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Hi,
I almost returned Baldur's Gate over this and if anyone else has those moments it might be good to keep them here so they can be smoothed out (if there's not another thread already doing this that I've missed).

The moment:
Kagha killing the child when I felt I had no information about the situation and every decision made things worse - even after loading all decisions seemed to lead to death! Killing a child 4 hours in was a "I've got to return this game" moment. To be fair, I also hadn't explored anywhere else in the grove - I was on a mission to get this darn slug out of my eye and wasn't going to bother exploring anywhere except where the healer was. I skipped past the temple as soon as I saw more than two people there, I skipped past the tiefling market and even skipped various dialogues that popped up - it was a dead run for the druid healer, ignoring EVERYTHING else that wouldn't help remove the slug.

Luckily after a few hours offline-struggling with returning it or not- I calmed down and loaded and tried a different route. After exploring elsewhere (around the 6-8 hour of playing mark) I was ready to return and try the situation again. I lost the child again but was more invested in the world now.

Suggested Solution:
Either give more information about what's happening or force us to explore the world more before encountering that situation to build more buy-in to the game. Even putting playful Tiefling kids that "block the way" until you've explored the rest of the druid grove (e.g. the Tiefling market) or have otherwise gotten beyond 6 hours of playtime would be a good way to get more investment in the world before this dramatic scene so that way players are less likely to bail on this epic adventure so fast.

The emotional gut-punch is powerful and good to have in games, but I think making things easier on your return team is a good idea both for their workload and for game reviews. After this rough start, I'm now quite enjoying the game.


Last edited by Addersblade; 18/10/20 05:21 AM.
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The kid doesn't have to die though? You can save her through dialogue. I didn't even explore everything and all of the grove before doing that.

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Yes and my roommate successfully charmed their way through and wasn't sure why I was so angry over the game. The kid living would not have resulted in a Game return moment, but not everybody will successfully save her (and not everyone should save her, to maintain the integrity of the risk involved).

The smoothing is about making sure people are invested enough in the world, should they lose the child, that they don't consider quitting but see it as "a tough decision made in the game". Eventually everyone gets there, but this game has such a large scope that I think encouraging the first play through to ensure they've had time to become invested enough before gut-punching them would be good. There's enough content to simply redirect them momentarily if they're running full-on into the darkness.

Last edited by Addersblade; 18/10/20 03:15 AM.
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Originally Posted by UnderworldHades
The kid doesn't have to die though? You can save her through dialogue. I didn't even explore everything and all of the grove before doing that.


I'm NOT a save-scammer, but myself and my bestie absolutely refused to progress further until we found a way to save her.

Dammit.

F this as a "tough decision"; at some point I am going to kill that Archdruid and dance on her corpse.

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I gotta admit, I want to try to accept the results of some of these rolls but I save scummed the hell out of that archdruid till she didn't kil lthe child, just wasn't gonna let that happen, later I learned to engage her in conversation with my +CHA character (Shadowheart) and change characters to my wizard and hit her with friends while she's talking to get advantage on the check.

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Originally Posted by Newtinmpls
Originally Posted by UnderworldHades
The kid doesn't have to die though? You can save her through dialogue. I didn't even explore everything and all of the grove before doing that.


I'm NOT a save-scammer, but myself and my bestie absolutely refused to progress further until we found a way to save her.

Dammit.

F this as a "tough decision"; at some point I am going to kill that Archdruid and dance on her corpse.


I want Halsin as a companion soon just so I can get him in my party and have him help me kill that bitch honestly. Some good ol druid on druid violence

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Yeah, I totally agree on this one. It doesn't feel like D&D. Well, it feels like bad D&D with a railroading DM. If the scene played out in initiative instead of in scripted dialog, that outcome is incredibly unlikely. Forcing it in the script after a failed roll (that's probably pretty high difficulty) feels, well, forced.


See https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=90360&Number=691001

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OMG I just did another playthrough, this time with a character without the ability scores or proficiencies to even havce a chance, and realized that it's scripted so that the insta-kill happens even if you try to attack to intervene. Srsly? We just killed an owlbear without breaking a sweat.

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Originally Posted by UnderworldHades
The kid doesn't have to die though? You can save her through dialogue. I didn't even explore everything and all of the grove before doing that.


It's pretty easy to fail so unless you are going to save scum, kid is probably dead. Having reasons to save scum is a poorly written story. I should be able to save the kid without rolls, just have Kagha force us to do a quest. Change it that she going to kill the child unless we do X for her. There is no reason she can not schedule an execution that the PC has to stop and the threat of killing the child gives the same feel to the encounter, lets Zelzor be pissed and stuff.

Last edited by Merry Mayhem; 18/10/20 09:44 PM.
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Could have put in a acrobatics check for a party member trying to grab the snake as last resort to prevent a bitte. But meh its what you get for letting some one who writes instruction manuals do a DM´s job.

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So when an angry druid accidentally lets her viper nibble on some thiefling kid, that's where you draw the line, but the whole part with the mindflayer ship where they sedate and dissect humanoid species, feed on their brains and twist them to become thralls or make them morph into ghaik themselves, that part you shrugged off no problem?


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They point the cannon at you, Lord
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Originally Posted by Ben Thunder
So when an angry druid accidentally lets her viper nibble on some thiefling kid, that's where you draw the line, but the whole part with the mindflayer ship where they sedate and dissect humanoid species, feed on their brains and twist them to become thralls or make them morph into ghaik themselves, that part you shrugged off no problem?


Pretty much yeah. That first part is the setup.

In a tabletop D&D game, if a DM did that to us without explaining out of game, it'd be annoying, and maybe enough to make me not keep with that game. But, if that's the whole premise of the campaign and I know it to start, it'd be fine. Like I said, just the setup. You can then make your character ideas around that. Real D&D is about giving the players agency. Computerized RPGs should at least present the illusion.

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Other dialog that's missing: trying to lobby the other druid to help you instead of her. Clearly she's exceeding her authority, not to mention being unhinged, and evil on top of that. The druid camp is clearly split in loyalties.

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Originally Posted by Ben Thunder
So when an angry druid accidentally lets her viper nibble on some thiefling kid, that's where you draw the line, but the whole part with the mindflayer ship where they sedate and dissect humanoid species, feed on their brains and twist them to become thralls or make them morph into ghaik themselves, that part you shrugged off no problem?

This is already scripted to give you an ideal outcome because in any situation which it is not you instantly die without a snowballs chance.



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 Ben Thunder
So when an angry druid accidentally lets her viper nibble on some thiefling kid, that's where you draw the line, but the whole part with the mindflayer ship where they sedate and dissect humanoid species, feed on their brains and twist them to become thralls or make them morph into ghaik themselves, that part you shrugged off no problem?


Originally Posted by Postwave

Pretty much yeah. That first part is the setup.

In a tabletop D&D game, if a DM did that to us without explaining out of game, it'd be annoying, and maybe enough to make me not keep with that game. But, if that's the whole premise of the campaign and I know it to start, it'd be fine. Like I said, just the setup. You can then make your character ideas around that. Real D&D is about giving the players agency. Computerized RPGs should at least present the illusion.


Well said!

I agree that the battles between "adults" and "monsters" are pretty tolerable... but putting kids in danger is not.

I'm going glacially slowly, so I don't know if there is any ultimate fate intended for the jerk-of-an-Archdruid, but I AM going to kill her. With poison if I can manage it, just because Karma.

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I want to note that your character has the opportunity to question Kagha's action as it does not pertain to NORMAL DRUIDS. Without giving spoilers, the kid's death does set the tone of Kagha's character and this makes more sense when you stick your nose where it shouldn't be.

Yes, it IS traumatic for the kid to die. While i saved her the first try with my PC lock (no reason to fail really) you ABSOLUTELY SHOULD have another way to save the little one, acrobatics, athletics, etc...or you know maybe taking the bite instead of her and wandering around with perma poison till you cure it.

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Originally Posted by Postwave
Other dialog that's missing: trying to lobby the other druid to help you instead of her. Clearly she's exceeding her authority, not to mention being unhinged, and evil on top of that. The druid camp is clearly split in loyalties.


She's not exceeding her authority though. Many of the druids recognize she's shitty, but she was placed in charge and has the rank of arch druid. There are two chances to save the kid, and the option to punt by avoiding getting involved with the judgment until you bring Halsin back.

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Originally Posted by Merry Mayhem
Originally Posted by UnderworldHades
The kid doesn't have to die though? You can save her through dialogue. I didn't even explore everything and all of the grove before doing that.


It's pretty easy to fail so unless you are going to save scum, kid is probably dead. Having reasons to save scum is a poorly written story. I should be able to save the kid without rolls, just have Kagha force us to do a quest. Change it that she going to kill the child unless we do X for her. There is no reason she can not schedule an execution that the PC has to stop and the threat of killing the child gives the same feel to the encounter, lets Zelzor be pissed and stuff.


It's not the DM's job to create paths of automatic success so you never have to deal with an outcome you dont like.

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It is the job of the DM to let your characters use their skills and abilities to affect the world around them. It's a pretty easy check to fail, even if you are specced for diplomacy, let alone if you are playing anything other than a Warlock. A rogue or a fighter is basically doomed to fail the check with no other alternative. A wizard with charm person *might* think to use the spell before the interaction, but that's unlikely for most people.

Karga is not supposed to be an evil character, but her introduction is to kill a scared child in front of you, then act sanctimonious about it after the fact. That's just bad story telling.

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Just to keep things on track regarding what I thought the actual problem with the moment... I had no issues with it being hard to succeed. It simply was too early in the world discovery that instead of going "Man, she sucks! I don't like her." It was still a "This game makes you kill kids?! F- This! I'm out!" One you're in the world - the other you're still figuring out how to interact with the world and haven't truly committed to the characters yet. I'm not even looking to change the actual scenario. I'm looking to make sure the player has a bit more Baldur's Gate 3 game time under their belt before encountering this scenario (or even just met some basic exploration requirements to encourage exploring the world a bit more so you've got more buy-in to the game).

A) a player having a vendetta is compelling and good for story-telling.

B) a player returning the game and asking for their money back is bad for business.

I want to increase the odds of Scenario A than B without actually altering the Kagha scene. I think "watering it down" to be easier would be detrimental to the game, so instead I'm suggesting some sort of redirection (talking to more characters or doing a mini-quest within the camp) to help make a stronger tie to the world for the player before they encounter Kagha.

To be fair, with the fight at the entrance between the young adult and Zevlor that feels like it's an attempt to slow you down and force you to interact with the world but it isn't strong enough. I'm advocating a stronger set of breaks or redirect before Kagha's scene.

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