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Headscratchers / Darkest Dungeon

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     Are Light powers also a manifestation of the Heart? 
  • Are Light powers, like the Vestal's no-cost physical healing and the Crusader's scroll, also a manifestation of the Heart, or actually has another origin?? Because I always found odd that it's minions wouldn't use it, and that there exists a power that actually resorts solely on it's holy aura to counter the Heart, without asking for a price for the bearer... unless you take into consideration their past, but still, I always wanted to ask this to the devs in the official forums but for some reason the page never loads for me.
    • There are two explanations for the Light:
      • First is that it's a competing entity on the same scale as the Heart, only this one is more benevolent toward humans. Color of Madness supports this, as the Sleeper is another cosmic entity in direct opposition to the Heart. If the Light is created by a benevolent entity, then the potential conflict between the Heart and the Sleeper even further backs this up, as such an entity wouldn't want to directly fight the Heart due to the risk of destroying the world it wants to protect.
      • The second theory, supported by Word of God, is that the Light is a manifestation of the faith of humanity itself. In other words, humanity believes in the Light so fervently that this is expressed in the creation of divine powers. Either mankind actually created a god in the form of the Light through sheer willpower, or human willpower is so strong that they can create these powers themselves through sheer delusion and belief.
      • The first hypothesis is also supported by the sonorous prophet, given that his visions and unkillability really can't be explained any other way.
    • A pet theory: humanity is born of and from the Heart. The Ancestor's manifestation makes clear there is no meaningful distinction between us and it. Ergo, the miracles of the Light are a manifestation of humanity's innate cosmic powers filtered through the lens of their faith and superstition.

     Vestals.. in the brothel? 
  • How does a vestal virgin visit a brothel? Note that she can catch syphilis, so something sexual is going on.
    • Perhaps her church only considers vaginal sex to be "real" sex. If so, then she may practice other forms of sexual intercourse without ruining her "purity".
    • She could also be engaging in Platonic Prostitution, or making herself feel better by giving the ladies/gentlemen of the night a sermon. She only gets syphilis due to Gameplay and Story Segregation.
    • There's no proof that the game is set in our world. The class may be named "Vestal", but that doesn't mean she belongs to the historical Roman order of virgin priestesses (who weren't soldier-nuns anyway).
    • When paranoid, the Vestal can make a scathing remark about people trying to grope the virgin. The Vestal order may not work the same way as nuns do IRL, but the Vestal is clearly supposed to be a virgin. She may either do the above suggestion about "alternative" sexual acts or has a severely suppressed and screwed up sexuality that she's in denial over.
      • Checking the wiki, there's no instance of a Vestal talking about "groping the virgin." Further, both her trinkets and her barks imply that she sinned in some manner that resulted in her being despised by her convent before coming to the Hamlet.
      • The wiki is irrelevant. You can find the line about people trying to "brush up against the virgin" by simply looking through the game's files.
      • Being in the localization files is also irrelevant if the game doesn't have a trigger to use that dialogue line.
      • Another thing to remember is that even if she says the line, it's spoken while the Vestal is Afflicted. Characters are not in their right mind while Afflicted. She might say she's a virgin, but whether she's actually one is not really known.
    • One of the Vestal's Crimson Court trinkets is a "Salacious Diary" indicating that she's likely got some form of impurity and sexual desires. This may be what got her kicked out in the first place.
    • There’s also the simple explanation: denial. Just because there are rules to follow, doesn’t mean she actually follows them.
    • We also now know thanks to the Vestal's backstory comic that she definitely had some form of impure thoughts, and they were powerful enough that she ended up neglecting her duties in her particular church. It's possible that since she's no longer bound to any particular abbey that she's free to indulge in her vices in a manner that she couldn't have while cloistered.

     Why would the Blacksmith craft a broken sword for the Leper? 
  • Why does the blacksmith intentionally craft a broken sword for the Leper to use?
    • Easy, because the Heir ordered one, specifically one snapped x units away from the hilt, since the blades the Leper uses don't seem to vary much in length. How the blacksmith first reacted to this order is another story, however. As for why the Leper demands a broken sword in the first place ... him using a ruined sword is symbolic of his status of a "ruined man". Maybe.
    • Or maybe the Leper is just used to using a massive broken sword (the one he uses resembles something that an executioner would use for clean decapitations, which would be too heavy for normal combat without a bit of it snapped off).
      • Why doesn't he use a shortened, but not broken, executioner's sword, or just another sword type altogether?
      • Possibly because he'd gotten used to fighting with this exact type of a sword but now can no longer swing something of that weight as well due to his leprosy and thus uses a sword that is the same but lighter due to being "cut short".
    • Assuming that anyone in the Hamlet knows of his royal roots, his backstory comic shows that he is, or at least was, a beloved ruler before he contracted his disease and exiled himself. He probably requested that the sword be forged that way, and when a guy that powerful and respected says "jump", you say "how high".
    • Considering the Leper's Death Seeker tendencies, he was probably very insistent the blacksmith not waste resources on him by giving him a completely new sword.
    • There's also the fact that the broken sword resembles an executioner's sword. Aside from the symbolism, the flat tips they have give them a completely different distribution of weight to a normal sword of the same size. He's basically got a fighting style that relies on a flat/broken tipped sword (which fits with his "cleave everything in two" style).
    • Adding to the above, his sword is probably the heaviest weapon of all the heroes. In order to wield something like that effectively, even a ‘new’ sword would need a similar weight distribution.
    • Y Ou guys are missing the point. Even if it were an issue of weight distribution, the blacksmith could still just forge a sword that already had a flat tip instead of wasting time forging a normal sword just to break off the tip.
    • Like everything else in Darkest Dungeon, the Blacksmith is another abstraction of what is likely happening. He likely isn't forging an actual broken sword for the Leper, he's just forging a better weapon. The sprites never visually change to reflect their improved gear. Similarly, the Blacksmith likely isn't forging a new set of skin for the Flagellant or making new claws for the Abomination.
    • He is royalty, and some of his quotes implies he is very attached to the sword, it is likely he is not making a new sword but rather repairing an old heirloom to its former glroy

     Religious characters shun the abomination, but not the Occultist? 
  • Anyone else think it's a bit odd that the Religious characters shun the Abomination but have no problem working with an Occultist?
    • It might be because the Abomination didn't always have his monstrous side under wraps, unlike the Occultist, who apparently hasn't had any ... accidents yet.
    I would but I am not fully in control... (From a depressed Abomination refusing to perform a camp skill.)
    How can it be my fault? I have no control over it! (From a selfish Abomination during camping)
    Perhaps this violence will soothe it, keep it sleeping... (From an Abomination becoming masochistic)
    I am a threat to the innocent. Darkness claim me. (From a depressed Abomination moving forward on his own)
    • Looking at his backstory comic, in which he (either on purpose or accidentally) transforms into a beast and breaks free to slaughter his captors, the above is pretty plausible.
    • Pure politics. The Occultist heals the Leper and Crusader, and doesn't take their usual spot in a party. Vestal got outvoted.
    • The Occultist is a scholar, he simply has a bit of a weird focus to this but hey, the weird stuff is something he calls on, not a part of himself. The Abomination, on the other hand ... well, he does not call on that monstrosity of his, he lets it loose; that's quite an important difference to people who don't really care about getting to know their companions in-depth.
    • Another thing to remember is that church doctrine is not 100% ironclad and that it can change depending on how high-ranking members view and interpret their doctrines and texts. It's entirely possible that the Occultist and those like him (since one town event implies there are communities and organizations of such practitioners) are "accepted" under the current Church of Light doctrine, but that Abominations are not.
    • It's also possible that the religious characters are reacting not so much to what the Abomination is but to the brand on his head. The big "A" on his head may be a brand of excommunication or heresy within the Church of the Light, and those who devoutly follow the doctrines of the Church are expected to shun those with the brand. In this case, it wouldn't be that the Abomination is a transforming monster but rather that the Abomination committed a crime that led to them being branded, akin to the Heretic Brand in Dishonored.
    • Adding to the above, the story doesn’t really explain the ‘how/why’ of the abomination’s monstrous side. The Occultist could be liken to something like a mercenary as far as the church is concerned. ie They think its wrong, but too useful to persecute. The Abomination might have a very specific stigma attached to him. It also helps to keep in mind: the church has an ‘A’ brand, and they expect everyone to know what that brand means. So, its implied: “Our church hates you enough to have a brand specifically designed for your type of person.”
  • As or the Leper who like Abomination are both outcasts. The Leper does not like how under extreme stress the Abomination cannot transform and ironically enough able to become heroic when he is a monster. The Leper is not as cruel when afflicted and apologize for his failures.
    This rider is more wild and untamed than the warmount he rides to war.
  • And now that the Color of Madness patch is out, religious classes will party with either with no dramas. Presumably sharing a bonfire with the Abomination for almost a year caused the Leper to relent, and he went and yelled at the rest of them.
  • Putting this here since its related, from a design standpoint why was the Abomination (who is designed to also be a believer in the Light) originally shunned by religious characters over other characters like the Occultist or Hellion and make him the only character that has this problem?
    • The Abomination was a unique character added to the game with his own unique mechanics, particularly his transformation ability, and that transformation was tied to his curse which made religious characters shun him. Note that even if he is a believer in the Light, he isn't considered religious by the game and wouldn't get any benefits from abilities that influence religious characters. it wasn't until later that Red Hook removed this restriction because of how unpopular it was and how often it was being modded out.

     What was the ancestor's goal? 
  • What exactly was the ancestor planning to do with his "thing", i.e. the progenitor of all mankind? And, far more to the point, how could he have showed it, and told all about it, to the Prophet when he himself should have already been driven mad by it in the first place?
    • It's most likely that at this point in his notes the ancestor had only just reached the portal leading to the "thing", and his plan with it was exactly what caused the Prophet to lose his mind once he realized the ancestor was about to do what he'd warned against - awaken it.
    • We know as of The Crimson Court that the Ancestor's drive to reach the Heart only emerged after he had tasted a drop of the Countess' blood, which gave him the knowledge of the Heart's existence. Considering that drinking more of the blood of the Countess turned the people of the Court into horrifying mutant vampires, it stands to reason that the Ancestor's debauched madness was only further enhanced and that he wasn't thinking very rationally afterward.
    • The introduction to the game says as much as to why he went after the Heart: he was bored and didn't know what was down there, and his mad debauchery was demanding ever greater sources of power and eldritch knowledge.
    • Some of the language in the narrative suggests he’s not so much ‘trying to right his wrongs’ as ‘trying to remove the embarassments of his failed experiments.’ Everything having to do with the Swine army suggests this. For the mercenaries, Hag, and Siren, it sounds more like revenge or spite out of disgust. For the Prognosticator its trying to finish off an irritation that refuses to die. For the Necromancer, it sounds like offing the competition.
    • For The Sleeper, his narrative sounds more like remorse for a missed opportunity. He regards every other area as an outright failure. For the farmstead, he seems actually pretty pleased with the results. Putting all that together, he wants the embarassments gone, and he wants the power hanging out at the farmstead.

     How can Dismas carry his own head in a bag? 
  • How can Dismas carry his own head in a bag?
    • The Collector is a dimension traveller. He simply happened upon the (many) dimensions where Dismas, Barristan, and Junia bit it. So the head Dismas is carrying around is not his, exactly — although it's understandably stressful to do so.
    • The Hamlet may be caught in a Vicious Cycle with the final boss. The head of Dismas in the bag is merely from a previous cycle. Same person, but different point in time.
      • Very much that, yes. NG+ supports this theory.
    • The Sleeper's presence plus the Heart of Darkness strongly imply that the Estate is trapped in a temporal loop of some kind.
    • Less mystically, it could be a case of Name's the Same. Perhaps the original Dismas, Junia and Barristan were the most famous members of their respective professions (that would explain why their heads are powerful trinkets), and the adventurers named themselves after them when they chose their professions.

     How do you control who the final boss attacks? 
  • How does the Heir control which heroes the Heart of Darkness takes? Also, why does the Heart of Darkness allow the Heir to pick both sacrificial heroes in the first place? One hero makes sense, but why both? As the main page points out, if the player knows what is coming, the Heir can simply take two, somewhat disliked heroes and sacrifice them to the boss. Why doesn't the Heart let the Heir choose one hero and, perhaps after implying the other heroes would be safe, immediately kill another hero without the Heir's input? Also, why can't the Heir pick oneself as a sacrifice? For a creature of immense power and cruelty, the Heart of Darkness could be a bigger jerk than it is in-game.
    • It's like this: The Heir is travelling with the adventurers (this is why the final boss stuff got witnessed, you know), even if not shown on the screen, and ordering them around. There has to be a sacrifice, and presumably if it is not done, then either the Heir would have bitten the dust or everyone would. So the Heir, being their boss, can tell someone to take it instead or even force them to do it. That's basically it; you aren't a commander telling a random unnamed unit to sacrifice themselves for the good of all, you are a guy standing behind your party who pretty much pushes one of them to die just to avoid dying yourself. And sure, you could do that to an adventurer you do not like, but considering what you are doing, it would just make you a bigger arsehole (because, rather than being out of fear, it would be premeditated).
    • The Heir is not part of the expedition and has no control over it. It's just another gameplay mechanic.
  • Its a sadistic choice. You don't control its attacks. It is "forcing you to choose" which of your best heroes to return to the source, to burden you mentally.
    • The Heir is not part of the expeditions, the actions they take during the fight are not the Heir giving commands but there own choices, all of them imply they know there death is coming, and many of them face it with stalwart resolve , instead of being choosing who it attacks it may be a case of who steps up and takes the bullet

     Why does the Heir never get attacked? 
  • Why do none of the monsters in the game ever take a lunge at the Heir? Even the Heart of Darkness doesn't, even when it's on the verge of death and, given how the Heart allows the Heir to choose which heroes the Heart insta-kills, likely knows where the Heir is?
    • Well, it wants the heir to make this crusade to sacrifice as many lives as possible, so it will most likely prevent the monsters from jumping directly at the heir because then this crusade would most likely come to an end. And why it doesn't when it is almost defeated? That's most likely because "Come unto your maker" can as it looks in its current state only be used a few times and most likely only in a few meteres around it and besides, at this point, killing the heir would be too late anyway, the heroes fighting it wouldn't know directly and even if, they would most likely keep killing it and at this point the Heart is most likely too busy preventing the heroes from defeating it. Which was very likely not its plan.
    • The Heir probably is standing so far behind the party that you'd assume the monsters would want to break through the heroes first. The fact that they're the one carrying the torch might also have something to do with it, as a lot of monsters in various lore do fear fire to some degree, so they'd rather attack other targets if any. And as for the one specific attack, my headcanon is that this one attack is aimed either at the whole party or at the Heir specifically, which is why you can choose: you push forward someone to take the attack either for all or for you specifically (I prefer the latter to be true) and the attack animation is simply not an accurate representation of the true horror of the attack.
    • Word of God is that the Heir isn't part of the expeditions and stays at the Hamlet.

     Why are cultists allowed to roam free? 
  • Why are the Cultists and the Madmen allowed to battle alongside the horrors of the Estate? The Swine worship the Arc Symbol that the Cultists wear, yeah, but it'd be doubtful to think that they'll let some free, perfectly fresh human meat just walk among them. The Fishmen in The Cove, the Undead in The Ruins, and the Fungal in The Weald are probably too territorial to just accept the Cultists fighting among them, especially considering how the Undead and Fungal are basically mindless. The most puzzling thing, though, is during the Wolves at the Door quest, where the perfectly human Brigands have Madmen razing the town with them. They couldn't have weaponized the psychological tormentors so easily without going mad themselves or having the Madmen just flee instead of following them into town.
    • The Fungals seem to be created and controlled by the Hag and her coven of Crones and Viragos. I imagine they at least would be able to strike bargains with the Cultists. The Pelagics worship the same god, definitely can be bargained with, and share an interest in human sacrifice. They way I imagine it more generally is that they just gang up on your party when they hear you coming, or pile in opportunistically when they see you fighting another faction. They might hate each other, but they hate you more, and you're objectively the greater threat.
    • It's likely that the Heart and the cultists serving it are acknowledged and accepted by the various hostile factions running around the estate's grounds. Since all of the unholy corruption and foul magics that birthed each of the forces in each region originated from the Heart, it would make sense that those who served it are accepted as part of their own, or that those who work for these groups would be unwilling to risk the ire of the cultists and their true master.
    • It could be that the Madmen aren't actually fighting you there just running around screaming which is why they're so difficult to hit, they never actually attack your heros they just constantly scream which really stresses your heros out, and all the other enemies just ignore him because they're busy fighting you, for Wolves at the Door it would make sense that a bunch of crazy people would escape the sanitarium during the raid
    • If you want to make this darker: the Madman might be a slave / prisoner, tortured to instanity by whatever faction captured them. He might not be so much ‘allowed to roam free’ as ‘so broken, he’ll follow orders to some extent and undermine the morale of future groups.’ Going even darker: some of those Madmen might have been your heroes who weren’t ‘completely dead’ by the end of a fight.
    • For the Cultists, they represent the Heart. They’re either frenemies with the other factions, or those factions find the Heart too intimidating to declare war on.

     How can the Swine Prince see Wilbur's flags? 
  • If the Swine Prince is blind, how can Wilbur communicate with him via flags?
    • It might not be blind as much as it "got really, really, really bad eyesight", akin to a frog's (motion-based). Wilbur's flags moves in direct waving motion towards the designated targets, so the Swine Prince/King/God just swings in that direction and due to being so massive, avoiding the strike is a feat of luck at best. Or for a easy example, Wilbur is the "matador" to the Swine Prince's/King's/God's "bull".
    • Wilbur squeals rather loudly while marking heroes, it could also be him just shouting the general location of a target he wants dead.
      • Then what's the point of the flags themselves?
    • The Swine Prince probably doesn’t ‘see’ in the conventional sense. He’s a partial eldritch abomination. If he was still subject to the rules of normal biology, the exposed brain and intestines would have done him in long before the heroes face him.

     The Fanatic announcing his presence in town 
  • When the infection rates in the Estate reach a high enough point, it will catch the attention of The Fanatic, a zealous madman who's on a crusade to eradicate everything infected with the Crimson Court with no exceptions. When that town event happens, you can spot him standing in the center of town with his pyre and... that's it. Did he come into town just to let everyone know personally he's going to kill them all, and then leave without making a single move on them? Along with that, wouldn't someone as fanatical as him try to tackle the Crimson Court's vampires in their point of origin now that he's in the area? For someone so devoted to killing vampires, he seems to be avoiding the source of the problem.
    • The Fanatic is explicitly described as insane and irrational.
    • Its likely that the Fanatic didn't "announce" his presence so much as he just passed through town and was noticed. There's also the fact that he is a vampire hunter, which means there's a good chance that at first glance everyone thought he was another heroic adventurer and didn't realize he was going to kill anyone infected until later on. He's probably also going into the Court periodically as well - there's a town event where you can recover some of his anti-vampire weaponry where the art depicts it as being found in the Court - it's just that we don't see him and never see him directly unless he's coming after our heroes.

     Still Not Used To Seeing It? 
  • I realize this is just gameplay/story segregation, but why is it the other heroes continue to be freaked out every single time The Abomination transforms? It's obvious even in that form, he's still on their side. Plus they should be used to seeing him change over and over. Especially if he's with other characters multiple times or even those like the Occultist who would have seen stuff like this before.
    • In a lot of Lovecraftian stories, it's not so much that something is freaky or disgusting but rather things cause supernatural fear and horror in direct response to seeing them, manipulating the chemical responses in your brain. It doesn't matter how accustomed you are to an event if every time it occurs, your body's biochemical processes respond in the same way, triggering the same reactions. You might be intellectually aware of the monstrosity and have seen it many times, but if every time it happens, your body reacts the same way — shock, fear, revulsion — then it's still going to put a strain on you.
    • There’s also the part where its suggested the heroes never actually get over what they saw in the beginning. If you look at all the different ways you can ‘heal’ the characters, none of them are necessarily that positive: alcoholism, compulsive gambling, nymphomania, clinging to faith, and self harm. If you look at the ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ traits, they aren’t labeled as such based on cultural norms, they’re labeled in regards to whether or not they benefit YOU. You’re not helping them. You’re applying bandaids until they are no longer useful. The ‘cures’ are medieval. For things like Syphilus, there’s probably no cure with their technology, so at best the medics are experimenting with black magic, which in that universe will drive the hero insane eventually. The reason (in theory) player doesn’t witness the more permanent downward spiral, is either the hero dies, or the game ends before the heroes turn into actual broken shells of their former selves.

     Heart Attacks 
  • The way the game portrays heart attacks is completely incorrect. Heart attacks via stress take years in order for the heart to degrade enough to have a heart attack.
    • To be fair, eldritch abominations are involved here. Also, a few of the main characters aren't exactly young anymore (especially the Man-at-Arms), and, considering the backstories revealed so far, them having an overall stressful life is a given.
    • Considering that this is a fantasy setting with fantastical diseases, magic, and afflictions, it's entirely possible that the stress and horrors of being exposed to such eldritch nightmares could be causing magical heart failure.
    • Look up cardiac arrest and athletes. Especially, runners, boxers, and soccer players. Its actually not that far off the mark. The heroes are constantly fighting, taking life threatening injuries, doping, getting instantly ‘healed,’ and then getting those injuries again, and doping again. Keep that going for hours or days, and its more surprising some of them go as long as they do without going into cardiac arrest.
      • Heart attack and Cardiac Arrest are two very different medical conditions, but that mistake may have been on the Devs' part.
    • That and the medical treatments and drugs that are being used to deal with the stress is likely not that healthy in the long term either. For example, the main consumable you use to mitigate horror is laudanum, otherwise known as liquid opium.

     Returning to the Darkest Dungeon 
  • Heroes will only refuse to go into the Darkest Dungeon after they finish a quest there. The Heir could bring them all the way to the boss and retreat, and the heroes will still be willing to return with no resistance, concern, or stress whatsoever.

     Worst. Drum. Ever. 
  • The Swine Drummer's drum skin is made from a stretched-out human face, complete with eye sockets, nostrils, and mouth. In other words, their drum skin already has holes in it. How the actual hell do those drums produce any music at all — or, for that matter, not get ripped apart completely from the force of the drumsticks?!?
    • It's a drum that can literally deal damage to people when you beat on it and even force them into heart attacks. It's safe to say that it isn't a normal drum.
    • Listening to the drum ingame, the beats it emits are rather weak for a war drum, so the already present holes may have lowered its audible power. A case of When All You Have Is a Hammer… on the Swines part, perhaps.
    • It's also said that they don't really play any sort of tune, they just bang on it as hard as they can to rally their allies. So they wouldn't really care what it sounds like. Plus, the human face thing would be excellent at demoralizing their enemies.
    • We don’t know what’s in the drum, or how its made to produce the Brown Note. If you look up Aztec Death Whistles they can sound like hundreds of people screaming all at once. Its pretty unnerving to actually listen to.
    • We also don't know the interior construction of the drum. It's possible that the 'face' skin is stretched over a functional drum as some sort of drum cover.
      • If that were the case then they'd still need to remove the cover before playing. Otherwise that saggy leather flap would cushion their strikes too much for them to actually make drum noises.

     Why is he called "The Ancestor"? 
  • A person isn't commonly referred to as a person's "ancestor" if they're a close relative, at least close enough to be alive at the same time as the descendant, but the fact that he writes the Heir a letter indicates that is the case. So why is he referred to as such?
    • According to the Ancestor, "In truth, I do not know how much time has passed since I sent that letter." Considering the time fuckery going on in the estate, the Schizo Tech, and the fact that it seems like the plot involves a "Groundhog Day" Loop, it is entirely possible that the Ancestor sent that letter hundreds of years ago and the Heir is the latest in a line of descendants.
    • I just thought it was a Shrug of God as to just how he and The Heir are related. He might be your father, your grandfather, or your uncle, once removed.

     Timeline of the Prophet 
  • In the opening cinematic, The Ancestor excavated below the manor, found the portal, opened it, and fled from its contents. In the Prophet intro, the Ancestor said he took the Prophet underground, showed him "the thing", and the Prophet was driven mad. How does the timeline of this sync up? I think it's fair to assume "the thing" isn't the portal; the portal's just a big door. It could be The Heart of Darkness, but that contradicts the opening narration. How are we meant to reconcile the two stories?
    • It's possible that he did show the Prophet the door, or at least some other portent of the Heart deep below. Even glimpses of the iconography of the Heart can drive men to complete madness, after all.
    • Or that, upon that point, he had only been looking into the Ancestor's future (hence why he knew what the man was up to yet not seeing anything horrendous enough to go nuts from it) but when the man showed him the portal, it allowed the Prophet to gaze into the Heart's future instead, (and if seeing just a glimpse of the thing is enough for a massive stress-buff, then seeing its entire future would be more than enough to go completely insane from the experience) and by tearing out his eyes, the prophet simply stopped seeing the actual future but with the knowledge still forever branded into his mind, just started preaching about what he saw instead to others, forming the "Flesh Cult" that's haunting the surroundings of Hamlet once the heroes arrives at the scene.

     Ancestor able to engineer natural disasters? 
  • So the color of madness DLC reveals that the Ancestor arranged for a comet to land on a nearby farm. Um, HOW? This would require him to A) Learn about the existence of other beings like the Heart Of Darkness, B) Learn about the existence of the Sleeper in particular, and then C) Direct it to Earth somehow.
    • He knew about eldritch monsters through both his research and tasting the Countess's blood, well before he encountered the Heart. As for how he got the Comet to arrive, he was already a dabbling summoner of eldritch monsters from other realities as well as an accomplished necromancer, a studied alchemist, and he knew terrible incantations that let him curse the anchor that dragged the Drowned Crew. This is on top of all of the other artifacts, devices, and magical knowledge he'd been accumulating. He almost certainly knew enough about the Comet through his other research that he could do something to draw the thing down to the surface.

     Where does The Thing From The Stars fit into the timeline of The Color Of Madness
  • Okay, so the Ancestor does some magic rituals to create a "Yo, you with the crystals, Land Here" beacon for a comet containing an infant specimen of the species that The Heart Of Darkness belongs to, which upon landing proceeds to warp spacetime and turn everything nearby currently or formerly living into evil geode zombies. But where does TTFTS fit into the picture? Why is there only one? Why does it look and operate so differently from all the other enemies introduced in this DLC? why is it the only creation of The Comet to be able to leave the Mill? It seems to me that it's mostly there just to make you think it was what arrived in the comet so that The Sleeper can come as a surprise.
    • Consider what the whole DLC draws from, there likely just isn't an explanation for what's going on. The whole scenario is about an alien force that warps reality and runs on incomprehensible behaviors and rules.
    • The Ancestor describes humanity as 'a profusion of errant flesh', implying that humans are a freak split-off from the Heart of Darkness acting individually from the whole. Maybe The Thing From The Stars is a profusion of errant crystal, walking around to enjoy expanding itself with unregulated crystal growth and carcasses on the Estate? If anything, it might just be an 'agent' the Comet is sending forward to spread its influence, to get more crystal growth in the environment and crystalize more beings like back at the Mill. There also remains the possibility of the crystals retrieving flesh to feed to the Comet, an infant deity, if it would ever need nourishment (which would be hard considering practically every living thing in its landing site got geode'd).

     Why can't I keep my remaining provisions at the end of a mission? 
  • Surely the manor has to have a storage room somewhere, right? Why can't I just hang on to my provisions and save them for the next mission, especially since the sell-back price is usually less than 10% of what I paid for them?
    • Doylist answer: because the game would be too easy if you could.
      • Would it? The limited inventory already ensures you can't take too many provisions with you. All keeping your provisions at the end of a mission would do is save you some money.
      • Outfitting for your typical dungeon run costs about two to five thousand gold, depending on how well-equipped you are. Part of the game's challenge is managing your gold and resources for each mission. Simply being able to store purchased resources would remove part of that challenge. As with other aspects of managing the Hamlet, it's largely abstracted to create the gameplay.
    • There's one town event, which results in the Gambling Hall being locked down, which implies that the Hamlet has a serious problem with thieves. There's a reasonable chance that many of the provisions you put away in a storage cellar won't be there next week when you prepare for your next expedition, outside of the stuff that the thieves can't easily fence (Blood, Scales, and Shards).
    • The Grave Robber may be responsible for stealing anything you don't sell. Her description in the Survivalist's Tent explicitly mentions that she's stealing supply items from the Hamlet, and there's no one in a better position to make off with common supply equipment you put into storage than one of your own heroes who specializes in stealing.

     No daytime missions outdoors? 
  • Why doesn't the team do their outdoor missions during the day? If they did that, they wouldn't have to worry about torchlight.
    • The only "outdoor" area is the Weald, which is an extremely thick, overgrown mutant forest where the trees are blocking out the sunlight. It's effectively a cavern made up of branches and leaves and fungal growths.
    • There's also an aspect of supernatural darkness to the Estate as well. The whole area is covered by a crushing, oppressive shadow. The "Light in the Thicket" and "One Good Week" events indicate that sunlight just doesn't work in the area around the Estate the same way it works elsewhere, and that days where the sun shines normally are vanishingly rare.

     Why are all these guys coming to my manor to fight monsters on my behalf for free? 
  • So what exactly motivates all these heroes to come to my manor to fight monsters for me? They don't get paid wages, and they don't get to keep any of the treasure they find on missions. Basically the only tangible compensation they get is the player paying for their equipment upgrades and their nights in the tavern. I can understand certain characters like the Vestal and Crusader, who may not need a salary since they have some sort of religious devotion to eradicating evil. But most of the other heroes don't have that excuse. I find it especially odd that heroes like the Highwayman and Grave Robber are willing to fight monsters for free. You'd think those two would be a bit more selfish and require more tangible compensation.
    • It's implied that you are paying them some wages, but this is abstracted in-game. They may be taking a cut of the loot which is not shown to avoid needless math. A great deal of the game is abstracted, since you don't have to worry about things like managing the hamlet's resources and finances beyond clearing roadways and securing lost resources being shipped in. The game condenses all of the management aspects down to just paying for upgrades and equipment to avoid needless hassle with things that don't matter to the core gameplay loop.
    • They aren't working for free. You keep paying out for your own pocket for weapon and armor upgrades, skill upgrades and unlocks, medical and psychological treatment, and booze, blackjack, and hookers. That's basically the same as actually paying them, just with extra steps removed.
    • One of the comments you can get during camping is one of the heroes saying "Easiest pay I've ever gotten." So yes, you are definitely paying them.

     Why does the fanatic try to kill heroes with the blood curse when he has the ability to cure it? 
  • The fanatic apparently has the ability to make potions that cure the blood curse. So why is he so obsessed with killing everyone who has it when he could just cure them instead?
    • He's a completely insane fanatic. His actions don't make sense, which is the point. To quote the Ancestor:
    "Madness can take many forms, but none so contemptible as man's belief in a mythology of his own making. A world view buttressed by dogmatic desperation invariably leads to single-minded fanaticism, and a need to do terrible things in the name of righteousness. This man is an animal - rabid, destructive, and incapable of nuanced understanding."
    • Also keep in mind that he has only one or two vials of the cure, and whatever materials used to make them are apparently rare and difficult to acquire. He likely keeps one for himself, meaning he can only cure one party member at most, which leaves two to three other cursed abominations he still has to kill.
    • In real life, people form many cultures actually believed for thousands of years that disease was a punishment from God/the gods, and someone getting sick was seen as proof that they'd done something wrong. It may be possible that, in the as-yet-unnamed Schizo Tech / Anachronism Stew world of Darkest Dungeon, this belief is present as well, but is only held by certain varieties of The Fundamentalist, with everyone else looking at those guys the same way we look at creationists.

     What do the Comet's crystals even do and why does everyone want them so badly? 
  • The Ancestor specifically states that he discovered the comet by combining magic with astronomical studies, so he should've been the only one who knew about it, let alone it's crystals. And yet the instant I download this DLC hoards of people show up as though I'd put out an add for free diamonds. And unlike the other hoard of people who'd already been streaming my way for some time now, these guys specifically say they're only interested in those crystals, meaning they somehow learned about them before even I did. But what's so awesome about these crystals anyway? All the game lets me use them for is crafting them into a potion that buffs several attributes, or the occasional bottle of medicine. I'd hardly think that warrants these NPCs taking to it like the American Government takes to Oil. Also, why the fluttering fuck is that new trinket merchant holding one with his bare hands?! It's an Eldritch space rock that turns people into evil geode zombies! That's about as safe as using a hunk of uranium as deodorant!
    • The Ancestor doesn't state that he discovered the comet by combining magic and astronomical study. He states that he drew the comet down by erecting "slabs etched with certain celestial designs" around the Farmstead, indicating that there was some type of knowledge of celestial entities already in the setting, even if it was esoteric and required an expert. Also, hordes of people aren't showing up at the Estate. You have Shard Mercenaries, but they only show up after you've opened the Farmstead (which was sealed by giant magical barriers) and kill the Miller, something that takes at minimum two weeks. So aside from already-existing rumors there would be due to the eldritch farmstead, there would be time for word to get back to civilization. As for its usage, we're not told, but people are clearly aware that the crystals have some value, considering the Ancestor specifically engineered the comet's crash so he could harvest them, and these crystals seem to be a component in all of the Crystalline trinkets. Considering how there are entire occult societies in this setting, it would make sense that there would be some people who would be aware of what the Comet's crystals are and how to use them for all manner of occult rituals or to make powerful tools. And while the crystals are clearly alien, there's no indication that by themselves they are dangerous to handle. Everything relating to the fuckery on the Farmstead seems to surround the Comet and the Sleeper, and the crystals are a byproduct of the Sleeper's presence, not the cause. The fact that your heroes can wield trinkets made of the stuff is indicator that it's not immediately dangerous to handle. Also, keep in mind that up until the 1900's it was considered safe to handle or even consume any number of dangerous compounds and elements (i.e. lead and mercury) so scientific understanding of the crystals may not have reached a point yet where they'd even be considered dangerous to handle.

     Curing the Curse 
  • Once the Sanitarium discovers a means of curing the Crimson Curse, why does it never occur to anyone to attempt this on the denizens of the Courtyard? I mean I can see it being the case that vampires who progress to the point of developing actual mosquito features are to far gone, but nobody even tries. Besides, I'm sure all those outcast Wizened Shrews would be more than happy to volunteer.
    • Considering that the curing process takes a week in the Sanitarium, curing a fully-gone vampire in the Court would likely require capturing one alive and restraining it and then treating it in the Sanitarium. I don't think anyone cares enough to actually make the attempt, especially considering how extremely dangerous the creatures are. And while the Shrews might be amenable to it (we don't really know what their deal is, except they are shunned) that would still require sending people into a nest of hostile vampires to bring one out, which I doubt anyone in the Hamlet cares enough to bother with. You're running a band of mercenaries and crusaders bent on purging evil and taking back your home, not the renaissance equivalent of the Red Cross.

    Everything between when the Ancestor "killed" the Countess and now 
  • Look at the Ancestor when the Countess first arrives at his party and he creates the vampires. He's no older than 30. Now look at him during the game's opening cutscene. Old age. How has he not bothered to do ANYTHING about the horde of vampires in his own backyard in all those decades? Furthermore, there's no way that those vampires wouldn't have developed a desire to escape in all that time, for one reason or another. They certainly have the means: just get a few of those sycophants to grab you and fly you over the wall. And even assuming the sycophants aren't capable of understanding human instructions, there's no way they wouldn't have found an alternate way over (or under, or past) that wall in, again, decades . Additionally, where the heck have they been getting all their blood from? They can't have just been eating eachother all this time, otherwise the problem would've solved itself within a year (and given how the Crimson Court introductory cinematic ends, I'm surprised it didn't).
    • The Ancestor didn't do anything about the Court because he doesn't give a shit. Look at everything else he got up to during his time between drinking the Countess's blood and his suicide. This is not someone who you would consider remotely responsible or particularly sane. Leaving a bunch of vampires to fester inside their own insular court is exactly the sort of thing he would do. As for the vampires leaving the Court, there actually isn't any indication that they want to leave. They seem to be perfectly fine living in their own endless party, and only seem to send anyone out to deliver invitations or maybe to gather some outside blood, if the Sycophants are any indication. They only start to do that after you explicitly go into the Court and start causing a ruckus. As for where they get their blood from, the entire Court is a morass of flowing blood, bloody fountains, and a marsh of blood, as well as the Sychophants. In addition, the Ancestor's narration all but outright says that they are feeding off the Heart's blood. The ending to the Crimson Court has him explicitly say "the growing whine of winged vermin come to drink the tainted blood… of The Darkest Dungeon."
    • There is some implication that at least a few of the vampires do leave the Court. After all, you can rescue uninfected heroes from prison cells in the Court missions, which indicates that that the vampires sent out raiding parties to grab the occasional victim for their feeding or grotesque amusements.

     The Plow Horse's stealth abilities. 
  • How on earth is an animal the size of a horse hiding from anyone?
    • You're in the middle of a swarm of creatures made up of eldritch crystals and time-warping abominations, with living scarecrows and a soulless husk of a Miller, on a farmstead sealed off by celestial wards, which is the home of an eldritch star nightmare god who is warping space-time. The big stealthy horse is the least bizarre thing in the Farmstead.
    • The ability is called "Paw the Ground". It is likely kicking up a dust cloud and hiding in that.

     Why do the various factions never leave their respective regions? 
  • Or more accurately, how come some do, but not others? Take the Swine for example; it honestly ought to be them raiding the Hamlet for food, not the other way around. Come to think of it, they'd get heaps of seafood and mushrooms if they raided the Cove and Weald respectively as well. It's not like it would be unprecedented either, since the bone rabbles from the ruins and the sycophants and supplicants from the courtyard (and the latter two also have incentive to raid the Hamlet, come to think of it) can be found in any region. In fact, the fact that the skeletons from the ruins are out wandering the other regions just makes this weirder, since they're one of the three factions for whom I can't think of an incentive to leave their region, since the game never makes it clear what exactly the skeletons of the ruins do all day when not being assaulted by the heroes (the other two factions are the Husks of the farmstead, who might not even be capable of leaving the region of the Comet's influence, and the fishfolk of the cove, who are so aggressively isolationistic that they sink any merchant ships that pass through their waters, which is actually the entire reason we're fighting them).
    • It is implied that the Swine are attacking the Hamlet's farms and outlying areas and raiding the roads for food, they just don't stick around in the areas that you are clearing. And to be honest, most of the monsters aren't likely willing to attack the Hamlet itself, because of the number of armed mercenaries who are constantly showing up and billeted there. The only point where the Hamlet is directly threatened is by an organized force of outlaws who fall apart once their commander is slain, so the Hamlet likely is defended enough to hold off any raids on the town itself.
    • The Swine likely don't attack the Weald or Cove for food because both are packed with hostile creatures, and the food that is there is likely inedible. Most of the life in the Weald is twisted and mutated, with the mushrooms being toxic and explosive, and the Cove is filled with Pelagics who would likely attack the Swine. As for the skeletons, they are likely just randomly resurrected undead from the Ruins who wandered away from the Ruins, unlike the soldiers and Courtiers who seem more intelligent and would stay close to the Necromancers who created and control them.
    • Darkest Dungeon 2 shows that the Swinefolk have begun to spread beyond the Warrens, as they have taken control of the Sluice, as it is connected to the Warrens.

     Why does the graverobber carry the equipment she does? 
  • The pick I understand, but where does someone who robs graves for a living learn to throw knives or craft poison darts?
    • She probably learned it after she started stealing and became a rogue. It's also possible that she had either of those as a hobby while she was still a wealthy noble, and she developed those skills out of necessity.
      • Knives, okay. But crafting poisonous darts isn't something you do as a hobby. That'd be like if someone today made IEDs as a hobby.
      • She was a wealthy noblewoman. Wealthy nobility historically got up to all manner of strange and often violent hobbies. Remember, this is a world where there is an entire courtyard full of nobility who were so depraved that they played games of torture and cannibalism and who eagerly drank wine made of vampire blood.
      • Also remember that making poison is a completely legitimate business and practice both in the past and now. A lot of poisons were made specifically for killing pests. Also, knowing what makes a poison is important for a number of jobs involving chemicals. If the Grave Robber was taught medicine or studied chemistry who would likely know how to make poisons as a result of that education. The Grave Robber's background is left mostly blank aside from her being debt-ridden nobility, so there's lots of potential room for her to have learned how to craft poisons both before and after she started treasure-hunting.
      • The fact that she has Toxin Trickery, a self-healing and buffing ability that involves her drinking from a vial, indicates that the Grave Robber has some experience with medicine or chemistry.
    • Undead are weak to blight and we know there's necromancers outside of the Hamlet. As a grave robber, she's probably had to deal with her some of her targets being more active in protest than most.
    • The sequel reveals that she already has some skill with poisons, as she was the one who killed her husband via poison after he ran the family into crippling debt.

     What's the stuff in the courtiers' goblets? 
  • The stress damage on its own would be understandable for just spoiled wine, but it somehow also does as much physical damage as his dagger.
    • Its wine in a goblet being wielded by a skeleton reanimated by eldritch necromantic magic. It probably is more like acid or poison than mere spoiled wine.

     Why does visiting the Abbey cost money? 
  • The Doylist reason is obviously game balance, but what about the Watsonian one? Why do you need to pay as much for a hero spending a week meditating in an empty room as for the same hero drinking himself to a stupor?
    • A couple of possible explanations:
      • First, the church is just as corrupt as everything else. If your hero is spending time in the church using their facilities, the church could be demanding payment for it. There is precedent in history for corrupt churches offering their services to the nobility in exchange for coin or other financial considerations, and the churches got rich off of tending to the spiritual needs of the aristocracy. This is supported by the "All Saints Day" event, in which the church's services are free, and the Ancestor describes it as "faith fueled charity" which "will not last."
      • Another explanation is that you are paying for what amounts to room and board while they are under the church's care. Heroes need to eat and drink even while in prayer or meditation, and possibly also you're giving money for the hero to give as offerings to the church. One possible event while in prayer is that the hero pays some extra money out of your treasury as a donation to the church.

     Attacks' target positions 
  • The permitted target positions for some attacks feel arbitrary. For example, why do the Crusader's and Leper's sword attacks only reach positions 1 and 2 when some attacks using much shorter weapons (e.g. the Man-at-Arms' crush and the Antiquarian's nervous stab) can reach further? Same goes for some enemy attacks - how is the cutthroat able to shank someone all the way in position four?
    • It probably not just reflects the weapon's reach, but also the character's mobility: would the attacker be able to leap close enough to hit a target and go back to their starting position? Yes, they are equipped with greatswords, but the Crusader and the Leper are both wearing a heavy armor set and wielding a cumbersome weapon (and the Leper's disease realistically makes him a slow moving warrior), while the Antiquarian, the Highwayman, or some of the brigands are able to shank units standing in every position because their wear relatively light armors and wield daggers. That being said, the Man-At-Arms having a longer reach than the Crusader despite being as much armored and wielding a shorter weapon doesn't make much sense even from this logic. Bear in mind Darkest Dungeon combat graphic representation is very abstract and can't be taken at face value: a fight being two parties both standing in single file doesn't make sense in real life.
    • At the end of the day, Darkest Dungeon is not an accurate combat simulator. It is a very abstract system built around game balance, not realism. There's no reason why everyone is lined up neatly in four specific positions in each hallway where no one can stand side by side or maneuver or surround the other party. Positioning and where you can attack from and what positions you can target is built around game balance, not how realistically someone could use their weapons.