Pillars of Eternity Wiki

All inflicted damage is classified according to several Damage types. In terms of game mechanics, the type of damage is used to determine which Armor strength and weaknesses, apply in any given situation. There are 8 damage types: 3 physical types (Crush, Slash, Pierce), 4 elemental types (Shock, Burn, Freeze, Corrode) and the raw type.[1]


An attack's damage is reduced by the Damage Reduction (DR) of that particular damage type. The end damage of an attack is simply its damage subtracted by the target's damage reduction for the same type. So slashing damage will be reduced by slashing damage reduction, fire damage will be reduced by fire damage reduction, and so on. If an attack has multiple damage types (A sword is slashing/piercing, for example), it will target the enemy's lowest damage reduction value. Damage Reduction can never cause an attack to do less than 20% of its original damage.

Damage Reduction is not adjusted in the event of a graze or a critical hit. For example, although a graze does 50% damage, you apply the full damage reduction against the attack instead of only applying 50% of it.

Some weapons or abilities can reduce the Damage Reduction of a target. This can never be reduced below 0.

Examples of Mechanics

A paladin scores a crit with a sword against a bandit with 12 slash damage reduction and 9 pierce damage reduction. The attack does 26 damage, but since swords are slashing/piercing, it subtracts the enemy's pierce damage reduction of 9. The resulting damage is 26 - 9, so 17 total.

A fighter grazes an ooze using a mace (crush damage). The ooze has 16 crush defense. The attack does 14 damage, which would normally be 0 damage (14 - 16), but because of the minimum damage rule, it does 3.5 damage.

A barbarian hits a xaurip with an estoc (pierce damage). The Xaurip has 4 pierce damage reduction, but the Estoc has the ability to ignore 5 points of damage reduction. The attack does 17 damage, and none of it is reduced by damage reduction because of the estoc's ability, resulting in the xaurip taking all 17 points of damage.

Damage Types[]

In Pillars of Eternity there are 8 damage types[2]: 3 physical types, 4 elemental types and the raw type.[3]

  • Slash Slashing - caused by weapons with an edged blade, such as battle axes and sabres.
  • Pierce Piercing - caused by weapons with a sharp point, such as stilettos and rapiers.
  • Crush Crushing - caused by weapons with a blunt striking surface, such as clubs and flails.
  • Shock Shock - attacks from spells or additional damage to physical weapon attacks.
  • Burn Burn - attacks from spells or additional damage to physical weapon attacks.
  • Freeze Freeze - attacks from spells or additional damage to physical weapon attacks.
  • Corrode Corrode - attacks from spells or additional damage to physical weapon attacks.
  • Raw Raw - Caused by venom, mental powers and rare skills. Ignores any damage reduction.[4]

Historical notes[]

There were two abandoned designs. In the first design, damage types were optimized against the damage thresholds of armor. Slashing weapons did the most damage of the three types, but, unlike the other two types, did not interact with armor. This made it ideal against foes with little to no armor. Piercing weapons negated some of an armor's Damage Threshold, making them efficient against foes with a moderate amount of armor. Crushing weapons did the most damage through armor, which made these weapons ideal against foes with heavy armor.

In the second design, physical damage types were compared against armor weight classifications and can either be "good" or "bad." Bad damage types did half damage before Damage Threshold was applied. Good damage types used an efficiency curve to assess damage done. Energy damage (such as from spells) opposed a different characteristic of armor: its substance type. Similar to physical damage, energy damage types had good or bad opposition characteristics against armor substance.[5]