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How would you implement the wicked influence of the Ring of Gaxx?

In game the Ring of Gaxx is described as radiating an evil aura. In sourcebooks apparently it's described as corrupting its user, like The One Ring.

Say you wanted to implement that in this game, how would you do it? Simple alignment change if you wear it for too long? Maybe dialogue options start choosing themselves at crucial moments?



  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 1,161
    Player choice works best in these sorts of games, rather than some sort of curse. For example the ring could demand that the player perform a specified evil quest. If the player isn't willing to sacrifice the rabbit / little girl / Ribald / their familar on an altar with candles made from umber hulk fat then the ring disappears or is replaced by a less powerful version. The evil book in Planescape could be a model for this sort of interaction as the player gradually gives more and more to the ring and is unwilling to back out on their investment. So in a complete redesign the ring starts out fairly weak but gradually becomes more powerful as the PC gives up max hp, sacrifices the souls of their companions, and obviously gets an alignment change for free. The key is to make the interactions interesting on the min/max level and the roleplaying level.

  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 1,041
    Considering that not even failing the trials in hell will have an influence on your dialog choices? I would find that strange.
    I would make paladins fall if they equip it and give it a chance of making rangers fall.
    I find it strange that clerics cannot lose access to their powers in Baldur's Gate. Would there be a way to implement that? But again, it would seem strange if that were associated only with a single item, and not with hell or other plot points.

    The matter of the fact is that the protagonist is struggling with an evil influence throughout the entire saga. I cannot say whether the ring would be a minor nuisance comparatively or the straw to break the camel's back.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    edited April 2019
    i would implement that as the ring was created by a demilich, but the demilich is defeated by charname so the ring chooses charname as new owner, like the wand
    in the harry potter saga, where the most powerful wand chose as owner the mage that defeat the previous owner
    so charname equipping the ring becomes of the same alignment of gaxx and as gaxx becomes immune to +3 or less weapons and lev 5 or less spells, 100% resistant to cold and electricity and getsthe rest of the immunities the demilich has. obviously as the ring is evil is cursed, charname needs a remove curse to unequip it.
    once removed charname turns to his normal state and alignment and looses the immunities. no other person can equip the ring, it is charname only.
    equipping the ring for too much time corrupts charname. how? simple, the same rule used when charname turns into slayer is used, including the lost reputation. as there is already a lore about charname getting corrupted let's use it.
    i would say that transforming himself into the slayer is a much greater way to get corrupted by evilness then wearing a ring, and it does not make change charname alignment in any way. making the ring the ring corruption effect strong like the one of turning into the slayer is even too harsh, this is why i propose lich immunities to compensate.

  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,433
    edited April 2019
    A houserule of mine: Giving ability score penalty (suitable to the class's main ability) for non-evil characters wearing the ring?

    It does not mean evil makes character stupid, clumsy or ugly. It's just they are psychologicaly struggling with the evil influence of the ring and can not fully concentrate on their mental faculties while doing so. Their minds are not as sharp or quick (-int), they are not as charming or cute (-cha), their hands do not listen to them when constantly being affected by the evil whispers (-dex) and influence of the ring. They can not concentrate on scribing mage spells, or pray to their gods (-wis), pick locks without trembling hands or influence others as well. Ofcourse the ring should be cursed to prevent simply taking it off when needed. Maybe penalties should be tailored for the class, for example int for mages, dex for rogues, etc. For fighters maybe con is appropriate, they lose sleep and can not rest and do not eat as healthily so their con suffers. I picture them being pale, with dark circles under their eyes, and a subtle evil look/glare to their face while donning the ring, kinda like how Anakin becomes when turning evil in Star Wars.

    Add a timer to how long the ring is worn (if possible) and revert good pcs to neutral first (making rangers and paladins fallen) and if continue too long, full evil when the penalties will cease.

    Evil characters just don't care, they already revel in their wickedness.

    Chronicler[Deleted User]
  • MichelleMichelle Member Posts: 546
    I guess that morals are coming of age when morals are not really the norm but the exception. I guess that no one remembers Gary Gygax’s, one of the original creators of D&D, characters Gord who used what he had to.

    I don’t know, in every campaign I have ever been in or run as DM we, or they, took what we could and tried not to die. I have always run good clerics, yet somehow I have always been talked into using the evil weapon to defeat evil. The game is not based on utopia but some kind of gritty life in extraordinary circumstances where people are trying to do their best. Not some weird world where we stick to principles and everyone is saved. Real life for 99.9% of human experience is extraordinarily messy. Start from the knowledge that you fought against hunger as a child, knew that being used by your strange uncle was something that you barely avoided and somehow you made it until the friend that your parents don’t want you to be around talks you into something amazingly stupid. And so, your adventure begins.

    Unless I am playing a paladin I do not even think about it. Don’t kill anyone walking their children to school but we are not talking about about a sleepy village where everyone loves one another. Name one paladin in real life other than Joan of Arc. She was burned to death and one of her closest companions was later convicted and put to death as a child molester and killer. Life is messy. Grab the ring and fight it’s influence, you are the child of a god after all.

  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,350
  • MichelleMichelle Member Posts: 546
    Grr! Why can’t I read everything thoroughly before I post?!

    I assume that for a npc it would cause conflict with their morals but for a god spawn, maybe some irritation?

  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,350
    A god's morality would certainly be above such petty influences. I guess there's a case that a demigod's would too.

  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 910
    Maybe drain the life force of user. Just add con penalty (maybe 2 or more) thats than enough.

  • SkitiaSkitia Member Posts: 713
    It depends on how great you want to make the scope of it.

    If I were going into it thinking "I want to make this great story!", then I might make some dialogue appear, unique to each NPC that wears it, and go for a storyline of possible corruption.

    Or maybe it's just a minor detail and I flag alignment restrictions, or a simple string above their head when they wear it that varies pending on the NPC, commenting on its discomforting aura or power.

    I would do none of the above mind, I've quite a few projects as is, but any idea could be fun to explore.

  • ArviaArvia Member, Moderator Posts: 1,911
    I like the idea of making the ring either change your alignment or drop some stats as a price for its power.
    Anyway, without something like that, people might never notice it's supposed to be evil. In the beginning all I ever looked at were the effects. The thing about radiating an aura of evil is not very visually clear in the description, it's just somewhere in the text. In my first few runs I never noticed.
    And if people notice, they don't care because it has no consequences.

    @_Nightfall_ Grab the ring and fight its influence when even Gandalf wouldn't dare? 😁

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 1,019
    It radiates an aura of evil. Make it drop your charisma by a point or two when equipped, but compensate by allowing it to cause fear once or twice a day.

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 1,067
    edited April 2019
    Given there are much weaker magic items in the Realms that automatically change your alignment without a save, like BG1's helm, it seems quite odd that you could somehow resist the corrupting influence of an artifact-caliber item like the ring of Gaxx. When you also consider that anybody choosing to wear the ring is voluntary accepting taint in exchange for power, there's a solid argument to be made that CHARNAME has shown himself to be evil just by deciding to put the ring on, negating the need for some sort of penalty mechanic from the ring itself.

    If you wanted an additional consequence, though, you might consider keeping a die or coin near your keyboard which you would roll each time you were tempted to choose a good-aligned dialogue option.

    Post edited by jsaving on
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 1,019
    edited April 2019
    Yeah, that ring really should have only been available to evil or (maybe) neutral characters. That would have ticked off people who did the quest, but it really would have made sense.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    lunar wrote: »
    A houserule of mine: Giving ability score penalty (suitable to the class's main ability) for non-evil characters wearing the ring?
    feel free to use any houserule and i will be the first paladin to defend you if someone try to impede it.
    (aka in my book every player should have the maximum freedom to rp and in general play as he likes)

    but why in the hell non evil characters? and imho not only you but every other poster is failing on this.
    the ring is evil, no doubt, and emanates an aura, so possibly it can corrupt. let's say we all agre so we decide that some corrupting effect has to be made.
    but why assume that all the evil is the same so, if he is evil, the charname is immune?
    not all evil is the same. to be evil does not mean to be ally with every other evil.

    and we are not talking about the hell trials where charname is put to a test and the result change if he resists to the evil pull of his soul or not ( and by the way why an evil charname that do all the good choices don't become good? to start evil and resist 5 times in a row to the pull should have consequences, to fail to resist affects not only a good one but even a neutral one).

    anyway we are talking of the corrupting effect of an artifact created by a super powerful evil demilich, and its corruption, if it has to be, should operate on everyone, good, neutral or evil, not to bring the person to the dark side, but to enslave him. the one ring is a good example, does not matter if who use it is good or bad, i would say that the more a person is good the more has a chance to resist the corruption. if a corrupting effect has to be it should be on the toon that equip the ring, not on charname, and the more the toon is good oriented the more he is resistant to the corruption. if in a party there are korgan and keldorn to give the ring to korgan should make the corruption faster then if giving it to keldorn.

    this is why i proposed that the ring, if a corruption effect has to be added, should be charname only, and i proposed a way of corruption that is not dependent to the charname alignment. thing that is clear in the lore of the game, turning into slayer kills not dependently by alignment but only by the time the corruption effect is there.
    do you want the ring and the power of the great gaxx? take it mortal, take it all (i proposed to add all kangaxx immunities), i will watch you do it, enjoy it, be enslaved by it (that is why i want the ring cursed), and finally perish from it!

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    by the way the fact that a pally or some good oriented charname can have good rp reasons to not equip the ring is something completely not depending by the ring having or not a corruption power, we are talking of 2 completely different things, that are on 2 completely different planes of discussion.
    and i kept them in 2 different posts for that reason.

    to force into the ring a corruption effect to force rp choices into the players has no sense at all imho.
    we can put into the ring a corruption effect if we believe that it has to have it (even if the robe of vecna or carsomyr, also irradiating evil and good vibrations don't have it. but not to enforce a certain way to rp.

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 1,019
    In general, it seems that there aren't nearly enough "cursed" items in BG2 as it is, or even items that come with significant "side effects". From a RP perspective, that makes it far too easy to just pick up an "evil" sword and run with it as a good aligned character or vice-versa. It would be nice if high-level artifacts and weapons forced more of a compromise.

    As it stands, the biggest compromise for many weapons is the fact that they stink as weapons, but come with a nice permanent buff.

  • MichelleMichelle Member Posts: 546
    Arvia wrote: »
    @_Nightfall_ Grab the ring and fight its influence when even Gandalf wouldn't dare? 😁

    Well, I think it is safe to say that when it comes to caution, I am more of a Pippin than a Gandalf. :) Don’t get me wrong, I would love to be wise but my idiot brain always gets in the way. I could totally see myself looking at the Orthanc stone or running from farmer Maggot’s dogs because I took some veggies.

    I like the idea of role playing the ring, but I stopped most rp after I started to play only solo. I loved the romance mods but shortly after tiring of them I soloed an Undead Hunter and never really got back into party play again. I do rp the names of my characters, Boudica is always a barbarian, Jeanne d’Arc is always a paladin, Vasilisa always has a doll, Mata Hari will always be a bard or assassin, assassin is a stretch there but better than Cleopatra I can’t actually play evil in any way, at least Mata Hari was convicted of being a spy. I try to play each from what I know of them historically but other than that I don’t rp much anymore. It does seem that there should be some effect in using the ring, maybe something as simple as a permanent -5 on reputation, or as harsh as slowly becoming evil. I would never use the ring again if it changed the character alignment to evil but there are many things in the game already that I don’t do or use because I can’t play evil. You could even do a party effect, like some characters refusing to be in the party because of the evil aura.

    I hope that is more clear and helpful than last night’s wine fogged post. Sorry about that.

  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,350

    The idea most of us seem to be running with here is that the ring has picked up evil magic through extended exposure to Kangaxx's operations, and now it compels its wearer to do evil.

    Where you seem to be supposing that the ring was purposefully engineered to corrupt its wearer in ways that are beneficial to Kangaxx, its knowing designer, which is also a valid interpretation, but I think that explains the differences in where you're both going with it.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    edited April 2019
    not exactly. i think that the reason of the evil aura is not the extended exposure, after all the robe of vecna does not emanate such an aura, and vecna was not exactly a saint. i think that the ring has the aura cause of the way kangaxx created it, that was a really evil one.

    "each of the gem's nine facets was supposedly empowered by sacrifice and death."

    but i don't suppose that gaxx created it intentionally to corrupt the wearer, as the ring was not meant to be given to some other people, like the one ring, but to be a tool used by the creator himself. gaxx was evil, but not masochist.
    so i suppose that the ring emanates evilness for different reasons then yours, but it in the end does not matter. what differs between my and your interpretation is the action that the evil aura has on someone that wear it, i suppose that it damages everyone but the creator of the ring, or an evil being of similar or superior power, vecna, the tob final boss or maybe even the final boss of soa would probably have enough power to use it without consequence, cause the evil energy in it is too strong to be controlled by an ordinary mage or person. even if i suppose that a particularly good person, like a pally, maybe can resist better to that evil energy, being "charged" by good one. i suppose that cause i don't think that the nature and scope of evilness is to convert other people to evil, but to do damage, whether it is done "for fun" with a sadistic attitude, or to gain a personal advantage, without caring about the consequences on other people.
    so for me the corruption consequence is to gain a great power but to, at the end, be damaged.

    you suppose that the consequence of the evil aura is more about operating a conversion, to have who wear it change alignment if is not already evil. and is an interpretation that is as good as mine.

    but anyway, being receive great power and then great damage or being to be pulled toward evil ways, the consequence of wearing the ring can not be immediate, you equip it and become evil or die in a split second, this is not good implementation. the corruption should take a certain time to operate.
    and on this you seem the only one that agrees with me
    Chronicler wrote: »
    alignment change if you wear it for too long
    or better i agree with you as you posted first. if i am getting right the opinions of the other posters.
    and the effect should be on who wears it, does not necessarily involve charname, i just check and in my present run haer dalis is wearing it. this mean that wearing it, if the effect is to have the alignment changed into evil, should make some npc fall, keldorn should become a fallen paladin and minsc a fallen ranger.

    i have also to admit that even if i find valid my interpretation of the consequence of the aura on the wearer, and i find the great gain with the risk of a great loss an interesting way rp wise, i am also biased, i don't like at all how the hell trials are implemented. i don't like it cause it negates a chance of redemption, charname has to born good or has never the chance to become so. at the slightest deviation from goodness, even if he is neutral, and is in the nature of neutrality to chose sometimes good and sometimes evil (as the game does not offer neural choices) charname falls, becomes evil. while an evil charname doing all the good choices does not become good, even if we know that to be good and to have the taint of bhaal is possible.
    a charname that is born evil, or even more neutral, and see trough his whole life all the evil he meet from candlekeep to the hell trials imo should have the chance to reconsider his attitude and change. it would be a great way to rp a charname. so as i am biased i don't like any item that change alignment to evil if there is no item that changes it to good. not for charname and not for the npcs. but maybe i could like different choices in the romances, like an evil charname that in tob can romance aerie and have her shift her alignment, as it has no sense imho that charname has not chance of redemption, but also has no sense that the npcs have no chance of corruption, there are 3 npc that can change alignment and all 3 in the same direction.

  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,350
    Another fun way to do it would just be to give the ring its own unique epilogue.

    Presume that the campaign is too short to really see the effects, but if you're still wearing it at the end of your journey then it goes into who you'll become over time.

  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 1,041
    The first property I would give the ring is actually an immunity to Remove Curse. Given that, I would not be too harsh with the penalties. Definitely nothing that would automatically kill you.

  • ArviaArvia Member, Moderator Posts: 1,911
    edited April 2019
    @_Nightfall_ I can totally sympathise with your "idiot brain" getting in the way, I also tend to act before I think. I sometimes wish there was a "pause" button in real life.

    The idea of implementing NPC reactions when using evil items (and not just because of reputation) sounds good. I mean, if Keldorn
    kills you if you turn into the slayer willingly
    Why would he or people like Mazzy, Aerie, accept you using clearly evil items, or even accept them themselves?

    I've never tried playing solo. Not been active long enough. Still trying out different NPCs, mods and roleplaying options (not evil). Found my favourite challenge trying to be the perfect paladin. It's difficult. Especially resisting the temptation of acquiring powerful items you can use without punishment 🤔

    Post edited by Arvia on
  • MichelleMichelle Member Posts: 546
    Right?! Auto pause to the rescue!

    If you find a reasonable way to get the ring as a Paladin please let me know. I used my weird logic to talk myself into starting the quest one time but after the first lich I kept waiting for my god to strike me down and so never finished the quest. I dropped the bones and ran, they might still be there as far as I know unless Boo snuck back in and took them when we were sleeping it off at the inn around the corner. It is challenging to run a paladin, but fun. :)

  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,350
    Paladins and Magical Girls are pretty similar conceptually, drawing power from some virtue they embody, so I've been meaning to try roleplaying a paladin as a magical girl.

    Thinking of doing like "So and So, Pretty Soldier of Mercy" or something like that, with the stipulation that absolutely any time the enemy surrenders I have to let them, no matter how boneheaded it is.

    It'd be a bit looser than the common interpretation where they've got some Ten Part Code of Honor with explicitly laid out rules that must be obeyed to the letter at all times lest you fall. Devote yourself to some singular ideal, but allow yourself to be weak or flawed in other respects.

  • Gatekeep3rGatekeep3r Member Posts: 123
    edited April 2019
    Maybe a permanent penalty to charisma if you wear it too long?

    It doesn't have to be anything drastic. Sure, the ring is powerful, but it's not a game breaker (later in the game).

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 1,019
    Gatekeep3r wrote: »
    Sure, the ring is powerful, but it's not a game breaker (later in the game).

    Oh, it may not be a game breaker, but it can make a HUGE difference later in the game if your clerics run dry before you can sleep. This is one reason why I hesitate to suggest only allowing evil or neutral aligned characters to use it.

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 1,067
    edited April 2019
    A +2 ring of protection, regeneration and magic resistance that can also buff you several times per day? Getting that in the same slot easily makes the Ring of Gaxx among the strongest items in the game whether or not it "breaks" the game.

    The decision to wear it is almost a direct parallel to Blackrazor: a best-in-class item that you can only get by choosing power over virtue. Totally agree that characters shouldn't be restricted from wearing it, though I would say that you reveal yourself as evil by choosing to equip it so there should certainly be an alignment change upon making that choice.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    edited April 2019
    the fact that the ring emanate a evil aura so it has to be reflected in the game beyond the mere description of the item has nothing to do with balance issues, with the power of the ring. it could have been 10 times more powerful or it could have given only 1hp/turn regeneration, without other benefits, but the aura and its effect on who equip it, that is not necessarily charname, would have been the same. effect on who equip it.

    about blackrazor is completely false that the (evil) item makes the alignment change. you can have the alignment change even if you never equip the item and drop it on the ground at the very moment you get it. what make the alignment change is the choice, in a specific context, the hell trials, when all the choices you make matter and have a special consequence that we can not find outside that context. also fighting a dragon in that context make the alignment change, but this does not mean that fighting against dragons that you don't have a real reason to fight make you change alignment. this is true for firkraag, sadalex and the dragon in the elves city. and in this case the effect is on charname cause is the effect of a choice and not of an item, and charname is the leader of the party, so the consequence of the choice is upon him.

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 1,067
    edited April 2019
    @gorgonzola I think we are agreeing that it is the choice that matters. You are 100% right that deciding to acquire Blackrazor reveals CHARNAME's evil whether or not it is ever equipped. I only meant that in a similar vein, deciding to use the Ring of Gaxx reveals CHARNAME's evil even if the ring were to somehow tumble out of his hand before successfully making its way onto his finger. It's not an exact analogy for sure but both situations stand in contrast to something like the Helm of Opposite Alignment which magically compels an alignment change.

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