On the character attributes page is a section for abilities (different from talents). I've earned the abilites Axii sign hex, cover, conjuror and assassin. Each of those gives a certain bonus, which is nice, but I have no idea how I unlocked most of those abilities.

I got the Axii sign hex when I first used Axii in a conversation, but I've no clue how I unlocked the rest of them. Are they given to you on certain events, or do you have to do something special to get them?

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These abilities are gained by performing specific actions, but they're not revealed to you until after you've done them. Some examples:

  • As you mentioned, Axii is received after first using it in conversation.
  • Assassin is received after locating Altair's body in the prologue.
  • Cover is received by staying under Triss's magic shield for the duration of that event at the start of chapter 1 (source).

Some of these are possible to miss, so it pays to be an explorer and a completionist.

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  • I've left the shield for short times and still got the cover ability, I would consider that one suspect. – Mad Scientist May 21 '11 at 7:12

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