Heya Avalonica, thanks for your input,

I do want to say though, please have a proper read through the early section of the thread. The entire purpose and point of what I'm illustrating, with evidence, is that a properly well-proportioned halfling, that looks like a mature adult of their species, looks neither like a human with dwarfism, nor do they look even remotely like a juvenile human. That's the entire contention; “well-proportioned halflings” and “child-like appearance” are exact opposites. A large part of what I've shown and demonstrated here is making that precise point.

Those tiefling kids are maybe nine or ten. They are already far taller than any halfling is ever going to be. Halflings share their height bracket with one to two year old humans, and they ought to look nothing at all like those.

The clamours of “oh but they'll look like children” come from the ignorant, the misinformed and the scare-mongering, and are not based in any kind of evidence or proof. Those kinds of voices are the sorts of people who like to say that someone like me – 138cm (4'6”) tall and very petitely built – shouldn't ever pursue a normal healthy intimate relationship because it's “problematic”. It's not. Those sorts of voices are the kind that should never, ever, be accommodated or pandered to.

A mature age halfling should look like mature individual for their species, and if they were properly proportioned they would. Right now, the various issues I've pointed out go into two things: it would make them appear juvenile, or presenting of neoteny, except that the other major issue overbears it, making them appear to our senses as a human with dwarfism instead. Both issues need to be fixed, and are relatively straightforward fixes to make, and would result in a figure that no-one is ever going to mistake for a human child.

I'm speaking forcefully, and I apologise for that – it's not directed at you, but at the kind of people who want to equate every 'small' thing with child-like; it's harmful, damaging behaviour, and is quite upsetting at times. Again, sorry for the hard words.


This next bit contains heavy spoiler information, because I'll be discussing certain dreams. Ye be warned. As a note: I'll be discussing a small-sized (female) player character dreaming with a human-sized (male) dream-suitor. There are far too many possibly player/suitor combinations for my one pair of hands and one set of free time to bring up save files and compare. I would like to do the inverse (a human-sized player with a small-sized suitor), and also two smalls, just to compare, but that's a time investment I don't have available right now.

(Dream 1: Dia is deeply perturbed)

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

The first dream visit we have is very obviously an absolute messy shambles for small-sized characters. I don't really need to report on it here because functionally not a single part of it displays even remotely correctly at all, and every scene is nigh-on indecipherable for what it's meant to be showing or what is going on. This is all known issue territory, and it's clearly not in a state to be commented on yet. I'll wait until they fix it.

I do want to make a piece of personal feedback here: I find it very distasteful the way the game takes away your player agency on how your character reacted to the dream and what happened in it. Not the dream itself – though if you tell your would be lover to back off and not touch you, and they keep on coming, I find it very dissatisfying that our character just flows into the next part of the dream leaning into them again. That's a big immersion break right there. If we take the dialogue options to rebuff them, our character should visibly do the same. – But rather, after the dream, you have a dialogue, and Shadowheart is the primary directing character if she's available. The game happily informs us that we were moaning in an almost embarrassingly erotic fashion in our sleep, and, thank you very much Larian, but that's something I'll decide for myself. Maybe I was into the advances, and maybe I wasn't. If I wasn't, then just overriding that and saying “Oh, but, no, really, your character was totally into it!” is one of the absolutely shittiest Dm moves that anyone can ever pull, and is good grounds for leaving a game table entirely. Do NOT do that. If I rejected the advances here, then any erotic activity that happened afterwards was certainly non-consenting; we aren't talking about a simple dream that we passively experience; if it were, this would be different – this was a dream where we had awareness and agency, however, and that makes a difference. If Shadowheart is talking out her arse here, then she absolutely should not have the right to get the last word on it; let us correct her more soundly – she's not the player character here, I am. Let us decide and define how we reacted to these things, or, if it is essential that we do react a certain way, then let us decide and define how we feel about being forced to do so against our will, if indeed it is.


(Dream Two: Hollywood Wants Their Tropes Back)

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

The second dream, runs more smoothly than the first, but contains a lot of issues that I would like to discuss because they stand a greater chance of being glossed over and not fixed... and no ,the funny way in which by staff moves to block my dream-boy's face throughout the first section of the dream is not one of them.

Rather, I want to talk about the Hollywood cinematography that they abuse in this second dream. The latter half of the dream is nothing but one long string of traditional Hollywood cinema shots, textbook boring. They aren't interesting or engaging or inspiring; they're tired, overused and cliched... but more than that, they are entirely and absolutely inappropriate for smaller characters. You cannot use these tired old tropes of cinematography when one of the characters is only three feet tall. They just don't work, and they break any sense of immersion in the scene.

Let's have a look:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Some of you may not notice the problem initially, but I suspect most will see it immediately.

Dia is three feet tall. Her daisy is a human male, and when they stand next to each other, her head just about reaches his waist.

No amount of camera angling can make ANY of these shots make ANY kind of believable sense.

In the first image, we have just 'slain our foes' (which has a very bad clipping issue all the way through, but that's a simple bug report). It was followed by our suitor walking up alongside us. If I were human-height, he could well be standing just a little bit behind us. I'm not; what is this image? Either I'm floating three feet off the ground suddenly, or else he is buried up to his waist in it. He could be sitting down ,perhaps... except for the fact that the preceding shot was of him walking up to us, and the following shot makes it clear that he is still standing.

The second image is that following shot; a classic Hollywood trope of cinematography; an upward pan of us standing side by side... Except, we're depicted with out hands at roughly the same height, in setup for the next even more over-used cinema trope to follow (if gives us a hand close up here, briefly). So, again, either I'm floating several feet off the ground, or he is sunk into it, just to force the alignment of our hands and put our torsos where the shot demands they be. This doesn't work for a smaller character; it just doesn't.

The third image is the next camera shot again, as we look out over the ruined city. Dia's head is above his shoulder, because Hollywood cinema dictates that's how 'dramatic standing together' looks... once again, shattering any kind of immersion for us as players. Here at least, they could keep their Hollywood shot, if they had our character show how and why they're at shoulder height here in the preceding shot; rather than just walking up to the edge of the view, they could, for example, clamber up onto some convenient rocks to get a better look; there's nothing too wrong with lamp-shading this as long as it's made to look like a smooth, natural part of the scene.

Oh and then we cut down to the crustiest of old Hollywood arch-tropes of cinema, and the dramatic close-up of hands brushing against each other! Only, Dia's hand should be a couple of feet away from his!

Then we cut back to “looking down on it all”, another classic that only works when your actors are roughly the same height (for added Hollywood style, when the scene contains a male and a female, the female is always shot to look slightly shorter than the male, regardless of their actual heights. Check!). It doesn't work here without giving up all concept of scene immersion or sense.

Of course, how could you not shoot “looking down on it all” without sliding into “eyes to each other” and “hands linked”? Because that's what we do next, naturally. Dia's little hand is not at all suitable for the pose as written, of course, and a different pose of hand-joining would be employed, but that's an easy fix and one that is more obvious as a bug, compared to the rest of this.

Then we go in for something that involves our faces (presumably this is when Dia chooses her moment to bite his tongue out, after repeatedly rejecting and rebuffing his advances and he won't back off).

Oh, no, apparently not. Once again, in the morning we're greeted with a conversation that has the game, via Shadowheart (if she is available), blithely informing us that the details of our dream are alrayd shared and everyone knows what we did (but somehow we don't know theirs?), and that we *bedded* our suitor.

No, Larian. Absolutely no. Once again, the “Oh, no, you totally love him, and you want it, and then you do a fade-to-black with him!” is the worst kind of abusive, petty Dm move that anyone can ever make. It's a violation of our character and of our right to define our character.

Let ME decide if I enjoyed my suitor's embrace or not – after spending literally every conversation option possible rebuffing him and telling him to go away and leave me alone and not to touch me, I highly doubt that I did; if I did, it wasn't with consent.

This is not just a figment dream within our own mind – this is an engagement with an obviously real and sentient entity that exists independently of us in some fashion. We might not know the details but it clearly has personhood. That means that if you are forcing there to have been an intimate encounter here, and we as a player have been rejecting the advances, then you're actively having this entity dream-rape our character (the word still applies even if it 'made us want it' through psionic or brain-hacking means); you can do that, certainly – we've already suffered a pretty bad bodily violation as the premise of the game – but IF that's what you're doing, then you absolutely need to let us, as characters express how we feel about that fact. Right now, we can't. We just have to deal with Shadow's sniffy condescension last-wording us and telling us what happened, without any options to correct her firmly or to really show how we feel about what happened, or didn't.

Perhaps Dia has been a warlock of the White Darkness since she was eight, and hasn't ever done the whole body-intimacy-act thing before, and so being forcibly compelled to do so by an entity that is invading her dreams is quite distressing to her – I can't express that.

Perhaps she has been eagerly accepting his advances and offers of power, and finding him attractive to her senses and bedding his dream avatar is a lovely bonus – I can't express that either.

Again; it matters that you let us decide whether we lay with our suitor in this dream or not, or, if we cannot decide that, then we must be able to decide in an overt way how we feel about what happened – supporting dialogue that we can choose to define our character's stance and emotional state on the matter.


(Dream Three: That's a lot of grass!)

Here is a montage of screenshots from the third dream. Presented without comment.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

I can't really discuss the cinematography or presentation of this dream. I don't know what's going on.