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Is cipher the most lore-centric character?


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Hey there! Been playing for almost 25 hrs now. Though I didn't find anything in particular that makes me regret my choice of being a fighter (which atm I enjoy a lot, especially due to the fact that I'm an orlan with high intelligence) I find it more obvious story-wise to be a cipher. Anyone of you got the same feeling?

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No, if anything the Cipher is the least because it originated in an area the PC has never been and hasn't spread as much as say Wizards or Druids have. IIRC correctly it gets the most dialogue options and is the most unique to the PoE setting, but it ain't the obvious story choice. Damn good class though.

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Cipher is certainly a strong contender, especially given how central manipulating souls already is to the story, but I would also nominate priest as a very lore-friendly protagonist, especially towards the end-game when you're dealing with the deities a lot more.  Not to mention it makes you a nice counterpart to Thaos, the priest villain driving the plot.  And if you want to REALLY commit to your watcher being personally invested in the story, be a priest of Eothas, especially with what the sequel's looking like.

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Cipher is certainly a strong contender, especially given how central manipulating souls already is to the story, but I would also nominate priest as a very lore-friendly protagonist, especially towards the end-game when you're dealing with the deities a lot more.  Not to mention it makes you a nice counterpart to Thaos, the priest villain driving the plot.  And if you want to REALLY commit to your watcher being personally invested in the story, be a priest of Eothas, especially with what the sequel's looking like.

 

I actually went and did that, make a priest of eothas as I thought it'd be an interesting thing.

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Any class is fitting because the PC is from another land (note that Dyrwood and all the other Eastern Reach regions are missing from backgrounds/cultures selection).

While ciphers are very rare, it does make sense that you'd find one running away from their past. They're like rogues that way.

Ciphers simply have interesting dialog options because they specialize in people. That's basically how cipher abilities work - they draw on the soul energy of living beings using the power of their minds.

Edited by scythesong
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Mmm yes, I also thought of Eothas' Priest (next choice maybe) but everywhere you go there seems to be an animancer or a cipher ready to greet you. And the soul reading ability that the main char got is very similar to that of a cipher. I will finish my plathrough for now, then will try another path.

 - There are 10 types of people: those who understand binary code, and those who don't. - 

 

 

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Yeah, for me at least Cipher seems to fit the story best. In fact, I reckon an Orlan cipher slave works well. Obviously any background will work, but it just fits. Only problem for me though, is I really don't like ciphers....

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Animancers deal with souls directly - they can tell you it's external state and its quality, and the good ones can actually shape, modify, store and transfer souls using PoE science and technology, but they can't actually tell much about its internal state or where it's been. You don't need any special abilities to become an animancer.

 

Ciphers deal with people, minds and memories - that's why they can find traces of a person's passing in inanimate objects. The good ones can also peer into a person's mind and its memories, including notable memories from previous lifetimes, but the method is apparently extremely complicated and can be intrusive, even dangerous - that's why ciphers don't normally go around using their powers on people (and why a lot of them are mistrusted and persecuted). Becoming a cipher apparently requires some talent and lots of mental and physical training.

 

A watcher is a very different kind of animal. A watcher is able to affect souls (much like an animancer) but is able to do so directly, without the need for tools or training. A watcher is also able to study a soul and figure out its present state and history intuitively- there is no "mental" aspect to it like how a cipher does it, so the act is very subtle and not as intrusive. Essentially while a cipher invades the mind, a watcher invades the soul.

Skilled watchers are incredibly powerful individuals who are basically able to interact directly with soul energy, which is important because all magic apparently comes from soul energy. This allows them to perform amazing feats.

You're either a watcher or you're not - while the possibility exists that someone can become a watcher (it is not explicitly confirmed that the PC was born with the ability), the process is apparently a live-and-become-one-or-die-horribly thing.

Edited by scythesong
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Animancers deal with souls directly - they can tell you it's external state and its quality, and the good ones can actually shape, modify, store and transfer souls using PoE science and technology, but they can't actually tell much about its internal state or where it's been. You don't need any special abilities to become an animancer.

 

Ciphers deal with people, minds and memories - that's why they can find traces of a person's passing in inanimate objects. The good ones can also peer into a person's mind and its memories, including notable memories from previous lifetimes, but the method is apparently extremely complicated and can be intrusive, even dangerous - that's why ciphers don't normally go around using their powers on people (and why a lot of them are mistrusted and persecuted). Becoming a cipher apparently requires some talent and lots of mental and physical training.

 

There may also be some who have a latent cipher ability or the ability came naturally, which seems to be the case for Grieving Mother. Though there isn't anything in her dialogue that absolutely points towards training or towards it having developed naturally.

 

Vithracks are apparently natural ciphers, so, it's plausible for some individuals who have latent abilities or it developed naturally.

Edited by smjjames
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Grieving Mother is indeed an odd case, which is one of the reasons why the character is so interesting. If you ask around in Hadret House you get the impression that ciphers don't just intuitively learn their trade - they have to work at it constantly, and it even took improved relations with the Glanfathan "mind hunters" for them to refine and standardize their cipher techniques.

 

 

Grieving Mother, on the other hand, is so powerful that even among the NPCs only one or two people realize that something is off about her. Maybe she's the equivalent of a prodigy?

 

 

It makes sense for some races to have a natural inclination towards certain soul energy practices, like how delemgans are natural (heh) druids.

Edited by scythesong
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Grieving Mother is indeed an odd case, which is one of the reasons why the character is so interesting. If you ask around in Hadret House you get the impression that ciphers don't just intuitively learn their trade - they have to work at it constantly, and it even took improved relations with the Glanfathan "mind hunters" for them to refine and standardize their cipher techniques.

 

 

Grieving Mother, on the other hand, is so powerful that even among the NPCs only one or two people realize that something is off about her. Maybe she's the equivalent of a prodigy?

 

 

It makes sense for some races to have a natural inclination towards certain soul energy practices, like how delemgans are natural (heh) druids.

 

 

 

And powerful enough to manipulate the minds of an entire village. Though yeah, she's something of a plothole (or an anomaly perhaps) since theres no indication that she was trained by someone else and the only other person who seems that tier of powerful is Lady Webb. However, a good deal of Lady Webbs ability reputation appears to be rumors that were spun due to her being secretive, so, her true power isn't really known to the player.

 

 

Actually, it was improved relations PLUS working with animancers that helped them refine and improve their techniques.

Edited by smjjames
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It see what OP is getting at. Most of the other classes like fighters and druids are kind of D&D staples, whereas the Cipher stands out a little more, especially against the background of all that Soul talk. That being said, although Scythesong explains it well enough above, I do think that the concepts of Ciphers and Watchers blur a little. Although they're fun enough as a class, I'm not sure that Pillars as a story really needed them.

Edited by Heijoushin
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  • 2 weeks later...

And only because a PC cipher can skip going to Hadret House in Eders quest and do it themselves. Giving them a few more dialouge options for their class.

 

But yeah I think the Orlan Cipher gets the most - makes sense, new race and class - so that might've been their default character in testing.

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