Abilities are special features that either give a character a new capability, or improve one that he or she already has. Abilities are always granted by gaining levels in a class; unlike Talents, they are always class-specific and geared toward that class role. You can choose an ability at every odd level.
Types[edit | edit source]
Abilities can be Passive, Active or Modal.
Passive Abilities[edit | edit source]
These are powers that are always in effect; they do not require user activation.
Active Abilities[edit | edit source]
These are latent powers that can be activated for a short time. These are typically either a per-rest or per-encounter resource, but can be (or become) at-will.
- Per encounter - These abilities have a set number of uses available per combat engagement; once all uses are spent, the ability will become unavailable until the next encounter (combat).
- Per rest - These abilities have a limited number of uses that are recharged only when your party makes camp to rest.
Modal Abilities[edit | edit source]
These can be turned on and off at will, with some abilities being mutually exclusive to others, meaning you can only have one active at a time. (Each Modal Ability has an assigned channel and only one mode can be active in a given channel at a time. For example, the paladin's Zealous auras are all on one channel and only one zealous aura can be active). Some Modal Abilities have a positive and a negative effect.
Leveling[edit | edit source]
Every character begins with two abilities and every class starts with active abilities that regenerate after combat. (Spell sets are counted as "one" active Ability for casters). Non caster classes start with a fixed passive ability and the player can choose an active ability. Traditional Caster classes start with first level spells and an per encounter active ability. Cipher begin with 1st level Powers and a passive ability and Chanter start with 1st level Phrases and Invocations. As players advance their characters, they will choose additional abilities to customize their character capabilities at every odd level.
None of the abilities or spells automatically scale by character level. But at high levels certain magic spells can become per-encounter spells. At very high levels, the weakest spells eventually become at-will abilities.
List by Class[edit | edit source]
There are a wide array of Abilities in Pillars of Eternity, and no character will be able to choose them all.