Things are taking shape slowly. Since I'm off today, I've been able to lay the foundations of the skill system, configurable through a text file. Weapons are just special skills that are activated when you bump into the opponent. Other skills are activated by specific keys.
For each level of the tournament, the speaker presents your opponent, his equipment and his skills. Then you have to choose your own equipment (weapons, armor parts) and your skills (up to 8 skills). You start with no special skill but you can learn one skill after each victorious fight. The skills form a tree.
Some special features (like wielding a shield or dual weapon wielding) will only be available after you reach a specific level in the tournament.
The trick is to carefully adapt your skills, equipment and your tactics to your opponent as different opponents may have different weak points and winning tactics against an opponent may be completely ineffective against the next one. Special skills use stamina so one of your challenge will be to keep your stamina level high enough to be able to keep fighting. There will also be some special attacks that can be triggered by well synchronized key combos. As you see, there will be lots of differents aspects to keep the player busy during the fight.
To finish, since it's a Doryen family game, there will be of course a lot of useless eyecandy...