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Oh man. I don't know if I never noticed before, but I started the game over again last night and saw that she has a huge onyx in her hair too. It's keeping her hair in a ponytail.

So, you have one on each shoulder, one on her forehead, and one big one in her hair that looks kinda like a crown. Then you have that big black circle on her chest.

Now, the big circle on her chest, I will say, doesn't actually scream Shar. It has a different symbol on it. So, that I can understand maybe they could get away with. It's the big black onyx stones everywhere else.

Anyway, the debate about armor is not really important. The important thing is that Larian should and easily could have various places where they can explain to the player who Shar is long before the big reveal. If a player can reach the big reveal and still know nothing about Shar, that's kinda broken.

At the very least, when you do trigger the Convo with Shadowheart, they should at that point, if they haven't already, have your character roll to see if they know who Shar is. That way, when they're having the Convo, they can say, "Oh. Ok. Shar's an evil goddess of darkness and pain and loss who is hated by the masses. Hmmm. Should I make a big deal of this?"

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Originally Posted by JandK
All these comparisons to satan are patently inaccurate. That's a religion with one God and one bad figure in the form of satan.

It's not the same as a world with multiple religions and hundreds of different monster races; it's a wonder anyone in that setting can keep anything straight in their heads.

No. Like has been told to you several times by several people, Shar is not some unknown deity from a completely different part of the world. Knowing about Shar and what she wants to do with the world is not some esoteric knowledge you only find in forgotten tomes after devoting your life to studying weird religions. It's not something you have to try hard to "keep straight in your head" -- it's something people see in the moon every day. When children ask why the moon comes and goes parents tell them the story of Selune and Shar. You can't weasel your way out of this by going "oh but the world has SO MANY religions" -- even if it does, this is how they believe in Faerun, on the Sword Coast, where we are and the game takes place.

Quite frankly, it's not us who are examples of rigid thinking and not understanding how the world or people works. It's you.


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Someone who wasn't familiar with the lore would most likely not think the decorative stones are religious in nature. Someone who is stuck in a rigid colour symbolism mindset of black is evil and white is good might think she is affiliated with evil. Someone with partial knowledge of the lore might be curious and look up what that symbol on her chest is since it is in a prominent location, but would not find a deity using said symbol. Someone who knows a bit about Shar might think about the black circles but they do not have a purple circle around them that I can see so it still may not be obvious.



Originally Posted by GM4Him
At the very least, when you do trigger the Convo with Shadowheart, they should at that point, if they haven't already, have your character roll to see if they know who Shar is. That way, when they're having the Convo, they can say, "Oh. Ok. Shar's an evil goddess of darkness and pain and loss who is hated by the masses. Hmmm. Should I make a big deal of this?"
I still think the extreme basics should be given to the player without any rolls, and then more information given with a Religion check or if your character is a cleric.

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I hate double posting but I just noticed the in game description of Shar if you pick her as a cleric. Perhaps we could just have that said by someone in game at the earliest mention of Shar, and also do this with the rest of the gods. Might help a lot.

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Originally Posted by Dexai
No. Like has been told to you several times by several people, Shar is not some unknown deity from a completely different part of the world. Knowing about Shar and what she wants to do with the world is not some esoteric knowledge you only find in forgotten tomes after devoting your life to studying weird religions. It's not something you have to try hard to "keep straight in your head" -- it's something people see in the moon every day. When children ask why the moon comes and goes parents tell them the story of Selune and Shar. You can't weasel your way out of this by going "oh but the world has SO MANY religions" -- even if it does, this is how they believe in Faerun, on the Sword Coast, where we are and the game takes place.

Quite frankly, it's not us who are examples of rigid thinking and not understanding how the world or people works. It's you.

Nonsense.

First of all, in regards to "has been told to you several times..." none of you are final authorities. Each of the several people you mention has tried to present fiction as fact, and not even in a convincing manner. This is a discussion, and from my point of view, you have been told several times. See how that works?

Again, this is nothing but obfuscation for the tired and weak assertion that onyx equals Shar. Consider the following quote one of your several people made:

Originally Posted by Ragitsu
In order to satisfy my peculiar curiosity, I searched for "onyx" in the three AD&D 2e deities book (arguably the definitive sources on the gods despite their age) in regards to evil deities. Three instances of onyx turned up in Faiths & Avatars: Mask (Neutral Evil), Myrkul (Neutral Evil and dead) and Shar (Neutral Evil). One instance of onyx turned up in Demihuman Deities: Vhaeraun (Chaotic Evil). One instance of onyx turned up in Powers and Pantheons: Velsharoon (Neutral Evil) is noted to be fond of black gemstones, Eshowdow (Chaotic Evil) and Set (Chaotic Evil) considers black gemstones sacred. Basically, a self-professed priest wearing prominent onyx jewelry should at least be given a sideways glance by anyone that hasn't been residing under a rock.

Take two seconds to really think about this. Seriously. Actually think about what's being said here.

A player reads 2nd edition Ad&d deity books. Therein, the player finds the word "onyx" or "black gemstones" in the listings of seven different dark gods.

And then we get the absurd logic jump.

Nowhere does it say that only evil people wear onyx. Nowhere does it say that good people refuse to wear onyx. Nowhere. It literally doesn't say that people look "sideways" at other people who wear onyx. Nowhere. Not a single place does it say any of that.

In fact, in another location, it says that onyx is known to help with the pain of childbirth.

In other places, onyx is on random treasure generators, listed as onyx. As a percentile number chance to get onyx as a monetary treasure reward.

So. Nowhere does it say anything about people not wearing onyx or being suspicious of their neighbors wearing onyx...

But for some spectacular reason, we have an echo chamber here full of (maybe five, lol?) people who INSIST that this is the case, and they can't even begin to imagine otherwise.

Yes, that's rigid thinking. That's a complete inability to realize that, to the average person in the setting, a cigar is often just a cigar, and onyx is just onyx, not a dead-give-away.

Which, I add yet again, is further in evidence by the fact that no one in the setting *treats* it as a dead-give-away. Because it's not. Because the only people convinced otherwise are the ones here who have literally convinced themselves, leaning entirely on supposition and hindsight.

Last edited by JandK; 28/10/21 11:29 AM.
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Originally Posted by JandK
Is further in evidence by the fact that no one in the setting *treats* it as a dead-give-away.

In many circumstances that would be a compelling argument. Certainly if this were real life it would an ironclad argument. But what's being suggested is the behavior of the npcs in this world is an error, given the other available information.

And I think it doesn't matter what the intention is with the characters. If the players who know the lore are bewildered by her appearance and how people react to it, her appearance and/or other characters' reactions should change

Last edited by colinl8; 28/10/21 11:55 AM. Reason: Clarity
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Originally Posted by Zarna
and then more information given with a Religion check or if your character is a cleric.
I've seen this suggested in the thread before but, please, keep in mind that there is a mechanic to give some class a bonus on some checks, it is the proficiencies. it would be rather unfair not to let everyone check, especially since you can make a priest which is not proficient in religion

Originally Posted by colinl8
Originally Posted by JandK
Is further in evidence by the fact that no one in the setting *treats* it as a dead-give-away.

In many circumstances that would be a compelling argument. Certainly if this were real life it would an ironclad argument. But what's being suggested is the behavior of the npcs in this world is an error, given the other available information.

And I think it doesn't matter what the intention is with the characters. If the players who know the lore are bewildered by her appearance and how people react to it, her appearance and/or other characters' reactions should change
to be fair, I reached level 4 in the early access in duo with shadowheart both naked from start to finish, with cats familiars using disguise self to be naked too, just out of curiosity... no npc reacted at any point, only the kids came to get a closer look at my cats that looked like a naked golden dwarf, which was a bit unsettling... but nothing else. so, if at some point npc will react to our clothing, or lack thereof, this is not implemented yet.

Last edited by auriejir; 28/10/21 12:08 PM.
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🙄

Even in the game, it is clear, Shadowheart makes it clear herself, people don't like Sharrans. She's nervous you'll immediately boot her from the party because she's a Sharran. It's made totally clear, if you trigger the right dialogues and pick up the right books that Shar is a well known bad goddess.

And the mural. That's the biggest indicator. You don't need a roll when you look at the mural. The game just tells you, "The bad guys in the mural have the symbol of Shar.".

So you recognize it there, but for some reason, nowhere else.

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Originally Posted by GM4Him
🙄

Even in the game, it is clear, Shadowheart makes it clear herself, people don't like Sharrans. She's nervous you'll immediately boot her from the party because she's a Sharran. It's made totally clear, if you trigger the right dialogues and pick up the right books that Shar is a well known bad goddess.

And the mural. That's the biggest indicator. You don't need a roll when you look at the mural. The game just tells you, "The bad guys in the mural have the symbol of Shar.".

So you recognize it there, but for some reason, nowhere else.

You do need a roll when you look at the mural. I've had characters fail at figuring out what the mural represents.

Anyway. You're making an argument here for how Shadowheart herself doesn't expect anyone to be able to figure out who she worships by way of her decorations. If she did expect as much, she wouldn't be outfitted that way.

Originally Posted by colinl8
If the players who know the lore are bewildered by her appearance and how people react to it, her appearance and/or other characters' reactions should change

I disagree. The sample size of "players who know the lore and etc..." isn't large. There's a handful of people here, at best. The whole topic was pretty much an echo chamber before it was challenged.

And I argue that it was an echo chamber because someone pointed out the black circles all over Shadowheart's design and made a joke about how obvious her secret is. And others agreed, not thinking through whether or not it was actually obvious outside of hindsight. Then people got committed to the notion as they became invested it, sometimes making the same joke themselves. And once committed to it, pride kicked in. It became a matter of identity. "I know so darn much about Forgotten Realms, I can't be wrong. Only evil people wear onyx in DnD!"

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Meh. I guess I just haven't triggered that mural in awhile.

But make no mistake. I think she should either just own it up front if she's gonna wear obvious armor, or her outfit needs to be tweaked.

It would be a small change. Make the stones blue, not black. There. Problem solved. Shoot! Shar is a goddess of trickery. Have it be blue or something similar in the beginning, and then have it change colors to black later, after you know the truth.

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It’s EA, so she’s probably gonna wear a cloak when the game is released. But the cloak animation isn’t ready just yet…

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Originally Posted by auriejir
Originally Posted by Zarna
and then more information given with a Religion check or if your character is a cleric.
I've seen this suggested in the thread before but, please, keep in mind that there is a mechanic to give some class a bonus on some checks, it is the proficiencies. it would be rather unfair not to let everyone check, especially since you can make a priest which is not proficient in religion
I say this for the more information part, not all of it. There are already existing Religion checks in game since most characters would not know details about all the gods. I am only speculating, but I would think clerics would be taught a bit more about different gods and the DC should be lower for them even if they are not proficient.

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Originally Posted by JandK
...someone pointed out the black circles all over Shadowheart's design and made a joke about how obvious her secret is. And others agreed, not thinking through...

That's probably fair. The reason I jumped on the bandwagon was that as someone who doesn't know the lore, when the big reveal occurs, I thought the available dialog options were a kick to the head. All of a sudden the *nicest* dialog option with one of the must important party members is "I don't care"? So, when I see people who do know the lore pointing to reasons why I shouldn't have been surprised, that clicked.

So I'm (and I think everybody is) 100% with there needing to be more Shar lore offered before that scene. Whether or not she should have a different appearance or inspire different reactions is a debatable point. For me, from how others have described it, it seems like there's too much of a confluence of indications for "sometimes a circle is just a circle" to be convincing.

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Originally Posted by JandK
Originally Posted by Dexai
No. Like has been told to you several times by several people, Shar is not some unknown deity from a completely different part of the world. Knowing about Shar and what she wants to do with the world is not some esoteric knowledge you only find in forgotten tomes after devoting your life to studying weird religions. It's not something you have to try hard to "keep straight in your head" -- it's something people see in the moon every day. When children ask why the moon comes and goes parents tell them the story of Selune and Shar. You can't weasel your way out of this by going "oh but the world has SO MANY religions" -- even if it does, this is how they believe in Faerun, on the Sword Coast, where we are and the game takes place.

Quite frankly, it's not us who are examples of rigid thinking and not understanding how the world or people works. It's you.

Nonsense.

First of all, in regards to "has been told to you several times..." none of you are final authorities. Each of the several people you mention has tried to present fiction as fact, and not even in a convincing manner. This is a discussion, and from my point of view, you have been told several times. See how that works?

Yes, you've said that already. That was what I was mirroring. See how that works?

You can keep claiming "from my perspective, it's the Jedi who are evil" however much you want; you're still arguing in circles and refusing to respond to other people's arguments.

Originally Posted by JandK
Again, this is nothing but obfuscation for the tired and weak assertion that onyx equals Shar. Consider the following quote one of your several people made:

This is bordering on delusional. That "obfuscation" was me responding directly to the argument you were making about religions. This thread is about the need for the player to know who Shar is before Shadowheart's reveal in order to be able to make an informed role-playing decision about how their character should react to it. You are the main reason we're still stuck going on and on about whether or not the cleric who's wearing Sharran imagery should be recognisable as -- or even just suspectable of being -- a Sharran.

And to be honest, I have to stop myself to get involved with that argument to just because of what a godawful job you are doing of arguing against it. You just literally asserted word by word that post hoc ergo propter hoc and you have the gall to throw stones about other people's jumps of logic in that glasshouse of an argument you've built. In the very same response even!


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So a simple solution would be to have our dear narrator give us a short recap of who Shar is in the Forgotten realms at an early point in the game, as she seems to play a major role.
It could be a quick recap of Shar vs. Selune and describing their roles.

And it's for the PLAYER, not for the characters ingame.

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It occurred to me just now that your party's reaction to Astarion's big reveal isn't terribly different from their reaction to Shadowheart's. Basically, "Oh, is that so? Well, leave me out of it." It's more negative where the reaction to Shadowheart's is more interest/fascination, but it's pretty low key given the circumstance.

So I think either it's a consistency that supports the argument that there aren't major problems with Shadowheart wrt Shar, or represents an overall casualness to dialog which could, in the most generous terms, be called immersion-breaking.

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Originally Posted by organichilimango
It’s EA, so she’s probably gonna wear a cloak when the game is released. But the cloak animation isn’t ready just yet…

Or, she could just start with a generic armor and retrieve her personal set at the goblin camp or some such. Could be one of those events about Shar, even, like the helmet and the statue.

Originally Posted by colinl8
It occurred to me just now that your party's reaction to Astarion's big reveal isn't terribly different from their reaction to Shadowheart's. Basically, "Oh, is that so? Well, leave me out of it." It's more negative where the reaction to Shadowheart's is more interest/fascination, but it's pretty low key given the circumstance.

So I think either it's a consistency that supports the argument that there aren't major problems with Shadowheart wrt Shar, or represents an overall casualness to dialog which could, in the most generous terms, be called immersion-breaking.

Gale's reaction, most especially, is laughable at best. I mean, i guess he wants to tap that, but you'd think a Chosen of Mystra would have more of a problem with a cleric of Shar.

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Originally Posted by GM4Him
But make no mistake. I think she should either just own it up front if she's gonna wear obvious armor, or her outfit needs to be tweaked.

It would be a small change. Make the stones blue, not black. There. Problem solved. Shoot! Shar is a goddess of trickery. Have it be blue or something similar in the beginning, and then have it change colors to black later, after you know the truth.
as I said like 5 pages ago, there are destroyed armors in the files and if she is dead and looted before the crash, she spawns back with a bandit armor while lae'zel don't get anything new... those are loose evidence but it still points towards her not necessarily wearing her "red herring" armor.

that being said, clerics need a holy symbol to cast most of their spells so she would still have to be carrying some symbol...

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Originally Posted by Dexai
You can keep claiming "from my perspective, it's the Jedi who are evil" however much you want;

No. In my argument, you are on the side of the Sith. I am on the side of the Jedi. See how that works?

Originally Posted by Dexai
you're still arguing in circles and refusing to respond to other people's arguments.

I have literally responded to every argument. I have been entirely consistent. I am right. The best argument your "several people" have dredged up is that people would look "sideways" at someone wearing onyx, cause. Just cause. Just cause some baddie gods like black gemstones in some deity source books. Not because any of those source books actually *say* anything about people looking sideways at someone wearing onyx.

Originally Posted by Dexai
This is bordering on delusional. That "obfuscation" was me responding directly to the argument you were making about religions.

I humored the poorly made argument about how recognizable satan was to the average person in a world where Christianity is quite literally the largest religion with well over 2 billion members.

But just because I humored the argument in one comment doesn't change the fact that the argument itself is obfuscation. The whole point of whether or not someone recognizes satan has nothing to do with whether or not wearing jewelry equates to worshiping Shar.

There's nothing delusional about that. It comes down to a simple lack of understanding about what was being said, likely because of defensiveness and an inability to escape prideful, rigid thinking.

Originally Posted by Dexai
This thread is about the need for the player to know who Shar is before Shadowheart's reveal in order to be able to make an informed role-playing decision about how their character should react to it.

And I made a point of saying that while I'm okay with more lore being shared if there's a good moment in the game to do so... I don't actually think it's necessary. I think it probably works better the way it is now, which is to say that Tav has reason to say he doesn't care, but as time goes forward and Tav learns more, then maybe Tav will have more reason to care.

Going straight into: "your character knows Shar is irredeemably evil" is dumb, in my opinion. It's weak storytelling sauce when Shadowheart is such a big part of the story right now. I think that approach isn't very good and is indicative of mediocre storytelling mindsets.

Originally Posted by Dexai
You are the main reason we're still stuck going on and on about whether or not the cleric who's wearing Sharran imagery should be recognisable as -- or even just suspectable of being -- a Sharran.

You can stop going on and on any time you want. I'm only responding to comments. If you live in a world where you think people have to agree with you, I can see how you might be frustrated.

Originally Posted by Dexai
And to be honest, I have to stop myself to get involved with that argument to just because of what a godawful job you are doing of arguing against it. You just literally asserted word by word that post hoc ergo propter hoc and you have the gall to throw stones about other people's jumps of logic in that glasshouse of an argument you've built. In the very same response even!

Okay, let's walk through this.

1. Your argument is that Larian knowingly put Shadowheart in armor that showcases her worship of Shar.
2. And because of that, people should know that Shadowheart worships Shar.
3. But if Larian knowingly put her in obvious armor...
4. Then why didn't they have people recognize her worship of Shar?

Or are you arguing that Larian accidentally put her in armor that obviously showcases her worship of Shar?

If they made the design decision on purpose... knowing that people would recognize her worship of Shar... then why do people in their setting not recognize that she worships Shar?

I'm making a simple point that should be easy to follow. This is not an argument that the sun rises because the rooster crows.

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Originally Posted by Innateagle
Originally Posted by organichilimango
It’s EA, so she’s probably gonna wear a cloak when the game is released. But the cloak animation isn’t ready just yet…

Or, she could just start with a generic armor and retrieve her personal set at the goblin camp or some such. Could be one of those events about Shar, even, like the helmet and the statue.

Originally Posted by colinl8
It occurred to me just now that your party's reaction to Astarion's big reveal isn't terribly different from their reaction to Shadowheart's. Basically, "Oh, is that so? Well, leave me out of it." It's more negative where the reaction to Shadowheart's is more interest/fascination, but it's pretty low key given the circumstance.

So I think either it's a consistency that supports the argument that there aren't major problems with Shadowheart wrt Shar, or represents an overall casualness to dialog which could, in the most generous terms, be called immersion-breaking.

Gale's reaction, most especially, is laughable at best. I mean, i guess he wants to tap that, but you'd think a Chosen of Mystra would have more of a problem with a cleric of Shar.

I'm not sure what good that would do. I mean the thread is predicated on "the game should provide the knowledge in a way that doesn't involve me doing any reading", so swapping out the armor later wouldn't really matter, because they still wouldn't know what it meant.

In regard to Gale:
You mean "Former Chosen of Mystra", right? I'm not sure how far you've progressed his little arc, but she kicked him to the curb, so maybe he finds SH attractive, and is willing to ignore her little foibles, knowing how fickle the Deities can be.

In so far as symbolism goes, and all the "but Onyx", maybe she likes dark stones? I mean, we know that isn't the case, but our characters? I guess if we're metagaming, then yeah, but otherwise? Do all the other Gods sit their followers down and give them tutorials about all of the specifics of their opposed deities, or is it more "we hate this God/Goddess because reasons"? Is it to be assumed that, just because some decorations happen to be significant to some deity that a person can't find them attractive, or appealing to wear?

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