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The faction system in Grim Dawn allows the player to take advantage of the reputation (and infamy) gained with the various groups of Cairn. Completing quests, turning in bounties, and defeating members of opposing factions earns reputation with friendly factions, which gives access to perks such as merchant discounts, special equipment from quartermasters, and new side quests. Killing members of hostile factions earns infamy with these factions, which makes more enemies of that faction spawn, and later grants access to Nemesis enemies.
The base game features 12 factions, of which at the start of a game 7 are friendly and 5 are hostile. The Ashes of Malmouth and Forgotten Gods expansions each add three friendly and one hostile faction, bringing the number of factions to 20.
Some initially friendly factions may become hostile depending on player choice.
- The Black Legion
- Devil's Crossing
- Kymon's Chosen [note 1]
- Order of Death's Vigil [note 1]
- The Outcast [note 2]
- Coven of Ugdenbog AoM
- Barrowholm AoM [note 3]
- Malmouth Resistance AoM
- Cult of Bysmiel FG [note 4]
- Cult of Dreeg FG [note 4]
- Cult of Solael FG [note 4]
- The player is required to side with either Kymon's Chosen or the Order of Death's Vigil during the main storyline quest Allies Among the Ashes. The faction the player didn't side with becomes hostile.
- The player is given the option to attack the Outcast in the quest The Aetherial Witch. The other option, siding with the Outcast, incurs a reputation loss with the Black Legion, but does not make that faction hostile.
- The player is given the option to attack Barrowholm in Act 5 quests.
- The player is required to join one of the three cults during the storyline of the Forgotten Gods expansion. This determines the choice of available quests and makes it easier to earn reputation with the chosen cult, but does not make the other two cults hostile.
- Cronley's Gang
- Arkovian Undead
- Aetherial Vanguard AoM
- Eldritch Horrors FG
Depending on whether a faction is friendly or hostile, the player can gain either positive or negative reputation with it. In some cases (such as when turning in some quests), gained reputation can be lost, but this cannot make a friendly faction hostile even if the reputation with that faction would go below 0 (it is set to 0 instead). The following actions result in reputation changes:
- Turning in quests and bounties.
- The player gains positive reputation with the faction that benefits from the quest (usually, but not always, the one that gains the quest).
- If this quest was aimed against a hostile faction, the player may gain infamy with that faction.
- If this quest harmed another friendly faction, the player may lose reputation with that faction.
- Defeating enemies.
- If the enemy was a member of a hostile faction, the player gains infamy with that faction.
- If some friendly factions have this hostile faction listed as an enemy, the player gains reputation with these friendly faction. This can only work if the faction is "known" to the character, which typically requires them to complete a quest for that faction on any difficulty.
- Reputation changes are affected by what kind of enemy is defeated. Heroes, bosses, and nemeses grant more reputation that regular enemies. Enemies of any kind with a level far below that of the player don't affect reputation at all.
There are two sets of reputation tiers that form the progressions for friendly and hostile factions. Reaching higher tiers with a faction grants perks that are listed below.
Friendly faction reputation tiers:
- Tolerated (0 to 1,499)
- Friendly (1,500 to 4,999)
- Respected (5,000 to 9,999)
- Honored (10,000 to 24,999)
- Revered (25,000)
Hostile faction reputation tiers:
- Hostile (1 to 1,499)
- Despised (1,500 to 7,999)
- Additional champions start spawning, sometimes with monsters that do not normally spawn in an area appearing to bolster their forces.
- Hated (8,000 to 19,999)
- Nemesis (20,000)
Factions offer bounties via their respective bounty tables. These are small quests where the player can earn additional rewards and reputation. There are a total of 145 bounty missions across the 7 friendly factions.
Each friendly faction offers its own specific equipment for purchase, available from the faction quartermasters as rewards for gaining reputation.
Grim Dawn features items that amplify reputation gains with factions.
A writ is a consumable item that boosts a character's reputation gain with its respective faction by 50%. Unlike mandates, writs are soulbound, i. e. they cannot be transferred. Even though it's possible to purchase multiple writs from a single faction's quartermaster, only one writ per faction per character can actually be used.
A mandate is a consumable item that boosts a character's reputation gain with its respective faction by 150%. Mandates can be transferred between different characters. Even though it's possible to purchase multiple mandates from a single faction's quartermaster, only one mandate per faction per character can actually be used.
Nemesis bosses have a chance to drop warrants, which boost infamy gained with the respective faction by 50% across all difficulties. Warrants can be freely traded between players.
There are some considerations that apply whenever the game gives the option to become hostile with a previously-friendly faction. Such a choice locks out that faction's quests and bounties, their quartermaster, and makes writs and mandates for that faction unavailable. It also makes that faction available as an enemy, meaning the ability to earn items (including monster infrequents), experience, reputation, and to defeat their nemesis, which also gives access to warrants for that faction. As such, it may be useful to have separate characters to get the benefits of all choices (which is time-consuming), or at least to take different sides on different difficulty levels (which, hovewer, has its own downsides such as reputation resets). There also may be moral or roleplay points made for or against specific choices.
The subsections below describe the specifics of each individual choice in more detail and do not offer the generic advice listed above.
Kymon's Chosen vs Death's Vigil
Each faction has their faction vendor items to consider. TODO: describe.
TODO: Quest asymmetry...
The choice affects the events of the Forgotten Gods expansion slightly. TODO: describe.
With or against the Outcast
Siding with Anasteria will make it more difficult to earn reputation with the Black Legion. In addition, Anasteria provides a significant amount of information about the game's lore and backstory if left alive, and provides even more such knowledge in the Ashes of Malmouth expansion.
Siding with the Black Legion soldiers will give access to an additional dungeon and the ability to farm Anasteria for her unique drops.
With or against Barrowholm
Choosing the diplomatic solution with Barrowholm gives the ability to fight two bosses: the celestial boss Ravager and the easily-repeated boss Larria.
Witch cult choice
Unlike with the other choices, the factions not chosen do not become hostile, so there is no loss of items incurred. However, only the quests for the chosen faction are available, and while the main storyline quests have identical rewards, the Honored-tier side quests provide blueprints unique to both difficulty and faction. As such, it's required to use several characters to get all the rewards.
The Bysmiel cult may be the fastest one to play with: it's possible to get extra Blood of the Watchers for future difficulties, and its quests are less "out of the way" than the other factions. Its Honored-tier quest is also simpler than the other two.
Particular notes on each:
- Cult of Bysmiel:
- Main quest unique area: Veiled Den (Eldritch lands) with the boss Galfang, who has no unique drop.
- Honored-tier quest: Kymon's Deserters, an easy "Find the NPCs" quest.
- Korvan Swiftness, a leaping and fire movement augment.
- Cult of Dreeg:
- Main quest unique area: Edge of Reality (Chthonic) with the boss Ishtal, who does not have a unique drop.
- Honored-tier quest: Future is Madness, to kill the boss Inarah (no unique drop).
- Dreeg's Vector, a teleport and acid movement augment.
- Cult of Solael:
- Main quest unique area: Blood Wastes (Chthonic void) with the boss Onarix, who does not have a unique drop.
- Honored-tier quest: Word of Rahn, finding and aligning statues in Korvan City.
- Rahn's Might, a shield-based movement augment.
|Blade Arc (Clean Sweep - Laceration) • Blitz (Blindside) • Cadence (Discord - Fighting Form - Deadly Momentum) • Forcewave (Tremor - Rending Force - Internal Trauma) • Overguard • War Cry (Terrify - Break Morale)|
|Decorated Soldier • Fighting Spirit • Markovian's Advantage • Menhir's Will • Military Conditioning • Scars of Battle • Shield Training • Veterancy • Zolhan's Technique|
|Counter Strike • Field Command (Squad Tactics) • Menhir's Bulwark • Oleron's Rage|
|Blackwater Cocktail (High Potency - Demon Fire - Agonizing Flames) • Canister Bomb (Concussive Bomb - Improved Casing) • Fire Strike (Explosive Strike - Searing Might - Searing Strike - Static Strike - Brimstone) • Flashbang (Searing Light) • Grenado (High Impact - Skyfire Grenado) - Shattering Blast • Mortar Trap (Heavy Ordnance - "The Big One") • Stun Jacks (Quick Jacks - Full Spread) • Thermite Mine (Hellfire Mine)|
|Blast Shield • Ulzuin's Chosen|
|Flamed Touched (Temper) • Vindicative Flame (Ulzuin's Wrath)|
|Blood of Dreeg (Aspect of the Guardian) • Blood Pox (Fevered Rage - Wasting - Black Death) • Curse of Frailty (Vulnerability) • Doom Bolt • Dreeg's Evil Eye (Blood Burst - Focused Gaze - Terrifying Gaze - Vile Eruption) • Sigil of Consumption (Destruction)|
|Bonds of Bysmiel (Manipulation) • Possession • Solael's Witchfire (Consecrated Blade - Second Rite)|
|Summon Familiar (Mend Flesh - Storm Spirit - Lightning Strike) • Summon Hellhound (Ember Claw - Hellfire - Infernal Breath)|
|Amarasta's Blade Burst (Lethal Assault) • Blade Barrier • Blade Trap (Devouring Blades) • Phantasmal Blades (Frenetic Throw - Heart Seeker - Nether Edge) • Pneumatic Burst (Breath of Belgothian - Shadow Dance - Elemental Awakening) • Ring of Steel (Ring of Frost - Circle of Slaughter) • Shadow Strike (Nidalla's Justifiable Ends - Nightfall)|
|Anatomy of Murder • Dual Blades (Belgothian's Shears - Hidden Hands - Amarasta's Quick Cut - Whirling Death - Execution) • Merciless Repertoire • Phantasmal Armor|
|Veil of Shadow (Night's Chill)|
|Albrecht's Aether Ray (Tainted Power - Disintegration) • Callidor's Tempest (Wrath of Agrivix - Inferno) • Devastation • Maiven's Sphere of Protection (Conversion) • Mirror of Ereoctes • Nullification • Olexra's Flash Freeze (Absolute Zero) • Panetti's Replicating Missile (Distortion - Supercharged - Proliferation) • Trozan's Sky Shard (Frozen Core - Shattered Star)|
|Arcane Will • Fabric of Reality • Inner Focus • Mental Alacrity|
|Iskandra's Elemental Exchange (Manifestation - Overload - Elemental Balance) • Reckless Power • Star Pact|
|Brute Force (Feral Hunger - Upheaval) • Devouring Swarm • Grasping Vines (Entangling Vines) • Primal Strike (Thunderous Strike - Torrent - Storm Surge) • Savagery (Might of the Bear - Tenacity of the Boar - Storm Touched)|
|Mogdrogen's Pact (Heart of the Wild - Oak Skin) • Primal Bond • Stormcaller's Pact|
|Conjure Primal Spirit • Storm Totem (Corrupted Storm) • Summon Briarthorn (Ground Slam - Emboldening Presence) • Wendigo Totem (Blood Pact) • Wind Devil (Raging Tempest - Maelstrom)|
|Flames of Ignaffar - (Tainted Flame - Intensify - Infernal Purge - Endless Flame) • Horn of Gandarr • Inquisitor Seal - (Null Field - Arcane Empowerment) • Rune of Hagarrad - (Biting Cold - Chillsurge) • Rune of Kalastor - (Ignition) • Storm Box of Elgoloth (Allagast's Arcane Net - Lightning Tether) • Word of Pain (Word of Agony - Death Sentence) • Word of Renewal - (Word of Arms - Vigor - Steel Resolve)|
|Artifact Handling • Bursting Round • Chilling Rounds • Deadly Aim • Ranged Expertise • Storm Spread|
|Aura of Censure • Aura of Conviction|
|Bone Harvest (Harvester of Death - Dread - Soul Harvest) • Call of the Grave • Drain Essence (Gravechill - Hungering Reach - Decomposition) • Ill Omen • Mark of Torment • Ravenous Earth (Decay - Foul Eruption) • Reap Spirit • Siphon Souls - (Sear Souls - Blood Boil)|
|Necrotic Edge • Reaping Strike|
|Harbinger of Souls • Master of Death • Spectral Binding (Spectral Wrath)|
|Raise Skeletons (Undead Legion - Will of the Crypt) • Reap Spirit • Summon Blight Fiend (Unstable Anomaly - Rotting Fumes - Blight Burst)|
|Aegis of Menhir (Avenging Shield - Aegis of Thorns - Reprisal) • Ascension (Clarity of Purpose) • Eye of Reckoning (Soulfire) • Judgment (Crushing Verdict - Heart of Wrath) • Righteous Fervor (Dreeg's Reproach - Consecration - Retribution) • Vire's Might (Volcanic Might - Volcanic Stride - Tectonic Shift)|
|Resilience • Safeguard • Shattering Smash • Smite|
|Divine Mandate • Path of the Three • Presence of Virtue (Haven - Rebuke)|
|Summon Guardian of Empyrion (Scion of Dreeg - Celestial Presence)|
|Weapons • Axes • Maces • Swords • Two-handed Melee • Pistols • Two-handed Ranged • Daggers • Scepters • Shields • Off-Hands|
Armor • Head Armor • Shoulder Armor • Chest Armor • Hand Armor • Leg Armor • Foot Armor
Accessories • Amulets • Rings • Medals • Belts
Unique Items • Sets • Monster Infrequents
Relics • Components • Augments • Blueprints • Recipes • Materials • Consumables
|Aetherial • Aether Corruption • Arachnid • Beast • Beastkin • Chthonic • Eldritch|
Human • Insectoid • Riftspawn • Undead • Heroes • Bosses • Pets
|Factions • Bounties|
|The Black Legion • Devil's Crossing • Homestead • Rovers • The Outcast|
Kymon's Chosen • Order of Death's Vigil • Aetherials • Beasts • Chthonians • Cronley's Gang • Arkovian Undead