Using any type of ability counts as an action during step combat. If the ability has a casting time higher than 1, a player must spend that number of counts readying / casting the ability before it takes effect.
Many abilities can be useful out of step as well. If the use of an ability is hostile toward another character, step combat will immediately begin and players should call for a judge before continuing.
Upon reaching level three in their primary class, players have the opportunity to create a special ability. Special abilities are skills or special effects that are unique to one character. Players must submit their idea for a special ability at the same time they register for an Interphaze event, then it will be weighted is the level is balanced with other special abilities in the game and added to the character’s passport.
This ability can be used three times per day as an action without having to spend EP (energy points). Humans have as one of their racial abilities, a bonus use of their special ability each day, bringing their total to four.
As a character gains levels in a class, they will earn the chance to make ability selections. By choosing abilities from various ability trees, a player can create a unique “build” for their character that sets them apart from other characters of the same class.
The rules for each individual class describe the levels at which characters earn new selections.
Class abilities are split into four tiers. A character may only choose an ability from a tier if they meet or exceed the level requirement for the tier in the relevant class.
Tier 1 abilities may be taken at level 1.
Tier 2 abilities may be taken at level 6.
Tier 3 abilities may be taken at level 13.
A tier 4 ability may be taken at level 20.
The list of levels at which characters earn selections is divided up to show how many selections they get per tier. Like this:
1,3,5 // 7,11 // 14, 18 // 20
This means that levels 1, 3, and 5 earn a character an ability selection at tier 1, meaning any ability in the class trees that has a one next to it. Levels 7 and 11 earn a character a choice of and ability that is tier 2 or below, provided they have the prerequisite for it. If there is a tier 1 and a tier 2 ability in the same tree, the tier 1 ability is a prerequisite for the tier 2 ability and must be taken first.
Special abilities do not cost EP (energy points) to use. Their use is tracked in a separate area of the character passport. They may be used three times (four if you are a human) per day.
Class abilities cost EP to use. Multi-classed characters have separate EP pools for each class. Some class abilities are considered to be “always on”. The EP for these abilities is deducted automatically from the appropriate class total. Class abilities that say “ClassName spends EP to…” in the class description will require that you spend the EP at the time you use the ability. The EP cost depends on the tier of the ability being used.
Tier 1 abilities cost 2 EP to use.
Tier 2 abilities cost 7 EP to use.
Tier 3 abilities cost 14 EP to use.
Tier 4 abilities cost 20 EP to use.
Once used, abilities continue to effect play for a fixed period of time, as determined by the rules of the individual ability. The different duration lengths are the same as those for spells and are as follows:
- Instant: Effect only takes place in the round in which casting is completed.
- Encounter: Effect remains until the end of step combat.
- Concentration: Effect remains as long as the caster spends an action concentrating on the spell. To concentrate, a caster must not take any actions other than their base movement action and a concentration action.
- Day: Effect remains until the next sunrise.
- Phaze: Effect remains for the duration of the Phaze event.
- Until Discharged: Effect remains until the discharge criteria listed on the card are met. This duration is always combined with another duration (except instant), which determines when the effect ends if the discharge criteria are not met.