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Reputation - Evil Party

One thing that has always been bothering me is that the way reputation works with evil parties doesn't really make sense.

Even if you are evil, it still makes sense to have the best reputation possible because that makes it even easier to get away with whatever you are doing behind the scenes. This is literally what Lawful Evil people do in the real world - they donate to charity or otherwise present themselves in the most philantropic way possible to divert from e.g. questionable business practices.

Long story short, is there a mod that remedies this? I know you can disable reputation effects on party members with a component from the Tweaks Anthology but what I'm looking for is something that disconnects the 'High Reputation = Good-aligned Party' relationship entirely. Not as in external NPC reactions, but e.g. someone like Edwin, knowing that you are actually evil on the inside, should compliment you for smartly acquiring a reputation as a hero.

Comments

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,383
    if you have near infinity what you can do is go into the .2da folder and look for the file named; HAPPY.2da

    there you will see the alignments good, neutral and evil and you will see the 20 reputation points

    you will notice that if the value is 80+ the NPC will be happy
    if it is around 0, they will be neutral
    if it is around -80+ they will be unhappy
    if it is around -160+ they will be very unhappy
    and if it is -300 or higher they will leave your team forever

    so if you want your evil team mates to act the same way as good team mates would based off of your REP, just replace the "EVIL" values with the "GOOD" values and you should be good to go

    and ironically doing that, evil team mates will never leave your team if your REP gets to high if you do that

    whalewereCyberlisk
  • CyberliskCyberlisk Member Posts: 25
    edited October 12
    That sounds like a pretty good idea actually. Having a good reputation should almost never be something to be angry about for an evil character, let alone be a reason to leave the party. There are some exceptions of course, like CE character that actually want to have a bad reputation. And I guess in some instances it even makes sense to prefer being feared over being admired. Especially for the more cunning evil types who want to stay under the radar this should rarely be the case though.

    Too bad you can't change the reactions for individual NPCs. E.g. Korgan would get upset about reputation 20 but Edwin wouldn't.

    Post edited by Cyberlisk on
  • masteralephmasteraleph Member Posts: 124
    But if Korgan was looting tons of treasure would he actually leave a party due to high reputation?

  • CyberliskCyberlisk Member Posts: 25
    But if Korgan was looting tons of treasure would he actually leave a party due to high reputation?

    True enough I suppose... He is CE though and he doesn't seem to show any intent to hide it. He seems like someone that, rather than thinking why I could be beneficial, would just have the gut reaction that being seen as weak goody two-shoes is bad. Then again, his Intelligence isn't that low. Chaotic Evil is an alignment I basically never choose because the concept of being evil solely for the sake of being evil is difficult to grasp for me.

    I guess I could understand it for some characters, it would require a very specific set of circumstances though. E.g. someone that was horribly disfigured as a child and is now set on destroying all beauty in the world.

    Neutral Evil has always made a lot more sense to me for characters that are basically pure evil. NE chars are willing to do anything as long as there is a benefit. No codex, no emotion, just calculation without any regard for ethic concerns.

    Lawful Evil is the most interesting evil alignment to me because LE characters can actually be selectively very good people (loyal to their friends/allies, clear rules and principles) but there can be one or multiple aspects to them that make them evil, e.g. complete disregard for anyone that isn't in their "inner circle" or punishing even the smallest slight against them with death. There are basically endless possibilities for interpretation when it comes to LE characters.

  • SelerelSelerel Member Posts: 25
    I usually think of it from a different perspective. The evil characters don't leave BECAUSE of the positive reputation. Rather, they leave because of the actual conduct of the PC that led to the positive reputation.

    E.g...it's NOT that the evil characters are saying "we are well-respected throughout the lands...that's unacceptable and I shouldn't be with this group!!"...

    It's more along the lines of "I can't believe you spared that person's life instead of just killing them, that puts us all at risk and for no reason other than your holier-than-thou moral beliefs" or "we put our lives at risk in that dungeon and you didn't even push for the larger sum of gold as a reward? You'd rather be well-liked instead? Pffftt!!"

    And while it just so happens that these things ALSO lead to a reputation increase, that's not what the evil character is concerned with. More of a correlation than causality thing.

  • CyberliskCyberlisk Member Posts: 25
    Selerel wrote: »
    I usually think of it from a different perspective. The evil characters don't leave BECAUSE of the positive reputation. Rather, they leave because of the actual conduct of the PC that led to the positive reputation.

    E.g...it's NOT that the evil characters are saying "we are well-respected throughout the lands...that's unacceptable and I shouldn't be with this group!!"...

    It's more along the lines of "I can't believe you spared that person's life instead of just killing them, that puts us all at risk and for no reason other than your holier-than-thou moral beliefs" or "we put our lives at risk in that dungeon and you didn't even push for the larger sum of gold as a reward? You'd rather be well-liked instead? Pffftt!!"

    And while it just so happens that these things ALSO lead to a reputation increase, that's not what the evil character is concerned with. More of a correlation than causality thing.

    That's an interesting take and it does make sense. However, it stops making sense very quickly once you donate to charity to raise your reputation. Yes, donating could also be considered stupid or useless by an evil party member. However, one of the trade offs is actually getting lower prices from merchants, which is a real and immediate economical benefit. And even if it wasn't for that, having a good reputation makes many evil deeds a lot easier to execute and/or hide.

    Obviously no game is perfect and BG2 was already ahead of its time in many respects. But I feel like this is something that could have been addressed pretty easily with a few (Lie) dialogue options here and there or the ability to explain to credibly explain to your evil companions that you are playing the long con.

  • m7600m7600 Member Posts: 134
    This reminds of the scene in Planescape: Torment in which Fhjull Forked-Tongue and Fall-From-Grace have a debate regarding Lawful Evil vs Chaotic Evil.
    Fhjull Forked-Tongue: "The violence is great, nearing acceptable levels, but the scars are applied with almost tanar'ric crudity, without any care for maximizing the pain of the recipient. A baatezu artist would be much more devoted to the following the paths of pain across the body. Some of these wounds look to be clean kills, others look as if a blind butcher were carving up human steaks. Feh. Human art makes me ill sometimes. Such potential, wasted."

    Fall-From-Grace
    : "Is Advocate Infernus Forked-Tongue implying that we tanar'ri are a crude people?"

    Fhjull Forked-Tongue: "Feh! To say that tanar'ri are crude is to insult crudity. Any lesser race that revels in chaos, allows itself to be pulled and drowned in its stagnant tides, and calls it 'evil' are not a race at all. They are beasts."

    Fall-From-Grace: "Surely you simply object to the implementation of evil, rather than the degree. Many among the tanar'ri would claim that the closer one is to the primal nature of evil, the more true they are to the ideal."

    Fhjull Forked-Tongue: "Feh and double feh! The tanar'ri beasts want to strip law and order from the face of evil! Inexcusable! Intolerable! I cannot --"

    Fall-From-Grace: "From a baatezu point of view, it may indeed seem intolerable. However... Advocate, many tanar'ri philosophers would argue that the baatezu are to be no less excused for excising passion from violence, excising passion from the very essence of evil. The baatezu would replace rage with cold methodical cruelty. And thus, the old debate continues: Which is the greater evil? Efficient evil or passionate evil?"

    CyberliskZaxaresBharash
  • SelerelSelerel Member Posts: 25
    I think if you're continually donating massive amounts of gold to charity for the sole reason of economic benefit from local shopkeepers (5,000 gold to go from 17 to 18 reputation, which is a 15% to 20% shop discount), I would say that character is Lawful Evil at best. And to me, it makes sense from an RP perspective that a Lawful Evil character would keep around GOOD-aligned companions who wouldn't leave because of that anyway.

    But in fact, it's all moot. You can only give gold away up to a reptuation of 18--no evil-aligned characters will leave your party at 18 reputation, so giving away gold shouldn't be an issue. Yes, you may have to listen to them gripe, but come on we gave away 5,000 gp of our hard-earned cash so we can get a 25% (instead of a 20%) discount on Imoen's Robe of Vecna.

    And as far the "other" benefit of having a high rep, such as being able to cover up dastardly acts--I mean, you really can only get reputation increases by doing the "right" thing. So what you're saying is that you will balance out evil acts with good acts every now and then? It sounds like more of a neutral character than an evil one. Behavior is more important than intent.

    My main point is that if evil characters get up to a reputation of 20, then they might not actually be evil, and the NPCs may realize this quicker than the actual human player. If you're completing the quest of every commoner you run into, saving every town, dumping money into the church...I don't know, maybe you ARE a hero!

    I think of the Thunderbolts from Marvel Comics. A team of supervillains brought together to masquarade as a team of heroes after the real Avengers disappear from Earth...they end up becoming good once they save the world a few times.

  • masteralephmasteraleph Member Posts: 124
    It’s worth remembering here that Korgan, at least, had some compunctions- he despises the slavers in the slums for trafficking in women and children.

  • CyberliskCyberlisk Member Posts: 25
    Selerel wrote: »
    I think if you're continually donating massive amounts of gold to charity for the sole reason of economic benefit from local shopkeepers (5,000 gold to go from 17 to 18 reputation, which is a 15% to 20% shop discount), I would say that character is Lawful Evil at best. And to me, it makes sense from an RP perspective that a Lawful Evil character would keep around GOOD-aligned companions who wouldn't leave because of that anyway.

    But in fact, it's all moot. You can only give gold away up to a reptuation of 18--no evil-aligned characters will leave your party at 18 reputation, so giving away gold shouldn't be an issue. Yes, you may have to listen to them gripe, but come on we gave away 5,000 gp of our hard-earned cash so we can get a 25% (instead of a 20%) discount on Imoen's Robe of Vecna.

    And as far the "other" benefit of having a high rep, such as being able to cover up dastardly acts--I mean, you really can only get reputation increases by doing the "right" thing. So what you're saying is that you will balance out evil acts with good acts every now and then? It sounds like more of a neutral character than an evil one. Behavior is more important than intent.

    My main point is that if evil characters get up to a reputation of 20, then they might not actually be evil, and the NPCs may realize this quicker than the actual human player. If you're completing the quest of every commoner you run into, saving every town, dumping money into the church...I don't know, maybe you ARE a hero!

    I think of the Thunderbolts from Marvel Comics. A team of supervillains brought together to masquarade as a team of heroes after the real Avengers disappear from Earth...they end up becoming good once they save the world a few times.

    I could write a paragraph addressing every point you make again, but I think at this point it's more reasonable that we agree to disagree here.

    Suffice it to say that we are talking about completely different things here. All I'm saying is that - for various reasons - it can make perfect sense for an evil character to get as good a reputation as possible. In fact there are even scenarios where a very evil character that is determined and disciplined enough can act like a completely good one for years until that one moment when he finally reaches his goal, e.g. getting into a position of power that makes him untouchable. If you don't like that example, just use your imagination.

    At the end of the day, the reputation system in BG2 is deeply flawed and doesn't even remotely cover all the bases which, again, is perfectly fine. No game gets everything right. I get what you are trying to say, there are still ways to handle it (e.g. keeping it at <18) but these are still just workarounds for a system that is insufficient for me personally as a player. Like I said, a few (Lie) dialogue options here and there would have gone a long way because as you said, the way the game works there is no way to differentiate between an act that is truly good and a calculcated act with evil intentions that is only supposed to make you look good to the public.

    Like I said, almost everything can make sense from a certain perspective. The problem is that the way you want to play your character doesn't shape the game, it's the game that sets the limitations for what type of (evil) character you can play - which is almost exclusively the greedy, in-your-face type of bad guy. There are not many options to play an evil character that is actually deep and complex, or at least there are not many ways to manifest such a character via game mechanics.

  • CyberliskCyberlisk Member Posts: 25
    edited October 12
    It’s worth remembering here that Korgan, at least, had some compunctions- he despises the slavers in the slums for trafficking in women and children.

    Exactly, good example. He despises the slavers but at the same time he gets mad about the reputation bonus you receive for freeing the slaves. Makes zero sense. The way reputation and alignments are implemented in BG2 is just inherently flawed. I know some people consider every kind of criticism to this legendary game to be blasphemy, but it does have its weaknesses. Doesn't change the fact that it's one of the, if not the best RPG ever made.

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 967
    Unfortunately neither BG nor BG2 support the "let's create a false perception of benevolence" version of evil. Whereas in a game like Planescape Torment you can often choose whether your kind-sounding words are [Truth] or a [Lie], letting you build a kind-hearted reputation while making clear you have an evil alignment.

    m7600
  • m7600m7600 Member Posts: 134
    edited October 12
    Yep, I'll second @jsaving's comment on Planescape: Torment. In addition to the truth and lie dialogue options, I'll add that you start out as True Neutral, and your alignment shifts throughout the course of the game depending on what you do. For example, if you scream and bark at people on the street for no reason, you'll shift over to chaotic.

    Regarding the issue of wanting to have a bad rep, I can think of a number of reasons why this might be the case for a Chaotic Evil character. Think of a ruthless prison inmate who wants people to fear him. Such a character would have no interesting in masquerading as a good guy, nor would he have any intention of associating himself with good guys. On the contrary, he wants to send a clear message to the rest of the prison population: "I'm the one you don't f--- with." He would occasionally associate himself with the worst lowlives and scumbags that he can possibly find, ruthless people like himself. Which doesn't necessarily mean that they would turn into a mafia or a gang ruled by criminal codes of conduct (that would arguably be Lawful Evil). Instead, he simply maintains close ties with brutal individuals like himself for no other reason that there is strength in numbers. You could argue that this would make him at least Neutral Evil, but I would argue in turn that the character in question is not primarily motivated by selfishness, rather by the desire to induce fear in other people. He might enjoy beating up, torturing and brutally murdering other people simply because he is a psychopath, or in D&D terms, because he is Chaotic Evil. And he has no interest in scheming or in hiding this fact, quite the contrary, he wants everyone to be fully aware of it.

  • SelerelSelerel Member Posts: 25
    No no you're right I'm just splicing hairs at this point. It's an extremely oversimplified system, I agree to that. The guy who saves two towns and then explodes a commoner in the town square is as popular as the guy who's just visiting...what?

    I always like RPing my character's way around the canon best I can--but just the same, sometimes I get frustrated that you simply CAN'T in certain circumstances.

    I think a faction-based reputation system would have been cool. Or two reputation scales, one for "fame" and one for "notoriety", and they both work in conjunction with charisma. A 1D scale DOES subtract from some of the other intricacies of the game.
    Cyberlisk wrote: »
    Selerel wrote: »
    I think if you're continually donating massive amounts of gold to charity for the sole reason of economic benefit from local shopkeepers (5,000 gold to go from 17 to 18 reputation, which is a 15% to 20% shop discount), I would say that character is Lawful Evil at best. And to me, it makes sense from an RP perspective that a Lawful Evil character would keep around GOOD-aligned companions who wouldn't leave because of that anyway.

  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 1,167
    I believe there's actually a mod out there that splits the Reputation factor into two things: "Virtue", which keeps track of how saintly you are, and "Renown", which keeps track of how well-known you are. I can't remember the name of the mod, however.

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 967
    edited October 15
    Yes you are right, it is called the Virtue mod. Its creator basically went through BG2, picked which quests he felt had alignment implications, and then gave you +/- virtue depending on your decisions for those quests.

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