Author Topic: Why I don't like Virtue  (Read 25522 times)

Offline Murdane

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2004, 06:49:00 PM »

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.

And I ask you this: So what...?  Why does Saladrex even owe you a modicum of respect?  More importantly, why does his not giving you respect give your paladin the right to kill him?  As Nightmare said, paladins aren't supposed to indulge their pride, and they certainly aren't supposed to kill for the sake of their egos.

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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.

How is that relevant to anything?  You don't get a virtue penalty unless you attack and kill Saladrex, who never attacks you unless your PC provokes it.

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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."

Not true--you have the option not to go there to begin with.  You have the option to turn down Edwin's request that you kill a man you know nothing about, other than the fact that he is a Cowled Wizard.  You have the option not to work for Renal (and by extension, Mae'var) to begin with, which is the option I personally believe you should take if you are actually serious about roleplaying a paladin.  You never have to do anything for the thieves at all, until you must help Aran Linvail to get Imoen back.  The quests we are discussing are COMPLETELY optional.

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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?

Why not?  Because a paladin is not merely a character who is good, and he is not merely someone who is "Lawful Good".  A paladin is a specially blessed individual.  He is someone who refuses to fight evil with evil, refuses to commit an evil act regardless of the potential gain involved, and refuses to sink down to the bad guy's level.  A paladin who commits evil and/or chaotic acts will fall, and rightfully so.   

Up to the point of confrontation we are discussing, you have agree to work with one thief against another thief.  You are helping Mae'var with the intention of double-crossing him later.  You've stolen something from a temple.  And now you are working for an evilly-aligned Red Wizard--in fact, you've just agreed to kill a man just because he says you should.  None of those acts are very paladin-like (if fact, a paladin should have fallen already), and to add insult to injury, you think it's perfectly OK to threaten to kill this man unless he gives you something you want.  I still can't believe you don't see what's wrong with this, or why a paladin should fall after having done these things. 


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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.

Remember what I said about not commiting evil acts, just because you can rationalize that some good may happen because of it?  Or not sinking to the bad guys level?  Well, that is how a paladin is supposed to behave.  If you find that “tacky” or too restricting, then I have to wonder why the paladin class hold appeal for you at all, and why you don’t simply play a character with fewer moral restrictions.  Why not be CG, or just plain neutral?  That way at least your character won’t be a hypocrite.

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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.

You're partly right, because a paladin isn't supposed to wantonly kill either the Cowled Wizard or the ruffian unless they attack him first.  Killing Embarl is presented in the game as a bad thing, so why doesn't that apply to Rayic?

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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.

Like Nightmare said, paladins are supposed to be lawful as well as good--if they aren't, they fall.  And yes, killing a high-ranking Cowled Wizard is chaotic or evil or both (take your pick!) as you know nothing about what he has done other than be a member of an ethically questionable wizard, and you are taking orders from people who are not legitimate authorities.  Remember what I said about paladins valuing mercy, even to people who may not deserve it?  Remember Embarl?  You don't know that Rayic has anything to do with the orders to take Imoen, so that in itself is a pretty poor reason to punish him.
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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.

Wrong, wrong, wrong...remember we are talking about paladins here, right?  How many times do I have to repeat that paladins are not morally free to do whatever they want to achieve their goals?  You don't know that Mae'var is evil (or even that he exists) until you agree to betray him to Renal.  For all you may know, maybe Mae'var is a CG thief who is upsetting Renal by not allowing people to commit evil acts to bring in money for the guild.  In other words, agreeing to kill Mae'var "because he is evil!" is meta-gaming.  And where did you get the idea that commiting evil acts is OK as long as you sufficiently "outweigh" those acts with good acts?  An evil act is an evil act is an evil act.  As I said before, you may as well just play a neutral fighter.  I rest my case.  *sigh*
« Last Edit: December 30, 2004, 06:51:53 PM by Murdane »

Offline SixOfSpades

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2004, 12:02:02 AM »
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.
You know, it's kind of sad when you belong to an organization whose moral paragon is a guy who lives out in the boonies and doesn't do jack to help his neighbors--he spends him time trying to make Golems and can't even get that right. Yessir, I'm talking about Jermien, the single known member of the Cowled Wizards (unless you count those who helped apprehend Irenicus) who doesn't appear to deserve punishment for his actions. Now, if only Jermien teleported in to help the party when/if they find themselves on the recieving end of Fael's Twisted Rune pals, I'd say he embodies what the Cowled Wizards are supposed to be: Lawful Neutral recluses who only come out when somebody casts dangerous magic in their immediate area.

Let's compare/contrast Jermien with Gethras. Jermien is annoyingly unconcerned with the Shade Wolf attacks on Imnesvale, while Gethras is similarly blase' about the Vampires. Both are (assumedly) voluntary members in a group which rules Athkatla with an iron fist, but is more benign out in the country. This physical separation seems relevant, for Athkatla is full of tales of the Cowls' abuse of power, while the residents of Imnesvale know of none whatever. Neither Jermien nor Gethras is able/willing to supply you with any information on Spellhold. Jermien has no Evil creatures working for him, nor is he Evil himself. Jermien does not turn Hostile for any reason except a direct attack, while Gethras is both uncooperative and uncommunicative in the extreme. Jermien has an air of being semi-retired (he lives in a normal home and has raised a family), while Gethras is actively engaged in pursuing a Mage that, while Evil, certainly appears to be obeying the prohibition of outdoor Wizard spells to the letter.

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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.
A question: Consider a political revolution, the action of removing a corrupt establishment from power in order to replace it with a better, more just system. Is such an action to be deemed Chaotic or Lawful?

I don't mind a Paladin losing Virtue for killing Gethras--but he shouldn't Fall because of it. It's nowhere near as dishonorable as stealing a holy artifact, IMHO. It's not like the Necklace of Talos was hurting anybody, after all.


And I ask you this: So what...?  Why does Saladrex even owe you a modicum of respect?  More importantly, why does his not giving you respect give your paladin the right to kill him?
I have never asked for a squeaky-clean, guilt-free way to kill Saladrex. I am asking for a more thorough conversation tree. Saladrex owes the party respect because, in his own opinion, power itself deserves respect. If he's going to act all high-and-mighty because he's a spiffy Dragon sitting on some spiffy treasure in a spiffy dungeon, he should wise up to the fact that these guys are walking around in gear that's ten times as spifferific, and he'd be wise to avoid pissing them off.

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You have the option to turn down Edwin's request that you kill a man you know nothing about, other than the fact that he is a Cowled Wizard.  You have the option not to work for Renal (and by extension, Mae'var) to begin with, which is the option I personally believe you should take if you are actually serious about roleplaying a paladin.
And that's where we are never going to agree. You believe all PC Paladins should be held to a rigid standard of certain major quests, even Good-aligned quests, being closed to the party outright (or, alternatively, forcing the PC to metagame and delay the Windspear Hills as an antidote), while I believe that we modders would be overstepping our authority to deny players the right to roleplay a Thieves' Guild-clearing Paladin.

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None of those acts are very paladin-like (if fact, a paladin should have fallen already), and to add insult to injury, you think it's perfectly OK to threaten to kill this man unless he gives you something you want.  I still can't believe you don't see what's wrong with this, or why a paladin should fall after having done these things.
Is it wrong to punish a criminal who refuses to renounce his ways? That, essentially, is what Gethras is, you are offering him the opportunity to redeem himself by helping you open up the heart of the Cowled Wizards' stranglehold on Athkatla. As far as I'm concered, killing Cowled Wizards is no more inherently wrong than killing Slavers. I admit that working for Thieves, planning betrayals, temple-robbing, and quasi-assassinations are hardly deeds of which a Paladin can be proud, but then neither is splashing around in a pool of human blood in Bodhi's lair, and I'd be willing to bet your precious Paladins do that on a regular basis. Now, do I think your Paladin would prefer a more sanitary way to get the Mace of Disruption? Darn right I do. Do I think my Paladin would prefer a less surreptitious manner of cleansing Mae'Var's guildhall? Ditto. But until such a way exists, I don't think the penalty for their actions should be as permanently crippling as Falling is.

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....a paladin is not merely a character who is good, and he is not merely someone who is "Lawful Good".
In essence, what I see you asking for is a double standard of Virtue: Paladins should be penalized for things that other PCs, even Lawful Good PCs, should not be. I doubt Sim would be all too eager to code that.

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You're partly right, because a paladin isn't supposed to wantonly kill either the Cowled Wizard or the ruffian unless they attack him first.  Killing Embarl is presented in the game as a bad thing, so why doesn't that apply to Rayic?
Correction: He can also maintain the moral high ground if he knows of them attacking innocents. This can range from the random Commoner on the roof of the Copper Coronet to people like Imoen and Ribald's friend who cast Tenser's Floating Disk. Killing Embarl is nonvirtuous because the player has the opportunity to learn, then and there, that Embarl is really more of a Neutral character, that the hit on him was called for no good reason, and that there's a more ethical and humane way to do things. In Gethras's case, killing him practically is the humane thing to do. A human Dungeon Master who would make his Paladins Fall for killing an uncooperative and Hostile member of a group as Evil as the Cowled Wizards are proven to be may very well be following the very strictest of the oaths set down by Torm, but that's small consolation when he's going to have a lot of trouble getting people to game with him ever again.

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Remember what I said about paladins valuing mercy, even to people who may not deserve it?  Remember Embarl?  You don't know that Rayic has anything to do with the orders to take Imoen, so that in itself is a pretty poor reason to punish him.
Hey, I agree with you on something! Yes, Paladins should value mercy as a cardinal virtue, but unfortunately, in BG, the penal code is rather sloppy--pretty much the only penalty, for crimes ranging from trespassing all the way up to serial murder, is death. Yes, a less violent solution (such as imprisonment until all the Cowls have been, well, cowed, and their individual deeds assessed and their order disbanded) would be more suitable, but I'm afraid the script simply doesn't allow that.
True, Gethras shouldn't be killed based on whether or not he was involved in sending Imoen to Spellhold. But the condition of whether or not individual Cowls are willing to help you cleanse their order by divulging at least the location of Spellhold is a reliable indicator of whether or not they think their control of the city is a good thing.

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You don't know that Mae'var is evil (or even that he exists) until you agree to betray him to Renal.  For all you may know, maybe Mae'var is a CG thief who is upsetting Renal by not allowing people to commit evil acts to bring in money for the guild.  In other words, agreeing to kill Mae'var "because he is evil!" is meta-gaming.
Looks like you need to spend some more time talking to the Commoners in the Docks district, huh?
« Last Edit: December 31, 2004, 04:40:47 AM by SixOfSpades »

Offline Murdane

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2004, 01:40:24 AM »
You know, it's kind of sad when you belong to an organization whose moral paragon is a guy who lives out in the boonies and doesn't do jack to help his neighbors--he spends him time trying to make Golems and can't even get that right. Yessir, I'm talking about Jermien, the single known member of the Cowled Wizards (unless you count those who helped apprehend Irenicus) who doesn't appear to deserve punishment for his actions. Now, if only Jermien teleported in to help the party when/if they find themselves on the recieving end of Fael's Twisted Rune pals, I'd say he embodies what the Cowled Wizards are supposed to be: Lawful Neutral recluses who only come out when somebody casts dangerous magic in their immediate area.

Let's compare/contrast Jermien with Gethras. Jermien is annoyingly unconcerned with the Shade Wolf attacks on Imnesvale, while Gethras is similarly blase' about the Vampires. Both are (assumedly) voluntary members in a group which rules Athkatla with an iron fist, but is more benign out in the country. This physical separation seems relevant, for Athkatla is full of tales of the Cowls' abuse of power, while the residents of Imnesvale know of none whatever. Neither Jermien nor Gethras is able/willing to supply you with any information on Spellhold. Jermien has no Evil creatures working for him, nor is he Evil himself. Jermien does not turn Hostile for any reason except a direct attack, while Gethras is both uncooperative and uncommunicative in the extreme. Jermien has an air of being semi-retired (he lives in a normal home and has raised a family), while Gethras is actively engaged in pursuing a Mage that, while Evil, certainly appears to be obeying the prohibition of outdoor Wizard spells to the letter.

But none of this explains why it is perfectly acceptable for a paladin to kill Gethras.  Besides, if it's "OK" to kill Gethras for being evil, why isn't OK to just kill Edwin?  Heck, why is a paladin even following him?  Is a paladin who willingly does the bidding of evil thieves and Red Wizards (who aren't legitimate authorities) really so much better and more moral than members of a corrupt cabal?  Perhaps the paladin is even worse, because he has turned his back on what he supposedly believes in.  Perhaps your paladin also deserves death by the first overly enthusiastic adventurer who hears about what he has done--ever think of it that way, Six?  I'm simply looking at it from the same perspective you are.

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I don't mind a Paladin losing Virtue for killing Gethras--but he shouldn't Fall because of it. It's nowhere near as dishonorable as stealing a holy artifact, IMHO. It's not like the Necklace of Talos was hurting anybody, after all.

You have no actual proof that Gethras was hurting anybody, either.  And yes, taking life with no good reason to is a perfect reason to fall.  Killing someone in their home just because you think it *may* do some good does not constitute a good reason either.  The fact is that you--as a paladin--shouldn't be taking assassination assignments from Edwin and Mae'var to begin with.  If it weren't for that, you probably would never had even heard of Gethras, let alone march into his private home and kill him.


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I have never asked for a squeaky-clean, guilt-free way to kill Saladrex. I am asking for a more thorough conversation tree. Saladrex owes the party respect because, in his own opinion, power itself deserves respect. If he's going to act all high-and-mighty because he's a spiffy Dragon sitting in a spiffy dungeon, he should wise up to the fact that these guys are walking around in gear that's ten times as spifferific, and he'd be wise to avoid pissing them off.

Eh, I still don't see what the problem is here, nor to I see what it has to do with Virtue.  Dragons (of any alignment) are by their nature quite arrogant.  Not only that, Saladrex knows nothing about you other than the fact that you are probably adventurers and may well be there just to steal his treasure.  I don't see why that warrants such a great amount of respect from him.  Why do you want it so badly, anyway?

As I said, none of this has anything to do with the Virtue mod--you are complaining about something that was in the original version of ToB.  Then there is the fact that you weren't roleplaying a paladin correctly: you wanted to be rude to Saladrex, and kill him because he doesn't say, "Yes, I'm sure you could kick my tail quite easily."

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And that's where we are never going to agree. You believe all PC Paladins should be held to a rigid standard of certain major quests, even Good-aligned quests, being closed to the party outright (or, alternatively, forcing the PC to metagame and delay the Windspear Hills as an antidote), while I believe that we modders would be overstepping our authority to deny players the right to roleplay a Thieves' Guild-clearing Paladin.

No, I'm not saying what I believe, Six.  I'm merely relaying what the sourcebooks have always said about the way this class is supposedly to be played.  Paladins get many special, powerful abilities, and the "payment" for that, so to speak, is that they must obey a rigid standard of conduct.  You can complain about that until you are blue in the face, and I will repeat that if you think it sucks, then don't play a paladin, play a character who is morally free to do anything he wants. 

You aren't merely talking about walking into a Thieves Guild and clearing it out.  You want your paladin to engage in deception, murder, theft, and double-crossing to achieve those ends.  Is it about me being "rigid" or "implacable", or you wanting your paladin to do whatever he wants as long as you can rationalize it later?

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Is it wrong to punish a criminal who refuses to renounce his ways? That, essentially, is what Gethras is, you are offering him the opportunity to redeem himself by helping you open up the heart of the Cowled Wizards' stranglehold on Athkatla.

Ah, but you can't do that in the game.  And even if you could do that, the fact is you know nothing whatsoever about Gethras--you gain little bits of knowledge here and there (mostly after storming into his house), but you have no specific knowledge about him other than the fact that he is a Cowled Wizard and Edwin wants him dead.  You certainly don't know that he is a criminal.  How does being a CW mean "he's evil"?  The Shadow Thief organization is evil, but then there is Mook, who is coded as CG. 

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As far as I'm concered, killing Cowled Wizards is no more inherently wrong than killing Slavers. I admit that working for Thieves, planning betrayals, temple-robbing, and quasi-assassinations are hardly deeds of which a Paladin can be proud, but then neither is splashing around in a pool of human blood in Bodhi's lair, and I'd be willing to bet your precious Paladins do that on a regular basis.

I have to laugh at this, because I haven't yet actually played a paladin in BG2. ::)  That doesn't mean I know nothing about them (I have read very, very much about D&D), however, but we are making some interesting assumptions here, aren't we?  Don't place a bet.  You would lose.

Besides, I don't see how getting yourself dirty or blood-covered makes you less of a paladin.  That's part of being a warrior...heck, when you first meet Keldorn, he is trudging through the sewers to kill undead creatures.  I don't think that makes him less of a paladin.  It's the deeds and intent behind them that count, and that is what we are talking about.  And don't call it a "quasi-assassination".  It *IS* and assassination.

You have evidence about slavers, and you can even catch them in the act.  Some of them attack you first without warning.  None of that is true for Gethras.

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Now, do I think your Paladin would prefer a more sanitary way to get the Mace of Disruption? Darn right I do. Do I think my Paladin would prefer a less surreptitious manner of cleansing Mae'Var's guildhall? Ditto. But until such a way exists, I don't think the penalty for their actions should be as permanently crippling as Falling is.

I can't believe you can even comparing keeping physically clean to being morally clean when we are talking about paladins.

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In essence, what I see you asking for is a double standard of Virtue: Paladins should be penalized for things that other PCs, even Lawful Good PCs, should not be. I doubt Sim would be all too eager to code that.

No, you see incorrectly.  Any other character may lose Virtue, but they wouldn't lose their class abilities.  A paladin will *FALL*, and lose his special class abilities, becoming a low-rent version of the fighter.  There is a big difference here; there is no double standard because the other classes aren't restricted the same way paladins are. 

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Correction: He can also maintain the moral high ground if he knows of them attacking innocents. This can range from the random Commoner on the roof of the Copper Coronet to people like Imoen and Ribald's friend who cast Tenser's Floating Disk. Killing Embarl is nonvirtuous because the player has the opportunity to learn, then and there, that Embarl is really more of a Neutral character, that the hit on him was called for no good reason, and that there's a more ethical and humane way to do things. In Gethras's case, killing him practically is the humane thing to do.

No, it isn't.  You are the one applying double standards, here: Embarl was a Shadow Thief, and may well have done any number of the evil things Shadow Thieves ususally do.  Why are you judging Gethras by his organization, but not Embarl? 

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A human Dungeon Master who would make his Paladins Fall for killing an uncooperative and Hostile member of a group as Evil as the Cowled Wizards are proven to be may very well be following the very strictest of the oaths set down by Torm, but that's small consolation when he's going to have a lot of trouble getting people to game with him ever again.

I'm sure he wouldn't mind all that much when players who don't want to actually play by the rules are reluctant to game with him.  And remember--Gethras isn't uncooperative or hostile until YOU attack him.  You went into his house to assassinate him, and now you are calling HIM hostile???

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Hey, I agree with you on something! Yes, Paladins should value mercy as a cardinal virtue, but unfortunately, in BG, the penal code is rather sloppy--pretty much the only penalty, for crimes ranging from trespassing all the way up to serial murder, is death. Yes, a less violent solution (such as imprisonment until all the Cowls have been, well, cowed, and their individual deeds assessed and their order disbanded) would be more suitable, but I'm afraid the script simply doesn't allow that.

Yes, but the game also doesn't force you to assasinate Gethras either, or have anything to do with Renal or Mae'var or Edwin, the people who bid you to assasinate others.  I would say that if you go into someone's house to kill them, you are the one who is truly in need of mercy, because it is *you* who are in the wrong there, not your chosen victim.

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True, Gethras shouldn't be killed based on whether or not he was involved in sending Imoen to Spellhold. But the condition of whether or not individual Cowls are willing to help you cleanse their order by divulging at least the location of Spellhold is a reliable indicator of whether or not they think their control of the city is a good thing.

Of course they think their control is a good thing.  Any person in power--even good aligned--does, or else they would abdicate.  Does a person deserve death just for belonging to a corrupt organization?  How do you know that all of them are evil?  You don't meet each and every wizard in the game, and you know nothing of Gethras until you agree to kill him.  Youre character and most good characters that people play (myself included) probably think most if not all of their choices are good, and bring about good.  How do you know the Cowled Wizards don't really think they are also doing something good for society?  And I hope you don't mean "cleanse" the same way you intend to "cleanse" the Thieves Guilds.  ::)  Threatening to kill someone isn't the best way to change a person's heart.

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Looks like you need to spend some more time talking to the Commoners in the Docks district, huh?
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So you believe everything you hear other people say?  Is hearsay the perfect reason to kill someone?

Do you kill the ogres in Imnesvale just because a lot of people in town hate them, fear them, and believe they are the cause of all the town's troubles?
« Last Edit: December 31, 2004, 01:49:23 AM by Murdane »

Offline Avenger_teambg

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #28 on: December 31, 2004, 03:50:00 AM »
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.

Atonement is clearly a non-player spell (otherwise it would be cast every morning).
You simply do some quest for a good temple, and get some virtue bonus.

Offline NiGHTMARE

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #29 on: December 31, 2004, 05:53:53 AM »
From the Player's Handbook:

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Lawfulness and good deeds are the meat and drink of a paladin. If a paladin ever knowingly performs a chaotic act, he must seek a high-level (7th or more) cleric of lawful good alignment, confess his sin, and do penance as prescribed by the cleric. If a paladin should ever knowingly and willingly perform an evil act, he loses the status of paladinhood immediately and irrevocably. All benefits are then lost and no deed or magic can restore the character to paladinhood: He is ever after a fighter. The character's level remains unchanged when this occurs and experience points are adjusted accordingly. Thereafter the character is bound by the rules for fighters.

From the Complete Paladin's Handbook:

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When will a paladin take a life? A paladin kills whenever necessary to promote the greater good, or to protect himself, his companions, or anyone whom he's vowed to defend. In times of war, he strikes down the enemies of his ruler or church. He does not interfere with a legal execution, so long as the punishment fits the crime.

Otherwise, a paladin avoids killing whenever possible. He does not kill a person who is merely suspected of a crime, nor does a paladin necessarily kill someone he perceives to be a threat unless he has tangible evidence or certain knowledge of evildoing. He never kills for treasure or personal gain. He never knowingly kills a lawful good being.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2004, 06:01:09 AM by NiGHTMARE »
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Offline Kish

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #30 on: December 31, 2004, 07:04:34 AM »
This post is long, rambling, and ultimately pointless, so feel free to skip.

You know, my favorite television show is Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.  I have it all on DVD, even.

(Yes, it is relevant.  If you've seen it, you probably know how.)

You seem to have changed your view of the Cowled Wizards since we last argued over them, SixOfSpades. :P  I'm certainly not complaining.

Going and killing kuo-toa because they're kuo-toa is wrong.  Fighting your way through their territory--you have a right to defend yourself, but no right to kill other intelligent creatures for their parts.  Going and killing beholders because they're beholders, or illithid because they're illithid, or red dragons because they're big and scaly and red...wrong.  Why do I say that?  Define the word "intelligent."  And define the word "evil."  And maybe you'll see.  But probably you won't, unless you already agree with me anyway.  Don't say I didn't warn you the post was pointless.

Now, if only Jermien teleported in to help the party when/if they find themselves on the recieving end of Fael's Twisted Rune pals, I'd say he embodies what the Cowled Wizards are supposed to be: Lawful Neutral recluses who only come out when somebody casts dangerous magic in their immediate area.
Well, there's no way for that to happen without killing Adalon and finishing the Human Flesh armor.  At that point, Jermien might well figure the best possible thing for everyone is if you finish each other off.
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Jermien has no Evil creatures working for him, nor is he Evil himself.
Jermien not being coded as Evil means one of two things.  If you mean without the Oversight Mod, it means the alignment coder was using cocaine on the day s/he coded Jermien and speed on the day s/he coded Rayic Gethras, as evidenced by the band of Lawful Good bandits who hold Jaheira hostage.  (You may have noticed I refer to them fairly regularly.  That's because they're the most flagrant example of the meaninglessness of alignment codings in unmodded BG2 that I can think of, though they're very far from the only one.  I could say something about the Chaotic Good brain golems, for variety.)  If, on the other hand, you mean with Oversight, then it just means I more or less agree with you about the morality of Rayic and Jermien--and I'm hardly the final authority here (though if I was, it would be so much easier, wouldn't it?)  Look into my eyes.
Quote from: Murdane
But none of this explains why it is perfectly acceptable for a paladin to kill Gethras.  Besides, if it's "OK" to kill Gethras for being evil, why isn't OK to just kill Edwin?
But it is.  No Virtue penalty for killing Edwin, or Korgan, or even Viconia.  And considering Edwin introduced himself back in BG1 by trying to hire you to murder an innocent and very very quickly illustrates to you he hasn't turned over a new leaf, nor is he likely to, I'd say even if there is one for killing Rayic, the beholders, the kuo-toa, the illithid, and even Viconia, there shouldn't be one for killing Edwin.
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Heck, why is a paladin even following him?  Is a paladin who willingly does the bidding of evil thieves and Red Wizards (who aren't legitimate authorities) really so much better and more moral than members of a corrupt cabal?  Perhaps the paladin is even worse, because he has turned his back on what he supposedly believes in.  Perhaps your paladin also deserves death by the first overly enthusiastic adventurer who hears about what he has done--ever think of it that way, Six?  I'm simply looking at it from the same perspective you are.
Now that is a much better question.  Killing anyone for Edwin is very dodgy.  Much dodgier than killing a Cowled Wizard, in and of itself.
Quote from: SixOfSpades
I don't mind a Paladin losing Virtue for killing Gethras--but he shouldn't Fall because of it. It's nowhere near as dishonorable as stealing a holy artifact, IMHO. It's not like the Necklace of Talos was hurting anybody, after all.
But you can always loot the bodies of your fallen enemies, right?  So is it less evil to grab the Necklace if you kill every priest in the Temple of Talos to get it?  I know that sounds insane, but keep reading (if you got this far) before you reply.  Talassans are dedicated to a god of pure evil.  Unlike the Cowled Wizards, and very much unlike dragons/beholders/kuo-toa/illithid/drow, there is no way to be a Talassan without spreading suffering, destruction and misery.  Every time a priest of Talos successfully casts a spell, it's proof that s/he has done a good enough job of wrecking people's lives recently to still have the favor of the Raging One.  That doesn't mean they can't change (losing their spells immediately), but if there's any group in the game that can be killed without regret or doubts, it's priests of evil deities.  So...is it wrong to kill the priests of Talos?  Wrong to take the necklace after killing them?  Wrong to take the necklace without killing them?  Wrong, necklace aside, to refrain from killing them?
Quote from: Murdane
You have no actual proof that Gethras was hurting anybody, either.  And yes, taking life with no good reason to is a perfect reason to fall.  Killing someone in their home just because you think it *may* do some good does not constitute a good reason either.  The fact is that you--as a paladin--shouldn't be taking assassination assignments from Edwin and Mae'var to begin with.
*Kish scratches in the name "Ardulace" in Murdane's list of people not to take assassination assignments frm before expressing his wholehearted agreement.*

Quote from: SixOfSpades
I have never asked for a squeaky-clean, guilt-free way to kill Saladrex. I am asking for a more thorough conversation tree. Saladrex owes the party respect because, in his own opinion, power itself deserves respect.
But he doesn't say that.  He just says he's magnificent, and calls you a mouse.  (I think he might call you puny, too.  And maybe he calls you tiny, but from his perspective that's a simple statement of fact.)  Because he's powerful?  Because he's bigger than you (hard to argue)?  Because he's older than you (also hard to argue)?  Because he's Saladrex and you're not (hardest of all to argue.  Unless you named your PC Saladrex.  Which you could)?  Either way.  If you're rude to him he'll ask you to leave his home; if you're polite to him he'll give you information (which can be very useful--he gave me the hint I needed to figure out the solution to the torches puzzle my first game); if you express a desire to fight him he'll try to talk you out of it.  Hm, maybe he thinks he's better than this paladin he's interacting with because he's not insecure enough to become homicidal over people being rude to him...  Anyone who can't shrug off words, however rude s/he finds the words, without resorting to violence over them has no business claiming to be a paladin.  Or even well-adjusted.
Quote from: Murdane
Quote from: SixOfSpades
Is it wrong to punish a criminal who refuses to renounce his ways? That, essentially, is what Gethras is, you are offering him the opportunity to redeem himself by helping you open up the heart of the Cowled Wizards' stranglehold on Athkatla.

Ah, but you can't do that in the game.
That's true.  It's also very annoying.
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Besides, I don't see how getting yourself dirty or blood-covered makes you less of a paladin.  That's part of being a warrior...heck, when you first meet Keldorn, he is trudging through the sewers to kill undead creatures.
While I agree with you entirely here, since it's after 4 AM where I am, I'm going to mention that Keldorn is a bad example of proper paladinly behavior in general.  Why?  Because if he was the protagonist, with Virtue, he'd Fall (and not even for one of the penalties I disagree with).  He wants to leave Viconia to burn.  Try doing that sometime, and see what happens to your Virtue.  (He also doesn't mind going after Rayic, commenting wryly when Edwin gives you the quest that he knows better than to think of a Cowled Wizard as an innocent.)
Quote from: SixOfSpades
Do I think my Paladin would prefer a less surreptitious manner of cleansing Mae'Var's guildhall? Ditto. But until such a way exists, I don't think the penalty for their actions should be as permanently crippling as Falling is.
It's metagaming to know such a way doesn't exist, though.  Your paladin has no way to know about Arkanis Gath and, thus, no reason not to just walk into the Guildhall and slaughter everyone there.  (Actually, does Arkanis Gath even show up if you attack Mae'Var?  Since there are lines in the game where Renal complains about you jumping the gun and killing Mae'Var without proof of his treachery, it seems likely it's possible somehow, or at least meant to be.)

It's not good roleplaying to assume your character knows as much about the Underdark/dragons/the Umar Hills chickens as you do, from reading sourcebooks and/or playing though the game before.  It's really bad roleplaying to assume your character also knows, with metagaming conviction, that what is stated in those sourcebooks is the absolute truth.  I only played with one DM who didn't change things around in ways that would have made that extremely dangerous, and I played with him quite briefly, because as a DM he sucked.  He had no imagination, he was a rules lawyer, and his games were totally hack-and-slash.

So, yeah.  In case anyone is on any level unclear on my views, in descending order of evil...

Killing Saladrex: Beyond the pale.  He's friendly, albeit arrogant, and you have no evidence that he's evil--except his species, which he was hatched with.

Killing the kuo-toa for Ardulace: Bad.  If you have a right to kill anything because you want one of its parts, Irenicus certainly has a right to kill the child of an evil god because he wants a soul, and you have no business going after him at all.  Poisoning the kuo-toa tadpoles: Beyond the pale, again.  They're completely innocent.

Killing the beholders for Ardulace: Bad.  Killing more beholders than you have to to defend yourself while leaving their city if you stumble into it: Bad.  Going out of your way to kill intelligent creatures when you don't have to is wrong.

Killing more kuo-toa than you have to to get through their area to escape the Underdark: Bad.

Killing the illithid for Ardulace: Bad.  Killing them to escape their city and/or rescue the slaves, if you get to their city some other way: Not bad.

Scouring Ust Natha to make sure you kill every single drow there: Bad.  Killing the egg guards, grabbing the eggs, and leaving the city as quickly and efficiently as possible, killing every drow who tries to block your way: Not bad.

Killing Rayic Gethras: Bad.  He is wearing evidence of a choice to join an evil organization...but just because he wears the cowl doesn't necessarily mean it wears him, so to speak.  There's more to him than being a Cowled Wizard (or there would be, if he wasn't a character in a computer game, but it's absolutely essential to be willing to immerse oneself and treat the characters as real for roleplaying to be anything but a joke).  There is so much more to any person--and when I say "person," I mean "intelligent creature"--than we can see of Rayic's appearance, or the beholders' appearance, in the game, and killing them means that everything they are or could be is gone forever.  While killing Rayic is wrong, it compares favorably to the unnecessary death of a single beholder in the Underdark.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2004, 04:15:31 PM by Kish »
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Offline SixOfSpades

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #31 on: December 31, 2004, 07:08:33 AM »
But none of this explains why it is perfectly acceptable for a paladin to kill Gethras.
I don't know why you insist on mentally equating my request for "a way to do it without automatically Falling" with it being "perfectly acceptable." I agree that the majority of the actions that the party is asked to perform during Renal's quest are of dubious moral character, and have always stated as such. But the fact remains that the party can take significant strides towards Law and Goodness as a result of these quests, and the party is informed of this before accepting the quest.

I'm perfectly okay with a Virtue hit or some similar penalty for killing Gethras--you do, after all, essentially perform a hit on someone you don't personally know--but I don't believe such an action should automatically make you Fall, due to the large amount of supplementary reasons why a man like Gethras would deserve death.

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Perhaps your paladin also deserves death by the first overly enthusiastic adventurer who hears about what he has done--ever think of it that way, Six?
"Hey, look, there's CHARNAME--he left the Order and walked into a building in the Docks District (which we obviously don't know is a Thieves' Guild or we would have raided it by now), and last I heard, he bought some documents off a guy in a tavern! Such heinous actions are nothing short of blasphemy! Attack now, in Torm's name!!"
No, I never actually thought of it that way, funny.

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You have no actual proof that Gethras was hurting anybody, either.
This is true. A pity that the Cowled Wizards don't have names when they're doing their dirty work--very much like the KKK in that regard.

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And yes, taking life with no good reason to is a perfect reason to fall.
And Keldorn's fate upon knowingly causing the death of Sir William of Thorpe, and the imprisonment (of unspecified duration) of Lady Maria should have been what, precisely?

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Eh, I still don't see what the problem is here, nor to I see what it has to do with Virtue. Why do you want it so badly, anyway?
Essentially because the encounter, no matter what you do, essentially leaves me with a bad taste in the mouth. I have to keep thinking of ways to improve it until everybody's happy. If that includes a conversation thread that essentially forces Saladrex to acknowledge that you might be more powerful than he is, or at least apologize for being so pompous, then so be it.

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I'm merely relaying what the sourcebooks have always said about the way this class is supposedly to be played.  You can complain about that until you are blue in the face, and I will repeat that if you think it sucks, then don't play a paladin, play a character who is morally free to do anything he wants.
Yeah, your message is "don't play a Paladin." I get that message from the current version of Virtue already, thanks. Kinda ironic how the class that, on the surface, is all about rooting out Evil is the one class that has to fill out the proper forms in triplicate and get them notarized before they're even allowed to draw their sword. If even then. Yep, might as well pretend that whole class isn't even implemented in the game, then, and what a lot of fun that'll be.

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You want your paladin to engage in deception, murder, theft, and double-crossing to achieve those ends.  Is it about me being "rigid" or "implacable", or you wanting your paladin to do whatever he wants as long as you can rationalize it later?
Well, heck, if Keldorn can rationalize betraying the Shadow Thieves, why can't the PC? Take him to see Booter sometime--he'll mention his desire to "bring in a troop of cleansing light once we no longer have need of these people." Yep, you heard that right, he relishes the thought of walking up to the people that helped him and stabbing them in the back, because they are Evil Thieves who use torture a lot. Now what was Mae'Var doing with Lin, again?
No, it's not about playing a Paladin as if he had no moral compass whatsoever, it's about your refusing to recognize that not everyone wants to play a Paladin like you do. You don't see me arguing that all Kensai have to be Humans and can only use Kara-Turan weaponry, do you?

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Ah, but you can't do that [offer to essentially let Gethras join your quest to find Spellhold] in the game.  And even if you could do that, the fact is you know nothing whatsoever about Gethras--you gain little bits of knowledge here and there (mostly after storming into his house), but you have no specific knowledge about him other than the fact that he is a Cowled Wizard and Edwin wants him dead.  You certainly don't know that he is a criminal.  How does being a CW mean "he's evil"?  The Shadow Thief organization is evil, but then there is Mook, who is coded as CG.
Of course I know that the conversation with Gethras is hardly worthy of the term, but anyone roleplaying their character would have, as a perfectly honorable motivation for going in to see Gethras, the possibility that here, finally, might be a Cowled Wizard who doesn't agree with the organization's strongarm tactics. And then, of course, comes the realization that he harbors Mephits, will not tell you where Imoen is, and that he's Evil himself. Ah, what a shame. He's just like all the other Cowled Wizards. Whack.
  
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Besides, I don't see how getting yourself dirty or blood-covered makes you less of a paladin.
It's the spiritual nature of the blood, not the stain potential, to which I was referring. Getting splattered with the fluids of a few Zombies whacked in honorable combat is waaaaay different from submerging yourself in the blood of the innocent.

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And don't call it a "quasi-assassination".  It *IS* and assassination.
I meet a Cowled Wizard on the street. He's Evil, works for an Evil organization, helps to send innocent people off to life imprisonment without trial, and is perfectly okay with that. Well, I'm not. Whack. Gethras is just the same, only you do it in his house.

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You have evidence about slavers, and you can even catch them in the act.  Some of them attack you first without warning.  None of that is true for Gethras.
I think guilt by association goes a long way, in Gethras's case. If it looks like a duck, dresses like a duck, quacks like a duck, and hangs out with ducks, odds are pretty darn good that it's a duck, regardless of whether or not you have any evidence of it acting like a duck. You keep waving around the fact that the PC doesn't know for sure that Gethras has ever done anything Evil, but have yet to acknowledge that the probability that he has is a whole lot higher than the alternative.
We should treat him as innocent until proven guilty, you say? Well, that's not exactly the stance the Cowls took with Imoen, now, is it?

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You are the one applying double standards, here: Embarl was a Shadow Thief, and may well have done any number of the evil things Shadow Thieves ususally do.  Why are you judging Gethras by his organization, but not Embarl?
Because Embarl isn't Evil. Because Embarl actually rebelled (well, sort of) against his Evil group. Because Embarl isn't a member of an organization that is witholding critical information from you. And most of all, because Embarl is perfectly willing to talk to you about his case, and even cooperate with you so you can perform your task in whatever way seems most agreeable to you.

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A human Dungeon Master who would make his Paladins Fall for killing an uncooperative and Hostile member of a group as Evil as the Cowled Wizards are proven to be may very well be following the very strictest of the oaths set down by Torm, but that's small consolation when he's going to have a lot of trouble getting people to game with him ever again.
I'm sure he wouldn't mind all that much when players who don't want to actually play by the rules are reluctant to game with him.
Funny, I thought games were supposed to be rather user-friendly.

Besides, a human DM has one big advantage that BG does not: In a P&P game, the guy playing the Paladin can absent himself from whatever morally sticky actions need to be done, thus suffering only the stigma of "allowing" it to occur while he wasn't even there. With BG, however, we must assume that the PC is personally responsible for each and every one of Jan's turnip burps, with the result that PC Paladins get screwed big-time.

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How do you know the Cowled Wizards don't really think they are also doing something good for society?
I think it was the part when they fried a Beggar with their Lightning Bolts, after they tried to arrest me for casting Stoneskin. Or maybe when they casually spoke of using Charm spells to lower Imoen's social inhibitions. Or it might have been when they finally caught on to the fact that their precious spellcasting license doesn't to a damn thing to keep dangerous spellcasters off the streets.

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And I hope you don't mean "cleanse" the same way you intend to "cleanse" the Thieves Guilds.
No. I'm of the opinion that the Cowled Wizards are actually undergoing a major schism, with the younger, more Neutral Evil members ousting the senior Lawful Neutral officers from power. If only it were implelemented, I would love an option that allowed the party to reach Spellhold by working for (one side of) the Cowled Wizards (by wiping out the other side).

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So you believe everything you hear other people say?  Is hearsay the perfect reason to kill someone? Do you kill the ogres in Imnesvale just because a lot of people in town hate them, fear them, and believe they are the cause of all the town's troubles?
I listen to the people of Imnesvale and hear, not that Ogres are behind it, but that there are a whole bunch of theories flying around and nobody knows what to do. My reaction: I go to the Ogres, talk to them, and discover that they're actually an all-right bunch of folks.
I listen to the people of the Docks, on the other hand, and hear that Mae'Var is a monster who tortures people and then leaves them out in front of his guildhouse for everyone to see. My reaction: I go to Mae'Var, talk to him, and discover that he's a monster who tortures people.
I see no ethical paradox here.


From the Player's Handbook:
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Lawfulness and good deeds are the meat and drink of a paladin. If a paladin ever knowingly performs a chaotic act, he must seek a high-level (7th or more) cleric of lawful good alignment, confess his sin, and do penance as prescribed by the cleric. If a paladin should ever knowingly and willingly perform an evil act, he loses the status of paladinhood immediately and irrevocably.
Too bad the exact alignment of killing Gethras is difficult to determine. Although I do notice that Chaotic actions can be atoned for simply by hanging around with Aerie or Anomen (which in itself is a form of penance. :D )


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From the Complete Paladin's Handbook:
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He does not kill a person who is merely suspected of a crime, nor does a paladin necessarily kill someone he perceives to be a threat unless he has tangible evidence or certain knowledge of evildoing.
And I agree. Ideally, you would be able to neutralize and apprehend Gethras in some way, not kill him. Killing him IS wrong, it's simply not as wrong as NOT killing him.

Offline Reverendratbastard

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #32 on: December 31, 2004, 07:32:45 AM »
From the Player's Handbook:

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Lawfulness and good deeds are the meat and drink of a paladin. If a paladin ever knowingly performs a chaotic act, he must seek a high-level (7th or more) cleric of lawful good alignment, confess his sin, and do penance as prescribed by the cleric. If a paladin should ever knowingly and willingly perform an evil act, he loses the status of paladinhood immediately and irrevocably. All benefits are then lost and no deed or magic can restore the character to paladinhood: He is ever after a fighter. The character's level remains unchanged when this occurs and experience points are adjusted accordingly. Thereafter the character is bound by the rules for fighters.

From the Complete Paladin's Handbook:

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When will a paladin take a life? A paladin kills whenever necessary to promote the greater good, or to protect himself, his companions, or anyone whom he's vowed to defend. In times of war, he strikes down the enemies of his ruler or church. He does not interfere with a legal execution, so long as the punishment fits the crime.

Otherwise, a paladin avoids killing whenever possible. He does not kill a person who is merely suspected of a crime, nor does a paladin necessarily kill someone he perceives to be a threat unless he has tangible evidence or certain knowledge of evildoing. He never kills for treasure or personal gain. He never knowingly kills a lawful good being.

  THANK you.  at last.   8)
 
  and thanks, murdane, for fighting the stickler-fight.

  i admit that with my first bg2 paladin - a cavalier, even - i attacked saladrex, for all the reasons sos described.  but i (the player) actually felt guilty afterwards!  and i'd never even heard of >any< mod, let alone Virtue.
  my first rpg character ever was a 1e paladin (1983... a gamer i should turn to be), pure dungeoneer.  my roleplaying range was even narrower than that of the average "crpg" today.  got him to 4th level, then foully slain in his sleep by a vile illusionist.
  
  i agree with 6 insofar as resonates with my boundless craving for more vast spectra of dialogue / quest permutations.  there are indeed too many interactions where one might as well just have a 'continue' or 'end dialog', rather than 3+ different ways to express oneself which don't alter anything at all.  but in my mind's eye, that's all just a matter of time (and seems to me like one of the simplest matters for home-rule-customization).  (won' t know until i've given my own work a test run, of course)
  but i agree with murdane more, regarding the idea that there are some class-nonspecific quests that a paladin worth their salt has no business getting embroiled in to begin with (or at least >currently< has no rational/justifiable bait for legitimate involvement).
  plus, anyone who gets to use Carsomyr really oughtn't complain about how restricted/restrictive their path is.   :P
 
  i don't have any complaints about virtue - the only 'problem' is that it doesn't (YET!) have the sophistication to handle the aforementioned distinction, between temporary chaotic falling and permanent evil falling.
 
  actually, and this could tack onto a few threads, i'm of the opinion that an 'improved paladins' mod - or 'paladin-depth' mod, or something - would be a better solution (or add-on for Virtue) than tweaking 'universal' rewards and penalties.  as with unavoidable plotlines where no particularly paladinny statements / choices are in evidence (particularly before/during the drow disguise). . .
 
  slow virtue loss for keeping evil in the party is an excellent notion.
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Offline NiGHTMARE

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #33 on: December 31, 2004, 07:38:47 AM »
The first RPG I ever played was Ultima 7, and in that series virtue is one of most important elements of the game world.  Consequently I generally roleplay my paladins to follow the Avatar's (the player character in the Ultimas) virtues of compassion, honesty, valour, humility, sacrifice, honour, justice, spirituality, and the three principles of truth, love and courage :).
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Offline Reverendratbastard

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #34 on: December 31, 2004, 07:50:09 AM »
The first RPG I ever played was Ultima 7, and in that series virtue is one of most important elements of the game world.  Consequently I generally roleplay my paladins to follow the Avatar's virtues . . .

  i too extended the avatar's spread to the behavior of most good-aligned, and even quite a few neutral-aligned, characters.  the ultima series is one of my all-time favorites (at least starting with IV, which was the one that introduced the quest of the avatar).  bonus trivia for the masses  8) - ultima has/had a paladin class, for whom Honor (the product of Truth and Courage) is the chief virtue.
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Offline Reverendratbastard

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #35 on: December 31, 2004, 12:32:29 PM »
. But the fact remains that the party can take significant strides towards Law and Goodness as a result of these quests, and the party is informed of this before accepting the quest.
  i'm not remembering any such thing (we're talking about renal's quest and edwin's subquest, right?); remember that renal's jobs are unrelated to gaelan/aran's offer for mutual assistance.  and i wouldn't call edwin's bald manipulation of charname's concerns "informative" of potential to "take significant strides towards law and goodness".

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--you do, after all, essentially perform a hit on someone you don't personally know--but I don't believe such an action should automatically make you Fall, due to the large amount of supplementary reasons why a man like Gethras would deserve death.
  'supplementary reasons' - sounds pretty flimsy for someone who has pledged their life to a stringent code of honor.  what happened to "tangible evidence" or "certain knowledge"?  edwin is running the show, which all but guarantees that it's a thoroughly underhanded venture...

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Quote from: Murdane
And yes, taking life with no good reason to is a perfect reason to fall.
And Keldorn's fate upon knowingly causing the death of Sir William of Thorpe, and the imprisonment (of unspecified duration) of Lady Maria should have been what, precisely?
  and the person claiming that keldorn is a suitable example of a paladin was whom, precisely? :P
  i do indeed find it ridiculous that whereas so much of anomen's potential depends on one crucial choice, keldorn [who has always lived with the possibility of losing his exceptional powers] remains a solid inquisitor no matter what choice he might [be led to] make in the matter of an affair he was too neglectful of his family to notice.

  i definitely don't think the problem is with Virtue; it's with the limitations and corner-cuts inherent in the original development of bg2.  that's why we're all here, right?  how to change it for the better?  my argument is that rather than paladins rationalizing what they want to get credit/xp/glory/et al. for, their options across the board need to be enhanced.  and until then, roleplaying a strict code at individual discretion (w/ or w/o Virtuemod) is what we have to work with.  of course it's not yet perfected.  but if i'm not mistaken, the premise was accountability in roleplaying?  which 'ideally' wouldn't rely on a program, now would it?

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Yeah, your message is "don't play a Paladin." I get that message from the current version of Virtue already, thanks. Kinda ironic how the class that, on the surface, is all about rooting out Evil is the one class that has to fill out the proper forms in triplicate and get them notarized before they're even allowed to draw their sword. If even then. Yep, might as well pretend that whole class isn't even implemented in the game, then, and what a lot of fun that'll be.
  what??  the only 'whole class implemented in the game' is Fighter, anyway.  barely.  perhaps Barbarian and Sorcerer as well, except that they were never 2e classes, which is a whole other slippery slope.
  cmiiw, but isn't the bottom line here that you want [at least in the context of three relatively unimportant opportunities throughout the course of an epic campaign] paladins to get away with what non-paladins can get away with?  and wouldn't that defeat the purpose of devotion to a code that sets their standards above those of others?

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if Keldorn can rationalize betraying the Shadow Thieves, why can't the PC? Take him to see Booter sometime--he'll mention his desire to "bring in a troop of cleansing light once we no longer have need of these people." Yep, you heard that right, he relishes the thought of walking up to the people that helped him and stabbing them in the back, . . .
wait - if an NPC paladin's personality isn't bound by the game mechanics despite several contradictions of the code he supposedly swore to, why should i roleplay my PC paladin any more appropriately?  i know my answer.
 and not that i'm really into defending keldorn or anything, but "bring in a troop of cleansing light" doesn't sound at all backstabby, and everybody knows that's the shadow thief headquarters.  true, they give you a key to that particular level, but once you find out what's below, there is surely some justification. . .

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No, it's not about playing a Paladin as if he had no moral compass whatsoever, it's about your refusing to recognize that not everyone wants to play a Paladin like you do. You don't see me arguing that all Kensai have to be Humans and can only use Kara-Turan weaponry, do you?
  racial/cultural restrictions = almost always arbitrary. (not to mention that it's entirely modded/moddable)
  code of honor that is [not really arguably] the foundation of the paladin's numerous blessings = pretty freakin' far from arbitrary.
  obviously, every copy of bg2 has its own DM (if not several), but there's got to be a line drawn somewhere when a group is hurling conflicting ideas at a modder.  (duh, i know.)  in the case of mechanically implementing the paladin's code, "not everyone wants to play a paladin like you do" only goes so far.  in a medium where we can't fully implement total roleplaying {i hereby replace the term "pnp" with "TRPG" 8)}, those who aren't willing to follow the code will always have a handful of ways to avoid it.  that doesn't in itself mean that Senhor Dingo should ease up on you. ;D
  you're especially lucky that they didn't/couldn't implement the paladin's restriction on number of magic items, and automatic tithes!  i feel like a grumpy elder who can't believe how spoiled the new generation is.  ;)

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And don't call it a "quasi-assassination".  It *IS* and assassination.
I meet a Cowled Wizard on the street. He's Evil, works for an Evil organization, helps to send innocent people off to life imprisonment without trial, and is perfectly okay with that. Well, I'm not. Whack. Gethras is just the same, only you do it in his house.
  ??  is it only an assassination when it happens in the sewers or above the fourth storey of a municipal building?
  don't get me wrong, i approve of the outward form of the rationalization you apply to 'tricking edwin' and all that ;), but i still don't see sufficient justification for the initial employment as the game stands.

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I think guilt by association goes a long way, in Gethras's case. If it looks like a duck, dresses like a duck, quacks like a duck, and hangs out with ducks, odds are pretty darn good that it's a duck, regardless of whether or not you have any evidence of it acting like a duck. You keep waving around the fact that the PC doesn't know for sure that Gethras has ever done anything Evil, but have yet to acknowledge that the probability that he has is a whole lot higher than the alternative.
We should treat him as innocent until proven guilty, you say? Well, that's not exactly the stance the Cowls took with Imoen, now, is it?
  1) use of magic is officially forbidden.  imoen used magic.  offensive magic.  i think it's obvious that even a solidly Neutral CW organization wouldn't wait around in a recently demolished public space to debate the extenuating AND immediately unprovable circumstances of the kidnapping, the party not [necessarily] knowing where they are [and not that yoshimo comes forth with the anti-magic ordinance anyway], etc., in lieu of taking the culprits to be "held" and "judged".
  2) "innocent until proven guilty" is more of a LG stance than a LN stance.  surely nobody has claimed that the CWs have a notable LG representation.
  3) probability is so not the issue.
  4) you don't actually know that imoen is being imprisoned-for-life or tortured (you can worry all you want that irenicus is really in control, even though there's no real evidence outside of dreams until you meet perth or just get into the asylum.
 
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Because Embarl isn't a member of an organization that is witholding critical information from you.
so now we're assuming that the paladin tackles the thief-stronghold quest after returning from the underdark?  because that's the only way that statement holds true.
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And most of all, because Embarl is perfectly willing to talk to you about his case, and even cooperate with you so you can perform your task in whatever way seems most agreeable to you.
  very impressive:  some would say that trust is a virtue of the paladin's code! ;)  too bad 'detect lie' and 'ESP' aren't infinity-implemented.  because wouldn't, say, a paladin who is [allegedly] working within a guild of thieves in order to better wipe it out (sound familiar?), possibly be suspicious of a thief, presumably outnumbered and already in fear for his life?  not registering under 'detect evil' sure as hell isn't conclusive evidence that you can trust a thief, or anything he says...  btw, please don't infer that i'm suggesting you kill him instead. ::)  however, i always considered it a plothole that you can spare embarl, and mae'var, who knew where to send you to find him in the first place, suddenly doesn't have >any< eyes/ears to report to him that you're pulling a fast one.  (handy, then, to suggest that, say, all of mae'var's underlings besides the ones in the dungeon with him are sympathetic to embarl's plight...  but is that a way for thieves to behave?  ad infinitum...)

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A human Dungeon Master who would make his Paladins Fall for killing an uncooperative and Hostile member of a group as Evil as the Cowled Wizards are proven to be may very well be following the very strictest of the oaths set down by Torm, but that's small consolation when he's going to have a lot of trouble getting people to game with him ever again.
  as evil as they are proven to be?  again, if the rayic incident is happening post-asylum/underdark, what tangible evidence/certain knowledge do we have?  i won't dismiss the "practice my charm spells on that one" line, even though technically it's metagaming nonsense just so we won't feel sympathy when irenicus kills those CWs as we might have felt when he toasted the bunch at the promenade.  so, add to that:  corneil, who's just an asshole; tolgerias - there's no reason to believe he is being 'monitored' by any other CWs, he can give lots of enforcers orders (such as the order to ambush the party at valygar's townhouse, which isn't an evil act if it's carried out by those who 'accept' that they're following justified orders) - i've always thought of him as an uppity 'rogue' CW; perth, who apparently has been completely dominated by irenicus and therefore can't exactly count; you've covered jermien, of course; where's the parade of clearly dastardly cowled wizards?  valygar's testimony is almost indubitably prejudiced, but who wouldn't defend themselves?  (besides imoen) (and we don't know the specifics of the orders given to the CWs against whom V. defended himself)  {admittedly, i would like to be able to 'play politics' when conferring with the inmates to assault irenicus, and would generally prefer to leave wanev out of it - but, him being soft in the head, you only have irenicus' word to go on as far as his 'guilt'.} 
  back to rayic, i don't see how 'uncooperative and Hostile' aren't justified by the fact that you've intruded on his home... (not to mention if you've destroyed any of his guards/pets/projects/whatever they might be)
  and following your analogy, i'm not particularly overwhelmed by the number of people 'not gaming with simding0' {not using Virtue} compared to those who have/are/haven't complained so protractedly ;).
 
  a point was recently made elsewhere that paladins shouldn't be a core class.  i thoroughly agree, as they are quite frequently abused in the name of the Fun Directive.  forgive me if i take so seriously, within game, the abstract concept of upholding the most demanding mortal standards of honor and justice.

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Or it might have been when they finally caught on to the fact that their precious spellcasting license doesn't to a damn thing to keep dangerous spellcasters off the streets.
  hm.  seemed pretty obvious to me [from what negligible evidence is really available] that it does do a damn thing, apart from certain potential examples to the contrary by one particular [and undeniably exceptional] party.

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No. I'm of the opinion that the Cowled Wizards are actually undergoing a major schism, with the younger, more Neutral Evil members ousting the senior Lawful Neutral officers from power. If only it were implelemented, I would love an option that allowed the party to reach Spellhold by working for (one side of) the Cowled Wizards (by wiping out the other side).
  amen.  if you hadn't said that bit about the schism, i would have.  however, it gives the lie to your previous insistence (twice?) that the organization itself is evil, as an excuse to kill gethras.  :P
  {don't forget how twisted the asylum was supposedly growing even before J&B got their hooks into it - corruption of profound proportions?  what kind of leadership could be expected?}
  great idea with the playing off of sides, too.
  i think it's important that a righteous charname ought to go through valygar's quest and/or get the scoop from Bylanna about how discretion-happy and 'above the law' the CWs are before developing serious discrimination.
  (i also think that one route to the asylum should be attracting the CWs attention and then getting subdued and captured, although it wouldn't make sense for korgan, yoshimo, etc.)

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Too bad the exact alignment of killing Gethras is difficult to determine. Although I do notice that Chaotic actions can be atoned for simply by hanging around with Aerie or Anomen (which in itself is a form of penance. :D )
  assassination is consistently evil as far as AD&D is concerned.
  and 'hanging around' + actual penance (validation of which is the real purpose for the atonement spell) could easily make up for the precious XP one might miss out on by following the code and not working for renal or edwin.  but again, mo'modding, mo'modding, mo'modding.



Quote from: Kish
Killing more kuo-toa than you have to to get through their area to escape the Underdark: Bad.
  and how is one supposed to know which turns to make?  :P  i think it'd be a useful part of the 'paladin-depth' mod/extension, to have someone give precise directions through the kuo-toa lair, so that this was actually a call that Virtue could make.
 

  tangent-probably-not-worth-a-new-thread:  is there a virtue hit for making an animal sacrifice to demogorgon and summoning the death knights?
the lord of murder shall perish, yadda yadda yadda.

Offline Lord Kain

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #36 on: December 31, 2004, 08:37:45 PM »
the only way atonement works for a paladin is if he was forced to commit an evil act. Either by enchantment magic or being tricked (like what Firkraag does)

A paladin who willfully commits an evil act can NEVER regain there status.
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Offline Reverendratbastard

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #37 on: December 31, 2004, 08:42:54 PM »
the only way atonement works for a paladin is if he was forced to commit an evil act. Either by enchantment magic or being tricked (like what Firkraag does)
  ...or if he commits a chaotic act.  as noted 3+ times above.

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A paladin who willfully commits an evil act can NEVER regain there status.
  correct.
the lord of murder shall perish, yadda yadda yadda.

Offline jester

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #38 on: January 02, 2005, 05:36:35 AM »
Kish's list is what had to be established. Kudos.

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I meet a Cowled Wizard on the street. He's Evil, works for an Evil organization, helps to send innocent people off to life imprisonment without trial, and is perfectly okay with that. Well, I'm not. Whack. Gethras is just the same, only you do it in his house.
RRB is definitely right with his replies to this above. I cannot see any clue that the CWs are even evil to begin with. If the local authorities would draw any conclusion from Lavok or Irenicus, they would certainly advise for mages to be more thoroughly monitored. The CWs are law enforcers in Amn. Not a single paladin could dispute that. It may not be good or fair by higher standards, but if it is the law it is certainly lawful to act in accordance to it

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Because Embarl isn't a member of an organization that is witholding critical information from you
So the people you meet are valued by their usefullness to you and their compliance to your requests? Evil means not helping much?

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tangent-probably-not-worth-a-new-thread:  is there a virtue hit for making an animal sacrifice to demogorgon and summoning the death knights?
Are summoned creatures created when summoned or are they individuals missing somewhere else like gated creatures?
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Offline NiGHTMARE

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #39 on: January 02, 2005, 06:16:12 AM »
If being a member of an organization that witholds information from people is evil, then the typical Harper is the most evil person your player character is ever likely to meet...
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Offline Andyr

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #40 on: January 02, 2005, 07:20:01 AM »
Jes: Summoned creatures are drawn from a different plane. So they did exist before. When the spell expires, or when they are killed, they are returned unharmed to their home plane.
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Offline SixOfSpades

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #41 on: January 03, 2005, 06:34:36 AM »

Hoo boy! I've let this thread slide for way too long--watch me fall on my ass I as I try to get back on top again. Sorry for the break in continuity here, but I just have to reply to this first:

I cannot see any clue that the CWs are even evil to begin with.
Oh...my...god. You have GOT to be kidding me. Have you quietly taken leave of your senses, jester? I'd learned to expect much better than this from you. Let me just state that in BG2, the Cowls are blatantly, overpoweringly, screamingly Evil. More Evil than the Shadow Thieves. Probably not quite as Evil as Bodhi--but it's close. Let's take this simple quiz:
1) Name all the people in the game who have been released from Spellhold.
2) Name all the people in the game who know someone who has been released from Spellhold.
3) Name all the people in the game who once heard that someone, anyone, had been released from Spellhold.

The Cowls don't just arrest people--they disappear them. This is, essentially, Nazi Germany meets the Spanish Inquisition: All it takes is for someone to report you as being "not loyal to the Party," and that's all the official explanation required to erase you completely. (With another parallel being that the rest of the government is legally powerless to intervene, since Hitler was democratically elected.) Even those who don't cast magic in the streets aren't safe from Cowled scrutiny, if Rayic's pursuit of Edwin is any indication. In this light, Edwin's directing you to kill Gethras is completely justifiable self-defense.

You actually say the Cowls don't come off as Evil in the game? Tell you what: With the exceptions of Jermien and the cutscene where Irenicus & Imoen are arrested, I'd really love to see how many examples you can come up with of the Cowls acting anything but Evil. And once you fail, I truly hope that'll be an end to all this "Cowled Wizards aren't Evil" jazz.

Let's get back to the thread.


. But the fact remains that the party can take significant strides towards Law and Goodness as a result of these quests, and the party is informed of this before accepting the quest.
  i'm not remembering any such thing.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to recall Renal stating that you would be asked to kill Mae'Var (who is known throughout the Docks to be a sadistic maniac) at the end of your investigations. Not to mention the inside information--on BOTH guilds--that you could gather and provide to someone like Inspector Brega.

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  'supplementary reasons' - sounds pretty flimsy for someone who has pledged their life to a stringent code of honor.  what happened to "tangible evidence" or "certain knowledge"?  edwin is running the show, which all but guarantees that it's a thoroughly underhanded venture...
True, up to a point. There's a famous quote that says "It is better for a good person to tell a lie than for a bad person to tell the truth," because people generally lie/tell the truth to further their own code of ethics. Therefore, Edwin may very well have a darker purpose in mind when asking you to kill Gethras. (Of course, he could also be pulling a Vizzini on you: Suppose he tells you to commit an act that might be Evil, knowing that you will refuse and wind up doing something more Evil instead.)
But I say that as soon as you can confirm for yourself that Rayic is actually a Cowled Wizard, and is indeed Evil, and is actively persecuting spellcasters (I think we can take Edwin's word at least this far), he can therefore safely be assumed to be the moral equivalent of a Slaver, until/unless proven otherwise. Up until that point, all you've done is get past a few Mephits and Golems--and you don't even need to harm them at all if at least one party member can be invisible in some way.

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  and the person claiming that keldorn is a suitable example of a paladin was whom, precisely? :P
If we're to respect BioWare's intentions enough to come up with an entire Unfinished Business quest of of the words "This wasn't supposed to happen, this isn't what was promised to me," I think we can indulge in a little interpretation of Keldorn's quest. No matter which way you go, you have to do something that goes against the grain of being a Paladin: You can either condemn the adults entangled in this mess to death, prison, and mental anguish/grief, and the children to a twisted upbringing in a broken home, OR you can break a law and one of Keldorn's sacred oaths. All over an action that has not truly wronged anyone. Now, since BioWare seemingly went out of their way to write a quest where there is NO truly right answer (you must either be non-Lawful, or non-Good) and yet Keldorn does not Fall as a result, I take that as their endorsement that Paladins should be allowed at least a little bit of leeway in their actions.

Remember that Reputation used to be Virtue, and Paladins were allowed to go as low as 12.

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my argument is that rather than paladins rationalizing what they want to get credit/xp/glory/et al. for, their options across the board need to be enhanced.
Indeed. If it remains implemented that a Paladin can't do Renal's quest without Falling, an option to stage a direct assault on Mae'Var's (and Renal's, too, for that matter) guild would be a good place to start.

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  cmiiw, but isn't the bottom line here that you want [at least in the context of three relatively unimportant opportunities throughout the course of an epic campaign] paladins to get away with what non-paladins can get away with?  and wouldn't that defeat the purpose of devotion to a code that sets their standards above those of others?
To a certain extent, yes. I'm not asking that they be allowed to poison the Druid Grove, or make the Human Flesh Armor, but I would like to see them have SOME way to bring some law & order to the Docks District without unavoidably Falling in the process.

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and not that i'm really into defending keldorn or anything, but "bring in a troop of cleansing light" doesn't sound at all backstabby, and everybody knows that's the shadow thief headquarters.
It does if the cleansing is being applied by Paladins at the end of long, sharp swords, and the person fantasizing about bringing them in currently working for their intended victims. See: betrayal.

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  obviously, every copy of bg2 has its own DM (if not several), but there's got to be a line drawn somewhere when a group is hurling conflicting ideas at a modder.  in the case of mechanically implementing the paladin's code, "not everyone wants to play a paladin like you do" only goes so far.
Fair enough, but doesn't that still mean we should err on the user-friendly side rather than the alternative?


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  1) use of magic is officially forbidden.  imoen used magic.  offensive magic.  i think it's obvious that even a solidly Neutral CW organization wouldn't wait around in a recently demolished public space to debate the extenuating AND immediately unprovable circumstances of the kidnapping, the party not [necessarily] knowing where they are [and not that yoshimo comes forth with the anti-magic ordinance anyway], etc., in lieu of taking the culprits to be "held" and "judged".
  2) "innocent until proven guilty" is more of a LG stance than a LN stance.  surely nobody has claimed that the CWs have a notable LG representation.
  3) probability is so not the issue.
  4) you don't actually know that imoen is being imprisoned-for-life or tortured (you can worry all you want that irenicus is really in control, even though there's no real evidence outside of dreams until you meet perth or just get into the asylum.
1) Okay, so they want to apprehend the two people observed to cast Wizard spells and get them contained as quickly as possible, that's perfectly all right. Good thing they also left some of their agents behind, to.....um, question any witnesses to find out what happened before they got there, and uh, let people know when the trial would be, and, er, write up a complete report of the incident and stuff.
2) I don't care if it's innocent until proven guilty or vice versa, as long as something gets proven. No organization that gets by on "She cast a Magic Missile at the guy who was Disitegrating you? She's a deviant, let her rot in Spellhold" could have any part of a legal charter.
3) Nalia is probably telling the truth about her Keep. There probably isn't any illusion, like there was in the Windspear Hills, that makes the invading army of Rakshasa look and act like servants and guards and make the Good-aligned soldiers honorably defending their home look and act like Trolls. You probably aren't going to be blamed for the whole thing after Nalia reveals that you've just destroyed a respected noble family and everything they stood for. Yeah, there's reason to doubt Nalia, but you kill those whom she tells you to kill anyway. Is the fact that she turns out to be telling the truth enough to mean that you can virtuously kill dozens of intelligent creatures at her command, but not a single one for Edwin?
4) If Ribald's friend was disappeared for a simple Floating Disc, in spite of ignorance of the law, I think we can take it as read that BioWare wanted the Cowls painted with one of the blackest brushes they had. The player is given no indication that the Cowls might ever find Imoen not guilty of breaking the law, or think of any mitigating circumstances (despite the fact that she was on their side), or give her time off for good behavior. Instead, the player is given many examples of the Cowls' corruption, including one that could logically be taken to mean that the Cowls use their better-looking captives as unwilling concubines. If a human DM presented the kind of situation that we see emerging from Jon's dungeon and Chapter 1, I'd say the message was pretty clear: The Cowls are the BAD guys.
 
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Because Embarl isn't a member of an organization that is witholding critical information from you.
so now we're assuming that the paladin tackles the thief-stronghold quest after returning from the underdark?  because that's the only way that statement holds true.
Well, after Chapter 4, the Cowls simply become an organization that had witheld that info, whereas Mae'Var's entire guild most likely never had that info at all. The Cowls know it, they know that you need it, they probably know that you need it for a good cause, and they will move heaven and earth to ensure that you don't succeed.

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not registering under 'detect evil' sure as hell isn't conclusive evidence that you can trust a thief, or anything he says...
Given that Mae'Var wants him dead and therefore diametrically opposed to him on *something,* who do you think is the more trustworthy of the pair?

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  as evil as they are proven to be?
Damn Right.
 
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  amen.  if you hadn't said that bit about the schism, i would have.  however, it gives the lie to your previous insistence (twice?) that the organization itself is evil, as an excuse to kill gethras.  :P
If it was implemented, it would indeed prove me wrong. This is what happens when my Philosophic self and my Modder self get going in the same thread, sorry I confused anyone.
IF the split in the Cowled order is implemented, the Paladin thing to do would be to judge all Cowls by their standing on the LN / NE dichotomy, and kill or not kill accordingly. But until that happens, I shall assume guilty unless hinted innocent.

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  assassination is consistently evil as far as AD&D is concerned.
With the exception of not being able to get into Gethras's house unless Edwin tells you to, Rayic Gethras essentially IS Mekrath: You enter his home, kill his classically Evil-aligned pets, learn some damning evidence (Mekrath endorses slavery, Gethras is a Cowl, and both are Evil) and you kill them. But killing Mekrath is kosher, while Gethras is called "assassinating?"


The CWs are law enforcers in Amn. Not a single paladin could dispute that. It may not be good or fair by higher standards, but if it is the law it is certainly lawful to act in accordance to it
What good is the law (or its enforcers), if it is not enforced in a lawful manner? Suppose your overeager Paladin starts attacking Jan simply for being a Thief--Jan will cast spells to defend himself, and no Cowls will Dimension Door in to chastise the Gnome. Therefore, Jan must have a license, right? But when you recruit Jan, what happens? Oh, no, you have to pay gold before we'll let you use magic! Obvious Lesson: The whole thing is a setup to get your (and others') money.
As for being law enforcers, ever seen what happens when some Cowls DD in next to an Amnish Guard? Guess whose side he's on.

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Because Embarl isn't a member of an organization that is witholding critical information from you
So the people you meet are valued by their usefullness to you and their compliance to your requests? Evil means not helping much?
Evil means Evil. Evil that is sitting on information that they know I need to rescue at least one innocent person is even more Evil. In contrast, Evil that has that information, and has taken pains to let me know that they will help me if I help them, is less Evil. Now, the Cowled Wizards obviously know where their own prison is. True, its location might be classified and known only to only certain members of their order, but if they remain tight-lipped even after you take extensive pains to get on their good side (you can pester Teos about it all through the Mage Stronghold quests and he still won't tell you), proving that they're major-league buttheads and even more deserving of the axe. The Shadow Thieves know where the prison is, too, and they go out of their way to make sure Gaelan is able to waylay you and inform you of their ability to help--for a price that, when you think about it, is about the same as it would cost to charter, man, and equip a ship for a journey to the Pirate Isles.
Embarl not knowing how to get to Spellhold means that he's almost definitely telling you the truth.
A Cowled Wizard not knowing how to get to Spellhold means he's full of @&%*.

Offline SixOfSpades

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #42 on: January 03, 2005, 06:48:01 AM »
New Stuff:

Interesting thought: Even if the Virtue leeway for Paladins was extended to allow a range of 17-20 without Falling, the class most suited to redeeming Evil people would be the least capable of it: If your Virtue is low enough to keep an Evil person in the party without them getting mad and leaving, the -1 per week penalty would be practically guaranteed to make you Fall.

Since it apparently deserves a Virtue penalty to lie, betray, cheat, steal, or knowingly work for an Evil person (not that I'm arguing any of that), here is a partial list:


Keeping Keldorn in the party: +1 per week
Keeping Korgan in the party: -1 per week
Keeping Mazzy in the party: +1 per week
Keeping Viconia in the party: -1 per week
Wearing the Ring of Gaxx: -1 per week
Wearing the Robe of Vecna: -1 per week
Wearing the Human Flesh armor: -1 per week
Carrying Blackrazor: -1 per week

Working for Renal Bloodscalp: -1
Working for Mae'Var: -1
Working for Edwin: -1
Working for Solaufein / Imrae: -1
Working for Phaere: -1
Working for Matron Mother Ardulace: -1
Working for the Aboleth: -1
Working for Jarlaxle: -1
Working for Gaal: -1
Working for Simyaz: -1
Working for Lord Khellon Menold: -1
Working for Teos: -1
Working for the Hidden: -1
Working for Aran Linvail: -1
Working for Bodhi: -2
Working for Firkraag (Dragon): -1
Working for Xzar: -1
Working for King Ixilthetocal: -1
Working for Priestess Tlyysixxous / Prince Villynaty: -1
Working for Lady Lurraxol: -1
Working for Lord Alibakkar: -1
Working for Khan Zahraa: -1
Working for Ka'rashur: -1
Working for Tahazzar: -1
Working for Lehtinan: -1

Killing any Good-aligned party member: -2
Killing Mencar Pebblecrusher: -1
Killing Brennan Risling after he becomes blue-circled: -1
Killing Captain Dennis: -1
Killing Gont of Riatavin: -1
Killing Bedlen Daglefodd: -1
Killing the Elemental Lich: -1
Killing the Shade Lich: -1
Killing Nevazaiah: -1
Killing Sion AFTER going to the Roenall Estate: +1
Killing Sion WITHOUT already having been inside the Roenall Estate: -1
Killing Rayic Gethras: -1
Killing Saladrex: -1
Killing Reyna: -2
Killing any Baalor/Tanar'ri/Glabrezu/Fallen Deva/Fallen Planetar: +1
Killing the Lesser Demon Lord: +3
Killing any Ruffian Captain: +1
Killing Baron Metrich: +1
Killing Drizzt: -3
Killing Captain Haegan: +1
Killing Neb: +2
Killing Lady Galvena: +1
Killing Tolgerias: +1
Killing Darsidian Moor: +2
Killing Drush after getting the Gong from him: -1
Killing Embarl: -1
Killing Firkraag: +1

Buying anything from Arledrian: -1
Buying anything from Roger the Fence: -1
Buying anything from Jayes: -1
Buying anything from Cutpurse: -1
Buying anything from Fovem: -1
etc.

Helping Anomen raid the Fahrrad Estate: -1
Telling Keldorn to "kill the bastard": -1
Telling Keldorn to break the law: -1
Stealing the Necklace of Talos: -1
Stealing the Statuette of Lathander: -2
Giving Littleman to Wellyn or his parents: +1
Freeing the Slave being taken through the Slums: +1
Freeing Hendak: +1
Giving ale to the Imnesvale Three: -1
Taking the Imnesvale Three's money and not giving them jack: -1
Freeing Malaaq: +1
Freeing Dola Fadoon: +1
Freeing the Enslaved Genie: +1
Killing the Enslaved Genie: -1
Taking Yoshimo's heart to a Temple of Ilmater: +1
Freeing the Drow Slaves (equipped): +2
Freeing the Drow Slaves (unequipped): +1
Freeing Derg the Orc: +1
Freeing Flaylan the Orc: +1
Helping Ginia & Ason: +1
Freeing Glacias: +1
Killing Glacias after freeing him: -2
Poisoning the Druid Grove: -2
Killing Garren Windspear: -1
Entering the 2nd floor of the Galvarey Estate: -1
Giving the illithium alloy to Sir Sarles: -1


I encourage those who think any of these actions (or any others) should result in automatically Falling to compile their own list.

Stuff I haven't decided yet: Not being sporting with Aesgareth and attacking him for the gem? Killing Conster after he begs for mercy? Attacking Fll'Yissetat? As you can see, I'm not too hot with my ToB stuff.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2005, 05:05:45 PM by SixOfSpades »

Offline NiGHTMARE

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #43 on: January 03, 2005, 08:01:44 AM »
Quote
Giving the Mantle of Waukeen to Lord Coprith: -1
Err what? This should be +1, surely?

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Killing Garren Windspear: -1
I'd say this should be -2 at least.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2005, 08:03:32 AM by NiGHTMARE »
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Offline Andyr

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #44 on: January 03, 2005, 10:08:57 AM »
I think Human Skin armour would be at least a penalty of 1 per day.
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Offline jester

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #45 on: January 03, 2005, 11:48:56 AM »
I cannot see any clue that the CWs are even evil to begin with.
Oh...my...god. You have GOT to be kidding me. Have you quietly taken leave of your senses, jester? I'd learned to expect much better than this from you. Let me just state that in BG2, the Cowls are blatantly, overpoweringly, screamingly Evil. More Evil than the Shadow Thieves. Probably not quite as Evil as Bodhi--but it's close. Let's take this simple quiz:
1) Name all the people in the game who have been released from Spellhold.
2) Name all the people in the game who know someone who has been released from Spellhold.
3) Name all the people in the game who once heard that someone, anyone, had been released from Spellhold.
You are mixing metagaming knowledge with assumptions what you do not get to see in the game. Spellhold boasts how many inhabitants? So you are telling me they only arrested a dozen people? Jon freed them? You do not get to see their sekrit dungeon lair with 10.000 more prisoners?

Quote
The Cowls don't just arrest people--they disappear them. This is, essentially, Nazi Germany meets the Spanish Inquisition: All it takes is for someone to report you as being "not loyal to the Party," and that's all the official explanation required to erase you completely. (With another parallel being that the rest of the government is legally powerless to intervene, since Hitler was democratically elected.) Even those who don't cast magic in the streets aren't safe from Cowled scrutiny, if Rayic's pursuit of Edwin is any indication. In this light, Edwin's directing you to kill Gethras is completely justifiable self-defense.

If you are so fond of real world comparisons (which always go awry to my knowledge) you should have rather picked Guantanamo and the clandestine part run by the CIA. A paladin would have defended Dyn at least when they met and never accepted Edwin in the group in the first place. Pursuing Edwin is as evil as pursuing Xzar I take it from their fame and alignment.

Quote
You actually say the Cowls don't come off as Evil in the game? Tell you what: With the exceptions of Jermien and the cutscene where Irenicus & Imoen are arrested, I'd really love to see how many examples you can come up with of the Cowls acting anything but Evil. And once you fail, I truly hope that'll be an end to all this "Cowled Wizards aren't Evil" jazz.

You take your assumptions from what the game gives you and I mine. I know that you can only claim that 'every swan is white' until you see the first black swan. The fact that others can cast magic, but you are punished is not simply unfair. It is a game weakness and not part of the story. Obviously everybody is meant to be punished. No casting outside, but in an Inn full of people? A game glitch, sadly.


Quote
Let's get back to the thread.

OMG we lost teh thread. ..... Oh there it is! :D


I agree with you about a certain game mechanic leeway for paladins and rangers.

A direct assault on Renal's before Spellhold is impossible IIRC.

The CWs are law enforcers in Amn. Not a single paladin could dispute that. It may not be good or fair by higher standards, but if it is the law it is certainly lawful to act in accordance to it
Quote
What good is the law (or its enforcers), if it is not enforced in a lawful manner?

Lawful means by the rules. Amnish rules are just that: No magic unless the authorities let you. In quasi-medieval settings like the FR law means whatever the council, Lord Suchandsuch or others who hold the power say. Correct me, if I am wrong, but the Council of Six is not really elected by the people for the people.

Quote
As for being law enforcers, ever seen what happens when some Cowls DD in next to an Amnish Guard? Guess whose side he's on.
Nope, but I have seen a lot of cops speeding. :D

People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

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Offline jester

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #46 on: January 03, 2005, 11:55:11 AM »
Addendum:

The content of the list ranges from tricky to implement to downright silly.

As an example:
Why should my virtue fall to zero by simply having Viconia in my party, having her unhappy all the way until I *spoiler* her and doing every good thing along the way?
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

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Offline SimDing0™

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #47 on: January 03, 2005, 12:13:15 PM »
I don't think Virtue penalties for having evil party members makes much sense at all. Maybe a paladin wouldn't do it, I don't know, but taking Edwin along with you to help fry some vampires isn't doing a great deal of harm to anyone. On the other hand, if Edwin kills someone good/innocent (including the lich on the Nether Scroll quest, which is beyond the player's direct control), the party DOES incur a Virtue hit. So, yes, you're responsible for the actions of your party members, but no, I don't consider them tagging along to be an act worthy of inducing a Virtue hit.

And I've just confirmed that, as I suggested earlier, in vanilla BG2 you CAN kill Mae'Var without even speaking to Edwin.

Offline Murdane

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #48 on: January 03, 2005, 04:08:55 PM »
Quote
Giving the Mantle of Waukeen to Lord Coprith: -1
Err what? This should be +1, surely?


I agree...if you are going to be involved with this quest at all, giving the mantle to Lord Logan Coprith is by far the most conscionable action to take.

Besides, as I've been saying before, paladins aren't permitted to do certain things that may not be necessarily evil (such as lying), and they can fall for commiting chaotic acts (which as far as I know, the Virtue mod doesn't penalize anyone for).  I recall SimDingo has said that you generally only get a virtue penalty if there is a victim as a result of your actions.  For example, paladins shouldn't journey with NPCs whom they know to be evil--that's roleplaying the role of the paladin.  However, since no one is being directly harmed by the PC having Korgan/Viconia/Edwin as a travelling companion, there isn't going to be a virtue penalty because it's not within the scope of this mod.

If SimDingo wants to make the Virtue mod cause paladins fall for doing things they shouldn't, that's fine, but I'm not sure that's within the scope of his mod.  The reputation system gives a lot of leeway to paladins and rangers, but part of the reason the Virtue mod was created was because it's flawed to begin with.  And I'll be the first to agree with anyone that BG2 is not a very paladin oriented campaign to begin with--the game forces you to work for either thieves or vampires (both sides actively torture people unjustly, and a paladin has to help them!), and the "paragon" of paladins in the game--Keldorn--is willing to let clerics of a CE goddess burn Viconia for nothing other than her race, he doesn't leave the party when you let evil characters in, he does a number of things at a paladin would fall for while Anomen's knighthood is based on a single choice...and so on.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2005, 04:19:05 PM by Murdane »

Offline SixOfSpades

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Re: Why I don't like Virtue
« Reply #49 on: January 03, 2005, 04:29:00 PM »
Quote
Giving the Mantle of Waukeen to Lord Coprith: -1
Err what? This should be +1, surely?

Quote
Killing Garren Windspear: -1
I'd say this should be -2 at least.
Giving the Mantle to Coprith means breaking your word to whichever noble gave you the key. But considering that you already got a -1 for agreeing to work for an Evil person, I don't think this quest deserves a -2 to Virtue. Placing the Mantle in the hands of a neutral arbiter leaves the town in pretty much the same sitation it was before, I don't see how you've really eased the Alibakkar/Luraxxol tension any. That honor goes to Coprith, not you.

You get -1 for agreeing to obtain the deed for Firkraag, and another -1 for killing Windspear. I doubt killing him should be considered as bad as killing Drizzt.


I know that you can only claim that 'every swan is white' until you see the first black swan.
I'm truly sorry, but unless you can provide any concrete examples of why the Cowls should be treated any better than Slavers, I'm simply going to toss your speculation in their defense into the dustbin. Or at least rebut them with things like Captain Golin's comment that "There's been even more screaming than usual from there lately."

Quote
A paladin would have defended Dyn at least when they met and never accepted Edwin in the group in the first place.
Dyn? Dynaheir? How does Edwin's quest in BG1 reflect on Virtue in BG2?

Quote
A direct assault on Renal's before Spellhold is impossible IIRC.
Um, I'm not sure about this, but I believe it's possible to clear out one of the lesser Thief guilds in Chapters 2-3, but not both. If you step into Renal's and start swinging, he will obviously not give you his quest and you'll never be able to get inside Mae'Var's guild. And if you try it after you've accepted his quest, betraying him means Arkanis Gath. But I haven't tried this in quite a while, and there have been many mods and bugfixes since then, as Sim's post shows.

Quote
Why should my virtue fall to zero by simply having Viconia in my party, having her unhappy all the way until I *spoiler* her and doing every good thing along the way?
If you're taking them along to 'redeem' them (which is pretty much the only reason a Paladin would willingly associate with Evil anyway), you must assume that your influence on them, towards Good, is probably balanced by their influence on you, towards Evil. Especially if they're as stong-willed as Korgan and Viconia.


Maybe a paladin wouldn't do it, I don't know, but taking Edwin along with you to help fry some vampires isn't doing a great deal of harm to anyone.
Which is why I didn't include him on the list: I mentioned slow Virtue drops for Viconia and Korgan, but not Edwin, because he is clearly the least Evil of the three. Korgan's obviously a bloodthirsty S.O.B., and doesn't care who knows it. Viconia is a lying, poisonous slut, and takes pride in it. But Edwin simply comes off as being power-crazy.
Similarly, only Keldorn and Mazzy confer slow Virtue gains, since only they possess the strength of character to truly make the party aim higher. People like Minsc simply can't influence the party like that, glorious hamster justice notwithstanding.


And I'll be the first to agree with anyone that BG2 is not a very paladin oriented campaign to begin with--the game forces you to work for either thieves or vampires (both sides actively torture people unjustly, and a paladin has to help them!), and the "paragon" of paladins in the game--Keldorn--is willing to let clerics of a CE goddess burn Viconia for nothing other than her race, he doesn't leave the party when you let evil characters in, he does a number of things at a paladin would fall for while Anomen's knighthood is based on a single choice...and so on.
Hear, hear.

 

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