When you encounter monsters, combat is turned-based and each character can perform one attack or special skill (based on class) per round. However, there is several ways to handle this:
1. All skills (including basic attacks) are "equally good" and you can choose anyone each combat round (used in darkest dungeon)
2. Like 1 but each skill has a cooldown of X turns. More powerful ones have longer cooldown. Cooldowns only refill during combat, not while exploring (so CDs will remain into next fight).
3. Skills cost mana/energy to use, so more powerful skills use more mana, forcing you to plan. It regens in town only (maybe with rare potions as well.
4. Use both CD and energy (like most MMORPGs, like wow)
5. No mana is used. Skills are limited use. So you can only use ice bolt 2 times and healing wave 1 time. Resets in town.
What are your thoughts on this? Each character already has HP and morale bars, so another bar (mana/energy) might be too much.
1. Aside from variety, I don't see the upside to this.
2. Cooldown should refill during exploration. IE. they should be reset at the start of every battle.
3. Standard and fair.
4. IMO, that's a bit punitive to the player. Is there an in-battle reward in using spells? Is there a way to overcome this as a team? EX: can a player speed up cooldowns of other players and/or replenish mana of other players?
5. I'd save that for the Legendary difficulty setting.