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Originally Posted by smberg
Lady Avyna - this thread is getting exhausting to read. You did a great job of starting this interesting thread and getting the discussion going. But you personally making a response to every single post seems like you are trying to make this entire thread about you. It would have been much more interesting to read if you had launched it and then let it cook and marinate with a bunch of diverse opinions before jumping back in a half day or full day later. No need for one person to comment on every single post. I respect and enjoy reading your opinions and ideas, but I want to see a bunch of opinions and ideas without one person taking over the thread.

I’m sorry for the thread making you feel exhausted. This is not how I imagined the thread to become but it seems that talking about Astarion is a trigger point for some. Especially after asking why is he so disliked. This thread is a discussion thread which is why I have responded to almost everyone. That’s the part of having a discussion. Again, not my intention to make it feel exhausting. Sorry about that.

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I would like to go back to discussing the other companions. I see Astarion’s vampirism is a big problem for some people. The only reason why I asked some to elaborate on their dislike for Astarion is because I don’t see anything wrong with how Astarion is written. It’s seems based on responses that some just don’t like Vampirism even though this exist is DND. This thread was not intended to become just about Vampires. We have neglected the other characters long enough…lol. Gale seems to be another character that has caught my interest based on some responses. Does he even have a tadpole and if so, why did we not connect with him. Someone pointed that out and I found that interesting.

Last edited by Lady Avyna; 02/11/21 11:31 PM.
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Does he even have a tadpole and if so, why did we not connect with him. Someone pointed that out and I found that interesting.

Yes, he does. He gets tadpole powers, can use the tadpole in conversations, can be tested by ormellum and Ethel, etc. He has a tadpole the same as everyone else. He didn't do the brain connect upon first meeting, but you certainly can prod his thoughts at other times. There's no big mystery surrounding the lack of initial connection, unfortunately; there are two primary possibilities. The first is that it's an oversight or unintentional side effect of design (Gale wasn't initially intended to be in the first EA batch of characters... though in this situation, you'd expect them to have put something in by now probably). The other in universe possibility is that Gale has the most well-ordered and trained mind in the group - as an experienced wizard - and he actually just has better control of his tadpole when we first meet up, than the others do. If we try to pry into his mind at that point, he locks us out, even on a success, so he's being communicated as having strong mental faculties.

I'm just really curious why people who don't trust him don't - unlike practically everyone else, he never lies to us or deceives us. Saying that "he could" be lying about all of this and being manipulative is an empty argument because that's literally true of every single thing we see and hear from every single person, if you go that route. There is no indication that he's being in any way dishonest, and many indications that he is being truthful and forthright, throughout the EA... saying "Well you just don't know him yet" is equally empty - because we all know him as well each other, and are working off the same evidence. I've yet to see anyone put forward any actually substantive reason for why they think he's up to something or deceiving the party - or even any explanation of what made those people feel that way, and I'd really like to understand it, since there's quite literally nothing that I'm aware of in the game to see that points in that direction.

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Originally Posted by Niara
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Does he even have a tadpole and if so, why did we not connect with him. Someone pointed that out and I found that interesting.

Yes, he does. He gets tadpole powers, can use the tadpole in conversations, can be tested by ormellum and Ethel, etc. He has a tadpole the same as everyone else. He didn't do the brain connect upon first meeting, but you certainly can prod his thoughts at other times. There's no big mystery surrounding the lack of initial connection, unfortunately; there are two primary possibilities. The first is that it's an oversight or unintentional side effect of design (Gale wasn't initially intended to be in the first EA batch of characters... though in this situation, you'd expect them to have put something in by now probably). The other in universe possibility is that Gale has the most well-ordered and trained mind in the group - as an experienced wizard - and he actually just has better control of his tadpole when we first meet up, than the others do. If we try to pry into his mind at that point, he locks us out, even on a success, so he's being communicated as having strong mental faculties.

I'm just really curious why people who don't trust him don't - unlike practically everyone else, he never lies to us or deceives us. Saying that "he could" be lying about all of this and being manipulative is an empty argument because that's literally true of every single thing we see and hear from every single person, if you go that route. There is no indication that he's being in any way dishonest, and many indications that he is being truthful and forthright, throughout the EA... saying "Well you just don't know him yet" is equally empty - because we all know him as well each other, and are working off the same evidence. I've yet to see anyone put forward any actually substantive reason for why they think he's up to something or deceiving the party - or even any explanation of what made those people feel that way, and I'd really like to understand it, since there's quite literally nothing that I'm aware of in the game to see that points in that direction.

I know one of things someone pointed somewhere is Gale's knowledge of Netherese magic. Not to say he is well verse in that type of magic but in a conversation that I saw he kinda gives you the impression that he knows more than he's letting on. We know from Auntie Ethel that the tadpoles have been tampered with Netherese magic. Did Gale sense Netherese magic in his tadpole but didn't say anything to us? Which could be why he seems more in control of his tadpole and even able to block us out as you said. It's one of the reasons why I have mixed feeling about Gale. There seems to be something off about him. Nothing necessarily bad just off.

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It's still true about Gale that he's the companion we seemingly get the least amount of information on. He's very clever, has the most interesting insights into the events going on, but as far as his past and how they've lead him to where he is currently, not much. He'll be the most interesting one to play as, but the one I'd miss the most not having commentary from.

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Originally Posted by Sozz
I was hoping you'd chime in KillerRabbit. Trauma as liberating force, is not uncommon today, I was surprised (in a good way) at how subversive the "interrogation" scene between Kylo Ren and Rey was in The Force Awakens. Sexual politics in stories are always interesting to me, I think because it's such a veiled subject in the public square, I think this is also one of the reasons why vampire fiction is so compelling to people.

It's kind of interesting to compare modern vampires and werewolves this way, vampires are allegories for decadence, while werewolves are about uncontrolled animalistic passions, but they're allegories have been twisted together. I'm not totally sure why. Possibly because vampires are more popular they subsume the aspects of other stories.

Thanks!

Great insights. Yes, I was also struck by the sexual politics in that scene as well. I clearly remember thinking "this is Disney"? smile

Great breakdown of the archetypes! Yes, the werewolf is pure ID and some of that has been imported into vampire fiction. But to be fair to the conflaters this isn't entirely divorced from the original. Because while the count appears in polite society, when we meet the transformed Lucy she has lost all of Victorian manners.

Okay! The OP has kindly asked that we stop the hijack but I had to acknowledge @Sozz 's insights.

So here's my attempt to get the thread back on track:

I like Wyll. While I don't like thoroughly modern characters that seem out of place in a medieval fantasy (looking at you Nenio) I like Wyll because he's a character that belongs in Faerun yet his his conflict speaks to the present. He's an influencer. He's a good guy who is simultaneously empowered and hindered by his obsession with his image.

I can't remember her name but Wyll reminds of that vegan influncer who was caught on cell phone eating fish and was forced to apologize to her followers.

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Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
I know one of things someone pointed somewhere is Gale's knowledge of Netherese magic. Not to say he is well verse in that type of magic but in a conversation that I saw he kinda gives you the impression that he knows more than he's letting on. We know from Auntie Ethel that the tadpoles have been tampered with Netherese magic. Did Gale sense Netherese magic in his tadpole but didn't say anything to us? Which could be why he seems more in control of his tadpole and even able to block us out as you said. It's one of the reasons why I have mixed feeling about Gale. There seems to be something off about him. Nothing necessarily bad just off.

It's true that we know he's studied Netherese magic quite extensively - that's an important part of his own situation, after all, and he makes no secret of that. I find it unlikely that he'd be aware that the tadpoles were tampered with using nethersese magic since he's a Wizard - he can't innately sense for feel the weave at all, and performs most of his magic through raw intellect and precise form; to make an analogy - he knows just precisely how to put the pipes in place and how to make the water flow, to make a beautiful fountain appear, and he knows it well enough to do it with a blindfold on, but he cannot actually feel the water flowing, as a sorcerer can. At best he feels the vibrations that the pipes make when it does flow, but not the water itself. Gale has to evoke a specifically designed spell in order to let him actually feel the weave - that's what he's doing in the weave scene - any other time, he doesn't actually feel it. It's why your sorcerer has a line in response to say that that's just what you feel every day, and Gale is wistful when he hopes that you appreciate what a gift that is.

So, unless he turned very specific magic on the tadpole in his own head, he's not going to feel anything from it. The one gap there is that, being the person he is, I'm sure he'd absolutely have tried to do everything he could to study and examine his tadpole situation, which would likely include trying to detect if any magic was present in it, as an answer to why they hadn't started turning... but we don't have those spells in the game, either... so... I don't know what the answer is there.

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Cool topic, and really interesting to see how other people's perceptions of the companions are. Overall, I quite like the BG3 cast as characters, maybe not so much as people I'd hang out with.

Interactions with the current BG3 cast emulates a "neutral/slightly evil" table top party with just a hint of intraparty tension (but not full bown PvP). They definitely feel different from the companion I'm used to in most other RPGs - who are often far more deferential to the main character (who usually becomes the leader by default), and tend to feel really designed around your story. Each of the BG3 companion really feel really alive and have tons of motivation and agency. They may be working with you right now, but are not subservient to you, and they will remind you of it.

In fact, I'd suspect that this table-top-like experience is can throw off the audience that mostly play single-player RPGs (where you're are asked to be the "main character"). Whereas "main-character syndrome" is often discouraged in table-top - so your interactions can look quite a bit like those in BG3 and it's fun to have that in a digital format. Everyone's got a prominent background story and they drive the plot as much as you do. However, at least in the EA, I do feel like Larian is currently over-focused on the "specialness" of the companions when compared to the main character. The custom main character NEEDS to have equally compelling content to balance out the background of the companions. Otherwise we will have an "inverse-main-character" syndrome where we play the role of the NPC to the companion's story.


As the individual companions - my thoughts are based on multiple playthroughs through various patches. Some changes might have happened in recent updates that I haven't caught/noticed. Regardless (Spoilers Obviously):

Lae'zel:
I find Lae'zel is a fascinating study of Githyanki culture, but otherwise a difficult character to judge. The best and worst parts of her character is that a lot of it is actually obfuscated by her Githyanki indocrination. Given the Githyankis' social Darwinistic beliefs, her brashness, racism, and ruthlessness is very in-character of a typical Githyanki. Underneath that surface, we know, via her dream, the mirror, and reading her through the tadpole, that Lae'zel is desperately wants the validation of her Queen, and is deeply insecure about her place in Githyanki society. However, even that can be a part of the Githyanki culture - as it makes sense that the complete lack of stable social bonds and a fickle social status that is based only on "merit", would make anyone insecure.

One thing that does truly stands out as a Lae'zels characteristic is that the game heavily implies that she is extremely naive when it comes to the deeper, inner workings of her own culture - and I love this. She appears to have bought into the propaganda lines of the Gith without understanding the true political context and motivations. We see this heavily hinted at during the Gith Patrol encounter in regards to the "purification" process. This is the part of her character and story that I'm most excited for, and it's been well set-up for when we finally visit the Githyanki Creche to develop further. I like how her plotline is tied heavily into the Act 1 main quest, and usually do like to take her in my party (despite always making sure to start every playthrough by yeeting her off the Nautiloid , as is tradition).

Overall, I'm pretty neutral towards her in terms of likeability, but find her story and character interesting.


Shadowheart
As a person, I think I like Shadowheart the most. In terms of her story/background though, despite it being heavily tied to the main plot, there really doesn't have much for us to dive into at this point. We don't know much about her mission or the artifact related to it (only that it seems to counter the Absolute). The hand glowing sequence does hints at a something more, but I'm less excited about the specific reveal and more about how that'll change her character. The game works hard to show her more sentimental and altruistic sides - as highlighted by the Tiefling sequence and the Mirror of Desires in the Hag's lair, so I feel like that is strong foreshadowing for what to expect.

I do find it interesting that she's seemingly very well adjusted for someone who's missing massive chunks of her memory. Despite being pretty uncompromising when it comes to her mission, she can be very pleasant and sociable depending on your choice and actions. She's a gal that just wants to do her job and GTFO - I can respect that. Very much like Lae'zel I'm intrigued to see how much she can potentially change throughout the game as more of her past is revealed, and comes into conflict with her current beliefs.

Lastly, I know a lot of people have pointed out how blatant her worship of Shar is, which makes for a silly reveal / plothole, which I do agree with if it's kept unanswered. I am reserving judgment on that until we see the end of that story though, as it's only a plothole if it goes unexplained. Assuming that it's not, I personally suspect that the obvious Shar worship IS actually the disguise.

Overall, I find her current story only decently interesting, but I find her very relatable as a character.


Gale:
He's probably the most intriguing companion for me - in that I'm very curious as to how his story will turn out. I really like how Gale is written - in that he's jovial and friendly on the surface, but as you dive deeper, you get a glimpse of someone who can be as arrogant as he is egoistic, incredibly manipulative, and seemingly power-hungry enough to endanger the rest of the world if it will fulfill his ambitions.

Some of the scene's I'm referring to are (spoilers) - if you sleep with him before he tells you his past/situation - give him crap for not telling you and he'll straight up tell you that he specifically chose not to, in order to guarantee sex. Alternatively, choose to romance someone else over him at the party, and you'll get to see a very different, pushy Gale. Also, if you do not feed him sufficient artifacts, he'll accept Raphael's deal. The way he talks to you after - the passive aggressiveness - is straight up scummy, and I freaking love it.

All this, makes Gale an interesting and complex character in my eyes. Because despite what I've outlined above - he's not 100% evil either. There are aspects of him that seem to want to genuinely just be a decent person. Gale's story doesn't tie in as closely to the main plot as Shadowheart's and Lae'zel's, but I think it actually encapsulates the central theme of power - the pursuit, validation, and morality of it, much closer than any others. Mechanically, I also think Gail is by far the "most special" character (death effects, plot armor, even a special death cutscene), and this could help amplify his story, or completely backfire and simply make him the creator's pet (kind of like Fane in DOS2).

Overall, I kinda hate him as a person, but also find his character and story the most intriguing of all because it can go in so many different direction. He's got me guessing.


Astarion:
Astarion probably rates the lowest for me as a character and companion. His goals, motivations, and characteristics have enough depth to tell a competent story, but is mostly unremarkable and a few key interactions really sour him for me. I recently made a very long post about this - but it boils down to the string of interactions you have with him early in the game - his initial oafish, hostile introduction and the boundary breaking, creepy attempt to drink your blood after. Together, they really forces a player to ask the question as to - why am I inviting this person to join? Why am I keeping him around? Regardless of your player's alignment.

I mentioned earlier on that BG3 does a good job of emulating a table-top-like interactions when it comes to the companions. Astarion is the player that is a bit too anti-party ("it's what my character would do!"), and is remembered for making the rest of the table feel uncomfortable by creeping up on a fellow player's character to do something physical to them while they are asleep.

In terms of his personality, I don't mind that he's evil and sociopathic - but I do think he's bit too comically blatant about it (approving basically any capital "E" evil choices in the game). I believe Larian have started removing some of these since they were straight up petty (like kicking animals, etc). I saw some comments regarding Astarion having too much murderhobo tendencies, and I do mostly agree. I think a more generous interpretation is that Astarion, is in many ways, very child-like. He goes through huge swings in emotion (depending on how you treat him), lacks understanding of boundaries, and can be very selfish, petty, and whimsical. He puts up a facade to hide his trauma, but seems to also enjoy displacing it by witnessing or enacting various forms of aggression, kind of like a child-bully. He reminds me very much of more violent and extreme Gann from NWN 2: Mask of the Betrayer.

Definitely the companion I like the least as a person or a character, but still got enough depth that I think his story deserves to be explored, once you get pass the initial antagonism.


Wyll
Wyll is an instagram influencer turned adventurer and is willing to lie, photoshop, torture, and make pacts with fiends to make it happen.

Two main things compel me about Wyll - one, how low is he actually willing to go to protect his ego and self-image? And two, what is the true nature of his relationship with Mizora? Through all his dialogue and lies, we're told conflicting things as to how he actually feels about Mizora. One moment, he's claiming that people killing her will be doing him a favor. The other, he's willing to torture an innocent man to find her location. The man is so accustomed to lying that he probably doesn't even realize it when he lies to himself. I think the most telling information we have comes from when you have him interact with the Hag's mirror, where you find out he wants Mizora begging and cowering before him. Fitting.

I feel like Wyll is being set-up for either a full decent into villainy (anything to keep up his lie), or a severely rude awakening. Either way, I can't wait to see it play out.

Overall, I don't like him as a person but really can't wait to see how this experiment ends.


Wow, this got long.

With all this said, there is one thing I'd like to bring up in regards to the approval system - since it's so tied in with these companions. I sincerely hope Larian chooses to implement a system where high approval doesn't necessarily = good story outcome (i.e. like Mass Effect 2). Not only does it get in the way for you to RP your own characters, a lot of times, it's far better to call someone out on their BS than to pander to them.

I think a lot of frustration I've seen players experience in regards to the companion comes from learnings in other games, where higher approvals = better outcomes and more options, and thus they equate disapproval as failure. I think a basic, binary system like that would be pretty detrimental to the roleplaying aspects of the game. Obviously we don't know where this will ultimately go with BG3 yet, but I thought it's important to bring up.

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Great post, I read that linked thread just now as well. Hopefully the vampirism digression didn't derail too much in this one, but for me there's no fruitful way to discuss what one does or doesn't like about a particular character, or even all 5, without revealing at least some thoughts on genre or tone or ideas about characterization in general, or as you noted the party dynamic (say predominantly Evil vs whatever else). That's why I struggle not to bring it up. Cause like if one person comes here looking for a riot say "Big Trouble in Little China" and someone else came here looking for drama like "The English Patient" we'll get a pretty different sensibility going, and a pretty different discussion when it comes to any of these characters.

For example, say Lady Avyna enjoys Astarion as a tragic misunderstood character with some wit, and I see him as a comedic send up - we can both be dead right and dead wrong, and both still be puzzled about what is working and what isn't for the other person in his case hehe. Astarion looks and behaves so much like a caricature of a vampire, that it's hard to avoid having a quick conversation here about what sort of vampirism you prefer, sure to happen anytime he comes up. I mean it is his central defining characteristic after all - get rid of it and what's left? But does one want Astarion serious and romantic with some rye bawdy elements like Lestat in Interview, or do they want him just out and out funny like Nandor? Something else? I think he veers both directions, which is why he's kind of hit or miss.

For my part, I would give a standing ovation, if in patch 7 Larian completely changed his appearance to look like Willem Dafoe in "Shadow of the Vampire." But I'm sure I'd get staked in the heart (even if that's not supposed to work in this setting) for even suggesting such a thing. Why? Because the first impression is the whole deal here. We've already had it and so now he's set in stone, more or less. I mean watch the true Astarion fans cry out in sheer horror if they ever tried to change his hair or ditch his sparkle or his outfit or anything else about him at this point. Because despite our better instincts to dig deeper, surface appearances are often half the impression, if not the whole of it.

Even if I can picture how much more entertaining Astarion might be, and how much funnier I'd find it, if he was standing by the side of that road looking like a B-rate Orlok lol. Like really thinking that we wouldn't notice. Cause that's basically what's going on already, but just dialed up to 11 so there's no mistaking it. They could even modulate his voice, so it sounded less like an affected gaydar lisp, and more like that but + a fake teeth lisp too, and to me that would have been hilarious. A way better fit with the game's overall tone at this point. But I can't push that concept at all, cause it's zero sum now. If I win there, then everyone else who likes the character as-is, has to lose. Even if they'd never do it anyway cause of the banner art. Still you can go the same way with the characterization, and they've done it already with Shadowheart. That's why I wanted big blinking caution lights next to anything I might say here, because in my view if they change a character now, chances are it will upset more people than it pleases. So I think that's a pretty insightful point there about how he is sized up based on the earliest interactions.

I generally park him at camp, since that's the only place we ever see night time anyway in this game, and to me its just silly to be all rolling around with my vampire bud in broad daylight. He seems to approve of all my terrible actions regardless, so I can just assume he's there in spirit I guess, but mainly he's camp décor. Like I just keep picturing how I might perhaps have a different reaction, if he actually showed up at night with a little ambiance there. Or perhaps in a situation where the PC has a clearer motivation for bringing him into the fold. Something to gain from it, other than just the pleasure of his company, or the satisfaction of being all extra forgiving.

I don't know, he just tries the PCs patience a bit much for my tastes, and doesn't feel vamp enough to match his appearance. I wish if they were going to do a vampire or vampire spawn arch, that they'd set it up a bit more initially. If it's not meant to be comedic, then maybe they shouldn't make it so ridiculous at the outset. Then again, it's hard to say, because of all the current companions his current start location and story-in seems the most likely to be a placeholder. Even Gale with his portal makes more sense from a continuity standpoint, and Gale's already stretching it to the limits. I don't know I suppose there is already a giant Astarion thread, so kicking around too much here probably is overwrought, but the OP did seem curious, like why some people react in one way rather than the other.

For those who do enjoy Astarion, how do you feel about his grand entrance?

I suppose to be consistent with my earlier points, I should again suggest that they do nothing to change Astarion, but instead provide us with an alternative Vamp, so Astarion can have a rival too!

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Originally Posted by Black_Elk
For those who do enjoy Astarion, how do you feel about his grand entrance?

I suppose to be consistent with my earlier points, I should again suggest that they do nothing to change Astarion, but instead provide us with an alternative Vamp, so Astarion can have a rival too!

As far as Astarion's looks go, I see some want him to look more monstrous but considering that Larian has made all the companions romanceable, Astarion looking attractive makes sense. As for his vampiric nature, I think he has a lot of the common qualities but he's classified as a spawn not being able to create a vampire among other more powerful attributes. He tells you after the bite scene, that you are lucky he's not a true vampire or you might wake up with fangs. As for his entrance, I think it resembles his roguish nature and a foreshadow of his backstory. For example, sneaking behind you and pulling a knife to your neck is a rogue move. Accusing you of being his jailer, connects to his backstory of him being enslaved or "jailed" by Cazador. I notice the other companions also have similar entrances.

Lae'zel immediately goes into fight mode, a warrior move and immediately mentions the Githyanki (she wants to be respected among her kin). She is the most straightforward of the companions.

Shadowheart is trapped inside a mindflayer pod. There is a theory I saw someone write that Shadowheart is brainwashed to think she is a follower or priestess of the Goddess Shar but if she is brainwashed "trapped", she could be a follower or priestess of the Goddesss Selune. I noticed that every time Shadowheart is with you and you stumble upon a statue of Selune she immediately makes a disdainful comment, every time. It makes you wonder if that theory could be true. This is something that can be intentional in writing.

Gale's introduction of coming out of a magical waypoint and immediately lecturing you on magic seems to connect to his wizard side and his growing knowledge of magic. There is cloak of mystery with Gale, I think there is something more to him. Even if he is a good friend, there is just something that seems off about him.

Wyll, you first meet during the goblin fight outside the Druid Grove and one of the first things he says is, "Make way for the Blade of Frontiers." Right there is a foreshadow of Wyll wanting to be this popular folk hero. I can't quite figure out Wyll too much but I get the sense that he is hungry for attention for wanting to be a famous folk hero with a large following.

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Honestly, I think all companions have interesting concepts and backstories. The problem is how they shape their personalities and dialogues.

Lae'zel is the most cohesive and believable. My favorite.

Shadowheart was improved quite a bit on last patches (although she has some annoying lines occasionally).

Astarion is just a waste of a character, he would be so much more interesting if 90% of his lines were not infested with humor. He is more of a jester than a vampire-spawn.

Gale's lines lack inspiration and most of the time he is stating the obvious in the most uninteresting way. Very artificial, non-organic, off-putting dialogue.

Wyll lacks charisma. Forgettable.

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1. Astarian. I like his look and wouldn't change it all. Vampires are seductive, he's an elf and a noble so the hair works perfectly. Really good writing. His dominant traits come across: Confidence hiding a wounded neediness and insecurity, sadism, selfishness, laziness and haughtiness. Best of the current romances since the scars on his back work as good metaphor for the scars on his soul.

2. Wyll. Already commented. Really interesting character, nice example of a good person who made a deal with a devil.

3. Shadowheart. My initial favorite but she's gotten worse with each patch. She's supposed to be secretive, hard to understand, distrustful and mysterious but has suddenly gotten chatty, friendly and quick to trust. Not the way a Tsundre romance is supposed to work.

Reminds of how PoE ruined Woedica. She's god who, for thousands of years, has been working to make sure that no one knows the secrets of the gods. But, because some players had trouble following the plot, they made her into the friend that just won't stop texting. "Hey! Just want you to know the name of secret project that created all the gods" "Hey, just wanted to make sure you know that the gods were created by humans, not sure if you got my last 5 texts to that effect. Don't tell anyone! It's our biggest secret."

4. Gale. ugh. I just run around the gate so I never have to meet him again.

5. Lae'zel. Well written for the type but not a very interesting type. Every party needs a tank and she fits that role.

6. Not very excited by the idea of a paladin of vengeance who peppers every sentence obscenities into every sentence.

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I found something interesting that you can come across in the blighted village. In a cellar there is an ornate mirror where you get asked the question of how you would see yourself in the mirror. Each companion has some interesting choice answers.

Lae'zel for some reason only two answers you can give:
~ I'd see myself as a kith'rak: ghaik head in one hand, silver sword in the other.
~ I'd see the Zaith'isk, the purifier- a relic used to extract a tadpole.
(She hasn't lied about what she wants to the player. She wants to be a great warrior and she wants to get rid of the tadpole.)

Shadowheart and everyone else gets three answers: Shadowheart
~ I have no memory of my parents, I'd like to see them, at least once.
~ I'd see myself as Shar's Chosen with all her power at my disposal.
~ I'd see those who tormented me in the past receive the same.
(She misses her parents, she wants to be Shar's chosen, and she also seeks vengeance on those that wronged her. I can sympathize with that)

Astarion
~I'd see my home. My real home. The one I haven't seen in centuries.
~I'd see a way to safely keep the powers this mindflayer worm have given me.
~I'd see Cazador, my old master, burning in the sun.
(We learn here Astarion misses his real home. He wants to safely keep the powers the tadpole gave him, for what reason we don't know. Last, he wants revenge against Cazador, understandably so.)

Gale
~I'd see a wizard tower. A safe haven for me and a sweetheart-forever.
~I'd see myself in my next incarnation: a living manifestation of Netherese magic. A mythal in my own right.
~I'd see my rivals humbled- jealous of the majesty that I have become.
(His first response is loving but the next two seem power hungry. He wants to be almost God like, a mythal. His last one also reveals he has rivals and he wants to be greater than them almost in an envious way.)

Wyll
~I'd would see my father- his arms extended in forgiveness.
~I'd see Mizora, coward before me and begging my mercy.
~I'd see droves of admirers, gather to hail the Blade of Frontiers.
(He wronged his father somehow and seeks forgiveness. He wants Mizora to fear him and lastly, he wants popularity.)

As for the main character
~I'd see the ones I love.
~I'd look for a whatever spell will rid me of this worm in my head.
~I'd see my enemies suffering.
(I notice the MC's answers are similar to Lae'zel, Shadowheart and Astarion. Seeing loved ones, finding a way to get rid of the tadpole and revenge on enemies.)

I'm curious to know if seeing this might change some of your views on the companions. What do you guys think?

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We're discussing companions? Oh! Me, me, me, pick me! I wanna join too! \o/ *clears throat, insert sea gull meme*

Before I leave my fancy wall of text for whomever is suffering from a very boring morning/day/evening/night, I'd like to state the following about our companions in general: I like them. All in all, I find each of the characters filling their role well, and more often than not I believe they act according to their character design - which to me is far more important then whenever I like them or not (IC and OOC). Are they perfect? Well no - but I see mad potential in each one of them. Then whenever Larian will do something with that potential can only be known after the full release. c:

See, one of the many things that I remain much more optimistic about than some people in this forum is DoS2 (while I do recognize that it had several shortcomings) - and I definitely include the DoS2 companions in particular. Long story short: I adored each one of them, and I really hope to see Larian deliver the same kind companion flavors and development later on in the story. I mean, Sebille is one of the primary reasons why I am so optimistic to many of the at-first-not-very-pleasant-individuals in our party. c: I know Larian can write good character stories and I know that they usually provide great character development!

Alright! That will do as a disclaimer - let's dig in!

* Lae'zel - I believe a character of her personality and features definitely is needed in the game - even if she is a *very* poor match with my primary PC. As a player, I really do not dislike any of her personality features as I believe Lae'zel is probably the character that is most consistent about her character design. I mean - she is a servant of her queen, she has a clear goal and she has a clear solution to the problem our characters are facing - which, in her eyes, makes our dear Tav seem like -3 int when we're not listening to her as her knowledge - as far as she is concerned - is far superior to Tav's in the subject. Unfortunately for Lae'zel, my primary PC is not very good at taking orders - even less so when someone is as blunt and authorizing as Lae'zel is. X] I look forward to seeing (or if nothing else read online) her character development at full release, I do believe that hers will be one (nine?) hell (hells?) of a story. <3

* Wyll - A very well-rounded character, as his hero-complex sided with his great ego makes for an interesting character conflict. There are many reasons why I doubt that Wyll is of good alignment - his hunger for glory being one of them - and I truly believe that he represents many "good" characters, when seen in a truer light (aka, being good for the sake of looking good rather than for the deed itself). I truly look forward to seeing what Larian decides to do with that - AND whenever the PC will be able to influence him into different paths as he is one of two characters that I can *very* easily see going both good alignment and evil alignment as the story progresses.

Oh, I do find his attempts to flirt with both Lae'zel and Shadowheart nothing short of hysterical. I can imagine my character trying her best not to laugh as she overhear the conversations. X]

* Gale - ... Look, out of character I like Gale's design. He has a character stereotype tied to him that I appreciate dearly. However, there is a lot of red flags about him that makes me believe that Gale might actually be not only ahem-sort-of-a-camellia-situation - but I also believe he might have a much bigger story impact that we are lead to believe. He kind of gave me the mixed vibes already during my first playthrough, but ever since I read the discussions about him and saw the clips of what happens if you do not follow his instructions... Well. I'll just say that as far as I am aware, Gale might actually be the final boss of the game. X] Jokes aside, I can't wait to see what Larian has cooked up for us regarding Gale!

* Astarion - I actually like him a lot! I am generally weak for snarky companions - and Astarion brings snarky to a whole new level. X] While my PC might be less-than-impressed, consider me very impressed irl. laugh I do believe no adventure is complete without the *option* of bringing at least one character of Astarion's personality, and he is probably my favorite when it comes to commentary and voice acting. c: Remember how I said that there are two characters that I can very easily see going either good or evil alignment? Astarion is the second one - Larian got a ton of potential packed into this guy and I do hope that the player gets to influence which path it'll take! How cool wouldn't it be if we could "choose" (at least from a player perspective) to turn him into a evil vampire lord, or let him have a redemption arc? laugh

* Shadowheart - Now, if there is one character that I feel hesitant about, then Shadowheart would be it. She gives a lot of mixed signals and I find her very difficult to deal with - she gets angry and insulted if you do not consult with her and speak with her regularly, but at the same time she sneers at you as soon as you open your mouth in her direction. :| I am also not sold on the "I wear the symbols of Shar everywhere, can't help to foul mouth Selûne at every chance I get and I carry this mysterious relic - but nobody suspects a thing"... I mean, she is even worse than Astarion (that screams loudly as we cross running water) at hiding "secrets" - yet Shar followers are supposed to be very deceptive, and *GOOD* at fooling people. Whenever there actually is a good story reason for this (as people have speculated), time will tell - but I feel more hesitant(?) about her writing than I do with the 4 other characters. That said - I am still leaning towards trusting Larian in Shadowheart's design. I know that they will go out of their way to treat their origin characters well (for the better or worse) - and I doubt they'd let Shadowheart's character have such enormous flaws unintentionally.

-

Personally - I can't wait to see the remaining companions that Larian has hidden away from us. c: I am hoping we'll get at least one character that is a bit closer to nature and down-to-earth. laugh

Last edited by Dez; 03/11/21 09:17 AM.

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Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
I found something interesting that you can come across in the blighted village. In a cellar there is an ornate mirror where you get asked the question of how you would see yourself in the mirror. Each companion has some interesting choice answers.

Lae'zel for some reason only two answers you can give:
~ I'd see myself as a kith'rak: ghaik head in one hand, silver sword in the other.
~ I'd see the Zaith'isk, the purifier- a relic used to extract a tadpole.
(She hasn't lied about what she wants to the player. She wants to be a great warrior and she wants to get rid of the tadpole.)

Shadowheart and everyone else gets three answers: Shadowheart
~ I have no memory of my parents, I'd like to see them, at least once.
~ I'd see myself as Shar's Chosen with all her power at my disposal.
~ I'd see those who tormented me in the past receive the same.
(She misses her parents, she wants to be Shar's chosen, and she also seeks vengeance on those that wronged her. I can sympathize with that)

Astarion
~I'd see my home. My real home. The one I haven't seen in centuries.
~I'd see a way to safely keep the powers this mindflayer worm have given me.
~I'd see Cazador, my old master, burning in the sun.
(We learn here Astarion misses his real home. He wants to safely keep the powers the tadpole gave him, for what reason we don't know. Last, he wants revenge against Cazador, understandably so.)

Gale
~I'd see a wizard tower. A safe haven for me and a sweetheart-forever.
~I'd see myself in my next incarnation: a living manifestation of Netherese magic. A mythal in my own right.
~I'd see my rivals humbled- jealous of the majesty that I have become.
(His first response is loving but the next two seem power hungry. He wants to be almost God like, a mythal. His last one also reveals he has rivals and he wants to be greater than them almost in an envious way.)

Wyll
~I'd would see my father- his arms extended in forgiveness.
~I'd see Mizora, coward before me and begging my mercy.
~I'd see droves of admirers, gather to hail the Blade of Frontiers.
(He wronged his father somehow and seeks forgiveness. He wants Mizora to fear him and lastly, he wants popularity.)

As for the main character
~I'd see the ones I love.
~I'd look for a whatever spell will rid me of this worm in my head.
~I'd see my enemies suffering.
(I notice the MC's answers are similar to Lae'zel, Shadowheart and Astarion. Seeing loved ones, finding a way to get rid of the tadpole and revenge on enemies.)

I'm curious to know if seeing this might change some of your views on the companions. What do you guys think?

I believe this makes me doubt Gale's alignment further. X] Of course, I realize that there has to be options of any alignment when the player is in control - but I do wonder how much of a say we'll have in their actual character development later on... Thinking of something similar to Aloth in PoE1 where most of the choices you made (or at the very least how you explained your reasoning to him) gradually pushed him towards one of his two possible paths.

Last edited by Dez; 03/11/21 08:35 AM.

Hoot hoot, stranger! Fairly new to CRPGs, but I tried my best to provide some feedback regardless! <3 Read it here: My Open Letter to Larian
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Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
3. Shadowheart. My initial favorite but she's gotten worse with each patch. She's supposed to be secretive, hard to understand, distrustful and mysterious but has suddenly gotten chatty, friendly and quick to trust. Not the way a Tsundre romance is supposed to work.

Reminds of how PoE ruined Woedica. She's god who, for thousands of years, has been working to make sure that no one knows the secrets of the gods. But, because some players had trouble following the plot, they made her into the friend that just won't stop texting. "Hey! Just want you to know the name of secret project that created all the gods" "Hey, just wanted to make sure you know that the gods were created by humans, not sure if you got my last 5 texts to that effect. Don't tell anyone! It's our biggest secret."

Don't quote me on this, but saving her from the pod is a disservice to her character. I guess it makes her interactions more bearable for anyone playing the heroic sort, but for me it just dumped her down from ally and equal to boring underling.

Truth be told, i like none of the romances in this game, but as far as relationships go the 'friendship' with SH is the i enjoyed the most. Maybe because my PC is a formerly evil bullshitter, maybe because he still has that edge of ruthless practicality, but it actually felt like a slow building of respect (not trust) between two peeps who are working towards the same objective.

Then, of course, i talked with Gale or Astarion and my immersion was broken every time they treated me like their old time bud, with whom they can mess around and confide in.

Originally Posted by Dez
I believe this makes me doubt Gale's alignment further. X] Of course, I realize that there has to be options of any alignment when the player is in control - but I do wonder how much of a say we'll have in their actual character development later on... Thinking of something similar to Aloth in PoE1 where most of the choices you made (or at the very least how you explained your reasoning to him) gradually pushed him towards one of his two possible paths.

So good. PoE actually had that going for every character. Eder and his crisis of faith, Sagani and her people, the Devil and revenge, Pallegina and her people, the Grieving Mother and her... whole everything. Pretty sure Durance was the most static, but then again he died early on for me so i'm not sure.

Also, man. Haven't touched that game in years and i still remember all those characters' names and what they went through. And most of them were randoms with down-to-earth backstories, no snowflakes or anything. That's quite something. (Shade being thrown)

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Originally Posted by Dez
* Gale - ... Look, out of character I like Gale's design. He has a character stereotype tied to him that I appreciate dearly. However, there is a lot of red flags about him that makes me believe that Gale might actually be not only ahem-sort-of-a-camellia-situation - but I also believe he might have a much bigger story impact that we are lead to believe. He kind of gave me the mixed vibes already during my first playthrough, but ever since I read the discussions about him and saw the clips of what happens if you do not follow his instructions... Well. I'll just say that as far as I am aware, Gale might actually be the final boss of the game. X] Jokes aside, I can't wait to see what Larian has cooked up for us regarding Gale!

I agree with you on Gale, I too have the feeling that he gives off mixed vibes. He also knows his fair share of Netherese magic. I suspect he may know more than he's letting on and I wonder if he may end up being a "Solas" to Baldur's Gate 3. Not sure if you ever played Dragon Age: Inquisition but it was the same with the companion/love interest Solas.

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Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Gale
~I'd see a wizard tower. A safe haven for me and a sweetheart-forever.
~I'd see myself in my next incarnation: a living manifestation of Netherese magic. A mythal in my own right.
~I'd see my rivals humbled- jealous of the majesty that I have become.
(His first response is loving but the next two seem power hungry. He wants to be almost God like, a mythal. His last one also reveals he has rivals and he wants to be greater than them almost in an envious way.)

So, this was new to me - I hadn't actually seen these ^.^

They seems the sort of dangerous dreams a former archmage might have, and that middle one is particularly concerning, I'll admit. I still feel like I have to say, though - this is literally the only thing I've seen anyone put forward to back up the idea that there's something off about Gale. It can't only be this - there must be *something* else driving people who feel leery of him... I'm still dead curious about what else there is in game that's making people feel that way.

==

Looking at all the mirror dialogues, it gives me a feeling like this may be a future echo of the different paths we may be able to nudge the companions down or help them choose.

Last edited by Niara; 03/11/21 11:04 AM.
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Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Originally Posted by Dez
* Gale - ... Look, out of character I like Gale's design. He has a character stereotype tied to him that I appreciate dearly. However, there is a lot of red flags about him that makes me believe that Gale might actually be not only ahem-sort-of-a-camellia-situation - but I also believe he might have a much bigger story impact that we are lead to believe. He kind of gave me the mixed vibes already during my first playthrough, but ever since I read the discussions about him and saw the clips of what happens if you do not follow his instructions... Well. I'll just say that as far as I am aware, Gale might actually be the final boss of the game. X] Jokes aside, I can't wait to see what Larian has cooked up for us regarding Gale!

I agree with you on Gale, I too have the feeling that he gives off mixed vibes. He also knows his fair share of Netherese magic. I suspect he may know more than he's letting on and I wonder if he may end up being a "Solas" to Baldur's Gate 3. Not sure if you ever played Dragon Age: Inquisition but it was the same with the companion/love interest Solas.

I did indeed have the pleasure of experiencing the Solas-situation kind of recently in fact. q _ q

And I bet you're correct - cause something is not quite right with the magical gentleman in our camp! >:[


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Originally Posted by Niara
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
Gale
~I'd see a wizard tower. A safe haven for me and a sweetheart-forever.
~I'd see myself in my next incarnation: a living manifestation of Netherese magic. A mythal in my own right.
~I'd see my rivals humbled- jealous of the majesty that I have become.
(His first response is loving but the next two seem power hungry. He wants to be almost God like, a mythal. His last one also reveals he has rivals and he wants to be greater than them almost in an envious way.)

So, this was new to me - I hadn't actually seen these ^.^

They seems the sort of dangerous dreams a former archmage might have, and that middle one is particularly concerning, I'll admit. I still feel like I have to say, though - this is literally the only thing I've seen anyone put forward to back up the idea that there's something off about Gale. It can't only be this - there must be *something* else driving people who feel leery of him... I'm still dead curious about what else there is in game that's making people feel that way.

==

Looking at all the mirror dialogues, it gives me a feeling like this may be a future echo of the different paths we may be able to nudge the companions down or help them choose.

That's true, these answers could be a foreshadow on what path we may lead our companions on, depending on how high or low our influence on them is. I know Larian did say that our relationship with each companion can grow depending on our choices and how we treat each other. It can also influence their decisions.

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