If you play Fates, then you probably know that on the birthdays of your characters, you get a weapon rank increase, an opportunity to give them an accessory, a "surge" of stats, and an item.
The observant may notice that the items given on birthdays are not random, unlike Awakening. I've spent a year slowly playing through Conquest and paused at chapter 17 for a period of months. During that time, I only hopped onto My Castle occasionally to grab castle events and items. I noticed that, without fail, I would always get Votive Candles every time it was someone's birthday. However, I was surprised to see that after I had completed a few more chapters when I finally got around to playing the game, my characters were getting Odin's Grimoire instead. I assume that the items that you get change depending on if you're playing Revelations or Birthright, also.
Someone on reddit compiled what information they had here. However, the list is partially incorrect: it claims that it "confirmed" Odin's Grimoire to be the only item that drops in Conquest, whereas from personal experience I know that, prior to chapter 18 at latest, one unfailingly gets Votive Candles. But what about chapter 6? What about chapter 10, or 26? Does the Avatar's birthday give different gifts?
There are a few things I CAN confirm.
1. You always get the same item, regardless of which character's birthday it is. Which character it is, and what class they are, are irrelevant (so, you won't get an Axe from Arthur just because he's a warrior class, for example).
2. There is definitely a "switch" of items that occur at some point once you get to a certain point in the story.
The only way to definitively test what items you get depending on what chapters is to play a chapter, beat it, then wait until the next character's birthday before doing the next chapter. That way, we can steadily figure out what items drop depending on chapter progression. Such a test will also need to be conducted for Birthright and Revelations, for the sake of consistency. I'll do all of these myself eventually, but if anyone wants to help me test things out then please be my guest. Of note is that, on Conqest,
Jakob/Felicia, Elise, Silas, Arthur and Effie are the first units you can recruit, so starting the game near one of their birthdays makes the most logical sense.
Below are listed charts which I hope to fill over time with the proper information through testing. I have not included chapters 1-5 because you cannot access My Castle before then and therefore cannot access birthday gifts. The numbers denote what chapters you have REACHED, not beaten.
|Item||Moonlight (?)||Moonlight (?)||Moonlight||Moonlight||Moonlight||Moonlight||Moonlight||Votive Candle||Votive Candle||Votive Candle|
|Item||Votive Candle||Odin's Grimoire||Odin's Grimoire||Odin's Grimoire||Odin's Grimoire||Odin's Grimoire||Odin's Grimoire|
The next order of business is determining what random items can appear as event tiles in My Castle. In my year of collecting event tiles before progressing from Chapter 17, I had steadily accumulated items such as Peri's Lance, Effie's Lance, and Mushroom Staves. However, I had not stumbled upon a single Leo's Iceblade or Camilla's Axe. After I beat chapter 22, however, I immediately got a Camilla's Axe, and I've found a couple more since. This suggests that something similar is going on as with birthday gifts: certain items are "locked" before you progress to a certain chapter. Sadly, this second problem is much harder to tackle. It's easy to figure out birthday gifts, but how on earth am I supposed to figure out what chapter needs to be finished for each of the individual and vast array of items can be dropped? Short of looking into the game files themselves (which I don't know how to do), does anyone have any ideas?