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I've been experimenting with Alchemy in Skyrim, and I've noticed that I've acquired two distinct alchemical effects: "Damage Health" and "Ravage Health". They both cause instant poison damage, so what's the difference? Why do some ingredients give "Damage Health" while others give "Ravage Health instead?"

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I always thought ravage was just a stronger damage health? – Mr Smooth Nov 29 '11 at 7:49
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Ravage Health reduces your maximum HP. Damage Health deals damage.

You can test the effects on yourself with the following potions:

  • Red Mountain Flower + Void Salts (Fortify Stamina + Damage Health)
  • Eye of Saber Cat + Silverside Perch (Restore Stamina + Ravage Health)
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So Ravage Health has a duration, I assume? – Raven Dreamer Nov 29 '11 at 14:39
Correct, it's temporary, at least for the player. I'll have to test it on an enemy. The main advantage is that you can make a poison that deals both Damage and Ravage, for double effect. – Joe Dovahkiin Nov 29 '11 at 20:29
Ravage is also good for foiling regenerating enemies, such as trolls. – SevenSidedDie Nov 29 '11 at 20:51

I just tested it myself by combining a harmful effect with a good effect, allowing me to drink the poison. Ravage does not decrease maximum, but rather is a very, very strong DoT effect that lasts 10 seconds. I took something that ravaged magicka by 12 points, and I soon lost half my total mana as the timer counted down - I had 194 total mana. This effect wore off after 10 seconds and the good effects of the potion continued working. My maximum did not seem affected.

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are you sure that wasn't "lingering damage magicka" because that is exactly what it would do – Sahuagin Apr 5 '12 at 21:10

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