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Realms Beyond: Ashes of the Fallen just launched today. It's a party based CRPG with turn-based tactical combat on a hex grid and using the OGL ruleset (i.e., 3.5e D&D). They're also releasing the game with the editor / toolset so it will hopefully have many user created mods. It looks absolutely fantastic to me. I much prefer TB to RTwP. I only hope the story will be better than ToEE. The KS is raising funds in part to help hire a lead writer so that's a good sign
And I think the Magic Missile spell is a good example of what I don't like about magic in Eternity. (For those who don't know, Magic Missile is a D&D level 1 spell that most wizards or sorcerers start out with). The Magic Missile spell was awesome in the old IE games because it scaled with your level--the higher your level, the more missiles you could shoot, the more missiles you could shoot the more damage you could do. It was great. That made the Magic Missile spell useful even at high-levels. It was also a great visual indicator of character growth. When I hit level 2 in Baldur's Gate, for example, I don't feel like I'm getting stronger because I can do slightly more damage and have slightly better stats--I feel stronger because instead of shooting out one dinky missile, I shoot two. And then hours later when my wizard is blasting 10 missiles from each fingertip--that feels truly badass. Which brings me to Pillars of Eternity. None of the magic (that I've seen so far) scales with the player, so low-level spells very quickly lose relevance. There are also no visual or mechanical changes to the spells... and that's really disappointing to me. I love Pillars of Eternity, don't get me wrong: it's almost everything I'd hoped it would be. But I always play a wizard/sorcerer character in games like this, so it's disappointing to see that Pillars of Eternity is yet another in a long list of CRPGs that simply fails to (even try to) reach the same level as the old IE games.
so, after giving it some thought - should I catch up to Tigranes first and then begin posting, should I start right away since there is a lot of content Tig missed (companions' side quests) - I've decided to make the thread, since I already have something to show. and if I abandon it in the future, well... at least I will have tried. a few things you should keep in mind if you plan on following this playthrough: - last time I played BG2 was back in high school, I don't remember anything about the story or the quests, so it'll be all new to me (I did do some research in order to pick my party); - I'm playing vanilla BG2 - no mods, no enhancements - on core difficulty, so a lot of fights will be easier than they would be for Tig, for this reason I will not be showing most of them (maybe I'll make an exception for the toughest ones, to share my strategy); - I already made some bad decisions due to my lack of experience with the game and with D&D 2E, even though I intend to show everything the game has to offer, some things I will miss (some of them have to be missed, like the alliance with the Shadow Thieves/Vampires); - I will side with the Shadow Thieves since Tig seemed to gravitate towards Bodhi; - I will not be making a full party because that's what I did before, and it made the game unnecessarily easy (I had spent hours rolling my characters, making sure all of them had at least 4 stats at 17+), this means I will mostly concentrate on my party's side quests in the beginning; - I will not be romancing Anomen, frankly, he pisses me off, and I want to at least attempt to roleplay a certain type of character; to give the party a bit of a backstory and to tie it in with Tig's playthrough let's assume these two parties operate inside the same time frame. let's say my main character is looking for Tig's party, because she finds out she's not the only child of Bhaal present in the area, she's trying to track down the other one (let's assume she only knows about Imoen, Sarevok etc. from her dreams). this effectively means that I will not be showing stuff Tigranes already did and completed: like Mae'Var, slavers, De'Arnise etc. I will be showing managerial stuff from De'Arnise, since Tig wasn't planning on showing it, apparently. so, let's assume Tale declined Nalia's proposal, and right as she was about to lose hope, we showed up and saved the day. meet the mysterious Lady L. (or "Le" for short): Lawful Evil Fighter, specializing in one-handed swords. until I can make Anomen into a better tank she'll be using a shield in her off-hand. eventually I'll switch her to two swords. I will try to keep this let's play in form of a travel journal, depicting my character's daily deeds, while she searches for Tale. let's roll. "Day 2. Noon. Woke up to Jaheira's moans this morning. Her condition is getting worse, she can barely hold her sword and shield. Good thing she can shapeshift into a bear if things get really hairy... But we really need to do something about that bastard Ployer. She maybe has a day or two at the most, after that there will be nothing to raise from the dead. Even if she does pass, won't hinder my plans too much. She's reliable, of course, I'll miss that; but when push comes to shove anyone could take her place in formation. Now, that dumb son of a bitch Minsc, on the other hand... He's unstoppable. And loyal, which will definitely come into play at some point. Have to keep him happy. Thankfully, that's easy to do. Bless you and your lack of brains, Minsc. Have to go meet that fool Nalia now. Reminder: Jaheira seems to hate her guts, better make sure not to encourage this spoiled brat. Who does she think she is? Savior of the meek, the hand that feeds the poor? My, oh my, it seems to be a common occurrence among the rich here. I think I liked it better in the North..." Nalia: Dead... he is... I'm sorry, I must take a moment to collect myself. You have been most kind. Please, let me pay you what I can and then... and then... Oh no... ah, I don't suppose I could convince you to remain here for a while? I really need... no, no, it is my own problem. I'll deal with it as best I can. Le: Say your piece, Nalia, I'll not lose sleep wondering what you might have said. Nalia: I'ts a very awkward situation, and I'm not quite sure if I'm ready to deal with it. I don't have much choice though, now that Father is gone. I am betrothed, you see. Yes, some powerful associates of my Father roped me into that tired custom. I am to wed a brat of a man named Isaea Roenal. I think Father regretted it, but that is the way wealthy families gain status in business. He seemed quite willing to stall the inevitable, but now he is gone... Le: Yes, yes, very sad. What is required of me? Nalia: The Roenalls, mainly Isaea, have been pressuring. They knew I was the only heir, and traditionally titles fall to a male. I fear Isaea will take control and abuse our wealth. I have worked to forge a relationship with those beneath me, but it will not continue with the Roenalls in power. they are snobbish, snooty, and oh so arrogant. Le: Not the type of person I would associate with either. What can I do? Nalia: I need a way to get out of the betrotal, and I need to do it soon. They respect the old traditions, and I think I know a way to use one to our mutual advantage. There's an old tradition, where a fighting soul would become the lord of a manor once the current lord had passed on. You are versed in combat; you would be an impressive obstacle to Isaea. I ask that you assume title to the keep. You will be a figurehead, and I will be a ward of sorts. It is my right as heir to choose who shall lead. I do not know if I could stand before the Roenalls, but you, with your...erh...talents, would prove a daunting figure. Le: The Roenalls would accept this? I find that hard to believe. Nalia: They will complain, but there is no real cause why you could not do this. Often a fighting soul will take possession of a keep when the lord is...is dead. Please, this will ensure that the Roenalls do not take control of my home. They are oppressive nobles and will not direct this place in a way that will honor my father. Le: I'll take your offer, and damn those that stand in my way. I'll see this place run proper. Nalia: Wonderful! Now they can't force me out. You are master of this place, within reason. I remain the sole heir, and can take away what has been given. "Lady de'Arnise. Sounds respectable, noble. Will be a good cover for me, it's easier to deal with government officials when you have a name behind you. But isn't that girl just full of herself? If this wasn't such a good deal for me I would rather see Nalia be wed into that family, a husband like Isaea... He would probably end up dead by her hand. It's time to leave for the city, now that this affair with the keep is settled. Have to officially take the place over, speak to the keeper, and then we're off to try and get Jaheira's curse lifted. First stop: Copper Coronet, her old friend Bernard should know something about Ployer's whereabouts..." Major Domo: I also ensure that taxes are collected and kept in the coffers here. If you wish to change taxes from how they were under Lord de'Arnise, just tell me. A large amount of the coin will go into rebuilding the keep's depleted force of men-at-arms, and into maintaining the keep and its staff. But I estimate you will still gather, say, five hundred gold pieces per week. If you wish to access that, you have but to come to me. As for the major decisions, well, I suggest you return at least every couple of weeks. If there's anything critical, a runner will find you, if they can. There is...nothing that requires immediate attention. The servants will be cleaning up, and I am sure funeral arrangements have yet to be made for Lord de'Arnise. Lady Nalia, of course, shall remain here in her old quarters. If you wish to speak to her, I am sure you will be able to find her there. And...and Lady Delcia...ah... Lady Delcia Caan: I most certainly will NOT stay here! You cannot expect me to spend another minute in this place with these...these...ruffians! Nalia: Auntie! They saved our keep from being overrun by trolls! And Lady Le is helping keep our home from being taken over by the Roenalls! Lady Delcia Caan: That may be so, dear niece, but that does not mean she possesses any noble blood to rule this land. I would sooner see an acceptably noble Roenall rule here than this...this...impostor! Do not think you truly rule here. Proper noble hands will return. I consider my home to be no better off than when it was occupied by the trolls. "Day 2. Late evening. With help from Bernard found Baron Ployer's house. The snake was waiting for us right at the entrance. There was no reasoning with him, had to end things in the usual manner. People in this city are awfully quick to jump the sword, to my amusement. Had to dispose of his hirelings as well, they seemed like competent mages, but six to three in our favor - not the best of odds for them. Found a lock of Jaheira's hair in there. She looked like she felt a lot better. Hopefully the curse was lifted. Will have to wait for her to return from her 'secret' Harper job, if she even does return. After that encounter with her buddy Galvarey I'm not sure Athkatla's Harpers can be considered allies. Have to keep my eye on Jaheira, just in case. Anomen has been acting weird. We barely know each other, and he already feels comfortable to talk about his family, his childhood with me... Not sure what to think of it. And his constant bragging, oh my goodness! Took out a wyvern, saved his whole company, defeated giants. Such a great hero. How come he still isn't a knight then? I don't like him. But he's a valuable asset. Have to at least pretend to care, I need a cleric in my team. And he has fighter training, there's some knowledge of tactics in that hot head of his. I hate men with baggage, why do I always end up with one?" "Day 3. Early morning. Jaheira's back, and she's anxious about something. That job didn't go too well, I reckon. Now we have to go back to the Harpers' headquarters, it's so urgent we just have to drop everything. And it had to happen now! When I'm so close to the other Bhaalspawn. I know he's somewhere in the city right now, I overheard Bernard telling Jaheira of a party that took out a slaver ring in the Slums. That has to be him! Instead of following this lead I'm stuck right in the middle of a power struggle. Galvarey could at least give me some information in return for assisting him in taking out that mad fool Xzar... Reminder: bring it up with Jaheira, maybe she can use her connections for my benefit for once. She owes me." Jaheira: Your welcome is forced, Galvarey, you know I am here at the bidding of the Herald. Why have you come to greet me; this is too important to waste time on you. Galvarey: Ahh, I know well the importance of this. It was I that called you. Jaheira: You! You are no Herald! What is going on here? Galvarey: This area lacks a Herald currently, and I seek to establish one. You will help, by doing what's right. You know what is right, don't you? Jaheira: I know you are an ambitious fool. You cannot be sanctioned to do this. Even this gaudy base is against our usual restraint. The position of Herald requires... Galvarey: Herald requires the will to establish the position. The High Heralds will judge if it is deserved. Really, Jaheira, this is a matter aside. You know this. Jaheira: Fine, set about with your questions so I can get on with my job as well. Galvarey: Very good. You serve the greater cause that we all do. Now then, Le, do you know why you are here? Le: I simply do not care. Stop with these games and state your case, whatever it is. Galvarey: You are blunt, as is your life... an existence pushing through everything in its path. That is why you are here, because of who and what you are. Let me ask you a few things straight away, Le. Nothing too intrusive, I assure you. What are your earliest memories? Are they happy ones? Le: Well, I remember coming through that door behind me. Beyond that it is all a blur. Sorry. Galvarey: You are very combative. Not good. Not good at all. This only supports my position, as I knew it would. Next question then. As a child of Bhaal, have you...violent thoughts? Le: I'm having several right now. Really good ones too. You'd laugh if you could see them. Well, no, maybe YOU wouldn't. Galvarey: Well, no surprise in that answer. Ingrained response, I would assume. Jaheira: This is a difficult situation! Would you react different? Galvarey: Yes, Jaheira, yes I would, because I am not born of evil. This person is proving to be just as I thought she would be. Now then, Le, what is your favorite color? Jaheira: What has *that* to do with anything?! Galvarey: Jaheira! I question your loyalty to our cause. My method will become clear in the end. I ask again, Le, what is you favorite color? Le: Blue. Galvarey: Blue you say! The color of sadness and despair! It should have been obvious! Jaheira: And also the sky, or the ocean! You are so intent on seeing what you wish the answer does not matter! Galvarey: I suppose in part it does not matter. obviously this person causes much disturbance where e'er she goes. My interview is just to clarify the matter. Jaheira: But you were to see Le as she is, not as you expected her to be! I was to bring them here so... Galvarey: You were to bring them here so that we might have them here, nothing more. The course of action was always clear. Le: Excuse me, but I'm still in the room. What is it you intend? Jaheira: Indeed, Galvarey, what is it you intend? This is not as we had discussed... Galvarey: No, but you only needed to know enough to bring them here. Extraneous information would have endangered the mission. As Harpers we... Jaheira: As Harpers we respect others! Galvarey: We have a greater duty to maintain the balance. How can you, as a Harper...as a DRUID sanction the freedom of this person. What will they do to the balance? Jaheira: And what if they will restore the balance? What if her intent is good? Galvarey: It is simply not worth the risk. No, there is no choice in the matter. Le, you are to be...confined. Jaheira: It is as good as death and you know it, Galvarey! Galvarey: Nothing so barbaric. Imprisonment to contain the chaos she might sow, either intentionally or unwittingly. It is a humane solution. Le: And you assume I will submit to this? That is not very likely. Galvarey: No, Le, I mean the spell 'Imprisonment'. You will find yourself in a small container a few leagues under the earth. Quite peaceful. Le: You are welcome to try, but I doubt you shall succeed. I am in the right here! Galvarey: You have no voice here and little choice in the matter. Certainly you can fight, but there are six Harpers to contend with. The odds are quite clearly... Jaheira: Nay, Galvarey, there is but you and your four lackeys. I will have no part in this! Le, you are my comrade in arms. I know you are good and true in heart. I will fight with you against this! Galvarey: You have made a mistake, Jaheira. With her imprisonment I could get sponsored as Herald! But now you fight the Harpers with this monster! Jaheira: Harpers may interfere but it is for the greater good! Not this! I don't know you! "Quick note while we wait for our ale at Cop. Jaheira seems to be worried. I guess she should, since we took out the whole Harper presence in the area. Although, in her place I would argue Galvarey's group was but a splinter cell that presented a clear and present danger to the Harpers' cause. We'll see what Bernard has to say about it." "Day 3. Noon. Eventful day this has been. First we wipe out Jaheira's only connection to her faction in the area, then Aerie gets word from her uncle, apparently shorty is in trouble, again. And now a messenger tells Anomen his sister is dead. The sister he had been talking about for the last few days. This is some kind of punishment from the gods, I just know it. How could I get stuck with this troubled bunch? "L." doesn't stand for 'loser'!" Cor Delryn: The prodigal son returns. Heir to his mother's foolishness as always. How far have you roamed, son, running always from me? Anomen: Speak not of my mother, drunkard. You were never worthy of being her husband. Cor Delryn: Yet I was, and your father as well. Never forget that, boy! Your mother would still be alive if you children weren't such a handful. Anomen: **** you mouth, father. We've had this conversation before and I've not the patience to listen to it again. Cor Delryn: You will listen to what ever I choose to tell you, Anomen. Respect your father, knightling. I am still the man of this family and you will obey me! Anomen: Yes, father... I lost my temper and I apologize. Cor Delryn: It took you long enough to get here. It wouldn't hurt you to come and see your father now and again. Anomen: Father, where is Moira, your daughter? What happened to her? Cor Delryn: Idiot boy! She's dead! Murdered by the Calim****e fiends! Anomen: How did this happen? Cor Delryn: How do you think? It was Saerk the Calim****e. It was not enough for him to take my business; he had to take my Moira too. Anomen: But why would he kill her? She has nothing to do your enmity. Cor Delryn: Do you understand nothing? He killed her because he could! For years I embarrassed him amongst the merchants, undercut his prices and stole his customers. When my business failed he had a monopoly on the Calimshan shipping routes. He wouldn't be happy until I had nothing. By the end, Moira was all that I had, and now he's taken her too. Anomen: Where were the guards? Why was she not protected? Cor Delryn: The guards left months ago. I had no money to pay them with. Soon I will lose my house as well. Saerk has taken all of it... all of your mother's and sister's things... Anomen: He didn't take it, father. YOU lost it... you lost it... Cor Delryn: I lost it because you abandoned your family. if you hadn't run away, Moira would still be alive. You should have been here to protect her! To save her from the brigands! Anomen: I'm sorry. I... I didn't know... Cor Delryn: You should have been there, Anomen. Never forget that! It is too late to save her but your work is not yet finished, Anomen. Anomen: What can be done? Moira is dead. Cor Delryn: She can be avenged, Anomen. You must kill Saerk and his son. It is the only way that Moira's spirit can be at rest. As for your friends, they would do well to help you for Saerk the Calim****e is a very wealthy man and his gold shall be their reward. Anomen: I must see Moira's remains first, father. Anomen: Le, I am well worried by what has gone on in this place. Though the choice seems clear and right I am hesitant to take it. There are many who easily side-step laws through wealth. Perhaps, in this case, it would be best to see why the law has failed so. To decide between justice and honor! Oh, it's a conundrum that would tie even Boo up in knots. I do envy you. My decisions are usually easier than this. Surely if Saerk killed my sister I must avenge her murder. Yet killing for the purpose of revenge is murder by the tenets of the Order. I know not what I should do. Le: Your father is correct...your sister's murder cannot go unpunished. Saerk is clearly evil, and is it not every knight's responsibility to destroy evil? Anomen: Do you not think that the killing of Saerk could be considered a revenge murder by the Order? Le: I won't try to mislead you. It will most likely be seen as a crime by the Order. Anomen: What path shall I choose? If I choose vengeance, I shall avenge my sister's murder but be damned by the act. if I choose to keep my vows, I will dishonor my family. What shall I do? Le: I'm sure that many of the Order have faced difficult choices and yet have chosen to keep their vows. Do not take a mission of revenge. Anomen: Aye. This is right. I feel it in my bones. I've lived under the bitterness of my father's spirit my entire life. It has tainted me to the point where I'm willing to partake in it. He can keep his hatred and drown his sorrows as he has always done. yet the question of my sister's murder remains. Le: To be honest, I'm not sure that I trust your father's version of events. All that he speaks of seems to be colored by his hatred of Saerk. Anomen: They have always been mortal enemies. If my sister was indeed murdered then the magistrate would have investigated. My father's revenge be damned! I have sworn to uphold the law and unlike him, I shall do so. Come, let us return to my father. He may yet be convinced to follow the lawful path. It is not my place to take revenge. Such an act would lead to chaos. Anomen: Father, it is time for this foolishness to end. killing Saerk in vengeance would be murder as surely as my sister's death was. Cor Delryn: The destruction of evil is never considered to be murder. Do not these knights that you seek to join take such missions themselves? Anomen: Not in the manner that you suggest. We must take these charges to the magistrate. This is the only way to end this circle of violence that you have trapped us within. Cor Delryn: You fool boy! The magistrate will do nothing. She is a pawn of Saerk! Anomen: Bylanna Ianulin is a good and noble woman. You said this yourself before you slipped into the foul clutch of the drink. Cor Delryn: You dishonor Moira's memory! You would allow the killer of your sister to go free? You are despicable! You are an insect! Anomen: I will not allow him to go free! He shall be taken before the courts if he is indeed the one who murdered my sister. Cor Delryn: How can you doubt such a thing, boy? Saerk is the killer! Anomen: Do you have proof, father? Cor Delryn: The proof lies in the fact that he has taken everything else from me! killing Moira would complete my defeat. Anomen: Aye, now I see. Such has always been the case in this household. This is about you and only you. Your daughter's death means nothing beyond how it affects your pride and your comfort. Cor Delryn: Boy, you've fallen in with evil! Step back from the line and honor your family before it's too late. Anomen: I will not, father. I suggest no evil. I suggest the lawful path. Cor Delryn: Again I say, obey me, Anomen! Anomen: I have obeyed you all my life and received naught but bitterness in return. My friend and I shall take this matter to the magistrate, as the law requires. Cor Delryn: If you step out that door then you must never come within again. Anomen: Don't do this, father... Cor Delryn: Shut your mouth! If you leave now you are forever banished from this place. You will be cast from this family and become a nameless dog, not fit to cower at my feet. Anomen: I've been cowering at your feet for all my life. Goodbye, father. Perhaps I shall see you again before you drink yourself to death. Cor Delryn: You are nothing, boy! Nothing! Bylanna: Ah...you must be the son of Lord Cor. Anomen, is it? I am afraid that there is very little I can tell you regarding your sister's death. Anomen: What do you mean? Surely you have found evidence to link Saerk to her murder? The man will be brought before the courts to meet justice, will he not? Bylanna: There is insufficient evidence to connect Saerk Farrahd to the murder. The only other person in your father's estate at the time was killed, as well. Anomen: But...is there nothing you can do? Surely you know that Saerk is responsible! Bylanna: I know of your family's feud with the merchant, but a motive is not enough without witnesses or evidence. The rule of law must prevail...surely you understand. Anomen: No! There must be something that can be done! Moira's murder cannot go unanswered! Bylanna: Answered? Take vengeance on the merchant and he replies in kind, and the feud continues unabated. Is it not time for this hatred to be put to rest? Anomen: I...I do not know. Le: This Saerk may be innocent, Anomen. You cannot take vengeance on one who might be innocent...you are a knight, after all, first and foremost. Anomen: Yes, you are likely correct in this, my friend. It wrenches my heart that Moira's death should go unpunished, but there is little that can be done. I should not take vengeance upon a man my father believes is guilty only because of his pride. It could just as easily have been a... a burglar, perhaps. And if it is this Saerk, the gods will punish him even if the courts will not. Jaheira: The law may not be able to do anything, Anomen, but such men as this Saerk always trip over their own schemes. If he is responsible, he will pay, as you say. Yoshimo: It's been my experience that some crimes never end in punishment, by the law, gods or otherwise. I would never let down my kin as you have, but then you are not I. Anomen: I wish I could return to my father and convince him that this is the best way, but I am sure he will not even see me. He is a stubborn, vile man. Perhaps, in time, he shall see the truth of this matter. At least... that is my hope. "Day 3. Late evening. Disaster averted. I can't afford to kill nobles in their homes, and I definitely can't afford to lose that fool Anomen to some stupid revenge plan. Either he loses his mind or loses his freedom, both ways would be equally disastrous at this stage. I need more people... But boy, Anomen is easy to manipulate! First his father convinces him to avenge his sister's death by killing Saerk, and not moments later I convince him to appeal to the magistrate. Amazing lack of will. I would be wise to use this to my advantage. Push him just a little bit so he finally got his knighthood, then with their resources I could increase my efforts. I'll talk to Anomen tomorrow. Now we're off to the Promenade to see that old fart Quayle. Maybe he's finally remembered what Tale and his followers looked like or if they mentioned their plans..." Quayle: Aerie! It is always good to see you! And, yes... I did ask you to come. With Le and her friends, I think you can help me. Or one of my friends, rather. Aerie: I'd be happy to. Which friend are you talking about? Quayle: No one you know of, my dear. A lass I met in my earlier days, when I happened to find myself in the Outer Planes. That's a long story I won't get into. She is here in Athkatla, and has herself in a bit of a bind. She wrote me a letter asking for my help... but you and Le may be able to help more than I. Aerie: I'd be happy to help her, Uncle Quayle. That is... if Le thinks we have the time. What... what do you think, Le? Quayle: There's no rush on such a thing. If you find the time, her name is Raelis Shai. She can be found at the playhouse beneath the Five Flagons Inn in the Bridge District. If you can't help her... well, then you can't help her. But Raelis is a dear heart, and it would do an old gnome's heart good if you could try. and that's it for now. the first post is a bit text-heavy, sorry about that. also, I forgot to make screenshot of the first leg of Jaheira's personal quest. you only missed the assassination of Xzar and everything leading up to it - not that much. That's a huge quest anyway, so you'll get enough action from Jaheira. the two fights - with Ployer and Galvarey - were nothing special, no need to show them or describe my tactics, I feel