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Godhood, mortality, and romances


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#1 Lightbringer

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 06:42 PM

I'm curious as to what everyone thinks about the choice to ascend to godhood, or to remain mortal, when involved in a romance.  I've seen a few posts in various forums that lead me to think that the default or expected choice for a romantically involved CHARNAME was to choose mortality. Is that the case? If so, why?

 

I've seen some mods that treat the decision to ascend (assuming good alignment) as a noble and inevitable decision, which the romantic partner supports fully and would never stand in the way of.

 

I've seen other mods that treat the decision to ascend as a horribly selfish abandonment of the romantic partner. 

 

What does everybody think about that?  What seems best to you?

 

What about presenting a romantic partner that fully supports whatever choice CHARNAME makes, as long as it is made in good faith?



#2 Roxanne

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 01:56 AM

First of all - your analysis appears to be quite correct from my point of view, having played most NPC romance mods at one time or other.

 

To mention mods where the (evil) NPC encourages the PC because he/she expects some benefits/morsels of the power (e.g. Sarevok, Viconia).

 

One thing to add - many mods do not really take that final decision into account until the final ToB scene, i.e. very few seem to *see it coming*, thus the relatively limited types of reaction. To make an NPC come up with more - at least this is my opinion - it needs some *preparation*. The final decision must not come as some surprise to your partner, but something that both are prepared for. This would require a few talks between the couple, where possible outcomes/scenarios/what-do-we-do-afterwards are discussed. The prophesy of Alaundo, the Solar talks, the stone heads are all triggers for such talks.

Also it requires probably an NPC who is somehow at *eye-level* with the PC. Someone to let the PC accept the *good* godhood for sake of some higher value they both share.

All of this needs to happen or start some time before ToB end to really evolve, so that at ToB end you have a logical reaction. And done in a non-spoilerish way.

 

Anyway, the NPC reaction is something that the individual modmaker has to decide for their romance.

 

What about presenting a romantic partner that fully supports whatever choice CHARNAME makes, as long as it is made in good faith?

I have tried this for the Chloe mod for which I have added some ToB contents in the EET version. Chloe and her lover come to terms with their relationship on these terms (excluding of course a PC decision for becoming Bhaal's heir.)

 

Another thing to consider is that the decision you take at ToB end is just for your own satisfaction, i.e. it is completely inconsequentual to the outcome of the game (except for some epilogue screens displayed).

 

Alternate approach is to develop a relationship all through the game which leads to a common decision point at ToB and then determines how the story goes on from there.


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#3 Lightbringer

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 03:32 PM

Thanks for your perspective Roxanne.  I was asking from an assumed good aligned perspective, which of course is not a given for everybody's game (though it is for mine).  I can easily see the evil side encouraging the protagonist to seize power for its own sake.

 

I know it's technically inconsequential, but the reactions of those final moments really matter to me as a player. The only reason why I would install a banter-heavy romancing NPC mod is because I value the roleplay aspect of that NPC's story entwining with my CHARNAME's story. It may not have any game statistics or quest log entries, but those final bits of dialogue are arguably the most important part of an NPC mod.  They are the conclusion of a story -- the story of a relationship.

 

I asked because I have seen several NPC mods now (really good ones, too) where an NPC grows and develops a relationship with CHARNAME, and are clearly good aligned.  Depending on the mod, there may be aspects of salvation from evil, release from bondage and slavery, and many other great and noble themes.

 

Then, when the PC is brought to the ultimate point, the climax of the story, where the entire point of the Bhaalspawn story comes to a head, and the decision is made whether or not to accept apotheosis, there is a sudden reversal.  The NPC that has gone through hell and back (literally) with the PC and has grown so close as to become nearly of one mind with the PC, suddenly feels that for the PC to become a divine power for ultimate good would be a betrayal and abandonment.

 

It makes absolutely no sense to me.  The PC's story has been about apotheosis from the very beginning of the story back in Candlekeep. Everything in the PCs path has led to this.  The PC -- as a good divine -- will have the ability to affect the lives of billions or trillions of beings across tens or hundreds of thousands of years.  This new deity could change the course of kingdoms and civilization -- and the supposedly Good aligned NPC says "yeah, but I would miss you so don't go"?

 

This is not even to mention that the newly ascended deity would need an exarch -- and any other number of cohorts in their new divine realm.  I imagine my newly ascended PC would immediately name her love interest as her new exarch. Bam, problem solved. I even saw a mod handwave that very suggestion as an "abuse of power".

 

I'm not discounting the decision to remain a mortal.  It is entirely valid.  I just have a dim view of a carefully crafted NPC who essentially robs the PC of the freedom to make that choice with essentially emotional blackmail.  Part of truly loving someone is being able to let them go.  If the NPC truly loves the PC, it may hurt but they should accept nothing less out of the PC than their true destiny -- whatever that is.

 

I hope I don't make anybody mad by that little rant.  The mods where I have seen this are beautifully written and I really like them -- up until the absolute end. In fact, it is because those mod NPCs are so well crafted that it feels like such a betrayal at the end.  I may end up going into NI in them and rewriting some of those last bits of dialogue for my own use.

 

Anyway, I am curious -- does anybody have a different perspective?



#4 Senka

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 10:43 PM

Do you mean your lover will have to let you go with his/her blessing?



#5 Roxanne

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 10:54 PM

the PC and has grown so close as to become nearly of one mind with the PC, suddenly feels that for the PC to become a divine power for ultimate good would be a betrayal and abandonment.

Much of the game is about decisions and their consequences. This is the player's ultimate decision and it requires the sacrifice of all that was once his/her mortal existence.

Spoiler
.

across tens or hundreds of thousands of years.

Even if your lover is an elf, the mortal lifespan would be just a fraction of this. After that you will be alone and your once mortal life will fade even from your immortal memory.

name her love interest as her new exarch.

For an evil one, there would be candidates.

Consider the good ones - who among them has the makings of a leader equal to the PC? The new role would be something like the Pope in Rome or the Dalai Lama. Look at your potential lovers in such a light - Jaheira, most likely...who else? Aerie, Xan, Imoen, etc - really? Maybe a paladin like Ajantis or Keldorn, it would be their duty to serve as it would be your duty to accept the godhood.

Examine the individual NPCs under this aspect. If you had to solve a quest by splitting your party - one half goes with you, one half follows your appointed substitute, who would that be? Would it be your lover? Would you keep your lover in your half of the party?

 

Part of truly loving someone is being able to let them go.

The sacrifice to be made is for both of you (see all of the above).

 

it may hurt but they should accept nothing less out of the PC than their true destiny -- whatever that is.

Or the other way round? It may hurt YOU, but they do not accept it - or the impact of it is just too big to comprehend.

 

All of this is not global for all potential romanced NPC, the endings can still be very different. But you cannot eat your cake and have it too.


Edited by Roxanne, 15 April 2017 - 11:06 PM.

The Sandrah Saga

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#6 Jarno Mikkola

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 11:17 PM

Any one of you seen the Watchmen... and in it Dr Manhattan ?

He lived among the humans even though he was able to ... not.

 

And I might as well call it here. You do understand that the "Love" is just a justification for of a non permanent being to be evil *? Ouh, sorry, the wrong spelling order, I meant to use the reverse and say "live". Not.

*being the only way how you can reproduce. And thus by extension, live a little or a lot longer.


Edited by Jarno Mikkola, 15 April 2017 - 11:26 PM.

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#7 Arthas

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 01:56 AM

Roxanne, you made Chloe?



#8 Roxanne

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 02:01 AM

Roxanne, you made Chloe?

No.

I just updated her for EE and added some further contents for SoA and new stuff for ToB.

This was done with help from the mod's original author lucythebeast (More information is here http://www.shsforums...oe-npc-for-eet/ and http://www.shsforums...-3#entry594442)


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#9 Arthas

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 02:32 AM

I heard it has controversial content. Was wondering if you 'worked' on that?



#10 Roxanne

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 03:02 AM

I heard it has controversial content. Was wondering if you 'worked' on that?

Chloe is a lesbian - some consider this *controversial*. As this is the intent of the original mod, I did not change it. However, I made some more (existing) contents available for the case that your PC is male or your female PC does not romance women (or not Chloe). With or without this, you can always just stay friends with her. (She may also romance Imoen if you do not have something going with either Chloe or Imoen.)

 

PS - Chloe issues should be discussed on the threads referenced above - this topic here is about another issue.


Edited by Roxanne, 19 April 2017 - 03:11 AM.

The Sandrah Saga

another piece of *buggy, cheesy, unbalanced junk*




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