This guide will help you get started in the world of Pillars II. It merely scratches the surface of the many options and decisions you will be able to choose from during your playthrough.
Starting a New Game
Before starting a new game, you have the option of setting important plot points from the previous Pillars of Eternity, or you can choose a premade history in the prologue after starting your new game. Players who are new to the Pillars of Eternity series should use one of the premade options.
Setting Pillars I State
If you elect to create a history, you can do this from Options in the Main Menu and then clicking on "Set PoE1 Game Stats". Click "Create new History". There are countless combinations of plot points to choose from, but the most important ones are labeled "Required" in red text.
When you are satisfied with your history options, click "Complete Legacy" and give it a name. When you are done, click the "X" button on the interface or press "Esc" on the keyboard to return to the Main menu.
Start a New Game and choose the level of difficulty that most fits your play style. If you're looking for a higher level of difficulty beyond normal means, you can also elect to use the Trial of Iron, Expert Mode, and Level Scaling features.
After gaining control of your spirit in the In-Between, follow the ethereal path to the adra pillar to get teleported further in death, to The Beyond.
Proceed through the doorway and cross the bridge to find the Pallid Knight waiting for you. Click on the open chair to begin dialogue with the avatar of Berath.
At this point The Pallid Knight will have you go over your past life. Examine the cards to choose your legacy.
The Pillars I History menu is where you will decide what happened during the events of Pillars of Eternity. You can choose any of the premade options or import a save file from Pillars I if you have one. Choose carefully, as your decision will be permanent during this playthrough, and will affect future decisions and events throughout your journey.
Proceed through dialogue with the Pallid Knight as you see fit. It is recommended to do as she says. To purposefully challenge her will could have dire consequences and end your journey before it even begins.
It is time to create your character, the Watcher, in your image. Take your time going through all the options available to you. You will be customizing your physical appearance, class options, attributes, background, and starting weapon proficiencies. Single-class characters are more straightforward, especially for new players, but if you want to maximize your customization options, then multiclassing is available as well.
Beginning the Game
When you have completed character creation, proceed past the Pallid Knight and follow the path to get out of the Beyond and back to your body. Click on your body to inhabit it once again.
After waking up in your body, you will be able to catch up a bit with old friends. Go through the dialogue and get ready. Pirates are coming!
Inventory and Equipment
Click on the wardrobe next to The Steward to gather your belongings. You have the option to put the items in your stash by clicking on the chest icon, or in your personal inventory by clicking on your character icon.
Clicking the hand icon will then place all your belongings into the chosen storage space.
Open your character’s inventory by pressing the “I” key on the keyboard.
Let's equip your newly acquired items by selecting one and hovering over the equipment slot that highlights. This shows where you can place a piece of equipment. Double-click to place the equipment into an appropriate slot on your character. Do this for any of your other gear you want to be wearing, as well. To remove gear, double click its slot on the character UI, or drag and drop it from there into your inventory.
When you are satisfied with your equipment choices, click the "X" in the upper right of the Inventory UI to close it, or press the “I” key again.
Time to fight off those nasty pirates! To leave the Captain's Cabin, hover the mouse over the outermost doorway. A door icon should appear that can be clicked on to get above deck. You can also hold tab to see things that you can interact with such as these transition icons or loot containers.
Talk with Captain Benweth and tell him how you feel about him trying to take your ship. When dialogue with Benweth ends, get ready, as your first combat of the game is about to begin.
Combat AI in Pillars II is activated by default, so you can simply unpause combat with the spacebar and your character will go to work.
However, if you want to make decisions of your own, you can turn off the AI or override its decisions by manually making decisions for your character (and your party) yourself.
To turn off the AI, Select the party members whose AI you want to deactivate. Hover over the "Gear Head" icon to display AI options and click "AI: Inactive". You can also edit the AI by right clicking the icon instead, but this is not recommended for new players.
To give yourself time to make decisions, you can press the spacebar at any time to pause combat. Pausing is a very useful thing to do, especially if you have more characters to control. Press the spacebar again to un-pause whenever you are ready.
Storm at Sea – First Scripted Interaction
When combat ends, your crew will notice a large storm heading your way. You will experience this storm in what is called a Scripted Interaction (or “SI”). Scripted Interactions were an innovation Obsidian included in Pillars of Eternity and they make a comeback here in Pillars II. Essentially, these are “storybook” moments that present you with a variety of options that challenge your wits and are often tied to your character’s or party’s stats. Progress through this first SI as you choose and continue on your journey.
You'll wake up on the beach and have conversation with either Eder or The Steward, depending on the choices you made in Pillars I (or picked during your conversation with Berath).
If you are speaking to Eder, you will get to choose what class you want him to be. He can protect the party as a Fighter (a defense-focused class), deal tactical damage as a Rogue (a DPS-focused class), or be a combination of both as a Swashbuckler. Swashbuckler is a multiclass option and not recommended for new players.
To get your bearings, you can click the Map icon on the Action Bar or press the "M" key on your keyboard. Note that you’re at Vilario's Rest. As you uncover more of the map, notable locations will become marked for your convenience.
There is a lot of wreckage strewn about the beach, along with the bodies of some sailors who weren’t as fortunate as you were. These containers may have some useful items. Click on the containers and bodies to loot the contents.
Now that you have cleaned up the beach a bit, we should probably check to see if there are any surviving members of your ship crew. You will need them if you want to fight off aggressors at sea. Return to the ship and click on the prow to start another SI. If your character has high enough Athletics, you can scale the ship by hand, or if you have a grappling hook, you can use that to ascend the side of the ship. Otherwise, you may have a tough time getting up there.
If you do get to the top of the ship, you’ll find your cook, Irrena, needs help! If you have any of the needed skills to help her you can do so, otherwise she may be left behind. If you can’t or don’t want to save Irrena, click on the prow and climb back down the ship.
Beyond the Beach – Traps
Looks like there is a cave behind the waterfall. Let's head inside and see if any more crew members are around. Head deeper into the cave and head north across the bridges, fighting off any creatures that may be in your way. Don’t forget to loot their corpses! After you’ve crossed the bridges, turn right and follow the path.
You should come upon your erstwhile boatswain, Beodul, who has gotten himself surrounded by traps! There are several ways you can try to get him out of his predicament. You can choose one of these, or you can leave him behind. Notice as you approach the traps they will highlight red. With higher Perception, you can see traps from further away. With high enough Mechanics skill, you can click a trap to disarm it.
Now that you have helped Beodul, you can continue to explore the cave for secrets and treasure or return to the beach to continue your journey. If you decide to explore the cave, be prepared as there may be a tougher enemy waiting for unsuspecting adventurers.
If you saved Chitupec on your ship during the SI, you will see him waiting outside the cave. Talk to him and he will go to the campfire on the beach.
Head east along the beach and you may run into more crew members. If you do, talk to them and send them to the camp fire.
Continue heading east past the bridge and click the transition icon to leave the Vilario's Rest.
You should now be looking at the World Map. In the top left of the world map is a Known Locations list. Click the dropdown button to see the list of locations. New locations will be marked with a blue exclamation box. If you click the Set Course button, your character will automatically go to that location if nothing is blocking the way.
We need assistance for our ship, so let's set course for Port Maje!
Welcome to Port Maje Harbor! Uh oh, looks like there's a crowd gathering. Approach the rabble and see what's got the town in a tizzy.
Now that the townsfolk have been calmed down, let's explore a bit. Xoti, the worshiper of Gaun seems to be doing a ritual in the tented area to the south east. Talk to her and she may want to join you on your quest! If you decide to let her join the party, she can be classed as a Priest, a Monk, or a Contemplative. The Contemplative is a multiclass option and not recommended for new players.
Feel free to talk to any of the townsfolk and learn about the area. When you are done, head to Governor Clario's Estate. It’s the larger building to the north. If you have trouble finding it, you can see its location on your map. Enter the building by clicking on the door in the front.
Governor Clario can usually be found in his back office. Click on the door to the back and the door will open. Go talk to Governor Clario. While talking to Clario, you'll hear that he is worried about an outpost he has further east on the island. It seems they may have run into trouble during the storm. Governor Clario wants to help you get your ship, but requires help from you, first. After you have agreed to help the governor, you may leave or explore his home at your leisure.
While exploring the governor’s mansion, you may notice some loot containers will display a mask icon when the cursor is hovering over them. When you encounter containers or other objects with the mask icon, it means the object is or contains someone else’s property and interacting with it will be considered stealing or trespassing. You can still do whatever you wish, of course, but be wary of getting caught! Staying out of sight by closing doors, using stealth, or other creative means can reduce this risk. Steal at your own risk!
By this point, you may have leveled up. Whenever your character or one of your party members gains a level, there will be a golden flash, a sound cue, and a “+” symbol will appear over the character’s portrait. You can click on the "+" symbol to initiate the level-up process. This interface is similar to character creation. Add any available skill points, abilities, or weapon proficiencies where applicable.
Once you have your party leveled up, leave town the way you came by clicking the transition icon. As this is a town with a port, you will have options to leave town by sea or on foot. You can also see other locations in Port Maje that you can visit and view demographic information or purchase ship supplies from the "Supply" button. Your ship is wrecked at the moment, so leaving on foot is your only option.
The World Map
Now that you're back on the World Map let's learn a bit more about it. There seems to be some trees with fruit just south east of Port Maje. Click on the trees to get some fresh fruit. There are many other useful items or treasures hidden across the Deadfire like this, so keep an eye out!
We had passed by a wagon on the way to town. Let's see what happened to it by clicking on "Ilonet's Fork" to the south. In this Scripted Interaction you'll come to find some travelers are having wagon troubles. You can try to help them or not. If you plan to steal or attack the travelers, be careful as they may be up for a fight and engage in combat. After dealing with the wagon problem, return to the World Map once again.
Let's deal with Governor Clario's problem. Open the Known Locations list and set course for the Engwithan Digsite. Uh oh, it looks like the path is blocked by something. It appears something in Whakura Pass is preventing access to the dig site. Note that there is a sword icon on the location. This means there is potential combat here and you should prepare for it. When you're ready, click on Whakura Pass to see what is blocking your progress. It seems some xaurips are blocking the way. You can either engage them in combat to be rid of them, or like most other situations, you can try to use skills or abilities to avoid combat. However you decide to resolve the issue, return to the World Map.
Now that the path is clear, you can click on the Engwithan Digsite to check in on Governor Clario's scouts. Oh my! Look at those footprints and statues! Looks like we're on the right path to find Eothas. We should probably look for survivors. Head down the staircase to the center of the digsite but be careful of the wurms and panthers. You'll need to clear out the creatures before the survivors will even think about leaving their enclosure.
When the wurms and panthers are taken care of, click on the door to the mechanical enclosure in the center of the digsite. Assure the animancer that the creatures have been taken care of and they will come to greet you. Depending on the history you chose you may notice Aloth, or Engferth as he is going by these days, is with this group. This is another potential companion if you choose to have him as part of your party. He can be a Wizard, a Battlemage, or a Spellblade. The Battlemage and Spellblade are multiclass options and not recommended for new players. Agree to look for Oderisi and the other researchers in the ruins below.
The Ruins – Area Puzzles
Head east into the Arena Sub-level to search for the researchers. Once inside the ruins, head south into the hallway, then south again at the fork. You should be in a small room with some very interesting statues and symbols. Go west down the staircase and you'll see a locked doorway. Hover the mouse to see that you can interact with the braziers on either side of the door. If you have a way to light them, feel free, otherwise we will need to find a way to ignite them. Continue into the next room to the west, but be careful, there are imps waiting for you. Dispatch the imps and loot the room. Oh, nice! Looks like there is a chest with a torch in it. We can use this to light the braziers. Return to the braziers and light them in whatever manner is available to you. Figures. The door opened and the room caught on fire, but what's going on with the now glowing symbols in front of the door. These could be a way to put out the fire in the room. You may notice that the symbols can be clicked and only three at a time will allow this before resetting. Hmm, I feel like we have seen some of these symbols in these ruins already. It is suggested to take the time to figure out which symbols extinguish the fire, as there may be some rare loot inside!
Oh right, we came here to find some survivors. Head north to the menagerie, then west down the hallway. When you get to the fork, go north, then east to find an adra pillar. Looks like we found Oderisi. Click on Oderisi to grab his notes and begin another Scripted Interaction. You will begin to speak to Eothas through your connection with the adra. When you are finished speaking with Eothas, you will return to your body. Now that you have Oderisi's notes and spoken with Eothas, we can return to Governor Clario. Leave the ruins from where you entered and speak with the lost souls back in the digsite. Return to the World Map from where you first entered the digsite. If you want to get your ship back to sea, we better head to Port Maje Harbor and talk to Governor Clario. After clicking on Port Maje, the City Map will open again. If you click on Port Maje Harbor, you may notice a list of locations drop down on the left. These are the locations you have visited in this area and can fast travel to the location. Click on Governor Clario's Estate to save some time.
Completing a Quest
After getting back to Governor Clario's Estate, walk to the back room and talk to Clario himself. Tell the governor about the events that occurred at the Engwithan Digsite and he will reward you by helping get your ship ready to leave the island. Be sure to thank the kindly governor and leave his estate.
Managing Your Ship
Rumor has it, there are some people looking to join a ship crew. Now that we have a ship, we should probably hire more crew. The potential crew members can be hired at The Kraken's Eye, the inn in the southern part of town. Head into the inn and speak to innkeeper Thorel. Mention that you're looking to hire some crew members for your ship and he will show you a list of people to choose from. It seems there are 5 people you can hire. The interface shows what jobs the crew members are proficient in as well as their wages, food, water, and initial costs. Any crew member can do any job on your ship, but it is better to place them in a job for which they are proficient. Seeing as how they are all willing to join your crew at no initial cost, it is recommended that you hire all of them.
Supplies and Repairs
Now that you have a ship and crew, it may be time to head out to sea. Leave the inn and head back to the City Map by clicking on the transition icon back at the harbor entrance. You should probably stock the ship with supplies. Click on the "Supply" button at the bottom of the map to open the store interface. At the top of the interface you will see things pertaining to your ship. It looks like you already have some food and water, but you may want to purchase some medical supplies, repair supplies, and cannon shot in case any trouble happens at sea. Click the items and quantity you desire, and it will appear in the "Trade" section at the bottom, or you can press the Refill Ship Supplies button below the vendor inventory to fully stock the ship. A monetary value will display that shows how much the supplies will cost. If you are short on funds, you can sell some of the items from your party inventory and stash. Click on the items you want to sell and they will also go to the "Trade" section which will adjust the monetary number based on the value of the items being sold. When you are satisfied with the transaction, click on the "Trade" button to finalize the transaction. Press the "X" button or Esc to exit the store. Travel on foot to return to the World Map.
Last we saw your ship, it was beached at Vilario's Rest. Head back to the beach to find your ship. It looks like Governor Clario was able to get some of the locals to help with your ship. Speak with Storm Speaker Ikawah and her people will begin repairs.
Congratulations on repairing your ship! You can now freely explore the Deadfire archipelago, but be careful, you've run into pirates once already, there are sure to be more looking to take advantage of unsuspecting ships. There are many hidden secrets and treasures that can be found during your exploration including back at Maje Island, so explore to your heart's content.
The Ship Management Interface
If you press the Ship Management button or "H" on your keyboard, the Ship Management interface will open. From here you can see everything pertaining to your ship and crew. At sea you can only adjust food, water, and cannons while crew members and ship parts can only be adjusted at a port. When you are done with the interface, close it and return to the World Map.
Head Out and Explore!
Feel free to start exploring, but if you want to continue along the story of Deadfire, then you'll want to head to Queen's Berth, Neketaka. You can find Neketaka to the north east but can also get there by setting course from the Known Locations list. As soon as you start sailing, you will be intercepted. It seems everyone has caught word that the Watcher of Caed Nua has arrived in the Deadfire. The captain of the ship is none other than one of the leaders of the Príncipi sen Patrena, a collective of pirate captains. Captain Furrante is much friendlier than the younger Benweth whom you met earlier. Seems he, too, has taken issue with Captain Benweth and wants his best shiphunter, Serafen, to join you in dealing with him. Serafen can be a Cipher, Barbarian, or a Witch. Witch is a multiclass option and not recommended for new players.
Now that Captain Furrante has left, the seas should be clear to head to Neketaka. You can set a course for Neketaka through the dropdown "Known Locations" menu at the top left. As you start to approach Neketaka, you will be interrupted once again by the ringing of bells including the chime the Pallid Knight placed in you. The gods of Eora have use of the Watcher once again. Speak to the gods as you see fit. When the gods are done with you, you will awake in the Captain's Quarters of your ship. When you are ready to finally get to Neketaka, click the "To World Map" button at the top of the user interface to return to the World Map. From here on, you're on your own. Set course for Neketaka!