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In a table top RPG there exists a spell which forces the target to do what is commanded but the word count available is one. For example, "Rampage" would cause the target to see everyone as a foe. Also, "Cower" causes the target to go into the fetal position.

I am looking to turn one target into my personal bodyguard, or ally with a single word. In the example "Attack" would not work because it would require a second word as a target, like "Attack them" or "Attack humans".

Is there a single word that effectively states a "180 degree change in view" (morally) or to state "your enemies are my enemies"?

  • 1
    A zillion years ago I was in the same position myself. We, uh, mislead the DM with a command of "turncoat," which is a single word, although not actually a verb. – Chaim Mar 18 at 14:15
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    If the limit really is "single word" rather than an upper limit on number of charcters, you could use "CamelCase" for things like AttackHumans. But assuming it's contextually obvious that your "target" was originally an enemy, you could perhaps consider commanding him to Defect! – FumbleFingers Mar 18 at 14:16
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    Not that I am aware of; however, you may find assistance with the Command spell at The RPG Stack – Davo Mar 18 at 14:16
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    @FumbleFingers the "CamalCase" example is to far out there, but there is not limit on the number of characters available for the word. although, "Defect" is a good start and could work given the situation. – Reed Mar 18 at 14:20
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    Does it have to be English? Some languages already come dangerously close to the CamelCase approach with their compound words (I'm looking at you, German). Otherwise it'll be fairly hard to target a specific third party, as most verbs you'd use for that in English would expect a subject. (p.s.: mutiny?) – A C Mar 19 at 0:00
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Defect! might work:

1 : to forsake one cause, party, or nation for another often because of a change in ideology
// a former KGB agent who defected to America

(source: Merriam-Webster)

and another verb which conveys the same idea is to renegade:

: to become a renegade (a deserter from one faith, cause, or allegiance to another)

(source: Merriam-Webster)

but I'm not sure if this can actually be used in imperative form.


Of course, your Game Master is free to have the enemy interpret either option as taking the sides of another (third) party.

  • "Of course, your Game Master is free to have the enemy interpret either option as taking the sides of another (third) party." Or drop their arms entirely, since renegading from one side could mean simply doing nothing more to aid that side. – TaliesinMerlin Mar 18 at 14:37
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    How about renege as the imperative? It literally means going back on a promise, but game words like these are often very metaphoric – Barmar Mar 18 at 16:06
  • The word has to be understandable to the target. Personally, if someone told me to renegade, I wouldn't understand that as I'm not aware of its use as a verb so the spell would fail. – Richard Mar 19 at 10:59
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The trickiness here is that you're asking for a verb to do two distinct functions:

  1. Be your ally.

  2. Be their enemy.

1 is especially tricky because customarily English would use a grammatical object to signal who should be allied. Omitting the direct object from "Befriend me," "Guard me," and "Protect me" would either lead to ambiguity ("Befriend" and "Protect" could default to a number of targets) or a less productive action ("Guard" - the target would take a defensive stance).

However, if you wanted (2) the target to oppose their masters (so "their enemies would be your enemies"), try revolt. It is intransitive. Merriam-Webster:

: to renounce allegiance or subjection (as to a government) : REBEL

And here's the also-good choice of rebel:

: to renounce and resist by force the authority of one's government

In other words, to revolt or to rebel have a strong sense of using violence ("resist by force") against the people one once owed allegiance to. That sense is strong enough that a "bloodless revolution" is a remarkable event. A character who took that command and didn't attack their former soldiers or leaders would be taking an unusual step.

3

Collude (origin per M-W):

...based on the Latin verb ludere, meaning "to play." Collude dates back to 1525 and combines ludere and the prefix col-, meaning "with" or "together." The verb is younger than the related noun collusion, which appeared sometime in the 14th century with the specific meaning "secret agreement or cooperation." Despite their playful history, collude and collusion have always suggested deceit or trickery rather than good-natured fun.

Example sentence:

The two companies had colluded to fix prices.

So, it could mean rivals (former or present) joining forces to pursue a common interest.

I think that's what you meant. I was really good at Centipede and Q*Bert (because even Sears had an arcade back then, really). With that in mind, I offer defy as a backup (because it's easy to yell quickly and loudly...if that matters at all). That's the best I can do without a trackball or joystick. YW. Enjoy.

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Betray Convert Realign Turn Forsake Spurn Revolt

All these basically mean leave one side and join another.

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    These are good words, but they are too ambiguous for the context given. – Davo Mar 18 at 18:39
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    This could be a solid answer, but its at the moment it is just a smattering of words. I would take the time and do something similar to what the other two answers have. – Reed Mar 18 at 21:10

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