This document describes the skills available in Retro Pastiche. Currently only the skills available to the main characters are listed; I'm sure I'll be tweaking the way the skills work, but this list is exhaustive and will only be changed if I decide to replace a skill with something similar. There are a few other skills unique to guest characters, and many others usable only by enemies; these will be added someday, maybe possibly.



Learnable Main Character Skills

There are exactly 39 skills accessible to main characters. 27 are regular skills and 12 are high skills. Each character begins with two regular skills preassigned and can learn 3 out of 12 other regular skills and 1 out of 3 high skills. Technically you can learn all regular skills and no high skills, but that's a bad idea.

In the main skill tables there is a column stating the characters who can use each skill. However, for reference, the full usability set is as follows:

StartingTalentRegular LearnableHigh

Secondary Character Skillsets

Secondary characters, or "guests," are PCs who join your party for a short time but aren't part of the central narrative. They can't be customized at all except for their equipped accessory; they do level up, but their skills are fixed. Occasionally a secondary character may rejoin at a later time with more skills than they had originally, but this is the only way they "learn" new skills. Thus, it's a lot easier to specify their skills: you just list the ones they have when they join, plus any locked mods.

Known SkillsTalentNotes
JENSPierce   Heal   Storm Opportunist
NOORSlash   Jab   Guard ?Guard has a Light Gem.
ALFFrost   Heal   Choke Wellspring Heal has an Iron Heart.
BETHSaw   Drain   Rally WellspringDrain has a Fire Gem.
LOARift   Weaken   Blend   Siphon   Rubedo   VivifyIllimitableRift has a Perfect Sphere; Weaken has an Iron Heart
LILYThrow   Blast   Repair   Equip   Change Repair SystemThrow has a Perfect Sphere; Blast has a Blind Mark.
NOOR (2)Slash   Jab   Guard   Rage   Vivify ?Slash and Jab both have Iron Hearts. Guard has a Light Gem.
SETHPierce   Frost   Purge   Curse BlitzkriegPierce has a Poison Sigil; Frost has an Iron Heart; Curse has a Magic Arrow.
NOOR (3)Slash   Jab   Guard   Rage   Vivify   Equip ?Slash has First Day's Dawn; Jab has a Seal Sigil; Guard has a Light Gem; Vivify has a Steel Heart.
DEVA (L)Strike   Surge   Limbo   Vivify   Shift   [Varies] (L) ?Strike has a Steel Heart; Vivify has a Hero Crest.
DEVA (D)Pierce   Focus   Limbo   Curse   Shift   [Varies] (D) ?Pierce has a Doom Sigil; Focus has a Hero Crest; Curse has a Vajra.


These are the skills available to the main characters: Kyle, Ezra, Ruth, and Finn. This list will be tweaked, but no other skills will be added.


For the purposes of skill descriptions, "allies" and "enemies" are relative to the person using the skill, so a monster's allies are other monsters, and so on.

Regular Skills

SLASHK10090Attack.Hits all enemies.
CLEAVEE10080Attack all enemies.Pot 250, Acc 100; hits one random enemy.
SHOOTF12575Attack.Attack twice in succession.
WEAKENRF50XReduce target's HP by (Pot*X/100)% of its current value, where X is the percentage of their MP that they are missing. Cannot reduce HP below 1.Also lower target's MP by 1 (after the HP reduction is applied).
BURNERF90XAttack.Hits all enemies.
BLASTER10090Attack a random collection of enemies.Pot 150, Acc 95; hits all enemies.
RAGEKEXXAct last. Attack all enemies, dealing damage equal to the total damage sustained by the user this turn.Resolves even if the user is KOd. Max damage is 1000.
FROSTKF70XAttack. Adds Wound at Acc 33.Pot 105; Wound Acc 80.
DRAINKR60XAttack and regain HP equal to the damage inflicted (not counting any in excess of target's current HP).Pot 120.
PURGEKRXXCures the target's impairments, but lowers their MP by 1 for each impairment cured.Act first; targets all allies or all enemies.
HEAL*120XHeal HP.Targets all allies.
RALLYKEFXXRevive all KOd allies with 1 HP.Revive all KOd allies with 25% of their max HP (exactly, unmodified by Recovery bonuses). No effect on non-KOd allies.
CALMKXXAct firster. Adds Calm status: for the rest of the turn, the target is immune to instant death and impairments, and ignores the effects of any impairments they currently suffer from.Targets all allies.
VIVIFY*200XHeal HP, also reviving the target if they are KOd.Pot 400; also cures impairments.
GUARDEXXAct firster. For this turn, take all hits and debuffs on behalf of the target.Take hits and debuffs on behalf of all allies.
DAMPENEXXAct firster. For this turn, all damage dealt to anyone is halved after other modifiers are applied.Damage is reduced by 75%.
POTIONKXXUse a potion (effects depend on type). The potion is consumed after use.Act first.
ASSIST*XXNo effect; the universal attribute is the only benefit.Act when declared. Increase all elemental affinities by 1.
STORMKRFXXAct firster. The air affinity is doubled or set to 1, whichever is better.Air is doubled or set to 3, whichever is better. Earth is set to 0 if currently negative.
FOCUSRXXThe elemental affinities do not reset at the end of this turn (even if user is KOd after using Focus).Only the affinities that are higher than the current defaults are preserved.
EQUIP*XXAct when declared. Changes user's equipped accessory.User may also change mods for skills other than this one.
MODIFY*100XCombo action. Increase the effectiveness of an ally's skill, or decrease the effectiveness of an enemy's skill. Applicability varies.Pot 200.
JINXFX60Adds a random impairment to all enemies.Acc 75. The user has more control over the impairment chosen.
SIPHONERXAcc X on allies or when giving MP to enemies. When taking MP from enemies, Acc is 10 + (target's MP) - (user's MP). If target has fewer MP than user, transfers 1 MP from user to target. If target has more, transfers 1 MP from target to user.Pool user's and target's MP and divide them evenly between the two.
SWITCHEFXXAct firster. Trade places with target in the initiative roster (RFL is not affected). This change is permanent for the duration of the battle.Also swap impairments with the target. Impairments to which the new subject is immune disappear.
VANISHFXAcc X on allies, Acc 75 on enemies. Remove target from the fight for the rest of the turn. They are effectively gone, and any abilities aimed at them default to someone else as usual.Act firster. Acc X on enemies.

High Skills

FRIGID8090Attack all enemies. KOs on a critical hit (or does a normal critical if the enemy is immune to instant death).Pot 160, Acc 95; also KOs at Acc 20 when it fails to critical.
MIRAGEXXCreates a duplicate that will absorb one attack for the beneficiary (Mirage status).Creates a duplicate for each member of the ally party.
GRACE100XHeals HP for all allies.Pot 200; KOd allies are revived as well as being healed.
SUNDERX75Adds Sundered status. This makes normal enemies weak against Earth (Air affinity is added to their Weakness if positive), and makes removes the resistance of Earth-type enemies (Earth affinity is not added to their Weakness if negative). Permanent once applied.Acc X; hits all enemies.
SPRINGXXIncrease target's Regen by 1 for the rest of the fight, stacking indefinitely. (Might need to put a cap on this; we'll see.)Targets all allies.
PRISM10075Three attacks; each may be targeted separately.Pot 175; Acc 90.
ATOMIC80XAct first. Doubles Fire affinity or sets it to 0, whichever is better; then attacks all enemies.Pot 320; hits only one enemy.
SURGEXXAct firster. A random affinity is raised to the maximum (10), while the others are lowered by 1.The user has more control over which affinity is increased, and only the opposed affinity is decreased.
BANE250XAttack. Also adds Curse at Acc 25.Pot 325, Curse Acc 50. Hits all enemies.
EXTENDXXCombo action. The target's skill use affects the entire party (whichever party is appropriate for the skill). Applicability varies.Also functions as a Pot 50 Modify.
DEATHXAcc X on allies, Acc 67 on enemies. KOs target. If successful, user regains HP equal to target's former HP. If used on self, all allies regain HP equal to user's current HP, but user is KOd.Acc X on enemies.
CANNON35085If the cannon has not been fired yet, attack.
If the cannon has been fired during this battle, ready the cannon to be fired again (never fails).
If the cannon hasn't been fired yet, attack and reload simultaneously. Can't be used if the cannon has to be reloaded.


The skills in this section can be used by PCs, but only guests. They can never be learned by any of the four main characters. Since guests are seldom in the party for prolonged periods, these skills are less important to the game.


For the purposes of skill descriptions, "allies" and "enemies" are relative to the person using the skill, so a monster's allies are other monsters, and so on.

Listing and Descriptions

PIERCEJENS, SETH, DEVA (D)9090Attack. Has double the usual critical hit rate.Pot 180, Acc 100.
JABNOOR9595Attack.Pot 190, Acc 100.
SAWBETH10080Attack. When calculating damage, target's Defense is capped at user's Power.Pot 150, Acc 100; ignore negative affinities when calculating Weakness.
THROWLILYPot 0-180 and Acc 0-100, determined semi-randomly. Attack.Acc 0-100 and Pot 0-450, but result is harder to control.
STRIKEDEVA (L)10090Attack.Attack twice in succession.
RIFTLOA90XAttack.Hits all enemies at Pot 180, but hits all allies at Pot 90.
REPAIRLILY60XHeals HP to user, and restores 1 MP. Pot 120. Also cures user's impairments.
CHANGELILYXXAct when declared. Permanently adjust POW/DEF/MOR/RFL. Choose one and shift 1/4 of the points from each of the other three into the stat chosen. Reverting does not require an action.Shift 1/3 of the points from the other stats.
RUBEDOLOAXXAct last. Sets all combatants' HP to X% of their max, where X is the percent of total pooled HP relative to total pooled maximum HP. KOd allies are included, but not KOd enemies. Wait, what?Act firster.
BLENDLOAXAcc X on allies, Acc 80 on enemies. Replaces target's POW/DEF/MOR/RFL with their average. Lasts 5 rounds (including the current).Acc X even on enemies. The effect is permanent.
CHOKEALFX75Adds Poison.Acc 90; hits all enemies.
LIMBODEVA (L), DEVA (D)XXSets affinity defaults to 0 and negates all attribute bonuses. Permanent, but reversing does not require an action.Act firster. For this turn, sets affinities to 0 and blocks other affinity changes.
CURSESETH, DEVA (D)X70Adds Curse.Hits all enemies.


Two guests characters, DEVA (L) and DEVA (D), know the Shift skill, which varies their elemental resistances. This isn't the only effect of Shift, however: depending on how they're shifted, these characters have a different skill in their bottom slot (see [Varies] (L) and [Varies] (D)). When Shift is in neutral, this slot mimics a High Skill (Grace for Light and Bane for Dark). In all other cases, however, the shift-linked skill is one that can only be used by PCs through the use of Shift. These 8 skills are listed here. Enemies may use them as regular skills, but not PCs.

STASISXXAct laster. At the end of the turn (but before Poison/Regen), target's HP are reset to what they were at the start of the turn. This may revive or KO the target, if appropriate.Target's MP and impairments are also reset.
CORONA200XAct last. Attack all enemies. Pot 375.
FOSTER100XAct last. Attack all enemies. Pot 375.
BREATHXXAct when declared. For the rest of the turn, gain 1 MP whenever the target spends 1 MP. Targets all but self.
QUAKE125XAct last. Attack all enemies. Pot 375.
PLASMA125XAct last. Attack all enemies. Pot 375.
DELUGE125XAct last. Attack all enemies. Pot 375.
VACUUM125XAct last. Attack all enemies. Pot 375.


I've included an endnotes section to give nitpicky particulars about skill functionality. However, some topics are both too broad for skill-specific endnotes and too narrow to include in the main primary system document. This section is for those topics.

Noncombat Usability

The following main character skills are usable outside of combat: Purge (regular), Vivify (super), Potion (regular), Siphon (regular), and Switch (super). That is to say, only skills involving MP restoration or impairment cures can be used outside combat, because those are the only ones relevant in that context.


There are six types of potions, and you can carry up to six of each type. Potions work similarly to skills, and in some cases their effectiveness is based on the user's Morale, but they don't benefit from the Recovery attribute bonus, they don't use the normal healing formulas, and they have no Potency or Accuracy. Potion healing sometimes varies based on Morale, but it's not randomized at all.

Cost reflects the cost to buy the potion. Potions with cost X can't be purchased. I haven't worked out money yet, so for now the costs listed are just proportional to one another, and will be adjusted by some constant factor once I have a baseline.

ELIXIR100Restores 80 + 2*(user's Morale) to the target.
AMRITAXRestores 1000 HP to the target, also reviving them if they are KOd.
REMEDY150Cures all the target's impairments. If they are KOd, revives them with 1 HP.
NECTARXRestores 5 MP to the target.
LIQUOR100Adds Agitated status to target (they deal and take x1.5 damage for a while).
OPIATE100Adds Sedated status to target (they deal and take x0.67 damage for a while).

Only Remedy and Nectar can be used outside of combat, and then only if Kyle is in the party. They can be used out of combat even if he loses his Potion skill for some reason, though. I'm not sure that'll be possible, but I mean if it is.

Combo Skills

There are two "combo" skills used to enhance or interfere with other characters' skill uses: Modify and Extend. These are somewhat complex, especially Modify, so they really need their own section rather than a simple endnote. All combo skills are silent, but they add something or other to the main skill's animation to indicate that it's being augmented and by whom.


Modify raises or lowers the effectiveness of an action. However, it works in very different ways depending on the situation, so I'm going to have to spend a lot of words explaining the particulars.

Any ability with a non-X Potency or an Accuracy less than 100 can be altered by Modify, except for Modify itself. It enhances both Accuracy and Potency if these can be improved (like with inaccurate attacks); otherwise it enhances whichever is relevant. If a skill has multiple effects, (for example, "hit with acc 80 and then add Poison with acc 25") all of them are affected.

Modify is far less effective when used to hinder enemies. This is kind of lame, but it's an inevitable consequence of the fact that you're going to have most of the game's major enemies outnumbered.

It's possible for multiple Modifies to be used on the same action. In this case, the effects are aggregated and applied as one. Sum up the Potencies of all the friendly Modifies and apply those as a single effect, then sum up the Potency of all the opposed Modifies and apply those ones as a single effect also.


Extend is one of Finn's high skills. He's the only one who can learn it, so we don't have to worry about interactions as with Modify. Extend changes a skill that works on a fraction of a party and changes it so that it affects the entire party. This includes skills like Blast, which can target an entire party but usually don't. It has no effect on skills that target people from both parties, that target no one, or that always target only their user. I'm going to go ahead and say that it can't be used on enemies, too, because there will be a lot enemy-only skills and this saves me a lot of interaction headaches.

So compared to Modify it's pretty simple: it just changes the skill's targets to "all allies" or "all enemies," as appropriate. The problem is that that's really powerful, and can lead to weird side effects, so there needs to be a blacklist of abilities that can't be enhanced by Extend. Not counting the obvious ones (abilities that already hit everyone, and abilities like Storm that have inapplicable ranges), the exemptions are Potion, Guard, Equip, Siphon, Switch, Vanish, and Death, as well as all combo actions.

A few attacks are multi-hit (possibly with a different target each time). If these are Extended, every hit applies to the entire party.

Notes on Randomization

Broadly speaking, there are three kinds of randomization in Retro Pastiche. The first is randomization in success rolls: does the attack hit? Does the debuff stick? Do you manage to run? And so forth. The second is cosmetic randomization of damage and healing figures, which is comparatively trivial. The third type is skill specific: yoo will notice that some skills talk aboout having a random effect or hitting a random target, typically with a link to an endnote. There's more to this third type than meets the eye.

At the beginning of the turn, you select the skills everyone will be using. After you select a skill it moves into a targeting phase where you choose whom you want to use it on. Even if a skill always has the same target, there is still a targeting phase that indicates that target with a cursor of some kind, so you know what you're getting. Thus, declaring a character's action requires a minimum of two button-presses: one to select the skill and one to confirm the target.

The skills with "random" effects actually have slot-machine style displays that activate during the targeting phase. For instance, supermove-mode Cleave says it hits a random target, but what it actually means is that the targeting cursor rapidly jumps from one enemy to the next and you try to hit the "confirm" button when it's pointing at the dude you want to kill. In each case an endnote will give the specifics.

Here's the sticky part: you enter everyone's actions, one at a time, at the beginning of each turn. Normally you can cancel back and reenter someone's actions, provided you haven't finished the declaration phase. What happens if that action had a semi-random component to it? There's no good way to handle it, unfortunately.

The best solution from a system perspective would be to defer the "slot machine" input until the skill goes off during the resolution phase. However, I really don't want to do this, because I want the UI to be as simple as possible and I want all the input to come at once. On the other hand, allowing people to cancel and retry a skill idefinitely is crazy. Both options are right out.

Here's what I went with: once you do the randomization for a particular skill (with regular and super versions counting as separate), it's locked in for the round. If you cancel back and use the skill again, it will be guaranteed to give you the same result. This method is problematic because it still permits an exploit: if the result was undesirable you can always go back and use a different skill. However, I like it best of all the methods I've come up with.


This section gives further information about skills whose effect is complicated or has unusual corner cases. If you're just skimming I'd skip it!

Main Character Skills

Secondary Character Skills