Creating a Sovereign involves 4 steps:
- Select a Faction, or create your own, at the top of the screen. See Faction Creator. This will determine your Race and will provide various perks.
- Select a Profession. Professions can have a huge influence on your game. It's easiest to select one before spending your Talent points.
- Spend your 6 Talent points: you can spend points on Talents, Spell schools and special equipment -hidden in the Appearance section!-. Optionally, you can select one Weakness to get an extra point.
- Write a backstory and choose colors, clothing and looks of your character.
Increased fame from completing quests, one of the weaker selections. If you choose this, plan to do a lot of quests early and often and plan to somehow make use of all the heroes you get from this. Most people don't want or need the number of heroes that this choice gives you. If you choose this, consider also choosing the Altar race which allows you to convert Fame into Henchmen which are heroes you get to design yourself and which come into play reasonably early in the game.
All units get +25% to Defense, one of the stronger choices. Unit Defense greatly impacts how much damage units take and therefore how survivable your units are and +25% can be a pretty big chunk to add onto what a unit has. That will make a big difference in damage incoming. If you choose this, consider taking the Life school of magic to further increase the survivability of your units.
Player starts with 2 bandit units and the ability to convert bandits, one of the weaker choices. Bandits aren't very strong and they aren't always plentiful either.
Can take control of enemy beasts, probably the strongest choice. This allows you to get your sovereign near a beast and spend 40 mana, if your cast is successful the beast joins your side. This allows you to turn difficult battles into easy ones and use your new found pets to kill things much harder than you would normally be able to. If you choose this, consider choosing the Mage path or choosing the Brilliant sovereign trait in order to minimize how often the casts are resisted.
The Tame spell is used to tame the beast. The higher your Spell Mastery the greater your chance of being successful. It requires some tactical skill to maneuver next to the beast without killing it or getting killed. Having the Rush skill and being equipped with a horse aids in this effort. The Studded Collar item can also be used to tame a beast which becomes useful if there is more than one beast of interest in the battle.
Following the Mage path is the quickest way to gain Spell Master by selecting Prodigy traits. Thereafter, consider the development mentioned for Warlock.
These beasts are the most useful: Great Wolf, Cave Bear, Umberdroth,and Silt Skath. Spiders can also be useful as guards but lack the movement to keep up with mounted units.
Plus 30% value of trades and the Silver Tongue ability, a mid range choice. Getting the most out of trades is hard and this doesn't make it much easier. The Silver Tongue ability is OK, though, and allows you to convert trained units to your side. The fewer units in play, the more this swings the battle. Consider going to war early if you choose this ability so there will be fewer units on each side. Choosing the Brilliant trait or the Mage class can help you make the most out of this ability.
Plus 25% to the army's experience, a mid range choice. If you choose this, your army will ideally be one or two levels ahead of the opponent's at any given time. Due to the quickly increasing costs to level up, don't expect to be more than about 1/10 levels ahead of your opponents. Those levels come at the cost of having a better ability as well (like Beastlord). You will always get to use this benefit maximally, unfortunately it just isn't that powerful of an ability.
Plus 50% attack vs beasts, a weak choice. You just don't fight enough beasts to make this worthwhile. Even when you do, the extra attack likely isn't going to mean you are able to defeat significantly harder opponents. If makes you hit harder, but if you are low enough you need that extra damage then you are probably also low enough where the thing you are fighting will kill a lot of your units in the process.
Minus 10% unrest in all cities, a strong choice. Unrest is one of the biggest limitations in the game and one of the most difficult to address, especially early game. This applies full benefits from turn one and will enable you to produce and research more earlier, ideally giving you a sizeable early game lead. Later, this basically enables you to have 3 additional cities for the same level of unrest as the opponents, a strong production advantage.
Plus 20% to research, a strong choice. In a game where having a higher level of technology can easily lead to a decisive advantage in battle, this lets you get that technology faster. More technology is always better and higher levels of technology is one of the things that will go the farthest to ensure you aren't defeated early and furthermore that you are victorious in battle.
Plus 2 levels for summons and unlocks the Shadow Warg spell, a weak choice. Summons just aren't that great and this makes them OK. This is only useful in the early game and in the early game the cost is very high compared to your limited mana generation and pool.
This unit's spells do 25% more damage, a mid range choice. This only really applies to sovereigns who choose the Mage path and who choose Fire and/or Water magic. For all other combinations this is a bad choice. For those combinations mentioned, it is fairly good. It takes a long time before Mages develop into serious damage dealers and this doesn't help that along very much in the process. It does make pretty end game numbers even prettier, though.
The best choice if you want to develop a powerful Mage. There are two other development paths for a Mage: Summoner and Beastlord. But they have separate considerations.
A Warlock delivers Spell Damage in battles. They also may act as fighters with no penalty except for lacking special abilities.
Your first Trait choices should be Knowledge for 25% Experience and Potential for 15% Experience. This will allow the Mage to develop faster.
Next Trait choice is Prodigy for +10 Spell Mastery and the Prodigy II for +10 Spell Mastery. Then Evoker and Evoker II for 20% Spell Damage each. At this point a good choice is the Aeromancy Trait to get the Lightening Bolt spell which will be your primary weapon. Continue choosing the Evoker traits and Prodigy traits. Choose the Geomancy trait to get the Sunder spell for attacking Elementals
A Mage gets -25% cost for tactical spells but you will need further reduction. The Water spell Mantle of Oceans provides an additional 40%. It is a strategic spell so the mage does not need the Water book. The Affinity trait provides 10% reduction. It is possible to get the Mana cost below 5 for the Lightening Bolt and Sunder spells.
Be on watch for looted items that can increase Spell Mastery or lower cost of tactical spells.
Minus 50% to unit wages, a strong choice. Gold income is heavily restricted in FE and one of the main outflows is from unit wages. This allows you to do any of a few very useful things, including: 1) Buy better equipment for your heroes, 2) Train more units for defense and offense, 3) trade gold for important resources or buy important treaties with diplomacy. No matter which of those you do, you are much better off by having a lot more gold to do it with.
Every Sovereign can spend 6 points on Talents and Spell schools. Spell schools cost 2 picks, talents all 1. Just like with Faction Traits, you can also select one negative talent, a Weakness, to get an extra point to spend.
Attunement Your Sovereign gains +2 mana per turn. (This raises mana income from your Sovereign from 2 to 4)
You can never have too much mana. The bonus is a little small though. Procipinee's Crown can gain you much more. On the other hand, Attunement does not cost an accessory slot.
Brilliant +10% experience gained and +2 Spell Mastery/Level.
Always take this if you are a Mage or a Beastlord. Otherwise, the 10% exp. might not be enough to win out over other picks. But remember, lots of other abilities also use the Spell Mastery vs Resistance mechanism.
Cautious Allows you to retreat during combat, along with your army.
Why would you ever pick this? Just never place your units next to monsters you cannot handle, and you should be fine.
Discipline +1 Accuracy and Spell Resistance per Level.
Spell Resistance isn't that big of a deal. Accuracy only matters if you are lucky enough to find a weapon with the Maul ability. Not a bad trait, but not really good enough to consider.
Hardy +1 Hit point per Level and immune to Poison.
Units and Champions gain 2 HP per level normally, so an extra Hit Point will be noticeable...but even with the added poison immunity, it may not be enough to select it. Wraith Sovs, who gain only 1 hit point per level, should seriously consider this.
Might +3 Attack.
An impressive bonus in the early game, it will quickly become one of your many attack bonuses (hopefully!). If you would like to go wild and not play a Mage, this might be the right trait for you.
Sovereign Bond Allows you to cast a Familiar who can cast all the spells you can.
Unfortunately, the Familiar will always start at level 1, has speed 2 and does not gain any of your bonuses. O, and as of 1.5 the Familiar is bugged. If the bug gets fixed, the Familiar is not completely useless: stick it in your Capital and you can cast additional (weaker) Summons and Strategic spells with it.
Tactician Your army gains +1 initiative.
A solid choice. Initiative is important. The only question is: will you actually notice the difference?
Veteran Start with +1 Level.
Never pick this. It only nets you 10 xp, less than what you would gain in your first battle. Meanwhile, higher levels require hundreds of xp. Getting a second level in a spell school would be a much wiser choice.
Wealthy +500 Gildar.
Mo' money, mo'...actually there's not really anything you can do with your money at the start of the game. It does allow for some flexibility: you can trade for research, rush some buildings, support a bigger army, buy gear, etc.
Clumsy Occasionally strike allies when making melee attacks.
This was completely harmless in Fallen Enchantress. Now, with Legendary Heroes and it's swarming bonuses, it's a bit more tricky. Still, not as bad as some of the others.
Cowardly -30 Accuracy when attacking higher level units.
On higher difficulties, you will almost always attack higher level units. Not good. That's not good as in: avoid like the plague.
Cruel +1 Attack, +5% Unrest
The ideal Talent for a 'no cities challenge'. Otherwise, Unrest is bad, very bad.
Scarred The unit heals at 1 point per season regardless of level
Pick this if you have access to healing: Life spells (basically any Kingdom) or if you are Wraith. Even without healing, it's still one of the lighter penalties.
Vulnerable to Magic -20 Spell Resistance
Spell Resistance is not the most important stat. If you don't want to hang out with the cool Scarred crowd, this is fairly safe.
Weak -2 Attack
Queen Procipinee never carries her own luggage. Not because she's a spoiled little brat -well, there's that too- but because she's simply incapable of carrying anything heavier than the crown she's wearing. Not the worst weakness, but the early game will be heavy. Not recommended.
The Equipment section in Appearance is for more than just fluff. Although your Sovereign will quickly find better weapons, starting with some decent equipment surely does help. 7 Items cost 1 Talent point to select: Dragonfly Bracers and Gauntlets of Grazna give bonuses you won't find on any other bracers. If they are worth a point to pick, however, is up to you. There are many other ways to increase initiative and especially defense.
The Staff of Souls looks incredibly cool. It does have 3 considerable weaknesses: low damage, no initiative bonus and it's 2-handed. Not being able to use a shield is a severe handicap, especially for a Mage. Only pick this if you know what you are doing.
The two staves were thrown in by the Devs as an afterthought. Don't pick 'em. You can buy them soon enough.
Ereog's Token is fun and helps in the early game. A reasonable pick. It's downside is the same as that of Procipinee's Crown: accessory slots fill up quickly and some of the common accessories found in Elemental are pretty nice as well. That being said, Procipinee's Crown can save you a lot of mana: zero upkeep for enchantments and summons will easily save you 6-8 mana per turn. Recommended for a Summoner.
0 Point equipment: As long as you do not take the Shortbow, you should be ok. The Rusty Sword comes recommended, as it allows for a shield.
A path specialized in dealing bursts of damage via critical hits and high accuracy. Assassins will not have access to increased weight capacities and thus be limited to lighter armors. They can make up for some of these failings with traits that increase their Dodge.
This is one of those choices where the drawbacks of the choice mitigate the advantages of the choice. The Assassin path will allow you to dodge more often, but due to the armor limitations you end up getting hit harder than you otherwise would which evens out the results compared to getting hit less hard more often. If you intend to choose this path, seriously consider selecting the Medium Armor trait early and consider selecting the Masterwork Chainmail racial ability for your race. Also consider Resoln as a race, because Resoln units start with higher than normal dodge. You will need to consider how to make up for their less hit points and less armor though, if you choose that race.
The path of the Defender will allow Champions to increase their survivability and that of other units they are grouped with. While there are few offensive traits in the Defender path, it is unparalleled in survivability and weight capacity. Defenders will be able to wear the heaviest of armor while protecting their allies from harm.
In particular, Defenders are pretty good to have in your armies if you intend to do any dragon killing. They can pump their own and the entire army's magic resistance to help against the fear effect. Additionally, they have a lot of defensive abilities to survive its attacks and to delay it while the rest of the army attacks it from a distance.
Commander is the path of choice for Champions looking to strengthen your economy, improve cities and provide leadership bonuses to your army. What Governors forgo in personal combat prowess, they make up for with general army buffs and income bonuses. Gives Accuracy, Experience, and Initiative bonuses. That means all your units will probably go before all of their units, deal damage first, kill a few enemies, and the enemies will have less units available to counter attack you with. Unit turns are the most important resource in battle and this path gives you many more of them with some investment.
Properly developed Commanders are useful for reducing Unrest in your cites. A Commander stationed in a city reduces Unrest by 15%.
The path of the Mage is the ultimate choice for Champions looking to specialize in spell casting. What Mages give up in weight capacity and defense they more than make up for in magical power. If you have the mana and shards to support them, there is no better killing machine than a high level Mage Champion.
Far and away the best class in Fallen Enchantress. Spells in FE are very powerful and this class makes them even more powerful than they already are. It can ensure that all the spells take effect all the time. It can reduce the cast time of the more powerful effects. It can increase the damage of all the spells it uses. Unlike with classes like the Warrior, pretty much every trait pick is going to lead to the Mage being much more powerful than the level before. Instead of traits that may not work together at all, the Mage gets traits that cause its power to rise quadratically.
Path of the Warrior provides a Champion with a balanced mix of offensive and defensive traits that boost their physical prowess. It will not provide the same level of survivability as path of the Defender or the offensive burst potential of the path of the Assassin, but will allow for a Champion in heavy armor with solid damage dealing ability.
This choice suffers from a similar problem as the Assassin class except for offense. It is hard to know ahead of time what sort of weapon type will be the best one you receive. When you get a more powerful weapon, usually you will want to equip it. With this class you have to predict what that is going to be before you receive it if you want to be maximally powerful in the end game. If you guess wrong, you will either have to suffer through many wasted trait picks or suffer through using a weapon that is below the best thing you can equip just so you can use the traits you have chosen. No matter what you do, the result will usually be sub-par.