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How does Sarevok actually intend to ascend to godhood?

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Comments

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,035
    @fateless "she's one of the reasons Shar is considered Evil for trying to actually take away some of the power that Mystra wielded over magic. And Mystra is often identified as good."

    No, Shar is considered evil BECAUSE SHE IS EVIL. Neutral evil is her actual alignment.
    Artona
  • fatelessfateless Member Posts: 330
    ThacoBell said:

    @fateless "she's one of the reasons Shar is considered Evil for trying to actually take away some of the power that Mystra wielded over magic. And Mystra is often identified as good."

    No, Shar is considered evil BECAUSE SHE IS EVIL. Neutral evil is her actual alignment.

    I meant in action and behavior. Not simply an alignment written on a page.
  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 775
    Arunsun said:

    Saying that Ao isn't involved at all seems rather subjective. Here's what I wrote on another thread on the "General discussion" board ":

    Concerning the Solar, I often wondered [whether she was a spawn of Ao], but I came to the conclusion that she was indeed a spawn of Ao. The role of the Solar is not to influence you in your decisions, rather to point out your possibilities, to inform you on what you are, and make you ponder on certain aspects. She questions your decisions, not to make you change your mind but to open it to new perspectives. The only moment she really makes a comment about what you want to do is in the final dialogue, when she says she'll happily follow you should you choose godhood and have acted good, or that she despises you if you do so being Evil. This behaviour would be very much like Ao: he won't directly intervene in a given situation except if it endangers the existence of the Realms, but he'd still want the people involved to fully understand the various outcomes that are offered to them. To further support this theory, it's said at some point by the Solar that even Ao took interest in the Bhaalspawn episode. Ao hardly ever speaks to the god themselves, so a mere Solar wouldn't know about it except if Ao told her himself, for a good reason.

    End of the copypaste.

    The fact that the Solar keeps a very neutral position except at the very end of the game led me to think she was sent by a Neutral being, and she knows a lot, much more than most gods, hence why I'd say the aforementioned Neutral being would be Ao

    In the absolutely non-canonic sequel in EET (Return to Faerun), the Solar re-appears after the protagonist's ascension to a good deity:
    From his words, actions and role here, it's clear he is a messenger/trusted of AO himself provided with the task to a) oversee the outcome of the bhaalspawn war prior ascension and b) serve as guide or advisor for the new god to establish him/herself in the new role >>> this kind of fulfills the promise to *happily follow you should you choose godhood and have acted good*. In addition, he conducts the protagonist's return to Faerun in a mortal avatar for most of the sequel and would be responsible for the transition back after mission completed.
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,035
    fateless said:

    ThacoBell said:

    @fateless "she's one of the reasons Shar is considered Evil for trying to actually take away some of the power that Mystra wielded over magic. And Mystra is often identified as good."

    No, Shar is considered evil BECAUSE SHE IS EVIL. Neutral evil is her actual alignment.

    I meant in action and behavior. Not simply an alignment written on a page.
    Murder, lies, subversion of good, etc.
  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 775
    ThacoBell said:

    fateless said:

    ThacoBell said:

    @fateless "she's one of the reasons Shar is considered Evil for trying to actually take away some of the power that Mystra wielded over magic. And Mystra is often identified as good."

    No, Shar is considered evil BECAUSE SHE IS EVIL. Neutral evil is her actual alignment.

    I meant in action and behavior. Not simply an alignment written on a page.
    Murder, lies, subversion of good, etc.
    In the end she and Cyric *kill* Mystra.
    At least they think they do. In order to defeat the Prince of Lies and deceit, it helps if you can tell a lie that's bigger than even he can imagine...like faking your own death, creating a spellplague that deprives your enemies of their access to magic and the weave, and emancipate the mortals from false gods this way leading them to science and knowledge instead, etc.
  • johntyljohntyl Member Posts: 371


    In the end she and Cyric *kill* Mystra.

    At least they think they do. In order to defeat the Prince of Lies and deceit, it helps if you can tell a lie that's bigger than even he can imagine...like faking your own death, creating a spellplague that deprives your enemies of their access to magic and the weave, and emancipate the mortals from false gods this way leading them to science and knowledge instead, etc.
    Are you implying Mystra foresaw her own death and let Shar and Cyric kill her?
  • johntyljohntyl Member Posts: 371
    fateless said:


    But I have personal issues the way Mystra is written. Mystra was supposed to be neutral and consider magic a neutral force. But some of her attitudes in other respects weren't exactly neutral. As some above have mentioned they lean heavily towards good.

    Now are you referring to the first Mystryl who was spawned from both Selune and Shar? She was never neutral from the beginning, choosing to align herself with Selune (good) over Shar (dark), and so did her successors (Mystra and Midnight).
  • fatelessfateless Member Posts: 330
    Mystra is the one that has inconsistancies. Not Mystral before her. mistryl before her has been dead for quite a long time.
  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 775
    johntyl said:


    In the end she and Cyric *kill* Mystra.

    At least they think they do. In order to defeat the Prince of Lies and deceit, it helps if you can tell a lie that's bigger than even he can imagine...like faking your own death, creating a spellplague that deprives your enemies of their access to magic and the weave, and emancipate the mortals from false gods this way leading them to science and knowledge instead, etc.
    Are you implying Mystra foresaw her own death and let Shar and Cyric kill her?
    No.
    She knew that Shar and Cyric were planning her death and went one step ahead. She staged a meeting in which she seemingly was killed, however she just disappeared with Larloch's help. Her followers spread the story of her dead and her hiding produced the effects of the spellplague. Without Mystra present, Shar could not access the Weave and in the longer term broke her alliance with Cyric. Mystra had no interest to make her continuing existence widely known, instead she decided to let the mortals use science and technology instead of magic to accomplish things. And the missing magic in the long time helped AO's plan (anf hers) to reduce the impact of the gods on the mortals and make them independent.
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,256
    I don't know anything about D&D or FR or WofTC other than Baldurs gate.
    But I do like to read threads like these, so thankyou all for that.

    But one thing does bother me, why did everything have to get so complicated?
    Whenever I read stuff about the "spellplague", "time of troubles", "continents disappearing and reappearing" ect. just end up thinking somebody has lost the plot.

    Why does any of this stuff keep happening?
    And then as far as I can gather just from reading bits and pieces, everything gets a reset.
    What's the motivation behind it all?
    Skatan
  • fatelessfateless Member Posts: 330
    Not everything resets. But FR is particularly bad about most of it's biggest and confusing events like the time of troubles and the fall of the Netheril in the distant past are either somebody trying to become a god or gods feuding to the point that it has affects on the mortal campaign world at large. Then things get slapped back together but not everything changes. Just a few of the rules. Like Wild Magic is completely unable to be weeded out at this point. Even by Mystra. But the Spellplague is almost non-existant after the time of troubles. Gods are forced to try to gather mortal followers more and not simply use mortals as pawns. And FR is particularly bad about it not being mortals that really fix the problem. They have a heavy history in FR of being kind of swept up and along for the ride.

    I prefer Dragon Lance or Grey Hawk in some respects. While the gods are intertwined. They are usually supporting help to fix that major world altering problems and it is mortals that have to step up and solve the problems and help kind of shape the evolving world from those events. Even if part of that might be the mortals stepping towards godhood. Sadly though those two rich worlds are ones that never really made it into the video games.
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 153

    Whenever I read stuff about the "spellplague", "time of troubles", "continents disappearing and reappearing" ect. just end up thinking somebody has lost the plot.

    Why does any of this stuff keep happening?
    And then as far as I can gather just from reading bits and pieces, everything gets a reset.
    What's the motivation behind it all?

    The in-game motivation is that deities are a big deal in the Realms and have the power to shake things up from time to time.

    The out-of-game motivation is that Wizards of the Coast periodically introduces new editions of D&D and wants to shake up the Realms so complacent consumers will buy new products.
    ThacoBell
  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 775
    All the events, plots etc that I have cited here are IN the game, mostly added by mods that operate within the game's limits and resources. None of them are related to the outside resources like FR novels or other games.
    For me the game is a stand-alone world that any player can understand and appreciate without knowledge of outside material. Discussions like timelines that are based on what somebody has read somewhere are as irrelevant as talking about Drizzt's relationship to his father as maybe subject to some novel, because that is never subject in the game. All we know about Drizzt is that he is drow and famous (for whatever reason).

    E.g. the Time of Troubles in the game is when the protagonist and some other important characters were born, when Bhaal and other gods were on the Prime and some of them died and some new were enthroned.
    Mods that are grounded in that part of the in-game history and consistent with it are fine for me, no matter how different their story is from a fantasy world outside of the game.
    The history of YOUR Faerun is written by what your protagonist and party members do and decide.
    ThacoBell
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,256
    @fateless

    Thankyou, what you explain is kind of what I was referring to. Who is deciding that the Gods are making so much of a hoohar about things? None of it's real so why over complicate matters?
    As I understand it the "time of troubles" happened because the "tablets of fate" were nicked? Seems awfully complicated to get to the plot point that Gods were made mortal, and then have a bunch of murders, and then have them squabbling over who controls what, and then chuck in a madman, ect. ect. There must be some intelligence behind all this thinking "what a good idea for a story".

    @jsaving

    When you say "new editions" of D&D, what does that translate to? The settings, the rules, the adventures, the people? And if any of those need to be changed, why the complicated justifications?

    @PaulaMigrate

    My history of Faerun based on the game wouldn't have anything at all to say about Mystra or Elminster or a ton of other stuff. It's pretty straightforward, God gets made mortal, God has lots of children to save himself, God gets killed as prophesised, one of the children takes over or doesn't.


  • fatelessfateless Member Posts: 330
    In FR's case I think it was an amalgamation of sources that did it. Thanks to Drizzt and a few other characters FR became kind of the flagship realm even back in the TSR games. And I think it was a combination of the books being made, some official game or games that was being played somewhere, and just plain creators behind various modules and books to be produced for it all had a hand in that stuff and the god aspect just went overboard. As did the very complicated plots. So it was probably a combination of what was being played or put into story somewhere, an effort to sell books, and perhaps a little overzealousness in embracing ideas that came across the table with out considering entirely how they fit into the grand scheme of things.
    ThacoBell
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 937
    I think FR became the default when Gygax got kicked out and they didn't want to pay royalties for Greyhawk
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 153
    edited July 8


    When you say "new editions" of D&D, what does that translate to? The settings, the rules, the adventures, the people? And if any of those need to be changed, why the complicated justifications?

    The pencil-and-paper D&D rulebooks receive extensive rewrites every ten years or so, and the game is said to have advanced to a "new edition" when those updates happen. Generally the launch of a new edition is accompanied by advertising campaigns that highlight flashy/new/different aspects of the game, which depending on the edition may also affect Realms history.

    The most controversial of these from a Forgotten Realms point of view was 4th edition, which introduced the Spellplague solely for out-of-game reasons. Specifically, the devs wanted the Realms to become D&D's default setting but felt gamer patience/intellect was too low to understand or appreciate Realms history. To solve this problem, the Spellplague would wipe away what players thought they knew about the Realms and enable new and returning gamers alike to "start fresh". The devs also directed that the Realms become a much darker place so that, no matter where a DM chose to set his campaign, there would be a common easy-to-understand theme of players being tiny "points of light" against the darkness. If you don't play the pencil-and-paper game but do read the novels, you can date the lifespan of this edition roughly from Salvatore's "Transitions" trilogy to "The Companions."

    The other memorable Realms event that came about mainly from out-of-universe considerations was the Time of Troubles, which was Wizards of the Coast's way of drumming up interest in the newly released 2nd edition ruleset.
    Post edited by jsaving on
    johntyl
  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 775
    jsaving said:


    When you say "new editions" of D&D, what does that translate to? The settings, the rules, the adventures, the people? And if any of those need to be changed, why the complicated justifications?

    The pencil-and-paper D&D rulebooks receive extensive rewrites every ten years or so, and the game is said to have advanced to a "new edition" when those updates happen. Generally the launch of a new edition is accompanied by advertising campaigns that highlight flashy/new/different aspects of the game, which depending on the edition may also affect Realms history.

    The most controversial of these from a Forgotten Realms point of view was 4th edition, which introduced the Spellplague solely for out-of-game reasons. Specifically, the devs wanted the Realms to become D&D's default setting but felt gamer patience/intellect was too low to understand or appreciate Realms history. To solve this problem, the Spellplague would wipe away what players thought they knew about the Realms and enable new and returning gamers alike to "start fresh". The devs also directed that the Realms become a much darker place so that, no matter where a DM chose to set his campaign, there would be a common easy-to-understand theme of players being tiny "points of light" against the darkness. If you don't play the pencil-and-paper game but do read the novels, you can date the lifespan of this edition roughly from Salvatore's "Transitions" trilogy to "The Companions."

    The other memorable Realms event that came about mainly from out-of-universe considerations was the Time of Troubles, which was Wizards of the Coast's way of drumming up interest in the newly released 2nd edition ruleset.
    Be that as it may - the error is to come with such or similar background and expect the Baldurs Gate game to adhere to it. The game may have a similar setting, but ii's a continuum of itself where the game rules and the game story are relevant. The rest is for interests outside the game. Players who never jeard or not at all be interested in such just want to play THIS game. They are no minority, and anyone without a degree in Forgotten Realm's lore can just a enjoy the trilogy.
  • Wandering_RangerWandering_Ranger Member Posts: 116
    fateless said:

    Sarevok actually had rituals to help him achieve godhood. We just never learn the details about him. he's in the process of preparing at least one of these when we force the final confrontation with him in the end of BG1. he's also quoted to have been reciting all of the prophesies dealing with the matter from Alaundo by memory. We don't ever get the full detailings of what he had access to for his ascension.

    Melysan is not as all knowing as she likes to play. nor can she be certain she is the only one with access nor the only one with a way to attain Bhaal's place. All we know for certain is that she once served Bhaal and she was basically feeding off his essence as it gathered around fewer individuals to drive her own power.

    The Truth is Bhaal may not have fully trusted his high priestess and may not have given her as full a picture and access as she thinks. Bhaal was more prone to putting his faith in himself and his machinations. Specially considering her first task after Bhaal died was to attempt to sacrifice as many of the bhaalspawn as she could that were born throughout bhaal's followers, which various things suggest is not what bhaal intended for them. She may simply be trying to manipulate and always intended to try to ascend herself through what happened and tried to work up or use incomplete rituals to obtain Bhaal's power.

    A brave job, fateless, to take Sarevok's side on this and attempt to call out Amelyssan's ignorance.

    The exact opposite is true, naturally. No need to overcomplicate things. You are assuming Sarevok's knowledge, while dismissing Amelyssan's. We have the facts, and the facts point us to Amelyssan's knowledge, not lack thereof.

    Amelyssan is the mastermind of masterminds. She successfully manipulated everyone (including Bhaal himself) in order to attain Godhood. All of Bhaal's children had to die in order for Bhaal to return. We absolutely know this to be a fact both from Sarevok AND Amelyssan (plus the end-game itself).

    These children held essences in them. Think of them as each a piece of the puzzle, and when the pieces (essences) came together, Bhaal could resurrect - provided he had someone to put these pieces together in the form of a ritual. That someone is Amelyssan. It makes perfect sense that her job was to sacrifice as many children as she could - she had to get the "pieces" (essences) from them.

    Bhaal simply had no choice BUT to trust someone. Too bad for him that he was betrayed. This scene was shown in the summoning of their "spirits" in the pocket plane (we know Amelyssan is not lying because it's simply impossible that that Bhaal was "lying" with his shock of Amelyssan's betrayal - there would be no point to it). "Remain dust, my foolish god."

    Amelyssan was so powerful at the end-game because she kept absorbing more essences into herself. Once she had them all, she would ascend. This is empirical evidence to show you she did actually know what she was doing.

    Sarevok's plan was doomed to fail from the start, since no matter how many perished in his war, unless all of Bhaal's children were dead, there is no way he could become the new lord of murder (the essences would not have returned to the source). Of course, he MAY have found some way to bypass this (we'll never know), but it's obvious that it's Sarevok who is not as clever as he thinks he is. His low wisdom exemplifies this. He is temper-prone (as shown especially when he was willing to fight you at the Duchal palace and had to be saved), and his ambition is greater than his scheming ability.

    Amelyssan is both cunning and evil, and covered all of her bases well. She dictated the entirety of ToB, moving the pieces around the board for her aims.

    All in all, a great question, OP! I have always wandered about this myself. Sarevok is the brash villain, Irenicus the self-involved, vengeance mongering one, and Amelyssan is the "good one" one who turns "traitor." She's a true snake.
    UnderstandMouseMagicjohntyl
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,035
    @Wandering_Ranger "A brave job, fateless, to take Sarevok's side on this and attempt to call out Amelyssan's ignorance.

    The exact opposite is true, naturally. No need to overcomplicate things. You are assuming Sarevok's knowledge, while dismissing Amelyssan's. We have the facts, and the facts point us to Amelyssan's knowledge, not lack thereof.

    Amelyssan is the mastermind of masterminds. She successfully manipulated everyone (including Bhaal himself) in order to attain Godhood."

    Not quite, with Sarevok we SEE his plans unfold. He is one of the very few villains smart enough to go after the protagonist himself before charname becomes a threat. He manipulated mulitiple powerful organizations perfectly, and we see it. We have his journals detailing his actions. We SEE Sarevok turn charnames home against him and turns a Duke and Flaming Fist sanctioned strike force into the most wanted criminals on the Sword Coast.

    Melissan does NOTHING onscreen. We see her for 3 min, she disappears, and then the game tells us that she is awesome. She has no development, no character, and the game doesn't even try to explain how she supposedly does what she does. She does nothing to earn anything she or game claims of her.
    PaulaMigrateArtonaMirandel
  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 775
    edited July 11
    ThacoBell said:

    @Wandering_Ranger "A brave job, fateless, to take Sarevok's side on this and attempt to call out Amelyssan's ignorance.

    The exact opposite is true, naturally. No need to overcomplicate things. You are assuming Sarevok's knowledge, while dismissing Amelyssan's. We have the facts, and the facts point us to Amelyssan's knowledge, not lack thereof.

    Amelyssan is the mastermind of masterminds. She successfully manipulated everyone (including Bhaal himself) in order to attain Godhood."

    Not quite, with Sarevok we SEE his plans unfold. He is one of the very few villains smart enough to go after the protagonist himself before charname becomes a threat. He manipulated mulitiple powerful organizations perfectly, and we see it. We have his journals detailing his actions. We SEE Sarevok turn charnames home against him and turns a Duke and Flaming Fist sanctioned strike force into the most wanted criminals on the Sword Coast.

    Melissan does NOTHING onscreen. We see her for 3 min, she disappears, and then the game tells us that she is awesome. She has no development, no character, and the game doesn't even try to explain how she supposedly does what she does. She does nothing to earn anything she or game claims of her.

    Of the three antagonists in BG Trilogy, Amelyssan is in deed the less developped, just like all of the original ToB appears to be rushed. She definitely knows how to achieve godhood and she even tries it in the final movie after she lost the battle already. The problem here is that we never get to know her.

    She manipulates the ptotagonist, but starting with the fall of Saradush, you have already dialogue options to mistrust her. *The traitor in their midst* is revealed from the beginning. YOU follow her machinations because it's the only way for you to survive. Why all others do the same like a herd of sheep is never explained.

    She has all the knowledge about Bhaal and rituals and essence because of her role as the high priestess of that god. We just have to accept this. What that knowledge is exactlly remains a secret.
    @ThacoBell is right, we get to know Sarevok and his goals and methods just like we get to know Irenicus. Melissan remains distant. She comes from the shadow of a past about which very little is revealed (only the few Solar interludes in ToB). All we ever get to know is that she wants her former god's power for herself. Fullstop. She comes as close to her goal as is possible by means we never get to see.

    The story of the *traitor in their midst* could have been the climax of the trilogy but it appears like a weak sequel instead. A problem known from many books, movies, etc. Maybe after all it wasn't planned to have that sequel until the success of the other parts of the game happened.

    On the other hand, that complete darkness about the powers of the distant past and the mystery that surrounds the gods (and becoming one of them) can be fuel for your own imagination and fantasy. In the end you are still Gorion's Ward and you prevented *something evil*, even without ever fully understanding how or why. Like Parceval in the old myths.

    Of the three original parts of the game, ToB is also the one which has not inspired modders very much in the past. It's hard to bring in new NPCs that late in the game (Ilyos - not yet for EE, and the two former antagonists made joinable NPCs are the only ones that come to my mind). Contents mods are rare as well (Wheels and Ascension, all there is after 15? years). It may be the narrow landscape and the linear plot that prevent it, or the fact that not many players make it that far? Of all mods I played over the years only one has added significant contents and depth to ToB and the story of Melissan and the Five in the last decade - Sandrah Saga, and the motivation in that mod apparently is to pave the way for what comes after ToB much more than to enhance ToB itself.
    ArtonaThacoBelljohntyl
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,256
    It's such a shame the way TOB turned out. There's some really good stuff in it but overall it disappoints.

    And they used it as a template for SOD.
    Who'd have bet on that a couple of years ago?

    Linear, check
    Badly drawn protagenist, check
    Late twist that leads nowhere because you don't have anything to do with who turns out to be pulling the strings, check
    Unsympathetic character who's been trying to kill you but turns out they aren't all bad because they have a "noble" goal, (Balthazar), check.

    Just why?

    Artonatbone1
  • ArtonaArtona Member Posts: 700
    The problem with ToB is that has good ideas, but they are terribly squished together. If ToB had length of SoA, if Melissan offering guidance towards the game, then the twist could have worked. Then we could have epic search for Yaga-Shura's heart, not a walk through TWO locations. We could learn something about Balthazar that would make us care about him more than about rest of the Five...
    But we got what we got.
    ThacoBelljohntyl
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,035
    @UnderstandMouseMagic I still say that Caelar was never intended be a gray character. She has noble heritage yes, but even before her fall she was arrogant and self righteous, even moreso than Anomen (shudder).
    tbone1
  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 775
    Artona said:

    The problem with ToB is that has good ideas, but they are terribly squished together. If ToB had length of SoA, if Melissan offering guidance towards the game, then the twist could have worked. Then we could have epic search for Yaga-Shura's heart, not a walk through TWO locations. We could learn something about Balthazar that would make us care about him more than about rest of the Five...
    But we got what we got.

    There were two attempts that I know of to flesh it out a bit: Wheels and Illyos both tried to make more out of Balthazar, give him more personality and even the chance to side with a good protagonist against Melissan.
    There has never been made any attempt to add to Melissan. Probably everybody is afraid to give more detail about her for the fear of spoiling the plot. Why did she never try to persuade the protagonist to join the Five? Or Sarevok? Did she follow them just like Irenicus was observing in SoD and maybe even before?
  • ArunsunArunsun Member Posts: 1,304
    Basically ToB has two factors that never boded well with good and profound story writing:
    It's an expansion, so much less content than an actual, complete game. You could imagine a full new game instead, and it would be great, but being an expansion limits a lot of things, budget and timing mattering most.
    Epic levels: I've seen many, many games that were interesting till you get to a point at which you are so high level you are closer to a god than a human, and then it loses flavour. Because everything that happens feels so forced, like every single superhuman like you gather at the same point at the same time and everything unfolds etc... When I'm (re)discovering BG or Athkathla, I feel like I am just some guy here that's pretty powerful but not that much. I somehow fit in this city, this world, where every seasoned adventurers are pretty much as powerful as I am, and more at some times. But I feel like the game loses this flavour when you get back from the Underdark in SoA. You do get a lot more powerful in Spellhold, Sahuagin city and Drow city, but it doesn't feel so wrong because you are in an hostile place known to be the home to dangerous enemies. Then you get back to Athkathla, and suddenly it just feels uninteresting. Because the fights it offers are easy, because your artifacts are more powerful than that of Ribald, etc... If it were only me, I would slow the high level exp tables by a lot, make weaker artifacts and enemies, and emphasize on charname getting more and more of Bhaal's powers, and these could outmatch other powers because they are divine. Ending ToB at level 25 to 30 (for a warrior, so that would be less for a mage) would feel better to me. But if you take a look at FR lore, there are very, very few level 31 spellcasters, and these are legends that lived for centuries or millenias to acquire that level, not a couple of year. Not to mention that some much weaker people have ascended to godhood. Midnight (who became Mystra after the Time of Troubles) was a level 7 or 9 mage, Kelemvor was a seasoned adventurer but nothing close to Drizzt, for example. You don't need to be Larloch or Karsus to ascend.


    If I want to play a combat simulator, then I'll just play the Black Pits, not ToB, but ToB feels closer to a combat simulator than a real chapter of the story, and I think this is due to epic levels for a great part.
    UnderstandMouseMagicThacoBelljohntyltbone1
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,256
    @Arunsun

    You are right about reaching "epic levels" and it all getting a bit same old same old.

    TOB has really suffered reputation wise (and enjoyable gaming wise) by allowing access to WK in SOA.
    First off you can knock a couple of levels off at the start of TOB without WK. And second some really good equipment.

    It's really stupid I know, but because WK is "there" in SOA I can't resist doing a good portion of it (if not all of it) even though I know it's going to affect the enjoyment of TOB.

    For instance Foebane, how can you resist?
  • Wandering_RangerWandering_Ranger Member Posts: 116
    ThacoBell said:

    @Wandering_Ranger "A brave job, fateless, to take Sarevok's side on this and attempt to call out Amelyssan's ignorance.

    The exact opposite is true, naturally. No need to overcomplicate things. You are assuming Sarevok's knowledge, while dismissing Amelyssan's. We have the facts, and the facts point us to Amelyssan's knowledge, not lack thereof.

    Amelyssan is the mastermind of masterminds. She successfully manipulated everyone (including Bhaal himself) in order to attain Godhood."

    Not quite, with Sarevok we SEE his plans unfold. He is one of the very few villains smart enough to go after the protagonist himself before charname becomes a threat. He manipulated mulitiple powerful organizations perfectly, and we see it. We have his journals detailing his actions. We SEE Sarevok turn charnames home against him and turns a Duke and Flaming Fist sanctioned strike force into the most wanted criminals on the Sword Coast.

    Melissan does NOTHING onscreen. We see her for 3 min, she disappears, and then the game tells us that she is awesome. She has no development, no character, and the game doesn't even try to explain how she supposedly does what she does. She does nothing to earn anything she or game claims of her.

    That's her brilliance, though. She's subtle in her intricacy, and she does brag about how she manipulated others during her coming-out-as-a-villain speech (if you mock her). Sorry, but not having enough "air time" is not an argument against her brilliant maneuvering of the five most powerful beings in the realms and playing them against each other for her own ends. She is the invisible hand that guides the entire thing.
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,035

    ThacoBell said:

    @Wandering_Ranger "A brave job, fateless, to take Sarevok's side on this and attempt to call out Amelyssan's ignorance.

    The exact opposite is true, naturally. No need to overcomplicate things. You are assuming Sarevok's knowledge, while dismissing Amelyssan's. We have the facts, and the facts point us to Amelyssan's knowledge, not lack thereof.

    Amelyssan is the mastermind of masterminds. She successfully manipulated everyone (including Bhaal himself) in order to attain Godhood."

    Not quite, with Sarevok we SEE his plans unfold. He is one of the very few villains smart enough to go after the protagonist himself before charname becomes a threat. He manipulated mulitiple powerful organizations perfectly, and we see it. We have his journals detailing his actions. We SEE Sarevok turn charnames home against him and turns a Duke and Flaming Fist sanctioned strike force into the most wanted criminals on the Sword Coast.

    Melissan does NOTHING onscreen. We see her for 3 min, she disappears, and then the game tells us that she is awesome. She has no development, no character, and the game doesn't even try to explain how she supposedly does what she does. She does nothing to earn anything she or game claims of her.

    That's her brilliance, though. She's subtle in her intricacy, and she does brag about how she manipulated others during her coming-out-as-a-villain speech (if you mock her). Sorry, but not having enough "air time" is not an argument against her brilliant maneuvering of the five most powerful beings in the realms and playing them against each other for her own ends. She is the invisible hand that guides the entire thing.
    Here's the thing though, being a flat character and being subtle are not the same thing. She never did any brilliant manouvering, she is simply there at the end because the story demands it, not because anything we see of her character informs it. Games are an active visual medium. If you want to get something across, you need to show it to the player, let them experience it, not tell them after the fact. Surprise villains are all about context and they ALWAYS fall flat if post reveal they don't even feel like the same character. Disney has great examples of this. In frozen, look at Hans. First half and second half Hans feel so disparate, the movie would be completely unchanged if rather than a surprise reveal, the villain was simply a new character, as Hans leaves no impact or continuity with his arc. Beauty and the Beast has a great example with Gaston. He goes from kinda likeable if an entitled jerk, to someone who is outright imprisoning people and inciting riots to get what he wants. But he feels like the same character, is words and actions are still the same as the beginning of the the movie, but the CONTEXT is what has changed. CONTEXT is why Melissan fails, and fails spectacularly as a villain.
    UnderstandMouseMagicArunsun
  • Wandering_RangerWandering_Ranger Member Posts: 116
    No, you're just arguing for who you like most (and to who was most well developed) and equating it to who was objectively the most apt villain of the three.

    Coolness of villain ≠ competence of villain. Sarevok was supremely incompetent (easily the least competent of the three), while Amelyssan's brilliance is so great that it was actually lost on the community.

    She's the "power behind the curtain," the ultimate manipulator, hidden in plain sight the entire time (even disguises her alignment), and plots cunningly against everyone.
    Artona
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