[[quoteright:340:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/arcanum_cover_copy.jpg]]

''Arcanum'' is an expansive and very open-ended RolePlayingGame where Tolkienian HighFantasy [[XMeetsY meets]] Vernian SteamPunk, courtesy of [[Creator/TroikaGames the designers]] behind the first two ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' games.

Much of ''Arcanum'' deals with ItemCrafting and character building -- many of the items in the game can be used to build other items and TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything. 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 ''BaldursGateII'' and ''PlanescapeTorment'', although ''Arcanum'''s detail focuses more on its setting's history and mechanisms than on its playable characters.

The ''[[ZeppelinsFromAnotherWorld IFS Zephyr]]'' has just begun her maiden voyage, a marvelous, high-society venture through the clouds. Aboard, the cream of high society enjoys the flight, playing chess, sipping fine wine, etc. Sadly, nothing gold can last forever -- and, out of the blue, the airship is attacked by a pair of ogres flying primitive fighter planes. Within moments, the vessel goes down in flames.

There's only one survivor, the player character -- and, as they crawl out of the wreckage, a dying gnome begs them to take [[MacGuffin his ring]] to "the boy". The player character soon meets a man named Virgil, who claims to have found the reincarnation of a long lost prophet... and that's where the story properly takes off.

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.

''Arcanum'' has a level cap of 50, which encourages players to specialize in very specific types of magic or technology. (However, a no-CD-patch combined with a level cap remover patch can quickly fix that.) Uniquely, knowledge of technology in ''Arcanum'' disables magical aptitude, and vice versa, so that the player will always have to choose between the two (or find a very, very careful balance) and (eventually) be shunned by the other branch.

Remarkably, the game is still being tested and patched by a squadron of devoted fans today. A new release by Good Old Games is [[http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/arcanum_of_steamworks_and_magick_obscura now available]], with the notorious bugs fixed and the game adapted to modern systems.

A sequel -- titled ''Journey to the Centre of Arcanum'' and using ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'''s Source engine -- [[WhatCouldHaveBeen was in its initial planning stages]], but Sierra and Valve had disagreements, and Creator/TroikaGames' dissolution sealed the game's fate.

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!!This game provides examples of the following:

* AbsurdlyLowLevelCap: The level cap of 50 can be reached before you've even finished half the game, quite easily at that.
* TheAgeless: [[spoiler:Anyone banished into the Void becomes this. Time seems to pass, but no one gets any older. It is unknown whether this quality only applies to beings from Arcanum.]]
* 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]].
* AdventurerArchaeologist: Franklin Payne combines this with GentlemanAdventurer.
* AlternativeCalendar: Averted, oddly enough--the game begins on January 1, 1885, despite this being another world.
* AlternateIdentityAmnesia: Cynthia Wit has no idea that she's a lycanthrope, or that she's responsible for butchering the rabbits that her father farms. She tells you that she's been hoping to catch the culprit herself, but all she remembers is feeling terribly exhausted, falling asleep before the attacker arrives and waking up the next morning to find another dead rabbit.
* 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.
* AnAesop: Near endgame [[spoiler:Nasrudin]] summarizes the moral of the story to Virgil: "Blind faith is bad, question everything". This holds true with the [[spoiler:Panarii religion run by the agents of its devil-figure]], and [[spoiler:the deceptions of Min'Gorad which Loghaire admits that he should've been more suspicious of]], and even [[spoiler:the Gnome Ogre-breeding conspiracy which only functions as long as not too many people question the mysterious increase in the Half-Ogre species]].
** The other Aesop is "even when life is suffering, it's still worth living".
* AndIMustScream:
** Torian Kel's fellow Gray Legionnaires; undead warriors whose bodies have rotted away.
*** [-"Nothing will ever raise my comrades from the dust. They will live on... without voice, without dreams, without vision..."-]
** [[spoiler:Arronax has spent the last 2000 years imprisoned in a magical shell, as punishment for attempting to destroy Kerghan when he was first banished to the void.]]
* AndThatLittleGirlWasMe: One of the Isle of Despair's inmates will offer to tell you a story, which ends with the revelation that [[spoiler:he's the rightful heir to the throne of Cumbria, deposed during a coup]].
* AndManGrewProud
* AndYourRewardIsClothes: See ShoutOut below. The clothes happen to be the ones the mage was wearing.
* AntiVillain: For most of the game, [[spoiler: Kerghan]] kills, tortures, and generally acts in an indisputably evil way. But when you are told his motivations for doing so, [[spoiler: particularly when Virgil confirms what he has to say]], you can easily understand his point of view. [[spoiler: Which is kind of disturbing given that he's an OmnicidalManiac.]]
* AntiquatedLinguistics: The manual is written like this. Mostly in an in-universe style.
* 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
* ArtifactOfDoom: The Bangellian Scourge, at least story-wise ([[GameplayAndStorySegregation in game terms, it just slashes your alignment a bit]]).
* ArtificialBrilliance: The AI's capable of some pretty complex interactions. If you kill a man in the street while no guards are watching, you might think you're off scot free -- but you'd better drag the body into an alley, because if a guard on patrol spots you standing next to a corpse he'll figure out you're the killer. Also, unlike in most [=RPGs=], if you take off your clothes and go running through the streets [=NPCs=] will actually react to your obscene behaviour.
** ArtificialStupidity: 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.
*** There is still no justification for picking up large, massive objects that greatly encumber the character. Like big boulders.
* AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence:
** St. Mannox was believed to have done this. [[spoiler:He was actually murdered, making this a subversion.]]
** [[spoiler:In some of the MultipleEndings, the PC can do this.]]
* TheAtoner:
** [[spoiler:Virgil was a thief and gambling addict until his brother was killed to collect on his debts. He claims that he himself was "an evil man" when Virgil tells the PC this.]]
** A bigger one is [[spoiler:Arronax, who can be recruited during the final part of the game, tells you about how much he regrets the horrible crimes he committed in his youth, and how having 2000 years to stand in a single spot and think about it has that effect on you.]]
* AwesomeButImpractical:
** Being a Technologist is often seen as this. While it's actually more of a MagikarpPower due to the sheer number of points required, there's plenty of easier ways to break ''Arcanum'' before you even hit the midpoint.
** [[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.]]
** The Disintegration spell deals an absurd amount of damage to a foe, but will completely obliterate their equipment. If you care about looting, you probably don't want that to happen.
** Jormund has access to several powerful spells from the Force and Fire schools of magic, but the penalty he takes to spellcasting due to being a [[SquareRaceRoundClass Dwarf wizard]] means he'll often exhaust himself before the end of a fight.
* BadassNormal: You can eschew super science and high magic in favor of good old fashioned stabbing things in the face (or in the back in case of thieves). Very effective. Persuasion builds often require it.
* BadassBookworm: The player character can be one of these.
* BalefulPolymorph: Turning opponents into sheep is one option for mages with spells from the Morph college.
* BallisticDiscount: It's quite easy to buy something that's ridiculously expensive, then promptly kill the guy you bought it from and get your money back. This applies to weapons, but also to (for example) a ship.
* BeefGate:
** The first town has a very literal BeefGate; that is, a gate guarded by three Beef Gate characters. All but a very few character builds can get by them without abusing the system to make them incapable of fighting at full strength. Trying to go to the various cities out of order can potentially land you in random encounters well above your ability to handle, but this is hit and miss.
** There's a pack of wolves outside the first area that will slaughter you unless you follow Virgil's advice and use the World Map to bypass them. However, as long as you can goad them into single combat, an attack mage or melee character can reliably kill all of them. It's good for early EXP.
* {{BFG}}: Several, including the terrifyingly powerful Elephant Gun, the armor-defeating Rifled Cannon, the enormous HandCannon, a freaking ''Grenade Launcher'' and various [[LostTechnology Vendigroth artifacts]], such as the Large Bore Rifle, Bronwych's Gun (essentially a plasma pistol) and, of course, [[EleventhHourSuperpower Droch's Warbringer]].
* 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.
* BombThrowingAnarchist: Subverted. Donn Throgg's resistance movement resembles some of the more militant socialist movements from the mid-to-late 19th century, but Throgg isn't really a bad guy, and he saw violence as the only way to change the hideous working conditions in the factories of Tarant. He can be persuaded to pursue his goals in a peaceful manner. [[spoiler: This ends up with him becoming the future president of the Unified Kingdom, and judging from the art style on his posters, he's running a socialist platform.]]
* BonusBoss: Stringy Pete and his crew are significantly harder to beat than the final boss. You can, however, give yourself an advantage by using your accumulated Fate Points to Critical Success Pickpocket all his gear before the fight.
* BookEnds:
** The very first side quest that can be found involves a spirit stuck on the mortal plane, where every moment brings pain. [[spoiler:While said spirit very much deserves this fate, the fact that the mortal world is "painful" is the BigBad's motivation.]]
** And another variation. The plot of the game starts when someone escapes Void (although you are not involved in it). It ends when you do the same thing.
* BoringButPractical:
** The first spell of the Black Necromancy college, Harm, does decent damage with little Fatigue consumption.
** There's also the humble Balanced Sword and Featherweight Axe, a pair of simple and easily-obtainable melee weapons that are easy to use, extremely powerful, light, and fast, and so will usually be a technological melee fighter's primary armament for most of the game. The latter can also be upgraded into the deadly Pyrotechnic Axe, a fire-damage axe that is ''practically indestructible''.
** 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.
** For inventory management, the humble keyring. You are going to collect a lot of keys over the course of the game, which weigh nothing but each takes up an inventory square. A keyring takes two squares, also weighs nothing, and holds infinite keys. All you have to do is buy it for a few coins from a thrift merchant.
* 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.
* BreakableWeapons: A sword is not a proper tool for opening stubborn doors and chests. Neither are your fists, and it will hurt like hell to boot. Bring an ax. [[{{BFG}} Or an elephant gun.]]
** Certain monsters and objects are hard (metal doors, machines, golems) or hot (fire elementals, normal fires) enough to destroy most melee weapons on contact, even axes. The exception to this is similarly damaging or extremely powerful weapons (the pyrotechnic axe and arcane weapon variants, for example, can smash anything). Gauntlets and boomerangs are also unbreakable and with save you from damage.
* CastFromHitPoints: A variation. Using magic doesn't decrease your HP, but runs out your Fatigue meter. An unwise mage can exhaust themselves into unconsciousness.
* ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve: Part of the reason why magic and technology are in opposition of each other.
* TheChosenOne: Almost from the moment the game begins you're told that you're the reincarnation of Nasrudin, a messianic figure. Later subverted when [[spoiler:you actually meet Nasrudin, who's still alive and living in seclusion]]. Or possibly played straight, since [[spoiler: the exact wording of the prophecy says that the ''spirit'' of Nasrudin will be reborn, rather than the guy himself. Since Nasrudin was a force of order and righter of wrongs in his time, and you can become one too, it could be argued that you revived that spirit alright.]]
** Subverted in some of the ending choices.
** TheChosenZero: If you happen to be, say, a dumb ogre, upon first meeting Virgil, he will make an awkward "the gods move in mysterious ways" excuse while trying (and hilariously failing) not to be offensive.
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: [[spoiler: The Master instructor of Backstabbing]] will stab you in the back, figuratively and literally.
* CircleOfStandingStones: The Ring of Brodgar stands at the point where Arronax the Destroyer was [[SealedEvilInACan banished]] by Nasrudin, the Messiah figure of the Panarii.
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: Green monsters mostly mean they’re poisonous and red ones are usually fire based. Dog, would you please kill them for me?
* CombatDiplomacyStealth: Most of the quest solutions boil down to one of these, with Magick and Technology allowing you to either cast spells or build and maintain items to complement your preferred play-style.
* CowboyCop: Doc Roberts. Even though he isn't an actual cop. [[spoiler: He'll take the job from the useless sheriff if you save the town and help him stop the bank robbery, though.]]
* CripplingTheCompetition: A self-inflicted example. William Thorndop, formerly the world's greatest marksman, has taken a vow of non-violence, and cut off his own trigger fingers to make sure he can never hold a firearm again.
* CrutchCharacter: Virgil allows a non-combat character (and even a pure combat character may have difficulty with this at level one and no real gear) to fight the random wolfs in the starting area (even if one at a time) and provides free healing. While Virgil never becomes a bad party member, it's almost impossible for some character builds to survive the early game otherwise.
* CrypticConversation: Virtually everything the Silver Lady has to say. It takes at least a second playthrough to fully decipher her visions, which include not only advice on where to go next but also tidbits of backstory as well as hints to the true nature of the villain. [[spoiler: Her mention of a lone figure floating above a plane of mirrored glass is worth remembering when listening to Kerghan's motivations.]]
* 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. It will make you more evil and increase 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.
* CutscenePowerToTheMax: Well, BackStory power to the max, anyway, overlapping with InformedAbility. Arronax [[spoiler: single-handedly destroyed the largest and greatest ''technological'' city of the Age of Legends]]. In-game, he can't even use Disintegrate (which he actually does use in a cutscene). It mostly amounts to a game engine limitation. Since all characters run on the same type of build (that is to say, they function as you do), it's impossible for him to be as powerful as advertised. Still not a sufficient excuse, though, because there are other characters in the game who are legitimately more powerful than he is, so someone overlooked something with him.
* DaChief: The Police Chief in Caladon.
* DamageDiscrimination: Averted. One stray bullet or misaimed boomerang is all it takes for two townsfolk to start laying into each other.
* TheDarkArts: Averted. Black Necromancy and even demon-summoning are morally neutral, though in point of fact Black Necromancers tend to be [[{{Jerkass}} jerks]].
* DarkActionGirl: Due to their racial strength bonus (which allows them to reach the 20 strength and gain the double damage bonus) and to the FantasticRacism, Half-Orcs females are this by default.
* DeadlyDoctor: You can buff yourself with therapeutics and drug, corrode, poison or even “zombify” your enemies with chemicals. Oh, and remember to pick the MadDoctor background trait.
* DeathByIrony: [[spoiler:Kerghan's goal is to create a technological portal that will exploit [[MagicVersusScience the fragile balance between magic and technology]] and free him from [[SealedEvilInACan the void.]] The game encourages you to destroy him with the Vendigroth Device, a technological weapon which utilises the same principle to turn his own magic against him.]]
* DeathIsCheap: Both mages and technologists have ready access to spells, scrolls, and chemical concoctions that can resurrect anyone body and soul intact. This is precisely why being banished to the Void is such a big deal, since nothing can [[spoiler:apparently]] return from that point.
** [[spoiler: Being able to nullify magical resurrection is also why the Vendigroth Device is so desperately sought after by both sides of the conflict.]]
* {{Deconstruction}}: The game see-saws randomly back and forth between deconstructing and [[{{Reconstruction}} reconstructing]] HeroicFantasy tropes.
* DeconstructorFleet: For the SteamPunk genre. The game takes pains to [[ShownTheirWork point out the more unpleasant side]] of the Victorian era, including hideously unsafe factory working conditions, strikers being gunned down, classism, racism (try playing the game as an half-orc), eugenics -- there's a ''very'' uncomfortable book that talks about a way of solving the Orcish Question via use of a breeding program and removal of a 'malignant gland'. Not to mention the Half-Ogre breeding project, which has some distinctly unnerving parallels with antisemitic conspiracy theories of the time.
* TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything: 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.
** This also extends to the ''numerous'' ways you can solve any problem. For example, early on, you need to get a local merchant to identify who made a ring you're trying to identify. You can simply roll with his request for an item from the nearby haunted mine, hand over a rare camera in trade, butter him up with social skills, or steal his key and look through his documents in the back. If all else fails, you can even use Black Necromancy to interrogate him (or any other quest-giver related to the main plot) ''after he's dead.'' Even Virgil can be questioned this way. Talk about VideogameCrueltyPotential.
** Merchants have chests which are tightly locked. Only a master mage or master lockpick can open them. Of course, they're always the simple way of beating the chests open... but then the merchants never restock because you've destroyed their inventory.
* DiscOneNuke: 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).
** Even better is the (in)famous [[HotBlade Pyrotechnic Axe]] which can be made as soon as you set foot in Tarant. The schematics can be found in a locked chest under Mr. Willoughsby's trap door guarded by three mechanical arachnids. Four free Dwarven Ores can be found in a warehouse infested with rats and the Oaken Axe Handles can be purchased from Junk Dealers. Simply put three points into Smithing or have Magnus make the Featherweight Axes for you when he's high enough level and put either put one point into Explosives or buy an Explosives Technical Manual.
** What makes the Pyrotechnic Axe so powerful, other than it being a InfinityMinusOneSword for melee tech users, is that it does not suffer [[BreakableWeapons weapon damage]] from hitting hardened targets like golems or chests. The 30-50 fire damage bonus is also guaranteed to rip through basically every enemy except the ones that also do fire damage, since almost nothing in the game protects against fire damage.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: Defeating [[spoiler:Kerghan]], who's more or less a PhysicalGod at this point.
** But then again, so is the player, especially if you use the patch to remove the level cap. The game even [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] this: [[spoiler: if you side with Kerghan, the two of you kill every living thing in Arcanum together, after which he'll try to kill you and you end up defeating him]]. And of course, earlier in the game an evil character can do a quest to depopulate the entire town of Stillwater by him/herself...
* DisadvantageousDisintegration: The Disintegrate spell handily destroys your enemy's loot, as well.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything:
** An in-game character called Gil Bates. Considered the inventor of [[strike:[=MS-DOS=]]] steam engines, [[spoiler:actually turns out he stole the idea from the dwarves]]. Reminds you of any old, debunked conspiracy theories? He even has a pissed-off, borderline incompetent competitor named Cedric ''Apple''by.
** Also, the first NPC character that can join your party and act as your early guide to the world of Arcanum is a man called [[DivineComedy Virgil]]. Possibly doubles as a nice ShoutOut.
* TheDogBitesBack
* DummiedOut: Characters in-game frequently mention the island of Cattan, a tourist destination. You can see it on the map, but you can't actually go there in-game. Should you use a glitch or cheat to get there anyhow, it's empty.
* DumpStat: Beauty. It 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). 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.
** Additionally, people will never turn hostile because of your beauty alone, and having a maxed out beauty will never prevent a fight, so its biggest effect is to determine shop prices (Shopkeepers will make you better deals if they like you).
** To a lesser degree; spending Skill Points on Health and Fatigue boosts alone. You’re better off with the additional bonuses with Strength, Constitution and Willpower.
* ElementalEmbodiment: The four elementals: Air, Earth, Water, and Fire. Air and Water are annoying, Earth ranges from a nuisance to a respectable threat, and Fire is outright one of the most dangerous enemies in the game.
* ElvesVersusDwarves: [[PlayingWithATrope Played with.]]
** Elves and dwarves have traditionally gotten along fairly well -- the recent industrial revolution has, in fact, caused both civilizations to dislike humans far more than each other, though elves are still a bit bitter about the dwarves letting Gilbert Bates get his hands on the steam engine. [[spoiler:However, a faction of racial supremacist elves manipulates the dwarven king by threatening war between elves and dwarves unless he banishes one of his own clans as punishment for elevating humans. Years later, the king realizes that it was not, in fact, the elves' doing.]]
** King Thunderstone points out that the two races don't get along (but are civil about it) because [[BlueAndOrangeMorality their moral and ethical philosophies differ too much]] for them to understand each other properly. Ironically, if you consider the philosophies, they are actually very similar.
* EnhancedArchaicWeapon: Several have arisen following the continent's industrial revolution; compound bows that can be upgraded to shoot either [[PoisonedWeapon poisoned]] or [[ArrowsOnFire burning arrows]], knives and hammers fitted with clockwork mechanisms, swords and axes that can give electric shocks, inflict pyrotechnic damage or are [[PoisonedWeapon permanently envenomed]], and tesla-staffs that shock enemies with jolts of electricity are all available to technologically-savvy adventurers.
* EvenEvilHasStandards:
** Trellian, known as The First Assassin, severs an alliance between the assassins' guild he leads, The Molochean Hand, and the Derian-Ka, a cult of necromancers, when he learns of the atrocities committed by the cult's founder, Kerghan, and leads the Hand in a war to purge the Derian-Ka from existence. [[spoiler:In the present day, The Hand's current leader, Gideon Laiar, will do the same to the Dark Elves of T'Sen Ang if you tell him they want to bring back their leader-in-exile Arronax.]]
** [[spoiler:Vollinger, a Hand assassin who you can recruit as a follower, supposedly gets sickened if you take him to a vivisection laboratory/factory farm which the gnomes of Tarant used to [[RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil force-breed]] Half-Ogres.]]
** [[spoiler: Many [[TokenEvilTeammate evil Companions]] will turn on you if you side with Kerghan.]]
* EvilWeapon: There are plenty, but none are as infamous as the Bangellian Scourge. Its creation involved atrocities, and it is an ArtifactOfDoom.
* FakeBalance: Of the "everything is cheap" type, with most builds having access to abilities that can destroy everything in their path. The exception is guns, most of which are woefully underpowered; on the other hand, the [[{{BFG}} Elephant Gun]] is one of the most damaging weapons in the game.
** Archery is another exception. Archers lack any high-end weapon and the skill has no particularly special use.
* FantasticRacism:
** Everyone looks down on orcs. Elves and dwarves simply hate them; humans and gnomes use them for slave labor in a [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything direct allegory]] of black slavery. The book series "The Orcish Question", found in the Tarant library, goes into a lot of detail about both sides of the debate, including some contributions by Orcs themselves. There are many almost-explicit comparisons to Africans and to Jews in the discourse, which neatly lampshades the trope: unlike in real world racism, Orcs ''actually'' tend to have lower intelligence and a more violent nature than the authors. Odd thing, though -- if you play a ''half''-orc they have the same base intelligence stat, and a lot of the orcs you can talk to don't really seem stupid or violent at all, just uneducated and underprivileged. [[BlatantLies As for the manual entry...]]
** Elves and dwarves don't especially like humans, though this is justified by the fact that humans have been making a mess of things recently. Gnomes, for some reason, are not nearly as disliked by either. Everyone likes halflings, more or less, and racism towards half-ogres is limited by the fact that it's [[TooDumbToLive a bad idea to tick off something that big and strong.]]
*** Racism against half-ogres is usually too subtle for them to notice. The one you meet on the Island of Despair (who was unusually intelligent, as well) didn't realize he was a factory slave until years afterwards, when he'd gotten an education and time to think about it.
** Subverted by the half-elves who are almost universally liked and admired (and tend to become diplomats, merchants and... trophy wives because of it), except for the almost universally ''disliked'' half-orcs, who loathe them.
** Good luck playing as a half-orc.
*** If you're half-orc, you can hilariously ask a exeptionally friendly priestess in Stillwater why she's nice to you.
* FantasyCounterpartCulture:
** The Unified Kingdom, [[SubvertedTrope which actually has no monarch]] and is run by a cabal of gnomish capitalists, is obviously modelled on late VictorianBritain. The fantasy races are mostly Tolkienian stereotypes.
** Before the release of the game, the official site carried several front pages for a fictional newspaper from the gameworld. One article had an amusing account of a fantasy version of the historical controversy concerning Darwinism. The gist of it was that the Elves consider themselves the oldest race on Arcanum, and are rather irritated at recent discoveries that seem to indicate that the humans and dwarves evolved first and that elves and some other races branched off from them the due to the influence of magic.
*** Talking about that, one of the in-game texts was a journal of local Archaeological Society. It turns out they are very unhappy about "heroes" [[DungeonCrawling raiding ancient tombs and ruined temples for magical treasures and ancient lore]], without any reverence for scientific methodology. It could be a ShoutOut to Heinrich Schliemann's methods -- but it's a fantasy role-playing game, and we all know what the characters in every fantasy role-playing game ever excel at.
* FantasyGunControl: PlayedWith. The battle between [[MagicVersusScience Science and Magick]] is an actual rule of Nature and a major sort of world-point. Guns are considered technology, and therefore magic interferes with them. Thus, the archetypal mage cannot use a gun without it exploding in his hands. Firearms are both common and fairly effective... against unarmored humans and low-level monsters. Enchanted armor and mid-to-high-level monsters [[GunsAreWorthless laugh at handguns]], meaning that late-game technologists will be packing {{BFG}}s and ''lots'' of ammo. It's a recurring plot point as well in many of the sidequests, though it only becomes important to the main quest near the end.
** The backstory examines the "conscript versus knight" problem, and for some reason, policemen rarely carry guns even in Tarant.
* FinalBossPreview:
** After you visit the Isle of Despair, but before you reach the Wheel Clan, [[spoiler:Kerghan posing as]] Arronax appears before you as a phantom, taunts you and uses a spell which knocks you and all your followers unconscious.
** More of a "Final Mook Preview," but one quest in Blackroot involves shutting down a portal [[spoiler:to the Void, the game's final dungeon]]. During it, you fight monsters normally not seen till the final dungeon. When you kill them, more spawn, changing to different monsters after you've dealt with enough of one type. Though they run out eventually, [[PeninsulaOfPowerLeveling leveling here is pretty quick]], enough to get you near the top in one go.
* FlunkyBoss: The FinalBoss can summon two of the EliteMook blue zombies to aid him in battle. Even if you're maxed out for that battle, the zombies are at least a respectable annoyance (because they do fire damage).
* 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.
* GameBreakingBug: Several, with perhaps the most notable being the one where a party member told to wait will disappear forever.
* GameFavouredGender: Male characters get a considerable number of advantages over female characters. First of all, out of the 8 playable races only 4 of them have a [[DistaffCounterpart female option]]. Woman also have a stat difference then men, start with +1 CON and -1 STR. This means they can never obtain the double melee damage bonus for having 20 STR without taking a background that increases their strength. Which naturally excludes them from taking another, more useful background. Males also have more heterosexual options for [[OptionalSexualEncounter sexual encounters]] in the game.
* GameplayAndStoryIntegration: The game deserves credit for the fact that the resurrection spell ''enables'' new quest options via restoring a person.
* GayOption: Seducing a lonely widow is harder if you're also a woman, but it's certainly doable. Then there's the female [[TheDragon Dragon]], who, when faced by a female hero, is actually more likely to be the one doing the seducing. Finally, there's an actual brothel in Tarrant, which isn't that discriminating about its clients. Or its [[{{Squick}} employees]]. Near endgame [[spoiler:if Raven is in your party, the player is human/half-elf/elf and said the right lines to her in before she joined]] she will have sex with the PC regardless of gender. In fact, it appears the only straight option for females are two filthy gnomes (one being a prostitution job), and the orgy in you're invited to in Stillwater for finding the cult's statue (there are some dudes lying around in the aftermath, although you're not linked to anyone specifically).
* GeniusBruiser: Thorvald's Half-Ogre guard. Potentially the player too.
* GlobalCurrency: Averted in-universe (the lack of such actually comes up as a plot point a couple of times), but [[GameplayAndStorySegregation played straight gameplay-wise]].
* GovernmentConspiracy: [[spoiler:The Industrial Council]] is running one of these.
* GreatWhiteHunter: Franklin Payne.
* TheGuardsMustBeCrazy: Notably averted. Policeman {{NPC}}s notice and react to bodies, as well as the presence of armed characters in the vicinity of those bodies, and may attack the player if they happen to walk in while you're standing over a fresh kill with your sword drawn. In the event of an assault they'll leap to the victim's aid, and it is possible to get them to fight on your side if you don't fight back against your attacker until they get involved.
* GuideDangIt:
** Recruiting the dog can be quite the hassle unless you know ''exactly'' what you're doing. Then again, it's equally possible to just stumble upon the dog by accident, since recruiting him is time-sensitive upon arrival. Unless you have resurrection spell or a resurrection potion handy.
** The blessing from the All-Father. You have to make blessings at the alters in a certain order, some of which have to be repeated at least once, then find the final altar buried in Vendigroth. Oh, and if you're a technologist, you better have one of your followers carry a tech-based resurrect. The All-Father kills you in the process of blessing you, then casts Resurrect to bring you back... except a 100 tech-aligned character will block the spell, thus leaving you dead if your party can't bring you back. The game does give you a book and a vague diagram which can allow you to reasonably figure it out, and trial and error allows you to realize you messed up (other gods will curse you if you do it wrong).
** Some Fate Points require counter-intuitive behavior to trigger. For example, a Fate Point gained for aiding Magnus against the necromancer jewelers requires that you ''almost'' betray him first. Simply aiding him outright earns you nothing.
** Good luck finding the [[MasterOfTheFlyingGuillotine Aerial Decapitator]], the best non-grenade throwing weapon, without looking up the coordinates of its location.
* GuileHero[=/=]MagneticHero: Persuasion-based characters can get anyone to do pretty much anything they want, often without charge, and get a ''lot'' of companions (around six) to do your dirty work for you. It's even possible to have a decent combat build on top of this, including some use of magic or tech.
* TheGunslinger: You can play this kind of character.
* GypsyCurse: Killing Madame Toussaud is a ''bad'' idea. Can also be inverted with the quest's good ending.
* HalfHumanHybrids: Now in three flavours: half-elves, half-orcs and half-ogres. Unusually for the genre, the writers have an in-game explanation for why halfbreeds are even biologically possible (Pre-release marketing material in the form of a fake newspaper suggests that humans and elves are really just distantly related races rather than separate species, half-ogres [[spoiler: are a eugenics experiment that has gone though countless non-viable offspring until a breeding population was produced]] while Orcs are suggested to be [[spoiler:humans that have undergone some form of mutation or deformity]], and why only those three variants exist.
** The game manual contains an in-universe academic study of Natural and Supernatural Selection. The study claims proof of humans being the original race that evolved through pure natural selection, from which elves and orcs evolved through Supernatural selection during a time of unprecedented global magickal activity some 900000 years ago. During this time many of the fantastical magickal creatures of bygone ages came into existance, such as hydras, sea-serpents and dragons. Also, some humans became the progenitors of a race of literal giants, which have now become extinct, but their evolutionary descendants, the ogres, still remain. The fact that humans can produce viable offspring with these three races, while the three cannot interbreed with each other, is considered proof they they all originally stem from humans, much like gnomes and halflings stem from dwarves, who in turn had a common natural ancestor with humans some 2 million years ago.
* HandCannon: With a large enough bore to literally qualify as a 'cannon'; in RealLife, anyone attempting to wield it as a pistol would shatter their own arm. [[RuleOfCool Not that anyone cares.]]
* TheHatMakesTheMan: The Helm of Dark Magics, which permanently lowers your alignment every time you use it.
* HeroicFantasy: Melded with SteamPunk.
* HeroicSpirit[=/=]HeroicWillpower: [[spoiler: Raven]] is the first character where the evil strategy of 1) murder 2) cast Conjure Spirit - doesn't seem to work. [[spoiler: Her]] ghost doesn't feel any pain from the summoning, and actively mocks the PC's attempts at interrogation.
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: The Elven Council went around righting wrongs and doing hero stuff in the Age of Legends, but [[CantArgueWithElves their heads got pretty swollen from all of the heroic carnage]], until [[spoiler: Arronax finally went over the edge and nuked Vendigroth in the name of the Council]].
* HiddenElfVillage: Two of them. And four dwarf ones [[spoiler: (only one's left, though)]]. Probably more, but they're just too well hidden to be in the game. And one for super-powerful [[DesignatedHero "good"]] wizards. And one for LizardFolk.
* HistoricalInJoke: While the use of an engine muffler to make a silencer may look like just another example of [[RuleOfFun the game's]] [[BambooTechnology approach to item crafting]], both items were invented by the same person (Hiram Maxim) on the same science.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: [[spoiler:The Vendigroth device]] exploits the unstable relationship between magick and technology to turn a mage's powers against them, but only under very specific circumstances. It was built when mages were ridiculously more powerful, and most modern mages do not have the skill to reach that level.
* HollywoodSilencer: Although, since semi-automatic pistols have yet to be invented and normal revolvers can't be silenced, [[RealityEnsues it can only be used on a certain custom-built firearm]].
* HolyGround: Falcon's Ache is sacred to the elves, and anyone who sheds blood on the ground will have their life taken by the spirits that live there. This becomes important in a quest when you have to drive away some lumberjacks that want to claim the site as a timber yard; you can't hurt them, but you can goad them into attacking you and let the spirits kill them, so long as you don't fight back.
* HulkSpeak: Orcs, ogres and half-ogres usually speaks this way. You can too, if you have less than 5 IN, or have the Idiot Savant, Bride of Frankenstein or Frankenstein Monster background traits.
* HumansAreTheRealMonsters: Dwarven technology in human hands has propelled Arcanum into an industrial revolution, which has led to the destruction of Morbihan Forest and rendered Tarant the world's most polluted city. Dwarves and elves offer several reasons for why this trope is in effect; Humans have much shorter lifespans than other civilised races, so they don't live long enough to develop wisdom, they are driven by fear of their own death to make their mark upon the world before they die, and they rarely live long enough to see the destructive consequences of their actions.
** Of course, the other races aren't exactly bastions of innocence, [[spoiler:the Gnomes in particular.]]
* HundredPercentHeroismRating: The PC gets better reaction from other characters (including shopkeepers who give them discounts) if he or she helped the inhabitants of a given settlement. Additionally, characters sometimes mention specific deeds of the PC and act accordingly. Of course, evil deeds get attention and respect of shady characters (including party members who base their decision to join the PC on his or her karma meter).
* IfYoureSoEvilEatThisKitten: The [[spoiler:Dark Elves of T'sen Ang]] will offer an alliance to an evil-aligned player character; their first quest requires you to massacre the village of Stillwater.
** This isn't arbitrary evilness. [[spoiler:If you ask Min'Gorad for reasons, she tells you that the town is too close to the forest, and people making forays into the elven lands are using it to resupply. It is across a dangerous mountain pass, and you can argue this to her (to the effect of mildly annoying her) but it fits with the intensely xenophobic and paranoid mentality the dark elves have.]]
* ImDyingPleaseTakeMyMacGuffin: [[spoiler: Subverted. You'd expect the ring given by the dying "gnome" to be either magical or at least the key to unlocking some ancient horror. However, the signet ring is merely a clue to figuring out the identity of "the boy", and it's fully possible to identify, locate him and acquire his aid even if you let the ring be stolen within 5 minutes of obtaining it. Keeping it only allows you to sell it back to the owner for a small sum.]]
* ImpossibleThief: It is technically possible to steal equipped armor and weapons, just rather difficult. Fate Points let you get around the difficulty, assuming you're willing to spend them.
* InfinityPlusOneSword: There is a {{BFS}} in the final dungeon which does as much if not more damage than any other weapon in the game. [[spoiler:If you neglected to bring the Vendigroth Device or handed it over to the Dark Elves, then said sword is one of the few ways to pierce Kerghan's barrier and kill him.]]
** 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.
* InterfaceSpoiler: [[spoiler:When the Mysterious Apparition appears after your visit to the Isle of Despair you can see the crossed pistols icon of a Human character in the info box. This is a huge spoiler, since it invalidates his claim that he's Arronax, who is an elf. The Mysterious Apparition is actually the human mage Kerghan.]]
** Gar the "Orc" also has the character icon of a Human.
* 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.
* ItemCrafting: Make a suit of plate armour with only two items and some theoretical knowledge! No tools needed! Results in literally no time at all! Or, for that matter, a sentient super dangerous attack spider from only a steam engine and a cogwheel. Oh, the marvels of modern science!
* KillerRabbit:
** The summoning spell for the Nature magick college, at full power, will summon an ordinary-looking white rabbit called the "Vorpal Bunny".
** Also, the blue rabbit that is allegedly the shapeshifting Stillwater Giant. You ''do'' find it in a cave filled with bones, after all...
** Also, the blue rabbit that is ''genuinely'' the shapeshifting Stillwater Giant, which you meet in a random encounter immediately after finishing that questline.
* 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.
* LargeHam: '''Franklyn Payne, adventurer extraordinaire!'''
* LizardFolk: The Bedokaan.
* LuckManipulationMechanic: The game has fate points, which may be used to force a critical success (or do something else if you prefer). This is most useful for forcing a critical pickpocket success, allowing you to steal the unique items from certain [=NPCs=].
* MacGyvering: You'll do this a lot if you play as a scientist.
* MagicFromTechnology[=/=]ClarkesThirdLaw: Technology in this setting is capable of doing things so fantastic that it's essentially indistinguishable from magic in many ways (though magic itself is still a separate, distinct thing). A healing salve that closes gashes and mends broken bones in literally seconds? A staff that fries your foes with pinpoint-accurate bolts of lightning? A ring that gives you limited SuperSpeed when wearing it? A chemical concoction that can ''bring people back from the dead''? A device that can create ''zombies''? All of this and more can be yours through the wonders of [[SteamPunk late 19th Century]] [[ForScience SCIENCE!]]
* TheMagicGoesAway[=/=]TheMagicComesBack: Its implied that, because of the MagicVersusScience rules discussed below, Arcanum goes through cycles of a period of high technology, a period when magic and technology coexist in uneasy balance, a period of high magic, another period of coexistence, and so on. Bates' manufacture and marketing of steam engines to the humans is causing a new age of technology to begin and magic to wane. Certain in-game books and conversations imply that magic was once stronger than it is now, and some of the relics from Vendigroth and The Iron Clan hint at what technology might achieve in the future. Although the Vendigrothian relics suggests that it is quite possible for the periods of uneasy coexistence to have both magic and technology be what the 'present day' of the game would consider high.
** The game manual mentions an unexplained event some 900,000 years ago that caused the magickal energies of the world to suddenly skyrocket. Scholars call this time period in Arcanum's history the Epoch of High Enchantment. It is in this highly magickal time that the Elves and Giants evolved from humans, and many of the more fantastic creatures, that have since become extinct, came into existance by either transforming or merging together creatures that existed at the time. It is implied that ever since then magick has been slowly draining from the world.
* MagicVersusScience: One of the best [[JustifiedTrope justifications]] on record; [[MagicAndPowers Magick]] ''[[RealityWarper alters physics]]'' to do stuff, Technology ''uses physics'' to do stuff. Machinery operating around people using spells are performing nonsense actions - powerful spells will break weaker machines just by being used in the vicinity. Likewise, spells used around machinery are basically inserted into said machinery - powerful machines will cause weaker spells to fail just by operating in their vicinity.
** A hilarious and quickly-tiresome conversation occurs every time you try to buy a train ticket, basically boiling down to "Are you a wizard?", "Are you sure you're not a wizard?", "You might be a wizard, if-" and quickly turns out to be completely redundant, since the conductor has a device that detects hazardous levels of magic before letting you board a train anyway. Conversely, simply being inside a train station instantly lowers your magicka stat.
*** And by "device", we mean that he holds up his watch and checks so it doesn't start running backwards when you come near.
* MagikarpPower:
** Most schools of magic work this way. The first level of a spell tree is some weak utility spell, the second is stronger and likely has some use in combat, the third is hefty, and the fifth (which requires a lot of dedicated status-requirements) is super-powerful. On top of that, spell strength is dependent on your magic rating; a truly powerful mage needs a full 100 rating, which requires putting points into several spell trees. Special mention goes to summoning spells, which summon different creatures based on your magical rating. The higher it is, the stronger the summon.
** Technologists as a character build are an even greater example. While they get a far worse rap than they deserve from a lot of players, there are some serious issues with using them to their full potential, most notably the extreme cost in points to fill out their disciplines (seven compared to five for mages). Playing an effective technologist requires you to finesse your abilities and items for the utmost advantage, but a proper build can lead to a character who is mighty enough to defeat [[BonusBoss Stringy Pete and his crew of the damned]] by themselves.
** Lockpicking on either side of the fence. Any lock you can pick without maxed out skill is probably a chest you could have beat open just as easy. Maxed out skill lets you pick storekeeper chests, for infinite money and free gear. Tech lockpicking has the benefit of being silent, letting you pick more chests without being caught than the noisy unlocking spell.
* TheMagocracy: The Elven Council in the Age of Legends.
* {{Malaproper}}: Anytime Lukan the Witless attempts SesquipedalianLoquaciousness.
* MasterOfUnlocking: There are two ways of becoming this. Either max out the Lockpick skill, or learn the Unlocking Cantrip spell with 100 Magicka. Being seen by guards while picking a lock will cause them to attack, so the former option is best for stealth, since all spells raise awareness levels (because they're flashy). The latter is better for repeat business (say, if you manage to unlock a shop's inventory, or plan to squat a house for storage), since a lock unlocked by magic will never be relocked.
* MercyKill: The BigBad wants to do this [[spoiler:to the ''[[OmnicidalManiac entire world]]''.]]
* ModularEpilogue: The game has this kind of ending, displaying how the player's actions influenced the fate of certain states and factions of the game world.
* MoneySpider: There is a warehouse in Tarant home to a giant rat inexplicably carrying several hundred gold coins.
* MoreDakka: The Repeater Rifle is a more subdued version of this; for players desirous of further Dakka, there's the fully-automatic Mechanized Gun, which can dish out an absolutely terrifying amount of damage but chews through ammo at an astonishing rate.
* MultipleEndings: In the manner of ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}''.
* 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.
* MurderInc: The Molochean Hand.
** HighlyVisibleNinja: Played straight and averted. Unless you pickpocket every person (barring RandomEncounters, who are quite open about their intentions) you talk to, you don't know who's in, but they are easily identified by the necklace once you do.
* MurderTheHypotenuse: Inverted by [[spoiler:Wrath, Sharpe and Ivory: [[MyDeathIsJustTheBeginning Wrath commits suicide with a glass of poisoned wine, in the hopes that Sharpe will take the blame for his murder]]]], the [[UnwittingPawn PC can help it along if they don't explore the quest well]].
* ANaziByAnyOtherName: The dark elves are basically elven supremacists.
* NiceHat: A bullet deflecting top hat.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: If you have the Bane of Kree in your party at the end of the game and gave him the InfinityPlusOneSword you found in the same area, an ending sequence has him waging war upon all of Arcanum, for which you are blamed. While it would seem obvious what effect bringing him back would have, there's no real dialogue or even a hint as to how to trigger this unless you have a specific follower in your party. Contrast with the half-man, half-dragon Kraka-Tur, who will explicitly threaten to do this should you release him yet won't (no doubt being a coward dissuaded him from causing trouble with you around).
* 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.]]
* NoOntologicalInertia, shown early on.
** TheOtherWiki states that technology is liked by humans because the effects of machines are permanent.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Gar the Orc AKA Garfield Thelonius Remingtom the Third. A child of two human parents physically identical to an orc. Introduced as a sideshow act; the "World's Smartest Orc". He was forced into indentured servitude after his genuinely caring parents lost their entire fortune trying to help him. The player may negotiate his freedom and gain him as a party member if they're intelligent enough to discern Gar's true nature.
* TheObiWan: Elder Joachim to Virgil.
* OccultDetective: You can solve Garringsburg Robbery with the help of a gypsy fortune teller.
* OffscreenMomentOfAwesome: If you go to the Pit of Fires to retrieve a magic sword, you may find a group of adventurers who are there to obtain the sword in exchange for monetary compensation. If you can convince them that you need the sword for a noble purpose (Like, for example, [[spoiler:destroying L'Anamelach]]), they will go into the cave, brave all the nasty things waiting in it, return to the entrance, and promptly hand the sword over to you. Not a single one of them dies in the process.
* OmnicidalManiac: [[spoiler: Kerghan]], and a rare example where one of your morally good characters will actually admit he kinda has a point.
* OneGenderRace: An in-game reason was made up to explain what amounted to space limitations. Dwarf women are rare (you never see one in-game, and bringing up the issue with male dwarfs can somehow [[BerserkButton trigger homicidal rage]]), while gnome and halfling women apparently suffer from StayInTheKitchen syndrome.
** As for Half-Ogres, [[spoiler:the Gnomish Industrial Council keeps all the females that result from their breeding program at their farms to breed more half-ogres.]]
* 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.
** GodStat: Dexterity, and Speed in general if you're playing the game in Turn Based mode.
* OurElvesAreBetter: The major elf groups can be ''colossal'' {{Jerk Ass}}es to anyone who isn't an elf...up to the [[KnightTemplar Dark Elves]] who want to [[FantasticRacism bring all non-Elves under Elven domination, or else just kill them off]].
** CantArgueWithElves: 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.
** ScrewYouElves: Unless you are totally unwilling to put up with her shit, in which case it's time to start killing (or pickpocket her).
* OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame
** Played straight to the extent that female dwarves are simply a rumour dwarves never discuss (and your player can't be one), so all dwarves to be found are bearded males.
*** The reason for this is speculated by an in-universe evolutionary biologist to be that dwarven males outnumber females 2:1 and that it takes about 10 years for a dwarven woman to carry a child to term, meaning that they have to be kept perfectly safe for long periods of time.
** Averted with city dwarves, who eschew the old clan customs, and are more proud of their city of origin than their dwarvishness. They still don't talk about their females.
** [[InvokedTrope Attempted invocation]] by [[spoiler: Magnus, who's so ashamed to be a city dwarf, he makes every attempt to be More The Same like he imagines ''real'' dwarves should be. Even when he doesn't exactly know the customs he should be following, he'll make them up as he goes along. He gets most of the facts from a dubious book on the subject, which was written by a human.]]
** Also subverted by [[spoiler: Preston Radcliffe, the dying 'gnome' at the game's intro. He's actually a dwarf who shaved his beard to disguise himself. To the rest of his clan, this is an unthinkable disgrace only partly forgiven by the severity of the situation. The player, if a dwarf, can lampshade this by saying, "We dwarves would rather cut our throats then cut off our beards."]]
* PacifistRun: Possible if you have a high Persuasion skill and one of the following: [[StealthRun High prowling skill]], [[NonLethalWarfare technological non-lethal explosives]], or the {{Invisibility}} spell. Unless you side with the dark elves (where you need to go OmnicidalManiac on a town) and/or count [[spoiler:Kerghan's letting you kill him]] nothing must be killed to beat the game, or at least nothing sapient.
** TechnicalPacifist Runs are a bit easier: just build up your Charisma until you can sign up a bunch of henchmen to do your fighting for you.
* PhysicalGod: Anyone of sufficient personal power is effectively a deity. Nasrudin and Arronax are even worshipped as such, [[spoiler: and they're hardly the most powerful beings in the setting. In the ending, you can declare yourself a god, and given that you just took Kerghan apart, it's really more of a LampshadeHanging than anything]].
* PointBuildSystem: ''Arcanum'' has one of the most flexible character creation systems in all of gaming.
* PointOfNoReturn: Once [[spoiler:Nasrudin banishes you to the Void]] you cannot return to any previous area in the game. You are at least given fair warning to prepare. However, if you try to [[spoiler:kill Nasrudin, he'll banish you before dying whether you like it or not]].
* [[PeninsulaOfPowerLeveling Portal of Power Leveling]]: One early SideQuest involves the discovery and destruction of a one-way dimensional portal spawning an [[AddedAlliterativeAppeal endless array of enemies]]. Destroying the portal allows you to complete the quest, but it's actually possible to just sit outside the portal and kill the not-quite-endless swarms until they simply run out. You'll jump about twenty to thirty levels for your trouble, in a game where the [[CharacterLevel Level]] {{Cap}} is only fifty.
* PoweredArmor: The Machined Plate, powered by a Minute Steam Works which makes it essentially a SteamPunk version of its {{Expy}} the [[VideoGame/{{Fallout}} T-51b Power Armor]] and like the T-51b, it grants +3 Strength. There are actually three versions of the Machined Plate in the game:
** Basic Machined Plate (Armor Class 25, Damage Resistance +30, Fire Resistance +10, Electrical Resistance -20, Noise Penalty -90), found in a house during a quest and grants no Strength bonus.
** Machined Platemail (Armor Class 30, Damage Resistance +20, Fire Resistance +20, Noise Penalty -90, Strength +3), worn by certain [=NPCs=].
** Machined Plate (Armor Class 25, Damage Resistance +45, Poison Resistance +20, Fire Resistance +20, Electrical Resistance -10, Noise Penalty -90, Strength +3), can only be made by investing 7 points into Smithy to craft the Elite Plate and combining it with a Minute Steam Works. Arguably the best Technological armor in the game.
* ProtagonistWithoutAPast: Of course, if you take the trait "child of a hero", the game claims that everyone knows your father is famous, but no one will acknowledge it (although they will tend to react more positively to you).
* PsychoForHire: Sebastian, Vollinger, and Chukka.
* PurelyAestheticGender: Averted. Females of any race (where applicable) gain one point of Endurance and lose one point of Strength. The maximum possible value for a stat is 12 added to the starting value from race and background, and hitting 20 in a status gives you bonus (for example, doubling damage for strength) on top of normal effects for increasing stats, so females can't get that bonus without an artificial boost. Gender also affects dialog, though there's only a few times this is more then just sir/ma'am pronouns etc, such as the Gentleman's Club in Tarrant.
** However, it does mean that female characters are slightly early-game [[GuysSmashGirlsShoot better mages (because of the Endurance boost)]], and the Tomboy background gives +1 STR / -1 CON, essentially undoing the gender adjustment. This does, however, prevent females from accessing other, more useful backgrounds.
* RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil:
** Half-Orcs are subject to a lot of FantasticRacism, partly because most people assume that at some point in their ancestry, a male orc violated an unwilling human woman.
** [[spoiler:Arguably, one of the most disturbing and sickening parts of the game is visiting the factory farm where a large number of Half-Ogres were 'bred' by the Gnomish conspiracy.]]
* RagnarokProofing: Much of the technology of [[spoiler:Vendigroth]] still functions ''over two thousand years after a (localised) EarthShatteringKaboom'', including, unfortunately, the defense systems. Same goes for the [[spoiler:Iron Clan Guardians]], although it's not clear how old these are.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: [[spoiler:Kerghan has an epic speech where he explains why basically life itself sucks and must be wiped out, accompanied with FMV stills. What makes the speech extra creepy is that he actually makes a fairly convincing case for it, since what amounts to Heaven is demonstratedly real in-story if you keep Virgil in your party until then.]]
* ReligionIsMagic: Making offer to gods whose altars a scattered around Arcanum gives you very real stat boosts. It also gives you very real curses if you don't respect their interpersonal relationships when doing it.
* ReligionIsRight: Partly subverted and partly played straight with Panarii. Most of their myths actually happened. Their prophecies, on the other hand, need some work. [[spoiler: You are not the ChosenOne and reincarnation of Nasrudin, as Virgil believes. It's really hard to reincarnate when you are still alive]].
** Played straight and deconstructed with the pantheon of old gods. They're all real, and their powers are easily demonstrated, but in a world where magic is mundane and sometimes a nuisance most people have lost interest. Halcyon and Gestianna's followers amount to village cults, and the latter has an annual orgy as a main selling point.
* TheReveal: Towards the end of the game. [[spoiler: [[FantasticRacism Arronax]] has done a HeelFaceTurn, wants to [[TheAtoner atone]] for his misdeeds, and is stuck in a crystal unable to interact with his surroundings or communicate with the normal world. [[OmnicidalManiac Kerghan]] is the real BigBad.]]
* RevolversAreJustBetter: Averted; most of the upper-tier handguns are either rolling-block or semi-automatic, and the title of best firearm overall is tied between a steampunk rocket launcher, a bolt-action SniperRifle, a gigantic break-action elephant gun, a [[MoreDakka heavy machine gun]] and a LightningGun. Revolvers are by far the most common type of firearm in the game, though, and will be the main armament of any gunslinger character for the majority of the game.
** 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.
* RockBeatsLaser: Averted. A few decades prior to the beginning of the game, the nations of Cumbria and Tarant went to war. The mighty army of the kingdom of Cumbria, renowned for their skill at arms, consisted mainly of mounted knights and heavily-armored swordsmen. The poorly-trained conscript military of Tarant consisted of riflemen, artillery, and machine-gun teams. The battle is ''exactly'' as one-sided as it sounds. The Cumbrians only ever won any battles through ambushes in dense terrain, and these were few and far between. By 1885 (when the game starts), Cumbria is a decaying, run-down shadow of its former self, while Tarant is thriving.
* RPGsEqualCombat: Technically it's possible to complete the game without fighting and it isn't even hard, but it requires you to have a very specific character build. The non-combat gameplay parts are still better than those in most [[WesternRPG RPGs]] anyways.
* ScaledUp: Kraka-Tur, a human who transformed himself into a dragon using dragon's blood and a magic scroll. [[spoiler:The FinalBoss will also shapeshift into a vaguely draconic form if you choose to fight him.]]
* SchizoTech: Showcased as early as the brief animation that plays when you first start the game, in which a traditional knight in plate armor with an enchanted sword is showcased alongside a warrior with a [[RevolversAreJustBetter revolver]] and a suit of SteamPunk PoweredArmor. Things only get more ridiculous from there - the market district of Tarant, for example, has a gunsmith selling ''machine guns'' next door to a weapons shop peddling swords and maces, airplanes and commercial [[ZeppelinsFromAnotherWorld airship]] lines exist but nothing even resembling an automobile can be found, etc.
* ScienceDestroysMagic: One late conversation mentions that the world goes through cycles of magic, uneasy balance, tech, etc., with the game taking place during the uneasy balance leading into an era of technology. There's an UnreliableNarrator at work, however, [[spoiler: and other indications (such as the state of the world in the Age of Legends) indicate that it's possible for high technology and high magick to exist simultaneously]].
* ScienceHero: you can play a technologist character yourself, but there are straight examples among [=NPCs=] as well.
* ShotgunsAreJustBetter: Averted. They're cheap, light, and compact but are still objectively one of the worst firearms in the game, with [[ShortRangeShotgun terrible range]], [[ArbitraryGunPower poor damage]], no armor penetration and a slow fire rate.
* SealedEvilInACan: The Void fulfills this purpose. Arguably, [[spoiler:L'Anamelach counts as well.]]
* SelectiveMemory: Our hero was going from the second largest city on the continent to the largest one, but does not remember where these cities are located. All our hero has is a map which shows the major topographical features of the continent, but none of the settlements. The player character is supposedly from a different continent which makes their lack of geographical knowledge about Arcanum understandable.
* SerialKiller: [[spoiler: L'Anamelach.]]
* SheatheYourSword: There's a side-quest where you have to get these human prospectors off of elven holy ground. The ground is cursed/blessed so that anyone who acts violently while on it is killed instantly. You have basically two options; talk/trick the humans into leaving, or goad them into attacking you thus getting them killed. If you're going for the latter option, [[GuideDangIt make sure you have Automatic Combat switched to "off." Also don't wear the bullet deflecting hat, when it reflects a bullet it counts as a hostile action.]]
** You can order Virgil to hold position somewhere nearby so that he can't reach the fight until everyone is already dead; the Resurrection spell, however, ''can be cast at long distance.'' [[GoodBadBugs If he casts it on you before combat ends, the game over screen doesn't appear.]] Really, who doesn't want to cheat their way out of a peaceful elven hippie curse using a combination of ''[[MurderIsTheBestSolution violent mayhem and necromancy?]]''
* ShoutOut:
** Several to ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}''. You find a power-armor-wearing man outside of the secret mage city. He was sent to find a water crystal but now they won't let him back in because he's been contaminated by the outside world.
** The entirety of Vendigroth Wastes - a huge desert littered by ruins of an ancient, technologically advanced civilization that vanished due to an unknown cataclysm.
** There's also a two-headed cow in Parnell's museum of curiosities. {{Lampshaded}} when your character claims to have seen one somewhere else.
** The weapon you retrieve for Throwing mastery is the [[Film/{{Krull}} Glaive]] in all but name.
** The very secret EasterEgg "Aerial Decapitator", taken directly from ''Master of the Flying Guillotine''.
** Evil Virgil tells Joachim [[Franchise/StarWars "Your powers are weak, old man."]]
** A sidequest involves the player in an investigation around prostitutes murdered and disemboweled in a district called "Whythechurch". An obvious shout-out to JackTheRipper, the "murderer of Whitechapel".
** SettlersOfCatan; see DummiedOut above.
** The in-game book ''The Orcish Question Volume 2'' includes the line "[[TheSixMillionDollarMan We can rebuild them! We have the Technology!]]"
** If you can recruit the demon Gorgoth as an ally, he will sometimes scream [[AustinPowers "GET IN MY BELLY!"]] during fights.
** Arronax' name is very similar to Professor Aronnax, from [[Literature/TwentyThousandLeaguesUnderTheSea a certain piece of Victorian science fiction]].
* SkippableBoss: The end boss can be talked into letting you kill him without resistance, again echoing ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}''.
* SlidingScaleOfUndeadRegeneration: Undead will eventually decay into dust if left for long enough, but a magic potion exists which can restore them into flesh and blood humans.
* SmallNameBigEgo: Magnus, who tries too hard to be a traditional dwarf when it's apparent to all around him that he's not, and gets defensive when called on it. He does at least get better about it over the course of the game, and finally admits to it when the dwarven king himself starts prodding.
** Cedric Appleby’s ego is of the size of a castle. His capabilities? The size of an kite.
* 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.
* 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.
* SpaceJews: The gnomes are small people with large noses and exceptional prowess at handling the money who own a large part of the industry and banking. Moreover, they've been subject to much prejudice because of these.
* {{Speedrun}}: Normally, the game can take upwards of 20 hours to complete, but that's if you try to do ''everything''. However, if your goal is simply to beat the BigBad and get the ending, it can be done in 11 minutes and 32 seconds, as demonstrated in this [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBuwNfsUTUQ video]].
* SpiritualSuccessor: To the first two ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' games - which is a given, since it was created by the same team of developers, just under a different brand.
* SpotOfTea: Debating the merits of green tea over earl grey is required to recruit a certain CulturedBadass as a follower.
* StandardFantasySetting: The whole idea of this game is that industrial revolution broke out in an SFS. Probably the only obvious departure from SFS model is that gnomes, [[OurGnomesAreWeirder instead of being obsessive inventors]], are the bankers that own these inventors, but only if you count it as such.
* StartOfDarkness: You can find Kerghan's journal in the caves of the Stonecutter Clan, detailing his descent from a well-meaning mage wanting the respect of his fellow Council members, to a virtuoso necromancer pitying his peers for failing to appreciate his grand understanding of death.
* StealthExpert: You may play as one, which is of particular importance for [[PacifistRun pacifists]] and [[ForMassiveDamage backstabbers]]. Why, you can hide in an open field if you're good enough!
* SteamPunk: Steampowered armour! Clockwork fighting robots! Electrified swords for that additional sting! Magnetised top hats avert bullets! Firearms are strangely weak!
** [[http://www.pvponline.com/2000/03/01/wed-mar-01/ Dwarves with Guns!]]
* SuicideIsShameful: The elves of Qintarra are horrified by a member of their community committing suicide, believing it to be an abomination against nature that will deny his soul any chance of reincarnation.
* TakeAThirdOption: In the Boil, you have the option of joining one of two gangs to defeat the other. To get the good ending for that section, you have to wipe out both gangs. This is actually a quest in itself, but you could be forgiven for never actually receiving that quest since it's a bit difficult to find.
** Most of the quests in this game have a third option that can be taken in lieu of the "correct" one. For example, one quests tasks you with retrieving a gem from a shrine, only to be told that making any noise (i.e. failing to Sneak) will summon a bunch of monsters to kill you. There's nothing to stop you from just walking up, murdering the hell out of the monsters when they appear (it's not even that hard), then taking the gem at your leisure. Quests only ever give you an objective, they never say it has to be completed a certain way. That said, quest-givers do occasionally reward you better if you do it according to their instructions.
*** [[spoiler: How you deal with Kerghan can boil to this. The most obvious outcomes are to fight or join him. The third and most difficult outcome is to talk him out of it.]]
* 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.
* {{Telefrag}}: Implied with the portals in Tulla. High-level technologists are forbidden to use them because the results would not be pretty.
** [[spoiler: Outright stated by Min'Gorad as the reason why Arronax couldn't yet leave the Void using the technological portal that Stennar escaped through. Stennar's non-existent magical aptitude let him get through the tiniest cracks in the seals, whereas Arronax's god-like magical power would break the machinery of the portal and lead to "an excruciating death, to say the least".]]
* ThirdPersonPerson: Ristezze in Shrouded Hills, the first town you come to.
* TooAwesomeToUse: Magic Scrolls end up being this to many players. You rarely encounter them lying around, and they cost a lot of money; even the nearly-useless ones. So they just end up sitting there, waiting for "that time" where you'll want that Scroll of Fireflash.
* UltimateEvil: In-universe example. Arronax is deliberately portrayed as this by the Panarii religion [[spoiler: or rather, by the Dark Elves running the church. Kan'Hua specifically states that "ultimate evil" is a fantasy that can be reasoned away or presented as a metaphor. The real idea of Arronax merely being a very powerful mage sealed behind magical wards is played down to avoid anyone seeking to repair the deteriorating seal.]]
* UnidentifiedItems: The game has magick items which must be identified to unlock their potential; this can be done by either learning "Divine Magick", a fifth-level divination spell, or paying 100 gold to a wise woman. Since [[PointBuildSystem character points]] are finite and gold isn't in short supply, sensible players opt for the latter.
* UniversalAmmunition: Pistol? Rifle? HandCannon? [[{{BFG}} Elephant Gun?]] Same bullets.
* UrbanLegendOfZelda: There were rumours in various forums that you could somehow convince the Wheel Clan to invade Tarant.
* VaguenessIsComing: The dying gnome at the start of the game helpfully informs you that "unimaginable evil" is coming to "destroy everyone and everything".
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential:
** Use [[CharmPerson Charm Beast]] to befriend a wild animal, like a wolf or bear. Walk to the nearest town. Have your animal friend enter an occupied house while you wait outside. Magelock the door shut. Then dispel Charm Beast. (You might want to magically seal the windows, too -- you don't want anyone to escape the wrath of [[BearsAreBadNews Mr. Disoriented Grizzly.]]) Is also an effective means to assassinate someone without the guards finding out it was you (whereas if a cop NPC walks into a room and you're standing over a bloody corpse with a sword in your hand, they'll usually put two and two together and attack you).
** There's also the fact that there exists only 1 NPC in the game who can't be killed [[spoiler:(The Silver Lady)]]. Every major character can be murdered, then have their ghost summoned and interrogated. A true villain may kill the dwarf leader of the Isle of Despair, then raise his spirit just to tell him that you're going to travel to his home clan and kill everyone - oh, and that you'll drag the corpses into the daylight just to add insult to injury (sadly, you can't actually drag the corpses outside). There's almost no limit to how much cruelty you can inflict upon the populace of Arcanum.
* VideoGameCrueltyPunishment:
** While most things in this game can just be killed to deal with them, there are two instances where the game will punish you severely for trying. The first instance is a quest Raven sends you on. The area in question is cursed so that if you or your party harms anything there, you all die automatically. The trick is to get your targets to do this to you. The second is dealing with Stringy Pete. You have to do three quests to get his boat. You might wonder why you can't just kill him instead. After all, he's just one high-level skeleton. He is just one high-level skeleton... armed with the best magical armor available, and summons six similarly high-level skeletons to back him up. While it is ''technically'' possible to win, it's very unlikely unless you bring a huge group and prepare for it. Too bad one of his quests is impossible to complete if you pick up the Torin stone before speaking to him and the priests. Or if you lose the stone. Then killing him is the only way to get to his ship.
** Killing the fat perverted Mr. Franklin who hires a female PC to sleep with him ([[BlackWidow while he is fast asleep from the sex]]) will result in the quest-giver attacking when going to pick up the payment. Can be averted by killing him ''after'' payment is received.
** The fortune teller sidequest. To elaborate, Tarant has two fortune tellers, Madame Toussaud and a fraud in upper Tarant. Once you speak to the fraud, she'll ask you to steal Toussaud's crystal ball. Upon arrival, Toussaud will know why you've come and demand you choose a side. If you choose her side, you get the ball with no conflict and give it to the fraud, who dies upon touching it. You get a decent blessing (stat boost) for the trouble. Side against Toussaud, though, and you get hit with an equal curse (stat reduction), while the fraud rewards you with nothing worthwhile. No sane person ever sides with the fraud.
* VillainBeatingArtifact: One quest requires you to find a specific dagger so that you can kill a wizard whose soul is bound to a demon. Killing the wizard with any other weapon will release the demon into the world. [[spoiler:Also, the final boss can only be killed with one of two items, the Vendigroth Device or Kryggird's Falchion, or with a magical attack strong enough to bash through the shield.]]
* WalkingTechbane: Due to the setting's MagicVersusScience laws, technological devices malfunction in the presence of magick, or magically-inclined beings.
* [[WakeUpCallBoss Wake Up Call Level]]: While the game can be incredibly easy with the right character, the Black Mountain Clan Mines will absolutely murder a low level party. This is made all the more frustrating since the game's narrative actively pushes you to travel there in the early stages.
* WeBuyAnything: Played with; vendors will only buy things related to their stock (smithy shops only buy armor and weapons, for example), except for the junk vendors, who will buy anything short of destroyed items. Get mastery in Haggle, though, and they will not only buy anything, they'll sell you the clothes off their backs.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: [[spoiler:Kerghan wants to [[OmnicidalManiac kill everyone]] because he believes that the afterlife is better and more peaceful than life]]. Interestingly, that particular theory is somewhat confirmed in-game, since one of your party members [[spoiler:who dies and is resurrected]] agrees with him but still thinks that people should be allowed to choose their own fate.
* WhatTheHellHero: Good party members will object to you killing good [=NPCs=] or doing quests that give you evil alignment, and will leave your party if you do it once too often.
* WhenAllYouHaveIsAHammer: Virtually any problem can be solved with the right application of force. Locked door? Beat it down. Guy holding an item you like? Kill him. Interdimensional portal releasing demon hoards upon the land? Whack it closed. Note that while this method may work, it is not exactly the most ''subtle'' way of doing things. Also, some of the [[GoldenEnding Golden Endings]] for various places require that you be skilled in Persuasion, such as taking a diplomatic solution to the matter of [[spoiler: Donn Throgg]].
* WizardsLiveLonger: Played with; elves are both the most magically talented race in Arcanum, and have the longest lifespans (up to a millenium), and humans with a talent for magick live slightly longer than those without, [[AllThereInTheManual according to the manual]]. On the other hand, dwarves and gnomes have respectable lifespans (600 years) despite having no natural affinity for magick, and orcs and halflings, thought to have been mutated by exposure to large amounts of magick, have shorter lifespans than the races they evolved from (40 years and 400 years, respectively).
* WretchedHive: The Boil. One of the city guards even delivers a ShoutOut to Franchise/StarWars, the TropeNamer, when warning you not to enter.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: [[spoiler:The writing in this game deserves credit considering that the completely sane Kerghan is this while also making a genuine OmnicidalManiac. He's decided that because being alive is painful (summoned spirits suffer terribly from being forced back into life as well) and the final afterlife is perfect bliss, the logical solution is to end all life. He reasons that if living is unpleasant and death peaceful, then having to live must be a terrible crime to force upon a soul and one that must be permanently removed. Even Virgil will more or less confirm his opinion, though he isn't about to force it on others. Remarkably if the player can explain the flaws in his philosophy he'll willingly abandon his genocidal agenda and submit to having his soul banished forever. He even shows some slight regret that he never learned how to enjoy life himself: "Perhaps some souls are destined for death; they never know how to live."]]
* YearOutsideHourInside: Played with inside The Void. [[spoiler: Stennar Rock-Cutter refers to the elderly Gilbert Bates as "the boy" because although time passes at the same rate as in Arcanum, no one ages and their mental state doesn't degrade. All the banished entities behave as they did 2000 years past, though Arronax and Kerghan managed to learn introspection in that time. If the PC tells Arronax they killed his father, he admits that he sometimes forgets how much time must have passed since his banishment.]]
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