UPDATE: This guide was initially written during the game’s initial launch five years ago, and was then updated for the release of its Dark Arisen expansion. The same information should remain helpful for the current PS4 and Xbox One remaster.
If there is one thing Capcom failed to do with Dragon’s Dogma, it’s explain how to get the most from your Pawn. Hell, I had beaten the game before I even knew what the different “inclinations” did, or that I could change them with elixirs.
If you have more questions aside from how inclinations work, check out this post: Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen – FAQ.
If you’ve played Dragon’s Dogma and you’ve often wondered why that Fighter you just hired sits idly by until you get punched in the face, or why another pawn runs off and loots everything mid-battle, then this post is for you!
Let’s start off with a little information on inclinations.
Once you’ve created your main Pawn, you’ll be asked a series of questions with each answer leading your pawn toward two different inclinations–a primary and a secondary. From that point forward, your pawn will react according to their primary inclination first, and then, obviously, their secondary.
Each inclination tells your pawn to do certain actions over other ones, and keeping your pawn’s inclination to your liking not only ensures they’ll act how you want them to, but also act in a similar fashion when a fellow player rents them out. This should lead to more pawns coming back home with 5-star ratings.
So let me go over what each inclination does and toss a suggestion or two as to which class it would favor, or why it’s utter crap.
Scather – Causes your pawn to attack the strongest foes first. Ideal for Fighter pawns as they’ll tend to keep the larger monsters at bay while the rest of your party picks off the weaker ones.
Medicant – Causes pawns to focus on healing the party and removing status ailments. While this sounds like the ideal primary inclination for Mage pawns, having this set as their primary will cause them to spam heal the entire party even if a mere sliver of health is missing. It’s ideal to have this as their secondary inclination instead.
Mitigator – Causes pawn to attack the weakest targets first. Ideal for damage dealing pawns, especially ones in the Ranger & Sorceror vocations.
Challenger – Causes pawn to focus on long-range attackers like Rangers, Sorcerers, and Mages. Another ideal inclination for damage dealing pawns, especially those that attack from a distance themselves like Rangers or Sorcerers.
Utilitarian – Causes pawn to support the party with spells and abilities that would cause them to have an advantage in battle. This, in my opinion, should be the primary inclination of any healing-based Mage pawn. With Utilitarian set as primary, your pawn will focus on buffing you with elemental boons and Spellscreen. If you have Medicant set as your primary, your pawn will rarely cast anything but Anodyne due to your party rarely having full health in combat.
Guardian – Causes the pawn to protect the Arisen, first and foremost. While this sounds like the ideal inclination for almost any pawn, this is actually the absolute worst inclination in the game as it will cause your Pawn to remain inactive until your Arisen is physically attacked. This is also the reason why so many pawns sit around doing nothing until the Arisen is attacked by enemies, because frequent use of the “Help!” and “Come!” command force this inclination over time (yes, inclinations can change over the course of the game). Please, please, please, do everyone a favor that rents out your pawn and avoid having your pawn set to Guardian.
Nexus – Causes the pawn to protect other pawns at all cost. This is also a terrible inclination to have as your pawn will not actively attack other targets unless a fellow pawn is attacked first. Avoid this at all costs.
Pioneer – Causes your pawn to scout ahead of your party. While it’s not a bad idea to have this as a secondary inclination for a Fighter pawn (causing them to always be at the head of the pack), it will cause them to explore areas ahead of you that you might not have entered yet–rather than your ideal location. Another terrible inclination to have, as no one likes a pawn that wanders off to do their own thing. That’s literally the opposite of helpful.
Acquisitor – Causes your pawn to seek out and acquire hidden items, even in battle. Giving this inclination to your pawn isn’t terrible from your end — who doesn’t like loot? — but when you rent a pawn that just wants to wander off and loot everything in sight instead of fighting that swarm of bandits running a train on you, you’ll want nothing more than to throw them into the Brine. Take other players into consideration when choosing this inclination.
So now that you have a better idea of how inclinations cause a pawn to react, how do you actually set them? Easy!
Back at The Encampment, near the Rift Stone, is an NPC in a yellow robe that sells elixirs for Rift Crystals instead of gold. The same NPC sells a one-time use item that allows you to completely re-make your Arisen and your pawn the next time you enter the title screen, if you hate the way they look.
Anyway, from this NPC you can purchase various elixirs associated with the inclination of your choice. What you’ll want to do is purchase 2 of the elixir you’d like as your pawn’s primary, and 1 of the elixir you’d like as their secondary inclination. Drink the 2 primary first and then the secondary. That’s it.
While this doesn’t permanently change your pawn’s inclination, it allows you to change it anytime you wish. Your actions in-game have a long-term effect on your pawn’s inclination and they can continue to change over time. For instance, using the “come” command too often will cause your pawn to shift to a Guardian or Medicant role, which is why you see these as the most common inclinations on rented pawns. It’s so easy to do this in-game and most players don’t even know that something as simple as yelling “Help!” or “Come!” will eventually render their pawn completely useless.
For instance, using the “come” command too often will cause your pawn to shift to a Guardian or Medicant role, which is why you see these as the most common inclinations on rented pawns. It’s so easy to do this in-game and most players don’t even know that something as simple as yelling “Help!” or “Come!” will eventually render their pawn completely useless. Thanks again, Capcom.
So when choosing a pawn to help out your party, how can you tell which ones are worthwhile and which ones are the virtual equivalent of pickled harpy crap?
Talk to them and select the “details” option. Scan the pages until you find the one that shows their inclination. Any pawn rocking Guardian and Medicant can immediately be sent packing back to the Rift, as well as any pawn with the Pioneer and Acquisitor combo.
If you’re looking for a healer, look for a Mage with Utilitarian and Medicant. If you’re after a Fighter to keep enemies at bay, Scather and either Mitigator or Challenger are the way to go.
Decide what you want from a pawn and keep on summoning them until you find exactly what you’re looking for, rather than heading out and essentially flying solo. It also helps to look at their abilities and make sure you’re recruiting a Pawn that actually has spells to use, rather than picking one up that may have just swapped vocations. I’ve hastily done this before, and it’s a huge waste of time.
Another question I get a lot is “what is the best Pawn vocation?”, but there really isn’t a right or wrong answer for this.
In my personal experience, the hardest things to find are a tank or healer with the best spells and abilities that allow them to do their job efficiently. With this in mind, my main Pawn is always a tank or a healer, and generally one that doesn’t share the same armor class as my Arisen’s chosen vocation. So if I’m a Sorcerer, I don’t want to share loot drops with a Mage pawn. If I’m a Warrior, I’ll avoid sharing loot with a Fighter pawn, and so on. This allows both of us to have the best gear possible without divvying it up.
I primarily play as a Sorcerer or a Warrior, so I swap my Pawn’s vocation accordingly. It’s all personal preference, though, and you can’t really make a wrong choice here. Just pick what you think would work best and roll with it. That’s the beauty of this game. If you don’t like how things are playing out, you can take a trip back to the inn and change vocations as often as you’d like.
Hopefully, this information has been helpful (even if just to a few players), as I know I’ve spent enough time in Gransys watching Fighters twiddle their thumbs or run off to pick flowers. If I had found a post like this earlier in the game, life would have been a lot easier, but now that I’ve packed well over 200 hours into Dragon’s Dogma I figured I might as well do my best to explain the pawn inclination system to new and old players alike.
If you have any other questions about inclinations, leave them down in the comment section. I’ll do my best to answer them.