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Shadowheart - We've talked about a lot. She's dressed like a Sharran with onyx circlet, onyx stones in her armor, and she pretty much screams, "I'm a cleric of Shar everybody." But you're never given the opportunity to question who she is a cleric of, her outfit, or anything. Then, when she reveals her secret, your character's only option is shock. "What? Seriously? You believe in Shar? I did NOT see that coming." Makes no sense. At least give us the ability to question her, have her lie to us, have us make Insight checks and such to see if we can tell she's lying, have us make Religion rolls to determine if we know anything about Shar and her armor and such. SOMEthing to make this make more sense.

Astarion - I've mentioned this on another post. Why does he try to knife you? Makes no sense. Here's this guy who is all alone. He's a vampire spawn who learns "Holy crap! I'm not dying in direct sunlight!" Sure, he saw you running around on the ship, but all the more reason why he wouldn't try to trick you with a boar in the bushes and then put a knife to your throat. It makes no sense to me, especially if he's outnumbered two to 1 (or more in multiplayer mode), and especially if one of those individuals in your party is a cleric. He has no idea what he can or cannot do anymore, and he's alone. It makes way more sense to have Astarion try to be as sweet as pie with you to try to convince you he is a wonderful person to know and have on your team. He should be super friendly and such, trying to lull you into revealing something that he wants to know. I don't know. I just don't think it makes sense for him to attack you, and it would make a lot more players hate him less.

Gale - The one who REALLY doesn't make sense. I mean REALLY REALLY. First, he tells you that he's surprised your alive. "Last time I saw you, you were lying in a crucible's worth of blood; an intellect devourer nibbling at your ear." WHAAA??? When did THIS happen? Ever? Maybe if I screwed up the fight with the intellect devourers in the nautiloid just after leaving the beach, I might have been lying in a pool of blood, but otherwise, no. Makes no sense. At no time was I ever in this scenario. But I can't even ask him what he means. I can't ask him where he was on the ship either. I can't ask him, or anyone really for that matter, to tell me their story about how they survived the ship, how they got away, and what they've been doing all this time. Maybe that's just because it's EA, I don't know, but hopefully at full release they'll let us ask such questions. Also, and this is a big one for me, I have no ability to question Gale with why he is the ONLY origin character we don't connect with at the tadpole level. Shadowheart, Astarion, Lae'zel and Wyll ALL connect via tadpole, but Gale does not. Why? I can't even ask him what he thinks. And why can't I get jealous when Gale flirts with Shadowheart? I mean, what a perfect opportunity to create some tension between party members. He flirts with Shadowheart, and I should have the ability to at least say, "All right. All right. You old smoothy," like Han with Lando. Then I lead Shadowheart away by the hand with my back to him just to make sure he understands. lol. OK. So maybe not quite like that, but you know... something. I can only sit there and watch it play out. And, finally, Gale can die. Oh! He's got this big magic bomb in his chest. If he dies, he'll supernova everything. But hey. We can kill him and leave him for dead on the ground as soon as we meet him. Makes no sense. That goes for Astarion too. He can bleed out and die, even though he's a vampire spawn? ??? Makes no sense. No. If we kill Gale, his ghost self should appear and say to resurrect him quick or else. If you don't... BOOM!!! Game over. Reload. Best not mess with Gale.

And if Astarion dies, SOMEthing different should happen instead of a pool of blood forming around him. He's a vampire spawn. Yes, he's weird because of the tadpole, but it should be something different. I mean, during dialogues, he makes comments like, "I'd like to see you try," when you mention something about killing him. Um... If he can bleed out and die like everyone else, he shouldn't be acting all like he's a vampire spawn still. I don't know. He just doesn't make sense. It's like no one's really sure if he's a vampire spawn or a person. Is he alive or dead? He can bleed out, but he has no reflection, but he has fangs and needs to drink blood, but he can only do so once in a day now, and he can't spider climb, but he can enter places unwelcomed, but he burns when walking through running water, but he doesn't burn up in the sun... It just doesn't add up at all. When his HP is reduced to 0, maybe he should NOT bleed out and instead he starts sizzling and turning into a vapor, as if he's burning up in the sun. SOMEthing to say, "Astarion isn't like everyone else." I mean, Gale has some death cloud around him, so why shouldn't Astarion be different from everyone else?

Lae'zel - "We must get to the creche. NOW!" She nags you to death about it. Then, 7 Long Rests later. She's forgotten all about it. She doesn't even care anymore, and she's still in your party. Why exactly?

Wyll - Same as Lae'zel. "I'm after Mizora and I want to defeat the goblins to save the grove. These are the only things I really care about." We go everywhere but the goblin camp and ignore it completely. He's perfectly fine even after a week of long resting. No issues with Wyll no matter what you do.

I don't know. Like I said. Maybe it's just because it's EA, but there are SO many things that don't make sense.

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I’ll add one more:
Halsin: It doesn’t make sense he isn’t a companion! biggrin 🐻

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Originally Posted by Icelyn
I’ll add one more:
Halsin: It doesn’t make sense he isn’t a companion! biggrin 🐻
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Originally Posted by Icelyn
I’ll add one more:
Halsin: It doesn’t make sense he isn’t a companion! biggrin 🐻
Amen to that. 😁

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Originally Posted by GM4Him
Gale - The one who REALLY doesn't make sense. I mean REALLY REALLY. First, he tells you that he's surprised your alive. "Last time I saw you, you were lying in a crucible's worth of blood; an intellect devourer nibbling at your ear." WHAAA??? When did THIS happen? Ever? Maybe if I screwed up the fight with the intellect devourers in the nautiloid just after leaving the beach, I might have been lying in a pool of blood, but otherwise, no. Makes no sense. At no time was I ever in this scenario.
Uh, the implication is that this is something that happened at any time between the insertion of the tadpole and when you woke up on the ground of the Nautiloid outside of your pod.
Not sure what's supposed to be so outrageous about it.

Quote
to tell me their story about how they survived the ship, how they got away, and what they've been doing all this time.
Allegedly, more or less like you did? And "all this time" is supposed to be a few hours at most after the Nautiloid crashed. The crash happen in an unspecified moment of the night and you wake up on the bitch at morning (which could be as likely one, two or six hours later, for what you can tell).

I mean, you make some fair point in your summary, but these sound like arbitrary nitpicking.

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Originally Posted by Tuco
Originally Posted by GM4Him
Gale - The one who REALLY doesn't make sense. I mean REALLY REALLY. First, he tells you that he's surprised your alive. "Last time I saw you, you were lying in a crucible's worth of blood; an intellect devourer nibbling at your ear." WHAAA??? When did THIS happen? Ever? Maybe if I screwed up the fight with the intellect devourers in the nautiloid just after leaving the beach, I might have been lying in a pool of blood, but otherwise, no. Makes no sense. At no time was I ever in this scenario.
Uh, the implication is that this is something that happened at any time between the insertion of the tadpole and when you woke up on the ground of the Nautiloid outside of your pod.
Not sure what's supposed to be so outrageous about it.

Quote
to tell me their story about how they survived the ship, how they got away, and what they've been doing all this time.
Allegedly, more or less like you did? And "all this time" is supposed to be a few hours at most after the Nautiloid crashed. The crash happen in an unspecified moment of the night and you wake up on the bitch at morning (which could be as likely one, two or six hours later, for what you can tell).

I mean, you make some fair point in your summary, but these sound like arbitrary nitpicking.

I was being somewhat serious, but not totally.

I am always confused by the Gale remark, though. We don't wake up in blood, and there isn't an intellect devourer in sight. It's just a little off. I do wonder if it is a mistake or they have something else in mind that we don't know about.

As for what they've been doing, it depends on whether you long rest or not. If you don't, it makes sense. If you do... What have they been doing for a day?

Also, another thing that doesn't sit well with me. If you meet Shadowheart at the crypt entrance, she's got like 4 dead intellect devourers near her, as if she killed them all by herself. Dang! Seriously?

Gale is similar with the goblins. They don't really say it, but it's kinda implied that he killed them since they're near where you meet him. But he has full spell slots and is a baby wizard. Just seems again to be a bit off.

I'd like Investigation checks to piece together what happened in various places. Success means I figure out that the fishers on the beach actually killed the devourers, not SH, and the two tieflings used crossbows and ambushed the goblins from above, or something. You know. Make sense of the scene. I find crossbow bolts or something indicating the tieflings, or something.

Anyway. All minor points, really.

Last edited by GM4Him; 30/07/22 02:25 AM.
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I wouldn't get too hung up on the Gale stuff. The whole cutscene reeks of placeholder. If he did see us lying down at the beach, he should have definitely noticed Shadowheart on the way there too.

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I agree with Tuco that it's probably supposed to reflect the time we spend being knocked out *on* the nautiloid, after the pod breaks open in the intro cinematic. Presumably Gale was in one of the pods in that room and selfishly left us for dead. We don't see any intellect devourers because we're, as mentioned, knocked out. But it is seriously not a good look for him. "Oh hello Gale. It's good to meet you. What was that you just said about LEAVING US TO BLEED OUT (OR WORSE) ON A MINDFLAYER SHIP THAT WAS ON FIRE AND IN HELL?!?!??"

I think that line should be changed if not removed. Otherwise, now we have multiple companions who attempt to kill us, through action or intentional inaction, when they first meet us. (I'm not counting Lae'zel. She only threatens to kill us.)

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Shadowheart: They need to give her different armour probably, although I will say that a random commoner for instance would not know what a follower of Shar is likely to be wearing. Many people would rather have a somewhat normal backstory rather than something grandiose and filled with self importance, but a cleric should get a religion roll for sure with her current armour.

Astarion: Desperation makes people do stupid things. He is confused, probably traumatized, maybe even hungry, and not thinking clearly. He also says he saw us on the ship and thinks we are in league with the mindflayers, so even though he is outnumbered he will try to kill his assumed enemy. Not sure he would know that Shadowheart is a cleric unless she starts casting. Perhaps for this first meeting there could be another roll to determine if he will attack us or not (maybe from the response we give him?) As for all the other stuff about him, I feel like Larian didn't do enough research on how a vampire spawn really is. The spider climb part is easy though, we have no z axis. I just hope the rest can be explained properly later on because "tadpole" seems to be a big excuse for a lot of things.

Gale: I think his comment is referring to before we wake up on the ship. Hopefully what happened to get us there will be revealed later on in the game. A couple patches ago I am pretty sure that as a Drow I had a memory of something that implied I was being sacrificed but could be wrong about this. Perhaps all of our characters had something similar happen or just tried to fight when we were abducted, which would explain the blood. We do need to be able to ask Gale about why our tadpoles do not do what they do with everyone else, hopefully this also will be revealed later. As for killing him immediately, I have never done this (usually just don't go to the portal if I don't want him in my party) but if we don't get the resurrection scene then that is something that makes no sense and should be fixed.

Lae'zel: There should be some sort of dialogue to explain why she is now ok with not doing what she wants. It is weird that she suddenly accepts not going to the creche.

Wyll: He should also have a dialogue explaining things.

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The whole Astarion introduction really is baffling. Even if you can explain away his reason for doing so in the first place, it just feels like a bad way to introduce a companion like him. I think it would feelbetter if he were a more sincere character honestly. It would come off easier to believe if someone who's clearly lost and at the end of their rope makes a desperation move and then is clearly apologetic when the truth of their mistake comes to light. Astarion ends up just dripping with condesencion, playing off his mistake and feels quite unappologetic, which makes it hard to trust him after that. And yes, he should probably come off kind of untrustworthy, but I think this current introduction is simply to blunt about it too soon. He should be untrustworthy in a slick, kind of greasy way, like you know he's playing you somehow, you just can't be sure why. Astarion's introduction should focus on portraying him as a charmer and someone with a lot of guile. Clumsily trying to hold us at knifepoint and then arrogantly brushing it off makes him feel really...unimpressive.

Also related to Astarion, the fact he can kill us during the blood-drinking scene is insane. Sure, it makes some logical sense that if we let him drink too much and weaken us, he might lose control, but it just...from a narrative, storytelling perspective that's terrible. After that happens, the rest of the party should kill him for it. But they don't, they barely seem to acknowledge that it happened, if at all. And if you have a companion pay to resurrect you, he's so arrogant and acts like killing you isn't a big deal. It's the one moment in the game that genuinely, truly INFURIATES me. He killed us, how dare he not be grovelling for forgiveness? How the hell does Larian think that's an acceptable thing to let a companion do? Gaaahhh!

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Astarion is paranoid, been enslaved and traumatised in innumerable ways for hundreds of years, and has just escaped from an environment in which he associates you with his most recent capture and trauma.

Pulling a knife on you really isn't that odd.

ShadowHeart was likely captured on a mission working for Shar where the mission goals are secret, but not necessarily the fact her/her group was from Shar. She might have been part of a commando force where they were all decked out.

What is weird is she doesn't recognise how obvious she now is and tries to hide the fact, not that she has the gear itself.

Either/or though, either her gear or her delusions of secrecy need to go.

Wyll is just a mess of a character IMO and they need to re-do most of it to make his story and timeline coherent.


In general I don't think Larian is prepared to do BG2 style companions where people leave your group either through you actions or inter-party dynamics, partly because they are committed to their Origin character system, and partly because the game just doesn't have enough companion character options.

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Good summary.

Originally Posted by GM4Him
And if Astarion dies, SOMEthing different should happen instead of a pool of blood forming around him. He's a vampire spawn. Yes, he's weird because of the tadpole, but it should be something different. I mean, during dialogues, he makes comments like, "I'd like to see you try," when you mention something about killing him. Um... If he can bleed out and die like everyone else, he shouldn't be acting all like he's a vampire spawn still. I don't know. He just doesn't make sense. It's like no one's really sure if he's a vampire spawn or a person. Is he alive or dead? He can bleed out, but he has no reflection, but he has fangs and needs to drink blood, but he can only do so once in a day now, and he can't spider climb, but he can enter places unwelcomed, but he burns when walking through running water, but he doesn't burn up in the sun... It just doesn't add up at all. When his HP is reduced to 0, maybe he should NOT bleed out and instead he starts sizzling and turning into a vapor, as if he's burning up in the sun. SOMEthing to say, "Astarion isn't like everyone else." I mean, Gale has some death cloud around him, so why shouldn't Astarion be different from everyone else?
This is the problem when someone says "hey, wouldn't it be cool to have a vampire character?!" and then they just jump to add one because vampires are so cool. Even if there's no night time in the game and they don't want to deal with the significant gameplay implications. And the story of the game isn't about vampires at all. They don't explain why a Mindflayer tadpole, a living biological creature, would ever enter a dead body with no sustenance or be able to transform dead tissue. They then use the same tadpole as a weak excuse to ignore the vampire traits that are inconvenient for gameplay. Just stapled on vampire that doesn't belong. And what happens? Vampires are no longer cool.

You can't have everything without sacrificing the quality and integrity of writing. A vampire PC belongs in game where there is a) night time and gameplay mechanical consequences for being one and b) a story that revolves much more heavily around vampires instead of something completely unrelated.

The voice actor is great, but the character is really weak. It's a shame his talent is wasted on such a haphazardly put together character that doesn't really add up.

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I always throught Astarion's actions worked for a 9 int character. They changed that due to feedback, well change the introduction. He should be smarter than that.

Shadowheart... ugh. Where do I start. She's gorgeous, she's useful, she has nice cinematics... but she's dumb and was written abysmally if we're not playing the Sharan/Trickery Cleric for laughs. If I want to be kind, I'll say that the brainwashing that turned her Sharan scrambled her wits a bit.

SHADOWHEART: "We just met. You saved my life. I will give an obviously fake name... So you can trust me."
TAV: [Linked Image from i.kym-cdn.com]

SHADOWHEART: "I will pick up this suspicious looking artifact and, when questioned, I'll make it as painfully obvious as possible that it's a SECRET. We are now going into a dangerous situation ...But you can trust me."
[Linked Image from i.kym-cdn.com]

(Same shtick on the beach. Same in the grove.

Whatever happened to good old:
"My holy symbol. *Starts espousing niche religious information that no one can call bullshit on without a 20 Religion check and bores everyone else*"
"A family heirloom. These abominations took me just as I was sorting through my great-aunt's belongings. She was my favorite aunt, bless her heart."
)

SHADOWHEART: "I will continue to wear an armor and circlet with Shar's holy symbol... No, we can't talk about it even if you can open the book of dead gods, recognise Jergal, and pass any other Religion checks. But I am good! And loyal!"
[Linked Image from i.kym-cdn.com]

SHADOWHEART: "I will refuse to give out any info about myself while constantly demanding to know what others were talking about... That is cool and you should indulge me, chase me, answer all my questions, do what I suggest, and I will love you for it."
[Linked Image from i.kym-cdn.com]

Fake-eye Wyll has a better cover story than Shadowheart. Man, Astarion has a better cover story. ...by the simple fact that he has a cover story. And as I said before, he was originally written as a 9 int character.

Gale... Gale-bear creeps me out. When you meet him, he casually (almost cheerfully) informs you that he left you for dead. When you do what he wants, he's polite, supportive, and complimentary. When you don't do what he wants, he becomes, by turns, threatening or demeaning while trying to pretend to you and the group that he's still thinking of the greater good or the most practical thing. That level of emotional manipulation creeps me out. I want to like him! He's likeable... when you do what he wants. He can be funny and sweet... when you do what he wants. He will make Tav feel good about him/herself... when you do what he wants.
Gale is a better manipulator than Shadowheart (Trickery Cleric), a better liar than Astarion (Rogue), and more dangerous to the team's health than anyone else (due to the Netherese magic). So Gale probably won't be in my first team at release. He's a ticking bomb in more ways than one. frown


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I agree to almost everything that has been said:

- Shadowheart: Either she dops her Shar gear or she tells you: "I am a cleric of Shar on a mission but I will not tell you what it is."
The name Shadowheart is not really helpful on a secret mission. It may be a cool name for a secret mission but if you tell everyone its not secret anymore.
PS: Do clerics have to use a symbol of their god or say their gods name to cast spells? In that case it makes no sense trying to hide that you are a cleric of Shar if you travel with a group that may need your spells.

- As I said long time ago, its best to make him a vampire thrall instead of a vampire spawn. He is an elf who was the slave of a vampire lord for a long time. It makes no sense to make him a vampire when he loses most vampire abilities or weaknesses. It makes no sense that Illithids infect undead. Then they could also drop his water problem. Its nuts that the devs had to decide for every water in the game if it is moving or not because one char has a special background.

His intro scene also makes little sense. He tries to kill you when he is outnumbered and your armed companions stand right next to you. And then it makes no sense that he wants to join you one moment after he tried to kill you.

- Ignore every argument that involves time. There is no time in the game. Nobody cares if you rest 100 times and where you go first. They only care about your choice here and now, like if you kill or help an NPC.
PS: This makes things with time element (e.g. burning inn) even more annoying.


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They really should remove the Shar stuff from SH armor. She comes across as very amateur. I would even hide the artifact until she used it or dies.

Astarion will get killed in my games nowadays. It doesn't make sense to invite someone into my group, who threatens you with a knife. And since I don't like him anyways -away with him.
Wyll is much too obvious with hiding stuff. Same as SH actually.
Gale, well, I find much about him off, but I find it ok, that He might have seen me ( or thought, he'd Seen me) getting attacked by a intellect devourer.

I actually am mostly ok with Laez'el's behavior, but I would like, if she would go off to search for the gith patrol on her own, if we take too long and er meet her again during the cutscene with said gith patrol.

Last edited by fylimar; 30/07/22 12:50 PM.

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Originally Posted by GM4Him
"Last time I saw you, you were lying in a crucible's worth of blood; an intellect devourer nibbling at your ear."
Feel free to corect me, but as far as i know Intellect Devourer dont even have mouth, or teeth to nibble anything ... meaning, quite logicaly, this sentence cannot be taken litteraly and may be just Gale colorfull way of describing that you seemed dead.

Originally Posted by GM4Him
No. If we kill Gale, his ghost self should appear and say to resurrect him quick or else. If you don't... BOOM!!! Game over. Reload. Best not mess with Gale.
Nah ...
You can just presume that someone else ressurected him, after all he quite specificaly told them how.

Would be nice to see him later, tho.


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Scenario:

Gale, all by himself, hiding on the nautiloid, trying not to be recaptured, sees you unconscious and surrounded by intellect devourers.

He's one guy. A first level wizard. Is he going to:

A. charge in and get killed in the hopes that he might be able to save you assuming you're even still alive?

-or-

B. try to get away?

*

I don't believe that the average person would notice Shadowheart's armor. That said, I do think a religion roll would be in order, which, if passed, should initiate a conversation.

The idea of getting romantic with Shadowheart creeps me out a little when I think about it.

1. She's super up front about how she's a liar. Red flag.

-and-

2. She doesn't even have her memories. And here you are developing a relationship with her. When she gets her memories back, who is she going to be? She could be married for all the two of you know. She could have a *completely* different personality.

*

Regarding Laezel sticking around... it's a game. Games always make allowances for doing side quests. The main quest is always super important and demanding immediate attention... but somehow the character finds time to go off and do side quests anyway.

That's just the way it is.

If Laezel left the party after a couple of nights, folks would be screaming in protest.

*

Say what you will about Astarion, but at least his introductory scene is interesting. Something happens. As opposed to: "Hi, I'm Astarion, and gosh, I'm scared out here alone. Who are you?" <--boring.

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You have a point about Gale. I'm not too fussed about his whole situation honestly.

How much people would recognize the armor and such is up in the air, granted. Your point about her romance is interesting too.

The issue with Lae'zel is that the writers didn't have to make her so vehemently single-minded. Suspension of disbelief is something I support, and I find the Lae'zel issue to be a more forgiveable example, but it just feels like an example of the writers prioritizing "coolness" over party/gameplay synergy.

And with Astarion, just because something is interesting doesn't mean it's actually good. The movie Cats is very interesting, but there is much debate about its goodness. I don't think it does a good job of introducing his character, or at least, it fails to really make him an appealing addition to the party. And when he's the only rogue available, a particularly important character archetype, that's not good.

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Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
You have a point about Gale. I'm not too fussed about his whole situation honestly.

How much people would recognize the armor and such is up in the air, granted. Your point about her romance is interesting too.

The issue with Lae'zel is that the writers didn't have to make her so vehemently single-minded. Suspension of disbelief is something I support, and I find the Lae'zel issue to be a more forgiveable example, but it just feels like an example of the writers prioritizing "coolness" over party/gameplay synergy.

And with Astarion, just because something is interesting doesn't mean it's actually good. The movie Cats is very interesting, but there is much debate about its goodness. I don't think it does a good job of introducing his character, or at least, it fails to really make him an appealing addition to the party. And when he's the only rogue available, a particularly important character archetype, that's not good.

I understand how Laezel gets annoying. I tend to agree. I want her on the team, but sometimes I don't like suffering her attitude.

*

With Astarion, I can also see the issue people have with his introduction.

Personally, I think it would go a long way to give him disadvantage on his stealth roll against the PC. His armor gives disadvantage anyway, right?

But it's clear the game isn't giving him disadvantage because Tav so often fails the check to notice him.

His scene doesn't play out half as bad when Tav notices him. It's only when they end up on the ground with the dagger to the throat that it gets real questionable. In my opinion, that is.

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I actually like Lae'zel quite a bit, she and Wyll are my favorite characters at this point. I like Gale too, but Wyll is charming and Lae'zel is interesting.

I think I've only fallen for the stealth check once in my three or four playthroughs, and the fact that he goes for me with the knife at all is still just really off-putting for a character you're supposed to welcome onto your side. What're your thoughts on the whole blood drinking scene and his potentially killing your character? And his reaction afterwards of course.

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