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Playing evil for the first time

Discussion in 'Baldur's Gate (Classic)' started by Tharlok, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Tiax can summon the Ghast. I used that effectively the entire time I had him, bar a fight or 2. He didn't die on me the 1st time I met Sarevok nor in the Final Fight. Casting Hold Person and Summoning Ghast is all you really need out of him, other than lock picking and healing. He makes for a great support character since he can cover both Healing and thieving. Leave the arrow firing to the archers. He is not that type of character. That is why there are 6 slots to choose your team from. No cleric in the game can fire arrows. Plus, why not use Montaron and Tiax? With both of them in the party, you only apply Monty's points to the stealthy arts and let him backstab away, leaving the traps and locks to Tiax.
     
  2. Paromin Gems: 2/31
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    Kagain is the tank, he is THE tank unless you make CHARNAME a Dwarf Fighter with better stats then pop a CON Tome ASAP. Barring that, for most of the game Kagain doesn't really need help in the Wall of HP department and you can either use equipment or items to give him whatever immunity he needs.

    And in the cases where Kagain's giant wall of HP won't do the trick, a Ghast simply doesn't compare to Arcane summoning.

    Not to mention Clerics get Animate Dead, so Vicky isn't entirely trumped by Tiax's summoning power.

    As for Traps, you don't require tons of Find Trap in this game. I remember getting through with just Imoen as my Thief and distributing her points evenly. Montaron and Shar-Teel have better DEX scores, Montaron gets the Halfling Thievery bonuses, particularly in hiding.

    Then there's the Boots of Stealth, the Shadow Armor all of which are obtainable once you walk out of Candlekeep. Montaron should be more than capable enough to do almost everything a Thief should do.

    Also while we're on the subject of Traps and Clerics. Viciona is a pure Cleric, which means she'll get Animate Dead a bit earlier. Animate Dead is a pretty good trap remover. You don't even need to Detect Traps in this game all that much if you have a Level 5 Cleric.

    Hell, you don't need to Detect Traps with Kagain and his ultra HP pool.

    Unless you're playing Insane, then we just go back to how Animate Dead is more than enough trap fodder.

    Vicky is recruited earlier, doesn't require you to almost finish the game just to recruit. No ToTSC means even less content to use Tiax in. Not to mention she gets 1 more slot for Hold Person.
     
  3. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Jesus dude, no one is arguing that Kagain isn't the best tank, that is an obvious one. Just offering up different options. The comical edge Tiax has over most of hte other evil doers alone makes him a great addition to a party. Remember, this game can be beat by a Solo character of any class. It doesn't matter who you add to your party, but how they make the game more enjoyable for you. Tiax definitely has a chance of doing that for anyone who hasn't used him yet.
     
  4. Paromin Gems: 2/31
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    Which is why I explicitly put a "any combination can finish the game", seriously that should have been implied already but whatever...

    While the game doesn't force you to use the best party it doesn't change how Tiax is simply the worst evil NPC in this game.

    As for "plot preference" stuff, do we really need to go into that? Numbers are numbers and no matter how you twist and turn them a numerical advantage won't change from person to person. But aesthetics?

    I don't like suggesting NPCs based on their story value because that should be something the player should determine on their own, maybe inform them of certain things like some feature that only appears if NPC A and NPC B are in your party, actually I don't even think people should offer those kinds of suggestions unless the person asking for help intentionally asks for it. Tiax may be a top notch awesome NPC for his story value for lots of people but for others they might prefer others.
     
  5. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Eldoth is the worse, Tiax is runner-up!:p
     
  6. Paromin Gems: 2/31
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    Nope

    Eldath is an arcane class. So that's wand usage. Huge bonus right there. Plus since he's a Bard he can also use bows, another big point. While not as well as the archers of the game, at least it gives him something useful to do.

    Tiax has... Divine Spells, which really aren't that useful in BG1 thanks to potions, the huge number of potions in shops, and your party's giant bank account the game fills up. Unlike Arcane stuff which can only be used by Arcane characters, you don't need to be a Divine class to guzzle a healing potion.

    In fact because there aren't any Fighter/Mages or eligible Fighter/Mage duals (IIRC) Bards fill a pretty good role in the party. And since you don't have access to Gerrick in an evil party, Eldath fills the role quite well.
     
  7. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    No matter how you take this into consideration, you have to concede that BoV is right and that Tiax rules! :evil:
     
    Blades of Vanatar likes this.
  8. Tharlok Gems: 5/31
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    Well I decided to go for "fun and something new" rather than the best possible party I could assemble. Montaron died early so I had to dual Shar-Teel to a thief (at level 3) and it worked out really well. With Boots of Stealth and Shadow Armor I could pour most of the points into Find Traps and Pick Locks. It also made her a really fun NPC to play since she could be the party scout (which I usally don't use) and backstab some of the more dangerous opponents. That was really helpfull in the Cloakwood Mines.

    But the real problem was obviously the beginning. The last time I played I had NPC:s like Kivan, Jaheira, Branwen, Khalid and Imoen - all good or decent with a ranged weapon. Now I had me (Lawful Evil fighter), Shar-Teel and Viccy (with a sling) to rely on. Edwin had one slot in blunt weapons and Xzar died if squirrels threw nuts at him so... Anyone it started to work when Kagain reached level 3 since he then could tie up bad guys while the rest of the party did what damage they could. Sleep and Command Word was a must!

    I also decided to dual Xzar to a cleric (at level 5) since I thought it would be better suited to my party. And it was an improvement - he could take care of himself a lot better than before. Only problem right now is that I have forgotten most of Baldur's Gate (the city) and are wandering around with no clear sense of what I'm looking for. Just like the first time.

    Right now I have:
    Charname (Fighter lvl 7)
    Kagain (Fighter lvl 7)
    Shar-Teel (Fighter lvl 3/Thief lvl 8)
    Viccy (Cleric lvl 7)
    Xzar (Necromancer lvl 5/Cleric lvl 7)
    Edwin (Conjurer lvl 7)

    Well, the party will not get any better than this but I'm ok with that. Just some quests in Baldur's Gate and the whole area with Drizzt left to explore. I guess that next time I will have to take Montaron since I usally never take him beyond the first fight with Silke in Beregost. But it's fun to play a different game (and try out a new strategy) and it's interesteing to try some of the more rude options in conversations.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2010
  9. Midget Gems Gems: 2/31
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    [​IMG] I'm wondering how you are roleplaying your evil party. Are you going for "not helping anyone" or "subversive" or "psycho". Most of the time you have to play the game to make progress but it's what you do for extra amusement that makes a difference.

    Back on the subject of Tiax, I'm a big believer in "any party can finish the game", so having strong companions is way down on my list. And I too like the Summon Ghast ability. I once called one in as fodder against the Demonknight, but the DK failed his saving throw and the Ghast won easily!
     
  10. Tharlok Gems: 5/31
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    I think that you can justify doing almost every quest even if you are playing evil. You are acting like an adventurer/mercenary who wants to make money and become powerful. The hard roleplaying decision is when the reputation is getting to high. I realised that I had to kill someone in order to keep the rep down. But just slaughtering someone felt just wrong. So I had to justify this. My character, Kagain and Edwin are Lawful Evil so they wouldn't do it. Viccy is Neutral Evil but more importantly would be a prime suspect since se is drow. That leaves Xzar and Shar-Teel who are both Chaotic Evil.

    So after clearing out the Nashkel Mines and found Josephs greenstone ring, I returened it to the woman who had given us the quest. I expected money but got nothing. So when the rest of the party were congratulated by the townspeople, Shar-Teel made a return to that woman and killed her. She searched the house but didn't found anything valuble. That works for me as a roleplaying reason to kill someone.
     
  11. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    I think that what you describe is the mercenary way. Playing evil it's really hard to keep a reputation above 6 even if you're not playing a psycho.

    My choice would be to do this:

    [​IMG]

    Putting her out of her misery is way too charitable when you can just gloat. :D
     
  12. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    That's not evil, that's simply being a violent psychopathic. Evil does not automatically mean insane (althought it appears to for many).
     
  13. Tharlok Gems: 5/31
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    @ T2Bruno
    Well Shar-Teel isn't the most sane character so... Anyway since I havent't tried BG with an evil party before I have to make it up as I go along. But I agree that isn't "evil" and more of insane/extreme choice. I guess that what I'm doing is more of playing the evil characters since I haven't done that before (most of them anyway). I guess the next time I play I will explore more of the evil choices that the game provides.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2010
  14. Midget Gems Gems: 2/31
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    [​IMG] I can't quite see 'unhelpful & selfish' being enough for an evil party. Maybe you can find a way to be evil without being violent.

    I was wondering if you could be creative with spells like Dire Charm & Polymorph Other. If someone upsets you then turn them into a squirrel.
    Or maybe toss 'Confusion' into a crowded bar and watch the results.

    And there has to be more scope once you party has gained some levels and doesn't have to worry too much about simply surviving.
     
  15. Paromin Gems: 2/31
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    Actually that move makes perfect sense for a Chaotic Evil character.

    The Lawful Evil character would not kill someone just to get their money, they'd find a legal way to do so. Like spreading malicious rumors or finding loopholes in the law, obviously the game doesn't allow that for that situation.

    The Neutral Evil character would think first if they could get away with it, considering that crimes often bring about the wrath of the Flaming Fist, they'll hold off killing people unless they're absolutely certain about it.

    Now this is where the difference of in-game and metagame knowledge comes in. The player knows very well that killing someone in their house doesn't bring about the wrath of the Flaming Fist, or for that matter turn everyone in town hostile against you. Does the character though know this? Might the person scream before they die, calling attention to the situation? Will they be able to escape situation if so?

    Of course there's also the question if it's worth the effort. By that point in the game the Neutral Evil character will think "I have so much money, what's the point of killing one citizen for a little more?"

    The Chaotic Evil character on the other hand is motivated by wants, if they want the money they'll take it. But because Shar-teel lost to CHARNAME, she'll have to do it without his knowledge. Why? Because CHARNAME is stronger than her and if he says "Just drop it" she'll kick the floor with her head bowed down and agree. However, if she thinks she can do so without his knowledge of the matter then why not?
     
  16. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Once again psychopathis killer = insane. Chaotic evil is greedy and not too caring about others, but they are not automatically insane.

    Lawful evil does not find a legal way of killing someone, they find a way to take what they want without getting caught. Laws can be convenient, but rules were made to be broken by those powerful enough to make their own rules. Lawful evil is a control freak and thumbscrews are quite good at getting the appropriate cooperation from coworkers.
     
  17. Paromin Gems: 2/31
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    If you went by in-game description. Lawful Evil is described to work within a certain set of rules.

    AD&D 2E states that as well, so does 3.5 and 4.0 Lawful Evil all agree with it. I could quote a sourcebook if you really want to turn this into a rule lawyering discussion.

    Lawful Evil follows a set of rules and sticks by it. Which rules those are are up to the player, but obviously that's where context comes in. In this particular context, for CHARNAME the set of rules are the ones set by the governing body of the land he's in.

    Also how does Shar-teel killing someone for their gold automatically count as insane? She could have very low regard for the life of commoners and that she had to work her ass off to get the ring and not receive any monetary reward is enough to light her fuse. Granted that killing a commoner can be a little too extreme, but consider that the game doesn't offer a "Threaten" option, in normal P&P, the player controlling Shar-teel would have slipped away from the group then went to the commoner's house and threatened her or roughed her up. But that is obviously not allowed in the game.

    The nearest action that produces the same results is to knock her unconscious then rob her house. But what about the money on the person's body? (if there is some, can't recall if commoners in the game actually carried stuff around) Games doesn't give people that many tools for a real RP experience, so the player has to make do with what he's given. And for BG it's mostly combat related.
     
  18. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    Yes you can:

    [​IMG]

    Exactly.

    Unless you're playing a total psycho you will always outweigh the benefits and the risks for such a course of action. Is stealing from a peasant worth getting in trouble with the Flaming Fist or getting branded as outlaws? I doubt it.

    If you play a smart evil character you can have a lot of fun looking for things that are way more sophisticated and more beneficial than simply killing or maiming.

    Evil is synonymous with selfishness and self-centredness. They also cheat (a lot).

    LE will work through the limits of the system exploiting loopholes and bending the rules to find ways to force others to serve the character.

    CE will take what he or she wants in an every man for himself kind of way while flouting the authorities and breaking the rules outright. That doesn't necessarily involve senseless killing sprees.

    NE is the most versatile kind as it is primarily focused on personal objectives while allowing the character to accept constraints (something that is hard for a CE character) and to break his word (something that is difficult for a LE character unless there is some sort of provision or stipulated condition for doing so).
     
  19. Paromin Gems: 2/31
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    How does a Chaotic Evil character using what the game allows you to do then resolve their anger at a someone who sends them into a monster infested mine to fetch something and not even give them a suitable reward?

    If this were a real PnP campaign, killing a commoner is simply way out of line even for a Chaotic Evil character. But that is because there are so many other options available to the player that is keeping in line with his alignment. So the DM can go "Really? Murder? That's what you're going to do?"

    In a PnP campaign you can roughen someone up like a character out of a mafia story, take their belongings and threaten to kill them and their family if they breath a word of it to the Flaming Fist or to anyone. Or tie them up so you can rough them up a bit and threaten them with something worse if they don't have something for you when you come back.

    However what can you do in this game? Knock a commoner unconscious? And then what? If they have money on their body you can't get to it unless they're dead. That doesn't even make sense, they're knocked out, you should be able to do anything like take the ring back. But no, you can't even pickpocket someone who is hostile.
     
  20. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    [​IMG] @Paronim: That's why a CRPG can't compete with a pnp RPG.
     
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