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Two senses of the term "roleplaying" for BG:EE: as imaginative experience and as tactical challenge

LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,309
It seems to me that roleplaying has two basic meanings for an approach to playing BG:EE.

One is the traditional sense from tabletop gaming to immerse oneself in the character, and imagine what the experience is like. In BG:EE this may or may not be brought to life through journaling. But in either case the player puts him or herself in the shoes of the character.

And mind you, this can be done not just for the PC--but also for all the party members!

The other sense of the term "roleplaying" is predominantly tactical. Here the emphasis is simply on behaving in-game strictly according to alignment, class/kit, backstory, and only what the character can reasonably know of his or her world. This is less intensive work imaginatively than immersion in the character, but it definitely shapes how the game goes.

Most importantly, this means no meta-gaming! For example, the PC (and party) has no idea where Bassilus is, so they don't just 'go get Ashideena'. And unless they send a stealthy scout ahead, the party doesn't know there's a band of Blacktalons lying in wait to ambush them ahead on the road. Similarly, they have no idea there's treasure in the knot of a tree. And it also means not rescuing a kitten for a little girl if you're the evilest sorcerer that ever walked the face of Faerun. Or if you're an Invoker not using a Wand of Sleep, Charm Person scrolls, and Algernon's Cloak.

I think it's fair to assume that players that do imaginative roleplaying typically also roleplay in the tactical sense of the term.

One place that both of these styles come together, I think, is when you roleplay NPCs also. And this sometimes can lead to surprising results, by the way, as you imagine relationships between them.

I've recently found that this approach to the game makes me feel like I'm actually on an adventure, versus just playing a computer game.

But anyway, thoughts?
Post edited by Lemernis on


  • davendaven Member Posts: 112

    I try do something like this but i'm just not as imaginative as this guy he's awesome.
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,653
    I just watched that whole video. It looks like this guy is writing and voicing a novel. Very interesting. He's good. Now I have to decide whether to watch all 155 segments. Maybe one or two a day, to "read" the novel over time? Ha, now I want to play NWN1 again. ;)
  • davendaven Member Posts: 112
    Haha, I watched them all... but he doesn't finish the game! Said he had to stop cos of work and crap. ;_;
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,653
    Hmm, I left off after about episode 40, and decided to start watching his BG, and then BG2, and then come back to NWN, so I could see him develop in order.

    I'm up to episode 150 in his BG series, and he hasn't even done the Nashkel Mines yet, so I'm expecting an abrupt end to that, too. I think he gets tired of the open-endedness of BG1, because he gets into a kind of rigid thinking where he goes around in circles, and never seems to break "outside the box" and try something different to advance the plot.

    Anyway, he talks in NWN as though he's been all the way through BG2, so I'm looking forward to seeing what he does there.

    Oh, and I started another thread in general promoting his BG series. I couldn't remember that it was you, and in this sub-forum, who tipped me off. Sorry, if I had, I would have given you credit. I guess better late than never, though.
  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959
    edited July 2013
    I dunno how I missed this thread until now.

    I honestly don't know how anyone can play RPG games like BG and not play it as a RP experience. I guess it's just me, but the power-gaming side of the game does not appeal to me at all. It's not like Diablo 3, when you get to see awesome visual animations when you slaughter hordes of enemies with overpowered magical or special attacks, or a competitive game like Starcraft, where you derive enjoyment from improving your gameplay to beat other people.

    For me, games like BG are all about creating stories. Like when I played Avernum 3 (where the journal system is much less developed than BG 2), I actually hand-wrote every key event throughout my journey, and ended up with something close to a (badly-written) novel. lol

    Sure it slowed me down greatly, just as recording my first playthrough of BG 2 is slowing down my actual gameplay, but I think these games are best enjoyed (at least on first attempt) if you savour every moment and every new experience. They really are a journey of discovery.
  • bill_zagoudisbill_zagoudis Member Posts: 207
    what i strongly dislike for rp reason is selfmade challenges like soloing,75 rolls,not using items etc
    it's better to just get a lovely mod preferably something simply impossible to solo(if such a thing exists) and play the game as it's meant to be played, a group cooperating through epic battles,using nasty synergies between cross class abilities to overcome enemies that can't be beaten by just attacking or by exploiting bad AI/game mechanics...but i can't pretend i don't know where Basilus is,that's only achieved by having a completely spoiler free first playthrough...that's just me ofc...
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,653
    edited September 2013
    @bill_zagoudis, I think I know what you mean. Did anybody *not* get horribly killed the very first time they ran into Bassilus? Or any other of dozens of encounters that they were totally unprepared for? Beholders? Your first dragon fight?

    Even an early encounter like Tarnesh was an "omg, what am I supposed to do?" kind of experience. I remember reloading over and over, because I didn't know what a "Horror" spell was, and I didn't know what the counterspell for it was. I remember getting Imoen killed again and again because I kept sending her into melee with a shortsword and leather armor.

    I remember running into the FAI ogre purely by accident, just because I was exploring the area. When he one-shot a party member, we started running. Straight into the fog of war, and a pack of xvarts. So we ran willy-nilly from the xvarts *and* the ogre, and into two wolves. That incident wound up in a party wipe, of course.

    Charname died in many encounters, because I wouldn't put on metal armor - I thought the leather armor looked better, and besides, how much difference can five armor classes make, anyway? Hah, that belongs on a list of famous last words!

    You only get one first time. People do the self-restrictions and install the difficulty mods trying to recapture that feeling of fear and excitement, that death lurks around every corner. But then, they wind up just memorizing all the encounters in the difficulty mods, and metagame that, whether they want to or not. Once you have the knowledge, it's almost impossible not to use it.

    So, all the roleplaying ideas that people have, and self-restrictions, and mods, are a way to bring new life back into an old game. But I think it speaks very well of Baldur's Gate, that people love it so much, they are still finding ways to have fun with it, even after they have every inch of the game, and its mods, memorized.
    [Deleted User]alnairWanderon
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited September 2013
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,653
    @Shandyr, I don't feel bad about it, Dahling, I feel absolutely *fabulous*! That's way more important than putting on buzz-killing, ugly, steel armor! Leather Daddies are sexy, and tin cans are, uggh. Wear leather, with your chest and six-pack exposed, Baby Doll. I'd say to put a splash of color in your cloak, but NO CAPES! Put your colors in your jewelry and studs in your leather, instead, Dahling.

    [Deleted User]
  • WanderonWanderon Member Posts: 1,418
    edited September 2013
    disregard - wrong topic LOL
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