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Found 24 results

  1. A witch doctor is originally a type of healer who treated ailments believed to be caused by witchcraft. The term witch doctor is sometimes used to refer to healers, particularly in the region of Old Vailia, who use traditional healing rather than contemporary medicine. In monks' societies, "witch doctor" is sometimes used derisively to refer to a warrior who hates magic and witchcraft which is not done by kith. this monk absolutley loathes all forms of non kith casters like Pŵgras, Ogre Druids, Vithracks, Cean Gŵlas and so on and tries to purge them from the face of Eora as fast as possible. =================================== The Witch Doctor =================================== Difficulty: PotD v. 3.02 -------------------------------------------------------------- Class: Monk -------------------------------------------------------------- Race: Boreal Dwarf -------------------------------------------------------------- Background: The Living Lands - Explorer -------------------------------------------------------------- Stats: MIG: 21 CON: 10 DEX: 16 PER: 10 INT: 18 RES: 03 -------------------------------------------------------------- Skills: Stealth 4, Athl. 7, Lore 8, Mech. 0, Surv. 10 -------------------------------------------------------------- Talents (a=auto, r=recommended, !=important) Weapon Focus: Peasant Two Weapon Style Lightning Strikes ® Ghost Hunter ® Beast Slayer ® Wilder Hunter ® Primal Bane ® Apprentice's Sneak Attack Abilities Hunter's Instincts (a) Transcendent Suffering 4 (a) The Long Pain (!) Torment's Reach (!) Swift Strikes ® Force of Anguish (!) Skyward Kick ® Stunning Blow ® Second Whind (a) Knock Down (a - Girdle of the Driving Wave) Long Stride Flagellanth's Path or Resonant Touch --------------------------------------------------------------- Items (*=additional echantments by me; !=important, r=recommended): Weapon set 1: Fists/The Long Pain Weapon Set 2: Danulya & Irfarn Byrngar's Solace Boots: Echoing Misery Head: Maegfolc Skull Armor: Maneha's Armor (*Durgan Reinforced, INT+2, Slash-Proofed) Neck: Cloak of the Frozen Hunt Belt: Girdle of the Driving Wave Rings: Ring of Thorns, Bartender's Ring Hands: Gauntlets of Swift Action or Mourning Gloves or Blood Testment Quick slots: Scroll(s) of Tanglefoot, Binding Web, Plague of Insects, Prayer against Restraint ----------------------------------------------------------------- After "The Long Pain" was introduced to the game I thought that soon there would pop up some builds around that in this forum. But until today, I saw none specific build. Nerdcommando did a video about this, but it had some errors and didn't point out some of the most amazing features of The Long Pain. So I went out and did some testing to verify what works with this awesome abilitiy and what doesn't. Here are my results and the character I build around that. But first of all I have to explain an important fact: The Long Pain is considered a dual wielded ranged weapon - but for whatever reason it also works with most (not all) melee abilities. This allows for some crazy and relaly powerful combinations, have a look: What abilities, talents and items work/don't work with The Long Pain? Abilities: + Swift Strikes (makes flying fists hit faster) + Stunning Punch (stunning at a range of 12m without using wounds? Aweseome! Also: Full Attack!) + Skyward Kick (like above, but only Primary Attack - still good when you have no wounds left and want to take somebody out of the game fast) + Force of Anguish (pushing enemies away - but keep on hitting them at a distance. So much fun!) + Knock Down (from the Girdle of the Driving Wave; works like in melee but at 12m range. Only primary attack, but +20% damage!) + Torment's Reach (it's so easy to hit a lot of enemies when you stay in the back row, firing off Full Attacks(!) that do great AoE damage - this is the most powerful thing you can combine with The Long Pain - however, you need wounds) + Flagellanth's Path (like with fists - range 10m - but great to escape a mob - works even if you're stuck) - Enervating Blows (don't work with The Long Pain) - Turning Wheel (no fire damage gets added) Talents: + Lightning Strikes (+25% shock damage - since the base damage of The Long Pain is very high, this is awesome) + Two Weapon Style (The Long Pain is considered dual wielding - you get faster with this, tested and confirmed) + Weapon Focus Peasant (and I guess every other weapon focus, too, because The Long Pain is "universal" as all the other summoned weapons) + Marksman + Runner's Wounding Shot + Envenomed Strike + Apprentice's Sneak Attack + All the hater talents like Primal Bane and so on + Penetrating Shot (but I think with that high damage per hit speed is more important than 5 DR bypass) - Savage Attack (no damage added, no ACC malus) - Dangerous Implement (nope - but worth a try ) Items: + Blood Testament (will add raw damage per wound - but you will spend your wounds fast) + all items that spped you up like Gauntlets of Swift Action or Mourning Gloves + Bartender's Ring (20% more damage against vessels and spirits) + Archer's Gloves or Cloak of the Frozen Hunt (+10% damage) - Sandals of the Forgotten Friar (although titled unarmed, those sadly don't work with The Long Pain) Genereal thoughts: As usual a monk doesn't have many things that can boost ranged damage besides MIG, Archer's Gloves, Lightning Strikes and the hater talents. The Long Pain have enormous base damage and you want to add as many dmg modifiers as you can get to squeeze the most out of them. So maxed MIG sounds good. At the same time you want to have them as long as possible, so high INT is also good. High INT is also great for the cone of Torment's Reach and for all the disabling stuff you can have - like from Force of Anguish and Stunning Blows and so on. Because of this I took all the hater talents except Sanctifier - because you will also have St. Ydwen's Redeemer in your party and maybe also a priest. Those are great against vessels so we can skip Sanctifier. Talent points are scarce. And there's also the Bartender's Ring which gives us +20% against vessels anyway. I didn't take Marksman because most of the time I was not fighting at max range. In fact I was running around a lot and fought at melee or mid range most of the time. Standing right behind the front line, intercepting rushing enemies, catching some wounds or just running past some mobs in order to eat disengagement attacks for wounds before firing at the enemy spellcasters with the Long Pain. Also, with the camping bonuses I didn't feel the need for +5 ACC. The Long Pain also has a huge ACC bonus that seems to scale with level. At lvl 16 they have +20 ACC. I chose boreal dwarv as race because of the same reason: I wasn't doing ranged combat exclusively, so it felt like a waste to take wood elf. +15 ACC against two creature groups seemed to be better. I chose the second weapon setup because the shield, combined with the Ring of Thorns, gives you +100 to all defenses when you are prone or stunned. THis can be a lifesaver when you get cc'd and surrounded. Just switch to the second weapon set then and you get nearly untouchable. Once the cc effect wears off, use Force of Anguish to break free. Flagellanth's Path is also good for this. I didn't take it but I consider it a better choice than Resonant Touch actually. Damage, ACC and Speed: The Long Pain's base damage is 24-36 at lvl 16. I can add +10% from the Cloak of the Frozen Hunt (or Archer's Gloves) and also +42% from 24 MIG. The result is 37-55 crush damage against every enemy I meet. When I add the hater talents, it's another +25% against all enemies except kith and vessels. Now add the Bartender's Ring with +20% against spirits and vessels. Apprentice's Sneak Attack will add +15% from time to time. My ACC will get boosted by my racial ability (+15 against wilder and primordial), Weapon Focus (+6), the Long Pain itself (+20) and by resting bonuses (+15, not kith) as well as the cloak (+6 against beasts). So my damage and ACC bonuses would look like this: ------------------------------ Wilder: +77% (42-64), +92% with Appr. Sneak; +56 ACC Primordial: +77% (42-64), +92% with Appr. Sneak; +56 ACC Spirit: +97% (47-71), +112% with Appr. Sneak; +41 ACC Vessel: +72 (41-62), +87% with Appr. Sneak; +41 ACC Beast: +77% (42-64), +92% with Appr. Sneak; +47 ACC Kith: +52% (37-55), +67% with Appr. Sneak; +26 ACC (here you could use to use the bonus damage against flanked targets) On top of that, add +25% shock damage with Lightning Strikes... so much damage... ------------------------------ With Mourning Gloves or Gauntlets of Swift Action and Two Weapon Style, combined with Swift Strikes you can reach 0 recovery. So imagine very fast hits at 12 m range with more than 50 damage. It's like a gunshot from an arquebus, but with 0 recovery - you're basically a gatling gun. Now add the fact that you can do Full Attacks with Stunning Blows and Torment's Reach and it really gets ridiculous. If you have wounds and are at range - just use Torment's Reach - Full Attacks with a huge AoE at 0 recovery against a horde of enemies (also debuffing them) is pure fun. I never - really never - saw anything that powerful in my entire PoE "career". Too bad it only works as long you have some wounds left. But your auto-attacks are also pure destruction. CC: I also put together all the CC abilities a monk can have. Because the all work at range you now have a perfect disabler. Another reason is you just don't need all the other defensive stuff at all. You are not a pore front liner like most other monks - you just go in, get some wounds and retreat in order to summon the Long Pain and the start the gatling gun. So who need Crucible of Suffering and stuff? Some othjer things like Enervating Blows and Turning Wheel don't even work, so all is left are those CC things - and the synergy is perfect. Not only is this guy a dps monster when he has lots of sounds - he also can CC when he hasn't any: 2 Stunniung Blows, 2 Skyward Kicks, 1 Knockdown - all without wounds at range with The Long Pain - awesome! And it also triggers Apprentice's Sneak Attack. Theme: I wanted high MIG and the Skull is best for this. Unbending is also good because you want to get hit from time to time in order to get wounds (but you can also shoot this monk in the back to get them of course) and Unbening prevents a knockout when you get surrounded. Together with Maneha's Armor your char will look like a Witch Doctor from Diablo and so I chose this theme. The Mourning Gloves and Unbending work quite well togeher with the armor and high MIG by the way. You will get healed by ~27 points each time you kill an enemy - which was enough for my "non-frontliner" playstyle. Unbending will do more healing. And it all looks funny of course. I added some druidic scrolls which fit into the theme and are also great for CC - Binding Web for example stop the enemies from chasing you. This can happen if you're out of CC attacks for the moment. All in all this is a very powerful combination of DPS and CC. When you let per-rest spells aside, I think this is one of the most powerful dps/cc combinations you can build at the moment. Because you don't have to move at all while you send them all to the ground or hit them with mighty force. And this guy's also not too flimsy. Another good thing is that all the abilities and talents also work with your normal fists. So you're never helpless even if you didn't have time or wounds to summon your Long Pain. Thanks for your time! I'm looking forward to reading your comments. edit: Whoo! Tons of typos! Will fix that later... Added Pen. Shot to the list of talents.
  2. Welcome to the new and updated list of current builds from these boards. The actual list is down below (scroll down a bit). Each of the several classes and multiclasses in the game are listed below in alphabetical order (single classes first, then multiclasses), with each build listed alphabetically underneath. If there's no build yet for a class/multiclass then you won't find the class name/section. I will add those once class builds come flying in. I don't order by subclasses. If you think I should and can tell my why I will consider it. For each build you'll find a short descriptor, an indication of the game version it was built for and/or it uses gear and abilities from, and whether it has been meant or tested for solo play. --- DISCLAIMER: SOLO PLAY I assume solo play to be untested for all builds that do not explicitly mention solo play in the OP. If anyone tested any of these builds for solo play and would like their experience to be reflected in this thread, please PM me specifying the build you used, the difficulty you tried, and whether you could beat the game. Similarly, if you want your build's descriptor updated, contact us with the updated descriptor. DISCLAIMER II: THREAD NAMING/TAGGING Included in this list are only builds that got send via PM or posted with the "class build" or "build" tag or with [CLASS BUILD] in the title. Since there is so much info posted atm I can't search the forums for every untagged build/build idea that is floating around. If your build is missing, please PM me with the relevant information (link, descriptor, game version, solo play) and I will add it. DISCLAIMER III: LABELS Builds can get tagged with different labels. At the moment there are three: |HOT| marks builds that got a substantical amount of feedback from the community (in form of responses, currently 20+), |POPULAR| will be put on builds that have surpassed a certain number of likes (currently 10+). Unmaintained builds or builds that won't work anymore because of patches will get tagged with |DEPRECATED| until they get updated. If they don't get updated they might get removed eventually after some time. Builds that need a mod (for example to unlock certain subclasses that are otherwise only usable by NPCs or companions) to work will be labeled with |MOD| . --- FORMAT: Build Name [links to the build's thread] Subclass(es) Short descriptor of what the build does or specializes in. Author: The user who made the build. Game version: What game version the build was created for, and/or uses equipment and abilities from. Difficulty: On which difficulty level this build was played Solo: Whether the build is suitable or intended for solo play:"Yes [Difficulty]" - The build was either created or tested for solo play on the specified difficulty level. "No [Difficulty]" - The build was tested for solo play on the specified difficulty level and the game could not be beaten. "Untested" - The build wasn't born with solo play in mind, but for all we know it might as well work—except nobody's tried yet. Companion: Does this build fit any of the official companions or sidekicks? If "yes", just add the name of the companion/sidekick here​. Usually it's only one name I guess. If you are searching for a companion-build you can simply use the search funktion of your browser (ctrl+f) to search for a companion name. --- SINGLE CLASSES (bold=there's a build): Barbarian, Chanter, Cipher, Druid, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Priest, Ranger, Rogue, Wizard MULTICLASSES (bold=there's a build): Arcane Knight, Ascetic, Battlemage, Beastmaster, Brawler, Brute, Cantor, Celebrant, Cleric, Contemplative, Crusader, Fanatic, Geomancer, Harbinger, Herald, Hierophant, Holy Slayer, Howler, Hunter, Inquisitor, Itinerant, Liberator, Loremaster, Marauder, Mindstalker, Mystic, Oracle, Pathfinder, Psyblade, Ravager, Sage, Savage, Scout, Seer, Shadowdancer, Shaman, Shepherd, Sorcerer, Spellblade, Spiritualist, Swashbuckler, Tempest, Templar, Thaumaturge, Theurge, Transcendent, Universalist, Votary, Wanderer, War Caller, Warden, Warlock, Wildrhymer, Witch, Zealot COMPANION & SIDEKICK BUILDS (bold=there's a build): Aloth, Edér, Fassina, Konstanten, Maia Rua, Mirke, Pallegina, Rekke, Serafen, Tekehu, Vatnir, Xoti, Ydwin Ok, fire away! ------------------------------ ----------BUILD LIST---------- ------------------------------ ---------SINGLE CLASS--------- Barbarian The Ultimate Suicide Bomb |HOT| |DEPRECATED| an offense heavy build that discards any defense to max AoE (shock) damage output Subclass: Berserker Author: dunehunter Game Version: 1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Cipher Dat Arsehole Ascendant A pure dps cipher build Subclass: Ascendant Author: 1TTFFSSE Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - ------------------------------ Fighter The Intelligent Captain a smart tactician and leader that has a lot of options and uses underrated abilities with great efficiency Subclass: - Author: Myrtillo Game Version: 1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - The Undying Titan Maximizing the effect of Unbending Subclass: Unbroken (any other works as well) Author: Esajin Game Version: 1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: Edér, Rekke ------------------------------ Monk The Flagellant A ranged dps monk who generates wounds through controlled self damage Subclass: Helwalker Author: ntavanga Game Version: 1.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Priest The End Bringer A powerful offensive Priest of Rymrgand, unlockable through a mod or playable with Vatnir Subclass: Priest of Rymrgand Author: Stardusk78 Game Version: 2.0 (+mod) Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: Vatnir ------------------------------ Ranger The Arcana Archer An archer who combines certain scrolls with Frostseeker in a very effective way, dealing massive AoE damage Subclass: Ghost Heart Author: Dorftek Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: Maia Rua ------------------------------ Rogue The Duelling Corsair A veritable fencer without the need for stealthy tactics Subclass: Streetfighter Author: Myrtillo Game Version: 1.0 Difficulty: Veteran Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Wizard The Combusting Wizard Very high dps Wizard with lots of versatility for group or solo runs Subclass: - Author: eschu101 Game Version: 2.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: Aloth The Master of Missiles <no description provided> Subclass: Evoker Author: knownastherat Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - Tormentor of Mind and Body excellent crowd controller and debuffer Subclass: Illusionist Author: Silvaren Game Version: 4.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - ----------MULTICLASS---------- Arcane Knight (Paladin/Wizard) The Angel of Death A dual wielding, self buffing tank with great AoE dmg Subclasses: Bleak Walker/Evoker Author: Sarnael Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - The Archknight Goldmagi Dual-wielding, self buffing killing machine with tanking capacity and endless zeal resource Subclasses:Goldpact Knight/Evoker Author: Enurale Game Version: 4.1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - The Solo Arcane Knight |HOT| What happens when you have 210+ deflection? Subclasses: Goldpact Knight/- Author: Sfzrx Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - ------------------------------ Ascetic (Druid/Monk) The Fate Testarossa |HOT| |POPULAR| or: how to accidentally make your Watcher more anime than Ydwin Subclasses: Fury/Helwalker Author: Ascaloth Game version: 1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Battlemage (Fighter/Wizard) Cuchulain Battlemage who focuses on Citzal's Spirit Lance Subclasses: Devoted/- Author: Cyrus Blackfeather Game Version: 1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - The Lightning Rod |HOT| Battlemage caster able to unleash calamitous amounts of lightning damage on self and foes Subclasses: -/Evoker (optional) Author: Elebhral Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Brawler (Fighter/Monk) Gypsy Thunder |HOT| a harbinger of storm, mowing enemies with her lightning machinegun Subclasses: Devoted/Nalpazca Author: Giftmefood Game Version: 1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - The Lady of Pain |HOT| |POPULAR| DEPRECATED due to patch 1.1 High-speed, medium-armored dps great sword user Subclasses: Devoted/Helwalker Author: AndreaColombo Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - The Tornado |HOT| A brawler who's standing in a pack of enemies and spinning like crazy in order to cause as much damage as possible Subclasses: Devoted/- (vanilla or any subclass) Author: BalkothTheFeared Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - ------------------------------ Brute Guts - Frenzied Berserker |HOT| Build with great tanking possibilities, good self healing, good damage against solo targets and devastating power against crowds Subclass: Berserk/Devoted Author: seed_ls Game Version: 1.0-1.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - The Lady of Endless Whispers A relentless and tempered brute, good damage and area of effect Subclass: -/Devoted Author: Kenneth77 Game Version: 1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - Wiliiam "Will" Breaker A howling immortal one man army that smashes everything in its path with high hit-to-crit conversion Subclass: Berserker/Devoted Author: Vonmama Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - ------------------------------ Contemplative (Monk/Priest) The Fists of Vengeance |HOT| does excellent single target and aoe damage and is very versatile Subclasses: Helwalker/Priest of Woedica |MOD| Author: 1TTFFSSE Game Version: 2.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - Skaen's Godsworn Ripping enemies to shreds with Skaen's blessed weapons or your fists Subclasses: Helwalker/Priest of Skaen Author: Wolken3156 Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Crusader (Fighter/Paladin) Bloodsail - The Pirate Paladin Crusader version: stand your ground, Devoted and Goldpact passives/heals make him very tanky; dps is good Subclasses: Goldpact Knight/Devoted Author: diamondsforever Game Version: 3.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Fanatic (Barbarian/Paladin) The Brutish Knight |HOT| A tanking barbarian in light armor Subclasses: Berserker/Kind Wayfarer Author: Pharaun159 Game Version: 1.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - The Imperial Fanatic Pumping out crits with the Last Word, silencing mobs while being resistant to every affliction Subclasses: Berserker/Bleak Walker Author: Theosupus Game Version: 2.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Harbinger (Chanter/Rogue) The Cunning Duelist Subclasses: Skald/Trickster A hamstringing specialist capable of inflicting all types of afflictions Author: Ascaloth Game version: 2.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - The Harbinger of Berath A tank who's using key gear, Persistent Distraction and Chanter phrases simultaneously to boosts defenses an armor rating and to unlock Deathblows passively. Subclasses: Troubadour/Streetfighter Author: Ganrich Game Version: 1.1(beta) Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - The Sweeper Agent The Sweeper's main focus is an interrupt and utility build that is tuned more towards range, but it can handle well also as a midline melee. Subclasses: Troubadour/Streetfighter Author: Metaturtle Game Version: 2.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Herald (Chanter/Paladin) The Fire-Breathing Drake Beathes fire with Dragon’s Dowry, summons an army of fire-breathing drakes to her side and buffs her allies with the Mith Fyr and Shared Flames Subclasses: Troubadour/Shieldbearer Author: TheMetaphysician Game Version: 4.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: Pallegina The Healing Wall |HOT| A main tank who doubles as powerful endurance healer Subclasses: Troubadour/Shieldbearer Author: Climhazzard Game Version: 1.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - Sir Sit-a-Lot What is the most effective but laziest way of soloing PotD? Subclasses: doesn't matter/doesn't matter Author: Marigoldran Game Version: 1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: Pallegina The Sword Singer (A) |HOT| Single or AOE tanky high melee DPS with extreme self healing, CC/offensive spells, summons, AOE healing/buffs and infinite Resources on Level 19 Subclasses: Troubadour/Kind Wayfarer Author: Voltron Game Version: 1.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - Tuono e Fulmine |POPULAR| how to make Pallegina hit like thunder and strike like lightning Author: Ascaloth Game version: 1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: Pallegina ------------------------------ Holy Slayer (Paladin/Rogue) Bloodsail - The Pirate Paladin Holy Slayer version: getting flanked an/or bloodied, utilizing Streetfighter bonuses to dish out great DPS while using Goldpacts Gilded Enmity to lessen damage Subclasses: Goldpact Knight/Streetfighter Author: diamondsforever Game Version: 3.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - The Bleak Huntress |HOT| Sniper assassin with high initial burst damage, high accuracy and nice roleplay fluff Subclasses: Bleak Walker/Assassin Author: Voltron Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - The Faceless Dancer |HOT| Solo retaliation tank Subclasses: Bleak Walker/Trickster Author: 1TTFFSSE Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - The Holy Hand Grenadier Lob explosives which debuff your foes with DOTs and afflictions. Paladin defenses let you safely self-afflict distracted with the blunderbuss modal and have constant streetfigther speed bonus. Subclasses: Goldpact||Bleak Walker||Kind Wayfarer/Streetfighter Author: arkane83 Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - Stop-N-Go extremely tanky high dps build that hovers in the Bloodied/Near Death zone while stacking stand-still abilities and teleporting around the battlefield Subclasses: Goldpact Knight/Streetfighter Author: whimper Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - ------------------------------ Howler (Barbarian/Chanter) The Lord of the Imps |HOT| |POPULAR| Summon small, squishy skeletons, smash them with Gravecaller, triggering Blood Thirst and generating an army of imps Subclasses: Berserker/Beckoner Author: Dortek Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - ------------------------------ Inquisitor (Cipher/Paladin) The Adra Infused Duelist Fast, deadly and can strip enemy defenses down to allow allies to pummel away Subclasses: Soulblade/Kind Wayfarer Author: dbarbarian14 Game Version: 2.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - The Redeemer |HOT| 2h solo character built around the synergy between paladin (high defenses and survivability), cipher (high damage) and The Whispers of the Endless Paths (AoE, Riposte) Subclasses: Soulblade/Goldpact Knight Author: Kaylon Game Version: 3.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - The Three Aspects of the Inquisitor no FoD Inquisitor for solo PotD Subclasses: Soulblade/Goldpact Knight Author: Vonmara Game Version: 3.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - ------------------------------ Loremaster (Chanter/Wizard) The Stress-free Master |POPULAR| The most stress-free PotD solo runner Subclasses: Beckoner/Evoker Author: ppscurry Game Version: 1.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - ------------------------------ Marauder (Barbarian/Rogue) The Lightning Sphinx |HOT| self-buffing lightning lash Marauder Subclasses: Berserker/Assassin Author: 1TTFFSSE Game Version: 1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - ------------------------------ Mindstalker (Cipher/Rogue) The Company Man Roleplaying build for PotD Subclasses: Ascendant/Streetfighter Author: Cyrus Blackfeather Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - The Dishonored Play like Corvo: stick to the outskirts of combat backstabbing to build up focus then firing off cipher abilities. Subclasses: Soulblade/Assassin Author: Statis_Sword Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: Veteran Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Ravager (Barbarian/Monk) The Furry Ravager Tmaximize the spamming of bonus attacks via crits and the right weapon choice. Subclasses: Berserker/Helwalker Author: thundercleese Game Version: 2.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - The Slayer The Slayer is constantly trying to die, but is just too good at killing to have succeeded at his goal yet Subclasses: Berserker/Helwalker Author: Theosupus Game Version: 2.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - The Tiny Smasher Tiny AoE damage dealer with the goal of maximizing Might and Intellect or Constitution Subclasses: Berserker/Helwalker Author: Belegc Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: Classic Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Sage (Monk/Wizard) The Burning Sage Capable of high damage magic and highly buffed melee dps Subclasses: Helwalker/- Author: Lokithecat Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - The Mirrorback Can shift between powerful AOE blasting, single target DPS and a "mirror mode" in which it reflects attacks and spells back at attackers Subclasses: Helwalker/- Author: whimper Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - The Lancer of Galawain Using Citzal's Spirit Lance to generate lots of wounds with autoattacks Subclasses: Shattered Pillar/- Author: Cyrus Blackfeather Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - Thougt and Memory Long range striker who carpet-bombs enemies with spells and pokes them from afar with Citzal's Spirit Lance + Instruments of Pain Subclasses: Helwalker/- Author: Cyrus Blackfeather Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - ------------------------------ Scout (Ranger/Rogue) The Deep Leap |HOT| |POPULAR| deceiving and evading AoE *booom* fake Assassin Subclasses: Ghost Heart/Trickster Author: Boeroer Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Seer (Cipher/Ranger) The Glanfathan Soul Hunter a defensive ranged build, puppet master, high acc Subclasses: Ascendant/Ghost Heart Author: mant2si Game Version: 1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - One-Eyed Jack Versatile dual-wielding melee and ranged striker with crowd control capabilities Subclasses: Soulblade/Ghost Heart Author: doggiep0op Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: Veteran Solo: Untested Companion: - The Will-Bender |HOT| Turns Whisper of Treason (and other mind control) into a highly accurate ability - and comes with a bodyguard! Subclasses: Ascendant/- Author: Braven Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Shadowdancer (Monk/Rogue) A Dance with Death A seemingly fragile glass cannon that can attacks fast, dodge everything, deal with mobs, and get out of the stickiest situations alive Subclasses: Helwalker/Trickster Author: Vonmara Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - The Drunken Master Wander around in an alcohol and drug fueled stupor lulling your enemies into surrounding you then suddenly explode into motion Subclasses: Nalpasca/Streetfighter Author: Theosupus Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - The Eccentric Scepter-Trick single target dps and good debuffer Subclasses: Helwalker/Assassin Author: Silvaren Game Version: 2.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - The Fast Assassin the classical rogue: a dual wielding backstabber who attacks as fast as possible and is good in debuffing enemies Subclasses: Shattered Pillar/Assassin Author: Madscientiest Game Version: 1.1 Difficulty: Veteran Solo: No Companion: - The Howitzer ranged crowd control/dps Subclasses: Nalpasca/Assassin Author: Dorftek Game Version: 1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - ------------------------------ Shaman (Barbarian/Priest) The Harbinger of Doom Dark Shaman build: Burn and sacrifice yourself and enemies for Skaen's sake Subclasses: Berserker/Priest of Skaen Author: mant2si Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - ------------------------------ Shepherd (Paladin/Ranger) Commander Shephard A sniper arquebus build with an insane amount of accuracy Subclasses: Bleak Walker/Sharpshooter Author: ppscurry Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - ------------------------------ Sorcerer (Druid/Wizard) Elemental Arsenal Stay back, buff, throw a Stun/Blind/Paralyse, look for the smallest AR/Defense rating, cast, repeat. Plenty of room for adaptation, no grimoire/weapon switching, no PL to keep track of. Subclasses: Fury/- Author: Beriel Game Version: 3.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Spellblade (Rogue/Wizard) The Spymaster Makes use of Wizard's defensive spells as well as high Constitution to maintain Flanked and Bloodied status for the Streetfighter's speed/damage bonuses Subclasses: Streetfighter/- Author: Cyrus Blackfeather Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - ------------------------------ Spiritualist (Chanter/Cipher) Rymrgand's Artitst |HOT| snowballs early into a biawac of destruction and test the power of your gaming contraption Subclasses: Beckoner||Skald||Troubadour/Soulblade||Ascendant Author: Metaturtle Game Version: 2.1 Difficulty: Veteran Solo: Solo Companion: - The Siren The Siren is about control - both of your enemies and of summons - with a good amount of debuffs on top. Subclasses: Beckoner/Beguiler Author: Toadbat Game Version: 2.0 Difficulty: Veteran Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Swashbuckler (Fighter/Rogue) Armorbreaker |HOT| Sturdy two-handed striker, focusing on high penetration estocs and area of effect capabilities Subclasses: Devoted/Streetfighter Author: Haplok Game Version: 2.01 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - The Iron Hammer Fights defensively and outlasts his enemies by locking them down in engagement and picking his moment for devastating retaliatory attacks Subclasses: Unbroken/Trickster Author: Theosupus Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - The Queen's Executioner Heavy AoE alpha strikes with Oathbreaker's End with respectable single target damage to mop up Subclasses: -/Assassin Author: thundercleese Game Version: 2.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - ------------------------------ Templar (Paladin/Priest) The Champion of Magran Mixes the best support spells and abilities with the strongest fire based abilities to make a strong flexible dps/support char Subclasses: Bleak Walker/Priest of Magran Author: Ansalon Game Version: 1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - The Dark Knight of Wael |HOT| High defense single-target damage dealer Subclasses: Bleak Walker/Priest of Wael Author: BalkothThe Feared Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Thaumaturge (Priest/Wizard) Effigy's Bombardement |HOT| Caster that combines both divine and arcane magic Subclasses: Priest of Skaen/- Author: araj123 Game Version: 1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - The Deathless Thaumaturge - no short description - Subclasses: <any Priest subclass>/Bloodmage Author: brasilgringo Game Version: 4.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - The Electric Dyslexic |HOT| Self-empowerment by taking in the absolute highest lightning damage you can generate through use of Maelstrom Scrolls Subclasses: Priest of Wael/- Author: Hulk'O'Saurus Game Version: 3.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - ------------------------------ Theurge (Chanter/Druid) The Healbot Party heal bot for heavy duty healing Subclasses: Troubadour/Livegiver Author: 1TTFFSSE Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: Tekehu (minus the Troubadour perks) Tāwhirimātea, the God of Storms Shock, freeze, and heal in a single package Subclasses: Stormspeaker/Watershaper Author: Ascaloth Game Version: 2.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: Tekehu ------------------------------ Transcendent (Cipher/Monk) The Transcendent A midline skirmisher that can debuff and charm enemies Subclasses: Soul Blade/Nalpasca Author: Climhazzard Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - ------------------------------ Universalist (Druid/Priest) The Keeper of the Wheel support/ healer as well as a consistent buffer/debuffer and reliable DOT dealer Subclasses: Animist/Priest of Berath Author: Stardusk78 Game Version: 1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - ------------------------------ Votary (Monk/Paladin) Burn Baby Burn! |HOT| Gives Paladin both superb single target burst and a AoE nuking option. Subclasses: Helwalker/Shieldbearer Author: Voltron Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - The Eternal Votary |HOT| A tanky yet potent damage dealer for soloing PotD Subclasses: Helwalker/Paladin Author: Sharp Game Version: 1.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - No Pain - no Brains A retaliation based build where you also retaliate against yourself. Triggers rooting pain constantly while not dying. Subclasses: Helwalker/Paladin Author: Braven Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Wanderer (Monk/Ranger) The Big Game Hunter Capable of inflicting massive single target damage at range with an arquebus. Subclasses: Helwalker/Ghost Heart Author: bigwillystyle Game Version: 2.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ War Caller (Chanter/Fighter) The Sword Singer (B) |HOT| |DEPRECATED| Single or AOE tanky high melee DPS with extreme self healing, CC/offensive spells, summons, AOE healing/buffs and infinite Resources on Level 19 Subclasses: Troubadour/Devoted Author: Voltron Game Version: 1.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - The Turbocharger |HOT| |DEPRECATED| A dual wielding melee crit monster, which recovers resources, enabling it to spam charge Subclasses: Troubadour/Devoted Author: Raven Darkholme Game Version: 1.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - ------------------------------ Warden (Druid/Fighter) The Green Knight A frontline bruiser/support/healer Subclasses: Devoted/Lifegiver Author: ntavanga Game Version: 1.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - ------------------------------ Zealot (Priest/Rogue) The Undying |HOT| High risk and very high dps by stacking near death enhancing effects Subclasses: Priest of Skaen/Streetfighter Author: Dorftek Game Version: 1.2 (beta) Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - Let's learn with Umezawa! |HOT| Versatile and mobile Zealot, tanking on huge packs of enemies or jumping around behind enemy lines to assassinate troublesome foes Subclasses: Priest of Wael/Streetfighter Author: thelee Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: -
  3. When I was but a tween, addicted to the original Neverwinter Nights on our crappy family computer that could hardly run it, I refused to play anything but the Shifter prestige class. The idea of shapeshifting into different creatures to face my enemies was too exciting to even consider abandoning. Now that I’m much older and only very slightly less single-minded (sadly my computer can run Deadfire only slightly better than the old junker could run NWN), I’ve imported my love of shapeshifting to this game, resolving from the beginning to make the most of the Shifter Druid subclass. At this time, I believe I have some insights that are worth sharing for others who may be interested in this subclass. This post will be a bit long and unusual, because I will provide a brief analysis of the strengths of Shifters in general as well as my favourite class build to illustrate my points (it’s a Tempest build, so Barbarian fans, stick around). I hope that the post encourages others to give the Shifter subclass a shot, whether in the form of my Tempest build or otherwise. Let’s jump in. First Principles The biggest pitfall one may succumb to when planning a Shifter build is to think of the Shifter as an entirely martial subclass. Spiritshift has the benefit of two strong single-handed weapons in combination with armour as strong as superb Heavy Armor (when fully scaled) without any recovery penalty, and with no vulnerabilities (i.e. the armour has the same rating for all damage types unlike regular armours, which have weaknesses). This is a solid foundation to build on, but it is not equivalent to the martial benefits of an entire martial subclass like Fighter or Rogue. Shifters are still Druids, and Druids are spellcasters. Now let’s take a step back and ask what makes Druids special. What is their niche? I would provide two answers to this: healing and versatility. If there is one single thing a Druid can do better than any other class, it’s keeping a team healed. But that’s far from the whole story. Druids can also do significant damage, valuable crowd control, have some good summons, and a few very useful party buffs. And, of course, they have bursts of martial power from Spiritshift. No other class packs such diverse value in a single team slot, even though other classes will be better at most specific aspects. Druid subclasses leverage this versatility by offering specialization in one of the dimensions of the Druid kit, usually compromising another. This might lead one to think that a Druid subclass should be built to focus on that one specialist dimension and no other, but this is simply the general form of the pitfall that I mentioned at the beginning of this section. Versatility remains a core strength of the Druid class in each of its subclasses. The subclasses emphasize a dimension of the class – they do not invalidate all others. Your Lifegiver can still drop strong damage spells. Your Fury can still summon and do plant/beast DPS. Forgoing such versatility will always just make your Druid worse than they could be. This class is not supposed to just do one thing. Our first principle of building a Shifter follows easily: spellcasting must be respected as a core part of the character. Shifters are Druids, not furry warriors. And because Shifters lose their spellcasting when they shift, each battle must be divided between casting and martial phases if we want to benefit from all the character’s strengths. These are the parameters within which we will be thinking in what follows. Single Class vs. Multiclass I admit that I’ve never played a SC Shifter (I’ve had 3 Shifter playthroughs; a man only has so much time) but theorycrafting it is pretty straightforward. It would be decent. The main Shifter-specific benefits from SC would be Avenging Storm and Wildstrike Frenzy. Shifters will have good melee attack speed (especially cat form) and relatively low deflection, so AS is liable to put in some decent work (though nothing at the level of what can be metagamed with hand mortars, blunderbusses, Frostseeker, etc.). The Wildstrike Frenzy passives ought to be the #1 draw, but they are unfortunately lacklustre. Their effects only proc on kill with a shifted animal-weapon attack, not on spell kills (thanks to Boeroer for testing this). As we established in our first principle, good Shifter will be doing a lot of damage with spells, and Shifters will emphasize spells that do continuous damage while they are transformed. This means Wildstrike Frenzy will do nothing when the final blow comes from Avenging Storm, Nature’s Terror, Plague of Insects, Relentless Storm, or several other DPS spells you may have cast. Now, ‘on kill’ is an inherently weak trigger condition: the goal of combat is to kill enemies, therefore on-kill effects reward you for having already been successful and can’t help when you are struggling to get kills. On kill effects can still be very good for momentum (see the build below), but they need to be reliable with a trigger with such an inherent drawback. SC Shifters will be doing most of their damage from spells since they lack martial passives to help with melee, get higher level spells, and benefit from high power level (shifting doesn’t benefit from PL). That Frenzy doesn’t work with spell kills is therefore a major disappointment. A great thing about SC Shifter is that Shifters don’t lose access to any Druid spells (before they shift), meaning that you can enjoy the complete Druid spell list with the added benefit of sustained martial abilities. I would recommend SC Shifter to a player who primarily wants to play a caster but likes the idea of having a respectable melee presence without much fuss (i.e. no relying on buff chains or specific gear). Multiclassing is where we can get a bit more creative in drawing out a Shifter’s strengths, most obviously by giving our Shifter access to martial passives that will help their melee power. But if there is one thing you take from this post, let it be this: try to pick a second class that synergizes with the Shifter’s spellcasting as well as its melee ability. You’re going to be spending a significant amount of time casting spells and relying on spell damage so, ideally, you don’t want your second class to be irrelevant to that dynamic. A shifter has two major dimensions, two combat “phases” – you want to build for both. The class build below demonstrates what this looks like. Beast Tempest Shifter/Fury Shaper Dive into your enemies’ midst and thrash them to pieces with spells, claws, and teeth. Game version: 5.0 Difficulty: POTD (upscaled) Solo: Untested Overview: Perhaps most importantly from a synergistic point of view, Barbarians are most effective in melee when going after groups of weakened enemies. That’s because they get damage spikes against low-health enemies and massive action speed benefits on kill (see writeup on Blood Thirst below). This means that their damage per second increases significantly when they can crush multiple low-health enemies, back-to-back. Accordingly, compared to other possible martial multiclasses, you get significantly more value out of your Druid spell damage-over-time effects that you will have casted earlier in the fight. Making every enemy weaker before you start your melee phase therefore has a direct and noticeable effect on Barbarian power. This alleviates the inherent martial-caster action time tension whereby spell damage and melee damage compete with each other since time spent doing one is time not spent doing the other. With a Tempest, time spent casting damage feeds into your melee power directly. Note well that, unlike Wildstrike Frenzy, Barbarian on-kill buffs (Bloodlust and Blood Thirst) do indeed trigger on spell kills, so no need to worry about what gets the final blow (except for when a spell steals your Barbaric Smash kill and you lose resources), and you’ll find that when you have multiple spells going on against a large group of enemies, these buffs will pop up regularly when you didn’t even notice you got a kill. Finally, the action speed and Might benefits from Frenzy obviously help in your spellcasting phase. Furthermore, Barbarians have some tension in their design: with very low deflection, very high health, an armour passive, and more, they are meant to take hits. This screams, “get the highest armour value possible!” They also have multiple ways to increase action speed, so you want to build them them to swing fast. Unfortunately, heavy armour comes with a hefty recovery speed penalty, so if you try to maximize your armour, you action speed bonuses get eaten up compensating for it. You’ll recall, though, that Spiritshift armour has a high rating and no action speed penalty whatsoever. Therefore, while shifted you will fully leverage a Barbarian’s tankiness and action speed perhaps unlike any other context in the game. You can see that though Barbarian is traditionally a “martial” subclass, it benefits from the characteristically Druid form of spell casting (damage over time across a wide area) and it powers up spell casting as well. Add this to Spiritshift’s inherent speed and armour benefits and you’ve got yourself a beautiful set of synergies. I chose Fury Shaper because access to Fear Ward is worth the Will penalty, especially on a caster Barbarian because you can leverage Captain’s Banquet, which gives you immunity to most of the most dangerous stuff that targets Will. No subclass would work fine too, as the wards aren’t essential to the build. Mage Slayer is out because you’ll resist your own Druid stuff, and I find Corpse-Eaters looks pretty bad, but do your thing if you really want to be a man-eating werewolf. Berserker could do a lot of damage but Confused is particularly bad for a Druid with their dependence on Intellect and powerful foe-only AOEs, so you’ll have to constantly make sure you’re managing that. Also, this build uses high Might, which increases Berserker self-damage, making you significantly squishier. Attributes: I’m not going to give numbers because they depend on whether there are Berath’s Blessings, the player’s comfort with stat dumping, role-playing, and so on. Instead, I’ll give priorities. MGT: High DEX: Medium CON: Medium PER: High INT: High RES: Low Druids rely on a lot of damage and healing over time, so MGT is better than DEX for both (DEX helps you move through your casting phase faster, but it’s not going to make your spells tick faster; this is unlike burst damage/healing or buffs where getting a spell off a little faster can significantly change the flow of the fight). In addition, you’re getting a lot of action speed buffs as a Barb, so it’s better to give more weight to each swing than try to be the Flash. PER is a priority for anything that needs to hit enemies, and Barbarians have some nice on-crit benefits. INT is critical for all your many AOE radii and (de)buff durations (including Spiritshift). You want as much of this as possible. DEX and CON are good but should only be invested into when the priority three are maxed out. Having some RES can be nice so hostile effects don’t keep you down, and you don’t get crit against deflection to a ridiculous degree (crits give bonus penetration, potentially bypassing your high AR), but if you want to dump a stat this should be it (as per usual). Skills: I like a split between Athletics and Stealth. Athletics for some heals and Stealth so you can more reliably get a cast off while sneaking for the reduced recovery. Not super important. For non-active skills pick what you want. Abilities: I’m going to give brief writeups on key abilities so the reader can get a good sense of how this plays. The “no brainer” passives are Combat Focus, Blooded, Two Weapon Style, Wildstrike and upgrade, Thick Skinned, Unflinching, One Stands Alone, and Brute Force. Along with what is detailed below you will have a couple free points. Use them where you like. Frenzy: Blood or Spirit? – The Spirit line has great synergy here: spell hits cause Staggered as well as melee hits, and Might afflictions are valuable for lowering Fortitude, which synergizes with Brute Force and many strong spells. The AOE terrify can also be clutch in buying yourself casting time when surrounded. However, you may be using lots of Might Afflictions elsewhere on your team (I nearly always run Serafen spamming Dazing Shout) and find that you’re not getting much mileage out of Staggered, and would prefer the resource-saving Blood Storm over Spirit Tornado’s short terrify (especially if you’re packing Fear Ward anyway), in which case the Blood line works just fine. I personally find the Spirit line generally better because of the reliable Staggered, and Terrified lasts for about 10secs, which can save your skin and help you to cast in a pinch. I don’t think you’ll usually benefit that much from Blood Frenzy’s extra crit damage because melee targets don’t usually last long enough to experience all the DoT. Barbaric Roar: Your only command interrupt; always good to have. Especially nice as a quick-cast, foe-only, ranged attack. More valuable than the alternative upgrade – you’re not a main tank. Leap: Jump right in. Just do it, you'll be fine (usually). My playstyle usually involves tanks taking the initiative and diving at enemies to start combat, which effectively takes a lot of pressure away from the backline. This character isn't a main tank, but can and should certainly be right up in the thick of things with the tank. You want Leap to get around with no fuss and Daze enemies while you cast. You can take Wild Sprint as well as sometimes that's all you need and it's cheaper, but it's no replacement for Leap. Barbaric Smash + Bloody Slaughter: You can get some big damage numbers with these. A bunch of crit conversion, up to +100% crit damage, and increased base damage can save you a few attack resolutions (plus your animal form gives a little roar with each swing that sounds cool). Depending on the enemy, casting this around 40-30% usually reliably picks up the kill for no Rage cost, allowing you to continue your rampage. Don’t overlook the bonus penetration. Blood Thirst: better than I originally thought. Turns out not only does this cancel the recovery of your killing blow, but it also cancels the recovery of the next action you make within the buff’s duration. That means that after you kill an enemy, not only do you not have to recover, but your first attack against the next enemy doesn’t impose recovery either. I kept wondering why I seemed to be getting random Full Attacks in combat until I realized this. Remember, it triggers whenever spell damage gets a kill, too. Moonwell/Garden of Life: This character can be a primary healer. Insect Swarm/Plague of Insects/Infestation of Maggots: Core spell damage, and you get two for free! Stack these on enemies and watch them wither away. Do note that Plague does not affect Poison-immune enemies (and there are quite a few), but Swarm and Infestation do. Plague of Insects is absolute gold because apart from its good damage and stripping Concentration, the Sickened affliction increases your accuracy via Brute Force and lowers enemies’ max health (all the better for smashing). Nature’s Terror: A fantastic spell for this build. You want to be standing in the middle of enemies anyway. Having damage from this constantly wearing them away along with Carnage is great, and the Frightened affliction can block dangerous abilities and make them easier to hit (if you’re using Spirit Frenzy, it debuffs both Deflection and Fortitude). It’s friend-or-foe, so watch your step, but don’t let that make you afraid to use it. Having teammates with resolve affliction resistance can help (Wild Orlans like Serafen come with it, Fighters have a perk, etc.). This spell also seems bugged in that randomly it will sometimes do like 5 ticks of damage to a single enemy instantly. Not sure what causes it. Most important of all, the spell looks really cool (Tempest indeed). Relentless Storm: Of course. Depending on your needs for the fight you can and should cast any two of this, Plague, and Nature’s Terror. Cast all three if you get resources back. Venombloom: Must-have for any Druid, in my opinion. Does nothing against Poison-immune enemies but is devastating to anything else. And with Brute Force it will hit the lower of Deflection and Fortitude. Gear: Weapon: Spine of Thicket Green - unfortunately, your damage bonus on Beast/Plant spells will go away when you shift, but the duration and initial accuracy bonuses from power level are done deals at the time of casting. There's very little reason to use any other weapon. The crush damage and extra effectiveness against Vessels (who are often pierce immune or resistant and tend to be more vulnerable to crush damage) also means this is very occasionally worth using over shifting. Head: Helm of the White Void or Survivor’s Tusks – HotWV gives +10 to every attack roll involved in affliction-causing attacks (i.e. not just the roll for applying the affliction but also for dealing damage, etc.). For this build that means Barbaric Roar, Spirit Tornado, Plague of Insects, Nature’s Terror, Relentless Storm, and Venombloom (Fear Ward, being its own “creature” does not benefit). If you want to use this on another character, Survivor’s Tusks can give you survivability, though the Spiritshift upgrade is less valuable on this build because you will usually have Strong from Frenzy anyway. Neck: Strand of Favor – more INT and beneficial effect duration means longer shifts, etc. Armour: Garari Cuirass – any light armour can work here but I like this one because it gives you as much AR as light armour can so you can take hits before you shift. See also Miscreant’s Leather for the recovery bonus and Cabalist’s Gambeson for the extra effect durations, but remember your normal armour gets replaced when you shift. Feet: Rakhan Field Boots – always nice to dash around and get another interrupt. Footsteps of the Beast can be nice too since you tend to run around a bit. Cloak: Greater Protection Hands: Woedica’s Strangling Grasp – extra Might and AR Rings: Kuaru’s Prize + whatever you like Pet: Giftwrapper or Abraham – Abraham speeds your casting up but Giftwrapper gives you free AR when you get her. Both offer a bit of healing. Food: Captain’s Banquet – Immunity to half of the affliction types, including those which most often target your debuffed Will, is huge in itself. Extra spell damage is fantastic on top. Unfortunately, the action speed buff gets overridden by Frenzy, but with this you don’t need to cast Frenzy at the beginning of your casting phase just for the speed. Being able to wait without much drawback let’s you use Spirit Tornado when it’s most impactful. Closing comments: Embrace a Shifter’s versatility and you’ll be rewarded for it, in both power and fun. The build I’ve detailed has been my favourite to play in the game and is no slouch in power. I hope this post encourages more people to consider playing a Shifter and to play around with getting the most from the subclass. I can confirm that Ascetic builds are great, and I bet interesting things could be done with Wizard, Priest, or Paladin. Thanks for reading.
  4. INTRODUCTION An escaped slave from a Rautai saltpeter mine, The Effigy draws from a reservoir of pure hate for those that have harmed them. Tormented by the ghosts of their past, deaths they witnessed and those they caused, they lack the will to confront foes directly. Instead, they wait in silence, crafting bizarre and unnerving totems that resonate with power. When threatened they unleash a blood rage, surviving vicious wounds and lashing out in unbelievable speed against those who strike them. They reserve their most vicious attacks for those from the spirit world that have manifested among us. Their weak will makes them susceptible to all forms of mental manipulation and frequent changing alliances, though they resist the weakest forms of fear. When wounded, they become even more powerful - an unstoppable terror that shrugs off any assaults on their body and is fueled by torch and flame. When drunk they become immune to any attempts to stop them, short of pure physical violence. Truly a horrific creature to behold. Crowned in pure disdain Barely able to contain Now this will all end in blood Cleansing, lasting, murderous THE BUILD =================================== =================================== Difficulty: PotD v. 5.0 -------------------------------------------------------------- Game Mode: RTwP (Not ideal for Turn-based, given the reduced number of auto-attacks and the reduced value of recovery reduction/elimination) -------------------------------------------------------------- Solo: No -------------------------------------------------------------- Class: Barbarian (Fury Shaper) -------------------------------------------------------------- Race: Wild Orlan -------------------------------------------------------------- Background: Rauatai (CON) - Slave (Survival, Athletics, Streetwise) -------------------------------------------------------------- Attributes: MIG 10 CON 19 (+1 Rauatai) DEX 10 PER 20 (+2 Orlan) - Divine Power: Skean sees all mistreatment and abuse INT 15 RES 4 (+1 Orlan) - Divine Flaw: Skaen is haunted and a coward and is easily manipulated by the strong willed -------------------------------------------------------------- Abilities | Skills | Proficiencies (a=automatic) (I) 01. Frenzy + Shape Ward: Frenzy (a) + Carnage (a) + Furyshaper (a) | Flail, Sword 02. Barbaric Yell | +1 Athletics, +1 Streetwise (II) 03. Thick Skinned + Barbaric Blow | +1 Athletics, +1 Streetwise 04. Accurate Carnage| +1 Athletics, +1 Streetwise | Battle Axe (III) 05. One Stands Alone + Two Weapon Style| +1 Athletics, +1 Streetwise 06. Bloodlust | +1 Athletics, +1 Streetwise (IV) 07. Barbaric Shout + Blood Frenzy + Shape Ward: Fear (a) | +1 Athletics, +1 Streetwise 08. Savage Defiance | +1 Athletics, +1 Streetwise | Greatsword (V) 09. Barbaric Smash + Bloody Slaughter (III) | +1 Athletics, +1 Streetwise 10. Tough | +1 Athletics, +1 Streetwise (VI) 11. Brute Force + Bear’s Fortitude (III) | +1 Athletics, +1 Bluff 12. Blooded (I) | +1 Athletics, +1 Bluff | Stiletto (VII) 13. Blood Storm + Stalwart Defiance | +1 Athletics, +1 Bluff 14. Blood Thirst | +1 Athletics, +1 Bluff 15. Two-Handed Style (II) | +1 Athletics, +1 Bluff (VIII) 16. Heart of Fury + Vengeful Defeat + Shape Ward: Blood (a) | +1 Athletics, +1 Bluff | Club 17. Improved Critical | +1 Athletics, +1 Bluff 18. Threatening Presence or Uncanny Luck | +1 Athletics, +1 Bluff (IX) 19. Barbaric Retaliation + Blood Surge| +1 Athletics, +1 Bluff 20. Dazing Shout | +1 Athletics, +1 Bluff | Dagger -------------------------------------------------------------- Items (!)=important, (r)=recommended Weapon Set 1: (!) Whispers of Yenwood (Whetted, Unfaltering), (!) Ball and Chain (Indomitable, Subjugation) Extra DMG against Spirits is on brand here, along with the boost in Crit DMG and CON. Our WILL is already so low, that we don’t care if it drops even farther. The CON buff stays for the whole fight, even if we switch weapons. One we have Barbaric Retaliation, we will switch on the Sword Modal and leave it for increasing our chance to be crit by enemies. Ball and Chain is on brand as a weapon of liberation and violent revenge. 10% chance to recover immediately on Crit feeds our DMG engine nicely. Reduced Action speed and Knock Down when we Crit them is also helpful to slow down the incoming DMG a little bit. It also means we can shut down single targets if given a chance to focus them. Flail Modal plus Heart of Fury means we have softened the group for AoE fire spells. Weapon Set 2: ® Sanguine Greatsword (Prepare the Offering, Greater Blood Gift) Mostly a fun item with a cool path to acquire it. Fits our blood theme, and adds some healing to the mix. Greatsword Modal is a waste here, as we really want to Crit with this weapon. Consider swapping over for a Heart of Fury. Head: (!) Rekvu’s Fractured Casque (This way we can replace wards while being wailed on by enemies) Back: (!) Rekvu’s Scorched Cloak (For pairing with a fire DMG party member(s), ideally a priest), Ragged Cloak (more retaliation DMG on crit) Neck: Precognition (fits both sides for us - we are gonna be Crit and we are gonna Crit enemies), Claim and Refusal (extra DMG reduction) Armor: (!) Effigy’s Husk (Armor of Flesh, Skaen’s Hatred) and The Bloody Links (Crimson Steel) or Magnera’s Chain (Staunch, Padded Underlayer) or Crimson Panoply Effigy’s Husk gives us MIG immunity, which paired with our boots and gloves & Wael’s Wind or Captain’s Banquet makes us immune to all afflictions, as well as a nasty healing reduction aura that should affect CON immune enemies, and a nice burst of DMG when paired with Vengeful Defeat. You can switch to one of the heavier armors for fights where you need more survivability. Waist: (!) The Undying Burden (extra heal, CON, and much needed DMG reduction - flavor text fits) Hands: (!) Rekvu’s Stained Grips (CON Immunity - keeps us alive in the midst of the fray) Rings: Ring of Overseeing, Greater Ring of Regeneration, Whispers from the Depths, Drunkard’s Regret Boots: (!) Sandals of the Water Lily (we want that -10 to DEF, and with Affliction Immunity, we don’t care too much about the other defenses) Trinket: Betrayal (On brand, plus a way to buy a few seconds of time for healing) BUILD OVERVIEW This build takes big hits and dishes them right back out. You will lose health quickly, and can either stay alive with focused healing or death denying effects, or let things run their course and explode with two AoE explosions of DMG. The risk is highest at the start of a fight when there are the greatest number of enemies smashing you. Even at Near Death you will have around 200 HP, which is plenty to take a few hits. With Robust, Shape Ward: Blood, and Second Wind, you can stay alive long enough to take quite a few enemies with you. Any other sources of healing are needed (Old Siec, Lay on Hands, Healing Aura’s, etc.). A priest makes an ideal pair with The Effigy. Resurrection, Barring Death’s Door and Salvation of Time can keep the Effigy alive long enough to decimate the enemy. Additionally, once injured, they can unleash fire spells on top of The Effigy, healing it and maximizing foe damage. Storm of Holy Fire and Pillar of Holy Fire are great for this. Divine Mark is a great spell here. It targets WILL (which is crazy low for us). It’s another option for a heal post injury, and a great way to pick up the best injury for The Effigy, serious burn. It also fits our theme, as it’s one of a Skaen Priests’ auto learned spells. For Drugs, use Mouth Char or Deadeye. For Food use Wael’s Wind or Captain’s Banquet. Alternatively, use Forgetful Night, Arrack, or Daibō o Osa.
  5. WHAT THIS IS Trying to do something different here. I'm going to discuss a character build that I had a lot of fun putting together and playing on 1.1 PotD (probably the most fun I've had in Deadfire so far), but I'm going to use it as an entrypoint to teach-by-doing various game mechanics and how to think about them and use them for your own builds. People already comfortable with min-maxing their way through Deadfire might not get much out of this, but hopefully for everyone else there's something useful here, because there's a lot of information scattered through this forum, reddit, and the in-game cyclopedia and I hope to consolidate some of it here and put them to actual use. In fact, I would say something like 90% of this is just going to be talking about game mechanics, because understanding the game mechanics thoroughly is key to understanding this character build. I hope you find this useful! Oct 2018 - Updated stats, items, build for 3.0+, added alternatives, and god challenges notes July 4 2017 - Updated stats for patch 1.2. July 3 2017 - Partially updated for patch 1.2. TABLE OF CONTENTS - Introduction - What does this build do - The build itself - TL;DR playstyle - Detailed playstyle - Details - Armor - Details - Weapons - Details - Surviving - Details - Consumables - Details - Miscellaneous spells and abilities - Details - Stats - Conclusion/Putting it all together - Alternatives - Rejected approaches - Notes for Magran's Fires - Appendix: Linear returns INTRODUCTION "What the hell is an 'Umezawa?'" Well, while I don't play it anymore, I still follow and am a big fan of Magic: The Gathering. And with one of the more recent sets out (Dominaria), I got to thinking about a couple of cards that struck me as particularly flavorful: The latter card is actually from a set more than a decade old and is/was so stupidly powerful that it's banned in one of the super-powered tournament formats (banned in Modern). The former card is just a nostalgic callback to the latter that was in Dominaria (which itself was a set all about nostalgic callbacks). It's not particularly tournament-worthy.(*) (*) If you're a M:TG lore purist out there, yes yes I know that the Umezawa on the left is not the Umezawa that the Jitte on the right is named for. Even if you don't play Magic: The Gathering, the takeaway here is a fragile, weak, but elusive hero, and a stupidly powerful tool-kit of a weapon that the hero is lorewise linked to. I liked the idea of taking a very blue (crafty, subtle, evasive) approach to stupid levels of power, and decided to personify it in Deadfire as a Streetfighter/Wael multiclass that I'll just brand here as an Umezawa build. WHAT DOES THIS BUILD DO This character is very versatile and mobile, tanking on huge packs of enemies or jumping around behind enemy lines to assassinate troublesome foes. This character is not going to be great at doing burst or area of effect damage (at least until you have a steady supply of explosives), but it will do frankly a stupid amount of sustained damage, maximizing uptime for the Streetfighter's special (at least without resorting to just being a ranged blunderbuss dummy). While this is probably not the most powerful Streetfighter build you can make (a Streetfighter/Monk is probably better for pure damage) and is fairly micromanagement-intensive, it can nonetheless be a very fun and engaging way to play. THE BUILD ITSELF Before diving into the mechanics of it all, let's just lay out the build order. UMEZAWA CLASS: zealot - streetfighter + priest of wael RACE: wood elf BACKGROUND: living lands + scientist STATS: 10 (9+1 living lands) might, 10 constitution, 17 dexterity, 16 perception, 18 intellect, 7 resolve SKILLS: roughly 2:1 ratio between Explosives to Alchemy. For your secondary skill, shove as much as you can into Religion, though you can respec out of this after a certain point. Be sure to pay 3000g each to train both Explosives and Alchemy. STORY ABILITIES: be clever at the first summons to the gods so you get Wit of Death's Herald ABILITIES: (active priest abilities with arabic numerals, active rogue abilities marked with roman numerals for their power levels, automatic priest spells in angle brackets, weapon choices in italics) Updated for 3.0: some skills reordered, dropped Searing Seal for Champion's Boon, weapon proficiency recs changed 1. Restore (1), Escape (I) <Arcane Veil (1)>; hatchet, blunderbuss 2. Fast Runner 3. Arms Bearer 4. Holy Meditation (2), Smoke Veil (II) <Iconic Projection (2)>; large shield 5. Weapon and Shield Style 6. Two Weapon Style 7. Despondent Blows (3), Riposte <Mirrored Image (3)> 8. Deep Pockets; mace, sabre, or stiletto 9. Prayer for the Spirit (3) 10. Devotions for the Faithful (4), Dirty Fighting <Llengrath's Displaced Image (4)> 11. Persistent Distraction 12. Pillar of Faith (2); mace, sabre, or stiletto 13. Barring Death's Door (5), Tough <Confusion (5)> 14. Champion's Boon (5) 15. Uncanny Luck 16. Salvation of Time (6), Smoke Cloud (V) <Arkemyr's Wondrous Torment (6)>; dagger 17. Rapid Casting 18. Pillar of Holy Fire (6) 19. Cleansing Flame (7), Deathblows <Gaze of the Adragan (7)> 20. Smoke Grenade (VII); remainder of mace, sabre, or stilleto or your favorite end-game weapon here IMPORTANT ITEMS: Sparkcrackers and Cinder Bombs as explosives. Deadeye, Potion of Ascension, Potion of the Last Stand, Potion of Deftness, Potion of Impediment, and Potion of Piercing Strikes for alchemical goods. Mix in other stuff as desired. IMPORTANT FOOD/DRINK: Meppu, Roe, Forgotten Night IMPORTANT GEAR: Miscreant's Leather, Cutthroat Cosmo (the special pig pet), Xoti's Sickle (early on), Marux Amanth (soulbound to priest), Fair Favor, Nemnok's Cloak, Entonia Signet Ring, Shorewalker Sandals RECOMMENDED GEAR: Pukestabber, Frostfall Mace, Rust's Poignard, Animancer's Energy Blade, Bronlar's Phalanx, Wintertide Bulwark, etc or whatever else floats your boat. TL;DR PLAYSTYLE Early on (when your health is super low, like levels 1-4) you are going to dual-wield a hatchet and a blunderbuss with Powder Burns enabled. You'll attack at range with a blunderbuss to trigger the Streetfighter's Heating Up bonus, then run in for melee. When the Powder Burns self-debuff has ~3.5 seconds left (first reload) or ~1-2 seconds left (subsequent reloads), you'll shoot at an enemy or ally 3-5m away and refresh the Powder Burns debuff. (Early on you may just run out of range manually and shoot your current target.) Once you have a bit more health and a bit more abilities under your belt, the playstyle is very aggressive. Instead of relying on Powder Burns, you'll rely on one of: blindly charging in and getting flanked; blindly charging in and getting your health pummeled really fast; or manually triggering your Streetfighter special by hitting yourself with Sparkcrackers or, in a pinch, Cinder Bombs. So depending on the situation, you might be tanking for your entire party, or you may be dodging back behind enemy lines to take out important casters. For boss fights, you'll drink a Potion of Impediment and try to pin the enemy down with repeated interrupts. DETAILED PLAYSTYLE This character is a "build-around" on the Streetfighter's special. To reiterate here, when you are flanked or bloodied, you get a special buff (Heating Up) which gives you a whopping -50% recovery time, along with a +50% damage bonus against sneak attack-enabled targets (effectively it is a souped up sneak attack damage bonus). If you are both flanked and bloodied, you get a special buff (On the Edge) which not only grants you the same bonuses as Heating Up but gives you a further +100% crit damage bonus. Both the damage bonuses are additive with other damage bonuses, so while they are certainly very good, it's not insane. The real star here is the -50% recovery time. -50% recovery time is equivalent to a whopping +100% action speed for your recovery, or the equivalent of getting +33 dexterity during your recovery. Furthermore, contrary to what you might think or read elsewhere, speed bonuses offer linear returns(*), so you can add on a bunch more recovery time reductions or action speed boosts and get to really fast levels (translating to high damage output). This is especially important for maximizing Potion of Impediment, which can really shine with a "Heating Up" Streetfighter's very fast attack speed. (*) Linear returns may end up being one of the most controversial things I'll say mechanically in this entire post, but is mathematically true and I will fight anyone who says otherwise . There'll be an appendix at the end that will go through the ugly math and details of it. Notably, unlike Pillars of Eternity 1, Deadfire distinguishes between action speed adjustments and recovery time adjustments and they are very different and expressed in different ways, and is responsible for a lot of confusion about how action/recovery works. The Streetfighter's bonus only applies to your recovery, leaving the attack part untouched. This means this bonus heavily favors weapon attacks, potions, and throwing bombs, because weapon attacks, potions, and bombs have very short attack times and the bulk of the time spent using them is just recovery. By contrast, spell casting has significant attack ("cast') times that will be left untouched by the Streetfighter's special. (Scrolls sit in between, having slower attack times than other consumables, but faster recovery than spells.) But the way cast times work in Deadfire is that they generally follow a pattern where spells with faster cast times have longer recovery, and slower cast times have shorter recovery; this means that, ironically, a very slow spell cast (6s) will have a much shorter recovery time (typically 2s) than even a very fast cast spell (0.5s cast, up to 4.5s recovery). (The standard progression for spell timing is 3s cast/4.5s recovery, 4.5s cast/3s recovery, 6s cast/2s recovery so the total action time spent doing a spell cast monotonically increases with slower spells, even if the recovery is less.) This means that we can still get some benefit out of the Streetfighter's special if we focus on casting fast (3s) and some average (4.5s) spells, because shaving off 2.25s or 1.5s off your recovery is still incredible (shaving 2.25s off a fast spell cast is roughly equivalent to a +42% action speed or almost like taking three stacking copies of the Rapid Casting passive talent, even though it's all weighted towards the recovery phase instead of the cast phase). The major downsides to the Streetfighter are twofold, one explicit and one implicit. The explicit downside is that while you are neither flanked nor bloodied, you get a +20% recovery time penalty. The implicit downside is that to maximize the Streetfighter, you have to be at least flanked or bloodied which is generally a very dangerous situation to be in. This character focuses on letting you survive in those situations while trying to not take away from the Streetfighter's strengths. DETAILS - ARMOR A really important piece of gear is actually your pet. The cosmo pirate pet (unlocked by doing the deadfire scavenger hunt or special non-achievement-disabling console commands) gives your main character a reduction in their armor penalty. The effect varies on armor, but this variance is because of the weird way it's implemented (which is identical to how a Fighter's Armored Grace is implemented). Internally, the game stores armor recovery penalties of +20%, +35%, and +55% roughly as coefficients of .83, .74, and .65. (What these numbers mean is not important right now.) Instead of applying a consistent effect on the listed recovery penalty, the cosmo pirate pet adds a flat .1 to these internal coefficients, which means these coefficients become .93, .84, and .75, which means the armor recovery penalty becomes +7%, +19%, and +34%. This means that the armor recovery penalty reduction is actually strongest for heavy armor, but that's not the important point here. The important part is the interaction with Miscreant's Leather (a light armor you can get for doing the first Principi quest by killing Benweth). Miscreant's Leather comes with a special enchantment that reduces recovery time by -10%. Theoretically, this was supposed to have the net effect of mitigating a majority(*) of the of the +20% light armor recovery time. However, with the cosmo pirate pig, your base armor recovery time penalty is +7%, which means the -10% recovery time enchantment makes wearing Miscreant's Leather actually faster than wearing any +0% recovery time clothing. (*) one of the ongoing confusions that one might have about recovery time is that you can't just add up your various recovery time adjustments and expect to get a sane answer. In fact, the best way to think about adjustments to your action time is that there is a different "native unit of measurement" depending on whether it's a bonus (either a +X% action speed or -Y% recovery time) or a penalty (either a -X% action speed or a +Y% recovery time). For bonuses, the native unit is "action speed," whereas for penalties the native unit is "action time." This is a weird distinction but is important for understanding how modifiers are combined. You can read the Appendix for further discussion. Anyway, for our purposes here what you need to know is that the -10% recovery time bonus needs to first be translated into its native unit as an action speed adjustment, or +11% action speed. The +20% light armor recovery time is in its correct native unit so we don't need to change it. Now (and for you people who took science classes in high school and pay attention to your bases/units this might hurt your head but is how Deadfire does it), you subtract the recovery time from the action speed and get a unitless -9%; because it's negative the effect is considered a recovery time penalty, and so the net effect of the -10% recovery time adjustment is that the armor effectively has a +9% recovery time penalty instead of a +20% recovery time penalty. TL;DR: a +20% recovery penalty combined with a -10% recovery time bonus does not equal a net +10% recovery penalty. In fact, the -10% recovery time bonus is actually more powerful than an equivalent recovery time penalty. This will come up again later, and I will go into further detail about the math then. So, as one of the few mandated pieces of gear, you should really have a cosmo pirate pig pet, and you should prioritize getting Miscreant's Leather. It will give you extra protection than cloth and be faster than cloth. Plus, it has a really useful enchantment for this build (Kidney Guard, which reduces received flanked damage by -10%). For the early part of the game before you get the leather, you should otherwise be in +0% recovery time clothing. If you're struggling a bit too much in early game, you can equip other light armor and the cosmo pirate pet. 3.0+ Update We now also have Epsilon as a good pet choice (available in Dunnage). In addition to reduced armory recovery time, its party-wide bonus is extra stride speed, which can be a much more useful bonus than Cosmo's firearms damage obnus. DETAILS - WEAPONS A hatchet and a blunderbuss (along with their proficiencies) are your absolute #1 priorities early on, followed up by a large shield. A hatchet is important because it provides a stacking +3 deflection against melee and its weapon modal applies a -10 accuracy (regardless of attack type) to the enemy, both of which you'll soon see is very important for this build. The blunderbuss is important because Powder Burns applies the Distracted affliction on you every time you attack, and conveniently for the Streetfighter, all Perception afflictions also apply Flanked which will trigger the Streetfighter special. (In fact, I'm sure many people have discovered you can create a stupidly good ranged attacker by just making a Streetfighter equip at least a blunderbuss.) Early on, using a blunderbuss at the start of the fight is a good, safe way to trigger the special, and the powder burns aoe damage is generally so low that it's ok to occasionally hit armored allies with it. Later on, Powder Burns is still a useful way to trigger your special in small fights or when you're isolated by yourself against important targets away from everyone else. An important pickle with gun reloads is that any adjustments to their reload speed is delayed by one reload. This means that after you fire your Powder Burns blunderbuss, the immediate next reload will not benefit from the -50% recovery time bonus. However, subsequent reloads will. I believe this also works in reverse. If you start reloading your blunderbuss while benefiting from the -50% recovery time bonus and Powder Burns wears off, you still benefit from the faster reload until the next time you need to reload (though by then you will already have refreshed it). For this character, you will want to dual-wield your blunderbuss with a melee weapon (early on, a hatchet). Because of game mechanics (even if it doesn't make logical sense), dual-wielding a melee weapon with a ranged weapon means that outside of melee range you only use your ranged weapon, and in melee range you only use your melee weapon, but you do both as if you were dual-wielding, so you get the -30% recovery time bonus from dual-wielding (plus an additional -15% recovery time bonus from two weapon style), even though you're just repeatedly attacking with the same weapon. In fact, in some parts of the game, you may have a melee weapon that is so good that you don't want to switch off with a weaker second melee weapon, which makes it a perfect candidate for pairing with a blunderbuss. In practice, it also means you can blunderbuss, melee, and then re-blunderbuss a ranged target (to re-trigger Powder Burns) without having to switch between weapon slots, which incurs a costly 2s recovery each time. This is a relatively painless (if micromanagement intensive) way to get 100% uptime with your Streetfighter special. Note that blunderbusses have a low range (4-5m, depending) so when you are in this melee/blunderbuss mode you should be cognizant of viable blunderbluss targets, particularly since for a good amount of that range your character will want to melee or take a step in order to melee. It is actually worth shooting your own allies (and positioning them close to do so) because for armored tanky allies they will take negligible damage that is well worth the continued uptime of Heating Up. In the worst case (if you're not engaged by your target), you can just step away from your target and fire at range. This downtime of running back and forth will still be outweighed by the significant damage boost you get from having constant uptime on your Heating Up effect. Do remember that for your first reload you need to give yourself 3-4s of time (depending on stats and gear) though subsequent reloads will only need a little more than a second. At level 4 you pick up large shield proficiency because this build has two very large weaknesses. I'll go into the second one later, but the first and most common weakness is enemy gunfire. See, this build leans on Arcane Veil heavily for protection, and Arcane Veil unfortunately offers no protection against "veil-piercing" attacks, of which enemy gunfire is the most common type. In such a situation, the large shield modal gives you an astounding defense against ranged attacks, -50% to ranged damage, on top of the natively large deflection bonus (coupled with Weapon and Shield Style) that will work against gunfire. It's such an extreme survivability difference that in any fight involving guns (at least early to mid game), you should switch to using a large shield and prioritize taking out the gunners. The downside to the large shield modal is that you are immobile, but fortunately we pick up Escape at level 1, which will let us hop around the map without having to toggle the large shield modal on and off (in addition to providing a nice, gun-effective deflection bonus for a short time). Note that even outside of gunners, many ranged attackers in Deadfire have stupidly high accuracy bonuses for their attacks that it may still be worth switching to large shield in ranged-heavy fights in early-to-mid game, both for the extra deflection, and for the significant damage mitigation. As you go up levels, you'll need to pick up some blunt weapon proficiency for damage diversity. I prefer flails and clubs for two reasons: they are fast (3s base recovery) and their weapon modals let you reduce enemy reflex or will by -25, which is huge. Clubs in particular are good because two of your most important spells (Despondent Blows and Devotions for the Faithful) target will. If you don't want your weapons lots to be oversubscribed, you can give a party member a club to do the debuffing for you. 3.0+ update With some of the rebalancing that has occured since this guide was first written (especially PotD enemy scaling) a weakness that glass cannon builds like this have is penetration. On PotD enemies can sometimes have substantial armor, and if you can't penetrate their armor, a glass cannon can't do the high damage output needed to balance out its relative fragility, which means you're just a fragile character with little upside. As a result, I no longer recommend fast blunt weapons, which lack penetration weapon modals. Instead I recommend diving into maces (which have high inherent penetration and whose weapon modal debuffs armor for everyone in the party), sabres (for access to Animancer's Energy Blade, which does raw damage; you don't technically need the weapon proficiency to take advantage of this, but sabres are just a good class of weapon to have proficiency with early on), and/or stilettos (high inherent penetration, access to Rust's Poignard). Both stilettos and sabres benefit from the Fair Favor hat, which this build already uses. In addition, as I'll mention later, I recommend picking up Champion's Boon instead of Searing Seal for the extra penetration from the Tenacious inspiration. This character will also pick up dagger proficiency. For reasons that I'll elaborate on in a moment, the weapon modal isn't too important, but what is valuable is getting the Fair Favor hat and getting a Marux Amanth soulbound to your priest class. Fair Favor gives you hit-to-crit and bonus crit damage with daggers (among other weapons). Marux Amanth has very useful abilities for this character when fully unlocked: Worthy Sacrifice (which is an instakill against Near Death targets if you hit them), Corona of the Soul (10% chance for a decent burn aoe effect), and Echoes of Faith (10% chance to re-cast any priest spell a half second after the initial cast). Echoes of Faith is a particularly good ability; 10% isn't very common, but when it does happen can be a tide-changingly good effect. We actually pick up certain spells basically because they would be really good to have duplicated (Pillar of Faith, Pillar of Holy Fire, Cleansing Flame). Still others get good benefit (Salvation of Time), and at the very least you get double chances to afflict enemies with Despondent Blows or Devotions for the Faithful. Corona of the Soul is also a decent ability and works well with this character because we will be attacking so fast that we'll be close to maximizing the number of times we can proc the burn aoe (which does ~10-20 in about ~1.5m) in any given amount of time(*). As an extra plus, imagine that the Marux Amanth is the Deadfire equivalent of Umezawa's Jitte from above . (*) Funnily enough, while trying to test some Deathblows-related issues, I discovered that Corona of the Soul has its damage boosted by damage modifiers that affect any weapon, including Deathblows itself (and any lash effect). This appears to apply to any weapon-based proc. (See below screenshots--click to enlarge--the left is a Corona of the Soul proc in the combat log and the right is a Sungrazer proc in the combat log, though unlike Corona of the Soul it doesn't have a special name in the combat log. I also tested some other procs and verified those get boosted, too.) This is both a general thing to keep in mind for your own builds, especially rogues who can sneak attack and Deathblows, but is especially good for a Streetfighter who can easily get an additional +50% from Heating Up and a further +100% from critting while On The Edge. As far as other unique weapons go, steal Xoti's Sickle as soon as you can, you'll be able to put better use to it. Not only does it have the benefit of having two damage types unlike other hatchets (giving you much-needed damage diversity), but its power-up effect (additive +5% plus .5% per religion skill to sickle damage until end of fight, up to 4 stacks) is very good and likely to trigger since this character will be doing a lot of finishing blows. I highly recommend you enchant it to have Urgent Harvest, which gives you 15% plus .5% per religion skill action speed bonus to Xoti's Sickle the moment any enemy dies anywhere, regardless of whether or not you did the killing blow. Importantly, due to stacking rules (which I'll go into further later), this combines with the Streetfighter special, with Potions of Deftness, etc so you can get stupidly fast attack speeds with the sickle. Mid-to-late game better hatchet options will open up. Acolyte's can be straight up better than a Xoti's Sickle because its Freezing Lash is always active (whereas Xoti's Sickle needs to power up upon kills) and is a multiplicative bonus with the total damage you did, which means a +15% freeze damage lash is worth much more than a +15% xoti's sickle damage. The combination of sneak attack damage (up to +60% additive) and Streetfighter special (another +50% additive) and possibly the Streetfighter On the Edge bonus (another +100% additive from crits) can make that lash worth more than a fully-powered up xoti's sickle. Later on when you have more survivability tools at your disposal and the +3 deflection bonus from a hatchet (or +6 from two hatchets) is less important and the -10 accuracy weapon modal more redundant, you can start ignoring hatchets all together. I like pairing Marux Amanth and Pukestabber together; when Pukestabber is enchanted with Mad Drunk, while under the effects of alcohol, both daggers will have +20% additive damage and +20% action speed; plus, both of them will benefit from the Fair Favor hat. Regardless of what weapons you choose, you'll have three weapon slots each with an important role: one that has a blunderbuss/melee pair, one for dual-wielding, and one for a large shield. Your dual-wielding one will be your main slot past the early game, but you'll need to be ready to switch to one of the other slots as the situation demands. And be sure to have damage type diversity, because this character will lose a lot of steam if you're stuck in a 25% No Pen situation against most of the foes in an encounter. In fact, I recommend keeping your high penetration backup weapon as your blunderbuss/melee pair - this is essentially your "boss mode" set up where you can both do high penetration and trigger self-flank at will throughout a long fight without having to repeatedly weapon switch. 3.0+ update There have been some random changes to how dual-wielding a ranged weapon and a melee weapon work. First, you can no longer attack destructibles at range if you are main-handing a melee weapon; your ranged weapon must be in your main hand. Second and more relevantly for this build, you cannot actually engage enemies unless you are main-handing a melee weapon. This is important because a good crutch for this build was to main-hand the blunderbuss, so that the range indicator properly indicates the range of the firearm so you know how far away to go before it's too far when trying to trigger Powder Burns. You can still do that, but you can no longer engage foes if you do this. Since engagement can be pretty important, if you don't need the visual aid of the blunderbuss range indicator, you should main-hand a melee weapon and keep the blunderbuss in your off-hand. DETAILS - SURVIVING The basic point of this character is getting into dangerous situations to trigger the Streetfighter special and then surviving, which is a harder task when playing on Veteran or Path of the Damned. Before we dive into the many tools that we'll lean on, we need to talk about how effect stacking works in Deadfire. On the face of it, the rule is pretty simple, paraphrasing the in-game cyclopedia: all passive effects stack, but the highest active effect suppresses all other active effects. While the rule is simple, the devil is in the details and thinking through the implications of this is important for your own gameplay. A "passive effect" can be thought of as constant item effects (like a Ring of Minor Deflection), innately triggered item effects (like Xoti's Sickle's Urgent Harvest or its damage boost or Entonia Signet Ring's defense bonuses), and passive class abilities (anything in the passive column and always-on innate effects like the Helwalker's might bonus from wounds). Everything else is an active effect, including weapon modals, paladin auras, and stances. This is relevant because one of the ways that we'll lean on surviving in dangerous situations is by having a high deflection. Veteran min-maxers will know the finer points of getting your deflection to sky-high levels, but the important detail for us is that when it comes to defensive abilities we actually have a lot of redundancy, and surviving will involve avoiding that redundancy. Look at the following table for ways that we will make it harder and easier for enemies to hit us, and what active effects fall into each stacking category (this is not a comprehensive effect of all things in the game, just common ones relevant to this character): +Deflection | +Deflection from Resolve Arcane Veil (+50 vs non-guns)| Any resolve inspiration (+5) Escape (+50) | Ripple Sponge (+2) Mirror Image (+30) | Llengrath's... (+10) | dagger modal (+10) | Coral Snuff (+5) | ------------------------------------------------------------- -Enemy accuracy | -Enemy accuracy from Perception Despondent Blows (-15 melee) | Arkemyr's Wondrous Torment (-10, jumps to -5) hatchet modal (-10) | Any perception affliction (-5) Devotions for... (-10) | Blinded affliction (-10) | ------------------------------------------------------------- -Deflection | -Deflection from Resolve Flanked (-10) | Any resolve affliction (-5) This means that any given time, you can have around a 85-point net swing in your relative deflection to the enemy's accuracy. This is by combining Arcane Veil, a resolve inspiration, a Despondent Blows debuff on the enemy, and a perception affliction on the enemy, though you will likely also have a constant -10 from being flanked. Still a 75-point net swing after being flanked is still pretty huge and this is still ignoring stackable passive effects like the hatchet innate weapon bonus (+3 deflection against melee), Entonia Signet Ring (+2 all defenses per enemy engaging you [which is different from enemies that you engage]), a large shield with weapon and shield style (+12, +6, plus an additional +2 per large shield enchantment level), Cloak of Deflection (+7), Minor Ring of Deflection (+2), Shorewalker Sandals (+1 resolve), etc. However, this also means that if you have Mirror Image active, there is no reason to have your dagger modal active. If you've hit all the enemies nearby with a blinded affliction, there is literally no reason to have your hatchet modal active and casting Devotions for the Faithful could potentially just be a waste of time. Juggling all these various stacking effects will constitute a good chunk of the micromanagement of this character. You certainly could just leave your dagger or hatchet modal on all the time, but you'd be giving up a significant chunk of damage unnecessarily. Now, a big question is, say all enemies nearby are hit with Devotions for the Faithful (-10 accuracy); is it worth the opportunity cost(*) of casting Despondent Blows on top of that (it would be a net change of an additional -5 accuracy)? Similarly, if you are already protected by Arcane Veil, is it worth the time to get a resolve inspiration? The answer, my friend is that defenses offer increasing returns(**). Basically, look at the combat log. If the enemies don't have too much of a negative penalty to their attack roll, then it's probably not worth it. If they have a pretty huge negative penalty (but less than -75), then yes it's probably worth it. Even then, this guideline isn't perfect because if you're trying to get hit to get low enough health to trigger On the Edge or a perma-Heating Up (common later on in the game), then you may never find it worth it to cast even the hard-hitting stuff to begin with. (*) "Opportunity cost" is a crucial concept for this character, and an important concept for any other character. There's an idea that there's an "action economy" in games like Deadfire, that is, you only have enough time to do so many things before combat ends, one way or the other. You certainly could cast every single buff or debuff in your arsenal willy-nilly, but then you'll spend actually very little doing anything of import. When you eventually are able to attack about once/second for a significant amount of damage (40-50 a pop, with potential Corona of the Soul triggers), you'll have to judge very carefully whether it's worth instead spending 3-6 seconds (i.e. giving up 150-300 damage) by casting a spell or using an ability. (**) Defenses offer increasing returns because of the way attack rolls work in Pillars/Deadfire. The higher the relative defenses to an attacker, the more significant each additional point of defense becomes. A pair of examples illustrating this: let's say you have 0 defense against an attacker with 25 accuracy. What would the impact of 5 additional defense be? Well, with Deadfire's rolls, you'll go from being graze/hit/crit by the attacker 100% of the time to 95% of the time. Not much of a change in your total survivability. Now, let's say that you have 95 defense against that same attacker. What would the impact of 5 additional defense be? You'll go from being grazed 5% of the time to never being touched ever again. You will have gone from having finite--if huge--survivability to literally infinite survivability: that enemy could attack you until the heat death of the universe and they will never so much as reduce your health by 1 point, where with a 5% chance to graze they could probably kill you within an hour if you do nothing but stand there. This might sound like an absurd example, but for many types of "The Ultimate" runs for Pillars of Eternity 1 (beat the entire game solo on the hardest difficulty in iron man mode) some fights could literally last for more than an hour and the difference between being grazed 5% of the time and never being touched could be the difference between a successful run and one that fails after many hours of playing. Plus, when you are surrounded by enemies in melee and targeted by enemies at range, even a 5% chance to be grazed can be significant; when there are ten enemies on the battlefield one will be expected to graze you every other attack, which will quickly add up to something fatal if you aren't killing things quickly). You'll note that I list Escape as a source of deflection. And while it lasts an extremely short time (3s), with decent intellect and stuff like Meppu/Roe it can last almost 5s. Early on it can be a way to get some extra emergency protection without burning an Arcane Veil (especially since you don't have many other non-situational Guile-spenders you can potentially just chain together a bunch of Escapes to your current location since it has only a .5s base action time and no recovery), and at all points in the game can be used so that you can jump straight behind enemy lines and have a few seconds of unconditional +50 deflection protection to buff yourself or do something else. (If you want to be tricky, you can use Salvation of Time to extend the unconditional +50 defense of Escape by 20 seconds.) Now, it's important to highlight that this character is not intended to be an immortal riposte build. We could just leave a large shield equipped and stack on all sorts of bonuses to be untouchable, but frankly I find that playstyle boring (I did that for my own The Ultimate achievement run and while it was certainly impregnable it was also tedious). What we really just shoot for is enough defenses and debuffs to not be squished into oblivion within a few seconds of being flanked, so that we can go on a killing rampage. This character picks up riposte not because we are going to rely on it for as a centerpiece for our damage, but as an accent of some additional damage in certain situations (which we maximize by dual-wielding since riposte does a full attack). In fact, in the late game, we may just want to deliberately get to near death ourselves and not worry so much about defenses, which leads me to another aspect of the survivability equation: CAN NOT DIE EFFECTS If you played Pillars of Eternity 1 with a priest, you'll be forgiven for ignoring Barring Death's Door and similar effects in Deadfire, since the effect in Pillars 1 was pretty lame. All they did was prevent you from dying, and dying in Pillars of Eternity 1 meant getting knocked down to 0 health (as opposed to 0 endurance), which would have been a permadeath instead of just a knockout. What Barring Death's Door and similar effects do in Deadfire is prevent anything from reducing your health below 1 (even instant kill effects from something like Death Ring). Fortunately for the Streetfighter, one way to trigger Heating Up is to get Bloodied or lower, and the only way to get On The Edge is a combination of being Bloodied or lower and being flanked. Both Barring Death's Door and Potion of the Final Stand give us a nearly foolproof way to trigger Heating Up and sustain On The Edge. But both Potion of the Final Stand and Barring Death's Door have low base duration. It's for this reason why we pick up something like Prayer for the Spirit (+5 intellect means an extra +25% of base duration for Barring Death's Door), invest in Alchemy (+5% duration per point in Alchemy to Potion of the Final Stand), and love food/drink like Meppu/Roe (+15% beneficial effect duration, additively stacks with intellect and power level scaling) and importantly why one of our most important late-game spells is Salvation of Time (+10 seconds to beneficial effects but as of 1.2 actually grants +20 seconds at least the first time you cast it per encounter). This stuff also helps Arcane Veil--which has a fairly short duration as well--but is more critical for these "can not die" effects because the moment they wear off with you at 1 health, you are probably going to be knocked out. This leads to the second of this character's weaknesses, and it is Arcane Dampener. It's not too common for much of the game, but during the Paradise of the Mind quest and Nemnok the Devourer quest, literally every enemy wizard will try to hit you (and especially this character) with Arcane Dampener at least once; will Arcane Dampener temporarily suspend any current protections for a long time. You can try to hope that your will defense--which will be sizable thanks to a high intellect (buffed further by Prayer for the Spirit)--protects you, but this hope is dangerous because even a graze will dispel all your protections for a few seconds, which is more than enough time for you to be interrupt-locked to your death. You have two main approaches. First, you can try to use Smoke Veil to go invisible the moment you see the Arcane Dampener icon appear above wizards' heads (they tend to all cast it at the start of the fight, so if you see one you will probably see a lot) and let the enemy wizards re-target it to another member of your party who is less reliant on spell protection for survival. Second, you can try to use Smoke Grenade/Smoke Cloud or something like Grenades or Concussion Bombs to interrupt them while they are trying to cast it. This is very risky because if you miss you don't get another chance to interrupt them, so generally prefer the first approach. Either way, you should then eliminate the enemy wizards with extreme prejudice, because some of them will hang on to their third level spell cast to try again later. DETAILS - CONSUMABLES In addition to blunderbussing with Powder Burns or charging in to get flanked/brought to Bloodied quickly, an additional way you are going to get uptime with Heating Up and On The Edge is with explosives. Sparkcrackers is the way to do it for much of the game, since it will afflict you with Distraction and with a high explosives skill can last ~30s on a hit. The catch is that it needs to hit deflection first, so it will not work very well if you have already buffed your deflection or are in the middle of an Escape. A smaller catch is that your Intellect and possibly your Resolve are high, so your will defense will be high, making it hard for Sparkcrackers to hit, so only do this if you're desperate for a buff or are under the effects of Deadeye, Potion of Deftness, or something like Potion of Perfect Aim (all of which will give you a modest boost to accuracy). Do note that with a modest intellect, Sparkcrackers will attempt to hit you twice: one upon contact and once again a second later; its distraction effect triggers every second and Sparkcrackers actually has a base aoe duration of 1s.(*) (*) Note that patch 1.2 significantly weakened the effects of Deadeye and Potion of Deftness (no additional accuracy from alchemy) and somewhat weakened Sparkcrackers (no extra duration scaling from intellect). If all else fails, you can use Cinder Bombs (or rely on a friendly wizard to cast something like Chill Fog). Unlike Sparkcrackers, Cinder Bombs don't need to hit deflection first and instead of targeting will targets reflex which may not be as high if you have a perception affliction. Note that the blinded affliction is much worse for you than being distracted, because in addition to being flanked and losing 5 perception, you will also have an additional -10 accuracy penalty and a severe +50% recovery time penalty. However, even though the +50% recovery time penalty has the same magnitude as Heating Up's -50% recovery time bonus, the recovery time bonus is much more powerful than an equivalent magnitude penalty, and so you will still gain a significant speed up from being blinded(*). Cinder Bombs can also be used suicidally in a pinch if you want to lose some health to either trigger On The Edge or get into Heating Up in the first place, but do pay attention to that ongoing damage because it would be stupid if you ended up actually killing yourself. In higher-level fights, Cinder Bombs can also be a useful protection since if you're blinded you cannot be hit by Fampyr's Dominating or Charm Gaze. (Theoretically, blinding enemies also blocks them from using gaze attacks, but as of 1.1.1 this is bugged and doesn't work.) (*) This point comes up again and seems confusing, and is a minor disagreement I have with MaxQuest's otherwise excellent work on action speed; in the pinned post he asserts that all maluses (through something he calls "double-inversion") are stronger than their equivalent magnitude bonuses. This may be true for damage, but is not quite the right way to think about this in terms of action/recovery because action/recovery has different "native units" depending on whether it's a bonus or a penalty. The true complexity is left for the appendix, but for here it serves us just to remind you that because of the different "native units" a -50% recovery time bonus is not countered by a +50% recovery time penalty. Instead, if you are at all familiar with investing or finance, it's related to why if your investment loses 10% of its value one year, you actually need more than a 10% gain the following year to make up for it, because you're starting from a smaller base. In fact, let's stick with this investment analogy and swap in numbers from Deadfire here: imagine you had $1000 worth of stocks that lost 50% of its value one year. What return would you need the next year to make it back? If you lost 50% of your $1000, you are down to $500. So you would actually need a 100% return (doubling your money) the next year to get your money back. And in fact, this holds true for the blinded/Heating Up interaction. For the blinded affliction to cancel out the -50% Streetfighter recovery time bonus, it would need to be a +100% recovery time penalty. Sure enough, you can verify this in-game by looking at your weapon recovery time and then blinding yourself. Even though you have a +50% time penalty from being blinded your recovery time will go significantly down. To get the magnitude of the specific effect, we have to convert to our native units; -50% recovery time bonus is natively a +100% action speed during your recovery; a +50% recovery time penalty is already in its correct native unit; we take the +100% and subtract the +50% recovery time penalty; the answer is positive, so we treat it as an action speed adjustment of +50%, or a net recovery time bonus of -33% which is still significant. Yes, this math is weird. Other than those explosives, you should load up on whatever else floats your boat. Remember that, like weapons, explosives have a short action time and a longer recovery, so the Streetfighter with their special will be able to spam explosives like nobody's business. because of this Grenade and Concussion Bombs are a little less useful than others because spamming bombs is a little harder to do when Grenade and Concussion bombs are knocking everyone around. For alchemical uses, Deadeye and Potions of Deftness are mostly there as accuracy bonuses (though the action speed bonus from the potions of deftness is a nice plus), not just for landing Sparkcrackers but also because even with 17 perception there's a high likelihood that you have a perception affliction, so you are going to find that sometimes you need the accuracy help. Note that once you get Devotions for the Faithful, you can just use that for a powerful if slower accuracy boost (though it may be too slow for just trying to trigger Sparkcrackers early on since you'll have to go through at least one slow spell recovery from Devotions before attempting a Sparkcrackers).(*) (*) As of patch 1.2, Devotions for the Faithful's +10 accuracy bonus is the best active common accuracy bonus that I can immediately think of. This is because patch 1.2 significantly nerfed all consumables but in particular Deadeye and Potion of Deftness by no longer letting their accuracy bonuses scale upwards with your alchemy skill, so Devotions's +10 bonus got significantly better as a result. In addition, Devotions is special because most other accuracy bonuses come from being perception inspirations (like Fighter's Disciplined Barrage), so the +10 accuracy will stack freely with other perception inspirations and importantly for this build won't counter perception afflictions. Potions for the Final Stand are a good, if uncommon, supplement to Barring Death's Door (and your main option--aside from a friendly Shieldbearer Paladin--before you get Barring Death's Door). Potion of Impediment meshes extremely well with the Streetfighter's ultra-low-recovery rate for weapon attacks; as of 1.2 you no longer get effect scaling with alchemy but with a 30% interrupt chance and a fast attack rate you can still prevent a dangerous enemy from getting much done (interrupts, in addition to countering any active ability adds a little extra time to their current recovery). And lastly, a major weakness is that the Streetfighter/Wael lacks a lot of good ways to penetrate enemy armor (you won't be picking up any weapon modals that give you bonus penetration, and there are no armor penetration skills), so when you can, keep a Potion of Piercing Strikes ready to give you bonus penetration for big, hard fights.(*) For much of the game, you'll also want Potions of Minor Healing (nothing stronger) just to help you when your health gets too low. (*) Due to the fact that damage maluses are significantly stronger than damage bonuses due to double-inversion, under-penetration can lead to severe loss of damage. 25% underpenetration cancels out upwards of +300% worth of damage bonuses (it's a similar situation to a -75% recovery time bonus requiring an equivalent +300% recovery time penalty to cancel out), which is well more than what even a Streetfighter that is On the Edge and critically sneak attacking can put out. Even just going up to a 50% underpenetration (which only cancels out +100% worth of damage bonuses) can actually more than double your damage output. E.G. a neutral might, level 20 streetfighter/wael on the edge, sneak attacking, critically hitting, at 25% underpenetration would have a net damage adjustment of almost -40% (-3 + .6 + .5 + 1 + .25 = -.65 => 1/1.65 = .61 => -39%) whereas just managing to go up to even 50% underpenetration would have a net damage adjustment of +35% (-1 + .6 + .5 + 1 + .25 = 1.35 => +35%) which is a 2.25x increase in damage. Shows you how important penetration can be. DETAILS - MISCELLANEOUS SPELLS AND ABILITIES As mentioned before, we pick up Pillar of Faith, Pillar of Holy Fire, and Cleansing Flame just to do some extra damage and cause some interrupts (for Pillar of Faith), and hopefully trigger a Marux Amanth double-cast. Remember that opportunity cost is very important; make sure with all of these that you are doing something that, on its own, is worth giving up the melee damage you are foregoing by not auto-attacking instead. For Pillar of Faith, that means trying to interrupt several enemies in one go (remember that the prone itself targets Fortitude whereas the damage targets Reflex). Pillar of Holy Fire against groups of enemies (and potentially yourself if you're trying to trigger Bloodied). Cleansing Flame to eliminate enemy buffs and when it looks likely you'll get some good jumps off of it. Holy Meditation is just for some early resolve inspiration if needed, and later on as a way to cancel out a growing number of ways that enemies can Terrify your party. This character doesn't have many offensive abilities, so Frightened is not actually that big a deal, though the resolve hit can be a liability. Searing Seal is there as an additional source of blind and a way to lure enemies and blind them for free. That's because if you cast a spell outside of combat and you stay out of combat for a few seconds, you get that spent resource back. For many abilities this is not too useful. Seals, however, have a long duration. So you can cast it, wait for your resource to come back, and either lure enemies into it or wait for them to walk over and be hit by it. In fact, so long as you cast it a decent distance from enemies away, but still close enough to alert them by its noise, they will walk over the seal and be affected just after you get your 5th level spell cast restored. Because your 5th power level of spells is going to be oversubscribed (Barring Death's Door is just so good in this build), an opportunity for a free blind is too good to ignore. 3.0+ update I no longer recommend Searing Seal and instead recommend Champion's Boon. Champion's Boon solves several problems for us. First, it gives us +2 penetration from its Tenacious inspiration; this won't stack with a sabre or stiletto weapon modal, but will stack with the mace effect (because the mace gets extra penetration by implementing it as a debuff on the enemy, not as a buff on yourself) and importantly is the only consistent way we have to boost the penetration of daggers. In fact, for daggers this is better than a weapon modal because most other bonus penetration weapon modals give you a significant recovery penalty, whereas Tenacious gives us the +2 penetration without any drawback. The second and smaller perk is that Champion's Boon gives us +3 engagement. Combined with Persistent Distraction, this means up to four nearby enemies will be Distracted. Combined with the inherent Resolute inspiration Champion's Boon gives you, this is a net 10-point hit chance swing in your favor, in a way that stacks with accuracy penalties from Despondent Blows or Devotions of the Faithful or the hatchet weapon modal. It also means your Riposte attacks have an easier chance to hit on virtually anyone attacking you. The downside to this choice is that we no longer have a "free" spell like we did with Searing Seal. Because Barring Death's Door is so important for survival, you really should evaluate your combat situation carefully and weigh whether or not you are going to need the bonus penetration or you're going to need to prevent death/trigger On The Edge. We pick up Smoke Cloud solely as a prerequisite for Smoke Grenade. And we pick up Smoke Grenade for two reasons: as an additional fast interrupt, and as a way to help enable Deathblows. Persistent Distraction will take care of Deathblows for you automatically (the free flanked that perception afflictions bestow counts as a second affliction), but Smoke Grenade will be useful for triggering Deathblows on enemies you are not able to engage and for situations where the enemy is resistant to perception afflictions (you get the weakened effect from Smoke Grenade, and then rely on either manual flanking or some other explosive or party member to apply another affliction). If you have no problem with keeping near 100% Deathblows up-time without Smoke Grenade's help and don't mind the friendly fire, you can pick up Pernicious Cloud instead for the extra damage. 3.0+ update I added a story choice to the build--to be snarky at the gods when they first summon you after leaving Port Maje. This is because this unlocks the Wit of Death's Herald upgrade to your Death's Herald watcher ability (it also fits in with Wael's preferred disposition of being clever, coincidentally). Wit of Death's Herald adds on an intellect inspiration to the base effect, so is a "free" way to cast Prayer for the Spirit once/rest without using up a PL3 slot. DETAILS - STATS The last part of this is just the easiest: why are stats the way they are? Intellect is the only mandatory max-out, because you want to squeeze as much duration and area of effect out of everything you have. Resolve/deflection is an important stat, but after the consumable nerfs of patch 1.2, this build really needs the accuracy help due to perpetually being hit with a perception affliction (and no longer able to rely on Deadeye or Potions of Deftness with a high alchemy), so we actually skip resolve and invest in perception instead. We'll eventually get Shorewalker Sandals for its +1 Resolve to get up to 10, but we don't actually want more than that, because patch 1.2 also weakened Sparkcrackers' duration, so having too high of a resolve will negate many Explosives skill points. Basically we'll rely on deflection-boosting buffs, enemy-accuracy-penalizing debuffs, and Holy Meditation for our survivability instead of requiring a high inherent resolve. If things are too rough for you early game, you can put on a Cloak of +7 Deflection or some resolve boosting gear or some such, but as you get more tools you will generally want to dump some of that stuff just so that it can be easier to self-Sparkcrackers when you need to. (By contrast, we like Entonia Signet Ring because its defense bonus only occurs while you are actively engaged by enemies and you frequently are going to be doing Sparkcrackers while you aren't actively being engaged yet. Perfect for this build.) A lower resolve means we're going to get hit more regardless of what we do, so we don't dump constitution anymore. We don't have the spare points to invest in it, but we also don't want to make ourselves squisher than we need to be. In fact we pick up Tough later on for extra buffer room against high-impact enemy spells/abilities, but it's really a double-edged sword. More health means you can stay at Bloodied or below for longer, and there's more room for mistakes (like not paying attention to the fact that your Arcane Veil just ran out or that your Arcane Veil isn't doing anything because the enemy is using guns even while you melee them), but it also means it takes a lot longer to get to Bloodied. Whatever might adjustments you make here will be generally dwarfed by the huge amount of damage bonuses you'll get from a Streetfighter sneak attack (the base +30% plus power level scaling, plus the +50% from the Heating Up special). We opt for a neutral score to put the points elsewhere (and we want to avoid a penalty because damage penalties are stronger than bonuses). We put points into dexterity because action speed stuff has linear returns (see appendix) so we'll be able to be even faster, and importantly our spell cast times aren't affected by the Streetfighter special (just their recovery), so dexterity is the main way we'll make our spell casts a little more nimbler. (Picking up Rapid Casting later on will help, too.) Wood elf background is pretty important for its Dexterity affliction resistance. This character really wants mobility, and being able to shrug off hobbling, and convert a near-lethal Paralyze into a not-bad-at-all Immobilize is pretty valuable. You can find gear that provides Dexterity resistance, but this way you can reserve those inventory slots for more interesting stuff. CONCLUSION/PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER Whew! That was a lot of text to read. If you made it this far, congratulations! And I hope you learned a thing or two. If this build still sounds really abstract to you, here are a couple typical examples of mid-to-high level encounters and how an Umezawa would handle it. SCENARIO: mixed group of melee 0. already affected by deadeye. 1. main tank charges in, unstealthed, while Umezawa is still stealthed. Targets self with a Sparkcrackers with ~70% accuracy (which is almost a guarantee to graze/hit, and the will effect will be likely to at least graze), if the main tank pulled right maybe an enemy gets affected too. 2. Escape towards the bulk of the enemies. While you still have the +50 Escape bonus active, make sure hatchet modal is enabled (in case Riposte procs you can debuff enemy accuracy), and then self-buff with Prayer for the Spirit and then cast Despondent Blows before disabling your hatchet modal and then casting Arcane Veil. 3. DPS everything down. Throw some bombs if you feel like it. Re-cast Arcane Veil if necessary. If fight is still going on and you're out of Arcane Veil, self-empower, chain Escapes together, use Mirror Image, etc. SCENARIO: high-level mixed group of melee and casters 1. Charge in. Notice that casters start casting Arcane Dampener. 2. Use Smoke Veil to go invisible. Continue to run Umezawa towards the back while the Arcane Dampener gets retargeted to your other party members. 3. Unstealth by throwing Sparkcrackers at point-blank range with one of the back casters, hopefully affecting yourself with Distraction. Cast Prayer For the Spirit, then Barring Death's Door as enemies reconverge on you. 4. Let them bring you down to 1 health and flank you while you DPS the caster down (you can also self-target with Pillar of Holy Fire to help bring your health down), and Escape to target the next caster. If you see another Arcane Dampener start getting fired, use Smoke Veil or Smoke Grenade. 5. When all the casters are gone, DPS everything else down. Use Salvation of Time for extra Barring Death's Door time. If you're in a situation where Riposte could be relevant and you're already at 1 health, go ahead and use Arcane Veil just for the added damage from your counterattacks. If you run out of Salvations of Time and Barring Death's Door, self-empower for another round of both. SCENARIO: "deal with it" nemnok fight. 1. Let main tank unstealth and trigger everything. 2. While stealthed, Umezawa either Powder Burns or self-Sparkcrackers. 3. Carpet bomb the area with Lightning Bombs and whatever else you got (Immolator, Frost Bombs, Blister Bomb) and mix in a couple of Smoke Grenades to lower enemy fort/reflex and reduce their ability to heal back from this hellscape you're creating. 4. Watch the entire enemy fight disappear under a hail of bombs exploding every other second. SCENARIO: single-enemy tough fight 0. Start off with deadeye already enabled. 1. Start off with your melee/blunderbuss weapon slot, the melee weapon being a fast (base 3s recovery) weapon. If you are able to land a non-graze self-sparkcrackers, switch to your dual-wield. Otherwise stay with this weapon slot and just find ways to keep Powder Burns uptime for the rest of this scenario. 2. Drink Potion of Impediment. (The interrupt chance from this and Deadeye are multiplicative with each other, so you'll have a net 40% [1 - .7 * .85] chance of interrupting with any given attack.) 3. Attack the enemy with a fast weapon. While as of 1.2 you won't completely interrupt-lock the enemy, attacking almost every second with a 40% chance to interrupt will turn down the danger level of any given tough enemy a lot. 4. Use Salvation of Time if necessary. Use Cinder Bomb, Pillar of Holy Fire, or other explosive to get your health down if you also want to be On The Edge while doing this. ALTERNATIVES After having dug up how monastic unarmed training works, I suggest two alternatives that rely on picking up Monastic Unarmed Training instead of Fast Runner. (You can pick up Fast Runner later in lieu of e.g. Holy Meditation or Pillar of Faith). TL;DR: Monastic Unarmed Training gives you potentially extremely fast, high-penetration weapons, but you need to find bonus sources of PL to really get mileage out of it (ideally at least +3, hopefully even +6). Option 1: Nature Godlike Until you pick up Champion's Boon you are going to a friendly party member who can buff you with a body inspiration, but you get +1 PL, and then you can get up to another +2 PL from either food (+1 PL) or a Potion of Ascension (+2 PL). +2 PL is enough to get you better-than-superb fists pretty early on, though not quite enough to get better-than-legendary, so you'd need to start crafting/buying Potions of Ascension on a regular basis to get to better-than-legendary scaling (at level 19). This is the "consistent" option, but is dependent on party composition. Option 2: Death Godlike For much of the game you won't get much bonus PL, but once you unlock Barring Death's Door, you can hover around Near Death for +3 PL, with the possibility of another +2 PL form either food (+1 PL) or a Potion of Ascension (+2 PL). +3 PL is enough to get you better-than-legendary fists by the end of the game (level 19), and conditionally +5 PL will get that for you by level 13. Unfortunately I don't think there exists another way to stack on another +1 PL to get better-than-mythic fists by the end of the game, at least without exploiting a bug(*). If there does exist another source, do let me know (it would have to be a non-class/keyword-specific PL bonus that comes from an item). This is the "spikey" option, but doesn't require you to have a body-inspiration-buffing-capable party member. (*) The Heart-Chime Amulet (reward for Pallegina's quest) is supposed to give you a variable bonus as a godlike or watcher, but is currently bugged to always give you the bonus that a Moon Godlike should get, which is a +1 PL stackable bonus. You can use it here to get +6 PL, but be warned that Obsidian will fix this bug and it's only a matter of time before this loophole goes away. In either option your main dual-wielding set of weapons will be your fists, which you can treat as fast blunt weapons with bonus inherent accuracy, damage, and penetration and a +30% damage lash. The weapon modal proficiency for fists is an additional +2 penetration, so you could theoretically re-drop Champion's Boon and bring back Searing Seal. You'll have a strong early game due to how the monastic unarmed training talent works, and the bonus PL will help ensure that you continue to scale at a reasonable pace. Though you need to be a Death Godlike comfortable with dancing with Barring Death's Door to really take advantage of it; fortunately for this build lots of good things happen at near death, so you'd be really leaning into that "glass cannon" philosophy. You're giving up a head slot, but this build was mostly using it for Fair Favor, which you don't need if you're busy punching everything in the face. REJECTED APPROACHES One immediate alternative approach to an Umezawa build you might think of is to pair a Streetfighter with an Illusionist, or at least a Wizard. You get a lot more opportunity-cost-worth-it damage spells and ways to afflict enemies. You also get Infuse With Vital Essence with is like a super-charged version of Prayer for the Spirit (since you are mostly using it as a self-buff in this build anyway). Plus, the Wizard has access to Wizard's Double, which, with a sufficiently high deflection, its duration-less unconditional +40 deflection is the best defensive spell you can use. The problem is that the Wizard actually has its defensive spells inefficiently distributed for our purposes. Both Arcane Veil and Mirror Image are at PL2, which means a Priest of Wael actually effectively gets twice as many casts as the wizard, since for the priest Arcane Veil is at PL1 and Mirror Image is at PL3. The fact that Arcane Veil is a PL1 is also a bigger deal than you may think. For one, early-game (Port Maje) 1.1 Path of the Damned is a fair challenge, and a wizard multiclass won't get two casts of PL2 spells until level 7, which is after when you probably most desperately need it. In addition, there are several resting effects in the game that give you a bonus +1 level spell cast (The Wild Mare and the Luminous Adra Bathhouse immediately come to mind). This is great for a Priest of Wael because it potentially means 3 casts of Arcane Veil, plus an additional 2 upon a self-empower. There's basically no equivalent for a wizard. And while Wizard's Double is good, it won't be that good for much of the early game because your deflection just won't be high enough to really milk it for what it's worth, and by the time you can take advantage of it, the Wael version will be picking up new tricks. Speaking of which, wizards lack the following spells that really help tie the Umezawa together: Despondent Blows, Devotions for the Faithful, Barring Death's Door, and Salvation of Time. It makes for some great general party utility and combat versatility. While I'm sure there is a great Streetfighter/Wizard build out there, I am fairly confident that for this specific playstyle (as opposed to an immortal high-deflection riposte build, which a wizard could do better) Streetfighter/Wael is the way to go. The Umezawa build as of now is also not a solo PotD build. A soloable version of Umezawa would be closer to an immortal, high-deflection riposte build, because the way this build is now the Umezawa is a team player. Frankly, without a lot of delicate pulling of enemies or just constantly equipping a large shield, there's just no way that the Umezawa can sustain all the enemy hate in the world because while your deflection is high to mitigate a significant portion of damage, it's not going to be high enough. Even with access to Barring Death's Door, encounters would probably just take too long and you'll be left out of steam with enemies still standing. Umezawa can work great in smaller-than-5 parties, but a completely soloable build would likely be unrecognizable to the one being presented here today. NOTES FOR MAGRAN'S FIRES Abydon: not recommended. This build leans hard on certain unique weapons and armor and you can really run up an expensive repair bill versus other characters that can use generics instead. Berath: nothing relevant to worry about. Eothas: nothing relevant to worry about. Galawain: be on the look out for Unstoppable and Bullish enemies. Unstoppable can't be afflicted, but they can be flanked; important to keep in mind for keeping your DPS up. Bullish enemies interrupt and knock back at will, so make sure you don't drop your best deflection bonuses (Arcane Veil or Escape) before trying to cast something at point-blank range. Magran: if you can pull off this build along with a party on this challenge you should probably quit your job and become a professional DOTA or Starcraft 2 player. Skaen: if you want to use this character to help illuminate things, the sabre proficiency is more important early on, and then you can use the sabre-torch. If you don't have access to the sabre-torch, well... *shrug*. Normal torches are still usable but represent a huge DPS loss. APPENDIX: LINEAR RETURNS I made the assertion earlier that speed adjustments offers linear returns. I've fought similar debates re: World of Warcraft and Diablo 3, and I'll fight it again now. But before we go onto my analysis and conclusion, we need to be clear what we mean by "linear returns." If you've taken calculus, then the easiest way to express what "linear returns" means is that for a given differentiable function f where f'' is the second-derivative and f consumes a stat x to yield a metric y, then if f(x) = y, ∃x₀: ∀x > x₀ f''(x) = 0. Putting it into words, we mean that after a certain point for x the second-derivative of f(x) is 0. Analogously, "increasing returns" is when f''(x) > 0, and "diminishing returns" is when f''(x) < 0. Put in less math-y speak, a stat has "linear returns" when for a given absolute change in that stat, the resultant metric always yields the same absolute change as well, regardless of what our starting point was. By contrast a stat has "increasing returns" when for a given absolute change in the stat, the resultant metric yields continually larger absolute changes the higher our initial stat was. Similarly a stat has "diminishing returns" when for a given absolute change in the state, the resultant metric yields continually smaller absolute changes the higher our initial stat was. A key point to this is properly identifying what the "metric" is. The poster child for this is resolve(deflection) and perception(accuracy). I've talked to and read posts by people who assume that because +1 deflection gives the enemy a -1 penalty on the attack roll and a +1 accuracy gives you a +1 on the attack roll that deflection and accuracy have linear returns. Nothing could be further from the truth. Because the actual metric is "effective health." That is, how much effective health do you have? And as this is the true metric it becomes very clear that deflection/resolve has increasing returns, because at very low deflection another point hardly matters, but at the top-end each point of deflection is so important that eventually it gives you infinite survivability. Accuracy, by contrast, has diminishing returns, because it's the flip side to that deflection equation. When you go from missing all the time to grazing some of the time, you just got an infinite increase in your damage potential (which was previously zero). However, when you already have accuracy so high that you are critting all the time, another point of accuracy will do literally nothing. With regards to action speed and recovery times, a lot of people get hung up on the fact that when it comes to speed adjustments, the more bonuses you have the smaller your reduction in your action time and recovery time, and they therefore conclude that therefore the returns are diminishing. This is wrong for two interrelated reasons. One, the action time/recovery time is not actually the metric. It is in fact just a mere component of our true metric, and is in fact the denominator. Two, because it is the denominator for our true metric, the smaller our starting value, the smaller the change needs to be to accomplish the same net effect. For example, reducing your recovery time by .1s when you're starting at 1.5s is way better than reducing your recovery time by .1s when you're starting at 5s. So just the mere fact that you get less recovery time reduction the more action speed you already have does not, by itself, mean you have diminishing returns. Instead, you have to look at the true metric. So what is the true metric? Basically, damage per second, or damage over time. More generally, it is "how many things can we accomplish in a given amount of time?" Now, does this metric get linear returns from speed bonuses? Or is it diminishing? Or is it increasing? Let's imagine a hypothetical scenario where you attack and on average do 15 damage to the target, and you do so every 5 seconds. Using the action speed equation, we can draw a graph of how much damage you are capable of doing for different levels of +action speed. See that smooth diagonal line going up(*) in the graph below (click to enlargen)? That's literally the definition of linear returns. (*) Note that for a game like Diablo 2 or Diablo 3, it's not quite this simple. At a certain point, because attack animations are connected to whole numbers of frames (frames as in "frames per second"; whole numbers as in no fractional frames) you start running into a "breakpoints" where you actually get 0 returns for a while until you get enough accumulated attack speed improvements to "round" down to the next lower number of frames per attack. So at a certain point it stops being a smooth diagonal line and starts becoming a steadily embiggening staircase. It averages out to be linear returns, but in truth it no longer really is any sort of well-defined returns because the function is no longer differentiable at that point, which was an important part of defining any kind of returns above. It is possible that at the extreme, Deadfire hits similar issues, but in truth it is clear that Deadfire retains recovery time to two decimal places (even if it rounds to one-decimal place in tooltips), and it is likely that it is impossible to accumulate so much action speed so as to hit "breakpoint" issues. Plus, if Deadfire allows for fractional attack frames, then breakpoints are a non-issue altogether. Now one hiccup here is the fact that the way Deadfire treats adjustments to your action time and recovery time is that it has different native units of measurement depending on whether it's a bonus or a penalty (malus). In effect, the native stat for bonuses is action speed. The native stat for maluses is action time. So when you have a -50% recovery time bonus, it is actually truly a +100% action speed adjustment. However, if you have a -20% action speed penalty, it is actually truly a +25% action time adjustment. Why is this relevant? Because it affects how Deadfire combines the numbers behind the scenes. When you're combining bonuses, you translate anything that's not an action speed into an action speed adjustment and then just add them up; you then optionally reconvert it into whatever unit (recovery time adjustment or action speed adjustment) the tool-tip requires; e.g. a -50% recovery time penalty and a +15% action speed bonus becomes a +100% action speed adjustment and a +15% action speed adjustment which becomes a +115% action speed adjustment for the recovery, which turns into a -53.5% recovery time bonus (and just a -13% action time bonus). When you're combining maluses, you translate anything that's not a recovery time penalty into a recovery time adjustment and then just add them up e.g. two -20% action speed adjustments become two +25% recovery time penalties that add to become a +50% recovery time penalty, which you can then reconvert back for display purposes into a -33% action speed adjustment if needed. When you're combining bonuses and maluses, you convert all bonuses into positive action speed adjustments and sum them, and then convert all maluses into negative recovery time adjustments and sum them, and then you subtract the latter from the former even though they are two completely different units of measure; so a -50% recovery time bonus and a -20% action speed adjustment becomes a +100% action speed adjustment minus a +25% recovery time penalty. The resulting number's unit depends on its sign. If it's positive, the resulting answer is determined to be an action speed adjustment. If it's negative, the resulting answer is determined to be a sign-flipped recovery time penalty. This is needless to say weird. Anyway, this is to say that yes, penalties can drag your numbers down because a -20% action speed is actually much more powerful than a +20% action speed. But unlike what MaxQuest says in his otherwise really useful action speed post, it's not just maluses that do this because of double-inversion (unlike damage penalties). For similar reasons, a -50% recovery time bonus is much more powerful than a +50% recovery time penalty. It's because you have to first convert to the "native units" at which point you see that a -20% action speed is actually a +25% recovery time penalty, which is more powerful than the +20% action speed; and the -50% recovery time bonus is actually a +100% action speed bonus which has a larger magnitude than the +50% recovery time penalty. Yes, again, this is weird and confusing. This odd use of native units of measurement also has an effect on the full understanding of our linear returns. When all you have are action speed bonuses, the linear returns are easy to see as a diagonal graph going up and to the right. When all you have are recovery time penalties, it is trivial to see that e.g. each +10% recovery penalty you add to your 5s recovery is a flat .5 second, which is also linear. But when you are combining bonuses and penalties, things get a little harder to compute and things don't add up as trivially. But if you remember about "native units" then it looks a little less weird that a -75% recovery time bonus can cancel out as much as a +300% recovery time penalty (which can make it intuitively feel like there's increasing returns to time/speed modifiers) or that a -20% action speed penalty outweighs a +20% action speed bonus (which can make it intuitively feel like there's diminishing returns to time/speed modifiers). And this is why it's so important that you get x and y right when analyzing whether for an f(x) = y, that f''(x) = 0 . Now, astute observers will note that with linear returns, the more you have of something, the less any further gain is worth relative to what you already have. MaxQuest has called this "intrinsic diminishing returns" for lack of a better term. I don't quite like the terminology because "diminishing returns" has a specific meaning, but I also don't have a better suggestion. Anyway, it is certainly true that if you have +500% action speed, another net +25% action speed is going to be a relatively less impact than when you had +0% action speed. This point is relevant if you're trying to decide between investing in damage or investing in speed, because to maximize total damage over time you want to balance out your bonuses as much as possible (for the same reason that given a rectangle with sides a and b with a fixed combined length of a + b = c, to maximize the area, a = b. In other words you get more area from being a square than from being an extremely skinny rectangle). But if you're not actively concerned about a tradeoff between damage or speed (such as when choosing how to allocate points between might or dexterity) the fact that the relative gain is less and less is completely irrelevant to whether or not you get linear returns, and sort of an orthogonal point altogether. Why? In general, a good way to think about increasing, linear, and diminishing returns is this: if something has increasing returns you generally want to invest a lot in it; if something has diminishing returns a little bit of investment might be worth it but it's definitely not worth it after a certain point(*); if something has linear returns, you're always going to get value out of it. If instead of this being Deadfire and us talking about speed bonuses, we were instead talking about Baldur's Gate and equipment that gives you bonus damage to weapons (like a pair of gloves that might give you +1 to weapon damage rolls), literally no one would be saying "oh I guess you have +5 total damage bonus now. Not worth getting more" unless it was some sort of tradeoff between equipment that gave you +1 damage or one that gave you +1 extra attack. In fact, everyone would probably be trying to stack on as much weapon damage bonus as possible after maximizing their attacks per round. It's the same thing here. When you're not trading off for damage, there's basically no reason to not get more speed if you can. (*) This is very simplified and glosses over a lot of nuance. Something can have such extremely slow increasing returns that it may never be worth investing in, and something can have such extremely slow diminishing returns that over a reasonable range of stats it may never not be worth investing in. Similarly, if every action speed and recovery time adjustment in Deadfire were suddenly decimated to literally one tenth of their current value, even though speed adjustment would still be linear returns, the gains would be so small that even though they would still be linear returns, you would be getting linear crap returns. The linear returns for investment in speed works out for us players in Deadfire because in large part Obsidian purposefully balanced speed with damage (see the Might/Dexterity correspondence). So that's it. What are you still doing here? Show's over! Hope you found this useful, entertaining, or at least educational!
  6. Checking the aggregated list of character builds, I've noticed there are unexpectedly no ranged priests. So, I've made one. [Difficulty: PotD; Solo: Untested] This build is focused on buffs, healing and is also capable of some serious damage when necessity comes. It also comes in 3 flavours; bound by the same idea, but using different races, deity and equipment: The Godhammer- Boreal Dwarf - sturdy fellow which prefers arquebuses and Abydon's Hammer. Follower of Magran. Mecwyn, the Slave Queen - Wood Elf. Makes great use of Ine Gyrd sceptre. An evasive follower of Scaen. The Falling Moon (aka Moonfire) - Moon Godlike. An altruistic priestess of Eothas. STATS: - Godhammer: 20/7/17/12/19/3 - Mecwyn: 18/6/19/13/19/3 - Moonfire: 18/7/17/13/20/3 or 18/7/19/11/20/3 STATS REASONING: - The idea is to buff for as long duration as possible. To heal for as high amount as possible. To deal high damage with spells over time. And to do all this stuff as fast as possible. ROLE IN THE GROUP: - This pretty much derives from the previous paragraph. But while it is obvious how well a priest can buff and debuff, I will briefly elaborate on his potential to deal damage. Thus: DPS: Priest has quite a few damaging fire spells. The first one to attract attention probably is his Shinning Beacon: 80 base damage over 9s, in a 2.5m AoE. Factor in 36 Might, 31 Int, and it becomes 254 damage over 18.5s, in a 5.6m AoE. And yeap, it also stacks with itself. The following spell is Cleansing Flame. It has 80 base damage as well, which ends up in 236 over 10.3s. But the cool thing about it is that it speeds up the tick rate of all other dots, basically doubling their damage in that 10s interval. Four beacons have potential to deal 1000 FoE burning damage, and that amount being doubled if not tripled on three cleansed targets. All in less than a minute. And than there are symbols, storm of holy fire, envenomed strike, scrolls and spell-binded items, to keep your priest's steady dps output. Of course if it's the only priest in the party he will probably have to contribute with the buffs first (and high DEX/INT really help at that), but once the buffing phase is over, it's FIRE time! Cose really.. why not? TALENTS AND ABILITIES: - Interdiction (!) - Painful Interdiction (!) - Inspiring Radiance ® - Inspired Flame (Godhammer) / Prey on the Weak (Mecwyn) / Aggrandizing Radiance (Moonfire/Anyone) - Scion of Flame ® - Envenomed Strike - Weapon Focus Soldier (Godhammer) / Noble (Mecwyn) / Adventurer (Moonfire) | or Bonus 4th Level Spell ® - Deep Pockets or Galant's Focus or Would Binding or Field Triage or Interrupting Blows or Beast Slayer or whatever SKILLS: - athletics: 4-5 - survival: 4 or 10 - lore: 8 or 10 | Recommended scrolls: Wall of Flame, Moonwell, Fireball, Valor, Boiling Water. If solo: Mass Confusion. MASTERY: 1. Barbs of Condemnation or Blessing 2. Divine Mark or Suppress Affliction 3. Pillar of Faith or Dire Blessing 4. Shinning Beacon or Devotions for the Faithful EQUIPMENT (COMMON): Rings: Gwyn's Band of Union; Ring of Thorns; Ring of Changing Heart; Pensiavi mes Rèi Head: Maegfolc Skull or Garodh's Chorus (3mig, preserve) or nothing in case of Moonfire (but will need to get that 3 might via other items) Gloves: Celebrant's Gloves/Gloves of Quickness Cape: Swaddling Sheet; Cape of the Master Mystic (invis); Shimmering Cloak; Shroud of Mourning Amulet: Necklace of Fireballs; Nîdhen's Finger(+3con); Marked Amulet(+3con); St. Borragia's Tears(+15% healing); Engwithan Adra Ban Amulet(+3 mig); Belt: Belt of Chimes; Sentinel's Girdle (+3 mig); Girdle of Maegfolc Might (+3 mig); Belt of the Stelgaer (+3 con); Girdle of Mortal Protection (-27% from crit) Boots: Patchwork Boots; Shod in Faith EQUIPMENT (GODHAMMER): Weapons: Pliambo per Casitàs, Abydon's Hammer (when in 'caster' mode) Armor: Wayfarer's Hide Reasoning: Extra defenses against status effects are always nice. Especially +15 against paralyzed. And ofc Nature's Vigor spellbind. Also it has sort of synergy with arquebus, which being a reloading weapon won't suffer from a bit of extra recovery. EQUIPMENT (MECWYN): Weapons: Gyrd Háewanes Sténes, Abydon's Hammer (when in 'caster' mode) Armor: Raiment of Wael's Eyes Reasoning: this robe, coupled with Gyrd sceptre, will give a nice +40 def / + 20 ref bonus on being crit. EQUIPMENT (MOONFIRE): Weapons: Curoc's Brand or Cgadob's Hazel, Abydon's Hammer (when in 'caster' mode) Armor: Starlit Garb or Angio's Gambeson Reasoning: extra athletics will increase the base value of Second Wind heal. And either +10 to defences against spells or DAoM will also prove useful. EQUIPMENT (ALTERNATIVE): Weapons: Persistance Reasoning: this build was thought for an NPC companion; but if you are going to solo with it, and stumble upon an fire-immune enemy, wounding will help to get past this limitation. Especially with such high Might as this build has. (because wounding dot benefits from this stat twice; first on main hit damage calculation and then on dot appliance) Some numbers from a priest with 36 Mig and 31 Int (just gear + Minor Avatar) Ring of Ancient Forge: 20.5s stun in 9m AoE Abydon's Labor: 80-107 crush dmg Nature's Vigor (Wayfare's Hide): 131 endurance over 24.6s; + 15% max endurance Exalted Hands (Patchwork Boots): 432 endurance over 10s; or 10s stun against enemy Fireball (Necklace): 45-62 Divine Mark: 71-89 Shining Beacon: 254 over 18.5s | 5.65m AoE radius Cleansing Flames: 236 over 10.3s Storm of Holy Fire: 43-53 every 3s for 18.5s | 11.3m AoE radius Symbol of Magran: 27-45 every 3s for 41.5s | 5.65m AoE radius Hand of Weal and Woe: 44.5 dmg/endurance per second Holy Radiance: 217 dmg over 6.2s | +71 endurance | 11.3m AoE radius Envenomed Strike: 150.2 raw damage over 18.5s Pillar of Faith: 53-70 crush dmg; prone for 20.5s | 2.83 AoE radius But that's ^ theory. And here is a dps test vs Alpine Dragon in practice: link to video In-combat time: 95s (including pauses and buffing) And one more test: solo naked vs Alpine Dragon: link to video In-combat time: 3m 30s (including pauses and buffing)
  7. "Your a cruel device your blood, like ice one look, could kill my pain, your thrill! I wanna hit you but I better not touch (Don't touch) I wanna smack you, but my senses tell me to stop I wanna smite you but I want it too much (Too much) I wanna hack you but your limbs are venomous poison You're poison running through my veins You're poison I don't wanna break these chains" - Arlise Pooper, Death Godlike wandering minstrel, after meeting Bilestomper - Nobody knows Bilestomper's real name. Nobody knows what he did before he became a drainer in Tâkowa. The only thing we know is that one day he emerged from the sewers in a really pissy mood and went of to the Dyrwood, mumbling something about his own patch of well mucked land... =================================== Bilestomper =================================== Difficulty: PotD v. 3.02 -------------------------------------------------------------- Class: Wizard -------------------------------------------------------------- Race: Mountain Dwarf -------------------------------------------------------------- Background: Rauatai - Laborer -------------------------------------------------------------- Stats: MIG: 20 CON: 20 DEX: 02 PER: 10 INT: 16 RES: 10 -------------------------------------------------------------- Skills: Stealth 0, Athl. 9, Lore 4, Mech. 10, Surv. 5 -------------------------------------------------------------- Talents (a=auto, r=recommended, !=important) Spirit of Decay Weapon and Shield Style Bear's Fortitude Veteran's Recovery Arcane Veil Hardened Veil Superior Deflection Body Control Abilities Hale and Hardy (a) Arcane Assault (a) Second Wind Mastered Wizard Spells Mirrored Image Noxious Burst Pull of Eora Spirit Shield 1st Level Wizard Spells Eldritch Aim Slicken Spirit Shield Wizard's Double 2nd Level Wizard Spells Fetid Caress Mirrored Image Necrotic Lance Bulwark against the Elements 3rd Level Wizard Spells Concelhaut's Draining Touch Noxious Burst Ryngrim's Repulsive Visage 4th Level Wizard Spells Ironskin Pull of Eora Essential Phantom 5th Level Wizard Spells Llengrath's Safeguard Malignant Cloud Ryngrim's Enervating Terror 6th Level Wizard Spells Citzal's Martial Power Death Ring Minoletta's Precisely Piercing Burst 7th Level Wizard Spells Ninagauth's Killing Bolt Substantial Phantom Wall of Draining 8th Level Wizard Spells Llengrath's Superior Elemental Bulwark Wilting Wind --------------------------------------------------------------- Items (*=additional echantments by me; !=important, r=recommended): Weapon set 1: Wodewys (*Exceptional, *Corrosive Lash), Little Savior (*Durgan Reinforced) Weapon Set 2: whatever Boots: Bilestompers Head: Iverra's Diving Helmet Armor: Argwes Adra (*Superb, *Crush-Proofed, *Durgan Reinforced, MIG+2) Neck: Father's Teeth Belt: Looped Rope Rings: Ring of Deflection, Ring of Protection Hands: Bracers of Spiritual Power Quick slots: Traps mostly --------------------------------------------------------------- So as some of you may have noticed OBS put a lot of the spells (and monsters' abilities) that do raw or corrode damage into the "poison" or "disease" category with the latest patches. That can be annoying because nowadays some foes have immunities against poison and disease - namely vessels and such. But it also means that the mountain dwarves' racial ability finally makes some sense. So I figured it might be a good idea to use this ability and build around it (I love to take an aspect of the game and take it to the limit and see where this takes the build - if it's viable, fun to play and so on). I mean piling up defenses against all kinds of corrosion, poison, disease and such things. This would allow me to stand right in the middle of such effects and just shrug them off while the enemy would suffer big time. So I thought about which class might get the most out of it. At first the druid came to mind but then I realized that the wizard has the most powerful AoE spells that fall into that category. Also, most of them are not DoT spells and therefore profit from Spirit of Decay (which I planned to use anyway because of the corrode DR bonus). Wizards can also make great short time tanks because of those great self buffs they can learn. You can't tank forever though and that means you also want to kill your opponents fast. Luckily spells like Noxious Burst, Malignant Cloud etc. are very potent. Especially if you don't care if they also hit you. The tactics with this guy are very simple: - lay a poisonous trap - stand right behind it - start encounter - buff - lure the mob onto the trap - cast all those nasty poison spells onto your own head while the monstes try to kill you - watch them all die while you remain unharmed Let's talk about stats and numbers. I went max MIG and CON because I wanted my fortitude defense to be very, very high. That's because most of those spells and effects (and also the most annoying other ones like paralyzing, stunning, prone and so on) target fortitude. So with the stats alone I get a bonus of +40 to my fortitude defense. My armor gives me +2 MIG, so that's +4 fort. Bear's Fortitude makes this +54. I also wear Father's Teeth (around my neck...) which give my another +18 which leads to +72 fortitude. I took the Little Savior because it's another item that gives a bonus to fortitude which stacks with the rest. +77 now! On top of that you can add the racial ability "Hale and Hardy" which adds +25 against poison and disease. I also wear that nice bulky diving helmet which gives my +20 (and +35 against dragon's breath - which is nice because our reflex defense sucks a bit) and the axe Wodewys which adds another +20 to that (and since it's a weapon it stacks with everything). Now... against poison and disease effects we have a defensive bonus of +142. At level 16 that means 207. Without any buffs, potions, scolls, food or resting bonuses. You can add spells to boost this even further if you need. But honestly it's more than enough to avoid that you hit yourself with your own spells. It will never happen. Well - never say never- but if you shoot yourself in the foot, you will have a very high DR against your own spells (28 without buffs, thanks to Bilestomper's boots). You can always cast Bulwark against the elements to boost that to 43. The other DR values are also pretty good, so with the bulwark you won't be one-shotted by dragons. Thanks high CON, too! But there's more: Funnily, most of the monsters' abilities that are considered poison or diseases also sicken, weaken or paralyze you. Since I took Body Control I gain another defense buff: +10. Aaand the Looped Rope adds another +20 to that (and to most toher afflictions, too). All in all, against attacks that are poisonous or a disease AND do sicken, paralyze, petrify, stun or weaken we will have a defense of 237. You can image how a Plague of Insects (poison, sickening)... never even grazes you anymore - while you're bathing in your own Malignant Cloud (after those baked beans). The most difficult and annoying fights suddenly become trivial if you're at this point. Of course it takes some time to get there. But since I didn't raise my ACC too high I started to avoid my own spell efffects quite early in the game. Your ACC gets better and better, and so do your defenses. Most of the time those defenses are way better than your ACC. It's a good thing to use survival in order to get an ACC bonus against certain enemies. That helps to crit them but miss yourself. I seldomly used Eldritch Aim when I wanted to cast Noxious Burst or Malignant Cloud onto my own head for that reason. Later on you can do that because your defenses will be so high that Eldritch Aim doesn't matter at all - for yourself that is. Of course it still helps hitting foes. Keep one thing in mind: this build ois very slooow. So make use of Spirit SHield. You don't want to get interrupted. With high RES and Spirit Shield this almost never happens - but just keep it in mind. If you think you are too slow there's always Alacrity. And last but not least: this build is fun to play. Micromamangement is quite low for a wizard, he's very sturdy - even against other attacks than poinson and so on. He just looks so adorable in his bulky helmet and his green suit, standing in the middle of the mob and melting them. The Devil of Caroc is a great addition to this build because she's immune to all that poison stuff anyway. So you can tank and she can flank while taking an acid shower together. Awesome! And kind of romantic in a weird way, too. Thanks for reading - good night my fellow builders! p.s.: THis build idea also works very well when you use ice/freeze instead of corrode/poison/disease. Use a pale elf and pick up different gear that allows for more freeze DR and feezing spells and such (Wyrwood Ring, Scath Gwannek shield and so on) and pick up the Crossed Patch that makes you immune to blind. Then stand in the midst of you own chill fog while you await the incoming mobs. Chill FOg targets fortitude so will will seldomly get hit. And if this happens the Crossed Patch will prevent you from getting blinded. Tested this and it also works great. I had to decide which element to use and I took the poison route because mountain dwarves got no love so far and I liked the corrode AoE spells better. But chill fog is a really nice spell throughout the whole game.
  8. "All right stop! Collaborate and listen: Chillfog's back with a soothing bliss, um... something pumps the heals of me nicely flows like pure essence daily and nightly. Will it ever stop? Yo, I don't know - turn off the lights and I'll glow To the extreme I rock the fight, blow their lights out Light up my stage and freeze d'mobs like a white-out!" - Chillfog himself in his genuine rythmical parlando - "You're as cold as ice you're willing to sacrifice our love you never take advice someday you'll pay the price, I know!" - A Foreigner - =================================== Chillfog =================================== Difficulty: PotD v. 3.02 -------------------------------------------------------------- Class: Chanter -------------------------------------------------------------- Race: Pale Elf -------------------------------------------------------------- Background: The Living Lands - Explorer -------------------------------------------------------------- Stats: MIG: 18 CON: 10 DEX: 04 PER: 10 INT: 18 RES: 18 -------------------------------------------------------------- Skills: Stealth 0, Athl. 5, Lore 8, Mech. 0, Surv. 12 -------------------------------------------------------------- Talents (a=auto, r=recommended, !=important) Secrets of Rime Ancient Memory Beloved Spirits Weapon and Shield Style Bear's Fortitude Veteran's Recovery Superior Deflection Cautious Attack or Wound Binding Abilities Elemental Endurance (a) Second Wind Level 1 Chanter Phrases Come, Sweet Winds of Death Level 2 Chanter Phrases Nothing special Level 3 Chanter Phrases Seven Men The Silver Knights' Shield Level 4 Chanter Phrases Old Siec Level 5 Chanter Phrases Mercy and Kindness Level 1 Chanter Invocations The Thunder Rolled Level 2 Chanter Invocations At the Sound of his Voice Level 3 Chanter Invocations Seven Nights Level 4 Chanter Invocations So Singt Thy Biting Level 5 Chanter Invocations Called to his Bidding --------------------------------------------------------------- Items (*=additional echantments by me; !=important, r=recommended): Weapon set 1: Sheathed in Autumn (*Durgan stuff) & Scath Gwannek (*Durgan stuff) Weapon Set 2: The White Spire - just for the spells Boots: Boots of Stability Head: White Crest Helm Armor: The White Crest (*Crush Proofed, *+2 MIG) Neck: Rymrgand's Mantle, later St. Borragia's Tears Belt: Belt of Bountiful Healing Rings: Ring of Deflection or Wyrwood Ring, Ring of Protection Hands: Bracers of Spiritual Power or Bracers of Deflection Quick slots: Scroll(s) of Moonwell, healing potions ----------------------------------------------------------------- Alright - so I made this Bilestomper wizard and was really satisfied how this whole "pile up defenses and then nuke yourself" principle worked out. I decided to do one or two other builds that emphasize on that. But none of them should be a wizard - that would be a bit boring. Well, the only other class that comes to my mind when I think about powerful ice spells is the chanter - just because of his "Seven Nights" invocation which is very powerful. "Hm, that's foe only - so no need for high defenses or DR against freezing attacks" I thought at first. But then I thought "maybe I'll stick to that because you might have a ranged wizard or druid in your team who would like to have a tank who doesn't give a shart if he's standing in the midst of a Blizzard or Chillfog". One reason to wear Rymrgand'S Mantle first. So I tried to make a (n)ice themed chanter tank who is very resistant to cold but can do good freeze damage via invocation and also can summon some aid from time to time. What I absolutely didn't want to do this time was using The Dragon Thrashed or the Aefyllath Ues Myth Fyr - because everybody knows those are powerful, right? In order to gain a lot of phrases quickly (to cast Seven Nights) I sticked to lvl 1 phrases only at first. Since I don't like any of the lvl 1 phrases too much except "Come Sweet Winds" I decided to use that phrase most of the time and combine it with one powerful high level phrase in order to accumulate phrases quickly. I will just pretend it's name is "Come, Cold Winds of Death" for this build. Since chanters can't raise their defenses as high as paladins, fighters or monks without losing a phrase slot and also don't have too much endurance or health, I also wanted to make sure he has some good regeneration. And then I played and tried a bit and finally came to the conclusion that I should really focus on that: So I raised MIG (+30% healing done) and INT to the max and I took Ancient Memory and Beloved Spirits and added Veteran's Recovery. Then I put on a Belt of Bountiful Healing (+25% healing received) and later also used St. Borragia's Tears (+15% healing done). I also tried to reach 14 survival temporarily in order to get the third rank of the healing multiplier (+60% healing received). Then, when I finally got the phrase "Mercy and Kindness" that does +100% to all healing, I took that, too. So alltogether my healing gets buffed by +230%, or in other words: *3.3. This not only works with my regeneration, but also with Second Wind, potions and scrolls like Moonwell or items like Shod-in-Faith. For my friends around me it's not +230% of course, but still +145% (*2.45) when I heal them - and obviously +100% whith all other heals from other sources. This is a really serious buff. It also works on draining from weapons or the draining phrase "Old Siec" and all other healing effects. To put it in numbers: My regeneration from Veteran's Recovery alone says is about ~135 points every 3 seconds at lvl 16 if I'm not mistaken! I didn't do excessive tests to verify the numbers but I have over 200 endurance and it jumps from nearly KO to nearly full after 3 secs. If that's not enough I can cast a scroll of Moonwell that does ridicilous amounts of healing over a long time now. Or I sip a potion of regeneration. And Moonwell does not only work for me of course but for everybody around me. Same goes for Ancient Memory and Beloved Spirits. With my good deflection I didn't even wear Shod-in-Faith because it would'nt trigger often (there's a more offensive "offtank" variant for that at the end of this build). With Brisk Recitation I can put together the following chant: 1*Healing + 5*Come Sweet Winds - then repeat Phrases build up very fast after the initial healing phrase. Every 2 seconds you can 1 phrase. It also makes Sweet Winds of Death more deadly because it stacks with itself. Stacking about 10 raw DoT every 2 seconds is pretty nasty. Also great for rangers' pets and Combusting Wounds. This results in a cycle where I can sing Come Sweet Winds five times in a row in order to build up phrases for Seven Nights and at the same time have uninterrupted +100% healing. Once I hit 5 phrases on the counter I walk to the next tough enemy and try to hit him with three bolts of ice while I also try to hit as many of his friends with the other bolts as possible. Normally you manage to take this one and some more enemies out - also because they got weakened by the Sweet Cold Winds before. At level 16 I normally do about 600 to 800 damage with one cast of this against 5 to 10 enemies with DR 10 to 15. I soon found out that this guy is nearly unkillable as long as he's not petrified and as long as his regeneration still works. But health really is an issue because chanters don't have a lot of it. Not like barbs or monks. Although his defenses and DR are good - in tough encouters like bounties it was not his endurance that caused problems - but his health. So for the first time since ages I tried Field Triage and Wound Binding again. Turns out that all the healing mods also work with those. Field Triage heals 66% of my health now instead of 20% - and Wound Binding gives me 132% instead of 40%. So it basically overheals me. That's ok because it's a healing over time and while it works you might get hit again. I finally chose Wound Binding and skipped Field Triage - but know that with this build both might be worth it. You will walk out of the toughtest fights with 100% endurance AND health. So, it is a very sturdy tank now who also heals his friends on the fly and does good damage with the Sweet Cold Winds plus Seven Nights. Secrets of Rime pays off here. Not only does it raise your freeze DR by 5 - 20% more of the huge damage Seven Nights deals is also not bad. But... "Mercy and Kindness" comes really late. What to do in the meantime? Well, that's the weak spot of this build: it is a quite normal chanter until you get Seven Nights and later on that special healing buff. Use Come Sweet Winds to accumulate phrases, tank and then use your common invocations like summons and so on. But even without those high level things his Ancient Memory heals your party and the Sweet Winds combine raw damage with fast phrase buildup. And you can hit him all the time with frost spells because his freeze DR is 36 (41 with Wyrwood Ring) - even 46 (49 Wyrw.) with the lvl-3-phrase "Seven Men" - or 51 (56 Wyrw.) with a potion of Bulwark. And what he also can do is use those freeze spells from his items. Getting the Winter Shield from Azurro can be difficult, but it's relatively easy to get the White Spire from Dunstan at Crucible Keep. Together you will have 6 ice good spells that also work with Secrets of Rime. I also decided to wear the White Crest armor. It's not strictly ice themed but fits beautifully. And look how aweseom it looks with the White Spire. In fact this is the only reason I added another variant to this build. The variant of the tank is a more offensive melee build who mainly uses the White Spire as weapon instead of weapon & shield: =================================== The Last Unicorn - imagine a fancy fairytale about a unicorn that became human and so on... =================================== Difficulty: PotD v. 3.02 -------------------------------------------------------------- Class: Chanter -------------------------------------------------------------- Race: Pale Elf -------------------------------------------------------------- Background: The Living Lands - Explorer -------------------------------------------------------------- Stats: MIG: 18 CON: 10 DEX: 14 PER: 10 INT: 18 RES: 08 -------------------------------------------------------------- Skills: Stealth 0, Athl. 5, Lore 8, Mech. 0, Surv. 12 -------------------------------------------------------------- Talents (a=auto, r=recommended, !=important) Secrets of Rime Ancient Memory Beloved Spirits Two Handed Style Veteran's Recovery Weapon Focus Adventurer Wound Binding Savage Attack Abilities Elemental Endurance (a) Second Wind Chants and Invoc.: look down below. --------------------------------------------------------------- Items (*=additional echantments by me; !=important, r=recommended): Weapon set 1: The White Spire Weapon Set 2: some good Pollaxe Boots: Shod-in-Faith Head: White Crest Helm Armor: The White Crest Neck: Rymrgand's Mantle, later St. Borragia's Tears Belt: Belt of Bountiful Healing Rings: Ring of Deflection or Wyrwood Ring, Ring of Protection Hands: Gauntlets of Swift Action Quick slots: Scroll(s) of Moonwell, healing potions ----------------------------------------------------------------- Instead of Seven Nights all the time I used more summons and "The Champion braved" as invocations as well als Revival and other supportive invocations. You get pretty fast with that champion invocation - not to 0 recovery, but fast enough to take out swarming enemies quickly while also healing everybody around you with Shod-in-Faith like crazy. The healing with those boots, combined with Ancient Memory times 3.3 is insane. Your whole party becomes so much sturdier just because of this guy. I also used the Will'o Whisps because of the "Unicorn" theme - turns out they are not too bad in the mid game. This variant is all about the looks to be honest.
  9. "That old sorcerer has vanished And for once has gone away! Spirits called by him, now banished, My commands shall soon obey. Every step and saying That he used, I know, And with sprites obeying My arts I will show." From "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1797), translation by Edwin Zeydel (1955) =================================== The Sorcerer's Apprentice =================================== Difficulty: PotD v. 3.02 -------------------------------------------------------------- Class: Rogue -------------------------------------------------------------- Race: Wood Elf -------------------------------------------------------------- Background: Old Vailia - Merchant -------------------------------------------------------------- Stats: MIG: 18 CON: 03 DEX: 19 PER: 16 INT: 19 RES: 03 -------------------------------------------------------------- Skills: Stealth 1, Athl. 3, Lore 8, Mech. 12, Surv. 4 -------------------------------------------------------------- Talents (a=auto, r=recommended, !=important) Weapon Focus Noble ® Runner's Wounding Shot Marksman Dangerous Implement Penetrating Shot (!) Deep Pockets ® Vicious Fighting Prestidigitator's Missiles Abilities Blinding Strike Crippling Strike Deathblows(!) Deep Wounds ® Dirty Fighting Distant Advantage (a) Escape ® Sap Second Whind (a) Sneak Attack (a) Withering Strike --------------------------------------------------------------- Items (*=additional echantments by me; !=important, r=recommended): Weapon set 1: Engwithan Sceptre (*Exceptional, *Corrosive Lash, *Durgan Refined) or Pretty Pretty's Rib or Rod of Pale Shades or Puitente med Principi Weapon Set 2: Acuan Giamas (!) Boots: Boots of Speed or Viettros Formal Footwear (put only 7 points into Lore then!) Head: The Witch's Hat or Footpad's Hood Armor: Raiment of Wael's Eyes or Rundl's Finery (or any other robe) Neck: Glanfathan Adraswen or Cloak of Minor Missiles Belt: Girdle of Maegfolc Might Rings: Ring of Overseeing, Ring of Thorns Hands: Gauntlets of Swift Action or Ryona's Vembraces Quick slots: Scrolls, e.g.: Binding Web, Paralyze, Missile Barrage, Concussive Missiles, Bounding Missiles, Crackling Bolt, Rolling Flame, Maelstrom --------------------------------------------------------------- Hi again! This build is all about scrolls. You know I normally only use scrolls in tough encounters but even then I most of the time forget using them because... I really don't know why. Might be the feeling that I waste something when I use scrolls, maybe it's because it's not part of my "every encounter routine" - who knows. So I decided to make a build which main purpose is to use scrolls - very effectively. Most scrolls have a huge range and are best cast from a distance - so a glass cannon wannabe-wizard should be an appropriate build for using scrolls. Knowing that a rogue has amazing ACC and also some abilities that cause afflictions (like some spells do), I figured this would be a good class to use scrolls. And if you don't want to waste scrolls for easy encountes, a rogue can always dish out lots of single target damage via sneak attack. Also, there are some nice implements in the game that are either speedy or cause afflictions on crit - which is also a nice synergy with the rogue's afflictions, his high ACC and his hit-to-crit conversions. And on top of Sneak Attack (and later Deathblows) we can also use Dangerous Implement. This is quite nice in the early game because you do +75% damage if the target suffers from any affliction that qualifies for sneak attacks. And since we want to stay in the back row the self damaging part is not that much of a problem. But most important: scrolls and spells work with Deathblows! Not with Sneak Attack though (what?) - but with Deathblows. Since some scrolls have huge amounts of base damage (look at Crackling Bolt for example), Deathblows with those spells result in absurdly high numbers - especially if you also crit with them. Crackling Bolt easily surpasses 50 damage per "normal" hit. Most of the time my Crackling Bolts do more than 100 to 130 damage per foe. And remember that Crackling Bolt has a great range and also bounces. If you manage to line up some enemies (Boots of Speed are nice for this) and CC them, then one or two of those bolts should be enough to end the encounter. But also Rolling Flame and other damage focused scrolls do the trick. Another thing about spells that hit in a "line" like Crackling Bolt and Rolling Flame: they work with Penetrating Shot. Pen. Shot will give you 5 DR bypass with those spells without slowing down your casting. It only slows down your ranged attacks (aka implement shots). Other scrolls you should consider: Missiles. Those also work with Pen. Shot and Deathblows - and also with Deep Wounds! Here you can switch from devastating single target damage (Missile Barrage, Minor Mssiles, Prestidigitator's Missiles) to AoE-Deep-Wounds-damage (Concussive Missiles, Bounding Missiles). Deathblows with Missile Barrage is a death sentence! 9 Missiles with 8 DR bypass (11 if you use Ryona's Vembraces) will hit for 13.5 damage with +10 ACC. This means most of those missiles will crit, causing ~34 damage each. Against foes with 8 (or 11) DR this can mean 306 damage. Usually it's a bit lower because not every missile crits and some foes have more DR, but usually you'll cause over 200 damage (and also interrupt a lot). Concussive Missiles can also hit hard and apply Deep Wounds in an AoE. Bounding Missiles are great for two or three enemies that stand near to each other. Other good scrolls are Binding Web and Tanglefoot. Those are two easy ways to trigger deathblows in a big AoE. Because of your high ACC and the scrolls' ACC bonus, you will hit/crit a lot. COmbines with your high INT, the durations are great. Instead of using scrolls all the time you could also collect every spell binding item you can find. I wanted you use scrolls with this guy, so I didn't focus on that. Another good thing: You can still make this rogue your mechanics guy. He only needs 6 Lore to use most of the powerful damage scrolls. Give him 8 (or 7 if you plan to put on the formal footwear) to also be able to cast Maelstrom (very high base damage = absurdly high Deathblow damage). I only gave him 4 Survival for the +10 ACC bonus. That was enough for me. What I really wanted to do with this guy is to get that morning star that steals spells: Acuan Giamas. Once you have this and meet some casters it gets really funny: wait until your buddies engaged, run to a caster in the back row, hit him with sap or another affliction that prevents him from killing you, and hit him until you steal spells. Then immediately retreat with Escape (you could also use Shadow Step or Shadowing Beyond for this but I didn't feel the need. Escape just works fine). Be sure not to kill the caster you stole spells from - then all the stolen spells will vanish! Now you have a long timespan in which you can chain-cast the stolen spells without losing any resources. Those are "free" spells for the given timespan. Ogre Druids for example can give you Calling the World's Maw. I think I don't have to tell you how powerful this spell is if you can just cast it over and over again with very high ACC... aaand Deep Wounds... aaand Deathblows! This setup is very powerful - but since you get this Morning Star very, very late I didn't evolve the whole build around it. It just puts the icing on the cake. Now you could say: "But scrolls are always powerful - a fighter can also be a good scroll user!" - and you would be right. This is just a build which whole purpose is to use scrolls a lot and brings some nice synergies. The good thing is that this guy also (like most other builds) works without scrolls. Like a plain old ranged rogue. However - using this build I litrally forced myself into using scrolls. Before that I also used them from time to time - but at the end of the game I had tons of money, parts and plants and gems and a sh!tload of scrolls in my stash that I didn't use. I never visisted my stronghold's Curio Shop. With this "rogueish" wizard I fully unlocked the potential of scrolls. It resulted in an easy playthrough. Oh, and don't forget the traps! He also can do that. A petrifying trap (means damage*2) plus Deathblows plus Missile Barrage is... total overkill! Good when you have to deal with those nasty WM-bounties. Ok, thanks for reading and have fun!
  10. Somewhere in Old Vailia, 15-year-old Dervide Riso gave his crush, Centa Enricis a carved rod with which she was supposed to scratch her back. A bully, Marco Zaurippi, took the rod and threw it onto a frozen river. While trying to retrieve it, Dervide fell through the thin ice and with him his beloved pet bear Frogfish. They were pulled away by the current. Dervide suddenly found himself in the local library and discovered his ability to "jump" from one place to another. Amazed with his new ability, he left his permanently boozed father and leaped away from home. Frogfish simply drowned that day but was too dumb to notice, so he followed Dervide as a ghooohoohoost. Booo! Eight years later, an adult Dervide lived lavishly on stolen money and fed his Frogfish imaginary golden currywurst nearly every day. One other day, he was ambushed in his home by Lolrand Capon, a member of the Goldpact Knight Paladins, who was hired to tracking down Dervide because of his habit to steal everything that's not nailed down. But Dervide escaped with some nice evasive leaps. Feeling that he needed to leave the hot zone, he returned to Old Vailia, seeking his old crush Centa. Unfotunately she turned out to be ugly like an Ogre Matron who regularly ate directly from the deep fat fryer without cutlery. When Marco attacked him again, Dervide leaped right behind him and hit him with a newly carved rod. A Blast got released and Marcos head exploded! Yikes! Dervide quickly cleaned up the mess and from that point on decided to turn off the gib option in his life menu. He then returned to Centa. After talking, they shared a kiss - brrrr - and "let the rod have a blast". Yikes again! Dervide then invited her on a trip to the Dyrwood because some wacko Rodriguez lord made a call for settlers. Dervide and Centa finally arrived in the Dyrwood by ship. But when they got on shore, Centa tripped over her greasy shoelaces and fell off the gangway and into the Dyrwooden mud. One half-unwitting leap later Dervide found himself amongst some people with a caravan and was a bachelor again. During some neat adventures that followed and which involved going on the nerves of some fake gods, killing a guy with two inbecile living statues with big noses, opening up an ancient forge and killing sevel dragons with magnificent Blasts from his rod he became the Lord of Caed Nua by killing some presumptuous smug. Lots of killing lately, really. Then onother imbecile statue emerged... Yikes! "See you later Watershaper far'well-ahoy fishy boy. I'll have to borrow your back scraper 'cause it will be my new toy." - Dervide Riso while stealing Tekehu's rod - =================================== The Deep Leap =================================== Difficulty: PotD v. 1.2 -------------------------------------------------------------- Solo: untested -------------------------------------------------------------- Class: Ghost Heart/Trickster -------------------------------------------------------------- Race: Wood Elf (alternative: whatever) -------------------------------------------------------------- Background: Old Vailia - Dissident -------------------------------------------------------------- Stats: MIG: 15 CON: 03 DEX: 19 PER: 19 INT: 19 RES: 03 -------------------------------------------------------------- Abilities | Skills | Proficiencies (a=automatic) 01. Marked Prey + Crippling Strike + Arkemy'r Dazzling Lights (a) | Rod, Arbalest 02. Escape | +1 Arcana (-> 1), +1 Diplomacy (-> 2) 03. Wounding Shot | +1 Arcana (-> 2), +1 Streetwise (-> 2) 04. Marksman + Dirty Fighting + Mirrored Image (a) | +1 Arcana (-> 3), +1 Bluff (-> 3) | Scepter 05. Blinding Strike | +1 Arcana (-> 4), +1 Diplomacy (-> 3) 06. Two-Handed Style | +1 Arcana (-> 5), +1 Streetwise (-> 3) 07. Evasive Roll + Arterial Strike + Ryngrim's Repulsive Visage (a) | +1 Arcana (-> 6), +1 Bluff (-> 4) 08. Gouging Strike | +1 Arcana (-> 7), +1 Diplomacy (-> 4) | Pistol 09. Marked for the Hunt | +1 Arcana (-> 8 ), +1 Streetwise (-> 4) 10. Concussive Shot + Withering Strike + Llengrath's Displaced Image (a) | +1 Arcana (-> 9), +1 Bluff (-> 5) 11. Protective Companion | +1 Arcana (-> 10), +1 Diplomacy (-> 5) 12. Stalker's Link | +1 Arcana (-> 11), +1 Streetwise (-> 5) | Crossbow 13. Driving Flight + Deep Wounds + Confusion (a) | +1 Arcana (-> 12), +1 Bluff (-> 6) 14. Accurate Wounding Shot | +1 Arcana (-> 13), +1 Diplomacy (-> 6) 15. Finishing Blow | +1 Mechanics (-> 2), +1 Streetwise (-> 6) 16. Concussive Tranquilizer + Toxic Strike + Arkemy'r Wondrous Torment (a) | +1 Mechanics (-> 3), +1 Bluff (-> 7) | Arquebus 17. Survival of the Fittest | +1 Mechanics (-> 4), +1 Diplomacy (-> 7) 18. Devastating Blow | +1 Mechanics (-> 5), +1 Streetwise (-> 7) 19. Accurate Empower + Deathblows + Gaze of the Andragan (a)| +1 Mechanics (-> 6), +1 Bluff (-> 8 ) 20. Lasting Empower | +1 Mechanics (-> 7), +1 Diplomacy (-> 8 ) | Wand --------------------------------------------------------------- Items (!=important, r=recommended) Weapon Set 1: Watershaper's Focus (! - +Ondra's Wrath, +Legendary) Weapon Set 2: Spearcaster (+Pinning, +Missile upgrade) Head: Acina's Tricorn (r - for ranged ACC - also works with certain spells) Back: Magnificent Escape Cape Neck: Charm of Bones (for more Blast AoE and longer DoTs) Armor: Aloth's Leather Armor (+Superb, +Structurally Stable, Known Causality - for the Blast AoE) Waist: Spellkeeper (for the fun) Hands: Burglar's Gloves / Aegor's Swift Touch Rings: Ring of Overseeing (for the Blast AoE), Ring of the Marksman Boots: Boots of Speed Pet: Loki (because it's a Trickster and Loki is the trickster-god And because of Blast's AoE of course) --------------------------------------------------------------- Hi! The Dead Leap? What's that? It the combination of Deep Wounds with DoT afflictions, Blast with several jumps and leaping around to and fro on the battlefield. What's interesting about this build? It's the Watershaper's Focus! Believe it or not, but when you combine the Focus' inherent jump with Driving Flight and Ondra's Wrath (enchantment of the Focus) you can reliably produce a chain reaction of multiple Blasts jumping around and also multiple crushing waves rolling around so that everything is dead that can't swim. Only thing is: you want to have the enemies in one spot to make this happen - because recovery is so sluggish you can only afford to fire twice: out of stealth and then immediately after (because stealth reduces recovery by 85%). But honestly: two is all you need... So if there's let's say 5 enemies in a tight spot and I shoot them with Watershaper's Focus + Driving Flight, I theoretically generate 3*5 = 15 hits with one shot. Each hit would have a 15% chance to trigger Ondra's Wrath. This would mean a nearly certain proc chance of over 90%. Something weird is going on... But that's not all. Something else is going on. I suspect that the Wrath's crushing attacks themselves jump, too. Because I generate not 15 or even 30, but hundrets of hits with this setup as long as there are enough enemies. Ondra's Wrath usually triggers multiple times as long as there are more than three enemies. Combined with Deep Wounds and for example Arterial Strike I also add so much raw DoT that most mobs just explode in a wave of crushing water *booooom*. Even if some survive they get felled rather quickly by Deep Wounds + Arterial Strike (and/or Toxic Strike and/or Gouging Strike). If you manage to gather the enemy in one spot, encounter is over before it even starts most of the time. Single enemies are no problem as well: I shoot them with Spearcaster + Arterial Strike and leap here and there to make them follow me. They die like with any other rogue. Sneaky crowd control: Who's there? Now that we know that we have to cramp as many enemies as we can into a tight spot, how can we do that? Sparkcrackers? Meh... But doesn't Arkemy'r Dazzling Lighs work the same way? It does! That's actuall my no. 1 reason for picking Trickster And if you don't hit an enemy with it you even stay stealthed. That's important because the recovery bonus of stealth (85%) lets you fine two shots in very quick succession if you start shooting from stealth. So the huge recovery malus of Blast is not noticeable between the first two shots. But two shots of this caliber should be enough for most enemy groups, shouldn't it? It should. Even high level enemies with a lot of health (like Rathuns for example) nearly aloways get one- or two-shotted as long as you can get them to gather in one place. Additional stuff Besides the powerful AoE behavior I also found out that gaze spells like Gaze of the Andragan work with Driving Flight (=two chances to paralyze) and also work with the hat's accuracy bonus. Neat... The cons What are the weaknesses? Obviously enemy gunmen. Since this build is extremely squishy as long as you didn't cast Mirrored Image he can get screwed by ranged enemies pretty quickly. But to be honest I like the "all or nothing" approach. Plays like... This build basically plays like an Assassin without being one. The difference is that you assassinate the whole encounter if everything works smoothly, not only one single enemy. But what about... Now you might think: would a pure Ranger with Twinned Shot be even more devastating? I also thought about that and tested it - but funnily enough a pure Ranger with Twinned Shots doesn't perform half as good as the Scout. I guess it is because of Deep Wounds, Sneak Attack and all the DoTs you do apply. But to be honest I don't really know why the scout performs so much better. I only know that the Scout one-shots nearly every cramped group while a Ranger doesn't - even though the Ranger can generate six Blasts with one shot. If somebody wants to find out what really-really happens: be my guest! Variants (after a nerf...?) Another nice variant is to pick Sharpshooter/Street Fighter instead and use Fire in the Hole and Hand Mortar. The dps is better after the initial attacks because rod's Blast causes 50% recovery penalty. Vids I have huge problems recording the game atm. I get massive flickering blue bars when trying to capture a vid directy from the graphics card. I blame my drivers. What works is Peek (makes short animated GIFs). And if I'm honest I like those even more than Youtube vids for some unknown reason. Maybe because they remind me of Monkey Island? Enjoy (open tags to load animated gif)! --------------------------------------------------------------- Luring enemies to a spot with Arkemy'r Dazzling Lights: --------------------------------------------------------------- One-shot of a group of Rotghasts: --------------------------------------------------------------- Attacking a group of Rathun Raiders out of stealth with Empower: --------------------------------------------------------------- Attacking a group of Rathun Raiders from stealth without Empower: --------------------------------------------------------------- With Empower - without Empower - makes no difference, hehe. Edit: had to rewrite some text because of major forum formatting screwup that put links everywhere. Yikes!
  11. The "Stop-N-Go" or "The Jumping Fortress"* (Holy Slayer) [*Thanks to Dr <3 for this more evocative name.] Introduction: The idea behind this build is take advantage of several defense-boosting abilities that require you stand still (the large shield modal, Bronlar's Phalanx, Stoic Steel), combined with the fact that you count as "standing still" when you use Escape to teleport somewhere. In practice, this build has two modes. In the first mode we rush into the middle of your enemies with two weapons or a two-handed weapon and get ourself Flanked and Bloodied as quickly as possible. In the second "Stop-N-Go" mode, we shift to a heavy shield/weapon set-up, activate our stand-still abilities and spam Sworn Rival. This allows us to comfortably sit in the Bloodied/Near Death zone while enjoying a number of abilities that are conditional on being low health. And when we need to re-position to get flanked again, or need to move to take out potential threats, we use Escape to teleport there. In the latter mode, we're extremely tanky -- we have a high deflection, substantial damage reduction (especially against ranged and reflex-based attacks), multiple sources of regeneration, and a 20+ armor rating -- and we can pull out Lay on Hands in emergencies. And we also have an impressive array of offensive boosts that allows us to quickly obliterate targets around us. Difficulty: Solo PotD v.2.1 (with Berth's Blessing and level scaling) I completed my Solo PotD run using Berath's Blessings and level scaling. Berath's Blessings aren't necessary, but the 50k bonus blessing is recommended, as it will help you get some key equipment much sooner.Classes: Holy Slayer (Streetfighter Rogue/Goldpact Paladin) Rogue gives us a number of great offensive boosts (e.g., Deathblows) and Escape, which is crucial for this build. The Streetfighter specialty adds some fantastic offensive boosts while Bloodied and/or Flanked, which is most of the time. Paladin gives us a number of abilities that allow us to be very tanky, including Stoic Steel, one of the best "stand still" abilities. The Goldpact specialty allows our Sworn Rival ability to provide a temporary stacking armor boost whose cost is refunded when the target dies. And since we kill things very quickly, we can keep that armor bonus up pretty much all of the time. Race: Human The Human bonuses to accuracy and damage when Bloodied are great for this build, since it's built around being Bloodied or Near Death.Background: The White that Wends (Hunter, or anything else you like) The White that Wends gives a bonus for our most important stat, Perception. There are a number of reasonable choices for background, but Hunter probably provides the most generally useful skill bumps (Mechanics).Stats: Might: Very High Constitution: High Dexterity: Very High Perception: Max Intellect: Min Resolve: Medium Perception is our most important stat: since we'll frequently be seeing the massive Streetfighter bonus to critical damage kick in, we'll want to crit as much as possible. And we'll generally have a large shield accuracy penalty to overcome. Dexterity is our second most important stat; it's always nice to be able to do more, and do it quicker. Boosts to Perception, Dexterity and Might are DPS increases that are multiplicative with respect to each other, so in order to be a DPS machine we want to boost all three. Might is our third most important stat. It's nice -- it boosts our damage and our healing abilities. But the damage bonuses from the Rogue and Streetfighter abilities will quickly dwarf any bonuses Might provides, making this a lower priority than Perception and Dexterity. We want a reasonable amount of Constitution, to allow us to comfortabley stay Bloodied or Near Death most of the time. But this build gets so tanky that after the first third of the game, that a small boost to Constitution suffices. We want our Resolve to be flat. We don't want it to be too high, because we still want to be hit in our warm-up mode, and we don't want it to be too low, because we don't want to be hit in our stop-n-go mode. Intellect is the least important stat, since little hangs on it -- in a solo run we don't care about how big our aura is, we don't have any other interesting AoE abilities, and the only class ability with a duration we care about is Lay on Hands -- and that's partially a good thing, since it gives us more fine-grained control of how much health we have, making it easier to say in the Bloodied zone. For reference, in my run my starting stats were M16, C13, D20, P21, I10, R10. In hindsight this was a mistake -- M21, C13, D20, P21, I5, R10 would have been better. Skills: For the early game, this can be whatever makes things easiest -- I'd recommend starting with a point or two in Explosive and Arcana to provides some AoE options on the first island, and then some points in Stealth and Mechanics. After that you can retrain to take whatever you like. In my run I invested heavily in Explosives, but after level 10 I never bothered using them -- it was easier to just kill things the old fashioned way. Class Abilities: (Highly recommended abilities underlined.) Escape and Lay on Hands (You won't use Lay on Hands in 95% of your fights. But it's nice to have for the toughest fights.) Deep Faith Retribution Zealous Aura and Weapon and Shield Dirty Fighting Any (Crippling Strike, Flames of Devotion, Divine Purpose and Inspired Defenses are all reasonable choices.) Sworn Rival and Riposte Any (Snake's Reflexes, Bull's Will, Bear's Fortitude, and any leftover options from above are all reasonable choices.) Any (Ditto) Exalted Endurance and Persistent Distraction (Exalted Endurance is a little funny -- in a lot of fights you'll never even use it. But it's great in tougher fights, since you can turn it on and off as needed to keep you comfortably in the Bloodied zone.) Any (Any of the leftovers from above or Adept Evasion are decent choices) Any (Ditto) Any (Any of the leftovers from above or Uncanny Luck are decent choices) and Deep Wounds Any Any Improved Critical + Slippery Mind Any Any Stoic Steel and Deathblows Any Gear: (Highly recommended gear is underlined.) Armor: Bloody Links (early), Reckless Brigadine (later). You'll also want a set of legendary plate armor for fights against enemies with strong piercing or corrode attacks. Shield: Bronlar's Phalanx Weapons: ​(Initial Mode): Any nice 2-hander or pair of weapons will do nicely.A couple nice 2-handed choices: Lance of Midwood Stag (you can start wailing away, and when you get Blooded Woodskin kicks in and you can shift to Stop-N-Go mode, keeping the Woodskin armor boost for a while); Voidwheel (the self-damaging aspect of this sword is actually a perk, since it helps you become Bloodied more quickly); Wahai Poraga (you're often swarmed with enemies, so hitting several of them at a time is nice). If you go with two weapons, I'd recommend Rust's Poignard (with persistent distraction, enemies are usually flanked and you'll get the flanking bonuses) and Stalker's Patience (ditto). (Stop-N-Go mode): Kapana Taga (The Lone Champion enchantment gives you a stacking +4 deflection and +1 armor bonus whenever there are no nearby allies (i.e., always); and the Champion's Relic enchantment increases damage with # of people engaged and increases engagement limit, which is great when you're used to being swarmed.) You'll also want to have the Animancer's Energy Blade as a back-up weapon against high AR targets (which is about half of the fights in the BoW DLC). Neck: Protective Eothasian Charm (early): +1 to most important stat (perception) and hefty damage reduction and healing when Near Death? Perfect fit for this build. It's a decent choice for the entire game, or you can replace it with something like Bone Setter's Torc (+ crit chance and + healing for emergencies are both nice) or Claim and Refusal. Belt: The Undying Burden Rings: The Ring of Mule's Wit is fantastic with this build -- it drops our Int to 1, but we won't notice, and it gives us resistance to all Mind Afflictions(!). The Entonia Signet Ring and Ring of the Solitary Wanderer are also nice options. Hands: Firethrower's Gloves, Gatecrashers, Woedica's Strangling Grasp are all decent. Cloak: The Cloak of the Falling Star is great for solo play, and thus great for this build. (Violet Redemption would be perfect for this build, fitting nicely with the stand-still effects theme. Sadly, we can't get it until the very end of the game. ) Head: The Cap of the Laughingstock looks silly, but it's amazing for solo martial builds, effectively increasing our accuracy by +10. And since this build wants to get as many criticals as possible, to take advantage of the Streetfighter bonuses, it's especially good for this build. (It does make our enemies immune to resolve afflictions, but we don't care about that.) Feet: The Rakhan Field Boots are a nice choice, as they effectively give you an additional 1/encounter teleportation option, which also inflicts a full attack on anyone in the way. The Boots of the Stone and Footprints of Ahu Taka are also decent. Pet: Jules (+perception, and bonus to healing is nice for the toughest fights) and Nalvi (+resolve and reduced recovery) are nice options after you get to Neketaka. Avoid pets that give you healing after killing things, though, since you don't want them to force you out of the Bloodied zone! PROs of this build: It's great against single tanky enemies, since it can last forever and wear them down. Once you get the key equipment and your level 10 class abilities, the build really starts to take off, so we have a fun build to play for most of the game. It's really, really tough -- once everything comes together, we can beat every fight on upscaled PotD without having to pull mobs or use consumables. CONs of this build: Certain kinds of enemies can be a pain (e.g., spellcasters); in these cases we'll want to use Escape to teleport next to the most threatening opponents and take them down quickly. Since you lack AoE attacks, swarms can take a while to get through. You can compensate by investing in Explosives or Arcana, but I usually just hacked my way through them. You won't get everything online until fairly late (level 19). But most pieces of the build will be in place (and the build is fun to play) long before then.
  12. Sorcerer, Fury edition Wizard : No Subclass Druid : Fury Version : 3.0.1 Difficulty : PotD Solo : untested, unlikely. After my first sorcerer run I decided do away with the niceties, I realised that I was using only half the spells I had, some of them I had used about once in the entire run, and PEN was a real pain in the ass for the later third of the game. Race : Any, I played Aumauna Background : Rauatai & Scholar (or one of the other giving Metaphysics) Skills : Metaphysics and Athletics Stats : MIG : 16 CON : 8 DEX : 12 PER : 18 INT : 16 RES : 8 To be boosted with Gift of the Machine, Effigy Ressentment, Cauldron Brew, Savage Cunning (I wanted to go all PER but I forgot to change effigy, so it was DEX) Grimoire : Ninagauth’s Weapons : dagger and medium shield (start), Cadhu Scalth (Old City) & Griffin’s Blade (Random encounter Neketara), Chromoprismatic Staff (Nemnok) Armor : Aloth’s Leather Armor Rings : Kuaru's Prize (Huana Quest line), Ring of Greater Regeneration (Brass Citadel Shop) Gloves : Firethrower’s Gloves (Berath’s Blessing Merchant or Ashen Maw) Belt : The Undying Burden (Delver’s Row Shop) Boots : Leaping Boots or Footprints of Ahu Taka (Whenaru Cleft) Headgear : Horn of the Bleak Mother (or any +PER) Necklace : Protective Eothasian Charm (Gorecci Street) Cloak : Cloak of Greater Protection or Shroud of the Phantasm (Berkerna’s Observatory) Abilites: Free (f), picked upon leveling (p), Grimoires (g). Abilities I won't use are unmentioned. lvl 1: Dancing Bolts (f), Chill fog (p), Sunbeam (p) lvl 2 : Fleet Feet lvl 3 : ADL (p) lvl 4 : Infuse with Vital Essence (p), Burst of Summer Flame (f), Insect Swarm (p) lvl 5 : Weapon and Shield Style (p) lvl 6 : Automn Decay (p) I didn’t write in Burst of Summer Flame at the beginning, but that’s because I didn’t notice the cast time. It’s a great little instant damage button, sometimes Insect Swarm is not the right spell. lvl 7 : Returning Storm (f), Infestation of Maggots (p), Expose Vulnerabilities,(p), Ninagauth's Death Ray (g), Fireball (g) lvl 8 : Llengrath’s Displaced Image (p) lvl 9 : Combat Focus (p) lvl 10 : Hail Storm (f), Calling the World's Maw (p), Ninagauth's Shadowflame (g), Secrets of Rime (p) lvl 11 : Overwhelming Wave (p) lvl 12 : Heart of the Storm (p) Hail Storm is not great except for its massive AOE, I enjoyed using it as a out of stealth opener. lvl 13 : Plague of Insects (p), Relentless Storm (f), Rapid Casting (p), Ninagauth's Bitter Mooring (g) lvl 14 : Embrace the Earth Talon (p) lvl 15 : Llengrath's Safeguard (p) lvl 16 : Sunlance (f), Venombloom (p), Death Ring (g), Ninagauth's Freezing Pillar (g), Gaze of the Adragan's (p) lvl 17 : Scion of Flame lvl 18 : Spirit of Decay lvl 19 : Rusted Armor (p), Tayn's Chaotic Orb (p), Ninagauth's Killing Bolt (g) lvl 20 : Accurate Empower This is not a difficult build. Stay back, buff, throw a Stun/Blind/Paralyse, look for the smallest AR/Defense rating, cast, repeat. Plenty of room for adaptation, no grimoire/weapon switching, no PL to keep track of. The last quarter of the game was spent casting CC in a chain and watching every possible ennemy getting their ass helplessly handed to them by Eder and Maia, while still having the highest dps.
  13. "Let's go to the Golden Dragon and ask for protection." "Why should we go to a fancy exotic restaurant? How are they supposed to... Ahhh - THAT Golden Dragon! Right!" - Two shop owners who got bullied by thugs - Menu of the day: Appetizer: a fresh shout served with an echo First course: fiercest barbarian yelly Main course: sliced heart of fury with a taste of hunt Dessert: sweet minor fatigue, served with a bit of anger - Menu card of The Golden Dragon - The Golden Dragon is the wild, unconventional, but also posh counterpart to a usual bodyguard – distinguished by his frightening and threatening presense and his recklessness and his predilection to substitute raw aggression for discipline, but also by his showy style and his bravado. Lacking the accuracy and strong deflection of a fighter, the Golden Dragon makes up for this through intimidation, savagery and abilities tailored for repelling groups of enemies. The Golden Dragon is a challenge to deal with on a battlefield, though he is vulnerable if his nice shiny armor gets splattered with gore too much. The Golden Dragon loves to show off and uses illeism - usually referring to himself as "The Golden Dragon". Some say this man wasn't even born, but created by two animancers who realized their ideas of a perfect bodyguard... =================================== The Golden Dragon =================================== Difficulty: PotD v. 3.03 -------------------------------------------------------------- Class: Barbarian -------------------------------------------------------------- Race: Pale Elf -------------------------------------------------------------- Background: Old Vailia - Colonist -------------------------------------------------------------- Stats (character creation): MIG: 18 CON: 03 DEX: 04 PER: 16 INT: 19 RES: 18 -------------------------------------------------------------- Skills: Stealth 0, Athl. 4, Lore 6, Mech. 0, Surv. 14 -------------------------------------------------------------- Abilities (a=auto, r=recommended, !=important) Elemental Endurance (a) Barbaric Yell (!) Heart of Fury (!) Threatening Presence One Stands Alone ® Dragon Leap (!) Savage Defiance (!) Thick-Skinned Echoing Shout ® Talents Veteran's Recovery (!) Weapon & Shield Style (!) Stalwart Defiance ® Superior Deflection ® Spirit of Decay Weapon Focus: Ruffian Accurate Carnage Bear's Fortitude ® --------------------------------------------------------------- Items (*=additional echantments by me; !=important, r=recommended): Weapon set 1: Bittercut (*legendary, *corrosive lash, *durgan refined) & Dragon's Maw Weapon Set 2: Captain Viccolo's Anger (*corrosive lash) & Little Savior Boots: Fenwalkers Head: Liripipe of Thinking Armor: The Golden Scales (*Durgan Reinforced) Neck: Cloak of Comfort Belt: Binding Rope Rings: Ring of Deflection, Ring of Protection Hands: Siegebreaker Gauntlets Quick slots: stuff ----------------------------------------------------------------- First of all - the basic idea for this build popped out of Jojobobo's head in a threat about barb tanks some months ago. We discussed some things and afte a while agreed that I would post the build (if it's viable) while he wanted to follow some different build ideas in detail (look at his Silver flash chanter build!). So, thanks Jojobobo for all the input! Your ideas proved to be very viable: this was the best main tank I ever played so far. Some people may know that I absolutely loath those pure tanks who can only soak damage and do nothing else - well, this is not one of those. Thanks to Heart of Fury and Bittercut, ombined with certain bashing shields, this "tank" did TWICE as much damage as my dps wizard in the same party - while being VERY sturdy even with dumped CON (more on that later). The main idea of this build is not only to stack defenses, but also to debuff enemies' ACC values. This not only helps our barbarian to tank better, but it's also benefical for our whole party's survival. Although he's slow, he should also be able to dish out good damage per hit. This is important for carnage and esp. later for HoF (attack speed doesn't matter there). When thinking about lowering enemies' ACC, things like dazing (-10 ACC and also -2 PER which leads to -12 ACC overall), frightened (-10 ACC) and so on come to mind. A barbarian can lower enemies' ACC in an AoE with abilities like shouts & leap, via items with auras, via spell binding or scrolls and also via carnage: ACC debuffing abilities: - Barbarian Yell frightens in a faily big AoE (-10 ACC) - Barbarian Shout terrifies in a really huge AoE (-20 ACC) - Dragon Leap dazes in an AoE which size is comparable to carnage's (-12 ACC) - Echoing Shout dazes in a ridiculously long AoE line (-12 ACC) - Threatening Presence causes sickened in a quite small AoE when you don't move. PER gets reduced. (-1 ACC) ACC debuffing via carnage: - Glittering Gauntlets daze on hit (-10 ACC) - Captain Viccolo's Anger causes Minor Fatigue on hit (-10 ACC) - Lost Thayn's Reach causes interfering on hit (-5 ACC) ACC debuffing via aura: - Executioner's Hood's Intimidating Presence causes frightened in a quite small AoE and has reduced ACC (-10 ACC) - Redfield's Harbinger aura causes -3 ACC in a quite small AoE (-3 ACC) ACC debuffing via spells/scrolls: - Elryn's Jacket has a spell chance of Eyestrike that blinds (-29 ACC) - Stuck via Binding Web or Binding Rope (-5 ACC) - Forgotten Tear of the Beloved has a daze spell chance (-10 ACC) Maybe I forgot something. Of course you could also use a weapon with overbearig or stun to lower enemies ACC to 0 if you crit - because disabled foes can't hit you. Based on this, I developed the barb you see above. Of course not all the things I mentioned above stack. So I tried to develop a char which isn't too micro-intense, can stack a good amount of ACC debuffs without too much fuzz, who is sturdy and - maybe most important - looks nice. At the same time there are only two bashing shields that are good with carnage & HoF: Badgradr's Barricade and Dragon's Maw. This limits the style options significantly I'd say. Here you see the outcomings. Let's talk about how I do encounters with him at lvl 16: 1.: The barb enters combat and then casts Echoing Shout, prefarably if a priest buffed his ACC. Enemies who run towards him get damaged and dazed: -12 ACC. 2.: The barb casts Stalwart Defiance - I know, why start healing right from the start? Well, because it also gives you +10 to all defenses and the start of the combat usually is the time where a main tank needs defenses the most. Think about the opening salves of Lagufaeth, wizards and stuff. His defeses are now +10. 3.: Then he yells his finest yell and causes frighten all around him in a big AoE. Best thing, again, would be to yell after your ACC got buffed by a fellow priest or so. The enemies' ACC is debuffed by additional 10 points. 3.: He jumps into the place with Dreagon Leap where he will hit most enemies with his HoF. If there were enemies without dazing, now they usually are dazed and even more damaged. 4.: He triggers HoF with Bittercut + Dragon's Maw, dealing tons of damage with the high dmage of bittercut and Taste of the Hunt from Dragon's Maw, not only diond raw damage but also completely healing (if even neccessary). Most of the time this means death for all enemies in range. It's awesome. 5.: If enemnies survived, he switches to "full tank mode" with Captein Viccolo's Anger & Little Savior and causes Minor Fatigue via carnage while buffing his and fellows' defenses via herald enchantment: -10 ACC of enemies, +5 to all our defenses, add. +5 to deflection. If you want, you can take Brbaric Shout, too. It#s a very strong debuff and totally fits the theme, I also had it for some time. But I realized I seldomly used it because usually the yell was enough. It doesn't stack with frightened and is per rest - so thought I'd take something else instead. All the debuffs and defense buffs stack, meaning we will have the equivalent of up to +47 points to all defenses - on top of your already great deflection and other defenses (which are balanced). This can be buffed further by any deflection or defense buff: the things the barb does stack with everything which is a great plus. So, for example a Circle of Defense would lead to +62 to all defenses (if you add up ACC debuffs and defense buffs). YOu could even buff deflection further with Shields for the Faithful - stacks! This is also the reason why I could easily dump CON to 3: you seldomly get hit. And even if: survival bonus (+60% healing) combined with Veteran's Recovery and Taste of the Hunt lead to full endurance all the time. And even with 5 CON (3 base + items) this barb has as much endurance as a fighter with 10 CON. Of course the early game is a more challanging this way. And sure, fortitude is a bit low - that's why I took Bear's Fortitude so that my defenses may be balanced. Of course you will meet enemies that are immune to dazing of frightening - but it's not very common that enemies are immune to both. And even then those encounters are not the toughest ones, so it doesn't matter at all. By the time you get HoF you can have Badgradr's Barricade, which works perfectly well with this build. In fact I'd say for offense it's even better than the Dragon's Maw - so it's a matter of taste. Down below I will also add a variant of this build with Badgrad'r Barricade. I took it until I got Dragon's Maw. Before the WHite March I used a large shield without bash with a common sabre - and thanks to the high PER it worked quite well for me. Because Dragon's Maw has this special look, for me the only armor that fits to it are the Golden Scales. And since now everything's golden, I had to put on th Liripipe of Thinking, because it's the only headgear with an enchantment that looks cool with this outfit. Of course there are better helmets out there - but I can't play when I must always fear that the dyrwooden style militia may arrest me because of fashion crimes. --- Variant A: The Golden Dragon with Godansthunyr ------------------------------------------------------------------ When using Godansthunyr, you can skip Spirit of Decay and take Vulnerable Attack instead. It also works well with HoF and it looks really badass with the shield and armor. Variant B: Veildancer ---------------------------- When using Badgradr's Barricade until the end things get difficult with your outfit. You can either use a generic armor that can be dyed (crucible knights' plate looks nice) or you choose the monk's robes from the Abbot of the Abbey of the Fallen Moon. It's ok to have lower DR. Thick Skinned + Second Skin will give you +5 to physical damage and you will be faster. It's a bit more dps and a bit less sturdyness (while still being very sturdy). You could swap a bit MIG for CON if you want, but I tried it with the original stats and it works fine. Too bad there are only unenchatned helmets that look cool with this outfit - but on the other hand: the game is so easy later on that you can favour style over power, right? This doesn't look as a golden dragon at all - hence the alternative name. Also: Bittercut's green stain doesn't look so great with all that turquoise, so I took Resolution instead which also works really well - with Thrust of Tattered Veils you'll do crush damage, so the singe damage type isn't too bad. And annihilation with HoF is nice of course. Here you can also skip Spirit of Decay and use Vulnerable Attack or something else you like - Penetrating SHot works with Thirst of Tattered Veils without slowing you down in melee - this can also be a good pick. Or Gallant's Focus maybe?
  14. Dergano Ploi was born in Aedyr - his parents are elven Aedyrean Ambassador Laxon Ploi and deceased human Aerdyrean fleet officer Lt. Leanna Andra Ploi. Although Dergano Ploi had little exposure to the military world of his mother, he attended the fleet academy as well as university and earned an advanced degree in "philosophy of mind". He then served as the captain's counselor aboard the Aedyrian flagship "Venture" before joining the Shieldbearers of St. Elcga and leaving active military service. He is also trained in diplomacy, beguiling, languages and linguistics, often making him a valued first contact team member. Again, it's his skills in interpersonal contact which can help to turn the tides in difficult encounters. He's also able to give valuabe advices which will protect his team members as well as using tactical positioning, confusing and marking the enemy so that his fellow team members can deliver the killing blow. Dessert is his favorite part of a meal, and one of his greatest favorites and weaknesses is cookies and cakes. Paraphrasing famous Aedyrian philosopher-humorist Wirt Hogas, he always says "I never met a pastry I didn't like" - Rauatai Sweet Pie is his very favorite. He also likes to trow the dices and once beat some cretin smug in a celler in Stalwart at "Dozens". "If you're looking for my professional opinion as counselor: he's nuts." - Dergan Troi to his comrades when meeting Lord Raedric - =================================== Counselor Ploi =================================== Difficulty: PotD v. 3.03 -------------------------------------------------------------- Class: Paladin (Shieldbearer) -------------------------------------------------------------- Race: Wood Elf (alternative: Island Aumaua) -------------------------------------------------------------- Background: Aedyr - Colonist -------------------------------------------------------------- Stats (char creation): MIG: 15 CON: 08 DEX: 08 PER: 15 INT: 17 RES: 15 -------------------------------------------------------------- Skills: Stealth 0, Athl. 2, Lore 6, Mech. 0, Surv. 14 -------------------------------------------------------------- Talents (a=auto, r=recommended, !=important) Intense Flames ® Shielding Flames (!) Scion of Flame ® Shielding Touch ® Weapon Focus: Soldier Weapon & Shield Style Deep Faith Arms Bearer (!) Abilities Flames of Devotion Coordinated Attacks(!) Distant Advantage (a) Faith and Conviction (a) Inspiring Triumph ® Lay on Hands ® Sacred Immolation ® Reinforcing Exhortation (or Aegis of Loyality if no priest) Sworn Enemy (!) Zealous Focus ® --------------------------------------------------------------- Items (*=additional echantments by me; !=important, r=recommended): Weapon set 1: Cladhaliath (*durgan refined, *marking, *coordinating, *burning lash) & Outworn Buckler (*legendary, *durgan reinforced) Weapon set 2: arquebus Weapon set 3: arquebus Boots: Boot of Zealous Command Head: Munacra Arret Armor: Osric's Family Breastplate, then Ryona's Breastplate Neck: Cloak of Protection Belt: Coil of Resourcefulness Rings: Ring of Changing Heart, Ring of Deflection Hands: Spirit Spiral Quick slots: scrolls & figurines ----------------------------------------------------------------- Hi! Another colaboration of Jojobobo and me. This time I evolved a char concept around Jojobobo's idea of having a Shieldbearer who is kind of a diplomat and using Sworn Enemy + Zealous Focus + charm to generate a lot of charm-crits (because Sworn Enemy's ACC bonus works with everything). With this a paladin could somewhat substitute a cipher (when it comes to mind control) and add even more usefulness to his class. Since it only takes two abilities (that you can always make use of with a paladin) I tried to spin this idea of a diplomat/supporter/mind controller further and make this paladin a jack of all trades when it comes to support besides the usual Lay on Hands and stuff. So I threw together some of the nice build ideas that are already out, namely the Darcozzi Forward Obrserver (buff ACC) by Torm51, Sh!t's on Fire (high FoD damage) by limaxophobiacq and the Rauatai Captain (buff deflection) by SImpleEnigma - kudos to the authors of those builds. Check out their stuff, too. Then I shook the whole thing and out came this whizkid: 1. Boosting party's deflection (and other defenses): 1.a. Shielding Touch (+12 single ally) The Shieldbearer can use several abilites and items to raise his comrades' deflection. First of all there's Shielding Touch. To my surprise, despit being a passive addition to Lay on Hands, it works like Reinforcing Exhortation - this means it doesn't stack with other non-passive deflection buffs like Cautious Attack, Shields for the Faithful and also not with Reinf. Exhortation. But it's still good because team members that need healing from Lay on Hands usually are under attack - and that deflection comes in handy then. It's also good that it works on yourself (Reinf. Exh. doesn't). 1.b. Shielding Flames (+10 AoE): This is even better. When using FoD you will provide +10 deflection for nearly all party members (with high INT the AoE is realy big). +10 doesn't sound like too much - but it stacks with everything, and that's great. 1.c. Outworn Buckler (+5 to all defenses AoE) Everybody knows it's one of the best shields in the game. The herald bonus stucks with everything - with high INT you'll cover the whole party - awesome 1.d. Inspiring Triumph (+7 to all defenses AoE) Another AoE deflection buff. On kill you will raise deflection by +7 in the same AoE as Shielding Flames and it also stacks with everything! So when you shoot somebody with intense FoD + Scion of Flame + Sworn Enemy and he dies the whole party will instantly get +17 deflection - nice. Later, with Sacred Immolation, it will be triggeres all the time. It's an awesome synergy. 1.e. Reinforcing Exhortation It seems to be better than Shielding Touch since both don't stack, but seriously you can't have enough deflections boosts because they don't last forever. Once a shielding touch expires or if you want to give deflection only without healing, this is good. If you feel it's too much redundance with Shielding Toch, use Aegis of Loyality instead - it beautifully fits the theme and is very useful if you don't have a priest (which I had). All in all you can pile up +47 deflection on a single target, +22 in a big AoE and +12 to all other defenses in the same AoE. This guy turns even squishy party members into (tiny) tanks. 2. Providing ACC for an ally 2.a. Coordinated Attacks (+10 single ally) It's like marking - if you attack an enemy and one of your party members does this as well, he will get +10 ACC which will stack with everything else. 2.b. Marking Weapon (+10 single ally) Like above. It's like Coordinated Attacks on a weapon. Stacks with everything 2.c. Zealous Focus (+6 AoE) What can I say - you know it. You will boost the ACC of a single ally by 26 points if you attack thge same target. If you flank, you will provide the equivalent of 36 points of ACC. This is extremely helpful against tough enemies which are difficult ot hit or to disable. With this guy, annoying dragons and such with affliction like prone, stun etc. is easy. 3.: Crit-charming or -dominating 3.a. Whisper of Treason With Munacra Arret you can get an early item with 3 uses per rest which has fast cast. It also has +10 ACC which is nice. I took Enigma's Charm first but retrained because it has this annoying 5 sec delay and is an average cast. I seldomly used it, so I took something else instead. Later you can buy Spirit SPiral which will give you 3 more per rest. 3.b. Sworn Enemy +15 ACC for your charms, fast cast, no hit roll, lasts for the whole encounter, has an awesome range and also will give you +20% damage when the time comes that your charms wear off - nice! 3.c. Zealous Focus: +6 ACC for your charms 3.d. Ring of Changing Heart: the dominate effect has no ACC bonus and it's only 2/rest, BUT it can be cast outside of combat, and that can be a big plus. 3.e. Distant Advantage: the main reason (besides the background) I took Wood Elf. +5 ACC for your charms. SInce Sworn Enemy has such a long range, most of the time the enemy you want to charm is far away so this works. And what most people forget: it also works with the edges of your Sacred Immolation if the AoE is big enough and also gives you +5 deflection and reflex against distant enemies. This is good against spells and arrows as well as wing slams or breath attacks. You can pile up +36 ACC for your Whispers and +26 for your Dominations. It nearly always crits. A crit with Whisper oT with high INT leads to a charm that lasts longer than 20 sec. By the way I insta-crit-charmed all dragons (which were not immune) right at the start of the encounter which makes those fights a lot easier. 4.: Killing Stuff 4.a. Distant Advantage: with your arquebus shots you will have +5 ACC as well as for enemies which are at the edges of your Sacred Immolation. 4.b. Zealous Focus +6 ACC for everything, including FoD and Sacred Immolation. 4.c. FoD +50% burning lash and +20 ACC with that two arquebuseses. 4.d. Intense Flames +25% lash for your FoD arquebuses 4.e. Burning lashes on all your weapons 4.f. Scion of Flame Boosts the cumulated burning lashes from 100% to 120% - most of the time your additional burn damage will be higher than the original damage from the arquebus. With this, killing a weak foe and triggering Shielding Flames as well as Inp. Triumph is easy. It also boosts yout Immolation of course. 4.g. Coordinating on your Cladhaliath Since you always want to attack a foes that another team member attacks in order to trigger marking and stuff (see above), coordinating is one of the best enchantaments for you. Sure, your spear is not a dps tool and you are fairly slow without any big dmg mods, but the high ACC and the +25% bonus damage are nice nonetheless. 4.h. Mob Justice or The Mercyless Hand or Second Skin (optional) Mob Justice not only adds to the ACC of spear and coordinating, but also lets you get Cladhaliath a lot earlier. Tkis also counts if the paladin is not the MC. The Merciless Hand can balance out the lower crit damage of arquebuses. Since your high ACC with FoD often leads to crits, this talent would be a good pick. Second Skin is not so superuseful here, but if you don't want to use Cladhaliath (or want if for a different char) then Shame & Glory is your only single handed melee alternative. This also works of course if the paladin is not the MC, like with Mob Justice/Dozens. 4.i. Runner's Wounding Shot (optional) When using an Island Aumua, you can take Runner's Wounding Shot and an additional arquebus. Skip Deep Faith then. This will deal similar damage than an FoD shot - instead of 90% burniung lash you will have 80% raw DoT. With the Coil of Resourcefulness your switching works well without any talent. 5.: Tanking Defenses are great (as always with paladins). With Ryona's Breastplate and Outworn Buckler as well as Weapon & Shield Style you can take over the role of the main tank or a second tank or play an offtank role, it doesn't matter much. Your defenses are good enough to tank dragons for a short time (until the charms or the disabling works). Alltogether you will have a very sturdy frontliner who can - boost deflection/all defenses up to +47(single), +27/+12 (AoE) - raise the ACC up to 36 (flank+single) and +16 (flank+AoE) - charm up to 6 times per rest and dominate 2 times rest - most of them crits - tank & kill Enjoy!
  15. "Lash! A-ah Savior of the Universe Lash! A-ah He save everyone of us Lash! A-ah He's a miracle Lash! A-ah King of the impossible" - The Queen that was - <maybe I will insert backstory here... > =================================== Monksterlasher =================================== Difficulty: PotD v. 3.02 -------------------------------------------------------------- Class: Monk -------------------------------------------------------------- Race: Fire Godlike -------------------------------------------------------------- Background: The Living Lands - Colonist -------------------------------------------------------------- Stats: MIG: 19 CON: 18 DEX: 04 PER: 12 INT: 17 (maybe lower when not taking Veteran's Recovery, put it into PER then) RES: 08 -------------------------------------------------------------- Skills: Stealth 0, Athl. 6, Lore 2, Mech. 0, Surv. 14 -------------------------------------------------------------- Talents (a=auto, r=recommended, !=important) Spirit of Decay Scion of Flame Heart of the Storm Lightning Strikes Savage Attack Two Weapon Style Apprentice's Sneak Attack or Veteran's Recovery (when solo or without healer) Weapon Focus Ruffian Abilities Turning Wheel Swift Strikes Torment's Reach Long Stride Crucible of Suffering Duality of Mortal Presence Iron Wheel Enervating Blows (or Flagellant's Path when solo) Force of Anguish (see above) --------------------------------------------------------------- Items (*=additional echantments by me; !=important, r=recommended): Weapon set 1: Bittercut (!) (*durgan refined, *burning lash, *superb, *slaying(whatever non-kith)) + duplicated Bittercut (!) (*shocking lash, slaying(whatever else)) (you could also use Bittercut + any other sabre or Bittercut + Azureth's Stiletto or Bleak Fang if you don't want to duplicate Bittercut) Weapon Set 2: Azureith's Stiletto ® (=Jolting Touch on crit 1/enc) + Irfyn Brngar's Solace (r - switch to this when stun or prone occurs) Boots: Animancer's Boots ® (3*Jolting Touch/rest) or Shod-in-Faith (against hard hitting enemies) Head: nothing (Godlike) Armor: Blaidh Golan (r - after getting Iron Wheel) or heavy armor like He Carries Many Scars (great when health is low), even Vengiatta Rugia works ok, same with Wayfarer's Hide. Neck: Fulvano's Amulet ® Belt: Broad Belt of Power Rings: Ring of Protection, Iron Circle (r - lots on CON as well as increased DR when endurance is low) Hands: Blood Testament (!) Quick slots: Potions of Spirit Shield®, Potions of Major Regeneration, Potions of Flame Shield(!), Scrolls of Jolting Touch(!) ----------------------------------------------------------------- Hey! The Monksterlasher completely evolves around amassing and exploiting lashes using weapon attacks with Bittercut as well as burning retaliations like Flame shield and Battle Forged. I took a monk to do this because of several good reasons: 1. Monks can have very high endurance and health. If you want do use Battle Forged, you want to have those high. If you don't, you will have to rest a lot. 2. Monks can have three lashes besides weapon enchantments: Turning Wheel, Lightning Strikes and also a raw lash from Blood Testment Gloves (monk-only gloves). And of course, they can enchant their weapons with a lash, too. 3. Monk's Turning Wheel and also Blood Testment (not Lightning Strikes) work with retaliation! Not only the normal one, but also Battle Forged as well as Flame Shield. That means that with 10 wounds your Battle Forged retaliation will have additional +50% burn damage and + 20% raw damage lashes. Since Battle Forged starts pretty whimpy but gets very powerful at higher levels (scaling) this leads to very high damage via burning retaliaion. Flame Shields retaliation (+50%/+20%) adds to this if you drink a potion 4. Battle Forged + Turning Wheel profit from Scion of Flame. So you will get initial 120% burn damage. This is used to calculate the lash damage of Turning Wheel and Blood Testament. So they get increased, too. ON top of that Turning Wheels' lash damage also gets pimped by 20%. So alltogether you will get this: 120% burn damage + 60% (72%) burning lash + 20% (24%) raw lash (if you calculate the lashes with a base damage of 120% it's 72/24 instead of 60/20 - how you look at it). 5. Turning Wheel and Blood Testment work with Jolting Touch! It's amazing: you hit three enemies with high shock damage and do +50% burning +20% raw lash on top. It makes Jolting Touch so good. Also works with Scion of Flame so that Turning Wheel's damage is 60%. Add Heart of the Storm and not only your Lightning Strikes will do 30% lashes instead of 25%, but also Jolting Touch's damage will be boosted. This has the same effect as with Scion of Flame + Battle Forged + Turning Wheel. Only now it's Heart of the Storm + Jolting Touch + Scion of Flame + Turning Wheel That's the reason why I chose Azureith's Stiletto for my second weapon slot: It procs Jolting Touch on a crit. I also wanted to have 2 Lore of the scrolls. It's a good way to do some AoE damage without using wounds and stay at 10 wounds for maximum lash damage. 6. Torment's Reach adds a 50% crushing lash to the initial target. It's another lash and just awesome. Besides that it's AoE is superbig with high INT and adds a lot of AoE damage. 7. Monks can have unlimited Full Attacks as long as they have wounds. So a dual wielding setup doesn't suffer from low DEX and armor very much because... Full Attacks, you know. This allowed my to dump DEX altogether. I could then maximize MIG, CON and INT. MIG for myed self healing and damage, CON because it has a great effect on monks because of their heigh base end and health. I need a lot of endurance an health if I want to make Battle Forge worthwhile and not rest all the time. And INT to maximize the durations of self heling, buffs and Torment's Reach's AoE cone. 8. Monks can reach crazy high DR which can balance out the lower deflection I have with two sabres and somewhat low RES. But since I want to have a high wound counter and want to receive damage, Iron Wheel is pretty nice to add a lot of DR while getting hit so that only MIN damage comes through. Those are the reason why I combine the concept of lashes with a monk and not a... paladin or whatever. So why Bittercut? Because it has two damage types and because Bittercut's base damage gets buffed by Spirit of Decay. That's because it has the damage type corrode/slash (the order is important). In this case Spirit of Decay works as an +20% addition to base damage, EVEN if slash damage and not corrode damage is applied. I don't know why (I think the explanation lies somewhere in the structure of the code) but it's like that. So on top of things like high MIG, Savage Attack and whatever boosts your weapon damage, Spirit of Decay also adds +20% to that. Besides Stormcaller and the summoned weapons Firebrand, Cadebald's Blackbow and Klakoth's Minor Blights it's the only weapon that does this and is suitable for a dual wielding monk at the same time. Weapons like Durance's Staff don't work like this because they have crush/burn (like I said: the order matters). This makes Spirit of Decay a much better option than Savage Attacks by the way. So that's the reason I took Scion of Flame, Spirit of Decay AND Heart of the Storm. It sounds like a waste of talent points, but after testing this build a lot I don't have the feeling it is. I will just quickly list those talents and what they can influence on this build: a) Scion of Flame: - Battle Forged: +20% burn damage (which also influences the damage of all attached lashes) - Flame Shield: +20% burn damage (see above) - Turning Wheel: +60% lash instead of +50% - Burning Lash (Bittercut, if chosen): +30% lash instead of +25% - Chanter's Burning Lash (if in party): +30% instead of +25% b) Heart of the Storm: - Jolting Touch: +20% shock damage (which also influences the damage of all attached lashes) - Lightning Strikes: +30% shock damage instead of +25% - Shocking Lash (Bittercut, if chosen): +30% lash damage instead of 25% c) Spirit of Decay: - Bittercut: +20% corrode/slash damage (which also... and so on) - Corrosive Lash (Bittercut, if chosen): 30% lash instead of 25% So - because of this it doesn't really matter which lash you put on Bittercut. Shocking, burning or corrosive work equally well. If you have a Stormcaller guy in the party you might want to choose shocking lashes maybe. If you like burning lashes more go for that. If you want to hurt every enemy no matter what immunities you probably go for one burning and one shocking lash (so you have corrosive/slash + burning lash + shocking lash damage with one weapon setup). Let's see what additional damage and lashes we have when we use Torment's Reach: Two times weapon attack (Full Attack)... + 20% from Spirit of Decay + 20% from Savage Attack + 33% from 21 MIG + 45% from the "Superb" enchantment + eventually +15% from Apprentice's Sneak Attack (Enervating Blows help) + eventually +50% from crit this combined damage gets used when calculated: + 60% burnig lash from Turning Wheel + 50% crushing lash from Torment's Reach + 30% shocking lash from Lightning Strikes + 30% (shocking/burning/corrosive) lash from enchantment you put on the weapon + 20% raw lash from Blood Testament + eventually +30% burning lash from chanter this results in +118% weapon damage +220% lash damage against 0 DR. You could also use Vulnerable Attack to lower enemies' DR - it doesn't slow you down that much because of the Full Attacks (I did it first but later retrained - so it's not in the build now). Plus you hit a lot of enemies with Torment's Reach AoE. But you also lower your wound counter - so every hit will be weaker than the first if you don't get wounds while attacking. Luckily, whe have tons of endurance and health because of the Iron Cirlce and our base CON. So we can affort to get hit a bit. With Flame Shield we can do the following additional damage while getting hit: + 20% from Scion of Flame + 33% from MIG + 20% from Savage Attack + 15% from Apprentice Sneak Attack (eventually) + 50% from crit (eventually) this combine gets used when calculated: + 60% burnimg lash from Turning Wheel + 20% raw lash from Blood Testment + 30% burning lash from chanter's chant (eventually) Once we hit 50% endurance, Battle Forged kicks in which does the same as Flame Shield (they don't suppress each other) but with much higher base damage at higher levels. This is extremely powerful once you get pommeled so often that you might have to fear that you're getting knocked out. Suddenly you retaliate with more than 100 burn/raw damage with normal ret. hits and a lot more with crits. On top of that comes Flame Shield which is basically half that much damage. This melts foes who insist to hit you - while you use Torment's Reach or Jolting Touch to kill them even more quickly. As a side effect, your DR gets raised by 4, adds to the Iron Wheel (+10) and also to your armor. Your armor value might also be strengthened by Iron Circle. So, that's +14 to your armor, not bad. Enervating Blows also work with all of this - so a lot of foes will be weakened either by your weapon attacks or the retaliations which makes it easier for Apprentice's Sneak Attack to kick in and also makes it easier to send foes prone with Force of Anguish. I do this when I have the feeling that I get beaten too much. All this results in pretty insane damage while you can tank a lot of enemies because of high endurance, DR and great healing mods. I use Fulvano's Amulet with +25% and a +60% healing bonus from camping. This is great when you have any char in your party who heals. Down below I say something about self heals when you want to solo (or don't have healers). But a potion of Major Regeneration always works wonders with this healing mods. If you want to lob Fireballs or other elemental AoE spells onto your Monksterlasher you can do that, too: he has additional +4 DR against burn, shock and corrode damage because of the elemental talents. So it would be +14 or even +18 DR against such spells. Interrupts can be a problem if you send this guy first. So either you have a priest with you or you use potions of Spirit Shield. As i said: For healing I use my party members or potions. In a party that's totally cool. This build is also suitable for soloing. But you might want to get Veteran's Recovery instead of Apprentice's Sneak Attack and Flagellant's Path instead of Envenomed Strike or Force of Anguish (great for escaping when you're surrounded completely and your endurance drops too fast). Also, use an item which raises Concentration and also consider to use Shod-in-Faith. This way you will be near unkillable as long as your self heals work and you have health left. After that Battle Forged can help to clear up the rest of the mob. Also, more Lore is useful when you're solo. Skip Athletics and put more points into Lore when you're solo. He Carries Many Scars's regeneration has no time limit by the way and also adds a lot of DR when your health is low - ao maybe this is a good armor when you're solo. Another thing I discovered lately and which made me choose Force of Anguish: when you use Azureith's Stiletto and use it for Force of Anguish and it crits while doing that... all three enemies who get hit by Jolting Touch also go prone! Hilarious! I have no idea why and it's certainly a bug - but a nice one. OK, have fun. I liked this build a lot. It's tanky and does great dps at the same time, even when disabled (switch to shield setup then!). tl;dr: So the essence of this build is that Battle Forged, Flame Shield and Jolting Touch and of course Torment's Reach work with Turning Wheel and Blood Testament gloves, which makes it worthwhile to take three of the four elemental booster talents if you also use Bittercut as main weapon(s) Edit (24.06.2016): Corrected a thing about Vulnerable Attack - it was still in the text despite the fact that I retrained and skipped it. Thanks to sibakroum for pointing this out. Edit (18.09.2016): I wrote Envenomed Strike instead of Enervating Blows a few times - sorry for that, I corrected it.
  16. The Thundercat - or 'crit me maybe on more time!' --------------------------------------------- Difficulty: PotD; Game version 3.02 --------------------------------------------- "The Thundercat is on the move, The Thundercat is loose, Feel the magic, hear its roar, The Thundercat is loose. Thunder, thunder, thunder, Thundercat! Thunder, thunder, thunder, THUNDERCAT!" Intro Pictures Race, Heritage and Background Attribute Scores Talents & Abilities Spell Mastery Skills Equipment Buffs & Party Composition Spell Guide
  17. I posted this in another thread, but I would like to bring it up for discussion separately. One barbarian that I have had a lot of fun with for PotD is the stun-lock or excessive status effect barbarian. The idea is to have the barbarian use carnage to pile as many on-hit/crit status effects as possible on the enemy - stun and disorienting being the main ones, but also dazed - as well as using passive auras and effects from being hit, such as sickened, terrified and stuck. Attributes: - 10/8/16/18/18/8, or something thereabouts. We want accurate and fast carnage, over as large of an area as possible to proc those crits to shut the enemy down. Race: - Hearth Orlan, to get more crits. Could also bump perception further. Key abilities: - Threatening presence - Brute force (more crits if you target the lower defense) - Barbaric retaliation (does this proc dazed, stun and disorienting?) - Frenzy Talents: - Accurate carnage - Weapon focus (peasant or soldier, depending on weapon choice) - Two weapon style - Interruption (potentially) - Apprentice's sneak attack (what with stun allowing it) Weapons: - Here there is a choice. There are two combinations of weapons that will give you disorienting (-5 to all defenses), and stunning. Either spears (Cladhalíath and Vile Loners Lance), or warhammers (Godansthunyr and Strike Hard). - Each has its benefits - speed and two different damage types for the warhammers, and more accuracy from the spears - Of note is that both Godansthunyr and Vile Loners Lance have bonuses to their interrupt values - which is a nice bonus - Possible to mix and match, but then taking two weapons focus might be good - or take the weapon focus for the stunning weapon Other equipment: - Gauntlets: Glittering Gloves to apply dazed (maybe overkill with stun already - but why not?) - Head: Executioner's Hood to apply a passive frightened effect in AoE - Waist: Binding rope, so foes hitting you get stuck - Potentially Sanguine plate and Shod-in-faith, but that is a great combo for most frontliners. Swaddling sheet could also work, for more synergy when being hit by a crit. - Potentially additional retaliation items - assuming dazed, stun and disorienting triggers from retaliation strikes Total status effects applied: Applied as attacks: - Disorienting - Vile Loners Lance / Strike Hard - Stunning - Cladhialath / Godansthunyr - Dazed - Glittering Gloves (including from Barbaric Retaliation, I believe) Applied as passive AoE: - Sickening - Threatening Presence - Frightened - Executioner's Hood Applied on being hit: - Stuck - Binding Rope Of course, durganize everything to get the speed up there, pile on a Dire Blessing, Devotions of the Faithful, and Frenzy. Crowns of the Faithful or other intellect buffs also work great - get the AoE larger. Edit questions: Are there any more status effect items that could be piled on to this? Would more retaliation be beneficial - or does retaliation not proc the status effects?
  18. "He got a vision. Everything was in flames" =================================== The Boreal Thrasher =================================== Difficulty: PotD v. 3.0+ -------------------------------------------------------------- Class: Chanter -------------------------------------------------------------- Race: Boreal Dwarf -------------------------------------------------------------- Background: Living Lands - Explorer -------------------------------------------------------------- The dwarf inside Maegfolc Skull Stats: MIG: 21 CON: 19 DEX: 2 PER: 15 INT: 18 RES: 3 -------------------------------------------------------------- Skills: Lore 12, Rest on Survival -------------------------------------------------------------- Talents: -------------------------------------------------------------- Ancient Memory (!) Beloved Spirits (!) Weapon & Shield Style (!) Superior Deflection ® Veteran's Recovery ® Deep pockets (Optional) / Quick switch Secret's of Rime (O) Bull's Fortitude (O) - Phrases: -------------------------------------------------------------- - Come come soft winds of death - The dragon thrashed, the dragon wailed (!) - Invocations: -------------------------------------------------------------- - Reny Daret's Ghost (!) - At the sound of his voice (!) - White worms (!) (This gem when used properly can do insane damage) - Urdel and Gurdel (!) - Seven nights - Items: -------------------------------------------------------------- Weapon set 1: The Flames of Fair Rhian / Black sanctuary Weapon set 2: Abydon's hammer Boots: Echoin Misery Head: Maegfolc Skull Armor: White Crest (Exceptional, Pierce proof) Neck: Necklace of fireballs / Amulet of summer solstice / Swaddling Sheet (If you get lucky, this item is (!)) Belt: Belt of chimes Rings: Gwyn's band of union + Iron's circle Hands: Gauntlets of accuracy / Bracer's of deflection Quick slots: Every scroll you can spam (Paralisis, Fireballs, Healing, Scrolls of defense and so on) -------------------------------------------------------------- This is a simple chanter build, similar to other ones posted on this forum. This build is very simple, walk with your boreal thrasher into the middle of the combat, get surrounded and start spamming "Double Dragon" (because it stacks) until everyone dies. When you reach 5 phrases, either Urdel and Gurdel or Seven Nights depending on what you need. Boreal dwarf is a very strong choice for a chanter for two reason: the first one is +15 accuracy for wilds/primordial mobs. +15 accuracy means more dragon crits (last longer and deal more damage) and the second one is that you don't care of -1 dexterity. Wilds and primordial usually have high Fortitude defense. I'm going to explain why I choose this equipment. Echoin Misery (A guaranteed proc every encounter because mobs are going to crit you) Maegfolc Skull (Unbending keeps you alive, +4 MIG is nice) White Crest (Overwhelming wave & Dancing bolts is welcome). Another option is Ryona's Breastplate but It looks better on Pallegina. Swaddling Sheet (Another overwhelming wave if one is not enough). This is not a common adventure so before you get it, every item that allows you to spam spells is welcome. Belt of chimes (Concentration is horrible in this char, so it helps a bit. If you have a priest on your party, or you want to use celebrant gloves be free to put whatever you like here) Gauntlets of accuracy (This build is about Dragon thrashed, so landing it properly is the most important thing. You can't have enough accuracy) Flames of Fair for three fireballs/Bittercut. Three fireballs/rest and if you have no use for bittercut on your party infestation of maggots/thorns for more spells/rest. With this setup when mobs crit you there is a lot of pain for them. 2x Warding seal, 1x Overwhelming wave, 1 Ray of Pain. This build works better with a Wizard/Priest/Paladin on your party. Painful interdiction is the opener during the game (dragon thrashed is against fortitude, and mobs usually have this stat as the highest defense so lowering it is a must). Ryngrim's enervating terror is the second option to mass debuff mobs. Put a champion's boon on this character and enjoy massive dragon thrashed damage. A paladin zealous focus is also important because of +6 accuracy and +15% graze/hit conversion (which affect your chants also). If you are going to choose Scion of Flame as one of your talents be aware that it doesn't work with Dragon thrashed (It's a DOT) Abydon's hammer is for stun effect & quick switch before using scrolls. This character with food and spells can achieve a might of: - 21 (Initial) + 4 Maegfolc + 10 Champion's boon + 2 (Food) + 4 Abydon's hammer + 1 Gift from the machine + 1 Galawain's boon = 43 MIG With this MIG every scroll you can use is going to deal insane damage or healing to your party members/foes. The same applies to your crit/proc items. If you want more MIG/INT choose whoever you hate most to sacrifice being Kana the best candidate (+5 resist affliction). Have fun!
  19. PotD, Full party. Not fully tested yet. The Trashman is pretty much...for clearing "trash mobs". Cleaving through groups of the various run of the mill monsters and bad guys that are in no short supply. He does this in particularly barbarian-like fashion - with an Axe! Named after Frank's wrestling pseudonym in 'Always Sunny in Philadelphia'. Short, hairy, ornery... kind of like an Orlan Barbarian? This character takes advantage of several changes in the 3.03 beta, which I've noted in bold below. This is not the most durable character to have on the front line, but it's an interesting alternative to the usual Tall Grass/Tidefall/Forgemaster's barbarian that I've stuck to. Luckily there are some items to take good advantage of a lower deflection frontliner. I also like the concept of a one handed weapon w/no shield, and axes in particular, it's just never been particularly appealing as a weapon choice in Pillars... until now. The damage output is actually pretty high due to annihilation, and as a crit-build, it doesn't actually rely too much on high accuracy. I considered a Rogue We Toki build in light of these changes but this just felt like the better way to go and takes advantage of more new stuff. I'm really enjoy Heart of Fury as Per-Encounter with this build, I must say - with We Toki it's almost like your Barbarian has Slicken Spell Mastery. Relative to a two hander build, this is less flexible and lower survivability. I can't sell it as some kind of new amazing build. Knight / One Handed simply doesn't cover as many great weapons(and no reach weapon to hide behind tankier melee), and We Toki is accessed in Act III vs. Act II. Edge of Reason gives you an almost-Tidefall option but is also acquired later. But it gets points for style, I think, combines disables with damage a bit better than anything else(although...Hours of Saint Rumbalt has prone and annihilation too...dammit), and I enjoy the animation far more than watching my barbarian prod things with a pike for carnage. Anyway, here's the build - Barbarian Race: Hearth Orlan - Highly recommend over anything else. Attributes: 15 Might 10 Constitution 10 Dexterity 20 Perception 15 Intellect 8 Resolve ~You can min/max further, to taste. Perception doesn't necessarily have to be this high, you're turning many hits into crits anyway - the +interrupt is still nice though. Abilities(Odd numbers) and Talents(Even numbers): Barbaric Yell One Handed Style - Now converts 15% of hits to crits as of 3.03 Savage Defiance Apprentice's Sneak Attack One Stands Alone - Now only requires nearby enemies, as opposed to engaged enemies Savage Attack Frenzy Accurate Carnage Threatening Presence Weapon Focus: Knight Heart of Fury - Now Per Encounter Stalwart Defiance Dragon Leap Interrupting Blows Echoing Shout - Now foe-only Beast Slayer, or Bloody Slaughter Skills: Survival 12 is great for rank II of accuracy/flank damage Gear: Weapon Set 1: We Toki Weapon Set 2: Edge of Reason Armor: Aloth's Leather ArmorBelt: Binding Rope Gloves: Gauntlets of Swift Action (or Pilferer's Grip if you don't have it) Boots: Shod-In-Faith Rings: Ring of Protection, Ring of Thorns Neck: Swaddling Sheet Head: Garodh's Chorus (or Maegfolc Skull)
  20. -Used on Path of the Damned difficulty, version 3.02 -Not the most exciting or quirky build, but I figured I'd put it up anyway. Paladin Order: Darcozzi Race: Wild Orlan (Optional) Attributes: 15 Might 11 Constitution 3 Dexterity 15 Perception 16 Intellect 17 Resolve Abilities(Odd numbers) and Talents(Even numbers): Lay on Hands Weapon and Shield Style Zealous Charge or Zealous Focus Aspirant's Mark Liberating Exhortation Inspiring Liberation Coordinated Attacks Critical Focus or Bull's Will Aegis of Loyalty Deep Faith Righteous Soul Scion of Flame Sacred Immolation * * * * = Personal preference. I actually like Deprive the Unworthy for many tough encounters, but Reinforcing Exhortation is good too and gets more overall use since it's per-encounter. You can take more saving throw or deflection talents or grab preferred utility. Skills: Get 10 Lore for scrolls and bonus dialogue, and put at least two in survival for the healing bonus. I like decent stealth on all my characters, but not everyone cares for stealth. I found with a melee heavy group it helped with my opening strategies and bum rushing casters better. A few points in athletics are worth it for a bit better heal, Paladins get +2 to it so getting 4-5 isn't expensive. Gear: Weapon Set 1: Shame or Glory, Outworn Buckler Weapon Set 2: Engwithan Scepter w/Kith Slaying and Burning Lash Armors: Hand and Key / Argwes Adra / Ryona's Breastplate Belts: Girdle of the Driving Wave(grants knockdown) / Girdle of Eoten Constitution / Binding Rope Gloves: Celebrant's Gloves Boots: Malina's Boots Rings: Ring of Protection Neck: Lilith's Shawl Head: Lavender Wreath, great item and essential for my preferred portrait and character model - I know that's a Godlike vs. a Wild Orlan, but it kinda works. Role / Playstyle: Early game, you're a PC Paladin, so your defenses are crazy good and you're pretty much a door blocker(or whatever chokepoint is available) for all those melee mob encounters. Your damage will be terrible, but you can open with an Arbalest or something then switch to sword and board. You also have high mental attributes as the PC, and can reach 20 in all of them to pass pretty much all of the good dialogue checks. I recommend displaying the various [Passionate][Clever] etc. dialogue options - many are pretty much free defense boosts for you and don't affect much otherwise. You also don't want to pick stoic, and some stoic options are kind of arbitrarily categorized and placed IMO. Cruel is easy to avoid at least. Mid game, your support has developed and you'll be debuffing with aspirant's mark every encounter, healing, removing debuffs, and boosting the accuracy of your damage and/or control characters depending on encounter. You're also a good character to make use of scrolls and items with spells, since you don't do remarkable autoattack damage nor are you busy casting stuff most of the time. I used Pallegina(Dual Sabres), Zahua, and Maneha(Tall Grass) once I got them for my melee, with Aloth and Durance as my only casters. Zealous Charge and Coordinated Attacks worked well with this setup, allowing my melee to rush down casters. Attacking in unison on priority targets with a marking weapon was quite effective. For some fights I also just attacked Zahua with the Scepter to give him more wounds. You're also a solid character for using Watcher abilities, with high Int/Might/Perception. Later game, you're an excellent counter to some of the more annoying confuse/charm/dominate enemies. That's why you've got the Scepter, really, with the fast attack speed. You're also highly resistant to these effects yourself, and can equip the Hand and Key Armor for encounters where these get spammed. Finally, you pick up Sacred Immolation, and are a decent source of AoE damage while doing all of the above. Also, on those big dragon fights, you're a great "main tank" and since they spam will defense attacking stuff your Wild Orlan racial will be boosting your already crazy high defenses pretty much constantly.
  21. "Maybe I can't die - but I will not stop trying. The only antidote to mental suffering is physical pain!" Burl Marrax, about 500 years old, immortal and world-worn Vailian pirate, conquerer and colonist, cursed by a native shaman after mocking his religion... and slaughetering his tribe. Or the other way round. "Some kith kiss me, some kith hug me I think they're okay If they don't give me proper beating I just walk away. They can slap and they can smack But they can't see the light 'Cause the boy with the cold sharp blade Is always Mister Right. 'Cause I am living in a martyrial world And I am a martyrial Burl You know that we are living in a martyrial world And I am the material Burl." Burl Marrax in one of his rare happy moments, singing in the bathtub =================================== The Immortal Martyr =================================== Difficulty: PotD v. 3.02 -------------------------------------------------------------- Solo: ahahaha... no! -------------------------------------------------------------- Class: Barbarian -------------------------------------------------------------- Race: Ocean Folk -------------------------------------------------------------- Background: Old Vailia - Colonist -------------------------------------------------------------- Stats: MIG: 19 CON: 03 DEX: 15 PER: 18 INT: 19 RES: 04 -------------------------------------------------------------- Skills: Stealth 1, Athl. 4, Lore 6, Mech. 0, Surv. 14 -------------------------------------------------------------- Talents (a=auto, r=recommended, !=important) Accurate Carnage ® Weapon Focus: Ruffian (!) Savage Attack Two Weapon Style ® Vulnerable Attack Bloody Slaughter Barbabric Blow ® Greater Frenzy The Merciless Hand ® Dungeon Delver ® Abilities Carnage (a) Fighting Spirit (a) Blooded (!) Frenzy ® Heart of Fury (!) One Stands Alone (!) Dragon Leap ® Barbaric Retaliation Threatening Presence Vengeful Defeat (!) --------------------------------------------------------------- Items (*=additional echantments by me; !=important, r=recommended): Weapon set 1: Purgatory(!) (*Legendary, *Burning Lash, *Durgan Refined) & Resolution(!)(*Legendary, *Shocking Lash, *Durgan Refined) Weapon Set 2: 2 * Club (*Exceptional, *Corrosive Lash, *Kith-Slaying) Boots: Boots of Stability or Boots of Speed Head: Rugged Wilderness Hat Armor: Robes of the Tidebringer (!)(*Durgan Reinforced, *PER +2) Neck: St. Borragia's Tears or Glanfathan Adraswen Belt: Belt of Chimes ® Rings:Gwyn's Band of Union ®, Ring of Wonder ® Hands: Celebrant's Gloves ® or Rabbit Fur Gloves Quick slots: Scrolls & Potions --------------------------------------------------------------- First of all: turn off Knockout Injuries! Seriously, this build is no fun with that. The thing is, this build is build around Vengeful Defeat, an ablitly that will give you a very powerful Full Attack - but only if your endurance drops to zero. Since most people try to avoid that, this ability seems to be a bit circumstantial. But what if you want to go down all the time - what if you want to play a character who's sick of life but can't die - wouldn't Vengeful Defeat be a great ability for this character? Or the other way round: isn't this a good excuse to abuse the heck out of Vengeful Defeat? Secondly: we need one or more party members who can revive in order to get the most out of this build. Sure, you can have items with second chance (and we will use those), but if you want to be revived more than once per encounter (and I recommend that), you need a paladin, priest or chanter. Or somebody who knows how to read revive scrolls. Because we want our hero to go down, we can dump CON and RES and don't even need to have a sore conscience about it - because it's proper roleplaying, that's what this is! All those points go into maxed MIG, PER and INT and the rest into DEX. You see - Burl had a lot of time to train and develop great stats - he had a lot of time to read and do crossword puzzles (hence his high INT), to slaughter some native tribes (high MIG), watch some hummingbirds make love (PER) and do some vaillian dancing (DEX). But he's so sick of life and he couldn't care less - so his RES is really bad and his CON also - because he drinks and eats all those unhealthy things that would give others diabetis, a heart attack and liver cirrhosis. But as I mentioned: he couoldn't care less. Now we have the perfect glass cannon. Time to explain how this works: the plan is to toss this guy into the middle of a mob and start swinging. Because of his abysmal deflection and low DR, most foes will immediately turn towards him. While he does good damage via carnage, he will get hit a lot. Because his Concentration is really bad he will get interrupted all the time, which is bad. I mean he couldn't care less as w know - but WE do care, so we put on the Belt of Chimes which gives us +25 concentration. We also put on the Celebrant's Gloves because those will not only increase the carnage area by 10% but also cast Holy Moly Meditation if we get hit a lot - which is another +30 concentration on top. Suddenly it's very hard to interrupt us - but our deflection is still awful - which is awesome! Because we want to use Vengeful defeat a lot, we can also take all those (normally) lackluster abilites and items that do something when our endurance drops under 50% or even when we co unconcious. That's also why I chose the human race: the bonus ACC will come in handy and I'll explain later why. So, pick up Blooded and so on. We want to accumulate a lot of such effects. The Martyr enchantment is very powerful: for 30 seconds you haste your friends - while dying and doing lots of damage. This is not "Behold the Martyr" - that paladin ability is a different thing. It ends when you revive the Martyr. The enchantment however triggers an AoE haste spell that lasts for 30 sec - it doesn't matter what hppens with the Martyr after it was cast. But "Behold the Martyr" can be of use with this build, too. Another nice effect is second chance + Holy Radiance (see the neck slot). Holy Radiance gets triggered after Second Chance - so you get healed a bit AFTER your second chance comback. And your fellows get healed too! Nice! The ring ist also great on this char. Not only does it boost our carnage AoE because of +4 INT, but also dazes enemies around you once your endurance drops below 80%. And who doesn't know that daze is a superpowerful debuff? I chose those two famous sabres because they combine high base damage with Annihilation. High base damage is good for carnage - and Annihilation is aweseome for Vengeful Defeat (and also Heart of Fury and Barbaric Blow). Those abilities not only do full attacks (hello dual sabres), but also give you more crits AND higher crit damage. If you are the main character and trigger HoF or Vengeful Defeat while standing in a mob of badly wounded enemies - with those fully enchanted sabres - you can get the following max crit damage multiplier: +0.5(crit)+0.5(Annihilation)+0.3(durgan steel)+0.3(Merciless Hand)+0.5(HoF or Vengeful Defeat bonus)+0.5(Bloody Slaughter)+0.1(Dungeon Delver)+0.1(Rabbit Fur Gloves) = 2.8 crit damage multiplier. Sadly, it doesn't really work as a multiplier - it seems it just works like any other damage bonus. So I assume it's more like +280% base damage. But hey - also not too bad. I enchanted those to legendary but it also works with exceptional or superb of course. Legendary just happened to fit exactly into the 14 enchantment points pool. Axes also work fine with this. Especially We Toki. And Hours of St. Rumbalt is also nice. the damage is lower because - you know - full attack and so on - but the prone effect makes up for that. Another very powerful option would be Firebrand - but it didn't fit the theme so I didn't try that. But I can imagine a fire godlike with that flaming sword and Vengeful Defeat. Those crits are the reason why I want to have a lot of ACC. This is done easily with camping bonuses. WIth the rugged wilderness hat you have 16 survival - which will give you +18 ACC against a chose creature type. ON top of that we have the hit-to-crit conversion of Vengeful Defeat (or HoF) that is 20%. +20% from durgan steel results in 40%. So a lot of crits will occur if you use those. Add some Fighting Spirit (human racial ability) and you're good! The best thing about VD (Vengeful Defeat) and HoF is that you do a full attack at all enemies in range. The range is your carnage area plus a little bonus. All those hits from the full attack trigger carnage. So the more enemies you can reach, the more damage every one of them will get. Damage's growing exponentially if you manage to hit 5 or six foes at once. If you have a priest in the gang you need to use Crowns of the Faithful. It can do so much for this Martyr Barb. Now you may inkle why I wanted to build a character around VD. If you go KO and are surrounded by enemies, your VD will be nearly as powerful as HoF. You will be like living bait: all the mobs will be drawn to you because you are such a squishy. Don't hesitate to cast a lot of AoE damage spells onto your Martyr. You will hit him of course, but also all those mobs around him. Be like King Edward Longshanks! And don't be silly because of frendly fire - this barb loves that! Just keep a reviver nearby for the time the second chance is used up. I can't emphasize this enough I guess: using this build as a decoy will make your life so much easier in hard fights like bounties and stuff. He can buy you some time while you buff/debuff. He's like a living CC effect that doesn't have to rely on ACC or doesn't have to overcome defenses. He's just there and draws enemies towards him. And while being punished for that he really can do some harm. One of he best spells with this is Pull of Eora: the foes will be drawn towards the barbarian and will be whirled around and form a really dense pack: great for your HoF and VD. And while they all try to smash the Martyr, they don't bother the rest of your party who can just fire away. Oh, and I nearly forgot: VD always triggers: if you are prone, stunned, petrified - doesn't matter. Once you go down, you will trigger WD. So your barb can do lots of damage even while disabled. "Thanks for knocking me unconcious dudes!" Another great spell for this is Baring Death's Door. It used to be a pretty useless spell for me - but with this char it's golden. If his health gets really low (will happen after some fights) that's not a reason to stop dying (aka resting)! Cast Barring Death's Door and see the magic! He jumps into the crowd with his 1 HP and *boom* Vengeful Defeat. You revive and *boom* Vengeful Defeat... and so on. Just don't revive when Barring Death'S Door wears off: then he becomes the mortal martyr. His dps drops a lot then if you ask me... I (once again) did the (upscaled) Nalrend quest with this guy for a last test. So that nobody can say this guy is just a funny toon but not playable (I did a whole playthrough with him by the way): two paladins and an invocation-based chanter only stood nearby and revived when he dropped. The bounty was over pretty fast (and Nalrend dead). I still had 1/3rd of health - despite the fact that I had a quadrizillion stings from Plague of Insects. Oh, speaking of bugs: Why don't ants go to curch? Because they are in...sects. Have a nice pray! p.s.: I guess a Fire Godlike barb with a retaliation item would cause even more harm while going down - but I'm a bit fed up with godlikes these days, so... Edit: Here are some impressions if you want to build this as a suicidal genie and as the eternal candle:
  22. I made a character to try and finish the game with as few kills as possible, and I got to 23, but after thinking about some of my kills and reading some comments by MadDemiurg I managed to reduce to the count to 12, PotD difficulty solo I was encouraged to try again by some ideas I had for the factions and the problem I had of not being able to reproduce my stealth through Ciliban Rilag, so I felt a do-over would be appropriate. (see http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/78862-relative-pacifist-achievement/) I enjoy this approach to games so I hope anyone else out there like me will benefit from this. Thank you Obsidian for making this approach possible Although there are a few places where the dialogue does not match up, like telling the looters in Madhmr Bridge that I killed their two guards, or telling Saeda that I killed his parents as "Honest" options when I sneaked past them Any Class can do pacifist run, but I think only a Rogue can get to 12 kills due to skills and talents and a priest will follow closely behind (waiting on MadDemiurg for his thoughts on that ) I will give a few tips of stats, items, skills, talents, and how to navigate certain areas with a rogue if anyone else wants to try it. For me the joy was figuring it out, so the guide is nicely sectioned into areas which will allow you to only read the info you want and not spoil anything you want to figure out. Without trying to spoil anything however, I would strongly suggest in investing in benevolent and aggressive dispositions for Stormwall Gorge. Overall the kills for me were 4 in the starting encampment, 5 in Heritage Hill, and 3 when fighting Thaos and his two statues. Everything else can be avoided even if some of it is a bit cheese to get below 19. Purnisc does not count as a kill, so go ahead and complete the quest related to him that way. In terms of XP, you will have enough to get to level 11 but not 12. Before jumping down the pit I had 50050 xp and just before fighting Thaos I was at 60747 xp which included disarming three traps. So there is a little over 10 000 experience down there if you want to skip a quest you can calculate if you will make it to level 11 before fighting him. (Very Important, if you are still level 10 and want the last bit of experience to level up then walk slowly towards the area which triggers the last fight, a few meters before the conversation trigger you get awarded a large lump of xp) General Tips for how to deal with encounters: Switch Auto Attacks off, your character attacking from Shadowing Beyond will make you cry, and you want to avoid your summons killing anything. Generally speaking you can Stealth though everything. Even at 9 Stealth with sugar you can do the Temple in Gilded Vale and at 10 Stealth you can do Dyrford Crossing. Engagement works in a funny way, once an enemy has selected you for an attack it has to touch you to realise you are invisible. Due to this mechanic using Shadowing Beyond can be quite tricky since you have to make sure you have allowed all enemies to disengage so that no one is following you. Also once combat ends, so will Shadowing Beyond, so sometimes you need to use a figurine to lengthen combat so that you can run the full distance while invisible. Choice of Race: Wood Elf seems to be the ideal racial choice since I basically built a ranged rogue and I have a strategy for keeping my distance from Thaos. In my first game however I played a Human because I wanted max resolve and it worked out really well, so I am guessing any Human, Aumaua, Dwarf, or Elf will do just fine I would avoid Orlan since you are getting +2 to Per which you do not want and the racial bonuses do not help you. I would also avoid the Godlikes since any of their abilities is not as useful as being able to wear headgear which grants whisper of treason. Character Statistics: Might: Fairly important to kill Thaos quickly. Fee free to max it and drop Con if you want but I was fine at about 14. Constitution: can be dumped, but I was more comfortable at 10 for when I got hit by mobs inbetween casting a figurine and activating Shadowing Beyond, but if Thaos engages you, you are dead anyway so it is really up to you. Dexterity: For quicker actions and recovery I highly recommend it. I was fine at 16, not sure about the parameters for this one and how dropping or rasing it will affect your game. Perception: Dump it, you never need this stat for engaging or avoiding combat. Intelligence: Very important for the duration of Shadowing Beyond and there is a 19 Int conversation check (which you can easy get to with +4 int rest and buffs). I was fine at 16, but you can Max it if you want. Resolve: I am happy at 18, but after looking at the checks you can get away with 16 if you are happy to rely on rest & items and even food to boost you. The hardest conversation check is 20 in Twin Elms. Equipment: Armour: Angio’s Gambeson is easy to buy in Dyrwood Villiage, and extremely helpful with the movespeed buff spellbind. It has no cast-time or cooldown so you can use this and Shadowing Beyond basically at the same time (there is also some strange behaviour which allows you to cast the buff without going visible while in Shadowing Beyond). Rings: In both playthroughs I forgot about rings, so apparently you will be fine without them. Basically you don’t need Deflection or Saves because you are avoiding combat, even in the last fight you use charm, confusion , and figurines to keep the attention off you. So anything which gives stats or useful skills is awesome. Amulet/Cloak: Glanfathan Adraswen for the lore bonus. Sadly it is random loot and I did not know this, so I have no idea where I picked it up. If you did not find this you can still get a scroll which increases your lore in the upper floor of Hadret House for the last battle (see Skills). +3 Dex cloak from Deomenals should be a fine alternative, same as the rings in reasoning, try find something which increases stats or gives utility. I did not wear anything useful and did fine in my second run. Boots: Stealth Boots which can be bought from Doemenal merchant for rogue, or there is a pair open to any class in Raedric hold dungeon in the trapped container in the room which lets you up to the captain of the guard on day 20. I only swapped these out when I got boots of Speed for the final fight. Gloves: Gloves of Mechanics for most of the game and then Rotfinger Gloves for last battle. I consistently found the Gloves of mechanics in Lord Readric’s study on day 19 on all my games, and I do not think this run is possible without them. If you want to avoid killing Nedmar for the key you will need to have 6 mechanics (which you give points to asap), a rest bonus, and some lockpicks, this allows you to get past the door in time without compromising your stealth ability for other quests. Rotfinger gloves on the other hand is great for the debuffs to allow for deathblows vs Thaos and to slow him down to keep your distance. Weapon: I used fine hunting bow for most of the game until I picked up Lenas Er. I like the debuff the weapon applies and the fact that it has rending and fires quickly Headgear: I used Munacra Arret for the Whisper of Treason which works really well against the Headsman in the last fight. Belt: Same as rings, used belts which increased my stats in both games. Talents: There is no particular order for taking these (I think this was my order?), take Fast runner and Shadowing beyond asap and you should be fine: 1. Crippling Strike: (very useful, helped me a lot even in the last fight) 2. Fast Runner (very useful all the time, helps you keep your distance from Thaos too) 3. Escape: (Very limited application since it breaks stealth and it seems to have a long recovery time, but I would still take it for a few encounters where it works really well to get on the other side of enemies, soonest application for me was in Sewers where Shadowing Beyond was not enough) 4. Shadowing Beyond (essential obviously) 5. Deep Pockets (makes the last fight possible) 6. Reckless Assault (Helps with Accuracy and damage vs Thaos, same as Weapon focus) 7. Weapon Focus Peasant (helped I am sure, still missed 50% of my shots even with this). 8. Deep Wounds (also super good in last fight, won’t say no to free damage) 9. Marksman (since I am keeping my distance it makes it easier to hit Thaos) 10. Finishing Blow ( Very useful: In combination with deathblows I got 88 damage on Thaos with this skill. I find Thaos hard to hit and the added accuracy on this skill makes it easier to finish him off. Used it twice in a row when he was badly wounded with the rotfinger debuff and killed him) 11. Deathblows: Makes the most of the Rotfinger Gloves’ debuff. Envenomed Strike looks tempting, but I really wanted to max out on my accuracy. Skills: Stealth: 9 (+Rest +Boots can take you to 12) Lore: 7 (+ Hylea Boon & Glanfathan Adraswen will give you to 10, or you can use a scroll) Mechanics: 6 (+1 from rest and +2 from Gloves of Mechanics gives you 9) Choosing a background which gives you stealth is highly favoured in my opinion: Dissident was my choice in both games. Invest in stealth and mechanics till both a 4. Raise Mechanics to 6, Invest in stealth every level until you are level 8. Then invest in Lore until you get to level 11. At level 8 I had a base of 9 Stealth, 6 Mechanics, and 3 Lore which is just enough to get though Cliaban Rilag and it is the max level you can be for this area on a pacifists run. Because of the skills a rogue starts with favours this I am unsure of whether you can avoid this fight with another class. I never found a scroll which increases my stealth, so if anyone knows of a spawn point that would really help. Cliaban Rilag is the hardest stealth area and you need 12 stealth, for everything else you need 10 stealth. It is a huge investment for those extra two points, so a scroll would really help you pass that one area and allow other classes to get through. In terms of Lore I would love to know where Glanfathan Adraswen spawns, but I used a Lore scroll for my fight with Thaos my second time around and it lasted long enough. The Lore scroll can be found in the upper levels of the Hadret house in a room the far left. It is random loot and I found mine on Day 55: 11 Preestu Mechanics suffered a bit in my second playthough, but I was fine with these numbers and a large amount of lockpicks. You absolutely need the gloves of mechanics since the situations where you need the skill are too spread out to rely on a scroll. Quests and Areas: Here is a list of the quests I did Main Quests: Encampment/Starting Area -Thank you MadDemiurg Fairly simple area but with few unexpected ways in which you can avoid kills. Loot everything and sell to Heodan before going to the wolves (feel free to strip Calista since you do not need her to fight). Calista has no stealth so do the sneaking on your own. Sneak past the wolves and gra the berries, immediately go into stealth once conversation ends and hide Calista in the corner. Stealth all the way to the water skin for her sake and once you click on it she will appear next to you at the stream for combat. You can avoid killing the first two Glanfathan by using Calista to stall them and running away. Combat will end when she is knocked out even though it does not seem like it, so you can sneak past the three Glanfathan who are mid-way. The Final 4 Glanfathan who surrounds Heodan you have to kill. I found it easy flanking and focusing the same target with two rogues. Inside the cave I disarmed some of the floor tiles for a bit of extra xp to clear the way. Send Calista ahead to engage the two spiders which block your way and run past the entrance they block into the room to your right. Either keep sending her into te spiders or send her into the traps until her portrait disappears and sneak out of the cave. Caed Nua & Maerwald (at Level 3) – Thank you knownastherat You want 4 mechanics and 4 stealth for this (think I had 5 stealth) Strategy for getting past the shades: Sneak to the door, conversation will break stealth, so summon Animat quite close to the shade approaching (it tended to tag me) close the door and run to the stairs. Combat should end once Animat is dead. Sneak Past Spiders & Rest. For Mearwald you are lucky that he gets stuck behind his blights so he is really slow. Run out of the room once combat starts and summon Animat in the door to get them to swap to engaging it. Hide yourself in the far corner by the stairs to try avoid engagement. It is tricky not to have them loose interest while also pulling the beetles or spiders to the middle of the room, but it is possible, just practice. Once Mearwald is out of his room room run past them and close the door and hide in the corner. Make sure Auto-attacks are switched off so you do not hit any of them and get the kill. Defiance Bay: The Three Factions – Thank you Kaigen42 The Dozens has an easy 1st quest which is bloodless. The Doemenals need to be joined via Ondra’s Gift. Go to the warehouse for the delivery quest. Choose the option to kill him for Danna once your delivery is complete, but instead of attacking use Shadowing Beyond and go hide. The Doemenals will clear the warehouse for you for zero kills. Now you can get information about the letter and collect the diamond without any kills. The second quest for the Doemenals is the logical choice from here, since it only involves one kill, but you can get past it for zero kills: Agree to side with either Doemenals or Dozens and then attack someone close to the door. Use Shadowing beyond and figurine for a pull and wait by the door for combat to end. You have now burned all your bridges and Lady Webb will give you the invitation you need. Sanatorium Fairly easy, this is where Angio’s Gambeson comes in. Use the +4 Int rest. Food if you want for +2Int. The trick to this area is extending combat for long enough so you can get out. I active my speed buff and rand to the side and cast a figurine and activated Shadowing beyond asap to run away. The reason for the figurine is that if you just used Shadowing beyond straight away combat would end before you are even out of the north ward, which will end Shadowing Beyond’s effect, the figurine helps you extend combat for long enough to run all the way out. While I am here I usually also do the ‘kill’ for the necromancer in the Sewers. Since you do not kill the animancer it does not count, and I pull the Witch thing to the guards or a flesh golem to kill for me. Heritage Hill Fairly easy area, just stealth well and use sugar. A few notes though: On the first level of Heritage Hill tower it is impossible to sneak past to the stairs, and once you trigger combat it will not end until you kill the enemies involved. I asked whether this infinite combat loop is intended and it seems like it is: http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/79710-heritage-hill-tower-level-1-infinite-combat-can-devs-please-respond-whether-this-is-intentional/ When coming down from level 3, the conversation will break stealth for the transition, so go down one level in order to avoid the infitie combat drawing more enemies on level 1. You will attract a mob, but use a stealth boost and Shaowing beyond and cancel engagements as needed. Can be tricky, but very do-able. Then Stealth down to level one. In order to get the Adra Beetle you need to get the key. Go into the manor and you do not need to stealth. Trigger combat and summon shades or Wood Beetles close to the door on the left which contains the key, and use the summons to pull them to the exit. Be careful to keep them all engaged. Use escape to jump over if needed and you will probably need Shadowing Beyond to get to the key. Combat will end with them all still near the exit, which is just enough time for you to grab the key before they get back, and you can use your 2nd Shadowing Beyond to exit. Once the tower is deactivated the way to the crypt will be clear. Cliaban Rilag Very simple, you can sneak past quite a lot and use Shadowing Beyond to get to the room with the sporelings. You might need a figurine to extend combat (see Sanatorium) and make sure the ooze does not perma-aggro by not disengaging him. To get through the rest you will need Mechanics: 8 = 6 + 2 (Gloves of Mechanics) and bring a lot of lockpicks. Stealth: 12: 9 + 2 (Boots) + 1 (Resting Bonus) The stealth will get you through the sporelings with some sugar, and the 8 mechanics with some lockpicks will get you through the 2nd level. To have this balance of skills by level 8 I think you need to play Rogue since there is no more xp to level up to 9 (see skills) Stormwall Gorge (Ambush) - Thank you Xaratas If you have 2 Aggressive and 2 Benevolent and a Dungeon in your Stronghold you can avoid this fight Pleasing the Gods I want Hylea’s Boon for the Lore and it is super easy to go and talk to the Sky Dragon and tell her she may have her young there. I also highly recommend Rymrgand. Pray to him to get the shard. Sneak into NoonFrost (mechanics rest bonus for 9 total if you want to save lockpics and disarm the traps) and stick to the left and it is super easy to reach the breach without detection. Give them the shard so that they all leave. Now you can rescue the prisoner and loot the place. If you have 19 Intelligence you can convince Rymrgand that it was a good idea and you get loads of quest xp. Down the Pit (the final Dungeon) The first area is full of traps so you will need a few tries to figure out a safe route. Go left and engage the Spectre with a figurine. Shadow Beyond and run with Speed buff. You want to go through the door by the spectre on the left and then turn right avoiding the trap and then turn right again past the animats. You might need 2 Shadowing Beyonds if you were not lucky enough to get boots of speed before this. Feel free to rest there are plenty of camping supplies and you need minimal resources for the next area. In Sun and Shadow you should find a pair of boots of speed. Very simple to get through, you can simply escape with Shadowing Beyond for the first Drake, and for the 2nd one I use shades to pull the mob down the stairs opposite the door. Getting them to the bottom of that staircase is enough time to go through the door. Defeating Thaos Equip 5x Confusion Scrolls, 10x Maelstrom Scrolls, 1x Adra Beetle, 1x Obsidian Lamp, 5x War Paint (or more scrolls). Wait for the Judge to get pulled towards you a bit. Shadowing Beyond to escape. Summon Adra Beetle. Hit The Headsman with Whisper of Treason. Join battle with scrolls and send beetle in for his AoE. Keep your Beetle between you & Thaos and keep an eye on the charm/confusion durations. I basically used MadDemiurg’s video as a guide as to how to fight him: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIDjoea4aHY Other Areas: Lighthouse – Thanks to knownastherat You can do this at level 4 and you do not really need to sneak. To go up is fairly easy, stick to the wall on the left for minimal aggro, use Shadowing beyond the moment combat starts. Through the door and close it behind you. Getting out is far more tricky. I like to use stealth so I have some time to position myself before combat, and the way the enemies behave differs a lot between attempts. You might be able to use escape, but take note that there is a bug with the door which appears open but it is actually closed. You need to summon something, I used Wood Beetles, in order to hold enemy aggro while you position yourself at the exit with Shadowing Beyond. Combat will end with them killing the bettles at the staircase giving you enough time to get out. Dyrford Crossing & Skaen Temple You can stealth to get the egg, and you need 10 stealth + sugar to do the troll (use resting bonus if needed) For Skaen Temple, you can open the way quite easily with enough stealth, but will need to use Shadowing Beyond to escape the encounter and sneak back to get down. I recommend getting a rest to boost mechanics to 9 with gloves with a base of 6 and bring like 18 lockpicks. Fairly easy to get through, you cannot sneak past all of the guards, so in the room just before the leader you will need to use Shadowing Beyond to get into the door. After the conversation they all go friendly and you can loot the place. Northweald Fairly easy area with two quests you can do. Dungeon helps you here once again with resolving the stalemate. Very Importantly, the Stealgar by the body in the north will lock you into infinite combat if you did not receive the quest “Hunter Brother” from Hearthsong. I tested this extensively, and it is very important to get the quest before coming here to avoid kills. I lied in the hearing for the bow. Endless Paths Seems a bit silly to do this, but I was curious: It would appear that if you have Boots of Speed and 12 Stealth and some scrolls, that you can complete the endless paths on a pacifist run without worrying about your kill count, only 18 in total, 19 if you kill the Dragon Hunter. It is worth noting that you can get though 10 of the levels without shadowing beyond or combat, just good stealth and speed Not much in it in terms of items so it would be a bit pointless. I did not explore how accessible various treasures are but you will get the dragon's stash at least. 50865xp before I started, 64467xp after helping the dragon, so about 14 000 xp in the run. Here are my findings for the Endless Paths: Levels: 1: 0 kills 2: 0 Kills 3: 0 Kills 4: 0 Kills 5: 1 Kill (Drake) 6: 2 Kills (2 Dargul in room across the bridge) 7: 0 Kills 8: 0 Kills 9: 0 Kills 10: 0 Kills (12 Stealth, boots of speed and sugar, and understanding transitions is key) 11: 0 Kills 12: 0 Kills 13: 15 Kills ( So much fun! Cleared a room solo on level 11 PotD which I struggled with as a Party on Hard ) 14: 0 Kills (Resolve 20 and Int 17 Needed) 15: 0 Kills (Easy sneak and made a deal with the Dragon) Getting from level 3-8 is definitively the hardest because of all the resources those levels need to get though, and you cannot use the main staircase on level 5. Levels you can bypass without Shadowing beyond, but up to 12 stealth, sugar, and boots of speed: 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14 Some you needs less stealth, or as the case is in level 12 no stealth. Quite simple. Levle 8: you will aggro the Vampyr on the throne when you go down, but just give them a summon and run away. Don't even need SB. Level 9: Got though the spiky room, and use sugar, fast boots and 12 speed. For getting past the Vithrack and the Spiders you need to get as close to the petrify trap as possible to disarm it halfway and and stick to the bottom wall of the passage. Level 10. Same as 9 sugar et al. Shades in the 1st room wont detect you. The stairs are blocked by spiders but you can transition down without touching them. You just need to remember that you character takes a few steps while thhe screen fades to black so you need to give him/her the room to do that so you do not start combat. Level 11 is another master staircase I needed a mechanics scroll to get through. I know there is a spawn point for one in Doemenal Mansion on the second floor in the room right by the staircase. Levels you need Shadowing Beyond and a figurine pull. 4, 7 Level 4 is a pain, and you need to get the seal in the room to the South. You probably will need escape, 2-3 Shadowing Beyonds, and a lot of figurines to pull, and any speed boosts you can make use of. Also helpful to boost Int. Level 7 you can de-activate every shrine and get the key, mostly just with stealth and fast boots. Earth blight room you need to use a figurine or a SB , and you cannot do the Rain Blight Room, which is fine because of SB down the the next level anyway and the spawn is not a problem. Levels that need combat: 5, 6, 13 Level 5 is pretty easy. do not wear boots of speed and then you can pull the drake away from the Xaruips into the little room next to the pool. You need to kill him for combat to end. Level 6 is a pain as well, you can get the seal on the left by hugging the wall once you are in the room. The seal on the other side of the bridge I also doubt is possible with a full sneak, but observed that only 2 Dargul are in visual range of the one corner. Killed them and used SB to escape combat and sneaked back in. To go down you will need SB since putting the seals in the door breaks stealth (11 stealth needed) Level 13 is pretty Straightforward. Killing animats in the room the the right is easy enough and then the ghost appears. Then using a figurine to extend combat and running to the room with all the Cean Gwla, cast confusion from stealth, use Adra Beetle and maelstrom. Spirit 2 appears. SB back to main door and make sure you have boots of speed and sugar and 12 stealth to go down to 14.
  23. This is a tank build for PotD. It's designed to be an unmovable object, putting up with any punishment your enemies throw at you, while providing a modicum of support for your party. It does very little else. If you want a tank you can micromanage, or one that can deliver a respectable amount of damage or CC, you need a different class. Also, I would recommend this build only for the Watcher, since Faith and Conviction is currently bugged on hireling Paladins and you need those extra defenses. Note: There's a lot of discussion on this board about whether Paladins are weaker than other classes (yes) and what should be done to improve them. I'd prefer if that discussion remain in preexisting threads and not migrate here. This is for taking the Paladin class as it currently stands and making the most useful tank of it we can, not for debating what the class should and should not be. Race: Wild Orlan has the best ability bonuses for pumping Deflection, and Defiant Resolve gives you a nice defensive buff when Will gets targeted. As an added bonus, Orlan PCs seem to get more race-specific dialogue than other options, thanks to Fantasy Racism. Your other good options are Coastal Aumaua for the bonus against Proning and Stunning attacks, since those break your engagements, or Moon Godlike if you want some extra healing for you and your party, though later in the game you might find that your Endurance doesn't dip much or very often. Pale Elves are also nice for the added DR against Fire and Frost. Order: I recommend picking based on how you want to roleplay your character. If that's not a factor, you could consider them based on order-specific talents, but to be honest, most of them aren't useful for this build. Of the talents that are useful, most of them are only useful for getting through the early game and don't scale well beyond that. Since the Darcozzi Paladini have the one order talent that's useful the whole game, I recommend them if you don't care about roleplaying factors. If all you want is to get Faith and Conviction up quickly, however, you might go with the Goldpact Knights, as Rational and Stoic seem to be very easy to raise quickly. Attributes: The build I used for my PotD run was Might 2/Con 15/Dex 3/Per 20/Int 18/Res 19. After seeing how little use I got out of that extra health beyond the first few levels, though, I'd be inclined to swap Might and Con for better healing off of Lay on Hands. In fact, since the base durations on a lot of your abilities are pretty high to begin with, the best route might be Might 17/Con 3/Dex 3/Per 20/Int 15/Res 19, though that might give you trouble extending your aura over the whole party. I wouldn't bother with Dexterity in any case, as you don't have the melee damage to care about attack speed or enough active abilities to worry about how quickly you can fire them off. You can't dump Might and Con or your Fort defense will be terrible, and if you dump Intellect you're weakening Lay on Hands and might have problems getting your aura to stretch over the party. Skills/Culture: Take either Aedyr or Ixamitl Plains for the extra Resolve to keep Deflection and Concentration high, and grab your favorite +2 Lore background. Your stats and lack of anything better to do make you one of the better options for scroll-user in the party and it gives you more dialogue options. You've got a good baseline in Athletics already, so if you want to pump that too for scripted interactions, you're in good shape. Survival unlocks a few dialogue options if you have it in the 4-6 range (though I spotted one at 9) and can provide a nice boost to the duration of food and potions if you have points to spare, but I'd rely on someone else for scripted interactions with it. A little bit of stealth is nice for positioning, but otherwise skippable (I've only seen one dialogue option unlocked by Stealth, and that was at level 4, for the record). Abilities/Talents: Now to the nuts and bolts of the guide. I'll go level by level. Level 1: Lay on Hands. The tooltip on this one is misleading; it's actually one of the more powerful heals available in the early game, especially if you have high Intellect to boost it. It's single target, so only really good for helping a party member who's getting focused, but for that job it's better than what Priests or Druids will be able to provide for several levels. It can even be used on yourself if you need it. Level 2: Hold the Line. You need that extra engagement to tank properly, end of story. Level 3: Aura. This comes down to preference and party composition. The elephant in the room is the Priest; two of the Priest's bread-and-butter buffs, Armor of Faith and Bless, don't stack with the bonuses provided by Zealous Endurance and Zealous Focus, respectively. I prefer Zealous Endurance anyway, because it's only slightly worse than Armor of Faith, and that makes for one less spell your Priest needs to cast. If, for some reason, you aren't running with a Priest in your party, you might want Zealous Focus instead to make up for the missing accuracy; you can also take it and the Critical Focus talent if you want to stack hit-to-crit conversion. I prefer holding choke points to kiting, so I don't see much use in Zealous Charge, but if it fits your tactics, go for it. Level 4: Weapon and Shield Style. Cornerstone tanking talent which gives you a nice boost to deflection and shores up your Reflex defense, which is hurting a little from dumping Dexterity. If you're playing a Shieldbearer, you might consider Shielding Touch, as the deflection bonus is still pretty useful at this level, especially since you're already using Lay on Hands on allies getting focused by melee or ranged attackers, in all likelihood. The bonus doesn't scale, though, so it will become negligible later on. Level 5: Liberating Exhortation. This is not a very good ability. Most debuffs are AoE, so this is like trying to put out a forest fire with a tea cup full of water, and you can't even use it on Charmed or Dominated party members. At best, you can use it to negate a paralyze or stun on a party member you need active, or neutralize accuracy debuffs on one of your casters before they fire off some CC. If you're playing Darcozzi, though, you're about to get a talent that will make it worthwhile. Level 6: Inspiring Liberation (Darcozzi). +10 to accuracy for 20 seconds (boosted by Intellect) twice each encounter is nothing to sneeze at. The fact that it also cancels any debuffs on your ally is icing. If you're not a Darcozzi, just move up the schedule of defensive talents, or you could slip in Critical Focus if you grabbed the Zealous Focus aura. Level 7: Reviving Exhortation. The best of a bad lot. It's an encounter revive, which isn't bad per se, but the ability is currently bugged. It'll get your ally back up, but it'll probably drop them back down after the duration is up thanks to the massive Endurance penalty it inflicts. The only other option here that's worth anything is Deprive the Unworthy, which is useful in a couple of fights, but most of the tough enemies you encounter aren't tough because of their buffs, and you probably have someone else who can suppress buffs. Edit: Alternate Pick: A few people recommend taking Sworn Enemy here as an accuracy boost and a way to slip in a bit more damage. It works well if you've got a weapon property that debuffs on a hit/crit, like Disorienting or Stunning. If you're not playing a Darcozzi, you could even take this at level 5 instead of Liberating Exhortation, in case you want Deprive the Unworthy or are holding out for a bug fix on Reviving Exhortation. Level 8: Cautious Attack. More deflection. Level 9: Reinforcing Exhortation. Once again, the best of bad options. Your Paladin probably doesn't have anything better to do, so dropping a Deflection buff on an ally taking heat is something at least. Assuming your Priest can't be bothered to lay down a Circle of Protection or the like. You might consider going back for Deprive the Unworthy instead, if you need that buff suppression. There's also Righteous Spirit, but enemies don't seem inclined to try to Charm or Dominate your Paladin in the first place so it's somewhat marginal. Level 10: Superior Deflection. More deflection. You might actually be doing pretty well on deflection by now, in which case you can swap this one with the level 12 talent. Level 11: Hastening Exhortation. Finally something good. Attack speed buffs aren't that common, and now you've got one that lasts 30+ seconds. Level 12: Deep Faith. Rounding out the defensive bonuses here. Now, if you aren't playing Darcozzi or didn't pick up Critical Focus or any of the other order talents, you have a spare talent here. There's really not that much left that's useful. You could take Greater Lay on Hands, but you probably stopped relying on that ability a long time ago. You could take Fast Runner or Graceful Retreat for those times when you really need to re-position your Paladin, but that doesn't come up much at all. Your Fortitude defense is probably still lagging behind your other defenses, so you could always take Bear's Fortitude. This is why I'm not too opposed to taking an order talent that helps you out in the early game but doesn't scale; once you've got those core defensive talents, there's nothing else to take, really. Equipment: Grab a hatchet early for the extra deflection and use the best shield you can find. Your weapon damage is unimportant, so look for something that has a good support special. Shatterstar and Measured Restraint both have Guarding to give you an extra engagement and can be obtained relatively early. If you think you're just fine with two engagements, you could use something with Draining, but you probably don't hit hard enough or often enough for that to be significant. Look for something with Disorienting or Marking (assuming that one actually works) to help your allies out instead. After you retrieve the stolen shipment for the blacksmith in Gilded Vale, you should buy the Outworn Buckler, strap it to your arm, and never take it off. The Herald ability provides a +5 bonus to all defenses, including Deflection, to your entire party. That makes it a +13/+5/+5/+5 shield. Make it Fine/Exceptional when you get the resources and level necessary, and it will treat you well. Aside from those considerations, try to keep your Paladin equipped with the best Of Deflection/Protection items you can find, and prioritize Resolve and Perception boosting items while also boosting Might and Intellect if you can. The best Resolve/Perception boosting items go in the Neck slot, so focus on getting Rings for your protection items. If you need to stretch your aura further, the Boots of Zealous Command can be bought from Winfrith in Dyrford. There's not much else that's useful for you in the Boot slot, so you may as well. There you have it, a tough tank with some situational support abilities that you can point at enemies and forget about. If anybody can think of a good talent I've overlooked for that last non-Darcozzi talent slot, let me know.
  24. Can Admin Delete? Somehow I double posted? (Browser crash) See this one http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/79761-12-kill-run-class-build-and-guide/
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