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Questions about Paladins

135

Comments

  • WrathofreccaWrathofrecca Member Posts: 57
    @Kheldorn racism, it's important to note that Viconia is guilty. She admits to many of the cruel acts she's committed. She's probably a sex offender, murderer, and possibly child kidnapper. Drow truly are despicable. Drizzt is an exception and even then I don't know his back story so it's quite possible that he's committed grave acts and turned it around by attempting to redeem himself.
  • fatelessfateless Member Posts: 291
    edited July 2
    No. he wasn't always nice. he is a mary sue style protagonist that was fairly content with his way of life until circumstances that threatened his own survival forced him to flee and a series of various fortuitous events turned him into a great hero to surfacers and a horrible villain to his own kind.

    conveniently lacking quite a bit of the abuse and prejudice from surfacers that is littered heavily throughout Viconia's story.

    Some want to give Viconia flack for being evil but in one of her very first friendship/romance dialogues after you rescue her from a pyre. Written from the perspective that she traveled with you in BG1 she mentions keeping cloaked and hidden. working to buy an assuming plot of land outside of beregost and keeping a low profile. Just trying to live quietly and peaceful. Made somewhat awkward but friendly acquaintance with her neighbor farmer. When she let her guard down he invited her over to a feast with his family where they attacked, abused, and buried her. Because of her past she dug herself out of her coffin and grave and brought revenge down on them for doing that to her by murdering the three men of that family that did that to her.
    Post edited by fateless on
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 2,634
    The existence of multiple gods in the setting does not mean the people are. In fact, every single priest in the game seem to be specifically devoted to a single deity. And Shar is not simply a goddess of night and shadow, deception and the subversion of good are also part of her portfolio. Shar is evil on the same level as say Talona or Beshaba.

    @Wrathofrecca Viconia is indeed guilty of many things including murder, but I wouldn't put sex offender or child kidnapper up there. Sex offender just does not fit her profile, and as to the children thing, it was actually saving the life of a child that got her exiled from the underdark.

    @fateless Not sure if you even read anything on Drizzt based on that comment. He is very unsettled by drow society even from an early age, he probably would have been murdered very early on if his families weapon master and older brother weren't protecting him early on. Drizzt's refusal to take part in certain expected behaviours got him and his family in a lot of trouble in Menzoberanzen. Man I hate D&D elven, its like even their words are trying to show off ;)

    For what it's worth, my charname rescues Viconia every time because he knows Viconia is just trying to stay out of other peoples way and survive. But it makes sense for Keldorn to think the way he does because of how she acts and her open devotion to a very evil deity. A lot of her better qualities and only come later and you would know about only through meta knowledge of the story. The Keldorn/Viconia argument is only going round in circles at this point, so I'm gonna bow out of that for now. When the inevitable same points come back up, just look at my previous posts.
  • fatelessfateless Member Posts: 291
    edited July 2
    I've read some it but it's been a very long while. And it read to me more like his issue was with the whole "males are second class" issue. The dislike of his own kind in general seemed to crop up more after he was forced to leave. There is also the glaring issue that his brother should have never really been able to protect him the way their society is and was written. Allowing him to rail against typically Matriarchial domination of their society would be enough to get their family in trouble. I recall vaguely his original reason for running was to avoid becoming a Drider. A fate that most male drow faced in 2e almost without fail and many of them died just in that process (there was even a rule in one of the books about this happening at about level 7). Running from a death sentence really is the whole classic "escape for protagonists own survival" trope.

    But I will admit that I have not read everything for him. There's something about Drizzt that I have always heavily disliked. It might be that the blatant multiple levels of uber uniqueness were just to much for me to really take interest in even as a teen. It also may be that everybody was also just fanatical about him and wanting to always play him driving me up a wall that put me off him to some extent too. So I don't admit to knowing everything written about him or what all may have been revised in the like 15 books that deal with him over the last 3 decades?

    Edit: Also while I did oversimplify his story a bit. Like leave out reasons for some things. it's still a case that he is one of those typical humbled origin protagonists. Being trouble before escaping and kind of breaking free of convention and becoming a hero is a fairly common element to that kind of story even though it's not always used. What I did read of him I don't ever really remember him suffering too much because of his race without him managing to wholely be able to overcome it.
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 2,634
    Well, his early years he spent basically in solitude with a mentor who was probably some flavor of chaotic good, who also happened to be the best weapon master in town (more mary sueness there). When he attended full fighter training, his brother was one of the head teachers and was able to protect him there. He actually wasn't forced out of his society either, he left by choice out of disgust. He wasn't actively hunted until that point.
  • fatelessfateless Member Posts: 291
    See that would be another flaw in the story that would bug me a great deal. There are too many evil acts such a person would have to do to reach that position. It reads like another contrivance for his special snowflake nature. Specially if I'm right in remembering that that master swordsman was his Father. Which means another Drow that even if they hated Drow Society might be more bent to changing it than eradicating it.

    but like I said. there is just so much that is flawed about him or bent towards being special without really any of it truly answering why he is supposedly so special.

    Then again. I guess holes are what are to be expected when we're talking about what started as a last minute side character.
    ThacoBell
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 2,634
    Yeah, Drizzt feels to me more of a spectacle than well fleshed out character. Granted it gets much better as the series goes on, but the side characters have much stronger characterization.
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 1,526
    ThacoBell said:

    Yeah, Drizzt feels to me more of a spectacle than well fleshed out character. Granted it gets much better as the series goes on, but the side characters have much stronger characterization.

    @ThacoBell you must have extremely high standards about characterization :). Admittedly Drizzt did first appear as a side character in the Icewind Dale novels, but Salvatore always intended to write down how Drizzt's character developed and did that immediately (in the Dark Elf trilogy) after the Icewind Dale novels were published.
    ThacoBell
  • fatelessfateless Member Posts: 291
    Grond0 said:

    ThacoBell said:

    Yeah, Drizzt feels to me more of a spectacle than well fleshed out character. Granted it gets much better as the series goes on, but the side characters have much stronger characterization.

    @ThacoBell you must have extremely high standards about characterization :). Admittedly Drizzt did first appear as a side character in the Icewind Dale novels, but Salvatore always intended to write down how Drizzt's character developed and did that immediately (in the Dark Elf trilogy) after the Icewind Dale novels were published.
    from my knowledge that's not true. He chose to do that after writing Icewind Dale. My memory says that he origionally put the Dark Elf in last minute because he had to replace a character that wasn't working for one reason or another in the icewind dale story. Deciding that it would be a concept that would work specifically because he was a side character. I do know that the Dark Elf Trilogy was concived and written after the Initial Icewind Dale novel in which a different character was the main character and not Drizzt.
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 1,526
    @fateless well, Salvatore himself said that he realised that Drizzt was the real star of the Icewind Dale novels by the time he reached page 3 of The Crystal Shard (the first of the novels). The final Icewind Dale novel was published in 1990 - as were the first 2 books of the dark elf trilogy (the third was published in 1991).

    I'm not arguing that Drizzt was always a main character - I agree he was conceived of as a sidekick. However, I'm prepared to accept the author's word that was something he wanted to change very early on. I've read a few of the later Drizzt novels, but by no means all - they're fine, but not really my style. I did though enjoy the Dark Elf trilogy - and that was specifically because I think they do demonstrate very well how Drizzt's character was formed (hence my original comment about characterization).
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 2,634
    Grond0 said:

    ThacoBell said:

    Yeah, Drizzt feels to me more of a spectacle than well fleshed out character. Granted it gets much better as the series goes on, but the side characters have much stronger characterization.

    @ThacoBell you must have extremely high standards about characterization :). Admittedly Drizzt did first appear as a side character in the Icewind Dale novels, but Salvatore always intended to write down how Drizzt's character developed and did that immediately (in the Dark Elf trilogy) after the Icewind Dale novels were published.
    I feel like not being able to hear your tone is ruining any chance of me unserstanding your first sentence there :)
  • fatelessfateless Member Posts: 291
    Salvatore: First published. And it was funny. I had sent the manuscript to TSR. They liked the manuscript. One of the characters [had to be changed]. The editor called me at work and said, "I've got to go to a marketing meeting to sell the book, and we can't use [that character], and I really need to be able to tell marketing." I said, "Give me a little while. I'll call you back." She said, "Oh, no. You don't understand. I'm two minutes away from where I have to be five minutes ago." And off the top of my head I said a Dark Elf. And there was this long pause. "Yeah, a Dark Elf Ranger, that's cool. Nobody's done that." And there was a long pause, and she said, "There's a reason why no one's done that." I said, "No. It will be all right. It will be all right. It's just a sidekick character." And another pause. "What's his name?" And off the top of my head I said, "Drizzt Do'Urden?" Then a long pause. "Can you spell it?" I said, "Not a chance." It came to me off the top of my head.
    The character's gotten more popular as time's gone on. After the third book, around 1990, people really wanted to know where this guy came from, and so I wrote the Dark Elf trilogy, a prequel to the other three books. And in doing that I created this society of Dark Elves, the Drow, in Forgotten Realms. And he kept going like the Energizer bunny. It's amazing to me. I don't know how. I don't know why. I try not to ask too many questions. [Laughs]

    A direct quote from Salvadore about the creation of Drizzt from an interview with him back in the mid 2000's as he was involved in a video game thing that the character was part of. Crystal Shard was largely written when Drizzt was created.
    ThacoBellSkatan
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,006
    As someone who's worked in writing before, let me tell you that you should NEVER EVER believe stories like that ;)

    Some of them are true, of course. Most of them are as much fiction as the books themselves. heck, writers have been known to invent their entire biographies.
    ThacoBellSkatan
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 1,526
    Here's another quote for you then @fateless from the late 1990s:
    "Thus was Drizzt born. Did I ever run him in a game? Nope. Is there anyone I based him on? Nope. He just happened, unexpectedly and with very little forethought. He was supposed to be a sidekick, after all; a curiosity piece with a slightly different twist. You know: like Robin to Batman or Kato to the Green Hornet.
    It didn't work out that way. In the first chapter of The Crystal Shard Drizzt ran across the tundra and got ambushed by a yeti. By page three, I knew. Drizzt was the star of it all."

    I'm not sure there's much point discussing further exactly when Drizzt was conceived as a main character though. My real point was that the Dark Elf trilogy was specifically about how Drizzt's character was developed - @ThacoBell the tone of my comment relating to that would probably be described something like playful with a tinge of irony :p.
    ThacoBell
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 2,634
    Oh crap, this started as a thread about Paladins. Um... okay, being lawful good a Paladin can lean more towards either law or good depending on the character you want to play, but the other half of the alignment should ALWAYS be a heavy consideration.
    tbone1Grond0
  • WrathofreccaWrathofrecca Member Posts: 57
    @ThacoBell Part of drow life is forcing the males to have sex with you whenever you please, whether they want to or not. If that's not a sex offender, I don't know what is. Certainly not by drow standards but definitely by American.

    As for child kidnapper, while it's never been revealed that she did it, drow are extremely competitive by nature. Just because she was nice to one child doesn't mean she was nice to all of them. All it takes is one drow brat.
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 2,634

    @ThacoBell Part of drow life is forcing the males to have sex with you whenever you please, whether they want to or not. If that's not a sex offender, I don't know what is. Certainly not by drow standards but definitely by American.

    As for child kidnapper, while it's never been revealed that she did it, drow are extremely competitive by nature. Just because she was nice to one child doesn't mean she was nice to all of them. All it takes is one drow brat.

    Remember that Viconia left that society because it was too evil even for her. She is not a typical Drow by any means.
  • WrathofreccaWrathofrecca Member Posts: 57
    I thought she left because she wasn't evil enough. Some perceived weakness. Anyhow she's still pretty evil.
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 2,634

    I thought she left because she wasn't evil enough. Some perceived weakness. Anyhow she's still pretty evil.

    Same thing. But she doesn't view her relative lack of evil as a weakness.
  • karnor00karnor00 Member Posts: 641
    I though that Viconia left because her house, DeVir was destroyed (during the Drizzt prequel books).

    Remaining in drow society wasn't an option as she would have been killed. She didn't leave because drow were too evil for her.
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 2,634
    karnor00 said:

    I though that Viconia left because her house, DeVir was destroyed (during the Drizzt prequel books).

    Remaining in drow society wasn't an option as she would have been killed. She didn't leave because drow were too evil for her.

    That's contradicted by her backstory. I don't think that particular Drizzt book was written yet when this game was made. If I am wrong and it was, the game is canon to itself and you can safely disregard other sources.
  • karnor00karnor00 Member Posts: 641
    The last of the Drizzt prequel books was published in 1991. Well before Baldurs Gate which was released in 1998.
    Grond0ThacoBell
  • fatelessfateless Member Posts: 291
    edited July 4
    Remnants of fallen or destroyed houses are often absorbed into other houses. There is also the detail that Houses can be loosely connected and have similar names in more than one City in the Underdark. Each City may be a nation in some respects so destroying a house in one city might not necessarily destroy it in another.

    There is also the issue that did she leave before that happened chronologically in the game? Did she leave before such an event happened? What Drow City-state was she from? A different one from Drizzt since she doesn't seem to know him by more than his above ground reputation herself at best??
    ThacoBell
  • KilivitzKilivitz Member Posts: 1,349
    edited July 5
    On Viconia's impending execution: she was captured by a mob of peasants and the people in charge of the situation are priests of Beshaba, who also happens to be an Evil-aligned minor deity. So the Council is either unaware or turning a blind eye. The whole thing isn't lawful by any means.

    I'd say that even according to FR morals, burning someone alive is not justice. Specially if they are not formally accused of any crimes and only being killed on account of being a member of a race known for its evil acts.

    There are other ways to deal with a Drow captured in enemy territory. Even if you have no option but to execute them, burning them at the stake is cruel, barbaric and certainly not good-aligned.

    Pretty much every character that is either Good or Neutral who interjects isn't okay with that, for all the reasons I've stated above. Hell, even Aerie, who's an Elf and has every reason to fear Viconia doesn't think it's justifiable.

    So that's why it kinda baffles me that people look at Keldorn going "Yep. Sounds about right" and still don't think he's an absolute dick.
    Skatan
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 2,634
    Kilivitz said:

    On Viconia's impending execution: she was captured by a mob of peasants and the people in charge of the situation are priests of Beshaba, who also happens to be an Evil-aligned minor deity. So the Council is either unaware or turning a blind eye. The whole thing isn't lawful by any means.

    I'd say that even according to FR morals, burning someone alive is not justice. Specially if they are not formally accused of any crimes and only being killed on account of being a member of a race known for its evil acts.

    There are other ways to deal with a Drow captured in enemy territory. Even if you have no option but to execute them, burning them at the stake is cruel, barbaric and certainly not good-aligned.

    Pretty much every character that is either Good or Neutral who interjects isn't okay with that, for all the reasons I've stated above. Hell, even Aerie, who's an Elf and has every reason to fear Viconia doesn't think it's justifiable.

    So that's why it kinda baffles me that people look at Keldorn going "Yep. Sounds about right" and still don't think he's an absolute dick.

    Because his hate of Viconia is just one aspect of his character. Nevermind that Viconia actually is the most evil NPC before the EEs introduced Dorn. Everything redeemable about Viconia is only after the fact. Keldonr has no meta knowledge so his view is understandable, even if it is not correct in the long run.
    Artona
  • fatelessfateless Member Posts: 291
    Viconia is hardly the most evil. She is no worse than Edwin or Korgan. And in some ways she's better because she shows a level of learning and adapting that they don't. Edwin always works from a self centered sense of superiority. Korgan usually works from a reliance on his own brute force. Neither of which is either a moral improvement or more valid path than Viconia's.

    Viconia actually shows a sense of redeemability from BG1 and in her interrum story about what happened to her between BG1 and BG2 that Edwin doesn't share and Korgan actually goes in the opposite direction of. She actually tried to settle down, keep to herself, and live peaceably which in a sense already hints at the eventual neutrality that you can turn her to in ToB.
  • KilivitzKilivitz Member Posts: 1,349
    Condoning a cruel, barbaric and unlawful public execution perpetrated by people whose agenda is just as evil as Shar's is not, by any measure, heroic. And being heroic is what paladinhood is all about.

    He's also kind of a hypocrite, considering he will give the benefit of the doubt to Korgan (a bloodthirsty mercenary who also pings Evil) and the Shadow Thieves (with whom he will reluctantly collaborate if he's in the party).

    There's also the fact that he seriously considers sending the mother of his children and the man who had an affair with her to the gallows - you have to talk sense into him.

    Look, I get it that Keldorn's likable and generally a good person. But there's no getting around the fact he's a dick.
  • WrathofreccaWrathofrecca Member Posts: 57
    edited July 6
    Yeah there is. He's spent his entire life fighting the heart of evil. That we know Viconia is as redeemable as Drizzt doesn't change her past or her heritage. I think the big hang-up is that in our world, the real world, there is no such thing as a race of humans that isn't redeemable. Suspend that. The drow torture and kill the various races about ground and do so unprovoked, mercilessly, and without hesitation and it's not just a few bad apples. This is how their entire race is raised and brought up. We know they can be redeemed but in their culture any dissension is breed out of them. The strong survive and the weak die or flee for their lives.

    Think of drow as a tiger in your neighborhood but you don't know what tigers are. That's what they are in Amn. As for Aerie, she's pretty ignorant and naive. She doesn't know what's what about anything.
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 2,634
    edited July 6
    Kilivitz said:

    Condoning a cruel, barbaric and unlawful public execution perpetrated by people whose agenda is just as evil as Shar's is not, by any measure, heroic. And being heroic is what paladinhood is all about.

    He's also kind of a hypocrite, considering he will give the benefit of the doubt to Korgan (a bloodthirsty mercenary who also pings Evil) and the Shadow Thieves (with whom he will reluctantly collaborate if he's in the party).

    There's also the fact that he seriously considers sending the mother of his children and the man who had an affair with her to the gallows - you have to talk sense into him.

    Look, I get it that Keldorn's likable and generally a good person. But there's no getting around the fact he's a dick.

    Well yeah, he IS hypocritical about several things. That's his big character arc, if you will forgive for quoting TVTropes, he is the "Knight in Sour Armor". And yes, Viconia is more evil than the other npcs. She OPENLY WORSHIPS SHAR. This goddess' portfolio includes caverns, darkness, dungeons, forgetfulness, loss, night, secrets, and the Underdark. She is directly opposed to Mystra, the good goddess of magic and even created the Shadow Weave to directly subvert and attack the magical weave. ALL the other worshippers of Shar we see in game take part in such wonderful pastimes as mass murder and torture, even of their own. Even BETTER is that Shar's only consistent ally among the gods is TALONA. THe goddess of poisons, whose worshippers actively try to spread plague and disease. Viconia worships this openly. So yes, Viconia is capital "E" evil. But because she is attractive, she gets the Draco In Leather Pants treatment, hard.
    tbone1ArtonaBelgarathMTHDreadKhan
  • fatelessfateless Member Posts: 291
    edited July 6
    there is a lot in that write up that doesn't necessarily have to be evil. Have you considered that part of the reason that she only has one consistant ally is because it's another ally that values secrets as much as the Goddess of Secrets? There isn't a single official god of Secrets that I can think of that isn't Evil and there isn't ever really given a good reason for it. Secrets in my mind seem to be right in line with a Drow that has come to the surface and been persecuted at every turn. Not a reason to prove that she's the epitomy of evil compared to other evil people around her.

    One thing you nicely left out of the writeup is the belief some have that Shar is simply a second side to Sune, her twin that came into being at the same time, and that they are in fact two facets of the same Goddess.

    There's also the issue that begs one to question. What does the so called mass murder and torture actually have to do with Shar's portfolio? What does it actually serve to do for her? Not actually a whole lot. The shadow weave was created to break Mystra's iron control over magic.
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