Skills in Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire are covered on this page. Skills determine how good your character at certain tasks. Skills can be used outside of combat for a variety of purposes and they grant auxiliary combat bonuses. In Pillars of Eternity 2, there are 7 Active Skills and 9 Passive Skills. New Skills have been added to PoE 2 like Sleight of Hand, which facilitate emergent ways to complete quests, such as sneaking around to steal a key to progress a quest.
Alchemy deals with the natural and supernatural properties of plants, body parts, and gemstones. It affects the use of all drugs, poisons, and antidotes (generally increasing potency and duration of effect).
Arcana covers knowledge of all things magical that do not deal with metaphysics. In combat, it can be used to increase the power level of scrolls.
Adventuring is tiring work. In addition to the hazards of mortal combat, adventurers have walls to climb, rivers to cross, and pits to leap over.
Once per encounter, characters with Athletics can use the Second Wind ability to recover lost Health. A higher Athletics score increases the effect of Second Wind.
In conversations and scripted interactions, Athletics is used for physical feats like climbing, swimming, and jumping.
The Explosives skill covers the use of bombs, noisemakers, and similar devices. When throwing explosives, this skill is used to prevent unfortunate mishaps. The more powerful the explosive, the higher the risk.
Traps and locks can be a problem for even the toughest adventurers, draining their resources and maiming or killing those who are unfortunate enough to trigger an unseen floor plate. The Mechanics skill makes it easier to open locks and find and disable traps. Additionally, any character can use the Mechanics skill to place traps of their own. The higher the Mechanics skill, the more accurate the trap. In conversations and scripted interactions, Mechanics can be used to activate or disable a variety of machines.
Whether you want to lift a few coins from an unsuspecting mark or plant incriminating evidence (or worse) on an enemy, sleight of hand can get the job done without drawing suspicion.
Stealth allows characters of any class to attempt to avoid being seen or heard. It is used automatically whenever the character is in Stealth mode. The higher the character's skill, the closer they can get to enemies before being detected.
All but the most honest adventurers find it useful to stretch the truth on occasion. Unscrupulous denial, feigned ignorance, gross exaggeration, and bald-faced lying are all covered by this skill.
Diplomacy can be used to negotiate rational and reasonable resolutions to difficult situations. It stresses patience, respect, and sensitivity, and may therefore be despised by the rough edges of Eoran societies.
A broad skill, history covers the commonly-accepted narratives of Eora's civilizations and how they came to be. As this skill draws from many sources, a measure of folklore has been woven into many stories.
Conversations can be difficult to navigate. People may be evasive, lying, frightened, or preoccupied with other matters. Insight is used to empathize with someone and understand their underlying emotions and motivations.
Through physical imposition, raw intensity, and overt threats, Intimidate allows a character to leave onlookers shaken and cowed. Though not everyone responds well to intimidation, it can be used as an effective tool of persuasion.
A young field of knowledge, Metaphysics deals with animancy, adra, the Wheel, the In-Between, the Beyond, and all mysteries of the soul.
Religion covers both the theological concerns of Eora's various religions as well as popular beliefs, saint cults, and religious organizations in the world.
Streetwise covers the basic rules of survival one learns on the streets and back allies of major cities. It includes urban readiness as well as appropriate etiquette for dealing with unsavory types.
Survival can be used in conversations and scripted interactions that involve wilderness challenges or specialized information about nature.