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NOTE: This guide was last updated in 2018. It may contain outdated information.


Low spoiler survival guide - Intro[ | ]

The purpose of this guide is to flesh out some ways to get good momentum in Dead in Vinland at various stages of the game. The aim is to be relatively detailed, but not encyclopedic, while avoiding spoilers.

This guide should be viable for Harsh Conditions. The last time I played Harsh Conditions was on 1.10 and I was doing fairly well for 40 days or so before I stopped playing, and it probably would have been viable to go further.

You can save scum if you want to, but this guide is geared toward managing risks in such a way that you can use minimal or no save scumming. The game is more challenging - but also much less tedious - if you just play it straight. Save-scumming is powerful, but not necessary to win.

Some spoilers ahead[ | ]

For the most part, spoilers involve vague references to events that happen in the first week or two of game time, and maybe a few later ones. Spoilers will be kept somewhat vague whenever possible.

Early game[ | ]

The extreme early game is about setting up basic camps to collect basic construction resources and food, as well as camps to lower your negative statuses (Depression, Hunger, etc). For the most part, upgrades can be postponed.

Shipwreck[ | ]

Early on, the shipwreck is the only reliable way to get food. You should salvage the shipwreck only once per day, not the maximum of two. Excess food will go bad, and the Scavenge Shipwreck activity will generate more depression than you will be able to deal with. It's not going anywhere, and it will run out after a certain number of uses. This also means that whoever has the most Scavenging skill should go - lower skill per usage translates into resources completely lost permanently.

Exceptions - lower skill level?[ | ]

If your top two Scavengers are almost equally skilled, it can be useful to juggle the Depression gains between them. Not only can you die from Depression, but you lose productivity. The safest way to lower depression is with the Tavern Relaxation Mode, which works optimally when used on two people at ~30 Depression. Check the Scavenger stats and especially the efficiency tooltip on the camp screen.

Exceptions - twice in one day?[ | ]

If your first attempt of the day doesn't generate food and you're out of food, you can go a second time. If you only have non-perishable food and are hoping to save it, you can consider going again, but situational awareness is needed - e.g., is your depression low, are you hoping to get rope/stone/iron to build a specific camp, is your hunger somewhat high right now...

Exploring and map events[ | ]

Exploring is a great throwaway action for Kari. Only .5 Potable Water and a little Fatigue are used, but watch out for Fights. XP and items from Fights are usually more than worth the risk - as long as you have three primary or backup fighters in good condition. Your Explorer *must* be in the fight, so make sure Kari doesn't have nasty combat debuffs before sending her out into the wilderness.

Look before you leap[ | ]

There is no cost to open a map event (!) and see what it is. Even for a first playthrough, you can generally tell what the likely risks and outcomes are for most events. You can even click on an activity just to see what skills are necessary and cancel out any time before confirming the Villager to do the Event.

Save for later?[ | ]

If your camp is hungry, you might be tempted to collect some meat or fruit from a Map Event. Think twice! Perishable goods are sometimes demanded in Tributes, and it is often much easier to reach the goal if you've left them on the Map for later.

Additionally, you can generally guess that anything that looks ominous or paranormal is probably going to involve difficult skill checks and harsh failure penalties. You could just save scum, but if you want to play it straight, just say no.

Blue cat lady[ | ]

You'll run into her within a month or so. This is the only puzzle in the game requiring external knowledge. Either look it up in a forum, or Google "Norse cat goddess" and the rest will be straightforward.

Buildings[ | ]

Just say no to upgrades[ | ]

Even if you get an Ancient Knowledge early by chance, there are too many vital Tier 0 camps that have to be in place ASAP.

Exception - water upgrades[ | ]

This might be the most important exception to the "no upgrades" early-game rule. It's hard to predict when you'll get Ancient Knowledge and the ability to upgrade. Tier 1 water upgrades are mostly worth it - storage lets you get free water during storms. With more efficient purification, the +10 non-potable storage becomes more efficient than +5 potable storage, but you'll need both upgrades to sustain more than the original 4 people.

Lumber Camp[ | ]

The Lumber Camp should be your first or maybe second building. Wood is used for everything. You could gamble on getting enough from the Shipwreck and Map Events, but that's a dangerous game.

Resting Area, Tavern, Harvesting Camp, Mine* (see * at end of subsection)[ | ]

The next camps should be built roughly in this order. If you certain needs are escalating a bit more rapidly, you can change the order a little.

In general, Fatigue increases the most rapidly, so Resting Area comes first. You can rest in the Shelter, but you recover very little Fatigue that way. (Maybe it's hot or noisy in there?)

Depression will affect the Shipwreck scavenger(s) especially. Tavern has a "non-alcoholic" mode. The Tavern is the only depression-lowering camp, so don't think of it as a luxury. Harvesting Camp can be built a little earlier or later depending on Shipwreck food drops, and you have the option to get food from the Map quests. The Mine is important, but you can coast on Shipwreck materials for a while.

You can maybe delay the Tavern just a little bit if you have Vallhund DLC and you decide to use Play With Me as often as it's available. But this is far from a sustainable, permanent fix.

You probably have enough resources to delay the Mine for about this far, but keep an eye on your resources and do it earlier if necessary.

* - When playing on Harsh Conditions, you may want to delay Mine even further. To do this, you will need to save at least one Stone for your Fishing/Hunting Camp. This, in turn, means you will need to have NOT repaired your Workshop all the way. Slower crafting is a setback, but waiting to build a Mine before you get your fish/meat income is an even bigger setback! Any additional Stone from quests could allow you to delay Mine even further, but no further than after your food income becomes stable.

Healing Tent, Fishing Camp, Cooking Pot[ | ]

Healing Tent is delayed because wounds and sickness tend to increase slowly, and you get injury/sickness consumables from the shipwreck and from text events. With Vallhund DLC, Sickness becomes the more immediate pressure. While Valur can always Lick Wounds, there is no Doggie Howser MD option to deal with Sickness. When the drugs run out, you will need the Healing Tent. The most efficient way to use the Healing Tent is to heal a condition along with a moderate amount of Sickness/Injury. You need to select Focus On X for this to work. The amount of sickness/injury points removed total is the same for all three options, but "no focus" does not remove debuffs. It will also be too early in the game to make potions, unless you absolutely need to save time to finish a Tribute or something similarly urgent.

Fishing Camp is easier to keep running, because you make Fish Bait out of Rotten Food. Just make sure you stop eating Crap Meal a few days before hand and you'll be set.

Cooking Pot is essential. You increase the food value and lower or eliminate Sickness penalties. Daily Grilled Fish is perhaps *the* defining moment where you've reached the mid-game.

Hunting Camp (as an alternative to Fishing)[ | ]

Hunting Camp requires the Forge - while Arrows only require Wood, you also need a Forge and someone to craft arrows. You get a few "starter arrows" for free during the night, but this doesn't give you that much time. You have to get a Forge right away, and start crafting arrows. It's a little more viable if you recruit a 5th or 6th villager with high Crafting, but you will also spend time Healing injuries.

Hunting has similar yields, but less variance. It's easier to plan around, and you can eventually get good income from Traps, but you need rope and iron for it.

Mid-game[ | ]

You want to add Villagers and supporting infrastructure as you go along. It can be dangerous to recruit people you can't support. Have a plan.

Food preparation[ | ]

There are two work periods during each day. Fish and/or hunt during the Morning. Have you chef Cook during the Afternoon. Uncooked meat/fish has a chance to spoil overnight, so usually you want to flex the rest of your schedule around this pattern. If Eirik is your best Fisher and your best Crafter, he has to fish in the morning.

If you get a bad fishing result and have few unspoiled leftovers, you can gather additional fish or fruit, or just accept a little more hunger that day.

Camp upgrades[ | ]

Water barrel Tier 1 upgrades are perhaps the most vital, generically.

"Two worker" upgrades can be beneficial in a few ways. Most notably, if Elof demands a perishable food item for a tribute, double workers 3-4 days in a row is by far the most reliable method to reach the goal. A mediocre second worker with good relationship status can sometimes be the most productive, but experiment and check the tooltip for help.

Overnight recovery upgrades can wait. These scale with the number of villagers. If you can't support 8 villagers yet, then there are more important building options still available. Fatigue and depression gain reductions for individual camps are also weak, all costs and benefits considered.

Upgrading villager capacity[ | ]

You need a cooking pipeline and some water upgrades before you even want to think about expanding camp capacity above 6. Most likely, you want hunting, fishing, a Cooking Pot, and a Forge to support your Hunting habit.

If you know you only need 1-3 days to fully support the next 1-2 villagers, you can recruit them early. They will join at perfect health.

Exploitation[ | ]

You can recruit someone with the intention of working them to death. Like a certain sleazy-looking character with the Looter trait... just put him on the front lines and let him slowly die from injuries. Feeding is optional.

Hunting Camp, Forge[ | ]

You will probably want these camp early in the mid-game. (Already mentioned above, but this section is here to bookmark its importance in the outline) Most likely, you can build Hunting Camp before Forge, since you get starter arrows for free.

Herbalist[ | ]

Hemp and Medical Herbs are somewhat common from combat drops and Map Events. But you can't delay this forever. Also keep in mind that larger volumes of herbs can be made into time-saving potions. A surplus of herbs now can save you two villagers' time later on.

Hemp is needed to make Rope. It takes a while to run out of rope, but if you wait until you notice the shortage, you'll have set yourself back.

It's possible to skip the Herbalist and use Trading instead, for everything except for Healing Herbs. You would have to heal very selectively, and you would need to almost never make potions to cure conditions.

Drying Rack[ | ]

Cooking is predictable, not affected by the weather, and actually increases food values.

Drying makes food safer and non-perishable, and does not take a villager's time. Cooking is much more powerful, but those leftovers will pile up and spoil (in excess of your Fishing Bait needs). Also, Dried Meat will eventually be a tribute demand. There never seems to be a good time to build this, and when Elof asks you for a bunch of dried meat in one week, you needed to have this camp and a couple upgrades 1-2 weeks ago. Alternately, you could just plan on failing the tribute.

Trading[ | ]

Sometime in the mid-game, you should find a repeatable map event where you can trade (just talk to all the blue people until one of them wants to trade). Salt is the easiest trade good to mass-produce, and you may often have a lot of excess Rot without even trying.

Wood sometimes piles up to a surplus due to expendable villager actions, but wood can also be used in construction surprisingly quickly - seriously consider using Rot or Salt to get Hemp or Wheat when you're in a tight spot.

In the super-late-game, Cheese will pile up effortlessly and you can max out your tech tree for the lulz by trading Cheese for Special Items.

Exploring[ | ]

Keep exploring. It's the only way to gain villagers, advance the plot, and receive a random income of resources far earlier than you can craft them at will. The battle spoils are sometimes more valuable than Map Events themselves.

Don't throw too many attempts at Map Events that are out of your league - unless you like to save scum.

Other upgrades[ | ]

Anything that increases production is a higher priority than lowering worker Fatigue. A lot of upgrades are mostly distractions, though - buildings usually matter more than upgrades. Every once in a while you have just the right surplus for a luxury upgrade and nothing else. Renewable traps can save you a lot of Iron and time spent hunting in the long run, as well Forge time that could be spent on other things.

Late game[ | ]

Late-game camps take some infrastructure to set up, but stabilize your income. Hopefully you haven't wasted too much Fabric on luxury upgrades - Wool income is unpredictable at first and takes a long time to source steadily.

Gardening[ | ]

You need extra non-potable water and seeds to set this up. Construction of the camp itself is a little expensive in resources.

What do you get for it? Hemp, Wheat, and Vegetables. Hemp requires a Forge to process into Rope, and you can get smaller amounts of Hemp at the Herbalist camp already. Wheat turns into Beer, which drops randomly and isn't essential to have, and you can get Wheat from Trading anyway. The other use for Wheat is to make Sheep Food. Vegetables can be used to improve your meat dishes, or can be cooked into soup directly. (You could try skipping meat and doing a Vegetable Soup strategy, I guess, but I doubt it would go well.)

So Gardening is a late-game camp.

Sheep Pens[ | ]

This is essentially a post-game building. Unless you find a way to rush this building in particular, you should be close to winning the game without it already. The main benefit is milk, cheese, and wool. Occasionally you can kill older sheep to make room for younger, more productive sheep.

Aggressive exploration[ | ]

You could do this even earlier, but it does not make the game easier. It's more the sort of thing you would do for a speed run. You can upgrade for up to three Explorers at once, tear the map wide open, and aggressively blitz the big stack of quests. Just remember that all your explorers will be engaged in combat. Kari and Shanaw get along and usually have high Exploration, but double-ranged is highly susceptible to enemies who manipulate front/back lines.

Aggressive consumable crafting[ | ]

Make bottles at the Forge. Prioritize Sage Potions over the others; the powder is non-renewable, but accumulates throughout the game. The Healing Tent status-clearing potions take no time to craft, so these can also keep your calendar time low.

End-game quests[ | ]

You should have someone with a ton of high attributes do as many quests as you can. Sometimes these require passing a sequence of difficult checks for more than one stat. You might not be able to maximize everything on one person - Moira is likely to have high INT/WIS, while Eirik/Blodeuwedd are likely to have high STR/END, and Kari is likely to have Stealth/AGI. You can't predict exactly how your villager scores and traits will be rolled, but you can struggle through a huge stack of quests and eventually grind out some progress. Some of them are brutal, though, giving you a low overall chance of success even at a score of 80 or so...

There's one fight in particular that deserves a whole guide of its own... You'll know when it happens...

There are a lot of mandatory quests to get to the Good Ending, and you'll have to scour the map to do it. Some of these in particular require a lot of memorization, or failing that, old-fashioned pen and paper notes.

That's all for now[ | ]

Not covered here, and they should probably have their own pages anyway:

Combat guide (you can sort of figure this out on your own, you don't have to be perfect...)

Villager selection guide (necessarily spoiler-heavy...)

Level-up trait decision guide (important, but can easily go elsewhere)

Speedrun strategies (pre-planning tributes, exploring sooner, intentionally missing certain tributes to accelerate camp development... idk, speedrunning is hard!)

The real final boss of the game (100% needs a whole guide of her own...)

Credit[ | ]

Initial draft written up by MTaur/Minotaur (Discord). This is a wiki, so anything could be here tomorrow.

Trivia[ | ]

CCCP asked the community for dog name suggestions and chose their 4 favorites for a Twitter poll to determine a winner. MTaur's suggestion, Valur, won the poll. Valur is a border collie with an Icelandic name who lives an inn and plays fetch with anyone willing to throw the ball. "Valur" can mean "the fallen", or "gyrfalcon", a fierce bird of prey.

You can change the dog's name in-game. The other choices all received significant amounts of votes:

https://twitter.com/deadingames/status/1039517131795193857

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