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I just picked up Dark Souls and it looks like I can either stay in "hollow" form or become "human" by using a special item that I gained after defeating a boss. But from googling a bit and finding only ways to obtain it, I couldn't find any clear information on what it actually does. I also found that bonfires have an option to "kindle" them, but that requires humanity.

What effects does "humanity" have on me? And what about kindling bonfires with it?

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When you are human, you gain the following benefits:

  • Ability to summon phantoms (essentially co-op play)
  • Ability to invade other worlds (PvP) and be invaded in turn.
  • Ability to kindle bonfires, increasing the amount of Estus Flask charges it restores.

Note that this is different from "holding humanity". In the upper-left corner of your HUD, there should be a number. This number determines how much "hold humanity" you have. If you choose to be human, you subtract one "hold humanity" and turn human. Holding humanity has its own effects. You do not have to be human to enjoy these benefits (you can be undead).

  • Increased resistance to status effects (poison, bleed, etc.)
  • Curse resistance. Unlike other status effects (bleed, poison), curse resistance can only be increased through wearing certain armors, rings, or gaining humanity.
  • Increased item drop rates (drop rates increase as you gain more and more humanity)
  • Increase damage dealt by Chaos weapons, scales to humanity.
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  • Does it make difference if I have the same number of held humanity in hollow and in human form? Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 7:58
  • If you're talking about the held humanity benefits, it doesn't matter whether you're Hollow or human. Those bonuses are derived strictly from held humanity, no other modifiers.
    – Yuuki
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 8:11
  • So if I'm playing offline single-player, it's not worth spending one humanity point to become human at bonfire? Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 8:18
  • Then you miss out on summoning NPC phantoms, mostly at boss fights.
    – kasoban
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 8:29
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    @user1306322: Kindling a bonfire increases the number of charges you get on your Estus Flask when you rest at it. Most bonfires start out giving you up to 5 charges. Kindling a bonfire once will increase this to 10. Once you obtain the Rite of Kindling you can kindle twice more to get 15 then 20 charges. Some bonfires (like the one at Firelink Shrine) are pre-kindled and give you 10 by default.
    – hammar
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 8:44

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