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This is something that happens to me quite often in RPGs, it was a bit less in D:OS2 (because of the respec mirror), but in general I feel like that after I know who the available companions are and what they bring to the table that I have to spec my character in a certain way so all bases are covered.

Some game mechanics (not being able to choose who says which line in which dialogue) intensifies the problem.

So am I the only one who feels like their main character is just filling the gaps and what could game designers do about it?


Larian, please improve QoL / UX.

And give us Halsin as companion, please.
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It is a bit of a problem - I know I tend to build my characters with at least an eye towards diplomatic skills in most games since I assume they're leading and doing the talking. Most games nowadays are good about having at least one companion to fill each general combat role, and ideally making them available early enough that you don't miss out on beginning game content if you don't take the right character build.

But there is a secondary problem, and that's making sure there's enough companions to fill different roles in case you don't like one of the standard ones. BG3 is a bit weak here comparatively speaking. If you don't like Astarion, Shadowheart, or Lae'zel, then you're going to have to build your character to fill their role.

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I don't think there are really any gaps that need to be filled. None of the classes are required and while passing skill checks is nice, you can play just fine if you fail them.

I agree that they need to do something about dialogue but defaulting to the player character (as some have suggested) is not the best way to do this. I think being able to switch easily between characters before having to pick the first response in a conversation would be better.

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Some skills are just better on the main character and much less or not at all on other characters.
Persuasion and perception on the main character is always king.
I don't know if there has ever been a game where both persuasion and perception weren't the best skills. There is also intimidation but it has always been the less loved brother of persuasion and is in most cases a much worse choice (in 5e both are charisma dependent).
This means that charisma classes are generally better main characters. It's even better if you can have some decent wisdom as well.
This does not change much even if the game supports group checks.
The problem is that even then quite often there are tests in which only your character can take part. For example, in the last pathfinder there were such high tests of both persuasion and perception (there were more of the latter).

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I'm currently having a similar experience in WotR.

Charisma classes are very hard to play in this game for someone new to the Pathfinder ruleset, so I rerolled as an Assassin (easiest class to play, massive damage output), focusing on Long Bows.

Upside: fights are now easy to understand, no struggling with massively underpowered spells (are they serious about only doing 1D4 damage with a damage cast?).

Downside: intense problems with the story because of lack of persuasion and, in this case, also arcane knowledge. Party members are not that helpful, either.

I think game designers need to reconsider this aspect of RPGs. We need some tools to allow for a more "diverse" experience in games, not just "either fight well or talk well".

Which is also why I prefer playing the Warlock in BG3... Charisma opens the story and enables player agency.


Larian, please improve QoL / UX.

And give us Halsin as companion, please.
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Originally Posted by Firesong
I'm currently having a similar experience in WotR.

Charisma classes are very hard to play in this game for someone new to the Pathfinder ruleset, so I rerolled as an Assassin (easiest class to play, massive damage output), focusing on Long Bows.

Upside: fights are now easy to understand, no struggling with massively underpowered spells (are they serious about only doing 1D4 damage with a damage cast?).

Downside: intense problems with the story because of lack of persuasion and, in this case, also arcane knowledge. Party members are not that helpful, either.

I think game designers need to reconsider this aspect of RPGs. We need some tools to allow for a more "diverse" experience in games, not just "either fight well or talk well".

Which is also why I prefer playing the Warlock in BG3... Charisma opens the story and enables player agency.

I think you mean a slayer because the assassin is useless. Fortunately, it's not so bad, it's easy to get quite a decent value of persuasion and perception on the slayer.
Half-elf is very useful here because of the added bonus.
Arcane knowledge is not too much of a problem because there aren't many checks and then you will unlock a broken companion who can handle most of the checks in this game.

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I'm afraid the problem is much more apparent in 5e. In pathfinder you can distribute points every level which makes the stat bonus not that important (these 5 points will not make a big difference in the end). However, it is different in the case of 5e where the increment is much smaller, which makes the ability score much more important.
The difference between a character who has +0 and +5 is huge.
I think that this problem will be indirectly solved when the stat rollover is available, so that you can set a decent amount of charisma without losing the character's power (14 should be enough, although personally I would prefer 16)

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Originally Posted by Rhobar121
Originally Posted by Firesong
I'm currently having a similar experience in WotR.

Charisma classes are very hard to play in this game for someone new to the Pathfinder ruleset, so I rerolled as an Assassin (easiest class to play, massive damage output), focusing on Long Bows.

Upside: fights are now easy to understand, no struggling with massively underpowered spells (are they serious about only doing 1D4 damage with a damage cast?).

Downside: intense problems with the story because of lack of persuasion and, in this case, also arcane knowledge. Party members are not that helpful, either.

I think game designers need to reconsider this aspect of RPGs. We need some tools to allow for a more "diverse" experience in games, not just "either fight well or talk well".

Which is also why I prefer playing the Warlock in BG3... Charisma opens the story and enables player agency.

I think you mean a slayer because the assassin is useless. Fortunately, it's not so bad, it's easy to get quite a decent value of persuasion and perception on the slayer.
Half-elf is very useful here because of the added bonus.
Arcane knowledge is not too much of a problem because there aren't many checks and then you will unlock a broken companion who can handle most of the checks in this game.

Yes, could be the slayer, I'm playing WotR in German and the class names are QUITE confusing.

Actually I'd prefer to play the charisma based caster class, because I would like to be "Warlock for Calistria" (sounds like a political movement, haha), but why play a caster who is actually only using the crossbow anyway...

Seriously disbalanced if you ask me, but maybe there are a few things that I need to learn before I can start casting spells in my next playthrough.

Also I met the "broken" companion. I actually want to take this one with me, because I like broken companions, and maybe she will see that the forces of Chaotic Good can be a good alternative to her atheism, because us chaotic good folks never
burn witches or do other nasty things only the actually evil "lawful good" folks are known for
. hehe

However, back to the topic and why it's here:

It's more of a philosophical discussion, I know... but I still remember me working out my first "fully viable" party composition for my first D:OS2 playthrough in Excel with the goal to get me through levels 1-9 quickly and painlessly.

The question I'm still asking myself is: is this really how RPGing should work?

Last edited by Firesong; 19/10/21 09:06 AM.

Larian, please improve QoL / UX.

And give us Halsin as companion, please.
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It was not at all in Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 because there were TONS of companions.
Whatever your role, you would have find the appropriate companions and on top of that, you had a party of 6 so you could really choose what you liked without thinking about anything else.

In BG3 it's different. I'm always playing the characters I like but then I have to choose companions I don't like because there are not enough choices.
On top of that with a party of 4, I'll usually stick to tank / healer / caster / someone that is particularly good at lockpicking.
Lack of companions + small party size (+ classic balanced party) = Not a lot of possibilities.

Last edited by Maximuuus; 19/10/21 09:24 AM.
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Originally Posted by Maximuuus
It was not at all in Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 because there were TONS of companions.
Whatever your role, you would have find the appropriate companions.

Most of them had a story that could be described in two sentences (bg1).
In bg 2 it was better but some characters still had a lot of history and some were quite the opposite.
Not to mention that any one companion in bg3 has more voice acting than all of the older games together.
So I wouldn't consider it an advantage.

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Originally Posted by Rhobar121
Originally Posted by Maximuuus
It was not at all in Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 because there were TONS of companions.
Whatever your role, you would have find the appropriate companions.

Most of them had a story that could be described in two sentences (bg1).
In bg 2 it was better but some characters still had a lot of history and some were quite the opposite.
Not to mention that any one companion in bg3 has more voice acting than all of the older games together.
So I wouldn't consider it an advantage.

BG1 and BG2 were made in 1998 by a small studio and with less money.
BG3 is made by 350 people and with millions of dollars.

I can also write stupid things.

Last edited by Maximuuus; 19/10/21 09:28 AM.
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Originally Posted by Firesong
The question I'm still asking myself is: is this really how RPGing should work?
I think there is much more rp involved with not requiring certain classes in a party. It gives people more freedom to bring characters they prefer (or none at all) rather than being stuck with someone you hate. Or if you just want to experiment (party of four mages for example.) This is way better than in MMOs where a tank and healer are usually required (but even this is not set in stone.)

From my current plays of BG3 I don't need a fighter or a cleric. I may bring them along for rp reasons but potions are good enough for healing, and preferring stealth and ranged means that a melee fighter wouldn't get to do anything. I have soloed with a ranger, partially with a rogue and a wizard. A custom party of all mages looks like it would be very easy, about the only thing I personally would find hard would be a party of all melee types, only because I don't find noisily rushing into combat like an idiot to be enjoyable. I am sure this is very doable for someone who prefers that playstyle though.

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IMO, for a party game like this, the design mentality should always be "the player should be able to form a well-rounded party just with the companions alone". A well-rounded party is one that can handle majority of situations in the game, both in and outside of combat. You can form a well-rounded party, both skill-wise and general role-wise, from just your companions, if you want, and you have the freedom to play whatever role and whatever skill you want. So to answer the question "is filling the gap how RPGing should work?", I'd say no - it shouldn't be that way. In fact, ideally, the game should allow the player to form a well-rounded party as soon as possible.

First and foremost, the devs themselves should establish what a "well-rounded" party for their game should look like, and whether it would be a great idea to have such a party, then design the companions' kits around that. If the devs believe that a so-called "well-rounded party" doesn't exist, or doesn't need to exist, for their game, then that's a different story.

For games like Kingmaker and WotR, I do believe it is a great idea (and would make the game more enjoyable) to have a well-rounded party. Skill checks come up very often and of a wide range, both in the environment and in dialogues, and they affect outcomes greatly. There are also attribute score checks and saving throw checks. Combat-wise, it's also much better to have a well-rounded party than not, unless you're playing on easier difficulties. Kingmaker does this quite well, I think. On the other hand, I wish WotR had given you a brute force fighter or some other type of character that has reliable hit rate against the sky-high inflated AC values in the game. Though, I wouldn't rule out the possibility that the devs intentionally refuse to give you a companion of classes like Magus or Alchemist, because they didn't want such companions to trivialize their "difficult" encounters.

Even if you say that in this game you don't "need" anything combat-wise, I would still like to have a well-rounded party to handle the checks in dialogues and in the environment. And I would prefer to be able to form a party like that without having to factor in my main character. A "face of the party" persuasion guy, a trickery/dexterous guy, a perception guy, a "smart" intelligent guy, a "more brawn than brain" guy, and so on.

EDIT: just noticed, with this post, my forum rank has finally gone from addict to old hand. Woooo!

Last edited by Try2Handing; 19/10/21 11:07 AM.

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True but i think it is not possible in BG3 to have that much compianions with beckground story and quests. We should be fair and we shouldn't expect that, even if they have a lot of money.
I think the companions are ok in this game. You have a Warlock(CHA), Fighter, Mage and Priest. So it's fine.

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For WotR i created a good damage dealing fighter and my main char was a sorcerer. In this game it is possible to create companions (without quests etc.)

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Originally Posted by Try2Handing
Even if you say that in this game you don't "need" anything combat-wise, I would still like to have a well-rounded party to handle the checks in dialogues and in the environment. Again, I should be able to form such a party without having to factor in my main character.
You can do this. We already have a fighter, healer, rogue and two mages, one of whom can be the party face. Everything seems to be covered for a stereotypical party, the main character can be anything you want them to be. Pretty much every rpg I have played starts you out with options for a stereotypical party.

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I generally tend to create a character, and then fill the party accordingly. Of course, at the moment in BG3 we don't have much of a choice.

As to skill checks and such - I much prefer if RPG only talke our protagonist into account. Companions can contribue (like in PoE2) but overall it should strength and limitations of our PC that determine what is available to us. If we can cover all bases through thorough party composition (like in Wasteland3 or D:OS2) then the whole idea of "create your character" becomes somewhat pointless IMO. While RPGs should allow for unique experiences based on our choices, I think the best RPGs also close and open unique ways to approach the problem due to our character builds.

BG3, of course, has the issue of being coop game as well - I think a coop dynamic is much different then singleplayer. It's a different feel to "I can't do it, but my friend can", then "I can do it, but have to leave the conversation, switch the character, go through the same dialogue and then do the check". It is of course super frustrating when game engages in conversation one of my underlings. I try to ignore my companions, outside of what they can contribue to my checks, but just like in D:OS2 there is temptation to metagame, and utilise all companions to the fullest - but at this point IMO game becomes more tedious and dull.

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Originally Posted by Zarna
Originally Posted by Try2Handing
Even if you say that in this game you don't "need" anything combat-wise, I would still like to have a well-rounded party to handle the checks in dialogues and in the environment. Again, I should be able to form such a party without having to factor in my main character.
You can do this. We already have a fighter, healer, rogue and two mages, one of whom can be the party face. Everything seems to be covered for a stereotypical party, the main character can be anything you want them to be. Pretty much every rpg I have played starts you out with options for a stereotypical party.

This is not entirely true, if you use a character other than the main character, you do not receive approval from your companions, which may result in some of the content being blocked at a later stage.
In addition, there will certainly be checkups that require only the main character.

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I think the best system for this is to allow other characters to make the check as you designate. They could add an immersive interface for this. However, at this stage in the game I am not sure it is the most important thing.

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Originally Posted by Maximuuus
Lack of companions + small party size (+ classic balanced party) = Not a lot of possibilities.
Beautifully sums up my view as well.

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