I would like to have some opinions, harvest a bit of your experience, learn two or three things. If it was possible, I would play a dwarf. Well, it isn't, I can't help it. It will have to do, so let's see what I can work with. With all that dwarvish background I like blunt weapons and axes, 2H is fun, shield is OK, so let's go this way. In the few first levels I used a staff and leather armor, mixed bludgeon with fire, put some XP into the Bludgeon skill tree, read some threads here (like "Budgeoners assemble!", "How to become an epic swordswoman", "Building a cleric", "Sword and Shield build" to name a few) and changed to heavy armor. Away went using magic because I refused to follow the suggestion to use cloth gloves. Some more XP into Bludgeon and Heavy Armor, plus Tactics and a bit of Focus. Recently I thought the added bonus damage of a tamed pet might help, and traning all taming skills was so fast and easy only with the help of healing my pet, that I dumped a whole lot of XP nto the Taming skilltree. What happened? When my summoning skill was high enough, I bought a bigger bear, a few whacks with my hammer and I was sucked completely dry of focus. Hello? Why, I GMed Concentration, 50% reduction, but still 149 focus drain by the bear... OK, I need to change things. And since everything is possible, but not necessarily advisable, here I am! So this is where my toon is at now: adventure level 87, Bludgeon 867, Blade 678, Heavy Armor 467, Shield 302, Earth 187, Fire 76, Life 205, Tactics 582, Subterfuge 131, Focus 137 and Taming a whopping 1127. 10 skills GMed, 2 Bludgeon, 1 Tactics, 7 Taming. After readnig a bit more it seems going for Bronze chainmail seems to be a thing if you want to get focus. Chainmail will get me a lower fizzle chance, too, so I could go back to use Ignite Weapon and Stone Fist. Should I drop the pet? Or is it viable to go Bard + pet? If so, what armor? What weapon? There is surprisingly little to be found about the synergy effects - fantastic threads on taming, but only on taming. What could I go with to make it work? Yeah, I could just try, right. But playtime is rare... Another thing that makes it really hard, is how to find gear. Am I really expected to travel Novia, visit each and every hamlet hoping I will find a trader who stocks what I'm shopping for?