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Need some advice for my first playthrough (POTD)

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This is my party setup...


Cipher PC

Role: Melee DPS/CC

Weapon: 2H Sword

Stats: 14 Mig, 16 Dex, 18 Int, 10 Con/Per/Res



Role: Tank

Weapon: Sword & shield



Role: Offensive Support

Weapon: 2H Sword



Role: Healer

Weapon: Staff



Role: Debuff/CC

Weapon: Scepter



Role: Ranged DPS

Weapon: Hunting Bow



And I have a few questions...

  1. Who would make a better tank, Eder or Pallegina? And what weapons and armor should I give them? I currently use Pallegina with Zealous Focus + Critical Focus.
  2. Durance seems to be quite squishy in his robes. Should I stick him in some medium/heavy armor? Right now I'm using him as a backline melee dude once he's done casting spells.
  3. 2H or dual wield for my melee DPS Cipher? And medium or heavy armor?
  4. I keep failing stat checks for some dialog options. How much content am I missing out on?



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Other people will have different ideas but personally I like the idea of a 2nd row Cipher because they require less micro management. They can do good damage with pikes/arbalests (Soldier) and Soul Whip, and their Powers give them lots of flexibility. Fighting in the open and an enemy engages you in Melee? Use Psychovampiric shield to gain +25 deflection. Fighting in hallways behind your tank? Use CC like Mind blades. Eyestrike and Phantom Foes are awesome for buffing a back row Rogue with Backstab (+50% DMG).


I'm about to start a PotD playthrough with a middle row Hearth Orlan Cipher. Personally, I'd put Eder and Pallegina on the front row. You can put Cipher in the front but it requires lots of micro, and keep in mind you get interrupted more frequently.


For the dialogue you're not missing much. Dialogue checks are mostly to avoid fighting and offer a bit of flavor. It's not really that important.

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If you like a 2handed cipher there's a variant that is lots of fun and powerful:


grab the Belt of the Belt of the Royal Deadfire Cannoneer and Forgemaster GLoves and use Firebrand as your main weapon as often as possible (6 per rest). With the good dmg bonuses of the cipher combined with other dmg bonuses like Svage Attack, Two Handed Style, Apprentice's Sneak Attack and also Scion of Flame you'll do immense damage per attack - one strike usually is enough to follow up with a good cipher spell.

I would prefer light to medium armor - but heavy armor is good in the early game. Just don't engage first but wait until Edér and Pallegina are engaged by enemies.

You can make the cipher a lot sturdier with Veteran's Recovery - it works very well with high INT and MIG. If you combine it with survival (4/8/12) and an itemd that lets you receive more healing you will have fighter-like sturdyness when it comes to endurance. But you have to watch your health bar!


If you don't like the idea then give it to Pallegina - her FoD strikes are great with Firebrand and she can even use Runner's Wounding Shot as fourth per-encounter attack after Wrath of the Five Suns and 2 x FoD.


If you want to build Edér as a tank with a shield then I'd vote for war hammers, not swords. The uniques are way better. I would not build him 100% defensive because... that sucks. ;) You can stil give him Disciplined Barrage and Kockdown and later grab Badgradr's Barricade or Dragon's Maw. Those two shields are great for offense as well. If you pair them with the Godansthunyr hammer you can be great at defense and offense.


Durance should be your primary buffer, not healer. If you use his spell uses for healing that's wasting precious resources. Use his spells for stuff like Devotions. Healing is better done via stuff like Veteran's Recovery and Lay on Hands etc. Of course - if you are in danger of going down DUrance should use healing - but in general I would see him as buffer, not healer. Buffing up your ACC is very important on PotD. Make sure he takes Inspiring Radiance. Its +10 ACC stack with everything. Cast it right at the start of the battle (ignoring the whimpy healing) and start your CC salve with +10 "free" ACC.

Durance will get rushed if he has low DR AND low defenses. YOu can prevent that with thick armor (=slow recovery) or a shield. SInce he has high RES his deflection with a shield is pretty decent (for a priest) and discourages a lot of enemies from attacking him.


General rule: Buff ACC --> do CC --> deal damage.


90% of the dialogue checks are unimportant. You'll get the same results without them. There are some checks that lead do a differnet outcome. For example you can talk a dragon into giving you an item - you'd have to kill him to get it otherwise (which I would do anyway).

I another situation you can get some permanent minor stat boost via talking. If you choose the violent way you get very rare enchantment resources instead. I'd take the resources. ;) For the rest of the game the dilogue checks are not very important except for roleplaying reasons.

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Thanks for all the advice. I need to rework my party a bit now   :)


I have some more questions. 

  1. What are your thoughts on scrolls? I am planning on giving my non casting chars some defensive scrolls to cast at the start of the engagement.
  2. Is it possible to rely entirely on potions (and vet's recover, second wind) for healing? It does seem wasteful for Durance to use up his spells on healing
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I found 1st, 2nd and 3rd line are very hypothetical roles. Many enemies swarm you on PotD so everyone needs to be able to take a beating.

This is true to a certain extent. In interior maps like Od Nua, there are chokepoints where you can position one or two members to block off access so they can't run through. On open maps like wilderness areas they can swarm you. I like sending my tanks well ahead to engage while keeping my ranged characters back. This mostly works well except against Primordials and Spores who can use mental afflictions on your front line (Charmed/Dominated/Confused). ;)

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I personally prefer Stormbow cipher that stays around the middle. You should definitely make Durance tanky with heavy armor and 1h/shield.


I personally always make Pallegina a support tank, because her stats kinda suck for dps imo. Her wielding Outworn Buckler from Gilded Vale + Durance or Kana (or anybody really) with Little Saviour from Caed Nua last level means you basically have +10 defense aura. Pallegina does the most of her dps via Sacred Immolation, anyway.


It all comes down to personal choice, but I'd drop Sagani for Kana. He can either make your party tankier or provide your ranged dps with buffs like Sure-Handed Ila Nocked Her Arrows with Speed and Aefyllath Ues Mith Fyr. I also give him a tanky setup with 1h/shield if he gets into unwanted melee engagements, but his main weapon is any ranged with +10 acc granted to ally attacking same target.


I usually make Edér a dedicated tank with retaliation gear. Although if you have priest for buffs it's probably not needed later on.

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