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TL:DR - Nvm, I've decided to do an all custom party. Learned a lot thanks to everyone here. So naive this post was. Custom vs Companion it's all the same in the end. Though companions get +1 level that helps early on. I went back and answered some of my own questions in case others had the same ones.

 

Yes, another one of these threads. Please bear with me.

Another game in my backlog that I never did finish for one reason or another. Back when the game had just released I spent a fair amount of time trying to plan out my party in a spreadsheet with all custom characters. This time I'd like to play PotD and use the story characters as much as possible while using current builds from the forums here. My problem is that I really don't remember anything about the game mechanics (probably wouldn't be helpful considering the amount of changes by the sound of it). Some of the builds here briefly mention what other builds they might synergize with but certainly not all and even then I can't be sure it's still the case.

1) So my main question is there a good up to date resource for the game mechanics and gear?

That said I'm trying to avoid going down that rabbit hole too much and spending a lot of time trying to min/max. I'd rather not spin my wheels too much and just get to playing. So, I looked through a good number of builds and narrowed the MC down to one of the following -

The Juggernaut
Schemer's Needler
Bilestomper or Chillfog (Though I'm not sure how these work in practice with other melee)

2) Can anyone make some suggestions on which characters would work best for one of these MC's? I know that might be a bit of a loaded question. In that case maybe it would be easier to say what to avoid? Rather can someone suggest which companions, and their respective builds, would compliment one of the above MC builds? My bad. Edit - /Facepalm It really is a loaded question. In the end I'd suggest doing some solo runs with different builds just to learn mechanics and the game so you can figure out whatever works for you. Many, many options.

3) Last question - Is there a good place to read up on missable/one-of-kind gear/buffs? I'm assuming much of the gear listed on these builds are one of kind so it'd be nice to know which ones are so I can look for alternatives when there are overlaps.

 

Edit - Random Loot https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/80015-all-poe-random-item-day-checklist/

Missed Stuff https://www.reddit.com/r/projecteternity/comments/416gvd/list_of_easilymissed_stuff/

Thanks in advance. Most of the mechanic threads linked in the old build thread are... well old. I mostly just want to avoid a party composition that is frustrating to play (i.e. positioning micromanagement due to friendly fire or duplicating roles/debuffs that don't stack).

P.S. Ok, I lied, one more question. Iirc keeping mobs on the tank was somewhat tricky in the early game. I remember spirits teleporting to the back line being a problem. One I don't remember if there was a solution to? I'm assuming there is a way to deal with that? As chokepoints probably don't work well when they can teleport. /shrug. Maybe it's not even a thing anymore.

Edited by Kazuma
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1) This forum probably has the most updated mechanics and theorycrafting discussion. The wiki is okay, but desperately lacking when it comes to the dlc content. Reddit isn't bad either. There is no magical site - you're going to have to google your questions, read a lot of topics and gather your own understanding of the game. A lot of the things I searched for I ended up coming to this forum for, so yeah.

 

2) This game has a ton of attribute requirements in conversations. Skills too, but nowhere as much. There is an idea of a "conversation pc", - only your pc's attributes and skills qualify for all the checks in the game. The most common checks are resolve, perception and intelligence. There are some might checks and a few dex and con ones too, but those are rarer. The main three stats lend themselves well to a cc tank or something, so paladin is a pretty popular class for pcs. As for skills, lore and survival come up the most. So decide - do you want your character to pass all the conversation checks for maximum rp, or do you just want to be good at killing mobs? After we know your preference, it's a lot easier to give build advice.

 

Oh, and there are 11 companions, one for each class, so you don't have to make your pc anything. The rogue companion is probably the worst of the lot (combat-wise), though great for evil rp. Cipher pc has the most class-specific dialogue by far.

 

3) Not really. There are very few truly missable things, however. Mostly it comes down to which quest reward you get, which you should probably approach from a roleplaying perspective. Some quests have different rewards for picking different sides, and there are a bunch of times you have to choose a side. There are a lot of quest talents too. The wiki is probably the best? Check all the available talents, and if you have any doubts about a quest, check that too.

 

Only those blasted ghosts really teleport to your backline. Yeah, they changed the enemy AI, and enemies are more likely to disengage from your tank and go after your squishies, but I barely noticed it, coming from 1.05 to the current patch. My tanks still tied up most of the enemies fine 80-90% of the time. Positioning on doorways, chokepoints and the like is still extremely effective. Nothing you could ever do to shades, though.

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Tanking with one (or two) main tanks is still tricky in open spaces against fast enemies. It's easier to build sturdy characters who still do good damage but don't fold over when the get looked at.

 

In general, the best party composition is one where the buffs and debuffs match each other. So for example a tanky monk with Enervating Blows and Force of Anguish and a tanky barb with Threatening Presence and a stunning weapon would cause Weakened and Sickened on the enemies around them which helps enormously with the knockdown effects and also allows caster to land their spells which target fortitude or will way better.

 

Please note that the Chillfod Chanter is just a quite ordinary chanter until you get certain feats like items with healing received bonus, survival regenration bonus and later on the +100% healing chant. If you have reached that and also have a priest or someone with Shod-in-Faith boots or a paladin or whoever heals, then your party will be near invincible when it comes to endurance loss. Until that chant you can of couse use this chanter like a Dragon Thrashed Chanter (who is also superpowerful) and then retrain later. The stats match both types. Also Kana Rua (official comp.) can play that role well if you'd like to use companions (which i recommend for at least the first playthrough) 

 

The Juggeraut is always fun and easy to play and works well with every party. You just need to know how monks work. He can be played by Zahua (White March I - takes until lvl 6-8 to get there). Torment's Reach has no friendly fire. But monks require some micromanagement because of the wound management and the use of his great abilities.

 

Scheemer's Needler can be played like an ordinary priest plus a tiny rogue. It's quite nice in the early to mid game. Later on you will pretty much cast all the time because the spells are so powerful.

 

If you are looking for low micro classes then sturdy melee chanters, barbs and fighters are best in my opinion. Barbs can be played with very low micro after some levels because they are good with their auto-attacks and still do AoE damage all the time. Chanters can just stand around an damage stuff with a chant while fighter's AI script is smart enough to be left alone for some time. 

Ranged characters in general require less micro. A blaster wizard, a ranger or a ranged rogue can do good damage with auto attacks.

Generally speaking casters of all sorts are the most easy to play. You can build them sturdy enough and they still can dish out tons of AoE dps or CC spells. They just need some levels to accumulate enough spells so that you don't have to rest all the time.

Ciphers can be very satisfying after some time because they can do a lot of weapon damage and add very powerful but cheap mind control spells which can turn impossible encounters to easy ones.

Edited by Boeroer
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Thanks for the response. :)

 

I just woke up so please correct me if I foobar anything -

(Also keep in mind I'm not really familiar with these skills do, why I asked if there was an up-do-date source, is the wiki maintained?)

 

Party 1

Me - Juggernaut - Iirc the OP of this build mentioned using 1-2 openers at 1 wound, spammed a frontal cone, and used a line attack that is the namesake of the build. I believe FoA was the AoE Debuff added to the build later? I'll have to refresh my memory on this. I don't think I'd necessarily mind having such a rotation and I'd rather like having a mobility ability to rush at mobs that broke through the front line to attack the back. Are the number of wounds clearly visible on the UI?

 

Custom Barb - The problem with Maneha is that they are from the second dlc. Putting that aside what would be a good build here? I probably couldn't handle your Immortal Marytr build (the idea of letting anyone get knocked out on purpose is at odds with MMO healer xp). Your leech build sounds more suitable for a main tank? (correct me if I'm wrong). Interrupt Barb might be more along the lines of what you were suggesting. Though that build seems ill suited for Maneha due to stats/race? In the end I'm thinking the barb would have to be a custom char.

 

Eder - Lord of Pain?

 

Custom Priest - Fire Priest seemed like the obvious pick for Durance until I looked at stats. Seems like that will be a sticking point trying to use these companions. Same with AndreaColombo's support priest. I'm having a bit of deja vu here. Perhaps using builds and companions is really not doable? Ok, so custom again.

 

Grieving Mother - Speedo?

 

Devil of Caroc - Mad Hornet?

 

Ok, I'll stop here for the moment. I've all but convinced myself that I need to just do a Hard playthrough with the companions I want. I wanted to try to do everything on one game, as I'm usually not one to replay an rpg, but it seems like I have to choose - Either side stories or a custom PotD party? One thing I'm sure of is my itch to break out the spreadsheets again. ;)

 

I suppose the alternative would be to make the MC a solo oriented build that can carry the official companions through the game? It would also alleviate the need to rush to get the ones I want asap. Though having Kana + Durance for buffs/heals would probably be ideal?

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I was about to ask if my assumptions on companion respecing was correct but I found a thread from march on the subject.

 

I'm assuming that it's still not possible to respec companion attributes with a mod? Sounds like they have (or had) the game update companion stats every time a save was loaded (due to a rebalance of their stats). Seems like they could have simply checked if the stats were the old values and only reset them if they were. Though using simple versioning would probably suffice as well. But I digress. If this is the case I suppose it's possible that companions added after the rebalance could be changed? I'm not sure on the timing but perhaps the DLC characters can be changed? Wishful thinking.

 

Otherwise changing anything other than attributes is possible upon recruitment, yes? The wiki wasn't clear on this but it seems one of the patches added this, correct?

 

Though I suppose you might be able to write a mod that would update companion stats after a save was loaded... off to nexus.

 

(Sorry for the possible double post, I'm still under moderation as a new account and I didn't want to derail another thread)

 

*edit* I must be blind I didn't even notice Clerith's response until now -

1) Yeah, I'm starting to see that's the case. I have found a few hits on reddit but I haven't found any that go into much detail.

 

2) In retrospect I guess I could have phrased my question better. I was actually meaning to ask what companions, and their respective builds would synergize with an MC using one of the builds I listed. That said it's good to know about the convo stats. In another thread here it was said you can get by most with some optional gear/buffs. So to answer your question I'd prioritize combat stats.

 

3) I have a horrible habit of following walkthroughs and deciding on how to proceed with quests based on the rewards. I'd like to blame it on some older CRPG's putting you in punishing boss battles that were much easier if you had just gotten that missable doodad. The reality is that I'm a completionist and don't often do multiple playthru's. At any rate I'll just have to look those up as I go. The thread on random loot tables should help some.

Edited by Kazuma
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Tbh, you can just use custom chars and swap in the story companions as and when to progress/complete their personal subquest. Those personal subquests don't require alot to complete. You don't miss out on too much except for the banter between certain party members.

Edited by mosspit
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Tbh, you can just use custom chars and swap in the story companions as and when to progress/complete their personal subquest. Those personal subquests don't require alot to complete. You don't miss out on too much except for the banter between certain party members.

 

Ah, Derp. I guess that's true. I don't know why that didn't occur to me after reading that characters at the stronghold get %75 xp. If I built my party around the idea of being 5 man then the official companion being a bit underleveled won't matter too much I suppose. Now I feel silly for making an unnecessary constraint.

 

Just to clarify from the wiki you can have up to 8 custom adventurers, but is there a max number of companions/custom chars you can have at the stronghold? I'm guessing not since there is already a cap on how many custom you can add.

 

It's too bad I'll miss out on banter but such is life. Though I suppose I'll have to take care with certain triggers for companion quests? Will I miss out on starting companion quests if they aren't in the party for certain events? I seem to recall there was something like this for eder?

Edited by Kazuma
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*edit* I must be blind I didn't even notice Clerith's response until now -

Nah, it took like 7 hours for my post to show up. I still have <5 posts, so a mod has to be awake to approve of my post before it goes through.

 

Party synergy, huh. That's a massive topic. There are so many ways to build characters and have synergy that it's really, really hard to just give you the best party. It depends on your skill level, knowledge of the game, encounters and mechanics, difficulty plays a huge part, how much you micro, how often you want to use potions, scrolls and food, how often you want to rest... basically, it depends on too many factors. 

 

However, I think that you can't go wrong with a main tank (usually fighter), off tank (paladin for support or monk for dps), priest (buffs and heal for tough fights) and a ranged dps (ranger, cipher, rogue, wizard...). Wizards (and druids too) are insanely powerful later on if you're willing to rest. You can pretty much clear any encounter with just spamming all of your good spells. There is also a concept of "high attack speed tactics", like having all of your dps ranged with a bow/gun and using a chanter with the chant that increases ranged attack speed, or the same for melee with Pallegina buffing attack speed with Vidorio.

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Speaking of party synergy once more: The Devil of Caroc is really good as a frontliner rogue with shield - preferably Badgrad's Barricade + Godansthunyr war hammer or a sabre. Then pair her with a wizard who does poison AoE spells like Malignant Cloud or Noxious burst (like Bilestomper wizard). She's immune to that - so you can just drop those spells on her while she attacks foes. Some of those spells will weaken which also counts for Sneak Attack/Deathblows. It's an aweseome team.

 

Mad Hornet is a build that you would want for a hireling I guess. The stats of the Devil are not so cool for that build and more importantly you can't take off her breatsplate - which is cool for melee but quite useless for somebody like the Mad Hornet.

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Nah, it took like 7 hours for my post to show up. I still have <5 posts, so a mod has to be awake to approve of my post before it goes through.

 

Party synergy, huh. That's a massive topic. There are so many ways to build characters and have synergy that it's really, really hard to just give you the best party. It depends on your skill level, knowledge of the game, encounters and mechanics, difficulty plays a huge part, how much you micro, how often you want to use potions, scrolls and food, how often you want to rest... basically, it depends on too many factors. 

 

However, I think that you can't go wrong with a main tank (usually fighter), off tank (paladin for support or monk for dps), priest (buffs and heal for tough fights) and a ranged dps (ranger, cipher, rogue, wizard...). Wizards (and druids too) are insanely powerful later on if you're willing to rest. You can pretty much clear any encounter with just spamming all of your good spells. There is also a concept of "high attack speed tactics", like having all of your dps ranged with a bow/gun and using a chanter with the chant that increases ranged attack speed, or the same for melee with Pallegina buffing attack speed with Vidorio.

 

I appreciate the devil is in the details but I wasn't asking for all new builds or anything. Just which pinned builds happened to work well with the MC builds I was considering running. I'm not stuck on having the best party. I just want one that works well together and can clear PotD without too much trouble. One thing I did like about my MC during my first playthru was per encounter abilities as a cipher. I don't remember the details about resting but from what I've gathered there is a limit to camping supplies you can carry? Chanter speed buffing is still a thing? I think I took advantage of that on my first run.

 

Speaking of party synergy once more: The Devil of Caroc is really good as a frontliner rogue with shield - preferably Badgrad's Barricade + Godansthunyr war hammer or a sabre. Then pair her with a wizard who does poison AoE spells like Malignant Cloud or Noxious burst (like Bilestomper wizard). She's immune to that - so you can just drop those spells on her while she attacks foes. Some of those spells will weaken which also counts for Sneak Attack/Deathblows. It's an aweseome team.

 

Mad Hornet is a build that you would want for a hireling I guess. The stats of the Devil are not so cool for that build and more importantly you can't take off her breatsplate - which is cool for melee but quite useless for somebody like the Mad Hornet.

 

Ah, there we go. So Devil of Caroc is innately immune to poison? That would indeed be a good pairing with bilestomper.  Is it very hard (or possible) to make a hireling that's immune to poison in the early game? Guess I need to read your thread on bilestomper a little closer. *edit* Oops, I guess I missed the mention of the Devil at the end of your build description. By the sound of it is an innate as she's a construct. I'm guessing making a hireling immune would take so much commitment in gear/abilities that I'd practically be running a second bilestomper?

Edited by Kazuma
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Highjacking the thread a bit: what is a good low micro dual wield class/build? I always end up playing shield + something on my melees and I kinda wish to try something different on Potd, but I fear any melee without a shield will get insta gibbed...

 

Barbs with Unlabored blade sounds cool, but that is a lvl12ish weapon, so pretty late game.

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A monk with dual weapons and high CON is absolutely great and sturdy anough, Torment's Reach is a Full Attack meaning that he will strike with both weapons in quick succession causein an AoE crush cone which can be huge each time he swings - but he is not low micro. A fighter can be a good low micro hybrid between dps and sturdyness. Knockdown is also a Full Attack. A high CON/MIG/INT barb with thick armor, dual weapons and Shod-in-Faith boots plus Veteran's Recovery and Savage Defiance is low micro and sturdy.

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A monk with dual weapons and high CON is absolutely great and sturdy anough, Torment's Reach is a Full Attack meaning that he will strike with both weapons in quick succession causein an AoE crush cone which can be huge each time he swings - but he is not low micro. A fighter can be a good low micro hybrid between dps and sturdyness. Knockdown is also a Full Attack. A high CON/MIG/INT barb with thick armor, dual weapons and Shod-in-Faith boots plus Veteran's Recovery and Savage Defiance is low micro and sturdy.

Barbs seems the way to go specially because we can abuse weapon procs. I guess I would need very high dex/per to abuse them right?

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@Kazuma: Yes the limit of 8 custom companions is still in place so that creates a restriction by itself.

 

No idea how much of the story do you already know but of all companions, Aloth and Eder has the potential to be missed.

 

For Aloth:

 

 

The location where he receives the conclusion to his quest will be destroyed at the end of Act 2. So this quest is progress-sensitive.

There is a trigger point for extra dialogue if you have him in the party just before meeting the special meeting room in Woedica Temple. But I am not sure if you absolutely need that trigger to progress his quest.

 

 

 

For Eder:

 

 

He needs a Cipher to complete his quest. The location where helpful Cipher are located will be emptied at the end of Act 2. However, if you have a main MC who is Cipher or Grieving Mother in the party when you progress the quest at Cliaban Rilag, an extra option to seek their help will be available.

 

 

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@mosspit

 

Yeah, I've gotten that far I believe. I think I've actually finished eder's quest. Not sure on Aloth's. I might not have been using him.

 

Thanks

 

Yeah, I'll go all custom then. Not going to fool around with mods/console commands that I haven't confirmed work (or might break in a future patch).

 

Time to break out the spreadsheets when I have the time I guess.

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The companions have stats that are good enough, no need to go custom min/max. In my opinion going full on min/max actually makes the game harder as you'll do more damage but will be much more vulnerable defense wise, especially on PotD. Also the banter is really nice.

 

For team synergy I like to have a Chanter (Kana) with the two regen auras, the cross class  paladin accuracy aura and the cross class druid debuff, with a Paladin (Pellaginna) with the zealous endurance (DR and hit>graze) and LoH for burst healing. Add in a Juggernaut Monk (Zahua can work) and you have three solid self supporting frontliners. At higher levels you'll have two big AoE damage auras to really kick it up to eleven.

 

Just need to add in a mechanic. For this I like to go with Devil with Starcaller flail (stun and spell striking) and Balgrdr Barricade shield.

 

With only these four I'm doing a PotD run (on hold for the next patch) and they are kicking ass. Plus everything is per encounter so they only rest to heal.

 

if instead you want to add two more guys you can grab whomever, just keep them close enough to the frontline to all fit in the auras. A Barb with a reach weapon standing in the second row would speed up the killing speed, especially after level 13 and Sacred Immolation. Between Carnage, Dragon Thrash and Immolation enemies will be dropping quickly, probably before they even get into contact range.

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@KDubya

 

Yeah, I was looking at one of the chanter builds and was leaning towards having at least 1 in my party. But then I got sidetracked (or rather I had to refocus on RL) so I haven't really worked out anything in regards to my party.

 

Gotta say your suggestion sounds very tempting. The problem is I'm not familiar with the mechanics enough to judge how I should redistribute stats when substituting companions in a build. I might be over thinking things. Are there stat prereq's for certain skills/gear? Putting that aside is there a particular role that you'd favor for the MC? I'm guessing Paladin as they get bonuses for depositions? Unless that ability is specific to Pellaginna.

 

Speaking of the next patch is there an expected release date or will it properly be done when it's done (tested)? I assume that you're waiting because some mechanic that effects your party is coming?

 

*edit* Derp, some of my own fridge logic here. Somehow the thought of respeccing companion stats got mixed into my thought process there. Partially to blame is DnD and many other CRPGs where you gain stats as you level. So, yes, I was over thinking things. If you guys say X companion will work for a build I just have to follow the skill/gear suggestions of the build. Though I suppose the latter might need adjustment from time to time.

 

Come to think of it that mindset crept into some of my other posts in this thread. /sigh.

 

Would the Bleak walker build be alright for the MC of that party? Not sure where I'd fit Zealous Endurance in there though.

Edited by Kazuma
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@KDubya

 

Yeah, I was looking at one of the chanter builds and was leaning towards having at least 1 in my party. But then I got sidetracked (or rather I had to refocus on RL) so I haven't really worked out anything in regards to my party.

 

Gotta say your suggestion sounds very tempting. The problem is I'm not familiar with the mechanics enough to judge how I should redistribute stats when substituting companions in a build. I might be over thinking things. Are there stat prereq's for certain skills/gear? Putting that aside is there a particular role that you'd favor for the MC? I'm guessing Paladin as they get bonuses for depositions? Unless that ability is specific to Pellaginna.

 

Speaking of the next patch is there an expected release date or will it properly be done when it's done (tested)? I assume that you're waiting because some mechanic that effects your party is coming?

Patch is out today on Steam at least.

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@dambros - oh? Guess there should be patch notes around here somewhere. I'll have to look for those and the actual patch in a few.

 

*edit* doesn't look like the notes have been posted yet.

Edited by Kazuma
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A monk with dual weapons and high CON is absolutely great and sturdy anough, Torment's Reach is a Full Attack meaning that he will strike with both weapons in quick succession causein an AoE crush cone which can be huge each time he swings - but he is not low micro. A fighter can be a good low micro hybrid between dps and sturdyness. Knockdown is also a Full Attack. A high CON/MIG/INT barb with thick armor, dual weapons and Shod-in-Faith boots plus Veteran's Recovery and Savage Defiance is low micro and sturdy.

Barbs seems the way to go specially because we can abuse weapon procs. I guess I would need very high dex/per to abuse them right?

 

You need high PER, not necessarily high DEX. Dual Wielding, Two Weapon Style and Frenzy will lower your recovery a lot so high DEX is not needed. It would be useful when you decide to use Tall Grass because there's no dual wielding and two handed style then. But it's ok then because with a reach weapon you can park him behind the front line and poke from a distance. You don't need that much armor and CON then and can put something into DEX.  

Edited by Boeroer

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Cool

 

Looks like Rogue, Barb, One Hand, and some misc ability tweaks. Not sure how much of a change any of it is. But I'm kinda surprised that Chanters didn't get their own buffs/heals? I thought that was part of the basis of Chanter tank builds? Or was that just a bug fix rather than a balance change?

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Chanters have one healing spell, but it's bad (at least that's my conclusion ;)). But they have an aura that works like Constant Recovery of a fighter, and it has the AoE range of their chants (=very big). It even stacks with Veteran's Recovery. They can reach better regeneration this way than fighters while also healing everything around them a bit while chanting.

 

They have buffing chants and invocations. But those are not too good. The paralyzing invocation is one of the best though, especially when Brisk Recitation has lowered the chanting taime a lot so you build up phrases more quickly. White Worms is also superpowerful if you know the tricks how to make it so. But the most effective approach for me is to combine high "normal" defenses (without chants and invocations, just talents and items) with damaging chants. First of all those chants attrack enemies and secondly most mobs will die before they can harm you too bad. Especially the Dragon Thrashed is so powerful that you don't have to tank long. Just long enough to survive the first 40 seconds or so whithout loosing too much health.

 

One thing with chanters: If you give them 3 DEX and never use invocations you're good. But if you want to build up phrases quickly and then do a lot of invocations please note that your recovery after an invocation will be abysmal and you won't chant in that time. That means not healing as well as well as no quick phrase reloading. So high DEX can help you a lot if you want to use Invocations as quickly as possible. If you don't want to build a tanking chanter but a ranged one I highly recommend high DEX in order to cast things like "Killers Froze Stiff" or "White Worms" or "Seven Nights" and whatnot.

 

Edit: edited the text a bit, sorry...

Edited by Boeroer

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Healing invocations = Level 0 Cantrip as a full round action?

 

Seriously though Invocations sound like a drag. At least for a tank build that dumps dex.

 

On another note I'm sitting here wondering why I just started this playthru without grabbing the update. /sigh I should of went to sleep hours ago.

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Well - some invocations can be really helpful, even with 3 DEX. Like reviving, charming and summoning for example. Or paralyzing when you want to set up a cone shaped debuff right before one of your teammates launches a damaging AoE attack. E.g. a monk who wants to execute Torment's Reach and you paralyze the group with your cone first right before he strikes.

Edited by Boeroer

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