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The companions pretty much only interact with each other to express their disagreement. They exchange a few sentences as chatter but they have next to no meaningful interaction.

I disagree with endolex: Planescape made it quite hard to judge the intentions of multiple companions including the first one

I have already pointed out a few times that Shadowhearts armor makes no sense. "See me, cleric of Shar on a secret mission." Her armor hides her religion about as well as helicopter with a neon sign reading US Army hides its nationality.
I agree with pretty much everything in the first post here

Last edited by ArmouredHedgehog; 18/10/20 04:19 AM.

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Originally Posted by Mister Foxhound
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.


Well... no that’s on the writers. You’re just restating the story they came up with to justify introducing a character in an outfit that wrecks the story. You’re missing the point.

We could argue about the approximate time of day this happened and why vampires would or wouldn’t be awake but it doesn’t matter. There’s is no “actually”... it’s a story. A story someone created. A story that can be good or bad. There is no series of facts.

The characters are too loud and obvious. The art style is to fantastical and undermines the writing and the gameplay. There’s no ‘Well actually, in 5E grease isn’t flammable’ argument that’s going to excuse the disconnect between our eyes and the theme the creators are going for.

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Originally Posted by Stray952

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.


It's absolutely true, name me one companion in DnD games (Baldur's Gate 1+2, Neverwinter Nights, etc.) where this wasn't the case and a companion turned out to be something entirely else than they appeared to be late into the game. Even with Yoshimo it was hinted at a LOT by other companions, it was basically right in your face that this guy is working for the big bad.

'Terrible writing' depends a matter of what function the writing serves. It's not a book, not a film, it's a computer RPG. An interactive experience of a specific kind where your decisions about whom you want to experience the story with and what person they are should be informed ones and not let keep players guessing about that foundation for too long.

As for who would invite a vampire to the place they sleep: Turns out a lot of players didn't kill him outright and even let him feed on them. People are strange, aren't they?

Of course, you're free to create your own RPG with lots of companions to choose from, in which, only late in the third act, suddenly all companions make face-heel turns and reveal their *gasp* true colours about who and what exactly they were all along, and joke's on the player if they haven't figured it out before that. By all means, make that kind of game, sounds interesting, just hard to implement in a way that doesn't make players feel dumb and betrayed for not realizing something the game actively withheld from them. I believe you can do this sort of thing in strictly linear storytelling, but not in interactive ones where players choose whom to take along - because then players will always feel "punished" as if they made the "wrong" decision when in fact they had no way of knowing.

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Originally Posted by ArmouredHedgehog

I disagree with endolex: Planescape made it quite hard to judge the intentions of multiple companions including the first one


First off, Planescape: Torment was designed intentionally to go against the grain in every possible way. And the 'reveals' about your companions all were the same thing: They had prior history with you, which only works when you're the Nameless One. This is relatively easy to do if you only have a few companions to begin with, and a protagonist that has lived many, many lives. In a more "normal" RPG, it's hard to pull this off with a similar payoff.
Also, said reveals did not fundamentally change who your companions were. Dak'kon didn't suddenly become a different personality, nor did Morte, nor any of them. What they presented when you met them was pretty much what you could expect later in the game. A floating, wisecracking skull. A stoic Gith'Zerai. An intellectual, chaste Succubus. And so on.

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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.

Odd, I didn't come away feeling any of this. I didn't skip the opening cinematics, showing how we all ended up in those pods, however. For my custom character, I didn't see the abduction, but we do see others being abducted. They are teleported to the pods, in whatever they are wearing at the time. Nobody got a chance to grab a "go bag", so what you see is what you get. Asterion is wearing what he's wearing because that was what he was wearing when he was teleported onto the ship. The same applies to everyone else. Something else those 8th grade teachers should have been teaching is following the narrative. The narrative explains perfectly well why the main characters are dressed the way they are, but, because "I don't like it", it's suddenly not narratively consistent?

So it would seem that someone missed some subtle details, such as how we ended up on the ship in the first place. We were not accosted by a squad of enemy soldiers, herded into pens, and stripped of our belongings. We were teleported directly into containment pods, in the middle of whatever it was we were doing at the time. How is ending up wearing what we were wearing narratively inconsistent, given how we ended up in the pods? So yes, I see where you're going: "I don't like the way they're presented, so they broke the narrative", despite having clear evidence of how we ended up where we did. I think, from reading through this, that you need to contact that 8th grade English teacher, and have them re-evaluate how they teach narrative construction, because they were obviously lacking in things like subtext.

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You completely lost me with the tangent about these armors "looking end game". By what metric?
And in what way what Astarion is wearing classifies as a "vampire uniform"?

On the writing of these characters I don't really have much to say, yet. We really didn't see much about any of them and the overwhelming amount of comments I'm reading on the topic seems to be mostly reactionary and based on gut feelings rather than well thought (i.e. "How dare this woman being guarded against me rather than immediately think I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread? The nerve of this bitch!").

Last edited by Tuco; 18/10/20 03:51 PM.

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Originally Posted by Tuco
You completely lost me with the tangent about these armors "looking end game". By what metric?
And in what way what Astarion is wearing classifies as a "vampire uniform"?

On the writing of these characters I don't really have much to say, yet. We really didn't see much about any of them and the overwhelming amount of comments I'm reading on the topic seems to be mostly reactionary and based on gut feelings rather than well thought (i.e. "How dare this woman being guarded against me rather than immediately think I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread? The nerve of this bitch!").


Thanks god I'm not the only one who didn't know what a vampire uniform is supposed to be.

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Originally Posted by 1varangian


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.



I understand that from our distant relationship with war (in "classical" amour) this might seem to make so sense. You may think a good fighter does not get hit and therefore has new looking amour, while someone unexperienced would get hit and therefore wear worn down armour. Actually, it's pretty much the other way around. If you avoid battle (e.g. only run away), you will likely get hit less (or if you're lucky: not at all), so your armour stays in a good shape. Someone actively engaged in battle cannot evade getting hit sooner or later, though, no matter how good their fighting skills. So the armour of a (experienced) warrior is the one that needs mending.
So, in my opinion, Larian actually DID they research right on this.

Am I saying everyone should wear tidy, clean clothes? No, I think OP has a very fair point with that. But armour looking shiny on people who say they are no fighters is not a logical inconsistency.

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You guys keep going to back to these ‘well actually, the nautiloid did this so it MAKES SENSE that x, y, or z.”

No ones arguing the lore, they’re arguing that it’s poor art form to have the visuals of your game actively clashing with the narrative tone you’re trying to set. Or having your characters be basically walking exposition. So much so, that it even bleeds into their outfits.

For those of you who are English second language (ESL), I didn’t mean there was a literal vampire uniform. I was exaggerating to make the point that he was unmistakably a vampire wearing an outfit copied from any of the classic Dracula or vampire movies we watch here in the west.

If a child saw Astarion, they would identify him as a vampire without hearing him talk or knowing anything about him. I don’t know if that’s as obvious if you grew up in a place that’s unfamiliar with movies like Bram Stoker’s Dracula or Interview with a Vampire. Sorry if that hyperbole confused you.


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I mean, I can agree that Astarion isn't exactly subtle about appearing like a vampire at first glance, but if it's his suit we are talking about, it seems just something fitting for a rich magistrate allegedly frequenting posh social circles in Baldur's Gate.


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Originally Posted by Stray952
Originally Posted by Mister Foxhound
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.


Well... no that’s on the writers. You’re just restating the story they came up with to justify introducing a character in an outfit that wrecks the story. You’re missing the point.

We could argue about the approximate time of day this happened and why vampires would or wouldn’t be awake but it doesn’t matter. There’s is no “actually”... it’s a story. A story someone created. A story that can be good or bad. There is no series of facts.

The characters are too loud and obvious. The art style is to fantastical and undermines the writing and the gameplay. There’s no ‘Well actually, in 5E grease isn’t flammable’ argument that’s going to excuse the disconnect between our eyes and the theme the creators are going for.


They arent going to ditch all the flavor just because your bland RPG palette cant handle anything beyond level 1 dirt farmers...

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Originally Posted by Stray952
You guys keep going to back to these ‘well actually, the nautiloid did this so it MAKES SENSE that x, y, or z.”

No ones arguing the lore, they’re arguing that it’s poor art form to have the visuals of your game actively clashing with the narrative tone you’re trying to set. Or having your characters be basically walking exposition. So much so, that it even bleeds into their outfits.

For those of you who are English second language (ESL), I didn’t mean there was a literal vampire uniform. I was exaggerating to make the point that he was unmistakably a vampire wearing an outfit copied from any of the classic Dracula or vampire movies we watch here in the west.

If a child saw Astarion, they would identify him as a vampire without hearing him talk or knowing anything about him. I don’t know if that’s as obvious if you grew up in a place that’s unfamiliar with movies like Bram Stoker’s Dracula or Interview with a Vampire. Sorry if that hyperbole confused you.


The "art" is tied directly to the lore. They aren't separate items to disseminate details someone doesn't like. We argue what we see in the opening cutscene because that is the narrative that kicks us off into the game world, aka the lore. Since we do see how those people are put in the pods, the clothes they're wearing, and the gear they are carrying isn't surprising at all, since that's what they had on them when they were abducted.

Let's analyze the narratives, shall we?

Lae'zel is a githyanki warrior. What is it that they wear, do you suppose? The ones seen in game seem to have similar armor, almost as if they're military uniforms. Shadowheart is wearing armor that reflects Shar worship, I can't imagine how a worshipper of Shar would come to be wearing faction appropriate gear. Astarion is wearing what may be the latest fashion trend in Baldur's Gate, for nobles and their retainers. We haven't been yet, so we can't be sure, but given the first two examples of narrative cohesiveness so far, I'd say that's a safe bet. It might also be that that's what he wore before he was a vampire, how do we know? So it's a pretty safe bet that what we have here is a case of someone trying to make their perception reality.

You see, what you've presented here isn't a counter argument to "but the lore". We see how people end up on the ship, it's shown in the opening cutscene, and none of them are stripped of whatever they are wearing. This is the lore, and this dictates the "art style" of the clothes the people that were in the pods are wearing. This is what we have to work with. Trying to pass off an argument against that as "clashing with the narrative" is incorrect. The narrative we have completely supports what we see.

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You guys are trolling right?

You see how they were put on the ship.... because a team of people wrote a story.. then some other people made a video...

Huge spoiler ahead:
*whisper* Baldur’s Gate isn’t a real place... It’s not real... yeah. The narrators narrated that to you... it’s just an idea they had in their brain.. those aren’t actual events. And they could change it. And right now it’s not a very good idea because some of idea people ostensibly aren’t talking to each other...

That’s the criticism...

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What about, a world without barrels? Like a World without God for Larian.

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Originally Posted by robertthebard
Originally Posted by Stray952
You guys keep going to back to these ‘well actually, the nautiloid did this so it MAKES SENSE that x, y, or z.”

No ones arguing the lore, they’re arguing that it’s poor art form to have the visuals of your game actively clashing with the narrative tone you’re trying to set. Or having your characters be basically walking exposition. So much so, that it even bleeds into their outfits.

For those of you who are English second language (ESL), I didn’t mean there was a literal vampire uniform. I was exaggerating to make the point that he was unmistakably a vampire wearing an outfit copied from any of the classic Dracula or vampire movies we watch here in the west.

If a child saw Astarion, they would identify him as a vampire without hearing him talk or knowing anything about him. I don’t know if that’s as obvious if you grew up in a place that’s unfamiliar with movies like Bram Stoker’s Dracula or Interview with a Vampire. Sorry if that hyperbole confused you.


The "art" is tied directly to the lore. They aren't separate items to disseminate details someone doesn't like. We argue what we see in the opening cutscene because that is the narrative that kicks us off into the game world, aka the lore. Since we do see how those people are put in the pods, the clothes they're wearing, and the gear they are carrying isn't surprising at all, since that's what they had on them when they were abducted.

Let's analyze the narratives, shall we?

Lae'zel is a githyanki warrior. What is it that they wear, do you suppose? The ones seen in game seem to have similar armor, almost as if they're military uniforms. Shadowheart is wearing armor that reflects Shar worship, I can't imagine how a worshipper of Shar would come to be wearing faction appropriate gear. Astarion is wearing what may be the latest fashion trend in Baldur's Gate, for nobles and their retainers. We haven't been yet, so we can't be sure, but given the first two examples of narrative cohesiveness so far, I'd say that's a safe bet. It might also be that that's what he wore before he was a vampire, how do we know? So it's a pretty safe bet that what we have here is a case of someone trying to make their perception reality.

You see, what you've presented here isn't a counter argument to "but the lore". We see how people end up on the ship, it's shown in the opening cutscene, and none of them are stripped of whatever they are wearing. This is the lore, and this dictates the "art style" of the clothes the people that were in the pods are wearing. This is what we have to work with. Trying to pass off an argument against that as "clashing with the narrative" is incorrect. The narrative we have completely supports what we see.


Githyanki plate can look like whatever you want it to look like and still be consistent with the universe. She’s literally not wearing in the same armor in the intro video as she is in the game. It’s a creative choice. I don’t know why you’re doing mental gymnastics just to be argumentative. This is an observation of poor narrative form, not a legal brief.

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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 agree with you but I would like it if you could give some examples of what you consider as a showcase of good writing in the current version. I'm not asking to argue with you, I'd just like to focus on these things and analyze them more carefully.



I am here to discuss a video game. Please do not try to rope me into anything other than that. Thank you.
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Originally Posted by Stray952
Originally Posted by robertthebard
Originally Posted by Stray952
You guys keep going to back to these ‘well actually, the nautiloid did this so it MAKES SENSE that x, y, or z.”

No ones arguing the lore, they’re arguing that it’s poor art form to have the visuals of your game actively clashing with the narrative tone you’re trying to set. Or having your characters be basically walking exposition. So much so, that it even bleeds into their outfits.

For those of you who are English second language (ESL), I didn’t mean there was a literal vampire uniform. I was exaggerating to make the point that he was unmistakably a vampire wearing an outfit copied from any of the classic Dracula or vampire movies we watch here in the west.

If a child saw Astarion, they would identify him as a vampire without hearing him talk or knowing anything about him. I don’t know if that’s as obvious if you grew up in a place that’s unfamiliar with movies like Bram Stoker’s Dracula or Interview with a Vampire. Sorry if that hyperbole confused you.


The "art" is tied directly to the lore. They aren't separate items to disseminate details someone doesn't like. We argue what we see in the opening cutscene because that is the narrative that kicks us off into the game world, aka the lore. Since we do see how those people are put in the pods, the clothes they're wearing, and the gear they are carrying isn't surprising at all, since that's what they had on them when they were abducted.

Let's analyze the narratives, shall we?

Lae'zel is a githyanki warrior. What is it that they wear, do you suppose? The ones seen in game seem to have similar armor, almost as if they're military uniforms. Shadowheart is wearing armor that reflects Shar worship, I can't imagine how a worshipper of Shar would come to be wearing faction appropriate gear. Astarion is wearing what may be the latest fashion trend in Baldur's Gate, for nobles and their retainers. We haven't been yet, so we can't be sure, but given the first two examples of narrative cohesiveness so far, I'd say that's a safe bet. It might also be that that's what he wore before he was a vampire, how do we know? So it's a pretty safe bet that what we have here is a case of someone trying to make their perception reality.

You see, what you've presented here isn't a counter argument to "but the lore". We see how people end up on the ship, it's shown in the opening cutscene, and none of them are stripped of whatever they are wearing. This is the lore, and this dictates the "art style" of the clothes the people that were in the pods are wearing. This is what we have to work with. Trying to pass off an argument against that as "clashing with the narrative" is incorrect. The narrative we have completely supports what we see.


Githyanki plate can look like whatever you want it to look like and still be consistent with the universe. She’s literally not wearing in the same armor in the intro video as she is in the game. It’s a creative choice. I don’t know why you’re doing mental gymnastics just to be argumentative. This is an observation of poor narrative form, not a legal brief.

The problem is that your narrative is faulty. There's nothing inconsistent about what the characters are wearing. I'm not doing any gymnastics, let alone mental gymnastics, to support my position that, when we have a piece of lore that explains something, we follow that lore until someone that actually has narrative control of that lore tells us otherwise. Arguments such as "but the vampire looks like a vampire" aren't going to sway a lot of people. Was he supposed to look like a fluffy little kitten? There's nothing wrong with either the art, or the narrative. Now, if they were all wearing neon lighted speedos? We'd have a problem, but since that's not what's going on, and what is going on is nowhere even in the same galaxy, then we're good. That someone doesn't care for the look doesn't mean it's breaking the narrative of the game, it just means someone doesn't care for the look, and hey, if that's all this thread had claimed, I wouldn't have posted in it at all. That's not what happened though, now is it? Instead we got "8th grade English teachers...".

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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.

My character is a raging nympho. He’s just lucky he had any clothes on when he was abducted!

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I just found heavy ring mail armor that I pulled from a sarcophagus in a crypt so old that no one knows the language written on the walls.

It’s really great. A very rich blue, the sleeves are almost like a wool sweater, probably keeps me very warm on my walks to school. It has a nice light blue contemporary dress shirt underneath with a little collar that pops out the top.
Oh and even though two other characters start with ring mail or better armor, this is actually better because it’s designer brand or something.


Go ahead and write another 3 page reply about how that’s very consistent with the lore because elven wool doesn’t fade or whatever. You can come up with whatever weird debate logic you want. You can’t go 5 minutes in this game without the overly high fantasy art style standing in blinding contrast to every other aspect of the game.


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Hey, now.
You are the one writing entire paragraphs to complain on fairly trivial shit, to be perfectly honest.

"The magic armor I found doesn't look like a piece of trash. Where's my realism?" is quite the angle.

Last edited by Tuco; 19/10/20 08:04 AM.

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