Sunday, September 12, 2010

Baldur's Gate, part 3

Regarding reputation. As I mentioned in my last post, my character's heroic reputation had been increasing at an alarming rate while simply questing around the Nashkel area -- alarming only because the evil members of my party had been complaining about it more and more. When I turned in a quest near the end of my gaming session yesterday, and my reputation hit 16, Edwin delivered a warning, saying he would have to take his leave if things kept going like this.

While evil characters have the ability to improve their reputation by donating money to a temple, the vanilla game has no simple option to negatively adjust reputation aside from killing innocents. As I'm not the murderous sort, I was glad to be able to take advantage of a clever option added by the BG1 NPC Project mod. In the Friendly Arm Inn, as well as some other places in the game, there are Lake Poets who offer the service of singing slanderous songs to damage your good name, in exchange for money. I paid 500 GP to decrease my reputation by the maximum 3 points (I think it's more expensive the higher your reputation is).

Unfortunately, the poet then wanders off to go spread the slander, and doesn't return for 3 days, by which time I've already accumulated more reputation points. That, combined with the cost, made me find a different, less in-game solution. Roleplaying aside, I just didn't want to lose Edwin and Viconia, nor did I want to play an evil character, so I ended up using the Happy Patch, which prevents NPCs from leaving the party for reputation reasons.

So now Ajantis can continue singing praises for my actions and acting like I'm a fellow paladin of Helm, and Edwin and Viconia will stick around without complaints, even though I'm up to reputation 19. Now if I could just get Ajantis to stop picking on Viconia. I'm not pleased that there's no way to say something during those arguments.


When I rescued Dynaheir, I expected something to happen, since I had Edwin and Minsc both in my party. And there was indeed a conflict, but perhaps the NPC Project is to thank for not making it a disaster. I forbade Edwin from attacking her over his protests, reassured Dyna and Minsc that I wouldn't be attacking her either, and they all agreed to remain in the party, with Edwin using his "keeping an eye on her" excuse.

However, I was only rescuing her so that Minsc and Edwin wouldn't leave on their own. I thought I could safely dump her after that, not realising that she would take Minsc with her. So, as I sadly found, I had to choose between Minsc or Edwin after all.

Regardless of Dynaheir being considered the second best mage after Edwin, I just can't stand her personality, and that's as important a consideration for me as her stats or abilities. Firstly, she's lawful good, so she's as annoyingly self-righteous as Ajantis (they get along well together, though -- they seemed to be forming a mutual admiration club before I got rid of her).

Secondly, I hate her speech patterns. I hate half-arsed attempts at Elizabethan English in general, but this grates on me every time I hear her say "Thy called?" or any other time she says "thy" where she should be saying "thee" or "thou". Better yet, how about "you"? It's so bizarre, I think it had to have been intentional, because I can't imagine the writers making such an egregious mistake. If that's the case, I just can't support the stylistic choice to give her such an annoying speech pattern.

Stand easy Minsc, thy needs not be so motherly.

So that's why I've lost Minsc and Dynaheir, and have been using Kivan as a temporary 6th party member. I really hate these enforced duos. Isn't party management challenging enough already, with the alignment and personality clashes? I even tried the trick I read about of leaving her in a house, closing the door, then kicking her out, but it didn't work. I'm guessing it's because I'm using Tutu, and the trick only worked in the BG1 engine, or else it's something that NPC Project fixed while adding other party management options.

Alas, Kivan became so much of an arsehole, acting like a jerk every time he was directed to do something, and joining Ajantis in picking on Viconia, that I had to do something about it. Since I couldn't find any other decent tanks to replace Kivan, that meant picking up Minsc, and separating him from Dynaheir by any means necessary.

"Whatever thy need," she said, as I sent her naked to say hello to a group of hobgoblins.

Bad, I know, since she didn't really deserve it. It's the only real break from my character. Minsc seemed to get over it pretty quickly.


I did learn a little from Xan when I picked him up the second time, catching up to the furthest point I'd played on my first character. Despite not wanting to add him to my party, I still wanted to complete the quest and get him out of the dungeon so if I happened to need him later I could find him at the Inn. I chose to temporarily remove Imoen from the party to fit him in, but she refused to stand by long enough for me to add Xan and then send him away to the Inn, since characters won't agree to wait in their current location if it's a dungeon or other dangerous area. So she went off to the Inn, and I just had to go there myself to add her again.

I kept Xan with me for the trip, of course, since something's better than nothing, and I found some of his spells useful for dealing with the group of amazons we encountered en route to the map border (which wiped out my party the first time I tried to fight them, since they kept paralysing everyone). Xan has the Charm Person spell, which I'd never had the chance to use. I'd used Kivan and Minsc's Charm Animal abilities, which first showed its usefulness when the Xvart Village brought out their guardian cave bear. I thought it would just make the creature complacent for a while, and was pleasantly surprised to see it start fighting my enemies.

So I tried the same thing with Xan, having him cast Charm Person on one of the amazons, and sure enough, she started fighting the others. I actually tried casting it on a second amazon as well, but she apparently resisted it. This fight went much better, and even though a couple of my party members were paralysed, I finished it with no deaths.

I still got rid of him after getting back to town, though. Minsc, Viconia, Imoen, Edwin, and Ajantis are my current best party.

No comments:

Post a Comment