Eschalon is where the Protagonist (i.e you) wakes up with no memory and only a few scribbled notes to guide them down the storyline. These are written by an unnamed person and scattered around the game world. No extra party members are available, so you'll play this game solo. How much of the main story you accomplish, if any, is up to you. The world itself is ample enough keep any prospective hero busy wide sidequests.
The main storyline is the recovery of an Artifact of great significance, the huge gem called the Crux of Ages, has been taken by an invading army of gobliods. They have also decimated the lands. Getting the Crux back where it belongs and destroying the goblins completes the story, but if you give it back or kill the Chancellor who rightfully owns it is up to you. A few twists and turns come along by way of side quests that can give you valuable experience and items for building yourself up to tackle the main story.
Day and night are important factors in this game. If things are dark outside they are pitch black. It's still possible to move around, but with absolutely no light on the screen it's difficult to find your way. This is especially true in dungeons, which are rarely well lit places to begin with. Spells and Torches can generate light, but spells are not available without training and torches are a limited resource.
Fighting at range, with magic, or up close and personal is a relatively simply affair. You queue up a spell, pick a level to cast that spell, and click on the enemy. The higher level the spell the more mana used. In this way even the first spell you get in the game can still be useful much later on. Ranged combat and fighting with swords is as simple as equipping what you want to attack with and clicking on the enemy you want to use it on.
The trick to this system is it's turn based. You take a step, they take a step. You make an attack, then they make an attack. Although it can feel fluid when your running around and shooting off spells, everything on the screen only will make actions after you do.
Abilities & Skills
Every few levels you gain new points to add to your abilities. They start at anywhere from a random number from 7 to 14, and you can increase those original numbers with a set pool of 15 points. Skills work in much the same way. You get a certain number to start with and increase it as you level up.
Strength raises the amount you can lift and the amount of damage you inflict. Also it plays a role in toxic resistances.
Endurance increases your Hit Points and the rate you heal.
Dexterity increases the chance you'll hit something, and the rate you'll avoid being hit by raising your Armor class.
Speed raises your armor class and slightly increases how often your character acts in combat.
Wisdom increases your defense against curses and disease.
Intelligence helps your elemental resistances and to understand exactly what item magical you found.
Perception increases Mana, and increases the rate you regenerate it.
Concentration increases the chance your spells will not fail if you are struck in combat, and increases several skills.
Alchemy lets up make potions. The higher this stat, the better the potions.
Arcane Divination is usually known as Clerical spells. Mainly for protection, buffs, and healing.
Arcane Elemental is usually known as Mage spells. They damage foes with elements, like fire for example.
Meditation increases you mana recovery and your resistance to some harmful magics.
Lore is the skill used to determine if you know what a magical item does, or if you don't.
Light Armor is fairly obvious. It allows you to wear light armor without the penalty and increases your defense in it.
Heavy Armor is also fairly obvious. It allows you to wear heavy armor without the penalty and increases your defense in it.
Shield Armor is the skill for using a shield in one of your hands. The higher it is, the better the bonus.
Survival is the skill that grants you higher resistance for diseases and for toxins. It also helps regenerate your HP while moving.
Dodge lets you dodge attacks. The higher the score here, the better the chance you'll knock them off their guard and get a bonus to hit.
Hide in Shadows is a stealth move that lets you sneak around.
Move Silently is a stealth skill that allows you to move quickly and without gathering the notice of the enemies on screen.
Pick Locks lets you pick locks. You'll need a lock pick, and the higher you have this score the better your chances.
Skullduggery is for disabling traps you see. Higher this is the better your odds.
Spot Hidden is for noticing the hidden traps. You see the trend? Higher is better.
Unarmed Combat increases you skills with your bare hands.
Weapon, Bludgeoning increases you skills with Bludgeoning weapons.
Bow Weapon increases you skills with bows.
Cleaving Weapon increases you skills with cleaving weapons.
Short blade Weapon increases you skills with short blade weapons.
Sword Weapon increases you skills with swords.
Thrown Weapon increases you skills with throwing weapons.
Mercantile is a skill that when leveled well lets you buy things cheaply and sell them at a premium.
Cartography lets characters make maps of the places they've been. A high stat allows for detailed maps to be made in real time, but even a single point is enough to get the walls drawn and a general idea of the shape of the dungeon or area you’re in.