This page discusses the method of damage calculation used by Dragon's Dogma and Dragon's Dogma:Dark Arisen.


There are two types of damage in the game, physical and magickal. The two damage types never combine; they are separately and respectively applied and then defended, in turn, by the imposition of the character's or enemy's Defense (DEF) or Magick Defense (MDEF) stat. When attack power exceeds the target's DEF and/or MDEF thresholds, then the remaining points of damage are applied to, and reduce the target's Health (HP). When the victim's HP is exhausted, it dies.

The physical and magickal attack and defense stats of the Arisen and Pawns are viewable in the "status" screen from the 'Pause Menu.' The values shown incorporate the base value, plus modifiers from augments; a second higher value shows the value after weapons or armors are factored, or the loadout amount. The boosts or decreases from periapts, potions, or debilitations are not shown numerically, however if present the status effect is registered in the status effects sub-menu.

Each skill or core skill scales differently with strength or magick - simple attacks seems to scale better than powerful attacks, or attacks with high stagger or knockdown - so for example the core skill Onslaught increases in power faster with strength than Windmill Slash. High powered attacks such as Arc of Deliverance scale very poorly with strength.


All damage is increased when the target is in a non-optimal stance - these can included being grappled, asleep, or caught unawares ("out of battle stance").

Physical damage is modified by the type of attack - either blunt or slashing. Different Armor pieces have different slashing or blunt damage stats. Most weapons and/or physical attacks are either 100% blunt, or 100% slashing.

Archmagick (elemental) resistances and weaknesses affect magic damage, and, as with physical damage armor can have resistance (or weakness) to particular elements. There also exists "neutral" magick damage (generally only from unenchanted Magick Bolts and other staff Core Skills) which is unaffected by elemental resistances.

Other Effects

Main article: Debilitation

Spells and attacks with an elemental component may inflict a related Debilitation (e.g., ice may inflict frozen); there are also non-archmagick debilitations such as poison that may be inflicted as a result of special weapons, attacks, or spells.

An enemy with a debilitation may take additional damage as a result of it, or have its behavior altered, or make it more susceptible to damage from other attacks. For example, torpor slows, but curse weakens, whilst fire and poison add additional damage over time and may cause panic or disorientation.

The likelihood of these status effects being inflicted is based on the number of times the 'blow' strikes the victim, and further modified by the victim's resistances or weaknesses.

"Armour Break"

For attacks on weakly-defended or poorly-resistant enemies, an increase in either physical or magickal attack causes the related damage to increase roughly linearly with the stat's value.

For highly resistant enemies, such as a Drake, the monster's defense may almost completely block weaker attacks, and only the strongest attack cause significant damage.

For example, a low level fighter may do triple damage on an Ox using Blink Strike than with the light attack of Onslaught, but when attacking a drake, the low attack power of Onslaught may be too low to cause more than a few HP of damage, whilst the more powerful strike of the Blink Strike attack will do noticeable damage. Because the defense of a dragon is much greater than an ox both attacks will be relatively less, but the ratio of damage will be much higher, with the stronger attack doing 10x damage or more relative to the light attack.

For heavily-armored foes it may be necessary to rely upon the heaviest attacks to "break" the defense of the foe.

Certain skills have much greater attack strength and are certain to break any damage barrier, e.g., Warrior's Arc of Deliverance, or Ranger's Deathly Arrow.

In addition to using strong attacks in preference to lighter faster attacks, there are other tactics to break a strong enemy's defenses: increasing strength (or magic attack) is one way to break a strong defense, either by use of attack boosters such as Demon's Periapt, or augments (jumping attacks with Eminence), inflicting status effects or debilitations such as curse or sleep are also very effective at weakening defense.

Effect of skill used

The skill used to carry out an attack has a major effect on damage performance.  Not only do different skills do more or less damage, but the way the damage scales with strength also varies.

For example, a Fighter using the core skill Onslaught deals 50 base damage on the first hit, plus 100% of base and weapon strength. Blink Strike also scales at 100% of strength, but has 280 base damage instead. The skill Windmill Slash scales at a lower 75% multiplier for strength, and has lower base damage as well.

Periapts et al

Strength boosting periapts and potions (such as Conqueror's Periapt) multiply all physical damage being dealt by 120% per usage before the enemy's defense is subtracted. Up to four boosts can be stacked - different potions, skills, or spells giving a strength boost all work in the same way.

Magick boosting periapts (such as Demon's Periapt) boost magick power in the same way as Physical attack boosting periapts.

Weak points

Most enemies will also often have a specific physical vulnerability to exploit; many creatures take extra damage to the head; the Armored Cyclopes wear armor that mitigates almost all damage until destroyed, Saurians become much weaker when their tail is severed, and so on.

Damage Mitigation

Main article: Damage Reducing Augments

Certain augments reduce damage further after all other effects have been taken into account - they reduce either Magick or Physical damage, or both, and stack together additively.

Mixed physical and magickal attacks

Many magickal skills inflict both magickal damage, plus an additional physical component. For such spells the physical and magickal damages are calculated separately.

Such skills and spells include: the Mystic Knight's Magick Cannon, and Perilous Sigil; Sorcerer's Gicel, and Bolide; as well as physical attacks with enchanted weapons.

For spells, the physical component scales only with weapon strength, and not base strength; whilst conversly, for physical attacks with enchanted weapons only the magic of the weapon matters, not the wielder's core magick.


The calculations used to obtain damage are unknown. It is thought to be certain that physical and magick damage is calculated separately.

All factors mentioned above are incorporated into the damage calculation - however tests show that the damage from even a simple attack does not scale linearly with any single stat.

  • However, when an attacker is overpowered with respect to a specific creature's defenses it seems that damage behavior with respect to weapon strength becomes more linear, or approaches linearity.

Some attacks damage in separate stages - for example Ingle is calculated in two steps - the initial damage from the fireball striking, and then a second reduction from the small explosion after. This two stage can be seen in the Arisen's health gauge on screen.

Formula for Arisen and Pawn attacks

A damage formular has been suggested which shows some matches with real world data

Damagephysical = ( ( Score + (B x Sb x A) + (W x Sw x A) ) x I - DEF ) x BS
Where :
B = Base STR
W = Weapon STR
Score = Skill STR (depends on skill)
Sb = Base STR modifier (based on skill used)
Sw = Weapon STR modifier (based on skill used)
A = augment multiplier (eg 1.2x with Clout)
I = item buff multiplier
BS = Blunt/Slashing resistance modifier

For magick the suggested formula is very similar, but differs slightly  :

Damagemagic = ( Mcore + (M x Mb x A) + (W x Mw x A) ) x I X EW - MDEF
Where :
B = Base MAG
W = Weapon MAG
Mcore = Skill MAG (depends on skill)
Mb = Base MAG modifier (based on skill used)
Mw = Weapon MAG modifier (based on skill used)
A = augment multiplier (eg 1.2x with Acuity)
I = item buff multiplier
EW =Elemental weakness modifier

The difference is that with magick, elemental weaknesses can be exploited to "armor break" a foe, whilst with melee attacks blunt or slashing resistance only modify the 'final damage'

  • The damage formula is given at "Science" § Damage
  • A list of the factors per skill is given at Skill multiplier data
  • For Iraklis the attack multiplier acts like an augmnet (A) not a buff (I) - both magick and strength power are boosted

Formula for Foe Attacks

A completely different formula is used when calculating damage from attacks from foes and monsters on the Arisen and allies. It is thought to be :

Damage = Foe_Attack_Power x 100 / (DEFnaked + 0.5xDEFequipment + 100)
Damage Reducing Augments such as Autonomy or Inflection further post-reduce the calculated damage.

As such core defense is more (twice as) important than equipment defense. There are also diminishing returns from having higher defense - according to the equation the first 100 (or 200 of equipment defense) should half damage, but it takes a further 200 (or 400 of equipment defense) to reduce damage by a further quarter..

The same equation is used for both magick and melee attacks, but with the creature's magick or physical power used, and the Arisen's or ally's Defense or Magick Defense used depending on the nature of the attack. Elemental or Bludgeoning or Piercing Resistances (or weaknesses) reduce (or increase) the foe's attack power by a percentage related to the resistance.


For an Attack Power of 100, Damage vs. Defense :

Damage vs. Defense
Damage vs defense
Red line - : Arisen or Pawn damage. Blue line - : Creature damage
(graph via


  • If a creature has high defense in magick, and a weakness to physical attacks, or vice versa, use spells or attacks that target the foes weakness.
  • Exploit the enemy's elemental and other weaknesses.
  • Cooperation with pawns: encourage the use of grappling, suitable enchantment and item use.
  • There are a wide range of skills, items, and spells that can weaken or debilitate an enemy.


  • The second (cumulative) strength and magick values shown in the 'Stats' menu may be misleading as it shows the total of both core and weapon powers - however for physical attacks core magick does not factor, and for magic attacks core strength does not factor.
  • Damage done can be monitored by viewing the "total damage done" statistic in the menu - enter the pause menu, and select "History" >> "Adventure Log" >> "Player"
    • Damage to humans, including bandits, as well as pawns, is not included in the cumulative damage number.
  • Base strength and weapon stats are available in the status and equipment menus. Other factors such as creature defenses and weaknesses are not viewable, and must be learned through experience.
  • Magick Archer's Magick Bows are capable of delivering only magickal damage. All other weapons and weapon classes have the ability to deliver either mixed strength/magickal or strength damage, if only via a limited range of attacks.
  • Magick and Strength increases from worn equipment are added prior to multiplication by strength or magick boosting augments.
  • A player will only be able to determine exactly how powerful a pawn may be by reviewing its Rings while still in the Rift - when a pawn is reviewed in the Rift, base stats are not affected by Master Ring or Preceptor Rings with strength or magick boosts.
  • Knockdown does not necessarily cause foes to take increased damage - in general smaller foes do not take more damage, but some larger ones (including chimera and dragons) do.
  • Some numerical tests comparing with the formula given from the "Science" link above can be seen in the thread at Irakiss or Irakill (

See also

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