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Why is my character so unhappy about being a watcher?


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The game's narrative assumes that our character is really unhappy about having become a watcher, and uses this as the primary motivating factor in its behaviour... but I don't understand why.

 

Let me explain my character first, so that the question makes sense.

 

My character came to dyrwood to settle. Though he was apparently unaware of the hollowborn curse (which is pretty implausible; everybody would be real concerned about something like that), or he didn't care (which doesn't make much sense in context of him being a settler), or he thinks he can solve it somehow.

 

Anyway, he came to dyrwood to settle, find a wife, and create a family. Obviously, he can't do this with the curse still running rampant and almost everyone being born hollowborns. So it's in my character's interest to find some way to resolve this issue. Maybe some random farmer, or whatever, wouldn't put that particular problem on their to-do list, but the PC is apparently the sort of man who is perfectly willing to go on a terrifying and nigh impossible quests to save the world (or at least the region's newborn's souls), so for him it makes sense that he would want as much help as he can get in performing that quest.

 

So, my character wants to end waiden's legacy, in order to be able to settle the region as his dialogue explains that he does, and he's the sort of man who won't shrink away even from a mission that dangerous and unlikely to succeed. This is his primary concern. Throw some good old human decency in there for good measure - him being worried about the well-being of all the people in dyrwood and the effect the curse is having on them - my guy was a (not cruel, but benevolent) paladin after all, and it becomes pretty clear that the main character wants to be a watcher! Or, at least mine did. Being one allows him the tools to actually help solve, or even completely solve, this massive problem that both the region and he himself has. It's GOOD for him, and it's GOOD for the region!

 

I don't think that this character is an implausible one, considering the early dialogue supports these motivations.

 

Yet the story does not recognize this? Every dialogue option regarding my character's motivation is either him wanting to get rid of the affliction of having become a watcher, or him wanting to stop Thanos because of how giant a **** Thanos is. No mention of wanting to end waidwen's legacy, which seems like just sort of an afterthought in context of the character's motivation, if it enters into them at all.

 

Add to that ho the gameplay rewards the player for being a watcher, granting us powerful defensive and offensive boons in-combat, incidentally contradicting all the fretting our companions are doing about how being a watcher is afflicting us negatively. If I'm so burdened by it, why is it making me stronger? What's the term I've been hearing people use to describe this? "Ludonarrative dissonance"? This appears to me as some fairly severe ludonarrative dissonance (man, that's a mouthful) right here.

 

Anyway, to get to my point, I just don't see why my character is is unhappy about having become a watcher. It not only gives him the tools to uncover the real cause behind waiden's legacy, but at the same time makes him more powerful, thus making him more likely to succeed. He should be thrilled about this! Maybe after he ended the legacy somehow, he would be real concerned about getting rid of the visions (hard to maintain a healthy family if your mind is slowly crumbling), but up to then it's possibly the best thing that could've happened to him after he came to the region.

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Short story? Because being a Watcher slowly drives you crazy as your past lives intrude into your present day more and more.

 

Yeah ... but there are even opportunities for the PC and companions to actively speculate that Maerwald may have been especially vulnerable, and that someone better prepared might be able to take it.

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I think that it would be nice short term, until you can't tell the difference between your past lives and your current.  Also it depends on what exactly your past lives did, it would be pretty hard to always be remembering every terrible thing your past lives ever did.  Also the watcher seems like he is degrading fast, maybe faster than mayerwald or whatever that guys name was 

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Yeah ... but there are even opportunities for the PC and companions to actively speculate that Maerwald may have been especially vulnerable, and that someone better prepared might be able to take it.

Also, the way I understood it, Maerwald's insanity stemmed from the relation between two (or three) very specific incarnations before himself. He didn't seem to be insane on a spectrum, it really seemed to be a near-unique circumstance.

 

So defaulting to "I have to stop this, it is a curse" is.. odd.

 

I also felt that you are unduly forced to treat the Leaden Key as opponents, starting already in the Catacombs. They haven't actually tried to hurt me yet, yet I can't even attempt to speak to them. I either sneak in there by guile (which doesn't necessarily make that much sense) or go in guns blazing (which makes even less sense based on what you know at that point).

 

How about... "Hey, I saw some of you do something and now.. uhm.. I see dead people. Help?". If at that point they attacked you, fair enough, the plot thickens, etc, but I think they are made out as bad guys too early.

Edited by Luckmann

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Well, I guess that the story itself is concentrating too much on being a good, socially apt, kith being.

It assumes that by seeing the ritual in the beginning, where several people are sacrificed and which also kills your companions, the character automatically assumes that whoever would do such a ritual cannot be good in any way. Rationally, this would be the only thing you'd opt for as a decent kith being, since kith sacrifice is inherently bad.

And due to the narrative complexity of creating a storyline for a good and a bad character, the game only goes into one direction, namingly you being the good guy. Now, I can understand why that is and surely all of you can, too. So, when you're in the catacombs, assuming that a bunch of kith who're hiding away in the underground, with masks, who sacrifice people for whatever reason, are bad and you wouldn't want to fall in with that crowd, makes sense.

 

Also, I think there are enough options, which let your character state that he's actually quite fine with being a watcher.

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