Probably the most important part of combat are the Abilities. Abilities can be anything from spells to particular ways to swing a sword. Equipping your character with the right abilities and using them at the right time will be the key to winning combats. Abilities are also not a per-rest resource you need to carefully manage. All abilities have some Ability Point cost and AP are refreshed at the start of every combat.
Abilities are divided into 3 types: Primary, Encounter, and Special. Primary are abilities that cost 0 AP and tend to be fairly basic. Encounter abilities are more powerful and cost 1 AP. Special abilities cost 2 AP and can be battlefield altering.
While your AP is refreshed after every battle, your number of AP is very limited. You gain 1 AP per Encounter and Special slot you receive. That means in combat a level 1 character with 1 Encounter slot and 1 Special slot can use either their Encounter ability twice or their Special ability just once. We want your most powerful abilities to always feel powerful, but we didn't want the game to be dominated by them. Even at later levels your Primary abilities will still be your bread and butter and timing your use of abilities will still be key.
However, there are ways to recover AP. There will be rare powerful artifacts that can impact your AP, but typically this will require certain Primary abilities that use a Recovery charge. Your only per-rest limited resource are Recoveries. Recovery represents the long term drain of fighting and adventuring on your body. These are used to heal, recover AP, and some abilities will use them to increase their power. A Sorcerer can burn through their Recovery to keep casting powerful spells, but they'll be in trouble if they take much damage and can only receive meager heals from a Priest.
Deciding which abilities to equip is an important decision, but one that can be freely done outside of combat. We wanted a deck building aspect and you get abilities every time you receive an extra slot during advancement, but you can also buy and find abilities in the world. This large ability inventory is per character however so they cannot be freely traded. A character will still be limited to equipping the number of ability slots they posses, but shuffling through your list of abilities to find the right combo is one of my favorite aspects of the game.
Of course your character must also meet any ability's requirements to equip them or even add them to their ability inventory. Some abilities will be limited to a certain class, but most will be limited to a minimum rank of a combat skill. We'll be covering the specifics of skills and classes in a future blog post, but next we'll be looking at our art style and how it led us to our setting.