On this page, you can find some basic tips for simple character builds. This is supposed to help beginners with their first few characters. There are way more options, but we do not want to take away the fun for the power gamers and others that want to experiment with all the tools at their disposal.
- Weapon Guide
- Armor Guide
- Role Guide
- Melee Weapon Damage Dealer
- Ranged Weapon Damage Dealer
- Flexible Weapon Damage Dealer
- Ability Generalist
- Damage Ability User
- Battlefield Control
- Creature User
- Out-of-Combat Utility
Many different character builds rely on weapons for consistent damage. There are a plethora of different options with their own strengths and weaknesses. We will go over different weapon fighting styles and the most common strategies.
The Path that fits best for a pure weapon-wielder is the Path of Attack, which increases the number of weapon attacks you can make with the Attack action, or how much damage they deal with each Tier. This Path is definitely the best choice if you mostly just want to hit your enemies with your weapon of choice.
A more nuanced option would be the Path of Maneuver. This does not increase the amount of damage that you can directly deal with your weapons, but it powers up the Maneuvers that you can use with weapon attacks to such a degree that you can keep up with pure Damage Ability users when it comes to damage output. This type of weapon-wielder plays more like a pure Ability user and requires more thought and WP management.
There is also the option for the Path of Flash Attack. This allows you to make an attack for half the damage for only 1 AP but at the cost of not being able to use the normal Attack action on your turn. This allows you to play an Ability-weapon-hybrid with high burst damage but low endurance, attacking and using an Ability in the same turn but not having an effective attack option when your WP runs out. Another alternative for the Path of Flash Attack is a hyper-defensive fighting style that uses the Defend action on each turn but can still attack with the last AP.
Every weapon has a Greater Talent, which helps you specialize in it. Taking one of them is a good choice if you want to have a signature weapon type.
Maybe you want to wield a weapon that your Archetype is not proficient with. You can get the proficiency by choosing the Lesser Talent Extended Weaponry or the Greater Talent Full Arsenal (if you want every weapon and armor proficiency covered as well).
Sometimes the Stats of your weapon do not fit with the Primary and Secondary Stats of your Archetype. In that case, you have two options.
The first option is to take features that allow you to wield weapons with different Stats. There is a multitude of ways to achieve this. The Lesser Talent Raw Force Adept allows you to change one Stat of any weapon you are wielding to Strength, even if it already has Strength as one of its Stats. The Lesser Talent Quick Fingers Adapt allows you the same but with Dexterity instead of Strength.
The Tier 1 feature of the Predator, Dancer, and Battle-Engineer Sub-Archetypes allows you to change one Stat of a weapon you are wielding to Instinct, Charisma, or Intelligence correspondingly unless it already uses that Stat.
Finally, the Archetype feature Unarmed Fighting Arts of the Unarmed Archetype allows all kinds of combinations of the Stats Constitution, Will, Intelligence, Instinct, and Charisma.
The other option is to take the Lesser Talent Diverse Weapon Choice, which gives you a bonus for your attack rolls and damage of weapons you do not wield with your Primary or Secondary Stat.
Melee vs. Ranged
Probably the most important choice you have to make when choosing a weapon is to decide if you take a melee or ranged weapon.
Melee weapons deal more damage and ignore half cover. They are a good option to pressure opponents out of their defensive positions. On the other hand, their limited range forces their wielders to find ways to cover the distance between them and their targets. Their wielders also tend to be more exposed to the enemies since they have to leave their cover to rush to them.
Ranged Weapons allow you to stay in a defensive position by taking advantage of their higher range. However, they have disadvantage on their attack rolls when an enemy manages to get close to them. Many ranged weapons also have the Reload property that increases the amount of AP that you require for the Attack and Flash Attack actions by 1. This disadvantage has to be compensated with the Automated Reloader Upgrade or the Lesser Talent Quick Draw. They also tend to be louder.
It is usually good to keep a backup weapon, even if you specialize in one or the other. That way, you have an emergency option if you are forced into ranged or melee combat.
See Melee Weapon Damage Dealer and Ranged Weapon Damage Dealer in the chapter Role Guide for more information about potential builds.
Multi-Attack vs. Hard-hitting
The Path of Attack allows you to choose between more weaker attacks or fewer stronger attacks.
Fewer, stronger attacks are better against heavily armored opponents, but they are more miss or hit. They are also weaker against hordes of weaker enemies. It is good to have an Ability that can hit multiple targets for those cases like Cleave and Projectile Barrage.
More, weaker attacks allow you to use more Maneuvers since you can only use one per attack. They are good for crowd control. A good way to compensate for their weakness against heavy armor is by getting the Armor Piercer Upgrade.
There is also always the option for a more balanced approach. This is recommended if you do not know what to choose.
Precision vs Damage
An important question is if your character should prioritize precision or damage. The first one is better against Evasion builds, and the former is better against Armor builds. A balanced approach is also a valid option.
The Greater Talent Overaim allows you to take advantage of high precision by allowing you to get more critical hits against low Evasion targets.
The baseline for offensive weapons is two-handed weapons. They generally just deal more damage without any negative effects. Two-handed melee weapons also have an increased range of 2 m instead of 1 m. They are a balanced option if you like reliable damage.
The Lesser Talent Two-handed Attacker is important to get the most out of wielding weapons with two hands.
Just wielding a one-handed weapon with nothing else in your second hand seems to be just a weaker option, but with the help of the Lesser Talent One-Handed Precision, they are rather good for a precision build.
The empty hand also provides extra utility and can be used to grab an enemy. The Lesser Talents Dirty Fighter and Dirty Opportunity give you the tools you need to take advantage of your empty hand. Fighting with only a one-handed weapon is not to be underestimated. What it lacks in raw power, it makes up with precision and tactical options.
Wielding a one-handed weapon in each hand allows you, in combination with the Lesser Talent Multi Wielder, to make an additional attack with your Attack or Flash Attack action that deals half of a weapon attack’s normal damage. This does, however, reduce your attack rolls by 1. This makes dual-wielding a high-damage option with lower precision.
More attacks means also more chances to use Maneuvers. This gives you more options for crowd control and support. The attacks also profit more from anything that directly increases the damage of all your attacks, like the Abilities Spirit Buffs, Battle Rage, and the Weapon Buffs, or the Greater Talent Hard Hitting. The Tier 2 features of the Dancer, Champion, and Sage also help you in this regard.
Remember that you can also upgrade the second attack with Path of Attack.
The precision and damage of the single attacks are relatively low. This makes dual-wielding technically neither strong against high Evasion, nor high Armor builds.
Weapon and Shield
The weapon and shield combination is great for a more defensive playstyle. It may have the lowest damage potential of all weapon combinations, but an additional +2 to Evasion should not be underestimated. It also has the advantage that you do not need any Lesser Talents to make it work.
It is a simple but effective way of fighting. Remember, however, that shields increase the WP cost of non-Maneuver Abilities by 1. You need the Lesser Talent Shield Mage if you want to avoid that.
However, maybe you wish to do more with your shield instead of just blocking with it. Maybe you want to use it as a second weapon. A combination of the two Lesser Talents Shield Basher and Multi Wielder allows you to effectively attack with both your shield and weapon. This has similar strengths and weaknesses as dual-wielding weapons, but it needs one additional Lesser Talent and has slightly lower damage.
You can, of course, just discard the weapon and only wield shields. You can wield a shield just like a weapon, even if it is slightly less effective.
Do not forget that your shield can also be upgraded. You can use Improved Shield and Lighter Shield to increase your Evasion or Hardened Shield to increase your Armor. You can also give it any upgrade that you can give a weapon should you rather be interested in its offensive capabilities.
You need the Lesser Talent Trained Fists (unless your Character has the Unarmed Archetype) to be effective in unarmed combat. Otherwise, you barely deal any damage.
You can use unarmed strikes like a one-handed weapon, or, with the Lesser Talent Multi Wielder, you can use it like two weapons.
Unarmed Combat has one vital flaw. You cannot upgrade your fists. This way, other weapons will outclass it eventually. It is important to get the Greater Talent Masters Fist to compensate for that weakness.
An alternative to get the flavor for unarmed combat but still be able to upgrade your weapons is to get the Lesser Talent Natural Weapon. This does not just allow for more customizability but is also great if you want to play a creature with claws or other organic weapons.
Two-Handed Weapons with One Hand
The Lesser Talent Immense Grip allows you to wield two-handed weapons with one hand at the cost of -1 to your attack rolls. This is a great choice if you want to increase your damage output at the cost of precision or just role-play as someone that wields oversized weapons in one hand.
You can combine this with the Lesser Talent Multi Wielder for the highest potential direct damage you can do with weapons. This comes, of course, at the cost of the lowest precision compared to other weapons and having to carry around heavier weapons.
Yes, this works with two bows. You figure out how that makes sense if you decide to do that.
There are many upgrades for your weapons that allow you to get creative. This is, however, a guide for beginners, so you basically only have to keep two upgrades in mind if you want to be effective. Do you want more damage? Take Improved Weapon. Do you want a higher chance of hitting your target? Take Precise Weapon.
There are four types of armor: clothes, light, medium, and heavy. The further right you go, the higher the Armor is, but the Evasion Cap is lower, and the weight increases. Different Archetypes start with different armor proficiencies, but you can gain proficiencies with the Lesser Talents Lightly Armored, Decently Armored, and Fully Armored. Alternatively, you can gain all proficiencies at once with the Greater Talent Full Arsenal.
There are other options, but the main two builds are for Evasion and Armor. Lighter armors are better for Evasion builds, and heavier armors are better for Armor builds. Evasion builds profit from the Lighter Armor and Evasion Armor upgrades. Armor builds mostly just need the Extra Armor upgrade. You can also strive for a balanced approach.
High Armor is great against many weaker attacks but weaker against fewer stronger attacks. High Evasion is great against attacks but weak against Abilities and features that force you to make DR.
Here are suggestions for the common roles that a character can take. Please take into account that these are just basic recommendations. You can be far more creative when designing your character, but this is a good starting point for beginners.
The Sub-Archetypes have been sorted into the role they have been primarily designed for. For Example, a Rusher may have defensive features, but their focus is on melee weapons, and therefore you can find them in the Chapter Melee Weapon Damage Dealer. This guide will only go through the core Sub-Archetypes (six per Archetype).
A general rule is that most Sub-Archetypes profit from the features of other Sub-Archetypes that have a similar role if you want your character to expand their specialization.
Melee Weapon Damage Dealer
Some Sub-Archetypes work best for fighting on the front lines, with melee weapons dealing high and consistent damage. The most important problem that they have to solve is to find ways to cover the distance between themselves and their targets.
The Abilities Charge, Grabbling Hook, and Pull Chain are some of the most basic options to give you the tools you need to close the distance. The Buffs Speed Up and Strom Spirit are also an option to increase your speed during combat.
There are ways to increase your Basic Movement permanently. You can use the Lesser Talent Quick on your Feet or the Greater Talent Nimbleness Master. The Acrobat, Scout, and Rusher Sub-Archetypes also have tools to increase your mobility greatly.
Of Course, nothing stops your enemies from running away from you once your character closes the distance. Therefore, it usually does not hurt to stock up on features and Abilities that make that harder for them. One of the most basic tools for that problem is the Lesser Talent Attack of Opportunity, with which you can punish anybody that moves within your melee range with an attack. Other alternatives are using Abilities that allow you to slow down enemies while attacking with your weapons, like Trip Attack, Slowing Attack, and Grounding Attack. Grabbing enemies is also a great option when dealing with an especially slippery target. The Enforcer Sub-Archetype features are an option should you really want to prevent anybody from escaping.
It does not hurt to invest in some defensive options since you will be rather exposed on the front lines. See Chapter Defensive for more tips on how to increase your defense.
The Martial Artist is great at pummeling a single target. They profit from a more balanced approach when it comes to Multi-Attack vs Hard-hitting. The more hits you can land on a single target in a turn, the more features are triggered. Therefore, you should focus more on precision instead of power.
The Martial Artist works great with unarmed strikes, but they can effectively fight with a weapon. It technically does not even have to be a melee weapon, but you need to be close to your target to profit from the Flurry of Blows feature.
An option for the Martial Artist to make their combos even more devastating is to upgrade the Status Effects that you oppose with them with the Greater Talents Prone Expert and Stunned Expert.
Remember, you can move targets into objects and creatures with your Relentless Blow feature for extra damage. Nothing there that you can move them into? Remember that the floor also counts as an object and that you could just catapult them right into the ground.
The more a Retaliator is attacked, the stronger they become. Therefore, they need a way to ensure that they get the brunt of the attack and not their allies. The Abilities Taunt, Taunting Attack, Taunting Wrath, and Taunting Presence allow you to discourage enemies from attacking your allies over you. The Protector Sub-Archetype also has many great features that help you with that.
However, this does not help you if you cannot survive the incoming damage. See the chapter Defensive to see how you can increase your defense. It also does not hurt to have a good healer in your party that keeps you alive.
If you want to increase the high risk, high reward aspect of this Sub-Archetype even further, consider the Greater Talent Unstoppable Force and its upgrade Immortal Force. This way, you can risk taking even more damage to increase your potential damage output even further.
The Whirlwind is all about hitting as many targets within melee range as possible. Their Collateral Damage feature allows them to hit anybody around them with Maneuver Abilities that you use with weapon attacks. Make sure to be packing a few such Abilities to take advantage of this. Great Examples are Trip Attack, Bleed Attack, Blind Attack, and the Strike Abilities. The Whirlwind can be surprisingly good at crowd control with such Maneuvers.
The Whirlwind profits more so than the other Melee-Weapon Sub-Archetypes from standing right in the middle of an enemy horde. Keep an eye on mobility options to get into that position like the Ability Charge and on defensive options to survive the inevitable counterattacks.
Ranged Weapon Damage Dealer
Characters that fight with ranged weapons have to take the terrain far more into account than those that fight with melee weapons. They need to try to maximize their own cover while minimizing the cover of their targets. Additional movement can be good to take advantage of a good battle position but is not as vital as with melee weapon users, as you can take advantage of your range. Do not forget to use the Taking Cover action if you are in half cover.
It is vital to get around the disadvantages of the Reload property if you choose a weapon that has it. You either need the Lesser Talent Quick Draw or the weapon upgrade Automated Reloader. There are enough ranged weapons without the Reload property, but they tend to be weaker or have other drawbacks.
It might be a good idea to have a way to defend yourself if you are forced into melee range. The simplest option is to have a backup melee weapon to which you can switch. The Lesser Talent Weapon Switcher can help you to switch to your melee weapon quickly and without using any AP. Another option is to use a ranged weapon with the Flexible property. This way, you can use your ranged weapon in melee range without any drawbacks. The Lesser Talent Close Combat Shooter also allows you to use any ranged weapon in melee combat effectively.
Blast Gunners are relatively straightforward but flexible area-of-effect damage dealers, largely thanks to their T1, Explosive Ammunition, which allows any target within 1m (3m starting in T3) to be hit as well whenever you use an Ability with your Attack. This can be anything that modifies your attack, but the Strike series (Shock Strike, Heat Strike, etc.) are generally good choices. Any ranged weapon works well for this, but higher damage single target weapons are generally a safe choice, such as the Longbow or Assault Rifle, since all the damage goes through, not just any additional damage from Explosive Ammunition.
Further building on this area-of-effect is the T2, Barrage Expert, granting Projectile Barrage or Split Barrage, different flavors of area-of-effect that are both rather effective initially due to their reduced cost but become even better with the T4, Explosive Rain, allowing you to add on Maneuvers like the previously mentioned Strike series to them, and these become even cheaper when T5, Fully Loaded hits the scene.
One final consideration; Path of Maneuver is really good for Blast Gunners since they want to use Maneuvers on weapon attacks frequently, doubling up on increasing damage and granting a consistent source of these Maneuvers. If you want more options than just a single Maneuver for this, pick up Path of More Abilities.
The Snipers features mostly work with the Taking Aim action. This allows you to ignore a lot of Armor, making you effective against high Armor targets, but also be wary that it greatly reduces your mobility since you cannot use the Move action and attack in the same turn anymore.
With the You cannot Escape feature, you cannot gain disadvantage on your weapon attacks if they use the Taking Aim action. This means that your ineffective range becomes your effective range. Try to take advantage of the huge range this allows you to have. Combined with the Lesser Talent Far Shot you can gain truly ludicrous ranges that allow you to shoot at enemies long before they could reach you. Put the Ability Sniper Shot on top of it, and you can pull off devastating critical hits from the other side of the map.
The Trooper is all about taking advantage of cover and the Taking Cover action. The Cover Fire feature also allows you to have very precise shots. This makes them excellent candidates for a precision-crit build that uses the Greater Talent Overaim.
The Cover Expert feature allows them to basically create half cover even if there is non. This helps you to deal with terrain that does not have any cover for you to exploit. Do not forget that the defensive bonuses you gain from it also work against attacks that ignore cover like melee weapons.
Flexible Weapon Damage Dealer
Some Sub-Archetypes do not lean specifically into ranged or melee weapons but instead just weapon use in general. This allows you to build a character that is good with both, but you can also lean into one or the other. The choice is up to you. For specific tips on how to build a melee or ranged weapon, see the corresponding chapters above.
The Berserker specializes in using Buff Abilities on themself for intense bursts of power. Therefore it is important to have at least one good Buff Ability. The classical choice would be Battle Rage which boosts your offensive and defensive capabilities at the cost of your mental Stats. Other decent options are Armor Boost, Enhance Stat, Physical Weapon, and the Spirit Buffs.
You can also gain two Buffs at the same time with the Greater Talent Enhanced Self-Buff. However, this requires 3 AP, which are not reduced by your Rush of the Fight feature.
For those that want to channel your inner shonen anime character, consider the Lesser Talent Explosive Transformation. This allows you to create an explosion when you use a Buff Ability on yourself that damages creatures around you. And yes, you trigger it twice if you combine it with the Greater Talent Enhanced Self-Buff.
The Dancer is probably the weapon user that feels the most like an Ability user. They have less Vitality than many other Weapon users but a lot of WP. Also, their Dancing Weapon Feature allows for high bursts of power but leads to limited endurance. Therefore it is important to play the Dancer less like a typical Weapon user that can keep going the whole day and more like an Ability user that can use game-changing features and Abilities but runs low on power after a few fights.
Take advantage of your high WP and number of Abilities. Use defensive options to keep you in the fight longer like the Abilities Shield, Shield Up, Parry, Barrier, Rejuvenating Attack, and Resist. You also have an incredibly diverse choice of Abilities for offense, control, and support. This can make the Dancer extremely flexible in combat.
The Duelist focuses on Maneuver Abilities making them more effective and gaining benefits from using them. The Duelist is probably the best Sub-Archetype for the Path of Maneuver if you want to play a less traditional weapon user, but they also work great with the Path of Attack.
Either way, it is better to pace your Abilities since you do not have that much WP. You can, of course, just get Talents that increase the number of WP you have, like the Lesser Talent Will to Act or the Greater Talent Perseverance Master. Alternatively, many low-cost Maneuvers can even be used for free when you gain the Effortless Maneuver feature like Armor Piercer, Charge, Precision Attack, Push Attack, Slowing Attack, Taunting Attack, and Trip Attack. You can even use Maneuver Abilities that cost 2 WP for free if you gain the Greater Talent Intuition Master.
Using low-cost Abilities with multiple attacks allows you to bombard the enemy with Maneuver Abilities while barely needing any WP, turning you into a surprisingly effective battlefield controller.
The Grenadier is THE Sub-Archetype that is built for area-of-effect weapons. They can cover even more ground with those weapons, but they gain their real game-changer with the Modified Grenades feature. This allows you to use Manouver Abilities with your area-of-effect weapons, which is huge.
This means, of course, that Abilities like Blind Attack and the Strike Abilities become your best friend when you reach Level 3. You can become amazing at crowd control with the right Abilities. Gaining access to the Abilities of the Bulwark, Cunning, or War Archetype gives you far more options. You can get that with the Lesser Talent Extended Arsenal or the Greater Talent Multi-Sub-Archetype 1. The Duelist can be an especially interesting choice since they boost your Manouver Ability Damage.
Getting the Lesser Talent Focused Explosion can help you be effective against single targets. Alternatively, have a backup single-target weapon.
The Ninja uses speed and darkness to attack from the shadows. That means that many features are significantly weaker if you are in plain daylight. Consider making your own darkness with the Ability Smoke Grenade in that case. You are going to need a vision that is not affected by blindness, like Thermal Vision, to be still able to see yourself, however. You can get that with the Greater Talent Enhanced Vision or the Ability Thermal Vision.
The doubling of your Basic Movement that the Moving through Shadow feature grants you works only while you are not in bright light. This means, however, that you can use the Move action while you are in the Shadows and then move out into the light without losing the extra movement since the extra movement that you gain from the Move action depends on the Basic Movement that you have while using it and not the Basic Movement you have while you actually move.
To use your Concealed Flurry feature, you must consistently prevent your target from seeing you. The most basic option is to use the Hide action every turn. You can use the Lesser Talent Dirty Fighter to do so with just one 1 AP. You still need something to hide in or behind to be able to use it. Consider attacking from range and only popping out of cover when you attack to quickly hide again. Alternatively, you can use your extra movement to run to cover and out of it to attack in melee. Using the Smoke Grenade allows you to hide right in front of your enemy, but it also makes them blind, so hiding might not be necessary at all. Another viable tactic is to blind the enemy with the Blind action or an Ability like Blind Attack or Flash Grenade.
Consider getting the Lesser Talent Stealth Adept to deal additional Damage with your Attacks.
The Predator is a relatively straightforward Weapon User Sub-Archetype. The only thing to note is that they profit from a more aggressive approach to combat since they deal more damage if they are hit and gain higher defenses if they attack. This gives you greater freedom to build your Predator how you want.
Rangers are consistent single-target Manuever damage dealers with a side focus on Debuffs and Status Effects. Despite being called “Ranger,” they don’t have to play at range; melee Rangers are actually quite effective. Their consistency is thanks to their T1, Blessed Attack, granting an extra 1d6 on all attack rolls whenever they use Maneuvers on their Attack Rolls. This makes Path of Maneuver an obvious choice, allowing Rangers to use Maneuvers every turn consistently.
Their Debuffs and Status Effects come from their other Tiers. T2, Elemental Imbue allows them to inflict any Elemental Status Effect, Taunt, or knock an enemy Prone. This is further enhanced by Crippling Imbue (T4), allowing for any non-Madness or Exhaustion Status Effect to be inflicted instead, but only a number of times equal to your Tier per rest, and Rage of the Woodlands (T5), extending the usual duration from until the end of their next turn to five rounds. Vines of the Forest (T3) is good for spreading these Debuffs and Status Effects to multiple enemies a number of times equal to your Primary Stat Bonus per full rest.
To benefit from these varied Debuffs, taking any of the Expert Greater Talents, like Freeze Expert or Shock Expert, can allow you to improve these effects. Any Maneuver that targets attacks works well, but the Strike series (Heat Strike, Shock Strike, etc.) are safe choices.
The Rogue lives from gaining advantage and dealing devastating critical hits. So the main challenge when building a Rogue character is how to get both.
One of the most basic tools to gain advantage on all attacks is to use the Hide action. You will need the Lesser Talent Dirty Fighter to be able to use it every round without sacrificing your Attack action. You still need something to hide in or behind to be able to use it. Consider attacking from range and only popping out of cover when you attack to quickly hide again. You can also use Lesser Talent Dirty Fighter to use the Blind or Trip actions, which also allows you to get advantage on your attacks.
An option to gain reliable advantage on your melee attacks is the Greater Talent Flanker. As long as you have an Ally next to your target, you gain all the advantage you want. Also, an option is using the Ability Feint.
You can try to become invisible with the Ability Battle Invisibility or blind the enemies with an Ability like Blind Attack or Flash Grenade to gain advantage on your attacks.
Having advantage on most of your attacks already increases your chances of dealing a critical hit, but they are still not that likely. There are two main ways to make a crit build. Either you use the Greater Talent Overaim and try to increase the precision of your weapons (by using the upgrade Precise Weapon and the Ability Precision Attack), or you just reduce the threshold for critical attacks with the upgrade Critical Weapon and the Greater Talent Critical Eye.
To be fair, the features Before You Know and Hot Hand already grant plenty of opportunities to get critical hits, so you can also just focus on increasing the damage of the critical attacks with the upgrade Deathblow Weapon and the Greater Talents Flailing Momentum, Murder Weapon, Quick Fingers Master, or Raw Force Master.
The Warrior is designed to be the most vanilla weapon user of them all. This makes him excellent for Beginners. The Warrior is also flexible in its design and can specialize in many directions.
In case you want to lean into its simple nature, you can use the Greater Talents Beyond Human, Great Precision, Greatly Hardened Armor, Statistically First Class, Unbound by Armor, Very Evasive, and Hard-Hitting, or the Lesser Talents Bolstered Weapon, Durable, Evasive, Free to Evade, Hardened Armor, Precise, Quick on your Feet, Quick to Act, and Statistically Superior to make your character stronger without adding any complexity.
Sub-Archetypes with defensive roles try to reduce the damage they or their allies receive. They can do so by either reducing incoming damage or increasing the probability that it will miss. There is also a difference between passive defensive strategies, which mostly focus on increasing Armor, Evasion, DR, and max Vitality, and active defensive strategies, which more actively react to incoming damage, usually by using Abilities and other features.
One of the most basic methods to increase once defensive capabilities is to increase once max Vitality. The Lesser Talent Durable, the Greater Talent Endurance Master, and the upgrade Vitality Boost allow you to do just that.
Temporary Vitality can help as an additional defensive buffer, especially at early Levels. The Ability Shield is a good way to keep it up. Thanks to its low AP cost of 1, you can usually use it without having to sacrifice your main action. The Lesser Talent Rested and Ready to Go is also a good way to gain a Buffer for the day.
You can increase your Armor with the Lesser Talent Hardened Armor, the Greater Talent Greatly Hardened Armor, and the upgrade Extra Armor. The Abilities Shield Up, Armor Boost, Battle Rage, Stone Spirit, and Be the Wall can temporarily greatly increase your Armor.
You can increase your Evasion with the Lesser Talent Evasive, the Greater Talent Very Evasive, and the upgrade Evasion Armor. The Abilities Slime Spirit and Speed Up can temporarily increase your Evasion. If your Base Evasion is higher than the Evasion Cap of your armor, you can use the Lesser Talent Free to Evade, the Greater Talent Unbound by Armor, and the upgrade Lighter Armor.
You can increase your DR with the Lesser Talent Defensive, the Greater Talent Highly Defensive, and the upgrades Defense Matrix and Defense Booster. You can make a successful DR more powerful with the Greater Talent Superior Defense.
The Abilities Barrier, Parry, and Resist are a great ways to actively reduce incoming damage.
Consider using a Shield, if you want to focus primarily on defense.
Defensive Sub-Archetypes usually do not focus on healing. For that, look at the support role.
Acrobat is THE definitive Evasion Sub-Archetype. However, they’re also very mobile thanks to their T1 Light as a Feather and T2 Quick as the Wind, which improves their overall movement. Consider picking up both Very Evasive and Archetype Feature (Bulwark) to improve your already fantastic Evasion further.
Thanks to your excellent Evasion, anything that triggers off of missed attacks, like Counter, Light Shield Expert, and Lightly Armored Assassin, are both excellent ways to gain benefits whenever you successfully evade an attack, especially due to your T4 Bendable as the Grass improving your Evasion and DRs whenever someone misses you. You need to gain proficiency with light armor to profit from the last two. You can easily get it with the Lesser Talent Lightly Armored.
Juggernauts are probably the single most straightforward Defensive Archetype, best used for high Armor and Vitality characters. Other than that, their features are just generally useful, and Juggernauts can be built as you please.
Protectors defend their team by taking the attacks themselves through their T1, Intervention. Surprisingly, this can work for both Evasion or Armor tanks since it switches the targeting of the attack to you, allowing both Evasion or Armor to mitigate it. T3 Under My Protection makes this easier to use against multi-attacking targets due to making Intervention cost nothing and allows you to move towards targets being attacked as a reaction.
Despite you being able to just straight up intervene against attacks, Taunting enemies is still in your best interest; you’ve only got 2RP to go around normally, after all! Take the Greater Talent Taunt Expert to ensure your Taunts will keep enemies focused on you a majority of the time, and make use of T2 Challenging Attack and T4 Challenger of All to keep enemies on you, and later T5 I Am Your Target to make attacking your allies an even worse idea.
The Protector does not gain any direct defensive benefits from their Sub-Archtype, so it is probably a good idea to invest in Abilities and Talents that boost your defenses.
Scout isn’t a Defensive character in the traditional sense, focusing on keeping out of the range of enemies. Their T1, T2, and part of T5 help facilitate this by making you VERY fast, while T3, T4, and part of T5 help make you more evasive in case you DO get attacked. Further Evasion and Base Movement increases can help keep you from getting hit, like Nimbleness Master and Very Evasive.
Thanks to your very high innate speed, the Greater Talents Running Momentum, Quick as Lightning, and Kinetic Charge are very good for granting you a ton of extra stats while you stay on the move.
The Wrestler specializes in grabbing their enemies. It is a good option to take Lesser Talents, like, Grabby Hands and Uncomfortable Grip, Greater Talents, like Grab Expert, Human Shield, and No Matter the Size and Abilities, like Heavy Throw, Crushing Handgrip, and Suplex, that work well with grabbed enemies.
Ability Generalists do not specialize in one specific Ability type. Instead, they are capable of using at least two kinds of Abilities. This makes them more flexible in different situations but usually prevents them from reaching the same heights as their more specialized counterparts. Generally speaking, most choices that benefit Ability Generalists also benefit any other type of Ability user.
The choice of Path is not as straightforward as with more limited Ability users. The Path of Damage is a good choice if you are more combat orientated so that you always have an offensive Option in Combat. Path of Control, Path of Healing, and Path of Utility are also nice options if you want to lean in a different direction with your character.
Ability users need a lot of WP to fuel their Abilities. The Lesser Talent Will to Act, the Greater Talent Perseverance Master, and the upgrade Willpower Boost allow you to increase your maximum WP to keep you going longer. Remember to use Stimulants to regain WP without rest.
The Lesser Talent Overcharge allows you to increase your WP upcast limit and is a great choice for almost any Ability user. The Greater Talent Always Charged allows you a free upcast, which allows you to increase the potency of your Abilities while keeping your WP cost lower. The Greater Talent Intuition Master reduces the WP cost of all your Abilities and can be really useful.
The Anomaly is… unique, especially among Ability Generalists. Their chart of random Ability casts from T1 Unstable can be exceptionally powerful, granting basically a ton of additional WP throughout a day if it keeps going off. Note that the Ability must cost WP for it to count, so the Paths that reduce the cost to 1 WP still work! This becomes easier to trigger as time goes on and also becomes easier to control.
Building your Unstable List is the core of a good Anomaly. You can select 12 Abilities, and generally, anything that is useful in Combat is VERY good. Notably, this ignores Buff, Debuff, Summon, and even Transform limits and is one of the few ways to cast Healing Abilities for free. You can build your list to specialize in one type of Ability or spread it out to many different Ability types! I wouldn’t recommend more niche Abilities for the list; they will unlikely be helpful when you roll them. Stick to Abilities that will serve frequent use to your play style. Remember, you can change this list every time you level up, so it gets better the longer the game goes on.
Otherwise, Anomalies don’t really have anything that pushes them toward a specific playstyle. Feel free to experiment!
Artillerists are surprisingly self-sustaining Generalist Ability users thanks to their T1, Artillery Cannon. Basically, you get to cast an Ability at full upcast a number of times equal to the item’s Tier you chose to infuse with this power per rest. The key word here is “rest.” It allows the Artillerist to keep going throughout the day, and the other Features of the Artillerist improve this with flexibility and potency.
Because you can only put one (eventually three at T3) Ability(s) into the item at a time, Artillerists will often want to specialize into whatever type of Ability they put in their cannon, using their own personal pool of WP to help fill in the gaps or provide other Abilities to use.
Artists are THE Generalist Ability user. They gain more Abilities than anyone else and can learn every Ability in the game right from the start. Their Features are also pretty generic, buffing all forms of Ability usage, so Artists can build pretty freely. Specialize in a couple of Ability categories or keep very general; the Artist can do it all!
More than anyone, though, Artists need WP since Abilities are their identity. Consider getting WP increases or cost reductions like Will to Act and Intuition Master to make your WP last longer, and get Stimulants to have more WP throughout the day.
Displacers excel at putting their allies into better situations and putting enemies in worse situations, all thanks to their T1 Displacement, allowing themselves or their target of any Ability that hits to teleport 3 m. It is incredibly flexible, thanks to many Abilities being able to “hit.” This becomes even more flexible as you gain its other features.
Having a good mix of Offensive/Debuff/Control and Support/Buff Abilities can help you make the most out of Displacer’s Displacement and allow you to use it on both allies and enemies. Path of Damage, Path of Maneuver, Path of Utility (to an extent), and Path of Control can all provide sources of consistent Ability “hits,” though Path of Maneuver only becomes consistent at Tier 2.
No Matter the Size is pretty much mandatory if your campaign features Creatures larger than Big and you teleport enemies frequently since Displacement has a size limit of Big initially.
Druids are less general than the other Ability Generalists, focusing on Damage and Healing Abilities (making Path of Damage and Path of Healing good choices). They gain a handful of flavorful utility and situational defenses in their features, but they do have T2, Tides of the World, to boost their effectiveness… sometimes. It can either make you worse or far better. This is due to a dice roll of a d6, but rerolling it with Narrative Momentum is more expensive than usual. Luck Master and History Master can help mitigate this to an extent, but sometimes you’ll have a bad day. This becomes especially prevalent in T5 due to Nature’s Wrath, which scales off the roll.
Since you’re far more specialized than most Ability Generalists, you’ll often use both Healing and Damage Abilities quite judiciously, especially starting in T4, with Energy of the Cosmos providing an additional half of your max WP per full rest. Consider picking up Will to Act and Perseverance Master to further increase your WP for increased effectiveness of Energy of the Cosmos.
Remember you are a Hybrid Archetype (though more Caster, thanks to T1) and have surprisingly solid situational defenses, allowing you to wade into the front lines more frequently if the situation is right.
Enhancers are a Debuff- and Buff-focused Generalist casters who are incredibly effective and giving them out. Generally, you’ll want to choose whether to focus on Buffs or Debuffs through either Path of Buff or Path of Debuff due to the usual limits of Buffs and Debuffs (one active at a time each).
For Buff-focused Enhancers, both the Lesser Talents Limit-Break Infusion and Overcharged Infusion can be a great way to cheapen or power up your Buffs; just keep in mind the damage-inflicting downside. For Debuff-focused Enhancers, the Greater Talent Enhanced Debuff can be a brutal way to inflict multiple Debuffs at once for only one Active Debuff; but note that the cost can get very expensive.
Regardless of your choice, T2 Extra Potent allows you to tack a bit of extra Damage or Temporary Vitality on top, T3 Double Effect allows you to target an additional target with Buffs and Debuffs, and T4 Mixed Concoction allows you to use two in a single 3AP action. The Lesser Talent Enduring Effects is great regardless of your choice as well, doubling the usual duration of Buffs and Debuffs.
Timetwisters don’t come with any features that enhance Abilities, per se, but come with many ways to manipulate rolls, initiative, and even turns later on. They can be built however you want due to being part of the Caster chassis of Reality. They’re not complicated, but they sure are effective!
Damage Ability User
Characters that specialize in Damage Abilities usually take the Path of Damage. This way, they no longer have to rely on weapons when their WP runs out. The Ability that they choose for this Path becomes their standard attack, and, unlike with weapon attacks, they can still profit from their features, which enhances their Damage Abilities. The question is which Ability you want to choose.
The Bolt Abilities are a good choice if you want a basic ranged option. The Projectile Abilities can also be a decent choice if you want more additional effects at the cost of damage. The Touch Abilities are a good option if you want to create a melee Ability user. There are also the Eruption Abilities that can hit multiple targets, but it is generally wiser to stick with a single-target Ability for your Path of Damage unless you are of the Demolition Archetype.
You should maximize your Primary and Secondary Stat to keep your Ability Hit and DR Power as high as possible. You can be more flexible with your other Stats since you do not need a weapon. Just choose what you think fits your character.
You can increase the damage of your Abilities with the upgrade Damage Enhancement. Other good upgrades are Defense Breaker for increased DR Power and Ability Support for better Ability attack rolls.
When you choose your Talents, you should ask yourself if you want to specialize in one damage type or have more variety in your choices. It is good to choose the Advanced Damage Greater Talents and the Lesser Talent Damage Type Expert in case you choose the former.
Damage Ability users profit like all other Ability users from features that are good for Ability Generalists. You can read more about those features in the corresponding chapter above.
The Destroyer specializes in multi-target Damage Abilities and environmental destruction. Because of that, they are rather weak against single targets like most Demolition Sub-Archetypes. Therefore, it might be a good idea to counter that weakness. You can gain good single-target Abilities from the Creative, Mental, Nature, Reality, and Technology Archetypes. You can gain access to them with the Lesser Talent Extended Arsenal or with the Greater Talent Multi-Sub-Archetype 1.
Another way to have an effective damage option against single enemies is to choose the Path of Attack and have a reliable single-target weapon.
Take advantage of their additional damage against objects. Create new “doors”, destroy the ground beneath your enemies’ feet, or make ceilings collapse to trap others.
The Disrupter can turn the battlefield into a virtual minefield with their dimensional rifts, but this does not help you if your enemies can just easily avoid them. You can try to move them into them with Abilities like Move Target, Physical Projectile, and High Impact Blow. A nice combo can be to move a group of enemies close to a dimensional rift with the Ability Pushing Force and then detonate it with your Unstable Rift feature. Do not forget that you can deal additional damage if you move your enemies into each other or into objects. The floor also counts as an object, so feel free to smash them into the ground if there are no better options.
Alternatively, teleporting enemies into rifts is also effective. You can use the Greater Talent Advance Reality Damage or the Abilities Reality Projectile, Teleporting Force, and Forced Teleportation to teleport your enemies around. Taking the Tier 1 feature of the Displacer can also help you in that regard. You can teleport your enemies above your dimensional rift so that they take fall damage in addition to the damage from the rift.
The Critical Rift feature also makes Disrupters good for crit builds. Consider investing in the upgrade Critical Ability and the Greater Talent Critical Eye to have a higher crit chance.
The Evoker is the most straightforward Damage Ability user. If you want to keep it simple, consider getting the Lesser Talents Precise, Powerful, or Enhanced Range and the Greater Talents Beyond Human, Great Precision, or Mighty.
The Evoker pair surprisingly well with some Sub-Archetypes that usually are more weapon focused if you mostly use Abilities that require attack rolls since the features of such Sub-Archetypes usually affect any form of attack and not only weapon attacks. For example, become a fast melee caster with a three-feature dip into the Rusher, an Ability Crit Monster by taking Rogue features, or shoot your Abilities while being safe in cover with Trooper features.
Support encompasses two major ways of helping your allies which are Healing Abilities and Buff Abilities. Therefore, Support Characters usually take either the Path of Healing or the Path of Buff. The Path of Healing is definitely the more straightforward option of the two and allows you to have a hand full of very powerful healing backups. The Abilities Shield, Simple Heal, Ranged Heal, and Heal Area are good choices for that Path. The Path of Buff allows for multiple Buffs but is very WP intensive, and it can get difficult to keep track of all the active buffs.
Healing has more aspects to it than just restoring Vitality. Preventively giving your allies Temporary Vitality is very valuable, especially in early levels, and can help your team to stay in the fight longer. The Ability Shield is very good at that, but the Greater Talent Overhealing is an even more powerful tool for a healer. This Talent allows you to turn any excess healed Vitality into Temporary Vitality. This way, you do not need Abilities that restore Temporary Vitality since your normal Healing Abilities already do so.
Removing Status Effects and Debuffs is also an important job for a Support character. The Abilities Elemental Cleanse, Mental Cleanse, Physical Cleanse, and Debuff Cleanse help you remove those. There is also the Ability Superior Cleanse, which removes almost all Status Effects and Debuffs, but it is more expensive and of Tier 2. Also, consider the Greater Talent Complete Recovery, which allows you to restore Vitality and remove Status Effects and Debuffs at the same time.
You can make your allies stronger with Buff Abilities. You can Buff your Allies directly with Abilities, like Armor Boost, the Backlash Buffs, and the Weapon Buffs, but you can also use Presence Buffs, like Enduring Presence, Speedy Presence, and Empowering Presence, to automatically affect any ally with 5 m of you. Single targets Buffs are more powerful and do not require you to stay close to your allies, but do not underestimate the benefits of improving your whole group instead of just one ally. Some Buffs only affect the user, like Battle Rage, Explosive Rounds, and the Spirit Buffs, but you can also use them on allies if you get the Lesser Talent Gift for All.
The Healer is the ultimate Healing Ability user. With T1 Hands of a Healer, you heal far more Vitality and Temporary Vitality than anyone else, and the rest of your features continue to emphasize this strength. The Talents Bolstered Healing and Greater Healing can be great to accentuate your strengths further. Note that Hands of a Healer allows you to choose whether you want to restore either Vitality or Temporary Vitality, so it works with all styles of Healers, whether it be Overhealing, Preventive Shielding, or any of the other options!
Infusers are the best area-of-effect Heal and Buff appliers. Many of their features benefit those you Heal and Buff, and T1 Controlled Area allows you to avoid targetting those you don’t want to have Buffed or Healed. Useful Abilities are Heal Area and any Buff that can be up-casted to target additional allies, like Armor Boost. Other than that, it’s pretty straightforward. Just choose Buff and Healing Abilities that are area-of-effect, take relevant Talents for what you’re aiming for, and you’ll be fine!
Inspirer is a Support largely focused around their T1, Inspiration. Basically, it allows you to give advantage as a 2RP reaction a number of times equal to your Primary Stat Bonus per full rest, eventually lasting through their whole turn and even targetting your whole team! The other effects from T2 and T4 are also excellent and proc off both Inspiration and your Healing or Buff Abilities. Therefore, you can choose to go a little more into another Role if you want while keeping a handful of Healing or Buff Abilities around, or fully lean into the inspiring role!
In particular, T4 Strengthen Their Will is an excellent buff to your whole team, allowing them to use far more potent Abilities. Be sure to take advantage of this and pack some area-of-effect Healing Abilities to boost your team’s effectiveness.
Leader is one of the most unique Support Sub-Archetypes, due to its endlessly reusable T1, Leaders Order, which provides your choice of an Attack Roll/DR Power increase, DR or Evasion increase, or straight up Temporarily Vitality. The best part is that it costs only 1AP, so it’s pretty reusable! T2 Marking Target allows you to debuff in a similar fashion, giving your choice of: attacks against that creature that don’t originate from you have Advantage, the creature gains Disadvantage on their attacks, or allies that hit that creature regain Vitality. T3 Leaders Aura gives EVEN MORE variety by giving allies within 5m the benefit of your Leaders Orders, which stacks with it!
Leader should overall play more aggressively than the average Support due to the amazing frontline base of War, taking your choice of Path of Attack or Path of Flash Attack. Look into the Weapons Guide and Weapon Damage Dealer guides for assistance with building with a weapon in mind. Don’t forget that you’re still a support, though! You’ll probably want at least a few Healing Abilities.
Battlefield control is all about weakening the enemy and controlling their position during combat. You can weaken enemies with Status Effects or Debuff Abilities. Many Abilities apply Status Effects to a single target, like Elemental Spark, Flash, Taint, or Restrain Enemy. There are also area-of-effect options that apply Status Effects to multiple targets, like Poison Grenade, Flash Grenade, Tainted Grenade, and Restraining Grenade. If you want to focus on Status Effects, you should read up on all the options, which you can find here.
Debuff Abilities can greatly hinder your enemies. Some good options are Armor Erosion, Evasion Capper, and Group Hypnosis. Even though they count as Buffs, there are some Precenese Abilities, like Eroding Presence, Paralyzing Presence, and Quivering Presence, that negatively impact enemies around you instead of buffing your allies, which makes them potent control Abilities against multiple enemies.
Chemists are perhaps the most persistent Controllers, largely thanks to their T1 Lasting Gas, which literally places a WALL of pure control wherever you hit your AOE Controls, and if anyone is in there too long, it will control them. The rest of their features buff Lasting Gas and make it better. The Grenade Abilities are a pretty safe option for this, especially when mixed with Path of Control, but any AOE Control option works! Just keep in mind that your Lasting Gas can affect your allies too, so be sure to have a way to get around this in some way (eventually innately with T3 Unstable Chemicals)
Controllers are pretty much the classical example of the Control archetype. Movement? Checked by T1 Weighted Control! Defenses? Checked by T2 Battlefield Optimization! Advantage/Disadvantage? Checked by T5 Priming Target! You even get some free upcast on all your Control Abilities and, eventually, be able to stack Battlefield Optimization and Weighted Control! You can build a Controller however you really want, so long as you keep in mind that Weighted Control and Battlefield Optimization can benefit your allies as well.
As the defacto Controller, you might want to expand the options for your Path of Control. Remember that the Greater Talent Path of More Abilities exists and is pretty helpful in providing additional (mostly) free Abilities for you to use.
Enforcers are the weapon-oriented Control users, focused on moving enemies around the Battlefield and keeping them where they belong, all thanks to T1 Enforcing Attacks and T2 Pinning Down, allowing you to push targets with your Attacks and slow their Basic Movement, respectively. Path of Attack is great for boosting these effects, whether you want to spread out the effectiveness of these effects or put it all in a single, powerful attack. The Greater Talent No Matter The Size should be considered, as this only works on Big or smaller creatures initially.
Remember that moving targets into other targets is an incredibly effective way of dealing damage while controlling at the same time, especially with T4 Crushing Push doubling its effectiveness.
Due to being a weapon user, you should look into the Weapon Guide and Weapon Damage Dealer guides for more info on weapon-oriented playstyles. Keep in mind you don’t necessarily need to use a melee weapon; ranged weapons work with both Enforcing Attacks and Pinning Down too!
Tormenters are the thematic opposite of Inspirers, focusing on their T1 Demoralizing to force disadvantage as a 2RP reaction a number of times equal to their Primary Stat Bonus per full rest. This eventually lasts their whole turn with T3 Terror and even hits every enemy in 15m with T5 Tormenting Art. The other two features allow you to lower upcasts and deal a bit of damage, which works with Demoralizing and Control/Debuff Abilities. Like Inspirer, they can go into another Role if they want and take a handful of Debuff or Control Abilities with them or go all in on the Demoralizing playstyle.
T4 Break their Will is a DEVASTATING debuff that prevents enemies from using their most potent tools. Be sure to stack it all the way up to 3 times!
Creature Users are the primary users of Summon Abilities, allowing them to overwhelm foes with additional action economy. Summon Abilities generally come in three forms: Minor, Normals, and Elites. Minor creatures are the most fragile, but also the cheapest, and you can summon more than one at a time, Elites are expensive but powerful, and Normals are somewhere in the middle. There are variations on these: Mounts, Vehicles, and Armies are the most common. Keep in mind you can generally only have one Summon Ability active at once. Be sure to read up on Summons in the Characters section. If you’re not sure what to use for Summons, the Creatures List is great for inspiration.
There are many ways to modify how Summons work. First are the Lesser Talent Dual Summon and Multi Summon, allowing you to summon more than one creature simultaneously with Non-Army Summon Abilities at the cost of their Vitality, Healing, and Damage. Then, there is the Lesser Talent Full Command and the Greater Talent Subconscious Command, allowing you to either fully commit to commanding your summons for higher potency or not needing to command them at all, always being able to control them. Then, there are other modifiers, like the Lesser Talents Soul Manifestation, Remote Vehicle, Healing Bot, and Battle for Me, that further change how your Summons work.
In general, the Summons you select, alongside your Sub-Archetype selection and choice of Talents, will determine how you desire to play your Creature User. One final note: Path of Summons grants you a consistent Summon Ability you always have access to, though it doesn’t have any WP or the ability to recover Vitality. It’s good for when you have nothing else, but you should avoid those situations.
Beastmasters gain access to a permanent summon through their T1, Animal Companion! Their Companion becomes rather durable starting at T2, then from there, you begin to work together, gaining Advantage quite frequently and even being able to get them to perform weapon attacks! For this reason, you should invest in your own combat ability more than the usual Creature User. Be sure to refer to the other guides to help build yourself to be a more effective combatant.
Despite being called “Animal Companion,” it’s just as viable to go Dual Summon to get a pair of Animal Companions, which even synergizes with T4 Attack Order. Multi Summon is a bit too fragile generally to consider for Animal Companions, though. The Greater Talent Soul Connection is likewise very good for you, even more than usual, since your Animal Companion is a permanent fixture in your group.
Finally, remember that Subconscious Command exists if you want to have both your Animal Companion’s Actions and your own fully freed up. Just keep in mind you can get them to attack with a Command action starting in T4 if need be.
Roboticists are the expendable Summon Ability user of choice, often sending in hordes of minions to do their work. For this reason, they make better use of Path of Summons than the other two Creature Users since their Summons tend to die quickly anyways. Dual Summon and Multi Summon are, likewise, a common sight due to the overall expendability of these units.
Keep in mind that T4 Overclock and T2 Booby-Trapped synergize with each other and that Overclocking a Summon will also cause an explosion. With the Greater Talent No Time to Stop and the Lesser Talent Multi-Action, it’s possible to use T4 Overclock and Summon in the same turn, with 1AP to spare!
Roboticists don’t always send in their Summons to die, though! Their Summons are deceptively tanky thanks to T1 Plated Drones, allowing them to serve as capable bodyguards. Likewise, T3 Upgraded Artillery allows for consistently high damage to be dealt by your Summons. This especially becomes the case when T5 Double Support allows you to have 2 Summon Abilities active at once.
Summoner is the most focused on summons of all the Creature Users, using the Command action to buff them through T1 Heed My Command (buffed by T5 Masters Voice) and T2 Do Not Disappoint. For this reason, Full Command is exceptional in them since it explicitly mentions the use of the Command action in the Talent itself it triggers these effects alongside itself. No Time To Stop is critical for Summoners who use Full Command, allowing them at least 1AP to spend elsewhere and also allowing them 1AP after a Summon, which is nice!
Due to being so focused on Summons, Battle For Me can allow you to make your Summons far more potent at the cost of leaving yourself more vulnerable. Make sure you have someone who can protect you, whether that be another party member or the summon itself! Your Summon is useless if you are dead!
Transformers are the primary users of Transform Abilities, able to switch up how they play on the fly. Transformers primarily use the Form Abilities, allowing you to transform into a Normal creature equal to your level, which also has an Elite version that allows you to turn into an Elite creature, though only for a shorter time. You can only have one active Transform Ability at a time, and you generally lose access to most of your own Abilities, Skills, and features while Transformed. You should probably read Transform in the Characters chapter to ensure you understand how it works. The Creatures list has plenty of different creatures for you to transform into.
Transformers are primarily based around their forms, but there are a few Talents that can change how they work. First, anything that increases Vitality, Temporary Vitality, Willpower, and Narrative Momentum retain between forms, so increasing those is a safe bet. Second are the Lesser Talents Explosive Transformation and Off-and-On Transformation, granting a bit of oomph to your Transformation and some flexibility to switch in and out of that form as necessary. Finally are the Greater Talents Infused Transformation and Ultimate Transformation, which provide you a Greater Talent in a form and allow you to cast a Buff Ability upon using a Transform Ability, respectively. All of these only work when you target yourself, which is what Transformers will want to do anyways.
Since Transformers have a potentially wide range of playstyles at any given time, researching the other Role guides might be in your best interest. Finally, Path of Transformation allows you to cut the cost of Transformations in half but not mitigate the cost altogether. High Willpower is generally a good idea for Transformers for this reason, and you should carry some Stimulants to help make up for the WP you will need.
Shifters are pretty much the defacto Transformer. Quicker Transformations? Check from T1 Quick Shift. Higher Level Transformations? Check from T3 Transform into Greater Form and later T5 Final Form. Endless Transformations? Check from T4 Forever New! They don’t really get much fancier than that; they’re the most straightforward in a complicated Role.
Out-Of-Combat Utility is all about being incredibly useful outside of traditional combat situations in ways that aren’t preparation. Generally, most of these are Utility Ability users and/or Skill users. They often have a fair bit of overlap, and you’ll find yourself using both ends frequently. Let’s go over these two different playstyles separately.
Skill users rely on their Skills to help provide in out-of-combat situations. They’re pretty straightforward; they have a particular set of Skills, and they know how to use them! In order to improve them, you got a couple of options. First are Skilled, Studied Individual, and Skillful, all of which provide better overall Skills, though the Skill Level Cap still restricts the former two. Secondly are the Adept and Master Talents, which provide unique benefits for each Skill. These can vary pretty wildly. I’d suggest looking into them. There are a number of other useful Talents as well, but they’re generally more specific. The Path of Skill allows you to fully lean into the Skill dream, granting you a ton of Skill Points just for choosing it and an additional Skill Point per Level beyond that point.
The other end of the spectrum are Utility Ability Users. These guys take Utility Abilities and use them when the situation for them is right. Unlike other Ability users who get specific ways to boost their type of Ability usage, Utility Users don’t really get any of that, which is fine for them, as it allows them to focus on straight-up improving their Ability prowess with Talents like Will to Act, Overcharge, Always Charged, Perseverance Master, and Intuition Master. In addition, they can improve their list of Abilities with Talents like More of the Same, Extended Arsenal, More Tools, Spell Book, and Prepared for Anything. In terms of Paths, they can choose between Path of Utility, which allows them to use a specific Utility Ability over and over again (though with no upcast), or Path of Polymathy, which gives even more Abilities and WP to work with.
However you decide to go, Out-Of-Combat Utility users will either want to prepare for the inevitability of combat by looking into the other Roles to provide something in that way or avoid it altogether through clever use of their Abilities and Skills.
Experts are the… EXPERTS of their particular fields. They’re Skill focused, gaining additional benefits for their Skills that cross a certain Skill Level threshold as they go up in Tier, and even gain increased Skill Level Limit thanks to their T1 Expert In Your Field. They’re very straightforward, just be sure to keep the Skills you like using higher in Skill Level, and they’ll work like a charm!
The increases in their Skill Level cap makes a dip into Wanderer or Virtuoso a great option if you want to expand your combat capabilities.
Where Experts excel at using a particular set of Skills, Multi-Talents are great at using every Skill. They can’t critically fail with any Skill Check EVER, thanks to their T1 Jack of All Trades, and can always possibly critically succeed. The rest of their Features aim to make your polymathy in various skills even better.
If you spread out your Skill Points across all your Skills, consider picking up Archetype Feature (Cunning) to give an extra d4 to all your Skill Rolls. This is useful for all Skill users, but it is especially useful for spread-out Skill Users like Multi-Talents. You should heavily consider it for the extra boost it grants.
Seers are the primary users of visions, which grant a variety of ways to perceive your surroundings. You can gain visions through Abilities, Lesser Talents, or Greater Talents. They’ve got multiple straightforward ways of improving Visions and getting even more of them. All of the Greater Talents that grant Visions are very useful for Seers, as are Abilities that grant Visions, as both trigger T1 Sixth Sense. Night Vision is especially interesting since it is cheap and lasts 4 hours. They’re pretty specific in what they do, but they’re very good at it.
Seers greatly profit from the Superior Vision Lesser Talents. Each of them boosts a specific type of vision. The Greater Talents I Can See You grants you advantage on any attack against targets that you can see with at least three visions (which is easy to achieve as a Seer) and is great if you want to take your Seer into a more offensive direction.
Thinkers are the most efficient Utility Ability users, and that’s their whole bit! They’re very straightforward; just get a lot of useful Utility Abilities and use them! The introduction to Out-Of-Combat Utility has everything you probably need to know.
Tinkerers are crafters of Utility Consumables and Ability Items and can use them to solve problems. Best part? It costs them nothing but time (less with T3 I Solve Problems, though a limited number of times a full rest) to do so, thanks to T1 Tinkerer’s Gizmos! They can only do T1 Utility Abilities at first, but T4 Better Gizmos unlocks T2 and T3 as well! They can also use any Ability Item to boost their Skill Checks with T2 Tools for the Job but at the cost of their charges.
Since they focus on Crafting, looking at the Crafting Role Introduction is a good idea if you want to understand how to improve your crafting game. Make no mistake, though; they’re Utility Ability Out-Of-Combat Utility users, and while they can craft, the free stuff from their features is only for themselves. The proper Crafting classes are better suited to supporting their teams with Consumables and Ability Items.
Trackers come with a handful of neat utilities. They can track people (T1 Tracker’s Skills and later improved by T2 Attuned to the World), perform tasks well three times a day (T3 Relying on Instinct), and even gain straight-up advantage on Skill Checks while in nature (T5 Made for the Wilderness). They come with a handful of boosts to Skills here and there, mainly from T1 Tracker’s Skills and T3 Relying on Instinct, but they’re pretty flexible. Feel free to build them however you really want!
Crafting is all about… well, Crafting! They can break this game’s economy in half by making everything cheaper… so long as they’ve got the time. Looking into Crafting in the Items section of the core rules is a good idea to make sure you understand how Crafting works. In short, you can only craft up to your Tier normally, you need Equipment to craft, and you need the Materials necessary, which involve Gathering. There’s more on Gathering Material in the World Interaction section, so let’s break it down into the Gathering and Crafting parts of this Role.
Gathering is all about getting the Materials necessary for you to craft stuff with. It’s possible to sidestep this step with the Lesser Talent Money Crafter, but we’ll be ignoring it for now. Regardless, Gathering can be boosted by multiple Talents and Upgrades. For Talents, we’ve got Harvester and Survivor Craft. For Upgrades, there’s Gathering Bag and Material Generator. Then, there’s also the Path of Crafting, which doubles the amount of materials gathered and ensures you always roll at least a 9 when gathering. There isn’t a whole lot, but that’s because…
There’s a LOT in Crafting. First, the aforementioned Path of Crafting cuts the amount of materials and time needed for Crafting in half, which is a great start for all Crafters. As for Talents, there are a LOT. First are the Craft and Craftsmanship Talents, which boost your Crafting (or sometimes Gathering) prowess depending upon the Crafting Skill of that Talent. Then, there’s Master Craftsman, which simply cuts crafting time in half. After that is Optimize the Process and Experimental Design, both of which require Skill Rolls but are greatly rewarding whenever you succeed at them. Finally, there’s Upgrade Recycler, which simply allows you to make upgrading items more convenient. As for Upgrades, there are the Crafting Kits, which have varying effects like the Craft and Craftsmanship Talents, depending on your Crafting skill. There are also Efficient Tools and Quicken Tools as more general Material and Time cost improvements, respectively.
All in all, Crafting has a lot to it. It can be VERY potent, just keep in mind it requires a lot of investment to get the most out of it, which can limit your combat effectiveness.
The Alchemist is the Consumable and Ability Item specialist, able to make them cheaper and faster than anyone else right off the hop with T1 Experimental Mixtures. You don’t even need to know the Abilities; so long as you can learn them, they are a valid choice, even Manuever Abilities can be used now! The rest of your features further improve the potency of your Ability Items and Consumables, even getting a few free consumables a day through T2 Always in Stock. They’re very simple other than that and can be built however you want.
The Artisan is the weapon, armor, and equipment crafting specialist and gains bonuses if they wield self-crafted items. Their features are pretty simple, making permanent items even better, cheaper, and faster to boot (T1 Craftsmanship and later Legendary Craftsmanship to negate the additional material costs)! T2 Self-Made boosts Weapons and Equipment when you wield them. T3 Reinforced Craft boosts armors you wear if you crafted them yourself. T4 Artisan’s Signature boosts all three with another T1 upgrade. Finally, T5 straight-up increases the crafting limit by 3 Tiers. The Artisan isn’t fancy, but it is certainly the most straightforward Crafter that can be built however you really want.
Hybrids are the Sub-Archetypes that fit into multiple categories. For each Sub-Archetype, there will be a mention of the Roles they fit into. I would suggest reading their relevant Role Guides to ensure you understand each part of these Sub-Archetypes. Otherwise, there isn’t much to say, so let’s get into it!
The Agent is a stealth-based Ability Generalist and Utility Sub-Archetype. It REALLY wants to avoid being seen, mainly to activate its T2 Ambusher’s Gadgets and T4 Of Tricks And Gadgets. It gets an in-built way to do this at T5 with Cloak of Spies, but you’ll probably want another way before then. The two most common ways are the Invisibility Abilities and the Hide Action. Both are quite good but have their own disadvantages. Invisibility can generally be solved with various Alternative Visions, while Hide needs somewhere for you to Hide, to begin with, and probably needs the Lesser Talent Dirty Fighter to make it 1AP instead of 2AP. You can also attempt to blind enemies with the Bilnd action or blinding Abilities like Flash, Blind Attack, or Flash Grenade. You can also use the Ability Smoke Grenade and use a Vision to circumvent the drawbacks.
The Agent becomes a surprisingly good skill monkey with T3 Charged Tools, giving you a bonus to Skill Checks for the next hour whenever you cast an Ability, with a bonus equal to the Tier of the Ability. Consider grabbing Skill-related stuff if you want to lean into it.
The Battle-Engineer is a flexible weapon user and Ability generalist hybrid with a pinch of defensive survivability in there. Their core mechanic is their T2 Weapon Charges, generating a charge every time you use an Ability to discharge into a foe for quite hefty damage eventually! The general play style is to use Abilities to build up charges, but how you go about this is largely up to you, any Ability will grant charges.
In terms of Path Choices, you got multiple options. First, Path of Attack and Path of Flash Attack are both very potent options for different reasons, giving you a more consistent way to dump your charges, and Flash Attack even allows you to attack with only 1AP, though less effectively. The other options are the Path of Damage, Control, Healing, and those of similar nature that grant free Ability casts. Weapon Charges are simply based on the Tier of the Ability you use, so this can be a potent way to get many charges very quickly.
1AP Abilities like Shield or Charge are something to consider if you don’t take Path of Flash Attack; they allow you to use an Ability and Attack in the same turn. They aren’t as powerful as 2AP Abilities, but they can be effective when you want a significant burst of damage. Manouver Abilities made with attacks allow you to build up charges and immediately discharge them with that same attack. The Battle Engineer can be as flexible as you want it to be and offers many build options. Experiment to figure out what you like best!
Champion is the defacto spellsword archetype, being a flexible weapon user and Ability generalist. It gets quite a few neat tricks. First, its T2 Infused Weapon tacks an extra d4 of any damage type on all of your attacks (chosen at the time of the hit and increased to d8 for T5 Champion’s Determination). Then, there’s T3 Vital Ability, which allows you to use Vitality to cast any non-Healing Ability (getting a free 2 WP upcast from T5 Champion’s Determination). Finally, T4 Of Weapons and Magic grants a free weapon attack after an Ability Cast once per round.
Champions are very flexible in how they can be built. They can lean more toward attacking with Path of Attack or Path of Flash Attack or focus more on Abilities with Path of Damage, Healing, Control, or similar Paths. They can become a very self-sustaining caster with Vital Ability, using their Vitality to cast their Non-Healing abilities, then heal up with their Willpower on Healing Abilities. Just keep in mind this play style is inherently quite risky and won’t become available until T3.
The Fate Weaver is a pretty flexible Sub-Archetype focused on rerolls from Narrative Momentum. They get more Narrative Momentum more frequently from T1 Narrative Recharge and more in the pool with T4 One with the Narration. Your other features make your rerolls cheaper and more consistent, eventually just allowing you to straight-up choose rolls (albeit at twice the usual cost).
Fate Weavers don’t really have any lean for any play style, but if they really want to focus on Narrative Momentum, stealing Protagonist T1 Time to be a Hero and taking Path of Heroism can allow you to focus on general usage of Narrative Momentum very frequently.
Otherwise, the chassis of Reality is best suited towards Casters, and thus the roles of Ability Generalist, Support, Control, Utility, and Damage can all work for it.
Guardians are Defensive Ability Generalists that HEAVILY discourage attacking their allies, mainly through their primary mechanic from T2 Guardian of the Weak, Guard Charges. The more of them you have, the harder it is for your allies to be hurt. Your other abilities further enhance this protection. The only prerequisite to keep these charges is to use an Ability or Cinematic Action every round, so you’re heavily encouraged to use Abilities. Any Ability works, but Control or Healing Abilities lean into your Defensive nature well and are a safe choice for a first-time Guardian.
Guardian doesn’t come with any inbuilt ways to protect itself other than the baseline Bulwarks Defense feature. More than most Defensive units, investing in defenses is necessary to make sure you can keep giving the benefits of Guard Charges.
Paragons are Support/Control focused characters with a focus on Presence Abilities. They get one for free, and the range of all the Presence Abilities is 15m right from T1 with Paragon’s Presence. From there, the Presence becomes permanent at T2 with Permanent Presence, then it keeps getting better from there, eventually choosing a 2nd Presence with T5 Ultimate Beacon!
Your Presence choice is what defines you as a Paragon. They’re largely split into two categories; Buffing Presences (which buff your allies) and Debuffing Presences (which debuff your enemies). This determines whether your base is more Supportive or Control focused. Both are quite valuable. From there, Paragons can be built however you really want, but flexible weapon user or defensive are probably the most obvious with the Bulwark Archetype.
Psionics are Flexible Weapon Users with a bit of Ability Generalist. Their claim to fame is their T1, Psionic Flow, which grants them a varying boost to their effectiveness each round depending on the dice roll. Notably, this can be rerolled with Narrative Momentum normally at no cost increase, so consider using it to ensure you got more oomph on rounds that matter. The rest of their features enhance this feature, giving it additional benefits and eventually making it more consistent.
Since Psionic Flow boosts DR Power and all attack rolls, Ability-focused Psionics are quite useful, and saving their Abilities for rounds where your Psionic Flow is high is a core part of the playstyle since you don’t gain any more Willpower over the base Unarmed Archetype. Because they are so flexible, their Path can either be one of the Ability-focused ones, or they can focus on Path of Attack or Path of Flash Attack.
Sages are Flexible Weapon Users and Ability Generalists that excel at weaving between using Abilities and Attacks. This is done through their T2 Ki-Filled Weapon and T3 Flow of Ki, which improve the opposite whenever you use either an Ability or Attack until the end of your next turn. The other features are primarily defensive and a way to get back Willpower.
The big choice is whether to focus more on Abilities or on Attacks. Either way, the Sage is designed to flow between the use of Abilities and Weapon attacks, so taking Path of Attack, Path of Flash Attack, or Path of Manouver are needed unless you rely on Abilities that give you weapon attacks, like Cleave, Projectile Barrage, High-Speed Combo or Power Strike. Regardless of your choice, Sages can be built in many different ways since they aren’t picky about their Weapon or Ability decisions.
Virtuosos are Ability Generalists with a bit of Utility, heavily focused on their chosen Skill from T1, Virtuoso’s Focus, allowing them to use its Skill Level+10 as a Primary or Secondary Stat. This is further emphasized with T2 Infused Ability, which allows you to enhance your next Ability on a successful Skill Check of 12 a number of times equal to your Primary Stat per full rest. Because of this, it should be spared for critical situations.
The effects of Infused Ability vary depending on the Stat of the Skill, and the benefits of this feature become more potent as you gain additional features, eventually even allowing the effects to last until the end of combat (with a high enough check). Because of how reliant you are on a successful Skill Check and max Skill Level, taking Expert’s T1 Expert in your Field can greatly increase not only the consistency of Infused Ability but also boost your Skill Stat.
Virtuosos can build around whatever Abilities you want generally, but be sure you keep in mind your Infused Ability effect to ensure that it isn’t going to waste on your build. Dexterity, Constitution, and Will Skills are all pretty safe bets if you want to be flexible with your Ability selection. The other options require you to pick specific sub-sets of Abilities, so keep that in mind.
Wanderers are Flexible Weapon Users with a slight lean towards Utility, focused on using their chosen Skill with their weapon. This is thanks to T1 Wanderer’s Resourcefulness, allowing them to replace either their Primary or Secondary Stat on their weapon with the chosen Skill Level+10. This is emphasized further with T2 Fighting Skill, which grants a significant benefit on a successful Skill Check of 12 for only 1AP. The Lesser Talent Multi-Action is excellent on Wanderers for this very reason.
The benefit from Fighting Skill varies depending on the Stat the Skill relies on, and the effects improve as you gain more features. Because of how reliant you are on a successful Skill check and max Skill Level, taking Expert’s T1 Expert in your Field can greatly increase not only the consistency of Fighting Skill but also boost your Skill Stat with your weapon.
Wanderers are otherwise surprisingly flexible with their chosen weapon play style (just be sure to keep in mind your Fighting Skill benefit). Be sure to read Flexible Weapon Users for more information on how to play them effectively.