I am desperate for people to like my pawn in Dragon’s Dogma 2

Last time I checked, my pawn Bronco sat at 80 in the monthly leaderboard of the pawn global rankings. Not forgetting that this is pre-release, so his place within the top 100 isn’t quite as good as it seems. This pains me. I am saddened that my sweet, sweet boy Bronco isn’t being picked up by adventurers as much as I’d like. He may not be a 1:1 recreation of a popular anime character or like, Tony Blair, but he is fantastic at shredding monsters.

Thing is, his ranking means that I’m not doing enough. Right now, I need to make his CV more appealing to prospective clientele and I need to become the agent he deserves. Dragon’s Dogma 2 may be an action RPG, but it is also about being the best agent you can possibly be.

A bit about the game’s pawns for those unfamiliar with it all. Just like the first Dragon’s Dogma, you’ll create an AI companion who will accompany you throughout your adventure. You can tinker with their appearance in just the same way as you would’ve done creating yourself, as well as kit them out in things, too. Their inventory is your inventory, and they can pretty much take on any of the vocations (just not the advanced ones). Their personality is governed by a list of traits, for instance, they might be Calm or Straightforward. Bronco is Kindhearted, which means he’s “attentive and loyal” and prefers to “remain by your side”.

The rankings suggest that the most popular pawns at the time of writing are Fighters, Mages, Sorcerers, and Archers. What’s Bronco? A Thief, of which there are like, ten out of the 100 on the list. This is something I’ll note down as his agent: “People do not want thieves as their companions”. And I sort of get that, as I often opt for a pawn that fulfils a particular role in my squad. I’m a Warrior and have Bronco as my fellow slasher, so I often only recruit those who fling things or heal me. It’s the stark reality of the current pawn market, where Bronco’s ilk aren’t necessarily viewed as useful.


Bronco slices a huge hobgoblin in Dragon's Dogma 2.
It’s a bit tricky to see, but Bronco is doing his special move, which is a series of front flips at about 2000rpm with knives in hand. | Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Capcom

I suppose I should tell you a little bit about Bronco. Bronco was actually originally conceived to have as close a likeness as possible to my sporting hero Lin Dan, or perhaps my favourite current badminton player Yuta Watanabe. But then I realised I couldn’t be bothered, so I settled on some presets, wiggled some sliders, and opted for the friar tuck bowl cut. I typed in Bronco because I thought the name was fun to say and implied a bit of tomfoolery, then clicked “finalise”. He was originally a Mage because I needed someone to fill the role, but I didn’t like him sitting in the background where all he’d do was cast healing spells. I wanted to see him getting amongst it, as TV chef Jamie Oliver would say while plunging his hands into a bowl and churning minced beef, garlic, parsley, breadcrumbs and egg together.

It’s clear that I need to refresh Bronco to get him more fans. Seeing as the game doesn’t let you change your pawn’s name, the first port of call is to change Bronco’s appearance into something that’s more in line with his title. I’d hoped “Bronco” would match up with dinosaur “Broncosaurus”, until I realised quite quickly that it was actually “Brontosaurus”, so that’s upping the neck sliders to their max levels off the cards. I know that Bronco is a reference to wild horses in the US and in part, the Ford Bronco, a 4×4 SUV that looks great for those who need to navigate country lanes or deserts, and who own a medium-sized canine. It seems that as his agent, I need to shape his face into one that classifies as long and horse-like, or morph his stature into one that’s rectangular, with eyes that qualify as headlights.

Writing this, I realise that being an agent is tough! Do I give in to trends and help Bronco climb the rankings by changing him into someone who’s a bit like everyone else, or let him be an imperfect Thief who’s been through it with me? I don’t know, truthfully I’ve become quite attached to how he is now, and the fact he’s a clear reflection of what I’ve wanted from a companion, as opposed to something everyone else desired.

I’ve just learned that there is an NFL team called the Denver Broncos, whose team colour is orange and is filled with jacked looking dudes. As Bronco’s agent, I have taken the executive decision to ignore the paragraph above and go ahead with his transformation into a Denver Bronco. This will appeal to a broader market of NFL-liking individuals.


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