Murder in Baldurs Gate and player choices affecting the Sundering - Spoiler alert -

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Just received my copy of Murder in Baldurs Gate and want to share my thoughts on what is happened there and about the "we players can shape the sundering" idea.

If you want to avoid spoilers, don't read any further.

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1. Bhaal is back (you get it, I am really unhappy about that)
This is not open to be decided, that's definitive happening and actually happens before the heroes get to do anything of note. It's the secret premise of the start of the adventure

2. Bhaal is weak and looking for a chosen
Here the players actions come into play and depending on what they do they can decide who from among a list of candidates will be Bhaal's chosen (and then slay him immediately :confused or have one of them become the chosen instead (and then be slain by his former party members :confused

This I think confirms what many people thought about the extent of us being able to shape the sundering. IMHO it was always clear that we don't get to call the really big and important shots, because WotC simply needs to prepare them too far in advance to have to wait until our feedback decides major plotpoints just a few month before the novel releases. The novels simply need to have the major plot points down much earlier.

So our feedback can't stop/help Bhaal, but we get to decide which NPC will be his chosen (I think the PC as chosen option won't make it into canon, even if that were the majority outcome WotC would just select whichever NPC scored second).

So I can't say I am surprised about the impact we can have on the new realms and I am not displeased (except that Bhaal is back Yell)
Well, that is about what I expected when his symbol started showing up.

RE: Point #1
Does the module explain just what set of circumstances allowed Bhaal to return, or is it a handwaved "lo and behold, dark Bhaal returned from the dead and the Realms trembled" sort of explanation?
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147048523 wrote:
"I don't like X, they should remove it." "I like X, they should keep it." "They should replace X with Y." "Anybody that likes X is dumb. Y is better." "Why don't they include both X and Y." "Yeah, everybody can be happy then!" "But I don't like X, they should remove it." "X really needs to be replaced with Y." "But they can include both X and Y." "But I don't like X, they need to remove it." "Remove X, I don't like it." Repeat. Obstinance?
56790678 wrote:
Until you've had an in-law tell you your choice of game was stupid, and just Warcraft on paper, and dumbed down for dumber players who can't handle a real RPG, you haven't lived. You haven't lived.
56902498 wrote:
Lady and gentlemen.... I present to you the Edition War without Contrition, the War of the Web, the Mighty Match-up! We're using standard edition war rules. No posts of substance. Do not read the other person's posts with comprehension. Make frequent comparison to video games, MMOs, and CCGs. Use the words "fallacy" and "straw man", incorrectly and often. Passive aggressiveness gets you extra points and asking misleading and inflammatory questions is mandatory. If you're getting tired, just declare victory and leave the thread. Wait for the buzzer... and.... One, two, three, four, I declare Edition War Five, six, seven eight, I use the web to Go!
57062508 wrote:
D&D should not return to the days of blindfolding the DM and players. No tips on encounter power? No mention of expected party roles? No true meaning of level due to different level charts or tiered classes? Please, let's not sacrifice clear, helpful rules guidelines in favour of catering to the delicate sensibilities of the few who have problems with the ascetics of anything other than what they are familiar with.
56760448 wrote:
Just a quick note on the MMORPG as an insult comparison... MMORPGs, raking in money by the dumptruck full. Many options, tons of fans across many audiences, massive resources allocated to development. TTRPGs, dying product. Squeaking out an existence that relys on low cost. Fans fit primarily into a few small demographics. R&D budgets small, often rushed to market and patched after deployment. You're not really making much of an argument when you compare something to a MMORPG and assume people think that means bad. Lets face it, they make the money, have the audience and the budget. We here on this board are fans of TTRPGs but lets not try to pretend none of us play MMORPGs.
90571711 wrote:
Adding options at the system level is good. Adding options at the table level is hard. Removing options at the system level is bad. Removing options at the table level is easy. This is not complicated.
57333888 wrote:
112760109 wrote:
56902838 wrote:
Something like Tactical Shift is more magical than martial healing.
Telling someone to move over a few feet is magical now? :| I weep for this generation.
Given the laziness and morbid obsesity amongst D&Ders, being able to convince someone to get on their feet, do some heavy exercise, and use their words to make them be healthier must seem magical.
158710691 wrote:
D&D definitely improves mental health; Just as long as you stay away from these forums ;)
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Abdel was wrong, there was another bhaalspawn left beside him. After decades of planing that bhaalspawn finally attacks him. The PCs can intervene or maybe even Abdel wins on his own (if the PCs do nothing and the DMs uses the provided quick rules for resolving their duell) but in any case the outcome is the same. With Bhaal's essence finally united in the last Bhaalspawn the spawn get's no say at all in the matter when Bhaal just erases him and takes over his body (transforming him into a weaker form of his slayer avatar to be killed by the PCs, but killing this first weak corporeal manifestation is meaningless at this point Bhaal is still back, although the PCs might not realize that and believe they have just prevented his return)
I'd be more surprised if all that many people were truly surprised by this turn of events, or how it was handled, for precisely the same reasons you mentioned Mirtek.

"Be careful to choose your enemies well.  Friends don't much matter.  But the choice of enemies is very important."  

- Oscar Wilde

Wait, Bhaal is back?

Bhaal is BACK?!?




YEEESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!

 

Just picked it up, I mostly got it for lore on the city instead of the adventure. Flipping through the book so far it looks pretty kool. I wish the DM screen/map was bigger, but all in all it looks pretty kool, I really like the Tavern and NPC name generating tables, I'll definitely get some use out of those.
I survived Section 4 and all I got was this lousy sig Off-topic and going downhill from there
so who are the npcs that we have the choice of offing for the great bhaal????


the lord of murder shall perish, in his wake shall score a mortal prodigy, so sayeth the wise aluando.


the lord of murder has perished, the true lord of murder has returned.  Come Cyric, come get murdered
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
Well you could kill any and all NPCs for Bhall if you wanted to. But the main ones in the adventure are Rilsa Rael-a high ranking member of the theives guild; Torlin Silvershield-leader of the city's greatest patriar house, duke on the council of four and head priest of the city's grandest temple; and Ulder Ravengard-A high ranking officier in the Flaming Fist and Warden of Wyrm's Rock.

It is one of these 3 that will be the Chosen of Bhaal, unless one of the PCs prove to be more ruthless and bloodthirsty than those three, then that PC will be Chosen of Bhaal, whether he/she likes it or not.
You can dounload thier stats for 3.x,4, or 5e here. 
I survived Section 4 and all I got was this lousy sig Off-topic and going downhill from there
so who are the npcs that we have the choice of offing for the great bhaal????

Note that the PCs are not knowing what's going on or that Bhaal is back or even looking for a chosen

the lord of murder shall perish, in his wake shall score a mortal prodigy, so sayeth the wise aluando.

When I think of Bhaal a different quote comes to mind. The part of him being forcefully dragged throughout all the lower planers to finally come down broken and bleeding for all the powers of the lower planes to laugh at

the lord of murder has perished, the true lord of murder has returned.  Come Cyric, come get murdered

I guess Cyric could use a lapdog for his amusement

Well, that is about what I expected when his symbol started showing up.

RE: Point #1
Does the module explain just what set of circumstances allowed Bhaal to return, or is it a handwaved "lo and behold, dark Bhaal returned from the dead and the Realms trembled" sort of explanation?

fwiw: Not sure if the writers worked together, but Bhaal's essence was heavily featured throughout LFR's Eltugard adventure series (lots of infections and carnage).
Well, that is about what I expected when his symbol started showing up.

RE: Point #1
Does the module explain just what set of circumstances allowed Bhaal to return, or is it a handwaved "lo and behold, dark Bhaal returned from the dead and the Realms trembled" sort of explanation?

fwiw: Not sure if the writers worked together, but Bhaal's essence was heavily featured throughout LFR's Eltugard adventure series (lots of infections and carnage).

These were written long after LFR became non-canon

These were written long after LFR became non-canon

Yup. Just seemed like an interesting coinicidence, 'sall. Indeed the latest occurance will likely be unsurprising to my LFR players.

Looking to run this adventure for my home group, and it is a very dark adventure. Almost GoT dark. My big question is how do you keep your players in the city if they did not want to become involved in city politics after the first few encounters. I think adventurers would make more gold plundering a Dungeon than being an enforcer and on someone's pay roll.
Looking to run this adventure for my home group, and it is a very dark adventure. Almost GoT dark. My big question is how do you keep your players in the city if they did not want to become involved in city politics after the first few encounters. I think adventurers would make more gold plundering a Dungeon than being an enforcer and on someone's pay roll.



Theres lots of ways to keep them interested in staying in the city, one way that I often use is to place the adventure during winter or perhaps hard rains or something, "the roads arent fit for traveling, so looks like youll all be stuck in the city a while longer". Bribes might work in keeping them in the city, promises of fame, fortune, and perhaps even title and/or rank can go a long way.
I survived Section 4 and all I got was this lousy sig Off-topic and going downhill from there

The_Silversword wrote:
Looking to run this adventure for my home group, and it is a very dark adventure. Almost GoT dark. My big question is how do you keep your players in the city if they did not want to become involved in city politics after the first few encounters. I think adventurers would make more gold plundering a Dungeon than being an enforcer and on someone's pay roll.

 

 


Theres lots of ways to keep them interested in staying in the city, one way that I often use is to place the adventure during winter or perhaps hard rains or something, "the roads arent fit for traveling, so looks like youll all be stuck in the city a while longer". Bribes might work in keeping them in the city, promises of fame, fortune, and perhaps even title and/or rank can go a long way.

 

Wish the DM I was playing with did something along these lines. The adventure is quite boring as a player when all you are presented with is "Which of these 3 shitty teams do you want to join". That's basically all we get.

get the DM to let your table play two characters.... and play them against each other.

 

say turning the new guy in charge of the fist against the thief guild bimbo and see them both rise to be the chosen of bhaal......

a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....

One of the other clues to the seeming demise of Cyric and thus the opportunity or need (?) for Bhaal's return is contained in Elminster's Guide to the Forgotten Realms. Bane et al get extensive write-ups; Cyric gets a couple of paragraphs that are fairly dismissive in tone as if he's no longer of any importance to the Realms.

So, yes, Bhaal is coming back and it would be a safe bet that we might see Myrkul too. I wonder if this means that the Dark Three will go on tour?

Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom

that is unlikely as Myrkul was  content not being a deity. and to get a body now, he'd have to take over the corpse of the dead god of necromancy.

a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....

Imruphel wrote:
One of the other clues to the seeming demise of Cyric
With Denning writing one of the Sundering novels and Malik playing a prominent role in it I have full faith that Cyric will make it through the Sundering just fine

Mirtek wrote:

 

Imruphel wrote:
One of the other clues to the seeming demise of Cyric

With Denning writing one of the Sundering novels and Malik playing a prominent role in it I have full faith that Cyric will make it through the Sundering just fine

 

be that as it may, he could still lose a part of his portfolio.......... and only be left with illusions and lies

a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....

Only to get ganked by Leira emerging from behind the curtain where she had been hiding the whole time, just waiting for the opportune moment to strike...

"Be careful to choose your enemies well.  Friends don't much matter.  But the choice of enemies is very important."  

- Oscar Wilde

 all this and more on tonight's episode of " A Day in the Life of Your Forgotten Realms!

 

commentation by Lord Elminster the Sage of Shadowdale

special effects by Storm Silverhand

a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....

Eurgh, did I see Abdel mentioned here?

 

And why didn't the Bhaal takeover thing happen to our Bhaalspawn in the BG saga?

 

(sorry, don't know how to do spoilers with this newfangled forum)

cannon bhaalspawn was Abdel......

a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....

Yet another bit of canon that I feel completely comfortable simply ignoring...

"Be careful to choose your enemies well.  Friends don't much matter.  But the choice of enemies is very important."  

- Oscar Wilde

In case anyone missed it, WoTC released the Murder in Baldur's Gate Launch Event adventure for free this week;

 

Murder in Baldur's Gate Launch Event Adventure
10/01/2013 - News
Here now is the Murder in Baldur's Gate Launch Event adventure—available for download!

Nice!  Thanks WOTC! It would be great if they could release a downloadable version of the map of The Wide that goes with it too. 

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