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Vorgen
Mar 5, 2006

Party Membership is a Democracy, The Weave is Not.

A fledgling vampire? How about a dragon, or some half-kobold druids? Perhaps a spontaneous sex change? Anything that can happen, will happen the results will be beyond entertaining.





Introduction

To get the full effect, read this introduction with the Baldur's Gate II theme playing in the background:



Welcome to the Let's Play of the Big World Project! The Big World Project is the largest and most ambitious game modification that I personally have ever seen. It adds thousands of modifications to a combined game of Baldur's Gate, Baldur's Gate II, and the Throne of Bhaal. The final size of the game directory is 18.7 gigabytes. That's 18.7 gigs of 2D graphics from the year 2000, people! Describing the number of changes and the procedure to apply them all is a 275 page PDF which you can download here if you want, or you can just sit back, relax, and we can be surprised together.

Baldur's Gate II still is, to me, the greatest RPG ever made, marginally edging out Planescape: Torment. I think the two factors that make me keep coming back to BGII more than any other game are that it takes the RPG progression path to its ultimate conclusion, godhood, and the path to godhood is paved with very tactically difficult battles. Every other RPG I've played since then has felt like it ended too early, and it was too easy. I've seen the BGII modding scene grow and evolve, and played through earlier iterations of what would eventually become this Big World Project - The Darkest Day and the Big Picture mod. The Darkest Day was a huge endeavor by a team of people of creating original content for the game before there were truly adequate tools to do so, and is still an impressive technical achievement. The Big Picture came later, and was the first huge mod compilation created by Horred the Plague. They were both great plays. The Big World Project incorporates both of those, and also everything else it can. I'm not sure but I think we can meet the in-game avatars of both the Darkest Day Team and Horred the Plague, and we can kill Horred for phat lewts. At least we used to be able to in the Big Picture, so I hope we still can.

There are 4 levels of installation that you can select with the Big World Project, and I'm using the 3rd level, the Tactics installation. That includes everything that can possibly be installed without conflicts, and then tactical battle difficulty on top of that. I'm expecting everything to be insanely difficult, and I'm really looking forward to that. The frantic real-time/turn-based hybrid playstyle of BGII is what I love most about this game. I've never played another game with as much tactical puzzle-solving feel as this game. You can go into a fight unprepared and get completely wiped, and then by changing your spell selection and using your abilities better, you can barely manage to scrape by! Installing the Tactics mod here means that I might barely manage to scrape by all the time, and I can't wait.



Let's Play Rules

I want to set down some ground rules to make the game more interesting.

1. Semi-hardcore mode: What happens, happens. I will only reload if I die. I don't expect to be able to do this Ironman style, although that's my goal. But if Minsc gets disintegrated, then he's gone. This mod brings in so many additional NPCs, however, that replacing a dead one is no trouble. In fact, with enough treasure we can bribe random dudes on the street (or even animals, golems, beholders, dragons...) to join our party. As long as one NPC lives in the Sword Coast we will never be without cannon fodder friends. I also won't cheat in any way.

2. Blissful Ignorance Roleplaying: I need to make this a game I want to play, so I've picked my own character. He is a chaotic neutral wild mage. He's wild mage because I want to play a wild mage, and he's chaotic neutral because you all are the voices in his crazy wild mage head that he listens to in order to make decisions. I will poll the thread for every major plot decision, and go with whatever vote is the majority. That's about as chaotic neutral as things can possibly get. Make yourselves heard! Also, there are so, so many mods in this game that it's practically brand-new. I worry that if I spend hours on a German-language message board just to figure out the optimal path to take in yet another maze of conversation options I'll never finish the game. So if you want to help me out in research and meta-gaming I'd also appreciate it.

3. Class-changing characters: There are approximately 100 classes total now in this game, and while some of the characters that can join our party have been changed to new classes, some still haven't. Also, sometimes you just think a character would be great as another class. So sometimes I will change a character's class when I first meet them, or I will select some possibilities and let the thread vote on it. The three characters I've got in mind right now for modifications are Montaron becoming a Thug, Xan becoming a Bladesinger, and Coran becoming a Swashbuckler. You can brush up on the available classes by reading this 200 page PDF. Also, I will give full class descriptions during each vote.

4. Party Membership is a Democracy: The mechanics of this modded game allow us to tell almost all the characters we meet to go wait for us in a major inn, such as the Jovial Juggler in Beregost, or the Copper Coronet in Amn. Periodically, such as after 2 or 3 major quests are completed, we will have a party composition vote in the thread. Each thread poster has 5 votes, which they can use to either vote FOR or AGAINST any character to be a party member. You can use all 5 votes for one character, or spread them out. You can vote both positively and negatively. If you vote too many times, only the first 5 votes are counted. If there is a tie, the character with the least amount of negative votes wins. If there's a tie in both positive and negative votes, I'll flip a coin. After voting is closed, the top 5 characters will join the party until they die.

5. Resurrection Rest and Relaxation: All party members get resurrections on the party dime if they die, and we can afford it. However, after being resurrected, party members are required to have some rest and relaxation at the party inn. They will be kicked out and replaced with the next-most-popular character. This will give them time to get over their horrifying ordeal of death and let the other party members work through their guilt at letting them die. Best solution all around. In this way we will be able to switch out characters more often and showcase them all. (Don't worry about spreading the total xp too thin. There's enough xp in this game to open an xp shop.)

6. Game mechanics and commentary: I will transcribe everything that happens in-game into thread updates (I use OCR, don't worry about my fingers) in italics. I will describe what happens in tactical encounters as a kind of play-by-play commentary, also in italics. Finally, I will also include my own roleplaying stream-of-consciousness thoughts in italics as well, to provide motivations for what I do in-game. But when it's time to comment on the game itself or talk extensively about mechanics or bitch about the plot, I'll do that in normal text, and I'll preface it by saying "Gameplay note:"




FAQ

1. Why didn't you use <insert class here> or let us help you choose? I have a very specific Plan (tm) for my character's progression as a wild mage and a Child of Bhaal. The chaotic nature of magic is extremely compelling to me from a storytelling perspective, and I plan to have my character be extremely superstitious of the random number generator. He will believe that the Magical Weave speaks to him through wild surges, and tailor his gameplay and spellcasting practices based on signs he appears to get from the Weave in the form of wild surges. If he does some type of magical tactic and he gets a bad wild surge, he will interpret it as the Weave not wanting him to do those types of things anymore. And if he gets a good wild surge, he will interpret that as approval of his actions. Also, later on there are other plot-related devices that I will inflict upon him. Finally, the mods in the BiG Picture make playing a wild mage more compelling than any other class, with special items, unique spells, and even a secret class that we could potentially convert to. So there's that. Also, when Irenicus captures me and tortures me for months in order to unlock my true potential, he's going to be successful. Don't worry, I'm not going to give myself a ton of xp. I'll still be entirely within the rules. But it's going to be good, trust me.

Also, there is a really frightening gameplay mechanics reason for playing a mage. I tested out quite a few different characters by starting them up in the Throne of Bhaal section of the game and playing around with them at the quite high levels you begin with. There's a demon that attacks you right away there, a difficult fight. And horrifyingly enough, he easily gibbed every single character that I rolled up. Druids, paladins, bards, fighters - all gibbed in about 10 seconds. Now the characters were solo, and only had the sub-par magical equipment that is automatically given to a new ToB character, but still. It was one demon! The only character to survive his attack was a bladesinger. The bladesinger managed to cast Summon Fallen Planetar and then Energy Blades. The Energy Blades were the only weapons that ever hurt the demon, contrary to everything in the new character starter kit. And the Fallen Planetar was the only summoned creature that could stand up to the demon (the Planetar managed to vorpal his rear end in about 3 rounds). So I decided that in order to actually survive this game, I would have to be someone who could summon Planetars. That meant either be a mage or a cleric. And since I want to become a god, that ruled out clerics.

2. How do you feel about spoilers for the original game's plot? The original games are old, and there's already Let's Plays all the way until Throne of Bhaal. I'm trying to focus on and emphasize the number and scope of the mods, and how they add to, differ from, and perhaps subtract from the original game. So I'm totally fine with people referencing everything in the original game without spoilers. Besides, there are so many changes that what people think are spoilers may not be. One of the best things I am looking forward to is people losing their poo poo and saying, "But it was supposed to be <original way>! It is now <modded way>?! Holky gently caress!"

3. How do I install this myself? Follow this post for a walkthrough on how to install the BWP 14.1 which was done on June 4, 2014.

4. How do I change NPC classes or kits, like changing Khalid to a Duskblade or Rose to a White Dragon Disciple? To change NPC character kits, you have to follow a bit of a complicated procedure using Shadow Keeper, the BG2 save game editor. Shadow Keeper can change the kits of any NPC for you, but it doesn't have all the data it needs to name them. So you have to first discover the value by making a character with that kit, then copy the value from one save to another. I'll give an example of changing Minsc to a Feralan, but the procedure works with all kits.

1. Download, extract, and run Shadow Keeper. It can run in the background of BG2 no problem.
2. Fire up BG2, and save your current game with the NPC whose class you want to change in the party. Save it with an easy name to remember, like "Change Minsc to Feralan."
3. Exit your current game and start a new one.
4. Create a new character for yourself that uses the Feralan kit.
5. Save the game with a name you can easily remember, like "Generic Feralan".
6. If you have a full-screen BG2 game going, just press Alt-f4 to close BG2 and get the little popup window that says "Are you sure you want to quit? Boo will miss you..." Ignore that window and switch to Shadow Keeper.
7. In Shadow Keeper, open up both save games "Generic Feralan" and "Change Minsc to Feralan."
8. In the save "Change Minsc to Feralan," use the scroll bar under your character portrait to change the selected character to Minsc.
9. Write down the amount of XP that Minsc currently has, like 9882.
10. On the Abilities tab (default tab you should be looking at already) change Minsc's Base HP and Current HP to 1. Change THAC0 to 20. Change Experience to 0. Change Levels to 0/0/0.
11. On the Characteristic tab (next one after Abilities) change Class if necessary.
12. Then select the "Generic Feralan" save. Look at that character's Characteristic tab. Click on the Set Value button for the Kit. A small window will pop up with two boxes in it, Value and Known. Copy the Value ... value, which will be something like "0x40A70000". This is the Feralan kit value.
13. Then press cancel, select your game save that you called "Change Minsc to Feralan" and again click on the Set Value button. Paste the value that you copied earlier, and press OK. You should have changed the Value from "0x00000000" to "0x40A70000". That will give the kit to Minsc.
14. Go to the Memorization tab and erase all spells.
15. Go to the Innate tab and erase all Innate abilities.
16. Go to the Wizard tab and erase all spells.
17. Go to the Priest tab and erase all spells.
18. Go to the Proficiencies tab and erase all proficiencies.
19. Go to the Thieves tab and set all thief skills to 0.
20. Save the game in Shadow Keeper. It will be called "Change Minsc to Feralan (Edited 0001)"
21. Alt-tab back to the confirmation dialog for BG2 and select No to get back to BG2.
22. Load the game "Change Minsc to Feralan (Edited 0001)"
23. Minsc should level up from 0 to 1 on game load. Click his Record, level him up, and press ok. This will give him all the stats and skills and hit points and what-have-you for his new kit.
24. Then give Minsc back the xp he used to have, which in this example is 9882. You can do that by pressing CTRL-Space and using the cheat code CLUAConsole:SetCurrentXP("9882")
25. Level Minsc up to the level that his current xp allows and continue the game as normal.

5. What's your Weidu.log? And also, what is a weidu log? A weidu log is the installation log showing all the mods you've installed and in what order. When I first started this Let's Play and for playing all throughout BG1, I used 1,198 modifications to the base game and the Weidu.log can be found here. After I finished BG1, I reinstalled BWP 14.1, and posted my new Weidu.log here. And after finishing Icewind Dale, I upgraded again to BWP 15.3, and my new Weidu.log is this.

Vorgen fucked around with this message at 01:41 on Aug 11, 2015

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Vorgen
Mar 5, 2006

Party Membership is a Democracy, The Weave is Not.

A fledgling vampire? How about a dragon, or some half-kobold druids? Perhaps a spontaneous sex change? Anything that can happen, will happen the results will be beyond entertaining.



Table of Contents



Chapter 1: 0 days 08 hours - The beginning of all things
Chapter 2: 1 days 07 hours - Gorion is dead
Chapter 2: 1 days 12 hours - One man down
Chapter 2: 2 days 10 hours - Wild magic
Chapter 2: 2 days 14 hours - Running from nightmares
Chapter 2: 3 days 08 hours - Friendly faces
Chapter 2: 3 days 09 hours - Rest and relaxation
Chapter 2: 5 days 08 hours - Patrolling south
Chapter 2: 6 days 04 hours - Resurrections
Chapter 2: 8 days 09 hours - Beregost
Chapter 2: 8 days 17 hours - Nashkel
Chapter 3: 9 days 05 hours - Backtracking
Chapter 3: 10 days 13 hours - 99 problems
Chapter 3: 11 days 19 hours - House to house
Chapter 3: 14 days 15 hours - Of elves and women
Chapter 3: 15 days 12 hours - Going to Red Canyons
Chapter 3: 16 days 04 hours - Shar-teel is dead
Chapter 3: 20 days 19 hours - Long live Shar-Teel
Chapter 3: 23 days 17 hours - Claiming Red Canyons
Chapter 3: 25 days 16 hours - Making changes
Chapter 3: 28 days 11 hours - Path of righteousness
Chapter 3: 28 days 23 hours - Ankheg doom
Chapter 3: 33 days 13 hours - Umberlee
Chapter 3: 36 days 09 hours - Turnabout
Chapter 3: 38 days 18 hours - Decisions, decisions
Chapter 3: 39 days 15 hours - Three clerics
Chapter 3: 43 days 19 hours - Putting Rhialto down
Chapter 3: 46 days 02 hours - Mad mage Mutamin
Chapter 3: 46 days 14 hours - Mad mage Mutamin really
Chapter 3: 48 days 16 hours - Medusae love basilisks
Chapter 3: 51 days 16 hours - Parsley, sage, rosemary and
Chapter 3: 52 days 14 hours - Mining and obsession
Chapter 3: 55 days 11 hours - Go west young man
Chapter 3: 57 days 12 hours - Xvarticide
Chapter 3: 59 days 03 hours - Bear River
Chapter 3: 62 days 12 hours - Engaging Kagain
Chapter 3: 65 days 00 hours - Stronghold of the Gnolls
Chapter 3: 73 days 11 hours - Dynaheir's fate
Chapter 3: 80 days 07 hours - Yipping demons ahoy
Chapter 3: 82 days 13 hours - Ever deeper
Chapter 3: 82 days 17 hours - Brush of a dragonfly's wing
Chapter 3: 82 days 21 hours - Mur'neth
Chapter 3: 84 days 20 hours - Xan and his moonblade
Chapter 4: 89 days 04 hours - Going shopping
Chapter 4: 90 days 23 hours - Interesting times
Chapter 4: 93 days 12 hours - Back to the tombs
Chapter 4: 100 days 19 hours - Leading the doomed
Chapter 4: 108 days 18 hours - Poison and death
Chapter 4: 113 days 02 hours - Clearing Larswood
Chapter 4: 116 days 19 hours - Golden goddess
Chapter 4: 118 days 06 hours - Bringing the pain to Peldvale
Chapter 4: 119 days 01 hours - Bandit Camping
Chapter 4: 129 days 06 hours - Vengeance
Chapter 4: 134 days 13 hours - Vengeance Part 2 - Return
Chapter 4: 137 days 20 hours - Treasure hunting
Chapter 4: 139 days 04 hours - Vengeance Part 3 - Coastal
Chapter 4: 141 days 02 hours - Return to Kozah
Chapter 4: 146 days 00 hours - Resting in Restenford
Chapter 4: 146 days 21 hours - Beguiling charms
Chapter 4: 148 days 21 hours - Magic arcane, magic divine
Chapter 4: 149 days 14 hours - Greater Restenford
Chapter 4: 149 days 21 hours - Go northish, young woman
Chapter 4: 151 days 11 hours - Kill orcs, kill them all
Chapter 4: 154 days 12 hours - One bard's fate
Chapter 4: 157 days 20 hours - Tri-top and gnolls
Chapter 4: 162 days 10 hours - Reddy Forest
Chapter 4: 166 days 18 hours - Hill of Bones
Chapter 4: 169 days 15 hours - Wrapping up Restenford
Chapter 4: 172 days 06 hours - One last pearl
Chapter 4: 180 days 00 hours - Bandit armageddon
Chapter 5: 186 days 13 hours - Another day another forest
Chapter 5: 188 days 20 hours - Coran the Huntsman
Chapter 5: 194 days 02 hours - Strangers as meatshields
Chapter 5: 197 days 14 hours - Cloakwood Grove
Chapter 5: 205 days 12 hours - Crossroads in the Cloakwood
Chapter 5: 210 days 17 hours - Cloakwood assault
Chapter 5: 220 days 03 hours - Best protege ever
Chapter 5: 223 days 19 hours - Assault in the Cloakwood
Chapter 5: 225 days 14 hours - Circling the fort
Chapter 5: 226 days 08 hours - Regroup and reload
Chapter 5: 230 days 18 hours - Once more the Cloakwood
Chapter 5: 235 days 12 hours - Liberations
Chapter 5: 236 days 14 hours - The friend you don't know
Chapter 6: 238 days 07 hours - Loot and leave
Chapter 6: 254 days 13 hours - Faffing about the countryside
Chapter 6: 256 days 04 hours - Ulcaster School
Chapter 6: 262 days 20 hours - How it's really done
Chapter 6: 265 days 04 hours - Mage-on-mage violence
Chapter 6: 265 days 14 hours - Avatar of the Weave
Chapter 6: 274 days 06 hours - Lonely, Cloudy Peaks
Chapter 6: 280 days 11 hours - Sweet, sweet Firewine
Chapter 6: 281 days 22 hours - Dark Firewine
Chapter 6: 285 days 11 hours - Drink deep of Firewine
Chapter 6: 286 days 16 hours - Putting the dead to rest
Chapter 6: 290 days 08 hours - Shipwreck Coast ho
Chapter 6: 303 days 07 hours - Stones and darkness
Chapter 6: 305 days 20 hours - Saving everyone
Chapter 6: 313 days 11 hours - The Dark One
Chapter 6: 316 days 22 hours - Dragonslaying
Chapter 6: 218 days 16 hours - The dragon's hoard
Chapter 6: 327 days 00 hours - Castle Daerthmac
Chapter 6: 334 days 15 hours - A man and his cow
Chapter 6: 338 days 08 hours - Just a little cave
Chapter 6: 341 days 04 hours - Following the dwarf
Chapter 6: 346 days 15 hours - Preparations to move
Chapter 6: 355 days 10 hours - To Baldur's Gate
Chapter 6: 360 days 02 hours - To Baldur's Gate again
Chapter 6: 366 days 03 hours - Caravaning
Chapter 6: 385 days 21 hours - I'm no hero
Chapter 6: 386 days 23 hours - The great Gate capers
Chapter 6: 387 days 23 hours - The greater Gate capers
Chapter 6: 389 days 02 hours - Consequences
Chapter 6: 390 days 01 hours - The Grey Clan
Chapter 6: 390 days 21 hours - Pressing forward
Chapter 6: 405 days 15 hours - Talismans or Talismen
Chapter 6: 414 days 09 hours - Definitely Talismelven
Chapter 6: 415 days 20 hours - Xan and the Tower
Chapter 6: 428 days 12 hours - The Goddamn Vault
Chapter 6: 432 days 20 hours - Back in Town
Chapter 6: 434 days 21 hours - Iron Throne Investigations
Chapter 7: 438 days 20 hours - Back to Candlekeep
Chapter 7: 439 days 20 hours - Back to Nashkel
Chapter 7: 440 days 20 hours - Back to Nashkel Mines
Chapter 7: 441 days 21 hours - Return to Deeper Mines
Chapter 7: 445 days 02 hours - Running awayish
Chapter 7: 447 days 19 hours - Mendas' expedition
Chapter 7: 450 days 07 hours - Shipwrecked
Chapter 7: 492 days 12 hours - Ike's tours
Chapter 7: 497 days 03 hours - Climbing Durlag's Tower
Chapter 7: 497 days 06 hours - Descending Durlag's Tower
Chapter 7: 501 days 23 hours - Before destruction
Chapter 7: 504 days 09 hours - Before a fall
Chapter 7: 507 days 17 hours - An humble spirit
Chapter 7: 507 days 22 hours - With the lowly
Chapter 7: 512 days 11 hours - Lambs to the slaughter
Chapter 7: 514 days 07 hours - Durlag
Chapter 7: 515 days 19 hours - Drizzt
Chapter 7: 521 days 21 hours - The Dale
Chapter 7: 534 days 18 hours - Killing more demons
Chapter 7: 540 days 07 hours - Intermezzo
Chapter 7: 556 days 12 hours - Candlekeep
Chapter 7: 562 days 08 hours - Home
Chapter 7: 562 days 14 hours - On the lam
Chapter 8: 563 days 03 hours - Rampage in Restenford
Chapter 8: 569 days 10 hours - Justified homicide
Chapter 8: 575 days 11 hours - Load 'em up
Chapter 8: 576 days 16 hours - To the palace!
Chapter 8: 577 days 12 hours - Golden Company assemble!
Chapter 8: 581 days 22 hours - Chasing Sarevok
Chapter 8: 590 days 03 hours - Unleashing the Wild Horde
Chapter 8: 590 days 22 hours - Rest for the weary



Chapter 1: 0 days 09 hours - Memories of home



Chapter 1: 6 days 14 hours - Easthaven
Chapter 1: 7 days 11 hours - Caravan
Chapter 1: 8 days 11 hours - Cave
Chapter 1: 9 days 03 hours - Kuldahar
Chapter 1: 10 days 20 hours - Vale of Shadows
Chapter 1: 12 days 05 hours - Root Cellar Tavern
Chapter 1: 13 days 00 hours - Most of a ship
Chapter 1: 13 days 10 hours - Vale of again Shadows
Chapter 1: 13 days 13 hours - One tomb looted
Chapter 1: 14 days 08 hours - Root and branch
Chapter 1: 16 days 00 hours - Alternate strategies
Chapter 1: 17 days 05 hours - Black Wolf Temple
Chapter 1: 20 days 11 hours - Kill the Aurilite
Chapter 1: 20 days 13 hours - Kresselack
Chapter 1: 21 days 13 hours - Heartstone
Chapter 1: 23 days 09 hours - Eye of the dragon
Chapter 1: 24 days 16 hours - Ding dong
Chapter 1: 27 days 01 hours - Snakemen
Chapter 1: 28 days 08 hours - Son of snakemen
Chapter 1: 30 days 11 hours - Kuldahar overrun
Chapter 1: 30 days 14 hours - Hand of the Seldarine
Chapter 1: 35 days 05 hours - Astrolabe



Chapter 1: 35 days 21 hours - The Chateau
Chapter 1: 36 days 02 hours - Deathtraps and gauths
Chapter 1: 37 days 21 hours - Earth, wind, and fire
Chapter 1: 38 days 08 hours - Sanity and madness
Chapter 1: 39 days 08 hours - THEY TOOK IMOEN!!!!!!!!!!
Chapter 2: 39 days 09 hours - New faces, so many new faces
Chapter 2: 40 days 00 hours - Copper Coronet cleaning
Chapter 2: 40 days 21 hours - Freedom, sweet freedom
Chapter 2: 41 days 23 hours - Drunken dreams of power
Chapter 2: 42 days 05 hours - Petrification problems
Chapter 2: 42 days 17 hours - Lilarcor nights


:siren: Warning, Spoilers below! :siren: Don't follow these links unless you are fully caught up in the story!
  • The Golden Company - Members of the elite Golden Company, a select band of adventurers and problem-solvers who travel with the beautiful and terrible Syvishtar(a), Last Student of the Fallen Magical School of Ulcaster, Golden Avatar of the Weave, and Lover of Many Persons!
  • Chapter of the Deserters - Those who have left the Golden Company permanently for one reason or another. They fought beside us for a while, but will do so no longer.
  • Chapter of the Missing - Those who Syvishtar(a) has lost track of through no fault of either party, but simply of fate and circumstance leading them apart. Syvishtar(a) hopes to find these lost comrades again some day.
  • Chapter of the Dead - Those who have been killed by Syvishtar(a) and company, or who have died in his or her service.
  • Chapter of Notable People - Characters important enough to have portraits. Also, they can be considered to be potential party members if we grease their palms enough.

Vorgen fucked around with this message at 04:21 on Jul 1, 2016

Vorgen
Mar 5, 2006

Party Membership is a Democracy, The Weave is Not.

A fledgling vampire? How about a dragon, or some half-kobold druids? Perhaps a spontaneous sex change? Anything that can happen, will happen the results will be beyond entertaining.



Journal prologue

25 Tarsakh, 1369



I've finally done it! Vox Interioris Extrinsecus! I picked it up from one of the visiting mages here. He told me that an unexamined life is not worth living, and that a well-documented life is a well-examined life. Then he taught me this spell, or ritual, or whatever. Basically it is a permanent minor enchantment that continuously documents everything I see, everything I hear, everything I say, and my internal monologue. It's the perfect document for the well-examined life!

So, let this be the secret journal of Syishtar, oppressed elven minority member of Candlekeep. Do your chores, they say. Tend to your lessons, they say. The Monk is always trying to keep a good elf down. "Do what you want but you're never gonna break me, sticks and stones they're never gonna shake me oh... oh whoa!" Just a line I picked up from a song by some traveling bard. drat she was hot. Anyways, I show the Monk he's not going to keep me down whenever I cast magic. And I cast almost every day now! The magic knows me, and I know it. I can feel its true nature - capricious, wild, and free. I love letting it loose to work itself through the world. Always a surprise, always a laugh. Even better when the Monk disapproves. Its kinda dangerous sometimes, but that's just what you gotta deal with when living on the edge!

Part of making the enchantment permanent is putting your vital statistics down early, and to be thorough. Otherwise some other magic-user might be able to co-opt the enchantment. So here we go, so the Monk can't take my journal away from me and pass it off as his own, I'll unequivocally document my vital test scores here. They uniquely identify this journal as belonging to Syishtar, and no one else ever! You hear me, monk?



Who cares about Wisdom anyways? I don't care about wisdom. But the Monk cares. Oh boy does he. The Monk always cares about wisdom and gets onto your back about becoming more wise, cuz the Monk always wants you to be like him. Well, screw the Monk I tell you!

You know what the best thing in the world is? Magic. Personally, I prefer Wild Magic. It's really alive, you know?



And just in case the Monk has some more tricks up his sleeve to steal my journal, I'm also going to include all the spells I know. Then nobody will ever be able to say that this journal is theirs! Nobody else. Besides me, I mean.



Azragan's Chanelling [sic] is the first spell I learned. I like it because its effects cannot be predicted. Late at night when I can't sleep I imagine casting it at enemies. I imagine that they are usually as surprised as I am!



Armor is how I survive fights. Or, it would be if I ever had any. This one time a stableboy got pushy with me, but after I cast this and my body glowed everywhere, he backed down. Magic really intimidates the uninitiated. That boy was probably working for the Monk, but I showed him.



Color Spray is actually good at parties. Get a few drinks into you and your friends and they start asking you to cast it. But not many of them can really handle the spell. And of course the Monk says that stunning and temporarily blinding your friends could have long-term health problems. Yeah, they WOULD say that!



This spell I just learned today. Find Familiar. The monks say that I should wait until I'm ready to care for a familiar full-time before I cast it. They talk about feeding and walking and dealing with the poo poo. But then again they all have them. I don't know what the big deal is. One day I'm going to cast it and then we'll see what the Monk says.



I've only ever cast Grease when one of my tutors was around to dispel it. Its actually a pretty disgusting thing to do. I feel like the magic doesn't want to do this, but I can see how it would be useful in a combat situation. The monks call it crowd control. I bet its their first resort when confronted with a peaceful protest, too.



I love Identify. With it I can know the Truth that the Monk doesn't want you to know. They used to be able to hide things from me, but not anymore. Now I, too, can know the real truth behind anything.



This is my favorite spell - Nahal's Reckless Dweomer. When I use this spell I can really feel like the magic is speaking through me, ya know? The magic knows what it wants, and where its needed. I just come along for the ride, sometimes. Together we make some beautiful harmony, and this is the best spell to let that happen. The Monks say this should be a last-resort spell, but I tend to lead with it. Or I plan to tend to lead with it. The Magic and I, we know what's best together. You just gotta feel it.



Chaos Shield is the only level 2 spell I know, and the only way I can cast it is by using Nahal's Reckless Dweomer first. I love the way it feels. The magic just comes down on me and embraces me, ya know, and lets me know everything is going to be alright. I can successfully cast this more often than not, even though its a level 2 spell. The magic is strong with me.



I can feel Improved Chaos Shield in the back of my mind, waiting for me. The magic wants to protect me more than it does, but I have to be worthy first. I have to prove myself. I have tried to cast this through the medium of Nahal's, but the result was almost too dangerous for me. I'm not sure if I should even try to use this, or to just stick with its lesser brother for now. We'll see some day, won't we.



I remember the day I learned this spell. Gorion taught it to me himself. He told me that if my life was ever threatened, and there was no other alternative, I should cast Magic Missile. He said not to hesitate to aim for the face. He gave me a little wink and an eyebrow wiggle. That old man is pretty cool sometimes. I've never actually had to cast it, though, but the day I do, its going right for the face!

The other thing I learned from Gorion was 5 techniques for how to talk to people.




Gameplay note: These special abilities are additions from the relationship mod. This is basically an extensive bribery interface. If you give enough items to a random NPC, they will be nicer to you, help out when you are in combat, and possibly even join you as a fully-controllable party member. These are not NPCs like Imoen or Minsc, these are random people standing around like townspeople or bartenders. Or, perhaps, a dragon. When I was testing it out I got Firebead Elvenhair to join me from the Candlekeep Inn. He was an 11th level wizard. He also automatically gained the ability Scribe Scroll, so with enough money he could have given me all of his spells. I plan to bribe high-level mages as often as possible. The only drawback is that higher-level NPCs want higher-level treasure.

Using the Detect Relationship ability, you can always find out your current standing with NPCs. It goes something like Hostile > Relation Crisis > Neutral > Close > Special Friend > Bosom Friend (the mod was translated from Chinese). NPCs will be open to joining your party when they feel Close to you. You can seal the deal with Invite to Party. If you want to get someone to like you more, use the Show Friendship button. If you have what they want in your inventory they will take it and you'll get a message that they are friendlier. Humanoid NPCs such as people, gnolls, and goblins want necklaces. Animals don't want anything, they just appreciate the attention. They are the easiest to make friends with, but you can only do it once a turn. The Undead want to drain your experience. Giants, ogres, golems, and similar want gemstones. And for beholders, dragons, and other monster npcs you can just outright pay them. If you want a given NPC to like you less, hit Show Hostility. I imagine if they hate you enough they will just attack. Finally, to get help from those allies of yours which are friendly to you in a given area, use Call for Help. You can imagine a scenario here in which you pass out jewelry to an entire room full of people, then show hostility to one guy in the middle. When he attacks you, call out for help, and the whole room will jump him with you. I don't know if that's ever going to be necessary but its sure as hell going to be funny!

Gorion said a little friendship goes a long way. I'm thinking a little glad-handing and jewelry in the right palm and you can 'make things happen.'

I gotta go do chores now. I should hide this somewhere safe. Somewhere that nobody will ever find it. Then again, nowhere is safer than on my person. Yes... yes... I will never let this go. How could I? Its everything to me now. Journal, you're staying with me!


Gameplay note: That's the sum total of Syishtar's abilities at level 1. Lets do this!

Vorgen fucked around with this message at 01:57 on Sep 24, 2012

The Donut
Aug 28, 2008



Soiled Meat

I'll definitely be following this. Baldurs Gate 2 is an awesome game and this mega mod pack sounds interesting. I'm half tempted to download it myself. Anyhoo, looking good so far.

Insurrectionist
May 21, 2007


Looks like it'll be pretty interesting, I've never played any IE game with serious content mods besides skipping Irenicus' dungeon, so even though some of the additions so far have been weird and occasionally not so great (holy poo poo that wolf produced an immediate reaction of rolleyes (was the main character not special enough so he/she had to get ~their own wolf~?), though it might help make early D&D a bit more reasonable without being overpowered like some familiars) I'll be following with interest. The added dialogue also comes off as a bit cheesy in places, but none of the changes have been bad enough to really put me off so far.

Vorgen
Mar 5, 2006

Party Membership is a Democracy, The Weave is Not.

A fledgling vampire? How about a dragon, or some half-kobold druids? Perhaps a spontaneous sex change? Anything that can happen, will happen the results will be beyond entertaining.





1 Mirtul, 1369

Baldur's Gate Introduction Movie

I had a really weird dream last night with very awkwardly-shaped figures in it. Oh well, no biggie. Gorion interrupts me from my chores today (sometimes I love the old dude) and tells me that we have to go on a journey. He hasn't been talking much lately, but the old man hasn't ever been very open. Try asking him about my mother sometime. Nevertheless, the guy's alright, ya know? Not like all the other monks. He tells me I have to buy the things I need to survive on the road for a few days. I guess food? Water? Well, he said it was dangerous out there, so maybe I should get some weapons too. I've always wanted a bow...



Gameplay note: Here I stand, outside the Candlekeep Inn. The green guy near the top is a Tutor, who will give you a tutorial on movement if you don't know about such things. But I do, so we'll skip it. Actually this entire Candlekeep area is a tutorial.



But its really, really boring so we're going to hit a few interesting points and then skip the rest. There's nothing else to do now but walk into the Candlekeep Inn like my daddy told me to.

When I get in there, I'm greeted by someone unexpected.



Hello Haiass! Where have you been? I've been searching the whole morning for you. Come over here. (You give a toy to your wolf.)

(Haiass chews his little toy and then returns next to you and wags his tall. He seems very happy.)


Gameplay note: The dialog says that we gave a toy to our wolf, but actually, he gave it to us!



What a stark story that was. How could I have forgotten it? It looks like Haiass is a pretty nice meat shield with his 15 hit points. Much better than my 6. Also, having a wolf around is pretty cool. If he ever gets lost, I can just blow on his whistle and find him again.



I think I remember making this whistle from one of his dead brother's paws.

Man, that's one less weight on my shoulders. I've been looking for this guy all over the place! I guess its time to see what Winthrop has for a journey.



You always were the big kidder, Winthrop. That gets funnier very nearly every time I hear it. Well, perhaps not quite so often.

Haw! Just having a bit o' fun with ye, my friend. Them monks may be walking about with poles in their nethers, but you know you are always welcome here in my sight. Gorion did well by you, he did. So, is there anything I can do for ya. Some drinks, a room to sleep, or anything to buy?

He doesn't have any food. I'm not sure what else to buy. I have a quarterstaff, my wolf, and my spells. Gorion always told me that ranged weapons are essential, but I only have 20 gold, and a short bow costs 90. I might have to settle for a sling right now. But maybe I could scrounge up some more cash first?

I stealthily go over to the dresser in the back room and quietly pry around to see what I find...



Ok maybe not quietly, but I eventually jiggle the drawer so much that it pops open. I find 18 gold, a scroll of True Strike, and a scroll of Armor.



Seeing into the future sounds helpful... I guess? I'm not sure when I'll use this though when I can just use Magic Missile. The Armor scroll I'll keep for a rainy day. Maybe I can get some more stuff upstairs?




Gameplay note: Ransacking the upper floor of the inn nets me 4 more gold and a silver necklace. I could use this necklace to make an NPC like me just a wee bit more, or I could sell it and donate the funds to my favorite charity - Elves Without Bows. Just as a side note, mages weren't able to use bows in the original BGII, so that's a new thing.

Having those guys stare at me makes me nervous, I think I need to talk to them. Green guy first.

What? I certainly hope there is an explanation for this intrusion! Explain yourself!

Just getting to know the neighbors. Who might you be?

My name is Quincy. Beyond that is my own business and none of your concern. Leave, lest I report this intrusion to the guard.

That neighbor schtick didn't go over so well. But if he wanted privacy why didn't he get a room with a door? Lets try a new tactic with this blue guy over here.

Yes? Might I help you?

My apologies. I have been knee-deep in the tomes of the keep all day, and I am in quite the fog as a result.

Oh indeed! Such a wondrous depository it is. I have returned on many an occasion, much to my banker's dismay, and have not even scratched the surface of the collection here. Would that it were so for all of my noble brethren. I fear many come to the Keep merely to proclaim that they did. I suppose it makes them appear more intelligent, though simple quizzing places the majority of them securely about the chimp "level." I am sorry, I tend to ramble. Good eve to you.

Not much help up here. Maybe the people downstairs will be better? For instance, that guy by the fireplace. I wonder who he is...



An errand? I guess I could do this. It might give me enough money for a bow. I think I might really need it, since Firebead mentioned the dangerous trip to get here. What's out there, book bandits? Hmmm, what about that couple I saw earlier in the parlor area.

has nothing to say to you.

drat she's snobby. What about this yellow guy?

Step up to the heat, young one. You'll NEED a good fire to warm the chill stares of those monks. Most inhospitable, they are. Isn't that so, Lovey?

Oh yes darling, they are MOST standoffish.

Perhaps they have not been as welcoming as they could have, but you ARE strangers in their home.

Perhaps. But if they wish no one to enter it is a simple matter or not letting anyone enter at all. 'Twould certainly be a shame if they did, though. Such a storehouse of knowledge has limited use if no one can use the stored knowledge. Ah well... 'tis cozy enough here by the fire to wash away any troubles I otherwise have with the place.

People keep talking about how amazing the library is. Do cities not have libraries? I should ask Gorion when we're traveling. There was one more person here, right? A woman wandering all over the place. Let me go see what's on her mind.

At last I am in Candlekeep, where I've wanted to be for so long! But now I wander the rooms here, moody and sad...

You look very pale indeed. Aren't you feeling well?

I... had a terrible adventure. For me, as well as for the man I love. *sigh*

Lovesickness, hmm?

If only that would be...

You are Gorion's foster child, aren't you? Yes, I think I want to talk with you about it.

Have you been to the infirmary? My fiance is recovering there from the injuries he got in his last fight.

Aha.

He has an obvious injury: he lost an arm. But the wounds that are still troubling him are his memories of what happened during this fight, and the conditions under which he lost that arm. I... I am troubled by it too.

You see... I cut off his arm. It... it was the only thing to do.

Ha! How sweet. Is that some kind of courting ritual where you come from?

Keep your mockery to yourself, please. Of course it is not.

We were on our way to Candlekeep, when suddenly a portal started opening near us. Monsters came out and started attacking. It was horrible. Sir Trun defended us, and it looked as if he would win easily. Then one of the creatures bit into his arm, dragging him toward the portal. He lost his sword...

There was only one possible way to save him, and I used it. Otherwise, he would be dead by now.

It is a great pity he lost his arm, but you saved him nonetheless. Doesn't he feel thankful for that?

No, it is not that easy. Sir Trun proposed to me, what seems a long, long time ago, and we went on this educational journey to Candlekeep. You have to understand, I am the daughter of noble family, and never touched any kind of weapon. His... his gaze upon me when he realized what happened...

Forgive me, but I do not want to talk more about it. I need to be patient, and hope that he will overcome his feelings. poor Sir Trun... he is so brave. He grimly tries not to attribute any importance to the matter, but doesn't succeed in overcoming his feelings of horror. He is bound to his proposal to a woman he now fears, and is trying to convince himself it is nothing to worry about. I still see that look in his eyes...

I decided not to go to the infirmary until someone brings the news of his recovery, or until he approaches me himself.


Gameplay note: This is the first new quest of the Big World Project, right here in Candlekeep Inn. Its got some tricky emotional stuff here too.

The infirmary, the infirmary... that's on the south side. I'll go find this Sir Trun. I go outside... to be greeted by the nicest monk in the entire keep.



But before then, it's probably a good idea if you go round the Keep in a leisurely fashion finding lost property and running errands, all for an economically implausible cash reward and an astonishing amount of experience.

Can't I just get the cash and experience right now? The longer I wait, the higher the chance that those first-level assassins in the Keep will finish me off.

I don't see why not. How much are you really going to learn about spell-throwing and swordplay by fetching crossbow bolts, after all?

Here's the cash and a couple of potions, and some random junk that you can probably sell to someone. Go do your shopping, then I'll take you to Gorion.


Gameplay note: The guy gives me 38 gold, 2 healing potions, a Fire Agate gem, and two daggers. That bow is looking closer than ever!

Going into the central grounds I find Tethtoril immediately.



Firebead has sent you to me, hasn't he... Very well, return this scroll to him but then you must hurry and speak with Gorion. He is waiting for you on the steps of the central library. I assure you, child, it is a matter of greatest urgency.

And since I'm already on the way, I continue south to the Infirmary. But before I get out of the central garden, I practically run into this little gnome.



Ooh! I'm sorry. I wasn't watching where I was going!

Haven't I seen you wandering around Candlekeep the past tenday? Who are you?

I am Finch, Finch Bloomwhiffler. So grand to make your acquaintance! I must say I am truly envious of you having the good fortune to live here in Candlekeep.

Why do you say that? It is a simple walled village, hardly filled with the wonders of cities such as Baldur's Gate or Waterdeep.

The wondrous books! Rows and stacks of scroll casings and leather-bound volumes covering every subject under the sun and stars! I can imagine no greater joy than the opportunity to learn something new with each passing day. Perhaps that explains why I found my heart's home in the service of Deneir.

Ah, you are a cleric of Deneir. No wonder you love this place.

Truly, my brief time here in your home town has been a great joy. I can imagine no finer occupation than living with my nose in a book! Alas, I have dallied in Candlekeep longer than I should have in service of my temple, though I am certain Deneir would understand.

Anyhoo, I leave with all haste. I have a list of works needed to establish a new library on the Amnish border. I located a likely seller of one volume in Beregost, so off I go!

Perhaps we shall meet again. I bid you a fair journey!

Anyhoo?


Gameplay note: This is the first new NPC of the Big World Project. Finch is a gnome cleric of Deneir, and a librarian stereotype. She has glasses of identification that she wears, and a book-related quest that we could perhaps do in the future. I'm not really into cute gnomes but perhaps some of the voices in my head (that's you!) are?

Again, on to the infirmary... except that I get ambushed again, this time by my partner in crime and purple fashion buddy forever, Imoen!




I'm afraid I cannot chat today, little one. My foster father wishes me to prepare for a journey, but will not say to where.

Little one? I'm not much younger than you, though you sure got tall fast. Relatively, anyway. A journey, eh? I never get to travel. Wish I could go with ya. Yep, I really wish I could. Yessir. Really do.

All right all right. I get the message. I'll ask if you can go with us.

Oh don't be silly, Gorion would never even let you finish the sentence. Especially after what that letter of his said... er... did I say that? No, of course I didn't. Never saw no letter. Nope. I'll just get back to work now. You had better go. Gorion is waiting.

Everyone keeps telling me that Gorion is waiting, but the story of that lady back at the inn is really bugging me. I have to know what the one-armed knight looks like.

I arrive at the Infirmary and take a look around.



There's only one guy standing so I go over and talk to him. Yep, its Sir Trun!

What do you want? Please let me rest. As you can see, I am injured.

Are you Sir Trun? I talked with your fiance. The poor woman doesn't feel well at all.

*sigh* I know, and it tortures me that I am incapable of helping her. It... it is like I am paralyzed...

My injury is no reason for my behavior toward her. I... I fell in love with a beautiful young maiden and proposed to her, and now...

Does it seem as if the whole world's gone crazy?

I... in a way, yes.

*sigh* Since she already talked to you, it won't hurt if I do so, too. Actually I feel a great urge to talk about this with someone who cares to listen.

We got into an unexpected fight. Everything was going well. Then all of a sudden, one of the creatures sunk its teeth into my arm. I wasn't able to free myself, and it was dragging me toward the portal... There was a pain at my shoulder, and next thing I knew, I was lying in front of the portal, watching it close behind the last of the monsters. Linda was standing beside me, pale as a ghost, my sword in her hands.

She saved my life the only way it was possible in that moment, by chopping off my arm.

I am not talking about the loss of my arm. That was lost the moment the monster bit into it. I... What I mean...

You have problems with the fact that she mutilated you, don't you? How dare she chop off the arm of her fiance?!

That... no, no, that is not what troubles me. I have to think about it some more. *sigh*

I feel a little lovely now. Here I am cracking some stupid joke and this knight is honestly troubled about his inability to express his feelings about what happened. It sounds like actual PTSD, like I read about in the library that one time. So I try to talk to him again, a little more earnestly.

Ah, you've returned.

What bothers you is her sudden foresight and prowess. Not only did she understand the only way to save you, she also *did* it in what must have been a timeframe of mere seconds. And all that despite the fact that she is "only" the daughter of a noble house.

That... yes... yes, that's it! That is what keeps troubling me. She is completely inexperienced, if it comes to fighting, yet she... acts like a long-established knight! I couldn't have done it better, had I been in her position.

The... the sensible detachment she showed by cutting off another's arm, if it was the only way to save him... How much experience must one gain, how many friends must one lose in battle before developing this insight? She... she just did it, when it was necessary. My poor Linda! Surely she is terribly frightened. But... how should I confront her, after being so distant toward her... All she did was save me!

First thing you should do is go and talk to her. You should seek communication with Linda. It would help you both if you could talk about it.

We tried talking, but it didn't work. No, I have to bring something with me when I go to her. If I only could think of something appropriate...

There is only one possibility. Linda has to learn how to fight, so you will have to teach her. Take her as your squire.

I beg your pardon? That is absurd. She is a young maiden, innocent and frail...

...and she chopped off your arm with one hit. These things don't fit together, do they?

Wait... I... I see, what you mean. It is hidden inside her, isn't it? The gift shows differently in different people. Some know from early childhood where their path will lead. For others, the revelation comes all of a sudden, as a great surprise.

Yes, it seems the only way to go forward, and leave this horrible memory behind us. She made the first step onto this path. To expect her to return to her former life would be cruel... and unrealistic. I will go to her now. I'll be approaching her with an unusual present for a woman of her origin: my sword.

My body recovered a long time ago. It was my mind that felt injured and wouldn't come to rest. You dragged me out of my thoughts of despair, and I thank you deeply! We are in your debt.

Now I will go to her... I am eager to see how she will react. Is she really ready for this? I am also bothered as to what I will tell her parents, who imagine their daughter on an educational journey in Candlekeep... *weary smile* Farewell, in case we don't meet again. May Tyr protect you.


Gameplay note: For helping a knight come to terms with the harsh reality of living in a monster-infested world and being in love with a stone cold fox, I receive 68 xp and +1 reputation. Also, the Priest of Oghma manning the infirmary gave me a healing potion just because I asked. Time to go back and share the good news with Linda!

Great, its all worked out! On the way back I idly check some barrels and chests and find a few loose coins. When I get back to the front of the Candlekeep Inn, the friendly Watcher speaks to me again.

Ready to go, Syishtar?

No, I haven't finished shopping yet.

Very well, Syishtar, but get a move on, I don't have all day.

In any case, you don't realize just how dangerous it is here for you. Those bounty hunters can do up to one point of damage per blow!

Bounty hunters? What bounty hunters? I head back into the Inn... and Linda is nowhere to be found. I guess those two just couldn't wait to give me a cinematic ending to their relationship problems. No big deal, I return to Winthrop with my bounty.

I sell the two daggers that the Watcher gave me, and keep the Silver Necklace and Fire Agate Gem for later bribery. I have managed to scrape together 99 gold, which means I get to buy a short bow. Woot!


Gameplay note: Arrows do 1D6 damage, which is better than darts (1D3), throwing daggers (1D4 at 3 gold a pop!) and sling bullets (1D4+1). The only thing more damaging is crossbow bolts (1D8) but a light crossbow costs 105 gold and doesn't really fit into an elf's idiom. In this game, at low levels, ranged weapons are the difference between being mauled to death by a bear and surviving until the next screen. I'm going to get a lot of use out of this bow.

I buy the short bow and 180 arrows, which takes up all my gold. Its time to blow this keep and start on my grand adventure with my wise old mentor, Gorion! I'm sure I'll get to shoot something soon!

After stocking up, I head back outside.



Yep, take me to Gorion.

Right this way.


Gameplay note: I'm immediately teleported to another part of the keep where Gorion is. He talks to me right away.



What should I bring with me on this journey? If you would just give some clue as to what I will need...

My dear child, you should know yourself well enough to purchase the gear you need. I have given you what I can spare, so hurry off to the Inn and speak with Winthrop. Use your skills as a reference and buy what basics you must, though spend wisely. His prices are fair, but you may not have enough gold to purchase all that you would want.

What could possibly harm us here? This place is a fortress, and guarded beyond measure.

Candlekeep is indeed a formidable obstacle for ne'er-do-wells, but it is not insurmountable. No matter how thick the mesh, at least one mosquito always finds its way through. No my child, we must leave as soon as possible, for our safety, and for that of our friends here.

Please father, tell me where we will be going.

Alas, I cannot, for I have not truly decided yet. All that is certain is that we will be far safer on the move. Perhaps the woods might offer some secluded security, or perhaps the city of Baldur's Gate would offer cover amidst its teaming throngs of people. I do not know where we shall end up, but I have a few friends here and there. Hmm... I will think on this...

I'm ready to go right now.

Dear child, before we set off on our journey, I want you to have my most treasured possession: this enchanted stone will take you to a sacred sanctuary created a long time ago by Shaundakul for the sake of few faithful followers. Do not abuse it, for every time you call on its power you will part with a bit of your own soul, to honour the ancient pact with the God. Keep it always close to you because it might save your life!


Gameplay note: This is also new. Sounds like a life-saving way to rest when there's no other place, inspired by the pocket plane in Throne of Bhaal. But it costs xp to go there. Shaundakul is a lesser Faerunian deity of travel, so it definitely makes sense that he would be involved in this type of venture. The question is, overpowered or not? In my admittedly short experience with this modded game, nothing is overpowered. You need every single edge you've got just to survive.



My father casts a quick heal on me as we head out. He's always watching out for me like that. I've got to ask him how a mage can cast a heal later on when there's time.



Its quickly gotten dark. I've got a bad feeling about this...



poo poo. poo poo. Where's my bow?



You're a fool if you believe I would trust your benevolence. Step aside and you and your lackeys will be unhurt.

I'm sorry you feel that way, old man.



Wait, he said your ward. He wants...



what?



poo poo!



gently caress!



damnit, he's out of spells!



But Mage Armor protects against...



.......!!!


That's it for Chapter One! I'm all ears for feedback and critiques. Also, Syishtar's mind will be contemplating staying and exploring the immediate area or running down the road like a scared little girl. Add your voice to the cacophony of his newly-hatched madness!


The Donut posted:

I'll definitely be following this. Baldurs Gate 2 is an awesome game and this mega mod pack sounds interesting. I'm half tempted to download it myself. Anyhoo, looking good so far.

Thanks! I'm really nervous about this, because posting here is so strict. I've previously been burned with a custom title years ago, as you can see.

What's your opinion on exploring this area or running like a little girl?

Vorgen fucked around with this message at 11:02 on Jun 28, 2012

Deadmeat5150
Nov 21, 2005

OLD MAN YELLS AT CLAN


Oh god you crazy sonofabitch can you really do this? I tried delving into this mod not too long ago but the crazy drove me into a corner and I've never tried again.

Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Loon, Crazy and Laughable



This is hideously ambitious. Good luck, regardless.

GenderSelectScreen
Mar 7, 2010


College Slice

I would play this is I A)still had my old CDs :sigh: and B)was any good at this game in the first place. :smith:

Captain Oblivious
Oct 12, 2007

Right in the Kokoro



Looking forward to this LP. The only small turn off I'm seeing is the premise of yet another zany, super eccentric mage narrator. It seems like that's all we ever see in Baldur's Gate LPs. :v:

Thistledown
Dec 18, 2009


I've always wanted to see what was in Big World megamod but I could never get it to install correctly for me for whatever reason. I've since given up hope of ever seeing the inside of it, but this may sate my curiosity.

Tuxedo Ted
Apr 23, 2007



Captain Oblivious posted:

Looking forward to this LP. The only small turn off I'm seeing is the premise of yet another zany, super eccentric mage narrator. It seems like that's all we ever see in Baldur's Gate LPs. :v:

Yeah. I know you said that you thought the thread would have trouble choosing from all the character options, but you still could have done something about that yourself. Maybe roll up a few characters yourself and give the thread a small selection to choose from that exemplifies different aspects of the game. I.E. one option that's all about melee, another that's about archery, or being sneaky, or pious, or all magic-y. Just five or six pre-made choices for the party to vote on would streamline things well.

Incidentally, how will you be handling party members? The last thread went about it in just about the worst way: the OP just chose the same old highest-power team combo that everyone has picked a million of times for themselves. It'd be really terrific if the thread could at least choose parts of the party.

JGBeagle posted:

I would play this is I A)still had my old CDs :sigh: and B)was any good at this game in the first place. :smith:

If you don't mind dropping some cash on a game you technically already own, good old games has both of them for pretty cheap. Each comes packaged with their respective expansion.

ShiningForceHero
Apr 19, 2006


This is awesome. I love BG and BG2, and have often wondered about this modification. Will definitely be following this.

AJ_Impy
Jun 17, 2007



Yam Slacker

This should be an interesting challenge: The sheer scope of the map is promising, having played all the Infinity Engine games and dabbled in one or two mods. Good luck.

Vorgen
Mar 5, 2006

Party Membership is a Democracy, The Weave is Not.

A fledgling vampire? How about a dragon, or some half-kobold druids? Perhaps a spontaneous sex change? Anything that can happen, will happen the results will be beyond entertaining.



Tuxedo Ted posted:

Incidentally, how will you be handling party members? The last thread went about it in just about the worst way: the OP just chose the same old highest-power team combo that everyone has picked a million of times for themselves. It'd be really terrific if the thread could at least choose parts of the party.

I'm going to be looking to the thread a lot for help with the rest of the party. One of the mods lets us basically bribe any random monster or dude standing around on the street into joining our party, in addition to the hordes of NPCs who have been added as potential party members already. Also I'll bring the option of changing the NPCs classes up to the thread as well, as a way of exploring the myriads of classes available. Finally, there is a pretty good chance that we will be leaving a trail of dead comrades in our wake, because I will not reload if I screw up and somebody dies. Instead I will ask the thread if we should leave them or rez them. If the majority of the thread wants to try out new people then, we can get more party members. Also there is simply the possibility of kicking people to the curb if they are boring.

So the rest of the party is entirely up to you guys!

Thanks for the encouraging words and willingness to follow. I'm hoping I can get this done in a shorter timespan than ShadowCatBoy got finished with Planescape: Torment (4 years!) but we'll see.

tithin
Nov 14, 2003

[Grandmaster Tactician]



Jesus.

God speed you glorious bastard.

Zifnab
Aug 21, 2005

Hope Springs Eternal

That map :stare:

This has parts of the tactics mod? Good luck

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!




Echoing the sentiments of other posters here. Good luck to ya.

But I have a minor nitpick, would you mind removing the names in front of the dialogue? I mean it's okay the first time as an identifier but the talking heads serve the same purpose anyway and having them appear all the time breaks the reading flow somewhat.

Vorgen
Mar 5, 2006

Party Membership is a Democracy, The Weave is Not.

A fledgling vampire? How about a dragon, or some half-kobold druids? Perhaps a spontaneous sex change? Anything that can happen, will happen the results will be beyond entertaining.



Cooked Auto posted:

Echoing the sentiments of other posters here. Good luck to ya.

But I have a minor nitpick, would you mind removing the names in front of the dialogue? I mean it's okay the first time as an identifier but the talking heads serve the same purpose anyway and having them appear all the time breaks the reading flow somewhat.

Ok, I can do that.

ed: that does look better. It was starting to annoy me too. This is actually easier to do.

Vorgen fucked around with this message at 14:50 on Sep 5, 2011

Shugojin
Sep 6, 2007

THE TAIL THAT BURNS TWICE AS BRIGHT...




If you installed all components of this, which I'm going to assume you did since you didn't say otherwise, please for the love of god murder that loving paladin when you get to BG2. :argh:

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!




Vorgen posted:

Ok, I can do that.

ed: that does look better. It was starting to annoy me too. This is actually easier to do.

Much better in my meaning. :)

Bettik
Jan 28, 2008

Space-age Rock Star


Holy poo poo this is ridiculously ambitious. I just started a BG1 playthrough myself with the intention of taking this guy all the way through ToB.

This LP will make for an interesting look into the exact difference the mod introduces - I'm mostly running vanilla. Good luck and I'm looking forward to updates!

Vorgen
Mar 5, 2006

Party Membership is a Democracy, The Weave is Not.

A fledgling vampire? How about a dragon, or some half-kobold druids? Perhaps a spontaneous sex change? Anything that can happen, will happen the results will be beyond entertaining.



Shugojin posted:

If you installed all components of this, which I'm going to assume you did since you didn't say otherwise, please for the love of god murder that loving paladin when you get to BG2. :argh:

Murdering paladins is ... on the table.

SniperX
Feb 10, 2011


Quick question do you use a resolution mod for this at all? I've been trying to go back through BGI and BGII but the only res mod I found sorta breaks the window sizes. Like it'll scale graphics but not menus or the dialogue box.

Vorgen
Mar 5, 2006

Party Membership is a Democracy, The Weave is Not.

A fledgling vampire? How about a dragon, or some half-kobold druids? Perhaps a spontaneous sex change? Anything that can happen, will happen the results will be beyond entertaining.



SniperX posted:

Quick question do you use a resolution mod for this at all? I've been trying to go back through BGI and BGII but the only res mod I found sorta breaks the window sizes. Like it'll scale graphics but not menus or the dialogue box.

Part of the Big World Project is the Widescreen mod, which will let you play the game at any size. You just have to enter in the dimensions you want to play in. I'm using it, but I boringly set it to 1024x768 in order to run it in a window and do this Let's Play. Previously I have set it to 1680x1050 and played that way. It was pretty.

Also, strangely enough there is a mod that is not in the Big World Project, the Bigger Fonts mod which I have installed and am using as well. its essential when playing at larger resolutions, and also when getting the text recognition software you need to save yourself time to work correctly. I recommend using it in conjunction with the widescreen mod.

suburban virgin
Jul 26, 2007
Highly qualified lurker.

This looks mad as pants. Good luck!

SniperX
Feb 10, 2011


Vorgen posted:

Part of the Big World Project is the Widescreen mod, which will let you play the game at any size. You just have to enter in the dimensions you want to play in. I'm using it, but I boringly set it to 1024x768 in order to run it in a window and do this Let's Play. Previously I have set it to 1680x1050 and played that way. It was pretty.

Also, strangely enough there is a mod that is not in the Big World Project, the Bigger Fonts mod which I have installed and am using as well. its essential when playing at larger resolutions, and also when getting the text recognition software you need to save yourself time to work correctly. I recommend using it in conjunction with the widescreen mod.

It's the gibberlings mod that I was having issue with but perhaps I should just stick with windowed mode. Thanks for the info.

Shugojin
Sep 6, 2007

THE TAIL THAT BURNS TWICE AS BRIGHT...




Vorgen posted:

Murdering paladins is ... on the table.

Yesssssss.

Anyway, you are going to have some... "fun" as a very low level wild mage. :v: Looking forward to the mad depths of mods that I haven't seen!

And seeing that stupid thing die again.

Vorgen
Mar 5, 2006

Party Membership is a Democracy, The Weave is Not.

A fledgling vampire? How about a dragon, or some half-kobold druids? Perhaps a spontaneous sex change? Anything that can happen, will happen the results will be beyond entertaining.





2 Mirtul, 1369

Gorion... Gorion is... I saw him... but it can't be. It could be some trick, some illusion, it could have been Shadow Door. It could have been Phantasm. There are... there's a perfectly ...

I don't know how it became light again. I must have lost track of time. I don't know where I am. I don't know where I ran. What do I do now? I don't... I can't...




How could you have known? Gorion did not even tell me.

I... accidentally... read a letter on his desk the other day. Can't remember exactly what it said, but he might still have... it might be on his... his body. Anyway, I'm not gonna let you wander around out here all alone. Never let a friend down, no sir! Stick with you until you say otherwise, I will!

Gameplay note: Imoen has joined the party! She brings along 2 gold. Lets take a look at her.



She's got great DEX and very high INT, which was the reason a lot of people in the original BG dual-classed her to Mage. This was so common that her stock character in BGII was a dual-classed thief/mage. You can still do it with her in this modded game, but she's got a custom class all her own as well, the Charming Rogue. This custom class is also what explains her permanent Mind Shield enchantment. It is part of the Neverending Journey mod (warning, ugly web site) which also includes our future adventures in Icewind Dale.



Better defense, offense, and movement plus some innate enchanting and illusion spells scaled by level. I guess they're doing a smoother transition to Imoen becoming a mage. You can't have too much ranged combat, so Imoen seems like a solid companion. Lets take a look at her skills.



Wow, she comes with 4 spells right away. There are not formal info pages for innate abilities so that adds a bit of mystery sometimes and saves me screenshot time, but let me explain these abilities in brief. Set Snare is a normal thief ability that you use with the skill, but Imoen's skill is 5 right now so it'll never successfully work, and will probably damage her if she tries to use it. I've never been one for traps in this game but perhaps we can focus on that, if the consensus is to train a thief's trap skill up. Charm Person is the second skill, and basically turns an enemy to your side in combat. Also you can try to use it on neutrals but I think they turn hostile after it wears off. We might have to confirm that. Magic Missile is exactly the same as my spell. Friends causes the caster to gain 6 points of Charisma temporarily. That will kick Imoen's CHA up to 22, which will be helpful to get a discount when shopping. I don't know of any other use for it. Finally, Reflected Image is the level 1 version of Mirror Image in that it creates one duplicate of the caster which has a 50% chance of being attacked instead of the caster. When the image is attacked it shatters. Note that it shatters when attacked, not when successfully hit, like Mirror Image images. So it's weaker in two aspects.

That's Imoen. As always, I leave it up to the audience on what we do with companions. So, what do you guys think? Keep or kick?

His body. She said it, so she must have seen it. Dare I go there? What should I do? What can I do? What do we even have?

Gameplay note (again): Here is Syishtar's inventory screen.



On the top left is the Quiver in which you can see his 180 arrows:



Underneath that, in the Quick Items slot, you can also see his two equipped weapons, the quarterstaff and short bow:





There is no one who can't use a short bow. The text isn't really cut off. In the Quick Items slot he has the spare scroll of Armor, a spell we covered last update, and the healing potions that he picked up in Candlekeep.



It restores more than my or Imoen's current total amount of hit points. That's reassuring. For equipment, Syishtar is not wearing anything except the Silver Necklace he picked up in the Candlekeep Inn.



He's keeping this around to use it in conjunction with the Show Friendship bribery ability later on. Down at the bottom, you can see his backpack. He's got Haiass's stuff on the left, and the strange stone that Gorion gave him before he left Candlekeep. The stone's icon is currently blue because it is unidentified. The modder was attentive enough to include a custom unidentified description, though, so its still interesting to take a look at.



You can see that the Identify button on the left-hand side is lit up, which means we can identify it if we want. That's because in Syishtar's inventory on the right-hand side, just under the Fire Agate Gem, is Firebead's Identify scroll that I totally, completely forgot to give him before we left Candlekeep. Since its impossible to get back into Candlekeep and since I wouldn't give loot to an NPC even if I could, I use it. It identifies the stone:



Grammar nazis might be getting itchy at this point, which is understandable. For completeness, lets take a look at the gem.



Now lets take stock of what Imoen brought to this picnic.



The girl managed to bring her own arrows and short bow - not bad. Also she picked up 3 healing potions, just like me. That white potion in her backpack is an Oil of Speed:



At low levels using this turns anybody into a dervish of destruction. And when you get the spells Haste and Group Haste later on, the gibs really start flying. We'll keep that around for when we need to turn someone into a pincushion. She also brought a wand!



It shoots out 1 magic missile at a time. Magic missiles always strike their target, so they can be useful in a pinch. I think Syishtar will appropriate that from her. After all, she's the one who gets bonuses to ranged combat from her class. Syishtar needs it more. And after equipping it in his quickslot I realize that its not an infinite wand of Magic Missile, which I was expecting, but instead only has 10 charges. I'm pretty sure that's different too.

I don't know what to do. I don't know where to go. We only have some arrows and healing potions and scant supplies. Gorion told me we would be safe if we found friends. Friends... I have Imoen. I have... Haiass! Where's Haiass?

I reach into my pack to blow on the whistle, but before I can do anything, Imoen speaks up.




I still can't believe that Gorion is dead.

*sadly* Me too.

Is that why you don't talk much lately? All quiet and stuff...

Yes, and I have a lot more on my mind.

I'd hate to see this eat away at ya. We'll get him, ya know. That guy, whoever he was, who killed your dad. We'll find out who he is, and pay him back good!

And don't even think of ditching me, either. I know what I'm doing, and I'm in this as much as you. I liked Gorion, and you're my best friend.

I'm your best friend too, whether you know it or not. You can count on me, and don't you forget it!

What brings this on, Imoen? I don't think I've ever seen you act this way!

I'm just mad, that's all... mad, sad and a little worried, I guess. I'll get over it. Heh. I was trying to make you feel better, and now I'm all worked up.

Come on, let's go find an evil dragon's lair or something to loot. Um, on second thought, a hobgoblin cave is more your speed. Or maybe a xvart village? Hmmm. I'll have to think about this one...

I laugh a little, then reach in and blow the whistle. Nothing happens. Haiass appears to be nowhere near. I had hoped he would show up eventually. With nothing else to do, but feeling a little better, I start walking down the path in front of me.



Gameplay note: Here is the area map. Gorion was murdered just to the north, and a small path leads east-west. We go east. Not ten seconds later we hit a dude and a conversation.



Heya, I'm Imoen, and that's my friend Syishtar. We just got out of Candlekeep, and are startin' out on a grand adventure, avenging that great mage and all... uhm, Syishtar, why are ya standing with your mouth shut as a clam when the tide is out? Ya know more than I 'bout that fightin' thing, anyway. So go tell 'bout it! That's what adventurers do! Famous ones, anyway. Or how would they ever get into bards' songs?

Could you help me? My foster father and I were attacked last eve, and now I'm not sure where to go.

The carnage to the north must be the aftermath of your little skirmish then. I am most assuredly sorry about your predicament, though there be little I can do for you. I've nothing of serviceable vaue to impart, except common sense and a few directions. A ways east of here you should find a crossroads. North of there is the Friendly Arm Inn, and south is the town of Beregost. Both can offer shelter, though rates at the Friendly Arm are likely better. It is a friendlier atmosphere for the young adventurer as well. Staying close to the roads will make your journey safer, but that will depend on where you are heading as well. I cannot accompany you, though there were a pair of travelers not far up the road. They might offer assistance, but I would be wary of the cost. I didn't like the look of them, myself.

Can you do nothing else? I could use any help.

I have little to give besides advice and good will. Make friends where you can, as traveling alone is almost certain death. You will want to surround yourself with like-minded companions, lest you risk making enemies in your own party. Aside from this little tidbit of wisdom, I'd say you're on your own. Luck be with you.

Ya hear him? 'Like-minded companions'! That'd be me! Yer doin' alright, despite bein' thicker than Candlekeep's walls! Imoen the Magnificient is gonna make an adventurer out of ya yet!

Fare thee well, as they say.

To you as well.

You know, that guy's right. Like-minded companions, fellow travelers on the road, friends and compatriots. Friendly Arm to the north, Beregost to the south. I think I can manage to make some kind of plan ... wait, Gorion mentioned the Friendly Arm last night. He said there were two friends of his there. Jarid and Khaliea? Karin and Jajila? I'll have to look around when I get there.

I need friends, but I also need to find out what happened last night. Maybe I can get those other travelers on the road to help me find Gorion's body.

Gameplay note: We continue on the path, now angling northeast. Soon enough we find Xzar and Montaron, two very famous and old-school BG original NPCs.



I go talk to the taller guy then.




Aye Xzar, looks to have been roughed up quite well.

Indeed. I can offer you healing potions, if you wish, as a token of good will.

Psst, Syishtar, the mage speaks like he's layin' honey on bread, but I dunno... I don't like his eyes a single bit!

I d be grateful for any assistance.

Nothing to fear from these simple potions, and I'll not even hold you in debt, though your conscience knows otherwise.

Just like all good people.

Perhaps as payment you would go with us to Nashkel. It is a troubled area and we mean to investigate some disturbing rumors surrounding the local mine. Some acquaintances are very concerned about the iron shortage. Specifically, where to lay blame in the matter. You would be useful, though I'll not hold you to it. We are to meet the mayor of the town, a man named Berrun Ghastkill, I believe.

Your conscience be your guide.

I would join with you, but I must meet someone first. Perhaps you will go with me?

We've precious little time, but it's best to travel accompanied.

I don't like the looks of these two jokers, Syishtar. Nope. I don't. Not at all.

Let's get to the Friendly Arm Inn soon, huh? I'd like to have some people I can trust traveling with us.

Aye, we'll go wit ye. Ye owe us fer our time though.

Gameplay note: Xzar and Montaron have joined the party! Lets take a look at their Records.



Xzar is a Necromancer of average intelligence for a mage. He is unchanged from original BG. As a necromancer he needs a wisdom of 16. I don't know why, with a WIS of 16 and an INT of 17, he's such a raving lunatic, but what you gonna do?



I guess because there are already so many specialist mages, no modder has bothered to do much with custom wizard classes. No Illusion spells means no Mirror Images, or invisibility, or maybe Phantasm? There are tons of new spells in the game that I'm not yet aware of so I'm sure he's missing out on other things. In return he gets extra spell slots per level, like me as a wild mage. He has 2 slots at level 1, a 100% advantage over a non-specialist mage. Strangely enough he only knows 2 spells.





Honestly, both of those spells suck. Chill Touch needs a melee hit to be effective, and Larloch's Minor Drain does a whole 2 hit points of damage every two levels, maxing out at 10 points at 9th level. The greatest indication that Xzar is insane is not his character portrait, it's his awful spellbook.



He also comes with two scroll copies of his spells (which I take and copy into my spellbook anyway because I'm a spell packrat) and a dagger.



Imoen interrupts all this game talk with another conversation as soon as I unpause.




It has been interesting, to say the least. Not quite what I had in mind either, but it's not like I have a choice.

That's 'we' remember? And yeah, 'spose we don't have much choice at that. Still, we can do a lot of good, I think.

Wonder if they'll make a tale of our adventures? Just think, one day folks will be in the common room of some inn, maybe even the Candlekeep Inn, and ask a bard to tell 'em a tale of 'Imoen the Quick and her trusty side-kick, Syishtar!'

'Side-kick'...!?

Oh, okay. We'll be partners, I 'spose. What ya think? 'Imoen the Quick' sounds good to you? Quick with the blade and wit! All the best heroes and heroines have handles. Hmmm, maybe 'Imoen the Terrible'? Nah, too dark. 'Imoen the Bold'? 'Imoen the Sly'? 'Imoen the Magnificent'? Hey that sounds pretty good!

Um, how about 'Imoen the...?

Shush you! I'm thinking! Where was I? I still kinda like 'Imoen the Quick'. Wonder if it's taken already...?

Gameplay note: With that out of her system, we take a look at Montaron the halfing Thug. This is the first instance of a Big Picture modded character class you'll see, and I've changed him myself. He was a multiclass fighter/thief just like in the original but I want to show off all the awesome custom classes in this mod.



He's got acceptable stats, and a whopping 18 hit points, which serioiusly outshines my 6, Imoen's 8, and Xzar's 4. He's a better meat shield than Haiass even. But he's a trained bastard.



That's where all the extra hit points come from - a class feature. A thug sounds like a fighterish thief, which is pretty close to what he was already, but with some extra flavor quirks that I appreciate matching up closer to his personality. He comes carrying a healing potion and some oil of speed...



... and dual-wielding two short swords. He is also, of all crazy things, WEARING ARMOR, something that we have not yet seen.



This definitively qualifies him as the Tank of the Hour.

Since we now have a half-decent party here, its time to explore the map. We set off patrolling, in that weird rectangular search pattern that I always seem to end up using in baldur's gate 1 outdoor maps (its the most efficient way!)

Over on the west side, near cliffs that overlooked the ocean, we find Chase.



Hey, ya know what? Syishtar over 'ere was just locked out of his home-town without a penny, and some monsters killed his father. If anyone here should be jumping cliffs, it's him! And d'ya see him jumpin'? So what's yer problem?

She has a point, I thought. And I didn't like this guy's petulence.

By all means, jump if you must. More air for the rest of us.

HOW could you be so CALLOUS? I am so obviously in PAIN here! Have you no care for MY needs? No, of course not. No one does. Not mumsey, not daddums, not Jeeves; I bet they'd be glad I was gone. In fact, I'd probably be doing them a favor! That's it, I'll stay alive just to spite them! I'll be the most miserable, selfish, upstart of a child! Actually, this won't be much of a change, but now I'm justified! Life is good.

Ya could of at least tried to talk him out of it, Syishtar, even if he was just lookin' for attention.

Eh? Never mind. I've a score to settle with a callous world.

Gameplay note: This was in the original game, if I remember correctly, but Imoen's interjections weren't. All of her new interjections and conversations so far have come from a mod. NPCs are going to be talking to each other a lot more than usual. If you guys get tired of that, we can always grab people off the street, or possibly just tell our companions to shut the hell up. Let me know how you feel!

We walk around, looking for Gorion's corpse, but we find wild dogs instead!



Imoen and I pull out our bows and shoot at the closest ones, while Montaron AND XZAR close in for melee. I tell Xzar to hang the hell back and try casting a spell, so he goes with his Drain. Then he casts his other Drain. Then he just stands there and looks on as we shoot arrows and Montaron flails about wildly with his short swords. There is a lot of whiffing, but eventually Imoen gets the kill on the last dog. VICTORY! The dogs have nothing on them. I'm not sure how intimidating Montaron can really be when he's having so much trouble killing a pack of dogs with 2 short swords.



Xzar is totally out of spells and any other abilities to use if another fight comes up, so I reluctantly give him the Wand of Missiles. Hopefully he doesn't use it in melee...

We continue to explore, and find a cow. I decide to try to pet the cow. I'm not quite sure how to feel about what happens next.



After that, we see what we have been looking for, and I had been dreading. We see Gorion's corpse, stretched on the ground like a... some dead animal. Surrounding him is the equipment and money of his fallen enemies. We silently and quickly clean up the area, and then wonder what to do next. There is Gorion's dagger and a scroll of Identify. There are two morningstars, wielded by the big monsters that had died first.



We also find a scroll case and two notes.



Gameplay note: There are a lot more containers in the Big World Project, of many different colors, in order to make your sorting life easier. Unfortunately having a lot of filled containers tends to cause the game to start lagging. I'm not sure how much I can comfortably carry in containers, so we'll just have to see.



Dun dun DUNNNNN! E is obviously Elminster, the only DnD guy whose name starts with an E. You know, Elminster's involvement/non-involvement in this whole plot never made sense to me. Why does he want to be neutral, anyway? As far as I know, everything that's going on, the whole plot, is a direct threat to the balance of the region, as we shall soon see. And as one of the leaders of the Harpers who are all about balance and secrecy, he should be countering the effect of the... uh... problems, as directly as possible. But it's like the Harpers dropped the ball on this completely. In fact, the men on the spot turned out be Zhentarim agents (sorry Xzar and Montaron for blowing your cover so early!), and they have already recruited me into their party. The nearest Harper agents are in the Friendly Arm inn to the north, just chilling, waiting for me to show up and get in touch with them. Why didn't they meet Gorion outside of Candlekeep? With a couple of level 1 mooks around, Gorion could have held off Armored Figure long enough for his Acid Arrow to do him in. I blame Gorion's death on Khalid and Jaheira, just so you know. Jaheira was probably too busy tying Khalid up and whipping him in the basement of the Friendly Arm to go out and actually be Harpers.

Anyway, the second note is NOT standard plot material from a 15-year-old game.



Another wild mage, near here? Wow, I'm sure he can help us! The magic speaks through us all, and it must be conspiring to bring us together. I may have lost one mentor, but the magic could bring me another, one skilled in the true ways of the Weave. We have to go find this guy, after we have finished exploring this area, of course.

Imoen walks up while I'm reading the notes, still standing over Gorion's body.




Yes. He died saving me from some... thing.

Don'tcha even know what attacked you? Whatever it was, looks like it was vicious.

I was scared out of my wits! What do you expect?

Really? I'm glad I wasn't right there. I've seen you get surprised and jump before, but never ever afraid. I-I don't even want to think 'bout what could scare you.

We keep walking. We find Binkos.



Another caravan raided?! Wow, that's no good! Remember those Flamin' Fists passin' by Candlekeep last week? They said there was at least two missing! I think we should keep our eyes peeled, or we'll be killed by bandits for nothin'!

Excitin' though... Caravans, bandits, road... like an adventure from a book!

Just keep your heads down and your weapons handy.

All the more reason to find that wild mage I'm thinking. I'm sure he will be able to keep us safe from the bandits.

A little later Imoen spots some more wild dogs.



Montaron gets hit, but we take them down. We continue exploring the area, hoping for some insight or sign of what is to come. Later we see a black bear, which seems peaceful enough. I have heard of rangers and their animal companions, and a bear would definitely help us, so I walk over to it and try to make conciliatory sounds. It doesn't go over well.



Imoen opens up on it with the bow and Xzar with the wand. I run away as the bear starts to attack... Xzar. He turns and runs, screaming. The bear switches to me, to Imoen, to Xzar, never seeming able to make up its mind about which target it wants. Each time we are targeted we naturally start running. For some reason Montaron isn't participating in the fight, but nobody seems to care. While running after me, the bear passes by Imoen, and gives her a swipe. She looks almost dead and runs away to try to get enough room to down a healing potion. Thankfully the bear switches targets again and she is able to drink her way back to health. The killing blow is Xzar with the wand. Maybe he's not totally useless after all.



Shaken and sobered, we gather our breath and continue patrolling, a little more cautiously than before. I am making a mental note, right now, to not approach bears in the future. He looked so peaceful though...

Gameplay note: The bear was in fact neutral until I tried to befriend it. Silly me.

We encounter a beautiful cliff view of the sea. Xzar says we should paint it. I tell him he is welcome to without us. He mumbles something about me wanting him to get mauled by bears.



Suddenly Montaron shouts MONSTERS! I am already worried. When he shouts ARCHERS I get even more worried. I try to look for somewhere to shoot.

Gameplay note: Some sadistic modder has hidden a pack of hobgoblin and goblin archers in the northwest corner of the map. I'm pretty sure if we're going to survive this we'll have to do a running skirmish through most of the map. Here we go....



Montaron says he isn't taking any chances and pops his oil of speed. Imoen actually runs up to one of the hobgoblins and tries to cast some sort of spell [Charm Person] but is interrupted by an arrow from another monster. Montaron charges in and the archers seem to fall back in front of him. Xzar hasn't done anything yet when an arrow slams into him, looking serious. I shoot wildly, not quite sure which target to hit first. Imoen throws Xzar a healing potion, and he drinks it. Then Xzar starts running at the nearest hobgoblin, and I have to tell him to get back again. He stops and casts Magic Missile with his wand... and Imoen casts one too! The combined missiles take out the first hobgoblin. I am a little shocked at this unexplained magical display but I'll save it. Instead I cast a little magic of my own...



I was trying to cast Grease. Instead, four gems appear in my inventory.



I am confused, so I go back to shooting arrows. A few seconds later, a badly-injured Montaron tries to retreat from the battle and is shot in the back. He falls.



Xzar says, "Montaron... I... I never loved you!" with a cackle. The monsters keep pouring out of the trees. Imoen pops her oil of speed while I retreat. Xzar looks like he is going to get another wand shot off but the hobgoblins get too close and he and Imoen are forced to retreat too. I turn and try to cast another Grease spell, but at the last second I change my mind and throw Azragan's Channeling at the nearest monster. There is some kind of noise, and two huge glowing balls appear, one on me and one on my target. Whatever it is, it looks like it hurt.



Gameplay note: 13 damage from a level 1 spell? SWEET!

The hobgoblins just keep coming, so Imoen and I just kept retreating one by one, like the Candlekeep guard captain taught us. I fire and she retreats, then she fires and I retreat. That way we are able to constantly pelt the monsters with arrows. Xzar tries to run into melee a few more times and I contemplate just not telling him it is a bad idea next time. He shoots once more with the wand and it breaks. I tell him to run into the trees, AWAY from the monsters. Then I turn around and see two of Imoen, rather than one. We are going to need to have a talk, she and I. We keep firing and running, firing and running, and two more go down. The remaining two get smart, though. One comes after me and the other after Imoen. This is getting dicey.



We are running in circles. I try to get the hobgoblin chasing Imoen to chase me, and Imoen does the same with mine. Eventually they both attack me, which lets Imoen stand still and pelt them with arrows continuously. One of them panics and starts to run. We let it go.



The one who doesn't go, dies. We stop to catch our breath, the first time we've had the opportunity the whole fight. We look at the monster's corpse. He has masterwork arrows, which I gave to Imoen, and a longbow, which I keep for myself. I also take a gem and a longsword off him. Imoen puts on his leather armor. Then we go to hunt the rest.

Gameplay note: I gotta stop here, guys. This is a freakin huge update what with all the exposition and item examining. I just wanted to get some combat in before I called it. What do you think, should we raise Montaron? It would cost about 100 gold, since he's level 1. Also want your opinions on Imoen and Xzar.

Vorgen fucked around with this message at 02:25 on Sep 24, 2012

Tax Refund
Apr 15, 2011

The IRS gave me a refund. I spent it on this SA account. What was I thinking?!

Keep Imoen. You can never have too many ranged fighters in Baldur's Gate, as I recall. And ditch Xzar, he's useless and annoying. (Though he could be useful as a temporary meatshield until you meet up with Khalid and Jaheira; you can ditch him after that... if he survives that long).

Deadmeat5150
Nov 21, 2005

OLD MAN YELLS AT CLAN


Keep Imoen for exactly the same reason as above, ranged fighters in BG are nice. Dump Montaran because I've always hated his guts.

suburban virgin
Jul 26, 2007
Highly qualified lurker.

Xzar planned the ambush. Arrow to the back of the head, the punishment for traitors.

Slaan
Mar 16, 2009

I GAIN POWER FROM EATING PEOPLE, JUST ASSUME I'M ALWAYS VOTING TO EAT PEOPLE





quote:

Xzar is a Necromancer of average intelligence for a mage. He is unchanged from original BG. As a necromancer he needs a wisdom of 16. I don't know why, with a WIS of 16 and an INT of 17, he's such a raving lunatic, but what you gonna do?

He knows too much :tinfoil:

Dump Montaran, Keep Xzar & Imoen

Kaboom Dragoon
May 7, 2010

The greatest of feasts



Keep Imoen. I think I'm one of the rare few who actually liked her. Plus, she's the hero's BFF since childhood, I think that warrants her a place in the party.

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!




Keep Imoen and dump the rest at the FAA is my vote.

I'm noticing that you seemingly keep switching between in character (the just like me comment for instance) and out of character at times (the rest) for the cursive stuff. Is that intentional?
I just think it'd be a good idea to just keep the general gameplay comments there instead of character thoughts baked into it as it feels somewhat confusing.
(God I feel like such a prick with nitpicking on things twice already.)

Shugojin
Sep 6, 2007

THE TAIL THAT BURNS TWICE AS BRIGHT...




Cooked Auto posted:

Keep Imoen and dump the rest at the FAA is my vote.

I'm noticing that you seemingly keep switching between in character (the just like me comment for instance) and out of character at times (the rest) for the cursive stuff. Is that intentional?
I just think it'd be a good idea to just keep the general gameplay comments there instead of character thoughts baked into it as it feels somewhat confusing.
(God I feel like such a prick with nitpicking on things twice already.)

You shouldn't, having a system that clearly distinguishes in character and out of character stuff is really important for narrative LPs.

Vorgen
Mar 5, 2006

Party Membership is a Democracy, The Weave is Not.

A fledgling vampire? How about a dragon, or some half-kobold druids? Perhaps a spontaneous sex change? Anything that can happen, will happen the results will be beyond entertaining.



I noticed that in earlier versions of the posts above I did have italics used for in-character stuff, which was my mistake. I went back and edited that out. The intention is to have all in-character stuff in normal text, and all out-of-character stuff in italics. I think I'll also start prefacing out-of-character stuff with Gameplay note:. That should help with me and you keeping everything straight.

edit: ok i went back and made the changes. Another thing that I'm contemplating is to put all of the in-character stuff in present continuous, since its supposed to be a magical stream-of-consciousness recording. Finally, when i was writing up an update last night, I kept spelling my character's name Syvishtar rather than Syishtar. I think I'm just going to change it to Syvishtar. Feels better on the fingertips.

The consensus seems to be to keep Imoen, dump Montaron's corpse in the forest, and ditch Xzar at the Friendly Arm Inn, so that's what we'll do. But I won't start on another update for a few hours, so there is still time to debate.

Vorgen fucked around with this message at 05:00 on Sep 6, 2011

PotatoManJack
Nov 9, 2009


Keep Imoen Because she is useful and I like her character.
Hold onto Xzar until something better comes along Because he's totally meh.
gently caress the dead guy (not literally of course)

I'm actually one of the few people who knows almost nothing about BG. That being said, I'd also like for you to recruit the next available 'monster' that you can. Can monsters level up in this like regular characters do?

If the monster thing isn't viable for a while, then I say focus on recruiting an NPC who is equal parts red-haired and spunkiness.

Vorgen
Mar 5, 2006

Party Membership is a Democracy, The Weave is Not.

A fledgling vampire? How about a dragon, or some half-kobold druids? Perhaps a spontaneous sex change? Anything that can happen, will happen the results will be beyond entertaining.



PotatoManJack posted:

I'm actually one of the few people who knows almost nothing about BG. That being said, I'd also like for you to recruit the next available 'monster' that you can. Can monsters level up in this like regular characters do?

If the monster thing isn't viable for a while, then I say focus on recruiting an NPC who is equal parts red-haired and spunkiness.

Monsters accept money. Except humanoid types might accept jewelry. We can definitely try it out, if we meet a monster that isn't immediately hostile and that won't disappear after giving us a quest. It takes time and riches to woo them, from what I understand.

After they join the party I'm pretty sure they will level up. They might not have a class, though, or just be a regular fighter. I know that animals won't have a class until we get to the zoo in Amn and talk to the zookeeper about training them, which might be literally a year from now. We'll just have to experiment. But I'm not going to reload to get back all the money/treasure we lose if it turns out they suck, so we gotta choose wisely.

Vorgen fucked around with this message at 06:33 on Sep 6, 2011

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jng2058
Jul 17, 2010

We have the tools, we have the talent!







PotatoManJack posted:

Keep Imoen Because she is useful and I like her character.
Hold onto Xzar until something better comes along Because he's totally meh.
gently caress the dead guy (not literally of course)


This. I'm a fan of getting my party to six with the first available recruits then sorting through usefulness and personalities from there. Dead halfling ain't worth raising from the dead, but I'd keep Xzar until you can boot him out of a full party.

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