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What would you like to see done (if anything) about Mizhena

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Comments

  • GrimLefourbeGrimLefourbe Member Posts: 637
    Abuse cases will be covered in the next game!

    Beamdog isn't a news website, it's not supposed to cover what happens in the world right? It's not their job. They write games, and here they wrote a game with a character being who she wants to be. It doesn't mean they deny bad practices in real life.

  • NyaNya Member Posts: 5
    removing the uneeded and unwanted character completely, and also perhaps a mod to remove Amber Scott's infantile worldview from the dialogue , also to respect the character of Safana. you will never be able to undo the mess you created Beamdog.

  • andresandres Member Posts: 15
    Would be cool to add in some kind of comment about the belt of masculinity/femininity in the dialogue, or even a quest to obtain it. Would be some nice fan service. Absolutely nothing needs to be done though, this should be a non-issue.

    Stoibs
  • andresandres Member Posts: 15

    The way this character is presented is stupid, wrong and makes her seem mental.

    Which is par for the course compared to the original game. Half the people you encountered seemed outright insane. Some of your companions literally are.

    [Deleted User]rorikonAyiekiesemiticgod
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    @andres Indeed and do you think that was the intention of the writer?

  • epicrakshasasIIepicrakshasasII Member Posts: 4
    She should start out male and if your charisma is high enough, (and you can choose the smart dialogue options), there should be a quest to get the belt of gender change or a potion of gender change.

  • Kivan_DKivan_D Member Posts: 12
    "I am not at all interested in this discussion."
    I voted for this one. I already read many comments in many topics and i really can't see what all the fuss is about. I can understand why many people are mad with the writer's interview, the Minsc's joke, Beamdog and the way they handled the situation etc but the expansion is a descent addition to the BG Saga imo (i didn't finish SOD yet but i'm enjoying it so far) and that's that! It's a game after all for God's sake!
    The key to change the world to the better is to change ourselves, to make actions our thoughts, words and writings...And that's the difficult part of change..so the words, thoughts and writings stay words, thoughts and writings and nothing really changes.......
    The bottom line: I believe that people became extremely sensitive on some social subjects, especially the last 15 years and eg. see racism and enemies everywhere but moderation is the best thing (always and forever)

  • GenderNihilismGirdleGenderNihilismGirdle Member Posts: 1,353
    edited April 2016
    Make her a joinable NPC! As a trans person who experiences transmisogyny, I agree with a thread I've read and plan to comment on here on the forums to an extent that it seems unrealistic for someone whose relationship with you is essentially "magical service industry" to just blurt it out like that, but I really REALLY appreciate the attempt at inclusion, and think her character is great but needs fleshing out. I think the way to flesh that out is either the quest option (which still feels a bit forced to me, to be honest, unless you can get someone to really nail the writing) but having her become a joinable NPC/companion would actually make the eventual reveal seem that much more realistic. People trust CHARNAME, and they divulge all kinds of deep secrets, traumatic or not! And I'm not even saying her individual trans journey needs to be traumatic, she could have a very positive outlook on it but it's still something where the emphasis is on her identification as a woman rather than on her identification as someone who is trans.

    Conversation options where she expresses joy at how you've only ever seen her as a woman after you've known her for a while would be a great intro, or even the name thing if it's something that comes up! Maybe you meet someone while she's joined up with you who deadnames her and gets the cold shoulder? Or maybe they are someone from her childhood who wouldn't know her current name and a discussion happens? Or, if you decide not to make her joinable (and I really think you should!) and give her a quest maybe there could be quest reveal dialogue where she's arguing with someone who knew her from her past and is stubbornly misgendering her with pronouns or name and your quest is somehow tied to this event you witness? I mean the possibilities are endless but I don't think it should just be left as is, while I don't agree with every point my fellow trans poster made in the other thread, I definitely do agree that it feels forced to have her just suddenly out herself as trans when even within the explanation in her dialogue she mentions having experienced transmisogyny/transphobia from her parents as a child. That really hurts, and she'd know it does well enough even just from that one alienating instance of denial of her sense of herself not to go spouting off to customers just because they're "good customers" if even the parents who raised you couldn't handle it.

    But if there's a reason for a strong bond to have developed between the two of you, I don't see anything wrong with tweaking the writing so there's a reason for the reveal to occur, and making her a joinable NPC would be more than enough reason for a strong bond to develop! This is my first post, and I felt it needed to be made here so that my vote wasn't just numbers on a poll but instead my voice as a trans person speaking out about this. It means so much to trans gamers to see themselves represented in games, especially for me who has played and loved Black Isle games since the 90s (I'll admit, I like Planescape: Torment, Lionheart and the Fallout series more than the BG series, but I like the BG series more than anything else Black Isle ever put out by far and it still holds a special place in my heart since I first played BG in 1998 and excitedly bought/had my dad buy ToSC, II and SoA one after another so don't mistake my listmaking for aversion to BG...Black Isle just made some KILLER games is all).

    To conclude this since it's kinda overlong, I just want to say that an example of really great trans inclusion could've been (and I'm not suggesting you do this at this point, since her character is well defined on her own as is, it's just an example of how to do this thing gracefully) if Schael Corwin had nothing changed about her character except that it was the birth mother who had split, leaving her to be a single trans mom of the child her wife had become pregnant with pre-transition. If nothing else had changed except the character of the missing parent (and possibly the reasons for leaving if you wanted to explore transphobia a bit in the dialogue) and a name conversation similar to Mizhena (but better written/tailored to Schael) then you'd have a fantastic trans character who was written to emphasize that she's a woman, is seen as a woman, and trans people want that! To be seen as a woman rather than a trans woman, to be seen as a man rather than a trans man. It's good for the player to know a character is trans in order to normalize their existence, but it should be more about a reveal after a long time of knowing a character as a woman or as a man than a sudden "oh yeah by the way I'm trans!" early on in the friendship (or even romance if you made a trans character romanceable...like I'd say that's a reveal for after the romance is in full swing).

    I'm rolling my eyes over people who think ogres and goblins and fireballs are believable but not depictions of men and women who want to take advantage of pre-existing in-setting magic that can help them become who they feel they are, so I don't really care about the critiques of "but you're inserting modern things!" especially given the incredible pre-colonial diversity of gender expression all over the world throughout world history well predating the era of European history D&D is meant to be an analog to (to say nothing of the countless European examples who were usually violently repressed, which as Ed Greenwood has pointed out in the past with regard to gay and bi people in the Realms, some Earth prejudices never asserted themselves with such violent force in the Realms, and why should they when it's a place for gay and bi gamers to engage their imagination and see themselves represented). I just don't care about those critiques, they come from a place of stubborn ignorance and usually a healthy dose of right-wing politics and I just can't be bothered with it. But I do agree that while doing things ham-fistedly is sort of a Baldur's Gate tradition (Jaheria's old and worn out nagging wife trope schtick, Safana's even older and more worn out self-objectifying misogynist appeal to horny heterosexual men as if that was the only audience for fantasy RPGs, etc, etc) I do definitely think the ham-fistedness needs to change! Which is why I'm a bit confused as to Amber Scott's stated intention to scale back on that stuff leading to ham-fistedness in another direction! Let's cut back on the ham in our diet all around!

    Sorry this went on forever, but it's just my take on this whole thing as someone who loves the inclusion but wants to see the inclusion be on the level of the great writing and storytelling that went into Schael Corwin and the rest of The Siege of Dragonspear! I'm going to hold off on writing a review until I've fully completed the game, but I'm going to be one of those voices crying out a non-biased score in a wilderness of petulant gamergatey 0s and 1s. I can tell already it's going to be a good score, because this feels like a fantastic addition to a series I've loved since I was young!

    craymond727prem0nitionGozetasemiticgod
  • RawgrimRawgrim Member Posts: 621
    Flesh the character out more. Maybe even make her a joinable NPC. You can never have too many clerics. As she stands now she looks more like a political add than a character. I can easily see a great character in the making here, though.

    GenderNihilismGirdle
  • AaezilAaezil Member Posts: 171
    edited April 2016
    IMO saying that a trans npc isn't legit unless it has a huge interaction and is a joinable npc etc etc is worse than having a minor trans npc that has no big hubub. Shes just another npc and i like that

    Ayiekie[Deleted User]ThacoBell
  • TStaelTStael Member Posts: 861
    I honestly do not get the furore, except as a healthy reminder that we seem to need more trans-characters in games since it is a big deal.

    Why? Because perceived ill writing of trans character is apparently more mortal a sin than writing some other character ill. I think that has mostly to do that there are so very few other trans-CHARs to relate to. (I can only think of Krem of DA:I myself)

    I have perso hetero-normative female immersion, but it has absolutely never, ever stopped me from wishing all other gamers could have the same, because i love it. I've only once dropped a game for game-world ethics, and this was because I thought one character was grossly homophobic. So I would not describe my gaming joy to be very fragile even if I cannot exactly get my preferred immersion.

    My inclusiveness of immersion principle would espouse trans- and GG-style-gamers both, of course - at equal footing. I hate people finding excuses to classify "us" and "them" - I try and think "us gamers."

    It's bit hard with the GG crowd that tries to limit gaming joy for others on such petty grounds, but I am trying... The ethics of heroic adventuring, or what! :-p

  • DreisDreis Member Posts: 34
    It really is all about context, and not feeling forced. I have several friends who are Vegan one of which goes out of her way to tell all and sundry that she is Vegan to the point that my other Vegan friends are afraid to mention it. Having characters that are diverse is great in a game but it should never be used to push social agenda, which in the context of the game it has been. It has also been shoehorned in and feels unnecessarily forced. I'm surprised it wasn't flagged earlier in the creative process as a controversial point.

    Perhaps an early catch in the process would have toned it down a little but i fear now the situation has exploded and any change would exasperate the situation further.

  • DurenasDurenas Member Posts: 505
    It is beyond absurd the attention this one NPC is getting. Get over it, move on.

    skeptik_59Stoibssemiticgod
  • NihilusNihilus Member Posts: 192
    edited April 2016
    I say give her a quest.

    WARNING: I haven't started playing SoD yet.

    You encounter Mizhena. She initially has a male sprite. You get a chance to ask her about her name. She tells you about how she is actually a woman trapped in a man's body. You get sympathetic, confused and mocking/cruel dialog options.

    You get a quest on Mizhena in your journal. Then at some point, you find Girdle of Femininity/Masculinity (or some other item that has the same function). Now you have three options:

    The Good Path: Give her the gender transforming item while expecting nothing in return and let her live happily ever after.

    The Neutral Path: Give her the gender transforming item while expecting gold, items and/or some favor in return.

    The Evil Path: Trick her into thinking you will give her the gender transforming item and make her give gold, items to you and/or do some favor for you.

    Fraglimat
  • Diogenes42Diogenes42 Member Posts: 597
    Nihilus said:

    I say give her a quest.

    WARNING: I haven't started playing SoD yet.

    You encounter Mizhena. She initially has a male sprite. You get a chance to ask her about her name. She tells you about how she is actually a woman trapped in a man's body. You get sympathetic, confused and mocking/cruel dialog options.

    You get a quest on Mizhena in your journal. Then at some point, you find Girdle of Femininity/Masculinity (or some other item that has the same function). Now you have three options:

    The Good Path: Give her the gender transforming item while expecting nothing in return and let her live happily ever after.

    The Neutral Path: Give her the gender transforming item while expecting gold, items and/or some favor in return.

    The Evil Path: Trick her into thinking you will give her the gender transforming item and make her give gold, items to you and/or do some favor for you.

    Some good thoughts friend. However I think its good to consider that perhaps Mizhena might not want the belt at all. She serves the Lord of Battles after all so maybe the struggle she went through is important to the person she is now and she doesn't want to negate that.

    GenderNihilismGirdlecmk24[Deleted User]
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
  • RawgrimRawgrim Member Posts: 621
    Mizhena added as a companion in BG2 might be a lot of fun. Her interactions with Edwin after his own transformation would be a goldmine.

    GenderNihilismGirdleSilverstarprem0nition
  • NihilusNihilus Member Posts: 192

    Some good thoughts friend. However I think its good to consider that perhaps Mizhena might not want the belt at all. She serves the Lord of Battles after all so maybe the struggle she went through is important to the person she is now and she doesn't want to negate that.

    From what I understand, what makes Mizhena jarring for some people is that she seems to have solved all her problems when Charname meets her. So her backstory seems irrelevant and preachy. Imagine a self-made Randian NPC merchant who is talking about how he made his fortune thanks to free trade.

    Now I understand that, in real world, there is the idea that oppressed and marginalized people should/would-if-they-could solve their problems instead of waiting for some savior. And I mostly agree with this idea. But in fantasy roleplaying games I believe the player should have the agency.

    If Charname had the agency here and had an opportunity to be a gracious hero or a cold mercenary or a manipulating villain when dealing with Mizhena, I feel the controversy surrounding her would have been at least halved.

  • GenderNihilismGirdleGenderNihilismGirdle Member Posts: 1,353
    edited April 2016
    Rawgrim said:

    Mizhena added as a companion in BG2 might be a lot of fun. Her interactions with Edwin after his own transformation would be a goldmine.

    I'd love to see Mizhena defending Edwina and deflecting the jibes of other companions, actually! It would be a great fork of the Edwina quest if having Mizhena in the party had Edwin come around to the idea of being Edwina until she loved the idea!

    prem0nition
  • doggydoggy Member Posts: 313
    With all the other types of people/races/sexualities in the fantasy world of BG I think a transgender is just fine. I would like a quest to have the possibility to help her change gender. If that's really what she wants.

    And actually English not being my first language I thought she was in to numerology. That really freaked me out as in what where you thinking beamdog. I relaxed the moment I figured out she was just a transgender.

  • prem0nitionprem0nition Member Posts: 65

    Rawgrim said:

    Mizhena added as a companion in BG2 might be a lot of fun. Her interactions with Edwin after his own transformation would be a goldmine.

    I'd love to see Mizhena defending Edwina and deflecting the jibes of other companions, actually! It would be a great fork of the Edwina quest if having Mizhena in the party had Edwin come around to the idea of being Edwina until she loved the idea!
    Unlikely to happen due to the contract for the BG series means that Beamdog can't make changes to the original content, so Edwina will always want to change back to Edwin, but I agree with with your sentiment. An absolute goldmine of material there.

    GenderNihilismGirdle
  • SilverstarSilverstar Member Posts: 2,204
    edited April 2016

    Rawgrim said:

    Mizhena added as a companion in BG2 might be a lot of fun. Her interactions with Edwin after his own transformation would be a goldmine.

    I'd love to see Mizhena defending Edwina and deflecting the jibes of other companions, actually! It would be a great fork of the Edwina quest if having Mizhena in the party had Edwin come around to the idea of being Edwina until she loved the idea!
    Unlikely to happen due to the contract for the BG series means that Beamdog can't make changes to the original content, so Edwina will always want to change back to Edwin, but I agree with with your sentiment. An absolute goldmine of material there.
    I'm beginning to wonder about that actually. It makes a lot of sense for sure, and they haven't, until now, done changes to existing content and they've always maintained that statement. However... SoD makes changes to existing characters (Imoen, Viconia, Minsc), expands upon them (Jaheira, Safana) and adds content to them (basically all the companions as well as other prominent NPCs). Maybe the restrictions have been loosened a bit on what they can and cannot do? Maybe the restrictions weren't as harsh as we've been lead to believe in the first place? Or maybe they don't count within the context of a greater new work, which an expansion is.

    Personally I'm hoping, seeing as they can at least add more stuff to old content, that we might see some of the unused companions re-appear in BGII. *cough* Branwen *cough*. I like the idea of his whole Edwina/Mizhena interaction thing too. I don't think it's too likely, but certainly seems more possible than it used to.

    prem0nitionGenderNihilismGirdle
  • HalfwiseHalfwise Member Posts: 78
    edited April 2016
    Quest would be nice. NPC *might* be awesome, but that's a whole lot of turf... I worry they might wind up with a new line that causes people to overreact.

    But
    1) She shouldn't reveal her nature right away unless you dig for it, or have high CHA or whatnot. Unless, there is a storyline reason why she tells a bunch of strangers.
    2) Response should cover a wide gambit, including if you find her odd, or you wish to call out the fact that magic exists that can do just what she wants. Some might even want a cruel option, which would be fair, but then likely cause a backlash from the other end of the spectrum.
    3) An explanation or some background as to why she *hasn't* taken a magical option to become female. (Does she not trust magic? Can she not afford it? Is it forbidden by her order? She is content in who she is...etc.)
    4) Finally, if she could be convinced to use it, a quest to get the item necessary. She doesn't even need to use it right away. It could be a "JIC" while she considers if that's the path she truly wants.

  • laeknirlaeknir Member Posts: 58
    I voted for "improve the writing, plus quest" because right now it's not positive for anyone (including real trans people).

    In the Realms, LGTBQ certainly exist and there's also much less in the way of sexual puritanism and judgement for differences, though this depends on the region / culture.

    That said, blurting out one's sexual identity to a stranger is rather like agenda flag-waving, and this needs to be adjusted.

    Also, I hear that you can kill the trans character, despite them being an ally. Not good, IMO.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    laeknir said:


    Also, I hear that you can kill the trans character, despite them being an ally. Not good, IMO.

    That part's definitely a bug.

    GenderNihilismGirdle
  • Mikey205Mikey205 Member Posts: 302
    Integrate her more. Give her a quest with a variety of outcomes. Let players be a jerk if they want to be since after all we can roleplay evil characters.

    prem0nition
  • RoseweaveRoseweave Member Posts: 101
    edited April 2016
    Morbidly curious if 4chan has done rule 43 of her yet.

  • AyiekieAyiekie Member Posts: 975
    She doesn't tell anyone about it right away. You need to first ask about her name, then you have to ask why she thought her birth name wasn't suitable. Then you get a short explanation (three lines!). That's it. She doesn't seem ashamed of it, and there's no reason to assume it's especially stigmatised in the FR, so why would it be a big secret?

    Her explaining exactly why she doesn't use magical items to change physical gender would strike me as more "Explaining personal things to the PC whom she is merely acquainted with" than the actual reveal is.

    I cannot stress enough how absurd I find the complaints of "infodumping" or "blurting out to a stranger", having actually seen the dialogue in question. She responds briefly to specific inquiries. Absolutely nobody would be saying any of this about an NPC who revealed something else personal to a PC that wasn't related to "social justice". Evidence? At least half of the other quest-giving PCs in all three games.

    GenderNihilismGirdlecmk24
  • RoseweaveRoseweave Member Posts: 101
    13% just outright want her removed completely. Urgh.

    GenderNihilismGirdle
  • GenderNihilismGirdleGenderNihilismGirdle Member Posts: 1,353
    Roseweave said:

    13% just outright want her removed completely. Urgh.

    Urgh is right. Urgh is an understatement.

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