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Hey there, so I've been stuck with deciding between playing a Cipher or Wizard.

I normally always play the mage or support classes in rpgs, from oldschool to modern ones.
I mean, I enjoy the flashy spells, and combos and just playing a pivotal role in combat.

The cipher is quite new to me - and after reading about it, it feels kinda like a Farseer from the warhammer universe (psychic/mind/storm/psy weapon user etc) and that got me quite excited. Now I'm not going to choose a cipher OR wizard for my party - I intend to have both. What I'm trying to decide is which of the two I should make my character, and then the other will be a companion.

I am usually quite a min-maxer type player in general, I enjoy working out cool combos and synergies etc - but for my first time around with this game I would like to at least try to use some/most of the storyline companions, rather than make my own. But I've read a ton of bad things about all the story companions, and have seen how their stats are really suboptimal.

So I'm currently leaning towards going Cipher and using Aloth as my wizard (and then, not collecting grieving mother as I will take her place). I'm leaning this way because aloth's stats don't make for a great damage dealing wizard, but still decent for crowd control and mage like support. And I can change out his starting spells any time - to give him slicken and that Icy fog spell (which were really cool spells on the wizard I made to test out). With Grieving mother, her stats are both bad for damage and spellcasting in general - so I can't see how to still make her useful, also because of how the cipher spells work, I cannot give her a better loadout from what she starts with.

I don't mind either way for myself with regards to per rest vs infinite spells + focus situation between the two - and I love what ive seen so far of both classes' spells.

So after all that text, I was wondering if you guys could maybe help me make my decision - any ideas on whether my current leaning will work well - I'll be playing on hard for now. Can Aloth work well as a crowd controller, and leave the damage up to other party members and myself. And are the cipher spells later down the line interesting enough to make the cipher feel like an indepth spellcaster still.

If you've gotten this far, thanks for spending the time reading ^^

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Wizards kind of got the shaft in this game.


Your best damaging spell is in fact your first level spell, Fan of Flames, which does an obscene amount of damage in an AoE effect. If the monster you're fighting has large resists to fire, well, too bad. The free spell you get per encounter isn't particularly useful, as you have to stand within melee range to cast it, and it barely does more than your autoattacks. The daze effect is nice, but meh. You don't get a lot of spells per rest, and the spells you do get aren't very good. You are also extremely squishy, and a lot of your best spells require you either to be away from the party so you don't kill them when you cast a spell or within the enemies melee range. There are other problems, I am sure, but that's the things I've run into so far.


Go cipher. 

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Two ciphers is totally viable, just so you know. In fact, a cipher PC gets some additional lines with Grieving Mother.


She's got a lot of interjections, so I'd honestly feel odd leaving her behind.

If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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Aloth is ok.


1) He is an elf, so he get +5 ranged accuracy for casting and ranged weapons.

2) You get him as first companion, so configure him as you want.

3) His stats not so bad.

4) As I understand Ciphers more dependable on min-maxing, so npc wizard is more preferably than npc cipher.

5) Your Cipher ll outperform him tremendously early on, but Aloth will catch on later.

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5) Your Cipher ll outperform him tremendously early on, but Aloth will catch on later.


Actually, by the time Aloth can "catch up" by gaining per-encounter level 1 spells, your Cipher will be clearing entire rooms with Mind Blades :p


I think if you want to experience the most out of the companion dialogue. You will have to dedicate at least two playthroughs where your PC will unambigiously carry the party in damage output. You can partially mitigate that by using 4 companions and creating a custom minmaxed adventurer for better tanking or damage output, if you wish.

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Aloth is probably one of the worst NPC's in the game. He's built very poorly. That's not to say that he's completely useless, but wizards also aren't exactly top-notch in this game. Two of their best spells are at level one, and the ones that come after that aren't particularly exciting. If you do go wizard, make sure to take Slicken and Fan of Flames at level 1.


I'm going to add a vote to playing a Cipher and picking up Grieving Mother. I'm honestly inclined to say that Ciphers are one of the strongest, if not the strongest, class in the game.


Frankly, though, you can get away with having one or the other in your group. Aloth is more comical and goofy, while Grieving Mother is very serious, morose, and 'heavy' in terms of her interactions.

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