Character development system
Development has two dimensions, Abilities and Skills. Both are developed by expending experience points (XP) as acquired. Ability boosts cost more than skill boosts. You can spend XP credits when you get enough to buy a skill/ability point or save them up for major changes. You can also reset all your points if you feel your character has gone in totally the wrong direction, and start over at a certain cost of XP value. Both Abilities and Skills have a maximum value of 10.
There are the six Abilities: Strength, Agility (gross motor movements, helpful in battle), Dexterity (fine motor coordination for traps and machines), Bravery, Intellect, Appeal.
Skills are ability-dependent: you cannot advance beyond a certain level in a skill without advancing the underlying ability first. Then you can add more skill points. There are two types of skills, Normal Skills (Skills of the Body, Skills of the Soul) which are necessary for many game challenges, and Sideline Skills, which are optional crafting skills.
These are the Normal Skills: Acrobatics, Animal Lover, Barehanded Fight, Bargain, Combat Tactics, Communication, Contraptions, Healing, Large Melee Weapons, Lockpick, Magical Knowledge, Musical Knowledge, Stealing, Psionics, Ranged Weapons, Scholarly Knowledge, Small Melee Weapons, Sneak, Swim, Traps.
The Sideline Skills require both XP and training. They yield saleable items or buffs. The Sidelines are Alchemy, Fishing, Herbalism, Junk Art, Mining, Panning, Ragpicker.
The player can develop the henchman's skills and abilities, except for the crafting skills which are for the PC alone, and thus manipulate the whole party.
There are six playable races: human, elf, dwarf, gnome, halfling, half-orc. They have different starting abilities due to their race, but after that they have no limits on development. Size will make a difference in weapons they can use.
Redra Shaden, a scientific gnome healer (not a cleric) who has to be convinced that the PC is worth joining.
Ember Hound, man's best friend, the noble... dog? From the beginning you suspect that this huge dog, with his peculiar resistance to fire and his unusual intelligence, is not exactly what his previous owner claimed.
Sir Leonard Wildbrand, a knight who was a disreputable character in the NWN modules but is now reformed, almost a paladin.
Charril Rhoissom, a somewhat evil planeling (rather bard-like) who came to Eupherea to enjoy the climate, but something really bad happens to him...
Princess Aserac, apparently the last survivor of the Raven Fall rulers.
Encris Isseno, a unique specimen, not human, elf, or any other race of Eupherea. His past is hidden completely in this game, but it's evident that he has unique powers as well as physiology. He has the means to travel between the planes and to the Underworld, but it takes more than money to make him do it.
Elida Venn, a gnome wizard on a mission to save the gnome race from extinction. She has the means to travel through time, and is somewhat addled from her temporal journeys. She and Encris must become business partners to advance planar travel. Though there is no time travel in this game, she can offer some unique items and services.
Dirk Foxworth, a merchant lord and the de facto ruler of the city of Tornbarrow. He and his family support Princess Aserac in exile.
Dechard Lianles, an old ranger, once the companion of the Mighty One who overthrew Yrun Vynblud. Now he's a homeless alcoholic, regretting his past life.
Ashril Rilquae, an evil necromancer camped at Caer Maed. He offers several game-spanning opportunities to the necromantically inclined.
Anyndur Di'Malen, The Nightingale of South Hervia, and the author of a widely-read popular romance, "Tortured Hearts." Once the bard companion of the Mighty One, he has become a permanent fixture at the Crying Skeleton Tavern of Tornbarrow.