Baldur's Gate 3 Catch-All

detroit20 wrote:

I'm interested to learn how you find the combat, Prederick.

I'll let you know! However, again, I'm coming directly off a Pathfinder playthrough, so just about anything would be less frustrating.

detroit20, in the Underdark, don't forget that

Spoiler:

nasty dangerous mushrooms are flammable *and* explosive lol.

IMAGE(https://preview.redd.it/ymy6928spbs71.png?auto=webp&s=136e417da2df17c2cc1228862b1cf0ca827cda4f)

In my headcanon it isn't a point buy system and all the companions just have 18 charisma.

Because, seriously, is the game telling me Shadowheart has a mere 8 Charisma? Shadowheart? 10 Charisma is like an invisible everyperson, and this game has the audacity to give Karlach a 10? Are the stat allocators really trying to assert that Lae-zel has an innate -1 to intimidation? PLEASE. Halsin is basically the world's most interesting man. Astarian has the unfair charisma advantage of being Astarian. And Gale?

Okay, fine. Gale is probably more in the 12 range. But he thinks he's an 18!

There's a difference between "how much do I like this character?" and "how good are they at fast-talking NPCs who don't know them like we do?".

And that's ignoring the whole "how good are they at being a Sorcerer?" side of the equation.

According to the rules, "Charisma measures a character's charm and eloquence, their force of personality, their self-confidence, and their ability to interact with other creatures. Characters with a high score are charming, well-liked, and are often natural leaders."

These characters are a lot of things: Shadowheart and Lae'zel are both prickly for sure. I think you could make a lot of cases about none of them being natural leaders or this one or that one lacking eloquence... But I would posit that none of them lack charm (even Lae'zel is charming AF, frankly) and certainly all of them have forceful personalities. The only one who isn't self-confident is Gale, frankly.

Straight 18's down the block in my opinion. Reasonable to say many in the 12-14 range. But 8-10. Nope. No way.

When it comes to "according to the rules" I put a LOT more weight on what an ability mechanically does than I do the broad, general descriptions. Especially in a computer game, which can't help but be a lot stricter than things would be at the tabletop with friends.

What exactly are we complaining about here? Are the characters too well written and likeable? Is the mechanical side of the game too well balanced?

Should all of the characters be powerful Sorcerers because they're written well?

Oh, for sure, they shouldn't be. Though they can be thanks to respeccing! (Apparently Gale Sorcerer respecced to CHA using the INT headband is a terrific build because you can learn a bunch of spells and get the wizard flexibility with the sorcerer points and ease of casting.)

I'm just teasing the game here and praising its characters, who, in my book, are all 18s.

I don't think Rich is talking about how the companions are imbalanced in stats but more their writing and dialogue and VA work suggest they're often 14+ Charisma.

That's a fair call, they are very charming. Astarion should be 18 Charisma. I usually hate uppity characters but he's so dramatic just like the elven counterpart in Pathfinder WOTR, I can't help but enjoy having his trainwreck of a tragic past along for the ride. Shadowheart rubbed me the wrong way for about 10 hours. La'ziel was abrasive has heck initially but if you get some skinship you can sense she's a Fighter from a Githyanki warrior culture so her speech and norms make sense if you contextualised them. Ah, I had to pick one of the two but both had my Tav in their clutches.

Bfgp wrote:

I don't think Rich is talking about how the companions are imbalanced in stats but more their writing and dialogue and VA work suggest they're often 14+ Charisma. .

This is it exactly. I think the cheekiness of tone did not translate. My apologies on that front - I'm multitasking like crazy today.

TheHarpoMarxist wrote:
Bfgp wrote:

I don't think Rich is talking about how the companions are imbalanced in stats but more their writing and dialogue and VA work suggest they're often 14+ Charisma. .

This is it exactly. I think the cheekiness of tone did not translate. My apologies on that front - I'm multitasking like crazy today.

That's what I thought. Like, yes, in-game, Karlach has 10 Charisma.

I think everyone would agree that excluding the obvious "is a red-skinned demon-spawn who is constantly on fire and has horns" part, Karlach would completely own any room in the world almost instantly. And deservedly so. She'd be the bartender that is the primary reason said bar gets so much business.

But yeah, just struck me as funny and understandable. "Charisma" can mean a myriad of different things, but the VA's pretty much had to make those characters as appealing as possible, in their own ways, even if on its face, it doesn't mesh with what we see in their stats.

I'm playing as a Githyanki Sorceror, so I'm enjoying doing a "Bad cop (me), worse cop" routine with Lae'zel.

If they had accurate 10 Charismas, they'd be NPC's in Starfield.

So I'm coming back after an absence and since I never made it past Act 1, I figured I might start over. I'm interested in a storm theme but trying to decide between storm cleric and storm sorcerer. Any ideas? And yes his name will likely be "Zap."

jdzappa wrote:

So I'm coming back after an absence and since I never made it past Act 1, I figured I might start over. I'm interested in a storm theme but trying to decide between storm cleric and storm sorcerer. Any ideas? And yes his name will likely be "Zap."

Storm sorceror looks more versatile. I made Shadowheart a tempest cleric to give her more offensive options, but generally I found that there were too many spells competing for her concentration. Call Lightning is awesome, but then you can't use Bless, Spirit guardians, Sleet Storm etc. The zappy reactions and/or using reaction to go full zap damage were cool though.

TheHarpoMarxist wrote:

In my headcanon it isn't a point buy system and all the companions just have 18 charisma.

Because, seriously, is the game telling me Shadowheart has a mere 8 Charisma? Shadowheart? 10 Charisma is like an invisible everyperson, and this game has the audacity to give Karlach a 10? Are the stat allocators really trying to assert that Lae-zel has an innate -1 to intimidation? PLEASE. Halsin is basically the world's most interesting man. Astarian has the unfair charisma advantage of being Astarian. And Gale?

Okay, fine. Gale is probably more in the 12 range. But he thinks he's an 18!

Halsin's Charisma score wasn't what bothered me. No, that was the Strength of 10 and the Intelligence of 8. You're telling me that this towering, jacked monstrosity of an elf who is a noted bibliophile and self-professed lifelong learner has average strength and below-average intelligence?! Guy basically walks back and forth between the gym and the library all day. No way those are his stats.

I don't do a lot of fan casting, and the dude doing Volo is doing a perfectly good job...

...However, I can't listen to him without thinking to myself "My GOD Paul F. Tompkins would've knocked this out of the park."

Also he looks like him too.

TheHarpoMarxist wrote:
Bfgp wrote:

I don't think Rich is talking about how the companions are imbalanced in stats but more their writing and dialogue and VA work suggest they're often 14+ Charisma. .

This is it exactly. I think the cheekiness of tone did not translate. My apologies on that front - I'm multitasking like crazy today.

I dunno, your joke seemed pretty obvious, and pretty funny. I'm not sure why it would have been construed as a commentary on mechanics.

WELP.

Spoiler:

Minthara's dead. Shouldn't have stopped on the bridge with 1 HP supports, lady.

That said, Karlach >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Minthara, so I'm good with it.

Should I feel bad that I already have the 4 long rests achievement? Am I abusing the mechanic? Is the game going to beat my ass for it?

Ultimately, what's important is that I'm Having A Good Time.

Especially the combat. I really cannot express enough how having just finished a playthrough of Pathfinder: WotR makes BG3's combat seem totally pleasant.

It's so wonderful to have a game where buffs/debuffs are useful ways to give yourself an edge in combat, but not always necessary, as opposed to a game where perfectly managing buffs is absolutely necessary to prevent enemies from crushing your skulls like a rotten grape.

Like, I don't think I'm currently equipped to talk about the combat mechanics in this game, because I just came from a game that didn't take height or surfaces into equation, and was mostly about "how high can you buff your AC/To-Hit in order not to get murdered."

I think Lae'zel currently has an AC of 17 and in Pathfinder, literally anything would obliterate you in a single turn with that number.

Yeah Pathfinder has 50+ AC builds so the rulesets deviate quite a lot.

Also, rest as much as you like. Game ain't stingy on resting like Pathfinder. Tons of free consumables to loot for long rests. Just watch out for certain times events.

MrDeVil909 wrote:
TheHarpoMarxist wrote:
Bfgp wrote:

I don't think Rich is talking about how the companions are imbalanced in stats but more their writing and dialogue and VA work suggest they're often 14+ Charisma. .

This is it exactly. I think the cheekiness of tone did not translate. My apologies on that front - I'm multitasking like crazy today.

I dunno, your joke seemed pretty obvious, and pretty funny. I'm not sure why it would have been construed as a commentary on mechanics.

It wasn't, until he said "according to the rules."

Honestly, y'all should be thankful that I stopped myself from going on a long tangent about ludonarrative dissonance, niche protection, and/or the pitfalls of measuring stage performance, leadership, and mingling at a party with a single number.

Isn't D&D mostly abstraction? Maybe that's why BG3 feels as close to tabletop as these games may have gotten because it lets you do things a DM might scratch their heads at.

At the end of the day I imagine it would be too hard to build an accurate abstraction of social/communication skills based on one or even two attributes like charisma and intelligence; on top of that you'd have to think about how wisdom would play into it. It's the classic could be book smart wizard but can't read the room (Nenio from WOTR is a good example), or can con people but don't have the foresight to make good decisions.

BG3 Jaheira is a pretty good example of high wisdom without being necessarily super charismatic. She is a Harper and a famous one at that but she isn't out there talking bosses into killing themselves.

Vargen wrote:
MrDeVil909 wrote:
TheHarpoMarxist wrote:
Bfgp wrote:

I don't think Rich is talking about how the companions are imbalanced in stats but more their writing and dialogue and VA work suggest they're often 14+ Charisma. .

This is it exactly. I think the cheekiness of tone did not translate. My apologies on that front - I'm multitasking like crazy today.

I dunno, your joke seemed pretty obvious, and pretty funny. I'm not sure why it would have been construed as a commentary on mechanics.

It wasn't, until he said "according to the rules."

Honestly, y'all should be thankful that I stopped myself from going on a long tangent about ludonarrative dissonance, niche protection, and/or the pitfalls of measuring stage performance, leadership, and mingling at a party with a single number.

First of all - I am ALWAYS up for the long tangents lol.

Second, yeah, I was poking fun at the "according to the rules" type of thing and it I'm sure it came off as a bit too straight down the middle of the plate. That's the kind of precision posting that requires full attention, not in the background while working kind of attention.

Vargen wrote:
MrDeVil909 wrote:
TheHarpoMarxist wrote:
Bfgp wrote:

I don't think Rich is talking about how the companions are imbalanced in stats but more their writing and dialogue and VA work suggest they're often 14+ Charisma. .

This is it exactly. I think the cheekiness of tone did not translate. My apologies on that front - I'm multitasking like crazy today.

I dunno, your joke seemed pretty obvious, and pretty funny. I'm not sure why it would have been construed as a commentary on mechanics.

It wasn't, until he said "according to the rules."

Honestly, y'all should be thankful that I stopped myself from going on a long tangent about ludonarrative dissonance, niche protection, and/or the pitfalls of measuring stage performance, leadership, and mingling at a party with a single number.

Fair enough. Although that does sound like a fun tangent.

#ReleaseTheTangent

Heh. We'll see how much energy I have after I get through Halloween with a 2-year-old.

Steal the candy of the child, use the sugar to power post to internet friends!

(EDIT TO ADD: To be clear, I am joking.)

I reverted to an earlier save, which involved losing three hours of play including a major boss fight, because I missed a key step in romancing Karlach.

So there's that.

TheHarpoMarxist wrote:

Steal the candy of the child, use the sugar to power post to internet friends!

(EDIT TO ADD: To be clear, I am joking.)

Astarian would steal the sweets so I support that strategy within this thread.

Can't blame you there, though I will say (having done both) that just being buddies with Karlach (as opposed to romancing her) is still pretty great.

Karlach is odd amongst the recruitable companions because she's a character you might find in modern society with societal norms of a comparable level. That is to say, very little rationalisation is required to align her position with a reasonably nice Tav.

Ironically that results I think in two reactions to her. The first one, probably the most common, is that she's awesome. She is.

Another reaction, which I had and am having, is regret that she's not another "broken" companion I can try to "fix"