Author Topic: Why I don't like Virtue  (Read 24737 times)

Offline SixOfSpades

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Why I don't like Virtue
« on: December 28, 2004, 01:00:10 AM »
Because it essentially prohibits my playing a Paladin, ever again. Losing a single point of Virtue is enough to make me Fall? What sort of logic is that? Wouldn't it be more natural to have them Fall if their Virtue drops below 17, or they lose multiple points at once?

Scenario 1: With the current version of Virtue installed, a hostile Wizard casts Chaos on the party, and Valygar gets Confused as a result. Now, there are a lot of Commoners around, and Valygar is currently equipped with a Longbow. Option a: Leave Valygar alone and let him shoot a Commoner. Large Virtue hit, instant Fallen Cavalier. Option b: Kill Valygar before he can shoot a Commoner. Smaller Virtue hit, but instant Fallen Cavalier anyway.

Scenario 2: In Watcher's Keep, I am greviously insulted by a Red Dragon who is blissfully unaware that my party could whip his sorry butt a dozen times over. Since there are no conversations that allow me to be as rude to him as he is to me, or even to warn him that to continue to taunt me would be most unwise, the only way I can save my tarnished reputation is to shout my battle cry, which for some reason penalizes my Virtue and I end up a Fallen Cavalier once again.

Scenario 3: With the current versions of Virtue and Quest Pack installed, my PC Cavalier wants to eradicate every single den of Thieves in the entire city. But to declare war on Mae'Var's Guild, I would have to work for Edwin and kill Rayic Gethras, which means an unavoidable Virtue hit. In order to serve the greater good and decimate the city's criminal element, I have to sacrifice my own honor, and indeed, everything that makes me a Paladin.


What's to do? Use Reload knowledge to save all the possible Virtue drops until right before doing the Windspear Hills?

Scenario 1 is just silly, how is it "unvirtuous" if a party member happens to have a less-than-perfect Save vs. Spells?

Scenario 2 is the weakest of the three, and doesn't argue for increased Virtue tolerance for PC Paladins as much as it does for more conversation options with Saladrex.

Scenario 3 is mitigated with the inclusion of the "Betray Edwin" quest in the next Quest Pack, but for a mod to rely on other mods is unprofessional. I contend that it is perfectly in character for a Paladin to root out a known den of Evil Thieves, especially if the local citizenry know that it's a den of Evil Thieves (and they do). A second point was partially sparked by Gibberlings Three's upcoming Song & Silence mod, which (among other things) expands the alignment selection for Rogues, including--wait for it--Lawful Good Thieves. Now, I was about to object to that obvious contradiction in terms, but had to cut myself short: I myself once designed a recruitable NPC, a Lawful Good Bounty Hunter who worked for Chief Inspector Brega in locating & apprehending various criminals, and who wore a nonremovable Amulet that permanently kept his Pick Pockets score locked at 0. Now, if the gamer wants to roleplay such a character, why should we modders deny him permission? Similarly, why should you be so sanctimonious as to forbid an Inquisitor to go Mae'Var-whacking?

Offline Kai of CandleKeep

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2004, 03:26:43 AM »
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Scenario 1: With the current version of Virtue installed, a hostile Wizard casts Chaos on the party, and Valygar gets Confused as a result. Now, there are a lot of Commoners around, and Valygar is currently equipped with a Longbow. Option a: Leave Valygar alone and let him shoot a Commoner. Large Virtue hit, instant Fallen Cavalier. Option b: Kill Valygar before he can shoot a Commoner. Smaller Virtue hit, but instant Fallen Cavalier anyway.

Scenario 1 is just silly, how is it "unvirtuous" if a party member happens to have a less-than-perfect Save vs. Spells?

For you to be attacked by "hostile wizards" in a place with lots of commoners milling around means you are probably in Athkatla, and someone in your group cast a spell and got the attention of the Cowled Ones, yes? The simplest solution is to turn off party AI while in Athkatla. If you get attacked by the random bandit or thug, your melee guys should be able to handle it just fine. Either that or shell out the gold and buy a magic license. Then the Cowlies will leave you alone. I promise.


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Scenario 2: In Watcher's Keep, I am greviously insulted by a Red Dragon who is blissfully unaware that my party could whip his sorry butt a dozen times over. Since there are no conversations that allow me to be as rude to him as he is to me, or even to warn him that to continue to taunt me would be most unwise, the only way I can save my tarnished reputation is to shout my battle cry, which for some reason penalizes my Virtue and I end up a Fallen Cavalier once again.

Scenario 2 is the weakest of the three, and doesn't argue for increased Virtue tolerance for PC Paladins as much as it does for more conversation options with Saladrex.

This issue was discussed at length, IIRC, in this thread: http://forums.pocketplane.net/index.php?topic=17004.0

I dunno.. I've never killed Saladrex; but then again, I've never allowed Wraith Sarevok to provoke me to turning into the Slayer during the hell trials either so... (*shrug*)

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Scenario 3: With the current versions of Virtue and Quest Pack installed, my PC Cavalier wants to eradicate every single den of Thieves in the entire city. But to declare war on Mae'Var's Guild, I would have to work for Edwin and kill Rayic Gethras, which means an unavoidable Virtue hit. In order to serve the greater good and decimate the city's criminal element, I have to sacrifice my own honor, and indeed, everything that makes me a Paladin

Scenario 3 is mitigated with the inclusion of the "Betray Edwin" quest in the next Quest Pack, but for a mod to rely on other mods is unprofessional. I contend that it is perfectly in character for a Paladin to root out a known den of Evil Thieves, especially if the local citizenry know that it's a den of Evil Thieves (and they do). A second point was partially sparked by Gibberlings Three's upcoming Song & Silence mod, which (among other things) expands the alignment selection for Rogues, including--wait for it--Lawful Good Thieves. Now, I was about to object to that obvious contradiction in terms, but had to cut myself short: I myself once designed a recruitable NPC, a Lawful Good Bounty Hunter who worked for Chief Inspector Brega in locating & apprehending various criminals, and who wore a nonremovable Amulet that permanently kept his Pick Pockets score locked at 0. Now, if the gamer wants to roleplay such a character, why should we modders deny him permission? Similarly, why should you be so sanctimonious as to forbid an Inquisitor to go Mae'Var-whacking?

This might be tricky, because I know Edwin attacks you if you don't agree to do his little errands, but if Edwin goes hostile, then every thief in Mae'var's guildhall also goes hostile. You said you wanted to wipe out every den of thieves in Athkatla? Well... there's your chance!
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Offline NiGHTMARE

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2004, 06:10:40 AM »
Paladins are supposed to show humility and consider pride a sin, so you aren't really properly roleplaying such a character in scenario #2 anyway ;).

On a different note, however: the very reason for the existence of cavaliers is to slay evil beings such as demons and chromatic dragons, and here you have a chromactic dragon...
« Last Edit: December 28, 2004, 06:12:47 AM by NiGHTMARE »
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Offline SimDing0

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2004, 06:30:29 AM »
Scenario 1: With the current version of Virtue installed, a hostile Wizard casts Chaos on the party, and Valygar gets Confused as a result. Now, there are a lot of Commoners around, and Valygar is currently equipped with a Longbow. Option a: Leave Valygar alone and let him shoot a Commoner. Large Virtue hit, instant Fallen Cavalier. Option b: Kill Valygar before he can shoot a Commoner. Smaller Virtue hit, but instant Fallen Cavalier anyway.
That would be a, uh, bug. :) Will fix, thanks.

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Scenario 2: In Watcher's Keep, I am greviously insulted by a Red Dragon who is blissfully unaware that my party could whip his sorry butt a dozen times over. Since there are no conversations that allow me to be as rude to him as he is to me, or even to warn him that to continue to taunt me would be most unwise, the only way I can save my tarnished reputation is to shout my battle cry, which for some reason penalizes my Virtue and I end up a Fallen Cavalier once again.
I don't think something being rude to you is a terribly good reason to kill it. I'd have been dead long ago if that were the case. :)

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Scenario 3: With the current versions of Virtue and Quest Pack installed, my PC Cavalier wants to eradicate every single den of Thieves in the entire city. But to declare war on Mae'Var's Guild, I would have to work for Edwin and kill Rayic Gethras, which means an unavoidable Virtue hit. In order to serve the greater good and decimate the city's criminal element, I have to sacrifice my own honor, and indeed, everything that makes me a Paladin.
All I can suggest is that the Bioware handling of this situation isn't ideal, and that Quest Pack will hopefully make it more bearable. Gameplay wise, killing Rayic making you fall does suck, if there's no alternative.

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Scenario 3 is mitigated with the inclusion of the "Betray Edwin" quest in the next Quest Pack, but for a mod to rely on other mods is unprofessional.
I don't believe one does rely on the other (although I also don't believe it's unprofessional; ironically, Virtue actually DOES rely on Oversight). Virtue still makes sense by giving you the Virtue penalty for murder (or not, as Kish may think), but you're limiting your fun by not installing Quest Pack, which is a cool mod too. :)

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I contend that it is perfectly in character for a Paladin to root out a known den of Evil Thieves, especially if the local citizenry know that it's a den of Evil Thieves (and they do).
Isn't it possible to kill Mae'Var's entire guild without doing Edwin's quest?

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A second point was partially sparked by Gibberlings Three's upcoming Song & Silence mod, which (among other things) expands the alignment selection for Rogues, including--wait for it--Lawful Good Thieves. Now, I was about to object to that obvious contradiction in terms, but had to cut myself short: I myself once designed a recruitable NPC, a Lawful Good Bounty Hunter who worked for Chief Inspector Brega in locating & apprehending various criminals, and who wore a nonremovable Amulet that permanently kept his Pick Pockets score locked at 0. Now, if the gamer wants to roleplay such a character, why should we modders deny him permission? Similarly, why should you be so sanctimonious as to forbid an Inquisitor to go Mae'Var-whacking?
Part of the problem with standing back and making an objective decision about whether something is good or evil is trying to ensure it doesn't suck the fun out of the game. In Rayic's case, it probably does, for some characters, but I find it a better mechanism to say "install Quest Pack and this will suck less" rather than "I'll let you off the murder because you can't proceed without it".

Offline Galactygon

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2004, 11:32:59 AM »
In scenario 1's case, there are other factors that should be counted as "not being your normal self", when applying Virtue bonus/penalty. Here are a list of states that should be taken into consideration:

STATE_PANIC
STATE_BERSERK (I might leave this one out in various circumstances)
STATE_CHARMED
STATE_FEEBLEMINDED (given that you simply stand there, I might leave this one out too)
STATE_CONFUSED

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Offline SimDing0

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2004, 11:35:38 AM »
Do people fight if they're STATE_PANIC? Because actually, if they do, I'm not sure whether that SHOULD qualify for excluding a Virtue drop. STATE_BERSERK definitely shouldn't.

[EDIT] Wait. Cursed sword.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2004, 11:39:11 AM by SimDing0 »

Offline SixOfSpades

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2004, 01:11:46 PM »
Correction: Upon reflection, I should have titled this thread What I don't like about Virtue.  :)

Apart from the points I made above, I don't like the way that when each of your party members says how they feel about the party's current Virtue (which is every eight seconds), they stop whatever they're doing in order to share their feelings with the world. So you have to issue your command all over again. Annoying as hell. But my version of Virtue is a few months old, you've probably fixed that by now.


For you to be attacked by "hostile wizards" in a place with lots of commoners milling around means you are probably in Athkatla, and someone in your group cast a spell and got the attention of the Cowled Ones, yes?
Oh, so the only hostile Wizards in the game are the Cowled Wizards? I wish! Do the names "Githyanki" and "Improved City Encounters" ring any bells?

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This issue was discussed at length, IIRC, in this thread:
It was discussed, yes, but nothing was actually done about the fact that a Cavalier would automatically Fall if he killed a Chromatic Dragon that's known to be Evil.

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This might be tricky, because I know Edwin attacks you if you don't agree to do his little errands, but if Edwin goes hostile, then every thief in Mae'var's guildhall also goes hostile.  You said you wanted to wipe out every den of thieves in Athkatla?  Well... there's your chance!
Slaughtering Edwin and the Thieves would be perfectly fine.....if only Arkanis Gith didn't show up as well. Fact of life: If you ever turn on any Shadow Thief that you happen to be working for at the moment, say hello to STDEATH.


I don't think something being rude to you is a terribly good reason to kill it. I'd have been dead long ago if that were the case. :)
But if it's rude and a very powerful being that's known to be Evil, a lot of people would consider that a darn good reason to kill it. And those people would naturally take umbrage at being robbed of the opportunity to properly roleplay their dungeon-clearing Cavalier.

Now, one can argue the case that since Saladrex cannot leave Watcher's Keep (he doesn't have the Wardstone and makes no attempt to get it from you), he clearly isn't a danger to any innocents. But that's still no reason to be denied conversation options that allow you to retain your dignity as a Paladin.

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Isn't it possible to kill Mae'Var's entire guild without doing Edwin's quest?
Nope. From the moment you show Gorch your Contact Letter to the moment you hand over the letter from the Night Knives, any of Mae'Var's Thieves turning Hostile to you means instant Arkanis Gith. So, unless you kill them all in a Time Stop, or Feeblemind everybody, or are able to handle Arkanis, there's no way.

An interesting paradox of the Mae'Var / Virtue intersection is that there's a Virtue hit for killing an Evil person who knowingly works for an Evil organization, but not for robbing a Temple. Now, I've never stolen the Statuette of Lathander since installing Virtue, but even nicking the Necklace of Talos should be considered unvirtuous. Still, I stand by my claim that it should be possible for a Paladin to complete the Mae'Var quest without Falling, simply to allow for those who wish to roleplay that character. Hell, if Keldorn doesn't complain about stealing the Necklace or whacking Gethras, doesn't that prove that certain Paladins are okay with it?

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I find it a better mechanism to say "install Quest Pack and this will suck less" rather than "I'll let you off the murder because you can't proceed without it".
And even better is saying "I won't let you off the murder charge, but I'll make it so it doesn't ruin your character, either."


Galactygon's analysis of the scripts seems spot-on to me, except for one thing: Implementing those changes in the "Virtue detection" script would mean that, in the example I gave where Valygar got Confused, I would recieve no Virtue penalty for letting Valygar slaughter half of the Docks district....but I still would be penalized for temporarily killing Valygar in order to save the civilians. Can the script be further modified, to allow forgiveness for killing party members who are Charmed or Confused?


Wait. Cursed sword.
Ummm, I disagree. Is it unvirtuous to equip a magical item without first Identifying it? No....it's rather stupid, but it's not dishonorable. But given that all Cursed items Identify themselves upon equipping, is it unvirtuous to leave the thing on, instead of getting the curse removed right away? Considering the obvious risk to Commoners involved, hell yes. Especially since there's a Temple right downstairs from where you picked the thing up in the first place.

Offline rreinier

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2004, 02:19:40 PM »
what if you're withouth any clerics or money, but with an INT of 2?

Offline SimDing0

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2004, 04:03:23 PM »
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Apart from the points I made above, I don't like the way that when each of your party members says how they feel about the party's current Virtue (which is every eight seconds), they stop whatever they're doing in order to share their feelings with the world. So you have to issue your command all over again. Annoying as hell. But my version of Virtue is a few months old, you've probably fixed that by now.
I'm fairly sure I fixed this.

It was discussed, yes, but nothing was actually done about the fact that a Cavalier would automatically Fall if he killed a Chromatic Dragon that's known to be Evil.
How do you know it's evil? With Oversight, I think he's coded as chaotic neutral. Without, he's coded as evil. Buuut, he's not doing any harm, really, so the question becomes "is it okay to murder someone who's evil but not doing anything?"

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Slaughtering Edwin and the Thieves would be perfectly fine.....if only Arkanis Gith didn't show up as well. Fact of life: If you ever turn on any Shadow Thief that you happen to be working for at the moment, say hello to STDEATH.
That's odd... I seem to remember Renal chiding me for just killing Mae'Var and not bringing the evidence he needed, but maybe I made that up.

But if it's rude and a very powerful being that's known to be Evil, a lot of people would consider that a darn good reason to kill it. And those people would naturally take umbrage at being robbed of the opportunity to properly roleplay their dungeon-clearing Cavalier.
If "a character doing what he does best" is a reason for killing things, then what about all the clearly non-evil undead in the game? Should an Undead Hunter immediately attack the chaotic good (?) lich in the Graveyard? Or indeed try to kill the spectre looking for its bear?

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An interesting paradox of the Mae'Var / Virtue intersection is that there's a Virtue hit for killing an Evil person who knowingly works for an Evil organization, but not for robbing a Temple. Now, I've never stolen the Statuette of Lathander since installing Virtue, but even nicking the Necklace of Talos should be considered unvirtuous.
Why? Stealing a trinket from an evil organisation is nowhere near cold-blooded murder.

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Still, I stand by my claim that it should be possible for a Paladin to complete the Mae'Var quest without Falling, simply to allow for those who wish to roleplay that character.
And again, Quest Pack does a fairly good job of clearing it up. It seems to me that saying I shouldn't rely on Quest Pack is like saying I shouldn't rely on Oversight, but instead make excuses for the incorrect alignments not affecting Virtue the way you'd expect.

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Hell, if Keldorn doesn't complain about stealing the Necklace or whacking Gethras, doesn't that prove that certain Paladins are okay with it?
I'm sure there are plenty of other situations ingame where party members don't have specific dialogue to express their disapproval of evil actions.

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And even better is saying "I won't let you off the murder charge, but I'll make it so it doesn't ruin your character, either."
So the essence of what you're proposing is more leeway for Paladins. Say, a Virtue drop of two before they fall? I'm certainly more willing to discuss that.

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Galactygon's analysis of the scripts seems spot-on to me, except for one thing: Implementing those changes in the "Virtue detection" script would mean that, in the example I gave where Valygar got Confused, I would recieve no Virtue penalty for letting Valygar slaughter half of the Docks district....but I still would be penalized for temporarily killing Valygar in order to save the civilians. Can the script be further modified, to allow forgiveness for killing party members who are Charmed or Confused?
Yeh, I can do that too. Obviously it can be exploited, but avoiding people cheating the system is very, very low on my list of things to do.

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Ummm, I disagree. Is it unvirtuous to equip a magical item without first Identifying it? No....it's rather stupid, but it's not dishonorable. But given that all Cursed items Identify themselves upon equipping, is it unvirtuous to leave the thing on, instead of getting the curse removed right away? Considering the obvious risk to Commoners involved, hell yes. Especially since there's a Temple right downstairs from where you picked the thing up in the first place.
I'm not sure there are always going to be circumstances where it CAN be removed immediately. On top of that, it isn't really good the items identifying themselves when equiped, because it's out-of-game knowledge. I doubt the items whisper "I'm cursed, and I do X, Y and Z" in the character's ear.

Offline Caedwyr

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2004, 05:13:28 PM »
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So the essence of what you're proposing is more leeway for Paladins. Say, a Virtue drop of two before they fall? I'm certainly more willing to discuss that.

I seem to remember reverandthatbastard mentioning something about paladins being able to commit certain non-paladin like actions (somewhat dubious morals type actions) provided that they atoned for their actions later.  Allowing virtue drops of several points would be a good idea, as it would allow for the paladin to atone for their actions (gain a few virtue points) without going below the limit that causes them to fall.
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Offline Murdane

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2004, 05:52:37 PM »
Paladins are supposed to show humility and consider pride a sin, so you aren't really properly roleplaying such a character in scenario #2 anyway ;).

On a different note, however: the very reason for the existence of cavaliers is to slay evil beings such as demons and chromatic dragons, and here you have a chromactic dragon...

I agree, on both points.  I don't see why a paladin has leave to kill Saladrex simply because Saladrex is arrogant and won't acknowledge how powerful the paladin is.  I'm sorry, but that's just silly.  ???

As for scenario #3: Paladin's aren't supposed to commit evil acts just because one can rationalize that it will bring about the greater good.  Any other character can freely behave that way, but paladins cannot, or else they fall (and rightly so).

Besides, unless you have foreknowledge of how the quest will turn out, how do you know that completing the quest given to you by Renal will result in a perfectly wiped out thieves guild?  It's my opinion that a paladin shouldn't be working for Renal away, nor should they work for Mae'var or Edwin with the intention of betraying them later.

Offline SimDing0

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2004, 05:56:19 PM »
I seem to remember reverandthatbastard mentioning something about paladins being able to commit certain non-paladin like actions (somewhat dubious morals type actions) provided that they atoned for their actions later.  Allowing virtue drops of several points would be a good idea, as it would allow for the paladin to atone for their actions (gain a few virtue points) without going below the limit that causes them to fall.
I do kinda like the idea of atonement, but I'm not sure how it'd be implemented ingame.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2004, 05:58:44 PM by SimDing0 »

Offline Andyr

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2004, 06:07:30 PM »
In pnp (3E onwards at least), Atonement is a Priest spell. Basically you do some important thing for the deity you want to get back in the good books of, cast the spell and you're ok again. Hmm, actually it might be spell then quest.

I agree, though, I don't know how to implement it ingame.
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Offline Zyraen

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2004, 06:27:46 PM »
I'm not sure, but I seem to have read somewhere that there is a quest one can do for Radiant Heart that can restore Fallen Paladins.
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Offline Murdane

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2004, 07:14:13 PM »
In pnp (3E onwards at least), Atonement is a Priest spell. Basically you do some important thing for the deity you want to get back in the good books of, cast the spell and you're ok again. Hmm, actually it might be spell then quest.

I agree, though, I don't know how to implement it ingame.

It was in the Temple of Elemental Evil game, although I never needed to use it myself. :)

Offline Caedwyr

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2004, 07:25:20 PM »
What I was thinking of was a simple system that said that a paladin's virtue had to remain above a certain point.  The default setting of the paladin's virtue would allow for two single point drops before the paladin falls.  The 2 point lee-way would allow the paladin to do some 'badish' stuff and then atone for it by building back their leeway.

However, I'm not sure how well this would fit in with your current virtue implementation which somewhat mirrors how reputation starts out.  That said, I could see a good argument that says certain classes should start with higher virtue levels and others lower virtue levels.


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Offline Loriel

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2004, 11:07:42 PM »
To go along with what Caedwyr just said, perhaps you could add a timer that would give the paladin a time limit to atone for their "baddish" behavior.  This would allow the spirit of the paladin code to be upheld (ie: no leaving the virtue at the lowest point without falling) without making the paladin fall for stupid reasons.  I'm not sure what a good interval would be, but perhaps three days, with warnings at the beginning of each day?
« Last Edit: December 28, 2004, 11:09:50 PM by Loriel »

Offline Caedwyr

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2004, 11:58:07 PM »
The hard part about that is the player may not know when the next possible virute raising game point is without meta gaming.  An incentive to not play around with their virtue too much would be to apply a saving throw penalty, or casting penalty that could be done as a representation of the disfavour of their god/patron deity.  A paladin could be in disfavour for quite some time, but not have their actions cause them to fall.  From a rp perspective lots of things can be done with this, and from a game mechanics perspective it encourages a paladin to not violate their code without being excessive in the punishment for minor transgressions.  Also, an undispellable penalty (you'd want to have some sort of portrait icon for it) on the paladin would encourage the player to go out and find some way to atone for the misdeed.

You'd probably want to have some sort of feedback message when the penalty is applied that alerts the player as to what has happened and maybe hint at what can be done to cure them.
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Offline SixOfSpades

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2004, 06:21:30 PM »
what if you're withouth any clerics or money, but with an INT of 2?
The fight where you gained the Cursed Sword also provides you with enough cash/loot to have the sword removed. And any Paladin who insists on controlling the party despite his 2 INT deserves to Fall.


How do you know it [Saladrex] is evil? With Oversight, I think he's coded as chaotic neutral. Without, he's coded as evil. Buuut, he's not doing any harm, really, so the question becomes "is it okay to murder someone who's evil but not doing anything?"
I've never asked that the Virtue hit for killing Saladrex be removed outright, only for the addition of conversation options. Perhaps an 'arrogant' thread, where the speaker goads Saladrex into attacking first, and a 'bite your lip' thread, where the odds of Saladrex deciding whether to (teach this puny humanoid a lesson / be polite to someone you don't know) depend on the speaker's CHA / Reputation?

Also, there's the point that the person talking to Saladrex might not be the party leader. A PC Paladin shouldn't Fall simply because Anomen got too big for his britches and started casting spells without consulting the rest of the party.

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If "a character doing what he does best" is a reason for killing things, then what about all the clearly non-evil undead in the game? Should an Undead Hunter immediately attack the chaotic good (?) lich in the Graveyard? Or indeed try to kill the spectre looking for its bear?
The "character doing what he does best" is only the icing on the cake, the most ironic point of the Cavalier vs. Saladrex issue. An Undead Hunter should not immediately kill the Lich or Wellyn because they are not obviously Evil, a distinction which is not the case with Saladrex.

As for the Lich, I take it you are speaking of Nevazaiah? For that matter, I say Paladins (but probably only Paladins or other LG PCs) should take a Virtue hit for every Evil NPC they keep in the party for more than a week. the character can't exactly look at their Record screen to see their Alignment, but after a week you're pretty much guaranteed to have seen enough of their banters to remove all doubt--especially in Korgan's case. So you want to "redeem" Viconia? Okay, so that's a Virtue drop of 1 point per week, there's enough Virtue floating around in the game to keep you at 17 or above....provided you don't dawdle when you're trying to rescue Imoen and save Suldenessellar.

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Why? Stealing a trinket from an evil organisation is nowhere near cold-blooded murder.
But robbing a church is blasphemy, and Paladins of all people (well, except Clerics of course) should know to respect that. Neither the Statuette nor the Necklace is on an altar, exactly, but any Paladin should still know better. (Hey, kids, watch me practically contradict myself with my very next point!)

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I'm sure there are plenty of other situations ingame where party members don't have specific dialogue to express their disapproval of evil actions.
If you're sure, let's hear some of them. Situations that are as quest-specific as stealing the Storm Necklace or killing Gethras.
Heck, Keldorn doesn't object to raiding the Temple of Talos, when even Jan has his misgivings about it.
(What I'm saying here is that Keldorn should give you some warning that you're playing with fire here, in the form of Torm's displeasure.)

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So the essence of what you're proposing is more leeway for Paladins. Say, a Virtue drop of two before they fall? I'm certainly more willing to discuss that.
Yep! I'd favor a system where non-Fallen Paladins started with a Virtue of 15 (other Lawful Goods start at 12), due to the assumption that they must have been pretty honorable during BG1. From then on, any loss of Virtue that puts them below 17 means they will Fall, so the young Paladin has to perform three more virtuous deeds before he's allowed any slippage at all.

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Can the script be further modified, to allow forgiveness for killing party members who are Charmed or Confused?
Yeh, I can do that too. Obviously it can be exploited, but avoiding people cheating the system is very, very low on my list of things to do.
I'm curious about possible exploits--I thought you couldn't Charm or Confuse your own party members? You'd have to let someone else Charm them, then Confuse them and Charm them back.

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I doubt the items whisper "I'm cursed, and I do X, Y and Z" in the character's ear.
True, that is rather unrealistic....in the case of the Sword. You are unable to put it down, but you won't know what happens when you see an enemy until you see that enemy. But consider Cursed items like the Bracers of Binding--as soon as you put them on, the penalties to DEX, THAC0, and maybe even spellcasting should be immediately obvious. The Ring of Folly is even more blatant. No, unless there's some enemy that has a Special Ability of making your party members go Berserk in a room full of innocents, I'd say that STATE_BERSERK still means that you're responsible for your actions.


As for scenario #3: Paladin's aren't supposed to commit evil acts just because one can rationalize that it will bring about the greater good. Any other character can freely behave that way, but paladins cannot, or else they fall (and rightly so).
And I'd agree with you in regards to Scenario 3, except that I don't regard it as an evil act. True, you go there at Edwin's behest and you very likely intend to kill the man, but Rayic himself is Evil (a Paladin has enough time to pop a Detect Evil to prove this, before Gethras turns hostile), a member of an Evil organization that deserves to be eradicated, and he creates/employs Imps and Mephits, which almost exclusively serve only Evil Wizards. Killing him would be even less of an evil act if you told him you would spare his life if he would reveal the location of Spellhold--a conversation option which would be welcomed (and used) by many roleplayers.

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It's my opinion that a paladin shouldn't be working for Renal away, nor should they work for Mae'var or Edwin with the intention of betraying them later.
And certain types of Paladins would not, they would refuse to dirty their hands in such a manner, and I say more power to them. But not all Paladins are that way, some would willingly lower themselves a bit (and take the Virtue penalty for it) in order to get the job done in whatever way seems most expedient. And to force all gamers to play the Type A Paladin seems....tacky.


Regarding atonement.....
As I've said before, I like Paladins being allowed to remain "safe" while in the 20-18 or 20-17 range. In cases where the player needs to raise his Virtue, but doesn't know of any actions that will raise it (or went way 'above' 20 in the early game, and has now exhausted all the quests), he might be allowed to donate money to Good-aligned Temples anonymously, so that Virtue goes up instead of Reputation.

I think a time limit for atoning for your actions would be a bit labor-intensive to implement--I'd instead favor a penalty for as long as the Paladin was "at the brink." Lack of spellcasting abilities is good except that it wouldn't work for the Inquisitor--a +2 penalty to Saving Throws seems to fit the bill, as it nicely counteracts the -2 bonus that comes as a free advantage of the Paladin class.

Offline Kish

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2004, 06:44:12 PM »
Things you can say to Saladrex without starting a fight include:
I am no mouse, Wyrm!  I have killed your Githyanki followers - now I shall kill you!
I am <GABBER> - a hero of great reknown!  Try to be civil, or I shall have to teach you some manners.
Oh for the love of Bhaal!  Give me a break!
Why not?  Too scared to face the real world?
So you're saying you've got a few scales loose in the old head hide.  It shows.
Hold on, sulphur-breath!  I sat through your chatter, now I need some questions answered!

I don't really see the need for options to be even ruder.  Judging by Saladrex's absolute lack of a violent reaction to anything but being outright attacked (he even tries to talk you out of fighting if you say the first line I quoted above), he is apparently impervious to taunting.  I also find the idea that rudeness is punishable by death--ah--not very suited to a paladin.  Or...to anyone who isn't evil or psychotic, really.
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Offline Murdane

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2004, 08:09:21 PM »
And I'd agree with you in regards to Scenario 3, except that I don't regard it as an evil act. True, you go there at Edwin's behest and you very likely intend to kill the man, but Rayic himself is Evil (a Paladin has enough time to pop a Detect Evil to prove this, before Gethras turns hostile), a member of an Evil organization that deserves to be eradicated, and he creates/employs Imps and Mephits, which almost exclusively serve only Evil Wizards. Killing him would be even less of an evil act if you told him you would spare his life if he would reveal the location of Spellhold--a conversation option which would be welcomed (and used) by many roleplayers.

So in other words, marching into his home and threatening to kill him is not so bad if you get something you want out of it?  You won't kill the man (who isn't necessarily directly responsible for Imoen's imprisonment) as long as he bargains with you?  Is that really paladin-like???

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And certain types of Paladins would not, they would refuse to dirty their hands in such a manner, and I say more power to them. But not all Paladins are that way, some would willingly lower themselves a bit (and take the Virtue penalty for it) in order to get the job done in whatever way seems most expedient. And to force all gamers to play the Type A Paladin seems....tacky.

Don't complain to me, take it up with whoever wrote the code paladins are supposed to follow.  Paladins aren't free to simply do the job in the most expdient fashion if it involves commiting evil acts.  It goes back to the idea that an evil act is still an evil act, regardless of what the ultimate outcome (which no one can know) turns out to be.  Paladins are not supposed to commit evil acts just because they think it will bring about the greater good (what is that, anyway?  Ever hear the expression "the road to hell is paved with good intentions?).  "The Greater Good" can be used to rationalize an entire plethora of evil acts.

If you believe that making a paladin play as a paladin is supposed to be played "tacky", then why not just be a LG fighter or cleric? 





Offline Lord Kain

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2004, 12:39:31 AM »
I play paladins often and I have no problems with virture.

I do agree on the watchers keep red dragon though.
Now, at last, the masks had fallen away. The strings of the puppets had become visible, and the hands of the prime mover exposed. Most ironic of all was the last gift that Raziel had given me, more powerful than the sword that now held his soul, more acute even than the vision his sacrifice had accorded me - the first bitter taste of that terrible illusion: Hope.

Offline SixOfSpades

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2004, 01:48:50 AM »
Things you can say to Saladrex without starting a fight include:
I am <GABBER> - a hero of great reknown!  Try to be civil, or I shall have to teach you some manners.
Hold on, sulphur-breath!  I sat through your chatter, now I need some questions answered!

I don't really see the need for options to be even ruder.
Good point, I see it's obvious that I haven't been through Watcher's Keep in a while. (Too many SoA trivia quizzes, I suppose.) But happily I have a comeback: None of the indignant, callous or outright rude conversation options you have will result in Saladrex giving you even a modicum of respect. They all funnel you right back into Saladrex's completely linear speech. In my book, if Reply B is treated exactly the same as Reply A, then Reply B might as well not even be there.

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I also find the idea that rudeness is punishable by death--ah--not very suited to a paladin.
I never said it was, only that the conversation needs work, and cannot really be used as an accurate indicator of virtue in its current state.


So in other words, marching into his home and threatening to kill him is not so bad if you get something you want out of it? You won't kill the man (who isn't necessarily directly responsible for Imoen's imprisonment) as long as he bargains with you? Is that really paladin-like???
Due to game limitations, there's no such thing as ringing the doorbell and asking if Mister Gethras is there, the only option is to "march into his home." As for extracting information (information which, in all honesty, deserves to be dragged out into the sunlight anyway) at the point of a blade, why not? Given all the information about the Cowled Wizards and their behavior flying around out there (a very large amount of which can be in the PC's hands by Chapter 3), anyone of Good alignment and even the tiniest bit of sense would see that the Cowls are a blight on the city that needs to be eradicated, and removing their strongarm technique of immediate life imprisonment without trial is just the way to do it. As far as whether a Paladin would move against an established feature of law-abiding society, I must point out that the Cowled Wizards themselves are not Lawful. Sure, they're written into the Amnish Constitution (or its equivalent), they control the major aspects of Athkatla's government, and they sometimes move with actual represntatives of the law-enforcement community, but do they really uphold the law and protect the citizens? HELL, NO! Their rule is one of bribery, corruption, nepotism, double standards, and greed, without regard to the very thing that they claim to hold most dear: Keeping dangerous spellcasters from hurting innocent people. Find me a qualitative difference between the Cowled Wizards and the following:

"Hi there, man. Hey, those are some really nice shoes."
"Uh....thanks."
"Yeah, too bad."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, you're walkin' on Vinny's side of the street, aintcha?"
"Who's Vinny?"
"Oh man, oh man. Big Vinny's the guy who runs this area, so you're gonna have to give us half your money."
"What!?! That's illegal!"
"No, it ain't. Big Vinny makes the rules here, and he says that anyone walking on his side of the street has to give half of whatever's in their wallet."
"I'm not gonna do any such thing! And where the hell's the sign, saying 'Don't walk here or you'll get mugged?'"
"Don't need no sign, the whole city knows it. And this ain't no mugging, this is just a toll. You know what a toll bridge is, right?"
"Well, what about that guy? He's walking here too, and you're not bothering him!"
"Oh, he already paid, and he's a friend of Vinny's, so he's allowed to take a cut of the toll. And if you refuse to pay your fair share, Vinny says we're authorized to 'apprehend' you and take all of what you got."

I see no inherent difference between the Cowled Wizards and the nightly gangs of Ruffians (and upon close observation, neither would a Paladin)....unless you count the fact that the Cowls have more style.

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....It goes back to the idea that an evil act is still an evil act, regardless of what the ultimate outcome (which no one can know) turns out to be. Paladins are not supposed to commit evil acts just because they think it will bring about the greater good.
Agreed, but.....where's the evil act? Killing a high-ranking Cowled Wizard? Acting as messenger boy to carry some documents, the sale of which Edwin had already arranged? Handling some trivial matters of treachery among Thieves, and then executing same? Sorry, but I don't see how any innocents are wronged by what the party does. Perhaps a Virtue penalty can be applied for killing Gethras and Embarl, as that shows that you're just killing indiscriminately.
No, the only matters at stake here are stealing from a church, and doing the bidding of Evil Thieves. But I hardly think those considerations outwiegh the opportunity to kill at least one high-ranking Evil Thief, which Renal makes clear to you before you even accept his quest.

Offline NiGHTMARE

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2004, 06:19:08 AM »
Marching into the home of a wizard to kill him, even if said wizard is supposedly evil (though you've never even heard about any of his crimes, let alone have any evidence that he's committed them) may well be a good act, but it most certainly is not a lawful good act. It's a chaotic good act, and chaotic acts can cause a paladin to fall just as easily as evil ones can.
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Offline Murdane

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2004, 05:51:14 PM »
Marching into the home of a wizard to kill him, even if said wizard is supposedly evil (though you've never even heard about any of his crimes, let alone have any evidence that he's committed them) may well be a good act, but it most certainly is not a lawful good act. It's a chaotic good act, and chaotic acts can cause a paladin to fall just as easily as evil ones can.

I agree, although I still don't see why it would be good, either, unless it really is true that killing an evil aligned creature is itself an act of good (which is an idea some people agree with, apparently).

Whether it's good or chaotic or both, it makes perfect sense that a paladin should fall for killing Rayic--SimDingo (and his mod) are in the right here.

 

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