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There is always a question of motivation. Players should act certain ways for a reason. In a PnP environment, consistent role playing (even beyond alignment requirements, which I see as a straightjacket of enforcing role playing) can be rewarded relatively easily. IN a CRPG, it is more difficult. Sure, you can poison the town well if you want, but the question becomes why? If you are being paid for it, then there is a rational motivation for it (ala Megaton). Otherwise, you are just role-playing a sociopath. Now, if you want to do that, that is fine, but at that point you don't need much reward, because, you know, you're a sociopath (in game of course). 

 

Also, if you run around molesting children, you should be hunted down by the hard-bitten half-orc constable Steliot Eabler and his buxomy non-nonsense half-elven partner Bl'via Oensen, who are part of an dedicated squad of peace keepers who pursue those who commit sexually based offenses, which are especially heinous. 

 

DUN DUN.

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I have no problem with making an "evil" character truly vile. that includes sexual abuse (rape), childkilling, public humiliation, abuse of power, manipulating, mindgames, torture, coercion of any kind.

 

But I like that many of you find these things going to far, that says something about you.

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If I recall correctly, Project Eternity isn't going to have a global karma system, just a faction (using the term loosely) based reputation. So if a town isn't part of a "faction" you could technically do whatever you wanted in it and it wouldn't affect the opinions of anyone outside of the city. This is mostly how they went in Fallout: New Vegas and Alpha Protocol.

 

I think that Fallout: New Vegas and Alpha Protocol were pretty good in terms of "doing evil". That said, I didn't actually "do evil" in those games so I'm probably not the best person to say that. 

 

Soo.... the best thing to do is discuss what they could do better in Fallout: New Vegas and Alpha Protocol.

Edited by moridin84

. Well I was involved anyway. The dude who can't dance. 
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I've read through the thread and I'm surprised no-one has said this already:

 

Putting in a truly evil option. One where the context is immersive, the consequences equally so, the pain, the suffering. There's only two kinds of reaction to that: horror or delight. If the former then you won't be happy you got the evil. If the latter then not only do I not want to provide you with your jollies, but I want you locked the **** up or in therapy.

 

Illustration, given you've been talking about child killing; from the news in the UK recently:
 

 

A judge told a couple who murdered a four-year-old boy after inflicting months of cruelty and starvation on him that they would serve a minimum of 30 years in prison. They had concocted detailed lies to try to avoid responsibility for their horrific crime.

 

Magdelena Luczak, 27, and Mariusz Krezolek, 34, showed no emotion as they were told they had carried out “unimaginable acts of cruelty and brutality” and had shown callous disregard for the distress of the little boy who was starved, force-fed salt and severely punished.

 

Mrs Justice Cox said that Daniel Pelka had been starved so badly that his condition on his death, weighing just 11kg, was unprecedented; and yet the couple had shown no sign of remorse.

 

Luczak, the boy’s mother, and her partner Krezolek were both found guilty of murder on Wednesday after a nine-week trial.

After telling social services and health workers that Daniel’s emaciated appearance was caused by an eating disorder, they had blamed each other for his treatment at the trial. 

 

“Time and again, knowing exactly what you were doing to him, both of you concealed your conduct from the authorities by a series of deliberate and elaborate lies, designed to put them off the scent and to prevent them from discovering Daniel’s true plight,” the judge told the couple at Birmingham Crown Court. “Your expressions of regret and sorrow made now ring hollow in the circumstances of this case.”

 

Daniel appeared to be a healthy boy when he started school in September 2011 but his condition rapidly worsened over the following weeks, until teachers saw him searching through dustbins for sustenance and stealing food from other pupils.

 

The judge said the reasons behind the escalation of the brutality were “unfathomable”, with the child suffering from hunger and hopelessness up until the moment that he died. “The scale of his suffering was truly horrific,” the judge said.

 

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Illustration, given you've been talking about child killing; from the news in the UK recently:

 

 

That is terrible, but there is a gigantic difference between that and setting Frodnar from Riverwood in Skyrim ablaze. And clearly I'm not the only one who though of something like that. First two thirds are safe for fragile minds.

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If anyone needs examples about unfathomable cruelty and stunning brutality in the past, I'd recommand reading about the Thirty Years' War. Raging from 1618 to 1648, it was a series of wars principally fought in Central Europe, involving most of the countries of Europe. It was one of the longest and most destructive in European history, and one of the longest continuous wars in modern history.

 

Entire regions were devastated, countries bankrupted and mercenary armies terrorized most of Northern Europe to the point where some German states were depopulated by as much as 75%. Burnings, random murder, torture, witch hunts, countless villages exterminated, cities razed to the ground. Children burned alive, babies impaled on lances for fun, women and men raped to death or killed in whatever unspeakable manner you can possibly imagine. The undisciplined and unpaid armies committed atrocities that compares with Holocaust, but without even the flimsy excuse of ethnic cleansing. The things that took place during this conflict makes Game of Thrones seem like a children's lullaby in comparison.

 

So, there's nothing about genocide or wholesale extermination that would in the slightest prevent me from being immersed in the game. So, how far should the game go? Far enough for me to be disturbed, I hope. To feel that chill down my spine when "evil" acts take place. What that should be excactly, I'll leave to the game designers. But mankind is capable of anything, and I hope this game reflects that, for bad AND good.

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I think you guys need to realize there is also this thing called a ratings board controlled by the government and if they take it too far the game won't be allowed in stores or on steam.  If they want to portray the idea of atrocities like, you don't see it happen but you know this village just got obliterated and women and children were killed... fine.  But don't let the player themselves run around killing kids everywhere they go, don't make the player walk into the burned out village and see a baby with it's head crushed in or spiked on a wall, don't let the player go out and in detailed fashion have the option to rape a woman. 

 

It is great and all to be "serious" and have the evil option, but it is still a game, and there is still a thing called "good taste".  You can be very very evil and never once kill a kid.  Even Saint's Freakin Row doesn't feature child violence and it is about as violent as you can get in a video game.

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I think you guys need to realize there is also this thing called a ratings board controlled by the government and if they take it too far the game won't be allowed in stores or on steam.  If they want to portray the idea of atrocities like, you don't see it happen but you know this village just got obliterated and women and children were killed... fine.  But don't let the player themselves run around killing kids everywhere they go, don't make the player walk into the burned out village and see a baby with it's head crushed in or spiked on a wall, don't let the player go out and in detailed fashion have the option to rape a woman. 

 

It is great and all to be "serious" and have the evil option, but it is still a game, and there is still a thing called "good taste". You can be very very evil and never once kill a kid. Even Saint's Freakin Row doesn't feature child violence and it is about as violent as you can get in a video game.

 

I guess that's why Dragon Age didn't receive any major criticism even though the main character could actually kill that possessed boy and the violence/gore levels were sometimes over-the-top, hm? (it's just an example, I don't suggest putting something like that in PE) The thing called "good taste" is extremely subjective. SR3 isn't really that violent...

Edited by Aoyagi
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I'd say killing a demon possesed child isn't exactly the same as killing a normal child.

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I never understood how a demand for realism ends up leading to the ability to kill kids.  It's ridiculous.   

 

Also, I'd rather have a well-written, comprehensive "Good Guy" experience than a choice between a "Good Guy" and "Bad Guy" that is going to be lousy because designers can only create so much reactive/branching content.   There are plenty of ways to give players their own gaming experience without creating an over-the-top murdering lunatic jerk-off.  There isn't a single thing the ability to kill kids would add to a game.  Christ, I feel gross just writing the phrase "kill kids."  How some people can go on a crusade to vouch for the idea, and be upset when it is not included in a game because REALISM!! is effin beyond me.

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To answer the OP directly, I'm hoping P:E doesn't go far at all in the evil department.  In fact, I hope they stay away from it entirely.  I'm convinced that most "EVIL!!!" playthroughs are not sustainable in games.  They usually end up breaking down under the weight of the larger narrative.  Playing as a good guy doesn't mean you are a paladin.  You can be self-absorbed or opportunistic and still be on the side of "good" in whichever way you want to define the term.  But in an effort to give people the freedom to be vicious jerks, I find that most developers neglect designing the actual impact of such behavior on the game world.  It ends up feeling forced and cheesy.  Just leave it alone.

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I think you guys need to realize there is also this thing called a ratings board controlled by the government and if they take it too far the game won't be allowed in stores or on steam.  If they want to portray the idea of atrocities like, you don't see it happen but you know this village just got obliterated and women and children were killed... fine.  But don't let the player themselves run around killing kids everywhere they go, don't make the player walk into the burned out village and see a baby with it's head crushed in or spiked on a wall, don't let the player go out and in detailed fashion have the option to rape a woman. 

 

It is great and all to be "serious" and have the evil option, but it is still a game, and there is still a thing called "good taste".  You can be very very evil and never once kill a kid.  Even Saint's Freakin Row doesn't feature child violence and it is about as violent as you can get in a video game.

I hope Obsidian doesn't sacrifice their artistic integrity to please a damn ratings board. slap an 18+ rating on it, call it obscene if you must. Steam sells all the Postal games, I don't see why they would censor P:E.

 

Anyway, I do hope that the evil extremes discussed here are extremes in the game, because it's not going to be the tone of my playthrough.

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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I think you guys need to realize there is also this thing called a ratings board controlled by the government and if they take it too far the game won't be allowed in stores or on steam.  If they want to portray the idea of atrocities like, you don't see it happen but you know this village just got obliterated and women and children were killed... fine.  But don't let the player themselves run around killing kids everywhere they go, don't make the player walk into the burned out village and see a baby with it's head crushed in or spiked on a wall, don't let the player go out and in detailed fashion have the option to rape a woman. 

 

It is great and all to be "serious" and have the evil option, but it is still a game, and there is still a thing called "good taste".  You can be very very evil and never once kill a kid.  Even Saint's Freakin Row doesn't feature child violence and it is about as violent as you can get in a video game.

I hope Obsidian doesn't sacrifice their artistic integrity to please a damn ratings board. slap an 18+ rating on it, call it obscene if you must. Steam sells all the Postal games, I don't see why they would censor P:E.

 

Anyway, I do hope that the evil extremes discussed here are extremes in the game, because it's not going to be the tone of my playthrough.

 

 

In EU it is usually easy as we have our PEGI 18+ raiting (or somewhat similar raiting system in use) that allows about all non-illegal stuff to be included, but in USA and Canada it is more complex issue because of ESRB's M (Mature 17+) and A (adults only 18+)  and how retailers attitude towards them (as many refuses to sell AO rated stuff) in those markets. Although it is usually sex that brings AO raiting for the games in ESRB rating system, which means that games can be have very brutal and violence in them if they don't have 'strong sexual content'. And Australia is always it's own case. And there is of course rest of the world also be considered :).

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In terms of the main plot, I'd rather see a clash of differeing philosophies, than black and white good vs evil

New vegas did that alright, the NCR were good but not that good, they did some pretty bad stuff against groups like the great khans

The legion were evil, but not  evil for the sake of it, they thought they were doing what was for the best in the long run

A faction based plot with a choice of which side to take would be best IMO

 

In terms of individual acts, there needs to be consequences for your actions, people shouldn't forget, and if you get a bad rep they should distrust and dislike you.

 

In terms of ratings, it depends how it's portrayed, fallout caused a ****storm here in the UK because you could kill kids...but you could also kill kids in baldurs gate and deus ex and no one batted an eyelid.

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What I dont like to see is evil acts adding up to a bad reputation. Reputation is unrealistic. In a medieval world paesants would barely know of what their king was doing or what their country was up to let alone some knights.

 

If there is a reputation system for gameplay reasons then I would like to see it be limited. Crimes that are not witnessed would not add up to reputation.

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To answer the OP directly, I'm hoping P:E doesn't go far at all in the evil department.  In fact, I hope they stay away from it entirely.  I'm convinced that most "EVIL!!!" playthroughs are not sustainable in games.  They usually end up breaking down under the weight of the larger narrative.  Playing as a good guy doesn't mean you are a paladin.  You can be self-absorbed or opportunistic and still be on the side of "good" in whichever way you want to define the term.  But in an effort to give people the freedom to be vicious jerks, I find that most developers neglect designing the actual impact of such behavior on the game world.  It ends up feeling forced and cheesy.  Just leave it alone.

Planescape: Torment and Mask of the Betrayer had the best evil playthroughs ever and they weren't cheesy at all.

Hell, MotB's evil path is arguably much better than it's good path.

Both games had me going "Holy ****" the whole way through their evil routes.

They both had you be a complete and total bastard in ways that I have not seen equaled in other games.

They both left me feeling a little hollow and dumbfounded after certain parts.

It was marvelous.

 

 

That goes for my answer to OP's question too: equal or come close to Mask of the Betrayer in terms of an evil campaign and I will be more than satisfied.

Edited by GhoulishVisage
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When in doubt, blame the elves.

 

I have always hated the word "censorship", I prefer seeing it as just removing content that isn't suitable or is considered offensive

 

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To answer the OP directly, I'm hoping P:E doesn't go far at all in the evil department.  In fact, I hope they stay away from it entirely.  I'm convinced that most "EVIL!!!" playthroughs are not sustainable in games.  They usually end up breaking down under the weight of the larger narrative.  Playing as a good guy doesn't mean you are a paladin.  You can be self-absorbed or opportunistic and still be on the side of "good" in whichever way you want to define the term.  But in an effort to give people the freedom to be vicious jerks, I find that most developers neglect designing the actual impact of such behavior on the game world.  It ends up feeling forced and cheesy.  Just leave it alone.

Planescape: Torment and Mask of the Betrayer had the best evil playthroughs ever and they weren't cheesy at all.

Hell, MotB's evil path is arguably much better than it's good path.

Both games had me going "Holy ****" the whole way through their evil routes.

They both had you be a complete and total bastard in ways that I have not seen equaled in other games.

They both left me feeling a little hollow and dumbfounded after certain parts.

It was marvelous.

 

 

That goes for my answer to OP's question too: equal or come close to Mask of the Betrayer in terms of an evil campaign and I will be more than satisfied.

 

 

I think you're talking about something else here, though.  These were basically plot points on a narrative that you could choose between.  In PST you didn't have the opportunity to run around kicking kittens and punching babies.  The "evil" path was essentially the default, especially if you consider TNO's past as a brutal bastard, etc. The devs even said the game was an attempt to upset the traditional RPG conventions of the time, where there were not always "right" answers or "good" decisions.

 

I certainly don't think evil playthroughs aren't possible -- I just don't see them ever working out when they are offered as a choice between different ways to finish the game.  

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To answer the OP directly, I'm hoping P:E doesn't go far at all in the evil department.  In fact, I hope they stay away from it entirely.  I'm convinced that most "EVIL!!!" playthroughs are not sustainable in games.  They usually end up breaking down under the weight of the larger narrative.  Playing as a good guy doesn't mean you are a paladin.  You can be self-absorbed or opportunistic and still be on the side of "good" in whichever way you want to define the term.  But in an effort to give people the freedom to be vicious jerks, I find that most developers neglect designing the actual impact of such behavior on the game world.  It ends up feeling forced and cheesy.  Just leave it alone.

Planescape: Torment and Mask of the Betrayer had the best evil playthroughs ever and they weren't cheesy at all.

Hell, MotB's evil path is arguably much better than it's good path.

Both games had me going "Holy ****" the whole way through their evil routes.

They both had you be a complete and total bastard in ways that I have not seen equaled in other games.

They both left me feeling a little hollow and dumbfounded after certain parts.

It was marvelous.

 

 

That goes for my answer to OP's question too: equal or come close to Mask of the Betrayer in terms of an evil campaign and I will be more than satisfied.

 

 

And I don't think either involved rape, child killing or torture. 

 

Actually for reference, here's a lets play archive for the NWN 2: MotB evil path. The guy already has the good path done so it's just showing what's different when you are "doing evil". Which is perfect for this thread.

Edited by moridin84
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I enjoy playing heroes; people who set out to make the world a better place.

 

The few times I've played evil characters or committed evil acts in a game, it was because such acts had a practical benefit to the world. I find that sort of evil to be far more compelling than random child killing and slavery.

 

One of the best games for this is Dishonored. You're given a number of assassination contracts but instead of killing the target, you can choose non-lethal options. These options can hardly be considered 'good' but they keep the level of chaos in the city down.

 

--SPOILERS--

 

In one example, you can have the High Overseer of the city branded a heretic. He's disgraced, cast out of the order, and becomes anathema to everyone who follows that religion. You later find him alone on the streets, starving and dying of the plague.

 

Instead of a quick, clean death, you've given him a horrible, slow one after everything he loves has been taken from him and his own people have cast him out.

 

Personally, I see that as the evil option, but it's also the option that keeps the city calm (orderly transition of power vs the head of the church being assassinated in the temple) and given what he's done, my PC can call this 'justice,' even if it's cruel.

 

--END SPOILERS--

 

I think the best evil is the kind where you can reasonably argue the action was good… for some values of good.

 

I also would add that I think the ‘Renegade’ options in ME were trying to do this but failed. Not only did they stuff ‘pragmatic’ with ‘racist,’ ‘douchebag,’ and ‘randomly violent,’ we know from a paragon playthrough that renegade actions rarely provide extra utility or benefit. You can’t even call them necessary evil, because they’re totally unnecessary.

 

I still want a baby mace, that is all.

I need a baby armor and baby headgear to go with this.

Edited by Maria Caliban
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I've read through the thread and I'm surprised no-one has said this already:

 

Putting in a truly evil option. One where the context is immersive, the consequences equally so, the pain, the suffering. There's only two kinds of reaction to that: horror or delight. If the former then you won't be happy you got the evil. If the latter then not only do I not want to provide you with your jollies, but I want you locked the **** up or in therapy.

 

Whilst I can't see a good reason for actively putting some of the suggestions into the game, I'd like to point out that doing something in a game is not the same as enjoying it in real life.

 

I can play GTA and drive over a line of pedestrians as it's the most expedient escape.  In real life, even witnessing such a thing, let alone the idea of doing it myself, would horrify me.  The fact that it doesn't horrify me in a game just means that I can separate fantasy and reality.

 

So while adding the writing and coding to be able to rape random NPCs seems like a waste of limited resources to me, making innocent villagers (of any age) immortal would only serve to break the immersion (and also use up extra coding time).

(Not so randomly kidnapping the noble virgin and *threatening* to kill/rape her unless paid a hefty sum, might have an excuse to be in)(but not to the point of coding/writing a rape-scene).

 

There's also the case that innocents die by accident and the player feels bad for them (e.g. I was fighting that lot in Ulgoth's Beard in BG1 - was in a tight spot, couldn't see anyone else around so let off a fireball - turned out later that a couple of townsfolk had gotten killed in the blast).

 

I'll stick with my suggested preference for more subtlety though.

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It is great and all to be "serious" and have the evil option, but it is still a game, and there is still a thing called "good taste".  You can be very very evil and never once kill a kid.  Even Saint's Freakin Row doesn't feature child violence and it is about as violent as you can get in a video game.

 

I don't want to see an option for the PC to rape anyone or anything like that, which would indeed be in horrible taste and a pointless waste of time and resources for shock effect, but child killing? I not only have no problem with in-game child killing, but I would be disappointed if it isn't in the game. P:E is ostensibly an homage to the late 1990s-early 2000s era of CRPGs, most of which were perfectly happy to make children killable, at least for the U.S. market. If it exists in the game, then in general you could kill it, which is how it should be.

 

By contrast, the immortal children route of recent RPGs breaks immersion and feels almost insulting when placed in a game intended for adults. It isn't like rape; the situations in which kids were slaughtered in old CRPGs were often so over-the-top they went from horrifying to comical in a way rape never could. Casting meteor swarm on a bunch of orphans or going through the Den with your minigun making every thieving kid you see explode into ludicrous gibs can be really funny, in a pitch-black comedy kind of way. It's something they should keep, if they can. 

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I also would add that I think the ‘Renegade’ options in ME were trying to do this but failed. Not only did they stuff ‘pragmatic’ with ‘racist,’ ‘douchebag,’ and ‘randomly violent,’ we know from a paragon playthrough that renegade actions rarely provide extra utility or benefit. You can’t even call them necessary evil, because they’re totally unnecessary. 

 

This is indeed a great fault of many CRPGs, particularly from Bioware. 98% of the time, the 'necessarily evil' route turns out to be just you being a prick to no good purpose, since there's an alternate good solution to a given quest that actually makes things better all around.

 

There are exceptions: I was a big fan of the decision to make the 'honorable' Dwarven king in Dragon Age the one who would run his people into the ground through his unyielding adherence to stilted traditions and the caste system, while his utterly ruthless and amoral alternative would lead his people to reform and recovery. Overall, though, there needs to be more of a chance for the 'evil' PC to play the role of the machiavellian master of realpolitik doing monstrous things to advance a goal...and in many cases actually having results as good or better than a PC who goes in for the ultra-idealistic route. Paragon Shephard's actions should have blown up in his/her face on multiple occasions, yet they rarely if ever did. Underneath the flimsy pretenses, it was just the same weak Bioware approach to morality that has marked virtually everything else they've made.

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So while adding the writing and coding to be able to rape random NPCs seems like a waste of limited resources to me, making innocent villagers (of any age) immortal would only serve to break the immersion (and also use up extra coding time).

 

Making  killable npc to unkillable is so trivial operation that you can't even say it takes coding time as you can do it with bool variable and simple check function. And modern game engines features with all their fancy ready-made character system usually have such feature and much more variety giving systems already build in.

 

But it will take lots of writing time to make world to react you random innocent villagers killings and without such reactions your immersion would probably break as well, even with ability to kill innocents, as it would feel quite hollow if game world don't react any way in your psychotic rampage.

 

I think it would be nice if all npc can die in the game especially because of accidentaly thrown fireball and then world (at least faction which land you are) would see you as psychotic murderer and will send mercenaries to kill you and refuse let you in their cities, which would cause you sneak in. But as PE don't have huge ammount of extra resources to spent, so I am willing to sacrifice it, as it is thing that I rarelly did in old rpgs were it was some what possible, to get more reactivity and content in those playthrough styles that I most likelly will actually use to get through the game.

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I'd say killing a demon possesed child isn't exactly the same as killing a normal child.

*snort* Tell that to my DM. Though I suppose using the flamer was a bad idea. Was worth it for the party's reactions though!

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BG2 had some credible evil options. Take, for example, Trademeet. If, like me, you find druids the most annoying character class ever, then poisoning their precious well and slaying them all for a bounty (from an agreeably evil halfling representative from the Faerun branch of BP) is very satisfying. There's also a sort of logic to it. For neutral characters it's not even that evil.

 

OTOH you can be good and get rid of the evil druids and restore the po-faced birkenstock wearers (if that's your bag).

 

The folks of Trademeet are happy either way, but there are still some consequences for you as the PC (for example, you can lose Jaheira and her whole quest arc).

sonsofgygax.JPG

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