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Romance Dilemma

I now have Neera and Aerie in my party, with both romances having started up.

I'm stuck with who to choose for romance, because Neera is now forcing me to choose between her and Aerie. The thing is, I had just rescued Aerie from the circus and she only had one lovetalk with me. It was about her wings and I asked her how it felt to fly. Neera had 4 or 5 lovetalks with me since joining me during Rasaad's quest. Now she's demanding I choose her or Aerie.

I did some Googling to try to resolve this issue. I got the romance variables from EE Keeper at the point BEFORE Neera forces the choice on me.

Aerie Romance Active = 1
Neera Romance Active = 1

Aerie Lovetalks = 3
Neera Lovetalks = 11

I am torn on who to pick. I have two main issues with choosing.

Issue 1: Party Roles

Aerie is the only cleric I have, and she's going to be in my party for the rest of SoA + ToB. Viconia won't fit in my Good party, and Anomen rubs me the wrong way with his arrogance. I don't need Anomen anyway, because I already have 3 melee guys, and Aerie has mage spells on top of cleric spells. That would bring me a nice balance of 3 melee (CHAR, Mazzy, Keldorn) and 3 mages (CHAR, Jan, Aerie), and an upgradeable thief (Jan).

If I romance Neera, then that fills the 6th slot, meaning I cannot pick up Imoen or play with other characters. Mazzy is my archer + melee, so I need her to cover both roles. If I keep Neera and drop Keldorn for Imoen or Jahiera or whoever else, I will lose tanking / frontline power.

If I drop Neera, I can pick up Imoen or whoever else in 6th slot and still have romance with Aerie. That brings us to the 2nd issue.

Issue 2: Personality

I like Neera's spunky, silly, and gung-ho personality. It's refreshing, and her banters with people are entertaining. So are her party commentary, like "I need Tenser's Floating Bandages over here!" instead of "Help me!!!!!"

Conversely, from what I've seen with Aerie, she seems the opposite. She hasn't made me laugh yet, or have memorable interactions. She seems to have a lot of "help poor me feel better" going on. While Googling for advice on this situation, a couple Google results displayed that Aerie has a child with you during the game. If that's true, it would be an interesting and rare experience. The only other RPG I can remember the main character marrying / dating and having children with a party member is Dragon Quest 5 way back in Super Nintendo days.

TL:DR version:

Romance Aerie? Lose out on Neera's personality and fun banters. But I get to have a kid, and an open 6th party slot.

Romance Neera? Get her fun personality and baters. But I don't get a kid and I don't get an open 6th slot to play with Imoen or whoever else.

So who do you guys think I should pick to romance? Do I say yes to Neera or tell her I'm going with Aerie?

Comments

  • ANOFANOF Member Posts: 62
    The Aerie romance can be trying because she needs reassurance during the first half of it, and she gets increasingly in need of it, to where it is a turn-off for some. But if you persevere and stay strong for Aerie, she does eventually have that moment of realization where she finally learns to look for that reassurance within herself and not to rely on you for it so much.

    It's not easy, because some people find that level of neediness a turn-off, no matter how understandable it may be. But for my money, the Aerie romance is the most emotionally rewarding one because she's the only romanceable NPC who gives all of herself to the relationship. She doesn't put up the walls that Jaheira does, and she doesn't play the games that Viconia does.

    ThacoBellgorgonzola
  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 103
    I didn't see this the first time I played through BG2, well nigh 20 years ago, but replaying this now, it's struck me that Aerie is actually suffering from PTSD and depression. So, yes, if you romance her, it's with the understanding that you need to be patient and be a source of strength for her until she recovers enough to be able to find that strength within herself again. It's not for everyone, and I think that you can decline Aerie's romance and still bring her along in the party for her clerical skills. (You may want to bring Haer'Dalis briefly in your party as a result, since Haer will fire up a relationship with Aerie. It's... interesting to observe.)

    Ultimately, as a roleplayer, I'd put the choice down to 'who do YOU like better'? ;) Neera's fun and her antics make me smile, but alas for her, following the events of Siege of Dragonspear, the way things ended between her and my Ward would have left me VERY reluctant to ever get close to her again.

    Finally, if you want to "bend reality" a little, you can always install the Gibberlings Three Tweaks pack that will let you romance ALL the ladies (and Dorn, if that's your preference) at once, if you like. ;)

    ThacoBell
  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 128
    My view of the romances is Jaheira > Aerie > Neera, with there not being much between J and A but with a huge cavernous gulf in enjoyment between A and N - have yet to romance Viconia

    On this basis, in your position I would go with Aerie, if you like her already then you’ll be fine as she improves

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,448
    At your place i would go with aerie.
    From a pg perspective neera is really powerful, but to use a wild mage is tricky for the first run, unless you reload every bad surge, thing that defeats the scope of using a wild mage. Also aerie is really powerful, a lot of spell slots as he get them from 2 different pools, the chance to use clerical spells in the sequencers and contingency, and if you learn how to buff her she can do much more damage then neera both mlee and ranged, at high level and including a simulacrum clone fighting at her side can probably do more mlee damage then a fighter, and ranged with good sling and enchanted ammo can do up to 28 dmg/attack with -13 thac0. Mlee, full buff and with simulacrum, she can do like 320+40 elemental dmg/round.

    From a RP/romance perspective i like very much neera, and having her in the party give you some more ToB battle, but also aerie is interesting, as @ANOF tells there is an evolution in her personality, at the end is her that actually support you when you are scared about her going into battle while pregnant.
    The baby can born, but it takes a very long time, i always ended the game before it happens...

    Going with aerie you have a free spot for imoen, and immy is a much more reliable main mage then a wild mage (wild surges will happen even if you don't use the dwehomers on the long run). You can also learn how to play and use a cleric and experiment mixing divine and arcane magic.
    You can find some information here
    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/47354/superaerie-power-tactics-for-the-c-m-spoilers
    is a thread where we shared our power uses of aerie, you will see how different players use her in different ways, and this is cause she is not only powerful, but also very versatile, good casting and in mlee and ranged is better then every not fighter/pally/ranger/barbarian, she can use her 1 (2 hasted) ranged attack each round after she has cast her spell, for up to 58 dmg/round hitting also tob level bosses.

  • VeristekVeristek Member Posts: 114
    Thanks. I ended up going with Aerie, because I enjoy character development. A lot of modern RPG's don't have much character development or transformations. In those RPG's, characters only interact during combo attacks, battle cries, or fixed story progression interactions. BG NPC's are far more fluid and realistic, and I can see them grow and develop. That's one big reason why I've been enjoying the BG trilogy.

    I do have one point of frustration though. Why are we only limited to 3 clerics in BG 2? Anomen, Aerie, and Viconia? And all three clerics are romanceable, which means I can't drop or switch any cleric or risk losing romance. I wish I could dual or multi-class either Mazzy or Keldorn into a fighter-cleric. They both are paladins, and paladins are fighters who can do holy stuff like healing and some buffs. And seeing that Keldorn is a Paladin in the Radiant Heart, he should be able to heal and stuff, like the other paladins.

    I don't like Anomen's attitude though. Not very knightly compared to Keldorn or Mazzy. Anomen belittles Mazzy and is a hypocrite about slaves, plus looks down on common people. Keldorn and Mazzy are the opposite, they stand up for the common people as a knight or paladin should.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,448
    I agree on anomen personality, but he is really interesting mechanically, as is almost at the level of a single class cleric, but has better hp and lev7 of fighter. This give him 1.5 more apr if he become grand master in a weapon and the clerical buffs give him the thac0 of a pure fighter and 2xcleric level more hp, with 25 str without items.
    I suggest you to try him on an other run.

    Is true that we have only 3 cleric npcs, that anyway have 3 different feelings, anomen is super strong as fighter and strong as cleric, aerie has the mix of arcane and divine magic and viconia is the perfect pure cleric, high wisdom give her more spells and she has a natural MR as a drow.
    But probably the cleric is one of the most represented classes, we have only 2 druids, 1 bard, 2 paladins and 2 rangers.
    The game is not designed to switch continuously npcs (and lovers), until a certain xp the newly recruited npcs get a comparable one, so a player has time to make his choices, then a player is supposed to chose a definitive party and stick whit it.

    About keldorn probably the inquisitor kit is the strongest one, he lacks the healing spells and other useful ones, but a cleric is much superior in using them, but his dispel magic is super strong and make some battles much more easy, where a mage has to go trough a series of spells to debuf a well protected mage, and if the mage is protected by improved invisibility he can not even target it, an inquisitor can use his aoe dispel to get rid of all the protections.

    Once you have tried the npcs in their original form you can modify them as you like using eekeeper, i think that there is also a mod that let you do it in an easier way.
    You want a keldorn undead hunter or an imoen bard or a valygar archer? Easily done...
    As long as you don't create a berseker imoen or similar the thing works well.
    When i do it i keep the original stat total score, minmaxing them a little to make the new class legal if is needed.

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