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ngreennz

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  1. Atheism doesn't really make sense in a world with active gods where people can actually be discriminated against for the state of their souls, but anti-theism is certainly a possible position, and if they get any screen time, I hope it's not as strawmen or the only reasonable position to which everyone else is willfully blind.
  2. If I want to have my ego stroked I'll go play Dragon Age or Mass Effect. I prefer playing underdogs who aren't as powerful as their opposition, and then succeed by being clever. It's difficult to do this when you're heralded as an exemplar of hero-dom. At least in the Baldur's Gate saga, they only started referring to you as the most powerful Bhaalspawn ever in Throne of Bhaal when you'd had plenty of opportunity to earn that in-game. That said, I do remember that Edwin was a pretty cheesy mage, and Sarevok had the kind of stats you usually had to roll an hour or so for. What I felt more jealous of was the characters who got more narrative mileage out of their class than me; Haer'Dalis makes a PC bard seem pretty flat; The NWN2 sorceress got the majority of the wizard vs sorcerer conflict in that game, etc. The class-specific strongholds in BG2 went a good way towards ameliorating that, though, simply because they let you act your class in an environment that wasn't specifically connected to the main plot.
  3. I hope we won't see belief = power, myself. Torment and Mask of the Betrayer both covered it from two different angles anyway, I'd rather see something new. I expect, given the way souls work, that we'll see something that links gods to the cycle of souls. For example, does the cycle just happen or are there psychopomps who carry souls into and out of the world? (Physical gods seem unlikely to me since I think we heard in a prior update that dead souls went to wherever gods are). Maybe there's a warrior goddess or something that guards the door back into life to make sure that a soul, and not something else, gets to inhabit a new body. The general wonkiness that can happen to souls (fragmenting, co-habitation, etc) makes me think that apotheosis is likely possible, but maybe in more of a buddhist way, where it requires lots of different lifetimes lived. I also like the idea that a few people have had that gods are large accumulations of souls in some way. One take would be two classes of gods, one representing natural processes (Death, weather, fate, the ocean, etc) and another class representing human concepts (war, love, wisdom, luck, etc), the latter group forming gradually to provide a safe harbor for human souls to rest in. One thing I really hope Obsidian does is find a good way to work "institutions of faith" into the setting, though since souls are such a huge deal in the setting they've got to be thinking about it. The catholic church tends to get transplanted a lot, but that's getting a little old. The setting seems to lend itself to Tulkus, for example. The cycle of souls is a good opportunity for significant birth and death rites. Maybe there's a superstition to help your kid attract the kind of soul you want, or repel the messed up ones, and maybe people about to die are given messages to take to the gods, and safeguard the state of their soul. Finally, sin-eaters are cool, and while not directly suggested by the soul thing, could have interesting consequences for the whole cycle, and I've never seen them in a setting before.
  4. I'd like to see how gods relate to the soul thing. If you worship a god, does he get custody of your soul when you die? Does that influence how you worship in the next life? Or is it more like egyptian mythology in which one or two gods preside over all dead souls and the process of dying? Is there a psychopomp god, or lots of little psychopomps that one god presides over? How do souls get back into the world? Do psychopomps handle that too? Maybe there's a warrior goddess standing guard over conception/ensoulment to avoid a demon getting in instead, or something. I'd also prefer if they avoided/put a twist on some of the classic archetypes. What if the trickster god was also the goddess of love, for example? Maybe the Boss God is a Poseidon-type ocean god instead of a Zeus-style sky god. I'd also prefer if they'd avoid the Worshippers = Power thing. If you're not going to do anything interesting with it, a la Terry Pratchett's Small Gods, or Hogfather, then I think it's sort of a cop-out for explaining why gods care about people. Also, churches. We could do with some mixing-up of churches. Mystery cults in forest glades, creepy fanatical isolationists in mountain strongholds, deranged charismatic prophets of down-and-out gods staging a comeback, expansionist state religions, I'd prefer to see any/all of these then just more martial clerics with chainmail and warhammers. There's also potential for reincarnation-oriented holy men, like tulkus or the Dalai Lama. This can be hubristic or not, I suppose, depending on whether or not he's actually a prophet, though dying, spending time with the gods, and coming back sounds like a pretty good way to get divine revelation into the world.
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