Torment: Tides of Numenera is a science-fantasy, story-driven role-playing game. You play as The Last Castoff, a discarded body spawned by The Changing God. You will travel through the Ninth World (Earth a billion years in the future) to answer the question: What does one life matter?
Your character throughout Torment: Tides of Numenera is The Last Castoff. You'll be able to customize the: Type (Character Class), Descriptor (Stat Modifiers), Focus (Specialization), Abilities, & Skills. During your adventure, you'll also be able recruit additional customizable companions.
Health: determines how much damage you can take during a battle before falling. When a companion falls, they will be unavailable for the rest of the battle. However, under normal conditions: The Last Castoff is immortal & death is not permanent. If you fall, you'll wake up in the Calm after a short period of time. But keep in mind: falling in battle may have consequences for the greater story.
Stat Pools (Might, Speed, & Intellect): are stats which you can spend towards solving tasks, or using Abilities. Your Stat Pools are replenished when you sleep, or by using certain consumable items.
Type (Glaive, Jack or Nano): is similar to character classes in other role-playing games. Glaives are melee characters focused on heavy weapons & martial techniques. Jacks are roguish characters who use light weapons & stealth to outwit opponents. Nanos are techno-wizards capable of using powerful magic-like abilities, but are less adept in melee combat.
Abilities: are special techniques which you can choose for your characters. These can be: advanced attacks, passive abilities, "spells" to summon creatures to aid you, etc. Each Type has access to different abilities which are unique to them.
Skills: are learned traits available to characters that provide a variety of benefits. Skills are generally passive & make certain tasks easier to perform, such as: picking a lock, smashing a troublesome device, or deceiving someone in a conversation. But Skills might also: make it easier to use certain weapons, increase your equipment slots, or boost your maximum health.
Focus: is an advanced specialization gained later in the adventure. It will grant access to unique Abilities of the Focus. (Any Type can pick from any Focus.)
You will encounter many tasks throughout your journey. While anyone can generally attempt any task, your chances of succeeding will greatly depend on your Skills & Abilities.
By using Effort in the appropriate Stat Pool (Might, Speed or Intellect) you can increase your odds of succeeding at tasks. You can spend Effort on almost any task; whether that is trying to persuade someone to your side during a conversation, or hitting them over the head with a mace. The amount you can boost these chances is determined by your Max Effort Level stat, which can be increased as you progress.
Edge is another stat you will gain throughout your journey. Edge will reduce the Effort cost of an applicable Stat Pool. With careful planning, Edge might allow for you to boost the odds of success at no cost to your Stat Pools. Additionally, the activation cost of Abilities will be reduced by the Edge values of your characters.
Combat takes place in what is called a Crisis. When in a Crisis, gameplay changes from real-time to turn-based & control of your party occurs in sequence with the other characters within the Crisis. During a character's turn, they will be able to move once & perform a single action (such as attacking).
While in a Crisis you can focus your attention on directly fighting with enemies using weapons or abilities, other options are often available; these can include: manipulating the environment against your foes, convincing enemies to stand down, sneaking around them, etc. Not all Crises need to end in violence. Additionally, losing a Crisis might result in a more positive outcome in the long run.