Author Topic: Thought Police?  (Read 24413 times)

Offline neriana

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Re: Thought Police?
« Reply #50 on: June 03, 2004, 05:56:17 PM »
But they still have consequences because of the whole taint deal.

Name one consequence.
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Offline SimDing0™

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Re: Thought Police?
« Reply #51 on: June 03, 2004, 06:06:49 PM »
Giving in to the taint is going to have consequences (I say again: what is it that makes Slayer Change evil? Nothing beyond submitting to the essence within), whether or not the hundreds of people are CTRL+Yed after you wake up.

Offline jester

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Re: Thought Police?
« Reply #52 on: June 03, 2004, 06:27:51 PM »
I still think that the implementeation should be continually discussed, if something arises that is not obvious in reasoning, or at least explained.
It's got to the point where I have as much fun arguing over various issues in the Virtue forum as I ever would actually playing the mod, heheh.

Same here I guess. The Aerie situation would be an understandable drop ( I cannot remember the Firkraag monsters by the way, six paladins that should blow you off the charts), but AFTER I wake up, nobody is Ctrl+Yed. Your real life actions not intentions shape your virtue. So, if you kill her fooled by that illusion you still did something wrong. There is even a legal term for this which escapes me now, but it is not applicable to the dream sequences where illusion and a real being in the scope of the dream are the same.

@Irenicus' offer:

Understanding the Bhaal taint in general is after everything you went through in BG1 quite likely, but when I play a sorcerer and Imoen is a mage and you are tortured by a powerful mage (You witnessed him practising this on you mostly), it is very conceivable that at this stage he has something mage related to offer. He cannot offer you the slayer or any connected ability, since he does not find out about this before the actual chanmge happens in the spellhold maze.
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Offline SimDing0™

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Re: Thought Police?
« Reply #53 on: June 03, 2004, 06:32:30 PM »
Same here I guess. The Aerie situation would be an understandable drop ( I cannot remember the Firkraag monsters by the way, six paladins that should blow you off the charts), but AFTER I wake up, nobody is Ctrl+Yed. Your real life actions not intentions shape your virtue. So, if you kill her fooled by that illusion you still did something wrong. There is even a legal term for this which escapes me now, but it is not applicable to the dream sequences where illusion and a real being in the scope of the dream are the same.
So the Slayer Change shouldn't cause a Virtue drop? You're not acting to harm anyone.

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Understanding the Bhaal taint in general is after everything you went through in BG1 quite likely, but when I play a sorcerer and Imoen is a mage and you are tortured by a powerful mage (You witnessed him practising this on you mostly), it is very conceivable that at this stage he has something mage related to offer. He cannot offer you the slayer or any connected ability, since he does not find out about this before the actual chanmge happens in the spellhold maze.
On the other hand, I don't think it's much of a secret that it's your Bhaalspawn characteristics that interest Irenicus. And with this in mind, I think his stating that you're born of murder and may take power if you wish it in the same line should set alarm bells ringing that there's something beyond gaining an extra level 1 mage slot going on here.

Offline Kish

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Re: Thought Police?
« Reply #54 on: June 03, 2004, 07:04:27 PM »
So the Slayer Change shouldn't cause a Virtue drop? You're not acting to harm anyone.
The first time you change into the Slayer, you attack your party.  Whenever you undergo a voluntary Slayer change, you are quite likely to go berserk and attack everyone nearby--and if you stay in that form long enough, you feel Bhaal start to take you over.  So, yes, each time you voluntarily turn into the Slayer you are either "acting to harm someone" or at least "acting with the strong and obvious likelihood of harming someone."

So will the Hell Trials be revised to make the PC become evil after choosing the evil path in one of them, since now you're arguing for Virtue drops for "giving in to the taint" rather than just looking at the morality of the PC's actions (which was your argument for giving the Hell Trials lesser Virtue reductions)?
« Last Edit: June 03, 2004, 07:21:23 PM by Kish »
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Offline neriana

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Re: Thought Police?
« Reply #55 on: June 03, 2004, 07:19:39 PM »
Giving in to the taint is going to have consequences (I say again: what is it that makes Slayer Change evil? Nothing beyond submitting to the essence within), whether or not the hundreds of people are CTRL+Yed after you wake up.

Name one consequence that actually happens.

I think Virtue is sort of like a court of law. You need actual evidence, and I haven't seen any yet.
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Offline jester

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Re: Thought Police?
« Reply #56 on: June 03, 2004, 07:26:31 PM »
You can use the slayer to do good or at least further the good cause. I often used the slayer to open the doors to the master brain, but I had of course the intention of whacking them. :D

Dropping for the voluntary slayer change is good, but do you also drop for your involuntary change? So I must refine my actions argument. To murder someone you need the intent and the action. I can understand, when you think that a paladin sitting in Waukeen's diner dreaming up new ways of slaughtering kids and peasants has a virtue problem in the long run, but his dreams are a different matter. After spellhold your personal taint problem is clear, but none of the other tainted ones can change into the slayer, so the slayer is a story turning point, but that is hindsight. At this point it is still possible for you to think to be able to thwart Irenicus' plans. We had a huge discussion over at FW about this and your portfolio after ascension.

What kind of dream would Balthazar have? Your evil essence does not make you evil as such. You have  'to give in to the taint'. By becoming a god and never giving in you could banish Bhaal forever and pick your fate from another vantage point. The fact that this dying, empty mortal coil which once was Joneleth can only foresee havok would only tell you something about the current state of the taint and Irenicus' state of mind, not its long term potential for you
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Offline julwise

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Re: Thought Police?
« Reply #57 on: June 03, 2004, 11:43:08 PM »
I've followed this discussion and I have a few things to add.

Personally, I can see an argument for both sides. Lets start with an analogy similar to Jester's...

First lets assume you're in a committed (romantic) relationship with some significant other. Imagine you are having a lucid dream (wherein you are aware you are dreaming and can direct the course of the dream, or at least your own actions in it) and the extremely attractive person of your choice is coming on to you. You have the choice in this dream to either sleep with this person or not. Honestly, would you feel obligated to refuse the offer? And just because you may make the choice to sleep with this person in a dream doesn't by any means infer that, were the opportunity to rise, you would sleep with them in real life. This is because in the dream there are no consequences whereas real life actions do have consequences.

However, from a strict RP-ing point of view (that is, from the point of view the IN GAME character, not the actual player), it's arguable whether or not the PC has the awareness necessary to surmise that there may be more to his/her Irenicus dreams than simply... well, dreams. If the PC does have the insight to realize that these dreams are/could be significant than I think a virtue drop is appropriate if (s)he makes the more "evil" decisions. However, if you imagine yourself in the place of the PC, you may not have reason to believe that these dreams are anything special (which, in the original game, they're more or less not as far as having any consequences). In this case the only solution I can see would be some kind of wisdom check on the PC done by virtue to estimate whether the PC would forsee possible consequences of his actions in the dream before changing virtue's value. But I don't know if that's even in the scope of the mod and i'm fairly sure it would not satisfy all players.

In the simplest terms:
Wisdom < # = no penalties for either evil or good choices
Wisdom ># = virtue penalties for evil choices

On another note, if one main objective of Virtue is to influence your party members' "happiness" then I would say that logically virtue should almost definately not be affected by the happenings of dreams because unless the PC tells his/her party what (s)he said/did in their dreams it's very unrealistic to suspect that they would know and think less of the PC because of it. I'm sure that's not Virtue's only goal but as it stands the way it deals with the issue at hand seems a bit discontinuous.

Hope all of the above made sense. ;)   
« Last Edit: June 04, 2004, 03:11:06 AM by julwise »

Offline SimDing0™

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Re: Thought Police?
« Reply #58 on: June 04, 2004, 05:23:35 AM »
So will the Hell Trials be revised to make the PC become evil after choosing the evil path in one of them, since now you're arguing for Virtue drops for "giving in to the taint" rather than just looking at the morality of the PC's actions (which was your argument for giving the Hell Trials lesser Virtue reductions)?
Nothing's going to be turning the PC evil in one swoop any time soon. But it's the difference between -1 virtue for giving in to the taint slightly, or -8 virtue for something that has serious tangible consequences (from memory, I think that's the highest drop you can get from the hell trials).

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You can use the slayer to do good or at least further the good cause. I often used the slayer to open the doors to the master brain, but I had of course the intention of whacking them.
You can use the slayer for "good" purposes, yet you still get a Virtue loss? I don't buy the argument that it's unstable, because the character can learn fairly quickly how much he or she can get away with while using it.

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On another note, if one main objective of Virtue is to influence your party members' "happiness" then I would say that logically virtue should almost definately not be affected by the happenings of dreams because unless the PC tells his/her party what (s)he said/did in their dreams it's very unrealistic to suspect that they would know and think less of the PC because of it. I'm sure that's not Virtue's only goal but as it stands the way it deals with the issue at hand seems a bit discontinuous.
Ooh, well spotted...

Offline Kish

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Re: Thought Police?
« Reply #59 on: June 04, 2004, 06:04:20 AM »
So will the Hell Trials be revised to make the PC become evil after choosing the evil path in one of them, since now you're arguing for Virtue drops for "giving in to the taint" rather than just looking at the morality of the PC's actions (which was your argument for giving the Hell Trials lesser Virtue reductions)?
Nothing's going to be turning the PC evil in one swoop any time soon. But it's the difference between -1 virtue for giving in to the taint slightly, or -8 virtue for something that has serious tangible consequences (from memory, I think that's the highest drop you can get from the hell trials).
What do "serious tangible consequences" matter?  Making an evil choice during the Hell Trials is giving in to the taint, and you argue that the lack of any consequences (other than those provided by you, of course) for saying the wrong thing in the dream is meaningless because it's "giving in to the taint."
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I don't buy the argument that it's unstable, because the character can learn fairly quickly how much he or she can get away with while using it.
To be precise, the character will learn fairly quickly that each moment in Slayer form carries the risk of suddenly lashing out at his or her friends--assuming the character is stupid enough to try to experiment with a form which, during the first and perhaps second change, is completely uncontrollable and offers no hint that it could ever be controllable.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2004, 06:07:14 AM by Kish »
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Offline SimDing0™

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Re: Thought Police?
« Reply #60 on: June 04, 2004, 06:25:40 AM »
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What do "serious tangible consequences" matter?  Making an evil choice during the Hell Trials is giving in to the taint, and you argue that the lack of any consequences (other than those provided by you, of course) for saying the wrong thing in the dream is meaningless because it's "giving in to the taint."
One is more serious than the other. The Virtue drops reflect this. If you want me to have the Hell Trials reflect the taint rather than the consequences, shall I have every evil path give a tiny -1 Virtue drop instead of one tailored to what you actually do?

Quote
To be precise, the character will learn fairly quickly that each moment in Slayer form carries the risk of suddenly lashing out at his or her friends--assuming the character is stupid enough to try to experiment with a form which, during the first and perhaps second change, is completely uncontrollable and offers no hint that it could ever be controllable.
Oh, and what if you're soloing, by the way?

Offline seanas

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Re: Thought Police?
« Reply #61 on: June 04, 2004, 06:52:36 AM »
wading into the debate...

the debate about dreams and reality is a bit of a red herring (altho i'd point to chuang zhu as a riposte to any simplistic dream/reality dichotomies  ;).

the question seems pretty straightforward to me:

Virtue is a mod about morality - to quote from the readme: "Virtue ... represents how morally correct the party's actions are". morality is a concerned with intention, not action (i would have thought this was self-evident, but i'll supply references if necessary, altho a quick google on morality + intentionality will give a pretty good summary of the argument). within BG/BG II, any time you get to choose between dialogue options (including the dream sequence in question), you get to express an intention. ergo said dream sequence is a question of morality, ergo it's a question of Virtue. QED.

as to whether i have Virtue installed at the moment: err, no, but that's cos i like to be ruthless in my pursuit of Good (or Neutrality, as the character demands) and don't want to bear the consequences of my actions  ;D.

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Offline jester

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Re: Thought Police?
« Reply #62 on: June 04, 2004, 11:26:57 AM »
As a butterfly dreaming of being a human who argues about dreams I am a bit puzzled by your quick fix.

(For those who do not know the story in question: Once Chuang Chou dreamt he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. He didn't know he was Chuang Chou. Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakeable Chuang Chou. But he didn't know if he was Chuang Chou who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was Chuang Chou.
Chaung Tzu)

Morality and intentions are a good starting point, but,  if you skipped the part in class about the differences of being awake or asleep in that respect, I try something different. :P Walking past a bank and thinking about robbing it is not robbing it. Whatever your local cleric will tell you. Dreaming about robbing a bank is a nice topic for your shrink, but it will hardly affect your daytime life. On top of that there are not very many successful robberies by butterflies recorded.

BTW : "Virtue ... represents how morally correct the party's actions are". morality is a concerned with intention, not action So you are critizising Virtue here for measuring the wrong thing and the triggers should be in the dialogue?

If Irenicus tells you that you are a chicken during a dream, can it be that you wake up and are indeed a chicken?

Being ruthless in the pursuit of good is a questionable concept at best.
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Offline Cybersquirt

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Re: Thought Police?
« Reply #63 on: June 04, 2004, 11:35:42 AM »
Being ruthless in the pursuit of good is a questionable concept at best.
But doesn't this beg the question of the ends justifying the means?

"I deserve power because of what I am".  What are you?  a Bhaal spawn.. what power?  Uhm.. wait, lemme think..
Okay, so if you had no CHOICE, and had to say it, fine.  You get a choice in this dream.
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Offline jester

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Re: Thought Police?
« Reply #64 on: June 04, 2004, 11:44:12 AM »
Being ruthless in the pursuit of good is a questionable concept at best.
But doesn't this beg the question of the ends justifying the means?

"I deserve power because of what I am".  What are you?  a Bhaal spawn.. what power?  Uhm.. wait, lemme think..
Okay, so if you had no CHOICE, and had to say it, fine.  You get a choice in this dream.
I was referring to what was said in the previous post. Seanas' RP approach to playing a ruthless good character. :) For a wider perspective I was more thinking of the Abu-Ghraib concept.

You get a choice in the dream. Yes, but it is a dream. That is my point.
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Offline Kish

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Re: Thought Police?
« Reply #65 on: June 04, 2004, 12:21:04 PM »
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What do "serious tangible consequences" matter?  Making an evil choice during the Hell Trials is giving in to the taint, and you argue that the lack of any consequences (other than those provided by you, of course) for saying the wrong thing in the dream is meaningless because it's "giving in to the taint."
One is more serious than the other. The Virtue drops reflect this. If you want me to have the Hell Trials reflect the taint rather than the consequences, shall I have every evil path give a tiny -1 Virtue drop instead of one tailored to what you actually do?
Obviously, I'd rather you have everything reflect the PC's actions.  However, in light of your stated intention to punish thoughts that involve "giving in to the taint," your management of the Hell Trials appears less than consistent.

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Quote
To be precise, the character will learn fairly quickly that each moment in Slayer form carries the risk of suddenly lashing out at his or her friends--assuming the character is stupid enough to try to experiment with a form which, during the first and perhaps second change, is completely uncontrollable and offers no hint that it could ever be controllable.
Oh, and what if you're soloing, by the way?
Then, presumably, the PC is still aware of how volatile the Slayer form is.  It seems to me it would be rather less than intelligent of the PC to assume that it will always be possible to change back.  In any case, there are very few places in SoA where the Slayer change would not carry the risk of harming innocents (Ust Natha?  Maybe, if the PC thinks Solaufein is just as evil as the other drow there, and the slaves from the surface have already been sent away...but the svirfneblin village is only a few minutes away as the Slayer runs).
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within BG/BG II, any time you get to choose between dialogue options (including the dream sequence in question), you get to express an intention. ergo said dream sequence is a question of morality, ergo it's a question of Virtue. QED.
That would be a good argument--if every time the PC chose a power-hungry dialogue option, his/her Virtue dropped.  I don't believe this is the case, however.
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Offline jester

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Re: Thought Police?
« Reply #66 on: June 04, 2004, 01:33:55 PM »
Being power 'hungry' is not bad by itself, if it is not linked to the slayer form. After all you had to be 'powerrful' enough to best Sarevok and avert the crisis in BG. So a certain amount of power boost would be welcome to the char at this stage. Remember we are discusssing a chapter 2 dream. The Hell Trials are the end of the story (It goes without saying that there should have been a sequel storywise. :(). If your capabilities of judging everything surrounding your personal connection to the taint have not improved since the said dream than a huge drop is in order.

If you see the dream Irenicus not as a projection of your mind, but as somewhat connected to your opponent. I wonder why we could not be more cooperative or taunting in the dream to lure him away from Imoen or spill any secrets. I think it has nothing to do with him as a person and is your essence talking to you channeling through leatherface.

Edit: After I just played through the third dream I am even more convinced that the argument for the drop is shaky. In this dream I am offered the power to kill my enemies. A mindflayer, a lich and a vampire are all on a paladin's to do list. After this dream I would be rather convinced that I can benefit from the 'power' to smite evil even if I rejected it in the second dream. :)
« Last Edit: June 04, 2004, 02:04:31 PM by jester »
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Offline SimDing0™

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Re: Thought Police?
« Reply #67 on: June 05, 2004, 01:00:58 AM »
Obviously, I'd rather you have everything reflect the PC's actions.  However, in light of your stated intention to punish thoughts that involve "giving in to the taint," your management of the Hell Trials appears less than consistent.
Hmm? I don't see how giving a higher penalty for killing real things than for submitting to the taint slightly is inconsistent.

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That would be a good argument--if every time the PC chose a power-hungry dialogue option, his/her Virtue dropped.  I don't believe this is the case, however.
Feel free to point me to other power-hungry dialogue options and I'll consider them case-by-case.

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In this dream I am offered the power to kill my enemies. A mindflayer, a lich and a vampire are all on a paladin's to do list. After this dream I would be rather convinced that I can benefit from the 'power' to smite evil even if I rejected it in the second dream.
Choosing the "power" option does result in immediate Meteor Swarming of a bunch of innocents though.

Offline jester

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Re: Thought Police?
« Reply #68 on: June 05, 2004, 07:12:50 AM »
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Choosing the "power" option does result in immediate Meteor Swarming of a bunch of innocents though.

How can a paladin kill somebody with MS? I agree that the feeling at first must be something like: 'Whatever the strange man is suggesting is going to hurt a lot of people. Wait, this is a mage spell it. He killed those people and mnust be stopped at all costs.' I had the feeling that he did it all along. Just to show me what high level magic can do.
Since he tells you about a power you can get, I assume that his dispaly of whjat you can do(MS) can only be his work.

After the second dream I could even be doubtful, if the powers are all that bad. True, at first all these innocent where killed by the Jon, but in the second I whack all these bastards. This is what I was after with the good side of the power which could be reasoned about at this stage.
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Offline SimDing0™

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Re: Thought Police?
« Reply #69 on: June 05, 2004, 07:14:33 AM »
Which is why Virtue gives you an option to say that you're interested in the power, but wary of the consequences. :)

Offline jester

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Re: Thought Police?
« Reply #70 on: June 05, 2004, 10:02:34 AM »
Dang, you are right. What happens after that? I never picked that one. :(
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Offline Andyr

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Re: Thought Police?
« Reply #71 on: June 05, 2004, 12:36:53 PM »
Your girlfriend wakes up and admits that she dreamed last night that she slept with Brad Pitt. And he was simply stunning to say the least.
Your girlfriend is probably not suppressing a taint which threatens to consume her and make her sleep with every man on the planet, though.

Heh.

I agree with Ghrey and Sim on this one - It's a conscious choice you make. It's not like the BG1 dreams where you just watch.

They've said all my arguments already, though. :)
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Offline Kish

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Re: Thought Police?
« Reply #72 on: June 05, 2004, 02:27:03 PM »
I don't think anyone's argued that it's a conscious choice, but rather that saying "I deserve power" is morally neutral or, at least, a lot milder than a number of things that currently don't impact Virtue (the previous-debated sleeping with Phaere in a commited relationship comes to mind, as well as all the power-hungry lines outside dreams).
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Feel free to point me to other power-hungry dialogue options and I'll consider them case-by-case.
Telling Aran Linvail, "The power Irenicus promised me was denied me because your thieves attacked" or, "And the power he promised was taken with him."  (For that matter, shouldn't every dialogue option where the PC chooses, "I want revenge on Irenicus" instead of, "I want to rescue Imoen" negatively impact Virtue?  Rescuing Imoen is the intended motivation for a good character, revenge on Irenicus is the intended motivation for an evil one.)
The dialogue options that show up in all the romances about "I want power" certainly qualify, too, as well as telling Jaheira at least (can you tell the others this?  I'm not sure) that you want to be the Lord of Murder.  And what about the romance-ending dialogue options where you're quite cruel to your love interest?

(I don't actually think making any of these choices impact Virtue is a good idea--except for telling Jaheira you want to be the Lord of Murder, and perhaps being excessively cruel to a love interest--but I do think "you Fall if you ever say you want power, you not-guarded-enough-in-your-speech paladin" is more consistent than, "You Fall if you say you want power when you're dreaming.")
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Offline SimDing0™

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Re: Thought Police?
« Reply #73 on: June 05, 2004, 03:15:41 PM »
Of course, I agree entirely that it's ludicrous to implement Virtue drops for all of those. However...

 "You Fall if you say you want power when you're dreaming" is certainly an awesome attempt at mincing my words. "You Fall if you say you want power when there are special circumstances involving the taint with fairly probable consequences" is a far nicer summary. And let's face it, with all the weird stuff that happens to you after dreams in BG1, it's probably fair to assume that making evil choices in unusual dreams is far more risky than telling the Umar Chickens that you want to kill Irenicus.

Offline Kish

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Re: Thought Police?
« Reply #74 on: June 05, 2004, 04:19:30 PM »
"You Fall if you say you want power when you're dreaming" is certainly an awesome attempt at mincing my words. "You Fall if you say you want power when there are special circumstances involving the taint with fairly probable consequences" is a far nicer summary..
It's not meant to be a paraphrase of your words.  It's meant to be a summary of what you have Virtue enforcing.  I do not believe for one moment that it makes sense that you are judged more harshly for what you say in a dream than for what you say in reality--but in any case, I meant that primarily for the people who have been posting, "There should be consequences because it's a choice."  Of course it's a choice; I just don't see how it's more of a choice than, "Hey, chickens, Irenicus is GONNA BURN!"
Quote
And let's face it, with all the weird stuff that happens to you after dreams in BG1, it's probably fair to assume that making evil choices in unusual dreams is far more risky than telling the Umar Chickens that you want to kill Irenicus.
As I said before, if making an evil choice in a dream leads to Falling you should just have every paladin Fall after a random amount of time--everyone dreams about doing less-than-pleasant things sometime.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2004, 04:26:06 PM by Kish »
Beauty standing amidst fiery destruction.

 

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