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Good morning/evening/whatever time of the day it is to you fine folks.

The reason I am making this topic directly is to address one of my main “problems” with Early Access. Again, I’m going to preface this with I enjoyed the hell out of EA. Honestly I am glad for the EA release, it shows Larian is confident of their work, but also their confidence & respect in the player base. Truly appreciated.

Before we start, I know that this game is still in development. Not everything may be implemented yet. There could be several things that are being held back, to which we are not privy to yet. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the case. But since it isn’t currently present, I feel it is a fair subject to broach.

I don’t want this to seem like a complaint. I enjoyed the hell out of the available content. But it is a concern that I think several people have.

This subject should have it's own topic. It's a big one.

I also know that this game is being made 20 years after the fact from a different developer. But if we’re getting a true sequel to these beloved games, it should FEEL like it’s taking place in the same universe even if it’s 100 years later. So there will be some comparisons. But I will do my best to be fair.

And that problem is my created PC. The one that we must create at the start of EA.

What is the point of this character? For what purpose does it exist?

Immediately at the start of BG1, your PC has a purpose. He’s Gorion’s Ward. There’s some greater purpose that you find out about over the course of the 2 games/expansion. Every action you did felt like you were making for your character. And furthered your story. Whether you embraced your heritage and treated people terribly or rejected it and were the savior of The Sword Coast.

Even though you have “simple” origins, you still have an origin. There is something for you to latch on to and explore their history over the course of these games. At the end of your journey in BG:ToB, your story was finished, you felt like you earned that ending.

I could go on about the created PC in BG1/2 but I don’t think it’s necessary. Most everyone knows the history.

In BGIII, since we cannot select an Origin character, we are forced to create a PC. Don’t get me wrong. I like the character creator. I am looking forward to the full version with all the options available. I also very much enjoy the companion NPC’s. But I can’t help but shake this feeling a big chunk of something is missing. In the original BG2, we are given a brief history of the PC in an opening cinematic, catching us up. You pick up shortly after in a new setting, continuing your story.

The issue in BGIII is the complete opposite. Your PC has almost no identity. Aside from a few spoken lines, you are a complete blank slate. Milquetoast. There is no explanation to show where your character hails from. There's not even a back story to show the events that led up to this game. If you read into the lore, you see the game takes place after Decent Into Avernus. But if I'm a casual BG fan, where are my connecting dots? I feel like another opening cinematic should be added if we create a custom PC giving some kind of back story.

It seems clear from the storytelling thus far that the Illithid are after individuals with special conditions. The companions anyway. It seems like every Tom, Dick and Harry you run into was abducted or touched in some way. Nobody seems “normal”.

The only normal person in this game is my PC. They’re vanilla as it gets. Nothing about my PC feels “special”, or there being a tale worth telling. Quite the contrary. There is no tale. Why were they abducted? What did they do pre-abduction? What are their aspirations? If they have any, they certainly aren’t revealed through the course of EA. Sure, selections can be made to mold the PC a certain way, but a giant piece seems missing. Every one of our companions has a unbelievably crazy back story. That’s fine, I like them all. But where’s my crazy back story?

So my options are select a blank slate or one of these pre-made origin characters. Again, nothing wrong with any of these characters. But they aren’t MINE. The decisions being made by me feel like nothing but choices to move the story along. When you’re using an origin character, that’s fine. But if we’re making a custom character who barely has any dialog, where is the intrigue to keep me going?

We need to feel like our creation is important. Like they have a place in this world. Currently they feel like they did in DoS. A blank slate that makes decisions. A merc for hire, with all the events happening to more interesting characters around us.

Again, maybe this hasn’t been added yet. The game is still a ways out. There’s tons to be added.

Either way, thank you for your time. Happy playing!



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Funny you should ask. I just listened to a podcast with an interview with Swen, and that came up.

https://www.usgamer.net/articles/ax...-on-baldurs-gate-3s-early-access-release

Skip to 26:15 for the start of Swen's interview, but the pertinent question is at 33:30. Swen claims that the backstory for the custom character has as much depth as that of any Origin character. At 36:00 he says that the "Who do you dream of" character is a pretty important character, key to the custom character.


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That's . . . Intriguing if the dream character is an actual npc and not just a mirage.

Especially since I plan on making the dream character look identical to my PC.

Clonemance is a go.

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Originally Posted by odesseiron81

Good morning/evening/whatever time of the day it is to you fine folks.

Immediately at the start of BG1, your PC has a purpose. He’s Gorion’s Ward.

Either way, thank you for your time. Happy playing!



Hi, and I wanted to include your courteous salutations, as I do appreciate them.

I snipped most of your post to concentrate on the most relevant part, and perhaps this is an essential disagreement or difference of style between us.

I intensely dislike pre-rolled characters and/or motivations required by the DM (person or computer). I play the game because I the player want to and hence it is both my responsibility and my privilege to explore/create my character's motivations.

I rather disliked the "chosen by the diety" motivation in past Larian games, purely for that reason.

In BG3, I really like having "holy crap I've been captured and I have to figure it out/escape" as a starting motivation to explore the world. And of course the generic "if I am playing the hero role, then defeating the opponent/bag guy comes with that"

All that being said, I can see clear differences between the PC's and generic townfolk; we run "to danger" they run away (they are not idiots after all, which can be another synonym for hero).


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I can confirm that I ran into my "who do you dream of" character while tonight.
Not sure how important they'll wind up being... but it did appear in the game (briefly).

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One the one hand, I totally agree with you. Why are these NPC's that you run into willing to say "lead on, I'll just follow you"?
Shadowheart's case, okay, maybe, she does say "it'll be nice to have company for our final hours".
Lae'zel though? Makes no sense for her to follow anyone. Much less some vanilla, level 1 PC. She's an Alpha. A big, bad-a$$ fighter.

It would be nice if there was something... even the NPC's asking "And why should I follow/team-up with you?". Then, have a custom answer based on the background you selected. e.g. Folk Hero - "Because I'm a hero of some reknown and I know this land". Or Criminal - "Because once we get to Baldur's Gate, I've got associates with connections that should make getting rid of this tadpole easy". Outlander: "While I may be a stranger in these lands, I know how to survive. I'll see us safely to a city where we can get help." Etc. Something like that would probably help address your concerns a bit. At least make the character slightly more 3 dimensional.

Then... on the other hand / playing "Devil's advocate".
It's an RPG. The RP being "role playing". So... fill the backstory in yourself! You don't need Larian to hold your hand and spoon-feed you everything, do you?
Let's say you rolled a Wood Elf Cleric. You can imagine that you've been living in the forests for most of your life but you set out to find other Wood elves that had left for the "big city" to take their chances there. You wanted to remind them of the role of the Elven gods, in case they'd strayed. Maybe even bring then back to the woodlands. But, while travelling to the city (BG, Waterdeep, take your pick), you got scooped up in a Nautiloid raid. You've been held in storage on the ship for days when the game opens. Point is... define the backstory for yourself. Figure out a role and then play it! smile

Personally, I don't worry about backstory when I'm playing a Good Hero.

But trying to play an "evil" character... I just can't. :P
Old habits die hard and I just can't bring myself to pick the "evil" option. So I'm going to have to invent a backstory with motivations just to keep me "in character" if I ever want to do an evil playthrough.

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This game has major problems, its worse then the divinity games yet gives no nostalgia for BG-BG2 players so it does very little right, I think it will be a year before they get the mechnics to work better and get act 1 done, this game is likely years away from being released fully... this is basically an alpha we'
re playing and its pretty terriable and broken in every key aspect. I'd love to see it go more the rout of

Last edited by Emulate; 13/10/20 06:07 AM.
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Originally Posted by Crikk
One the one hand, I totally agree with you. Why are these NPC's that you run into willing to say "lead on, I'll just follow you"?
Shadowheart's case, okay, maybe, she does say "it'll be nice to have company for our final hours".
Lae'zel though? Makes no sense for her to follow anyone. Much less some vanilla, level 1 PC. She's an Alpha. A big, bad-a$$ fighter.

<snip>

Personally, I don't worry about backstory when I'm playing a Good Hero.

But trying to play an "evil" character... I just can't. :P
.


To answer your last comment first, I too have trouble wrapping my mind around a truly unkind character. So I don't play them.

As for why does La'zel hang with me? I figured she would like to get herself healed, and make sure the "tadpole" in my head doesn't live...and she doesn't seem to care too much about how that happens. After all... following me she'd be "behind" me.. if ya know what I mean.

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1. Keissa the Mouse - born into a poor family Keissa was far smaller then the children her own age and indeed younger then her, yet it didn't stop her from trying to prove she was bigger then others. At a young age she heard a strange voice calling to her in her dreams, as she grew older she activelly sought places away from others. By the time she was 15 she ran away from home chosing to live as a hermit away from all the noise of society. It was during this time that the faceless voice spoke again to her. This Voice was the mad whispers of the Old One, for 3 years Keissa learned to draw upon the Old Ones power, through meditation and a bit of luck. it was shortly after her 18th birthday she was abducted by Mind Flayers, and so her journey to rid herself of that disgusting parasite in her head begins. Well she succomb to ceremorphsis, will she find a cure? Will she fall in battle? What awaits her as she desperately searches for a cure? Only Larian and the Great Old One knows. Will she keep those that she currently travels with close? Or grow tired of them, and their ways? Will she find love? Again only Larian and the Great Old One knows. (oops forgot cleric Keissa was deleted so edited to what Keissa is in BG3.)

2. Brulk Bloodspray - Born to a smith father, and cleric mother. Brulk grew up on, or around Balders Gate ever drawn like many other dwarves to battle. Driven to reclaim the lost Clanholds of his fellow shield dwarves. Brulk was a single minded force hell bent on reclaiming at least one of his Clans former holds from the black blooded runts that reside within it. All this changed when he was captured by Mindflayers and impregnated in the worst possible way. Yet revenge was his after he was freed during an attack by at first unknown forces, fighting his way through the massive ship. Slaughtering any that dared stand in the way of his revenge. With Us beside him, and that annoying bat nose doing what ever the bloody hell she does, Brulk heroically and in true dwarven fashion wrecked that floating tentacle faced fools toy. Later Brulk upon finding squid breath, vanquished his enemy with a size 15 leather boot, spreading what passed as it's brains (fool didn't have one if it thought it could stop a dwarf with a silly tadpole in his eye.) across the ground.

Screw origin stories I just make mine up on the fly! Typed and thought and those are just 2 of my many characters backstory.

Last edited by clavis; 13/10/20 06:14 AM.
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Originally Posted by clavis
Screw origin stories I just make mine up on the fly! Typed and thought and those are just 2 of my many characters backstory.


I agree. We already get to choose a background, and the backstory has to be connected to that somehow. So invent your own backstory.



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I agree with both sides of this argument to some extent or another. I have no problem headcanoning a backstory for my characters; my Seladrine Drow ranger Yvonnel for instance is a bounty hunter specializing in hunting and killing Lolth-sworn drow who try and make it to the surface for whatever reason. But I also think that the game should do more to help you anchor your character in the world. Even something as simple as what Pillars of Eternity did and giving you the choice to have a conversation with someone about your past would be a satisfying way to do that. And the absence of anything like that honestly just feels worse to me because of the depth and availabilty of multiple origin characters with deep backstories of their own.

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Originally Posted by odesseiron81

The issue in BGIII is the complete opposite. Your PC has almost no identity. Aside from a few spoken lines, you are a complete blank slate. Milquetoast. There is no explanation to show where your character hails from. There's not even a back story to show the events that led up to this game. If you read into the lore, you see the game takes place after Decent Into Avernus. But if I'm a casual BG fan, where are my connecting dots? I feel like another opening cinematic should be added if we create a custom PC giving some kind of back story.

It seems clear from the storytelling thus far that the Illithid are after individuals with special conditions. The companions anyway. It seems like every Tom, Dick and Harry you run into was abducted or touched in some way. Nobody seems “normal”.

The only normal person in this game is my PC. They’re vanilla as it gets. Nothing about my PC feels “special”, or there being a tale worth telling. Quite the contrary. There is no tale. Why were they abducted? What did they do pre-abduction? What are their aspirations? If they have any, they certainly aren’t revealed through the course of EA. Sure, selections can be made to mold the PC a certain way, but a giant piece seems missing. Every one of our companions has a unbelievably crazy back story. That’s fine, I like them all. But where’s my crazy back story?

So my options are select a blank slate or one of these pre-made origin characters. Again, nothing wrong with any of these characters. But they aren’t MINE. The decisions being made by me feel like nothing but choices to move the story along. When you’re using an origin character, that’s fine. But if we’re making a custom character who barely has any dialog, where is the intrigue to keep me going?

We need to feel like our creation is important. Like they have a place in this world. Currently they feel like they did in DoS. A blank slate that makes decisions. A merc for hire, with all the events happening to more interesting characters around us.



I believe your feeling of "I'm too much of a blank slate" stems from the fact that this game doesn't start from humble beginnings that you can relate to. It doesn't ground you and relate you to a family, a home, or an organization. It's done partly to accommodate for you to be able to be any kind of character, race, class, etc. (and frankly, the adopted child has been done too many times). You don't need a particularly exciting backstory if you start out in your backstory, and then set out on an adventure. This one you're almost literally just dropped into. Larian did this in both previous games, and I think it's a mistake to start "in medias res".

It is then further amplified by the fact that your dialogue options are intensely devoid of character. The NPC's and companions show great personality, but your dialogue options are entirely toothless. There's a whole slew of fun dialogue options in BG1 and 2 that can give you a sense of character, but the ones we have in this game are so bare bones that it portrays a person with only a semblance of a character, as if the tadpole has already started wiping out any sense of humor and genuine personality. I'm sort of preparing a bigger post on this topic.

I do have to say that I dislike how uniquely weird my companions are. Lae'Zel and Shadowheart are excellent, but Astarion would be better of just being a snob and not a weird sunbathing vampire who wants to either exsanguinate or fuck everything he comes across. Gale's story and accompanied mechanic I absolutely cannot stand. Wyll I never found on my first playthrough. If there is a story reason for why these weirdoes are kidnapped by the mindflayers I guess it's somewhat better, but not by much. I would still prefer party members that have a semblance of normality so I don't have to strain my suspension of disbelief too far and could actually relate to them.


On full release I suspect I will be playing an origin character IF there is one that it's slightly possible to relate to. I suspect and hope that the dialogue options for the origin characters have a bit more meat on the bones than those of a generic character. It'll give me more of a feeling of playing a character than just being an empty shell observing interesting characters and stories going on outside my vacuous mind.

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I think after character creation shoud be short cinematisc where you see your past choices or something similar that show who is your character.

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I don't have a problem with the companions origins. But I have no connection to the PC, he is a mercenary. Right now you could play the game without your self made main character (3 person party) and would miss nothing at all. Every encounter and every story bit would be the same. Why should the rest even team up with him? What are his goals? ( ... yes yes get right of the brainbug ... this feels like lazy writing).

The companions are trying to overshadow the main character at every interaction (as it is no difference if you or them do the encounter). In divinity it was fine, because every companion was in fact trying to overshadow you or at leased the divinity, who touched them was.

I would like to see a short playable origin story in the beginning to connect with the main character: Start with an origin story like in DA:O (not even as long) for each companion and one for self made characters (something more generic like BG I: for example a orphanage. Candlekeep in the beginning was CHARNAME's origin story)
Give a self made main character a unique quest line. Let the characters in the world react stronger to his reputation, race, class (and unique origion story).

Furthermore give the main character (no matter if it is a origin character or self mad) something special... being a spawn of a god had a nice touch in BG laugh .. and involve him in a special way in the main plot eg give him something which no of the companion can do.

Add non origin companion for a more natural party development in later parts of the story. It's enough to give them some banter and a quest line. You could even make them temporary.

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Spoilers, obviously.

Quote
What is the point of this character? For what purpose does it exist?


I think, story-wise, you're very much intended to be a blank slate. You were abducted by mind flayers and implanted with a parasite. *This* is what makes you special. I mean, think about it: one of the first encounters that you can have is with a group of fishermen that have been mind-controlled. If you try this encounter without companions you'll *probably* get your ass handed to you. You're basically a barely-competent adventurer. For that matter: the opening cinematic features the mind flayer ship just snagging every Tom, Dick, and Harry it can off of the street of Baldur's Gate. As far as we know thus far: there's *nothing* special about you, you were just thrust into this situation and have to make the best of it.

That being said: your character doesn't lack distinguishing features and they're not completely "blank." What I've noticed in my multiple playthroughs is that the selections you make at the start of the game are actually fairly impactful RP-wise, much more than I expected them to be. If you're playing as a Githyanki you'll find several skill checks that you simply bypass because your whole species has dedicated themselves to hunting mind flayers, so naturally you know quite a bit about them. If you're a rogue you'll immediately comprehend what's happening when you encounter someone trying to swindle you and be able to call them out on it. Your background, class, and selected skills *do* have an impact to an extent that I certainly didn't anticipate coming into the game.

I will concede that I have the added benefit that as an adult I *have* played a significant amount of D&D now; when I was making my initial character I was able to fully comprehend what I was doing. I *did* play Descent into Avernus, so I immediately recognized the context when places like Elturel and Avernus were mentioned (although the game's canon and our campaign's canon don't appear to have played out the same way). I'll also admit that I absolutely have a habit of creating my own head-canon for characters I make in *any* RPG I play. That means the very same thing that you're complaining about is actually kind of nice for me - I'm not shoe-horned into some backstory that conflicts with the narrative I've got going in my brain. As someone who, during character creation, envisioned my BG3 character as a D&D character that I would want to play I felt *extremely* rewarded when I realized over several runs just how many dialogue options that stuff opens up and I appreciated not being stuffed into some generic backstory that might conflict with the decisions I want to make.

I also want to point out that when I played Divinity 2 I felt like I was missing out by not playing one of the origin characters. You would approach an NPC, they'd have a discussion, you'd move on to the next NPC. As a custom character I had no particularly special storyline and I was basically just opting out of having my own character-specific questline. While I think that the origin characters in BG3 are cool and all, I don't feel put off when it comes to creating a custom character. They're verbose enough with what they're going through and what they need (assuming you take the time to talk to them) that I don't feel as if I *have* to play one to experience their story. Obviously we'll have to see how this plays out with the rest of the game, but as of right now I'm planning to make a custom character for my first playthrough on the full launch which was absolutely *not* the case with Divinity 2 for me.

So I guess the TL;DR is agree to disagree. Obviously I would *very* much like to see the voice lines put in for custom characters because right now I feel like a weirdo that just stares and smiles at people instead of actually *speaking*, but as far as character origins for the custom character go I'm perfectly cool with it.

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Originally Posted by KingWilhelm


I don't have a problem with the companions origins. But I have no connection to the PC, he is a mercenary. Right now you could play the game without your self made main character (3 person party) and would miss nothing at all. Every encounter and every story bit would be the same. Why should the rest even team up with him? What are his goals? ( ... yes yes get right of the brainbug ... this feels like lazy writing).

The companions are trying to overshadow the main character at every interaction (as it is no difference if you or them do the encounter). In divinity it was fine, because every companion was in fact trying to overshadow you or at leased the divinity, who touched them was.

I would like to see a short playable origin story in the beginning to connect with the main character: Start with an origin story like in DA:O (not even as long) for each companion and one for self made characters (something more generic like BG I: for example a orphanage. Candlekeep in the beginning was CHARNAME's origin story)
Give a self made main character a unique quest line. Let the characters in the world react stronger to his reputation, race, class (and unique origion story).

Furthermore give the main character (no matter if it is a origin character or self mad) something special... being a spawn of a god had a nice touch in BG laugh .. and involve him in a special way in the main plot eg give him something which no of the companion can do.

Add non origin companion for a more natural party development in later parts of the story. It's enough to give them some banter and a quest line. You could even make them temporary.


nearly every other game has done the whole he's someone special!! routine, thats lazy writing. as for the rest I've already spoke my mind about much of it in another topic it's 3 am. here and my tadpole is snoozing finally.

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I fully understand the point, especially in light of the companions who are as edgy and diverse as it gets and the limited amount of notable NPCs you meet and general lack of background and Forgotten Realms fluff. The world building in EA seems very generic and the PC rather bland.

Other RPGs have done the same, like the Elder Scrolls and Fallout series, for example. Your chars don't even have a name. They are the Vault Dweller, the Courier, the Prisoner. And you create the legend around them yourself, while the world itself plays the main part on the stage act until you reach that fame. I recall meeting these possessed bakers, fishermen etc. on the mindflayer ship and thinking that these have more story and background than the PC.

However, as others said, obviously that dream voice, the inside voice and the larva itself foreshadows some larger complications. But yeah, the first act, when compared to BG 1 and especially BG II is extremely lackluster. Just thinking of Irenicus prison and the story bits that unfold around him are menacing and intriguing. And being Gorion's ward gives you a purpose that has little to do, in the first act, with your pedigree.

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Originally Posted by Slapstick

It is then further amplified by the fact that your dialogue options are intensely devoid of character. The NPC's and companions show great personality, but your dialogue options are entirely toothless. There's a whole slew of fun dialogue options in BG1 and 2 that can give you a sense of character, but the ones we have in this game are so bare bones that it portrays a person with only a semblance of a character, as if the tadpole has already started wiping out any sense of humor and genuine personality. I'm sort of preparing a bigger post on this topic.


This is a good point. More dialog option to give your character character would be great. It's not only imported what you so but also how you say it.

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Originally Posted by Jahnooska
Spoilers, obviously.

Quote
What is the point of this character? For what purpose does it exist?


I think, story-wise, you're very much intended to be a blank slate. You were abducted by mind flayers and implanted with a parasite. *This* is what makes you special. I mean, think about it: one of the first encounters that you can have is with a group of fishermen that have been mind-controlled. If you try this encounter without companions you'll *probably* get your ass handed to you. You're basically a barely-competent adventurer. For that matter: the opening cinematic features the mind flayer ship just snagging every Tom, Dick, and Harry it can off of the street of Baldur's Gate. As far as we know thus far: there's *nothing* special about you, you were just thrust into this situation and have to make the best of it.

That being said: your character doesn't lack distinguishing features and they're not completely "blank." What I've noticed in my multiple playthroughs is that the selections you make at the start of the game are actually fairly impactful RP-wise, much more than I expected them to be. If you're playing as a Githyanki you'll find several skill checks that you simply bypass because your whole species has dedicated themselves to hunting mind flayers, so naturally you know quite a bit about them. If you're a rogue you'll immediately comprehend what's happening when you encounter someone trying to swindle you and be able to call them out on it. Your background, class, and selected skills *do* have an impact to an extent that I certainly didn't anticipate coming into the game.


I feel as though even if they wanted to get across that you're no one special, they could still have done that in a way that helps ground you in the world and who they are more. Like give them a chance to stop and talk about their life before, so that you can get a sense that your character has some kind of history or background you can connect with. The dragon age games all do a better job with that concept; in all those games you play as someone who basically just happened to be at the right place in the right time but they were chock full of opportunities to feel the impact of your character's past while also giving you chances to define details of it and what you actually thought of your past.

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Originally Posted by Jahnooska
Spoilers, obviously.

your character doesn't lack distinguishing features and they're not completely "blank." What I've noticed in my multiple playthroughs is that the selections you make at the start of the game are actually fairly impactful RP-wise, much more than I expected them to be. If you're playing as a Githyanki you'll find several skill checks that you simply bypass because your whole species has dedicated themselves to hunting mind flayers, so naturally you know quite a bit about them. If you're a rogue you'll immediately comprehend what's happening when you encounter someone trying to swindle you and be able to call them out on it. Your background, class, and selected skills *do* have an impact to an extent that I certainly didn't anticipate coming into the game..


I'm playing with my spouse, and we tend to try for different skills so as to compliment each other; and this certainly does mean that one of us or the other will have dialogue or action options that the other does not. So yes, I agree that the choices one makes certainly do flesh out later.

I would like to see MORE of them having an effect. Ideally I would like to see... oh let's say at least 3 skill/race/proficiency potential options in every encounter. Also at least good/evil and maybe chaos/law type options. Also humor/dour options. Yeah.. then I suppose there would be complaints that there are too many choices.

Can't please everyone I guess.

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