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Sandrah Saga For EET

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Comments

  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 616
    edited July 2017

    A small episode worth mentioning from my EET playthrough

    I have finally gathered the necessary money in BG2 to pay the price for Spellhold. Several parties approach me and invite me to side with them (the original ones and the *Alternatives*.) One side gives me a little appetizer, a souldagger. In the quest that follows, I am able to clear my murder accusation from the city of Baldur's Gate. In addition I am able again to travel there without being arrested and killed.
    Whichever mod does it, this is not available in BG2EE standalone, it cannot be as BG city is not part of that game.
    This is added by Sandrah, as far as I know. You picked the right thread to tell this. :)

    EDIT: I think this is the official thread: http://www.shsforums.net/topic/59012-mod-sandrah-saga-for-eet/

    tbone1
  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 1,201
    edited July 2017
    jastey said:

    A small episode worth mentioning from my EET playthrough

    I have finally gathered the necessary money in BG2 to pay the price for Spellhold. Several parties approach me and invite me to side with them (the original ones and the *Alternatives*.) One side gives me a little appetizer, a souldagger. In the quest that follows, I am able to clear my murder accusation from the city of Baldur's Gate. In addition I am able again to travel there without being arrested and killed.
    Whichever mod does it, this is not available in BG2EE standalone, it cannot be as BG city is not part of that game.
    This is added by Sandrah, as far as I know. You picked the right thread to tell this. :)

    EDIT: I think this is the official thread: http://www.shsforums.net/topic/59012-mod-sandrah-saga-for-eet/
    Yes, thanks. After I played a bit further I was already expecting this mod to be the reason, since it is the only one so far that has added new stuff in BG2 to the old city. She needed to open the bridge again for her own purpose.
    I suspected her from the beginning because she's my party's cleric and she reacted to the gift with some banter and her advice to visit a temple with it.

  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 1,201
    The Sandrah x-files unearthed

    The famous archaeologist Charleston Nib was exploring the Cyric temple near Boareskyr Bridge recently. In a hidden crack near the former Bhaal altar, he found a sealed box with the inscription Do not open in all known languages all over its top.

    *In the name of science", Charleston said and broke the seal.

    He found a pile of scripts in the box and another warning: Do not install on EET games ever! Not after SandrahNPC and not prior EET_end.


    The message came directly from the Prince of Lies and Master of Deception - Cyric.

    Better heed that warning.

  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 1,201
    Recently I received a PM asking for my experience with playing this mod.
    Think it may be worth to share my answer here
    It is hard to judge the mod because of its sheer immense contents. I played now through all three parts and it is quite a journey. The Saga adds more to the game than any other mod and it fits very well into the core game. It is like a second and maybe third (Imoen's) story running beside and entwined with the protagonist's story.
    Also, during early BG1 part, it makes the game slightly harder, and Sandrah herself appears as some kind of Mary Sue, i.e. she seems to know a lot and has a solution for everything - or so it seems. If you play further (beyond chapter 2), you soon recognise, that this is just a disguise and a false hint, like so many others in the mod. The mod is full of twists and turns and surprises. I was sceptical at the beginning but I got hooked about the time of bandit camp, when I had all thos new quests and parallel plots running.
    On a whole, the mod is for those who played the game already multiple times and have the feeling, there can be more than just another new NPC, a new romance or some new quests. Sandrah Saga goes far beyond that, it fully exploits all the new possibilities that EET provides. Be warned, the post-ToB contents is as long and substantial as BG2 is.
    What I like most of all in the mod, is how it integrates in the core game. It is not taking you off from the plot for hours or days, but it all connects with the protagonist in one way or another. And I already started a second playthrough, finding that I just played one possible variation previously.

    MirandelKusel
  • helo138helo138 Member Posts: 43
    edited August 2017
    @PaulaMigrate
    thanks for the short review. At the moment I am playing through the Sandrah-saga as well.
    I have a small question regarding the post-ToB content (especially the first part RtF). The Readme states that you can recruit some of your previous companions, and something like there is no new content for NPCs. Is this only true for NPCs with ToB/crossmod content from other modders or for the base game characters (for example Viconia, Jaheira) as well? Only asking because I play with them through most of the saga and it would be sad, if they had no content after ToB.
    No spoilers please, just a yes or no would suffice.

  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 1,201
    edited August 2017
    helo138 said:

    @PaulaMigrate
    thanks for the short review. At the moment I am playing through the Sandrah-saga as well.
    I have a small question regarding the post-ToB content (especially the first part RtF). The Readme states that you can recruit some of your previous companions, and something like there is no new content for NPCs. Is this only true for NPCs with ToB/crossmod content from other modders or for the base game characters (for example Viconia, Jaheira) as well? Only asking because I play with them through most of the saga and it would be sad, if they had no content after ToB.
    No spoilers please, just a yes or no would suffice.

    I don't know.
    I recruited all the mod's new NPCs for my playthrough, none of the older - I had Viconia for a very short while until I found Melicamp and let him join. I cannot remember anymore what she said, sorry - but she was talking, so much I know.
    I did not see Jaheira, but maybe that was depending on what I did earlier in the game. I met Jan but did not let him join, I never take him. I found a number of those who are not joinable anymore and found they were quite well integrated into the storyline with what they now did or represented. There were also some mod NPCs from other mods and they seemed to be recruitable, but I did not try them. All in all I was quite happy with the new party, I really liked Izzy and Sendai's drow daughter. And the monk girl.

    In the third part, there is not much choice of party due to the plot. I think you can decide on taking a sixth party member or not after Kelemvor's death, but the other ones are needed.

  • helo138helo138 Member Posts: 43
    Ok thanks, guess I will have to try myself.

  • RVNSRVNS Member Posts: 198
    @PaulaMigrate How many new npcs are there? Is there enough to fill out a full party and if so can you provide details on the classes they cover?

  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 1,201
    RVNS said:

    @PaulaMigrate How many new npcs are there? Is there enough to fill out a full party and if so can you provide details on the classes they cover?

    I found one more than I could take along. But
    L'Uriet, the drow, decided to stay in Ust Natha after we did her special quest there, so I could take the remaining one for the rest of the game.


    The details are in the readme.pdf http://www.shsforums.net/files/download/1154-sandrah-saga-for-eet/

  • RVNSRVNS Member Posts: 198
    @PaulaMigrate Maybe I missed it in the readme but how soon do you pick up these new additions? baldurs gate or shadows of amn? I noticed it said I should keep Viconia and Imoen. If I just missed it let me know and I will reread of course.

  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 1,201
    RVNS said:

    @PaulaMigrate Maybe I missed it in the readme but how soon do you pick up these new additions? baldurs gate or shadows of amn? I noticed it said I should keep Viconia and Imoen. If I just missed it let me know and I will reread of course.

    The new ones do not appear prior to ToB end - well, they do appear in some quests but are not joinable at that time. Two of them are just kids when you meet them in the original game. Return to Faerun is about ten years after ToB finish, so Faerun has changed meanwhile but just a bit. Some people retired or left and others have grown up. I met all of the new NPCs in the first chapter of RtF - the chapter designation is also in the readme (also helpful for original EET chapters).

  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 720
    How's the dialogue & flavour text for Sandrah? It sounds interesting to try- even if no-reloading it may be tricky- but I'm always wary of larger mods after some of the immersion breaking features of the early megamods.

  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 1,201
    edited August 2017
    Mantis37 said:

    How's the dialogue & flavour text for Sandrah? It sounds interesting to try- even if no-reloading it may be tricky- but I'm always wary of larger mods after some of the immersion breaking features of the early megamods.

    My personal opinion is that the mod integrates far better than the old megamods. The whole storyline is related to the protagonist's story and runs alongside and around it. All the diversions/extra quests have some relation to the main quests and progression.
    One other positive aspect of the mod is, that the new NPC recognises many possible companions, not just vanilla but also other mof NPCs and interacts with them. (Good if you like such stuff, bad if you don't care for NPC banters.)
    Even if there are many new locations (e.g. Waterdeep), most of the plot plays in the standard game areas.
    The old megamods have undergone some treatment by EET and by the Sandrah mod as well. They are more balanced and de-bugged, They are now pretty well playable and Sandrah adds some contents for many of them that again makes them appear to be closer connected to the main story.
    However, a mod of that magnitude introduces changes to the game that you recognise, it is more like some aspects shift a bit while the game itself is left intact. It is hard to explain, I would call it an extra layer seems to be added to the game. There is more going on in parallel to the protagonist's story and thus the main story becomes more significant than it was before.
    Personally, I have to admit that it took me a bit to adjust myself to it in the beginning, but after a while (around chapter 3 or so), things became very interesting. It was then that I discovered that the Sandrah quests are pretty long stories with many episodes that build a picture, not just that *find an item - win a fight - get xp* kind of quests. What I like about it, is that there is a visible development of the tale, many changes and many surprises. It is different from any mod I played before - and I played almost all of them.

    Mantis37mf2112ineth
  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 720
    Thanks for the comments, very clear info. I shall have to give it a try when my present run finishes, as long as BWS is in the right shape then :).

  • bhavbhav Member Posts: 5
    edited August 2017
    This is more of an 'initial impressions' commentary than a full review, much in the way you'd comment on a movie that you walked out on because the opening sequences were so bad.

    I've done a dozen playthroughs of the BG saga, I wanted to try something new so I'm currently playing again with the Sandrah megamod installed. I've cleared the Nashkel mines with the new NPCs in party, and I have to say that I'm very ambivalent about this mod. So far, it's not good. It's not necessarily bad, but it's not good. I won't ruin the story, but might give minimal spoilers below.

    The new character is a) not particularly compelling and b) written for the juvenile male gaze. I not going to launch into Gender Theory 101, but this mod reeks of sexual frustration. *sigh* Bear with me.

    To start, there's no justification for Sandrah joining your party except that she's a giant Mary Sue and 'you NEED me'. That's it, and it's less compelling than any of the vanilla NPCs. The mod also makes the story about Sandrah as much as, and sometimes more than, it is about the PC, with so many interjections and so much focus on Sandrah's very presence (never mind her journey) that you forget who the protagonist is.

    EDIT: you also get a "bonus" companion very early on, having the character in your party (and you must have them) really screws up the PC's pathfinding. PC will be stuck at the opposite end of the map from you party sooo many times, it's very frustrating.

    The new NPCs, especially Sandrah, are really overpowered with unique equipment and abilities that are arguably game breaking. What's especially frustrating is that you have to guess, through trial and error, exactly what effects Sandrah's items/powers have. This is because the item descriptions don't tell you what you need to know, but instead try to wax poetic about how they make super sexy Sandrah look uber sexy. I'm dead serious, there's more information about how Sandrah's buoyant breasts are than about the actual stats of her armor and weapons.

    The pacing of the story is actually pretty bad. The investment PC and Sandrah have in each other as characters/companions ramps up very early on; by game Day 12, you're left wondering what just happened. At the same time, the mystery of Sandrah's heritage is ruined almost from the get-go. The author was trying to play coy, but instead gives away too much, too fast. There's some mind-bending logic to Sandrah's motivations, and then some bits of dialogue are just plainly nonsensical. The only thing that is clear is that Sandrah will use her womanly guile to save the day, resolve key issues and/or progress the plot. It's a low-denominator romance novel.

    There is also a lot of time dedicated to Sandrah and male PC at, ahem, third base - to the point of being obnoxious. The cut scenes and dialogue happen at inopportune times, so much so that It crowds out character development and interrupts quests. One of my reoccurring thoughts has been, "Instead of giving us essential details, you're auditioning for PornHub or prepping a fourth Twilight manuscript. Great."

    The mod also isn't cleanly/smoothly implemented: redundant spell listings, mystery spells and items, kinks in dialogue/quest triggers, etc. The thing that keeps me playing is the promise of expanded content (Waterdeep interludes, post-TOB story, etc). I just started on a major Sandrah quest, we'll see how it goes. I keep telling myself: the author of the mod spent so much time and worked so hard on this, that it has to get better. Maybe that's folly on my part, time will tell. I also do not want to run BWS again just because of this mod.

    EDIT2: You can't do the first major Sandrah quest right when you get it, it's just too hard for early Chapter 3.

    I want to give the author of the mod props for the effort, but as with any other middling media, I can't say I enjoy it so far. The Sandrah mod is salvaged only by the remnants of the original game. Here's hoping the quest content redeems the mod.

    Post edited by bhav on
    Mirandel
  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 1,201
    edited August 2017
    At the same time, the mystery of Sandrah's heritage is ruined almost from the get-go. The author was trying to play coy, but instead gives away too much, too fast.

    At first I thought the same, like *oops was I to know this already?* Just to find some time later that this *mystery* wasn't really one, I was supposed to find that pretty soon. The whole mod is like this, the important things are seldom what you think they are.
    I thought that with the initial pace I would be finished with her by chapter 3 just to see later that those were just the prliminaries to the real story. When the Mary Sue facade gets cracks is when the real stuff begins. I'm afraid not many players will keep her long enough to find that out.

    Kusel
  • mikbilekmikbilek Member Posts: 7
    @PaulaMigrate Precisely after I got to the BG2, I did not trust Sandrah even with her own name. I felt there was something wrong with her, so I kept her close and played her game. And the moment you ask the right question at the right time... and see her lies falling apart, even if those moments were small and in the grand scheme of things insignificant, was rewarding as hell.

    StummvonBordwehr
  • brunardobrunardo Member Posts: 482
    This was alot of info and might have to stop reading as giving maybe too much but thanks for the helps guys. good info on which PCs @PaulaMigrate as will need to consider which ones to take but really wanted to skip imoen and edwin but might have to consider one or two of them now...especially imoen as seems like alot of dialogue...was planning to take ajantis when I start my sandrah run but now not so sure...

  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 1,201
    brunardo said:

    This was alot of info and might have to stop reading as giving maybe too much but thanks for the helps guys. good info on which PCs @PaulaMigrate as will need to consider which ones to take but really wanted to skip imoen and edwin but might have to consider one or two of them now...especially imoen as seems like alot of dialogue...was planning to take ajantis when I start my sandrah run but now not so sure...

    Ajantis is among the few NPCs who have little interplay with Sandrah, the reason being that Ajantis has been made subject to another mod which gives the paladin its own story already. In the readme it says that the former Ajantis + Sandrah contents was removed. I think I saw some of it in an older version but can't remember much detail as I never kept Ajantis long enough for it to evolve.

    tbone1brunardoKusel
  • MirandelMirandel Member Posts: 427
    Question to experienced: in readme file there is a recommendation to use "Haer'dalis and Viconia in SoA >> add major quests with Sandrah". Do not think I ever heard about some "Haer'dalis and Viconia" mod. What is it?

    tbone1
  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 1,201
    edited September 2017
    Mirandel said:

    Question to experienced: in readme file there is a recommendation to use "Haer'dalis and Viconia in SoA >> add major quests with Sandrah". Do not think I ever heard about some "Haer'dalis and Viconia" mod. What is it?

    I haven't recruited Haer'dalis in my recent playthrough with Sandrah, but I had the Viconia one. So it's not a Haer'dalis and Viconia mod, but it's some extra quests with each of them that are part of the Sandrah mod.

    In Viconia's quest, someone from her past in the Underdark emerged. It was a pretty good quest which culminated in a hard battle.

    Apart from Viconia's extra quest, I also found a paladin-related quest that happened with Keldorn in the party. I think this wasn't a Keldorn specific event because I remember it also happened in an old BGT playthrough some time ago when I had Anomen in the party. It kind of illustrates Sandrah's often controversial attitude with paladins (and vice versa).

    Another of those extras was with Cernd, not sure if all of them are mentioned in the readme or elsewhere. The whole mod is full of little bits and addons everywhere, I constantly find new stuff. Skie could be rescued and send home as well.

    Generally, those extra quests are challenging and complex mini-mods on their own, but they only happen when you have Sandrah with you.

    Mirandeltbone1brunardoKusel
  • MirandelMirandel Member Posts: 427
    Thank you!
    As of Sandrah's presence - I understand it, she has to be in the party anyway from start to finish for mod to work (after all it's Sandrah's Saga), so, she is replacing Imoen (sort of) as a "constant second" (or "first", according to some :) ).

    brunardo
  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 1,201
    Mirandel said:

    Thank you!
    As of Sandrah's presence - I understand it, she has to be in the party anyway from start to finish for mod to work (after all it's Sandrah's Saga), so, she is replacing Imoen (sort of) as a "constant second" (or "first", according to some :) ).

    Imoen is not THAT constant, missing all of SoD and half of BG2? And worth to mention that Sandrah/Imoen is the biggest side-quest during BG1 part.

  • MirandelMirandel Member Posts: 427
    Imoen might be missing big part of the game but when she is - her spirit, so to speak, is still there (banters about her, dialog options about her, one of 2 motivations about her). Plus, the whole history of "she is your sister" (and now in blood too!). So, the story is as much about her as about protagonist.

    I read about Imoen/Sandrah quest: "Take Imoen along at least until you return to Candlekeep." True, Sandrah does not replace her, at least not at the beginning, if anything she reinforces Imoens "choosiness". But anyway, it does sound like Sandrah has to be in the group all the time. So be it!

    brunardo
  • brunardobrunardo Member Posts: 482
    alot of great info guys and looks like I need to take imoen in bg1 and haer for bg 2 which i was planning...love playing with viccy and keldorn but wasnt planning on my next playthrough as recently did two trilogy runs with them but if it adds some great content/battle in bg 2 I'll take your advice and bring them along...dont really like cernd but if worthwhile I will take him too...im confused though do I just need the sandrah mod for these quests or additional mods with sandrah also?

  • MirandelMirandel Member Posts: 427
    brunardo said:

    im confused though do I just need the sandrah mod for these quests or additional mods with sandrah also?

    Looks like their presence is enough, if I understand @PaulaMigrate explanation correctly.


    Well, I managed to install Saga (and only from 3th attempt!). Since I never installed most of the mega-mods required for Saga (to think of it, I never used any of them) the game does look very different :) Looks like not all of those mods are in agreement with each other and - especially - other rule tweaks and kits, but so far so good, it's definitely playable and surprisingly exciting. :)

    brunardo
  • MirandelMirandel Member Posts: 427
    Very first impression (doing quests in Beregost right now).

    Have to admit, amount of work is unbelievable. Even at this point it feels astounding. As of quality... I wanted to say I agree with @bhav more than with @PaulaMigrate but it would not be completely true.

    Things to remember:

    First - it's written with male Charname in mind. Please, do not tell me that this kind of dialog is the perfect illustration of lesbian conversation, from one woman to another:

    (When the girls come down from the bathroom their appearance nearly knocks you out)

    Wow, Sandrah, you look like the most beauthiful girl on Toril tonight. How my fearless frontline fighter cleric can change into the beauty queen of Faerun in just a few moments will remain beyond my understanding.

    Imoen! Wow, little duckling, you are magnificent swan tonight. This can only be Mystra's work. (You bow to your ladies and kiss their hands before leading the company to comfortable seats by the fireplace.)

    Have to add, it's the only available answer (as often).

    Second - if you ever saw a ninja romance without an option to bail out of it, it's here. By the time the group reached Beregost my Charname felt married (I would choose rude options in dialogs just to prevent it, but there was none). Actually, it can not be even called "ninja romance" - the moment you agreed to take Sandrah to the group, you started a passionate instant romance.

    Third - "Mary Sue" does not begin to describe Sandrah. @bhav described it perfectly to the last detail. It is exactly as he said and something you have to just accept from the start.


    Now, after all that I still would say "play it". At least I want to continue and not out of masochism - I am genuinely curious. The mod not only adds content, it binds otherwise - very - standalone mods into one. I do wonder how would it all play without her (fall apart? some bits still fit to each other better?) but even with her and even at that stage where she looks like a pure Mary Sue without any justification of her presence (I can think of a couple and already know that everything will be explained and justified) - it is still interesting.

    AstroBryGuybrunardomf2112
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,083
    Mirandel said:

    it's the only available answer

    Yowch. That might make me ragequit.

    The ninja romance thing too. I play with no "romances" (even at their best they are, to put it charitably, not "romantic.") To be unable to avoid sexual entanglement with an NPC = unforgivable in my eyes. That results in an immediate load-from-prior-save and boot the NPC from the party.

    AstroBryGuy
  • Ludwig_IILudwig_II Member Posts: 22
    edited September 2017

    Yowch. That might make me ragequit.

    The ninja romance thing too. I play with no "romances" (even at their best they are, to put it charitably, not "romantic.") To be unable to avoid sexual entanglement with an NPC = unforgivable in my eyes. That results in an immediate load-from-prior-save and boot the NPC from the party.

    Exactly my thoughts. I play without romance as well, and I can't stand these kinds of forced romance conversations. I would like to see the additions of this mod though. I wish the author of the mod gave us an option to make Sandrah a non-joinable character that gives the quests for the additional content. I would be happy with learning less about the story.

    brunardoMirandel
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,083
    edited September 2017
    Ludwig_II said:

    I would like to see the additions of this mod though. I wish the author of the mod gave us an option to...

    Actually you raise a good point. I don't know about doing the mod without the central NPC, but maybe it could have some selective options:
    - optional no romance
    - optional no tactical encounter changes

    Something like that. Who knows? It's certainly possible. The mod author seems to be very active and responsive, and the mod is actively developed.

    brunardo
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