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Characters / Darkest Dungeon The Hamlet

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Women and men; soldiers and outlaws; fools and corpses. All will find their way to us now that the road is clear.
The Ancestor

Click here for the main character index, here for the monsters introduced in the base game, and here for the monsters introduced in the DLC.

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"We are the Flame! And Darkness fears us!" note 

The playable characters with which you can build your exploration parties. They came to the Darkest Estate for their own reasons and can be recruited to fight off the hellish horrors of the Darkest Dungeon. Under your leadership they band together, putting at risk both their bodies and their minds...

     The Classes as a Whole 
  • 24-Hour Armor: With few exceptions, none of the classes are ever seen taking off their armor or helmet/mask, no matter what they're currently doing. The comics largely avert this and shows what most of the armored heroes look like underneath. This is justified in the dungeons themselves, since the dangers the heroes face can come at any time.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: No matter how composed a class may be, they will start suggesting they run when taking stress damage or watching an enemy land a critical hit on an ally. Notably, the Vestal, Plague Doctor, Grave Robber, and Arbalest will plead for their lives if you scroll over them for Come Unto Your Maker.
  • Anti-Hero: The entire hamlet of heroes are at best Classical anti-heroes like the Crusader, Houndmaster or Vestal to Unscrupulous types like the Bounty Hunter, Flagellant or Jester. However, exposure to stress and afflictions put them squarely in the Nominal side as they become abusive, insane, or both.
  • Badass Boast: Heroes tend to make a snappy one-liner when landing a critical hit on an enemy or when Virtuous, and some will even make boasts while Masochistic.
  • Badass Crew: Big time. Every single character is a badass in one way or another.
  • Badass Normal: A good number of the classes have jobs not suited for combat (such as the Jester or Antiquarian), and very few provide any supernatural abilities and attacks, but they can fight against the horrors lurking in the dungeons just the same as anybody else.
  • Blood Lust: Should one of them become Masochistic. Especially notable in the case of the Grave Robber and Musketeer, whose barks verge on Hemo Erotic.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: All of the characters, either in their backstory comics or when chatting, will show that none of them had entirely happy lives before arriving at the Hamlet, with some having nothing left to live for.
  • Death Seeker: Masochistic, Hopeless, and some Fearful heroes will sometimes beg for the enemy to kill them, and a good number of the characters display this trope in their personalities.
  • Despair Event Horizon: An Enforced Trope. Adventurers will gain stress as they embark on the mission or from enemy attacks, and if failing a resolve check, they will cross the horizon with varying degrees of insanity. The trope is also downplayed in that it's possible to come back from it, but it won't be happening mid-mission without an exorbitant amount of luck and dedicated stress-healingnote ; generally speaking, removing an Affliction requires a visit to the Brothel, Gambling Hall, or Abbey after the quest is done.
  • Empty Shell: Described by the Ancestor to be the result of those who you dismiss.
    Slumped shoulders, wild eyes, and a stumbling gait — this one is no more good to us.
  • Everyone Is Bi: The female adventures anyway. They will readily spend money on the brothel just like the men, and will flirt with each other, as readily as with the opposite sex.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In order for the rest of the party to retreat from an area with a Darkest difficulty, one brave soul will stay behind and fend off the invading monsters, resulting in their offscreen death. Most heroes will willingly offer to give their lives for Come Unto Your Maker.
  • Heroic Second Wind: A hero with 100 Stress may become Virtuous instead of Afflicted, and rather than snapping under the horrors of the current dungeon will power on through with renewed fervor and a huge stat boost, among other conditions depending on the virtue involved. (However they will lose their virtue should their stress hit 200 again.) Unfortunately, unlike an Affliction, the Virtuous state does not last after the end of the quest.
    • Powerful: The Unstoppable Rage kind, where the hero has had enough and goes on a rampage, tearing through enemies with increased power and rallying the team into striking harder as well.
    • Courageous: The hero takes charge, not only powering through their own stress through sheer will, but encouraging others to do so as well, reducing stress for everyone.
    • Stalwart: The hero in question steels himself, and shrugs off the most stressful and maddening of events through power of will, entering a Determinator trance.
    • Vigorous: The hero shrugs off injuries both physical and mental, constantly recovering with one last burst of energy to put down the villains once and for all.
    • Focused: The hero puts aside anything that isn't his objective and the foes in the way, their blows finding their mark with increased lethality and accuracy.
  • Informed Equipment: Due to the limitations on sprites, you will never see the characters with their different trinkets, even if said trinkets are as massive as a flagpole.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Some heroes take to Admiring the Abomination when Masochistic, begging to keep going so they can see what new gribblies they get to fight.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Among the classes, we have a court jester, two thieves, a warlock (...of the evil that the heroes are fighting!), werewolf/Humanoid Abomination, a former slave, a masochistic lunatic, a disgraced markswoman, a sociopathic bounty hunter, a former lawman, a cowardly barbarian, and a former king now suffering from leprosy. Dark and Troubled Pasts mostly come standard among all of the classes.
  • Sanity Slippage: A failed resolve check. Most noticeably when they are Irrational.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Characters who become Selfish will start demanding more pay or material needs, and those who become Abusive will verbally assault and belittle their companions.
  • True Companions: While some characters are outwardly cold and dismissive of their allies, the classes have a degree of respect and blossoming friendship toward one another — unless they hit the Despair Event Horizon, of course.

     The Abomination
"I fear no demon, for the greatest monster lies inside!"
"Tortured and reclusive… this man is more dangerous than he seems."

Beaten, branded, and imprisoned for untold decades, this furtive vagrant hides a terrible secret. The eldritch poison coursing through his veins has given him unspeakable power, at a terrible cost. As his form changes, so too does his role in combat!

See the Abomination's comic here.

  • All the Other Reindeer: Religious classes (Crusader, Flagellant, Leper, and Vestal) initially refused to join a party that had an Abomination in it. This is no longer the case since the Color of Madness update.
  • Anti-Hero: The Abomination's worst enemy is not the uncontrollable monster inside him, but his own many insecurities, and the doubts that plague his mind.
  • Boring, but Practical: His moveset when he isn't transformed isn't as powerful as when he's transformed, nor is it as flashy, but it's still fairly well-balanced and usable, with a stun, blight, and a self-heal for both health and stress, and it avoids the stress penalties that the transformation brings.
  • Brown Note Being: As much as he wishes otherwise, his transformation causes sanity stress on the rest of the party.
  • Bullying a Dragon: In his backstory comic, three people are branding his face. Only one of them ran away fast enough.
  • Breaking the Bonds: His unleashed beast form will break its bond into pieces, but the chains eventually reform themselves when he turns back into a man.
  • Chained by Fashion: The Abomination is usually tied to magic chains, and his associated trinkets are actually different locks for said chains.
  • Chain Pain: The human form will smack enemies with his chains when using the Manacles combat skill. They combine great reach, decent damage, and a stun effect to make him a very capable fighter even when not transformed.
  • Creepy Good: The Abomination is a gaunt-looking man who can transform into a monster at will. However, he's characterized as one of the meekest and nicest heroes.
  • Dash Attack: In his Beast Form, the Abomination can use Slam to dash forward if it's been displaced to the back ranks.
  • Deadpan Snarker: If he becomes Abusive, he'll let loose a barrage of snark on the rest of the party.
    (party member hits a monster): It appears to have tripped on your weapon. / Yes, aren't you just the slayer of beasts and demons?
    (party member hit): Going to bleed profusely on them, then? / We will never hear the end of this. / I am sure that arm was vestigial.
  • Death Seeker: Some of his lines (especially what he says when he's sacrificed to the Heart of Darkness) show that he prefers death to living as he does now.
    Whatever awaits, it cannot be worse than what I've endured.
  • Enemy Within: Many of his barks suggest he's struggling to keep his inner beast in check.
  • Fantasy Character Classes: He is the Beast, a character able to turn into a wild monstrous form which is very powerful but can do nothing but attack the enemy.
  • For Science!: Implied by his dialogue to be how he became a Humanoid Abomination.
  • Hulking Out: The Abomination can let the Beast inside him take over, which results in a dramatic size and muscle growth, as well as the appearance of animalistic features such as claws and horns. It understandably stresses the rest of the party when he does that. In The Butcher's Circus, it instead horrifies the enemy team, although the Abomination himself still takes Stress over time to maintain the transformation.
  • Humanoid Abomination: We don't know what happened to him, precisely, but he's not exactly human anymore. Even in his "normal" form, he has inhuman abilities.
  • Irony: Despite "religious" characters refusing to party with him, the Absolution skill implies that the Abomination himself is at least somewhat religious; possibly a religious scientist along the lines of Gregor Mendel, based on his quote about a monastery and research before he became The Abomination.
  • It Can Think: His beast form seems to know better than to attack his teammates (at least while not Afflicted), and is even capable of becoming Virtuous.
  • The Killer in Me: He is terrified that "it," the monster inside him, will somehow overtake him without him realizing it.
    I am full… are any children missing from the hamlet?
  • Lightning Bruiser: He combines decent defense, high speed, and some of the highest base-damage skills in the game into one brutal package. This is balanced by his beast form stressing out himself and the party.
  • Lotus Position: The Anger Management camping skill shows an icon of the Abomination trying to meditate, which ironically stresses him out.
  • Lovecraftian Superpower: Even in his human form, he can half-shift to spray bile at enemies. His beast form is a monster of a unit, but shifting into it stresses out the rest of the party, while staying in it stresses him.
  • Lunacy: A minor example — the "A Gibbous Moon" town event will cause all Abominations to gain a Resolve level while they're idle in the Hamlet. The picture for it depicts a transformed Abomination howling at the moon while on a cliff, and the Hamlet will have an Abomination that appears to have horns (implying he's in the middle of transforming) chained next to the statue for the Ancestor's Memoirs in an example of Kind Restraints.
  • Magic Pants: His beast form is bigger than his human form, yet his shorts don't rip. Possibly justified by how his pants look baggy on him in human form. His chains, which his transformation into a beast destroys, are also justified; the Abomination's description in the Blacksmith's shop explicitly states that his chains are cursed.
  • Malfunction Malady: If the Abomination turns Afflicted while transformed, he will forcibly revert, and can't transform again for the rest of the battle. However, there's nothing stopping you from transforming the Abomination if he's already Afflicted at the start of the fight.
  • Man Bites Man: Rage makes the Abomination bite a single enemy for massive damage, although the monsters are seldom human anymore.
  • Mark of Shame: He has a large "A" — marking him as an Abomination — on the right side of his forehead.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class: Differs from other heroes in that he possesses a Stance System, allowing him to switch between his human form and his beast form. Prior to Color of Madness, religious characters (usually the Leper, Crusader, Vestal, and Flagellant) refused to join a party with him as well.
  • Older Than They Look: The Abomination looks physically like he is in his late twenties or early thirties, but his description in the Guild states that he was "imprisoned for decades" implying that he is much older.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: The Kickstarter backer that helped design him was a big Werewolf: The Forsaken fan, and the Abomination clearly shows that influence. He shapeshifts into a wolf-like beast minus fur, with horns, and with very visible poison in his veins.
  • Power at a Price: He has extremely high damage, useful skills in both his human and beast forms, flexible in group positioning and targeting, pretty durable, and possesses one of the two combat abilities that heals both stress and health (only he and the Leper have such an ability). But it comes at the price of being reviled and outcast, stressing the party, and used to be unable to group with four of the other classes, all of them tougher and better-armored characters (now just "reviled and outcast, and stressing the party" with the Color of Madness patch).
  • Pious Monster: In his Human form, he can pray for healing.
  • Shout-Out: The name of the default Abomination in the game files is called Bigby, a character of the Fables series.
  • A Sinister Clue: The Abomination's beast form has a left arm that is significantly more muscular than its right, which is especially obvious when it performs Rake. As evident by the Volcanic Veins in that arm, it's likely that the poison that the Abomination was subjected to is especially prevalent in it, as opposed to the Abomination's right arm.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: His beast form came with a mind of its own.
  • Super Spit: Beast Bile, consisting of the Abomination spitting acid which blights the second and third enemy rank.
  • Tainted Veins: His beast form has venom in its veins, giving them a sickly yellow appearance. It thrums up even in his human form when he is attacked or making use of his bile attack.
  • Tame His Anger: The Camping Skill Anger Management in a nutshell; judging it by the skill icon, the Abomination supposedly takes a Lotus Position and meditates to calm himself. Ironically, it stresses him out.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: He can still get stressed out in gameplay, but he claims that the monsters they fight don't scare him because his inner beast is more frightening than anything the Darkest Dungeon can cook up.
  • Transformation Horror: Transforming into his beast form will cause some stress damage to his own team, and in the Butcher's Circus DLC will inflict Horror to the whole enemy team.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Notable, because his Transformation skill is the only free skill in the game. After turning from man to beast or vice versa, he can immediately use another skill. However, the Transformation Horror of such an action prevents abusing this power, as turning from man to beast freaks out the rest of the team, while turning from beast to man imposes a speed penalty. Additionally, he can only transform each way once in a given fight.
  • Use Your Head: When using Slam, the Abomination charges head down into an enemy, which has a chance of knocking them back.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Transforming him into his beast form provides you with a piledriver of a unit that will literally tear your enemies apart… but it takes a serious toll not just on the sanity of the Abomination, but on the rest of his party as well.

     The Antiquarian
"I've developed an eye for spotting useful relics."
"She searches where others will not go... and sees what others will not see."

A scholar, researcher, and keen archaeologist, The Antiquarian is not well-suited for combat. She is, however, an expert in self-preservation — by making herself scarce in a fight, or demanding an ally protect her, she ensures her survival. If direct combat is unavoidable, The Antiquarian can use her fulminating censer to heal and invigorate allies… and to toxify her attackers.

See the Antiquarian's comic here.

  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Downplayed thanks to her Non-Action Guy status, but she's still seeking out relics and artifacts in dangerous ruins.
  • Anti-Hero: She is at the Hamlet to help stem the flow of corruption, but her comic depicts her as being part of a ritual involving human sacrifice. She kills the man, presumably her master, performing the ritual, but the comic leaves it ambiguous as to whether she saves the woman who was being sacrificed, or completed it and only killed the man performing it to gain his power.
  • Badass Long Robe: Bundled up in layer upon layer, with a scarf around her mouth, more to emphasize her air of mystery rather than any particular combat skill on her part.
  • Blinded by the Light: Flash Powder. The Antiquarian throws a small firework bomb which doesn't stun but decreases Accuracy. Much more viable as of The Colour of Madness, as it also flushes a target out of stealth, and unlike some other effects which do the same, it doesn't have a limited number of uses per battle.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Her Fortifying Vapors is this — it's the only decent skill in the Antiquarian's kit that doesn't mostly benefit her herself and isn't worse than every comparable skill that other classes have access to, which arguably makes it the single most useful skill in her set. At max level, it offers a +10 boost to dodge and stacks up to three times, which makes not only her fiendishly hard to hit, but her entire party as well; and a dodge-heavy group can expect to barely have to put up with incoming stress or damage in the first place. All it takes is her doing nothing but swinging her censer for the entire fight.
  • Collector of the Strange: The Antiquarian's associated trinkets are the most diverse ones, being idols, bags of marbles, a rare coin, or a magic candle.
  • Crazy-Prepared: The Resupply camping skill allows the Antiquarian to produce a random supply item she packed herself. This ability only costs one action point, and can be used three times. If you've been forced to expend more supplies than you had expected, it could be a blessing to suddenly have the right supply to continue.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: You will make battles more difficult by bringing an Antiquarian, since she has weak skills… but many of them can be used regardless of her position in the team's formation, giving her quite a bit of utility. Furthermore, her true worth is made readily apparent if you can effectively use her moves to keep her alive, as just by being in your party, the Antiquarian will make your gold reserves skyrocket, not only being able to carry extra gold, but also gather a set of unique items that are both stackable and valuable. When used correctly, having a Antiquarian will solve your Hamlet's money issues in no time.
  • Dirty Coward: The Antiquarian's Protect Me! skill forces a Guard and Marked status on the hero she uses it on, transferring any attacks targeted at her over to them on top of making enemies more likely to attack that hero in particular(which is great if that hero has Riposte up). That said, it does give them a dodge and protection buff as well. Get Down! gives a boost to her dodge and speed while ducking two positions back in the party's formation. Really, most of her kit is geared towards benefiting her and her alone.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: The Two of Three trinket is an amulet missing one of its three pearls.
  • Draw Aggro: Inverted — Protect Me! marks an ally and forces them to Guard the Antiquarian, along with giving them a moderate buff to Dodge and Prot. Along similar lines, Get Down! has the Antiquarian drop back 2 ranks, forcing her allies (allies may be too strong a word) between her and the enemy and increasing her own Dodge.
  • Gotta Catch Them All!: The Antiquarian's Crimson Court trinket set suggests that she's looking for a particular item, presumably a pearl missing from an amulet, and that she'll seek it whatever the cost.
  • Greed: Most noticeable in her Afflicted barks. She's constantly rambling on about gold, profit, and who gets what share of the loot.
  • Guide Dang It!: Didn't know that the Antiquarian's real purpose is increasing the amount of gold you can carry in each inventory stack by 750 each and to have a chance of finding artifacts every time while you check curios with her? We don't blame you, literally none of these things are ever actually stated in-game at all.
  • Intrepid Merchant: She's basically Antiques Roadshow as a character, able to spot valuable antiques in loot drops that other characters would ignore. Resupply plays into this as well, allowing her to produce spare supply items, whether scrounging them from the dungeon or producing them from within her robes. The Silk Road was used as the source of inspiration for her design, as voted by Kickstarter backers.
  • Item Caddy: Each Antiquarian in the party let you carry 750 more gold per stack in your inventory. Having an Antiquarian will also let you find valuable antiques in every loot drop, although having multiple Antiquarians doesn't increase the number of antiques.
  • Kukris Are Kool: The Antiquarian uses a kukri when performing Nervous Stab. The stab is one of the weakest moves in the entire game, doing barely more than Scratch Damage, but it is quite accurate and can attack all but the last enemy rank from any rank in the party.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Her flavor text almost goes out of its way to emphasize that she's essentially a non-combatant, but in certain situations, she can be an excellent team player. Specifically, when she's in a group with a Highwayman or Man-At-Arms, her ability to deflect damage to them (while buffing their protection and dodge) combined with their riposte abilities can really ruin an enemy's day. With The Crimson Court downloaded, she arguably has even more synergy with the Flagellant, who actively gets stronger when his health drops below a certain point. And this isn't even going into her uncanny ability to make the Hamlet's coffers fill with treasure very fast.
  • Master of None: She can do a little bit of everything, but almost none of it particularly well. Her attacks are weak, her Blight is negligible, her healing restores very little HP, her HP is low, and she's not particularly fast. Where she excels? Collecting cash and relics and dodging attacks.
  • Non-Action Guy: The Antiquarian only has two skills that directly harm enemies, a weak melee attack and an even weaker blight, and while she can heal and buff, there are better options for both. She even has several skills which only serve to put someone else between her and the enemy. But that doesn't mean she doesn't have her uses.
  • Panacea: With her Strange Powders camp skill, the Antiquarian can buff her or an ally's resistance to any status, including disease.
  • Soul Jar: She keeps the soul of her former master in her censer. The fumes it emits when she uses Fortifying Vapours, Invigorating Vapours, or Festering Vapours can either heal and buff allies or inflict a small Blight status.
  • The Scrounger: While camping, she can use Trinket Scrounge to look for an additional random trinket. The flavour text for Resupply has her do the same for a random camp item.
  • Support Party Member: Where she falls in the sorting algorithm of party makeup. She's not a damage-dealer or tank, or much of a healer either: she can do damage, but it's the weakest damage in the game bar none; she can heal, but even when using a full set of healing trinkets and having the Hippocratic quirk, her heals are pathetic; and instead of tanking, she hides from any incoming damage and forces other characters to take the bullet for her. But the latter also comes with a sizable buff to Dodge and PROT, and her Fortifying Vapors can relieve you of the need for a tank or healer in the first place by increasing Dodge party-wide. Her Blight attack, while weak on its own, also greatly reduces enemies' resistance to further Blight attacks, synergizing well with a Plague Doctor, mid-rank Abomination, or Shieldbreaker.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: It's generally not recommended to bring her along for any of the boss fights, because she won't be able to contribute much of anything. However, she's a great pick to fight against the Siren for a few reasons. First, the Siren will prioritize the character with the lowest debuff resistance, which tends to be the Antiquarian (or you can pump the other members with Holy Water.) Second, on the very likely chance she does get taken, she won't deal lots of damage to your team or provide the Siren with any meaningful healing.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Her comic may seem ambiguous about whether she sacrificed the woman and she's a nearly useless fighter, but the flavor text of her Crimson Court trinkets (and one of them being called Two of Three) "It will be mine - whatever the cost!" hints that the Antiquarian did in fact sacrifice the woman and makes her a lot more unsympathetic than the other heroes at first glance. At least we know that the Occultist made his Deal with the Devil to fight it.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In the Butcher's Circus, many of her skills are buffed to make her a more viable pick. While in that game mode, her function shifts form being a noncombatant who increases your loot to a genuine combatant who specializes in abilities that affect either the entire enemy or ally roster at once.
  • Utility Party Member: The actual reason to bring her along: she passively allows you to stack gold up to 2500 per item slot, as opposed to the normal 1750, and she can also find antiques of varying values that can stack up to 20 times. Combine this with her camp skills, which are useful but more importantly cheap, 2 points or less, and she can easily double or triple whatever treasure you bring back to the Hamlet, while making the dilemma between treasure or supplies far less of a headache.
  • Was It Really Worth It?: This seems to factor into her oddly sober, vaguely ironic reaction if she's chosen as the recipient of Come Unto Your Maker.
    So I'm the final antique, yet there will be nothing around to collect…

     The Arbalest
"A bloody good shot!"
"Shoot, bandage, and pillage: the dancing steps of war."

A runaway turned soldier, the Arbalest is the definitive backline fighter. Able to rain suppressing fire on the enemy, snipe high-profile targets, and apply powerfully effective first-aid, she is a rallying point, a turret, a beacon in the dark.

See the Arbalest's comic here.

  • Abnormal Ammo: The arbalest can fire bolas and flares in addition to her arrows.
  • Archer Archetype: Averted. She serves as the ranged class, but she's nowhere near delicate or precise. She's dressed in full armour and has a crossbow so big she holds it like a minigun.
  • Annoying Arrows: A nice aversion — her Critical Hit Class status is often enough to one-shot those pesky enemies in the back.
  • Battle Bolas: The Arbalest has a skill called "Bola" which fires one from their crossbow. This hits the front two ranks of the enemy formation for reduced damage but can push them backwards, disrupting the enemy group's formation.
  • Chainsaw Grip BFG: As can be seen, this is how she holds her large arbalest. Interestingly, while there are no known medieval examples of crossbows of this size, in Ancient Greece they did have enormous crossbows fired from the stomach or hip known as gastrophetes which were used in a similar manner.
  • Cold Sniper: Generally averted, as usually she's quite boisterous and cocky. When she gains the Focused virtue, however, her barks become much colder and more deliberate.
    Focused Arbalest: Target sighted.
  • Combat Medic: Appears to have been her previous profession in the military. Her Battlefield Bandages ability has her perform a small heal, but it buffs subsequent heals too. She also has Triage and Field Dressing, two camping skill that can heal a lot despite her supposed focus on ranged combat.
  • Combos: Sniper Shot does extra damage against marked enemies.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: All her skills except for Blindfire (which does reduced damage to a random target) and Rallying Flare require her to be in the back two rows, which makes her nearly helpless if she is either Surprised or pulled to the front. She also can't target the enemy front row (except with Blindfire and Bola; the former selects a target randomly if there's more than one enemy left and the latter does half of her normal weapon damage).
  • Critical Hit Class: The Arbalest is designed to favor critical hits, especially if the target is marked. She begins with a higher than average critical chance (going up to 11%), Sniper Shot has a positive crit modifier, her Restring Crossbow gives her a 8% crit chance buff, and some trinkets give her even more crit chance!
  • Desperation Attack:
    • Blindfire can be used from anywhere in the formation and hits any target, but at the cost of selecting its target randomly. It's clearly intended to be her last-resort attack if she's stranded in an unfavorable position or has no remaining backline to target. To her benefit, though, Blindfire's randomness is rigged in favor of active combatants, and will only hit corpses if the remaining live targets are stealthed.
    • Bola in the Butcher's Circus game mode is modified to be accessible at the third rank and forward, hitting both frontal enemy positions and allowing her to turn the tides if dragged forward.
  • Dreadlock Warrior: Pulled back into a big ponytail.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: She was forced to become a runaway at a very young age, after her father fell victim to a mob.
  • Empathy Doll Shot: Her background comic clearly uses her stuffed rabbit in the common symbol-for-innocence vein, as her father takes it from her and fills her hands with a crossbow before sending her to flee for her life.
  • Fantasy Character Classes: The Sniper Ranger. The Arbalest is a long-range fighter, meaning that she cannot do anything when in the front ranks, and also has few ways of hurting enemies that are close, but on the other hand, she can deal high damage and various debuffs, as well as slightly heal her allies.
  • Flare Gun: Just one more thing her crossbow can be used for. Rallying Flare obviously increases the Light meter, but also cleans Stuns and Marked status, which is useful in the Warrens and Weald and against the Swine King.
    • With the Color of Madness patch, it also cancels Stealth on every enemy and slightly stress heals too.
  • Glory Hound: A bit. Her idea of encouraging people is to say "Just think of the songs they will sing of us!"
    • When Masochistic, the Arbalest has this little tidbit:
    Wounds heal, but glory never fades!
  • Had to Be Sharp: Probably this, as she was forced to be a runaway after her home (and likely her father as well) was burned by a mob, though the presence of her mother and if she happened to find a foster family afterward is unknown.
  • I Call It "Vera": Downplayed, but she clearly has a deep connection to her crossbow, referring to it as "my sweet" when using "Restring Crossbow" at the campfire.
    • Played straight when the crossbow receives the highest upgrade. While the other heroes give their fully upgraded weapons a badass nickname instead of a proper person's name, the Arbalest names it "Millicent".
      • It's implied that Millicent was the name of her stuffed rabbit when she was a child.
  • Meaningful Name: Millicent, which the Arbalest will name her arbalest with the highest blacksmith upgrade made to it. "Millicent" is a female medieval name whose Germanic roots are the words for "work" and "strength".
  • Military Brat: Under the influence of the Selfish affliction, she will claim to be a General's daughter.
  • Moveset Clone: Has one in the form of the Musketeer, previously only available to Kickstarter backers. The only non-cosmetic difference between their skills and trinkets are the crystalline items introduced in The Color of Madness: both grant a +20% DMG boost (and given how much damage the Arbalest's crossbow already does, that's nothing to sneeze at), and unlike the Musketeer, the Arbalest's Keening Bolts trinket also grants her a +7% CRIT boost to all her ranged skills, but at the price of granting a small amount of stress with every single shot.
  • Non-Damaging Status Infliction Attack: "Sniper's Mark" inflicts the Mark status and massively decreases the target's evasion.
  • Not Completely Useless: The Rally Flare skill cleanses marks and stuns from your party. It's very situational (especially as the Arbalest's low speed makes it less likely that she'll take a turn before a stunned ally does), but worth its weight in gold when it comes up. (The fight with the Swine King is especially noteworthy on that front.)
    • With the Shieldbreaker DLC, Rally Flare was buffed to break stealth as well. Although it's rather rare to see multiple stealthed enemies in a single fight, this skill becomes useful against the Necromancer in higher difficulties due to his repeated summoning of stealthed undead.
  • Rain of Arrows: Her Suppressive Fire ability makes the Arbalest fire a bunch of arrows, but the skill's main draw is the accuracy and crit chance debuff, making it useful in low light conditions.
  • The Runaway: Her origins before becoming part of the military.
  • Shout-Out: The default name for the Arbalest is Missandei.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Fairly mild, but she uses stronger language than most of the heroes, a la "Hell's fires, I'm good!" and "A bloody good shot!"
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: Peeks out a bit when she becomes afflicted. If you know her backstory, she has a good reason for this.
  • Trick Arrow: Besides regular arrows, she can also fire bolas and flares.
  • Technician vs. Performer: The Performer to the Musketeer's Technician, as a career soldier who seems to have been a medic first and foremost who picked up some shooting skill along the way, compared to the Musketeer's lifetime of hunting and competitive shooting. Somewhat typical of the trope, the Performer performs somewhat better under pressure, if her crystalline trinket is any indication — it gives her a +7% Crit Chance in exchange for increasing her stress with every shot. The equivalent trinket for the Musketeer gives her a 20% chance of hitting a random target instead of what she aims at.
  • Token Minority: The only (unambiguously) black character in the game.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: Her father tragically fell victim to one of these, when she was a mere child. Why her home was burned (and probably her father with it) is unstated, but, the fact that she's the only black character in the game can provide a theory.

     The Bounty Hunter
"Called your bluff, friend."
"The thrill of the hunt… The promise of payment."

A brutally efficient single-target executioner and crowd control specialist. For the Bounty Hunter, planning is key — mark targets for bonus damage or look for opportunities to capitalize on a stunned foe. He can also wreak havoc on an enemy party's order using his grappling hook, flashbangs, and powerful uppercut.

See the Bounty Hunter's comic here.

  • 24-Hour Armor: The Bounty Hunter is never seen without his armor. The closest we get to see what's under his armor is this promo image, with the lower half of his Cool Helmet exposed.
  • Animal Motif: According to Word of God in a Reddit AMA, they gave the Bounty Hunter a bird/raptor motif. His axe and grappling hook are supposed to be talons.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The This Is How We Do It camping skill evokes the idea of a well-placed blow being able to fell the toughest monsters.
  • Awesome by Analysis: His Mark for Death skill is used to single out an enemy that must be prioritized in the enemy formation.
  • An Axe to Grind: His primary weapon is a peculiar axe whose blade curves twice.
  • The Berserker: When Powerful, half of his related lines are inarticulate roars and yells, and he gains a significant damage buff that he shares with the party periodically.
  • Blinded by the Light: Has a Flashbang skill. Its effect is a generic stun effect used by many skills rather than a different blind effect, though it also moves the enemy randomly through their ranks (evoking the target moving around semi-randomly while dazed and confused by the flashbang).
  • Blood Knight: Downplayed, but some of his afflicted/vigorous quotes lean towards this, and he outright calls his job "fun" in one Selfish bark.
  • Bounty Hunter: Duh. His Collect Bounty skill has a damage bonus against humans.
  • Caltrops: The Bounty Hunter uses them in his Caltrops skill, which causes Bleed, and also debuffs Accuracy and Speed to represent the caltrops disturbing enemy movement.
  • Combat Pragmatist: His two melee abilities, Collect Bounty and Finish Him!, encourage this, with the former gaining bonus damage against marked targets while the latter gains bonus damage against stunned targets. While the Bounty Hunter has his own stun and mark to use, it's much more efficient to allow the other party members to mark/stun his targets and then use either of his abilities for much more damage in one round.
  • Cool Helmet: The most recognizable feature, and his trinkets usually involve collecting more. In fact, the bounties he carries have the eyepiece of his helmet as the insignia.
  • Crazy-Prepared: His camping skills are all focused on preparing him for the battles ahead. Expecting evasive monsters? This Is How We Do It gives him an accuracy buff. Don't want to be surprised? Tracking will lower the chances of your party being ambushed while increasing your chance of ambushing the enemy. Planned Takedown will greatly help if you face large monsters, and intricate dungeons will be made easier if Scout Ahead's scouting chance buff is applied.
  • Creepy Souvenir: He keeps a bag of molars from his past victims in a sack he carries around. True to form, he takes the crime lord's teeth in his comic as shown in the last panel.
  • Fantasy Character Classes: The Bandit, although his characterisation brings him on the other side of the law. His skills are a combination of straightforward violent attacks and underhanded tricks that put the enemy at a disadvantage.
  • Fauxba Fett: He shares a lot of his traits with Boba fett, namely his large arsenal, concealing armor, terseness, and Mysterious Past. Funnily enough, one if his four color schemes is based on Boba Fett's.
  • Finishing Move: Two of his attacks have a bonus damage multiplier when used on stunned or marked enemies. One is even explicitly called "Finish Him!".
    • The trope is enhanced with "Finish Him!" in The Butcher's Circus as it has a tremendous +50% Deathblow bonus — it would take a huge stroke of luck to survive it.
  • The Gambler: A number of his quotes make reference to gambling — like calling on an enemy's "bluff" or comparing their situation to "a bad hand" when Fearful. One of his Powerful barks has him promise to pay for a trip to the brothel if they survive.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: One of his quotes when Powerful has him slapping an ally, telling them it's time for the hunt.
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: His Mark for Death move, where the Bounty Hunter points at a target and marks them, increasing damage dealt to them by some attacks and otherwise singles out an enemy.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: His fists are just another weapon in his kit, with an Uppercut so solid that it knocks the target back two ranks and stuns them.
  • Hidden Depths: One of his Irrational quotes has him mention that he "would've made a damn fine baker". Since he's Irrational, the quote should be taken with a grain of salt.
  • Hooks and Crooks: He can use a hooked line with Come Hither to pull an enemy forward.
  • I Work Alone: Downplayed, but the Bounty Hunter is a definitively selfish Class. His skill kit synergizes well with itself, as Mark for Death and Uppercut/Flashbang set up his attacks. Moreover, his skills only work on himself and he seldom has any bark that has him socializing with his mates.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: Pairing in to him being Crazy-Prepared, the Bounty Hunter is an excellent damage dealer who can operate from nearly any point in the party, having melee skills that don't restrict him to the front two positions, enemy movement skills for when he needs to get something in range, and the ability to mark and stun for his own bonus damage attacks. His ability to use Damage Over Time is a little lacking, but compensates with a PROT-reducing mark.
  • Multi-Ranged Master: True to archetype, the Bounty Hunter is a consummate Combat Pragmatist. He can toss out a grappling hook to yank distant enemies into melee range, scatter Caltrops to induce bleeding, or stun and shuffle enemy ranks with a flashbang.
  • Non-Damaging Status Infliction Attack: Multiple:
    • The Bounty Hunter's "Mark for Death" attack inflicts the Mark status on the target as well as decreasing its defense. While marked, an enemy takes more damage from many attacks.
    • The Bounty Hunter's "Flashbang" stuns the enemy for a turn and shuffles the order that the enemies are in.
  • Not So Stoic: When he becomes afflicted, the Bounty Hunter will start to talk more and show a lot more emotion. In some lines, it's clear that he's panicking, with one quote having him outright beg that he and his companions be let go. If he is Irrational, he straight-up snaps and becomes probably the biggest Cloudcuckoolander out of the heroes, which is saying a lot.
    Bring me a small dog. So crunchy. Mmm.
  • Off with His Head!: He decapitates a Mook with his axe in his comic.
  • Only in It for the Money: The promise of payment is the main reasons he joins the heroes. Comes to the forefront if he happens to get Paranoid or Selfish.
  • The Quiet One: Where the other adventurers might gloat or make a Badass Boast after a crit, the Bounty Hunter often simply responds with "…" or snorts. Even when he's being chosen as a sacrifice for the Final Boss' One-Hit Kill, his only response is to simply mutter "...Hm". Most of his other individual lines don't have him interact with his comrades much, but he opens up more at camp or when afflicted/virtuous.
  • Quit Your Whining: When he uses the "Encourage" or "Wound Care" camp skill.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: His trinket set description implies that he is motivated by revenge.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: Thankfully one on your team. His Tracking camping skill has him look for monster footprints to better surprised them instead of the reverse.
    There is no trail I cannot follow.
  • The Stoic: Hardly anything seems to faze him or get him to talk much, even successful hits or when he's about to be sacrificed to the source of all evil. This is averted when he is afflicted, where he shows clear signs of insanity or becomes paranoid and insisting that he was Only in It for the Money.
  • Tap on the Head: Of the Western strike-to-the-jaw variety. Uppercut shows the Bounty Hunter sucker punching an enemy, which can knock them back and stun them.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: As harsh and brutal as he is, the Bounty Hunter still only goes after criminals and monsters. He's not averse to slaughtering the corrupt, either, as his origin comic shows him killing a group of lawmen who are later shown to be led by the Hound Master's corrupt chief.
  • Walking Armory: His arsenal gives him a choice of multiple weapons, making him effective at any rank against any rank. His Weapon of Choice is a wicked battleaxe, but he also carries a grappling hook, Caltrops, and flashbangs.
  • You Will Not Evade Me: Can use his Come Hither to bring enemies from the back into the front and mark them for good measure.

    The Crusader
"Be judged by the light!"
"A mighty sword arm anchored by holy purpose."

Battle-hardened and stalwart, the Crusader has held the front lines in a hundred holy wars. He either attacks foes head-on with righteous fury, or embraces a melee support role by leveraging his powerful defensive buffs & off-heals.

See the Crusader's comic here.

  • 24-Hour Armor: You will never see the Crusader without his armor, be it camping or in the brothel.
  • Abusive Parents: An Irrational Crusader has a lot to say about his father, including his punishments for not learning the Verses.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: In his backstory comics, the Crusader began his crusade as a simple infantryman without even a piece of his current armor. Three panels of slaying enemies later, we see him at the head of an army.
  • BFS: Downplayed. He fights with a longsword to slash enemies.
  • Blatant Lies: The Crusader is not as good at bandaging people up as he claims to be. (His four unique camping skills are all variations on stress recovery, not health recovery; he has to use less effective generic camping skills to physically heal.)
    Of course I know what I'm doing! I'm a soldier!
    Incidentally, if ye perish, I can perform last rites.
    You heal quickly. Praise the Light.
  • Cool Helmet: Wears an imposing armet helm.
  • Church Militant: Just as the name implies. Special mention goes to the starting Crusader, who always has the God Fearing quirk, meaning he can only relieve stress through prayer.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: His training at the hands of the Church was anything but a pleasant experience, judging by his afflicted quotes.
  • Dash Attack: If it is equipped and the Crusader is displaced, he can use Holy Lance to move to the front ranks by running an enemy through with his sword.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Of the Paladin and Knight in Shining Armor types. While normally he fits these tropes, the horrors of the dungeon may cause him to snap, either shattering his faith (Hopeless), turning him into a ruthless Knight Templar (Abusive), giving him delusions of being The Chosen One (Selfish), or making him obsessed with becoming a martyr (Masochistic).
    • Defied when he becomes Virtuous, as his every word drips with heroic resolve.
  • Draw Aggro: Bulwark of Faith shows the Crusader stand his ground beside his standard, causing a Marked status effect on himself.
  • Fantasy Character Classes: The Paladin. The Crusader is a devout armored fighter who fights For Great Justice and his combat skills are half swordsmanship, half support abilities that heal or destress his teammates.
  • For Great Justice: Many of his combat and camp quotes suggest that he came to the Estate with the sole intention of doing battle against evil.
  • A God Am I: Selfish Crusaders take this attitude.
  • The Hero: Out of all the characters, he fits the bill best; he's also one of the first characters you get, along with the Highwayman. However, even he can die.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Fights with a longsword and is the most leader-like out of all the characters, with two camping skills for resisting and reducing stress for the whole party, plus one of them is called Unshakeable Leader.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: In artworks and various promotional material, the Crusader's headgear only consists of a hood which doesn't hide his face much. Averted in the proper game, where he is one of several characters who goes full-helmed.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: He basically has everything, with a self-buff tanking ability (Bulwark of Faith), a multi-target attack (Zealous Accusation), assassination against undead (Smite and Holy Lance, the latter with some mobility to move him up a rank), target heal (Battle Heal), stun (Stunning Blow), and Stress heal and torch addition (Inspiring Cry). His main weakness is many abilities being unable to be used without being in the front row, but unlike the Leper, he even has a few options for being in the back (Inspiring Cry or Holy Lance). His skill set in The Butcher's Circus game mode increases his utility, as his Bulwark of Faith is changed to a party-wide PROT buff, his Battle Heal heals both himself and his target while lifting debuffs, and Inspiring Cry also removes Horror and improves Virtue chance. He has so much handy utility that it's all counterbalanced by four skill slots.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Not literally due to the art-style of the game, but personality-wise, he fits the bill... unless he falls into despair. Played straight when Virtuous, especially for the first two seconds or so.
  • Large Ham: He's... enthusiastic. Taken Up to Eleven when Afflicted or Virtuous.
  • The Leader: In addition to fighting on the front lines, he can aid his party in a Headstrong-style, with Inspiring Cry in combat to heal a bit, reduce stress, and strengthen the torch. He also has two camping skills (Stand Tall and Zealous Speech) to motivate and comfort his entire party in a similar manner.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: When Irrational or Masochistic, he rushes headlong into battle, heedless of harm.
    I will fight any of you! I will fight you barehanded!
    I am invincible! I am anointed by the Light!
    • Even some of his barks while Courageous fit the bill, quick as he is to enter the fray.
  • Light Is Good: Wields the holy power of the Light, just like the Vestal, using it to smite undead or buff his allies, and he is a defender of justice. In particular, several of his abilities increase the strength of the torch, alongside their positive effect.
  • Long-Range Fighter: Counter-intuitively, the many guides for the Crusader actually suggest putting him in the back two rows in this capacity, thanks to Holy Lance, which is an incredibly effective tool for smashing openg fragile backrank opponents thanks to the Crusader's excellent base damage.
  • The Lost Lenore: He will sometimes mention a girl he loved when depressed. He also might mention that he married once, but his wife died. He's technically still married, but he hasn't returned to his wife and child in a long, long time.
  • Magic Knight: The Crusader is an armored warrior that also has some magical items such as scrolls or standards to perform spells.
  • Meaningful Name: See the entry on the main page for the starting hero, Reynauld.
  • Mighty Glacier: The lowest base Speed of all the Heroes, and most of his trinkets reduce it even further. He makes up for it by having high base health, multiple ways to inflict damage, and support abilities.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The Zealous Vigil skill, which reduces the Crusader's Stress by 40 if used while Afflicted and can possibly cure his affliction entirely if combined with his allies' stress-reducing skills.
  • No Place for Me There: Possibly. In his character comic, he's shown leaving his wife and child to join the crusade. When he returns years later, he can't bring himself to go back to them after everything he's done. Yet he hasn't given up on fighting evil.
  • Off-Model: His sword in his portrait while looking him through at the Blacksmith or Guild lacks a ricasso, but his in-game sprite's sword has a leather one. (He also has a leather ricasso in his later three weapon upgrades, but no character's sprite changes to match their equipment upgrades anyway.)
  • The Paladin: He is a holy knight dedicated to the fight against evil.
  • Pistol-Whipping: He does a variant with some part of his sword's hilt in his Stunning Blow skill. It also stuns a single monster.
  • Shout-Out: Will occasionally shout or say 'Praise the Light!', along with the similarity of his blue palette to the Elite Knight armor Set.
  • The One That Got Away: A line when becoming depressed has him say "Why did I trade her for this life? She loved me...", and another likely related one has him state "How can I fight for truth when I betray all I love?" His comic reveals that he's talking about his wife, whom he left to join the crusade.
  • Rousing Speech: Three of his camping skills are this, particularly Zealous Speech, which causes a party wide destress and stress resist, although the speech seems to be lengthy, as it takes five Respite Points.
  • Taking You with Me: His final words, should he be chosen to tank the hit of the Heart of Darkness as he is willing to do one final act of heroism.
    Unholy foulness! I will take you with me!
  • Took a Level in Badass: His comic shows he set out to war from fairly humble origins with little more than a horse, bracers, and a sword and leaving behind a wife and son in a house not much larger than a small apartment. Toward the end of it, he's fully-dressed in his armor and at the head of what's at least a small army.
  • Training from Hell: His afflicted quotes implies that the journey to becoming a Crusader was not a pleasant one. The Church who trained him would not hesitate to flog him if he failed to remember the verses, and if that didn't suffice, the father of the Church would whip someone else for him, children included. Especially since he was conscripted, not willingly joining the order. By the end of it all, he became nothing more than a mindless soldier of the faith.
  • Weapon Across the Shoulder: Carries his sword this way.
  • Words Can Break My Bones: His Zealous Accusation skill.

     The Grave Robber
"Grr! You bled on my best coat!"
"To those with keen eye... Gold gleams like a dagger's point."

The Grave Robber is a versatile and nimble combatant, moving back and forth through the ranks with ease. She strikes without warning and retreats to the shadows, continuing her assault at range. If her throwing daggers and poison darts aren't getting the job done, she can return to the melee, buffed and slinging her pickaxe!

See the Grave Robber's comic here.

  • Acquired Poison Immunity: Suggested by Toxin Trickery, in which she takes a swig from the green flask at her hip, curing Bleed/Blight and boosting her Dodge and Speed for the rest of the battle. Alternatively she may be Carrying the Antidote instead, but she can't use the ability to cure/buff anyone else. The Grave Robber has a natural 50% Blight resistance; most other characters are in the 20-30% range, 40% at most, with only the Abomination and Plague Doctor's being higher. One of her Crimson Curse trinkets, a bottle of Absinthe, bumps it up even further.
  • An Adventurer Is You:
    • In a more traditional role, she is a DPS, but not in a typical sense. In Darkest Dungeon, team positioning is everything to some classes, like the Leper or Arbalest, but for the Grave Robber, no matter where she is positioned, she can still have some skill to dish out constant damage.
    • She also makes for an excellent avoidance tank. She starts out with 10 Dodge, 5 more than most of the characters, in exchange for her fragility. Combine that with Shadow Fade and Toxin Trickery and she'll dodge like a butterfly, enemy attacks missing her left and right.
  • Animation Bump: Her palette swaps have matching virtuous and afflicted portraits (in other words, the affliction sprite for the brunette Grave Robber is also a brunette, unlike the default blonde). All other classes in the game only have one virtuous and afflicted portrait per class (for example, a Jester in black wears the standard pink during his virtuous portrait).
  • Anti-Hero: Her job is both easier and more difficult now that the dead have already dug themselves up.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Pick to the Face ignores any Protection stats as of the Color of Madness balance patch.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: Her camping skill Snuff Box has her inhale scents from a box she carries with her in order to remove a disease she or an ally has. The only real-world health benefits of taking snuff is that it isn't quite as bad for you as actually smoking tobacco, and that those around you don't have to weather any second hand smoke. That said, it isn't clear whether or not the snuff box contains some exotic materials that might actually cure diseases in-universe.
  • Beauty Mark: The Grave Robber has a noticeable mole on her face.
  • Carrying the Antidote: Poison Dart inflicts Blight on enemies. Toxin Trickery cures any Bleed/Blight on the Grave Robber.
  • Combos: Thrown Dagger does extra damage against enemies that are marked, and can also do more damage when they are blighted. These modifiers can stack. The former requires someone else in the party who can mark, however, as the Grave Robber does not have any marking abilities herself.
  • Critical Hit Class: She has two choice abilities for this — her Lunge and Thrown Dagger ability start with a +10% modifier to critical chance (especially potentially powerful on the former ability with its +40% damage modifier!)
  • Dash Attack: Lunge moves the Grave Robber forward by two ranks as she leaps to stab an enemy in the gut.
  • Exploring the Evil Lair: Her Camping Skill Night Moves involves her scouting out ahead while the others rest.
  • Fantasy Character Classes: The Ninja. The Grave Robber is fragile, but is quick, can easily build up Dodge (Shadow Fade invokes the elusiveness of the ninja), and deals decent to high damage with thrown daggers, especially if her crit chances are maxed out.
  • Flash Step: Her Shadow Fade skill, which moves her back in the formation and applies stealth to herself. It also gives her a short buff.
  • Fragile Speedster: She has the highest base Dodge in the game, which can combine with Shadow Fade and the right trinkets to reach near-unhittable levels of Dodge, but her HP is very low.
  • Gallows Humor: One of her camp abilities, shared with the Highwayman. It can reduce stress for the entire party, however it has also a 25% chance to backfire and cause more stress to anyone other than the Grave Robber.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: She wears a shovel on her back. This is reflected in an extra shovel being added to the party's supplies for each Grave Robber in the group at the outset of each mission.
  • Good Luck Charm: Her trinket the Lucky Talisman gives her an accuracy and Dodge buff, revealing itself as quite effective.
  • Grave Robbing: It is her main job, but she is now stuck with fighting monsters mostly. She still brings a shovel with her when adventuring as a generic supply.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: With the Pilfer camping skill, the Grave Robber class can reveal that she nicked a generic supply item while they were in town that is then added to the party's inventory.
  • Knife Nut: Of the throwing knives variety. Three of her seven combat skills involve knives.
  • Lady Drunk: She was this in her backstory comic before deciding to begin the grave robbing business. She can still take a bottle of Absinthe as a trinket, buffing her Blight Chance and Resist, as well as Disease Resist.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: If she gains the Powerful Virtue:
    Grave Robber: Enough lolly-gagging. Now I aim for the heart.
  • Master Poisoner: Not to the degree of the Plague Doctor, but she has her own tricks up her sleeve: A Poison Dart that can peg an enemy in the back row to both Blight them and lower their Blight Resist, and a vial of antivenom for herself that also boosts her speed and ability to dodge. Also doubles as Acquired Poison Immunity.
  • Meaningful Name: The Grave Robber's default name is Audrey, an Anglo/Norman name that translates to 'noble'... though that being said, the main purpose of her default name is to be a reference to the game's creative director's wife.
  • Multi-Melee Master: She can either slam her pick into an enemy's face or lunge at them with daggers drawn.
  • Multi-Ranged Master: Whether hurling daggers with deadly accuracy or a spray of poisoned darts.
  • Must Have Nicotine: She takes snuff. Her camping skill Snuff Box allows her to share a pinch with an ally, curing a disease for both the ally and herself.
  • Noodle Incident: When performing first aid, she'll sometimes mention she used to do crochet.
  • Nice Hat: She constantly wears a capotain (a pilgrim's hat).
  • Poisoned Weapons: Instead of throwing daggers, the Grave Robber can instead throw a few poison darts at an enemy to cause Blight and reduce the enemy's Blight resistance.
  • Powerful Pick: Pick To The Face!, using the same pickaxe she uses to bust open crypts. It's even capable of ignoring an enemy's PROT.
  • Princess in Rags: Her quotes when Afflicted suggest she comes from a noble background, and isn't exactly happy about how her life has turned out. The comic reveals that she indeed once belonged to the nobility, but something happened and apparently she was left with nothing but debts, so she decided to rob the grave of some man in her family (be it immediate or otherwise) to pay them off.
  • Riches to Rags: She used to be a noblewoman until her debts led her to rob her husband's grave (and presumably her deceased family members' nearby and later on graves everywhere) for valuables.
  • Sex for Solace: Her comments when comforting people around the campfire implies that this is what she's doing to make the individual party member feel better.
    Grave Robber: Lordy me, you're well proportioned!
  • Super Serum: With Toxin Trickery, the Grave Robber can gulp down a vial of potion to not only cure Blight and bleed, but also buff her Speed and Dodge until the battle ends. The name implies it's the same toxin she uses to inflict Blight on enemies.
  • Technicolor Toxin: The toxin in the bottle on her Utility Belt and poison darts is bright green.
  • Took a Level in Badass: She used to be a proper lady with no combat training whatsoever, but now she's a hardened adventurer wielding throwing knives with great skill.
  • Trap Master: Has a higher-than-normal chance to disable traps… so long as you spot them before you walk right over them.
  • Unsportsmanlike Gloating: Her combat dialogue after she gets a solid hit in tends to be very condescending to the enemy.
  • Utility Belt: Includes a green flask of Technicolor Toxin, her Powerful Pick, and lots of pouches. She also has a strap across her chest and torso which she uses to carry her shovel.
  • Walking Armory: The Grave Robber carries a seemingly endless supply of daggers, darts, and a pickaxe, with a good setup of them allowing her to able to attack nearly any enemy from nearly any spot in a party's formation. This is visible in her character art, along with a Utility Belt and a shovel.
  • Weak, but Skilled: While fragile, the Grave Robber's potential for agility, accuracy, versatility in range, debuffs increasing the chance for Bleed or Blight to affect enemies, and a few abilities with a higher chance to critical strike can easily make up for that failing. She also has the highest trap disarm chance.

     The Hellion
"I will FEAST on your HEART!"
"Barbaric rage and unrelenting savagery make for a powerful ally."

Wild, unpredictable, and utterly ruthless, the Hellion lives for the thrill of spilling blood! Her massive glaive affords her impressive reach in combat, while its razor-sharp edge leaves lasting wounds on enemies. Certain skills leave her exhausted, however, and she may occasionally need to take a turn to recharge her adrenaline before entering the fray once again.

See the Hellion's comic here.

  • All of the Other Reindeer: Her Trinket Set hints that she was cast out. Her comic suggests it was for cowardice in battle.
    Outcast. Alone. Shamed.
  • The Atoner: It's implied that she's volunteered to brave the horrors in the Estate to regain her honor for her past lack of bravery in battle.
  • An Axe to Grind: Her glaive is outfitted with a rather big axe-like blade at its and.
  • Badass Boast: Almost all her class-specific barks are these.
  • Blade on a Stick: Wields a polearm that the game calls a glaive (though it's not actually one — see below). Out of all the close-range classes, this gives her the biggest reach, as she can reach the fourth enemy rank while in the complete front with Iron Swan.
  • Barbarian Hero: As a rare female example, she previously took the loner aspect of the trope by her class' unique camping skills being completely incapable of aiding her allies (indeed, Reject The Gods reduces her stress at the cost of increasing the others' stress).
  • The Berserker: Downplayed example — not clearly portrayed as fighting with reckless abandon like most berserkers, but many of her stronger attacks cause a large damage and speed debuff to herself, explained as being from exhausting herself in their execution.
    • Her Crimson Court trinkets clearly have this concept to them, most notably granting her 20% more damage for every 25% of her health is missing, 2 more speed, 15% death blow resistance along with -15% healing received.
  • Blood Knight: Aside from her general demeanor, Gameplay and Story Integration lets you know this by how the Hellion is literally incapable of voluntarily moving backward in your formation in battle. She's one of the few classes that fights for the sake of fighting.
  • Critical Status Buff: Her Lioness Warpaint trinket from the Crimson Court trinket set gives her stacking damage buffs as her HP drops. The complete set makes this more effective, raising her Death Blow resistance to minimize Critical Existence Failure, raising her accuracy to ensure she delivers the pain, and reducing her healing received so that she remains within these low-HP thresholds.
  • Dash Attack: In case the Hellion is not in the front ranks, she may use Breakthrough, running forward and impaling the three first enemy ranks.
  • Death-or-Glory Attack: The Hellion has a few attacks which "exhaust" her with hefty damage and speed debuffs after being used. The Adrenaline Rush skill can be used to give her a damage increase and make up for the damage reduction, but the speed debuff will stay.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Not in general, but when she starts to break, she becomes this for The Berserker and the Blood Knight: Depending on her afflictions, her rage could completely fall apart and reveal herself as little more than a frightened child, in over her head; it could grow out of control, reaching such extremes that she goes from encouraging to her teammates to downright terrifying them; or it could spiral inwards, turning her bloodlust and fury to more... self-destructive tendencies.
  • Dirty Coward: Her comic shows her cowering in fear while her fellow clansmen fought and died in battle.
  • Dreadlock Warrior: Minor example, the Hellion's hair on the sides of her head is arrayed into cornrows. The rest of it is a large ponytail.
  • The Exile: While she is definitely an outsider to the more civilized lands the game (technically) takes place in, certain comments and trinkets suggest that she has been banished in some form or another, though even her comic does not make it truly explicit that her own tribe has exiled her.
  • Fantasy Character Classes: The Barbarian. An unrefined, less civilized fighter who dishes high damage but leave herself vulnerable without any Protection or Dodge.
  • Fiery Redhead: She's a battle-crazed berserker who thrills at the spilling of blood. The bloodier it gets, the better she fights. Her first Palette Swaps is a redhead.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Her Revel skill, which allows her to relieve her own and her allies' stress during the middle of a dungeon, at the cost of all of them getting tipsy and becoming less effective in combat.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Not herself, but her comic sees a fellow barbarian bisected at the waist with his own glaive from an enemy that struggled with him.
  • Intimate Healing: One of the ways she treats her allies' injuries is to lick the wound clean. The other is to stuff it with dung.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: While she doesn't have quite as much raw attack power as the other frontline classes, she has by far the most versatile moveset that lets her attack nearly any point in the enemy formation, including sniping their back ranks. No other melee specialist does that. She also has a good HP, damage, crit, and speed base, letting her deliver solid raw damage numbers while still being capable of taking hits herself. Her drawback is that her skills are best used at the very forefront of the formation, and she doesn't have much mobility to recover from a shuffle.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Barbaric YAWP! has the Hellion shout at the two enemy front ranks so loudly she can stun them. In The Butcher's Circus, her screaming instead inflicts a lot of Stress and gives an accuracy debuff.
  • Meaningful Name: Snooping in the game files indicates that one of the default names for the Hellion would have been Boudica. Boudica (sometimes spelled Boudicca) was a pre-Anglo-Saxon Briton queen who led one of the most successful and bloody resistances against the Romans. In most legends, she fought to the death. Which pairs nicely with her bark when she's about to be sacrificed to The Heart of Darkness.
  • Misidentified Weapons: The game calls her weapon a "glaive". It's actually some kind of cross between a bardiche and a voulge. When upgraded, it starts to more closely resemble a halberd.
  • My Greatest Failure: The Hellion's backstory involves her having participated in a raid against a column of knights. However, she was frightened and hid behind a tree as one of her companions was killed and even called for her. Her tribe presumably caught on to that and exiled her.
  • Nay-Theist: Her Reject the Gods camping skill, which reduces her stress at the cost of stressing everyone else out. Religious Heroes get even more stressed out at this. Understandable, given that the Vestal, Crusader, and Occultist demonstrate that the powers she's rejecting are not to be trifled with. Less understandable when these other heroes are other Hellions with the exact same skill.
  • Non-Damaging Status Infliction Attack: "Barbaric YAWP!" stuns the closest two enemies for a turn, but decreases her own damage and speed.
  • Off-Model: Her in-game sprite clearly shows her wearing face-paint. Her affliction and virtuous portraits mysteriously lack the face-paint.
    • Ironically, the Hellion later received a new profile picture that further causes this (as rather obscured as it is by most of the character window, Blacksmith or Guild's UI) - said picture portrays her with cleavage and a neckline ending at the bottom of her breasts while her actual sprites and armor images have no cleavage whatsoever and has a neckline that only goes as low as to where her nipples would be.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Adrenaline Rush in a nutshell. The Hellion clears blight and bleed and heals a bit, and also buffs her damage to be able to resume fighting efficiently. The sprites shows that she only needs to pump herself up to perform this.
  • Pelts of the Barbarian: Fur is a common trapping to her outfit - around her neck, belt, and as cuffs to her arm wrappings. Judging by her default name and blue face-paint, her brand of Barbarian is Celtic.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: With her wild, expressive nature, along with the Flagellant, she is the red oni out of the two berserker-type characters (with the blue oni being the Leper). The Leper is a calm and collected Warrior Poet who exiled himself to protect his people from his condition, while the Hellion is a wrathful Screaming Warrior who was exiled when she failed to stay and try to fight alongside her tribe.
  • Screw the War, We're Partying!: Her Revel skill lets the party, well, revel while they're leading an expedition into a dangerous dungeon filled with horrible, evil men and creatures! That being said, such partying causes accuracy and speed penalties for the next few battles from the hangovers and it is probably best that players reserve the skill for when they're absolutely sure that there really isn't much left to fear from the dungeon before returning.
  • Standard Power-Up Pose: When using the Adrenaline Rush combat skill.
  • This Means Warpaint: The blue facepaint on her face is hinted to be warpaint as her camping skill "Battle Chants"'s icon and her Trinket "Lioness Warpaint" show.
  • Tribal Face Paint: There's a large streak of blue facepaint, possibly woad, along one side of her face. The exact colour and pattern of the facepaint varies with the Hellion's different colour sets. The related trinket Lioness Warpaint gives her a damage buff inversely proportional to her HP.

     The Highwayman
"I never miss!"
"Elusive, evasive, persistent... Righteous traits for a rogue."

A rogue, a thug, and a thief, the Highwayman has honed his skills with dirk and flintlock to devastating effect. Whether at range or in a melee, he is equally effective at dispatching his foes. Be it a grapeshot area-of-effect, or single-target bleed, the Highwayman's skills focus solely on dealing damage in a variety of ways.

See the Highwayman's comic here.

  • An Adventurer Is You: Pure DPS. Even the one status he's good at inflicting, Bleed, just does more damage over time, instead of any other utility purpose.
    • Like the Grave Robber, he has the skills to fight at any range, but doesn't quite have her mobility or high Dodge, so it's generally best to choose a specialization (mid-row ranged or melee or front-row hybrid) and stick with it.
    • His buffs increase his own damage and accuracy or allow him to deal further damage when attacked, his debuffs increase his chances of critting or inflicting Bleed. His only control effect, Point Blank Shot, actually works against him — it pushes him and the enemy back one square and only works from the front rank against the front rank enemy. The knockback is there to offset the fact that it deals +50%(!) damage with no cooldown other than the need to get the Highwayman back to the front rank.
  • Anti-Hero: Considering he's a highwayman fighting for a fairly noble cause. His backstory comic shows he was not the Gentleman Thief type either and was a ruthless killer before his Heel–Face Turn.
  • The Atoner: Not to put too fine a point on it, but the name of the one who helps you reach the hamlet is Dismas.
    • His background comic implies that this is his reason for going into the dungeons after having killed a woman and child during a robbery, and his unique trinket confirms it and reveals that they may have been his wife and child...
    • Further implied by his Crimson Court trinkets, which greatly increase the odds of getting a virtue and whose flavor text is "A reflex... I didn't mean to..."
    • Finally, if you get him and Reynauld to the final dungeon, you get the achievement On the Old Road We Found Our Redemption, a callback to the final line of the intro ("The old road will take you to hell, but in that gaping abyss, we will find our redemption"), which implies that he and Reynauld had something to redeem.
  • Badass Long Coat: He usually wears a gray pelted one.
  • Blown Across the Room: Point Blank Shot can knock both him and an enemy back one rank.
  • Composite Character: He's a playable version of the three bandit type enemies you find in the game.
  • Counter-Attack: Duelist's Advance allows him to riposte, dealing some damage back if he is attacked.
  • Critical Hit Class: His pistol can grant potential for this — the Pistol Shot ability starts with +9% to +13% critical chance, and his Clean Guns camping skill can give him another 6%. Additionally, Grapeshot can now make a bunch of enemies be more likely to receive critical hits.
  • Cursed With Awesome: His Shameful Locket trinket gives him a good accuracy and critical rate buff, but saddles him with a significant +15% Stress taken. This all comes to fruition with the complete Trinket set, as the tremendous (+45%) Virtue chance it grants means his increased Stress makes it a lot easier for him to trigger a very helpful Heroic Second Wind. If he's still unlucky enough to turn Afflicted despite these odds, though...
  • Dash Attack: Duelist's Advance moves the Highwayman forward by one rank.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He says that he will never harm a child. In the backstory comic, murdering an innocent woman and child in the middle of robbing a coach by murdering the guards in cold blood is what set him off to becoming The Atoner.
  • Eyedscreen: Tracking Shot quickly zooms in on a strip across his eyes and grays out everything else, accompanied by a somewhat Morricone-esque rattle. Then he takes the shot.
  • "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: His final words if chosen to tank the hit of the Heart of Darkness are surprisingly composed, as opposed to party members who will beg for their lives.
    No way out, huh? Hmph, let's do this.
  • Fantasy Character Classes: Rogue/Gunslinger. The Highwayman has a higher than average dodge, but his role is to dish out damage from any rank to any enemy rank. He can be kitted out to only use ranged attacks.
  • Gallows Humor: A camp ability, shared with the Grave Robber. As mentioned, it reduces a lot of stress for the Highwayman, but it's a gamble as to whether it reduces the rest of the party's stress or increases it.
  • Glass Cannon: He cannot take much damage, but he certainly can dish it out, particularly once he's used his incredibly powerful Clean Guns camp ability.
  • Good Luck Charm: His use of Encourage has a chance for him to "pull out a coin" he had on hand that he's "been told" is lucky, and give it to the party member he is encouraging. It's unknown if he actually holds the coin to be a Good Luck Charm or simply says that to bolster his ally's mental stability.
    • The Journal of Darius the Highwayman recount the thoughts of another Highwayman trusting in his lucky coin to keep his cool in his trying times. The loss of his lucky coin coincides with his party getting ambushed, forcing him to make a Heroic Sacrifice to help his companions get to safety.
  • Gun And Sword: Flintlock in one hand, dirk in the other. It allows him to be kitted to deal damage anywhere from anywhere, regardless of the party.
  • The Gunslinger: Proud owner of one of the two heroic firearms in the game, the other being the Musketeer. Four of his combat skills are linked to it. Pistol Shot is a standard attack buffed if the target is marked, Point Blank Shot is a single powerful short-ranged attack, Grapeshot is a weaker AoE attack with a chance to debuff, and Tracking Shot can bypass Stealth and gives the Highwayman buffs to accuracy, crit chance, and base damage.
  • Gun Stripping: Clean Guns during camping will greatly improve the stats of his ranged skills.
  • Heel–Face Turn: A remorseless thug turned heroic on a Redemption Quest. By the time he becomes a champion or legend highwayman with his two Crimson Court trinkets has a base virtue chance of 70%, before quirks. This is a man who has overcome his past and become a hero, devoted to his mission slaying the monsters infesting the Hamlet and his devotion to protecting the heroes he's accepted as friends.
  • Heroic Willpower: With the right trinkets, he will have a very high chance to turn Virtuous on a Stress test.
  • Hidden Depths: The Highwayman was an apprentice to a candle-maker, and may mention this when Irrational or Hopeless.
  • The Highwayman: What more needs to be said? He's abandoned his job now to work as a mercenary.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: As his quote would indicate, he claims to have these. Whether he actually does or not is up to the RNG. And odds are he won't.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: His skills are very versatile, with a good mix of melee, AoE, range, bleed, and burst damage. While he may not have the sustained damage or utility of other classes, he's reliable and will get you through the day. And while he is the only class in the game who only deals damage, with little in the way of skills to help support his team in a fight, he's got some out-of-combat utility, with decent chances to scout and disarm traps and some camping skills that help avoid being surprised.
  • Knife Nut: Kinda. One of his weapons of choice is a dirk used in mêlée range, and three of his combat skills are linked to it. Wicked Slice is a fairly standard attack, while Duelist's Advance moves him forward and triggers a riposte status, and Open Vein inflicts bleed.
  • Losing Your Head: Among the trinkets you can find are various severed heads, one of which is Dismas' Head, which you can pick up while starting hero Dismas is still alive. You can even equip it on him. It grants a 25% bonus to damage, at the cost of +25% extra Stress and a 10% penalty to HP.
  • Meaningful Name: See the main page entry on Dismas, the second starting hero.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: His backstory comic delves into his past as a robber and murderer. It ends with him visibly shaken to realize that he's murdered a woman and child (possibly HIS OWN FAMILY) rather than another stagecoach guard.
    • Several affliction dialogues show that their deaths still haunt him, and when he undergoes Sanity Slippage, he sometimes sees enemies adopting their faces.
  • No Range Like Point-Blank Range: His aptly named Point Blank Shot skill consists of shooting an enemy at point-blank range, and requires him to be at the front. It deals massive damage and both he and the target will be Blown Across the Room in opposite directions. It synergizes nicely with Duelist's Advance.
  • The One That Got Away: Mentions an unnamed woman quite a lot when distressed. It's not obvious what happened with her, but it clearly didn't end well. The backstory comic reveals he killed her during a robbery. Whether they had a prior relationship or she simply provided the catalyst to drive him to become a better person was left deliberately unstated, until it was confirmed by his unique trinket.
  • Pater Familicide: Possibly killed his own wife and son, although whoever they were, it was by a reflexive shot and he didn't know until he looked inside of the carriage he was looting. Their deaths drove him into becoming The Atoner and still haunt him.
  • Redemption Equals Life: While "life" is not guaranteed, his Crimson Court trinket set comes close to this trope by increasing his chance to gain a virtue to over 70% when undergoing a resolve check.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: Worm tightly around his mouth, rather than the "flowing behind you" variant. One of his trinkets is the Bloodied Neckerchief which gives him a slight buff in accuracy, dodge and speed.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: As put by an abusive Highwayman,
    • It's implied that the guilt of killing a child is what drove him to the hamlet in the first place.

     The Houndmaster
"For Justice!"
"A lawman and his faithful beast, a bond forged by battle and bloodshed."

A tough and uncommonly compassionate ex-lawman, the Houndmaster and his faithful Wolfhound work in tandem to bring down their enemies and protect the innocent. Together they stalk the back ranks, bursting fourth in a flurry of harrying bleeds, gnashing teeth, and stunning blows. Should the tide of battle turn, the pair can support the ailing party by protecting the weak and rallying the stressed.

See the Houndmaster's comic here.

  • An Adventurer Is You:
    • An avoidance tank. He already starts out with more Dodge than most (10, then going up to 30 natural Dodge); and can not only bolster it further, but also protect his allies thanks to Guard Dog. Should he get hit, Lick Wounds allows him to keep trucking.
    • He's also a support-based character, having a wide array of moves to choose from and specializing in opening enemy tanks up for blows with maneuvers such as Hound's Rush.
  • Attack Animal: The Houndmaster uses his Wolfhound in two of his skills to attack enemies.
  • Badass Beard: Notably, he's the only playable class with a full beard.
  • The Bad Guys Are Cops: Not him, he's an honest (more or less) cop with his trusty hound. But he left (or was forced to leave) after he discovered evidence of corruption so severe it went all the way to the top. His backstory comic reveals that it wasn't the mundane sort of corruption, either. His fellow lawmen were hip-deep in the "Flesh Cult".
  • Canine Companion: The Wolfhound is grouped with the Houndmaster as a hero.
  • Carry a Big Stick: He carries a cudgel he can occasionally use with the Blackjack skill to stun an enemy. His trinkets include additional cudgels.
  • Face Death with Dignity: If chosen to take the Heart of Darkness' One-Hit Kill, he steels himself quite resolutely.
    "Steady, girl. If we're called, we answer."
  • Fantasy Character Classes: The Beastmaster. The Houndmaster fights and supports his party mostly through his dog.
  • Fragile Speedster: A bit of a hybrid — fitting, since he's technically two characters. The Houndmaster doesn't have exceptionally high damage output or health, but he takes all the hits in place of his dog, and he has a high dodge chance — the dog, in turn, can hit multiple characters from the back row, and inflict bleed, which allows them to bypass armor.
  • Fuzz Therapy: Two of his camping skills are called Man's Best Friend and Therapy Dog, which naturally involve petting the Houndmaster's good girl. His Cry Havoc skill also has the party randomly get a stress reduction from the wolfhound letting out a loud howl.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: The Houndmaster happens to be the most moral and one of the nicest heroes one can get. It's worth noting that even if the Houndmaster becomes Selfish, he still puts his wolfhound's interests above him. He truly and unconditionally loves his dog.
    "The hound comes first. Then me. Then you..."
  • Hyper-Awareness: A party with a Houndmaster in it is more likely to surprise enemies, presumably thanks to the Wolfhound's dog senses.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: Like the Crusader, the Hound Master's strength is his flexibility. He can mark targets for your Arbalest and Bounty Hunter (Whistle) and capitalise on marks himself (Hound's Rush). He can shield others (Guard Dog), heal himself (Lick Wounds), or stress heal your party (Cry Havoc). Finally, he can also stun single enemies (Blackjack), remove PROT from heavily armoured foes (Whistle), or deal damage to all enemies with high chance of bleed (Hound's Harry). Outside of combat, he's also excellent at scouting, stress heal, and trap disarming.
  • Judge, Jury, and Executioner: After discovering the corruption in his constabulary, he's taken the law into his own hands.
  • The Last DJ: His constabulary was filled with Dirty Cops, and in his origin comic he's shown tracking them down and catching the chief in the middle of a ritual involving the Flesh Cult. It's not clear what was done afterward, but what is clear is that it ended with the Bounty Hunter coming to collect.
  • Nice Guy: He's possibly the most noble party member. When he takes damage, he shields the dog from harm. Even a Selfish Houndmaster puts his dog above himself.
  • Non-Damaging Status Infliction Attack: "Target Whistle" inflicts the Mark status and reduces the target's defense.
  • Off-Model: In his profile picture shown above, which was long used for him in the Blacksmith or Guild before it was replaced after numerous post-release patches, has his dog is depicted as a bloodhound. Everywhere else in the game proper, the dog is a wolfhound. This is because the picture was drawn before a vote took place for the game's Kickstarter backers to decide what sort of dog the Houndmaster would have.
  • Power-Up Food: A party with a Houndmaster in it starts with a Dog Treat that greatly increases the hound's vigour when used.
  • Shout-Out: The default name for the Houndmaster given in the game's files is actually "Shag and Scoob".
  • Squishy Wizard: Of a sort. He works best in the back rows and has notably weak stats, with the lowest base damage in the game on top of only slightly better HP than the likes of the Jester or Occultist. To make up for it, he can shred PROT apart, apply party-wide bleed, and guard his allies from danger. He also brings two dog treats that dramatically increase his damage output for a short time.
  • Taking the Bullet: Their damage animation is for the Houndmaster to shield his dog with his own body. He can also take one for an ally, buffing his Dodge even higher, although there's a certain amount of risk to that, especially if you're not using his self-heal ability.
  • Tap on the Head: Downplayed Trope; the Houndmaster can use his cudgel in the Blackjack skill to hit an enemy's head, but it only stuns them.
  • Token Good Teammate: Quite possibly the most selfless and noble hero in the entire game. Even when afflicted with the Selfishness debuff, "the hound's needs come first."
  • Too Awesome to Use: The Dog Treats provide a strong but short-lived buff. There's also no way to replenish them in the middle of an expedition. It's not unusual to discard the Dog Treats to free up space because you feel you won't need them for the quest.

     The Jester

"He'll be laughing still... At the end."

Combat is a power-ballad — a slow build up, and a grand finale! On offense, the Jester leaps to and fro in a bloody cacophony, positioning himself for a glorious end in the front ranks! Alternatively, he can hang back, delivering chilling melodies and unsettling riffs that terrorize his foes, and give strength to his allies.

See the Jester's comic here.

  • Alpha Strike: The Finale skill. It can only be used at the front ranks and once per battle, then leaving the Jester more vulnerable. However it can make a staggering amount of damage and crits easily. Moreover using your other skills first will considerably buff Finale so it's best to save it for a big monster with lots of hit points once you've gotten rid of the lesser ones. With the right setup, Finale can one-shot a boss, up to an including the Heart of Darkness itself.
    • In The Butcher's Circus, some strategies involve focusing down a priority target quickly so that Finale can land the killing blow rightaway and leave the opposition with one less combatant.
  • The Bard: The Jester's main tool is his lute. However, he has elements of The Rock Star, and one of his skills is a power slide (that maneuver wherein the performer slides on their knees for a bit after a running start) with a lute solo included. He can also have a random town event where he busks and somehow gains a level. As for battles, his songs either buff the party's accuracy and crit rate with Battle Ballad or relieve a single unit of some of its stress with Inspiring Tune, or debuff enemies with Solo. Rather useful.
  • Charged Attack: In an attempt to balance it, the devs made Finale more advantageous at the end of a fight by buffing its damage. Most of the Jester's other skills will buff Finale's damage.
  • Creepy Souvenir: One of the Jester's trinkets is the Tyrant's Fingerbone. His origin comic reveals the man he likely took it from.
  • Critical Hit Class: Downplayed. Slice Off has a good crit modifier and his Battle Ballad will buff your party's crit chance. His Finishing Move, Finale, receives a crit buff from using his other skills, meaning that he'll be almost guaranteed to crit with it after a prolonged battle. However, he's built to support first and foremost, given how fragile he is.
  • Cry Laughing: When Afflicted, sometimes his Laughing Mad spurts will be inter-cut with weeping.
  • Dash Attack: Dirk Stab moves the Jester one rank forward as he leaps to stab an enemy with his dagger.
  • Draw Aggro: Solo has the Jester slide all the way to the front of the formation, giving himself a Mark but also bestowing a tremendous speed, dodge, and Finale buff. This is clearly designed to set up for Finale while minimizing danger done to him and his party.
  • Death Seeker: It can be seen in his attacks and in his dialogue when afflicted. He has "Dirk Stab", an attack that slowly moves him forward; Solo, an AoE debuff that moves him to the very front, and Finale, an attack that can only be used on the front lines and comes with a serious debuff, although it deals 50% more damage than his other attacks and gains even more power as his other skills are used.
    • As for his personality, it is clear that he is a Sad Clown and some of his lines have him make Self-Deprecation jokes on himself constantly, musing apparent disappointment that he will get to see another day in one virtuous quote, and calls death "at last, the greatest joke of all" when on Death's Door. His campfire skills have him say that if he is going to die while dungeon crawling, he should at least enjoy it. When scrolled over for Come Unto Your Maker, he doesn't even sound offended as he asks if it will be him.
  • Decadent Court: If what he says is true, he came from one of these, gaining an Acquired Poison Immunity as a result. If what the flavor text for his unique Crimson Court trinket says is true, he left after killing its tyrannical ruler. Confirmed in the comic.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: When afflicted, he turns into one for the Plucky Comic Relief by either dropping the act completely by becoming a Jerkass who straight up abuses the other members and asking if they seriously thought that it would go well, becoming so caught up in Laughing Mad that all he does is cackle endlessly, or his jokes become so dark that they dive into Dude, Not Funny! territory and start to cause stress instead of relieving it.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: In-Universe, the recipient of his Mockery skill won't think it is. If the Jester is afflicted, the little jokes he still makes take on a depressing and spiteful tone that his companions won't appreciate.
  • Expressive Mask: In the comic the eye-holes of his mask change to match his emotion. Likewise, the perpetually angry eyeholes can change to sad when he becomes Afflicted.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Encourages this with his camping skills, telling the party member that if they should die, they should at least enjoy their life while it lasts. Although his advice falls apart when he crosses the Despair Event Horizon, and he seems to be a bit of a Death Seeker even when not.
  • Fantasy Character Classes: The Bard, with a little Assassin thrown in. The Jester can use his lute to buff, stress heal, and heavily debuff the enemy, while Finale can deal absolutely ludicrous damage if built up for long enough.
  • Finishing Move: Finale is intended as a high-damage move which will finish off the last opponent during a fight. It is better to use it toward the end of a fight, as it inflicts a heavy dodge debuff on the Jester, it can be only used once per battle, and its damage is buffed when performing other skills.
  • Fragile Speedster: He is very fast, able to switch to any rank in a single move, has the greatest Dodge stat of all characters, and his chance of inflicting critical hits is the highest among the other classes, but his toughness is identical to the Occultist's.
  • The Gambler: The Jester's unique trinkets are mostly dice.
  • Happy Harlequin Hat: He's got one, but it's gone through a considerable ammount of wear and tear, and has gotten so droopy that one might mistake it for dyed dreadlocks at first.
    • In his comic, it's shown to look like the typical example of this trope — at least before the Decadent Court wears him out.
  • Heal It with Booze: A Heroic Jester will sometimes pass around a whiskey flask to disinfect wounds as a free action. It doesn't actually heal anything, but it provides some welcome stress relief.
  • The Hyena: See Laughing Mad.
  • Jerkass: Can be this through his campfire skill Mockery, in which he relieves the party's stress by mocking another party member, severely stressing out the hapless target instead.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Is mainly this in both dialogue and gameplay. The Jester's job is to balance out and help the party's stress, and while he makes snide remarks at them, he honestly wishes the best for them.
  • Knife Nut: Wields a dirk in his right hand. Also uses one to seemingly slay the entire court in his prequel comic. Dirk Stab can even ignore Guard.
  • Laughing Mad: Oddly enough, he does this while still sane… Well, reasonably sane. Whenever he gets a critical hit, he'll often start to laugh maniacally. If he becomes irrational, he'll laugh like this apparently non-stop.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Almost literally, given that the character's job is, in fact, to be lethal and make jokes. This also applies in the spirit of the trope, however; in a party of grim, serious adventurers, the Jester comes off as a bit weird... but alongside the Leper, he's one of the only characters that can kill the Heart of Darkness without anyone dying.
  • Magikarp Power: Early on, he's one of the most fragile heroes and has access to some rather weak abilities with very restrictive position requirements. A fully upgraded and trained jester? A nigh-untouchable support that can empower your team with a massive speed, critical chance, and accuracy buff and apply incredibly damaging stacking bleed effects to the enemy, as well as provide an emergency one-shot with Finale.
  • Meaningful Name: The Jester's original default name as given in the game files was "Jingles". Of course, he's literally wearing bells for one thing, but a "jingle" is also a short, catchy song designed to influence potential customers — and much of the Jester's purpose in battle relies around playing short snippets of music to affect the party. A later patch changed it to "Sarmenti", after the jester Sarmentus in Horace's Satires.
  • Misanthrope Supreme: He seems to have a pretty low opinion of humanity in general after encountering the worst side of it at his old job. A good number of his afflicted barks have him either expressing his contempt for his fellow man or straight-up lamenting that he doesn't get to Kill 'Em All!.
    Hopeless Jester: (refusing a buff) Like the rest of this world, I deserve nothing.
    Abusive Jester: (stressing out his teammates at camp) Gods. The stink of humanity does truly cling.
  • Monster Clown: The rare heroic variant, at least appearance-wise with his White Mask of Doom, Laughing Mad tendencies, and weaponry. Personality-wise, he's pretty far from it… at least until he snaps. If he ends up Virtuous, he'll maintain his snarky heroism.
  • Music Soothes the Savage Beast: The Jester can heal the party's stress by playing his lute. While this skill works on every hero, it's no coincidence that this makes him an indispensable teammate to the Abomination, who gains stress for every turn he remains in his monstrous form.
  • Musical Assassin: Although his music doesn't damage enemies and their true strength lies in debuffing them.
  • No Saving Throw: The Jester's Finale skill in The Butcher's Circus game mode bypasses Death's Door checks, so it's an immediate Deathblow once it puts its target to negative HP. Anyone pushed to exact zero will still hit Death's Door normally.
  • Noodle Incident: If his quotes while with the Fearful affliction are to be trusted, he used to perform at children's birthday parties. Given it is a Decadent Court, chances are the children were just as bad as the Tyrant.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: The Jester's main features when introduced was his multi-target bleed skills, buffs, and his stress heal ability. The Houndmaster now does bleed better (being able to hit all four ranks instead of the Jester's second and third rank only) and has a not-as-reliable but all-party stress heal, and the Man-At-Arms' resting skills and Bolster makes him superior at party buffing in any dungeon where you can rest. The Jester is also more fragile than either. He remains a useful party member, but his lack of specialization makes him a bit more cornercase. With the official release, he's managed to fill a niche of powerful and consistent (albeit single-target) stress heals, stronger bleeds than the Houndmaster and Hellion, superior mobility, and that wicked-ass powerful Finale.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Perhaps the most noteworthy when he's afflicted, where he drops most of his jester act and starts to question how serious the other party members are and glumly mocking them for it.
    We think we have purpose here? A noble venture? HA!
  • Plucky Comic Relief: In gameplay, he quite literally serves this purpose — relieving stress for himself and his companions by playing music and telling jokes. He also tends to speak out some of the games funnier lines, even when Afflicted.
  • Quirky Bard: ...Pun not intended. He was originally a Master of None, as shown in the Overshadowed by Awesome example above, but with his bleeds and stress heals being buffed, he no longer plays this trope straight.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: His outfit is pink, although the dirt and the dark makes his clothes look more reddish than they really are.
  • Sanity Slippage: His unhinged behavior seems to be the result of serving as the jester for the Decadent Court in his comic — you can pretty much see his decline though the pages.
  • Sad Clown: Even when he's not afflicted, he seems a lot more somber than a jester ought to be (and naturally, it goes Up to Eleven when he is afflicted). Coming from a Decadent Court might have something to do with it.
  • Self-Deprecation: Seems to be one of his favorite kinds of jokes, although it turns bitter (if sometimes still trying to be darkly humorous) when afflicted.
    They take me for a fool… Fair, I suppose.
  • Sinister Scythe: Wields a sickle in his left hand. Harvest and Slice Off make use of it to inflict Bleed to the middle ranks.
  • Stock Shticks: Gives a variation on one with "What's the deal with pineapple… am I right?"
  • The Dog Bites Back: His comic reveals he had been the jester of a court that presumably tortured and humiliated him. During one party, he lopped off the hand of the king and killed everyone present. Not coincidentally, one of his trinkets is called the Tyrant's Fingerbone.
  • Warrior Therapist: Most of his camping abilities are related to stress management.
  • White Mask of Doom: Which makes him look less like a jester and more like a serial killer.

     The Leper
"The tide rises. And the tide falls."
"This man understands that adversity and existence... are one and the same."

A ruined man, a warrior, and a poet. The Leper is most effective when given a turn to focus himself before raising his massive blade. When he swings, it is all or nothing — crushing blows and massive damage or the empty whistling of a glancing blow. He is entirely self-sufficient, drawing strength from his life of trauma, and able to channel it into heals, protection, or unrelenting fury.

See the Leper's comic here.

  • 24-Hour Armor: Perhaps justified — he does suffer from leprosy and is bent on covering most of his body, to the point of begging his comrades to hand over any found clothes in his Selfish barks. One of his camping abilities has him remove the mask, reducing his stress levels significantly. Unfortunately, the sight of it also increases his teammates' stress levels.
  • Achilles' Heel: He's very, very strong… but as one of the few characters with absolutely no ranged or launch attacks, attacks that move him to the back row will quickly ruin his day and make the fight go on for much longer than it should have.
  • Bandage Mummy: The Leper is understandably covered in bandages to mend his condition. The Bloody Shroud camping skill has him change them to give himself an all-encompassing resistance buff.
  • The Berserker: Downplayed. Like the Hellion, he cannot willingly move back from the front of your formation (but given that he can't do much in the back, he has absolutely no reason to). Additionally, he has the Berserk Mask trinket and Revenge ability, which further raises his offensive ability at the cost of self-preservation.
  • BFS: Wields a battered executioner's sword that is clearly larger and heavier than the Crusader's longsword, even though it's broken in half. Chop and Hew will deal massive damage but are inaccurate; alternatively, he can slash upward with Purge to knock away a foe and clear corpses.
  • Charged Attack: Revenge makes the Leper pray and invest one turn to deal better damage with better accuracy, at the cost of receiving more damage himself, although his large HP pool alleviates this.
  • Cool Mask: A metal mask used to hide his disfigured face. He takes it off only when you Let The Mask Down (stressing out the party for de-stressing the Leper) or when failing a resolve check.
  • Close-Range Combatant: Once he's out of the first two rows, his only option — no matter his skills chosen — is to move around.
  • Companion Cube: The Leper seems to appreciate his sword greatly and almost considers it a friend. His Reflection Camping Skill has him admiring it, stress healing him and giving him a buff.
    My sword, my trusted ally, unphased by my aspect.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Most classes have at least two positions where they are effective, but the Leper's stats and his poor range make him useless for anything but frontline combat. This is a problem if your formation is messed up or if you need him to switch from the front two ranks for any reason. His is the only class in the game that has no skills that work outside those front ranks. In addition, the Leper has no stun skills, no damage-over-time skills, and his buffs only affect himself, leaving him with very little to do against enemies with high protection without a party that can either maneuver other foes into his killzone or debuff that protection.
  • Critical Hit Class: Subverted Trope — while his Revenge ability can buff his critical chance, his other abilities' below-average critical chance pretty much means the ability just gives him some chance to head toward the average in that department.
    • If the player invests heavily in the right trinkets and supports the Leper with the right buffs, this can be played very, very straight. Properly buffed, the Leper's sword swings can easily exceed a 50% chance to crit.
  • Death Seeker: Confirmed by his dialogue when afflicted. In addition, while the other characters cower, block, or attempt to dodge during their hit animations, he simply stands with his arms outstretched, taking the attack.note 
    • A fearful Leper may say the following:
    You take advantage of my death wish. For shame.
    • When he reaches Death's Door:
    An end to my suffering, at last?
    • He's also by far the most accepting when being chosen as a target for the Heart of Darkness' One-Hit Kill.
    Spare the others, I am ready.
  • Determinator: Capable of withstanding disgusting amounts of abuse and still sounding eloquent when it happens, even as a diseased leper. His lines and his past imply that he's just so used to hardship that it doesn't faze him anymore.
  • Draw Aggro: The Leper's Withstand skill will mark him in exchange for better defense, and as of the Color of Madness update, it is Intimidate that now marks him.
  • Expy: He's basically Baldwin IV of Jerusalem if he were born in a Cosmic Horror setting and went Knight-Errant.
  • Fantasy Character Classes: Knight. The Leper excels in close-combat but cannot do anything outside of the front ranks. He is strong and sturdy, but also slow.
  • Flowery Insults: An abusive Leper will put all of his wordsmithing skills into belittling your party, even if he noticeably dumbs it down for them to get.
    "The human race is a litter; these, the runts."
  • The Good King: Considering that his self-exile clearly hit his people pretty hard, he was very well revered.
  • Handicapped Badass: Being ridden with leprosy doesn't stop him from being one of the powerhouses. It does affect his accuracy, though.
  • Ice-Cream Koan: Begins to speak in absurdities if he becomes irrational.
    "Fish oil wasted on the ramparts. Sliding down the abbey."
  • King Incognito: His backstory reveals that he was a beloved and popular ruler who left his people and estate after contracting the disease to become a Knight Errant, to their sorrow.
  • Made of Iron: The Leper can use Withstand to temporarily raise his protection stat and status resistance once per battle. It makes him even more durable.
  • Magikarp Power: Players will generally prefer the more reliably accurate heroes as the game starts out in the Apprentice difficulty quests, given they can deal with most enemies in an attack or two anyway with weapon upgrades, but the generally slower fights of the harder difficulties will make his damage potential far less wasted and trinkets and camping skills become available to alleviate his inaccuracy flaw. It will also make his buffs and debuff skills a lot more relevant.
  • Meaningful Name: The default name for the Leper is Baldwin, named after the Leper King of Jerusalem.
  • Mighty Glacier: Easily one of the tankiest characters, balanced out by the fact that some of his trinkets cause him to receive less healing from skills other than his own. His strong might can lead to some devastating blows with that BFS... provided that his heavy armour and his sword's weight doesn't cause him to miss.
    • He acknowledges it himself in one of his Powerful barks:
    Nothing stands in the path of an avalanche.
  • Modest Royalty: He doesn't wear a crown or any other trappings of being a king, beyond his countenance and behavior being that of a learned scholar and poet. He is also surprisingly humble for a king: in the town event where you get two extra Lepers in your recruitment pool, the Leper is shown willingly dragging a cart full of sick refugees behind him.
  • Nightmare Face: The Leper's face is apparently so disfigured that him taking his mask off at camp causes stress damage to the rest of the party. It can be seen when he becomes afflicted and tears off his mask.
  • One-Handed Zweihänder: While he does hold it in two hands during neutral poses, most of his attacks show him swinging the sword with only one.
  • Powerful, but Inaccurate: As his description says, he can deal very heavy damage... provided that his lowered accuracy doesn't cause him to miss. His basic skills like Chop begin at 75% accuracy, and the enemies' dodge will easily prevent him from being useful if the player doesn't alleviate the weakness.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Out of the previously two, now three berserker-type characters, he's the cool, collected, civilized one, making him the blue oni to the Hellion and Flagellant's red oni.
    • He's also a slow, methodical fighter who specializes in massive single-target damage, sacrificing any degree of versatility or reach, while the Hellion's wild fighting style tends to wear her out over time.
    • Unlike the Flagellant, the Leper didn't choose his particular cross to bear and his wounds are not self-inflicted. The Leper is a wise, thoughtful Gentle Giant and Warrior Poet; the Flagellant is a maniacal, delusional Blood Knight Combat Sadomasochist. While the Leper specializes in practically tearing enemies in half with a single strike, the Flagellant specializes in generous amounts of Damage Over Time through bleed damage.
  • Religious Bruiser: Less obvious than the Crusader, but the Leper also counts as religious and gains bonuses from the Vestal's resting skills (and refused to party up with the Abomination until the Color of Madness patch). It helps if you consider that one of the most well-known lepers of history was a crusader king. Solemnity shows him praying to heal and stress heal a bit.
  • Riches to Rags: His comic continues the Baldwin IV references, implying that he was a royal who voluntarily exiled himself due to his disease.
  • Sense Freak: Downplayed, but he does find the air on his face intoxicating. This is implied to be because he wears his mask so much that he rarely gets to feel it. Many of his quotes while Masochistic involve him begging to be attacked just so he can feel anything again, even pain. This makes sense, since one of the first symptoms of leprosy is a loss of feeling in the afflicted areas, and permanent nerve damage is a very real possibility for the afflicted.
  • The Stoic: Having lived and fought while being scarred from his disease, it is harder for him to gain stress. Also, while the other characters talk more rashly and aggressively when their resolve is broken, the Leper is considerably calmer, if depressed.
  • Warrior Poet: In the description and in the quotes proper — he is rather eloquent even when at the verge of death or complete mental breakdown. His Tin Flute trinket also suggests that he can play music.

     The Man-at-Arms
"We hold as one and strike as one!"
"The raw strength of youth might be spent… but his eyes hold the secret of a hundred campaigns."

The Man-at-Arms is a seasoned veteran of combat, and has been rewarded for his toil with haunting guilt and stoic resilience in equal measure. Immovable, commanding, and focused, the Man-at-Arms breaks down enemy lines with his mace, buckler, and furious battle cries.

See the Man-at-Arms' comic here.

  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Par for the course, but the Man-At-Arms' eyepatch switching eyes makes it especially noticeable.
  • The Atoner: Dialogue spoken during both Affliction and Virtue suggest that his long career as a soldier has weighed heavily on his conscience, and that the dungeon is his Redemption Quest, with the war in question having resulted in the slaughter of all of his men in one particular horrific campaign.
  • Carry a Big Stick: Favors a large, spiked morning star. The weapon itself and its associated combat skill Crush is actually weaker then most blades — although that might be a function of the Man-at-Arms' age.
  • Counter-Attack: Retribution grants a Riposte with reduced damage (-20% at best). It can be combined with Defender or the Antiquarian's Protect Me skill to both soak up damage and dish it out at the same time, and often deals more damage this way than the Man-at-Arms' direct attacks. His Crimson Court trinkets, when worn as a set, boost his Riposte damage by +25%, making his counterattacks hit harder than his best direct damage skill.
  • Draw Aggro: Retribution marks the Man-at-Arms for a few rounds, giving him more chances to pull off a Riposte.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: The Man-At-Arms becomes incredibly nasty, like a particularly mean drill sergeant, if he ever gets Abusive.
    You are like a gaggle of pathetic recruits!
    Incompetent fools!
    Truth is, most of you won't survive this.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Wears one over his right eye. Frankly, due to everyone having Hidden Eyes, it doesn't make much of a difference. Some of his specific trinkets are other eyepatches.
  • Fantasy Character Classes: The Warlord. The Man-at-Arms deals lower than average damage, but can build up PROT to absorb attacks easily and his camping and combat skills greatly buff his party.
  • A Father to His Men: The Man-At-Arms has an almost paternalistic instinct towards the soldiers under his command, which includes the other adventurers, especially while Virtuous. Rather tragically Deconstructed in a way, however, as the same care he had for his men drove him to the Hamlet in the first place, as he couldn't cope with watching them all be butchered.
    Lean on me, you need not ask!
  • The Leader: A bit like the Crusader, but in a more Mastermind and Levelheaded flavour, having two abilities for buffing allies in his party in combat, a moveset based on around controlling the battlefield, and as well the Tactics and Instruction camping skills to prepare them for the job ahead. Justified, as it's heavily implied that the Man-At-Arms was an infantry sergeant or captain of some kind, so it's basically his job to make sure that unit cohesion remains in place during battle.
    • His Camping Skills, with the exception of Maintain Equipment (which buffs him), are all some kind of training or planning. Tactics will buff the dodge and crits of the entire party as if he coordinated their battle plans; Instruction buffs the accuracy and speed of a lone Hero as if he was giving him orders or advice; finally, Weapons Practice buffs the damage and crit chance of the party. These powerful buffs are balanced by their high cost in Respite Points during camping.
  • Loud of War: His Bellow skill has him unsettle enemies, reducing their speed and dodge stats as well as making them receive crits more frequently. At release, it even dealt a few points of Scratch Damage. In The Butcher's Circus game mode it instead applies a damage debuff to the entire enemy party with a side of Stress infliction.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: The Man-At-Arms carries a heavy, metal heater shield, the only friendly class in the game to do so. And he can even protect his allies with it too with the Defender skill! But not his enemies, they get a devastating Shield Bash in the Rampart skill, which pushes them back with a chance of stunning. He also uses his shield as a weapon when Riposting. Moreover, some of his trinkets are other shields.
  • Non-Damaging Status Infliction Attack: "Bellow" reduces the evasion and speed of all enemies on the field as well as increasing their chances of taking critical hits.
  • Obi-Wan Moment: If chosen to sacrifice himself against the Heart of Darkness, he states that he has come to terms with his Survivor Guilt, and atoned for his past sins.
    I go with a clear conscience. I've given my all.
  • Old Soldier: A veteran of countless campaigns, the Man-At-Arms is clearly out of his prime, but he makes up for it with his unmatched experience and tactical knowledge.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: While he usually hides it underneath a layer of stoicism like a proper soldier, his afflicted barks show just how broken and tormented he really is, bitterly lamenting the countless comrades he's seen die over the years, not to mention his whole life being spent on endless war. In particular, while Hopeless, he expresses guilt over all the lives he's taken.
    When did I become Death's right hand?
  • Shout-Out: The default name for the Man-At-Arms is Barristan.
  • Shield Bash: Ripostes conferred by his Retribution skill see him doing this to his unfortunate attacker. His animation for the Rampart skill also shows him hitting his target with his shield outstretched.
  • Stone Wall: Has lower SPD than most classes and doesn't do much damage with his individual attacks, but he makes up for it with the second-greatest base health pool, as well as several skills that give him a massive boost to PROT. On the other hand, Retribution's Riposte combined with Guard can, like the Highwayman, turn him into a steady source of off-turn damage.
  • Survivor Guilt: Starts displaying this in spades if he becomes Hopeless. All the more so in his background comic, where he was the Sole Survivor of one battle where his unit failed to reach the green flag.
  • Support Party Member: While lacking in direct damage, the Man-at-Arms's buffs and debuff, his ability to defend a specific hero, and his Camping Skills conferring additional buffs make him a force multiplier. His Guardian's Shield trinket delegates him to the very back of the formation for increased PROT, dodge, and healing received, but also locks him out of his attack skills.
  • War Is Hell: A very firm believer in this trope; not only was his entire unit slaughtered in front of his eyes, the scars of his endless battles still weigh heavily on his soul to this very day.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Several of his barks, especially when Virtuous, emphasize the Man-at-Arms' tendency to put himself between the enemy and his comrades.

     The Occultist
"How uncivilized."
"To fight the Abyss... one must know it."

A lifetime of scholarly inquest into ancient and forbidden lore has opened the Occultist's mind to the powers of the void. Debilitating curses and maddeningly impossible support skills are his specialty. The void, however, is an unpredictable power, and consequently skills' effectiveness can vary dramatically, and usually come at a cost of light or stress.

See the Occultist's comic here.

  • The Anti-Nihilist: A camping skill, called Abandon Hope, causes him to vocally express his lack of care over his remaining days, which naturally stresses out the rest of the party. He, on the other hand, loses a significant amount of stress, implying that his acceptance of fate is precisely what allows him to keep his sanity despite whatever forbidden lore he finds.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: As his quote above would indicate, this is his reason for studying dark magic.
  • Black Speech: Sometimes speaks this way while casting his spells or upon dealing a crit.
  • Casting a Shadow: In The Butcher's Circus game mode the Occultist gains Stygian Embrace, a skill that slightly heals and grants Stealth to a party member, granting temporary safety and increased Stress infliction.
  • Combat Medic: As unreliable as Wyrd Reconstruction can be, it can be used from any rank,note  and the same can be said for his debuffs. This allows the Occultist to fit comfortably anywhere in the party, with the only concern being his main attack skills.
  • Combat Tentacles: Three of his spells involve creating portals from which giant demonic tentacles attack his foes. Abyssal Artillery creates a portal above to strike the 3rd and 4th enemy ranks, Hands From The Abyss stuns a single enemy at the cost of torchlight, and Daemon's Pull summons a great tentacle to entangle an enemy and drag them forward.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Occultists use eldritch magic and dark rituals. They're one of the hero classes, and while some of their spells have drawbacks (such as a healing spell that causes an ally to bleed, or attack skills that dim the torch), they aren't inherently evil. On top of that, they get resistances to the attacks of Eldritch enemies, and do more damage to them as well.
  • Deal with the Devil: Presumably how he got most of his magical ability, if his injured quote is any indication (he points out that his dying wasn't in the contract; but it's usually never stated that a supernatural creditor has to wait for natural causes to kill a debtor...). His quote if he is sacrificed to the Heart of Darkness ("Finally, the face of my tormentor!") heavily implies that the entity who granted him his powers was the Heart itself.
  • Death Seeker: According to the demon possessing him when he is Masochistic, although this could be it tempting the enemy to free itself with his death.
  • Demonic Possession: Afflicted Occultists will sometimes get possessed by whatever dark power they've made a pact with, saying all manner of unsettling things and engaging in the usual bouts of unhelpful behavior that afflicted heroes are prone to.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Apparently the Heart of Darkness never considered the fact that granting abilities to people willy-nilly means that they can also be used against it. His bark after being chosen for the Come Unto Your Maker attack is one of acceptance.
  • Driven to Madness: In The Butcher's Circus the Occultist can weaponize his black magic to inflict Stress and Horror on the enemy team, aiming to turn them Afflicted and allowing his Sacrificial Stab to deliver the finishing blow easily.
  • Emergency Weapon: The Occultist is fragile and mediocre dodge, and when finding himself at the front, only really has his dagger to attack through Sacrificial Stab. It has a nice bonus damage against eldritch monsters and a good crit modifier, but other Heroes are better-suited to that task.
  • Ethnic Magician: The Abdul Al-Hazred variant, naturally.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Played straight whenever an Occultist has a Heroic BSoD, many of which imply that the forces they consort with have turned on them.
  • Fantasy Character Classes: The Theurgist. The Occultist has made a bargain with an eldritch entity and borrows its power to mainly apply debuffs and status effects, but can also deal some damage and heal.
  • Godzilla Threshold: His Dark Ritual camping skill was clearly designed with this kind of situation in mind. It removes the mortality debuff inflicted by a hero going on Death's Door during a quest and heals them for a huge 50% of their total health... but it causes stress to the Occultist while darkening the light to pitch black. A player using this better have plenty of light sources to alleviate it or expect to finish the quest soon...
  • Harmful Healing: His Wyrd Reconstruction combat skill. While it has the highest cap for healing out of any friendly spell in the game, it also has a small chance to cause bleeding. It's also possible for the heal to be so low that the bleed will wipe out the health regained next turn. Subverted later in the game, because the bleed chance and its level scaling is so low that at a high enough level, everyone except maybe the Leper becomes practically immune to it, meaning you essentially gain all the benefits of the heal without any of the drawbacks.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    Occultist (upon being asked to bandage someone up): It's at times like these I'm glad I went to a Liberal Arts University.
  • Lovecraftian Superpower: Naturally. He summons part of eldritch creatures and performs horrifying rituals, thankfully for your sake.
  • Magic Cauldron: Some of his trinkets are cauldrons, although he is never seen with them in-game.
  • Magikarp Power:
    • Wyrd Reconstruction starts out somewhat weak and runs the risk of dealing more damage than it heals, but as he is upgraded and the Occultist's Bleed chance is reduced by the right Trinkets or his heroic targets gain enough resolve levels that he probably can't bleed them anyway, he becomes hands-down the best healer in the game (unless you're particularly unlucky today). An Arbalest with Battlefield Bandage (target receives even more benefit from heals) or a Plague Doctor with Battlefield Medicine (cures bleed) can greatly boost his healing effectiveness as well.
    • His two debuff skills experience this trope as much as your other buffs would. At low levels they're not all that strong and the enemies are usually weak enough that you'd prioritize consistently attacking to finish the fight quickly. At higher levels, the skills would be improved enough to have some weight to them, and the longer fights with tougher enemies make them worth the slot.
  • No Indoor Voice: If whatever force that grants the Occultist his eldritch powers takes over, it always shouts (or, given that none of the heroes are voiced, uses all capital letters). Otherwise, the Occultist himself speaks normally.
  • Noodle Incident: He apparently attended a liberal arts school.
  • Reduced to Dust: His corpse sprite in the Butcher's Circus depicts his remains as bleached bones strewn about a pile of sand, without a single speck of blood.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The default name for the Occultist is Alhazred.
    • Some of the Occultist's battle quotes are in R'lyehian, the fictional language from the Cthulhu Mythos.
  • Sistine Steal: The icon for Unspeakable Commune copies the detail of Adam reaching for God's hand, but God is replaced with a tentacle.
  • Status Ailment: The Occultist specializes in dealing these. Weakening Curse will lower the damage of a single monster, Hands From The Abyss stuns a monster, Vulnerability Hex marks them and lowers their dodge, Daemon's Pull displaces their enemy formation, presumably pulling a monster into a disadvantegeous position.
  • Squishy Wizard: He has the lowest starting hit points, and their increase from armor upgrades is low, too.
  • Soul Jar: The candle-topped skull is actually connected to him, and he will die if the candle is completely melted to the point of snuffing out.
  • The Spock: A bit. With his encourage camping skill, he remarks how songs are "proven" to raise morale and that fear is simply a state of mind.

     The Plague Doctor
"Bones break and flesh tears!"
"What better laboratory than the blood-soaked battlefield?"

A doctor, researcher, and alchemist who prefers to hang back, eating away at her foes with stacking damage-over-time abilities like toxic clouds & plague-filled grenades. She is equally effective in a support role, blinding and confusing foes while enhancing a party's survival with damage-increasing tonics, and remedies for bleed and blight effects.

See the Plague Doctor's comic here.

  • All There in the Manual: An official illustration by Chris Bourassa, the game's lead director and artist, displays the molecular formula for sulfuric acid along with the Plague Doctor. This rather implies at least one of her concotions is just sulfuric acid.
  • Artistic Licence Medicine: The Leeches camping skill can remove diseases and cure blight, somehow. The good doctor also seems to obtain great results from inhaling vapours, although in real life, this was an ineffective Middle-Age healing method.
  • Cool Mask: As part of the standard "plague doctor beak" look. She appears to have had said mask for a while, since it appears in her character comic depicting her back when she was a university student.
  • Combat Medic: Make no mistake, her primary role is to lob toxic grenades at the monsters. But it turns out she's just as good at curing bleed and blight with Battlefield Medicine. During camping, all her skills are geared toward healing wounds or diseases as well as facilitating healing.
  • Creepy Good: For starters, she's a Plague Doctor, which already sends off a sinister vibe. She's also a bit too interested in diseases and experimenting (read: dissecting cadavers). But she's also one of the heroes that fight against the abominations threatening the Hamlet.
  • Deadly Doctor: Wearing a doctor mask and a cloak, she is a master of alchemy and contagions; she deals in concoctions and withering tonics.
  • Deadly Gas: Used as a weapon in the form of blighting grenades. Noxious Blast is a short-range powerful blight effect, and Plague Grenade lobs an AoE weaker blight effect.
  • Emergency Weapon: Most of her skills can only be used at the back. If she gets dragged all the way forward, her options are to either spend her turn retreating, or slice into the opposition with Incision.
  • Fantasy Character Classes: Surprisingly, not Healer, but Assassin, as she specializes in dealing blight damage and stunning enemies to put them at a disadvantage, though there's a bit of Healer in her camping skills and her Battlefield Medicine ability.
  • The Faceless: Averted. She's notably the only female hero whose face is completely covered in-game. However, her full appearance is shown in her comic.
  • For Science!: The Plague Doctor is far more interested in satisfying her own morbid curiosity than fighting for some greater cause. In fact, the reason why she got expelled was because she dissected her professor who died of a plague (and had no clear qualms doing so).
  • In the Hood: Works in concert with the Cool Mask to completely envelop the head.
  • Knife Nut: Has a mêlée attack with a knife, which can make the target bleed. The relative weakness of the skill gives the impression of being an Emergency Weapon in case the Plague Doctor is displaced.
  • Limited Move Arsenal: While she is the premier dispenser of blight for the heroes, the Plague Doctor suffers from the fact that she must use up two of her four skill slots to be able to blight any rank of the enemy team.
  • Mad Scientist: There are implications of this, as her backstory comic involves her dissecting the corpse of her professor, and marking him as Subject #40, as well as her Crimson Court trinkets having her reference "Those fools at the university....", along with her fascination with the wounds and diseases of her allies when treating them.
  • Master Poisoner: The crux of her character. She is geared to deal Blight damage and Disorienting Blast shows her throwing a grenade full of unknown chemicals to stun and displace an enemy.
  • Meaningful Name: The default name for the Plague Doctor is Paracelsus, a revolutionary German alchemist who's also known as 'the father of toxicology'.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: She gets rather excited when treating her allies' injuries in camp and will sometimes comment on wanting to keep bits of the slain enemies. This comes to the forefront should she become Masochistic. Her comic also shows her being rather giddy when dissecting one of her professors after finding him dead…
  • Non-Damaging Status Infliction Attack: "Blinding Gas" stuns the farthest two enemies for a turn. Her "Disorienting Blast" does the same thing in addition to shuffling their order, but only effects one enemy at a time.
  • Noodle Incident: From her exclusive Crimson Court trinkets, it's clear she did something involving a "Subject #40" and a dissection kit that got her kicked out of the University. Her comic finally reveals it: she began to dissect one of her professors after she either poisoned him, or he died from the plague. Only Subjects #1, #25, and the eponymous #40 were shown, leaving the open question of what exactly was she up to...
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Both positive and negative examples:
  • Plague Doctor: Both in profession and aesthetic.
  • Samus Is a Girl: If it wasn't for the descriptions and her backstory comic, most people wouldn't notice that she's a woman — her feminine features are visible the most when her resolve is being tested.
  • Super Serum: The Plague Doctor can buff allies by having them inhale the vapours of some concoction best left to the imagination: Emboldening Vapours boost the damage and speed of a hero while the Camping Skill Experimental Vapours buffs their healing received.

     The Vestal
"Light take you!"
"A sister of battle... Pious and unrelenting."

The warrior nun channels her zeal for battle into healing abilities, holy judgements, and dazzling explosions of light. A strong backbone to any party, the Vestal can also hold her own on the front line with a powerful mace bash and close-quarters condemnations.

See the Vestal's comic here.

  • Abusive Parents: Her parents and her upbringing are a frequent target of her anger when Afflicted.
  • All Men Are Perverts: As a result of her sexually repressed upbringing, an afflicted vestal often fixates on the notion that monsters and other members of the party are after her purity.
  • All Women Are Lustful: When afflicted, she starts to think this about any other female party members you might have.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Her backstory comic shows her lusting over a naked couple in the gardens, but it's ambiguous if she was lusting over the woman as well, or if she imagined herself in her place.
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution: Her Judgement skill calls down lightning from above to strike the enemies.
  • Broken Bird: The Vestal had a very repressive, demanding childhood that left her deeply ashamed of herself and bound to follow a long set of commandments. Beneath her pious exterior is a deep well of resentment and wrath that shows through even without an affliction to accentuate it.
    You shall suffer as I have!
  • Carry a Big Stick: Her mêlée weapon is a spiked mace. However, she's best leaving Mace Bash out in favor of more effective support skills unless one wants to run her in the second rank.
  • Celibate Hero: Apparently based on the Roman vestal virgins, she mentions being a virgin, states that an "unchaste vestal" is put to death and that she's wearing a chastity belt, and implies that her magic runs on Virgin Power. Not that any of this stops her from visiting the brothel, or getting the 'Nymphomaniac' quirk. Of course, it's worth considering that there are… a variety of things one could do without technically losing one's virginity. Some of them can even bypass the problem of a chastity-belt.
  • Combat Medic: The Vestal is the dedicated healer class of the game who has some offensive skills under her belt. Divine Grace is a powerful single target healing skill while Divine Comfort is a party-wide weaker healing skill. However, she also has some support and attack skills up her sleeves. Notably, Judgment heals the Vestal while damaging the enemy (though it's not a Life Drain, since the amount of healing is constant and independent of the damage dealt).
  • Church Militant: A nun who ventures into the accursed areas near the estate, wielding the power of Light to slay her foes. Everything about her is themed after her religion and prayers.
    • The Vestal synergizes exceptionally well with other religious characters due to the way her Camping Skills work, giving better bonuses to the likes of the Crusader, Leper, and Flagellant. Chant and Pray will also reduce the stress of these characters more.
  • Covert Pervert: One of her lore-related trinkets is the Salacious Diary. Because of her upbringing, she's actually ashamed and afraid of her impulses.
    I fear the whispers of my mind!
  • Crippling Overspecialization: The Vestal's strongest healing spells are available only while she's in the back two positions. A lot of her attack skills, being melee-ranged, are not accessible from those positions, so it's not unusual to see a player focus on a skill set specialized for the back. Her low mobility doesn't help if she's denied her healing by being forced to the front.
  • Crutch Character: Her abilities combine together to make her a very strong option for newer player parties. She has reliable heals, can stun, and even debuff Dodge or reveal Stealth. The trouble here is that players over-reliant on a few Vestals can quickly run low on options when their Vestals hit higher Resolve levels sooner and would not party with the lagging roster on easy dungeons.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Played for drama; the Vestal was indeed responsible for keeping a sacred fire lit, but being distracted by a couple and their sensual interactions led her to let the fire die and being heavily blamed for it.
  • Fantasy Character Classes: Battle Priest. She's more known for healing, but also offers a range of support attacks.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: Save for one attack (the Mace Bash), all of her skills rely on divine power, and some of them deal damage to enemies.
  • In the Hood: Every single Vestal wears a robe with a hood covering her head.
  • Light 'em Up: The Vestal uses the power of the Light to deal damage and debuff. Dazzling Light increases the Light Meter and has a chance to stun the targeted enemy. The Illumination skill cancels stealth by lighting enemies, and Hand of Light even deals increased damage against undead.
  • Light Is Good: A few of her attacks use light to debuff or mark your enemies. They also strengthen your torch.
  • Magic Knight: To a smaller extent than the Crusader, but she has decent armor and health, plus has damage-dealing abilities coupled with the healing ones.
  • Meaningful Name: Her name as given in the game files is "Junia"; presumably a Shout-Out to Saint Junia, the only female Apostle named in The Bible. The Vestal is indeed the only female character in the game to be part of the church.
  • Nun Too Holy: She dresses in a nun's habit and seems to have been part of a convent: the term "Vestal" implies virginity. However, whatever monastic community she came from, she's left it far behind by the time she reaches the Hamlet. She visits the Tavern like any other adventurer, meaning any vows of temperance or chastity are likely broken.
  • Off-Model: Her affliction and virtuous portraits include a trim on her hood. Her in-game sprite lacks any sort of trim on her hood.
  • Parental Abandonment: An extremely unhappy childhood becomes apparent if she gets irrational or fearful.
  • Sex Is Evil, and I Am Horny: Her upbringing and training have conditioned her to be terrified and ashamed of sexuality. At the same time, her comic shows her fantasizing about sex to the point of neglecting her duties, one of her trinkets is the Salacious Diary, and she repeatedly assumes party members are after her virginity if she becomes afflicted. Of course, she can still use the brothel to relieve stress..
  • The Un Favourite: Was apparently this growing up.
  • White Magician Girl: The vestal is the closest thing this game to a traditional RPG healing character. Though she carries a mace, it's generally just a last resort for when she gets pushed up to the front line unintentionally. Most of her skills are based around ranged attacks and healing, and she can only use her healing powers from the back row.

DLC Heroes

     The Flagellant
"Blood for the burden! Bones for the Light!"
"Awash in blood and delusion... He bears the burden of a thousand lifetimes."

A new class introduced in The Crimson Court DLC.

The Flagellant belongs to an extremist faction within the church, and is generally regarded with a toxic mixture of fear, awe, and disgust. The power he draws from martyrdom is as effective as it is unsettling — in one moment he is a fountain of healing renewal, and the next, a conduit of terrible wrath. His full potential is realized only the brink of madness… or death.

See the Flagellant's comic here.

  • Because You Can Cope: Players are encouraged to treat him like this; Lash's Solace reduces a whopping 50 stress while camping— by far the most of any camp skill in the game— making it viable for him to soak up the stress of his allies by using Endure in battle. (He's also a great target for the Jester's Mockery for the same reason.) And even if his stress does crack 100, he'll always become Rapturous rather than one of the more detrimental random afflictions.
  • The Berserker: Not that he's exactly sane even when his stress levels are low, but he'll become this Up to Eleven when Rapturous.
  • Blood Knight: Out of the heroes, the Flagellant is the one who clearly seeks and enjoys combat.
  • Blood Magic: The Flagellant's skills nearly all rely on using blood to perform magic spells such as healing an ally or inflicting damage.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Near-inhuman willpower coupled with a lifetime of being brought to the brink of death and back makes The Flagellant noticeably more resistant to death than others. He actually gets stronger when he's at Death's Door, such being almost second nature to him.
  • Church Militant: Like other religious classes, he refused to set out anywhere with an Abomination in a party until the Color of Madness patch.
  • Combat Medic: On top of his plentiful bleeds, he can restore health to a target ally and himself with Redeem, although on top of a hefty debuff; it is only accessible after his health drops below 40% too. He's also the only class in the game with a DOT heal (Reclaim).
  • Combat Sadomasochist: It's pretty clear that The Flagellant enjoys pain, which works in your favor, as he becomes stronger the closer to Death's Door he goes, has a great Death Blow resistance to make sure he'll have a tough time dying while at his peak, can heal others by receiving damage, and can absorb a teammate's Damage Over Time for his own benefit. He's also the only hero with 0% chance to disarm traps, indicating that he "disarms" it by tossing himself onto it.
  • Covered in Scars: For fairly obvious reasons. Hell, his armor upgrades are just getting more scars, culminating in one shaped like the Stress symbol right over his chest.
  • Critical Status Buff: The worse off the Flagellant is, the better he gets. Below 40% health, he gets a significant status buff which is increased if he is at Death's Door. Also, if he becomes afflicted, he also gets significant status buffs again thanks to his unique Rapturous affliction.
  • Cursed With Awesome: The Flagellant's unique Rapturous affliction causes him to act erratically, like with most other afflictions. However, it also bestows him with enough bonuses that the affliction can help turn the tides of battle in your favor.
  • Death Seeker: There are some very minor undertones of this; possibly, he finds it the ultimate sacrifice to make to his Lord. Gets a lot more noticeable when pointed at with Come Unto Your Maker, as his quote reveals:
    "I've waited long for this! DON'T TAKE IT FROM ME."
  • Desperation Attack: The more wounded he gets, the more powerful the Flagellant becomes. At less than half health, the Flagellant may use Exsanguinate which inflicts a devastating Bleed and heals him for a percentage of his maximum health.
  • Draw Aggro: The Flagellant can use Suffer to mark himself, and make enemies more inclined to hit him instead of an ally.
  • Empathic Healer: He can heal other party members' status ailments and stress by taking them unto himself by using Suffer and Endure respectively.
  • Epic Flail: Has somehow managed to combine Whip It Good and this to create a weapon with 3 chained flails at the end of a handle that resembles a cat o' nine tails whip. He mainly uses it to flail himself, or others with the Punish skill.
  • The Faceless: Downplayed, but we don't see the upper half of his face. Even in the comic.
  • Friend or Foe: Will happen if he becomes Rapturous, attacking anyone on the screen at random.
  • Gradual Regeneration: Reclaim gives a unique heal-over-time status to the Flagellant's allies. It is rather weak as a heal, but can still sometimes crit.
  • Heel–Faith Turn: The comic started him out as a beggar who converted a thug after allowing himself to be beaten without retaliation.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: We're not quite sure how exactly, but upon reaching Death's Door, he restores a decent amount of health to the rest of the party. A Flagellant who dies will also unleash a massive stun attack with a good chance to stun the entire enemy party at once.
  • Life Drain: Exsanguinate deals massive damage to an enemy while healing the Flagellant. To balance such a powerful ability, he can only use it while below 40% health and only twice per battle.
  • Meaningful Name: The default name for the Flagellant is Damian, the name of the monk who popularized flagellation as a form of worship.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class:
    • He cannot develop any Virtues and has no Afflictions other than "Rapturous", which causes him to attack friend and foe at random. It also gives him a massive damage bonus and reduces his dodge ability so he can use his Critical Status Buff more often, meaning that if he's properly supported, getting him afflicted on purpose is a viable strategy, unlike other classes. In fact, he has a combat ability (Endure) and a camping ability (Lash's Anger) which have the sole purpose of giving the Flagellant stress.
    • He is also the only class who objectively gets stronger when he's closer to death; a not-quite-hidden perk activates when his health drops below 40% and gets even stronger when he reaches Death's Door. Becoming "Rapturous" makes him hit even harder, but it does undercut his ability to dodge and makes him ignore his teammates' different views on receiving pain.
    • Somewhat unsurprisingly, he can only flagellate to relieve stress. Fortunately, he can't pick up the negative quirks that either demand he use other stress-relief activities or prevent him from using the Penance Hall.
    • In addition to not partying with Abominations until The Color of Madness was released, the Flagellant uniquely will not party with other Flagellants — the "burden of suffering cannot be shared." (Mechanically, allowing multiple Flagellants to support each other with constant Redeems as their health gets low would result in an essentially unkillable party, and Endure would make stress easy to handle too.)
  • Megaton Punch: Exsanguinate involves marching up to a monster and punching it in the chest and, it's implied, squeezing their heart with his magic hand.
  • Mutually Exclusive Party Members: Only one Flagellant to an adventuring party at once.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: In his character comic, he is given a vicious one by a drunkard starting with Grievous Bottley Harm to the face and losing a few teeth. Despite this, he only grins harder and eggs his attackers on to keep trying to kill him. By the end of it, his attacker is utterly exhausted and on his knees while the Flagellant is standing over him menacingly while caressing their face, healthier than ever.
  • Slasher Smile: Has a grin on his face at almost all times.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Only wears his hood, robes, and shackles. His character comic has him wearing a full robe that covers his body.
  • When All You Have is a Hammer…: Particularly notable in his camping skills. Feeling stressed? Whips himself. Not feeling stressed enough? Whips himself harder! Is bleeding, infected with blight, close to death? Whips himself in specific ways to cleanse himself. Needs a little speed boost? Whips himself. Contracted tetanus, black plague, or any number of horrible, hard-to-cure diseases in the dungeon? Fucking whips himself. And it works. Since a real, tangible power can be drawn from pain in this setting, it makes sense that the Flagellant is able to do all this.
  • Whip It Good: Wields a cat o' nine tails combined with a flail. A cat o' nine flails, if you will.

     The Shieldbreaker
“Sever the weakened limb; the protected foe.”
"Shifting. Swaying. She mesmerizes her prey before the final strike!"

A sandstorm of grace and fury, the Shieldbreaker dances through the ranks delivering precision strikes of remarkable power. Sundering armor, breaking enemy formations, and leaving the taste of venom wherever she goes, the Shieldbreaker is a remorseless combatant.

See the Shieldbreaker's background comic here.

  • Action Girl: An ex-slave dancer, and one hell of a fighter.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: As with the Man-at-Arms, the devs clearly aren't that concerned — in most of the promo art, including her background comic and the portrait above, it's her right hand that she lost — in-game, however, when she's facing to the right (which is almost always), it's her left hand that's missing. For simplicity's sake, the examples here refer to her right arm as the one from which she lost her hand, and the side she wields her shield with.
  • Ambiguously Brown: The Shieldbreaker is dark-skinned, but her face is covered and her outfit only vaguely references a Middle Eastern culture.
  • Amputation Stops Spread: Her attempt to escape the Vizier's men ended with her arm pinned by wreckage. She manages to escape, but in the process snakes envenom her hand, forcing her to hack it off later with a dull knife.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Her backstory, from both the background comic and in-game journal entries, shows that her right hand was crushed by a wooden plank when a chariot she was fighting on fell into a cliff. Snakes bit her hand, poison inching up her arm, and she had to hack it off afterward.
  • Animal Motif: The snake, specifically the Adder. A majority of her combat and camping skills reference snakes and she can inflict Blight on enemies, invoking ghostly snakes with Adder's Kiss.
  • Armour Piercing Attack: Pierce has the Shieldbreaker leap forward to attack an enemy and bypass their armor. Puncture kind of does that too, damaging enemies that are guarded by others, leaving them exposed by pulling them forward.
    • Her camping skill snake eyes gives the entire party an Armor Piercing buff which helps negate enemy armor.
  • Bare Your Midriff: The entirety of the Shieldbreaker's stomach and a fair deal of her torso are left exposed.
  • Bedlah Babe: The Shieldbreaker's outfit is based on a bedlah, traditional garb for a Belly Dancer — minus the helmet, shield, spear, and armored skirt/belt, of course.
  • Blade on a Stick: She appears to wield a spear with her left hand. Looking at the files show that it's specifically an assegai.
  • Critical Hit Class: Moreso than any other character in the game. Her base crit chance is 7% then goes to 11%, even higher than the Grave Robber. However, she has little in the way of improving their natural stats.
  • Dance Battler: Justified as a former Belly Dancer, several of the Shieldbreaker's attack sprites are graceful jumps and leaps. Moreover, the majority of the skills make her move across the ranks either forward or back depending on the skill.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • The Shieldbreaker's constant movement makes playing her more difficult than other classes as she may disrupt your formation, so you must carefully prepare your party around her. However, if that disadvantage is alleviated (or better, used to get another teammate into ideal positioning), her powerful kit makes her very fulfilling to use.
    • Her nightmares can make lengthy dungeons difficult if you're not prepared for the unavoidable battle that will start up. However, if you succeed at the battle, you get special consumables that render a character entirely immune to the next attack to hit them, which can be a godsend with certain bosses with powerful, telegraphed hits or if a hero has hit Death's Door.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: She is barefoot in her first promotional picture. However, her sprite shows them being bandaged.
  • Every Scar Has a Story: And of course, losing a hand is pretty significant! Journal pages drop as you defeat her Nightmare battles to tell that story - she lost the arm as she tried to escape being Made a Slave to a tyrannical vizier while on a caravan. Her captors were all dead, but the caravan crashed, pinned her arm, and a snake promptly bit that arm. She quickly hacked her hand off to prevent the venom from killing her, and found the obvious imperfection now burdening her from her missing arm to be as liberating as being able to get away from the caravan.
    At last, I finally understand: a thing cannot be truly beautiful until it is broken.
  • The Faceless: Wears a veil across the lower half of her face at virtually all times, with her Affliction portrait being the main exception.
  • Fantasy Character Classes: The Shieldbreaker roughly fits the Assassin archetype. She is an agile but fragile fighter who specializes in bypassing defenses and can deal Blight damage. Her Serpent Sway does allow her to take a few hits, though.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: The Shieldbreaker is barely protected on the left side but wears some armor on the right arm and leg to complete her targe.
  • Fragile Speedster: Depending on her skill loadout — the Shieldbreaker is fast and agile, but her bedlah offers little protection. On the other hand, she does have a shield, and her Serpent Sway ability grants 2 blocks which will negate any damage.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Although the artwork and the backstory comics show her right arm being damaged, the sprites show the left one being cut off and bandaged instead.
  • Glass Cannon: In the later stages, the Shieldbreaker is able to deal a lot of damage — Impale can potentially blight an entire formation, high-PROT enemies weep at a crit from Pierce, and even at low levels, a critical hit from Adder's Kiss can one-shot a Bone Defender — but that shield is the only bit of protective gear she has.
  • Handicapped Badass: Her bandaged right arm actually finishes in a stump. The right hand has been cut off, but it apparently doesn't stop the Shieldbreaker from going fight with a spear and shield.
  • Life-or-Limb Decision: The reason for both the loss of her right hand and her abject fear of snakes.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: The Shieldbreaker uses a buckler on her right arm. The Serpent's Sway skill actually allows her to use the buckler to entirely negate physical damage from incoming attacks, although she can still be stunned.
  • Made a Slave: Because of her dancing talent and beauty, the Shieldbreaker was enslaved by a powerful local Vizier, but she's managed to escape. Her Fearful and Paranoid barks shows that she still fears that the Vizier's agents are hunting her.
  • Magikarp Power: Although she has powerful basic attacks, her set is rather underwhelming in the first levels because of the negative damage modifiers. Moreover, the first times you'll be camping with her, her nightmares make your heroes go through an obligatory fight on top of her Stress increasing at an alarming rate, so it's likely that she'll be Afflicted and become a liability. However, at Veteran and Champion levels, her kit will shine. She can counter Stealth, break Guard so the team is able to attack the enemy Squishy Wizard, and her ability to block damage becomes even better against the more powerful attacks. In addition, her crit chance scales well, and her armor penetration becomes relevant against the Veteran monsters dotted with armor. Finally, if you get through all her nightmares, the entire class will get a free bonus to their stats every camp, making them even more effective in the long run.
  • Master Poisoner: The Shieldbreaker has two combat skills that inflict Blight to enemies, Adder's Kiss and Captivate. At higher levels, Impale gets a blight chance, and it's the one that hits every single enemy. Results can be messy.
  • Meaningful Name: Looking through files will reveal that the Shieldbreaker's default name is Amani, which means desires, aspiration or wishes in Arabic.
  • Never Going Back to Prison: Her greatest fear is being carried off to the Vizier's harem once more, as shown in her Fearful state:
    One misstep and I will find myself in chains again!
    N-no! I will not be delivered to the palace!
  • Nonchalant Dodge: She has a decent Dodge progression and is one of the most mobile classes, with most of her combat skills changing her rank as she dances her way out of harm's way.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: The Shieldbreaker was beautiful and could mesmerize men with her dancing, and thus was allowed to do only that. Then she attracted the attention of the wrong kind of men. Throughout her journal, the constantly laments how all the men around her think of her as a beautiful thing.
  • Took a Level in Badass: She was originally a very good dancer, that's all. On her way to the Vizier's palace, she figured that being a frightened woman wouldn't cut and killed her captors before escaping, eventually becoming an accomplished spearwoman.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Though her fighting style is based on snakes and her final journal page has her call the snake who bit her a liberator because causing her to hack her hand off broke her flawless beauty and put her on her current path, as her nightmares prove, she is absolutely terrified of them.
  • You Will Not Evade Me: Puncture allows the Shieldbreaker to break the guard of an enemy and pull them further in the ranks, which is perfect in case your current target is the Squishy Wizard.

Alternate Skins

     The Musketeer
“The thrill of the hunt clears my mind!”

"A champion markswoman — keen for a new kind of challenge."

A reskin of the Arbalest. Originally a Kickstarter backer exclusive, then added as Free DLC two years later.

See The Musketeer's comic here.

  • Combat Medic: She has the same healing skills as the Arbalest, renamed in the case of her combat heal Patch Up. It isn't anywhere near as much a part of her personality or backstory as it is for the Arbalest, however.
  • Chicken Joke: An irrational Musketeer drops a variation when refusing to perform camping skills:
    Musketeer: Why did the cockerel cross the lane? To reach the other side! Hahahahaha!
  • Divergent Character Evolution: A very mild example. Her unique Crystalline trinket in Colour of Madness is different than the Arbalest's.
  • Egomaniac Hunter: She becomes this when Abusive or Selfish.
  • Glory Hound: To a greater degree than the Arbalest, in fact. She even seems to find some glory in being sacrificed to the Heart of Darkness, unlike her counterpart.
  • Great White Hunter: Her attitude toward the whole endeavor, as long as she's not afflicted. Most of her combat barks, particularly while Virtuous, speak fondly of the hunt, and herself, and sometimes her allies, as great hunters.
  • Hunter of Monsters: By nature of her quarry.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: When hunting bandits and cultists.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Part of the job, as a championship markswoman, and also a large part of how she defines herself.
  • It's Personal: Her being drawn to hunt the eldritch abominations of the Hamlet Estate might have something to do with an Eldritch Abomination showing up and ruining her shot, causing that one pride-crushing My Greatest Failure moment that ruined her whole career as a professional competitive marksman.
  • Long-Range Fighter: Like the Arbalest, she has only two attacks capable of working in the front ranks or even hitting the front row of enemies (a buckshot blast and a pistol sidearm which targets a random rank), both of which are considerably weaker than her rifle attacks.
  • Meaningful Name: Her in-file name is "Margaret", a reference to Margaret Murdock, a competitive markswoman who set several world records.
  • Moveset Clone: Of the Arbalest, with all her upgrades and even her trinkets being reskinned versions of the Arbalest's. Only their unique crystalline items introduced in The Color of Madness differ mechanically: both grant a +20% DMG boost (which is a big deal given how much damage they do by default), but at a cost, like all crystalline trinkets: the Musketeer's Icosahedric Musket Balls bestow a 20% chance of randomly hitting a different target than the one she aims at — much like how she missed her mark in that fateful contest the first time she caught a glimpse of the Heart of Darkness.
  • The Musketeer: In Name Only, as she exclusively uses firearms and, like the Arbalest, is almost helpless if forced into the front ranks.
  • My Greatest Failure: Despite a specially crafted bullet and the finest powder she can procure, she was unable to win the trophy of a shooting competition and had to settle for second place. Furthermore, it is implied that she lost out by only that single missed shot. All thanks to her freakout from a brief manifestation of a hideous disembodied eye in place of the bullseye which threw off her shot. Apparently, the search for the owner of said eye brought her to the Hamlet.
  • Naïve Newcomer: According to the Guild menu, the Musketeer is "A competitive sharpshooter with little practical experience", and she approaches the expeditions as akin to the game hunts she would undertake while surrounded by attendants. Fortunately, this sheltered upbringing does not make her any less effective of a markswoman.
  • Nice Hat: She sports a rather fancy tricorn. Some of her trinkets are hats as well.
  • Noble Wolf: While Virtuous, she compares herself to the mighty wolf, and refers to herself and her "packmates" as having the scent, stalking their prey, and so on.
  • Non-Damaging Status Infliction Attack: "Call the Shot" inflicts the Mark status and massively decreases the target's evasion.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: She is the only hero that has her field sprite in a sideview instead of an angled view.
  • Rich Bitch: She repeatedly alludes to a noble upbringing, and mentions being accustomed to hunting alongside servants that cater to her needs. An abusive Musketeer fully embraces this trope, displaying naked disdain for her social inferiors.
    Musketeer: The rabble's opinions are the bleatings of simple sheep.
  • Second Place Is for Losers: Based on her Crimson Court special trinkets, the Musketeer suffered a blow to her confidence after getting second place in a prestigious marksmanship competition, having missed a single shot.
  • Shout-Out: Her predetermined name was originally Quiet, but this was later changed to the Meaningful Name above. Her quote if chosen as the sacrifice to the Heart of Darkness is "All for one, and one for all!"
  • Technician vs. Performer: The Technician to the Arbalest's Performer, as noted above: a hobbyist hunter and wealthy competitive marksman who spent her whole life training to shoot, rather than an army medic who picked up her skills in the field. As also noted, like many Technicians in fiction, she has a bad habit of choking under pressure.
  • This Cannot Be!: The quote from her Crimson Court trinket set. As with the others, it ties in with the backstory revealed in her origin comic:
    Musketeer: I... I missed!? But how...?

Non-Player Characters

     The Heir
"I beg you, return home! Claim your birthright! And deliver our family from the ravenous, clutching shadows... of the Darkest Dungeon."

"You answered the letter.... now you are bound to this place."

As the last living member of a disgraced noble household, the Heir came to the hamlet at the request of the now-deceased Ancestor, who, after releasing a "crawling chaos" and other monstrosities onto their ancestral home, has begged the Heir to return and fix the damage the Ancestor brought forth.

  • Ambiguous Situation: The ending to the game hints that the Heir commits suicide after defeating the Heart of Darkness, but the entire thing is ambiguous enough to be open to interpretation. Furthermore, there are hints that the Estate is trapped in an endless time loop, condemning the Heir, their heroes, and the monsters of the Estate to an endless struggle against the Heart of Darkness.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Possibly. As the heir to a hereditary estate, it's not unreasonable to assume that you have a title attached. The default name of the estate is "the Darkest Estate", meaning you might well be Lord or Lady Darkest.
  • Bad Boss: You are allowed to play in this manner; after all, keeping heroes sane and healthy takes a lot of work and money. Giving them insufficient supplies, letting them die and firing the crazies so you can hire new ones? This kind of depraved pragmatism is downright encouraged by both the intro, and the Ancestor himself in a few lines of dialogue. Alternately....
  • Benevolent Boss: To the heroes that you spend the money on, you're their best friend. You pay for their medical treatment, provide them any luxury they want so they stay sane and happy, equip them with the finest weapons and armor money can buy, give them the best instructors and trainers so they're the best of the best, and make sure they have everything they need to fight the evil lurking in the dark. This is somewhat Enforced, as why not make optimal use of them when you've already invested so much time and money into their development?
  • Driven to Suicide: The Heir is implied to commit suicide in the ending. Apparently, knowledge of the Heart of Darkness was too much for the Heir to bear.
  • Featureless Protagonist: The only time you ever see the protagonist is a featureless silhouette in a cutscene. No other information is ever given about what the heir looks like. This isn't strange, since the protagonist is you. The ending shows a ghostly form implied to be the Heir, haunting the estate in death, but it's skeletal enough to remain featureless.
  • Generation Xerox: Implied. Like the Ancestor, you are expending vast quantities of treasure and other people's blood puttering about with the occult. Like him, assuming the player acts as the Ancestor expects his heir to behave, you churn through vast quantities of dead bodies doing it, often abandoning those who are no longer useful. The only difference is that, unlike him, you are building instead of tearing down and acting to fix what he started. In addition, the ending implies that the Heir Ate His Gun like the Ancestor did upon learning all the details surrounding the Heart of the World. The ghost in the New Game+ comments on how time repeats itself.
  • Hearing Voices: Implied by the Ancestor's constant narration, which seems to switch between knowledge the Heir could find by going through his notes and direct commentary on the situation at hand. The ending implies he's literally a ghost.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: While you can't directly name the Heir themselves, you can name the Estate after them if you so choose.
  • Impoverished Patrician: Your predecessor's luxurious existence bled the coffers plenty, before his other pursuits claimed the rest. There's still a fortune laying around the manor... but those heroes are an insatiable money pit.
  • Non-Entity General: Manages the hamlet, hires heroes, and gives them orders, but is never seen or heard, except in the New Game cutscene (the featureless silhouette seen through the window of the coach travelling to the Estate is probably the only image of The Heir).
  • Unwitting Pawn: Potentially. The Heart, disguised as the Ancestor or having assimilated him, claims that it drove you to "right his wrongs" so that it could feed on the dead heroes left behind by your crusade.
  • We Have Reserves: Since it's pretty much unavoidable for heroes to get afflictions, diseases, or negative quirks (all of which can be expensive to heal), and you're bound to lose some of them along the way, the game encourages you to treat the heroes at your service as disposable assets.
    Ancestor: Trouble yourself not with the cost of this crusade. Its noble end affords you broad tolerance in your choice of means...

     The Ancestor
" At last, in the salt-soaked crags beneath the lowest foundations we unearthed that damnable portal and antediluvian evil..."

"In time, you will know the tragic extent of my failings..."

The relative of the player character who unearthed the portal and caused this whole mess to begin with. Having committed suicide some time before the game's events, he now serves as the game's narrator. Voiced by Wayne June.

  • Aristocrats Are Evil: In life, he was well on the path to becoming a full-fledged Dark Lord, and in death, he (arguably) became even worse. Seriously, a lot of the antagonists you face look like angels compared to the Ancestor at his worst, and he's responsible for most of those antagonists existing in the first place.
    • Before he entered the world of the occult, he threw massive hedonistic parties to lure in his rivals and hunt them down for sport. Then one day, he accidentally targeted a vampire, got lucky and killed her (or so he thought), then got REALLY unlucky when his "REALLY Bloody Mary" concoction drove everyone insane. Oops.
    • He also possessed blatant malice and hatred toward the Miller, even expressing glee at the man's downfall and loss of humanity at the hands of the Comet. He explicitly states that his only regret was that he didn't get to see the Miller's home collapse from the Comet's infection of the Farmstead.
  • Ancestral Weapon: You can acquire his old firearm, the Ancestor's Pistol, a powerful Cool Gun, which gives accuracy and dodge bonuses. Most notably, he used it in the intro to off himself.
  • The Atoner: He did monstrous things to innocent people simply to sate his boredom and curiosity. All the evils that now assail the estate are his fault. By the end, however, he appears to genuinely regret it all, and his shade seems at least moderately remorseful and happy to see you restoring its former order and glory. Sort of twisted at the end: The Ancestor was always a corrupt noble, but when he discovered the Heart, he gained enlightenment and a newfound faith in the eldritch gods in the core of the world. All of his "mistakes" were just pragmatic applications of who he always was, and his entire foolish quest to unearth his god was him paying atonement and tribute for his human failings. And assuming The Heart isn't lying (which it is known to do) or impersonating him, he doesn't regret a thing: even in death, he serves the Heart of Darkness as its herald, having lured the Heir and the party to the Hamlet to help accelerate his master's awakening.
  • Badass Beard: Grew out a magnificent grey one in his twilight years, having before a devilishly handsome goatee, and a Badass Mustache in his youth.
  • Badass Normal: He fought and incapacitated (and nearly killed) the Countess with a simple knife when she was in her Vampire form; a very impressive feat considering how powerful she is, and the fact he was just a normal human at the time.
  • Badass Longcoat: In his later years, he wore a very impressive leather greatcoat, one which you can actually acquire in-game as a powerful trinket, the Ancestor's Coat. It provides a massive bonus to dodge… at the cost of increasing the hero's stress levels.
  • Bad Boss: Sweet light. Let's preface this by saying he practically betrayed almost everyone who worked under him or was in his employment, and usually inflicted a Cruel and Unusual Death in the process. The Pirates who plundered loot and gathered artifacts for him? He put a cursed anchor on their ship that plunged them into the depths for eternity (and he did this as punishment for them asking for extra hazard pay). The Necromancers he invited to the estate to learn the shadowy art? He murdered them in their sleep and stole their secrets. The Miners who helped him unearth The Heart of Darkness? He abandoned them while he fled in terror. Desperate miller under his employ who asked for help with his barren fields? He fooled him into thinking he was using magic to help their growth while really arranging for them to be hit by an eldritch meteorite. And countless other examples. This is by far his most detestable trait.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: His dialogue implies that he committed suicide while the townsfolk/soldiers were storming the manor to try and arrest him. Given the horrible things he has done it's likely they would have led him to the gallows in short order anyways.
  • Break Them by Talking: Does this to the Gibbering Prophet, when he runs out of ways to get rid of the self-proclaimed prophet ranting in his estate. He invites the man to his manor, and shows the Prophet what he's been doing. It works.
  • Despair Event Horizon: He crosses over it once he realises the sheer magnitude of what he's done, promptly putting a bullet into his head in pure despair.
  • Determined Defeatist: He tends to flipflop on how much he believes in you, but ultimately thinks you have a chance.
    (stoically) "A trifling victory..." (hopefully) "but a victory none the less."
  • Dirty Old Man: He was a rake all his life, and the opening cinematic shows him with a group of prostitutes who are obviously a few decades his junior.
  • Driven to Suicide: The sheer weight of all the horrible things he's done, and the long-overdue karma taking advantage of his weakness to finish him off, eventually drive the Ancestor to put a bullet in his own head after he sends the heir the letter.
  • Dug Too Deep: His worst, and final mistake.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": His name is never said, and he's only known as the Ancestor. One of his lines implies the villagers did this on purpose.
  • Evil Genius: Very Downplayed. When it comes to the act of formulating and enacting an Evil Plan, the Ancestor was fiendishly intelligent; however, when it came to foreseeing the consequences of said actions, the Ancestor was lacking in every sense of the word.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Wayne June gives him a gravelly, sonorous baritone voice that perfectly portrays his weariness and the sheer depths of his depravity, and, when serving as the Heart's puppet, adds the necessary menace to his proclamations.
  • Fiction 500: Every gold piece, precious gem, and priceless heirloom you recover was once part of his Estate's vast fortune. The Ancestor was stupendously wealthy.
  • For the Evulz: Everything he did, from the experiments on the swine, creating the necromancers, working with the Hag, and opening the portal beneath the manor, were done out of simple boredom.
    • He planned to kill the Countess when she showed up to the Court both because he sensed she was a threat and also as "a grand show of sadistic sport." When he discovered she was a vampire, he then took her blood and added it to the wine served at the Court for the sheer hell of it.
    • His solution to the Miller's plight regarding his poor harvest was to summon an eldritch horror from the stars to infest the Farmstead and turn everyone there into crystalline husks. He doesn't even really bother justifying this beyond his own curiosity and sheer hatred for the Miller.
    • As Chris Bourassa said shortly after The Color of Madness DLC was announced to be in the works.
    A highlight of doing @DarkestDungeon DLCs is I can keep making the ancestor a bigger and bigger jerk :)
  • Gory Discretion Shot: His suicide in the opening cutscene is represented by a gunshot heard and the screen turning red while you just see the outside of the Estate being deprecated and sprouting tentacles.
  • The Hedonist: He started out as a lazy scoundrel spending all his time on pleasures of the flesh… before he got jaded and started taking up more "rarified" pursuits.
  • Hypocrite: The Ancestor calls the Abbot thinking his religion gives him a connection to the divine to be madness… when the Ancestor is very much aware that higher creatures exist and possibly has sworn his loyalty to one in death, or is in some way connected to it.
    • Ironically, he mentions that he supposes he could have put a stop to the Baron's torturous depravities, but admits he indulged similarly and casting stones at the Baron would have made him a hypocrite.
  • Idle Rich: This all happened because he "...tired of conventional extravagance..." and decided investigating rumors of unimaginable power underneath his manor would be an interesting thing to look into.
  • Instant Expert: Averted. When trying his hand at blood rituals, he turns out to be pretty bad at it, from the beginning to the point where got bored and gave up on it. The failure pile got so big that he decided to dump the whole mess of twitching flesh into the Warrens and forget about it, where it became the Formless Flesh. In fact, even his semi-successful summoning of whatever turned into the Swine King isn't very spectacular, as the monster was created without eyes, a lower half of a body, and was stupid to begin with.
    • Played straight with his attempts at necromancy. He managed to raise the scholars he had killed with most of their intellect intact, something he remarked was a great accomplishment for even someone who was very skilled in the trade. Though that did come back to bite him in the ass.
  • I Was Quite the Looker: Whilst he aged rather gracefully, the Crimson Court reveals the Ancestor wasn't just devilishly handsome in his youth, he was downright ravishing.
  • Kick the Dog: Whilst almost everything he did in life qualifies, his quote when you encounter the Miller shows that even in death, he feels no remorse for what he did to that poor farmer.
    "Ha! The poor fool still stands, battered and broken as his precious mill."
    "My only regret is that I did not live to see that shoddy mill smashed to pieces by the miraculous bounty I reaped from beyond the void!"
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Ironically, the thing that started his descent into evil was poisoning the Hamlet's aristocrats, who certainly had it coming.
  • Knife Nut: Incredibly skilled with a dagger; the Ancestor was able to fend off an Arch Vampire with just his mundane shortblade.
  • Laughing Mad:
    "In the end, I alone fled laughing and wailing through those blackened arcades of antiquity, until consciousness failed me."
  • Mad Scientist: He conducted experiments with pigs, later coming to admit that this was a terrible mistake. This didn't stop him from anything else he did, of course.
  • Mainlining the Monster: After severely wounding the Countess when she showed her true nature, he mixed her blood with wine and served it to the Court. The attending nobles were turned into insect-like vampires, while he retained his humanity by taking just a tiny sip - which was enough to show him visions of the Darkest Dungeon and what lay within.
  • The Man Behind the Monsters: Directly or not, he's responsible for basically every enemy you face. The only thing stopping him from being a full on Big Bad is that he's trying to help you stop what he unleashed. And he's dead.
    • By murdering and subsequently resurrecting a group of expert Necromancers to test his new skills in necromancy (and kept their intelligence intact to boot), they moved into The Ruins and began raising an undead army, which overran the Estate with an absolutely massive amount of armed skeleton soldiers.
    • After giving The Hag plenty of time to research witchcraft and a highly invasive, parasitic and poisonous fungal spore in his own laboratory, he banished her to The Weald after she turned fat and unattractive. Thus, The Weald is now overrun with giant poisonous mushrooms and hordes of fungal zombies (supported by the Hag's own cult of witches).
    • When the townspeople began to rise up against his rituals and secrecy, he hired mercenaries to brutally put down rebellions. Said mercenaries (alongside their artillery pieces) are the bandits roaming the lands around the hamlet, looking for more loot to line their pockets.
    • While striking a deal with ancient eldritch beings in the ocean to get some necessary funding for his experiments, he sacrificed a homeless girl who was both in love with him (and happened to be watching the deal take place) by luring her in with implied romance before tying her to an idol and pushing her into the ocean, presumably into the waiting grasps of the aquatic creatures below. Given that when she's seen again as the Siren later, and how she's described as the Pelagic's queen and slave, it's entirely possible that she's been breeding a massive amount of fishmen to the point of overtaking The Coves and threatening all marine shipment activity around the Hamlet.
    • While trying to learn blood rituals and demonic summonings, he used a large amount of pigs (and possibly humans) as bodily vessels for the incoming demons from the far beyond. Frustrated with the lack of impressive results, he dumped all of his failures in The Warrens and promptly forgot about them. Years later, it turned out that the failed experiments were breeding and multiplying into an army of Pig/Demon/Human hybrids called the Swine, and they've developed a primitive war-culture alongside a monstrous appetite for human flesh, being led by the colossal Swine King (the Ancestor's only 'successful' demonic summoning in his own opinion).
    • The Courtyard was originally a Decadent Court where grand parties were held, but for one reason or another, he decided to slip vampire blood into the wine pool after successfully killing the Countess. The entire party went mad with cannibalizing each other, and what remained was a gigantic entourage of vampiric aristocrats and mutated wildlife, who threaten to spread their vampirism to the Hamlet.
    • Out of scientific curiosity for a gigantic and anomalous meteor he calculated to be soaring through space, he arranged to have it crash land in the Estate by pretending to be helping a desperate farmer with his failing harvest seasons. Sure enough, the farmstead was practically nuked by the meteor when the Ancestor's idols attracted it, and all of the life present was converted to crystalized shadows of their former selves. Time itself was also distorted by the entity that crash landed, meaning that all of the previous monstrosities listed before can find themselves transported from another timeline into the present one.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: After decades of occult-inspired mayhem, and increasingly ridiculous plots to gain ultimate Eldritch power, he had a long-overdue moment of this right after completing the portal into the Darkest Dungeon, finally coming to realise the sheer evil of his actions, with the collective burden of all he's done crushing him in practically a single instant. He doesn't take it well.
  • My Greatest Failure: Considers opening the portal in the Deepest Dungeon under the estate to be this, if his narrations are anything to go by.
    • Considering the amount of lapses in judgement and sheer callous disregard for life he displayed prior to his death, that's really saying something.
    • It's also implied that he seriously regrets not completely killing the Countess. He even commends your party if you beat her, saying they succeeded where he failed.
  • Necromancer: While not his primary pursuit, he brought in necromancer teachers and took to the art quite well. He even managed to bring his teachers back with their intellects intact after killing them.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Normally when recounting his past crimes during loading screens for boss dungeons, the Ancestor sounds fairly stoic and subdued. When he describes what he did to the Miller, he sounds outright gleeful at the poor soul's damnation. It sets a particularly unsettling tone when you're headed to the Farmstead if you're used to his more reserved narration. This tonal shift is never really explained.
  • Opportunistic Bastard: Despite being the root to all of his problems, he also shows an impressive ability to take full advantage of any opportunity that might give him an easy way out of them. Such as the way he dealt with the hedonistic aristocrats of Hamlet after accidentally stumbling upon a real pure-blood vampire during one of his parties...
  • Posthumous Narration: Since he's dead by the time the Heir arrives at the Hamlet, every single form of narration is this.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Both exaggerated and played straight. His great wealth, combined with his jaded pursuit of occult knowledge to alleviate his boredom, may be literally dooming the world. However, on a more ordinary level, he doesn't seem to have been great with money anyway. The Heir finds the estate in poverty and ruin, and the Cove bosses are both tied into his decreasing financial stability as his schemes wore on.
  • Sanity Slippage: It's implied he was undergoing this even in his younger days, mostly due to his annoyances with other aristocrats. He tries to kill a guest at one of his gatherings simply because she seemed like a temptress, then proceeded to harvest her blood and drink some of it while also serving it to his other guests. His dive into witchcraft only quickened his descent.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: The Ancestor has a rather flowery way of talking, which emulates the more purple prosey aspects of Lovecraft's writing.
  • Stupid Evil: Does murdering a cabal of powerful necromancers and then raising them as unholy abominations sound like a good idea in either the moral or practical sense? And that's just the first step on the Ancestor's long path into ruin.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Every single boss in the game was brought into being by his shortsightedness and dark meddling. Some are merely the result of gross negligence and carelessness, like the Flesh and the Hag, some are by-products of his disturbing experiments and bargains with dark powers, like the Swine King and the Siren, and all the rest are the direct result of his deliberately doing very evil things.
    • The Crimson Court DLC reveals he was dumb enough to drink VAMPIRE BLOOD. The ensuing insanity dropped his net IQ by about 30 points.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: Was on the receiving end of this, but killed himself before the mob got to him.
  • Villain Protagonist: The Ancestor is ultimately the most important character in Darkest Dungeon by far, not The Heir. Not only does he have the most pieces of dialogue, the game centers around fixing his mistakes, righting his wrongs, and putting down the many people he's betrayed or hurt. The Crimson Court's storyline, in fact, is solely dedicated to showing his Start of Darkness.
  • You Bastard!: He'll call you out if you fire multiple heroes. Given, what he's done ensures he has little room to talk.
    • Though considering what he says as you venture through the titular Darkest Dungeon about it 'fattening itself on your failures', this might simply be his frustration over no longer having the weaker heroes available as unwilling sacrifices to his dark god.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: He invited scholars of the dark arts to the mansion to study with him and, when he was sure he had exhausted the extent of their knowledge, murdered them in their sleep and reanimated them to flaunt his newfound talent in necromancy. Like all of his experiments, however, it backfired on him horribly and created an endless cycle of the dead reviving the dead that overran the ruins.
    • The Ancestor also hired pirates to raid and plunder ships and smuggle him treasures for his collection. When they tried to demand a higher salary for their services, the Ancestor tied them to their own anchor and had them dragged down to the depths. Unfortunately for your heroes, they didn't die.

     The Caretaker
"Oh Light, burn my soul! Ha ha ha ha ha!"

"I fear his long-standing duties may have... affected him."

The old, weary, and completely insane groundskeeper of your family estate, now employed to you as part of your inheritance. He manages most of the day-to-day work so you don't have to, but he also uses his wages on the Tavern and Church, leaving you with one less stress-relief activity time slot for your heroes. To be fair, he definitely needs it.

  • Arc Symbol: The introduction makes it a point to have his riding crop/whip form the stress symbol over his deranged face when you're told that 'There can be no bravery without madness'.
  • The Alcoholic: Spends much of his free time drinking himself to death at the bar.
  • Almighty Janitor: Not a janitor, but instead the estate's groundkeeper, and despite being hopelessly old and mentally broken beyond repair he's able to handle all of the Hamlet's essential needs by himself. Notably, when the stagecoach crashes in the Weald, he's nowhere to be found, and Reynauld and Dismas (two armed and experienced adventurers) have to cross through a path that has a decent chance of killing them before they even see town. The Caretaker meanwhile is implied to have just ran through the Blighted Woods and all of its threats and straight into the Hamlet despite just being in a large crash.
  • Broken Smile: Constantly sports a permanent, deranged grin.
  • Despair Event Horizon: He crossed it long ago, and occasionally partakes of the Hamlet's facilities to try and soothe his mind, taking a sometimes really needed slot in the process.
  • Dirty Old Man: Clearly he's way out of his prime, and he refers to the local brothel girls as "his pets"...
  • Eldritch Abomination: After a few rounds of the final dungeon, he'll occasionally appear briefly as a tentacled abomination, most notably on the provisions screen. While it may be a hallucination, it may also hint to something far more sinister.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Despite being utterly broken beyond repair, the Caretaker will always be there to drive the stagecoach bringing you recruits, provide you with supplies, and keep the graveyard clean and well maintained. It's heavily implied the Caretaker knew about and assisted the Ancestor in doing his vile, horrible crimes against humanity.
    "Let me share with you the terrible secrets I have come to know..."
  • Perpetual Smiler: He has a constant and manic ear-to-ear grin when doing practically anything. He can't seem to control it either, seeing how when he's showing you the Graveyard for your fallen Heroes, he's trying to cover his mouth while otherwise having somber eyes.
  • Undying Loyalty: Has this for the Heir and Ancestor's family. Probably the only reason he hasn't put a bullet into his own skull.

     The Crier
"Despondency and ambivalence seem to be on the wind."

"What little there is must suffice, for the time being..."

The Town Crier of the Hamlet who announces town events as they come up. Like the Caretaker, he might take up one of your Tavern or Church slots for the week.

The Butcher's Circus

     The Ringmaster
The mysterious woman in charge of the Butcher's Circus who provides the heroes with trinkets upon their win and acts as an announcer for the fights.
  • Arc Symbol: The spiked helmets she and her troupe are wearing bear a great resemblance to the stress symbol.
  • Flat Character: She's the head honcho of the Butcher's Circus and that's all we really know about her.
  • Neutral Evil: She's not a monster birthed by the manor and she's not here to hinder your progress in any way, she just happens to have her business here in the Hamlet. That being said, she lets people fight to the death in her arena for entertainment and gives them little more than quaint baubles they won't really be able to use anywhere else for it, so she's not exactly a good person either.
  • Repulsive Ringmaster: Her "circus" is really just a gladitorial arena where people beat each other to death and if the deranged grin she gives in the after-battle screen is any indication, she's pretty happy with her job.

"We are NOT the Flame! We are but moths, and we are DOOMED!"

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