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I'm new to Pillars of Eternity but the two things that got my attention was the monk and the fact that guns are in this rpg. So I've looked around and saw old dual wield pistol builds and ranger builds.

 

I would like some help making a strong dual wielding pistol build with starting attributes, race recommendations, job and background. I would also like if this build could use other guns as an option when needed or available 

 

Thanks in advance

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Posted (edited)

Monks with guns are very viable. But instead of pistols I strongly advise to use blunderbusses, espcially the Hand Mortar + Fire in the Hole (from Serafen). Even more so if you are playing a Single Class Monk or a Shadowdancer (Rogue/Monk) especially Streetfighter/Monk.

For several reasons:

  • Hand Mortar and Fire in the Hole have an automatic AoE which scales with INT. Duality of Mortal Presence gives you up to +10 INT
  • Both target reflex insted of deflection (with the AoE) which is very easily debuffed by several spells (see Miasma of Dull-Mindedness and such).
  • Both have pierce/slash damage which is very good for a gun. Usually they have pierce-only damage and that really can screw you against stuff like Skeletal Warriors or all sorts of Risen Champiuons, Mages and Armsmen. In general pierce AR of enemies is often high. 
  • Those AoEs work with CC effects - like from Stunning Surge: every enemy in the AoE can get stunned.
  • They also make it easy to get a Mortification refund for Stunning Surge: lots of AoE hit rolls result in a crit easily. Same with blunderbusses since they have 4 projectiles (four chances for a crit)
  • Flagellanth's Path will fire a dual mortar shot at tha trget and not result in a reload animation but recovery. With Lightning Strikes and Two Weapon Style you will be recovering pretty fast althoug you just shot guns.
  • Powder Burns (the weapon proficiency of blunderbusses) causes Flanked which unlocks the Streetfighter passive without actually getting flanked by enemies
  • Resonant Touch stacks up to 4 stacks with a single blunderbuss shot on a single enemy. With Hand Mortar/FitH it applies stacks to several enemies at once.
  • Whispers of the Wind is an AoE attack that triggers the AoE of Hand Mortar/FitH with every of its attack rolls. It's AoE * AoE hit rolls which results in an ridiculous amount of Resonant Touches. Make sure enemies stay close ot each other (use a tank to cumulate foes or stuff like luring enmies from stealth and then use Pull of Eora etc.). Like Flagellant's Path, Whispers of the Wind has no reload animation but recovery only. 
  • Also Rogue affliction strikes (Crippling, Blinding etc.) all work with the AoE of Hand Mortar/FitH. Normal bluderbusses have a high chance of applying the affliction even against touch to hit enemies.

Here's a SC Helwalker with Hand Mortar/FitH in action:

 


Hyleon_rocks.gif?dl=1

 


In general I consider single class gunmonk (or mortar monk) to be better than a multiclass just because of Resonant Touch and Whispers of the Wind. Also stuff like Razor's Edge is really good. Stunning Surge comes a lot earlier, too. 

 

But they early to mid game can be more interesting with a multiclass combo like Streetfighter/Monk because you get some early nice stuff like Crippling-->Arterial Strike and Sneak Attack. Also a more sneaky approach can be more fun (like applying Gouging Strike in an AoE and then vanish with Smoke Veil and let them bleed out).
Still, SC Mortar Monk is so much fun in the later game for me that I'd recommend that over multiclasses.

A pistol Monk can make sense if you go for Ranger/Monk. Pistols are pretty good with One-Handed Style because the Rushed Reload modal gives you an awesome 50% recovery reduction while the single handed use gives you +12 ACC (and good hit-to-crit conversion) which counterbalances the -15 ACC from the modal. It's actually better dps than dual wielding pistols. Then with Driving Flight and all the ACC shenanigans you can make a really reliable crit-build with Thundercrack pistol (Overload that paralyzes on crit) or Scoredeo's Trophy (+25% crit damage). Backup can be Eccea's Arcane Blaster which does raw + elemental damage. It can be fun because the reloading speed is pretty great (especially with a few shots from Scordeo's Trophy). But it doesn't have the raw power and CC capapilities that mortars have. At least on PotD difficulty where you meet more foes than in lower difficulties (and thus AoE is a good way to control more). Ranger's Wounding Shot don't work with the AoE of mortars by the way.

I can't see a particularly awesome arquebus monk build. Dragon's Dowry is great for Assassins and its self damage could get exploited by Monks (getting wounds). So maybe there is a cool Assassin/Monk build seomwhere with Dragon's Dowry, but I neither tried nor tested. Red Hand is always good. But I don't think it's especially good on Monks (compared to like - let's say a Rogue/Ranger).  
 

Edited by Boeroer
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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

Monks with guns are very viable. But instead of pistols I strongly advise to use blunderbusses, espcially the Hand Mortar + Fire in the Hole (from Serafen). Even more so if you are playing a Single Class Monk or a Shadowdancer (Rogue/Monk) especially Streetfighter/Monk.

For several reasons:

  • Hand Mortar and Fire in the Hole have an automatic AoE which scales with INT. Duality of Mortal Presence gives you up to +10 INT
  • Both target reflex insted of deflection (with the AoE) which is very easily debuffed by several spells (see Miasma of Dull-Mindedness and such).
  • Both have pierce/slash damage which is very good for a gun. Usually they have pierce-only damage and that really can screw you against stuff like Skeletal Warriors or all sorts of Risen Champiuons, Mages and Armsmen. In general pierce AR of enemies is often high. 
  • Those AoEs work with CC effects - like from Stunning Surge: every enemy in the AoE can get stunned.
  • They also make it easy to get a Mortification refund for Stunning Surge: lots of AoE hit rolls result in a crit easily. Same with blunderbusses since they have 4 projectiles (four chances for a crit)
  • Flagellanth's Path will fire a dual mortar shot at tha trget and not result in a reload animation but recovery. With Lightning Strikes and Two Weapon Style you will be recovering pretty fast althoug you just shot guns.
  • Powder Burns (the weapon proficiency of blunderbusses) causes Flanked which unlocks the Streetfighter passive without actually getting flanked by enemies
  • Resonant Touch stacks up to 4 stacks with a single blunderbuss shot on a single enemy. With Hand Mortar/FitH it applies stacks to several enemies at once.
  • Whispers of the Wind is an AoE attack that triggers the AoE of Hand Mortar/FitH with every of its attack rolls. It's AoE * AoE hit rolls which results in an ridiculous amount of Resonant Touches. Make sure enemies stay close ot each other (use a tank to cumulate foes or stuff like luring enmies from stealth and then use Pull of Eora etc.). Like Flagellant's Path, Whispers of the Wind has no reload animation but recovery only. 
  • Also Rogue affliction strikes (Crippling, Blinding etc.) all work with the AoE of Hand Mortar/FitH. Normal bluderbusses have a high chance of applying the affliction even against touch to hit enemies.

Here's a SC Helwalker with Hand Mortar/FitH in action:

  Hide contents


Hyleon_rocks.gif?dl=1

 


In general I consider single class gunmonk (or mortar monk) to be better than a multiclass just because of Resonant Touch and Whispers of the Wind. Also stuff like Razor's Edge is really good. Stunning Surge comes a lot earlier, too. 

 

But they early to mid game can be more interesting with a multiclass combo like Streetfighter/Monk because you get some early nice stuff like Crippling-->Arterial Strike and Sneak Attack. Also a more sneaky approach can be more fun (like applying Gouging Strike in an AoE and then vanish with Smoke Veil and let them bleed out).
Still, SC Mortar Monk is so much fun in the later game for me that I'd recommend that over multiclasses.

A pistol Monk can make sense if you go for Ranger/Monk. Pistols are pretty good with One-Handed Style because the Rushed Reload modal gives you an awesome 50% recovery reduction while the single handed use gives you +12 ACC (and good hit-to-crit conversion) which counterbalances the -15 ACC from the modal. It's actually better dps than dual wielding pistols. Then with Driving Flight and all the ACC shenanigans you can make a really reliable crit-build with Thundercrack pistol (Overload that paralyzes on crit) or Scoredeo's Trophy (+25% crit damage). Backup can be Eccea's Arcane Blaster which does raw + elemental damage. It can be fun because the reloading speed is pretty great (especially with a few shots from Scordeo's Trophy). But it doesn't have the raw power and CC capapilities that mortars have. At least on PotD difficulty where you meet more foes than in lower difficulties (and thus AoE is a good way to control more). Ranger's Wounding Shot don't work with the AoE of mortars by the way.

I can't see a particularly awesome arquebus monk build. Dragon's Dowry is great for Assassins and its self damage could get exploited by Monks (getting wounds). So maybe there is a cool Assassin/Monk build seomwhere with Dragon's Dowry, but I neither tried nor tested. Red Hand is always good. But I don't think it's especially good on Monks (compared to like - let's say a Rogue/Ranger).  
 

This is amazing thank you. What would you suggest as starting attributes? Low con? High might? I'm going with the SC monk you suggested with dual blunderbusses

Edited by LeviGenesis
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Posted (edited)

I personally would (and did) use a SC Helwalker with high MIG, PER, DEX and INT and low RES and CON. 

Since Turning Wheel doesn't work with ranged weapons you can also use Enlightened Agony for +5 INT instead of Duality(INT) and then use Iron Wheel. It counterbalances the increased damage that Helwalkers receive with every wound. You can also only take Duality and not upgrade it (I did that because of pure lazyness - no need to trigger Enlightened Agony manually all the time and I spared an ability point). 

You can get Hand Mortar from Serafen very quickly (you'll meet him right after the "turotial" island). And completing his quest in order to get Fire in the Hole is quickly done and doesn't even need a single combat (if you don't want to). So: you can get it very early as well. Recommended enchantments: "Blinding Smoke" on Hand Mortar (the smoke triggers Avenging Storm lightnings from scrolls or Heaven's Cacophony helm) and "Chain Shot" on Fire in the Hole (AoE also jumps one time which is very powerful in combo with the Monk) :

 


hyleon_shocks.gif?dl=1

 


I also wore Aloth's Armor (just for the increased AoE) and Heaven's Cacophony (INT and Avengig Storm) and Charm of Bones (for the INT). Also Ring of Overseeing and Ring of the Marksman. Acina's Tricorn is also great. I also used Loki as pet. But that's all a bit cosmetical. YOu can totally pick otehr stuff and the general build idea won't suffer. It's just that more INT and stuff like Overseeing means bigger AoE and that can make a difference. A great armor can also be one that makes you immune to disengagement attacks (see Nomad's Brigandine or Gipon Prudencso) because they allow you to simply run away from melee attackers. Nomad's Brigandine would make you slower obviously but it would greatly increase your survivability (also see down below about enemy gunners). Else you can pick Graceful Retreat + Tumbling and wear Boots of Speed - which will make disengagment attacks a lot less painful.
Ajamuut's Stalking Cloak is highly advised: it stuns and does bonus dmg when you attack from stealth or invisibility - and Whispers otW makes you invisible - great synergy.


Good abilites (generally all non-melee-only):

 

  • Swift Strikes-->Lightning Strikes
  • Two Weapon Style
  • Long Stride
  • Mortification of the Soul (good early game in order to get wounds safely)
  • Stunning Blows-->Stunning Surge
  • Dance of Death-->Enduring Dance
  • Duality of Mortal Presence(INT)
  • Thunderous Blows
  • Flagellant's Path
  • The Dichotomous Soul (don't like summons too much but they are very effective)
  • The Long Pain (great against single targets and against enemies vulnerable to crush damage)
  • The Razor's Edge
  • Resonant Touch
  • Whispers of the Wind
  • Prestige

If you don't mind using the empower mechanic to boost an ability (instead of regaining mortification): investing in Empowered Strikes can be really good in combination with Whsipers of the Winds. It adds a lot of jumps for WotW and then the +ACC and +PEN should be just devastating (didn't use it myself though because back then when I played this Empowered Strikes was a bit bugged - might be fixed).

Enemy gunners, especially with arquebuses (arbalests as well) can be real nasty for ranged "squishies" like this one - especially in boarding fights where you can't start stealthed. It can be a good idea to skill for large shield proficiency in order to start into boarding fights with a large shield + modal and wair for the first gunshots, then switch to mortars and wreak havoc.

Edited by Boeroer

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4 hours ago, Boeroer said:

I personally would (and did) use a SC Helwalker with high MIG, PER, DEX and INT and low RES and CON. 

Since Turning Wheel doesn't work with ranged weapons you can also use Enlightened Agony for +5 INT instead of Duality(INT) and then use Iron Wheel. It counterbalances the increased damage that Helwalkers receive with every wound. You can also only take Duality and not upgrade it (I did that because of pure lazyness - no need to trigger Enlightened Agony manually all the time and I spared an ability point). 

You can get Hand Mortar from Serafen very quickly (you'll meet him right after the "turotial" island). And completing his quest in order to get Fire in the Hole is quickly done and doesn't even need a single combat (if you don't want to). So: you can get it very early as well. Recommended enchantments: "Blinding Smoke" on Hand Mortar (the smoke triggers Avenging Storm lightnings from scrolls or Heaven's Cacophony helm) and "Chain Shot" on Fire in the Hole (AoE also jumps one time which is very powerful in combo with the Monk) :

  Reveal hidden contents


hyleon_shocks.gif?dl=1

 


I also wore Aloth's Armor (just for the increased AoE) and Heaven's Cacophony (INT and Avengig Storm) and Charm of Bones (for the INT). Also Ring of Overseeing and Ring of the Marksman. Acina's Tricorn is also great. I also used Loki as pet. But that's all a bit cosmetical. YOu can totally pick otehr stuff and the general build idea won't suffer. It's just that more INT and stuff like Overseeing means bigger AoE and that can make a difference. A great armor can also be one that makes you immune to disengagement attacks (see Nomad's Brigandine or Gipon Prudencso) because they allow you to simply run away from melee attackers. Nomad's Brigandine would make you slower obviously but it would greatly increase your survivability (also see down below about enemy gunners). Else you can pick Graceful Retreat + Tumbling and wear Boots of Speed - which will make disengagment attacks a lot less painful.
Ajamuut's Stalking Cloak is highly advised: it stuns and does bonus dmg when you attack from stealth or invisibility - and Whispers otW makes you invisible - great synergy.


Good abilites (generally all non-melee-only):

 

  • Swift Strikes-->Lightning Strikes
  • Two Weapon Style
  • Long Stride
  • Mortification of the Soul (good early game in order to get wounds safely)
  • Stunning Blows-->Stunning Surge
  • Dance of Death-->Enduring Dance
  • Duality of Mortal Presence(INT)
  • Thunderous Blows
  • Flagellant's Path
  • The Dichotomous Soul (don't like summons too much but they are very effective)
  • The Long Pain (great against single targets and against enemies vulnerable to crush damage)
  • The Razor's Edge
  • Resonant Touch
  • Whispers of the Wind
  • Prestige

If you don't mind using the empower mechanic to boost an ability (instead of regaining mortification): investing in Empowered Strikes can be really good in combination with Whsipers of the Winds. It adds a lot of jumps for WotW and then the +ACC and +PEN should be just devastating (didn't use it myself though because back then when I played this Empowered Strikes was a bit bugged - might be fixed).

Enemy gunners, especially with arquebuses (arbalests as well) can be real nasty for ranged "squishies" like this one - especially in boarding fights where you can't start stealthed. It can be a good idea to skill for large shield proficiency in order to start into boarding fights with a large shield + modal and wair for the first gunshots, then switch to mortars and wreak havoc.

Thank you so much. I'm gonna get building now!

 

I tested out the build and its very squishy early on. Is it possible to get away with leaving con at 10 and resolve at 3? Or even choosing no sub class? 

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Sure, you can put CON at 10 no problem. You can get away with lower MIG because you will get plenty from the Helwalker passive anyway. DEX and PER don't have to be at 18+ - 16 is also ok. A thick armor will help in the early game. I wouldn't lower INT though. It's just too good with mortars.

If you are using a tank (e.g. Edér) : let him unstealth first and wait a few secs before acting. That way enemies will focus on him first and not attack you so much. 

Instead of Helwalker a Nalpasca would also be ok. There are enough drugs to be able to use them in every fight and it's convenient to have a constant flow of wounds (stacks with Dance of Death). Vanilla Monkalso works.

Squishyness is worst in the early game. It will get better after some levels. 


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So I wanted to update / ask a few questions regarding my Mortar Monk. First of all I think it's an awesome build and really fun and easy to play. The drawback I think I made was making him a Nalpazca. Thinking it was a safer option over the helwaker. Now I whilst i do feel it might be a bit safer, ship battles (currently level 12) are still impossible for me as I'm barraged by everyone and die before I can even pop a drug. 

 

Is there a way to be under the influence before you enter a ship battle? I've got the necklace that gives you the whiteleaf influence after rest but haven't tested it yet. I have restart disease and was thinking of going back to the helwaker mortar build I made but with the low resolve I'd imagine I'd get peppered still the same (but at least I could get healed)

 

I was also thinking of a devoted mortar monk (no class) or just a single class monk 

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My advice is to wear full plate when sailing. That really makes a difference survival-wise.

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Posted (edited)

@LeviGenesis: Second best thing in boarding fights* is to use a large shield + modal. You don't need weapon & shield style, only the proficiency for the modal. Ranged damage suffers a 50% damage malus then - which is actually a lot more severe (for the enemy) than the numbers suggests because like grazes and underpenetration it goes through double inversion during the final damage calculation.

Thus a large shield + modal ("the Wall") is the best option to survive focus fire by gunners which often happens at the begnning of ship combat (because you all start the fight unstealthed and often with messed up party formation). After that you can ususally switch to your usual weapons since the chaos of battle prevents another salve from multiple gunners that's specifically aimed at you.

Thick armor which is good against pierce dmg (like plate) and a Blunting Belt also help a lot as Haplok said. If enemies hit "the Wall" AND underpenetrate you'll get very little damage. 

Monks get a ton of proficiency points they don't need so picking Large Shield proficiency is a good use of such a point. 

)* best is to avoid them entirely and just have two or more master cannoneers

Edited by Boeroer
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You can use drugs before the fight.

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