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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. Each class also has unique barks as a reaction to many situations. Different heroes from the same class have the same base stats and can access the same skills; they differ by what they have learned and (more importantly) what quirks they have.

Characters are available to be recruited free of charge through the Stage Coach, where they are generated with a random name, set of quirks, and class. Pre-made Heroes are also available.

Stats[edit | edit source]

Each character has six different stats, normally determined by their class and their equipment. Stats improve when the hero's Resolve level increases or their equipment is upgraded, but can also be augmented through the use of trinkets. Stats are also influenced by quirks and diseases, either positively or negatively, and it is possible to acquire temporary effects influencing a hero's stats as a side effect of several Hamlet activities or curio interactions. Stats are also used by monsters, but only defensive ones (dodge, protection, and speed) are made known to the player.

Accuracy Modifier[edit | edit source]

Abbreviated as ACC MOD, the accuracy modifier is the bonus (or penalty) applied to the accuracy of all attacks used by the character. Accuracy, abbreviated as ACC, is the overall chance of landing offensive abilities. The final chance of hitting an enemy is given by the base accuracy of the ability, depending on its upgrade tier, modified by any quirk, trinket, buff, debuff, and the hero's accuracy modifier, minus the target's dodge: the resulting value is a percentile number that cannot, in any case, exceed 90%.

The accuracy of all enemies improves while at low light levels, but not their dodge.

Critical Chance[edit | edit source]

Abbreviated as CRIT, critical chance determines the chance of an attack scoring a critical hit. A critical hit will cause the attack to inflict 1.5 * maximum damage (note that the actual maximum damage is not an integer and might be less than what is shown), also prolonging the duration of any blight or bleed inflicted to five rounds instead of three. Critical hits inflicted by enemies will also cause, barring stress damage modifiers, about 15 stress damage to the victim and have a chance to also cause other party members to suffer some of it. When a hero strikes a critical hit, the hero and occasionally the other members of the party will instead receive stress heal. It is also possible for a heal to crit, in which case the hero being healed will receive a small stress heal in addition to a doubled amount of health points recovered. If an enemy is killed with a critical strike, the stress heal from both events is added up, and the enemy will leave no corpse. If the hero deals a critical strike to a corpse, he will not regain any stress, unless the critical strike comes from an AOE.

In addition to using trinkets and abilities to improve hero CRIT, all heroes will also gain a bonus to critical chance when fighting at low light levels, as a reward for a more risky approach. However, monsters also get a bonus to critical chance at low light.

Heals will not use the hero's CRIT, but instead have their own critical hit chance. The critical heal chance for single target heals (excluding self-heals) is 12%. Every other heal skill has a 5% chance to be critical. Critical heals will double the amount of heal (a heal for 0 is never considered as a critical heal by the game).

Damage[edit | edit source]

Damage, or DMG, determines the amount of hit points removed from the victim's health when successfully landing an attack. The damage of any attack is calculated on the base damage of the character, which is a gauge between minimum and maximum damage. These values are determined by hero class and the tier of the weapons currently possessed. When landing an attack, a value between the minimum and maximum damage is determined randomly and then modified by any quirk, trinket, buff, debuff, and ability modifier. Before lowering the victim's health points, damage is filtered by the victim's protection.

When fighting at low light levels, the enemies will gain additional damage on their abilities.

Dodge[edit | edit source]

Dodge indicates the chances of avoiding an attack directed at the unit; it is directly subtracted from an attack's Accuracy, the result being the chance of the attack landing successfully; as a result, each dodge point effectively grants 1% chance to evade attacks. In any case, even when a unit's dodge is zero, any attack cannot have more than 90% chance to hit. (Attacks evaded by the attacker rolling the minimum 10% chance of missing, without the target's dodge coming into effect, are labeled "Miss!" instead of "Dodge!".) The dodge of a hero is determined primarily by his class and the tier of his armor, plus any buff, debuff or trinket, in addition to rare quirks granting a bonus to dodge.

Protection[edit | edit source]

Protection, or PROT, is a percentile value that reduces any direct damage suffered by the character, after its initial damage has been calculated. Protection does not influence damage caused by blight or bleed, and can be reduced by means of some abilities, often those inflicting marks. Many enemies make use of protection, and heroes can gain protection values as well by equipping certain trinkets or utilising certain abilities. The Hard Skinned quirk also provides a base protection value to a hero. Protection can't go up higher than 80%. Enemy protection can be negated, either by the Shieldbreaker's "Pierce" skill or partially by her "Snake Eyes" camping skill.

Speed[edit | edit source]

Speed, or SPD, determines the priority the hero has over other characters and enemies during battle. During each turn, each unit is assigned a random number ranging from 1 to 8, to which its SPD value is added; the order that the participants to the battle will follow to take their actions will be determined by these values, with the highest acting first. For heroes, speed is determined by a base value depending on class and weapon level, modified by any trinket, buff, debuff and quirk. Taking an action before another unit may grant a chance to disrupt that unit's turn by stunning it or eliminating it before it can act.

Persistent elements[edit | edit source]

Quirks[edit | edit source]

Each character is created with a set of random quirks, both positive and negative, influencing their effectiveness in various situations inside and outside expeditions. Quirks can be treated in the Hamlet by using the Sanitarium, to make positive quirks permanent or remove negative quirks. New Quirks are acquired upon finishing an expedition, or interacting with some curios. Characters can have up to 5 quirks of each type; acquiring more will replace an old non-locked quirk.

Diseases[edit | edit source]

In addition to quirks, heroes may contract diseases during their adventures, giving them various penalties, with some diseases being more vicious than others. Diseases will not expire on their own and will have to be cured either by using the Sanitarium or through particular camping skills available to some classes, particularly the Plague Doctor and Grave Robber. Diseases can be acquired as a result of being hit by certain monster attacks, particularly the Swine Wretch's Vomit, by far the attack with the greatest chance of causing disease, interacting with some curios or assigned randomly at the end of an expedition. Along with stress and upgrades at the Guild and Blacksmith, diseases are the main source of constant expenses for the Hamlet's funds.

Stress[edit | edit source]

As a result of roaming dark dungeons, heroes will gradually accumulate stress. If a hero is too stressed, he will develop an affliction, causing him to acquire heavy penalties, occasionally disobey orders, and regularly inflict stress damage on his companions. Extreme amounts of stress may also cause a heart attack, possibly killing the hero on the spot.

Stress can also be inflicted by some monster attacks and by any suffered critical strike, plus a variety of other events and situations. Stress will not deplete when concluding a quest and will normally need to be healed by using certain hero abilities, or by paying a fee in gold to place the hero in a stress relief facility such as the Abbey or Tavern. Leaving a character alone for a week will let them recover a very small amount. This amount is tripled once you unlock the Puppet Theatre District, making for a viable alternative to paid stress relief.

Death[edit | edit source]

The death of a hero in Darkest Dungeon is permanent. A dead hero will not return from an expedition, causing all his abilities and upgrades to be lost. When a hero dies, any equipped trinkets will be dropped and able to be picked up by surviving heroes.

The only way to resurrect a hero is through a rare town event called From Beyond. The resurrected hero will retain their Resolve Level and any Quirks they had, including locked-in ones. However, they will only have four random skills at level 1, and no equipment upgrades.

Death will most likely occur during combat as a result of excessive damage taken, but it is also possible to die as a result of excessive stress causing a Heart attack or by influence of damage over time, such as bleeding and blight, which persist through battles. Death can be avoided by healing the hero when he is on Death's Door (by using an ability, or by using food when not in combat) and by preventing him from reaching 200 stress.

Abilities[edit | edit source]

To each hero is assigned a class, which determines the hero's abilities and looks. Every class has a set of seven combat abilities and seven camping skills, of which a maximum of four can be active at a time.

Combat skills[edit | edit source]

At the time of their recruitment at the Stage Coach, a level 0 hero will have four of his/her seven combat abilities unlocked (except the Abomination, which starts with all seven combat skills), and three out of seven camping skills. Each hero may have up to four combat abilities active, but, provided they have been learned through the Guild, it is possible to change the active ones at will while out of combat and camping.

[Note: If you unselect an ability to swap to a new ability and forget to add a fourth ability back, you can end up with characters who has less than four abilities; a sad sight during your first fight of the next dungeon.]

Combat skills can be leveled up by using the Guild building in the Hamlet, improving various aspects of them at a cost. This also makes the value of each improved hero higher, discouraging the player to take too many risks while using him, for fear of losing all the resources spent to enhance him.

Camping skills[edit | edit source]

Camping skills must be learned through the Survivalist, with a maximum of four active at a time, though only three of them will be learned at the start. Just like combat skills, they can be changed while inside an expedition, as long as you are not camping or fighting.

Camping skills cannot be leveled up, but learning them is more costly than combat abilities. Of the seven camping skills of any class, three will always be the same for every class, and one of these will always be already available at the recruitment of a hero.

Classes[edit | edit source]

Abomination[edit | edit source]

The Abomination shifts himself into a fearsome and monstrous beast, dealing high damage but increasing his allies' stress.

Abomination portrait roster.png

Tortured and reclusive... this man is more dangerous than he seems...
~ The Narrator on recruiting the Abomination

Introduced in the Inhuman Bondage update, the Abomination is a powerful and versatile shapeshifting fighter. He can cause blight and stun (while also dealing non-negligible damage) from the second or third ranks and heal his own stress and health in human form. But what makes this hero class very special is that he can also transform into beast form to deal a good amount of damage from the front ranks.

Another unique feature of this class is the fact that all his abilities are available from his base level and always active. Which ones are available depends on his current form.

On the dark side, an Abomination does not fit in parties with religious classes (like Vestal, Crusader, Leper, and Flagellant), which leaves him with limited options. Also, using transformation into beast form inflicts a respectable amount of stress on all the party members, which is not compensated for by the stress heal when transforming back into human form. Nevertheless, a party can be built to cope with these disadvantages, typically including an occultist and a decent stress healer.

Antiquarian[edit | edit source]

The Antiquarian makes up for her lack of combat prowess with an eye for treasure.

Antiquarian portrait roster.png

She searches where others will not go... and sees what others will not see.
~ The Narrator on recruiting the Antiquarian

Introduced in a post-launch update, the Antiquarian is by no means a fighter, possessing the worst base stats in the game. Offensively, her Nervous Stab is mediocre for dealing damage, and Festering Vapours deals middling Blight damage, although it does make the enemy more vulnerable to future Blight applications. Despite the lack of damage, she is not a particularly powerful support either. Flashpowder merely reduces a single enemy's accuracy without dealing damage, Invigorating Vapours gives her allies a simple dodge boost (a weaker version of the Man-at-Arms' Bolster), and while Fortifying Vapours is a reliable heal, it heals for very little.

The Antiquarian is good at self-preservation, however. She has good dodge, and while her starting health is the lowest, it grows very well. Additionally, Get Down! gives herself a large dodge and speed boost and Protect Me! forces another ally to guard her while giving them a very good defensive boost in return.

While the Antiquarian is a liability in combat, she makes up for it with her ability to detect treasure. Having an Antiquarian in your party increases the amount of gold you can stack in each inventory slot, allowing you to carry more loot out of the dungeon. Furthermore, she can find Antiques when she is searching for loot or whenever a battle is won, which can be traded in for even more gold.

Her camping skills are nothing to be scoffed at, either. She can use Trinket Scrounge to outright find a trinket or Resupply to gain multiple supply items. Strange Powders grants an ally respectable resistances to everything, and Curious Incantation further improves her self-preservation with a huge stress damage reduction.

Arbalest[edit | edit source]

The Arbalest wields a powerful crossbow into battle.

Arbalest portrait roster.png

Shoot, bandage and pillage: the dancing steps of war.
~ The Narrator on recruiting the Arbalest

One of the two new Hero Classes introduced in the Fiends & Frenzy patch, the Arbalest carries a heavy crossbow with which she is able to snipe high priority targets from afar. As a downside, she is only really effective from the 3rd and 4th ranks.

She can Mark a target with Sniper's Mark, which boosts the damage and critical chance on Sniper Shot. Like every other hero benefiting from marks, the Arbalest doesn't need to be the one who marked the target to deal extra damage, so she works very well with the Bounty Hunter, the Occultist, and the Houndmaster.

The Arbalest has multiple utility skills that can be used in an advantageous situation, such as her heal, Battlefield Bandage, which also increases the potency of other healing effects on the target. Because of this, she works especially well with other healing and self-healing classes. A notable ability in her arsenal is Blindfire, which is the only attack she can use from the front and increases her speed temporarily - however, you cannot choose which enemy you will shoot. Her Bola and Suppressing Fire area-of-effect abilities are also invaluable, wreaking havoc on entire enemy parties. Her Rallying Flare has the unique property of clearing marks and stun.

The Arbalest is an exceptionally effective hero for dealing high damage from the back ranks. She can also be an effective support addition to many team compositions.

Bounty Hunter[edit | edit source]

The Bounty Hunter is equipped with an axe and a variety of tools to hunt down his foes.

Bounty hunter portrait roster.png

The thrill of the hunt... The promise of payment...
~ The Narrator on recruiting the Bounty Hunter

Boasting both powerful crowd control and damaging abilities, his job is to wreak havoc on your enemies' formation and is able to deal a good amount of single-target damage under proper conditions. He is a great support character who can serve on all fronts, due to the versatility of his skills that he can use no matter where he is placed in the party formation. As he wears only light armor, he isn't a class meant for tanking. He also lacks any area-of-effect skills, which is unusual for high-damage classes.

For the most effective use of this class, team them up with heavy hitters or people who can stun/mark targets like them. The power that is given to his damage when marked/stunned targets get hit with Collect Bounty or Finish Him makes it a breeze to kill targets. Crusaders, Lepers, and Hellions can get their blades into the back row troops he reels in with his grappling hook. Meanwhile, Plague Doctors, Grave Robbers, and Occultists can stun and target enemies to maximize his damage potential and push/disorient pesky melee enemies away from the front to capitalize on frail ranged units in the back-line. Houndmasters can synergize with him as well, stunning and marking targets for him as well as using the Bounty Hunter's marks.

Crusader[edit | edit source]

The Crusader is a heavily armoured warrior of faith, as pious as he is dangerous.

Crusader portrait roster.png

A mighty sword-hand anchored by a holy purpose. A zealous warrior.
~ The Narrator on recruiting the Crusader

One of the first characters you get in-game, the crusader is one of the game's tank classes, designed for the basic task of both taking hits and dealing high damage to the enemy. He is a front-line combatant with minor support skills that can come in handy, but not be relied on. He is a character that should always be found either in the first or second row. He is best supported with healer types like Vestals or Occultists and those who can provide much valued range attacks to deal with those he cannot reach, such as Grave Robbers or Highwaymen.

The Crusader has a distinct edge against undead enemies thanks to his Smite skill, having at the minimum a +15% damage against them (which can later be upgraded to a max of +35% damage), making him a good choice for going into the Ruins. The Crusader also possesses some crowd control, with Stunning Blow to deal a reliable stun and Zealous Accusation to damage the front row enemies. Should the Crusader be pushed back, he can use Holy Lance to move him back to the front, which has an added effect of being able to hit the back row enemies.

Meanwhile, his Bulwark of Faith will ensure that most enemy damage thrown his way does barely a scratch on him. For a party on the brink, he can use his modest Battle Heal and Inspiring Cry to keep the frontline from collapsing, the fearful from snapping, and the darkest darkness from taking hold.

At Camp Sites, the Crusader has access to multiple anti-stress skills that both console the shaken and harden them against coming horrors. His Zealous Speech costs time, but rallies the entire group (himself included!) with moderate stress heals and extra resistance to further pressure. The power of his example can make an adventurer shaken by mortal fear Stand Tall, shedding any Death's Door Recovery debuffs in addition to another stress heal. If he starts wavering before his flock, he can either use Unshakable Leader to steel himself with a sizeable stress resistance bonus or embark on a Zealous Vigil to protect the camp for the night, drawing strength from his duty. If he has already started showing the cracks of Affliction, the fairly major stress cure is almost doubled to a whopping -40 stress base value. The Crusader is one of the only classes that has a reasonable chance of bouncing back from broken spirits before the quest's end, assuming they're not too far gone to help themselves at camp.

A fantastic unit in the game for dueling it out with the worst and keeping those who would die safe. While he may lack range, he more than makes up for it with his sturdiness, utility, and accurate, strong strikes.

At the beginning of the game, you start with a Crusader named Reynauld. Note that he has the pesky Kleptomaniac quirk - removing this should be a priority as soon as the sanitarium is unlocked.

Grave Robber[edit | edit source]

The Grave Robber has numerous throwing daggers and other tricks at her disposal to face any sort of monster.

Grave robber portrait roster.png

To those with the keen eye, gold gleams like a dagger's point.
~ The Narrator on recruiting the Grave Robber

The Grave Robber has an odd niche in the available class roster due to her versatility. Her mix of melee and range skills enable her to be a part of any line-up, and ensure that she has at least one available skill no matter where she is placed position-wise. While she doesn't deal as much damage as the Highwayman, who has a similar role to her, she makes up for it by being independent, with access to a variety of self-buffs and high precision strikes. She can toss daggers and poison darts into the back-line, increasing her accuracy to ensure successive hits to evasive enemies. She can indirectly correct party formations with her "Lunge" and "Shadow Fade", all while contributing to the party's survival with a high critical strike and increasing her own ability to avoid damage with a Dodge buff. If you simply need direct damage to do the job, a "Pick To the Face" can be just what you need to pick off that Cultist Acolyte. She also has the highest trap disarm chance of any hero. To be as nimble as she needs to be, she only wears light armor, which makes her a high roller on dodge chance to evade hits that would easily bring her to Death's Door.

To use her to the best of her abilities, she prefers a party line-up whose roles aren't as solidified in one position in the formation. Crusaders and Lepers are classes you'd want to avoid if you would want to use her positioning abilities to your advantage. If used in the back, she can simply toss daggers and poison darts to be a sniper towards the back-lines, and attack weakened melee units with a "Pick To The Face". The poison darts are particularly notable - the ability is one of the very few hero abilities that inflicts blight. These are ideal against high PROT bleed-resistant enemies found in the Ruins and the Cove.

If used in the front, a combination of "Lunge" and "Shadow Fade" makes her nigh untouchable with a continuous stream of dodge buffs and high critical strikes. A simple but effective synergy is to pair her up with a Highwayman in the front lines, and use "Point-Blank Shot" to bring her to the front, and then have the Grave Robber "Shadow Fade" to the back so that "Point-Blank Shot" may be used again. The high damage output paired with the utility of a dodge buff and a stun indirectly help the two stay alive in heated moments with high damage-melee units.

Hellion[edit | edit source]

The fearsome Hellion brings a mighty halberd into battle, reaching out to spill the blood of enemies in any position.

Hellion portrait roster.png

Barbaric rage and unrelenting savagery make for a powerful ally.
~ The Narrator on recruiting the Hellion

The Hellion is a front-line class with a good balance of damage and durability with a versatile set of abilities for maiming enemies wherever they are positioned and for sustaining herself, although they are not without costs. Her versatility is only matched by her ferocity.

One of the Hellion's unique features is that she has some very powerful abilities at her disposal, but as a downside they debuff her after use. She can use Breakthrough for excellent AoE damage from any position, Bleed Out to maim and bleed the front-most enemy, and Barbaric YAWP! is one of the very few abilities that can stun more than one enemy at once. All these abilities apply a debuff on the Hellion that reduces her damage and dodge, reducing her effectiveness in long battles and crippling her when overused. Be sure to bring some Medicinal Herbs to remove these debuffs for long expeditions.

As for her non-debilitating abilities, she can use her Wicked Hack to take down the front-rank enemies, If It Bleeds to bleed out the middle rank enemies, and Iron Swan to pick off the annoying support hostile at the furthest back slot. Adrenaline Rush buffs up her damage to help counter her exhaustion and heals herself just enough to escape Death's Door.

In the camp, she retains the same double-edged nature she brings to battles. Battle Trance gives her a strong damage boost in the front, but lowers it if she isn't. Revel gives the entire party a large Stress reduction, but leaves them reeling in the coming battles. Reject the Gods relieves a huge amount of her own stress, but stresses out the others, especially religious ones. Her only camping ability without downsides is Sharpen Spear, which gives her a respectable boost to her crit chance.

Highwayman[edit | edit source]

Armed with a gun and a sharp knife, the agile Highwayman can dispose of any foe.

Highwayman portrait roster.png

Elusive, evasive, persistent. Righteous traits for a rogue.
~ The Narrator on recruiting the Highwayman

The Highwayman is an offensive class that can dish out damage from any position. Wherever the foe might force him to move or however many there are, he can cause them misery, and often in exactly the flavor you happen to need.

From the back, he can pick off foes with his Pistol Shot, and move forward with Duelist's Advance, which sets up a Riposte, retaliating the damage inflicted on him. In the middle, he can perform a Wicked Slice on an enemy, use Open Vein to bleed them out, or damage multiple enemies with Grapeshot Blast, finishing off weakened enemies and softening up others. At the front, he can use a Point Blank Shot to deal a huge amount of burst damage, while pushing him and the enemy back. To add to this, the Highwayman can use Tracking Shot to deal minor damage while buffing his offensive stats for the next several turns.

The price he pays for the flexibility of his killing techniques is having almost nothing beyond raw damage and simply not being as durable as other, more specialized damage dealing characters. He notably lacks a stunning skill, which can sometimes be more important than a damage skill. What he offers is the fact that he can be dropped into almost any team, that could be facing almost any enemy, and you know you will be seeing a return from him.

At the beginning of the game, you start with a highwayman named Dismas.

Houndmaster[edit | edit source]

The Houndmaster is accompanied by his loyal hound, capable of inflicting grievous wounds on enemies, and reassuring friends.

Hound master portrait roster.png

A lawman and his faithful beast. A bond forged by battle and bloodshed.
~ The Narrator on recruiting the Houndmaster

Added during the Corpse & Hound update, the Houndmaster brings forth a variety of skills that can be used to support allies and wound enemies. His two main attacks, Hound's Rush and Hound's Harry, both inflict bleed. This means that the Houndmaster is far more effective in the Weald and the Warrens - the two areas where enemies are the most susceptible to bleed. If you bring your Houndmaster to the Ruins, he will be somewhat less effective, but only against the Undead common to that area. Additonally, many Eldritch in the Cove are resistant to bleeds. However, he can still be a force to be reckoned with in both of those zones. Lastly, his Main Attack - Hound's Rush will deal additional damage to Beasts - this damage modifier increases as the skill level itself does, making him particularly suited to the Warrens, or against Beast bosses.

The Houndmaster also has a variety of support abilities. Target Whistle marks the target and lowers its PROT - one of only two abilities in the game to do so - making it invaluable against certain high PROT enemies. Cry Havoc allows you to relieve some stress from your party, while Guard Dog protects teammates while increasing the Houndmaster's Dodge. Lick Wounds makes a quick self-heal in a pinch while Blackjack stuns enemies so they can't attack your allies.

The Houndmaster has another special trick up his sleeve: the Dog Treat. Twice per dungeon run, he can use a free dog treat to give himself an ENORMOUS self-buff for several rounds of a fight. This makes the Houndmaster ideal for bosses and random miniboss encounters, particularly those that can bleed or are considered beasts.

He can also work well with the Bounty Hunter, stunning and marking targets for the Bounty Hunter's attacks as well as benefiting from his marks.

Jester[edit | edit source]

Nobody jumps around the battlefield quite like the Jester, alternating the notes of his lute with the blood symphony of his dirk and sickle.

Jester portrait roster.png

He will be laughing still... at the end.
~ The Narrator on recruiting the Jester

The Jester is a mix of support abilities and damage abilities. He can be difficult to use, having a variety of strict positional requirements for his abilities. But he also has the most self-moving skills, allowing him to change what abilities are available. When properly used, he can be both a devastating damage dealer and a powerful support character. The Jester possesses many different skills that change his position, so he should not be combined with classes that don't like to move around, especially the Leper. He can use Dirk Stab to move him forward while dealing a decent amount of damage or Solo to bring himself to the front while debuffing the enemy's accuracy and speeding himself up. Once the Jester is in the front, he can use Finale to deal extremely heavy damage with a high crit chance to a single target and retreat to the back, at the cost of heavily debuffing himself.

If tasked with dealing damage, he can be placed in the middle of the party for some devastating bleed attacks. Harvest hits both the second and third enemy positions and makes them bleed. Slice Off is similar to Harvest, only it deals more damage and bleed damage at the cost of only hitting a single target.

The Jester has two unique support abilities that he performs from the back by playing a tune on his lute. Battle Ballad is an incredibly powerful party-wide buff that increases the whole party's accuracy, speed, and critical chance. Meanwhile, Inspiring Tune is an extremely powerful stress heal which also provides a stress resist buff. Usually, these support abilities must be used in conjunction with other abilities in order to take full advantage of them.

Leper[edit | edit source]

Afflicted by a mortal disease, the Leper dedicates what life he has left to the service of faith and to purging the world from abominations.

Leper portrait roster.png

This man understands that adversity and existence are one and the same.
~ The Narrator on recruiting the Leper

An incredibly heavy damage taker and giver, the Leper is an initially awkward but potentially game-winning character. The Leper is capable of delivering a brutal amount of damage while withstanding whatever is thrown at him, but is held back by his low accuracy and is only effective on and against the front two ranks. He has both the highest base damage and the highest base health of any hero.

The Leper can Chop one enemy or Hew two enemies to wound and kill whatever's in front on him, or he can Intimidate them to reduce their damage and PROT. He can also use Purge to knock back an enemy all the way to the back while removing any corpses on the battlefield.

The Leper also possesses self-buffs to increase his key strengths. Withstand gives him Protection and reduces stress, while Solemnity heals himself and grants him status effect resistances. Revenge grants the Leper a large damage, crit, and accuracy boost, at the cost of lowering his defenses.

He operates much better when equipped with the right trinkets and supported by classes such as the Man-at-Arms, who can boost his accuracy. His needs to be on the front line and inability to hit the enemy's back line means he benefits greatly from the presence of classes such as the Grave Robber, the Occultist, and the Bounty Hunter, who can variously move backwards, drag vulnerable troops to the front, and mark them for him to dispatch with extreme prejudice. Dropped into any party, the Leper is a frustrating and clumsy ally; properly supported in the end game, he can pulverize any foe.

Man-at-Arms[edit | edit source]

A battle-hardened Veteran, the Man-at-Arms is a valuable asset to any combat squad.

Man-at-arms portrait roster.png

The raw strength of youth may be spent, but his eyes hold the secrets of a hundred campaigns.
~ The Narrator on recruiting the Man-at-Arms

A new Hero Class introduced in the Fiends & Frenzy update, along with the Arbalest. The Man-at-Arms is a front-line defensive class with a focus on survivability. He can attack with a good range and moderate damage, but really shines with his support skills. He has the ability to protect a teammate with Defender, redirecting an attack targeted at a vulnerable ally towards him. He can buff all allies with either Command to give them bonus accuracy and critical strike chance, or Bolster them to boost their dodge and speed. Additionally, he can Bellow to reduce the enemy team's dodge and speed, giving your team the upper hand in turn order, and knock back and stun an enemy while moving himself forward with Rampart. The Man-at-Arms is also flexible in terms of position and can perform well anywhere.

Unlike the Crusader or Hellion, the Man-at-Arms is rather unimpressive on the offense, but is still capable of dealing good damage thanks to Retribution. Retribution Marks himself and activates Riposte, countering any attacks attempted at him with a solid smack of his mace. Riposte obviously works well with Guard, but it is also especially effective against enemies with an area-of-effect attack, as he will counter those attacks too. Back-row enemies that love to abuse area-of-effect attacks such as Fusiliers are easy picking against a prepared Man-at-Arms. Finally, it's worth noting that unlike his fellow front-liners the Leper and Crusader, the Man-at-Arms' mace can reach into the third row of enemies.

In the Camp, the Man-at-Arms has some of the most powerful combat buffs in the game. He can provide huge damage, accuracy, and crit buffs to himself and his teammates, or increase their dodge chances.

Occultist[edit | edit source]

The Occultist is the living proof that the dark arts can be used to expunge darkness itself.

Occultist portrait roster.png

To fight the abyss, one must know it...
~ The Narrator on recruiting the Occultist

The Occultist is a support class who specializes in using powerful debuff spells on the enemy while healing allies. He has low health, deals low damage, and occasionally his powers may backfire, but when his Eldritch curses work, they work well. With his Vulnerability Hex, he softens up enemies for your heavy hitters to take down; the fact that the Hex marks the target makes him an excellent ally of the Bounty Hunter, Arbalest, and Houndmaster. What's more, his Weakening Curse can quickly nullify even the hardest-hitting enemy. A few stacks of Weakening Curse will entirely nullify the attacks of any enemy, making it deal 0 damage!

With Daemon's Pull, he can attack back line units, wrenching individuals to the front where your warriors can reach them while clearing corpses. Sacrificial Stab and Abyssal Artillery lets him deal damage in the front or in the back, and are massively more effective on Eldritch enemies, making him a decent damage-dealer against those.

Near the front, he can use Hands From Below, a spell that sacrifices light in order to hit an enemy with accurate stun. Finally, in the back, he has his Wyrd Reconstruction, which is capable of either massively healing an ally or healing little or even no health while bleeding them, a skill truly capable of winning a fight or getting an ally killed. In practice, however, Wyrd Reconstruction is the most powerful heal in the game and reliable enough to be the party's primary source of healing.

Worth noting is that although the Occultist has a low attack and most of his attacks have damage penalties on top, they do all have a high critical chance. Given any kind of critical boost through trinkets or effects, the Occultist has a good chance of inflicting heavy damage and increasing morale, particularly with his one physical attack, Sacrificial Stab, which has the significant critical chance base of 10%. His bonus damage to Eldritch can also be very effective in The Cove.

In camp, he fully lives up to his reputation of offering extremely powerful help to himself or his allies, at a significant penalty. He can heal and remove mortality debuff from an ally at the cost of all your torchlight; he can hugely reduce his own stress at the cost of everybody else's; he can increase his own stress to boost an ally's damage by 20%; and he has the cheapest ambush prevention at the cost of inflicting stress on his allies.

All in all, the Occultist is a highly specialized character that can easily fail a party not set up to get the most out of him. Supporting the right characters and using his dark powers carefully, however, he is an extremely powerful ally.

Plague Doctor[edit | edit source]

In the hands of a Plague Doctor, medicines and concoctions are not only a tool against maladies, but also fearsome weapons against any foe.

Plague doctor portrait roster.png

What better laboratory than the blood-soaked battlefield?
~ The Narrator on recruiting the Plague Doctor

The Plague Doctor is a powerful support class specialized in blight damage and dealing with the enemy's own damage over time effects. From the rear, she can blight enemies with Noxious Blast or Plague Grenade, stun both enemies in the back line with the very powerful Blinding Gas, and cure both herself and allies of blight and bleed while healing them with Battlefield Medicine. Closer to the front, she may use Incision to deal melee damage and bleed enemies. From any position, she may increase the damage of an ally using Emboldening Vapors, or shuffle the position of an enemy while stunning them and clearing corpses using Disorienting Blast.

The Plague Doctor is useful when stunning strong back line enemies, buying more time for your team to wreck the enemy front. Or she can straight-out murder the back line on her own with plague grenades. She is also quite handy preventing your heroes from sustaining too much damage from bleed or blight, which is especially useful for nullifying the dreaded Uca Crusher's Arterial Pinch. In fact, the Plague Doctor is an extremely good choice for the Cove, due to both Battlefield Medicine and her plethora of blight skills, which cut straight through the armored horrors found there. She is not so effective in the Weald and the Warrens, where enemies are more blight-resistant, but her bleed attack is an acceptable fallback and curing is still useful.

True to medieval doctors, the Plague Doctor may use Leeches during camping to heal and cure an ally of poison and disease. With her Experimental Vapours, she may heal a great amount of life from an ally, providing a buff to future heals. The Cure lets her cure her own diseases, or she can Self-Medicate to relieve stress and buff her accuracy.

The Plague Doctor will always be one of the first two heroes available in the Stage Coach, along with the Vestal.

Vestal[edit | edit source]

A pious woman, the Vestal is determined to bring faith on the battlefield as a weapon against corruption.

Vestal portrait roster.png

A sister of battle. Pious and unrelenting.
~ The Narrator on recruiting the Vestal

Darkest Dungeon's most effective healing class, the Vestal is a versatile and initially crucial support character. Attacks such as Hand of Light and Mace Bash means she is not helpless if dragged to the front, but her specialty is hanging back and aiding her team with heals and her blinding Illumination and Dazzling Light abilities. Early on, these heals are absolutely essential to keep your combat classes up and running.

Although her utility may seem to fall off in the more difficult dungeons, she nevertheless is the most effective healer available. This makes her exceptionally useful for difficult boss fights such as the Shambler. She's also excellent in long dungeons, where she can serve as a consistent source of healing and light generation. She is a nice addition to a party adventuring in the Cove as well, as she can help combat the high damage of the Pelagic Groupers.

In the camp, she may be able to heal potential heroes who have gone through death's door by 50% of their max HP and protect from nightime attacks with Sanctuary, she can proceed to medium stress healing if the heroes are pious. She can Bless a hero to grant them accuracy buffs.

The Vestal will always be one of the first two heroes available in the Stage Coach, along with the Plague Doctor.

DLC Exclusive Heroes[edit | edit source]

Flagellant[edit | edit source]

MiniScrollpip.png Available in The Crimson Court

The Flagellant's single minded devotion to the light has led him to worship pain, and all the benefits it brings him.

Flagellant portrait roster.png

Awash in blood and delusion, he bears the burden of a thousand lifetimes.
~ The Narrator on recruiting the Flagellant

The Flagellant is an unorthodox front-line hero who requires some abuse to reach his full potential. He possesses offensive skills like Punish and Rain of Sorrows which focus on bleeding, as well as strong supportive skills that harm himself in return. Reclaim heals an ally over time while bleeding himself, Endure greatly reduces an ally's stress while stressing himself out, and Suffer transfers an ally's bleed, blight, and Marked to himself while gaining protection.

The Flagellant's abilities are respectable on their own, but they only become more powerful as his body and mind are abused to their limit. His most powerful skills cannot be used until he has less than half health. Exsanguinate deals heavy damage and bleed while healing a percentage of his health, while Redeem heals a large amount of health to himself and an ally, although these skills greatly debuff himself.

On top of these powerful skills, he also gains passive bonuses the closer he is to breaking. When afflicted from stress, the Flagellant becomes Rapturous, gaining a damage and crit boost at the cost of dodge. His attacks become more powerful when his health gets dangerously low, and reaching Death's Door only empowers him, and its normal penalties become buffs instead. But should he fall in battle, his martyrdom heals the entire party and stuns all enemies.

His camping skills are also very different from other heroes. He does not have access to generic camping skills and has his own unique set of skills that only affect himself. He can use Lash's Anger to stress himself out or Lash's Solace to greatly relieve it, Lash's Kiss to heal and hasten himself, and Lash's Cure to cure his own disease. In the Hamlet, the Flagellant can only use Flagellate to relieve his own stress, regardless of perks.

Shieldbreaker[edit | edit source]

MiniScrollpip.png Available in The Shieldbreaker DLC

The Shieldbreaker gracefully moves about the battlefield to keep herself out of danger while she swiftly decimates the enemy defenses.

Shieldbreaker portrait roster.png

Shifting, swaying—she mesmerizes her prey before the final strike.
~ The Narrator on recruiting the Shieldbreaker

The Shieldbreaker is a class designed to break guard with Puncture and reveal stealthed enemies with Expose. It is a highly mobile class: except for Captivate, which deals blight damage with bonus damage against marked enemies, all her attacks are accompanied by some sort of movement. She only has one buff skill, Serpent Sway, which gives +3 speed and an Aegis effect for two blocks.

Comparison Table[edit | edit source]

Below is a table comparing all base level character stats, status effects, buffs/healing, and resistances. Green letters signify that hero has higher or the highest stats than in a given field, while Red letters show a character has very low stats compared to others.

Comparison Table
Poptext stun.png
Poptext poison.png
Poptext bleed.png
Poptext debuff.png
Poptext move.png
Poptext disease.png
Tray trap disarm.png
Abomination portrait roster.png 26 7.5 7 2.5 6-11 Poptext stun.png2
-Blight resist, -DODGE/SPDKnockback 2
HPStress -8
+SPD/Blight resist/DMG, +DMG to skill Rake
Self Self Stress other heroes, Stress self in Beast form-SPD 40% 60% 30% 20% 40% 20% 10% No No No
Antiquarian portrait roster.png 17 10 5 2.5 3-5 1 -Blight resist, -ACC
HP (weak)Force guard, +DODGE/PROT
Any - - 20% 20% 20% 20% 20% 20% 10% No No No
Arbalest portrait roster.png 27 0 3 7.5 4-9 -ACC/CRIT, -DODGEKnockback 1
Poptext tagged.pngDe-stealth
HP, Clear Stun/Mark+Debuff resist, +Heals Received
+DMG/CRIT vs MarkedTorch +3
1, 2, 3
- - 40% 30% 30% 30% 40% 30% 10% No No No
Bounty hunter portrait roster.png 25 5 5 5 5-10 Poptext stun.png2
Knockback 2, Pull 2, ShufflePoptext tagged.png
+DMG vs Marked/Human, Stunned - - - 40% 30% 30% 30% 40% 20% 40% No No No
Crusader portrait roster.png 33 5 1 5 6-12 Poptext stun.png HP (strength depends on skill)Stress -6
+DMG vs UnholyTorch +5, +20
1, 2, 3
Any Poptext tagged.png 40% 30% 30% 30% 40% 30% 10% No Yes Yes
Grave robber portrait roster.png 20 10 8 5 4-9 Poptext stun.png 3
-Bleed resist, -Blight resist
+DMG vs Marked
Self - - 20% 50% 30% 30% 20% 30% 50% No No No
Hellion portrait roster.png 26 10 4 2.5 6-12 Poptext stun.png2, 3 HP/Cure+DMG/ACC Self - -DMG/-DODGE 40% 40% 40% 30% 40% 30% 20% No No No
Highwayman portrait roster.png 23 10 5 5 5-10 2Knockback 1
-Bleed resist/SPDDe-stealth
+DMG vs Marked
- - - 30% 30% 30% 30% 30% 30% 40% No Yes No
Hound master portrait roster.png 21 10 6 5 4-7 Poptext stun.png1
-PROTPoptext tagged.png
HPStress -3
+DODGE+DMG vs Marked/Beast
Self Random - 40% 40% 30% 40% 40% 30% 40% No Yes No
Jester portrait roster.png 19 15 7 7.5 4-7 2, 3-ACC Stress -10+SPD/+ACC/+CRIT, -Stress, +DMG to skill Finale - Any -DODGE 20% 40% 30% 40% 20% 20% 30% No No No
Leper portrait roster.png 35 0 2 2.5 8-16 -DMG/PROTKnockback 3
HPStress -9
+DMG/CRIT/ACC, +PROT, +Bleed/Blight/Debuff/Move resist
Self Self -DODGE/-PROTPoptext tagged.png 60% 40% 10% 40% 50% 20% 10% Yes No Yes
Man-at-arms portrait roster.png 31 5 3 3.8 5-10 Poptext stun.png-DODGE/SPD
Knockback 1
Riposte: +DMG
- - Poptext tagged.png 50% 30% 40% 30% 50% 30% 10% No No No
Occultist portrait roster.png 19 10 6 7.5 4-7 Poptext stun.png-DMG, -DODGE
Pull 2
Poptext tagged.pngDe-stealth
HP (Powerful, but random)+DMG vs Eldritch Any - 1 20% 30% 40% 60% 20% 40% 10% Yes Yes No
Plague doctor portrait roster.png 22 5 7 2.5 4-7 Poptext stun.png4
HP (weak)/Cure+DMG/SPD Any - - 20% 60% 20% 50% 20% 50% 20% Yes No No
Vestal portrait roster.png 24 0 4 2.5 4-9 Poptext stun.png-DODGE, -DMG/ACC HP (strength varies on skill)+DMG vs Unholy
Torch +5, +6
Any, All
or Self
- - 30% 30% 30% 30% 30% 30% 10% No Yes Yes
Flagellant portrait roster.png 22 0 6 2.5 3-6 2, 4, 5-Bleed Resist HP (% of MAX HP), cure ally, clear MarkStress -12
1 regen+PROT/Death Blow Resist
Any and
(not self)
transfers other hero's bleed to selftransfers other hero's blight to self
Stress self after stress healing ally
-DMG/-DODGE/-SPDPoptext tagged.png
50% 30% 65% 30% 50% 40% 0% No No Yes
Shieldbreaker portrait roster.png 20 7.5 5 7.5 5-10 Pull 2-SPD/+CRT Received
1, 2De-stealth
+DMG vs Marked2 Blocks
- - - 50% 20% 30% 30% 50% 30% 20% No No No


Achievements[edit | edit source]

Image Name Description
Achievement03.jpg The first of many has fallen... Lose your first hero
Achievement08.jpg More than a weary traveler... Walk 500 steps with one hero
Achievement09.jpg A killer of striking force and wit... Kill 50 enemies with one hero
Achievement53.jpg A true champion emerges... Raise a hero to Resolve Level 6
Achievement59.jpg A veritable crowd... Have one of each class on your roster

Gallery[edit | edit source]


Heroes MiniScrollpip.png Abomination MiniScrollpip.png Antiquarian MiniScrollpip.png Arbalest MiniScrollpip.png Bounty Hunter MiniScrollpip.png Crusader MiniScrollpip.png Grave Robber MiniScrollpip.png Hellion MiniScrollpip.png Highwayman MiniScrollpip.png Houndmaster MiniScrollpip.png Jester MiniScrollpip.png Leper MiniScrollpip.png Man-at-Arms MiniScrollpip.png Occultist MiniScrollpip.png Plague Doctor MiniScrollpip.png Vestal
DLC MiniScrollpip.png Flagellant MiniScrollpip.png Shieldbreaker
Variants MiniScrollpip.png Musketeer

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