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The Original Viconia Relationship thread...


Grim Squeaker

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Besides, didn't they listen to themselves when they wrote "Females of the Realms can excel at any area they wish, and are easily the equals of their male counterparts in every skill or respect"?

 

I think that the game designers are just trying to be politically correct here and avoid any hassle. :D

 

So they're selectively politically correct? :D Well that's kind of off, isn't it?

 

For my part I did not find Viconia to deserve to be called 'slut' or 'whore' while playing her romance. Mainly for two reasons:

<snip reasons>

 

I was merely comparing her to the ARCHETYPE, especially in context with the other two romances.. Your reaction shows exactly how people react to that archetype. It's a gut reaction because promiscious women are damned in our society. Men can sleep around all they like, and they're called a stud! Women... well they're whores and sluts.

 

I am not saying that I think she is a whore!! *sigh* Everytime I address this I seem to dig myself into a deeper hole...

 

Anyway, I have a lot to say about her romance with a male in the game. Unfortunately it will make me look a little like a feminazi, which I'm not. Most males would probably defend the way Viconia's romance is presented to the death...

 

This is a woman from a society where women are dominant. She's come up into the world, been chased, abused, put in horrible situations by men (the farm near Beregost! She was raped there and buried alive!! The stake in Athkatla where she was almost burned alive!!), and yet she still throws herself all over the male while running hot and cold at first, then finally "cast"ing her "white flag" before him, telling him that he has "defeated" her. She tells him "You have defeated me... now taste your victory..." That is when the ViconiaRomanceActive variable is set to 2.

 

Can you see what I might see as a problem with that?

 

I guess in some ways this is a problem with the medium in which this romance is written. (Viconia has the highest number of lovetalks, which is surprising in some ways - but she also sleeps with the male PC a lot sooner than the other girls - not that that is a bad thing! :D)

 

2) They way she treats PC is quite obviously an attempt to spook him away from her while at the same time she's drawn to him like moth is drawn to candlelight. Shgibberlings3.netgibberlings3.netgibberlings3.netgibberlings3.netgibberlings3.nete literally begs the PC to turn away in disgust as she tells of the Calismite trader. And for all we know she might be lying  (she does that from time to time) or exaggerating just to drive you away.

EDIT: Of course the point here being that she knows enough of surface way to know from which strings to pull when she wishes to shock you.

 

Oh yes. Viconia is a rather vulnerable woman... She's uncertain of herself and so she tries to push anyone away from her. So even a female PC just trying to develop a friendship (let alone any other form of relationship) would find the path fraught with frustration - Viconia almost confiding, pulling away and insulting, then apologising for her behaviour. She'd be rather frustrating to get to know, I think. :D

 

Anyway, if she knows enough about the surface ways to find the right strings to pull, then she certainly knows enough of the surface world not to come to the conclusion that male and female roles are simple reversals from what she's known among her people.

 

As for this mod I don't think it's really relevant to look for evidence of Viconia being bisexual or not. If the finished mod can make us *believe* so, it does not matter if we have evidence or not. Ultimately modding is anyway adding content that was not there before. However what I think is important is the *reason* to make female romance for Viconia. Is it because you feel that it will add something to the game; tell an interesting and believable story? Or because lesbian drow are kinky and cool and Vic is obviously bisexual cause she's big evil slut anyway? We all know how popular kissing girls are in movies / magazines aimed solely for male consumers. Maybe I was exaggerating a bit here but I hope you get my point. :D 

 

Well I'm not looking, because I know I won't find it. It's simply not there. The closest she comes to flirting with any of the female NPCs is offering to teach Aerie the ways of the Nightsinger, and her constant bickering with Jaheira (who'd be the perfect female partner for Viconia in some ways :D).

 

I think Viconia is an interesting character, and I wanted to see more of her in the game. I was quite frustrated by the fact that she (and Aerie and Jaheira) don't really interact with a female PC. I would have loved to have learned her story anyway, and even just befriending her would have been great! Her alignment change in ToB is solely a result of her romance with a male PC, but I'd like to think that friendship could be just as powerful a force (which is why I will be including a friendship path as well as just a female romance with her)... There was so much more that could have been done with her.

 

I could easily have just modified my game to take the gender checks out, and I could even have gone through and changed the masculine pronouns into gender-choice-tokens - but something that David Gaider once said on the Bioforums stuck with me...

 

Ah. This exact same question came up on the KotOR board, and my opinion on it is unchanged: it's not the same at all. If someone wants to go into the toolset and remove the gender checks, that's their choice. But that's not the way I wrote the romance, nor would I ever choose to write it that way. A romance between two characters of the same sex is not interchangeable with a straight romance, in my opinion... we do not live in a genderless world and neither do they, and to treat it as such would be to trivialize it. If there's going to be a gay romance then it should be with a gay character, and he or she should not be interested in getting involved with a member of the opposite sex (such as with the lesbian romance in KotOR). Removing gender checks might seem convenient on the surface, but I'm not going to do it... the reasons to do so seem to me to lie far more in the realm of titillation than in any kind of sensitivity to our gay audience.

 

(The quote comes from this thread on the Bioware NWN: Hordes of the Underdark board)

 

His comment seems to exclude the possiblity of a bisexual character - but I'm still with him. You couldn't/shouldn't write the romance the same way.

 

That is why I'm doing it the hard way. :D (And may yet end up redoing the male romance as well - which would mean it'd be a total conversion of Viconia. :D)

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So they're selectively politically correct? :D Well that's kind of off, isn't it?

 

Well, of course it is. That's why it's so pretentious (sp?).

 

His comment seems to exclude the possiblity of a bisexual character - but I'm still with him. You couldn't/shouldn't write the romance the same way.

 

Yes, often people seem to want to categorise others, and thus bisexual people get overlooked or forced to category they don't really fit. Especially if they're in monogamous relationship, that makes them seem as strait/gay just based on their outward behaviour - which in this case is literally only half truth.

 

That is why I'm doing it the hard way.  (And may yet end up redoing the male romance as well - which would mean it'd be a total conversion of Viconia.)

 

I would offer the TC of male/Viconia romance as optional component if I were you. Or at least I would hope that it would be optional, because I don't feel that it should be changed. I'm bit uncertain why you feel that it should be changed though - I think I need to sit down and re-read your posts when I have little more time. :D

 

-Meira

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@ And may yet end up redoing the male romance as well - which would mean it'd be a total conversion of Viconia.

 

I think that is uncalled for. It is hard to track and choose for gamers for many intricate choices which show much later and a lot of hassle. You could still do it for yourself, but a completely changed Vic will not be met with great acclaim IMHO.

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Heya,

 

His comment seems to exclude the possiblity of a bisexual character - but I'm still with him. You couldn't/shouldn't write the romance the same way.

 

Yes, often people seem to want to categorise others, and thus bisexual people get overlooked or forced to category they don't really fit. Especially if they're in monogamous relationship, that makes them seem as strait/gay just based on their outward behaviour - which in this case is literally only half truth.

 

Unfortunately all we can work with is square holes - and all we have to fit in them are round pegs. I will probably include some more subtle flits with some of the female NPCs that would occur before either romance was active... Just to make it a tad more realistic.

 

I would offer the TC of male/Viconia romance as optional component if I were you. Or at least I would hope that it would be optional, because I don't feel that it should be changed. I'm bit uncertain why you feel that it should be changed though - I think I need to sit down and re-read your posts when I have little more time. :D

 

It's because the femmeromance might end up feeling tacked on, if that makes sense. The whole idea that you can't treat a bisexual female as both a straight female and a lesbian, because they're not either. But that can be done just by additional content, I guess.

 

There is really only one thing that really rankles me about the male romance - and that's the comment about the surface world being the reverse of Menzoberranzan... 'Cause she's smart and wise enough to know that it isn't that simple (gosh, she travelled extensively, and not all drow cities are like Menzoberranzan either - Sshamath for example, where male wizards are dominant). But that is only one line out of her entire romance, that a male PC may not see if he doesn't choose the right options! The rest I can leave alone without any problems, the additional content coming from the femmeromance and friendship will be enough to pad it out a little more. :D

 

(P.S. To the other posters, yes I have reconcidered doing the whole of the male romance. :D)

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I, like you, see that she has these great stats but the designers forgot about them (the "overlooked" bit); as opposed to Jaheira who has some lines comparable to a mensa (now I love Jaheira but come On).

I'm just a little bit jaded with romances in general (funny thing to say given what I'm trying to do, hey?)...

No, I think it's a good starting point actually. :D But I don't know that we (you and I) see the same problems with the Viconia romance. Not that we should but, for the purposes of our dialogue here, I'm curious as to where we differ.

I wasn't saying outright that I thought Viconia was a whore. I just said she fits the ARCHETYPE.

I get it. You're not digging yourself in, I was just being ..picky about the choice of words/wording.

 

Remember that Viconia has led a sheltered existence, so her view of the surface is still distorted; though she has been on the surface for a few years (2-5 at most) she is not, as we see, free to travel and interact with the inhabitants of Faerun at will.  Hmm..   :D  ..anyway.

Umm... No. She's been constantly travelling. IIRC Menzoberranzan is far to the north (same city that Drizzt comes from - Menzoberranzan is north of the Evermoors which is part of the Savage Frontier). She's travelled down through Silverymoon (or at least the Silver Marches), down past Waterdeep and Baldur's Gate all the way down to Amn. That is a very long journey without resorting to teleporting!! She did try to settle down at one stage too. I think she's seen enough of humanity to work out that things aren't the same as they were back in the Underdark... And she's smart enough to realize that it's not just a mirror image either.

She has seen much of the landscape but, being drow, she has had to travel with extreme discretion. Not the same as touring or vacationing. Does that make sense?

 

She probably believes the roles are reversed on the surface because of her experiences with the humans treating her as an outcast, whether it is merely because she is drow or not - Viconia (having grown up in a matriarchal society) will be acutely aware of her lack of station now and because station was granted soley based on her gender she probably assumes all women on the surface are equally powerless based on the way she is treated.  Now, while there may be equal representation in the pantheon, I don't think Viconia's that far off base if we look at Nalia's situation as an example of how "equal" women are in Faerun.

If she were male, they'd still be treating her as an outcast - she'd know that too. It's not her gender that scares people, it's her race. Even the Beshaban at that start refers to her as an "it"...

I never meant to imply that her being drow had nothing to do with it, on the contrary, it has everything to do with it - from the 'vicous drow' aspect to the 'matriarchal society' aspect.

 

Besides, didn't they listen to themselves when they wrote "Females of the Realms can excel at any area they wish, and are easily the equals of their male counterparts in every skill or respect"? :D

Exactly. But that can be used to the advantage that Viconia displays; and since she displays it, it cannot be overlooked, imo. Even Jaheira displays submission at one point.

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Heya,

 

I'm just a little bit jaded with romances in general (funny thing to say given what I'm trying to do, hey?)...

No, I think it's a good starting point actually. :D But I don't know that we (you and I) see the same problems with the Viconia romance. Not that we should but, for the purposes of our dialogue here, I'm curious as to where we differ.

 

I just have problems with strong women who are weak when it comes to their men. :D You know, women and men can relate on the level. They can treat each other as equals without resorting to the language of Dominance (Man) and submission (woman).

 

Umm... No. She's been constantly travelling. IIRC Menzoberranzan is far to the north (same city that Drizzt comes from - Menzoberranzan is north of the Evermoors which is part of the Savage Frontier). She's travelled down through Silverymoon (or at least the Silver Marches), down past Waterdeep and Baldur's Gate all the way down to Amn. That is a very long journey without resorting to teleporting!! She did try to settle down at one stage too. I think she's seen enough of humanity to work out that things aren't the same as they were back in the Underdark... And she's smart enough to realize that it's not just a mirror image either.

She has seen much of the landscape but, being drow, she has had to travel with extreme discretion. Not the same as touring or vacationing. Does that make sense?

 

I understand what you're getting at, but I still don't agree - that's many many tendays travel, and she would have had to interact with people at least some of the time, to buy supplies, to rest at an inn et cetera. The other clue that Viconia has is that not even drow society is that black and white. Sshamath, a city that's relatively close to Menzoberranzan, is ruled by male drow wizards, for example - Viconia surely would have heard of that "blasphemous" city! I don't really see her as the sort of person to oversimplfy things to that wild an extent.

 

If she were male, theygibberlings3.netgibberlings3.net9;d still be treating her as an outcast - she'd know that too. It's not her gender that scares people, it's her race. Even the Beshaban at that start refers to her as an "it"...

I never meant to imply that her being drow had nothing to do with it, on the contrary, it has everything to do with it - from the 'vicous drow' aspect to the 'matriarchal society' aspect.

 

I am not sure what your point is. :D The Beshabans hauled her up and tied her to a stake because she is a DROW. Her gender had nothing to do with it. And I'm not sure how that might make Viconia think that the gender roles are reversed on the surface world.

 

Exactly.  But that can be used to the advantage that Viconia displays; and since she displays it, it cannot be overlooked, imo.  Even Jaheira displays submission at one point.

 

She does? Hmm.. well I don't know about that. I've only spent the last week or so reading Viconia's romance, and not really looking at Jaheira. :D (And that would personally annoy me for the reason I stated at the start of this post.)

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I just have problems with strong women who are weak when it comes to their men.
:D

 

I am not sure what your point is. The Beshabans hauled her up and tied her to a stake because she is a DROW. Her gender had nothing to do with it. And I'm not sure how that might make Viconia think that the gender roles are reversed on the surface world.

Somehow we managed to smoosh two things together. The Beyshabans call her a foul drow and demon - I know the crowd folk call her 'it', but there's more to that one if you've seen UB. But my prior gender comment wasn't related to the Bey-blahs at all, but instead to her other interactions. Regardless, the Beyshabans are akin to the pinacle of the inhumanity she's experienced while on the surface. She may assume all women on the surface are equally powerless based on the way she is treated because, while the situations started with her being a drow, she was also exploited as a woman (the trader and the farmer would not have treated a male drow in the same way). Where she is used to being exalted as a female, she's now being exploited. And then there's the matter of the context of the discussion (which I had to review because -I- needed to remember what the hell it is I was saying :D )

Marriage: Viconia- My people have a peculiar approach to the ceremony of marriage. We choose and discard mates freely, always with the possibility of renewal and change. Usually a decade, perhaps less and it's on to the next likely prospect. Marriage is a transient union, usually of gratification and indulgence. The male is only present for servicing the female's needs, and for procreation or recreation, depending upon your disposition. From what I have seen, surface custom is not so different from ours. Of course, Drow culture allows for 'husbands' to be disposed of and replaced.

Placing demands on the woman of the house is not done. To voice protest about the wishes of the matriarch is punishable by execution.

I had four husbands during my life in the Underdark... before the fall of House DeVir. I killed each one. Three for sport and one for infidelity with my sister. Of them all, my sister's betrayal was the most difficult to deal with. I didn't wish to, but punishment had to be administered. ..(blah-blah)..

PC- Certainly you did not have to be so cruel, did you?

Viconia- You misunderstand. To hesitate would have brought displeasure from Lolth. Such is the drow way.

PC- So you are saying that their deaths were a result of drow culture.

Viconia- Perhaps. I haven't devoted much thought to it, though I've noticed that the role of male and female are reversed here on the surface.

 

PC- They aren't reversed Viconia. Men don't murder their wives.

Viconia- So you say. We should continue now, I am sure you have heard enough of drow customs.

 

OR

PC- Any man who gains your affection is one who would do well to watch his back.

Viconia- Well put, <CHARNAME>. I am not so insipid as not to realize that things are different here on the surface, however.

 

While I would love for the Realms to be so equal, I'm betting I could find a few more examples of just how many 'errors' the designers made - take all the female prostitutes, for example, and wasn't that trader married? Belle may well be the only 'equalizer'.

 

Exactly.  But that can be used to the advantage that Viconia displays; and since she displays it, it cannot be overlooked, imo.  Even Jaheira displays submission at one point.

She does? Hmm.. well I don't know about that. I've only spent the last week or so reading Viconia's romance, and not really looking at Jaheira. :D (And that would personally annoy me for the reason I stated at the start of this post.)

Well, unfortunately Jaheira does. (and I'll still agree with you 100%)

 

I've got one for you, Grim, or anyone else who might know - there are unused dialogue states in Viconia's file, at least I've never gotten them; they would seem to be cut from the romance dialogues but the PC response options are strange... check 'em in NI and you'll see what I mean.

 

(state 55): Why are you so withdrawn, <CHARNAME>? You've not said more than three words the last half day.

First transition index: 71

 

(state 59): Is there something there inside you that belies more than the cursory social obligations? Something more intimate?

First transition index: 78

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I'll have to have a look at that Cybersquirt. An interesting point that Zandilar has pointed out to me is that in ToB then the Viconia romance uses dialogue tokens as opposed to male pronouns whereas Jaheira and Aerie still just use male pronouns.

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While I would love for the Realms to be so equal, I'm betting I could find a few more examples of just how many 'errors' the designers made - take all the female prostitutes, for example, and wasn't that trader married? Belle may well be the only 'equalizer'.

 

Yep, this is so true. Realms are far from being gender neutral / equal even though it matters little if charname is male or female (for the general storyline and quests).

 

I just have problems with strong women who are weak when it comes to their men.  You know, women and men can relate on the level. They can treat each other as equals without resorting to the language of Dominance (Man) and submission (woman).

 

Now of course at least part of the problem here is the medium in which we are telling the story of Viconia and Charname (or any NPC and Charname). There is no way of really knowing what the PC is thinking or feeling. Is he willing to do anything for Viconia or just using her? Of course dialogue options give some hint but since we don't have lie/truth options, we cannot know if PC is telling the truth and even with them we don't know what he might have left unsaid. Or does he know even himself where he stands? When writing a book for example, you as a writer can make a decision about these things, but here we have to deal with big unknown factor.

 

-Meira

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Could you provide a topic breakdown or general course of the romance? If you're that far in planning that is. It's often said that that same sex romances cannot be identical to romances between different sexes, and I tend to agree, but how exactly will you do this? How is Viconia going to threat a female PC?

 

I'm just curious. :D

 

-Meira

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Well our current idea is it will start from a modified version of the current Viconia friendship banter with a female Charname. Over the next 20 or so friendship talks then an Friendship/Interest Variable and a Flirt Variable will be altered based on your choices. If her Friendship/Interest becomes too negative (i.e. you aren't being nice to her then she'll basically tell you to piss off). There will also be new forcetalk conversations appearing overtime and you try raw flirting, both of which will affect the aforementioned variables. At lovetalk 20 or whatever then she'll talk to you and say different things based on the status of the variables. She could say she's come to enjoy your company (a more friendship related one) or say that she's quite interested in you in THAT way (If you've been flirting and keeping the Friendship/Interest high) or if your flirt variables is through the roof and she's VERY interested she may flat out try to seduce you.

 

The point is that if you don't flirt at all, then the romance won't happen.

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Heya,

 

Will any of these variables be based on race and charisma?

 

This is an interesting question.

 

Certianly I can't see Viconia involved with a male or a female halfling, dwarf, gnome, or half-orc... That really leaves human, elf or half-elf... (I have a feeling that in the original romance, she would get involved with a half-orc... and maybe putting them on the "can't see her involved with one" list is more a personal preference than anything else.)

 

As for Charisma? Well, maybe there should be a bonus/penalty to interest/friendship on the basis of how high or low it is, and maybe some flirt options won't be available if your charisma is too low.

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