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This was my MC for my first playthrough. I played on Veteran Upscaled with a party. I completed every quest that could be done honorably including all DLCs. I didn't side with any faction and I skipped the megabosses.

The rest of the party:

  • Caltris: A custom Illusionist/Rogue.
  • Xoti: SC Priest of Gaun
  • Eder: SC Warrior
  • Aloth: SC Wizard

Prelude:

Before Fhorn, there was Will – an estoc-wielding warrior of great resolve. Will's godlike nature made him bear down in times of danger. Will was rocksteady and people all over the Dyrwood grew to rely on him. As a lord, he was just, honorable, and honest. Will's soul was ripped from his body by Eothas and he was resurrected as Fhorn.

Bio:

Fhorn is a nature godlike barbarian-berserker fighter. He is primarily a damage dealer but also off-tanks. Remnants of Will remain, but as Eder puts it, "Fhorn's got more bark." Others find Fhorn's constant motion distracting. He struggles to contain the energy boiling within him. His treatment by the gods has pushed him to the knife-edge of reason and his rages terrify everyone. As he descends into a battle frenzy, Fhorn chants a litany of Awareness to ward off confusion and madness. His friends breathe a sigh of relief.

FhornSide04.thumb.jpg.0ba7eb2f77998e8a50c353cd33e6dc03.jpg

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Like a Truck, Berserker!
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Difficulty: Veteran Upscaled with a Party
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Class: Brute (Berserker + Fighter)
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Race: Nature Godlike

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Background: Deadfire Archipelago – Explorer
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Stats (No Berath's Blessings):
MIG: 15
CON: 12
DEX: 15
PER: 12
INT: 12
RES: 12

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Important Skills: Athletics
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Abilities (a=auto, ®=recommended, !=important)

PL1

Barbarian

Carnage (a)

Berserker (a)

Frenzy (!)

Blooded ®

Arms Bearer ®

Fighter

Constant Recovery (a)

Disciplined Barrage (!)

 

PL2

Barbarian

Barbaric Blow (!)

Thick Skinned ®

Fighter

Fighter Stances (!)

Two Handed Style (!)

Determination ®

Confident Aim ®

 

PL3

Barbarian

Wild Sprint (!)

One Stands Alone ®

Bloody Slaughter ®

Fighter

Tactical Barrage (!)

Penetrating Strike (!)

 

PL4

Barbarian

Spirit Frenzy (!)

Fighter

Weapon Specialization ®

 

PL5

Barbarian

Barbaric Smash (!)

Tough ®

Interrupting Blows ®

Fighter

Mob Stance (!)

Armored Grace (!)

Unbending ®

 

PL6

Barbarian

Lion's Sprint ®

Brute Force ®

Fighter

Clear Out (!)

 

PL7

Barbarian

Spirit Tornado (!)

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Weapon 1: Lord Darryn's Voulge - This weapon is a blast. Not amazing for single target but great for groups. Equip Boltcatchers and apply Storm Toxin for maximum shock value.

Weapon 2: The Willbreaker (Make them Flinch, Unavoidable Demise) - A devastating weapon with nasty afflictions and upgrades to ensure they land.

Weapon 3: Mechanical Marvel - Fhorn doesn’t do ranged much, but when he does, he prefers an Arbalest with a knockdown.

Chest: Patinated Plate (Constant Rebound, Burnished Joints)

Helmet: None

Amulet: Strand of Favor - For the 10%.

Trinket: I rest sparingly, so trinkets get switched out frequently.

Cloak: Champion's Cape

Gloves: Gatecrashers

Ring: Etonia Signet Ring

Ring: Ring of the Solitary Wanderer

Belt: Ngati's Girdle

Boots: Boots of Stone

Pet: Epsilon – Less recovery time due to armor for Fhorn, increased stride for party

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Offense:

Fhorn opens with Tactical Barrage, Lion's Sprint, and Spirit Tornado (Disciplined Barrage, Wild Sprint, and Frenzy at low levels). Barrage cancels out Frenzy's confusion making Fhorn's friends happy.

Fhorn is a melee off-tank who wades into the thickest part of the battle, placing as many enemies as possible in range of his carnage AoE and debuffs. With sprint, he's lightning quick, and can land a devastating attack anywhere on the battlefield. An ideal position is on a blob of enemies locked down by Eder. He makes a great hammer to Eder's anvil. He's not worried about stealing aggro, the more enemies focused on him, the faster he gets.

Fhorn is most efficient when 3+ enemies are in front of him, but his mobility and interrupting attacks make him a deadly mage hunter too.

Fhorn is mundane without an inspiration buff, but any of them will trigger his +1 power-level bonus. Barrage, Frenzy, and Sprint are all cheap inspirations, but Sprint's short duration makes it situational. In many fights, Fhorn can have three active inspirations and rotate between Penetrating Strikes and Barbaric Smashes. Clear Out is an expensive Full Attack knockback on everyone in range, which can be devastating and is also great for repositioning. For long fights, Fhorn conserves most of his resources for inspirations.

 

Defense:

Fhorn's best defense is a good offense, but Spirit Tornado terrifies surrounding enemies and Patinated Plate gives a 30% chance to stun attackers when they hit. In a crowd, there's usually a 1 or 2 unable to attack.

Fhorn started out in light and medium armor, but it wasn’t enough. So he donned heavy armor and took armored grace. For half the game, he wore Reckless Brigandine. Eventually, he settled on Patinated Plate and was happy ever after. Unbending prolongs the inevitable, but its Xoti that keeps him running. Fhorn takes lots of damage and he's incentivized to make more enemies attack him. In a ~90-hour playthrough with permanent companions, he leads in total damage done (37%), damage taken (48%), and times knocked out (49).

 

Afflictions:

Spirit Frenzy staggers on attack (-5 Might, no engagement for 10s). The Morningstar proficiency subtracts -25 Fortitude on hit (Brute Force allows Fhorn’s attacks to target Fortitude or Deflection).

 

Affinity for Being Surrounded:

With Mob Stance, Fhorn gets -5% Recovery per threatened target and a killing blow triggers a free Full Attack on one enemy within range. One Stands Alone grants +20% melee damage when near two or more enemies. Ring of the Solitary Wanderer give -35% hostile effect duration when no allies are nearby.

 

Hit and Crit:

Lion’s Sprint add +15 Accuracy to the next attack. Will Breaker converts 25% of Misses to Grazes. Confident Aim converts 30% of Grazes to Hits. Willbreaker converts 10% of Hits to Crits. Frenzy converts 30% of Hits to Crits. Bloody Slaughter converts 20% of Hits to Crits on targets <= 25% health and adds +50% crit damage.

 

Disclaimers:

I respec'd Fhorn once around level 12, changing him from a dual-wielder to a 2-hand user. I also switched him from the Blood Frenzy track to Spirit Frenzy. He was too fragile at that point in the game, and I thought that Spirit frenzy would give him better survivability and team synergy. Making enemies cower and staggering loads of them is great for survival. Still, I won't deny that I missed melting foes with Blood Frenzy.

The reason for the switch to 2-handers was two-fold. First, due to some poor luck or itemization, I hadn't found any axes or flails worth a damn at the time. The second reason was Modwyr.

Major spoiler below if you don't already know about Modwyr.

Spoiler

The Mordwyr Affair.

Their song is maniacal laughter, they cackle and howl through every thrust. They ecstatically carve their enemies into quivering jelly. Fhorn's friends are concerned that his wild nature has progressed into mania. The sword and Fhorn are madly in love. The madness catalyzes Fhorn's berserker mentality. Before Modwyr, his sense of responsibility barely kept him in control, but this bloodlust makes Fhorn dangerous to everyone. He throws himself into risky situations with little regard for his friends.

This continues for weeks. Deep down, Fhorn senses he's slipping and seeks clear choices. Sailing across the Deadfire Sea, Captain Fhorn buries Mordwyr to the hilt in the guts of slave ship captains and cutthroat pirates. He leads his party into rune-guarded crypts to strip death knights of their trappings. He charges into overwhelming odds and emerges grievously injured but victorious again and again. Fhorn's wildness grows.

Half-sated by bloodshed, Mordwyr seems to have forgotten her quest to find her previous owner. Fhorn believes the owner long dead anyway, devoured by ghouls. Who knows how long the sword had lain alone in the dark?

The party's cohesion is crumbling. In one frenzied battle, Fhorn rains down rapid-fire strikes, obliterating the last of the Xaurips and blistering Caltris and Eder in raw carnage. The lizardmen flop to the ground and for just a heartbeat, everyone seems to freeze, gazing into each other's eyes and wondering how it has come to this. A delayed moment later, the lightning bolt explodes from Aloth's clutching fingers, flashes over the fresh corpses, and crits Eder in the chest. When Eder's heart starts beating again, he loses his mind, raving and swinging at everyone. Caltris, a little mad already, begins casting illusions. Xoti is the sole reason nobody dies.

Demoralized, they sail into a sunny portside town. Walking along the boardwalk, they meet Mordwyr's former owner. She senses Mordwyr immediately and is deeply unsettled. She begs Fhorn to keep Mordwyr away from her. Mordwyr becomes confused and Fhorn emerges from a daze.

They stay together a little longer, but the spell is broken. Modwyr cuts at Fhorn with the steel edge of her tongue. At the end of their final battle, Fhorn is nearly dead and broken. Fhorn experimented with a crackpipe necklace before the fight and suffers from a drug crash right in the middle of it. All of his rage and discipline are long exhausted. He has a gaping wound and grapefruit sized burns pepper his body. Fhorn woodenly swings auto attacks until the last enemy finally drops. Mordwyr scorns him. She calls him weak. She complains that he always uses the same moves. She says she wishes they could be like Caltris and her weapon. She says all this and saves them. Xoti unbinds Mordwyr's soul from the sword, freeing both of them from the long nightmare. Fhorn never picks up another sword.

 

Also, the extra penetration from 2-handers and the morningstar's Fortitude debuff.

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This looks like a very fun build. While there are some great axes and flails that you can acquire a bit later in the game, IMO the Voulge and Willbreaker are probably the best weapons for a barbarian. And since you can get the former so early, 2-handed is probably the best way to go.

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Posted (edited)

Iirc Berserker/Devoted with Morning Star was my first character in Deadfire (didn't finish). 

It was a coincidence - I knew nothing about Body Blows + Spirit Frenzy being cool with Brute Force etc. because I dove in blindly.

Back then Cleaving Stance/Mob Stance was absolutely overpowered because it did a Full Attack on all enemies in melee range - and that was pretty hilarious in combination with Blood Thirst.

Also iirc Disciplined Strikes/Intuitive had 50% crit conversion at release. :)

With a Morning Star+Brute Force I also would pick Spirit Frenzy over Blood Frenzy any day. The added -10 fortitude is great then. Also you'll remove Might inspirations on enemies on the fly. 

 

I have a few questions:

Why did you pick Spirit Tornado and not Blood Thirst? Because of the Terrify effect helping you survive?

Without Community Patch Spirit Tornado will not apply the stagger effect to all attack rolls anymore (afaik Spirit Frenzy staggers with all attack rolls, even Carnage, AoE spells and Shouts, Spirit Tornado only with direct weapon hits). At the same time Blood Thirst works very well with Cleaving/Mob Stance...?

If sturdyness was an issue - why no Savage/Stalwart Defiance?

Did you consider Leap instead of Lion's Sprint? You could reach any spot with Leap (even land between enemies where you normally can't run because path is blocked) and you can even cancel it mid-air if your character circle appears at the target location: it will cost no Rage then and you won't daze anyone at arrival, but you will still land where you aimed and have no recovery. Imo its better than Lion's Sprint - but it doesn't give an inspiration of course. 

 

 

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the feedback!

20 hours ago, Boeroer said:

I have a few questions:

Why did you pick Spirit Tornado and not Blood Thirst? Because of the Terrify effect helping you survive?

Without Community Patch Spirit Tornado will not apply the stagger effect to all attack rolls anymore (afaik Spirit Frenzy staggers with all attack rolls, even Carnage, AoE spells and Shouts, Spirit Tornado only with direct weapon hits). At the same time Blood Thirst works very well with Cleaving/Mob Stance...?

If sturdyness was an issue - why no Savage/Stalwart Defiance?

Did you consider Leap instead of Lion's Sprint? You could reach any spot with Leap (even land between enemies where you normally can't run because path is blocked) and you can even cancel it mid-air if your character circle appears at the target location: it will cost no Rage then and you won't daze anyone at arrival, but you will still land where you aimed and have no recovery. Imo its better than Lion's Sprint - but it doesn't give an inspiration of course.

Good questions, I wrestled a bit with Spirit Tornado. Ultimately, I went with it because it is the upgrade to Spirit Frenzy and I hoped it works at a higher power level or something. In practice, the terrify turned out to be good.

As for Blood Thirst, I probably overlooked it. I invested a lot in recovery reduction skills and equipment and figured dropping recovery to 0 for 10 seconds wouldn’t make a huge difference.

About Savage Defiance, it costs 3 rage. That’s 3 frenzies! Fhorn is very resource limited and I felt like everything he has needs to be used for offense.

I love Sprint. Its max range is greater than Leap’s. Fhorn can go all over the place before it runs out. If the route is blocked then Leap has the advantage, but there’s usually a way around or there’s always Clear Out if he really has to break through. Plus, Sprint gives immunity to engagement and it counters DEX afflictions. And the DEX inspiration is good for offense too. The Lion’s Sprint upgrade isn’t quite as essential, but +15 Accuracy means the first swing always lands and it usually crits. All this and its only 1 rage, half the cost of Leap.

It was a coincidence that I made a brute, but I learned about the Willbreaker from you and that’s when I realized how great the Morningstar is.

Edited by Helz
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The bestest weapon! ;)

By the way, speaking of Willbreaker: in earlier runs I never enchanted it with "Make them Flinch" (25% miss to graze conversion) because I thought the alternative has more impact. But I came to realize that when it really matters (meaning taking on the tough nuts and not "winning more" against the trash mobs) it's a great enchantment. Especially if you combine it with Gloves of Greater Reliablity (also 25% iirc). Grazes are sooo much better than Misses. ;) Even if the enemies' deflection (or fortitude, what is lower - hello Brute Force) is so high you would only miss otherwise you will graze quite often and apply effects that will make it more easy to hit properly. 

 

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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