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Skill Mechanics.png

Mechanics is a skill in Pillars of Eternity and Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire. It is used to pick locks, disarm or place traps, and in Pillars of Eternity determines at which distance traps and hidden objects may be detected (this is replaced with Perception in Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire).


Items in italics are quoted directly from the game.

Traps and locks can be a problem for even the toughest adventurers, draining their resources and maiming or killing those who are unfortunate enough to trigger an unseen floor plate. The Mechanics skill makes it easier to open locks and find and disable traps. Additionally, any character can use the Mechanics skill to place traps of their own. The higher the Mechanics skill, the more accurate the trap. In conversations and scripted interactions, Mechanics can be used to activate or disable a variety of machines.

Effects and usage[]

Mechanics allow a character to:

  • Disarm traps - To disarm a trap, the character's Mechanics score must be greater than or equal to the trap's difficulty level. If the trap's difficulty is higher than the character's Mechanics level, the attempt fails (but does not trigger the trap - for containers, the game will ask if you want to trigger it). Disarming self-placed traps always succeeds.
In Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, the trap difficulty is determined by the trap's level (as per the table below). Trap difficulty (as shown in the chat log) is not to be confused with trap level, which is hidden from the player.
Required disarm mechanics in Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
Trap level
(Not to be confused with trap difficulty as below)
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Trap disarm difficulty
(Mechanics required to disarm)
0 1 2 3 4 4 5 5 6 6 7 7 8 8 9 9 10 10 11 11 12

A standard lockpicking prompt in Deadfire

  • Place and set traps - A character can set traps at any skill level (even zero). When setting traps, each point in Mechanics raises the trap's accuracy by 3.
  • Pick locks - A lock's difficulty level determines the number of lockpicks required to open it:
    • If the difficulty is lower than Mechanics, no lockpicks are needed.
    • If the difficulty is equal to Mechanics, one lockpick will be needed.
    • If the difficulty is one level higher than Mechanics, 3 lockpicks are required.
    • If the difficulty is two or more levels higher than Mechanics, the lock cannot be picked.
  • Detect traps and hidden objects - (In Pillars of Eternity only) The Mechanics skill is used to detect hidden objects such as traps, stashes, switches or items. When detected, a message will be shown in the combat log and the object will be highlighted in purple.
    • The difference between an object's difficulty level and the character's Mechanics score determines how difficult it is to detect, i.e. how close the character must be to detect it. Note that detection difficulty increases with game difficulty.
    • The detection range is calculated using (Mechanics + 1) - DetectableDifficulty. If the range is <= 0, or if the object is not within line of sight, the object cannot be detected.
    • In other words, the character's Mechanics skill must be greater than or equal to the difficulty level of the object in order to be detected.
    • If a character is not in Scouting Mode, they receive a -4 penalty to their Mechanics rating for detection checks. Therefore the character's Mechanics skill must be at least 4 more than the difficulty of the object in order to be detected outside of scouting mode.
    • In Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, hidden object detection is instead determined using the Perception attribute.

Successfully picking a lock or disarming a trap gives the party 5x the lock/trap's difficulty in experience.

This is considered a very crucial skill for at least one party member to excel at. A very, very sizeable number of loot containers and hidden areas throughout the entire game are only accessible via picking the lock of the container or a door, so always make sure you have a Mechanics specialist with you at all times.

Initial bonuses[]

The following bonuses are applied as a result of a character's class and background.

In Pillars of Eternity

Class bonuses:
Chanter +1
Cipher +1
Rogue +2
Wizard +1
Background bonuses:
Laborer +1
Merchant +1
Scientist +1

In Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

Class bonuses:
Cipher +2
Rogue +2
Background bonuses:
Artist +1
Hunter +1
Trapper* +2

Buffs in Pillars of Eternity[]

In addition to a character's base Mechanics, there are various ways to gain further bonuses. Some of these buffs are permanent or can be activated for as long as desired, while others must be enabled and then expire after their duration runs out. Some can only applied to the character themselves, while others apply to allies. Some buffs stack, others are mutually exclusive.

A character's Mechanics score for a certain attack can benefit from the given number of bonuses from each of the following tables at the same time.

Passive abilities/talents[]

UnlimitedPermanently active once learned

Talent Classes Modifier
Dungeon Delver All +1


One onlyWhile equipped

Slot Item Modifier
Hands Gloves of Manipulation +2


One onlyDuration: see table

Item Modifier Duration
Rite of Hidden Wonders +3 120 s


One onlyDuration: see table

Area Inn Room Modifier Duration
Gilded Vale The Black Hound Laborers Rest +1 2 rests
Copperlane Goose and Fox Fletcher's Stay +1 2 rests
Caed Nua Brighthollow Artificer's Hall +2 3 rests


One only – For the protagonist only – Duration: see table

Prostitute Modifier Duration
Gjefa +1 1 rest

Buffs in Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire[]

Passive effects[]

unlimited – obtained during gameplay

Name Modifier Duration
Elias Zelen's Training +1 Permanent


unlimited – bonus while equipped

Type Item Enchantment Modifier
Gloves Burglar's Gloves Lithe Hands +2

Consumable items[]

unlimited – for the user for a duration (sometimes only in combat)

Type Item Modifier Duration
Unguent Thief's Putty +2 120 sec

Notable uses in Pillars of Eternity[]

Quest dialogs[]

In quest related dialogs the player's Mechanics score may give options that are related to opening certain locks.

Quest Location NPC Description Mechanics required Other requirements
All Hands on Deck Ondra's Gift Captain Fortanero's Sea Chest Open it (works as dialog) to gain access to its contents. 4

Scripted interactions[]

In scripted interactions the Mechanics score is checked for actions that are related to opening certain locks. Some situations allow to choose which party member will perform the action, sometimes a certain member or the player will be checked.

Quest Location Object Description Mechanics required Party member checked Other requirements
Dyrford Crossing Shrine Open the secret entrance. 8 Best party member