Larian Studios
Posted By: Orbax Minthara too manic & nature of evil [Spoilers] - 16/10/20 06:45 PM
A graphical representation of my relationship with her:
Many Faces

From beginning to end its just a constant "ite...guess this is happening now" feeling.

- You, a complete stranger with a weird group, get to just go torture her prisoner or point to her map or lead the war party for the absolute with pretty much no rolling. For what ended up being a really long battle in the grove and a pretty climactic ending to the "choose a path" portion of this, it would be nice to see you having to do tasks for her that were evil. I went from fairly evil, but pragmatic and helping the druids to drilling her on a satanic altar covered in blood and avoiding her slitting my throat in what, narratively, was a day and the drilling to throat slitting was a few hours. After which, I passed a dice roll, so it went from snarling "die scum!" to "ok, I can help you, I have a special thing to protect those I care about and you can have it. I cant wait to see you again". Now, if she was absolutely NUTS, and thats how she always acted, I would love to have a dont stick ...in crazy affair with her that wasn't a romance but more of a Geralt continued fling and try to not get killed kind of thing. As a story element though, no consistency.

- I think the side quests to unlock her final attack would be great because its you choosing evil repeatedly. The druids sucked, but its kind of like a bandaid. Once you were in it, that is your world now. Having to go kill a farmer and his family because they have 2 more sacks of potatoes she wants, waylaying a paladin on his way to the druid grove and killing him and burning his holy book in the name of the absolute...get stuff where...no man...youre committing to be this evil. It would also make sense to generally pick off, spy on, steal, etc...classic "bad" choices from people in the grove to weaken them. Poison animals, just make you constantly want to turn back and say no, this is too evil / messed up. She makes you pick a townsperson to sacrifice to the Absolute before you consummate the pact.

- The payoff for going down that evil road should be better than having crazymonster taking you to crazytown. EA cuts when it gets interesting but a further relationship that has continuous benefits of multiple types and threads into BG and beyond as the Absolute seems like a recurring theme. A personal item from her would be nice. Also, she scrys on you through it and youll just sometimes roll a wisdom save and you wont know why during story parts and thats her scrying and shell know what you fail on.

- The path to hell be paved with good intentions. You can try to say youre doing deep undercover, playing the long con, etc...but you end up having touched so many lives through what you did, you see farms burned, refugees getting rejected at the gates from roving bands of goblins making it not safe. You talk to someone who is at the front gate asking about the person you sacrificed. Make these little nods through the game that you did something and it hurt people.

- This also means you need an alignment system that is a bit stronger than rep as you wont be known to people but someone should slip a note in your evil little pocket in the streets trying to recruit you into something. They can feel it radiating. You are barred from certain temples as the priests and priestesses ward you bacl

- EA? That all cant come to fruition, obviously, but I think a lot more foundation can be laid and seeds planted for you to say "I cant wait to see what becomes of that decision later..."

Yeah the evil path has a decent amount of isses. I'll just copy from my other post.

I'm gonna start off by saying right off the bat, when you go back to the tieflings and go "im joining the goblins", all my companions disapproved except Astarion, and I mention this because they said we will be getting evil/neutral companions for EA and from the start of being evil the player is punished. If these so called Evil companions disagree with me, then there is a few major issues with the evil storyline, which is what I want to talk about.

Now, from the the player is abducted and had a tadpole inserted into their eye and the companions they meet are adamant about having this removed, and that's fine. But the narrative doesn't really PUSH you towards being evil and neither do these companions. Now the biggest lead you have for this is Halsin, and i would consider him to be on the "good" side, where I should side with the grove to get his help. What incentive is there for me to help the goblins? The game doesn't really do anything to push their agenda and make you want to do. A smart evil character would still help Grove and get Halsins help because they want to figure out what's going on, what the option we have now is stupid evil instead. We are never enticed with anything to go join the Absolute. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to get out of helping the goblins and Minthara kill everyone. There isn't an enticing promise of answers or rewards for going down that path vs. just helping the refugees and finding Halsin to heal you from the tadpole. Right now the only reason you would help is because "fuck all these refugees and druids". Again, stupid evil IMO.

Everything up to that point in the game (being kidnapped by Illithids, all your companions explaining what the tadpoles do, and being concerned with getting healed) reinforces that we should want nothing to do with the Absolute because they violated us and will rid us of our free will if we don't get rid of the parasite. No type of evil character would want to help the goblins because we get nothing. Hell I lost Wyll after that, which is cool, and a good consequence, but that's it. I gained nothing from this it seems like. Now, I will say I'm interested in the story still. I wanna know what happens if I follow this trail, will i see Minthara again, will she be a companion or a returning side character? There is potential but just to see what could happen, but there are no rewards. You don't get any extra powers from it, nothing about healers (the priestess Gut wants to kill me bc I took the "Drow" option with sleep potion and then she goes "oh this will hurt"). I guess it was cool I had sex with her? But I mean at that night 3 of my companions were ready to sleep with me, and I lost 1 companion and gained...nothing.

Now I think the best way to fix it would be to have Minthara or someone else meet you REALLY early on and tell you, maybe entice you about the powers you can get. Have her tell you about the true souls, she shows you the power you can get if you use the tadpole, but right now there isn't anything like it. No character storywise would want to help goblins, even an evil one (smart evil one). It's kind of funny when the tiefling "Zevlor" asked me why I was doing this and i was like "uhhh....Bc Larian told me to? Whoops!" In the end, the Evil storyline for Grove vs Goblin needs more rewards and enticing. Why should my character risk dealing with them instead of looking for a healer, especially Halsin who is the best lead. Should I be doing it bc I got to bang the drow lol?

You don't even get to keep your Goblin "allies", they all turn hostile afterwards. The whole Evil thing with Goblin vs Grove is incomplete.
I think thats the ying to my yang. I was approaching it from the execution side. If you are going to be evil - earn it. Steep yourself in your choices and they are made. Play the game again if you dont want your game to be lived out relatively evil. But none of the accidental, "hey I didnt think it would go this far" kind of movie evil where you suddenly try to back out. Conscious choices.

What you bring up is the motivation to do so in the first place other than a person sitting at their computer, brushing off the Salsa Verde Tostitos Rounds crumbs from their Mass Effect N7 hoodie (this got oddly specific) and saying "Guess Ill go evil this time". its going to be hard to narratively make the case for evil. Evil almost always has a built in blind side, a singular focus, an obeisance to something else. Its hard to have a full-witted character just be like "Yeah, but did you see those tiaras everyone gets?". The only thing that is even remotely interesting about it is Minthara, and my first playthrough she was caught up in the slaughter with my no questions asked, no answers given scorch the earth policy towards the goblins. Diamonds in the rough, glimmers of possibility...just doesnt work.

Matt Colville said it in one of his "running the game" videos (hes a video game designer, writer for Wotc & Critical role, wrote his own D&D book, and hosts his own liveplay D&D) that as a DM one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to make this amazing world, all these super cool NPCs, theres all this lore, the people have stories and quests and ahhh! its so cool! And then what happens? Game night comes. They get beer in the tavern and head out in the morning for the woods. You get mad at them for not taking an interest in your world.

So what happened? The world isn't alive for them the way it is for you. They get pictures, flashes, vignettes. If you describe three average looking people and an odd little man with a stick - dont be surprised if they dont latch onto that. It sounds like just that - a funny old man with a stick, why would they talk to him?

To make these worlds work you have to have the NPCs go to them. I implemented this system awhile ago and my god the difference in how much fun both me and the players have. There are tons of organic ways to start a conversation with a group that looks like you do. Right now the areas are the areas, there are roads connecting them, and there are people you can talk to or not and then some forced mainline stuff you dont have a choice with. Thats it. Players aren't given the right of refusal, theyre being required to dredge up people to talk to and piece together reasons they might care. Hand choices to them on a platter - a la the devil - and they can refuse. Yeah, find stuff on your own, but the really interesting stuff - that comes to you and has some good reasons why its interesting.
If siding with the absolute is intended to be a viable gameplay option then these things need more work. Lots of good points here.
Not about companions and them being evil/neutral/evengood

Much like if you run through the evil threads. Yes I'm posting in another one. lol Orbax beware!! Is that each one is a certain kind of evil, not just main brand run of the mill goblin evil.

They are thinking creatures each with their own brand of evil. They each get their jollies off on certain things, Asterion enjoys straight up evil, and hates when you do something stupid for the larger part. Lae'zel enjoys it when you submit people, and hates it when your soft. Gale is all about himself and knowledge at any cost, Shadowheart is self centered you want help you pay me, and also about avoiding fights. Wyll I've not much read on him really I don't play with him very often, so I can't make an informed decision.

I kinda want a picture of Orbax in their N7 hoodie, and dressed up as Darth Maul, while wiping Salsa Verde Tostitos Rounds off the hoodie. Need something to scare the kids on halloween.

Anyway back to the topic at hand. The no rolling etc. This has to do with fact they can feel the absolutes presence in you, they think you are one of them, (incidentally this needs some fleshing out in some ways. but not main focus for me) this changes to me far to rapidly. They go from your one of us, to I'm going to kill you. (Yes I can see Drow and Goblins doing this, it's their nature. okay you served you purpose your no longer useful or your now a threat because I seen how powerful you are.) I like the idea of side quests, for each of them, yet by that standard is time. The posts about lack of urgency (because uggg, don't get me started) why your going to kill a spider, etc are many. (seriously people interact with others, pay attention Larian didn't break you you should be able to afford to at least pay half attention) So if you implement side quests there is going to be more people jumping on the this doesn't make sense you gotta run to save yourself.

Evil overall (a partially informed decision so I'll stick with what I know) Evil by nature of being evil, is in a state of flux. Your allies are also your enemies, they get stronger then you they become more of a threat. So by nature it's not very rewarding in terms of gold, items gifted etc. Good by nature is helpful, people want you to get stronger, so you can help them more. That makes more often then not playing Evil harder, it's not the sugar coated, everythings handed to you path. It's the take what you want, do what you want, harder path. It takes commitment, and can be self rewarding. It's why I can see what happens making sense, they think your a pisson, and then realize your not. So you go from a tool to be used, to a threat. One of those threats is the tadpole in your head. Mind Flayers are powerful creatures not to be trifled with idly. So if you know about the tadpole and what it can do, I see it being a cause to exterminate you.

Yet on the other hand if they don't know for certain what it can do. For instance Nettie trying to kill you, how did she learn of it, through Halsin? How does a goblin learn of what is going to happen to you? Drow I can see more often they are more familair with Illithid then not, yet still beggars the question. (Answers may be further in the story, I'm unsure) I've always looked at the interacting I do with the npc's as a way to gain intel. No I don't talk to everyone, just those that seem important. Traders, Leaders, Healers, Scouts, these people may have information that I need. Be it about current affairs, the area, pretty much the who, what, where, why of it all. I seem to be alone in this. I also pick up things I shouldn't, sneak/peek at note laying on table, journals, etc. Why because it gives me more intel. I talk to my companions to prod them for information, and figure out there secrets, what makes them tick. This way I (and my character) can figure out if they really want these people around, and how best to manipulate them.

I'm evil it's what I do by learning about the area I can make informed decisions about who to join up with. Goblins and their leaders seem to be the more solid force in the area, druids seem to be desperate. I talk to gather information there are several in the druids grove that want Halsin back, and disagree with Kagha. So maybe I should side with Kagha, or the Goblins. One can give me maybe access to the grove, I have several possible ins with her. Rat out those that don't like her in charge, help her by getting rid of the refugees, and possibly others. Help the goblins who have superior numbers, and supposedly people like me. (already posted more about this in other threads so will stop here)

Yet all this doesn't really matter they are just side quests, that you learn about, as you discover none of these people can help you A. rid yourself of the worm. B. show you how to use it more effectively. C. gain greater power for yourself. You discover that on your own, by doing, and as an Evil character you shouldn't be relying upon others, it forms a crutch, one that can be used against you, by either good, or evil people. It seems though many want that crutch, they want things showered upon them, without learning about it on their own. I personally would have fun with you all, I'd give you little gifts to keep you following me. I'd toy with you, make you do what I want because you want those rewards. I'd dangle the chance to be rid of the tadpole in front of your faces, so you go put your lives on the line for me, over and over again. I'd give you information (more then likely false), I'd give you gifts (more then likely a trap) and when I'm done with you, I'd lock you up to let others Play with you, or if you found a way to become a threat I'd kill you by using one of those traps I had in place, and your wearing.

In summary. I like side quests from a side quest they are fun. Yet I think you all are to relaint on crutches, that you aren't seeing how at times boring, dull, yet ingenious at other times the evil campaign can be.
Originally Posted by clavis


I kinda want a picture of Orbax in their N7 hoodie, and dressed up as Darth Maul, while wiping Salsa Verde Tostitos Rounds off the hoodie. Need something to scare the kids on halloween.


Astarion: Approves

(still reading)
@clavis

Thoughts:

- To each their own - Agreed everyone's going have their flavor of evil. Matt Colville has a great example of neutral evil Count Rugen from Princess Bride - he just kind of exists to enjoy inflicting pain. Joker is the Chaotic Evil "im a dog chasing cars, I wouldnt know what to do with one if i caught it!". But youll generally find an entropic tendency in evil for minor characters. People like Palpatine are great big bads. The reason they lost the battle of yavin was because when the emperor died, his battle meditation where he was controlling thousands of people at once dissipated and the rebels could come in. Minor plot characters have a lot less permanence in their plans. They are just living their lives enjoying themselves - usually in the form of something someone else definitely doesnt.

- The magnetism of the Absolute - Lets say there is a feeling of shared connection. You meet people who were on the ship too who do not trust you - your entire party, for instance. Yet you walk into a goblin fortress as a tiefling and a drow warlord is like "yo, I feel connected. Go slaughter a village for me then we are gonna sacrifice them onto the altar of the absolute and we'll have sex on their blood". Bruh, I just got out of hell like 3 days ago and accidentally found this place. You're not moving in yet, we arent even dating, why is this going so fast?! The majority of time the brain slug has only garnered distrust from others because they know what it is and that everyone who has one is a risk. Its only the people without them who are gettingg mind controlled who think its pretty great. I just dont see it as a believable wand-wave for things going that well. Its why I mentioned the quests. "fine, I sense you might be useful. Now prove it."

- Nettled by Nettie - I think they did a great job on her. They found a drow and didnt think of any way to cure it. Halsin probably said he had no idea how to do it and it was good he was dead or hed be a mind flayer. In HIS head he was probably thinking of people to ask so this never happened again. Shes alone, ring has been taken over by Kagha and shes like "screw it, Halsin said it couldnt be done and if they done die they become mind flayers. Sorry bruh!". Yes, she misread the situation Halsin was depictin, but thats what you get when you go to an amaeteur for help. Reference VOLOs fix haha.

- Aggregate side quests - I do the same thing good or evil - take all quests up to a decision point I know will rollover into ending others. Once I know everything possible, I pick who to betray. Its just good sense. If youre in a rush - the healers make the most sense even if youre the most vile of monsters. I wouldnt be like "Im evil and I hate these pathetic druids and their powerful, high odds of success, healing. Lets go to the goblins who sleep in their own excrement, they should have the kind of sophisticated magical prowess something like this would take!". If you do all the quests, there is no question. The win goes to the healers. Evil or good theyre smart. There is nothing offered up in the absolutes path except what appears to be your tadpole engorging and the promise of future power and most likely further mutations and becoming an abomination. If im gonna be evil I want it to be on my terms, not the insanity inflicted by a brain parasite and some weird entities influence. Its not evil if it isnt YOU doing it. I want to earn my title of Gloriously Debauched, not have someone hand it to me as a prize while I drool in a haze as the illithid portion of my brain does things. On the aggregate do you have a balanced choice if you have 100% of the information about both sides? No. I would like evil to be just as tempting, given the amount of roaming capability you have.

Both of you made good points. I think that two distinct evil paths are needed. One following the absolute for its promise of power and one that does not involve giving the parasite more power.
As for the latter option the Goblins are the wrong allies. For that to work the player would need to discover at least a hint at their capability to halt the transformation.
Blindly trusting conflicting visions does not seem to be a path that selfish evil characters would follow. I assume that the player character does not wish to tear apart the love of his dreams so the dialog option indicates the tadpole wishing to fight its abuser (the absolute).
As it stands now the choice to side with the goblins looks insane. Give the player a reason to assume that the absolute will not let him/her turn into a mindflayer.
Did the other true souls get 'their' tadpoles by being abducted or did they bargain and volunteer?
Originally Posted by ArmouredHedgehog

Did the other true souls get 'their' tadpoles by being abducted or did they bargain and volunteer?


The introduction of the Absolute is bizarre. The openin montage implicates days, not months or years. Yet the Absolute is an established religion with armies, leaders, religious ceremonies. Its a thing. The True Souls, even if "new", wouldn't be as new as you to be in the positions they are. Even festering in secrecy in the wilds, it just doesn't seem like it could have grown this quickly. So, odd that its been under the radar this hard. Lets just go off the assumption that, regardless of time, its somehow well established and True Souls are party of their DNA. That has to mean that an illithid hub exists somewhere (moontowers?) that is controlling things to this extend and providing slugs. The dude you meet in the underdark "left" and is hanging out in an area that uses mind control techniques beyond those that are psionic driven.

If this ultimately leads to a mind flayer colony and an elder brain or something, theres a lot more things they could offer that would tempt someone into their reaches than the hokey religion of some garbage eating goblin brands. Its a cult, it has a leader, wheres the recruitment process? I wont drink a drop of the kool-aid until I have my black nikes damnit. I want to be convinced.
It probably started in the underdark and the goblins only recently abandoned their god for the absolute. Goblins aren't the smartest so they could have been convinced by a few nice presents (which they obviously got)
Let us return the thread a bit closer to where it started: Minthara
She would be the ideal character to explain some of these things. Unless true-souls automatically know everything about the absolute and there is no need for them to be introduced to anything. Which would indicate that you were not supposed to become one of them
Or each of the other True Souls have their own agendas as is the case in most evil cults. Which is why their temples are fewer then those of Good dieties, and why their leaders are so touchy, paranoid, etc. Who knows when an underling will stab you in the back, take your place, etc.

Minthara since she's the focus for the op. is a drow who enjoys toying with people while fulfilling their base needs, and desire. The sleeping with you is fulfilling her lust, and toying perhaps with your emotions, making you think she trusts you, loves you. Giving a gift continues along that line, with her playing with you, and testing your reaction. That way you'll be all the more shocked that she betrayed you and is willing to sacrifice you, which is all the more sweet in her eyes. All typical drow relationships, which is why there is no real trust in drow society. In fact it's mentioned in several books that their is no word for trust, or friends in the drow vocabulary.

Yes she would be unless the Goddess wants her wishes kept a secret, wants you to prove to Absolute that you are worthy or not. Pitting you against the others for her sport, amusement, etc much like Lloth does, as do other evil gods. So Minthara may not know as much as Guts, or may know as much but know different things. So both think you are not spose to become one of them, while the Absolute is testing all of you. Making you prove your worthy.

Now perhaps she did have feelings for your character, yet to show her devotion to her goddess (usually Lloth) the Absolute, and gain even more favor which means more power for her, maybe becoming a high priestess instead of a despicable goblin, she is more then willing to do so. After all she is drow, they've been doing it for who knows how long for Lloth, it is no different when Lloth is replaced by the Absolute.

How/why/when/what Absolute religion. As stated by SH a new god would have an uphill battle. A god who may have been a demigod as of yet unknown, or one that lost all their followers, or is from the pantheon [spoiler] the book found in the first ruins of Jergal [spoiler] a god especially an evil one would at first only grow slowly. Goblins being one of the easiest since they are dumb, voilent, and tend to be avoided by others unless being hunted or subjegated. Plus they are swift breeders, and alot of the time out of everyones way. So goblins give you secrecy, alot of followers, and followers who are easily swayed. From there it could of spread to through manipulation, coercion to other monster tribes. Until the Absolute felt it was time to show her/his hand in a remote part of the world.
Lets assume that siding with the absolute is a viable path and minthara becomes a companion
what about the other companions?
Lae'zel would rather jump into a blade than become allied with the Gaikh. I see no direct replacement
Shadowheart deeply regrets the events at the druid grove. She may contemplate leaving. She is selfish but does not revel in violence the way astarion or minthara do.
Wyll leaves
Gale might be convinced to stay by the promise to solve his problem (Having access to planeshifting the Mindflayers could bring him to the astral plane and solve his explosive isssue)
Astarion would like to stay free from his master and roam the world at night and day. The absolute seems to be a good deal for him

I don't remember the book from the ruins. Did it include likely options for the identity of the new god?
Combining response to @ArmouredHedgehog and @Clavis

If it wasn't started in the underdark, it was most likely propagated through it. These towers of darkness, madness, and general spookiness we are heading to overland - and also through the underdark - seem to the hub. What can turn the land so foul and twisted and has mind control? You are looking more at beholders for that. Ever paranoid, they can haunt and corrupt their lairs. However, while there are Xanathars out there, most are kind of nuts. This seems more intelligent. I can't think of something smart that does this and has parasites unless they brainbugged a beholder. Would explain the spectator at least. Things that actually corrupt the land are rare and deal with the abyss, creatures that have made it their lair, and spellplague rifts - which did surround Elturel and is why the Companion came into being 50 years ago; it was to destroy the undead and aberrations coming out. But an actual central, inhabited, hub of corrupt religion that can morph the landscape? Thats weird. Illithid make hives and will feed elder brains and stuff and hang out in the underdark, but they don't really corrupt anything. That combined with True Souls turns this into a really weird scenario.

With Minthara, she is the *perfect* vehicle to get some seeds of her own planted in YOU. Why wait until the towers? Im going there no matter what. It is odd though, that she said go overland instead of through the underdark. Anyway, as a plot vehicle shes got it all and if she wasnt bae you wouldn't care. After she tries to kill you, whatever "hook" she had into you left and you're like "yeah whatever, ill see you if I see you, I guess". If you succeed your mind probe after banging her, you see that shes been running scared, killing family, friends, and lovers and looking for rocks to hold onto. Coupled with her religious fervor as it provides a sanctuary she seems to be desperately clinging to, I dont know if shes as motivated by the Absolute as she is by what the Absolute provides for her wounded psyche.

She has you by the b*lls, literally, at one point and Dave Chapelle kind of nailed it. Monica Lewinsky made a young person's mistake. An older woman would have been like "you should lower taxes" while they were having fun. After the size of the decision you make and then going through that with her, you need to slip in a deeper hook prior to her cutting the more superficial ties to you and leaving. You need a dogmatic hook that makes you be like "I still want to be part of this" even if she isn't part of it anymore. Of course, make her part of it because shes awesome. But they pique your curiosity more than they get a good sell on you to inform your decision making on the way there as well as what youll do when you get there. Youre still walking in blind and might side with the first person who actually make an interesting point says.
I don't think it has something do with Beholders. You can assemble a spear called "Vision of the Absolute"
Absolute Night. Chance to blind target. Deals an additional 2d6 Piercing to certain creatures that sport multiple sets of eyes
This appears to be intended to fight beholders.

I think your analysis of Mintharas psyche is reasonable. The absolute ties in nicely with the drive for power in drow society while protecting its followers from the typical backstabbing.

The people at Larian want to keep the nature of the absolute a secret until act 2. You have to go in blind. That makes the whole recruitment a bit difficult. "Join us and butcher everyone else because reasons" "Reasons?" "Sorry, secret"
Originally Posted by ArmouredHedgehog

The people at Larian want to keep the nature of the absolute a secret until act 2. You have to go in blind. That makes the whole recruitment a bit difficult. "Join us and butcher everyone else because reasons" "Reasons?" "Sorry, secret"


Huh, I dont know if I saw that spear, I need to dig around a bit more!

MRW blood death cult gives me that reasoning

[Linked Image]






Oh, so i just did speak with dead on the mindflayer in the goblin fort and asked it who the absolute was

You see goblins and their blades, killing, gnolls with teeth dripping blood. You see other mind flayers arranged in a serene circle. Absolute unity. Absolute power.
I think in the end for me, it's more about like...why would a character be evil though? Like i don't mean evil in other situations, just in the overall arch of the Absolute. Like as far as you know, your character is being hunted. When you tell the 2 brother and sister that you're the "survivors" of the ship or w/e, they want to kill you. You attend the Mindflayer ceremony at Goblin Camp and they want to attack if you can't persuade that you're a true soul, bc you killed the mindflayer. Right now the character has zero motivation to be joining the absolute or do anything. Again, it's Smart Evil vs Stupid Evil for this specific scenario. Losing all the "headcanon" stuff that oh this could happen and i can play both sides, etc etc. It...doesn't happen.

Hell I had no idea youcould even side with Minthara until I read about it, so even as a player it's not an option you learn about its just....it can happen. But half the time people might have already failed checks, failed sneaks, etc to get to Minthara and already started butchering half the Goblin Camp. Game Design wise it's weak to make you side with Minthara and the Goblins, and storywise it's just as weaker because your character isn't promised anything, again ignoring any headcanon stuff people might have like oh this can happen and etc etc.. You talk to Minthara and she's like "oh a true soul, lets go butcher a few druids and refugees"...and it's just like...okay? Cool I guess.
Lol yeah, I had to find her because I read about her too. There was no cookie crumb trail that lead to her at all, other than Wyll - who has a good chance of dying and you never getting him.

I have an Evil character I play in D&D and it was a rather convoluted story of getting trapped in a glacier and Auril grabbing him and taking him to her fort in Pandemonium, encasing him in ice, and moulding the howling winds of the plane to speak to him for a hundred years that gave him the promise of what he sought for his people. Hes charming, funny, a great cleric, he just kills people and ritually sacrifices them to her all the time and doesn't care who it is. Hes on a quest. She gave him what he needed to move forward with it and has gotten a bit lost on the way.

I say that because it highlights one of the cardinal rules i have in the world: Most people are nice, want to help you, and do good things. They have barriers in their lives that prevent them from being able to do so sometimes and you sometimes run into the sick bastard who just wants to watch the world burn. Without any goal other than get this thing out of my head so i never have to see my party members again, you dont have any motivation for ANYTHING and you default to the "catch more flies with honey" approach. The Absolute might very well be able to help you get your slug out, but they made it pretty clear the intention is to make it part of you and very strong. So you now are like...i dont know, do I want that? Who the hell am I. Where is this? Why are there vines grabbing at my legs? WHAT IS MY LIFE NOW AHHHHH

Just not seeing it.
It could be that they did not have enough time to include all the content for the absolute side. Some things are broken.
The absolute wants the crash survivors dead. The player was not supposed to be a true soul.

The mindflayer revealed:
"curved drow blades, crude goblin torches, gnoll teeth dripping blood
You see other mindflayers arranged in a seren circle. Absolute unity. Absolute power"
I am not sure whether or not the vision for the githyanki chase was a memory of the distant past or something that could happen. The Gith once fought the mindflayers and they had lots of nautiloids back then. But if the Gith hunted the nautiloid because they know that something like it is about to happen again then the mindflayers posess a fleet of ships once more.
Originally Posted by UnderworldHades
I think in the end for me, it's more about like...why would a character be evil though? Like i don't mean evil in other situations, just in the overall arch of the Absolute. Like as far as you know, your character is being hunted. When you tell the 2 brother and sister that you're the "survivors" of the ship or w/e, they want to kill you. You attend the Mindflayer ceremony at Goblin Camp and they want to attack if you can't persuade that you're a true soul, bc you killed the mindflayer. Right now the character has zero motivation to be joining the absolute or do anything. Again, it's Smart Evil vs Stupid Evil for this specific scenario. Losing all the "headcanon" stuff that oh this could happen and i can play both sides, etc etc. It...doesn't happen.

Hell I had no idea youcould even side with Minthara until I read about it, so even as a player it's not an option you learn about its just....it can happen. But half the time people might have already failed checks, failed sneaks, etc to get to Minthara and already started butchering half the Goblin Camp. Game Design wise it's weak to make you side with Minthara and the Goblins, and storywise it's just as weaker because your character isn't promised anything, again ignoring any headcanon stuff people might have like oh this can happen and etc etc.. You talk to Minthara and she's like "oh a true soul, lets go butcher a few druids and refugees"...and it's just like...okay? Cool I guess.


Completely agree with you there.

I mean I could be evil but I won't do evil just for the sake of it.

"Betray the Druids and kill them!" Ok but why though? You guys want to kill me if my cover is blown.
"Here is a cure to your problem and riches! Now kill the druids for us! And as a bonus since you are with us now we don't need to kill you. Sorry for the misunderstanding!" Now I am more tempted.

The whole point of good and evil is would your morals hold despite the easier and wealthier path? Or do you go down the more difficult and honorable path?

Betraying people just for the fun of it or for equal reward is just being a psycho. Appeal to my greed! My selfishness and hell maybe lust too if Minthara is up for a bang and wants to tag along.
I don't mind going evil if it meant money, servants, slaves and a mini goblin army I can call for a cost.

Now that would be more interesting.
Not whatever this is now.
Originally Posted by ArmouredHedgehog
It could be that they did not have enough time to include all the content for the absolute side. Some things are broken.
The absolute wants the crash survivors dead. The player was not supposed to be a true soul.

The mindflayer revealed:
"curved drow blades, crude goblin torches, gnoll teeth dripping blood
You see other mindflayers arranged in a seren circle. Absolute unity. Absolute power"
I am not sure whether or not the vision for the githyanki chase was a memory of the distant past or something that could happen. The Gith once fought the mindflayers and they had lots of nautiloids back then. But if the Gith hunted the nautiloid because they know that something like it is about to happen again then the mindflayers posess a fleet of ships once more.


Asking about the chase it did kind of feel like a "Those fkers always chase us amirite" moment than anything specific.

You ask about the thing Shadowheart has (the weapon), and it smells of brimstone and flesh. Lending weight to my theory that its an infernal puzzle box with some crazy contract in it.

When you ask if more of the illithid around it just has images of nautiloids coming from the deep space between crystal spheres a la reaper invasion. The people on the ground were supposed to have been converted like the woman was in the ship (if you pushed the button). When you ask why you were abducted it imagined empty pods, needing more bodies in them. I think theyre going for as many as possible, but I get the sense they are to be conditioned and turned and not necessarily just put back into the population. If youre marked its because you escaped. Id imagine going back to the fold would be more than ok with them.

-----

Eddiar - perfect word. PERFECT. Evil is psychotic in this as it stands. Through and through.
Yeah its the first word that came to me.

Its like Larian thought the people that like playing evil do it for the pleasure of it.
The only type of person this might appeal to is someone that likes hurting others just for the sake of it rather than some other ultarior motive.

And most of the time going evil involves MORE work... so why would I do something more difficult for little to no reward? Not to mention storywise things would be limiting. If I kill the Tieflings I won't see them when I reach Baldur's gate! I can't take advantage of all the advantages they could offer me.

So why should I be evil again?
Maybe I should be allowed to enslave the Tieflings and get the advantages through slavery instead of friendship.

Mol is setting up a thieve's guild right? So what if I become the big boss and if Mol doesn't behave then I threaten to kill his friends.

This is the perfect balance of being evil I think.
Even Anakin killing younglings did it because he thought it was for the greater good.
First post on the forum, but I had to make it. Larian said they wanted feedback on the evil path? So here I am, I actually like playing evil in RPG/CRPG's and overall I have to say Larian's evil route is pretty lacking. For my feedback, there will be spoilers.

Right, first issue. There is no incentive to side with the goblins. Unless you like kicking puppies for the sake of it or you just want to have sex with Minthara. That's what I see, the information you have on hand, without metagaming is that the tadpoles are dangerous, you're going to turn in to mindflayers, the game leads you to experts who all tell you that you want that thing out of your head as soon as possible. All of your party members save the vampire are in on that route, this is where the incentive comes in. If you're the good little evil player you would've most likely have used the power of the tadpole, got a dream and found new power. This is where Larian makes the mistake, the entity tempting you in your dream I think is not the tadpole. It's actually a proxy for the absolute. The narration goes into detail that the tadpole hates this person and upon the third dream if you lash out at them, they call you a monster instead of helping you.

If this entity is a proxy of the absolute by the second or third dream they should lead you towards Minthara, or just make an npc who wants to gather "true souls" if I'm outright wrong.

From there Minithara can tell you all about the glory of the cult and the fact you can control the tadpole thanks to the absolute. Que drama, this is the perfect time to do it. Now you have an explanation. Some of the party members can shift and go "wait" we can control it why do we need to get rid of power? Some of the members begin siding with the vampire. While others can still focus on the druid, since they do not trust the drow. What leads me to believe that the absolute's power is keeping the tadpole from changing you is this line, when the Illithiad option changes to true soul.



Now, you have further incentive, more power, more prestige and a lead to the cause of the abnormality if you don't care for the cult at all. Minthara could even begin handing you out quests, the goblin area could become the "evil" hub for the start of act 1. Through quests, slowly she begins to trust you and then she lets you into the plan of attacking the grove to prove yourself and earn an audience with the absolute. The issue is not the goblin raid itself, but you need a proper lead up to it instead of just turning around and deciding to murder people just because. It doesn't help either when you out yourself to two followers they want you dead on sight.

Last bit, after helping Minthara unless you do a proper dialogue check Minthara wants you dead, because orders from on high. Now we are delving into theory territory, at that point I think your PC is seen as a rival for the title of absolute. I don't know because it's so out there that the boss wants you dead after you did everything to help and now the goblin camp is also hostile. Rendering what you just did a moot point, great job killing those people for nothing.

The evil route needs more build up, more rewards. For example doing the route right could make Minthara a companion or you can keep the goblin camp as a hub or perhaps even both. Anyway, that's all I wanted to say.

Originally Posted by Eddiar
Yeah its the first word that came to me.

Its like Larian thought the people that like playing evil do it for the pleasure of it.
The only type of person this might appeal to is someone that likes hurting others just for the sake of it rather than some other ultarior motive.

And most of the time going evil involves MORE work... so why would I do something more difficult for little to no reward? Not to mention storywise things would be limiting. If I kill the Tieflings I won't see them when I reach Baldur's gate! I can't take advantage of all the advantages they could offer me.

So why should I be evil again?
Maybe I should be allowed to enslave the Tieflings and get the advantages through slavery instead of friendship.

Mol is setting up a thieve's guild right? So what if I become the big boss and if Mol doesn't behave then I threaten to kill his friends.

This is the perfect balance of being evil I think.
Even Anakin killing younglings did it because he thought it was for the greater good.


And even then, Anakin was a mindless tool at that point being puppeted by the real evil - palpatine. Who was smart as sheeeeit and was grand master chess moving things all across the systems. Anakin technically never really WENT evil. He was a thrall. Later, he mastered enough of the force to have sanity (surprising considering what happened to his body and mind) and never rebelled because he knew the emperor could destroy him and any plans he had would get his mind read. He was trapped.

I said it earlier - a smart, beholden to none, individual making the decisions that would most selfishly benefit them would help the refugees, the kids, and break the druids from the shadow grasp. You have allies. Lots of them. In lots of places now. Networks matter and theres a lot of knowledge and power in those pools and they'll never know that youre banging minthara on a blood soaked altar after you shake hands with them and say have a good one, Ill see you around. I have gained nothing from being evil - less than nothing mainly because you get good stuff from quest turn-ins. I keep trying to remember how i got some sweet items that I did in the other play through and im like...shoot was that from a quest?
@mozhad I love the idea of making the goblin camp YOUR camp. You start the game camping in the woods. When youre with druids it is a little area next to it thats all druid-y. If you change allegiances it says "Taking this path will move your camp to the goblin fort and you will no longer be able to visit the grove as a friend. Continue?"

The figure in the dreams pointing at the goblin camp would be interesting. If it is the absolute and it wants us to join then it should let us know how.
I hope that the people at Larian take a look at this thread. They hint so strongly at this path that it would be a waste to leave it as something so hard to find. "Look, you can join this new religion but we won't show you how or give you a good reason to do it"
Originally Posted by Orbax
@mozhad I love the idea of making the goblin camp YOUR camp. You start the game camping in the woods. When youre with druids it is a little area next to it thats all druid-y. If you change allegiances it says "Taking this path will move your camp to the goblin fort and you will no longer be able to visit the grove as a friend. Continue?"



Or just have some of the goblin npc's tag along in your camp. Minthara could even replace Halsin or become a full companion by the end of the raid. Also one more thing, Larian told us they handed us the evil companions, yes some of them are evil but it seems like only one of them have any interest in exploring the power of the tadpole. It's why I think adding some drama with the information Minthara could provide would make things interesting and make some of them join Astarion's camp on controlling them. Chiefly as I said in my post, when it comes to evil stories in rpg games, well written ones you need a good incentive. There is none here at the moment. The good route in the EA is actually fairly developed in comparison.
Originally Posted by Orbax
@mozhad I love the idea of making the goblin camp YOUR camp. You start the game camping in the woods. When youre with druids it is a little area next to it thats all druid-y. If you change allegiances it says "Taking this path will move your camp to the goblin fort and you will no longer be able to visit the grove as a friend. Continue?"




Right now the Evil side for this is like...a 2/10. If you could make the Goblin Camp your camp, it would be a 4/10. Because right now, the Goblins want to kill you EVEN if you side with them which is just....insane. Like...why? I don't get how this was a good or even a decent writing decision. Hell you could make it like the Ogres where you get a horn and you can call upon them a couple of times as a bonus to make you want to choose that path. Obv there would have to be some sort of cost to balance it out, but its...something?

And another thing what Mozhad said. These...evil companions aren't really....fully evil? All but Astarion approved of me wanting to kill the refugees lol. So even more punishing for the player. In the end Wyll left, which im fine with because consequences are good, but i don't even get a replacement. I half expected Minthara to join but she was like "we banged, peace out now and oh dont go back cuz goblins will kill you, lol". Nice, thanks game.
Originally Posted by UnderworldHades
Originally Posted by Orbax
@mozhad I love the idea of making the goblin camp YOUR camp. You start the game camping in the woods. When youre with druids it is a little area next to it thats all druid-y. If you change allegiances it says "Taking this path will move your camp to the goblin fort and you will no longer be able to visit the grove as a friend. Continue?"




Right now the Evil side for this is like...a 2/10. If you could make the Goblin Camp your camp, it would be a 4/10. Because right now, the Goblins want to kill you EVEN if you side with them which is just....insane. Like...why? I don't get how this was a good or even a decent writing decision. Hell you could make it like the Ogres where you get a horn and you can call upon them a couple of times as a bonus to make you want to choose that path. Obv there would have to be some sort of cost to balance it out, but its...something?

And another thing what Mozhad said. These...evil companions aren't really....fully evil? All but Astarion approved of me wanting to kill the refugees lol. So even more punishing for the player. In the end Wyll left, which im fine with because consequences are good, but i don't even get a replacement. I half expected Minthara to join but she was like "we banged, peace out now and oh dont go back cuz goblins will kill you, lol". Nice, thanks game.


Well you're right, I would also rate the evil path quite low as well. There is not build up to it, using the tadpole reveals that the moral fibre of your companions is actually not all that strong. Lae'zel gave in, it's why you don't get an approval hit for giving in yourself and an approval increase for resisting, she's actually very insecure and wants more prestige and power to impress her queen. Wyll also gives into the dream, because he's larping as a hero. Those two companions could easily shift, especially if Minthara could give wyll information on his personal quest. Despite his hero act, he's actually quite selfish. He approves if you push him to torture a man for information within the goblin camp. If you can make wyll more selfish it would be cool if he sticks around for the raid and party, showing his slide into evil.

The evil route just needs more content and build up. It's pretty bare bones right now right in comparison to the good route.
@orbax, and armoredhedgehog

Nah the book didn't specify, again this is my horrid 'head canon' yet we don't know, probably not a way to find out until later on, maybe even in another act. yet it's just a bit of lore I've picked up, the link is that Jergal himself is a forgotten god for the most part. Then there is his cleric that comes to join your camp. Bits of conversations here and there, which of course adjusts my head canon.

Beholder seems a likely scenerio as well they have been known to do similair things. Though what if the Absolute is actually an elder brain gone mad? I mean the tadpoles are from Illithid. Then there is the conversation with Us on the ship where he says they are fleeing a great evil. Maybe something from another plane? The Far realm?

There are so many hints, and drops, and nothing really concrete, and I for one haven't explored all of them. Just now finally moving out of the druids grove, and surrounding areas to the blighted village, then goblin camp. 60+ hours and lots of characters that I'm slowly no lifeing it through. Then again it's the first act and in the grand scope of things we are pissons

I'll have to play through some more, to see further things I find. Atm currently dealing with Guts stupid combat, though may skip it just for the moment. Got what I need from her the mark, then explore the options with the other 2. With my evil characters, or with just one, then see what happens with my good character. Sadly I don't have that damn ogre horn yet.
Originally Posted by Orbax
Originally Posted by Eddiar
Yeah its the first word that came to me.

Its like Larian thought the people that like playing evil do it for the pleasure of it.
The only type of person this might appeal to is someone that likes hurting others just for the sake of it rather than some other ultarior motive.

And most of the time going evil involves MORE work... so why would I do something more difficult for little to no reward? Not to mention storywise things would be limiting. If I kill the Tieflings I won't see them when I reach Baldur's gate! I can't take advantage of all the advantages they could offer me.

So why should I be evil again?
Maybe I should be allowed to enslave the Tieflings and get the advantages through slavery instead of friendship.

Mol is setting up a thieve's guild right? So what if I become the big boss and if Mol doesn't behave then I threaten to kill his friends.

This is the perfect balance of being evil I think.
Even Anakin killing younglings did it because he thought it was for the greater good.


And even then, Anakin was a mindless tool at that point being puppeted by the real evil - palpatine. Who was smart as sheeeeit and was grand master chess moving things all across the systems. Anakin technically never really WENT evil. He was a thrall. Later, he mastered enough of the force to have sanity (surprising considering what happened to his body and mind) and never rebelled because he knew the emperor could destroy him and any plans he had would get his mind read. He was trapped.

I said it earlier - a smart, beholden to none, individual making the decisions that would most selfishly benefit them would help the refugees, the kids, and break the druids from the shadow grasp. You have allies. Lots of them. In lots of places now. Networks matter and theres a lot of knowledge and power in those pools and they'll never know that youre banging minthara on a blood soaked altar after you shake hands with them and say have a good one, Ill see you around. I have gained nothing from being evil - less than nothing mainly because you get good stuff from quest turn-ins. I keep trying to remember how i got some sweet items that I did in the other play through and im like...shoot was that from a quest?

A quick ask, did Palpatine keep the good people around, aka the jedi? Which if you keep the grove alive is just the same as him keeping the jedi around? And Anakin was looking for the quick route the reward route which Palpatine offered him.

Also he used greedy factions to further his plans, played one side against the other, killed anyone that got in his way either himself, or others. None of what Palpatine did was the quick route, the easy route. The one that gave him the most rewards. Then there is the fact that Palpatine was not any where near lvl 1 when things went down. At level one he was serving a master that offered little in the way of rewards, other then him getting stronger. It wasn't until he was strong enough that he struck his master down, and started getting rewarded. Which again wasn't at level 4.

You siiiiir need to stop quoting Palpatine!! and remember your only level 1 - 4! Not 10 - 15! Anyway back to my gaming, have fun.
I think "us" just refers to the imps and the hordes of the bloodwar under the nautiloid. They later get boarded by followers of Zariel.
In my absolute speculation thread
https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=700069&page=2
sharp commented that it could be an elder brain, namely

Loulaum


I agree that the goblins turning hostile does not appear to make sense.
Originally Posted by ArmouredHedgehog
I think "us" just refers to the imps and the hordes of the bloodwar under the nautiloid. They later get boarded by followers of Zariel.
In my absolute speculation thread
https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=700069&page=2
sharp commented that it could be an elder brain, namely

Loulaum


I agree that the goblins turning hostile does not appear to make sense.


For some reason a big chunk of EA's narrative conclusions whether its dialogue or events ends up being the same thing or damn near close. Its like the writers have decided this predetermined outcome and although we could twist and wriggle a little we always end up where they want eventually.
It would be a wasted opportunity if all of this was only the illusion of a choice. Replay value would be limited if all choices led to the same results. They spent a lot of time for changing the appearance of the swamp instead of building just one dark version. I hope that they devote more resources to meaningful story branchings in the future.
Originally Posted by clavis
@orbax, and armoredhedgehog

Beholder seems a likely scenerio as well they have been known to do similair things. Though what if the Absolute is actually an elder brain gone mad? I mean the tadpoles are from Illithid. Then there is the conversation with Us on the ship where he says they are fleeing a great evil. Maybe something from another plane? The Far realm?

There are so many hints, and drops, and nothing really concrete, and I for one haven't explored all of them. Just now finally moving out of the druids grove, and surrounding areas to the blighted village, then goblin camp. 60+ hours and lots of characters that I'm slowly no lifeing it through. Then again it's the first act and in the grand scope of things we are pissons

.


So the pieces I have so far are:

- The hag when she takes your eye and tries to get rid of the slug says its netherese magic protecting it - crazy if you know anything about them. They deal in artefacts, very powerful ones. Or did, when they were still a civilization before the Spellplague.
- The dead illithid in goblin camp said the Absolute was a ring of illithid psionics controlling everything
- There is some "weapon" that seems to be an infernal puzzle box, which would mean it has a contract. If the gith want it and the illithids had it...its hard to know what that means. The gith have a contract with tiamat, but how theyd lose it, I cant imagine. So wtf is it. If its not an infernal puzzle box, then I really dont know. Other than something moved inside of it. The source of the control for all of the slugs? A contained netherese artifact that, if opened, removes the stasis the bugs are in?! Who knows?!
- A potential mass invasion by the illithids based on the vision from the dead mindflayer of them dropping out of deep space
- Gith doing everything they can to stop them and retrieve that thing. The stakes seem to be a lot higher than just pod people plans - and why now?!
- The land has turned crazy - that is usually A. A creatures lair or B. A lost netherese workshop and its rampant, crazy magic is fucking everything up
- We have anti-magic research in the underdark and an "escaped" illithid working with the illuminated brotherhood or whatever it is. If you listen to their NPC chatter it has something to do with some crazy research theyre playing with.

This all makes me feel like the belly of the beast is a netherese workshop, ship, town half buried and rediscovered by the illithid who have reclaimed it and are amassing an army so they can unleash all of the illithid and nautiloids at once using the artefacts and items they have discovered within to harness both magic and anti-magic powers and fuck.shit. up.
I think we're way too shoehorned into good path.

There certainly need to be more incentives and quests that offer you alternative evil path. We're literally shoved into druid grove forcefully, unless you pick some unnatural and borderline mentally unstable choices. There's just no pragmatic evil path there, no decent agent of evil to entice you and lead you to the evil path with apparent benefits, power and status, without being a cultist looney that seems to be all over the place.

After druid grove we encounter this dying dwarf and disciples of Absolute, that's good, but it's not Druid Grove magnitude of good. There needs to be more, these guys should lead you to some "League of Evil" outpost somewhere midway to temple, where they can intro you to a bunch of characters evil side and charismatic characters at that - maybe some evil bard to mirror that great tiefling bard and a some fighters and such who are not just your hurr durr goblins, but maybe drow/human/etc that might be disciples of Absolute, but not batshit insane about it.

That fallen Paladin of Tyr is a great example of ultimately bad apple that you can reason with. I am sure there are more with Absolute side that are not just "hurr durr we love killing and flaying, praise our holy god!", but are more of - it's a good business or smarter to be on a winning side kind of guys that you can find common ground with. Have these characters be charismatic in their own way, so you might actually want to continue with them, even if it's under banner of some fake god and with goblins and murdehobos galore.
Either the Dwarf and the 2 brothers can take you, or even Minthara can come up to you REALLY early on looking for survivors and stuff and entice you there, and offer an alliance.
Originally Posted by Gaidax
I think we're way too shoehorned into good path.

There certainly need to be more incentives and quests that offer you alternative evil path. We're literally shoved into druid grove forcefully, unless you pick some unnatural and borderline mentally unstable choices. There's just no pragmatic evil path there, no decent agent of evil to entice you and lead you to the evil path with apparent benefits, power and status, without being a cultist looney that seems to be all over the place.

After druid grove we encounter this dying dwarf and disciples of Absolute, that's good, but it's not Druid Grove magnitude of good. There needs to be more, these guys should lead you to some "League of Evil" outpost somewhere midway to temple, where they can intro you to a bunch of characters evil side and charismatic characters at that - maybe some evil bard to mirror that great tiefling bard and a some fighters and such who are not just your hurr durr goblins, but maybe drow/human/etc that might be disciples of Absolute, but not batshit insane about it.

That fallen Paladin of Tyr is a great example of ultimately bad apple that you can reason with. I am sure there are more with Absolute side that are not just "hurr durr we love killing and flaying, praise our holy god!", but are more of - it's a good business or smarter to be on a winning side kind of guys that you can find common ground with. Have these characters be charismatic in their own way, so you might actually want to continue with them, even if it's under banner of some fake god and with goblins and murdehobos galore.



Wow you just articulated all I wanted in such a short post! Bravo! You're right you are basically shoved into the druid grove and route, logically it makes sense to go down that path. Siding with goblins is way too out there for me.
Mindflayers using netherese artifacts or a netherese mage using mindflayers
They have set up an interesting story.

If the artifact is indeed the contract between Gith and Tiamat and Shadowheart stole it then the followers of Shar must be desperate. Send a lvl 1 Cleric to steal the powerbase of the Gith? She was not alone, but she has it.

Sven promised an evil approach would be rewarding. As it is now it is mostly confusing. It feels like they changed the story at some point and only managed to implement half of the changes for early access.
Originally Posted by clavis

A quick ask, did Palpatine keep the good people around, aka the jedi? Which if you keep the grove alive is just the same as him keeping the jedi around? And Anakin was looking for the quick route the reward route which Palpatine offered him.

Also he used greedy factions to further his plans, played one side against the other, killed anyone that got in his way either himself, or others. None of what Palpatine did was the quick route, the easy route. The one that gave him the most rewards. Then there is the fact that Palpatine was not any where near lvl 1 when things went down. At level one he was serving a master that offered little in the way of rewards, other then him getting stronger. It wasn't until he was strong enough that he struck his master down, and started getting rewarded. Which again wasn't at level 4.

You siiiiir need to stop quoting Palpatine!! and remember your only level 1 - 4! Not 10 - 15! Anyway back to my gaming, have fun.


Haha, I was referencing their big bad person being more palpatine-like. Being caught up in their machinations should feel reasonable, slowly eroding your moral compass. You find out later that the little thing you do played into something far larger than yourself. You right now are an innocent babe, and their palpatine should be finding and turning you a little bit at a time. Right now its the joker pulling up in an onfire trashcan on wheels saying "wanna hop in?!"
The absolute needs to work on recruitment strategy. Their current approach "demand everything, offer little in return" only attracts followers of Loviathar and they already have a goddess.
Originally Posted by Orbax
Originally Posted by clavis

A quick ask, did Palpatine keep the good people around, aka the jedi? Which if you keep the grove alive is just the same as him keeping the jedi around? And Anakin was looking for the quick route the reward route which Palpatine offered him.

Also he used greedy factions to further his plans, played one side against the other, killed anyone that got in his way either himself, or others. None of what Palpatine did was the quick route, the easy route. The one that gave him the most rewards. Then there is the fact that Palpatine was not any where near lvl 1 when things went down. At level one he was serving a master that offered little in the way of rewards, other then him getting stronger. It wasn't until he was strong enough that he struck his master down, and started getting rewarded. Which again wasn't at level 4.

You siiiiir need to stop quoting Palpatine!! and remember your only level 1 - 4! Not 10 - 15! Anyway back to my gaming, have fun.


Haha, I was referencing their big bad person being more palpatine-like. Being caught up in their machinations should feel reasonable, slowly eroding your moral compass. You find out later that the little thing you do played into something far larger than yourself. You right now are an innocent babe, and their palpatine should be finding and turning you a little bit at a time. Right now its the joker pulling up in an onfire trashcan on wheels saying "wanna hop in?!"


Why would you not hop in??? thats a sweet ride.

Still that is how it's feeling every little thing we are doing is playing into a bigger machine. Even using tadpole, or not using it, siding with the grove, siding with goblins. going after the hag, it's all lil cogs in the deathstar... (eh not my best, but I'm doing alot of eyerolling over other stuff.) The deathstar itself being made up of everything we do, which leads to us being good, evil, neutral, or even mindflayer. Which I rather enjoy what they are doing with the last one, well all of it really.
I remember cracking up at her overly exagerated and sometimes out of place facial animations, specially when it's reward time at night. Like Larian went full Merrie Melodies with this char which ironically is supposed to be an Evil Drow.
Originally Posted by clavis
Originally Posted by Orbax

Right now its the joker pulling up in an onfire trashcan on wheels saying "wanna hop in?!"


Why would you not hop in??? thats a sweet ride.

Still that is how it's feeling every little thing we are doing is playing into a bigger machine. Even using tadpole, or not using it, siding with the grove, siding with goblins. going after the hag, it's all lil cogs in the deathstar... (eh not my best, but I'm doing alot of eyerolling over other stuff.) The deathstar itself being made up of everything we do, which leads to us being good, evil, neutral, or even mindflayer. Which I rather enjoy what they are doing with the last one, well all of it really.


In all honesty, if they did something that blatant id be so damn intrigued id hop in immediately to see where it was going. I might not get anything, Ill probably die, but its gonna be crazy. Id take preposterous over pedestrian any day. This...if I hadnt gotten some rad video game sex, Id probably have reloaded the game back to the decision point save I made.

I don't have much more to say on the subject. Ill invoke Godwin's Law and say if the writing team couldn't make Hitler an appealing choice, then don't say youre taking it seriously.

[Linked Image]


+1 I liked the ending of the EA evil playthrough, but I had a real hard time motivating it up until then. I don't do anything and I'm not promised anything but still I'm trusted enough and feel like it's worthwhile to take the evil path. I want to feel Minthara's betrayal and I want another reason than being a goblin lover to follow her.

As a female drow I had an extra hard time accepting the road to the more interesting ending
(Minthara alive, new road to Moonruse unlocked)
.
Quote
- The magnetism of the Absolute - Lets say there is a feeling of shared connection. You meet people who were on the ship too who do not trust you - your entire party, for instance. Yet you walk into a goblin fortress as a tiefling and a drow warlord is like "yo, I feel connected. Go slaughter a village for me then we are gonna sacrifice them onto the altar of the absolute and we'll have sex on their blood". Bruh, I just got out of hell like 3 days ago and accidentally found this place. You're not moving in yet, we arent even dating, why is this going so fast?! The majority of time the brain slug has only garnered distrust from others because they know what it is and that everyone who has one is a risk. Its only the people without them who are gettingg mind controlled who think its pretty great. I just dont see it as a believable wand-wave for things going that well. Its why I mentioned the quests. "fine, I sense you might be useful. Now prove it.


I am planning an Evil EA playthrough but have been watching Let's Plays and can confirm that the initial scene with Minthara is confusing and underwhelming. Walking into Minthara's lair a total stranger and instantly being awarded with a crucial mission just does not make any sense, unless Minthara is barking mad. But that's not how she is presented in the game, she comes across as a zealot for the Absolute but that still doesn't explain her unusual instant trust for the PC.
Originally Posted by dmwyvern
Quote
- The magnetism of the Absolute - Lets say there is a feeling of shared connection. You meet people who were on the ship too who do not trust you - your entire party, for instance. Yet you walk into a goblin fortress as a tiefling and a drow warlord is like "yo, I feel connected. Go slaughter a village for me then we are gonna sacrifice them onto the altar of the absolute and we'll have sex on their blood". Bruh, I just got out of hell like 3 days ago and accidentally found this place. You're not moving in yet, we arent even dating, why is this going so fast?! The majority of time the brain slug has only garnered distrust from others because they know what it is and that everyone who has one is a risk. Its only the people without them who are gettingg mind controlled who think its pretty great. I just dont see it as a believable wand-wave for things going that well. Its why I mentioned the quests. "fine, I sense you might be useful. Now prove it.


I am planning an Evil EA playthrough but have been watching Let's Plays and can confirm that the initial scene with Minthara is confusing and underwhelming. Walking into Minthara's lair a total stranger and instantly being awarded with a crucial mission just does not make any sense, unless Minthara is barking mad. But that's not how she is presented in the game, she comes across as a zealot for the Absolute but that still doesn't explain her unusual instant trust for the PC.



The absolute actually want's you dead both Minthara and the always dead cleric goblin make this abundantly clear. The cleric just purely wants you gone, Minthara wants to use you and sees the lust in bloodlust during the druid circle attack. She is also VERY into power, and if you can convince her that you HAVE the power, then she will follow.
It seems that the followers of the absolute do not know that they have tadpoles. I guess Minthara would be surprised if someone told her. Could be an interesting dialogue.
I hate that you end up having to
Slay all the goblins anyways in the Goblin route for EXP since they turn hostile.
Originally Posted by ArmouredHedgehog
It seems that the followers of the absolute do not know that they have tadpoles. I guess Minthara would be surprised if someone told her. Could be an interesting dialogue.



This is an interesting point. You run into people from the ship who know you have a brain slug and you run into followers of the Absolute, who know you as a true soul. From the first, a relatively recent excursion by a spelljammer where the crew had no qualms about making you watch them drop a worm in your eye; and the second a relatively new (for a religion) cult that is (if you believe the dead mind flayer) a group of the same type of folks on the spelljammer but ...didnt? let you know they put slugs in your brains?

Its good that I can't figure out their plotline - it means its not simple - but if you have, at the surface:

1. A roaming, kidnapping, spelljammer squid group implanting dormant slugs blatantly
2. A subterranean squid group implanting dormant slugly slyly
3. A hag that said the slugs were protected by netherese magic
4. The netherese were artificers and have since gone extinct (though, I suppose Gale could be one...hmmm)

We could likely assume that the squids are sourcing dormant slugs from the same rare source - some kind of netherese artifact.

But! The people on the ship seemed to be between school teacher thralls and ones scheduled for exaltation. There didn't seem to be a middle class like these "True Souls". You either were a slave or you knew you had it but thats ok, youre about to be a squid. The class structure is weird because Minthara, if you lie to her about Halsin and say youre on a mission to get him, says "I have a new mission for you, kill the grove". You ask why and she says because it shows our power in the region the absolute has claimed. So wait, you can just give me new orders? Can I just give you new orders right now then, too? Is that how True Souls work?

If you tell her to get out of your mind when she mind reads for the grove you can bluff and say youre the chosen - a failure has her say "good, then killing you will show my superiority".

So, it does seem they don't know its a slug. Minthara just says she can feel the Absolute moving around in her and recognizes it in you. It doesn't seem to have any issues with brain slug carriers murdering each other, even though it means the ejection of the DuraSlug™ into whatever environment the host died in. Plus, that would let the other True Soul see that and feel a connection to it - potentially revealing their own filthy secret.

Im not saying they mean to have a bulletproof plot right now considering all the little pieces of information you can gather and then apply logic to, but I think that the importance of the DuraSlug™ and the loose control over the True Souls and their extreme aggression. And that odd scene at the start where the True Soul dwarf died outside the Owlbear cave and they were searching for ship people - and were KOS to them apparently as they tried to slaughter you the second they found out. So, why are you all to be eradicated? Youre "True Souls" who know the truth and didn't get exalted? Those ships are there to make one of two things? The underground place goes through the extra effort of subversion to create armies? Thats a lot of noise to be making right now for a small army with a new god bent on domination and subjugation and the subversion or destruction of other beliefs.

Overall, I remain confused by their tactics.
Maybe the mindflayers would have finished the process of creating true-souls if not for the crash. As it is the amnesia is not there and they do not want the survivors to tell the true souls what they really are
Minthara is too bipolar to have ever survived in Lolthian drow society, you can't be that crazy unless you're a matron mother or at least a high priestess and get away with living - someone would shank you

the fact that she has sex with you immediately is fine, Drow are like that, but it would have been nice to have more beforehand:

Minthara should absolutely explain the absolute to you. She should understand that you're from the ship and see you as a gift, she should give you the sales pitch on the religion. She should tell you WHY the absolute is building an army. She should show us the humans who are living in harmony with the absolute. Instead of murdering all the tieflings, you should kill their leaders and the rest should be given the choice to join or die.

Even Lolth's drow don't massacre everyone when they take an area. They take slaves, soldiers, etc. The Absolute should be a *less chaotic* force of evil than Lolth, and we should have some reasons why we do things. "Evil!" isn't good enough, that's not a motivation
Originally Posted by override367
Minthara is too bipolar to have ever survived in Lolthian drow society, you can't be that crazy unless you're a matron mother or at least a high priestess and get away with living - someone would shank you

the fact that she has sex with you immediately is fine, Drow are like that, but it would have been nice to have more beforehand:

Minthara should absolutely explain the absolute to you. She should understand that you're from the ship and see you as a gift, she should give you the sales pitch on the religion. She should tell you WHY the absolute is building an army. She should show us the humans who are living in harmony with the absolute. Instead of murdering all the tieflings, you should kill their leaders and the rest should be given the choice to join or die.

Even Lolth's drow don't massacre everyone when they take an area. They take slaves, soldiers, etc. The Absolute should be a *less chaotic* force of evil than Lolth, and we should have some reasons why we do things. "Evil!" isn't good enough, that's not a motivation



Yes, that would be a good idea. The player should not specifically look for this opportunity himself, he should be guided and given an informed choice.
But I have an assumption that not everything is so simple with the Absolute, and many interesting situations await us in the future. Perhaps she will get rid of the tadpole, stop serving the Absolute and will be the law-evil with us, strive for personal power
Quote
Minthara should absolutely explain the absolute to you. She should understand that you're from the ship and see you as a gift, she should give you the sales pitch on the religion. She should tell you WHY the absolute is building an army. She should show us the humans who are living in harmony with the absolute. Instead of murdering all the tieflings, you should kill their leaders and the rest should be given the choice to join or die.

Even Lolth's drow don't massacre everyone when they take an area. They take slaves, soldiers, etc. The Absolute should be a *less chaotic* force of evil than Lolth, and we should have some reasons why we do things. "Evil!" isn't good enough, that's not a motivation


Thank you for writing this up. Minthara does not clue you in on anything and thus comes across as a one-dimensional villain nobody in their right mind would betray everyone they have met so far for.
Originally Posted by Vhaldez


Thank you for writing this up. Minthara does not clue you in on anything and thus comes across as a one-dimensional villain nobody in their right mind would betray everyone they have met so far for.

I don't see one-dimensional as a problem. That can mean focused and efficient. Her focus is obviously gaining the favor of the absolute. I think the real problem is that she does not tell the player why working for the absolute would be a good deal in the players situation. "Don't worry, no true soul has ever turned into a mindflayer" would be a start. Larian obviously did not want to spoil too much about what the absolute is and what its goals are. That creates problems. "Hey there stranger, work for the NTFQ on some high risk job" "Why and what is the NTFQ" "Some intelligence agency somewhere with some purpose. I can tell you nothing about the details of the mission, our country or the salary. Are you in?"

Make the dream or the encounter with Edowin point the player toward the absolute option
Explain at least a bit about what the absolute is
Explain why the player does not need to worry about turning into a mindflayer by abandoning attempts to ged rid of the tadpole
Explain what the absolute has to offer and why it is likely to win the fight with the other religions and establish dominance in Faerun
Originally Posted by Orbax
Originally Posted by ArmouredHedgehog
It seems that the followers of the absolute do not know that they have tadpoles. I guess Minthara would be surprised if someone told her. Could be an interesting dialogue.



This is an interesting point. You run into people from the ship who know you have a brain slug and you run into followers of the Absolute, who know you as a true soul. From the first, a relatively recent excursion by a spelljammer where the crew had no qualms about making you watch them drop a worm in your eye; and the second a relatively new (for a religion) cult that is (if you believe the dead mind flayer) a group of the same type of folks on the spelljammer but ...didnt? let you know they put slugs in your brains?

Its good that I can't figure out their plotline - it means its not simple - but if you have, at the surface:

1. A roaming, kidnapping, spelljammer squid group implanting dormant slugs blatantly
2. A subterranean squid group implanting dormant slugly slyly
3. A hag that said the slugs were protected by netherese magic
4. The netherese were artificers and have since gone extinct (though, I suppose Gale could be one...hmmm)

We could likely assume that the squids are sourcing dormant slugs from the same rare source - some kind of netherese artifact.

But! The people on the ship seemed to be between school teacher thralls and ones scheduled for exaltation. There didn't seem to be a middle class like these "True Souls". You either were a slave or you knew you had it but thats ok, youre about to be a squid. The class structure is weird because Minthara, if you lie to her about Halsin and say youre on a mission to get him, says "I have a new mission for you, kill the grove". You ask why and she says because it shows our power in the region the absolute has claimed. So wait, you can just give me new orders? Can I just give you new orders right now then, too? Is that how True Souls work?

If you tell her to get out of your mind when she mind reads for the grove you can bluff and say youre the chosen - a failure has her say "good, then killing you will show my superiority".

So, it does seem they don't know its a slug. Minthara just says she can feel the Absolute moving around in her and recognizes it in you. It doesn't seem to have any issues with brain slug carriers murdering each other, even though it means the ejection of the DuraSlug™ into whatever environment the host died in. Plus, that would let the other True Soul see that and feel a connection to it - potentially revealing their own filthy secret.

Im not saying they mean to have a bulletproof plot right now considering all the little pieces of information you can gather and then apply logic to, but I think that the importance of the DuraSlug™ and the loose control over the True Souls and their extreme aggression. And that odd scene at the start where the True Soul dwarf died outside the Owlbear cave and they were searching for ship people - and were KOS to them apparently as they tried to slaughter you the second they found out. So, why are you all to be eradicated? Youre "True Souls" who know the truth and didn't get exalted? Those ships are there to make one of two things? The underground place goes through the extra effort of subversion to create armies? Thats a lot of noise to be making right now for a small army with a new god bent on domination and subjugation and the subversion or destruction of other beliefs.

Overall, I remain confused by their tactics.


Small point, The netherese are not extinct. Not every Netherese arcanist was on Thulthanthar when it crashed into Myth Drannor ~14 years before the events of the game

At the very least, textually, there is a Netherese Lord in the host tower of the arcane in luskan, and there is a coven of Netherese Sorceresses in Anauroch. Presumably there are other Netherese wizards in Anauroch, Telamont wouldn't have trusted all of them to go on his great crusade with him - there were also many survivors of Thultanthar that teleported away or were on the ground on various assignments all over Faerun
Originally Posted by override367


Small point, The netherese are not extinct. Not every Netherese arcanist was on Thulthanthar when it crashed into Myth Drannor ~14 years before the events of the game

At the very least, textually, there is a Netherese Lord in the host tower of the arcane in luskan, and there is a coven of Netherese Sorceresses in Anauroch. Presumably there are other Netherese wizards in Anauroch, Telamont wouldn't have trusted all of them to go on his great crusade with him - there were also many survivors of Thultanthar that teleported away or were on the ground on various assignments all over Faerun


Good points! The only thing is that Karus' Folly with Mystril was -339 DR and BG is 1494. The Time of Troubles was more than a century ago when Mystra was destroyed by Helm and yet a new Mystra took the mantle. The Netherese, as far as anyone has known them, have been gone for quite some time. The reappearance of Thulthanthar and its destruction were a relatively quick blip on that map. You're right that some probably exist out there, but not in the sense of "The Netherese" or its empire. You can't go find or visit them or anything as a people. I think there is one city left out in the wild still though? Probably still jet setting around the Astral Sea plotting devious things.
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