Mount & Blade Ii Bannerlord Mount And Blade 2 Bannerlord Character Creation Guide Background Attributes Culture 1

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord has just released as part of Steam’s early access program. As of the time of this writing, the game is boasting over 160,000 concurrent players, and that’s likely to climb up as more fans are able to check it out. Of course, the first thing one will notice upon starting your Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord campaign is the character creation system. Much like the original and its expansions, you’ll be able to choose certain backgrounds such as cultures and traits that’ll determine your character’s early-game build. Here’s our mini-guide to help you out.

Note: This guide is intended for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord‘s early access stage. It’s possible that some mechanics may change in due course, so please inform us if we need to update certain information. Likewise, this article presents an overview of the basics of character creation and background picks, though you can refer to our perks and leveling guide for additional details. You can also check out our guides and features hub for other concerns.

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Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord – Character creation guide

Culture

Your choice of culture will provide a default template for your character in Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. For instance, the forest-dwelling Battanians may have a lighter skin tone compared to the darker complexions of the desert nomad Aserai. These are mostly cosmetic in nature and you can still customize your character’s looks after this.

Mount & Blade Ii Bannerlord Mount And Blade 2 Bannerlord Character Creation Guide Background Attributes Culture Differences Features

The major distinction, however, is the bonus you’ll receive while playing Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord‘s’s campaign:

  • Vlandians – 20% more upgrade XP to troops from battles
  • Sturgians – 20% less speed penalty from snow
  • Empire – 20% construction speed bonus to town projects, wall repairs, and siege engines
  • Aserai – Caravans are 30% cheaper to build; 10% less trade penalty
  • Khuzaits – 10% extra speed bonus for horsemen on the campaign map
  • Battanians – 10% less speed penalty in forests

From the get-go, the Vlandians have a unique advantage already. That 20% bonus XP gain is no joke. Coming in second would be the Empire culture due to the construction speed bonus, however, this won’t be as noticeable until you’re further into the Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord‘s campaign. The terrain and speed buffs are extremely situational and won’t be as beneficial.

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Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord – Attributes and focus skills

There are six attributes, each governing three focus skills. For the skills themselves, you can increase your proficiency by continuing to do actions that’ll help improve them (ie. using spears to increase your Polearm skill or keeping your squad at high morale to increase your Leadership skill).

Your character’s level-ups also add focus points that can be allocated to increase a skill’s leveling threshold. For instance, two focus points in Charm only lets you increase it up to level 125, but five points allow you to max it out eventually. Likewise, if a skill’s governing attribute is high enough and you’ve allocated several focus points into it, then learning and leveling up that skill will be a lot faster. The character backgrounds you select (more on these below) will also give you focus skill buffs to certain selections.

Note: Once you’re progressing through Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord‘s campaign, you’ll see the different perks when your skills are leveled up. Refer to our perks and leveling guide for more info.

Vigor:

  • One-handed – proficiency with 1H weapons and axes; includes sword & shield capabilities
  • Two-handed – proficiency with 2H weapons and axes — ie. greatswords, great axes
  • Polearm – proficiency with spears, lances, staves, and other polearms whether 1H or 2H

Control:

  • Bows – proficiency with short bows, longbows, and the like
  • Crossbows – proficiency with crossbows
  • Throwing – proficiency with throwing weapons and other projectiles

Endurance:

  • Riding – determines your horseback riding skill and the level of horses that you can use
  • Athletics – physical fitness, balance, and stamina
  • Smithing – your ability to craft weapons and refine minerals

Cunning:

  • Scouting – spotting enemies from a distance or tracks on the campaign map
  • Tactics – your knowledge if a battleplan or simulated engagement will go your way
  • Roguery – knowing if characters can be bribed or intimidated, sneaking around, and being a jerk towards the populace

Social:

  • Charm – keeping your character well-liked by others
  • Leadership – keeping your troops in line and well-disciplined
  • Trade – your bartering skills and additional income generation

Intelligence:

  • Steward – administrative boosts and several means of increasing your party’s size
  • Medicine – keeping troops and companions healed after battles
  • Engineering – siege weaponry and siege defenses

Now, let’s take a look at the different background options based on your character’s culture in Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord.

Mount & Blade Ii Bannerlord Mount And Blade 2 Bannerlord Character Creation Guide Background Attributes Culture Family


Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord – Your character’s background

In the tables below, you’ll see the background choices that increase an attribute while adding focus points to particular skills. Let’s say you’ve made choices to have higher Endurance and a deeper focus on Riding, that means you’ll be able to ride higher-tier mounts early in the game.

Family

VLANDIANSSTURGIANSEMPIREASERAIKHUZAITSBATTANIANS
Baron’s retainers: +1 Social; +1 Riding; +1 PolearmBoyar’s companions: +1 Social; +1 Riding; +1 Two-HandedLandlord’s retainers: +1 Vigor; +1 Riding; +1 PolearmKinsfolk of emir: +1 Endurance; +1 Riding; +1 ThrowingNoyan’s kinsfolk: +1 Endurance; +1 Riding; +1 PolearmChieftain’s hearthguard: +1 Vigor; +1 Two-Handed; +1 Bow
Urban merchants: +1 Intelligence; +1 Trade; +1 CharmUrban traders: +1 Cunning; +1 Trade; +1 TacticsUrban merchants: +1 Social; +1 Trade; +1 CharmWarrior-slaves: +1 Vigor; +1 Riding; +1 PolearmMerchants: +1 Social; +1 Trade; +1 CharmHealers: +1 Intelligence; +1 Medicine; +1 Charm
Yeomen: +1 Endurance; +1 Polearm; +1 CrossbowFree farmers: +1 Endurance; +1 Athletics; +1 PolearmFreeholders: +1 Endurance; +1 Athletics; +1 PolearmUrban merchants: +1 Social; +1 Trade; +1 CharmTribespeople: +1 Control; +1 Bow; +1 RidingTribespeople: +1 Control; +1 Athletics; +1 Throwing
Urban Blacksmith: +1 Vigor; +1 Smithing; +1 Two-HandedUrban artisans: +1 Intelligence; +1 Smithing; +1 One-HandedUrban artisans: +1 Intelligence; +1 Smithing; +1 CrossbowOasis farmers: +1 Endurance; +1 Athletics; +1 One-HandedFarmers: +1 Vigor; +1 Polearm; +1 ThrowingSmiths: +1 Endurance; +1 Smithing; +1 Two-Handed
Hunters: +1 Cunning; +1 Scouting; +1 CrossbowHunters: +1 Vigor; +1 Scouting; +1 BowForesters: +1 Control; +1 Scouting; +1 BowBedouin: +1 Cunning; +1 Scouting; +1 BowShamans: +1 Intelligence; +1 Medicine; +1 CharmForesters: +1 Cunning; +1 Scouting; +1 Tactics
Mercenaries: +1 Control; +1 Roguery; +1 CrossbowVagabonds: +1 Control; +1 Roguery; +1 ThrowingUrban vagabonds: +1 Cunning; +1 Roguery; +1 ThrowingUrban thugs: +1 Control; +1 Roguery; +1 PolearmNomads: +1 Cunning; +1 Scouting; +1 RidingBards: +1 Social; +1 Roguery; +1 Charm

Childhood

ALL CULTURES
Leadership skills: +1 Cunning; +1 Leadership; +1 Tactics
Brawn: +1 Vigor; +1 Two-Handed; +1 Throwing
Attention to detail: +1 Control; +1 Athletics; +1 One-Handed
Aptitude for numbers: +1 Intelligence; +1 Engineering; +1 Trade
Way with people: +1 Social; +1 Charm; +1 Leadership
Skill with horses: +1 Endurance; +1 Riding; +1 Medicine

Adolescence

VLANDIANS AND STURGIANSEMPIRE, ASERAI, KHUZAITS, AND BATTANIANS
Town’s watch: +1 Control; +1 Crossbow; +1 TacticsHerded sheep: +1 Control; +1 Athletics; +1 Throwing
Alley gangs: +1 Cunning; +1 Roguery; +1 One-HandedVillage smithy: +1 Vigor; +1 Two-Handed; +1 Smithing
Docks: +1 Vigor; +1 Athletics; +1 SmithingRepaired projects: +1 Intelligence; +1 Engineering; +1 Smithing
Markets: +1 Social; +1 Trade; +1 CharmGathered herbs: +1 Endurance; +1 Medicine; +1 Scouting
Reading: +1 Intelligence; +1 Engineering; +1 LeadershipHunted small game: +1 Control; +1 Bow; +1 Tactics
Stables: +1 Endurance; +1 Riding; +1 StewardSold produce at market: +1 Social; +1 Trade; +1 Charm

Youth

VLANDIANS AND EMPIRESTURGIANS, ASERAI, AND KHUZAITSBATTANIANS
Garrisons: +1 Intelligence; +1 Crossbow; +1 EngineeringGarrisons: +1 Intelligence; +1 Bow; +1 EngineeringGarrisons: +1 Intelligence; +1 Bow; +1 Engineering
Scouts: +1 Endurance; +1 Riding; +1 BowScouts: +1 Endurance; +1 Riding; +1 BowScouts: +1 Endurance; +1 Riding; +1 Bow
Infantry: +1 Vigor; +1 Polearm; +1 One-HandedInfantry: +1 Vigor; +1 Polearm; +1 One-HandedInfantry: +1 Vigor; +1 Polearm; +1 One-Handed
Skirmishers: +1 Control; +1 Throwing; +1 BowSkirmishers: +1 Control; +1 Throwing; +1 BowSkirmishers: +1 Control; +1 Throwing; +1 Bow
Camp Followers: +1 Cunning; +1 Roguery; +1 Throwing
Camp Followers: +1 Cunning; +1 Roguery; +1 Throwing
Camp Followers: +1 Cunning; +1 Roguery; +1 Throwing
Joined the Kern: +1 Control; +1 Throwing; +1 One-Handed

Young Adulthood

VLANDIANSSTURGIANS AND ASERAIEMPIRE AND BATTANIANS
Defeated an enemy:

+1 Vigor; +1 One-Handed; +1 Two-Handed; +1 Valor; +20 Renown

Defeated an enemy:

+1 Vigor; +1 One-Handed; +1 Two-Handed; +1 Valor; +20 Renown

Defeated an enemy:

+1 Vigor; +1 One-Handed; +1 Two-Handed; +1 Valor; +20 Renown

Successful manhunt:

+1 Cunning; +1 Tactics; +1 Leadership; +1 Calculating; +10 Renown

Saved city from fire:

+1 Cunning; +1 Tactics; +1 Leadership; +1 Calculating; +10 Renown

Saved city from flood:

+1 Cunning; +1 Tactics; +1 Leadership; +1 Calculating; +10 Renown

Invested money:

+1 Intelligence; +1 Trade; +1 Smithing; +1 Calculating; +10 Renown

Invested money:

+1 Intelligence; +1 Trade; +1 Smithing; +1 Calculating; +10 Renown

Invested money:

+1 Intelligence; +1 Trade; +1 Smithing; +1 Calculating; +10 Renown

Survived a siege:

+1 Control; +1 Bow; +1 Crossbow; +5 Renown

Survived a siege:

+1 Control; +1 Bow; +1 Crossbow; +5 Renown

Hunted a dangerous animal:

+1 Control; +1 Bow; +1 Crossbow; +5 Renown

Famous escapade:

+1 Endurance; +1 Athletics; +1 Roguery; +1 Valor; +5 Renown

Famous escapade:

+1 Endurance; +1 Athletics; +1 Roguery; +1 Valor; +5 Renown

Famous escapade:

+1 Endurance; +1 Athletics; +1 Roguery; +1 Valor; +5 Renown


Story Background

ALL CULTURES
Subdued a raider: +1 Vigor; +1 One-Handed; +1 Athletics
Drove them off with arrows: +1 Control; +1 Bow; +1 Tactics
Rode off: +1 Endurance; +1 Riding; +1 Scouting
Tricked raiders: +1 Cunning; +1 Roguery; +1 Tactics
Organized travelers: +1 Social; +1 Leadership; +1 Charm

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord – Character summary

You can still review and recheck the choices you’ve made to see if your character’s build is satisfactory. Try to find good synergy among the different options that you choose. It’s quite possible to max out your focus skills and reach high attributes at the start of your Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord campaign. If you want to know more about the unlockable buffs and effects, head over to our perks and leveling guide.

Mount & Blade Ii Bannerlord Mount And Blade 2 Bannerlord Character Creation Guide Background Attributes Culture Summary


Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is available now via Steam’s early access program. For more information, check out our guides and features hub.

Jason Rodriguez
Jason Rodriguez writes for various websites under the Enthusiast Gaming umbrella -- Destructoid, Flixist, Daily Esports, PlayStation Enthusiast, and PC Invasion. Jason's Steam library has 1,400+ games at the moment so he definitely has a lot of things to talk about. He's also one of only five games journalists from the Philippines. Just kidding. There are definitely more around, but he doesn't know anyone. Mabuhay!

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