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If you are right that would basically answer my question and it would also mean that Astarion does have a soul. Vampirism kicks in after death, so he would be an undead with a soul, as strange as that may sound.

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I don't think this is a Larian plothole.

First of all Rafael doesn't asks for any soul, he offers his alliance and shows interest for the tadpoles, nowhere in the dialogue I had the sensation he was trying to make a devil's deal with the party.

My second point is about the idea of undead. It is flawed. It is based on the duality between body and soul (where soul includes not only emotions and feelings but also rational and logical thinking).

So I get a zombie as an undead: it is a corpse of a dead that by some reasons (usually magic, sometimes scientific) becomes animated, but it lacks anyform of intellect and feelings.

On the contrary I can not get the idea behind other forms of undeads like lichs, skeletons, vampires. At least not without consider them dead bodies (at different stages) infused (usualy by a curse) with a soul that is forced to remain in that container, a curse that comes with different requirements to maintain their form and delay the final judgement of the related pantheon (for liches is to feed on soul energy, for vampires is to feed on blood), due to the curse and the fact that the souls inhabit a dead body (a corpse) to me it's only natural that they rely on the worst aspects of human nature and that they have to struggle to avoid going feral.

Let's take for example the White Wolf set: there a soul leaves a body when a human dies, but if they are killed by a vampire and embraced the soul fall under the curse of Caino and remain entrapped in the corpse, in the Buffyverse the soul leaves the body but it becomes replaced by a demonic one.

I think the incoherence is in the D n D set that didn't explain explicity how vampires function and in the fact that the authors were probably influenced by the modern trinity that is body, soul, brain. With the soul being related to feelings and emotions, the body to instict, the brain to logical and rational thinking. So the soul can leave the body and a vampire (or an undead) can still act not like a feral beast,because the precence of an intact brain allows rational thinking and also to mimick emotions (that would explain why D n D vampires and undeads show emotions and feelings and why those are twisted).

Furthermore the fact that a curse could force a soul into a corpse would not break the fact that souls need to pass judgement by the Faerun pantheon, and won't lower the income of souls the demons need for their wars because vampires and undeads supposedly are rare monsters.

Nevertheless Wizards of the coast should meke esplicit how undeads function.

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Even if Astarion is just a soul-less Abomination, I am pretty sure the Tadpol has a soul.
And as a parasite it might not have voting-right authority over its own soul.

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Originally Posted by JustAnotherBaldu
Even if Astarion is just a soul-less Abomination, I am pretty sure the Tadpol has a soul.
And as a parasite it might not have voting-right authority over its own soul.
When a tadpole transforms the body into a full illithid, the host's soul is annihilated in the process, which leads to the next question: Do illithids have souls?

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It bothers me a bit too that they create a character with such an extreme background, and then ignore said background when it becomes inconvenient.

Soul and deals with devils, big question mark.

Tadpole, a biological parasite, even entering a dead brain, big question mark. It makes much more sense the tadpole host needs to be alive for the physical transformation to work and new cells to grow. Not explained, just ignored conveniently.

Daylight is now ok, but running water is not. Permission to enter houses, not needed. Healing potions work on an undead. So convenient.

Obvious appearance with red eyes and fangs, ignored by every single NPC in the world.

Hexxat at least made sense and actually felt like something unique. Everything about Astarion just seems like someone thought a vampire PC would be "really cool" but didn't bother going through with the writing to support that.

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Originally Posted by 1varangian
Obvious appearance with red eyes and fangs, ignored by every single NPC in the world.

Yeah he often smiles widely, revealing his fangs in the process.
But maybe people think "this is just how Elves are" when they see him?
Ignorance plays a big part in such medieval world I guess. Do not forget it does not matter if people know Vampires exist.
Most who "meet" them will not live to tell the tale.

Albino's are a rarity in our own world. Aka very pale coloration and red or light-red eyes.
But so what. I bet people are more concerned about a regular Tiefling as some other random Humanoid with a more unusual coloration.

Vampires are also supposed to not exist in the sunlight.
Suggestive logic can play a big role in making a false evaluation or judgement.
Even that Vampire-hunter dude does not considered Astarion the Vampirespawn he hunts, when he is confronted by him in the daylight.

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- DnD 5E does not mention that undead are damaged by healing spells. Vampires plus spawn are resistent to necrotic damage and radient damage suppresses their self healing.
- personal opinion: Creatures that behave like sentient beings have a soul in the DnD universe.

I like the Pillars of Eternity lore. Undead are created when the soul does not leave the body after death or when somebody puts a soul into a dead body. There is a lich arch age in both games.


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So Astarion is Faerun Angel?

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I don't really mind edgy characters as long as they have a personality beyond all the edge. Basically I just want good writing.

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Originally Posted by 1varangian
Daylight is now ok, but running water is not. Permission to enter houses, not needed. Healing potions work on an undead. So convenient.
Oh yes, running water is the most convenient. Especially in this moment when the developers had to find every single running water in the game and mark it as a running water just to make this unique feature for Astarion. Very convenient.

"Pechenin tells Matthew the devs at Larian had to go through every single piece of water in the game to figure out what was running and what was still. Can you imagine if they missed any? The crushing defeat of death as the hundred year-old vamp wanders aimlessly through a puddle." - https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/20...-the-first-15-seconds-of-baldurs-gate-3/

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I consider him as a damned soul entrapped in a dead body.

About cellular reproduction and so on: in this world metamorphing is a feature that happens not through biological means but by the use of magic, pretty sure that can explain a big part of the tadpole's host transformation in a mindflier (let's not forget that those worms can infect all races and transform them, something that from a biological point of view is quite complex to achieve due to the fact that even if they are humanoid they still have different set of chromosomes. Truth be told I justify the existence of the weave as the reason there can be half races)

About eyes and skin color: Larian decided to give full spectrum of skin tones and colors, same for eye colors and hair color. That is why I assume people in this particular version of Faerun is used to unusual somatic aspects: my full Drow has GREEN skin and hair, and DEMONIC ORANGE still he is recognized as an appartenent of his race and even other drows don't give a dime, in the post with character pictures we can see a variety of non standard pigmentations, hair colors, eye colors, but as far as I've read no player has writen about their character being somehow harassed or pointed out because of their aspect.


About Astarion smiling, I don't know about others people habits but when I talk with someone I don't look to their teeths.

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Originally Posted by Kou The Mad
So Astarion is Faerun Angel?

Nope Astarion is a vampire like in the traditional european culture. The buffyverse stats that vampires are dead bodies possesed by a demon soul. (A big plothole is the reason why Angel has his human soul).

The fact that vampires have a soul doesn't imply they have to act moral. The fact that they are souls entrapped in a dead body by a curse twist and corrupt them (something beatiful managed by White Wolf: vampires have to struggle to mantain their humanity, and those who didn't believe in humanity have to follow their own moral codes, a failure in this would brought them more and more near a feral state in wich they are driven only by basic insticts).

Indeed a recurrent cliche in the vampire lore is the one with a vampire choosing an hign moral person to embrace in the vampirism.


A note that should have been in my previous post: nothing in the Raphael cut scene and dialogue implies a devil's deal with a soul as a price. Shadowheart simply states that a bargain with a demon cames with a price to pay but let open the possibilities of what could be that price that is for Astarion could be the loss of his chance to be free from his master, or the passage from one master to another, even in fairytales and fables not always the devil's deal requires a soul to be put on the plate, sometimes it is the daughters and sons that are the price, other times is to corrupt or to aid in the devil's projects.

The idea of the soul as a bargain coin I think comes from the tale of Dr. Faust, that is but one of many stories that involve a pact with the devil.

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Originally Posted by Bufotenina
Originally Posted by Kou The Mad
So Astarion is Faerun Angel?

Nope Astarion is a vampire like in the traditional european culture. The buffyverse stats that vampires are dead bodies possesed by a demon soul. (A big plothole is the reason why Angel has his human soul).

The fact that vampires have a soul doesn't imply they have to act moral. The fact that they are souls entrapped in a dead body by a curse twist and corrupt them (something beatiful managed by White Wolf: vampires have to struggle to mantain their humanity, and those who didn't believe in humanity have to follow their own moral codes, a failure in this would brought them more and more near a feral state in wich they are driven only by basic insticts).

Indeed a recurrent cliche in the vampire lore is the one with a vampire choosing an hign moral person to embrace in the vampirism.


A note that should have been in my previous post: nothing in the Raphael cut scene and dialogue implies a devil's deal with a soul as a price. Shadowheart simply states that a bargain with a demon cames with a price to pay but let open the possibilities of what could be that price that is for Astarion could be the loss of his chance to be free from his master, or the passage from one master to another, even in fairytales and fables not always the devil's deal requires a soul to be put on the plate, sometimes it is the daughters and sons that are the price, other times is to corrupt or to aid in the devil's projects.

The idea of the soul as a bargain coin I think comes from the tale of Dr. Faust, that is but one of many stories that involve a pact with the devil.

Well to be fair, the devils of Faerun are all about harvesting souls to the points that they make tricky deals to entrap you into having to give them your soul regardless of the contract that you made with them. When you deal with a devil it's very normal and wise to assume they want your soul (amongst other things).

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A more interesting question for me btw. would be
Does Astarion has a Shadow
and has LarianStudio considered that "Fae'run Vampires" are not supposed to have one?

Not just a missing mirror image - nope.
Apparently they are also supposed to not even have a shadow.
Interestiiing.


In the game he has a Shadow, I researched some footage.
Also an effect of the Tadpol?
Still I think it would be way cooler if he alone does not have a Shadow.

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Maybe people just think that Vampires dont have shadow, since no one ever have seen Vampire on daylight ... to have shadow.


I liked original spellcasting system more ... frown

Anyway ... i cast Eldritch Blast!
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Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Maybe people just think that Vampires dont have shadow, since no one ever have seen Vampire on daylight ... to have shadow.
Candlelight is a thing and it doesnt kill vampires.

Also after reading up quite a bit on vampire lore there is another bit of inconsistency: The reason why vampires don't have a mirror image is because they lack a soul. This needs to be resolved.

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