Hi there, I'm making this friendly NPC who aims to use his blacksmithing and enchanting skills for the side of good. His shtick is deceiving tyrants and evil rulers by offering them magical weapons, or getting voluntarily captured by them to make them magical weapons, that would make them more benevolent, more altruistic, or at worse make them fight other evil rulers. Think of it as corrupting benevolence.
Now what I'm looking for is how should the weapon work, both narratively and mechanically, in order for the tyrants not to realise the ruse and take revenge on the blacksmith. I can't for instance make the weapon a sentient sword that tells the evil ruler "killing innocents bad! help orphans instead!" because no good evil lord would be either satisfied or influenced by this.
What I've been toying with for now: – the weapon forces will saves on its bearer each time they try to make evil acts, and on a fail, the wearer abstains from it and finds a justification. "These mongrels aren't worth my time killing them, leave them be", "I can get far richer exploiting these peasants if I help them get better crops", etc. – the weapon gains power by showing mercy to enemies. Each time the wearer decides a final blow to be non-lethal, it gains a charge, and it gains powers depending on the number of charges. The number of charges makes the wearer more likely to do good deeds (for instance, combined with the first idea, the amount of charges increases the dc of the wis saving throw) – the weapon feeds on evil intent, depriving the wearer and its subordinates of sadistic/perverse tendencies. Not really thought out how it would work.
My intent here is to have the weapon be powerful, so that the tyrants would want to have it and keep it, and to have a subtle but definitive "reverse-corrupting" – redempting influence. I don't want "evil acts will make you weaker" for this because the blacksmith fears that allowing such a thing would be 1) perverting his craft (he makes good weapons!) and 2) it would just make the tyrant more likely to be replaced by another one, which may or may not take his weapon, rendering the progress moot, and he thinks instability would cause useless bloodshed.
Subsidiary question: imagining there was such a weapon, that was designed well enough that it would reverse-corrupt most evil lords into benevolent ones how could it still be exploited by the forces of evil? A weapon that feeds of evil tendencies and gains powers by pacifying them wielded by a demon with unending hatred, makes the sword superpowered but ultimately serving a master whose evil can't be extinguished would be an example of what I'm looking for.
Thank you all in advance for your ideas!
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