The Slaves Game Mode Walkthrough
The Slaves Walkthrough (Part 1) Just Starting Out & Raising Stats
The Slaves Walkthrough (Part 2) Raising Skills & Preparing for our Escape!
The Slaves Walkthrough (Part 3) Escaping Slavery & Traveling to the Hub
In this game mode you will start out with 2 characters as slaves in the pits of Rebirth. This is a zone controlled by the Holy Nation and it's located in the northern portion of their territory. Despite what you may think it'll actually be pretty easy to escape the pits of Rebirth and escape slavery... The issue will be surviving once you do escape.
For this reason it's actually recommended that you stay in slavery for a little bit. You need to level up your Toughness, Strength, Lockpicking, Athletics and other skills to survive out in the world. Thankfully, slavery is a perfect training grounds for all of these things! I will explain how to raise each of these stats as well as why they are important to raise below.
Lockpicking: Pick the lock to your Shackles and cage as well as the adjacent prisoner's shackles and cages every night. Raising this skill is very important because you'll need it to escape and to create diversions when you escape. There is also a small chance you can get one of the other prisoners to join your Squad after freeing them from their cage - I did in my play through!
Toughness: Definitely the most important skill for you to raise. You can raise Toughness by getting your ass beat by the guards and standing up over and over to cancel 'Playing Dead'. Usually what I do is press the 'Sneak' Button on my characters to make the guards attack me and beat me up. Then I will stand up as many times as I can to break 'Playing Dead' and maximize how much Toughness I get. To see this method in action check out my Kenshi The Slaves Walkthrough (Part 1) Just Starting Out & Raising Stats
Strength: Strength is important to raise so that when it's actually time to escape you can carry what you need without taking a massive run speed penalty. When you are sneaking around during the night you will want to load up your inventory with every object you can find. Then when your character runs around during the day doing his slave duties he will automatically raise his Strength.
Athletics: Really all you need to do to raise Athletics is leave your characters alone and let them run around all day every day doing their slave labor. Your characters will bounce around from rock pile to rock pile and from machine to machine quite often all the while raising Athletics and/or Strength. Having high Athletics is important for when it comes time to escape Rebirth.
Sneak: This skill is extremely useful while you're a slave as it'll be one of your only ways of moving around unmolested. You can raise Sneak by running around Rebirth at night (or day) without anyone seeing you. The closer you get to NPCs the more EXP you'll get while Sneaking. In my opinion the best way to raise this skill is to sneak through one of the Barracks Watchtowers where all of the Holy Sentinel's sleep at night. Usually this will get you a massive amount of EXP since there are so many NPCs around... Although it'll also get you caught really quickly too.
Assassination: Assassination is another insanely important skill while you're in Slavery to raise. The only way you can easily escape Rebirth whenever you want will be through the use of Assassination. In order to raise this skill all you need to do is use it on guards frequently. You'll fail every single time at first but once your skill gets to 50+ you'll mostly be successful. When you're successful in knocking out a guard you'll be able to loot all of their armor, items and weapons which is extremely useful since they will never re-equip the items you take from them. Spend enough time knocking guards unconscious and throwing their items on the ground and before you know it the majority of your captors will be unarmed & naked which will drastically reduce the amount of fight they can put up.
With all of that out of the way, let's explain your typical few days in Slavery. During the day you'll mostly be raising Strength, Athletics, Lockpicking and Toughness - save Sneak and Assassination for the night time (mostly). Strength and Athletics are both going to be skills you'll raise mostly while AFK inbetween raising all of your other skills. In order to raise Athletics you simply need to let your character run around from place to place doing his slave labor. To raise Strength you'll need to put items into your character's inventory while they run around doing slave labor.
Raising Strength is something I typically do independent of everything else because when your character is 'caught' by the guards and placed back into a cage there's a chance most items in your inventory will be taken from you. For this reason you can't really raise Strength while raising other skills because you'll constantly be getting your inventory stripped away by the guards. Also, when raising Strength you will have a massive skill penalty to all of your other skills which makes it hard to do much else.
Usually what I do is load up all of my character's inventories then leave them on for an hour or two at full speed. Once my Strength is raised to about 40 - 50 I stop worrying about raising it.
Tip: You can also keep Prisoner Shackles in your inventory to raise your Strength! Typically guards will not take Prisoner Shackles from you when they clear your inventory making them a great item to carry around to encumber yourself.
Lockpicking is the next skill I would like to talk about, you'll notice in my screen shot above I have a Shek in my Squad and this is a result of Lock picking. I'm not using any mods that would allow this to happen (I play mostly vanilla) so you don't have to worry about this being a result of a mod. Sometimes when you break a prisoner free and move far enough away from the "prison" they were being held at they'll automatically join your Squad. This is what happen with Refla and allowed her to join my party.
This happening would be quite a rare occurance and I do not recommend you bank on it -- but it is cool when it does happen. It happened to me twice during this run through. Mainly what you should be raising Lockpicking for is the ease of escape that it gives you. When it comes time to break out of prison you need to escape quickly. Spending an hour trying to pick your cage's lock can cause your window of opportunity to vanish.
In order to raise Lockpicking, again, all you need to do is use the skill. Open your cage and shackles and the cage/shackles of all prisoners you can. Many of the prisoners you free will get stuck in a loop where they constantly try to escape, get beat up and put back into a cage, rest/heal then rinse/repeat. They will also follow you around at night when you break out of your cage if they're capable of doing so. You can use these prisoners as distractions when you try to escape or to steal items so I definitely recommend you free as many as you can.
Sometimes you can get a perfect window of opportunity where the guards standing at a gate focus on fighting a different prisoner who made a break for it allowing you to slip through. The next skill I am going to talk about is one of the more important ones in the entire game, Toughness.
Raising Toughness can either be really easy or really difficult. If you watch my The Slaves Walkthrough (Part 1) Youtube video then you'll see the trick to easily raising Toughness by constantly standing up from the 'Playing Dead' state. You can take advantage of this and raise Toughness over a dozen times in a single minute... Alternatively the only other way to raise Toughness is to constantly get into fights and lose. Thankfully since we're in Slavery each time you lose the fight you'll get healed up by the guards and put back into a cage.
This means the only penalty you pay for raising your Toughness is time. Each time you get beat up you'll have to find something else to do for a couple minutes until your characters heal up and are ready for round 2. Once you raise Assassination high enough and can knock the guards unconscious you'll also be able to pick up their armor and weapons and equip them then fight naked guards (or other guards) with their own equipment. This will allow you to raise Melee Attack, Melee Defense, Dexterity & Heavy Weapons along with Toughness.
Sneak and Assassination are the last 2 skills I would like to talk about. In order to raise Sneak you'll want to break out of your cage and sneak by guards and other slaves. You have to be close to another NPC to get EXP for Sneak. I like sneaking through the barracks to raise it very quickly. Assassination is typically best raised at night when guards are asleep; you'll have a 0% chance to succeed at first but the skill will raise very quickly.
As aforementioned Assassination is going to be an amazing skill for while we're in captivity. When you knock out a guard you'll be able to loot their bodies and take all of their armor along with their weapon. This is good for a variety of reasons, all of with I will list below.
1. You can equip the weapon & armor and train with them by fighting the guards
2. You can equip the armor as a disguise and use that to more easily escape slavery
3. When you remove armor and weapons from guards they will not equip new ones (for the most part, sometimes they can get a new weapon). This will make escaping super easy.
4. Injuring guards will force other nearby guards to focus their time and attention on healing the injured one. You can run right by them and they will do nothing to stop you.
With the indepth analysis about what skills you want to raise and why out of the way, let's start talking about how to escape captivity.
How to Escape Slavery In Kenshi
After you have spent some time in Slavery and you feel it's best to move on you will want to start planning your exit. Not only are you going to have to plan your escape but you're also going to have to plan for what comes after that too. If you escape Rebirth without a plan you'll most likely starve to death before you reach any town that can provide you with food.
You can solve the food issue by using Sneak at night time and stealing food from the buildings throughout Rebirth. If you search the barrels inside of the Barracks you'll often find stacks of good food like Foodcubes. This is extremely important because your character will immediately eat any food you pick up. For this reason when you plan to stock pile food for our eventual escape you'll need to grab 2 (or more) at a time so that you can drop the extras on the ground in a more easily accessible place.
Guards will not pick up items you drop on the ground including their own weapons and gear. Any food and items you pick up for your eventual escape I recommend you drop outside on the ground in an easily accessible area where guards will not bother you at all when you grab them. If you enter inside of a building manually the guards will attack you. For this reason you should drop these items outside in areas you frequently pass through. This will allow you to grab them without upsetting the guards.
When it comes time to escape you'll want to grab your food a day or 2 prior to escape. It'll take you about a full 24hrs to recover from 'Starving' and 'Malnourished' and you need to recover from these. With these debuffs on the negative penalties you have towards Athletics and Strength are too high to properly escape. Also, your character will start to pass out shortly after escaping when their Hunger meter drops further. We need more time to reach a town and buy food than we'd have while starving.
There are a couple different methods that are good for escaping slavery, all of which I will explain in detail below.
Wear a Disguise (Assassination, Sneak): When you equip a suit of armor from another faction it will count as a Disguise. If you wear this most of the time you will be able to run right past a guard without them attacking you... However, you should not expect to get very far before they recognize your disguise. Usually in my experience you can run through the gate but the guards will pursue you before you get far enough away. So long as you're well fed, outrunning the guards should be easy.
Imprison Your Captors (Assassination, Sneak): One of my favorite and by far the most effective method for escaping slavery. When you use Assassination on a guard and knock them out you can Kidnap them and then place them inside of a cage essentially imprisoning them. You can do this on all 5 guards at a gate leaving the gate completely unguarded for whenever you want to escape. This is the method I used in my The Slaves Walkthrough (Part 3) Escaping Slavery & Traveling to the Hub.
Sacrifice A Companion (Assassination): This method operates exactly as it sounds, you're going to willingly throw one of your characters into the guards to fight them as the rest of your team makes a break for it. You don't technically need Assassination to do this but it makes a big difference if you knock a guard out prior and equip their armor on one of your characters. This will make the character you use as a distration much harder to take out.
It's up to you what approach you want to take. Keep in mind that the longer you spend in slavery and the more you raise your stats/enslave guards/steal armor from guards the easier it will eventually be to escape. You could effectively become a Martial Arts master while enslaved and escape by fighting your way out after you strip all the guards of their armor and weapons... The choice is yours.
After escaping Rebirth you'll have to decide where you want to go next. You have 2 good options available, the first of which is to travel far to The Border Zone which is in the south where you'll find The Hub and Squin. Our second option is to head over to World's End which is just northeast of Rebirth in the Arm of Okran zone. Map locations of both these cities in relation to Rebirth can be found below.
Where you go is mostly your decision. I personally prefer going to The Border Zone since that is arguably the best noob zone in the entire game. World's End is useful though if you lack food and need to immediately get to a town after escaping Rebirth. It'll take you about 2 days to travel to The Border Zone but probably half a day to reach World's End.
At this point in time I am merging this walkthrough together with my primary walkthrough for Kenshi which picks up in The Border Zone right at The Hub.