Tutoring & the Ability Tree

The tables below are currently incomplete and still in progress. Currently, they should serve you up through chapter 2.

Since release, there has been much confusion regarding Crimson Shroud's ability tree and how it works. Magic and skills are both learned after battles with specific ones from a pool of 3 being chosen by the player, with some intervals being set (the cast will always learn after the Goblin encounter at the First Gate in chapter 1, for example, but will only randomly be available for tutoring after engaging fights in the Gerseym Waterway in chapter 2.) At first there were theories that some skills led to others being learned earlier, with skills being related in branching paths, then the possibility of ability tiers with one leading into the next arose, but after careful testing over multiple playthroughs using all of the save files I can tell you that the long and short of the ability tree is; there is none.

Giauque, Lippi and Frea all draw from pools of character-specific abilities. No matter which magic or skill you choose to tutor them, the next ability to enter your pool of 3 will always be the same. Abilities are added in a specific order. Adding Fortify or Dice Lure will not make it easier to get Meditate on Giauque, alluring as a chapter 1 Meditate would be. The listings, by character, are;

  1. Focus
  2. Heroism
  3. Fortify
  4. Despair
  5. Sunder
  6. Dice Lure
  7. Conversion
  8. Magic Paling
  9. Foresight
  10. Meditate
  11. Inspire II 
  12. Heroism II
  13. Hex 
  14. Blade Defiance
  15. Dice Lure II
Recommended Path: Focus > Heroism > Sunder > Dice Lure > Conversion > Magic Paling / Fortify > Foresight > Meditate > Inspire II > Heroism II > Despair > Foresight > Dice Lure II.
Giauque is your primary damage dealer in a first run of the game, and will generally maintain that role throughout subsequent runs, but out of the two that the game allots you he's also the only one who can't improve his accuracy from the onset, so Focus gets priority and after that Heroism takes the weight off of Frea's arms lore, which frees up your ability to change her equipment early in the game. Sunder is important because Impaired Defense is a relatively difficult status effect to come by, but can completely turn the tide of battles as it makes both Giauque and Lippi deal crippling extra damage to enemies instead of just one of them.

Dice Lure is a strange effect, but the result is that when you successfully form a combo, you receive die in the next tier over what you would have gotten. So if your combo chain would have given you a 1d4, it will instead give the much more useful 1d6, and if it would have given you a 1d6 it will instead give you a 1d8, reaching all the way up to giving you 1d20. The skill isn't a crazy tide turner, but there will be turns that you will be wasting in the game and Dice Lure is a good way to waste them. Conversion on the other hand is an essential survival skill because it lets you rescue a character from the brink of death, converting their entire MP pool into HP. I never needed to do this on a first run, but it's an amazing fallback since MP regenerates automatically and when paired with Meditate can make your party close to unkillable. There are far more physical attackers in the game than magical ones, hence the Paling / Fortify split, but Giauque will not be using either of these skills very often, so this toss-up is something of an empty level.

Meditate is truly one of the best skills in the game. It's intended to be used by mages, but when given to Giauque it means that you can go into a fight throwing out Spinning Strike, Thor Smash, Windblade and Wither II right from the start, and gives you an amazing endgame setup right from the midgame where Giauque and Lippi spend their initial rounds casting Meditate and subsequent rounds felling whole enemy parties with skills that they shouldn't be able to access for three more turns. Blade Defiance is its polar opposite, as total physical immunity sounds good on paper, but it's MP intensive, consumes an action to use and only lasts through one physical attack, forcing you to waste actions recasting it every round while also scraping for MP with Meditate and not attacking. It can be useful in one-off situations, but is low priority because even against the final boss, you'll never cast it.
  1. Foresight
  2. Inspire
  3. Heroism
  4. Hex
  5. Ensnare
  6. Magic Paling
  7. Fortify
  8. Attune Magic
  9. Dice Lure
  10. Meditate
  11. Despair
  12. Conversion
  13. Focus II
  14. Heroism II
  15. Blade Defiance
Recommended Path: Inspire > Heroism > Foresight > Magic Paling > Fortify > Ensnare > Dice Lure > Meditate > Hex > Conversion > Focus II > Heroism II > Despair.
Since Lippi already starts with Focus, he can learn Inspire or Heroism right away, though Foresight isn't bad as it can exploit his high Avoid to turn him into an evasive distraction that the enemies won't be able to nail down consistently. Inspire gets priority because it can counter Despair, used by both the Minotaur and chapter boss of GENESIS. Fortify is key to getting that strong mid-to-endgame setup, as in fights where Lippi starts with his MP already pooled from previous uses of Meditate he can through up Fortify to cut the damage his low Vitality would otherwise attract. The key goal to a good first run Lippi is Flame Blast, Fortify and Meditate, with buffs as a secondary concern; this type of build can last well into your second run so long as you update his other equipment and do your melding. Considering that Flame Blast comes from the Composite Bow, and the time spent in the actual Gerseym Waterway is enough to be left drowning in Composite Bows, this build isn't at all hard to maintain.

Focus II will be essential as a support magic to cast on Giauque in setup and after accuracy-debuffing spells have been sent out by the enemy. Despite the strong damage that Lippi can put out toward the endgame, he's a Red Mage through and through.
  1. Magic Paling
  2. Sacred Chant
  3. Befuddle
  4. Attune Magic
  5. Dazzle
  6. Empower Magic
  7. Dice Lure
  8. Focus
  9. Fortify
  10. Meditate II
  11. Magic Paling II
  12. Sacred Chant II
  13. Foresight
  14. Spell Defiance
  15. Attune Magic II
Recommended Path: Sacred Chant > Befuddle > Magic Paling > Empower Magic > Dice Lure > Focus > Fortify > Meditate II > Magic Paling II > Sacred Chant II > Dazzle > Foresight > Attune Magic II.
Frea is definitely the easiest of the three to tutor from the onset, as Sacred Chant will give her MP Regen +25% let her spend less rounds casting Meditate. Magic Paling is not immediately useful due to her naturally high Resistance and the general lack of competent enemy mages, but its cousin Magic Paling II will make her be able to raise Lippi's Resistance once enemy mages show up, further down the line. Befuddle helps to make yourself troublesome for those rare enemy mages, since a mage that's ineffective versus all party members is better for you than one party member being immune and the rest getting tossed around, but the really solid take on Frea is to net her both Fortify and Protect, through tutoring and equipment, along with Meditate II. This lets her go into a fight throwing up Fortify on herself while Lippi does the same for his own turn, or otherwise cast Protect to fill in for him or Giauque to cut the damage enemy parties deal while Frea keeps topping off everyone's HP between buff-debuff rounds. Fortify-Protect-Meditate II ensures a solid setup for the entire party to build their offense around, while also guaranteeing that Frea will almost never run out of MP. Fights in Shroud are survival of stamina affairs, so it's fitting that a pool of infinite resources like Frea would become the fulcrum of Rahab's conquering.

Later on Frea gains access to Sacred Chant II for +50% restoration, though by the time she acquires it she tends to be too busy to cast it. Still, it can be handy in prolonged fights, which Shroud has no shortage of. Spell Defiance is impractical for the same reasons as Blade above, and for also making you immune to your own healing spells--which will consume that one hit that it lasts through.

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