This page covers the basics of combat in Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire.
Basics[edit | edit source]
Health[edit | edit source]
Health represents a character's short-term survivability. Damage that is not reduced by a character's Armor Rating goes straight to their Health. Potions and healing magic (such as from a paladin, priest, or druid) can restore Health in combat. When a character's Health reaches 0, he or she will be Knocked Out. A Knocked Out character can be brought back in combat through the use of a Revive ability. Otherwise, characters will regain all of their Health at the end of combat (assuming they're on the winning side). However, they will receive an injury.
Injuries are long-term afflictions. "Long-term" means they last until the character rests and consumes Food. Injuries are typically gained through scripted interactions or by being Knocked Out in combat. If a character has three Injuries and would receive another, they are Killed.
Engagement[edit | edit source]
Engagement can be acquired from Spells, Abilities, Talents, or by wearing a Shield.
Engagement occurs any time a character attacks an enemy with a melee weapon at close range. As soon as the attacker gets close enough, he or she will Engage. When a character is first Engaged, he or she will stop moving. The character is free to move around their engager, but moving away will provoke a Disengagement Attack. If characters break Engagement, there is a limited amount of time before that enemy may re-Engage them.
Some afflictions make it impossible for a character to Engage an enemy. All Might Afflictions prevent the target from Engaging anyone, as well as Paralyze, Petrified, or Prone effects. Each of these effects will automatically drop Engagement and can be used to get out of trouble.
Some creatures, especially large ones, may be able to Engage more than one creature at a time.
Flanking[edit | edit source]
Flanking occurs any time two attackers Engage an opponent in melee from opposite directions. When this situation exists, defenders are Flanked, inflicting various penalties and allowing them to be Sneak Attacked. Any condition on an attacker that would break their Engagement will also remove the Flanked condition on the defender if it cannot be sustained without them.
Note that there are a small number of Abilities that grant exceptions to the standard flanking rules, such as the barbarian's One Stands Alone, the ranger's Stalker's Link, and the cipher's Phantom Foes.
Attack resolution[edit | edit source]
All attacks in Pillars of Eternity compare the attacker's Accuracy value to one of four defenses: Deflection (direct melee and ranged attacks), Fortitude (body system attacks like poison and disease), Reflex (area of effect damage attacks), and Will (mental attacks).
A number between 1 and 100 is generated and added to the difference between Accuracy and defense to determine the attack results. Less than or equal to 30 = Miss, 31-50 = Graze, 51-100 = Hit, greater than 100 = Crit. In a balanced Attack and defense scenario, the majority of attacks wind up being Hits or Misses. When Accuracy is superior to defense, more Crits are likely. When defense is superior to Accuracy, more Misses are likely.
By default, only some attacks are capable of Grazing, unless an ability or effect would otherwise grant it. If an attack lands in the Graze range, but cannot Graze, it will become a Miss.
Miss[edit | edit source]
A Miss is any attack roll that is 50 or less. A Miss does no damage and inflicts no status effects or afflictions. If an attack is capable of Grazing, the Miss range will be 30 or less, while 31-50 will become a Graze.
Damage calculation[edit | edit source]
When an attack hits, there is one primary means of mitigating damage: Armor Rating. Armor Rating value is usually derived from armor, but many creatures have natural AR or can raise it through the use of magic, Abilities, Talents, or other equipment. Armor Rating is compared against the Penetration of oncoming attacks to determine the attack's overall effectiveness.
- Full Penetration (130% Damage) occurs when Penetration is twice the target's Armor Rating or more.
- Partial Penetration (100% Damage) occurs when Penetration meets or exceeds the target's Armor Rating.
- Under Penetration (-25% Damage per point under the target's Armor, Max -75%) occurs when Penetration is less than the target's Armor Rating.
Note that many suits of armor and many creatures will grant different Armor Rating values against the different Damage Types. Lower ARs protect less against that type of damage, making the target more vulnerable to attacks of that type.
Damage formula[edit | edit source]
The actual way the game calculates damage is a little more involved. Each modifier is treated as an individual step for the calculation. Positive modifiers are straightforward:
- Weapon specialization bonus (+10% damage) = +0.1
- Crit damage bonus (+25% damage) = +0.25
- Sneak attack bonus (+50% damage) = +0.5
Negative modifiers (maluses) are handled differently. Each step is determined by the following formula: 1 - ( 1 / modifier).
- Graze (-50%) = 1 - (1 / (1 - 0.5)) = 1 - (1 / 0.5 ) = 1 - 2= -1
- Light under-penetration (-25%) = 1 - (1 / (1 - 0.25)) = 1 - (1 / 0.75)=1 - 1.3333 = -0.333
- Severe under-penetration (-75%) = 1 - (1 / (1 - 0.75))=1 - (1 / 0.25) = 1 - 4 = -3
The game then summarizes all of these steps. If the sum is positive, it multiplies the rolled damage by the end modifier + 1. If it's negative, the game divides the rolled damage by 1 - the sum.
Damage types[edit | edit source]
There are eight damage types in Pillars of Eternity: Slash, Pierce, Crush, Burn, Shock, Corrode, Freeze, and Raw. Damage types are used to determine how easily a target resists damage of that type based on their Armor Ratings. A creature or suit of armor may be very resistant to one type of damage but quite vulnerable to another.
Some weapons or attacks may do multiple damage types or list an "or" between their damage types. When an "or" is listed, the attack will always do the damage type that the target is most vulnerable to. Raw damage is the only damage type that ignores all Armor Ratings and is generally associated with poisons and similar effects.
Interrupts[edit | edit source]
Concentration can be gained through Spells, Abilities, Talents, or Items to protect a character from being Interrupted.
Each point of Concentration that a character possesses will prevent a single Interrupt effect from being applied to them, afterwards that Concentration effect is removed.