When playing Pillars 2, I was really disappointed in their talking sword, I found it fascinating but yet a huge missed opportunity.
For those who haven’t played that series, they have Soulbound items which are powerful magic items that require certain things to be done to unlock their next tier of powers. For example, “Apply debuffs 30 times”, or “Kill x enemies”, etc.
Also for those who haven’t played that series, XP from combat only comes from unlocking bestiary entries gradually. After a bestiary entry is fully unlocked, you no longer get any XP from that kind of enemy. This means that combat against sentient humanoids aka “kith” (ie. the playable races) usually doesn’t result in any XP, only the (usually garbage) items that they drop. So you’re not punished at all for taking the peaceful route to resolve conflicts.
So anyways, I was playing Pillars 2 with my usual preferred style of “chaotic good” - I would generally be nice and help people, but I don’t mind killing or stealing if it doesn’t do any harm.
Then I find the talking sword, Modwyr. It’s a Soulbound item, but it also has a series of quests associated with its backstory. To continue the quests (and unlock its tiers of power), all of the requirements revolve around killing kith. Suddenly my chaotic good nice character, whilst still generally good, became a bloodthirsty belligerent who would take ANY excuse to start a fight and murder as many bad guys as possible. And go out onto the high seas looking for pirates to kill “in self defense”. And the usual “drunken bar confrontation with asshole villagers” subquests instantly became bloodbaths.
I thought it was extremely cute how this item and its unlock requirements basically seduces its players with its dark urges, just like how you might imagine it would affect the ingame character. Sure, I didn’t have to go all murderhobo and just unlock things slowly, but I was eager to get the higher tiers asap.
Then you complete the weapon’s quest chain, unlock the final tier of power, and all of that goes away. The thing just becomes a regular magic sword (even if you choose to keep it as a talking sentient weapon), and all the player-behaviour-altering incentives are gone. It would have been nice if there was a route where you could obtain a temporary buff if you killed people, or even a debuff if you haven’t killed anyone for a while, to keep this aspect of the sword in the game even after the final tier.
So anyways, thanks for listening to my story. I think it would be cool in Wrath if we had some items (sentient or otherwise) that can incentivise, tempt, or otherwise warp the player’s behaviour into something they might not have originally planned for, in a meta RP sort of way.