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Rune symbols
LIGHTNING BASED
FIRE BASED HOLY BASED ICE BASED
DARK BASED
In the diagram: North is Lightning, West is Fire, East is Ice, South is Dark, with Holy in the center.

In Dragon's Dogma, spells and weapons either have or can be given elemental attributes. There are five elements: Fire, Lightning, Ice, Dark, and Holy.

These five elements are also known as and often referred to as the "Five Archmagicks".

Spells, enchantments, and equipment based on one of the archmagicks will indicate which realm they are in through the associated display of the relevant elemental attribute icon or rune symbol.

Overview

Three of the archmagicks (or elements) have secondary effects or debilitations associated with them.  These are: Fire - burning; Ice - frozen; Lightning - thundershock. The Holy element is associated with healing, as well as damaging all undead or re-animated creatures, whilst Dark attacks can inflict Critical Hits; Dark magick is generally associated with the infliction of debilitations.

Most spells except the core spells (such as Magick Bolt), and a few others (eg Ruinous Sigil) have a specific element associated with them, e.g., Fulmination is Lightning, Maelstrom is Dark, Gicel is Ice, Bolide is Fire, Seism is Holy.

Generally element only affects Magickal attacks.

Damage and Use in Battle

See also: Damage Calculation

Clever use of elemental effects can radically alter the course of a battle. An ill-equipped party without a wide elemental range can find itself in deep trouble, while the same fight's difficulty can be dramatically reduced if the correct element is utilized. Conversely, poor choice of enchantments caused by lack of knowledge can make even an easy battle difficult, and in some cases aid the enemy.

Elemental damage is a percentage modifier on magickal attack power. For example, if using Magick Bolt - if a target's relative elemental weakness to fire is 100% then a magickal attack power with that element does the same damage as an unenchanted magick bolt; but if the weakness is high, as with Undead, where it is 400%, then the attack power is quadrupled; similarly if the weakness is low, such as with Hobgoblins and dark magick (at 60%) then the spell power is reduced to three quarters of what it would be from a non-elemental magick attack.

The increases and decreases in spell power roughly correspond to changes in damage, and may cause much greater relative changes as the spell's power surpasses (or becomes less than) a foe's Magick Defense.

Secondary effects

See also: Elemental Debilitation

The secondary effects of attacks or spells based in one of the five Archmagicks such as certain debilitations and effects are not necessarily the same as their corresponding elemental attributes; an archmagick spell may inflict a non-archmagick physical debilitation.

For example:

The spell Comestion does Fire based damage and may inflict Burning, however only the initial spell damage is archmagick based. The Burning damage is Fire-based elemental damage, but is physical in basis. As such archmagick fire resistance provided by an item such as the Ring of Gules does not protect against Burning, but will mitigate some damage from Comestion. (Conversely the Rose Ring usually prevents burning but does not reduce damage from the spell itself)

Neutral magick and Non-archmagicks

Neutral Magick is magick not in any of the five archmagicks - it is produced from unechanted Magick Bolts, Focused Bolt, and Magick Agent - the damage of such attacks is not reduced by any Elemental Resistance. A few other spells may also produce neutral magick - one such is Great Sacrifice which initially strikes with a dark magick bolt, but an shockwave which follows lacks any element and is purely magickal.

Non-Archmagick (such as in the description of the augments Morbidity or Resistance) just refers to ways of inflicting debilitations without the use of magick - such as through creature bites, or melee attacks with special weapons or arrows. It is synonymous with Non-magickal.

The elements

Fire

FIRE BASED
Main article: Fire.

Fire magick and weapons have a chance to inflict a burning status on enemies, which gradually reduces health the longer the effect lasts. Enemies set ablaze may run away, begin to roll on the ground or grow frenzied.

Fire can also ground flying enemies if their wings begin to burn.

Ice

ICE BASED
Main article: Ice.

Particularly useful against cold-blooded enemies like Saurians, ice attacks have a chance to freeze opponents solid, preventing them from attacking or dodging incoming attacks. Enemies killed while frozen will shatter.

Ice can also encase the limbs of larger foes like Ogres or specific Dragonkin weak to Ice, rendering them temporarily blind if their head becomes encased, or impeding their movement if their chest or arms freeze.

Lightning

LIGHTNING BASED
Main article: Lightning.

(Also known as Thunder) May stun enemies - Cyclopes are easily stunned with lightning magick or weapons' enchantments. All physical and magickal attacks with a lightning element will occasionally chain to nearby enemies and objects for, a debilitation known as Thundershock - smaller creature's hit by thundershock are likely to be knocked down.

Dark

DARK BASED
Main article: Dark.

Weapons enchanted with the Dark element have a chance to cause Critical Hits.

Many enemies resist Dark-elemental attacks, including all Goblin variants and Undead. Only few enemies possess a weakness to Dark: Direwolves, The Dragon, Saurian Sages and Giant Saurian Sages, Sirens, Maneaters and the Dark Bishop. Despite this, some Dark-elemental attacks such as Maelstrom can still be effective even against Undead due to side effects such as the fall damage

Generally, Dark magick also often acts as a conduit to inflict Debilitations and other effects. Most or all debilitating spells are formally classed as Dark magick e.g., sleep (Sopor), torpor (Lassitude), blindness (Blearing), silence (Silentium). However resisting the effects of these spells is done by having resistance to the specific debilitation regardless of dark magick resistance.

Holy

HOLY BASED
Main article: Holy.

Holy attacks are especially potent against Undead enemies. Holy-elemental attacks also have a chance to heal the user for 10% of their Magick Defense stat.

The area of effect from curative and defensive Holy magick (Anodyne, Halidom, Spellscreen) will inflict Holy damage on the undead; this still has the chance to heal the user.

Very few enemies in the game are actively resistant to Holy, making it the most useful all-purpose element. Specifically Holy-resistant enemies are : Saurian Sages, Giant Saurian Sages, and the Dark Bishop (not his pet Cursed Dragon, however).

Foe resistances

Main article: List of Creature Elemental and Melee Resistances.

All Undead are weak to holy and resist dark, whilst non-skeletal undead are also weak to fire, and skeletons resist both lightning and ice, and fire to a less extent. Ghosts are generally immune to holy, strongly resistant to dark, and immune to the other elements.

Generally Goblins show mild resistance to dark; Saurian and Human resistances depend on the subspecies or vocation, with no general pattern.

Notes

  • The compass arrangement of element rune symbols is oft seen on magick shields, as well as elsewhere - the symbols themselves curiously mimic the English letter representing the points of the compass.
  • A few spells damage using neutral magick, despite being formally classed as being of one of the five archmagicks - a notable example is Miasma.
  • Golems and Metal Golems are totally resistant to all the five elements.

See also

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