All Attributes and Defenses in Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire

Understand how strength and defense interact in our guide to all attributes and defenses in Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire.


Part of making the most out of Obsidian Entertainment's latest RPG release Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire involves coming to understand the core components behind the game: attributes and defenses. These two categories are closely intertwined, influencing one another and being influenced by everything from race, class, and background to weapons and hero level. Learn more about these systems and the effects they have by checking out the full list of Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire attributes and defenses below.

Jump to section: List of AttributesList of Defenses

How Attributes and Defenses Work in Deadfire

During the Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire's character creation process, the player will be tasked with allotting a number of points to the given hero's attributes. These points ultimately correspond to the character's individual strengths and defenses: attributes themselves influence everything from healing effectiveness to attack speed while simultaneously influencing defenses like will or fortitude.

Attributes and defenses are closely interlinked, meaning players will want to strike the right balance of both to make the biggest impact in battle. Furthermore, each attribute is ranked on a zero-to-twenty-point scale: five points in a given attribute is weak or frail, ten is largely average, 15 is above average, and 20 is exceptional. In this sense, dumping 20 points into a single attribute will essentially make the hero an expert in that category.

Here's the list of all different base attributes in Deadfire, with descriptions taken from the game. To learn more about which defenses these attributes influence, look for the defense listing below.

All Attributes in Pillars of Eternity 2: Deafire

Constitution affects Health and the Fortitude defense. It represents a combination of the character's overall health and stamina.

Dexterity affects the character's Action Speed with all attacks, spells, and abilities, and contributes to the Reflex defense. It represents a combination of hand-eye coordination, swiftness, and overall grace.

Intellect contributes to the Will defense and influences Durations and Areas of Effect for all abilities. It represents a character's logic, reasoning, and deduction capabilities.

Might contributes to Damage, Healing Effectiveness, and the Fortitude defense. It represents a character's physical and spiritual strength and brute force as well as their ability to channel powerful magic.

Perception contributes to Accuracy and the Reflex defense. Perception represents a character's senses as well as their instinctive ability to pick up on details such as detecting traps or hidden objects.

Resolve contributes toward reducing Hostile Effect Durations as well as improving Will and Deflection defenses. It reflects a character's internal drive, determination, and fearlessness.

All Defenses in Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire

Deflection is the defense used to resist direct melee and ranged attacks against the character that are not area-of-effect. It is defined by the character's class, level, and Resolve, but may also be influenced by shields, certain weapons, Talents, and other effects from spells or items.

Fortitude resists attacks on the internal systems of the character, i.e. poison, disease, and so on. It is defined by the character's class, level, Might, and Constitution, but can also be influenced by other effects.

Reflex defense allows characters to dodge out of the way of physically harmful area-of-effect attacks. It is defined by a character's class, level, Dexterity, and Perception, but may also be influenced by other effects.

Secondary Defenses are used for second stage attacks, e.g. the poison on a dagger. In this example, the first attack (the dagger swing) targets one defense (Deflection) and the poison's attack will only be checked if the first attack hits. If the attack hits, then the Secondary Defense (in this case, Fortitude against poison) is checked to determine the effects. If the initial attack misses, then the Secondary Defense will not be checked.

Will defense opposes attacks that are mentally-based, i.e. a spell that mentally paralyzes the target. It is defined by a character's class, level, Intellect, and Resolve, but may also be influenced by other effects.

A core understanding of the interrelated systems within Obsidian Entertainment's RPG involves more than just attributes and defenses, so be sure to stop by our Pillars of Eternity 2: walkthrough and guide to learn more about other key factors like culture, races, active and passive skills, classes, and more.

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