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On BG1 Setting


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#1 SimDing0

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 02:06 AM

Planescape may be an unusual, complex, interesting setting. I suggest, however, that it is not best suited to BG1.

Sure, it may share D&D rules with all number of oddities, but BG1 isn't about travelling across planes meeting weird and wonderful creatures. It's about a region plagued by bandits and conspiracies, with a bit of magic thrown in for a good measure. And that's the beauty of it. Given the simplicity of the setting, I think even introducing magical new creatures, let alone having them team up with the player, is something that needs thinking about very carefully.

An extraplanar being is something I'd expect to see at the end of a significant quest in BG1, not joining the party. (For this reason I find Albert and Rufie somewhat unsatisfying.) The Aec'Letec is an excellent example of such usage--and even then, I think its strength is in that it's simply a fairly conventional mythological demon, rather than anything wacky D&D's dreamed up.

Overall, I'd argue that the atmosphere of BG1 is sufficiently detached from Planescape and planar travel that inserting Mind Flayers and Githzerai is roughly akin to depositing them in the middle of Tolkien and trying to explain how they got there. By all means, prove me wrong, but for me it's a device that arouses a lot of suspicion.

#2 Andyr

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 04:02 AM

I'll hope I can prove you wrong, then. :O I understand your worries but I don't think it will break the setting.

Your viewpoint was previously something which had not occurred to me--perhaps it depends on whether a player comes from a background familiar with the pnp Realms, or sees it more as some setting this game just happens to be in?
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#3 Domi

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 05:38 AM

I'd say that Haer'Dalis was a successful character in BG2, and he had interesting dialogue and quest material; the theme of inter-planar travel is very strong in BG2 (Planar Sphere; Plane of Air in Chateau, Sigil's troup, Planar Prison; the whole Nine Hells Bussiness; finally the Pocket Plane), so I think it will not be out of place to introduce the inklings of it in BG1 as well. Haer'Dalis did not seem much out of place, since the settings are connected, if loosely; PS is definetly connected to FR as compared to Tolkien or Westeros or Randland or what other independent setting have you. I am curious to see how Andyr is handling the drop in, because that for me is the most troublesome aspect of such stories.

Edited by Domi, 03 January 2006 - 05:39 AM.

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#4 Tameon the Dragoon

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 05:59 AM

I'm afraid I'm going to have to agree with Sim on this one. BG1 seems more traditional, normal and easy going. I truly hope it doesn't break the setting; however, given his past work and undeniable charm, I have the utmost faith in Andyr.

#5 icelus

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 07:24 AM

given his past work and undeniable charm, I have the utmost faith in Andyr.

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#6 NiGHTMARE

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 08:02 AM

Mind you, BG1 does feature Xvarts, which are supposed to be unique to the world of Oerth (aka Greyhawk) :O.

#7 Andyr

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 09:04 AM

Also note that Githzerai aren't planeborn extraplanar creatures (like devils, demons, celestials, slaadi, modrons and so on)--just humanoids who happen to now live in the plane of Limbo. So he's not really more magical than a character of any of the player-selectable races (though, yes, obviously Githzerai in the Realms are rarer than, say, halflings). Most people would probably assume he is some sort of half-orc.
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#8 Deathsangel

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 03:38 AM

Also note that Githzerai aren't planeborn extraplanar creatures (like devils, demons, celestials, slaadi, modrons and so on)--just humanoids who happen to now live in the plane of Limbo. So he's not really more magical than a character of any of the player-selectable races (though, yes, obviously Githzerai in the Realms are rarer than, say, halflings). Most people would probably assume he is some sort of half-orc.

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I am afraid I do not agree with these statements. Given the PnP description (as I gave you) are born now-a-days on Limbo, thus making them explanar, psionic humanoids (still no outsiders that is correct, but they are now born in Limbo). It is that they do not originate from there that makes them not outsiders, but they are even rarer on the Prime then I reckon to be Hook Horrors (or another rare beast). Githzerai also look more like humans. He would be mistaken rather for a somewhat misshapen human then half-orc. This is less viewable in your portrait as it is Githyanki actually (as you already know, but it is a valuable argument). Mind you that in AD&D Githzerai looked more diferrent from Githyanki then they now do in D&D 3.5. Even in 3.5 though Githzerai do not seem half-orc to me. Looking at the Psionic Handbook, I would now say a diseased human, due to the yellowish skin and spots. The fingers are notably longer and on the picture his ears are not viewable. Taking those into account it looks like a diseased half-elf (since Githzerai ears are much smaller then Githyanki ears, looking at another picture having them side by side).

#9 Andyr

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 03:56 AM

Actually, in the initial dialogues with him some of the options indicate you can believe him to be diseased, or an orc or somesuch. You can make different 'guesses' based on your INT/WIS

I think most people wouldn't really know much about the non-human races, since the Sword Coast is very human-dominated, so although he might not look like a halforc people might guess that since they have heard of halforcs (even though they don't know what a halforc would look like).

So I'm not saying he looks like a halforc, but rather a naive human might think he does.
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#10 Meira

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 04:00 AM

Yeah, we should always remember that NPCs don't have access to DM's source material or even to player's handbook. :O
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#11 Sorrow

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 04:57 AM

We should also remember that PC was brought up in a library, so she probably has a lot more knowledge than a common Sword Coast dweller.
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#12 Andyr

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 07:59 AM

Depending on the PC's INT/WIS statistics, you have the option of reacting in several ways when you meet him. If your statistics are good enough you will know he is either a Githyanki or a Githzerai; if not you will also be able to assume he has orcish blood, is diseased or is some other abomination.
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#13 Domi

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 09:17 AM

That, actually, sounds like fun, that you don't know, and the NPC does fall over himself to explain who the hell he is :O
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#14 Bursk

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 07:36 AM

Although this mod clearly isn't for everybody, it does sound quite decent.*

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#15 Domi

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 07:52 AM

I doubt that there is a mod (or a game for that matter) for everybody. :D
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