CILANT LIS | GILDED VALE | TEMPLE OF EOTHAS | RAEDRIC'S HOLD | CAED NUA, PART 1 | DYRFORD | COPPERLANE | DURGAN'S BATTERY | DEFIANCE BAY | TWIN ELMS, PART 1 | WHITE MARCH, PART 1 | WHITE MARCH, PART 2 | CAED NUA, PART 2 | TWIN ELMS, PART 2
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GRIEVING MOTHER, F HUMAN CIPHER
Why She's Included and How to Use Her
As a Cipher, she has some Powers that can inflict damage, and buff either herself or her comrades. Where she really shines is through the use of Powers that either debuff enemies to make them vulnerable to harm, or incapacitate them altogether, albeit temporarily.
The natural question for a Cipher is how to build up Focus as quickly as possible. My preference is for a two-handed weapon that provides alternative sources of damage (e.g. Slashing or Piercing), both to maximize damage per blow but also to improve the chances of getting past a target's Damage Reduction.
She can be found at #15 in Dyrford Village.
Athletics: This skill is important for any character on harder settings, even squishy spellcasters. It helps any character go longer between resting, which is especially crucial during the Hard or Path of the Damned settings. It also provides bonus Health and Endurance.
Survival: She if frequently engaged in melee combat, so this makes sense as well.
2nd Level - Draining Whip: Increases the amount of focus she will gain when she lands melee or ranged attacks.
4th Level - Biting Whip: Increases the amount of damage she inflicts with either melee or ranged attacks. Biting Whip and Draining Whip together are essential for any Cipher.
6th Level - Greater Focus: It raises maximum Focus by +10.
8th Level - Two-Handed Style: With the obvious point of increasing her damage with a two-handed sword.
10th Level - Savage Attack: It is a modal ability that increases her Damage by 20%, but at the expense of a -5 penalty to Accuracy. The more Damage on each hit, the more Focus she gains with each hit.
12th Level - Apprentice's Sneak Attack: She can set up her targets for its use either by positioning herself behind them, or using Phantom Foes beforehand. And again, it's all about maximizing the Focus she acquires with each blow she strikes.
14th Level - Weapon Focus: Soldier: In order to increase her Accuracy with her two-handed sword
16th Level - Gunner: She also selects the Gunner talent in order to increase somewhat the speed with which she can reload her Arbalest.
Tidefall: Found in a hidden niche at #8 in the Searing Falls cave. The best option for a Cipher to build up Focus is through the use a of a two-handed weapon that inflicts more than one kind of damage (e.g. both Piercing and Slashing) in case she runs into a foe that's resistant to one of those types of damage. The ability to recoup Endurance with each hit (and the more damage the better) helps make her less vulnerable as a damage-dealer that isn't using a shield. The Wounding power makes the weapon even deadlier. I add the Burning Lash enchantment, partly because it fits the location I found it and the backstory. I added the Spirit Slaying enchantment. The idea is that spirits can often teleport to try and reach Sagani, so Grieving Mother will often act as a rearguard on those occasions.
Arbalest's Wrecker: Looted from a hidden sac at #10 in the 10th level of Endless Paths. It will benefit from her Weapon Focus: Soldier talent. The key perk is the ability to Stun a single target, especially an enemy spellcaster, at a distance.
Garodh's Chorus: A reward for completing the Garodh's Chorus task. She'll often get struck in combat since she doesn't have great Deflection, so Retaliation comes into play quite often. If Sagani puts Combusting Flames into play, so much the better. The bonus to Might will enhance the damage from her melee blows, as well as the damage for some of her Cipher powers.
Talisman of the Unconquerable: Looted from an urn at #19 at Durgan's Battery. Its +2 bonus to Intellect and its bonus to Focus gain, both while Endurance remains above 50%, makes it perfect for a Cipher.
Sanguine Plate: A reward for The Forgotten task. The bonus to Survival is nifty since it enhances her resting bonuses when camping outdoors or in dungeons. The real point is that it will activate Frenzy for her when she gets Critically Hit, which will happen often. The Constitution bonus from Frenzy will improve her resiliency, while the bonuses to Attack Speed and Might will increase her fighting power. I add the Exceptional Quality enchantment (+4 Damage Reduction) to it, and that's as far as I can go for what I have in mind. I next place the +2 Perception enchantment and +3 Crushing-Proofed enchantments on it. Lastly, I added the Durgan Iron enchantment to it for the reduction of Critical Hits to Hits, and more importantly the reduction of the Armor Speed Penalty.
Gauntlets of Swift Action: Obtained as a random item from the "Elm's Reach - Blood Sands Hidden Room" section of the Random Drop List. The faster she attacks the more quickly she can build up focus, and the more quickly she can use her Powers when she does have enough focus.
Ring of Thorns: Looted from Tanoss at #7 in Cragholdt. The key benefit is the +3 bonus to Dexterity, which will increase the speed with which she can make melee attacks to build up Focus, and the speed with which she can get off her Powers once she has enough focus. The defensive bonuses are sugar on top.
Ring of Overseeing: Obtained as a random item from the "Gilded Vale - Inn Second Floor" section of the random drop list. The obvious intention is to expend the area of effect on her Cipher powers.
Blunting Belt: Obtained from a chest at #8 in Lord Raedric's Dungeons, as an item from the "Raedric Keep - Dungeons - Lower Chest" section of the random drop list. Her combat style is more reliant on Damage Reduction instead of Deflection, so this item makes perfect sense.
Shod-In-Faith: Purchased from Dunstan at #16 in Crucible Keep. I've built her around using two-handed weapons in order to maximize her Focus build up with each blow. Doing so comes with the risk of a low Deflection score. However, I can take the edge off of that drawback by equipping her with these boots, which will activate Consecrated Ground when she's struck with a Critical Hit (once per Encounter). The fact that her Deflection will be low will make the triggering of Consecrated Ground a very frequent occurrence, improving not just her own resiliency but the rest of the party as well.