History VideoGame / ArcanumOfSteamworksAndMagickObscura

19th Jan '17 8:52:28 AM Jan_z_Michal
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* DugTooDeep: The Dredge in Wheel Clan mines is a subversion. Rather than actually digging too deep, the dwarves simply abandoned the corridors after digging out all the ore and the monsters nested in, eventually growing both in size and numbers to the point where the tunnels had to be sealed and guarded, because it's too late for cleaning. The maze of corridors is one of ''the'' toughest [[DungeonCrawling crawls]] in the entire game and the monsters can put a serious fight even without the end boss getting involved. Should the party came unprepared, it can easily escalte to TotalPartyKill.
19th Jan '17 8:39:34 AM Jan_z_Michal
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* ArbitraryHeadcountLimit: Your total number of followers is governed by your Charisma. This maxes out at six. The dog and robots/zombies/summons do not count against this limit, but they will prevent you from recruiting more as long as they're active members of the party.

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* ArbitraryHeadcountLimit: Your total number of followers is governed by your Charisma. This maxes out at six. The However, the dog and robots/zombies/summons do not count against this limit, but they will prevent you from recruiting more as long as they're active members of the party.limit.
19th Jan '17 5:57:19 AM Jan_z_Michal
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* ThievesGuild: Thieves Underground, a loose organization of thieves and criminals who operate extensively in Tarant and Caladon, while its members being in other, smaller towns as well. Recruitable party member, Tollo Underhill, despite being violent TheSociopath, is also member. Becoming member of Thieves Underground, gives Living One access to thieving side quests and BlackMarket in major cities

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* ThievesGuild: Thieves Underground, a loose organization of thieves and criminals who operate extensively in Tarant and Caladon, while its having members being in other, smaller towns as well. Recruitable party member, Tollo Underhill, despite being [[TheSociopath violent TheSociopath, sociopath]], is also a member. Becoming member of Thieves Underground, Underground gives the Living One access to thieving side quests and BlackMarket in major citiescities.
18th Jan '17 11:21:03 PM Vhailor
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* ThievesGuild: Thieves Underground, a loose organization of thieves and criminals who operate extensively in Tarant and Caladon, while its members being in other, smaller towns as well. Recruitable party member, Tollo Underhill, despite being violent TheSociopath, is also member. Becoming member of Thieves Underground, gives Living One access to thieving side quests and BlackMarket in major cities
31st Dec '16 4:02:21 PM TheRoguePenguin
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* ArbitraryHeadcountLimit: Your total number of followers is governed by your Charisma. This maxes out at six. The dog and robots/zombies/summons do not count against this limit, but they will prevent you from recruiting more as long as they're active members of the party.



** [[spoiler:The Vendigroth Device is capable of killing a mage with no possibility of resurrection... except it only works if the mage has a certain ability which few are powerful enough to master, and that they typically only use when critically injured, so you have to go to the trouble of killing them normally first. There's a grand total of three living mages which even possess the ability, two of which are no longer strong enough to do so.]]

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** [[spoiler:The Vendigroth Device is capable of killing a mage with no possibility of resurrection... except it only works if the mage has a certain ability which few are powerful enough to master, and that they typically only use when critically injured, so you have to go to the trouble of killing them normally first. There's a grand total of three living mages which even possess the ability, two of which are no longer strong enough to do so. It was made during a time when most mages had that power, and they were currently under threat from one.]]
30th Dec '16 1:16:42 AM TheRoguePenguin
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** Beauty. It mostly only really helps to keep people from being hostile on sight and resolving a ''small'' few situations without combat. You can get by with a 2 (and even maximize your Charisma). There are some exceptions but the difference is minor and largely limited to a few minor quest rewards and merchant prices. Lampshaded in the game's manual, which tells the player that an intelligent, charismatic but ugly character will reap the full benefits of a speech-based playthrough more easily than a beautiful, but uncharismatic and stupid character.

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** Beauty. It mostly only really helps to keep people from being hostile on sight and resolving a ''small'' few situations without combat. You can get by with a 2 (and even maximize your Charisma).Charisma), and there are several items and blessings floating about that will bump it up about three or four points. There are some exceptions but the difference is minor and largely limited to a few minor quest rewards and merchant prices. Lampshaded in the game's manual, which tells the player that an intelligent, charismatic but ugly character will reap the full benefits of a speech-based playthrough more easily than a beautiful, but uncharismatic and stupid character.



* FreeLoveFuture: The society of the elves of Qintarra (and presumably T'sen-Ang) is sexually open and nonmonogamous. In fact, in Qintarra, [[YourNormalIsOurTaboo living together monogamously is considered perverted to the point of threatening the social order]], which becomes a plot point in one quest.

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* FreeLoveFuture: The society of the elves of Qintarra (and presumably T'sen-Ang) is sexually open and nonmonogamous.non-monogamous. In fact, in Qintarra, [[YourNormalIsOurTaboo living together monogamously is considered perverted to the point of threatening the social order]], which becomes a plot point in one quest.



* GiantSpider: Spiders start at about cat-sized and move up from there. One quest has you clear a mine of poisonous spiders impeding work. The boss of the level is an oversized version that's much tougher than the regular ones.



* IncredibleShrinkingMan: There's a spell which shrinks the target, the player included. Useful as a debuff for enemies, and allows you to bypass a height restriction on a certain quest which is normally limited to the smaller races.



* WalkingTechbane: Due to the setting's MagicVersusScience laws, technological devices malfunction in the presence of magick, or magically-inclined beings.

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* WalkingTechbane: Due to the setting's MagicVersusScience laws, technological devices malfunction in the presence of magick, or magically-inclined beings. As a gameplay mechanic, this means any technological devices either won't work for a mage (armor, for example, will only provide base protection, not any special bonuses) or will be more likely to critically fail in the case of weapons or items like healing salves, depending on your magic aptitude. At 100, failure is a complete guarantee. The reverse is true of technologists with magical items.
30th Dec '16 1:00:57 AM TheRoguePenguin
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** Should you choose the magical path, Harm is the first level Dark Necromancy spell. It costs a pittance of Fatigue, deals decent damage for its cost, and as befitting of spells, doesn't miss. Its only disadvantages are that it dings your KarmaMeter every time you use it (you'll quickly offend your good-aligned party members) and it won't be as useful lategame (what do you expect of a ''first''-level spell? By this point though, you most likely would have far better options as well).
29th Dec '16 11:16:27 AM TheRoguePenguin
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* UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper: One quest in Caladon involves discovering the identity of a serial killer that has murdered and eviscerated various prostitutes, a crystal clear reference to the real life Jack. [[spoiler: He is a human man who was possessed by a demon, and the only way to stop the killing spree is to destroy the demon with a specific weapon found in a remote location.]]
29th Dec '16 1:00:14 AM TheRoguePenguin
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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.

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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, find and recruit them before you've surpassed their starting level, which in turn affects their competence.



* 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, Jayna 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, Jayna and Swyft can become this.



* AntidoteEffect: The Heal Poison potion and its tech equivalent Poison Cure. Poison is not that damaging to begin with, so most of the time it's easier to just wait it out and heal the lost HP. Non-tech characters might not even have to wait, as [=NPCs=] with White Necromancy spells, including Virgil once he reaches level five, can negate both the poison and the damage.

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* AntidoteEffect: The Heal Poison potion and its tech equivalent Poison Cure. Poison is not that damaging to begin with, so most of the time it's easier to just wait it out and heal the lost HP. Only one character in the game even uses a poison strong enough to actually kill you. Non-tech characters might not even have to wait, as [=NPCs=] with White Necromancy spells, including Virgil once he reaches level five, can negate both the poison and the damage.



* 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.

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* ApocalypticLog: In Vendigroth 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.



* ArtifactAlias: Garfield Thelonius Remmington III is a human who, by some freak accident of birth, was born resembling an orc. He found that the only way he could make money in the game's [[FantasticRacism prejudice-filled society]] was by adopting the name "Gar, World's Smartest Orc" and performing as a freak-show attraction, hiding his family name and severing all ties with them so they would not need to bear the shame of association with him. Even though tricking him into revealing his true name and securing his freedom from his employer are both necessary steps to recruiting him as a follower, your character continues to refer to him as "Gar" for the rest of the game.
** The game hand-waves it, as he himself explains he still doesn't want to embarrass 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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* ArtifactAlias: Garfield Thelonius Remmington III is a human who, by some freak accident of birth, was born resembling an orc. He found that the only way he could make money in the game's [[FantasticRacism prejudice-filled society]] was by adopting the name "Gar, World's Smartest Orc" and performing as a freak-show attraction, hiding his family name and severing all ties with them so they would not need to bear the shame of association with him. Even though tricking him into revealing his true name and securing his freedom from his employer are both necessary steps to recruiting him as a follower, your character continues to refer to him as "Gar" for the rest of the game.
**
game. The game hand-waves it, as he himself explains he still doesn't want to embarrass his family. So outside the interactions with the player's character, he maintains his entire masquerade and demands the same from the 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 plate mail melts right off his back.

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* ArtificialStupidity: AI characters tend to pick up anything on the ground that looks appealing- 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 it by dropping 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 that's been cursed chainmail shirt that continually poisons its wearer.and waiting for them to equipment, which will make them easier to kill or even kill them for you. 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 plate mail melts right off his back.



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

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



** Fate Points have a wide range of applications. The most useful of these is the ability to steal whatever you want from whoever you want. Not very flashy, but you can pickpocket some very good gear if you know where to look.



* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: Green monsters mostly mean they’re poisonous and red ones are usually fire based.

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* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: Green monsters mostly mean they’re they're poisonous and red ones are usually fire based.fire-based. This isn't absolute, though.



* CursedWithAwesome: The Dark Helmet [[spoiler: (obtained from The Lord of the Damned in the Ashbury Castle)]], is one of the most popular cursed items in the game. In exchange for docking your alignment for putting it on, it increases your magic meter every time you don it (unless your technological meter is too high). It's great for three reasons: (1) if you want to be more evil, (2) to make your spells or you magic items more effective or (3) balance your magic/tech meter.

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* CursedWithAwesome: The Dark Helmet [[spoiler: (obtained from The Lord of the Damned in the Ashbury Castle)]], Castle)]] is one of the most popular cursed items in the game. In exchange for docking your alignment for putting it on, it increases your magic meter every time you don it (unless your technological meter is too high). It's great for three reasons: (1) if you want to be more evil, (2) to make your spells or you magic items more effective or (3) balance your magic/tech meter.



** Recruiting Magnus in Tarant or investing a few points in the Smithy Discipline will allow you to create a Balanced Sword, a very fast, decent damage weapon that's a solid choice for most of the game (unless your character is a mage, or a technophobe).

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** Recruiting Magnus in Tarant or investing a few points in the Smithy Discipline will allow you to create a Balanced Sword, Swords, a very fast, decent damage weapon that's a solid choice for most of the game (unless your character is a mage, or a technophobe).



** 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.

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** 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 (or recruit Jayna Styles) 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.

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** In similar fashion, one of the reward rewards from Doc Roberts. If you say you dabble in magic, the doctor will give you an Enchanted Sword. Not only it's is it 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.



** 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.

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** The 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 exceeds 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.



* TheDogBitesBack: The player can find several half-ogres magically bound to a cruel master in the Dark Elf village. Killing this master will release them, and they immediately turn on their tormentors. The elves never stand a chance, and they'll go one to attempt to wipe out the whole village.

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* TheDogBitesBack: The player can find several half-ogres magically bound to a cruel master in the Dark Elf village. Killing this master will release them, and they immediately turn on their tormentors. The elves never stand a chance, and they'll go one on to attempt to wipe out the whole village.village, with probable success.



** 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.

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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 he's by far the best melee character in the game, even if he can't wear armour.



** In general, if you murder the person who's supposed to give you the next main quest, they'll have an item containing info on where to go next.
*** Or you can use dark necromancy to summon their spirits to the material world, torturing the information out of them in exchange for their freedom. It actually works quite well.
* EvilWeapon: There are plenty, but none are as infamous as the Bangellian Scourge. Its creation involved atrocities, and it is an ArtifactOfDoom.

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** In general, if you murder the person who's supposed to give you the next main quest, they'll have an item containing info on where to go next.
***
next. Or you can use dark necromancy to summon their spirits to the material world, torturing the information out of them in exchange for their freedom. It actually works quite well.
* EvilWeapon: There are plenty, but none are as infamous as the Bangellian Scourge. Its creation involved atrocities, and it is an ArtifactOfDoom. Using it docks your alignment with each kill.



** For technologically inclined characters with the sufficient skills there also is [[HandCannon Droch's Warbringer]], an insanely powerful pistol made from [[spoiler:Vendigrothan]] weapon parts. Even its inventors - with all the physics-defying technology they've had - considered it to be the ultimate weapon. This is reflected in its in-game stats.

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** For technologically inclined characters with the sufficient skills there also is [[HandCannon Droch's Warbringer]], an insanely powerful pistol made from [[spoiler:Vendigrothan]] weapon parts. Even its inventors - -- with all the physics-defying technology they've had - -- considered it to be the ultimate weapon. This is reflected in its in-game stats.



* InventoryManagementPuzzle: Characters can only carry a certain amount of weight in a certain amount of space. Objects like guns and bows, though not overly heavy, can take up about a twelfth of your inventory space, while things like potions only take up a single square. Crates, chests and such can hold a much larger number of items, and have no weight penalty, but still have a space limit.

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* InventoryManagementPuzzle: Characters can only carry a certain amount of weight in a certain amount of space. Objects like guns and bows, though not overly heavy, can take up about a twelfth of your inventory space, while things like potions only take up a single square. Crates, chests and such can hold a much larger number of items, and have no weight penalty, but still have a space limit. You can fudge this a bit by using your hotkey slots to carry items (useful for big ones like clockwork robots), but it still counts against your weight limit.



* 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.

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* LethalJokeItem: The 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. 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 and providing a solid reason why one-handed weapons are much better in the long run.
** 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.

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* LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe: LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe:
**
Quality Iron Shield, a pretty common shield sold by blacksmiths all over the game, grants Armor Class of 30. 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 and providing a solid reason why one-handed weapons are much better in the long run.
** 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.
20th Dec '16 6:20:32 PM Ramidel
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* ScienceIsBad:
** The most technologically-adept race of all, the dwarves, are in fact extremely conservative in their employment of technology, and their beliefs hew fairly closely to this trope. One of their axioms is that "any work not done with one's own hands is no such thing," which is why they didn't use the steam engine one of them had invented. Later, King Loghaire explains that when faced with a new technology, the first thing that a human asks is "what can I use this for?" when it should be "what is the ''cost'' of its use?"
** Several of the problems Arcanum is faced with, such as the pollution of Tarant and the destruction of the Morbihan Forest, can be traced back to technology getting into human hands and running amok. The game doesn't treat technology as purely evil, but it's certainly dangerous and easy to misuse.
** Elves, being [[MagicVersusScience innately magickal]], tend to hold this view.
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