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Grieving Mother might be the best written NPC character I've seen in an RPG game

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Disclaimer: No spoilers.

 

Close to finishing the game for the 2nd time, and first time actually taking her with me. In my opinion, this really is the best written character I've had the pleasure of experiencing in pretty much any RPG. I've played Baldur's Gate (1 + 2), Neverwinter Nights, Planescape Torment, etc, but this character... just wow.

 

On my first playthrough (around release), I played a Cipher, so I thought "hmm she seems interesting, but I'm have a Cipher and having 2 would be silly". But now after 3.01 patch, and buying both White March DLCs, I re-started with a Monk, and decided to take her along with me. Loving every second of it. I urge anyone that never gave her a chance (because of stats, class, or any other reason) to grab her ASAP.

 

My experience with her was so intense, I just had to go somewhere and express my appreciation.

 

Thank you. Kudos to who ever is responsible for the script of that incredible character. One of my best gaming experiences ever :)

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While I don't share your love of her, as her lack of interaction with other party members and single-minded fixation on the Legacy made her feel less interesting to me, I agree she is a very memorable character.

 

In fact, her creepyness and intensity are something rarely seem in companion characters, much like Durance's whole mountain of issues, and both of their quests, while mechanically unninteresting, tie in very well with the game's lore and are very well written, if you can live throught the wordyness.

 

Part of what really marked my impression of her was how the Watcher's "recruiting" of her was written, with a lasting sensation of uneasyness on both sides, which lasts and even grows as you peer into her soul. It also helps differentiating her, in that she, much like Durance, is not a normal person, but someone even more immersed into this strange world of broken souls and ethereal memories than the Watcher.

Edited by DreamWayfarer
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I really loved her in the initial conversation, and thought she'd be one of my faves, and another great MCA char. By the time I had beat the game, I'd soured on her, and while I still took her a lot, that was largely because it was either her, or take one of the OP casters, who I avoid.

 

She never really goes anywhere past that first convo, and it really feels like she was written for a different way the story was going to go, and they sorta just cut out and mashed together enough to keep her in the final game. I mean, I don't find her unbearable to have in the party, like the new Maneha char, but her story either doesn't sync up with how the rest of the game presents it's lore, or she's just non-existent it in.

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My own preference went to Durance, especially the very moment of his "revelation", but yeah... Chris Avellone.

 

Torment's writing was excellent but Planescape Universe is far less reallistic. PoE world is much closer to a "real world", which leads us to another league of feelings.

 

I found specially touching the moment when Sagani told me she has given birth to five childs. Not exactly a cliché for a (female) figure in a RPG.

For some reasons she reminded me of a friend of mine. I told it to my girlfriend "I don't know why, Sagani made me feel that my friend is going to have a third child."

A few minutes later, my friend's husband phoned me and told me she was pregnant :-

Edited by Elric Galad
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While I don't share your love of her, as her lack of interaction with other party members and single-minded fixation on the Legacy made her feel less interesting to me, I agree she is a very memorable character.

 

In fact, her creepyness and intensity are something rarely seem in companion characters, much like Durance's whole mountain of issues, and both of their quests, while mechanically unninteresting, tie in very well with the game's lore and are very well written, if you can live throught the wordyness.

 

Part of what really marked my impression of her was how the Watcher's "recruiting" of her was written, with a lasting sensation of uneasyness on both sides, which lasts and even grows as you peer into her soul. It also helps differentiating her, in that she, much like Durance, is not a normal person, but someone even more immersed into this strange world of broken souls and ethereal memories than the Watcher.

 

Her lack of interaction bothered me a bit, I admit. Nevertheless, my original post's intention was a thank you and appreciation to the writer(s) of her story, history, and dialogues with the PC. She's not a perfect character, putting the lack of interaction with her aside. For my specific playthrough, I enjoyed her dialogues so much I actually talked with her after every game event / quest / progression that I exhausted all her dialogue and quest extremely quickly.

 

It was a very condensed, intense, and fun reading and dialogue, but now I'm left with a taste for more. She was a very unique and rich character to have, and now I'm a bit torn: should I keep her in case other interactions with her pop up ? or just replace her with someone else ? because at the moment she feels like a custom created character by me. (currently at Twin Elms)

 

 

I really loved her in the initial conversation, and thought she'd be one of my faves, and another great MCA char. By the time I had beat the game, I'd soured on her, and while I still took her a lot, that was largely because it was either her, or take one of the OP casters, who I avoid.

 

She never really goes anywhere past that first convo, and it really feels like she was written for a different way the story was going to go, and they sorta just cut out and mashed together enough to keep her in the final game. I mean, I don't find her unbearable to have in the party, like the new Maneha char, but her story either doesn't sync up with how the rest of the game presents it's lore, or she's just non-existent it in.

 

MCA char ? Not familiar with this abbreviation :(

 

Possible spoilers ahead: I actually felt she syncs quite well, at least with the PC special "gift". Learning her memories and past bits by bits, felt very "Watchery", and helped my sense of immersion with the world and my character. To me, all interactions with her gave more "volume" and weight to the Watcher's ability, but I guess not everyone has the same taste in reading and characters

 

My own preference went to Durance, especially the very moment of his "revelation", but yeah... Chris Avellone.

 

Torment's writing was excellent but Planescape Universe is far less reallistic. PoE world is much closer to a "real world", which leads us to another league of feelings.

 

I found specially touching the moment when Sagani told me she has given birth to five childs. Not exactly a cliché for a (female) figure in a RPG.

For some reasons she reminded me of a friend of mine. I told it to my girlfriend "I don't know why, Sagani made me feel that my friend is going to have a third child."

A few minutes later, my friend's husband phoned me and told me she was pregnant :-

 

I actually debated with myself whether I should write about the Grieving Mother specifically, or all the characters I liked. Sagani, out of all the characters I experienced so far, felt the closest to a "real world" character. She doesn't have any magical abilities, or any special role in history or lore like Durance / Eder.

 

She's just a mother of 5, and a huntress, that went on a hunt as part of her village tradition. Except the fact she's looking for a soul of a village elder, anyone could be like her. Me, you, a peasant in Gilded Vale. Her normality made her special. It was nice to finally have a character that was more on the normal side of the spectrum in a fantasy RPG game.

 

I don't know how relevant that is (how long ago that phone call took place), but congratulations on your friends pregnancy / new baby :)

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MCA char ? Not familiar with this abbreviation :(

 

Don't actually know what the M stands for, but it's referring to Chris Avellone.

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Fortune favors the bald.

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Mister Chris Avellone.


"Things are funny...are comedic, because they mix the real with the absurd." - Buzz Aldrin.

"P-O-T-A-T-O-E" - Dan Quayle

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I have only recruited the Grieving Mother during my very first playthrough (almost a year ago!), and she felt really interesting.

Still, the absence of party banter is a huge let-down for me, and considering the nature of her personal quest, I don't plan on recruiting her anymore.

Since in this thread there are many GM-experts, I'd like to ask if there is a reason I should consider her in one of my next plays? Did she get new personal lines or even some party banters during the White March?

 

The other ten companions are fun to experience twice or more times, because you always find new things they say/comment about.

Aloth in particular is my favorite: I really enjoy his personality(ies), he talks a lot and some of his banters with Eder or Kana are memorable for me.

 

Uh, sorry I'm derailing... what I meant is: I don't see any reason to play with the GM more than once. I welcome counterarguments! :)


Edér, I am using WhatsApp!

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Neverwinter Nights

 

Kelgar in Neverwinter Nights 2 ... unforgotten ... his voice-acting and his personal quest. Tears in my eyes when he and other companions visited me during the preparation for the duel against Lorne.

 

I've highly recommended the game at the BG/IWD forum. Here once more, too. It's not available at Steam but at GOG.

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Mister Chris Avellone.

Master Chris Avellone according to the Codex.

 

Still, he just came up with the concept of the character while Carrie Patel and Eric Fenstermaker did the majority of her writing.

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"The majority" is debatable, certainly he didn't write any of their White March lines but there's no real way of knowing how much he was responsible for in the main game.

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"The majority" is debatable, certainly he didn't write any of their White March lines but there's no real way of knowing how much he was responsible for in the main game.

Avellone himself says he doesn't take credit for 3/4 of the content for his companions.

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Mister Chris Avellone.

 

Master Chris Avellone according to the Codex.

Children, please.


"Things are funny...are comedic, because they mix the real with the absurd." - Buzz Aldrin.

"P-O-T-A-T-O-E" - Dan Quayle

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"The majority" is debatable, certainly he didn't write any of their White March lines but there's no real way of knowing how much he was responsible for in the main game.

Avellone himself says he doesn't take credit for 3/4 of the content for his companions.
I thought he said they were cut down by 3/4 from what he'd originally written. Maybe he meant that they have the same amount if content in the game now but they cut out 3/4 of it and replaced it with an equal amount of different stuff?

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Hard to talk about this without spoilers. The lack of party banter with GM is a problem but I really liked how morally/ethically conflicted she is. 

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I didn't use G.M. in my first play-through, but I am taking her along now on my second, and enjoying it so far.  She's certainly something different and outside stereotypical RPG characters.  It's working for me.

Generally speaking, I think the characters and their dialog options with the PC really add richness and depth to this game.  They make the world less bland, and it feels like it has real people of all sorts with their own issues and troubles and goals.

I agree the Sagani sub-story is great too, and I like most of the voice acting behind the story-NPCs.

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Cannot agree, guess that's tastes. On my first playthrough I took here with me as soon as I met her, and till the endgame she always remained in my party, exhausted every dialogue and finished her personal quest, on latter playthroughs I tried to avoid talking to her, but she's quite good combatant.

 

Starting with Monk wasn't best idea, Zahua is a must in any party IMO, can't talk for most folks, but he makes me laugh burtsing in tears sometimes, heh.

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I don't really like how Grieving Mother is presented, a lot of the time it feels like I'm reading some sort of weird novel instead of playing a CRPG (and mind you, this is coming from someone who absolutely loves the narrative of Betrayal at Krondor). It just doesn't work, I have to have a mindset for reading a novel if I'm reading a novel and PoE isn't a game that allows me to reach such a state while playing. She has this aura of mystery but the narrative style put me off to the point where I found her more frustrating than interesting.

 

Everyone's favorite crazed Russian priest on the other hand might just be my favorite video game character ever. As far as I'm concerned he's Chris Avellone's single greatest creation. Heck, Durance was the single greatest source of motivation for my latest playthrough. He's just that great.

 

 

Starting with Monk wasn't best idea, Zahua is a must in any party IMO, can't talk for most folks, but he makes me laugh burtsing in tears sometimes, heh.

 

Who says you can't run two? My PC was a barbarian but I still used Maneha more than any of the other melee NPCs. Carnage + Draining is fun!

Edited by kvaak

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I thought Iovara was also well written. Despite her lack of scenes I thought she made a huge impact. Maybe it was because she had less throwaway lines than someone like, I dunno... Maerwald! lol

 

I haven't played through Grieving Mother's story yet, so I can't comment on that. Her introduction is certainly interesting.

Edited by Ignatius

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My favorite one is still Devil of Caroc, but Grieving Mother seems at least cool. But yeah, love me some Durance, too.

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I disagree; I don't like GM at all - I found her to be the most boring character. I particularly liked Durance's reveal and how his story was deeply intertwined with the backstory of the game. I also liked Eder as a bff, Pallegina as the moral compass, Hiravias as the comedy relief, and Aloth/Kana as the insightful lore companions.

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As a story character, she works well. As a companion that has to interact in a party with other NPCs or humans, she's incomplete and too specialized.

 

She would have made for a great future villainess, if you add her to the main player's childhood background intro.

 

Of course Chris Av's design with her involved more dialogue, more interactions, and more gameplayish elements, which were cut. What there was of the content, was interesting, but isolated or specialized. Something was missing, obviously.

 

Why didn't that happen to Durance? Mostly because he loves to be hated and that's how Chris Av wrote him towards the other party. At least he has a relationship to the other party members. And due to Eder's certain background... it actually provided a bit of inter party rpg conflict. At least, theoretically on the lore side. You get one side of the story, and then you get the other side of the story. They balance each other out.

Edited by Ymarsakar
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I didn't like her much. I play an evil character and the Grieving Mother leaves the party after an incident with a baby. Nothing special about her imo. I liked the Devil of Caroc the most. As a matter of fact that's the only companion that I really like.

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