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Oneiros

Avadon 3 class/character poll

Avadon 3 poll   30 members have voted

  1. 1. What's your favorite class?

    • Blademaster
      5
    • Shadowwalker
      5
    • Sorceror
      11
    • Shaman
      1
    • Tinkermage
      8
  2. 2. Who's your favorite companion?

    • Khalida
      4
    • Botan
      2
    • Nathalie
      21
    • Rudow
      1
    • Silena
      2

Please sign in or register to vote in this poll.

34 posts in this topic

Now that the game's been out for a little bit, I'm curious which classes and companions people've been enjoying the most.

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I always liked Nathalie. Her pure delight in burning things is always fun. That said, I wish she and Khalida had been incorporated as NPCs reflecting their greater experience instead of becoming first level hands.

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Khalida seems less interesting than in Ava2, just an unrelentingly bitter grump-grumps. She has legitimate grievances, yeah, but there no mystery connected to her now and she seems to be kind of a one-note character. Nathalie is better written, IMO, blending bitterness with other qualities such as ambition and curiosity. I also like it when Nathalie insults the other party member for being stupid in one way or another. :D Silena is...getting boring, but at least so far I've found it mildly interesting to have someone so glib about Avadon; she's a huge contrast to the other (overbearingly disgruntled) hands I'm used to. Haven't spent enough time with Botan or Rudow to have seen much of their dialogue, alas.

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Rudow is the typical Wyldrylm after you get past the initial motivation. You can cut and paste almost any Wyldrylm dialogue about their grievances with the Pact destroying the old ways into each other's side and not be able to tell them apart.

 

Botan is somewhat interesting for his Hand mission, but otherwise there is only few little bits.

 

Silena is a bit better, but still one dimensional in lets experiment and see what happens. Kind of a Girl Genius spark.

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I found Silena to be the most one-dimensional of the bunch. Her character is interesting in theory, but you could pretty much take any snippet of her dialogue, swap it with any other snippet of her dialogue, and nobody would ever notice, because it's always the same.

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Whenever there is a nathalie in the bunch you're setting a high bar for the rest. I actually wanted to see if khalida manages to beat on this. I suppose its too early to say if she does or not for now.

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The simple addition of friendly fire on torment has made sorcerers much more fun to play. Or it makes me more aware of them and their position in reference to other party members, anyway, whereas in the past I'd take them for granted. Rolling with a two mage party is pretty interesting as a consequence. And yeah, Nathalie, no contest. Especially since she's slightly older, so it's interesting to see her in contrast to Avadon 1.

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Whenever there is a nathalie in the bunch you're setting a high bar for the rest. I actually wanted to see if khalida manages to beat on this. I suppose its too early to say if she does or not for now.

 

I withdraw my half hearted khalida support. Her quests are always problematic but this is verging on dedrick. Srsly... The woman needs to chill.

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Nathalie, uncontested. Khalida was best girl in Avadon 2 but she's, I dunno, too written out in Avadon 3? Plus, initial dialogue describing her having plate armor and a sword always tilt me hard.

 

Classes? Sorcs. Can go ham on INT. Insane damage type coverage. One of the best defensive skills in the game, which costs peanuts to cast and actually has a chance for you to do another action! Though I'm currently leaning on a Shadowalker playthrough when I get the full game. Less hassle on deciding where class specific equipment goes to.

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No love for shamans... personally I think I'd like shamans an awful lot better if you had a 4-slot party: with only 3 slots to fill, it feels like kind of a waste to have one slot filled by what's basically a support class, especially because with scarabs and scrolls you can distribute healing duties to other party members.

 

As for characters, Nathalie is obviously best. I was kind of disappointed with the potential endings for her: either she's dissatisfied still, and goes and disappears (presumably searching for more power), or she's somehow satisfied with the knowledge she gleaned from the secret library, and becomes totally fine. Neither really felt like a satisfying end to her arc: I always thought that her claims that she'd be content if only she had access to the Avadon libraries were kind of a lie she told herself and eventually maybe came to believe, and that she would never really be satisfied, regardless of how much power she had. I was hoping she'd, like, keep obsessively attempting to hoard more and more power until she ends up dying when she tries to fight five dragons at once, or something.

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I love shamans myself, especially in A3. The drakes make the difference...they're tough enough to be good bullet sponges, and in some places they can scout ahead, damage enemies without triggering a fight, or lead them back into ambushes. In A3 you can recover fatigue fast enough to replace one drake in reasonable time without having to leave combat mode, let alone go back to base. (As long as you don't let the shaman get knocked out.) Also, the "heal pet" spell is very strong and has no range limitations -- your shaman can keep healing the drake even if he's in the next room, around a corner and out of sight. And for an added bonus, drake fire is never "friendly fire" even on Torment. So the shaman has a presence in the fight even if he's mostly hanging back to heal people.

 

I admit that Nathalie's a fun character (and I just got a hug from her in her side quest), but I gave my vote to Khalida. I like her combination of strictness, bravery, and vulnerability. (Do you think she's named after the kalidahs from The Wizard of Oz? -- the book, I mean.)

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Seems like the spunky mage is the favorite by far. No contest, really.

If she was a he, though, I think we would all just be hella annoyed by the character. With the cuteness factor gone, we would be left with pure obnoxiousness.

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I honestly don't think it's the cuteness. Tbh i don't think she's cute exactly. Maybe its the age. She at least on the first game was extremely young and that plays a factor her attitude is almost out of those cliché teenage movie mean girls kinda thing. But in this case its not only richness and family that backs it up. She is intelligent and powerful and more than willing to prove it to others. So its a weird mixture, her character doesn't really fit in fantasy writing and thats an oddball kinda thing.

 

That being said khalida is much better written. I suppose having more background than wealth and family helps. And her situation was tricky, her personality had more depth. On A2 i really liked her due to her quest line. It was genuinely important and personal to her. But i didn't quite like the person she was, thats only worse in a3 cause no interesting quest line, and i suppose she's more free to be herself (which is a person i don't really like).

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Khalida was interesting and sympathetic in 2, but in 3 she really crossed the line with her sidequest. Other sidequests in the series involve doing unpleasant or unwise things, but generally the (human) victims are legitimately bad people who have been protected or ignored by Avadon for political reasons (Xenophon, the Honored Forge clan, Cahil & co, the Gray Raptors, etc). Trupo and his followers are guilty of (at worst) sheltering bandits, and most of them are refugees and shell-shocked deserters. To retain her loyalty, Khalida demands that you murder them. She comes across as even more brutal and stiff-necked than Redbeard, but without even Redbeard's Machiavellian ends-justify-the-means logic, just violent hatred.

 

Ironically, her character arc in 2 revolved around her memory loss and fugue states caused by the dungeons (whether it's mundane PTSD or something more magical isn't explained, but the effect is the same), but she has no sympathy for soldiers traumatized in the war who refuse to keep fighting. This massive lack of empathy on her part just sucks all of her sympatheticness right out of her and leaves her a barbaric mess.

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Yeah, Khalida was definitely written with more nuance in 2 than in 3. I feel that all the NPCs in 3 are sort of "canned" -- they go on and on about their own thing, but what they say is less relevant to the game's story than it was previously.

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The most interesting dialogue and character insights you get in Avadon 3 are from the remarks your companions make when important things happen in the field... but obviously you are going to necessarily miss 60% of these, and you're probably going to never really use one or two of your companions anyway, so they stay in the camp and remain blobs that constantly spout their concerns.

 

Incidentally, I thought it was hilarious that you can repeatedly tell Rudow that you want nothing to do with his treason, and even snitch on him to Redbeard, and he always just laughs it off and assumes you'll still help him. (Which to be fair is true... need that super-good shaman jerkin.)

 

It's true... but it's so blatant that it's absurd.

 

("Rudow... I think you're committing a crime of the highest order and I refuse to continue to help you." "Hand <GETPLAYERNAME>, I know you have passing doubts, but I know you'll help me when the time comes." "Rudow, I reported your actions to Redbeard. I advised him to kill you ASAP to stop the leak of information to Protus." "Oh <GETPLAYERNAME>, you always were such a kidder.")

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Thinking about this some more, I think part of the problem in Av3 is that the hands exist in a vacuum. Almost no one else talks about any of them, and when they do, it's pretty perfunctory. So we do get the idea that Rudow, for example, is a sort of jolly, go-with-the-flow type (and at the same time, rather strangely, some kind of double-double-double agent) but we never really see how this plays into Rudow's relationships with other people, or the way he interacts with the world.

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I think that's always been a problem with the series. You get barely any interaction with others regarding your companions apart from reporting to Callan/Redbeard about their incompetence/treason. It'd add a lot to see Dedrick sparring with Kaede, or to have Polus accidentally let slip that Nathalie still has a teddy bear, or for Torch to get in an argument with Botan. As-is, their concerns and worldviews are very neatly segregated from the rest of the world, and they're all perfectly willing to follow your lead in the field without complaint (usually).

 

It'd also be nice to see more of Redbeard interacting with others. He obviously gets by far the most characterization of anyone in the series, but you only see him talking to others when he's, like, intimidating insubordinate underlings, or screaming at Miranda's shade. I wanna see Redbeard give an LBJ-style "treatment" to a member of Hanvar's Council... alternating between wheedling, promises of future aid, vague threats, outright pleading. He obviously has to be a very canny politician as well as a brutal warrior, but you don't really get to see much of that side of him.

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I thought Khalida's sidequest made sense...that wasn't just a camp of bandits, but of deserters, a very serious matter in war, and historically often punished by death. Given that she holds on to her sanity in part by clinging to her loyalty to the Pact in its war against the farlands...which she does even though she got tortured in Avadon...I can understand her being outraged at a set of deserters, all of whom have less reason for a grudge than she ever did, being left free to sit out the war while she and the others have to carry the fight. Soldiers resent that greatly even in our own day, and we are a hell of a lot more easygoing about it than less modern peoples were. This is especially true in Khalida's case as she's a "Stone Code-rule of law" person, and less keen on letting a crime slide.

 

It's a lot more sympathetic than some of the sidequests in the earlier games...like Alcander's desire to go treasure-hunting, or the blademaster who wanted to kill a pardoned Pact informer.

 

While I'm always in favor of more dialogue and story, I appreciate that Jeff had to give the player a large number of NPC's to deal with (for tactical reasons, so that you have access to all the classes and their abilities), and the number of possible third-party interactions is huge...given the rest of what he had to do to make this game a good one, I'm happy with the dialogue he did put in, and let my imagination fill in the rest. He's given us enough to know the personalities.

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Khalida's motivations are very confused, because 1) she deliberately lets many of the camp-dwellers escape in favor of slaying Trupo; 2) Trupo himself is not a deserter or a bandit, but she demands you slay him; 3) she seems to want to gain Redbeard's approval for her acts, despite being willing to rebel against him at the first excuse; 4) Khalida herself is a Hand rather than a member of the regular Pact army, and normally desertion would be an issue of internal military discipline- it's not her job and it might be outside of her legal powers to hunt deserters.

 

I think it's perfectly understandable that Khalida might resent the deserters, and blame Trupo for sheltering them, but on the other hand she doesn't seem to actually care very much about punishing the deserters per se so much as pursuing a personal hate-driven vendetta against Trupo. She's made less sympathetic because of how irrational and illogical her acts are, how unclear her goal is, how she's willing to compromise Avadon's interests (Redbeard mentions the deserters might've been useful informers), and potentially how she's abusing her power essentially to murder a guy. She also pressures you into complicity with the act, and acts sanctimonious if you refuse- she just totally refuses to sympathize with you if you decide against murdering a man in cold blood.

 

Contrast this with Botan, who wants to save the lives of people who are technically criminals, regardless of the cost; or Sevilin, whose target may have been technically pardoned, but who is still a criminal, personally murdered several Hands (who were Sevilin's friends), and is of no further use to Avadon; or with Alcander, whose motive is naked greed, but who doesn't really intend to hurt or kill anyone in its pursuit. None of the other Hands in any of the games pressures you to knowingly murder innocents in the same way, except arguably Rudow, who has his own, other problems.

 

UNRELATED: but this seems like a good place for it since it's relevant to character discussions: anyone else notice/scratch your head at the apparent change in Avadon 3 of "you have to kill the Keeper to become the new Keeper" from being the de facto state of affairs to, evidently, the de jure? The Codex still has the grandfathered-in entry about the pre-Redbeard Keepers, and mentions interregnums and Keepers not succeeded by their assassins; but in the game itself, everyone acts as if it is The Law that you have to personally murder the Keeper to succeed them. In my opinion this pretty drastically changes part of Redbeard's characterization: in the earlier games his iron grip on power and paranoia were at least potentially self-serving, and he feared external assassins just as much as internal ones, but as of 3 his paranoia is more focused on his subordinates, and it's apparently justified by the law.

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Also, compare this to Khalida in Avadon 2, where her anger and rage and lack of compassion actually had reasons to exist.

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Im glad that point was brought on abuse of power. Because it was in the power of that mayor to send her to the dungeons. He did it and she paid for it i suppose considerably. Why would she go and do the same, I'm yet to know. Because both used avadon's power of impunity. And the silly part is even Redbeard and the Black Fortress allowed some measure of restitution for their mistake where to the end she thinks she's on the right of things. Whats worse; by the time of that senseless massacre the war was on the pact's side. The farlands were pushed back significantly. Even the tawon lost ground. What we were doing was basically asserting the terms of surrender. What she did didn't wouldn't have changed anything. In avadon 2 there was a point to it. And the consequences of killing that guy would have been much worse, yet i'd do it with so much less hesitation...

 

 

But in honesty; i think its because all characters became severely one dimensional. For instance Silena Bottan and Nathalie together all make the Sorcerer from Avadon 2 A pacifist more interested in knowledge and invention than anything else.

Khalida and Ruddow together make Dedrick.

They just lack depth. And they all seem to have only one motivation for their actions. And one personality trait of note. Cept silena who has no personality trait.

But true, Jennel and Nathalie's rivalry gave more life to the first game. Shima and Nathalie's passive aggressive thing on berazza also was fun. Nathalie's pitty of the blade master. Etc.. Avadon didn't have that but it compensated with well written characters.

 

To adress on the keepers. I never really gave it much thought since Redbeard just leaving is my end goal. So long as i can do that. But i think its not as if there would be no assassins from outside its just that they are not to worry about. Avadon has more and better resources. Only Avadon people can make a feint at understanding Redbeard. And also most of his previous assassin's and betrayers are from Avadon. I suppose you mean what people say that its the hand's duty to overthrow a keeper. I think thats more of ability than law.

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I'd forgotten that she let some live, but that still leaves it understandable...the main purpose of punishment is to stop other soldiers from deserting, and the best way available is (1) killing a bunch of them, (2) killing the one who harbored deserters (which is traditionally a serious crime...still is under U.S. law, by the way, 18 USC 1381, though the maximum penalty is "only" 3 years), and (3) letting the rest escape back to the front...with lurid tales of what happens to deserters, not to mention the news that the safe harbor is gone, and the man who established it is dead. .

 

Not as efficient as the old way of forming up the whole regiment so they could watch you shoot the deserters, but still an understandable and very rational policy...particularly given how hard the war is supposed to be. She's got plenty of reason.

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She is above the pact law therefore not of it therefore deserters are no concern of hers. Thats for hanvar's council not for her to decide.

The hanvar council has plenty of reason. Redbeard could have plenty of reason. Faced with a situation like that she should have reported to her superiors and waited for orders. Hands are given leave to make decisions on any situation. But that is for them to be better tools. In a temporary setting they can decide whats best for the pact in their opinion. And while they could by law murder all the councilors doesn't mean they should.

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Hanvar's Council already spoke by passing the law against desertion (remember, part of her outrage is that this crime against "Pact Law" is going unpunished). They just don't have anyone available to enforce it...logical enough as the camp is too strong to crack without dispatching troops that are needed at the front. We, on the other hand, are available.

 

 

While it seems unrealistic, for the sake of a better game the world of Avadon allows the troops (at least if they are Hands) a lot of leeway to enforce the Pact's interests or even take mercenary jobs on the side, so Khalida's not out of line in wanting to do so.. (I myself just finished killing a certain dragon on the theory he was setting himself up to be a big future threat of a kind the Pact doesn't need in the coming era of peace, and I don't anticipate any rebukes for it...please don't tell me though as I still have things to do before the endgame.)

 

 

I don't think any law allows them to murder council members...Redbeard seems to kill with impunity, but extralegally (consider what we learn from Miranda). 'course that's one of my motives in supporting Khalida...Redbeard plays the Art of Power game very ruthlessly, and as I have determined that he should be replaced, I'm returning the compliment by doing what I have to to secure allies against him for the endgame. But none of these side quests bothers me that much. Letting the Svorgald "non-raiders" stay in place for the sake of Botan's conscience was the diciest for me, but it seems to me they're a lesser threat than Redbeard is growing to be by a long shot, so I swallowed my reservations.

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Well finally you see the need to overthrow him.

That being said avadon is above pact law, the hands are the law, you can make it legal with a word, what you say is the law etc... Are pretty much pointing to the fact that you can kill anyone or do anything and its legal. Cept disobey the keeper. The keeper is more law than you are. Unless you become the keeper. Then he's dead and you're the keeper. Anyway.

The council has resources to take care of that. Worst case sce they'd ask avadon to take care of it. The hands obviously have too much time. They didn't ask. Redbeard later says its because they could be used as informants. What she did is the sane as Dedrick. Senseless massacre with very loose legal grounds for it. Only good thing is she doesn't fake remorse at it. Much less go out whistling after the deed. The worst part is that after disbanding the camp she had the chance to let trupo go. Why kill him? Not to say about the peop who were simply refugees and not deserters.

But at this point i don't really expect to convince you. On avadon we tend to disagree very strongly.

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Oh, in this game it's clear to me. We needed him before because we were under siege...but now the enemy is starting to collapse and the siege is ending. If Redbeard had a different attitude I'd rather express my gratitude and give him a gold watch. But he won't step down and, from the sound of things, he's planning a lot of unnecessary "payback" after the war is over...more to establish his own dominance than to carry out anything useful for the Pact. (While we were under siege and hard pressed on all fronts the two things converged; once we win, not so much.) And while I'd normally feel a little bad for the ingratitude...Redbeard himself leads the way in ruthless power politics, and since he won't let sentiment get in the way of something that's needed, neither will I. Also, Hanvar's Council seems determined to assert itself as it should have done all along...so there is a real alternative to "betraying the Pact to the Tawons, who will presumably be just as ruthless."

 

 

The game doesn't tell us very much about the laws...the codex stories hint at them but we don't get the code (and rightly not; law codes do not make for a ripping read). But the game does strongly suggest that there is a written law and that even Avadon is technically subject to it...it's just that Redbeard has disobeyed when it suits him. One of the laws that gets mentioned pretty often is that Keepers serve for life (but we're reaching the point that that one is worth rebelling against). Overall this leads me to believe that Avadon is not de jure above the law, even if some of them will occasionally act like it.

 

 

The Council hasn't said anything about the deserter camp, and I couldn't get Protus to even raise the issue. Yet the Pact is prosecuting the war independently of Redbeard...judging by the way Pact soldiers talk to me, they are not under Redbeard's command...so killing the deserters is useful for the Pact even though, as it turns out, Redbeard had his own use for them. Of course if he'd told us that in advance Khalida and I might've done otherwise...but if you keep your secrets from your own people, and give them so much scope to act independently, you've got to expect to be foiled occasionally.

 

 

If Dedrik was the guy who wanted me to kill off the Kva interlopers in one of the other countries...they were setting themselves up to win in the event of a Pact civil war...I killed them willingly even though I wasn't drumming up support to attack Redbeard. In the realm of strategy, "setting yourself up to win a fight you haven't had yet" can be and often is "provoking an actual fight," and it was very sensible to put a stop to that kind of thing right then and there. Even if Dedrik went wobbly after the fight was over, I didn't.

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Lawful neutral.

 

I envy your ability to make choices completely internally. But because of that i doubt we'll agree like i said. Still though. Im genuinely glad you see the need for him to go away.

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We needed him before because we were under siege...but now the enemy is starting to collapse and the siege is ending. If Redbeard had a different attitude I'd rather express my gratitude and give him a gold watch. But he won't step down and, from the sound of things, he's planning a lot of unnecessary "payback" after the war is over...more to establish his own dominance than to carry out anything useful for the Pact.

 

(Bit of a digression here, but if these forums aren't for overanalyzing these games, what are they for?)

 

As of Avadon 3, it apparently is not possible to step down as Keeper: in one ending, you (as Keeper) attempt to resign but are captured and restrained by your Hearts and forced to keep the job till you're murdered. It's been retconned that you can only leave the office in a body bag, which is very strange and conflicts with other information in the Codex. (For example, there were prior interregnums in the office of Keeper, and Redbeard was installed in the position by Hanvar's Council rather than by slaying his predecessor. He mentions in 1 I think that he can't even remember whether he was involved in slaying Telera, who held the office several holders before him.)

 

In light of this, I'd argue that Redbeard isn't especially wicked or brutal per se, but is rather an inevitable product of the world and laws that produced him. The Pact is an essentially untenable proposition in the long term (mainly I think because of its constitutional incapability to incorporate new states, and also partially because of the essential unaccountability of the Council to the people at large), and Avadon (and thus by extension Redbeard) are the only things capable of holding it together. Killing Redbeard just means another like him will eventually seize control of Avadon, even with oversight by the Council (Redbeard maneuvered his way into the position by posing as a weak, ineffectual compromise candidate); and dismantling Avadon means either the Pact will fall, or the Council will recreate it under another name.

 

If Redbeard did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.

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Owenmoz -- Thank you; I enjoyed the conversation also. I think it's another fine attribute of Jeff's games that you can find yourself supporting different factions even if your basic viewpoint remains the same...in the Geneforge series I went from Awakened-sympathizer-Shaper-ending ==> Shaper --> Shaper --> Shaper --> Trakovite (?!). But really, it all made sense at the time.

 

GGJ -- I saw from the first few words of your first sentence that you're talking about endings, and I haven't reached the ending of Avadon 3 yet (I'm going to try some tough stuff before I enter the endgame). So I will read the rest of your comment when I have.

 

Edit: I've won now. In my ending it doesn't say I tried to resign, only that I ended up assassinated when I went a little fuzzy. I'm afraid that is the way with autocrats...one reason I liked the idea of trying to empower Hanvar's Council.

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Bummer -- I was hoping I had just missed a non-murderous option in the Khalida quest, since she's a helpful member of my standard party (tinkermage leader + Khalida + someone).

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you can spare them in Khalida's quest but then Khalida won't be helping you in last battle (if you decide to attempt it).

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