Familiar Scenery is the second chapter to Fire Emblem: Three Houses. It is the first one to allow you to use all of your student units in a single battle and introduces most of the mechanics of the Garreg Mach Monastery along with introducing the Divine Pulse feature.
Seteth assigns the first formal mission to Byleth and their House for the month. Bandits have sprung up in Zanado, the Red Canyon, and it is their job to quell them with the Knights of Seiros there as support should the students require their assistance. Though Jeralt is once again a Knight of Seiros, Rhea forbade him from assisting them and he reminds Byleth to be wary of her.
At the end of the month, Byleth and their students depart to Zanado to face off against the Bandits, lead by Kostas. For the students, it is their first live combat scenario, meaning it is their first time that they will have to kill an individual. The students handle their first kill in various ways, but ultimately the bandit gang is quelled.
In addition to the eight characters chosen by their respective house, Byleth can also use the first eleven to twelve in-game months attempting to recruit students from other houses, thus expanding their roster. Five characters cannot be recruited outside of their native house, those being:
- Edelgard - Black Eagles
- Hubert - Black Eagles
- Dimitri - Blue Lions
- Dedue - Blue Lions
- Claude - Golden Deer
Once the player has reached the start of Chapter 3, they may begin to recruit students from the other houses. In order to recruit a student, Byleth must reach a certain subject proficiency rank and have a certain total in a specific stat to entice the student into entering their class. The rank and total respectively vary between students. Byleth can lower the requirement based on their Support level with the student; Subject Proficiency by one stage (C → D+ → D) and the required stat by 20% for each support level. If playing New Game+ Byleth can automatically recruit any student if they use Renown unlock their A-Support with that student at any point.
|Student||Stat Requirement||Total||Subject Requirement||Rank||Original House|
|Ferdinand||Dexterity||10||Heavy Armor||C||Black Eagles|
|Raphael||Strength||20||Heavy Armor||C||Golden Deer|
If Byleth has a B-Support unlocked with a student, there is also a small percentile chance that the student will directly request to join their house during a Tutoring week even if their stat and subject requirements have not been met.
Sylvain and Hilda are both recruitable, but both have very unique quirks involved:
- Sylvain requires Male Byleth to reach his required specifications in Reason and Charm while he immediately joins Female Byleth when asked without requiring either specification to be met.
- Hilda's can be recruited at any point in the Blue Lions route once her specifications are met. She will not join the Black Eagles until Chapter 12 and ONLY if Byleth has chosen the Silver Snow route. She cannot be recruited during the Crimson Flower path under any circumstance.
- Constance - Completed Chapter 2
- Balthus - Completed Chapter 4
- Hapi - Completed Chapter 5
- Yuri - Completed Chapter 6
The staff of the academy are also recruitable, but will only require Byleth to reach a certain level or higher and a certain chapter. These will be noted in future chapters when the staff character can be recruited.
- 6/8x Fighters (Normal/Hard and Maddening)
- 3/6x Archers (Normal/Hard and Maddening)
- 5x Thieves
- 1/2x Priest (Normal/Hard and Maddening)
- 1x Brigand (Maddening Only)
On maddening, all archers have Poison Strike and all thieves have Pass. They approach in groups of three at a time until most of them are dead. As with many bosses in maddening, Kostas can move, and does so when someone moves into his attack range.
- Leading the Charge (from Jeralt)
This Month Only Quests
- Troubling Rumors (from Seteth)
Items from Battle
Subjective: The following part of this article is based upon the editor's personal experiences and opinions, and therefore may not be applicable for all readers.
This is the first battle of the game in which your units can die. The main problem will be the Thieves and Archers, who (on Hard mode) have an AS of 9 and 5 respectively, and thus will likely be able to double a large chunk of your team, and the latter also come with Bowrange +1. Nevertheless, as long as you don't rush it will not be too difficult. There are no reinforcements or time-sensitive objectives, so you can take the map at a steady pace, luring enemies in and killing them in small groups. You also unlock Divine Pulse here, so feel free to use it if you make a big mistake.
Before the mission starts, you should equip any unit you plan to do physical damage with with an Iron Bow or Training Bow, so that they can do damage from range without being counterattacked in return. It would also be best if Linhardt and Marianne have a C rank in Faith, so that they can cast Physic and make the task of keeping your team healed up a lot easier (Mercedes starts with a D rank in Faith rather than D+ like them, so Blue Lions players will not be able to do this). On Maddening, if you are playing as a female Byleth and didn't pick the Blue Lions, you will also want to recruit Sylvain during exploration and deploy him on this map; he will start out at Level 3, almost certainly higher than anybody else due to the reduced experience gain in Maddening, and thus can serve as a good extra combatant immediately.
The enemies largely attack in groups of three, so plan around that so as not to let any one unit get overwhelmed. Byleth and your lord should take point as the frontline tanks, drawing the enemies in. For the Blue Lions, Dedue will be particularly invaluable in this role too, as you can take advantage of his personal ability Staunch Shield, which grants +4 Defence on waiting. Even if he gets doubled, he will take very little damage, and should do a decent chunk of damage in return for another unit to finish the enemy off.
Use combat arts to get kills as you advance, as very few if any of your units will be able to double attack reliably at this stage, so you need strong single-hit damage. In particular, Tempest Lance will come in useful at this stage, giving a downright excellent +8 damage boost for any lance-user. (Dimitri, Ferdinand, Sylvain, Ingrid, Lorenz, and Leonie all start with it, and Dedue, Bernadetta, and Hilda can all easily learn it in time for this chapter if you give them some tutoring in lances.) Bow-users can also contribute with Curved Shot for 3-range chip damage and a nice +30 hit boost. (Claude, Bernadetta, Ashe and Ignatz all start with Curved Shot, and some tutoring in bows can get Petra, Felix, and Leonie to learn it in time for this chapter.) If you picked the Black Eagles, Hubert can contribute with Mire B, a 1-3 ranged spell that lowers a foe's Defence by 5, which he will easily learn in time for the main mission, making him great for setting up kills. Be aware that on Maddening, the Thieves have Pass, so try not to let any fragile units be in their range at the start of enemy phase.
Some of your units also have personal skills that you should take advantage of:
- As in the first chapter, position Byleth in such a way that they are next to other units when they score a kill, whenever you can, giving them the x1.2 extra EXP from Professor's Guidance. If you can get as many units to Level 5 as possible in this chapter, do so, and even better if they can master Noble/Commoner for HP +5. The boost to max HP will remain relevant for a long time.
- Hubert and Ingrid both have skills that grant them extra Might (and Hit in the latter's case) with gambits, and Lorenz has a skill that lets him deal extra damage while he has a battalion equipped, so they are good choices to equip battalions. Don't be afraid to use gambits to immobilise a group of enemies if you cannot finish them all off on player phase. Conversely, let Felix go into battle without a battalion so he can get his damage boost from Lone Wolf.
- Sylvain and Leonie both receive and take less damage when they are respectively adjacent to a female or a male ally, while Hilda grants male allies extra damage and defence when she is adjacent to them, so position these units accordingly to maximise damage output.
- Annette can use Rally to grant an ally +4 Strength, which will not only boost their damage, but ensure they are weighed down by their weapon less. Make sure to take advantage of it, and it will be useful throughout the entire game.
- Bernadetta will get a +5 damage boost when she is not at full HP, so let her take a hit (that she can survive) as early as possible.
As you advance through the map, you can split your forces in half to take the paths to the west and east, or you could play it safe and keep them all together. Make sure to snag the chest along the way for a Large Bullion. Be wary of the enemies with battalions, as the AI likes to use their gambits, so use Byleth and your lord to lure them in, as they have the highest Charm stats and thus stand a better chance of avoiding them; while doing so, don't position anybody next to them in case the gambit does hit them, so as not to have two of your units unable to move on the player phase. Kostas will not move on Normal or Hard and has no means to attack at range, so you can do some chip damage with bows or magic before you finish him off. He does move on Maddening if you enter his aggro range, but should still not prove too problematic; do the same as with the normal enemies, draw him in with Byleth or your lord, chip him with gambits and ranged attacks, then finish him off with a strong combat art.
- Each character other than Byleth has a unique line upon first killing an enemy.