Larian Banner
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5
#747647 28/12/20 11:49 PM
Joined: Mar 2015
Arne Offline OP
member
OP Offline
member
Joined: Mar 2015
Ok, Larian takes a lot of liberties with the forgotten realms world/lore, but sometimes this makes the story really becoming disjointed and breaking immersion. Just a few observations, which are by no means complete:

(1) There are apparently Drow mingling with simple human scavenger groups instead of killing them
(2) Tieflings are not depicted as special or enigmatic, but as commonplace and simply 'humans with horns'
(3) An especially weird/funny moment was as two Tieflings were discussing how 'alien' Lae'zel looks while they are obviously looking much more alien wink
(4) Another situation was when I met a devil making an evil offer to accept his help getting rid of the tadpole - looking exactly like the Tieflings, but now suddenly being enigmatic and evil wink
(5) In the next moment, I again spoke to Tieflings who told me how weak and afraid they were of Goblins, looking exactly the same as the devil
(6) Another situation was meeting a mind flayer in the underdark, who, in the course of a few sentences, was introduced as good and living in the middle of a myconid spore colony

-> Baldur's Gate is a fun game, but this is often immersion breaking. If your Tieflings are just commonplace and another form of humans, they are boring and nothing special. If your Drow are just humans with dark skin, they are boring and nothing special.

Fantasy stories become interesting because of differences in cultures, species, powers. If everyone is the same, then there is no discussion, no conflict and no reason to read a story, watch a movie or play a game.

Arne #747653 29/12/20 12:41 AM
Joined: Oct 2020
addict
Offline
addict
Joined: Oct 2020
Originally Posted by Arne
There are apparently Drow mingling with simple human scavenger groups instead of killing them

where? who? if you're talking about Tav (drow) then it's the player's choice, you can kill anyone you want. I haven't seen any other peace-loving Drow yet.


I don't speak english well, but I try my best. Ty
Arne #747662 29/12/20 01:20 AM
Joined: Nov 2020
Banned
Offline
Banned
Joined: Nov 2020
What a funny train of thoughts.
Did you forgot the part where you were "impregnated" by a tadpol and have basically no choice but to collude with other people if you don't want to end up all Fhtagn and the like?

Drow are not brainless Drones out to attack everyone else.
Only this dumb group in the so very Early-Early-Early-Access version is, even after we safed their sorry, STUPID asses from a Beholder even!
( Makes no sense to me. )


Dunno about Tieflings but are you sure your view about them is truly that of the majority of D&D players?

The last time I visited Fae'run was
° Baldurs Gate 2 ( like 15 years ago or so )
° Neverwinter Nights ( unclear when )
and when I saw "Critical Role" the webshow ever just so briefly. ( Not truly interested btw. )


But "Jester" stuck to me. What an adorable cutie! wink
So... she seems very accepted by the group.
Whatever "Lore" you came across
ABOUT THE WORST FANTASY UNIVERSE I CAN THINK ABOUT WHEN COMING TO AN AGREEMENT WITH A TRULY OFFICIAL LORE
...
I kind of doubt LarianStudios shares the same view about it.


There are only two universes I think are very clear to absolute everyone.
° Lord of the Rings
° Warcraft

Thats it. And whenever I see a truly free RPG about it unbound to videogame-mechanics, I see so much sh*t I can't even begin to describe it.

Arne #747674 29/12/20 02:21 AM
Joined: Jun 2020
old hand
Offline
old hand
Joined: Jun 2020
Hey Arne,

Thing to remember about realms lore is that the lore itself generally represents either factual historical details, or general principles of the present day and state of things. The latter isn't an absolute to-be-abided-by thing, and in fact most stories within the realms are about strange or unusual occurrences, where the norms are altered in some way; as long as it's made clear that the unusual situation is unusual, that's just dandy.

Originally Posted by Arne
(1) There are apparently Drow mingling with simple human scavenger groups instead of killing them

In the present realms date, there are more drow interacting with the surface world than ever before, and more surface-dwelling drow than ever. However, drow that still serve their great houses are still generally only above ground to raid, or on very specific missions. This doesn't mean that a surface drow who broke away from their society can't just as easily opt to pursue a life of crime or villainy; their motives can be as varied as the motives of any other sentient being. The zhentarim in particular employ a lot of surface drow who have fled their underground caste and society, but still have the skill set suitable for the black network.

Quote
(2) Tieflings are not depicted as special or enigmatic, but as commonplace and simply 'humans with horns'

Tieflings are not enigmatic and special, particularly. They are people, just like any other people. They have lives and families, and work mundane jobs, and try to get on with their peers. Tieflings often face a certain degree of mistrust or prejudice, because they do bear the traits of demonic touch in their ancestry, and some people are predisposed to judge them based on that, but the reality is that individual tieflings are no more disposed to good or evil than any other race. Many teiflings are fated to a 'more interesting' life, especially if a fiend in their lineage knows about them and has an interest in them, but those are the stories that make adventurers, heroes and villains... same as for anyone else. Teiflings are not incredibly populous compared to most other races. They are never a majority or even a very strongly represented population in any population centre. They're moderately rare... In the game right NOW though, we have an active divergence from that norm, because of recent events in the realms lore - the descent into Avernus of Elturel, a city on the coast, has resulted in a greatly inflated number of tieflings being present - some who were transformed as a result of the descent, some who made deals of opportunity at the time, some who were coincidentally conceived (or just carried) at a particularly bad time, and some who may have had the blood legacy unexpressed, which was then brought to the surface by the events. There are more tieflings being born recently, thanks to that event, for the same reason that you often get plane-touched children being born around the times of planar incursions.

On top of this, Larian have decided (this is on them, and I don't at all agree with it), that the resulting behaviour from Elturel and other nearby cities has been on of extreme racism to the extent of driving tieflings out and making them refugees. That's the only bridge-too-far as I see it; that simply would not happen in the realms as they're described. There might be malcontents, and there would definitely be tensions, but no unified excommunications; many of these cities are prolific melting pots of different races and racial acceptance is the norm in them.

Quote
(3) An especially weird/funny moment was as two Tieflings were discussing how 'alien' Lae'zel looks while they are obviously looking much more alien wink

Not in the realms. Gith are far, far more alien and unusual than tieflings, by a long, long shot. People know what tieflings are, and recognise them. They may have prejudices or biases, but they also know that tieflings are a thing, and that they live lives and run businesses and work jobs. Most common folks, on the other hand (including tieflings, just as any other race is included here), aren't likely to know what a Gith is, or recognise them at all. They might think a gith a fiend of some sort, at a glance.

Quote
(4) Another situation was when I met a devil making an evil offer to accept his help getting rid of the tadpole - looking exactly like the Tieflings, but now suddenly being enigmatic and evil wink

Tieflings and Cambions are quite different; Cambions are half-breeds directly of fiend and mortal union, but they have all the powers and benefits of true fiends, and the potential to rise very high in the devil hierarchy. Their demonic features are usually much more obviously pronounced than tieflings - they lean into their fiendish heritage a lot more, in terms of appearance, and besides that, they have a palpable presence that will register to divine senses and other such spells as evil, where tieflings do not. Most Cambions can disguise themselves to blend in as they wish, and can mast their presence, but beings with special senses will still be able to pick them out, in most cases. In the game, this creature is clearly a Cambion, and not a tiefling, not by virtue of how he looks, but by virtue of what he does and the powers he displays.

Quote
(5) In the next moment, I again spoke to Tieflings who told me how weak and afraid they were of Goblins, looking exactly the same as the devil

Call this one a limitation of the current game; they shouldn't. The Cambions fiendish features should be visibly more pronounced.... but it does sound from your comments that you're not familiar with tieflings in general. They aren't new to the game lore; they've been in the game since 3rd edition, as a playable race (maybe earlier? I'm not certain).

Quote
(6) Another situation was meeting a mind flayer in the underdark, who, in the course of a few sentences, was introduced as good and living in the middle of a myconid spore colony

Yes; it's unusual, highly unusual, and it is depicted as being highly unusual. It's not unheard of, however. Illithids that break away fromt eh direct voersight of an elder brain by choice rarely have any desire to go back to it. In such a case, the creature must still survive, and the ways in which they devise to do so vary from rogue illithid to rogue illithid. I found the premise here perfectly believable, and was excited to explore it. I wish him well, and want to do all I can to help him find his alternate way. (I didn't want to take his ring - I feel like he needs that more than I do, and was disappointed that I didn't have the option to say that.)

Quote
If your Tieflings are just commonplace and another form of humans, they are boring and nothing special. If your Drow are just humans with dark skin, they are boring and nothing special.

People are people, and they come in all different shapes and sizes and flavours. They are all people and they are all different in their own ways. The realms have a lot of different races and they have propensities towards different things, heritages that give them varied outlooks on life, and cultural lifestyles and practices that differentiate them from one another significantly. This story has plenty enough going on in it already to make it interesting without needing to form a crutch out of fantasy racism to add drama. Larian have an addiction to fantasy racism already, and frankly, it leaves a pretty bad taste in my mouth. I'm hoping they'll move away from that and focus on the actually interesting elements of the fantasy story they're telling. If I want a story about racial drama, I can get that literally anywhere else; I'm here for a fantasy adventure.

Arne #747681 29/12/20 04:18 AM
Joined: Nov 2020
Location: Universe
enthusiast
Offline
enthusiast
Joined: Nov 2020
Location: Universe
The real reason outside all the bs: WOTC are afraid of being "canceled" so they have been outright retconing very large parts of the lore to avoid being labeled by random people all the common names on the Internet.

If you like dnd lore this game will definitely disappoint. Instead I would suggest just looking at it as it's own thing. Races are really different human sliders. Everything is watered-down. Everything.

Last edited by Aishaddai; 29/12/20 04:19 AM.
Arne #747684 29/12/20 05:09 AM
Joined: Oct 2020
old hand
Offline
old hand
Joined: Oct 2020
Tieflings are from 2nd edition Planescape, as far as I know.


Optimistically Apocalyptic
Aishaddai #747698 29/12/20 07:14 AM
Joined: Dec 2020
B
Banned
Offline
Banned
B
Joined: Dec 2020
Originally Posted by Aishaddai
The real reason outside all the bs: WOTC are afraid of being "canceled" so they have been outright retconing very large parts of the lore to avoid being labeled by random people all the common names on the Internet.

If you like dnd lore this game will definitely disappoint. Instead I would suggest just looking at it as it's own thing. Races are really different human sliders. Everything is watered-down. Everything.
Sadly this post is 100% correct.
Race in this game means nothing more then some attribute bonuses and cosmetics features.
If you look at recent videogames they are all starting to include hooved/horned humanoids as playable for some reason (maybe some conspiracy by IRL demons and devils to make themselves more acceptable before they take over out world) and WoTC joined the trend as well so as to not fall off the bandwagon.
The only comfort we have left is that we can kill NPC we don't like.

Arne #747703 29/12/20 08:25 AM
Joined: Dec 2020
T
stranger
Offline
stranger
T
Joined: Dec 2020
Originally Posted by Arne
Fantasy stories become interesting because of differences in cultures, species, powers. If everyone is the same, then there is no discussion, no conflict and no reason to read a story, watch a movie or play a game.

All of your points are fair and valid and I agree with every one. This pre-release is just a demonstration that Larian Studios has no intent to rock the boat of the popular cancel culture and has no interest in providing any interesting lore or unique interactions that cater to lovers of high fantasy. It feels like a disproportionate amount of care and attention is instead being spent on romance and other content leading up to having sex with your companions than anything of substance. It's all very disappointing.

I had a similar problem with lore on my first playthrough. I didn't know what a "tiefling" was and was only exposed to devils as evil with the whole thing in the realm of hell. I wasn't sure what was up with all of the devil people in the druid enclave and had to Google it; this simply isn't explained for people who aren't familiar with the current generation of lore.

Why they are at the druid encampment at all didn't make a whole lot of sense while reading up on the lore. It's as if someone rolled the dice and that's the race that landed there. You could easily swap them all out for human and nothing of value would be lost. In fact, it would only improve upon the whole scenario.

With the lack of any world building worth of care that I should have for them and their shallow reason for being, I found that the entire village served a greater purpose as fodder for exp and loot.

Last edited by Tav22; 29/12/20 08:49 AM.
Arne #747705 29/12/20 08:51 AM
Joined: Jun 2020
old hand
Offline
old hand
Joined: Jun 2020
It's very strange to see people equating "high fantasy adventure" with "predominating ingrained racial tension and glorified racism". That certainly hasn't been a notable part of the last twenty years of my fantasy reading OR gameplay. What games were you playing?

Quote
If you look at recent videogames they are all starting to include hooved/horned humanoids as playable for some reason and WoTC joined the trend as well so as to not fall off the bandwagon.

After the poster directly above you mentioned that tieflings (aasimar too) as playable characters have been in the game since 2nd edition...

Now, I don't agree with the very latest moves to homogenise racial differences that Wizards have undertaken - I don't agree with some of the most recent moves which, to me, feel a lot like cultural erasure... I'm not going to defend that, I think it's terrible.

Different races and different cultures are different and that's a good thing; they should be talking points to share, to learn about and to celebrate where appropriate. Even cultures whose practices and ideologies are such that a western norm might consider them evil; it's great that those things exist and that they be allowed to exist in fantasy settings.

At the same time, we don't need everything drenched in overtly racist remarks and slights; we don't need even our supposedly 'good' npcs and characters tossing out racial slurs left and right. We don't need a general background radiation of cultural stigma and prejudice weighing down, or lurking behind, nearly every aspect of the game media.

I don't agree with the elements of cultural erasure that Wizards have undertaken in their lore recently... but I agree far less with Larian's idea of what the 'norm' for social interactions between people of different walks of life should be depicted as. Divinity OS2 was made damn well unplayable because of it - I played through once, and I just did NOT have the stomach for playing through it a second time, even though the mechanics were fun and I wanted to see some other things. the game itself made itself just too unpleasant a setting to exist in... I'm seeing more of that here, and it's appalling to me, because the cities along the sword coast are about as far from background racist as you'll find almost anywhere (with the exception of Luskan). It should NOT be a major element in any of this, and it certainly doesn't need to be to tell an interesting and engaging story.

I do agree that they are not doing anywhere near enough world-building; the world, its situation and its lore need a lot of work put into them to more fully share it with us and expose us to it in a variety of different ways that should hopefully feel organic, even for people unfamiliar with the setting. I agree that they are not doing that well enough yet at all.

Last edited by Niara; 29/12/20 08:55 AM.
Niara #747711 29/12/20 09:12 AM
Joined: Dec 2020
T
stranger
Offline
stranger
T
Joined: Dec 2020
Originally Posted by Niara
It's very strange to see people equating "high fantasy adventure" with "predominating ingrained racial tension and glorified racism". That certainly hasn't been a notable part of the last twenty years of my fantasy reading OR gameplay. What games were you playing?

Mostly games prior to 20 years ago. The good ones that were interesting with natural racial tensions that come from strong cultural differences of people living in close proximity to one another that equally value land and other valuable resources.

Arne says it perfectly:

Quote
Fantasy stories become interesting because of differences in cultures, species, powers. If everyone is the same, then there is no discussion, no conflict and no reason to read a story, watch a movie or play a game.

It's the differences that make things interesting; for better or worse. Instead of drawing on the cultural differences of the party members who clearly come from all walks of life, we're presented with a couple of boring women and straw men set sail on an endless sea of teen angst. This is a wasted opportunity that could have been used to teach the player about the lore of their people.

I shouldn't have to be Googling why the new red peoples with horns cowering in fear from a handful of goblins are different from the old red peoples with horns that were only just recently trying to kill me.

This is just bad storytelling.

Last edited by Tav22; 29/12/20 09:23 AM.
Niara #747712 29/12/20 09:22 AM
Joined: Oct 2020
Location: Liberec
veteran
Online Embarrased
veteran
Joined: Oct 2020
Location: Liberec
Originally Posted by Niara
Larian have an addiction to fantasy racism already
I totally agree with whole post ... except this sentence.
Not sure what exactly do you refer here, but to me it seem like either there isnt any racism, or PC beign bright exception in this ... it dont matter if you are human, elf, dward, tiefling, drow, or gith ... everyone threats you just the same. frown
Yes, they usualy coment what they think about your race, but thats it.

And personaly i feel that being much more imersion breaking than anything else.

Maybe im extremist, but i choosed to play drow just to explore that gameplay for race that noone thrust, noone likes, and noone believes ... instead i get "i dont usualy thrust Drow but" ... and then exactly the same experience as with dwarf. -_-
I really wish to Zevlor keeps the gate closed, and send my Drow out, since he dont thrust my kind.


I liked original spellcasting system more ... frown

Anyway ... i cast Eldritch Blast!
Joined: Dec 2020
T
stranger
Offline
stranger
T
Joined: Dec 2020
Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
I really wish to Zevlor keeps the gate closed, and send my Drow out, since he dont thrust my kind.

Yes, this would be very interesting! You are bound by existing racial tension through no fault of your own. Surely they will reconsider if you were to solve their goblin problem before trusting you enough to enter into their sanctuary.

Arron the trader in the Druid's grove might even offer a discount to a halfling. Surely he hasn't seen his home in years what with his mercantile business. There haven't been many travelers in these parts and seeing another of his kind has inspired him to journey home. To help you on your way and to aid in reducing his stock, he is offering a discount to a fellow halfling.

Bam. Done. Lore. And a little bit of backstory.

Niara #747718 29/12/20 10:20 AM
Joined: Oct 2020
Location: Savage North
enthusiast
Offline
enthusiast
Joined: Oct 2020
Location: Savage North
Originally Posted by Niara
I do agree that they are not doing anywhere near enough world-building; the world, its situation and its lore need a lot of work put into them to more fully share it with us and expose us to it in a variety of different ways that should hopefully feel organic, even for people unfamiliar with the setting. I agree that they are not doing that well enough yet at all.

There's some extent I have difficulties being too harsh on Larian for playing fast and loose with Forgotten Realms lore. Indeed, I tend to think of the FR lore as being somewhat of a big joke. Compared to fictional universes like that of Tolkien or George Martin, which were built by a single person with a single vision, the FR universe is a messy mish-mash of things that get piled up on by every new writer.

Also, while the writers probably try to avoid contradictions that are too blatant, retconing happens (in my definition of it). The game designers and writer have this very particular idea (somewhat ridiculous, imo) where, when the rules of the tabletop game change, they make major world events to go with it (Time Of Troubles, Spellplague, Second Sundering). When they want to add or remove deities, they hand-wave that X becomes an aspect of Y, and later they split again. Abeir is split from Toril, then comes back, then goes away. Asmodeus curses all Tieflings to be from his lineage, but then this is no longer mandatory.

This being said, within their single, stand-alone, FR game, Larian is effectively a single writer. They can and should care a lot more about the world-building in their game.

As someone with prior knowledge of the FR lore, a tendency to spend time on the FR wiki to fill gaps in my knowledge, and having heard the pre-EA promotional interviews, I knew what Tieflings were and that they have fled a now-returned Elturel. But this is not explained at all for new players.

Also, when Larian drops teleportation portals that are part of the world (not just a QoL thing for the players), they should consider the natural consequences.

Here's to hoping they work on this during EA.


Hoping we'll be able to create great assumptions-free Custom Characters and be given great roleplay options.
Niara #747719 29/12/20 10:33 AM
Joined: Nov 2020
member
Offline
member
Joined: Nov 2020
nailed it Niara in the first post

Last edited by T2aV; 29/12/20 10:34 AM.
Niara #747722 29/12/20 10:49 AM
Joined: Mar 2015
Arne Offline OP
member
OP Offline
member
Joined: Mar 2015
Originally Posted by Niara
Thing to remember about realms lore is that the lore itself generally represents either factual historical details, or general principles of the present day and state of things. The latter isn't an absolute to-be-abided-by thing, and in fact most stories within the realms are about strange or unusual occurrences, where the norms are altered in some way; as long as it's made clear that the unusual situation is unusual, that's just dandy.

I perfectly agree that Larian might take liberties and create their own settings. They just shouldn't be too confusing and immersion breaking.

Originally Posted by Niara
In the present realms date, there are more drow interacting with the surface world than ever before, and more surface-dwelling drow than ever. However, drow that still serve their great houses are still generally only above ground to raid, or on very specific missions. This doesn't mean that a surface drow who broke away from their society can't just as easily opt to pursue a life of crime or villainy; their motives can be as varied as the motives of any other sentient being. The zhentarim in particular employ a lot of surface drow who have fled their underground caste and society, but still have the skill set suitable for the black network.

I liked my drow being evil and arrogant, having them as common criminals is a bit boring. I guess that this is a 5e change to allow Drow player characters?

Originally Posted by Niara
Tieflings are not enigmatic and special, particularly. [...] In the game right NOW though, we have an active divergence from that norm, because of recent events in the realms lore - the descent into Avernus of Elturel, a city on the coast, has resulted in a greatly inflated number of tieflings being present - some who were transformed as a result of the descent [...]

If Tieflings are nothing enigmatic and special, then that's a bit of a letdown. If they are just humans with horns, what do we need them for?

It clashes with them not just having some unusual features, a little horn or something off; you see people with infernal eyes and tail, looking literally like devils - and then telling you they are afraid of Goblins. It simply comes across as unhinged and funny.

Originally Posted by Niara
Not in the realms. Gith are far, far more alien and unusual than tieflings, by a long, long shot. People know what tieflings are, and recognise them. They may have prejudices or biases, but they also know that tieflings are a thing, and that they live lives and run businesses and work jobs. Most common folks, on the other hand (including tieflings, just as any other race is included here), aren't likely to know what a Gith is, or recognise them at all. They might think a gith a fiend of some sort, at a glance.

Just from looking at them, Tieflings look much more sinister and alien - and the Gith girl does, in fact, look comparatively "normal" wink The players are humans, they don't know that Tieflings are supposed to be "normal" - they'll judge by their appearance. And they also don't know that Gith are supposed to be "alien" - they will compare them to the Tieflings and think Lae'zel is more of a girl next door.

Originally Posted by Niara
Call this one a limitation of the current game; they shouldn't. The Cambions fiendish features should be visibly more pronounced.... but it does sound from your comments that you're not familiar with tieflings in general. They aren't new to the game lore; they've been in the game since 3rd edition, as a playable race (maybe earlier? I'm not certain).

Yes, depicting them as "only" having a horn, unusual eyes or a tail would maybe be less "cool" than have someone with red skin, flaming eyes, horns and tail. Which is probably why Larian made these features more prominent.

I know them as NPCs in 3.5 etc. Not as player characters. Including them as player characters is fine, if you can come up with a good backstory and write different reactions (Which is a lot of work).

Last edited by Arne; 29/12/20 11:04 AM.
Arne #747729 29/12/20 11:32 AM
Joined: Sep 2020
enthusiast
Offline
enthusiast
Joined: Sep 2020
As noted, Tieflings have been part of D & D lore for decades now - in fact one of the potential companions in BG1/2 is a Tiefling Bard. Their presence in larger numbers is again due to current D & D lore, involving Elturil. However, Larial could certainly throw in some in-game conversation content in which the Player can obtain more detailed information about this race from Volo, druids, tieflings and even shop keepers. They could even sprinkle a few cooks containing relevant lore around the grove 0 again maybe Volo has been putting something together you can look at.

In -game observation of tieflings should show you they are more familiar as a race (jobs, family structure, fear of dangerous critters eating their kids) while discussion with your Gith companion certainly reveals their race to be more "alien" in culture.

As for Drow, again D & D lore going back well over 20 years establishes there have always been a variety of different drow groups - those following Loth, Shar and the Seldarine as some examples, Breggan D'arth (yeah, probably misspelled it) as another group. Again, current lore has them interacting with the more common surface races more often now than in the past. And if a group of adventurers that happened to include one drow elf just saved my town's bacon by aiding in it's defense, I think they might be given the benefit of the doubt - such benefit was certainly provided to the infamous Drizzt often enough. And Drow criminals can be anything but common - Breggan D'arth as a criminal and mercenary organization is right up there with the Harpers and other such organizations in terms of ability and influence.

You may prefer your drow evil and arrogant, while some of those evil, arrogant drow might prefer their player characters be served with fava beans and a nice chianti. And there can now be arrogant GOOD Drow to tick you off as well.

Arne #747733 29/12/20 12:03 PM
Joined: Oct 2020
B
member
Offline
member
B
Joined: Oct 2020
I'm on board with those saying difference should be celebrated and not removed. Right now races feel just like customisation options in D&D. It has no flair, no real background. And yes, it may fit for player characters to be the exception to the norm, but if everything goes, nothing is exceoptional - a typical Larian BG3 issue - the NPC should be more cannocial with exceptions where needed for the story. Not a slideshow of exceptions.

I don't mind racism in a games lore - why can races be 'evil' (even to absurd degrees) but not 'racists'? Even many of our real life heroes are/were actually bigots and morons, so why not have fantasy characters with (serious) flaws? There is little that I hate as much as racism in real life and I don't want it glorified in fantasy, but like the typical there is no light without shadow, there is no acceptance without intolerance to make it stand out. Should it be a dominant trait of the lore? No. But honestly if the Gith, Drow or Mind Flyers wouldn't look down on the 'lesser' races, wouldn't it lose some of their factions characteristics? You can still have groups in those factions that break the norm and thus stand out (isn't Jaraxle's charm that he is and is not your typical drow?). I also don't think by avoiding difficult topics that a society is doing itself a favor. Having it in there, especially in fantasy were you can make it even more clearly emphasized how ridicolous the concepts behind racism are, I see no harm in it being a topic of a setting - if you handle it properly. Sometimes being a cliche can actually be even charming.


Back to Larian my biggest issue with their lore is the already mentioned issue of everything is sooooo special that it just becomes a meaningless blur. In EA as level 1 character you already see more rare creatures, utterly exceptional companions and races than most established heroes in their life time. It completely lacks any discression or subtlety how things are introduced and used. It feels like the whole first act is sprinkled with one-of-a-kinds...

Anfindel #747734 29/12/20 12:04 PM
Joined: Mar 2015
Arne Offline OP
member
OP Offline
member
Joined: Mar 2015
Originally Posted by Anfindel
As noted, Tieflings have been part of D & D lore for decades now - in fact one of the potential companions in BG1/2 is a Tiefling Bard. Their presence in larger numbers is again due to current D & D lore, involving Elturil. However, Larial could certainly throw in some in-game conversation content in which the Player can obtain more detailed information about this race from Volo, druids, tieflings and even shop keepers. They could even sprinkle a few cooks containing relevant lore around the grove 0 again maybe Volo has been putting something together you can look at.

Then let's now compare Haer'Dalis with Zevlor:


[Linked Image from jeudecouvre.fr]


[Linked Image from cdn.vox-cdn.com]

-> of course there will be no problems coming across Haer'Dalis and having him act as normal human afraid of Goblins. In the case of Zevlor & Co, it's weird that the Goblins are not afraid of him.

Last edited by Arne; 29/12/20 12:07 PM.
biomag #747737 29/12/20 12:21 PM
Joined: Mar 2015
Arne Offline OP
member
OP Offline
member
Joined: Mar 2015
Originally Posted by biomag
Back to Larian my biggest issue with their lore is the already mentioned issue of everything is sooooo special that it just becomes a meaningless blur. In EA as level 1 character you already see more rare creatures, utterly exceptional companions and races than most established heroes in their life time. It completely lacks any discression or subtlety how things are introduced and used. It feels like the whole first act is sprinkled with one-of-a-kinds...

On one side that's a typical writer's error; on the other side it's the compromise of grabbing attention vs telling a meaningful story. First of all, games like Baldur's Gate 3 have to sell. And obviously, Dragons, Tieflings, Vampires, Mind Flayers might grab attention.

But yes, if you only have one-of-a-kinds, then you are running into the weird situation when your "ordinary" farmer's girl collecting flowers in the woods suddenly becomes something special and unheard of.

Arne #747740 29/12/20 12:48 PM
Joined: Oct 2020
B
enthusiast
Offline
enthusiast
B
Joined: Oct 2020
Immersion.

To me implies coherence with the storic period used for the fantasy set.

D&D revolves around the european middle age. I've studied those centuries, indeed they were as far from the "dark ages" mythos the enlightenment build up in their will to make the Renaissance and spreading humanism the breaking point of a new age of wonder and development and discoveries.

Nevertheless those were years ridden with violence, intollerance (for instance there were uncounted massacres brought in name of religious believes between the growing catolic cristhians and other interpretations of christianism), one culture watched the other as wrong or inferior and used divine right as a justification to conquer, pillage, subdue other populations, some ethnics were persecuted all over [other than the prejudices against the Jews in this period started the prejudices against the semi nomadic populations of Roma and Sinti], women have to fiercely fight to have a role that was different that of faithful wives that take care of their husbands and offspring, etc etc.. ...].

Indeed is due to the work of monks that cultural works from the classic roman and greek period were able to survive the turmoils that came after the fall of the empire and the raise of the roman - germanic kingdoms, in this years are implanted the seeds thet will brought the rise of the concept of modern nations.

All of this is lost in D&D.

Specially with the aftermath of these years rightfull battles of minorities (specially the black one) that has pushed to avoid some aspects that could be controversial.

That comes at expence (for me) of immersion and credibility.

Let's take the thieflings: they are peculiar and unique, they are the offspring of demons, not followers of an evil or chaotic deity. Demons, as much as I can try I can not reach the point were I can depict any demon being something more than beings that follow a clear objective that is to corrupt other sentient beings leading them to committ non moral or ethic acts, and withe ultimate goal to gather a number of souls enough to allow to win the ultimate battle against the good deities.

No matter wich culture demons (or creatures alike to them) haven't the access to the "complexity of gray shades", they are evil, bringer of chaos and mayhem.

The thieflings are the spring of the union between humans and demons, pretty sure the demonic part should play a non forgettable role. Obviously the part that they are in part humans allows to create a playable character, but it would be more difficult to just push aside the demonic component.

In a medieval setting concepts like those we rely on that are based on biology don't apply, specially if mystical entities are involved.

Furthermore a more smart approach would make use of the discrimination and intollerance rooted in a medieval setting to show the difficulties of persecuted minorities (for characters that belong to a due race, Drows follow an evil deity that has marked them as her own, a deity that pushes them to be deceitful, manipulators, a Drow that doesn't want to follow that heritage has to fight their way and change deity, also they have to gain the trust from the other races; a Thiefling is a demonic offspring again if they want to get rid of that part of their identity they have to fought hard because I'm pretty sure a demon won't take so easily that their offspring does what they want, on the other side they have to relate with the prejudice of the other races), and how easily is for who doesn't belong to a minority to fall in prejudices and to follow intollerance.

Kagha is a good example of wrong management of said chances, she just look like a racist extremist, had they done the dialogues, and gave her a different look, it would have been a more striking way to show how racism rooted in our (all, racism and intollerance are not a monopoly of european derived cultures) societies, for example I remember how my mother (a very lovely and somehow altruistic woman) described my will to try not to fall in prejudice (I say will to try because I continuosly analize my thoughts to understand if there are uncoscious bias) as "you know he has a kind heart", I was appalled because differently from my father (that is openly racist, something that is quite ironic as I was adopted from South America) it was more nuanced, there was no aggression just patronizing and belittlement all said with the most lovely and cute tone of voice.

How much frightening would have been if she had the aspect of someone we associate with kindness (like Aunt Ethel), and talked about the good will and heart of those that didn't share they decision, and how she was forced because she had to think about the lives and wellness of her people, or that Halsin has lost his focus because of unbeliavable curiosity and need to do the right thing thus putting himself, and the lair, in danger?

Instead we have a npc that polarizes the players, and whose actions in the end
are belittled because she is a dark druid
.

Furthermore there's the stark contrast with how the Goblins are transversely despised [the only reason Halsin was againt a full slaughter of them is because he is a druid and so he preserves the balance].

On the last point of the original post: the mindflier in the underdark has a solid background, he is a fugitive, an heretic on the run, he has mastered a way to hide himself from the elder brain and isolate from the mindfliers's hivemind, and he has ti live in one of the most dangerous places in Faerun that is the Underdark, furthermore the player's party has to gain the trust of his friend before being able to meet him, and lastly he stats that he is more unique than rare, moreover in the dialogue options there are those that show suspicion and lack of trust on the heretic gaith.

Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5

Link Copied to Clipboard
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5