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dtgreene: Is it allowed to bring Viconia along? If not, why not?

In BG2, is it allowed to free Viconia? If not, why not?
I haven't played BG2, yet, so I don't know the situation. (Also, please don't explain it, it's hard enough for me to avoid BG2 spoilers on the BG forum.)

But the paladin's Ethos forbids you from having evil party members. Even neutral ones should be only temporary. I can associate with neutral characters for a cause, but I can't have them as permanent party members. As I intepret it for the video game: I can accept a neutral party member for the time I'm completing their personal mission. For example I have to let Jaheira go after we freed up Nashkell.

In Viconia's case when I meet her, she's being chased by law enforcement if I remember right. Which means, I'll probably side with the guard chasing her. (A paladin accepts the laws of a kingdom if they aren't extremely cruel. They don't want ot torture her, they want to execute her for her crimes.) If I can make a detect evil before meeting her, that makes the choice to side with the law enforcement even easier. (I don't remember the specific situation, so it IS possible for an evil person to manipulate a paladin into helping them, if the paladin forgets to do detect evil regularly.)

So, it's a lucky coincidence I chose Viconia's face as my avatar. :)
Post edited January 30, 2016 by algi
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algi: In Viconia's case when I meet her, she's being chased by law enforcement if I remember right. Which means, I'll probably side with the guard chasing her. (A paladin accepts the laws of a kingdom if they aren't extremely cruel. They don't want ot torture her, they want to execute her for her crimes.)
No they don't. They want to execute her because she's a Drow.

Viconia: "Help me! If you don't help me, they'll kill me!"
She's in distress; dire need.

Flaming Fist: "She is a dark elf; it should be obvious that she is evil".
Party: "What do you intend to do with her?"
Flaming Fist: "Kill her of course!"

They're racist thugs. Do paladins acknowledge such things as due process? Because if they don't, then they are no better than the racist thugs. To be honest I think any paladin that blindly allows some ethos to steer his/her judgement is nothing more than a zealot, and zealots are right up there with the worst of them...
Post edited January 30, 2016 by Hickory
Now, this is all speculation and to be taken with a grain of salt, because I haven't met Viconia, yet in this playthrough, and didn't get the opportunity to discover. And my experience tells me that even slight changes in the wording of dialogues can have huge impact on important decisions.

1. We know in fact she is evil after a detect evil.
2. It's the decision of Baldur's Gate to uphold the law by hiring mercenaries. Whether people have democratic rights (for due process) or not is besides the point for the paladin. (This is explicitely stated in the CPH. Tyranny is acceptable for the paladin. And even if she witnesses unacceptable horrible practices, like slavery, it's not her duty to free every slave in the country. But, of course, this is a perfect opportunity to save one person from excessive injustice, if it's actually true.)
3. It doesn't matter if the mercenary is racist or not, if he's doing his job properly. Don't forget that a Flaming Fist mercenary is the authority in these parts. Now, he might act against his order, but we don't know that.
4. It is possible that in this case Viconia is a victim of injustice, and while she's evil, she didn't in fact do anything bad, but as we know she's evil, she has to be really convincing to persuade a paladin that this is indeed extreme injustice that must be stopped, even going against the law of Baldur's Gate.

Don't forget that a paladin is euqally a servant to law as being good. And this might even be a very hard and interesting dilemma WHEN I get to that point. But as I said, I haven't, so I'll see what decision I will make eventually when I get there.
The thing is, I don't see anything evil about Viconia other than her alignment on her character sheet. She certainly doesn't act that way (except for leaving at high reputation, but that appears to be a game mechanic rather than a Viconia specific script; if you hack her alignment to be something else, that changes.)

It's similar to how I see Jaheira: The only reason she isn't good is that 2E has a rule requiring Druids to be neutral; she clearly acts good.
[Edit for typo]
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algi: Now, this is all speculation and to be taken with a grain of salt, because I haven't met Viconia, yet in this playthrough, and didn't get the opportunity to discover. And my experience tells me that even slight changes in the wording of dialogues can have huge impact on important decisions.

1. We know in fact she is evil after a detect evil.
Her game alignment is evil, not her. She talks tough, but she's not inherently evil, such as a demon would be. Her alignment can even be switched in ToB with the right guidance.

2. It's the decision of Baldur's Gate to uphold the law by hiring mercenaries. Whether people have democratic rights (for due process) or not is besides the point for the paladin. (This is explicitely stated in the CPH. Tyranny is acceptable for the paladin. And even if she witnesses unacceptable horrible practices, like slavery, it's not her duty to free every slave in the country. But, of course, this is a perfect opportunity to save one person from excessive injustice, if it's actually true.)
So if a paladin resides in the dominion of an evil tyrant, who enacts and enforces evil laws and actions, the paladin is upholding evil by default. This is what I was saying about allowing an ethos to have priority over good judgement. By extension, such a paladin would be fallen; would be evil.

3. It doesn't matter if the mercenary is racist or not, if he's doing his job properly. Don't forget that a Flaming Fist mercenary is the authority in these parts. Now, he might act against his order, but we don't know that.
Just as you don't know whether the mercenary is "doing his job properly". Just as you don't know that Viconia is evil (besides her alignment) when you meet her, nor whether she has committed any crime whatsoever. Blindly upholding a law just because it's a law is madness.

4. It is possible that in this case Viconia is a victim of injustice, and while she's evil,
No she isn't. Her alignment is.

she didn't in fact do anything bad, but as we know she's evil,
No she isn't. Her alignment is.

she has to be really convincing to persuade a paladin that this is indeed extreme injustice that must be stopped, even going against the law of Baldur's Gate.
No, she needs to be not of evil alignment, otherwise the paladin just won't listen.

Don't forget that a paladin is euqally a servant to law as being good.
So what law will you see Viconia break to deserve death? What proof can the Flaming Fist offer? None on both counts.

And this might even be a very hard and interesting dilemma WHEN I get to that point. But as I said, I haven't, so I'll see what decision I will make eventually when I get there.
We will see.
Post edited January 31, 2016 by Hickory
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algi: Now, this is all speculation and to be taken with a grain of salt, because I haven't met Viconia, yet in this playthrough, and didn't get the opportunity to discover. And my experience tells me that even slight changes in the wording of dialogues can have huge impact on important decisions.

1. We know in fact she is evil after a detect evil.
2. It's the decision of Baldur's Gate to uphold the law by hiring mercenaries. Whether people have democratic rights (for due process) or not is besides the point for the paladin. (This is explicitely stated in the CPH. Tyranny is acceptable for the paladin. And even if she witnesses unacceptable horrible practices, like slavery, it's not her duty to free every slave in the country. But, of course, this is a perfect opportunity to save one person from excessive injustice, if it's actually true.)
3. It doesn't matter if the mercenary is racist or not, if he's doing his job properly. Don't forget that a Flaming Fist mercenary is the authority in these parts. Now, he might act against his order, but we don't know that.
4. It is possible that in this case Viconia is a victim of injustice, and while she's evil, she didn't in fact do anything bad, but as we know she's evil, she has to be really convincing to persuade a paladin that this is indeed extreme injustice that must be stopped, even going against the law of Baldur's Gate.

Don't forget that a paladin is euqally a servant to law as being good. And this might even be a very hard and interesting dilemma WHEN I get to that point. But as I said, I haven't, so I'll see what decision I will make eventually when I get there.
1. Serve the public trust
2. Protect the innocent
3. Uphold the law

Robocop is the paladin to end all paladins, and the Flaming Fist guard is more like Clarence Boddicker. You are honour bound to lift him up with your uncanny strength and repeatedly throw him through glass walls.

If that guard were a man of the law, he would have her arrested instead of straight up trying to murder her. It's the court's decision as to whether or not she is to be executed, or even punished. The only exception is if she is putting someone in immediate danger, and when you meet Viconia that's clearly not the case.
Again, without making any decisions, there is a thing I don't understand: A character's alignment is evil, but the character isn't evil? What does that even mean? If a character isn't following her alignment, that menas the character is badly written. I can't account for that. (I had some evil and neutral characters, in my party, and they said some very hateful things.)

The other thing: the paladin isn't a hero fighting the authority. The paladin is part of the authority. And my video isn't about following RoboCop's first three prime directives, which would be very selective, as even RoboCop had a 4th directive to respect the authority of OCP, I'm following the ethos described in The Complete Paladin's Handbook, which means I can act against authority only in very specific cases. And if such a dilemma will come up where being good will clash with being lawful, I promise, I will make a video about it going into detail and quoting the book verbatim and analyzing the situation in depth. (I haven't met Viconia, yet.)

And this is my latest video, which is about the lost quests:

https://youtu.be/EgKyJIoPXZo

I simply mustn't accept some quests, including half of the tutorial quests. And it turns out that the wording of the quest itself is very important and can mean a big difference.
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algi: there is a thing I don't understand: A character's alignment is evil, but the character isn't evil? What does that even mean? If a character isn't following her alignment, that menas the character is badly written. I can't account for that.
That's a cop out. How do you account for a goody-two-shoes paladin upholding evil laws? Nothing is black and white, unless you wear the glasses.
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algi: there is a thing I don't understand: A character's alignment is evil, but the character isn't evil? What does that even mean? If a character isn't following her alignment, that menas the character is badly written. I can't account for that.
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Hickory: That's a cop out. How do you account for a goody-two-shoes paladin upholding evil laws? Nothing is black and white, unless you wear the glasses.
So, what did you think about my latest video?
I think the two games present you with somewhat different moral cases when you meet Viconia, and the devs made an effort to make her more sympathetic in BG2 (regarding the circumstances in which you meet her, I mean; I've never had her in my party, so I don't know much about her overall character).

When she came up to me in my BG1 playthrough, all I knew was that a fugitive from the law was asking me to hide her. I was playing lawful neutral, so this didn't seem like an option that my character could take; the law requires that she be taken in for a trial (or, if she has already been convicted and sentenced, to be executed). I never even got to any dialogue with the mercenary about why he wanted to kill her. I just told Viconia that I wasn't going to protect her, and rather than continuing to flee, she attacked me, forcing me to either kill her or back off and let the mercenary do it when he showed up a few seconds later. I think my actions were in keeping with role-playing a lawful character.

In BG2, they're burning her at the stake solely because she's Drow, right? And she was going to be killed by a mob, not by the city guard? I can't remember it very well -- interestingly, in my recent BGT playthrough, she never appeared in BG2 -- presumably because the game considered her to be dead. But iirc it was made pretty clear that killing her would have been unjust, in which case there's no reason a lawful character couldn't step in.
Post edited February 19, 2016 by NotJabba
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Hickory: That's a cop out. How do you account for a goody-two-shoes paladin upholding evil laws? Nothing is black and white, unless you wear the glasses.
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algi: So, what did you think about my latest video?
In a word, confusing.
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algi: Again, without making any decisions, there is a thing I don't understand: A character's alignment is evil, but the character isn't evil? What does that even mean? If a character isn't following her alignment, that menas the character is badly written. I can't account for that. (I had some evil and neutral characters, in my party, and they said some very hateful things.)

The other thing: the paladin isn't a hero fighting the authority. The paladin is part of the authority. And my video isn't about following RoboCop's first three prime directives, which would be very selective, as even RoboCop had a 4th directive to respect the authority of OCP, I'm following the ethos described in The Complete Paladin's Handbook, which means I can act against authority only in very specific cases. And if such a dilemma will come up where being good will clash with being lawful, I promise, I will make a video about it going into detail and quoting the book verbatim and analyzing the situation in depth. (I haven't met Viconia, yet.)

And this is my latest video, which is about the lost quests:

https://youtu.be/EgKyJIoPXZo

I simply mustn't accept some quests, including half of the tutorial quests. And it turns out that the wording of the quest itself is very important and can mean a big difference.
Each alignment has it's own subtype:

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CharacterAlignment

If you click on each alignment it'll show how the same alignment can have different characters with different attitudes and mannerisms.

Viconia is this:

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AffablyEvil

I know affably evil isn't an alignment itself, but it explains why she behaves the way she does. The way you're playing paladins is lawful stupid.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LawfulStupid

I'm not saying you specifically are stupid, that's just the name of the trope.
The problem is that I'm not playing according to a website that was written based on interpretations of derivatives of fantasy literature written according to AD&D.. I'm playing according to The Complete Paladin's Handbook. And the moment I break any rules in the book, I have to do penance.

For example in my current video I'm giving examples of how a paladin HAS TO behave.

https://youtu.be/5ioTGAXvUeI

This video is about how I always have to be polite and how I should choose my equipment only for social reasons.
Could you give me some specific examples when my decision wasn't lawful good?

PS. YouTube allows linking timestamps inside videos, so it's very easy to specify when I deviated from LG.
Post edited March 04, 2016 by algi
My latest video tells the tale how my character became a real paladin.

https://youtu.be/-jNTkAL19cA