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Divinity Original Sin is an old-school cRPG with new ideas & modern execution, will release this year. Funded by fantastic backers!
Divinity Original Sin is an old-school cRPG with new ideas & modern execution, will release this year. Funded by fantastic backers!
19,541 backers pledged $944,282 to help bring this project to life.

Kirill's Surprise, Character Stats, Sources of Inspiration, Dragon Commander footage, Fanday

Posted by Larian Studios LLC (Creator)
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Kirill’s Surprise

In this video, Swen has a short interview with Kirill Pokrovsky, our composer. At the end, he even has a surprise for everybody! Mark the date - thursday, april 18th!

Character Stats

People have been asking about character customization. We will post information about equipment and skills later on. This update will focus on character stats only. Before you read on, please realize that these things tend to change a lot during the process of building the game. We tweak the formulas and the balancing constantly, and the way we programmed and organized this, allows us to make big changes. (Data driven and relative values are the keywords here.) So what follows is the current implementation.

But so yeah, stats. That’s actually a long story. Just so you know, we don’t come up with "a stat system" overnight. At first, we started out with something very, very similar to Divine Divinity. Without implementing it, we realized it wouldn’t work well in a turn-based combat game. We considered the Beyond Divinity stat system, because Beyond Divinity started out as a turn-based game (the publisher decided against that back in the day). Breaking that down, we again had to let go of that idea because it had been changed too much to reflect the real-time combat system Beyond Divinity ended up with.

So this quickly became the tale of how a programmer, a designer, a producer and a CEO set out to each make their own stat proposal. Hearing them one by one, you could feel where each of them was coming from: the mathematical background, the creative approach, the realistic/empirical method...

One of us actually wrote a four-page study about how "realistic fighting" actually works. Part of it looked like this:

When I try to hit someone:

  • the more skilful I am with my weapon, the more chance I have to hit
  • the more skilful I am with my weapon, the more damage I will do
  • strength can determine the damage of some weapons (e.g. a crossbow does not benefit from strength, but a having a bigger draw weight has an effect on a normal bow)
  • strength can determine the range of some weapons (e.g. the stronger you are, the higher the draw weight of your bow can be, which means that your arrow can go a greater distance)
  • strength can determine the chance of a normal bow hitting the target because the bowman can draw longer and hold steady longer for better aim
  • the better my motor skills, the more chance I have to hit and the more damage I can inflict (e.g. having a good aim is having efficient motor skills)
  • if I am wearing a shield, I am often less free to do with my weapon what I want (even a simple one handed sword benefits from the freedom of not carrying a shield and having a second free hand)
  • ...

And it went on like that, and we started to wonder what this guy does during the weekend... But it became clear that being too realistic would make it a very complex system. Not only to balance it, but also towards the player. And this proposal also only took into account that you were going to fight, and that’s a very limited stat system for a game where a lot more is going on than just fighting.

On the other hand, this breakdown wasn’t that bad of a read because we all agreed that a stat and combat system have to make sense, and be logical.

Sitting together and talking about all of our ideas, we learned where everyone was coming from. So, still on paper, the first stat system we came up with was called SPAM, which was an acronym for Strength, Presence, Accuracy and Mind. After trying it out (still not in game, we were actually building characters on paper, and rolling dice when fighting monsters, persuading characters, picking locks...), we noticed everyone was putting a lot of points in the Presence stat, because that stat was really carrying too much weight. And back to the drawing board we went. A couple of times.

Through trial and error, and discussion, we ended up with the following character stats, and we implemented them in such a way that it is easy to change the values, the rules and the formulas. We have already changed it often, and even added stats, simply by reading our forum (and other forums) and by playing the game.

We know there are nuts here (on Kickstarter, on internet, and at Larian Studios) that love stat discussions, so don’t hold back! (The names of these stats are programmer names, and may still change. Well, anything is open for discussion and balancing, really.) 

Also take into account that skills play a big role as well. We’ll tell you more about those later. And hopefully we'll also make the 650K stretch goal, because then we'll be able to add talents and personal traits to the system, which will make it pretty cool.

The NPCs have the same stats and formulas as the player. One level makes a big difference: they have more hitpoints, do more damage, and are generally harder to hit. But it’s still doable if you know what you’re doing.

As the hero, you start the game with 5 points in every stat, and you get 5 statpoints for customizing your character. Per level-up, you currently get 1 statpoint. But 1 statpoint makes a difference.

Items that have an impact on stats, have their positive and negative effects, so there are trade-offs that help building a character. There are items that support different types of character builds. We'll talk about items in a future update.

Stats are also used for saving throws against different effects. For instance, a high dexterity lowers your chance of falling down when walking over ice, and strength gives you a saving throw against being caught in a wall of ice (you can break through).

It doesn't take a genius to see that this guy's speed stat will be low. And that his armor will absorb a lot of damage. And to wield such an axe, he must be very strong. Other than the lack of speed, what will his weak spots be?


  • is a multiplier for your hitpoint bonus from constitution
  • is a multiplier for your mana bonus from intelligence

Primary stats


  • gives damage bonuses to attacks with melee weapons
  • defines how much weight you can carry
  • defines what items you can lift
  • defines how far you can throw items, depending on their weight
  • gives you a bonus to intimidation


  • gives damage bonuses to attacks with ranged weapons
  • gives you a higher chance of successfully picking locks and picking pockets
  • affects the "ideal range" of ranged weapons
  • lower chance of triggering traps, higher chance of disarming traps
  • better at repairing


  • determines your amount of mana
  • gives bonuses to magic (depending on the spell: damage, range, width of a cone, duration, how easy or hard the saving throw is...)
  • gives you a bonus to reasoning
  • helps you figure out NPC stats and resistances
  • helps you to identify unknown items
  • gives bonuses to mind resistance


  • determines your amount of hitpoints
  • gives you higher resistance against poison
  • gives you a bonus to charming


  • determines the distance you can walk with one action point
  • defines how good you are at dodging or evading attacks (defense rating)
  • gives bonuses to initiative
  • spend less action points when changing equipment or using items in combat


  • determines how much chance you have of successfully hitting an enemy (offense rating)
  • defines your sight and hearing which helps your enemy awareness (e.g. on the mini map)
  • helps with discovering traps and finding treasures and secrets

This fire demon is a formidable foe. He has a very high resistance to fire. So high even, that fire damage actually heals him. He can create lava surfaces from a distance. Even though his speed stat is pretty low, he is known to sometimes fly over the battlefield. When he runs out of mana, he has to come close to drive his claws through his enemies, dealing piercing damage, or uses his tail to sweep multiple enemies in one attack, dealing crushing damage with a chance of knockdown.

Secondary stats

Offense and defense
These are determined by your primary stat perception and speed. They can be boosted by magical equipment. When you attack someone, your offense rating is compared to your enemy’s defense rating. This determines how much chance you have of actually hitting him.

This stat is determined by your weapon or your spell, and gets a bonus from one of your primary stats. This can be boosted by well-made or magical equipment.

Critical chance and critical damage
These stats are determined by your weapon. They can be boosted by well-made or magical equipment.

When a hit is successful, armor absorbs part of the damage that was dealt. For instance, if you’re hit with 8 damage and you have armor 3, you only take 5 damage. If your armor rating is very high, it is possible to completely absorb all the damage that is dealt by a weak enemy. This stat is determined by your equipment and can be boosted with well-made or magical items.

Blocking chance

This is determined by the shield you are wearing, if you are wearing a shield. When a hit is successful, the shield gives you a chance of actually fully blocking the attack. Different shields obviously have different blocking chances.

This stat is determined by your constitution stat, and can be boosted with magical items. Hitpoints do not regenerate automatically, and can only be regained by healing, eating or resting.

This stat is determined by your intelligence stat, and can be boosted with magical items. Magic spells cost mana. Mana does not automatically regenerate and can only be regained by drinking potions, eating certain types of food, or resting.

Sight and hearing
These secondary stats are determined by your perception stat. They can be boosted by special or magical equipment. They define how far you can see (we have a shroud, and fog of war system), and how well your hearing is (so you can hear and even identify an NPC without being able to see him).

This stat is determined by your speed stat, and can be boosted with special or magical items. It gives you bonuses when combat starts and initiative is rolled.

This is determined by equipment bonuses only. Persuasion gives you bonuses when trying to intimidate, charm or reason with your party members or NPCs.

Walk speed
This stat is determined by your speed stat, and can be boosted with special or magical items. It determines how far you can walk with one action point in turn-based combat.

This stat can only be boosted with magical items. It’s the X factor of the game...

Poison resistance
Determined by your constitution stat. Poison resistance will absorb the damage poison would do every turn.

Fire, Water, Earth and Air resistances
Determined by magical items you are wearing. These absorb elemental damage.

Mind resistance
Determined by your intelligence stat, and magical items you are wearing. This helps against mind attacks (for instance fear).

Piercing, Slashing, Crushing resistances
Determined by the equipment you are wearing. These resistances absorb damage from physical attacks.

Which games influenced Divinity:Original Sin?

Our Russian friends at suggested that we post this video in one of our updates, because it clearly shows where we're getting some of our inspiration from. They asked Swen to give a rundown of his five most favourite games ever. There’s a couple of surprises in there. What's also surprising is how awake he looks in the video!

Dragon Commander livestream!

Today we did our first livestream ever together with the good folk at and  while we initially had some issues (you should skip the first 10 mins or so), it was a pretty cool experience because we could interact directly with the audience. If you pledged for the 65$ tier, you might want to check this out. If you didn't and are just thinking about it, definitely check it out, because Dragon Commander is the type of game that will take everybody by surprise.

Before you bombard us with messages, yes, we're going to be adding a Dragon Commander add-on option here. We wanted to do it today even but that didn't happen. Most likely it'll be the case tomorrow. 

Fan day dated

In yesterday's update, we announced a new add-on which allows you to get a fan day ticket. We neglected to mention the date though ;) So the Fan day will be on August 9th 2013 in Gent, Belgium, and start at 10:00 am in the morning, lasting the entire day and evening for those who want.

In Closing

If anybody wants to contribute to the stats, talents or personal traits discussion - go to our forums and drop us a message there. You are free to drop a note in the Kickstarter comments section, but there's a lot of traffic there and your suggestions might be lost.

You are btw only 300 likes away from having an extra Bellegar encounter in the game. See our previous update for more details, but for every 1000 likes above 1061 likes, we will add an extra Bellegar encounter to the game. We'll start preparing some rhymes ;)

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    1. Johannes Menzel Knudsen on

      MAybeI should read teh comments and on forum before I posted.
      I blame no sleep for the past 25 or so hours, a slightly bit tired. DIdn´t really occur to me to check it up and see if someone else alreadyhad asked. Sorry guyrs,
      Keep up the good work, it seems pretty awesome so far!.

    2. Johannes Menzel Knudsen on

      This is determined by equipment bonuses only. Persuasion gives you bonuses when trying to intimidate, charm or reason with your party members or NPCs.

      How am I thenb suposed to make the all talk no fight guy, or is it not fully suported in this game?

    3. Arhu on

      Thursday, April 18th! YEAH! Very much looking forward to it. I've had the opportunity to hear Kirill play the piano in a bar and he was *killing* it. A whole lot of fun improvisation. Soon all other guests were clapping and cheering along. It was madness. MADNESS I tell you!

    4. Pavel Stangel on

      Kirill Pokrovsky is a legend. His compositions for Divinity are pure bliss.Cannot wait for his new compositions in Original Sin and DC!

    5. Yuri on

      I wish I could run away from this Mordor known as Russia to some nice European country too. :)

    6. Joshua Aiken on

      Mind posting a link to that 4 page document on stats? Sounds like a decent read.

    7. Trevor Kies on

      charisma is definitely a dangerous stat in a game with the amount of npc's like Divinity original sin. And I respect your decision to not have a stat specifically aimed at NPC interaction. It will at times seem worthless and at other times seem like it is way over powered. That said my character's will more often than not have really toned bodies. XD

    8. Lera on

      One moment: it's, not ^^"

      Seems I should consider to play in some of old games I missed in old times)

    9. Missing avatar

      Godewijn on

      Really like the stats. Nothing wrong with charisma not being there imo, constitution needed the buff (imo).

      Also really like the game top 5!! Really agree with Ultima's taking top 2 positions (and with Civ V being not so good :p).

    10. Missing avatar

      Baudolino05 on

      Thanks for the endorsement, guys, and sorry for the gram. I wrote my previous post in a rush ;).

      PS: Ultima Ulderworld rules!

    11. Einherjar101 on

      Hey I realize this has probably been said before but i'd like to back the camp thats saying put some sort of charisma stat in there. I realize that you probably left it out for balancing issues but I really thing you should revise it and see you you can throw something at least similar to charisma into the stats.

      First of all it just doesn't make sense to me to have stuff like charm be completely depended on equipment. I mean I wouldn't argue that looking the part certainly helps but most of it comes from how you carry yourself and talk.
      Also the stats that are currently in place seem to be mostly combat oriented despite the talk at first saying that the game was more than just combat. I realize that some of the stats also contribute towards things outside of combat but those are very few.

      I actually like the idea mentioned below as well of having charisma or intimidate based of your reputation. So if you do good deeds and help people your charm is increased but if you do more evilish things your intimidate goes up.

    12. Avarchillion on

      Ultima Underworld is fine and dandy but where is Baldurs Gate? Come on! That game is definitively the best out there. ;-)

    13. Grey on


      Definitely in agreement to all of those points, especially how the reputation should be used instead of stats, it seems more realistic and much more personalization could stem from it. The same could be said about the weapons.

    14. Missing avatar

      Baudolino05 on

      @larian: Ok, guys, I think you have designed a functional system for the kind of game your are making, and that's the most important thing. It also looks like a good compromise between realism and functionality, and this's the second most important thing. A little bit of tuning won't hurt, anyway, so here are my suggestions:
      1) Do you really need mana and hit points multiplier? I never liked the way D&D handled character progression. It seems to me awkward and unnatural, especially in a classless system. Same goes for the additional stat point per level: do you really need it? Fixed stats add a lot to the roleplay in my opinion. And you can always use magical artifacts/poisons to artificially boost them after character creation.
      2) How about making intimidation and stuff like that dependent on reputation instead of strength and other stats? It would give players more room in character building...
      3) I understand weapons effects damage and critical chance, but not offense (magical bonus aside). How about give all weapons an attack bonus (or malus)? i.e., you could make a scimitar more precise (higher offense bonus) but less effective (lower damage) than a broadsword...
      4) Blocking chance seems to me a little be redundant. A simple defense bonus for shields could work the same, couldn't it?
      5) No starvation? Why on earth :D?

    15. Larian Studios LLC 2-time creator on

      Tom: what I know is that it consists of at least visiting the office, joining us for dinner, having drinks, picking our brains.


    16. JackDandy on

      Ultima Underworld really was the best. I played it like a little while back, I can't believe it was released before Wolf3D. It has so many cool bits that I didn't believe were available in games back then.

    17. Mihai Hornet on


      I second mana regeneration.

    18. Missing avatar

      Pedro de Zuviria Abbate on

      Personally, I really hope that you add mana regeneration to the game. The thing I hate the most about D&D-style games is how I need to run to a safe place to rest, cast all of my protective spells again, and run back every few encounters so my casters can keep actually doing stuff in fights. A reasonable rate of regen fixes that problem, and makes big fights less reliant on food and potions, which is a boring way to win boss fights, by just spamming healing and damage spells. With regen and no straight-up mana potions (increased regen only), you also solve that problem.

    19. Tom Vanassche on

      What will the fanday exactly entail? Will there be a chance to play the game? Will there be goodies? Maybe some competitions?

      Gent is only a 20 minute drive from where I live, so I'm very interested to get the fanday ticket "addon". But I need a little bit more information before I can put down the extra 150$ on top of the 180$+ pledge I've already made :)

    20. amazingscrewonhead - Werekiwi of Sin on

      @Jeremy I too like what Dark Souls did with character progression, stats and 'levelling'. making absolutely everything use the same currency (souls) was a grand idea. works so well.

    21. Missing avatar

      Jeremy on

      I'm not terribly impressed by the stats. I mean, they seem functional at a glance, but you haven't gone very far from D&D. You've added speed (which I guess D&D has rolled into dex) and replaced wisdom with Perception.

      I highly recommend looking at the new World of Darkness stats. They're kind of a lot more sensible than D&D.

      I'm concerned that levels-as-multipliers will result in a lot of "There's no practical way to win this fight. Exploit or level up," or a lot of "This bandit is a death machine, but this identical looking bandit is a push over."

      I rather like Dark Souls use of 'level', where it's just a count of how many times your stats have been increased. Doesn't do anything on its own. But hell, Dark Souls does a surprising amount of things right.

      Also I don't like the social things being tied to stats like this. I should be able to intimidate with different stats. Sure, a burly guy cracking his knuckles can be scary, but a wizard setting the ground on fire around you is also scary. So is a thief throwing a knife so it lands just next to your hand.

      Ideally you would have "Intimidate with strength" a separate option from "Intimidate with intelligence", and the effectiveness would depend both on the stat you pick and the situation. Charm could work with multiple stats too, but I'm not sure about reasoning.

    22. Tobi (Crusader Kickstarter pls!!) on

      yaaaaay, ultima VII! that's exactly what I am looking for in this game! i had so much fun with it!

    23. samseng813 on

      With so many stat, shouldn't we get 2 stats per level in order to be better in role playing?

    24. Roman - Jagged Weresheep of Sin on

      what no castle wolfenstein no fallout 2? )

    25. amazingscrewonhead - Werekiwi of Sin on

      sounds like an interesting system, though i'm still hoping you hit the traits and talents stretchgoal to make it that much more engaging as far as character roleplaying goes.

      just a small note. the forums link you have ^ at the end of the update leads to a 404 on the larian site. seems it needs a slash at the end of the url. ie.

    26. Missing avatar

      Reed on

      You mentioned that one level makes a big difference. As an open-world game, what are you doing to keep lower-level areas relevant? The Elder Scrolls games are known for level-scaling, and Dark Souls had a really mellow power curve. Are you taking one of those approaches, or do you have something else in mind?

    27. Taragon on

      ok, i thought it over, registered over on Larian website, came up with soemthing moderately better than what i post half an hour ago.... either remove the magic, ranged, melee bonuses from int, dex and str, or move the dialogue bonuses over to speed and perception. actually i think the second option, with having charm on speed, intimidate on constitution and reason on perception makes the most sense.

    28. Missing avatar

      Nolan Walker on

      Linear mitigation along with specific percentage based resistances is much more difficult to balance than a more simple system Larian, don't mess it up.

    29. Taragon on

      I believe theres a major flaw with the stat system as described. Strength and Intelligence give bonuses to dialogue options, but they also appear to be stats you stack or ignore based on your combat build; constitution being a stat everyone may need some of for survivability so not as ignorable/stackable. The problem is, if you want to play a melee character, it seems like youd be forced to do intimidate and incapable of reasoning? i dislike that from a roleplaying perspective. Also dexterity stackers wont be able to persuade at all? (then again, maybe they dont bother and just steal whatever they want). A possible fix, to not totally penalize people for wanting to fight in one way, but rp in a different could be to make the stats have benefits for regardless of your comabt style, like maybe int can effect the crit multiplier. personally i always like the agile roguey type playstyle, but looks like that one has extremely few RP bonuses

    30. erik on

      Kirill is AWESOME.

    31. The Old Farmer on

      Ultima Underworld all the way I can remember playing that for hours and hours too. Never finished but I had a pile of fun.

    32. LordCrash on

      Starcraft over C&C? NO WAY, SWEN.....that makes me cry..... ;)

    33. Missing avatar


      But... charisma?
      Otherwise, dwarves will get all the girls (and boys)! :O

    34. Larian Studios LLC 2-time creator on

      We had big audio issues in the the beginning - try going to minute 10 or so.

    35. Missing avatar

      Dragon on

      One thing not quite clear on, will dragon commander be just via gog, or will steam be an option? Much as I do appreciate gog's purity, steam is awfully convenient..

    36. twincast ~ Mangy WoOS-DOoD Mage

      Connecting Civ and hexes, huh? Ironic. ;)

    37. Ropya on

      Am I the only one having HORRIBLE audio issues with that link about Dragon Commander?

    38. Missing avatar

      Kein Zantezuken on

      So you decided to move critical chance to weapon? I'm not sure that is a good idea.

    39. Roman Lapin

      Definitely marking down the "mini-concert" date...

    40. Missing avatar

      Mars on

      Yeah, Ultima Underworld was great

    41. LordCrash on

      Nice update on the stats! Sounds good so far. :)

      And thank@ Kirill, I love your music. :)