Dead is one of the negative status effects in Pillars of Eternity. A character becomes dead when his or her health drops down to 0 during combat. Unlike most RPG games, in Pillars of Eternity dead characters can not be revived by any means available to player and are removed from game permanently.
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Compared to all other negative effects in game, dead state is incurable and permanent. However, in case the player has Maim Companions Before Death game option turned on, the first such situation leads only to maimed state.
If a character loses all health during a fight, and is already maimed or Maim Companions Before Death game option is turned off, they will die. Dead characters are removed from the game permanently, their soul leaves their body and their energy will move forward in the eternal cycle.