Great Sacrifice is a Dark based skill available in Dragon's Dogma.


"An advanced form of Sacrificial Bolt that boasts greater destructive power and slows time further while aiming."

A more powerful form of Sacrificial Bolt that returns a pawn to the rift in exchange for a magickal bolt of great destructive power. Both damage and blast radius are greatly increased.


For the spell to be cast the Arisen must have at least one pawn in their party to sacrifice. After a relatively long incantation a randomly selected pawn dies and returned to the Rift - their 'life force' is transferred to the bolt which can then be fired.

Whilst the spell is fully incanted and charged, the Arisen's vision becomes monochrome and time slows, though the spell itself requires little or no stamina to cast. During the time-slowing effect, stamina depletes rapidly.

Releasing the spell fires a dark enchanted magic bolt of great power. If a foe was targeted with the spell the bolt will track them. The offensive damage is twofold:

  1. A directly-struck creature receives great dark magick damage, with a huge dark critical effect, as well as substantial knockback, with human sized creatures knocked back several meters. The power of the initial shot will also knock back the caster, too.
  2. The second effect is a massive damage blast of wide radius, which damages both the target, and any other creatures within range, as well as destroying any fragile objects in the near area. This blast is magickal in nature, but not focused in any of the elements.

If stamina is exhausted while the spell is being held time will return to its normal rate of passage.  The spell can still be cast, however, with no loss of power.

The sacrificed pawn is chosen randomly and immediately returned to the Rift. No rescue is possible; a Legion's Might staff, if equipped, will not resurrect the fallen pawn.


Both Sacrificial Bolt and Great Sacrifice create a dark element magickal arrow attack through the death of a pawn.

The ratio of damage from the initial bolt, and subsequent dark critical blast, is usually roughly 1:2. From Sacrificial Bolt to Great Sacrifice the damage increases by roughly 50%. Damage is very high regardless of the Arisen's magick. Increases in magick attack weakly increase damage done. The invigoration Magick Boosted (e.g. Demon's Periapt) will increase damage; physical attack boosts such as Conqueror's Periapt have no effect.

Only the initial strike seems to be imbued with the dark element, the subsequent blast does not seem to be affected much by dark element resistance. For example, direct damage against undead was much reduced compared to a foe of similar defence, whilst blast damage was lower, but not so much:

  • Against a Sulfur Saurian (MDEF 90, no dark resistance) the initial strike did around 12,000 damage and the blast 14,000
  • Against Undead (MDEF 95, 70% dark resistance) the initial strike did under 3,000 damage, and the blast around 11,000)

The damage done seems to be, in general, completely independent of the level of the pawn, and relatively independent of the magick attack strength of the caster - much of the power is focused from the ability to cast the spell in itself combined with the sacrifice of any pawn.

  • The scaling with magick is weak: for a ~50% increase in secondary weapon magick, damage was increased by under 5%.
  • For example: a Lv.75 Arisen with magic attack of ~500 did the same damage against an Ox with pawns at levels 1, 75, and 150. Under the same conditions damage done to a Cyclops was found to be unaffected by pawn level. Both creatures were killed in one shot under all conditions.
  • With a similar party, and Arisen of magick 300(500); a sneak attack on a Gorechimera (any head or body part) Sacrificial Bolt was able to kill the beast in one blow, doing around 130,000 HP of damage, regardless of the level of the pawn (1-150); when the Gorechimera was not aware of the attack the sneak attack bonus was lost and damage was around 65-70,0000 per shot, regardless of pawn level; it required two bolts to kill the creature under these conditions.

The blast radius of Sacrificial Bolt is wide, around 3m, much larger than that of Throwblast - Great Sacrifice has a massive blast radius, at least twice as big as that of its minor spell.

Creature damage

Both Sacrificial Bolt and Great Sacrifice have sufficient power to destroy in one shot all minor living creatures in Gransys. A few monsters show some resistance :

  • An armored Cyclops will be quite resistant until its helmet is removed, after which it is completely vulnerable to the bolt.
  • A bolt can remove all the heads of a Hydra, but the headless polysnake is resistant to further bolts. Once the heads have regrown a successive bolt will re-remove them.
  • Golems show fair resistance to the bolts.  A mid-level magick archer can very badly damage a Golem with three bolts, but may not be able to destroy it outright.
  • Lesser Dragonkin will have much of their health removed, or are killed outright.
  • Directly hit Ghosts will be left with 1 hit point of health left, even if the damage is enough to destroy them many times over. Furthermore, such a bolt absorbed will cause any nearby ghosts to become incorporeal, and so avoid damage. Oddly, if the bolt is directed to miss the ghosts, the secondary explosion will destroy all such creatures nearby.

Occasionally a powerful creature will resist much of the effect of the bolt, such creatures including those with strong dark resistance, such as a Wight, Hydra and Gorechimera


  • If no pawns are present the spell will still be incanted, but attempts to fire a bolt fail.
  • The initial release of the spell bolt causes some knock back to the caster (Arisen) - be cautious using this spell in elevated places as the knockback is sufficient to cause the user to be forced off a ledge for a nasty fall.
  • Hired pawns are sent back to their own Arisen with a 3/3/3 review, no gift and no message.
  • Since this attack is imbued with the Dark element, be aware of this when facing with enemies that are resistant to Dark, such as the Ur-Dragon.
    • However, since only the direct bolt (and not the subsequent explosion) seems to be purely dark damage, it is important to gain a direct hit only when trying exploit elemental weaknesses.
  • It is possible to cancel the attack before the spell fully charges, but once the spell is fully charged, a pawn will be sacrificed regardless of whether the arrow is fired or not. Additionally, being staggered or knocked down in this state will interrupt the spell, preventing it from being cast.
  • Stamina depletion can be mitigated by eating or drinking stamina restoratives, similar to the method used with the Sorcerer spell Exequy.
    • Alternatively, stamina depletion can be halted by imbibing Liquid Vim.  Since time is slowed, the potion will appear to have an unusually long duration of effect.
    • If stamina depletes entirely the monochrome world view will end, and normal color vision is returned; however if stamina restoratives are taken afterwards (but before the bolt is released) time will once again slow as long as the caster has stamina though the monochrome visual effect will not return.
  • This skill has a very wide blast radius and is one of the more powerful skills in the game. Damage is typically between ten and thirty thousand health per foe - this is roughly comparable to the damage from Great Gamble.
  • The blast will damage and destroy Golem discs.
    • If a specific disc is targeted it may not receive the majority of the damage - discs in the general blast radius are affected.
    • The 'physical' component of the spell appears small - for example a Sacrificial Bolt against a Drake's heart removed 4 health bars, and then Drake was easily vanquished with three bolts; in comparison 3 bolts of similar power against a golem destroyed some discs, but the creature's overall health was still over 50%.
    • It is likely that there is no physical component to the spell and the damage on usually magick resistant golems is from the power of the spell exceeding the magick defense of the golem (around 10,000).
  • Has no effect against Death
  • Usually a 'battle cinematic' plays when the pawn is sacrificed, with the viewpoint swinging round to show the death throes of the pawn.  A purple bead of life force then must travel from the pawn to the magick bow before the spell can be released. If the pawn is not within close view, such as behind a door, or round a corner this cinematic will not play, and the bolt can be fire immediately on completion of the spell induction period.
  • The augment Tenacity does not save pawns from death when sacrificed.
  • A glitch allows the world view to be semi-permanently switched to monochrome using this spell.  For more details see : Screenshots
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