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In the vast majority of RPGs the only way you could change or affect your companions is by making them better, turning them from the "dark side" or persuading them to abandon their evil ways. Could we do the opposite as well? Let us corrupt our companions. Make paladins fall, priests abandon their gods, vigilant betray their comrades and ideals. We already had it to some extent in KOTOR2 and DA:O. In Dragon Age it was called "hardening" - making companion more cynical, harsh and selfish. In KOTOR2 via your influence and certain dialogues you could turn companions to the dark side, like "helping" Atton to accept and be proud of his past as a jedi murderer.

We already have seen companions in PE like Cadegund - a priestess of Magran. By "corrupting" her we may have option either to shatter her faith or push her into more severe actions - more like "Bomb them all, Magran will recognize her own!"

Same goes for NPCs. Push a lord to expell elves\orlans from the community, force paladins to embark on a purging crusade, convince a repenting character that his\her actions were right and there's no need for repentance

 

Profit could be obvious - seduce a wizard with temptations of dark and forbidden arts and you may gain an access to rare skein steel equipment.

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Would be nice to have this option. I remeber making Mantides embrace faith of Shar in MoW and turning Jaesa to the darkside in TOR. They did not just change the way they speak, they almost became different characters altogether with new look and abilities.

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To make someone better you just have to give them something to love. To make them turn worse you have to give them both something to love, and something to hate.

 

To paraphrase John le Carre.

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"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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I'm I the only one that isn't hoping PE will be the fodder for adolescent power fantasies? No offense intended to anyone.

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I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

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You're not. I think we're going to be disappointed though; one of MCA's companion-writing pillars is that they have to stroke the player's ego. Plus 'adolescent power fantasy' is one of the cornerstones of all the IE games, even PS:T.

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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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I love this idea. But it shouldn't be a dialogue choice easy. If Cadegund is a devout follower, what is it that makes her switch sides and turn to the dark side? So to speak.

Some of these corruptions would need to happen behind your companions backs, some sort of foul play or double-agent styled play. Allow the Player to go down a dark, conspiring, and corrupt path, but does Cadegund have to know about it? Be super kind to Cadegund all game, but keep the dark secrets away from her, and when they are brought to light, Cadegund's loyalty is questioned. Does she hang around this main character who has been nothing but good against her, but has been conducting necromantic arts behind her back?

Maybe she'd fight you, but when you beat her down you spare her life and then "something something" and she's corrupt.

Allowing the Player to express guile in this fashion brings me to another question which has been discussed in the past. A little bit off-topic but relevant to "corruption".

"Party in Cities" was the thread called I think, but being allowed to split your party up (Star Ocean style, but Player controlled) could make this shadowy-double-agent playstyle a possibility. Send your main character towards the corruptive-side-plot-quest-tree, alone, and your companions won't know anything. Furthermore, maybe even send Cadegund herself towards the corruptive-side-plot area and you'll find out that she was a double-agent from the start! Why is it only the Player who gets the "I shall corrupt you!" treatment. What if Aloth, Edair or someone else has that goal in sight from the get-go.

What if a companion is working on making you their apprentice, but they do so from their own agenda? So when you try to corrupt them, it is in truth you who are being led straight into their plans.

PC: "I shall corrupt you!"
Forton: "Good good"

 

Also, I don't know what kind of Global Party controls there are, but I hope there are some.

(Such as:
- Send characcters not-in-party on scouting missions
- Defend Stronghold as "not-in-party" members
- Send characters in-party, in-towns, on various missions
-- Burglary
-- Patrol
-- Fetch Items from Nearest Stash/Campsite
-- Sell "Flagged As"-Junk Items
-- Gather Information/Talk to NPC's

Any of these would remove the party member from control for a brief period of time. Kind of like the dog in Torchlight, but would actually fulfill some objective. Furthermore, if you were to send Edair and Forton on a patrol mission in the city, they might encounter some ruffians by themselves that they have to take down)

The point I wanted to make was... what if you send an unimportant Adventurer's Hall companion off on some mission out into the wilds and they return corrupt and tainted by some curse or possession. What is to say that any of the important companions could not fall into anything like that?

Also, Cursed Items and... Cursed Spells (If there are any Curse Spells) affecting a character for a longer period of time could also affect their personality or "Reputation" values... no?

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I agree Bos, but I think that by fulfilling some requirements could bend any companion to the PC's will, because why not? Allows for more narrative freedom. It shouldn't be easy like DA:O "Here's a gift! Here's a gift! Here's a gift! You like me yet? Here's a gift! Here's a gift!" etc. etc. but should be more similar to a quest-line.

Similarly, who is to say that you aren't getting bent by one of the companions? ;)

Jaheira kind of has that personality, she wants to control the Main Character in both a motherly and leading type of way. She tries to bend the character to do as she says, and it is very apparent too. You can in most circumstances just put her down if you want to as well in a "No Jaheira, let's do this my way" and she becomes all "Fine" but you can also choose "Sure, let's do it your way" IIRC.

I don't see why Eternity companions couldn't try to corrupt the Player character, or some or one might even classify the main character as a saint (Lawful Good-Extremist character, Cadegund thinks that's all good or whatever).

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I'm rather against having wishy washy companions whose will is bent by a few words and deeds, I far prefer the method used when decieving Kaelyn the Dove into accepting you as a confidante, she will not change her views or abandon the crusade, but one can manipulate that certainty. Or the method of making sure that Albatross appears in the denouement of Alpha Protocol, enrage the man with his own mistakes and failings. Or the method used on the companions in New Vegas, where one may alter their views of their predicament but not persuade them to abandon it entirely.

 

Boone comes to mind, unlike the usual revenge driven character the sniper is not pursuing an exterior aggressor, his faults and failings he lays squarely on his own shoulders and that does not change. I like this, as Boone will always be frozen in the moment of looking through his scope, whether at his wife or the women and children of the Khan's. All you can do is help him deal with this. For me that makes a far more realistic and believable character.

 

Dead Money also stands out in Obsidian's prior work, especially the manipulation of Dean Domino, where all too easily one can reveal that they are the Ghoul's equal or superior in cunning and ruthlessness, and thus earn his enmity. As the former showman likes to believe that he is the smartest individual in the game, and seemingly hates anybody disabusing him of this notion.

 

Deionarra also stands out of course.

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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Agree with Nonek. Although I'd point out that being stuck in the past is supposed to be one of the themes of FO:New Vegas.

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"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Agree with Nonek. Although I'd point out that being stuck in the past is supposed to be one of the themes of FO:New Vegas.

That's one of the things I like about Avellone's approach to writing companions, they all are representative of the main themes of the story.

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I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

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Yes I find thematic adherance to be quite satisfying as well, provides a very nice framework for the narrative, while allowing one to make their own stance apparent, whatever that may be.

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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I'm rather against having wishy washy companions whose will is bent by a few words and deeds

I like all of those! But what if you plant an evil enemy in front of Cadegund, someone she has been tasked to jail or capture, in a non-lethal way basically, but you whisper and bend strings and excite her soul to do the thing she doesn't want to do. Or you simply put a hammer to the evil enemy's face and watch how everything Cadegund had fought for is gone to [null]. Can you play as the Emperor from Star Wars and mess with people on a deeper, soul-mechanic-ish, way? This is what I'm asking.

 

Can I poison someone's Soul and make them corrupt?

 

If you constantly put up a leg in front of your companions own goals, even how nice they might be, they might slowly begin to grow more angry and angry (annoyed really). And you all know what's said about "Anger" right? It leads to suffering~

 

Companions shouldn't be wishy-washy I 100% agree, but to change someone's mindset or their "will" (Good/Evil) should recquire effort from the Player or even random happenings could change it too, such as "Cool! A wicked sword! Edair, here, take it!" wherein Edair gets cursed and becomes a hellspawn demon in personality after wearing the sword for a long period of time. "The One Ring"-Complex. Narratively, Edair got unlucky, mechanically yeah sure, the Player might've bent him to their will, or they randomly made him possessed on accident, regardless it serves a narrative purpose rather than in DA:O it's a game mechanic.

 

It serves a lot of narrative goodies if done right me thinks.

 

I'd love me some Global Dice Rolls too, example:

1A) Recruit Aloth, get him into your party/stronghold

1B) Don't recruit Aloth

2A) Aloth is in your party and his reputation grows with ou

2B) Aloth goes off on his own Quest, you won't find him standing around if you go back in a couple of days to recruit him later.

3A) You kick Aloth/Aloth leaves

3B) Global Dice Roll:

X = Aloth succeeds with his quest by himself. You can find and recruit him later somewhere.

Y = Aloth succeeds with his quest by hismelf, but he becomes corrupted by it. You'll face off against Aloth and fight him later.

Z = Aloth failed his quest and died. You might find his remains in one of his Quest-Path-Areas

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I agree Bos, but I think that by fulfilling some requirements could bend any companion to the PC's will, because why not? Allows for more narrative freedom. It shouldn't be easy like DA:O "Here's a gift! Here's a gift! Here's a gift! You like me yet? Here's a gift! Here's a gift!" etc. etc. but should be more similar to a quest-line.

 

I just don't like the idea of having all the companions being broken by the PC. Can some people be manipulated/broken/enlightened to the PC's point of view, sure, but you also get people that stand by their view and won't be broken down. No matter how cunning/deceptive/intelligent/brutal the PC is.

 

 

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I agree Bos, but I think that by fulfilling some requirements could bend any companion to the PC's will, because why not? Allows for more narrative freedom. It shouldn't be easy like DA:O "Here's a gift! Here's a gift! Here's a gift! You like me yet? Here's a gift! Here's a gift!" etc. etc. but should be more similar to a quest-line.

 

I just don't like the idea of having all the companions being broken by the PC. Can some people be manipulated/broken/enlightened to the PC's point of view, sure, but you also get people that stand by their view and won't be broken down. No matter how cunning/deceptive/intelligent/brutal the PC is.

Yes, most likely. Which is why the fall is so much the more sweeter  :fdevil:

 

EDIT: Or the, ya know, rise too  o:)

Edited by Osvir
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Personally I can't think of anything worse than Star Wars' Emperor or the One Ring as corruptors, then again i'm not a fan of the former and didn't particularly find the Ring to be that good a McGuffin. Though Boromir's fall was nice, he was only trying to defend his homeland not suddenly becoming what he hated, that would take many years and depend on himself not an exterior manipulator.

 

I'd prefer that we are able only to twist a companion, through knowing his goals, aspirations and methods, rather than make them perform a sudden moralistic about face Annie Skywalker style. Then again i'd say that Mr Avellone's writing is far better than Mr Lucas', especially when comparing the prequel trilogy to the Sith Lords.

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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Agreed. And your argument extends in many ways to the way the King of Shadows in NWN2 corrupted the world around him. In a way, you can argue it was the Shadow Plane that did it, through that supposedly definitive Illefarn Guardian, but the effect was a bit like the One Ring works in LotR. I prefer corruption to be more a matter of ideologies, peer pressure and scenarios where violence feeds violence.

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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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I'm I the only one that isn't hoping PE will be the fodder for adolescent power fantasies? No offense intended to anyone.

 

 

No. I prefer companions not to be so weak-willed they abandon all principles because some guy they've known for a month tells them to. This goes for both corruption and redemption.

 

You're not. I think we're going to be disappointed though; one of MCA's companion-writing pillars is that they have to stroke the player's ego. Plus 'adolescent power fantasy' is one of the cornerstones of all the IE games, even PS:T.

 

 

Isn't adolescent power fantasy pretty much a given when you can play a wizard who rips reality to shreds? Granted, it becomes less impressive if almost everyone can do it, even though Mage-philes will probably whine that every one gets special powers so Mages aren't special anymore.

 

Oh god, not this thread again. Why didn't you just commence a necromantic ceremony on your previous iteration?

He doesn't have enough levels of Necromancer to cast Raise Thread yet.

"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlshot

"I'm fine with humanity being wiped out" - majestic

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Isn't adolescent power fantasy pretty much a given when you can play a wizard who rips reality to shreds? Granted, it becomes less impressive if almost everyone can do it, even though Mage-philes will probably whine that every one gets special powers so Mages aren't special anymore.

Unfortunately yes. It takes a special effort to craft a setting where that isn't the case. That's one reason I liked Planescape so much; if you're tangling with demigods and archdevils on a daily basis, Meteor Storm seems a whole lot less impressive all of a sudden.

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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I don't think it'd be a very good idea at all to allow the player to "make" companions feel/think a certain way. But, I also don't think that's quite what the OP's suggesting.

 

Seems to me its asking a very reasonable question: If you can influence companions at pivotal points (when they're already vulnerable/questioning something), then why shouldn't you be able to do this in any direction you choose?

 

Example, if they're torn between trusting someone (their order, family, etc.) and not-trusting them, why should you ONLY be able to say "I dunno, man... you should totally trust them!"?

 

Do we want to just say "Hey, Mr. Holy Priest! I know you're all Holy and Priestish, but, I really think you should punt babies! 8D!", and have him respond, "Hmm... SOUNDS GOOD TO ME, 8D!"? Of course not. Doesn't mean we should have companions who are immune to anything but positive/benevolent encouragement.

Edited by Lephys

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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What if I cast an illusion spell on the babies, make them look like the Priest's most hated enemy, then remove the illusion spell afterwards, and then laugh in the Priest's face:

"HAH! You just punt'd some babies!!", what sort of effect would that have on the companion Priest?

EDIT: That's what I mean when I say "can you mess with your companions?". Not through in-dialogue choices but by using the game world and lore against them. Edair might be a stoutfast man who hates burglary, would it be wise to take him with you to do your burglary? Shouldn't that be something you do on your own, or with some like-minded companion?

And then, when the guards finally catches you, and Edair is with you, the guards would view him as a bad guy too. A collaborator to the crime. It doesn't need to change Edair's personality, but it could change how others (NPCs) percieve Edair. They might think he's a bad guy, and it's your fault.

Corruption doesn't necessarily have to be an internal struggle against inner demons, but it could be a struggle against the world and the people in it as well. If a group of people begin to think you are scum, then it doesn't matter how nice you are, and the more people who think you are scum, the harder it gets to prove it wrong.

I'm envisioning a dialogue, Edair is getting nosey in your disappearances and the Thief's Guild, which you work for, is getting twitchy and somewhat paranoid about Edair's involvement in the main character group:

Thief Guild Representative:
- "If you care about him then you should ditch him, he's getting too close to our plans"

Main Character:
1 - "Ditch him? Why?"
2 - "I'm planning to."
3 - "I need him in case things go bad. He's one way out"

1. Thief Guild Representative
- "If things go bad he's gonna get us all caught! The men are already twitchy as is, don't need them to shake and drop that crystal, would we now? I need em to be alert and focused!"

2. Thief Guild Representative
- "Good, then get on with it already so we can get a show on!" (If choosing this, there's a Global Dice roll and a chance that you'd encounter Edair whilst performing jobs for the Thief's Guild)

3. Thief Guild Representative
- "You can't stand on both sides on this one. Either we provide a way out for you, or he does. The question is, who would you prefer less to be your enemy?"

The point I wanted to make is, if you were to keep Edair still in this situation, continue to do jobs for the Thief's Guild and then bam, suddenly you are recognized in the underground and Edair is in your group, unaware or aware of your side-work. Regardless, anyone traveling with the character at this stage gets reputation loss, which would mean that Edair would be seen as a corrupt individual perhaps. If he's aware of your doings, his personality might simply call for a code string and make him go undercover, so suddenly Edair becomes a companion that travels with you just to bust you. Or something.

Ideas ideas.

Edited by Osvir
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I'm down with both. I mean, I don't specifically see any reason to JUST piss off your companions, just for kicks. "Hey, guys, I know there's an important story here, and I need your help to get things done, but... Priest, I just tricked you into punting INNOCENT BABIES! LOLZ!" Hehe. BUT, I realize that's not what that example was for, so it's not really a good one to use (except to just say that I don't think the game needs to allow you to arbitrarily piss off your companions, just to be a huge, evil butt.)

 

But, yeah, I think you should definitely be able to deceive your companions, for lack of a better word. Know that if you tell them some information you know, they'll not be happy with the plan? Withhold it, to get the plan executed. Could really use their abilities/skills, but with a matter they don't feel is a worthy cause? Lie to them about the nature of the situation (maybe convince them to interrogate someone by letting them think they're some horrible criminal, when really they've done nothing wrong and you just think they have useful info).

 

I still also think that you should be able to influence their decisions and actions, through dialogue amongst other things. You're not changing their personality. Their personality is one of the factors (one of the strongest ones) in their decision-making process. It's the brunt of their self-influence, their internal influence, and you are a part of their external influence. All of the factors of a situation affect how they look at it and what decisions they make about it, and you're just another external factor for them to consider.

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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What if I cast an illusion spell on the babies, make them look like the Priest's most hated enemy, then remove the illusion spell afterwards, and then laugh in the Priest's face:

 

"HAH! You just punt'd some babies!!", what sort of effect would that have on the companion Priest?

 

EDIT: That's what I mean when I say "can you mess with your companions?". Not through in-dialogue choices but by using the game world and lore against them. Edair might be a stoutfast man who hates burglary, would it be wise to take him with you to do your burglary? Shouldn't that be something you do on your own, or with some like-minded companion?

 

And then, when the guards finally catches you, and Edair is with you, the guards would view him as a bad guy too. A collaborator to the crime. It doesn't need to change Edair's personality, but it could change how others (NPCs) percieve Edair. They might think he's a bad guy, and it's your fault.

 

Corruption doesn't necessarily have to be an internal struggle against inner demons, but it could be a struggle against the world and the people in it as well. If a group of people begin to think you are scum, then it doesn't matter how nice you are, and the more people who think you are scum, the harder it gets to prove it wrong.

 

I'm envisioning a dialogue, Edair is getting nosey in your disappearances and the Thief's Guild, which you work for, is getting twitchy and somewhat paranoid about Edair's involvement in the main character group:

 

Thief Guild Representative:

- "If you care about him then you should ditch him, he's getting too close to our plans"

 

Main Character:

1 - "Ditch him? Why?"

2 - "I'm planning to."

3 - "I need him in case things go bad. He's one way out"

 

1. Thief Guild Representative

- "If things go bad he's gonna get us all caught! The men are already twitchy as is, don't need them to shake and drop that crystal, would we now? I need em to be alert and focused!"

 

2. Thief Guild Representative

- "Good, then get on with it already so we can get a show on!" (If choosing this, there's a Global Dice roll and a chance that you'd encounter Edair whilst performing jobs for the Thief's Guild)

 

3. Thief Guild Representative

- "You can't stand on both sides on this one. Either we provide a way out for you, or he does. The question is, who would you prefer less to be your enemy?"

 

The point I wanted to make is, if you were to keep Edair still in this situation, continue to do jobs for the Thief's Guild and then bam, suddenly you are recognized in the underground and Edair is in your group, unaware or aware of your side-work. Regardless, anyone traveling with the character at this stage gets reputation loss, which would mean that Edair would be seen as a corrupt individual perhaps. If he's aware of your doings, his personality might simply call for a code string and make him go undercover, so suddenly Edair becomes a companion that travels with you just to bust you. Or something.

 

Ideas ideas.

Where did you get the babies?

I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

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Where did you get the babies?

I don't think he procured babies, in his example. I think he's just referring to easily-found babies, existing peacefully in their natural habitats, upon which spells of an illusionary nature could easily be cast.

 

Also, what I really should've said in response to this:

 

What if I cast an illusion spell on the babies, make them look like the Priest's most hated enemy, then remove the illusion spell afterwards, and then laugh in the Priest's face:

 

"HAH! You just punt'd some babies!!", what sort of effect would that have on the companion Priest?

... was simply:

 

I have a feeling the next illusion spell you cast on some babies is going to make them look like yourself, to that Priest. :)

Edited by Lephys

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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