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Chaotic Evil Playthrough [Narrative, Minimal Reload]

Hello everyone. This is my first entry on the Beamdog forums, and I wish to start with a narrated playthrough. I always tried to do an evil playthrough through the Baldurs Gate Saga, choosing all the evil choices, doing all the evil things, and spreading carnage as the son of murder. But I always end up going the “smart evil” route. Managing the reputation around 18, doing good things “for favours” (read: Better XP and item rewards) and only choosing the evil route where it comes with an advantage or at least not a huge disadvantage. While this is generally the accepted method of doing an evil playthrough it does not really differ from being good aligned. It also does not seem to be the way Bioware (and Beamdog) have intended the evil alignment to be. If you look at the evil NPCs, they do not care for a high reputation. In fact, they start complaining and leaving. They go on random killing sprees and chide your character if they do selfless things, that you as the player justify as gathering favors.

So yeah, this time I want to go the pure chaotic evil experience. And in order to force myself to do it I want to report on my progress here, so I cannot cheap out of the tough evil choices. So for this playthrough we will always pick the evil dialog options, consequences be damned. If the evil choice leads to a game over screen (as is the case if you resist arrest in Candlekeep) I will use the narration to justify not picking the evil option. Speaking of narrative: This will be written as a journal kept by CHARNAME. Since I guess there will be a lot of surprises for me in this playthrough I might occasionally add Authors Notes in [brackets]. That said I will also try to limit meta knowledge to a minimum. For all intends and purposes this playthrough should emulate what a new player would experience if they try to go the evil route.

I will also try to stick to a Minimal Reload scheme. Thus, I will respect the outcomes of my actions and of any battles. But I will not quit the game when CHARNAME dies but reload from the latest save.

I am using the Enhanced Edition of Baldurs Gate with Siege of Dragonspear installed (which I never actually played before!). I use the BG1 NPC Project (without NPC relocation) and SCS. I will play on the Tactical difficulty. That always seemed to make the most sense to me, since it has the best AI but mages only come pre-buffed with long-lasting buffs. On hardcore and insane mages are elevated to all-knowing beings coming prebuffed with all their spells as if they knew the Bhaalspawn would burst through the door just in this moment. It also really turns the game into a battle of the spellcasters with all other characters standing in the corner and picking their noses until the mages are done stripping each other of their defenses. Since I did not want to make a spellcaster for this playthrough I kept the difficulty reduced. Although the game might be difficult enough going pure evil.

Speaking of character: Behold the CHARNAME of this adventure. Groshok the Chaotic Evil Barbarian.

Base-Profile-Screenshot-2020-04-19-09-20-49-56.png

I chose barbarian since I feel that this is the class that is the easiest to roleplay as Chaotic Evil alignment. I used an auto-reroller to get quite good stats. We start specialized in flails and with two points in two weapon style. This is a bit of meta knowledge I allowed myself. We will further specialize in katanas and long swords, so we get all the good weapons in BG2 without overlapping with other NPCs in BG1 and BG2. As chaotic evil our reputation starts at eight. It probably will only go lower from here. I am excited, so let’s go!

RaoJuliusBorisovAdam_en_tiumAerieLudwig_IImonicoArvia
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Comments

  • RaoRao Member Posts: 141
    Hey, @Gurkengelee - welcome to the forums! I couldn't agree more with @energisedcamel. I can't wait to read your narrative, especially given the rather interesting choices you have already made in character creation. To be honest, I almost never instinctively think of barbarians as chaotic evil (maybe too much love for Conan haha...), so it will be interesting to see how you develop a chaotic evil one, especially one who grew up in a library. I am really looking forward to your first entry. Speaking of which, will we be getting a short biography with some backstory, or are you planning on just hitting the ground running?

    On a side note, I find it interesting that role-playing villains has been so popular around here lately. Both @JuliusBorisov and @TheGreatGodLoki have told the tales of a Gorion's Ward given over to evil. In any event, evil is challenging (some might even say mysterious), so I am looking forward to seeing your own variation on the theme.

    GurkengeleeJuliusBorisov
  • GurkengeleeGurkengelee Member Posts: 34
    Hey @energisedcamel and @Rao thanks for the warm welcome! I figured Barbarian to be Chaotic Evil because the "Violent brute" theme that Baldurs Gate seems to go with for evil characters is fitting to the class in my opinion. I just went with the default Backstory for a Barbarian, which is that you are trained in the way of the Barbarian by a visitor from Uthgard to Candlekeep. That is what you get in the Biography when you create a Barbarian and I found this as good as anything. For being an evil bastard ... well comes with the family I guess.

    JuliusBorisovRaoLudwig_IImonico
  • GurkengeleeGurkengelee Member Posts: 34
    2. Mirtul 1368

    My foster father Gorion told me that we would leave Candlekeep today to set out on a journey. He wouldn’t tell me where to, but I didn’t care. Ever since that visitor from Uthgard trained me in the way of the Barbarian I yearned to leave this damn place with its dusty tomes and closed walls. But now the time has finally come. Gorion gave me a couple of gold pieces to buy some equipment at the local inn.

    I went inside and talked to Winthrop. I always hated that fat fart. He was as stupid as he was voluminous. But he had access to the equipment storage, so I had to put up with him. When I approached, he asked me for a 10.000 gold entry fee. What kind of fool does he think I am? I told him to stuff it where the sun don’t shine and then bought two flails and a helmet. Ah it felt good to have the weapons in hand. Now to do some smashing.

    Base-Profile-Screenshot-2020-04-19-09-34-10-16.png

    An opportunity arose just in the room next door. A locked cupboard just begged to be smashed open. Inside were a couple of gold coins and some arcane scrolls which I pocketed. The other room had a noble couple inside, complaining about the monks. I saw another opportunity and told them, that the monks are most certainly offended by the jewelry of the noblewoman. And in fact, those idiots believed me and went upstairs to get rid of their rings and amulets. I followed them and searched through the different rooms. I finally found the room of the nobles and encountered a very hard lock. Pah. The lock to hold ME out has not been invented yet. I channeled my fury and felt the power rushing through my veins. With one mighty swing of the flail the lock shattered. I picked a star sapphire, a pearl necklace and a fire opal ring from the locker. Nice. Those riches are better with me than with those idiots.

    Base-Profile-Screenshot-2020-04-19-09-39-08-59.png

    I cracked open the other containers on this floor. Next to some gold coins I also picked up a Potion of Clarity. That might come in hand when traveling outside of Candlekeep. In one room another noble wasn’t very happy with me rummaging through his stuff. So I punched him in the face until he was quiet.

    Base-Profile-Screenshot-2020-04-19-09-42-32-92.png

    He had some gold and another ring stashed. I sold all the stuff to Winthrop. Should he be found with the nobles riches and be tried for stealing. That would be hilarious. I bought myself a splint mail and then talked to Firebead Elvenhair. A frequent visitor to Candlekeep with a ridiculous stupid name. He asked me to fetch an Identification scroll from Tethtoril. I swear, without me to run its endless errands this keep would crumble into the very dust it sprang from. I will be gleeful to watch this happen once I leave this miserable place. I found Tethtoril in the inner grounds, fetched the scroll and went back to Firebead.

    [Authors Note: I also got the 300 gold from talking to him 30 times. But since this is an easter egg I didn’t include it into the narrative.]

    Base-Profile-Screenshot-2020-04-19-09-46-31-85.png

    He gave me a Potion of Healing and cast a spell on me and said it would protect me from any evil I might meet tonight. I do not know what is out there beyond these walls but I guess I will find out soon enough. Outside I met Phlydia, one of the dumber visitors to Candlekeep. She informed me that she lost a book called “The History of Halruaa”. Yeah, the last time she lost an entire four-volume set in the hay we keep for the cows. I should probably throw her into there to search for the book herself. I bet no one would notice a difference to the rest of the livestock.

    Base-Profile-Screenshot-2020-04-19-09-51-22-61.png

    On my way I had an urge to enter the Priests Quarters. Maybe I could snatch another Potion of Healing before leaving. Inside I was approached by a man I did not recognize. I asked him what his business was, and he told me there was a bounty on my head, that he intended to collect. Well I splattered his corpse over the whole floor with a good swing of my flails. A bounty on my head hm? Probably by one of the visitors to Candlekeep I roughed up last year. Well if jokers like that guy are trying to collect it, it could not be too high. Interesting and exciting nonetheless. I was approached by Parda who came to see what the commotion was about. I dismissed him and went on to talk with Dreppin the stable hand.

    Base-Profile-Screenshot-2020-04-19-09-53-06-43.png

    He told me that Phlydias book was indeed lost in the hay. I fetched it and then talked to Dreppin again. He told me that the cow – Nessa not Phlydia – was sick and needed an antidote. He suspected Hull the Watcher to have one for his morning hangovers. A hangover medicine for a cow? Whatever tickles your fancy Dreppin … Further down the way I was approached by Reevor the storage keeper. He charged me with killing the rats in the store house. Bah. I entered and smashed the rats. Good thing I got this spell from Firebead on me, right? I also killed Reevors cats for him giving me such an insulting task.

    Base-Profile-Screenshot-2020-04-19-10-02-30-13.png

    [Authors Note: Doing all those Candlekeep Quests doesn’t seem very evilish. But they are added to your journal automatically with no choice of dialog. I figured I can do quests that are added without interaction. You also get a reward for them, so that is that.]

    Reevor left me with a paltry 5 gold for my tasks. Never play the hero, it is just not worth it despite Gorions constant babblings of “doing the right thing”. The right thing is what helps me, that is how I see it. I met Hull at the gate, and he informed me that he had an Antidote in his stash. He also asked me to retrieve his sword that he forgot this morning. He feared the Gatewarden catching him without it. Seeing Hull flogged in the courtyard would certainly be entertaining. But he promised me some gold, so I agreed to get the sword. Speaking of the Gatewarden, I met him a minute later. He asked me to have training in mass combat. I denied him, and he dared to call me “little one”. Yeah that’s about it. I refused him again and he left, not before calling me “brat”. Oh just you wait.

    Base-Profile-Screenshot-2020-04-19-10-07-21-13.png

    The Priest in the sickhouse provided me with another Healing Potion. Onto the bunkhouse where I was approached by another stranger. How did they get in here? He also wanted to collect the bounty and show “them” that he was more than just a little street trash hood. Well, after a swing from my flail he became a gory carpet. Talk about moving up in the world. I was approached by Karan and informed him of the attacker. Karan confirmed that those bounty hunters where after me. Before I could inquire more, he ran off, telling me to find Gorion.

    In the barracks I fetched Hulls sword and the antidote. I also got a task by Fuller to deliver him some bolts. Hull gave me 20 gold for the sword. He also babbled something about Baldur’s Gate and Amn going to war about an iron shortage. Well that sounds like fun. I cannot wait to leave and join the fray. I gave the antidote to Dreppin. I haven’t checked the actual contents of the flask, so if the cow explodes that is not on me. Dreppin also told me of bandits that are actually hunting for iron. What kind of bandit wants iron instead of gold and gems? Sounds like idiots to me. Well if they try to get my flail, I will certainly give it to them. Right into the groin. Phlydia gave me a gem for the book, which I pawned at Winthrop for some bolts. Fuller gave me a dagger for them. Seemed enchanted to me and it apparently could kill a Hobgoblin with a single swing. The scroll of identification I gave Firebead would be handy now. And some wimpy spellcaster to actually cast it for me.

    Finally I approached the inner keep. And was promptly intercepted by that nerve-wrecking girl Imoen. She babbled something nonsensical and I told her to bugger of.

    Base-Profile-Screenshot-2020-04-19-10-20-33-65.png

    I spoke with Gorion and told him that I was born ready. We finally went to leave this accused place. He told me to go to the Friendly Arms Inn in case we ever got separated. Yeah tough chance on that one. Gorion never leaves me out of his eyesight for longer than two seconds.

    RaoJuliusBorisovAerakarmonico
  • TheGreatGodLokiTheGreatGodLoki Member Posts: 93
    Rao wrote: »
    Hey, @Gurkengelee - welcome to the forums! I couldn't agree more with @energisedcamel. I can't wait to read your narrative, especially given the rather interesting choices you have already made in character creation. To be honest, I almost never instinctively think of barbarians as chaotic evil (maybe too much love for Conan haha...), so it will be interesting to see how you develop a chaotic evil one, especially one who grew up in a library. I am really looking forward to your first entry. Speaking of which, will we be getting a short biography with some backstory, or are you planning on just hitting the ground running?

    On a side note, I find it interesting that role-playing villains has been so popular around here lately. Both @JuliusBorisov and @TheGreatGodLoki have told the tales of a Gorion's Ward given over to evil. In any event, evil is challenging (some might even say mysterious), so I am looking forward to seeing your own variation on the theme.

    I think one of the big reasons we do the evil side is because Good is so boring. It's fun to go against the grain every once in a while. I was thinking of a solo cavalier playthrough as Lawful Good where he is "good" but Bhaal has changed the concept of it, and so he must purge all non-believers, but he'll still help people out because that is another way to help spread the word of Bhaal.

    But I'm sure a good solo playthrough can be done, and I'd whole heartly read along!

    JuliusBorisovRao
  • TheGreatGodLokiTheGreatGodLoki Member Posts: 93
    So I'm curious as to why you maxed out CHA and dipped points out of WIS when you could've balanced out INT and WIS to around 10. This is coming from a guy who hates having any non essential stat under 10.

    monico
  • GurkengeleeGurkengelee Member Posts: 34
    @TheGreatGodLoki

    I actually thought about dumping Int to 6 or so for roleplaying purposes. Playing a big dumb brute you know. I then decided against it solely for gameplay purposes. Int 9 is needed for wands and int 12 (13 with the tome) provides me with some staying power against Illithids in BG2.

    Charisma 18 gives you some better rewards from quests that we can actually accept (Fullers Dagger, Landrins AntiDotes, the Protection from Undead Scroll at Dryad falls come to mind). It also lowers shop prices at least a bit, which is nice when you are on low reputation. I also didn't want to pick up the two high-charisma evil chars (Viconia, Dorn) since they lower reputation by 2 points each with no way for me to recover it, since I won't donate to temples.

    Does that make sense?

  • TheGreatGodLokiTheGreatGodLoki Member Posts: 93
    edited April 2020
    I like the idea of a narrative full party Playthrough. It really opens up what you can do. Keep it up!

    I also love how every evil Playthrough paints Khalid And Jaheria as the same. Those poor NPCs. As a good Playthrough they're usually my go to for the game. Khalid is a solid fighter and Jaheria fills both a cleric (even tho she's a druid) and a fighter roll.

    monico
  • RaoRao Member Posts: 141
    Rao wrote: »
    Hey, @Gurkengelee - welcome to the forums! I couldn't agree more with @energisedcamel. I can't wait to read your narrative, especially given the rather interesting choices you have already made in character creation. To be honest, I almost never instinctively think of barbarians as chaotic evil (maybe too much love for Conan haha...), so it will be interesting to see how you develop a chaotic evil one, especially one who grew up in a library. I am really looking forward to your first entry. Speaking of which, will we be getting a short biography with some backstory, or are you planning on just hitting the ground running?

    On a side note, I find it interesting that role-playing villains has been so popular around here lately. Both @JuliusBorisov and @TheGreatGodLoki have told the tales of a Gorion's Ward given over to evil. In any event, evil is challenging (some might even say mysterious), so I am looking forward to seeing your own variation on the theme.

    I think one of the big reasons we do the evil side is because Good is so boring. It's fun to go against the grain every once in a while. I was thinking of a solo cavalier playthrough as Lawful Good where he is "good" but Bhaal has changed the concept of it, and so he must purge all non-believers, but he'll still help people out because that is another way to help spread the word of Bhaal.

    But I'm sure a good solo playthrough can be done, and I'd whole heartly read along!


    @TheGreatGodLoki, your point is well-taken. In Anna Kerennina, Tolstoy muses that “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” I think many people feel similarly about role-playing alignment in Baldur’s Gate: “All good characters are alike; every evil character is evil in its own way.” As a result, good may seem boring because it seems like it doesn’t provide the same scope for variation as evil.

    To play “devil’s advocate” for good, though, I think this perspective is only true up to a point. Especially in a land as filled to the brim with power and violence as Faerun, I think playing a good character can be just as dynamic and be just as much "going against the grain" as playing evil. Anyway, much more can be said, but I don’t want to hijack @Gurkengelee’s thread with a side-inquiry, so happy to continue on the general discussion boards, if you want.

    N.B. None of this is, of course, to affirm or deny that Ausar - the protagonist of my own playthrough - is good, or neutral, or evil ;) That remains a matter for the readers to puzzle out for themselves.

    JuliusBorisovmonico
  • RaoRao Member Posts: 141
    @Gurkengelee - sorry, just one more thing, and then I promise I will butt out of the thread for a while - I just wanted to say that your entries have been superb. I love the level of detail, and the clear, consistent voice in the first-person perspective. I really feel like I am starting to get to know Groshok, who is, by the way, hilarious:

    “Yeah, the last time [Phyldia] lost an entire four-volume set in the hay we keep for the cows. I should probably throw her into there to search for the book herself. I bet no one would notice a difference to the rest of the livestock.”

    “I gave the antidote to Dreppin. I haven’t checked the actual contents of the flask, so if the cow explodes that is not on me.”

    LOL! (I did actually laugh out loud, for the record.)

    But his dark side is really terrifying. Beating Imoen bloody, to the point of death, and then abandoning her on the side of the road is cruel in the extreme. I shudder (proverbially) to think at what will come next.

    Keep doing what you’re doing! Looking forward to your next installments!

    JuliusBorisovmonico
  • AerieAerie Member Posts: 226
    Without Gorion or the Watchers I could finally express my feelings that have grown for Imoen over all those years. So I punched her bloody and dumped her body into the woods for the wolves to find. But not before relieving her of all her potions and a magical wand.

    Wow. This part is just absolutely brilliant, in fact this whole play-through is. This section I really just love though, I did not see that coming.

    monico
  • energisedcamelenergisedcamel Member Posts: 87
    I forgot how much the game punishes you, XP-wise, for playing evil!

    GurkengeleeJuliusBorisovmonico
  • TheGreatGodLokiTheGreatGodLoki Member Posts: 93
    Great read so far!!

    I see you're just like me on my playthroughs where I don't use Neera. That gem bag is just so handy and as far as I know, she has the only one.

    Adam_en_tiumGurkengelee
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,624
    I'm enjoying reading. I am wondering though, how this guy has 18 charisma. Evil with 18 charisma implies to me that the character is good at "turning on the charm" when he can use that to manipulate others.

    JuliusBorisov
  • GurkengeleeGurkengelee Member Posts: 34
    I concede your point. There is not much charismatic on Groshuk. So as with the intelligence score this is more for gameplay than for roleplay reasons. I figured that low reputation might be hard enough so high constitution might alleviate the difficulty at least a bit.

    JuliusBorisov
  • energisedcamelenergisedcamel Member Posts: 87
    @BelgarathMTH I think charisma is not solely limited to charm, but also personal magnetism and leadership. Maybe he just has that je ne sais qoi that makes him respected and feared - people rush to do what he says and look to him as a leader but they probably hate him at the same time. Granted, 18 still seems a bit high!

    RaoBelgarathMTHJuliusBorisov
  • RaoRao Member Posts: 141
    @BelgarathMTH I think charisma is not solely limited to charm, but also personal magnetism and leadership. Maybe he just has that je ne sais qoi that makes him respected and feared - people rush to do what he says and look to him as a leader but they probably hate him at the same time. Granted, 18 still seems a bit high!

    I would agree with the above point. Sometimes I do play my high charisma characters are winsome charmers or diplomat-types, but I often feel just as comfortable playing them as individuals in whom others sense a force of will that naturally commands respect. The archetype of the gruff and brusque, but revered military commander in the vein of, for example, General Patton is sort of what I have in mind here. Alternatively, there is the sort of magnetism associated with certain forms of spiritualism - think about Poe's Lady Ligeia or Hesse's Demian: neither are charmers but both possess an inner resolution that naturally attracts discipleship and perhaps even obsession.

    If we do want to think about Groshok as an 18 charisma character, then it seems like he would fit into something like the "General Patton" category. However, given that Groshok is a chaotic evil barbarian with 12 intelligence and a whopping 9 wisdom, I would be surprised if he was self-aware enough to appreciate fully the extent of the effect he has on other people, much less understand why. Something like "I'm big/scary/mean and they are scared/weak" is about as much insight as I would expect from his journal entries.

    But of course, he's his own man...er...half-orc, and I guess we'll see what he has in store for us down the road!

    BelgarathMTHJuliusBorisovenergisedcamel
  • TheGreatGodLokiTheGreatGodLoki Member Posts: 93
    Ouch. I thought I played heartless on my evil campaings, but the cat is where I draw the line. Bravo for following through and not leaving it out. It really draws your characters heartlessness to light.

    energisedcamelBelgarathMTH
  • TheGreatGodLokiTheGreatGodLoki Member Posts: 93
    Does anyone know when he'll post again? Was kind of digging this play through.

    RaoenergisedcamelAdam_en_tium
  • RaoRao Member Posts: 141
    edited May 2020
    Seconded - I was really enjoying this one too! Wish I knew when he'll be coming back...could just be a busy month, though...

  • GurkengeleeGurkengelee Member Posts: 34
    edited May 2020
    Hey all. Sorry for the lack of updates. I had/have a busy time during Corona indeed.

    Edit: Which let me to whine a bit. But I am back on track now (hopefully) and will continue the series :)

    Edit2: Also thanks to @TheGreatGodLoki and @Rao for your inquiry. Really pushed me back into motivation.

    Post edited by Gurkengelee on
    Rao
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