Guide for Darkest Dungeon® – An In-Depth Guide On How To Kill Yourself
The achievements that will be covered here are the achievements that requires a hero to die under unusual circumstances. Getting these circumstances to align when you actually want them to happen is an entire challenge in itself, and knowing a few tricks, strategies, and pitfalls to avoid will help make the process far smoother.
The tips provided in this guide can really be used in any other point you need a hero to die in (such as the unmentioned Gnawing Hunger Sets In achievement), though these achievements are are pretty straightforward. Chances area you’ve already died to an unlucky hunger check, there’s a reason Wilbur has an entire subreddit dedicated to hating him, and it’s not hard to party wipe in the Darkest Dungeon. These following achievements are so hard to genuinely screw up on that you need to force it to happen. And hey, if it helps, you can easily apply the general strategies that’ll be gone over later to put the odds in your favor if you think you need it.
With that said, here’s the specific achievements we’ll be looking at:
We return to the worms of the earth
"Lose a hero to a Maggot"
Dying to a boss is one thing, but dying to maggots is another. They’re not exactly designed to kill, not like a boss anyway. A newer player may get this naturally (I know that’s how I got it), but chances are you got a handle on things before you let this happen. Maggots deal low damage and attack every rank, so you’ll likely need to take some measures to force them to kill someone specifically on death’s door.
Blocked from life
"Lose a hero to an obstacle"
Dying to an obstacle is strange, considering you literally have the option to back out if you lack the shovel. You might think dying to one ought to be simple enough, but you’d be surprised. Don’t underestimate the difficulty of this achievement. The control you have over the situation helps mitigate the frustration, but you’ll still need to make preparations to make it happen in a timely manner.
Watch your step
"Lose a hero to a trap"
A death with a healthy blend of rng in the mix. This achievement is one of those things that sounds obnoxiously rng-dependent, but if you keep some ideas in mind this may turn out to be one of the simpler ones.
Shadows blur together
"Kill an ally while under the Curse"
If Watch Your Step looked like an rng fest at first, but turned out to be okay, this one is the polar opposite. You wouldn’t think getting a Crimson Curse actout to hurt someone would take too long. If only…
So, with our goals set, lets cover the general tips that’ll help get into place for the optimal suicide.
General Tips and Pitfalls
The key in killing yourself is using these tools to quickly take your heroes to death’s door and avoid dying prematurely. Dying to a heart attack or a generic enemy does not help for these achievements. Plus if you want some general tips for dying in the other ways not covered here, such as against Wilbur or with a hunger check, these tips may help.
Your ultimate tool and weapon on your quest to slaughter your people. With The Blood at your disposal, accomplishing these achievements becomes a far simpler task. As a provision that deals 33% of a hero’s max health in damage when consumed by someone that lacks the Crimson Curse, it is the sole method that you have of harming your heroes directly.
No other hero abilities or methods exist that can hurt yourself consistently. Occultist’s Wyrd Reconstruction fails more often than not at inflicting bleed, and Flagellant’s Reclaim self bleed is stuck on a character with higher than average deathblow resistance and the ability to heal all allies off of death’s door once he does finally enter the state. Not to mention both these methods involve DoTs, which introduces an unnecessary risk factor that could kill them if you don’t manage it properly.
The Blood does a clean third of a hero’s health, and you can keep as many as you think you need in your inventory. The only limit is that you need to waste three rounds to let the blood’s debuff wear off, not even medicinal herbs will let you use it early as you’ll still need to waste three rounds of time before they’re ready to take some more again.
There’s also the unfortunate reality that this is Crimson Court content we’re talking about. If you lack the DLC, you’re out of luck. Killing yourself is substantially harder without the DLC enabled. If you do have it though, make use of it. This crimson fluid’s a death saver. On the bright side, one of these achievements may require you to kill a cursed hero, who won’t take damage from the blood to begin with. More mundane methods of death are inevitable anyway, it’s just that The Blood makes things a lot simpler.
Death The Old Fashioned Way
Say you don’t have the Crimson Court DLC, or you’re trying to kill a Crimson Cursed hero. The Blood just ain’t gonna cut it. You need to send someone to Death’s Door through a traditional means: Plain old combat.
The safest means of getting to death’s door involves finding two frontline damage dealers, preferably ones that benefit from Marks, though this is optional. Cultist Brawlers, Bone Rabble, Fungal Scratchers, etc. can only target the two front ranks. Because of this, once you have someone on death’s door you can ensure their safety by sending them to the back. If you can, taking advantage of marks on your heroes can boost and focus the damage on a hero to ensure they get to death’s door even quicker.
Whether or not a sufficient battle is where you need it to be (such as by an obstacle or trap) is not in your control, and the actual killing process may be pretty slow if you don’t have marks to focus or boost damage on the guy you want killed. But hey, as long as it works. Sensibly, the developers made it fairly difficult to kill yourself.
Do not underestimate your deathblow resistance. Despite your potential past experience on death’s door, the odds are in your favor to survive. If you want to make sure the dead stay dying, use these two trinkets to tilt the odds in your favor.
The former trinket is the Book of Holiness, and the latter is the Gambler’s Charm. Both individually grant -10% deathblow resistance, in total -20% and a total reduction to about 46% deathblow resistance on a typical hero, meaning they will die more often than not. Be sure to make use of these trinkets if you have them.
If the 8 of virtues I’ve seen from affliction checks in trying to kill my heroes prove anything, even unlikely odds can happen. Don’t let it screw you over, take the precautions.
Though by no means do you need to complete the game or need an advanced game save to complete these achievements, the abundant resources and little to lose from failure in the endgame helps out a ton in making the journey less stressful.
Having lots of The Blood gives you little to worry about when it comes to blood wastage, and if you get the Sanguine Vintners district early in a Crimson Court-enabled save then you’re assured plenty to work with.
Getting the Bank district early famously snowballs your money to insane degrees. Having lots of cash makes buying trinkets trivial and failing missions a non-issue. No need to make sure a dungeon run is profitable if profit doesn’t matter.
Having the Book of Holiness or Gambler’s Charm on hand is obviously much easier if you’ve just been accruing resources throughout the dozens of weeks a game goes on for. Not to mention a later trinket, the Rat Carcass, is an invaluable tool for the last specific achievement that helps to even have a copy or two of.
There’s no need to waste the lives of your actually valuable assets. Grab whatever slop shows up in an upgraded stagecoach and make a slapdash party to throw out. You shouldn’t expect to win a run anyhow, and having nothing to gain anyway makes this loss trivial. Not to mention Apprentice level missions tend to be the simplest to pull these achievements off in to begin with.
Basically the point is, feel free to take your time before you take these achievements on. The journey will be a lot more comfortable if you have what you need, and little to lose from failure.
PACK. YOUR. FOOD. Don’t think that the free damage from a hunger check will help you out, the immense stress caused by starvation will screw you over far more than it helps. Make sure your larders are stocked, starving is more trouble than it’s worth despite how counter intuitive it is with your goal to kill your heroes.
Unhelpful Deaths (DoTs and Stress)
Steer clear of DoTs and stress if you can help it. DoTs are designed to kill at death’s door, and pose a risk if you don’t have the provisions or timing to resolve them before they get a chance to kill. Lowered deathblow resist only worsens this issue. Conversely, though stress is an effective way to send someone straight to death’s door through a heart attack, they’ll be treading a fine line afterwards considering another heart attack is instant death.
If you can choose your enemy to reduce a hero’s health, go with a frontline attacker that does not deal DoTs, such as the Apprentice level Fungal Scratcher. Heart Attacks are tempting quick grabs to death’s door but managing them may be more trouble than it’s worth. Playing it safe will save you time and frustration in the long run.
We Return To The Worms Of The Earth
First step to dying to a maggot is to find a maggot in the first place. They can be found in any dungeon, but lower difficulty dungeons are more likely to have only parties of 4 maggots, which is helpful in ensuring the only potential kill-shots are from maggots and not something like a Ghoul. Helpfully, this means sending a party level 0 heroes to an Apprentice dungeon is in itself the optimal move.
Though the ideal spawn chance is unclear, it may be best to go to the Ruins, for the sole reason that dying from a Trap is ideal here. If you’re gonna die in one way you may as well die in a few others, right? More on the trap bit later on.
Once you actually find the maggots, you could just wait for them to whittle your party away until they get someone. However, know that they can target every rank, which means they’ll likely spread their damage and drag the fight out.
Consider using Guard abilities from the Houndmaster, Man-At-Arms, or Antiquarian to force damage to one or two particular heroes. Do note that maggots are already inaccurate, so the Houndmaster’s DODGE buff might unfortunately work well, and having high enough PROT to cause damage to be reduced to 0 won’t trigger a deathblow. I haven’t tested this strategy but it may be worth trying out.
Of course, as explained before, the easiest way to force things is to use The Blood to reduce someone to death’s door manually. Otherwise use a couple of frontline enemies elsewhere to prep a hero for death or just wait it out. If you’re up against four maggots, reinforcements can’t come anyway, so go ahead and stall as much as you need to. Death is patient, and you can be too.
Blocked From Life…/Watch Your Step…
These two achievements are combined in this section for one reason: Scouting.
Spotting these two hazards before you run into them helps immensely with pulling of your suicide. Clearing a path to an obstacle helps with preserving those on death’s door and for making sure you aren’t wasting your time in a dungeon. Traps, while far more common compared to an obstacle, is far less useful if you haven’t spotted it. You can’t interact with a trap that you don’t see, leaving it up to rng if the hero that’s hit is the one that’ll actually die.
Solving the scouting issue can be a cinch, provided you have the tools ready. Throw a Raider’s Talisman on a Graverobber for +15% Scouting chance and the Ancestor’s Map for +25% Scouting chance. If you happen to have the House of the Yellow Hand district, that same Graverobber will grant a free passive +5% Scouting chance. Since base scouting chance is 25% you can get up to 70% chance to scout upon completing a room. You’re sure to spot a few traps and obstacles along the way with odds like that.
There is some weirdness with the number considering that the light level itself can increase scouting chances, and going with a Houndmaster using his Evidence of Corruption CC trinket grants +25% scouting chance instead of the Raider Talisman’s +15%, but the point is just make sure to stack some scouting buffs. If you really want to some usual trinkets like the Seer’s Stone or Caution Cloak on other heroes can raise it even higher, just make sure you’ve got some scouting buffs active somewhere.
Death By Rocks
Once you’ve got an obstacle spotted, it’s straightforward from there. Get your heroes on death’s door and forget the shovel. Go ahead and get as many as you can on death’s door as possible, The Blood helps here a ton with getting the damage dealt. Especially if you got your suicider with the Holy Gambler trinket death combo, you’ll get your special kill eventually.
No area is particularly strong with obstacles, either. Weald seems to have the most obstacles, or at least the most troubling ones considering map layout, but it’s probably best to go with the Ruins just because the traps there are optimal, and the trap achievement’s impossible in the Weald. More on that in a second.
Death By Machination
Traps, on the other hand, are a bit tricky. For one thing, you can’t guarantee damage when you run into one. Heroes can dodge traps they run into, and you can’t force a hero to deliberately biff a trap disarm. Thing is, there’s some key ideas you can use to tip the odds in your favor.
Here we finally explain what the deal is with the Ruins traps. As you may have noticed in your ventures, each area’s traps do something different. Warren’s causes Bleed, Weald’s causes Blight, and Cove’s causes a long lasting debuff. The Ruins, however, only deals damage, which in this case is a good thing.
Not that the damage itself is useful, but because the alternatives are not ideal. Failing a deathblow and forcing blight/bleed on your dying hero is counter productive. There’s no need for the extra risk of a DoT. The Cove trap’s debuff isn’t helpful but it’s not as much of a disaster as those DoTs are. Also note: The Weald’s trap does not deal damage. You cannot get the trap suicide in the Weald. Do not go there.
Here’s a hidden little mechanic: You know how everyone has a Trap Resistance stat, much like a Bleed or Stun resistance? Well it turns out that’s not just for disarms. The Trap Resistance stat is what’s used to determine if a hero dodges a trap or not. Their actual DODGE stat is completely irrelevant. The resistance is used at face value when dodging an unseen trap, while 40% is added when going to disarm a trap.
Clearly you want someone with low Trap Resistance to make sure they get hit, but don’t forget that you don’t need to roll a four-sided die to figure out who gets hit by walking into a trap. Failing to disarm causes damage just the same.
Heroes such as the Vestal, Crusader, Leper, Arbalest, Occultist, etc. have the lowest base Trap Resistance at 10%. Technically the Flagellant has the true lowest at 0%, though his higher deathblow resist is undesirable, and the level of the heroes you have on hand play more of a factor since each level adds 10% to Trap Resistance to begin with. Just go with whoever’s the worst at traps and hope for the best.
The lowest end is looking at around 50% trap disarm manually. If you put your Holy Gambler trinket combo on the worst trapper and send them to death’s door, your victory may come in time.
Shadows Blur Together
This achievement is deceptive. Not in its goal, no. Indeed, it requires that an ally deals a deathblow as an actout from the Crimson Curse. Even a suicide via the Wasting actout counts. No, what’s deceptive is the sheer RNG involved in making this accursed achievement proc in the first place.
There are basically two ways of going about this achievement: Have a Craving or Bloodlust hero hit and kill an ally, or have a Wasting hero kill themselves. Since both Craving and Bloodlust do not last forever, and Wasting can last forever, it is best that you go with a Wasting method because time will not be on your side.
The Rat Carcass will keep a Wasting hero from succumbing to the curse so long as they keep it in their trinket inventory. Since no alternative exists for Craving or Bloodlust, doing this on a Wasting hero keeps management to a minimum. Try the alternative method if you wish, but I will not be going over that strategy here, and I warn that nothing but pain awaits you down that route.
Anyway, also note that a save can only keep three Rat Carcasses maximum in your trinket hoard. Go ahead and use multiple carcasses if you have them and the cursed heroes available, taking any measure to speed up the process will help immensely. Do note though that using that third carcass may prove tricky, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
As for your unfortunate cursed hero, I recommend you get a hero that’s Apprentice leveled. This is because you can go to the Weald and find a Fungal Scratcher party. With the marks from those fungal backliners you can quickly chop down their health into death’s door, without the risk of blight from the later levels or the bleed from dealing with Cultist Brawlers.
The reason why you have to face a frontline enemy party is because, naturally, The Blood won’t work. It won’t sunder your hero like before, for the obvious reason that it’s the one thing they need to survive. You’ll have to wear them down the old fashioned way.
Say you find a sufficient party, wear down a hero or two and send them to the back line. Assuming you’re facing enemies that can only hit the front ranks, you’re good to go. Unless you want to use that third carcass. If you wish to use your third, then make sure the final healthy hero has a guard ability since you don’t want to risk an unnecessary deathblow and shuffle your backliners forward.
Also make sure you’ve got plenty of stalling abilities. Healing helps with keeping the frontliners from getting killed from the enemy damage output, and stress heals can make sure the Wasting barks don’t cause them to go insane.
Once you’ve got your wasting heroes in place and facing an enemy that cannot kill you, the true horror of the task you’ve undertaken reveals itself.
You need to turn off reinforcements. This isn’t a choice. This is necessary. This is essential. It could take five rounds, it could take twenty rounds, you don’t know. You have no agency, the only way you can get this achievement is through Sheer. Random. Chance.
It took me Ninety. Seven. Rounds. Before my singular wasting Crusader finally ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ killed himself. And God only knows how much longer it would’ve taken if that Crusader passed the first death’s door check. I got the achievement, but I lost countless braincells just sitting there, clicking away at stalling moves as the only mental stimulation I got was from deciding to heal the guys that got scratched as I watched curse bark after curse bark go by without any reprieve.
That’s why you should have a second, even third wasting hero. You need to physically and mentally prepare yourself for 100 rounds of nothing happening. Get a podcast up or something, kill that second frontline enemy just to speed up the amount of actions going on, prep a combat speed-up mod or something if you really want to Don’t underestimate this like I did. Take the time to make this go as fast as possible and get out.
And that’s how to kill yourself. Thanks for taking the time read, and good luck. You’ll need it.
Conclusion (i.e. tl;dr)
- Use The Blood to send your heroes to Death’s Door quickly and consistently
- Lower Deathblow resistance if you can
- Be careful with heart attacks and DoTs
- Maggots are best at Apprentice levels since you find the most there
- Scouting is super helpful for finding obstacles and traps
- The Ruins traps only do damage
- Weald traps don’t do any damage, and cannot earn the achievement
- Have your hero interact with a trap to get killed by it; Stepping into a trap is not the only option
- When going for Shadows Blur Together, go with wasting heroes, fight Apprentice Fungal Scratchers, do everything you can to improve your odds, and prepare for a long, painful voyage on the waves of rng
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