Each skill now has a difficulty tier: novice, adept or master. The simple skills are Novice skills. With one point in the school's ability, you can already learn some Novice skills. However, for the more powerful skills, you have to invest a certain amount of ability points in the school's ability to be able learn skills of the Adept or Master tier.
|School Level 1: Can learn 3 novice skills|
|School Level 2: Can learn 5 novice skills, 2 adept skills|
|School Level 3: Can learn 6 novice skills, 3 adept skills|
|School Level 4: Can learn 6 novice skills, 4 adept skills, 1 master skill|
|School Level 5: Can learn 6 novice skills, 4 adept skills, 2 master skills|
In addition, each skill has a minimum ability requirement. If the character's ability is below this, the action point cost of the skill is increased by 2 for each point of difference. For example, a character with 4 ranks of Hydrosophist is allowed to learn Mass Healing (a master skill), but since the skill's ability requirement is 5, the cost of casting will be increased from 8 action points to 10.
Each skill school is associated with one character attribute:
- Expert Marksman and Scoundrel with Dexterity.
- Man at Arms with Strength.
- All other schools, the magic schools, with Intelligence.
There is a minimum attribute requirement for each skill. Each attribute point above this requirement, increases the effectiveness of the skill by 5%, up to a 150% cap. On the other hand, each attribute point below the requirement decreases skill effectiveness by 10%.
Skill effectiveness refers to two main elements of skills:
- Numerical values like damage (e.g. fireball), Vitality points restored by healing spells, etc.
- Chance to apply a status effect (e.g. stun, freeze, haste, bless etc.). The base success chance is reported in the skill description. This status effect can be beneficial or negative / harmful. For harmful effects, the success chance is further modified by the following factors:
Attributes also affect skill cooldown period (after casting a skill, the number of turns before it can be cast again). Each skill has its own initial cooldown and may follow one of these reduction patterns:
- Total reduction -4: Cooldown is reduced by 1 when the associated attribute raises to 8, 10, 13 and 15.
- Total reduction -3: When the attribute raises to 9, 12 and 15.
- Total reduction -2: When the attribute raises to 10 and 15.
An example of status effect calculations: Let's say a wizard with INT 12 is trying to freeze an enemy fighter using the Freezing Touch spell. The base success chance for this spell (the freeze effect specifically) is 100%, as given by the spell description. The spell description also says that the minimum INT requirement is 8 and since the wizard is 4 ranks above that, he gets a 4 x 5% = 20% bonus and the success chance goes up to 120%.
On the other side, let's say the fighter’s Bodybuilding is 2 (Freeze is resisted by Bodybuilding). This means the fighter has a 2 x 15% = 30% chance to avoid any harmful effect that has a Bodybuilding save, or, in other words, the success ratio of such an effect is limited by a 100 - 30 = 70% factor.
The final / overall success chance of the wizard's Freezing Touch spell freezing the fighter is the product of the two figures above, which is 120% x 70% = 84% (or 1.2 x 0.7 = 0.84). So the fighter finally has a 100 - 84 = 16% chance to avoid freezing. This last figure is reported in the statistics window at the bottom right corner of the screen (maybe +/- 1 because of rounding).
Note again that all these success chance calculations are for the status effects applied by the spells / skills. Damage is applied always.