Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Character Creation and Stat Help Guide
If you just started the Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire - Ultimate Edition, have no fear: our character guide can help you get going.
There is a lot that goes into creating your first character in an RPG like Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire. It becomes an even more daunting task if you don’t have a background in playing similar CRPG games or any of the various tabletop RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, or Shadowrun.
With the recent release of Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire – Ultimate Edition, this little helper guide will spell out clearly in plain terms what makes the various classes of PoE2 unique, what the various classes can do, and a rundown of the different stats and terms you will want to know. Hopefully, for any new players out there, this will make your trip sailing around the Deadfire Archipelago a bit more enjoyable!
The first choice you are presented with when creating a new character will be what race your new avatar will be. Who and what will be looking back at you when you look in the mirror? Your choice of race in Deadfire won’t lock you out of any class options. The natural stat bonuses that some races have though make some a better fit than others.
Look in the mirror. That’s a human. In the world of Eora, we may not excel in any specific area, but we can be pretty good at anything! This race does have a small bonus to both the Might and Resolve stats. We’re strong and determined folk, so watch out world!
Quick, nimble, and keenly aware of their surroundings, these refined beings are your typical elf. Pointy ears, perfect eyebrows, and lacking any marks or scars of acne from elf puberty. With their innate bonuses to both the Dexterity and Perception stats, they make for great rangers and anything that relies heavily on accuracy.
Whereas most fantasy dwarves like to dwell in mountains and mines, the dwarves of Eora prefer the sunlight and exploring the world. With a large bonus to their Might stat and a reasonable bonus to their Constitution, a dwarf can dish out the damage just as well as they can take it. They aren’t all the nimble of their feet however, suffering a penalty to their Dexterity stat. Even with this detriment, if you desire to play as Dora the Explorer if she was an angry barbarian that thirsts for the blood of her enemies, you’ll want to go dwarf.
Basically a mix of a traditional fantasy gnome and Ratchet from Ratchet and Clank. Small and incredibly perceptive, these individuals sport the highest natural bonus to the Perception stat with a resolve bonus similar to that of humans. Their smaller stature, however, means they don’t hit as hard, suffering from a negative penalty to their Might stat. Who needs size when you can shoot something with a blunderbuss from 100 yards though?
Creatures whose physical features share some similarities with the gods of Eora; not to be confused with God-like characters who are overpowered. Their natural bonuses are to Dexterity and Intellect which would make characters of this race nice magic users. Being godlike doesn’t make you god-like, but you can be god-like whether or not you are godlike. God it?
These are the big’uns of Eora. These large folk are known for their strength, getting the largest natural bonus to the Might stat out, matched only by dwarves. Making this a great choice if you want a character that hits really really hard. Apparently, according to the series lore, they also really like the water, basically making them angry land whales.
Your class is basically your character’s job; each has its own strengths and weakness that you will need to play to. Some will sling spells while others are really good at bashing in faces up close, and there are others that just want to make you feel better. Filling out your ragtag band of heroes to complement each other is important, as is making sure your bases are all covered.
In PoE2: Deadfire, you are able to raise your character’s level to a max of 20, with each level unlocking new abilities and skills for your class. If you are feeling especially adventurous, you can even choose a couple of classes to create a new and unique fusion of the two. For this guide though, we are going to be covering just an overview of the class in general and not the specific sub-classes for each, but you can have fun experimenting with additional created characters you can hire for your party!
The ol’ barbarian will be your go-to class if you want to whack stuff really hard, throwing yourself straight into fights with big groups of enemies. They have this handy ability where every time they successfully hit someone, any other enemies around them will also take some damage. Pretty handy when you want to Hulk-out and go crazy on a mob. May or may not require you to scream “BY THE POWER OF GREYSKULL” when doing so.
- Big damage
- A simple concept for new players to wrap their heads around.
- Not too good at taking care of themselves, will need a healer of some sort to keep them alive for long.
A chanter is basically your best friend who will tell you about how awesome you are to hype you up while berating people who tarnish your name with colorful metaphors. The phrases that a chanter naturally…well, chants, can make your party do better and make your enemies do worse. They can also summon dragons and stuff with their chants, something a certain best friend should really learn to do, DAVE.
- Because their chants are done passively, aka you don’t have to tell them to, you can also use them to attack now and then too, whether with a bow or up-close weapon.
- Positioning matters with chanters, so to get the most out of them, you will need to pick spots where they can affect the enemies/allies you need them to.
Where the chanter was like your best friend, a cipher is like that one ex. They know exactly what buttons to press, how to use sweet talk to manipulate you, and what to say to hurt you the most. They’re mind wizards! This class specializes in charming foes, crippling them with various status effects, and just hurting the soul on an existential level. Lucky for you though, these horrors of the mind are cast on your enemies, not on you! Hurray!
- A good background support character. You will want to keep the big bodies up front between you and the enemies, but the damage a good cipher can do can make all the difference in a big fight.
- Your character won’t be hitting hard with weapons, so if an enemy comes in close for a fight with you, you may be in trouble.
Want to turn into an animal or use the power of nature to mess up the day of your enemies? The druid then is for you! You’ll have the ability to shape-shift (called spirit-shift in this game) into a wolf, bear, cat, boar, Bambi, or some lightning with arms and legs. Shocking! You can also utilize the power of the elements to fling spells, heal your friends, tangle up enemies with plants, hurl death and their faces. Basically, you’re Captain Planet just with a pinch more death sprinkled in.
- Tons of options to play your character allowing you to fill multiple party roles if needed.
- You can’t shapeshift into a druid were-salmon. The tragically underrated and overlooked classic horror monster.
Do you want to fulfill your fantasies of standing as the lone hero against an onslaught of evil? Your sword in hand, the last vestiges of sunlight gleaming off your sturdy shield? A bit less one-note-ish than the barbarian, the fighter is a good balance of attack and defense, allowing you to dish out some hurt by mule kicking them down, while also switching to a more defensive stance with your shield. This is also a good class for people who play Scorpion in Mortal Kombat, since you can “GET OVER HERE!” enemies to you.
- Good at many things
- Live out your medieval hero fantasy
- Lacks in the healing department. Any healing you can do on your own will have to be done via potions and other items.
Do you frequently feel like slapping people and telling them to stop whatever it is they are doing to annoy you? Then, my friend, the monk is for you! Monks have a wide assortment of moves that allow you to interrupt actions that enemies are taking. A pesky wizard and their spells for example. Wearing as little as possible will also help, as it will speed up your attacks, making you a naked slapping machine of doom!
- That satisfied feeling when you keep stopping the enemies from doing what they want to do
- Free reign to sing “Everybody was Kung-Fu Fighting” when you play as one, as much as you want.
- You’re at your best when you’re naked. Skin doesn’t do a good job stopping swords and stuff. Squishy.
Have you watched the movie, The Blues Brothers? First off, if you haven’t, you should. Second, if you have, then being a Paladin basically makes you an honorary Blues Brother. You’re on a mission from God. You will be pointing out the parting which bad-guys are extra bad, marking them and causing them to take more damage. When you aren’t enhancing your weapons with the godly power that will cause them to deal additional damage, you will exude special auras that will benefit your party with bonuses. You can even do some healing, but don’t make the priest jealous or they will let you die.
- A good class if you want to be in the thick of things but also be able to heal yourself when things get bad.
- You want to be sturdy, so decking yourself out in the sweetest and shiniest armor and gear is preferred.
- You are a not a healer, do not pretend you are a healer. Leave the healing to the healer.
From a heart with a sword stuck through it to merely a flesh wound, the priest will be the one to patch you up and get the party back to adventuring. As a priest, you will have to contend with the rogue character’s poor decisions that make them the focus of your enemies’ attention, the heavier-duty characters when they get in over their heads, and the frustration that you can’t actually smite the inept members of your party with your gods’ righteous fury. It’s a fun class though, I swear!
- All the heals!
- Squishy up close
- Having to save idiot AI companions
Rangers in Deadfire are less the color spandex-wearing variety and more the bow-and-arrow pew pew variety. With skills that increase your accuracy, you will be hitting a lot more critical shots, dealing a lot of damage. You also be able to wound and slow enemies, causing them to bleed and take damage over time. As a last little perk, you will get yourself that pet antelope (or a bear, boar, lion stag, wolf, or bird) you’ve always wanted, to help you out!
- You get a faithful animal friend that can go on adventures with you.
- The long range shenanigans you can pull can really help you deal with groups of enemies that are more spread out.
- You can’t pet your pet (your companion Eder can though!)
The rogue class is your mysterious sneaky stabby class, sticking to the shadows and opting to deal with encounters in a more opportunistic fashion. Your mission will be to deal a lot of damage very quickly and then get out before the enemy can hit you back. That’s what those meathead fighter and barbarians are for! If you want, you can even be a smooth-talking suave debonair kind of rogue that lets you charm your foes…before you then kill them.
- Pickpocketing and lock picking are great out-of-combat skills that the rogue excels in. Doing so can net you some great stuff, but just be careful to not get caught!
- A whole lot of damage can be done fast. At later levels, you can even one-shot enemies before they know you’re there.
- Have an escape plan: rogues can’t handle mobs. A bit too squishy.
- Hard to pull off being as cool or sneaky as your character in real-life.
You’re a wizard, __(fill in name here)__. You magic stuff, it dies.
- Large assortment of flashy attacks
- Best for Harry Potter roleplaying
- You’re left kinda powerless the rest of the fight if you expend all of your spells in that combat.
- In order to cast spells fast, you need to keep your equipment load light, making you squishy up-close.
Might: This attribute affects how much damage you do, how effective the treatment is when you are healed, and affects your fortitude value, which helps protect against the effects of things like poisons and disease.
- 1 point in the Might attribute
- Increases the damage you do by 3%
- Increases the potency any healing does by 3%
- Increases your Fortitude value by 2
Dexterity: This attribute improves your Action Speed, a higher value will allow all of your attacks to happen quicker, and contributes to your Reflex stat. It should be noted though, if you play on Turn-based mode, a higher Dexterity will lower your initiative value allowing you to act sooner. It will also allow you to move farther each turn by increasing your Stride value.
- 1 point in the Dexterity attribute
- Increases your Action Speed by 3%
- Increases how far you can travel per turn by 4% (Turn-based mode only)
- Increases your Reflex value by 2
Constitution: This stat attribute increases how much health you have and your fortitude value, which helps protect against the effects of things like poisons and disease.
- 1 point in the Constitution attribute
- Increases your health by 5%
- Increases your Fortitude value by 2
Resolve: This attribute will lessen the length of how long you are afflicted by negative effects from an enemy. It will also help contribute to your Will defense, which helps protect against spells and attacks of the mind, and your Deflection defense, which protects against single target direct attacks via melee or ranged attacks.
- 1 point in the Resolve attribute
- Decreases the duration of negative effects by 3%
- Increases your Deflection value by 1
- Increases your Will value by 2
Perception: This attribute contributes both to your Accuracy, which makes your attacks more likely to hit and be critical hits, and your Reflex stats, which make it easier for your character to avoid the damaging area of effect attacks.
- 1 point in the Perception attribute
- Increases your Accuracy value by 1
- Increases your Reflex value by 2
Intellect: This attribute contributes to the Will defense of your character, which helps protect against spells and attacks of the mind. A higher Intellect stat will also increase the durations of your effects and grow the area an ability effects and can reach.
- 1 point in the Intellect attribute
- Increases the area of effect of abilities by 10%
- Increases the duration of an abilities effect by 5%
- Increases your Will value by 2
Damage Type: Weapons, spells, and abilities do damage of various types. Armor, shields, and other items will have corresponding values for each of these damage types which will reduce the amount of damage that you from those types of attacks.
- Types of Damage:
Armor Rating: A value that comes from both the character’s equipped armor and their natural armor, this is calculated against an attack’s Penetration value to find how much damage a unit will take.
Recovery: This value affects the amount of time a character must take before taking another action. Attacks, abilities, spells, and armor all affect a character’s Recovery. The higher the value, the longer time it will take before a character is able to act again.
Initiative (Turn-based mode only): Decides the order you act in combat. The lower the value, the faster you move. Equipment a character has on will affect the value.
Penetration: The amount of damage that an attack that goes through comes from the calculation between an attack’s Penetration value and the target’s Armor Rating. Depending on the value, your attacks can do more or less damage.
- Penetration Value is 2x the Armor Rating Value = 30% additional Damage
- Penetration value >= Armor Rating = listed amount of damage
- Penetration value < Armor Rating = damage is reduced by 70%
There’s a lot to think about when you create a character in Pillars of Eternity 2. For new players, especially those without a tabletop background, it can be downright overwhelming. Hopefully, this little guide will help make the experience slightly less intimidating. If you are worried that you may make a wrong decision, there are really good newcomer difficulty options that will let you experience the story without worrying about tackling tough encounters. Just have fun, go crazy, try and recreate a favorite character of yours in the world of Deadfire. That’s part of the fun of RPGs like this, after all! Now go save Eora, hero!