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We were all taught by 8th grade English teachers to 'show, don't tell' who your characters are/how your world works/etc.

They meant through action and subtle details.

You have a group of strangers who were kidnapped, violated, debased, and stranded. DISEMPOWERED. Now, you realize you have the same affliction and have better odds of working together... at least until you can solve this common problem.

This being a DnD game with a lot of free choice, you could add "or not" to everything I'm saying, but going with the standard 'hero's journey' structure, the band of captives would start off fairly meek, identifying as 'teammates' only in the sense of shared goals. Act 2 the group starts to come into their own abilities, but also things about the group members are revealed that cause bonding/conflict. Act 3, the individuals risk for/protect one another and you make the decision to accept (or not) the characters and flaws you've come to know.

So the obvious narrative cycle is weakness>team of convenience>discovery&revelation>acceptance/rejection.

None of that can happen when Astarion walks in practically wearing a nametag that reads 'posh day-walking vampire.' That's not to pick on him. All of these characters need to be toned way thafuk down. A lot of the creative decisions bite against the narrative we're being fed, but the lowest hanging fruit is the over-the-top high fantasy equipment. You can't accept the idea that 'we're all in this together' when everyone else is wearing what looks like late-game armor in any other franchise. I can't discover/decide accept Astarion as a vampire when in the first scene he is wearing a uniform for vampires which is a thing that eats everyone else.

If you have any hope of making these characters relatable or building any amount of emotional pay-off, then strip them of things that make them appear A. dangerous and powerful B. obviously who they are C. seemingly not having any of the same bad luck we are. We all need our gear stripped.

Shadowheart is presented wearing glistening metal armor, surrounded by the bodies of a bunch of squishy-looking monsters she killed. Astarion is wearing evening wear, and looks fairly dangerous. Your character even remarks on both of these things. If either of these characters went up against three of those enemies they'd get ROFL-stomped. None of the characters look like they're in dire straights, none of the characters look like they just spent a day in a slime pod. And none of them leave anything to be discovered because they look like minor super heroes who's outfit needs to remind the audience of their origin because they didn't get enough screen time.

Interesting characters court interest, they don't buy billboards.

Do you see. Where I'm going. With this.

The ultra-high fantasy art style works against the narrative at. every. turn. It works against the lived experience of the player. Your team DOES need to band together, the ARE weak and in danger. Why work so hard to undermine the experience you crafted? These Tieflings are in danger, are you sure because they have the coolest, most ornate and cleanest armor I've ever seen, and the goblins are wearing stuff they made from sticks.

Last edited by Stray952; 16/10/20 06:01 AM.
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yes.

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I don't understand what your point is.

If it's about the writing being bad, then I don't agree. I personally really like the writing(aside from Shadowheart), I think it flows well for a single-player RPG, especially compared to other single-player RPGs(Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, Dragon Age, Mass Effect) it starts off strong and fun for me.

I don't understand your point about their clothing being an issue, everyone was abducted by the Mind Flayers, so they would be in all sorts of different outfits and from different places, beliefs, all walks of life.

The art style of this game is also realism. That's why they used motion capture to animate everyone. I don't understand what your point is.

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Originally Posted by Stray952


So the obvious narrative cycle is weakness>team of convenience>discovery&revelation>acceptance/rejection.

None of that can happen when Astarion walks in practically wearing a nametag that reads 'posh day-walking vampire.' That's not to pick on him. All of these characters need to be toned way thafuk down. A lot of the creative decisions bite against the narrative we're being fed, but the lowest hanging fruit is the over-the-top high fantasy equipment. You can't accept the idea that 'we're all in this together' when everyone else is wearing what looks like late-game armor in any other franchise. I can't discover/decide accept Astarion as a vampire when in the first scene he is wearing a uniform for vampires which is a thing that eats everyone else.


More than the artstyle, it's just the attitude of your companions. Even if they were dressed as peasants from WoW, the way they constantly antagonize me would result in a kick from the party / murder in a few seconds. Unfortunately for EA it seems we're stuck with them.

Remember those conventions or one shots where you realize you're stuck at a table full of wangrods and players wanting to break the DM just for funsies ? That's pretty much how I'm feeling with those companions.

Last edited by Temperance; 16/10/20 06:49 AM.
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Originally Posted by FatePeddler
I don't understand what your point is.

If it's about the writing being bad, then I don't agree. I personally really like the writing(aside from Shadowheart), I think it flows well for a single-player RPG, especially compared to other single-player RPGs(Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, Dragon Age, Mass Effect) it starts off strong and fun for me.

I don't understand your point about their clothing being an issue, everyone was abducted by the Mind Flayers, so they would be in all sorts of different outfits and from different places, beliefs, all walks of life.

The art style of this game is also realism. That's why they used motion capture to animate everyone. I don't understand what your point is.


Just because you accept what every fantasy game feeds you does not mean he does not have a point.

None of the origin characters match the story being told. One of the reason the entirely self made party of not origin characters cannot happen fast enough.

Also in a real DnD game, a DM would tell these edgelords with fancy armor at level 1 and things that screw more then help the party to go remake thier characters into a real one

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Gotta be real if I had the choice, I would ditch all of the edgelord companions the moment I would meet them.

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Originally Posted by CrestOfArtorias
Gotta be real if I had the choice, I would ditch all of the edgelord companions the moment I would meet them.


You got a choice, there is a way to make your party of custom characters in Singleplayer.
Originally Posted by Temperance
Originally Posted by Stray952


So the obvious narrative cycle is weakness>team of convenience>discovery&revelation>acceptance/rejection.

None of that can happen when Astarion walks in practically wearing a nametag that reads 'posh day-walking vampire.' That's not to pick on him. All of these characters need to be toned way thafuk down. A lot of the creative decisions bite against the narrative we're being fed, but the lowest hanging fruit is the over-the-top high fantasy equipment. You can't accept the idea that 'we're all in this together' when everyone else is wearing what looks like late-game armor in any other franchise. I can't discover/decide accept Astarion as a vampire when in the first scene he is wearing a uniform for vampires which is a thing that eats everyone else.


More than the artstyle, it's just the attitude of your companions. Even if they were dressed as peasants from WoW, the way they constantly antagonize me would result in a kick from the party / murder in a few seconds. Unfortunately for EA it seems we're stuck with them.

Remember those conventions or one shots where you realize you're stuck at a table full of wangrods and players wanting to break the DM just for funsies ? That's pretty much how I'm feeling with those companions.


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Originally Posted by FatePeddler
I don't understand what your point is.

If it's about the writing being bad, then I don't agree. I personally really like the writing(aside from Shadowheart), I think it flows well for a single-player RPG, especially compared to other single-player RPGs(Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, Dragon Age, Mass Effect) it starts off strong and fun for me.

I don't understand your point about their clothing being an issue, everyone was abducted by the Mind Flayers, so they would be in all sorts of different outfits and from different places, beliefs, all walks of life.

The art style of this game is also realism. That's why they used motion capture to animate everyone. I don't understand what your point is.


Their point is about how the story is conveyed. There is more than 1 way to introduce the narrative to the player. The easy way is to just tell the player, "this is what is happening," which is easy to do and it works, but it isn't very good story telling. Alternatively you can show them what is happening through details in the world, only ever saying the bare minimum and the player then infers the story from the world around them. The latter is much harder to do, but makes for much better writing.

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For most parts, I didn't feel like people were wearing the wrong clothes given the situation.

The intro of the whole game is mindflayers abducting people in Baldur's Gate as they go about their day. Why shouldn't Astarion wear his posh clothes that he likely wears every day?
I agree that Shadowhearts metal armour seems unlikely to wear unless she was abducted in the middle of a mission. But Gale wears normal clothes. Wyll technically wears leather armour, but to me it just looks like a nice outfit for somone who is used to "adventure" (it doesn't look too uncomfortable for every day wear). Lae'zel is a warrior who strikes me as a person who would probably never lay off her armour, even during sleep (because clearly those unprepared - and therefore weak - should die).

For the tieflings:
Being a refugee doesn't mean you come from a poor background. When my family had to flee war, they were wearing all the jewelery they possesed, because it was the most valuable thing they owned and therefore shouldn't be left behind.
I do agree that the clothes may look worn down, that would improve the impression in my opinion.

Last edited by LizNuzz; 16/10/20 09:06 AM.
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I think (again) that this problem is mostly because the way origin characters works. The fact we possibly roleplay as one of them means we know everything about them from the get go. So when we discover Astarion is a vampire, the game plays it like some big reveal but after months of telling us of each one of them and their full origin this just doesn't work. Same with shaowheart and Shar and Wyll and his demon. This mechanic is a nice idea, but it just doesn't work narratively. And it's a recurring problem with Larian, which seems to care more about cool gameplay mechanics than cohesive narrative, and are willing to sacrifice the narrative in favour of cool gameplay ideas


Larian's Biggest Oversight, what to do about it, and My personal review of BG3 EA
"74.85% of you stood with the Tieflings, and 25.15% of you sided with Minthara. Good outweighs evil, it seems."
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Yeah it does seem like the art team doesn't "get it".

I find myself giving them a break because art assets take a lot of time to create. But then again BG3 has a huge dev team and budget.

It was at its worst when more than one tiefling made the point that "we are no fighters, goblins would kill us", wearing elaborate high quality scale mail and armed with swords. It's not believable at all with everyone looking like elite warriors. The narrative should evoke sympathy for an oppressed group in distress but it just fails because of the visual disconnect.

It's early access still. Maybe the tieflings will get a more ragged look. They really, really should anyway.

There's a bit of a gameplay disconnect too. Astarion is a centuries old vampire. Wyll is the legendary Blade of Frontiers. Gale is a Wizard prodigy. All of them have extensive backgrounds that describe them as at least mid level characters. And mechanically they are all level 1 rookies who can get owned by a goblin.

I would have liked some prologue adventure that would have leveled the PC to 3rd level. Like the origin stories of Dragon Age Origins. Then maybe when you meet Gale and Astarion they could've been level 5. Which would already be plausible. I wouldn't mind if they were higher level than the PC either. Why does everyone need to be the exact same level anyway? No dynamics. Astarion being more powerful than your PC would only make him a better character because then being a vampire would actually mean something.


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True, the companions are acting more like the players around a table at a roleplaying game rather than the characters they're supposed to be smile

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Originally Posted by LizNuzz


For the tieflings:
Being a refugee doesn't mean you come from a poor background. When my family had to flee war, they were wearing all the jewelery they possesed, because it was the most valuable thing they owned and therefore shouldn't be left behind.
I do agree that the clothes may look worn down, that would improve the impression in my opinion.


Idk if the tieflings are supposed to be poor or wealthy. What I do know is that they’re supposed to be trapped, stranded, and embattled. They’re preparing their children to be sacrificial lambs in a fight to flee this place. This is a great narrative tactic to show how desperate they are. Yet, the first tiefling you see has the cleanest and most elaborate armor I had seen up until that point.

If you walk into a camp of refugees training children to fight their way out of a bad situation and their leader looks beleaguered, wearing armor that’s falling apart and stained with blood, he might be just a very desperate person.

If he’s wearing a spotless $6K Armani suit and loafers he’s clearly a POS.

That’s how what you see influences your understanding of the narrative. It’s important, it’s insurmountable. To just throw it out for a ‘ultra-high fantasy aesthetic’ where everything looks elven is a creative mistake.

Actively ignoring the role the graphical component of a video game plays is a mistake. The systems, the story, the gameplay, and the things you experience in this game are all leaning one way, and the decision to go with this aesthetic undercuts all of it.


Originally Posted by LizNuzz
For most parts, I didn't feel like people were wearing the wrong clothes given the situation.

The intro of the whole game is mindflayers abducting people in Baldur's Gate as they go about their day. Why shouldn't Astarion wear his posh clothes that he likely wears every day?


Well 1, key word being day, so unless he sleeps in that...

It’s not that it’s implausible he’d be wearing that, it’s that we can’t suspend disbelief that he’s a vampire when he’s wearing that and has obvious teeth.

The nautiloid attacked during the day. There’s no reason for people to be transported with their clothes. There is no strict continuity reason he should or shouldn’t be wearing a vampire outfit.

There is a pretty big narrative one. It makes it implausible that anyone would invite him in, and undermines the ability to develop a relationship with him later. This is true if nearly all the characters but Gale.


Last edited by Stray952; 17/10/20 10:59 PM.
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Originally Posted by 1varangian
Yeah it does seem like the art team doesn't "get it".

I find myself giving them a break because art assets take a lot of time to create. But then again BG3 has a huge dev team and budget.

It was at its worst when more than one tiefling made the point that "we are no fighters, goblins would kill us", wearing elaborate high quality scale mail and armed with swords. It's not believable at all with everyone looking like elite warriors. The narrative should evoke sympathy for an oppressed group in distress but it just fails because of the visual disconnect.

It's early access still. Maybe the tieflings will get a more ragged look. They really, really should anyway.

There's a bit of a gameplay disconnect too. Astarion is a centuries old vampire. Wyll is the legendary Blade of Frontiers. Gale is a Wizard prodigy. All of them have extensive backgrounds that describe them as at least mid level characters. And mechanically they are all level 1 rookies who can get owned by a goblin.

I would have liked some prologue adventure that would have leveled the PC to 3rd level. Like the origin stories of Dragon Age Origins. Then maybe when you meet Gale and Astarion they could've been level 5. Which would already be plausible. I wouldn't mind if they were higher level than the PC either. Why does everyone need to be the exact same level anyway? No dynamics. Astarion being more powerful than your PC would only make him a better character because then being a vampire would actually mean something.



Yeah pretty much exactly this. This trend overall is a big storytelling problem. Wyll leaps in yelling his nom-de-guerre like he really was a minor super hero and we were supposed to react. Then you use him in the very next fight and he’s not so great.

I’m just focusing on the art style, namely the appearance of companions, because I think all the lines and general story flavor is set. Where as putting everyone in underwear on the nautiloid or some sort of abductee uniform would go a LONG way towards fixing some real narrative problems.

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Larian has always suffered from never knowing when enough is enough.

They need a seminar on "less is more".

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Originally Posted by Stray952
We were all taught by 8th grade English teachers to 'show, don't tell' who your characters are/how your world works/etc.

They meant through action and subtle details.

You have a group of strangers who were kidnapped, violated, debased, and stranded. DISEMPOWERED. Now, you realize you have the same affliction and have better odds of working together... at least until you can solve this common problem.

This being a DnD game with a lot of free choice, you could add "or not" to everything I'm saying, but going with the standard 'hero's journey' structure, the band of captives would start off fairly meek, identifying as 'teammates' only in the sense of shared goals. Act 2 the group starts to come into their own abilities, but also things about the group members are revealed that cause bonding/conflict. Act 3, the individuals risk for/protect one another and you make the decision to accept (or not) the characters and flaws you've come to know.

So the obvious narrative cycle is weakness>team of convenience>discovery&revelation>acceptance/rejection.

None of that can happen when Astarion walks in practically wearing a nametag that reads 'posh day-walking vampire.' That's not to pick on him. All of these characters need to be toned way thafuk down. A lot of the creative decisions bite against the narrative we're being fed, but the lowest hanging fruit is the over-the-top high fantasy equipment. You can't accept the idea that 'we're all in this together' when everyone else is wearing what looks like late-game armor in any other franchise. I can't discover/decide accept Astarion as a vampire when in the first scene he is wearing a uniform for vampires which is a thing that eats everyone else.

If you have any hope of making these characters relatable or building any amount of emotional pay-off, then strip them of things that make them appear A. dangerous and powerful B. obviously who they are C. seemingly not having any of the same bad luck we are. We all need our gear stripped.

Shadowheart is presented wearing glistening metal armor, surrounded by the bodies of a bunch of squishy-looking monsters she killed. Astarion is wearing evening wear, and looks fairly dangerous. Your character even remarks on both of these things. If either of these characters went up against three of those enemies they'd get ROFL-stomped. None of the characters look like they're in dire straights, none of the characters look like they just spent a day in a slime pod. And none of them leave anything to be discovered because they look like minor super heroes who's outfit needs to remind the audience of their origin because they didn't get enough screen time.

Interesting characters court interest, they don't buy billboards.

Do you see. Where I'm going. With this.

The ultra-high fantasy art style works against the narrative at. every. turn. It works against the lived experience of the player. Your team DOES need to band together, the ARE weak and in danger. Why work so hard to undermine the experience you crafted? These Tieflings are in danger, are you sure because they have the coolest, most ornate and cleanest armor I've ever seen, and the goblins are wearing stuff they made from sticks.


I disagree . Did Minsc needed to hide who he was? did he conceal his hamster ? Did Jaheira and Khalid needed to hide themselves? Did you have to discovers that Tiax is a madman ? That Viconia is a drow? That Aerith is a naive winged elves whose wings were torns? That Keldorn was a paladin and Nalia the Heir of a rich noble family? Most of baldurs gate character had very strong, very immediate identity, and only a few of them concealed some important elements (Yoshimo comes to my minds).

Moreover, in Baldurs gate 3 , we don't know who is Shadowheart. We didn't heard much about Will contract with the demon. I'm at the underdark right now, didn't hear anything about Gayle problem as well. A lot of character has hidden things.
By the way, about Astarion being a Vampire spawn , and Will's demon, a lot of that stuff was revealed during the teasing, but if you were an actual new players, you would guess that Astarion is a vampire, but you wouldn't now for sure until either the boar, or the night feeding scene. There are obvious clues, but from the point of view of a players that don't know anything, it may not be as immediate. And Astarion being a vampire spawn isn't the end. Its the beginning. Its how he presents himself but I suspect there is much more to the character.


About Lae'Zel armor : Its the Githyanki armor. Its a cool looking armor. That great, I mean, you want the stuff in game to look bad? You want the armor to look like piece of garbage till you reach lv 10? I don't; And I suspect Larian has even cooler armor for the end game.
And the character aren't weak. They aren't disempowered. They are no farmer or basic villagers. They are a Githyanki elite fighter, a vampire spawn that has lived for centuries, a priestess of one of the most evil goddess in the cosmology, a heroic warlock that has spend years fighting and making a name for himself, and a wizard. So no, no matter how you look at it, they aren't weak or disempowered.

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Astarion was a slave and a dress up doll for his vampire living in a fancy mansion, then was snatched in the middle of it all by the mindflayer. He should be drenched in fluid, but he should not have had chance to change into suitable traveler wear, that's on you to do, Shadowheart's deal might be more similiar to Astarion then we currently know in that regard. I agree on all the Tielings going on about how they aren't soldiers and don't stand a chance in a fight but all are dressed in the fanciest armor in the game is silly.

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No C-RPG to date, DnD-based or not, has made a big mystery about who you're travelling with. They are supposed to be on the nose and wear their attitude on their sleeves when you first meet them, just like every companion you met in BG1+2 or other C-RPGs. It's intentional. You are supposed to easily judge if you like them and are willing to solve problems together with them. Things are different at an actual roleplaying table, when you *know* you are going to stick together no matter what, you can work with lots more nuances and layers and get to know each other much more slowly. But this is a computer game, with a lot more companions to chose from in the future, and since the current intent is that you'll have to commit at the end of Act 1 who you will spend the rest of the game with, you better have a good idea about who they are pretty quick.

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I think Wyll and Lae'zel are the most believable character companions. While Lae'zel is more of a standard warrior, Wyll is kind of refreshing and he grew on me in my various playthroughs!

I like him and his story a lot. Wyll is a great companion! Btw. what shall I do with his eye?

Gal is a bit different. I kind of like how he is close to breaking the fourth wall. He is mysterious. He is not shallow, but sometimes I wished he would be more weakened by the events. It feels he has still a lot of power (too much power). Instead of making him humourus they could have made him wicked a little. I mean real wicked (like maybe you catch him eating a corpses finger, or his book, or hiding for a day.. I dont know, weird stuff. He is light, but I also like him a lot although he doesnt come close to Wyll.

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Originally Posted by endolex
No C-RPG to date, DnD-based or not, has made a big mystery about who you're travelling with. They are supposed to be on the nose and wear their attitude on their sleeves when you first meet them, just like every companion you met in BG1+2 or other C-RPGs. It's intentional. You are supposed to easily judge if you like them and are willing to solve problems together with them. Things are different at an actual roleplaying table, when you *know* you are going to stick together no matter what, you can work with lots more nuances and layers and get to know each other much more slowly. But this is a computer game, with a lot more companions to chose from in the future, and since the current intent is that you'll have to commit at the end of Act 1 who you will spend the rest of the game with, you better have a good idea about who they are pretty quick.


That’s not true but even if it were, it’s terrible writing. And as I described subverts any possibility of you bonding with these people. Who in the fucking world would invite a vampire to the place they sleep? After they were effectively kidnapped by aliens? No one.

Anyway you’re distracting from the point because your assertion is absurd. We were cool with stop motion graphics in the 80’s if you used it today, the audience would think ‘oh this scene isn’t supposed to be serious.’ You’re not addressing any of the narrative conflict, you’re just saying “well that’s how it’s always been. Yeah that’s how it was on DOS. You have no point.

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