Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire


Most of the games you have cited absolutely cared about min/maxing “to this degree”. It’s just that they had mechanically different (and typically “less intensive”) systems. That means the caring looks different. But it doesn’t necessarily mean they cared less. If you wanted to play a smooth talker in Fallout you still catered to that with progression choices, you know? Also DA:O contains the least thematic and therefor most min/maxy single mechanic ever (the “spend a precious skill point to get the AI stuff lulz!”, what fucking garbage).

Pillars’ system is very weird, and it’s certainly far from my favorite. It’s my least favorite BIS/Troika/Obsidian system that wasn’t D&D. I do like it better than all of Bioware’s post D&D systems, but that’s a low bar. I think the move scale abilities on power level will actually alleviate some of the weirdness. But we’ll see I guess? I would prefer something that’s more, hmmm, OSR (or 0e/1e D&D if you prefer) certainly. Never 2e. Although I wonder if you ever got a good look at 3.5e; it put the 2e to shame.

Pathfinder was never worse than 3.5e. But like 3.5e, it went sort of crazy with all the expansion books. They don’t add crunchiness per se. Just pure cheese.


But did they add as much cheese as The Complete Book of Elves?

Anyone? Bladedancers?


It’s more stuff like “I have a device on my arm that contains a spring loaded wand. It does not preclude bracers/gloves/etc. It allows me o instantly equip and wuse this wand and bypass the action economy entirely”. Or a shirt that can store a potion use, which allows the same thing. Or cheap consumable items that cover every possible magic weapon defense so bypassing that stuff is easier (in fairness, they sort of had to add these because you couldn’t guarantee a caster with t he appropriate abilities would show up for tournament play).

Allthough after the first four player’s guides (PHB, APG, Ultimate Magic, Ultimate Might) the classes did start getting a lot worse. Touch attack based classes, e.g. In those four books, the Magus is the cheesiest dude there is.


What if you had an army of ghost bears and dual wielding gunnery pistol Rangers?

(I’m going to miss the beta when it’s gone… :P)


No, not even close - look at the tangible examples I gave (and those of Mister Mourning and Fifth Fret). It’s funny that you mention Fallout since it’s one of the games that most supports misfit, non-optimal characters. Classless development systems in general are more flexible to play styles.

On the other stuff in your post, I agree: despite my issues, I don’t hate POI’s systems compared to those used by other RPGs - and in some ways I respect them a lot more than many of the lazy system designs we get - they just emphasize analysis and considerations that I don’t find interesting so they’re busywork. I definitely agree with your comments on D&D 3.5e - my comments on Pathfinder was really intended to include that in the same category.


I honestly think you’ve let the conversation here give you the wrong impression. Character creation takes about all of five or so minutes. If you want to keep it simple, don’t multi-class, pick whatever appeals to you, spend your stat points, pick your race and background, fiddle with the limited cosmetic options, give the toon a name, and you’re done. After that it’s standard inventory and party mgmt, lots of exploration and dialogue, and leveling up requires glancing over a fairly simple skill page and tweaking your class in whatever direction you desire.


I had a lot of fun with this build, which was requested on youtube comments (truth be told I’m getting too many requests to reasonably fulfill at this point) but I did want to put this together quick because I really like both Paladin’s and Wizards.


So what would the best combo be to recreate the legendary kensai/mage dual class from Baldurs Gate 2?


I’ll watch it when I get home but I have to ask, does it wreck enemies?


Spoilers - it does indeed. :) Pretty damned effective. And a ton of fun, to boot.


That’s a great question. My first instinct is you would want a Fighter (Devoted) to pick your weapon type with, but there aren’t any Katana type weapons in Pillars. I’d recommend Sabre, the highest damage weapon for one handed weapons. Then you put nothing in your offhand for that sweet, sweet +12 accuracy bonus (one handed, empty offhand). Plus, an empty off hand thematically makes sense as part wizard (even if it isn’t actually required).

For Mage, you pick buffs (like I did in the Arcane Knight video) and utility spells with some nice damage options such as Shocking Touch to round things out (shocking touch, iirc, will make your next melee attack shocking touch-enhanced, so your next Sabre strike in this case).

Just theory crafting, there may be other ways to go. Probably there are better ways to build it, but that’s where I’d start.


Hey thanks! I take it there is no time stop equivalent? Slow would probably be pretty good though I would guess.


Slow would be a good substitute for the early level, but we don’t really know what’s coming in later levels because the beta tops out at power level (“tier”) 5 though the full version will go up to power level 9, so who knows.


For all the builds you have tried out Scott, what was your favorite? Which build are you going to start with on release?


Arcane Knight = Mage Knight= I might go with this.

Paladins always seemed to me to be better than Fighters.

I’d be interested in comparing an Arcane Knight to a Crusader (Paladin/Fighter.)

I’m also curious as to how a Thaumaturge (Wizard/prierst) would work. My initial thoughts are that there wouldn’t be much synergy?


Oh, that’s a tough question. You monster.

I’m leaning to making a pure mage for my first character - I typically do this in any big RPG so I’m just following form. However, I’m going to be doing some multi-classing with my party members because I’m much more comfortable with it than I was a few weeks ago before I really started to dive in.

Putting aside terms like “best” or “efficient” my favorite combinations have been Rogue/Fighter, Rogue/Monk, Wizard/Paladin, and Barbarian/Fighter but not necessarily in that order. There are just so many ways to build a character now, it’s kind of mind blowing.


If you want a tank, look no further. The bonuses to defensive stats like deflection from Deep Faith coupled with ways to gain extra armor, and on the fighter side you have weapon specialization and can eventually reduce recovery with heavy armor, it’s crazy.

I talked about one I built (but didn’t record) here:

But if off-tank or damage dealer is your goal, I think an Arcane Knight would be tough to beat between the two.


Depends what you’re trying to do. Fighters mop the floor with Paladins in overall DPS and crowd control.

Paladins are harder to take down and bring more support.


I’m telling’ y’all, the Votary (monk/paladin) is the bee’s knees. If you’re a min/max’er and want raw DPS, the Holy Slayer slays like nothing else, at least at the beta’s power levels, if spec’d right.


It seems like dps and not CC is the current meta, but if I wanted to play a C C character what do we think would be the best at it?