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Agreed, gaymer.

Kanisatha - You dont think the BG hero giving in to his greed, utter self-orientation, and destructive impulses to become a living embodiment of murder and terror, after Gorion's hopes and parental guidance, qualify as an evil ending? It is the dark alternative to the hero choosing to help others and the world. He literally becomes the definition of evil. The consequences of that action follow unwritten after the story is concluded, as most dark side endings leave the player. Just because Baldur's Gate doesn't turn into a bastion of villainy before the credits roll disqualifies that ending from being considered the evil one? We are left to imagine what the fallen hero will do with the realm. They will certainly increase its suffering. You are of course free to consider it as you choose, but tis strange indeed to try to make a case for such a claim..

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Originally Posted by The Drow Warlock
Agreed, gaymer.

Kanisatha - You dont think the BG hero giving in to his greed, utter self-orientation, and destructive impulses to become a living embodiment of murder and terror, after Gorion's hopes and parental guidance, qualify as an evil ending? It is the dark alternative to the hero choosing to help others and the world. He literally becomes the definition of evil. The consequences of that action follow unwritten after the story is concluded, as most dark side endings leave the player. Just because Baldur's Gate doesn't turn into a bastion of villainy before the credits roll disqualifies that ending from being considered the evil one? We are left to imagine what the fallen hero will do with the realm. They will certainly increase its suffering. You are of course free to consider it as you choose, but tis strange indeed to try to make a case for such a claim..

As I said before, The question of consequences is irrelevant to this discussion. we have the EA, so we have a story arc (let's call it the goblin conflict) and you can take one of two sides in it. one side (let's call them "team groovy grove") provides you with compelling reasons to do so, has some somewhat interesting characters and feels generally more real (although still very basic and buggy at this point). The other side (let's call them "team sexy drow") offers some cool atmosphere and side activities, but no real story other than "go kill them". both sides have pretty much the same conclusion - a party and advancement of the main story of the game. but the conclusion is not the issue people are having. the problem is not with the nature of evil in FR, the problem is that even if we put aside alignments for a second, team groovy grove has a much better-written story arc than team sexy drow. And if we consider the fact that even team groovy grove is not some unique and subversive work of storytelling, the fact is that team sexy drow is seriously lacking.
If they didn't want to create team sexy drow route, they shouldn't have created it. want us to just kill goblins? it's fine. expand the inner conflicts inside the groovy grove and make the goblins big bad enemy of the arc. but if you created it, do it well. because this feels like another case of fake choice. you can either experience a decent and complete story or you can have an MMORPG side quest with sexy drow sex as a reward. I feel like once again we have a case of "Larian wants to give us choices but don't really put the effort to make them work."

Last edited by Abits; 30/10/20 10:54 PM.

Larian's Biggest Oversight, what to do about it, and My personal review of BG3 EA
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? I fully understand why the evil path in this game so far needs real narrative work. I'd be surprised if Larian wasnt intending to further flesh it out.

I was just at a loss reading Kanisatha repeatedly state BG's hero choosing to live as a literal avatar of evil does not constitute that ending as evil. You quoted my thinking.

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@abits. For the record I also enjoy your posts and agree with you on most threads but this one smile

But you can't do that. You can't just rename the stories in a way that alters their nature. Call a rose a bowl of spaghetti if you like but it smells the same. Groovy groove is a heroic story, sexy drow is villian's story. FR is a setting that favors heroes over villians. So sure so add some stuff that makes it clear that you have a reason to believe you can harness the power of the tadpoles via the sexy drow route but I think that's pretty clear as is. Sexy drow route gets you better stuff and more powerful abilities.

The tadpole and Absolute aren't separate stories -- true souls have tadpoles, true souls serve the absolute. If you develop your tadpole powers you move closer to the absolute, sexy drow, evil, villainous story line. It's a replacement for the BG2 story line of Bhaal powers. More you evil you do the more powerful you become the closer you move towards losing yourself.

Larian got some things wrong and somethings right -- they got this right.

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Yes - Im surprised that isnt all clear?

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Rewards and consequences are integral for (certain types of) evil vs good play. Why would a (non chaotic/sadist) evil person do things that don't reward them? Let alone do things that actively harm them: allying with the goblins offers ~no chance at a cure and only a small likelihood of helping you, given that the cultists you meet have less knowledge about your condition than yourself.

Evil is characterized by selfishness: prioritization of personal rewards over the well-being of others.
Good is characterized by selflessness: prioritization of the well-being of others over personal gain

The lack of rewards/consequences to the evil storyline are significant reasons why it is so lacking rn. Unless, of course, the "evil" route is only for CE characters, in which case sure its consequences are perfectly fine: you get to murder a bunch of druids and tieflings. Also you get Minthara, probably its most enticing reward.

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The lack of rewards/consequences to the evil storyline are significant reasons why it is so lacking rn.


I'm fine with a evil parties getting a super powerful object in addition to the gloves, shield and amulet that are for evil parties. But the tadpole powers are not minor. Are you not developing your absolute powers? I don't think you say those powers are separate from evil playthrough. Give in, seek power and be rewarded.

Last edited by KillerRabbit; 31/10/20 12:11 AM. Reason: pushed rong button
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Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
Quote
The lack of rewards/consequences to the evil storyline are significant reasons why it is so lacking rn.
I'm fine with a evil parties getting a super powerful object in addition to the gloves, shield and amulet that are for evil parties. But the tadpole powers are not minor. Are you not developing your absolute powers? I don't think you say those powers are separate from evil playthrough. Give in, seek power and be rewarded.

Hmmm I'm not sure if I would classify using the tadpole powers as evil... Who is harmed by me using the tadpole?
Is there a part in the game that explains the Absolute/big evil powers are growing stronger because of your use of the tadpole? (Actual question. If so, I missed it). I'm operating under the assumption that, because the tadpole insertion process was interrupted, my character is at least mostly free from any of these effects...?

Using the tadpole is probably a dumb and/or arrogant thing to do, but not necessarily evil. If you mind control/read thoughts your companions, sure that's evil. But if you use the tadpole powers to infiltrate the goblin camp to save the Grove? I could see an argument for that being for the Greater Good

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Originally Posted by The Drow Warlock
? I fully understand why the evil path in this game so far needs real narrative work. I'd be surprised if Larian wasnt intending to further flesh it out.

I was just at a loss reading Kanisatha repeatedly state BG's hero choosing to live as a literal avatar of evil does not constitute that ending as evil. You quoted my thinking.


Kanisatha is saying that because being a god is actually a management job with very strict rules to follow if you don't want to lose said job. PCcharname just become one more evil god among many evil gods and they are not a greater deity which means having to serve another god too. The Forgotten Realms pantheon is a bureaucracy.

That's actually the story of the Dead Three. They believe they would achieve great power by becoming gods and rule the realms. They discovered it was crappy management and couldn't do anything. Then they plotted to free themselves from the rules which only got them dead and replaced...Now they are back, but apparently refused to follow the rules still and were cast down.

The setting is actually Order/Law vs Chaos. The Absolute is clearly Chaotic. The Priest of Maglubiyet as an interesting conversation about it, saying that the Absolute is breaking tradition about gods. That's why it is "evil", it's chaos.


Originally Posted by mrfuji3
Is there a part in the game that explains the Absolute/big evil powers are growing stronger because of your use of the tadpole? (Actual question. If so, I missed it)


Not said straight up, but the narration says it takes something from you and it doesn't appear to be brain part so that means soul chunks...and that's power.

Last edited by azarhal; 31/10/20 12:32 AM.
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Originally Posted by The Drow Warlock
? I fully understand why the evil path in this game so far needs real narrative work. I'd be surprised if Larian wasnt intending to further flesh it out.

I was just at a loss reading Kanisatha repeatedly state BG's hero choosing to live as a literal avatar of evil does not constitute that ending as evil. You quoted my thinking.

I readily admit that perhaps I'm just not able to explain my point well here. So let me try again in a different way.

Charname becoming an evil god doesn't really change anything in the Forgotten Realms. There are many evil gods in that setting, and one more doesn't really change anything. Your character lives a life doing evil things, then ends up as an evil god. Okay. And the Forgotten Realms goes on with its life as though nothing's really changed. Bhaal existed before, then he didn't for a while, and now he's back. Whoop-de-do.

Now, what would have been an example of an evil ending, for me, would be if an evil Charname ascends to godhood as, say Lathander, takes Lathander's good essence and powers, and turns them to evil such that the new Lathander is now an evil god. That would be, to me, and evil ending, because something in the FR setting has been fundamentally changed from good to evil.

For me:
A good path in a game is when something fundamentally bad/evil is changed by my PC into something good.
An evil path in a game, then, is when something fundamentally good is changed by my PC into something bad/evil.

None of you need agree with me. I'm just saying, this is how I see it. And because I see things this way, and also because the FR is a fundamentally good-oriented setting that WotC is not going to allow to be changed/transformed into something bad/evil, well ....

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Originally Posted by azarhal
Originally Posted by The Drow Warlock
? I fully understand why the evil path in this game so far needs real narrative work. I'd be surprised if Larian wasnt intending to further flesh it out.

I was just at a loss reading Kanisatha repeatedly state BG's hero choosing to live as a literal avatar of evil does not constitute that ending as evil. You quoted my thinking.


Kanisatha is saying that because being a god is actually a management job with very strict rules to follow if you don't want to lose said job. PCcharname just become one more evil god among many evil gods and they are not a greater deity which means having to serve another god too. The Forgotten Realms pantheon is a bureaucracy.

That's actually the story of the Dead Three. They believe they would achieve great power by becoming gods and rule the realms. They discovered it was crappy management and couldn't do anything. Then they plotted to free themselves from the rules which only got them dead and replaced...Now they are back, but apparently refused to follow the rules still and were cast down.

Saw this only after I had posted. Yes, this is a good way of getting at my point too. Thanks!!

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Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
I'm fine with a evil parties getting a super powerful object in addition to the gloves, shield and amulet that are for evil parties. But the tadpole powers are not minor. Are you not developing your absolute powers? I don't think you say those powers are separate from evil playthrough. Give in, seek power and be rewarded.


I am evil. I want power and don't care who I have to step on to get it, but I am not suicidal. Power which will greatly accelerate the end of my life is power at too high a price. I'd be happy to seek power and be rewarded, if I am convinced that there is a reward for me.

Right now though, we've got a bunch of people who are denying the existence of tadpoles trying to tell us that this power is great. What would convince me are people who know about the tadpoles inside their own head and know a way to use them to continue to survive and thrive without being turned into a Mind Flayer. I do not find the arguments for power convincing coming from people ignorant of the source of their own power. That strikes me more as those people being suckers being used.

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But if you are evil aren't you better than these fools you walk amongst? ( read with Irenicus voice) As @mrfuji3 has said, it's only been implied that there is a downside -- perhaps you can have it all. That's Astarian's plan. Get the benefits without the downside. You always knew you were better, develop your powers and become the ubermench, the apex predator in the herd.

I think people are thinking its only a good playthrough if I could imagine a real person doing it -- but in the realms playing evil is always the wrong choice. Your soul ends up being tortured for an eternity and a brief look at any history book will tell you that evil organizations get defeated more often than not. Be like Szass Tam -- he has sold his soul to an evil god. But he thinks he so smart he can find a way out the deal.

Did your evil character use the gloves, shield and amulet? Did you take the brand? My good characters had to leave those alone.

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It is very easy to get the brand. You need to invest practically no effort to enjoy the power to use all the items powered by the absolute.

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I think one other thing that needs to be kept in mind for evil interactions.

They're going to LIE, CHEAT and ROB you given the chance. So, there need to be areas where they might think backstabbing you (figuratively or literally) is a valid option. So you need to think about such things. Not everyone who agrees to work with you is doing so for good reasons. I'm not talking just the goblins, they have a reason to obey quickly enough. I'm talking about the evil characters in general. Interactions with them should always be rife with that potential for betrayal happening, even if you do what they ask you to do. I mean, I've seen other RPGs do that, they send you to kill a big good, expecting you'd die in the process. You return, and they realize you're too dangerous to leave alive, so they try and kill you.

So, that's something that needs to be considered, the issue of your "allies" betraying you, along with possible ways to counter the betrayal.

Last edited by KentDA; 31/10/20 03:05 AM. Reason: grammar, clarification
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@killerrabbit you're right about what you said about me not being able to call rose a spaghetti bowl, but that's not exactly what I said. I said that even if you call the evil path in bg3 the sexy drow path, but change nothing else about it, it still sucks from a narrative prospective. I do it not think it's because this path is not evil, but because being evil is not the problem here.

About the absolute powers- the absolute powers works completely separate from the evil path, meaning you can complete the evil path, the good path, or ignore both of the with or without the absolute power storyline. It is a completely different story line, to which we don't know the consequences yet. This means that even if this aspect of the story is interesting and intriguing (and it is), it doesn't really makes the evil path any better because it's not really a part of it. And actually, maybe making it more integral part of the evil path would be a relatively cheap way to fix it.

About why the FR settings are not the problem - I think I went about this the wrong way. After carefully considering it, I don't think the nature of the settings as kanisatha explained them at least is a problem here, especially if we consider what he said about bg2 and throne of Bhaal. @kanisatha correct me if I'm wrong here but what you're saying is that there is some sort of good balance that ultimately can't be shifted. I have two questions about it:
1) how big a change has to be to be considered evil win? You mentioned somewhere Baldur's Gate being destroyed. A grove destroyed is too small I take it?
2) if we establish that a grove being destroyed is too small to be considered evil ending, does it make this ending to be natural ending, good ending, or something else?

Last edited by Abits; 31/10/20 09:18 AM.

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Why would you want to talk to anyone? My last run through I just killed everything and everyone.


CE with a large dash of CN.

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I’m not sure we needed a separate thread, a lot of this is similar to the “did you like...” one.

That being said I disagree with a lot of the points regarding evil in FR. The Drow for example or the Illithids are per default, evil. Thus it is possible to have an “evil” play through by behaving in an evil manner.

Whether that changes the balance of power in the FR is irrelevant, it’s about the narrative and how I accomplish my goals, whether that be finding a cure or taking over the world.

In our current example within Act1 we, at least at first glance appear to only have two main options. Grove vs Drow, though again how you go about achieving those goals can be varied, for example you don’t have to be a goody 2 shoes when rescuing Halsin. Evil characters can do “good” things if it aligns with their current needs and vice versa.

The biggest complaint right now for me is not, is the evil path how I want to play evil, but more that narratively it makes less sense and it is harder to be enticed into playing unless I make a real effort to find it.

The Grove is your first real interaction with the two paths and you are automatically set to be against the goblins, thus you start down that road and there is little enticement you draw you over to the “Drow” path. I’m not even racially kicked out/unwelcome if I turn up as a Drow myself. So I am already more inclined to slaughter the goblins at a drop of a hat, not helped by the it who wants you to smear crap on your face. As for Sezza trying to sell you some weird absolute bollocs, yeah, I’m not buying a goblin promoted hokey cult/religion, and on the off chance I MIGHT think, “oh hey well maybe I can get that power and lead the gobbo’s, nope...

Now after multiple attempts at the EA Act 1 you get a feel for how one could do it, but that again shows a missing narrative hook. Given the game isn’t doing alignment like in ye olden days of AD&D, the game should essentially treat you as neither good nor evil and entice you equally, or yeah, we will all end up playing the “good” story because it is simply the one that makes sense regardless of your morale compass. Again, I can do the grove story and still be a complete arse and murderhobo.

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Originally Posted by kanisatha

For me:
A good path in a game is when something fundamentally bad/evil is changed by my PC into something good.
An evil path in a game, then, is when something fundamentally good is changed by my PC into something bad/evil.


Alright, thanks for clarifying - I see the player as the entity fundamentally turned to evil or good. The hero had a choice, and they chose evil. Evil ending. But I understand your criterion now, and interesting learning some more god lore.

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Originally Posted by Riandor
The biggest complaint right now for me is not, is the evil path how I want to play evil, but more that narratively it makes less sense and it is harder to be enticed into playing unless I make a real effort to find it.


I'm pretty sure that is on purpose. Especially when there are other quests that will lead to all the Tieflings (from Khaga) or the Druids (from Zevlor) dead that are much easier to get.

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