The Cryptkeepers of Hallowford — Sharpen your sword and save Hallowford!

The end of Cryptkeepers is intended to feel somewhat unsatisfying; that’s why the achievement for completing the game is called The Lesser Evil. You can’t improve your main stats during the game, and you can only improve your lore stats in chapter 2 (if you sit with the adventurers and talk about a subject you don’t know well) and possibly in chapter 4 (where it’s possible to boost your knowledge of the Flowering Court if you visit the sanctuary when you’ve already found out all the basic info about the Ever-Living).

Aside from upgrading lore stats, the main benefits you can get are (i) the Heart (which means immediate negative consequences for Hallowford, and unclear long-term potential benefits for you), (ii) increased gold, (iii) increased renown, and (iv) good relationships with characters/groups who might be able to help you (or at least avoid hurting you) in the future. In general, at least one out of Lucan (and the Cryptkeepers), Sir Michael (and likely the townsfolk), and Selim will end the game unhappy with you.

Instead of collapsing the tunnel, which makes the adventurers who survive upset with you (and means there are fewer adventurers to fight the Ever-Living), standing and fighting can boost your renown, lets you discover that the Ever-Living are weaker the higher up they go, and boosts your relationship with both Mundy and Selim. There’s no real disadvantage to standing and fighting if you avoided getting injured in the prologue (which is only possible for an imported character).

The two playthroughs I have that end the game in the best position, I think, are: Roland, who gets the reward from Lucan (tons of cash, decent renown) and ends the game on good terms with everyone except Selim, with whom he’s on decent terms (I put a lot of effort into boosting his relationship with Selim, so that they’d still get along, even after a hefty penalty near the end of the game); and Artemisia, my high subterfuge MC, who ends the game with the Heart but without everyone thinking of her as a thief.

There aren’t many opportunities to significantly boost your wealth during this game, aside from the final Cryptkeepers’ reward, but you can get some gold for reporting to the Cryptkeepers who stole something of theirs, some from stealing from the town watch or the Cryptkeepers while preparing for the final trip into the crypts (if you have the right lore skills, you recognize more valuable items to steal), and some while escaping if you stole the Heart.

Going solo is when Sir Michael lets you go or you escape from him, and then when Lucan presents his plan you walk out with Selim, but you decide to not join Sir Michael. You might have Mundy, Selim, and/or some other adventurers accompany you, or you might be completely alone. If you escaped from Sir Michael and you go solo without Selim, it’s possible to steal from both the town watch and the Cryptkeepers.

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Personally, I find that the two broadly strongest routes (keeping in mind that we don’t know what the future holds) are siding with Sir Michael and stealing the Heart.

Obviously, the Heart is its own reward. (Pantsing Mundy for it is an option, but most characters can’t pull it off, especially most mages - who are likely to be the ones who can use it best.) If you’re not going for the Heart, though, siding with Michael and the town gets you wild renown and a big sack of cash (not Lucan-sized, of course, but you don’t need to share it), and Selim won’t be mad about it.

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Thx alot for the tips everyone, i do find it kinda funny how the heart get stolen no matter what and as a mage it is hard to pull off from not taking it.

also i just found out that if your boss is William, and you send a lettering asking him what is going on in chapter 4 he send you loads of cash, to help you bribe the crypt keeper archive.

@Ramidel
Yeah, I should have mentioned the gold you can get from helping Sir Michael. That said, you get a decent boost to renown from helping Lucan, even if you don’t share the reward at all. (Roland gives half to the town, which offers a larger boost to renown, a ton of gold, and helps boost relationships.) The bigger issue is that so far there’s no particular advantage to being wealthy: bribes can be helpful if you don’t have enough stats to pass a check, but there’s no cool option that requires 20+ gold (in large part due to dropping the morale mechanic). Perhaps in the next game…

The main disadvantage, in my mind, of siding with Sir Michael is similar to the main disadvantage of openly stealing the heart: you make enemies. That might not matter much, but it might come back to bite you in an unexpected way. As I mentioned, Roland cultivates a very strong relationship with Selim during the game, so that even after the penalty for subduing him, Selim says goodbye: “…we have proven to be able to tolerate each other, at least. Perhaps that makes such circumstances [of meeting in the future] better after all.” Roland finishes with a relationship of at least 60 with everyone except Selim, and a relationship of 46 with Selim.

You’re right that someone who steals the Heart from Mundy is not likely to be able to use the Heart to its fullest effect, but this option (if you sided with Lucan in the Heart chamber and focused on fighting the Ever-Living) means you don’t suffer penalties to any of your relationships (even Mundy doesn’t seem likely to be upset). I min-maxed a playthrough like this designed to take advantage of the Heart, where Isobel finishes the game with relationships of at least 60 with everyone:Screenshot_20190116-204218_Chrome~2
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Cataphrak has suggested that one of the factors that leads to Duke Leofric sending you to the Iron Marches is that some people are not happy with your actions in Hallowford, and this is a chance to let things blow over for now. I don’t think that would really apply to Roland (“It’s best to leave, since Selim is mildly annoyed at you…”), and I don’t expect that Isobel will be facing particular censure (although, like the other adventurers, she did not prevent the Heart from being stolen).

Siding with Sir Michael at the end has distinct advantages, but it also involves making an enemy of Lucan and a guild that will likely remain somewhat powerful (the crypts still work). The extra renown from siding with Sir Michael (as opposed to siding with Lucan) isn’t that big of a deal; it’s not very difficult to get 300 renown from this game alone. Openly stealing the Heart involves making pretty much everyone in Hallowford into your enemy, as well as others who would disapprove, such as Dame Mildred. Roland and Artemisia (and Isobel, who’s like Artemisia but better prepared to take advantage of the Heart) avoid any significant drawbacks in their endings, while getting significant advantages.

It’s possible to prevent the Heart from being stolen, either by destroying it or by subduing the opposing side’s leader.

Oh yes, just think of all the bandit lords you’d have to bribe in the next game. That stockpile of gold might well be a lifeline.

On the other hand, bandits are bandits…

@Cataphrak I was taking a look at the patron page and will we be seeing any Glitteswarms in the next game?

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Be careful what you wish for.

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:disappointed_relieved: Hopefully my wizard that has the book of mad whisper’s can find a way to keep them at bay lol.:joy: But I suspect we might not see them until we explore The Upper Marches at some point.

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Looking back on it, I’m starting to think that Isan only made the MC Court Mage because getting the MC to take up a portion of his duties would allow him more time to pursue his own research…

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That would definitely be in character for Isan. Because it definitely isn’t because the Mc is his equal in magical lore.

@JakRatchet
As it turns out, the magical weapons happen to be pretty useful against magically threat and obstacles. Use at your own risk.

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Interesting how all of the official positions wind up being extremely superficial.

Knight: Probably the most beneficial of all the jobs (you get free armour and the right to title yourself as a Sir/Dame), but presumably carries no authority outside of a retinue (which the MC doesn’t have yet), and this one instance where the MC was sent to represent the Duke.

Court Mage: Isan is still your senior, and thus the one everyone will turn to first.

Guard Captain: Presumably all you do is train up militia, give the occasional order, catch the occasional thief, and turn a blind eye to William’s antics. The game itself states that a city watch isn’t really needed anyway.

Guildmaster: Of a guild which you are probably the only member of.

Envoy: Admittedly I’ve never done a playthrough of the second installment with this role. But from what I understand, it basically just allows you to represent the Duke when he needs you to, and does nothing else. In fact, it was only proposed as a means to keep the MC as far from responsibility as possible.

Not that I’m complaining. It does make sense: the MC is young, from a poor rural village, and all of his education (if any) was crammed into one year, which he could have easily spent fighting, romancing, performing, etc. instead. He won’t be trusted with any serious responsibility right away.

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Yeah I took the office rewards as being sinecures. The Duke had to give you something to look like a worthy reward - but certainly not something worth too much!

I’m honestly more surprised the Duke let’s you go with the City and Family Sword than any of the other rewards…

Well the other rewards are far more valuable than the office. Enough gold to keep you fed for a generation, a mansion for you and your heirs in perpetuity, or a priceless artifact. It makes sense that he would trust you with those, because you’ve proven that you’re a good hero. But good heroes don’t necessarily make good administrators, so it makes sense that he wouldn’t give you an overly-influential position - at least not at first.

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In fairness, the roles bestowed don’t make the MC the go-to person at the very highest level, but they do put them in a position between the common people and those with the highest offices. Being an interface at that level actually gives the MC a fair amount of power.