"Our fealty is sworn to you, Arisen."
All pawns carry a glowing scar upon their hand that corresponds to the scar upon the Arisen's chest. Other than the scar, Pawns look human physically, the difference being that they neither age nor truly die; they lack any sort of real emotion and willpower.
Every Arisen has their own main pawn, and can hire up to two other Pawns from the Rift. Pawns can be found in the Rift accessed through a Rift Stone; they also can be found wandering around Gransys, and congregate at the Pawn Guild, as well as in the Urban Quarter of Gran Soren, and at The Encampment.
For details on hiring other pawns see Hired Pawns. Before hiring a Pawn, one should investigate its stats, skills, inclinations and equipment to see it’d fit into the overall party dynamic. Players cannot make changes to a Support Pawn's skills or core AI like they can with their own main pawn. It is recommended to switch Support Pawns regularly because only the Arisen and their Main Pawn will level up and gain new skills.
The equipment that came with the pawn upon hiring can be removed and changed; however, the original equipment will be returned to the player who owns the Pawn, and if the player equips a Pawn with new equipment, that item is considered a "Gift" and cannot be retrieved.
Some pawns have become corrupted through the loss of their master, or through possession. Possessed pawns will attack the Arisen; they are found in the Chamber of Lament, and can also be turned by Dragonkin and some spectral creatures.
Levelling and Learning
As Pawns travel and complete quests with different players, they gain knowledge of areas, quests, enemy weaknesses and locations of secret paths, which they will all take back to the Arisen that created them.
If the player hires a Pawn that has already a vast knowledge of areas, creatures and quests, it will be able to aid them. For example, if a pawn has knowledge of a particular quest in which the player is involved, they will help direct them and may even go off to find hidden levers to open a hidden path.
Once sent back to the Rift, Pawns can be rated by the player that used them. They can be rated according to different parameters and facets, such as its appearance and usefulness in combat.
Curative and tool use
- Main article Pawn curative and tool use
Pawn act with a degree of self determination with the items in their own inventory. In general pawns may use curatives to heal, regain stamina, and cure debilitations. They may also use certain items in combat, most commonly objects that can cause thrown damage. Under certain circumstances they may use more powerful items, such as periapts and special arrows.
Pawns may pick up, mine and gather items, and will fill Empty Flasks when the opportunity arrives. They will not discard items, swap amongst themselves, or combine items to make new ones. Nor will they swap weapons or armor, even if the carry better ones, without the instruction of the Arisen.
- Main article Hired Pawns
Almost all pawns can be hired - up to two further pawns can join the party in addition to the main pawn.
Capcom has designed Dragons Dogma Dark Arisen to be a very social game, gamers are encouraged to use pawns belonging to other active gamers, and several creative methods have been developed by gamers for gamers to facilitate locating and hiring pawns through message boards or registries. Current methods include but are not limited to the boards on the gamefaqs.com website and a user-generated website that functions as a spreadsheet www.opsc.dark-arisen.com. Your pawn may earn valuable experience, rift crystals and possibly gifts so hiring pawns is both fun and rewarding.
- See Main Pawn.
The Main Pawn has a permanent spot in the player's party and can be customized just as extensively as the Arisen, not only regarding physical appearance, but also in vocation, skills and abilities.
The vocation of the main pawn is restricted to only 6 of the nine vocations, with Hybrid vocations only available to the Arisen.
The main pawn's AI can also be customized by their Arisen in Knowledge Chairs found in Inns as well as the Pawn Guild. These chairs can be used to "lock-in" a main inclination, choose their manner of speech and more.
If the main pawn is removed from the player's party for any reason (death, petrification, etc.), touching a Rift Stone will resummon it at no cost.
- Main article : Pawn Inclination.
Pawn Inclinations govern or dictate how a Pawn will behave in a party and in combat. When you first create your Main Pawn you will be asked a few questions about how your pawn should behave. The answers you give will directly affect their starting inclinations.
Inclinations are one of the most important factors in creating an effective pawn- not all inclinations work well with all vocations, and some inclinations are significantly less desirable than others. There are nine Pawn Inclinations:
- Nexus: A pawn that will aid the other pawns in your party.
- Pioneer: A pawn that will scout ahead and be on the look out for incoming danger.
- Guardian: A pawn that will stay near and guard the Arisen.
- Medicant: A pawn that will heal and keep the party alive.
- Acquisitor: A pawn that will search the area for items regardless of the situation.
- Challenger: A pawn that will attack enemies using ranged or magick first.
- Scather: A pawn that will attack stronger enemies first.
- Mitigator: A pawn that will attack weaker enemies first.
- Utilitarian: A pawn that will adapt its strategies to give allies advantages.
In general a wandering pawn does not drop equipment on being slain and returned to the rift, though Corrupted Pawns may.
Many items can be easily stolen from Pawns wandering the wilderness using Master Thief.
- Common : Angel's Periapt, Balmy Perfume, Banker's Periapt, Foreign Knife, Harspud Sauce, Jewel of Health, Jewel of Darkness, Kept Ambrosial Meat, Kept Sour Ambrosial Meat, Mage's Periapt, Pickled Mushrooms, Rousing Incense, Staminal Drench, Veteran's Periapt, Vigor Extract
- Rare : Adventurer's Cloak, Bandit's Mask, Decoction of Bandlily, Enlistment Corps Banner, Gryphic Gold, Iridescent Talisman, Jewel of Toxicity, Kunai, Liquid Vim, Ring of Gules, Ring of Purpure, Salomet's Secret, Shackle, Sobering Wine
- Earning Rift Crystals
- Trading and Gifting
- Threat Level and Special Tool/Curative Usage by Pawns
- Base Monster Experience Points
- Corrupted Pawn
- Despite being devoid of emotion and willpower, they fight with utmost earnest and courage. This is likely for gameplay purposes, but it could also mean that by "willpower" they are speaking about their own personality, or lack thereof.
- Although most pawns lack emotion, an Arisen's main pawn can become more human as they spend more time with the Arisen, eventually developing the rudiments of free will and losing their Pawn-Mark on their hand. This process is called the Bestowal of Spirit.