One recruitment event is offered per chapter, in which the player can pay legacy points to hire a new hero for the party.
Any time the party has fewer than 3 members another recruitment event will be offered.
The Bard ability reduces the cost of recruitment by 1 LP.
During intervals, a child of one of the heroes will often join the party for free.
You can choose to recruit heroes from your legacy, for +1 Legacy Point cost per legacy tier (stars). The legacy hero returns as a younger version of their past self, including permanent Aspects and personality. They start at level equal to their legacy tier. (Think of it perhaps as a descendent or reincarnated self, or the way folktales of a character will put them in a hundred places, in a hundred stories at once.) You can choose a number of their previous Abilities for them to return with, equal to their legacy tier. They arrive equipped with tier-1 versions of their prior equipment, including any elemental enchantment but not other augments.
Returning with permanent Aspects means that if they lost a limb previously, it's still lost, and if they gained a transformation or pet, they return with it.
About 14% of your tier 1 legacy heroes and 14% of your higher-tier legacy heroes are available at each town, up to a maximum of 10. The distribution of heroes is determined at the start of the campaign. Each hero is available in at most one town.
Main article: Upbringing
The Upbringing adds permanent bonus stats on your new heroes, making each unique. Rolling new heroes will scroll through all unique heroes, eventually giving out heroes with high stats in single categories that could make your playthrough easier.
It is a weighted system. Each stat has a base value for each section. The value that is assigned in each history section is that value divided by the number of stat boosts you are receiving for that entry.
Class and Abilities
Experience and promotion
The party usually gains 5 xp per monster card for a successful mission; campaign plot missions award predefined amounts. Mission xp is divided as evenly as possible among heroes below level 7 who took part. Certain events may also grant xp.
Starting with Greenhorn, each time a character promotes, they gain an ability. The player is offered a random choice of three new abilities to select from, plus (if available) a fourth choice that is an upgrade of one of their current abilities. Some abilities are specific to a class, and some are general abilities available to any hero.
Each ability has one possible upgrade. If all of the hero's abilities are already upgraded, then no upgrade option is offered.
With each promotion, heroes also gain additional stats according to their class:
- See Equipment
- See Relationships
Injury and Healing
When heroes take damage they are given a transient stat called Injury, that is subtracted from Health to give current health.
Injuries heal when time passes on the overland map. Healing rate is determined by:
- The hero's recovery rate stat, which is modified by their age
- The hero's activity during healing. Healing is faster resting in Towns or Stations, and slower while travelling. The remaining Injury and current healing modifier is shown on the hero portrait.
Each point of injury takes a number of days to heal. The higher a hero's Injury (lower health remaining), the slower they heal. A few scrapes go away fast; a near-death experience takes much much longer.
- Calculate the base healing time as
100 / recovery rate(no rounding)
- Multiply the healing time by the healing factor from the table.
- Divide the healing time by the factor for the hero's current activity: 2 if stationary in a Town; 1 if stationary in other safe territory; 0.5 if stationary on unexplored or hostile tile; or 0.25 if traveling.
The pattern continues if you manage to get a hero with more than 20 health.
On the character sheet Stats panel, the UI reports "1 health per x–y days". Here x is the base heal time (time to recover from 1 Injury to 0 Injury), and y is the worst case (time to recover from 1 hp to 2 hp).
The values shown in the UI are rounded to whole numbers, but in game the values are not rounded until after all multipliers are applied.
Suppose Nate the Hero has a recovery stat of 25. His base heal time will thus be 1 health per 4 days while stationary in a safe territory.
If he's healing 7 hit points of damage, the first one will take 12 days to recover, the second through fifth will take 8 days to recover each, and the sixth and seventh hit point will take 4 days to recover each, for a total of 12 + 4*8 + 2*4 = 52 days to recover all 7 hit points.
If he has 12 Health (thus a maximum Injury of 11), then the character sheet will show the recovery rate as "1 health per 4-12 days".
Death and Maiming
When a hero loses their last health point, they get a mortal choice: either die immediately in exchange for a boon for the rest of the party, or suffer a maim or other penalty and withdraw from the battle. Heroes who survive a mortal choice automatically return to the nearest Town to heal and cannot be controlled until then.
Maimed heroes lose a limb, which gets replaced with a prosthetic. A lost arm is replaced with a hook, which grants the hero Hook Gouge but cannot wield a weapon. A lost leg is replaced with a peg leg, which penalizes the hero's speed. In particular, heroes with only one human arm cannot use two-handed or offhand items, while heroes with no human arms cannot wield any weapons. If a hero loses their first arm, any equipped two-handed weapons are replaced with basic one-handed versions.
If the hero has a theme that can replace limbs, they get a theme limb instead of a prosthetic. Theme limbs have special stats and perks that can make them an improvement over human limbs. Unlike human limbs, theme limbs cannot be lost.
If a hero dies in battle, you can build them a memorial tomb afterwards. This adds them to your legacy.
When a hero exceeds their retirement age during a chapter, they will retire in the interval at the end of the chapter, taking their gear with them. They will be automatically added to your legacy if you complete the campaign. A hero's retirement presents the Train Rookie tiding, in which you can choose either to have them pass 3/8 of their experience points to a lower-level hero, or to gain 3 Legacy Points.
- For instance, if the hero's retirement age is 65, they will make plans to retire at the end of the chapter the day they turn 66.
- If a hero reaches retirement age during an Interval, they will adventure for one more chapter and then retire.
- If a hero earns a bonus to retirement age during a chapter, they will cancel retirement plans that no longer apply.
- Every hero has a hidden birthday.