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Are there any novels about the Baldur's Gate series?

1246

Comments

  • GrumGrum Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,100
    On the NPCs and women fighters...


    Baldurs Gate 1:

    Sharteel- A man hater...yes. But if you are arguing that this is a world where women are not supposed to be fighters, then couldn't she be seen as an offshoot of this?

    Jaheira- Fighter/Druid. A strong female warrior right there.

    Branwen- Cleric of Tempus, the God of war and battles.


    The other fighters include...

    Minsc - Ranger
    Kivan - Ranger
    Coran - Fighter/thief
    Yeslick - Fighter/cleric
    Khalid - Fighter
    Ajantis - Paladin

    So, as long as you count the priest of a warrior god to be a front-liner, there are 3 warrior females and 6 warrior men. Considering that this is a quasi-medieval fantasy setting, that's not bad.




    Baldur's Gate 2:

    Jaheira- again. It is a disservice to write her off as an elven spellcaster. She is a fighter/druid! Best used to cast stoneskin on herself and to wade into the front lines with two scimitars. She's also a half/elf, whose background has much more to do with her human side than elven.

    And for her romance, she stays a strong woman throughout it. Yes, you need to rescue her. But you need to rescue Anomen too! So I don't see how that puts down women at all. I fail to see any sexism with her.

    Mazzy- Fighter with paladin-esque abilities. And I see her having something of a romance with Korgan, which is pretty sweet with the way they go about it. (For anyone who doesn't see it, bring both into your party. Korgan writes her poetry, gives her a shoulder massage, and she brings out his backstory on why he is a murderous maniac. For her sake, he agrees to try and be less of a murderous jerk. Still a better love story than twilight.)


    Fewer females in BG2, but the two warriors are pretty badass.

    Of the rest of them, you get

    1 cleric
    1 cleric/mage
    2 thief/mages

    Which means that 2/6 female characters are warriors. Again, for a quasi medieval fantasy setting, that really isn't bad.

    booinyoureyeslolienThacoBell
  • jacobtanjacobtan Member Posts: 655
    edited May 2015
    The setting of BG is medieval high-fantasy, as understood and/or imagined by people 1000 years after them. If the society of that time period is known to be patriarchal, then a story with patriarchal elements will be more realistic than one full of modern sensibilities. The reverse is true if society then is known to be matriarchal. There is no problem if the "problem" is that of trying to replicate the setting as it is understood.

    BG can be enjoyed as the RPG that it is without involving it in modern-day culture wars, no matter which side one is on. Where a player stands is really not anybody else's business, so the game can be left to stand as the classic that it is, warts and all. No need to start imposing modern views onto it. Seriously. There are too many zealots of all stripes trying to turn nearly everything into another culture-war flashpoint - enough is enough.

    For pragmatic reasons, I believe the vanilla game should be a version that is least offensive to the most number of players or would-be players. If certain players feel very strongly about things and want to make changes to suit their tastes, mods are the way to go, or even make a new game - nobody is stopping anyone. Every player is his own DM, but his preferred version should not be the version that all others need to follow.

    I read the first two books, and it was the disjointed story and awkward descriptions that "stood out" (e.g. Jaheira making a "convincing" Calishite dancing girl because she was jumping around trying to get the spider out of her breasts). The novelisations are bad even if they are read as stand-alone stories.

    Post edited by jacobtan on
    GrumThacoBell
  • BladeDancerBladeDancer Member Posts: 477

    There are no Baldur's Gate novels, just like there are no sequels to Highlander or The Matrix.

    Highlander, I can agree on. The Matrix, I don't.

    ThacoBell
  • wraith5641wraith5641 Member Posts: 500
    There are lots of books based in The Forgotten Realms. Problem is, they aren't that good. The good ones are based on the adventures of Drizzt.

    The beauty of D&D is that its appeal is that you get to decide and create your own story, so having that element taken away from it makes it lose some of its charm. If you want great fantasy novels, go and read the 'A Song of Ice and Fire' series.

    booinyoureyes
  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162

    There are no Baldur's Gate novels, just like there are no sequels to Highlander or The Matrix.

    Honestly
    image

    GrumNonnahswriterJuliusBorisovQuartz
  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 2,029
    There is no war in Ba Sing Se.

    booinyoureyesVallmyr
  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 2,127
    What about the elminster books. Are they worthwhile? (I think there is a base of five? )

    With respect to mazzy not bring a paladin. Recruit her and take the long explanatory dialogue options and make up your own mind on that.

    I can also complain that there are no female bards but does it really matter? I'd play the game nonetheless.

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,151
    edited May 2015
    lroumen said:

    What about the elminster books. Are they worthwhile?

    Of course!*

    *Disclaimer: I may or may not be receiving royalties from them

    Nonnahswriterepicrakshasaslolien
  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 2,243
    I second as a recommendation the R.A. Salvatore books about Drizzt. They kind of get lame near the end of the series, though.

  • BlucherBlucher Member Posts: 110


    - The Bhaalspawn, Abdel Adrian, is a thuggish mercenary who already has ample experience as a fighter at the start of the story.
    - There is a completely gratuitous scene where Gorion's body is devoured by ghouls and Abdel kills them, complete with descriptions of Gorion's various body parts (such as his eyeballs) falling out as he disembowels them.
    - Khalid is some slimy lech who has already cheated on Jaheira once before.
    - Jaheira is much more helpless in the novel. At one point, a spider crawls into her clothes, and Abdel ends up ripping off her shirt.
    - Minsc is some red-haired idiot working at the Copper Coronet. He has no further relevance to the plot.
    - During the sojourn through the Underdark, Imoen sleeps with Phaere and discovers she is a lesbian.
    - Abdel ends up sleeping with Bodhi, despite having Jaheira as his love interest.

    Oh my God! Make it stop! Please!!!

    lolienGrumThacoBell
  • BlucherBlucher Member Posts: 110
    jacobtan said:

    I suspect the novelisations were meant to target the market of masochistic readers. It's otherwise difficult to explain how any minimally-functioning business would allow such compost to see the light of day.

    On the other hand, I read my copies with a morbid sense of curiosity - I regretted buying them (I have two of the three) but after I started reading, I just had to continue to see how bad they could be.

    It could be that the only purpose of some books is to serve as a warning to others how not to write.

    I can only think that some editor at TSR hated the BG games and directed the author to write that dreck on purpose.

    lolienGrum
  • ThatTwitchyGuyThatTwitchyGuy Member Posts: 23
    Blucher said:

    I can only think that some editor at TSR hated the BG games and directed the author to write that dreck on purpose.

    Fun fact, Philip Athans, the author of the first one, was actually one of the head editors for Wizards of the Coast lol. So yes, it was an editors fault.

    lolienGrum
  • GrumGrum Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,100
    Has Athans ever responded to the criticism of his novels?

  • NonnahswriterNonnahswriter Member Posts: 2,520
    Grum said:

    Has Athans ever responded to the criticism of his novels?

    From a quick search for interviews with Athans, I think he prefers to not mention them...

    Also, his advice here is pretty ironic considering: http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=12705

    Here's a more extensive interview here: http://www.thebolthole.org/blog/2011/12/19/author-interview-philip-athans/

    I guess it's possible to be an intelligent and kind person and still write complete and utter garbage... Still, I'm surprised by this.

    lolienJuliusBorisov
  • jacobtanjacobtan Member Posts: 655

    Grum said:

    Has Athans ever responded to the criticism of his novels?

    From a quick search for interviews with Athans, I think he prefers to not mention them...

    Also, his advice here is pretty ironic considering: http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=12705

    Here's a more extensive interview here: http://www.thebolthole.org/blog/2011/12/19/author-interview-philip-athans/

    I guess it's possible to be an intelligent and kind person and still write complete and utter garbage... Still, I'm surprised by this.
    Well... people don't usually like talking about their black marks, especially those that left their reputations in tatters. Also, last I heard, intelligence, kindness and writing ability have no known correlation with one another :wink:

    lolienJuliusBorisovGrumDreadKhan
  • NonnahswriterNonnahswriter Member Posts: 2,520
    jacobtan said:

    Grum said:

    Has Athans ever responded to the criticism of his novels?

    From a quick search for interviews with Athans, I think he prefers to not mention them...

    Also, his advice here is pretty ironic considering: http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=12705

    Here's a more extensive interview here: http://www.thebolthole.org/blog/2011/12/19/author-interview-philip-athans/

    I guess it's possible to be an intelligent and kind person and still write complete and utter garbage... Still, I'm surprised by this.
    Well... people don't usually like talking about their black marks, especially those that left their reputations in tatters. Also, last I heard, intelligence, kindness and writing ability have no known correlation with one another :wink:
    Point. :tongue:

    jacobtanlolienDreadKhan
  • Brer_RabbitBrer_Rabbit Member Posts: 159
    edited June 2015
    Blucher said:


    - The Bhaalspawn, Abdel Adrian, is a thuggish mercenary who already has ample experience as a fighter at the start of the story.
    - There is a completely gratuitous scene where Gorion's body is devoured by ghouls and Abdel kills them, complete with descriptions of Gorion's various body parts (such as his eyeballs) falling out as he disembowels them.
    - Khalid is some slimy lech who has already cheated on Jaheira once before.
    - Jaheira is much more helpless in the novel. At one point, a spider crawls into her clothes, and Abdel ends up ripping off her shirt.
    - Minsc is some red-haired idiot working at the Copper Coronet. He has no further relevance to the plot.
    - During the sojourn through the Underdark, Imoen sleeps with Phaere and discovers she is a lesbian.
    - Abdel ends up sleeping with Bodhi, despite having Jaheira as his love interest.

    Oh my God! Make it stop! Please!!!

    So the Baldur's Gate novels are pretty much the equal to Mass Effect's Deception book by Dietz.

    We prefer not to think about that one either.


    ...


    No, not that bad. Maybe the last book of the Beka Cooper series: toss out the cast of the last 3 books and set up an abusive marriage/husband death to a random dude whose name was mentioned once in maybe four books. Yup. Sounds closer to this.

    Post edited by Brer_Rabbit on
    Nonnahswriter
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    What about biamorous and polysexual? Any better?

    Quartzlolien
  • GrumGrum Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,100

    Grum said:

    Has Athans ever responded to the criticism of his novels?

    From a quick search for interviews with Athans, I think he prefers to not mention them...

    Also, his advice here is pretty ironic considering: http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=12705

    Here's a more extensive interview here: http://www.thebolthole.org/blog/2011/12/19/author-interview-philip-athans/

    I guess it's possible to be an intelligent and kind person and still write complete and utter garbage... Still, I'm surprised by this.
    Athans seriously wrote this: "In an attempt to answer the rest of the question: no one should ever try to write a tie-in novel that ties in to something you’re not a fan of. If you’ve never played D&D and try to write a D&D novel, we’ll know, and so will the readers, and it won’t be a happy experience for anyone. Writing tie-in fiction is in many ways harder than just exploring your own fantasy world. You have to be ready to do research and if you don’t love the world you’re researching, well, that would have to just be a painful process."

    I...I just...well...

    ...maybe it is his way of saying that he learned his lesson?

    QuartzNonnahswriterlolien
  • jacobtanjacobtan Member Posts: 655
    edited June 2015
    This is PG, but it pretty much sums it up:

    Just because you know it's against site rules doesn't mean you can do it. --Site Staff

    Post edited by JuliusBorisov on
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,962
    ^The comment above has been edited.

    jacobtanNonnahswriterlolien
  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 2,029
    @Quartz, I don't think Jaheira functions that well as a direct counter-example to the "needs to be rescued" thing, since she needs to be rescued at least three times throughout the game (although I think one is specific to her romance). Now, she's absolutely a strong character otherwise, in terms of personality, depth, and mechanical power, so I don't think she's a negative portrayal overall, but it's definitely the case that she needs a lot of rescuing, and that's not without unfortunate implications.

    Of course, a lot of NPCs need rescuing in BG2. While it's unfortunate that the list includes every female character in the game, many male characters and the PC him/herself also need to be rescued on at least one occasion. Arguably Haer'Dalis is actually the biggest "damsel" in distress in the game, since he has basically now agency in either of his captures and rescues. The female characters are at least allowed to contribute to their own rescues, which is... something, if not as much as we might like.

    NonnahswriterGrum
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    Not all forms of 'help' are rescuing, imho the 'damsel' trope does not apply in situations where the victim is not helpless (Ployer definately could be handled by sick Jaheira, but you help anyways), and in situations where the MC is pretty much equally helpless. Jaheira isn't really being rescued in Irenicus' Dungeon, you simply open her cell door. This might be a slight differentiation, but seriously, you don't even need to help her escape after opening her door.

    Ymmv!

    QuartzlolienBrer_RabbitThacoBell
  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 2,029
    edited June 2015
    I definitely agree with most of that, @Dreadkhan. For the damsel in distress trope to be in effect, I would argue that the character in question must be rendered unable to defend themselves effectively, and must rely entirely on another individual for aid. Offering help to someone as an equal (or roughly equal) partner certainly does not qualify. Keldorn, for example, is clearly not in need of rescuing, even though you help him complete his quest. Jaheira is in need of rescuing, I would argue, until you unlock her cage. At which point her passivity has ended, and she now assumes an active role in the group's self-rescue. I have trouble even being too upset about that period of passivity, because it's made very clear that the whole party was helpless in this situation, not just the women. Given that, I would hardly count this incident against Jaheira, but there's also the time she gets captured by bandits and used to threaten Charname (possibly romance only?) and the time she gets captured by Harpers.

    ThacoBell
  • QuartzQuartz Member Posts: 3,851
    @Jarrakul Thanks for your explanation. I think we're of the same opinion, I just tend to shrug things off easier. Perhaps this is a shortcoming of mine, perhaps not. Who really knows.
    Jarrakul said:

    but there's also the time she gets captured by bandits and used to threaten Charname (possibly romance only?)

    Side note: She gets pissed if you don't do that just right though. Aren't damsels in distress supposed to just swoon, "oh my hero!" pretty much no matter how they're saved? Heck, Jaheira's even bossy in her cage. You can cringe at Aerie all you want (I shall too … and cringe at Khalid, while we're at it), and you can arguably complain about Viconia, but Jaheira just isn't an issue no matter how you look at it, IMO.

    lolienBrer_RabbitMichailJuliusBorisov
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