For anyone curious, here’s a quick guide to the warm mug of bull semen that is Ch5. I’ll quickly break down the Power stat – which is usually the reason for players getting locked out of peaceful endings. Then I’ll talk about each side, then briefly discuss each path.
Guide to Chapter 5 Peaceful Ending
If you go rebel, you need +3 or +4 to get good endings. If you go Empire, you need -3 or -4. If you get +5 or -5, you win the conflict but are too strong to negotiate for peace. Annoying as balls. There are only a couple times in any given playthrough where you can affect Power.
Getting Revolt to zero in Empire is fairly easy. What’s difficult is keeping your Commoner score high and your Power score from getting either too high or too low. That means often the only way to a Peaceful Empire victory is by allowing Otton to kill Borne for the -1 Power. Also you usually have to tell your family to heck off (blowing the vast majority of your wealth in bribes to the gate guards) so they don’t slice off a point of Commoner score from killing bandits in self-defense.
If you’re playing Rebel, then your Revolt score must NOT be higher than EIGHT when you get to the square where Sophia is. Then you have to kill her and take over the revolution. This often means, like I alluded to before, allowing El Borne to die so Revolt doesn’t get high enough to the point where you can’t stop her. Also if you romance Sophia as Lotless than you are LOCKED OUT of peaceful endings, even if you get her to believe in a peaceful world.
Sacrifice Octavia. True love isn’t worth it. Destiny is all! Use her for Reputation and Career and Wealth, then give her to the Inquisition for +1 Clergy. Good endings are practically impossible if you commit to romance with her.
While you’re doing that, take a bribe from Jung. There are no consequences to that decision except for getting more money, which you’re ironically very short on as a Noble. Bonus points if you killed your grandfather as a child to avoid losing 1 point of Wealth from the fire he was planning to start.
You virtually MUST be ennobled of the sword if you want good Empire endings, which means getting Gloria married off and maxing out either Wealth or Reputation (most playthroughs I maxed out both). Successfully marrying Gloria off means keeping Stefan over at least +1 relation so he’ll ask you to join his Secret Plot to do exactly that.
Also, if you’re going Rebel, you MUST protect the people Felipe the spy is after AND you MUST NOT say “THE LAW!” in Ch3. It is vice versa for Empire – though I believe the Empire side can afford to miss ONE of these opportunities, but not both.
Priest: Max out Eloquence and Theology. Get a peaceful resolution with Jeanne on your side. Then peaceful ending is practically guaranteed either way. If you’re Empire, then you’ll be convincing her not to breach her Lot and doom her soul by using weapons. If you’re Rebel, then you’ll be converting her to the New Faith (requires 20 Theology!).
This also means getting “close” to her, which is difficult – but not impossible – to do if you told her to let Aylis go in Ch4. The check for romance with her is lowest if she’s “Wavering” – which happens if you get Jeanne to burn her best friend at the stake in Ch3. The check is moderate if you got her to convince Aylis to rejoin the Priest Lot.
Success in the end might depend on Power level from giving or not giving guns to New Faith in early Ch4, but otherwise you should be in the clear if your stats are high enough.
Usually this involves accepting the massive Willpower boost from Ulrich in the beginning of Ch4 and then poking his eyes out at the end by rejecting his heretical influence. But I’ve also managed it without that.
The only way to a peaceful ending involves killing Sophia. There are several points where Power can be nudged and you have to do it just right. I don’t know these endings intimately because I ragequit after doing the Sophia romance ending, because committing to the Sophia romance completely locks you out of any peaceful ending.
Generally speaking, any peaceful resolution in Ch5 necessitates either overthrowing Sophia in the square in the case of Rebels or killing her at the end in the case of Empire.
Also, Lotless has the ONE path where you avoid the execrable Ch5 altogether…
In the Glory to the Empire ending, you must get the stats just right… agree with Felipe to become a professional fascist… romance Sophia… and then betray her by literally stabbing her in the heart. Then you do a false flag terrorist attack to increase the authority of the secret police.
I personally hated this ending, but it’s objectively one of the best because it results in a peaceful and prosperous empire that embraces incremental reform. All you have to do is do Fantasy 9/11 for the Fantasy FBI to get the Fantasy PATRIOT Act passed, then you become the Dark Lord of the Deep State and guide the Empire to a glorious future.
And all it costs you is personally stabbing your childhood crush in the heart, becoming Fantasy Osama Bin Laden and then condemning almost everyone who trusts you to exile or execution.