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Weirdly there was just an article on how 5e's devs approach canon, WotC's stance on canon for streams, video games, novels, and the like is apparently "treat it like a home game." They specifically mention that this allows RA Salvatore's novels to go off in different directions from the RPG's lore.

https://dnd.wizards.com/dndstudioblog/dnd-canon

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Thanks for the link, it was an interesting read!

To stick to the topic of the thread, I want to cite from the article:

"Fifth edition’s canon includes every bit of lore that appears in the most up-to-date printings of the fifth edition Player’s Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master’s Guide."

Mind me, imho it doesn't matter much if Larian wants to stick to lore or not.

But, i see it similarly as Mythago:
They have monsters available that are canon, they have fought to get the license to do something in the FR, they wanted to do Baldurs Gate 3. Why change it so much? It's stupid. They made themselves much more work, public discussions and backlash than necessary.

Is it due to some narcissistic notion aka "I know better"? Is it to get discussions aka publicity? Is it because they just wanted some big name?

I just don't understand why.

Edit:
Wrong person mentioned originally.

Last edited by daMichi; 29/07/21 08:23 PM.
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Originally Posted by Thrythlind
Weirdly there was just an article on how 5e's devs approach canon, WotC's stance on canon for streams, video games, novels, and the like is apparently "treat it like a home game." They specifically mention that this allows RA Salvatore's novels to go off in different directions from the RPG's lore.

https://dnd.wizards.com/dndstudioblog/dnd-canon

Yeah, this was brought to my attention on another forum few days ago (not during this same discussion, for the record, but it was a thread about BG3).
People didn't seem particularly happy about it in general. Many seemed to think it was WotC being once again wishy-washy and coward about stating openly what it considered current canon, for the record.

Last edited by Tuco; 29/07/21 11:32 PM.

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Originally Posted by Tuco
Inspired by a discussion we were having across several different threads and that started "spilling" a bit everywhere, I decided that this topic in particular should probably get its own thread.


The title should be pretty much self-explanatory, really, but just to elaborate a bit, here's a bunch of previous posts (not just mine) that already touched on the point.


Agree 100%.

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Myself I'd rather give Larian the freedom to customize monsters if they need to. For instance, the canonical green hag was designed more for roleplay encounters than battle, so she's fairly weak, and makes for a poor boss villain. Also, like previously said, intellect devourers are supposed to have an instant-kill combat ability, so even 1 of them is a walking would-be TPK for newbie players. And do we really want Us to be able to insta-kill commander Zhalk and take over his body in the tutorial? What about canon imps' immunity to damage from Scorching Ray and Poison Spray? So yeah, I try not to be too harsh on Larian for things like that.

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Originally Posted by agouzov
Also, like previously said, intellect devourers are supposed to have an instant-kill combat ability, so even 1 of them is a walking would-be TPK for newbie players. And do we really want Us to be able to insta-kill commander Zhalk and take over his body in the tutorial? What about canon imps' immunity to damage from Scorching Ray and Poison Spray?
The suggestion was to NOT use inappropriate monsters, rather then use inappropriate monsters and make them too powerful for low level parties.

I am not well versed in DnD monster manual, nor 5e in particular, but there is inherent appeal in starting killing proverbial (or literal) rats and moving on to epic enemies after X hours of progress and gain in power. I get that Larian wasn't their rats to be COOL, but then it detracts from actually cool late game enemies.

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In general D&D has flavor-gates in that the usual progression is to start out reasonably close to real-world European medieval reality and move on to more fantastical elements slowly. For example, Fly is traditionally flavor locked to start appearing around 5th level when you get access to the 3rd level spell Fly and uncommon magic items like Flying Brooms start appearing.

I tend to feel that's fine for Greyhawk and Dragonlance. It would also have been fine for the Faerun of about 100 to 300 years ago. But Faerun as it currently stands has experienced a lot more in the way of cosmological events. Note that the events of Descent to Avernus have recently happened not to far away. A little bit before that the Temple of Elemental Evil would have been kicking up a storm a bit further north, and this is also after the Tomb of Annihilation events... among other things.

Also note that Out of the Abyss started with the party kidnapped by drow and escaping during a battle between demons and the drow.

That said. Temple of Elemental Evil does start with small events like bandits and stirges and leads up toward apocalyptic cults summoning eldritch abominations.

So, starting with weird and traditionally dangerous monsters is far from unheard of.

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Originally Posted by Wormerine
The suggestion was to NOT use inappropriate monsters, rather then use inappropriate monsters and make them too powerful for low level parties.

If the suggestion is to no longer use Us and Auntie Ethel, then good luck with that. They're some of the game's most memorable characters.

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Originally Posted by agouzov
If the suggestion is to no longer use Us and Auntie Ethel, then good luck with that.
No one is delussional enough to believe that Larian will completely redesign whole Act1. But as OP mentioned, they could use appropriate mosters, instead of changing "recognisable brands"

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Originally Posted by agouzov
Myself I'd rather give Larian the freedom to customize monsters if they need to.
Eh, even if I was torn about this in general (which I don't feel it to be particularly the case, really) given the results so far I'd really rather NOT.
Because most of the changes they introduced have been nothing short of disruptive, gimmicky, immersion-breaking and incoherent with the setting and lore many are familiar with.

It's really a cacophony of bad decisions both in terms of mechanics and consistency with the accepted lore.

Last edited by Tuco; 30/07/21 11:38 PM.

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Ethel is not a good example. She's a boss fight. Bosses are meant to be buffed and tweaked. The best example is Spider Matriarch and Phase Spiders. Matriarch again is a boss, so making her buffed is good. However, she should have Phase Spider minions that stay true to their original design.

So what we're suggesting is not a complete overhaul. It's a tweaking of the system to set monsters to proper stats with bosses as the exceptions. In a goblin fight, they should all be roughly easy to kill so you can slaughter droves of them in each encounter. A single intellect devourer should be a tough fight even for a team of 4 level 2 adventurers if done properly.

And if Larian wants more numbers of enemies, don't use a monster that needs to be nerfed in order to be large numbers of them. There are plenty of monsters. Use something that fits more.

Again, Kuo-Toas in the beginning as opposed to intellect devourers especially since they aren't even having the monsters use their abilities that make them what they are.

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I agreed, that the changes are ok with bosses like Auntie Ethel (who is so far my favorite encounter) or the spider matriarch. But I, too, would like to see the normal enemies more attuned to their pen & paper counterparts. I find it strange, that my character should be able at level 2 to fight three intellect devourers. Or that the phase spiders jump around and then attack you with ranged attacks.
So I threw my voice in for more true to d&d 5 ruleset stats for enemies.


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+1

I never understood why they choose these WTF monsters and changed them so much...

I don't have more fun because I'm fighting redcaps rather than wolves or phase spiders rather than giant spiders...

On top of that the world they created just look inconsistent with this unappropriate variety because "hey look, it's DnD".

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I agree that obviously Larian SHOULD and indeed, they actually DO have the freedom to tweak and change monssters as they see fit. The question is if they're using that freedom to good effect. I personally don't know D&D lore so the fact that enemies don't match isn't strictly what bothers me about the changes. What bothers me is that it's another (in my mind particularly illustrative) example of something that a few people on the forums-including I think Tuco himself-have mentioned. It feels like Larian is constantly fighting against the D&D rules and lore in order to create a game that matches their vision. Hearing about all the differences and changes they've made to enemies right off the bat, the only conclusion I can reach is that they designed the monsters for the encounters they wanted rather than choosing monsters that would make sense and designing encounters around them. I had no idea intellect devourers and imps were meant to be so strong, nor did I realize that (for IDs at least) there were another grunt creature type that could have taken their place.

Honestly the thing tha tmost bugs me about the way they apparently have been changing creatures is that it shows that they're throwing out the concept of challenge rating, which is a simple and effective tool that could have been a great help to them. The game came with a pre-made system for how to manage and balance enemy encounters, but now they've thrown that out the window and made things harder for themselves in a way that wasn't entirely necessary.

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I can assume the intellect devourers are weaker young ones like the imps are Lesser Imps. They can be from the same hatchery on the ship or however they are created. There can be exceptions. I understand they want a cool minion monster for the mind flayers that is lore and challenge appropriate. The problem is when these exceptions become too common.

Bosses are obviously custom monsters and they have a lot of freedom with them. Even so there are guidelines and rules that should make sense. Amount of spell slots for casters etc.

What I don't like is completely changing existing monsters i.e. Phase Spiders. The poison pools are asinine as a concept alone (more arcade/platform game than RPG) and spiders spitting gallons of poison is another.

Stat blocks of monsters are really inconsistent in BG3 too. Some random player race NPC minions have insanely high stats and I wish that was more consistent.

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I like Larian homebrew for monsters, nothing wrong with diversity in spiders. No reason why phase spider coudn't spit poison or make web? Sounds cool from world and setting perspective to me.

I agree they could add more types into those encounters and homebrew those as well. I'm a zealous supporter of homebrewing and adaptation. It is all in the spirit of DnD after all, makes for more fun experience.

Even if they buffed Mud mephit and Wood woad hp to what it is in 5e, that fight would still be easy, walk in the park.

I would think at nightmare difficulty HP and stats will be way higher than that of 5e and hopefully bigger numbers of enemies and type as well cos right now this all feels like a story mode to me and 20 more hp will not change that at all...

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Originally Posted by agouzov
Myself I'd rather give Larian the freedom to customize monsters if they need to. For instance, the canonical green hag was designed more for roleplay encounters than battle, so she's fairly weak, and makes for a poor boss villain. Also, like previously said, intellect devourers are supposed to have an instant-kill combat ability, so even 1 of them is a walking would-be TPK for newbie players. And do we really want Us to be able to insta-kill commander Zhalk and take over his body in the tutorial? What about canon imps' immunity to damage from Scorching Ray and Poison Spray? So yeah, I try not to be too harsh on Larian for things like that.
Completely agree with this, people forget this is a video game and it needs adaptation.

The whole ship part is just a glorified tutorial. Intellect devourers are a prfect example of why it's great they homebewed it. You need mosters that fit the story the place you are in nothing wrong with homebrewing.

Some times i get the feeling people look for problems where there are none. I can't wait to see what they do with nightmare difficulty, hopefully even prologue will get few new monsters if they don't run out of money and time like most devs do for those difficulties

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Originally Posted by Lastman
I like Larian homebrew for monsters
And I genuinely don't.


Quote
nothing wrong with diversity in spiders. No reason why phase spider coudn't spit poison or make web?
Several ones, actually.
- It's not particularly fun mechanic in its own.
- It doesn't fit the archetype of beast used. Which matters for the already-mentioned reason of internal consistency. Same of you may not give a shit, but some of us would like to see a game that doesn't BREAK the illusion of being set in a familiar fictional world at any given step. If I was going to write a Lords of the Rings spin-off and my goblin could suddenly be a jolly bunch of misunderstood pranksters who can fly and teleport people should be in the right to say that I'm not making a great display of imagination, but that I'm a sad wanker who doesn't understand one single thing about the setting I'm using.
- There are ALREADY other kinds of giant spiders with ranged attack in the D&D bestiary that could ALREADY cover that exact role without flipping Phase spiders upside down. And if you are wondering: no, ALREADY repeated twice wasn't a mistake. I was just hammering the point.
- As others already pointed, "walking on this poisonous surface will poison your party" (because Larian wouldn't be Larian without special surfaces every two steps, I guess) is not a particularly shining display of creativity. In fact it doesn't really make a lick of sense and it's pretty fucking stupid.


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Originally Posted by Lastman
Completely agree with this, people forget this is a video game and it needs adaptation.
This is basically a shallow platitude that gets parroted around at this point.
Both because the implied assumption that any adaptation should necessarily be transformative is demonstrably false and because even when some tweak is necessary, something "adapted" doesn't need to be completely flipped on its head to work properly.

Originally Posted by Lastman
The whole ship part is just a glorified tutorial. Intellect devourers are a prfect example of why it's great they homebewed it. You need mosters that fit the story the place you are in nothing wrong with homebrewing.
No, what you need is monsters that fit the role (and power level) you are planning for that specific encounter.

Making the wrong pick and then completely transforming your monster of choice to be more manageable is what piss poor DMs do.
It's not just stupid and inconsistent on several levels, it's also borderline patronizing toward any decent player. "Here's your epic adventure, we'll scale down whatever you want to beat so you can have bragging rights! Hey, do you guys want to curb-stomp a red dragon at level 1? I have one ready with just a couple of modification!.

Last edited by Tuco; 31/07/21 09:11 PM.

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Originally Posted by Thrythlind
Weirdly there was just an article on how 5e's devs approach canon, WotC's stance on canon for streams, video games, novels, and the like is apparently "treat it like a home game." They specifically mention that this allows RA Salvatore's novels to go off in different directions from the RPG's lore.

https://dnd.wizards.com/dndstudioblog/dnd-canon

Thanks for the link, I'll read that later for sure. Curious if it goes into how 4e was crossed over with Forgotten realms d&d books, novels and Neverwinter online, remember they were trying to sync all that together in some way or form. An if 5e tried to do the same or if that was just a one hit wonder.

Last edited by fallenj; 31/07/21 10:04 PM.
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