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Pacts with demons and infernal bargains


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I don't know yet if there's some kind of Infernal beings or demons or devils in Project Eternity setting, but even if there aren't, we still may have that quests, when we have to deal with sinister powers or cunning magical beings.

 

I suppose all familiar with NWN remember that part where you have to help a guy to win his soul back from the devil he made pact with. In that little quest you have to question both guy and the devil who came to claim his soul. Also, you have to read the contract and look for clues that may help you to declare it null and void.

That was a small quest, but could we have a big one? Like making a pact at the beginning and then suffering(enjoying?) the consequences later.

The possabilities for non-combat adventures are huge here.

 

More to that, for us evil folks the best would be additional option to side with the demon and lure someone to make a pact...of course with a profit for us)

Edited by Cultist
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Personally i'd like the entities dealt with to be inconceivable Lovecraftian horrors, gibbering truly alien things that a wizard may leech power from, but whose horrific presence corrupts their souls as surely as blood stains Lady MacBeths hands. Their entrance into physicality should be deeply disturbing, emanating waves of sickness and mutation as they drag impossible hideous forms forth from dark, desolate places. And even as the character beholds them, he should know that what he see's is only what his frail human mind can deal with, it's true form escapes perception for all but the strongest of Ciphers and madmen.

 

Be a bugger to code I expect though.

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I've always liked Faustian bargains in stories, and characters who take them. It doesn't necessarily have to be with the traditional demon though. I don't know if I'd take the option though since it turns out to be a bad deal the majority of the time, although I like the idea of a "good" guy selling his soul to have enough temporary power to defeat an evil power, knowing s/he's making a huge sacrifice doing so.

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Lovecraftian pacts tend to be more horrible and more intimate- like bringing loved ones back from the grave and such. And always have a back side. Like rising a decomposed zombie that'll scream at you "What have you done to me!?". In this case we have suffering in the process of completing the bargain, after it turns out to be something else from what you expected.

D&D devils is more...mundane. Money, a bit of luck, a little power. You'll mostly suffer at the end, when you have to pay the said price, but mostly the bargain will be fulfilled and delivered.

I, actually, prefer both, and in best case, we'll have both.

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YES! However, if we're going to have these type of quest, I hope Obsidian can implement something creative when challenging the PC to find loopholes in the contract.

 

Whilst I love these type of quest, I don't like how easy it was to find the loophole in the contract. Since the options of poking loopholes in the contract was all there, all I had to do was click, click, click. One way to do this quest would be:

 

***

 

1. Have the contract laid out and have some options of which type of clauses you want included. All clauses should be numbered.

2. When you're challenging the infernal contract, make it a parser based...

e.g. You wish to challenge the contract? Ok, TYPE IN the no. of the specific clause you which challenged...

3. What is the reason for challenging:

(a) ...

(b) ...

 

4. Objection noted. Any other clauses you would like to challenge. KEY IN the clause no...

5. What is the reason for challenging:

 

***

 

Something like this would avoid giving away too many clues via a multiple answer where it's just click, click, click and discover the answer via trial and error. Hope I make sense... :cat:

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Hell yeah, I love making pacts with demons. My favorite example is probably the time when my Grey Warden had sex with a desire demon in exchange for 10 year old Connor Guerrin's soul. My god Dragon Age: Origins was awesome.

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If something like this gets put into the game then an interesting aside would be to see how the PE's version of souls fitted into the traditional Faustian bargain.

 

After all if souls routinely fracture and if people in the world of PE routinely get reborn into another vessel after death, what value does the soul have to an infernal power?

 

Can they still place the soul into some sort of evil afterlife ? Would they still want souls?

 

Interesting to see how OBS tackles this.

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Personally i'd like the entities dealt with to be inconceivable Lovecraftian horrors, gibbering truly alien things that a wizard may leech power from, but whose horrific presence corrupts their souls as surely as blood stains Lady MacBeths hands. Their entrance into physicality should be deeply disturbing, emanating waves of sickness and mutation as they drag impossible hideous forms forth from dark, desolate places. And even as the character beholds them, he should know that what he see's is only what his frail human mind can deal with, it's true form escapes perception for all but the strongest of Ciphers and madmen.

 

Be a bugger to code I expect though.

I love this.

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Yes I also found the subplot in DA:O involving the demon to be refreshing and I feel it added a lot of detail to the otherworldly realms of DA:O. I believe Obsidian will do well to consider taking some lessons from that game and make PE even better. Instead of the often used 'got to save the world' why not start with a 'saving yourself' approach?

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Personally i'd like the entities dealt with to be inconceivable Lovecraftian horrors, gibbering truly alien things that a wizard may leech power from, but whose horrific presence corrupts their souls as surely as blood stains Lady MacBeths hands. Their entrance into physicality should be deeply disturbing, emanating waves of sickness and mutation as they drag impossible hideous forms forth from dark, desolate places. And even as the character beholds them, he should know that what he see's is only what his frail human mind can deal with, it's true form escapes perception for all but the strongest of Ciphers and madmen.

 

Be a bugger to code I expect though.

I love this.

 

I believe something along these lines were planned for the original Neverwinter Nights but somehow that fantastic idea got thrashed by the Publishers... :banghead:

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I hope there aren't any "demon" entities. Also because there shouldn't be D&D "good vs. evil" in PE anyway. :pThe contract trope is so old... lol

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Why just an "demon" character deal? Why not make a deal with a "Aasimar" or "Angelic" deal? A deal where you are forced to act a certain way in a critical situation or defining situation ingame? Where your deal makes it impossible to, say slay an enemy and that your mercy at this critical time comes back to haunt you as this person escapes and not only continues his evil ways, but reinforces them?

 

It need not even be demons but just vows given to "good" or "bad" churches, Princes etc. Where you are tested on your word and your honour and where there are advantages and disadvantages to both breaking your word and keeping it.

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Personally i'd like the entities dealt with to be inconceivable Lovecraftian horrors, gibbering truly alien things that a wizard may leech power from, but whose horrific presence corrupts their souls as surely as blood stains Lady MacBeths hands. Their entrance into physicality should be deeply disturbing, emanating waves of sickness and mutation as they drag impossible hideous forms forth from dark, desolate places. And even as the character beholds them, he should know that what he see's is only what his frail human mind can deal with, it's true form escapes perception for all but the strongest of Ciphers and madmen.

 

Be a bugger to code I expect though.

I would love a Lovecraftian bend such as this.

 

Old gods are used in a lot of stories, but rarely to the extent of Lovecraftian entities. Hell, I feel that "Old Gods" could be a trope in itself that Obsidian could tackle.

Edited by Nixl
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If something like this gets put into the game then an interesting aside would be to see how the PE's version of souls fitted into the traditional Faustian bargain.

 

After all if souls routinely fracture and if people in the world of PE routinely get reborn into another vessel after death, what value does the soul have to an infernal power?

 

Can they still place the soul into some sort of evil afterlife ? Would they still want souls?

 

Interesting to see how OBS tackles this.

 

Maybe the soul then belongs to the demon in all future iterations. The demon can call in the debt at any life-time in the future; which would really suck if the person was not aware of their past lives and was all, wait I did WHAT?!

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If we get a summoner sub class for mage, and/or a added function to the priest class which would add more value to them (since we cannot use them to heal anymore, they need to do something to make the class interesting). They have their own powerful being they worship, but that does not prevent them from making contact with other beings (although those in oposition to the priests religion might not show or act negatively), there might be priests that have no fixed being of worship but just acts as a way intermediate to all the beings to those who want to make contact with them.

 

I would like to see different powerful beings have different things they can offer. I want all the different type of beings, from demons, to gods, to incomprehensible ancient lovecraftian beings, to powerful spirits, to beings that defy understanding.

 

I do think each being should offer something, the smaller the request, the smaller the price, the higher the request, the higher the price. The soul could be collateral until the character completes its end of the bargain. If the character dies, they are the toys of the being in question, although they can try to bargain their soul back or offer an alternative payment ("hey, how about two of my companions souls to get mine back?")

 

What do people want? different things,

- a thief might worship the goddess of darkness and made a pact to the goddess of darkness, the character gained the ability to be turn invisible, create an area affect of darkness, create shadow minions to fight for her, etc. The character first started with a small invisibility request, in exchange, the character agreed to steal a queens diamond mirror from the castle (very hard) and donated it to the cult that worships her (one time payment), since she has never dealt with the cult before, she has basically no standing so she will not get the power till after she pays. Later, However, the thief has been having trouble fighting a group of warriors that worship the god of light (the goddess of darkness are enemies to the god of light) so the goddess gives the area of darkness free as long as the thief agrees to never work with the servants of light for any reason, the thief has to agree to put her vision up as collateral, if she ever works with a being of light, she loses her eyesight *thief agrees*. Then later the thief is in way over her head when she is trapped in the light gods temple and seriously outnumbered, she makes contact with the goddess, and the goddess agrees to give her very powerful shadow minions to control, BUT anything she steals, half of it has to be donated to the cult (monetary value anyway) AND she has to put her soul as collateral. The thief knows she is getting boned here, but she has no choice(along with nothing to bargain with) and agrees, now she has super powered beings of shadow to call to fight for her. Now, as long as she keeps up her end of the bargain all is good, when she dies her soul is free to do whatever, IF however she breaks the rules, like working with a warrior of light she will go blind, or if she fails to pay half her profit to the cult, when she dies she goes to the goddess, or the goddess might send collectors to help her pass on the the afterlife as a thrall of the goddess.

 

That was an example, Like I said, at low levels its usually a one time payment, but at higher level requests the soul is collateral, the beings usually want some kind of constant payment scheme going on. Sure you could take their soul, or you can turn them into the goose that lays the golden eggs and take their soul later anyway. Take demons/dark beings, at higher level you might ask for the usual faust like bargains, fame, ritches, carnal pleauses, love/lust of a person you desire, power, knowledge, immortality, etc. Depending on what it is, lets say your character is vain and wants to be rich, so the demon offers you a million gold, shapeshifting powers, and immortality in the exchange of having a mortal sacrifice (has to be the same level as the character, so no easy picking random person will do, might also have other requirements like being a noble, beutiful, young, happy..etc) once a month in the demons name. Some really evil characters might take advantage of their shapeshifting powers to replace the person sacrificed.

 

Just some examples, I really like making pacts, but I hope we have different beings to make pacts with.

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Soul concept mat give common "Sold your soul" plot a new life. We have no idea if there any infernal powers and how could they use souls they get, but the best part is - we don't need that infernal powers anymore. Because anyone can garther sould for whatever needs they want them. Powerful mage for example. Even cults and organizations. In D&D souls were currency for devils, they got power from them. I bet souls could be currency for some outsider powers as well.

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I feel that an infernal bargain is an interesting idea. It might even be seen as similar to writing erotica for a portion of an audience one is beginning to grow estranged from (see Bioware). However, I think the player characters should be the ones who are open to the bargaining. After all, what better a way to involve the player in the game than to permit the character to damn themselves then to slowly extricate themselves from such a problematic situation.

 

Now, if we have such a bargain available, then surely there is a structural framework for the movement and assignment of souls. Should a soul be "given" to someone with power to collect and to use that soul, it could be used in several ways, but in no way should "soul manipulation" be unexpected and outside what might be predicated by existing cipher powers. That is, if cipher powers seem to grow in a certain way, and certain powers seem to be outside their ability, even minimally, it might be guessed that no soul manipulation would permit even a variety of that excluded power.

 

Another interesting concept to draw player attention is to present them with a real evil spirit. Yes, a cursed computer game that breaks the fourth wall and offers an actual deal with infernal spirits could be impressive to a certain growing portion of the gaming populace. Demands should not be illegal. In no way should it seem that sacrifices, violence, nor any form of illegality would be associated with this transaction. Asking the player directly if they'd like to sell their own soul might be a strong selling point and popularize this game freely, should Christian Right Wing groups hear tell about the ground breaking soul-based gameplay.

 

Of course, the question arises as to type of sorcery to use to summon the spirt. The two traditional hermetic schools I'm familiar with are of differing mind as regards supposedly infernal spirits. One feels that no spirit is wicked so much as having been subjected to propaganda and slander. The other approaches magic from a Abrahamic viewpoint and feels that any spirit when governed by sacred names cannot do evil. Both could be called theurgy.

 

On second thought, let's just stick to keeping our walls intact as regards this, eh? We don't want to be the inspiration for a new serial killer, right?

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