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Change the alignments of Jaheira and Garrick to Good alignments

thelovebatthelovebat Member Posts: 218
Jaheira for all intents and purposes acts and functions like they're a Good aligned NPC who was simply restricted to a Neutral alignment in the original game for gameplay/rule reasons at the time, being 2nd Edition and all. However she acts, behaves, and talks like someone of a Good alignment, is married to a Good aligned NPC with Khalid, will leave your party if your reputation goes too low, and will get into a fight with the Evil pair of Xzar and Montaron if you leave them in the party together enough.

As for Garrick, he simply doesn't seem to act the same as other Neutral aligned NPCs (besides the previously mentioned Jaheira). Whenever you lose reputation, he comments

"Why did we just do that?"

as to indicate he doesn't approve of negative or evil actions. At the very least, it sounds on par with the tone of what Coran (Chaotic Good) says when you lose reputation. When talking to him the first time and activating the encounter which allows you to get him in your party, you can't get him in your party if you take the evil route of that encounter and kill the merchants, you have to take the good route and side against Silke. From what I have played he will also end up leaving your party if you get too low of a reputation. Finally, if you have a positive reputation he will have passive banter to another Good aligned NPC in your party saying

"You, are an honorable person."

Then someone like Ajantis would generally say something like

"I thank you for your compliment."

Judging by dialogue and behavior, it seems like these are two NPCs that were not given the proper alignments in the original game for one reason or another. And considering there are combinations of stats, skills, and proficiencies a player character wouldn't normally be able to start with (like Kagain's 20 Constitution, Coran's 20 Dexterity and 3 PIPs in Longbows, Dorn being a Half Orc Paladin, Xan being a single class Mage and getting access to a Moonblade sword) I don't think it would be a big deal to have these two NPCs start with what seem to be the proper alignments for their character.

typo_tilly

Comments

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,437
    Jaheira's alignment comes from the fact that in AD&D, druids have to be True Neutral. Regardless of her personal morality, as a druid she has to be Neutral. Disregarding that mechanics-based reasoning, you might also recall that if your reputation starts to dip, she doesn't talk about trying to do more good, she talks about trying to "maintain balance". For Jaheira (in BG, at least, even if it's not as present in BGII), the question of morality is less about "doing the most good for the most people" and more about "doing the least harm to the balance of nature". The things that raise your reputation also happen to be things that help restore balance to a region whose balance is very much upset. The things that lower your reputation, meanwhile, tend to be things that feed the corruption on the Sword Coast that she's trying to keep at bay.

    As for Garrick, I guess that I would start by saying that not all neutrally aligned people are morally apathetic. You might not actively work toward the greater good, but you could still not like it when people get murdered. Garrick's neutral alignment makes sense because while he dislikes evil behavior, and likes those who do good, he doesn't himself strive to do good in the world, only to avoid those who are dangerously malevolent. Recall that he was working for Silke until you arrived, happy to hire mercenaries on her behalf until he realized that doing so was actively promoting malevolent actions.

    Also recall that, in Shadows of Amn, you find him trying to woo a woman using another man's words (especially those of a man who clearly is in love with that same woman). Setting aside my distaste for Christian de Neuvillette for a moment, this dishonest way to a woman's heart is certainly not a "good" action, even if it isn't directly evil.

    What's interesting (and in many ways more compelling) about neutral characters isn't that they're apathetic to the morality of your quest; it's that, despite their general apathy about "what a good person should do", they have been spurred to action by the importance of your quest. You wouldn't see Garrick or Xan leaping into fire to save a child from a burning building, even though they both might feel bad for the child, but you would see both of them working to stop the evil that's trying to take over the land because that is a cause that "cannot be ignored".

    sarevok57typo_tillyelminsterbob_veng
  • thelovebatthelovebat Member Posts: 218
    edited June 2015
    Dee said:

    Jaheira's alignment comes from the fact that in AD&D, druids have to be True Neutral. Regardless of her personal morality, as a druid she has to be Neutral. Disregarding that mechanics-based reasoning, you might also recall that if your reputation starts to dip, she doesn't talk about trying to do more good, she talks about trying to "maintain balance". For Jaheira (in BG, at least, even if it's not as present in BGII), the question of morality is less about "doing the most good for the most people" and more about "doing the least harm to the balance of nature". The things that raise your reputation also happen to be things that help restore balance to a region whose balance is very much upset. The things that lower your reputation, meanwhile, tend to be things that feed the corruption on the Sword Coast that she's trying to keep at bay.

    As for Garrick, I guess that I would start by saying that not all neutrally aligned people are morally apathetic. You might not actively work toward the greater good, but you could still not like it when people get murdered. Garrick's neutral alignment makes sense because while he dislikes evil behavior, and likes those who do good, he doesn't himself strive to do good in the world, only to avoid those who are dangerously malevolent. Recall that he was working for Silke until you arrived, happy to hire mercenaries on her behalf until he realized that doing so was actively promoting malevolent actions.

    Also recall that, in Shadows of Amn, you find him trying to woo a woman using another man's words (especially those of a man who clearly is in love with that same woman). Setting aside my distaste for Christian de Neuvillette for a moment, this dishonest way to a woman's heart is certainly not a "good" action, even if it isn't directly evil.

    What's interesting (and in many ways more compelling) about neutral characters isn't that they're apathetic to the morality of your quest; it's that, despite their general apathy about "what a good person should do", they have been spurred to action by the importance of your quest. You wouldn't see Garrick or Xan leaping into fire to save a child from a burning building, even though they both might feel bad for the child, but you would see both of them working to stop the evil that's trying to take over the land because that is a cause that "cannot be ignored".

    I guess I should have mentioned I haven't yet gotten around to playing Baldur's Gate 2 yet. This is mainly based around Baldur's Gate 1 behavior. I guess I should have mentioned that in case people posted spoilers for the 2nd game.

    Post edited by thelovebat on
  • typo_tillytypo_tilly Member Posts: 5,363
    The alignments... aren't exactly right. Or at least they don't feel exactly right. Not with Jaheira and Faldorn being the same alignment.

    Best to ignore them if it niggles you as it did me. n.n

  • thelovebatthelovebat Member Posts: 218
    edited June 2015

    The alignments... aren't exactly right. Or at least they don't feel exactly right. Not with Jaheira and Faldorn being the same alignment.

    Best to ignore them if it niggles you as it did me. n.n

    I heard the other day playing some multiplayer with some experienced veterans of the games that reputation doesn't matter for your player character's alignment either, only for the NPCs that may tag along. I asked them about it since I remember both in the original game and the Enhanced Edition it tells you not staying true to your alignment would yield consequences and repercussions for your character, but one of them basically said it doesn't actually effect your character at all in any way, even stuff like luck rolls or something which I had assumed to be the case. Aside from Rangers and Paladins needing to stay above a certain reputation threshold to not lose their class abilities, I can't really think of anything where reputation is relevant to your player character's alignment.

    Of course, this is one thing I may have preferred about Planescape Torment's alignment system and how it worked compared to some forms of D&D, but then again that was a pretty unique game to begin with, where you can't easily replicate that system of how alignment works without the proper context and extensive programming. For something like Baldur's Gate though, it all comes down to behavior for me since that's supposed to be representative of that person's alignment. Heck for example Kivan hates caves and spots where dwarven folk like Yeslick enjoy exploring, but he's still a good NPC who doesn't bicker with Yeslick. Also his motivation for joining you is to get payback for his murdered loved one and take out the bandits. So I'm not so sure Jaheira wanting nature to be left alone for its own balance is automatically neutral. Chaotic Good tends to fit that sort of thing fairly well. That Chaotic Good Halfling Thief you can get in the Baldur's Gate city, Alora, you meet cus she wants you to help in a heist, not exactly a noble thing to do.

    I can understand if my observations sound incredibly picky or dumb to bring up, but I'm not really sure bringing up the game's rules has any meaning considering the features of at least a few NPCs pretty much bend or break the rules anyway. Dorn who was introduced in the Enhanced Edition by Beamdog was a race/class combination that isn't allowed for the player to use for their character, but the devs decided to have him in there anyway even if the rules wouldn't normally allow it just like these alignment rules Dee brought up. All I'm saying is if there's an argument being made for one thing, it would make more sense to have a bit of consistency if it sounds okay to bend the rules one way but not another.

    typo_tillyelminster
  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    edited June 2015
    Yeah....but being a class is a measure of training and could be explained by having unusual background circumstances, where as an alignment restriction has no exceptions unless it's a divine class which specific gods may have different restrictions for what spells or equipment they can use or other restrictions.

    Case in point, in the Forgotten Realms, Druids of Mielikki can be neutral good or true neutral, and use any weapons a ranger can (but not other equipment). they can also dual-class or Multi-class as ranger/druids if they're neutral good. (though only good druids get those extra benefits, and if they "fall" out of Good they become normal druids with the regular restrictions).

    Jaheria and Faldorn however both worship Silvanus, who is the strictest of the druidic deities that places preserving nature over everything else (in BG2 her rhetoric is calmed down a lot but in BG1, if you pay attention, Jaheria is almost as harsh as Faldorn about protecting nature and balance, though isn't quite as extreme). The only difference between them is which sub-faction they belong to.

    Shadow Druids aren't evil, they're just VERY militant in their beliefs about maintaining balance and protecting nature, where as the moderates tend to favor teaching/diplomacy first and only resulting to militancy as a last resort.

    Fallen Druids though are, due to losing sight of maintaining the balance. (the shadow druid that went insane and murdered his circle being an example. Though interestingly Faldorn in BG2 is not Fallen, just on the very extreme end of Shadow Druidism, since she still obeyed all the laws of druidism, just using some frowned upon (but allowed) tactics to carry out her mission. And keep in mind, the majority of the Druids were perfectly happy with her rule because they openly admitted that her predecessors methods weren't making much impact on the surrounding cities, and only a couple of the really hard-line moderates were resisting).


    As for Bards, Garrick made it VERY clear that he knew exactly the sort of person Silkie was, and didn't particularly care, even hinting that she pulls that trick all the time, of promising 1 group a reward for stealing/acquiring something really expensive, while having another group kill them for chump change.


    And he's totally fine as long as he gets an occasional something-something out of it, and gets to stay out of harms way himself. About the only kind of decent thing you see him do is berate Eldoth for being an abusive dick to Skie (though it's possible he's got ulterior motives himself to motivate him to stick up for her, i.e. he wants to tap that himself, since he comes on pretty strong with his flirting to her).

    And Haer'dalis in BG2 is a DOOM GUARD that wants to bring about the end of everything.

    Eldoth on the other hand, being evil, is maliciously motivated. He isn't afraid of dirtying his hands directly and doing or using everyone for personal gain.

    Where the neutral bards will turn a blind eye evil actions as long as they can consider themselves clean of the bulk of the wrong doing. Like Garrick with Silkie, he just sits back and lets the things happen without getting directly involved one way or another, if she gets killed, he remains unscathed and can even claim she forced him to help her, or if she wins, he can continue as he has been doing. As long as he can deflect the worst of the wrong doing on someone else, he can keep a relatively clear conscience of the matters.

    Post edited by ZanathKariashi on
    typo_tillyLadyRhian
  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member, Moderator Posts: 9,519
    @ZanathKariashi Yes, let's not forget one of Jaheira's Banters is "If a tree falls in a forest, I'll kill the bastard what done it." Faldorn is more inclined to a "Let nature decide if this thing is killed" whereas Jaheira is inclined a bit more towards mercy in a given situation rather than "kill the malefactors first", which is more emblematic of Faldorn.

    Both are druids- Both can be fine party members. But Jaheira is slightly more inclined to mercy, Faldorn for harshness.

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