Every time you die in Dark Souls 2, your maximum HP decreases slightly, and it continues to decrease more and more after each death until your maximum HP is reduced to about 50% of its normal value. In addition, your character model becomes more and more decrepit ("Hollowed") as this penalty increases.

I was under the impression that by burning a Human Effigy at a bonfire (to "reverse Hollowing"), you would return to human form and regain your full HP pool. However, I burned a Human Effigy at a bonfire (specifically, the first one in The Lost Bastille), and I received a message that I was now protected against foreign invaders, but my maximum HP didn't change at all, and my character still looks as Hollowed as ever. It also meant that I had essentially wasted an Effigy, which I wasn't pleased about.

Is there something I'm doing wrong, or a faulty assumption I've made about how this works? What do I need to do to restore my HP pool?

2 Answers 2


In order to reverse the hollowing you need to use the Human Effigy (like you would use a lifegem), not burn it at a bonfire. This means you're able to use the item anywhere, and can save them for right before a difficult boss fight.

As of Patch 1.03, you'll regain a small portion of humanity for helping other players:

Players now receive a small portion of Humanity after successfully assisting in a Multiplayer session instead of regaining full Humanity.

Finally, there is a way to increase your maximum HP when Hollowed:

! The Binding Ring will ensure your maximum health can't go lower than 75% when hollowed. You find this ring in The Cathedral of Blue, right before entering the fog gate. It'll be in a chest to your left at the top of the drawbridge. If you are playing Scholar of the First Sin, then the earliest Binding Ring can be found in Heide's tower of flame right before the dragonrider boss fight, there is a Heide's Knight sitting in front of a chest, tackle him and you will receive the ring from opening the chest.

  • 1
    Yeah, I just figured that out for myself immediately after I posted this, in accordance with Murphy's Law of Stack Exchange. My previous experience with how reverse-Hollowing worked in the first Dark Souls is probably partially at fault for this confusion. Thanks for answering!
    – Cloudy
    Commented Mar 12, 2014 at 16:18
  • What's the purpose of burning the Human Effigy at the bonfire then? I suppose it must have some use if the game offers to do it..
    – Martin
    Commented Mar 12, 2014 at 17:13
  • 1
    @Martin It believe it prevents certain types of multiplayer interaction in that area for a certain amount of time. (Invasions, summoning signs, possibly things like Way of the Blue summons, etc)
    – Cloudy
    Commented Mar 12, 2014 at 17:25
  • @Wipqozn Ah, I'm pretty sure that happened to me at least once, but since it didn't happen every time, I started to think I was imagining things.
    – Cloudy
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 16:16

Turns out you can also reverse hollowing by assisting other players fighting bosses while using a White Soapstone. However it is not a 100% chance. It took 5 fights against the Old Dragonslayer to revive myself one time, and only one fight the next.

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