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The memory wiping is presented in-game as a way to guarantee safety for the mission, not a "we mindwipe all followers".

Even with my knowledge of Shar, the way she is presented in the interactions with Shadowheart is not very evil. Just a secretive goddess that's being very paranoid.

So for someone new to the Forgotten Realms, Shar's backstory isn't really layed out. It requires meta knowledge.

As I assume Larian wants more people than d&d fans to fall in love with bg3, some basic background of Shar would benefit the player base before Shadowhearts reveal.

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Okay, some of you will probably be happy to hear this. I was mostly waiting around on the forums for Patch 6 to drop on Stadia, and it looks like it just did. Which means I'll be gone for a while. I might come back to leave my thoughts about the new Patch later, but at least for now you won't have JandK to push around any more! lol

See ya later, crocodiles.

PS... I'm completely right about Shadowheart, and you all know it! wink

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Originally Posted by JandK
PS... I'm completely right about Shadowheart, and you all know it! wink

What's got two thumbs and is totally right about Shadowheart?

*finger guns* This guy right here!

laugh

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Originally Posted by EvilVik
some basic background of Shar would benefit the player base before Shadowhearts reveal.

Bingo.

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Originally Posted by Ragitsu
Originally Posted by EvilVik
some basic background of Shar would benefit the player base before Shadowhearts reveal.

Bingo.
This is the problem when Larian throws in too many ingredients right from the start.

Selûne vs Shar, Mind Flayers vs. Githyanki and Red Dragons, Nautiloids, tadpoles, the Nine Hells and Devils, vampires with Astarion and Cazador, the mysterious Cult and the Absolute, Jergal and Withers.....

They can't possibly set the stage so that the player has basic knowledge of all that. But Larian threw everything at the wall to see what sticks.

BG1 was much more focused on the Lord of Murder when it started slowly unveiling the mystery bit by bit. In BG3 you're in a huge theme park and all of the above is just poured on you.

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Originally Posted by 1varangian
Originally Posted by Ragitsu
Originally Posted by EvilVik
some basic background of Shar would benefit the player base before Shadowhearts reveal.

Bingo.
This is the problem when Larian throws in too many ingredients right from the start.

Selûne vs Shar, Mind Flayers vs. Githyanki and Red Dragons, Nautiloids, tadpoles, the Nine Hells and Devils, vampires with Astarion and Cazador, the mysterious Cult and the Absolute, Jergal and Withers.....

They can't possibly set the stage so that the player has basic knowledge of all that. But Larian threw everything at the wall to see what sticks.

It is something of a shame that storytelling has evolved in this direction. The beginning of BG3 smacks a bit of the Michael Bay school of directing.

Originally Posted by 1varangian
BG1 was much more focused on the Lord of Murder when it started slowly unveiling the mystery bit by bit. In BG3 you're in a huge theme park and all of the above is just poured on you.

Remember in BG2 how you discovered elements of the world not tied to your Bhaalspawn heritage? You had to stumble across those side quests. While that game had a ton of depth, you didn't get overwhelmed unless you took it upon yourself to willingly dive into the deep end.

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Shar!

13 pages in half as many days, and it does seem that Shar could use some more love to quietly devour in the dark hehe

I think her order of justiciars is a good angle. Shift the crit dialog or Shadowheart reveals until after the player has seen them torch and blight the village in flashback scene. It could be recounted by just about any npc really, but instead of dialog make it cinematic like the other big ins. Where we see a few peeps dressed like Shadowheart roll into town, like Thulsa Doom, and just trash the place while bellicose music plays in the foreground.

Some villagers scream and get torched or kidnapped, while Shar's favored do their thing. And then after that part get's done, it's like you can turn to Shadowheart and give her the side eyed reaction at that point, just have it dished up that way maybe?

Gale does some pretty good exposition at various points, I'd lean on him for the Mystra, but again they could punch it up with some visual montage.

I think first dream could also work well for setting up a brief cosmogony, have the camera pull up to the stars (everyone just want's to look up right in this game right? lol) and then they get some cosmic allegory debrief that highlights the major players.

If the PC goes a bit more off brand, and is playing as Dwarf or a Gith or a Drow say, maybe take that opportunity to highlight in a different direction. So it keys off player input on some level, while still giving the main thrust. PCs choice of race or religion could determine the order in which the information is presented, while still eventually covering all based throughout the course of play.

This thread is about Shar, but in keeping with the Viconia theme, the Spider Queen's Vengeance is also something the PC should be clued into if they elect to play a Lolth sworn or if Seldarine then cover the bit with Eilistraee in the same sequence. That sort of stuff.

I think they could do it more character driven, with the Priests as avatars rather than the Gods in Olympus style form. Even though I dig the Harryhausen, its clearly going to be simpler to convey using some of the tools and models we have. Unless they do a fully legit production like they did for the opener/trailer with the music and all the flourishes, I'd think it would be hard to really do the gods in full form. More likely they'd have to use more of what we see on display as cut scenes in game for narrative delivery. Still I think they could probably pull off something. I really think a better fit though would be to deliver the material somehow in relation to the PC's inputs, to the custom character and whatever they selected during Char creation. That's more complicated than just a quick overall primer, but I think it would feel cooler if the game could somehow take that tact, and deliver it more paced out to spec.

Last edited by Black_Elk; 29/10/21 01:40 AM.
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Originally Posted by GM4Him
No. The DC shouldn't be lower. That's not how it works. The skill bonus is what determines your characters' level of knowledge. So the DM determines how difficult the roll is based on how common the knowledge is. Your Religion skill determines how much knowledge and training you've received on the subject. A cleric with no religion skill proficiency is a poorly educated cleric or one who just didn't care to learn about other religions.

The only thing a DM might do is offer advantage on a roll of the check called for it. A Sharran or Selunite cleric, for example, would receive advantage on all rolls related to Shar and Selune since they are archenemies and both religions would receive lots of training on both.
Ok, advantage works in that instance. It would make sense that clerics are not taught about other religions that don't have much influence on their own since the common person also would not be taught about this stuff either. I was just trying to get a bit more knowledge out to the player more easily.

Originally Posted by Ragitsu
Originally Posted by EvilVik
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.

This is a recurring problem with BG3: oversights that can be easily fixed with a sentence of in-game text or just a bit of spoken dialogue.
At the earliest opportunity in the game, the game should probably use the short description that we get if selecting a cleric in character creation. Perhaps the narrator says it when we see the first book referring to Shar. "As the greater deity of darkness, Shar is feared for her power over the night, secrets, and loss. She is locked in eternal conflict with her twin sister Selune, goddess of the moon." Then do the one for Selune as well "The Lady of Silver presides over the moon, stars, and navigation. Her power over the heavens is constantly challenged by her sister Shar, who seeks to plunge the world into eternal shadow." This should be done with mentions of all the other deities as well. Should be enough for people new to the lore.

Originally Posted by kanisatha
The counterargument is that if you are from any socially connected part of the Realms, say Baldur's Gate, the black circles don't say "decorative" but rather SCREAM "symbol of Shar."
Not sure how. Her symbol is a black circle with a purple outline. The armour doesn't have this purple, it is simply round cut black stones. That is about like saying in our world that someone wearing black clothing, or having dyed black hair or red hair, or wearing crystals, etc, is a devil worshipper. Perhaps someone who thinks white is good and black is bad would be cautious of her but it still doesn't "scream Shar."

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This might come across as snarky, but this is an honest question in good faith - I couldn't find my kid's 5e rule books, so I got new copies of PHB, DMG, and Monsters Manual. Neither Shar nor Selune make the index of any of them. The only mention I could find is single rows in the deities table in the PHB appendices. So, where does the lore about them that the character is expected to know come from?

Also, that table notes Shar's symbol as "a black disk encircled with a border". If onyx is part of the lore, it's definitely coming from somewhere else. Also, the border isn't specified (here) as being purple. Also, a disc is 2d, so an onyx decoration is very different from a disk.

Based on the information available without other materials, I'm finding myself more inclined to JandK's position.

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Originally Posted by colinl8
This might come across as snarky, but this is an honest question in good faith - I couldn't find my kid's 5e rule books, so I got new copies of PHB, DMG, and Monsters Manual. Neither Shar nor Selune make the index of any of them. The only mention I could find is single rows in the deities table in the PHB appendices. So, where does the lore about them that the character is expected to know come from?

Also, that table notes Shar's symbol as "a black disk encircled with a border". If onyx is part of the lore, it's definitely coming from somewhere else. Also, the border isn't specified (here) as being purple. Also, a disc is 2d, so an onyx decoration is very different from a disk.

Based on the information available without other materials, I'm finding myself more inclined to JandK's position.

Both gods are unique to the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. Good luck getting rich FR lore from 5e.

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Originally Posted by colinl8
This might come across as snarky, but this is an honest question in good faith - I couldn't find my kid's 5e rule books, so I got new copies of PHB, DMG, and Monsters Manual. Neither Shar nor Selune make the index of any of them. The only mention I could find is single rows in the deities table in the PHB appendices. So, where does the lore about them that the character is expected to know come from?

Also, that table notes Shar's symbol as "a black disk encircled with a border". If onyx is part of the lore, it's definitely coming from somewhere else. Also, the border isn't specified (here) as being purple. Also, a disc is 2d, so an onyx decoration is very different from a disk.

Based on the information available without other materials, I'm finding myself more inclined to JandK's position.

so you're telling me that "a black disk encircled with a border", a lot of black discs all over Shadowheart, Shadowheart SAYING "I'm a cleric of Shar", but no, everyone is just making up shit when they said that it's pretty obvious that Shadowheart is a cleric of shar?

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Just look at Larian's own imagery on the BG3 loading screens. They KNOW the black onyx gemstones symbolize Shar. That's why Shadowheart has a million of them while surrounded by a ton of Sharran cultists.

If I remember correctly, the brief image of the mural also shows a black circle when the narrator tells you it's Shar's symbol

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Originally Posted by colinl8
Also, that table notes Shar's symbol as "a black disk encircled with a border". If onyx is part of the lore, it's definitely coming from somewhere else. Also, the border isn't specified (here) as being purple. Also, a disc is 2d, so an onyx decoration is very different from a disk.

It's more that she is wearing a flat, perfectly circular, back bordered disc, in pride of place in the centre of her forehead - it's not part of a greater decoration, or just a coincidental fashion choice - it's a symbol, and it's really very difficult to honestly make any argument that it is not a deliberate symbol, when worn and displayed in that manner.

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Originally Posted by niara
It's more that she is wearing a flat, perfectly circular, back bordered disc, in pride of place in the centre of her forehead - it's not part of a greater decoration, or just a coincidental fashion choice - it's a symbol, and it's really very difficult to honestly make any argument that it is not a deliberate symbol, when worn and displayed in that manner.

I big time want to agree with that, it's just where would one look to understand that as indisputable? The way my brain wants to think of a pantheon, every argument that SH is a hot mess makes total sense. I went to the source material I'm aware of and am at a loss for the position I want to support

I want that situation on her forehead to be conclusive, because "that it's obvious" is the position I want to have. But with the materials I'm aware to look at, the idea that it could be mistaken as benign seems much more plausible

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How about this: She makes it clear that she's a cleric, and is wearing a diadem with a single symbolic decoration in the centre of her forehead - it's not reasonable to argue that it could be dismissed as not symbolic, which means that literally anyone contemplating it (short of folks with int and wis of 6 apiece) will identify it as a deliberate symbol that this cleric is wearing. Then we're at the question of 'what is it a symbol of, and who would recognise that', and once again, we're at the truth that Selune and Shar are known as facts of the world in this region - this exact region of the world has been their traditional stomping ground since Toril came into existence, and not long ago their literal divine avatars had a war in a nearby city and the surrounding lands.

As others mentioned, that war was classified as a realms-shaking event, which in the lore as written is intended to mean that it's an established and known event that literally everyone knows about, to some extent - I.e. Even people who live in Shou know this war between selune and shar occurred on the sword coast in faerun.

The idea that someone who lives on the sword coast would not look at her forehead, and see a symbol of shar, is quite legitimately a ludicrous non-starter in this context; supposing anything else is bringing our own real-world sensibilities into the matter. In This setting, here and now, there is a near-zero percent chance that an average muggins who lives in this region of the world wouldn't see it for what it is. At best, they might assume that she's posing with the intent of being edgy or scaring people off... but they'd recommend she pick a less objectionable symbol, since this one will get her lynched at worst and chased out of town at best.

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Yes, but you're talking in hindsight. And it's just a black circle. Could be anything.

Sorry, just resetting the whole thing so it can get explained for the 10th time in 4 pages.

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Originally Posted by Innateagle
And it's just a black circle. Could be anything.

We are discussing The Forgotten Realms; you are applying your real-world experience/knowledge to a specific fictional world - full of magic and various supernatural entities - that developed differently compared to our own.

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I don't think anyone disputes the fact that Shadowheart is dressed in a very Sharran way. For a "secret mission" she's very poor at secrecy.

The point and where the focus should be: How do we get the PLAYER up to date on who Shar is (the big bad evil goddess of the night) as well as Selune. The average Joe-player with no knowledge about the Forgotten Realms, D&D gods etc, would be pretty clueless as to why being a Sharran is a bad thing.

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(I think innateagle was making a tongue in cheek comment/joke, Ragitsu ^.^)

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Originally Posted by JandK
Originally Posted by kanisatha
Originally Posted by JandK
The argument is that, if you don't know she's a cleric of Shar, then they look decorative, not suspect.
The counterargument is that if you are from any socially connected part of the Realms, say Baldur's Gate, the black circles don't say "decorative" but rather SCREAM "symbol of Shar."

I say it looks like jewelry and decorations which I might add are clearly worn in "socially connected parts of the Realms.

But you say otherwise. So. Prove it. Prove that people in the Realms don't suffer other people to wear onyx. With or without a purple border, apparently.

I guess they don't use onyx in Baldur's Gate to relieve the pain of childbirth?

I guess the random treasure tables get changed in Baldur's Gate to make sure they don't give out any onyx?
The onyx part is irrelevant. It's the black circles that are a dead giveaway.

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