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Originally Posted by kanisatha
I loved Kingmaker, and although I'm waiting on playing WotR I'm certain I will end up considering it the best cRPG ever. I backed both games and have WotR; just waiting on all the DLCs to be released before I wade into it. smile
You might be waiting for a while longer. Someone datamined the latest patch on Reddit and found evidence of another DLC in early development, one that seemingly adds a new area and a companion. Shifter class or something.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Pathfinder...g_looking_through_144s_files_unreleased/

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I think one thing that really makes Pathfinder excel is immersion/world building. I feel like my characters are really apart of the world.

I would put it like this: Pathfinder games are like reading novels. They really draw you in, explain the world and go into details about people, places and events. I find myself caring about the mother whose child is missing and she's asking me to find him, or the mongrels in WotR. I feel like I need to do everything I can to save the civilians and so forth. And there are so many people and creatures and LIFE. And because there is time, I also feel like I need to legit be mindful of how much time I take to help someone. I have to prioritize my quests so I can save as many as possible.

BG3, on the other hand, is like a high action/intense blockbuster movie. It draws me in, is highly exciting and thrilling, tells a dramatic story, touched on deeper stories and mysteries but doesn't really delve into them too much, doesn't offer a lot of explanations for those who aren't real familiar with Forgotten Realms, but keeps the hype train rolling full steam ahead. As long as you don't think too deeply, don't ask too many questions, you're going to have a great time. You'll walk away feeling like you just rode a rollercoaster.

While Pathfinder really makes you feel like you are in the world and the story will never end, BG3 feels more like you're visiting the world and your story is just that, a single story with a definite plot and direction. Once the story is over, you're done, and so are your characters. Everything in BG3 feels like it revolves around your characters instead of your characters living in a world that will continue on without them should you fail.

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Originally Posted by kanisatha
I loved Kingmaker, and although I'm waiting on playing WotR I'm certain I will end up considering it the best cRPG ever. I backed both games and have WotR; just waiting on all the DLCs to be released before I wade into it. smile

You will wait a while because apparently are to announce season pass 2.
In practice, you lose nothing by not having dlc, they have absolutely no connection to the main campaign except you get a few broken items that you shouldn't get at this stage of the game.

I think that you will love first 2 acts, then unfortunately, the quality of the game is only constantly decreasing.

Last edited by Rhobar121; 23/09/22 06:40 PM.
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I had the misfortune of getting very sick while I was playing Kingmaker. And by very sick, I mean I ended up in the ICU for a long time.

It left me with a bad taste for the game. Not the game's fault, of course. I just happen to associate the two things together in mind, and I find that I'm not all that interested in getting back into the game. Just thinking about it gives me a sense of sick dread.

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Originally Posted by GM4Him
I think one thing that really makes Pathfinder excel is immersion/world building. I feel like my characters are really apart of the world.

I would put it like this: Pathfinder games are like reading novels. They really draw you in, explain the world and go into details about people, places and events. I find myself caring about the mother whose child is missing and she's asking me to find him, or the mongrels in WotR. I feel like I need to do everything I can to save the civilians and so forth. And there are so many people and creatures and LIFE. And because there is time, I also feel like I need to legit be mindful of how much time I take to help someone. I have to prioritize my quests so I can save as many as possible.

BG3, on the other hand, is like a high action/intense blockbuster movie. It draws me in, is highly exciting and thrilling, tells a dramatic story, touched on deeper stories and mysteries but doesn't really delve into them too much, doesn't offer a lot of explanations for those who aren't real familiar with Forgotten Realms, but keeps the hype train rolling full steam ahead. As long as you don't think too deeply, don't ask too many questions, you're going to have a great time. You'll walk away feeling like you just rode a rollercoaster.

While Pathfinder really makes you feel like you are in the world and the story will never end, BG3 feels more like you're visiting the world and your story is just that, a single story with a definite plot and direction. Once the story is over, you're done, and so are your characters. Everything in BG3 feels like it revolves around your characters instead of your characters living in a world that will continue on without them should you fail.

I've said this plenty of times before, but it also helps that the companions in both Pathfinder games are pretty diverse. They seem to be written as pieces of the setting rather than trying to center all the attention on themselves, especially with how frequently the party members seem to banter with each other.

In the first game, you had...

- A human Barbarian with a giant ass sword who had left her clan
- A human Fighter who was seemingly once a Paladin who left her order after being disillusioned with how they saw her
- An undead elf inquisitor
- A dwarf cleric constantly preaching about the end of the world
- A human priest who is actually... Something else in disguise
- A half-elf wizard and half-orc magus that your party frees from slavers, and are in a relationship
- A human ranger out for revenge out of losing his entire family
- A goblin rogue who fancies himself a prophet of their goddess

In the second game, you had...

- A human paladin of Iomedae who was once a street urchin
- A half-elf noble versed in druidic magic for... reasons...
- One goat-like and another spider-like mongrelmen archers that had only recently reached the surface world
- An elf witch with the pure mentality of a child
- An opportunistic rogue tiefling
- A noble Aasimar oracle distantly related to the Queen who finds the situation amusing
- A cleric with anger issues
- A gnome Hellknight
- A dwarf assassin who is only in it for the money to support his family
- A succubus rebelling against her nature

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Originally Posted by Saito Hikari
In the first game, you had...

- A human Barbarian with a giant ass sword who had left her clan
- A human Fighter who was seemingly once a Paladin who left her order after being disillusioned with how they saw her
- An undead elf inquisitor
- A dwarf cleric constantly preaching about the end of the world
- A human priest who is actually... Something else in disguise
- A half-elf wizard and half-orc magus that your party frees from slavers, and are in a relationship
- A human ranger out for revenge out of losing his entire family
- A goblin rogue who fancies himself a prophet of their goddess

How could you forget Jubi and Linzi!

- A gnomish alchemist, explorer and author seeking an answer to the bleaching that affects his people.
- A halfling chronicler, bard and general optimist intent on publishing the story of your kingdom and generally seeing the world.

Also, potentially, towards the end

- A kobold wizard working on building a new life for himself and his people, on a new page, from the remnants of once having been a much worse person.

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Honestly, I don't have a very good opinion of Owlcat writing companions especially I have a problem with how good companions are written.
There will be some spoilers, so open it at your own risk.

Seelah
The biggest problem I have with this character is that she shouldn't be a paladin. I hate it when the game doesn't follow its own rules.
If that were the case, we would have to find a new paladin in act 1.

Camellia
Crazy serial killer. In itself, that wouldn't be a bad problem, but that's literally all there is to write about this character.
Honestly, maybe it's a bit my fault because I was hoping for more mainly because the other evil characters are much more interesting.
Let's ignore the fact that the whole secret of hiding alignment is very poorly hidden and it takes a whole 5 minutes of the game to figure it out (excluding the character cards).
This is practically the Nok Nok from the previous game, except they removed everything that made this character funny.

Ember
It is not bad in itself. If she remained a half-mad prophet who wants to help everyone to the end, it would be good.
The problem is how her history is written.
As long as I was able to swallow the fact that in a moment she could convince the cultists to put his head under the ax.
Later it got worse. It was to absurd how literally within 2 minutes of conversation she convinces a band of demons to stop acting like demons.
It's just too much for me.

Arueshalae
A demon seeking redemption. Just why she had to be written in such a tearful way.
She acts like a 14 year old for the entire game.

Wenduag
Probably one of the better-written stories in this game, the problem is that the very beginning is written in such a way that there is literally no reason to take her. Couldn't they really have written her introduction to give the player a reason to choose her over Lann?
Random potential betrayal at the end of the game is also stupid and completely incompatible with the character. It makes no sense at all for her to betray someone who was able to kill the demon lords for the average demon at this point in the game. A bit like suicide with extra steps. It would make sense in act 3.

Greybor
It's hard to write anything except that it's a terribly boring character that might as well not be.

Nenio
Where to start. Of all the characters, this one has the least history. She literally has zero story to act 5 and worse, her entire story is tied to literally one of the worst dungeons I've encountered in the games.
Even during her mission, she is barely present until you get to the last boss.
The character was literally written as a joke just like Nok Nok (except he was funny at least).
The worst part is that she's the only full-fledged mage in the game, but luckily there are mods.

In kingmaker, the characters were much better written.
I have no major problems with other full-fledged companions.

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Originally Posted by GM4Him
I think one thing that really makes Pathfinder excel is immersion/world building. I feel like my characters are really apart of the world.
Can’t speak for WotC, but that definitely wasn’t a case with Kingmaker for me.

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Originally Posted by Saito Hikari
Originally Posted by kanisatha
I loved Kingmaker, and although I'm waiting on playing WotR I'm certain I will end up considering it the best cRPG ever. I backed both games and have WotR; just waiting on all the DLCs to be released before I wade into it. smile
You might be waiting for a while longer. Someone datamined the latest patch on Reddit and found evidence of another DLC in early development, one that seemingly adds a new area and a companion. Shifter class or something.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Pathfinder...g_looking_through_144s_files_unreleased/
Originally Posted by Rhobar121
Originally Posted by kanisatha
I loved Kingmaker, and although I'm waiting on playing WotR I'm certain I will end up considering it the best cRPG ever. I backed both games and have WotR; just waiting on all the DLCs to be released before I wade into it. smile

You will wait a while because apparently are to announce season pass 2.
In practice, you lose nothing by not having dlc, they have absolutely no connection to the main campaign except you get a few broken items that you shouldn't get at this stage of the game.

I think that you will love first 2 acts, then unfortunately, the quality of the game is only constantly decreasing.
Yup, I know about Season Pass 2 upcoming for WotR. I probably won't wait until the next two/three DLCs drop. I just like having a game be systems and features-complete before I play it (hence my opposition to playing EA games). I am currently playing Solasta, though, despite it having DLCs still coming out, because its campaigns are quite short and self-contained. Then Black Geyser is next in line for me, and WotR after that (I don't get a lot of time in a typical week to play; usually only just a few hours on Sundays).

Also for everyone's benefit, Zoria just launched a Kickstarter. The game is being made by a very small 3-person team of first-timers, who already have 80% of the game done. The KS is quite small (~$35,000), so check it out if you're interested. I've backed it 'cause I like backing small cRPG games like this.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ansharpublishing/zoria-age-of-shattering

Last edited by kanisatha; 24/09/22 02:44 PM.
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Originally Posted by Rhobar121
Honestly, I don't have a very good opinion of Owlcat writing companions especially I have a problem with how good companions are written.
There will be some spoilers, so open it at your own risk.

Seelah
The biggest problem I have with this character is that she shouldn't be a paladin. I hate it when the game doesn't follow its own rules.
If that were the case, we would have to find a new paladin in act 1.

Camellia
Crazy serial killer. In itself, that wouldn't be a bad problem, but that's literally all there is to write about this character.
Honestly, maybe it's a bit my fault because I was hoping for more mainly because the other evil characters are much more interesting.
Let's ignore the fact that the whole secret of hiding alignment is very poorly hidden and it takes a whole 5 minutes of the game to figure it out (excluding the character cards).
This is practically the Nok Nok from the previous game, except they removed everything that made this character funny.

Ember
It is not bad in itself. If she remained a half-mad prophet who wants to help everyone to the end, it would be good.
The problem is how her history is written.
As long as I was able to swallow the fact that in a moment she could convince the cultists to put his head under the ax.
Later it got worse. It was to absurd how literally within 2 minutes of conversation she convinces a band of demons to stop acting like demons.
It's just too much for me.

Arueshalae
A demon seeking redemption. Just why she had to be written in such a tearful way.
She acts like a 14 year old for the entire game.

Wenduag
Probably one of the better-written stories in this game, the problem is that the very beginning is written in such a way that there is literally no reason to take her. Couldn't they really have written her introduction to give the player a reason to choose her over Lann?
Random potential betrayal at the end of the game is also stupid and completely incompatible with the character. It makes no sense at all for her to betray someone who was able to kill the demon lords for the average demon at this point in the game. A bit like suicide with extra steps. It would make sense in act 3.

Greybor
It's hard to write anything except that it's a terribly boring character that might as well not be.

Nenio
Where to start. Of all the characters, this one has the least history. She literally has zero story to act 5 and worse, her entire story is tied to literally one of the worst dungeons I've encountered in the games.
Even during her mission, she is barely present until you get to the last boss.
The character was literally written as a joke just like Nok Nok (except he was funny at least).
The worst part is that she's the only full-fledged mage in the game, but luckily there are mods.

In kingmaker, the characters were much better written.
I have no major problems with other full-fledged companions.


I also find the companions of WoTR middle-of-the-road and ultimately weaker than the cast of Kingmaker (whom I really enjoyed).

The companions of WoTR are at their absolute best when interacting with each other and reacting to certain key moments in the game. But overall as characters, I really find a lot of them seem to lack of agency and strong motivations compared to most other CRPGs. And even when those are clear, I don't feel the depth within those characters beyond the broad strokes. They feel so easy to categorize and I think Owlcat may have played it too straight when placing character traits against the D&D/PF alignment system.

The worst ones feel out of place, and even the a lot of the best ones come off as generic archetypes of certain alignments and tropes.

Don't think the game-length to companion content ratio helps either. WoTR is so extremely long that all the companion content feels really sparse in the grand scheme of things. Since a lot of the content is frontloaded, many of them just become slightly better mercenaries towards the end of the game. Some companion quests in the later acts are decent and keep up the initial momentum, but there's quite a few that completely falls off IMO.

One thing that I do find very hilarious is that the 3 primary romanceable female companions are all
cannibals in some way
Not sure what Owlcat is trying to say with that lol.

Last edited by Topgoon; 24/09/22 03:31 PM.
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Originally Posted by kanisatha
Also for everyone's benefit, Zoria just launched a Kickstarter. The game is being made by a very small 3-person team of first-timers, who already have 80% of the game done. The KS is quite small (~$35,000), so check it out if you're interested. I've backed it 'cause I like backing small cRPG games like this.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ansharpublishing/zoria-age-of-shattering

I liked the demo that this game had. Going to back it, but I'm not sure I like the idea of an exclusive companion being locked at the $99+ tiers. I probably will pledge at that price anyway since I did the same for WotR and will likely do the same for Rogue Trader too. cRPGs need all the funding they can get.

Last edited by Saito Hikari; 24/09/22 05:54 PM.
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My five cents. Both games are very different to the point where comparison of any kind would be disingenuous. I am more sympathetic to the earlier editions of d&d as they provide a lot more room for self expression and creativity, albeit with that said, Larian adds a lot of homebrew which adds new complexity which regular d&d 5th edition never would have.

Between both complexities, I prefer BG3 to pathfinder as pathfinder has a lot of illusion of choice, but mechanically all play the same. You have various named buffs [pick one they don’t stack], and just have 1 of each buff. The result is gameplay that is a inch deep and gets boring quickly. With BG3 your choices are limited in scope, but their narrow interactions makes it easier to make memorable fights. Pathfinder has 5 memorable fights in 90 hrs, rest is trash fights out of Diablo.

When it comes to setting and storyline, pathfinder wins in all regards. They have 10 versions of the story, and it changes enough between each one via dialogue or order of locations, or unique fights / cutscenes. The story line’s cast do a much better job with voice acting then BG3 ever by miles, and are not tropes. BG3 companions are latterly copied from DOS2 to the point I and anyone else can identify it.

The only place I can compare both games is their horrible optimization. Bg3 is in EA so that may still change. But so far WOTR is superior to BG3 in a lot more ways

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Perhaps I am simply addled in some way, but I still fail to see where people managed to spot "well-written companions" in the Pathfinder games. Granted, I haven't played WotR (and probably never will, all things considered), but with Kingmaker I only really found Harrim and Jubilost in any way interesting and entertaining to interact with - although I recognize the latter as a rather tryhard and very on-the-nose "abrasive nerd" stereotype, but it helps that I find that particular flavour of a butthole personality appealing.

As for the rest...

- Amiri's backstory is as simple as "women can be warriors too, raaarrrrgh!", which is perfectly cool in concept, but both she and the whole Kellid cast of characters constantly jump between being very well-spoken and relatively eloquent and barely stringing two words together. The inconsistency was really bothering me. Her plot amounts to her being a knob, realizing it, and still largely remaining one.

- Valerie... urgh. That 9 Intelligence really is on display throughout her story and with her character in general, and the moral of "you are wrong if you don't want to recognize yourself as beautiful (can't say I found her to be, myself, although the aforementioned 9 Int may have played a part) and don't actually have a core like you think you do" is kind of all over the place? The new Shelyn temple subplot never went anywhere either, what with it being built in the Hedonism Central that is Pitax.

- Given how Linzi is effectively a stand-in for the writers, I suppose my distaste for her has something to do with me really disliking Owlcat's writing in general. Couldn't really give a crap about the whole bullying thing in her quest, either. My biggest frustration with her, though, is how they just kill her off in the penultimate act and leave you without a freaking bard in a game with overtuned skill checks. Thanks, Owlcat.

- Ekundayo just... exists? He has little to no personality and his questline just concludes barely one half through the game, and again, forces a "grieving man who lost his wife and kid must socialize and date, or else!" mentality on the player and the player character. The nuance-less binarity of his final outcome is really jarring, too. "No, you shouldn't hunt down the giants who threaten your lands right now, it's gonna send him down the vengeance spiral...!" It's not about revenge at this point, there are giants, goddammit, and they should probably be killed, no?

- Tristian is so sweet (unbearably so, like a cup of tea that's more sugar than tea) it's obvious he's got something wrong with him from the very start. From what I can tell, Owlcat really like that trope and made several more similar characters for WotR. As for his whole betrayal moment, I forgave him in character and because I needed a cleric in the party, but, honestly, he doesn't really warrant forgiveness or pity. Neither does Nyrissa. They really failed to make the two characters whom you can pat on the head and wipe the tears of and say "It's fine, I am not mad" to actually being redeemable. Maybe I just don't get being Neutral Good, a.k.a., Clinically Idiotically Bleeding-Hearted. Having a bleeding heart is bad for circulation.

- Kanerah/Kalikke were neat enough and I actually liked them both (could have something to do with them being added later down the line), but since I didn't do their quest past the appearance of their devil progenitor, refusing to go meet him, I didn't see where it goes and they just died on me in the HatEoT. Kingmaker really likes to give you something that looks like a choice but any option except going with it leaves you without content, XP, and a resolution.

- Can't really say much about either Jaethal or Nok-Nok because the former I didn't have with me in my good-aligned party (her voice acting leaves much to be desired, though, and her backstory doesn't really paint her as particularly enjoyable, even for a villain) and the latter my LG paladin protagonist killed. No, slaying goblins and trolls who are a direct threat to your land, even if they are "friendly" in the moment as the game claims, isn't CE, Owlcat. It's Lawful Neutral at worst. You could at least make a separate dialogue option with a less murder-hoboey line.

And regarding them being a part of the world - it'd help (at least me, personally) if the setting wasn't FR taken to the extreme without seatbelts with bits and pieces of the other earlier D&D settings thrown in (a pinch of Ravenloft here, a bit of Eberron there). I enjoy wackier worlds and concepts, but Pathfinder's aesthetic and ideas never really clicked with me. What they didn't just copy-paste with minor alterations they either copied and perverted (poor gnomes) or made something REALLY unappealing out of - by the end of Kingmaker I wanted all the fey Eldest to just die or go away and never return. When the motivation of your antagonists is "hehe, I am so random and unpredictable and immortal and I do things just for lulz!" it really kills any sense of purpose of your actions. You are not destroying/delaying a threat that has clear motivations and a background, you are dealing with a 3-year-old throwing a destructive tantrum.

Phew, been a while since the last big one. Glad this thread is back alive.

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Summarizing what the Owlcat add to EE: nothing

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Originally Posted by Brainer
Perhaps I am simply addled in some way, but I still fail to see where people managed to spot "well-written companions" in the Pathfinder games. Granted, I haven't played WotR (and probably never will, all things considered), but with Kingmaker I only really found Harrim and Jubilost in any way interesting and entertaining to interact with - although I recognize the latter as a rather tryhard and very on-the-nose "abrasive nerd" stereotype, but it helps that I find that particular flavour of a butthole personality appealing.

As for the rest...

- Amiri's backstory is as simple as "women can be warriors too, raaarrrrgh!", which is perfectly cool in concept, but both she and the whole Kellid cast of characters constantly jump between being very well-spoken and relatively eloquent and barely stringing two words together. The inconsistency was really bothering me. Her plot amounts to her being a knob, realizing it, and still largely remaining one.

- Valerie... urgh. That 9 Intelligence really is on display throughout her story and with her character in general, and the moral of "you are wrong if you don't want to recognize yourself as beautiful (can't say I found her to be, myself, although the aforementioned 9 Int may have played a part) and don't actually have a core like you think you do" is kind of all over the place? The new Shelyn temple subplot never went anywhere either, what with it being built in the Hedonism Central that is Pitax.

- Given how Linzi is effectively a stand-in for the writers, I suppose my distaste for her has something to do with me really disliking Owlcat's writing in general. Couldn't really give a crap about the whole bullying thing in her quest, either. My biggest frustration with her, though, is how they just kill her off in the penultimate act and leave you without a freaking bard in a game with overtuned skill checks. Thanks, Owlcat.

- Ekundayo just... exists? He has little to no personality and his questline just concludes barely one half through the game, and again, forces a "grieving man who lost his wife and kid must socialize and date, or else!" mentality on the player and the player character. The nuance-less binarity of his final outcome is really jarring, too. "No, you shouldn't hunt down the giants who threaten your lands right now, it's gonna send him down the vengeance spiral...!" It's not about revenge at this point, there are giants, goddammit, and they should probably be killed, no?

- Tristian is so sweet (unbearably so, like a cup of tea that's more sugar than tea) it's obvious he's got something wrong with him from the very start. From what I can tell, Owlcat really like that trope and made several more similar characters for WotR. As for his whole betrayal moment, I forgave him in character and because I needed a cleric in the party, but, honestly, he doesn't really warrant forgiveness or pity. Neither does Nyrissa. They really failed to make the two characters whom you can pat on the head and wipe the tears of and say "It's fine, I am not mad" to actually being redeemable. Maybe I just don't get being Neutral Good, a.k.a., Clinically Idiotically Bleeding-Hearted. Having a bleeding heart is bad for circulation.

- Kanerah/Kalikke were neat enough and I actually liked them both (could have something to do with them being added later down the line), but since I didn't do their quest past the appearance of their devil progenitor, refusing to go meet him, I didn't see where it goes and they just died on me in the HatEoT. Kingmaker really likes to give you something that looks like a choice but any option except going with it leaves you without content, XP, and a resolution.

- Can't really say much about either Jaethal or Nok-Nok because the former I didn't have with me in my good-aligned party (her voice acting leaves much to be desired, though, and her backstory doesn't really paint her as particularly enjoyable, even for a villain) and the latter my LG paladin protagonist killed. No, slaying goblins and trolls who are a direct threat to your land, even if they are "friendly" in the moment as the game claims, isn't CE, Owlcat. It's Lawful Neutral at worst. You could at least make a separate dialogue option with a less murder-hoboey line.

And regarding them being a part of the world - it'd help (at least me, personally) if the setting wasn't FR taken to the extreme without seatbelts with bits and pieces of the other earlier D&D settings thrown in (a pinch of Ravenloft here, a bit of Eberron there). I enjoy wackier worlds and concepts, but Pathfinder's aesthetic and ideas never really clicked with me. What they didn't just copy-paste with minor alterations they either copied and perverted (poor gnomes) or made something REALLY unappealing out of - by the end of Kingmaker I wanted all the fey Eldest to just die or go away and never return. When the motivation of your antagonists is "hehe, I am so random and unpredictable and immortal and I do things just for lulz!" it really kills any sense of purpose of your actions. You are not destroying/delaying a threat that has clear motivations and a background, you are dealing with a 3-year-old throwing a destructive tantrum.

Phew, been a while since the last big one. Glad this thread is back alive.

Let's level set. Compared to what, Pathfinder sucks as far as characters? BG3? Solasta? DOS 2? Original BG games?

In terms of most cRPGs I've played, I think both Pathfinder games have hit par at least in terms of side characters. I mean, sure, they don't have a ton of depth, but they aren't just storyless nobodies either.

So what are we comparing them to?

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Originally Posted by GM4Him
Let's level set. Compared to what, Pathfinder sucks as far as characters? BG3? Solasta? DOS 2? Original BG games?

In terms of most cRPGs I've played, I think both Pathfinder games have hit par at least in terms of side characters. I mean, sure, they don't have a ton of depth, but they aren't just storyless nobodies either.

So what are we comparing them to?
Well, it's hard to judge BG3's ones yet, but apart from Astarion (personal distaste), I found them all well-enough done. They deliver their personalities and quirks across without slapping the player in their face with a blatant "I AM LIKE THIS BECAUSE OF THIS AND THIS" exposition dump. Them all being awful jerks is more of a meme that I never understood, myself.

Original BG games: 1 barely has companions as characters at all, but that actually allows to carry even the ones like Xzar and Xan and, I dunno, Shar-Teel around without them growing really annoying to be around. They are mostly all one-note, but that one-noteness is well-integrated into how they work. Whereas in 2 - again, I can't really find a cause to complain about most of them, and the romance storylines really make Viconia/Aerie/Jaheira's personalities stand out in a way that doesn't feel forced. I suppose Anomen is an utter dunce who is, for the most part, stupid to a very grating degree even after he starts to know better (they didn't really readjust him for after his personal quest), and having female characters be restricted to him is very unfortunate, but that's about the only complaint I have with them. That doesn't quite extend to the EE ones, though. I can see what they were going with Neera, but it just doesn't land. Dorn being devolved into wanting to make the male Bhaalspawn his gimp was... a revelation, and his quest just goes nowhere unless you do it the "intended" way. Hexxat feels like she was thrown in just so she's there, and is very awkward to use (a mechanical complaint, but still). And Rasaad is... what was his deal again?

Does Solasta even have memorable characters, by the way?

Anyhow, my complaints are mostly due to my personal distaste for Owlcat's writing. Their humour doesn't really amuse me (the whole Inconsequential Debates moment in Kingmaker was unbearable), their camp banter is uninspired (let's have a prick joke #9!... that isn't even funny. Or have them waxing philosophical in a very pretentious manner) or overwritten (Linzi...), their way of exposing characters feels like they are reading their own biographies at you in the most annoying way possible. Part of it is how Owlcat's writers structure their dialogue lines and text in general (I mentioned before that it has Russian writing style all over it with barely any effort made to adapt it), and the other part is just awkward their texts feel to read in general. I could tear something like PS:T letter by letter reading between the lines, or would find the PoE lore dumps enjoyable, but theirs are just... flat and unmemorable?

And before I am called a Larian fanboy, I'd like to say that I don't think their characters/companions are the best thing ever or even if they are super good or anything. They are certainly the best Larian have ever pulled off (Lae'zel might be the coolest companion they've made, and a worthy successor to Dak'kon and Zhjaeve as a gith party member), and a marked improvement over their two previous games (although I still think that their best sidekick ever was the Death Knight from Beyond Divinity), but Kana-Eder-Durance from PoE1, the PS:T cast, and NWN2's companions (MotB's in particular, although Ammon Jerro is fantastic as well, and I have an apparently really rare fondness for Casavir. Their arguments actually feel lively and witty, rather than Owlcat's phallometry contests (not literally - not always - but still, the comparison stands)) still remain my personal favourites. DA2's were fine too, apart from the butchered Anders. I'll give Owlcat one point in that their characters are markedly better than late (ME3 and onward) Bioware's. And they are not as flat as something like Sword Coast: Legends. But that's about all the praise I have, save for what I had mentioned in the last post.

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Solasta has the dwarf and/or the spy and/or the guy or female soldier from the outpost. Then later you travel for like a hot second with Merton. In the Lost Valley, you have a choice also of three characters, I believe. All of which are... Toast. So yeah, Solasta is probably the worst in terms of companions.

But what I'm hearing, really, is Pathfinder is mid when it comes to companions, and I agree with that. They are okay, but they aren't captivating. In both Kingmaker and WotR, I created parties of 5 custom characters partially because the companions weren't really doing it for me. Their builds weren't all that great and their stories weren't super engaging. I left just enough room in the party to always take 1 companion with for story quests, and that seems to work perfectly enough.

I will also say that I very much enjoy the characters in BG3. For me, they are closer to KOTOR than Pathfinder or anything on that same level. My primary complaints are that Shadowheart is too obviously a Sharran cleric but the game makes it seem like a huge surprise, and the same goes for Wyll and Mizora. Still, at least they have more personality, and if you ever play party of 6 mod so they're all together while traveling they interact a whole lot more and more naturally. Oh, and the only other issue I have is that certain dialogues are only triggered during long rests. They got just as well if you take a short rest or whatever, and could be triggered by something like short rests, but no. Unless you long rest a lot, you miss out on some fun interactions.

I liked how KOTOR would often give you the ability to simply stop right where you were and have discussions in the street if you wanted, flirting, joking, talking about real issues. It made the companions feel more alive and not just grunt minions.

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Originally Posted by GM4Him
Let's level set. Compared to what, Pathfinder sucks as far as characters? BG3? Solasta? DOS 2? Original BG games?

In terms of most cRPGs I've played, I think both Pathfinder games have hit par at least in terms of side characters.
The only cRPG with companions that I would rate lower then Kingmaker in that regard was Neverwinter Nights1. It being the game I also rate on playability, so how poorly structured the quests were (like having to treck back to throne room, to be told by a companion in your current party that she want to talk to you in local tavern) does impact my perception of the companions, and how passive conversations were.

I would rate them lower then companions in both D:OS1&2 and BG3. I found Kingmaker's companions to be predictable and uninteresting though it's not my main issue with them. I have an issue with amount of content they have. Most BG1&2 companions didn't have much to them either, and some were annoying but none outstayed their welcome. JJ could be an exception but being an annoying old gnome was very much a point. All longer stuff that was there was good.

Kingmakers companions, on the other hand, will drown player on longwinded exposition dumps about their very detailed, dry backstories. As a game in general it did a sin of throwing out a lot of information, which might have a revelance to someone with world knowledge, while doing no worldbuilding necessary to make such self-indulgence justified.

So far I am not dying to spend more time with BG3 companions, but every conversation I had with each of them felt meaningful. I might not like some of them, but I don't like them for who they are, not because they are poorly presented or written. It also helps that players gets asked interesting questions when conversing with companions, rather then being talked at for paragraphs at a time.

Really, though, my way of judging is very subjective and based on my responses, rather then objective analysis. For example I would say that BG3 is better "written" then D:OS2 because I don't dread entering a new town and having talk to characters, like I did in D:OS2. I was genuinely displeased when companions in Pathfinder wanted something, though were writing end and overall questionable quality of the game starts is hard for me to judge. Kingmaker could have the finest writing in the industry and I would probably still be mixed on it as a game.

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If you think about it, the companions in pathfinder probably have less content than in BG2, at least if you look at the length of both games
(2 random sentences while resting is not content).
Almost every companion has 3 missions throughout the game, most of them are not even 5 minutes long (even if you count the dialogues).
I suspect that even in EA, BG3 has the same content for companions as in any character from pathfinder throughout the game.

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Originally Posted by Rhobar121
If you think about it, the companions in pathfinder probably have less content than in BG2, at least if you look at the length of both games
(2 random sentences while resting is not content).
Almost every companion has 3 missions throughout the game, most of them are not even 5 minutes long (even if you count the dialogues).
I suspect that even in EA, BG3 has the same content for companions as in any character from pathfinder throughout the game.

Oh heck yeah. Companions in BG3 have tons more dialogue. They have more dialogues just walking around than Pathfinder as a whole. And I do agree with the critique about campfire two liners in Pathfinder. I find those rather odd and often the opposite of character building. I also find the info dumps a bit off putting. They need to feed you a little at a time to draw you in. Don't dump their whole story on me at once.

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