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Updated and final version with several imporvements, and essential for Icewind Dale

Attention: for some reason that I gave up on figuring out the game may crash when starting a new game in Icewind Dale. This is not because of what the mod does but because of leftover files in override, they may linger for some reason. If they are deleted and override emptied, the game starts normally. For those who don't want to empty the override, this error only occurs on starting new games. If this happens at all, you should create your IWD party, start, save the game, then install the mod and load the save.

1. Acknowledgements
2. Crime
3. Punishment
4. From the bottom up
5. Redemption
6. Ordeals
7. Notes and tips
8. Rep and rap

 

1. Acknowledgements

@CamDawg, @jastey, @DavidW, @argent77, @Lauriel, @Jarno Mikkola, @Ardanis, Guest Gob Oafenplug and others have contributed to this mod or others of mine.

2. Crime

This mod is for and about characters with an ethos: paladins and rangers. It will hold both generated characters and NPC to a standard of behavior. Transgressions will be penalized with falling, through several degrees - losing powers first, turning into a fighter next. Former paladins who persist in deliberate villainy can become blackguards. Blackguards, on the other hand, can redeem themselves with goodness and take the road in the opposite direction, even all the way to paladin.

The mod is not about Reputation. However, characters will still fall because of low Reputation, except cleric-rangers, because the engine does not recognize it when one half of them slips. Other than this, cleric-rangers abide by ranger rules.

The main transgression in question is attacking and killing innocents. Innocents in this case are not bystanders from that particular class but any creature that does not originally pose a danger to the party, i.e. begins as a blue circle. Alignment is irrelevant. It is a transgression to attack a character who is evil and will turn on the party after dialogue, it is a transgression to attack preemptively out of convenience. However, only humanoids and giant humanoids deserve this consideration. Undead and monsters with blue circles are fair game unless they have dialogue, e.g. Kangaxx the Lich or dragons. Rangers must also take care not to attack innocent animals, e.g. bears. When another party member strikes at the creature, however, the paladin/ranger can join the fray without suffering the penalty. Flaming Fist enforcers, bounty hunters, Cowled Wizards etc. are also fair game.

A character can transgress once in 24 hours at most. This keeps falling to "scene" level so that no one drops all the way down by several unfortunate swings of the sword or a misfired spell. (To make a Star Wars comparison, Anakin Skywalker and the young Jedi would constitute one episode.) The interval counting is in true, 360-second hours, which means 8640, not 7200, seconds in a day - four rests, not three. A ranger or paladin who transgresses by attack will not be punished a second time for killing the creature or for any other reason until the end of the intermission.

Paladins occupying the position of party leader are also responsible for the behavior of the group. When a companion attacks, kills an innocent or tries and fails to steal from a store or pick pockets from most NPC (those capable of shouting), the leader paladin will suffer the penalty. This means that either paladins must not be leaders or the party must behave. Besides the moral fallout, victims of failed pickpocketing will now also shout for help, with the usual consequences defined in the shout script, and become unavailable for talking.

Despite these strict mechanics always in place, transgressing against goodness or law may be a decision, a choice. It is something to role-play. There are a few special cases when the party may transgress in Baldur's Gate 1, the game I'm interested in. In those cases the speaking character, paladin or ranger, will fall, and if the party's leader is a paladin, he will fall also. You can find out what those situations are below or just play keeping alignment and class in mind and knowing that being a rude outlaw and brigand may sometimes be penalized. One should play that way anyhow.

Spoiler

Actions that will cause falling in BG1

Refusing to hand Viconia over to the Flaming Fist mercenary: P but not R.

Trap Riggolo the thief in Durlag's Tower with the cursed lock: P or R.

Agree to kill the archeologists and Charleston Nib: P or R.

Not siding with Seniyad in Cloakwood: R.

Another encounter somewhere... may be this, may be that...

Flooding the Cloakwood mine without rescuing miners: all P and R in the party.

Killing Rieltar in Candlekeep: all P and R in the party.

Modders who want to introduce checks to their own encounters and situations, to take advantage of this mod's system, can do so. They need to add the action ApplySpellRES("REPKI3_#",LastTalkedToBy) to dialogues where the speaking ranger/paladin must fall, ApplySpellRES("REPKP3_#",LastTalkedToBy) where only the speaking paladin must fall or ApplySpellRES("REPKR3_#",LastTalkedToBy) where the character will fall if he is a ranger. If all rangers and paladins in the party must fall, add ApplySpellRES("ATOCLK_#",Player1Fill) to the action.

3. Punishment

After the first transgression the character becomes a fallen paladin or fallen ranger. After the second he becomes a fighter and his alignment shifts towards neutrality. Cleric-rangers lose their powers first and become fighter/clerics next, still with no access to spells.

This is the end of the descent for rangers, although they can continue to accumulate sin with personal killings.

Ex-paladins have the option of taking up villainy as a principle. This can't happen by accident or from group guilt but only from determined, sustained killing of innocents. As always, the record is updated only once every 24 hours. Killing children gets the job done quicker. After a certain considerable number of slayings the character will become a Lawful Evil blackguard.

4. From the bottom up

For their part, blackguards can seek redemption and riddance of their dark powers. The difficulty of (re)ascending depends on the depth of the plunge, which is great for blackguard converts. Characters who were blackguards originally but did not commit any real wrongs, e.g. Dorn, are not so far from putting away their class. The challenge depends on their level when accepted into the group. It will take great effort for a high-level Dorn in BG2. When a blackguard succeeds in erasing his sins, he rises to fighter and a neutral alignment. From there he may try to attain the status of a fallen paladin, which will involve a change to Lawful Good, and eventually achieve full and proper paladinhood. Devolved rangers and cleric-rangers also can strive to rise first to the fallen status and then to a complete return. It is possible to rise and descend again any number of times, though after becoming a paladin it will be always along the lawful alignment axis. Redemption is dearly won and not guaranteed at all, however.

Dorn.jpg.52de7f8bd9356c71b045196b71d2461c.jpg


5. Redemption

A character can try to redeem himself by slaying red-circle creatures of evil alignment. For every one there is a small chance that the deed will count. Another way is to use spells and abilities of the Combat Protections, Illusionary Protections and Non-Combat types (the last includes healing and curing) on blue-circle creatures. While merciful casting is only an option for blackguards hoping for redemption, the other classes having had their priest scrolls disabled, all other special abilities in these categories, from the games or from installed mods, will come with a small chance of counting as penance. I have myself made a few of these, e.g. "First Aid." All successes at penance count at 24 hour intervals, but merciful use of abilities is unique in that it uses a separate counter. Ex-rangers' ministrations are especially likely to be noticed if they cure or help animals.

Attempting penance is impossible until the intermission period for the last misdeed has ended. Use the Atonement spell to relieve the guilt of the deed. This spell together with Ordeal and a tithing option are available at all non-evil temples in civilized settings. The spells will also be added to priest scrolls of all clerics and paladins in the party and NPC not yet encountered. If a character should have one of these spells but for some reason does not, have another cast it and the first will learn automatically.

Cures.jpg.6fb91251f44d2d9efdbbd645ef55b016.jpg

Atonement removes the guilt of a transgression. Ordeals and tithing are impossible until the guilt has died away or this ritual has been used. It also speeds up descent into blackguarddom.

Tithing is a safe penance option: give 1000 gold from the party purse for a chance of relieving wrongs. The chance is not high, and it is likely to take many thousands of gold pieces. The character can tithe any number of times without exiting the temple screen, but results will only be shown outside. After success tithing may be tried again with effect only 24 hours later. Money spent afterwards tithing in a sequence will not be returned.

Even if tithing is rejected, it will permit the character to request an ordeal out of turn. Tithing is also proof of intention for blackguards who want to change their ways. It will give them a special ability, "Renounce Powers," which will strip them of all class benefits for the next day. Every time it is used there is a small chance it will count as penance.

807459996_Renouncepowers.jpg.440720fcccf71762b5aaccef3963d939.jpg

Tithing does not do anything for ex-rangers. Instead they receive a special ability upon falling, "Grüngeld." This needs to be used on a druid neutral towards the party. The character will give 1000 gold to the druid for environmental causes. You know, the building of enormous wind turbines and such. Though the chance of this counting towards penance is still fairly low, it is better than for tithing. A druid companion may be used for this purpose if put out of the party, but either way the druid will be unavailable for the next 24 hours.

6. Ordeals

The Ordeal spell and service is an opportunity to do penance quickly. Assigned at random, they are very dangerous and can kill or permanently maim a character or make him unplayable. Some ordeals are displays of willpower and commitment, others are special missions. Most must be completed before the character or party can return. Even success at ordeals does not guarantee redemption, however. Nothing does. The kingdom of heaven is not taken by storm. It is possible to remain unforgiven with the best efforts on every front. Here the player needs to ask himself whether he will keep on trying.

1305847005_Ordeal1.jpg.7c53f2a3a7e4aaf8dc73abfe464b1eba.jpg

1995282644_Ordeal3.jpg.37b11387976f948352b9d8f133572e33.jpg

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58631189_Thelabyrinth.thumb.jpg.d6ed563ecc2448971ddd31673aedbd14.jpg

It is possible to decline an offered ordeal, but another may be requested only a day later. Starting an ordeal also gives blackguards a chance to renounce powers.

7. Notes and tips

The ordeal of shame can put even a main character in a permanent state of panic, if too much morale is lost. This kind of invalid will have to be kept up with Remove Fear, potions of clarity, Kiel's helmet etc.

I recommend using WAL02 sounds from my replacement pack for wooden floors. The standard footsteps are too hard for the earthen maze.

Focus on missions' assignments. Only one kind of challenge is guaranteed to count as penance if completed, but failing (all innocents killed) usually results in no reward.

Blackguards do not rise to the light by slaying evil creatures. They must first become fighters, at least.

8. Rep and rap

This standalone component makes it less of a losing proposition to choose villainy. NPC reactions to Reputation are ranged as follows:

1   2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
7 5 3 1 -5 -4 -3 -2 -1  0  1  1  2  2  3  3  4  5  5  7

Every value of Reputation now has its own title, which will help to explain the table: Abominated, Dreaded, Abhorred, Feared, Hated, Loathed, Disdained, Disliked, Tolerated, Ignored, Acknowledged, Accepted, Liked, Welcomed, Cherished, Praised, Cheered, Extolled, Celebrated, Idolized. As you can see, the low values give sharp bonuses to reception starting at 4. The worst Reputation levels to be at are 5-9. Nobody respects the local hoodlum, but impressive villainy pays off richly in quaking boots.

A version of the Geas spell is also included. This Geas, sold at some scroll stores in BG2 and IWD, will prevent a companion from leaving on account of Reputation. He may complain, but he'll never storm out.

Download

Edited by temnix
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Heh at the title. Interesting idea, kind of neat if you want to enforce a little more RP for supposedly good characters while also providing some options for working with it as well.

"A character can transgress once in 24 hours at most. The counting is in true, 360-second hours, so 8640, not 7200 seconds in a day, four rests, not three. A ranger or paladin who transgresses by attack will not be punished a second time for killing the creature or for any other reason until the end of the intermission."

Can you explain this? I once took a five minute recording of my in-game clock right as it turned to a new hour to prove Jarno wrong, and it turned another hour again right at the 5 minute mark, not 6 minutes.

 

Edited by Bartimaeus
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Looks cool.  My only quibble is in regard to this:

21 hours ago, temnix said:

Transgressing against goodness or law may be a choice. There are four special cases when the party will transgress in Baldur's Gate 1, the game I'm interested in. Refusing to hand Viconia over to the Flaming Fist mercenary will be considered a deviation for the speaking character, who will fall if a ranger or paladin.

Acting counter to "the law" (i.e. the word of one rogue officer) and saving someone accused of no unlawful action from an extrajudicial summary execution, will cause a Chaotic Good ranger to fall?? Am I reading that right?

Because, that seems like the kind of thing Chaotic Good rangers were born to do.

Edited by subtledoctor
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21 hours ago, subtledoctor said:

Looks cool.  My only quibble is in regard to this:

Acting counter to "the law" (i.e. the word of one rogue officer) and saving someone accused of no unlawful action from an extrajudicial summary execution, will cause a Chaotic Good ranger to fall?? Am I reading that right?

Because, that seems like the kind of thing Chaotic Good rangers were born to do.

Agree with this. It seems more likely given the circumstances that a ranger should fall for allowing the guard to kill Viconia than for saving her.

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Indeed, it would be nice to see the two different classes have diametrically opposed results from the same situation, to drive a bit of a wedge between their respective codes of conduct.  Another opportunity to highlight the difference might be in how you deal with the druids and the hunters in the first Cloakwood map.  The game unfortunately hews to the simplistic idea that one Goody McGoodnik is more or less the same as any other; a mod like this, to its credit, has the potential to inject nuance and tension into the way alignment is handled.

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---

@Bartimaeus Time in these games is measured differently in different places. A round or one game minute should last 6 real-time seconds, and it does, but for some calculations 5-second rounds are used. An hour is often taken to be 300 seconds instead of 360, and a day-long spell duration is 7200 seconds where it should be 8640. I think "ONE_DAY" duration in GTIMES.IDS is 7200, though I haven't looked there for some time. I think 5-second minutes is also the measurement used by the engine to count off daytime and nighttime. Setting timers with 360-second hours, like I do, gets you rather later than the default. Anyway, the timers will probably expire somewhat after the exact time yesterday you killed someone or passed an ordeal. You'll be told to wait if it's not yet time and you attempt to tithe again. No refunds, though. :D 

Edited by temnix
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This is an important update. Required if you intend to install the mod over Icewind Dale. However, there may still be a problem with starting new games in IWD. See in the first message up there.

Edited by temnix
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The version uploaded here was missing a file that prevented the installation from completing, and the order of files was all off. I probably put it together in a hurry. The version at the new link is correct.

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