The game starts with a choice between a nameable male or female protagonist, and one of five origins stories. Each origin story offers some unique dialog, quests, and effect which NPCs can be encountered, but doesn't affect the game in an immense way; however, this does give you some freedom in giving the protagonist a semblance of characterization.
Each origin include a flavor story at the beginning of the game, which you can choose to play through or skip. If you skip origin, you automatically start in Oakshire with Meredith as companion with her and you both at level 3.
Each player starts with an origin related Perk, and gains additional perks at level five, then five levels after that, etc. Perks can also be gained through quests (citation/example needed on what perks are gained through questing...?).
List of Perks
Empathy - Your charm opens up new possibilities in conversations.
Explorer - As an attentive person you may discover secrets which are hidden to others. You are also able to lock pick doors.
Finesse - Grants you a huge bonus on your ATK and MAT.
Strong back - Grants you the ability to wear heavy armor regardless of your class.
Toughness - Grants you a huge bonus your health points and Defence
Fleet of Feet - Your nimbleness gives you a bonus to agility.
Leader - Grants [Protagonist] 30% XP Bonus.
Ninja - Grants 10% chance to counter attack.
Golden Nose - Doubles the gold you gain through fights.
Your starting class is affected by your origin. Then throughout the game, you'll find different quests that will unlock a class and change your current class. Every class has its own benefits and its set of combat abilities. Outside of combat you can switch classes from the Menu, but while auto battle is on your character can use abilities from any classes that support your current weapon(s) (as of v2.2.)
Note: While on these quest, you have the option of turning down the class as a reward. This loses you the class forever. Make sure you never want to be the class you are turning down as there is no way to restore it without starting the game over.
List of classes
Description: A guardian is a brave a warrior who will stand behind his shield no matter what.
Unlock: The Guardian can be unlocked from a quest involving Dwarf Guardian and some Ale. It starts at Oakshire, smithy.
Abilities: uses heavy armor, and shields; Skills: Provoke, Cover, and minor healing
Unlock: The Ranger can be unlocked from a quest involving retrieving a bow for Linea in Oakshire Forest, directly north of Oakshire. Quest
Abilities: Uses bows to unlock its offensive skills