The concept of Vigor within the context of battles represents the fact that early on in a battle, a character is much more energetic and capable of performing special maneuvers and/or attacks. As the battle wears on the character slowly loses steam and eventually defaults to a basic hack and slash style of fighting. To represent this Vigor is tracked as a resource, called Vigor points, or simply Vigor.
Vigor points are an expendable resource, with a maximum value set as a function of Strength. As characters level up, their Vigor max increases. At any given level the Vigor max can be calculated as follows:
VIGOR MAX @ lvl1-10 = STRENGTH x LEVEL/2
VIGOR MAX @ lvl11-20 = STRENGTH x [LEVEL/4+2.5]
(Full class gets +1/level on top of this formula)
NOTE: see your Class Codex for a simplified calculation per level for your specific Class
Each Vigor skill has a fixed Vigor cost. As Vigor skills are used the appropriate amount of Vigor must be removed. If you have less Vigor than the skill you wish to attempt, it cannot be used.
If there is sufficient time between battles (i.e. the battles are not back-to-back) then Vigor is reset to its maximum amount prior to a new battle beginning.
For prolonged combat encounters (i.e. dungeon crawls the retain movement and Turn Order restrictions) assume that after three rounds of no new combat-oriented instants or actions being used, Vigor resets to maximum.
Learning New Vigor Skills
Vigor classes gain two new skills each level, up to level 10. After level 10 they gain only one new skill each level. When choosing new skills, they must be equal to or less than current level of the character. As most new characters start at level 1, any new Vigor class character would select two level 1 skills to start with. This is the only time under normal circumstances that learning new skills does not require training.
Vigor classes cannot learn a previously unknown skill (i.e. Offensive Stance) unless they are taught by a Combat Trainer who knows the corresponding skill. If the Vigor class has Rank 3 of the Combat Trainer Secondary Skill they can self-teach new skills. If upgrading an already known skill (which is any skill with a pre-requisite listed) then no trainer is required and the skill can be learned immediately (i.e. upgrading Offensive Stance into Improved Offensive Stance). This represents a Vigor class honing their skills rather than actually learning a new skill.
All Vigor classes get 2 free level 0 skills upon Character creation. These do not count towards the ‘skill per level maximum’. To learn additional level 0 skills requires training and spending additional skill points.
Eligible combat trainers for Vigor classes can be found in most major settlements, though they are less common in Wild Elf settlements. The going rate for learning a new Vigor skill is 5 gold; however, this cost is usually waived if the skill is taught by a guild or other such organization (i.e. a senior officer training a soldier). In some role-playing specific instances it may also be reasonable to assume that an skill is taught at no cost (i.e. a father teaching his son or a an elderly sword master passing on a skill to his young protégé).
For a complete list of Vigor skills available to learn see the Vigor Skills page.
Vigor skills are divided up into four disciplines, each with its own unique playstyle and skillset. There are no real restrictions as to which disciplines a class can take, but generally speaking it is beneficial to focus on a single discipline rather than take skills form all four. This is further reinforced by the use of Stances.
Each discipline has at its core a single Stance, which not only complements the play style of that discipline but also reduces the vigor costs of skills within that discipline. Only one stance may be active at any time but its effects persist for the entire battle. Activating a different Stance cancels the first stance and immediately applies the effects of the new Stance.
This discipline focuses on offense melee physical damage playstyles and is idea for front rank fighters who rely on physical weapons to inflict damage. It is complemented by the Offensive Stance skill which can be ranked up five times (up to ‘Matchless’), providing significant melee combat modifiers and Vigor discounts for Offensive skills.
This discipline focuses on all forms of defense, including survivability, avoidance, and crowd control. It is ideal for tank playstyles as well but also offers a complementary skillset for front rank damage dealers that wish to increase their survivability without necessarily being considered a tank (i.e. tanky-damage or bruiser play styles). It also offers some damage dealing potential as a function of defense. The Defensive Stance skill can be ranked up five times (up to ‘Matchless’) and provides reliable damage negation and increased defensive modifiers for blocking and parrying while providing Vigor discounts for Defensive skills.
This discipline offers a similar skillset to the Offensive discipline, but tuned for ranged physical melee damage playstyles. Bows, crossbows, and throwing weapons all benefit greatly form this discipline. It is complemented by the Focused Stance skill which can be ranked up five times (up to ‘Matchless’), providing significant ranged combat modifiers and Vigor discounts for Offensive skills. It also provides soft benefits for ranged Stealth and Focus classes, making ti ideal for Rangers and Marksman style Weapon Masters.
This discipline offers a unique skillset that allows for a support style vigor class. Though it lacks many direct damage options, it provides both self and party buffs, particularly through a system of Formations that the clever tactician can use to great effect. The nature of each Formation is described within the skills themselves, but often requires near or base contact making it ideal for battle field commanders that like to wade into the thick of combat. This playstyle is complemented by the Tactical Stance skill which can be ranked up three times (up to ‘Greater’), providing the potential for additional attacks if facing more than one opponent and Vigor discounts for Tactical skills. It also increases the range of an Honor classes Oath, making ideal for a heavy support Knight build.