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Every Spiderweb Character Ever, Ranked From Worst to Best

...are from Tibus

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In the spirit of those stupid buzzfeed lists with 500 entries, now I want to see "Every Spiderweb Character Ever Ranked From Worst to Best"


Behold, the project is alive! And it's going to be a group effort. This is a thing!



Step 1: List All Relevant Characters


Literally every character is not really feasible, but every major or otherwise notable or interesting character: that we can do. I've begun a list at the link below. At the moment, it is very far from complete. I'd like your help to complete it. Please post suggestions of characters to be added in this thread.




More information for those interested in details:


Each character is listed by what game they first appear in, even if it isn't their primary appearance; but listed according to the most prominent role they end up having. Picking who to include is a judgment call. Basically, anyone who is important to the games, or particularly interesting or memorable, or who simply got a lot of time or characterization or involvement, probably gets a spot. I'm also doing some light classification by roles:


- Faction Leader -- adopted from Geneforge but used a bit more broadly to describe, well, actual leaders of major factions or movements, even if they can't be "joined" like a sect. So this includes King Micah, Bon-Ihrno, Rentar-Ihrno, and Grah-Hoth. Probably all faction leaders should be included.


- Local Power -- mayors, key bosses who control a certain area, etc. Elderan, Diwoniya, Lankan, etc. Not all of these are worth including, I think.

- Mage -- a bit like Local Power, though typically notable across a wider area; gets its own category because there are so many in SW games. The intention is not to delimit "mage" strictly to wizards but rather to the general model of Solberg, Linda, etc. Shanker, for example, I've kept as a Local Power because her influence is local, whereas Solberg is discussed across Avernum.

- Dragon -- ditto, for much the same reasons. I've included the Three Drayks from G1 in this category because they fulfill almost exactly the same role as Exile's Dragons, in that game.


- Intrigue Figure -- characters who may not be faction leaders or the like, but who have some role in the intrigue of the game world. Learned Darian and Miranda (Geneforge) would be examples.

- PC Partner -- Shanti, Rainer/Silke, etc.

- PC -- Khalida, Alcander, "and the rest"


- Memorable NPC -- anyone who doesn't fit any of these categories, but is still somehow notable or memorable



Step 2: Rate All NPCs


We aren't here yet, but the spreadsheet will make an easy way for everyone to contribute as many or as few ratings as they wish. For sanity purposes, it will just be a simple rating system (probably 1-10) for each character, and then they'll be sorted to assemble a list. This will also make it possible to assemble a list of the best and worst faction leaders, and so on; or to assemble personal lists.




(10:03:50 PM) Dintiradan: you had to take it as a challenge

(10:04:06 PM) Slarty: I take everything I say as a challenge!


(10:04:51 PM) Lilith: what are the odds on this one getting finished

(10:05:45 PM) Slarty: if a few decent people contribute... I'd say the odds are pretty good


(10:06:47 PM) Dintiradan: I denominate everyone but Cheeseball.

(10:07:03 PM) Slarty: this is why I only gave view access to the spreadsheet

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For AEFTP: Kyass as a faction leader? Tor as a memorable NPC? The GIFTS as a collective local power?


For A2: Limoncelli as local power (his name is what really makes him memorable, though, LOL)? Dahris-Bok as local power? The Ten of Angierach as a local power?


A4 I think was his first appearance: Levitt, as a local power, I guess, or maybe even a sort of de facto faction leader?


Also, Dorikas first appeared in A4, not A5, and Melachion first appeared in A5, not A6


A6: Asterios as a memorable character (he blew up Cotra!)? The Slith boss trio, Ghavassa-Oss, Khrez-Yss, and Ess-Kalyn (as a collective faction leader)?


In G4, Miranda is an Agent, not a general.


Re: Ghaldring: he's technically first hinted to exist in the G2 ending, doesn't appear in-game until G4, and you have him listed for G3. LOL.


Ava1 needs Nicodemus as memorable character?


Ava2 needs Dheless as faction leader? Protus as...faction leader? Valens the drunken patriotic artist as memorable character?


For Nethergate, Bel as faction leader? Hathwisa as PC Partner?


Those are people who stand out in my mind for one reason or another as possible worthy of your list.

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See above for why Miranda is listed as General.


*looks carefully*


You've got her category in the spreadsheet as Intrigue Figure, and you give her as an example of such of a figure in the OP. All that makes sense. But I still don't see anything explaining why you listed her title as General? I'm obviously missing something...?

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A couple more ideas spontaneously popped into my head:


Learned Clois in G1 is memorable because she is basically the only character in the entire series to have figured out or at least to openly acknowledge that the Shapers didn't originally create serviles, but rather serviles were originally humans warped and modified by Shaper magic to serve as slaves. That's a huge world-building point that no one else in the entire Geneforge series really addresses and by extension it makes Clois a significant character.


Corata: he is the only member of the trio responsible for the Geneforge with whom you ever interact in a meaningful way. In addition to being partly responsible for the creation of the Geneforge, he is responsible for the creation of the Takers; the servantmind in the workshop says Corata prevented him from containing the poisons and actively wanted them to leak out. The sludge did so, tainting land in eastern Sucia and indirectly giving rise to the Takers. For his huge backstory role, I think he belongs on the list.

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Vardregas should prolly be in the list, as well as the first god, for being the first and putting in a concept. the crazy one who had twin spirits. And corruption core as a whole entity. As well as shorass as faction leader in g4.

Master jared in g4 was relativelly relevant i think. Same with salassar?

G3 has a frustrating lack of people. But i found the librarian interesting and the merc drakon. I forgot his name from isle of spears. Reappears as canister maker in g4.

Was the bowman in a6 asterios? Im bad at remembering names but i figure he has a place.

Also i dont remember gladwell in a4 only from a5.

The lady mayor from spire i can date her from a4 but probably appeared earlier?

Amana leader on a5 as local power?


Amena blade from geneforge series as our go to storyteler.

The wayfayer from v1 as intrigue character.

Commandee Odil as a local power. I suppose constina too even though you dont really interact with eachother.

For now thats all i remember


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A few modest suggestions, before I comb through the games more closely.


X1 - Tor. He appears throughout the trilogy (and into the fourth game maybe?) and is always one of the first characters you get to meet. I also just think he's a really fun character. I'd say that gives him enough reason to be on the list.


G1 - Leader Khobar. Second-in-command (maybe? Learned Pinner maybe?) of the Awakened, but the character you meet first as the head Servile in Vakkiri.

G1 - Control 4. The Servile that's the subject of an Awakened/Obeyer (Taker too? Can't recall) quest that actually does a lot to give background on the Shapers and Serviles. Plus, I feel like that quest was executed with a good degree of ethical grayness.


G4 - Moseh. An ethical conundrum, a local power, a generally pitiful person.

G4 - Pirik. Leader of the Illya Safehouse. I want to say Pirik was in other games, which would be the only reason to add to the list. My memory fails me, but one game alone wouldn't be good enough for a relatively cool, but minor character.

G4 - Pol. Greta's assistant, and in every province your guide. There were some really humorous scenes, actually, such as Pol meeting the Rebel PC after passing through the Barrier Zone. I'd say, actually, one of the better-written characters, and one that I missed in Geneforge 5.


G5 - Bennhold. He's got three provinces of build up, and is quite the local power boss.

G5 - Denna. Appears in two provinces and is the subject of a major part of the identity search the PC is on. Interesting, but perhaps too minor.

G5 - The Presence? Maybe too micro, but the way the Presence intersects with the PC is really interesting, plus it is just a really interesting boss.

G5 - Guardian Makar. A local power, an attempted assassin, a symbol of the diehard Shapers.

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Update: I've added a ton. I did some combing myself, and there are now 201 names listed, including a few from BoA. However, only the four official SW scenarios will be used; definitely no third-party scenarios.


I've added most of the suggestions. I've omitted some that seemed slight to me -- Denna, Pirik, the Presence, even Control Four. I am going to stick by the emphasis on character here and not "quests that character is involved in." I think including Control Four is a lot like including "Alien Beasts" collectively, and then we have a different kind of list. However, I'm open to argument on these points. (Especially because I've probably done something contradictory elsewhere in the list, already.)


Ultimately this is a subjective call, but there has to be a line somewhere to avoid a list of 1000 unremarkable characters.


Keep the suggestions + criticism coming. After other people have had time to comb etc., so maybe in a few days or so, we can move on to step 2 and start rating!


Count thus far:

66 - Avernum 1-3

12 - Blades

24 - Avernum 4-6

52 - Geneforge

14 - Nethergate

33 - Avadon

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I still am for shorass as faction leader if anything else because he is a faction leader.

And the corruption, because its intriguing, confusing, powerfull entity is one of they main reasons i play the series. But personal bias appart. The thing slawlows citties whole, steal souls, corrupts, talks and thinks, idk... Most faction leaders in all of sw games are not nearly as powerfull. I think this deserves local power.

On geneforge 4 the infiltrators were local powers of sorts and i figure all woth personality enough to be rated.

Also i cant remember the name of the necromancer across the river by drahmon fortress on the eastern galery. He appears in a4 and a6. Not sure about the rest. Can he be considered a local power?



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Okay, I'm adding Shorass. I'm torn on the faction leader label. Khyryk isn't really a traditional faction leader, but he is the standard-bearer for the Trakovite viewpoint in multiple games. Shorass gives you a final direction for the Trakovite ending in G4, but he isn't really a leader so much as a contact...


The Corruption, I dunno. I went back and reread all of its text. It's true that it does briefly manifest a "Voice" that you have dialogue with. Here's the problem. "Corruption's Voice" as a character wouldn't make the list. The Corruption itself, separate from the Voice, wouldn't make the list because it isn't a character, it's a sort of mystical force-cum-geography. It's like a character in some ways, but it still isn't one. I see the ambiguity, but in the end I lean towards treating it the same way as the Mertis Spiral, or several different specter installations in the Geneforge series, or various quasi-sentient spiritual manifestations in Nethergate. Does anyone else have opinions on the Corruption?


Infiltrators: OK, but I'm keeping them as a collective because none of them had much screen time individually.


The necromancer is Nociduas who I believe is on the list.

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Shorass I guess could be a Memorable NPC; Owenrus obviously found him memorable, after all, and the character doesn't really any of the labels denoting more power / prestige.


I vote against the Corruption being treated as a character. Yes, it's clear that there's some kind of intelligence out there, but we know far too little about it for it to deserve being cited as a character. We still really don't know who or what it is. We don't know what it really wants. We don't know where it came from. We know that there is an intelligence that is part of the Corruption, but most of what we see comes across more as wild, non-sapient forces. We just don't know enough to discuss the Corruption as a character in any substantive way. Yes, the Corruption is memorable, but as a phenomenon, not as a person.

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Allright we don't know enough about it. And it is relativelly similar to the metris spiral in terms of well lotsa stuff. But idk, I would think the corruption and the voice are as separate as a human being and and its voice and other means of comunications. Still on the grounds of its huge ambiguity and the fact that we dont understand it, we can pretend its not a character. But if it plays a relevant role in avadon 3 im eyeing y'all with much judgement.


Also Khyryk sorta is the standart bearer there. Much more memorable than shorass, but im not sure you have the trajkovite ending option without the forgetable drayk.


On geneforge 3, the creators and the twin minds are relativelly powerfull local powers but their complete lack of personality might not put them under characters.

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Okay, I've gone back and forth on this one. There are credible arguments both ways. Ultimately I'm deciding based on that. There are no other entries on this list, where anyone can even argue they aren't a character with any credibility. I think it's simpler to just keep the edge cases out.


Let me make some snips and then let's open this up to step 2!

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It's finally time for


Step 2: Rate All NPCs!


Use the link here:




Label a column for yourself, and please feel free to rate as many or as few characters as you wish. (Of course, please only rate characters if you have actually experienced most of their appearances :) )


The rating scale goes from 0 to 10. To try and have some coherency, I've suggested a few interpretations of different points on the scale, at the top. But, feel free to assign numbers however you feel represents your honest feelings. Remember that we are rating them as characters.


I've started my column if you'd like an example. Once we get enough answers, we can average the numbers and see what we collectively think of the characters.

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Since you put it that way, I guess I'd better find something we disagree about, so I can ruthlessly interrogate you about why you insist on being so wrong all the time. Hmm...


May I ask why you rated Sss-Thsss so high? To me, he seems indistinguishable from every other evil-worshiping warlord video game antagonist. Is there some nuance to him that I've missed/forgotten?

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No, no special nuances. I guess maybe it's feeling like he had a real impact on the world, rather than just being a random villain durdling around in his lair until I came to kill him. The Gnass Sliths talk about him, various other people talk him, we learn that he's not just a random warlord on his own but serves Grah-hoth, and even in later games (definitely A2 and A3, and maybe even later games?) you meet people who remember or talk about him or fight surviving bands of his followers. My direct interactions with him are nothing special, but I remember Sss-Thsss because so many people in the game world remember him, and that makes him a lot more memorable than average baddie.

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Ratings that intrigued me:


Anastasia? She's just the boss at the big Nephil fort in A1, right? What was distinctive about her?


Gypsy? Who even was this?


What about Enla?


I know WHO Defniel was, but I don't know why he would get a higher rating than Coratta or Danette, considering that I thought he was the member of the triad about whom we learned the least? Similarly, what set Akkat apart from the rest of the G1 drayks? (I'm always tempted to deliberately misspell that word as "dryak" just to make fun of all the people who commit that ridiculous-sounding spelling error.)

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Anastasia had a fairly interesting backstory both on the surface and earlier in Exile. There was also an interesting dynamic between her and the other leaders of that tribe. Plus, she was one of the first examples of unusual human-nephil alliances.


Gypsy was a travelling musician in X1-3. She talks about the difficulty of life in Exile and the difficulty of making musical instruments, tells you about the First Expedition, and winds up as a scout on the surface as well.


Enla was one of the new mages who appeared in X2, where she added some real dimension to Garzahd, talking (and giving required clues about) his skill with wards, and also his womanizing. She appeared with Ostoth in both games and in X3 she was part of the Bunker.


Defniel, Corata and Danette have quite distinct characterizations, so I don't know why they'd all get the same rating. I thought Defniel's had the most nuance -- he seemed to be the most concerned with preparing for the future, including as it concerned the serviles.


The Three Drayks each have somewhat different personalities and roles. They aren't quite as delineated as the Five Dragons, but I found Akkat to be the most interesting, credible, and sensible of the three. Also, I had forgotten till I went back and looked that they were created by the above Three Shapers -- two by Danette and one by Defniel. That introduces a much more direct link between the makers of the Geneforge and the Rebellion, since there is now a direct line from Danette to Ghaldring.

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New to A1, actually:


"Among the clothes in this dresser, you find Anastasia's

journal. You inspect it briefly, to try to figure out what a human

mage was doing here. It doesn't take long to figure it out.Most of

the Empire has been exterminating Nephilim on the surface for a long

time. More merciful governors have been rounding the cat people up

and dumping them into Avernum.Anastasia was a bandit leader on the

surface, leading a group of Nephilim in raids on human settlements.

When she was captured, her entire band was sent down here. She used

her understanding of their ways and her existing band to work her way

into a position of great influence with the chief of this tribe. She

aided them with magic and advice in return for protection and

wealth.At one point, by the way, she mentions the theft of a magical

gold necklace. She seems very angry that the priests are keeping it

in the temple on this level. She mentions nothing about how someone

could get in."

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I vaguely recalled who Anastasia was from having played the demos E1 and/or A1 years ago. But in trying to look up more about her, I discovered that she was apparently the victim of identity theft in AEFTP! That is, Jeff changed the character's name! She's Zemera in AEFTP; this change might account for some confusion over the character, and I'd suggest her new name be included with the character's original one in the spreadsheet.


Related question: are there other characters who were substantially the same in the remakes as in the originals, but for whom Jeff decided to change their names?

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Very few, and those were more connected changes. For example, the reputation record-keeper in the Castle has appeared in some games as Gilda and in other games as Radner. But that's a sequel issue as much as a remake issue. I don't think there's much else. Akhronath/Angierach, but that's a location name.


Also, for Anastasia, I left out one of the fun and human details: her keeping a human prisoner around in order to have a human around for adult purposes.

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Ok, 10 for Cheeseball ;)


Hey! cheeseball has a kickass personality thank you very much.

Its prolly why solberg is boring, with being overshaddowed people tend to not try at all. But still you arent showing enough apreciation to it. 12 is more proper



Also thats who anastasia is! I was really impressed by her. Only not enough to remember apparently. Still that kind of detail for background characters is why i liked avernum.

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I vaguely recalled who Anastasia was from having played the demos E1 and/or A1 years ago. But in trying to look up more about her, I discovered that she was apparently the victim of identity theft in AEFTP! That is, Jeff changed the character's name! She's Zemera in AEFTP; this change might account for some confusion over the character, and I'd suggest her new name be included with the character's original one in the spreadsheet.


Related question: are there other characters who were substantially the same in the remakes as in the originals, but for whom Jeff decided to change their names?

Anastasia is also used as a really minor NPC name so Jeff probably changed it to avoid confusion.


There are some name changes in the beta versions where Jeff forgot the original names for characters.

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New argument! What're people's thoughts on X?


It seems to me he's a joke character, and it's the same joke repeated five times. It's kind of out of place in someone who's supposedly an important character, and he's got no characterization beyond "anvil" and "go away, I'm being reclusive because anvil."

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X also is in charge of the highest mage spell training and mentions that there are good reasons to restrict it to those that are worthy. Most of the mages are focused on only one thing:


Solberg is in hiding from demons.

Linda is summoning them to fight.

Patrick starts off with his wife's health and then studying the Vahnatai.

Rone is just there to direct you to others.

Aimee is plane traveling.

Kelner is avoiding Linda.


Erika is the one that gets the most depth. For a revenge minded mage, she also has all those hobbies.

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X is an amusing, quirky, oddball character in the first game, which is fine, given that Avernum is a prison full of the Empire's outcasts who for one reason or another didn't fit in. His final success in A6 was fun and satisfying. The middle appearances didn't really add much to those games, but didn't actively hurt anything either. So for an amusing first appearance and an enjoyable conclusion, I rated him a 6, a character that as a whole is slightly above average but not exceptionally likeable or intriguing.

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X was actually one of my favorite characters in avernum. Along with cheeseball. He is relativelly isolated from the world with his research. And when all the characters around change or die the world might be ending but he is still there focused on his dream of making the mist kickass spell in the universe. So throughout the series he is one character that whenever i see its like meeting an old friend that you dont see in a long time and realise that your relationship is still the same and they didnt change much over time. Its really refreshing. He was my coping mechanism with erika's fate. I found it amusing when he tried to get me to dispel a demon he summoned and the demon was like; nah, lemme enjoy my vacation. Its a quaint little place we have here.

He also seems to be the only person completelly unnafected by being sent to avernum. I dont even think he noticed it at all.

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I dislike X. I have always disliked X. X is tolerable in X1, but I think "amusing" or "oddball" are going a little far. He's tolerable mainly because so much of the Exile I cast was pulled from talk.bizarre that he doesn't feel so out of place. But his "gag character" nature persists into X2 and X3 where other NPCs developed a presence that was more integrated into the world of Avernum. X has one gag, which is borrowed from Wile E. Coyote, and is repeated over and over again. I agree 100% with Sarachim.


I will further assert that none of the mages on Randomizer's list are as one-dimensional as X is, except maybe Kelner. Aimee and Rone are particularly telling examples because they have way more depth despite receiving way less screen time. Each presents an alternative approach to life in the caves, compared to what the rest of the mages in Avernum are doing. Rone offers a long view of history with his involvement in sealing Grah-Hoth. Aimee is tied into Avernum's backstory due to being a colleague of Erika, Patrick, Solberg, and Garzahd on the surface (and Linda, potentially, in the remakes). X has none of that. He is randomly plopped into the Tower of Magi, with no connections to anyone else -- something he never develops over the course of the entire series. That doesn't make any sense for someone who replaced Erika or Patrick (it's not clear which) on the Triad! He also has zero plot relevance until the end of the Second Trilogy. At which point he's basically as interesting as Asterios. But Asterios accomplished the same thing without clogging up an important role for the entire series.


X got a lot of screen time. A lot could have been done with him. Almost nothing was done with him. I take that into account when I evaluate. Starrus has the same problem. I dislike Ghaldring for the same reason; not that he's so inherently problematic, but just because he was so anticlimactic and bland after all that foreshadowing.

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Relatedly... let's talk about Solberg. Solberg is a problematic figure. He's one of the few characters who was changed significantly between Exile and Avernum.


In Exile, Solberg starts off as a sort of Khyryk-like figure, who sees clearer than others but is fearful and has difficulty taking action. Exile II, however, turns this into a gorgeous paradox. Garzahd has warded and shielded himself against everything he can -- yet Garzahd fears only Solberg. For the only thing he can't shield is his mind, and Solberg turns out to be a master mindduelist -- a skill one imagines, like chess-playing ability, might be well served by paranoid speculation about the future. Imagine a G5 in which Khyryk is the only one who knows how to hurt Ghaldring! Imagine the glorious intrigue we might have seen on the Shaper Council, and the far more interesting Trakovite endings that might have emerged!


Avernum 2 did away with the Mindduel spell and instead made Solberg a demonological expert. This was both weak (because plenty of other mages seem to specialize in that) and also absurd, given that no one listened to him either time Linda decided to summon something she shouldn't have. Plus, he is conspicuously absent from the group that dealt with Grah-Hoth the first time -- that was Erika, Patrick, and Rone. But the worst parts are that (1) Garzahd decided to try to isolate an archmage who specializes in demonology with run-of-the-mill demons, and (2) it actually worked.


I don't even want to dignify his Second Avernum Trilogy appearances with analysis; in A4, he might as well not have been in the game; in A5, he was just crazy, and in A6, look, I appreciate his having a big finale at the end of the series, but having his finale be a combat finale is just such a disconnected way to cap off his character.

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I never played exile but mindduelist seems much better than demon expert which never made much sense. How would solberg's knowledge on demonology lead him to know garhzad was half demon. Was unconvincing. He got too much airtime and by the time he died I heaved a sigh of relief.

But i figure rone and patrick are worse. Patrick seems to want to die half the series when he's not ranting about vahnathai like a fangirl on coke. Rone... i honestly can barelly remember him. Then there is linda who manages to be relevant only by lacking any sense.

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Dragons however manage to get me torn. I think by far the best written are Athron and Vardegras(this one not by much), but i always thought Kloth and Sulfras had potential had they had more airtime and better script.

But both were confusing to say the least kloth most of all with his alegiances, once he'd burn the whole empire for stealing a scroll(not for hunting his kind to extinction mind) and the next game he joins the empire which for a smart dragon, was pretty dumb. Not on odds of the invasion but more on the lines of how likelly the empire would be to respect his wishes. He made no sense and afterwards he convenientelly disapeared(likelly killed by the player). The fact that they had just 2 games to shine might have something to do as well as them only appearing towards the end. Which brings me to Melanchion which i like hating on. He's moderatelly well written but he can't compete with his mother. But i prefer him on 5 than on 6

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