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Role-playing/character ideas for a full trilogy run

Like many of you, I've played through the BG games multiple times over the years.

While I don't anticipate playing again for awhile -- I'm waiting on the big update and some mods to be released first -- I've been thinking about what character I want to play next and how I can avoid falling into the powergaming trap that I always fall into, where I inevitably make the same in-game choices and do the exact same things every playthrough.

So in the meantime, I've been trying to think up a specific character to play who has role-playing rules that I must follow. I'm curious to see what other role-playing ideas and characters that people come up with to enhance their own playthroughs and keep things fresh, as well as any suggestions for my own.

The following is one example for a potential character that I created.

GENDER: Female.

RACE: Elf.

CLASS/KIT: Bladesinger. Use Eldritch Magic or Might and Guile for this custom Fighter/Mage kit that's based off of the one found in The Complete Book of Elves.

ALIGNMENT: Lawful Good.

VOICE SET: Female Mage 2 from IWD:EE.

RULES TO FOLLOW:

1.) Always decline rewards offered by NPCs. Material things are beneath you!

2.) No party pickpocketing or thieving of any kind against innocent people. This includes taking gold from barrels in cities and drawers in rooms, such as snatching The Stupefier from the Burning Wizard in Beregost. However, rifling through Mulahey's chest in the Nashkel Mines is fine, of course. Bad guys don't have rights. ;)

3.) Frequently use Charm Person or Dire Charm to interrogate your enemies and extract information from them -- Nimbul, Tranzig, and Rieltar are all example targets. (Think of it as your character's Jedi mind trick!) But never use this ability on any non-evil or non-villainous characters.

4.) Use as many elven-themed items (e.g., Elven Chain Mail) as possible. For extra fun, wait until the IWD-in-EET module is released for the Enhanced Edition Trilogy, which will allow you to use all of the drops from the Hand of the Seldarine, as well as other items from IWD:EE.

5.) Whenever possible, choose dialogue options that are any combination of the following: haughty, lawful, solemn, and sophisticated. Never use any childish or crude dialogue options -- your character's sense of humor is limited to dry wit only.

6.) As part of your Bladesinger training, stick to using one weapon type only (e.g., long swords) for your entire playthrough.

7.) Per The Complete Book of Elves, “Not only must [Bladesingers] attempt to advance the cause of elvendom somehow at all times, they must also lend aid to any elf in need. Unless the elf is proven to be an enemy of the elven way of life, the Bladesinger must sacrifice life and limb to save that elf's life.”

8.) Destroy or hold onto any evil items (e.g., Robe of the Evil Archmagi, Ring of Gaxx, etc.) Never use them or sell them, which would allow them to wind up in someone else's hands.

9.) Don't use or include spells like Animate Dead in your spellbook, as elves loathe the undead.

EXAMPLE IN-GAME ACTIONS:

1.) You would aid the Flaming Fist mercenary in killing Viconia. (Sorry, Viccy, but lending aid to any elf in need doesn't apply to drow.) Dorn, Hexxat, and other transparently evil companions would likewise need to be brought to justice (i.e., ending their existence).

2.) Don't cheese and use dialogue options that you know lead to an easier outcome. For example, in the fight with Bassilus the Murderer, your character would use the "You are mad, monster! Die by my righteous wrath!" line rather than using the clever choices to destroy his undead army. Your character is supremely confident in her abilities, after all, and doesn't need to use dirty tricks to win.

3.) For a possible role-playing "arc," your character would become more cold-hearted and prone to violence over time, as she copes with her Bhaalspawn heritage and her growing power. For example, in BG:EE, she would be an arrogant but still good-at-heart Bladesinger trying to do the right thing. In BG2:EE, she would be increasingly consumed by her mission -- namely stopping Irenicus at any cost -- even if it meant sacrificing some of her principles in the process.

4.) In the vein of what's mentioned above, your character would be more likely to kill her enemies rather than spare them in BG2:EE when given the choice.

SUGGESTED PARTY MEMBERS: Given your character's elven heritage and strong belief system, it's best to stick with either members of her own kind or with people of a similar alignment as much as possible.

BG:EE: Coran, Jaheira, Khalid, Kivan, and Xan.

BG:SoD: Corwin, Jaheira, Khalid, Neera, and Rasaad.

BG2:EE: Aerie, Jaheira, Kivan (mod), Neera, and Xan (mod).

OTHER SIMILAR CHARACTERS: Bastila Shan from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Maiev Shadowsong from Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne.

ThacoBellrecklessheartGusindaAerakargnaumiec

Comments

  • recklessheartrecklessheart Member Posts: 692
    markzaku said:


    3.) Frequently use Charm Person or Dire Charm to interrogate your enemies and extract information from them -- Nimbul, Tranzig, and Rieltar are all example targets. (Think of it as your character's Jedi mind trick!) But never use this ability on any non-evil or non-villainous characters.

    Cool thread, man! I had fun reading it, so thank you :)

    I've just decided to call attention to the above quote as a matter of RP interest. It mightn't change your own decision about it, although I thought it worth mentioning that charm spells are not considered to be an inherently evil kind of magic. On the contrary, Sune, Lliira and other such Gods offer the charm domain as a means of facilitating friendship and optimising the rate at which the messages of their churches is spread. I got the impression from how you phrased this that you perceive there to be something morally ambiguous about using these spells - and I get why. But Faerun (and therefore maybe your character, too) does not see it that way.

    markzakuAerakar
  • markzakumarkzaku Member Posts: 34
    Thanks -- I didn't know any of that! Of course, failing a charm spell in BG still results in the NPC going hostile, so clearly not everyone has gotten the memo. ;)

  • RedrakeRedrake Member Posts: 423
    What kind of elf? This is 2E and there are different sub-races. Some are not so prone on eradicating evil, or fighting for the rights of other elven subraces. Just to give an example, Jaheira is a half-sylvanesti elf, Xan is a Moon Elf, Kivan is a Sylvan Elf. Coran is a High Elf I think. Generally these subraces do not get well with one another. Creating a general stereotype for them is difficult.

    And Lawful Good elves? Usually in all PnP games, elves are chaotic in nature. Lawful Good just does not fit for them. Typically paladins, some martial good-aligned clerics and some of the rangers are lawful good.

    Elves are usually neutral or chaotic. Furthermore, the character you are suggesting is more chaotic in attitude. Using charm spells, guile, and alike are certainly not very lawful.

    The only subrace of elves which is more Lawful are the grey elves and they are in fact lawful neutral (and some even lawful evil), obedient to their leaders and do not value individual freedom.

    Now, if you'd like to take this kind of character and create that ethos, my suggestion would be to make her a half-elf. The middle-ground.

    markzakuAerakar
  • markzakumarkzaku Member Posts: 34
    edited November 2017
    Thanks for the response -- I appreciate your feedback.

    I guess I envisioned her being a sun elf, given that they seem to be the most conservative, arrogant, and magically inclined of all the "good" elven subraces.

    I hear your point about her alignment, although The Forgotten Realms wiki says there was at least one 2e Lawful Good bladesinger. In my head, the character is very paladin-like in attitude (or at least as much as an elf can be), which is why I think I ended up choosing Lawful Good.

    This shows my ignorance of D&D's alignment system, too, but using charm spells on enemies is an inherently chaotic action? But just straight-up killing those enemies isn't? I'm not sure if I understand.

  • RedrakeRedrake Member Posts: 423
    I would not rely on wiki for lore. I can write an article on wiki, but that's not conclusive.

    You mentioned The Complete Book of Elves. I would advise you looking that over, for guidance, as long as it is for 2E. Maybe even 3E as those went into some more detail, but 2E should be all right.

    Usually, one character made in the setting does not set the norm. Like the old example of Drizzt. Just because you have one CG Drow Ranger, does not mean you should fill the Forgotten Realms with CG Drow Rangers. Is more like an exception from the rule and that exception must come from extraordinary circumstances.

    As for charm spells, I was referring to charm spells as a means of interrogation. That is definitely not a lawful action, as it breaks the norms and ethics (rights) of communities. Especially since, from a PnP point of view, if you have rules in a lawful community, you should also have rules against mind intrusions.

  • markzakumarkzaku Member Posts: 34
    edited November 2017
    I'm 99% positive 2e bladesingers were required to be LG, NG, or CG. So I don't think I'm wrong in the technical sense, even if you're saying LG would be a rare alignment choice for one.

    >>>As for charm spells, I was referring to charm spells as a means of interrogation. That is definitely not a lawful action, as it breaks the norms and ethics (rights) of communities. Especially since, from a PnP point of view, if you have rules in a lawful community, you should also have rules against mind intrusions.

    a.) I charm Mulahey for information and then kill him.
    b.) I kill Mulahey.

    I realize the video game severely limits what choices CHARNAME can make, but what's the more lawful choice there? I'm still not seeing how one of those is more or less chaotic than the other when they both result in Mulahey's summary execution.

    >>>Usually, one character made in the setting does not set the norm. Like the old example of Drizzt. Just because you have one CG Drow Ranger, does not mean you should fill the Forgotten Realms with CG Drow Rangers. Is more like an exception from the rule and that exception must come from extraordinary circumstances.

    I guess I've never understood this line of thinking: CHARNAME is literally one of the most exceptional and extraordinary beings in Faerûn by the end of Throne of Bhaal. An uncommon race/class/alignment combination for them seems relatively insignificant compared to everything else about them that's unique and special. E.g., CHARNAME already goes from Level 1 to being more powerful than Elminster within the span of a couple of in-game years.

    ThacoBell
  • RedrakeRedrake Member Posts: 423
    All right, some quotes from the The Complete Book of Elves for 2E

    In regard to alignment,
    Elves care very little for structured society, preferring instead to focus on the needs of the
    individual. There is nothing so important to elves as the feelings and the needs of the individual.
    This doesn't mean that one individual's needs outweigh those of the rest of the elves. Instead, the
    majority of elven society and law is geared so that the right of each elf is to become as happy as
    he or she may need to be. Elves don't interfere in the lives of other elves unless there are other
    elves who would be harmed by inaction. All elves are believed capable of dealing with their own
    problems. Although other elves may be curious about a certain elf's choices, they will not
    intervene in the action. Free will is all-important to the elf mind. Still, there are few atypical elves
    who are so purely selfish as to reap the love and understanding of their fellows without returning
    any love. A typical elf in an elf community puts the needs of others before his or hers,
    recognizing that without these others, life means less.

    Also
    Although grey elves are not evil like the drow, the movement within their society is carefully restricted. Grey elves tend to be more lawful than chaotic in nature and alignment and therefore do not value individual freedoms as much as other elves might. Likewise, while drow are chaotic in nature, they will brutally crush any who seek to show any semblance of free will.
    Because of the vastly different world views between these two elf subraces and their kin,
    many of the descriptions below apply only to aquatic, high, and sylvan elves. There may
    certainly be exceptions (a city of good drow or a grey elf realm where stratified society is
    rejected), but these will be of the utmost rarity.


    Now what you need to remember when making an elven character is that their ethos is also connected to their religion. The elven pantheon has no lawful deities. All of them are either chaotic or neutral. There aren't even lawful evil or lawful neutral elven deities.

    This is because most elves take pride in their own individuality which cannot be subjected to laws and a lawful society. A lawful good character would act as the good laws of the land would permit or as his deity portfolio demands.
    A chaotic good character would act as he believes it is right, not necessarily as the good laws of the land would permit.
    Just to give an example for BG1, it is lawful for PC to defend Viconia from the Flame Fist enforcer. Why? Because even if her alignment is evil, no evidence of an evil act made by her has been submitted to the PC. The Flaming Fist enforcer wants to kill her because she is drow.
    Therein lies the difference between a LG and LN character. A LN would obey the dictates of the enforcer without caring if this is right or wrong, the letter of the law must be followed not the spirit.

    A chaotic good PC would also be prone to defend Viconia, but only if PC decides that Viconia is an evil that threatens the well-being of people of the land. But killing her because she is drow, is no justification in itself, that's an evil act.

    Of course, this does not mean that if you save her from the unlawful and unjust treatment of the enforcer, a LG or CG character would allow her to join the party. Those kind of characters do not usually associate themselves with evil characters, except in case they are attempting to redeem them. But even redemption must come from the general character of the PC and not from the dictates of alignment.

    Aerakar
  • markzakumarkzaku Member Posts: 34
    edited November 2017
    I feel like we're talking in circles here, but this disclaimer is from the section of The Complete Book of Elves that you quoted:

    General statements will be made about various elven tendencies in this chapter. Note that these are not absolutes for all elven societies; grey elves and drow in particular do not have the vast range of freedoms available to most other elves.

    I totally get that most elves tend to be chaotic in nature; I'm not disputing that at all, nor am I trying to say that my character idea represents a "typical" or "average" elf. However, I don't think anything you've said has convinced me that my idea is mechanically wrong in the sense that, say, a Chaotic Neutral Half-Aasimar/Half-Gnome Blackguard of Torm would be.

    There are also several prominent 2e elven characters with a lawful alignment:

    * Elhan (LN): Commander of Suldanessellar's forces.

    * Ellesime (LG): Queen of Suldanessellar.

    * Entillis Fulsom (LG): Harper agent who attacks CHARNAME on sight if they have a low reputation.

    * Fflar Starbrow Melruth (LG): Famous elven hero from Myth Drannor. (You can even reforge his sword, Foebane, in BG2.)

    * Josidiah Starym (LG): Another elven hero and bladesinger from Myth Drannor.

    * Xan (LN): Moonblade wielder and member of the Greycloaks of Evereska.

    >>>Just to give an example for BG1, it is lawful for PC to defend Viconia from the Flame Fist enforcer. Why? Because even if her alignment is evil, no evidence of an evil act made by her has been submitted to the PC. The Flaming Fist enforcer wants to kill her because she is drow.

    That's not strictly true, though -- the Flaming Fist mercenary is hunting down Viconia because she's wanted for murdering a farmer and his family, not just because she's a drow.

    If you the charm the mercenary, he says, "I am a proud member of the Flaming Fist. Our headquarters is in Baldur's Gate, though we also operate in Beregost and the Friendly Arm Inn. Our squad's mission is to hunt down a drow elf who killed a farmer, his wife, and his kids. It was a very brutal murder, but what can you expect from the drow?"

    As the Flaming Fist are charged with the law enforcement for Baldur's Gate and its surrounding areas, wouldn't a lawful character be inclined to side with them given the circumstances? And I imagine that a lawful elven character would be even more likely to make that choice given the attitudes of most surface elves towards drow.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 10,613
    Play whatever you want, and don't worry about norms too much. The handbooks do give generally common classes and alignments for races, but they also tend to say that pcs can be any alignment they want.

    markzakuAerakar
  • gnaumiecgnaumiec Member Posts: 62
    You put a lot of thought in this, it was a good read! I am currently doing a RP run as well (LG fighter/mage) who, through the stress of their heritage and the ending of SOD, caused charname to completely flip out when they saw the Serevok wraith in Hell, thus causing an alignment change to Evil ( I always liked this RP wise, because this is an understandable action that can cause an alignment shift). I thought it was understandable to say line that goes something like "DIE DIE DIE DIE!"...

    Your elf charname is also unique among other elves due to environment. I see no issue with an elf being raised in the strict (and I believe lawful) environment of Candle Keep adopting a lawful alignment.

    markzakuThacoBellAerakar
  • markzakumarkzaku Member Posts: 34
    >>>I am currently doing a RP run as well (LG fighter/mage) who, through the stress of their heritage and the ending of SOD, caused charname to completely flip out when they saw the Serevok wraith in Hell, thus causing an alignment change to Evil

    I really wish there were more opportunities in-game for alignment shifts like this both for CHARNAME and the companion characters.

    Not to go off topic, but one thing I loved about KOTOR 2 is that you could, if certain conditions were met, change not only your own alignment but that of your companions as well depending upon your in-game actions.

    ThacoBell
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,142
    I can't comment on the lore or the guides, but from a logical perspective, would somebody who lives for hundreds of years be hidebound by laws?
    Especially one who lived amongst short lived races like humans.

    If you had lived in RL for the last few hundred years, you would be pretty aware that what was "law" a century or so ago is now considered "criminal". And vice versa.

    Which fits the descriptions given that were quoted by @Redrake
    If you are aware of laws changing, especially in human societies, then there would far more emphasis on the personal/individual rather than the society.

    An example,
    couple of hundred years ago, slavery legal. Elf following "the law" could legally own slaves.
    Same Elf living now, legally cannot.

    Do you think with that perspective they would consider the law worth following very strictly? Or would they tend to decide for themselves whats lawful/unlawful based on conscience?

    RedrakeDJKajuru
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 10,613
    @UnderstandMouseMagic charname is supposedly a young elf, storywise. So they wouldn't have lived long enough to pick up such an attitude yet. Also, "lawful" need not apply to government laws. I've run many lawful good characters where the "lawful" part of their alignment was a strict personal code, or the tenets of their deity.

    markzakuAerakar
  • RedrakeRedrake Member Posts: 423
    ThacoBell said:

    @UnderstandMouseMagic charname is supposedly a young elf, storywise. So they wouldn't have lived long enough to pick up such an attitude yet. Also, "lawful" need not apply to government laws. I've run many lawful good characters where the "lawful" part of their alignment was a strict personal code, or the tenets of their deity.

    Deity in this case would mean an elven god or goddess and there are no lawful elven deities.

    As for strict personal code, true that could work, but it wouldn't fit with a bladesinger kit, who are not individualists in the strict meaning of the word. They are fighter/mages who are practicing an ancient elven martial art. I have strong doubts about a Bhaalspawn who learns it from books or from human teachers.

  • markzakumarkzaku Member Posts: 34
    edited November 2017
    I created this thread hoping for people to share ideas about how they role-play their own characters and keep things fresh when starting a new game, and instead it's devolved entirely into a discussion on whether or not elves can be lawful. :s

    >>>I can't comment on the lore or the guides, but from a logical perspective, would somebody who lives for hundreds of years be hidebound by laws? Especially one who lived amongst short lived races like humans.

    I get that, but aren't there other long-lived races (e.g., dwarves) who are typically lawful good? Their lifespan of hundreds of years doesn't seem to get in the way of that.

    Just to reiterate, too, I don't think most elves are lawful. I get that a lawful good elf character is a rarity, which honestly isn't something that bothers me. I don't mind if my character is a special snowflake or unusual in this regard.

    Nor do I think my character is completely out-of-place either: I linked several prominent lawful good elven characters earlier in this thread. I don't see why they get to be lawful good and why my character can't. :p

    >>>Do you think with that perspective they would consider the law worth following very strictly? Or would they tend to decide for themselves whats lawful/unlawful based on conscience?

    Perhaps I'm really bad at understanding what lawful good means, but this post on Reddit accurately summarizes how I've always interpreted it.

    ThacoBellAerakar
  • RedrakeRedrake Member Posts: 423
    @markzaku Don't feel bad. In the past this has always been the case with derailment of threads. At the very least this is only about elves. You should see how the topic go on when it involves other races as well, mainly dwarves.

    It is quite difficult to role-play a true elf with true elven heritage in BG1&2, because the game already forces up on you a role to play, that of a Bhaalspawn. One of my favorite means of role-playing was to create 2 characters. One is the Bhaalspawn, the other is her/his roleplaying character.

    DragonspearAerakar
  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,255
    edited December 2017
    @markzaku although I totally understand your resistance to certain arguments around here, I must say that they have been quite enlightening and you have started a really nice forum discussion.

    Since you asked us about how we roleplay our characters I'll comment about mine:

    I'm currently playing a neutral good human Blade . As an artisan of blades and performer he usually tries to cause an impression, he might not be a singer or musician but his intimidating performance does indeed impress crowds and the best way for him to reinforce his prowess is by taking dangerous missions.Bassilus ,Nashkel, Firewine... all thrilling examples and opportunities for glory.

    On the other hand, he keeps a certain distance from common folks (which is common by those artists who need to keep a little mistery) and might even give cold or mean responses . That's his neutral side speaking , while his good tendency comes up when someone needs help but can't afford to pay , then my Blade drops the act and helps them anyway.

    As for his companions, I avoided lawful characters like Dynaheir or Xan because my character doesn't really feel like he's got enough freedom around them. Usually pragmatic beings don't understand the work of a bard unless it benefits their own beliefs.

    He's taken:
    Imoen (the perfect sidekick, and they have contrasting looks and attitudes while following the same alignment) .
    Kivan , although it feels like Kivan's taken him, since he acts as charname's guardian and protector, and became good friends in the long run.
    Viconia . Yeah, apparently not the best choice , but he has his reasons. First, because the flaming fist wanted to kill her because "she's a drow", so saving her was a must. Second, because she intrigued and keeps intriguing him in so many ways : who is this drow who fled to the surface and keeps facing all sorts of conflict? As for her deity, charname believes when Viconia mentions Shar as representing abandonment and loneliness, and comprehends her faith (perhaps he's always felt a bit abandoned while growing up).
    Coran: The best companion for parties and adventures, charname would have considered Coran a rolemodel had the elf not shown his flaws either. Charname has a Zest for life and thrill, but he doesn't think that sexual pleasures and wine should be enjoyed in a completely selfish way.
    Alora: Finally, the last member. It was actually Imoen who met her and brought her to the party, but Charname doesn't reject thieves because he enjoys party members who can keep up with his rhythm and find intelligent solutions for their problems.

    So that's it, so far.

    Post edited by DJKajuru on
    AerakarThacoBellUnderstandMouseMagic
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