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What if Imoen not exist ?

Hi
As we know, Imoen is added the last minute to the game. What should be tha canon party without her ? Who will be that npc ?

Wormking

Comments

  • O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,665
    If by "canon party" you mean people
    Imoen asked to escort you after you left Baldur's Gate
    , then we have a huge problem, because without Imoen, there would not be that group, so starting party in Shadows of Amn would look significantly different.

    Not to mention the fact that without Imoen, the plot of Shadows of Amn would look quite different, so yeah. I think Imoen's non-existence would result in a spectacular butterfly effect.

    As for Charname's companions... I think it is fair to assume Charname would follow Gorion's advice and meet up with Khalid and Jaheira, but outcome would depend on Charname's allingment... or player's choice. And that could apply to every joinable NPC as well.

    The only thing that makes "canon party" what it is, is just a plot point, finally explained at the end of Siege of Dragonspear.

    DanacmThacoBellDaevelon
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 480
    Okay let it clear, the question is about bg1, not the next games. :)

  • LammasLammas Member Posts: 109
    Imoen joins you after you leave Candlekeep
    You are told to meet Khalid and Jaheira in case anything happens, they ask you to investigate Nashkel mines
    In the mines you meet Xan, who I always considered to be more canon than Minsc & Dynaheir
    In Cloakwood you meet Yeslick who I also think has a story place instead of Minsc & Dynaheir
    These guys actually form a pretty well lined party composition too.
    Or pick Minsc and Dynaheir because that's what BG2 tells you did for some reason (I guess Minsc was something of a fan favorite back in the day or something).

    I guess the canon party without Imoen would be exactly that. There is no thief character that you basically run into in main story areas unless you count running into Montaron in the first area or Coran in clockwood 1 but they are multiclasses and the former is evil unlike everyone else and comes with Xzar and Coran comes up pretty late.

    My brain would make Garrick the most BG1 "canony" guy in this scenario and there would simply be no thief in a canon party unless you are one yourself.

    But why?

    Danacm
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 480
    Hmm, yes the main plot thieves are Montaron, Coran and maybe Alora ? Skie if you do Eldoth's quest. But Safana is full out of range. So they forgot to add good thief in the main plot before Coran ?

  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,362
    Danacm said:

    Hmm, yes the main plot thieves are Montaron, Coran and maybe Alora ? Skie if you do Eldoth's quest. But Safana is full out of range. So they forgot to add good thief in the main plot before Coran ?

    Basically, yes. Luke Kristjanson, one of the writers on BG1, said "[Imoen] was a late addition to fill a non-psychotic-thief gap in the early levels."

    https://www.ign.com/articles/2008/12/23/baldurs-gate-memories?page=2

    The idea of a "BG1 canon party" was established by BG2, for the purposes of the beginning of BG2. Unless you mean the "canon" of the novels. In which case, the NPCs who appear in the BG1 novel are Montaron, Xzar, Jaheira, Khalid, Xan, and Yeslick. So, you can pick your "canon party" from them.

    DanacmThacoBellGusinda
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 480
    Nice team for a movie: xzar, montaron, jaheira, khalid, this party is full of inner conflicts. Works with a naive charname who sheltered before. :D

  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 2,780
    Not only a thief at the begining, storywise I see Imoen as a character who represents either a bond with or a break from candlekeep . Also, as cliche as it sounds, having a comic sidekick at the begining is kind part of a hero's development. As mentioned above, not having Imoen around would pretty unleash a butterfly effect on the story , for better or worse.

    ThacoBellDanacm
  • ArtonaArtona Member Posts: 904
    Irenicus would probably try to preserve both Cealar and Bhaalspawn, because there would be no soul candidate for Bodhi.

    tbone1
  • LammasLammas Member Posts: 109
    Funny thing is that I almost never used Imoen before. I always ditched her for someone with a more pleasing voice (Safana). I don't know why but her voice annoyed me a lot years back. In BG2 I almost never picked her up because I usually have enough arcane power to go with at that point since I almost always had Jan & Haer with either Edwin or myself as a mage to boot.

    And these days suddenly I almost never do a playthrough without her. She's almost perfect! The only thing I wish had been would be the option to romance her in BG2/TOB but I don't mind that much and I won't mod my game for that if it even exists.

    I was honestly a bit shocked when I learned she was an after thought / last minute addition. I never knew that before joining these forums a few weeks ago.

    Danacm
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,119
    edited December 7
    What if Imoen didn't exist?

    Well, the world of Faerun would be a much better place. :D

    (come on, how could I resist?)

    Seriously though, I'd say Xzar/Monteron and Khalid/Jaheira make a lot of sense in game.

    And just think, if they hadn't shoved the annoying brat on us in the first place, Xzar/Monteron might have had a role in BG2 rather than being killed off. Which would be much more interesting.

    DanacmZaghoulBalrog99dunbar
  • KvotheRM8KvotheRM8 Member Posts: 24
    Imoen is kind of annoying, from a plot dependant perspective. Her presence kind of takes away from the main characters story rather than add to it. And there are huge plot holes: was her being raised in CK a one in a billion coincidence, if not who brought her in, if Gorian brought her in why did he leave her behind to get murdered and tried to save only you, did he know she would follow, why does nobody in CK seem to care about her heritage, why is her dark secret kept more of a secret than the main hero?? Seems like what makes the hero special is not super rare with another one following you around.

    Sarevok even gets bored with the main hero and plays the Princess Lea card, then she's sleepsationated and that's supposed to be the hero's motivation in act2, and for the finale yup it's all about getting little miss precious pants back in your life. Does this NPC sometimes feel forced upon you a little too much?

    Gameplay she's a great asset, perfect thief stats and right out of the gate. Awesome multi class potention, good weapon selection (unlike Alora who is trying to dual wield give it up girl u ain't hitting nothi g like that). There are tons of interesting good aligned NPCs to explore but no better a thief

    I prefer to be play an evil protagonist and secretly want all the spawn power for myself but have a soft spot for my half sister and find myself protecting and resueing her with one big BUT. I leave her someplace (The safest place possible) because she is way more likely to die following me around, right? First thing I do is drop her off at that Elvenhair dudes house where she can learn the basics of magic and I guess make sandwiches while me and my godblood and insane ego go exploring the world with the spotlight on me. Later on I drop off trusted canon party members so she can have her own posse, this ties in well with the plot line later on because NPC familiarity is with her and not me.

    Danacm
  • ArtonaArtona Member Posts: 904
    Her presence kind of takes away from the main characters story rather than add to it. And there are huge plot holes: was her being raised in CK a one in a billion coincidence, if not who brought her in, if Gorian brought her in why did he leave her behind to get murdered and tried to save only you, did he know she would follow, why does nobody in CK seem to care about her heritage, why is her dark secret kept more of a secret than the main hero?? Seems like what makes the hero special is not super rare with another one following you around.

    I don't think Gorion knew about Imoen being Bhaalspawn and I do not recall anything from games that suggest he did. His wraith in ToB informs that Charname and Sarevok were present during Bhaalist ritual, but says nothing about Imoen. I think is safe to assume that she wasn't there, so Gorion had no reason to suspect that there are two Bhaalspawns in CK.
    There is, however, quite amusing theory, that it's actually Imoen who is prophecy Bhaalspawn, and Charname is merely a bait for Sarevok to keep her safe. I don't think it's canon, but I like that kind of twist.
    I disagree that Imeon steals the spotlight from main character. First of all you acn dump her anytime you want and kill her anytime you want (with necessary exception of SoD). Second thing - Bhaalspawns are rare (on the scale of Faerun, at least), but being one isn't unique. Entire focus of ToB is dealing with your siblings, so I don't see how Charname suffers because of her presence.
    And that Irenicus affair works perfectly fine regardless of Charname's attitude towards their sister - or to be precise, Spellhold ambush is silly regardless of Charname's reasons to reach Brynnlaw. You can treat her as secondary NPC that matters in secondary villain's plot. In that case she turns out to be less important than, let's say, Yoshimo. In other words - I don't feel forced to care about Imoen and I don't find her presence overbearing.

    ThacoBell
  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 1,183
    if she did not exist xan would be in the canon party.

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,119
    edited December 7
    I agre with @KvotheRM8 that she is so overforced on the story/charname (of course I do).

    But one thing could have made that into a really good storyline....if, after finding out from Irenicus she is a Bhaalspawn, in TOB she either joins the "Five" or on her own, she makes a bid for the throne by betraying Charname (takes away NPC ect).

    Would have made a fantasic plot twist, knocks the Yoshimo betrayal out of the park, and would make TOB a much better and more interesting narrative.

    Or even more of a twist, she's Melissan's daughter and was placed in Candlekeep by Melissan. Would tie up the whole saga and make Melissan a much more significant protagenist.

    As a three part saga, the problem I find is that Irenicus really has nothing much to do with the overarching plot of the Bhaalspawn. It feels like there's this seperate adventure stuck in the middle and there's lots of things that you find out in TOB that makes that feeling stronger.
    You get all the stuff in BG and TOB about how even the Gods themselves were forbidden to interfere, yet Irenicus?
    Let's say he was succesful, charname dies, he's got the soul and....?
    Whereas twist Imoen because of Irenicus and it ties him in more with the prophecy, what he does becomes significant for TOB.

    Danacmdunbar
  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 2,780

    I agre with @KvotheRM8 that she is so overforced on the story/charname (of course I do).

    But one thing could have made that into a really good storyline....if, after finding out from Irenicus she is a Bhaalspawn, in TOB she either joins the "Five" or on her own, she makes a bid for the throne by betraying Charname (takes away NPC ect).

    Would have made a fantasic plot twist, knocks the Yoshimo betrayal out of the park, and would make TOB a much better and more interesting narrative.

    Or even more of a twist, she's Melissan's daughter and was placed in Candlekeep by Melissan. Would tie up the whole saga and make Melissan a much more significant protagenist.

    As a three part saga, the problem I find is that Irenicus really has nothing much to do with the overarching plot of the Bhaalspawn. It feels like there's this seperate adventure stuck in the middle and there's lots of things that you find out in TOB that makes that feeling stronger.
    You get all the stuff in BG and TOB about how even the Gods themselves were forbidden to interfere, yet Irenicus?
    Let's say he was succesful, charname dies, he's got the soul and....?
    Whereas twist Imoen because of Irenicus and it ties him in more with the prophecy, what he does becomes significant for TOB.

    That would be a Strong plot twist, though it would be potentially criticized by those who love and care for aimmy throughout the whole saga.

    ThacoBellDanacm
  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 1,183
    Irenicus in general is just a wrench in the whole bhaalspawn plot. but i think that was on purpose. the plot is more charname coming to terms with what they are which sod actually added some seeds for.

    once Irenicus is dealt with you fully know what you are and now have to deal with your destiny in tob.

    ThacoBell
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,119
    edited December 8
    DJKajuru said:

    I agre with @KvotheRM8 that she is so overforced on the story/charname (of course I do).

    But one thing could have made that into a really good storyline....if, after finding out from Irenicus she is a Bhaalspawn, in TOB she either joins the "Five" or on her own, she makes a bid for the throne by betraying Charname (takes away NPC ect).

    Would have made a fantasic plot twist, knocks the Yoshimo betrayal out of the park, and would make TOB a much better and more interesting narrative.

    Or even more of a twist, she's Melissan's daughter and was placed in Candlekeep by Melissan. Would tie up the whole saga and make Melissan a much more significant protagenist.

    As a three part saga, the problem I find is that Irenicus really has nothing much to do with the overarching plot of the Bhaalspawn. It feels like there's this seperate adventure stuck in the middle and there's lots of things that you find out in TOB that makes that feeling stronger.
    You get all the stuff in BG and TOB about how even the Gods themselves were forbidden to interfere, yet Irenicus?
    Let's say he was succesful, charname dies, he's got the soul and....?
    Whereas twist Imoen because of Irenicus and it ties him in more with the prophecy, what he does becomes significant for TOB.

    That would be a Strong plot twist, though it would be potentially criticized by those who love and care for aimmy throughout the whole saga.

    Absolutely agree, but if had always been the plot, then that probably wouldn't be so much of an issue.
    And a writer, if they are being "fair" (or rather, wanted to take their readers with them) and had the overall plot already penciled in, they would have ensured there were some clues that all was not as it seemed.

    The thing about Imoen is because she was never really written, (especially post S/H) there is an enormous amount of projection about what the character is really like.
    For instance, you leave her there for months and she doesn't have any reaction, no resentment, no jealousy, no madness (which would be likely), she's undamaged, it didn't affect her.
    A couple of conversations and/or incidents and that projection could be completely different.

    I think the only part of the whole of BG/SOA/TOB where Imoen is actually written as a person, a character, is in Irenicus's dungeon and it's very noticeable. Imagine if the whole "death is pretty" stuff carried on and got a lot, lot worse. And then there's the argument with Jaheira about treating her like a child, that's actual character development. It's a fair question to ask, what's the reason it stopped, she didn't get any therapy, that we can be sure of.

    Of course we know why it stopped, she was meant to be killed off. But I do find it surprising that that is simply accepted and the whole projection reasserts itself again and Imoen's back to "cute little sister with no self agency" again.
    Narratively IMO, it's a gaping hole.



    ThacoBell
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 322
    For such a well-regarded game, it's amazing how many decisions were last-minute. People in this thread have wondered whether Imoen was always known by Gorion to be a Bhaalspawn; well, no, because the dev team itself didn't know that until they started writing BG2. And others have wondered why Imoen's character development stopped in BG2, but it is as @UnderstandMouseMagic says, the dev team always planned for the Spellhold mission to fail and only changed their minds when playtesters complained.

    UnderstandMouseMagicThacoBell
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