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Imoen (MASSIVE SPOILERS) (MASSIVE RANT)

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  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 4,406
    @chimaera

    That's exactly how I felt. I was actually really annoyed when I bumped into the green dragon because I felt it undermines that moment when you see Firkraag for the first time. The first time I saw him it wasn't just my party that had to save against fear, I did too. I remember sitting there staring at the screen thinking "That's a dragon! What on earth am I supposed to do now? I can't fight a dragon!"

    MirandelIllustair
  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 651
    Mush_Mush said:

    (since when can the accused become a valid witness in their own trial? lol).

    You have it backwards - we have the right not to testify against ourselves, but we can waive that right. If what the accused testifies is in line with other evidence, it's valid. However...
    Mush_Mush said:

    I mean any evil character could just reel off a bunch of BS to get out of execution.

    ...this is precisely why evidence and other witnesses are important in the first place.

  • MirandelMirandel Member Posts: 511
    edited September 2017
    Illydth said:



    And with all of these, you miss the key point: CHARNAME, the HERO of Baldur's Gate, one of the most Powerful and Resourceful areas of the Forgotten Realms can be abducted and disappear without a trace...

    And no one cares.

    No one comes after him. No one asks about him. No one shows up to his rescue or even sends a couple of special forces thieves to track him down.

    NOTHING. Its as if CHARNAME never existed to Baldur's Gate. You don't get there with ANY happy ending. You don't get there with ANY ending by which CHARNAME is still considered a hero in Baldur's Gate.

    So how do you write an ending to a game whereby Baldur's Gate still remains standing, it's resources and structure intact, and yet you've invalidated 200+ hours of game play through two major missions including a trip literally into Hell to save the city and end the major character up in a dungeon hundreds of miles away with no one giving a care?

    Now, you see the challenge of SoD.

    In addition to everything already said, I will add that even if you admit necessity for CHARNAME to "fall from grace" (very questionable at every level, as other demonstrated) - the reason for that is ... sorry, can not use other word but ridiculous. The murder is not proven the least, the way CHARNAME was found , he/she is the witness or the second victim (or absolutely anyone near crime scene can be called murderer as well). There is not a single reason to blame CHARNAME here. Now, the victim - a spoiled brat, causing troubles everyone around, a thief and run-away. Must have plenty of enemies around, why CHARNAME? And even if Duke wanted specifically eliminate CHARNAME and rallied other Dukes - why people on the streets are so agitated over a death of some rich troubled girl? She was not a "princess Diane" of BG everybody loved. Most should even feel happy about her death - rich can suffer!

    I'd say much more logical would be to implement some political accusation. Blaming for helpin crusade, for example. Falsified evidences, fake documents, accusations a la "your so called help to the city was a spying", "you only helped to conceal your real deeds". In this case every good deed CHANAME did would be an evidence of helping enemy. And unanimous bad reaction of every citizen of BG would be justified.

    Skie murder is really not convincing reason for universal hatred.

    Permidion_Starkmf2112OrlonKronsteen
  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 651
    edited September 2017
    I think that if the trial had been outright presented as being a sham, it would be less jarring, for the reasons that Kurona (and others, but most recently Kurona) stated: it's as much an excuse to get rid of CHARNAME as anything. We don't know what's going on in Baldur's Gate while we're on the march to Dragonspear - for all we know our reputation is being drawn and quartered by some Iron Throne remnants who were on board with the original Extortion scheme. We don't know what public opinion actually is - and it's because we don't know this that the trial should have been a sham rather than a genuine one, since if public opinion were shown to be against CHARNAME then exiling him in the case of exoneration would have still felt right.

    I agree that using the siege of Dragonspear as the backdrop for the exile is... kind of too much to swallow.
    If it had been more about investigating a series of murders that made CHARNAME look fishy, and that culminated with CHARNAME being found unconscious in a closet with a dead Skie, that would have been more in line with the trial AND would have then fully justified the Good/Evil Exile endings and the Cutthroat Escape ending. BG1 was, and always has been, about intrigue. BG2 and ToB (moreso the latter) were about being the One-Man Army that could kill a demigod.

    With all that said... why would Imoen (who is nominally a Good character) resort to at the very least conspiracy to commit murder just to spring her half-sibling from jail? Particularly when she has her thief levels back for the start of SoA. Breaking CHARNAME out of jail would have been enough to render them both personae non gratae either way, so why the needless carnage?

    ArtonaGrond0Permidion_StarkMirandel
  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 4,406
    Pokota said:

    With all that said... why would Imoen (who is nominally a Good character) resort to at the very least conspiracy to commit murder just to spring her half-sibling from jail? Particularly when she has her thief levels back for the start of SoA. Breaking CHARNAME out of jail would have been enough to render them both personae non gratae either way, so why the needless carnage?

    That was what really bothered me and why I started the whole thread. I had been enjoying the game until the murder plot and had even managed to get over the fact that Imoen wasn't in my party. Then came the moment when it seemed obvious that Imoen was going to join me at last. She was going to break me out of prison because she knew I wouldn't have killed Skie (And I hadn't. I didn't even hit her. I cast Lay on Hands on her in the vague hope it might do something good. It didn't. She died anyway). But Imoen didn't break me out she hired a cutthroat to murder the guards. It was so inappropriate to her character that I was sitting there shouting "You have got to be kidding me!"

    OrlonKronsteen
  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 2,188
    i feel they could have let us use her during the prologue dungeon. just say she started training after the tomb i mean there is a 4 week gap between the 2. because it's really awkward having safana just show up when you may have not been using her at all in bg 1.

  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,298
    edited September 2017
    @Permidion_Stark
    she didn't hire them with the stipulation: "kill the guards", but instead: "make arrangements for charname's escape"
    so they planned the escape route, basically organized everything. she couldn't have done it herself, she doesn't know the city that well.
    but yeah, she must have known that the guards would likely be killed. for me it's acceptable that she'd go with it. she decided on a whim, she's "chaotic" after all

    mf2112semiticgod
  • ArtonaArtona Member Posts: 1,073
    in the middle ages and the corresponding fantasy setting there just wasn't the know-how for how to make a rational fair trial. the purpose of trials were to pacify subjects, to entertain the crowd, to resolve a political conflict, to settle disagreements between families in a way that might be completely unjust to directly involved persons etc.


    It may be the case with fantasy, but middle ages had been developing law since at least 6th century (times of Emperor Justinian and his Digest and Codex Justinianus), and had own theories, like legal rule of evidence (it was dictated by law what kind of evidence is the strongest), so it's simply not true to say that there wasnt "know-how for how to make rational fair trial".

    semiticgodMirandelcloudkillbeatsall
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 10,571
    Wait is it stated that Imoen orchestrated charname's escape? I only ever got the good ending, but I always thought that, having Imoen meet you JUST outside the escape tunnel with your friends in tow, that she was ABOUT to attempt a jailbreak, but you happened to get out first. Whenever I heard of the ending where you escape amidst dead guards, that Irenicus had hired shadow thieves to get you out.

    As for the trial, I think it made sense the way it ran. Bence Duncan (who, lets be honest, is a right turd throughout the game) is the one that finds you and initially lays the charges. He sends word ahead, probably right to Mr.Silvershield. Who then, in what can only be intense emotional agony, loses all sense of himself and formality, rages against charname and lets it slip to the general populace that you are a bhaalspawn. Now the other dukes (again assuming a good charname, as basically the rest of the series does) don't believe you are the murderer at all. But Silvershield has enough influence (and already incited the populace) to force a public "trial". When Beltan (i think that was his name) lets you out of the cell, he mentions that half of Baldur's Gate wants you head, and the other half are close to simply forcing your release. So to avoid killing a known force for good AND to avoid a political crapstorm, the rational dukes have you quietly released and sent on your way.

    Now, I think the trial itself could have been done better (I may be spoiled by the fantastic trial scene NWN2) but I don't think it was straight up bad. The way it plays out, and the underlying ideas are solid. But far too much is either implied or stated to the player rather than shown. Really, that is my only gripe with SoD, FAR too much of the writing is "Tell, don't show" when it should have been the other way around.

  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,298
    edited September 2017
    @Artona
    there's a discontinuity in legal practice in europe. justinian's code was lost and was later discovered only to be studied for a very very long time before it was starting to be consequently and rationally applied. it wasn't so much about criminal procedure specifically anyway, and criminal law in ancient rome wasn't very fair.
    it was maybe not as bad as someone might think but it's not what i mean by "rational fair law"

    on the other hand, the real, typical medieval law: ordeals, salic law, early inquisitiorial procedures (does that sould fair to you?) were terrible. just terrible terrible. there are books about how terrible they were and i've taken a look at one or two of them

    StummvonBordwehr
  • ArtonaArtona Member Posts: 1,073
    Early inquisitorial procedures were very impactful for development of law, as, for an instance, Bernardo Gui was one of the first people who treated insanity as factor excluding guilt, and counted time spent in arrest into sentence. Salic law is even older than Digest, and ordeals were forbidden by pope in 12th century. Sure, it wasn't fair (at least not as we see "fairness" today), but we talk about period before human rights and similar concepts.

  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 4,406
    edited September 2017
    bob_veng said:

    @Permidion_Stark
    she didn't hire them with the stipulation: "kill the guards", but instead: "make arrangements for charname's escape"
    so they planned the escape route, basically organized everything. she couldn't have done it herself, she doesn't know the city that well.
    but yeah, she must have known that the guards would likely be killed. for me it's acceptable that she'd go with it. she decided on a whim, she's "chaotic" after all

    She's an 8th level wizard / 7th level thief who managed to disarm every trap in Durlag's Tower. You seriously don't think she could stage a jailbreak that a bunch of thugs could pull off?

    If they could do it then she could do it and without any need for bloodshed. All she needs to do is charm them and find out where the escape route is and she can can do the rest herself. For that matter she knows where you are coming out so she could cast Improved Invisibility on herself, polymorph herself into a Sword Spider (or a squirrel) climb up the side of the waterfall and make her way into the prison through the secret route. Once inside all she needs to do is put the guards to sleep and pick the lock to your cell.

    And the fact that she is chaotic doesn't mean that she doesn't have a personality. There is no way Imoen would come up with a plan that she knew would result in the murder of innocent people.

    Post edited by Permidion_Stark on
    semiticgod
  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,414
    bob_veng said:

    @Permidion_Stark
    she didn't hire them with the stipulation: "kill the guards", but instead: "make arrangements for charname's escape"
    so they planned the escape route, basically organized everything. she couldn't have done it herself, she doesn't know the city that well.
    but yeah, she must have known that the guards would likely be killed. for me it's acceptable that she'd go with it. she decided on a whim, she's "chaotic" after all

    Imoen is Neutral Good, not Chaotic Good.

    Permidion_Starksemiticgod
  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 1,598
    edited September 2017
    ThacoBell said:

    When Beltan (i think that was his name) lets you out of the cell, he mentions that half of Baldur's Gate wants you head, and the other half are close to simply forcing your release. So to avoid killing a known force for good AND to avoid a political crapstorm, the rational dukes have you quietly released and sent on your way.

    If this visit and explanation would be given for the "villain" ending I would have been perfectly happy. But imagine being in the prison, a 20 rep paladin etcpp, and all that happens is that Corwin comes and (DRAMA!!!11!!) requests that you (the always selfless good-doer) should take on the blame, at least?! Even if you didn't do it, but you should have as much sense of responsibility?! And while you still wonder wtf went into her, a shady figure opens your door and tells you to escape - leaving you in an empty prison, with all guards dead, and your gear - what an incident! - laying on the table, so after waiting for 5 minutes conluding that, yes, this is supposed to be the way this goes, and on you go, through the sewers and several hostile FF soldiers, and a Corwin who suddenly (DRAMA!!11!!) is ready to sacrifice herself for you, if you let her, out to your lifelong friend Imoen who tells you on the go that she arranged your escape and hush, hush, lets make haste. EDIT: At least that's how I understood what happened, it's not a quote of her dialogue.

    No explanation what is going on in the city. No word from the Dukes, from Eltan whos life you saved - nothing. You leave the city without the Dukes' agreement, a wanted criminal and murderer, disappearing from the city's prison, leaving a trail of dead bodies behind. And you sit there, sondering how you are supposed to play BGII now, where no-one knows your PC and none of the former comrades will mention any of the happenings and accusations.

    EDIT: I'd even be happy with Imoen breaking me out of prison, telling me that the Dukes are not sure about my innocence because of the trial but want me gone so they pretend not to notice, or whatever... But not a great nothing with several dead bodies on the floor.

    Post edited by jastey on
    Permidion_StarkArtonaThacoBellMirandel
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 10,571
    I'll agree that the endings other than the good one seem like much less satisfying circumstances.

    themazingness
  • MirandelMirandel Member Posts: 511
    bob_veng said:


    the fact is: the dukes want to get rid of you, because politically, you're a massive problem for them
    i think that the game paints this very clearly. that's why there's such a weird visual emphasis on masses of people (it's not: let's show what this mega potent game engine can render wooo lol). the script injects the social-political aspect, which is a bit novel for fantasy but it shows a lot of consideration took place

    No it does not "paint this very clearly" - otherwise there wouldn't be so many wtf topics.
    Those commanders who have problems with you are not from BG. BG Duke Eltan trusts you personally his beloved daughter - how is that any sign of a wish to get rid of you? There was never any clear indication that "hero had done it's job and now better go and die somewhere far away". What @Kurona suggested is a perfect hadcanon explanation - I can totally use it - but game does not provide evidences to the theory you have to hadcanon them too.

    Should that be the case, trial had to be more political in a clear unmistakable way. As of right now it's about out-of-the-blue murder accusation (no motive, no weapon, no witnesses) with OOC behavior of your companions (that, btw, never mentioned anything political in their conversations with you in the prison).

    Time for modders, I guess correcting yet another sloppy plot mess.

    Permidion_Stark
  • themazingnessthemazingness Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 646
    ThacoBell said:

    I'll agree that the endings other than the good one seem like much less satisfying circumstances.

    Yeah, now that I have learned about the other endings and thought about it more carefully, I agree with the majority here. I'm glad I got the good ending.

  • ArdanisArdanis Member Posts: 1,731
    jastey said:


    out to your lifelong friend Imoen who tells you on the go that she arranged your escape and hush, hush, lets make haste.

    Wait... That's not what she says at all, she's actually very surprised if you suggest it was her effort..?

  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 4,406
    edited September 2017
    Ardanis said:

    jastey said:


    out to your lifelong friend Imoen who tells you on the go that she arranged your escape and hush, hush, lets make haste.

    Wait... That's not what she says at all, she's actually very surprised if you suggest it was her effort..?
    No she's not. Your journal gets updated with something along the lines of 'With Imoen's help I have escaped" and when you are outside you can thank her for believing in you when no one else did and for helping you get out of jail. The person who expresses surprise is Dynaheir, who says something along the lines of "Imoen! It was thou who contrived to free our friend?" at which point Imoen says let's talk about this later, we need to get moving.

    Ardanis
  • IllydthIllydth Member, Developer Posts: 1,641
    edited September 2017
    jastey said:

    Illydth said:


    Imagine playing an evil character who decides he WANTS to take credit for Skie's death?

    He wouldn't have any choice. Because the "villain" ending is the default. And if he takes credit in killing Skie, he gets - the "villain" ending. Where is the choice here by cklicking through the reply options?
    Illydth said:


    The reason for the trial at the end of the game was to give players a way to control their own destiny. I don't know about anyone else, but I get annoyed at games that require me to re-play the entire game to get a different ending.

    I am surprised you think this is the case. I can only repeat my point: It is not a choice. Play evil and you get the "villain" ending no matter what. Play good and do not list your deeds yourself, deeds the trial committee already knows of, and you'll get the "villain" ending. If you played evil you will have to replay the whole game to get a chance of seeing the "good" ending - something you stated you didn't want.
    Apologies for the directness of this, but you are 100% incorrect and actually providing wrong and invalid/incorrect data to this thread.

    Please go back a page and open the spoiler marked as a HUGE SPOILER by the forum mod quoting me. Once you've read that, you will understand how the game works and how the responses affect the ending.

    If you have not read that, please be careful about making assumptions and/or statements...

    To wit, being good or evil gets you the GOOD ending. Being wishy washy or not defending yourself at the trial gets you the BAD ending.

    JuliusBorisovBrutaleBent
  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,298
    i really don't see how she could have done it by herself. she doesn't know the prison, the sewers etc. she'd charm the guards and then what?

  • IllydthIllydth Member, Developer Posts: 1,641
    chimaera said:

    It's not a matter of charname & party visiting hell, but that in SoD there is just too much 'epicness' squeezed into a short story; it feels overdone.

    It's like SoD tries to "one up" BG2 when it comes to epic enemies. BG2 has dragons? We'll give you a dragon! Liches? We'll have one too! Mindflayers? You got them! And then for dessert, you get to fight a devil and his personal army in hell.

    By comparison, I still rememeber the first impression Firkraag made in BG2, because up until then it was orcs, werewolves and the occasional shade. And then... this huge red dragon, looking down at your party.

    So I actually appreciate this opinion.

    There is, of course, a real world marketing problem with what you're talking about: "Well we can't actually do anything epic with the game at all, because doing so would take away from the experience of a game that's 20 years old so we'll just have you fight a bunch more orcs and call it a game."

    Does it need to be epic? Sure it does. It's D&D after all, you have to feel like you've accomplished something.

    Too much? Your opinion is as valid as mine is.

    in AD&D FIrst Edition there's a 5th-9th level tabletop adventure called Egg of the Phoenix that takes you into the Negative Material Plane to fight the demi-lords of the elements...identified as gods in that module, and gives you an artifact Egg that allows a mid level mage to infinitely cast all level of spells (if the mage is smart enough).

    is this too epic? Not for an AD&D Setting. :)

    mf2112JuliusBorisovBrutaleBent
  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 1,598
    edited September 2017
    Illydth said:


    Apologies for the directness of this, but you are 100% incorrect and actually providing wrong and invalid/incorrect data to this thread.

    I was indeed on the wrong train there.
    I withdraw what I wrote about the "assassin" ending being the one an evil PC would get. That was wrong. I apologize. The reasoning for why an evil PC can get the ending where the Dukes help escape makes much sense.

    What I said about the "assassin" ending being jarring and out-of-place for a good PC, leaving the player with no explanations and the feeling of several open ends that actually contradict the situation of "the PC is forgotten by Baldur's Gate and not known throughout the Realms" is still valid, though.
    As is my surprise why this "explains nothing and creates more problems" ending is the one you get if the PC relies on Belt's words that evidence of your deeds were collected.

  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 4,406
    Illydth said:

    So I actually appreciate this opinion.

    There is, of course, a real world marketing problem with what you're talking about: "Well we can't actually do anything epic with the game at all, because doing so would take away from the experience of a game that's 20 years old so we'll just have you fight a bunch more orcs and call it a game."

    Does it need to be epic? Sure it does. It's D&D after all, you have to feel like you've accomplished something.

    Too much? Your opinion is as valid as mine is.

    in AD&D FIrst Edition there's a 5th-9th level tabletop adventure called Egg of the Phoenix that takes you into the Negative Material Plane to fight the demi-lords of the elements...identified as gods in that module, and gives you an artifact Egg that allows a mid level mage to infinitely cast all level of spells (if the mage is smart enough).

    is this too epic? Not for an AD&D Setting. :)

    If SoD were a standalone game this wouldn't be an issue. But it's not: it only exists because it is supposed to be a bridge between BG1 and BG2 and so it shouldn't detract from BG2 by introducing elements that we meet for the first time there. But SoD does it all the time: we get liches, we get vampires, we get dragons, we get demons. And even then it doesn't feel epic because it feels like all of them are nerfed (or the party is conveniently buffed just before the fight without having to work for it at all).

    Can't fight a lich? Don't worry here's some anti-lich powder. Can't fight a dragon? Don't worry it's got crap magic resistance. Can't fight a demon? Don't worry look under that stone there's some magic armour with fire resistance. Still can't fight a demon? Don't worry here's a +3 sword.


    And it was a shame because so much of the game was so good. The dungeons were great, the look of the game was great, the music was great, the character interactions were great. But it feels like somewhere along the line everyone got a bit carried away and lost sight of what the game was supposed to be about.

    OrlonKronsteen
  • KuronaKurona Member Posts: 881
    I always had the nagging feeling that the game was supposed to be standalone and only became an interquel somewhere along the way, possibly by WoTC mandate. It may be completely wrong of course, it's just a gut feeling.

    Pokotarorikon
  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 1,598
    Illydth said:

    There is, of course, a real world marketing problem with what you're talking about: "Well we can't actually do anything epic with the game at all, because doing so would take away from the experience of a game that's 20 years old so we'll just have you fight a bunch more orcs and call it a game."

    It reads like you are trying to make fun of a concept that wouldn't include what you call "epic" foes, and I wonder why.
    SoD was throughout praised for the battles with the many, many foes and the intelligant AI tactics. I read several posts stating that the battles were fun. (I didn't read any about how fun it was to kill a dragon / lich / etc. in SoD.) So, insisting of "epic" foes can't be for making sure the battles are hard or interesting enough.

    Somehow BeamDog seemed to have believed that they need to put this in to make SoD interesting to players. But SoD is an inter-game between two games of cult status. It doesn't have to be epic. Is should provide a good story that makes the transition from BG1 to BGII neatless and explanes a thing or two the player wondered about when first starting BGII. Reading this, I get the impression the goal was not on developping SoD this way but to make it whatever is meant by epic to attract more young players, overlooking that the potential to do so without spawning endless epic foes is there.

    "Wow, SoD was such a great story, it explains everything what happened between BG1 and BGII and the battles were so hard, now Fierkraag in BGII - although the first dragon my PC will meet - will be a piece of cake in comparison. Awesome!" - wouldn't this be the perfect praise?

    semiticgod
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