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Originally Posted by Gray Ghost


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.



I felt like this when playing yesterday, spoke to Astarion and asked about his history, he went 'Whyyy are you always bringing up the past!!!'. I had hoped this kind of question would lead to the companions having a follow-up question about MY character's past, would have been an opportunity to put some of the story I've made up for them into the game.

I understand it isn't possible to accommodate every single option in the game. However it felt clunky at the Tiefling party when suddenly all the companions want to sleep with you and none of them know basic and vital information about you e.g. favourite colour.

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Originally Posted by Newtinmpls
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.


I agree that they've been pretty good at including options for races, classes, what-have-you. But WHAT you say is still dreadfully unoriginal.

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Iv'e been thinking about it for a while now, and from all the rpgs I played the only game that ever gave me a complete blunk slate as a main character was Vampire: Bloodlines. in every other game there was some background to my character (in bg you were a child of god, in Kotor you were a blank slate but spoilers, in new vegas you were a curier, in jade empire you were a promising student, etc...). It worked in Bloodlines because playing a new Vampire is like playing a fish out of water and the real world is your origin. But I'm not sure it will work in Baldur's Gate 3. I'm trying to remember what was the character's deal in NWN1 but I didn't play much in that game so I don't remember. I do know that in NWN2 you had a solid origin... anyway it seems to me they need to think hard about how to make it happen. If it were up to me, I would give up the option to play as a companion and dedicate more time to writing some origins for the main instead.


Larian's Biggest Oversight, what to do about it, and My personal review of BG3 EA
"74.85% of you stood with the Tieflings, and 25.15% of you sided with Minthara. Good outweighs evil, it seems."
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You know, I created this thread right before I went to sleep for the evening. My initial post was very "knee-jerk" reaction after playing the EA.

If you had told me when I woke up and I read the responses that I could agree with several of the counter points made here, I'd have said "You're crazy!" But here I am 7 hours later. There are several good opinions in this thread coming from both sides.

I am still very much in favor of having a fleshed out back story. I feel it is important in any narrative driven game. Especially one such as Baldur's Gate where the core of the story is driven by your characters and their aspirations.

One of the biggest concerns from what I'm seeing here is:

What you say as your PC is incredibly boring/unoriginal/lack of depth.

I will be listening to that podcast Stabbey posted earlier in a bit.

Can anyone else who played more comment on the following? (I've done one play through and then about 1/3 of another but don't want to do much more and get burnt out)

The character you dream of (your guardian angel let's say). I've ONLY noticed this storyline advance when you use your Illithid powers. I have not encountered it normally while just resting. Is this the case? Maybe I wasn't resting enough? But I definitely noticed it more the second time around where I was using my powers on everyone. Seemingly every time I went back to camp that evening, there was a scene regarding how I was feeling the tadpole take over and then had a dream about this mystery character. Is it designed to be this way? What if we don't use our camp/Illithid powers much? Will there still be a way to see this story/character? Some people genuinely conserve magic/abilities more than others and don't want to use camp after every other encounter.

Thanks for your very valid points, and keep the discussion going, I genuinely enjoy reading them.

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To be mind flayer food ofc.

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I think the minimum Larian should implement is the Pillars of Eternity Model. I've said this before on this thread, but during character creation, during the "Who are You?" There needs to be like a convo with the tadpole. Asking questions about your backstory. The dream would be origins a la Dragon Age Origins, but that is unlikely to happen, so even just a conversation with the tadpole could really anchor you in the world.

So far, the only thing I've seen that really has these options are Clerics and Drow. Drow have some solid options. But the convo with the tadpole should be things like "how did you get captured?" and for things like if you're a lolth Male drow "What is your opinion on the matriarchal society of the drow?" etc.

I understand entirely creating your own backstory and writing it up yourself...but what if the world later on contradicts the backstory I've written?

Ultimately, more story work needs to be done for the custom character.

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Originally Posted by Arthellion
I think the minimum Larian should implement is the Pillars of Eternity Model. I've said this before on this thread, but during character creation, during the "Who are You?" There needs to be like a convo with the tadpole. Asking questions about your backstory.


I agree with this. Just giving a couple of options like:

- "Where were you born?": 1.Baldur's Gate 2.Waterdeep 3.Icewind Dale 4.etc.
- "How old are you?"
- "What's your favorite activity?": 1. Flailing innocents 2. Being one with Nature 3. Rescuing people, etc.

Just a couple of questions and answers for flavor. There's no need to go deeper than this because you're creating your character's personality as you adventure and you already have your Background from the character creator. Perhaps adding some small questlines to your selected Background would also help give your character some opportunity to develop.



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"The character you dream of (your guardian angel let's say). I've ONLY noticed this storyline advance when you use your Illithid powers. I have not encountered it normally while just resting. Is this the case? Maybe I wasn't resting enough? But I definitely noticed it more the second time around where I was using my powers on everyone. Seemingly every time I went back to camp that evening, there was a scene regarding how I was feeling the tadpole take over and then had a dream about this mystery character. Is it designed to be this way? What if we don't use our camp/Illithid powers much? Will there still be a way to see this story/character? Some people genuinely conserve magic/abilities more than others and don't want to use camp after every other encounter. "

Yes, it is 100% tied to the use of your tadpole. In my first run, I didn't use the Illithid power ever and I did not encounter the person I dream of AT ALL. Since now I'm on a "tadpole run", it is amazing to see how different the camp scenes are depending on your use of the tadpole (and that I get to know the use of creating a second character, lol). Very happy to see the developers work here.

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I disagree that the character does not have a "purpose"... The Character have to run to remove an ilithid pasasite in their heads... what they lack, i agree, is a "depth" and a personality...

I believe that a good solution for that, should make the Backgrounds you choose in the Character Creation more than just "2 aditional skills". Make the Background give you a backstory and other dialogue options, even if generic ones...

Sorry for bad english.

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Originally Posted by LizNuzz
"The character you dream of (your guardian angel let's say). I've ONLY noticed this storyline advance when you use your Illithid powers. I have not encountered it normally while just resting. Is this the case? Maybe I wasn't resting enough? But I definitely noticed it more the second time around where I was using my powers on everyone. Seemingly every time I went back to camp that evening, there was a scene regarding how I was feeling the tadpole take over and then had a dream about this mystery character. Is it designed to be this way? What if we don't use our camp/Illithid powers much? Will there still be a way to see this story/character? Some people genuinely conserve magic/abilities more than others and don't want to use camp after every other encounter. "

Yes, it is 100% tied to the use of your tadpole. In my first run, I didn't use the Illithid power ever and I did not encounter the person I dream of AT ALL. Since now I'm on a "tadpole run", it is amazing to see how different the camp scenes are depending on your use of the tadpole (and that I get to know the use of creating a second character, lol). Very happy to see the developers work here.


Problem with this approach is that anyone with half a mind would never use the powers of the tadpole. Everyone and their dog tells you there's a risk that that will turn you into a mind flayer which is basically a game over thing in this setting.

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Originally Posted by Moirnelithe

Problem with this approach is that anyone with half a mind would never use the powers of the tadpole. Everyone and their dog tells you there's a risk that that will turn you into a mind flayer which is basically a game over thing in this setting.


Exactly, if they are giving so much content and cool interactions to using the tadpole, plus the powers, its feels a shame not to use it. They should give us content exclusive to resisting it too.


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I wouldn't like a complete, full background, but something a little more specific, just a single element of your background that could be spun off into a story thread / quest line / sub plot. I don't want a full Origin-style backstory (nor do I want to play those characters), I want to create my own character; but having something that anchors them a little, that gives them a past reflected in the game, would be nice.

Honeslty, I think part of the problem, as I've written elsewhere, is that your companion characters are actually protagonists who all have their own stories going on. This makes your character seem like more of a cypher by comparison.

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I'm taking a stab on it again, be ready for a rough ride.

Who your character is, why is he a blank slate. Your character is noone special or at least wasn't, just another Mind Flayer thrall. In fact they were the janitor cleaning up after all the messy experiments, and bad tasting brains. You were noone special, your life, your thoughts, your hopes and dreams null and void by the power of the Elder Brain. Yet brief sparks of cognition awakened things in you, when your masters psionic grasp slipped for just fractions of seconds. Then it happened 'Thrall 10562h please report to the impregnation room' yes you were called to serve the Elder Brain in a higher capacity, you were no a buffet, a mother. Your destiny was to become a brief meat suit for a hungry, hungry tadpole. A tadpole that desired a touch of divine, or a sprinkle of fiend, a dash of penaze, a pinch of Old One, a hint of rough and tumble, so you were callled. Then things got harry, when Sally and her dragon came storming out of a portal, the ship that you had kept cleaned for so long was now a battlefield. And you the newly appointed meatsuit, caretaker of an innocent hungry baby tadpole were finally free of your psionic prison.

Long story short even though you seem to be without a past, or with out ambition, D&D is about theatre of the mind at times. They can be who you want them to be, until Devs decide otherwise, their past, their present, and future is up to you to decide. They seem bland or blank slated go with this, or change it maybe they had an over bearing parent that forced them to act a certain way, or controlled them and now their free they don't know how to act, how to be themselves. Maybe they were simple, and that tadpole changed them, and now they are forced to deal with everything in a new light. Maybe their just simply unemotional, uncaring about the world. That they simply thing this is minorly annoying, and all these people whine to much, and all the want is to sit back read a book, and simply exist.


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This is why I think a proper intro with some lore and background narrated over artworks or such would be far better than the generic (albeit good looking) CGI action scene we've got. Okay sure, I got kidnapped by mind flayers and they're fighting cool dudes on dragons, but... who am I ? What is the context of the story ? Where is this story taking place ? What about showing me a map of the world ? What about feeding me with something, anything, more than just "bad guys destroyed city bad" ?

Replay those old intros from BG / IWD... in a few minutes you get all you need to understand the story and your place in it.

Here, hours later in the story, I still don't know anything else about my surroundings and the context.

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Originally Posted by Temperance
This is why I think a proper intro with some lore and background narrated over artworks or such would be far better than the generic (albeit good looking) CGI action scene we've got. Okay sure, I got kidnapped by mind flayers and they're fighting cool dudes on dragons, but... who am I ? What is the context of the story ? Where is this story taking place ? What about showing me a map of the world ? What about feeding me with something, anything, more than just "bad guys destroyed city bad" ?

Replay those old intros from BG / IWD... in a few minutes you get all you need to understand the story and your place in it.

Here, hours later in the story, I still don't know anything else about my surroundings and the context.


Yeah sadly thats whats bad about the intro for those that have never played D&D or do so only casually. Which is why I'm not opposed so strongly for or against having a preship scenero. Though that is alot of information to share. The area is vast and rich in history, with alot of naunces, and even contradictions. If you tried to cram in all the important details you'd have a book just from Balders Gates past it being one of the 'epicenters' of bad things happening, and Elteriel (the history here I'm not very familair with myself). Then I can see why Larian doesn't really want to share peeks into the story they are writing, for instance the dream person, they are seeking a cliff hanger, something for you to look forward to. If you knew dream woman/man was your brother, or sister, hated enemy, it would impact your reaction to them when you meet them. Maybe good, maybe bad. On the other hand (theres a golden band) it could also make you look even more forward to meeting that person.

Then theres Swen stating they are writing your story, which may mean they intentionally left your past open for you to decide how it best fits your character. Though this is disproved by every bloody one of your nongithyanki's being from Balders Gate!!! Then again this tidbit may impact the story as well. Stuff makes me think to much hurts my old noggin, j/k.

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Originally Posted by clavis
Long story short even though you seem to be without a past, or with out ambition, D&D is about theatre of the mind at times. They can be who you want them to be


Sure, that's true, but there's an issue of narrative framing.

Other RPGs don't tell you a lot about your past. Pillars of Eternity, for instance. The original Fallout tells you where you're from, but nothing more than that, and New Vegas tells you what you did for a living at the start of the game and the particular assignment you were on, but that's it. The Outer Worlds gives you tongue-in-cheek options for your background that may not even be meant as cannonical, and otherwise tells you nothing. Arcanum lets you pick from a list of backgrounds (and you can opt to have none), but otherwise tells you only that you were using a particular transportation at a particular time.

The thing is, all these games, the story is presented in such a way that clearly situates you in it, and makes you (at least from your perspective) the center of that story. It's your story.

In another thread, people were pointing out how all the companions were special, and your PC is just an empty slate. The thing is, I think, that in those other games, companions have their own stories, sure, and you have yours, which just so happens to be the main story of the game. That's your story, not theirs. In BG3, however, you share that with all your companions, plus a bunch of other people.

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Originally Posted by clavis
I'm taking a stab on it again, be ready for a rough ride.

Who your character is, why is he a blank slate. Your character is noone special or at least wasn't, just another Mind Flayer thrall. In fact they were the janitor cleaning up after all the messy experiments, and bad tasting brains. You were noone special, your life, your thoughts, your hopes and dreams null and void by the power of the Elder Brain. Yet brief sparks of cognition awakened things in you, when your masters psionic grasp slipped for just fractions of seconds. Then it happened 'Thrall 10562h please report to the impregnation room' yes you were called to serve the Elder Brain in a higher capacity, you were no a buffet, a mother. Your destiny was to become a brief meat suit for a hungry, hungry tadpole. A tadpole that desired a touch of divine, or a sprinkle of fiend, a dash of penaze, a pinch of Old One, a hint of rough and tumble, so you were callled. Then things got harry, when Sally and her dragon came storming out of a portal, the ship that you had kept cleaned for so long was now a battlefield. And you the newly appointed meatsuit, caretaker of an innocent hungry baby tadpole were finally free of your psionic prison.

Long story short even though you seem to be without a past, or with out ambition, D&D is about theatre of the mind at times. They can be who you want them to be, until Devs decide otherwise, their past, their present, and future is up to you to decide. They seem bland or blank slated go with this, or change it maybe they had an over bearing parent that forced them to act a certain way, or controlled them and now their free they don't know how to act, how to be themselves. Maybe they were simple, and that tadpole changed them, and now they are forced to deal with everything in a new light. Maybe their just simply unemotional, uncaring about the world. That they simply thing this is minorly annoying, and all these people whine to much, and all the want is to sit back read a book, and simply exist.



All those suggestions are valid ways to play and imagine your character, but I also feel as though what you're suggesting is letting Larian off for not handling the custom PC well. Your suggestions all are about making due with the mediocre approach Larian has taken. Lots of games give you blank slate characters. I keep referencing Pillars of Eternity, but really that's because they did the best job accomodating a blank slate protagonist while also giving players the chance to define their characters in game. At the very start of the game your character is a blank slate, with nothing defining them but a background and a nation of origin and the fact that they're travelling to a place where there is an offer for settlers to acquire cheap land. That automatically gives your character a grounding in the world, and then you have a chance to talk to someone and expand upon that in a conversation if you wish. That simple conversation enriched my roleplaying of that game by a truly massive degree.

And again, then you compare your custom PC to the vibrant, fully fleshed out origin characters, all with depth and history of their own. And in the context of them, it starts to feel like Larian just neglected the custom PC.

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Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Originally Posted by clavis
I'm taking a stab on it again, be ready for a rough ride.

Who your character is, why is he a blank slate. Your character is noone special or at least wasn't, just another Mind Flayer thrall. In fact they were the janitor cleaning up after all the messy experiments, and bad tasting brains. You were noone special, your life, your thoughts, your hopes and dreams null and void by the power of the Elder Brain. Yet brief sparks of cognition awakened things in you, when your masters psionic grasp slipped for just fractions of seconds. Then it happened 'Thrall 10562h please report to the impregnation room' yes you were called to serve the Elder Brain in a higher capacity, you were no a buffet, a mother. Your destiny was to become a brief meat suit for a hungry, hungry tadpole. A tadpole that desired a touch of divine, or a sprinkle of fiend, a dash of penaze, a pinch of Old One, a hint of rough and tumble, so you were callled. Then things got harry, when Sally and her dragon came storming out of a portal, the ship that you had kept cleaned for so long was now a battlefield. And you the newly appointed meatsuit, caretaker of an innocent hungry baby tadpole were finally free of your psionic prison.

Long story short even though you seem to be without a past, or with out ambition, D&D is about theatre of the mind at times. They can be who you want them to be, until Devs decide otherwise, their past, their present, and future is up to you to decide. They seem bland or blank slated go with this, or change it maybe they had an over bearing parent that forced them to act a certain way, or controlled them and now their free they don't know how to act, how to be themselves. Maybe they were simple, and that tadpole changed them, and now they are forced to deal with everything in a new light. Maybe their just simply unemotional, uncaring about the world. That they simply thing this is minorly annoying, and all these people whine to much, and all the want is to sit back read a book, and simply exist.



All those suggestions are valid ways to play and imagine your character, but I also feel as though what you're suggesting is letting Larian off for not handling the custom PC well. Your suggestions all are about making due with the mediocre approach Larian has taken. Lots of games give you blank slate characters. I keep referencing Pillars of Eternity, but really that's because they did the best job accomodating a blank slate protagonist while also giving players the chance to define their characters in game. At the very start of the game your character is a blank slate, with nothing defining them but a background and a nation of origin and the fact that they're travelling to a place where there is an offer for settlers to acquire cheap land. That automatically gives your character a grounding in the world, and then you have a chance to talk to someone and expand upon that in a conversation if you wish. That simple conversation enriched my roleplaying of that game by a truly massive degree.

And again, then you compare your custom PC to the vibrant, fully fleshed out origin characters, all with depth and history of their own. And in the context of them, it starts to feel like Larian just neglected the custom PC.


Cool, though in truth I'm just trying to look at it from all angles, and offer some insight as to why they might on some levels. On here I'm sorta playing devils advocate, and looking at it from perspective of someone that really enjoys creating unique backstories for every character. Also from past experiences I know some people that just don't care about backstory, yet still play rpg's. Then I wait for others to post things like you did. So theres more then one view point, and last but not least I just like discussing details and seeing others views.

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Lets look at Skyrim you have no backstory.. (besides being dragon born). But you are not in a party in Skyrim, the main story is your story. But here the main story is the story of all the companions - nobody is special in this regard- but the companion get a story and their own quests on top. The main character only shares the main story and gets nothing interesting from it. He is not even more important than the companions to the main story.

edit:
you get the brainbug story line ... if you use it to often (which I did not)... so maybe here is more that I didn't explore yet

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Originally Posted by KingWilhelm
Lets look at Skyrim you have no backstory.. (besides being dragon born). But you are not in a party in Skyrim, the main story is your story. But here the main story is the story of all the companions - nobody is special in this regard- but the companion get a story and their own quests on top. The main character only shares the main story and gets nothing interesting from it. He is not even more important than the companions to the main story.

edit:
you get the brainbug story line ... if you use it to often (which I did not)... so maybe here is more that I didn't explore yet


Do you feel that anyone of the companions stories stand out more then the other? I can see that you feel the lack of backstory makes custom PC seem overshadowed by the companions maybe??

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