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Ok. While writing my fan fic I come up with more and more thoughts and ideas for this game to throw out here.

https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=786102#Post786102

As I finally got to the part about Gut, Ragzlin and Minthara, I thought, "Gut's fine. To me, she's a minor boss in the EA. Also, she's the first one you meet. Good chance you'll fight her first. So, no need to beef her up."

Ragzlin, however, and Minthara, seem very much like Major bosses for EA.

Now, that said, I also realized that Kagha, Rath, Olodan and especially Halsin are also WAY underleveled.

This is my suggestion. Gut should be like a level 4 or 5 boss. Olodan should be like a level 8. Same with Kagha. Olodan might even be a 9. Rath should also be like Level 7, because he's just under Kagha.

Halsin is AN ARCHDRUID!!! Druids are archdruids at level 20. That said, I made him an archdruid at level 10 and said he was an archdruid in name only, not level. After all, the man gets captured and says you saved him from Minthara and Ragzlin. So there is no way he's THAT high level. Level 10 is tough, but it isn't druid god mode like level 20.

Now, THAT said, if Ragzlin and Minthara captured him, they should be level 10 as well. Thus, they should be WAY more powerful.

But how can you beat a Level 10 boss like Ragzlin and then another like Minthara? What about the fight against Kagha and Olodan?

Answer: Same way you can defeat Zalk the demon. With help. If Halsin joins you, both enemies are not as difficult. If Kagha joins you, Olodan is not as hard. If Kagha is against you, Rath can help, and Larian could put some other, more powerful druids in the fight.

If the baddies focus on tougher allies, you can assist them in killing the tougher baddies.

I'm just saying. Storywise, these characters don't make sense right now. They are just too weak.

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this is the first 20% of the game smile If the first couple of bosses are level 8 what in god's name are we going to be fighting as the final boss?

edit: tone

Last edited by Boblawblah; 11/08/21 03:56 AM.
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Originally Posted by Boblawblah
this is the first 20% of the game smile If the first couple of bosses are level 8 what in god's name are we going to be fighting as the final boss?

edit: tone

lol. I don't know, but Halsin is an archdruid, so he should not be some level 4 weakling, and neither should Kagha, Rath, Olodan, Ragzlin or Minthara. Storywise, Halsin should at least be 10, which means he would be pretty dang powerful, which means no baby group of goblins could take him. He'd have to have been defeated by tougher villains like a level 10 hobgoblin and Drow.

A standard Mind Flayer has roughly 80 HP. A Level 10 Druid would have something close. So, if Ragzlin and Minthara were level 10 also, they'd be the equivalent of a typical, NOT boss, Mind Flayer. So, if the plan is for the player to face mind flayers late game, it wouldn't be bad to face level 10 villains in the first 20% of the game IF you have help.

Kagha and/or Rath help against Olodan, and if Kagha is against you maybe a few other more powerful druids join you to balance it out. Halsin helps you against Ragzlin and Minthara... separately ideally. If you don't rescue Halsin first, or you take the evil path, maybe you get help from somewhere else.

The point is, these characters should all be way tougher. Right now, it just doesn't make sense for Halsin, the great accomplished healer, to be less than Level 10, and it makes less sense that he's been captured by a bunch of goblins with lower than Level 5 bosses.

And if Halsin is at least level 10, Kagha should be at least 8. She's supposed to be his successor, taking his place. If Olodan is like her mentor, she should be like Level 9. Rath, being under Kagha, would then be Level 7.

Oh! And I'll add Zevlor in there too. Hellrider? Leader of the Tieflings? The guy almost died fighting a single sword spider during the final grove fight. Come on. If he's even close to Kagha in any way, he should be at least Level 5, maybe 6.

Also, when this game finally does roll out in full, the PCs will likely be Level 5 at least by the time they face Minthara and Ragzlin, unless they just run straight to the bosses. Therefore, 4 Level 5 or 6 PCs going against a Level 8 or 9 boss, with help, is not too difficult. Same is true for going against Ragzlin and Minthara of they were level 10. If you have a level 10 Halsin, 4 Level 5 or 6 PCs could do it. Even better odds with a party of 6.

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Kinda like the idea of making fights a bit more challenging, it's true that some bosses feel a bit underwhelming and a bit one-shotable right now smile. However, I do believe this will be made a little better with difficulty options when they arrive at a later stage.

Not all of the boss fights are easy though: the Gith patrol, the spider, and Auntie Ethel are very satisfying imho. Not because they're particularly hard or higher level (definitely harder than the ones you mentioned), but because they involve more strategy (the spider spawns spiderlings, ethel creates duplicates, Gith just one shot you, but you can use terrain to mitigate). They force you to be more deliberate with your actions as opposed to just business as usual. So I think a lvl increase is not necessarily the only way to make fights more challenging smile.

Dror Ragzlin, Minthara, Guts, Olodan etc feel just "normal"-ish, nothing special, but maybe they're meant to be mini-bosses instead?

Just my two cents smile

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I tend to agree, but they don't need to be leveled up much, except for Halsin.

Minthara is fine as 5-6 but she could have a bit more help. Like a stealthed Drow Assassin working for her and some more goblin minions. Minthara's biggest problem is players abusing high ground or shoving her into a pit i.e. Larian's own additions that let you cheese the whole fight. And give her a Drow Half Plate for higher AC and a cooler appearance instead of that tired stock Ring Mail.

Ragzlin is pretty tough too on the goblinoid scale, I think he's fine. Same problem as with Minthara again, easily cheesable.

Halsin needs to be 10+ to be at all credible as an archdruid of a large Druid Circle. There are ways to explain why he got captured (being alone against an entire fortress already being enough, and the Absolute also has higher level servants who he could have met). From a writing point of view, I would establish Halsin as a "very powerful" mentor kind of character for the PC's, and then he could suffer Gorion's fate rescuing the party against a superior enemy for maximum dramatic impact.

Kagha and Olodan should be around 7-8 imo to be believable as second in command. Those fights involve many NPCs so they can be balanced with numbers.

Last edited by 1varangian; 11/08/21 03:44 PM.
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OK. Just did Tabletop fight using Drow Fighter Battlemaster at Level 5 with Astarion, Shadowheart, Wyll, Halsin and Lae'zel. All at Level 5 with Halsin at Level 10. Used standard Hobgoblin Warlord for Ragzlin and threw 12 thugs in the fight with him to help defend him. 3 Cult Fanatics, 4 goblins, 1 goblin boss, and 4 Cultists. The fight was fun, but Ragzlin was still taken down relatively easily.

Granted, the PCs did VERY well and had magic items that helped. In the end, Halsin was full health, completely untouched with 83 HP. Astarion, Lae'zel and Wyll were also untouched. However, Vexir the Battlemaster and Shadowheart were hit pretty hard. Vexir had been reduced from 45 HP to 8 in one round by Ragzlin. He got 3 attacks with Faithbreaker and hit her twice. Shadowheart actually fell and almost died with 2 Failures before Halsin healed her.

Besides this, Shadowheart got a lucky hit on Ragzlin, a Critical Hit, AFTER using the spell Spirit Shroud, which gave her an extra 1d8 (2d8 with a Critical) and she picked up a Psionic Mace (homebrew item) from the Githyanki Fight earlier. So altogether, with mace and Spirit Shroud, she dealt 3d6+2d8+1 damage, effectively taking off almost 30 HP in one hit. If she had not done that, things might have gone a bit less in the favor of the PCs.

Also, Ragzlin failed his save, so after she hit him, he couldn't heal for a whole round. Astarion then used Sneak Attack and finished Ragzlin off (he'd already been reduced by about 50 HP previous to that by Vexir and Halsin, so once Shadowheart slammed him with the Critical Hit, Astarion was able to finish him. Oh yeah! And Astarion also got a Critical Hit with Sneak Attack, so he did like 2d8+6d6+2 damage for the final blow. 2 lucky hits really made the difference. Otherwise, there might have been more PC deaths).

Oh... and Halsin actually didn't do that much. It was mostly the PCs. He burst in through the doors and hit some cultists to thin the numbers. He only did a little damage to Ragzlin.

Last edited by GM4Him; 11/08/21 04:38 PM.
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I also did a test using Tabletop for the fight with Kagha, Rath, Olodan and so forth. Kagha was persuaded by the heroes to fight against Olodan. Olodan was using Level 9 stats. Kagha was at 8 and Rath at 7. I then put an entire party of 9 heroes against Olodan with Kagha and Rath plus 3 extra druids. Then I had Olodan and 2 of her shadow druids plus 11 other druids who joined their side, effectively pitting 14 versus 14. MAN! That was an awesome fight. Rath used Conjure Animals. Kagha and Olodan used Wall of Fire, druids were using Thunderwave all over the place on both sides. (The PCs at the time were only Level 4.) It was an epic fight, and the heroes defeated Olodan and the others in the end. It worked out very well.

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I made a thread pretty much on the same topic few months ago: https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=93583&Number=718792#Post718792

Last edited by Tuco; 11/08/21 05:54 PM.

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Originally Posted by Tuco
I made a thread pretty much on the same topic few months ago: https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=93583&Number=718792#Post718792

I started reading in that topic and found something I never noticed.
An early post pointed out that Halsin is probably level 18 and the current shown level is wrong.
Made me wonder how many other levels are jsut placeholders, because levels after 5 are not coded in.

This is the post:

Originally Posted by azarhal
I suspect Larian is using levels for all the RPG gamers out there who need to know how awesome they are for having beating a level X creature. The creature levels do not match with their D&D CR, so it's pointless information, even more when they buffed certain creatures anyway.

For example, Haslin is not a level 5 druid. He can cast spells while transformed into a bear, that means he is at least level 18th. His HP match a level 18 druid too. You can take have him as a temporary companion to clear the goblins. I suspect many people would complaining if he read Level 18 or CR 18 instead of just level 5.


I think the level indicator is misleading and probably not worth the hassle.
Not sure about seeing levels or not. On the one hand they are useful to help people see if a fight is actually winable, but on the other hands it is kinda gamey to know that.

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OK. Check out my fan fic for how these battles played out with Tabletop using higher levels for all these characters. Just haven't gotten to the Minthara fight yet, but everything else is written up.

Chapter 16 - Nature's Fury is the fight between Kagha, Rath, Olodan, etc.

Chapter 19 - Battle of Wits is the fight against Priestess Gut

Chapter 20 - Absolute Betrayal is the fight against Ragzlin

https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=786554&#Post786554

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Speaking of levels, I remember clicking on the red dragon with the Gith in Patch 3 and seeing it show up as lvl 17. It's since been toned down.

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I really don't give a fart about how high the lvls some NPC's have, who's purpose is mostly storytelling.
The level-up design is in the way of smooth storytelling anyways at some point.

No one of us wanted to know the levels of
° Legolas
° Aragorn
° Gimli
° Boromir
° Frodo and Sam
when we watched the Lord of the Rings, didn't we?


Halsin might enter combat at some point.
Minthara might enter combat at some point.
It would look very stupid if those two characters are strangely overpowered and make our whole group look obselete.
I give a damn if we encountered an "Archdruid" too early for classical D&D expectations.


The only OP dood I really know is OP and would probably have to lvl.80 or lvl.100 is Elminster and only with him I would care.
Everyone else - pfffff, " Serve the story or out of my fu°°ing way!! " grin

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Ragzlin could have some goblin clerics spamming heals at him which would make him tougher to beat without giving him crazy burst damage potential that could down PCs in a single turn.

So hopefully they can look at mechanics like that rather than simply buff stats if fights are too easy. They'd first have to address the cheese options of stealth, high ground and shoving though.

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Originally Posted by Fox of Embers
I think the level indicator is misleading and probably not worth the hassle.
Not sure about seeing levels or not. On the one hand they are useful to help people see if a fight is actually winable, but on the other hands it is kinda gamey to know that.
Personally? As I argued at several points in that very same thread I'm completely AGAINST seeing enemy and character levels.
It doesn't do any favor for immersion and if it turns out to be misleading information (see the red dragon example) is even more harmful than anything.
I'm afraid it's just ANOTHER vestigial leftover from DOS 1 and 2, where you were basically led to "follow the breadcrumbs path" of enemy levels "to know you were in the right place for your level", which is strongly against the type of vibe a D&D adventure should give.


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Originally Posted by Tuco
Personally? As I argued at several points in that very same thread I'm completely AGAINST seeing enemy and character levels.
It doesn't do any favor for immersion and if it turns out to be misleading information (see the red dragon example) is even more harmful than anything.
I'm afraid it's just ANOTHER vestigial leftover from DOS 1 and 2, where you were basically led to "follow the breadcrumbs path" of enemy levels "to know you were in the right place for your level", which is strongly against the type of vibe a D&D adventure should give.

Some indicator for danger is useful though. For people who recognize monsters or worn equpment, sure it is unnecessary. But someone new or even not well versed? That person could easily mistake an encounter kill themselves. Which lessens their fun.
To this day I am annoyed by Tarnesh from BG1. You are *told* to go to the Friendly Arm Inn immedeatly and when you do that guy is waiting for you. A level 5 mage who can, depending on your class, kill you. He will cast Horror, Mirror Image and then 3 magic missiles targeted at the mc. When Charname dies, it is game over.
Sure you have an autosafe a short while ago, but it is still unfair and not fun.

It is useful to have direction and a vague idea of what expects you. Give the player surprises, maybe even nasty ones, but do not keep them completly blind.

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Originally Posted by Fox of Embers
Some indicator for danger is useful though. For people who recognize monsters or worn equpment, sure it is unnecessary. But someone new or even not well versed? That person could easily mistake an encounter kill themselves. Which lessens their fun.
The context (and a correct placement of enemies) is usually all the indication you need.
Like, if a specific character is supposed to be too much to handle, the game should make it clear and NOT put it against you mandatorily, obviously.


Quote
To this day I am annoyed by Tarnesh from BG1. You are *told* to go to the Friendly Arm Inn immedeatly and when you do that guy is waiting for you. A level 5 mage who can, depending on your class, kill you. He will cast Horror, Mirror Image and then 3 magic missiles targeted at the mc. When Charname dies, it is game over.
Sure you have an autosafe a short while ago, but it is still unfair and not fun.
That's just a tough fight you have to prepare for, but there isn't really any specific "level requirement" to handle him. You can get there with your party at level 2 (because still being level 1 is a bit unlikely at that point) and deal with that fight just fine, if you know what to do.

Quote
It is useful to have direction and a vague idea of what expects you. Give the player surprises, maybe even nasty ones, but do not keep them completly blind.
Once again the context is usually all you need. In BG 1 and 2 you'd have to go out of your way to cross "impossible content" before you have enough levels to deal with. When you do, the game usually tries to warn you that you are out of your depth and you should back off.
(And in reality more often than not you still have a chance even then, if you know EXACTLY what to do and with some assistance from the RNG gods).

Last edited by Tuco; 12/08/21 01:50 PM.

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Originally Posted by Tuco
The context (and a correct placement of enemies) is usually all the indication you need.
Like, if a specific character is supposed to be too much to handle, the game should make it clear and NOT put it against you mandatorily, obviously.
I am no game designer, so not sure what a good way for the indication is, but generally I think I can agree here.


Quote
That's just a tough fight you have to prepare for, but there isn't really any specific "level requirement" to handle him. You can get there with your party at level 2 (because still being level 1 is a bit unlikely at that point) and deal with that fight just fine, if you know what to do.
How are you level two? The only enemies you fight on that route is (potentially) a wolf and a diseased gibberling. Even fighting the oger east of the map before FAI does not bring you two level two and that fight needs to be cheesed.
The way to win this fight is to either be able to tank his MM or ensure to disrupt his spell, which is easier said than done on level one (and even two). Regardless, preparation that depends on knowing that the fight will happen and how it could go is, imho, bad design. If we want to emulator P&P RPGs, then a blind no-reload run should be possible.

Quote
Once again the context is usually all you need. In BG 1 and 2 you'd have to go out of your way to cross "impossible content" before you have enough levels to deal with. When you do, the game usually tries to warn you that you are out of your depth and you should back off.
(And in reality more often than not you still have a chance even then, if you know EXACTLY what to do and with some assistance from the RNG gods).
Well, BG1 likes to spring surprise encounters at you. BG2 was better in that regard, but you could actually stumble over rather hard battles. With not really that much of warning. I mean, I still like the games, but they are kinda unfair at certain points.

I think the main problem is actually just the low lever at the start. When you are somewhat tougher and have more skills, retreating is a more likely prospect.
I do not fully disagree with you about the immersionbreaking levels (they shouldn't have those anyways, NPCs only have CR in 5E!).
I think we mostly differ on how much it damages our immersion.

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Look. I don't care whether they show you the levels or not, and I'm not one for making the enemies totally so overpowered that the player gets frustrated that they are so tough and the boss battle has to be replayed a thousand times just to beat it.

All I'm saying is, storywise, these characters are weak and don't make sense. When this game finally rolls out, I'll wager that, again, unless you rush right to the bosses, you're going to have a party of level 5 or 6 characters, and Halsin needs to be a LOT tougher than they make him out to be when you encounter him in the prison. If he is a LOT tougher, than Ragzlin and Minthara should, at the very least, be a lot tougher. Also, if Kagha is Halsin's replacement, she should not be some low level druid at like level 4. Same with Olodan and Rath. These characters should be much tougher than they currently are.

Now, I understand we're in EA, so as someone pointed out, they may simply have them at this low of a level because of the level 4 cap. When the final game rolls out, maybe they will have them all at higher levels.

But that's all I'm suggesting. I don't care about EA so much as long as when the game is finally rolled out it makes sense. Right now, I feel like the entire Emerald Grove is full of baby weaklings. It's not a serious Druid Grove. It's a baby wanna be Druid Grove and Halsin's weaker than my PCs instead of the Accomplished Healer everyone makes him out to be. I'm sorry, but if an archdruid was taken out by a bunch of goblins, there HAS to be a much better reason for it.

Shoot! I don't care if they give me a good reason like, "I allowed them to capture me so I might learn more about what was really going on with the Absolute." Don't have him tell me, "Thank goodness you arrived and saved me. Pshew! If it wasn't for you, I'd have been fed to a couple of worgs in the adjoining cell."

I mean, Halsin was being guarded by 3 goblin kids, a goblin brawler, a goblin beast tamer, I think 2 other goblins, and 2 worgs. An ARCHDRUID??? He couldn't get out of that? He needed my level 4 party to save him? Makes no sense at all.

So give me some valid reasoning. Halsin says to my character, "Well, thanks for the help, Friend, but I was actually here trying to gain more information about this cult. I could have escaped at any time, if I'd wanted to." Then I tell him about how Kagha was trying to take over the grove and such, and then he says, "Dang! Well, I'm glad you came when you did then. Forgive me for being a bit upset earlier for interfering with my plans. I thought I'd left the grove in good hands. I see I was wrong. Thank you for your help. I shall return as soon as I can to put things right."

I mean, do you guys realize how powerful an archdruid is supposed to be? Level 10 doesn't REALLY do it justice, but it's at least more believable. I'm just saying, Halsin alone should be able to wipe out the entire goblin camp and kill Ragzlin, Gut and Minthara at the levels they are at in the game. A few ice storms, conjure animals, engangle a few dozen of them, and those aren't even the most powerful spells he should have at his disposal.

So yeah, there needs to be at least some sort of explanation or something.

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The problem is, no we do *not* know how powerful an Archdruid is supposed to be.

The last time anything was said about the relative strength of an Archdruid was back in 2nd Edition. And that said that every regional has three archdruids. And that they where chosen through a duel, meaning htey are the strongest of that circle. (Added via Edit)
I actually struggle to find much info about on how an archdruid is chosen. He could just be the wisest of them or a natural leader or something like that. There is actually not a single rule that demands a powerlevel in the 3rd, 4th or 5th edition, aside from the fact that the cornerstone feat of druids is called "Archdruid".

Bottom line, as long as Halsin is the strongest in the druid circle I fail to see a reason why he can't be an Archdruid.
On top of that, there are reasons why a powerful character may be helpless or even refuse to escape.

He could be contemplate the teaching of Eldath. He could worry that escaping would increase the number of Goblin attacks on the grove. He may see this as a chance to test the other druids to find a solution on their own.

He could also be drained by his duties. Since information about archdruids is rather sparse, he could need to meditate daily and expend a bunch of spellslots to heal a wound in the land.

He could also be level 18 and just get overpowered by a horde of goblins. A single character can get overrun. He could also be tired, because they don't give him enough too eat and drink and interrupt all forms of meditation, praying or rest to prevent him from regaining his spells and shapeshifting.

Bottom line: There is no indication that he should be able to crush the goblins and easily escape just because he hasthe rank of Archdruid.

Last edited by Fox of Embers; 12/08/21 03:30 PM. Reason: remembered something
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Let's think about this, for a second. In previous games and stories, the archdruid is typically the strongest, wisest druid in the grove. In the original BG games, you are given the ability to have Jaheira challenge a druid to be head of the grove. You must face the archdruid, essentially, in combat with nothing but like a quarterstaff, and if you win, you become the head of the druid order there. So it makes sense that the archdruid would be the highest level character in the bunch.

The Emerald Grove has like maybe two dozen druids. Maybe more. I never actually counted them. You and your companions level up from 1 to 4 in just a few days. So let's say the grove is filled with druids varying from levels 1-4. If Rath is the most powerful over all these other, lesser druids, making him like 3rd in line, then he should probably be at least level 5. If Kagha is stronger than him, and so much so that he won't even try to challenge her, then she should probably be at least a level or two higher than him. After all, a level 5 character might challenge and beat a level 6 character. So Kagha should be maybe 6 or 7 or even 8 so that she is quite a bit above Rath. But let's say she's only at 6. Even still, Olodan should then be, at minimum, level 7 because Kagha is scared of her and acts like she is her great master and teacher. This would mean that Halsin should, for all intents and purposes, be at LEAST level 8 so that he could be more powerful than Olodan.

So how is that so far off from my original suggestion? It makes sense that Halsin is at least level 10, Olodan like 9, Kagha 8, Rath 7, etc.

AND, I might add, I find it interesting that WotC DID actually give us some idea of how powerful an Archdruid should be. At level 20, a Druid receives the Feature Archdruid. Thus, it is suggested that an Archdruid should actually be someone at level 20. I do not agree with this, because then every archdruid at every grove would be a godlike character. You'd never have an archdruid in any story because they'd be too overpowered. So I don't even know why they'd call the Feature this. But, regardless of this, I think it is completely unreasonable to think that Halsin would be anything lower than level 8, at bare minimum. Especially if he's supposed to be such an awesome healer, he should be at least 10, if not higher.

And finally, if you actually look into the stats of a powerful druid, I really struggle with an archdruid like Halsin being overwhelmed by goblins. I created him as a level 10 druid, just to see what he'd be like. The man's OP against a bunch of goblins. Even if you buff them, Halsin would wipe the floor with tons of goblins. Only IF the goblins were being assisted by, say, a powerful Hobgoblin Warlord or Drow Cleric would he be defeated. It makes no sense to me that he turned himself into a bear and got captured so easily when he could have blasted them with Ice Storms and Nature's Wrath, or he could have conjured hosts of animals to help fight them off or created Walls of Fire to aid in their escape. There are SO many things he could have done to fight them off and wipe the floor with them.

There are only three reasonable explanations, therefore. Either Halsin is a weakling of an archdruid, and the Emerald Grove is a piss-ant druid grove with nothing but weakling, baby druids (which means Larian GREATLY overexaggerates the importance of the grove), OR he let himself get captured so he could learn more about the Absolute, OR he was teamed up on by more powerful enemies than a horde of goblins (such as a more powerful Ragzlin and Minthara).

Either way, current strength of these characters just doesn't make sense from a story perspective.

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