Divinity: Original Sin Character Builds, Customization and Progression Guide

By   /   Jul 10, 2014

Divinity: Original Sin brings back the old times of turn-based strategic RPGs, and with it a familiar kind of in-depth character development system. It’s not shameful to admit that the flexibility and open end world offered by the system can be a bit overwhelming in the start, and it takes a good amount of time to become accustomed to the entire setup.

Sadly, such turn-based RPGs are very unforgiving and demand technical and tactical prowess from the player, and a large part of your tactics and technicality is determined by what kind of character you have developed.

Divinity: Original Sin Character Builds

This is an in-depth guide for those looking to build a proper party with well-developed character. We’ll go over the basics and then advance towards how one can create a party of 2 or 4 characters to form a team the works as a single integrated unit during battle.

Creating Your Character

At the character creation screen, you’ll be seeing a guy and girl with the names Roderick and Scarlett, with an option for the type of class underneath. There are quite a few ‘classes’ to choose from, but you shouldn’t let this selective option fool you.

There is no real kind of class in Divinity. What you choose right now only determines a limited amount of initial abilities (which you can customize immediately after choosing the class) and the gear you start off with.

At most, this will only affect your gameplay and progression for the first hour.

Once you start leveling and investing points according to your own preferences, you’ll notice how your character shapes up and may actually be vastly different from the starting ‘class’ you chose. So, you could actually choose a Knight in the beginning, and after a few hours make him/her into a hardcore Wizard.

This allows a lot of depth as far as building your character is concerned. However, it’s never too bad to have an initial precursor and foundation to work with, so you should try and choose your class according to what you plan to go with.

Remember, the real ‘class’ is actually in your head; if you plan to play a Tank, choose a class with gear and initial Abilties/Attributes that would better suit a tanking role. If you wish to play an elemental magic character, head for the Wizard, who is already setup to excel at using spells.

Once you have chosen your character, things tend to open up for you. You’ll be given a chance to customize the preset in almost every way possible, except for the innate Attributes and the gear you start with.

Starter Character Customization

It doesn’t stop at just you selecting your character. Once you’ve selected your class, you’ll be presented with the overview.

On the left side you’ll be shown a summary of the stats and abilities, whereas on the right it’s purely about your appearance. Since this is a guide that focuses on the former, we’ll leave it up to you to decide how your character looks.

If you wish to take control of things yourself and customize almost everything (except gear) yourself, click the Customize button and you’ll be presented with the Attributes & Starting Skills on the right, and Abilities & Talents on the left.

Let’s deal with these two individually.


Abilities are divided into several categories. A lot of people actually confuse Skills as Abilities – the two might mean the same thing in other games, but in Divinity Abilities is the master set that comprises of various sub-sets, of which one is the Skills.

The Weapons set of Abilities includes masteries in different kinds of weapons. These are categorized as Bows, Crossbows, Single-handed, and Two-Handed. You’ll want to invest at least one point in one of these for now to give you damage boost.

It’s an attractive idea to play a Wizard who wields a sword, but weapons in general are Attributes specific, in which case you should at least be investing points according to your Attributes and which weapon you start off with.

Dexterity allows one to use Bows and Crossbows better, while Strength will determine how good of a sword/mace you can use. Intelligence mostly deals with two-handed staffs and scepters.

In Defense, you have the option of leveling Armor Specialist, Body Building, Shield Specialist, and Willpower. For tanks the best choice is Body Building, which will reduce the effects of knockdowns, bleeds, cripples, and similar physical status ailments.

The most obvious choice for a player planning to build a Wizard is Willpower, as it aids in reduce the effects of arcane status ailments, such as Slow, Pertrified, Stun, and etcetera.

Armor Specialist is great for those players looking to utilize Heavy Armor, as it’ll decrease the movement penalty, whereas Shield Specialist is obviously suited if you plan to wield one.

This is the heart of the entire Abilities system, as it is, along with Attributes, what truly determines the ‘class’ of the character you will play. There are an abundance of skills to choose from, but first you must specialize in specific categories. At the start you’ll have two skills you can invest in, and later on you’ll gain points to put additional.

Each skill is actually not a skill, but a category of skills. The category you invest in will be unlocked, and whenever you find skill-books during the game you will be able to learn skills from that category. The following are the skill categories – I won’t be listing the skills themselves (not here at least), since they are fairly easy to understand and are in huge abundance.

Aerothourge – Command the powerful element of Air by conjuring Tornados, utilizing lightning bolts, and creating electric shields around yourself.

Expert Marksman – Though mostly associated with dealing damage from distance with the Bow and Crossobw, the Expert Marksman tree also consists of defensive skills that would help in curing different effects like Poison, Bleeding, and other physical ailments.

Geomancer – A specialist in the use of earthen magic, the Geomancer can summon creatures to fight next to him, or control the grounds beneath him to grant him upper hand by initiating deadly Earthquakes.

Hydrosophist – The Curer, and also the lord of the seas. The Hydrosophist is an expert in utilizing the power of Water element, using Ice Shards for offense while providing assistance with blessing cures and regeneration.

Man-at-Arms – The expert tree for those who fight in close quarters, wielding weapons of steel and utilizing their strength and courage to fight foes and feel the spill of their blood on this faces.

Pyrokinetic – The name of the tree suggests that it needs little introduction. The Pyrokinetic are masters of the Fire element, using it to burn down their foes with destructive burst damage.

Scoundrel – They may not have the strength or the wizardry, but those utilizing the trickery provided by the Scoundrel tree will prevail at using daggers and venoms to stealthily do away with their foes.

Witchcraft – Had it not been used by the heroes, Witchcraft would be deemed as pure evil. The macabre arts that are used in this skill-set are controversial yet effective, nullifying the most potent of elemental spells, and crippling the most fearsome of warriors.

Personality abilities include Bartering, Charisma, Leadership, and Lucky Charm. This is more of a utility and helps more outside of battle than it does inside.

Bartering will help in haggling with traders, Charisma aids in charming people with your conversations and actions, Leadership will give boosts to party members that can see your character, and Lucky Charm improves your chances of finding special treasure and also improves your offensive rating.

I’ll let you decide which one you want to choose for your character once you’ve played a good part of the game.

Craftsmanship is a big part of most modern RPG games, and Divinity is no exception. Craftsmanship abilities include Blacksmithing, Crafting, Loremaster, and Telekinesis.

Blacksmithing is probably the most useful of the lot, as it allows you to repair your own items, a trait that will almost always prove useful to some extent. Crafting will allow you to craft items like food and potions – if you enjoy that kind of crafting, you might want to give it a try.

Loremaster allows you to better identify things, meaning it’s pretty useless for most part of the game, while Telekinesis allows you to move objects with the power of your mind – attractive but not entirely essential.

Obviously, Blacksmithing should get the thumbs up as the best choice of the lot, though it’s advisable to start investing in any kind of Craftsmanship ability only after your character is beginning to shape up into what you would like (basically meaning as late as possible).

Nasty Deeds
Nasty Deeds involve Rogue-like tricks, consisting of Lockpicking, Pickpocketing, and Sneaking. Investing points in any of these will simply increase your chances while performance the tasks. Honestly most of this is completely useless, as Locks can be destroyed with enough Strength, and pickpocketing is hardly ever rewarding.

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