Pawn Inclination is a characteristic of pawns that affects their behaviors in the field and in battle. Inclinations can vary from bravely aggressive, to protective of other pawns and the Arisen; and from cautious to adventurous. There are nine possible inclinations.
Inclinations are an easily overlooked and important aspect of pawn behavior - the interactions can be complex, and the outcomes also may depend on other factors, such as vocation.
A Pawn's inclination assists in dictating the behavior of a Pawn, mostly when in combat. Main Pawn inclinations are initially decided by answering questions during character creation. Inclinations can be modified at any time by using the Knowledge Chair found at Inns and Rest Camps, or directly and most efficiently by using the Inclination Elixirs, which are purchased from Johnathan in the Encampment.
The primary and secondary inclinations are shown in the stats menu ingame, under "Profile".
Inclinations generally only affect likely actions, but in a few cases introduce new behavior. Generally inclinations causes prioritization of related actions when there are multiple action options available.
It is thought only the Primary and Secondary inclinations affect behavior. Depending on circumstances the primary inclination may override the second, or the pawn may alternative between the two behaviours. In some cases only having an inclination in the primary spot will unlock certain behaviors. The effect of the "Tertiary" or the other lower ranked inclinations on behavior is unknown, but it is likely that they are ignored.
Temporal and battle effects
Inclinations change periodically over time - there are four main causes of changes to a pawn's inclinations:
- Battle actions - including which can include : the type of enemy attacked first, enemies slain, actions such as grapple
- Debilitation and healing - becoming debilitated, curing ailments, taking great damage, and healing harm
- Pawn commands - each of the three pawn commands "Go", "Come", and "Help" will modify some inclination's likeliness; the effects sometimes depend on whether issued in battle or not.
- Hired pawns and their inclinations: the Arisen's main pawn will slowly drift towards hired pawn's inclinations over time (Hired Pawn inclinations do not alter over time.)
For each type of action inclinations can only be raised a certain amount in a fixed period. Once that period is over the first new action may raise an inclination again. Because of this, defeating many enemies in short order may have a minimal effect on inclinations, whereas a long drawn out battle with the same foes can alter inclinations far more.
Some other actions such as picking up loot affect specific inclinations each time the action is performed.
Whilst talking in the Knowledge Chair a pawn may ask which of two inclinations to prioritize: this swaps the Secondary inclination and the otherwise invisible 'Tertiary' inclination. This action also slightly reinforces the Primary inclination and slightly disfavors all the others.
Consuming a single inclination elixir promotes the associated inclination to Secondary, or if it was already the Secondary inclination, promotes it to Primary. Taking more inclination elixirs for a behavior already in the primary position reinforces its position, as well as moving other inclinations down. The Neutralizing Elixir resets all inclinations to a middle value of 500.
A pawn's Vocation can have a major effect on the behavioural effects of a specific inclination:
- The effect of the three inclinations of Mitigator, Challenger, and Scather is much more pronounced that other vocations - the behaviour of the higher of any of these three will completely override the others if suitable enemies are present. Thus a pawn with Scather in primary will ignore (or dodge) lesser enemies in the presence of a cyclops (even with Mitigator as secondary)
- Unlike Strider Scather does not prioritise climbing, and unlike Ranger having one of the three "battle" inclinations does not override the targeting of other types of foes.
|Inclination||Increased by||Decreased by||Effects|
Battle strong enemies
|Doing nothing for 20 seconds in the presence of powerful foes.
Avoid enemy contact in battle.
"Realigns a pawn's inclination that he might readily pursue the strongest foes."
Battles large or giant foes first.
Striders will also favor climbing over other attacks where there is an option, as well as 'powerful' attacks such as Skull Splitter
Taking 'critical' damage or healing from critical health
Use the command "Come" out of battle
|Fighting enemies at low health (~40%)||
"Realigns a pawn's inclination that he might fight with heed to Health and Stamina."
Pawn will heal themselves and allies at higher levels of remaining health : ~60% vs 45% for pawns, 60% vs 80% for the Arisen. (In most cases when aid is requested with "Help" they will heal to an additional 20% more health.)
On being alerted to a foe only pawns will medicant will prepare for battle before it begins, and before the foes are alerted - these actions include: unsheathing weapons; casting elemental enchants on all the party; using protection skills and spells such as Steel Will or Spellscreen.
Will cause pawns to carry unconscious pawns to aid.
|Mitigator||Targeting weaker melee foes first||Targeting ranged attackers and spellcasters first||
"Realigns a pawn's inclination that he might first wipe out the least dangerous of any group."
|Challenger||Targeting ranged attackers and spellcasters first||Targeting weaker melee foes first||
"Realigns a pawn's inclination that he might go after foes wielding ranged weapons or magicks."
|Party member debilitated in battle.
Not using tactical skills in battle. *
"Realigns a pawn's inclination that he might focus on strategies to give his allies advantages."
Thought to make pawns focus on actions that correspond to foe bestiary knowledge.(verify)
|Guardian|| Using "Come" command in battle
Using the "Help" command
|Using the "Go" command in battle||
"Realigns a pawn's inclination that he might act to keep the Arisen from danger above all else."
Pawn stays near the Arisen and only attacks foes that enter their close quarters.
If the Arisen climbs a creature the pawn will attack it too, including ranged attacks.
Support Pawn or Arisen:
- using group curatives or spells to heal Pawn at critical Health.
- using group curatives or spells to clear Pawn debilitation.
|Maintaining the distance from the party in battle.
Being grabbed by foes.
"Realigns a pawn's inclination that he might make his fellow pawns' safety his highest priority."
Nexus pawns will enter battle with other non-Nexus pawns.
|Pioneer||Using the "Go" command when not in combat||Taking the lead of the party.
"Realigns a pawn's inclination that he might ever travel far and wide to seek out new locations."
With Pioneer as 1º the pawn will travel much further away than with any other inclination (out of battle). 2º makes the pawn stand at a short distance, but doesn't cause wandering.
A Pioneer pawn will tend to stray into combat first in many situations. Additionally Pioneer 1º with Acquisitor 2º seems to cause unique distant gathering behavior.
|Acquisitor||Picking up items||Not picking up items allowing them to dissapear.||
"Realigns a pawn's inclination that he might seek out and collect hidden items, even during battle."
Only pawns with Acquisitor will interrupt battle actions to collect loot from foes.
Causes special gathering behavior with 1º Pioneers.
* Generally Utilitarian inclination's score always decreases in battle.
Pawns indicate their specific inclination behavior by shouting various lines of dialogue. Several examples are:
- "I'll leave the weak foes to you."
- "I'll begin with the strongest."
- "The first strike shall be mine!"
- "The ranged ones are mine!"
- "I'll take down the most troublesome of them."
- "I'll take care of the weak."
- "Leave these to me."
- "I'll get the weaklings out of the way."
- "Think well before striking."
- "Just wait, we'll see a weakness."
- "I'll support you!"
- "You've my support."
- "This should change the stakes."
- "I'll give aid."
- "I'll bolster our defenses."
- "I'll not allow harm to befall my allies."
- "I'll protect you Arisen."
- "Arisen, I am at your side."
- "Any that would target the Arisen are mine!"
- "That item is mine."
- "Never mind the monsters, I'll take the loot!"
The only inclination that is incompatible with certain parties is Guardian. Specifically, a Guardian pawn will not attack if the Arisen is not threatened by melee attacks, making it generally incompatible with distant attacking styles including both bow, longbow, and magick bow; and ranged spellcasting. The problem is further compounded by the Guardian attracting random foes to the Arisen's vicinity, which is especially troublesome when said monster is a club wielding cyclops. (Guardian is generally good support for Arisen melee vocations like Fighter and Warrior.)
Nexus can cause similar behavior to Guardian though it is rarely not so problematic. The Nexus pawn will actively battle as long as the other pawns are in battle. The exception is if all the other pawns are Guardian which leads to all congregating around the Arisen. This becomes a problem if the Arisen is a ranged attacker.
Many perceived pawn behavior problems including unncecessary/inappropriate climbing, excessive rolling, constantly running away or around, or canceling spells before completion cannot be fixed by tweaking inclinations.
|Behaviour||Cause and solution|
|"My pawn keeps turning into a Nexus!"||It is thought that Nexus increases when curatives are used with a debilitated pawn in the party, even if the pawn is not cured.
Critical injuries also increase Nexus.
Prevention or rapid cure is the best solution.
|"My pawn keeps turning into a Guardian!"||Caused by use of the "Help" command (often to request a weapon enchantment).
When in battle the "Come" command in battle also has a similar effect.
To get elemental enchantments automatically before battle begins have Medicant either 1º or 2º
|"My pawn climbs! I don't like this"||Prioritising giant (climbable) enemies can be caused by Scather, especially with Strider.
However no inclination can prevent climbing.
|"I want my Ranger or Strider to shoot from a distance like a sniper, but it keeps rushing in to climb monsters instead!"||There is no inclination that prevents melee attacks. However for Strider Scather can prioritise them - avoid.|
|"My Mage interrupts spells to heal, all the time! I want it to finish the spell first!"||Can be caused by Medicant prioratizing healing.(verify)
Also caused by heavy damage in battle.
|"My spellcaster pawn will not enchant my weapon, even when requested with the command "help", sometimes saying "I cannot do that right now."||This occurs when the spellcaster is in the process of casting another spell when the request for aid is received.
Not inclination related. Try again in a few moments.
|"My spellcaster pawn enchants may weapon at the end of battles, but not before"||This is due to the pawn having being very busy during battle; they queue requests for aid but may not be able to complete them until the battle is over.|
|"My pawn keeps cancelling spell afore they finish"||There are two causes for this behaviour :
Most types of foes are associated with an inclination type. In general :
- Mitigator corresponds to small foes
- Challenger to ranged foes including spellcasters, bow users, and stone throwers
- Scather - giant foes including giant saurians, poisoned undead and bigger.
Pawns of a specific inclination will only attack a creature matching their favored inclination when present.
Battle actions such as the first foe targeted promote the inclination associated with that foe, and similarly promoted when foes are defeated, though in some cases the inclination change depends on the type of attack used: e.g., a Wraith defeated by ranged attacks promotes Challenger, however, a Wraith defeated by melee attacks promotes Scather.
Additionally, the classification of foes in terms of inclination change may also depend on the other enemies present; killing a Frostwyrm may promote Mitigator in the presence of a stronger Firedrake, but if the Drake is defeated, then killing the Wyrm promotes Scather.
However, attacks on different Chimera heads are thought to promote certain inclinations (Lion - Scather, Snake - Mitigator, Goat - Challenger), the reverse is not true; Challenger pawns do no seem to specifically target the Goat's head, instead, Bestiary knowledge promotes attacking the Snake head first.
- Pawn commands temporally override Pawn inclinations. For example, a Nexus pawn will target a foe near the Arisen when "Help" is requested, but once the foe is slain they return to their pawn allies.
- With Scather or Nexus as 1º, pawns stand further away from the Arisen when idling. In the 2º position there is no effect. Pioneer as 1º or 2º has the same distancing effect. All other inclinations cause the pawn to stand right next to the Arisen.
- When a pawn triggers a Great Cannon sigil with their own attacks Utilitarian is raised.
- Occasionally the pawn AI will experience a random glitch or bug where one inclination will be instantly promoted. This is theorized to be a residual effect carried over from old data; this can happen when rents are received, or in response to a d-pad order.(verify)
Doesn't affect inclinations:
- Use of stamina curatives isn't known to increase or decrease any inclination.
- Picking up objects raises Acquisitor; opening chests or gathering does not.
- Bestiary knowledge actions during battle don't increase Utilitarian.
- Pawn commands affect inclinations once every half minute. Spamming the command button during that period is no different from pressing it once in terms of inclination change.
- There's a limit to the increase from some pawn commands; for example, "Go" only increases Pioneer to 70% of its maximum value after which Pioneer is no longer promoted.
- Sneak attacks when foes are not alerted to the party's presence have no effect on inclination.
- Reviving an Unconscious pawn doesn't promote Nexus, however the loss of health will likely have raised the inclination anyway.
- Draining stamina totally doesn't affect inclinations.
- For an even more detailed look see Pawn Inclination : Under the Hood