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Help out an RPing completionist

I like to play the game kind of realistically/RPish. For instance, given that my character is good aligned and very fond of her childhood friend Imoen, she would naturally run to Gaelan as soon as she has 20k coins. And it seems this won't take very long; I just cleared out the Copper Coronet and busted the slaver compound and am at 16k already. My next natural destination would be the de'Arnise Keep, through which I should easily hit 20k.

Problem is, if I run through the Athkatla part of the game too quickly, I won't be able to have much fun with all the side-quests. I don't remember right now what else the Shadow Thieves expect of me after I pay Gaelan the money, but it probably won't keep me in Athkatla for that long.

From what I read, one returns to Athkatla after saving Imoen? Are there *any* quests I can only do before leaving Athkatla for the first time? Also, apart from quests, are there any other things I would be missing, like for instance independent merchants here and there? (One with incredible items lurks around in the Copper Coronet right now.)

Comments

  • BorekBorek Member Posts: 139
    Had the same issues myself at times.

    Quests that AFAIK cannot be completed after you have started chapter 4:

    Korgans Book quest
    Edwins Nether Scroll
    Hexxat's initial quest, i have not tested if you can do the quests after you have freed the vamp, you *probably* can as long as she is in the group.

    Also worth noting that you do not need 20k, once you reach 15k or more both Bodhi and Gaelens minions appear to tempt you with a reduced rate of 15k.
    Nuin
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,016
    I don't know of any quests that are uncompletable after rescuing Imoen. You should be good barring the npc quests above. But if you are RPing, I wouldn't worry. Those are all for evil npcs.
  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 2,552
    Well , I have heard and tried a couple of things to roleplay a delay before saving imoen.

    1- I think it's the tweaks mod which makes gaelan ask for a higher amount, such as 40k or 60k gold. That would indeed make you take longer to rescue her, unintentionally (or so it seems)

    2- If you are an experienced player and knows the best items to be bought and the right tactics to defeat your enemies you could actually do lots of city quests in a couple of days. For instance, the thief, bard and cleric stronghold quests don't require traveling hours and could really be solved in a couple of days , maybe less. That way you w0n't feel like you spent countless weeks before paying gaelan. Outdoor quests could be solved in a week or so (travelling hours+rest) .

    3- Once I read from a forum member that you can headcannon link between quests, as if ypu really had to do all of them to make yourself worthy of powerful groups' attention. I think it's a cool idea.

    4- A lawful character might show some resistance helping the thieves (or vampires) , and might try other sources, such as the order of radiant heart, the cowled wizards, the church... only after realising that they can't help you you would finally seek the shadowmaster.

    Hope it helps :)
    ThacoBellNightingaleAerakar
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,235
    Could be solved if there was some news from the CW, basically Imoen is OK just holding her for now as she seems disturbed and Irenicus taking a bit longer to break out.

    The cut scene with Irenicus coming to Imoen's cell makes RPing not going to SH straight away once you have the money more difficult.
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,016

    Could be solved if there was some news from the CW, basically Imoen is OK just holding her for now as she seems disturbed and Irenicus taking a bit longer to break out.

    The cut scene with Irenicus coming to Imoen's cell makes RPing not going to SH straight away once you have the money more difficult.

    Doesn't that cutscene occur AFTER paying the fee though?
  • NuinNuin Member Posts: 389
    I've always found it odd that some people don't seem impressed with how ridiculously powerful Irenicus is, and how going after Imoen ASAP is basically suicide. The Waukeen's Promenade cutscene (where he just about destroys those cowled wizard enforcers) made a lasting impression on me the very first time I played BG2, and I made sure everyone was well equipped (it took finding Carsomyr for me to decide that we were ready) before I even considered going after him.

    It's easy to get attached to Imoen, and she's well designed enough that even a new BG2 player can become attached to her/realize that she and the PC are close and have been through a lot, but it just made no sense to go after her unprepared.
    ThacoBellAerakarDJKajuru
  • BorekBorek Member Posts: 139
    Nuin said:

    I've always found it odd that some people don't seem impressed with how ridiculously powerful Irenicus is, and how going after Imoen ASAP is basically suicide. The Waukeen's Promenade cutscene (where he just about destroys those cowled wizard enforcers) made a lasting impression on me the very first time I played BG2, and I made sure everyone was well equipped (it took finding Carsomyr for me to decide that we were ready) before I even considered going after him.

    It's easy to get attached to Imoen, and she's well designed enough that even a new BG2 player can become attached to her/realize that she and the PC are close and have been through a lot, but it just made no sense to go after her unprepared.

    If you have both Minsc and Jaheira with you when the cutscene ends Minsc wants to go after him immediately and Jaheira cautions you to wait, i usually side with Jaheira, although it can be fun to rush to Spellhold...The Irenicus battle is extremely challenging at lower levels though i must say :o
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 761
    ThacoBell said:

    I don't know of any quests that are uncompletable after rescuing Imoen. You should be good barring the npc quests above. But if you are RPing, I wouldn't worry. Those are all for evil npcs.

    Depending on what choices you make to start Chapter 3, the Mae'Var Guildhall quest can be locked out in Chapter 6, too. But a good-aligned role-player probably doesn't have to worry about making the wrong choice there.
  • TaylanTaylan Member Posts: 19
    I gotta say, after noticing how challenging even various random opponents around Athkatla are, I guess it does make sense to build up some more XP and equipment, both in terms of RP and gameplay!

    The quest log is a bit messed up, but I think we got out of Irenicus' dungeon on pretty much day 1 hour 1. (It shows that timestamp on the very first "woke up in a mage's dungeon" entry instead of the "got out of the dungeon and Imoen was captured" entry, but that ought to be a mistake because all the quests within Irenicus' dungeon have a day 0, hour X stamp.)

    I'm on day 4 hour 3 now, so in a mere 3 days I cleared up a cursed circus tent, freed the slaves in the Copper Coronet as well as the slaver HQ in the slums, dealt with some murderous kidnappers who bury people alive, investigated gruesome murders and made the perpetrators flee away, finished some dirty business of the Harpers, and dealt with some treacherous Harpers. Even put a murdered child's spirit to rest when I had the time. That's some massive performance for a hero! But I gotta say the enemies were quite challenging at every turn and not only does it make the party and main character worry about facing Irenicus, it also makes ME worry. :smiley:

    I guess it's time to travel to de'Arnise Keep then. Can't keep Nalia waiting much longer anyway. Besides, I was meaning to find the Dryads to give them the acorns; I'll do that too while I'm traveling.
    DJKajuruThacoBell
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 4,328
    edited March 19
    This touches on one of my biggest problems with the whole structure of BG2. The last time I played, I went straight to rescue Imoen, because that's what I would do. I had intended to do all the sidequest areas later, with Imoen back in my party.

    But the plot gave me a sense of urgency regarding the loss of our souls and events in Suldanesselar that just made it all seem wrong to go around doing random adventures such as the sewers, checking out Firkraag's domain, going to Trademeet, etc.

    I wound up getting a bad taste in my mouth and abandoning the run.

    EDIT: I just had a thought - Since BG2 was initially designed for Imoen to die at the beginning, I wonder if it might have been better to leave it that way. Much as I love her, the last minute decision to cave to fan pressure and rewrite the whole main story to include her kind of ruins the game for players who want to role play their characters and have a good story driving all the action.
    Aerakar
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,048

    Much as I love her, the last minute decision to cave to fan pressure and rewrite the whole main story to include her kind of ruins the game for players who want to role play their characters and have a good story driving all the action.

    In general, it's easier for RP enthusiasts to imagine things their way than it is for more casual players to be confronted with a setting heavily skewed towards RP concern. I imagine that the target audience only had a small minority of serious RPers in it, but contained a lot of people who had never played D&D or never played it a lot. Consequently, it is understandable that they decided to tune the plot towards a different demographic.
    AerakarThacoBell
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,235

    This touches on one of my biggest problems with the whole structure of BG2. The last time I played, I went straight to rescue Imoen, because that's what I would do. I had intended to do all the sidequest areas later, with Imoen back in my party.

    But the plot gave me a sense of urgency regarding the loss of our souls and events in Suldanesselar that just made it all seem wrong to go around doing random adventures such as the sewers, checking out Firkraag's domain, going to Trademeet, etc.

    I wound up getting a bad taste in my mouth and abandoning the run.

    EDIT: I just had a thought - Since BG2 was initially designed for Imoen to die at the beginning, I wonder if it might have been better to leave it that way. Much as I love her, the last minute decision to cave to fan pressure and rewrite the whole main story to include her kind of ruins the game for players who want to role play their characters and have a good story driving all the action.

    It's not just being expected to rush to Spellhold that I find unbalancing. It's the way that it leads onto the whole Sauhagin/Underdark without a break.

    BG did the same in a way, once you hit BG city you can't help but feel the game is into the end sequence. So going off for miles into the country to clear some ruins felt a bit wrong. But that at least did trust the player to take the decision for themselves.

    Imoen dying would have given ample RP reason to eventually want to seek revenge from Irenicus. Also allow you to take the sensible decision to get a lot stronger and richer to buy equipment before you confronted him. Also as you are the hero, people asking for help and you providing it, isn't an outrageous anti RP path to take.

    Even Imoen not dying, all of you escaping the dungeon, doesn't leave the player not wanting the same, revenge for the imprisonment/torture.
    I think it's the feeling that the developers didn't trust the player to want to complete the game that got in the way more than anything.
    BelgarathMTH
  • crumbcrumb Member Posts: 11
    I'm not sure if you can do them or not in Chapter 6, but you probably want to "Find A Care-Taker for Orphan Risa" and "Put the Spirit of Child Wellyn to Rest" before rushing off to save Imoen. Even entering the Graveyard will always be at night putting the Orphan quest as undoable until you confront Bodhi. Plus, if you're in a romance, your romantic partner will
    be abducted from your party immediately, just for stepping foot in the graveyard.
  • TaylanTaylan Member Posts: 19
    Damn, I had no idea that I'll be under similar pressure in chapter 6. (We played BG tons of times as little kids but never cared about the story much and never got very far.) Guess I'll split the quests around Athkatla relatively evenly across chapters 2/3 and 6.

    That reminds me of the question: are there any quests you can do in chapter 2 but not 3? Assuming you go with the thieves, that is. (If you side with the vamps, I suppose you won't be able to do the quests for Renal Bloodscalp that you can otherwise start in chapter 2.)

    I already started chapter 3 long ago so won't be going back; hope I didn't miss anything of importance.
  • CloutierCloutier Member Posts: 188
    Il you're looking for a rp reason to hang on a bit longer in Atkathla, you may seek Tolgerias in the government building, and complete his quest in the hope that the Cowled Wizards would release Imoen.
    ThacoBell
  • CloutierCloutier Member Posts: 188


    BG did the same in a way, once you hit BG city you can't help but feel the game is into the end sequence. So going off for miles into the country to clear some ruins felt a bit wrong. But that at least did trust the player to take the decision for themselves.

    In my RP playthroughs of BG1, I go to Durlag after Candlekeep ch. 5 - it's the refuge where the Flaming Fist won't be looking for me.
    Arctodus
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,235
    Cloutier said:


    BG did the same in a way, once you hit BG city you can't help but feel the game is into the end sequence. So going off for miles into the country to clear some ruins felt a bit wrong. But that at least did trust the player to take the decision for themselves.

    In my RP playthroughs of BG1, I go to Durlag after Candlekeep ch. 5 - it's the refuge where the Flaming Fist won't be looking for me.
    Was thinking more along the lines of having the Iron Throne so close in BG pre Candlekeep, leaving BG to go have a poke around Firewine/Ulcaster doesn't feel so RPish.

    What happens in CK breaks that urgency as what can you do?
    So I do the same as you.



  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,016
    I've been attempting to to rp a "Imoen dies in spellhold" run for awhile now. I can never bring myself to go through with it...
    BelgarathMTH
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 761
    Honestly, I never felt the time pressure quite as keenly in Chapter 6 as in Chapter 2/3.

    Sure, you want to go help some elves, but you can't even get into their city until you find their Magic MacGuffin of Plot Progression. You don't know for sure where it is. You have an idea, but explicitly want to recruit help before engaging in a frontal assault. As players, we have metaknowledge of where help can be gained, but for the characters, they don't really know where it will come from.

    Perhaps by aiding him with his Firkraag problem, Garren will put in a good word with his contacts at the Radiant Heart for you. Perhaps if you raise some more money, the Shadow Thieves will help you out; we know they always have a price even when something is in their best interest. Perhaps by helping out Tolgerias and the Cowled Wizards they'll be inclined to lend some aid against the menace within their borders.

    Perhaps while traveling the countryside in Umar Hills you might run across another adventuring party willing to lend their aid, (provided you didn't kill their dark-skinned friend already), and even if not from all those journal entries that Mazzy Fentan lass sounds capable, and the townspeople speak very highly of Merella. At the very least, those with loved ones in trouble will be interested in visiting the ruined temple.

    All of this seems pretty consistent from a RP perspective. Sure, there's a time crunch, but the game also explicitly tells you that you need allies for the coming fight, and then immediately reinforces that allies might be found anywhere.

    And besides, prior to getting the Magic MacGuffin of Plot Progression, it's not like the elves are very forthcoming about what is going on. You know something pretty bad is probably happening somewhere, though according to them they don't know what, or where, or why, or by whom. You obviously want your soul back, but if you're not showing any immediate ill effects, I could see someone being more inclined to continue building up power for the coming confrontation than to rush headlong into a new situation with absolutely nothing to go on.
    ThacoBell
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 4,328
    @SomeSort ,

    Yes, but what about the loss of your souls? The game tells you you're sick, and your body can't live long without a soul. You and Imoen will get weaker and weaker unless you find a way to get your souls back, and quickly. (Even though the game doesn't actually mechanically make it happen after it tells you that.) It seems to me like the story as written tells you that you don't have time to fool around, because you're dying a slow and painful death.
    SomeSort
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 910
    @BelgarathMTH


    Having no soul isn't a big deal. I know this, I worked as a government contractor.


    SomeSortThacoBellBelgarathMTHArctodus
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 761

    @SomeSort ,

    Yes, but what about the loss of your souls? The game tells you you're sick, and your body can't live long without a soul. You and Imoen will get weaker and weaker unless you find a way to get your souls back, and quickly. (Even though the game doesn't actually mechanically make it happen after it tells you that.) It seems to me like the story as written tells you that you don't have time to fool around, because you're dying a slow and painful death.

    As you say, the game never gives you a timeline or really any indicators that you're wasting away to any degree. I figure I'm the one who is suffering from the negative effects of losing my soul, so I know how far along they are, and I'm in the best position to weigh my competing needs to restore my soul as quickly as possible and to prepare as much as possible. And since I feel pretty fine still, I come down more on the "prepare as much as possible" side.

    That's an assumption of course, (that because there are no physical effects manifested in the character screen I'm not feeling any serious physical effects in-character), but no more of one than the assumption that I'm at risk of dropping dead at any moment and therefore I must race forward at as breakneck of a speed as I possibly can.

    Jahiera and the Baron Ployer subplot is a great place to take your cues. The game is perfectly capable of simulating "wasting away" and creating a sense of urgency that results. I read the fact that the game is failing to do so here as physical evidence that the timescale involved for me is much longer, perhaps even months. (Even though yes, I realize there's also a game design reason not to use the same wasting mechanic on charname, who is literally irreplaceable, as it could be too punishing otherwise.)

    Game design considerations aside, Imoen had her soul removed long before I did, (days, weeks, perhaps even months depending on how Chapter 2 and 3 played out for you), she's explicitly said to be weaker and therefore more susceptible to the loss, she's not indispensable like Charname, and she's also not showing the faintest signs of wasting, lending credence to the longer timeline interpretation.

    Like all roleplaying decisions, it falls on the player to justify it, (or not justify it), for themselves. But personally, I've never had any trouble reconciling the desire to putter around in Chapter 6 with my ultimate goals in games where I've rushed Spellhold.
    ThacoBellBelgarathMTHArctodus
  • CloutierCloutier Member Posts: 188
    @Taylan

    If you want a rp reason to hang on a bit in ch. 6, you may decide to skip Umar Hills in ch. 2/3, and make sure you get into a romance. Then you will get a compelling reason to visit Umar Hills in ch. 6.

    You can also pretend that the liches in Atkathla are somehow related to Bodhi, and have a reason for defeating them before ch. 4.
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 7,551
    edited March 20
    I wonder what can be done with a mod. You couldn't kill off Imoen immediately; WAY too much dialogue in chapters 2 & 3 assume she was taken alive.

    But you could kill her off in Spellhold pretty easily. Either show a death sequence when she undergoes the process (does the game have a cut-scene showing her soul being stolen? I forget), or simply change her dialogue in Spellhold so that, instead of joining the party, she just keels over in a dramatic and tragic way.

    As for how to deal with chapter 2... the obvious thing that jumps into my mind is to add a McGuffin to the story. You would have to introduce it somehow, in a non-voiced way. (On of the issues with games that rely heavily on voice-acting.) But if you could establish that there is an item capable of beating or just weakening Irenicus, it would be enough of an incentive to go find it. Then you could simply rig a counter to increase with each major quest you complete; and script the quest-boss dialogues (Firkraag's pet wizard; Faldorn; Gaal; the Shade Lord, Torgal; Maevar; Galvarey; etc.) to create the McGuffin if the counter is over 5 or so when you have the dialogue. So you'll have to go do side quests in order to chase after Imoen.

    The rest would take care of itself:
    You are betrayed and captured, your soul is stolen, and then Imoen dies before your eyes. The McGuffin you worked so hard for disappears, never to be seen again. (Why would Irenicus leave something like that lying around?) this would make your Spellhold trip SUPER frustrating, which I think is appropriate given it is the low point in your quest.


    As an alternative, leave chapter 2 alone, maybe even give you a McGuffin for chasing Irenicus - a scroll of Antimagic Shell, or something, or a scroll that casts Spellstrike and breach and then disables spellcasting for 5 rounds. Give the player a real incentive to go to Spellhold quickly... I've never done it at low levels - I imagine the Underdark would be quite scary at level 10-12.

    And then, in chapter 6, when you are trying to find the Rhynn Lanthorn, and there is that door that you can't open, but that two-but plot device wizard has his pet golem open? Just remove that wizard and his golem, and instead seed a McGuffin that can open the door on one of the quest bosses, just as described above.

    That would change the pace of play pretty dramatically, it could be cool.
    ThacoBellArctodus
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,235
    Hmm yes, the "needing a golem to open the doors" is a bit silly because you could well have your own if you had done WK.

    Can imagine a golem stand off going on, "my golem's better than yours".
    Just as an aside, is there anyway to save the wizard there?
    Everytime he gets killed.
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,048
    If you just want to up the pace, why not simply have an informant appear somewhere in ch2 that tells you they've heard Imoen is about to be killed or experimented upon or whatever other horrible imminent fate. Go RAIT NAO or she's toast, that kind of thing. You could even lampshade it with an explicit remark that yes it sucks to go there so underprepared but what else can you do she's your cute little friend. Maybe add some dialog responses for evil characters in the vein of "I'll go when *I'm* ready if she's dead by then tough luck". I'm sure it can be managed in a fun yet consistent way.
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