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It feels quite out of character for Lae'zel to follow the player around like a lost puppy instead of heading off to find her creche. Or for Wyll not to settle the score with Spike unless he gets permission from the player.

It seems like the NPCs should either act with more autonomy, or should be given some compelling narrative reason to obey the player in all things.

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The player character is a blank slate nobody, and there's no reason why anyone would follow them as the leader - but that would be okay if our companions were also fairly average people with their own things going on, but nothing too dramatic. As it is, all of the companions have epic edge-lord back stories that are so extravagant and ridiculous that the very idea of them choosing to follow our character's decisions is laughable. It's a really silly flaw in the current design. The developers love their mary-sues, though, and don't really seem interested in listening to other opinions on the matter.

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Originally Posted by Niara
The player character is a blank slate nobody, and there's no reason why anyone would follow them as the leader - but that would be okay if our companions were also fairly average people with their own things going on, but nothing too dramatic. As it is, all of the companions have epic edge-lord back stories that are so extravagant and ridiculous that the very idea of them choosing to follow our character's decisions is laughable. It's a really silly flaw in the current design. The developers love their mary-sues, though, and don't really seem interested in listening to other opinions on the matter.


Maybe you just have a better tadpole than anyone else? If you ignore Shadowheart she says she felt drawn to seek you out (and stab you but you can talk her down and invite her to join you).

Like, of all the Tadpoles, your tadpole was the...tadpoliest? Like its Tads, are just huge. And that's how Tadpole hierarchies are established. You just whip out your Tads.


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Then it would behoove the game to establish that in a way that doesn't leave the situation feeling like completely contrived nonsense. They could, they don't. Regardless of the reality, it's poor writing and poor design.

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It makes sense for Lae'zel to join Tav initially. At the very least, Tav put up a decent showing on the mindflayer ship and rescued her. But if Tav spends too long doing non-Creche things, then she would definitely leave. Or beat Tav into submission.

It makes sense for Shadowheart to join Tav initially. She is the most "normal" companion; basically a cult member with her memories gone, and thus the closest to Tav. However, she clearly has strong opinions so it's odd that she just lets Tav make all the decisions. At the very least she should be more snarky when Tav makes a decision she disagrees with.

It makes sense for Astarion to join Tav initially. Astarion is completely out of his element, having suddenly been given the entire world. It also makes sense for Astarion to follow Tav; at the very worst Tav is a source of food. At best, Tav is a source of enjoyment and probably the first person Astarion can call a friend in a long time.

Wyll...personally I think Wyll has exaggerated all his accomplishments, so he probably needs Tav's help. I love that he'll leave the party if you side with the goblins.

Gale...if we believe the whole "tadpole+lost of Mystra's favor has reduced me to a measly level 2 wizard," then he possibly does actually need Tav's help. But Gale does have some important goals. If the player doesn't feed him, then he should leave the party. Or at the very least get more insistent, eventually resorting to stealing items from the party. Honestly though, his backstory is too accomplished for this to be believable. He explored the reaches of magic with Mystra and did that whole thing with the Orb...can he seriously not fend for himself? Does he not have better connections (to other wizards/libraries/etc) to have better options than Tav?!??!? At least, he should think of Tav as a peer and not his leader.

tl;dr: The deference shown by 2 out of the 5 companions is sensible in the current version of BG3: Astarion (Tav is his first friend and potential food) and Wyll (useless on his own; also does leave if you anger him enough).

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Originally Posted by mrfuji3
It makes sense for Lae'zel to join Tav initially. At the very least, Tav put up a decent showing on the mindflayer ship and rescued her. But if Tav spends too long doing non-Creche things, then she would definitely leave. Or beat Tav into submission.

It makes sense for Shadowheart to join Tav initially. She is the most "normal" companion; basically a cult member with her memories gone, and thus the closest to Tav. However, she clearly has strong opinions so it's odd that she just lets Tav make all the decisions. At the very least she should be more snarky when Tav makes a decision she disagrees with.

It makes sense for Astarion to join Tav initially. Astarion is completely out of his element, having suddenly been given the entire world. It also makes sense for Astarion to follow Tav; at the very worst Tav is a source of food. At best, Tav is a source of enjoyment and probably the first person Astarion can call a friend in a long time.

Wyll...personally I think Wyll has exaggerated all his accomplishments, so he probably needs Tav's help. I love that he'll leave the party if you side with the goblins.

Gale...if we believe the whole "tadpole+lost of Mystra's favor has reduced me to a measly level 2 wizard," then he possibly does actually need Tav's help. But Gale does have some important goals. If the player doesn't feed him, then he should leave the party. Or at the very least get more insistent, eventually resorting to stealing items from the party. Honestly though, his backstory is too accomplished for this to be believable. He explored the reaches of magic with Mystra and did that whole thing with the Orb...can he seriously not fend for himself? Does he not have better connections (to other wizards/libraries/etc) to have better options than Tav?!??!? At least, he should think of Tav as a peer and not his leader.

tl;dr: The deference shown by 2 out of the 5 companions is sensible in the current version of BG3: Astarion (Tav is his first friend and potential food) and Wyll (useless on his own; also does leave if you anger him enough).

I think it makes sense for all the tadpole hosts except for Lae'zel to stick together. Once she finds out about the Githyanki that the Tiefling encountered she should be off to meet them, and you should have to follow her if you want to see what happens. It doesn't make any sense for her to follow the player around rescuing children from hard-hearted druids, killing the goblin leadership, rescuing Halsin, standing around while you solve moon-puzzles and explore an ancient Sharite temple, etc. when she has a mind-flayer parasite in her head and she knows that her people can help her.

Especially since every time you interact with her, she pretends to be the boss, but anytime you interact with anyone else, she lets you do all the talking.

My issue is less with whether it makes sense for everyone to band together, but rather with how leadership is determined afterward. Even if Wyll is exaggerating all his accomplishments, he still has to keep up appearances as the Blade of Frontiers. He should be presenting himself as the frontman of the group in every interaction. The player could still call the shots by either butting heads with Wyll over it, or by gently guiding Wyll one way or another in an advisory capacity. It doesn't make much sense for Wyll to let everyone see the Blade of Frontiers take a subservient role to Tav the Guild Artisan without so much as a cutscene addressing why though.

Astarion, Gale and Shadowheart all seem less invested in being leaders themselves, but why would they look to Tav the Guild Artisan for leadership instead of the Blade of Frontiers or the Githyanki with an actual promise of a cure? They all have tadpoles that could turn them into mind flayers. When interacting with Raphael, or the Hag, or Halsin, or anyone else who could have some bearing on this life-or-death situation in their lives, one would think they would be invested enough to interject some kind of dialogue. A question or two maybe. Some bit of arcane knowledge from Gale, or some acerbic wit from Astarion perhaps. There just doesn't seem to be any narrative explanation for why they all stand around twiddling their thumbs while the player does all the talking. It makes them seem completely disinterested in their own fate.

It seems like there ought to be a cutscene where everyone votes on whether to seek out Halsin or try to find the Githyanki, and the player has to break the tie. Or a scene where tensions over leadership between Wyll and Lae'zel come to blows and the player has to diffuse the situation with some kind of compromise or beat both of them into submission. Or literally any explanation at all. Right now it feels like the player calls all the shots and does all the talking simply because the NPCs know that they are just NPCs in a video game.

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Honestly, I do think there needs to be a little more party decision making but it might be better to make every origin character done first so we can account for everyone I guess? But yeah Laezel should have some kind of convincing needed to delay on the creche, something like playing to a growing doubt that she is starting to have.

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Those suppositions really don't stand up at all though (Edit: this is to mrfuji's comments, I was just slow in typing), not for more than the five minutes it takes to walk from the wreck to the druid grove.

In other party-based RPGs, the player character is the leader because the other companions lack the immediate personal drive or direction to BE the leader - your character steps into that role. this is not to say they're weak or weak-willed, but rather that there is always something that sets your main character's path more firmly than their personal business... and it sets it for your player character more specifically than for them. NWN2 is a good example; your character is thrust into being the leader for your party because their personal objective is the most important thing on the table, and your companions, while they do have their own drives and motivations, were generally treading water or otherwise indecisive about acting, when your character was not... or you brought them on when they had nothing immediate that was more important, and/or they owed you. Larian's characters, however, don't fit and of these reasons, because they are all so uniquely special and powerful and awesome and driven that none of them are followers, and your own character doesn't have anything that sets them apart or ties them to the driving factor of the core story more than the companions. If they do, then it needs to be established right near start of act 1.

Lae'zel, it makes sense for her to let *You* travel with *HER* - but she would absolutely be the one making the decisions, and letting you leave the party if you don't agree to follow her; she has a goal, and a plan, and a hierarchy, and a very specific and overt protocol to follow, and she views all material plane dwellers as lesser creatures, culturally speaking. She would never in a million years simply slip into playing follow the leader to *You* without so much as a conversation about who is leading you. Why has she given leadership of the party over to your character? Why is she unwilling or unable to act upon her own needs and plans, to the extent that she will fall into following another person without much in the way of conversation or challenge? There is no reason. There needs to be one.

Astarion makes the most believable sense, but only until they reach civilisation. It makes at least some believable sense in that he'd accept you making the decisions out of habit, but very soon that habit would give way to really wanting to squeeze the most out of his newfound freedom, and I can't really imagine him willingly following your lead and letting you be the decision-maker at that stage, unless there was something more tangible causing him to do so.

Wyll makes absolutely no sense at all; he's very definitely a cut-your-own-way person, and even in his weakened state, he's got a plan and a goal, and would be unlikely to declare you the leader of the party over himself or his own plans and needs - especially given. Wyll would tell you that he's going to do something, and he'd ask, invite and entreat you to come with him... but he wouldn't meekly say 'yes boss' and follow you when you decide to do something different instead, no chance.

Shadow, again, no chance of her humbly deciding that you are the leader of the party, and the one to make decisions. She's so busy telling you that she has pressing business and that it's none of your business ,that the idea of her actually following you is completely ludicrous, unless she really is a whiny, timid, deeply indecisive person underneath her mask - which she may well be, aside from the fact that she's probably an avatar/chosen of selune, or the living incarnated truth of the darkmoon heresy. I'd believe either. Like the others, she's got a very strong sense of purpose and a goal, and that does not gel with letting a random that she doesn't know anything about make all of her decisions for her, even when they're things she doesn't like or doesn't agree with... especially when we decide to do things that expose the party to danger, which she is very adamantly against doing. She'd be gone in a heartbeat after the first few times of that.

Gale... a former archmage, who, though diminished in power, still has his archmage brain, bearing, memories and history. He's definitely not going to be the sort to put someone else as the party's leader. He's absolutely the most qualified to lead the party and make the decisions that need to be made, at least in his own eyes... the idea of him kow-towing to a random nobody that he doesn't know is perhaps the most ridiculous out of all of them.

If there IS a reason that causes the others to feel that our character should be the leader and the one making the decisions, then it needs to be established early on. Currently the game does not do this, and it makes the whole party dynamic feel ridiculous. It's compounded by the fact that all of the party banter is between each other, and never involves out character, and all of our conversations are one on one, with individuals, as though this were an adult visual novel. we're not just the 'leader', we're functionally the detached, uncommunicative general leader who spends all their time away from 'the rabble' and doesn't associate with them unless it's absolutely necessary... and they all accept that.

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Originally Posted by Niara
Those suppositions really don't stand up at all though (Edit: this is to mrfuji's comments, I was just slow in typing), not for more than the five minutes it takes to walk from the wreck to the druid grove.

I other party-based RPGs, the player character is the leader because the other companions lack the immediate personal drive or direction to BE the leader - your character steps into that role. this is not to say they're weak or weak-willed, but rather that there is always something that sets your main character's path more firmly than their personal business... and it sets it for your player character more specifically than for them. NWN2 is a good example; your character is thrust into being the leader for your party because their personal objective is the most important thing on the table, and your companions, while they do have their own drives and motivations, were generally treading water or otherwise indecisive about acting, when your character was not... or you brought them on when they had nothing immediate that was more important, and/or they owed you. Larian's characters, however, don't fit and of these reasons, because they are all so uniquely special and powerful and awesome and driven that none of them are followers, and your own character doesn't have anything that sets them apart or ties them to the driving factor of the core story more than the companions. If they do, then it needs to be established right near start of act 1.

Lae'zel, it makes sense for her to let *You* travel with *HER* - but she would absolutely be the one making the decisions, and letting you leave the party if you don't agree to follow her; she has a goal, and a plan, and a hierarchy, and a very specific and overt protocol to follow, and she views all material plane dwellers as lesser creatures, culturally speaking. She would never in a million years simply slip into playing follow the leader to *You* without so much as a conversation about who is leading you. Why has she given leadership of the party over to your character? Why is she unwilling or unable to act upon her own needs and plans, to the extent that she will fall into following another person without much in the way of conversation or challenge? There is no reason. There needs to be one.

Astarion makes the most believable sense, but only until they reach civilisation. It makes at least some believable sense in that he'd accept you making the decisions out of habit, but very soon that habit would give way to really wanting to squeeze the most out of his newfound freedom, and I can't really imagine him willingly following your lead and letting you be the decision-maker at that stage, unless there was something more tangible causing him to do so.

Wyll makes absolutely no sense at all; he's very definitely a cut-your-own-way person, and even in his weakened state, he's got a plan and a goal, and would be unlikely to declare you the leader of the party over himself or his own plans and needs - especially given. Wyll would tell you that he's going to do something, and he'd ask, invite and entreat you to come with him... but he wouldn't meekly say 'yes boss' and follow you when you decide to do something different instead, no chance.

Shadow, again, no chance of her humble deciding that you are the leader of the party, and the one to make decisions. She's so busy telling you that she has pressing business and that it's none of your business ,that the idea of her actually following you is completely ludicrous, unless she really is a whiny, timid, deeply indecisive person underneath her mask - which she may well be, aside from the fact that she's probably an avatar/chosen of selune, or the living incarnated truth of the darkmoon heresy. I'd believe either. Like the others, she's got a very strong sense of purpose and a goal, and that does not gel with letting a random that she doesn't know anything about make all of her decisions for her, even when they're things she doesn't like or doesn't agree with... especially when we decide to do things that expose the party to danger, which she is very adamantly against doing. She'd be gone in a heartbeat after the first few times of that.

Gale... a former archmage, who, though diminished in power, still has his archmage brain, bearing, memories and history. He's definitely not going to be the sort to put someone else as the party's leader. He's absolutely the most qualified to lead the party and make the decisions that need to be made, at least in his own eyes... the idea of him kow-towing to a random nobody that he doesn't know is perhaps the most ridiculous out of all of them.

If there IS a reason that causes the others to feel that our character should be the leader and the one making the decisions, then it needs to be established early on. Current;y the game does not do this, and it makes the whole party dynamic feel ridiculous. It's compounded by the fact that all of the party banter is between each other, and never involves out character, and all of our conversations are one on one, with individuals, as though this were an adult visual novel. we're not just the 'leader', we're functionally the detached, uncommunicative general leader who spends all their time away from 'the rabble' and doesn't associate with them unless it's absolutely necessary... and they all accept that.

This is truth.

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And I'll add that Gale shouldn't even be groveling to Tav for access to magical items, especially if he was in the party when a magical item was acquired. He'd argue that he had as much right to the treasure as anyone else in the party. He would just take the items he needed and inform Tav that he was doing so, out of courtesy.

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There is many things in games, books, or movies that dont make much sence, but its esential for story. :-/
I would say Tav's leadership is certainly one of them.

But i would honestly love if our companions were more autonomic ...
And i would see no problem if Lae'zel would sudently appear in conversation with Giths saying something like "I tracked you ... you have found my kin!" and runs towards them, maybe even join them against us, if we will be especialy rude ...
Same as Wyll and Spike ... there is even excuse offering from the story, since Mizora could told him that she was draged in goblin camp ... and it kinda makes sence that he would not stay in our camp, poking fire with a stick. :-/


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Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
There is many things in games, books, or movies that dont make much sence, but its esential for story. :-/

Indeed. When something in a game, book, or movie that is essential to the story doesn't make sense, that is a literary device typically known as a plot hole. For example, it doesn't make much sense for Rey to be able to summon lightsabers to her hand with the force and defeat Jake Skywalker's most prodigious student in a lightsaber duel when she has had absolutely zero Jedi training. But it was essential to the story, so they went ahead and put it in.

This (among many other bad decisions in the Sequel Trilogy) was widely regarded by many Star Wars fans as a bad decision. Storytellers seeking to avoid similar schisms in their own audiences will make every attempt to avoid building their narratives around things that don't make sense.

Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
I would say Tav's leadership is certainly one of them.

I don't think Tav's leadership is essential to the story. Wyll could be trying to lead the group one direction and Lae'zel could be trying to lead it another and Tav could be just tipping the scales one way or another with some persuade rolls. Wyll could be doing the bulk of the talking during dialogue cutscenes and Tav could offer helpful suggestions in an advisory capacity. Tav might start out as a follower at the beginning and then become the leader over the course of the story as part of his arc. It seems like there are plenty of ways to tell an interesting story without having Tav make all the decisions from the very beginning.

That said, I am also fine with having Tav be the leader of the group right from the get-go, as long as there is a compelling narrative explanation. There are plenty of ways to set the player up as the leader of the group. In Tyranny, the player is a Fatebinder, which gives them legal power authority to order their minions about. In POE the player has objectives to accomplish whereas Eder just needs to get out of dodge, and makes the hilarious assumption that tagging along with you will be safer than chancing the brigand-riddled-roads alone. In POE2, half of your companions were sent by their respective organizations to spy on you, so they have to follow you around. The others are either longtime friends like Eder, or people who need something that only the player can offer, and agree to follow you in pursuit of their respective MacGuffins.

BG3 currently offers no explanation at all as to why Tav is the leader of the group.

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Originally Posted by Droata
Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
There is many things in games, books, or movies that dont make much sence, but its esential for story. :-/

Indeed. When something in a game, book, or movie that is essential to the story doesn't make sense, that is a literary device typically known as a plot hole. For example, it doesn't make much sense for Rey to be able to summon lightsabers to her hand with the force and defeat Jake Skywalker's most prodigious student in a lightsaber duel when she has had absolutely zero Jedi training. But it was essential to the story, so they went ahead and put it in.

This (among many other bad decisions in the Sequel Trilogy) was widely regarded by many Star Wars fans as a bad decision. Storytellers seeking to avoid similar schisms in their own audiences will make every attempt to avoid building their narratives around things that don't make sense.


There are possible logical explanations for Tav to be selected as leader, I had mentioned one - she/he just has the better parasite. Like an alpha parasite. or maybe its like the Nameless One Planescape: Torment - he attracts people like himself, who exist in opposition to their natures. All of us having the parasite draws us together, and we subconsciously select a leader.

Other ways to address it may occur to you, but Ragnarok makes a good point - for a cohesive story to form you require a central protagonist. Otherwise your single player game is a single character adventure. Now I think personally Multiplayer is the better and more fun way to play and it resolves the issue you discuss because you can't control what 3 other people do, and we have to have consensus on next steps...or not and everyone does their own thing, total chaos happens.

But for people who really only want to play single player the game is optimized for a party of 4.

But the real game is Multiplayer as I have always said - glad we are all on the same page on that one - haha :P


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Originally Posted by Blackheifer
There are possible logical explanations for Tav to be selected as leader, I had mentioned one - she/he just has the better parasite. Like an alpha parasite. or maybe its like the Nameless One Planescape: Torment - he attracts people like himself, who exist in opposition to their natures. All of us having the parasite draws us together, and we subconsciously select a leader.
Nah, not likely since you can be an origin character and be a leader of a party.
My bet is no one really thought about why custom character is a leader, since the focus was and still is on origin characters.


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Originally Posted by Blackheifer
There are possible logical explanations for Tav to be selected as leader, I had mentioned one - she/he just has the better parasite. Like an alpha parasite. or maybe its like the Nameless One Planescape: Torment - he attracts people like himself, who exist in opposition to their natures. All of us having the parasite draws us together, and we subconsciously select a leader.

Sure. That would be a great story for them to actually tell in the game.

[Illithid][Wisdom]Use your connection with Wyll to force him to back down.

As Wyll draws his blade to settle the score with the goblin that took his eye, his hand trembles with the sword half drawn. He glares at you in recognition, struggling against the invisible force of your will. You hold his gaze until he looks away, defeated, and his blade returns reluctantly to its sheath.


Using the tadpole to dominate your companions into submission would be a great explanation for Tav calling the shots. Unfortunately, such an explanation is not currently present in the game. Nor is any other explanation.

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Originally Posted by Droata
Originally Posted by Blackheifer
There are possible logical explanations for Tav to be selected as leader, I had mentioned one - she/he just has the better parasite. Like an alpha parasite. or maybe its like the Nameless One Planescape: Torment - he attracts people like himself, who exist in opposition to their natures. All of us having the parasite draws us together, and we subconsciously select a leader.

Sure. That would be a great story for them to actually tell in the game.

[Illithid][Wisdom]Use your connection with Wyll to force him to back down.

As Wyll draws his blade to settle the score with the goblin that took his eye, his hand trembles with the sword half drawn. He glares at you in recognition, struggling against the invisible force of your will. You hold his gaze until he looks away, defeated, and his blade returns reluctantly to its sheath.


Using the tadpole to dominate your companions into submission would be a great explanation for Tav calling the shots. Unfortunately, such an explanation is not currently present in the game. Nor is any other explanation.

Right but that's a very overt and obvious subversion of will. What if its something that's subconscious - like being the baboon with the biggest reddest ass - or if you need a human analogy, we ascribe leadership to men with very large, wide faces - regardless of actual competency or ability.

The Tadpole manipulates our behavior in obvious and not so obvious ways. I know it sounds convenient - but there is some evidence to suggest this may be the case.


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Originally Posted by Blackheifer
Originally Posted by Droata
Originally Posted by Blackheifer
There are possible logical explanations for Tav to be selected as leader, I had mentioned one - she/he just has the better parasite. Like an alpha parasite. or maybe its like the Nameless One Planescape: Torment - he attracts people like himself, who exist in opposition to their natures. All of us having the parasite draws us together, and we subconsciously select a leader.

Sure. That would be a great story for them to actually tell in the game.

[Illithid][Wisdom]Use your connection with Wyll to force him to back down.

As Wyll draws his blade to settle the score with the goblin that took his eye, his hand trembles with the sword half drawn. He glares at you in recognition, struggling against the invisible force of your will. You hold his gaze until he looks away, defeated, and his blade returns reluctantly to its sheath.


Using the tadpole to dominate your companions into submission would be a great explanation for Tav calling the shots. Unfortunately, such an explanation is not currently present in the game. Nor is any other explanation.

Right but that's a very overt and obvious subversion of will. What if its something that's subconscious - like being the baboon with the biggest reddest ass - or if you need a human analogy, we ascribe leadership to men with very large, wide faces - regardless of actual competency or ability.

The Tadpole manipulates our behavior in obvious and not so obvious ways. I know it sounds convenient - but there is some evidence to suggest this may be the case.

If that is what they are going for, they need to have better breadcrumbs. I wasn't left with the impression that there was some mysterious force at work that I wanted to learn more about. I was left with the impression that the dialogue felt contrived and the players leadership status unearned.

They could have Volo mention something to the player about how odd it was for the Blade of Frontiers to be following them instead of the other way around. Or wonder why Lae'zel was still there instead of going off on her own to find her creche. That might at least give the player some confidence that there really is a plan and that things really will make sense eventually.

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Originally Posted by Blackheifer
What if its something that's subconscious - like being the baboon with the biggest reddest ass - or if you need a human analogy, we ascribe leadership to men with very large, wide faces - regardless of actual competency or ability.

The Tadpole manipulates our behavior in obvious and not so obvious ways. I know it sounds convenient - but there is some evidence to suggest this may be the case.

This has been my headcannon.

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I think something that could do this is convey this during the illithid dream. The tadpole already is buttering us up and trying to seduce us, so I think it'd make sense for it to also have a line saying something about how the others will follow or that we are the best one or something.

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Joined: May 2021
Originally Posted by CJMPinger
I think something that could do this is convey this during the illithid dream. The tadpole already is buttering us up and trying to seduce us, so I think it'd make sense for it to also have a line saying something about how the others will follow or that we are the best one or something.

That could help give some narrative explanation for the bizarre power dynamics. It comes into play a little late for my tastes though.

I had already lost any investment I had in the characters by the time I got to that point. And folks refraining from messing around with Illithid powers don't even get that dream at all as I understand it.

I think interactions that make sense would be far preferable to an elaborate explanation for why interactions don't make sense. Especially if players aren't going to be privy to that explanation until several hours into the game.

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