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Dragon Age: Inquisition


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I didn't like the origins' execution in DAO because it felt like there were two prologues, the origin and Ostagar.

 

IMO, DAO would have been better with backgrounds like ME. You could have 2 exclusive for Human and Elf, 2 for Mages, and 3 for Dwarf. Instead of an hour-ish starting prologue, they would have the PC start right at Ostagar as either a newly initiated Grey Warden or Grey Warden recruit. Not only would that skip a prologue, that would allow a PC closer to a blank-slate and a more set motivation for the PC.

 

As to PC motivations, arguably BG2 did the same thing as DAO. The PC is forced to have the motivation of wanting to rescue Imoen which will likely not fit a number of PCs, particularly the evil ones. On top of that the PC is forced to work with one of two evil organizations, something the more virtuous would likely not do. Granted, I believe a mod called "Alternatives" fixes one of these issues, but they still existed in the vanilla game.

"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlsnot

"You need to be careful, lest I write another ten page essay on mythology and how it relates to Sailor Moon." - majestic

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I barely remember BG2 having not played it since the original release, but there was sort of a tangential motivation at least in that you were pursuing revenge against that guy who kidnapped and tortured you. Some of DA:O's stories were the opposite in that it forcibly took you away from pursing said vengeance when you got conscripted. (Sure you actually might get revenge later, but that's more happenstance and doesn't actually motivate you to do the things you actually do)

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"BG2 at least gave you two paths to meet the same end - the Shadow Thieves or Bodhi. Are you really telling me that a game as ambitious as DA:O couldn't find a less jarring or obvious way to find you serving or working with / for / to an agenda for a character like Duncan?"

 

You think that was handled better? HAHA! That's hilarious.

 

 

, "then I'd have been much more motivated to follow through on his goals.          "

 

Forget about Duncan's goals. He's irrleveant. How about the goal to save yourself?  How about he fact that the archdemon is going to kill everything including YOU. You are also a wanted fugitive.  It's no different than BG being about forcing you to investigate the mine crisis which just happens to be connected to the attempted assassination or tracking down Irenicus for revenge. It's for slef preveration.

 

Of course, ancient rpgs only player motivation was ph@t lewt and levelling. perhaps, we should go back to such basics. There'd be less whining and double standards.

 

Afterall, what happens if I play TNO as someone who doesn't give a crap about his 'past' and wants to just live life? Can't do that!  Talk about railroading! LMAO

 

And, FO ends if you don't save the stupid vault. L0LLIGAGZ!

 

 

"As to PC motivations, arguably BG2 did the same thing as DAO. The PC is forced to have the motivation of wanting to rescue Imoen which will likely not fit a number of PCs, particularly the evil ones."

 

Great. Now I have to defend BG2. An evil PC's motivation is revenge on the scumbag who kidnapped, tortured, mindraped, and stiole all your stuff. And, he is obviously still a threat and he is even assaulting your very dreams. How much more motivation does one need?

 

 

 

"I didn't like the origins' execution in DAO because it felt like there were two prologues, the origin and Ostagar.

IMO, DAO would have been better with backgrounds like ME. You could have 2 exclusive for Human and Elf, 2 for Mages, and 3 for Dwarf. Instead of an hour-ish starting prologue, they would have the PC start right at Ostagar as either a newly initiated Grey Warden or Grey Warden recruit. Not only would that skip a prologue, that would allow a PC closer to a blank-slate and a more set motivation for the PC."

 

That's weaksauce. The origins were awesome. It gives the PC a real background that is more than scribbled nonsense since you can interact with people, and gives you future motivations in how you complete later quests. See: both dwarf origins. Or heck, almost every single other one.

 

Origins =TRUE RPGness AWESOMESAUCE.

 

Edited by Volourn

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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Edit: I see Zoraptor and I have diametrically opposed views on this.  Well, I don't mind a bit of literal railroading if I have some choices based on that happening later on.

 

I wouldn't say diametrically opposed. As a story suggestion it's fine, Duncan could do it and he would do it if the circumstances were right.

 

The objection I'd have is that it replaces one railroad with another one, and you still wouldn't have any motivation to follow Duncan's wishes once he's dead- rather the reverse if he's basically kidnapped you. If we really want to fix that issue we need a story suggestion that may not necessarily fix the railroading, as that is asking too much, but at least gives you a good and compelling reason to follow Duncan's instructions post Ostagar. But since I cannot come up with a suggestion that fixes it without basically rewriting the game or having equal logic flaws I also have to admit that I cannot really blame Bioware for not coming up with one either.

 

The real alternative is probably as Humanoid describes- having a set background, so probably starting out as a prospective warden from the beginning and having that be an intrinsic and essential factor in the PC's make up. Personally, I'm happier having the more flexible start DAO offers rather than reducing the origins to background traits or similar, as the origins are useful for background information. But that is most certainly a matter of opinion as to which approach is better.

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I like the Origins stories too and I don't particularly see the idea of having the character be pre-set a Grey Warden or something to be all the better for a stronger plot. I thought the Origin stories provided plenty room for feeling like it's your story, and sure it might not have made a larger difference of the actual plot -- Well beyond somebody occasionally walking up to you and saying "Hello, you are an elf" and if you are human presumably it'll be "Hello, you are an ****".




Having the Origins stories gave the game a sense of bigness and replay-ability, at least to me, and I really enjoyed the game all the more for it.


 


DA2 tried to do something different but utterly failed its own premise of 'Rising to Power' which was pretty much the main motto for its marketing. So, yes, we were expecting a personal story of a Ferelden refugee fleeing to a strange land to make a fortune for himself. Interesting departure from the typical world-is-about-to-explode plot. It's almost like playing a Rockstar game suddenly.


It starts out with Hawke doing random things, for random people, then a treasure hunting expedition is brought up which has bad-**** written all over it. They come out of it pretty much unscathed though, so then the story skips ahead to a Qunari uprising and you're thinking "Now we are getting somehwere" -- That's solved too. There's only a short while of the game left. Right at the end the Mage & Templar stuff occurs and ends, for the sequel.


In conclusion. DA2 doesn't have much of a story at all, it's a big ol' mess of random coincidences which slightly compliments the nuisance protagonist whom is as about involved in the plot as any of the game's faceless NPCs. One could describe the process of DA2's 'plot' as BioWare having 'withdrawal' from writing 'end of the world' plots, then suddenly giving up the otherwise promising stuff and showing what they really got swinging around.



 


BioWare moving out of their comfort zone seems to only have negative repercussions, which I suppose explains why they brought back races for Inquisition which actually sparked my interest in the game again. 



Edited by TheChris92
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Edit: I see Zoraptor and I have diametrically opposed views on this.  Well, I don't mind a bit of literal railroading if I have some choices based on that happening later on.

 

I wouldn't say diametrically opposed. As a story suggestion it's fine, Duncan could do it and he would do it if the circumstances were right.

 

The objection I'd have is that it replaces one railroad with another one, and you still wouldn't have any motivation to follow Duncan's wishes once he's dead- rather the reverse if he's basically kidnapped you. If we really want to fix that issue we need a story suggestion that may not necessarily fix the railroading, as that is asking too much, but at least gives you a good and compelling reason to follow Duncan's instructions post Ostagar. But since I cannot come up with a suggestion that fixes it without basically rewriting the game or having equal logic flaws I also have to admit that I cannot really blame Bioware for not coming up with one either.

 

Makes sense.  My guess is that after everything went to hell in a handbasket at Ostagar, most PCs would have a pretty solid motivation to try to do what Duncan wanted, but definitely some still wouldn't and BioWare didn't solve that.  And you can definitely criticize BioWare for not coming up with a good railroading fix, since they're professional game developers who worked on this thing for five years.

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It's a Bioware game, the focus is in the romances and character interactions not on the plot or the story. When are people going to realize that BW makes soap operas?

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I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

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Edit: I see Zoraptor and I have diametrically opposed views on this. Well, I don't mind a bit of literal railroading if I have some choices based on that happening later on.

 

I wouldn't say diametrically opposed. As a story suggestion it's fine, Duncan could do it and he would do it if the circumstances were right.

 

The objection I'd have is that it replaces one railroad with another one, and you still wouldn't have any motivation to follow Duncan's wishes once he's dead- rather the reverse if he's basically kidnapped you. If we really want to fix that issue we need a story suggestion that may not necessarily fix the railroading, as that is asking too much, but at least gives you a good and compelling reason to follow Duncan's instructions post Ostagar. But since I cannot come up with a suggestion that fixes it without basically rewriting the game or having equal logic flaws I also have to admit that I cannot really blame Bioware for not coming up with one either.

 

The real alternative is probably as Humanoid describes- having a set background, so probably starting out as a prospective warden from the beginning and having that be an intrinsic and essential factor in the PC's make up. Personally, I'm happier having the more flexible start DAO offers rather than reducing the origins to background traits or similar, as the origins are useful for background information. But that is most certainly a matter of opinion as to which approach is better.

Of course, if you started as a warden, it would make explaining the wardens' taint quite a but harder.

You're a cheery wee bugger, Nep. Have I ever said that?

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Of course, if you started as a warden, it would make explaining the wardens' taint quite a but harder.

 

Yeah, I'm not really a supporter of doing it that way. Unless you're going to do a more substantial rewrite you still have the problem of the joining/ taint and the manner in which you learn about it being, fundamentally, something that people should not like. The only real difference would be being told that the PC is actually OK with that by the fiat of it already having happened or knowing about it beforehand and being told you decided to join up anyway. Personally I don't really see that as being substantively better than the status quo- though I will accept that mileage will vary on that point.

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I didn't like the origins' execution in DAO because it felt like there were two prologues, the origin and Ostagar.

 

This ranks up there with the biggest reasons I have a difficult time attempting to replay DAO.  It's like playing multiple hours of un-skippable prologue until you actually reach the point where you have some freedom (Lothering) to do something.

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Personally I would drop the Archdemon, the Grey Warden's and the Blight and simply have a political story play out, (though obviously Bioware would need different writers to craft a nuanced quasi realistic situation as they're currently more focused on companion interaction and adventure,) say dealing with an Orlesian power play for Fereldan. Make the protagonist deeply involved in the matter, through personal means or happenstance crafted in the Origin's, and then let the choices and consequences play out from there onwards. Side with Orlais, Fereldan, the Church, Orzammar, usurp power for oneself etcetera.

 

In a world just being introduced to a character and a new audience one does not have to have world shattering events happen, a small local conflict can carry just as much weight to the players and serve as just as good an expository tool, just so long as all the players and factions are presented in a realistic believable manner and not as vaudeville caricatures. That's just my personal take however.

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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I barely remember BG2 having not played it since the original release, but there was sort of a tangential motivation at least in that you were pursuing revenge against that guy who kidnapped and tortured you. Some of DA:O's stories were the opposite in that it forcibly took you away from pursing said vengeance when you got conscripted. (Sure you actually might get revenge later, but that's more happenstance and doesn't actually motivate you to do the things you actually do)

Eh, the guy that kidnapped you(Irenicus) took down several Cowled Wizards without any sign of effort. You would have to be plying a very stupid character to think that revenge was something you could realistically accomplish.

 

The DAO stories while taking you away from vengeance in several of them, almost all of them gave the PC the motivation of staying alive, which IMO is much more universal motivation than "rescue annoying acquaintance" or "get revenge on incredibly powerful Mage". Granted, the motivation tends to evaporate right after Ostagar.

 

Great. Now I have to defend BG2. An evil PC's motivation is revenge on the scumbag who kidnapped, tortured, mindraped, and stiole all your stuff. And, he is obviously still a threat and he is even assaulting your very dreams. How much more motivation does one need?

 

That scumbag is also an incredibly powerful mage who can easily destroy you with magic. The most sensible motivation for someone who isn't either an arrogant or stupid character(revenge in Irenicus) or a righteous crusader(save Imoen) is to get as far away as possible, and that was not an option in BG2.

 

That's weaksauce. The origins were awesome. It gives the PC a real background that is more than scribbled nonsense since you can interact with people, and gives you future motivations in how you complete later quests. See: both dwarf origins. Or heck, almost every single other one.

 

Origins =TRUE RPGness AWESOMESAUCE.

The origins were a good idea executed badly.

 

If the origins functioned as the prologue, then they would have been fantastic. As it stands, the origins function as another prologue along with the prologue of Ostagar, which results in about 2.5-4 hours of prologue you have to play through to get to the meat of the game.

 

If Bio had somehow managed to avoid Ostagar and had the origins be the only prologue, then they would've been hands down the best prologue in a RPG.

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"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlsnot

"You need to be careful, lest I write another ten page essay on mythology and how it relates to Sailor Moon." - majestic

"I won't say what just in case KaineParker is reading" - Bartimaeus

"Oh no! Is there super secret ending as well? I don’t care." - Wormerine

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Personally I would drop the Archdemon, the Grey Warden's and the Blight and simply have a political story play out, (though obviously Bioware would need different writers to craft a nuanced quasi realistic situation as they're currently more focused on companion interaction and adventure,) say dealing with an Orlesian power play for Fereldan. Make the protagonist deeply involved in the matter, through personal means or happenstance crafted in the Origin's, and then let the choices and consequences play out from there onwards. Side with Orlais, Fereldan, the Church, Orzammar, usurp power for oneself etcetera.

 

In a world just being introduced to a character and a new audience one does not have to have world shattering events happen, a small local conflict can carry just as much weight to the players and serve as just as good an expository tool, just so long as all the players and factions are presented in a realistic believable manner and not as vaudeville caricatures. That's just my personal take however.

They tried to do politics in 2 but look how that turned out: Mage terrorist abominations vs. Thedas Westboro Church with swords. 

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I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

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Yeah, it's not fantastic how it's set up in BG2, which is why I assign it a somewhat secondary motivation, and it's an artifact of the fantasy setting where power is manifested in a very tangible way. It's much easier to recreate the same scenario in a more contemporary or modern setting and have it be at least somewhat believable. Y'know, Irenicus as Hyman Roth rather than (Bizarro-)Superman.

 

 

Unfortunately this isn't the blasphemy thread where I can more satisfyingly rail against the notion of supermen.

Edited by Humanoid
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Yes but other settings with writers and designers more suited have crafted fine political situations in RPG's, ones mind obviously alights upon New Vegas and the sterling work done in crafting a believable contested borderland. Though the Ubermensch problem Humanoid refers to does arise there also, though in far less of a clumsy manner.

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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IMO, the problem with supermen in RPGs is that the game world is seldom constructed to accommodate such a thing, despite it being a common occurrence. I would find it pleasing if the event of becoming superhuman was acknowledged in a setting's lore and dealt with in a consistent manner.

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"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlsnot

"You need to be careful, lest I write another ten page essay on mythology and how it relates to Sailor Moon." - majestic

"I won't say what just in case KaineParker is reading" - Bartimaeus

"Oh no! Is there super secret ending as well? I don’t care." - Wormerine

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They tried to do politics in 2 but look how that turned out: Mage terrorist abominations vs. Thedas Westboro Church with swords.

That's a great description of the Mage/Templar conflict!

 

It's a shame that Bioware insisted on telling that story using such extreme examples, because with a little nuance it could've been interesting. Instead, 90% of templars are corrupt, paranoid, sadists... And the majority of mages are so weak-willed and emotionally crippled that they resort to blood magic and/or turn into abominations the second someone looks at them funny.

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"Eh, the guy that kidnapped you(Irenicus) took down several Cowled Wizards without any sign of effort. You would have to be plying a very stupid character to think that revenge was something you could realistically accomplish.

The DAO stories while taking you away from vengeance in several of them, almost all of them gave the PC the motivation of staying alive, which IMO is much more universal motivation than "rescue annoying acquaintance" or "get revenge on incredibly powerful Mage". "

 

 

"That scumbag is also an incredibly powerful mage who can easily destroy you with magic. The most sensible motivation for someone who isn't either an arrogant or stupid character(revenge in Irenicus) or a righteous crusader(save Imoen) is to get as far away as possible, and that was not an option in BG2."

 

\So... you want to role-play a coward? Which wouldn't make sense in BG2 since your character survived BG1 where you fighting  an incredibly powerfulfighter and his powerful henchmen and his powerful organization AND you won. Not to mention, you managed toe scape this 'powerful wizard's prison,withstood his torture, and end up battling dragons, golems, LICHES, and other powerful creatures before you face him again.  It's not stupid to hunt him down. Dangerous, yes, stupid no.

 

The logic or the lack of it in your assessment that you should be able to play a 'coward' is silly.

Edited by Volourn

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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\So... you want to role-play a coward? Which wouldn't make sense in BG2 since your character survived BG1 where you fighting  an incredibly powerfulfighter and his powerful henchmen and his powerful organization AND you won.

In BG1, you have no idea how powerful Sarevok is until you fight him in the last part of the game, his "powerful henchmen" are pretty weak if you have done most of the side quests available to you, and you have no idea that you're fighting the Iron Throne until the bandit camp.

 

In BG2, you know Irenicus is an immensely powerful mage right after you escape his dungeon.

 

Not going after someone who can rip apart reality with as much effort as an average person tears apart bread is not cowardice, it's sanity.

Edited by KaineParker
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"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlsnot

"You need to be careful, lest I write another ten page essay on mythology and how it relates to Sailor Moon." - majestic

"I won't say what just in case KaineParker is reading" - Bartimaeus

"Oh no! Is there super secret ending as well? I don’t care." - Wormerine

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It's one of those fundamental disconnects between how people grow in real life and how people grow in games. There's no reason to believe, in-universe, that if you meet someone really good at what they can do, you too can be that good by just training a bit (cue Rocky training montage). After all, you've grown from barely being able to kill rats to being able to easily slaughter terrifying monsters over the course of a few months, if not weeks, so it's not an unjustified belief on the character perhaps that their trajectory will continue upwards in the same manner. It's not the fact that you've beaten Sarevok, but the knowledge that you've been able to increase your own ability by orders of magnitude quite easily. Sure, the goal is quite far away in absolute terms, but if today I can jump one metre high, then tomorrow I'm able to jump 10m high, then finding in a week I can jump 100m high, then there's every reason to believe with a bit more time I can jump 1000m high.

 

It's ridiculous by any reasonable standard, but such is the setting, and not just in a metagame sense since it's clear the power gain is quite literal in-universe. But yeah, I prefer my power curves to be quite a bit shallower.

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Personally I would drop the Archdemon, the Grey Warden's and the Blight and simply have a political story play out, (though obviously Bioware would need different writers to craft a nuanced quasi realistic situation as they're currently more focused on companion interaction and adventure,) say dealing with an Orlesian power play for Fereldan. Make the protagonist deeply involved in the matter, through personal means or happenstance crafted in the Origin's, and then let the choices and consequences play out from there onwards. Side with Orlais, Fereldan, the Church, Orzammar, usurp power for oneself etcetera.

 

In a world just being introduced to a character and a new audience one does not have to have world shattering events happen, a small local conflict can carry just as much weight to the players and serve as just as good an expository tool, just so long as all the players and factions are presented in a realistic believable manner and not as vaudeville caricatures. That's just my personal take however.

Agreed. Partly the reason why I like the Witcher is the focus on the politics, I just don't like most of the characters. Had Dragon Age taken that path I feel it could have turned out to be much more interesting.

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Personally I would drop the Archdemon, the Grey Warden's and the Blight and simply have a political story play out, (though obviously Bioware would need different writers to craft a nuanced quasi realistic situation as they're currently more focused on companion interaction and adventure,) say dealing with an Orlesian power play for Fereldan. Make the protagonist deeply involved in the matter, through personal means or happenstance crafted in the Origin's, and then let the choices and consequences play out from there onwards. Side with Orlais, Fereldan, the Church, Orzammar, usurp power for oneself etcetera.

 

In a world just being introduced to a character and a new audience one does not have to have world shattering events happen, a small local conflict can carry just as much weight to the players and serve as just as good an expository tool, just so long as all the players and factions are presented in a realistic believable manner and not as vaudeville caricatures. That's just my personal take however.

I agree. Look at the Suikoden games. Each one takes place in a single country dealing with internal conflict or the effects inside that country from an external danger. Outside that country the world goes on normally, generally unaffected. The common theme of War in each game is enough to drive the plot and make you care about the characters and events around you without the world needing to end.(Although 3 turned out to be an end of the world thing, but you didn't know that until the end.) Edited by Oerwinde
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\So... you want to role-play a coward? Which wouldn't make sense in BG2 since your character survived BG1 where you fighting an incredibly powerfulfighter and his powerful henchmen and his powerful organization AND you won.

In BG1, you have no idea how powerful Sarevok is until you fight him in the last part of the game, his "powerful henchmen" are pretty weak if you have done most of the side quests available to you, and you have no idea that you're fighting the Iron Throne until the bandit camp.

 

In BG2, you know Irenicus is an immensely powerful mage right after you escape his dungeon.

 

Not going after someone who can rip apart reality with as much effort as an average person tears apart bread is not cowardice, it's sanity.

Eh, Sarevok wastes Gorion in an off-hand manner and their respective power is emphasised in the chapter start. Almost 1:1 same between the two BGs.

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