Meet Dr. Gregory Becker. He’s a charming fellow hiding the judgemental attitude he acquired after many years of rigorous study behind light jokes and an irresistible smile.
If it wasn’t for the confidence with which he carries out every move, his constant twiddling with various junk items and weapon parts could probably be mistaken as a nervous tick. Fellow doctor Conrad Sadik even suspected those dark circles to be the early signs of the plague. Jokes on them. They haven’t seen the state of the poor marauder ambush that tried to get in the way of his mighty crew and the hefty Plasma Rifle!
Characteristics of the Build
Charming PhD (Gregory) is a support character build that sacrifices Strength and Temperament Attributes for a very powerful boost to all of the other Attributes.
If you want to re-create Gregory’s build, prioritize Dialog, Leadership, Sneak, and Tech core skills over the weapon specialization.
This guide serves as a suggestion that targets a specific style of gameplay. Feel free to make as many changes to it as needed to suit your personal style!
Charming PhD is a rather flexible build that can be made into a decent DPS or an even stronger leader to the companion party earlier on in the game, as long as you don’t plan to absorb a lot of damage.
Strengths of this Build:
- This support build is surprisingly well-rounded for experiencing most of the game features. You can easily heavily lean into any of the non-Melee skills, especially later in the game.
- Gregory can be made to deal a lot of ranged damage effectively with Long Guns, combining with Companion damage to make him a fast and unstoppable force.
- Because of Gregory’s Companion army, he won’t be ambushed, surprised, surrounded, or annoyed by smaller attacks frequently.
- If Gregory chooses to avoid conflict, his Dialog skills will give him a way out of the most tense situations and unlock exciting possibilities within many others.
- No matter what his worst quest choices will be, Gregory has a high chance to be Revered by most factions, enjoying all bonuses that come as the result.
- Even on lower levels Gregory will have access to Novice aspects of half of the non-combat skills and the rest are only 10 points away. He can starts with some Lockpicking, he can sell to the Vending Machines, he can Tinker and with +10 to the Tech tree during Character Creation he will be able to fix his gear in the field and enhance his own abilities with the Inhaler!
- Due to such high starting points across, Gregory will frequently earn additional XP points in Dialog simply for interacting with his skill-specific response options. With being able to comment in a special way on just about anything you will have a blast from your intelligence and skills.
Weaknesses of this Build:
- Gregory is not recommended for the Supernova difficulty. The initial moments of struggle and Companion take-outs won’t be as fun when the effects are permanent. However, playing Gregory has its own challenge and the later escalating bonuses will be much more rewarding.
- Forget about melee. Have a one-handed blade in case if something happens to your guns, but don’t ever expect Gregory to excel at 2-Handed Weapons without some expensive investments.
- You will be relying on your companions a lot, so you will have to bring two of them with you all of the time. If having company is not your thing, this is not a build for you.
- It’s a tough start! Combat will be slow, you will be developing a lot of strategic tactic, any multi-enemy ambush will cost most of your resources and will make you want to reload the game and avoid them… it will be a bit of a steep curve climbing up, but if you are willing to take the challenge you will break the ceiling!
STRENGTH | Below Average ▼
DEXTERITY | High ▲▲
INTELLIGENCE | High ▲▲
PERCEPTION | High ▲▲
CHARM | High ▲▲
TEMPERANCE | Below Average ▼
Starting Skills (without initial point delegation)
Handguns: 20 (Novice)
Long Guns: 20 (Novice)
Heavy Weapons: 10
Dodge: 20 (Novice)
Persuade: 20 (Novice)
Hack: 20 (Novice)
Lockpick: 20 (Novice)
Science: 20 (Novice)
Skill Level-Up Strategy
- DIALOG (Medium Priority) | If you give one of the character creation starting Skill points (+10 each) to the Dialog tree, you will be set for the majority of the starting checks until a bit later in the game. However, if not earlier, you should return to it once you assemble your companion party to disable your enemies during combat, helping your companions and your ranged skills to take them out efficiently. Once you hit 50 mid-game, continue investing into Persuade (comes up most frequently in dialog and you have a good head start in it). You can have either Intimidate or Lie as your backup. Don’t invest too much early on: Dialog checks aren’t too difficult, Vendor prices are affected by your highest Dialog skill and by several external factors, and you run a risk of overinvesting (above 100 in a skill) once the Companion and Armor Skill bonuses will kick in.
- LEADERSHIP (High Priority) | As soon as you acquire Parvati in the game around level 3-4, have your Leadership skills to Novice or higher (you need just ten more points in the tree!) to unlock the Companion Special Abilities (and party heal from the Inhaler). This skill tree will start making a lot of difference in battle, since Gregory functions best at range and behind cover. Once you acquire your first Companion set her to Melee behavior and resort to stealth and cover to preserve resources. By the time you have your full party you want the Adept rank unlocked in Inspiration to get tremendous bonuses (half of your Companion’s specialized skill points) from your Companions.
- DEFENSE, RANGED (Adaptable) | Invest into Defense and Ranged to match your struggle level in the field. Put a good number of points into Ranged and Block or Dodge (or Sneak, as an alternative) early on. Eventually you can specialize into a particular weapon type to either quickly multi-debuff your enemies with a Handgun or Weakspot-snipe them with a Long Gun, depending on how you are managing your Companions in the battle. Keep in mind that most of your damage should come from your Companions, since they will be in the front line.
- STEALTH, TECH (Low Priority) | Don’t worry about Stealth and Tech too much. You will feel a hit to your Adreno as you take damage, but you can drop the expensive Vendor price in the Emerald Vale following the first major quest and with your high Persuasion skill, so Medical isn’t as crucial to you yet. After that you can take Vicor Max and Pavarti on a thorough exploration trip and gain a good amount of currency and loot to replenish your Adreno further. Lockpicking will continue to serve you well between Novice and Competent for a long time, since that will match the level of the majority of containers you will find out there. Towards the endgame where the bonuses from these skills could matter, your Armor Master Perk and Adept rank Inspiration will give you a high enough boost to catch up very quickly.
Recommended Player Perks:
- Toughness: +50% Base Health – You need this badly and early on. Gregory’s disabled Temperament will come up to bite you very quickly.
- Harvester: +15% Health Restored per Kill – This will be one of the most efficient ways for you to preserve health from battle to battle.
- Precision: +15% Companion Crit Chance – This is one of the very rare ways to increase general damage output from your Companions in battle.
- Quick and the Dead: +50% Tactical Time Dilation Recharge Rate – Take this or Slow the World to fuel either of your Ranged specializations.
- Deadly Demonstrations: +50% XP from Companion Kills – A good one to take early on to unlock more Skill points to invest into survival of your Charming PhD.
- Scanner: +20% Bonus to Extra Headshot / Weakspot Damage (Only in Tactical Time Dilation Mode) – Solid bonus for either of the weapon specializations you choose.
- Armor Master: +100% Skill Bonus, +10% Armor Rating Bonus – Very important to have later in the game to fully benefit from all of the skill bonuses coming at you from multiple sources.
- Penetrating Shots: Ranged Attacks inflict -1 Armor Rating for 10s, and can stack up to 10 – Effective debuff sequence for you and your Companions.
- The Negotiator: -20% Vendor Prices – You will probably need more resources than a lot of other builds.
- Slow the World: +25% Tactical Time Dilation Meter Max – Good for either of weapon specializations.
- Pack of Pack Mules: +40kg Carrying Capacity Bonus from Companions – If you focus a lot on exploration, take this to alleviate some of the Strength penalty.
- The Collector: +5m Interactable Highlight Range – Good for an exploration focus.
- We Band of Brothers: +25% Chance to reset a Companion Ability cooldown on each Critical Hit – As you invest points into your weapon this will become more and more powerful, especially with the Handgun.
- Tag Team: +25% Chance to reset a Companion Ability cooldown when using the other Companion’s Ability – This can stack with other cooldown and reset bonuses pretty well.
- The Reaper: +25% Tactical Time Dilation Restored per Kill – A solid option for the Long Gun specialization and extra attention given to DPS.
- Revenge: +20% Damage when affected by a harmful Combat Effect – You will be affected by negative conditions more frequently later in the game and this can provide a solid bonus.
- Last Stand: +30% Damage while under 25% Health – Hopefully you won’t need this, but this is a good insurance to have for particularly difficult battles.
- Boom, Headshot!: Headshot kills deal 25% of their damage to enemies within 2.5m – A good option for the Long Gun specialization and extra attention given to DPS.
- Don’t Go Dyin’ On Me!: Revive Companions to 25% Health (Cooldown: 15m) – With the way Gregory uses Companions they will have a higher risk of being taken out, and this can make a difference.
Any and all! Companions are your strongest asset and you can mix-and-match them in a similar way to how you would swap weapons and armor. Take Felix and Nyoka into the field for sneaking around, combine Ellie or Nyoka with Sam or Vicar Max to get better healing and take less damage, take SAM and the Vicar as a massive bonus when using Science Weapons… possibilities are endless.
All of these companions have good extra damage and debuffs from the Special Abilities, and you can mix and match their unique Perks to benefit the entire party depending on the kind of strategy you are using (Felix’s Bootlickers perk will go very well with your Persuade skill specials, for example). Having Companions in the frontline will make enough of a big difference with your Leadership skill for you to personally fine-tune that experience with their perks as you figure out your best debuffing strategy.
These are the palette of the Charming PhD build and you should enjoy experimenting in this area!
Think between a Handgun and a Long Gun specialization as you explore this build, but keep both handy in your inventory. The Handgun is your quick way to inflict several negative conditions on each enemy along with your passive enemy debuffs, if you wanted to prioritize Leadership over Ranged skills and see your Companions mow the path for you.
Long Gun specialization is a good reason for you to invest more into your Long Gun skill. Trust me when I say that the beginning might be rough in terms of survival, but Gregory can learn to deal an impressive amount of damage as he levels along with his mighty Companion army. Towards mid-game you can use your Science skill to level up and improve your weapons for higher bonuses.
If you get the Mind Control Ray Science Weapon from Cascadia as your Long Gun, most definitely recruit Vicar Max and Sam and take The Reaper and Boom-Headshot perks! Who said that your Charming PhD can’t deal monstrous damage? Let them say that again as the headshot of energy immolates their entire nervous system!
Take Stealth bonus Light armor if you lean towards sneaking, otherwise wear Heavy armor to absorb as much damage as possible.