At the beginning of the character creation process, your character has 10 points in all 6 attributes (Strength, Agility, Stamina, Charisma, Wisdom and Intelligence). You can distribute manually 30 more points on these attributes, but only to a maximum limit of 25 for one attribute. It has no consequences to your attributes whether you choose a male or female character.
Now you must choose a race and profession. Your choice doesn't influence the gameplay very much. "Wizards" can cast more spells though. The following two lists give an overview of the attribute-changes depending on your choice.
Your character starts with 150 Hitpoints, 200 Food and 100 Gold. If you should die, you will be resurrected by Lord British. But then you only have 99 Hitpoints, 99 Food and 0 Gold (the number of Experience Points is unaffected).
You can get Experience Points by killing monsters in the dungeons or on the overworld. You gain a new level for every 1000 Experience Points. You can reach a maximum of 9999 Experience Points. There are no real advantages of high levels. The only consequence is that the number of enemies on the overworld increases with each level.
You gain additional ability points for visiting the signposts. You can visit them again and again as long as you don't visit one and the same twice in a row. You also get some extra points for Strength at a Lord after returning from your quest of finding a specific signpost. The maximum for each attribute is 99.
You can buy Hitpoints from the Lords in the castles. It costs 2 gold pieces for 3 HP. Another way is to exit a dungeon. The number of Hitpoints you gain depends on the number of monsters you have killed in the dungeon. Your character can reach a maximum of 9999 Hitpoints.
You get gold by killing monsters on the overworld or by opening treasure chests and coffins in dungeons.