Video Game: Pillars of Eternity

aka: Project Eternity

Pillars of Eternity is a computer roleplaying game by Obsidian Entertainment, released on March 26, 2015. Intended as a Spiritual Successor to Baldur's Gate, Planescape: Torment and Icewind Dale, the game was funded in October 2012 through the crowdfunding 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 Broken Age), pulling in just shy of $4 million. Including PayPal donations, the gross total budget of the game was roughly $4.3 million dollars. Paradox Interactive signed a distribution agreement with Obsidian Entertainment to market and sell the game to the general gaming public.

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 here. The Kickstarter page, including the pitch video, is 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 Expansion Pack (The White March), a sequel, a Collectible Card Game (Lords of the Eastern Reach), and a Tabletop Game.

On May 28, 2015, a Kickstarter for the Collectible Card Game, Pillars of Eternity: Lords of the Eastern Reach, was started. The estimated release for it is February 2016.

The first part of The White March expansion was released on August 25, 2015, with Part 2 being released at some point in Winter 2015.


Pillars of Eternity provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Absurdly Low Level Cap: The max level for the game is 12, with spell levels for all the caster classes being "soft capped" at level 6 out of 10 spell levels. The upcoming expansion pack will raise the level cap to 14 and maybe raise the spell level soft cap to 7. Although due to the fact that the expansion is being released in two parts, the new level cap of 14 could either be overall or just for Part 1 with Part 2 increasing it again.
    • 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. Although the 1.05 patch rebalanced some of the sidequest experience rewards to ensure that you don't hit the level cap before reaching Twin Elms.
  • Adult Fear: 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. 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 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'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 dodged the question, all at the same time holding back her fear and anger.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: 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.
  • All Deaths Final: 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... drawbacks, and ultimately only staves off death of the mind for a while. As it turns out there's a loophole with reincarnations. It is possible to ensure you are always born Awakened to your past lives as well as always ending up in bodies resembling your old self, effectively giving you Born-Again Immortality. This is very lost knowledge, and not only does it require extreme measures, but once someone did do it they had a very, very long time to work on ensuring it remained lost...
  • Alliance Meter: Nearly every sidequest has Multiple Endings, and different endings will positively or negatively affect your Reputation stat for that region, which changes how NPCs address you and may open further quests. A good example is the early quest "Lord of a Barren Land", in which you are requested to Storm the Castle of Lord Raedric and assassinate him so that his brother Kolsc can take over. Doing it as requested will give you positive Reputation in Gilded Vale, while changing sides will give you negative Reputation.
  • Alternative Calendar: There are two calendars in Eora, the Aedyr calendar and the Anni Iroccio, the later one being the one used in the game. The Aedyr calendar is the one with the least known about it, other than the fact that it was nine months long but hopelessly inaccurate. Whereas the Anni Iroccio is the more accurate of the two and the one used in the game. A year is 334 days long and divided into 16 months, 4 months for each season, with a 3-day festival between each season, a day in the middle of the winter dedicated to New Year, and a day in the middle of summer dedicated to Mid Year. Each day is 27 hours long, each month is 20 days long, and each week is 5 days long.
  • Ambiguous Syntax: Played for Drama 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." She actually means her son's father was one of the Glanfarthan raiders.
  • And That Would Be Wrong: Talking to 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.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The ending hints that The Watcher, despite no longer having visions, has a long journey looming ahead, with or without the Orlan Baby.
  • Animated Armor: The aptly named "Animats". Basically the soul of a warrior that has been fused to a set of armor.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: 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 it won't actually be equipped, but it will suffice to finish the interaction without bloodshed.
  • Anti-Grinding: You get no experience from simply fighting Kith (Humanoid races). Instead the bulk of experience is earned through completing quest objectives, along with small bonuses for picking locks, disarming traps and reaching new areas. Killing non-Kith (monsters) gives experience for filling out the Bestiary, but this amount is capped.
  • Arc Words: "No sleep for the watcher", which first appeared in the teaser trailer.
  • Armor and Magic Don't Mix: 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 armor for defense.
  • Ass Shove: You can threaten a guard at a drug den with this if your Resolve is high enough.
    Watcher: [Resolve 14] Get out of my way or I'll break your sword in half and feed it to you at both ends.
  • Asshole Victim: 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.
  • Back from the Dead: If you kill Lord Raedric, he eventually comes back to life and will destroy Gilded Vale if you don't kill him again.
  • Bag of Holding: The "stash" section of the Player Inventory 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 Anti-Frustration Feature, the player can toggle an option that allows the Stash to be accessed from anywhere.
  • Big Bad: Thaos
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Kolsc ending for Gilded Vale, provided you defeat Raedric again once he rises as an undead. You save Gilded Vale from the undead Raedric, but you are too late to prevent Kolsc's death, leaving Gilded Vale without a leader. While the town begins to prosper, it also becomes a Wretched Hive of lawlessness and crime, but pretty much everyone in-story considers this to be leagues better than Raedric's psychotic tyranny.
  • Blade on a Stick: One-handed spears and two-handed pikes are available as weapons.
  • Blessed with Suck: The Godlikes are stuck with weird-ass heads that are impossible to hide, in exchange for being Touched by Vorlons in the womb. Even worse are the Death Godlikes, who are stated to commonly be killed at birth.
  • Bat out of Hell:
    • 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.
  • Black and Grey Morality: The conflict between Raedric and Kolsc. Raederic is The Caligula 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 Sanity Slippage 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 Sleazy Politician and Smug Snake 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.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: 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.
  • Body Surf: A rare non-fatal version - 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 in an insane asylum, with Flesh Constructs as guards?
    • He does it again 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.
  • Bond Creatures: Rangers and their animal companions have a shared pool of Health and Endurance.
  • Bonus Boss: A number of them in the Endless Paths. Most prominent among them is the Adra Dragon, the final boss of the dungeon, and the toughest boss in the game. Killing her allows you to loot its hoard of rare items, as well as enchant one set of armor to Superb quality.
  • Bonus Dungeon: 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.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: 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.
  • Brick Joke: After helping a young boy get a well-made dagger in Copperlane, the town crier in Ondra's Gift can shout about an "unfortunate mishap" where a young boy lost several fingers playing with a blade.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Many characters believe that Waidwen's Legacy is a divine punishment inflicted on Dyrwood for daring to kill the god Eothas. They're right about it being a result of killing Eothas. They're wrong about it being a divine punishment. Waidwen's Legacy was their divine reward for killing the only god keeping it from happening.
  • Call to Adventure: At the beginning of the game, the Player Character will witness a traumatic supernatural event that motivates them to embark on their adventure.
  • Capture And Replicate: In one side quest a woman asks you to deliver a divorce notice to her husband, who has been acting strangely towards her lately. If you investigate their home, you find out that he has been locked up in the attic for days, while a criminal mage assumed his appearance and used his home as a hub for his drug trade.
  • Cast from Hit Points: A couple spells and abilities will grant the characters some boosts in exchange for their endurance.
  • Cast from Lifespan: The makers of the Godhammer used their very souls to forge the weapon. Only one survived the explosion of the weapon: Durance. However, his soul now appears blurred, distorted from the sacrifice he made by forging the Godhammer, and also possibly caused by the explosion itself. The damage is so important that his own goddess doesn't recognize him.
  • Character Class System: The player classes are heavily influenced by Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Barbarian: Fight-loving brutes capable of going into Unstoppable Rage 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 Psychic Powers 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 Normals that focus on weapons combat, but are also capable of stealth and are frequently highly educated.
    • 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 Monks 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 armor, fight in close combat and have access to a large number of support spells.
    • Ranger: Nature Heroes 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 armor since gunpowder weapons can pierce their carefully prepared magical defenses. They also get a bonus to mechanics, though smaller than what Rogues get.
  • Character Customization: The players are able to select the name, sex, class, race (including sub-races), culture, traits, ability scores, portrait, and class-specific skills and talents for their characters at the beginning of the game. In the game, however, there are no equipment restrictions period
  • Climax Boss: Thaos. Notable since RPGs made by Obsidian usually allow the Final Boss to be talked down.
  • Combat, Diplomacy, Stealth: 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.
  • Covers Always Lie: 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, Edair underwent a few redesigns and eventually become Edér, and Forton was reworked into Zahua for the White March expansion. Cadegund is the only one ended up getting cut out entirely, although it's possible that she was reworked into Durance.
  • Crapsack World: 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, 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.
  • Critical Hit Class: The Rogues specialize in dealing critical hits and even have a passive ability called Dirty Fighting, which automatically turns every tenth hit they land into a crit.
  • Cyanide Pill: At one point, you can expose a bunch of criminals performing certain very illegal theater performances in front of noble patrons. The main patron, when confronted about it (whether by you or by the police) takes poison and drops dead.
  • Darker and Edgier: 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: Torment).
  • Deal with the Devil: Right before the ending, Skaen, one of the crueler gods, can contact you and makes you a deal on behalf of Woedica: carry out Thaos's plan to give the souls of the hollowborn to Woedica and the Queen that Was will make you her Favored with all of the perks that entails.
  • Deus Est Machina: 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.
  • Design It Yourself Equipment: Through enchanting, you can make any weapon or armor (except helms) have up to 12 "quality-level" buffs (some enhancements are up to 4 QL).
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything:
    • You will get a special ending slide if you finish the game with 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.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Depending on which god's favor you ask for in order to enter Sun in Shadow, you can potentially spite them by reneging your agreement with them. The gods don't take this sitting down though, trading the souls gathered for the lives of the living. Slighting Hylia has her make a bargain with Berath, afterwards sending all sorts of avian creatures to attack Dyrwood. Slighting Berath causes him to send his Pallid Knight to personally collect his due, slaying travelers and causing the elderly to randomly drop dead. Slighting Galawain has him, Magran, and Abydon raze the countryside. Galawain sends out legions of beasts, Magran causes a wave of dry weather bad enough to cause forest fires, and Abydon causes soul constructs across Dyrwood to go rogue and cause massacres. Slighting Rymrgand has him send severe cold fronts upon Dyrwood, destroying the year's harvests and causing a deep enough winter that those who did survive the famine end up dying from hypothermia, and Ondra to cause the coasts to be even more dangerous than usual.
  • Double Entendre: 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.
  • Driven to Madness: All Watchers are in danger of this, particularly when they begin to recall their past lives. 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.
    • 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 GOG.com, and the hardcopy doesn't have DRM unless the owner chooses to register it with Steam.
  • Dungeon Bypass: Deconstructed by the Endless Paths of Caed Nua. On level 2, there's a scripted interaction lets you use a rope to skip directly to level 5. The problem, however, is that doing so brings you face to face with a boss-level drake and you cannot take the same way back up, so if you somehow manage to survive the encounter, you now have to fight your way back upstairs through all the monsters you hoped to skip.
  • Early Game Hell: While the game is more forgiving than the original Baldur's Gate, 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).
  • Elemental Crafting: All tiers of armor are designed to be useful in different situations.
  • Elves Versus Dwarves: 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.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: If you kill the ruthless gangster Danna Doemenel, her fiance will try to kill you if you come across him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In Twin Elms, the chief of the Three-Tusk Stelgaer - the most warlike of the tribes - 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.
  • Expansion Pack: The devs have began development for a large expansion, The White March, which they compared to Tales of the Sword Coast in terms of scope. While it will be available to buy as a single product, it will be released in two parts so that they can get it released faster.
  • Eyeless Face: 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.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Already a few examples:
    • Boreal Dwarves have obvious similarities to the Inuit.
    • The Vailian Republics closely resemble Renaissance Italy. Naming convictions are explicitly Italian, French, Occitan, and Catalan in origin.
    • The Aedyr Empire seems to have overtones of an Ancient Grome flavor, with names being Anglo-Saxon Old English, Old Frisian, Icelandic, and Scots in origin.
    • The Ixamitl Plains have Nahuatl aesthetics and naming convictions.
    • The Rauatai Gulf is very Maori in origin.
  • Fantastic Nuke: The Godhammer, the weapon instrumental in ending the Saint's War by killing the god Eothas' avatar, and Eothas with him.
  • Fantastic Racism: Against the godlike because they're not very well-understood, and against Orlans because of their animalistic appearance.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Averted. Three standard varieties of firearms are found in the game - pistols, blunderbusses and arquebuses. They do a lot of damage and can ignore magical protections, but have a very slow firing rate. Gunpowder weapons are also strongly associated with the church of Magran, goddess of fire and war, and your party member Durance, a Magranite priest, believes that Magran gave mankind gunpowder to put Muggles and mages on equal footing.
  • Fantasy Pantheon: 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.
  • The Fellowship Has Ended: The Modular Epilogue implies that after Thaos is defeated and Waidwen's Legacy cured, the Watcher's companions drift apart to continue on with their own lives.
  • Final Boss Preview: Your first vision describes the final chamber of the final dungeon: Sun in Shadow.
  • Final Death Mode: In the Expert mode, when characters die (have their Health reduced to 0) in combat, they are gone for good.
  • First Episode Spoiler: The main bad guy refers to 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.
  • Fish People: The Aumaua, a race of humanoids with fish-like attributes.
  • Flat Character: Zig-Zagged - custom-built companions from the Hall of Adventurers don't have any dialogue or sidequests the way the pre-generated companions will, but they are as fully customizable as the Player Character, allowing the player to create their entire party from scratch.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: 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 that the local ruler's wife gave birth to a Hollowborn, and he killed her, having gone mad with grief.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The player can recruit eight companions, and two of each has one of the four temperaments. Kana and Hiravias are Sanguine, Durance and Pallegina are Choleric, Aloth and the Grieving Mother are Melancholic, and Eder and Sagani are Phlematic. Aloth's Literal Split Personality Iselmyr is more Choleric.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: 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 here. Overall though, the game is far more stable than some of Obsidian's other efforts.
  • Game Mod: The game will allow modding by the community.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Stats, classes, skill levels, backgrounds, sex, even equipped weapons, gives the players enough options to tackle the Choose Your Own Adventure 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).
  • Gold–Silver–Copper Standard: Played with. You can loot various gold, silver, and copper coins minted by the different states found in the setting, even finding rare adra coins. For the sake of simplicity, they're all converted to Dyrwoodan Coppers, with each coin having an appropriate conversion value.
  • Genius Loci: 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.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: 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.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Inverted near the end of Act 3 during a Soul flashback - the player can admit that 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!
  • Harder Than Hard: The Path of the Damned mode removes all Level Scaling limitations (in other words: you get maxed out enemies regardless of your level) and cranks up the combat mechanics. And then there's the Triple Crown Solo achievement, in which you must complete the game on Expert difficulty with Trial of Iron and Path of the Damned activated without the help of any companions. Understandably, the picture for the achievement is J.E. Sawyer with a smug smile on his face.
  • Have You Seen My God?: In the wake of multiple wars of religion, the ancient Engwithans 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.
  • Healer Signs On Early: 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.
  • Healing Magic Is the Hardest: 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.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: In the Skaen ending, you take Thaos's place as the Favored of Woedica.
  • Hobbits: Orlans are a blend of this and gnomes 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.
  • Hypocritical Humor: 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.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: 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.
  • Item Crafting: Stretching from brewing potions to enchanting weaponry.
  • Joke Item: The Disappointer. Unenchanted, the gun comes with the "terrible" trait and its lore caption jokes about how the gun is genuinely terrible for people hoping that the gun is secretly a Lethal Joke Item. To drive the point home, you can find the gun after slogging through pain and hardship at Endless Path of Od Nua. But for those with a keen eye, you can snatch one as early as the area you start the game in.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: 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.
  • Late Character Syndrome: Averted. The player meets all recruitable companions in the first half of the game.
  • Left-Justified Fantasy Map: 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.
  • Light Is Not Good: 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 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.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Just like the games that inspired it, mage classes like the Wizard, Druid, and Priest start off fairly weak. While they have access to powerful spells right from the get-go, they have so precious few casts per rest that they spend most battles either hiding in the back or throwing normal attacks while the more physically-oriented classes do most of the work. While they do gain better spells and more casts per rest over time, they get a massive boost of power at level 9. Their level 1 spells become per encounter, letting Wizards, Druids, and Priests throw their spells around with impunity every fight. And at level 11, the same thing happens to their second level spells.
  • Long Game: The Big Bad is a master of this, as his soul reincarnates fully Awakened, allowing him to put plans into motion that take hundreds of years to reach fruition.
  • Lost Forever: Any sidequest that requires you to visit the Sanitarium can't be completed after it is burned down during the end of Act II. Similarly, any sidequest that requires the help of Dynryd Row can't be completed after Thaos wipes them out.
  • Loyal Animal Companion: 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.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: In another nod to Infinity Engine nostalgia, any enemy killed by a crit will have their sprite explode into meaty chunks.
  • Marathon Level: 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.
  • Mauve Shirt: Heodan and Calisca get some characterization, and even some plot hooks, but both will still die after the Watcher witnesses the ritual by the ruins.
  • Medieval Stasis: 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.
    • 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.
  • Meaningful Name: Pillars of Eternity refer to the Adra stones, which somehow possess the essence of the gods.
  • Multi-Platform: Initially for Windows, stretch goals added Mac OS and Linux versions. Also distributed via three separate services, Steam, Origin, and GOG.com.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: 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.
  • Multiple Endings: Your choices throughout the game will shape the fate of the Dyrwood, from your companions to entire cities. 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.
  • Multiple Life Bars: Each character has the Endurance bar and the Health bar. Endurance is depleted and recovered rapidly in combat and results in a Non-Lethal K.O. when depleted. Health is lost more slowly but having it hit 0 leads to either a permanent injury or the Final Death (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.
  • Multiple Persuasion Modes: 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 classic Wisdom and Charisma, mainly opens the Charm options), but also Intellect (Convince options), Perception (noticing lies), and sometimes even Might (Intimidate options). Additionally, towards the end of Act II, it becomes possible to draw upon 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).
  • Mythology Gag: One pet is a Miniature Giant Space Piglet. Unlike Boo however, the piglet actually does look like it's made of the cosmos.
  • Necromancer: Necromancers aren't universally viewed as evil (except by some fringe groups) but aren't commonplace, either.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Durance muses that maybe Eothas waged the war to prevent Woedica's plot. If that is true, the Hollowborn epidemic was indeed caused by killing Eothas, not as divine punishment, but because of the destruction of the only thing that was trying to prevent it.
  • Non-Lethal K.O.: 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 Critical Existence Failure. You have to take at least four times as much damage as would knock you down (bar healing) to actually die.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: 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 without gaining a god's favor you die.
  • Only in It for the Money: Goldpact paladins have this as their core philosophy, seeing payment as a binding contract. However, they are known for being professional and non-judgmental.
  • Opening the Sandbox: 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.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: 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.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: 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. You can meet one in a cave near Dyrwood and hire him to look after your keep.
  • Our Souls Are Different: 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.
  • Party of Representatives: The party members are said to "cover a good range of culture and religion and factions in the game". Your companions happen to be: an elven wizard nobleman, a war veteran who follows a dead god, the majorly politically incorrect priest responsible for killing said god, an Orlan druid with a very dirty sense of humor, a young naive Aumauan chanter, a cipher midwife who's set up a Perception Filter on herself, a Vailian avian Godlike paladin tired of political intrigue, and a boreal dwarf ranger searching for the reincarnation of her village's previous elder.
  • Physical God: 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.
  • Physical Religion: 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. 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.
  • Player Headquarters: 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 Item Crafting, 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.
  • Player Inventory: 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 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.
  • Player Party: The player group consists of up to five (optional) companions at any time in addition to the main Player Character, for a total of six.
  • Point-and-Click Map: 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, presumably to prevent anyone from learning the truth behind the origin of the gods.
  • Real Time Weapon Change: Characters can switch between several different weapon sets in combat.
  • Real Time with Pause: 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 Themes of the game.
  • Relationship Values: Two forms.
    • The game eschews individual Influence stats a la Obsidian's earlier titles Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords and Neverwinter Nights 2. Instead, much like their BioWare predecessors, your companions will open up to you and share more stories as you travel with them.
    • The Disposition stat is a variant, essentially a measure of the Watcher's personality traits. This affects some interactions with NPCs. It's also a key stat for paladins, whose powers are either improved or penalized by certain Dispositions, depending on the chivalric order chosen at character creation: for example, a Shieldbearer of St. Elcga will benefit from Diplomatic and Honest, and take penalties for Aggressive and Cruel.
  • Samus Is a Girl: According to Aloth, the split personality in his head with the reckless and uncouth demeanor is a woman named Iselmyr.
  • Save Game Limits: 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.
  • Scenery Porn: 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.
  • Sea Monster: 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.
  • Seen It All: 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.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: Almost all of the companion quests end this way, although most result in some related character development that can be directed by the player.
    • Hell, very few things, both in the main quest and in the side quests, end completely well. At the most, all you can get is a Bitter Sweet Ending with emphasis on bitter.
    • The prologue does a good job of showing how this will be commonplace. You're given two companions, the timid, sickly rogue Heaudmon and the jaded, selfish fighter Caelisca. There is at least half a dozen ways either of them can die throughout the prologue, and the only way to keep both alive to the end of the prologue requires passing both a Lore check and a Dexterity check that are abnormally steep for the beginning of the game. And your reward for keeping them both alive? Watching them get brutally murdered by Thaos while you're completely helpless to do anything to save them.
  • Shared Life Meter: 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 Damage Reduction to make up for their lack of armor.
  • Shout-Out: An inn in Gilded Vale is named "The Black Hound," which was the possible title of Baldur's Gate 3. You can even get the in-game namesake black hound as a pet.
    • A narrator encourages you to 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! 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 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 baby Vela into your stash indefinitely, likely a nod to Throne of Bhaal's inventory baby. Having her in your inventory when you finish the game actually changes the ending narrative!
    • If you sided against Danna in At All Costs, an angry noble will confront you about killing his fiance. One possible response?
  • Skill Scores and Perks: 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 Attributes in dialogue and scripted interactions. Abilities are class-specific perks that can be taken at every odd Character Level, 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 rewards for completing certain side quests.
  • Snuff Film: 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.
  • The Soulless: 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.
  • Spiders Are Scary: Vithrack are spiders that are humanoid magic uses, that use their silk to make robes for themselves.
  • Spiritual Successor: Eternity channels several Role Playing Games from the Obsidian developers' past, including Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, and Planescape: Torment. Much of the original Torment team worked on this.
  • Squishy Wizard: 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.
  • Sterility Plague: 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.
  • Sturgeon's Law: The quality of the vignettes for the backer-written NPCs varies. There's some legitimately interesting gems to be found, but a significant percentage are pretty cookie-cutter: unstoppable badasses, perfectly cunning rogues, et cetera.
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Both of Aloth's endings are like this. Steering him towards authority causes him to take Thaos' place as grandmaster of the Leaden Key. Steering him towards independence causes him to destroy Thaos' garments and use his knowledge of the Leaden Key in order to permanently destroy the group by himself.
  • Touched by Vorlons: Members of the Godlike player race were blessed before birth by one or more deities.
  • Trauma Conga Line: The PC goes through this for the first hour or two of the game, not including their (customized) Back Story. 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.
  • The Undead: 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 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:
    • Fampyries are the most-recently alive. They are really no different from a normal person aside from 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 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.
    • 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.
  • Vestigial Empire: 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 several states struggling for dominance in the old heartland as well as a powerful federation of independent city-states in the old colonies, 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.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: 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, 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: 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.
  • Villain Decay: 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.
  • Villain Has a Point: 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. 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.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: The druid class has the ability to shapeshift into various animal forms at will, such as giant humanoid cats.
    • Galawain, as well.
  • War God: Magran, who pulls double duty as goddess of fire and whose priests are known to employ firearms and explosives.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist:
    • 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 raping and impregnating his niece but using even more horrible method to achieve it (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, Snake Oil Salesman, 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. 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.
  • World of Snark: While the frequency varies, with Hirvias and Edér being the true standouts, every non-generic party member (save for 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.
  • Wretched Hive:
    • 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
    • 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.
  • You ALL Share My Story: Before the Final Battle, the Big Bad claims that the only reason the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits follows the Watcher is that none of them has a purpose in life and tries to Break Them by Talking to weaken their resolve.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: The Watcher gains ownership of Caed Nua by killing its current lord.
  • You Will Not Evade Me: 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.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: 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.

Alternative Title(s):

Project Eternity