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If Pillars of Eternity had romances


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Well the PC doesn't know Imoen is a fellow Bhaalspawn until after reuniting with her in Spellhold in BG2 so they didn't know they didn't know were related (to extent being Bhaslspawn made you related since there were allot of Bhaalspawn).

 

However she and PC grew up together as wards of Gorien so they grew up as siblings and that is how the game presents the relationship

. So I think the mod has a hard job trying to get around the incest implications and I don't think it can. To be fair I can't say for sure as I haven't and won't ever try it out, it is just to disturbing for me (much like a certain paladin companion mod I once came across).

 

However that wasn't the fault of the BG2 writers as they nothing to do with the Imoen mod, nor is it in anyway representative of the majority of BG2 mods in general, or romance companion mods in particular

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Your pc doesn't find out she's your half-sister (same father, Bhaal; different mother) until halfway through the game. This is where the obstacle to your being able to romance Imoen come from.

 

Oh, right, yes. Still.. the entire came to Candlekeep in Gorion's care in the middle of the night after a huge blood moon, eclipse and rain-showers of blood and goblins ravaging the countryside thing is sort of there, isn't it? So I suppose I always saw the relationship as being about a common fate instead of a romantic relationship. That you're almost given the impression that they came from a farmstead after losing their parents. And that she's a kind of mirror to the main character - at least that's my impression of what they tried going for. Then.. things start to struggle a bit, I guess. Probably why I thought she was so irritating - that they create a mirror for the main character that is a will-less ditz.

 

Beyond that - isn't being a Bhaal-spawn more of a spiritual than a physical existence of sorts in the Forgotten Realms? And that children of two Bhaal-spawn would not necessarily be extraordinary in any way? Always sort of saw the conception of Bhaal-spawn as a stylized manifestation of someone's inner demons, more than a physical inheritance property from a particular demon. That Bhaal could likely use any vessel to incarnate in the Realms if they were conceived from sufficient amounts of torture and evil. That Gorion's entire experiment with turning demon-touched children into normal adventurers is a bit of a gamble, thanks to how prejudice actually manifests itself physically in the world he lives in, etc.

 

Or is that actually completely wrong?

 

 

That is good writing, see if the game was moddable we could get that into POE right now, make a new companion and even get someone to voice act it.  Very nice. :)

 

:)

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If romances existed in PoE, they would be like this:

 

-The sky bursts above, fraying rifts at the edges until the world disappears to nothing, leaving only her naked spirit facing you in the void. You reach for the back of her neck with an ethereal hand and draw her close. She cannot escape: and as she cowers from your soul's touch, you sense her entire being as fully as she senses yours. For a moment she is only puzzled by your soul's touch, before she stares into you with horror, silently screaming her throat asunder as she vainly tries to escape. You laugh, an unstoppable laughter aside you that slowly takes force from within. Is that all there is? You stare through her soul as it withers from the void, forcing one last thought to stay with her as long as her soul is bound to the planes: "I know you".

 

Needs a trigger warning.

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..what sort of trigger would we be warning about? :p

 

They've been brainwashed to be politically correct.  If they had their way, the game would be censored to death.  Dark and sinister content is exactly what it is, dark and sinister.

 

What we have here is a clear cut case of a writer's creative freedom being attacked by PCism.

Edited by luzarius

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-The sky bursts above, fraying rifts at the edges until the world disappears to nothing, leaving only her naked spirit facing you in the void. You reach for the back of her neck with an ethereal hand and draw her close. She cannot escape: and as she cowers from your soul's touch, you sense her entire being as fully as she senses yours. For a moment she is only puzzled by your soul's touch, before she stares into you with horror, silently screaming her throat asunder as she vainly tries to escape. You laugh, an unstoppable laughter aside you that slowly takes force from within. Is that all there is? You stare through her soul as it withers from the void, forcing one last thought to stay with her as long as her soul is bound to the planes: "I know you".

That is good writing, see if the game was moddable we could get that into POE right now, make a new companion and even get someone to voice act it. Very nice. :)

I had to add I fully agree. I read that and thought it would actually fit perfectly with the tone and atmosphere of the game. Straight up animancer material.

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 we have here is a clear cut case of a writer's creative freedom being attacked by PCism.

 

Um,

1) it's a fictional scenario, dude.

2) only insecure fratboys cry "you're restricting his creative freedom by being disgusted!".

Edited by Bryy
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Question, though - if this was fleshed out a bit and made into a multiple choice variant, with more and less direct responses, a complete reversal of the roles, failure options, that sort of thing -- would having more abusive options that people can choose be a problem? Or will it become less of a problem, since you can pick a softer path as well?

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I have to say that I really do miss that option, but even if it's not romance, something is missing with the NPCs in PoE.
They feel like they are just there, the conversations are mostly not deep enough, the reason for them staying with the PC isn't convincing enough, and they don't take a really active role in the game. I would love to have more banter, but I would also love it if they took a more active part in conversations, and not just commented on what was going on.
Having romance options would be nice, as it would give you a chance to get attached to characters more deeply, but romance isn't the only way to do it :)

~T

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Beyond that - isn't being a Bhaal-spawn more of a spiritual than a physical existence of sorts in the Forgotten Realms? And that children of two Bhaal-spawn would not necessarily be extraordinary in any way? Always sort of saw the conception of Bhaal-spawn as a stylized manifestation of someone's inner demons, more than a physical inheritance property from a particular demon. That Bhaal could likely use any vessel to incarnate in the Realms if they were conceived from sufficient amounts of torture and evil. That Gorion's entire experiment with turning demon-touched children into normal adventurers is a bit of a gamble, thanks to how prejudice actually manifests itself physically in the world he lives in, etc.

 

Or is that actually completely wrong?

It is a physical existence. Bhaal himself physically porks the Bhaal-spawn's mom's to get them preggers. The Bhaal-Spawn then inherit his essence physically. Bhaal can only incarnate from his physical children that were conceived simply by porking their mother's. Torture and evil help Bhaal-Spawn draw on their father's power and master control over it though.

"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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However that wasn't the fault of the BG2 writers as they nothing to do with the Imoen mod, nor is it in anyway representative of the majority of BG2 mods in general, or romance companion mods in particular

 

They are partially at fault here. Simply because Imoen has literally zero dialogue outside of Irenicus' dungeon and spellhold. She was literally an empty character and plot device in BG2 SoA. No banters, no quest interjections, no alignment objections. The mod literally spawned from that flaw.

 

Depending on when you go to spellhold (remember: there's still the RP crowd that probably rushes for spellhold as soon as they collected the 15k GP), Imoen can be one of the very first characters you recruit in SoA. And this is where BG2 failed. Outside of the critical path post spellhold, she never talks.

 

So actually, the Imoen mod is not really to blame for the missing characterization of Imoen in SoA. All her canon banter and personality comes from ToB content, after all.

In that regard, the mod actually adds some quality content. It's not like you are forced to date her in the mod; as it also adds banter and additional quest dialogue. And to be honest: this is the strong point of the mod. The romance was mediocre.

 

Funny trivia: the Imoen mod was originally thought to be for female PCs only - so much to the whole incest banging thing. Most of the dialogue is actually written for a female perspective. The creator just turned it into a "free for all" mod due to popular demand. The mod actually destinguishes between a male and female PC. It's harder to 'win her over' as a man than it is as a woman.

Edited by Zwiebelchen
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However that wasn't the fault of the BG2 writers as they nothing to do with the Imoen mod, nor is it in anyway representative of the majority of BG2 mods in general, or romance companion mods in particular

 

 

They are partially at fault here. Simply because Imoen has literally zero dialogue outside of Irenicus' dungeon and spellhold. She was literally an empty character and plot device in BG2 SoA. No banters, no quest interjections, no alignment objections. The mod literally spawned from that flaw.

 

Depending on when you go to spellhold (remember: there's still the RP crowd that probably rushes for spellhold as soon as they collected the 15k GP), Imoen can be one of the very first characters you recruit in SoA. And this is where BG2 failed. Outside of the critical path post spellhold, she never talks.

 

So actually, the Imoen mod is not really to blame for the missing characterization of Imoen in SoA. All her canon banter and personality comes from ToB content, after all.

In that regard, the mod actually adds some quality content. It's not like you are forced to date her in the mod; as it also adds banter and additional quest dialogue. And to be honest: this is the strong point of the mod. The romance was mediocre.

 

Funny trivia: the Imoen mod was originally thought to be for female PCs only - so much to the whole incest banging thing. Most of the dialogue is actually written for a female perspective. The creator just turned it into a "free for all" mod due to popular demand. The mod actually destinguishes between a male and female PC. It's harder to 'win her over' as a man than it is as a woman.

That is interesting I didn't realise the earlier state of the mod and just felt it wasn't for me or any PC I would develop or wish to play as romance with Imoen and the Bhaalspawn just didn't seem right as I always felt their relationship was a sibling one from the first game on. But good to know it's wider context, sans the romance it does sound interesting, but on my initial read of the mods description it seemed to fall into the same zone as the Sarileth mod for me as just feeling not quite right for me personally.

 

And I agree as to the lack of dialogue or content to Imoen outside of Irenicus's dungeon and Spellhold (apart from a few dialogue responses during the final confrontation with Bodhi, her soul being restored and Irenicus) in Shadows of Arm and if the writers did indeed originally intend to kill her off that makes sense, just a shame they didn't expand her context when they changed their minds.

 

I do have the Imoen friendship mod installed which expands her dialogue and reactions post Spellhold somewhat between the PC and other characters which also adds in some of what you mention, and helps establish the sibling relationship a little.

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Question, though - if this was fleshed out a bit and made into a multiple choice variant, with more and less direct responses, a complete reversal of the roles, failure options, that sort of thing -- would having more abusive options that people can choose be a problem? Or will it become less of a problem, since you can pick a softer path as well?

Well assuming there would be a PoE2 with potential romantic arcs (which is probably a big maybe, and again despite my personal preferences would not be something I would want writers to do unless their hearts were in it, as they wouldn't be any good and game would do better in that case without them) failure options as fine though that has happened with previous games provided you RP it like all other companion relationships and don't try to 'game' it trying to pick the 'right' choices

. Choice what you think your character would say or do in that situation or relationship and let the consequences happen, it's much more interesting :) . That unfortunately is part of the problem with influence/approval mechanics is while a good idea in theory it practice it tends to lead gamers to try and 'win' the approval and game it to max out the approval/influence rather than treating it as mechanic that is simply part of an indication of the character's relationship to you. The abundance of gifts to potentially spam in DA:O didn't entirely help this perception, though of course you don't have to use them and sell them as loot instead. It is far more interesting to RP it in DA:O and just use the key gifts indicated in conversations you have with your companions there, and just let things happen as will. Some like you, some are indifferent but committed to the mission, some might hate and leave or betray you, it makes for great RP and narrative

. And romances can fail, end tragically (Morrigan and Alistair in certain ways), and Bastila and Visas Marr from the KOTOR games were examples of that potentially, as is Viconia (at least in epilogue). And you could fail the BG2 as well if you focus less on giving as answers to win the romance (after all I've lost Viccy with some characters either being to sensitive, insensitive or being outraged at some things at different points in the romance and it all crashed and burned, and lost Arie to Hear'dlis ), on NWN Hordes of the Underdark play through had Nathyrra saying effectively she just wanted to be friends at the end of long ongoing romance arc, and in other games, so failures can happen as with non-romance npc relationships when RPing and gaming the dialogue options. It won't have anything like the freedom that a PnP setting gives for reactions to your RP but that applies to everything in cRPGs.

 

As for abuse options it is something to be given allot of thought. Because even if it's using fantasy means physical and/or emotional abuse, damage and domination of others and such pathologies and destructive behaviours are all to real. If it is ever to be done it needs to proper care, attention and sensitivity to the situation. It shouldn't be something just put there to be 'dark and edgy' or thrown it to look mature but needs to be really mature and get into the consequences of such a relationship between the PC and character and for each personally and to have lasting effects and meaning.

 

And I'm sure how ready the writers are attempt and risk to explore that in an RPG game successfully

. But anything less would be vacuous, meaningless and insulting

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Guys let me ask you something in regards to virtual romance. This question applies to EVERYONE here. 

 

SERIOUS QUESTION: If you were to design a female romance option for a straight male gamer, would you make her ugly and masculine?  If so, why?

 

-------------------

 

Responses:

 

 

Guys let me ask you something in regards to virtual romance. This question applies to EVERYONE here. 

 

SERIOUS QUESTION: If you were to design a female romance option for a straight male gamer, would you make her ugly and masculine?  If so, why?

 

Yes! Mainly because it would irritate you, and fair is fair.

 

Sadly, this is the only logical conclusion, what if I told you that a certain writer is LGBT, would you suspect a conspiracy? The only reason I suspect this, is because I have an innate ability to understand peoples ulterior motives. NOTE: My concerns are nothing but professional.

 

 

Guys let me ask you something in regards to virtual romance. This question applies to EVERYONE here. 
 
SERIOUS QUESTION: If you were to design a female romance option for a straight male gamer, would you make her ugly and masculine?  If so, why?

Someone's been playing DAI. Obviously the romance options in that game were designed for a very small demographic of the gamer population. BioWare can be really proud of themselves for that. If I were to design my own it would be more like the 'girl next door' type as that's what I find attractive. Cute, athletic, but not overly made up or shaped.

 

That would be ideal.

 

to have a romance there'd have to be a decent looking girl first, and the one we got is *Edit by luzarius* Calisca *DONE EDIT*.. Not so sure about GM or Sagani.. Its as if they didnt want us to have female companions at all, let alone romances. Pretty big change to BG1 btw, where the first NPC we got was a cutie., and well bg1 generally didnt held back on kawaii material

 

Sounds like an honest response, from a straight male who has no agenda nor political motive.  I'm in the same boat as you man. 

 

I really like Calsica's character.

 

@luzarius: :D No. I can understand the temptation to create female characters that really are archtypical men in disguise. While reversing the roles in a relationship. Like the main female character in Masters of Sex, for example - in the series, she assumes the role of a "man" in a lot of the scenes, while the guy she's with is actually the female. To explore how you would react if "normal" or "hollywood normal" male and female behaviour was detached from gender. That's interesting. Frankly I know a lot of girls who say they dislike gender roles, but who rely on them like a monk worship prayer beads to get through any random day of the week. People say guys are simpler in that respect, but what if you explored how things would appear if you met guys who work in a completely unexpected way? Same with creating female characters that cut the legs off any kind of typical romantic approach - that would be interesting to write.

 

But to simply create a caricature female in the same way we're often treated to caricature male characters in RPGs, that doesn't have any appeal to me at all. It's too much meta that relies too strongly on the "gamer" setting. As a joke, maybe. To kick annoying brats in their tiny balls. And there are better ways to emasculate both genders who envision that your sex is automatically going to assign specific behavior. In fact, creating female characters that really are men is easily drawn into perpetuating and justifying the gender roles, and the idiotic fancy that appearance and hormones give you specific traits, that create you involuntarily into the person you are, etc. ;)

 

You say you can understand the temptation to create an ugly and masculine female romance option for straight male gamers.  I can understand if this was done for the first installment of a game series.  Concepts found in the first installment of a game, usually carry into the next.   However, in my unfortunate experience, a writer made the female romance option look ugly and mannish in the third installment of the series, which was unexpected and shocking, not what I was used to at all which made it feel like a bait & switch.

 

As for your curiousity to explore new territory in terms of character creation, I respect that to the highest degree.One more thing, I'm not going to pretend to understand everything you wrote in one sitting.

 

 

 

Guys let me ask you something in regards to virtual romance. This question applies to EVERYONE here. 

 

SERIOUS QUESTION: If you were to design a female romance option for a straight male gamer, would you make her ugly and masculine?  If so, why?

 

Maybe? If the game already had other romances with attractive women. The reason why being that variety is the spice of life.

 

Are you a lady?  This is why Bioware needs more straight male testosterone.  No one at Bioware has any balls or they got surgically removed against their will by feminists.

Edited by luzarius

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Despite what I may post, I'm a huge fan of Pillars of Eternity, it's one of my favorite RPG's.

Anita Sarkeesian keeps Bioware's balls in a jar on her shelf.

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Guys let me ask you something in regards to virtual romance. This question applies to EVERYONE here. 

 

SERIOUS QUESTION: If you were to design a female romance option for a straight male gamer, would you make her ugly and masculine?  If so, why?

 

Yes! Mainly because it would irritate you, and fair is fair.

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Guys let me ask you something in regards to virtual romance. This question applies to EVERYONE here. 

 

SERIOUS QUESTION: If you were to design a female romance option for a straight male gamer, would you make her ugly and masculine?  If so, why?

Someone's been playing DAI. Obviously the romance options in that game were designed for a very small demographic of the gamer population. BioWare can be really proud of themselves for that.

 

If I were to design my own it would be more like the 'girl next door' type as that's what I find attractive. Cute, athletic, but not overly made up or shaped.

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to have a romance there'd have to be a decent looking girl first, and the one we got is killed in the tutorial.. sorry for the spoiler.. Not so sure about GM or Sagani.. Its as if they didnt want us to have female companions at all, let alone romances. Pretty big change to BG1 btw, where the first NPC we got was a cutie., and well bg1 generally didnt held back on kawaii material

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@luzarius: :D No. I can understand the temptation to create female characters that really are archtypical men in disguise. While reversing the roles in a relationship. Like the main female character in Masters of Sex, for example - in the series, she assumes the role of a "man" in a lot of the scenes, while the guy she's with is actually the female. To explore how you would react if "normal" or "hollywood normal" male and female behaviour was detached from gender. That's interesting. Frankly I know a lot of girls who say they dislike gender roles, but who rely on them like a monk worship prayer beads to get through any random day of the week. People say guys are simpler in that respect, but what if you explored how things would appear if you met guys who work in a completely unexpected way? Same with creating female characters that cut the legs off any kind of typical romantic approach - that would be interesting to write.

 

But to simply create a caricature female in the same way we're often treated to caricature male characters in RPGs, that doesn't have any appeal to me at all. It's too much meta that relies too strongly on the "gamer" setting. As a joke, maybe. To kick annoying brats in their tiny balls. And there are better ways to emasculate both genders who envision that your sex is automatically going to assign specific behavior. In fact, creating female characters that really are men is easily drawn into perpetuating and justifying the gender roles, and the idiotic fancy that appearance and hormones give you specific traits, that create you involuntarily into the person you are, etc.

 

 

As for abuse options it is something to be given allot of thought. Because even if it's using fantasy means physical and/or emotional abuse, damage and domination of others and such pathologies and destructive behaviours are all to real. If it is ever to be done it needs to proper care, attention and sensitivity to the situation. It shouldn't be something just put there to be 'dark and edgy' or thrown it to look mature but needs to be really mature and get into the consequences of such a relationship between the PC and character and for each personally and to have lasting effects and meaning.

And I'm sure how ready the writers are attempt and risk to explore that in an RPG game successfully
. But anything less would be vacuous, meaningless and insulting

 

Mm. That's a good point. I sort of feel that since it is fantasy, you're not necessarily going to have to justify everything you write in morally, though. That you could maybe get away with very serious abuse, even obvious crimes, if you create a setting around it that believably created the character into becoming the way they are, and followed up with creating consequences you can understand and observe afterwards. 

 

Suppose it goes back to how a lot of people would often like to see potential relationships that make sense in games, in the same way they would like to see dialogue in general that feels genuine. While adding a "romance" on top of a companion character, as a side-trail, without developing a relationship, really does appear as disgusting and silly in a game as it does in real life. Since simply abusing people for the sake of shocking the audience is typically how far things go in a typical movie-plot. It's not like people watch Brunel any more anyway.

 

What I wondered about though, is if you developed a relationship that was believable, that wasn't constructed around picking the right responses to get over a certain limit on a "relationship progress counter" variable before you can **** - would people appreciate the opportunity to ... brutally and soul-crushingly dump their romantic interest at some point, if they were given the chance? For example, what if you discovered along the way that your love-interest was playing you? That he or she isn't actually interested in a deeper relationship, but goes along with your fantasy out of favoring the affection you give them? Or if they want and believe you're offering something you're not? Would a fantasy setting where you actually role-play this be a good setting to explore the type of fears and consequences you normally don't experience, or at least act out, in a real relationship?

 

For example - let's say that your character develops an adventure crush for another character. Or a character develops a similar crush on your player character. And neither interest is reciprocated, before you reverse the situation again. If you develop a trail like that, and keep track of the interest, and eventually allow the relationship to happen. But then give the character an option to pay the other character back for the hurt they've caused the other, or to forgive completely, etc.

 

If you end up in options like that, would people want to act out something similar to what they very, very likely wouldn't do in real life (....but perhaps feel strongly they should have for a short moment, in the quiet of their mind, at night, their head under their pillow)? ;)

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to have a romance there'd have to be a decent looking girl first, and the one we got is killed in the tutorial.. sorry for the spoiler.. Not so sure about GM or Sagani.. Its as if they didnt want us to have female companions at all, let alone romances. Pretty big change to BG1 btw, where the first NPC we got was a cutie., and well bg1 generally didnt held back on kawaii material

 

Your character is a Watcher, surely they of all people would be able to clearly see inner beauty and all that.

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What I wondered about though, is if you developed a relationship that was believable, that wasn't constructed around picking the right responses to get over a certain limit on a "relationship progress counter" variable before you can **** - would people appreciate the opportunity to ... brutally and soul-crushingly dump their romantic interest at some point, if they were given the chance? For example, what if you discovered along the way that your love-interest was playing you? That he or she isn't actually interested in a deeper relationship, but goes along with your fantasy out of favoring the affection you give them? Or if they want and believe you're offering something you're not? Would a fantasy setting where you actually role-play this be a good setting to explore the type of fears and consequences you normally don't experience, or at least act out, in a real relationship?

 

For example - let's say that your character develops an adventure crush for another character. Or a character develops a similar crush on your player character. And neither interest is reciprocated, before you reverse the situation again. If you develop a trail like that, and keep track of the interest, and eventually allow the relationship to happen. But then give the character an option to pay the other character back for the hurt they've caused the other, or to forgive completely, etc.

 

Yeah, it's the detours and dead ends that make relationships in drama interesting. And if they did do romances, there should definitely be potential to flirt with a character only to be told "Let's not make things weird. We're trying to save the world here."

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to have a romance there'd have to be a decent looking girl first, and the one we got is killed in the tutorial.. sorry for the spoiler.. Not so sure about GM or Sagani.. Its as if they didnt want us to have female companions at all, let alone romances. Pretty big change to BG1 btw, where the first NPC we got was a cutie., and well bg1 generally didnt held back on kawaii material

 

Your character is a Watcher, surely they of all people would be able to clearly see inner beauty and all that.

 

Your response sparked writers gold for any game writer who wants to use this. This is clever actually.

 

So you would make two versions of the female companion:

 

In the normal physical world she is ugly & mannish, but when you use your watcher powers to peer into her soul, you are treated to her ethereal representation in which she is drop dead gorgeous, beautiful.  How she looks in spirit form is similar to a super model, because she is beautiful on the inside.

 

This would satisfy a straight male gamers need to see a beautiful woman, but also forces us to see how unattractive she is physically in the outside normal world. 

 

You see two versions of her, the hot one inside of her and the unattractive one in the normal physical world. Interesting and thought provoking.  I'm fine with this.  This has been done in the movie Shallow Hal.

Edited by luzarius

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Despite what I may post, I'm a huge fan of Pillars of Eternity, it's one of my favorite RPG's.

Anita Sarkeesian keeps Bioware's balls in a jar on her shelf.

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to have a romance there'd have to be a decent looking girl first, and the one we got is killed in the tutorial.. sorry for the spoiler.. Not so sure about GM or Sagani.. Its as if they didnt want us to have female companions at all, let alone romances. Pretty big change to BG1 btw, where the first NPC we got was a cutie., and well bg1 generally didnt held back on kawaii material

 

Your character is a Watcher, surely they of all people would be able to clearly see inner beauty and all that.

 

Your response sparked writers gold for any game writer who wants to use this. This is clever actually.

 

So you would make two versions of the female companion:

 

In the normal physical world she is ugly & mannish, but when you use your watcher powers to peer into her soul, you are treated to her ethereal representation in which she is drop dead gorgeous, beautiful.  How she looks in spirit form is similar to a super model, because she is beautiful on the inside.

 

This would satisfy a straight male gamers need to see a beautiful woman, but also take a step back to understand that on the outside she is not attractive.

 

 

But then Jack Black would steal her away from you. :`(

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