The first thing I should mention is that the cursor in this game is a bit buggy. In battle for example, sometimes you'll select an attack and then an enemy will be targeted and sometimes the cursor just won't appear, and you'll need to move the analog stick to make it appear. This can also occur in town when selecting options. The biggest pain is that sometimes you'll press right for example, and the cursor will appear on the rightmost option, and sometimes it'll appear on the leftmost option. If you get into the habit of using muscle memory to pick attacks quickly it gets really annoying. Nothing game-breaking though.
Anyway, as for the actual game. Knights of Pen and Paper 2 is a turn-based game, and you can have a party of up to 5 characters. However, you can only make 2 characters to start, and unlock the ability to have up to 5 after a few story quests. There is also a tavern that allows you to put party members there so you can make other characters, meaning you can have more than 5 characters total, but only 5 in your party at once. Each character has a race, a class, and a "player", the real-life person roleplaying the character. The choice of player gives a passive trait and modifies their appearance and main stats. The Rich Kid player, for example, gives a bonus of 10% more gold and also looks like a trust fund baby. Their race also gives them a passive bonus and adds to their stats. Their class decides their base stats and what skills they can learn. Each class has 4 skills, which are a mix of passive and active abilities depending on the class. When you level up you get one skill point to put in a skill of your choosing. The absolute max is 25 points in one skill I believe, but the cap is lower until you level up. For most of the game, I couldn't go higher than 15 and as I leveled up the cap gradually grows. You won't get enough points to max every skill, so the best you can do is split points between 2 skills at most.
Every character has a body, mind and senses stat. This is modified by their player, race, and class, and can also be boosted by skills or items. The main backbone of the entire game is dice rolls, as can be expected from a D&D game. You'll roll for many things: looking for items, during events, evading traps, running from battle, if you fight while traveling or resting and resisting/curing conditions. You are given a number range based on one of your 3 stats, and then if the dice roll is in that range, you succeed. If not you'll get some kind of penalty depending on what the situation is. The higher your mind/sense/body stat is, the bigger the number range. So a high stat can make the roll easy to clear. Anyway, it's not something you need to worry about too much, just explaining what all the dice rolls you'll see mean. There are very few ways to modify your stats outside of character creation, so there's not a ton you can do about it.
The combat is much like most turn-based RPGs you've played from back in the day, with a few tweaks. Each round of combat gives each character and enemy one turn, and the turn order is decided based on everyone's initiative stat. The higher it is the better their chance to be first to have a turn, or close to it. During your turn, you can pick one action, though some enemies get multiple actions per turn. The way enemies choose to attack your party is based on everyone's threat number and threat %. To be simple, let's say you have 2 characters, a Warrior and a Paladin. Your Warrior has a threat number of 10, and your Paladin has a threat number of 5, making your party's total threat number 15. 10 is 66% of that, so your Warrior has 66% of the threat, and will be attacked much more often than the Paladin, who only has 33% of the threat. Increasing the threat number of the characters you want to tank will cause them to be attacked more often. There are a few ways to lower threat as well, and these can be used on your back-line characters to decrease how often they are attacked. However bear in mind that no matter how high you increase your tank's threat number, if the other characters have a threat number above zero, they can be attacked, though it will rarely happen.
Some attacks target the whole party, and some target the party and adjacent party members. So if someone uses such an attack on the middle character in your party, it will hit the member to the right and to the left of them, but not the far right or far left character. There are some abilities that can hit all your members though. This means that even a character with 0 threat can be hit by spells if the person next to them is, or the enemy uses attacks that hits everyone. Enemies are generally divided into a front and back row. If there are enemies in front of an enemy in the back row, the enemy in the back row cannot be hit. A lot of skills either hit a whole row (so either front or back) or an enemy and those adjacent. What that means is it'll hit the enemy, the enemy to the left and right of that enemy in the same row, and the 2 enemies in front of or behind the enemy you used the skill on.
Status effects in this game are called conditions, and there's the usual stuff you see in RPGs like Poison and Burn. The ones you want to watch out for are Rage, which stops a character from using skills, Confusion, which can make your characters attack your own party, and Weakness, which lowers the damage a character does and stops them from doing critical hits. You can also be stunned, which means you lose a turn. Something that is fairly unique to this game is that critical hits can apply conditions, on top of doing more damage. So an enemy that does very little damage can be quite dangerous if they can apply something like confusion with critical hits. You can equip items or learn skills that add different conditions to your attacks, and some skills do this as well. Most conditions have a dice roll when the condition is applied to see if it even occurs, and a dice roll every turn to see if it is automatically cured. The exception is stun, which if it isn't resisted initially, will always take a turn to go away. Finally, the worse condition, death, is actually not too big of a deal in this game. Dead characters can be revived by paying some gold, and if your entire party dies, you can pay to revive them and continue on. Of course, it can get expensive if your characters keep dying, but that probably won't happen very often at all.
As for equipment, you have 3 trinket slots, which are accessories that can boost many stats. You have 2 hand slots, which is for weapons and shields, and an armor slot. It's important to note that weapons and armor have "penalties" of sorts. Most weapons increase your threat (so they'd be bad on a mage) and armor/shields reduce the character's energy max by a certain %. However, armor and shields give damage reduction. If the Knight's skill is to be believed, damage reduction reduces damage by your DR number divided by 2. So 10 damage reduction reduces damage by 5. Weapons can also give other stats, and a key thing is conditions. When you get a critical hit, you apply a condition, and this is shown on each weapon. Some trinkets also add conditions to your critical hits on top of what your weapon does, and some skills do too.
The last thing I'll mention is the game room and magazines. In the main menu you'll see the game room option. These are things you can buy that give passive boosts. You can only have one item from each category active at a time, but can buy as many as you want. Unlike the first game you can't change them in-game, you have to save and exit to change game room stuff. Magazines can be accessed the same way as the bestiary, be pressing in the game and then selecting magazine. There are 4 magazines with various things like DLC. So when you see me mention magazines, that's what I'm referring to.
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