At first glance, Pentiment may not bear a striking resemblance to Fallout: New Vegas. Yet both games from Obsidian Entertainment share a DNA that prioritizes player choice and creating a character with special skills that determine your path forward.
Rather than shooting radioactive enemies, Pentiment is a game about talking to people and solving a sudden murder. In order to give yourself the best chance of finding the person responsible you will want to choose your background carefully. Here are the best choices for every background option in Pentiment.
Best past travels to pick in Pentiment
The first choice you get to make is to decide where Andreas previously studied before arriving in Tassing. This will give him knowledge of certain languages and cultural touchstones of the area you decide. The three options are Basel, Flanders, and Italy.
As so much of Pentiment revolves around religion and art, Italy is a very good background to pick if you want some general knowledge relating to those subjects at the time of the game’s setting.
Best hobby to pick in Pentiment
The second piece of your background that you get to choose is what hobby Andreas gets up to in his free time. This decision will open up special dialogue options that leverage your chosen talent to sway conversations or understand certain bits of information. The options given to you are Hedonist, Craftsman, Bookworm, Rapscallion, and Business.
Bookworm is a great background to choose if you want to dive into the historical records of Pentiment and be able to uncover any paper trails left in Tassing. Much of Pentiment revolves around literature and art found in books so having an edge in understanding these materials will not hurt.
If you want a more unconventional path that has a lot of unique options not provided by any other background then choose Hedonist. This version of Andreas will be a debauchery-loving sinner who is all too familiar with all the vices under the sun. You can flirt your way through the world and cause some particularly humorous events to occur with this hobby.
Best studies to pick in Pentiment
When first talking with Lorenz, the Baron of Rothvogle, Andreas will be able to make his third choice which determines his background. This will be about what his studies were in university. The options are Theology, Imperial Law, and Medicine.
At the end of the day, Pentiment is mostly a murder mystery. You will need to uncover the who, how, and why of the crime and make your case. Medicine is an excellent background for this as you will be able to examine the body and come to your own conclusions about how they met their end, this could lead you to a potential murder weapon and the person who used it.
Best subjects to pick in Pentiment
The final decision you get to make that will impact the rest of how you play Pentiment is the decision of what Andreas’s favorite subjects were while in school. You are given the choice between Latinist, Logician, Orator, Occultist, and Heavens and Earth. Unlock the other choices you are given; you will be able to choose two subjects so this is a great way to fill out your skill set with areas of knowledge you haven't covered with past decisions.
The Occultist should be a lock for one of the two spots you are given. In all of the other backgrounds you get to choose between, nothing covers this area of knowledge. While Tassing may appear to be a normal Christian town at the start, pagan beliefs and dark magic rear their head before too long. The occultist background will give you a way to understand and explore these events and is an essential pick for Andreas.
For your second slot, you should use this as a way to make up for any blind spots in Andreas’s background. If you don’t have any theological background or understanding of Italian then the Latinist is a great choice. It will let you read Latin, which most of the historical and theological texts will be in.
If you don’t have any skills that work towards making Andreas a more personable speaker then choose Orator. Andreas will have a mastery of conversation and persuasion, making it easier to talk your way out of a sticky situation or convince someone to do something they probably shouldn’t.