Recovery speed refers to the duration (ie. recovery time) between the end of one character action and the first moment the next action can be performed. This does not include the duration of the actions.
Pillars of Eternity primarily uses the term recovery speed - a rate of change over time, while Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire uses the term recovery time, meaning the duration - though they work the same mechanically.
Recovery is the amount of time that a character spends between actions. Longer actions result in proportionally longer Recovery. Armor also have a large effect on Recovery. Generally, heavier armor inflicts longer Recovery penalties.
- The word recovery is an in-game keyword. The tooltip for this word describes the Recovery Speed mechanic. Confusion may arise with some abilities containing the word recovery in their name (like Constant Recovery referred to in Rapid Recovery's description), because that word triggers a tooltip about Recovery Speed, although it has nothing to do with that mechanic. For different possible uses of word recovery, see Recovery disambiguation page.