tall, dark, talkative, friendly and respectful is to make an enumeration of his personal characteristics.
It should be noted that certain characteristics are subjective. In the example above, the subject’s sympathy may not be such for a certain person. Height, on the other hand, is a relative data: if we leave aside the metric value, each one judges the height of the others based on his own, so the same individual can be considered tall and short, depending on who observes him. .
Although human beings share traits with the rest of the animals, if we talk about the characteristics that identify a dog, for example, it is correct to point out that they walk on their four legs, that their body is covered with hair (in such a way that they do not need an artificial coat to withstand the cold) and that their smell allows them to identify odors at great distances and with great precision.
Seen from the perspective of the modern human being, the rest of the animals are usually characterized by having better senses, more physical strength (and will, in most cases), more dexterity and great compassion. Throughout our evolution, we have become less and less able to survive in the midst of nature without artificial tools and accessories; Although an extreme situation may force us to draw strength that we thought we did not have, at first glance we do not have what it takes to face the day to day in the jungle or in a forest.
For each athlete who dazzles us with his somersaults, for each figure skater who spins four times in the air after having propelled himself from the ice with boots whose base is a blade, for each footballer capable of standing and making a intense use of their muscles for tens of minutes, there are thousands, millions of people who drag their briefcase from home to the office and who cannot cope with their back pain, who cannot handle themselves freely without their glasses and who eat so poorly who are overweight or under their recommended weight.
According to DigoPaul, a characteristic that distinguishes us from other species is that we do not usually take advantage of our potential, neither physical nor mental; Based on the examples in the previous paragraph, it is not normal that we are all athletes, but that we admire the few who exploit their abilities at that level.
In some Latin American countries, the characteristic is the prefix of a telephone: “I am trying to call Carlos but a recording informs me that the characteristic is incorrect”, “If the number that passed you has the characteristic 238, it is in the neighborhood from Loma Verde ”.
In a role – playing game, finally, the characteristics are the properties that define the characters involved in the game, whether physical or psychological. Some of the most common are strength, speed, intelligence, size, and willpower. It should be mentioned that both the characters controlled by the players and the others must be described by means of these properties, so that from their interaction with the environment and with the other characters a phenomenon can arise that affects the flow of the story.