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Are the background dialogues really linked to the culture of your character ? for example do the dialogues of the Philosopher background mention Ixamitl at some point ? Im thinking on possibly editing my character using the opencharactercreation console command and the mod that enables all backgrounds for any culture. perhaps changing to the mystic or clergy background (my character is a priest/druid) . My idea originally was to be philosopher because of Ixamitl focus on philosophy, but if the dialogues of Philosopher do not mention Ixamitl, then perhaps changing to mystic or clergy could be better. Than again, what is the difference between philospher and mystic ? is it noticeable in conversations or its almost the same thing ?
Having neared the end-game already, I decided to plan ahead my next run, and I figured that I would love to play a Pale Elf, as they seem quite interesting. I noticed that The White that Wends offers you the option to be an "Aristocrat" and that got me thinking, how do you guys imagine the society that Pale Elves have in The White? Do you imagine small tribes? Some sort of a feudal system? Also, I've been thinking about playing a skald sort of a chanter and I wonder which culture would be most fitting - The White, The Living Lands or the Archipelago. What do you think? ~T
I just did some browsing on the P:E wiki (massive kudos to the people maintaining it, by the way). We know quite a lot about the world of Eora already, more than I thought really, since the lore has been coming out in dribs and drabs. I really like it. One thing that I thought was kind of "meh" about P:E back during the Kickstarter was that it seemed like very traditional pseudo-medieval western high fantasy. I've done that so many times, in games and books and movies, that I really wasn't all that keen to see another one. That's in fact the main reason I only backed at a relatively modest level (and why I backed T:ToN for significantly more). Now, however, it's clear that Obsidian's writers have put any number of really interesting twists on it. So much so that it's almost like it's only tradfantasy on the surface. Man am I digging it. Elves and dwarves. I didn't think there was a way to make them interesting again, but hey, they did it. Quite simple too, really. Stick 'em on the Antarctic ice cap. It's also arguably true to their origins, since Tolkienian elves and dwarves are to a great extent modeled on Nordic folklore. I'm especially digging the character concept of Sagani, and the notion of Pale Elves speaking an ancient language far, far away on endless fields of ice is exciting. Breaking the mold of culture=subrace. In tradfantasy, nonhuman cultures are monolithic. If there are different elven cultures, for example, they're different subraces, like the drow for example. Big points for breaking out of this mold, and making the elves of Dyrwood and Eír Glanfath the same subrace but different and antagonistic subcultures, and for the really interesting elven-human combined culture of the Aedyr Empire, complete with institutions like the haemneg. Social issues. Slavery seems to be an institution that the loremasters have considered carefully, since we know how each of the different cultures treat it -- practiced in the Aedyr Empire, abolished but lingering in Dyrwood, while the Vailians conduct a brisk slave trade. (I wonder if we're going to meet a Vailian slave trader? That could be explosive simply because they gave the Vailians dark skin... I hope we do actually.) We've also got a lot of information about the status of the Orlan, religious antagonism between followers of Magran and Waidwen, the complex relations between the Glanfathans, the Aedyr Empire, and Dyrwood, and so on. The aumaua. Polynesian-Japanese flavored semi-aquatic demihumans instead of slope-browed half-orcs with the occasional Noble Savage rising above his racial station? Yes please! Change. One standard trop in tradfantasy -- whether Star Wars, Tolkien, or D&D -- is that nothing much ever changes. Empires rise and fall, for sure, but there's no technological or real cultural change. If the possibility of change is present, it's always a threat -- a Dark Lord threatening to unravel the entire world. Fantasy, especially high and heroic fantasy, tends to be extremely conservative in its outlook this way. Obsidian did tell us that they were doing this from the outset, which I think was wise of them, since I think a lot of fantasy fans, perhaps especially IE game fans, consider this central to the genre. Firearms are symbolic of this -- I think a lot of the resistance to their inclusion springs from here: having them is a reminder that things are changing, which does break out of one of the most fundamental features of tradfantasy. I can understand that, even if I don't sympathize with it. Fantasy with change is much more interesting to me than static fantasy worlds where the Dark Lord rises, and is defeated, and Balance is Restored to the Force. Ancient history connected to the present. Okay, so we have to have a mysterious ancient lost empire leaving creepy ruins all over the place. It wouldn't be a proper fantasy game without them. Trope, yes, but a good one. I dig the twist they gave this too: figuring out what the creepy ruins mean for the people living among them. That they've become sacred sites for the Glanfathans, and a resource to plunder for the Aedyr Empire. (The former, by the way, nicely explains why the ruins we've seen look so clean and well-trafficked -- obviously their Glanfathan keepers have been taking care of them.) All in all, I've been enormously pleased with the direction Obsidian has taken with regards to the lore. The core tropes are there -- elves, dwarves, ancient empire, wizards, rogues, priests, what have you -- but just about everything has an interesting and new twist to it. This is much more interesting than, say, what BioWare did with space opera for Mass Effect, i.e. just put in all the tropes without examining and questioning any of it, which made everything incredibly predictable. I like it when writers keep me off-balance rather than feeding me something that's familiar and comforting. I'm getting increasingly excited about this game, and most of that excitement is because of the lore. Thank you for that, Obsidian.
I've been meaning to write this one down for quite some time now : CULTURAL EQUIPMENT I've touched upon this topic before, but I think it warrants a more in-depth look. To start off - I think that many cRPGs make the mistake of rendering magical items utterly mundane; after all, if you practically trip over them since the very beginning of your journey, they do lose their charm a bit, don't they? On the other hand, using nothing but ordinary trappings doesn't sound too exciting either. What if PE offered players cultural equipment, while making magical items truly rare? Instead of finding just another +1 longsword we'd, for an instance find : 1. Aedyran sabre : 2. Glanfathan sword : Both would fit into the same basic category, but there'd be a sense of progression both in their effectiveness (as if you just had replaced a +1 sword with a +2 equivalent) and appearance (as the items could look wildly different). But what of magical items? I think that they should truly extraordinary and rare. Finding them should really feel very rewarding - and their level of power should absolutely reflect that. But there's more that you could do with cultural equipment. Let's use two different PE cultures as examples : Free Palatinate of Dyrwood Due to a long history of conflict, all denizens of Dyrwood are accustomed to constant warfare and to hardships - as a result, they are practical people. They value discipline and uphold strict laws. This could be reflected not only in the equipment they use, but also in the way they fight : 1. They fight as a group, supporting each other, often using reach weapons and trying to keep enemies at bay. 2. They favour heavy armour over mobility. 3. Instead of firearms, they prefer longbows. You'd not only be able to who you're fighting (due to their specific cultural armour & weapon designs you'd be able to spot right away) but also how to fight them. Let's make a second example : Vailian Republics Being merchant people, the citizens of the Vailian city states value style over substance and like to let everyone know that they're wealthy. Their armies consist mainly of well-paid mercenaries, who tend to uphold the same values when it comes to fashion. Vailians are known to be strong ndividualists. 1. Vailians are individualists and this is reflected in their fighting style - they often fight as duellists, seeking personal glory. 2. They eschew heavy armour in favour of mobility. 3. Avid users of firearms. To recapitulate : I'm hoping that Obsidian will go an extra mile with the work that goes towards fleshing out various cultures. Each region should be unique, whether it's in clothing, weaponry or even battlefield tactics. That'd not only make the world of PE a truly immersive environment, but would also allow for very varied combat encounters.