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Sir Sarles, or the Mace of Disruption

Since these ethical debates are popular, I'd like to pose one.

I generally get both the real and the fake illithium in the Sir Sarles quest, give him the fake stuff, then upgrade the Mace of Disruption. I figure spending all that coin on another worthless object for the church is pointless when that illithium can be used to pound the undead back into the ground.

However, it is the dishonest choice, and I am playing with a primarily good party (Jaheira being the sole neutral). In everyone's opinion, is the mace worth screwing the temple over? (There is also the slight matter of getting vastly less XP)

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Comments

  • NuinNuin Member Posts: 423
    edited May 8
    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/72447/in-soa-which-enemies-need-4-or-better-to-hit/p1

    It turns into a discussion about the ethics of the situation near the middle of the first page.
    Basically, it's very easy to turn this into a "for the greater good" thing. In fact, it can even be argued to be more of a "we're just trying to make sure everybody survives" thing, especially if your PC has enough lore/Int to know about the potential uses of illithium ore.

    Post edited by Nuin on
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 4,249
    personally if i HAD to choose either giving sir sarles the real illithium or the improved mace of disruption i would tell the sarles holmes to go pound sand, the improved mace of disruption is an amazing weapon, in fact that weapon follows me even into ToB for how good it is

    plus Sir Sarles is Neutral for his alignment, so its not like he is "good" to begin with anyway, so there is no guilt into giving him the actual stuff, plus ironically enough i think the alloy fits better for the church anyway, showing that; even if flawed, something can still be beautiful, or some philosophical jargon of that sort

    Grond0SkatanThacoBelllolien
  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 103
    AionZ wrote: »
    You can tell him the truth when giving the illithium alloy, the priests are still happy with the result. I don’t think there actually even is an exp net loss.

    Hmmm... Will Sarles accept the fake illithium if you take this route? According to the Wiki giving Sarles the alloy results in him spotting the fake and refusing to work for you, but the church mistakes the unworked alloy for being the "sculpture" that Sarles created and completes the quest anyway. You still get a nice chunk of XP, although less than if you had delivered the real illithium.

  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 963
    I think the question of whether or not to cheat him does not depend just on your alignment, but on your general personality. My last thief main character was all about trickery and trying to make some profit on the side (while helping the needy). My last cleric was way too honest to even consider it.

    @sarevok57 You think people deserve naughty treatment if their alignment is neutral? I am flabbergasted.

    loliengorgonzola
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 44
    Zaxares wrote: »
    Hmmm... Will Sarles accept the fake illithium if you take this route?
    No, he'll still storm off in a huff. Working with anything less than the very best is an insult to his pride, even if you're completely honest about it.

    The real question here: the improved mace of disruption weighs 8 pounds, including its illithium coating. You gave 200 pounds of pure illithium to Cromwell for that. What did he do with the rest of it?

    ThacoBellArvialolien
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 4,249
    I think the question of whether or not to cheat him does not depend just on your alignment, but on your general personality. My last thief main character was all about trickery and trying to make some profit on the side (while helping the needy). My last cleric was way too honest to even consider it.

    @sarevok57 You think people deserve naughty treatment if their alignment is neutral? I am flabbergasted.

    hahaha, its not necessarily the fact that he is neutral that he deserves naughty treatment, because for me, im mostly a "power gamer" aka whatever team combo i make ( whether it be a strong team or an intentionally weak team, usually the latter ) i always try and make them as efficiently powerful as possible and i have absolutely no moral compass for 1s and 0s

    ( with that being said, my attitudes towards the game world, in no way reflect on how i act in real life )

    i just mentioned the neutral thing because i didnt want people to feel bad RP wise thinking that they are screwing over someone who doesnt deserve it, plus sir sarles kind of acts like an ass with the stereotypical "noble people treat those lesser than them like garbage attitude" so i feel no guilt of not giving him the illithium, plus the church likes it anyway, so win win :)

  • AmmarAmmar Member Posts: 806
    jmerry wrote: »
    Zaxares wrote: »
    Hmmm... Will Sarles accept the fake illithium if you take this route?
    No, he'll still storm off in a huff. Working with anything less than the very best is an insult to his pride, even if you're completely honest about it.

    The real question here: the improved mace of disruption weighs 8 pounds, including its illithium coating. You gave 200 pounds of pure illithium to Cromwell for that. What did he do with the rest of it?

    The entire quest is a bit weird. The quest item is called Illithium Ore, but they treat it like it is pure Illithium metal instead (i.e. you can put the ore directly into an alloy). Otherwise I would have tried to explaining it by saying that the Illithium Ore only contains a bit of Illithium metal.

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 131
    Sarles does refer to a "forge monkey" (or something along those lines) which implies that it is in ore form. That would also explain the weight discrepancy, and the fact that the raw stuff still looks like rocks.

    I ended up going with the fake stuff, because the mace of disruption should come in handy in chapter 6. That, and Sarles is a jerk. The only reason he wants the stuff is so that no one else's fingerprints will appear on his work. The church is happy with imperfect "work", Sarles likely will never return to Amn, and my party gets a kick ass weapon. Sounds like a win to me.

    Raduziellolien
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,107
    I will never commit fraud with any of my characters. I will therefore never have access to the improved Mace of Disruption in any of my runs. I didn't even know that was a thing.

    loliengorgonzola
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 8,589
    @BelgarathMTH Its not fraud. You be upfront with Sarles and tell him its just the alloy. He refuses, but the church seems to like the alloy as a centerpiece just fine. They don't complain at all. The merchant never guarantees that she can get you the pure illithium, just her contact. So you can get the alloy from her and then seek her contact out later.

    gorgonzola
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 131
    Yeah, my PC is chaotic good, so she clearly stated up front that it was an alloy, not the real deal. Outcome is the same, but she never lied. She just failed to mention that Mazzy had a 200 pound pile of the real stuff laying at her feet. ;)

    lolien
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,107
    ThacoBell wrote: »
    @BelgarathMTH Its not fraud. You be upfront with Sarles and tell him its just the alloy. He refuses, but the church seems to like the alloy as a centerpiece just fine. They don't complain at all. The merchant never guarantees that she can get you the pure illithium, just her contact. So you can get the alloy from her and then seek her contact out later.

    You want me to fool the church, or give the church a cheap knockoff for reasons of greed? That's even worse. Helm sees all. Know that, and be judged.

    ElysianEchoesZaxaresArvialolien
  • ArviaArvia Member Posts: 349
    But the ore merchant gives you the option to find her source of illithium, so why would a (lawful) good character even agree to get the fake illithium in the first place?
    You can't know before that the Helmites like the fake ore.

    The Mace of Disruption is already powerful enough without the upgrade. (says the Undead Hunter because she doesn't need Negative Plane Protection 😉)

    BelgarathMTH
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 131
    I remember my very first play through ages ago, before I even knew you *could* upgrade the mace, and I still stiffed Sarles. Of course, I then had this hunk of useless crap sitting in De'Arnise keep (yes, I "cheated" to do all the stronghold quests on my first run).

    That clown just rubbed me the wrong way, and since my PC is a magic user, she wouldn't have been uptight even if the church had hated the lump.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 8,589
    ThacoBell wrote: »
    @BelgarathMTH Its not fraud. You be upfront with Sarles and tell him its just the alloy. He refuses, but the church seems to like the alloy as a centerpiece just fine. They don't complain at all. The merchant never guarantees that she can get you the pure illithium, just her contact. So you can get the alloy from her and then seek her contact out later.

    You want me to fool the church, or give the church a cheap knockoff for reasons of greed? That's even worse. Helm sees all. Know that, and be judged.

    No no, no fooling. You can be upfront with Sarles and say, "Hey, the merchant says she doesn't think she can get that much illithium." He gets angry and leaves, and you take it to the church and tell them that you offered Sarles the alloy and he refused to work it. An amusing bit of dialogue happens where the quest giver is like, "Well, you tried, we will take the alloy and find a use for it, thank you." At which point the head priest walks in and goes, "Holy crap, that schulpture is awesome! We'd be proud to display it here!" You can be completely honest with all parties, and ot have to put up with Sarles' ridiculous demands. Its a win-win.

    @Arvia The thing is, the merchant doesn't tell you she will get you Lithium, she tells you that she hasn't gotten any lithium for awhile, and she should have. She offers to get you in contact with her supplier, with no promise of Illithium. So the you are only guranteed the alloy, and offered a chance of maybe getting some illithium. We only know you actually get illithium due to meta knowledge. So its not evil or even unlawful to get the alloy (its not fake, just not pure) and offer it to Sareles honestly.

    ronaldololiengorgonzola
  • ArviaArvia Member Posts: 349
    Maybe if Sarles got Lithium instead of Illithium, it would help him to be a bit more reasonable (lithium is used to treat bipolar disorder, and if anyone is suffering from megalomania, it's Sarles).

    @ThacoBell , I don't know who is usually in your party, but most NPCs comment on the ore merchant's offer to create an alloy.
    I still think a lawful good character would either try to look for the real thing, or just go back and say the didn't get anything, and *not* just create a fake. Okay, we can disagree if it's a fake or a reasonable substitute, but still, the Helmites have said very clearly that he refuses to work with anything than *pure* illithium.
    Creating an alloy because the merchant says he won't know the difference is still cheating.

    BelgarathMTHZaxaressemiticgod
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 8,589
    @Arvia I don't create an alloy to dupe the merchant, as I've said multiple times, you can be completely honest and upfront about it being an alloy with Sarles. I get the alloy because the merchant says there isn't any illithium to be had. RP wise, it makes far more sense to bring Sarles the material you are guaranteed to be able to obtain. We only know that the Illitium is obtainable through meta knowledge if we have already done the quest before. Sarles is an entitled nobleman who is constantly throwing a fit, indulging his narcissism is not an act of good.

    Also, I work for Lathander, a deity that represents "good" far better than Helm. Actually, is Helm even good? He strikes me as True Neutral.

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 499
    edited May 9
    You are right that Helm isn't Good, he's lawful neutral (https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Helm). In the Realms there's a rich history of Helm's clergy clashing with Torm's on the exact issue of Goodness, with Torm's saying rules should be enforced with mercy and Helm's saying, no, they just need to be enforced.

    Post edited by jsaving on
    ThacoBelllolien
  • ArviaArvia Member Posts: 349
    Helm is probably neutral, I'm not sure. And we can disagree and each play the way we consider right. I didn't say you were wrong. Sarles is mad, but I would still follow the trail to talk to the merchant's source, first, which would lead me to the real illithium ore. If there is a chance to at least try to get the real thing, I won't take the other option, because I promised I'd try to get illithium. If you have chosen the safe way to fulfill your task, it's your decision and I'm not attacking that. I just say it's not the correct way for *me*. If it feels wrong, I don't do it. And it does feel wrong to me.

    BelgarathMTH
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,107
    "If it feels wrong, I don't do it."

    I so agree with that statement. As a huge Star Wars fan, I usually roleplay a disciple of Yoda, and adjust the specifics to whatever setting I'm in.

    "How will I know the good side from the bad?"

    "Trust your feelings."

    "You will *know*. When you feel calm. Centered. At peace. Anger, Aggression, Fear. (And I would add for this discussion, Greed, Covetousness, Ambition to Power.) These lead to the Dark Side."

    Arvialolien
  • NuinNuin Member Posts: 423
    edited May 10
    Bad comparison, Star Wars is a very black and white world
    In the world which D&D often tries to emulate from a metaphysical standpoint a person with zero negative traits becomes stale and stagnant, unable to grow. Lucas and Tolkien would have you believe things like "the good folk of Rohan could detect any lie simply because they speak only truth". History, on the other hand, will tell you just how ridiculous that thought actually is.

    Frankly IMO, perhaps the only reason the "truly righteous" exist in real life is because someone else is/has gone out of their to commit "mistakes", deliberately or otherwise, in their stead... a thought which is actually pretty apropos for Star Wars given how the light side of the force is so intertwined with the dark side that neither will cease to.exist while the other survives and vice versa.
    If even the concept of the light side of the force can't extricate itself from the dark, then you are expecting too much from the galaxy's mortal races to definitively know the difference.

    Post edited by Nuin on
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 8,589
    @Arvia With all the talk of "tricking" Sarles going around, I got the impression that you, and a few others, DID think that the alloy path couldn't be good. I apologise if I came off as confrontational.

  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 4,282
    edited May 10
    Azuredge makes the Mace of Disruption kind of useless as it also destroys undead with -4 penalty and can be used as a ranged weapon.

    I like to make Sir Sarles eat his hat because he's a jerk, though.

    gorgonzola
  • ArviaArvia Member Posts: 349
    @ThacoBell , don't apologize, we're just discussing opinions here, and I believe I didn't misunderstand you. I just disagreed politely 🙂

    @Nuin , do you really think that Star Wars is more black and white than a setting with fixed alignments?
    I didn't think of Yoda when I wrote my own post (@BelgarathMTH , you have a talent to find the right examples) , but it's exactly what I meant.
    And nobody says that lawful good types, or those trying to be, don't make mistakes and learn from them. But they know directly if it was a mistake. Because it feels wrong.

    "Expecting too much from the galaxy's mortal races" ?
    No. Expectations and ideals don't need to be adapted to the actual situation, it's the other way round.
    The Jedi, Starfleet, the good ones in Lord of the Rings, whoever else. Trying to be better than what we are is what makes them change fate, and the world, and themselves, too.

    Hmmm I wonder if my kids are old enough for Star Wars (the "old" movies).

    BelgarathMTHThacoBell
  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 963
    @Arvia DnD alignments are no more fixed than SW ones. You can easily go from good to evil if you just torch a single orphanage.
    nobody says that lawful good types, or those trying to be, don't make mistakes and learn from them. But they know directly if it was a mistake. Because it feels wrong.
    I think you have the wrong idea about lawful good.
    If they decide that something is a mistake based on how they feel about it, they are more chaotic than lawful.
    Lawful is about following a explicit code that does not require you to trust your feelings.
    "Thou shalt not lie" So we will not pretend we got pure illithium when we did not. (also, and completely unrelated, we cannot finish Baldur's Gate 1, which forces us to lie when we work for the Flaming Fist)

    What sort of commandment do you envision that would forbid you from compromising with the apparent realities at hand and buying the best material the ore merchant can offer us?

  • ANOFANOF Member Posts: 62
    If you play the Saerileth mod, it has a quest in SoA that takes you to a place where you can buy illithium. Do that, and you can both give Sir Sarles real illithium and upgrade the Mace of Disruption.

  • ArviaArvia Member Posts: 349
    @Humanoid_Taifun , sticking to every rule for the sake of the rule is Lawful Neutral, I think.
    I don't need to envision a commandment here. "Do your best to do the right thing."
    I get the chance to contact the merchant's source, the chance to get the real thing. To me, that means I have to try it.
    I'm not judging anyone for taking the alloy, because as you said, you can offer it to Sarles without lying.
    But I fail to understand where following my conscience in this context qualifies as chaotic.
    When I say "what feels right", I don't mean "okay this seems to be a useful decision, let's try this".
    I mean *knowing* in your heart of hearts that your conscience knows right from wrong. I don't think that means I make my own laws. It only helps to balance the Lawful with the Good.


    BelgarathMTHThacoBell
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