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The Pillars of Eternity No Reload Challenge

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Whelp, back on my bs. 

Agia, Priest of Skaen
Game Version: - All DLC enabled
Difficulty: Hard
Settings: Maim Before Death: On; Injuries: On; Expert Mode: Off; Trial of Iron: On
Mods: One-Eyed Molina's Gold-Fingered Spike-Flinger Fix
Main Character Description: 
Agia escaped slavery in the Deadfire after leading several other enslaved orlans in a ritual murder of the overseer of their work camp. She has been collecting followers in her travels, and has come to the Dyrwood in search of opportunities to practice the quiet revenge her god demands . . . 



This run will be all Orlans and Aloth. We have a hired Chanter, Barbarian, and Ranger, and will pick up Hiravias as soon as we clear Caed Nua. I plan to document sparsely, as previous, with fewer pictures. I will not be completing the DLC, though I may go to Stalwart to snag a few items. 

Edited by Ivanfyodorovich
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Agia, Act I

I pick up the 3 hired adventurers ASAP and with Aloth do as many quests as I feel comfortable, before picking up Eder to clear through to Caed Nua. I was trying to "close" the XP gap between them and my MC, but in hindsight, I don't think that reasoning works.

The group is optimized for damage, but is more squishy than I'm used to. The chanter and the barbarian are planned to come with me to Deadfire, and their stats reflect their builds there. Both have low RES, and the Chanter has low CON. Still, we clear through the quests in Gilded Vale easily. The Temple of Eothas gives the most challenge, with the hired adventurers being level 3. Another tricky part is having such a melee heavy party with Eder. 5 melee characters (including the Ranger pet) is too many in small rooms and hallways.

We clear through Osyra in Raedric's Hold, but leave the rest for Act II. After that we head to Caed Nua, clear the spirits in the corner for maximum defense, and pull Maerwald out of his room into the doorway, where Chillfog, ranged attacks, and Eder's knockdowns take him out before he can do any damage to the party. 

Quick jaunt out to the Gorge to snag Hiravias and we head to Defiance Bay. 

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Agia, Act II

Standard Act II pathing for Agia, completing easy and combat optional quests first to gain a few levels. I get caught stealing in Purnisc's House unexpectedly, and aggro most of the first floor. Thankfully Nyrid doesn't attack and we survive.



Once level 5, we do the catacombs followed by Brakenbury and Heritage Hill.



I'm siding with the Doemenels and looking for deceptive & cruel disposition choices, which makes some quests more interesting. This is the first playthrough where I've gotten the Gift from the Machine. When everyone is level 6, we go back and kill Raedric. I sneak in using the priest robes and free Giaccolo. There's a neat Skaen option to select before I murder him. We also clear the first few levels of the Endless Paths to get Persistence for the Ranger and some other items for the team. 

The squishiness of the Chanter is decreasing as she gains levels and adds defensive talents, and the Barbarian is picking up usefulness as we get better items. When I have about 20,000 copper, I go buy the Company Captain's Cap for the Chanter, Belt of the Deadfire Cannoneer for the Barbarian, and Molina's for Hiravias. In Dyrford I kill Nyfre and collaborate with the Skaen cult to kill Lord Harond. Durance is sacrificed to the Blood Pool. His arrogant bullying would be enough reason, but his bigotry towards Orlans makes it an easy choice. This is also my first Effigy's Resentment. I pull as many spiders as I can in the ogre cave for fun, as I'm overleveled at this point. 



We recruit the Ogre, speed through Clîaban Rilag and the remaining quests in Defiance before doing the Animancy trials and convincing the Duc that Animancy is too dangerous. 

I've been pushing Aloth toward authoritarianism and taking control of Iselmyr. This is the opposite of my last playthrough, but mostly I want Thaos' Headdress in Deadfire. Hiravias we are pushing towards Galawain, because that feels more Skaen aligned. 

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Agia, Act III & IV

Quests in Twin Elms go fast. A few changes to the usual flow: We fight the druid instead of talking her into dying. We let the Pale Elves through the portal (I'm really used to playing a high resolve MC, so not having some options open was interesting). We complete Hiravias' quest and push him toward Galawain. I murder the Fangs to save the grave robbers. I let Delem eat the birds. I hold off on the Sky Dragon for a little bit. I think we were level 11/10 in the party. She crit the Chanter right out the gate and got confused, which bugged the animation for her flying into the air, making her untargettable with direct attacks, but still vulnerable to AoEs that included her model. I used the eyes to upgrade Persistence. 



After finishing the god quests and pledging to Rymrgand, we pop over to finish the endless paths. Normally I'd settle peacefully with Od Nua, but that required a Benevolent option (something I've not chosen yet this playthrough). We handle that fight without much issue. I have the same situation with the Adra dragon, but I go ahead and choose it. Thankfully disposition in PoE1 doesn't doc you any points right away when you pick a disfavored option. 

With our new treats, we briefly pop Eder in the party and complete his quest. There's a surprising number of Cruel options to choose, which I do (sorry buddy). Then it's on to Sun in Shadow. 

I'm cruel to Iovara, and we push her soul back into the Wheel with her memories gone. 

For the Thaos fight I only had 2 Snowcaps, so I prioritize Agia. We are able to get off the prayer against treachery and bewilderment, though Thaos lands a Cleansing Flame on Agia. We use minor intercession to clear it before she goes down. Hiravias stands in the middle of the statues and casts his storms, stunning both reliably. I clumsily DPS the statue with Thaos in it, leaving the other one still up when he pops out. I don't bother trying to clear the Shields for the Faithful, as the Ranger is able to hit him through it. It's over pretty quickly after that. 

I imprison Thaos - it seems like the meanest thing to do to him. Aloth recommends that I empower Woedica with the souls, and Skaen pops in to do the same. Why not. To Hel with all these other gods trying to tell me what to do. Anyway, I'm here for messing up Thaos and saving my own skin. Onward!

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Agia, Heath Orlan Priestess of Skaen: Deadfire Introduction
Game Version: LAX123ABCDEFGHI[TB] (All DLC enabled)
Difficulty: Veteran
Settings: Real Time With Pause; Expert Mode: Off; Trial of Iron: On; Berath's Blessings: None; Level Scaling: None


Community Patch: Basic, Extras, Keywords, Typos 

Balance Polishing Mod: Buffs, Nerfs, Summon Rebalance

  • Removed Blunderbuss Powder Burn nerf
  • Removed Brilliant nerf 

Carnage & Powder Burns Indicator

Enhanced User Interface

Party Description
We plan for an all Orlan party who will side with the Principe. 

  • Agia: single class Priest of Skaen - Buffs/heals/Storm of Holy Fire



  • Serafen: single class Barbarian - Retaliation tank/dps
  • Mirke: Brawler (Fighter/Monk) - DEF tank
  • Severa: Hired Theurge (Ancient / Troubador) - AoE heals/dots (same as our hired Chanter from PoE1 playthrough)
  • Agilus: Hired Mindstalker (Beguiler / Trickster) - AoE debuffs/dps

I'm going to "try" to take it slowly and post more about my builds/decisions. I'm hoping that over-analyzing things will help me take fewer risks, and it should be fun, too! Next up, Port Maje! I'm turning off level scaling to try and get this run on the board. I'll try some PotD w/ level scaling later, when I'm more confident with NR in Deadfire. 

Edited by Ivanfyodorovich
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   Agia, Deadfire, Act I: Port Maje

I thought I'd talk a little bit more about Port Maje, and how I like to do it. Agia will be a new experience, because of the Skaen dispositions I'm avoiding and seeking. I let Chitupec die this time and get the Killer's Gloves in the supplies cache on the beach. More valuable in it is a Thief's Putty and Oil of Allure. I remember to make Eder a Swashbuckler so someone has mechanics before I bring on the hired adventurers. Disarming the traps around Beodul gives more XP, and will be our main source of cash to purchase our 2 hired adventurers. I immediately head in to Port Maje with Eder and pick up Xoti. I have her as a Single Class Monk. That fits a little bit better our eventual team composition, and Agia has priest stuff covered (Serafen and Mirke will replace her and Eder eventually). With her and Eder in tow, we go back to the beach and complete the quest to find our crew members. Along the way I talk to every ghost and send them to her lantern whenever possible, choosing every cruel or shady option. Between the beach, Gorecci street, and the digsite, we can advance her quest to the next stage. When we find Beodul we hit level 2. 


Agia > Blessing (Sleight of Hand & Insight)

Eder > Disciplined Barrage (Athletics & Diplomacy)

Xoti > Force of Anguish (Athletics & Streetwise)

Back to Port Maje to recruit our custom adventurers. I try to recruit them as soon as I can to minimize the XP gap they will suffer. I don't actually know the formula for how much XP they start with relative to the Watcher, but this method covers all the possibilities. 

  • Severa, Theurge (Troubadour / Ancient)


Charm Beast & At the Sight of their Comrades, their Hearts Grew Bold

Pike & Quarterstaff


  • Agilus, Mindstalker (Beguiler / Trickster)


Tenuous Grasp & Escape / Arkemyr's Dazzling Lights (a)

Blunderbuss & Pistol

We clear out the room upstairs with the cruel option, stabbing our drunken captain friend. I also take a moment to steal from Norgund's chest. After talking with Clario, our hired adventurers hit level 2. 


Severa > Nature's Mark (Alchemy / Survival)

Agilus > Crippling Strike (Mechanics / Bluff)

We scoop up all the quests in town, stealing everything possible, and head to Sātahuzi. We convince Mokeha to give us the purse and we immediately open it for a cool 2,000 copper, plus the 300 from selling the earring. We also steal everything we can here - with the biggest haul coming inside the two houses. In some playthroughs I'd buy the Shorewalker Sandals here, but I'm saving funds for Shattered Vengeance. Agia & companions hit level 3. 


Agia > Spiritual Weapon, Iconic Projection / Escape (a)

Eder > Escape

Xoti > Lesser Wounds, Two Weapon Style

From here I go back and clear out the cave on the Beach. We enter Gorecci street from the south (you must exist the city on foot and re-enter) so that we can stealth past the looters. One day I'll build out a NR that fights Gorecci street and the whole digsite, but this is not that run. As I mentioned, talking to all the ghosts here helps advance Xoti's quest. From there we turn in to the guard captain and save our 300 copper by blowing Rum-dum Riggere free from the outside. I talk to Rinco, but the only options here are Benevolent or Aggressive, so I just leave. Thankfully, the quest completed when I took the money from his pouch. 

From there we clear the rest of the island, except for the Dawnstars at Ilonet's Fork; I want to steal from them and can't afford the fight at this level if I mess up the check (which is poorly documented on the wiki). I always fight Stone-Tooth for the Pyrite he drops. We get a Nature's Embrace in the Burial Site and put it on Eder, and a fine padded armor > Agilus. 

At the Digsite, we loot everything possible and fight the first pack on the steps. Eder takes quite a bit of DMG right out the gate from focus fire wurms & the adult boar. Holy Radiance is enough to bring him back, and the Charm Beast lands on all 3 boars, who engage and tank the wurms while we focs them down from range. I hadn't equipped a ranged weapon on Agia yet (oops). I had a club/stiletto set up, but I'm realizing it's silly to keep that equipped since I get so much more dmg out of Spiritual Weapon if I'm going to engage in melee. We equip a single handed pistol after this fight. 



My notes aren't clear, but I think Severa and Agilus hit level 3 here. 


Severa > Nature's Vigor

Agilus > Eyestrike

We steal around to the other side of the arena, and after grabbing the medallion from the upstairs room, sneak down past the big fight in the center, and enter the lower levels. With Charm Beast and Hold Beast, I could absolutely handle the fight in the middle (I think there's no Drake on Veteran), but why take the risk when it's just as easy to sneak by? 

Inside, we snag the Gladiator's Sword > Eder, and fight the minimum number of fights to get to the Adra Pillar. Both of them work well for choke points in the doorway, and on Veteran, the number of enemies is manageable. Pistols help tremendously on the spirits in the second fight. 

We chose the heal ability for Agia by searching for the lost souls when talking to Eothas. We will have easy access to DEX afflictions via Agilus and Severa, and the RES inspiration isn't as helpful for Agia. Again, not sure, but I think Agia hits level 4. 


Agia > Two-Weapon Style / Crossbow proficiency

Eder > Fighter Stances / Two Weapon Style

Xoti > Long Stride

We clear the rest of the lower level for items/money and a little bit of XP. If you approach the fight with the imps from the north, there's an explosive barrel that can kill most of them in one blast if you shoot it with a firearm.



On the way out we pick up Aloth as a Wizard. We snag Shattered Vengeance on the way out and pick up Serafen as a Barbarian to replace Xoti. Severa and Agilus also hit 4. 



  1. Fury (a)
  2. Barbaric Yell
  3. Barbaric Blow / Thick-skinned
  4. Two Weapon Fighting / Club proficiency

Severa > At the Sound of His Voice, the Killers Froze Stiff / Arquebus proficiency

Agilus > Phantom Foes / Dirty Fighting / Rapier proficiency

Snag a few sailors, supplies, and off into the wild! I like to kill Meryl the Mad, just west of Port Maje, on the way to Neketaka. The fight happens in a narrow choke point stair case, and all the enemies, but Meryl, are vessels, susceptible to Holy Radiance.



We search the Giftbearer ship to get the imp cameo and more gold. Beggar Winfruth finds us, and we win our first sea battle. This one is far less deadly as a cannon exchange. Beggar has only 1 cannon and weak sail and hull health. We snagged a third cannon from a shipwreck near Maje Island, and have little trouble taking her out. We also stop over at the island with the swimming race to pick up some extra coin and buy supplies from the town. Next stop, Neketaka! 

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  • 1 month later...

 Agia, Deadfire, Act II: Neketaka to Hasongo, Part 1

The strategy for me at this stage was the gain experience, gold, and unique items without much combat. In Queens Berth, we picked up the quest from Zamar, turned in the bounty for Meryl and picked up the next, recruited Konstanten for ship battles, and picked up the quest from Kahn. We subbed out Eder for Xoti and take her to do her quest in The Sacred Stair. I have her give the souls to the animancers (which is currently bugged, so the quest finishes, but does not actually complete). 

Back in Queens Berth, we sort out the contract with Luca so that I can recruit him to be my Boatswain. There's a secret benevolent point in the dialogue choices (it doesn't show when you choose the option, but happens in the replies from the quest giver). Skaen is angry with me. C'est la vie. I pick up the mapping quests from Sansa and start the Bardatto/Valera questline. After my last NR game tanked at the negotiation table, I'm playing this one very carefully. I talk with Zili and Cotta (peaceful resolution with Cotta - intimidate him). Then I go buy the 4 cannons from Zamar for cheap. I head to Perkiki's Overlook and repair Whispers of Yenwood for Serafen. I pick up the Satchel quest from Degnos and snag that inside the bathouse, recruit the imp outside Arkemyr's Manor, and head to the palace. 

The team hits level 6 at the palace. 


Agia > Prayer for Spirit
Serafen > Bloody Slaughter
Severa > Woodskin
Agilus > Recall Agony
Eder > Dirty Fighting

Back at Periki's overlook, we head to the Cupboard and loot the place (Spine of Thicket Green goes to Severa). We head to watershapers and recruit Tekehu for ship battles (Druid SC). We snag the Muhai quest from Serpent's Crown and head to Sacred Stair for Eder's quest and Muhai's. We use stealth to toss in the body and snag a cruel response while we're at it. 

Next up is the Gullet, where we talk to Biha and head down the lift to talk with the soul of her lover. We fight the Rotghast and Gul group here and things go smoothly. 



To be Continued . . . 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm glad to report that Grim Face (Lifegiver/Ascendant), accompanied by Eder (Fighter/Thief), Xoti (Priest of Gaun), Aloth (Wizard) and Pallegina (Palladin/Chanter) after quite a number of unfinished runs and re-starts finally finished my first completionist, no Berath blessing, upscaled (all), PoTD Deadfire run including all four mega bosses and all optional SSS fights (Seeker's Pass as main). There were like three total reloads, all of which could be easily avoided. First one is when I forgot that there are four Sigils of Death in Sandswept Ruins execution chamber and rushed ahead after destroying first two, immediately got two wounds and then another two - "your main character is dead". Second reload was in Changeling's Dance (optional for me since I already finished SSS via Seeker's Pass) where all your characters are transformed in some kind of creatures and only can use their innate abilities - so no normal spells, no potions, no abilities, no healing, no buffing. The only things that could help to survive in that fight are your food, equipment and passives like fighter's regen and chanter's healing chants. I finished that fight on the second attempt with 3 party members knocked out but still (one can rebuild/respec the party just for this particular encounter but I don't like such approach). And finally third reload was in Forgotten Sanctum Restricted Area where I was aiming to not kill even one single sane librarian and almost succeed at that when the last one was lured away not far enough and due to some cutscene came back sooner than we anticipated. That's it and even mega bosses were defeated on the first try (sure thing I've studied quite a number of youtube videos on those). All in all I'm very happy with my Crew's performance and pretty confident of them to be able to no-reload the whole saga with those settings (completionist/no blessings/upscaled PoTD). The plan is set already and character created but I'll introduce him a bit later since at the moment I want to try Baldur's Gate 3 and Tyranny (and, as it turned out, I'm bad at running several games at the same time).

Until then stay tuned and keep safe!

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