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The problem with straying to far from Dungeons and Dragons.


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A pit fall that I hope Obsidian isn't making with POE, a supposed spiritual successor to BG, is creating a new IP which may or may not stay true to the feel of D&D. The problem with a new IP, is creating an "original" IP based off of D&D lore without using D&D lore and history... in itself isn't new or refreshing, rather its what EVERY Fantasy game that isn't a D&D game does. Lets take Dragon Age for example, DAO used its own IP, with elves and dwarves and magic, all with its own spin and ideas. Where did it go wrong? The amount of lore, races, history and over all plot potential, would fit in a chapter of a BG or NWN game. You have to save a continent from an army of undead blighted beings? That's almost like how I sealed away a Demon Prince, a being who could go toe to toe with gods, or the time I stopped the Drow from sacrificing a Silver Dragon egg to the lower planes in exchange for a demon army, or was sealed away in a multi dimensional mage chamber which later became my personal dimensional space ship. Many people liked DAO, but from a story and writing point of view, it fell laughably short to BG2.

POE is going off there own path, that's fine... as long as they keep D&D themes and lore and history alive in the background, without it, we're going to have a game as much of a spiritual successor to BG2 as World of Warcraft, or Everquest... games that go "We have elves and dwarves, just they are OUR elves and dwarves" no infinite lore from D&D books, no rich, already fleshed out cultures and races, and potential world threats... just another fantasy game.

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I strenuously disagree with the premise about Dungeons and Dragons. My favorite of the whole batch was PS:T, and it deviated wildly from BG. I liked all of the IE games, but it was a pretty mixed bag and some of them relied more on tried and true Dungeons and Dragons settings and themes. If being a spiritual successor means that the games slavishly follow the same routes the old one did, I'm not for it at all. A well done new IP will certainly shine in its own right without plumbing the depths of hashed out DnD settings. The way to honor BG2's spirit is to create something that excels in its own right, not something that chains itself entirely to the past.

 

EDIT: I cut out some of my own commentary as perhaps unfair to a new member. After all, I would like to welcome you even if I disagree. :Cant's broad grin icon:

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That way Obsidian won't get a lawsuit...

 

The rights for the Forgotten realms and the DnD in general belongs to Wizards of the coast.

 

And BTW they are behaving like a corporate **** and they sued many games for having creatures that slightly resemble anything they have in their lore.

 

A friend of mine is still playing Tibia and they had to change their beholders after WOC sued them for using that...

Edited by barakav
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Cantousent, you make it sound like it would be mimicking, or copying BG, when BG was a game about the lore within Forgotten Realms, which was a realm within D&D. D&D in itself, is an ever evolving, shifting story, with massive content, which will not be rivaled by a single games lore. Slavishly following is the wrong way to see it, when BG2 itself was doing the same thing, D&D is a template to build games out of (BG, NWN, Icewind Vale, Planescape) it's nearly impossible to grow stale when the world itself is changing and shifting (Popular god Tyr is dead, much to my NWN clerics despair, at least he was replaced by Torm though)

Im a little sad, that I think POE potential is already limited right off the bat, rather then being a new spark, a new chapter in a long, ancient time of both pen and paper gaming, as well as PC rpg gaming, it is going down a familiar territory of just using D&D races and characters.

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A pit fall that I hope Obsidian isn't making with POE, a supposed spiritual successor to BG, is creating a new IP which may or may not stay true to the feel of D&D. The problem with a new IP, is creating an "original" IP based off of D&D lore without using D&D lore and history... in itself isn't new or refreshing, rather its what EVERY Fantasy game that isn't a D&D game does. Lets take Dragon Age for example, DAO used its own IP, with elves and dwarves and magic, all with its own spin and ideas. Where did it go wrong? The amount of lore, races, history and over all plot potential, would fit in a chapter of a BG or NWN game. You have to save a continent from an army of undead blighted beings? That's almost like how I sealed away a Demon Prince, a being who could go toe to toe with gods, or the time I stopped the Drow from sacrificing a Silver Dragon egg to the lower planes in exchange for a demon army, or was sealed away in a multi dimensional mage chamber which later became my personal dimensional space ship. Many people liked DAO, but from a story and writing point of view, it fell laughably short to BG2.

POE is going off there own path, that's fine... as long as they keep D&D themes and lore and history alive in the background, without it, we're going to have a game as much of a spiritual successor to BG2 as World of Warcraft, or Everquest... games that go "We have elves and dwarves, just they are OUR elves and dwarves" no infinite lore from D&D books, no rich, already fleshed out cultures and races, and potential world threats... just another fantasy game.

I'll crush your hopes.

 

PoE is NOT a spiritual successor; it's a re-imagining of the IE games. Obsidian has been clear on this and Josh early on elaborated that by "re-imagining" he meant that it would be a RTwP combat system with an isometric view point.

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"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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I have to admit I was never a bit fan of many Dungeons and Dragons setting, even though I've loved Dungeons and Dragons. I especially appreciated the 3.x edition. It kind of lost me at 4th edition and then I stopped paying attention. Still, there will be new settings to explore outside of old Dungeons and Dragons settings. Just like there were new novels after Crime and Punishment and new movies after Lawrence of Arabia and new rock songs after Hard Days Night.

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Fionavar's Holliday Wishes to all members of our online community:  Happy Holidays

 

Join the revelry at the Obsidian Plays channel:
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Remembering tarna, Phosphor, Metadigital, and Visceris.  Drink mead heartily in the halls of Valhalla, my friends!

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Thats the beauty of D&D though, Obsidian owns the rights to Forgotten Realms, NOT all of D&D (I... assume? I tried to look it up but I cant find out for sure.) I was hoping the world of POE would be its own version of Forgotten Realms, allowing them to make many, many changes to the lore, while keeping the SPIRIT of BG, NWN, ect., alive. Im begining to see it wasnt the purpose of this game, HOWEVER... lets be honest. How many people kick started and pre ordered this game with BG2 in mind? People like me are not getting the game of there dreams... alas that game will most likely never be made... *Dreams of BG3*

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I don't really care for D&D lore, personally. I'm not really savvy on the "infinite lore" and this makes me rather apathetic. Traditional fantasy worlds are sort of stagnant hellholes because magic makes technology unnecessary, but that's another story.  Sort of. Traditional Fantasy, which includes D&D, is aping off of Tolkien who was aping off of Germanic folklore (probably some other folk-lore too.) I don't think it's fair to say they're taking D&D races unless the Drow and the Gythyanki start showing up.

 

At the end of the day, the lore doesn't matter. What matters is the story, which should be able to stand independently from the setting. Setting is just a context for the narrative and the themes explored. It's essentially a special effect.

 

A young George Lucas said it best:

"A special effects are just tools: a means of telling a story. People tend to confuse them with an end to themselves. A special effect without a story is a pretty boring thing."

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Thats the beauty of D&D though, Obsidian owns the rights to Forgotten Realms, NOT all of D&D (I... assume? I tried to look it up but I cant find out for sure.) I was hoping the world of POE would be its own version of Forgotten Realms, allowing them to make many, many changes to the lore, while keeping the SPIRIT of BG, NWN, ect., alive. Im begining to see it wasnt the purpose of this game, HOWEVER... lets be honest. How many people kick started and pre ordered this game with BG2 in mind? People like me are not getting the game of there dreams... alas that game will most likely never be made... *Dreams of BG3*

The IE games were great, but weren't very good representations of the forgotten realms to be honest.

 

Besides; the world of PoE seems way more interesting to me anyway.

"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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Obsidian does not own the rights to anything DnD related. They have been contracted by the rights holders to make games in the Forgotten Realms in the past but they were never given any ownership over the rights. If you backed the kickstarter thinking that the world would draw on DnD you didn't read the first few updates very carefully. It was clear from very early on that they were building their own world. On the positive side they have created some pretty comprehensive and dense lore. I'd recommend reading up on it on the wiki (http://pillarsofeternity.gamepedia.com/Pillars_of_Eternity_Wiki) before dismissing it.

 

There are a couple of other games based on DnD lore in development at the moment. Beamdog are working on a Baldur's Gate "interquel" and N-Space are making a Forgotten Realms game called Sword Coast Legends.

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what kind of rubbish is this. D&D lore is inspired by many other sources. Don't you dare place Forgotten Realms lore, as the OG of fantasy. PoE's take on elves, dwarfes, and all things high fantasy is in all ways as legit as any D&D game. 

I find it highly refreshing that they take the best of the IE games and don't have to take all the dumb restrictions to lore and gameplay from Forgotten Realms. I find the lore around PoE to fresh and exciting, because I don't know it like Forgotten Realms and I can really explore it. I don't need to meet Blackstaff, Drizzt or Elminster. I've been there. I want to meet Pumpkin, Eder and all the other guys from PoE.

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There are big chunks of PoE lore available in backer updates and in the little bits of the guide book we've seen. Frankly, I think it's much more interesting than anything I remember from D&D. The religious/metaphysical/quasi-scientific treatment of souls has a lot of potential, and the setting seems very detailed and plausible without being dry.

 

We'll see. I think the world they've created will make most people happy.

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POE is going off there own path, that's fine... as long as they keep D&D themes and lore and history alive in the background, without it, we're going to have a game as much of a spiritual successor to BG2 as World of Warcraft, or Everquest... games that go "We have elves and dwarves, just they are OUR elves and dwarves" no infinite lore from D&D books, no rich, already fleshed out cultures and races, and potential world threats... just another fantasy game.

Perhaps you should take interest in the Middle-Earth? Because that's where most of high fantasy originates from. D&D is by no means original in what it does. I don't see why Pillars of Eternity can't have its own themes, lore and history in the background. While Pillars of Eternity is a spiritual successor to Baldur's Gate it does not mean they have to mimic D&D in every detail.

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There are big chunks of PoE lore available in backer updates and in the little bits of the guide book we've seen. Frankly, I think it's much more interesting than anything I remember from D&D. The religious/metaphysical/quasi-scientific treatment of souls has a lot of potential, and the setting seems very detailed and plausible without being dry.

 

We'll see. I think the world they've created will make most people happy.

Quite. I think their approach to "magic" and "divine magic", from what I understand, is really interesting and novel. I like how all classes derive themselves from a natural force, one that can be studied and influenced. This gives PoE, for me, a much more dynamic feeling than other RPGs, where the answers are all known. PoE makes me want to think about how it works and discover and analyse it. D&D requires no independent thought: everything is available in a book somewhere. But more than that, D&D robs the players of the great metaphysical mysteries: the gods are known and are people you can go find (and kill!) if you level up enough. You don't need to think about the nature of life and death, because you know the answers. Everyone knows the answers. Any sort of mystery in D&D has been rung out in decades of supplements and stories.

 

And we have to think. Sure, RPGs are a bit of fun, but they're also the most literary of games. Like any writing, they have themes to be explored and things the writers want to say. If we aren't thinking about this, we can't be part of the conversation. And that's really all games like this are: a conversation from many different points that the player gets the opportunity to digest and mull over. We get to decide who's right and who's left (right as in correct, left as in alive). Thankfully, Obsidian does this really well, so I think we can trust them until we get the chance to play the game for ourselves without judging them based on our preconceptions.

Edited by Verenti
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no rich, already fleshed out cultures and races, and potential world threats... just another fantasy game.

 

Oh, far richer than Ferelden or Tamriel or Waterdeep.  

 

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/70932-guidebook-v1-in-my-hands-right-now/?p=1582777

Edited by ManifestedISO

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Mmh. 

 

There isn't really a "D&D lore." There's a ton of wildly different and often inconsistent D&D lores, loosely hooked together by various more or less clunky conceits. Some of it is utterly brilliant, some of it is jejune, most of it is immensely serviceable as background for role-playing games, tabletop or otherwise. Very little of it is particularly original, and internal consistency or depth are not its strong suits. If you took a random bit of D&D lore and changed the names, I contend that you would be unlikely to flag it as specifically "D&D" rather than just "cheesy but lovable generic fantasy." (This does not apply to all D&D settings; Dark Sun and especially Planescape for example, despite the literary antecedents of both.)

 

Your larger point however I strongly agree with: believable, consistent, well thought-out, rich, and deep lore makes all the difference, and creating such a lore from zero in two years while making a game at the same time is... challenging. If anyone can do it, though, it's Obsidian: they have the best game-writing talent in the industry, bar none, and I've been hugely impressed by what they've shown us so far. I'm sure it won't be able to match the Forgotten Realms in sheer quantity, but it's already clear it's got it beat in thematic consistency and the feel of believable fantasy history. I also love the way they're treating potentially clichéd fantasy tropes like fighting religions -- you don't have gods that are evil because muhahaha, but gods and religions which fight for understandable reasons. The treatment of Skaen is bloody brilliant, the notion of the Godhammer bomb and the Saints' War is really cool, and I love the whole notion of souls, animancy, and everything it implies.

 

Also, Inuit dwarves. How bleeping cool is that?

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One also has to remember that with their own IP Obsidian can do whatever they want. 

 

With DnD some core aspects have to stay the same. You can't shatter the pillars of the whole setting, because then the game will be wildly unconsistent with every other lore source. Basically, what happened in MoTB. You had really cool stand-off with a god... and then in the end you can't change a thing about the world you live in. It was rather anti-climatic. 

 

With PoE Obsidian can kill gods, change nature of souls, do basically whatever they want. Such creative freedom sounds awesome to me.

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PoE is NOT a spiritual successor; it's a re-imagining of the IE games. Obsidian has been clear on this and Josh early on elaborated that by "re-imagining" he meant that it would be a RTwP combat system with an isometric view point.

 

 

That is what spiritual successor is. It is something that don't actually are related to original product but its general design, thematic, aesthetic and in case of games gameplay choices are heavily influenced by original product without being copy of original product.

 

Actual successors of products can actually sometimes be much more different from original product than spiritual successors, like for example Fallout 3, Duke Nukem 3D, Neverwinter Nights 2, Dune 2, Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, Final Fantasy 2-15, Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Metroid: Other M, and etc.  

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Personally I dont care at all if the setting is new or not, just that it is interesting.

Dragon Age is a perfect example there, I have never hated a setting in a game quite as much as that, so generic, so bland, so.... Tolkien. I played origins through for the interesting characters but I couldnt care less if everyone else in whatever the hell it was called land died. And the newest one just shifted from generic England rip-off to generic France rip-off.

 

I have pretty specific tastes with the setting and for me they make or break the game beyond anything else. BG1 was a bit too generic Europe setting for me, BG2 was excellent with the more colourful and alien environment. Morrowind was my all time favorite while Oblivion was barely playable rubbish. Some of my favorites have been games like Mass Effect, Gothic and Arx Fatalis, original games that just had a unique and memorable setting.

I generally hate turnbased games but I am really looking forward to the new Torment, that has to be potentially the most interesting setting I have heard of.

 

Basically if the setting is interesting I will love this game beyond all measure, if it feels like middle ages england with rip-off Tolkien races I will be lucky to break 10 hours before I give up.

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Thats the beauty of D&D though, Obsidian owns the rights to Forgotten Realms, NOT all of D&D (I... assume? I tried to look it up but I cant find out for sure.).

Forgotten Realms is a campaign setting within Dungeons and Dragons.

D&D is owned by Hasbro.

 

This is like me saying that I don't own California, just Redwood City.

 

While Pillars of Eternity is a spiritual successor to Baldur's Gate it does not mean they have to mimic D&D in every detail.

 

No it's not, and never did it say it was. It said it was a spiritual successor to the Infinity Engine games.

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