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I was thinking - if I wanted to build a character who only used bombs for damage, how would I go about doing that?

I'd prefer to avoid 'yeah he uses bombs but mostly he casts X or whatever'. Just pure bombing goodness.

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Bombs are quite bad as the sole source of damage.

They profit from Character level (+3 ACC per level), Explosives skill (basically like Power Level scaling), base accuracy of your char (20) and accuracy buffs (not PER).

Intellect, Might and so on have no effect either. 

So you want a class and a background that gets a bonus to explosives and has access to a lot of accuracy buffs. Like Ranger for example and/or Priest (Devotions) and/or Cipher (Borrowed Instincts). Best to stack those with a multiclass that has two of those buffs that actually stack. 

Anything that can reduce reflex defense on the enemies would also work.

Items that raise ACC directly also work. 

Reverse Pickpocketing increases the accuracy and dmg of bombs a lot, but you can only do it to non-hostile NPCs and need high stealth (which would clash with the wish to have high explosive skills).

You can substitute stealth with Leap (from boots or as Barbarian ability). It is possible to leap right next to an NPC from stealth and to reverse pickpocket then without any stealth skill.

But even if you get all that right the damage from explosives is still quite bad - especially in the late game. You can get decent utility out of them but they lack base damage and synergy effects. 

Here's a thread with more detail:

 

 

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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I am actually working on a build that might partially be up you alley. I'm not posting it yet because I haven't finished a playthrough with it, so I don't quite know how it'll play out in the end-game, but you might consider a chanter to pick up the "their companion" invocation that grants energized. you can single-class it or combine with a party or multiclass that gives you further accuracy or crit bonuses. you also want ring of focused flame and helm of the white void.

 

the trick here is that many of the bombs tick periodically as a persistent aoe (not a hazard or a DoT), which means every 3-6 seconds they get an attack roll (most bombs tick every 3s, immolator and maybe a couple others tick slower). That means every time you crit with one of these persistent ticks, you trigger an interrupt because of your energized inspiration, even if the tick was only for like 3 damage (normally only the initial explosion of a bomb can interrupt). In addition, energized gives you a +2 PEN bonus that can help your explosives do better damage. ring of focused flame gives you +10 stacking passive accuracy with cinder bombs, sparkcrackers, stun bomb, and immolator (all count as fire), and helm of the white void gives you +10 stacking passive accuracy with cinder bombs (for +20 total), blister bomb, frost bomb, essence of imp spray, implosion charge, lightning bomb, sparkcrackers (for +20 total), and stun bomb (for +20 total)... basically the vast majority of bombs [though for half the game you won't have helm of the white void whereas ring of focused flame can easily be stolen after port maje]. out of all these options, cinder bombs are your best bet, because not only do they get the full +20 accuracy, they also are easy to make, easy to buy, and their affliction helps further ticks crit (blinding provides an effective +10 additional accuracy). but in harder fights you can layer multiple bombs and make it challenging for enemies to get much done. note that even though i listed sparkcrackers and stun bombs, it was only for completeness's sake - for this setup they don't have follow up ticks for interacting with energized.

you can also pick up additional supplemental gear to boost your explosives, e.g. firethrower's gloves gives you +2 explosives. lucero pet from FS might be worth it (-25% item recovery bonus).

 

if you really want to be bomb-focused you should single-class the chanter and rely on party members to provide further buffs (mostly a priest for aware and/or devotions plus acute for +1 PL. a cipher providing tactical meld can help in a pinch). this is because the invocation for energized comes pretty late for a multiclass. if you're patient, you can multiclass it with a fighter, who might be the overall best choice because of their easy access to intuitive (25% hit to crit) and conqueror stance (up to +10 non-stacking active accuracy).

like boeroer says, bombs won't really do that much damage - grenade and concussion bombs are the biggest damage dealers (maybe immolators too, but they have low PEN and it takes a while to scale up their damage competently) and they're not really going to win fights for you that much (in fact, because grenades and concussion bombs push enemies out of their explosion range, they are their own worst enemy for spamming damage bombs). but they can serve a fun utility and disruption role.

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A chanter bomber......interesting. You could paralyze a group of foes and toss a cinder bomb at them; the dex debuff would lower the reflex defense and help the bomb hit, and once they're blinded their reflex and deflection would be further debuffed, making them more vulnerable to the next tic of the bomb as well as other attacks.

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Bombs can be quite effective even for late game if you invest in them. The main drawbacks are the cost and the fact you have to replenish them often. With Berath's Blessings it's possible to reach 30+ in Explosives and you can increase their damage even further with Crusted Swordfish food, High Harbinger's Robes, Sash of Judgement and/or Harley pet. Other nice additions to a bomber build can be Thao's Headdress/Acina's Tricorn, Keeper of the Flame (with Sweet Aroma) and the Ring of Prosperity's Fortune. For example the Concussion Bomb can deal 90+ avg dmg (without crits), with 17 pen and 130+ accuracy (depending on the builds)...

Edited by Kaylon
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Magran's Blessings is Berath's Blessings in this case, the achievement points you get during playing the game. Some of those can be used to get twice the skill point bonuses at char creation. Just saying so OP doesn't get confused. 

I just imagined that if you unlock Edér's pet slot with Berath's Blessings there might be a secondary pet effect that boosts your bombs, too. Didn't check all pets' party effects now, but maybe there's something useful.

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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I guess for a bomber build you'd want to multiclass with druid, fighter or wizard to get the bonus points at the start. Maybe chanter/fighter would be best for the improved accuracy. Or you could drop chanter and go with a brute or brawler, using the slayer's claw to get energized. You could get it around the same time you'd get the "Their Champion" invocation as a MC chanter. 

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