When you invade Abizagal's lair, you have to obtain a scroll of reversal in order to free a dragon trapped under a geas. Because you can successfully do this, then why on earth didn't Yoshimo just explain his situation and ask the character to look for a scroll such as that to free him from his geas? Granted he wasnt actually there because he didn't survive the events of Shadow's Of Amn, but still...
The first rule of geas is that you do not talk about geas. Well, not really, but Irenicus is a smart guy, I'm sure it's one of the first instructions he gives to his ensorcelled underlings.
So Irenicus is a badass mage who has enough power to take over an entire anti-magical prison by himself. So why, then, is his badass hideout staffed almost entirely by GOBLINS?
Goblins AND Yoshimo.
He has a bunch of golems too, he just forgot to give them instructions to pulverize you.
Why, oh why did Aerie refuse my generous offer to give her new wings using my great power? It makes me sad. :(
Well, personality aside, she is a powerful cleric/wizard. She could just cast permanency and fly to fly even better than she did before.
Aerie obviously doesn't see opportunity when it shows itself to her pretty face. Her loss. Yet another reason Viconia is better.
Massive Game Breaker, can't let you have a flying party member.
Well yeah, of course they wouldn't give you a flying party member. But that's purely gameplay. Looking only from a plot perspective I can't really think of a reason for Aerie to refuse the Bhaalspawn's offer to give her new wings. Especially if the Bhaalspawn romanced her as much as possible. Admittedly I haven't played BG2:ToB in a while so I might have forgotten something.
There was a scrapped quest that gives you the option of turning Aerie into a bird. It would allow her to fly again, something she desperately wishes for, but naturally she'll be out of the party. The "Good End" of the quest is to state she has to face reality, which is suppose to make her confident and she starts using the "I am now going to stop whining and kick ass" soundset.
... That was scrapped? Damn. Had they kept it in there she might've become more enjoyable in the long run.
There are TONS of stuff that they were planning on doing but never got the time to. The game is awesome as is, but when you consider what it could have been...
Ultimately, the limitations of the game engine is the most likely suspect.
There ARE flying party members already, though (well, sort of). If CHARNAME is a mage or a sorcerer, many of the potential familiars can fly. You can also summon flying monsters with your spells. And she's already a ridiculous combination of Purity Sue, Sympathetic Sue, and plain old Mary Sue as is thanks to her illegal multi-class and constant moaning about her backstory. Would letting her fly really break things any more than letting her put divine spells in to spell sequencers does?
If the definition of Mary Sue is a sad backstory and a rule-breaking class, half the other characters are also MarySues. See also: Minsc (can't be a ranger with that wisdom), Anomen (can't dual-class with that wisdom), Kagain (illegal Constitution), Edwin (extra spells), Mazzy (extra special abilities), et al. Jaheira, Viconia, Anomen, Mazzy, Valygar, and Sarevok also have notably sad backstories.
Well, only Mazzy and Anomen appear on both lists and I'm convinced that only some sort of Jerk Sue powers can explain anyone falling for him so I'd agree with that one. Mazzy's backstory isn't that distinctive - she's an experienced adventurer, fell in love with a companion, and he died on their last quest together. It's like Jaheira's, and they both mention it occasionally later but don't constantly draw the focus to that. Aerie, however, even in her non-romance dialogues, constantly mentions hers. Really, that's what makes her a Sue in my book; despite everyone else having problems, hers are the ones that constantly get brought up. Although I'll admit, along with the general YMMV of this entire page of tropes, "whiny and annoying" aren't defining Sue tropes and my dislike of her based on those qualities might cloud my judgment on the Sue part as well.
Aerie's character arc is about getting over her lost limbs, in romance and non romance. She talks to some other characters about her issues, but most of her conversations are about what the *other* character is interested in. Her chats with Cernd are mostly about plants, she talks to Edwin about magic and his nether scroll problem, to Imoen about growing up in Candlekeep, to Keldorn about religion, to Minsc about Rashemen, to Mazzy about paladins. Sometimes talks about her issues, gets over them in both her epilogue variations, and is told off for whining by the party members more inclined to bully. If someone lopped off two of your limbs as a teenager and exiled you from your entire culture, wouldn't you want to talk about it to a supportive ear sometimes?
I only mentioned romance because you don't really get that many dialogues with most NP Cs outside of the romances (and because I've seen it asserted elsewhere that she doesn't talk about her wings outside of the romance dialogue, which is factually untrue). And yes, most banters in the game are about the recipient of the banter, not the initiator of the banter. That doesn't make Aerie unique. What does, however, is the way she interjects her complaining in to the banter anyways. She'll talk to Minsc about Rashemen, sure, but whines about how she was taken from her home in the process. She can even whine about her wings while she's still an ogre. As for real life - well, in the real world I'd tell anyone like Aerie to find professional help. This isn't some macho Internet Tough Guy garbage - it's because in the real world, depression and PTSD are serious diseases that don't get solved by meeting a kind stranger who offers up some encouraging words and the idea that they do is an all-too-prevalent one that hurts actual people who really exist. But that's Real Life. In the real world, I'd also want to talk about, say, having my parents killed by monsters and an evil slaver and smuggler trying to force me to marry him against my will, or having my lover/husband killed, or especially, being brutally tortured and then having my soul sucked out. And yet, everyone but poor little Aerie manages not to whine about it, and in fact rarely ever mention their issues at all outside of their designated questlines or romances, even though she's had the most time to get over her issues and actually has someone she's close to outside of the party to try and work this out with.
Calling the adventuring companions 'strangers' is a bit much - Charname's companions are just that, close comrades. Faerun doesn't have a culture of psychology; talking to one's friends about feelings and issues is perfectly normal, regardless of how much others do it or don't do it. The Rashemen conversation is much more about Minsc than it is about Aerie. Why isn't he called 'whiny' for missing Rashemen and for mourning Dynaheir? The introductory line 'I'm an avariel, a winged elf, or at least I was...but that's not important, you need to get out of here' is also in no way whining. The drift of Aerie's conversations with Haer'Dalis or Charname is that she wants to move on, has some support, and proceeds to move on; the point of Aerie's stronger Throne of Bhaal battle cries and her non romance epilogue show the same thing. The trauma doesn't disappear; she becomes better at dealing with it. Aerie's mentions of her past are also, like other conversations, a device to reveal information that the player has not directly seen themselves; Viconia talks about the drow and Anomen about the Order.
Minsc doesn't get called whiny because his reaction is more "My hamster and I shall apply our foot to the buttocks of the evil that did this" and less "Oh, how will I go on? And what's the point, anyways, my life is meaningless now." And yes, it is normal in the real world for someone with her issues to want to talk about it with her companions but that's the real world. "Normal" is entirely a relative term, and is defined by conformity to the usual standards and customs. If nobody else does it, it is by definition not normal (whether for good or ill). And yes, needlessly drawing attention to your own personal past trauma when there are other, bigger issues to deal with is whining. I do like that you mention Haer'Dalis, though, because I don't actually hate Aerie as much as it might seem from this conversation and I think her arc with Haer'Dalis is actually really well done, and if her interactions with Charname were more like that, I think I'd actually like her. Imoen's actually one of my favorites, so it's not as if I just hate "innocent", "sweet", or "child-like" characters. In the HD romance, Aerie's inexperienced and a bit uncertain and haunted by the past trauma but moves on a bit and gains confidence through getting the chance to explore her childhood dream of acting, among other things. Then she slowly begins to see just how different the two of them are and at the very end, she realizes that their values are just incompatible and refuses to compromise hers so she dumps him (and really, I think that's when she should start using her new soundset, especially from the beginning of that speech, but that's another topic). In her conversations with charname, though, she starts off as not just inexperienced but a drippy mess who has no business being anywhere near an adventuring party.
Her explanation was that, for some inexplicable reason, the Regeneration spell wouldn't work, even though she's a Cleric and can cast it herself, nevermind that "Avariel Elf" is a legitimate choice of form for every beneficial Polymorph-type spell down to Alter Self, and ignoring the existence of Limited Wish, Wish, Miracle (depending on how much of 3rd Edition Baldur's Gate was cribbing), and, of course, the presence of a demigod in the party. Hand Wave much? And it would have been completely possible with the Infinity Engine: change her model to that of a Winged Humanoid, and anytime she flies, do it via dialog box description or camera fade while she's in flight. It's not like the engine's inability to render sex scenes stopped you from impregnating her.
Baldur's Gate was not cribbing much at all from 3e, as 3e was not out yet when the mechanics of BGII were put into place. They knew some things were coming, like sorcerers, so they added them, but nitty gritty rules were a no-go. Also, Later Self in 2e does not equal alter self in 3e.
How come Big E doesn't do a damn thing except sit around and be Cryptic, or giving a token item if it's clear that he really doesn't want this whole "Bhaal trying to resurrect himself" plan to happen?
Intimidated by a party of characters who could kick even his munchkin backside.
In Throne of Bhaal, sure—they're higher level than him, and he says as much that even he wouldn't want to fight the protagonist, let alone him with the other party members backing him up. In the previous two games, though, he could wipe the floor with the whole party.
Elminster's primary modus operandi is to sit back and let adventurers handle everything. Besides, if the worst happened, he's basically got the anthropomorphic embodiment of Magic itself on speed dial, and she always owes him a couple favors.
Probably for the same reason that he doesn't interfere in other plotlines, novels, etc. He's being watched by some of the epic level EVIL nasties. If he interferes in something, the other big nasties jump in to stop him, Big E calls in Blackstaff and a few others, the evil side calls in a few others, Big E calls in a favour with Mystra, an evil Deity or two gets involved to 'even the odds', next thing you know it's an all-in royal-rumble with every reasonably powerful being, god and kingdom involved.
At the very least he could come out and say, as you run into him just out of Candlekeep, "Hey, <charname>. I'm Elminster. Sorry about your foster father getting hacked to pieces and all, but if he had lived he would have told you that you are the son of a dead god named Bhaal and there's a nasty bugger named Sarevok who is your half-brother and wants to kill you. Bye!" Instead, he just routinely shows up and speaks in as vague a manner as possible, hiding your true situation for no sensible reason whatsoever.
Justified for a reason many media with super-powerful characters have examined before. If Elminster were to involve himself in every problem that beset the Realms, when a potential solution already existed and only needed a little guidance rather than everything spelled out for them, the people of the Realms would become complacent. As to why he didn't dump all that information on you? Hell, imagine how the Bhaalspawn felt when he was more or less eased into the knowledge that he was the son of the dead god of murder? If that were me, I'd have had to sit down, throw up, and take a few hours to collect my thoughts, not necessarily in that order. If that were dumped on me with every other major plot point, right after my dad died? I'd seriously contemplate asking Montaron to shove a knife into the base of my skull to get it over with.
Another in-story explanation is that Elminster, as a chosen of Mystra, has to abide by his patron's restrictions. Cyric mentions in the expansion that Ao has forbidden direct divine intervention into the Bhaalspawn malarkey, which may include Elminster.
Why the HELL did the Elf Queen think the perfect solution to stopping a power-hungry wizard from doing harm is to strip him and his clearly psychopathic sister of their souls? Not only did it probably break whatever morality he has left and made sure he will be out for revenge, but dude - stripping someone of their soul? That's really frellin' Evil by anyone's books.
They're Elves. It's pretty much a given that they're utter gits who don't give a toss about the rest of the world, they made Jonoleth and Bodhi mortal, kicked them out of Suldanessellar, and, as far as they were concerned, Problem Solved. They'll die off eventually, and anyone outside of Special Elf City doesn't matter.
Indeed, This troper loved how the dialogue options let you call them out on this.
Further, she loved him. Bodhi, she could probably have tossed aside, whatever. But the only other ways were a swift execution or a slow execution (as a sorcerer, Irenicus's power is a part of him and can't be taken away, so to remove it and render him harmless would be like torturing him to death).
Possibly the elves and, heck, their gods too, were so offended at Irenicus and Bodhi violating everything they held dear that they wanted to give them an especially dire and "appropriate" punishment.
What really got me steamed over this is the implied Fridge Logic. When the Bhaalspawn and his sister lost their souls, they became empty and hollow, and were in danger of having the Slayer(?)take over completely. And Irenicus and Bhodi were already not that morally sound to begin with. How exactly is removing their souls going to make it less likely they'll do evil? Answer: it's not. The elves must have known this and not cared what evil they wrought on the outside world, thinking themselves perfectly safe.
The removal of their souls gave them the lifespan of a human—maybe even shorter than that—and would have prevented them from entering the elven afterlife upon death. From Ellisime's ending speech, it seems she was hoping Jon would learn the error of his ways and change back to the decent person she used to know and love. Apparently she didn't know him well enough to know that wasn't going to happen. Love can make one blind, after all.
Why is Tiax in Spellhold? Sure he's as loony as they come, but he's a cleric, not a wizard. The Cowled Wizards do not go after Clerics.
Well <CHARNAME> or Minsc can get themselves into Spellhold by suffiently annoying Desharik (I think it's him), and Tiax is definitely annoying enough...
Also, I got the feeling that, by this time, Spellhold was not being used purely as a holding area for dangerous wizards, but also as a dumping ground for...undesirables.
Does the rule against magic in Amn also apply to Priest spells? Many of them have similar effects to destructive magic, and could do quite a bit of damage if mis-applied, so I wonder if the rules would be enforced on them, too.
I think one very important point is being missed. Tiax is psychotically insane and has access to the metaphysical equivalent of an M1 Abrams. It doesn't really matter if he's a cleric or a mage, he's a violent loon who can throw way too much power around, and he needs to be taken off the streets of Athkatla before people start burning, bleeding or blowing up. It's even possible that he was tried in a conventional court, and is serving his sentence in Spellhold because it's the only prison that can hold him, or that he's awaiting trial in Spellhold for the same reason.
Which level was Gorion exactly? I mean, he was Elminsters buddy, but Sarevok pretty much owned him and I don't remember him casting any neat powerfull spells.
Gorion's level wasn't the issue. If you go back and loot the bodies, you learn his protective gear leaves him VERY vulnerable to one type of damage. Sarevok inflicted that damage and took Gorion out.
It's hard to tell, because that scene is ruled by Gameplay and Story Segregation. The only thing you can say for sure is at least 9th level due to his Magic Missile spell firing five shots.
Gameplay and Story Segregation also richly applies to Khalid and Jaheira in the first game. It is implied both have been adventuring for some time. What level are they? Usually 1 or 2, depending on your own character's level.
Level 18, at least: That's clearly Improved Alacrity he used.
Gorion is level 9 due to the experience cap in the game's engine. Silly justification, perhaps, but the fact is that the limitation is in the game, and it restricts everyone, not just the PC.
Not quite. Sarevok is a 15th level fighter in the game engine. The engine contained rules to continue gaining levels some way beyond the point the PC could progress to.
Sarevok was a level 15 "Sarevok" rather than a fighter (and yes, Gorion was 9th level) in the files. But while the highest-level characters have special classes like this (another one is "Innocent"), there's the 11th-level mage Davaeorn. So yes, Gorion's level 9 was deliberate. Apparently. The files can be a little messed up; Davaeorn is given as a level 11 ankheg mage.
Sarevok's also immune to magic when you fight him in the last battle. While he's shown taking damage in his fight with Gorion, it stands to reason that a single mage who doesn't summon stands no chance against him.
He's immune to most magic, but he takes damage from Flame Arrow, Melf's Acid Arrow, and Magic Missile— as Gorion demonstrated. First time this troper beat the game, it was with a party that included three Wizards with nothing but Magic Missiles in their level 1 slots, and those Magic Missiles were what took him down.
So was Bhaal planning this resurrection thing many hundreds of years ago? I don't see any other explanation for why two of the most powerful Bhaalspawn are a full-grown dragon with a son and an adult Drow priestess/mage/whatever she is. Nor can I quite figure out why Bhaal would want to intentionally mate with something as powerful as a dragon if the plan eventually calls for all the Bhaalspawn to die and fuel his rebirth.
This Troper always assumed that all the Bhaalspawns grew up at a human rate. After all, you can play an elf and some humans apparently knew your whole life...
I always assumed that Bhaal had had some other kids before he found out he was going to die.
The Lord of Murder shall perish, but in his doom he shall spawn a score of mortal progeny. So sayeth the Wise Alaundo. Alaundo was a seer who named and numbered every year in Dale Reckoning for centuries into the future, and at the very least his names for the years are common knowledge. It's not unreasonable that a god would find out about even the most carefully guarded secret that has to do directly with him.
Actually, both the intro and your character bio in Soa say that Bhaal made (or started to make) the kids long before the Time of Troubles.
Tazok's comeback. Compared to the cameo returns of the other characters, this one felt like such a cop-out. He was a great villain in the first game, yes, but having him return with no real explanation in a random dungeon just to be killed again was just gratuitous.
Tazok was part of a cut sidequest that would have involved (IIRC) the Hidden, the Mind Flayers under Atkhathla and of course, Jan Jansen. Hence why he drops the sewer key for no discernable reason. This being cut makes you wonder why it was him showing up as a mini-boss in Firkraag's dungeon.
The sheer number of cameos was silly. It's like BG NPCs are migratory or something. Everyone ended up in Amn along with you.
Not everyone. Kivan didn't. Considering his whole mission in BG1 was to kill Tazok for killing his wife, I didn't understand why he wasn't there. Except for the fact that his voice actor became the voice of Anomen. There is a mod that puts him in the game, though.
Branwen, Yeslick, Shar-Teel, Eldoth, and Skie didn't make it, either, from what I remember. Not that I think anyone cared.
Half-Elf Bhaalspawn. How does that work? Is the character actually 1/4 human, 1/4 elf, 1/2 god, or does Bhaal not actually contribute any DNA?
I think if two half-elves have a kid in Forgotten Realms, the child is also a half-elf. So Bhaal simply shapeshifted into a half-elf and knocked up another half-elf. Or shapeshifted into a human and knocked up an elf. Or shapeshifted into an elf and knocked up a human.
This troper likes to think of it in Harry Potter terms— anything referred to as 'half-elf' is usually just a human/humanoid with any measure of elven blood. Either that or it counts on technicality, assuming the player's mother was a full-blooded elf the result would be half elf, half Bhaal... but with that logic any race you play as in the game would be considered mixed anyway. Maybe it's not so exact as much as it is the closest thing the PC can get to describing themselves as.
The explanation from the Pn P rules is just that: any human/elf cross is a half elf, even if there was only one human several generations ago. (As in, an elf and a half-elf mate, they make a half-elf; he mates with an elf, they make a half-elf.) Probably they just didn't want to get into human/elf combos with 1 part human and 15 parts elf, cuz you can't have rules for hundreds of different race combinations.
If you pick half-elf in BG1, your bio states that your mother was a half-elf. It's also stated that this is something you learned from Gorion. No matter what race you pick, though, your mother will always be the same race. Dunno if Gorion is just feeding you the line that your mother was a half-elf, though, or if he's telling the truth.
I suspect that Bhaal is as such that anything he breeds with, from humans to half elves to dragons, to rabbits are born as Bhaalspawn with no visible indication of his half of the genes.
I think that's correct, too. Otherwise all Dwarf PCs would be half-dwarf, etc.
Not necessarily. It is Official Realms Canon that dwarf/human half-dwarves are, for intents and purposes, dwarves (it was indicated to happen relatively often in some regions, as one of the few differences that were there were that the human-related dwarves didn't have the reproductive problems other dwarves had at the time — not all dwarves are immune to pragmatism when it comes to the future of the race). Mind, if nothing else it is very likely that Bhaal used a suitable avatar for whatever it was he was 'spawning a score of progeny' with (he was a god, he could decide to manifest in the form of a chincilla if he feels like it).
Bhaal assumed the forms of the Slayer and Ravager during the time of troubles. The PC's mother was whatever race you are.
Bhaal was very week during the time of troubles and while his natural avatar was the Slayer he would more often than not posses a host.
Upon reading the epilogue for assuming Bhaal's power, this troper was utterly incensed by the humungous Fridge Logic that apparently smacks your chosen romance option over the head. Apparently a former mortal becoming a god automatically means they sever contact with all their earthly friends forever, as there's absolutely no mention of any of your romances ever hearing from you ever again, two even end up marrying other people. The reason this enraged me so much is that three of your romance choices (Anomen, Aerie, Viconia) are clerics, and Viconia even expresses a fervent desire to become your first high-priestess, yet despite their personal, intimate connection to the divine realms, these epic-level clerics cannot apparently perform an act that a first level cleric needs to do to cast the simplest cantrip. That being communication with the gods. It is explainable in part by Anomen and Viconia, who both pay tribute to radical-minded deities who would probably object to losing their newest epic-level followers to the new kid on the block, but even this is subverted by the fact that Aerie pays equal tribute to both a Gnomish and Avariel god at the same time, and is equally powerful as the other two. Even more stupid to me is that the question of having an earthly avatar never comes up. Bhaal walked the earth as an avatar, and could obviously interact with mortals up to and including having pregnancy-resulting consensual and nonconsensual sex with them. The entire affair of never seeing your loved-one again when there are so many obvious ways around this, on top of the fact your romances will as one act as if your godhood didn't exist and marry others after you is a source of continual nerd-rage for this troper.
Apparently, after ascending as a deity, a mortal character changes a lot. To the point of not being able to continue romance not only with a mortal, but even with another deity (see Mystra and Kelemvor).
Sadly, the real reason is just bad writing, in both the long paragraph and the small note above. There's no good reason whatsoever.
The mere fact that you don't like it doesn't automatically make it bad writing. In Forgotten Realms, deities are psychologically extremely different from mortals and no longer possess a mortal perspective. That the games remember this instead of just handwaving it for the sake of a minor godling's super speshul romantic relationship actually makes it pretty good writing in my book.
I don't know if I can explain this very well...but the reason could be that having a personal connection to a god would give your former lover/companions an edge in the mortal world that no one else had. I mean, if you had a god on speed-dial, how often would you be bugging your immortal buddy for favors? How jealous are other mortals gonna be of your friends once they find out? Amittably the Bhaalspawn-turned-god could watch their love and help them out at any time, but being favored by a god still maintains the god > mortal aspect that being buddies with a god (god = mortal) doesn't really maintain.
You are essentially choosing an immortal lifespan and resigned to watching your lover die, while existing on a plane that may be apart from them, even presumably in death. It's essentially making the decision that Arwen didn't make in The Lord of the Rings.
Many of these theories make sense until you remember Mystra, goddess of magic, violates them all the time - She not only possessed Dornal Silverhand's wife to give birth to the Seven Sisters, but it's also widely accepted that she slept with Elminster. It seems gods are capable of continuing romances with mortals if they feel like it.
Even though there was no actual time limit, did they have to set the sequel up in such a way that you feel like scum at all times for wandering around doing side quests rather than quickly acting on your main quest? When you start, you feel like a heel because your kid sister is off somewhere in a hidden prison run by a malicious bunch of mages and you should probably be trying to save her as quickly as possible. When you finally do rescue her, you feel like a heel for wandering around because Irenicus is laying waste to an Elven city while you're screwing around, not to mention the supposed ticking time bomb of having no soul left.
For Imoen, you're proceeding under the assumption that she's in jail, but not under threat of execution, and the Big Bad can't do anything, either. Things only get desperate after you get the money. Ultimately, since you would be under a time limit at every stage in the game (as well as for Chapter 8 of Throne of Bhaal), it would put quite a hamper on side-quests for there to be an actual time limit.
This troper would like to second the sentiments of the OP. They could have written in a few more 'break' points where the main plot was less pressing, if only so that the player needn't feel like a complete moron for chasing down ore for finicky artists and investigating various breakdowns in the local entertainment industry while everything else is going on...
Additionally, players may not be ready for the vampires or Spellhold even once they get the 15,000 gold, so it helps with leveling up and getting better gear.
During the first part of the game, there's a reason for all the sidequesting - you're desperately trying to gather money to be able to rescue Imoen. The PC is seeking out any possible work to get some rewards. It's still not perfect, because you can gather enough money by only doing one or two of the bigger sidequests, but at least that's the story explanation.
Part of it could also be an overly burdensome sense of responsibility, at least for good PC's. Sure, you need to save Imoen, but are you going to abandon an entire town to murderous undead wolves or the less-than-tender mercies of Faldorn in order to do so?
Plus, after having watched the powerful magic of the Cowled Wizards at work, and then seeing how Irenicus utterly decimated them, the PC and his/her party probably would have wanted to spend some time growing in power. No use in rushing into a suicide assault.
Who exactly is the council of six hooded men at the end of Throne of Bhaal? Their voices don't sound like the Bhaalspawn, even though there's a Bhaal symbol on the table. They seem intent on eliminating the player as a threat, but they don't indicate why, so it seems as though they're some kind of evil group planned for the next installment that was never used.
Word of God states that they are meant The FinalFive the Throne of Bhaal Bosses, but they hadn't figured out that they weren't all going to be Humanoids when they did the Cut Scene.
In that sense, it seems similar to the introduction of the Seven Warlords of the Sea in One Piece, when it turned out that one of the six besides Mihawk represented by stereotypical pirate silhouettes is a woman, three of them are too large to fit the image, and the other two are human but don't dress the way they're being depicted. But if the sixth person seems to be Melissan, whom it's indicated that no one but Balthazar knows about, there are inconsistencies besides their appearances and gender.
I always assumed they were the secret Council that controls Amn, who have presumably been keeping tabs on the PC since his/her arrival.
Considering that you and Imoen have been close friends since childhood, neither of you seem to be the least bit upset that Gorion has abruptly decided to drag you out of town and you don't know when or if you'll ever see each other again. You don't even really get to say goodbye to her. Granted, Imoen did decide to sneak out after you, but you didn't know she would do that.
It isn't entirely clear at first that you'll be going and never coming back. Gorion does an awful job of explaining why you need to leave and for how long.
There are so many people in the first game who simply wait in one spot forever until you walk up and talk to them, whereupon they tell you what a hurry they're in and run off. Worse yet are the ones who will actually chase you all over the map to tell you that they have no time to chat with you.
How exactly can a god of murder be Lawful Evil??
Bhaal was doing his job as a god just fine, and as far as we know, never broke any of the divine rules or try to powerjack other people (Unlike Cyric, who constantly tries to do that). He would be Chaotic or Neutral if he was a mortal, but since he's actually following divine laws, he's Lawful.
Ok, that does make sense, but if Bhaal's Lawful Evil, why are the vast majority of his servants and children Chaotic Evil?
Because murder isn't lawful by definition.
Capital punishment = lawful murder, depending on how you like to look at it.
No. This is not a matter of semantics. Murder is a word which means unlawful killing. This has been true since the Ten Commandments. Whatever emotional people might say, murder has always been definable within a legal framework, and it does not refer to any killing you dislike.
We're also forgetting how D&D applied the Lawful alignment. It doesn't mean you obey the good and just laws of the world, it means you obey the laws of whatever higher authority it is you are under. There are numerous evil characters in Zhentil Keep who were Lawful Evil for example. It's a very good mercenary alignment because you do evil things but in a lawful way. All that alignment means is that they have strict honor systems or codes of conduct that they use to perform their various murders. A good example is an assassin of Bhaal who only kills when it's mandated by the church.
It's because the Lawful/Chaotic side of alignments never made much sense anyways.
'Murder' in this case refers to ritual sacrifice and assassination, according to cannon material, which can easily be Lawful Evil in nature.
The "law/chaos" conflict always was closer to "rules vs whims" than "law vs crime"
There seems to be little logical sense in Athkatla's prohibition on magic applying outside only but not inside any building of any kind (public or private).
It's possible that the Cowled Wizards just don't care so long as it isn't happening in public, upsetting the populace and disrupting trade.
If Sarevok and the PC can't be resurrected because Bhaalspawn cease to exist when they're killed, how come Imoen has no such problem?
I think the problem here is that Imoen was eventually given a much bigger role in the games than the creators originally envisioned. She was never meant to be in the first game at all, but was created because there was no good-aligned thief available early in the game. She was supposed to die in prison in the second game, but because she was popular they let her live. I don't know when it was decided that she would be Bhaalspawn, but I'm guessing it was after the first game came out for sure.
On a similar note - Sarevok didn't cease to exist after Charname killed him, or else he wouldn't have been able to turn up in Throne of Bhaal. The whole 'Bhaalspawn resurrection' issue is really, really sketchy across the board.
It would also most likely be a deal-breaker for players, that would result in Imoen being almost useless.
Possibly Bhaalspawn can be resurrected, but upon doing so they lose Bhaal's essence. This would explain why the game ends when CHARNAME dies (as the plot would no longer make sense), why Imoen doesn't develop any Bhaal powers, and why Sarevok is no longer a Bhaalspawn after BG1. In BG2, Imoen can't die until after her soul's been given to Bodhi, so if you assume that canonically she made it through BG1 without dying, that would make sense too.
I would be completely willing to chalk it up to Gameplay and Story Segregation if it weren't for that one derp line where she references dying. Which happens in To B, at which point the writers have no excuse.
Irenicus seems a lot more interested in Imoen's soul than yours, apparently finding it to be in some way unique. In addition many Bhaalspawn exhibit unique abilities that are not related to their race/class (such as the slayer form, or teleporting peasants). Taking these two facts, I believe that Imoen's inability to truly die was the way her Bhaalspawn power manifest itself.
How did Quayle find time to run a circus and be a foster father to Aerie between adventuring near Baldur's Gate in the first game and showing up in the second?
Fridge Brilliance actually.Given that he's one of the worst characters in the entire series, no player would use him to complete the adventure.
While a human or half-elf makes sense, the main character having the build of a young adult if belonging to any of the slower-aging races is hard to explain, since he is at best twenty years of age. This goes for the other Bhaalspawn as well.
What I don't understand is, why does everyone keep calling you a child if you're twenty? It's driving me nuts.
Taken to utterly ridiculous extremes with Abazigal, a fully-grown dragon Bhaalspawn, who, not content with flipping the finger to dragon biology quite enough, had Draconis, a fully-grown dragon son as well. At this point, even a HUMAN of Draconis's age would be pretty hard to swallow, how old was Abazigal when he had him? Five?
You're really assuming Bhaal had all his children during the Time of Troubles. He probably sired a few kids ages ago.
Not probably, definitely. Else the PC would be 11 years old (the game starts in 1369, Time of Troubles happened in 1358).
Not to mention that the PC was rescued from the cult by Gorion in 1351 (as they prepared to Slaughter the children to collect Bhaal's essence....7 years before he died), or the fact that Sarevok is about 7 years older then the PC (the PC was an infant when rescued while Sarevok was around ~8 and managed to escape on his own in the confusion)
They flat out said that Bhaal predicted his death. Which means that he started acting against it before the threat came. (Also, he, Myrkul and Bane all made plans in case they would die. Presumably, having once been mortals made them more careful than the rest.)
If that were true, then why did Bane and Myrkul steal the Tablets of Fate? That set off the whole Time of Troubles to begin with.
They might not have predicted the chain of events that would lead to their deaths, merely the deaths themselves — they could set up contingencies for their deaths, but they couldn't know if stealing the Tablets of Fate or not stealing the Tablets of Fate was what would lead to their deaths.
Also, given the... extremes... Bhaal went to in enacting his whole 'army of progeny' part of the prophecy, it isn't particularly hard to believe that some of his children exist just because the mood took him.
Why couldn't Viconia be resurrected in the ending where the player character romances her and a follower of Lolth poisons her, again? Or why couldn't she chug one of the, likely, dozens if not hundreds of antidotes lying around? Or even just cast Neutralize Poison on herself courtesy of being a cleric?
One reason could be that she asked <charname> not to resurrect her. It must be pretty hard living your life on the run and hated by so many races, but to drag someone you love into that whole drama? It must have been difficult to just maintain a good relationship under all that pressure.
They do note that "her last words (were) whispered to her loving mate in private", although one has to wonder why Viconia doesn't stay around for her child.
The Ascension mod, which was made by one of the designers, does modify this to clarify that the poison is some kind of super-special brew created by Lolth herself, and thusly too strong even for a high-level Cleric like Viconia to magically counter.
If, as he claims in Throne of Bhaal, Sarevok knows more about the Bhaalspawn than almost anyone else, why does he think his plan in the first game will work when it's apparent from the events of Throne of Bhaal that the only way to become Lord of Murder would be to kill all the other Bhaalspawn, thus meaning the whole 'War of Sacrifice' thing wouldn't work at all?
It was bait to gather all of the other Bhaalspawn? This huge slaughter to enhance his own followers in a trial by fire, slaughtering any Bhaalspawn they come across in the process, acts as a huge beacon of murder, blood, and slaughter to any other Bhaalspawn out there. And as the other Bhaalspawn come to either defeat him/fight his army/join him/dethrone him, he's in a position of power to smack them down, that and once he's top dog, he can hunt the other Bhaalspawn at his leisure.
Sarevok already knew about the Five. He was actually approached earlier to join them and refused, writing them off as too weak to ever be able to ascend as the God of Murder if they had to lick each others wounds (he didn't meet them in person, obviously, but did receive a messenger from them). He knew enough about god-hood that if he could be the sole architect of a massive act of murder on a grand scale, AO might just straight up give him the mantle of God of Murder (considering Cyric lost the portfolio of Death the exact same way to Kelemvor, due to the latters actions making Cyric look completely incompetent at ministering to the Dead) or at the very least empower his own Bhaal essence by bathing it in the act of Murder on a grand scale. (also the great war that preluded the conflict in Tethyr was actually Irenicus's slaughtering of the Elves of Suldenessalar and engineering their battle with the Drow, where as Sarevok, believing himself to be the one of the prophesy would need to ignite a war in Amn to get the ball rolling.)
Or, possibly, Sarevok was exaggerating his knowledge to make himself seem more useful to the PC. It's not everyday you get a chance to resurrect oneself, after all, and if you need to stretch the truth a bit to do that, then...
This troper always assumed Sarevok learned a lot wandering around Hell. Spending upwards of a year in Bhaal's domain has to count for something.
Why are the Drow so self-referential? It bugs me that they remind you that they're drow and evil every other sentence. The one that sticks out the most in this troper's head is Keldorn protesting killing the deep gnomes and Phaere commenting, "An odd sentiment, for a drow." It just comes off as bad writing, or a really weird need to remind everyone that, yes, we are drow and evil.
For starters, Phaere has already been punished for not acting enough like a drow. If you let Solafein live, he will tell you their back story. I think Phaere is over-compensating for her previous "failure" of falling in love with Solafein by jumping down the throat of anyone that doesn't act drow-like enough. Protesting a senseless killing isn't very drow-like, because the drow enjoy senseless killing. Phaere noting that it's an odd sentiment for a drow is a warning to the player that their cover could be blown if they keep protesting, but also could be Phaere thinking she has a heretic on her hands that may need punishment or killing. Whether this would get her mother to treat her better is debateable, but at least she'd be proving she's a good drow. Other than that, it seems the drow's religious society is insanely strict, and any deviation or worship of a deity other than Loloth is punishable by torture or death.
Phaere's overcompensating is a good point, but mostly it is, unfortunately, just bad writing that pertains to the drow as a concept in general. They are a Subrace of Evil and will tell you that at every opportunity, because there is nothing more to them than that. The drow are a social, economical and philosophical nonsense that mostly serves as a vessel for assorted likes or dislikesof their creator.
Okay, so how exactly can you become a good god of MURDER? No really, if you take on divinity, and you were a good guy, the solar will tell us all about how much of an awesome dude you are. But how the hell do you do good as an aspect of an unlawful act with implied malice?
Bane was the god of tyranny, Myrkul was the god of the dead, Bhaal was the god of the moment of death where people crossed from one to the other. History of the Dead Three
Bhaal's portfolio includes Murder, assassination, and violence. By taking over his divine aspect, you also gain his portfolio.
All depends on who it is that you kill. Notice the huge body count that your protagonists likely have at the end of the game?
You don't have to become the god of Murder if you're not evil. Cyric is still the god of murder, and upon ascension you become a force of 'balance and good'.
God of Justified Revenge Killings, perhaps?
The best example available is Finder's ascension after defeating Moander. Moander was the god of corruption, rot, and decay, while after defeating him, Finder was the god of renewal in music and the cycle of life. Since rot and decay are part of the natural cycle, Finder had the same portfolio, but with a different interpretation, casting it as a step in the natural cycle rather than a definitive end. The obviously evil parts of Moander's portfolio were unclaimed, leaving Finder a demigod rather than a lesser god. Likewise, the PC can "reinterpret" Bhaal's portfolio, maybe becoming the god of necessary violence or last resorts, or lawful executions. It would mean having a narrower, less powerful set of titles, but it'd be more morally acceptable.
Bhaal took the portfolio of death from Jergal during the events of the Dead Three. He then re-interpreted his portfolio into 'murder' and took that as his title, but remained the god of death all the same (which is very different from God of the Dead, which was Myrkul's domain that Kelemvor then inherited). Presumably, a good Bhaalspawn would take the title of god of Death, and re-interpret it with Mercy Kill/painless death/caring for the sick and the dying aspects.
This actually seems like a bit of Fridge Brilliance to me. Bhaal is the god of the moment when a living being is transitioning into a dead one, right? And the actual dead were Myrkul's (now Kelemvor's) domain. If you're a god of a transitionary period, there's nothing but your own choice to dictate which direction it ultimately goes in. A good god of death could probably be convinced to help dying people hang onto life as often as not, since it really doesn't impact your domain if they pull through or pass on - they just need to be dying, not dead. An evil god of death wouldn't make the effort to help anyone, and would probably be stronger if a lot of people were dying very often; hence 'God of Murder' being more of an end result than a requirement in Bhaal's case.
Bhaal explicitly tells Bane and Mykrul that he was the strongest of the Dead Three. If Bane got too proud, Bhaal could kill his worshipers and if Mykrul got too big, he could start staying his hand and starve the realm of the dead. Which is probably why they both backstabbed him during the Time of Troubles and sacrificed 95% of the Bhaal Worshipers in order to empower Bane's new avatar body.
The same way Bhaal is Lawful Evil. You become the God of the ACT of Murder. It's your job to deal with murderers and victims of murder as you see fit. Therefore as the God of Murder you have the divine right to take care of the murdered souls and punish murderers. Sarevok was probably planning to become some sort of patron for murderers to pray to before or after the act, while you can become the patron for victims to pray for mercy and justice.
So you get paid for turning in bandit scalps, which are distinguishable from the scalps of honest, law-abiding folk...er...how exactly?
They're not, but if you start handing in scalps from innocents someone will notice sooner or later. People don't just vanish, even in a place as dangerous and sparsely populated as the Sword Coast.
So when did I find time to visit Ulgoth's Beard or Watcher's Keep? I don't mean gameplay wise, but rather story-wise. Given how imperative your quests are (especially late in the game, which is genrally the point you're high enough level to tackle these areas) it seems odd that you'd just wander off to do a bit of random adventuring. Perhaps the part that I have the biggest problem with is the Werewolf island, where it specifically states a one-way trip takes an entire month (even if it wasn't reflected on the calendar). Does Sarevok's master plan have two months of down time we can take advantage of or something?
You could have plenty of time after killing Sarevok but before Irenicus kidnaps you.
It's approximately 5 months between the ending of BG 1 and beginning of BG 2, and you've only been captured for around a month or so roughly. Also keep in mind. Minsc and Dynaheir had time to learn of your disappearance and then manage to track you to Athkatla in order to be captured (A lot of people forget that Minsc/Dynahier explicitly were NOT captured at the same time as you, Imeon, Jaheria, and Khalid, but instead were captured after they began poking around Amn to find you).
Why does Melissan use a "codename?" Anyone who had no idea who she was wouldn't know it if she was called Amelyssan or Melissan, and anyone who did know who she was could see right through "Melissan" considering it's not all that different. So... why bother?
What makes you think it's a codename at all? "Melissan" is about as much of a codename for "Amelyssan" as "Mandy" is for "Amanda"; it was probably just her nickname.
During the first stages of the PC/Aerie romance, Aerie makes mention of the fact that she's been looking at the stumps and scars on her back where her wings used to be. How the hell does she manage that? Yoga?
Turn your neck 45 degrees to the right. Now, move your eyes. Voila. You are now looking at your back. Or at the very least, your shoulder blades, where wings could sprout from.
Or, you know, she used a mirror.
This troper has already drawn one such picture here
Why did none of the five try to cut a deal with you? After you'd killed Illasera, Gromnir Il-Khan, and Yaga-Shura, to say nothing of having earlier killed Sarevok and Irenicus, it surely must have occurred to the others that you were probably pretty dangerous. And remember, when Mel originally recruited the five, they were told that they would share power as Bhaal's right-hand servants once he was resurrected, so they were all willing, or at least said they were, to share power. Sure, Abazigal may have been so arrogant because as a dragon, he thought he was invincible, and Balthazar wanted to kill all the Bhaalspawn, but what about Sendai? She seemed genuinely afraid once she realized just what had breached her enclave, and was approaching her inner sanctum. Why didn't she at least try to cut a deal? Offer information on and help against her erstwhile allies in exchange for mercy? Especially after the first few of her clones went down in the final battle? Why not at least try talking things out?
Balthazar was actually supposed to have that as an option, but it was cut (and later re-added as part of Ascension), you simply had to have a high enough reputation and put forth an impressing argument that you could work together to ensure that Bhaal's essence was un-done.
Given Sendai's race: paranoia. She likely assumed <CHARNAME>'s intentions to be the same as Mellisan's, and expected that any "deals" would ultimately culminate with a knife planted firmly in her back.
Would you have cut a deal with Sendai, after she forced you to slaughter your way through almost a hundred mooks to reach her? Only the most kind-hearted yet morally myopic PCs would massacre a small army and then extend the hand of friendship upon finally breaching her lair- from that standpoint, attacking you on sight isn't necessarily a terrible idea.
When you reach Nashkel, you are mistaken for somebody called the "Grey Wolf" or some-such. Is this character from the larger Forgotten Realms, or just an offhand invention for BG?
He's a local bounty hunter the city is familiar with; you can meet the guy himself during the Prism-and-his-gems quest, where it turns out he's a massive prick and you have the option to kill him with zero penalties. But yeah, I think he was created solely for BG.
Does anyone else think that the handling of Reputation is pretty half-arsed? I mean, yes, Good party members complaining when it's low, that's all sensible. But Evil ones complaining when it grows too high, or Neutral characters when either happens, that really doesn't make sense. Especially for Viconia; she joins the player's party in both games specifically to shield herself from people who see "drow" and think "kill it!" — shouldn't she be smart enough to realise that a reputation as somebody who does good deeds or is generally heroic is an added layer of protection, winnowing down the number of people who want her skull on a pike?
In Viconia's case, it's also making her an even bigger target for the sort of people who would ordinarily harbor her were CHARNAME not there, such as the Shadow Thieves and her own church. She's prudent enough to realize she can't just stick to CHARNAME forever and she's leery of burning too many bridges with the few groups that might be willing to accept her.
Edwin is a Red Wizard of Thay and s high-functioning sociopath. Being too much of a hero ruins his 'street cred' and deprives him of valuable chances to kill people who annoy him. There are also hints he's an exile from Thay, or at least Reassigned to Antarctica, so being a big enough horrible monster might very well put him back in their good graces while becoming a great hero ruins his reputation even more.
Korgan is an Ax-CrazyBlood Knight and, as his ending demonstrates, he's simply out to kill as many sentient beings as possible before he goes out. Saving and helping too many people who clearly can't fend for themselves is a great way to piss off this Social Darwinist, and peaceful solutions rob him of a chance to add to his body count.
It's very poorly done. Keep in mind. Sarevok = Chaotic Evil. Well respected and popular upcoming candidate for a seat as a Duke of Baldur's Gate, and the heir to a large and well connected merchant company. Edwin and Viconia both come from societies that expect you to present a popular and upstanding front, while seeking your own benefits in the background discreetly, where as unsanctioned overt evil is frowned upon and usually leapt on by others who are craving advancement. Neither would have any issue at all having a sterling reputation and in fact BOTH would prefer it, since laws and juries tend to favor people with good publicity, and as long as the PC is one dictating the actions taken, they can simply sit back and profit by association. As long as they're receiving the power or respect they desire, they don't care where it comes from or what people think their goals are. Korgan is mostly about the money, and as long as heaps of gold are rolling in, he largely doesn't care where it came from, though he does get irritated if he isn't pointed at something to kill on a reasonably regular schedule.