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Hardcore Mode

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Hardcore Mode

Hardcore Henry achievement in Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Hardcore Henry

Finish the game in Hardcore Mode.

Hardcore Henry-10.0
1 guideOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerMain StorylineDifficulty SpecificStackable

How to unlock the Hardcore Henry achievement

  • Dresden N7Dresden N7449,426
    26 Nov 2019 07 Dec 2019 16 Apr 2020
    7 0 4
    An even longer version of this guide is available as a blog post here. Below is the slightly abridged version with less flair.

    With proper knowledge of the game’s systems, enough patience, and a heavy helping of cheese, Hardcore Mode is manageable. This holds true even if you're trying to play as a celibate pacifist with every negative perk. Hardcore Mode should be attempted on your second playthrough, so you're already familiar with the main quest. This time around, our goal is to complete the story while skipping as much side content as possible to shorten the run's length.

    PART I // HARDCORE MODE CHANGES

    [ No Autosaves ]
    Workaround: The game still saves when you sleep in an owned bed, drink a Savior Schnapps, and get healed at a bathhouse. These are useful, but our bread and butter will be the “save & exit” function in the pause menu. Loading from an Exit Save seemingly causes it to self-delete, but in actuality, the game merely hides it. To restore an Exit Save to the load list, Henry just needs to die. Either by suicide or in combat. It can be handy to keep a vial of Bane potion in Henry’s inventory for a quick end. Used in this manner, Exit Saves become unlimited use manual saves.

    If you’re somehow unable or unwilling to kill Henry, you can return to the dashboard and quit the app without overriding the Exit Save.

    [ No Fast Travel, No Compass, and No Player Indicator on Map ]
    Workaround: You’ll need to rely on your familiarity with the land and your ability to read a map. Use landmarks, roads, rivers, and the sun as points of reference. Newly discovered crosses, shrines, points of interests, etc. will appear on your map in real time. This is handy if you’re unsure of Henry’s current location.

    The lack of fast travel isn’t that big of a deal if you stick to the main quest with minimal distractions from activities and side quests. This means most of your time will be spent in Rattay and Sasau instead of constantly traveling between villages or stumbling through the woods.

    [ Health, Stamina, and Combat Stance Removed From HUD ]
    Workaround: If this is your second playthrough, you should be intimately familiar with the diegetic indicators for these statuses. Henry’s breathing and the screen losing color = low stamina. Red border and the sound of Henry’s heartbeats = low health. The weapon’s direction in your hand = the selected combat stance. Dripping blood on screen = bleeding.

    More importantly, I hope you’ve mastered the timing required for perfect blocks and master strikes. Because the shield icon for counters have also been removed.

    [ Henry Needs to Sleep & Eat More Frequently ]
    Workaround: A streamlined playthrough will keep you in cities most of your playthrough, so you can buy bread whenever you need it. The perks “Insomniac” (Main Level: 4) and “Human Dustbin” (Vitality: 6) help greatly in lowering Henry’s need for sleep and nourishment.

    “Human Dustbin” is especially OP because it allows Henry to eat rotten and stale food with no ill effects. Some might suggest taking the “Ascetic” perk as well, but I’d recommend against it. The stamina penalty for being overstuffed is doubled, and frankly, it’s not worth it due to the ease at which you can buy food or eat rotten meat.

    If you're near a bathhouse and choose to pay for healing, this will also replenish your nourishment and energy levels. Another important note is that you can’t use the “Contemplative” perk. Unfortunately, it has been removed from Hardcore Mode.

    [ Combat is Deadlier ]
    Workaround: We’re playing as a pacifist, so we’re avoiding combat all together. The main quest forces you to fight just once: killing Runt during the quest “Baptism of Fire.” And always wear armor. Henry is difficult to kill when wearing full plate armor, chainmail, and headgear. Refer to the section on Pacifism for more information on the instances of non-lethal combat sprinkled throughout the story (i.e. the big story battles).

    [ Everything Is More Expensive ]
    Workaround: Not a problem because we’ll be stealing everything that we need. Abusing drunk lockpicking is the key to breaking Hardcore’s difficulty.

    The first step is to switch on "Simplified" lockpocking in the game's settings, followed by grinding your lockpicking stat to 6. The latter will allow you to choose the most OP perk in the game: “Luck of the Drunk.” Keep a healthy supply of Beer (low alcohol rate) in your inventory and down one whenever you need to open a “very hard” chest. Yes, “Luck of the Drunk” will allow you to open any chest in the game. Did I mention that every merchant keeps their inventory in a very hard chest located in or around their home?

    Stealing from Rattay shops at night can be tricky. Without a high sneak skill, guards will usually catch you in the act of lockpicking or trespassing. The exceptions are Peshek and the Apothecary. Both are easy to steal from, and the latter is especially useful for building up a potion stockpile. Remember, if the guards choose you for a “random” search, just pay the 20 Groschen bribe.

    The easiest and most profitable merchants to steal from are located in Sasau. Unlike most merchants in the game, they have their storage rooms located in isolated, easy to plunder spots. For your armor needs, look for Master Ota’s shop. He keeps his inventory in the building behind you when facing the front door. For all things weapons, look for Swordsmith Fink and his storage shed located to the right of his home.

    If you don’t like the stolen tags on certain items, you can use Peshek to launder them. Sell the stolen items, buy them back, and then steal back your money. You can use a similar technique when buying from any merchant. Pay their exorbitant prices and steal back your money.

    PART II // NEGATIVE PERKS

    Kingdom Come: Deliverance'Tis but a scratchThe 'Tis but a scratch achievement in Kingdom Come: Deliverance worth 1665 pointsFinish the game in Hardcore Mode with all negative perks.

    You have to select a minimum of two negative perks on Hardcore. I say might as well pick them all and unlock another achievement. Some of these aren’t even a problem, but a few will significant change your playstyle.

    [ Brittle Bones ]
    Problematic Level: Minor
    Counter: Pick the “Featherweight” perk (Agility: 4) and avoid jumping down steep inclines.

    [ Claustrophobia ]
    Problematic Level: Minor
    Counter: Don’t wear helmets with visors or that cover the face.

    [ Consumption ]
    Problematic Level: Medium
    Counter: Raise your Vitality. Surviving battles in the Rattay Tourney and needlessly jumping will help you grind this stat. Pick Nettles until you automatically receive the “Resistance” perk which raises your Vitality by 2. Drink a Buck’s Blood potion before a fight or a long sprint. Generally, get a feel of how much you can push Henry before backing off and letting him catch his breath. The “Tight Grip” perk (Strength: 6) and “Seven Mile Boots” perk (Maintenance: 3) help as well.

    [ Haemophilia ]
    Problematic Level: Major / Medium (Pacifist)
    Counter: If you receive a bleeding wound during combat, Henry will most likely die. So, don’t get cut. Avoid combat when you can, and when you can’t, wear as much armor as possible. Henry should always be in full plate armor, chainmail covering the torso and legs, in as much headgear as possible, and donning a gambeson. Make sure your equipment is always at 100% with the repair kits that you have stolen. When protected by three layers of armor, Henry is hard to kill and will rarely bleed. The “Thickblooded” perk (Vitality: 3) is helpful as is the Aqua Vitalis potion, and always bring a healthy supply of bandages into battle.

    Pacifists won’t have to worry about this debuff too much until the major story battles at Pribyslavitz, Vranik, and Talmberg.

    [ Nightmares ]
    Problematic Level: Minor
    Counter: This is only felt in the early game when your already low stats are nerfed into the ground. You can either avoid sleep altogether by using Cockerel potions and the “Insomniac” perk (Main Level: 4), or just skip 2 hours after waking up to run out the debuff.

    [ Numbskull ]
    Problematic Level: Major
    Counter: The worst Hardcore perk by far. Any XP that you get is cut in half. There’s only one way of compensating. Grind and then grind some more. My only tip is to put on some music when trying to level up a specific skill.

    [ Shakes ]
    Problematic Level: Medium
    Counter: Archery, pickpocketing, and lockpicking will be slightly harder on the account of shaky hands. You can go through the entire playthrough without leveling up bows nor picking pockets. Lockpicking, however, is a different story. This skill is essential on Hardcore because stealing from store chests is how we’ll get most of our gear, money, and equipment.

    Turn on “Simplified” lockpicking under game settings to make the minigame easier. You won’t have a problem—even with the debuff—as long as you’re well acquainted with the minigame from a previous playthrough.

    Prioritize the lockpicking perks in this order: “Lasting Lockpicks” (Level 3), “Luck of the Drunk” (Level 6), and “Deft Grip” (Level 6). Picking easy and very easy locks at night in villages is a good way to level up.

    [ Somnambulant ]
    Problematic Level: Minor
    Counter: It’s really obnoxious when waking up in a random location, but that’s about it. You’ll never be teleported across the map, but your sleepwalks can be quite far at times. Thankfully, this rarely triggers.

    You also have the option of keeping Henry perpetually awake with Cockerel potions.

    [ Tapeworm ]
    Problematic Level: Medium / Minor (Human Dustbin)
    Counter: Henry’s now a hungry boy. More of an annoyance than a problem, but one that you have to babysit for the entire game. Just be sure to keep an eye on your nourishment and keep Henry fed. The free pots in the world are now useless, but buying food is not an issue if you keep to the towns.

    If you’re struggling with this, prioritize leveling up Henry’s Vitality to 6 so you can grab “Human Dustbin.” This perk trivializes eating altogether by allowing Henry to eat rotten, moldy, and stale food with no ill effects. Hunt animals for sustenance, cook the meat, and carry your food as it turns rancid. Eat without fear of food poisoning and without the energy loss. Alternatively, buy a bunch of bread and eat stale loaves to your heart’s content.

    PART III // PACIFISM

    Kingdom Come: DeliveranceSecret AchievementThe Secret Achievement achievement in Kingdom Come: Deliverance worth 403 pointsContinue playing to unlock this secret achievement

    While it may seem counterintuitive at first, playing as a pacifist can make a Hardcore playthrough easier. By avoiding combat, there is less chance of dying in combat.

    If you’re not planning on unlocking this achievement during your Hardcore run, you can treat the following less like a set of rules and more like a loose guideline.

    The main quest doesn't require Henry to directly fight anyone except for Runt during “Baptism of Fire.” Think of Runt as the final boss that we must train for, except we fight him in the middle of the story.

    Tip #1: Always check the “People Killed” counter in Player/Statistics/Combat. Keep it at 0. Runt is the only NPC that is allowed to raise it by 1.
    Tip #2: Enemies killed by poison, Mutt, or an ally don’t count against you.

    You’ll have to rely on Henry’s speech skill in overcoming certain obstacles and passing quests without having to fight. Use Bard potions when necessary and pick the “Empathetic” perk (Speech: 8) to gauge which speech option to use. Since most NPC’s aren’t noblemen, I recommend selecting the “Lowborn” perk (Speech: 4). Aim for 10-12 speech towards the last third of the main quest.

    Leveling up speech is primarily done through two methods: a small amount of XP for every line of dialogue that you pick and a more sizeable amount of XP for passing speech checks. For this reason, I recommend choosing as many dialogue options as you can during a discussion—fast forwarding through them is fine—to slowly accrue XP. I also suggest completing some easy non-violent side quests to level your Speech skill. Here are some recommended side quests to consider during your playthrough:

    Rattay: The Good Thief, Aquarius, Tough Love, Next To Godliness
    Sasau: Saintly Remains, Miracles While You Wait, A Costly Brawl
    Uzhitz: Mightier Than the Sword
    Merhojed: Pestilence

    Because we’re playing as a pacifist, we won’t be able to cut our teeth on trash mobs and mooks. Instead, we need to train with Captain Bernard and level up a bunch of our combat-related skills and stats. Because of the Numbskull debuff, this will take twice as long, but all of it is necessary to beat Runt. Stick to practice weapons and learn about combos and master strikes.

    The only other way to grind combat skills as a pacifist is through the Rattay Tourney. Although optional, I highly recommend winning these tournaments to be awarded with an armor set that’s powerful enough to carry you through the entire game. Also, it’s good practice for when you have to fight Runt. Don’t forget to bet on yourself before every Tourney by talking to Peshek, and if you choose to do so, you can skip immediately to the next tournament by talking to the Herald and paying a fee.

    It’s important to note that your first tournament will end in a match with Black Peter. Problem is, he’s a sore loser. After you defeat him in the Tourney, he will later ambush you on the road northeast of Peshek’s mill. He needs to be killed, but we can’t directly kill him to stay a pacifist. He’s much tougher in this street fight and carries a poison sword that will almost one-hit kill Henry. Thankfully, there is a solution.

    Wait until night at Peshek’s mill and make a save. Now, trigger the ambush on the road, so you know where Black Peter is hiding. Die. Reload and remove your armor so you make less noise. Sneak on the left side of the road which hugs the small river and bypass Black Peter. Turn around and sneak towards the ambush point, but this time from behind. You should find Black Peter sitting or crouching in wait. At this point, your strength stat should be high enough to sneak up and choke out Black Peter. Take his armor and weapons. From here, you have two options.

    Option #1: stab him once with a weapon coated in Bane poison and wait until the poison kills him.
    Option #2: wait for him to wake up and have Mutt (requires DLC) attack him using the “Sic!” perk (Houndmaster: 5). Since he’s naked, Mutt’s attacks will eventually kill him. Either way, check the “People killed” stat and make sure it’s still “0.” If it shows “1,” reload and try again.

    My main quest guide goes into detail about every instance of combat that is required to pass the story. Here’s a quick summarize to give you an idea of what we’ll be dealing with:

    1) Fighting opponents for sport in the “Rattay Tourney” // No Kills
    2) Neutralize Black Peter during his ambush // Technical Kill By Proxy
    3) Kill Runt in “Baptism of Fire” // Only Kill Allowed By Achievement
    4) Knock out some guards in “All That Glisters” // No Kills, Only KO’s
    5) Survive the battles in "Baptism of Fire," "Payback," "Cold Steel, Hot Blood,” and “An Oath is An Oath” // No Kills

    PART IV // CELIBACY

    Kingdom Come: DeliveranceSecret AchievementThe Secret Achievement achievement in Kingdom Come: Deliverance worth 171 pointsContinue playing to unlock this secret achievement

    Although optional, a small tweak to our playthrough with net another rare achievement. There’s only a few instances where the player can sleep with another NPC. Just don’t do it. The first one listed below occurs during the main quest, but the rest are located in optional interactions and side quests.

    1) Refuse to drink with Godwin in “Mysterious Ways”
    2) Don’t complete “Courtship”
    3) Refuse to strip in front of Stephanie in “At Your Service, My Lady”
    4) Avoid paying for a “wench” at a bathhouse

    PART V // DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT

    Although not mandatory, buying “A Woman’s Lot” can make the early game a little easier. After being taken to Peshek's mill, you can talk to Theresa and recruit Mutt—your very own dog sidekick. Mutt can hunt animals for you, distract enemies, and in some cases, kill an NPC for you without penalty.

    Leveling up your “Houndmaster” skill can be done through praising him, having him hunt animals, and feeding him meat. The first 3-ish levels can be knocked out purely by praising Mutt over and over in the dialogue menu. Past that, feeding him meat from hunted animals is the quickest method of grinding. Fresh or rotten, Mutt will eat up and you will gain XP. Mutt may run away after being fed rotten food for a while, but he always returns. The “Hunt” perk (Houndmaster: 3) and the “Sic!” perk (Houndmaster: 5) are needed to unlock Mutt’s hunting and attack capabilities.

    I highly recommend NOT installing “The Amorous Adventures of Bold Sir Hans Capon.” If activated, you’ll be forced to complete this questline before you can finish the main story epilogue and unlock your achievements. If you have the physical Royal Edition of the game, you are unable to manually deactivate this DLC. Doable for a celibate pacifist with all Hardcore debuffs, but will definitely add a few extra hours right before the end.

    PART VI // RECOMMENDED PERKS & GEAR

    The perks (and minimum level) needed to offset Hardcore's changes have an asterisk.

    Main Level: Insomniac* (4), Burgher (6), First Aid II (6), First Aid III (10), Infamous (10).
    Strength: Clinch Master* (4), Tight Grip* (6), Headcracker (8), Mule I (4), Mule II (8), Mule III (12).
    Agility: Featherweight* (4)
    Vitality: Thickblooded* (3) & Human Dustbin* (6)
    Speech: Lowborn (4) & Empathetic* (8)

    Defence: Golem (8), Well Worn (12), Knight in Shining Armor (12)
    Warfare: Bloodletter (4) & Chain Strike (12)
    Axe/Mace/Sword: Pick one and master that skill. Learn how to reliably perform one or two combos to use on Runt and Tourney opponents.

    Herbalism: Flower Power (5), Leg Day (10), Resistance* (pick enough Nettles)
    Horsemanship: Racehorse (4) & Strong Thighs (7)
    Houndmaster: Hunt (3) & Sic!* (5)
    Lockpicking: Lasting Lockpicks* (3), Luck of the Drunk* (6), Deft Grip* (6), Master Thief (12)
    Maintenance: Seven Mile Boots* (3)
    Reading: Magistrate I (5), Magistrate II (9), Magistrate III (12)
    Stealth: Crouching Chameleon (5)

    Before every battle, drink a Buck’s Blood to increase your stamina and an Aqua Vitalis to buff your damage resistance. Fill all of Henry’s armor, chainmail, and clothing slots with fully repaired gear. Equip your horse (Pebbles is fine) with the best tack: Noble Bridle, Military Horseshoes, and Noble Saddle with 4 Saddlebags. These (and the golden spurs) are best stolen from Zora in Neuhof. Her storage chest is located in the NE corner of the stables behind a door with a hard lock. Very isolated and easy to break into unseen.

    In addition to the aforementioned potions, always carry a selection of concoctions for their utility: Bane (suicide & to cheese kill enemies), Bard (help with difficult speech checks), Beer (trigger Luck of the Drunk), Nighthawk (night-vision), Lazarus or Marigold (restore health), Cockerel (avoid sleep), Antidote (if poisoned), and Savior Schnapps (manual saves). Bring repair kits, lockpicks, a torch, decent amount of food, and 30 flowers to activate the “Flower Power” perk.

    PART VII // MAIN QUEST WALKTHROUGH

    Unexpected Visit: Use both “Speech” options when speaking to your mother. Pick all the flowers (especially Nettles) around Skalitz. You should have enough to receive the “Resistance” perk, which is a permanent buff to your Vitality. You should net 200-300 Groschen by selling the flowers. Use a Savior Schnapps before handing Theresa the nails.

    Run!: Whistle to save Theresa. Fleeing from the Cumans on horseback may take a few attempts. Consult Lady Stephanie on how to leave Talmberg.

    Homecoming: Avoid the two bandits on the road to Skalitz. Draw your sword to scare Zbyshek.

    Awakening: Talk to Theresa and ask about Mutt to get him as your companion. After you get settled in, I suggest working off your debt to Peshek through the side quest “The Good Thief.” Mainly to have full access to his store, training, and the ability to pick pockets.

    Train Hard, Fight Easy: Don’t worry if you lose to Sir Hans Capon in the archery contest. Beating him in sword combat should be easy for an experienced player.

    Keeping the Peace: Before you report to Nightingale, now would be a good time to start training with Captain Bernard and level up your combat skills.

    Remember to stay fed and only use practice weapons. Choose a combat skill to be proficient in. Personally, I went with Swords for their speed and damage. Others prefer the armor penetration afforded by Maces. Axes, while weaker than the other two, should work fine if you prefer them. Be sure to pass the combo and master strike tutorials. These skills are essential for combat with Runt later in the story.

    A cheap trick you can use in the beginning is to repeat the combo tutorial. When it’s your turn, don’t use the combo he wants. Instead, use another that you have unlocked for the Sword skill like “Scarmaker.” You can chain combos on Bernard, and he won’t fight back. The tutorial will eventually end. Rinse and repeat until boredom sets in. Then return to regular training to practice your blocks, ripostes, and master strikes.

    The Prey: Hopefully you have unlocked Mutt’s hunting ability. Have him kill and fetch the hares for you to effortlessly beat Sir Hans Capon. Save the excess meat which we can use later. The hardest part is finding Sir Hans Capon after he disappears. Make a save and search the woods. His specific location is located here. Sneak up, untie him, and get out of Dodge.

    The Hunt Begins: After figuring out the bandits have fled into the nearby woods, report your findings to Captain Bernard. He will assign a guard to be your escort. Ruda will take care of the surviving bandit for you.

    Ginger in a Pickle: Skip the detours and head straight to the charcoal burner camp that is sheltering Ginger. The camp that you need to question is located in the forest southeast of Talmberg along the river here. Cut a deal to take out the bandits or lie that you already did. I recommend the former, even as a pacifist. You can return to Captain Bernard to update him on your investigation and ask for help in killing the bandits. They will happily oblige. Either way, you’ll learn Ginger’s location from the charcoal burners.

    Alternatively, you can go directly to Ginger’s hideout and lie to him. He’s in the camp located northeast of the charcoal burners (see map linked earlier). Get the info and leave him to his fate.

    Mysterious Ways: Find Lubosh’s mutilated corpse in Uzhitz. Speak with the villagers outside. Find Father Godwin and talk with him. Normally, the speech and charisma required to pass this skill check is insane. However, I discovered that by playing as a pacifist, Henry has a better chance of convincing Godwin to break his oath of confession during their first encounter.

    If this doesn’t work, do not go drinking with Godwin if you want to keep Henry a virgin. If you don’t care about his celibacy, drinking and partying with Godwin will start a hilarious chain of events. Successfully delivering his sermon will earn his trust.

    There is a third option of conferring with the Uzhitz’s bailiff, which will lead Henry back to Rattay to read the executioner’s Black Book. You can do it yourself if Henry learned how to read, otherwise you’ll have to convince the Scribe to do it for you with an Embrocation potion.

    On the Scent: Lots of dialogue here which will help level your speech skill, so I suggest following the investigation as opposed to skipping right to Reeky. Speak with villagers, interrogate the tanner, converse with Adela, and question the innkeeper. The map will eventually be littered with several possible locations. Reeky is located in a cave next to a clearing northeast of Ledetchko (Objective B).

    If you were fast enough, Reeky will still be alive. When confronted by the bandits outside, you can KO them with your fists while Reeky handles the coup de grace. Or you can run away and leave him to this fate.

    My Friend Timmy: Talk to Mirka at the mill east of Merhojed. Afterwards, you’ll be confronted by a group of bandits. Use your speech skill to send them on a wild goose chase in Rattay. They will leave one behind to babysit you. Punch him out or otherwise lose him. Head to the small farmstead west of Merhojed to find Timmy. Don’t suggest that he turn himself in.

    Nest of Vipers: Setting fire to all 4 arrow barrels and spiking the 4 food pots with Bane potion or poison will help greatly in making the next quest easier. Armor up and drink an Aqua Vitalis and Buck’s Blood. Make a manual save near the enemy camp in case you fail. When your ready, run straight into the lion’s den and sabotage the arrow barrels and food pots. If you’re fast enough, you can sabotage everything before the enemy has time to respond. If you didn’t and are locked in combat, you can either reload the save you made and try again, or flee the camp and wait for everyone to lose aggro. If you chose the latter, run back in and sabotage the things you missed the first time around. When Henry mentions there is nothing more he can do, return to Sir Radzig.

    Baptism of Fire: Your allies can handle the opening stages of the battle, especially if you successfully sabotaged the camp. The tricky bit is when the archers appear. If you’re playing as a pacifist, you can’t neutralize them. Our only recourse is to distract them. Sprint up to the archers positioned on the stairs. They should put away their bows to trade them for swords. Retreat back to the safety of your allies.

    Eventually, Henry is forced into a duel with Runt. Repair your armor. Take your potions. Poison your weapon. This is your boss battle. By this point, you should have a moderate to high strength skill (“Clinch Master” is a must), a powerful weapon that you found or stole, and lots of practice with blocks and master strikes (from Bernard’s training and the Rattay Tourney). I personally preferred a sword and killed him quickly, but others have reported using a mace was easier for them. Both are fine choices.

    Be sure to check that your “People killed” stat is 0 before fighting Runt. After killing Runt and watching/skipping the cutscenes that follow, check the stat again. In some cases, the “People killed” stat remains at 0. Other times, Runt’s death will push it to “People killed” : 1. This is ok, but no other NPC can trigger this stat further.

    Questions and Answers: You can lockpick the shed that the prisoner is unconscious in and loot his letter. Then wait for the sick to die in Merhojed. Alternatively, you can save the sick through the "Pestilence" side quest to pass the time (warning: reading required) and gain access to the prisoner.

    All That Glisters: Don’t bother with the runaround. Head straight towards the counterfeiting operation in a mine south of Rovna located here. There are a few bandits holed up in a camp outside the mine’s entrance. Kite them down the nearby road and punch them out. With sufficient armor and strength, KO’ing all the guards should be doable. Drink a bard potion before running into the mine. Take the right fork, and use your speech skill to talk Jezhek into surrendering.

    If You Can’t Beat ‘Em: The easiest objective is talking to the Sasau bailiff and learning about the tanner’s problem with a nearby fight club. Beat up all the fighters to gain their approval and an invite to the bandit group.

    Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience: You have two options in dealing with Karl’s guardian. Pass a charisma check to send him outside. After talking to Karl, you’ll have to pickpocket the writ and purse from Manfred when no one is looking. If you pass the speech option instead, you’ll play dice with Manfred and he should retire for the evening. You can KO him while he’s sleeping to grab the writ and purse for Karl. Before you can enter the monastery, you will need to know how to read (from Uzhitz’s scribe).

    Optional tip: stash all of your gear in your horse’s inventory before becoming a monk. That way, you’ll have instant access to your equipment after dealing with Pious. Otherwise, you will need to return to the Porter’s chest to recover your stuff. Henry’s keys will always need to be recovered as they can’t be stashed on your horse.

    Needle in a Haystack: The most annoying quest in the game. Luckily for you, I know how to bypass most of it. After Antonius gives his tour, immediately tell him that you know he’s Pious, but you don’t want to kill him. The two of you will come up with a plan to fake his death and escape. But before we can do that, Antonius will need a couple of things.

    Take advantage of Henry’s free reign for the rest of the evening. Head towards the dining hall. When everyone has left, slip into the kitchen. On your immediate left will be a shopping list. Interact with it to add the goat’s blood. Return to the chapel and grab the lockpick located behind the altar. Go to bed and attend prayer at 4am. During breakfast, sneak unseen into the kitchen and retrieve the goat’s blood. Give both items to Antonius. The next step in the plan is to rendezvous with him after vespers. While avoiding the circators (use a speech check if caught), head back to the dormitory and into the adjourning room that overlooks the chapel. Hide here until 6pm. Talk to Antonius and follow his instructions.

    The Die is Cast: If you followed my instructions above, show Kozliek the die and explain that you got rid of the body.

    Alternatively, you can completely fail the previous quest by being caught with contraband (i.e. from Siskin’s stash in the side quest “Worldly Goods”) and/or refusing punishment. If you are kicked out from the monastery, your only pacifist recourse would be to bribe the crimps with several thousand Groschen.

    Eventually, Henry is captured and tortured. Try to sneak for this next bit. If all else fails, you might be strong enough to KO the patrolling guard. Standing from your cell, the hut to your right has a chest full of helpful potions. Use them as you see fit. The hut to your left has a chest with a lockpick. Use it to enter Erik’s office and recover Henry’s gear from the massive chest.

    Run to the dung heap on the left side of the palisade and escape. Once you’re far enough away from Vranik, you’ll automatically travel to Rattay.

    Payback: Armor up and drink your potions to increase survivability. Sit back and watch as your allies kill everyone. When it’s time for Henry to secure the right flank, sprint past the enemies and toward the inner gate.

    Out of the Frying Pan: Your allies can handle the battle. Stay back and keep safe. If you’re feeling adventurous, help struggling allies by distracting or punching their opponents.

    Night Raid: Mission is doomed to fail. Punch the first enemy you’re told to take out and run back to where you started.

    Siege: Don’t bother with the optional objectives. Stay focused on the main objectives to progress the story.

    Rocketeer: Forging Kyeser’s leave of absence is doable regardless of Henry’s build. Sneak up to the Master Build’s room and steal Kyeser’s commission from a chest. Return to Kyeser and follow his plan. When Peychar shows up in Sasau and spooks Kyeser, intercept the would be assassin by waiting outside Kyeser’s home at midnight. Catch Peychar sneaking around and listen to his poorly thought up excuse. Now, let him go. (You heard me right.) When you return to the siege camp and trigger the next cutscene, Peychar will appear. The guards will make quick work of the world’s worst assassin.

    Cold Steel, Hot Blood: Your allies have this battle in the bag. Stay alive and fist fight those you think deserve it. Otherwise, keep your armor repaired, drink your potions, and watch the carnage.

    Family Values: Use Bard & Amor potions to increase you chances of passing Erik’s speech checks. Don’t worry about botching the interrogation. The story moves forward regardless.

    An Oath is An Oath: This is the hardest battle in the main story as a pacifist because your allies are going to get slaughtered, leaving Captain Bernard and Sir Hans Capon forever stun-locked by your enemies. There are two methods to deal with this final battle.

    If you want to fight like an honorable knight, drink your potions and coat a mace or war hammer in Bane poison. You and Bernard’s squad need to eliminate the three groups of enemies guarding the walls. Left alone, your allies can take out the first group with minimal casualties, but they are eventually stonewalled by the second. Instead, engage the defenders alongside your allies by successfully hitting each enemy once with your poisoned weapon. They should die of poison or be slowed enough that Captain Bernard and his men can finish them off. With enough luck and skill, your group can take back the walls from all three groups. This will trigger the next cutscene. Periodically check the “People killed” stat to ensure you didn’t accidentally deliver the killing blow on someone.

    If your Henry is a coward, there's an easy way out. Climb the siege ladder at the beginning of the battle. Right after you reach the top of the wall, turn to your left and run past the enemies. Enter the abandoned armory and jump down the short ladder. Hide here for an hour as your allies suffer in endless torment. Feel Henry’s shame as the next cutscene automatically triggers.

    Epilogue: I hope you didn’t install “The Amorous Adventures of Bold Sir Hans Capon.” If activated, you’ll have to complete this questline before finishing the main story. For everyone else, ride off into the sunset with Sir Hans Capon and watch the rare achievements unlock one after another.
    Showing all 4 comments. Leave a comment.
    Mama BerryHelpful tip, maybe, but I’ve noticed halfway through my hardcore playthrough that if you request ‘heal wounds, bath and launder garments’ or ‘wench’ at the bathhouse it also resets tiredness and hunger. Helpful if you’re running low on food or cockerel potions! toast

    Edit: Truly a brilliant guide! Thanks for posting, wish I had read this before getting so far on my second run!
    Posted by Mama Berry on 21 Feb at 02:16
    Dresden N7I'll add a note on bathhouses resetting nourishment and energy levels. Although, no wenches recommended for a celibate Henry ;)

    I'm sorry to hear that you found the guide late in your Hardcore run. However, I'm glad that you're here now. Hopefully some of the quest shortcuts will help you with the remaining parts of the game. You're very welcome, and thank you for the comment! toast
    Posted by Dresden N7 on 21 Feb at 09:41
    SGT ImpalerThis post and the blog it came from is beyond outstanding. It made relatively short work of what would have been an overwhelming task. The greatest challenge was doing all of this is a pacifist play through, so knowing when and where combat could be avoided was crucial. Well done, Dresden. You’ve earned your +1 and your N7 rating in spades.
    Posted by SGT Impaler on 07 Jun at 13:28
    Dresden N7@SGT Impaler: Thank you for the kind words. Knowing the guide helped you tackle Hardcore Mode with such ease makes it all worth it! Congrats on the completion, and I wish you luck on your future gaming endeavors. toast
    Posted by Dresden N7 on 07 Jun at 20:31
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