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I just recently replayed Pillars of Eternity (as a Cipher) and got Deadfire on sale. I had been wracking my brain trying to think of what kind of multi-class I should do for my first playthrough, but I started thinking that perhaps I'm taking the wrong approach and might instead consider how my Watcher will fit in with the rest of the party.

I've decided to use only sidekicks instead of full companions (barring perhaps briefly getting their questlines out of the way) due to either feeling they had their limelight in PoE1, or simply not being interested in them compared to the sidekicks, who all seem pretty cool.

Given that, what would be a decent multi-class combination for a Watcher partying with any or all of the sidekicks, assuming PotD, and probably turn-based mode? Ideally some sort of martial/caster multi-class too, but I'm open to suggestions. Thank you!

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i feel like if you are only playing with sidekicks, you should invest in a healer or party support mainchar. the only sidekick that fills this role is vatnir, and he comes in real late, like level 12 at the earliest feasible, still gated behind a very-hard-at-level-12 boss fight.

 

edit - when you do get vatnir, it won't even be redundant, because vatnir's subclass gives him a bunch of offensive heft. plus you can never go too wrong with double healing/party support on potd.

edit - fassina can be a helpful early companion with healing and support, but i think a conjurer/druid is a suboptimal multiclass.

Edited by thelee
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I disagree. Fassina was universally usefull. Just don't expect her to be a key damage dealer, but as healer / party support buffer/debuffer/cc - fantastic. 

Edited by Haplok
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Yeah, I gave the sidekicks a real close look and would definitely be picking up Fassina as a conjurer/druid even if my Watcher had some healing or support going on themselves. I'd rather stay away from priests and druids for my Watcher though, moreso for roleplay reasons than anything else.

Can something mixed with Paladin or Chanter fulfill a frontline casting support role in such a party then? Or considering possible turn-based mode, is it perhaps more viable to crank initiative and go for some kind of far more offensive casting approach (via Wizard, Cipher?) to lock down fights so that the less robust party healing isn't as needed? I'm a little spoiled from coordinating my offensive melee Cipher with a ranged Grieving Mother throughout PoE1, being able to work together to dominate fights on PotD there.

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Generally it is certainly not worth it to focus on Initiative in Turn Based mode. The benefits are very minor, as you cannot control when you will take your action within a round (for example delay after an enemy starts casting his spell). And all actions take 1 round anyway. The only difference is whether they resolve immediately (Free Actions, Standard actions) or later in the round and can be interrupted before that happens (Cast actions).

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Thanks for the advice so far! I think I've narrowed my choices down to Paladin/Wizard, Fighter/Wizard, or something involving Trickster. What are the differences between a Paladin/Wizard and Fighter/Wizard in terms of playstyle? Paladin obviously has the support via healing and auras and such, but I see Fighter/Wizard recommended in terms of locking down fights and using summoned weapons well. Would the more offensive approach be more beneficial in the long run?

Trickster seems really cool as well and I'd probably pick that for sure if I didn't have likely rogues in Mirke and Ydwin already.

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Paladin/wizard, particularly the Steel garrote/blood mage wielding Whispers of the Endless Paths with the Offensive Parry upgrade, is, as Boeroer has often recommended, an amazingly tanky caster. The damage output with weapons is rather meh in my opinion with this build. But the beauty of it is that you can continually cast spells using blood sacrifice. Enemies will engage you in melee, but they'll often miss since your deflection will be so high, proccing Offensive Parry, which will daze them, so that subsequent procs will heal you. Between that and the healing from exalted endurance you won't have problem regenerating health and can cast all day long. This is the build to chose if you want to be a tanky caster.

Fighter/wizard, of which tactician/bloodmage is my favorite, is probably the ideal build if you want to specialize in summoned weapons, especially Citzal's Spirit Lance, which attacks in an AOE. It's incredible with Clear Out and Mule Kick. Here you'll want to take mainly fighter offensive and defensive abilities, and switch grimoires for the buff spells you'll want to cast prior and during the battle. So this is a build if you want to primarily engage in melee with arcane boosts.

A third option is monk/wizard. Here you might try Helwalker/vanilla wizard, or Helwalker/blood mage which is dangerous, but manageable if you are careful not to use blood sacrifice with a lot of wounds. A helwalker sage with 10 wounds will have +10 STR and INT, which will really boost spell casting, You can spam spells or use summoned weapons. It's a very flexible multiclass but much squishier, since you lack the good sources of healing that the arcane knight and battlemage enjoy. (edited to add the sage option)

Edited by dgray62
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I did a solo run with the steel garrote/blood mage recently, and it's a really flexible and fun build. In the early/mid game, you can melee when you feel like it (Citzal's lance goes really well flames of devotion) or you can also tank and cast unlimited spells with blood sacrifice. Late game once you have wall of draining, you are pretty much invincible (infininte lay of hands+hands of light+wiz buff). Again you can either go full melee (with Citzal's Martial Power + Zandethus' Draconic Fury) or full casting (crushing doom/freezing pillar/torrent of flame + blood sacrifice).

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One notable downside to playing a paladin (in my experience, since I'm playing a Priest right now) is that the min-maxer in me makes me want to follow the dispositions very closely, which is both good and bad for the roleplaying side.

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