I encountered a potential bug, though it's possible that it's a design choice that I just don't fully understand.
Behavior: Convincing Delem he doesn't need to eat birds leads to reputation loss.
Expected: I don't believe this path should cause you to lose reputation—at least using the Survival-based chat option. I would expect it to give a reputation gain, or at least be reputation neutral.
In Oldsong (Twin Elms), Delem offers you a quest to collect three birds, which he'll eat to gain greater powers of song. If you go ask people about his request, they will all tell you that this is a superstition.
I found two different ways to talk him out of his quest:
- The first is to tell him that it's just a superstition and that all previous singers were just looking for an easy way out. It makes sense that this dialog option might lead to a reputation loss, as it indicates a misalignment with the traditions of the local culture.
- The second is to make an argument based on a minimum level of survival, that leads Delem to conclude on his own that it's not a practice that makes sense. I think this should give a reputation gain, or at least be reputation neutral.
With the survival approach, Delem is happy, nobody's bird was stolen, and we haven't disparaged any local traditions. This seems to me like it should be the maximum reputation gain, or at least a reputation-neutral solution. If we're role playing, it seems this would be at least as good for your local reputation as if you stole somebody's pet bird so a singer could eat it.
I'm happy to accept it if this was an intentional design—either to reward the more difficult task of gathering all the birds, or based on some theory of Orlan culture that overrides my interpretations. In the former case, I would suggest that maybe an additional quest reward other than reputation would make more sense as a reward rather than taking away reputation for the harmless, survival-based solution.