The attributes have two components: The attribute itself and a descriptor that modifies it in specific situations. There are three attributes:
Descriptors are modifiers to the base attributes, and come into play in situations where characters with the same level in an attribute find themselves facing each other. The one with one or more apropriate descriptors has an advantage. The descriptors can be almost anything the player wants.
Examples would be:
Attributes start at 0, and each additional level costs that level in points. A stat of 1 costs 1 point, a stat of 2 costs 2 more points for a total of 3, and so on.
Here's a brief table showing up to rank 10.
The first descriptor is free. The second costs one point, the third costs two points, and every additional descriptor costs double the previous amount of points (4, 8, 16, etc).
Body: 8 (Gerard is Stronger Than You, and Wrestles Bears For Fun)
Body: 8 (Caine's Graceful as a Cat, and Good with Daggers)
Caine and Gerard are fighting. Both have Body 8, so would be theoretically equal in skill. But Caine's Good with Daggers and Graceful as a Cat apply here, while Gerard's descriptors don't. So, as long as Caine has his daggers and can move freely, Caine has a definite advantage.
If Gerard manages to get his hands on Caine and disarms him, the situation looks different. Gerard is Stronger than You and Wrestles Bears for Fun, both of which apply if he fights unarmed. Caine's Good with Daggers is no good here, but he's still Graceful as a Cat, and equally difficult to catch and hold. Gerard's got an advantage, but it's not quite as much of one as Caine's was in armed combat.