Getting Started

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This article is a guide: the content herein is likely to contain subjective opinions. Consider discussing any substantial changes before editing the page.

You can look for more guides on various subjects in this category.

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Make no mistake, we will face ever greater threats, our soldiers must be ready.
~ The Narrator after entering Guild for a first time

As the game tells you before you even start playing, Darkest Dungeon is about making the best out of a bad situation. There are many ways for your expeditions to go awry, and sometimes even with the best preparations available you can still be forced into a precarious position. How far, then, will you be able to persevere as you attempt to stop the creeping evil that your late Ancestor has unearthed?

The Basics[edit | edit source]

Base Stats[edit | edit source]

Base stats are statistics that measure a character's ability and how well they preform certain tasks. There are seven main stats in the game;

  • MAX HP - Maximum Hit Points. This is the character's endurance and how much damage they can take before reaching Death's Door. Determined by Armor.
  • ACC MOD - Accuracy Modifier. Accuracy (ACC) determines how likely a character will hit a target. ACC is determined by skill, while the ACC MOD is how much a character adds to ACC.
  • DODGE - Dodge. This is the character's likeliness of evading an attack. DODGE subtracts from the opponents ACC to make it more likely to miss. Determined by Armor.
  • CRIT - Critical Chance. How likely it is a character will get a critical hit, thus dealing much higher damage than usual. Determined by Weapon.
  • PROT - Protection Points. This allows a character to reduce the damage they take.
  • DMG - Damage. This is the strength of your character and how quickly they can kill enemies. Determined by Weapon.
  • SPD - Speed. This shows when characters move in combat. The higher the speed, the higher the chance the character will go first. Determined by Weapon.

Death's Door[edit | edit source]

Rather than immediately dying when a hero has 0 HP, they instead reach Death's Door. In this state they are significantly weakened and any attack has a chance to kill them. The base chance of a deathblow is 33% - a 1-in-3 chance - but there are ways to mitigate it. If you can heal them they'll be safe again, however they will be weakened for the rest of the quest for being so close to death.

The Heroes[edit | edit source]

Heroes, or Adventurers, are characters used by the player when assembling parties and expeditions to explore dungeons. They are divided into several classes, specializations that define their appearance and abilities. Each character has different skills and can fill different roles in combat. To recruit new heroes, players must go to the Stage Coach within the Hamlet.

Character Classes[edit | edit source]

Fortunately every hero you will encounter is strong and very useful. The challenge here is to figure out how to use them effectively. This short overview will help you familiarize yourself with all the heroes in the game. It starts with the first 4 hero classes you will meet, and then lists the rest alphabetically.

Crusader
Crusader1.png
Party Role Melee fighter, secondary healer
Ease of
Use
EASY
Notable
Skills
Smite.png Smite Holy Lance.png Holy
Lance
Provision 1 Holy Water
Pros
  • Strong melee fighter with very high HP.
  • Extra damage vs Unholy enemies.
  • Has skills to maintain light levels.
  • Good at managing Stress, either in-battle or while Camping.
  • Can get back into the front lines with Holy Lance.
Cons
  • Severely limited in the back ranks.
  • Difficulty attacking the back row.
  • Very low SPD.
  • Physical healing skills are weak compared to specialists.
Description
A holy warrior that shines brightest in the Ruins, but his solid all around stats make him a good choice for any team.


Highwayman
Highwayman1.png
Party Role A flexible melee/ranged fighter
Ease of
Use
EASY
Notable
Skills
Grapeshot Blast.png Grapeshot
Blast
Duelist's Advance.png Duelist's
Advance
Provision None
Pros
  • Can attack both the back and the front ranks easily.
  • Very mobile and can be positioned anywhere.
  • Good at disarming traps.
  • Strongest Riposte of the base classes.
  • Strong Camp buffs make him an excellent damage dealer.
Cons
  • Low HP.
  • No healing abilities.
  • Has difficulty against high-PROT enemies.
Description
A class that can do massive damage from the front or snipe down the enemy's backlines from afar. Just keep an eye on his low HP.


Plague Doctor
Plague Doctor1.png
Party Role Inflicting and curing status effects
Ease of
Use
MEDIUM
Notable
Skills
Plague Grenade.png Plague
Grenade
Battlefield Medicine.png Battlefield
Medicine
Provision 1 Antivenom
Pros
  • Can inflict Blight, Bleed and clear corpses.
  • Very good Stun.
  • Best Blight skills in the entire game.
  • Can cure blight and bleed for herself and allies.
  • Abilities that attack both enemies in the back ranks.
  • Powerful buff skill.
Cons
  • Takes several turns to kill enemies with bleed/blight.
  • Needs both Noxious Blast and Plague Grenade to be able to blight anywhere in the enemy formation.
  • Low base damage makes it difficult to relieve Stress from inflicting killing blows.
Description
This class focuses on inflicting and curing status effects. She's very helpful when facing armored enemies who reduce normal damage, since bleed and blight ignore protection.


Vestal
Vestal1.png
Party Role Primary healer and support
Ease of
Use
EASY
Notable
Skills
Divine Grace.png Divine
Grace
Divine Comfort.png Divine
Comfort
Provision None
Pros
  • Consistent healing.
  • Only source of reliable full-party healing.
  • Skills that do extra damage to Unholy enemies.
  • Some skills can raise the Light Meter.
  • Camp skills offer good bonuses with religious (Crusader/Leper/Flagellant/God-Fearing Quirk) heroes.
Cons
  • Low HP, Damage and DODGE.
  • Low mobility; struggles with healing if shuffled to the front.
  • Divine Grace is restricted to the back ranks and locks her out of her melee skills.
Description
The Vestal is the primary healer in Darkest Dungeon. She can heal others for a decent amount, heal herself while attacking, and is the only hero that can heal every party member at once, albeit for small amounts.


Abomination
Abomination1.png
Party Role Switches between a supporting and fighting role
Ease of
Use
HARD
Notable
Skills
Manacles.png Manacles Rake.png Rake
Provision None
Pros
  • Can transform between Human and Beast forms; effectively has his entire skill set available.
  • Great Stun and AOE blight in human form.
  • Self-healing and Stress relief in human form.
  • Powerful damage dealer in beast form.
  • Very high SPD.
Cons
  • Causes stress to the party when transforming and to himself when staying transformed.
  • Severely limited if knocked into the back ranks.
  • If he reverts to human form, cannot change back until the next battle.
Description
A unique class that has two different forms which change his role in combat. The human form can weaken enemies with status effects and heal himself, while the beast form is a powerful attacking class. Just be careful how you use the beast form. It's stressful to become a monster, let alone being around one.


Antiquarian
Antiquarian1.png
Party Role Boosts profits, weak support
Ease of
Use
HARD
Notable
Skills
Invigorating Vapours.png Invigorating Vapors Protect Me.png Protect Me
Provision 1 Skeleton Key
Pros
  • Can Buff the party's DODGE.
  • Can force allies to guard her, granting them a strong defensive buff.
  • Increases gold stacks by 750.
  • Can find valuable antiques when interacting with curios.
  • Attack skills can be used from anywhere in the formation.
  • Can produce Trinkets and additional supplies while Camping.
Cons
  • Low HP and damage.
  • Terrible resistances.
  • Weak healing.
Description
While a pitiful addition to your combat roster, she is very useful for gathering gold. Each Antiquarian in a party will increase the amount of gold you can carry by 750 per stack, and she is the only party member able to find antiques which sell for a great deal of money. Make sure that the rest of the party can pull their weight to compensate for her not contributing to finishing a fight.


Arbalest
Arbalest1.png
Party Role Ranged fighter, secondary healer
Ease of
Use
EASY
Notable
Skills
Sniper Shot.png Sniper
Shot
Battlefield Bandage.png Battlefield
Bandage
Provision 1 Bandage
Pros
  • Powerful ranged attacks which strengthen against Marked enemies.
  • Healing skill amplifies the target's healing received for great synergy with other healers.
  • Is one of the best camping healers.
  • Rallying Flare can simultaneously cleanse Mark, Stun, and Stealth.
Cons
  • Severely handicapped in the front ranks.
  • Struggles in attacking the enemy front lines.
  • Situational non-healing support skills.
Description
The Arbalest is one of your few exclusively-ranged damage dealers. Her Sniper Shot is the best damage skill she's got, and her Mark synergy lets her work excellently in tandem with other heroes that Mark. She struggles in and against the frontline, so make sure to back her up with heroes who can strike where she can't.


Bounty Hunter
Bounty Hunter1.png
Party Role Flexible melee attacker
Ease of
Use
MEDIUM
Notable
Skills
Collect Bounty.png Collect
Bounty
Flashbang.png Flashbang
Provision None
Pros
Cons
  • Average base damage without the Mark/Stun/Human bonus.
  • Below average HP and DODGE for a melee fighter.
  • Weak back rank damage; shuffling them forward is often a better option.
Description
The key to making the Bounty Hunter work is preparation. With him it's often best to take a turn to weaken and ensnare the enemy, opening it up for an easy kill. He is best paired with other Heroes who can Stun and Mark for him so that he can immediately capitalize on vulnerable enemies.


Grave Robber
Grave Robber1.png
Party Role Dodge focused damage dealer, inflicts status effects
Ease of
Use
MEDIUM
Notable
Skills
Lunge.png Lunge Shadow Fade.png Shadow
Fade
Provision 1 Shovel
Pros
  • Incredible damage on Blighted enemies.
  • Very mobile and can attack from anywhere.
  • High SPD, CRIT and DODGE, and can buff those stats even higher.
  • Best trap disarmer.
  • Has a PROT-ignoring attack.
Cons
  • Low HP.
  • Moves around a lot, which can disrupt formation.
  • Very weak at low levels.
Description
The Grave Robber is the most flexible class positioning wise. While most heroes can only work in certain ranks, she can deal damage or disrupt foes no matter where she is. Her low HP means you have to be more careful with her up front, but her high DODGE and skills that buff it even higher will keep enemies busy. Best paired with a Hero that inflicts Blight themselves so that she can immediately capitalize on her damage bonus.


Hellion
Hellion1.png
Party Role Powerful frontline fighter
Ease of
Use
MEDIUM
Notable
Skills
Iron Swan.png Iron
Swan
Breakthrough.png Breakthrough
Provision None
Pros
  • Very high base DMG and high DODGE.
  • Can hit any enemy if she's in position 1.
  • Breakthrough hits 3 enemies at once while moving her forward.
  • Can inflict strong Bleeds.
  • Barbaric YAWP can Stun both enemies in front.
  • Adrenaline Rush buffs her DMG/ACC, heals and cures herself from bleed/blight.
Cons
  • Some skills, like the aforementioned Breakthrough, tire her out.
  • Severely limited in the back ranks.
  • Camping skills not very useful for supporting her companions.
Description
The Hellion is a barbaric warrior who boasts high damage and evasive ability. She's best place right in the front, where she's capable of using all her skills and slaughter enemies in any rank. Be aware that using certain skills exhaust her, lowering her DMG and DODGE.


Houndmaster
Houndmaster1.png
Party Role Ranged fighter, team support
Ease of
Use
MEDIUM
Notable
Skills
Hound's Rush.png Hound's
Rush
Whistle.png Target
Whistle
Provision 2 Dog Treats
Pros
  • Dog Treats powers up his hound briefly.
  • Can heal himself and heal the party's stress. Camping skills offer excellent stress management.
  • Great for scouting and disarming traps.
  • Powerful Stun skill in the front lines.
  • Can guard allies and grant himself a DODGE bonus.
  • Deals extra damage to Beast and Marked enemies.
  • Target Whistle marks enemies and has the best PROT reduction debuff.
Cons
  • Below average base damage.
  • Weak bleed damage.
  • Dog Treats may needlessly occupy inventory space.
  • Low HP.
  • Guard only lasts for 1 turn.
Description
Without a doubt the Houndmaster is the most versatile class in the game. While he doesn't have the raw power to take on enemies by himself, his varied and unique set of skills give him plenty of options no matter the situation.


Jester
Jester1.png
Party Role Team support, inflicts bleed
Ease of
Use
HARD
Notable
Skills
Battle Ballad.png Battle
Ballad
Finale.png Finale
Provision 1 Medicinal Herbs
Pros
  • Can increase the entire party's SPD, ACC and CRIT.
  • Powerful stress healer in battle and camp.
  • Most mobile character in the game.
  • Great CRIT rate and bleed damage.
  • Finale is a very powerful attack.
Cons
  • Finale has one use per battle and saddles him with a crippling debuff.
  • Highly restricted where he can use abilities.
  • Severely disrupts battle formation if used as a damage dealer.
  • Low base HP.
Description
The Jester is tricky to get a handle on, with many of his skills moving him around and the party out of formation. However his music skills, Battle Ballad and Inspiring Tune, are the best team-buff and stress heal in the entire game.


Leper
Leper1.png
Party Role Raw frontline melee damage
Ease of
Use
HARD
Notable
Skills
Hew.png Hew Withstand.png Withstand
Provision 1 Medicinal Herbs
Pros
  • Highest HP and Damage output.
  • Self-sufficient; can heal himself, relieve his own Stress, and buff himself offensively or defensively.
  • Can hit multiple targets with Hew.
  • Intimidate offers a very strong DMG debuff.
Cons
  • Can only hit the front ranks.
  • Low mobility; crippled in the back ranks.
  • Low accuracy.
Description
No other hero can deal as much damage as the Leper can in a single strike. While his low accuracy makes it difficult for him to hit enemies, with the right skills/trinkets this is easily made irrelevant, giving you a warrior that who hits like a truck and tanks effectively.


Man-at-Arms
Man-at-Arms1.png
Party Role Defensive fighter, team support
Ease of
Use
EASY
Notable
Skills
Retribution.png Retribution Bolster.png Bolster
Provision None
Pros
  • Can Buff the party's DODGE, Stress Resist, ACC and CRIT.
  • Fantastic camp buffs.
  • Can Stun and push back enemies.
  • Guards allies and raises his PROT in the process.
  • Capable of Riposte.
Cons
  • Average base damage.
  • Requires more healing and Stress relief support while Guarding.
  • Maintaining Guard requires careful micromanagement.
Description
The Man-At-Arms is a highly defensive front-line fighter. All of his skills revolving around controlling the flow of the battle to keep allies safe.


Occultist
Occultist1.png
Party Role Debuff specialist, powerful healer
Ease of
Use
MEDIUM
Notable
Skills
Weakening Curse.png Weakening
Curse
Wyrd Reconstruction.png Wyrd
Reconstruction
Provision None
Pros
  • Most powerful healing potential.
  • Can deal extra damage to Eldritch enemies.
  • Can debuff, pull, stun, clear corpses and mark enemies.
  • Operates well in nearly any position.
Cons
  • Low HP and low to average damage.
  • His healing skill can cause bleed.
  • Some skills reduce torch.
  • Camping skills have problematic side effects.
Description
A versatile class that can be used offensively or for support. He specializes in weakening enemies, however his Wyrd Reconstruction can heal your heroes for a massive amount, but it could also heal nothing and either way has a chance of harming the hero being healed.


DLC heroes[edit | edit source]

The Flagellant
Flagellant1.png
Party Role Frontline bleeder, secondary healer
Ease of
Use
HARD
Notable
Skills
Flagellant.ability.one.png Punish Flagellant.ability.five.png Redeem
Provision None.
Pros
  • Exceptional source of bleed damage.
  • Buffs on Death's Door rather than suffers.
  • No mortality debuffs.
  • Good SPD and HP.
  • Becomes Rapturous at 100 stress, buffing damage and crit chance.
  • Effective Stress healer at higher ranks.
Cons
  • Most effective moves only activate below 40% HP.
  • No duplicate Flagellants allowed in the party.
  • Impossible to get positive virtue check.
  • Certain moves help allies but injure him.
  • Nonexistent Trap-disarming ability.
Description
This character seeks out injury and bloodshed, making him extremely high risk/high reward. His moves pack a punch early game and get better over time and as he loses health, the caveat being that he has to be practically dead to be at his best. He also buffs and heals party members upon his own death.

The Flagellant is part of The Crimson Court DLC.


The Shieldbreaker
Shieldbreaker1.png
Party Role Mobile blight, tank-buster
Ease of
Use
MEDIUM
Notable
Skills
Shieldbreaker.ability.two.png Puncture Shieldbreaker.ability.seven.png Serpent
Sway
Provision None
Pros
  • Basic attack ignores PROT.
  • 6 of her skills move her, allowing for flexible positioning and strategies
  • Can break and prevent guarding.
  • Can inflict Blight
  • Can De-stealth enemies.
  • Can negate all damage to herself 4 times in one battle
Cons
  • Low HP.
  • Because she moves with every skill, party positioning is vital.
  • Her past still haunts her...
Description
A dancer who exposes the weaknesses of her foes. Her attacks remove the defenses of the enemy to make them easy prey, and with every attack moving her position she is not easily caught by their snares. And while her HP may be low, twice per battle she can use Serpent Sway to her the Block status which negates the damage from 2 attacks! But be warned that additional effects such as Bleed and Blight can still get through.

The Shieldbreaker is part of her own DLC pack named after herself.


For more details on heroes, check here.

Quirks and Diseases[edit | edit source]

One of the most notable features of Darkest Dungeon is the Quirk/Disease system. Quirks are passive effects that heroes will acquire as they travel through the dungeons. Most Quirks are passive effects that increase or decrease a hero's stats, however there are others that will cause heroes to fear certain enemies and have them make impulsive decisions.

Quirks are randomly acquired when a hero completes a quest, or interacts with a curio. Diseases are randomly acquired upon contact with some creatures or curios, and are almost universally bad.

A hero can have up to 5 positive quirks, 5 negative quirks, and 3 diseases. When a hero acquires a quirk or a disease after they have reached the limit, the new quirk/disease will replace an old one.

Negative Quirks and diseases can be cured at the Sanitarium for a hefty price. Additionally, if you let a negative quirk stay untreated after too many expeditions, it will become terminal, and cost even more gold to cure. On the other hand you can also lock in positive quirks to make them permanent on a hero. Another way to remove quirks is through curios, however the ones that do this are rare or require cleansing, so it's not wise to rely solely on this.

When you're starting out it's best to not remove quirks unless they force interaction with curios or loot stealing (see curios section for more details.) Also you should familiarize yourself with curios and what they do to minimize that amount of negative quirks your heroes are receiving.

Stress, Virtues and Afflictions[edit | edit source]

Due to enduring the hardships of battle and the sights of abominable things, heroes gain stress. Stress is represented by a bar on the bottom, that, when full, will induce an Affliction which can be the most dire thing a party can encounter, apart from a hero dying.

When an affliction takes effect, the hero may slip out of the player's control sometimes, and do many terrible things. These include randomly increasing the stress of allies, moving themselves in the formation, refusing the aid of their allies, passing their turn, or even attacking others or even themselves. It is not unusual for an afflicted hero to directly or indirectly cause the rest of the party to become afflicted too, creating a disastrous chain reaction.

Stress can only be reduced by committing heroes to the abbey or tavern, using stress-relieving skills, landing a critical hit, disarming traps, or occasionally by killing an enemy. As stress-relieving skills take up precious time and reduces comparatively little stress, it is usually better to mitigate stress in the first place by killing stress-dealers as quickly as you can, and removing your heroes' stress at the end of their mission via the abbey or tavern.

However, sometimes when a hero reaches his stress limit instead of getting an affliction, he will receive a Virtue instead, immediately dropping to 45 Stress and randomly producing positive effects on themselves and the party, such as buffing, healing health and stress of themselves and allies. The base chance to get a virtue is 25%, but it can be increased or decreased with certain quirks and trinkets. Additionally, Virtuous heroes can go back over 100 Stress without any penalty.

If a hero with an affliction takes enough stress damage to fill their stress bar again with a brighter white, they will suffer a heart attack at 200 Stress. This immediately puts them to Death's Door, or unavoidably kills them if already at Death's Door. Virtuous heroes hitting 200 Stress will merely lose their Virtue status and revert to 0 Stress.

Equipping Heroes[edit | edit source]

Unlike other games, the heroes of Darkest Dungeon do not equip different weapons and armor. Instead the Blacksmith will upgrade a hero's individual weapons and armor linearly. The hero's weapon will affect their damage, critical hit ratio and speed, while their armor will increase their dodge chance and HP. Accuracy is determined by individual skills rather than equipment. Skills will be discussed in more detail below.

However, heroes can equip 2 different Trinkets that will bestow upon them many different effects, including increasing stats, resistances and/or the chance that a status effect will affect an enemy. Many of these trinkets also have negative effects on other attributes, so you must be careful when choosing what trinkets to use. A hero may equip up to 2 trinkets, but they cannot equip duplicates. Some trinkets are also have class restrictions.

The Hamlet[edit | edit source]

The hamlet as it initially looks.

The Hamlet is the main hub of the game, accessed when not in a dungeon. The hamlet contains various buildings that allow the player to form, manage, and improve a roster of adventurers to send into the various expeditions needed to reach and purge the Darkest Dungeon of the evil that has encroached upon it.

The Hamlet contains a variety of facilities with disparate purposes, most of which revolve around the management of heroes.

Most buildings can be upgraded through the use of heirlooms in order to unlock further benefits, make the facilities more efficient, and reduce the prices of their services. Each building consistently requires the same kinds of heirlooms, though the amount needed for each upgrade increases exponentially.

The most important building to start upgrading is the Stage Coach as it will let you recruit heroes, which is free. Through upgrading it, you can expand your hero roster, the number of recruits available, and even the base levels of recruits fresh off the stagecoach. The Blacksmith and Guild take a close second, as better stats and skills for your heroes is vital for successful expeditions.

Here is a list of the upgradable buildings in town, along with what they do and which heirlooms are needed to upgrade them. Also note that every building needs Crests.

Building Name Function Heirlooms Needed Week Unlocked
top leftAbbey Stress relief. Currency.crest.icon.pngCrests Currency.bust.icon.png Busts Week 2
top leftBlacksmith Upgrade weapons and armor. Currency.crest.icon.pngCrests Currency.deed.icon.png Deeds Week 3
top leftGuild Upgrade heroes' skills. Currency.crest.icon.pngCrests Currency.portrait.icon.png Portraits Week 3
top leftNomad Wagon A shop to buy Trinkets from. Currency.crest.icon.pngCrests Week 4
top leftSanitarium Remove negative quirks and diseases.
Make positive quirks permanent.
Currency.crest.icon.pngCrests Currency.bust.icon.png Busts Week 4
top leftStage Coach Recruit heroes.
Increase the number of heroes you can recruit.
Currency.crest.icon.pngCrests Currency.deed.icon.png Deeds Currency.bust.icon.png Busts Week 1
top leftSurvivalist Unlock camping skills. Currency.crest.icon.pngCrests Week 4
top leftTavern Stress relief. Currency.crest.icon.pngCrests Currency.portrait.icon.png Portraits Week 2
Tutorial popup.stress relief.png

The Abbey, The Tavern and what to be aware of[edit | edit source]

The Abbey and the Tavern are the main way to reduce stress of a hero in between expeditions. When in town you can put heroes inside the rooms, pay a fee, and after you complete your next quest they will have recovered most of their stress, if not all of it. The rooms at the top relieve less stress but also cost less, and the rooms on the bottom are more costly and relieve much more stress.

While the Tavern and the Abbey seem to be the same on the surface, sometimes when you return from a quest you will learn of events that transpire while you were away. At minimum, your heroes may become engrossed with their activities that they will remain unavailable for the next week or so, but more severe side effects can happen. What if while praying your hero sees... unsightly things, hidden among the pews and pedestals? Are you willing to bet your own money and items on a game of chance you have no sway in?

To make matters worse some quirks will not only have your characters refuse using certain rooms, but other quirks will cause your hero to only accept certain rooms! What happens when your Man-at-Arms has a lover and will only go to the brothel and refuse everything else? While unlikely, it is also possible for contradictory behavioral quirks to exist; for instance, a Highwayman who will only gamble to relieve stress can be caught in a precarious predicament if he was caught cheating and banned from the premises.

For the most part it is not recommended to go to the tavern's bar or gambling hall, since they will most likely cause you to lose gold and Trinkets.

One more obstacle in healing the stress of your heroes is the caretaker. He has long served your ancestor, and as a result his mind is under constant strain from what he has witnessed. Every week he will occupy a random room, preventing you from using it, which can be a nuisance with the aforementioned quirks that make characters only use certain rooms. There is no way to remove the caretaker. The only way around him is to increase the number of rooms you have. When you've upgraded enough of the Abbey or Tavern to have 6 extra rooms (for a total of 12), the Crier also will come to occupy rooms.

Before Entering a Dungeon[edit | edit source]

Choosing an Expedition[edit | edit source]

An expedition is a mission that heroes can undertake by visiting one of the various locations near the Hamlet. Each of the locations outside the Hamlet will have a number of different types of missions to accomplish, with various dungeon sizes, objectives and difficulty levels. Greater mission length and difficulty make expeditions harder, but also increase the rewards for completion. Each mission's objective, difficulty and size are generated randomly, with size and especially difficulty being weighted depending on the heroes of the current roster. Regardless of the composition of the roster, there will always be at least one apprentice level mission possible, in case the player wants to recruit new heroes from the Stage Coach.

Supplies for the journey

Provisions[edit | edit source]

Before entering a dungeon you are given the option to buy provisions for the dungeon. These supplies are used for purposes such as to remove obstacles, open chests, and heal Status Effects. After finishing an expedition your remaining provisions will be sold back at a tenth of their bought price. It is essential to learn what provisions to take to each region and how many so that they will last but not waste your resources.

The most important provisions to take are food. Sometimes while exploring the dungeon your party will get hunger and you can feed them or let them starve. If you choose to feed them they'll use up 1 food for each party member and heal a small amount of health, but if you choose to starve them (or you don't have enough food) the entire party will take damage and increase their stress.

Additionally, choosing certain classes for your party will have you start with a free provision in your inventory.

For a full list of provisions, you can check the provisions page.

The Dungeons[edit | edit source]

Tutorial popup.map nav.png

Exploring[edit | edit source]

When in a room, you must click on an abject room connected by a hallway to move there.

These icons appear in hallways.

Indicator.png Your current position.
Hall dark.png
An unexplored hallway
Hall dim.png
Nothing here and unexplored.
Hall clear.png
Nothing here and already explored.
Marker curio.png
A curio that has not been activated.
Marker battle.png
Hallway battle.
Marker obstacle.png
An obstacle. You will need a shovel to get through unharmed.
Marker trap.png
A trap. If you see it you can try to disarm it.
Marker secret.png
A secret room. This can only be found if you get a scout. Bring a key.

These icons appear in rooms.

Room entrance.png
Entrance of the dungeon. This shows where you started.
Room unknown.png
A room that has unknown contents. The only way to see what's inside is if you get a scout or enter it.
Room treasure.png
This tile means that this room has treasures. It will always be guarded by enemies.
Room curio.png
A room with a curio and a battle in it. If this tile has a quest curio in it, there may be no battle — hover the icon to clarify.
Room battle.png
This room will have a battle in it, but no curio.
Room boss.png
The room where the boss is hiding. Be prepared for a powerful enemy before entering it.
Room empty.png
This tile shows that the room is empty. After clearing out enemies and activating the curio inside (if there is one) room tiles change to this.


Light Meter[edit | edit source]

When traveling through the labyrinths surrounding the hamlet, even light is a precious resource. At the top of your screen is a meter that shows how much light you have. Every expedition you will have 100 light and the higher the light is the less dangerous the monsters are. The lower the light is, the more dangerous the fiends become. However you will also find more treasures when the torch is dim.

Stress Scout Monster
Surprise
Loot
Gain
Player
Crits
Monster
ACC/DMG
Hero
Surprise
Monster
Crits
(Hidden)
Hunger Check
Spawn Chance
Radiant Light
76+
- ++
+15%
++
+25%
- - - - - 7.5%
Dim Light
75 to 51
+
+10%
+
+7.5%
+
+15%
+
+25%
- - - +
+1%
7.5%
Shadowy
50 to 26
++
+20%
- +
+10%
+
+50%
+
+1%
+
+5/10%
+
+15%
+
+2%
10%
Dark
25 to 1
+++
+30%
- +
+5%
++
+75%
++
+2%
++
+10/15%
++
+25%
++
+3%
10%
Pitch Black
0
++++
+40%
- - +++
+75-99%
+++
+3%
+++
+12.5/25%
+++
+40%
+++
+5%
12.5%

The Light level diminishes by 6 points for every unexplored tile you cross - simply traversing a 5-tile corridor will drop the torch level to 70 from the get-go. Backtracking through already-explored tiles will offer lower light reduction, and the torch diminishes by 1 point per explored tile. Carefully manage the light levels with your limited supply of torches - sometimes you might have to make do with fighting in less-than-radiant illumination to ensure your supplies last.

  Quest darkest.pngWARNING Traveling with zero light is highly inadvisable. There is a chance that you will run into a very powerful enemy that can only be found in pitch-black darkness, and it can break your heroes' bodies and minds easily...

Curios Marker curio.png[edit | edit source]

One of the curios you will encounter

During expeditions there is a chance of encountering various objects that can be activated for various effects, both positive and negative. These interactive objects are called Curios.

Once the party enters the room or segment that contains the curio, it can be clicked to activate a prompt. Through the prompt, the curio can be activated directly or with the use of a provision item: curios will react differently to certain items. Normally, the use of the correct provision item will trigger a positive effect, removing the chance of negative effects occurring, but there are exceptions.

When activated, Curios have many effects such as stress infliction or heal, damage, the application of buffs and debuffs, or the gain or removal of a Quirk that affects individual heroes. The affected hero is always the one currently selected at the moment of activation. It is advisable, upon activating risky curios, to select a hero with good resistances or one that could potentially be affected by the negative effects without endangering the expedition.

One important thing to keep in mind is that sometimes Heroes will automatically interact with a certain Curio due to a Quirk they have. For example, a Hero with the Dipsomania Quirk will relentlessly investigate anything that is likely to contain alcoholic beverages, like a Moonshine Barrel. These automatic interactions cannot be interrupted, meaning that

  1. You can not choose another Hero for the interaction and
  2. You cannot use a supply item to modify the outcome.

These Quirk-forced interactions will not occur on Curios found in rooms or Quest-related Curios.

Obstacles Marker obstacle.png[edit | edit source]

Ruins obstacle.png

Sometimes during your expeditions you will your path blocked by rubble, wreckage, or even nature herself. To get past it you will either have to use a shovel or have your heroes dig through it without tools. If you choose to remove the obstacle by hand, your heroes will take damage, gain Stress, and the sheer time taken to remove that obstacle will wear down the light levels. To avoid such a penalty, it's always recommended to take a fair number of Shovels into your expeditions.

Combat[edit | edit source]

Combat is turn-based. In battle you click on a character's skill and then click on a highlighted target to use that skill. Some skills attack enemies and some help allies. When a specific skill is selected, only the possible individuals, ally or enemy, will display a highlighted target (in various colors, depending on the action) under them; you will always know who can or cannot be targeted by a skill.

One of the most important things to be aware of when using skills is each hero's position during combat. You start out with 4 heroes on a team, and enemies can have up to 4 monsters on their team, as well. The combatants in the middle are at the front of combat facing each other, and the combatants on the left (your side) and on the right (enemy's side) are in the back.

PositionsExample.png

Combat Skills[edit | edit source]

Tutorial popup.map combat skills.png

The way characters act in battle is with Combat Skills. Each character class has seven abilities, but only 4 can be equipped at one time. The only exception to this is the Abomination who can have all his equipped at once, but the skills he can use are dependent on what form he's in.

Every turn a hero can use any one skill; skills do not take any energy to use, but some, like the Plague Doctor’s Emboldening Vapors, may only be used a limited number of times per combat. However skills are dependent on the position the hero using it is in. For example if a character is in position one or two, he will be able to use melee attacks just fine, but probably won't be able to use any ranged attacks. We'll look at a few skills now for examples.

Smite
Smite.png
Melee
Grey dot.pngGrey dot.pngYellow dot.pngYellow dot.png
Red dot.pngRed dot.pngGrey dot.pngGrey dot.png
ACC base: 80

Self: +15% DMG vs Unholy

This is the Crusader's skill SMITE. The yellow dots show where he needs to be in order to use the skill, and the red dots show whom he can hit. The grey dots show where he cannot attack from and whom he cannot attack with this skill. From this we can see that the Crusader needs to be in position 1 or 2 to use this skill, and he can only attack an enemy in position 1 or 2. Smite is classified as a melee attack, and some trinkets and quirks will uniquely affect certain types of skills.

The ACC MOD shows you what the skill's accuracy is, which is how likely it is to hit. This skill has an ACC MOD of 80, so it normally has an 80% chance to hit. It also has an ability modifier that allows the Crusader to deal extra damage to Unholy enemies.


Zealous Accusation
Zealous Accusation.png
Ranged
Grey dot.pngGrey dot.pngYellow dot.pngYellow dot.png
Double red dot.pngGrey dot.pngGrey dot.png
ACC base: 80

DMG mod: -40%

Zealous Accusation is another of the Crusader's skills. Notice that the two red dots are connected, which means when using this attack it will hit every enemy within those positions. There are other skills that can hit 3 enemies at once, and even all four at once. However, they do less damage because of this, and this one is no exception.


Pistol Shot
Pistol Shot.png
Ranged
Yellow dot.pngYellow dot.pngYellow dot.pngGrey dot.png
Grey dot.pngRed dot.pngRed dot.pngRed dot.png
ACC base: 80

DMG mod: -25%
CRIT mod: 10%
+25% damage to marked target

This is the Highwayman's skill PISTOL SHOT, and as you might expect, it is a ranged attack. Unlike the Crusader's Smite, this skill cannot be used in the first position, however it can be used in every other position. Likewise, PISTOL SHOT can hit any enemy except for the one in the very front. It has three ability modifiers. The first decreases the amount of damage it does to enemies. The second increases the chance to land a critical hit. The final one increases the damage it does against an enemy with a mark on it. Heroes that are able to put a mark on enemies are the Arbalest, the Bounty Hunter, Houndmaster and the Occultist.

As heroes take damage in fights, it is necessary to heal them. There are a few characters that have healing skills, but the two best healers are the Vestal and the Occultist. Here's a quick summary on both:

Divine Grace
Divine Grace.png
Heal
Yellow dot.pngYellow dot.pngGrey dot.pngGrey dot.png
Yellow dot.pngYellow dot.pngYellow dot.pngYellow dot.png

Heal 3-5

The Vestal is a good consistent healer. At first she can heal 3-5 HP and is the only character that has a skill that heals the entire party, albeit only healing 1 HP at first. However, her strong healing skills force her into the back of many a party composition, restricting her to her ranged attack skills that don't hit as hard.

Wyrd Reconstruction
Wyrd Reconstruction.png
Heal
Yellow dot.pngYellow dot.pngYellow dot.pngYellow dot.png
Yellow dot.pngYellow dot.pngYellow dot.pngYellow dot.png

Heal 0-12
Target: Bleed 1 pt/rd for 3 rds, Base: 60%

The Occultist is a powerful inconsistent healer. His Wyrd Reconstruction is the most powerful healing skill in the game, being useable from any point in the party formation and first healing anywhere between 0-12 HP at once. However in addition to having a chance to heal nothing, it can also cause bleed and further damage your party. For every story of Wyrd Reconstruction having no heal on a dying hero and causing them to bleed out, there exists an account of the same skill rolling a tremendous Critical Heal that fully restores a dying Leper. This is a very powerful skill, but you should be aware of the risks before using it.

  Ancestorface.pngAncestor's Advice: As mentioned before combat skills do not use up energy. However, they can only be used within combat. This includes healing skills. By topping off your heroes' hit points and learning how to utilize healing effectively, you can minimize your heroes' chances of dying.

Unlike other games, using an item will not take a turn. So if your hero is bleeding you can use a bandage to cure his wound and still attack an enemy.

Some skills, like buffs or powerful stuns, come with a usage limit. This restricts how many times per battle the skill can be used; in exchange, the skill is exceptionally useful, like a buff that lasts for the entire battle.

Choosing a Target[edit | edit source]

Generally monsters in the front deal damage to your frontlines, and the ones in the back will attack your entire party, debuff or DPT your heroes or cause stress. It is very important to take out the back row as quickly as possible. There are also small, quick monsters that aren't very durable but they cause many status effects. These are also priority targets, but are hard to hit.

Like heroes, enemies also have skill and many of them can only be used in certain positions. If you know how their skills work, you can move them out of position to waste their turns. For example if you see a monster firing from the back ranks, he may not be able to use that skill in close combat. Alternatively if a monster's melee attacks are causing you trouble you can try and push it back to lower the damage you take.

Status Effects[edit | edit source]

Various monsters and allies have attacks that will affect a character outside of physically harming them. These usually last three rounds, however, there are some exceptions.

Negative Status Effects
Poptext bleed.png Bleed* Deals damage at start of turn. Lasts for 3 rounds, 5 if was dealt by a critical hit. Cured with Bandages.
Poptext poison.png Blight* Deals damage at start of turn. Lasts for 3 rounds, 5 if was dealt by a critical hit. Cured with Antivenom.
Poptext stun.png Stun Forces combatant to skip their next turn. Automatically removes itself on resolution, leaving behind a temporary Stun resistance buff to mitigate stun-lock.
Poptext debuff.png Debuff* Decreases combatant's stats. Duration varies.
Poptext tagged.png Mark Attracts enemies, and increases damage taken by certain skills. Some enemies can use special attacks on marked heroes. Lasts for 3 rounds. Can be removed with specific skills or ending battle. Cannot be resisted.
Poptext move.png Move Forces combatant to move from their current position.
Poptext horror.png Horror* Deals stress damage at start of turn. Lasts for 3 or 4 rounds, depending on the enemy. Cured with Laudanum.
Deathsdoor.png Death's Door -10 ACC, -25% DMG, -5 SPD, +33% stress dmg. Lasts until healed. Any physical damage action on the hero (even when deals 0 damage) may cause a deathblow.
Deathavoided.png Death's Door Recovery -2 ACC, -5% DMG, -1 SPD, +10% stress dmg. Lasts until the quest is over,or cured by camping skills. Can be disabled in menu.
Positive Status Effects
Poptext health damage block.png Aegis** Aegis is unique for that it doesn't lower over time, but with every direct physical damage taken. Aegis completely blocks any direct physical damage taken above 0, but does not neglect any other side effects, such as: bleed, debuff, stun or stress.
Poptext buff.png Buff Increases the combatant's stats. Duration is variable.
Poptext guard.png Guard The guardian (shown on hovering over the buff's icon) will take attacks instead of the guarded ally. Fails if both targets are hit at once.
Typically lasts for 2 rounds; can be broken by stunning or killing the guardian. One Guard will override the other if it involves the guardian or guarded.
Tray dot hp heal.png Restoration Restores health at the start of the turn, instead of losing it. Applies itself before bleed and blight ticks, making it great for countering possible Deathblows from those effects while at Death's Door. Lasts 3 rounds.
Poptext riposte.png Riposte When attacked, will immediately counter attack, regardless of whether the attack hits or misses. Can be ignored by non physical damage skills.
Lasts for 2 rounds. Counterattacks will not trigger if the Riposte character is stunned.
Tray stealth.png Stealth Prevents combatant from being targeted. Skills that target multiple combatants at once ignore stealth if at least one opponent not using stealth can be targeted. Some skills completely ignore and remove stealth at the same time. Lasts 2 rounds.

* Repeated applications of bleed, blight, debuff, or horror will cause their effects to stack.

** Lowers by direct damage taken instead of time's passing.

Corpses[edit | edit source]

Corpses in front of an enemy

When most monsters die, they will leave a corpse that act as wall that prevents the enemies from moving up a rank. Corpses last for 4 turns.

There are a few ways to get rid of corpses. First you can attack corpses to destroy them, but often a better approach is to use ranged skills, push/pull skills, and even corpse-clearing special skills that some heroes possess. If an enemy dies from a critical hit, bleed, or blight, they will not leave a corpse.

Also some smaller monsters (usually animals, such as Webbers and Sea Maggots) and quest bosses do not leave corpses.

Retreating[edit | edit source]

If you feel the need to run from battle, there is a small square button with an X in the top left corner of the screen that will give you a chance to flee from combat. However, running from combat will hurt your hero's confidence and they will gain stress because of it. Furthermore sometimes you can fail a retreat or an afflicted hero will stop you from retreating. In order to gain 100% chance to retreat player has to turn off in gameplay pause menu page a setting responsible for a retreat fail feature, but this will result in an achievement "Strict Mode" being lost.

Outside of combat, the same X button can be used to abandon an incomplete quest and return to the Hamlet. You lose out on completion rewards and your heroes will suffer the stress of defeat. However, a stressed hero is better than a dead hero; do not be afraid to retreat when things begin to go awry.

Camping[edit | edit source]

Heroes camping within the Ruins

Camping is an activity done within dungeons meant to give your characters rest on longer missions to restore health, stress and prepare for the upcoming struggles. You can only camp in rooms and cannot camp on dungeons with a short length.

Camping is started by activating firewood in your inventory. Your heroes are then shown around a fire to show camping has begun. There are two phases to camping:

The first phase is the Meal Phase. This is where you decide how much provisions you will give your heroes to eat. Your options are;

  • 0 Provisions: You starve your heroes and they take 20% damage and gain 15 stress.
  • 2 Provisions: You give your heroes half a meal. They will receive no benefit or penalty.
  • 4 Provisions: You give your heroes a full meal. They heal for 10% of their MAX HP.
  • 8 Provisions: You give your heroes a feast! They heal for 25% of their MAX HP and heal 10 stress.

While it may be tempting to give your heroes a feast every time, you should be mindful of what your heroes actually need and how much food you will need for the rest of the quest.

The second phase is the Skill Phase. You are given 12 Respite points every skill phase, and these points are used to tell your heroes what to do during camp. Depending on the hero they may be able to prepare their weaponry, pray, plan, joke, sing or any other activity that will help them face the horrors ahead.

These skills will cause additional healing on HP and Stress, remove mortality debuffs, or cause buffs that will benefit the party for a few combats. We'll look at a few camping skills now to give you an idea of how they work.

Encourage
Encourage.png
Time Cost 2
Target One Companion

Reduce stress by 15


This is the camping skill Encourage. It costs 2 respite and reduces a party member's Stress by 15. Any hero except the Flagellant can learn this camping skill, however the target is "One Companion." So the hero with this skill can heal any party member's stress but their own.

Also be aware that each character can only use their camping skills once, unless stated otherwise. So if you have two heroes with Encourage you can use it once with each hero. Both uses of Encourage can be on the same target, providing an enormous Stress relief.

Zealous Speech
Zealous Speech.png
Time Cost 5
Target All Companions

Party: -15 Stress

All Companions: -15% Stress (4 Battles)


This is the camping skill Zealous Speech. It is only learned by the Crusader. Like a multi-target version of Encourage, Zealous Speech relieves the stress of everyone in the party, including the Crusader himself. However, its Stress resistance buff will only affect all companions, and the Crusader will not be able to receive this buff. It also costs a hefty 5 respite to use.

  Quest darkest.pngWARNING While camping is an essential tool for survival in longer quests, there are 2 dangers to camping you must be aware of. The first is that heroes with afflictions may refuse to eat or do what you tell them to. The second is the nighttime ambush! After you choose to rest enemies may try to attack you, and when this happens your party will always be surprised, it will be in 0 light and you will not be able to run away. Fortunately there are camping skills to prevent this, but if you don't have them be prepared for whatever creatures lurk in the dark.

Ending a Quest[edit | edit source]

The victory screen after successfully completing an expedition

After successfully completing your objective, you will be greeted with a screen prompting you to return to the Hamlet or continue adventuring. Choosing to continue adventuring will allow you to still wander the dungeon if you wish to scavenge for any leftover Curios you may have missed; from there, you can return to the Hamlet from any point in the dungeon by clicking on the seal in the top-left corner of the screen.

Returning to the Hamlet will allow you to bring back the spoils of adventuring, receive your quest rewards, and award your Heroes with Resolve experience. Their resolve level may increase and be randomly assigned a new positive or negative Quirk or Disease. It is usually wise to immediately return to the Hamlet to properly recuperate and address stress in your party members, but the chance of more treasures can be a risk that the player is willing to take.

Always remember: Overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.