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First room tutorial

It all starts here

Brigands have run of these lanes. Keep to the side-path, the hamlet is just ahead.

~ The Narrator


The Old Road is the very first Location in which the player finds themselves after launching the Game and creating a savefile. It begins after "Road Home", the second cinematic of the game, in which the Stage Coach carrying you to Hamlet suffers an accident because of the apparent madness of its driver. The Old Road is supposedly located in the Weald, as the background and music both match with the ones you find in this region.

The player has to get through the Old Road to reach Hamlet. It serves as a tutorial on how to progress/find your way into a dungeon, along with tutorials for battle and curios investigation.

Reynauld and Dismas[ | ]

On the Old Road, the player will always begin their adventure with the same two characters: Reynauld, a Crusader, and Dismas, a Highwayman (both at level 0).

Reynauld possesses the combat skills Smite, Zealous Accusation, Stunning Blow and Bulwark of Faith. He has the quirk Warrior of Light, which is really useful at the beginning of the game. But he is also God Fearing and most importantly, Kleptomaniac, which may cause him to interact with any encountered curio on his own and steal any resulting loot. Should Kleptomaniac not trigger upon reaching a curio, it is safe to proceed looting with Reynauld as the selected hero.

Dismas has the combat skills Pistol Shot, Grapeshot Blast, Tracking Shot and Open Vein. He possesses 2 positive quirks, Hard Noggin and Quick Reflexes and also 1 negative quirk, Known Cheat, which is not troublesome for the dungeon.

These features are not randomly generated: the player will always begin the game with these 2 characters, and their skills/quirks will always remain the same at the beginning.

The Map[ | ]

Since it's intended as a tutorial, the Old Road is the easiest dungeon in the game. There are only 2 rooms: the entrance room (where the heroes begin) is directly connected to the last room. The player has to pass through one corridor to do so and complete the first quest: reach the Hamlet alive.

Halfway through the corridor, you'll encounter one Brigand Cutthroat, and the combat system will be explained to you.

Depending on their difficulty* the player will then come across 1 of 2 Curios, a tent (if on Radiant/Darkest difficulty) or a transcendent terror* (on Stygian/Blood Moon difficulty). This particular tent* cannot be found anywhere else and only gives loot, so collect it and move on.

(* If a tent is present, it’s best to wait until the end of the second encounter to interact with and snuff out their torch for extra loot. The party does not have to walk far, so the chance of extra stress is minimal.

If playing on Stygian difficulty, the Traveler's Tent will be replaced by the "Transcendent Terror", a unique Curio which has a 100% chance to inflict +100 stress and a resolve test on the character used to investigate the curio, so should not be interacted with at all. Just "Ignore" and move on to the final fight.)

At the end of the corridor you'll find a portal to pass through, and you'll enter the second room: a Battle Room with a Trapped Strongbox guarded by a Brigand Bloodletter (size 2, in the 1st and 2nd position) and a Brigand Fusilier (3rd position). They both have to be killed to finish the quest. Do not open the strongbox; It has no chance of loot*, and a 100% chance of a poisonous blight (which the hero opening the chest may try to resist). On the other hand, if you have a hero with more than a couple hit points left and want to see how a trap works, feel free, just leave before any poison kills them. All physical damage is healed upon returning to the Hamlet.

(* Rarely, the loot from the fight in this room will drop a Skeleton Key, and you can use it to bypass the trap on the "Bandit's Trapped Chest" and get actual loot instead of a DoT Blight. In this extremely rare case, it is definitely worth opening, as the trap will not be triggered and the strongbox loot can contain 2 random Trinkets.)

After this, just leave to the Hamlet.

Strategies[ | ]

The Old Road may be the easiest dungeon in the game but the player shouldn’t get careless, as stress and afflictions will carry over to the first week. You only have 2 heroes without any trinkets equipped, and neither Reynauld nor Dismas have any healing abilities. Having to deal with an afflicted hero in Stygian just makes it more difficult. If you get unlucky, though, don't panic: should you lose Reynauld, Dismas, or both, additional heroes will appear in the starting Stagecoach to ensure that you have a full party of four for the next mission.

Your first strategy decision is whether or not to snuff out your torch, and if so when. Snuffing out your torch lowers the Light Meter, which increases the chance for more and better loot but also increases the chance for critical hits (making combat more random and dangerous for all concerned) and increases Stress for the characters as they walk the hallways. Although all physical damage will be removed from surviving characters upon leaving the quest, stress will not, and can have long-term penalties for your efforts.

The first fight is easy, as the Cutthroat has low bleed resistances and also low health, so any 2-3 good hits will finish him. Since he has low (25%) Stun resistance, you could try* to have your Crusader use Stunning Blow to prevent him from taking his turn, and then cut him down. **

(* 100% base -25% resist = 75% chance)

(** If you're trying to keep your light levels high, a successful Stun might allow the Crusader to then use his Bulwark of Faith attack, which does -50% damage but also raises the light level. This will put it at "radiant" (the highest) for the second fight, if that's what you're after.)

In the second and final encounter, the player should ignore the Fusilier and simply focus on the Bloodletter with Brigand's Open Vein and Crusader's Smite attacks; he's by far the bigger threat, and 4-5 good hits should do the job here.

  • Stunning the Bloodletter is possible, but it's a coin toss; you have a 50% chance to fail (Stunning Blow starts at 100% base chance but the Bloodletter has 50% resistance) and the Crusader's Stun Attack does -50% normal damage. Also, victims of Stun attacks receive a buff to their resistance on the turn following a stun, bringing that to 100% (so zero chance of a follow-up Stun), so you're back to Smite immediately after anyway. On Radiant and Darkest difficulties, Smite will be more than good enough.

The Fusilier is weaker in hit points, but until the Bloodletter is dead (and any body gone) only the Highwayman can reach him, and then only with his Pistol shot/Grapeshot attacks, which both require he stay in the #2 position. Once the big guy is gone (and any body removed as well), the Fusilier will be forced to move up to the #1 position in his lineup, and only have a relatively weak "Rushed Shot" attack.

  • It may be tempting to try to have your Highwayman use Pistolshot to attack the Fusilier, as only 3 average attacks will end him. However, the Bloodletter has a "Point Blank Shot" that can push the Crusader back and move your Highwayman up to the #1 position, where he can't use his pistol attacks - and you're left with either skipping a turn while moving back into position (and hoping against another Point Blank Shot!), or you're back to just beating down the big guy and any damage against the Fusilier could have been better used there in the first place.
  • Snuffing the torch before the killing blow is recommended for extra encounter loot - no one is walking far after this, so Stress is not an issue.

Quest Reward[ | ]

After beating the Bloodletter and the Fusilier, you'll have completed the quest and the game will propose you to go to the Hamlet. You can stay and open the bandit’s trapped chest if you like, but unless you happened to obtain a key (a rare but possible reward if you doused your torch before your fights), you'll only be blighted for your efforts. Once you're done, you'll get 5000 gold for the trouble (along with any loot you found), forming a financial base to buy the provisions for your first quest.

Trivia[ | ]

  • After completing this location and entering the Hamlet for the first time, the Stage Coach will contain a Plague Doctor and a Vestal class character. However, their specific combat and Camping Skills, and Quirks, will always be random.
  • If either Reynauld or Dismas die on the Old Road, a random hero will arrive on the stagecoach to ensure that you have a full (if perhaps not optimal) party of 4 for your first quest.
  • If both Reynauld and Dismas die on the Old Road, you still “clear” the quest and receive the 5,000 gold. The weekly Ledger states that you “escaped through the trees and reached the hamlet” and the stagecoach will have two random heroes along with the Vestal and Plague Doctor.
  • If the player fails to kill the very first bandit in this location in the next encounter in other location The Narrator will say the same thing as in the beginning of the battle with him. This is most likely a glitch.
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Hub Hamlet
Dungeons Old Road MiniScrollpip Ruins MiniScrollpip Warrens MiniScrollpip Weald MiniScrollpip Cove MiniScrollpip Darkest Dungeon
DLC Locations CourtyardThe Crimson Court DLC MiniScrollpip FarmsteadExclusive to The Color of Madness DLC MiniScrollpip Butcher's Circus
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