This Pillars of Eternity 2 mod ramps up the difficulty by tweaking level scaling

I've found Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire to be a tricky RPG. I bounced between Classic, Relaxed, and the breezy Story difficulty modes for most of it, depending on how much tactical combat I was in the mood for. But for some people, it's a little too easy. If you're one of them, then modder maxolina has you covered: they released a difficulty mod at the weekend that adjusts enemy level scaling to give you a harder time. 

In the base game, enemies only scale up a maximum of four levels, so if you're at level 20 and you come across a level 10 enemy, they'll only scale up to 14. The Deadly Deadfire mod increases that maximum to nine levels, so you'd face a level 19 enemy instead. Important named enemies automatically gain an extra two levels on top of that to make boss fights even harder.

The mod boosts enemy health by anywhere between 20 and 30%, too. "This is an attempt to stop a single empowered spell from halving the opponents right at the start of combat," maxolina says. Your party also gains precisely 28% less XP from quests, which will counter over-leveling in the late game.

That all sounds brutal, but you can take it even further with a 'hardcore' version of the mod that has a higher level scaling range, even less XP and more sturdy enemies.

"I recommend starting with the normal mod, which already makes the game quite challenging," maxolina says. "Then, if you feel like the game is still too forgiving, or if you feel like the difficulty drops off during the latter part of the game, you can switch to the hardcore version."

The mod is designed for both Veteran and Path of the Damned, the two highest difficulty settings, and it'll only work if you set level scaling to 'upwards only'.

Installation instructions are on the mod's nexus page. If you haven't read much about Deadfire yet, then here's Andy's review.