Originally Posted by Natureboy
I have NO problems with anthropomorphic animals in fantasy per se, and loved Okku, the very unrealistic magical talking male bear in NWN2. Many others did not. What I criticized in this game were the use of an anthropomorphic viper, an animal we are INNATELY predisposed to fear and hate (vipers kill, maim, cripple, and permanently disfigure thousands of people worldwide annually, and people in less developed nations suffer the most) and which as a consequence has been linked with Original Sin in Abrahamic religions, as a plot device to further incite us against a Druid who is already a one dimensional cliche collection plot device.

Well, while I get it's not the point, the snake is one of the most reasonable characters in that room (if the main character is a druid from what I have seen)

Originally Posted by Natureboy
There is a huge difference between manipulation of players and forcing them to do things. David Gaider tried to force us to take Imoen (a thieving, lazy, vapid, dim witted, underachieving slacker) with us in Spellhold by turning our party against us. He tried to manipulate us into killing Zathrian and effecting regime change among the Dalish, or gleefully engaging in genocide, with his (angry white male) Werewolves, ham fisted sob story about the Dalish victim of lycanthropy, and his truly bizarre "Lady of the Forest" (a display of his contempt for straight males, like boorish philistine belching Ogrim), and even branded Dalish supporters who killed Witherfang and the 'weres as "Poachers" in the achievements. He also refused to develop a "comrades in arms" ending for the fight between Zathrian and Witherfang for a Dalish Warden. But he did not force us to support the Shemlen Werewolves!

I told Zevlor that I would escort him and his people to safety, which made him and Tilsis turn hostile, so I killed both. I was not give the possibility of explaining that I was risking my own life to escort them to Baldur's Gate, but it's still EA! Kagha grinned makuciously whrn informed of Zevlor's death, but that was that, and after I defeated (killed) Gut, Minthara, and Raghslin, Asharak briefly referred to Zevlor's "passing", then announced forthcoming festivities, as if nothing had happened to Zevlor. Earlier, I was railroaded (FORCED) into fighting the Druids, when I slept at camp, then returned to the Grove; a cutscene featurin Gnomish Druid Halah started and all of the Druids except Rath turned hostile. Likewise, if I put Arabella's parents out of their misery after Teela killed their darling thief, the Druids guarding the Sacred Grove and their bear turned hostile. If I killed Tiefs in the hollow, Arron (?) immediately tried to arrest my Tav.

I was able to kill Asharek, then talk my way out of arrest, leaving his bloody corpse while Tiefling trainees worked alongside with Wyll as if nothing had happened! I NEVER claimed that Larian's writers prevent the player from killing adult Tieflings, as I had killed over a dozen before putting up my first post on this thread. What I affirmed was the FIRST and starting comment by Twinkle Toes; Larian lets you kill Goblin children but Tiefling children are unkillable.

I must clarify myself. That path is certainly underdeveloped in the current stage. However, what you have described does strike me as an half-cooked plot rather than an option that won't exist at full release. INMHO, they should even give an opportunity to join the Shadow Druids, though I am not sure they would go that far.

Originally Posted by Natureboy
I explained in painstaking detail how Larian's writers MANIPULATE AND RAILROAD, not FORCE, players to side with EITHER the Tieflings or the Goblins (and the Goblins leg spreader ally Minthara) against the Druids. Apparently your reading overlooked this! As for "darker fantasy", it's very much a feature of French and Gallic children's tales as compared to their Anglo equivalents, as my Wallonian mother explained to me during my childhood. Within limits, I like it, too. What I hate is being manipulated into choices that in a real world are antisocial, decadent, and ultimately self destructive.

I do consider that a truly good character will try to strike some compromise between the druids and the tieflings. The tieflings have been chased from their homes with their families and in the 5e lore there is nothing about the fact they will become evil at one point or another of their life. I see nothing self destructive about the tieflings as they are now. Well, there is some theft involved but a capital punishment is way too harsh.

Once we depart from the most common idea of a good hero, it starts to get complicated. Neither choosing the druids only (which is underdeveloped), nor choosing only the tieflings is the ideal choice for a truly good character.

In my playthrough, I played a drow with few scruples. The point is that he saw the tieflings as something similar to him: an escapee from his world into a new hostile one (his tragic story is not really the point here). In a way, he felt the tieflings close. Petty crime is not an issue as he was doing very shady things to survive. He does like music so Alfira did seal the deal. Then he went into the druid grove. He is not the psycho like Minthara so he did save the child from Kagha. He did engage in a dialogue with Nettie. In the latest patch Nettie was civil and she did not try to poison him. Had she tried, that could have triggered a chain reaction -> I killed Halsin's apprentice -> Halsin would not believe him it was self defense (as they always do) -> he would no longer care about the druids -> they have that idol his ally needs not to explode; AND they are rich... You get it. Pile of druid corpses. Well, as of the latest patch, Nettie behaved well. Just some civil chat. A result -> he needs a healer and has done nothing wrong to the druids -> no need to strain his relationship with a healer he desperately needs... A psycho such as Minthara and the primitive goblins worshipping the very reason his freedom has been violated... they were no option. Not for this character, at least.

If there is some tipping of the scale, it is towards choosing both the tieflings and the druids. You have good reasons not to attack the druids and some reasons not to attack tiefling families. I wonder if the attack by Zevlor against you was a result of another half-ready plot or it was simply a sheer desperation (for which your character does not have fault but could have foreseen). However, this starts to change when you go towards neutral or evil alignment. Maybe your character has some issues with the influence of the hells on the Prime Material Plane? Or maybe he considers the presence of tieflings a sacrilege on the holy ground of Sylvanus? In my case, I might have been lucky with Nettie... what if I were not?

I slightly digressed but I see nothing that could have strongly motivated me to attack the druids even as a drow with dubious morals. The more of a good alignment your character is, the easier it will be to not attack the druids.

Originally Posted by Natureboy
Oh, no Druid would tolerate a Sharran cleric, because enclosing Toril in shadow would kill all photosynthetic plants and the ecosystems that depend on them! Fantasy has its' limits; all of Toril's higher vascular plants have leaves and chlorophyll for a reason! Are the "Leaflord" and the "Great Oak" mere euphemisms?

Well, it does depend on the character. It is a dire situation. I can imagine a more practical druid not killing a Sharran cleric as he might need every ally to survive. After all, what is a single cleric in the cosmic fight between the gods? But it does depend on your character.

Last edited by Scales & Fangs; 08/01/22 12:47 AM. Reason: Grammar