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A character doesn't have to rely on a heavy backstory and psychological issues to be a freak. I prefer freaks who are freaks due to their personality rather than circumstance. A wizard who is interested in some freakish phenomenon doesn't have to have a deep backstory with that phenomenon, they could just find it absolutely fascinating, and as far as magic goes, see the potential to gain power, knowledge or insight by studying that field. The whole "I'm weird because my metaphysical destiny is weird" is incredibly dull basis for a character, and although an interesting addition to an already rich character base and an integral part to any fantasy story, they should be the exception rather than the rule. PoE suffers a little from this, as Aloth is really not that interesting a character, and Iselmyr's personality is the whole carrying force behind him rather than the awakened soul dilemma. Grieving mother already kinda fills that niche role.

Edited by Ninjamestari

The most important step you take in your life is the next one.

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Oh - I thought you meant 'interesting' as in 'interesting character/quest in the game world' not 'philosophically important outside the game world'

I'll take the former over the latter.  If I want the latter, I won't look to computer games for it.

 

Still, to each their own.

 

I hate it when content has no relevance in the real world. Be it computer games, movies or whatever. If it does not reflect the real wordl, it has no purpose other than distraction. I make an exception when it comes to humor (Jan for example has nothing to say, but he's just hilarious), but I'm not interested in the fictional problems of fictional characters. If I wanted to hear people whining about their lifes and problems without relevance, I don't have to play games. I just notice, as I write those lines, that people said the same things, about characters that i like. This topic very much depends on personal preference... So the problem is see is: I fear this game develops in a way, that does not fit my preferences anymore, as everything I liked about part 1 is seemingly about to get cut in part 2. One could argue, that this is my personal problem, but part 1 managed to  satisfy everyone, while part 2 seems to go in another direction. Excuse me, I'm drunk. Have a very good night.

Edited by Lord_Mord

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I disagree strongly: the strength of SFF is the fantastic gives us a mirror through which to see ourselves. A distorted mirror, but one that lets us notice the things we normally overlook for their familiarity, or stretch them to proportions they can no longer be ignored, or peel back the obscuring skin to show the muscle and bone beneath. The truth of a well crafted fantasy setting is more real, in a sense, than our reality, burning far brighter.

Edited by Micamo
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Oh - I thought you meant 'interesting' as in 'interesting character/quest in the game world' not 'philosophically important outside the game world'

I'll take the former over the latter.  If I want the latter, I won't look to computer games for it.

 

Still, to each their own.

 

I hate it when content has no relevance in the real world. Be it computer games, movies or whatever. If it does not reflect the real wordl, it has no purpose other than distraction. I make an exception when it comes to humor (Jan for example has nothing to say, but he's just hilarious), but I'm not interested in the fictional problems of fictional characters. If I wanted to hear people whining about their lifes and problems without relevance, I don't have to play games.

I just notice, as I write those lines, that people said the same things, about characters that i like. This topic very much depends on personal preference... So the problem is see is: I fear this game develops in a way, that does not fit my preferences anymore, as everything I liked about part 1 is seemingly about to get cut in part 2. One could argue, that this is my personal problem, but part 1 managed to  satisfy everyone, while part 2 seems to go in another direction. Excuse me, I'm drunk. Have a very good night.

 

 

 

I disagree strongly: the strength of SFF is the fantastic gives us a mirror through which to see ourselves. A distorted mirror, but one that lets us notice the things we normally overlook for their familiarity, or stretch them to proportions they can no longer be ignored, or peel back the obscuring skin to show the muscle and bone beneath. The truth of a well crafted fantasy setting is more real, in a sense, than our reality, burning far brighter.

Agreed on those points, so perhaps we're talking at cross-purposes.

by 'philosophically important in the real world' I was thinking of things like 'the meaning of life' - if I really want to get into that, there is far better literature out there that can deal with topics more in-depth.  A good novel can spend hundreds of pages on one character and their journey in a world.  A computer game is limited in scope, especially one with a budget.

But relevant and relateable:

Taking Sagani as the example again - her journey is one of duty vs. family, and perseverance in the face of ever lengthening odds - relateable.

Durance is one of bitterness in the face of betrayal and maybe survivor's guilt - also relateable

 

But whereas Sagani's character engenders sympathy from me, drawing me into her story, Durance does not.

Again - it's purely a subjective question as clearly different people like different characters.

 

but part 1 managed to  satisfy everyone, while part 2 seems to go in another direction.

well, no - it satisfied you and me, but not everyone - a lot of people dropped away after the game's release turned out to not be what they were expecting.  I'd wait and see though for part 2.  I don't think it has a different direction, but not all characters are returning.  Hopefully the new roster has a good mix - but whether they'll end up qualifying as 'freak' for you I don't know.

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Making you think and addressing important questions about life, the universe, and everything, and posing an interesting dilemma, or a hard choice, can be done without resorting to being "freak"-ish.

Life happens also to people who're not mental train wrecks or floating skulls. I really dislike it when RPG parties result in a freak show of every unhinged person the protagonist could find on their travels, and even more so that the protagonist often has to play psychiatrist-in-training because it's obviously them who has to solve the psychological issues of all these nutjobs. Durance went on my nerves because I had to listen to his tirades while he never got anywhere and had to dig deep into his deluded mind to even understand what his problems were, and I did not do that a second time. Why should I? They're his problems, they didn't speak to me. He should've sought out professional help long ago. (The Grieving Mother had the crippling problem that her "quest" wasn't really connected to anything in the game at all; we just talked about it. I'm not sure how much of that was due to later cuts during production, so it's maybe not fair to criticise her too much. It would've been different if she actually had interactions with other party members and the environment, and if we would've visited the Birthing Bell or her village, or something like that. Like, connect her to the actual game.)

If there's some crazy person thrown into the mix, that's fine. But all around, having people who can carry a normal interaction without making me doubt their sanity, seems preferable somehow.

I mean, sure I liked Xan in BG1. (The other idiots, not so much, though.) But let's be honest, the level of party interaction in BG1 was stone age compared to modern incarnations of these games. There were no deep questions posed by Xan, his interjections were more or less comic relief. BG1 had very limited room for making their companions memorable, and basically had to resort to excessive flanderizing to do that. It was successful in creating characters you remember; it wasn't successful in characters that challenged you intellectually. Or were believable characters that you'd actually would want to be around, really.

 

It would be much more interesting, I think, if the birds didn't come pre-broken but reacted to the events of the story in different ways. You're witness to some world-shattering and gruesome events (and some of that you're doing yourself). The effect of that on your party members during a game and dealing with the aftermaths of your actions, would be enough material for interesting and challenging conversations and quests, without the party members bringing heavy amounts of backstory baggage already with them. In PoE, Edér and (to a lesser degree) Aloth tended in this direction, with their issues directly tied to the plot of the game; in BG2, that was Imoen. (Durance, as well, but that was presented ... not well.)

 

Freak doesn't automatically mean crazy. I like to think of the broad definition of "freak" in the "Freaks and Geeks" way of just being an eccentric outcast - an oddball if you will.

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I identify a lot with "crazy" characters. What I wish I saw more of are characters who know that something is wrong and try to compensate for it, self-correct. Characters who wrestle with a mind they know is a poisoned well, their only weapons for defense against it thoughts and impulses they cannot trust. Sane writers love making mentally ill characters who revel in it, fascinated by their off behavior because they do not understand the pain that comes with it.

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I identify a lot with "crazy" characters. What I wish I saw more of are characters who know that something is wrong and try to compensate for it, self-correct. Characters who wrestle with a mind they know is a poisoned well, their only weapons for defense against it thoughts and impulses they cannot trust. Sane writers love making mentally ill characters who revel in it, fascinated by their off behavior because they do not understand the pain that comes with it.

 

​A lot of assumptions about writers, them being sane and ****ing up insane characters and more. Not only do I find tormented characters often do know something is wrong and do try to self-correct. Sometimes only holding themselves together by a thread. But there are also legitimate human qualities that give way to qualities of reveling in one's own madness or in one's own mind that justify that other character type. Sociopathy, narcissism, and qualities of ego as such, etc.

​I get you want a character that basically reflects yourself back in the mirror. But your complaint that characters when written somehow isn't coming from the writers own knowledge and experience but is instead simply a flawed attempted characterization some "proper" classification of a person type is just baffling.

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I identify a lot with "crazy" characters. What I wish I saw more of are characters who know that something is wrong and try to compensate for it, self-correct. Characters who wrestle with a mind they know is a poisoned well, their only weapons for defense against it thoughts and impulses they cannot trust. Sane writers love making mentally ill characters who revel in it, fascinated by their off behavior because they do not understand the pain that comes with it.

 

There are no sane writers ^^

The most important step you take in your life is the next one.

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Durance also had terrible stats and the replcement mercenary I created made the PotD playthrough much easier, but that was true of all companions.

 

Anyways yeah give us some weirdos, but besides Jan most of those BG characters listed are 1 note wonders that don't give much more than a NPC with a voiceset. Torment was also a much weirder setting and I don't see ancient alien battlemages or aetheist succubi who aren't evil or a floating skull that wants to bang zombies fitting in.

Durance brings the bad stat distribution to another league. But to his defense, this is because Resolve is a meh stat.

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I mean, he's a character driven entirely by his frustration at his sexual impotence, and he deals with that frustration by being a huge misogynistic asshat...

 

Erm... didn't you pick up on the whole part where he was an incredibly devoted follower of Magran, sacrificing a part of his own soul to make the Godhammer bomb, and afterwards she abandoned him? The fact that the man who has prided himself in never doubting is starting to show cracks: is this a test by Magran, or has she truly abandoned him? He doesn't know, and it scares him, but he's not the sort of person to show fear so he lashes out at others.

 

The misogyny is, I think, part of who he is and partly magnified by his feeling of having been used then abandoned by a woman, namely Magran. I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that he's impotent from though.

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I mean, he's a character driven entirely by his frustration at his sexual impotence, and he deals with that frustration by being a huge misogynistic asshat...

 

Erm... didn't you pick up on the whole part where he was an incredibly devoted follower of Magran, sacrificing a part of his own soul to make the Godhammer bomb, and afterwards she abandoned him? The fact that the man who has prided himself in never doubting is starting to show cracks: is this a test by Magran, or has she truly abandoned him? He doesn't know, and it scares him, but he's not the sort of person to show fear so he lashes out at others.

 

The misogyny is, I think, part of who he is and partly magnified by his feeling of having been used then abandoned by a woman, namely Magran. I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that he's impotent from though.

 

 

Yes, and he followed Magran because her philosophy agreed with him. This is just my interpretation but I believe the sexual impotence (and the internalized rage and self-hatred due to it) came first, and fueled his rage and self-hatred that led to him being able to adopt such a philosophy. After all, giving even horrible people something they can agree with and tells them they are right is the entire point. "There are many gods so that everyone is looked after, no matter who they are or what they have done." It could have come later, but his character makes much more sense to me this way. Either way, that self-hate is his main driving force now.

 

Also, as for his impotence, another Thaos quote: "You are impotent, and not just from the pox." Though there's subtextual evidence aplenty before this. Read his dialogue and comments again with his inability to have sex in mind and his Milleresque "Whores Whores Whores Whores Whores" obsession makes much more sense. I know too many men in real-life like this.

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"Pffft... this group is especially hopeless today"

XD

Pfft. Edwin's where it's at.

 

"It's aggravation like this that will eventually cause me to fireball the entire party as they sleep. Yes indeed, everyone peaceful and quiet and then FOOM!"

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Xan was awesome, but imho mainly because he was a counterpoint to all the other hyper-motivated regular hero characters I had around (also: moonblade). Bonus points for not being psychotically evil, as some NPCs were wont to do in those days. Having more guys like him around would probably have diluted the appeal though.

Also I am not sure I would have stomached extended conversations with that guy, which of course in BG1 was not really an issue...

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Yes, and he followed Magran because her philosophy agreed with him.

 

This is the usual reason for following a certain belief yes, at least for those who question the beliefs they are brought up with.

 

Also, as for his impotence, another Thaos quote: "You are impotent, and not just from the pox." Though there's subtextual evidence aplenty before this. Read his dialogue and comments again with his inability to have sex in mind and his Milleresque "Whores Whores Whores Whores Whores" obsession makes much more sense. I know too many men in real-life like this.

 

You're probably right that that's what was intended by Avellone. Though it does contradict his cut backstory with Grieving Mother, but then perhaps that's part of why it was cut.

 

This is just my interpretation but I believe the sexual impotence (and the internalized rage and self-hatred due to it) came first, and fueled his rage and self-hatred that led to him being able to adopt such a philosophy. After all, giving even horrible people something they can agree with and tells them they are right is the entire point. "There are many gods so that everyone is looked after, no matter who they are or what they have done." It could have come later, but his character makes much more sense to me this way. Either way, that self-hate is his main driving force now.

 

 

I would tend to assume the impotence came later, perhaps as a result of his sacrificing part of his soul in the creation of the Godhammer. I don't think I agree that self hatred is his main driving force though. I'd probably say hatred and disappointment of others are a large part of what makes him him: he sacrificed a part of himself to save the Dyrwood (one of the few things he talks about positively), and then the Dyrwood disappoints him. I suspect he wishes he had died like his fellow Godhammerers, but his philosophy presumably doesn't allow for suicide.

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You're probably right that that's what was intended by Avellone. Though it does contradict his cut backstory with Grieving Mother, but then perhaps that's part of why it was cut.

Just gonna say to this, it's about expressing power much more than satiating hunger. You don't need to be able to get it up to rape someone. As for the rest, I disagree, but I'll grant that it's a valid interpretation.

 

My interpretation with the Godhammer is that Durance did it because he thought he had Magran figured out. He thought that if he put on the performance, made the necessary sacrifices, he would be rewarded with what he wanted. (Whether that was a cure for his impotence so he could do mortal women or literal sexual gratification from Magran I can't say: I certainly believe Durance is capable of believing that Magran would come down to Eora in corporeal form for him to sleep with.) He gave of himself for her, and when the reward he so desperately wanted was not forthcoming, he thought that it was just another test. He had to figure out what else he had to do to win Magran's reward. That's why he's so angry when he finds out that Magran intended for him to die with the other makers of the Godhammer. Like all toxic men, he believes he's entitled to his reward after making what he perceived as the necessary payments, and Magran's intention to never repay him is a betrayal. Like all misogynist ****s, his thoughts turn not to self-reflection, but to vengeance for his perceived wrongs.

 

Yes, Durance is totally a Nice Guy to Magran. At least, that's how I interpreted it.

Edited by Micamo
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My interpretation with the Godhammer is that Durance did it because he thought he had Magran figured out. He thought that if he put on the performance, made the necessary sacrifices, he would be rewarded with what he wanted. (Whether that was a cure for his impotence so he could do mortal women or literal sexual gratification from Magran I can't say: I certainly believe Durance is capable of believing that Magran would come down to Eora in corporeal form for him to sleep with.) He gave of himself for her, and when the reward he so desperately wanted was not forthcoming, he thought that it was just another test. He had to figure out what else he had to do to win Magran's reward. That's why he's so angry when he finds out that Magran intended for him to die with the other makers of the Godhammer. Like all toxic men, he believes he's entitled to his reward after making what he perceived as the necessary payments, and Magran's intention to never repay him is a betrayal. Like all misogynist ****s, his thoughts turn not to self-reflection, but to vengeance for his perceived wrongs.

 

Apart from the fact, that I think you take that sex thing too literally, that is a very convincing interpretation. It brings me to two questions: 1. Why do I still kinda like this guy? and 2. Why do I have a fable for impotent characters? Video gaming as psychoanalysis...

 

I should change the topic of this thread. I miss impotent characters. :)

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We're all doomed

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The modern term for subtext is headcanon. :lol: I kid, I kid.

But you're not wrong.

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