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Emperor Tullegolar

How would you do it?

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As for a dastardly scheme to destroy all good in the world... wrong. That's not what I saw.
Well gee, I'd hope so considering I was obviously being overly general and facetious here. What I said was plainly a tirade against the overuse of vengance as a motivator.

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To answer your original question Tullegolar, this is how I would do it:

 

First, R-I, yeah she had to come back, but I wouldn't have made it as big. Her hiding in Motrax's cave with the sea monster plague and some smaller plague of Aranea or something.

 

Second, the two sons. Have all the cities alligned one way or the other, say Starrus gets the west and Houghton gets the east? A tension building and armies forming, yet no official split yet. Also small conflicts on the border.

 

Third, the Darkside Loyalists. Of course they would be secretly fueling this division. They would set up these small border conflicts, and themselves setting up attacks on farmlands framing the side that the farmers oppose. Also dare I say it, the Darkside Loyalists to an extent controlling R-I? Oh and lastly the Darkside Loyalists should push on even older rifts, the necromancers and demonologists against the major mage populace, a Sss-Thsss type revolution, a new nephil queen to unite all clans, giants invading Avernum, etc. This is the full potential of the Darkside Loyalists.

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I can't believe that so many of you would have Rentar as a minor villain! She is a major character in the Avernum series! She helped you to win the Empire War, and she was the most powerful living being after Erika's death. She has basically single-handedly driven the plot for 3/4ths of the series! How could the Darkside Loyalists ever control her? They stand for everything she hates, and I'll bet she would crush Dorikas's puny mortal form without even thinking about it.

 

I personally don't like Dorikas, and I am surprised you all do. He seems to be everything you don’t like in your villains: you never really get to know him, and then when you finally fight him, he runs away. Undoubtedly, you will fight and kill him in the next Avernum. He is so much better than Rentar how? I hope, for your sake, that there is a much better villain behind Dorikas. I think I mentioned this earlier: I hope Prazac goes back on her word and tries to rebuild the Empire of her ancestors! Otherwise it will just be some as of yet unnamed bad guy. I hate it when that happens.

 

Emperorking, some nice ideas, finally! An Avernum civil war; I'd like to see that! This probably doesn't mean much to you, but the civil war idea gets my Emperor's Seal of Approval™.

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I don't like Dorikas, I like the Darkside Loyalists.

 

Rentar doesn't need to be a main villain because *we already beat her*. Now she's just a deranged psycho with no real support, and her role in the story should reflect that. If she even appears at all.

 

As for an Avernum civil war, I don't think it should be between Houghton and Starrus supporters - nobody really supports Houghton (who is not related to Starrus or Micah at all). It would be between supporters of the Council of Avernum (which Houghton made Starrus disband) and supporters of Starrus. Basically democracy vs. monarchy.

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Right, right, Houghton is not the one. What ever happened to that other prince... Chevyn? He seemed like the kind of ruler that would fall easy prey to some kind of evil puppeteer. Linda perhaps? She is still alive somewhere out there, isn't she?

 

Democracy vs. monarchy? I am not so sure the town mayors true elected officials. They are supposedly elected, but I am not so sure if it to such a great extent. I get the impression that Avernum cities are not so big as Empire cities, so the common citizen might have more say, but still very little. It is probably more of an oligarchy. I don't think the world of Avernum is ready for democracy.

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Quote:
Chevyn? He seemed like the kind of ruler that would fall easy prey to some kind of evil puppeteer. Linda perhaps? She is still alive somewhere out there, isn't she?
Chevyn was conveniently deleted from the Avernum universe by Jeff. Linda died in the Tower of Magi disaster that she caused.

As for Dorikas, I'm with Drakey. I can't speak for everyone else, but Dorikas as a main villain was pretty weak. Partly because we know little about him, hopefully he will be more developed as time goes on. The concept of the Darkside Loyalists is a much more interesting one.

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The way we've reconciled Chevyn with A4 is by saying that Micah served until 836, when Chevyn was supposed to be king but instead the Council of Avernum stepped in and ran things. When Starrus, Micah's next son, reached 13, he was appointed King by Houghton and Crown supporters, with Houghton acting like regent (like Garzahd for Prazac, but not evil) and disbanding the Council. And that's where we stand at the start of A4.

 

And I'm not really sure how democractic it would be, but it's the point of group rule vs. a single monarch. Despite the fact that Micah was an extremely good king and Avernum would certainly be worse off if he hadn't been king.

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There's no need for a villain at all, really. A faction makes a much better opponent, and while most factions will have leaders on top and underlings on the bottom, focusing on a group often gives clearer reasons for what their doing and more chances to collectively understand your enemies.

 

—Alorael, who thinks this is more because designers tend to think of groups very differently and in more detail than their lone villain counterparts. People need reasons to work together for a common cause. They need reasons to follow a villain, too, but those get hand-waved frequently.

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Dorikas was just the leader of the last Darkside Loyalist base that was discovered in A4. It's implied that he was not the head of a much larger group mostly working in the Empire. After all that is the largest area and population. To them Avernum is something to keep weak and disorganized until it will be eventually crushed for killing the Great Hawthorne.

 

Still the Darkside Loyalists had much greated potential as villians because they were a new unknown force. You didn't know until meeting Dorikas who they were and what was their goal except overthrowing Avernum. All you knew was that they were infiltrating Avernum and gaining allies.

 

R-I was the same powerful revenge filled mage from Avernum 2 using her power to get back at whomever had taken the Soul Crystals. She didn't even care if she got the right people the first time, as long as she eventually got them.

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Quote:
Originally written by Drakefyre:
The way we've reconciled Chevyn with A4 is by saying that Micah served until 836, when Chevyn was supposed to be king but instead the Council of Avernum stepped in and ran things. When Starrus, Micah's next son, reached 13, he was appointed King by Houghton and Crown supporters
That sounds like grounds for civil war to me! Rule #1 when it comes to appointing a successor to a monarch: pick the oldest son! Anything else tends to result in disaster.

I just realized that, while I know it happens, I never actually saw the Tower of Magi destroyed. I guess I just never had a game last that long, probably because I cheated. No matter. So, Linda is dead. I can't believe this is the first time I am hearing about this. I feel like a fool. I'll miss her.

Alorael: You don't think a good villain is necessary? Please tell me you wrote that by accident. What good game doesn’t have a lead antagonist? While I can think of twenty great villains right off the top of my head, I have trouble think of a single 'faction' that is worth remembering. Barzites? No, wait...

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Nobody wants Chevyn to rule. Even Micah admits that he's unfit. Having him be King would be absolutely disastrous for Avernum, which is why the Council took over while Houghton was grooming Starrus.

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Ah, but as I said before, Chevyn would be the ideal puppet ruler. He may be an idiot, but that is exactly what nobles want in a monarch. Plus, he has a legitimate claim to the throne, being the eldest son. All it would take for him to gain real power is the proper puppeteer!

 

The mysterious leader of the Darkside Loyalists, perhaps?

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Avernum is basically a nation of people who didn't work well with authority. They're still a fairly independent lot. Their monarchy was only one generation old at the time of Micah's death. I think they'd be more inclined to oust or ignore any incompetent ruler. A puppeteer behind Chevyn's throne would be fine as long as they were competent and not too malicious, but anything else and a bunch of armed, hardened Exiles would march on the Castle.

 

—Alorael, who thinks Nethergate works just fine without any real lead antagonist. Is A2's portal ending less important because you're fighting the Empire in general rather than a specific general, pun intended? Isn't the Party of 1984 terrifying as a whole, not because of the fictitious Big Brother character or O'Brien?

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While I would like to believe Avernum would rise up against an incompetent ruler, I am fairly certain this doesn't happen in feudal systems, ever. The people are generally kept ignorant of their monarch, and they do what their local lords, in this case the mayors, tell them to do. Throughout human history, the only time that feudal monarchs are ever overthrown is when they anger the nobles. And nobles, my friend, can be bought! It don't think it would be difficult at all to put a puppet king on the throne of Avernum. It would take the proper propaganda for the troops, however. "Hail Chevyn, the rightful king!" Hey, that warcry almost rhymes!

 

Destroying the portal was a victory not against the Empire, but against Garzahd. Garzahd was the Empire in Avernum 2. The same can be said for 1984. Even though Big Brother wasn't even real, without him, what would The Party have been? Nothing.

 

As for Nethergate, that actually is a fair example. I concede on that.

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Quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:
Kelandon, can you give me an example of a multidimensional villain so that I have a better idea of what you are looking for?
I already did, one from an extremely serious genre (Satan from Paradise Lost) and one very much not (Cartman from South Park). I can't give an example from computer games because I don't really play computer games much other than these.

The only reason that R-I needs to be multi-dimensional in A4 is that she is the whole plot in A4. A1 had several major quests. A2 did, too. A3 had quite a few. All three had significant artifact quests, too. A4 has none of that: it has just one major quest and that's it. It puts a lot of focus on R-I and beating her. There is the subplot with the Darkside Loyalists, but that turns out not to have real consequences in A4 — A6, maybe?

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Paradise Lost and South Park would make terrible games! Who would play those? Well, I might, but it would be out of sheer curiosity, and I am certain they would be really bad. A South Park game, while fun, is not a very good example of how to improve Avernum 4's plot. As for Paradise Lost, I am not sure how that would be made into a game at all, but you are welcome to try.

 

Now I understand why you are so critical of Avernum 4: you haven't played a lot of other games. I can assure you, the games out there... it gets far worse than Rentar-Ihrno.

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Actually, it doesn't get all that much worse than Rentar. It does get much, much, much, much, much better, though.

 

For examples of great villains in games, I always like to point to System Shock 2. SHODAN, The Many, and Xerxes are all top-notch.

 

I also invite you to play my BoE scenario Revenge... I think I have a couple of above-average villains there.

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Quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:
What good game doesn’t have a lead antagonist?
Fallout 2. The only named characters in the Enclave aren't introduced until the very end of the game, and when they are they get about five minutes of screen time before you kill them. Sure, Frank Horrigan makes for a good boss fight, but the Enclave would be just as credible a threat without him. And as for the President, well, I don't even remember that guy's name.

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I must disagree on the point of Fallout 2. You first meet Horrigan in the wasteland, where you watch helplessly as he guns down an innocent family. Later on, if you’ve joined the Brotherhood of Steel, you return to the hideout's at some point to discover that the soul caretaker has been murdered, once again by Horrigan. Eventually, if you have Goris traveling with you, she has you return to Vault 13 because she is worried about her people. You go with her, and are crushed to discover the whole clan, even the children and eggs, have been 'cleansed' by Horrigan. Maybe you missed out on some of these events, but I believe Horrigan is meant to be the main antagonist never-the-less. He doesn’t, however, hold a candle to The Master, who is probably the greatest video game villain of all time.

 

As for the games Ash Lael mentioned, I've not played a single one, interestingly enough, are they available for mac?

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Originally written by Smoo:
Goris is a female?
I am 96% certain of this. It really was sad to see her devastated by the sight of her slaughtered people. Made you really hate Horrigan, if the other events hadn't already.

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Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:
While I would like to believe Avernum would rise up against an incompetent ruler, I am fairly certain this doesn't happen in feudal systems, ever. The people are generally kept ignorant of their monarch, and they do what their local lords, in this case the mayors, tell them to do. Throughout human history, the only time that feudal monarchs are ever overthrown is when they anger the nobles. And nobles, my friend, can be bought! It don't think it would be difficult at all to put a puppet king on the throne of Avernum. It would take the proper propaganda for the troops, however. "Hail Chevyn, the rightful king!" Hey, that warcry almost rhymes!
Avernum is not a feudal system. There are no nobles. There are no serfs. Mayors are not nobles - the people choose their mayors. And the mayors of the six largest cities sit on the Council of Avernum. I'd like to think that almost all of the people in Exile are limited-government supporters. As long as the government keeps people safe and doesn't bother them, they don't really care who's in charge.

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Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:
Paradise Lost and South Park would make terrible games! Who would play those? Well, I might, but it would be out of sheer curiosity, and I am certain they would be really bad. A South Park game, while fun, is not a very good example of how to improve Avernum 4's plot. As for Paradise Lost, I am not sure how that would be made into a game at all, but you are welcome to try.
I feel as though you're deliberately misinterpreting me, here. I'm not saying that we should turn these into games. You asked a question about multi-faceted antagonists.

If you really want something from a computer game, how about the Myst villains? Most of them don't fit the terms I've described above, but they work well because they're individual. Achenar is bone-chillingly cruel, and we spend a fair bit of time learning about his cruelty on a few of the Ages. Saavedro is vaguely Rentar-like — he's doing a lot of this for revenge or something — but we actually learn a bit about what his world was and why he's so angry that it was devastated.

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I think it's worth pointing out that the world of Avernum doesn't have society like medieval Europe despite similarities. The Empire has very little nobility that we've seen, and there has definitely been evidence of promotion to high authority for merit. The system is more like imperial China's, but even more so.

 

Avernum is really only on its first generation of born Avernites. The number of powerful people banished is limited, and most of them seem to be magically and not politically skilled. The Empire's citizens may not be prone to rebellion, but that's because the rebels were all tossed into Avernum. I actually think Avernum's portrayal drastically downplays the powderkeg potential of a collection of people who didn't get along with society.

 

—Alorael, who disagrees entirely about the point of A2. If Garzahd were the Empire, only his ending would be needed. He is the most powerful single force behind the Empire, but he is not the sole cause of the invasion, its sole supporter, or its entire backbone. Big Brother is an even worse example, because "he" is a fabrication. He's necessary as a tactic, not as an individual. As long as the Party exists so does Big Brother, not vice versa.

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I suppose ‘nobles’ was the wrong word, but surely you see that the mayors of Avernum do form some kind of aristocracy. I completely agree with the point of Avernum being much like Imperial China. Imperial China relied largely on local governors and huge bureaucratic system. But like I said, the people in China never successfully overthrew an emperor, and they had some very incompetent emperors. No, whenever a dynasty fell, it was because local lords rebelled against a weak central government.

 

Avernum is the same, I don't think the king has very much power at all. The king seems to be more of a symbol, really, like the Queen of the United Kingdom. Since it is the power of the symbol that gives strength, rather than competence, I think that Chevyn would be supported by just as many, if not more people in Avernum solely due to the fact that he is the first born son of the great King Micah. All Chevyn would need to do to take over would be to buy off the local town mayors (though not necessarily with money) and then hire a good propaganda expert to spread the word that “the true Prince has come home.”

 

Kelandon: When I ask a question like the one you answered I am expecting an answer that is relevant to the topic of Avernum games. Take your myst villains, for example. Yes, those were all very intriguing characters, great villains, to be sure. But could you fight against them with swords and spells? I would like to keep it within the Avernum genre. I’ll rephrase the question: what is the ideal violent fantasy role playing game villain?

 

Alorael: I don't think you could ever make a decent argument for Garzahd not being the sole driving force of the Empire in Avernum 2. In fact, I am pretty sure Micah asked you to kill him for just that reason. If the portal were destroyed but Garzahd left alive, I think you would have a very Rentaresque situation on your hands. He would return to trouble you again, probably with a bigger army than the first time around.

 

Edit: Almost forgot Big Brother. If he is not totally necessary for the party maintaining absolute control, then why did they create him? Any faction requires a powerful leader. Look at political parties in the United States: total failures without a leader. You think the Nazi party would have gotten anywhere without Hitler? No, without a powerful leader, the stongest factions will crumble into dust. A made up leader worked out especially well for the 1984 party, since he can never embarrass himself or be killed, he is the perfect leader, and absolutly nessesary as well.

 

I am an Emperor, I know these things.

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The Chinese had millenia of dynasties that lasted generation after generation. Those who weren't part of the aristocracy and the bureaucracy were ignorant peasants, and ignorant is very much an operative word there.

 

Avernum had one king, and he was made king because he was good at doing things that were good for Avernum. The average Avernite can read and write, knows what things are like, and has first-hand experience of what bad rulership/bureaucracy is like under the Empire. They are also, unlike the Chinese peasants, quite often armed and quite often trained with those arms.

 

I don't think Avernum really supports the king at all. Taxes are presumably collected, but the government is clearly there because it's best for fending off the monsters. Edicts are out of the question, and most people just want to go about their business without interference. If the king were not able to provide his minimal services or stated getting grand ideas about really having despotic power I think he would be disabused quickly.

 

Also, consider how much everyone, including Micah, disliked Chevyn and looked forward to his reign with distaste.

 

—Alorael, who thinks you are conflating two separate ideas. Yes, groups often make use of symbols and leaders make good symbols. Actual leadership is not the same as playing figurehead, though. Big Brother is a symbol, not a leader. Hitler was some of both. Lenin and Mao were leaders who were made into symbols, the former posthumously and the latter during his lifetime. Garzahd was an effective leader and a threat to Avernum personally, but his death only deprived the Empire of tactics and some power. It didn't break the Empire's spirit or its desire to defeat Avernum.

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On the topic of the Myst games:

In Myst you find the rooms of the the villains. You find notes, thrones, wine, torture instruments. This gives a character some flavor, although it does not make the character.

In Riven you find the journal of your villain, way for the villain to tell you their feelings with out actually telling you.

In Myst IV you go onto each of the son's prisons and find you find their journals, feel their pain.

In short more personal letters, journals, and investigating the villains environment. These all give a villain more flavor.

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I think the point where you and the rest of us differ (which doesn't seem to be getting much attention, despite its importance), Tullegolar, is here:

 

Quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:

Let’s assume that any good game has a variety of enemies culminating in an epic boss battle in the end, with few exceptions. Does it not make sense then to use the plagues of monsters script? You get to fight all kinds of monsters, each with their own bosses or puzzles that must be conquered in order to beat them. And then, in the end, it finishes you off with a battle against a boss worthy of legends.

The thing is, most of us don't agree with what you are telling us to assume. That's like saying "Let's assume 1 + 1 = 3. Does it not make sense then that 3 X 3 = 4?" Although it's a logical conclusion to come to based on the assumption, the assumption itself is flawed to begin with, and therefore so is any conclusion drawn from it.

 

I'm not saying that nobody likes this in a game. They obviously do, since Jeff is making a good living off it. But the purpose of this thread was to start a debate with those who don't like his plots, and the people you chose to debate with disagree with your opinions. I believe there are various sayings about arguing over personal opinions, but I don't feel like recalling or looking for them right now because it really isn't important to the discussion anyway.

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Tullegolar: What difference does the genre make? It's not as though good villains in, say, novels are inherently different from good villains in computer games.

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Micah became king because he united the people in the caves and he created the Kingdom of Avernum. He was allowed to keep his kingdom because he stayed out of everyone's business and kept the monsters away and helped Avernum stay running smoothly.

 

If he tried to overstep his boundaries, I think he'd quickly be reeled back in. The people of Avernum were very wary of falling under a new Emperor in a new Empire.

 

The mayors ARE NOT an aristocracy. They are administrators who run the city, not people who sit back and rake in money. People look to them for guidance, but only because they control the city's militia and spending. I don't think the people would waste a second in pulling down a mayor either.

 

The people of Avernum are not inclined to support a hereditary monarchical system - they recognize that that was what caused the Empire to degenerate into what it was.

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Quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:
I must disagree on the point of Fallout 2.

(snip laundry list of war crimes)

Maybe you missed out on some of these events, but I believe Horrigan is meant to be the main antagonist never-the-less. He doesn’t, however, hold a candle to The Master, who is probably the greatest video game villain of all time.
So he goes around killing people. Big whoop. That does not a three-dimensional character make. Would the impact of any of those events really be any less if they'd been carried out by anonymous Enclave soldiers? I don't think so.

Quote:
As for the games Ash Lael mentioned, I've not played a single one, interestingly enough, are they available for mac?
Nope. But System Shock 2 is playable in DOSBox if you have a fast enough computer.

(By the way, he only mentioned one game. SHODAN, The Many and Xerxes are all villains from it.)

Quote:
Kelandon: When I ask a question like the one you answered I am expecting an answer that is relevant to the topic of Avernum games. Take your myst villains, for example. Yes, those were all very intriguing characters, great villains, to be sure. But could you fight against them with swords and spells? I would like to keep it within the Avernum genre. I’ll rephrase the question: what is the ideal violent fantasy role playing game villain?
Who says every game has to end in a violent confrontation? If walking up to a villain and whacking him with a sword until he dies doesn't seem like a satisfying ending given the nature of the villain's character, the designer has the option to not end the game that way. There are some very good BoE scenarios that have no combat in them at all.

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Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:
As for the games Ash Lael mentioned, I've not played a single one, interestingly enough, are they available for mac?
BoE sure as hell is.

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Alorael: I know there is a difference between leadership and being a figurehead, that's why I said Chevyn would have a puppet master. I thought the Darkside Loyalist leader being this person was a good idea, no one else liked that? As for Garzahd, how was he not the driving force behind the Empire army? As I said before, the entire army could have been crushed to the last man, but if Garzahd had lived, the war would have continued regardless.

 

The Almighty...: You say that you don't agree with my view of a good plot. That's fine, that is the whole point of this thread. But if you disagree, you are then supposed to give me your idea of a good plot in return. Please do this.

 

Kelandon: Yes, game villains and novel villains are too inherently different! Your examples made this blatantly obvious! You are welcome to present me with a better example if you can.

 

Draykfire: I think you give the common people of Avernum too much credit. As long as a king keeps the bandits away, they are not going to try anything. If they did, they would fall into anarchy. I doubt they could even organize to overthrow him in the first place. Could Chevyn keep the bandits away? If the Darkside Loyalist leader was his reagent, he would own the bandits.

 

Thuryl: Your are becoming confused, though that is to be expected from such a long thread. I explained Horrigan's crimes to show that he was the game's primary antagonist, because someone said Fallout 2 didn’t have one. I never said he was any good at filling that roll, in fact, he really is a crappy final boss. As for every game ending with a violent confrontation: I didn't mean any game. We are in the Avernum forum, are we not? Avernum games must end with a violent confrontation. In Geneforge 1 and 2 you could let some bosses live, but then the endings were not nearly as satisfactory.

 

Edit: Ash Lael: You don't say? Roses of Reckoning sort of ruined that game for me at the time, but... I'll start working my way through the scenarios you guys recommend this weekend. Forgive me for not being able to comment until then.

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Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:
Ash Lael: You don't say? Roses of Reckoning sort of ruined that game for at the time, but... I'll start working my way through the scenarios you guys recommend this weekend. Forgive me for not being able to comment until then.
While there is in fact a RoR for BoE as well as BoA, I suspect you're thinking of the latter. BoE is a very different animal, with many more scenarios and a higher caliber of them.

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Roses of Reckoning is not good in the BoE or BoA version. There are many scenarios that are much better for both.

 

Tullegolar, I think you're not giving the people of Avernum enough credit. They were obviously dangerous enough to warrant being Exiled, and they are hardy enough to survive in the caves. And no, I don't like the idea of Chevyn being a puppet king controlled by the Darkside Loyalists - how would that even happen? When it was his turn to rule, nobody, NOT EVEN MICAH, would have allowed it. That's why the Council of Avernum ruled until Houghton made everyone accept Starrus as king. If anything, Houghton is your puppetmaster, despite being a loyal servant to Micah and Avernum for decades.

 

EDIT: I think you're letting your imagination run wild and are now contradicting things explicitly stated and referenced in the games. The Avernum you're talking about and one I know seem to be different places.

 

Also, I think that book villain and computer game villains are different. In books, people often end up having inner demons and a lot of self-conflict. This doesn't work for a computer game where the user creates their own character. It works for scenarios, which are shorter adventurers that come for free. But a "commercial" (I'm using this term loosely) game can't do that with the same freedom. Would you buy a computer game where the character was already defined for you and sometimes spoke and acted in ways that you would never do?

 

The same applies for villains. In books authors can define exactly what everyone does. In any good computer game the user will be able to change things and impact events. The programmers will have to account for every possible action of the player. Although it seems backwards, there's a lot less flexibility in a computer game.

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Here is how I would take the throne of Avernum as the leader of the Darkside Loyalists. I assume that the leader's identity is kept very secret, and that he is also very, very powerful. I also assume that Chevyn's ineptitude, while well known by Castle officials, was kept largely from the public. This is not too far fetched for you, is it? I would then pick up Chevyn, wherever he is, and get to work.

 

First, I use my power over bandits. Now is the time to act, make Starrus look like he is losing control of Avernum. Second, start paying of and/or killing the Mayors of Avernum. If they support me, perfect, if not, assassinations are common enough. Third, spread the propaganda. Tell the people that Starrus usurped the throne of Avernum from the rightful heir, the first born son. Now, the rightful ruler has returned. After all, they would think if Chevyn is leading this revolt then he must be pretty smart. Few would be able to realize I was pulling his strings. Finally, have a charismatic general lead the march on the Castle in the name of the True Prince!

 

If it works, awesome. If those blasted adventurers get in my way, well... it makes for a good plot, doesn’t it? I'm letting my imagination run wild? This is the "how would you do it" thread! You must be looking for the "how was it done" thread. I don’t post in that one.

 

Edit: Oh, the people of Avernum. What makes you say they are dangerous? Most were just people who either said the wrong thing or thought the wrong thought. If there are any dangerous Avernites at all, they are in the Abyss. As for the Abyss, I think they would jump at the chance to help me overthrow the King of Avernum! There you have it, the most dangerous people in Avernum are taken care on.

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I'm not talking about how it was done, I'm talking about fundamental things about the world of Avernum. Like this:

Quote:
I also assume that Chevyn's ineptitude, while well known by Castle officials, was kept largely from the public.
This just simply isn't true. Pretty much everyone knew Chevyn was a simpleton. The games state this. Chevyn masterminding a revolt would be extremely suspicious.

 

Just because someone isn't a murderer or rapist (the people in the Abyss) doesn't mean they aren't dangerous. There are plenty of surface revolutionaries in Avernum. They may not all be physically dangerous, but dangerous to the society supported by the Empire, certainly.

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Originally written by Drakefyre:
Pretty much everyone knew Chevyn was a simpleton. The games state this.
Where? Do I actually expect you to look up exactly where this was stated? Yes.

As for people being dangerous in Avernum. What do we really know about them? They are not too smart, not that it's their fault, but they are the equivalent of medieval peasants. That original generation of exiles... aren't they dying off? I think a new generation is standing by waiting to be molded, waiting to be told what to do. After all, if you in a cave surrounded by things that want to kill you, who are you going to go to? Chevyn the True Price offers you his protection.

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No, you're not actually looking at the people you interact with in Avernum. They're not like peasants. They're reasonably worldly, mostly hard-nosed, and frequently cynical from their banishments. They may not all be fighters, but they all at some point didn't bow down to authority.

 

You're right that Chevyn could rule as long as he kept the bandits away, but that's not power. As soon as he overstepped his bounds and tried proactive rulership, he'd be ousted. Nobody wants a monarch, really. Tied in with that is the fact that Micah is called king as a title without actually being the head of a monarchy. The first-born is not automatically the heir. In fact, given how much Avernum doesn't want to remake the Empire, I'm surprised they made kingship hereditary at all.

 

The upshot is that nobody would care to replace a competent ruler with another ruler, even a possibly equally competent one. Houghton may be Starrus's puppet master, but he does a good job so everyone accepts it. Someone else could manage Starrus (or Chevyn, if he were on the throne) but controlling the king only allows as much control as the king can claim, and in Avernum that's really not very much.

 

Finally, I think we may just have to disagree about Garzahd and the Empire. It's definitely true that Garzahd would keep fighting (and does) if the rest of the Empire is no longer behind him. However, you assume that the Empire would not keep fighting without Garzahd. That is false within the games, and there's no reason it should be true. Garzahd is certainly no more important to the workings of the Empire than Hawthorne was, and the Empire survived Hawthorne's assassination well enough to launch itself into a war. I'm sure someone happily picks up the reins of power when Garzahd falls and does a fine, lower profile job of directing the army.

 

—Alorael, who agrees with Thuryl. Horrigan is not a bad boss because the point is not defeating Frank Horrigan. He's just an exemplar of the Enclave. The Enclave is collectively your enemy, and having random Enclave goons perform Frank's massacres would make them just as evil and defeating them just as satisfying. Compare this (again) to Nethergate's ending, in which you do battle with powerful figures from the opposite side that you've never met before. They're personally unimportant except as representatives of the Romans or Celts, but that doesn't make the Romans or Celts collectively any less antagonistic.

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Your were right when you said it was strange that the citizens of Avernum ended up with a monarchy as their form of government. Why would they do that? Oh yeah, it's because they are peasants and they are incapable of functioning on their own without someone to lead them. Sure they once scoffed at authority, but that generation is dying. And no, that trait does not pass on genetically. Just look at Australia, the one time penal colony which now has one of the lowest crime rates on the planet. No matter how hardy Avernites may be, any group of people can, with the proper motivation, be lead around like sheep. There will be those that see what is happening and resist, but as the Cultural Revolution in China showed, they can be silenced.

 

As for Horrigan, the game would definitely be less satisfying without him. It is always good to be able to put a face with evil actions. Do we blame Germany for the Holocaust? No, we blame Hitler, even though many were at fault.

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Avernum ended up with a monarchy because MICAH MADE AVERNUM. Micah was a warrior who united the people who had been Exiled and created the nation.

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So you admit that such a leader is necessary, and that Avernum would have perished without him? Very good. My point is made. I also believe that such virtuous leaders and the figurehead/puppeteer combination are interchangeable. Your thoughts?

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Where do you get that from what I said?

 

I said that Avernum would not have *existed* without him. Would it have survived if he had stepped down after creating it? Absolutely. Besides, he was not an absolute ruler. He shared half of the power with the Council of Avernum. This balance shifted after he died - first the Council had all of the power, and then Starrus/Houghton had all of the power.

 

I don't agree that the figurehead and virtuous leader are interchangeable. It worked with Starrus as a figurehead, but it wouldn't with Chevyn. Anyone could visit the Castle to make a claim or request, and Chevyn wandered around the halls telling anyone who'd listen about how he'd make his lizard his prince after he became king.

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Originally written by Drakefyre:
Would it have survived if he had stepped down after creating it?
Had he stepped down before defeating Grah-Hoth, no. Had he stepped down before the Empire War, certainly not. All the descriptions of King Micah describe him as overworked. Perhaps we have underestimated how much power he has. The Council was able to rule for a short time, yes, but this was during a most unorthodox period of peace. The council would have fallen apart had they still be ruling when Rentar returned. Why? Without a central leader, each mayor would have been more concerned with his/her own town to form an organized resistance. Speculation? Common sense.

Starrus and Houghton took Micah's place, so king and figurehead/puppeteer have proven interchangeable. As for Chevyn being passable as a figurehead. I suppose that is the deal breaker for you, then. I am merely trying to think up an interesting possible alternate Avernum plot. Unfortunately, you are doing to me what you did to Jeff: trying to beat it to death instead of being constructive. A pity. I still like the idea.

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You forget that the Council ruled Avernum during the Second Slith War. They didn't do a bad job there.

 

And when did I beat Jeff's ideas into the ground? Rentar coming back makes sense but is disappointing. Chevyn being a puppet for the Darkside Loyalists and being accepted as king just doesn't make sense given what we know about Avernum.

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Originally written by me:
Micah is called king as a title without actually being the head of a monarchy.
Since I explicitly said that Avernum is not a monarchy, it's pretty clear that they're not incapable of functioning without one.

Micah was never a figurehead. He was a leader and a warrior who became a leader and a secretary. I find it more plausible that he's overworked because he has duties piled on top of him, not because he is taking power to himself. What privileged ruler deliberately overworks himself?

As for the Council being ineffective and self-centered, I question your reasoning. Who is to say that they aren't just as patriotic as the king? For that matter, what gives you the idea that the response from the Castle was anything but paralysis in the face of the shades? Neither the mayors nor the king accomplished anything.

—Alorael, who thinks many things could be done differently and perhaps better if Avernum were reimagined from the beginning. If A1-3 are accepted, however, Chevyn cannot have power even if he has the throne, so no one would bother to back him. It would have been interesting to see the results of Houghton's assassination if he were ruling alongside Chevyn instead of the much more capable Starrus.

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Drakefyre: Forgive me, I did not mean you specifically when I said you beat Jeff's plot to death, I should have specified.

 

Second Slith War? How did I manage to miss this? Did I miss some kind of tome somewhere that explains this war? Now I'm burning with curiosity... where is this war mentioned?

 

Alorael: You say Micah had worked piled on him, how does that make him not a monarch? It seems he was actually running things. As for the crown not taking any action during Avernum 4, afraid you’ve made an error there. Forget Almaria?

 

But Starrus didn't send the troops to Almaria, Houghton did. Oh, good point. So a puppeteer can overstep his boundaries after all! Almaria, even under the chaotic influence of the shade, failed to stand up against the king's advisor. Is my idea really so implausible now?

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Quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:
Second Slith War? How did I manage to miss this? Did I miss some kind of tome somewhere that explains this war? Now I'm burning with curiosity... where is this war mentioned?
Most explicitly in Jeff's BoA scenario Za-Khazi Run, but there is at least one reference to it — I forget the location — in A4.

EDIT: Captain Matos in Fort Monastery makes reference to it. Pea Eye, under Silvar, gives the only real description that I remember: "It was a small one, but nasty, not too long after Empress Prazac let the Avernites back onto the surface. I helped ferry supplies down the Za-Khazi Run, after some other adventurers cleared it out."

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