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'''''Pillars of Eternity''''' is a [[WesternRPG computer roleplaying game]] by Creator/ObsidianEntertainment, released on March 26, 2015. Intended as a SpiritualSuccessor to ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'', ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment'' and ''VideoGame/IcewindDale'', the game was funded in October 2012 through the crowdfunding website Website/{{Kickstarter}}, where it was pitched as ''Project Eternity''. Meeting its initial funding goal of $1.1 million in 27 hours, it went on to break the site's funding record at the time (set by ''VideoGame/BrokenAge''), pulling in just shy of $4 million. Including [=PayPal=] donations, the gross total budget of the game was roughly $4.3 million dollars. Creator/ParadoxInteractive signed a distribution agreement with Obsidian Entertainment to market and sell the game to the general gaming public.

%%The below was picked up from reading an interview. Please update the description as more information becomes available.
The world of Eora is one of souls. Souls are not mere metaphysical abstractions; they are quantifiable, measurable objects, and their discovery has had vast implications for society. The world is about to enter a golden age as a result, but the rapid advances in technology and society occurring mark the era as a time of turmoil. Focusing on a number of colonies that have recently liberated themselves from their sovereign states, the game casts the player into the shoes of a character who witnesses a traumatic magical event, forcing them to undertake an epic journey.

It has a website [[http://eternity.obsidian.net here]]. The Kickstarter page, including the pitch video, is [[http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/obsidian/project-eternity here]]. In the wake of the game's success, Obsidian has announced that they are working on a number of things to expand the new franchise: a traditional ExpansionPack, a sequel, a CollectibleCardGame, and a TabletopGame.
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!!''Pillars of Eternity'' provides examples of the following tropes:

* AbsurdlyLowLevelCap: The max level for the game is 12, with wizard spells capping at level 6. The upcoming expansion pack may raise them, but by how much is unknown. (To put into perspective how low this is, depending on how much of Od Nua you decide to do, when, and how aggressively you follow ''every'' sidequest, it's quite possible to spend the final entire act ''at the level cap''. Hell, you'll probably get there in Act 3.)
* AdultFear: The game could probably pass as an adult horror game.
** The hollowborn plague in general is this. Imagine spending 9 months in fear and desperation wondering if your baby will be born soulless, and no matter how much you pray to the gods or try other medications, you will most likely give birth to a soulless husk forever incapable of independent thought and life preservation.
** A mother in Ondra's Gift begged you to find her missing son. [[spoiler: The son turns out to be dead, killed by outlaws and his body is dumped in front of brothel's pier. Depending on your choices, the mother can fall into despair while raising her other hollowborn child and the father wastes his life away drinking in sadness]]
** In Defiance Bay, news about a child losing his fingers appear [[spoiler: after you bought him a very sharp knife. You can also choose to beat the child up.]] You can avert this by using the Survival skill to warn him about how dangerous it is.
** The moment when Maerwald[[spoiler:'s previous incarnation, the Soldier, asked his mother about who his father is. The Soldier's father wasn't a colonist who died in a raid, he was actually one of the raiders who raped his mother. The Soldier's mother then [[AmbiguousSyntax dodged the question]], all at the same time holding back her fear and anger.]]
* AlasPoorVillain: [[spoiler:After you kill Thaos, you peer into his soul and witness his memories of sacrificing his people so he could become immortal and protect his new gods. The flashback makes it clear that Thaos committed all of his horrific crimes because he honestly believed that it was the only way. It doesn't redeem him, but it does make his actions more understandable.]]
* AllDeathsFinal: Resurrection of a dead individual is flat-out impossible. Reincarnation, on the other hand, occurs naturally to everyone. It ''is'' possible to bind a soul to a body so that when the person dies they don't actually die, but this has... [[IAmAHumanitarian drawbacks]], and ultimately only staves off death of the mind for a while.
* AmbiguousSyntax: PlayedForDrama when speaking to a spirit in Caed Nua. Mistaking you for her son, she tells you what happened to your father: "before you were born, the Glanfarthans attacked settlers like us... they came into our village and killed many people. Your father was one of them." [[spoiler:She actually means her son's father was [[ChildByRape one of the Glanfarthan raiders]].]]
* AndThatWouldBeWrong: Talking to [[TheSpymaster Lady Webb]] elicits this comment.
-->'''Lady Webb''': Many [Ciphers] can hold an object and know where it's been, or peer into the thoughts of people around them. They can also sometimes affect those thoughts, but that would be unethical, of course.
* AnimatedArmor: The aptly named "Animats". Basically the soul of a warrior that has been fused to a set of armor.
* AntiFrustrationFeatures: There's one quest that can only be non-violently finished if the player dons a mask as part of a disguise. Godlikes can't wear any sort of headgear due to various chitinous skull growths and/or having their heads constantly on fire. Except that during the relevant scripted interaction, a godlike Watcher with the mask in their inventory can select an option to put the mask on. Others will be annoyed by how very poorly it fits, and [[GameplayAndStorySegregation it won't actually be equipped]], but it will [[PaperThinDisguise suffice]] to finish the interaction without bloodshed.
* ArcWords: "No sleep for the watcher", which first appeared in the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKoDTzea79Y teaser trailer]].
* ArmorAndMagicDontMix: Averted. The primitive firearms of the setting are impractical and still quite weak, but they are effective at piercing wizards' spell shields, so wizards have turned to metal armor for defense.
* AssholeVictim: An early sidequest has you investigate a murder and learn that the victim was a domestic abuser who was murdered by his wife's lover to protect her. More accurately, the lover and wife ''claim'' the victim was a domestic abuser when confronted with his murder. Whether they're telling the truth is an open question.
* BackFromTheDead: [[spoiler:If you kill Lord Raedric, he eventually comes back to life and will destroy Gilded Vale if you don't kill him again.]]
* BagOfHolding: The "stash" section of the PlayerInventory is bottomless, but the trade-off is that you can only retrieve items from it (as opposed to putting them there) at the camp. Although, as an AntiFrustrationFeature, the player can toggle an option that allows the Stash to be accessed from anywhere.
* BigBad: Thaos
** BiggerBad: [[spoiler: Woedica]]
* BittersweetEnding: The [[spoiler:Kolsc]] ending for Gilded Vale, [[spoiler:provided you defeat Raedric again once he rises as an undead]]. [[spoiler:Kolsc ends up being an AuthorityInNameOnly and Gilded Vale becomes a WretchedHive of lawlessness and crime, but pretty much ''everyone'' in-story considers this to be leagues better than Raedric's psychotic tyranny.]]
* BladeOnAStick: One-handed spears and two-handed pikes are available as weapons.
* BlessedWithSuck: The Godlikes are stuck with weird-ass heads that are impossible to hide, in exchange for being TouchedByVorlons in the womb. Even worse are the Death Godlikes, who are stated to commonly be killed at birth.
* BatOutOfHell:
** The "Skuldr" creature. It is a cross between a rat and a bat, and it doesn't have wings. That might not sound that terrible, but how about the facts that it is man-sized, bipedal, and quite muscular? Further more; it can also sense souls, making it hard to sneak by it.
** And while not fought, one of the spiderwebs in the starting area holds bats the size of chickens.
* BlackAndGreyMorality: The conflict between Raedric and Kolsc. [[spoiler:Raederic is TheCaligula who has thousands of people executed on a whim (including his wife) and is responsible for horrific experiments regarding the soulless and the undead, but he genuinely wants to save his country from the curse, he clearly regrets having to murder his wife, its heavily implied that he ''did'' use to be a good ruler and his current SanitySlippage is due to his desperation to stop the curse, and, for better or worse, his authority ''is'' keeping his country from descending into anarchy. Kolsc, meanwhile, rightfully believes that Raedric has become too unhinged to rule and treats his subjects well, but he openly admits to being a SleazyPolitician and SmugSnake who only wants to overthrow Raedric so he can take the throne for himself, lies and manipulates everyone around him, and he clearly has no idea what to do about the curse or how to keep the people calm.]]
* BlueAndOrangeMorality: The gods of the world all have their own agendas, which are often hard for mortals to comprehend. If someone is lucky, his or her goal might temporary overlap with that of a god, in which case the god will be benevolent towards that person. Of course, someone can also be unlucky, and have a god outright working in opposition of him or her. Some gods would even praise you no matter what you actually did...as long as you can show you did it for the "right" reasons as far as they're concerned.
* BodySurf: A rare non-fatal version - [[spoiler: when investigating the sanitarium in Defiance Bay, you discover that Thaos can jump into the bodies of those with "weak souls", such as golems and the insane]]. Did we mention you find this out [[OhCrap in an insane asylum, with Flesh Constructs as guards]]?
** He does it again [[spoiler: at the Duc's animancy hearing to assassinate the Duc while "wearing" the head animancer in the city, resulting in mass riots all across Defiance Bay and the animancer sanitarium being burned to the ground.]]
* BondCreatures: Rangers and their animal companions have a shared pool of Health and Stamina.
* BonusBoss: A number of them in the Endless Paths. [[spoiler: Most prominent among them is the Adra Dragon, the final boss of the dungeon, and the toughest boss in the game. [[BraggingRightsReward Killing her allows you to loot its hoard of rare items, as well as enchant one set of armor to Superb quality.]]]]
* BonusDungeon: The Endless Paths, a labyrinth hidden below the stronghold of Caed Nua. Its bosses are among the toughest in the game (for a level appropriate party at least) and features tons of rare loot.
* BossInMookClothing: Ogre Druids. The first time you meet them, you are pretty much guaranteed to die again and again and again. They have a ton of hit points, high defenses, and worst of all cast extremely dangerous spells, such as ''Plague of Insects'', which will probably hit your entire party and inflict over 90 damages over time (which is basically a death sentence if your party level is 5 or less and if you don't manage to kill the ogre in time). Worst of all, they have a tendency to appear in larger groups composed of regular ogres (who hit like a truck) and them, and they can cast healing spells.
* BrickJoke: After helping a young boy get a well-made dagger in Copperlane, the town crier in Ondra's Gift will shout about an "unfortunate mishap" where a young boy lost several fingers playing with a blade.
* BrokeYourArmPunchingOutCthulhu: Many characters believe that Waidwen's Legacy is a divine punishment inflicted on Dyrwood for daring to kill the god Eothas. [[spoiler: It is, but not in the way they think.]]
* CallToAdventure: At the beginning of the game, the PlayerCharacter will witness a traumatic supernatural event that motivates them to embark on their adventure.
* CastFromHitPoints: A couple spells and abilities will grant the characters some boosts in exhange for their endurance.
* CastFromLifespan: The makers of the Godhammer used their very souls to forge the weapon. Only one survived the explosion of the weapon: [[spoiler:Durance. However, his soul now appears blurred, distorted from the sacrifice he made by forging the Godhammer, and also possibily caused by the explosion itself. The damage is so important that his own goddess doesn't recognize him]].
* CharacterClassSystem: The player classes are heavily influenced by ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** '''Barbarian''': Fight-loving brutes capable of going into UnstoppableRage for short periods.
** '''Chanter''': The equivalent of ''D&D'' bards, they are repositories of folk wisdom and tellers of tales, with songs capable of buffing and debuffing and powerful summons to turn the tide.
** '''Cipher''': Casters with PsychicPowers fueled by their souls. They are capable of mental manipulation and powerful attacks, but have to physically strike their foes as well to build up power. Also have some skill at stealth and mechanics.
** '''{{Druid}}''': Archetypical druids, with the usual focus on communing with nature, nature-based magic, shapeshifting, and so on, beating even wizards for raw area-of-effect power.
** '''Fighter''': {{Badass Normal}}s that focus on weapons combat, but are also capable of stealth and are frequently [[GeniusBruiser highly educated]].
** '''[[BareFistedMonk Monk]]''': Archetypical monks -- mobile warriors who dedicate their lives to honing their mind and body by adhering to a strict set of principles. They often fight better unarmed than armed, though it's not necessary.
** '''{{Paladin}}''': {{Warrior Monk}}s who devote themselves to a particular cause, which may or may not be a deity. Designed partly as a support caster that is also capable of periodically blasting foes in their immediate vicinity with an uprising of soul energy.
** '''Priest''': Support casters heavily influenced by ''D&D'' clerics, meaning they wear heavy armour, fight in close combat and have access to a large number of support spells.
** '''Ranger''': {{Nature Hero}}es that rely on ranged weapons and animal companions to wear down their foes.
** '''Rogue''': Stealth experts and mechanists. Good at defeating locks and traps, they truly shine at stealth attacks and delivering simply brutal amounts of close-quarters damage.
** '''Wizard''': Scientists of a sort, they are dedicated through long years of training to blowing people's heads off with soul energy. Unlike traditional wizards, they often wear heavy armor since gunpowder weapons can pierce their carefully prepared magical defenses. They also get a bonus to mechanics, though smaller than what Rogues get.
* CharacterCustomization: The players are able to select the name, sex, class, race (including sub-races), culture, traits, ability scores, portrait, and class-specific gear, skills, and talents for their characters at the beginning of the game.
* ClimaxBoss: [[spoiler: Thaos]] Notable since RPGs of Obsidian usually allow the [[spoiler: FinalBoss]] to be talked down.
* CombatDiplomacyStealth: It is occasionally possible to bypass combat completely if non-combat abilities are leveled up, but for the most part you can expect a fight.
* CoversAlwaysLie: A somewhat retroactive case. The cover for the game depicts Aloth, Edair, Cadegund and Forton, and was made in the early development phases. In the end, the only one of the characters that made it relatively unaltered into the game was Aloth, while Edair underwent a few redesigns and eventually become Edér, and Cadegund and Forton ended up getting cut out entirely.
* CrapsackWorld: Eora as a whole, but the Dyrwood especially. The wilderness is incredibly dangerous, and racial and religious prejudice is rampant, to the point that non-believers were violently persecuted during the Leaden Key's inquisition, and followers of Eothas are routinely slaughtered in retaliation for the Saint's War and Waidwen's Legacy. Speaking of Waidwen's Legacy, did we mention that a large percentage of recent children are born without souls, leaving them thoughtless, vegetative husks for their entire lives? To top it all off, [[spoiler: the gods that have informed much of the behaviour and structure of the last 2000 years of civilization were artificial constructs the whole time, and were merely designed to create a semblance of order in the chaotic world.]]
* CriticalHitClass: The Rogues specialize in dealing critical hits and even have a passive ability called [[TryingToCatchMeFightingDirty Dirty Fighting]], which automatically turns every tenth hit they land into a crit.
* DarkerAndEdgier: The game sometimes explores even darker depths of human depravity and cosmic cruelty compared to Obsidian's previous games. The developers said that they have more freedom in what story they can tell without publisher involvement.
** The game itself can arguably be considered darker and edgier than the Infinity Engine games it's based on (except maybe Planescape).
* DeusEstMachina: [[spoiler:''All'' of the gods are really ancient constructs designed to maintain peace and order. It's gone wrong for some of them, but they all honestly believe they're fulfilling their directives in the best possible fashion.]]
* DesignItYourselfEquipment: Through enchanting, you can make any weapon or armor ([[HelmetsAreHardlyHeroic except helms]]) have up to 12 "quality-level" buffs (some enhancements are up to 4 QL).
* TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything:
** You will get a special ending slide if you finish the game with [[spoiler:baby Vela in your stash]].
** If you opt to kill every member of the caravan in the opening of the game, the fetch-quest for the springberries and the glanfathan tribe's attack on the caravan is skipped and you instead get treated to a special cutscene.
* DoubleEntendre: In Defiance bay, there is an establishment called ''The Salty Mast''. It has two rooms you can sleep in, ''Broad Beam'', and ''Shiny Pearl''. Three guesses as to what kind of an establishment it is.
* DrivenToMadness: All Watchers are in danger of this, particularly when they begin to recall their past lives. [[spoiler:Maerwald has this really bad as he's not only prone to assuming the various personas of his previous lives, but he's wracked with crippling guilt for the many horrible things at least one of them committed.]]
** [[spoiler: You can meet this end if you kill Lady Webb, losing your only lead to find Thaos.]]
* {{DRM}}: Averted. Among the early stretch goals was a DRM-free version distributed through Website/GOGDotCom, and the hardcopy won't have DRM unless the owner chooses to register it with Steam.
* EarlyGameHell: While the game is more forgiving than [[VideoGame/BaldursGate Baldur's Gate I]], Act I can be more than a little tough for new players. Your characters are rather frail, you don't have a decent equipment yet, you can cast only so many spells before you need to rest, just traveling between areas can be a problem since some of your characters may not have a single point in Athletics and, as a result, will suffer from a major debuff because they are exhausted just from traveling from one area to the other (leading you to use camping supplies, which are sparse and relatively costly at this point of the game), and, most of all, you will encounter ghost-type enemies, which deal rather high endurance damages, can stun you with each attack ''and'' can teleport directly on your most frail characters (and there are a mandatory encounter in Od Nua, a dungeon you must complete in order to gain access to the rest of the map and begin Act II).
* ElementalCrafting: All tiers of armor are designed to be useful in different situations.
* ElvesVersusDwarves: Averted, at least in specific instances. We already know that in this setting boreal dwarves and caravan elves coexist peacefully in the island nation of Naasitaq, while several other nations, such as the Free Palatinate of Dyrwood, have large numbers of both elves and dwarves in their populations.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: In Twin Elms, the chief of the Three-Tusk Stelgaer - the most warlike of the tribes - [[spoiler: wants you to abduct and sacrifice an orlan infant in order to grant her soul to the probable successor of his tribe]]. His son disagrees with this strongly enough that he asks you to poison his father solely to stop that plot completely.
* ExpansionPack: The devs already have [[http://www.reddit.com/r/projecteternity/comments/2zanll/obsidian_entertainment_ama_answers_are_here/ plans]] for a large expansion, comparable to ''VideoGame/BaldursGate: Tales of the Sword Coast'' in size, to start working on after the main release.
* EyelessFace: Death Godlikes have these strange growths on their heads that cover their eyes, if not most of their faces, giving this impression. The growths are only visible to non-Godlike people though, so they're able to see just fine.
* FantasyCounterpartCulture: Already a few examples:
** Boreal Dwarves have obvious similarities to the Inuit.
** The Vailian Republics closely resemble Renaissance Italy.
** The Aedyr Empire seems to have overtones of an AncientGrome flavor.
* FantasticNuke: The [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Godhammer]], the weapon instrumental in ending the Saint's War by killing the god Eothas' avatar, and Eothas with him.
* FantasticRacism: Against the godlike because they're not very well-understood, and against Orlans because of their animalistic appearance.
* FantasyGunControl: Played with. The more advanced nations in the setting have developed wheel-lock muskets, but they're largely AwesomeButImpractical with the exception that they prove very good at fighting magic-users.
* FantasyPantheon: The pantheon is vast and varied. Relevant gods include Berath, god of cycles (including life and death); Eothas, god of light and redemption; Magran, goddess of war and fire; and Woedica, goddess of law, memory, rightful rulership, and vengeance.
* TheFellowshipHasEnded: The ModularEpilogue implies that after [[spoiler:Thaos is defeated and the Waidwen's Legacy, cured]], the Watcher's companions drift apart to continue on with their own lives.
* FinalBossPreview: Your first vision describes the final chamber of the final dungeon: [[spoiler: Sun in Shadow.]]
* FinalDeathMode: In the Expert mode, when characters die (have their Health reduced to 0) in combat, they are gone for good.
* FirstEpisodeSpoiler: The main bad guy refers to [[spoiler: Woedica]] during the early chant in the ruins of Cilant Lis, but you'd figure that out only if your took the time to read the lore in the game.
* FishPeople: The Aumaua, a race of humanoids with fish-like attributes.
* FlatCharacter: ZigZagged - custom-built companions from the Hall of Adventurers won't have any dialogue or sidequests the way the pre-generated companions will, but they will be as fully customizable as the PlayerCharacter, allowing the player to create their entire party from scratch.
* ForDoomTheBellTolls: Very early in the game, a third toll of a bell bad news. It is only later as you get involved with the story that you learn [[spoiler: that the local ruler's wife gave birth to a Hollowborn, and he killed her, having gone mad with grief.]]
* GameBreakingBug: As you'd expect from an Obsidian game, there were quite a few at release: just changing floors in Raedric's Castle can cause the game to crash, equipping something by double-clicking it can lead you to lose bonuses permanently, you can boost your characters unwillingly just by saving in the same area you recruited them. A list of the major issues can be found [[http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/73757-list-of-bugs-that-everyone-should-know-about-game-breaking/ here]]. Overall though, the game is far more stable than some of Obsidian's other efforts.
* GameMod: The game will allow modding by the community.
* GameplayAndStoryIntegration: Stats, classes, skill levels, backgrounds, sex, even equipped weapons, gives the players enough options to tackle the ChooseYourOwnAdventure bits, as well as the myriad of dialogue options that the game throws at you.
** Reputation plays a large factor as well, with some dialogue options only working if you have a reputation for Honesty.
** Durance's skill in Mechanics is related to this (see the Characters page for details).
* GoldSilverCopperStandard: Played with. You can loot various gold, silver, and copper coins minted by the different states found in the setting, even finding a rare adra coin. For the sake of simplicity, they're all converted to Dyrwoodan Coppers, with each coin having an appropriate conversion value.
* GeniusLoci: The steward of your keep effectively ''is'' the keep. While you communicate with her at the throne, she can sense and feel everything within the walls of Caed Nua.
* GreyAndGrayMorality: Eora isn't the most pleasant world. Both the main quest and side quests very rarely have completely evil or completely good actions available, and all of them have multiple solutions.
* TheGuardsMustBeCrazy: {{Inverted}} near the end of Act 3 during a Soul flashback - the player can admit that [[spoiler: they were sent by Thaos to spy on Iovara]]. While she's nonplussed by this, she actually invites the player into camp, eliciting this reaction.
-->'''Guard''': My Lady, s/he '''admits''' being a spy!
* HarderThanHard: The Path of the Damned mode removes all LevelScaling limitations (in other words: you get maxed out enemies regardless of your level) and cranks up the combat mechanics.
* HaveYouSeenMyGod: [[spoiler:In the wake of multiple wars of religion, the ancient Engwythians set out to find the ''true'' gods to settle all disputes--and discovered that such a thing simply did not exist. So, rather than accept that, they used animancy to create immensely powerful sentient constructs for the kith to worship and obey, presenting them as the "true gods". They then formed the Inquisition to convert pretty much the entire world and, upon achieving a remarkably universal success, quickly died out to prevent their new converts from ever learning the truth.]]
* HealerSignsOnEarly: You can recruit Durance, a Magran's Priest, at Magran's Fork, just south of the first village, Gilded Vale. You can hardly miss him, though he is mainly useful for his buffing spells.
* HealingMagicIsTheHardest: Healing powers are hard to come by, and the first level spells tend to be rather weak, making potions more useful initially. Healing spells become much more potent once you unlock higher level ones, but only restore Endurance. There are no spells, and only two skills, which can help your characters to recover Health.
* {{Hobbits}}: Orlans are a blend of this and gnomes [[http://www.sorcerers.net/forums/showthread.php?t=58248 according to Project Director Adam Brennecke]]. They're short humanoids with two-toned skin and large, hairy ears. They've been victimized repeatedly by other cultures they've come in contact with and have either progressively retreated deeper into the wilds or resorted to guerilla warfare.
* HypocriticalHumor: Winfrith, the blacksmith of Dyrford Village, keeps complaining (at great length) about other people (women in general, the alchemist in particular, the resident pig farmer...) not being able to shut up. None of the other people in the village are anywhere ''near'' as prone to drowning the PC in a torrent of superfluous verbiage.
* ImAHumanitarian: Animancers are able to use the theorums of Pendgram to become intelligent undead, but this comes with an insatiable hunger for human flesh that will inevitably cause the animancer to lose their sanity and become just another brain-eating zombie.
* ItemCrafting: Stretching from brewing potions to enchanting weaponry.
* JokeItem: The Disappointer. Unenchanted, the gun comes with "terrible" trait and its lore caption jokes about how the gun is genuinely terrible for people hoping that the gun is secretly a LethalJokeItem. To drive the point home, you can find the gun after slogging through pain and hardship [[spoiler: at Endless Path of Od Nua. For those with a keen eye, you can snatch one as early as the area you start the game in.]]
* KleptomaniacHero: Played with. The game explicitly encourages this by letting the player put anything they pick up into the bottomless "stash" inventory if they don't currently need it. However, the game also makes it clear when you're stealing from others, and getting caught doing so will carry consequences.
* LateCharacterSyndrome: Averted. The player meets all recruitable companions in the first half of the game.
* LeftJustifiedFantasyMap: Actually played with, a bit. The setting map available as a wallpaper on the game's official site ''appears'' to be a textbook example. There's a kicker, though: Eir Glanfath is basically the "''New'' World" of Eora. This is world's ''North America equivalent'' - the older cultures are across the sea to the west and south.
* LightIsNotGood: In-universe, this is pretty much everyone in the Dyrwood's opinion on Eothas, god of light and renewal. The scars from the recent war against Readceras, which was led by a mortal claiming to be a vessel of Eothas, are still fresh, worship of the god is banned, and the current problems with the Hollowborn are attributed to him, though Dyrwoodians have started blaming animancy instead.
** Out of universe, this trope is [[spoiler:massively subverted. Eothas ''himself'' was trying to stop Woedica's scheme to consume souls, but he made a few critical errors when he gave his power to Waidwen. It's more like Light Does Not Have Good Foresight.]]
* LongGame: The BigBad is a master of this, [[spoiler: as his soul reincarnates fully Awakened, allowing him to put plans into motion that take hundreds of years to reach fruition]].
* LostForever: [[spoiler:Any sidequest that requires you to visit the Sanitarium can't be completed after it is burned down during the end of Act II. Similiarly, any sidequest that requires the help of Dynryd Row can't be completed after Thaos wipes them out.]]
* LoyalAnimalCompanion: The Ranger class is based around tactical interactions with the Ranger's animal companion (and ranged weapons), whom the players create and name along with the Ranger itself.
* LudicrousGibs: In another nod to Infinity Engine nostalgia, any enemy killed by a crit will have their sprite explode into meaty chunks.
* MarathonLevel: The Endless Paths, a mega-dungeon that started with three floors, with an additional floor added every 2,500 Kickstarter backers. It ended up having fifteen.
* MauveShirt: [[spoiler: Heodan and Calisca]] get some characterization, and even some plot hooks, but [[spoiler: both will still die after the Watcher witnesses the ritual by the ruins.]]
* MedievalStasis: Intentionally averted. The more advanced areas of Eora are currently going through the fantasy equivalent of the Renaissance, and firearms have been invented quite literally because the people sought something that would let them punch through wizard defenses.
** [[spoiler:It is also what Thaos is trying to achieve. By sabotaging experiments and blaming the Duc's death to animancers, he's trying to make society discredit animancy so that soul technology can't progress and find the truth behind the gods.]]
* MeaningfulName: Pillars of Eternity refer to the Adra stones, which somehow possess the essence of the gods.
* MultiPlatform: Initially for [[IBMPersonalComputer Windows]], stretch goals added UsefulNotes/MacOS and {{Linux}} versions. Also distributed via three separate services, {{Steam}}, [[Creator/ElectronicArts Origin]], and Website/GOGDotCom.
* MultipleChoicePast: Character creation gives you a lot of options to shape your character's past, including your race, ethnicity, place of origin, and occupation. The beginning of the game delves even deeper when Calisca asks you even more questions about your history.
** Taken even further during some flashbacks: you get to choose part of the background of your character's ''past life''.
* MultipleEndings: Your choices throughout the game will shape the fate of the Dyrwood, from your companions to entire cities. [[spoiler: More directly, the final choice you can make in-game regards the fate of the captured souls of the Hollowborn, which is the most significant part of the ending, but in all cases, the end of Waidwen's Legacy gives Dyrwood a much needed respite.]]
* MultipleLifeBars: Each character has the Endurance bar and the Health bar. Endurance is depleted and recovered rapidly in combat and results in a NonLethalKO when depleted. Health is lost more slowly but having it hit 0 leads to either a permanent injury or the FinalDeath (on harder difficulties). Health can only be regained when camping, and with a few very rare and weak spells that serve as an emergency patch-up in a pinch at best. Otherwise, healing spells only restore endurance.
* MultiplePersuasionModes: The game lacks dedicated persuasion skills, so some dialogue branches instead require certain attribute values to unlock--most commonly Resolve (which, being a mix of [[TheSixStats classic Wisdom and Charisma]], mainly opens the Charm options), but also Intellect (Convince options), Perception (noticing lies), and sometimes even [[{{Strength}} Might]] (Intimidate options). Additionally, towards the end of Act II, it becomes possible to draw upon [[KarmaMeter your established reputation]] in some dialogues: [=NPCs=] are, for instance, much more inclined to believe you if you have the Honest or Benevolent reputations (which are also leveled, so you may not be honest or benevolent ''enough'' to pass a reputation check).
* MythologyGag: One pet is a [[Videogame/BaldursGate Miniature Giant Space]] ''[[Videogame/BaldursGate Piglet]]''.
* {{Necromancer}}: Necromancers aren't universally viewed as evil (except by some fringe groups) but aren't commonplace, either.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Durance muses that maybe Eothas waged the war to prevent [[spoiler:Woedica's plot]]. If that is true, the Hollowborn epidemic was indeed caused by killing Eothas, not as divine punishment, but [[spoiler:because of the destruction of the only thing that was trying to prevent it]].
* NonLethalKO: When the Endurance bar hits zero, the character is incapacitated but can be brought back by another party member's intervention. A character's max health will be at least 4 times their max endurance, which averts CriticalExistenceFailure. You have to take at least four times as much damage as would knock you down (bar healing) to actually die.
* NonStandardGameOver: There are at least two of them:
** If you kill Lady Webb, you run out of leads and can't stop the Watcher visions from driving you mad.
** If you try to enter the final dungeon [[spoiler:without gaining a god's favor]] you die.
* OnlyInItForTheMoney: Goldpact paladins have this as their core philosophy, seeing payment as a binding contract. However, they are known for being [[ConsummateProfessional professional and non-judgmental]].
* OpeningTheSandbox: Twice. Initially you're restricted to the town of Gilded Vale and the surrounding wilderness. Completing the first act of the main quest enables access to Defiance Bay and Dyrford village. Finishing the second act opens the way to Twin Elms.
* OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame: Averted. They have at least one major non-standard ethnicity, the boreal dwarves who seem to be what you get when you cross a dwarf with an Inuit. More tellingly, dwarves do not have a special affinity for beards.
** Also, the recruitable boreal dwarf companion, Sagani, is a ranger (definitely not a standard character class for a dwarf, which also serves to lampshade her people's surface-dwelling habits) who carries a bow, a weapon often associated with elves and far outside the stereotypical dwarven repertoire of axes, maces and hammers.
* OurGiantsAreBigger: Ogres stand about fifteen feet tall and their cousins, the eoten, are said to be even bigger. They are also pretty intelligent but extremely aggressive and are violent to every species including their own. The few level headed ogres tend to live in solitude. [[spoiler: You can meet one in a cave near Dyrwood and hire him to look after your keep.]]
* OurSoulsAreDifferent: The existence of souls is a proven fact in the world of ''Eternity''. Souls are essentially what allows a person to use magic and they reincarnate in a new body when the old one dies. Their discovery has turned soul-research into a quickly emerging branch of science as the understanding of how exactly they work, and especially how to manipulate them, is still very limited, and the factions and religions of the world have widely differing views on how to treat the many open questions and have ethical lines of their own they won't cross.
%% Fix the next one come launch.
%%* PartyOfRepresentatives: The party members are said to "cover a good range of culture and religion and factions in the game".
* PhysicalGod: Eothas was this during the Saint's War. He was made painfully aware of the drawbacks that come with walking the earth in physical form.
* PhysicalReligion: The powers that gods grant their priests are undeniably real. Occasionally the gods even deign to speak directly to mortals and there are places built specifically for such communion. [[spoiler: However, it turns out the gods were not always real. Indeed, the ancient Engwithans built the gods out of ideals to fill that void and bring order to the chaos. Before them there were thousands of different beliefs, many of them heinous and barbaric.]]
* PlayerHeadquarters: The player ends up gaining rulership of the stronghold Caed Nua relatively early on in the game, which serves as as a place where idle companions can stay. Though it starts off looking rather dilapidated, it can be upgraded to provide various bonuses such as ingredients for ItemCrafting, unique vendors and some new activities. Upon receiving it, the player character becomes a landowner and can collect taxes from the surrounding lands, which increases based on the player character's prestige.
* PlayerInventory: The inventory is subdivided into three parts: what's currently equipped on the characters, what they carry with them, and the stash. The former two categories have limited capacity but the last one is [[BagOfHolding unbound]]. However, on Expert mode, items in the stash are only accessible while in cities or camping. It is always possible to send items ''to'' the stash, though.
* PlayerParty: The player group consists of up to five (optional) companions at any time in addition to the main PlayerCharacter, for a total of six.
* PointAndClickMap: The world map is opened whenever the party reaches a "qualifying transition" and allows instant travel to known locations.
* {{Precursor}}: The Engwithan civilization existed roughly 2000 years before the events of the game. They had unparalleled understanding of how souls work and their ruins still litter the land, most prominently in Eir Glanfath. The Glanfathan culture is based around protecting these sites from outsiders. It's a task their forebears were given by the Engwithans ages ago, [[spoiler: presumably to prevent anyone from learning the truth behind the origin of the gods.]]
* RealTimeWeaponChange: Characters can switch between several different weapon sets in combat.
* RealTimeWithPause: The game uses real-time combat with the option to pause the game at any time to allow time to think and dole out orders partly as a deliberate throw-back to the Infinity Engine era, and partly because it suits the game. There are even a myriad of options for when the game can auto-pause during combat in order to make it more "turn-based".
* {{Reincarnation}}: One of the {{Central Theme}}s of the game.
* SamusIsAGirl: According to Aloth, [[spoiler:the split personality in his head with the reckless and uncouth demeanor is a woman named Iselmyr.]]
* SaveGameLimits: In the Trial of Iron, one of the optional difficulty modifiers, the player only has one save slot -- and it is wiped permanently if the player character dies.
* SceneryPorn: [[http://hydra-images.cursecdn.com/eternitywiki.com/f/f5/PE-TempleEntrance01-1920x1080.jpeg The first screenshot mock-up released]] depicts a beautiful view of a country road leading up to a bridge connecting to an entrance into a cliff side, with the entrance being flanked by a pair of enormous, macabre reliefs carved into the rock, with a waterfall cascading to form a pond off to the side of one of the statues. This setting appears in the finished game as the entrance to Cliaban Rilag ruins.
* SeaMonster: While they do not appear as enemies in game, sea monsters actively impede the overseas exploration of the setting, and most of them are pretty nasty.
* SeenItAll: In Twin Elms, when you encounter two delemgan ladies, you can comment on their otherworldly beauty. One of them will scoff that you couldn't find the sensitive spots even if a herbalist drew you a map, while the other plainly states that by now, they've really heard them all.
* ShaggyDogStory: [[spoiler: Almost all of the companion quests end this way, although most result in some related character development that can be directed by the player.]]
* SharedLifeMeter: The Rangers and their animal companions share their hit points and if one is knocked out or killed, so is the other. Luckily, animal companions have high DamageReduction to make up for their lack of armor.
* ShoutOut: An inn in Gilded Vale is named "The Black Hound," which was the possible title of [[WhatCouldHaveBeen Baldur's Gate 3.]]
** A narrator encourages you to [[Videogame/BaldursGate gather your party before venturing forth.]]
** In Defiance Bay, you come across a child asking you to buy him a knife in exchange for a secret. One of the responses is "You can't have a dagger! [[Film/AChristmasStory You'll poke your eye out!]]"
** The Goose and Fox inn is a reference to the gaming forum [=NeoGAF=] due to several members pooling enough money to reach the backer award of creating their own inn. Site founder Evilore contributed enough money for [[http://i.imgur.com/HKYBEPV.jpg his likeness]] to be in the game as a portrait for creatable characters and is mentioned in-game as "Erol of Levi".
*** Similarly, the Wailing Banshee Inn refers to gaming website [=GameBanshee=] and you can find several [=RPGCodex=] references and usernames at "Club of Refined and Prestigious Gentlemen" room inside the Salty Mast.
** In Sacrificial Bloodlines quest, you can shove [[spoiler: baby Vela]] into your stash indefinitely, likely a nod to Throne of Bhaal's [[spoiler:inventory baby]]. Having her in your inventory when you finish the game actually changes the ending narrative!
** If you sided against [[spoiler: Danna]] in At All Costs, an angry noble will confront you about killing his fiance. One possible response?
-->'''Watcher:''' [[ThePrincessBride It's possible.]] [[ButForMeItWasTuesday I kill a lot of people.]]
* SkillScoresAndPerks: The game features Skills, Abilities, and Talents. Each character earns six Skill points each level, and every new skill level costs one point more than the last; however, different classes and backgrounds give free levels in certain skills at character creation. Apart from improving basic in-game actions, Skills are used alongside [[TheSixStats Attributes]] in dialogue and scripted interactions. Abilities are class-specific perks that can be taken at every odd CharacterLevel, while Talents are (mostly) class-independent perks earned at every even one. Abilities and Talents can be passive boosts, active abilities, or modal effects. Talents are further subdivided in Class (class-specific bonuses), Offensive (improve attacks), Defensive (improve combat defenses), and Utility (everything else). Some Talents can only be acquired as [[NonstandardSkillLearning rewards for completing certain side quests]].
* SnuffFilm: You can uncover a medieval version of this: a troupe of actors performs plays where unsuspecting extras are murdered for the amusement of noble patrons.
* TheSoulless: This is what defines the Hollowborn. In recent years an increasing number of children in Dyrwood have been born without a soul which makes them catatonic. Attempts to remedy this have had disastrous results like trying to give them an animal soul, which seemed to work, until the children hit puberty and became feral and violent, turning into what are now called wichts.
* SpidersAreScary: Vithrack are spiders that are humanoid magic uses, that use their silk to make robes for themselves.
* SpiritualSuccessor: ''Eternity'' channels several {{Role Playing Game}}s from the Obsidian developers' past, including ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'', ''Videogame/IcewindDale'', and ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment''. Much of the original ''Torment'' team worked on this.
* SquishyWizard: Downplayed. Wizards can wear heavy armor (though it slows down spellcasting) and a character's endurance/health (this game's version of hit points) depends on a combination of Constitution and class type. Barbarians and Fighters have only about 1.5 to 1.2 times the health of a Wizard with the same attribute scores.
** Perhaps not so much. Depending on the build (wizards generally emphasize Might, Dexterity, and Intellect), they tend to have low health and endurance, meaning that unless they have good protection spells active, they can still go down pretty easy in combat, especially in melee. Heavy armor arguably makes it worse for them, considering it generally results in slower recovery rate.
* SterilityPlague: What Waidwen's Legacy has done to much of Dyrwood, less in the sense of people unable to give birth, more that so many children are Hollowborn that the nation's population is in danger of collapsing.
* TouchedByVorlons: Members of the Godlike player race were blessed before birth by one or more deities.
* TraumaCongaLine: The PC goes through this for the first hour or two of the game, not including their (customized) BackStory. As the game progresses, only the sheer amount of side quests and things to do outside the main plot keeps it from becoming a permanent thing. No sleep for the Watcher, indeed.
* TheUndead: All undead, called vessels in this universe, were living beings who somehow had their soul unnaturally linked to their body, either through the older, purely-magical process of necromancy or later [[spoiler:and "earlier", in a few Engwithan cases]] through more scientific "animancy". After death their bodies and minds decay, with the different stages of decay being a variant of undead:
** [[OurVampiresAreDifferent Fampyries]] are the most-recently alive. They are really no different from a normal person aside from [[ImAHumanitarian a strong craving for still-living or fresh-killed kith flesh]], which is the only substance that can keep their minds lucid and their bodies from decaying. But even by this, they are only delaying the inevitable next state of undead.
** [[OurGhoulsAreCreepier Darguls]] are still somewhat intelligent and recognizable as persons, but show signs of physical and mental deterioration. At this stage their higher thought processes and memories begin to fade. Guls are a further step down the path, with flesh hanging off the bones, hair disappeared, and bestial behavior.
** [[OurZombiesAreDifferent Revenants]] are visibly rotting, the skin having sloughed away and even the muscle beginning to lose form. Of the mind, only base instincts and the desire to feed remain.
** [[DemBones Skeletons]] are what remain once all the flesh has rotted away. Without the ability or desire to feed, they are largely murderous automatons acting on pure reflex. Given enough time, even the bones will be reduced to dust [[AndIMustScream which the soul will still be bound to]].
** Wichts, which are the result of trying to attach animal souls to children born otherwise soulless, also essentially count as "vessels" (corporeal undead) for the purposes of things like Priest abilities. They begin fine but are hideously warped when they reach puberty, turning into slavering, fang-mouthed monstrosities. Unlike the other examples, these can only be created by animancers.
** [[spoiler:Engwithan animats ''also'' fall under the wider banner and are affected by Priest abilities, as they are suits of armor with a soul attached to them and used by the Engwithans as guardians. They're unfortunately quite aggressive to all non-Engwithans, which is now everyone.]]
* VestigialEmpire: Before the events of the game there were at least two mighty empires in the world: Grand Empire of Vailia and The Aedyr Empire. While the former no longer exists since it has broken up into a federation of independent city-states, the latter still lingers as a shadow of its former self, having lost at least two of its colonies through civil wars with independence movements.
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential: Considering that you can earn a reputation for being cruel, the game offers a lot of occasions for the Watcher to act like an amoral {{Jerkass}}, if not like a complete monster:
** Instead of going through the boy's request in Defiance Bay to get him a dagger in exchange for a secret, you can simply assault him to get him to reveal it. If Grieving Mother is in your party, [[WhatTheHellHero she will call you out]].
** If your Cruel reputation is high enough, the pool of blood in Skaen's temple will make you an interesting offer: [[spoiler:one of your companion's life, doomed to an eternity inside the pool, in exchange for a permanent status buff. The surviving ones won't even know you are responsible for it (though Durance will suspect your hand in it right away). Try to sacrifice someone and watch your companions react in horror. Try to sacrifice Grieving Mother... and watch your companions not giving a damn at all, since they don't even notice that Grieving Mother is here with you at all because of her glamour, and having rather funny reactions (including Durance scratching his buttock and burping, and Edér talking about eating some roasted chicken) while Grieving Mother is choking in her own blood and her soul joining the pool to suffer for an eternity.]]
* VillainDecay: The wichts actually get this very quickly - very early in the game they are played up as ''very'' dangerous and monstrous, and you're probably going to be worried about encountering them in the wild. And then you do, AND!... while they do have increased movespeed and decent attack stats (including a very high attack rate), since they're still essentially ''unarmored pre-teen kids'', their defensive stats are garbage and, biggest of all, they have virtually ''no'' Endurance to speak of. They're incredibly easy take out in packs with a single wizard spell or Priest ability.
* VillainHasAPoint: Osrya, Raedric's animancer, is a sly lady who fell from grace, who tortures people and creates undead. However, she is genuinely trying to find a cure to Waidwen's Legacy. [[spoiler:Her analysis of the situation and of the nature of the curse is also completly spot-on, as she is the closest to the truth than anyone else you may have met before]].
* VoluntaryShapeshifting: The druid class has the ability to shapeshift into various animal forms at will, such as giant humanoid cats.
** Galawain, as well.
* WarGod: Magran, who pulls double duty as goddess of fire and whose priests are known to employ firearms and explosives.
* WellIntentionedExtremist:
** The Bleak Walkers Paladin are more or less this. They tend to take aggresive and ruthless solutions to end conflicts as fast as possible.
** The Cult of Skaen has some shades of this. They want to punish a nobleman for [[spoiler:raping and impregnating his niece]] but using even more horrible method to achieve it [[spoiler:(infusing said niece with souls of tortured slaves to make her kill her family and destroy her family name)]]. This way they also strike fear among the nobility, reminding that their corruptions do not go unnoticed.
** Raedric also qualifies as well. He killed and hanged all failed animancers, SnakeOilSalesman, Eothasians and other people who he thinks make Hollowborn curse go worse. However, he is genuinely trying his hardest to find a cure for Gilded Vale and his family. [[spoiler:He also says that his extreme policy will be relaxed when the plague is over and, assuming he survives and Kolsc is dealt with, he does so in the ending]].
* WorldOfSnark: While the frequency varies, with Hirvias and Edér being the true standouts, every non-generic party member (save for [[TheStoic Grieving Mother]] and possibly the Watcher themself) finds themselves at least occasionally indulging in witty quips. A fair number of the non-party characters fire off their share of jests as well.
* WretchedHive:
** Ondra's Gift, the harbor district of Defiance Bay. It's been a high crime district where the Crucible Knights are afraid to patrol ever since it was flooded during the War of Defiance
** [[spoiler:If you kill Lord Raedric twice, then Gilded Vale becomes one of these since it has no lord to enforce the laws. However, the people still prefer this to Raedric's tyranny.]]
* YouALLShareMyStory: Before the FinalBattle, the BigBad claims that the only reason the RagtagBunchOfMisfits follows the Watcher is that none of them has a purpose in life and tries to BreakThemByTalking to weaken their resolve.
* YouKillItYouBoughtIt: The Watcher gains ownership of Caed Nua by killing its current lord.
* YouWillNotEvadeMe: All melee combatants can force close quarters combat via the Engagement rules. When being targeted by a melee fighter at close range, any attempt to move away will provoke an attack of opportunity that deals bonus damage and usually stuns you long enough for the attacker to catch up. There are ways to avoid that, of course, but they are costly and it's best to just not go anywhere near melee enemies at all.
* YourSoulIsMine: [[spoiler: [[BigBad Thaos']] ultimate plan is to use Engwithan technology to capture thousands of souls and then to offer them to Woedica to empower her enough to become the most powerful god, subjugating the world through her.]]
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