Similar to competing RPGs, Pillars of Eternity’s story revolves around the type of character you choose to become. These choices help determine what conversational options you receive, skills you’ll be able to acquire, and branching paths you’ll take throughout the game. These are not easy choices to make, and you’ll deal with the consequences for several hours as you play through the game, which makes these decisions extremely important.
Before you start digging into the game’s lore, we want to make sure you understand all of the important things that come with creating a character in a role-playing game as complex as Pillars of Eternity. To help pull this off, we brought together all the information we could find on each Class type and all six Primary Attributes, then put it in this simple guide to help you create the best character possible.
While we strongly encourage you to read up on our character creation tips below, we also wanted to bring our Pillars of Eternity side quest guides to your attention. We go in-depth covering Act I, Act II and even Act III. Be sure to use those as you continue on your journey.
- Pillars of Eternity Side Quest - Act I
- Pillars of Eternity Side Quest - Act II
- Pillars of Eternity Side Quest - Act III
The first thing you’ll do after deciding what your character looks like is choose the class. There are currently eleven different class types, and each one varies greatly from the rest. We won’t waste a lot of time because in the end it all comes down to personal preference, but we want to make sure you understand the advantages of each class, and the role they play in your party.
The Barbarian is an aggressive style melee fighter who strikes as fast and as hard as possible. This class’s base Endurance and Health are very high, while its Deflection stats start off low. The Accuracy for this class is Average. The Barbarian’s main use is to act as a damage soaker, or tank. Yes, it is extremely useful for dealing massive amounts of damage, but at the end of the day this is the character you want all the enemies focusing their attacks on, as it will be the last one standing when the virtual smoke clears.
This class focuses mostly around support and passive spells. Throughout a battle, this class will continually chant magical phrases that in turn allow for powerful attack and defensive spells, as well as constant buffs for other party members. This class begins with a low Endurance level, as well as a low Health level, thus making it very important to keep your Chanter in the back away from immediate danger. The Deflection for this class is very high, and this will be extremely useful for those odd times when this character falls under attack. Finally, this class has average accuracy.
The Cipher is a magical attack based class. While it can use weapons such as swords and bows, the most damage will be inflicted by the magical spells these characters cast. The majority of these spells, however, focus on the target’s mind, so it is great for paralyzing and scaring enemies into corners so your heavy-damaging fighters can finish them off. With very low Endurance and a low base Health stat, this character works best when it isn’t the center of your enemies’ attention. Accuracy for this class is average, however. Much like the Chanter, it features a high Deflection stat.
The Druid class is another magical-based class that allows its users to transform into animals to cause greater damage. Starting off, this class features a low base Endurance and Health stat, with very low Accuracy. However, like other magical classes its Deflection stats are high, allowing it to ward off many enemy attacks. Most of the attacks caused by Druid spells are area of effect, or AOE.
The Fighter is one of the more well-rounded classes available to players in Pillars of Eternity. It features a high base stat of Endurance, Health, and very high base stats in Accuracy and Deflection. Alongside these high stats comes the constant recovery of Endurance during battle, making it one of the most useful classes for players who plan to spend most of their time wandering the land in constant battle. You’ll often see them fighting with a one-handed weapon, as well as a shield.
This class is perhaps one of the trickier to use, as the stronger attacks and abilities must have Wounds in order for players to use them. The only way to gain Wounds is for your character to be in pain. Fortunately, however, this class was blessed with a high Endurance stat, as well as very high Health, Accuracy, and Deflection. If you plan to play as a Monk, it is highly recommended that you do not equip any weapons, as your unarmed attacks will be much more powerful and will continue to increase in damage as you gain levels.
Just like the Fighter, Paladins have high Endurance and Health, however their Accuracy is average, while their Deflection is very high. The major difference between these two classes is the way that the Paladin’s reputation positively and negatively effects the character’s defensive attributes. When playing as a Paladin, gamers will need to align their choices and actions with their chosen faiths and beliefs, otherwise they will suffer negative attributes added to their defensive capabilities.
The Priest class is responsible for supporting the rest of the party through Endurance enhancing spells and abilities. Like the Paladin, this magic-based class is very reliant on the beliefs of the character’s faith, and how their reputation lines up with that. Priests have low Endurance and Deflection, as well as very low Health and Accuracy stats. This makes it vitally important to keep these characters in the back of your party away from the battle.
Perhaps one of the most loved ranged-fighters of any RPG, Rangers are skilled archers as well as survivalists. They have low Endurance, yet sport a high Health base stat, along with high Deflection and very high Accuracy points. These characters aren’t meant for frontline battle, and are most helpful when placed in the back alongside your Priests and Chanters. Rangers also bring an animal companion along, which is extremely helpful for warding off damage and running interference for the party.
This class operates from the shadows and features low Endurance, Health, and Deflection stats, however it boasts a very high Accuracy base stat. These base statistics make this class extremely difficult to master, but expert use of the stealth-defined abilities will allow players running this class to inflict conditions like Flanked, Blinded, Hobbled, and Stunned, all of which are extremely useful for locking enemies in between your high damage dealers so you can quickly clear the battlefield.
The final class featured within Pillars of Eternity is perhaps one of the most known within the RPG world. Wizards are powerful masters of magic, and the wizards featured within Obsidian Entertainment’s newest RPG are no different. Featuring low Endurance, Health, Accuracy, and Deflection, making expert use of the spells and abilities that wizards have is vitally important for keeping them alive to see another battle.
Attributes define the base mental and physical capabilities of your character, and are broken up into six primary categories.
Might is the physical and spiritual representation of the player’s strength. This attribute contributes to Damage and Healing within battle, is useful for intimidating characters during conversations, and contributes to the Fortitude defense.
Dexterity is the overall summary of a character’s hand-eye coordination, balance, and grace. It affects the Action Speed of attacks, abilities, and contributes to the Reflex defense during battle, as well as sleight interactions within conversation.
Constitution is the character’s health and stamina. It isn’t used in interactions, though it is sometimes checked when testing a player’s resolve to withstand pain or a physically taxing event. It affects you max Health and Endurance, as well as contributes to Fortitude defense.
Perception is most important for finding hidden objects and traps. It is a base representation of your character’s senses, as well as their ability to instinctually pick up on details. In combat it affects your Deflection and Reflex defense, and grants a bonus to the Interrupt ability.
Intellect is the magic user’s greatest ally. It represents your logic and reasoning abilities, and is extremely useful during interactions for deducing lies and realizing truths. It contributes to Will defense, as well as durations and AOE spells for all Abilities and Talents
Resolve is the character’s inner drive, fearlessness, and determination. It also makes up the emotional intensity they project to others. It is useful in combat for Concentration, Will and Deflection defenses. It is also extremely important for mental intimidation and leadership.
All of the attributes mentioned above, save for Constitution, can be extremely important when dealing with NPCs within the world. Players should always keep an eye out for conversation options that allow them to learn more, as well as make headway on their quests. If you keep all of this in mind, you shouldn’t run into any problems creating a well-rounded character for the class you choose.
If you're still on the fence about buying Pillars of Eternity, we'd highly suggest checking out this fantastic Pillars of Eternity review by our very own Kat Bailey.