History VideoGame / ArcanumOfSteamWorksAndMagickObscura

2nd Dec '16 9:04:42 AM Elyandarin
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* CastFromHitPoints: A variation. Using magic doesn't decrease your HP, but runs out your Fatigue meter. An unwise mage can exhaust themselves into unconsciousness.

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* CastFromHitPoints: A variation. CastFromStamina: Using magic doesn't decrease decreases your HP, but runs out your [[SprintMeter Fatigue meter.meter]], as does running, fighting, or being heavily encumbered. An unwise mage can exhaust themselves into unconsciousness. This [[JustifiedTrope justifies]] the RobeAndWizardHat, since robes are among the lightest non-technological apparel in the game.
28th Nov '16 9:14:28 PM ProfessorDetective
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Much of ''Arcanum'' deals with ItemCrafting and character building -- many of the items in the game can be used to build other items. It contains a very detailed setting and a well-designed scenario, as well as ''vast'' amounts of political backstory in the game's libraries, newspapers and legends. The game retains a cult following similar to its cousin ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'', and is additionally often very favorably compared to ''VideoGame/BaldursGateII'' and ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment'', although ''Arcanum'''s detail focuses more on its setting's history and mechanisms than on its playable characters.

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Much of ''Arcanum'' deals with ItemCrafting and character building -- many of the items in the game can be used to build other items. It contains a very detailed setting and a well-designed scenario, as well as ''vast'' amounts of political backstory in the game's libraries, newspapers newspapers, and legends. The game retains a cult following similar to its cousin ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'', and is additionally often very favorably compared to ''VideoGame/BaldursGateII'' and ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment'', although ''Arcanum'''s detail focuses more on its setting's history and mechanisms than on its playable characters.



The player can join up with a large amount of playable characters. Although their personalities are often not as well-defined as those of some non-playable characters in the game, many of them are (very nicely) voiced, and they all contribute to the plot and interact with each other. Many of them are hidden, and many of them require very specific alignment, charisma stats and dialogue from the player before they even suggest joining the party. Similarly, the player often needs to meet very specific aptitude requirements before certain quests are even mentioned, meaning that no two playthroughs are the same and that each new player character will have a unique experience.

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The player can join up with a large amount lot of playable characters. Although their personalities are often not as well-defined as those of some non-playable characters in the game, many of them are (very nicely) voiced, and they all contribute to the plot and interact with each other. Many of them are hidden, and many of them require very specific alignment, charisma stats and dialogue from the player before they even suggest joining the party. Similarly, the player often needs to meet very specific aptitude requirements before certain quests are even mentioned, meaning that no two playthroughs are the same and that each new player character will have a unique experience.



** The game hand-waves it, as he himself explains he still doesn't want to embarass his family. So outside the interactions with the player's character, he maintains his entire masquerade and demands the same from PC.

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** The game hand-waves it, as he himself explains he still doesn't want to embarass embarrass his family. So outside the interactions with the player's character, he maintains his entire masquerade and demands the same from PC.



* ArtificialStupidity: AI characters tend to pick up anything on the ground that looks appealing- even if that object is a several ton boulder that will almost crush them under the weight. You can use the AI's proactive behavior against it, though. If an NPC spots a piece of equipment sitting around unattended, they might pick it up for themselves... and if it looks better than what they're currently using, they might equip it. Even if it's actually a cursed chainmail shirt that continually poisons its wearer. There is also a guard captain whose patrol route occasionally takes him right through a campfire. Left to his own devices, he'll walk through that fire until his platemail melts right off his back.

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* ArtificialStupidity: AI characters tend to pick up anything on the ground that looks appealing- even if that object is a several ton boulder that will almost crush them under the weight. You can use the AI's proactive behavior against it, though. If an NPC spots a piece of equipment sitting around unattended, they might pick it up for themselves... and if it looks better than what they're currently using, they might equip it. Even if it's actually a cursed chainmail shirt that continually poisons its wearer. There is also a guard captain whose patrol route occasionally takes him right through a campfire. Left to his own devices, he'll walk through that fire until his platemail plate mail melts right off his back.



* Another easily overlooked weapon is Sharpshooter's Pistol, a revolver carried by the gunsmith working in Tarant. It is arguably the best early firearm, thanks to +15 to-hit bonus, very good speed and range on tier with sniper rifles.

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* ** Another easily overlooked weapon is Sharpshooter's Pistol, a revolver carried by the gunsmith working in Tarant. It is arguably the best early firearm, thanks to +15 to-hit bonus, very good speed and range on tier with sniper rifles.



* IntangibleTheft: The halfing thief god Bolo is said to have stolen the shadow of Progo the god of storms. He was caught and punished by [[DisabledDeity losing one arm.]]

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* IntangibleTheft: The halfing halfling thief god Bolo is said to have stolen the shadow of Progo the god of storms. He was caught and punished by [[DisabledDeity losing one arm.]]



* StopBeingStereotypical: If a half orc PC encounters orcish muggers or bandits approach thinking they're a human before letting them go as fellow orcs. The PC can berate them for giving orcs a bad name.

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* StopBeingStereotypical: If a half orc half-orc PC encounters orcish muggers or bandits approach thinking they're a human before letting them go as fellow orcs. The PC can berate them for giving orcs a bad name.
13th Oct '16 2:10:57 PM Pysiewicz
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** Screaming Shield takes it [[UpToEleven a step further]]. It is equally common item sold by magical smiths and aside of 30 AC, it also comes with additional +10 Damage Resistance. As in - ''reducing all damage by 10%''. And most importantly, while magical, it provides full bonus regardless if the magic amplitude is 100 or 0.
13th Oct '16 7:45:46 AM Pysiewicz
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* AbsurdlyLowLevelCap: The level cap of 50 can be reached before you've even finished half the game, quite easily at that.

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* AbsurdlyLowLevelCap: The level cap of 50 can be reached before you've even finished half the game, quite easily at that. And because followers only level-up with player's character, [[GuideDangIt it can get really tricky]] to max-out some of them, which in turn affects their competence.



* AndManGrewProud: Vendigroth was the height of humankind's technological development. The city was so advanced that they didn't take the threats of a powerful mage seriously enough and he ended up wiping them off the map.

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* AndManGrewProud: Vendigroth was the height of humankind's technological development. The city was so advanced that they didn't take the threats of a powerful mage seriously enough and he ended up wiping them off the map. On the other hand, the moment he started to cause troubles, [[spoiler: the scientist of Vendigroth created a device perfectly capable of killing god-like mages of the Age of Legends]].



* ApocalypticLog: In Vendigroth you can find newspapers reporting about an elven wizard who threatened them and how they told him to screw himself. Vendigroth is now a giant lifeless wasteland -- guess who's responsible for that.
* ArbitraryGunPower: Guns are some of the weakest weapons in the game, particularly in the early game. It isn't until much later on when you get really big guns that they begin to hold their own as a weapon class, and even then most gunslingers will never hope to match the damage output of a basic melee fighter.

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* ApocalypticLog: In Vendigroth you can find newspapers reporting about an elven wizard who threatened them and how they told him to screw himself. Vendigroth is now a giant lifeless wasteland -- - guess who's responsible for that.
* ArbitraryGunPower: ZigZagged. Guns are some of the weakest weapons in the game, particularly those not crafted and all of those sold in the early game.shops. It isn't until much later on when you get really big guns that they begin to hold their own as a weapon class, and even then most gunslingers will never hope to match the damage output of a basic melee fighter.



** The game hand-waves it, as he himself explains he still doesn't want to embarass his family. So outside the interactions with the player's character, he maintains his entire masquerade and demands the same from PC.



** It's heavily implied as the fate of all the high elves upon natural end of their lives.



* BlueAndOrangeMorality: Comes up in the quest where you deal with the [[LizardFolk Bedokaan]]. The diplomatic solution to the quest is to have the Bedokaan chieftain explain his philosophy to you, then help him to understand how different his thought process is from humans.

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* BlueAndOrangeMorality: Comes up in the quest where you deal with the [[LizardFolk Bedokaan]]. The diplomatic solution to the quest is to have the Bedokaan chieftain explain his philosophy to you, then help him to understand how different his thought process is from humans.mammals.



** Healing salves. The resources to make them are pretty plentiful, they require only a little investment in one of the tech skills (or a certain follower who can be recruited fairly early on) to make, and they restore 20hp per use, making them a solid choice of healing item for a technologist who can't benefit from Vergil's magic. You can also steal them from shops for nothing at all, assuming you have maxed out lockpick or unlocking magic.

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** Healing salves. The resources to make them are pretty plentiful, they require only a little investment in one of the tech skills (or a certain follower who can be recruited fairly early on) to make, and they restore 20hp per use, making them a solid choice of healing item for a technologist who can't benefit from Vergil's magic. You can also steal them from shops for nothing at all, assuming you have maxed out lockpick or unlocking magic. Healing salves are also one of few technology items that can be freely used by magic users without any ill effects.



** Once you make it to Tarant, there's a quest in the warehouse district which tasks you with clearing a warehouse of rats. The reward isn't great, but the warehouse has dozens of chests and such which you can use as permanent free storage.
* BowAndSwordInAccord: Characters can be built who switch between guns or bows and melee weapons, but carrying multiple weapons of your chosen type is also common because BreakableWeapons is in effect and swords are no good for breaking open stubborn chests.

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** Once you make it to Tarant, there's a quest in the warehouse district which tasks you with clearing a warehouse of rats. The reward isn't great, great[[note]]unless you are aiming to arm yourself and your party with Featherweight Axes[[/note]], but the warehouse has dozens of chests and such which you can use as permanent free storage.
* BowAndSwordInAccord: BowAndSwordInAccord:
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Characters can be built who switch between guns or bows and melee weapons, but carrying multiple weapons of your chosen type is also common because BreakableWeapons is in effect and swords are no good for breaking open stubborn chests. chests.
** Played absolutely straight with Raven and Waramon, two followers you can recruit in the Glimmering Forest.



* CameBackStrong: The blessing of the All Father kills and then resurrects you with a massive stat boost. If you're a technologist, however, make sure one of your party members has a tech-based revive item, because the All Father's magic resurrection will be blocked.

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* CameBackStrong: The blessing of the All Father kills and then resurrects you with a massive stat boost. If you're a technologist, however, make sure one of your party members has a tech-based revive item, because the [[GuideDangIt All Father's magic resurrection will be blocked.blocked]].



** Raven can be frustratingly unwilling to help you clean up [[spoiler: a mess that the Dark Elves made by forging a letter from their ruler.]] Yet you really have no choice but to play her games and help with her problems before she'll let you talk to the Silver Lady. And the sacred forest she wants you to clean up is protected from your usual violent solutions.

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** Raven can be frustratingly unwilling to help you clean up [[spoiler: a mess that the Dark Elves made by forging a letter from their ruler.]] ruler]]. Yet you really have no choice but to play her games and help with her problems before she'll let you talk to the Silver Lady. And the sacred forest she wants you to clean up is protected from your usual violent solutions.



* DevelopersForesight: Every voice-acted NPC has extra dialogue depending on your status. This isn't merely limited to whether your character is retarded or talking to the NPC's ghost, but also includes invisible, transformed, shrunken, and whether they're dressed as a Barbarian or completely naked.

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* DevelopersForesight: Every voice-acted NPC has extra dialogue depending on your status. This isn't merely limited to whether your character is retarded or talking to the NPC's ghost, but also includes invisible, transformed, shrunken, and whether they're dressed as a Barbarian barbarian or completely naked.



** Humble healing salves. You start with around 30-36 hit points. Single salve heals 20, instantly, regardless of character. It takes a single point in Herbology to make them and just the starting location has enough ingredients to make 16 of them. They are by far the most reliable and commonly used healing items in the game and certain builds' early survival entirely depends on starting the game with the recipe.



** In similar fashion, one of the reward from Doc Roberts. If you say you dabble in magic, the doctor will give you Enchanted Sword. Not only it's the best weapon from all three options, it's not a standard Enchanted Sword either. It comes with extremely useful +2 Speed bonus. It can help immensely early on, especially if you decide to deal with the bandits guarding the bridge - if not you, then Virgil or Sogg can use it to great effect.
* Another easily overlooked weapon is Sharpshooter's Pistol, a revolver carried by the gunsmith working in Tarant. It is arguably the best early firearm, thanks to +15 to-hit bonus, very good speed and range on tier with sniper rifles.



** To a lesser degree; spending Skill Points on Health and Fatigue boosts alone. Yes, you gain more health and fatigue for each point spent than on Strength, Constitution and Willpower, but you'll gain health/fatigue boosts on level-up. You're better off with the additional bonuses with Strength, Constitution and Willpower.

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** To a lesser degree; spending Skill Points on Health and Fatigue boosts alone. Yes, you gain more health and fatigue for each point spent than on Strength, Constitution and Willpower, but you'll gain health/fatigue boosts on level-up. You're better off with the additional bonuses with Strength, Constitution and Willpower. However, certain followers don't actually have anything else to do with their remaining points after maxing out their core abilities and stats, leaving them with no other option. The dog is probably the best example of this and it's the reason why it's by far the best melee character in the game, even if he can't wear armour.



** Archery is another exception. Archers lack any high-end weapon and the skill has no particularly special use.

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** Archery is another exception. Archers lack any high-end weapon and the skill has no particularly special use. It takes a very specific build and dependence on certain randomly found artifacts to make a decent archer character.



* LampshadeHanging: When dealing with a possible demon, the town sheriff complains that such things always require an unnecessarily long trek to retrieve some absurdly specific weapon with which to defeat it. You are naturally forced to do just that.

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* LampshadeHanging: When dealing with a possible demon, the town sheriff complains that such things always require an unnecessarily long trek to retrieve some absurdly specific weapon with which to defeat it. You are naturally forced to do just that. [[GuideDangIt And good luck figuring it out all by yourself]].



* LethalJokeItem: Miner's Helmet is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin - a hard hat with small electric light in front. It comes with whooping 15 Armor Class (which is ''more than entire set of chainmail'' and similar armour) and +10 to-hit bonus in dark areas. It's also one of few helmets that doesn't decrease Perception.



* LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe: Quality Iron Shield, a pretty common shield sold by blacksmiths all over the game, grants Armor Class of 30. That's more than most of top-tier armours. Shields in general provide absurd amount of AC when compared with anything else, making it considerably harded to hit their wielders.
* MacGyvering: You'll do this a lot if you play as a scientist. Creating powerful weapons from seemingly random assortments of items is standard operating procedure for them.

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* LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe: Quality Iron Shield, a pretty common shield sold by blacksmiths all over the game, grants Armor Class of 30. That's To put that into perspective, that's more than most of the top-tier armours. Shields in general provide absurd amount of AC when compared with anything else, making it considerably harded to hit their wielders.
wielders and providing a solid reason why one-handed weapons are much better in the long run.
* MacGyvering: You'll do this a lot if you play as a scientist. Creating powerful weapons from seemingly random assortments of items is standard operating procedure for them.them, especially in case of Explosives, Mechanics and Chemistry colleges.



*** And said magic-detecting device? A pocket watch, which will start going backward in the presence of mages.



* MutuallyExclusivePartyMembers: Raven and Z'an will refuse to travel with one another thanks to the differences between Elves and Dark Elves, in addition to the fact that you need a completely opposite moral alignment for either one. Magnus also develops a hatred of the undead as a result of the quest involving P. Schuyler and Sons, and will refuse to travel with Torian Kel. Subverted if you have a Charisma stat of 20 and Master Persuasion, which allows you to recruit anyone regardless of alignment or personal issues.

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* MutuallyExclusivePartyMembers: Raven and Z'an will refuse to travel with one another thanks to the differences between Elves and Dark Elves, in addition to the fact that you need a completely opposite moral alignment for either one. Magnus also develops a hatred of the undead as a result of the quest involving P. Schuyler and Sons, and will refuse to travel with Torian Kel. Subverted if you have a Charisma stat of 20 and Master Persuasion, which allows you to recruit anyone regardless of alignment or personal issues.issues, but only after you first adress said issues and talk some sense into chosen followers.



* NobleDemon: Z'an Alurin is supposedly Alignment -30, and won't work with good [[PlayerCharacter PCs]] unless they have Master Persuasion, but nothing in her actions or dialogue besides this point backs this up; [[spoiler: in fact, she's the one who gives Loghaire Thunder Stone a massive WhatTheHellHero later in the game if you bring her to meet him and gives Arronax a similar dressing down if she meets him.]]

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* NobleDemon: Z'an Alurin is supposedly Alignment -30, and won't work with good [[PlayerCharacter PCs]] unless they have Master Persuasion, but nothing in her actions or dialogue besides this point backs this up; [[spoiler: in fact, she's the one who gives Loghaire Thunder Stone a massive WhatTheHellHero later in the game if you bring her to meet him and gives Arronax a similar dressing down if she meets him.]]him]]. [[{{Fanon}} Fan theory]] suggest she's in the middle of HeelFaceTurn, as her dialogues heavily imply being disillusioned with dark elves and their ideology.



* OneSizeFitsAll: Averted. Body armor comes in three sizes: medium for humans, elves, orcs, half-elves and half-orcs, small for dwarves, gnomes and halflings, and large for ogres and half-ogres. Also, ogres cannot wield pistols or other small firearms because their hands are too big.
* OneStatToRuleThemAll: Dexterity and weapon speed, in both combat options. In ''Arcanum'', number of hits simply outweighs raw damage by a huge amount.

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* OneSizeFitsAll: Averted. Body armor comes in three sizes: medium for humans, elves, orcs, half-elves and half-orcs, small for dwarves, gnomes and halflings, and large for ogres and half-ogres. Bedokaans, being LizardFolk, don't fit any of the three sizes and can't wear armour at all. Also, ogres cannot wield pistols or other small firearms because their hands are too big.
* OneStatToRuleThemAll: Dexterity Dexterity, and weapon speed, even moreso, weapons' Speed, in both combat options. In ''Arcanum'', number of hits simply outweighs raw damage by a huge amount. This is also the chief reason why melee characters can easily outperform gunslingers. Melee skill is Dexterity-based, so in the process of increasing it, you gain extra Speed and Action Points. Firearms are Perception-based, providing no bonus at all.



** Played with straight with [[InfinityPlusOneSword Droch's Warbringer]] which has a huge revolver cylinder making it look like a [[HandCannon Magnum Revolver]] with a sawed-off shotgun grip.

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** In early stages of the game, the Fine Revolver, the second gun a Gunsmith PC can make, is quite potent. It comes with a nice +5 to-hit bonus, good speed (and Doc Roberts can train you to make it even faster) and decent damage. In fact, it's as good as the Balanced Sword, which is considered game-breakingly powerful, while being ranged weapon. If you go directly to Tarant, the gunsmith running a shop there carries an unique Sharpshooter's Pistol - a further improvement of Fine Revolver, with ''+15'' to-hit bonus and range exceeding most rifles.
** Played with straight with [[InfinityPlusOneSword Droch's Warbringer]] which has a huge revolver cylinder making it look like a [[HandCannon Magnum Revolver]] with a sawed-off shotgun grip. grip.



* SniperPistol: One of these can be made, although the trope is played with a bit in that the resulting firearm is designed and built specifically as a sniping weapon rather than just being an ordinary pistol with a scope bolted on.

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* SniperPistol: One of these can be made, although the trope is played with a bit in that the resulting firearm is designed and built specifically as a sniping weapon rather than just being an ordinary pistol with a scope bolted on. And while being powerful handgun in general, [[RealityEnsues it pales in comparison with proper rifles]].
12th Oct '16 6:52:18 PM Pysiewicz
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* LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe: Quality Iron Shield, a pretty common shield sold by blacksmiths all over the game, grants Armor Class of 30. That's more than most of top-tier armours. Shields in general provide absurd amount of AC when compared with anything else, making it considerably harded to hit their wielders.
12th Oct '16 12:34:30 PM Pysiewicz
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** Looking-Glass Rifle can be assembled as soon as reaching Tarant. It packs serious, and most importantly, ''consistent'' punch, dealing 40-40 damage at range that exceeeds any other weapon or form of attack. Aside of that, it comes with nice +20 to-hit bonus ''and'' properties equal to being Master of Firearms - there are ''no range penalties'' added, regardless how far away the target is. The only thing stopping this rifle from being ultimate gun is relatively slow Speed - it takes 4 AP to fire a single shot. It's perfectly possible to pick this gun and keep using it up until the very end.



* SniperRifle: One can be purchased (or built by characters exceptionally skilled in Gunsmithing). It has the longest range of any weapon, spell, or ability in the game, and can easily hit targets three or more screens away. The [[{{BFG}} Elephant Gun]] can also serve in this role; it has slightly shorter range but deals much more damage.

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* SniperRifle: One can be purchased (or built by characters exceptionally skilled in Gunsmithing). It has the longest range of any weapon, spell, or ability in the game, and can easily hit targets three or more screens away. The [[{{BFG}} Elephant Gun]] can also serve in this role; it has slightly shorter range but deals much more damage. On the other hand, the Looking-Glass Rifle ''always'' deals 40 damage. That's enough to knock-out most of enemies you will ever encounter with precisely [[OneHitKill one bullet]] and can carry gun-totting characters throughout almost entire game. Best part? The rifle is extremely accurate, regardless of Firearms skill.
6th Oct '16 2:29:25 AM Skargoth
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* AGodAmI: The player character may become this at the end of the patched game if [[spoiler: s/he sides with Kerghan until the very last moment and then declares godhood when he demands to know the reason for the betrayal]].


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* AGodAmI: The player character may become this at the end of the patched game if [[spoiler: s/he sides with Kerghan until the very last moment and then declares godhood when he demands to know the reason for the betrayal]].
4th Oct '16 11:17:34 PM Skargoth
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* {{Magick}}: It's even in the title.
4th Oct '16 10:59:27 PM Skargoth
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* AmazonBrigade: One of the few {{Role Playing Game}}s with enough female [=NPCs=] for a complete party - any combination of a female PC, Cynthia, Druella, Z'an, Raven, Janya and Swyft can become this.

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* AmazonBrigade: One of the few {{Role Playing Game}}s with enough female [=NPCs=] for a complete party - any combination of a female PC, Cynthia, Druella, Z'an, Raven, Janya Jayna and Swyft can become this.
28th Sep '16 9:43:52 AM Skargoth
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* TalkingTheMonsterToDeath: Diplomacy is a good solution to several of the quests. In particular, the Final Boss will agree to debate philosophy with you, and submit to an assisted suicide if you can show him enough holes in his logic. The GoldenEnding absolutely requires the player to be a master of Persuasion.

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* TalkingTheMonsterToDeath: Diplomacy is a good solution to several of the quests. In particular, [[spoiler: the Final Boss will agree to debate philosophy with you, and submit to an assisted suicide if you can show him enough holes in his logic. The GoldenEnding absolutely requires the player to be a master of Persuasion.]]
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