Exile 3: PC Skills

From PlayItHardcore

Physical Stats


Critically important to all characters. In my example offensive party, my warriors will start with at least 15 Strength, forsaking HP and other skills. Strength determines how powerful your attacks are, how much you can carry and, most importantly, how many HP you gain per level. Since adding skills to HP is basically a waste of skill in the long run, with the HP cap at 250, the next best solution is to gain HP via high STR. A character that has 20 STR by level 5 will max out their HP at around level 30, and a character with 15 STR (such as a caster) will have around 180HP at level 30. Considering how powerful the Alien Beasts and Golem attacks are, you'll want the ability to soak up that damage.

  • Suggested starting strength for Warriors: 12-15
  • Suggested starting strength for Casters: 5-7
  • Suggested max for Warriors: 20, before level 10
  • Suggested max for Casters: 15, before level 10


Dexterity affects your ability to avoid an attack, your ability to successfully make an attack and a bit important for Archers and Ranged attacks (at 20 Archery or Missile points you only need a few Dexterity to achieve a 100% hit rate). Completely useless for a pure Caster, it is a good stat to max for a Warrior but not early on, as weapon proficiencies help much more.

  • Suggested starting dexterity for Warriors: 1-3
  • Suggested starting dexterity for Casters: Ignore
  • Suggested max for Warriors: 10 by level 15, 20 by level 25
  • Suggested max for Casters: Ignore


Intelligence affects magic and only magic. However, it does so to an extreme degree. The higher your intelligence, the more powerful and longer lasting your spells will be. The difference between Haste at 5 Intelligence and 15 Intelligence is night and day. It is unimportant for anyone except casters.

  • Suggested starting intelligence for Warriors: Ignore
  • Suggested starting intelligence for Casters: 1 if going for max HP
  • Suggested max for Warriors: Ignore
  • Suggested max for Casters: 10 by level 15, 20 by level 30

Combat Proficiencies

Melee Weapons

Includes the Edged Weapons, Bashing Weapons and Pole Weapons skills. These are pretty self explanatory, and the in-game tips are more or less accurate. Swords are cheap and plentiful, and getting Magic Broadswords is not that hard. Polearms are rarer, but will do a lot more damage at the high end. Mace weapons are also fairly plentiful, and easy to come across magic ones.

If you are going for max HP, do not give anyone weapon proficiencies to start, but do it early on. For diversity, I'd suggest giving one character Edged weapons, one character Polearms, and then another character either Edged or Bashing.

With Melee warriors, raise this in line with Defense for the characters lifespan, keeping them more or less equal until you hit 20 in both. If you want to sacrifice Defense, increase your weapon proficiency sooner.

Ranged Weapons

While I truly want to believe that Bows, Crossbows, Darts, Razordisks and other ranged weapons can really dominate, in truth I haven't seen them ever perform. Two equal characters, one with 20 Polearm, one with 20 Archery, both with 20 Dexterity. The Archer also wielding a Silver Accuracy Ring and a Magic Crossbow. Round for round, the polearm warrior will do more damage and hit more often, not to mention not requiring heavy ammunition.

If you do decide to have an Archer in your party, get them a magic bow ASAP, max their Archery and give them any accuracy rings you come across. Also make them a Slith.

Suggest ignoring missile weapons on a hardcore run, in favor of more melee or more magic.


Decreases the chance (never by 100% sadly) of getting an action point penalty or being unable to cast mage spells for a turn due to encumbrance. Also very slightly reduces overall damage taken (20 Defense will on average reduce damage by only four or five hit points)--miniscule compared to the armor your character is wearing. The biggest thing that Defense affects is your character's parrying ability. A character with 20 Defense putting 4 action points into parrying is nigh impossible to hit even while heavily cursed. If you don't plan on parrying much then it really isn't that valuable of a skill.

Magic and Lore

Mage and Priest

The staples of the entire game. Without strong magery and strong priestly abilities, you will be at the losing end of many, many fights.

Mage Spells primarily deal in utility, direct damage and summoning. However, the mage tree also has the absolute best buffing spells, which is contrary to what you'd expect in an RPG. Hands down, Major Blessing is the best tool in the entire game. Particular tactics for Magery in combat is expanded in Exile 3 Combat. With each level of Magery you start with, you gain 3 spell points. Keeping this in mind, I would aim to make magery as high as possible on your initial casters.

  • Suggested Mage Spells on Pure Casters: 3-6 to start with, 7 before level 15

Priest Spells have the advantage of being fully functional regardless of the encumbrance level of a PC, making it viable to have a Priest / Melee warrior. Offensively, Priest Spells are very weak. You're left with primarily cursing opponents or buffing/protecting your party. You do get offensive spells in the higher end of the tree, but nowhere near what Mage Spells brings. However, it has some of the most important protective spells in the game such as Mass Sanctuary and Avatar, the best healing and some fantastic party-disablers such as Mass Charm.

  • Suggested Priest Spells on Pure Casters: 3-6 to start with, 7 before level 15
  • Suggested total spell levels on dual Mage/Priests: 7-9 levels (6/3 mage/priest or vice versa)

Mage Lore

Important, cheap, and best of all it is determined as a sum of all your characters' investment into it, not just a single character. With high levels in this, you will get a host of very power spells for free. This includes some potent ones like Major Blessing and Major Summoning. As far as I am aware, the highest amount of Mage Lore needed to learn something is 20, for the spell Mindduel.

  • Suggested total on start: 0* Suggested max: 20 total points, distributed across party. 10 points by level 10, 20 points by level 20


An extremely useful skill that lets you craft many useful potions. The most useful of which are Energy potions, which restore Mana (fantastic for long fights). The only real downside is that Alchemy is expensive, per point, requiring a large skill investment. In a Hardcore run, the skill sacrifice might not be enough to offset the loss in other abilities.

If you do want an Alchemist, and I don't blame you if you do, I'd suggest reaching and then stopping at 14 Alchemy on a single character, which will give you the required skill to make Medium Energy Potions. The only other potion to make after that is Knowledge Brew, which is extremely expensive to make and not worth the investment.

  • Suggested starting level: 0
  • Suggested max: Either 0 or 14 by level 25


Item Lore

High Item Lore gives you a chance to identify an item as soon as it drops. This has no place in hardcore. Identifying items is cheap and people who will identify are all over the place. Also, Item Lore does not effect special items you will find, only random drops. On top of that, it is an expensive and skill-hungry skill.

Ignore this skill.

Disarm Traps

Gives you a higher chance of disarming a trap when you encounter one. Completely and totally worthless.

Ignore this skill.


Gives you a better chance of unlocking non-magical doors with lockpicks. The majority of really important locks in the game cannot be picked and require the Unlock spell or Piercing Crystals anyway. Total waste of points.

Ignore this skill.


Lets you apply poison to your weapon. Poison can be made by your Alchemist or bought/looted. Poisoned weapons, particularly with Killer Poison, can be extremely, extremely lethal. There might be a small case for it, were it not for the fact that it only affects weapons the poisoner is wielding, which cannot be "handed over" to someone else.

If you're trying a specialty game, go for it. Aside from that, ignore this skill and rely on spells to deliver poison instead.


The creme-de-le-creme for Warriors, this skill gives you an additional boost in combat when facing weaker opponents or even stronger opponents at high levels. Essentially, it lets you deal an additional chunk of damage over your initial weapon strike. At low levels it's totally worthless, but once you've maxed your Warriors other applicable skills it is a wise investment. With high Assassination, you can deliver apeloads of damage in melee combat.