Larian Studios
Posted By: Lady Avyna Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 02/11/21 05:45 AM
Let's have a discussion on our views on each companions. I see that our companions have a mixed fanbase, one more than others. So, let's discuss each one. Be warned that there are SPOILERS for those that may not have gone that far.

SPOILERS down below




The first party member we meet is Lae'zel who is the only warrior of the group. Lae'zel is a character that is NOT afraid of speaking her mind and has a very strong personality. She knows what she wants. Some may not like that and other have no problem. I personally like Lae'zel because she a B**ch but more because she seems to be the most honest, even if she does keep certain things for herself. Also, Lae'zel seems to be doing things for her Queen's approval. She wants to be the best for her Queen. I think Lae'zel could end up being a loyal companion.

The second party member is Shadowheart , a cleric. I also like Shadowheart as there is a level of mystery surrounding her and her devotion of the Goddess Shar. I see Shadowheart being the MC's best friend as long as you have her approval and you don't romance her. She tells you from the very beginning if you save her that she owes you and will repay you when the time comes for saving her. She also gives you advice and is always telling you to be careful. That tells me she sees you as friend and care about you. As for her mystery, her artifact plays a big role. Such as, what is it? Where did it come from? Why was she sent to steal it? Why does it protect you when you go to the Goblin camp? Why does the Githyanki want it? Her character and her backstory is very interesting.

The third party member is Astarion, the only rogue of the group. The BIGGEST love and hate relationship the players have with him. I personally love Astarion and feel he is the most misunderstood of the group and the most emotionally damaged. Which is why I feel for him because a lot of the things he went through were not his choice. He's a slave who has been tortured by a Vampire Lord named Cazador. If people choose to keep Astarion in the group and often talk to him, you will learn a lot from him. Approval has to be high. If you have Astarion's approval he will tell you that he doesn't mind staying with you when everything with the tadpole is over. He likes you. I also feel that Larian Studios favors Astarion as he is the only one that requires you to do more for his approval and he has his own romance song.
I know some people here in this forum, don't like Astarion's personality but if you know anything about vampire, that's exactly how they are. Extremely sassy but if you gain a vampire's approval or even love, they will do anything for you at least in vampire lore. Dracula being the most famous.

The fourth party memeber is Gale, a wizard. I have mixed feelings on Gale especially when I first met him. When he says that he saw you lying on a puddle of blood with a tadpole nibbling on you ear. I was like, "Wait a minute, if you saw me, why didn't you try to help me?" I found that weird. There is something off about him. He does seem to be a good friend but he does have selfish motivations. You learn that he wants to be the most powerful wizard. He has a magical, ticking time bomb in his chest all for the love of a Goddess. That's a selfish motivation. It could be possible that Gale would end up doing things for power so that he can be the best wizard. He seems to be power hungry.

The last party member is Wyll, a warlock. I'm not to keen on Wyll, just like Gale, he has a selfish motivation. He wants popularity and fame. He's a glory hound. The only reason why he is a warlock is because of his pact with a demon. He basically signed his soul to the devil just for fortune and glory. Although he seems to regret it, doesn't seem that way sometimes. He wants the "Blade of Frontiers" to have a fan base.

To me Gale and Wyll are the least likely to be loyal because they have the most selfish desires. Whereas; Lae'zel, Shadowheart and even Astarion are more loyal because they have the least selfish desires.

What are your feelings on each character and why?
Posted By: Sozz Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 02/11/21 06:24 AM
I don't dislike any of the companions. They each have been given some distinct personalities, which is the low bar I have for these things. I think a lot of the hatred around them seems to stem from either two things; everyone is very special, they all have very dramatic backstories with histories that kind of clash with how they're introduced; they resemble so many overwrought D&D characters first timers make.
Or people just don't like the character, and conflate that with them being a badly made character, Astarion is a flamboyant narcissist with some tropey affectations ergo he must be a bad character. On that note, I have to say Astarion's primary directive seems to be survival at all costs, so I wouldn't count on him being very loyal without a lot of work on the MC's part.
Posted By: Niara Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 02/11/21 07:03 AM
sure, I'll play!


Lae'zel is loyal to her queen, not to anyone else. She has killed her own family members for no greater reason than because her queen... or, at least, a superior to her in rank who spoke with the queen's authority, ordered it, and she takes pride in her ruthlessness. Her queen, it may be worth mentioning, is an ancient Lich who literally devours the souls of her people to continue her own existence, denying them any kind of afterlife, and in service to their queen, that is the ultimate fate of all Githyanki who survive long enough to meet it. Lae'zel would attack and kill you in a heartbeat and have no regrets or remorse about it, and does not do so only because she currently views you as the most valuable tool she has at her disposal for progressing her quest for a cure. She is the most lawful stupid that has ever lawful stupid-ed, and is blinded so badly by her unreciprocated devotion to her queen that she cannot see that her own people's 'cleansing' ritual is just a quick death - even when confronted with the fact of it. Lae'zel is honest because she's too thick-witted to be otherwise. Like most of her people, she views material plane denizens as slaves and fodder, and believes herself to be absolutely superior to them in all ways - and makes no bones about telling you so. If you want someone hungry for power and bearing a deep superiority complex, who is only on the look out for number one and no-one else, look no further than Lae'zel.

Shadowheart is the kind of person who believes that it is her divine right to pry into other people's business and know everything about them, but believes with equal absolute certainty that no-one has any right whatsoever to ask any of those questions of her. Her attitude is almost always condescending towards you, even when you try to say the right things; she always acts like she knows everything you might say before you say it, and like she knows better than you at every turn, whether it's true or not (it usually isn't). She is the super-star of the game and Larian love her with the burning passion of a thousand suns, so expect that a game without Shadowheart will be a much more empty and dull one, because you'll miss out on the overbalanced legion of extra content written specifically for her. She's the only character that is repeatedly forced into your party whether you want her or not. Amongst all that content, she has a lot more 'reasonable person' lines now than she once did, and it's quite possible for someone to play through the game, (maybe) without really bumping into any of her unreasonable bitchiness at all, now... though you've got to avoid asking her about anything more or less ever, so... it's a character that 'rewards(?)' you for not engaging with her, and letting her limelight on you whenever she wants. Shadowheart is, naturally, the brainwashed present day avatar of Selune, and will play a pivotal part in saving the day when she ascends temporarily to godhood towards the end of the game - she'll probably want to be with you by the end of the game, whether you're really interested or not, though it will be phrased as you being desperate to stay with her.

Astarion has a lot of personal trauma and damage, for certain, but it doesn't really change the fact that his entire characterisation is bloodthirsty murder-hobo for the giggles of it. For all the depth they have so far attempted to inject into his character he remains woefully two-dimensional and predictable as a person. Vampires, and vampire spawn by extension, aren't really capable of things like loyalty and love. They imitate them, and some develop obsessions about facets of them, but they don't really have those experiences any more. If you want to talk about lore, talk about FR lore, not other sources to which this doesn't apply. Astarion is likely to want to stay with you as long as your fun and interesting and provide him with stable availability of blood. He will even probably pretend towards emulations of care and affection as best he can manage.

Gale didn't help you on the ship for the same reason that Astarion didn't (recall that he mentions seeing you on the ship as well), despite also seeing you on the ship as well - they were both just as incapacitated as you were at the time. Gale never says anything about wanting to be the most powerful wizard; I'm not sure where you're getting that. He's not power hungry either - again, not sure where you're getting that from. He was, formerly, an archmage - an exceptionally powerful and experienced wizard, and on top of that was once the favoured of Mystra, and even her lover for a time (once again, blame Larian's overblown npc backstories for this ridiculousness). He sought to impress her and did something very stupid, and now, as well as losing her favour over it, is attempting to deal with the problem it's left him with - this is not a selfish motive, and I'm not sure why you see it as one. He has contingencies set up to warn people if he dies unexpectedly, and has supplied the means of preventing disaster on his person. He lets you know that it is his intention, if he ever reaches a point where he cannot stave off his nuke any more, that he intends to remove himself out to the depths of some far ocean so that his detonation won't pose a risk of harm to anyone else. Gale needs powerful relics to keep himself alive, but that doesn't make him power-hungry. Gale believes that he is generally more knowledgeable and more experienced in matters of magic than anyone else present - it does come off as condescending at times, definitely, but you are generally given a chance to 'keep up' with him, and have him acknowledge you for doing so, unlike the better-than-you writing of most of the other companions. It also stems from the fact that, at least in gale's case, his certainty is based on fact - he generally is more knowledgeable than 99% of people he meets (archmage?), and even though he has been brutally depowered now, the knowledge and experience hasn't gone away. His introduction dialogue is his worst one, now, as it's still pitched to treat the player like a moron, but Gale isn't alone in being written that way towards the PC much of the time. Gale is the character who gets the most genuinely emotionally invested and attached to you, if you are friendly to him -some might suggest a little too quickly, perhaps, but it's still a legitimate feeling of affection and care that he develops and expresses - one of the few cases where this is genuinely confirmed outside of tadpole tricks, since it was a weave-wrought emotional link instead. Of all of the characters, he is easily the most likely to remain loyal to you after all the dangers are taken care of, and he will do so because of the sort of person you are, and because he likes you, not for any other reason.

Wyll wants to be a good person, but more than that he wants to be seen to be a good person - as you say, he wants fame and glory. There is a genuine desire to do good there, but it takes a back seat, very firmly, to his personal vendetta, at least in chapter 1. Wyll is a liar. This is his defining character trait. He lies to you about more or less everything, and when you confront him about it, he lies to you again, and when you catch him out on that lie, he lies to you again, and back-handed calls you an idiot for good measure, even when you both know that he's lying, and he knows that you know, and there's no question of doubt at all. He didn't make his pact for fame and glory - he made it for revenge, but the fame and glory is a fun perk that he craves. right now, he says he's looking for a way to properly break his pact in a way that means no-one loses their soul and no-one suffers... and he says his pact-holder is even amenable to it, because they have some kind of relationship that's more than just patron and warlock. He says. He also lies. About Everything. So who knows? We're not allowed to insight check his lies, so he's allowed to lie to us with impunity about anything, apparently.
Posted By: smberg Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 02/11/21 07:06 AM
Laezel is badass and seems to know the most about mindflayers and tadpoles, so i always play that my PC would want to have her in the party, at least in the beginning. Her story arc kind of stagnates in EA once you find out that the tadpole is not an immediate threat but I enjoy the squabbling with Shadowheart.

I did not like Shadowheart at all before Patch 5. Now I take her every time. I can now see that there is more to her story and I am intrigued to learn more. Plus, I like the banter between her and Laezel.

I really like Gale’s stories. He is a character that i’d like to have a beer with. He seems the most practical to me. Generally leans good, but not constrained by it.

Wyll is irritating. He talks big, but can’t really back it up. I appreciate what they are trying to do with his arc, it’s just not for me.

Astarion is the most interesting. I really like his character, backstory, writing, acting, and character arc. I just can not for the life of me figure out how to wrap my head around a roleplaying way that my character would want to keep him in the party once I find out what he is. I’ve tried. But what could my background and motivation possibly be to want to keep him around? I need help with this. Anyone?
Originally Posted by Niara
sure, I'll play!


Lae'zel is loyal to her queen, not to anyone else. She has killed her own family members for no greater reason than because her queen... or, at least, a superior to her in rank who spoke with the queen's authority, ordered it, and she takes pride in her ruthlessness. Her queen, it may be worth mentioning, is an ancient Lich who literally devours the souls of her people to continue her own existence, denying them any kind of afterlife, and in service to their queen, that is the ultimate fate of all Githyanki who survive long enough to meet it. Lae'zel would attack and kill you in a heartbeat and have no regrets or remorse about it, and does not do so only because she currently views you as the most valuable tool she has at her disposal for progressing her quest for a cure. She is the most lawful stupid that has ever lawful stupid-ed, and is blinded so badly by her unreciprocated devotion to her queen that she cannot see that her own people's 'cleansing' ritual is just a quick death - even when confronted with the fact of it. Lae'zel is honest because she's too thick-witted to be otherwise. Like most of her people, she views material plane denizens as slaves and fodder, and believes herself to be absolutely superior to them in all ways - and makes no bones about telling you so. If you want someone hungry for power and bearing a deep superiority complex, who is only on the look out for number one and no-one else, look no further than Lae'zel.

Shadowheart is the kind of person who believes that it is her divine right to pry into other people's business and know everything about them, but believes with equal absolute certainty that no-one has any right whatsoever to ask any of those questions of her. Her attitude is almost always condescending towards you, even when you try to say the right things; she always acts like she knows everything you might say before you say it, and like she knows better than you at every turn, whether it's true or not (it usually isn't). She is the super-star of the game and Larian love her with the burning passion of a thousand suns, so expect that a game without Shadowheart will be a much more empty and dull one, because you'll miss out on the overbalanced legion of extra content written specifically for her. She's the only character that is repeatedly forced into your party whether you want her or not. Amongst all that content, she has a lot more 'reasonable person' lines now than she once did, and it's quite possible for someone to play through the game, (maybe) without really bumping into any of her unreasonable bitchiness at all, now... though you've got to avoid asking her about anything more or less ever, so... it's a character that 'rewards(?)' you for not engaging with her, and letting her limelight on you whenever she wants. Shadowheart is, naturally, the brainwashed present day avatar of Selune, and will play a pivotal part in saving the day when she ascends temporarily to godhood towards the end of the game - she'll probably want to be with you by the end of the game, whether you're really interested or not, though it will be phrased as you being desperate to stay with her.

Astarion has a lot of personal trauma and damage, for certain, but it doesn't really change the fact that his entire characterisation is bloodthirsty murder-hobo for the giggles of it. For all the depth they have so far attempted to inject into his character he remains woefully two-dimensional and predictable as a person. Vampires, and vampire spawn by extension, aren't really capable of things like loyalty and love. They imitate them, and some develop obsessions about facets of them, but they don't really have those experiences any more. If you want to talk about lore, talk about FR lore, not other sources to which this doesn't apply. Astarion is likely to want to stay with you as long as your fun and interesting and provide him with stable availability of blood. He will even probably pretend towards emulations of care and affection as best he can manage.

Gale didn't help you on the ship for the same reason that Astarion didn't (recall that he mentions seeing you on the ship as well), despite also seeing you on the ship as well - they were both just as incapacitated as you were at the time. Gale never says anything about wanting to be the most powerful wizard; I'm not sure where you're getting that. He's not power hungry either - again, not sure where you're getting that from. He was, formerly, an archmage - an exceptionally powerful and experienced wizard, and on top of that was once the favoured of Mystra, and even her lover for a time (once again, blame Larian's overblown npc backstories for this ridiculousness). He sought to impress her and did something very stupid, and now, as well as losing her favour over it, is attempting to deal with the problem it's left him with - this is not a selfish motive, and I'm not sure why you see it as one. He has contingencies set up to warn people if he dies unexpectedly, and has supplied the means of preventing disaster on his person. He lets you know that it is his intention, if he ever reaches a point where he cannot stave off his nuke any more, that he intends to remove himself out to the depths of some far ocean so that his detonation won't pose a risk of harm to anyone else. Gale needs powerful relics to keep himself alive, but that doesn't make him power-hungry. Gale believes that he is generally more knowledgeable and more experienced in matters of magic than anyone else present - it does come off as condescending at times, definitely, but you are generally given a chance to 'keep up' with him, and have him acknowledge you for doing so, unlike the better-than-you writing of most of the other companions. It also stems from the fact that, at least in gale's case, his certainty is based on fact - he generally is more knowledgeable than 99% of people he meets (archmage?), and even though he has been brutally depowered now, the knowledge and experience hasn't gone away. His introduction dialogue is his worst one, now, as it's still pitched to treat the player like a moron, but Gale isn't alone in being written that way towards the PC much of the time. Gale is the character who gets the most genuinely emotionally invested and attached to you, if you are friendly to him -some might suggest a little too quickly, perhaps, but it's still a legitimate feeling of affection and care that he develops and expresses - one of the few cases where this is genuinely confirmed outside of tadpole tricks, since it was a weave-wrought emotional link instead. Of all of the characters, he is easily the most likely to remain loyal to you after all the dangers are taken care of, and he will do so because of the sort of person you are, and because he likes you, not for any other reason.

Wyll wants to be a good person, but more than that he wants to be seen to be a good person - as you say, he wants fame and glory. There is a genuine desire to do good there, but it takes a back seat, very firmly, to his personal vendetta, at least in chapter 1. Wyll is a liar. This is his defining character trait. He lies to you about more or less everything, and when you confront him about it, he lies to you again, and when you catch him out on that lie, he lies to you again, and back-handed calls you an idiot for good measure, even when you both know that he's lying, and he knows that you know, and there's no question of doubt at all. He didn't make his pact for fame and glory - he made it for revenge, but the fame and glory is a fun perk that he craves. right now, he says he's looking for a way to properly break his pact in a way that means no-one loses their soul and no-one suffers... and he says his pact-holder is even amenable to it, because they have some kind of relationship that's more than just patron and warlock. He says. He also lies. About Everything. So who knows? We're not allowed to insight check his lies, so he's allowed to lie to us with impunity about anything, apparently.

That's all very interesting but you didn't say why you like or do not like the characters. You just made a huge response to everything I wrote and rebutted most of my experiences. In some instances it almost sounded like you are questioning my reasons. You spoke in general terms. This wasn't meant to be a debate but how YOU feel about those characters.
Originally Posted by Sozz
I don't dislike any of the companions. They each have been given some distinct personalities, which is the low bar I have for these things. I think a lot of the hatred around them seems to stem from either two things; everyone is very special, they all have very dramatic backstories with histories that kind of clash with how they're introduced; they resemble so many overwrought D&D characters first timers make.
Or people just don't like the character, and conflate that with them being a badly made character, Astarion is a flamboyant narcissist with some tropey affectations ergo he must be a bad character. On that note, I have to say Astarion's primary directive seems to be survival at all costs, so I wouldn't count on him being very loyal without a lot of work on the MC's part.


I agree on Astarion, he seems to be more closer to you if your approval is high with him. Which seems to happen with the other companions as well.
Originally Posted by smberg
Laezel is badass and seems to know the most about mindflayers and tadpoles, so i always play that my PC would want to have her in the party, at least in the beginning. Her story arc kind of stagnates in EA once you find out that the tadpole is not an immediate threat but I enjoy the squabbling with Shadowheart.

I did not like Shadowheart at all before Patch 5. Now I take her every time. I can now see that there is more to her story and I am intrigued to learn more. Plus, I like the banter between her and Laezel.

I really like Gale’s stories. He is a character that i’d like to have a beer with. He seems the most practical to me. Generally leans good, but not constrained by it.

Wyll is irritating. He talks big, but can’t really back it up. I appreciate what they are trying to do with his arc, it’s just not for me.

Astarion is the most interesting. I really like his character, backstory, writing, acting, and character arc. I just can not for the life of me figure out how to wrap my head around a roleplaying way that my character would want to keep him in the party once I find out what he is. I’ve tried. But what could my background and motivation possibly be to want to keep him around? I need help with this. Anyone?

With Astarion, it would depend how you are playing and who are you playing. For example if you are a spell caster, you might want to keep him because he is a rogue and he has high dexterity. If you don't like vampires, it might be kind of hard to keep him depending how strong your dislike for vampires is. If you do decide to keep Astarion and allow him to drink you blood, he gets a new vampire ability which is a 100% hit every time. I think it needs to be recharged after a fight but it's a pretty useful ability. Astarion is also pretty useful if you use his sneak abilities, he gets good hits.
Posted By: ALexws Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 02/11/21 08:46 AM
Originally Posted by Niara
sure, I'll play!


Lae'zel is loyal to her queen, not to anyone else. She has killed her own family members for no greater reason than because her queen... or, at least, a superior to her in rank who spoke with the queen's authority, ordered it, and she takes pride in her ruthlessness. Her queen, it may be worth mentioning, is an ancient Lich who literally devours the souls of her people to continue her own existence, denying them any kind of afterlife, and in service to their queen, that is the ultimate fate of all Githyanki who survive long enough to meet it. Lae'zel would attack and kill you in a heartbeat and have no regrets or remorse about it, and does not do so only because she currently views you as the most valuable tool she has at her disposal for progressing her quest for a cure. She is the most lawful stupid that has ever lawful stupid-ed, and is blinded so badly by her unreciprocated devotion to her queen that she cannot see that her own people's 'cleansing' ritual is just a quick death - even when confronted with the fact of it. Lae'zel is honest because she's too thick-witted to be otherwise. Like most of her people, she views material plane denizens as slaves and fodder, and believes herself to be absolutely superior to them in all ways - and makes no bones about telling you so. If you want someone hungry for power and bearing a deep superiority complex, who is only on the look out for number one and no-one else, look no further than Lae'zel.

Shadowheart is the kind of person who believes that it is her divine right to pry into other people's business and know everything about them, but believes with equal absolute certainty that no-one has any right whatsoever to ask any of those questions of her. Her attitude is almost always condescending towards you, even when you try to say the right things; she always acts like she knows everything you might say before you say it, and like she knows better than you at every turn, whether it's true or not (it usually isn't). She is the super-star of the game and Larian love her with the burning passion of a thousand suns, so expect that a game without Shadowheart will be a much more empty and dull one, because you'll miss out on the overbalanced legion of extra content written specifically for her. She's the only character that is repeatedly forced into your party whether you want her or not. Amongst all that content, she has a lot more 'reasonable person' lines now than she once did, and it's quite possible for someone to play through the game, (maybe) without really bumping into any of her unreasonable bitchiness at all, now... though you've got to avoid asking her about anything more or less ever, so... it's a character that 'rewards(?)' you for not engaging with her, and letting her limelight on you whenever she wants. Shadowheart is, naturally, the brainwashed present day avatar of Selune, and will play a pivotal part in saving the day when she ascends temporarily to godhood towards the end of the game - she'll probably want to be with you by the end of the game, whether you're really interested or not, though it will be phrased as you being desperate to stay with her.

Astarion has a lot of personal trauma and damage, for certain, but it doesn't really change the fact that his entire characterisation is bloodthirsty murder-hobo for the giggles of it. For all the depth they have so far attempted to inject into his character he remains woefully two-dimensional and predictable as a person. Vampires, and vampire spawn by extension, aren't really capable of things like loyalty and love. They imitate them, and some develop obsessions about facets of them, but they don't really have those experiences any more. If you want to talk about lore, talk about FR lore, not other sources to which this doesn't apply. Astarion is likely to want to stay with you as long as your fun and interesting and provide him with stable availability of blood. He will even probably pretend towards emulations of care and affection as best he can manage.

Gale didn't help you on the ship for the same reason that Astarion didn't (recall that he mentions seeing you on the ship as well), despite also seeing you on the ship as well - they were both just as incapacitated as you were at the time. Gale never says anything about wanting to be the most powerful wizard; I'm not sure where you're getting that. He's not power hungry either - again, not sure where you're getting that from. He was, formerly, an archmage - an exceptionally powerful and experienced wizard, and on top of that was once the favoured of Mystra, and even her lover for a time (once again, blame Larian's overblown npc backstories for this ridiculousness). He sought to impress her and did something very stupid, and now, as well as losing her favour over it, is attempting to deal with the problem it's left him with - this is not a selfish motive, and I'm not sure why you see it as one. He has contingencies set up to warn people if he dies unexpectedly, and has supplied the means of preventing disaster on his person. He lets you know that it is his intention, if he ever reaches a point where he cannot stave off his nuke any more, that he intends to remove himself out to the depths of some far ocean so that his detonation won't pose a risk of harm to anyone else. Gale needs powerful relics to keep himself alive, but that doesn't make him power-hungry. Gale believes that he is generally more knowledgeable and more experienced in matters of magic than anyone else present - it does come off as condescending at times, definitely, but you are generally given a chance to 'keep up' with him, and have him acknowledge you for doing so, unlike the better-than-you writing of most of the other companions. It also stems from the fact that, at least in gale's case, his certainty is based on fact - he generally is more knowledgeable than 99% of people he meets (archmage?), and even though he has been brutally depowered now, the knowledge and experience hasn't gone away. His introduction dialogue is his worst one, now, as it's still pitched to treat the player like a moron, but Gale isn't alone in being written that way towards the PC much of the time. Gale is the character who gets the most genuinely emotionally invested and attached to you, if you are friendly to him -some might suggest a little too quickly, perhaps, but it's still a legitimate feeling of affection and care that he develops and expresses - one of the few cases where this is genuinely confirmed outside of tadpole tricks, since it was a weave-wrought emotional link instead. Of all of the characters, he is easily the most likely to remain loyal to you after all the dangers are taken care of, and he will do so because of the sort of person you are, and because he likes you, not for any other reason.

Wyll wants to be a good person, but more than that he wants to be seen to be a good person - as you say, he wants fame and glory. There is a genuine desire to do good there, but it takes a back seat, very firmly, to his personal vendetta, at least in chapter 1. Wyll is a liar. This is his defining character trait. He lies to you about more or less everything, and when you confront him about it, he lies to you again, and when you catch him out on that lie, he lies to you again, and back-handed calls you an idiot for good measure, even when you both know that he's lying, and he knows that you know, and there's no question of doubt at all. He didn't make his pact for fame and glory - he made it for revenge, but the fame and glory is a fun perk that he craves. right now, he says he's looking for a way to properly break his pact in a way that means no-one loses their soul and no-one suffers... and he says his pact-holder is even amenable to it, because they have some kind of relationship that's more than just patron and warlock. He says. He also lies. About Everything. So who knows? We're not allowed to insight check his lies, so he's allowed to lie to us with impunity about anything, apparently.

you basically said what I wanted to say about all these characters, especially to justify Gale and Wyll. I'll just add a few notes to each character.

Lae'zel: What you have described is what Lae''zel is. Which makes me think about what's gonna happen in her personal story in the future. The rest of the companions have a direction of what will they up to except Lae'zel. Apparently, if you defeat the githyanki raiders with Lae'zel, she will feel very pissed for being treated like shit. I think this would be a hint about what's coming to her. Probably after meeting with other Githyanki, her view about other races and the world could be shaken.

Shadowheart: As you said, she's definitely a popular character. And there is enough datamined content to support the theory that she's a Seluner, rather than a Sharran. But I don't think she could be Avatar of Selune, maybe a Chosen is more possible. Sharrans kidnapping and brainwashing a Selune chosen is something that happened before. And there is definitely a reason why she's so important to the game. She even tells you that she's a part of a big plan of this whole thing. It's definitely not a coincidence that she and Lae'zel are the two companions you meet on the nautiloid.
PS: speaking of avatar and chosen
huge spoiler read at your own risk
the Nightsong we still haven't met is ver likely to be Shar's avatar. And some voice lines point out that Shar could come back and reclaim the Nightsong if we don't plan our cards right. and Ketheric Throm, the former Shar's chosen, has been the chosen of the Absolute now.

Astarian: He's one that actually shows power-hungry and selfish traits among the companions. and I'm pretty sure part of his personality comes from his life before becoming a vampire spawn. Also, he's the only one who wound use tadpole's power willingly rather than denies it. he's quite sensitive about your altitude towards him and others, like being uncomfortable about you show sympathy toward his experience and get jealous about you should affection about the others at the celebration.

Gale: my little precious petal(speaking in Autie Ethel's voice). He's a talented wizard from a young age. We can tell he's very proud of his talent and very fond of studying magic. Probably even kinda arrogant, which Shadowheart points out that he barely be a humble species. This probably led to his backstory. His talent and power won the attention of Mystra and Mystra probably sees his potential being a chosen. However, his arrogant altitude turns Mystra off and leaves him. For a spoiled man like Gale, it's hard to be rejected like that. Then what he did next makes him understand the price of not humbling himself. Speaking of his relationship with Tav, he indeed cares about you a lot. he enjoys your company as long as you join him by your side. When you meet with Nettie, if you let Nettie poison you and convince her to give you the antidote, you will get a unique dialogue with Gale if you have him in your party. And surprisingly he's raging and yelling about what you have been treated like "how could she do this to you!", which is quite opposite to what he usually looks like in a conversation.

Wyll: Wyll is the good buddy in my opinion. He did lie a lot before we finally discover what's his past like. Partially I think it's because he's kinda naive to believe that he can get this all done secretly, also he's kinda ashamed of what actually made him today. He gets deceived by his patron and was forced to make the pack at the lowest point of his life with only revenge in his heart. His "glory& fame" seeking behaviours are just self-redemption he made to comfort himself. he probably feels like "as long as I can use this new power to do good things, this deal with the devil will not sound too bad as it seems". He realized that it's not true at all later. And after you confront him about everything we have witnessed, he starts to be honest. He would tell you that there is something I still have not told you yet, but I will when I feel I'm ready to do so.
Originally Posted by ALexws
Originally Posted by Niara
sure, I'll play!


Lae'zel is loyal to her queen, not to anyone else. She has killed her own family members for no greater reason than because her queen... or, at least, a superior to her in rank who spoke with the queen's authority, ordered it, and she takes pride in her ruthlessness. Her queen, it may be worth mentioning, is an ancient Lich who literally devours the souls of her people to continue her own existence, denying them any kind of afterlife, and in service to their queen, that is the ultimate fate of all Githyanki who survive long enough to meet it. Lae'zel would attack and kill you in a heartbeat and have no regrets or remorse about it, and does not do so only because she currently views you as the most valuable tool she has at her disposal for progressing her quest for a cure. She is the most lawful stupid that has ever lawful stupid-ed, and is blinded so badly by her unreciprocated devotion to her queen that she cannot see that her own people's 'cleansing' ritual is just a quick death - even when confronted with the fact of it. Lae'zel is honest because she's too thick-witted to be otherwise. Like most of her people, she views material plane denizens as slaves and fodder, and believes herself to be absolutely superior to them in all ways - and makes no bones about telling you so. If you want someone hungry for power and bearing a deep superiority complex, who is only on the look out for number one and no-one else, look no further than Lae'zel.

Shadowheart is the kind of person who believes that it is her divine right to pry into other people's business and know everything about them, but believes with equal absolute certainty that no-one has any right whatsoever to ask any of those questions of her. Her attitude is almost always condescending towards you, even when you try to say the right things; she always acts like she knows everything you might say before you say it, and like she knows better than you at every turn, whether it's true or not (it usually isn't). She is the super-star of the game and Larian love her with the burning passion of a thousand suns, so expect that a game without Shadowheart will be a much more empty and dull one, because you'll miss out on the overbalanced legion of extra content written specifically for her. She's the only character that is repeatedly forced into your party whether you want her or not. Amongst all that content, she has a lot more 'reasonable person' lines now than she once did, and it's quite possible for someone to play through the game, (maybe) without really bumping into any of her unreasonable bitchiness at all, now... though you've got to avoid asking her about anything more or less ever, so... it's a character that 'rewards(?)' you for not engaging with her, and letting her limelight on you whenever she wants. Shadowheart is, naturally, the brainwashed present day avatar of Selune, and will play a pivotal part in saving the day when she ascends temporarily to godhood towards the end of the game - she'll probably want to be with you by the end of the game, whether you're really interested or not, though it will be phrased as you being desperate to stay with her.

Astarion has a lot of personal trauma and damage, for certain, but it doesn't really change the fact that his entire characterisation is bloodthirsty murder-hobo for the giggles of it. For all the depth they have so far attempted to inject into his character he remains woefully two-dimensional and predictable as a person. Vampires, and vampire spawn by extension, aren't really capable of things like loyalty and love. They imitate them, and some develop obsessions about facets of them, but they don't really have those experiences any more. If you want to talk about lore, talk about FR lore, not other sources to which this doesn't apply. Astarion is likely to want to stay with you as long as your fun and interesting and provide him with stable availability of blood. He will even probably pretend towards emulations of care and affection as best he can manage.

Gale didn't help you on the ship for the same reason that Astarion didn't (recall that he mentions seeing you on the ship as well), despite also seeing you on the ship as well - they were both just as incapacitated as you were at the time. Gale never says anything about wanting to be the most powerful wizard; I'm not sure where you're getting that. He's not power hungry either - again, not sure where you're getting that from. He was, formerly, an archmage - an exceptionally powerful and experienced wizard, and on top of that was once the favoured of Mystra, and even her lover for a time (once again, blame Larian's overblown npc backstories for this ridiculousness). He sought to impress her and did something very stupid, and now, as well as losing her favour over it, is attempting to deal with the problem it's left him with - this is not a selfish motive, and I'm not sure why you see it as one. He has contingencies set up to warn people if he dies unexpectedly, and has supplied the means of preventing disaster on his person. He lets you know that it is his intention, if he ever reaches a point where he cannot stave off his nuke any more, that he intends to remove himself out to the depths of some far ocean so that his detonation won't pose a risk of harm to anyone else. Gale needs powerful relics to keep himself alive, but that doesn't make him power-hungry. Gale believes that he is generally more knowledgeable and more experienced in matters of magic than anyone else present - it does come off as condescending at times, definitely, but you are generally given a chance to 'keep up' with him, and have him acknowledge you for doing so, unlike the better-than-you writing of most of the other companions. It also stems from the fact that, at least in gale's case, his certainty is based on fact - he generally is more knowledgeable than 99% of people he meets (archmage?), and even though he has been brutally depowered now, the knowledge and experience hasn't gone away. His introduction dialogue is his worst one, now, as it's still pitched to treat the player like a moron, but Gale isn't alone in being written that way towards the PC much of the time. Gale is the character who gets the most genuinely emotionally invested and attached to you, if you are friendly to him -some might suggest a little too quickly, perhaps, but it's still a legitimate feeling of affection and care that he develops and expresses - one of the few cases where this is genuinely confirmed outside of tadpole tricks, since it was a weave-wrought emotional link instead. Of all of the characters, he is easily the most likely to remain loyal to you after all the dangers are taken care of, and he will do so because of the sort of person you are, and because he likes you, not for any other reason.

Wyll wants to be a good person, but more than that he wants to be seen to be a good person - as you say, he wants fame and glory. There is a genuine desire to do good there, but it takes a back seat, very firmly, to his personal vendetta, at least in chapter 1. Wyll is a liar. This is his defining character trait. He lies to you about more or less everything, and when you confront him about it, he lies to you again, and when you catch him out on that lie, he lies to you again, and back-handed calls you an idiot for good measure, even when you both know that he's lying, and he knows that you know, and there's no question of doubt at all. He didn't make his pact for fame and glory - he made it for revenge, but the fame and glory is a fun perk that he craves. right now, he says he's looking for a way to properly break his pact in a way that means no-one loses their soul and no-one suffers... and he says his pact-holder is even amenable to it, because they have some kind of relationship that's more than just patron and warlock. He says. He also lies. About Everything. So who knows? We're not allowed to insight check his lies, so he's allowed to lie to us with impunity about anything, apparently.

you basically said what I wanted to say about all these characters, especially to justify Gale and Wyll. I'll just add a few notes to each character.

Lae'zel: What you have described is what Lae''zel is. Which makes me think about what's gonna happen in her personal story in the future. The rest of the companions have a direction of what will they up to except Lae'zel. Apparently, if you defeat the githyanki raiders with Lae'zel, she will feel very pissed for being treated like shit. I think this would be a hint about what's coming to her. Probably after meeting with other Githyanki, her view about other races and the world could be shaken.

Shadowheart: As you said, she's definitely a popular character. And there is enough datamined content to support the theory that she's a Seluner, rather than a Sharran. But I don't think she could be Avatar of Selune, maybe a Chosen is more possible. Sharrans kidnapping and brainwashing a Selune chosen is something that happened before. And there is definitely a reason why she's so important to the game. She even tells you that she's a part of a big plan of this whole thing. It's definitely not a coincidence that she and Lae'zel are the two companions you meet on the nautiloid.
PS: speaking of avatar and chosen
huge spoiler read at your own risk
the Nightsong we still haven't met is ver likely to be Shar's avatar. And some voice lines point out that Shar could come back and reclaim the Nightsong if we don't plan our cards right. and Ketheric Throm, the former Shar's chosen, has been the chosen of the Absolute now.

Astarian: He's one that actually shows power-hungry and selfish traits among the companions. and I'm pretty sure part of his personality comes from his life before becoming a vampire spawn. Also, he's the only one who wound use tadpole's power willingly rather than denies it. he's quite sensitive about your altitude towards him and others, like being uncomfortable about you show sympathy toward his experience and get jealous about you should affection about the others at the celebration.

Gale: my little precious petal(speaking in Autie Ethel's voice). He's a talented wizard from a young age. We can tell he's very proud of his talent and very fond of studying magic. Probably even kinda arrogant, which Shadowheart points out that he barely be a humble species. This probably led to his backstory. His talent and power won the attention of Mystra and Mystra probably sees his potential being a chosen. However, his arrogant altitude turns Mystra off and leaves him. For a spoiled man like Gale, it's hard to be rejected like that. Then what he did next makes him understand the price of not humbling himself. Speaking of his relationship with Tav, he indeed cares about you a lot. he enjoys your company as long as you join him by your side. When you meet with Nettie, if you let Nettie poison you and convince her to give you the antidote, you will get a unique dialogue with Gale if you have him in your party. And surprisingly he's raging and yelling about what you have been treated like "how could she do this to you!", which is quite opposite to what he usually looks like in a conversation.

Wyll: Wyll is the good buddy in my opinion. He did lie a lot before we finally discover what's his past like. Partially I think it's because he's kinda naive to believe that he can get this all done secretly, also he's kinda ashamed of what actually made him today. He gets deceived by his patron and was forced to make the pack at the lowest point of his life with only revenge in his heart. His "glory& fame" seeking behaviours are just self-redemption he made to comfort himself. he probably feels like "as long as I can use this new power to do good things, this deal with the devil will not sound too bad as it seems". He realized that it's not true at all later. And after you confront him about everything we have witnessed, he starts to be honest. He would tell you that there is something I still have not told you yet, but I will when I feel I'm ready to do so.

Like I told Niara, that's all interesting information on these characters but the point of this thread to to discuss why we like or do not like each companion. What you two have done is discuss the personalities and background of a character, not why you like or do not like each character. For example, I said that I feel that Lae'zel, Shadowheart and Astarion are better companions or more loyal based on MY observation after having spoken to each companion and getting all their backstory. There is no right or wrong answer here just how do you feel about each character.
Posted By: Niara Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 02/11/21 09:59 AM
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
That's all very interesting but you didn't say why you like or do not like the characters. You just made a huge response to everything I wrote and rebutted most of my experiences. In some instances it almost sounded like you are questioning my reasons. You spoke in general terms. This wasn't meant to be a debate but how YOU feel about those characters.

Sorry, I was just giving my own take on the characters in response to yours - I keyed the flow of what I was saying off the things you said, so if it felt like I was arguing or attacking, I'm sorry - that wasn't the intention. some of your impressions did confuse me and I am genuinely curious about how you came to them, but I didn't mean to come off as though I was attacking your views.

Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
For example, I said that I feel that Lae'zel, Shadowheart and Astarion are better companions or more loyal based on MY observation after having spoken to each companion and getting all their backstory.

Er, is that not also what others have done? I feel as though I offered the view that some characters were likely to be loyal and others were likely not to be based on my views and impressions of them... isn't that exactly what you're doing and asked others to do?
Originally Posted by Niara
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
That's all very interesting but you didn't say why you like or do not like the characters. You just made a huge response to everything I wrote and rebutted most of my experiences. In some instances it almost sounded like you are questioning my reasons. You spoke in general terms. This wasn't meant to be a debate but how YOU feel about those characters.

Sorry, I was just giving my own take on the characters in response to yours - I keyed the flow of what I was saying off the things you said, so if it felt like I was arguing or attacking, I'm sorry - that wasn't the intention. some of your impressions did confuse me and I am genuinely curious about how you came to them, but I didn't mean to come off as though I was attacking your views.

Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
For example, I said that I feel that Lae'zel, Shadowheart and Astarion are better companions or more loyal based on MY observation after having spoken to each companion and getting all their backstory.

Er, is that not also what others have done? I feel as though I offered the view that some characters were likely to be loyal and others were likely not to be based on my views and impressions of them... isn't that exactly what you're doing and asked others to do?

I understand your impression on each character but what I meant was a discussion as to why we like or do not like each character, regardless of what our point of view is. It wasn't meant to come off a a debate. For example, I find Astarion to be my favorite character because I like how sassy he is and I have a thing for vampires. I don't like Wyll because he comes off as a person that wants to be some famous hero and have a following, that's why I said he seems selfish. Things like that.
Posted By: Niara Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 02/11/21 10:49 AM
Fair enough,

I don't care for Lae'zel because she's haughty, condescending in the extreme, has a superiority complex a mile high, but primarily because she never treats the player character with anything even approaching basic decency or respect, and though it makes a certain amount of racially understood sense for her, a raving racist as well - in short, she's a nasty piece of work and a product of her cultural upbringing, and the nuances of her supposed insecurities that they're trying to suggest don't even make a dent on that negative for me. She is not the kind of person I'd ever choose to spend time around willingly.

I don't care for Shadowheart because she's haughty, condescending in the extreme, has a superiority complex a mile high, but primarily because she's an entitled brat who thinks the deserves the world from everyone but owes no-one anything. I'm put off her further becasue of her obvious golden-child favoured status at Larian HQ. She has more balanced characterisation now, but all of the old stuff still exists, which give her a sort of split personality issue that Larian haven't smoothed over yet. If someone insisted on knowing things about me and claimed it was their right, after refusing absolutely to tell me anything at all about herself, and condescended to me about it being none of my business, but also found the space to condescend further at me about how she could read me like a book and knew exactly the sort of person I was, I'd walk away, and I'd refuse to associate with that person any further - they are not worth it.

I don't care for Astarion because he's haughty, frequently condescending, but primarily because he's a walking, talking two-dimensional vampire romance fiction garbage fire that is hitting all of those predictable, worn out cliches in perfect iambic pentameter, and received the dubious honour of being Larian's "let's just murder everyone" character - because Larian feels compelled to always HAVE one, and he's it in this game. He's also their token undead character, which they also feel compelled to have one of in each game... not for any reason, but just because it's what Larian do... rather than giving us some actually decent racial diversity in the character line-up. I would never willingly spend my time in the company of someone who just thinks that killing people is fun and funny, and an appropriate course of action tog et what you want, as Astarion clearly does.

I don't care for Wyll because he's show-boater hiding a bloody-minded, sadistic desire for revenge underneath the facade of being a hero, and because he refuses to treat the player with the kind of basic respect and decency that normal people do. He lies, then treats you like an idiot when you call him out on it, treats you even more disrespectfully by lying to you further, and further again; each step of his plan turns out to be another fib inside another fib, and I don't feel I can really trust a single thing he says to me, at any point, now. He tells himself he wants to be good - maybe he even believes it - and surely if he was asked to choose simply 'be good or don't, he'd choose good... but actually being a good person is many rungs down his importance ladder, underneath his personal vendettas and his revenge. He's more interested in being seen to be good than actually being so; he's selfish and shallow, despite wishing he was otherwise. If I am honest, I would have severed ties after the third direct-to-face lie; not worth it.

I quite like Gale. His introduction is still very condescending, and that's annoying, but it's the worst bit of him, now. Gale always treats the character with respect, whether he's asking for help or explaining something to them. He retains a balance of levity and gravity in his approach to the seriousness of your situation, and upholds the idea that even if things are desperate, there's always time for civility. I like gale because he is honest and upfront as a character; he's as honest as Lae'zel, and it means more from him because he has the wit and tact not to be if he chose to - while she does not. Gale is clear and forthright about his condition, most of our other companions, and I appreciate this. He also seems to very honestly want to do the right thing by people wherever possible, without being an irrational idealist. He asks for what he needs, offers what answers he can, and rather than lying about anything, simply tells you, politely, when he cannot answer something (unlike shadow, who is always rude in her refusals). He displays a willingness to protect others from his own mistakes, even when it's going to cost him his life, and has done his best to take precautions against others being harmed by his past mistakes as best as he can. It also seems that he's not trying to repeat his mistake, but actually just wants to fix it. I enjoy his academic wit and banter; he's my type, at least as far as males are concerned. I would quite willingly spend an adventure with this character.

Most of the above complaints are more attributable to Larian's writing of the characters, rather than the characters themselves, which is why I'm more inclined to discuss the actual details of their situations. Larian has been praised of many things... the writing in their games is definitely not one of them.
I have to snatch this quote by Niara, because it fits exactly my sentiment of Astarion:
Quote
I don't care for Astarion because he's haughty, frequently condescending, but primarily because he's a walking, talking two-dimensional vampire romance fiction garbage fire that is hitting all of those predictable, worn out cliches in perfect iambic pentameter, and received the dubious honour of being Larian's "let's just murder everyone" character

Astarion for me is the worst character, because of the above - he is two dimensional, annoying and a walking cliche.

I do like Shadowheart, most of my characters get on well with her. And hers is the only romance, I'm interested in. I hate the 'Let's go bonk' approach of the other characters. I like her 'Let's go, drink some wine and get to know each otehr better' approach. She can com across as bitchy sometimes, but in her case, I might explain that away with her lost memory.

Gale is ok in my book. He is the companion, that seems to complain the least (at least the way, I'm playing normally) and is easy to get along. I suspect, that he might take a dark turn, but that is gut feeling ... maybe based a little on his devotion for Mystra (in the sense, that he might do anything to get her favor back).

Wyll is ok too. Like Niara, I don't like, that he doesn't stop lying, but he works as a deeply flawed and insecure character. His bravado is clearly jus ta show. I'm interested in seeing, where he went later on in the game.

Lae'zel makes sense in the way she is written - gith warrior, devout to her queen Vlaakith, ruthless in approaching her goals. But I do find her grating some times. Granted, she is pretty straight forward with what she wants, but sometimes, her offstandishness is just too much for me.
Posted By: Niara Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 02/11/21 11:17 AM
To be fair, there's someone I know who likes Astarion for exactly the same reason that I don't ^.^
Originally Posted by Niara
To be fair, there's someone I know who likes Astarion for exactly the same reason that I don't ^.^

I find it interesting that you and Fylimar find Astarion two-dimensional. Did you guys do the speak to the dead on Galandrel if you chose to not betray Astarion? There is some interesting information about who really wants Astarion. It makes me wonder how important could Astarion be? I also think Larian favors Astarion as he is so far the only who has a love song in the game which plays during camp. It’s called “I want to live.” The composer liked everyone’s comment that mentioned Astarion, that’s the conclusion that people came with about the song being for Astarion.
Posted By: Niara Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 02/11/21 11:42 AM
I generally deal with the hunter amicably and it doesn't come to a fight, though the times when it does, SwD considers you the killer, even if you didn't participate directly; how do you see that one?
Posted By: ALexws Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 02/11/21 12:03 PM
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
It makes me wonder how important could Astarion be?

Probably more than we think. There is one scene that he is trying to figure out the meaning of scars on his back. And it's a confirmation from Astarian that Cazador carves them on his back. And turns out it's a part of an infernal pact with the devil. Consider we actually have dealt with things from Nine Hell more than once in Act 1.
Originally Posted by Niara
I generally deal with the hunter amicably and it doesn't come to a fight, though the times when it does, SwD considers you the killer, even if you didn't participate directly; how do you see that one?


If you choose to kill Gandrel and use the speak with dead spell, you get dialogue choices where you find new information about why he wanted to capture Astarion. You learn that it's not Cazador but someone known as Maiden Fel. The reason as to why she wants Astarion alive and unharmed remains to be seen. Some players speculate that is could have something to do with the scar that Astarion has on his back. What's the reason behind that we still don't know. Even Astarion wants to find out what was done to him.
Originally Posted by ALexws
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
It makes me wonder how important could Astarion be?

Probably more than we think. There is one scene that he is trying to figure out the meaning of scars on his back. And it's a confirmation from Astarian that Cazador carves them on his back. And turns out it's a part of an infernal pact with the devil. Consider we actually have dealt with things from Nine Hell more than once in Act 1.

Exactly, there is more to Astarion than meets the eye.
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Originally Posted by Niara
To be fair, there's someone I know who likes Astarion for exactly the same reason that I don't ^.^

I find it interesting that you and Fylimar find Astarion two-dimensional. Did you guys do the speak to the dead on Galandrel if you chose to not betray Astarion? There is some interesting information about who really wants Astarion. It makes me wonder how important could Astarion be? I also think Larian favors Astarion as he is so far the only who has a love song in the game which plays during camp. It’s called “I want to live.” The composer liked everyone’s comment that mentioned Astarion, that’s the conclusion that people came with about the song being for Astarion.

Being important doesn't make a character interesting - those are two different things.
Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Originally Posted by Niara
To be fair, there's someone I know who likes Astarion for exactly the same reason that I don't ^.^

I find it interesting that you and Fylimar find Astarion two-dimensional. Did you guys do the speak to the dead on Galandrel if you chose to not betray Astarion? There is some interesting information about who really wants Astarion. It makes me wonder how important could Astarion be? I also think Larian favors Astarion as he is so far the only who has a love song in the game which plays during camp. It’s called “I want to live.” The composer liked everyone’s comment that mentioned Astarion, that’s the conclusion that people came with about the song being for Astarion.

Being important doesn't make a character interesting - those are two different things.

Curious, if something or someone is being shown as having some type of importance to a story, you don't find that to be interesting?
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Originally Posted by Niara
To be fair, there's someone I know who likes Astarion for exactly the same reason that I don't ^.^

I find it interesting that you and Fylimar find Astarion two-dimensional. Did you guys do the speak to the dead on Galandrel if you chose to not betray Astarion? There is some interesting information about who really wants Astarion. It makes me wonder how important could Astarion be? I also think Larian favors Astarion as he is so far the only who has a love song in the game which plays during camp. It’s called “I want to live.” The composer liked everyone’s comment that mentioned Astarion, that’s the conclusion that people came with about the song being for Astarion.

Being important doesn't make a character interesting - those are two different things.

Curious, if something or someone is being shown as having some type of importance to a story, you don't find that to be interesting?

Why are you insisting, that we like Astarion?
So, no, if that character is Astarion, then I have zero interest in his importance in the story. I hope, that was clear?
Originally Posted by fylimar
Why are you insisting, that we like Astarion?
So, no, if that character is Astarion, then I have zero interest in his importance in the story. And now please don't ask again. I hope, that was clear?

First of all do not accuse me of something that I am not doing. I'm not insisting on anything. If you just don't want to have a discussion, that's fine. If you don't like Astarion that is your prerogative but don't be so dismissive when someone is asking to know more. That's the point of a discussion.
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Originally Posted by fylimar
Why are you insisting, that we like Astarion?
So, no, if that character is Astarion, then I have zero interest in his importance in the story. And now please don't ask again. I hope, that was clear?

First of all do not accuse me of something that I am not doing. I'm not insisting on anything. If you just don't want to have a discussion, that's fine. If you don't like Astarion that is your prerogative but don't be so dismissive when someone is asking to know more. That's the point of a discussion.

I already gave my reasons and yes, I could go on in length and detail about this, since I'm especially allergic of the vampire cliche that came up with the romantasies, starting with Twilight (one might even bring Anne Rice in, but imo, she did a better job in making the vampires interesting and real characters, despite loosing the plot after a few books). But I don't think, that that would be beneficial. I only end up making Astarion fans mad and everyone is entitled to their favorite character. I'm perfectly aware, that Shadowheart is a bit of a cliche too - I call it the bitchywitch trope (I'm pretty sure, there is a more official term for that) - the worst of them is Morrigan from Dragon Age. The bitchy female companion, who knows everything better and doesn't take any advise basically. I just happen to like Shadowheart depsite this. And I think, someone above mentioned, that they like Astarion for the same reason, I hate him, so tastes are different.
Posted By: Dexai Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 02/11/21 01:42 PM
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Originally Posted by Niara
To be fair, there's someone I know who likes Astarion for exactly the same reason that I don't ^.^

I find it interesting that you and Fylimar find Astarion two-dimensional. Did you guys do the speak to the dead on Galandrel if you chose to not betray Astarion? There is some interesting information about who really wants Astarion. It makes me wonder how important could Astarion be? I also think Larian favors Astarion as he is so far the only who has a love song in the game which plays during camp. It’s called “I want to live.” The composer liked everyone’s comment that mentioned Astarion, that’s the conclusion that people came with about the song being for Astarion.

"I want to live" seems like a title that would fit for all of the party characters given that the main driving cobflict is "don't let the tadpole kill you". Does it always play during camp or just when Astarion is relevant? Does it only play during romantic scenes with him, or does it play for everyone?

And about the bolded part -- I don't understand at all what you're saying there, could you rephrase that for me?

Originally Posted by Niara
I generally deal with the hunter amicably and it doesn't come to a fight, though the times when it does, SwD considers you the killer, even if you didn't participate directly; how do you see that one?

I think, but I'm not sure because my memory is hazy, that even if you kill an NPC you can cast Speak With Dead on them with a character other than your main one. In my previous playthrough I killed the ogre-bugbear couple and saw that the bugbear was SwD-able, but he refused to speak with my character because killer. But when I reloaded and tried with another character I did get to have a talk with him. I think.

Originally Posted by ALexws
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
It makes me wonder how important could Astarion be?

Probably more than we think. There is one scene that he is trying to figure out the meaning of scars on his back. And it's a confirmation from Astarian that Cazador carves them on his back. And turns out it's a part of an infernal pact with the devil. Consider we actually have dealt with things from Nine Hell more than once in Act 1.

That makes me wonder, if we take the hearsay as true that Larian said they developed all origins in twos (like Laessie and Shadowheart are obviously counterparts and relevant to each other's story) if Astarion might be Wyll's story partner rather than Karlach (who I had previously assumed it was because of the obvious fiendish connection). Astarion I had thought previously would be partnered with the werewolf (because curses) or Minsc (because his BG2 favoured enemy was vampires).
Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Originally Posted by fylimar
Why are you insisting, that we like Astarion?
So, no, if that character is Astarion, then I have zero interest in his importance in the story. And now please don't ask again. I hope, that was clear?

First of all do not accuse me of something that I am not doing. I'm not insisting on anything. If you just don't want to have a discussion, that's fine. If you don't like Astarion that is your prerogative but don't be so dismissive when someone is asking to know more. That's the point of a discussion.

I already gave my reasons and yes, I could go on in length and detail about this, since I'm especially allergic of the vampire cliche that came up with the romantasies, starting with Twilight (one might even bring Anne Rice in, but imo, she did a better job in making the vampires interesting and real characters, despite loosing the plot after a few books). But I don't think, that that would be beneficial. I only end up making Astarion fans mad and everyone is entitled to their favorite character. I'm perfectly aware, that Shadowheart is a bit of a cliche too - I call it the bitchywitch trope (I'm pretty sure, there is a more official term for that) - the worst of them is Morrigan from Dragon Age. The bitchy female companion, who knows everything better and doesn't take any advise basically. I just happen to like Shadowheart depsite this. And I think, someone above mentioned, that they like Astarion for the same reason, I hate him, so tastes are different.

There is nothing wrong with that. It's perfectly fine. Like you said we all have different tastes.
Gale is funny on purpose and crazy powerful. His story is far fetched, but the overall plot isn't that grounded in the first place. Though he could be less picky with magic item consumption, he has the most interesting arc in the evil playthrough. He matches my penchant for uncovering secrets. Rating : 5 out of 5 void bubbles.

Wyll is funny despite himself. His bravado is amusing and he matches my in-game instinct to murder baddies and save their victims. Winner of the worst kept secret award. The true mystery is how he finds himself training young tieflings so quickly after the nautiloïd crash. Rating : 4 out of 5 eyeballs.

Lae'zel is funny looking, which isn't a big deal except when she suggests sexual intercourse. (Doesn't her kind lay eggs or something?) That aside, she's the only one with a plan for the tadpole, which she will readily point out as aggravatingly as possible. Although she matches my desire to have a melee combatant in the party, she's the main reason I play with the sound off. Rating : 3 out of 5 random apostrophes.

Shadowheart isn't funny. She will show up in the story no matter what the player does short of brutal murder. Completely outclassed by Gale, her only function is to carry around the MacGuffin and scowl the whole time. She could be advantageously replaced by a back-pack with a frowny face painted on. Rating : 1 out of 5 dud reveals.

Astarion can eat a bag of garlic. It's not that anyone can hide as a bonus action, or pick locks with ease, or generally drink his milkshake. It's the camp scene during the tiefling party where he calls the wine cheap swill. Shove off, man! Five days ago you tried to slit my throat, and now you criticize the free booze I give you to celebrate an epic battle in which you took no part?! Rating : 0 out of 5 "vampires suck" jokes.
@Dexai

The reason I said the song might be about Astarion is because the composer liked the comments where people believed the song is about Astarion. It's meant to be a love song. It does play during camp and when you speak with Astarion in camp. I haven't noticed if the song plays while speaking to other companions. Also, what bold part are you talking about?
I seem to like the 5 principle characters based almost entirely on the first impression and their initial presentation. I find it maddening for that reason, where Larian has backtracked on this to make their existing characters more palatable, when they should instead be offering new characters.

For example, I like Lae'zel because she is "haughty, condescending in the extreme, has a superiority complex a mile high [...] never treats the player character with anything even approaching basic decency or respect" and add to that being generally sour and dismissive of everyone, xenophobic, fanatical, 'twice as ugly' by the general standards etc.

I like that she has her own belicose lietmotif, which is established during the opening trailer (using that Wojciech Kilar rip-off, reminiscent of the opening sequence to Coppola's Dracula) and then again during her introduction on the Nautiloid, which was stronger prior to patch 6. I also like that her first reaction to me is to scowl and call me an abomination, then threaten to end me. Essentially a perfect one note Gith fighter trope.

When Larian changes this stuff to make her softer, give her more depth or layering at the outset, or because they think doing so will make her a 'better companion' to satisfy the various people who griped that none of the companions were 'friendly enough', I find that pretty frustrating. Lae'zel does't want to be our friend. She tells us as much verbatim when pressed, just in case there was any confusion on our part.

The first impression is usually a zero sum game. If someone doesn't like Lae'zel's character, the better solution in an RPG is to offer a different companion character, as an alternative fighter who fits the other bill better, not to change Lae'zel.

The same will hold for each of these 5 characters. They are all 2 dimensional, and I'm sure they will all have their fans based on whichever 2 dimensions the player finds most amusing or endearing in a crpg one note. Larian's principle failing here is to think that they can cover all their bases with a fab 5. That's just woefully inadequate. You can barely get there with a fab 15, and even then you're going to swing and miss more than half the time.

They should not have opened like this almost exclusively with their grey characters, or 'their villains' or their 'evil path' companion NPCs, whatever they're meant to be from Larian's cryptic promos. That just assumes way too much discernment on the part of the goody goody and redemption favoring audience to hold up for a year. Most players want to be heroes, not villains. And for those who do want to play villains, not having any heroes for the point of contrast just diminishes that experience too.

The ready solution is not to bank so hard on developed characters and instead provide more variety and greater extremes. Most of the initial reactions can probably be reduced to 'I like character X, because I find their model/voice attractive' for either predictable or peculiar reasons, and that impression carries or falls based on superficial quick read reasons.

It's only because we're being forced to roll with such a light crew that half these characters even get the time of day. From a telemetry type standpoint they should have caste a wider net first, then developed the characters further based on which first impressions were drawing the strongest responses. In other words taking an additive approach to continued characterization rather than a transformative one.
Originally Posted by Flooter
Gale is funny on purpose and crazy powerful. His story is far fetched, but the overall plot isn't that grounded in the first place. Though he could be less picky with magic item consumption, he has the most interesting arc in the evil playthrough. He matches my penchant for uncovering secrets. Rating : 5 out of 5 void bubbles.

Wyll is funny despite himself. His bravado is amusing and he matches my in-game instinct to murder baddies and save their victimes. Winner of the worst kept secret award. The true mystery is how he finds himself training young tieflings so quickly after the nautiloïd crash. Rating : 4 out of 5 eyeballs.

Lae'zel is funny looking, which isn't a big deal except when she suggests sexual intercourse. (Doesn't her kind lay eggs or something?) That aside, she's the only one with a plan for the tadpole, which she will readily point out as aggravatingly as possible. Although she matches my desire to have a melee combatant in the party, she's the main reason I play with the sound off. Rating : 3 out of 5 random apostrophes.

Shadowheart isn't funny. She will show up in the story no matter what the player does short of brutal murder. Completely outclassed by Gale, her only function is to carry around the MacGuffin and scowl the whole time. She could be advantageously replaced by a back-pack with a frowny face painted on. Rating : 1 out of 5 dud reveals.

Astarion can eat a bag of garlic. It's not that anyone can hide as a bonus action, or pick locks with ease, or generally drink his milkshake. It's the camp scene during the tiefling party where he calls the wine cheap swill. Shove off, man! Five days ago you tried to slit my throat, and now you criticize the free booze I give you to celebrate an epic battle in which you took no part?! Rating : 0 out of 5 "vampires suck" jokes.

HAHAHA!!! I like your responses especially about Lae'zel laying eggs. Thanks for the laugh.
Originally Posted by Black_Elk
I seem to like the 5 principle characters based almost entirely on the first impression and their initial presentation. I find it maddening for that reason, where Larian has backtracked on this to make their existing characters more palatable, when they should instead be offering new characters.

For example, I like Lae'zel because she is "haughty, condescending in the extreme, has a superiority complex a mile high [...] never treats the player character with anything even approaching basic decency or respect" and add to that being generally sour and dismissive of everyone, xenophobic, fanatical, 'twice as ugly' by the general standards etc.

I like that she has her own belicose lietmotif, which is established during the opening trailer (using that Wojciech Kilar rip-off, reminiscent of the opening sequence to Coppola's Dracula) and then again during her introduction on the Nautiloid, which was stronger prior to patch 6. I also like that her first reaction to me is to scowl and call me an abomination, then threaten to end me. Essentially a perfect one note Gith fighter trope.

When Larian changes this stuff to make her softer, give her more depth or layering at the outset, or because they think doing so will make her a 'better companion' to satisfy the various people who griped that none of the companions were 'friendly enough', I find that pretty frustrating. Lae'zel does't want to be our friend. She tells us as much verbatim when pressed, just in case there was any confusion on our part.

The first impression is usually a zero sum game. If someone doesn't like Lae'zel's character, the better solution in an RPG is to offer a different companion character, as an alternative fighter who fits the other bill better, not to change Lae'zel.

The same will hold for each of these 5 characters. They are all 2 dimensional, and I'm sure they will all have their fans based on whichever 2 dimensions the player finds most amusing or endearing in a crpg one note. Larian's principle failing here is to think that they can cover all their bases with a fab 5. That's just woefully inadequate. You can barely get there with a fab 15, and even then you're going to swing and miss more than half the time.

They should not have opened like this almost exclusively with their grey characters, or 'their villains' or their 'evil path' companion NPCs, whatever they're meant to be from Larian's cryptic promos. That just assumes way too much discernment on the part of the goody goody and redemption favoring audience to hold up for a year. Most players want to be heroes, not villains. And for those who do want to play villains, not having any heroes for the point of contrast just diminishes that experience too.

The ready solution is not to bank so hard on developed characters and instead provide more variety and greater extremes. Most of the initial reactions can probably be reduced to 'I like character X, because I find their model/voice attractive' for either predictable or peculiar reasons, and that impression carries or falls based on superficial quick read reasons.

It's only because we're being forced to roll with such a light crew that half these characters even get the time of day. From a telemetry type standpoint they should have caste a wider net first, then developed the characters further based on which first impressions were drawing the strongest responses. In other words taking an additive approach to continued characterization rather than a transformative one.

Interesting response in regards to Larian's character development. I'm curious to know which characters do you like or not based on what has been shown to you so far.
Circling back to the original post, here are my views. I'm sure I'm just as wrong as everyone else. ;-)

Lae'zel is an auto include if I don't make a warrior. Despite her stats not lining up with her experiences, she is quite handy with 2 handed wpns and her batter with Shadowheart, Gale, and Wyll are quite entertaining. Looking forward when we can have all 4 in the same party.

Shadowheart is, by far, the companion that Larian has put the most time and thought into. I enjoy that fact that when you listen to the undertones of her conversation with you and others, she seems to want to come off cold but good at the same time. The fact that I can spec her for tanking or ranged, or even both makes her quite valuable to me.

Gale is a blow hard, but he so wants to be your friend, because of the power the tadpoles represent and the fact that you are driven to get to a cure, which means adventuring and finding powerful items. I do enjoy his constant questioning of the other companions and the fact that between him and Wyll, you will always have a moral compass around. At just shy of 350 hrs playing, he's the 1 of the 4 that gets left uninitiated the most due to his high maintenance cost. But, when I feel the need to have a wizard in the party and not run one as my pc, I use him.

Wyll is an auto include for me. As others have arleady pointed out in this thread, and I have in others, he is the classic redemption story. A nonamed worthless noble's son who gets promoted based of societal statis as opposed to working for it, makes bad calls and gets his people almost wiped out. In desperation, makes a deal with a devil who hears his vow for revenge, and immediately starts "saving" others from the same fate his people endured. His fame grows quickly into a legend, "the Blade of Frontiers" despite the fact that he is the son of a noname noble. He sees you as a way to be rid of the tadpole and legitimately become the hero that his legend says he is. When he does finally open up about his patron, and the fact that she's been captured and will release him from his pact with her is a very compelling reason, for me, to see it through. BTW- with her, his patron, being infected and taken to the moonrise towers, you do know who the main boss fight for act 1 is. As I enjoy playing the "face", he will probably be my choice to run through the game when we can choose existing companions as our PC. (sorry, this one went long)

Astarian is Carlisle from Twilight before he saw the light, that's it, story over. I don't enjoy he personal cut scenes, his conversations with the character, no matter what level of approval you get. His incessant need to have sex with you, no matter your approval level is so annoying that I avoid the conversation if he is still alive at the time. With Shadowheart having the urchin background, he is the useless one, for me at least. Could go on, but I don't think it's needed.
Posted By: Dexai Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 02/11/21 02:29 PM
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
@Dexai

The reason I said the song might be about Astarion is because the composer liked the comments where people believed the song is about Astarion. It's meant to be a love song. It does play during camp and when you speak with Astarion in camp. I haven't noticed if the song plays while speaking to other companions. Also, what bold part are you talking about?

The bolded part was the part of your post that I had bolded (made thicc) when I quoted it, so you would easier be able to tell which part I found confusing.

But I got my explanation from you anyway so thanks for that wink
Originally Posted by Barverak
Circling back to the original post, here are my views. I'm sure I'm just as wrong as everyone else. ;-)

Lae'zel is an auto include if I don't make a warrior. Despite her stats not lining up with her experiences, she is quite handy with 2 handed wpns and her batter with Shadowheart, Gale, and Wyll are quite entertaining. Looking forward when we can have all 4 in the same party.

Shadowheart is, by far, the companion that Larian has put the most time and thought into. I enjoy that fact that when you listen to the undertones of her conversation with you and others, she seems to want to come off cold but good at the same time. The fact that I can spec her for tanking or ranged, or even both makes her quite valuable to me.

Gale is a blow hard, but he so wants to be your friend, because of the power the tadpoles represent and the fact that you are driven to get to a cure, which means adventuring and finding powerful items. I do enjoy his constant questioning of the other companions and the fact that between him and Wyll, you will always have a moral compass around. At just shy of 350 hrs playing, he's the 1 of the 4 that gets left uninitiated the most due to his high maintenance cost. But, when I feel the need to have a wizard in the party and not run one as my pc, I use him.

Wyll is an auto include for me. As others have arleady pointed out in this thread, and I have in others, he is the classic redemption story. A nonamed worthless noble's son who gets promoted based of societal statis as opposed to working for it, makes bad calls and gets his people almost wiped out. In desperation, makes a deal with a devil who hears his vow for revenge, and immediately starts "saving" others from the same fate his people endured. His fame grows quickly into a legend, "the Blade of Frontiers" despite the fact that he is the son of a noname noble. He sees you as a way to be rid of the tadpole and legitimately become the hero that his legend says he is. When he does finally open up about his patron, and the fact that she's been captured and will release him from his pact with her is a very compelling reason, for me, to see it through. BTW- with her, his patron, being infected and taken to the moonrise towers, you do know who the main boss fight for act 1 is. As I enjoy playing the "face", he will probably be my choice to run through the game when we can choose existing companions as our PC. (sorry, this one went long)

Astarian is Carlisle from Twilight before he saw the light, that's it, story over. I don't enjoy he personal cut scenes, his conversations with the character, no matter what level of approval you get. His incessant need to have sex with you, no matter your approval level is so annoying that I avoid the conversation if he is still alive at the time. With Shadowheart having the urchin background, he is the useless one, for me at least. Could go on, but I don't think it's needed.

Thanks for your response, although I am curious about your take on Astarion. Why do you see him as Carlisle from Twilight? I would venture he seems more like Lestat. Also your take on his need for sex, I've seen some instances where he's dismissive of you if you have a low approval. He rejects you.
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Interesting response in regards to Larian's character development. I'm curious to know which characters do you like or not based on what has been shown to you so far.

The challenge I find (for all these characters, in equal measure) is that the moviegoer in me feels one way about them and the d&d player in me feels another. I like all 5 actually, depending on what Character I want to play for myself, conveniently in the same order in which they are presented during the game - since I tend to lead Villain and then follow up later with Hero lol. But when I say I like them, I mean I like them primarily as sketches or draft concepts. I enjoy character vignettes in D&D crpg companions, with gaps left over to fill in with the imagination. After a certain point, the more fully realized the companion character becomes (sans input from me) the worse they function for that purpose, and the greater the need becomes for additional characters to then service the imaginative vignette developing desire.

To imagine that it's just going to be this (+3 more) is what worries me most. It feels like that's the kiss of death for this kind of party based crpg, and the shelf life will be cut short in it's prime. Most of the impressions or feedback I offer when it comes to BG3, comes from a perspective like 'what does it actually take to make a game that can endure for two decades? like Baldur's Gate did?' I see this as substantially different in a CRPG than what it takes to make an enduring novella or a classic film or an endlessly rewatchable cartoon, and so my attitude towards characterization is pretty different in that context. My solution for BG3 would be this but in a somewhat more polished and measured (read limited) final presentation, because I think that would provide the requisite scaffolding for the long game here - while not necessarily dethroning the fab 5 from their pride of place. Sadly, I suspect that for each new Origin Companion they add to the game (1 at a time as seems likely) that groans of disappointment will follow from many quarters for the new characters not living up to one's highest hopes for them. We haven't had any added yet, so when it eventually happens (with Minsc or Karlach or whoever), you can just predict the collective sighs of "meh" that will attend to their big debuts.

The issue is quantitative as much as qualitative, and the quantity is strikingly low right now. So if someone likes Shadowheart cause she bitchywitchy and someone else doesn't like her for that same reason, and if Larian's solution is to just continually vacillate and iterate with each new build to make Shadowheart somehow both (and everything in between) - then it morphs from a "choose your own adventure" story into a "choose your own chimera companion from the big list of 5" story, and that will be weaksauce for sure.

The quickest response I can give is that I love all 5, and I also hate all 5, and the only way I can think of to make them better at this point is to leave them alone, and focus on other stuff before it's too late lol

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]


Ps. Apologies in advance if that pushed a little off topic. I was also going to ramble about how I feel like this game is veering towards a Street Fighter 2 Player 2 form of characterization - i.e. Red Gale vs Purple Gale, or Yellow as a Toad vs Green as a Toad Lae'zels - when what we really need is the BG3 Ultimate Turbo Streetfighter 50+ Edition! - but then stopped myself, but then didn't.

hehe

grin
Aproximately dozen years back i started to notice that every second (mostly younger) roleplayer wish for his character to be "different" or "special" if you wish ... and i was so unlucky so i ended in party of pure vegetarian, teetotaler(?) Dwarfs, who never said harsh word, refuse to land a lethal blow to anything and all aspired for Magic ...
It was not pleasant experience. :-/
But it helped me appreciate Archetypical characters. :3

So i gues nobody can be surprised that my favourite is Lae'zel ...
I mean Niara done quite good job in her description and i can only say +1 to that, bcs in my eyes that is precisely Lae'zel ...
And that is also exactly why i love her. :3 Lae'zel is as Githyanki as much Githyanki can be and i believe its really good to have such character in our party.

About Astarion ...
I mean sure, he is narcistic and sadistic bastard, who see anyone except himself as puppets to play and is shocked when someone "obviously fail to see how happy they should be just bcs he allowed them to be in his presence" ... but once again, that is what i would expect from Vampire.
I dunno nothing about what Vampires are or are not capable to feel in DnD .... but it seems perfectly logical that when you live forewer (quite litteraly) petty throubles of meere mortals starts to fell ... well, boring. laugh
It still pisses me off that we dont have any option to split his skull open once he dares to attack us, that indeed should be reverted ... i would not even mind if he only gets beating and have forcet cutscene where he surender. :-/
Second huge minus, not to companion itself, but to writing dialogues is about that he seems to be still "on horse" (not sure if english use this expresion) ... you often simply have no other choice but to forgive him, not bcs you want to ... but bcs Larian simply dont add other dialogue option. laugh

About Gale ...
Now this one is a little problematic, i mean sure Gale is smug as Sephiroth ... but unlike the others i cant help the feeling that he earned that right.
That said IF he indeed was Archmage (i mean i would not be surprised if we find out that he was actualy not) ...
Personaly i dont buy all that crap about him being Good character, he is manipulative, he is secretive and he dont really care about others if he wants something (speaking about the Idol) ... sure, people could say that he needs it, or that his condition is forcing him ... but i cant help the feeling that this is only covenient excuse to hide his true nature.
I may be wrong ofcourse, but it just seems to me like true good character would try harder to find "another solution" than to jump over first one you find.
I believe he is more like Neutral ... and maybe a little chaotic too ... like yes, he dont wish to hurt anyone purposely ... but if anyone gets hurt, well he should have move sooner.
So in the end ... i like gale, oddly enough. Not as much as the other two, but i do ... his character seems interesting enough to me so i wish to know more.

Shadowheart ...
There could be whole books written about what is wrong with this woman ... or maybe more like girl.
I dont like her, like "at all" ... exactly for those reasons Niara listed abowe (+1 once again) ...
Since the way Shadowheart is written its like someone from Larian really hate us players and wish to tell us as often as possible and she is his messenger ... either that, or they simply tryed to create character with some duality (and failed horribly in my honest opinion) ...
There is nothing i would like at this character and it gets even worse as you continue playing and they keep push her litteraly under your nose. -_-
Honestly with every other alternation i like her even less, since as it seems to me, Larian is only adding another and another conversations and reactions for her, yet dont altern allready existing ... so we get to situation where Shadow is totally able to swear you loayality in first sentence and threaten you with death in next one. :-/
I said it countless times, but she seems to me like some Emo or Goth 14y old girl, who wish nothing more than being recognized as this edgy and "complicated" character ... who is dramaticaly pushing everyone away, just to keep herself in their presence ... but Gods forbid anyone who dares to ignore her! :-/

And Wyll? Ugh ... the only person i hate even more than Shadow. :-/
I believe that goblin who called him "Capitan Failure" described him perfectly ...
Wyll was a noble ... spoilet brat who had everything and never needed to work for that, so he didnt appreciated it ...
So his father send him to mercenaries ... but he didnt deserved that, so he didnt appreciated it ...
He could get some important life lessons ... concidering Flaming Fist captain, he never even bothered ...
Then something failed horribly, and lot of people lost their lives bcs of him ... so he signed pact with a fiend and get power ... and once again he never needed to work for it, so he didnt appreciated it ...
I dunno ... maybe i dont know the whole story here ... but Wyll seems like exactly that type of character who screwed something bad, then tryed really hard to make up for it ... but was too lazy to do that properly, and therefore we screwed that again ... and then again, and again, and again ... and will keep doing the same misstake over and over and over for rest of his life, simply bcs he never stops and say "damn ... i screwed that" ... no, it will allways be someone elses fault. :-/
Posted By: prop85 Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 02/11/21 03:32 PM
I dislike all of the current companions, most of my issues with them were listed before so I'll mention some other things.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Plotholes and the relationship between gameplay and narrative. This is going to be about Gale.

Gale has a True Resurrection scroll which is the exact solution he needs for all of his problems. It creates a whole new body (mirroring the original with full health) that your soul can inhabit. It's also a cure for vampirism if we can even call it a cure.

Gale somehow went from an archmage who could use Power Word: Blind to a level 1 wizard barely able to cast a single magic missile. This made him lose his proficiency bonus and knowledge about Arcana. The gameplay doesn't support this kind of "depowerment". The only way I can imagine this is through irreversible mind-wipe, that would have more to do with messing around with the soul rather than the actual mind of a character. (I also want to mention that I find it incredibly weird that Mystra seems to "groom" wizards now when she only got interested in Elminster when he was in his prime.)

The above makes it evident that Larian doesn't care about the DnD lore interacting with the mechanics. I guess special special tadpoles are a good explanation for everything now. (there are characters who have special tadpoles but our tadpoles are even specialer) It's like nanomachines.

I have a feeling that the writers themselves want to one-up eachother when it comes to companion backstories. If Karlach is going to be a thing, we could sit around the campfire and watch our companions bicker about their "better-than-yours" backstories while we get to tell them that Tav is indeed from Baldur's Gate.

Gale's introduction is so infuriating that I usually kill him on the spot (there are no repercussions for it). Every camp scene he has feels incredibly forced and awkward, especially his "Go to Hell" monologue.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Little bit about Astarion.

From what I know, a vampire is basically a distorted mirror image of the original person. This means that the person we call "Astarion" is not actually Astarion but a disgusting joke trying to mimic who he was. I find it incredibly difficult to justify having a vampire in the party. Astarion is only likely to survive in a merciful Neutral Good party that doesn't know a single thing about vampires, and if the player is not a paladin or a cleric of Kelemvor. Evil parties are very likely to just kill him as soon as they find out that Astarion is a threat to them, Lawful Good/Any Neutral parties would behave similarly.

He hits all the clichés from both teenage vampire romances and flamboyant gay coded evil characters and I'm honestly sick and tired of seeing this.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

The current group of companions feels incredibly dysfunctional.

They all bring with themselves a bunch of extra baggage/danger. I'm really not sure why the party would stick together after finding out that our tadpole is dormant, or after we find out the whole truth about them and what they are good for. Each one of them has a different idea of what to do with it. If this ends with having to do skillchecks to have party members stay, there's a chance that we might end up with less than a full party later on.

I'm not sure if a Lawful Good main character would have anyone left in the party, considering that all of the companions have committed serious crimes.
Originally Posted by Black_Elk
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Interesting response in regards to Larian's character development. I'm curious to know which characters do you like or not based on what has been shown to you so far.

The challenge I find (for all these characters, in equal measure) is that the moviegoer in me feels one way about them and the d&d player in me feels another. I like all 5 actually, depending on what Character I want to play for myself, conveniently in the same order in which they are presented during the game - since I tend to lead Villain and then follow up later with Hero lol. But when I say I like them, I mean I like them primarily as sketches or draft concepts. I enjoy character vignettes in D&D crpg companions, with gaps left over to fill in with the imagination. After a certain point, the more fully realized the companion character becomes (sans input from me) the worse they function for that purpose, and the greater the need becomes for additional characters to then service the imaginative vignette developing desire.

To imagine that it's just going to be this (+3 more) is what worries me most. It feels like that's the kiss of death for this kind of party based crpg, and the shelf life will be cut short in it's prime. Most of the impressions or feedback I offer when it comes to BG3, comes from a perspective like 'what does it actually take to make a game that can endure for two decades? like Baldur's Gate did?' I see this as substantially different in a CRPG than what it takes to make an enduring novella or a classic film or an endlessly rewatchable cartoon, and so my attitude towards characterization is pretty different in that context. My solution for BG3 would be this but in a somewhat more polished and measured (read limited) final presentation, because I think that would provide the requisite scaffolding for the long game here - while not necessarily dethroning the fab 5 from their pride of place. Sadly, I suspect that for each new Origin Companion they add to the game (1 at a time as seems likely) that groans of disappointment will follow from many quarters for the new characters not living up to one's highest hopes for them. We haven't had any added yet, so when it eventually happens (with Minsc or Karlach or whoever), you can just predict the collective sighs of "meh" that will attend to their big debuts.

The issue is quantitative as much as qualitative, and the quantity is strikingly low right now. So if someone likes Shadowheart cause she bitchywitchy and someone else doesn't like her for that same reason, and if Larian's solution is to just continually vacillate and iterate with each new build to make Shadowheart somehow both (and everything in between) - then it morphs from a "choose your own adventure" story into a "choose your own chimera companion from the big list of 5" story, and that will be weaksauce for sure.

The quickest response I can give is that I love all 5, and I also hate all 5, and the only way I can think of to make them better at this point is to leave them alone, and focus on other stuff before it's too late lol

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]


Ps. Apologies in advance if that pushed a little off topic. I was also going to ramble about how I feel like this game is veering towards a Street Fighter 2 Player 2 form of characterization - i.e. Red Gale vs Purple Gale, or Yellow as a Toad vs Green as a Toad Lae'zels - when what we really need is the BG3 Ultimate Turbo Streetfighter 50+ Edition! - but then stopped myself, but then didn't.

hehe

grin

I'm gathering from what you are saying is you think these characters aren't well written so you have love and hate relationship with them. That's more of a writing issue but also I feel that depends on you perspective. The point of this discussion to to talk aboutwhy we like or do not like a character. Once again you seem to be dissecting Larian's writing and character development. That's a whole separate discussion.
Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Aproximately dozen years back i started to notice that every second (mostly younger) roleplayer wish for his character to be "different" or "special" if you wish ... and i was so unlucky so i ended in party of pure vegetarian, teetotaler(?) Dwarfs, who never said harsh word, refuse to land a lethal blow to anything and all aspired for Magic ...
It was not pleasant experience. :-/
But it helped me appreciate Archetypical characters. :3

So i gues nobody can be surprised that my favourite is Lae'zel ...
I mean Niara done quite good job in her description and i can only say +1 to that, bcs in my eyes that is precisely Lae'zel ...
And that is also exactly why i love her. :3 Lae'zel is as Githyanki as much Githyanki can be and i believe its really good to have such character in our party.

About Astarion ...
I mean sure, he is narcistic and sadistic bastard, who see anyone except himself as puppets to play and is shocked when someone "obviously fail to see how happy they should be just bcs he allowed them to be in his presence" ... but once again, that is what i would expect from Vampire.
I dunno nothing about what Vampires are or are not capable to feel in DnD .... but it seems perfectly logical that when you live forewer (quite litteraly) petty throubles of meere mortals starts to fell ... well, boring. laugh
It still pisses me off that we dont have any option to split his skull open once he dares to attack us, that indeed should be reverted ... i would not even mind if he only gets beating and have forcet cutscene where he surender. :-/
Second huge minus, not to companion itself, but to writing dialogues is about that he seems to be still "on horse" (not sure if english use this expresion) ... you often simply have no other choice but to forgive him, not bcs you want to ... but bcs Larian simply dont add other dialogue option. laugh

About Gale ...
Now this one is a little problematic, i mean sure Gale is smug as Sephiroth ... but unlike the others i cant help the feeling that he earned that right.
That said IF he indeed was Archmage (i mean i would not be surprised if we find out that he was actualy not) ...
Personaly i dont buy all that crap about him being Good character, he is manipulative, he is secretive and he dont really care about others if he wants something (speaking about the Idol) ... sure, people could say that he needs it, or that his condition is forcing him ... but i cant help the feeling that this is only covenient excuse to hide his true nature.
I may be wrong ofcourse, but it just seems to me like true good character would try harder to find "another solution" than to jump over first one you find.
I believe he is more like Neutral ... and maybe a little chaotic too ... like yes, he dont wish to hurt anyone purposely ... but if anyone gets hurt, well he should have move sooner.
So in the end ... i like gale, oddly enough. Not as much as the other two, but i do ... his character seems interesting enough to me so i wish to know more.

Shadowheart ...
There could be whole books written about what is wrong with this woman ... or maybe more like girl.
I dont like her, like "at all" ... exactly for those reasons Niara listed abowe (+1 once again) ...
Since the way Shadowheart is written its like someone from Larian really hate us players and wish to tell us as often as possible and she is his messenger ... either that, or they simply tryed to create character with some duality (and failed horribly in my honest opinion) ...
There is nothing i would like at this character and it gets even worse as you continue playing and they keep push her litteraly under your nose. -_-
Honestly with every other alternation i like her even less, since as it seems to me, Larian is only adding another and another conversations and reactions for her, yet dont altern allready existing ... so we get to situation where Shadow is totally able to swear you loayality in first sentence and threaten you with death in next one. :-/
I said it countless times, but she seems to me like some Emo or Goth 14y old girl, who wish nothing more than being recognized as this edgy and "complicated" character ... who is dramaticaly pushing everyone away, just to keep herself in their presence ... but Gods forbid anyone who dares to ignore her! :-/

And Wyll? Ugh ... the only person i hate even more than Shadow. :-/
I believe that goblin who called him "Capitan Failure" described him perfectly ...
Wyll was a noble ... spoilet brat who had everything and never needed to work for that, so he didnt appreciated it ...
So his father send him to mercenaries ... but he didnt deserved that, so he didnt appreciated it ...
He could get some important life lessons ... concidering Flaming Fist captain, he never even bothered ...
Then something failed horribly, and lot of people lost their lives bcs of him ... so he signed pact with a fiend and get power ... and once again he never needed to work for it, so he didnt appreciated it ...
I dunno ... maybe i dont know the whole story here ... but Wyll seems like exactly that type of character who screwed something bad, then tryed really hard to make up for it ... but was too lazy to do that properly, and therefore we screwed that again ... and then again, and again, and again ... and will keep doing the same misstake over and over and over for rest of his life, simply bcs he never stops and say "damn ... i screwed that" ... no, it will allways be someone elses fault. :-/

Thank you for your input. Interesting take on the characters.
Okay, I'll play as well.

I'm not going to restate opinions about the companions that have already been stated here. Assuming that Larian keeps a 4 person party, I'll base my choices on whom I'd quickly replace if/when someone else comes along.

Laezel - I use her because she makes the most sense as a tank in the EA. I don't particularly like or hate her, but I always feel that I'm the one that's replaceable when someone better comes along. I love what she brings to the party as far as combat and her jumping ability goes. But when I can replace her, I'm pretty sure she's gone unless her story takes a different turn. I might not tell her to leave, but if there is someone better, she's unlikely to get much party time.

Shadowheart - I generally like her, but she is in and out of my party as necessary whenever I need Gale or Wyll instead. I wonder if her personality is affected by whatever is hiding her memories as well. Like others, I believe she is a Selune disciple brainwashed to believe she is a Shar follower. I most likely will keep her in my group the entire game.

Asterion - I generally dislike him, both because he's a vampire and because I don't see Rogues and the like as so prissy. I use him in my group mostly because my playstyle uses magic less and combat tactics more and Asterion makes a good scout and ranged specialist. When someone else comes in I like better (probably Haslin because Shadowheart can take care of locks). I'll replace him and tell him to leave.

Gale - I generally like Gale. My opinion of him mirrors what Niara has posted. I will keep him my group and will play him as necessary. Since I'm not exactly sure what class my MC will end up being, he may be more of a camp follower and sometimes party member or may always end up in the group. But I generally like his character.

Wyll - Just never warmed up to Wyll. I have a bit more sympathy to him I guess than many here, but his character class is just one I struggle with. I do like a good redemption story, but I'm just not sure Wyll IS one. He's a Hero wanna be and seems just too defensive of his actions. If Larian is reading this, maybe they can do better with him. But for now, probably will rarely use him as a party member and he'll end up being a camp body or I'll tell him to leave.
Originally Posted by prop85
I dislike all of the current companions, most of my issues with them were listed before so I'll mention some other things.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Plotholes and the relationship between gameplay and narrative. This is going to be about Gale.

Gale has a True Resurrection scroll which is the exact solution he needs for all of his problems. It creates a whole new body (mirroring the original with full health) that your soul can inhabit. It's also a cure for vampirism if we can even call it a cure.

Gale somehow went from an archmage who could use Power Word: Blind to a level 1 wizard barely able to cast a single magic missile. This made him lose his proficiency bonus and knowledge about Arcana. The gameplay doesn't support this kind of "depowerment". The only way I can imagine this is through irreversible mind-wipe, that would have more to do with messing around with the soul rather than the actual mind of a character. (I also want to mention that I find it incredibly weird that Mystra seems to "groom" wizards now when she only got interested in Elminster when he was in his prime.)

The above makes it evident that Larian doesn't care about the DnD lore interacting with the mechanics. I guess special special tadpoles are a good explanation for everything now. (there are characters who have special tadpoles but our tadpoles are even specialer) It's like nanomachines.

I have a feeling that the writers themselves want to one-up eachother when it comes to companion backstories. If Karlach is going to be a thing, we could sit around the campfire and watch our companions bicker about their "better-than-yours" backstories while we get to tell them that Tav is indeed from Baldur's Gate.

Gale's introduction is so infuriating that I usually kill him on the spot (there are no repercussions for it). Every camp scene he has feels incredibly forced and awkward, especially his "Go to Hell" monologue.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Little bit about Astarion.

From what I know, a vampire is basically a distorted mirror image of the original person. This means that the person we call "Astarion" is not actually Astarion but a disgusting joke trying to mimic who he was. I find it incredibly difficult to justify having a vampire in the party. Astarion is only likely to survive in a merciful Neutral Good party that doesn't know a single thing about vampires, and if the player is not a paladin or a cleric of Kelemvor. Evil parties are very likely to just kill him as soon as they find out that Astarion is a threat to them, Lawful Good/Any Neutral parties would behave similarly.

He hits all the clichés from both teenage vampire romances and flamboyant gay coded evil characters and I'm honestly sick and tired of seeing this.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

The current group of companions feels incredibly dysfunctional.

They all bring with themselves a bunch of extra baggage/danger. I'm really not sure why the party would stick together after finding out that our tadpole is dormant, or after we find out the whole truth about them and what they are good for. Each one of them has a different idea of what to do with it. If this ends with having to do skillchecks to have party members stay, there's a chance that we might end up with less than a full party later on.

I'm not sure if a Lawful Good main character would have anyone left in the party, considering that all of the companions have committed serious crimes.

Interesting take on Gale and Astarion. Not sure how you feel about the other three although you said you don't like any of the current companions.
Originally Posted by Kethlar
Okay, I'll play as well.

I'm not going to restate opinions about the companions that have already been stated here. Assuming that Larian keeps a 4 person party, I'll base my choices on whom I'd quickly replace if/when someone else comes along.

Laezel - I use her because she makes the most sense as a tank in the EA. I don't particularly like or hate her, but I always feel that I'm the one that's replaceable when someone better comes along. I love what she brings to the party as far as combat and her jumping ability goes. But when I can replace her, I'm pretty sure she's gone unless her story takes a different turn. I might not tell her to leave, but if there is someone better, she's unlikely to get much party time.

Shadowheart - I generally like her, but she is in and out of my party as necessary whenever I need Gale or Wyll instead. I wonder if her personality is affected by whatever is hiding her memories as well. Like others, I believe she is a Selune disciple brainwashed to believe she is a Shar follower. I most likely will keep her in my group the entire game.

Asterion - I generally dislike him, both because he's a vampire and because I don't see Rogues and the like as so prissy. I use him in my group mostly because my playstyle uses magic less and combat tactics more and Asterion makes a good scout and ranged specialist. When someone else comes in I like better (probably Haslin because Shadowheart can take care of locks). I'll replace him and tell him to leave.

Gale - I generally like Gale. My opinion of him mirrors what Niara has posted. I will keep him my group and will play him as necessary. Since I'm not exactly sure what class my MC will end up being, he may be more of a camp follower and sometimes party member or may always end up in the group. But I generally like his character.

Wyll - Just never warmed up to Wyll. I have a bit more sympathy to him I guess than many here, but his character class is just one I struggle with. I do like a good redemption story, but I'm just not sure Wyll IS one. He's a Hero wanna be and seems just too defensive of his actions. If Larian is reading this, maybe they can do better with him. But for now, probably will rarely use him as a party member and he'll end up being a camp body or I'll tell him to leave.

I like the theory about Shadowheart, that makes her a little more interesting, although I don't like her ability to pick locks as she is a Cleric and that is usually attributed to rogues or rangers. One thing I will say is, I noticed a lot of people here in the forums who don't like Astarion give the reason of not liking him for being a vampire. I'm curious to know why is that an issue? The majority of vampires that I have read stories on, usually behave the same way. Some may think it's cliche but I think the reason why they are written like that is because that is the most recognizable trait of a vampire. They are seen as extremely seductive, some are bi-sexual like Astarion, and sassy but they also can take a different turn very fast depending on a circumstance.
Originally Posted by Dexai
That makes me wonder, if we take the hearsay as true that Larian said they developed all origins in twos (like Laessie and Shadowheart are obviously counterparts and relevant to each other's story) if Astarion might be Wyll's story partner rather than Karlach (who I had previously assumed it was because of the obvious fiendish connection). Astarion I had thought previously would be partnered with the werewolf (because curses) or Minsc (because his BG2 favoured enemy was vampires).

If i may, i'll channel Cassandra Pentaghast for a moment. Ugh. If that's true, some bitter fucking irony in the only thing ported from the OGs being the worst possible thing. Having to recruit a character i don't like, or one i'm indifferent to, for the sake of one i do is so backwards.

Not that i ever wanted to recruit Minsc or Dynaheir, but goddamn Khalid man.

Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
I like the theory about Shadowheart, that makes her a little more interesting, although I don't like her ability to pick locks as she is a Cleric and that is usually attributed to rogues or rangers. One thing I will say is, I noticed a lot of people here in the forums who don't like Astarion give the reason of not liking him for being a vampire. I'm curious to know why is that an issue? The majority of vampires that I have read stories on, usually behave the same way. Some may think it's cliche but I think the reason why they are written like that is because that is the most recognizable trait of a vampire. They are seen as extremely seductive, some are bi-sexual like Astarion, and sassy but they also can take a different turn very fast depending on a circumstance.

Watch Midnight Mass, then compare and contrast.

But anyway, as far as i'm concerned he's just a bad blend of annoying and pathetic. A 200 years old lvl 1 murder hobo, all of that quite literally, who's written and acted like he's hot shit yet just comes accross as... well, a 200 years old lvl 1 murder hobo. Basically Lae'zel, but done badly.
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
I'm gathering from what you are saying is you think these characters aren't well written so you have love and hate relationship with them. That's more of a writing issue but also I feel that depends on you perspective. The point of this discussion to to talk aboutwhy we like or do not like a character. Once again you seem to be dissecting Larian's writing and character development. That's a whole separate discussion.

I didn't give you what you were after, I'll try a bit harder. I'm actually quite generous when it comes to the writing here, since I'm basically judging it by the standards of an 80s action adventure film not like Greek tragedy hehe. I think the writing is actually fairly strong for what it is, for each of the 5. Actually let me rephrase, I think the performances are strong even if the writing perhaps isn't. In the same way that a good actor can elevate weak material, and a poor actor can trash great material, the same applies here. I think the 5 actors are doing pretty great thus far. But again, not what you're after. So I'll just talk about Gale.

What I like about him. I enjoy that he's a pedantic know-it-all right out the gate. How he just walks out the portal and dives straight into it. I like how he assumes we'll still enjoy his company, no matter who we are. How he'll continue to try and ingratiate himself, even if we balk at him (and I like that there's an option for that at each step in the initial conversation.) I like that he says "most excellent!" like Bill or Ted If we agree to take him on, and how he seems dejected if dismissed.

I also enjoy that he acknowledges that there's someone else standing next to me, (at least if Shadowheart's along for the ride), how that gets kinda awkward talking about her deep dark eyes, and her rebuff. All good stuff.

He basically serves in the role of camp sage, and is a better story teller than the Bard we don't have. I appreciate his digressions and split infinitives, which remind me of myself. Also his hair, and his slightly fancier than average purple Wizard's robe. Slick look there.

He's got a great death interlude, and does some impressive self eulogizing if that should occur and all around fits the part of the wizard with an appetitie. I'd list a few things I don't like, but then my concern is that Larian would read that and fixate on it - assume they need to change something - which would annoy me, and which I would interpret as weakness on the part of the studio execs for not backing up their writer/director/actor. I suppose that was the point I was trying to make before. Also that my meta impression as a player is rather different than my impression as a player character, and my likelihood to take Gale into the party or not, would depend not on my meta impression but the player character one. That's why its different here than a movie or a book, which seems to be the standard of judgement. Things that make the character serviceable for me depend largely on the context of the playthrough and what I'm after. Which is a frustrating non answer to be sure, but still at the heart of it for me.

I don't want them to change anything about Gale. If they feel they missed some opportunities somewhere, or he's not popular enough or whatever, then I want them to make another Wizard so Gale can have a rival. Or so that if I choose to play a wizard myself that we can each stake out our own territory without upstaging each other at every turn. That's all I meant by the other stuff. I think it applies to each of these characters in equal measure.
Originally Posted by Innateagle
Originally Posted by Dexai
That makes me wonder, if we take the hearsay as true that Larian said they developed all origins in twos (like Laessie and Shadowheart are obviously counterparts and relevant to each other's story) if Astarion might be Wyll's story partner rather than Karlach (who I had previously assumed it was because of the obvious fiendish connection). Astarion I had thought previously would be partnered with the werewolf (because curses) or Minsc (because his BG2 favoured enemy was vampires).

If i may, i'll channel Cassandra Pentaghast for a moment. Ugh. If that's true, some bitter fucking irony in the only thing ported from the OGs being the worst possible thing. Having to recruit a character i don't like, or one i'm indifferent to, for the sake of one i do is so backwards.

Not that i ever wanted to recruit Minsc or Dynaheir, but goddamn Khalid man.

Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
I like the theory about Shadowheart, that makes her a little more interesting, although I don't like her ability to pick locks as she is a Cleric and that is usually attributed to rogues or rangers. One thing I will say is, I noticed a lot of people here in the forums who don't like Astarion give the reason of not liking him for being a vampire. I'm curious to know why is that an issue? The majority of vampires that I have read stories on, usually behave the same way. Some may think it's cliche but I think the reason why they are written like that is because that is the most recognizable trait of a vampire. They are seen as extremely seductive, some are bi-sexual like Astarion, and sassy but they also can take a different turn very fast depending on a circumstance.

Watch Midnight Mass, then compare and contrast.

But anyway, as far as i'm concerned he's just a bad blend of annoying and pathetic. A 200 years old lvl 1 murder hobo, all of that quite literally, who's written and acted like he's hot shit yet just comes accross as... well, a 200 years old lvl 1 murder hobo. Basically Lae'zel, but done badly.

Midnight Mass made the vampire look more dark, giving it the bat/demon look. Whereas, Astarion has more of appealing vampire look. Dracula didn't look hideous when romancing Mina or even vampires from Anne Rice' s Vampire Chronicles, they have an attractive, seductive look. Also, why do you view Astarion as a "murder hobo" ? Is it because he attacks you when you first meet when he assumed that you were responsible for what happened in the ship? That doesn't make him a murder hobo, that was a one time deal. As for him trying to drink your blood, he does tell you that he never intended to hurt you. I can understand that for him being a vampire, it's a must for him.
Originally Posted by Black_Elk
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
I'm gathering from what you are saying is you think these characters aren't well written so you have love and hate relationship with them. That's more of a writing issue but also I feel that depends on you perspective. The point of this discussion to to talk aboutwhy we like or do not like a character. Once again you seem to be dissecting Larian's writing and character development. That's a whole separate discussion.

I didn't give you what you were after, I'll try a bit harder. I'm actually quite generous when it comes to the writing here, since I'm basically judging it by the standards of an 80s action adventure film not like Greek tragedy hehe. I think the writing is actually fairly strong for what it is, for each of the 5. Actually let me rephrase, I think the performances are strong even if the writing perhaps isn't. In the same way that a good actor can elevate weak material, and a poor actor can trash great material, the same applies here. I think the 5 actors are doing pretty great thus far. But again, not what you're after. So I'll just talk about Gale.

What I like about him. I enjoy that he's a pedantic know-it-all right out the gate. How he just walks out the portal and dives straight into it. I like how he assumes we'll still enjoy his company, no matter who we are. How he'll continue to try and ingratiate himself, even if we balk at him (and I like that there's an option for that at each step in the initial conversation.) I like that he says "most excellent!" like Bill or Ted If we agree to take him on, and how he seems dejected if dismissed.

I also enjoy that he acknowledges that there's someone else standing next to me, (at least if Shadowheart's along for the ride), how that gets kinda awkward talking about her deep dark eyes, and her rebuff. All good stuff.

He basically serves in the role of camp sage, and is a better story teller than the Bard we don't have. I appreciate his digressions and split infinitives, which remind me of myself. Also his hair, and his slightly fancier than average purple Wizard's robe. Slick look there.

He's got a great death interlude, and does some impressive self eulogizing if that should occur and all around fits the part of the wizard with an appetitie. I'd list a few things I don't like, but then my concern is that Larian would read that and fixate on it - assume they need to change something - which would annoy me, and which I would interpret as weakness on the part of the studio execs for not backing up their writer/director/actor. I suppose that was the point I was trying to make before. Also that my meta impression as a player is rather different than my impression as a player character, and my likelihood to take Gale into the party or not, would depend not on my meta impression but the player character one. That's why its different here than a movie or a book, which seems to be the standard of judgement. Things that make the character serviceable for me depend largely on the context of the playthrough and what I'm after. Which is a frustrating non answer to be sure, but still at the heart of it for me.

I don't want them to change anything about Gale. If they feel they missed some opportunities somewhere, or he's not popular enough or whatever, then I want them to make another Wizard so Gale can have a rival. Or so that if I choose to play a wizard myself that we can each stake out our own territory without upstaging each other at every turn. That's all I meant by the other stuff. I think it applies to each of these characters in equal measure.

I appreciate you response and I also understand where you come from in terms of the writing and character development as this is Larian's biggest video game project compared to Divinity.
Sidetracker but Midnight Mass lost me exactly at the point where all our protagonists decided to reject the vampirism when it was obviously a killer deal, and the head vampire seemed like a pretty alright guy all things considered. Also how they just shamefully under-used their best character right at the point when she was stealing the show and elevating it next level (of course I mean crazy church lady.) And that's coming from a genuine dyed in the wool dog lover too! Not sure how that would color anything else I've said in this thread, but for what its worth. Also Lestat over Louis, always. Jessica over everyone, if it's gotta be HBO vamps. Twilight, sorry didn't have a use for it. But if love never dies, I'll take Lucy over Mina, any night of the week. Thanks!

Hehe
I define him a murder hobo because he's evil and an idiot, basically. And since i have a deep fondness for Lawful Evil, i mostly take offense to the latter.

To be brief, nothing he does, approves of, or champions for make any sense in any practical, if not moral, way. Literally the first thing he does is trying to trick and ambush someone he thinks was his jailer, infront of the people who strolled up to him with them. Like, there are goblins smarter than that, and in their dumb evilness not any goblin pretends to have anything more than 7 charisma and 4 intelligence.

Also, dude sucks you dry if you don't stop him, and happily drinks kids' blood if you slaughter the people at the grove. It's not a phase.

Originally Posted by Black_Elk
Sidetracker but Midnight Mass lost me exactly at the point where all our protoginsts decided to reject the vampirism when it was obviously a killer deal, and the head vampire seemed like a pretty alright guy all things considered. Also how they just shamefully under-used their best character right at the point when she was stealing the show and elevating it next level (of course I mean crazy church lady.) And that's coming from a genuine dyed in the wool dog lover too! Not sure how that would color anything else I've said in this thread, but for what its worth. Also Lestat over Louis, always. Jessica over everyone, if it's gotta be HBO vamps. Twilight, sorry didn't have a use for it. But if love never dies, I'll take Lucy over Mina, any night of the week. Thanks!

Hehe

I'll be honest, i'd have gone for it too.

But, morals and shit. Some people are real attached to those. Just rob a blood bank Masquerade style and live a happy unlife, i say.
I mean right? Nothing is more annoying than a super villain with super villainous powers over-burdened by pedestrian pangs of conscience and retrograde morality. Particular proclivities, a sense of style, or discerning tastes, sure! But don't backtrack on the vampirism itself! Like just get with it! I mean have a heart if you have to, but also have a heart! They can't all be Gary Oldman or Tom Waits I guess, but don't saddle me with yet another wishy washy 'I wish I wasn't' vampire. It was pretty brilliant before they decided to just torch all their set up and hard work allegorizing right when it was coming into genuine focus. That's a cardinal Midnight Mass sin right there hehe.

I won't go there too much with Astarion, but you can probably guess what my criticisms would be from his introduction. It has nothing to do with him trying to bite us, and a lot more to do with the wild boar. I hope it comes back at some point, as a vampire boar, just to rub it in a bit lol
Posted By: Sozz Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 02/11/21 05:50 PM
I think Astarion has poor impulse control, and a blood-thirsty disposition. He could be a murder hobo if he didn't have any inhibiting companions around. I view him as being in a state of arrested development since being in thrall to Cazador, so a lot of his behavior can be childish, in a way that doesn't view the ramifications actions beyond how they immediately gratify.
Originally Posted by Innateagle
I define him a murder hobo because he's evil and an idiot, basically. And since i have a deep fondness for Lawful Evil, i mostly take offense to the latter.

To be brief, nothing he does, approves of, or champions for make any sense in any practical, if not moral, way. Literally the first thing he does is trying to trick and ambush someone he thinks was his jailer, infront of the people who strolled up to him with them. Like, there are goblins smarter than that, and in their dumb evilness not any goblin pretends to have anything more than 7 charisma and 4 intelligence.

Also, dude sucks you dry if you don't stop him, and happily drinks kids' blood if you slaughter the people at the grove. It's not a phase.

I don't think his situation is a phase either. I just don't see him in such a negative light like some do. I see him as a rogue and a traditional vampire, although he's classified as a vampire spawn who is a slave to a full blooded vampire. Astarion even tells you that he doesn't have all the good attributes of a vampire but mostly the negative ones, such as not being able to walk in sunlight, no reflection, must be invited to walk into someone home, and the constant hunger for blood and he can not turn someone into a vampire, which only a true vampire can do. Astarion is actually very open about what and what he is.
Originally Posted by Sozz
I think Astarion has poor impulse control, and a blood-thirsty disposition. He could be a murder hobo if he didn't have any inhibiting companions around. I view him as being in a state of arrested development since being in thrall to Cazador, so a lot of his behavior can be childish, in a way that doesn't view the ramifications actions beyond how they immediately gratify.

That goes back to Astarion being a vampire spawn and not a full vampire. In DnD lore, they are bound to their master until their master releases them or is killed by their spawn. Once a spawn is free from their master's chains, they can choose to live in whichever way they want. I even read that in DnD some may choose to live regular lives, not necessarily evil. Not all of them turn to a life of a bloodthirsty monster but live civil lives if they choose. The fun part of DnD is you can create a character and give it whatever back story you want, nothing is said in stone.
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
[quote=Innateagle][quote=Dexai]

Midnight Mass made the vampire look more dark, giving it the bat/demon look. Whereas, Astarion has more of appealing vampire look. Dracula didn't look hideous when romancing Mina or even vampires from Anne Rice' s Vampire Chronicles, they have an attractive, seductive look. Also, why do you view Astarion as a "murder hobo" ? Is it because he attacks you when you first meet when he assumed that you were responsible for what happened in the ship? That doesn't make him a murder hobo, that was a one time deal. As for him trying to drink your blood, he does tell you that he never intended to hurt you. I can understand that for him being a vampire, it's a must for him.

Sorry, I have to pitch in again. Astarion is a murder hobo, because he likes to murder people, simple as that. He says it multiple times. And you get disapproval, if you try to choose a solution, that avoids bloodshed. I would say, that he is at leas a wannabe murder hobo (wannabe, because you will mostly block him, when you play a good character).

And about Dracula (a pet peeve of mine, since I like the book so much) and generally 'traditional vampires':
Dracula doesn't have a romance with Mina - she is food for him. I'm referring to the original novel by Bram Stoker, there is no romance other than between Jonathan and Mina and Lucy and her suitors (I don't remember atm, if she decides on one of them). Dracula is actually really hideous and looks only slightly better, when he drank enough blood - again original Bram Stoker not Coppola (I'm actually mostly ok with the movie apart from the fact of the stupid romance plot that doesn't make sense) and he stinks of death (that one never changes).
The real vampire stories mostly aren't about some sexy tropes, but about often hideous creatures. I blame Bela Lugosi, who forever made Dracula a gentleman, I don't think, there was ever a book faithful adaption of the count afterwards - if you know Friedrich Murnaus Nosferatu - that is one of the more faithful adaptions. And I think, they did a decent job in portraying Dracula in Penny Dreadful (and vampires in general).

I'm mostly ok with how vampires are portrayed in games like Vampire the Masquerade, because they tried to fit every kind in and it is up to the people playing it, to decide, if it will become a horror story or a romance.

Midnight Mass is one of the few newer examples of vampires btw, I can get behind again. Another one is the book and movie 'Let the right one in'.

I'd say since Bela Lugosi played Dracula as an elegant gentleman, the sexy vampire trope was born, but it is a relative new development.
Just not a fan of vampires. After killing them in every D&D game since the 1st edition rules came out, I just don't like them. Not a fan of the lich style cleric either, but in his case, he's basically a game feature to allow players to revive dead characters if they run out of scrolls (something I've never had to do). Like Asterion, I can deal with him, but just not a fan. Loved the events surrounding getting him though.
Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
[quote=Innateagle][quote=Dexai]

Midnight Mass made the vampire look more dark, giving it the bat/demon look. Whereas, Astarion has more of appealing vampire look. Dracula didn't look hideous when romancing Mina or even vampires from Anne Rice' s Vampire Chronicles, they have an attractive, seductive look. Also, why do you view Astarion as a "murder hobo" ? Is it because he attacks you when you first meet when he assumed that you were responsible for what happened in the ship? That doesn't make him a murder hobo, that was a one time deal. As for him trying to drink your blood, he does tell you that he never intended to hurt you. I can understand that for him being a vampire, it's a must for him.

Sorry, I have to pitch in again. Astarion is a murder hobo, because he likes to murder people, simple as that. He says it multiple times. And you get disapproval, if you try to choose a solution, that avoids bloodshed. I would say, that he is at leas a wannabe murder hobo (wannabe, because you will mostly block him, when you play a good character).

And about Dracula (a pet peeve of mine, since I like the book so much) and generally 'traditional vampires':
Dracula doesn't have a romance with Mina - she is food for him. I'm referring to the original novel by Bram Stoker, there is no romance other than between Jonathan and Mina and Lucy and her suitors (I don't remember atm, if she decides on one of them). Dracula is actually really hideous and looks only slightly better, when he drank enough blood - again original Bram Stoker not Coppola (I'm actually mostly ok with the movie apart from the fact of the stupid romance plot that doesn't make sense) and he stinks of death (that one never changes).
The real vampire stories mostly aren't about some sexy tropes, but about often hideous creatures. I blame Bela Lugosi, who forever made Dracula a gentleman, I don't think, there was ever a book faithful adaption of the count afterwards - if you know Friedrich Murnaus Nosferatu - that is one of the more faithful adaptions. And I think, they did a decent job in portraying Dracula in Penny Dreadful (and vampires in general).

I'm mostly ok with how vampires are portrayed in games like Vampire the Masquerade, because they tried to fit every kind in and it is up to the people playing it, to decide, if it will become a horror story or a romance.

Midnight Mass is one of the few newer examples of vampires btw, I can get behind again. Another one is the book and movie 'Let the right one in'.

I'd say since Bela Lugosi played Dracula as an elegant gentleman, the sexy vampire trope was born, but it is a relative new development.

The first real vampire story is Dracula and Dracula lore does not come from Bram Stoker but from Romania. The book Dracula was inspired by the Romanian stories of Vlad the Impaler whose real name was Vlad Tempes. One of the stories that made him a vampire, is said that he would dip his bread in a cup of blood of his impaled enemies. In Romania where some do believe he is a vampire and a protector, they don't depict him in a hideous form but his regular human form.
Originally Posted by Kethlar
Just not a fan of vampires. After killing them in every D&D game since the 1st edition rules came out, I just don't like them. Not a fan of the lich style cleric either, but in his case, he's basically a game feature to allow players to revive dead characters if they run out of scrolls (something I've never had to do). Like Asterion, I can deal with him, but just not a fan. Loved the events surrounding getting him though.

You lost me at "he's basically a game feature to allow players to revive dead characters is they run out of scrolls." What do you mean by that?
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Originally Posted by Innateagle
I define him a murder hobo because he's evil and an idiot, basically. And since i have a deep fondness for Lawful Evil, i mostly take offense to the latter.

To be brief, nothing he does, approves of, or champions for make any sense in any practical, if not moral, way. Literally the first thing he does is trying to trick and ambush someone he thinks was his jailer, infront of the people who strolled up to him with them. Like, there are goblins smarter than that, and in their dumb evilness not any goblin pretends to have anything more than 7 charisma and 4 intelligence.

Also, dude sucks you dry if you don't stop him, and happily drinks kids' blood if you slaughter the people at the grove. It's not a phase.

I don't think his situation is a phase either. I just don't see him in such a negative light like some do. I see him as a rogue and a traditional vampire, although he's classified as a vampire spawn who is a slave to a full blooded vampire. Astarion even tells you that he doesn't have all the good attributes of a vampire but mostly the negative ones, such as not being able to walk in sunlight, no reflection, must be invited to walk into someone home, and the constant hunger for blood and he can not turn someone into a vampire, which only a true vampire can do. Astarion is actually very open about what and what he is.

I mean, if he'd lied about his being the loser sort of vampire like he lied about the sucking dry bit it probably would have been a good thing. Would have made him more intimidating for around 0.6 seconds, the time needed to figure out he was lying.
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
[quote=Innateagle][quote=Dexai]

Midnight Mass made the vampire look more dark, giving it the bat/demon look. Whereas, Astarion has more of appealing vampire look. Dracula didn't look hideous when romancing Mina or even vampires from Anne Rice' s Vampire Chronicles, they have an attractive, seductive look. Also, why do you view Astarion as a "murder hobo" ? Is it because he attacks you when you first meet when he assumed that you were responsible for what happened in the ship? That doesn't make him a murder hobo, that was a one time deal. As for him trying to drink your blood, he does tell you that he never intended to hurt you. I can understand that for him being a vampire, it's a must for him.

Sorry, I have to pitch in again. Astarion is a murder hobo, because he likes to murder people, simple as that. He says it multiple times. And you get disapproval, if you try to choose a solution, that avoids bloodshed. I would say, that he is at leas a wannabe murder hobo (wannabe, because you will mostly block him, when you play a good character).

And about Dracula (a pet peeve of mine, since I like the book so much) and generally 'traditional vampires':
Dracula doesn't have a romance with Mina - she is food for him. I'm referring to the original novel by Bram Stoker, there is no romance other than between Jonathan and Mina and Lucy and her suitors (I don't remember atm, if she decides on one of them). Dracula is actually really hideous and looks only slightly better, when he drank enough blood - again original Bram Stoker not Coppola (I'm actually mostly ok with the movie apart from the fact of the stupid romance plot that doesn't make sense) and he stinks of death (that one never changes).
The real vampire stories mostly aren't about some sexy tropes, but about often hideous creatures. I blame Bela Lugosi, who forever made Dracula a gentleman, I don't think, there was ever a book faithful adaption of the count afterwards - if you know Friedrich Murnaus Nosferatu - that is one of the more faithful adaptions. And I think, they did a decent job in portraying Dracula in Penny Dreadful (and vampires in general).

I'm mostly ok with how vampires are portrayed in games like Vampire the Masquerade, because they tried to fit every kind in and it is up to the people playing it, to decide, if it will become a horror story or a romance.

Midnight Mass is one of the few newer examples of vampires btw, I can get behind again. Another one is the book and movie 'Let the right one in'.

I'd say since Bela Lugosi played Dracula as an elegant gentleman, the sexy vampire trope was born, but it is a relative new development.

The first real vampire story is Dracula and Dracula lore does not come from Bram Stoker but from Romania. The book Dracula was inspired by the Romanian stories of Vlad the Impaler whose real name was Vlad Tempes. One of the stories that made him a vampire, is said that he would dip his bread in a cup of blood of his impaled enemies. In Romania where some do believe he is a vampire and a protector, they don't depict him in a hideous form but his regular human form.


Nope, that is not even remotely the first vampire story, but one of the later ones. And Vlad the Impaler was a romanian noble, fighting the turks. Stoker made him a vampire, there were no legends of that kind beforehand Vlad the Impaler

Vampire stories exists since old Greek, old China and old India and probably even sooner (I'm pretty sure, I've read a Mesopotamian vampire legend somewhere)
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Originally Posted by Kethlar
Just not a fan of vampires. After killing them in every D&D game since the 1st edition rules came out, I just don't like them. Not a fan of the lich style cleric either, but in his case, he's basically a game feature to allow players to revive dead characters if they run out of scrolls (something I've never had to do). Like Asterion, I can deal with him, but just not a fan. Loved the events surrounding getting him though.

You lost me at "he's basically a game feature to allow players to revive dead characters is they run out of scrolls." What do you mean by that?

he's referring to the undead guy that stalks you and rezzes you at camp. the OP was comparing their indifference with the skeleton guy to his feelings of Astarion (i think).
Posted By: GM4Him Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 02/11/21 06:35 PM
I like them all and am fairly certain that almost everyone has judged them as this or that without having the slightest idea who they really are. We get some snippets of who they are here and there in EA, but I think these characters are much deeper than any of us thinks.

And I've heard a lot of complaints about how they are all so grand with big issues and none of them is normal. What I don't see a lot of is people saying, "Um... I think that's intentional."

Do you think that Tav is the ONLY one of the origin characters who is special? Right now, it seems like wherever you go, Tav is the shiz-nizzle. Tav gets everyone's attention, everyone is like, "You're my hero," even Minthara if you play your cards right. Gut even says, "Now here's someone special." She doesn't say you're another True Soul. You're "special" it seems to everyone, and your tadpole is amazing.

But why were you chosen to receive the tadpole? Why was Gale? Why was Lae'zel? Why was Shadowheart? It is mentioned a few times that every one of the origin characters was chosen. It wasn't just Tav. So, why would the Absolute, or whoever's behind it, choose random, ordinary people to be some sort of Special True Souls? No. He/She'd pick special people who have deep, special backgrounds and powers. Why? Who knows, but it is certainly to fulfill some super grand purpose.

This said, my favorite is probably still Lae'zel. Ironically, my wife and kids hate her so much. I like her because I don't see her the way a lot of people see her. They see her as some brute annoying, nagging thug who is cutting and condescending and nasty. I see her as a desperate, hurting individual who is fighting to overcome the weaknesses inside herself and who is trying desperately to escape a fate she has made for herself; not just the tadpole, but whatever it was that she did to become what she is now. Lae'zel has a lot more complexity about her than people think, I believe, and though she definitely does not share my beliefs, I like her nonetheless.

Astarion is actually my second favorite. I didn't like him at first, but he grew on me quickly. I also think he's underestimated. I think he does it on purpose, and everyone just thinks he's some flamboyant idiot. I'm fairly certain he either IS Cazador, or he's much more than he tells you that he is; perhaps a rival of Cazador's or something. What I think is someone made a deal with devils in regards to him, and it is written all over his back in his scars. The mind flayers chose him for a reason, so I'm thinking that he is lying through his teeth a LOT during EA. He's playing a weak jokester who is subservient and is desperately in need of your help to escape his former master and just wants to be your friend and for you to trust him, but whether he actually is enslaved by Cazador or not, he's using you all the way. You trust him, he'll literally bite you in the end. No doubts. He's evil to the core underneath it all. Is he savable? Maybe. Either way, I think he's totally underestimated.

Besides, he makes me laugh. I love the "How would you like to die," conversation. "Strangulation. Poisoning." smile

Shadowheart is probably next on my list. I'd like her more if she was a bit less witchy. One minute she's all like, "Hi friend. Let's talk." The next she's, "Kiss my butt! Don't talk to me. That's my business." But, I figure, she's just unsure of who she really is. She's a Sharran who is finding out that she's not really a Sharran. No doubts. She feels guilty about all sorts of things and finds herself caring for people like the tieflings. She's no Sharran, but she thinks she is and is tormented by it. So, I like the conflict, even if she is rather obvious about EVERYTHING.

I think I'd like Shadowheart more if they actually made her entire plotline more subtle and UN-obvious. If we met her in the pod and on the beach, and she was wearing normal armor that didn't scream Shar, and she lied and said she was a cleric of some other trickery god or goddess, and she didn't make it so plain she had nothing but contempt for Selune ALL the time, I think the big reveal would be much more shocking and fun. If she was sweat and nice and you just love talking to her, and she's sweetly lying to your face every time you chat with her, and you are totally clueless, and you're thinking she's a cleric of some good god or goddess of trickery or whatever and then suddenly she hits you hard with her reveal? Yeah. That would have made her so much more awesome to me.

Like, "Hi, I'm Shadowheart. I'm a cleric of Meliran Tiromen, goddess of bards and such. Her domains are trickery and life and light. Blessings from Meliran upon you."

Later, "Meliran doesn't approve of Selune, actually," Shadowheart says sweetly. "She thinks Selune is a moon-witch. Hah! The way she looks at things, Shar is like an older sister who was just enjoying herself in her room in the peaceful dark. Suddenly, Selune bursts in screaming and fussing and shining her bright light in her face. Then when Shar got mad, Selune screamed to all the other gods and got them to side with her. Now everyone hates Shar. That's how Meliran views it. People think Shar's at fault for everything, but it's really Selune, ya know."

Then later, "I'm a cleric of Shar."

"What?" But... dang! You're too sweet to be a cleric of an evil goddess."

"Well, you wanted to know," Shadowheart says, now acting totally uncharacteristically vicious. "There it is. I serve the Mistress of the Night. I am a cleric of the Goddess of Loss. You've convinced me to reveal my biggest secret. Now. What are you going to do about it. Are you going to try to kill me? If so, let's get it over with." Then she grips her mace and shield and prepares to kill you. You have a choice, either you accept her for who she is or kill her. No in between.

Man! What a shock that would be. Sure, she could drop subtle hints here and there and not be sickly sappily sweet the whole time. I'm not saying that. I'm just saying that I think she'd be much cooler if she was a normal person in the beginning who is nice and acting all good and soft-hearted only to find out she's been lying to you the whole time.

Gale and Wyll, I want to like them more, but maybe I just don't know enough about them. Of all the characters in the game, I trust Gale the least. I'm fairly certain he's a Netherese mage who is just looking to gain as much power as he can for some totally diabolical scheme he's got concocted, and I'm fairly sure he's a two-faced liar manipulator. But then, every time you do something bad, he disapproves. So, is he good? Hard to say. I just don't trust him in the slightest.

And did anyone else notice that Gale is the ONLY origin character that you do NOT immediately connect with in terms of the tadpole? You connect with each and every one of the others, but not Gale. What's up with that? Is his maelstrom of anti-magic preventing you? Is he even infected? He seems to be. He acts like he is, but is he really? What if he is actually not infected, and he's just using his tadpole to get close to you to find a way to control you and manipulate you. But then, he can also gain tadpole powers... so...

And Wyll is a nice guy and all, but he also seems to be lying a lot to me. I think he's a huge fake as well who WANTS to be this hero but he really isn't. Deep down, he's a monster in his own way. Maybe I don't like him because like Gale, he seems fake to me and he seems like he's pretending to be good just so he can manipulate and control you.

I could, of course, be reading into all of them too much, but whatever. That is my ranking of the characters and why.
Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
[quote=Innateagle][quote=Dexai]

Midnight Mass made the vampire look more dark, giving it the bat/demon look. Whereas, Astarion has more of appealing vampire look. Dracula didn't look hideous when romancing Mina or even vampires from Anne Rice' s Vampire Chronicles, they have an attractive, seductive look. Also, why do you view Astarion as a "murder hobo" ? Is it because he attacks you when you first meet when he assumed that you were responsible for what happened in the ship? That doesn't make him a murder hobo, that was a one time deal. As for him trying to drink your blood, he does tell you that he never intended to hurt you. I can understand that for him being a vampire, it's a must for him.

Sorry, I have to pitch in again. Astarion is a murder hobo, because he likes to murder people, simple as that. He says it multiple times. And you get disapproval, if you try to choose a solution, that avoids bloodshed. I would say, that he is at leas a wannabe murder hobo (wannabe, because you will mostly block him, when you play a good character).

And about Dracula (a pet peeve of mine, since I like the book so much) and generally 'traditional vampires':
Dracula doesn't have a romance with Mina - she is food for him. I'm referring to the original novel by Bram Stoker, there is no romance other than between Jonathan and Mina and Lucy and her suitors (I don't remember atm, if she decides on one of them). Dracula is actually really hideous and looks only slightly better, when he drank enough blood - again original Bram Stoker not Coppola (I'm actually mostly ok with the movie apart from the fact of the stupid romance plot that doesn't make sense) and he stinks of death (that one never changes).
The real vampire stories mostly aren't about some sexy tropes, but about often hideous creatures. I blame Bela Lugosi, who forever made Dracula a gentleman, I don't think, there was ever a book faithful adaption of the count afterwards - if you know Friedrich Murnaus Nosferatu - that is one of the more faithful adaptions. And I think, they did a decent job in portraying Dracula in Penny Dreadful (and vampires in general).

I'm mostly ok with how vampires are portrayed in games like Vampire the Masquerade, because they tried to fit every kind in and it is up to the people playing it, to decide, if it will become a horror story or a romance.

Midnight Mass is one of the few newer examples of vampires btw, I can get behind again. Another one is the book and movie 'Let the right one in'.

I'd say since Bela Lugosi played Dracula as an elegant gentleman, the sexy vampire trope was born, but it is a relative new development.

The first real vampire story is Dracula and Dracula lore does not come from Bram Stoker but from Romania. The book Dracula was inspired by the Romanian stories of Vlad the Impaler whose real name was Vlad Tempes. One of the stories that made him a vampire, is said that he would dip his bread in a cup of blood of his impaled enemies. In Romania where some do believe he is a vampire and a protector, they don't depict him in a hideous form but his regular human form.


Nope, that is not even remotely the first vampire story, but one of the later ones. And Vlad the Impaler was a romanian noble, fighting the turks. Stoker made him a vampire, there were no legends of that kind beforehand Vlad the Impaler

Vampire stories exists since old Greek, old China and old India and probably even sooner (I'm pretty sure, I've read a Mesopotamian vampire legend somewhere)

You seem to be making this bigger than what it is. You're giving me the impression that you don't like Astarion's vampirism because he's not depicting in the way YOU like. I, on the otherhand, don't mind how he looks based on the more popular vampire looks. The reason why I mentioned Dracula as being the first vampire story is because it is the first vampire story to be made popular. You seem to have misunderstood what I meant by Vlad the Impaler being a vampire. The "stories" I mentioned are oral stories. He is in fact revered in Romania and considered a protector. There are a few legends regarding him as a vampire but once again they are oral stories. These are things that I have heard historians say in regards to Vlad the Impaler.
Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
[quote=Innateagle][quote=Dexai]

Midnight Mass made the vampire look more dark, giving it the bat/demon look. Whereas, Astarion has more of appealing vampire look. Dracula didn't look hideous when romancing Mina or even vampires from Anne Rice' s Vampire Chronicles, they have an attractive, seductive look. Also, why do you view Astarion as a "murder hobo" ? Is it because he attacks you when you first meet when he assumed that you were responsible for what happened in the ship? That doesn't make him a murder hobo, that was a one time deal. As for him trying to drink your blood, he does tell you that he never intended to hurt you. I can understand that for him being a vampire, it's a must for him.

Sorry, I have to pitch in again. Astarion is a murder hobo, because he likes to murder people, simple as that. He says it multiple times. And you get disapproval, if you try to choose a solution, that avoids bloodshed. I would say, that he is at leas a wannabe murder hobo (wannabe, because you will mostly block him, when you play a good character).

And about Dracula (a pet peeve of mine, since I like the book so much) and generally 'traditional vampires':
Dracula doesn't have a romance with Mina - she is food for him. I'm referring to the original novel by Bram Stoker, there is no romance other than between Jonathan and Mina and Lucy and her suitors (I don't remember atm, if she decides on one of them). Dracula is actually really hideous and looks only slightly better, when he drank enough blood - again original Bram Stoker not Coppola (I'm actually mostly ok with the movie apart from the fact of the stupid romance plot that doesn't make sense) and he stinks of death (that one never changes).
The real vampire stories mostly aren't about some sexy tropes, but about often hideous creatures. I blame Bela Lugosi, who forever made Dracula a gentleman, I don't think, there was ever a book faithful adaption of the count afterwards - if you know Friedrich Murnaus Nosferatu - that is one of the more faithful adaptions. And I think, they did a decent job in portraying Dracula in Penny Dreadful (and vampires in general).

I'm mostly ok with how vampires are portrayed in games like Vampire the Masquerade, because they tried to fit every kind in and it is up to the people playing it, to decide, if it will become a horror story or a romance.

Midnight Mass is one of the few newer examples of vampires btw, I can get behind again. Another one is the book and movie 'Let the right one in'.

I'd say since Bela Lugosi played Dracula as an elegant gentleman, the sexy vampire trope was born, but it is a relative new development.

The first real vampire story is Dracula and Dracula lore does not come from Bram Stoker but from Romania. The book Dracula was inspired by the Romanian stories of Vlad the Impaler whose real name was Vlad Tempes. One of the stories that made him a vampire, is said that he would dip his bread in a cup of blood of his impaled enemies. In Romania where some do believe he is a vampire and a protector, they don't depict him in a hideous form but his regular human form.


Nope, that is not even remotely the first vampire story, but one of the later ones. And Vlad the Impaler was a romanian noble, fighting the turks. Stoker made him a vampire, there were no legends of that kind beforehand Vlad the Impaler

Vampire stories exists since old Greek, old China and old India and probably even sooner (I'm pretty sure, I've read a Mesopotamian vampire legend somewhere)

And to add to that, Tepes actually means 'the Impaler'. Same for Dracula, it actually means Son of the Dragon (after his father, Vlad Dracul - the Dragon). That's what the legends were about, and that's why he 'became' a vampire. Some rad nicknames.
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
You seem to be making this bigger than what it is. You're giving me the impression that you don't like Astarion's vampirism because he's not depicting in the way YOU like. I, on the otherhand, don't mind how he looks based on the more popular vampire looks. The reason why I mentioned Dracula as being the first vampire story is because it is the first vampire story to be made popular. You seem to have misunderstood what I meant by Vlad the Impaler being a vampire. The "stories" I mentioned are oral stories. He is in fact revered in Romania and considered a protector. There are a few legends regarding him as a vampire but once again they are oral stories. These are things that I have heard historians say in regards to Vlad the Impaler.

No, you lay words in my mouth, please don't do that. I don't like Astarion, because he isn't a very original character and basically a cliche in my opinion, as I said before. And that hasn't even to do with him being a vampire (otehr that he feeds a certain trope), but with him being evil stupid (as someone so fittingly put it). ANd I thought, I did express that plainly enough ... obviously not.

I only corrected some of the things you wrote about vampires, because they are simply not true - is the good looking vampire the most popular today? Why, certainly yes. But that is a new phenomena. And the good looking vampires can still be interesting - but not in Twilight-like stories, that are more romances, than anything (I recommend Poppy Z. Brite, Lost Souls). And there wasn't a legend about Vlad being a vampire, before Stoker decided to make him one. That one is made up by Francis Ford Coppola and his Dracula movie.
I only try to deliver facts here, as I said, I have no problem with Dracula being a gentleman vampire today or vampires mostly look good, but read quite a bit of vampire mythology and lore and just thought, I'll bring in my 2 cents of knowledge, that's all.
Posted By: Sozz Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 02/11/21 07:09 PM
A lot of "Vampire" folklore get's lumped in together with the most popular depiction even if they only bear vague similarities. Also Dragons are common stand-ins for Satan, so there's a cursed by God angle baked in. On Coppola's film, I forget where I got this from, but it was apparently the originator for a romance between Mina and Dracula, which influenced the direction Vampire fiction went after, at least on film.
Originally Posted by GM4Him
Astarion is actually my second favorite. I didn't like him at first, but he grew on me quickly. I also think he's underestimated. I think he does it on purpose, and everyone just thinks he's some flamboyant idiot. I'm fairly certain he either IS Cazador, or he's much more than he tells you that he is; perhaps a rival of Cazador's or something. What I think is someone made a deal with devils in regards to him, and it is written all over his back in his scars. The mind flayers chose him for a reason, so I'm thinking that he is lying through his teeth a LOT during EA. He's playing a weak jokester who is subservient and is desperately in need of your help to escape his former master and just wants to be your friend and for you to trust him, but whether he actually is enslaved by Cazador or not, he's using you all the way. You trust him, he'll literally bite you in the end. No doubts. He's evil to the core underneath it all. Is he savable? Maybe. Either way, I think he's totally underestimated.

Besides, he makes me laugh. I love the "How would you like to die," conversation. "Strangulation. Poisoning." smile


Originally Posted by GM4Him
Gale and Wyll, I want to like them more, but maybe I just don't know enough about them. Of all the characters in the game, I trust Gale the least. I'm fairly certain he's a Netherese mage who is just looking to gain as much power as he can for some totally diabolical scheme he's got concocted, and I'm fairly sure he's a two-faced liar manipulator. But then, every time you do something bad, he disapproves. So, is he good? Hard to say. I just don't trust him in the slightest.

And did anyone else notice that Gale is the ONLY origin character that you do NOT immediately connect with in terms of the tadpole? You connect with each and every one of the others, but not Gale. What's up with that? Is his maelstrom of anti-magic preventing you? Is he even infected? He seems to be. He acts like he is, but is he really? What if he is actually not infected, and he's just using his tadpole to get close to you to find a way to control you and manipulate you. But then, he can also gain tadpole powers... so...

I agree with you on Astarion being underestimated and also a big +1 on the mystery behind his back scar. Like I said in a previous response, there is more to Astarion than meets the eye. I think Astarion purposely acts the way he does as there are moments where he acts more serious.

As for Gale, you surprised me about the tadpole connection. You are right, I forget we don't get that instant connection with him. He's the only one. I also believe we don't get the option to use ilithid powers on him like we can with the other companions. As for netherese magic, I think he knows more than he is letting on.
Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
You seem to be making this bigger than what it is. You're giving me the impression that you don't like Astarion's vampirism because he's not depicting in the way YOU like. I, on the otherhand, don't mind how he looks based on the more popular vampire looks. The reason why I mentioned Dracula as being the first vampire story is because it is the first vampire story to be made popular. You seem to have misunderstood what I meant by Vlad the Impaler being a vampire. The "stories" I mentioned are oral stories. He is in fact revered in Romania and considered a protector. There are a few legends regarding him as a vampire but once again they are oral stories. These are things that I have heard historians say in regards to Vlad the Impaler.

No, you lay words in my mouth, please don't do that. I don't like Astarion, because he isn't a very original character and basically a cliche in my opinion, as I said before. And that hasn't even to do with him being a vampire (otehr that he feeds a certain trope), but with him being evil stupid (as someone so fittingly put it). ANd I thought, I did express that plainly enough ... obviously not.

I only corrected some of the things you wrote about vampires, because they are simply not true - is the good looking vampire the most popular today? Why, certainly yes. But that is a new phenomena. And the good looking vampires can still be interesting - but not in Twilight-like stories, that are more romances, than anything (I recommend Poppy Z. Brite, Lost Souls). And there wasn't a legend about Vlad being a vampire, before Stoker decided to make him one. That one is made up by Francis Ford Coppola and his Dracula movie.
I only try to deliver facts here, as I said, I have no problem with Dracula being a gentleman vampire today or vampires mostly look good, but read quite a bit of vampire mythology and lore and just thought, I'll bring in my 2 cents of knowledge, that's all.

Again you are misunderstanding what I wrote. When I mentioned stories, I said oral stories. You are not going to find them in writing. As I said these are things I have heard historians say. Just like you, I have also read plenty of vampire lore but what you and I have read could be different. That's why you and I keep contradicting each other. I also want to remind you the I did not intend this thread to be a debate but to discuss why we like or do not like each companion, although you seem to have responded to my comments in a very argumentative way. You are also the person that responded to me previously by saying not to ask you why you don't like Astarion before you edited that part out of your response.
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Again you are misunderstanding what I wrote. When I mentioned stories, I said oral stories. You are not going to find them in writing. As I said these are things I have heard historians say. Just like you, I have also read plenty of vampire lore but what you and I have read could be different. That's why you and I keep contradicting each other. I also want to remind you the I did not intend this thread to be a debate but to discuss why we like or do not like each companion, although you seem to have responded to my comments in a very argumentative way. You are also the person that responded to me previously by saying not to ask you why you don't like Astarion before you edited that part out of your response.

Nope, I understand perfectly, I just don't agree - two different things. ANd you were the one, wanting discussions here (see your answer to me on page 1). But I'm done here, this isn't leading anywhere.
Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Again you are misunderstanding what I wrote. When I mentioned stories, I said oral stories. You are not going to find them in writing. As I said these are things I have heard historians say. Just like you, I have also read plenty of vampire lore but what you and I have read could be different. That's why you and I keep contradicting each other. I also want to remind you the I did not intend this thread to be a debate but to discuss why we like or do not like each companion, although you seem to have responded to my comments in a very argumentative way. You are also the person that responded to me previously by saying not to ask you why you don't like Astarion before you edited that part out of your response.

Nope, I understand perfectly, I just don't agree - two different things. ANd you were the one, wanting discussions here (see your answer to me on page 1). But I'm done here, this isn't leading anywhere.

The issue I see here is you don’t like my responses and are extremely dismissive which is why I see it as you being argumentative. Yes, this is a discussion but your response to me when I asked you about not seeing something or someone that is important as interesting was defensive where you accused me of insisting you like Astarion and before you edited it, you wrote “do not ask me again”. It stops being a discussion when the tone in your writing sounds defensive and argumentative.
Posted By: Ixal Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 02/11/21 07:45 PM
Originally Posted by Sozz
A lot of "Vampire" folklore get's lumped in together with the most popular depiction even if they only bear vague similarities. Also Dragons are common stand-ins for Satan, so there's a cursed by God angle baked in. On Coppola's film, I forget where I got this from, but it was apparently the originator for a romance between Mina and Dracula, which influenced the direction Vampire fiction went after, at least on film.

Except that the nickname Dracul came from his membership of the Order of the Dragon, a knighly order dedicated to St. George which focused on opposing the Ottoman Empire (= the dragon they wanted to slay).
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Again you are misunderstanding what I wrote. When I mentioned stories, I said oral stories. You are not going to find them in writing. As I said these are things I have heard historians say. Just like you, I have also read plenty of vampire lore but what you and I have read could be different. That's why you and I keep contradicting each other. I also want to remind you the I did not intend this thread to be a debate but to discuss why we like or do not like each companion, although you seem to have responded to my comments in a very argumentative way. You are also the person that responded to me previously by saying not to ask you why you don't like Astarion before you edited that part out of your response.

Nope, I understand perfectly, I just don't agree - two different things. ANd you were the one, wanting discussions here (see your answer to me on page 1). But I'm done here, this isn't leading anywhere.

The issue I see here is you don’t like my responses and are extremely dismissive which is why I see it as you being argumentative. Yes, this is a discussion but your response to me when I asked you about not seeing something or someone that is important as interesting was defensive where you accused me of insisting you like Astarion and before you edited it, you wrote “do not ask me again”. It stops being a discussion when the tone in your writing sounds defensive and argumentative.


As I said, we have different opinions and I don't think, I was argumentative. I have a different opinion from yours and we clearly don't see eye to eye. If you feel offended by that, sorry. I was just trying to have a discussion.
But anyway, that's it for me, I really don't want to go on and on about who said what in which tone.
Let's jus tagree to disagree and leave it at that, ok?
Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Again you are misunderstanding what I wrote. When I mentioned stories, I said oral stories. You are not going to find them in writing. As I said these are things I have heard historians say. Just like you, I have also read plenty of vampire lore but what you and I have read could be different. That's why you and I keep contradicting each other. I also want to remind you the I did not intend this thread to be a debate but to discuss why we like or do not like each companion, although you seem to have responded to my comments in a very argumentative way. You are also the person that responded to me previously by saying not to ask you why you don't like Astarion before you edited that part out of your response.

Nope, I understand perfectly, I just don't agree - two different things. ANd you were the one, wanting discussions here (see your answer to me on page 1). But I'm done here, this isn't leading anywhere.

The issue I see here is you don’t like my responses and are extremely dismissive which is why I see it as you being argumentative. Yes, this is a discussion but your response to me when I asked you about not seeing something or someone that is important as interesting was defensive where you accused me of insisting you like Astarion and before you edited it, you wrote “do not ask me again”. It stops being a discussion when the tone in your writing sounds defensive and argumentative.


As I said, we have different opinions and I don't think, I was argumentative. I have a different opinion from yours and we clearly don't see eye to eye. If you feel offended by that, sorry. I was just trying to have a discussion.
But anyway, that's it for me, I really don't want to go on and on about who said what in which tone.
Let's jus tagree to disagree and leave it at that, ok?

Yes, we can agree to disagree but once again, please, watch how you write online. There is no reason for “ok?” at the end of that sentence. It comes off as being forceful like giving someone an attitude.
Posted By: Sozz Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 02/11/21 07:59 PM
They took blasphemy a bit more seriously back then, I wasn't saying he was openly proclaiming himself a Anti-Christ. But your point is well taken.
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Yes, we can agree to disagree but once again, please, watch how you write online. There is no reason for “ok?” at the end of that sentence. It comes off as being forceful like giving someone an attitude.

And that is patronising, so please watch yourself, how you write online. It comes off as ...well... patronising and condescending.
Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Yes, we can agree to disagree but once again, please, watch how you write online. There is no reason for “ok?” at the end of that sentence. It comes off as being forceful like giving someone an attitude.

And that is patronising, so please watch yourself, how you write online. It comes off as ...well... patronising and condescending.

I apologize if you think me saying that is condescending. Although you have been giving me an attitude ever since I asked your opinion on important and interesting characters.
Posted By: smberg Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 02/11/21 08:35 PM
Lady Avyna - this thread is getting exhausting to read. You did a great job of starting this interesting thread and getting the discussion going. But you personally making a response to every single post seems like you are trying to make this entire thread about you. It would have been much more interesting to read if you had launched it and then let it cook and marinate with a bunch of diverse opinions before jumping back in a half day or full day later. No need for one person to comment on every single post. I respect and enjoy reading your opinions and ideas, but I want to see a bunch of opinions and ideas without one person taking over the thread.
Originally Posted by fylimar
I'd say since Bela Lugosi played Dracula as an elegant gentleman, the sexy vampire trope was born, but it is a relative new development.

Hehe since this is now also The Vampyre thread - worth noting that Lord Ruthven predates Stoker's Dracula by 3 generations, and Bela's 'gentleman Dracula' performance by more than a century. The suggestion has long been that Lord Ruthven was modelled on Lord Byron as the ultimate predatory gentleman chasing skirts, since Polidori was Byron's travelling companion and saw how dude operated when shades were drawn.

The legend of Vampyre's drafting is quite famous - as a parlour game challenge. The other celebrated story to come out of it was Mary Shelly's Frankenstien. So they are forever linked, well before cinema was invented. Also sexualized, pretty thoroughly in both camps before the screen was made silver. Le Fanu's Carmilla, the lesbian vampire archetype, is earlier than Stoker's Dracula too. Max Schreck's Nosferatu painted Count Orlok as a vamp ghoul in his knockoff rendition, but the gentleman version is the earlier incarnation. It was already well established in theater by the time Bram Stoker came along, and used the baked-in theme for his own gothic romance riff.

Coppola's film adaptation is pretty brilliant. Almost all the special effects were shot in-camera, which is what makes it such a masterpiece of traditional filmaking (along with the score! Obviously hehe) but also because he treated the source material with a fairly deft hand, understanding pretty well what Stoker was ripping off and updating, and the general milleau that he was borrowing from. He definitely didn't invent it though, and it wasn't exactly novel at the time it debuted. But the cinema eclipsed everything as soon as it arrived, and so Bela did pretty much conquer the world with his performance and seared it into the collective conciousness forevermore. Anne Rice did something rather similar, which is why she's so beloved. Even the tween vampires hit pretty close to the mark there, though I generally dislike that aesthetic.

Schreck still deserves some serious love though as the dominant counterbalancing visual archetype. His shadowplay performance was so memorable and iconic that it remains a hallmark of the genre, even if the general public hasn't watched silent films in nearly 100 years. Like Lang's Metropolis, clips from Nosferatu endure as legendary. Even if we've never seen it, we'd still know it, cause the reach is just that long- with those creepy fingers! Genius, always!

Where exactly Astarion fits in that legacy, a little bit harder for me to parse heheh
Originally Posted by Black_Elk
Originally Posted by fylimar
I'd say since Bela Lugosi played Dracula as an elegant gentleman, the sexy vampire trope was born, but it is a relative new development.

Hehe since this is now also The Vampyre thread - worth noting that Lord Ruthven predates Stoker's Dracula by 3 generations, and Bela's 'gentleman Dracula' performance by more than a century. The suggestion has long been that Lord Ruthven was modelled on Lord Byron as the ultimate predatory gentleman chasing skirts, since Polidori was Byron's travelling companion and saw how dude operated when shades were drawn.

The legend of Vampyre's drafting is quite famous - as a parlour game challenge. The other celebrated story to come out of it was Mary Shelly's Frankenstien. So they are forever linked, well before cinema was invented. Also sexualized, pretty thoroughly in both camps before the screen was made silver. Le Fanu's Carmilla, the lesbian vampire archetype, is earlier than Stoker's Dracula too. Max Schreck's Nosferatu painted Count Orlok as a vamp ghoul in his knockoff rendition, but the gentleman version is the earlier incarnation. It was already well established in theater by the time Bram Stoker came along, and used the baked-in theme for his own gothic romance riff.

Coppola's film adaptation is pretty brilliant. Almost all the special effects were shot in-camera, which is what makes it such a masterpiece of traditional filmaking (along with the score! Obviously hehe) but also because he treated the source material with a fairly deft hand, understanding pretty well what Stoker was ripping off and updating, and the general milleau that he was borrowing from. He definitely didn't invent it though, and it wasn't exactly novel at the time it debuted. But the cinema eclipsed everything as soon as it arrived, and so Bela did pretty much conquer the world with his performance and seared it into the collective conciousness forevermore. Anne Rice did something rather similar, which is why she's so beloved. Even the tween vampires hit pretty close to the mark there, though I generally dislike that aesthetic.

Schreck still deserves some serious love though as the dominant counterbalancing visual archetype. His shadowplay performance was so memorable and iconic that it remains a hallmark of the genre, even if the general public hasn't watched silent films in nearly 100 years. Like Lang's Metropolis, clips from Nosferatu endure as legendary. Even if we've never seen it, we'd still know it, cause the reach is just that long- with those creepy fingers! Genius, always!

Where exactly Astarion fits in that legacy, a little bit harder for me to parse heheh
You are right about Ruthven and Carmilla, they were (and still to some extent are) popular.
I was mostly referring to Stokers original book as the today most well known classical vampire story and how Dracula wasn't really sexy there, he was quite hideous.
In most legends, vampire were frightening too.
But you are right, the gentleman archetype is a bit older than Lugosi. Still they are different from the vampires in stories today, where they often are just sex symbols. I, too, am not fond of the teen vampire stories including Twilight, Vampire Diaries and True Blood.
Nosferatu is a great movie btw. Did you see Shadow of the Vampire? It's a hommage to Nosferatu.
Originally Posted by fylimar
[
You are right about Ruthven and Carmilla, they were (and still to some extent are) popular.
I was mostly referring to Stokers original book as the today most well known classical vampire story and how Dracula wasn't really sexy there, he was quite hideous.

Yes and no. Dracula was everything that was wrong about the aristocracy, true. A vestigial cancer that just refuses to die even as it leaches the life from the body politic . . .

The erotic aspect comes out in Lucy. There are very dark undertones of a woman liberated by an act of violence in her story. Lucy goes from an easily ignored mouse to a terrifying force to reckoned with. If you read erotica from the time period -- and even up to the early 70s -- the woman whose sexuality is freed by an act of violence was common theme.
Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
Originally Posted by fylimar
[
You are right about Ruthven and Carmilla, they were (and still to some extent are) popular.
I was mostly referring to Stokers original book as the today most well known classical vampire story and how Dracula wasn't really sexy there, he was quite hideous.

Yes and no. Dracula was everything that was wrong about the aristocracy, true. A vestigial cancer that just refuses to die even as it leaches the life from the body politic . . .

The erotic aspect comes out in Lucy. There are very dark undertones of a woman liberated by an act of violence in her story. Lucy goes from an easily ignored mouse to a terrifying force to reckoned with. If you read erotica from the time period -- and even up to the early 70s -- the woman whose sexuality is freed by an act of violence was common theme.
I'm not very versed with erotica from this time, but I trust your word on that. It does sound awful though, being liberated through violence.
You are right about Lucy, but I also found her terrifying as a vampire. That scene was creepy as far as I remember.
Posted By: Sozz Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 02/11/21 10:15 PM
I was hoping you'd chime in KillerRabbit. Trauma as liberating force, is not uncommon today, I was surprised (in a good way) at how subversive the "interrogation" scene between Kylo Ren and Rey was in The Force Awakens. Sexual politics in stories are always interesting to me, I think because it's such a veiled subject in the public square, I think this is also one of the reasons why vampire fiction is so compelling to people.

It's kind of interesting to compare modern vampires and werewolves this way, vampires are allegories for decadence, while werewolves are about uncontrolled animalistic passions, but they're allegories have been twisted together. I'm not totally sure why. Possibly because vampires are more popular they subsume the aspects of other stories.
Originally Posted by smberg
Lady Avyna - this thread is getting exhausting to read. You did a great job of starting this interesting thread and getting the discussion going. But you personally making a response to every single post seems like you are trying to make this entire thread about you. It would have been much more interesting to read if you had launched it and then let it cook and marinate with a bunch of diverse opinions before jumping back in a half day or full day later. No need for one person to comment on every single post. I respect and enjoy reading your opinions and ideas, but I want to see a bunch of opinions and ideas without one person taking over the thread.

I’m sorry for the thread making you feel exhausted. This is not how I imagined the thread to become but it seems that talking about Astarion is a trigger point for some. Especially after asking why is he so disliked. This thread is a discussion thread which is why I have responded to almost everyone. That’s the part of having a discussion. Again, not my intention to make it feel exhausting. Sorry about that.
I would like to go back to discussing the other companions. I see Astarion’s vampirism is a big problem for some people. The only reason why I asked some to elaborate on their dislike for Astarion is because I don’t see anything wrong with how Astarion is written. It’s seems based on responses that some just don’t like Vampirism even though this exist is DND. This thread was not intended to become just about Vampires. We have neglected the other characters long enough…lol. Gale seems to be another character that has caught my interest based on some responses. Does he even have a tadpole and if so, why did we not connect with him. Someone pointed that out and I found that interesting.
Posted By: Niara Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 02/11/21 11:46 PM
Quote
Does he even have a tadpole and if so, why did we not connect with him. Someone pointed that out and I found that interesting.

Yes, he does. He gets tadpole powers, can use the tadpole in conversations, can be tested by ormellum and Ethel, etc. He has a tadpole the same as everyone else. He didn't do the brain connect upon first meeting, but you certainly can prod his thoughts at other times. There's no big mystery surrounding the lack of initial connection, unfortunately; there are two primary possibilities. The first is that it's an oversight or unintentional side effect of design (Gale wasn't initially intended to be in the first EA batch of characters... though in this situation, you'd expect them to have put something in by now probably). The other in universe possibility is that Gale has the most well-ordered and trained mind in the group - as an experienced wizard - and he actually just has better control of his tadpole when we first meet up, than the others do. If we try to pry into his mind at that point, he locks us out, even on a success, so he's being communicated as having strong mental faculties.

I'm just really curious why people who don't trust him don't - unlike practically everyone else, he never lies to us or deceives us. Saying that "he could" be lying about all of this and being manipulative is an empty argument because that's literally true of every single thing we see and hear from every single person, if you go that route. There is no indication that he's being in any way dishonest, and many indications that he is being truthful and forthright, throughout the EA... saying "Well you just don't know him yet" is equally empty - because we all know him as well each other, and are working off the same evidence. I've yet to see anyone put forward any actually substantive reason for why they think he's up to something or deceiving the party - or even any explanation of what made those people feel that way, and I'd really like to understand it, since there's quite literally nothing that I'm aware of in the game to see that points in that direction.
Originally Posted by Niara
Quote
Does he even have a tadpole and if so, why did we not connect with him. Someone pointed that out and I found that interesting.

Yes, he does. He gets tadpole powers, can use the tadpole in conversations, can be tested by ormellum and Ethel, etc. He has a tadpole the same as everyone else. He didn't do the brain connect upon first meeting, but you certainly can prod his thoughts at other times. There's no big mystery surrounding the lack of initial connection, unfortunately; there are two primary possibilities. The first is that it's an oversight or unintentional side effect of design (Gale wasn't initially intended to be in the first EA batch of characters... though in this situation, you'd expect them to have put something in by now probably). The other in universe possibility is that Gale has the most well-ordered and trained mind in the group - as an experienced wizard - and he actually just has better control of his tadpole when we first meet up, than the others do. If we try to pry into his mind at that point, he locks us out, even on a success, so he's being communicated as having strong mental faculties.

I'm just really curious why people who don't trust him don't - unlike practically everyone else, he never lies to us or deceives us. Saying that "he could" be lying about all of this and being manipulative is an empty argument because that's literally true of every single thing we see and hear from every single person, if you go that route. There is no indication that he's being in any way dishonest, and many indications that he is being truthful and forthright, throughout the EA... saying "Well you just don't know him yet" is equally empty - because we all know him as well each other, and are working off the same evidence. I've yet to see anyone put forward any actually substantive reason for why they think he's up to something or deceiving the party - or even any explanation of what made those people feel that way, and I'd really like to understand it, since there's quite literally nothing that I'm aware of in the game to see that points in that direction.

I know one of things someone pointed somewhere is Gale's knowledge of Netherese magic. Not to say he is well verse in that type of magic but in a conversation that I saw he kinda gives you the impression that he knows more than he's letting on. We know from Auntie Ethel that the tadpoles have been tampered with Netherese magic. Did Gale sense Netherese magic in his tadpole but didn't say anything to us? Which could be why he seems more in control of his tadpole and even able to block us out as you said. It's one of the reasons why I have mixed feeling about Gale. There seems to be something off about him. Nothing necessarily bad just off.
Posted By: Sozz Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 03/11/21 12:02 AM
It's still true about Gale that he's the companion we seemingly get the least amount of information on. He's very clever, has the most interesting insights into the events going on, but as far as his past and how they've lead him to where he is currently, not much. He'll be the most interesting one to play as, but the one I'd miss the most not having commentary from.
Originally Posted by Sozz
I was hoping you'd chime in KillerRabbit. Trauma as liberating force, is not uncommon today, I was surprised (in a good way) at how subversive the "interrogation" scene between Kylo Ren and Rey was in The Force Awakens. Sexual politics in stories are always interesting to me, I think because it's such a veiled subject in the public square, I think this is also one of the reasons why vampire fiction is so compelling to people.

It's kind of interesting to compare modern vampires and werewolves this way, vampires are allegories for decadence, while werewolves are about uncontrolled animalistic passions, but they're allegories have been twisted together. I'm not totally sure why. Possibly because vampires are more popular they subsume the aspects of other stories.

Thanks!

Great insights. Yes, I was also struck by the sexual politics in that scene as well. I clearly remember thinking "this is Disney"? smile

Great breakdown of the archetypes! Yes, the werewolf is pure ID and some of that has been imported into vampire fiction. But to be fair to the conflaters this isn't entirely divorced from the original. Because while the count appears in polite society, when we meet the transformed Lucy she has lost all of Victorian manners.

Okay! The OP has kindly asked that we stop the hijack but I had to acknowledge @Sozz 's insights.

So here's my attempt to get the thread back on track:

I like Wyll. While I don't like thoroughly modern characters that seem out of place in a medieval fantasy (looking at you Nenio) I like Wyll because he's a character that belongs in Faerun yet his his conflict speaks to the present. He's an influencer. He's a good guy who is simultaneously empowered and hindered by his obsession with his image.

I can't remember her name but Wyll reminds of that vegan influncer who was caught on cell phone eating fish and was forced to apologize to her followers.
Posted By: Niara Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 03/11/21 12:41 AM
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
I know one of things someone pointed somewhere is Gale's knowledge of Netherese magic. Not to say he is well verse in that type of magic but in a conversation that I saw he kinda gives you the impression that he knows more than he's letting on. We know from Auntie Ethel that the tadpoles have been tampered with Netherese magic. Did Gale sense Netherese magic in his tadpole but didn't say anything to us? Which could be why he seems more in control of his tadpole and even able to block us out as you said. It's one of the reasons why I have mixed feeling about Gale. There seems to be something off about him. Nothing necessarily bad just off.

It's true that we know he's studied Netherese magic quite extensively - that's an important part of his own situation, after all, and he makes no secret of that. I find it unlikely that he'd be aware that the tadpoles were tampered with using nethersese magic since he's a Wizard - he can't innately sense for feel the weave at all, and performs most of his magic through raw intellect and precise form; to make an analogy - he knows just precisely how to put the pipes in place and how to make the water flow, to make a beautiful fountain appear, and he knows it well enough to do it with a blindfold on, but he cannot actually feel the water flowing, as a sorcerer can. At best he feels the vibrations that the pipes make when it does flow, but not the water itself. Gale has to evoke a specifically designed spell in order to let him actually feel the weave - that's what he's doing in the weave scene - any other time, he doesn't actually feel it. It's why your sorcerer has a line in response to say that that's just what you feel every day, and Gale is wistful when he hopes that you appreciate what a gift that is.

So, unless he turned very specific magic on the tadpole in his own head, he's not going to feel anything from it. The one gap there is that, being the person he is, I'm sure he'd absolutely have tried to do everything he could to study and examine his tadpole situation, which would likely include trying to detect if any magic was present in it, as an answer to why they hadn't started turning... but we don't have those spells in the game, either... so... I don't know what the answer is there.
Cool topic, and really interesting to see how other people's perceptions of the companions are. Overall, I quite like the BG3 cast as characters, maybe not so much as people I'd hang out with.

Interactions with the current BG3 cast emulates a "neutral/slightly evil" table top party with just a hint of intraparty tension (but not full bown PvP). They definitely feel different from the companion I'm used to in most other RPGs - who are often far more deferential to the main character (who usually becomes the leader by default), and tend to feel really designed around your story. Each of the BG3 companion really feel really alive and have tons of motivation and agency. They may be working with you right now, but are not subservient to you, and they will remind you of it.

In fact, I'd suspect that this table-top-like experience is can throw off the audience that mostly play single-player RPGs (where you're are asked to be the "main character"). Whereas "main-character syndrome" is often discouraged in table-top - so your interactions can look quite a bit like those in BG3 and it's fun to have that in a digital format. Everyone's got a prominent background story and they drive the plot as much as you do. However, at least in the EA, I do feel like Larian is currently over-focused on the "specialness" of the companions when compared to the main character. The custom main character NEEDS to have equally compelling content to balance out the background of the companions. Otherwise we will have an "inverse-main-character" syndrome where we play the role of the NPC to the companion's story.


As the individual companions - my thoughts are based on multiple playthroughs through various patches. Some changes might have happened in recent updates that I haven't caught/noticed. Regardless (Spoilers Obviously):

Lae'zel:
I find Lae'zel is a fascinating study of Githyanki culture, but otherwise a difficult character to judge. The best and worst parts of her character is that a lot of it is actually obfuscated by her Githyanki indocrination. Given the Githyankis' social Darwinistic beliefs, her brashness, racism, and ruthlessness is very in-character of a typical Githyanki. Underneath that surface, we know, via her dream, the mirror, and reading her through the tadpole, that Lae'zel is desperately wants the validation of her Queen, and is deeply insecure about her place in Githyanki society. However, even that can be a part of the Githyanki culture - as it makes sense that the complete lack of stable social bonds and a fickle social status that is based only on "merit", would make anyone insecure.

One thing that does truly stands out as a Lae'zels characteristic is that the game heavily implies that she is extremely naive when it comes to the deeper, inner workings of her own culture - and I love this. She appears to have bought into the propaganda lines of the Gith without understanding the true political context and motivations. We see this heavily hinted at during the Gith Patrol encounter in regards to the "purification" process. This is the part of her character and story that I'm most excited for, and it's been well set-up for when we finally visit the Githyanki Creche to develop further. I like how her plotline is tied heavily into the Act 1 main quest, and usually do like to take her in my party (despite always making sure to start every playthrough by yeeting her off the Nautiloid , as is tradition).

Overall, I'm pretty neutral towards her in terms of likeability, but find her story and character interesting.


Shadowheart
As a person, I think I like Shadowheart the most. In terms of her story/background though, despite it being heavily tied to the main plot, there really doesn't have much for us to dive into at this point. We don't know much about her mission or the artifact related to it (only that it seems to counter the Absolute). The hand glowing sequence does hints at a something more, but I'm less excited about the specific reveal and more about how that'll change her character. The game works hard to show her more sentimental and altruistic sides - as highlighted by the Tiefling sequence and the Mirror of Desires in the Hag's lair, so I feel like that is strong foreshadowing for what to expect.

I do find it interesting that she's seemingly very well adjusted for someone who's missing massive chunks of her memory. Despite being pretty uncompromising when it comes to her mission, she can be very pleasant and sociable depending on your choice and actions. She's a gal that just wants to do her job and GTFO - I can respect that. Very much like Lae'zel I'm intrigued to see how much she can potentially change throughout the game as more of her past is revealed, and comes into conflict with her current beliefs.

Lastly, I know a lot of people have pointed out how blatant her worship of Shar is, which makes for a silly reveal / plothole, which I do agree with if it's kept unanswered. I am reserving judgment on that until we see the end of that story though, as it's only a plothole if it goes unexplained. Assuming that it's not, I personally suspect that the obvious Shar worship IS actually the disguise.

Overall, I find her current story only decently interesting, but I find her very relatable as a character.


Gale:
He's probably the most intriguing companion for me - in that I'm very curious as to how his story will turn out. I really like how Gale is written - in that he's jovial and friendly on the surface, but as you dive deeper, you get a glimpse of someone who can be as arrogant as he is egoistic, incredibly manipulative, and seemingly power-hungry enough to endanger the rest of the world if it will fulfill his ambitions.

Some of the scene's I'm referring to are (spoilers) - if you sleep with him before he tells you his past/situation - give him crap for not telling you and he'll straight up tell you that he specifically chose not to, in order to guarantee sex. Alternatively, choose to romance someone else over him at the party, and you'll get to see a very different, pushy Gale. Also, if you do not feed him sufficient artifacts, he'll accept Raphael's deal. The way he talks to you after - the passive aggressiveness - is straight up scummy, and I freaking love it.

All this, makes Gale an interesting and complex character in my eyes. Because despite what I've outlined above - he's not 100% evil either. There are aspects of him that seem to want to genuinely just be a decent person. Gale's story doesn't tie in as closely to the main plot as Shadowheart's and Lae'zel's, but I think it actually encapsulates the central theme of power - the pursuit, validation, and morality of it, much closer than any others. Mechanically, I also think Gail is by far the "most special" character (death effects, plot armor, even a special death cutscene), and this could help amplify his story, or completely backfire and simply make him the creator's pet (kind of like Fane in DOS2).

Overall, I kinda hate him as a person, but also find his character and story the most intriguing of all because it can go in so many different direction. He's got me guessing.


Astarion:
Astarion probably rates the lowest for me as a character and companion. His goals, motivations, and characteristics have enough depth to tell a competent story, but is mostly unremarkable and a few key interactions really sour him for me. I recently made a very long post about this - but it boils down to the string of interactions you have with him early in the game - his initial oafish, hostile introduction and the boundary breaking, creepy attempt to drink your blood after. Together, they really forces a player to ask the question as to - why am I inviting this person to join? Why am I keeping him around? Regardless of your player's alignment.

I mentioned earlier on that BG3 does a good job of emulating a table-top-like interactions when it comes to the companions. Astarion is the player that is a bit too anti-party ("it's what my character would do!"), and is remembered for making the rest of the table feel uncomfortable by creeping up on a fellow player's character to do something physical to them while they are asleep.

In terms of his personality, I don't mind that he's evil and sociopathic - but I do think he's bit too comically blatant about it (approving basically any capital "E" evil choices in the game). I believe Larian have started removing some of these since they were straight up petty (like kicking animals, etc). I saw some comments regarding Astarion having too much murderhobo tendencies, and I do mostly agree. I think a more generous interpretation is that Astarion, is in many ways, very child-like. He goes through huge swings in emotion (depending on how you treat him), lacks understanding of boundaries, and can be very selfish, petty, and whimsical. He puts up a facade to hide his trauma, but seems to also enjoy displacing it by witnessing or enacting various forms of aggression, kind of like a child-bully. He reminds me very much of more violent and extreme Gann from NWN 2: Mask of the Betrayer.

Definitely the companion I like the least as a person or a character, but still got enough depth that I think his story deserves to be explored, once you get pass the initial antagonism.


Wyll
Wyll is an instagram influencer turned adventurer and is willing to lie, photoshop, torture, and make pacts with fiends to make it happen.

Two main things compel me about Wyll - one, how low is he actually willing to go to protect his ego and self-image? And two, what is the true nature of his relationship with Mizora? Through all his dialogue and lies, we're told conflicting things as to how he actually feels about Mizora. One moment, he's claiming that people killing her will be doing him a favor. The other, he's willing to torture an innocent man to find her location. The man is so accustomed to lying that he probably doesn't even realize it when he lies to himself. I think the most telling information we have comes from when you have him interact with the Hag's mirror, where you find out he wants Mizora begging and cowering before him. Fitting.

I feel like Wyll is being set-up for either a full decent into villainy (anything to keep up his lie), or a severely rude awakening. Either way, I can't wait to see it play out.

Overall, I don't like him as a person but really can't wait to see how this experiment ends.


Wow, this got long.

With all this said, there is one thing I'd like to bring up in regards to the approval system - since it's so tied in with these companions. I sincerely hope Larian chooses to implement a system where high approval doesn't necessarily = good story outcome (i.e. like Mass Effect 2). Not only does it get in the way for you to RP your own characters, a lot of times, it's far better to call someone out on their BS than to pander to them.

I think a lot of frustration I've seen players experience in regards to the companion comes from learnings in other games, where higher approvals = better outcomes and more options, and thus they equate disapproval as failure. I think a basic, binary system like that would be pretty detrimental to the roleplaying aspects of the game. Obviously we don't know where this will ultimately go with BG3 yet, but I thought it's important to bring up.
Great post, I read that linked thread just now as well. Hopefully the vampirism digression didn't derail too much in this one, but for me there's no fruitful way to discuss what one does or doesn't like about a particular character, or even all 5, without revealing at least some thoughts on genre or tone or ideas about characterization in general, or as you noted the party dynamic (say predominantly Evil vs whatever else). That's why I struggle not to bring it up. Cause like if one person comes here looking for a riot say "Big Trouble in Little China" and someone else came here looking for drama like "The English Patient" we'll get a pretty different sensibility going, and a pretty different discussion when it comes to any of these characters.

For example, say Lady Avyna enjoys Astarion as a tragic misunderstood character with some wit, and I see him as a comedic send up - we can both be dead right and dead wrong, and both still be puzzled about what is working and what isn't for the other person in his case hehe. Astarion looks and behaves so much like a caricature of a vampire, that it's hard to avoid having a quick conversation here about what sort of vampirism you prefer, sure to happen anytime he comes up. I mean it is his central defining characteristic after all - get rid of it and what's left? But does one want Astarion serious and romantic with some rye bawdy elements like Lestat in Interview, or do they want him just out and out funny like Nandor? Something else? I think he veers both directions, which is why he's kind of hit or miss.

For my part, I would give a standing ovation, if in patch 7 Larian completely changed his appearance to look like Willem Dafoe in "Shadow of the Vampire." But I'm sure I'd get staked in the heart (even if that's not supposed to work in this setting) for even suggesting such a thing. Why? Because the first impression is the whole deal here. We've already had it and so now he's set in stone, more or less. I mean watch the true Astarion fans cry out in sheer horror if they ever tried to change his hair or ditch his sparkle or his outfit or anything else about him at this point. Because despite our better instincts to dig deeper, surface appearances are often half the impression, if not the whole of it.

Even if I can picture how much more entertaining Astarion might be, and how much funnier I'd find it, if he was standing by the side of that road looking like a B-rate Orlok lol. Like really thinking that we wouldn't notice. Cause that's basically what's going on already, but just dialed up to 11 so there's no mistaking it. They could even modulate his voice, so it sounded less like an affected gaydar lisp, and more like that but + a fake teeth lisp too, and to me that would have been hilarious. A way better fit with the game's overall tone at this point. But I can't push that concept at all, cause it's zero sum now. If I win there, then everyone else who likes the character as-is, has to lose. Even if they'd never do it anyway cause of the banner art. Still you can go the same way with the characterization, and they've done it already with Shadowheart. That's why I wanted big blinking caution lights next to anything I might say here, because in my view if they change a character now, chances are it will upset more people than it pleases. So I think that's a pretty insightful point there about how he is sized up based on the earliest interactions.

I generally park him at camp, since that's the only place we ever see night time anyway in this game, and to me its just silly to be all rolling around with my vampire bud in broad daylight. He seems to approve of all my terrible actions regardless, so I can just assume he's there in spirit I guess, but mainly he's camp décor. Like I just keep picturing how I might perhaps have a different reaction, if he actually showed up at night with a little ambiance there. Or perhaps in a situation where the PC has a clearer motivation for bringing him into the fold. Something to gain from it, other than just the pleasure of his company, or the satisfaction of being all extra forgiving.

I don't know, he just tries the PCs patience a bit much for my tastes, and doesn't feel vamp enough to match his appearance. I wish if they were going to do a vampire or vampire spawn arch, that they'd set it up a bit more initially. If it's not meant to be comedic, then maybe they shouldn't make it so ridiculous at the outset. Then again, it's hard to say, because of all the current companions his current start location and story-in seems the most likely to be a placeholder. Even Gale with his portal makes more sense from a continuity standpoint, and Gale's already stretching it to the limits. I don't know I suppose there is already a giant Astarion thread, so kicking around too much here probably is overwrought, but the OP did seem curious, like why some people react in one way rather than the other.

For those who do enjoy Astarion, how do you feel about his grand entrance?

I suppose to be consistent with my earlier points, I should again suggest that they do nothing to change Astarion, but instead provide us with an alternative Vamp, so Astarion can have a rival too!
Originally Posted by Black_Elk
For those who do enjoy Astarion, how do you feel about his grand entrance?

I suppose to be consistent with my earlier points, I should again suggest that they do nothing to change Astarion, but instead provide us with an alternative Vamp, so Astarion can have a rival too!

As far as Astarion's looks go, I see some want him to look more monstrous but considering that Larian has made all the companions romanceable, Astarion looking attractive makes sense. As for his vampiric nature, I think he has a lot of the common qualities but he's classified as a spawn not being able to create a vampire among other more powerful attributes. He tells you after the bite scene, that you are lucky he's not a true vampire or you might wake up with fangs. As for his entrance, I think it resembles his roguish nature and a foreshadow of his backstory. For example, sneaking behind you and pulling a knife to your neck is a rogue move. Accusing you of being his jailer, connects to his backstory of him being enslaved or "jailed" by Cazador. I notice the other companions also have similar entrances.

Lae'zel immediately goes into fight mode, a warrior move and immediately mentions the Githyanki (she wants to be respected among her kin). She is the most straightforward of the companions.

Shadowheart is trapped inside a mindflayer pod. There is a theory I saw someone write that Shadowheart is brainwashed to think she is a follower or priestess of the Goddess Shar but if she is brainwashed "trapped", she could be a follower or priestess of the Goddesss Selune. I noticed that every time Shadowheart is with you and you stumble upon a statue of Selune she immediately makes a disdainful comment, every time. It makes you wonder if that theory could be true. This is something that can be intentional in writing.

Gale's introduction of coming out of a magical waypoint and immediately lecturing you on magic seems to connect to his wizard side and his growing knowledge of magic. There is cloak of mystery with Gale, I think there is something more to him. Even if he is a good friend, there is just something that seems off about him.

Wyll, you first meet during the goblin fight outside the Druid Grove and one of the first things he says is, "Make way for the Blade of Frontiers." Right there is a foreshadow of Wyll wanting to be this popular folk hero. I can't quite figure out Wyll too much but I get the sense that he is hungry for attention for wanting to be a famous folk hero with a large following.
Honestly, I think all companions have interesting concepts and backstories. The problem is how they shape their personalities and dialogues.

Lae'zel is the most cohesive and believable. My favorite.

Shadowheart was improved quite a bit on last patches (although she has some annoying lines occasionally).

Astarion is just a waste of a character, he would be so much more interesting if 90% of his lines were not infested with humor. He is more of a jester than a vampire-spawn.

Gale's lines lack inspiration and most of the time he is stating the obvious in the most uninteresting way. Very artificial, non-organic, off-putting dialogue.

Wyll lacks charisma. Forgettable.
1. Astarian. I like his look and wouldn't change it all. Vampires are seductive, he's an elf and a noble so the hair works perfectly. Really good writing. His dominant traits come across: Confidence hiding a wounded neediness and insecurity, sadism, selfishness, laziness and haughtiness. Best of the current romances since the scars on his back work as good metaphor for the scars on his soul.

2. Wyll. Already commented. Really interesting character, nice example of a good person who made a deal with a devil.

3. Shadowheart. My initial favorite but she's gotten worse with each patch. She's supposed to be secretive, hard to understand, distrustful and mysterious but has suddenly gotten chatty, friendly and quick to trust. Not the way a Tsundre romance is supposed to work.

Reminds of how PoE ruined Woedica. She's god who, for thousands of years, has been working to make sure that no one knows the secrets of the gods. But, because some players had trouble following the plot, they made her into the friend that just won't stop texting. "Hey! Just want you to know the name of secret project that created all the gods" "Hey, just wanted to make sure you know that the gods were created by humans, not sure if you got my last 5 texts to that effect. Don't tell anyone! It's our biggest secret."

4. Gale. ugh. I just run around the gate so I never have to meet him again.

5. Lae'zel. Well written for the type but not a very interesting type. Every party needs a tank and she fits that role.

6. Not very excited by the idea of a paladin of vengeance who peppers every sentence obscenities into every sentence.
I found something interesting that you can come across in the blighted village. In a cellar there is an ornate mirror where you get asked the question of how you would see yourself in the mirror. Each companion has some interesting choice answers.

Lae'zel for some reason only two answers you can give:
~ I'd see myself as a kith'rak: ghaik head in one hand, silver sword in the other.
~ I'd see the Zaith'isk, the purifier- a relic used to extract a tadpole.
(She hasn't lied about what she wants to the player. She wants to be a great warrior and she wants to get rid of the tadpole.)

Shadowheart and everyone else gets three answers: Shadowheart
~ I have no memory of my parents, I'd like to see them, at least once.
~ I'd see myself as Shar's Chosen with all her power at my disposal.
~ I'd see those who tormented me in the past receive the same.
(She misses her parents, she wants to be Shar's chosen, and she also seeks vengeance on those that wronged her. I can sympathize with that)

Astarion
~I'd see my home. My real home. The one I haven't seen in centuries.
~I'd see a way to safely keep the powers this mindflayer worm have given me.
~I'd see Cazador, my old master, burning in the sun.
(We learn here Astarion misses his real home. He wants to safely keep the powers the tadpole gave him, for what reason we don't know. Last, he wants revenge against Cazador, understandably so.)

Gale
~I'd see a wizard tower. A safe haven for me and a sweetheart-forever.
~I'd see myself in my next incarnation: a living manifestation of Netherese magic. A mythal in my own right.
~I'd see my rivals humbled- jealous of the majesty that I have become.
(His first response is loving but the next two seem power hungry. He wants to be almost God like, a mythal. His last one also reveals he has rivals and he wants to be greater than them almost in an envious way.)

Wyll
~I'd would see my father- his arms extended in forgiveness.
~I'd see Mizora, coward before me and begging my mercy.
~I'd see droves of admirers, gather to hail the Blade of Frontiers.
(He wronged his father somehow and seeks forgiveness. He wants Mizora to fear him and lastly, he wants popularity.)

As for the main character
~I'd see the ones I love.
~I'd look for a whatever spell will rid me of this worm in my head.
~I'd see my enemies suffering.
(I notice the MC's answers are similar to Lae'zel, Shadowheart and Astarion. Seeing loved ones, finding a way to get rid of the tadpole and revenge on enemies.)

I'm curious to know if seeing this might change some of your views on the companions. What do you guys think?
Posted By: Dez Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 03/11/21 08:28 AM
We're discussing companions? Oh! Me, me, me, pick me! I wanna join too! \o/ *clears throat, insert sea gull meme*

Before I leave my fancy wall of text for whomever is suffering from a very boring morning/day/evening/night, I'd like to state the following about our companions in general: I like them. All in all, I find each of the characters filling their role well, and more often than not I believe they act according to their character design - which to me is far more important then whenever I like them or not (IC and OOC). Are they perfect? Well no - but I see mad potential in each one of them. Then whenever Larian will do something with that potential can only be known after the full release. c:

See, one of the many things that I remain much more optimistic about than some people in this forum is DoS2 (while I do recognize that it had several shortcomings) - and I definitely include the DoS2 companions in particular. Long story short: I adored each one of them, and I really hope to see Larian deliver the same kind companion flavors and development later on in the story. I mean, Sebille is one of the primary reasons why I am so optimistic to many of the at-first-not-very-pleasant-individuals in our party. c: I know Larian can write good character stories and I know that they usually provide great character development!

Alright! That will do as a disclaimer - let's dig in!

* Lae'zel - I believe a character of her personality and features definitely is needed in the game - even if she is a *very* poor match with my primary PC. As a player, I really do not dislike any of her personality features as I believe Lae'zel is probably the character that is most consistent about her character design. I mean - she is a servant of her queen, she has a clear goal and she has a clear solution to the problem our characters are facing - which, in her eyes, makes our dear Tav seem like -3 int when we're not listening to her as her knowledge - as far as she is concerned - is far superior to Tav's in the subject. Unfortunately for Lae'zel, my primary PC is not very good at taking orders - even less so when someone is as blunt and authorizing as Lae'zel is. X] I look forward to seeing (or if nothing else read online) her character development at full release, I do believe that hers will be one (nine?) hell (hells?) of a story. <3

* Wyll - A very well-rounded character, as his hero-complex sided with his great ego makes for an interesting character conflict. There are many reasons why I doubt that Wyll is of good alignment - his hunger for glory being one of them - and I truly believe that he represents many "good" characters, when seen in a truer light (aka, being good for the sake of looking good rather than for the deed itself). I truly look forward to seeing what Larian decides to do with that - AND whenever the PC will be able to influence him into different paths as he is one of two characters that I can *very* easily see going both good alignment and evil alignment as the story progresses.

Oh, I do find his attempts to flirt with both Lae'zel and Shadowheart nothing short of hysterical. I can imagine my character trying her best not to laugh as she overhear the conversations. X]

* Gale - ... Look, out of character I like Gale's design. He has a character stereotype tied to him that I appreciate dearly. However, there is a lot of red flags about him that makes me believe that Gale might actually be not only ahem-sort-of-a-camellia-situation - but I also believe he might have a much bigger story impact that we are lead to believe. He kind of gave me the mixed vibes already during my first playthrough, but ever since I read the discussions about him and saw the clips of what happens if you do not follow his instructions... Well. I'll just say that as far as I am aware, Gale might actually be the final boss of the game. X] Jokes aside, I can't wait to see what Larian has cooked up for us regarding Gale!

* Astarion - I actually like him a lot! I am generally weak for snarky companions - and Astarion brings snarky to a whole new level. X] While my PC might be less-than-impressed, consider me very impressed irl. laugh I do believe no adventure is complete without the *option* of bringing at least one character of Astarion's personality, and he is probably my favorite when it comes to commentary and voice acting. c: Remember how I said that there are two characters that I can very easily see going either good or evil alignment? Astarion is the second one - Larian got a ton of potential packed into this guy and I do hope that the player gets to influence which path it'll take! How cool wouldn't it be if we could "choose" (at least from a player perspective) to turn him into a evil vampire lord, or let him have a redemption arc? laugh

* Shadowheart - Now, if there is one character that I feel hesitant about, then Shadowheart would be it. She gives a lot of mixed signals and I find her very difficult to deal with - she gets angry and insulted if you do not consult with her and speak with her regularly, but at the same time she sneers at you as soon as you open your mouth in her direction. :| I am also not sold on the "I wear the symbols of Shar everywhere, can't help to foul mouth Selûne at every chance I get and I carry this mysterious relic - but nobody suspects a thing"... I mean, she is even worse than Astarion (that screams loudly as we cross running water) at hiding "secrets" - yet Shar followers are supposed to be very deceptive, and *GOOD* at fooling people. Whenever there actually is a good story reason for this (as people have speculated), time will tell - but I feel more hesitant(?) about her writing than I do with the 4 other characters. That said - I am still leaning towards trusting Larian in Shadowheart's design. I know that they will go out of their way to treat their origin characters well (for the better or worse) - and I doubt they'd let Shadowheart's character have such enormous flaws unintentionally.

-

Personally - I can't wait to see the remaining companions that Larian has hidden away from us. c: I am hoping we'll get at least one character that is a bit closer to nature and down-to-earth. laugh
Posted By: Dez Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 03/11/21 08:33 AM
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
I found something interesting that you can come across in the blighted village. In a cellar there is an ornate mirror where you get asked the question of how you would see yourself in the mirror. Each companion has some interesting choice answers.

Lae'zel for some reason only two answers you can give:
~ I'd see myself as a kith'rak: ghaik head in one hand, silver sword in the other.
~ I'd see the Zaith'isk, the purifier- a relic used to extract a tadpole.
(She hasn't lied about what she wants to the player. She wants to be a great warrior and she wants to get rid of the tadpole.)

Shadowheart and everyone else gets three answers: Shadowheart
~ I have no memory of my parents, I'd like to see them, at least once.
~ I'd see myself as Shar's Chosen with all her power at my disposal.
~ I'd see those who tormented me in the past receive the same.
(She misses her parents, she wants to be Shar's chosen, and she also seeks vengeance on those that wronged her. I can sympathize with that)

Astarion
~I'd see my home. My real home. The one I haven't seen in centuries.
~I'd see a way to safely keep the powers this mindflayer worm have given me.
~I'd see Cazador, my old master, burning in the sun.
(We learn here Astarion misses his real home. He wants to safely keep the powers the tadpole gave him, for what reason we don't know. Last, he wants revenge against Cazador, understandably so.)

Gale
~I'd see a wizard tower. A safe haven for me and a sweetheart-forever.
~I'd see myself in my next incarnation: a living manifestation of Netherese magic. A mythal in my own right.
~I'd see my rivals humbled- jealous of the majesty that I have become.
(His first response is loving but the next two seem power hungry. He wants to be almost God like, a mythal. His last one also reveals he has rivals and he wants to be greater than them almost in an envious way.)

Wyll
~I'd would see my father- his arms extended in forgiveness.
~I'd see Mizora, coward before me and begging my mercy.
~I'd see droves of admirers, gather to hail the Blade of Frontiers.
(He wronged his father somehow and seeks forgiveness. He wants Mizora to fear him and lastly, he wants popularity.)

As for the main character
~I'd see the ones I love.
~I'd look for a whatever spell will rid me of this worm in my head.
~I'd see my enemies suffering.
(I notice the MC's answers are similar to Lae'zel, Shadowheart and Astarion. Seeing loved ones, finding a way to get rid of the tadpole and revenge on enemies.)

I'm curious to know if seeing this might change some of your views on the companions. What do you guys think?

I believe this makes me doubt Gale's alignment further. X] Of course, I realize that there has to be options of any alignment when the player is in control - but I do wonder how much of a say we'll have in their actual character development later on... Thinking of something similar to Aloth in PoE1 where most of the choices you made (or at the very least how you explained your reasoning to him) gradually pushed him towards one of his two possible paths.
Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
3. Shadowheart. My initial favorite but she's gotten worse with each patch. She's supposed to be secretive, hard to understand, distrustful and mysterious but has suddenly gotten chatty, friendly and quick to trust. Not the way a Tsundre romance is supposed to work.

Reminds of how PoE ruined Woedica. She's god who, for thousands of years, has been working to make sure that no one knows the secrets of the gods. But, because some players had trouble following the plot, they made her into the friend that just won't stop texting. "Hey! Just want you to know the name of secret project that created all the gods" "Hey, just wanted to make sure you know that the gods were created by humans, not sure if you got my last 5 texts to that effect. Don't tell anyone! It's our biggest secret."

Don't quote me on this, but saving her from the pod is a disservice to her character. I guess it makes her interactions more bearable for anyone playing the heroic sort, but for me it just dumped her down from ally and equal to boring underling.

Truth be told, i like none of the romances in this game, but as far as relationships go the 'friendship' with SH is the i enjoyed the most. Maybe because my PC is a formerly evil bullshitter, maybe because he still has that edge of ruthless practicality, but it actually felt like a slow building of respect (not trust) between two peeps who are working towards the same objective.

Then, of course, i talked with Gale or Astarion and my immersion was broken every time they treated me like their old time bud, with whom they can mess around and confide in.

Originally Posted by Dez
I believe this makes me doubt Gale's alignment further. X] Of course, I realize that there has to be options of any alignment when the player is in control - but I do wonder how much of a say we'll have in their actual character development later on... Thinking of something similar to Aloth in PoE1 where most of the choices you made (or at the very least how you explained your reasoning to him) gradually pushed him towards one of his two possible paths.

So good. PoE actually had that going for every character. Eder and his crisis of faith, Sagani and her people, the Devil and revenge, Pallegina and her people, the Grieving Mother and her... whole everything. Pretty sure Durance was the most static, but then again he died early on for me so i'm not sure.

Also, man. Haven't touched that game in years and i still remember all those characters' names and what they went through. And most of them were randoms with down-to-earth backstories, no snowflakes or anything. That's quite something. (Shade being thrown)
Originally Posted by Dez
* Gale - ... Look, out of character I like Gale's design. He has a character stereotype tied to him that I appreciate dearly. However, there is a lot of red flags about him that makes me believe that Gale might actually be not only ahem-sort-of-a-camellia-situation - but I also believe he might have a much bigger story impact that we are lead to believe. He kind of gave me the mixed vibes already during my first playthrough, but ever since I read the discussions about him and saw the clips of what happens if you do not follow his instructions... Well. I'll just say that as far as I am aware, Gale might actually be the final boss of the game. X] Jokes aside, I can't wait to see what Larian has cooked up for us regarding Gale!

I agree with you on Gale, I too have the feeling that he gives off mixed vibes. He also knows his fair share of Netherese magic. I suspect he may know more than he's letting on and I wonder if he may end up being a "Solas" to Baldur's Gate 3. Not sure if you ever played Dragon Age: Inquisition but it was the same with the companion/love interest Solas.
Posted By: Niara Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 03/11/21 10:57 AM
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Gale
~I'd see a wizard tower. A safe haven for me and a sweetheart-forever.
~I'd see myself in my next incarnation: a living manifestation of Netherese magic. A mythal in my own right.
~I'd see my rivals humbled- jealous of the majesty that I have become.
(His first response is loving but the next two seem power hungry. He wants to be almost God like, a mythal. His last one also reveals he has rivals and he wants to be greater than them almost in an envious way.)

So, this was new to me - I hadn't actually seen these ^.^

They seems the sort of dangerous dreams a former archmage might have, and that middle one is particularly concerning, I'll admit. I still feel like I have to say, though - this is literally the only thing I've seen anyone put forward to back up the idea that there's something off about Gale. It can't only be this - there must be *something* else driving people who feel leery of him... I'm still dead curious about what else there is in game that's making people feel that way.

==

Looking at all the mirror dialogues, it gives me a feeling like this may be a future echo of the different paths we may be able to nudge the companions down or help them choose.
Posted By: Dez Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 03/11/21 11:02 AM
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Originally Posted by Dez
* Gale - ... Look, out of character I like Gale's design. He has a character stereotype tied to him that I appreciate dearly. However, there is a lot of red flags about him that makes me believe that Gale might actually be not only ahem-sort-of-a-camellia-situation - but I also believe he might have a much bigger story impact that we are lead to believe. He kind of gave me the mixed vibes already during my first playthrough, but ever since I read the discussions about him and saw the clips of what happens if you do not follow his instructions... Well. I'll just say that as far as I am aware, Gale might actually be the final boss of the game. X] Jokes aside, I can't wait to see what Larian has cooked up for us regarding Gale!

I agree with you on Gale, I too have the feeling that he gives off mixed vibes. He also knows his fair share of Netherese magic. I suspect he may know more than he's letting on and I wonder if he may end up being a "Solas" to Baldur's Gate 3. Not sure if you ever played Dragon Age: Inquisition but it was the same with the companion/love interest Solas.

I did indeed have the pleasure of experiencing the Solas-situation kind of recently in fact. q _ q

And I bet you're correct - cause something is not quite right with the magical gentleman in our camp! >:[
Originally Posted by Niara
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Gale
~I'd see a wizard tower. A safe haven for me and a sweetheart-forever.
~I'd see myself in my next incarnation: a living manifestation of Netherese magic. A mythal in my own right.
~I'd see my rivals humbled- jealous of the majesty that I have become.
(His first response is loving but the next two seem power hungry. He wants to be almost God like, a mythal. His last one also reveals he has rivals and he wants to be greater than them almost in an envious way.)

So, this was new to me - I hadn't actually seen these ^.^

They seems the sort of dangerous dreams a former archmage might have, and that middle one is particularly concerning, I'll admit. I still feel like I have to say, though - this is literally the only thing I've seen anyone put forward to back up the idea that there's something off about Gale. It can't only be this - there must be *something* else driving people who feel leery of him... I'm still dead curious about what else there is in game that's making people feel that way.

==

Looking at all the mirror dialogues, it gives me a feeling like this may be a future echo of the different paths we may be able to nudge the companions down or help them choose.

That's true, these answers could be a foreshadow on what path we may lead our companions on, depending on how high or low our influence on them is. I know Larian did say that our relationship with each companion can grow depending on our choices and how we treat each other. It can also influence their decisions.
Originally Posted by Dez
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Originally Posted by Dez
* Gale - ... Look, out of character I like Gale's design. He has a character stereotype tied to him that I appreciate dearly. However, there is a lot of red flags about him that makes me believe that Gale might actually be not only ahem-sort-of-a-camellia-situation - but I also believe he might have a much bigger story impact that we are lead to believe. He kind of gave me the mixed vibes already during my first playthrough, but ever since I read the discussions about him and saw the clips of what happens if you do not follow his instructions... Well. I'll just say that as far as I am aware, Gale might actually be the final boss of the game. X] Jokes aside, I can't wait to see what Larian has cooked up for us regarding Gale!

I agree with you on Gale, I too have the feeling that he gives off mixed vibes. He also knows his fair share of Netherese magic. I suspect he may know more than he's letting on and I wonder if he may end up being a "Solas" to Baldur's Gate 3. Not sure if you ever played Dragon Age: Inquisition but it was the same with the companion/love interest Solas.

I did indeed have the pleasure of experiencing the Solas-situation kind of recently in fact. q _ q

And I bet you're correct - cause something is not quite right with the magical gentleman in our camp! >:[

Yeah, in Inquisition the main character has no idea what Solas did. They see Solas a companion who is well versed in magic but they was always something hidden about him and you can sense that. It's not until the end that it's revealed he knew the whole time what happened, let alone that he was involved. I wonder if Larian would add some BioWare elements to Baldur's Gate as a tribute to it's original creator.
Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
[quote=Innateagle][quote=Dexai]

Midnight Mass made the vampire look more dark, giving it the bat/demon look. Whereas, Astarion has more of appealing vampire look. Dracula didn't look hideous when romancing Mina or even vampires from Anne Rice' s Vampire Chronicles, they have an attractive, seductive look. Also, why do you view Astarion as a "murder hobo" ? Is it because he attacks you when you first meet when he assumed that you were responsible for what happened in the ship? That doesn't make him a murder hobo, that was a one time deal. As for him trying to drink your blood, he does tell you that he never intended to hurt you. I can understand that for him being a vampire, it's a must for him.

Sorry, I have to pitch in again. Astarion is a murder hobo, because he likes to murder people, simple as that. He says it multiple times. And you get disapproval, if you try to choose a solution, that avoids bloodshed. I would say, that he is at leas a wannabe murder hobo (wannabe, because you will mostly block him, when you play a good character).

And about Dracula (a pet peeve of mine, since I like the book so much) and generally 'traditional vampires':
Dracula doesn't have a romance with Mina - she is food for him. I'm referring to the original novel by Bram Stoker, there is no romance other than between Jonathan and Mina and Lucy and her suitors (I don't remember atm, if she decides on one of them). Dracula is actually really hideous and looks only slightly better, when he drank enough blood - again original Bram Stoker not Coppola (I'm actually mostly ok with the movie apart from the fact of the stupid romance plot that doesn't make sense) and he stinks of death (that one never changes).
The real vampire stories mostly aren't about some sexy tropes, but about often hideous creatures. I blame Bela Lugosi, who forever made Dracula a gentleman, I don't think, there was ever a book faithful adaption of the count afterwards - if you know Friedrich Murnaus Nosferatu - that is one of the more faithful adaptions. And I think, they did a decent job in portraying Dracula in Penny Dreadful (and vampires in general).

I'm mostly ok with how vampires are portrayed in games like Vampire the Masquerade, because they tried to fit every kind in and it is up to the people playing it, to decide, if it will become a horror story or a romance.

Midnight Mass is one of the few newer examples of vampires btw, I can get behind again. Another one is the book and movie 'Let the right one in'.

I'd say since Bela Lugosi played Dracula as an elegant gentleman, the sexy vampire trope was born, but it is a relative new development.


Even "Let the Right One In" as a movie wasn't exactly faithful to the book. Book was messed the hell up.

But I'll agree with you on vampire representations. And Astarion. I think the only reason I like Astarion is because he's good looking and not Gale. Gale pisses me off for some reason and I never bring him. Cant put my finger on it.

I find Shadowheart annoying. Wyll's personality isn't bad but I don't like his class. I bring Astarion because I can't stand rogues and I need someone with a decent shot at opening locks(every time I try to do it on a Tav, it fails, because I don't have sleight of hand, I have better places for skills) Lae'zel gets pushed off the ship. I don't like being bossed around. I can't figure out why I dislike Gale. Might be his "I'm better than you" attitude.

I really hope the next acts' party members are better because I'm not much a fan of the personalities of most of the ones we have, I bring them for their class features. IRL I don't associate with people that any of them remind me of because I don't like it. Liars, boasters, jerks. All of them. Except Wyll. Why did he have to be a warlock. -_-
Posted By: GM4Him Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 03/11/21 05:01 PM
Lol. In the beginning, Gale was one of my favorites.

But time has made me not like him as much... Or trust him. He's just too dang suspicious and TOO good. Let's give everyone a second chance and let's be good and do all good things, and I'm a good, intellectual mage with this terrible condition.

NEVER MIND WHAT KIND OF CONDITION! It's just a condition...

THAT'LL STEAL ALL YOUR MAGICAL ITEMS OR YOU AND EVERYONE ELSE IN A 100 MILE RADIUS WILL DIE!!!

That's Gale. He's good. He swears. Really.
Posted By: Niara Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 04/11/21 12:05 AM
Soooo..... you're suspicious of him because he's... good? You don't trust him because he wants to encourage you to give people who have fucked up a second chance (because, you know, he fucked up bigger than most people ever get a chance to, and is glad to be given a chance in return...)

I mean, you're still not telling what about him you're finding suspicious... what about him makes you leery of him, or makes you feel like something's off about him. I want to know what that is, because I can't see it, and no-one will tell me! People just Say "Oh he's so suspicious," and "Clearly there's something sinister going on there!" But No-one ever actually says what it is! What about him makes people think this? What does he do or say that leads people to that conclusion? I want to know!

I feel like you'd be convinced that my PC in a different game would be some kind of villainous mastermind ebcause she wants to see the best in everyone, wants to give everyone a second chance or three, and does her best to convince people that they can be better people, even the ones that have tried to kill her... I feel as though by your judgement scale you'd probably declare her to be the ultimate evil, because she's clearly too good.... now, I'm assuming that's not the case, and you wouldn't (I don't think...) so what is it about Gale's desire to act for the good and to be forgiving where possible, that makes you feel suspicious?

His condition, incidentally, eats one (1) magic item, and then he doesn't ask for any more, even as you find them... people really over-blow the whole "he'll take your things" angle.... it's super insignificant, all things considered. I also don't understand why people judge Gale as some kind of criminal for saying "I've got this problem, and I need your help to deal with it, but promise you won't freak out when I tell you what it is." ... like, how is the fact of the problem a reflection on him in any way?
Agree Niara. I like his character. Was suspicious when I first met him as he came out of nowhere and immediately made googly eyes at Shadowheart. I thought him very sus. But after I did the romance path with him and got his whole story…and you see how he is really just selfish and a bit of a fuck up with women…idk…It is all just too human. And it explains so much of his other responses to the world. He is also analytical and cocky…he thinks he can solve everything by being smarter. But intelligence is not wisdom. I find him flawed in this way and thus, endearing.

Don’t get me wrong…I would secretly love it if he turns out to be a total liar and con man and breaks my druid’s heart. She is a bit innocent of the wider world, and the angst would be epic. (I dig the angst)

My sorceress however would zap him into oblivion! Lol
Originally Posted by Niara
Soooo..... you're suspicious of him because he's... good? [...]

His condition, incidentally, eats one (1) magic item, and then he doesn't ask for any more, even as you find them... people really over-blow the whole "he'll take your things" angle.... it's super insignificant, all things considered.
One reason people might distrust Gale so much is because, since many of the other companions have a big scary evil secret, people expect Gale to have one too. SH worships Shar, Astarion is a vampire and will bite you and others to death if you let him, Wyll made a pact with a demon and there's something off about his hero reputation compared to his skills/personality, and Lae'zel...is refreshingly open about her thoughts of you and her desires actually. But she wants to bring you to Gith who will almost certainly kill and/or enslave you and she's brainwashed, so you still can't fully trust her words.

This combines with the fact that Larian said they were releasing the evil companions first, so an not-obviously-maniacally-laughing-Gale must be secretly evil.

As to the last point, does he really only ask for one? I'm out-of-date patch-wise at this point, but I thought I remembered him taking multiple..?
He took two items from me that I did not care about. The stuff he ate was nothing special imho. Loot is all over and items are always for sale. His relief and dialogue when you feed him is better than some random stat boost from a sword that you will soon replace. I never missed them personally.

But…I do get why folks do not like the mechanic. Loot is a motivator for dungeon crawling in these games. I understand why it frustrates folks. But two items by level 4 is not super egregious imho.

It would be better if you had to find specific objects just for that purpose maybe? Like…shards of netherese magic or something only useful to him. Idk…not sure what fix is that would make that part better for folks.
Posted By: GM4Him Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 04/11/21 12:46 AM
1. Gale's load screen image; Psycho Gale
2. Gale doesn't mind link with you
3. Gale knows about Netherese runes and magic, and what is potentially keeping our tadpole at bay? Netherese magic.
4. He's power hungry
5. He acts all good, but I see snippets of him trying to learn secrets about Lae'zel and SH especially.
6. He's not opposed to necessarily playing games with a devil
7. He supposedly loves Mystra but doesn't say a word about SH being a Sharran cleric, and Mystra hates Shar

I think there's more, but ultimately I started looking at him differently the more I played the game. He started becoming less good to me and more potentially manipulative.

I will say, though, contrary to that, if you are evil, he does seem to genuinely feel bad about killing everyone, and he will leave.
Mini note —-One reason I think Gale is honest…he goes out of his way not to lie to you during his “condition” speech. He is careful with his wording, very careful. He for sure withholds info that he does not want u to have before he trusts you…but he has not outright lied to me so far as I have seen…not once.

And he plays games with devils because he thinks he is smart enough to. Not because he is evil or shady. That is my perception of it, at any rate.

Gale does not mind link with you because his mind is his. It is the thing that makes him special. Wyll is a dipshit, Lazael has little to hide and is all ego, and Shafowheart is secretive but does not have Gale’s control. Gale is private, and he has excellent control and to an archmage, who has spent his life learning magic by using his brains…frankly…I think he feels that you don’t deserve to poke around in his head. And, he does open up snd show u more, but only after you earn his trust. He minds melds with u big time in a pretty emotional scene.

He is also the only companion discerning enough to not ask u for sex unless he genuinely likes you and u have already laid some groundwork. In comparison, the other companions are shallow horndogs! Lol

In summary.. I just think he chooses his friends carefully.
Posted By: Dez Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 04/11/21 01:59 AM
Originally Posted by GM4Him
7. He supposedly loves Mystra but doesn't say a word about SH being a Sharran cleric, and Mystra hates Shar

This along with the way he acts if you do not feed him relics (not going to spoil it here, but you can find it on YouTube) just makes me extremely suspicious towards him. Like something is SERIOUSLY off here.

Still love his character design, and I love the mad potential he is having towards literally all alignment spectrum - that is what makes his character so exciting and fun to bring along! Gale always has a spot in my party (non-romance though) just because I am eager to see how is story will turn out laugh !
Posted By: GM4Him Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 04/11/21 02:15 AM
Yeah, don't get me wrong, I like all the characters in the game except maybe Mayrina. It's one of my favorite things. I even like the duergar though I wish I could filter their vulgarity.

But I'm just expecting to find out Gale has his own very sinister intent and part to play.

But I've had all sorts of theories about him. One was that he was actually Elminster, turned young by the tadpole situation or something. After all, Elminster has always been one of Mystra's favored.

Elminster is normally a witty, clever, and very charming man. He can, however, be imperious, grave, and terrible. Furthermore, he is a natural storyteller and a consummate actor. He rarely reveals the full extent of his true nature to anyone who is not an extremely close friend. He can portray himself as a trickster, rake, stern father figure, fool, or any other stereotype that he wants to assume, depending on what he wants to accomplish or what reaction he wants to elicit from those around him.

He has no known wife, but retains contact with several previous lovers, including the goddess Mystra — although his relationship with Mystra changed when the goddess was slain during the Time of Troubles and the sorceress Midnight assumed the mantle of the Lady of Mysteries.

Following the events of the Spellplague caused by the destruction of his patron, Mystra, Elminster lost much of his power but remained unaging. He continued to live in Shadowdale, but he became bitter and withdrawn.
Originally Posted by Niara
Soooo..... you're suspicious of him because he's... good? You don't trust him because he wants to encourage you to give people who have fucked up a second chance (because, you know, he fucked up bigger than most people ever get a chance to, and is glad to be given a chance in return...)

I mean, you're still not telling what about him you're finding suspicious... what about him makes you leery of him, or makes you feel like something's off about him. I want to know what that is, because I can't see it, and no-one will tell me! People just Say "Oh he's so suspicious," and "Clearly there's something sinister going on there!" But No-one ever actually says what it is! What about him makes people think this? What does he do or say that leads people to that conclusion? I want to know!

I feel like you'd be convinced that my PC in a different game would be some kind of villainous mastermind ebcause she wants to see the best in everyone, wants to give everyone a second chance or three, and does her best to convince people that they can be better people, even the ones that have tried to kill her... I feel as though by your judgement scale you'd probably declare her to be the ultimate evil, because she's clearly too good.... now, I'm assuming that's not the case, and you wouldn't (I don't think...) so what is it about Gale's desire to act for the good and to be forgiving where possible, that makes you feel suspicious?

His condition, incidentally, eats one (1) magic item, and then he doesn't ask for any more, even as you find them... people really over-blow the whole "he'll take your things" angle.... it's super insignificant, all things considered. I also don't understand why people judge Gale as some kind of criminal for saying "I've got this problem, and I need your help to deal with it, but promise you won't freak out when I tell you what it is." ... like, how is the fact of the problem a reflection on him in any way?


No, the reason for my suspicion is not because he's good, but because of all the spell casters in your group including yourself if you choose to be a spellcaster, he is the only one who knows about Netherese magic. We don't know about this in the beginning unless you do the mirror scene before seeing Auntie Ethel. The reason why I say Auntie Ethel is because, it's her that tells you that the tadpole in your head was tampered with Netherese magic. She even looked sacred and said she can't help you. If you did the mirror scene then you might remember that Gale is the only one who had an answer regarding Netherese magic, he wants to to be a manifestation of it and wants to be a mythal. With Gale the thing is, I get the feeling that he knows more than he's telling you. Plus, he will leave the party permanently if you use the mind connection on him. He displays a great amount of anger if you do that, the other companions do get upset if you do that to them but not to the extend that Gale does. My first mixed feeling about him was when you first meet him, he's nonchalant about seeing you alive.

If the tadpoles were tampered with Netherese magic, which is supposed to be the most powerful magic there is, I find it hard to believe that Gale did not sense that. Considering the fact that he studies that. This is where I compared him to Solas from Dragon Age. Solas is an elf companion that you can also romance, he a mage. In Dragon Age there is something called The Fade, were demons and spirits exist. In that game a rift was opened during an accident that caused the main character to be cursed with a mark on their hand that gives them the power to open and close rifts (which is a tear into the fade). This mark is also a ticking death mark on your character, basically it will kill them. Solas is a "good" guy who helps you throughout the game, he's a party companion. Here's where Gale can be like Solas, he could end up knowing (if he wasn't involved somehow) how the tadpoles were tampered with Netherese magic. Just like how Solas is the reason why rifts were open in the world. Solas leaves your party later, he's now the main antagonist in the next dragon age game. Like I said, he was also romanceable. He's not an evil guy but he had selfish motivations that he chose to follow in the end. This can be a possibility for Gale.
Posted By: Niara Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 04/11/21 02:42 AM
His loading screen image, GM4Him, really? A mage doing mage stuff, to skeletons... there's not a single thing that is even remotely suspicious about that.... compared to 'consorting with a devil' and 'surrounded by cultists and wearing their logo'? Two of those images are suspicious... Gale's is not one of them. I feel like I want to mention that they didn't say the were releasing the evil character first, they said the non-good ones. In our five, we have three evils (Astarion (CE), Lae'zel (LE), Shadowheart (NE)(likely highly variable as we progress)) and two neutrals (Wyll (CN) and Gale (TN)).

Gale absolutely does mind link with you, once you garner his trust, and it's the most honest and open mental communication anywhere in the game thus far.

Pretty much all mages who study beyond a certain point learn about netherese magic - it's a pretty big part of magical history, considering what the netherese empire was, and what they did. Especially anyone who takes a direct meta-interest in the weave itself, the fall of netheril, and the surrounding events, are going to be the core of their study. There's nothing sinister about that at all. Gales interest in Mystra and his longing to feel the weave, not just too use it, in particular, means that it would be suspicious of his story is he Wasn't well versed in netherese magic history. What is odd here, rather is that Gale doesn't have specialised dialogue lines when we learn that the tadpoles have netherese magic about them - he really should have!

As for being power-hungry... one line in a mirror, okay... is that ALL you're getting that from? Because building that assertion on that one line alone seems like you'd already made up your mind and were just looking for things to justify it on, from my perspective... so, what else?

I'm not sure how trying to learn about your companions runs against being a good person... you'll have to explain that to me, too. I want to learn more about Shadow and Lae'zel too... does that make me suspicious of being secretly evil?

Most of our characters are not ruling out dealing with raphael if it comes down to it. Not ruling it out is purely pragmatic, when the alternative may well be becoming an illithid. Remember - If you transform into an illithid, you don't just die.... you are destroyed body and soul; you don't go to your afterlife, and you don't continue in any way - you're simply gone, ceasing to exist at all, utterly, and it's dubious as to whether even a wish spell could restore you at that point. If a devil can get you out of that, and there's no other option, then your soul may end up belonging to them, but for the time being, it is safe, and you have time and opportunity to find a means to get out of that situation, which is very much possible... and even then, the goal is to entertain the offer and attempt to get the better of the devil in the deal - something which is also possible, though extremely difficult. Not ruling out the possibility, especially for a pragmatist who considers himself the most intellectually capable person in camp, is not really 'suspicious' of anything. What do you feel it's suspicious of?

I put the last point down to the ridiculousness of Shadowheart's character situation and writing, rather than laying that at Gale's feet, frankly, but I'll give it to you as a very dubious point, since yes, he should have more objection to that, all things considered, however, I will add that as a magic scholar, he's more likely to view the deities in an academic sense, not a religious one, so it's entirely believable that he's simply dismissive of Shar 'worshippers'.

==

What I do have to admit to is that, no, I haven't seen how he behaves if you don't help him with his problem. People have mentioned that that is telling, but I don't know what actually goes on or is said, because his burden has never felt even remotely like a burden to me, and I don't want the northern sword coast to explode, generally speaking... even my evil characters do not wish to be close to ground zero of a city-destroying explosion, surprise surprise... I'm not stupid-evil).
Originally Posted by timebean
Mini note —-One reason I think Gale is honest…he goes out of his way not to lie to you during his “condition” speech. He is careful with his wording, very careful. He for sure withholds info that he does not want u to have before he trusts you…but he has not outright lied to me so far as I have seen…not once.

And he plays games with devils because he thinks he is smart enough to. Not because he is evil or shady. That is my perception of it, at any rate.

Gale does not mind link with you because his mind is his. It is the thing that makes him special. Wyll is a dipshit, Lazael has little to hide and is all ego, and Shafowheart is secretive but does not have Gale’s control. Gale is private, and he has excellent control and to an archmage, who has spent his life learning magic by using his brains…frankly…I think he feels that you don’t deserve to poke around in his head. And, he does open up snd show u more, but only after you earn his trust. He minds melds with u big time in a pretty emotional scene.

He is also the only companion discerning enough to not ask u for sex unless he genuinely likes you and u have already laid some groundwork. In comparison, the other companions are shallow horndogs! Lol

In summary.. I just think he chooses his friends carefully.

That is true but don't you think it's a little weird that you do those things with him on his terms. He's the one in control. I'm not saying that he's a liar but he's is is not too open of what he possibly knows. I don't know if you played Dragon Age but it's the same with Solas. He too was very private and didn't like you prying. Everything he showed was because he let you. It's not until the end that you find out he has something to do with what was happening. Who's to say that Gale is not like that? There's even a theory that I saw somewhere on the general forum where someone thinks Gale doesn't have a tadpole. If and that is a big IF that theory is correct, the only way Gale could act like he has a tadpole is by using Netherese magic. He could be doing that in order to manipulate you. This doesn't necessarily make him evil but it does paint him on a negative light.
Posted By: GM4Him Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 04/11/21 02:53 AM
Lol. Niara. The load screen image thing was somewhat a joke, though it is his psychotic looking, power hungry smile in that image that I was referring to most. He seemed a bit too happy there.

I was also wondering if the loading screens might be glimpses into a small scene from each of their pasts. I think everyone was clearly much more powerful, and the tadpole reset them, all of them. Wyll said he used to do all sorts of things he can't do in the game. Mizora gave him that power. That loading screen seemed like maybe one instance where he was standing in a smoking ruin after maybe he'd slaughtered a bunch of... Goblins maybe?

Either way, I'm just suspicious of him, and I have lots of theories. I'm not 100% sure either way. He could be, like I said, Elminster, for all I know. I mean, Volo is in it, and you know Elminster will probably be as well. Gale's personality sure fits the old crazy wizard, and in BG1 or 2 or both, Elminster disguised himself. If he lost a good deal of power during the Spellplague...

And he was a lover of Mystra's.
Originally Posted by GM4Him
Lol. Niara. The load screen image thing was somewhat a joke, though it is his psychotic looking, power hungry smile in that image that I was referring to most. He seemed a bit too happy there.

I was also wondering if the loading screens might be glimpses into a small scene from each of their pasts. I think everyone was clearly much more powerful, and the tadpole reset them, all of them. Wyll said he used to do all sorts of things he can't do in the game. Mizora gave him that power. That loading screen seemed like maybe one instance where he was standing in a smoking ruin after maybe he'd slaughtered a bunch of... Goblins maybe?

Either way, I'm just suspicious of him, and I have lots of theories. I'm not 100% sure either way. He could be, like I said, Elminster, for all I know. I mean, Volo is in it, and you know Elminster will probably be as well. Gale's personality sure fits the old crazy wizard, and in BG1 or 2 or both, Elminster disguised himself. If he lost a good deal of power during the Spellplague...

And he was a lover of Mystra's.

Let me pitch a thought here. What if Gale is Elminster in disguise? Just how Solas is actually Fen'Harel in Dragon Age.
Posted By: Niara Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 04/11/21 03:08 AM
Okay, but maybe don't list jokes as part of your explanation when someone is trying to have a serious discussion with you about reasoning that they aren't understanding or that confuses them...

I would not put it past Larian to make him Elminster...

Anyway... I did just look up all of Gale's item refusal, final recourse, and extra tadpole probes... and to be honest, no... I still don't see why people are suspicious of him, even after seeing all of those.

He asks for your help, and when you don't give it, he warns about getting close to a point of no return... and after that, when it is past that point, he uses the only other solution available to him to prevent a catastrophe, and his own soul be damned - because, you know, if he'd just let the catastrophe happen, his soul would be intact and he'd go to his afterlife, and even be available for resurrection, most likely... his choice there is the good choice, born of desperation and lack of options.. so... I'm not seeing why it's suspicious or untrustworthy... why do you (or others) see it as being so?

He gets insistant if you don't give him things, yes... and I see nothing wrong with that at all, considering the consequence of what he's talking about.

When you probe him, and get caught, he gets offended by the breach of trust and violation of person that it represents, not what you actually saw. He is receptive to being reasoned with about the necessity of your actions, though it's clear he still doesn't like that you did it.

When you probe and don't get caught, you see the mistake that he made, and you see the oppressive, dark pressure that he constantly faces and feels - remember, the tadpole links are sensory and emotive transpositions, not onlooking impressions; when we feel something dark, sinister and oppressive bearing down on us, that's not Gale doing something or being something... that's us experiencing what it's like to be Gale, same as when you experience what it's like to be Astarion lurking through the streets.

I'm trying to understand, I truly am, I promise... but I'm just not seeing anything suspicious or untrustworthy of Gale in any of this... help me understand, please.
Posted By: GM4Him Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 04/11/21 03:10 AM
Sorry Niara. In all seriousness. That image does seem out of character for him, though.
Originally Posted by Niara
Okay, but maybe don't list jokes as part of your explanation when someone is trying to have a serious discussion with you about reasoning that they aren't understanding or that confuses them...

I would not put it past Larian to make him Elminster...

Anyway... I did just look up all of Gale's item refusal, final recourse, and extra tadpole probes... and to be honest, no... I still don't see why people are suspicious of him, even after seeing all of those.

He asks for your help, and when you don't give it, he warns about getting close to a point of no return... and after that, when it is past that point, he uses the only other solution available to him to prevent a catastrophe, and his own soul be damned - because, you know, if he'd just let the catastrophe happen, his soul would be intact and he'd go to his afterlife, and even be available for resurrection, most likely... his choice there is the good choice, born of desperation and lack of options.. so... I'm not seeing why it's suspicious or untrustworthy... why do you (or others) see it as being so?

He gets insistant if you don't give him things, yes... and I see nothing wrong with that at all, considering the consequence of what he's talking about.

When you probe him, and get caught, he gets offended by the breach of trust and violation of person that it represents, not what you actually saw. He is receptive to being reasoned with about the necessity of your actions, though it's clear he still doesn't like that you did it.

When you probe and don't get caught, you see the mistake that he made, and you see the oppressive, dark pressure that he constantly faces and feels - remember, the tadpole links are sensory and emotive transpositions, not onlooking impressions; when we feel something dark, sinister and oppressive bearing down on us, that's not Gale doing something or being something... that's us experiencing what it's like to be Gale, same as when you experience what it's like to be Astarion lurking through the streets.

I'm trying to understand, I truly am, I promise... but I'm just not seeing anything suspicious or untrustworthy of Gale in any of this... help me understand, please.

We are trying to help you understand why some of us have mixed feelings on Gale but unfortunately it seems you are very dismissive of everything we say. I even gave you the comparison to Solas, not sure if you played Dragon Age. Solas is very much like Gale, yet he was a traitor. He manipulated you the entire time, made you think he knew nothing when he was the brains behind everything. That reveal was the biggest shock to the fan base, even though a lot of us love Solas, but he is what he is. It seems that you just don't want to accept the possibility that Gale could be the biggest manipulator of the group. He could be good to you for 95% of the game and not reveal his true intentions to the very end, just like how Solas did in Dragon Age.
Posted By: GM4Him Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 04/11/21 03:43 AM
Or, he could be totally good.

However, I would say that every character in the group seems to have a dark side that is very dark. Why would Gale be the exception?
Posted By: Niara Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 04/11/21 04:24 AM
We have 3 evils and 2 neutrals here - the non-good companions, as mentioned.

In act one, Astarion's "Big Dark Secret" is... "I'm a vampire, bleugh!"

Shadowheart's is "I worship Shar"

Wyll's is "I'm pacted to a devil"

Gale's is "I fucked up and have a bomb in my chest"

What's Lae'zel's super dark side / dark secret?
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
We are trying to help you understand why some of us have mixed feelings on Gale but unfortunately it seems you are very dismissive of everything we say. I even gave you the comparison to Solas, not sure if you played Dragon Age. Solas is very much like Gale, yet he was a traitor. He manipulated you the entire time, made you think he knew nothing when he was the brains behind everything. That reveal was the biggest shock to the fan base, even though a lot of us love Solas, but he is what he is. It seems that you just don't want to accept the possibility that Gale could be the biggest manipulator of the group. He could be good to you for 95% of the game and not reveal his true intentions to the very end, just like how Solas did in Dragon Age.
This is not evidence for Gale being suspicious or untrustworthy though. This is projecting other characters' story arcs onto Gale, when Gale could actually be a Varric or Alistair or Vivienne. There's a difference between "accepting the possibility that a character can be lying and have hidden motives" and "believing that the character is lying and has hidden motives."

Niara, I think you're only considering info that is presented in BG3, not taking into account any meta-context (e.g., Larian's general NPC design/storyline decisions, common narratives for the smooth-talking, powerful, smart, and driven character). Whereas others seem to be considering this meta-context (see @GM4Him's post above). Neither is a wrong way to look at a character, as long as you recognize what sources you're considering and how such biases could affect further interactions with the character in-game. E.g., if you already are suspicious of Gale, then you'll become even more suspicious when you learn that he's studied Netherese magic because the tadpoles use that type of magic!

All that said, it's reasonable to be suspicious that Gale might sacrifice you if that would get him back in Mystra's good graces. I don't think he's planning on doing so, and he'd probably feel bad about it, but that is his driving force...besides you know, not dying.
Posted By: Niara Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 04/11/21 04:34 AM
I'd more expect Gale to accept you as his lover, and then attempt to mantle Mystra onto you, in an effort to have Mystra as his lover again, more or less obliterating 'you' in the process, but hoping to wrangle it so that the new being, that is more Mystra than you, still loves him.

But yes; I'm not accounting for external meta at all in this, and that's a deliberate choice I'm making, because I don't feel it's fair to be suspicious of a character because "well they always do that". Maybe I'm just an optimist.

I had a much larger post written out, but it's not really going to progress much or help much, I don't think... But I'll post these bits of it, just as points of interest or order:


- No, I didn't play Dragon age, and I don't consider references to other characters in other games to be relevant here. They may even be misleading, since they are exactly the sort of thing that causes people to read things onto other characters that are not actually there. If you're inclined to think suspiciously of someone based on a past encounter with someone else completely different, that's personal bias, not a fair assessment of the person in question. If anything, referencing other characters in other games as your 'reason' for being suspicious of this one is a strong indicator that your perspective is not fair or objective, and that it may be worth your while to reflect on why exactly you drew those conclusions in the first place, and checking if they're still valid when you remove the 'because someone else did that' element.

- The magic practiced by Netheril is not dark or sinister or nasty (well, no more than many types can be, and it is often used that way, I will admit... but inherently it's not); the netherese empire was a magic-based society and they practiced arts the magnitude of which cannot be replicated today (literally can't, since Ao has since placed limits on the level of magic that non-divines, and even divines, can wield). They weren't much for respect of the goods, and much of their magical experimentation and exploration was aimed at supplanting them and casting them off, but the basic point of it is that their magic was highly advanced, and studying what is left of it after the fall of their empire is the pursuit of a great many wizards and other arcanists once they reach a certain level of skill. There's nothing suspicious about Gale being versed in information about netherese magic, and there's nothing to suggest that he uses it directly. Many magical creatures with long memories are suspicious of netherese magic at a superstitious level, because it was netheril that ended up destroying the weave itself in their folly, albeit only temporarily, and it destroyed their empire. So, a lot of people are leery of it, but there's nothing actually wrong with it, per se.

- It's also not surprising that Gale didn't 'sense' netherese magic at work on the tadpole, because he is a wizard, not a sorcerer. He Can't feel things like that, and can only be aware of them by evoking spells designed for the purpose. His weave scene was special, and remains special even if you're also a caster, because it's a uniquely designed spell that he's using to allow himself to actually feel the weave, and feel magic, directly – something that wizards cannot normally do. I will admit caveat to this, in as much as it's dubious that Larian are paying attention to this nuance at all... they may not be, in which case (if Larian are assuming he could feel things just by being close to them etc.), then by that definition, he should have, yes.

- In game; Gale has a tadpole. This is not really up for question. When controlling Gale you can go through all the various things that talk about what you feel your tadpole doing, and you have all of the tadpole related dreams, and you can undertake the various activities that use the tadpole, or get it treated, etc. Gale has a tadpole.
Posted By: GM4Him Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 04/11/21 05:01 AM
Originally Posted by Niara
We have 3 evils and 2 neutrals here - the non-good companions, as mentioned.

In act one, Astarion's "Big Dark Secret" is... "I'm a vampire, bleugh!"

Shadowheart's is "I worship Shar"

Wyll's is "I'm pacted to a devil"

Gale's is "I fucked up and have a bomb in my chest"

What's Lae'zel's super dark side / dark secret?

If you do tadpole path, Lae'zel tells you she also mucked up. She did something that she doesn't want anyone to know, but essentially it was akin to treachery and total disgrace. She won't tell you, but she alludes to it as being the reason she is so desperately trying to do something huge to get into Vlaakith's good graces.

My guess is that she was close to being a kith'rak, because she at one point says it should be her flying on a dragon. It is her right, or something like that. Then she did whatever it was, and now things are even worse because she's the epitome of bad in gith eyes. She's infected. In her eyes, she cannot sink any lower now. That's why she so desperately wants the cure and nags you so much. She can't even begin to redeem herself until she is cured.
Posted By: Niara Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 04/11/21 05:03 AM
Fair enough, I only do tadpole stuff when I'm specifically testing it.
Originally Posted by Niara
I'd more expect Gale to accept you as his lover, and then attempt to mantle Mystra onto you, in an effort to have Mystra as his lover again, more or less obliterating 'you' in the process, but hoping to wrangle it so that the new being, that is more Mystra than you, still loves him.

But yes; I'm not accounting for external meta at all in this, and that's a deliberate choice I'm making, because I don't feel it's fair to be suspicious of a character because "well they always do that". Maybe I'm just an optimist.

I had a much larger post written out, but it's not really going to progress much or help much, I don't think... But I'll post these bits of it, just as points of interest or order:


- No, I didn't play Dragon age, and I don't consider references to other characters in other games to be relevant here. They may even be misleading, since they are exactly the sort of thing that causes people to read things onto other characters that are not actually there. If you're inclined to think suspiciously of someone based on a past encounter with someone else completely different, that's personal bias, not a fair assessment of the person in question. If anything, referencing other characters in other games as your 'reason' for being suspicious of this one is a strong indicator that your perspective is not fair or objective, and that it may be worth your while to reflect on why exactly you drew those conclusions in the first place, and checking if they're still valid when you remove the 'because someone else did that' element.

- The magic practiced by Netheril is no dark or sinister or nasty; the netherese empire was a magic-based society and they practiced arts the magnitude of which cannot be replicated today (literally can't, since Ao has since placed limits on the level of magic that non-divines, and even divines, can wield). They weren't much for respect of the goods, and much of their magical experimentation and exploration was aimed at supplanting them and casting them off, but the basic point of it is that their magic was highly advanced, and studying what is left of it after the fall of their empire is the pursuit of a great many wizards and other arcanists once they reach a certain level of skill. There's nothing suspicious about Gale being versed in information about netherese magic, and there's nothing to suggest that he uses it directly. Many magical creatures with long memories are suspicious of netherese magic at a superstitious level, because it was netheril that ended up destroying the weave itself in their folly, albeit only temporarily, and it destroyed their empire. So, a lot of people are leery of it, but there's nothing actually wrong with it, per se.

- It's also not surprising that Gale didn't 'sense' netherese magic at work on the tadpole, because he is a wizard, not a sorcerer. He Can't feel things like that, and can only be aware of them by evoking spells designed for the purpose. His weave scene was special, and remains special even if you're also a caster, because it's a uniquely designed spell that he's using to allow himself to actually feel the weave, and feel magic, directly – something that wizards cannot normally do. I will admit caveat to this, in as much as it's dubious that Larian are paying attention to this nuance at all... they may not be, in which case (if Larian are assuming he could feel things just by being close to them etc.), then by that definition, he should have, yes.

- In game; Gale has a tadpole. This is not really up for question. When controlling Gale you can go through all the various things that talk about what you feel your tadpole doing, and you have all of the tadpole related dreams, and you can undertake the various activities that use the tadpole, or get it treated, etc. Gale has a tadpole.

I'm a writer myself as I love writing fantasy stories and writers do get inspiration from other stories. We just tweak it to fit our own setting. The Forgotten Realms was inspired by Lord of the Rings. So if someone makes a comparison between the Forgotten Realms and Lord of the Rings to explain something, that does not mean its an unfair assessment or biased. It's finding a similarity between something and say "Hey it could be possible that this could be that as it has been done before." That doesn't make the person point of view invalid just because you refuse to even try to see something in a different light. You didn't play Dragon Age which is why you don't understand my comparison and that's fine. The impression that I'm getting from you is that you like Gale so much that you refuse to see any possibility of him turning against you. That's blind loyalty. For example, I like Astarion as a character but I'm not dismissive of the possibility of him turning out to be 100% evil. My hope is that I can change him to be good, but if not, then it is what it is. The problem is you don't want to accept that for Gale, to you, he just HAS to be good. You seem to be stanning a little to hard for him to the point that you refuse anything negative anyone has to say about him. Just because a character starts off with an alignment doesn't mean it can't change later. Nothing is set in stone.
Originally Posted by mrfuji3
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
We are trying to help you understand why some of us have mixed feelings on Gale but unfortunately it seems you are very dismissive of everything we say. I even gave you the comparison to Solas, not sure if you played Dragon Age. Solas is very much like Gale, yet he was a traitor. He manipulated you the entire time, made you think he knew nothing when he was the brains behind everything. That reveal was the biggest shock to the fan base, even though a lot of us love Solas, but he is what he is. It seems that you just don't want to accept the possibility that Gale could be the biggest manipulator of the group. He could be good to you for 95% of the game and not reveal his true intentions to the very end, just like how Solas did in Dragon Age.
This is not evidence for Gale being suspicious or untrustworthy though. This is projecting other characters' story arcs onto Gale, when Gale could actually be a Varric or Alistair or Vivienne. There's a difference between "accepting the possibility that a character can be lying and have hidden motives" and "believing that the character is lying and has hidden motives."

Niara, I think you're only considering info that is presented in BG3, not taking into account any meta-context (e.g., Larian's general NPC design/storyline decisions, common narratives for the smooth-talking, powerful, smart, and driven character). Whereas others seem to be considering this meta-context (see @GM4Him's post above). Neither is a wrong way to look at a character, as long as you recognize what sources you're considering and how such biases could affect further interactions with the character in-game. E.g., if you already are suspicious of Gale, then you'll become even more suspicious when you learn that he's studied Netherese magic because the tadpoles use that type of magic!

All that said, it's reasonable to be suspicious that Gale might sacrifice you if that would get him back in Mystra's good graces. I don't think he's planning on doing so, and he'd probably feel bad about it, but that is his driving force...besides you know, not dying.

I'm not claiming to believe that he is already bad what I'm saying is that based on some of the things that I have seen and his study of Netherese magic and like you said, the tadpoles also have Netherese magic. There is the possibility that he knows more than what he is allowing you to know. GM4Him even mentioned Elminster who is the most powerful wizard in all of Faerun and he is also able to disguise himself. That's why I also say, that if Larian introduces Elminster he could possibly be Gale in disguise.
Posted By: Niara Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 04/11/21 05:31 AM
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
'm a writer myself as I love writing fantasy stories and writers do get inspiration from other stories. We just tweak it to fit our own setting. The Forgotten Realms was inspired by Lord of the Rings. So if someone makes a comparison between the Forgotten Realms and Lord of the Rings to explain something, that does not mean its an unfair assessment or biased. It's finding a similarity between something and say "Hey it could be possible that this could be that as it has been done before." That doesn't make the person point of view invalid just because you refuse to even try to see something in a different light. You didn't play Dragon Age which is why you don't understand my comparison and that's fine. The impression that I'm getting from you is that you like Gale so much that you refuse to see any possibility of him turning against you. That's blind loyalty. For example, I like Astarion as a character but I'm not dismissive of the possibility of him turning out to be 100% evil. My hope is that I can change him to be good, but if not, then it is what it is. The problem is you don't want to accept that for Gale, to you, he just HAS to be good. You seem to be stanning a little to hard for him to the point that you refuse anything negative anyone has to say about him. Just because a character starts off with an alignment doesn't mean it can't change later. Nothing is set in stone.

I'm also a published author, and let me tell you that saying 'this character reads suspiciously, because this other character in this other story started out similarly and was super evil' is not something that is ever going to fly in any critical review. I'm not refusing anything; point to anywhere where I have, if you can. I literally just suggested one likely possibility of a way he could betray you in the future, above. What I'm saying is that right now, within the context of the game itself, and not referencing other media - going off what we have right here and now, in this game with these characters, there isn't anything that I can see that is grounds for legitimate suspicion of him being anything other than what he presents. That could very well mean that he's better at hiding it than most - I'd make my normal complain about Larian and their personal mary-sue characters being able to lie to us flawlessly because they want them to, while we're not allowed to keep anything back from them, ever... but setting that aside, he could be. Right now in game, however, there's nothing legitimately suspicious about him that doesn't require some kind of external bias coming from the viewer mapped onto him. The fact of the matter is that at the moment, Gale has never lied to us at all - and he's one of the few characters that hasn't.
Originally Posted by Niara
I'm also a published author, and let me tell you that saying 'this character reads suspiciously, because this other character in this other story started out similarly and was super evil' is not something that is ever going to fly in any critical review.

You're twisting my words. I did not say that. I only made a comparison of how something like that could happen and not that, that's what I think it is because it's not. Also it's not true about your presumption of critics. I have read reviews where critics will read a story and say that a particular character may seem suspicious because they did one or two things and even compare it to other sources. There is nothing wrong with their review its just the observation they have of a character.

Originally Posted by Niara
The fact of the matter is that at the moment, Gale has never lied to us at all - and he's one of the few characters that hasn't.

The way you see him, he might as well have a halo over his head. You seem to be placing him on a high pedestal. You're basing your opinion of him as a fact. Every companion has come clean about their backstory, I don't view keeping information as lying unless I ask and it's denied. For example, Shadowheart refuses to tell you about herself or her past, I don't view that as lying. She's being honest enough to say, I don't feel like telling you. Every character is flawed, some more than others. I see Wyll as the biggest liar. As for Astarion, yes, many people can't stand his guts because they have made up their mind that he HAS to be evil because he's a vampire but there is still the possibility of him being good. What makes Gale so infallible in you eyes, that there is no possibility of him being bad?
Posted By: Niara Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 04/11/21 06:45 AM
You're saying that you can use reading a character as similar to another one who did betray you as grounds for asserting suspicion that this one might as well. I'm saying that that is not a fair claim and is not, in fact, justified. We might disagree, and that's fine, but I know which stance anyone interested in a fair trial would stand with.

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The way you see him, he might as well have a halo over his head. You seem to be placing him on a high pedestal. You're basing your opinion of him as a fact.

No, I don't. I'd have thought I'd made that quite clear by now, but you seem to be ignoring anything I say that doesn't fit your interpretation of me... there's irony. I have openly acknowledged the elements that I was unaware of as being potentially problematic in the future, or possible warning flags; I have suggested ways that I could foresee him betraying the player character if it comes to it. I've have never once denied the possibility of him being darker than he presents, and I have never once claimed him to be in any way perfect or infallible... you're the one mapping that onto me, to make your argument. Don't do that; I don't appreciate it. There are elements of his characterisation that I don't care for - there's just fewer with him than any other. He is a deeply flawed character with a lot of baggage; something which I have acknowledged multiple times. What have I said, anywhere in this entire thread, that I have claimed as factual which has not been so? Feel free to point it out.

I've stated as opinion that I don't see anything genuinely suspicious about him so far that doesn't require mapping something external onto him from the viewer's side. I've stated as opinion that I don't feel that there are any legitimate grounds for suspicion against him, as of yet. I've asked others who do feel suspicious of him to tell me what factors make them feel so, and some folks have answered! That's great! More or less still not seeing it, I've asked people to explain why those things they point out make them suspicious - why they find them to be so - and I've not gotten any clear answers there, yet, beyond external references to other games, which I don't personally accept as legitimate in the context of this game, here and now. That's where we stand, as far as I know.
As far as i'm concerned, the biggest indicator that he might not be as 'nice' as he makes himself out to be is that he's willing to through the massacre at the grove, if persuaded.

But then again, Alistair in Dragon Age:Origins is potentially willing to watch the PC kill kids and do all kinds of heinous stuff, which is pretty interesting to think about since by DnD standards he's very much good aligned. Paints a very... unflattering image of his character, that potentinal, and maybe Gale, in the instance above, behaves the same, making it just a case of extreme moral cowardness as opposed to outright evilness.
I don't find Gale very suspicious either. He seems to be very honest about everything so far.
I can see his story taking a darker turn, when Mystra gets involved ( and she most certainly will be) and you make the wrong decision. But I don't think, he is evil atm. or suspicious in any way. He is certainly one of the more easygoing companions for me. He and Shadowheart are the comps, I get approval easily by just playing how I like.
Given that all companions are basically Mary Sues, who are oh so special, I can totally see the Elminster route for Gale. I wouldn't care for it, but I wouldn't put it past Larian.

About the Dragon Age comparison: There are no real similarities between Gale and Solas apart from the fact, that they are mages. Gale is open minded and friendly, while Solas is borderline racist ( try talking to him as a dwarf or Qunari).
Also Solas betrayal isn't really a surprise, If you played the first two games: in every game, you are played by your mage companions- Morrigan in DAO, Anders (and bloodmage Merrill to an extent) in DA2 , so yeah, I was eying Solas, Dorian and Vivienne very suspicious.
Originally Posted by Niara
You're saying that you can use reading a character as similar to another one who did betray you as grounds for asserting suspicion that this one might as well. I'm saying that that is not a fair claim and is not, in fact, justified. We might disagree, and that's fine, but I know which stance anyone interested in a fair trial would stand with.

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The way you see him, he might as well have a halo over his head. You seem to be placing him on a high pedestal. You're basing your opinion of him as a fact.

No, I don't. I'd have thought I'd made that quite clear by now, but you seem to be ignoring anything I say that doesn't fit your interpretation of me... there's irony. I have openly acknowledged the elements that I was unaware of as being potentially problematic in the future, or possible warning flags; I have suggested ways that I could foresee him betraying the player character if it comes to it. I've have never once denied the possibility of him being darker than he presents, and I have never once claimed him to be in any way perfect or infallible... you're the one mapping that onto me, to make your argument. Don't do that; I don't appreciate it. There are elements of his characterisation that I don't care for - there's just fewer with him than any other. He is a deeply flawed character with a lot of baggage; something which I have acknowledged multiple times. What have I said, anywhere in this entire thread, that I have claimed as factual which has not been so? Feel free to point it out.

I've stated as opinion that I don't see anything genuinely suspicious about him so far that doesn't require mapping something external onto him from the viewer's side. I've stated as opinion that I don't feel that there are any legitimate grounds for suspicion against him, as of yet. I've asked others who do feel suspicious of him to tell me what factors make them feel so, and some folks have answered! That's great! More or less still not seeing it, I've asked people to explain why those things they point out make them suspicious - why they find them to be so - and I've not gotten any clear answers there, yet, beyond external references to other games, which I don't personally accept as legitimate in the context of this game, here and now. That's where we stand, as far as I know.

Okay, fair enough. Since you only want information about the possibility of Gale being not so good to come only from Baldur's Gate 3, a Forgotten Realm region and since BG3 is a DnD game, the only other source I can pick from is from the Forgetten Realms. Some may or may not know that there is a character by the name of Simbul who was also a chosen of the Goddess of Magic, Mystra. Simbul was one of the most powerful spellcasters in Faerun and a lover of Elminster. In her story, after an event where the weave collapsed, she was driven mad and the only way to keep her sanity was to consume enchanted items. That is a similarity with Gale.

Gale claims to have a bomb in his cheat that needs enchanted items to keep it at bay. He could very well be lying about the whole bomb situation, just to get those items. GM4Him meantioned Elminster, I don't know how well verse you are in DnD lore, but Elminster is a lover of Simbul (the woman that needs the enchanted items) and the Goddess Mystra. Elminster is also a chosen of Mystra and one of his traits is that he is also a trickster. Elminster is a very famous and powerful wizard, he's an Archwizard who just like Gale has rivals. He can also disguise himself. Elminster loves Mystra more than anything and will do anything for her. He was even driven to the brink of insanity when Mystra died and the weave collapsed. Other events have occurred and now she is back and Eliminster is back to normal. Now, Elminster arrived in Waterdeep in 1491 DR and Baldur's Gate 3 takes place in 1492 DR. Gale tells you he's from Waterdeep and is a chosen of Mystra, just like Elminster. You don't think there is a possibly that he could be deceiving you? That's what the whole point of our discussion has been but you don't like metacontext, so this is the best I can do to try to explain why some of use may be weary of Gale.
Posted By: Sozz Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 04/11/21 07:12 AM
Rampant speculation is no reason to get to such a row. Acknowledge that from where we are now, most things are still on the table and let's stop shaming people for speculating what that might be
Originally Posted by fylimar
I don't find Gale very suspicious either. He seems to be very honest about everything so far.
I can see his story taking a darker turn, when Mystra gets involved ( and she most certainly will be) and you make the wrong decision. But I don't think, he is evil atm. or suspicious in any way. He is certainly one of the more easygoing companions for me. He and Shadowheart are the comps, I get approval easily by just playing how I like.
Given that all companions are basically Mary Sues, who are oh so special, I can totally see the Elminster route for Gale. I wouldn't care for it, but I wouldn't put it past Larian.

About the Dragon Age comparison: There are no real similarities between Gale and Solas apart from the fact, that they are mages. Gale is open minded and friendly, while Solas is borderline racist ( try talking to him as a dwarf or Qunari).
Also Solas betrayal isn't really a surprise, If you played the first two games: in every game, you are played by your mage companions- Morrigan in DAO, Anders (and bloodmage Merrill to an extent) in DA2 , so yeah, I was eying Solas, Dorian and Vivienne very suspicious.

Apart from the similarity of mages, Gale studies the weave and Netherese magic just like how Solas studies the Fade and Rift magic. I don't see him as racist towards the Dwarf and Qunari, they are not known to be nice races. Solas is an Elf, let alone he's practically a God Elf, Fen'Harel. Elves in Dragon Age are seen as slaves minus Dalish Elves in the wilderness. For example, if you choose to be an Elf, you have markings on your face. You character thinks it's a Dalish thing until Solas tells you it's not. Solas isn't seen as evil by fans but definitely manipulative. He did what he did because he thinks it's best for his people but still he's messed up for what he did and he pretended with you the whole time. There is a possible similarity with Gale, he loves Mystra and wants her approval. It's possible that he's lying to you about who or what he is just so that he can continue to please Mystra and be the most powerful wizard in Faerun. That's where Gale possibly being Elminster comes in. He does say he's a "Chosen" of Mystra just like Elminster.
Originally Posted by Sozz
Rampant speculation is no reason to get to such a row. Acknowledge that from where we are now, most things are still on the table and let's stop shaming people for speculating what that might be

My intention isn't to shame anyone. I apologize if it came out that way. What I will say is that, it seems some are very attached to characters and it's really hard to have a fair discussion where no matter what you say, the person will refuse to see it. It becomes hard to try to get the person to understand what you are trying to say.
Posted By: Niara Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 04/11/21 07:58 AM
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
[Elminster, Simbul, and some interesting dates]

Now, this is a far better good-faith argument for possibilities with Gale. Don't worry, I'm intimately familiar with the realms, its events and its figures of note ^.^

Simbul is (was) one of the seven Silverhand sisters, and in interesting choice if you're looking for magic-related story inspiration... The magic eating element is indeed familiar, and I've no doubt someone on the team took it as inspiration; I might expect that we'll be able to find something a particularly unusual magic item that will be the catalyst consumption for the resolution of Gale's chest bomb problem, perhaps, if they're taking it that far. I'm not sure how it relates to a discussion of suspicious nature, though. If you're making that comparison, do you feel then that Gale is indeed the sort who would ultimately choose to sacrifice himself to save someone else?

Gale is extremely unlikely to be fibbing about the chest bomb: we get a chance to feel it both directly, and through his senses, on two different occasions, and it's definitely there, and definitely hungry and dark and oppressive. We also know for fact that if his condition isn't fed, he does indeed explode badly enough to warrant an absolute game over... so, no, he's not fibbing about that bit, or at least, we have no reasonable grounds to imagine that he might be. I've said already that I would not be at all surprised if Larian ran with the Elminster idea, since it's the kind of extra they're likely to go for.

I hadn't actually realised that the dates around waterdeep lined up that well - I knew it was close, but hadn't looked into it specifically. Either way, I'll reiterate, again, just in case you've skimmed over it all the other times, that I've never denied the possibility that Gale is deceiving us in some way, and the Elminster idea is interesting... However, as before, there's nothing in the game at the moment that gives reasonable grounds for suspicion of this; there are lots of wizards in waterdeep. I'd say if Gale begins to reference events known to be associated with Elminster, or if his general worldliness starts to step beyond what seems reasonable for an archmage from waterdeep (which, admittedly is a high boundary to push on, unfortunately), then we'll have something.

What I will say is that efforts to speculate rationally without jumping to unsubstantiated conclusions are badly stymied by the fact that Larian lets all of their characters lie to us flawlessly whenever they want to, and we're not allowed to notice, or make a check, or call them out on it in any way, unless Larian wants us to, and that's really, deeply, unfair, especially since we are unable to keep anything back from any of them.

Probably worth me taking a few moments out to add my normal caveat here - if anything has come off harsh or argumentative, that's not my intention, and I apologise if I have. My aim is honest and frank discussion, without intention to argue, upset or offend. I'm not interested in 'winning' a debate, I'm just interested in the discussion.
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Originally Posted by Sozz
Rampant speculation is no reason to get to such a row. Acknowledge that from where we are now, most things are still on the table and let's stop shaming people for speculating what that might be

My intention isn't to shame anyone. I apologize if it came out that way. What I will say is that, it seems some are very attached to characters and it's really hard to have a fair discussion where no matter what you say, the person will refuse to see it. It becomes hard to try to get the person to understand what you are trying to say.
Why don't you see it in another way: we get, what you are saying, we just have different opinions. Like you see Solas and Astarion as misunderstood and I see them as evil. I never did say, that your viewpoints are any less valid, Nor did Niara or anyone else. We just give arguments for our viewpoints as you do for yours.
You said a few times, when people tried to argue ( me included) , that they are dismissive, argumentative etc. and that just isn't the case.
I would like to discuss Solas further with you, because of course my opinion is totally different, but I'm weary, that I might be accused of something again.
Originally Posted by Niara
Simbul is (was) one of the seven Silverhand sisters, and in interesting choice if you're looking for magic-related story inspiration... The magic eating element is indeed familiar, and I've no doubt someone on the team took it as inspiration; I might expect that we'll be able to find something a particularly unusual magic item that will be the catalyst consumption for the resolution of Gale's chest bomb problem, perhaps, if they're taking it that far. I'm not sure how it relates to a discussion of suspicious nature, though. If you're making that comparison, do you feel then that Gale is indeed the sort who would ultimately choose to sacrifice himself to save someone else?

You don't think it's possible that he could be lying?

Originally Posted by Niara
Gale is extremely unlikely to be fibbing about the chest bomb: we get a chance to feel it both directly, and through his senses, on two different occasions, and it's definitely there, and definitely hungry and dark and oppressive. We also know for fact that if his condition isn't fed, he does indeed explode badly enough to warrant an absolute game over... so, no, he's not fibbing about that bit, or at least, we have no reasonable grounds to imagine that he might be.

Again, he could be lying. Everything we know about him is based on what he tells you. As for the mind meld, again, he lets you in. Who is to say that he is not making you see or feel those things? Netherese Magic is meant t be the most powerful magic in Faerun. If he happens to end up being Elminster, he's powerful enough to trick you into feeling what you felt inside him.

Originally Posted by Niara
I hadn't actually realised that the dates around waterdeep lined up that well - I knew it was close, but hadn't looked into it specifically. Either way, I'll reiterate, again, just in case you've skimmed over it all the other times, that I've never denied the possibility that Gale is deceiving us in some way, and the Elminster idea is interesting... However, as before, there's nothing in the game at the moment that gives reasonable grounds for suspicion of this; there are lots of wizards in waterdeep.

I feel you're contradicting yourself here also this is why is called speculating, it doesn't have to be in the game for you to think, "Hey, could it be possible that this is the case?" That's the fun part of playing a game that has a deep story. Things can happen or people may show up where you're like, "Hmm, I wonder if this mean that or does this person have an ulterior motive?."

Originally Posted by Niara
What I will say is that efforts to speculate rationally without jumping to unsubstantiated conclusions are badly stymied by the fact that Larian lets all of their characters lie to us flawlessly whenever they want to, and we're not allowed to notice, or make a check, or call them out on it in any way, unless Larian wants us to, and that's really, deeply, unfair, especially since we are unable to keep anything back from any of them.

I feel like your making it complicated for someone to give you their reason for why they think that way. No metacontext for you. I know there are situation where we do confront our companions, not sure where you feel we are not allowed call them out. I don't see that as unfair in regards to our character story, the reason why we can't keep anything back is because our character doesn't really have a deep backstory, just the whole situation with the mindflayer.
Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Originally Posted by Sozz
Rampant speculation is no reason to get to such a row. Acknowledge that from where we are now, most things are still on the table and let's stop shaming people for speculating what that might be

My intention isn't to shame anyone. I apologize if it came out that way. What I will say is that, it seems some are very attached to characters and it's really hard to have a fair discussion where no matter what you say, the person will refuse to see it. It becomes hard to try to get the person to understand what you are trying to say.
Why don't you see it in another way: we get, what you are saying, we just have different opinions. Like you see Solas and Astarion as misunderstood and I see them as evil. I never did say, that your viewpoints are any less valid, Nor did Niara or anyone else. We just give arguments for our viewpoints as you do for yours.
You said a few times, when people tried to argue ( me included) , that they are dismissive, argumentative etc. and that just isn't the case.
I would like to discuss Solas further with you, because of course my opinion is totally different, but I'm weary, that I might be accused of something again.

The reason why I say it sounds dismissive or argumentative is because whenever I give my opinion on something, the response always comes off as if I'm wrong for thinking that, when it's just my opinion. There is no right or wrong answer with an opinion. Now, if I'm trying to state something as a fact, that's different. That can be refuted but it's hard to refute an opinion.

As for Solas, no, I don't see him as misunderstood. He's messed up for what he did and deceived everyone. As for Astarion, my opinion that he's misunderstood, comes from him being a vampire. I feel that just because he's a vampire does not mean that he HAS to be evil. He could change to be a more neutral person. To me his personality and the way he presents himself could be a defense mechanism based from what has happened to him. It could very well end up that he's evil or not but that remains to be seen.
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Originally Posted by Sozz
Rampant speculation is no reason to get to such a row. Acknowledge that from where we are now, most things are still on the table and let's stop shaming people for speculating what that might be

My intention isn't to shame anyone. I apologize if it came out that way. What I will say is that, it seems some are very attached to characters and it's really hard to have a fair discussion where no matter what you say, the person will refuse to see it. It becomes hard to try to get the person to understand what you are trying to say.
Why don't you see it in another way: we get, what you are saying, we just have different opinions. Like you see Solas and Astarion as misunderstood and I see them as evil. I never did say, that your viewpoints are any less valid, Nor did Niara or anyone else. We just give arguments for our viewpoints as you do for yours.
You said a few times, when people tried to argue ( me included) , that they are dismissive, argumentative etc. and that just isn't the case.
I would like to discuss Solas further with you, because of course my opinion is totally different, but I'm weary, that I might be accused of something again.

The reason why I say it sounds dismissive or argumentative is because whenever I give my opinion on something, the response always comes off as if I'm wrong for thinking that, when it's just my opinion. There is no right or wrong answer with an opinion. Now, if I'm trying to state something as a fact, that's different. That can be refuted but it's hard to refute an opinion.

As for Solas, no, I don't see him as misunderstood. He's messed up for what he did and deceived everyone. As for Astarion, my opinion that he's misunderstood, comes from him being a vampire. I feel that just because he's a vampire does not mean that he HAS to be evil. He could change to be a more neutral person. To me his personality and the way he presents himself could be a defense mechanism based from what has happened to him. It could very well end up that he's evil or not but that remains to be seen.

I'm sure, that every companion will have some quest, that will change their alignment, so yeah, it might be, that Astarion can become neutral, who knows. I see him as chaotic evil at the time of EA, but we haven't seen most of the big companion quests. I base that more on his general behavior and approval than on the fact, that he is a vampire. I play mostly good characters, who want to help, and Astarion is so not ok with that. That is my personal take on his alignment.

I agree, that Solas is pretty messed up and I think his racism comes from the fact, that he has a hard time dealing with the modern world and younger races.

I'm very ok with having totally different opinions and I don't want to talk you out of yours. That's often the peril of just seeing the written text, a lot of a persons intention might get lost.
Originally Posted by fylimar
I'm sure, that every companion will have some quest, that will change their alignment, so yeah, it might be, that Astarion can become neutral, who knows. I see him as chaotic evil at the time of EA, but we haven't seen most of the big companion quests. I base that more on his general behavior and approval than on the fact, that he is a vampire. I play mostly good characters, who want to help, and Astarion is so not ok with that. That is my personal take on his alignment.

I agree, that Solas is pretty messed up and I think his racism comes from the fact, that he has a hard time dealing with the modern world and younger races.

I'm very ok with having totally different opinions and I don't want to talk you out of yours. That's often the peril of just seeing the written text, a lot of a persons intention might get lost.

I can agree with that. That's how it is with my companions as well when I do a good playthrough vs an evil playthrough.
Solas being the traitor was advertised before the game even launched by placing him in the Judas position in the Last Supper promotional shot. Him being the Dread Wolf was incredibly obvious from his murals and the constant reference to him in the game world. And listening to Cole also made it obvious. They really beat you over the head with it in DAI. I am surprised that anyone was surprised by that reveal.

Regardless, I see nothing like that in this game. No hints at all.

I personally hope that if Gale does turn to out to be a liar, or betray you, or whatever…that it is because he is selfish.His own worst enemy. Not because he is some great evil or ancient wizard. That would be incredibly boring.

In terms of romance-// Compare Solas reveal to Alistair choosing the throne over you. Alistair’s choice huuuuuuuuurt because it felt personal and true to his character. Solas’s was expected and felt forced writing-wise to cheaply amp drama.

Also…the mirror scene dialogue is completely irrelevant. Those are choices for how YOU would play him, not how he IS. Or at most they shows the possible paths he *could* go down. I shudder to think what my more narcissistic aspect would wish for in a magic mirror…and I think I am generally decent human.

Also…this whole netherese magic thing was elegantly explained by an earlier poster in this thread with the pipe and water analogy. It was ignored completely I guess because it is pretty hard to argue that Gale is a wizard…not a sorcerer. Unless he is lying about that too…le gasp.
Originally Posted by timebean
Solas being the traitor was advertised before the game even launched by placing him in the Judas position in the Last Supper promotional shot. Him being the Dread Wolf was incredibly obvious from his murals and the constant reference to him in the game world. And listening to Cole also made it obvious. They really beat you over the head with it in DAI. I am surprised that anyone was surprised by that reveal.

I didn't see the promotional as I played the game after release.

Originally Posted by timbean
Regardless, I see nothing like that in this game. No hints at all.

I was referring to their similarities in studies in magic which had a connection the the events in the games and not who or what they are.

Originally Posted by timebean
I personally hope that if Gale does turn to out to be a liar, or betray you, or whatever…that it is because he is selfish.His own worst enemy. Not because he is some great evil or ancient wizard. That would be incredibly boring.

I didn't suggest that either unless you are talking about the theory of Gale being Elminster. That would be boring if it's just that, but his betrayal could be for his undying love for the Goddess Mystra and willing to do anything for her. That's a selfish motivation.

Originally Posted by timebean
Also…the mirror scene dialogue is completely irrelevant. Those are choices for how YOU would play him, not how he IS. Or at most they shows the possible paths he *could* go down. I shudder to think what my more narcissistic aspect would wish for in a magic mirror…and I think I am generally decent human.

Yes, I know that is if you play as those characters but that doesn't mean that Larian is not giving you hints to what their motivations are. With Gale we see that he has two really big selfish ones compared to the other companions.

Originally Posted by timebean
Also…this whole netherese magic thing was elegantly explained by an earlier poster in this thread with the pipe and water analogy. It was ignored completely I guess because it is pretty hard to argue that Gale is a wizard…not a sorcerer. Unless he is lying about that too…le gasp.

From my end, I never said he was sorcerer but an arch-wizard.
Posted By: Niara Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 04/11/21 12:22 PM
Lady Avyna, you've ignored the things I've said repeatedly, and you've continued to paint me as though I'm holding a stance which I am not. I know that may not be your intention, but that's my perspective and how I feel right now.

For example:

Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
You don't think it's possible that he could be lying?

I have already answered this question of yours three times or more. What else can I say, if you are not interested in taking my answer on board?

Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Again, he could be lying. Everything we know about him is based on what he tells you.

This one, directly in response to a quote of my words you made, wherein I literally reference a proof event, in game, that is outside of Gale himself... (Gale says: "if this doesn't get fed, we all explode", and then he dies, and it doesn't get fed and he's not alive to make a deal for a solution... and then we all explode, and get a game over, just as promised. He's not lying about that - it actually happens, legitimately, in game.)

==

There is no sense in me continuing with this if you are going to continue to act in this manner towards me. This will probably be my last attempt to communicate with you sensibly on this topic; if you'd rather not bother, I'll spoiler tag it, and you can feel vindicated if you'd like to and if it would make you happy. I have more important things to be doing with my time, unfortunately... I've already spent far more energy on this than I should have. I am, actually, exhausted, and I haven't finished any of the actual game-related work I was meant to get done today. If this feels snarky, I'm sorry, it's not meant to, I'm just out of spoons.

At this point, it looks like you main line of reasoning is "It's possible we're being deceived" ... Okay... here we go:



"It's possible."

Anyone could be lying about anything. We could be a giant pink elephant dreaming all of this. Everyone could actually be rebel illithids in disguise. This might actually be a giant roleplay LARP using high-tech holo-deck effects on a spaceship, with everyone present merely playing roles in a fantasy setting. All of these things are possible. In order for a supposition of one of these things to be fairly worth entertaining, however, there must be evidence to support it or to point in its direction, and it must be reasonable.

It's possible that Astarion could be Cyric, secretly using a foppish vampire guise to spy on Selune, who is using the guise of a brainwashed Shar cultist, and she can't help making a mockery of doing so because she thinks it's funny. Gale might actually be Azuth who is also here to keep an eye on Selune, whom he actually believes is really Shar, because he's concerned about his only recently restored divinity and he wants to make sure that nothing untoward happens with the Shadow-weave... Meanwhile it's possible that Torm tagged along because it seemed like there was some kind of god convention going on and he was not about to miss a good fight. It's possible his real motive for pretending to be the famous Blade of Frontiers is that he's concerned about Vlakith's reasons for intruding upon the material plane and suspects it's something to do with an attempt to capture Azuth's divinity for herself - it's happened before, and if Asmodeus can do it, so can she, or so he worries she thinks. It's possible that, in reality, Vlakith is only venturing to the material plane because someone stole her phylactery, sealed it inside a shielding reliquary, and sent it away; she's found out that Selune has it now, but doesn't know how to safely get it back and recover it yet, because she doesn't know the how to open the device, yet. None of them are sure why the party is being led by a mortal, except that none of them wants to actually draw too much attention to themselves, but they are all interested in getting on the mortal's good side, just to make sure there's no suspicion cast on them. They're all doing a pretty rotten job of it. The real secret comes out only at the end - the mortal isn't actually a mortal, either, it's actually Bhaal, Bane and Myrkul who are temporarily cohabiting a single mortal life (of which Jergal is curious about their opinions on the value of...), but at the last dialogue option we'll get to pick exactly what their reason for doing so actually was.

It's Possible. Is it being possible a reasonable grounds to hold suspicion towards these characters? No, it's not, because nothing presented thus far supports the idea in a reasonable way.

Anyone who treated these characters with suspicion and claimed that there was something sus about them, and that they were suspicious and leery of them... and then said that their suspicion was on the grounds that it was possible that the above was actually the case, would get raised eyebrows and not taken very seriously. Most would assume they were joking, and ask what the real reason for their suspicion was. This is because most sensible people understand that "It's Possible", if it can be used to justify a particular case for suspicion against someone, can equally be used to justify any amount of suspicion about any one and everyone over anything and everything.

So, yes, it's possible Gale is deceiving us in the entirety, and that the majority of what he has told us so far is entirely false. It's Possible. Just as virtually anything at all is possible, when you bring "we might be being deceived" into the equation. Literally anything I could think of to suggest becomes possible with the simple caveat of "But everything else we might be being told might be false!". It's possible, but not reasonable as grounds to treat him suspiciously, for the same reason that the above paragraph is not reasonable grounds for treating the party as a whole suspiciously.

In a normal game of D&D, there's a tool that exists for players to work out when they are being lied to... it's the insight skill. We get to use it, sometimes... when people lie to us or deceive us in game, we often get a chance to discover this and act on it.

It is made painfully obvious to us at several point in the game that we cannot keep secrets from our companions because they know via the tadpole anyway. We are rarely allowed to lie to them directly, and even in the few cases where we can lie about something, we get immediately called out as lying, with no checks or rolls. Our companions, on the other hand, are allowed to deceive us over any number of things, and it's a coin flip whether we're allowed to find out with an insight check or not. We often are not, and must simply accept what is said to us even if we the player know we are being lied to. Yes, I can supply instances of this as citation if needed, but I simply do not have the energy to do so right now, so instead I'm just going to ask you to take on good faith with reference to my sterling record on these forums for never stating anything as fact about the contents of the game that I cannot also back up, that they exist in game and are there.

So, yes, it's 'possible' that Gale is completely deceiving us, because of this unfair imbalance... he might well be allowed to lie and deceive us about everything without ever having to make any checks or rolls and without us ever being given even the slightest, barest wisp of an opportunity to find out, not even when we probe his mind and successfully read his thoughts without getting detected... it's possible, just as the spaceship holo-deck supposition is 'possible'. It's possible that he is carefully curating every scrap of everything we get from him, including the insights and successes - that when we succeed he deliberately shows us something different, that he had pre-prepared, compared to showing us nothing, or something lesser, if we didn't do quite as well, which he had also pre-prepared just for us... it's possible that his entire emotional state and the fluctuations in it that we feel and cause are entirely fabricated, controlled with deliberate curation because he's able to literally control how fast his heart beats and align that with the emotions he's decided that he's going to pretend to be feeling, when he wants to, and it's all part of that carefully constructed facade. And that he's devised a way to use powerful magic to emulate the effects of having an aberrant ilithid tadpole in his mind, including letting other people study it and gaining ilithid psionic powers from it... and that he's able to maintain all of that while being reduced in power to the equivalent of a fresh-faced adventurer... and is as weak and fragile as one, enough to get killed by a stray goblin arrow... and is only exerting a small fraction of his magical capabilities in order to not draw suspicion... and will even go so far as to let himself and others be killed in order to maintain this facade... And that he's also so absolutely perfectly duplicitous in the extreme that he's able to do all of this without letting even the tiniest wisp of any of it ever be detectable to anyone at all, ever... It's possible. Is it reasonable to say "I find him suspicious because that (the aforementioned) is possible."? No, it's not.

So, if you want to say that you are suspicious of Gale, and you think something is off about him... and your reasoning is that "It's possible that he's lying to us about everything", then as above, I'm going to raise my eyebrow at you, and not take you very seriously... because that's a pink elephant dream case. I'm going to think you're joking, and I'm going to say to you "Yes but literally everyone could be lying about virtually everything, that's a permanent given, and you're not equally suspicious of everyone all the time - you singled out this individual..." And then I'm going to ask you, "So seriously, what's your real reason for feeling suspicious of him?" And the funny thing is, it could be as simple as "I'm just naturally suspicious of that 'type' of person"... and that'd be fine! It'd be a genuine legitimate explanation... Again, sorry if this seems harsh or snarky, I'm too tired.
Posted By: GM4Him Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 04/11/21 12:37 PM
Who knew this thread would turn into a Gale fest? 😁

I agree with Sozz. So much room for speculation for all of them.

Gale could be Elminster.
Shadowheart could be Selune. Wouldn't be the first time Shar stole Selune's avatar's memories.
Astarion could be Cazador.
Wyll could be... Um... Hmmm... Okay. Don't have one for him.
Lae'zel could be Vlaakith or Gith.
And Tav could be Gorion's Ward!

All changed by the Second Sundering...

Not being totally serious, btw. The point is just that it could be literally anything at this point.

Fun fact. Did you know there is a spell that can bring a character back to life in a totally different body as a totally different race and sex? Something to think about.
Originally Posted by Niara
Lady Avyna, you've ignored the things I've said repeatedly, and you've continued to paint me as though I'm holding a stance which I am not. I know that may not be your intention, but that's my perspective and how I feel right now.

I didn't ignore you. I know what you said but the example you gave was about Mystra and how he could possibly used you to get back with her. I didn't mention that back to you because that wouldn't be a big impact to the story.

Originally Posted by Niara
This one, directly in response to a quote of my words you made, wherein I literally reference a proof event, in game, that is outside of Gale himself... (Gale says: "if this doesn't get fed, we all explode", and then he dies, and it doesn't get fed and he's not alive to make a deal for a solution... and then we all explode, and get a game over, just as promised. He's not lying about that - it actually happens, legitimately, in game.)

I haven't denied Gale his artifacts so if that happens when you don't then I stand corrected in that point.

Originally Posted by Niara
There is no sense in me continuing with this if you are going to continue to act in this manner towards me. This will probably be my last attempt to communicate with you sensibly on this topic; if you'd rather not bother, I'll spoiler tag it, and you can feel vindicated if you'd like to and if it would make you happy.

What manner are you talking about? I'm not doing or saying anything bad to you. First of all, this isn't a debate. There is no need for "vindication" it's just a game. If anything, I'll say that you are too emotionally attached that you are now getting defensive to my responses and are assuming things about me.

Originally Posted by Niara
Anyone who treated these characters with suspicion and claimed that there was something sus about them, and that they were suspicious and leery of them... and then said that their suspicion was on the grounds that it was possible that the above was actually the case, would get raised eyebrows and not taken very seriously. Most would assume they were joking, and ask what the real reason for their suspicion was. This is because most sensible people understand that "It's Possible", if it can be used to justify a particular case for suspicion against someone, can equally be used to justify any amount of suspicion about any one and everyone over anything and everything.

You're treating this like a court case. Relax, it's just a game. It's okay to theorize about characters just like people do when watching a show. You don't have to get all technical about it.

Originally Posted by Niara
So, if you want to say that you are suspicious of Gale, and you think something is off about him... and your reasoning is that "It's possible that he's lying to us about everything", then as above, I'm going to raise my eyebrow at you, and not take you very seriously... because that's a pink elephant dream case. I'm going to think you're joking, and I'm going to say to you "Yes but literally everyone could be lying about virtually everything, that's a permanent given, and you're not equally suspicious of everyone all the time - you singled out this individual..." And then I'm going to ask you, "So seriously, what's your real reason for feeling suspicious of him?" And the funny thing is, it could be as simple as "I'm just naturally suspicious of that 'type' of person"... and that'd be fine! It'd be a genuine legitimate explanation... Again, sorry if this seems harsh or snarky, I'm too tired.

Are you assuming that I'm not suspicious of other companions because I happened to questioned Gale? I can do the same for the others. You claim that if I just had a natural suspicion of Gale you would be fine because you would consider that a genuine explanation. Well, it's obvious you are not because you have made a big deal about people not trusting Gale, especially me, a natural suspicion from what is going on in the story. We can give you our theories based on things we experience in the game but you get upset because it's not how YOU see it. That's not how it's works. It makes me feel like you are too emotionally attached to the character of Gale that you don't want to accept any negative theories regarding him.
Originally Posted by GM4Him
Who knew this thread would turn into a Gale fest? 😁

I agree with Sozz. So much room for speculation for all of them.

Gale could be Elminster.
Shadowheart could be Selune. Wouldn't be the first time Shar stole Selune's avatar's memories.
Astarion could be Cazador.
Wyll could be... Um... Hmmm... Okay. Don't have one for him.
Lae'zel could be Vlaakith or Gith.
And Tav could be Gorion's Ward!

All changed by the Second Sundering...

Not being totally serious, btw. The point is just that it could be literally anything at this point.

Fun fact. Did you know there is a spell that can bring a character back to life in a totally different body as a totally different race and sex? Something to think about.

Yes, my intention is not for these conversations to make people get emotionally invested to the point that is becomes something negative. It's just to discuss what we like or do not like as fans or not of these characters. There are so many theories we can come up with but at the end they are just theories and we still have 2 more acts to be released. There is still a possibility that anything can happen in the game as it's so early but it's supposed to be fun to theorize what could possibly happen. Fans do this all the time with tv shows between episodes.
Posted By: Dexai Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 04/11/21 02:03 PM
I've read the explosion of posts that's occurred since last I visited, and I gotta say, my dear fellows, this thread is giving me severe flashbacks to being a tiny teenage nerdling and arguing about the x-mens and the dee-zees right now :P

Oh but I am sorry but I gotta stoke the fire. I think that if Gale is somebody else, then it's not Elminster he is going to turn out to be. It's Karsus himself.
Originally Posted by Dexai
I've read the explosion of posts that's occurred since last I visited, and I gotta say, my dear fellows, this thread is giving me severe flashbacks to being a tiny teenage nerdling and arguing about the x-mens and the dee-zees right now :P

Oh but I am sorry but I gotta stoke the fire. I think that if Gale is somebody else, then it's not Elminster he is going to turn out to be. It's Karsus himself.

I don't know much about Karsus. What would make him a candidate?
Posted By: Dexai Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 04/11/21 03:14 PM
Karsus was the Netherese magus who fucked up everything real bad and ruined magic for everyone forever. Before his eponymous Folly there was much less limits on magic, and the tyrannical and continent-spanning Netherese Empire had grown strong and prosperous through mastering it -- controlling the world through giant floating cities for centuries. Then Karsus, an arch-mage among arch-mages, performed a ritual he had designed to cast a spell that would allow him to supplant Mystril (the original goddess of magic) and become a god in his own right. And, well, he succeeded, in part, but not in the way he had expected. He stole most of her power, but was unable to control it, and magic went haywire everywhere. Sacrificing her own life, Mystril cut the ability to access the weave from the world in order to keep Karsus from destroying the world through his failure, and functional magic did a big stop.

The Netherese Empire, being dependant on said functional magic, fell in an instant -- their flying cities literally falling to the ground, killing tens or hundred of thousands, and causing untold natural and magical catastrophes as they crashed. Karsus was destroyed, or turned to stone, or something, I don't remember.

Mystril was reincarnated as Mystra, the new goddess of magic, and magic was restored to the world. She decided that she was never again going to let people have access to that kind of magical power, however, and rewove the rules of magic so that magic just couldn't do that kind of stuff any more.

Even though I mostly said Gale was Karsus as a joke (though I definitely believe it is more likely than him being Elminster) I think that whatever he did to cause his conditions was something he shouldn't really have been able to do by abusing forbidden Nether knowledge of some kind that he might have gleamed from off of Mystra. Likely something similar to Karsus' Folly i nature.
Originally Posted by Dexai
Karsus was the Netherese magus who fucked up everything real bad and ruined magic for everyone forever. Before his eponymous Folly there was much less limits on magic, and the tyrannical and continent-spanning Netherese Empire had grown strong and prosperous through mastering it -- controlling the world through giant floating cities for centuries. Then Karsus, an arch-mage among arch-mages, performed a ritual he had designed to cast a spell that would allow him to supplant Mystril (the original goddess of magic) and become a god in his own right. And, well, he succeeded, in part, but not in the way he had expected. He stole most of her power, but was unable to control it, and magic went haywire everywhere. Sacrificing her own life, Mystril cut the ability to access the weave from the world in order to keep Karsus from destroying the world through his failure, and functional magic did a big stop.

The Netherese Empire, being dependant on said functional magic, fell in an instant -- their flying cities literally falling to the ground, killing tens or hundred of thousands, and causing untold natural and magical catastrophes as they crashed. Karsus was destroyed, or turned to stone, or something, I don't remember.

Mystril was reincarnated as Mystra, the new goddess of magic, and magic was restored to the world. She decided that she was never again going to let people have access to that kind of magical power, however, and rewove the rules of magic so that magic just couldn't do that kind of stuff any more.

Even though I mostly said Gale was Karsus as a joke (though I definitely believe it is more likely than him being Elminster) I think that whatever he did to cause his conditions was something he shouldn't really have been able to do by abusing forbidden Nether knowledge of some kind that he might have gleamed from off of Mystra. Likely something similar to Karsus' Folly i nature.

I see. Thanks for the information. Even if said theories about Gale don't turn out to be true. He definitely did something where Mystra ended up leaving him. I do wonder what was so bad but of course we have to wait for more content.
Originally Posted by Dexai
Karsus was the Netherese magus who fucked up everything real bad and ruined magic for everyone forever. Before his eponymous Folly there was much less limits on magic, and the tyrannical and continent-spanning Netherese Empire had grown strong and prosperous through mastering it -- controlling the world through giant floating cities for centuries. Then Karsus, an arch-mage among arch-mages, performed a ritual he had designed to cast a spell that would allow him to supplant Mystril (the original goddess of magic) and become a god in his own right. And, well, he succeeded, in part, but not in the way he had expected. He stole most of her power, but was unable to control it, and magic went haywire everywhere. Sacrificing her own life, Mystril cut the ability to access the weave from the world in order to keep Karsus from destroying the world through his failure, and functional magic did a big stop.

The Netherese Empire, being dependant on said functional magic, fell in an instant -- their flying cities literally falling to the ground, killing tens or hundred of thousands, and causing untold natural and magical catastrophes as they crashed. Karsus was destroyed, or turned to stone, or something, I don't remember.

Mystril was reincarnated as Mystra, the new goddess of magic, and magic was restored to the world. She decided that she was never again going to let people have access to that kind of magical power, however, and rewove the rules of magic so that magic just couldn't do that kind of stuff any more.

Even though I mostly said Gale was Karsus as a joke (though I definitely believe it is more likely than him being Elminster) I think that whatever he did to cause his conditions was something he shouldn't really have been able to do by abusing forbidden Nether knowledge of some kind that he might have gleamed from off of Mystra. Likely something similar to Karsus' Folly i nature.

I'de be surprised if they even name drop Karsus in the game. If i'm not mistaken, Mystra has reincarnated at least another two times since that happened.

In fact, slightly off-topic, the one Gale fell in love with is the reincarnation of Nightingale, or whatever her human name was, correct?

Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
I see. Thanks for the information. Even if said theories about Gale don't turn out to be true. He definitely did something where Mystra ended up leaving him. I do wonder what was so bad but of course we have to wait for more content.

Pretty sure Gale himself states she simply got bored of him, which is what lead him to trying to impress her by researching Netherese magic.
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Originally Posted by mrfuji3
[You are] projecting other characters' story arcs onto Gale, when Gale could actually be a Varric or Alistair or Vivienne. There's a difference between "accepting the possibility that a character can be lying and have hidden motives" and "believing that the character is lying and has hidden motives." [...]
[You are] considering meta-context.

I'm not claiming to believe that he is already bad what I'm saying is that based on some of the things that I have seen and his study of Netherese magic and like you said, the tadpoles also have Netherese magic. There is the possibility that he knows more than what he is allowing you to know. GM4Him even mentioned Elminster who is the most powerful wizard in all of Faerun and he is also able to disguise himself. That's why I also say, that if Larian introduces Elminster he could possibly be Gale in disguise.
Many of your arguments about Gale being untrustworthy are speculation based off of FR lore and/or characters from entirely different franchises. I'd argue that it's impossible to disentangle your view of Gale from these sources because they affect your gut reaction to him and thus color your every interaction with him. (If the true reason why you distrust Gale is just a gut feeling because of your gut reaction to his smarminess, that's fine).

Even in the quoted paragraph responding to me, you use as evidence "There is the possibility that [Gale] knows more." Yes of course there's a possibility; Gale could be lying about the bomb, he could be lying about his knowledge of the tadpole via Netherese magic, he could be lying about everything about him. But this is purely speculation, and shouldn't be used as evidence for him being that way.

Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Relax, it's just a game. It's okay to theorize about characters just like people do when watching a show. You don't have to get all technical about it.
It's perfectly fine to speculate about characters. And it's perfectly fine to re-interpret their in-game actions and personalities based off of those theories. But if you want to have a discussion about anything, it's important to define the conversation and acknowledge your biases/sources. And using speculation (particularly referencing other franchises) in a conversation about how the character is presented in the source material won't ever be a productive discussion.
Originally Posted by mrfuji3
Many of your arguments about Gale being untrustworthy are speculation based off of FR lore and/or characters from entirely different franchises. I'd argue that it's impossible to disentangle your view of Gale from these sources because they affect your gut reaction to him and thus color your every interaction with him. (If the true reason why you distrust Gale is just a gut feeling because of your gut reaction to his smarminess, that's fine).

Even in the quoted paragraph responding to me, you use as evidence "There is the possibility that [Gale] knows more." Yes of course there's a possibility; Gale could be lying about the bomb, he could be lying about his knowledge of the tadpole via Netherese magic, he could be lying about everything about him. But this is purely speculation, and shouldn't be used as evidence for him being that way.

I don't understand the constant need for "evidence" for someone giving their opinion on their observation of a character. I have to admit that I'm starting to feel a little attacked here. I had a same situation with two other people. This is getting ridiculous. You and everyone else can have any opinion on a character but the farthest I'll go is ask why? For example, someone mention Shadowheart possibly being a Selune follower brainwashed to to think she follows Shar. Reason? She constantly expresses disgust every time she sees a Selune statue. I am fine with that reason. I don't understand why my reason or so unbelievable. It's actually unfair.

Originally Posted by mrfuji3
It's perfectly fine to speculate about characters. And it's perfectly fine to re-interpret their in-game actions and personalities based off of those theories. But if you want to have a discussion about anything, it's important to define the conversation and acknowledge your biases/sources. And using speculation (particularly referencing other franchises) in a conversation about how the character is presented in the source material won't ever be a productive discussion.

Again, there is nothing wrong with using other sources to make a point. The problem is you don't like what I have to say or my opinion for that matter. I gave my opinion and my reason for that based from the game itself. That wasn't good enough, so I looked for another source (Dragon Age, created by the original creators of Baldur's Gate) and even lore from the Forgotten Realms to make a point for my previous reason. That also wasn't good enough. So, what gives? If we are talking about a character that maybe you don't like and you give a basic reason, and I tell you "Oh no, you need to give me a some sensible evidence for your reason." That's asking a little too much. I should be fine with what you said.

I gave my main reason for making a speculation of Gale possibly being a deceiver. For some reason, that was unacceptable. I feel like I'm in court pleading my case. This is ridiculous.

(Sorry, if I'm coming off strong but I'm getting tired of this.)
Originally Posted by Innateagle
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
I see. Thanks for the information. Even if said theories about Gale don't turn out to be true. He definitely did something where Mystra ended up leaving him. I do wonder what was so bad but of course we have to wait for more content.

Pretty sure Gale himself states she simply got bored of him, which is what lead him to trying to impress her by researching Netherese magic.


Didn't he try to cast a spell first and he failed, then she left him? I think that's what he said because he was trying to impress her.
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Originally Posted by Innateagle
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
I see. Thanks for the information. Even if said theories about Gale don't turn out to be true. He definitely did something where Mystra ended up leaving him. I do wonder what was so bad but of course we have to wait for more content.

Pretty sure Gale himself states she simply got bored of him, which is what lead him to trying to impress her by researching Netherese magic.


Didn't he try to cast a spell first and he failed, then she left him? I think that's what he said because he was trying to impress her.

Nope, you got that backwards.
I just want to reiterate that the reason for this thread is to talk about the companions and how we see them. This is why I titled it "Companions mixed fan base". There is no right or wrong OPINION about any companion. You can believe what you want but also be open minded to someone else's opinion. There is no reason to be dismissive of someone's opinion. We can ask each other why we think a certain way and maybe even to elaborate but it should not go farther than that. To the point where we have to seek evidence to an opinion, speculation or theory.

Let me write the definition of those words:

Opinion- a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge

Speculation- the forming of a theory or conjecture without firm evidence

Theory- an idea used to account for a situation or justify a course of action

Neither of those require evidence. That's the fun part of it.
i'll play (to get back on topic)

Wyll : potential to be interesting, but because he's introduced so late, i didn't have room for him and psychologically, i just sort of ignore him

Shadowheart : has potential to not be snarky all the time if Larian continues to make her nicer. I'm fine with dark past, but when everyone is snarky and angry all the time, it's not fun

Lae'zel : what you see is what you get. Naive, strong willed. as soon as i can have a good fighter, she's dead.

Astarion : i don't know, he hasn't survived past our first meeting ever

Gale : seems good on the surface but is kind of a dick. I'll be passing on him as well when a good mage comes along
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
I don't understand the constant need for "evidence" for someone giving their opinion on their observation of a character. I have to admit that I'm starting to feel a little attacked here. I had a same situation with two other people. This is getting ridiculous. You and everyone else can have any opinion on a character but the farthest I'll go is ask why? For example, someone mention Shadowheart possibly being a Selune follower brainwashed to to think she follows Shar. Reason? She constantly expresses disgust every time she sees a Selune statue. I am fine with that reason. I don't understand why my reason or so unbelievable. It's actually unfair.
Of course you need evidence for your opinion of a character. All opinions are formed by something, and it helps others to understand your opinion when you explain that something. I've said multiple times that your opinion is a perfectly fine one to have, but others' opinions (who are just considering Gale's actions and dialogue in BG3) are just as valid.

Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Again, there is nothing wrong with using other sources to make a point. The problem is you don't like what I have to say or my opinion for that matter. I gave my opinion and my reason for that based from the game itself. That wasn't good enough, so I looked for another source to make a point for my previous reason. That also wasn't good enough. So, what gives? If we are talking about a character that maybe you don't like and you give a basic reason, and I tell you "Oh no, you need to give me a some sensible evidence for your reason." That's asking a little too much. I should be fine with what you said.

I gave my main reason for making a speculation of Gale possibly being a deceiver. For some reason, that was unacceptable. I feel like I'm in court pleading my case. This is ridiculous.

(Sorry, if I'm coming off strong but I'm getting tired of this.)
I'm sorry, but you're a little bit playing the victim here. I didn't say I dislike your opinion. In fact, multiple times I've said it's okay to hold the opinion that Gale might not be trustworthy, that it's fine to speculate so, and that it's not unlikely that Gale will turn on us eventually. Taking the other companions' evilness, Larian design decisions, and typical story tropes, sure he could very well turn out to be more evil than presented and be a Solas-like character. I think it's likely he will.

I'm just trying to explain why you've gotten into this situation with multiple people: some people (not just you: I'm not trying to single you out, you're just the most frequent poster ITT) are trying to speculate about Gale's possible storylines, whereas others are discussing Gale solely as he is in-game. There is nothing wrong with using other sources to make a point, but any point made using outside sources is ~irrelevant to people who are examining the in-game character without considering outside context. And no amount of additional other sources will change that.

You're allowed to hold any opinion you want. But similarly, others are allowed to hold their opinions regardless of what you think or how many different arguments you present if they don't find them convincing. And when two sides are talking past each other, ofc people aren't going to change their opinions and are going to get frustrated that the other side isn't getting it.
Originally Posted by Innateagle
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Originally Posted by Innateagle
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
I see. Thanks for the information. Even if said theories about Gale don't turn out to be true. He definitely did something where Mystra ended up leaving him. I do wonder what was so bad but of course we have to wait for more content.

Pretty sure Gale himself states she simply got bored of him, which is what lead him to trying to impress her by researching Netherese magic.


Didn't he try to cast a spell first and he failed, then she left him? I think that's what he said because he was trying to impress her.

Nope, you got that backwards.

Okay he didn't cast a spell but he did seek to impress her but she dismissed him. He doesn't elaborate on what really happened. He lost her favor somehow. The question is why. We will have to wait for more content to find out what happened.
Originally Posted by mrfuji3
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
I don't understand the constant need for "evidence" for someone giving their opinion on their observation of a character. I have to admit that I'm starting to feel a little attacked here. I had a same situation with two other people. This is getting ridiculous. You and everyone else can have any opinion on a character but the farthest I'll go is ask why? For example, someone mention Shadowheart possibly being a Selune follower brainwashed to to think she follows Shar. Reason? She constantly expresses disgust every time she sees a Selune statue. I am fine with that reason. I don't understand why my reason or so unbelievable. It's actually unfair.
Of course you need evidence for your opinion of a character. All opinions are formed by something, and it helps others to understand your opinion when you explain that something. I've said multiple times that your opinion is a perfectly fine one to have, but others' opinions (who are just considering Gale's actions and dialogue in BG3) are just as valid.

Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Again, there is nothing wrong with using other sources to make a point. The problem is you don't like what I have to say or my opinion for that matter. I gave my opinion and my reason for that based from the game itself. That wasn't good enough, so I looked for another source to make a point for my previous reason. That also wasn't good enough. So, what gives? If we are talking about a character that maybe you don't like and you give a basic reason, and I tell you "Oh no, you need to give me a some sensible evidence for your reason." That's asking a little too much. I should be fine with what you said.

I gave my main reason for making a speculation of Gale possibly being a deceiver. For some reason, that was unacceptable. I feel like I'm in court pleading my case. This is ridiculous.

(Sorry, if I'm coming off strong but I'm getting tired of this.)
I'm sorry, but you're a little bit playing the victim here. I didn't say I dislike your opinion. In fact, multiple times I've said it's okay to hold the opinion that Gale might not be trustworthy, that it's fine to speculate so, and that it's not unlikely that Gale will turn on us eventually. Taking the other companions' evilness, Larian design decisions, and typical story tropes, sure he could very well turn out to be more evil than presented and be a Solas-like character. I think it's likely he will.

I'm just trying to explain why you've gotten into this situation with multiple people: some people (not just you: I'm not trying to single you out, you're just the most frequent poster ITT) are trying to speculate about Gale's possible storylines, whereas others are discussing Gale solely as he is in-game. There is nothing wrong with using other sources to make a point, but any point made using outside sources is ~irrelevant to people who are examining the in-game character without considering outside context. And no amount of additional other sources will change that.

You're allowed to hold any opinion you want. But similarly, others are allowed to hold their opinions regardless of what you think or how many different arguments you present if they don't find them convincing. And when two sides are talking past each other, ofc people aren't going to change their opinions and are going to get frustrated that the other side isn't getting it.

I'm not playing the victim. I'm not sure if you understood my other responses. I accept the opinion of others that claim Gale won't change or don't think he's likely to but what I'm saying is that when I give my opinion, why is it expected of me to go above and beyond to defend my opinion? I haven't ask that of anyone here. The only thing I have asked is "Why do you think that way? You don't think this is possible? ect. Whatever answer the person gives is fine. That's still their opinion. This was never meant to be a debate or heated discussion. It's supposed to be fun and get to know each others points of view. Like I said in a post, we can elaborate but it should not go this far and to make look we're in court pleading a case.
About the Shadowheart is a Selunite theory: I had an interesting conversation with her, when her hand started glowing. As a sorcerer, you have a special dialogue option and she basically says something about how that light is familiar to her - I mean, that could mean a lot of things, but I had to think of that theory, when I heard it.
The new lines, they gave Shadowheart, really made her much more endearing to me. SHe was my favorite before, but now, a lot of things make more sense. And I do like, that you finalyl get a glimpse at what the artifact is capable of.
Originally Posted by fylimar
About the Shadowheart is a Selunite theory: I had an interesting conversation with her, when her hand started glowing. As a sorcerer, you have a special dialogue option and she basically says something about how that light is familiar to her - I mean, that could mean a lot of things, but I had to think of that theory, when I heard it.
The new lines, they gave Shadowheart, really made her much more endearing to me. SHe was my favorite before, but now, a lot of things make more sense. And I do like, that you finalyl get a glimpse at what the artifact is capable of.

Exactly and to add to that theory, Shadowheart also says she doesn't have her memories. If she happens to be a Selunite, I wonder what happened. There is definitely something mysterious going one. It's one of the reason why I like her character because there is a level of mystery around her.
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Okay he didn't cast a spell but he did seek to impress her but she dismissed him. He doesn't elaborate on what really happened. He lost her favor somehow. The question is why. We will have to wait for more content to find out what happened.

From how he phrases it, Mystra neither dismissed him nor started ignoring him for any particular reason. She simply got bored of her human pastime, he tried to win her back by messing with Netherese magic, fucked up, and she kept ignoring him. Very greek of her, but what god isn't fickle.
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Originally Posted by fylimar
About the Shadowheart is a Selunite theory: I had an interesting conversation with her, when her hand started glowing. As a sorcerer, you have a special dialogue option and she basically says something about how that light is familiar to her - I mean, that could mean a lot of things, but I had to think of that theory, when I heard it.
The new lines, they gave Shadowheart, really made her much more endearing to me. SHe was my favorite before, but now, a lot of things make more sense. And I do like, that you finalyl get a glimpse at what the artifact is capable of.

Exactly and to add to that theory, Shadowheart also says she doesn't have her memories. If she happens to be a Selunite, I wonder what happened. There is definitely something mysterious going one. It's one of the reason why I like her character because there is a level of mystery around her.

I think, according to lore, it isn't that uncommon, that Shar worshippers have their memories taken, but in this context, there is certainly a lot of potential story in it.
It is odd that SH had her memories wiped. Like, how would that help her with her mission? Maybe wiping memories would be helpful for deep cover, but once she got the artefact the memory block should have been removed to help her successfully escape with it...?

And her deep-down opinions (e.g., feeling happy that the tieflings were saved) do indicate some base desire to do good, which is at odds with a Sharran philosophy.
Posted By: ALexws Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 04/11/21 05:24 PM
Originally Posted by mrfuji3
It is odd that SH had her memories wiped. Like, how would that help her with her mission? Maybe wiping memories would be helpful for deep cover, but once she got the artefact the memory block should have been removed to help her successfully escape with it...?

And her deep-down opinions (e.g., feeling happy that the tieflings were saved) do indicate some base desire to do good, which is at odds with a Sharran philosophy.
not sure if you know the theory. She did not get memory wiped willingly. A lot of datamined and existing content suggested that she's a Seluner who was kidnapped and brainwashed into a Sharran.
Posted By: Sozz Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 04/11/21 05:24 PM
Originally Posted by Sozz
I was thinking about the theory I've seen that Shadowheart was a Selunite brainwashed to go on a suicide mission for Shar, and how she mentions her memories will be returned to her in BG, but I might have understood it incorrectly. I was assuming she would have been a Selunite recently brainwashed to go on this mission but now I'm wondering if the mostly nice person we know from the EA is a result of all her memories as a Shar cultist being taken, leaving behind the person she was before being broken into Shar worship, a personality potentially many years old, many years of very unpleasant things.

This would set up the potential for a drastic character shift later in the story, we'll potentially be dealing with a very different person, possibly one more upfront with their alignment. I'm not sure how well this kind of twist could play out, especially with SH as a potential PC. I guess this was a bit more obvious to most people, and I don't know if the data-miners have weighed in.

I was thinking about this the other day too. Memory manipulation could make for some very interesting story beats.

It also made me think of this SNL skit but with Sharran commandos
Originally Posted by ALexws
not sure if you know the theory. She did not get memory wiped willingly. A lot of datamined and existing content suggested that she's a Seluner who was kidnapped and brainwashed into a Sharran.
I vaguely know the theory and yeah that's what I was suggesting. It doesn't make that much sense to get her (originally Sharran) memory wiped in prep for a (also Sharran) mission -> ergo there must be something else to consider. Unknown information that makes this memory wipe make more sense, such as SH being a captured Selunite.
Originally Posted by ALexws
Originally Posted by mrfuji3
It is odd that SH had her memories wiped. Like, how would that help her with her mission? Maybe wiping memories would be helpful for deep cover, but once she got the artefact the memory block should have been removed to help her successfully escape with it...?

And her deep-down opinions (e.g., feeling happy that the tieflings were saved) do indicate some base desire to do good, which is at odds with a Sharran philosophy.
not sure if you know the theory. She did not get memory wiped willingly. A lot of datamined and existing content suggested that she's a Seluner who was kidnapped and brainwashed into a Sharran.

I didn't know, that was datamined, but it does make a lot of sense imo.
Posted By: Sozz Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 04/11/21 06:29 PM
Not sure it's a 'theory' when it's datamined, more like spoilers.

I don't think the memory wipe is as extensive as a total alignment change, especially considering how she mentions Sharran torture techniques. Did anyone else think about Atton Rand's storyline from KotOR:II when she was talking about that?
You know, i'd much prefer it if she was just a regular follower of Shar who gets her memory wiped after every mission because Shar. I just think it'd be more interesting if she was just a kid who fell in with the wrong crowd (her background is urchin) and spiraled from there.

But then again, that's not very snowflake so yeah, it's pretty likely she'll join the Chosen gang alongside Gale and Karlach. Gotta wonder if any of the writers noticed trend.
Posted By: Sozz Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 04/11/21 07:18 PM
That's basically what my theory was about, Shadowheart, orphan, takes up with cult, years pass and she becomes more and more influence by them until she's sent on a mission with most of her specific memories taken but her devotion left. So, we're seeing a older version of SH who hasn't been around for a while
Gale does seem a bit shifty, but then all mages are, so I'll cut him some slack. He is upstanding and reasonable enough to gain my dwarven cleric's respect, and I sense the potential for great friendhip.

Wyll is great as well - he might've made a poor decision in the past, but his heart is in the right place, and it would be a good thing to help him fulfill his contract and sever his ties with the Hells.

Now Shadowheart is a cunning and manipulative woman with a ton of emotional baggage - I'll keep her as far as possible from my party.

Laezel is a strong, honorable warrior, but she comes from a cruel and vicious culture - not a long-term party material as well.

And Astarion is Astarion - that beast can seek shelter in some other camp, he will not find it with my group.
We've talked to death the companions that we have, but not much about the one's that we will probably get, namely Halsin and Karlach. You don't get to know much about either, but I can tell that I will almost certainly like Halsin better than any current companion other than maybe Shadowheart, so he will replace one of the others. And the same with Karlach, we know next to nothing about her, but in the little interaction we get, I think she will end up being part of my party as well.

A couple of other thoughts here, I remember that I've had Shadowheart with me in the Blighted Village when you explore the school there. I seem to remember she gets something like a memory of the place and I wouldn't be surprised if later we find out she was one of the 'missing' children from the poster on the wall. Also, one of the things that makes me wonder about both Asterion and Gale was that they seemed open to taking Raphael's offer, so if you don't keep your approval with them, I wouldn't be surprised if they end up taking the deal and we end up fighting them at some point. I wonder if the soul coins end up coming into play before Act 1 ends, maybe as the way to buy your way out of getting the tadpoles removed.
Posted By: Icelyn Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 05/11/21 02:41 AM
Originally Posted by Kethlar
I will almost certainly like Halsin better than any current companion
up
I'm really excited for Karlach. I expect to like her.
Is it confirmed, that Halsin will be a companion too? I mean, he would be great as the druid companion.
I don't think Haslin is confirmed, but he does have dialog that says that he wants to go with you to the towers and he ends up at your camp after you rescue him. So, yeah, I'm like 99.9% positive he's in. Karlach says that she can't join until you reach Baldur's Gate, so she's probably a Act 2 companion.

I was seriously considering playing my MC as a Druid, and I still might, but I am enjoying playing as a Sorcerer more than i anticipated so I might go that route. However, after starting the thread about how to play Wyll as a Warlock, I'm sorta intrigued about trying out that class since I don't particularly like the Wyll character.
Posted By: GM4Him Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 05/11/21 01:41 PM
Karlach leaving and not joining you right away is lame, imo.

She has a tadpole. Everyone and their grandmother is already after you, and her, because you are all infected. You're all going the same way. Why would she NOT join you?
Originally Posted by Kethlar
I don't think Haslin is confirmed, but he does have dialog that says that he wants to go with you to the towers and he ends up at your camp after you rescue him. So, yeah, I'm like 99.9% positive he's in. Karlach says that she can't join until you reach Baldur's Gate, so she's probably a Act 2 companion.

I was seriously considering playing my MC as a Druid, and I still might, but I am enjoying playing as a Sorcerer more than i anticipated so I might go that route. However, after starting the thread about how to play Wyll as a Warlock, I'm sorta intrigued about trying out that class since I don't particularly like the Wyll character.

I used a build, Wolfheart recommended in one of his Videos: the Sorlock. Play sorcerer and at level 4 select the fest Nähe Initiate Warlock ( and of course the spells Hex and Eldritch Bläst). It is really fun so far and a bit like multiclassing. This way, you can have the sorcerer class with warlock spells.
Originally Posted by GM4Him
Karlach leaving and not joining you right away is lame, imo.

She has a tadpole. Everyone and their grandmother is already after you, and her, because you are all infected. You're all going the same way. Why would she NOT join you?

I'm not sure, If that might get changed for release. Maybe they are still working in Karlach and that is the reason, she doesn't join at the moment. Finding the people responsible for her ending up in Avernus might then become her second act quest.
Posted By: Icelyn Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 05/11/21 02:15 PM
If Karlach is one of the good companions, I hope they add a way to recruit her without slaughtering a bunch of people.
Originally Posted by fylimar
I'm really excited for Karlach. I expect to like her.
Is it confirmed, that Halsin will be a companion too? I mean, he would be great as the druid companion.

I doubt he'll be a companion. Doesn't seam like this game'll have that many and the druid spot is already taken by the werewolf, whatever her name is.
Posted By: GM4Him Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 05/11/21 04:09 PM
I was actually wondering if Karlach is supposed to be a Paladin of Tyr.

Anders, the "Tyrite" in the toll house, was obviously lying. He carries the Sword of Justice. Where did he get it from? Was he really a Tyrite ever?

What if the Sword of Justice was actually Karlach's.

Think of her story. She was a demon slayer in Avernus. However, she originally came from Baldur's Gate because she says she has to return home to Baldur's Gate to make the people who enslaved her in Avernus pay.

If you look at some of the higher levels of the Paladin class, Karlach could have been an Avenging Angel, able to even sprout wings and fly. That would have made her an incredibly powerful demon slayer and also able to fly up to the nautiloid when it showed up and therefore board it. Only because she became infected did she lose all her super high level stats and became like a level whatever noob.

The Sword of Justice would, therefore, be very appropriate if it was her sword and she had been a Paladin of Tyr who had been caught up in the Descent of Elturel and then captured and enslaved by Zariel and forced to slay demons in the hells.

Either way, I don't think you'll help her slaughter a bunch of innocents or anything. My guess is that you're going to help her, as a side quest, wipe out a bunch of cultists who worship the demoness Zariel, who, by the way, is after you already.
Originally Posted by Innateagle
Originally Posted by fylimar
I'm really excited for Karlach. I expect to like her.
Is it confirmed, that Halsin will be a companion too? I mean, he would be great as the druid companion.

I doubt he'll be a companion. Doesn't seam like this game'll have that many and the druid spot is already taken by the werewolf, whatever her name is.
I think the werewolf is a bard actually. I'm pretty sure I saw that in one of Chublots datamining Videos.
I agree, the people, you kill for Karlach, are hardly innocents. So I don't really feel bad about it.
Posted By: JandK Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 05/11/21 05:10 PM
Originally Posted by GM4Him
Karlach leaving and not joining you right away is lame, imo.

She has a tadpole. Everyone and their grandmother is already after you, and her, because you are all infected. You're all going the same way. Why would she NOT join you?

I really think this is just stand-in filler at the moment. Just like Shadowheart's recruitment changed, I suspect Karlach's will be different in the future.

Your theory about the Sword of Justice is interesting. It's not something I previously considered, but it makes sense. They're using her own sword to hunt her down and kill her.

*

There's a pod along the river that smells bad, basically like sulfur if I recall correctly. Does anyone know who was in that pod? Was that Karlach's pod? Mizora, maybe?

And why's there a coffin in the middle of the river by a pair of boots near the owlbear's lair?
Posted By: Dexai Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 05/11/21 05:11 PM
Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by Kethlar
I don't think Haslin is confirmed, but he does have dialog that says that he wants to go with you to the towers and he ends up at your camp after you rescue him. So, yeah, I'm like 99.9% positive he's in. Karlach says that she can't join until you reach Baldur's Gate, so she's probably a Act 2 companion.

I was seriously considering playing my MC as a Druid, and I still might, but I am enjoying playing as a Sorcerer more than i anticipated so I might go that route. However, after starting the thread about how to play Wyll as a Warlock, I'm sorta intrigued about trying out that class since I don't particularly like the Wyll character.

I used a build, Wolfheart recommended in one of his Videos: the Sorlock. Play sorcerer and at level 4 select the fest Nähe Initiate Warlock ( and of course the spells Hex and Eldritch Bläst). It is really fun so far and a bit like multiclassing. This way, you can have the sorcerer class with warlock spells.

Äldritch Bläst!


Originally Posted by GM4Him
Anders, the "Tyrite" in the toll house, was obviously lying. He carries the Sword of Justice. Where did he get it from? Was he really a Tyrite ever?

Yes, at the very least it heavily implied, but if I remember correctly he says outright that he is a fallen paladin.
Originally Posted by Dexai
Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by Kethlar
I don't think Haslin is confirmed, but he does have dialog that says that he wants to go with you to the towers and he ends up at your camp after you rescue him. So, yeah, I'm like 99.9% positive he's in. Karlach says that she can't join until you reach Baldur's Gate, so she's probably a Act 2 companion.

I was seriously considering playing my MC as a Druid, and I still might, but I am enjoying playing as a Sorcerer more than i anticipated so I might go that route. However, after starting the thread about how to play Wyll as a Warlock, I'm sorta intrigued about trying out that class since I don't particularly like the Wyll character.

I used a build, Wolfheart recommended in one of his Videos: the Sorlock. Play sorcerer and at level 4 select the fest Nähe Initiate Warlock ( and of course the spells Hex and Eldritch Bläst). It is really fun so far and a bit like multiclassing. This way, you can have the sorcerer class with warlock spells.

Äldritch Bläst!

grin That was my spellcheck --- and I'm not sure, how it made Bläst out of Blast, but it is funny
Posted By: GM4Him Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 05/11/21 05:51 PM
Originally Posted by Dexai
Originally Posted by GM4Him
Anders, the "Tyrite" in the toll house, was obviously lying. He carries the Sword of Justice. Where did he get it from? Was he really a Tyrite ever?

Yes, at the very least it heavily implied, but if I remember correctly he says outright that he is a fallen paladin.

Ah, but I don't believe him. If he lied about Karlach, and he's really hunting her on behalf of Zariel, why should I believe any of his story?

And his minions are SO not dressed appropriately, but he says THEY are all paladins. He also doesn't display any paladin abilities. Maybe it's just an EA incomplete thing, but I'm thinking he isn't at all what he says he is. He's trying to make you think he's good and Karlach is a murderous butchering pregnant-mom killer.

And the bodies around the toll house also speak of murderous butchers, not gnolls. Notice the severed limbs and body parts. Gnolls would just eat people, not skin them and cut them to pieces. Seems more like the work of vicious butchers than gnolls. Did Anders and his crew butcher a bunch of people at the toll house who were maybe a part of the caravan? Was it Karlach?

There's even a bloody hand print on the wall on the east side as if someone died horribly while trying to escape someone else. Seems more like the work of a psychopath in some horror flick than savage gnolls eating their victims. I'm just saying.

But regardless of the toll house scene, my first impression of the entire Karlach scene was, "Did I make the right choice in killing Anders and saving Karlach?" But the more I play the scene and examine everything around, the more I think Anders is a total fraud. He doesn't even really know the Tenets of the Tyrite Faith, which a fallen Tyrite should know. (My cleric that I usually play is a Cleric of Tyr, and you can test Anders about the Tenets of the Faith to catch him in a lie; if I'm remembering correctly. I admit, I haven't played the part in awhile.)
Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by Innateagle
Originally Posted by fylimar
I'm really excited for Karlach. I expect to like her.
Is it confirmed, that Halsin will be a companion too? I mean, he would be great as the druid companion.

I doubt he'll be a companion. Doesn't seam like this game'll have that many and the druid spot is already taken by the werewolf, whatever her name is.
I think the werewolf is a bard actually. I'm pretty sure I saw that in one of Chublots datamining Videos.

So, Lohse. Truly daring. Let's hope not.
Originally Posted by GM4Him
Originally Posted by Dexai
Originally Posted by GM4Him
Anders, the "Tyrite" in the toll house, was obviously lying. He carries the Sword of Justice. Where did he get it from? Was he really a Tyrite ever?

Yes, at the very least it heavily implied, but if I remember correctly he says outright that he is a fallen paladin.

Ah, but I don't believe him. If he lied about Karlach, and he's really hunting her on behalf of Zariel, why should I believe any of his story?

And his minions are SO not dressed appropriately, but he says THEY are all paladins. He also doesn't display any paladin abilities. Maybe it's just an EA incomplete thing, but I'm thinking he isn't at all what he says he is. He's trying to make you think he's good and Karlach is a murderous butchering pregnant-mom killer.

And the bodies around the toll house also speak of murderous butchers, not gnolls. Notice the severed limbs and body parts. Gnolls would just eat people, not skin them and cut them to pieces. Seems more like the work of vicious butchers than gnolls. Did Anders and his crew butcher a bunch of people at the toll house who were maybe a part of the caravan? Was it Karlach?

There's even a bloody hand print on the wall on the east side as if someone died horribly while trying to escape someone else. Seems more like the work of a psychopath in some horror flick than savage gnolls eating their victims. I'm just saying.

But regardless of the toll house scene, my first impression of the entire Karlach scene was, "Did I make the right choice in killing Anders and saving Karlach?" But the more I play the scene and examine everything around, the more I think Anders is a total fraud. He doesn't even really know the Tenets of the Tyrite Faith, which a fallen Tyrite should know. (My cleric that I usually play is a Cleric of Tyr, and you can test Anders about the Tenets of the Faith to catch him in a lie; if I'm remembering correctly. I admit, I haven't played the part in awhile.)

If you use Speak with the Dead on the dead tollhouse collector, he will tell you, that they were indeed attacked by gnolls.

And my guess is, that the paladin abilities are not there, because the class is not finished yet.
Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by Dexai
Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by Kethlar
I don't think Haslin is confirmed, but he does have dialog that says that he wants to go with you to the towers and he ends up at your camp after you rescue him. So, yeah, I'm like 99.9% positive he's in. Karlach says that she can't join until you reach Baldur's Gate, so she's probably a Act 2 companion.

I was seriously considering playing my MC as a Druid, and I still might, but I am enjoying playing as a Sorcerer more than i anticipated so I might go that route. However, after starting the thread about how to play Wyll as a Warlock, I'm sorta intrigued about trying out that class since I don't particularly like the Wyll character.

I used a build, Wolfheart recommended in one of his Videos: the Sorlock. Play sorcerer and at level 4 select the fest Nähe Initiate Warlock ( and of course the spells Hex and Eldritch Bläst). It is really fun so far and a bit like multiclassing. This way, you can have the sorcerer class with warlock spells.

Äldritch Bläst!

grin That was my spellcheck --- and I'm not sure, how it made Bläst out of Blast, but it is funny

Do you have say, Swedish in your keyboard languages? Because my autocorrect loves to autocorrect to Swedish sometimes... And it would certainly fill in blästa because it's part of my address.... >< and I use it all the time.
Posted By: GM4Him Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 05/11/21 08:43 PM
I wonder if they changed it. A toll house ledger, or some sort of document in the toll house, can't remember which, mentioned something about the toll house being attacked by goblins.

However, if you notice, the toll house ledger's last date was like Uktar 16th. The guy in the toll house had been dead for A WHILE because he was stanky. The entire basement of the toll house was nasty smelling. So, it implies that the toll house had been raided days prior to the gnolls attacking the caravan on the road.

Anders and his crew had just gotten there. They had just killed a bunch of gnolls, and Karlach had just escaped them. They were picking through the bodies of their own dead and the caravan dead when you arrive.

So, many of the bodies are fresh in the area including the ones that are skinned and chopped up viciously. This leads me to wonder, then. Who mercilessly chopped up and skinned those victims recently? I suppose it could have been Karlach. As they were fighting, she just carved them up with her sword, suffered a wound, dropped the sword and ran. OR, it could be that Anders and his crew are not as friendly as they pretend to be, killing off any survivors so no one could tell the tale of who they REALLY are.

They aren't exactly dressed for battle. I have to wonder, in the end when the game is finally released, are they actually going to turn into cambions or something when you fight them? After all, they are dressed more like peasants, so who on earth were they able to fight Karlach? They certainly aren't that tough against you.
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Originally Posted by Innateagle
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
I see. Thanks for the information. Even if said theories about Gale don't turn out to be true. He definitely did something where Mystra ended up leaving him. I do wonder what was so bad but of course we have to wait for more content.

Pretty sure Gale himself states she simply got bored of him, which is what lead him to trying to impress her by researching Netherese magic.


Didn't he try to cast a spell first and he failed, then she left him? I think that's what he said because he was trying to impress her.

That's Gale's version of the story. I suspect he's lying / telling a half truth.

The game is treating Netherese Magic as synonymous with shadow magic but they're not identical. There's the Mystryl-controlled weave and the Shar-controlled shadow weave. If you are playing Pathfinder: Wrath the shadow weave is the force behind spells like shadow conjuration.

The shadow weave is the dark reflection of the weave and a cancer on it. Wherever the weave expands it eats away at the weave. It's part of Shar's centuries long campaign to kill Mystra and end all of existence. The more people using the shadow weave the more the cancer spreads and the weaker Mystra becomes . . .

Every time you use the shadow weave you distance yourself from the true weave and eventually you will be unable to cast spells using the weave. You are linked into the Shadow weave -- Shar then permanently removes 2 wisdom points which can only be restored by a Sharran cleric in exchange for a service to Shar.

Now the Shadow weave is potentially more powerful than the weave because Mystra reorganized the weave and cut off access to 10-12 level spells. It's not clear in the lore, but it's possible that the Shadow weave still allows access to 10 - 12 spells.

So you are Gale, an archmage *and* a chosen, there really isn't any place to move up. Even becoming the magister is a step down from chosen. Unless you explore the shadow weave . . .

Gale's 'orb' is acting like a shadow mythallar (shadow weave power plant). I think he went in search of it, found it, and thus fell into Shar's trap. This ended the relationship with Mystra -- he chose to connect himself to the shadow weave.

This would also explain the graphics on the gates -- the dark energy / dark flame effects looks shadow weavish.

I guessing if you play him as your MC you will have a choice to become a chosen of Shar and wield the power of a shadow mythallar or you will be able to get back into Mystra's good graces.
Originally Posted by Innateagle
Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
3. Shadowheart. My initial favorite but she's gotten worse with each patch. She's supposed to be secretive, hard to understand, distrustful and mysterious but has suddenly gotten chatty, friendly and quick to trust. Not the way a Tsundre romance is supposed to work.

Don't quote me on this, but saving her from the pod is a disservice to her character. I guess it makes her interactions more bearable for anyone playing the heroic sort, but for me it just dumped her down from ally and equal to boring underling.

Couldn't agree more! Nice summary of the fall of Karsus btw smile
Originally Posted by Imora DalSyn
Do you have say, Swedish in your keyboard languages? Because my autocorrect loves to autocorrect to Swedish sometimes... And it would certainly fill in blästa because it's part of my address.... >< and I use it all the time.

In my case, German, but Bläst isn't even a word in German grin
Posted By: Icelyn Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 05/11/21 09:46 PM
Originally Posted by GM4Him
But regardless of the toll house scene, my first impression of the entire Karlach scene was, "Did I make the right choice in killing Anders and saving Karlach?"
Knowing that Karlach can’t be recruited yet, I have been leaving the quest unfinished so far. They aren’t innocent, but I would still like to help them get free without hurting Karlach.😊

It might depend on the dialogue options picked, but when I played, Tav confronted Anders about his lies. Anders admitted to them, described what was really going on, and told his team not to kill Tav and crew. Then what should Tav do? Kill them? That seemed really bad, so I am hoping it is just unfinished and that there will be more options later.
Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by Imora DalSyn
Do you have say, Swedish in your keyboard languages? Because my autocorrect loves to autocorrect to Swedish sometimes... And it would certainly fill in blästa because it's part of my address.... >< and I use it all the time.

In my case, German, but Bläst isn't even a word in German grin

Totally weird then. Lol.
Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
That's Gale's version of the story. I suspect he's lying / telling a half truth.

The game is treating Netherese Magic as synonymous with shadow magic but they're not identical. There's the Mystryl-controlled weave and the Shar-controlled shadow weave. If you are playing Pathfinder: Wrath the shadow weave is the force behind spells like shadow conjuration.

The shadow weave is the dark reflection of the weave and a cancer on it. Wherever the weave expands it eats away at the weave. It's part of Shar's centuries long campaign to kill Mystra and end all of existence. The more people using the shadow weave the more the cancer spreads and the weaker Mystra becomes . . .

Every time you use the shadow weave you distance yourself from the true weave and eventually you will be unable to cast spells using the weave. You are linked into the Shadow weave -- Shar then permanently removes 2 wisdom points which can only be restored by a Sharran cleric in exchange for a service to Shar.

Now the Shadow weave is potentially more powerful than the weave because Mystra reorganized the weave and cut off access to 10-12 level spells. It's not clear in the lore, but it's possible that the Shadow weave still allows access to 10 - 12 spells.

So you are Gale, an archmage *and* a chosen, there really isn't any place to move up. Even becoming the magister is a step down from chosen. Unless you explore the shadow weave . . .

Gale's 'orb' is acting like a shadow mythallar (shadow weave power plant). I think he went in search of it, found it, and thus fell into Shar's trap. This ended the relationship with Mystra -- he chose to connect himself to the shadow weave.

This would also explain the graphics on the gates -- the dark energy / dark flame effects looks shadow weavish.

I guessing if you play him as your MC you will have a choice to become a chosen of Shar and wield the power of a shadow mythallar or you will be able to get back into Mystra's good graces.


Ohhhhhhh

Oh my…

I really dig this theory.

It would be less heavy handed than “behold I am actually Karsus/Elminster/some other famous dude ”. It would also be tragic. And it would jive with the more selfish and potentially power hungry part of his personality. And it it is still wrapped up in his love affair with Mystra…and what seemed like very real emotion when he spoke of her.

It seems like something he might do. He is a wizard who thinks he can outsmart devils, after all. I could see him thinking he could tap into forbidden magic and get away with it by outsmarting it somehow. The hubris!!! I love it.

And it would give you a range to play with if you play as him.Do you embrace the shadow weave fully for power, or do you become a decent person but a less powerful mage. That range is definitely hinted at in his mirror options. It would also explain his tempered and almost cutesy response to shadowheart’s reveal. And even how he acts when he first meets her. Like a potential foot in the door with Shar if he needs it.

And the romance path? The angst could be epic!!!!!

But…how could we share the weave together? Would he still be able to access both weaves? Ie, with the shadoweave in him.

Maybe I am seeing them as more matter and antimatter… lol
Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
That's Gale's version of the story. I suspect he's lying / telling a half truth.

The game is treating Netherese Magic as synonymous with shadow magic but they're not identical. There's the Mystryl-controlled weave and the Shar-controlled shadow weave. If you are playing Pathfinder: Wrath the shadow weave is the force behind spells like shadow conjuration.

The shadow weave is the dark reflection of the weave and a cancer on it. Wherever the weave expands it eats away at the weave. It's part of Shar's centuries long campaign to kill Mystra and end all of existence. The more people using the shadow weave the more the cancer spreads and the weaker Mystra becomes . . .

Every time you use the shadow weave you distance yourself from the true weave and eventually you will be unable to cast spells using the weave. You are linked into the Shadow weave -- Shar then permanently removes 2 wisdom points which can only be restored by a Sharran cleric in exchange for a service to Shar.

Now the Shadow weave is potentially more powerful than the weave because Mystra reorganized the weave and cut off access to 10-12 level spells. It's not clear in the lore, but it's possible that the Shadow weave still allows access to 10 - 12 spells.

So you are Gale, an archmage *and* a chosen, there really isn't any place to move up. Even becoming the magister is a step down from chosen. Unless you explore the shadow weave . . .

Gale's 'orb' is acting like a shadow mythallar (shadow weave power plant). I think he went in search of it, found it, and thus fell into Shar's trap. This ended the relationship with Mystra -- he chose to connect himself to the shadow weave.

This would also explain the graphics on the gates -- the dark energy / dark flame effects looks shadow weavish.

I guessing if you play him as your MC you will have a choice to become a chosen of Shar and wield the power of a shadow mythallar or you will be able to get back into Mystra's good graces.

That's interesting. There is definitely something more going on there.
Posted By: GM4Him Re: Companions mixed fan base (some spoilers) - 06/11/21 08:10 AM
Ok. I do think perhaps the "I'm really some big shot" probably isn't true for any of them.

Gale probably isn't Elminster
SH isn't Selune
Astarion isn't Cazador
Etc.

Trying really hard as I'm playing through to get the full vibe from everyone and to pick up on all the dialogue nuances.

Astarion truly does seem like he is telling the truth about most items; same with Gale, Wyll, SH, Lae.

I really do think the Gale Shadow Weave theory is a powerful one and likely more close to the truth.

As for Astarion, one guy on Reddit posted a translation about his scars on his back, saying it was very similar to Latin. In the game, it's Infernal. So he likely is/was a spawn of Cazador, as he says, for during the scar scene he seems genuinely unsure about the scars, and he seems to be processing the news that it's Infernal. Why would Cazador mark him up like that in the language of the hells?

SH seems like she could be a number of things, but a Sharran cleric is not one of them. I do wonder if someone's theory about her being one of the children of Moonhaven could be true. She's half-elf and could live longer, though she'd likely look older, or she could be resurrected or held in some stasis in the Astral Plane where you don't age.

Either way, as I'm replaying, it does seem like none of them are really outright lying to you about their backstories.

Besides, eventually we'll get to BE them. Right? So chances are they won't require some super big backstory to understand their main story I would think. Being Elminster or Selune would require too much explanation right at the beginning of their playthroughs.
Originally Posted by GM4Him
Ok. I do think perhaps the "I'm really some big shot" probably isn't true for any of them.

Gale probably isn't Elminster
SH isn't Selune
Astarion isn't Cazador
Etc.

Trying really hard as I'm playing through to get the full vibe from everyone and to pick up on all the dialogue nuances.

Astarion truly does seem like he is telling the truth about most items; same with Gale, Wyll, SH, Lae.

I really do think the Gale Shadow Weave theory is a powerful one and likely more close to the truth.

As for Astarion, one guy on Reddit posted a translation about his scars on his back, saying it was very similar to Latin. In the game, it's Infernal. So he likely is/was a spawn of Cazador, as he says, for during the scar scene he seems genuinely unsure about the scars, and he seems to be processing the news that it's Infernal. Why would Cazador mark him up like that in the language of the hells?

SH seems like she could be a number of things, but a Sharran cleric is not one of them. I do wonder if someone's theory about her being one of the children of Moonhaven could be true. She's half-elf and could live longer, though she'd likely look older, or she could be resurrected or held in some stasis in the Astral Plane where you don't age.

Either way, as I'm replaying, it does seem like none of them are really outright lying to you about their backstories.

Besides, eventually we'll get to BE them. Right? So chances are they won't require some super big backstory to understand their main story I would think. Being Elminster or Selune would require too much explanation right at the beginning of their playthroughs.

Gale, Shadowheart and Astarion have the most interesting and mysterious background, in my opinion. Gale messed up somehow but I also agree in the Shadow Weave theory, that sounds interesting. Also, Gale keeps your character in need to know basis. It makes you wonder if he's hiding something. As for Shadowheart, I don't think she is Selune herself but she could be a brainwashed Selune follower, like a priestess or something. If so, why did this happen to her? Astarion's backstory is also interesting. I don't think Astarion is Cazador. I do however think the scar in his back is going to play a role in the game. We know it's Infernal and it seems to be a ritual of some king. Also, we learn from "speak with the dead" Galandal scene that he was not sent my Cazador but by someone named Maiden Fel. Who is she and why does she want Astarion so bad?
If Astarion were Cazador, then the PC automatically would become a vampire spawn, If they let Astarion feed.

Maiden Fel sounds like one of the sisters of Ethel, If you take the classical witch coven: Ethel is the crone, Fel the maiden and then there is the mother.
Not sure If that make sense and what a hag would want with a vampire spawn, so probably just another crazy theory.
Originally Posted by fylimar
If Astarion were Cazador, then the PC automatically would become a vampire spawn, If they let Astarion feed.

Maiden Fel sounds like one of the sisters of Ethel, If you take the classical witch coven: Ethel is the crone, Fel the maiden and then there is the mother.
Not sure If that make sense and what a hag would want with a vampire spawn, so probably just another crazy theory.

The theory of Maiden Fel wanting Astarion has to do with the infernal writing on his back. Someone on reddit deciphered the writing and it sounds like this "Hoyc inferiu non iurare per igneu, Naec virba loquor, Eoai mundo muoat." In English, that translates to "This soul swears no oath by fire, Nor words does he speak, In the realm of death." Some think that may be a piece to a ritual. This could be the reason why Maiden Fel wants Astarion, she told Galandrel that she wants Astarion unblemished. For what purpose we don't know.
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Originally Posted by fylimar
If Astarion were Cazador, then the PC automatically would become a vampire spawn, If they let Astarion feed.

Maiden Fel sounds like one of the sisters of Ethel, If you take the classical witch coven: Ethel is the crone, Fel the maiden and then there is the mother.
Not sure If that make sense and what a hag would want with a vampire spawn, so probably just another crazy theory.

The theory of Maiden Fel wanting Astarion has to do with the infernal writing on his back. Someone on reddit deciphered the writing and it sounds like this "Hoyc inferiu non iurare per igneu, Naec virba loquor, Eoai mundo muoat." In English, that translates to "This soul swears no oath by fire, Nor words does he speak, In the realm of death." Some think that may be a piece to a ritual. This could be the reason why Maiden Fel wants Astarion, she told Galandrel that she wants Astarion unblemished. For what purpose we don't know.
It sounds creepy, but interesting. So Astarions skin is worth a lot to this Maiden, that's a bit like Fenris and his markings in DA2.
Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Originally Posted by fylimar
If Astarion were Cazador, then the PC automatically would become a vampire spawn, If they let Astarion feed.

Maiden Fel sounds like one of the sisters of Ethel, If you take the classical witch coven: Ethel is the crone, Fel the maiden and then there is the mother.
Not sure If that make sense and what a hag would want with a vampire spawn, so probably just another crazy theory.

The theory of Maiden Fel wanting Astarion has to do with the infernal writing on his back. Someone on reddit deciphered the writing and it sounds like this "Hoyc inferiu non iurare per igneu, Naec virba loquor, Eoai mundo muoat." In English, that translates to "This soul swears no oath by fire, Nor words does he speak, In the realm of death." Some think that may be a piece to a ritual. This could be the reason why Maiden Fel wants Astarion, she told Galandrel that she wants Astarion unblemished. For what purpose we don't know.
It sounds creepy, but interesting. So Astarions skin is worth a lot to this Maiden, that's a bit like Fenris and his markings in DA2.

I know it sounds weird, lol. It is interesting to find out what could this Maiden Fel possibly want with the infernal writing in Astarion's back. Also, why did Cazador write/brand that on Astarion's back? According to Astarion, he's also not the only spawn with that writing on his back. He thinks there may be others.
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Originally Posted by fylimar
If Astarion were Cazador, then the PC automatically would become a vampire spawn, If they let Astarion feed.

Maiden Fel sounds like one of the sisters of Ethel, If you take the classical witch coven: Ethel is the crone, Fel the maiden and then there is the mother.
Not sure If that make sense and what a hag would want with a vampire spawn, so probably just another crazy theory.

The theory of Maiden Fel wanting Astarion has to do with the infernal writing on his back. Someone on reddit deciphered the writing and it sounds like this "Hoyc inferiu non iurare per igneu, Naec virba loquor, Eoai mundo muoat." In English, that translates to "This soul swears no oath by fire, Nor words does he speak, In the realm of death." Some think that may be a piece to a ritual. This could be the reason why Maiden Fel wants Astarion, she told Galandrel that she wants Astarion unblemished. For what purpose we don't know.
It sounds creepy, but interesting. So Astarions skin is worth a lot to this Maiden, that's a bit like Fenris and his markings in DA2.

I know it sounds weird, lol. It is interesting to find out what could this Maiden Fel possibly want with the infernal writing in Astarion's back. Also, why did Cazador write/brand that on Astarion's back? According to Astarion, he's also not the only spawn with that writing on his back. He thinks there may be others.
You know, this Maiden still could be a hag, I bet she would be interested in some infernal ritual . Not that I have any base for this theory, other than that I liked Ethel and want more hags.
Originally Posted by fylimar
You know, this Maiden still could be a hag, I bet she would be interested in some infernal ritual . Not that I have any base for this theory, other than that I liked Ethel and want more hags.

Yes, that's the theory and that she may also be Auntie Ethel's sister. Also, there should be another hag to complete the three phases.
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Originally Posted by fylimar
You know, this Maiden still could be a hag, I bet she would be interested in some infernal ritual . Not that I have any base for this theory, other than that I liked Ethel and want more hags.

Yes, that's the theory and that she may also be Auntie Ethel's sister. Also, there should be another hag to complete the three phases.
That's true. If her sisters are as fun as Ethel, Bring them on.
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