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Don't understand Neera's concept

DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,277
First of all, I just wanna say that the work done on the new NPC's is amazing . But I can't understand Neera's concept . Believe me, I tried.

I mean, what is really a wild mage? They kept showing it as if they were some kind of sorcerer.

"Oh, my innate chaotic abilities keep getting me into trouble!"
But hey, no one becomes a mage by accident. You don't become an invoker and then weep about the mess your fireballs cause. You do it because you love it, because it took you years, maybe a decade, to learn your first spell.

Second, in BG2 she seemed to rescue a girl who was , supposedly, a wild mage. So she had no choice but to study magic? Or was she some kind of sorcerer? The whole "wild mage refuge" , no matter how beautiful it looked , made it less interesting, after all, having about twelve wild ones in Amn makes it look like they aren't that rare , after all.

But what really mixes me up is the fact that she never seems to take magic seriously. She looks like a college dropout who suddenly thought of following her dreams.

I know we can always say that "she's an exotic character" or "you must open your mind" - but I prefer when they make it clear that spellcasters are what they are because they dug deep into it.

I know that there are people who like her a lot, but, when creating a character, isn't there a line between BG-Goofy and Disney-Goofy?




RavenslightkcwiserecklessheartbooinyoureyesJenzafarGoodSteveelminster

Comments

  • meaglothmeagloth Member Posts: 3,806
    I think it's supposed to be someone who studies magic and chooses to go into wild magic, deciding the benefits outweigh the risks, and once they're in they're in for good. The gain access to reckless dewomer chaos shield, and spell level fluctuation, but they can't ever go back to being a normal Mage.
    The game plays it more as something your born with though, so I don't know what that's about. You make a good point about the little girl.

    JuliusBorisovkcwise
  • ArchaosArchaos Member Posts: 1,421
    Not sure if @DJKajuru‌ knows this but the Wild Mage kit existed since the release of the original Throne of Bhaal.
    It wasn'y created for the EEs.

    kcwise
  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,277
    Archaos said:

    Not sure if @DJKajuru‌ knows this but the Wild Mage kit existed since the release of the original Throne of Bhaal.
    It wasn'y created for the EEs.

    I did know that, but the kit descriptions suggests that Wild Mages are mages specialized in wild magic, rather than people who were born with wild magic in their blood.

    kcwisebooinyoureyes
  • GemHoundGemHound Member Posts: 799
    @DJKajuru Wild Magic is a field of study, yet not everyone can use it. It is like a sorcerer that doesn't understand how to wield their power causing it to do all sorts of weird things. Wild Mages basically study ways to prolong their short lives.

    kcwise
  • MERLANCEMERLANCE Member Posts: 396
    DJKajuru said:


    But what really mixes me up is the fact that she never seems to take magic seriously. She looks like a college dropout who suddenly thought of following her dreams.

    Well, thats Chaotic Neutral for you.

    kcwiseDJKajuru
  • CalmarCalmar Member Posts: 688
    edited October 2014
    I'm not arguing against all the evidence in this thread about wild magic being a school of magic people purposefuly study to master the forces of chaos (or the like).

    However, as far as Neera is concerned, I believe the wild mage class is meant to represent a person who develops, or inadvertently taps, arcane powers, but is unable to control them without proper training (i.e. levelling up like a boss). Sort of like the mutants in X-Men who attend Patrick Stewart's school, I guess.

    I mean, why else would the Red Wizards want to disect Neera's brain to learn how her magic works? You can't learn en engineer's or an illusionist's skill by killing them and making an autopsy...

    ... Or can you? #Halloween2014

    DJKajurubooinyoureyesNonnahswriter
  • dreamriderdreamrider Member Posts: 417
    If you have divination magic, you probably can!

  • NimranNimran Member Posts: 4,848

    MERLANCE said:

    DJKajuru said:


    But what really mixes me up is the fact that she never seems to take magic seriously. She looks like a college dropout who suddenly thought of following her dreams.

    Well, thats Chaotic Neutral for you.
    I have the right mind to destroy you... but first! Pudding! Mmmm... pudding...
    To be fair, nobody in his/her right mind would say no to pudding.

    booinyoureyesJuliusBorisov
  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    Nimran said:



    To be fair, nobody in his/her right mind would say no to pudding.

    Unless its black pudding *gags*

    JuliusBorisovNimran
  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    My problem: Neera knows that by using magic she can cause a great deal of trouble and even hurt people. She doesn't have to use magic at all right? So by choosing to become a mage, knowing that she is tapped into the whole "wild magic thing", she is being incredibly callous.

    Nonnahswriter
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,693
    @booinyoureyes‌

    Actually, according to Neera, she has an aim of reducin the bad side effects of her spells. She doesn't show or have any insensitive and cruel disregard for others, instead, she tries to find a way to help other:

    "Even though I first ran away because I was scared, I've begun to think I should find a way to reduce the unfortunate side effects of my otherwise awesome spells.

    ...It only seems that way because everyone forgets all the times my untamed magic made my spells more powerful."

  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    @bengoshi‌
    But she rejects the alternative of simply not using her magic. There are hundreds of thousands of non-wizards all over the Sword Coast, she can simply be one of them instead of continuing to use magic that has, what she calls, "unfortunate side effects" (aka the possibility to burn down a forest and kill people)

    If anything that quote shows more carelessness on her part than less. From what she says it seems like she thinks her spells are "awesome' and takes pride in the fact that her "untamed magic made (her) spells more powerful", as if it was a good trade-off with all the damage it can bring.

    NonnahswriterArdulTinter
  • TheGraveDiggerTheGraveDigger Member Posts: 336
    There's not many ways you can create a wild mage without them appearing selfish and evil.

    booinyoureyesTintermeagloth
  • CalmarCalmar Member Posts: 688

    But she rejects the alternative of simply not using her magic. There are hundreds of thousands of non-wizards all over the Sword Coast, she can simply be one of them instead of continuing to use magic that has, what she calls, "unfortunate side effects" (aka the possibility to burn down a forest and kill people)

    I guess her wild magic is simply a part of her personality she can't suppress just like we can't supress all 'impractical' aspects of ourselves, like a bad habit, or some kind of awkwardness one might show under certain circumstances.Similarily, one can't really say "Stop stuttering like all those non-stutterers", or "stop talking so loudly when you're excited like all those more reserved people all over the country", etc. ;)

    Also, *canonically*, Neera doesn't cause any serious calamities in the games, because the charname makes it through the series just fine without being turned into stone, or getting her rump fireballed by Neera.
    (Makes me wonder if Neera shouldn't be modified in a way to not wreak the worst havoc she possibly could...)

    JuliusBorisovRavenslightNonnahswriter
  • TinterTinter Member Posts: 152
    Even if its a trait she can't supress when she is doing magic, it isn't comparable to a manner of talking or a personality trait because she can abstain from performing magic. There is nothing compelling her to do that- its easier to give up magic than to give up talking, say. And if talking carried a chance of killing the person you are talking to with fireballs or summoning a demon, then yes, even though its a very tough thing for you, you should feel obliged to live as a mute.

    I mean, in canon the charname is called Abdel and Neera doesn't exist... I don't think anyone likes arguments from canon ;)

    The issue isn't what does happen, the issue when considering Neeras personal ethics is what she is willing to risk happening to others. She is willing to risk, say, a demon being summoned in a town or village and massacring the population so she can cast cool magic for herself- a risk she takes with every spell. Thats, er, really terrible. I mean, its truly awful- any town would be perfectly justified in exiling or maybe even lynching her, to be frank, as she is willing to risk the deaths of the whole community so she can cast some magic. For a player who can reload, each spell having a bit over 1/1000 chance of summoning a demon isn't such a big deal. However, from the perspective of a commoner in the setting, this is really awful.

    Its unfortunate, but the mechanics of wild magic mean that the only ethical choice really are "live like a hermit in a truly isolated area to practice it" or "don't do wild magic, or if its all you can do, give up magic".

    BelgarathMTH
  • chbrookschbrooks Member Posts: 86
    Tinter said:

    I mean, in canon the charname is called Abdel and Neera doesn't exist... I don't think anyone likes arguments from canon ;)

    Actually, Neera is canon now thanks to Legends of Baldur's Gate. If anything, the majority of the novels seem to have been quietly erased from canon thanks to the 5th edition changeover. Minsc's statue in Baldur's Gate doesn't have the red hair he had in the novels, Abdel bears little resemblance to his old idiot self, and so on.

    As to Neera, I can only go by what I've seen in the first game, since I haven't played through her tale in the 2nd one yet. Here's what I see:

    1) As a young mage, she found that her wild magic was extremely dangerous. At that point she was probably a teen or in her early 20s - not a time period when most people make the soundest of decisions.

    2) Striking out on her own, she needed to use her magic in order to keep herself alive, since she was hunted by the Red Wizards.

    3) In the PC's party, her choices are either to pull her own weight or strike out on her own again. That means focusing on what she knows, wild magic.

    4) She actively tries to learn how to control her magic so she won't harm others.

    5) She describes the feeling of a wild surge as something pleasurable, so there is a certain degree of selfishness in wanting to continue practicing magic.

    Basically, Neera is somebody who loves her magic, but realizes it can hurt others. She doesn't want to stop using it and really can't unless she wants to wind up dead and dissected by Red Wizards. She does try to find out how she can get it under control, so she's balancing her selfishness with altruism.

    CalmarChackArcanis
  • TinterTinter Member Posts: 152
    But her goal isn't "find a way to be safe from the red wizards", its "more wild magic woo!". Sure, she would prefer this to be safer, but she doesn't show any sign of having considered abstaining to any degree until it is. Fundamentally, she likes magic and wants to do it, and intends to keep doing it. Indeed, if she had been abstaining she probably wouldn't have become a target.

    She might prefer it to be safer, but she isn't going to let the risk of murdering lots of people hold her back one step (I don't see the evidence that she is only using magic because of being in the party or to protect from red wizards- those are ands, not because ofs). So, from the perspective of ordinary people where she is living, she is risking their lives every day because of her desire to be a mage. Fundamentally, that's pretty terrible.

    BelgarathMTHbooinyoureyes
  • chbrookschbrooks Member Posts: 86
    I don't know...unless I'm missing a key part of Neera's story early on, it still seems like simple survival makes the use of her magic necessary.

    Yes, she was irresponsible with her magic early on. She's also not quite as restrained as she could be. Those are character flaws and they tend to come with the territory of being chaotic neutral.

    At the same time, what I see of her in the game is a woman on the run who throws in with the PC for protection. Then, when she has that protection, she finds out that the PC is on the run, too. If she abstained from her magic use, she'd either be dead or booted out of the party for being useless, meaning she'd just be on her own again.

    And yeah, there is a self-serving aspect to her character. That's as much of what defines her as the concept of natural balance is for Jaheira or cold-blooded murder is for Montaron. But unless there are some conversations in the sequel that indicate she's got no problem with killing innocents that I'm unaware of, she seems to be as reasonably careful with her magic as she can be given her personal limitations and situation.

    atcDave
  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    Calmar said:


    I guess her wild magic is simply a part of her personality she can't suppress just like we can't supress all 'impractical' aspects of ourselves, like a bad habit, or some kind of awkwardness one might show under certain circumstances.Similarily, one can't really say "Stop stuttering like all those non-stutterers", or "stop talking so loudly when you're excited like all those more reserved people all over the country", etc. ;)

    I disagree that something being "part of her personality" excuses an action. It is part of Korgan's personality to be a violent jerk, that doesn't mean that it is not a big deal and that he is actually a decent bloke.

    It's not as though magic just happens. It takes a lot of work. It took Elminster 2000 years and a pointy hat to get to where he is, so I can't imagine Neera's magic being accidental. She actively seeks to become better with it, despite the fact that it can blow things up (or drop cows on people).

    Tinter
  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,277
    kcwise said:

    That said, I think Neera was meant to be a fun character not a deep character. Nearly all of her dialog is played for laughs. I really doubt the writers intended to delve into the moral and societal implications of wild magic when they came up with the concept. She's the wacky companion....

    She's goofy . I don't think that chaotic neutral companions are supposed to be like that.

    Jan , in all his wackyness , ain't goofy. He takes his endless dialogues seriously , and that's what makes him consistent.

    If Haer D'Alis were badly written, he's be just a dark bard with gothic tendencies. Not the case, he's so charismatic that you might even enjoy chaos and entropy around him.

    Now when Neera starts with her inconsistencies ... I don't buy it.

    kcwise
  • kcwisekcwise Member Posts: 2,287
    I guess it all comes back to personal taste. I certainly can't quibble with your reaction to the character as you're a better judge of what you like and dislike than I am.

    I enjoyed Neera's goofiness and didn't find her attitude particularly inconsistent with her class. I think the class descriptions in the pen and paper world often clash with the classes as interpreted by writers in novels and computer games. Many of the novels describe a "spark of magic" that wizards have within them, an innate connection to the Weave which leads them to embark on the life of a spellcaster. They don't just pick up Ye Olde Book of Spiffy Magic and start memorizing, they first have to have that initial internal potential. I know the rules don't describe it that way, and therein lies the disconnect.

    To my mind Neera is someone who is gifted at magic but not necessarily disciplined about it. I've known people, for example, who have an intuitive understanding of mathematics and rely on that rather than studying hard for tests. They just "figure it out" during the exam because they actually can wing it given their natural abilities. Neera, to me, is that same sort of person. That said, we don't really spend down time with the characters so we don't know that she isn't cracking the books while "off camera." We meet Neera during the frantic battling for your life moments.

    As for how Chaotic Neutral companions should be I don't think there IS a particular way they should be. It's seen as the insane alignment for a reason.

    DJKajuruatcDaveNonnahswriter
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