(this is not yet ready, but I already included a ton of useful info. Will improve this post during the weekend)
Table of contents:
2. The new mechanics introduced by DR
5. Combat mechanics
6. NPC guide
7. Final words
I decided to write this guide to help the AoD/DR community get a better understanding of the game and (hopefully) be more successful with their builds and strategies. I intend to share everything I know in this guide. For now this is a WIP and suggestions are very much appreciated. At first I'll focus on putting as much information as possible. Later on, I'll edit this post to make it look pretty. I'll try not to waste your time repeating the tooltips and tutorials. I'll either consolidate multiple sources or bring you undocumented information. Anyway, let's get to it!
2. New Mechanics
I'll start by pointing out the improvements DR did on the AoD formula, since they are not covered in the tutorial.
2.1 The new belt
You are now able to use items straight from the belt slots. That includes throwing weapons and some small weapons. If your item description says "Can be placed in a belt slot" that means you can use it in combat without wasting APs equipping it. Do take note that in DR there are way more weapon options that can be put in the pocket slot compared to AoD. There is even a pocket hammer (gorza)! Fighting with a one handed weapon as a dodger to save APs on equipping bombs and nets is a thing of the past. You can now use these items straight from the belt slot and they will replenish as well.
In this scenario Roxana can fire her crossbow, throw a pillum (which will replenish, just like bombs do) or stab the guy on her right with the dagger. There is no AP cost for switching weapons.
2.2 Facing bonuses
A pretty simple new concept. You now get bonuses depending on your position relative to the direction the enemy is facing. You get a 10-15% THC bonus when attacking from the side and a 25% bonus when attacking from behind. Keep in mind this also applies to enemies!
Ranged attacks are affected by this new mechanic as well.
Facing is likely to change several times during battle, but I noticed one important pattern: dodgers don't change the direction they are facing on a successful defense, but blockers do. A successful block leaves the blocker facing the attacker. With proper positioning you can use that to your advantage. Here is an example:
Hieron's attacks got blocked (no surprises there...) but he still managed to be useful by forcing the enemy to face away from my character, thus allowing for an attack with a juicy 25% facing bonus.
2.3 Positioning phase
The tutorial tells you everything you need to know about the positioning phase. It's worth pointing out, however, that there is plenty of things you can do in this phase besides positioning. You can reload your crossbow, apply poison to your weapons, switch weapons, equip consumables, use potions and even change your helmet!
What? Where is your helmet, bro? Time to load up those barbed missiles, then!
In addition to skipping turns, Dungeon Rats allows you to "wait". That puts the waiting character in the end of that turn's queue. Waiting is useful on occasion, such as when you intend to knock enemies down with another character. A simple example is shown here:
At 1:30 you will notice that I wait with the main character, so that Marcus goes first and hits the knockdown, which allows my character to land 2 power attacks on the scorpion, killing it.
Strength improves your damage with every weapon, with the sole exception of crossbows. It also provides a bonus to your block chance and a bonus to the attack rating of axes and hammers. STR is also used on the CS formula of several special attacks. Most notably knockdown and aimed attacks to the head, legs and arms.
Bear in mind that because damage stacking in AoD/DR is multiplicative and armor mitigation is a simple subtraction, maxed strength actually yields WAY more than just 40% extra damage. Check the "Damage Calculation" section for details.
Dexterity determines your action points, improves your dodge chance and provides an attack rating bonus to spears, swords and daggers. Note that due to the introduction of several new armors and the nerfs to the Studded Ordu armor, the whole "11 AP master race!!!" is no longer a thing. Raise your DEX as high as you can afford.
Constitution determines HP, poison resistance, natural vsCS (resistance to critical strikes) and provides a bonus to your defense rating. The defense bonus is equal to blockers and dodgers and stacks with their attribute specific bonuses. It is also used on the CS formula of special attacks such as "Aimed: Legs" to reduce the likelihood that you will suffer a critical hit.
In order to be able to collect the canister in Rock Bottom you need either a CON score of 7 or 6 CON and 9 STR. Remember that you can use the healing machine to reach those values and then backtrack.
Perception provides a base accuracy bonus/penalty that applies to every single weapon. It is also the preferred stat for bows, crossbows and throwing weapons, which means it provides an additional bonus to these weapons, just like STR does to axes and DEX does to daggers. It is also used on the CS formula of some special attacks, most notably Arterial Strike and Aimed: Torso.
Intelligence in DR provides extra SP. The effect is individual and the percentage is applied after the SPs have been divided. Since the main character never leaves the party, and will, therefore, get the most SPs, intelligence is arguably better for NPCs. I wouldn't recommend investing too much on this stat as the main character, since you run at the risk of having leftover SPs. OTOH high INT NPCs can be used as temporary companions much more effectively. I won't include an INT table, because the effect of intelligence is fully shown on the character creation screen. It doesn't do anything other than add extra SPs.
Charisma determines the number of party members and gives you access to (arguably) higher quality NPCs. It has zero effect on companions. The spoiler free explanation of charisma is as follows: