AnubianDragon wrote:How powerful is Duty? The combination of Wanda's experiments in Book 0 with Parson's self-promotion in Book 2 (page 42, specifically) gave me a peculiar thought (I asked on the wiki, but I thought I'd ask here too).
Can a leader or chief warlord order a caster to change specialties? Such as a shockamancer being ordered to become a croakamancer (change in axis) or a hat magician (change in class)? Would the caster's knowledge grow (effectively making them a caster of both magicks)? Or change (all knowledge of the original magic replaced with knowledge of the new magic)?
Extending along that line of thought, could a unit be ordered to change special attributes (like exchanging Heavy for Flight)? Or be ordered to level? Would such orders test a unit's loyalty? Or risk disbandment?
Negative possibilities aside, if this were the case it'd be an excellent opportunity for Parson to abuse Erf's rules.
I will attempt to answer your question to the best of my knowledge, but keep in mind that I don't have access to any information that you don't also have access to, so technically these responses aren't anything more than educated guesses. That being said, here are my thoughts:
Can a Ruler or Chief Warlord order all of those things to be done? The short answer is "Yes." The long answer is "Yes, but it probably won't do any good and would be a much better idea to not make those orders at all."
1) Casters changing specialties.
My guess is that it is possible to order a caster to cast spells from a different disciple as if they were a caster from that discipline, but I don't think their discipline would actually change. It would be like ordering a piker to shoot arrows. It can be done, but the piker is still a piker and not an archer. It would probably be in a leader's best interest to refrain from doing this in most instances, since your units are probably much more effective when they do what they are naturally good at. We know Wanda can cast Hat Magic, but we also know her resulting Snow Golem was an abominable wimp. She can cast a spell to control Jillian, but she isn't good at protecting herself from the backlash when the spell breaks.
2) Ordering attributes to change.
You can order promotions and demotions (such as Chief Warlord status) which may grant or take away abilities, but I don't think you can flat out trade attributes without some sort of magical help (probably Weirdomancy). If you order a twoll to fly, it might jump out a window, but I doubt it would defy gravity.
3) Ordering a unit to level.
I don't think a unit would go up a level from the order itself, but may make an attempt to accumulate the experience necessary to level.
4)Would such orders test a unit's loyalty? Or risk disbandment?
I think these types of orders would often test a unit's loyalty. Simply because when someone orders you to do something impossible or unwise, it would make you question wether or not this is someone who really knows what they are doing and are worth risking your neck for. As far as disbandment goes, I think attempting to fulfill the orders you are given is good enough. If something can't be done, it can't be done. But if it can be done and a unit doesn't do it anyway, then they better start worrying. The intent seems more important that the attempt, which is why orders can be disobeyed without causing disbandment when the unit is convinced it is in their ruler's best interest for their orders to be disobeyed.