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Just a little feeback about my *personal* thoughts regarding the current romance options.

Female romance options:

Lae'zel:

Typical 'strong warrior woman' archetype. Works well enough. She is obviously not very good looking/attractive, but you can ignore that and it fits the archetype. Her evilness or ruthlessness is however not played very straight - her arrogance should of course prevent a romance if you are not Gith yourself. Even befriending her should only be possible if you act competent and ruthless.

Shadowheart:

I would expect her character to act much more secretive and clever. She should try to pass herself off as harmless. Right now, she is basically telling you: "I have a big secret, try to find out!". And the next moment, she tells you not to pry. That apparently rubs many players in the wrong way and antagonizes them.

In fact, it should be difficult to find out about her. She could even be a 'secret' romance option you can only woo if you pass certain checks and own certain items.

By the way, also please consider including at least some 'normal' characters. Just a 'normal' hunter, a 'normal' merchant etc. - someone who does *not* have a big secret.

Male romance options:

Astarion:

Ugh, I immediately rejected him - for the simple reason that he tried to attack me and is obviously a sleazebag. The only reason I took him along was because of game mechanics: I needed a rogue and he was the only one available.

Again, the 'Vampire' backstory is told far too early, too obvious and too forced. A vampire should act secretive. You should maybe find out in the third or fourth act.

Gale:

Maybe the only one who was halfway acceptable. The scene where he watches himself as mirror image was slightly funny and fits the character. Again, the entire background story with the weave and consuming artifacts feels a little deliberate. Why not just have an arrogant mage? Not *every* character in your party needs to have a big secret. Some of these people might just be normal. Normal people can be interesting.

Wyll:

Didn't play much with him, my party was already full. So I can't say much about it.

--------------------------

Altogether: 'Special' characters with a big secret can only shine if they are presented in contrast with 'normal' people. Lae'zel is right now the most 'normal' character of the bunch - apart from being a Gith. Shadowheart should be more secretive, it should be *difficult* to find out about her - maybe even make her a secret romance option. The same is true for Astarion.

Gale and Wyll would, in my very personal opinion, be *more* interesting if they were just normal. If Wyll were just a normal ranger fighting to protect the woods of his home I would actually like him *more*. If Gale would just be a narcissistic mage without any special backstory, he would be *more* relatable.

All that is of course my own opinion and other people might have completely different tastes.

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Astarion's actions are actually revealed if you play as him. I also like how everyone always praises Gale, I assure you, he is a wonderful manipulator, I am sure that Gale is a dark horse, and perhaps even worse than Astarion.


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Gonna focus on the guys cause that's what I like, also all three are conventionally attractive but not exactly my type:

Romance with the companions we have so far seems very risky and while I think they can definitely have genuine feelings for our character, I also think they still would go toward their ulterior motives.

Gale: He is sweet and charming but a little accepting of darker actions. I do think in romance he cares about the player BUT he'd dump us in a heartbeat for Mistra. He is practically enamored with magic and a romance with him is built upon that. I find him interesting and think him the best (not my favorite, just least risky) but also could become the worst.

Wyll: He's okay I guess. Very braggadocios and toots his own horn as a hero. He did do his exploits but it wasn't on his own merits. He got the issue with his patron and I get the feeling he is very very desperate and would not be reliable for that reason cause getting out of a devil's deal would trump anything.

Astarion: My favorite. It seems to start off as just him being a sleezy vampire wanting only a bite but he does seem to actually start to care and even holds himself back for the player character. However, if it meant being no longer a spawn, I do think he would totally drain us dry at this stage.

Essentially, all three romances don't seem concrete yet, it's an in the moment fling and those connections could likely be severed when their goals are in sight.


So I agree we need more normal characters to romance but we also need more options that are not so "dangerous".

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I think as the game expands, the Shadowheart romance will become the most rewarding to follow. There's not much to it now, but it could have some great Cold War Spy Novel story yet to come.

Gale is the one I'd be warning my friends off in real life. He's got controlling partner written all over him. Proper warning lights popping for him. Sweet and charming when it's going his way, but there's a nasty edge to him when you deny him, and his reactions to the PC romancing Asterion are very telling.

I also think that Lae'zel wouldn't romance a non-Gith. Use for sex, yes - and possiblty that's all she'd use a Gith for too. But when Kith'rak Voss calls the rest of the party slaves, I don't think she sees us any differently.

I don't think about Wyll for romancing any of my characters, but I am looking forward to watching the Wyll/Mizora thing play out. I'd prefer to get the option to steer that relationship into break-up or make-up with or without the Pact.

Astarion gets all the best lines, and the Vampire story is a classic. In Early Access, he's my favourite but with a fuller game he may lose out to Shadowheart.

I tend to play the hell out of games, so I'll of course play all the options in EA and release before playing my "personal canon run" whoever that may be with.

Edit: I did just realise, there's no option here in BG3 that I would reject as hard as I did Anomen in BG2.

Last edited by Umbra; 21/02/21 03:14 PM.
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I don't think that Astarion's big secret is that he's a vampire spawn, but rather WHY the Gur felt the need to beat him up in his own turf when he was alive and powerful.

Myzora is a feature, not a bug. Can't wait to get to know her better, she seems awesome based on her datamined lines. I like Wyll, but it's true that his voyeuristic eye is a bit of a romplock.

Gale is incredibly manipulative and very judgemental; he keeps throwing shade at "unnatural" things like "raising the undead", "corrupting hags", etc. when he keeps raising himself from the dead because he's literally corrupted with unnatural magic that could destroy the universe, far beyond the scope of any necromancer, vampire's or hag's magic. He looks in the mirror but only sees what he wants to see, while Wyll and Astarion have a clearer vision of who they are and what they've done.

Lae'zel is Bae and my Green Queen. Weirdly enough, she seems much more open to change than Shadowheart -- she's vows to help the party at the Githyanki crêche, and is quick to turn against her own people if they refuse to help her, re-evaluating their motives.

I like these romance routes, because each and every one of these characters are setting the PC up both for an extraordinary romance... or an exquisite heartbreak. For instance, take Astarion's personal quest, and assume that he succeeds.

- He could take Cazador's place as vampire patriarch -- in which case goodbye any positive characteristics, including "fun" and "pleasure" and "through lover" he will be all Evil. If your PC is Neutral or Good, that might be a deal breaker going forward, particularly given his moral flexibility regarding thinking slaves.

- He could kill Cazador, in which case he would revert to his elf-self, losing any vampiric powers and keeping the parasite. A bit of a bummer for a survival-obsessed character.

- He could imprison Cazador without kiling him and take his vengeance slowly, a risky prospect that would allow him to remain "the most powerful vampire SPAWN" in the realms as long as he kept the parasite. In which case, if he doesn't want to renounce to the perks of sunlight, entering houses without permission, etc... the PC would have to accept the risk of Astarion abusing the illithid powers or bind him with Omeluum's ring. "Wth this ring I bind you, till undeath does us apart."


You can already trace similar tales for Wyll and Gale.

Lae'zel's story seems to point at an eventual confrontation with Vla'akith, while Shadowheart's path is still covered in shadows, truly the most mysterious of all.

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I'd agree with pretty much all of this. I think a party of misfits can work without a straight man though that archetype definitely makes it work better. Maybe it's forthcoming.

One thing that personally annoys me is the evil characters are so far into chaotic stupid territory I can't see them being played by more than a tiny minority of players. If you only have 9 characters why have 3+ that are almost entirely impossible to work with?

Also having an option to romance Shadowheart when she comes across as a special needs child is pretty creepy.

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I believe Astarion reveal is great ...
Sure it was soon, but also it was accident, so ... i gues it should be fine.


I liked original spellcasting system more ... frown

Anyway ... i cast Eldritch Blast!
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I had to go through every BG2 romance with a FAQ and the console turned on because they were so finnicky. So I'm not really interested in things being "more difficult", also feel like the 'secret ending' in Pathfinder was ruined because of that too. Playing whack-a-mole with dialog choices just isn't fun for me.

I would like less dialog like Lae'zel's "You could have been all up in this, but you didn't agree with me enough" but I really don't mind Shadowheart being a bad spy or Lae'zal being overly DTF. As far as them being "special" I just don't care, most of my favorite NPCs in BG1/2 were special and I don't necessarily know if we won't be getting more NPCs further on into the story. I'd love to see someone like Korgan but I'm just as happy with a bunch of Viconias.

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I agree mostly, but I hate Astarion. I don't get the fanhype, he invokes everywhere. I just find him incredible sleazy and annoying. I try to do his romance in my current playthrough, but it is painful.
With Gale, I like the friendship path more - he is the sometimes annoying big brother for my characters. And yes, I do think, he is a manipulator too.
Wylls romance is actually nice - he was the first romance I did. I played a warlock and kind of felt, that bonding over our patrons is a nice touch (you have special dialogue with him as a warlock).
I never did Lae'Zels romance, not because, I don't like the character, but because I normally don't really use her in my group (I mostly play without a fighter - just not my class).
Shadowhearts romance I actually like - which is a surprise, because I hated her on my firts playthrough and she still manages to annoy me. Right now, she is my favorite, but I'm pretty sure that will change, once Karlach might become an option.

(I do like ladies more, that might be reason, Astarions 'charme' is lost on me - I don't play romances according to my actual preferences though, but for a promising story)


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Originally Posted by Worm
I had to go through every BG2 romance with a FAQ and the console turned on because they were so finnicky. So I'm not really interested in things being "more difficult", also feel like the 'secret ending' in Pathfinder was ruined because of that too. Playing whack-a-mole with dialog choices just isn't fun for me.

Yes, the secret ending in pathfinder is *really* complicated.

Btw. I think pathfinder would really have profited from splitting the game into 2 or even 3 games. Some games nowadays simply grow too big for my tastes.

Originally Posted by BeeBee
Myzora is a feature, not a bug. Can't wait to get to know her better, she seems awesome based on her datamined lines. I like Wyll, but it's true that his voyeuristic eye is a bit of a romplock.

Huh, Myzora? Couldn't find anything by googling?

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Originally Posted by Arne
Originally Posted by Worm
I had to go through every BG2 romance with a FAQ and the console turned on because they were so finnicky. So I'm not really interested in things being "more difficult", also feel like the 'secret ending' in Pathfinder was ruined because of that too. Playing whack-a-mole with dialog choices just isn't fun for me.

Yes, the secret ending in pathfinder is *really* complicated.

Btw. I think pathfinder would really have profited from splitting the game into 2 or even 3 games. Some games nowadays simply grow too big for my tastes.

Originally Posted by BeeBee
Myzora is a feature, not a bug. Can't wait to get to know her better, she seems awesome based on her datamined lines. I like Wyll, but it's true that his voyeuristic eye is a bit of a romplock.

Huh, Myzora? Couldn't find anything by googling?

Myzora is Wylls patron. The one, he has to free from teh drows in order to get freed from her. Datamining has brought up some lines by Myzora.


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I like Astarion for thirsty reasons, even though I sometimes feel like I'm invading LGQTB spaces when I romance him. That might be a me problem though.

However, I also like him because the man is a walking representation of the selfish will to live that any decent player must have. Not only is he enjoying his tadpoled predicament as much as a BG fan is, after decades of draught, but physically he is the embodiment of the best and the worst that the tadpole has to offer: awesome powers coupled with bloodthirsty violence, childish glee (like a baby tadpole) at psionically controlling others (like a grown-up illithid, but also just like the player who is in control of all the characters). The scars on his back, Cazador's "poem", are in concentric circles that look both like the marks that a giant tadpole would leave, with their little concentric mouths, and like a target (because we all have targets on our backs). And he's sad at the idea of losing the tadpole, because that would mean he will lose the ability to stand in the sun, just like getting rid of the parasite would mark the beginning of the end of the main quest, in-game.

He's a terribly handsome representation of the player's ID and that's why he's so popular.

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Gale and Astarion are the only companions, current or future, that I have any interest in, and they're.... acceptable. Obviously we have no idea where the characters or romances are going at this point; if these guys grow and change as the game progresses, and the romances do the same, I'll be satisfied. Probably won't be perfect (from my perspective), but I have headcanon and fanfic to deal with that.


I still want Halsin eventually - please Larian?

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Originally Posted by BeeBee
I like Astarion for thirsty reasons, even though I sometimes feel like I'm invading LGQTB spaces when I romance him. That might be a me problem though.

However, I also like him because the man is a walking representation of the selfish will to live that any decent player must have. Not only is he enjoying his tadpoled predicament as much as a BG fan is, after decades of draught, but physically he is the embodiment of the best and the worst that the tadpole has to offer: awesome powers coupled with bloodthirsty violence, childish glee (like a baby tadpole) at psionically controlling others (like a grown-up illithid, but also just like the player who is in control of all the characters). The scars on his back, Cazador's "poem", are in concentric circles that look both like the marks that a giant tadpole would leave, with their little concentric mouths, and like a target (because we all have targets on our backs). And he's sad at the idea of losing the tadpole, because that would mean he will lose the ability to stand in the sun, just like getting rid of the parasite would mark the beginning of the end of the main quest, in-game.

He's a terribly handsome representation of the player's ID and that's why he's so popular.

That might be - the tadpole comparison is actually something think about.
Astarion has a difficult stance with me: I have become very critical and often tired of vampire representation in media since stuff like Twilight, Vampire DIaries and True Blood became so popular. Since then, good vampire stories are hard to come by ('Let the right one in' was one, that comes to mind) - and I was a big fan of vampire stories. I grew up with Dracula, Carmilla and otehr classics.
And why I do like about Astarion, that he is evil and that you as the player know, you can never trust him (I believe his romance will probably not have an happy end) - which to me is far more in line with vampires than the aforementioned glittering atrocities, I just am a bit fed up with the vampire trope. Granted, he would be a great character in the World of Darkness - I can totally see him as a Toreador antitribu in the Sabbat - and I probably would like him more in that setting. Don't know, if that makes sense ... basically and short version, it's a personal thing and I'm totally ok with all the girls (and many guys) loving Astarion.

Edit for typos.

Last edited by fylimar; 21/02/21 04:45 PM.

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Originally Posted by Tarlonniel
I still want Halsin eventually - please Larian?
Agree!

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Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by BeeBee
I like Astarion for thirsty reasons, even though I sometimes feel like I'm invading LGQTB spaces when I romance him. That might be a me problem though.

However, I also like him because the man is a walking representation of the selfish will to live that any decent player must have. Not only is he enjoying his tadpoled predicament as much as a BG fan is, after decades of draught, but physically he is the embodiment of the best and the worst that the tadpole has to offer: awesome powers coupled with bloodthirsty violence, childish glee (like a baby tadpole) at psionically controlling others (like a grown-up illithid, but also just like the player who is in control of all the characters). The scars on his back, Cazador's "poem", are in concentric circles that look both like the marks that a giant tadpole would leave, with their little concentric mouths, and like a target (because we all have targets on our backs). And he's sad at the idea of losing the tadpole, because that would mean he will lose the ability to stand in the sun, just like getting rid of the parasite would mark the beginning of the end of the main quest, in-game.

He's a terribly handsome representation of the player's ID and that's why he's so popular.

That might be - the tadpole comparison is actually something think about.
Astarion has a difficult stance with me: I have become very critical and often tired of vampire representation in media since stuff like Twilight, Vampire DIaries and True Blood became so popular. Since then, good vampire stories are hard to come by ('Let the right one in' was one, that comes to mind) - and I was a big fan of vampire stories. I grew up with Dracula, Carmilla and other classics.
And why I do like about Astarion, that he is evil and that you as the player know, you can never trust him (I believe his romance will probably not have an happy end) - which to me is far more in line with vampires than the aforementioned glittering atrocities, I just am a bit fed up with the vampire trope. Granted, he would be a great character in the World of Darkness - I can totally see him as a Toreador antitribu in the Sabbat - and I probably would like him more in that setting. Don't know, if that makes sense ... basically and short version, it's a personal thing and I'm totally ok with all the girls (and many guys) loving Astarion.

Edit for typos.

Interesting! True Blood vampires are actually pretty brutal, and extremely close to WoD bloodsuckers -- I don't think that any of them get a happy ending in the series or the books. Have you tried some modern books that respects and honours their monstruous nature? The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black, Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde and even The Changeover by Margaret Mahy are EXCELLENT self-contained stories that milk the monster trickster aspect to its marrow.

Or, if you want something darker and funnier, this recent release is fantastic: The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires

Last edited by BeeBee; 21/02/21 04:59 PM.
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Originally Posted by BeeBee
Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by BeeBee
I like Astarion for thirsty reasons, even though I sometimes feel like I'm invading LGQTB spaces when I romance him. That might be a me problem though.

However, I also like him because the man is a walking representation of the selfish will to live that any decent player must have. Not only is he enjoying his tadpoled predicament as much as a BG fan is, after decades of draught, but physically he is the embodiment of the best and the worst that the tadpole has to offer: awesome powers coupled with bloodthirsty violence, childish glee (like a baby tadpole) at psionically controlling others (like a grown-up illithid, but also just like the player who is in control of all the characters). The scars on his back, Cazador's "poem", are in concentric circles that look both like the marks that a giant tadpole would leave, with their little concentric mouths, and like a target (because we all have targets on our backs). And he's sad at the idea of losing the tadpole, because that would mean he will lose the ability to stand in the sun, just like getting rid of the parasite would mark the beginning of the end of the main quest, in-game.

He's a terribly handsome representation of the player's ID and that's why he's so popular.

That might be - the tadpole comparison is actually something think about.
Astarion has a difficult stance with me: I have become very critical and often tired of vampire representation in media since stuff like Twilight, Vampire DIaries and True Blood became so popular. Since then, good vampire stories are hard to come by ('Let the right one in' was one, that comes to mind) - and I was a big fan of vampire stories. I grew up with Dracula, Carmilla and other classics.
And why I do like about Astarion, that he is evil and that you as the player know, you can never trust him (I believe his romance will probably not have an happy end) - which to me is far more in line with vampires than the aforementioned glittering atrocities, I just am a bit fed up with the vampire trope. Granted, he would be a great character in the World of Darkness - I can totally see him as a Toreador antitribu in the Sabbat - and I probably would like him more in that setting. Don't know, if that makes sense ... basically and short version, it's a personal thing and I'm totally ok with all the girls (and many guys) loving Astarion.

Edit for typos.

Interesting! True Blood vampires are actually pretty brutal, and extremely close to WoD bloodsuckers -- I don't think that any of them get a happy ending in the series or the books. Have you tried some modern books that respects and honours their monstruous nature? The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black, Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde and even The Changeover by Margaret Mahy are EXCELLENT self-contained stories that milk the monster trickster aspect to its marrow.

Or, if you want something darker and funnier, this recent release is fantastic: The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires

I really tried with the True Blood books and series, but all the characters just annoyed me - that waitress the most of it, but I hated the love triangles and the male vampires Bill and Eric too. I think, the only character I could stand was in the book the shapeshifter, who owned the bar and in the series the vampire that invaded the news studio with the ash of his former lover and gave that hilarious mad speech - he was so Malkavian.

A more modern story I like - apart from Let the right one in, which is only a few years old, is Lost Souls from Poppy Z. Brite. It's very brutal, but a well written story.

Last edited by fylimar; 21/02/21 05:25 PM.

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Originally Posted by Arne
Gale:

Maybe the only one who was halfway acceptable. The scene where he watches himself as mirror image was slightly funny and fits the character. Again, the entire background story with the weave and consuming artifacts feels a little deliberate. Why not just have an arrogant mage? Not *every* character in your party needs to have a big secret. Some of these people might just be normal. Normal people can be interesting.

This is very true. The scene with the mirror is his best one, and everything kind of falls apart with him after his reveal.

Don't get me wrong the VA's great and made the story very cool sounding and all, but i was hoping for at least one person to be relatively normal and/or well adjusted. Instead, man's a walking bomb and attachment issues. My character being an old, chill elf buffered things a bit for me but Jesus. I don't even pretend an Eder(the best characterization of 'normal' i've yet seen), but al least give me someone who doesn't have the hugest problems and the personality flaws of a teenager to go with 'em.

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Let the Right One In

My experience with vampire books us pretty much limited to that but it's pretty monstrous

Last edited by Dexai; 21/02/21 05:34 PM.

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Originally Posted by Dexai
Let the Right One In

My experience with vampire books us pretty much limited to that but it's pretty monstrous
Never read the book, but I liked the movie. smile

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