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1. Summary
2. Compatibility
3. Who you can talk with
4. Mercy: giving it...
5. Interlude: should you keep your word?
6. ...offering it...
7. ...and begging for it!


1. Summary. These games don't have much in the way of the material in the title, so let's see if we can introduce a bit of ethical turbulence to these still waters. This mod prepares most creatures, all the ones you can reasonably have some conversation with and who have some interest in their continued existence, for opting out of combat when they are badly hurt. Some will ask for mercy, and the party may grant it, letting them live. Others, wounded so, will listen to offers of surrender from the party. And finally, sorely pressed PCs themselves can throw in the towel, or something like it, and abandon their companions to save their lives - or even switch sides and join the enemies against those they just called comrades.

2. Compatibility. Made on the Enhanced Edition, should work on "classic."

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3. Who you can talk with. Most living beings want to keep living, and undead would like to continue on their merry way also. But it also takes conveying the intent. If a creature has a mind, if it is not a machine, if it can communicate its desire to be spared, then it may be involved in a talk of surrender when it descends below 30% of maximum health (around the "Badly Injured" level). Surrender is not like running away or flying berserk, it is an offer from one side or from the other. This kind of conversation is possible with a man, a halfling, a dragon, a rakshasa, an ogre, a ghoul, a vampire, but not with a golem, an otyugh, a dog, a beetle, an elemental, green slime or an ordinary skeleton raised by Animate Dead (skeleton warriors may be fair game). Winter and vampiric wolves are monsters and intelligent enough, but normal animals are out. On top of everything, some normal people just have a fanatically high morale and will not have anything to do with any surrendering. In the large pool of remaining candidates only 20% will ask for mercy. Still, over the course of adventuring with its many encounters, their white flags will fly around with some frequency.

4. Mercy: giving it... When a creature asks for mercy and the party wishes to grant it, the fight does not stop for it right away. The PCs must refrain from attacking the enemy or hurting it with spells during the next round, while the other side still goes after them. If the creature is attacked or damaged (by anyone, the party or somebody else), the offer will be considered rejected and the creature will fight to the last with the strength of desperation, which is considerable. Spellcasters in particular discover great reserves in themselves on death's door. The party would do well to listen to offers of surrender from beset wizards. If the PCs refrain from hostility during this round, the deal will be struck, the creature will become neutral, move to the sides, out of the fight, and the party will earn its worth in experience. The characters will not get the creature's items, however.

Giving mercy is considered a noble act, on the whole. Doing this consistently, the party main gain somewhat in reputation later on, but rejecting an offer, that is, attacking or damaging the creature, is not penalized.

On the screenshot above three xvarts indicate that they may cease fighting, while the one on the lower left already wears the blanc of surrender and heading off.

5. Interlude: should you keep your word? Sparing an enemy is the easiest way to take it out of the fight, but, besides not getting the loot, the party will not, of course, satisfy any quest demands for the destruction of this particular enemy they spared. The creature will have to be killed then or the quest abandoned. And surrenders may happen by misunderstanding, if the party simply fails to manage enough aggression while the creature waits. Once done, though, the surrender is official. If the creature dies now, no matter who kills it, the party will lose reputation immediately - though only for civilized folks. Civilized or civil, take your pick. Public opinion will not care if you break a promise to xvarts, ogres, orcs, bugbears, giants, dragons, ghouls and the like, all undead and "monsters," in fact, and you can dispatch those foul half-orcs in any quantity, too, the seventh race that they are. A human or a dwarf is another story, of course, and rakshasas look so gentlemanly in their stylish hats. In short, if the surrendered one is a disagreeable sort, the characters must look into themselves for guidance regarding the treatment of PoWs.

A surrendered creature will not engage in dialogue or give any quests. Mercy can be given only once, too. Don't expect to be believed if you attack now.

End of interlude

6. ...offering it... Although only a minority of eligible creatures will themselves ask for mercy, all of them will become open to offers of it after reaching that < 30% hit points depth. Even if the creature heals itself up, the experience will get it thinking. The PCs can use their new special ability, Offer Quarter, on these Badly Injured candidates. (If a character does not have this ability, let somebody else use it to teach.) Since the party has no business meddling in others' fights, it will only work on red-circle targets, not on neutrals clashing with each other. The offer must be made from a short distance and is 50% likely to be accepted. If not, the characters may try again the next round.

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Edwin is giving a chance to an ogre while Viconia flees several more. One of them is hurt badly and showing the white feather, though.

7. ...and begging for it! What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Members of the party can give up to save themselves in a pinch, even at full health. To attempt this use the other special ability, Surrender, on one of the enemies of the same general category you can discuss these things with. You may even try to surrender to those stern high-morale types that ignore offers of quarter. Whether it is rational to submit to ogres or, say, ghouls in the long run (to dinner or so) is debatable, but at least this rescues a character from imminent death. (Note: a PC who surrenders steps out of the party, and because games of the Baldur's Gate series cannot continue without the protagonist, Surrender is not available to the Bhaalspawn. In Icewind Dale no party members are essential and all can use the ability, but remember that it is still game over if there is no one alive left in the party.)

Opponents are eager for an opportunity to "get" an adventurer, so this offer is accepted 80% of the time. If not, you can, of course, try again. What happens next depends on who you are surrendering to - alignment makes a big difference. Of course, one rarely has the luxury of choosing who to appeal to, but sometimes yes.

Neutral alignment will simply want the character out of the picture. Just as any prisoner he himself might have taken, he will put on the white of submission and walk off to the side. There he will stay and can be gotten into the party later the usual way, with some explaining to do, no doubt.

Evil-aligned enemies will force the character to fight on their side, or perhaps this was his intention... Putting on the black of treason, he will fight against the PCs until such time as all the other foes have been put down. Then he will turn neutral.

Both maneuvers cost the character 1% of experience, and the colors of disgrace can only be cleared by the ultimate sacrifice. What really happened there? How will it go? There are many possibilities, opportunities rather, because these are, or were meant to be, role-playing games!

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Viconia sides with hobgoblins against the party.

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Edited by temnix
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