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#812982 05/04/22 05:13 AM
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While developing some suggested random encounters scenarios, this came back to the forefront of my mind. It has been something that I've been thinking since the second or third playthrough.

The temptations to use the tadpole are, in general, VERY weak. What I mean is that I don't find myself very tempted to use them. That said, a few have pushed me a bit, but most do not. I'm like, "Any use of the tadpole has GOT to be bad. Avoid at all costs."

The only reason I have used the powers at all was because I wanted to see what happens.

So, I think the temptations should be MUCH more challenging. Sure. Maybe to begin with, it's minor stuff, like what is in game currently up through the grove. But we need more temptations after the grove.

Things to tempt better:

1. Encounters that tempt you to use illithid tadpole to avoid bad results. Ie. Someone tries to cast a spell on you, and you can only resist by using the tadpole. Which poison you gonna take? Tadpole or the effects of that person's spell. In other words, make the scenario so the player thinks, "Dang! If I don't use the tadpole, that's a pretty nasty condition I'll have.". Something of that nature that really makes you maybe consider the tadpole. Don't give the players an easy out. Make it a tough choice,. Be charmed or use the tadpole. Be cursed for a day or use the tadpole. Something not so severe that the player is frustrated, but something that at least makes the player really want to go with the tadpole.

2. Encounters that tempt you in order to gain an item, powerful spell, or other reward. In other words, you can't get that chest open to see what's inside unless you use the tadpole. You can't unlock that door without using it. You can't use that cool weapon without it.

So, instead of weapon that are like, "You gain this benefit if you have the Absolute's Mark," it would be something more like, "You are required to call upon the tadpole in order to use this item's powers.". So, item grants you a +1 to hit and damage with 1d6 extra whatever damage, or something similar, but only if you accept the tadpole's power. Once per day but affect lasts until long rest or weapon unequipped.

Again, the point is, don't give an easy out. If I can lockpick and get the item or through the door, and the tadpole isn't NECESSARY, I'll just pick the lock instead. But, if I think a door might lead to a cool item, but I absolutely cannot get the door open without the tadpole, I might use the tadpole.

3. More tadpole powers immediately. Those powers you get after the first dream? Those are tempting to use. If I had those powers immediately, I might have been tempted to use them more and thus trigger the dream lover. Especially during hard combat situations where it looks like I'm losing, yeah, if those powers are available, I might have and use them to win the fight and live.

There main issue I see with the current temptations is they're too nice. The penalties for not using them are weak. Don't pray into Wyll's mind? So what? He tells you plenty without the prying. Same with Shadowheart. You don't really gain much from prying, and they tell you plenty.

Commanding a goblin so you don't have to fight is kinda weak. Some may not like fighting and might use it, but I would think few would be tempted. However, if you were surrounded by 2 dozen goblins all ready to kill you, and if you don't use the tadpole you're pretty much dead - THAT'S as serious temptation.

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I'm not sure about all details... But definitely a very good suggestion !

- A first power for everyone.
- Use the tadpole to increase your sucess rate when you have dialogs checks (maybe use it "as" an inspiration point).

I don't really know how, but I have to admit that I'm definitely not tempted by the tadpole. It doesn't seem worth it at the moment and as you said, avoid a few combats is not really rewarding to me (I like fighting, especially evil goblins !).
It would be cool if the tadpole's corruption wasn't so "evil route" dependant.

+1

Last edited by Maximuuus; 05/04/22 06:44 AM.
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Originally Posted by GM4Him
So, instead of weapon that are like, "You gain this benefit if you have the Absolute's Mark," it would be something more like, "You are required to call upon the tadpole in order to use this item's powers.". So, item grants you a +1 to hit and damage with 1d6 extra whatever damage, or something similar, but only if you accept the tadpole's power. Once per day but affect lasts until long rest or weapon unequipped.

There's actually a perfect mechanic that they could retrofit to make an adaptation for for this, incidentally. If you read up on illithids, you'll find reference to the weapons and armours their thralls use. they're special magical/psionic equipment that is brutally powerful for its challenge bracket, but is made so by the illithid, specifically for use by their personal thralls to be effective with, and can't be utilised any other way. They could definitely do something to adapt that in a satisfying way, if they wanted to.

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Originally Posted by Niara
Originally Posted by GM4Him
So, instead of weapon that are like, "You gain this benefit if you have the Absolute's Mark," it would be something more like, "You are required to call upon the tadpole in order to use this item's powers.". So, item grants you a +1 to hit and damage with 1d6 extra whatever damage, or something similar, but only if you accept the tadpole's power. Once per day but affect lasts until long rest or weapon unequipped.

There's actually a perfect mechanic that they could retrofit to make an adaptation for for this, incidentally. If you read up on illithids, you'll find reference to the weapons and armours their thralls use. they're special magical/psionic equipment that is brutally powerful for its challenge bracket, but is made so by the illithid, specifically for use by their personal thralls to be effective with, and can't be utilised any other way. They could definitely do something to adapt that in a satisfying way, if they wanted to.

Yes. And they kinda already sorta have that already in the game with the Absolute gear. If you have the Mark, the gauntlets will... If not, the gauntlets will...

Either way, the details were just stuff I whipped up on the spot. It's the overall concept I'm suggesting. The temptations are really not strong. I can't even remember when I was actually on the fence about using the powers. I think there was maybe one or two encounters.

I'm thinking we need stuff like, "In order to save Arabella, you might need to use the tadpole.". Even if it isn't true, and you can save her by being smart about it, the game needs to tempt you more, trying to convince you how if you use the tadpole, you are sure to succeed.

Like Vader, it needs to say, "Join me. It is the ONLY way."

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I really love the idea ...
Im just a little woried about its execution. :-/
I mean right now we are suppose (at least it seems that way to me) to wonder if our Dream Person and the Tadpole is the same entity or not ... the more we will poke to this, the less it would hold together. laugh

But it would be nice if they adapt something simmilar to how Emperor Valkorion tempt you in Star Wars the Old Republic (the MMO) ...
In certain situations time stops and Valcorion come to your pc ... claiming that he can easily solve your problem, if you submit to his power ...

That example with Arabela would be perfect for such exhibition ...
Kagha ordering her inprisonment ... Arabela strugling with Rath ... sneak preparing to strike ... all showed us in slow motion ...
And then time sudently stops ... and mysterious voice tells us "you can safe her, just give me control".

That would be something i would really like.
But im really woried that Larian would do it completely different. laugh

Last edited by RagnarokCzD; 05/04/22 12:49 PM.

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Yeah, tadpole as it is doesn't integrate with the rest of the game - it's more like a seperate, clearly bad option, that you can pick. Having it tie into core mechanics, be it skill checks or combat would be so much interesting and tempting to use. It would be nice if it would tie into combat (I know you get some tadople skills if you use it, but I only got them once out of curiosity). One could imagine many interesting ways to incorparate tadpole into combat, but considering how hard BG3 works to hide gameplay mechanics I struggle to imagine it being implemented in any other way as it is now.

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I honestly think the tadpole powers are cool, but I never go down that road. Like others, I've only ever done that path like once, maybe twice. I mean, as you see your companions deteriorating and becoming obviously more messed with by the tadpole's strange transformations, it becomes less and less of a temptation.

If they REALLY want to make the tadpole a valid part of the game, they REALLY need to step up the temptation aspect of it.

I remember my first playthrough. I spent so much time on my Dream Lover in the beginning. Then I got to the end, expecting to meet her as I sailed off the shore in the Underdark, only to not find her ever. I went out and looked up what the deal was with her, and I was stunned to discover she was only accessible if I gave in to the tadpole.

What? Why would I do that? Anything "Illithid Powers" related is only obviously going to turn me into a Mind Flayer that much faster. So why on Earth would I ever use them? I had no reason to.

So all that time on the dream person was wasted because I was thinking, "I'm NEVER going to give in to the tadpole. EVER.

All that work they did for the Illithid powers you get, and I've never even tried all of them. I think the druid is still the main one I haven't done. Why? Because there is nothing I like about the illithid tadpole path. Nothing makes me want to go there because everything about it is totally negative except the tadpole powers, and even those you can't use very often.

That's all I'm saying here. Why waste time on all that if you aren't going to at least make it more tantalizing for the players. Give us reasons to actually go down the path to the Dark Side.

And make the first Dream Lover sequence happen somewhat early in the game, maybe even before Raphael, and grant us those powers right away. THEN I'd be more tempted.

Imagine. Shadowheart's down to 3 HP. The spider matriarch, I know, is about to come for her. She has that Survival Instinct ability. If she falls, she instantly gains HP instead. Oh yeah! I'd be tempted to have her use that power because it's right there, teasing me. "You know, if she falls, you have no more cleric - no healer. It'll make the battle so much harder."

Or, the gith fight. Astarion uses his dark cloud power to bound in and out of darkness, constantly gaining advantage and sneak attack on the gith, and they have disadvantage against him. The battle's going poorly, and I know that power could turn the tide. Should I use it?

If nothing else, giving the powers for free right away would certainly make going down the tadpole path more appealing, especially if you didn't realize that when you use the powers, it brings you closer to the tadpole.

All this, "Do you use the tadpole to pry into her brain" thing is not very tempting.

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Evil/corrupting infleunces should be rewarding enough that characters with desires other than "I like murdering people" should consider succumbing to temptation. Especially in a game whos entire premise seems to be fighting off this tadpole's corrupting influence.

I agree that the current tadpole incentives are a bit underwhelming. Why mentally influence this enemy when I can normally convince/intimidate them or just beat them up? On the other hand, we obviously can't have the tadpole be so strong that it trivializes the game. Significantly better low-level items and tadpole combat powers would work well for this: they'd be overpowered at low levels, but only somewhat effective in mid-late game.

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They seem to be working on the assumption that you find it really tempting by default, so they don't work on making it so.

It's much like the dream sequences themselves - the general opinion on the forum here seems to be that they're creepy and invasive (and more than a little bit rapey, to some folks), and that they're meant to feel creepy and invasive, but the truth is, the Game Itself does not treat them that way - the game treats them, in every situation, as though they are the most desperately appealing and tempting thing in the world, and everyone acts like they are. They're just not, but the game says they are, and makes everyone act like they are, and that's part of the problem.

Last edited by Niara; 06/04/22 01:39 AM.
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Agree, there are not much reasons to use powers instead of "hmm, and what whould happen if I press that line" or "I want to see all dreams".
So technically I use them not because I am in hard situation. But I use them just out of curiosity. It just a fun way to play, not some dangerous and mysterious brain worm that can potentially control you.
You can easily play without using that power. Why using power on goblins if you can just convince them? Why using on duergar if you can show them mark/or lie?

In SW its like: "It is easy to fall to the Dark side and hard to stay at Light side" and here is " It is so easy to stay at Light side and little reasons to fall to the Dark side" laugh
And if you play as drow its even easier, because places where you can use that power even out of curiosity are skipped because you are a drow! laugh
When I put myself a goal to see all dreams I found that it was really not an easy task! Well, yes, if that would have been a full game with a lot of locations/quests etc... But for now it is much harder to become a real True Soul then to stay without that powers.

So that tadpoles and their powers doesn't look like a real in-game mechanics... but rather a tadpole of a mechanics laugh

Originally Posted by GM4Him
Commanding a goblin so you don't have to fight is kinda weak. Some may not like fighting and might use it, but I would think few would be tempted. However, if you were surrounded by 2 dozen goblins all ready to kill you, and if you don't use the tadpole you're pretty much dead - THAT'S as serious temptation.

Well, if you use too much power that two druergars-traitors in Grymforge wont help you! laugh
That doesn't really make much sense for me but yes, that is how the game punishes you for using that power smile

Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
But it would be nice if they adapt something simmilar to how Emperor Valkorion tempt you in Star Wars the Old Republic (the MMO) ...
In certain situations time stops and Valcorion come to your pc ... claiming that he can easily solve your problem, if you submit to his power ...

That would look great, imho. Not that Valkorion really solved any problem in unique way (I mean if you wont use his proposition the situation will be solved with the same result anyway, but that is the problem caused by MMO), but the idea and example of temptation is really good. Especially with the potential for single-player RPG.
It can really make players to think twice or make hard choises.

Because now it is just "Oh, that tadpole looks suspicious, I shouldnt use it... and zero problems with not using it"

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Originally Posted by Deirdre
I mean if you wont use his proposition the situation will be solved with the same result anyway, but that is the problem caused by MMO
I know ...
But i dont think this is problem of MMO ... its just that not many studios want to invest their time and money to create two separate stories, when people then criticise the most that they have to play the game twice to know whole story. -_-
(I mean look at Witcher II. reviews. :-/ )


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Agreed. Unfortunately, I think there’s a big reason being evil will never be as fun in BG3 as it is IRL.

The scene with Dror Ragzlin was the most fun I had with the tadpole because the stakes felt high. I had walked the party to the middle of the throne room to see what would happen. If he had figured the party out, we would’ve been in for a tough fight.

However, the stakes were high because I purposely played poorly, exposing the entire party at once. Also, once I felt the conversation with Dror taking a dangerous turn, I could have moved the PCs not engaged in dialogue to the rafters to hide and wait.

That mechanism alone makes it quasi impossible for the game to ambush the party and then start a dialogue to make the tadpole relevant. That dialogue gives the party plenty of time to get into position, prepare relevant spells and items, cast a few buffs, lay down some traps etc…

Hence the problem: evil is supposed to be the easy way out, the shortest line between desire and acquisition. But the game is so thoroughly cheesable that being evil doesn’t actually make anything easier.

Between kneeling to the Absolute or shoving Her in lava, I’ll pick the option without the pointless dreaming.


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