Just a little quickstart guide I wish I would have had myself. This is meant for new players. There are some minor spoilers for the prologue.
KCD Quickstart Guide
Choosing Stats: As you start the game you will be speaking to your mother about what you were up to and how you injured your hand. Your choices will increase the appropriate stat by 1. Your choice will affect how you resolve the first quest. For the most part stats will improve naturally but some are faster to improve than others. Speech is the slowest to level up as it can only be improved by talking to people or haggling with traders while the others will improve naturally as you perform physical activities such as combat, hunting and sprinting.
Dealing with Kunesh: If you chose to level up speech you will be able to deal with Kunesh without having to fight him. However you still won’t get the money from him since he is broke. If you fail the speech test you will have to fight him. If you win you get his keys and can take his axe, hammer, and nails to trade for the charcoal. If you fail that you can get patched up by your mother. After that sneak into his house to find the locked chest. Henry will mention he needs a lockpick. You get 4 free lockpicks from Fritz after you go to the tavern. You can also help your friends teach Deutsche a lesson and then have them with you to beat up Kunesh but you might not get the lockpicks.
Why you want lockpicks before leaving Skalitz: There is a locked chest in Henry’s house containing a skill book for strength, his special Beta Die and some other stuff that will be useful. It is also good to practice lockpicking as you will come across chests in bandit camps that require very high lockpicking skills to open and contain very valuable loot. Be sure to practice on locked doors when no one is looking.
Gather Herbs: While tedious gathering herbs will be useful and you can get past 10 ranks before leaving Skalitze. The herbs can be sold at the traders and when you hit 10 you can take a perk which causes picking herbs to start increasing strength as well.
Breaking out of Talmberg: If you got the lockpicks or have enough groschen to buy some from the peasant in the middle of the town you will be able to steal some armor to disguise yourself as a guard. Speak to the guard at the gate first and tell him you have to bury your parents. If you succeed he won’t let you out but will suggest you dress as a guard.l Then when you dress as a guard get on the only horse that allows you to mount it without stealing it, go to the gate, have the guard open the gate, and ride on to Skalitz.
Pickpocketing and Reading: You will NOT be able to use either of these skills until you are taught how. For pickpocketing do “The Good Thief” quest for Peshek after the prologue and ask him to teach you. For reading travel up to Uzhitz and speak to the scribe. You will need to spend money. Train pickpocketing by practicing on sleeping people and only taking the closest item regardless of what it is. For reading always read while sitting on a comfortable bed or chair to reduce the time it takes to finish a skill book.
- As soon as you get to Rattay you can improve your strength and agility by fighting with the locals legally. To do so talk to Milan and he will tell you to fight two others for groschen before he will fight you himself. Each fight costs about 2-4 groschen and you win it back plus more if you knock the other guy out. (You can also steal all his groschen while he is unconscious so long as no one is around to see it).
- Always carry Antidote. You never know who might have poisoned arrows or blades.
- Finish the main questline to the point at which you find Ginger and return him to Neuhoff. This will open up the option to train with Bernard and learn crucial combat techniques such as combos and the Master Stroke. You will also be able to do free training with him to level up your weapon skill, warfare, defence, strength, agility, and vitality just as you would during normal combat.
- Keep some small maintenance kits on you so you can repair your armour and weapons in the field. This improves your maintenance skill and opens up nice perks such as having a higher chance to cause bleeding with blades you sharpen yourself on the grindstone wheel.
- If you have the DLC go ahead and enter the Rattay Tourney once you learn how to do Master Strokes. It costs 60 groschen and even if you don’t win you will level up a couple combat skills which is worth it. Beware Black Peter!
- Always carry some alcohol and dried food. Food usually spoils quickly but dried food and alcohol will not spoil at all.
- Practice Alchemy once you can read the recipes. Making your own Saviour Schnapps, Moonshine, Marigold Decoction, and other essential potions will save a lot of money overall and as you increase your skill in Alchemy you will yield more potions per brewing. You can sell the extras as well to the Apothecary, Herbalist or Trader.
- Pebbles, your first horse, sucks. However, you can make your dapple grey horse more useful by upgrading your horsemanship skill and his tact. Be sure to get him horseshoes to improve his speed and a saddle with more saddlebags to increase how much he can carry. You should also get a caparison to more easily identify your horse as well as give him a bit of armor. Wear spurs to improve your horsemanship skill as well. The better the spurs the higher the bonus. Bridles will of course improve handling.
- Get a new horse. When you save up about 5k you will be able to get a stronger, faster, and more courageous steed. Be sure to visit the horse trader in Uzhitz or Neuhoff and examine all the horses before deciding. Courage and Speed are key stats to look at especially if you plan to do mounted combat or horseback archery.
- Don’t be afraid to explore. You can find good hunting spots, abandoned loot, and fights with the occasional bandit if you explore away from the roads. Also most herbalists live away from the towns in the forests and are the only ones who will sell you recipes for poison or other harmful potions.
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