Thrusting is hold alt + LMB by default but you can change the modifier key from alt to something else in the game options menu if you prefer (I personally use a side mouse button for thrusts).Strange, I thought for sure that I saw something about friendly NPC dialogue being part of the planned feature set. It would be nice if it were fairly robust =D I do like that books and other clues in Exanima seem to drive the story and give the underworld more depth (I can't wait to discover what happened to that necromancer!)
In my opinion, true RPGs are "story" before "stats/abilities" but contain both, even if the "stats" portion is simple (or hidden). From what I have read so far, the Dev team seems to also encourage the player to choose wisely before engaging in combat, avoiding it if its not necessary. Maddoc himself stated somewhere that he was a big fan of the Thief series and wouldn't mind seeing some of that style of gameplay in SG as well.
Which skills/abilities are currently activatable? (I also couldn't figure out how to thrust, mind you)
There will be dialogue in Exanima but it will be more limited in both quantity and functionality when compared to Sui Generis. Encountering other humans in the Underworld is rare since not many people willingly visit the Underworld. Dialogue will work similar to games such as Morrowind.