Tales of Penundra
Abilities cover all the various ways in which a hero can deal damage, alter damage, or otherwise affect the world around them during encounters. Each adventurer can only have 3 abilities active at any given time (unless a Skill notes otherwise). While a hero may have a world’s worth of knowledge at their fingertips, they need to mentally prepare themselves for a particular encounter and select “the best tools for the job”.
Unlike Skills, the affects of Abilities are explicitly listed on the Ability Cards, so there shouldn’t be a whole lot of interpretation about what a Fireball spell actually does. That doesn’t mean that a hero can’t do something insane with their Abilities, it just means that the Abilities are more concrete and can only produce certain affects.
A hero must declare at all times which of their Abilities they have active. Typically, active cards are just placed face up on the table to indicate that they are in use. Outside of combat, heroes are free to switch out their Abilities as needed. Just make sure to check with your Storyteller to ensure you’re not in a comprised position first.
During combat, a hero may sacrifice their attack to switch out one active ability card with another. Depending on the situation, this may be done at any time, or may lead to some kind of penalty or complication. In rare cases, heroes may be required to do a skills check to see if they’ve successfully switched their active Abilities.