Inwardly Fuming - A Guide to the Possessor Tinker (2024)

The Build Discussion

1. Stats - requirements and choices

Possessors need Willpower to give them Psi, which functions as extra hitpoints, fuels their skills, helps host psi and wild-gifts, and pads their reservoir to keep them out of the Solipsism debuff. You're maxing it without exception, which will also give you a decent start on Mindpower.

Almost all Possessors will also want to max Strength, as their baseline competence outside of host skills is in hitting things with either one-hander+Mindstar or two-hander. It is *possible* to use either of these, and relatively easy to use two-handers, via Magic stat, if you want to run a staff build, otherwise you're taking Strength as your secondary stat. (NB: Staff Possessor is not a recommended beginner choice.)

For your third stat, your choice is between two are Cunning and Magic, which is mostly determined by whether you want the Arcane Might Prodigy - if you do, take Magic, if not, take Cunning. Cunning gives crit chance, a bit more Mindpower and Mental Save, a lot of Steampower, and improves Track radius - if you take that and Superpower for your second Prodigy, you'll do particularly well with Tinker, Wilder, Doomed, and Psionic hosts (especially if you also grab the Superpower prodigy, and it's also worth noting that Psionic hosts tend to have high natural Psi regeneration rates, which can be helpful with Solipsism). It also improves accuracy when using a host Mindslayer's Beyond the Flesh ability and Stealth when in a Rogue-type host. Magic gives Spellpower for spellcaster hosts, spell save, opens up the very powerful Arcane Might Prodigy (which will in turn boost melee damage and Physical power), boosts certain racial skills, and works well with Temporal Guardian hosts due to Strength of Purpose.

2. Races

In addition to the standard "everyone starts with the ability to possess humanoids and animals", each race starts with a third type (presumably based on prevalent monster types in their starting zone).

Doomelf: Demon
Drem, Dwarves: Horror
Humans: Giant
Ogres, Shaloren: Immovable
Thaloren: Elemental
Undead: Undead
Yeek: Insect

In terms of overall racial power, the top choices are Yeek, Drem, Ogre, and Shalore, although their power curves vary over the course of the game - I think Yeek and Drem have the strongest early game while still packing competitively strong late games, Ogre is somewhere in the middle, and Shalore have most of their power concentrated in max ranks of their last racial ability. The number in parentheses after the race is my recommended core racial skill investment.

Yeek (1/1/5/5). Their racial skills got a significant boost in 1.6, while Possessor's core gameplay mechanic cancels out Yeek's main weakness (poor hp) so it's quite possible that Yeek are the best Possessors and Possessors are the best Yeeks. Yeek's access to two additional T1 dungeons and fast XP advancement give them a real leg-up in hitting critical power milestones before dungeons get too hard - they typically get to 25 (and therefore boss possession via the Adept Prodigy) halfway through the T2 dungeons. If you're feeling confident you can hit up the Sandworm Lair as your first T2 dungeon, to give you the chance to get all the remaining T2 bosses (since you may not want Vermin but will definitely want all the other boss types). Dominant Will's improvements make it a reliable instant-kill and meat-shield provider, and it will see a lot of use preventing small encounters from nickle-and-diming your bodies to death. It's also great all game for snagging elites, minions of enemies like thoughtforms, bloated oozes, Alchemist golems, and Worms that Walk, and it helps you level and gear up even faster by carving through particular shapes of vault, adventurer/zigur parties, and weird pedestals. Wayist is a powerful mid-range instant speed summon (as well as a defacto corner-snipe, which Possessors lack in their non-host toolbox), with the Mindslayers having excellent stats with high level talent and Willpower (which benefits from your core stats + your host boosts), and it's extremely useful to put bodies between you and your opponent when you have as much trouble healing as Possessors do (particularly because your Psychic Blows AoEs are party friendly).

Drem (1/1/1/5). Amazing combo. Each of their racial abilities (you'll want to go at least 1/1/1/5) has good synergies with Possessor play. Frenzy has nearly endless applications, but among the most important is that it lets you/your Projection hit Frenzy and Assume Form x2 to switch forms without waiting for an 18 turn cooldown. This is huge, and can really change the way Possessors play. It also lets your Projection use double Psionic Minion, lets you hit x2 Seismic Mind/Unleashed Mind to start combat with a huge burst of AoE damage, and lets you double up on important skills from your hosts. It's worth noting that Frenzy really benefits from speed boosts to fit in more uses of high-cooldown abilities during its duration, so look for hosts/items that will help with that. Spikeskin is a nice touch of extra damage to speed enemies into Sadism range, and the resistances are always welcome. Faceless is fine at 1, but even that has mild synergies with Balance and Dismissal. And From Below it Devours is a great tank to protect your hard-to-heal hosts and pull/clump enemies up for your Psychic Blows AoEs, as well as a great response to stealth enemies.

Ogres (1/5/1/1). Ogres are the best at combining class and host weapon-specific abilities due to their ability to wield a two-handed weapon and a mindstar simultaneously, giving them simultaneous access to Battle Psionics, Psychic Blows, and any host body dual wielding or two-hander talents. Among other benefits, this allows Psionic Disruption stacks to build off Psychic Blows skills (including Force Shield retaliation), giving them a DoT effect on all their attacks that also enhances Shockstar. A good mix of early and late game strength, and feels really distinct from other Possessor types.

Shalore (5/5/1/5) only really come into their own with a significant investment in Timeless, which is more of an issue given the slower start in 1.6. However, if they can reach the late game they are potentially the strongest possible Possessor as well as having lots of interesting experimental options. Grace of the Eternals + Timeless is probably the best way to leverage PES for a Solipsist, which is both hugely valuable (in that your hosts might potentially benefit from any stat) and also a bit of a nonbo without Grace (in that PES raises your max but not current Psi, therefore knocking you out of Clarity and closer to your Solipsism threshold).

Cornac used to be a very solid Possessor, but I think they've been significantly downgraded by the Adept Prodigy making their core competency (early access to boss possession) available much more broadly, and while their extra Inscription slot at level 1 is nice it is not as helpful at getting through your early game as many other racial abilities. If you want to go Deep Horror they can still get 5 inscriptions and do that, and if you're willing to Vault or mod your game in order to guarantee access to the Fanged Collar/Parasite race I think there is an excellent Deep Horror Parasite build here, but I'll leave to the reader's discretion. If you aren't as impressed as I am by the Adept Prodigy and would prefer to run Arcane Might and Superpower simultaneously, Cornac is still a good choice. Finally, purists can decide to invest in both the Adept Prodigy AND a mastery point in Possession for your last category point - while the most important breakpoint (boss possession) is yours with just one or the other of these, you can still get an additional Possession host type and another point of maximum talent level learned from hosts by doing so (9 points, so maximum EFT on host skills of 11.7).

Undead and Krog are non-starters in my opinion - Undead cannot use infusions or Wild-Gifts, Krog cannot use magic or runes, and I don't see the point in playing Possessor while significantly restricting the talents you can learn from your hosts. Skeleton is a bit tempting for the high-caliber innate Damage Shield, while Ghoul will allow you to ditch your speed penalty under Full Control and just use Ghoulish Leap as a gap closer and speed boost, so there is some potential value here if you're willing to significantly restrict what you can learn from hosts, but in my opinion they are not worth it.

3. Category Points
Assuming you're taking Adept (and therefore do not need a category point for Possession Mastery), my recommended Insane category point progression is: Inscription, Body Snatcher, Tinkers, and either Inscription, an Escort Tree of your choice, or Hexes. In the current build, many enemies have deeply stacked defenses that can make them almost impossible to kill - Burning Hex provides one potential form of counterplay to this, in that it greatly increases the cooldown of talents used while Hexed, possibly providing you a long enough window between heals to kill your enemy, and it also is a broader form of debuff than the standard Harmony options.

4. Inscription choices

In another example of Possessor weirdness, Possessors don't like Heroism or Regeneration infusions. Heroism's is all about surviving and healing later, which hosts can't do, and their Solipsism debuff really rewards them not getting damaged at all. Regeneration infusions, although a decent way to recover missing Psi, are inefficient (in that you're only healing Psi with them, and this is discounted by your Solipsism skill), cost a turn to use, and can't heal damage done to host health.

Early game I recommend 2 shielding inscriptions, Movement or Blink, and Physical Wild. Along with Mental Shielding this gives you good status clears, and Shields keep your bodies in play much longer than otherwise available while also giving you some additional protection against the many DoTs you'll encounter along the way (most characters can afford to wait out DoTs outside of combat, but hosts lack of healing means you're faced with either leaving a host and being vulnerable or absorbing permanent damage from those long duration magical diseases you don't have a clear for). Late game I recommend dual salves, dual shields, and a Movement infusion, although given how variable lategame gear is those recommendations are not set in stone.

5. Prodigies

The new prodigy, Adept, is in my opinion nearly a must-have for Possessors (although Cornac can get away without it). The additional 0.3 mastery to all talents is extremely important because it lets you Possess bosses at level 25, letting you grab bosses as early as T2 dungeons while leaving your third category point available for Tinkers - this smooth flow of access is important because both bosses killed without Possessing & dungeons run without Tinkers (and therefore without blueprint drops) are non-recoverable resources if you miss out on them initially. It also gives you an additional max host talent level and talent learned per host over and above that provided by investing a category point in possession mastery (the difference between mastery's 7.5 skill and Adept's 8.0 matters for certain breakpoints), and the 0.3 mastery bonus to host skills can take them over the maximum level limit determined by Improved Form (so with Improved Form giving you max 8 levels in host skills + 1.3 mastery in that host skill, you have an effective max host talent level of 10.4). It provides broad bonuses to your other talents, including minor damage boosts on all your activated skills, 9% more damage from Weapon Mastery at talent level 5 (although in game you’ll like have more Weapon Mastery than 5 due it stacking with your host's skill), +8 Accuracy at talent level 3, another +7% charm cooldown at max Device Mastery, another +5% max speed bonus from Clarity, and small-to-medium bonuses to a handful of other talents (notably, summons seem to benefit significantly from mastery). Special shoutout to Ogres, whose simultaneous use of Psychic Blows and Battle Psionics lets them grab even more benefits from Adept.

There are *probably* four Prodigies that are in tight competition for your second Prodigy on a "normal" Possessor: Arcane Might, Superpower, I Can Carry the World, and Flexible Combat.

- Arcane Might is a beast, the Prodigy to beat for any melee class (and for raw damage output it typically can't be beaten if a class can afford to max out Magic). It does rely on a stat that Possessors don't inherently need, however, and some part of the crit bonus it adds it will lose again by pushing Magic instead of Cunning.
- Superpower is simple and good, and lets you focus on Cunning instead of Magic for your third stat. More weapon damage, based off a stat you're maxing on any Possessor build, and more Mindpower, based off a stat you're maxing on almost all Possessor builds. Mindpower isn't that important to most good Possessor abilities, but many hosts benefit from Mindpower.
- ICCTW works well and requires almost nothing out of you to get good mileage. A bucket of extra damage off any Strength weapon is always good, fatigue elimination can help many of your hosts, and if you're going to carry different weapon loadouts for different hosts than the encumbrance boost is always welcome. The size bonus is overridden by your host size so it’s a non-factor.
- Flexible Combat is the "one of these things is not like the others" 2nd Prodigy choice here - all three of the preceding increase the stats feeding into your weapon damage, this does not. Despite the nerf to its proc rate (originally down to 30%, currently sitting at 50% proc), it is still potentially pretty powerful when combined with the choice of gauntlets available at 42 that proc things like GWF, Obliterating Strike, Displacement Shield, or dispel magic. Less raw damage, but there can be significant value in getting a whole additional toolbox of options for your character - given how 1.6 is shaping up, this flexibility may be more valuable than ramming additional raw damage into nigh-impenetrable defenses.

The knock-on implications of the Prodigies and the stats you're maxing for them means Arcane Might wielders will have more Physical Power and Spellpower, while Cunning + Superpower means you'll have both higher Steampower and Mindpower, and Cunning + ICCTW will give you Steam and maximum Physical Power, any of which will impact the benefits you get from different hosts. Flexible Combat characters max Cunning but get no additional edge here.

If you get a third Prodigy from Writhing Ring of the Hunter, you've got a lot more flexibility, but I would particularly consider these additional Prodigies: Pain Enhancement System, Legacy of the Naloren, and Giant Leap.

Legacy of the Naloren reliably delivers a very powerful weapon around the time that you're hitting the appropriate level for your second prodigy. Its Combat Training buff stacks nicely with Adept, it gives lots of cool procs on hit (nice with your AoEs), and it hits like a truck. It does require advance planning to float your generics in Weapon Mastery (since you'll want to reinvest in Exotic Weapons later), and you might get lucky and find a comparable weapon, but its reliability and excellent all around performance are plausibly worth it for a third Prodigy. It is worth noting, however, that since you add host passive ranks to your own the normal advantage of having much higher caps on Exotic Weapons than one Weapon Mastery may not be as decisive, depending on your host (since Exotic Weapon Mastery is significantly more rare than Weapon Mastery).

Pain Enhancement System is really just for Shalore, for 2 reasons. First, PES has limited uptime, but Timeless will help this significantly by increasing duration and reducing cooldown. Second, PES increases your possible Psi but not your current Psi, thus reducing your Clarity speed bonus - however, at the same time it does so it boosts your Magic and Dexterity, thus giving back speed with Grace of the Eternals, resulting in a net gain of global speed. While other races could use Bloodcaller to help offset this, it's just not as important as some of the other options.

Giant Leap gives you a gap closer with radius 1 200% weapon damage at instant speed. It's quite a strong way to open a combat, particularly for a Yeek whose racial talents are also instant speed but have fairly modest range, and whose global speed boosts will usually let them cleanly land a followup Psychic Crush or Unleashed Mind before the opponent gets to go - the battlefield will often change quite significantly in the time between your getting line of sight on your opponents and them getting their first action.

Note that Swift Hands does essentially nothing for Possessors, due to their inability to switch gear while in a host. YSBMW’s use varies wildly with host body size.

6. Weapon Loadouts
Possessors can't change their gear while in a host, so what you carry in your main and alt set is all you've got access to until switching back to your main form. This makes picking your loadout fairly important.

Of your 3 choices for Possessor native weapon skills (2-hander, 1 hand+mindstar, 2 mindstars), 2 handers are easily the strongest weapons and have your only real source of AoEs. If you want to get the most out of Possessors, you're running Psychic Blows.

I really want Psionic Menace, the dual mindstars style, to be good. It isn't.

What about Battle Psionics? Early game, the stacking Psionic Disruption buff is your best single target damage so you need it. Later is a tougher call. Weapon + mindstar gives you access to host dual-wielding skills, Shockstar is a nice stun with an AoE daze, and Psionic Block is your own Leaves Tide, but there's a handful of downsides. First, it costs class points, and maximizing damage with Mindstars costs generics put into Psiblades (which improves Mindstars even without activating the talent). Second, unless you're an Ogre you're going to have to switch out of 2-hander in order to use these talents, and if you do you put any host sustained talents that require a two-hander on cooldown and lose access to Force Shield for the round. (If you are an Ogre, you still have to consider whether you're better off with two-hander+shield.) Third, many of the hosts you find will have some sort of ranged skills, and the ability to instant-switch from ranged to melee by using a Psychic Blows skill means you may be better served from shooting from a distance and letting the enemy close the gap for you. I generally think non-Ogres do fine without using Battle Psionics, but I do often go 1/1/1/5 just for Psionic Block. For Ogres, it's combo-defining to use Battle Psionics at the same time as Psychic Blows.

For your ranged weapon choices - if your host has ranged weapon skills and you chose them, use whatever allows you to use your weapon skills. If not, and you've got steam regen on your host of choice, then weapon quality being equal I recommend dual steamguns. The damage is good, and you've got more chances to proc whatever horrible stuff your ammo delivers. Thunderclap Coating is good for keepaway, while Crystal Edge does great damage. (Remember that you can turn non-artifact slings into Steamguns.)

Finally, if you happen to find one, or are willing to Vault for them, 2-handed Steamsaws give simultaneous access to two-hander, shield, dual weapon, and steamsaw skills. This can open up a lot of different host skill choices while still being compatible with Psychic Blows.

7. Host Loadout
For a discussion of specific properties of different hosts, go down to post six. This is about how to decide what to choose for your limited number of kinds of creatures you can possess.

All Possessors start with humanoid and animal, and a racially-determined pick, and if you take Adept you'll end up with 6 more choices after these initial ones. Generally speaking, I think everyone will want Demon, Dragon, Horror, and Undead - each of these categories has good representation through many different zones (including the final zone that you cannot leave without completing) and relatively powerful skill choices and/or stats. Horror, IMO, has the game's strongest hosts due to Blade and Saw Horrors having massively increased attack speed.

What to do with your remaining 2-3 types is up to you. If you wanted the broadest, most consistent quality picks I'd recommend Giant, Elemental, and either Vermin or Insect (Vermin are very well represented and offer a permanent Burrow-like ability on some hosts, flying Insects have some very high global speed boosts to offer). However, once you've got a really solid base of forms to pick from and are closing in on the endgame you may wish to reserve a form type in case you find a really great particular boss or unique. Note, however, that almost all Immovable hosts (except Treants) are in fact immobile, so avoid those.

You might also choose Spiderkin. Spiderkin are spread throughout the game with okay consistency (more in the Temporal Anomaly), but there's an entire zone in the East which is almost entirely populated with high-level Spiderkin, some of which have Prodigies (Lucky Day, Endless Woes) and skills (Webs of Fate) which are hard to find on other creatures. At that point you've probably got an entirely full extradimensional stash of bodies and are only tossing bodies when you destroy one or find something better, so even if you only find 1-2 you want that's potentially your best value.

One final note for Ogres, raised by Funkymoses - it’s worth considering the typical size of host bodies, as Ogrewielding works best in large bodies. In particular, Insect hosts tend to be smaller than most, which will increase your penalties.

8. Skills

Solipsism 1/0/0/0 early, 2/1/5/0 core

Solipsism kinda sucks early, but you're stuck with it. (It's also awkward to talk about a skill, a category, and a debuff with the same name, but there you are.)

The Solipsism skill offers you bonus durability and a faster way to regenerate Psi in exchange for giving you a new failure mode, the Solipsism debuff. People who use Regeneration infusions will want to invest more in this skill early, protecting their hosts with their Psi. I prefer shield runes early, and with Adept you can probably get away with just 2 points in Solipsism.

Balance is a 1-pointer. You are likely to have better Mental saves than other types, particularly if you're a Yeek or Drem, but this just isn't a priority you care to spend class points on.

Clarity is very cool and worth maxing, but it means that spending Psi, triggering PES, or getting hit slows you down. It does help a lot with first contact (letting you go before an enemy, and thus having a chance to shield and/or kill them first) and with navigating around patrols on the map.

Dismissal is generally regarded as a bad investment on Insane - the damage spikes that matter will be too high to Dismiss, you've got better choices for luxury, and just taking it raises your Solipsism threshold, so you could be spending class talent points for a net negative.

Possession 4/2/5/5 ASAP, 5/3/5/5 once you have Adept

This is what you came here for. Don't stint.

Possess gains duration every level, with 6 turns at level 1, adding +2 duration at levels 2 and 4 and +1 otherwise, ending up at 12 (Mastery adds another +1) . You also gain an additional type of creature to possess with every point invested, and again another with a Mastery point. But as it needs an effective talent level of 7 to possess a boss, unless you find a mastery item along with Adept quite early you're maxing this, and even if you do it may be worth a class point to learn another creature type.

Self Persistence scales weirdly. The first point gives 34% retention of your own stats, the second another 35% (sum of 69%), the third another 8% (sum 77%), the fourth 4% (sum 81%) and the fifth 2% (sum 83%). Three is a good break point.

Improved Form scales higher than Self-Persistence and also caps the maximum level of talents you can learn from your hosts, the first is good but the latter demands full investment. First point gets you 56% stats and talent level 1, second 80% stats and talent level 2, third 87% stats and talent level 3, fourth 90% stats and talent level 5, and last is 92% stats and talent level 6. With a mastery point, full investment goes to 93% stats and talent level 7, and with 9.2 mastery you can learn talents up to level 9 (presumably talent level 8 at 8.0 mastery, but can't confirm). When you consider that you're choosing from 7 active or sustained talents endgame before a mastery amulet and also getting all passives for free, there is no more efficient deal in the game than maxing this and Full Control (spend 10 class points, get up to 49 points of skills before considering passives).

Full Control begins with a default of 2 host talents before any levels are applied, and as mentioned in Post 2 the "6+" bit at the end of Full Control means that for every full point starting at 6 you unlock another talent, maxing out with 8 talents at 8.0 (or at least I've had up to 9.2 effective talent level and only got 8 talents).

Psychic Blows 1/1/1/1 ASAP, 1/1/3/3 early, 3/5/4/4 core, 5/5/5/5 luxury if skipping Battle Psionics.

Note that all these skills convert your weapon damage to mind damage, although addon damage (such as that from gauntlets or weapon tinkers) remain in whatever form they originally came in.

Psychic Crush has a nice low cooldown, hits a single target reasonably hard (from 156% weapon damage at level 1 to 200% at level 5), and points invested improve damage, chance to make a psychic imprint of the target, and duration of the imprint. The percentage increase drops slightly with every point, but it's still good enough to invest in all the way to 5 points if you can spare the points. The duration starts at 2 and increases by a round per point for the most part, +2 at 3 points invested.

Force Shield is amazing. Its retaliation strike can proc all sorts of great effects (and I believe it's not capped at once per turn, despite the tooltip), evasion is always nice (7% at first point, another +2% for every additional points), and capping incoming damage isn't bad (although once you're reasonably far along and are using only rares and bosses, you won't generally feel that comforted by capping incoming damage at only 70% of your 3-10k healthbar). While the final damage on retaliation isn't that great, it's worth noting that, in relation to its starting position, it scales quite well - 40% weapon damage at 1 point goes to 66% at 5 points, which is a 65% increase in damage, a much larger percentage increase than any of the other Psychic Blows skills.

Unleashed Mind and Seismic Mind both start at radius 3, the former a burst around you, the latter a cone in one direction, and the most important thing that scales with points invested is their radius, which gets +1 per class point up to 4 (which gives radius 6) and then no additional radius at 5. I recommend leaving both at 4 for maximum radius, as they provide a mix of AoE and medium-ranged capacity that you otherwise lack outside of host skills. Unleashed Mind increases the duration of any Psychic Imprint in its radius (5 turns at 1, +1 turn at 3 and 5, +2 turns at 2 and 4), while Seismic Mind blows up any Psychic Imprints in it's AoE for a trivial amount of physical damage in radius 1 (so try to avoid doing so). Unleashed Mind does slightly more damage (it starts at 146% to Seismic's 131%), but both are right around 200% weapon damage at 5 points invested.

Battle Psionics 0 non-Ogre core and final Deep Horror Cornac, 4/2/1/5 core for Ogre with two-hander + offhand mindstar, 4/4/1/5 luxury Ogre, 1/1/1/5 non-Ogre core for Psionic Block.

Psionic Disruption gives nice bonuses to mindstar mindpower and critical chance (note that, as the first point gives 61% more of these stats, the number is a bonus rather than a multiplier). As I generally recommend using this only on Ogres, a nice way to offset Ogrewielding mindpower loss. You also get to apply stacks of Psionic Disruption, which do modest DoT, starting with 2 stacks at levels 1&2 and adding another stack apiece at levels 3 and 4. Given that Ogrewielding allows you to apply these stacks off AoEs or Force Shield retaliation, being able to pile up more of them is somewhat worthwhile for a passive damage boost (endgame, will break down to something like 40 points of damage per turn per stack for 5 turns) and definitely worthwhile for increasing the duration of the status effects on Shockstar.

Shockstar can do solid single-target damage with an endgame mindstar and points invested in Psiblade (don't turn it on, you're grabbing it for the Mastery bonuses), but its main purpose is to stun the target and daze enemies around it. Starts off with radius 1, gains +1 radius at 2, 3, and 4 points, and duration 7, +3 at 2 points, +1 at 3 and 4, so 2 is a very strong efficiency breakpoint but anywhere 2-4 is worthwhile (and 4 brings you to radius 4 and duration 12). While the stun/daze durations seem very high for this skill, they are downgraded for every Psionic Disruption stack short of 4 you have. It appears that what happens is that you first add a stack for hitting the target and then it calculates the stun duration, as triggering Shockstar when the opponent already has 3 stacks will go the full listed duration (2 stacks prior to Shockstar gives about 75% duration, 1 stack prior gives about 50% duration, and 0 stacks prior gives about 25% duration). With a cooldown of 15 and a max stun duration of 12, you've got extremely good stun uptime.

Dazzling Lights is fine at one point, as the range for the damaging component never changes and you don't care about blinding that much. Also note that the melee attack requires successful blinding, and many higher level enemies may be resistant or immune, so check immunities before you use. AFAIK, one of the few times that you use Mindpower as a Possessor.

Psionic Block is your upgrade to Leaves Tide - spend a turn to gain a chance to block all incoming damage and retaliate. Good on anyone, very good on Shalore who can extend its duration with Timeless (but not its cooldown, which is fixed). Worth going out to the end of the tree just to grab, even if you have no intention of ever attacking with one-hander + mindstar.

Psionic Menace 0 core, 0 luxury.
A two-hander bump attack or a ranged weapon shot is a significantly better use of a turn than these skills, and doesn't use up Psi and cost you your Clarity bonus.

Body Snatcher 4-5/1/4/1 core, 5/2-3/4/1-5 luxury

You start with a free point in Bodies Reserve, holding 4 bodies. +3 at 2 & 4 points, +2 at 3 and 5. You certainly don't need more than 4 points in bodies reserve, but if you're like me and enjoy collecting for its own sake, you'll take it anyway. Note that Bodies Reserve does not grant more than 14 bodies regardless of a Mastery amulet - although its tooltip says 15 is possible, you won't have the option to use Possess when at 14 bodies.

Psionic Minion and Cannibalize work fine at 1 point - whenever you're thinking about ditching a body, consider tossing it out as a Minion or Cannibalizing it first. If you like Psionic Minion and/or want to monkey around with Projection summons, 2 points of Psionic Minion will get its duration longer than Projection's cooldown, and 3 still gives a nice (22 turns, IIRC?). Cannibalize is probably more important to max out if you're not going dual-shield, as your bodies will accumulate more wear-and-tear in smaller battles.

Psionic Duplication 4 is enough to get 3 copies of rare+ enemies, which is what you're probably filling your Reserve with anyway. If you have a Mastery Amulet you may consider a 5th point, if the Mastery bonus is high enough it is possible to get 4 high-tier bodies per Possess (I did so with +0.34 bonus mastery).

Deep Horror Core 0, Cornac 4/1/4/0
Mind Steal is great fun once you've unlocked the ability to target specific enemy abilities, which comes at effective talent level 5. Being able to remove powerful activated abilities from opponents is extremely useful, and allows easier access to certain otherwise hard to get talent combinations (Continuous Butchery + GWF, for example).

Spectral Dash is very, very bad, basically never worth the turn. It does give solid Psi recovery (it's about 18 per point invested) which, if combined with max Solipsism skill, could stretch your durability out a bit, but I'd rather bump attack 90%+ of the time, because dead enemies are the best enemies.

Writhing Psionic Mass gives a nice mix of defenses and status clears, and is instant speed. By the time you get it status clears are not as important and you should have a significant variety of options, but they still have value. 4 points upgrades you from 1 physical or mental effect removed to 2 and gives you the maximum defense boost duration of 5 (up from 3 at level 1).

Ominous Form is a cool concept that never quite emerges as a viable talent. You can't use it when you're already in a form, and so therefore you kinda never want to use it because if you're standing within range 2 of an enemy and you are not in a host, something has already gone horribly wrong. It is also fairly expensive (Psi 50) which, if your host has been killed out from under you, might be more than you can afford. Finally, it's very hard outside of Timeless to make its duration > Assume Form's cooldown, and Shalore aren't in a great position category-point wise to afford buying this. While it's thematically interesting and might rarely serve as a disaster-level panic button, you'll get more value out of putting the points towards survivability improvements (even Dismissal or Cannibalize) to try to avoid getting your host killed in the first place rather than investing in a low-probability, last-ditch, temporary reprieve.

9. Generic Skills

Combat Training Thick Skin 3-5, Heavy Armor 3-5, Weapon Mastery 5 Accuracy 3-5. Note that any or all of these may be present on your host and therefore points invested may be less efficient than they appear e.g. Taking Thick Skin from 3->5 may in practice be more like increasing it from 7->9, with greater levels typically leading to greater diminishing returns. More Weapon Mastery, however, is always great no matter how many points you have in it, and as you choose gear before Assuming a form you will want at least 3 Heavy Armor.

Ravenous Mind 1/1-3/0/0 core, up to 1-2/5/5/0 luxury
sad*st gives you bonus mindpower, which isn't too valuable on the base Possessor chassis but has good uses in some hosts. 1 or 2 points for efficiency.

Channel Pain reduces incoming damage and inflicts a fraction of it on a nearby injured enemy. The amount of damage blocked does not increase with investment, but the cost to do so is reduced (which effectively prevents "damage" to your Psi) and the damage suffered by the enemy increases.

Radiate Agony offers another way to reduce incoming damage, but this one takes a turn to use. Psionic Block is strictly better - same cost, same duration, retaliation damage, no need to have injured enemies, inability of opponents to clear it with status clears, affects you so radius irrelevant, higher defense % (although radiate removes a % of damage and Psionic Block has a % chance to completely block each instance of incoming damage) - but Radiate isn't bad at 2-3 points (2 gets radius 4, 3 gets radius 5) removing 1/4 to 1/3rd of incoming damage.

Torture Mind might be better on lower difficulties, but on Insane knocking out a small number enemy talents at random isn't usually a good use of a turn. I suggest trying to kill them instead.

Mentalism 1/2/1-2/0-1

Psychometry's gains are very weak. 1 and done.

Mental Shielding is pretty good at 2 points - instant speed, usable while asleep (unlike a Water Salve), and in early game lets you run movement - shield - shield - phys wild and still be able to clear mental effects. Starts with clearing 1 mental effect at level 1, goes to 3 mental effects at two points invested - you'll almost never need more than that.

Projection, while not a great scouting tool due to the possibility of taking damage, has some non-obvious uses making it well worth a small investment. A Projected copy cannot use activated items, but otherwise is a copy of you but not you - the skill specifics mean that your body will share damage inflicted on the projection (although Cannibalize healing will NOT heal your original body), if your projection uses bodies or talents then when you return to your actual body (at end of skill or by clicking on the "your character" icon on the top of the screen, it's the one without a duration number) you won't have used them. Some interesting applications for this:
- Projection -> information talent (e.g. Track) to allow you to assess your surroundings twice as often.
- While *you* cannot do damage without Mind Link, your summons can do so perfectly well. Natively, therefore, Psionic Minion allows you to summon a boss-level minion an infinite number of times (so, Projection -> Rune of Reflection -> Movement boost to destination -> Psionic Minion works great as a combat opener).
- Any host summoning skill also works, although “Summon” no longer works (Projections no longer revive the skill).
- Tinker summons (Toxic Cannister, Fatal Attractor, Voltaic Sentry) also work at full power, and Tinker status effects (Flash Powder, Itching Powder) also work fine. The Weapon Automation: One Handed Tinker also works, and ends up duplicating the one-handed melee weapon in the process.
- Summoner hosts with Frantic Summoning are especially valuable for their ability to create a huge army quickly, and with a Projection you can do it twice in a row (although be careful about Projecting within LOS of enemies if your opponents have AoEs). Drem have an extra wrinkle available here if you care to fuss enough to use it, although you'll need to invest a little more in Projection for duration - with a Summoner host in storage, Track->Project->Shielding->Movement infusion as usual, then speed to destination, drop From Below, then Frenzy, Psionic Minion, Assume Form x2, Psionic Minion, then unleash as many Summoner skills as you have time for.
- Drem/Thalore/Yeek racial summons work great, as does Yeek's Dominant Will.

Projection has many additional potential uses that aren't discussed here - the skill is interesting enough that it now has its own thread in Spoilers, from which many of the above are drawn. It’s really strong. Some consider it an exploit. If this bothers you, know that Possessors on Insane have no need of it in order to complete the base game.

Mind Link seems like it's trying to turn Projection into Ambuscade, but the fact that damage hits your body makes it markedly more dangerous. May still be worth splashing a point so that you can potentially assassinate a single dangerous enemy by blowing all your best attacks and then dropping your projection, but doing so is probably only practical with significant global/attack speed boosts, greater point investment in Projection, and a weapon with Mind damage conversion (Psychic Blows gives you good Mind damage skills to begin with, but you'll want to leverage host skills as well).

Survival 1/1/1/0 early and core, up to 1/5/1/5 luxury.

Heightened Senses is fine at 1, and you'll often get more off hosts.

Device Mastery also stacks with hosts, but for some items you want as many uses as you can possibly get and stretching their efficiency further is really valuable. Egg-Sac, Rod of Spydric Poison, Nexus of the Way, Ruthless Grip, Lightbringer's Wand among others are all really happy to have this maxed.

Track is amazing, doubly so for Possessors who need to know when it's safe to switch bodies, but if you've got any kind of Cunning even 1 point covers a huge area.

Danger Sense seems like a reasonable defensive boost for Cornacs with too many points on their hands, and I can't recall ever seeing it on a host so you're not likely to get it for free.

Chemistry 3/1/1 core. Optional: 3 Chemistry for Alchemist's Helper and Winterchill Edge, 2 Explosives for more ammo types, Ablative Armor.
Physics 3/2/1 core. Optional: 4 Smithing for Crystal Edge, 2 Electricity for White Light Emitter, Shocking Edge, and Deflection Field.

As some schematics require both Chemistry and Physics levels, we're considering them together. This is my recommended minimum investment of points needed to grab a variety of generally useful Tinkers for all slots. See 64legos' excellent Tinker spreadsheet if you want to see what you're getting specifically.

Worth noting that Unstoppable Force Salve, though still welcome for its monster save bonuses, doesn't have quite the same punch here as on some other classes, as you can't stack healing factor sky high and regeneration tank everything with a Possessor in the way you can with, say, a Demonologist or a Sun Paladin.

10. Escorts
The most important Possessor-specific rule for escorts is that, if due to your host you have 5 or more levels in a skill, then you won't be able to learn additional ranks from an Escort, even if you natively have fewer than 5 levels. So you may want to arrange things such that you can be in your own body when your escort hits the teleportation circle, although that can be quite risky. This is most notable on the thief escort, as on high difficulties many enemies have high levels of Device Mastery and Heightened Senses.

The one escort recommendation from 1.5 I'm still confident in (besides Tinker, which is core to this guide) is grabbing Disarm from Loremaster. Disarm is exceptionally useful against tough melee enemies.

I'm erasing the rest of this section until I have a better sense of how escorts have changed under 1.6 - the increase from +2 to a stat to +5, as well as changes to what skills are available, means the old recommendations are outdated.

11. Piloting Notes

Random tips, in no particular order.

All things being equal, while you're still developing your Full Control skill, you should prefer using bodies with fewer talents that you want earlier in hopes that you can delay assuming the form of a better body until you've got more talents you can learn. You should also prefer using bodies you've already used before, for the same reason. Knowing when to switch to a new body is most difficult risk/reward question of the early game - do you try to eke out a little more time in a preferred body that has taken significant damage, or do you replace it with a healthy one you like less?

Consider a ranged weapon to make the early game go easier. Mobility options from hosts and/or Movement Infusions and a solid ranged weapon can trivialize much of the T1 zones, and obviously moreso if your host has Master Marksman or equivalent passive bonus. An advanced option is to grab a Mindslayer body and use Beyond the Flesh to dual-wield ranged weapons, which will often result in markedly better results given your statline or ammo type (particularly, ammo with chance to daze at end of turn can do a decent dazelock when used with Beyond the Flesh).

The drowning start - refers to an outdated technique available in earlier versions of the game but no longer present in 1.6. It worked as follows: restart until you get a Last Hope with a boss spawn, swap positions with rare/unique/boss NPCS until they're in the water, then they drown, you get XP and steal their stuff. The Possessor variant of this is "clear an area near the water, either by walking commons out of LOS and out of hearing, or by drowning them. Then, one at a time, walk over a rare/unique/boss and, when they are about to die (usually ~25% life bar left unless Blurred Mortality or similar skill is in effect), hit them with Possess, get XP, a host, and stuff." Given that there used to be rares, uniques, and bosses hanging out in last Hope in the 20-30th level range, this made Possessor starts incredibly easy.

Get in the habit of switching back to your base form before you leave a level (after hitting Track to make sure there's no lurkers left). You might gain a character level, and you may want to switch your gear. If you wait for the normal "look through the stuff I got while transitioning to a new level, keep/equip the good and transmute the rest" option and you're in a host body (as you should be) you won't be able to equip new gear.

Inwardly Fuming - A Guide to the Possessor Tinker (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Roderick King

Last Updated:

Views: 6447

Rating: 4 / 5 (51 voted)

Reviews: 82% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Roderick King

Birthday: 1997-10-09

Address: 3782 Madge Knoll, East Dudley, MA 63913

Phone: +2521695290067

Job: Customer Sales Coordinator

Hobby: Gunsmithing, Embroidery, Parkour, Kitesurfing, Rock climbing, Sand art, Beekeeping

Introduction: My name is Roderick King, I am a cute, splendid, excited, perfect, gentle, funny, vivacious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.