I am not giving away numbers, but still the below can make you more powerful so you may need to increase difficulty if you want to keep the game challenging despite knowing all the ins and outs.
WEAPON SKILLS. Each relates to a weapon type, including unarmed if you wield none. Increasing a weapon skill gives additional accuracy for every single point, but only when you are hitting, this impact is NOT showing in the stats screen because the stats screen shows just intrinsic abilities and equipment modifiers. In addition, every item has a set of weapon attack styles that you can use, and has a different threshold for the weapon skill from when it becomes available. Example: there is a 2h axe which allows you to use a SPIN attack after you reach a 2h axe skill level of about 70 from memory. SPIN hits ALL adjacent enemies around the attacker. Cool, eh? But another 2h axe may NOT have this attack style, but instead have others. Unarmed has a set of styles similar to weapons, with ‘final touch’ being the most powerful one. Attack styles grant bonus and penalties to things like speed, accuracy, damage, stun, bleed, crib hit%. You need to check you are changing your attack style after you increase your skill, it does not go automatic.
IDENTIFY: increases chance of an item in treasure or fight loot being identified. You generally fail if a condition, suffix or prefix is new. Apart from the skill level, it also helps if you have already found many of the same type.
PERCEPTION: determines many things: if you spot a secret passage when you walk past, if you spot a secret passage when you specifically SEARCH the right spot (low skill and you may still not see it even if you stare at it!), whether you notice monsters approaching while you rest. Also slightly increases the chance to find more items if monster loot or treasure has a range of how many items are found. This a grouped skill.
SNEAKING: even when you enter the range by which a monster group can notice you, this grouped skill gives you a chance to continue without being spotted.
RAGE: low duration, fairly powerful attack buff. A daily skill. The speed and accuracy are slightly higher, and the damage is significantly higher. Evasion is far worse though. So this is used when you need to make it count. Invoking rage takes a small amount of time. This is a ‘levelled skill’ whereby once you hit a proficiency level of 10,20,30 etc. you see it labels as a new level, and it will be available more often per day, and be more powerful.
DETERMINATION: daily skill that simply speaking makes sure you make the next attack count. You get a significant bonus to accuracy and a slight bonus to crit hit%. It takes NO time, so in effect you just declare an attack a special attack by invoking this, no loss of time, no friend or foe is acting before you use it. Also a levelled skill.
SHADOW SHIFT: allows you to teleport into the shadow of a creature, friend or foe, that is a few tiles away. Takes a small amount of time. Best used to create quick flanking benefits or to make sure the boss enemy is not teleporting too far away and recovering. Daily skill, levelled skill.
ENDURE ELEMENTS: permanent increase in basic resistances. fully passive, and impact visible in RESIST view instantly.
TAUNT: reduces all enemies’ accuracy and physical armor by distracting them. It is a fine art, think ‘Men in Black distracting the boss cockroach’. Impact is small though, but cheap. Daily skill, levelled skill. Well-timed, it is an easy benefit. Using this while you are already in range to hit and be hit? probably a bad idea, spend your turn hitting them hard.
DIVINE FAVOUR: grants a superior favour. Can be healing, can be an offensive against your enemies, can be a buff to you, can be a heavenly ally to fight on your side…
EXORCISE – a daily skill which a cleric or priest can get some rudimentary proficiency in (and rarely, monks have been seen having this skill from ‘birth’), but higher levels are restricted to the exorcist class. It is a ritual that REALLY hurts an undead creature. At lower levels the range is 2 tiles, so you don’t need to get as close to the monster as your fighters get. At higher levels, this is even a bit more than 2. The damage is massive compared to anything else you would have at your disposal early on, and there is no protection that would really help the target. Against enemies that otherwise try to shelter themselves from damage (casting resistances, or be naturally immune to physical attacks etc), this can be an instant kill.
REPULSION – a daily skill that is really useful against swarming smaller creatures. Imagine you are letting the mobs get particularly close for a second, only to burst out and hurt them with force damage, and potentially push them tile away (if there is no space, additional damage is dealt), and potentially stun them.
All three effects are stronger based on skill level and user’s strength. You will not do much to a big boss monster, but if he is troubling you with minions, they will disappear from around you for a small while and take damage and/or be stunned. Also nice to look at.
HARDEN UP – a basic cooldown skill, where a fighter for example braces himself for taking damage. Impact is a % bonus to armor class (15% at lowest level, more with higher levels). At higher levels, you also get resistances against elements (and even magic at level 5+, and poison at level 7+). This is one of the skills that are used automatically once recharged if you select the “use defensive buff skills” auto option for a player. This works even if the skill is not one of your quick action buttons.
DARK CHANNELING – well, this skill only comes into play in the 2nd half of the game and I don’t want to explain these in too much detail. Essentially, you give up health for mana. Somehow the weaker you are already and the weaker you make yourself in the process, the more mana you get. Rumour has it, if you are on the brink of death, it costs no further health and gives you FULL mana.
SPRINT – this is a cooldown skill that is also used by auto mode, if you activate it and make a move action, the move is much faster. if you activate it and do an action that is not a move, than it has no effect. You can use it to reach ranged attackers faster to take them out, or assume a flanking position quickly. or to make sure you stay ahead of a chasing enemy while your ranged attackers weaken him. Higher skill level means faster sprint, and shorter cooldown required.
NO ESCAPE – a passive skill that increases the benefit YOU get from flanking an enemy. You know how to direct a blow so that your target has lesser change of evasion.
NIMBLE – a passive skill that lowers the impact that flanking benefits have when you are attacked.
HOLY CHANT – a daily skill that grants small bonuses to accuracy, evasion and crate hit chance (so always useful), and a SIGNIFICANT boost to “vs. undead” damage modifier. You can essentially save the day if you have melee fighters that do not ave vs. undead bonuses, and they are facing spectres or ghosts which are immune to physical damage. Once triggered, they are all getting a significant bonus, which turns their 0% damage into at least 200% damage. undead creatures that are immune to physical attacks normally have low health so you will cut them down very quickly. Note: several players using holy chant has a compounding effect. But the same person cannot invoke a second chant while the first is still having an effect.
SHIELD BASH – a cooldown skill that is also used by auto mode. You effectively add more force damage and stun chance to your melee attack. Higher skill means more impact and shorter cooldown.
SHOULDER BASH – similar to shield bash, but weaker. If you have both, you will effectively be using your entire body to pummel your opponents in whatever way you can.
HEALING HANDS – daily skill. heal an adjacent player. the healing impact is stronger the weaker the player is. So very effective if you are in trouble and have made sure you are close to your fighters.
MAGIC LORE – if you want to not just increase your spell proficiency by using a spell, but want to increase proficiency fast by using talent points, then magic lore has too impacts: first it is your natural MAX level because at higher spell proficiency, it is harder to know what you can improve. Spell books help with the amount of increase gained per TP, but cannot raise the MAX. Magic lore also helps increasing the gain per TP.
LOCK PICKING – ability to open locked chests or doors. The player with the highest score is what matters most, with a small impact from what skill other players have.
MANA FUNNEL – you use your arcane powers to direct the flow of mana in a way that it hurts a target. None of your own mana is used, so it has no cost. The damage is small, but can make a difference if you are out of mana. Also, legend has it that have studied this art to such an extent that they can rival people using the more common attack spells. At no cost…
MONSTER LORE – the party’s total score in monster lore, as well as the distance to an enemy, are compared to the difficulty in reading a monster’s health. The outcome determines at what distance, if at all, you can tell the health of a monster. this shows in combat. Some monsters are very difficult to read as they are not your normal living being.
TANK STANCE – a bit similar to HARDEN UP, but more powerful. So powerful in fact that it also has a downside: it reduces accuracy and speed. But the armor boost and evasion is probably worth it.
BERSERKER’S WILL – ability to ignore/withstand a STUN impact inflicted by your opponents. May not seemlier a big deal until you start to fight stone golems, minotaurs or dragons …
MANA OVERCLOCK – a mage’s (and later theoretically versed magic users like wizards) ability to understand the fabric of magic so well that they can temporarily charge up and cast an offensive spell with extra power. The spell will cost more and the total procedure also takes longer as it includes the overclocking preparation. Not necessarily a more effective way to spend mana if you have the choice, but if you need to kill something fast, or penetrate a resiliently high armor, then hitting hard once is better than hitting weak thrice. And sometimes it is just plain cool to have those large DPS…
WEAPON SWAP – a key skill known to the ranger, it allows him to put a 1h weapon or ranged weapon each in its main hand and off-hand. It does not allow for dual wield attacks, but rather gives him the option to use this cooldown skill to swap between those two. It resembles his agility and versatility. You can use it to swap between melee and ranged attack style, but also to swap two weapons/bows with different attributes (vs undead bonus against damage and speed attributes).
DIVINE EMPOWERMENT – the deities that provide the source of healing powers favour more devote followers. Monks don’t rate as highly as clerics, and priest are the absolute favourites. Druids don’t rank at all in this form. While not a skill in a sense that you can train it, your rank still has a similar effect than magic lore has on spell output: the more the deity appreciates your devotion, the more effective your healing efforts will be. The righteousness birth feat increases this by 10 even for the more unusual classes.
POISON BOOST – an assassin’s common daily skill. he has some poison ready and can spend some time out of combat to apply it to his weapon. The poison is very strong, and will crystalise/neutralise after a few turns. But in that time, it can prove very deadly.
DODGE – a passive skill that resembles the specialisation of certain characters on evading enemy attacks, whether melee or ranged.
FLAME ARROWS – Not just arrows, but any ranged ammunition, an archer learns pretty early that preparing some with a fire substance can make his ranged attacks a fair bit deadlier. The preparation time is significant (a bit over what is usually one fight turn), and the fire also wears off after a few turns. But this daily skill, timed well, can prove invaluable against enemies that are weak against fire. Often followed by the use of the determination skill, archers can make the fight turn in your favour.
BACKSTAB – when adjacent to a target, this skill allows you to utilise the distraction that is caused by another adjacent player or ally to perform a devastating hit, with high chance to be a critical hit.
SPIRIT ARROWS – Elves have many ancient and mystical abilities, and asking for the assistance of their forefathers in battle can grant you lifedraining damage on your projectiles for a few turns. This daily skill, timed well, can prove invaluable against enemies that are weak against lifedrain damage.
HAIL OF ARROWS – Another elven origin power, the elven spirits allow you to fire a whole group of arrows that acts like an area effect attack. Good against swarming minions.
DECOY – Not being hit is key to being a rogue or assassin. Evasion is one way, providing an alternative fake target is another. This skill places a decoy adjacent to you, that gets attacked instead of its creator. Lasts until destroyed. Health and daily uses depend on level. Takes some time to deploy.
RALLY -A knight is destined to be a leader. He can fulfil that role in a fight and grant allies in a 2 tile radius a temporary advantage to almost all offensive stats. A critical boost if timed well. A daily skill, with higher level granting better boosts, longer duration and more uses per day.
KNIGHTLY GRIP -A knight learns how to duel and manipulate his opponent to lock him into a position of stalemate, effectively preventing (stun) both him and the opponent to focus on any other action for a while. This is a very powerful tactical choice when a party of 6 faces a single fierce enemy.
POINT BLANK SHOT – This cooldown skill aims your ranged weapon at an adjacent target and hits it extra hard, with a chance to knock the target back. Nothing extraordinary, but you can use it to get enemies away from any really squishy player they reached, including yourself.
CURSE OF THE HUNTED – You channel the elven spirits to grant everyone advantage to hitting the cursed target. Degree of advantage increases with level. A no-brainer advantage granted that boosts not only the user’s chances and can therefore be a powerful supplement to an overall attack.
HOLY WARD – a cleric’s non-health contribution to he party’s wellbeing. There can at times be many negative effects at play in a battle: the curses of ghosts and spectres, and more sinister debuffs from undead wizards and the lich. This daily skill casts a ward over a player target making him immune to all negative elements of those, while still allowing all positives to work on him. Even removes the partial bad aspects of RAGE for example while allowing the boosts. It also removes paralysis if present at the time the ward is put in effect, and grants some paralysis resistance thereafter for the duration of the ward.
NATURE ALLY – a starting skill for the ranger (and at lower level for druids), Nature Ally is a nice skill to have early in the game, it can if successful make one or more wolves appear. Chance of failure reduces with level, and wolf count increases. At high level it is also rumored to summon way more fierce nature allies. Can help a lot with low level fights at the start, but also provide a valuable distraction in later fights to throw in some wolves and chew on the back rank spellcaster type mobs that otherwise take too much time to reach and silence.
SUMMON DRAGON – A skill not usually obtainable. But there are achievements that may make a ‘DRAGON BLOOD’ birth feat available, and those possess the ‘skill’ if you may call it that to ask Zomok for help in a fight. Zomok may do nothing. Or he may send you a dragon as an ally during combat. Or you may catch him in a bad mood, and a dragon appears in the enemies’ ranks… and don’t even ask what he will do if you dare to ask twice in the same fight (which is by the way only possible if you have two players with the skill, because despite the skill level increasing the dragon’s power, it can only ever be used ONCE a day).
OATH OF PROTECTION – Once in a fight, the knight can declare a protection oath on a player. Takes over half of attack damage dealt towards the target. Suffers loss of about 1/3 of his remaining health if the target dies. A non-recharging cooldown skill, it can be used once every fight. Higher level reduces the on-death penalty.
MILITARY TRAINING – this skill resembles those insights that you can NOT evolve yourself just by swinging your sword over and over. Some knowledge is fundamental but the insight is coming from generations of tacticians, like ‘black belts’ in their art of war. Trainers exist, but the skill does not progress from use. Passively increases physical melee damage 1% per proficiency point. Does not affect elemental damages.
MARKSMANSHIP – this skill represents the intense devotion to ranged attacks that mostly archers and marksmen have. Their accuracy becomes so impressive that they can frequently decide where to hit opponents and thereby cause extra damage. Effectively, the higher the ‘excess’ accuracy, the more damage they also deal. This skill is not advanced via trainers, but rather through levelling up. Archers and marksmen get +1 per level, rangers +1 every 4th level, and samurai +1 every 3rd level. Does only affect the physical damage of the shot, not elemental damages.
SECOND WIND – Not much is known about the origin of this skill, but it is at least partially superhuman. Legend has it that a particular knight was given a powerful gift once, a power embedded in his knight insignia that awoke his second wind skill. With said skill, the knight can overcome pain, fear, desperation and fatigue and through his willpower find new strength in the midth of a tiring battle, recovering one use on all his used daily skills (except second wind itself).
SUMMON MINOR UNDEAD – A skill not seen usually. Only characters born as a ‘FOUL ONE’ have this cooldown ability to summon skeletons or similar minor undead to their aide. This ability only grows as such characters gain levels.
SUMMON MAJOR UNDEAD – Characters born as a ‘FOUL ONE’ level up very slowly, much slower than others. But eventually, they will reach level 15 and gain the daily skill that allows them to summon undead wizards, wights, and much worse to their aide. This ability only grows as such characters gain levels.