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Dilemma n°1: Gearing up in Candlekeep

VicissitudeVicissitude Member Posts: 47
I've been considering doing a series of threads about decisions we have to make throughout the game, not necessarily plot points.

The idea is that we have different ways of thinking which, in turn, beget different moral standpoints. I'm interested in how a single event can be analyzed multiple ways. Opportunity costs and pragmatism will also be factors in these discussions, so it's basically telling what is your thought process for whatever dilemma I pose. If my endeavor pleases you, I'll keep making threads. Needless to say there will be spoilers ahead! Now that's out of the way, let's jump into it!

My first example will be your first mission, as in “Find Gorion”. Here's the journal entry:

Gorion, my foster father, has informed me that we must immediately leave Candlekeep and set out on a journey. He has given me some gold, and I must purchase supplies for the road, including weapons and armor.

Now, if you pay attention, there's sort of a contradiction. On one hand, it's explicitly said that you're in a big hurry. On the other hand, you're asked to gear up extensively which costs money you don't necessarily have. Unless you roll a nice gold start, you're very likely to be broke. Let's assume you don't roll well and that you're gear-dependent (if you're a warrior for instance), you'll have to spend time gathering coins so you're properly ready. This leads you to make a choice:

A – Hear out the sense of hurry and rush to buy whatever basics you can spare before you return to Gorion asap. This way, the prologue is only a few minutes long. This will give you the bare minimum equipment which is dangerous. This also implies that you'll skip side quests because you're out of time. Notably, you'll have to turn down the Gatewarden who might give you valuable advice (well, Obe will) for whatever comes next. Ironically, he was asked by Gorion to give you lessons, the same Gorion that tells you that time is of the essence! I'll quote the Gatewarden when you decline his offer:

"Are ye sure, little one? It would be best ye took the time to learn it now rather than curse yer ignorance later. Gorion himself arsked me to do this deed and I'll not offer it to ye twice."

B – Disregard the warning that you should hurry and fulfil the quests plus accepting the training so you're all set. However, by doing so, you're likely to meet one of your assassins or both. This, again, leads you to make yet another choice: Rush to Gorion as soon as the first attempt is made or keep working to be properly geared up regardless. If you decide to abort your stroll in Candlekeep after meeting Carbos or Shank, you're choosing B. If not, you're choosing C.

C – If you keep doing all side quests no matter the assassination attempts and the many warnings that you should hurry (Firebead gives you another one if you return his scroll, for instance), congratulations! You're one persistent son of a... god.

Now it's up to you! What's the right thing to do and why?
Post edited by Vicissitude on
Grond0

Comments

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,443
    There's an odd disconnect between dialogue and mechanics here, as how much time you spend in Candlekeep has literally no impact unless you spend a full 17 hours there. And if you spend that much time, all it does is advance time to the morning of day 2 instead of the morning of day 1 once you leave; nothing out there depends on what day it is.

    If you grab what you can and leave in a few minutes, you'll meet Imoen on the road at the exact same time as if you had done all the chores, loitered around breaking into unwatched chests, and had a nap.
  • OrlonKronsteenOrlonKronsteen Member Posts: 871
    I've always found it funny that Gorion gives you such a pittance. It has always made me question Gorion's success as a wizard in his adventuring days. Or perhaps he has a gambling habit we don't know about? Either way, here's how I handle it:

    Sure, Gorion says it's urgent. But charname is young, and who at that age really listens to their parents? So, not convinced by the urgency in Gorion's voice (sure, whatever, dad), and decidedly disappointed in the spending money he has given me, I decide to raise a little more coin to get better gear. I do so until I run into my first assassination attempt, at which point I'm now convinced that Gorion's warning is no joke, and I hurry to get out of there.

    For a good charname this means one last run to the inn to buy stuff that may save my life. An evil charname will do one last run through the inn, breaking open chests in desperation in order to get as much money as possible, but I RP that I'm doing so in a real hurry.
  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 4,858
    I think the truth is the story doesn't make a great deal of sense here and it would be much better if the mission to 'Find Gorion' was only triggered after you had done the other quests or at least run into Shank and/or Carbos.

    If I am attempting to RP this section of the game I tell myself that all the fetching and carrying and training quests happen in the days leading up to Gorion telling me that we have to leave in a hurry. If I am playing a mage I can even convince myself that the encounters with Shank and Carbos don't immediately cause Gorion to decide we must leave. This I find is necessary because I have usually used all my spells killing them so I want to rest an rememorise my spells before setting off into the unknown.
  • VicissitudeVicissitude Member Posts: 47
    jmerry wrote: »
    There's an odd disconnect between dialogue and mechanics here, as how much time you spend in Candlekeep has literally no impact unless you spend a full 17 hours there. And if you spend that much time, all it does is advance time to the morning of day 2 instead of the morning of day 1 once you leave; nothing out there depends on what day it is.

    If you grab what you can and leave in a few minutes, you'll meet Imoen on the road at the exact same time as if you had done all the chores, loitered around breaking into unwatched chests, and had a nap.

    I think the answer is pretty much the same for every flaw/oddity/inconsistency withing the game: it's a video game, whatever doesn't add up needs your imagination to make up for it.

    We compensate on a regular basis without even knowing it sometimes. Heck, haven't you noticed the game freezes whenever you enter a conversation? Yet, the dialogue goes on. Meanwhile, if someone was walking that's too bad for him, he'll to wait until the end of the conversation before he finishes stepping. Oh and the water stops flowing too. How odd is that for a disconnect between dialogue and mechanics? Well, we just pretend it didn't happen.

    Of course the game will give you Imoen regardless of how much time to take to leave Candlekeep, it's up to you to imagine she wouldn't have been there if you hadn't hurried up and vice versa. It's open to interpretation, which is why it's interesting.
  • VicissitudeVicissitude Member Posts: 47
    edited October 2021
    I've always found it funny that Gorion gives you such a pittance. It has always made me question Gorion's success as a wizard in his adventuring days. Or perhaps he has a gambling habit we don't know about?

    To be fair, there are other (good) explanations.

    First, he might not be interested in wealth. He does fit the profile if you think about it. Although he's not a monk with a clear vow of poverty, I can easily picture him living in small quarters with lots of books on the shelves and dust everywhere. No fancy clothes, no Mercedes waiting in the garage, just the basic stuff so he can study in peace. Just because he doesn't pile up coins doesn't mean he failed as a wizard, don't you think?

    Second, it's possible he uses the money he has for Candlekeep. The game does hint that he has authority withing these walls which might call for a sense of responsibility. He might have been a bit short on money after spending a fair amount of gold for whatever reason before you need him, like bad timing. He's altruistic enough to do such things.
  • AmmarAmmar Member Posts: 1,291
    Maybe he also has no idea how much armor and weapons cost. The gold he gives you is not much, but quite adequate for many classes that do not wear heavy armor.
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 1,090
    I have my games modded to remove the tutorial monks, and I always skip the gatewarden training since it doesn't result in any XP. As such, I will make the rounds as though I were saying goodbye to friends, get the paltry gems and gold, then buy a bit of what my PC needs. For mage/sorcerer characters, this means at least one night in the inn to recharge.

    The reason is that it is always night when you run into the ambush, no matter what time you left, despite the fact it isn't that far from Candlekeep. Leaving at dusk actually makes more sense story-wise anyway.
  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 4,858
    Maurvir wrote: »
    I have my games modded to remove the tutorial monks, and I always skip the gatewarden training since it doesn't result in any XP.

    If you are playing a thief you can actually get some XP by going down into the training area and opening a couple of chests there. If I am soloing as a thief I always do it to get as much starting XP as I can.
    Balrog99
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 7,269
    Maurvir wrote: »
    I have my games modded to remove the tutorial monks, and I always skip the gatewarden training since it doesn't result in any XP.

    If you are playing a thief you can actually get some XP by going down into the training area and opening a couple of chests there. If I am soloing as a thief I always do it to get as much starting XP as I can.

    Also, if you're a LN mage or LN multi-classed mage with Find Familiar, you can use your ferret to pickpocket your teammates' stuff. Easy way to get a free plate mail, a +1 small shield, a wand of flame strike, a couple of potions and a few other knickknacks. It also works as CN (?) or TN (?) but the rabbit in particular has a really low pickpocket score so it takes an annoyingly long time for that bunny to do the job!
    Permidion_StarkGrond0DinoDin
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 1,090
    edited October 2021
    The only way to do that, that I am aware of, would be to "waste" a slot on Find Familiar. Seems awfully spendy, even if you do get a pretty big bang for the buck. I suppose you could console in a copy of the scroll, but at that point, why not just console in the gear too?

    That would actually be a good mini-mod right there - add a single scroll of Find Familiar somewhere in Candlekeep, so starting mages can get it right out of the chute.
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 7,048
    For a mage it's not really a waste - unless you have very low intelligence and are role-playing that you can't boost that to overcome the limitation to spells. You get the HP benefit immediately, which is probably sufficient to justify starting with the spell on its own - the opportunity to get some free items is then just gravy.

    For a sorcerer I wouldn't take it myself, but even there I can see an argument for doing so - particularly if you're not intending to do the Nashkel mines for a while to open up access to Nimbul's scroll.
    Balrog99DinoDin
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 1,090
    I suppose I see it as a waste due to the harsh limits you get when starting a new character, and the fact you generally only cast that spell once. I don't think the game actually drops your CON permanently if your familiar dies, so maybe twice? I haven't had a familiar get killed in a long time, so I don't know how the EE's handle that.
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 7,269
    Sleep and Find Familiar are the only two spells I take at character creation as a mage. If I'm a specialist I'll pick chromatic orb, or a spell from my specialty school if I don't have one already. The extra 6 hit points (or 4 with an imp) are pretty nice for a scholarly type.
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 7,269
    Btw: I love how nobody bats an eyelash anymore about the feasibility of a ferret somehow pickpocketing a plate mail off of a fighter!
    Grond0Arvia
  • AmmarAmmar Member Posts: 1,291
    Maurvir wrote: »
    I suppose I see it as a waste due to the harsh limits you get when starting a new character, and the fact you generally only cast that spell once. I don't think the game actually drops your CON permanently if your familiar dies, so maybe twice? I haven't had a familiar get killed in a long time, so I don't know how the EE's handle that.

    It does drop your Con.
    Balrog99
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