"Our fealty is sworn to you, Arisen."
All pawns carry a glowing scar upon their hand that corresponds to the scar upon the Arisen's chest. Other than the scar, Pawns look physically human, the difference being that they neither age nor truly die; they lack any sort of real emotion and willpower.
The Arisen is introduced to pawns and their place in the world during the quests Upon a Pawn and Call of the Arisen. More of the nature of pawns is revealed during Selene's questline, at the end of the later quest Witch Hunt, where the Arisen learns of the Bestowal of Spirit.
Finally, the future for the Arisen's own pawn is learned at the end of the final quest The Great Hereafter.
Every Arisen has their own Pawn. This pawn has the closest relationship with the Arisen, and their name, appearance, behavior, vocation, equipment and so on are all chosen by their master. In the tale told in Dragon's Dogma, the Arisen creates their pawn at the end of the quest Call of the Arisen at the Riftstone in The Encampment.
Much of what an Arisen can do, so can their pawn. Pawns gain Experience Points and Discipline Points just like the Arisen, and learn skills and augments, equip items, and so on. Unlike the Arisen, they lack their own will and follow in the Arisen's footsteps, unable to have real adventures of their own.
One's own pawn can be hired by others (if online) just as the Arisen can hire other player's pawns.
Hired Pawns are the pawns of other Arisen, that have been recruited to aid the Arisen's party. Up to two pawns can be hired at a time for a maximum party size of four.
They can be found and summoned within the Rift (accessed via Riftstone) and can also be found throughout Gransys (see Wandering Pawns). They are particularly common in Gran Soren and at The Encampment.
Before hiring a Pawn, it is possible to review their clothing, armor , stats, skills, inclinations, bestiary, quest and travel knowledge. Hired pawns do not gain Experience Points or Discipline Points while present in the party, instead they earn Rift Crystals on behalf of their own Arisen. It's not possible to hire pawns if the main pawn is lost.
Worn items and weapons equipped on hired pawns are considered given to that pawn, and may not be recovered. This allows Trading and Gifting between Arisen. On release of a pawn a single gift may also be given; this is any inventory item, but not weapons, rings, or armor, and a few other excluded items.
On release of a hired pawn, ratings on appearance, battle, and helpfulness, and a comment can also be given as well as a gift. Pawns can be released either at the Rift, or when hiring in a 'fourth' pawn. With the exception of the gift, inventory items remain in the ownership of the original owner, and are returned to storage; in a similar fashion, a hired pawn comes only with its armor and equipment, but without any items such as curatives.
A pawn that dies in battle, to a fall, or to the Brine receives a 3* rating, and cannot be given a gift item.
Pawns can be added to a favorites list (up to 100 pawns). Favorites appear more often in the world, and will appear preferentially when visiting the rift.
Most pawns will readily join the Arisen's party if asked, with some exceptions such as Barnaby, Johnathan, and Quince who will aid the Arisen in other ways. A few pawns who have lost their masters or have become corrupted may also be encountered, but cannot be hired.
In general hiring a pawn that is a higher level than the Arisen (or substantially better equipped) will cost Rift Crystals. Lower- and equal-level pawns are free.
Additionally if another Arisen is on a specific (platform specific i.e. PS3/PS4/360/XONE/PC-Steam/PC-Gog) "friend list", their friends' pawns will oft appear in their friend's world, and can be hired without cost. A "friend request" must be sent via the pawn to the other Arisen first; this friend list is a separate and different list from the platform-specific friend lists.
- Main article: Wandering Pawns.
Wandering Pawns can be recruited by talking to them on the roads, paths, and streets of Gransys. They are from the same group that pawns found in the Rift are from, and answer to an Arisen.
- Main article: Corrupted Pawn.
Pawns may involuntarily turn against the Arisen in certain situations and start to attack them (sometimes known as Possessed Pawns). This can happen if Dragonkin or Ghosts manage to possess them. This ailment can be cured with certain potions or High Halidom.
Other possessed pawns are found in The Everfall (Post-Dragon), specifically in the Chamber of Lament. These are other Arisen's pawns that have been somehow corrupted and brought to the Chamber to defend the Ur-Dragon.
A third type of Corrupted Pawn appears on Bitterblack Isle; these pawns have no masters and most likely died in that place's halls. They act confused, ask to fight by the Arisen's side, when at the same time they attack the party. They cannot be cured of their ailment, or hired; instead they may be fought and killed.
A few pawns have taken on special roles. These are often pawns that have lost their Arisen and continue to carry out their former master's wishes.
Such pawns include the vendors Akim, Delec, and Joye; the Rift Shop vendor Johnathan; and the keeper of the Pawn Guild, Barnaby. Other pawns such as Rochelle and Faircrest have lost all purpose with their masters' absence. See also Pawns (NPC).
- "We had arrived at the Rift, and the time had come for Savan to create his own pawn..." [Morganna].
During the quest Call of the Arisen, an Arisen will be prompted to create their own pawn (via the Character Editor). Here choices such as sex, age, height, weight, appearance, voice, and so on are made. Further, a series of questions are asked of the Arisen in an attempt to judge what character traits are favored. This assigns the Pawn's initial inclinations. Once their physical make up has been decided, a choice of vocations is given; exactly as with the Arisen, these are initially Fighter, Strider, or Mage.
- "... Pawns exist in every world, and are created at the rift by an Arisen, or summoned from the world of another Arisen." [Morganna].
After the initial creation the Main Pawn can have their entire appearance altered (via the Character Editor option in the Main Menu) if a Art of Metamorphosis (single use) or Secret of Metamorphosis has been purchased. All characteristics can be changed, including age, name, and sex.
Pawn Training, Learning, and Behaviour
- Main article: Knowledge Chair.
The main pawn's behaviour may be tweaked in Knowledge Chairs found in Inns and other resting places. These chairs can be used to "lock in" a main inclination, and to choose their manner of speech and more.
The vocation of the main pawn is restricted to the Basic vocations and Advanced vocations. Hybrid vocations can not be used by player pawns, though some non-hireable pawns have become Magick Archers (see Corrupted Pawn).
In gameplay, player pawns that have been manually changed to hybrid vocations are marked in the Rift as "Corrupted Pawn Data Omitted," and cannot be summoned.
Levelling and Learning
Main Pawns gain Experience Points and Discipline Points just as the Arisen. However, if the main pawn became forfeit and the Arisen kept earning XP during that time, the lower levelled pawn will upon rejoining the party, gain experience rapidly, and soon attain a similar level to the Arisen. Each pawn has their own separate pool of experience and discipline, and separate level and ranks in vocations.
As Pawns travel and complete quests with different Arisen, they gain knowledge of areas, quests, enemy weaknesses and locations of secret paths, which will all be taken back to the Arisen that created them. Secret paths and shortcuts forms part of a pawn's Quest Knowledge, whilst general travels adds to their Travel Knowledge. Progress in each is measured in 'stars' from zero to three.
Also measured in 'stars' is the pawn's Foe Knowledge in their Bestiary which shows a pawn's understanding of each hostile creature it has encountered and fought. Higher Bestiary knowledge ensures that they take appropriate actions in battle, and hopefully avoid inappropriate ones.
If the Arisen hires a Pawn that has already a vast knowledge of areas, creatures and quests, they will be able to aid them. For example, if a pawn has knowledge of a particular quest in which the Arisen is involved, they will show them the way and may even go off to find hidden levers to open a hidden path.
Curative and tool use
- Main article: Pawn curative and tool use.
Pawns act with a degree of self-determination with the items in their own inventory. In general, pawns may use curatives to heal, regain stamina, and cure debilitations. They may also use certain items in combat, most commonly objects that can cause thrown damage. Under certain circumstances they may use more powerful items, such as periapts and special arrows.
Pawns may pick up, mine and gather items, and will fill Empty Flasks when the opportunity arises. They will not discard items, swap amongst themselves, or combine items to make new ones. Nor will they swap weapons or armor without the instruction of the Arisen, even if they carry better ones.
- Main article: Pawn Inclination.
Pawn Inclinations modify how a Pawn will behave in a party, in combat, and when exploring. Its primary effect is combat behavior. When the Main Pawn is first created, a series of questions are asked that will give a starting basis to their inclinations.
Inclinations are one of the most important factors in creating an effective pawn: not all inclinations work well with all vocations, and some inclinations are significantly less desirable than others. Two inclinations are shown in the "Status" section of the pause menu; a primary and secondary, and the tertiary inclination may be revealed in conversation at the Knowledge Chair.
For full details, see the main article; further advice is given at Pawn Inclination troubleshooting.
- and so on.
In battle much of what pawns say will relate to their personality. Pawn personality as set in the Knowledge Chair affects victory celebration, responses to orders, response on being saved, or saving the Arisen, or being defeated. Refer to the Knowledge Chair page for further information.
Other elements of what pawns say in battle may be inclination specific.
With suitable Bestiary knowledge, pawns will be able to call out suitable tactics for both offense and defense against foes.
With suitable Quest Knowledge pawns may be able to give helpful advice at different stages of a quest. Their quest knowledge also affects the comments they make on quest completion.
Additionally pawns will make comments in response to the local and wide environment, calling out the directions paths lead, points of local interest, background lore, as well as commenting upon trees, chests, traps and so on.
- Main article: Unconscious.
The main pawn can be resummoned by touching a Riftstone at no cost; however, lost hired pawns must be rehired within the Rift.
Resummoned main pawns keep all items in their inventory they had when they became forfeit. All items a hired pawn was carrying in their inventory upon their death are sent to the Arisen's storage.
- "The Arisen has the power to breathe life back into their pawns, simply by touching them." [Morganna].
- Pawns are created by their Arisen. They do not exist prior to that act of creation.
- The Arisen Savan had help from pawn Morganna, who guided him to a Rift where he would create his own pawn:
- "We had arrived at the rift, and the time had come for Savan to create his own pawn. [..] Pawns exist in every world, and are created at the rift by an Arisen, or summoned from the world of another Arisen." –Morganna
- Despite being described as being devoid of emotion and willpower, they fight with utmost earnestness and courage. The 'lack of will' they suffer from is a lack of self determination and ego, not an inability to function autonomously.
- Because a pawn learns from the Arisen, it is sometimes advised to give a pawn a similar vocation to the Arisen so that lessons learned will be more applicable to their skills; this is not a necessity, though.
- The code name used for pawns during game development was CMC (for Custom Mercenary Character).
- Earning Rift Crystals
- Just as with the Arisen, a Pawn's physical characteristics are a big factor on their performance in battle. Specifically:
- Character Weight: primarily affects how much can be carried (Encumbrance), as well as Knockdown resistances.
- Character Height: primarily affects how fast a character can jog, being related to leg length.
- Stats: the Strength, Magick, Magick Defense, Defense, Health, and Stamina all increase as the pawn gains Experience Points; just like the Arisen's stat increases, the relative rate of increase of each stat depends on the pawn's vocation.
- ↑ "They're a strange lot. Not human, quite. They look the part sure enough,[...] Myrmidons, they're called." –Chief Adaro
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Dragon's Dogma Digital Comic, Chapter 2 "Barta Crags" (Capcom, via www.youtube.com)
- ↑ Dragon's Dogma Digital Comic, Chapter 3 "Estan Plains" (Capcom, Youtube)
- ↑ Dragon's Dogma Digital Comic, Chapter 2 "Barta Crags" (Capcom, Youtube)