Frayed Knights: The Skull of S'makh-Daon Preview and Q&A

The RPG Codex has put together a preview piece (or, in their words, "extravagant preview feature") on Rampant Games' indie dungeon crawler Frayed Knights: The Skull of S'makh-Daon, based on three hours spent with the title. Aside from these impressions, the piece also offers a walkthrough of a 10-turn battle from Jay 'Rampant Coyote' Barnson and a brief Q&A with him. Here's a sampling from the impressions part:
Speaking of Potions of Liquid Nap, those can increase your endurance and remove exhaustion which might come in handy because your biggest enemy early on, apart from pus golems, evil priests and cultists and brittlebone skeletons, seems to be your blue endurance bar. It's the same as a mana bar except it's called endurance here. You use it to cast spells and pull off your other combat abilities. Now the catch is, the game is not welcoming enough to just regenerate your endurance immediately after a fight. As far as I can tell it doesn't regenerate at all unless you press (R)est during a combat encounter. See, when in combat every action, like (A)ttacking, (C)asting a spell and so on requires a bit of endurance. When you rest instead for that turn you gain a small chunk of endurance back without immediately spending it on some combat action. That means I've found myself quite often casting "Invoke Snoring" (Sleep) on the last enemy and then resting my whole team for several turns while he was sleeping so they could get their blue bars filled up.

Exhaustion is another mechanic. You will probably note that after a couple of combat encounters you maximum endurance (you can see it on the above screenshot) will keep on dropping. The maximum amount of endurance you can have will get smaller and smaller the more exhausted you become. So far I've found no place to rest in the temple so at some point when the endurance bars of your casters are cut in half the situation becomes heinous and you will probably be grateful to have this potion of Liquid Nap or to have a drama star ready for usage. You're going to get drama points all the time, when you open a door and run into an ambush, when you defeat a group of enemies or when you have Arianna drink from a poisonous looking fountain. Everything nets drama points and you can use the filled up drama stars to get certain benefits. It looks like you're going to need said benefits, so I refrained from reloading so far.

And here's one from the Q&A:
VoD: At the beginning of the game the combat activity of the non-caster characters seems to mainly revolve around pressing (A) to attack. It makes me wonder how viable picking up caster skills for, say, Arianna is? Especially considering she doesn't really have the stats for casting, plus she easily inflicts the most pain despite only (A)-ing.

JB: Honestly - the game system isn't so flexible that Arianna can become your top spell-lobber (not unless you deliberately nerf Chloe). It's always going to be an uphill battle for her without the sorcerer class benefits, and with her initial stats not favoring offensive spell use. And it's always going to be a sacrifice of her potential as a warrior. Take your pick.

That being said - it's really in how you play her. One concern I've had during testing is whether or not she becomes *too* powerful when given (specifically) divine priest magic. Paladin-Arianna is kinda scary potent, especially if you use her carefully. Divine priest has a lot of spells to be cast on friendlies, so you don't need to worry so much about her ability to get spells to 'stick.' And even the lower-level spells, up through level 6 or so, are reasonably effective at any level. And Shred the Dead is apparently more effective than most of her weapons at mid-level against undead. Having her help out buffing before combat, and healing afterwards, becomes pretty dang useful.

So my answer is "yes," but with qualifications.

I still tend to play her more as a straight warrior build, and even at higher level I probably use a straight-up (A)ttack more than half the time. But by seventh or eighth level I have usually given her two or three active combat feats, so it's less of a limitation than a stand-by if I can't think of something more interesting to do.