Pillars of Eternity Character Creation Guide – Attributes, Race, Class, Culture

By   /   Mar 28, 2015

Pillars of Eternity is a great reintroduction to the classic RPG genre for the PC that had long been under the dusts.

Much like many of those old-school lore-driven RPGs, Pillars of Eternity is not simple to get around, and demands that you take your time in just about everything, be it creating your character, performing combat, or just strolling around in a village.

Pillars of Eternity Character Creation Tips

To start off, you’ll need to create your character, and sadly it’s not just limited to aesthetics. There are a lot of stats and numbers to take care of, and a lot of lore-heavy content that needs to be determined for your initial character.

For this very reason, it can seem a rather daunting task, especially since what kind of character you develop is extremely important in Pillars of Eternity, as it directly determines how NPCs interact with you, what abilities/talents you will unlock, and what curve the story will take.

This guide is here to get you started and understand the character creation system, so you can make the important decisions where they are needed.

Race

Although races play an important role in classic RPGs, Pillars of Eternity puts more emphasis on Culture instead. Races such as human/dwarf/elf have a significantly reduce role due to most cultures being heterogeneous.

There are six races to choose from in PoE: Aumaua, Human, Elves, Dwarves, Godlike, and Orlans. Once a race is chosen, the player selects a sub-race to further define the character. Each subrace will grant you a unique ability and a specific bonus in some manner, and also plays an important role in how NPCs interact with you.

Race is a major aesthetic choice, and while Culture will primarily play a major role in determining your status amongst the commoners and NPCs, Race will play a large part in determining your starting stats.

Classes

Classes in Pillars of Eternity are neither race nor gender locked, meaning you can start off with any of the various different classes available in the game.

However, classes play a huge role in determining majority of the abilities you will be unlocking as you level up, which makes this perhaps the most influential and important option in your character creation.

While choosing a class, it is important to know what kind of structure you will give to your party. A balanced party works best. Each class will have its own unique set of starting abilities, passives, and skills that will give them a pointer towards their specialization.

Once you have chosen a class, you will be able to choose between a few abilities that are available at the beginning.

The amount of abilities varies from class to class. For example, a Rogue has two abilities out of which you can choose one. The Cipher on the other hand has around 6 abilities out of which you can choose 2.

Barbarian
Ferocious, fearless, and sometimes reckless, the Barbarian class is all about brutal offense and tenacity. This class makes for an excellent tank.

Chanter
These knowledge fellowss use their insight about old phrases to form chants during a battle. They have cycling lists of low power, high AoE passive buffs and debuffs, and are excellent at invocation.

Cipher
The offensively oriented Cipher conventional weapons only to fuel themselves so they can manipulate the spirit energy of the world and peer into their enemies’ souls..

Druid
The Druids share a special connection to nature. Animals obey them as if they were lords, and natural occurrences bend to their will. The added ability to transform into mythical beasts in battlefield make them highly formidable, and highly respected.

Fighter
Be it with a blunt weapon or one that is sharpened to perfection, the Fighter is trained to be a perfect soldier and protector.

Monk
Monks believe that their flesh is only a tool; they absorb a portion of incoming damage and convert it into Wounds, which can be used to power soul-based abilities through their weapons.

Primarily melee focused, they know how to channel enemy hatred and evil into justice.

Paladin
The Paladin are a valiant class of people who have devoted their life to a just cause. They inspire nearby allies and make formidable defenders and supportive tanks.

Priest
Holy, pious, and benevolent, priests channel their faith into powerful abilities to aid their allies.

Priests in particular are extremely unique to the class system as instead of choosing abilities, they get to choose a Deity which they worship. This option will largely dictate how you play the game, as falling out of line of your Deity can cause repercussions in the game.

Ranger
With the aid of Animal Companions and weapons that can target from afar, Rangers play on the edge of the battlefield, yet are always a consistent threat for foes.

Rogue
Sly, slippery, and highly skilled, the rogues rely on their stealth and subterfuge abilities to land extremely heavy-hitting blows on key targets.

Wizard
Men and women of high education and extreme mental discipline, they use grimoires to cast difficult and powerful spells that can damage many enemies or aid a single ally. Their power is life-saving or pure destructive, depending on the individual’s nature.

Attributes

Attributes determine a character’s inherent abilities, and there are various kinds of them in the game. Primary Attributes are what you’ll be looking towards when creating your character.

There are a total of six of them, and once you choose your class, the highly recommended attributes for that class type will have a golden star next to them, while the slightly less recommended (yet still advised) will have a silver start.

This means that your character’s performance and development is skewed towards these attributes more than the others.

After choosing a race and a class, certain attributes will have more points than others. You can actually subtract the points and put them elsewhere in addition to the ones you are already give to spend.

Note though that subtracting points will obviously reduce certain stats; keep an eye out for the reductions on the right-hand-side of the screen. You don’t want to be playing a Barbarian that has immense Might be lacks the resolve.

Despite the potential drawback of reducing already allocated points, I would highly recommend you do so and reinvest them in more important attributes, as specializing is extremely important in Pillars of Eternity – you simply cannot play as a jack of all trades.

Might
A character’s physical and spiritual strength. Determines Damage, Healing, and the Fortitude defense.
Bonus Per Point: +3 Endurance and Health, +2 Fortitude

Constitution
Constitution greatly determines a character’s overall health and stamina.
Bonus Per Point: +3% Action Speed and +2 Reflex

Dexterity
A representation of a character’s hand-eye coordination, balance, and overall grace. It affects the
character’s Action Speed with all attacks including spells and abilities. It also contributes to Reflex.
Bonus Per Point: +2% Endurance, +2% Health

Perception
Perception contributes to the Deflection and Reflex defenses and grants a bonus to Interrupt.
Bonus Per Point: +3 Interrupt, +1 Deflection, and +2 Reflex

Intellect
It contributes to the Will defense and determines Durations and Areas of Effect for all Abilities and Talents.
Bonus Per Point: +6% Area of Effect,+5% Duration, and +1 Wil

Resolve
It helps characters maintain Concentration and contributes to the Will and Deflection defenses.
Bonus Per Point: +3 Concentration, +1 Deflection, and +2 Will

Culture

Culture has a very important role in determining where your character stands in the world.

NPCs will vary their interaction and behavior with you primarily due to culture (though race can sometimes play a minor role). Culture also has a great role in determining the initial aesthetics and weaponry.

Gameplay-wise, the most important role of Culture is the bonus stats it gives. In addition to being important lore-wise, the Culture mechanic gives you bonuses in your attributes.

Personally, I like basing my Culture by looking at all three things: lore, bonuses, and aesthetics. The Culture that is the most balanced (most attractive, relevant bonus, and interesting lore) is the one I usually end up choosing.

Aedyr
+1 Resolve

Deadfire Archipelago
+1 Dexterity

Ixamitl Plains
+1 Resolve

Old Vailia
+1 Intellect

Rauatai
+1 Intellect

The Living Lands
+1 Might

The White that Wends
+1 Dexterity

Background
After selecting your Culture, you will need to select your Background. Background determines how your character was raised in your selected Culture. Like Culture, each Background gives a specific bonus, but instead of attributes it gives it to skills.

Note that a lot of backgrounds are exclusive to certain Cultures, and will not appear if you do not belong to that specific culture.

Aristocrat
Available to all except The Living Lands
+2 Lore

Artist
Old Vailia
+2 Lore

Clergyman
Aedyr
+2 Lore

Colonist
Aedyr
+2 Survival

Dissident
Aedyr
Lore + 1, Stealth + 1

Drifter
All
Survival + 1, Stealth + 1

Explorer
Deadfire Archipelago
Lore + 1, Survival + 1

Hunter
All
Survival + 1, Stealth + 1

Laborer
All
Mechanics + 1, Athletics + 1

Mercenary
Available to all except The White that Wends
Lore + 1, Athletics + 1

Merchant
All
Lore + 1, Mechanics + 1

Mystic
The White that Wends
Lore + 2

Philosopher
Iximatl Plains
Lore + 2

Raider
Deadfire Archipelago
Athletics + 1, Stealth + 1

Scholar
Iximatl Plains
Lore + 2

Scientist
The Living Lands
Lore + 1, Mechanics + 1

Slave
Aedyr
Athletics + 1, Survival + 1

Appearance and Voice

Once you’ve finally chosen your Background, you’ve done most of the important things. Now you can simply tweak the aesthetics of your character, such as their skin tone, their physique, and more.

Take your time in these things, select your portrait and then your voice, and after that you should be ready to start the game.

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