|This article is about abilities in general. For abilities in the context of Pillars of Eternity, see Pillars of Eternity abilities. For abilities in the context of Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, see Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire abilities.|
Abilities are special features that either give a character a new capability, or improve one that he or she already has. Spells and abilities are a core part of gameplay in Pillars of Eternity and Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, and a character's choice of abilities define what role they will play in combat and their overall effectiveness.
Abilities can be Passive, Active or Modal.
- A passive ability is one that can be added to a character where the bonus is gained automatically. Passives typically provide a permanent bonus or are triggered automatically under certain conditions, and otherwise do not require user activation.
- An active ability is one which the player must choose to use. These abilities may be "cast" by selecting the ability from the action bar and clicking on a valid target. Active abilities are latent, and typically have a cast time
- A modal ability is one that can be toggled (turned on or off) at will, or set to different modes to produce different effects. Modal abilities should be changed based on the tactical needs of combat. Some modals, such as a Paladins Zealous Aura, are grouped such that only one of the modals in the group can be active at a given time.
All class abilities consume some form of resource when they are cast. Each class has a different resource which limits the use of their abilities during combat.
In Pillars of Eternity, spellcasters (including druids, priests, and wizards) have a certain amount of casts per tier. Chanters, ciphers, and monks spend resources they accrue during combat on casts. All other classes have their abilities limited to a certain number of uses, defined on a per-ability basis.
In Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, spellcasters and classes with accrued resources work similarly, however all other classes now have a "power pool" resource that they can spend on casting abilities. Characters start combat with a full pool, and their pool is replenished after combat.
For an overview of abilities specific to each game, see: