The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Morty's Avatar

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Quote Originally Posted by VoxRationis View Post
    Yeah, I was getting that kind of sense. One of my few critiques of this game, like of the one before it, is that it falls rather fully into the trap a lot of RPGs do where you're given quests, particularly in the main storyline, that seem like they should be handled urgently, but aren't really meant to be. Eothas is supposedly moving this entire time, and my character literally dies if he gets too far away. That's a pretty strong impetus to keep going on the main story and pretty much ignore everything else. Certainly, most people under this circumstance would be reluctant to sail south at all. Most of the side quests seem fairly time-insensitive by comparison. The same was true of the main plot of 1, as well; when you get to Twin Elms, you're hot on Thaos' heels, he might complete his plans any minute now, and you're also racing against your own deteriorating mental faculties. All those random errands you've heard about, including several party member's personal plots, seem like something that can wait. My first playthrough, I didn't realize that completing the main story would end the game outright and so missed a few opportunities.
    That's a pretty major and commonly-cited problem with the main questline, yes. Not that Deadfire is alone in having an urgent main quest that you abandon to goof around and do side-quests, but still.
    Last edited by Morty; 2019-10-26 at 09:38 AM.
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  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Well yeah, you've got to put a pause on that quest to make sure you can kidnap an orlan baby..
    Frankly you pick up so much random loot in games like this that it's surprising more of them don't end up with supernumerary infants clogging the stash by the end.

    (Also the baby doesn't seem to have suffered much by the experience, given that if you have her in your save she'll be on the ship in Deadfire).

    Anyway, the world ending at the speed of plot is normal for RPGs, it's more unsual when it doesn't happen.

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    Frankly you pick up so much random loot in games like this that it's surprising more of them don't end up with supernumerary infants clogging the stash by the end.

    (Also the baby doesn't seem to have suffered much by the experience, given that if you have her in your save she'll be on the ship in Deadfire).

    Anyway, the world ending at the speed of plot is normal for RPGs, it's more unsual when it doesn't happen.
    Mostly its just intriguing to me that the "kidnap a baby and murder all of her family" option is considered to be one of the good endings that you get when you pick the basic "im a really heroic person" preset game ending.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Mostly its just intriguing to me that the "kidnap a baby and murder all of her family" option is considered to be one of the good endings that you get when you pick the basic "im a really heroic person" preset game ending.
    They're not even her family, she's a fosterling who they took as part of a traditional clan obligation.

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Part 10:
    We start exploring Tikawara and talking to the locals to get a better understanding of the situation. Talking to the villagers reveals that Vektor isn't the only one with problems. We talk to a Mataru woman charged with guarding the Vailian trading post. She explains that there's barely any resources on the island, and that they are plagued with lagufaeth attacks. For some reason, they keep a cage full of lagufaeth young in their village, which seems facially counterproductive and likely to draw more attacks than simply either killing or releasing the young. We overhear a group of Roparu gossiping, saying that the new priestess is too young, but also that the former priest, one Ana-something, was not necessarily wise in spite of age. Vektor had mentioned someone by this name going missing. Someone has stolen the last of the koiki fruit that was to be shared in a communal feast--most likely one of the Roparu, who are starving first, as they are in Neketaka. The village, apparently, moved here comparatively recently in order to escape raids by slavers.

    The ranga believes that the Vailians will bring prosperity through trade (not seeming to acknowledge that they lack anything to trade with), and seems very enthusiastically friendly, though he is quick to blame the Vailians for not heeding his warnings about the dangers of the ruins. The new priestess (who, it turns out, is the daughter of the former priest, who lost a challenge for leadership with the ranga) is much more cynical about outsiders. She believes that trade will only work to enslave the Huana and that outsiders must be turned away. Ryndara appreciates her suspicion of the Vailians' intentions, but the priestess doesn't seem to appreciate that the village is struggling and is not economically self-sufficient. Both leaders point to a series of ruins nearby, containing a pillar of luminous adra, claiming that it is bringing the storms which are ravaging the area and driving away fish.

    A small amount of detective work reveals that Tamau, a ne'er-do-well infamous locally for shirking and complaining, did not actually steal the missing koiki fruit (though by his own admission, he had intended to). In fact, a Koaru craftsman by the name of Rongi stole them in order to plant them, tending them in secret, because the celebratory feast would have destroyed the seeds. (This seems odd, since a) fruit-bearing plants are usually perennials and thus don't need to be replanted yearly, and b) seeds of fleshy fruit tend to be adapted to withstand digestion, but we'll roll with it.) Ryndara sympathizes with his motivations, but can't let an innocent man be executed. She goes to talk with the chief to see if she can get the feast called off. Sadly, this option is not available to her. She exonerates Tamau with resignation and sadness.

    Trying to end the lagufaeth attacks, Ryndara leads a shore party to Hohini Ravine, where their broodmother resides. As Ryndara expected, she is distressed over the caging of her young and eager to negotiate (though sadly, not before several lagufaeth parties are slain). We manage to convince the Huana that the lagufaeth are inclined to be reclusive and will avoid kith if their young are returned.

    Another problem (hopefully) solved for Tikawara, we go out to Poko Kahara in the hopes of finding the Vailian shore party. We reach the entrance of the old Engwithan ruins to find the gate guarded by an old titan, one which apparently killed at least one of the Vailians. We manage to bring it down to size without too much difficulty, and enter. The now-familiar architecture of Engwith surrounds us, heavy and oppressive. We see mural depicting the Engwithans accompanied by Huana. One of the murals shows both Engwithans and Huana studying a blue flame. Were they collaborators in the experiments and probings that yielded the dread truth the Engwithans could not accept? We know that there was some degree of cultural interchange between them, which is why the Rauataian epic has its origins in Engwith, and we know that both cultures built in the Deadfire. (The distinct architectural styles, however, suggest that the cultural interchange had certain limits.) Did the ancient Huana accept the apotheosis plan of the Engwithans? It seems likely that the destruction of their old civilization was a cover-up, but were the Huana complicit, or were they dissenters? We also see an old statue of a crocodile-faced god--presumably one that didn't make the cut.

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    If you're particularly sneaky you can make it all the way to the Lagaufeth Broodmother without having to engage anyone else in the zone.

    It's nice when the stealth skill is actually useful in these games. There were a couple of times in PoE1 where you could use it like this, in the Flames-that-whisper cavern and in Noonfrost you could get through with no fights and the game would recognise that you'd done so at the end.

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Yeah, I'm glad they have touches like that. I tend to play very peacefully in dialogue and butcher people outside of it, but it'd be nice to really commit to doing a playthrough that minimizes violence generally and uses cunning and diplomacy to accomplish objectives.

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    I believe its implied that the Koiki fruit were not grown locally, but rather brought with the tribe when they relocated. Why, exactly the Ranga thought that relocating to an inhospitable island with no resources and no ability to sustain a population was a good idea seems unanswered.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    I believe its implied that the Koiki fruit were not grown locally, but rather brought with the tribe when they relocated. Why, exactly the Ranga thought that relocating to an inhospitable island with no resources and no ability to sustain a population was a good idea seems unanswered.
    They've been moving to progressively less hospitable places to keep away from slavers who, despite being illegal, still prey on the smaller tribes. Tikawara has the advantage of having a luminous adra pillar so he is banking on being a service port for Vailian ships.

  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Part 11:
    Ryndara leads the party further into the ruins, spying a vision of the surviving Vailians (those who were not slain by the titan or by traps) arguing. It seems likely by this point that they are all dead, but the possibility yet remains that at least one survived, so we owe it to them to try.

    The pillar of luminous adra here (which, incidentally, the priestess Nairi asked us to destroy, something Ryndara considers the height of foolishness) penetrates through the multiple layers of the complex. As it descends, we find that the adra appears corrupted somehow, turning a dark red hue. On the lower level, we also find braziers holding blue flames, akin to those we saw as the center for worship by the Huana in some of the murals upstairs. The murals down here show Engwithans sacrificing Huana, and the visions Ryndara receives are of the Vailians arguing about who of them killed each other.

    Proceeding further, we fight old Engwithan constructs, including one with a spectacular headdress known as an Engwithan Saint, as well as an ambush by skeletons while passing through a particularly large room with drops to either side. Ishiza's immunity to engagement proves wonderfully useful. (I think it solves one of the main weaknesses of animal companions, which is their tendency to get stuck in melees beyond their ability.) Maia, however, struggles against skeletons, since she's almost entirely dedicated to guns, which are absolutely worthless against skeletons.

    We creep around the ruin a bit more, noting the differences in the architecture between this and the ruins we're used to in Eir Glanfath. The lines seem a bit straighter, the stones a little less like cobbles, and there's more of an emphasis on the vertical (in fact, the yawning pits more closely resemble the cover art of PoE 1). We find a tomb of some sort, with a sarcophagus bearing the inscription "Here rests the head that bore a crown of devotion." We hear a voice querying at our approach, and a powerful Engwithan saint springs to life (apparently at least 4 levels higher than the party). However, our group was arrayed for combat already, and Xarcoras was down practically as soon as he got up. Xoti finishes him off, along with the handful of skeletons he animated, with a burst of holy radiance. The significance of his name is lost on us for now, as he bore nothing special, only said the one line, and achieved nothing.

    We descend to the next level, and find some sort of continually firing lightning generator, which injures a couple of us. Breaking a couple of its essence batteries changes the pattern of its firing enough for us to chart a safe course through the room it's in, bringing us to a chamber with the body of one of the Vailians. This one, Beza, seems to have been responsible for the deaths. Reading her soul and her journal pages shows that she didn't understand or remember attacking the others, but had blood on her hands. The journal pages also discuss a thought, that the Engwithans charged the adra here with souls in order to make it luminous; this thought is reinforced by the murals we see. Is that why luminous adra is found here, rather than in the Dyrwood?

    When we rest to get rid of the injuries, Xoti has a nightmare and a few hallucinations, seeing shambling corpses and a hideous multi-headed monster with horns wandering beneath a blackened sun. She says that when the lights of Hel burn out, all kith will die, and she anticipates it being soon, as she sees all souls as being ready for reaping. The vision is troubling, but is not precisely reliable, as it comes from a deity who is himself of unknown motivation.

    We come to the core of the facility, where the corruption of the adra pillar is thickest. An Engwithan machine encircles it, and when Ryndara activates it, it opens a sort of portal into the adra itself, drawing the essence of the party into it. There we find that the corruption comes from a sort of blockage, where souls have been trapped in this adra pillar for very long periods of time, slowly rotting in a sense from their inability to continue with the cycle. The soul of the former priest is foremost among these trapped souls, and glories in it, believing the storms that stem from this will drive away the Vailians. We defeat those souls and Ryndara restores the pillar to its natural state, clearing away the storms. (I'm honestly a little confused about the chronology here and the exact degree to which the argument with Anaharu actually matters.)

    When we return to Tikawara, we are warmly received by the ranga. Once there, we're given an odd choice to make, one which forced me to load a few times. Beza (the leader of the Vailian expedition, who had gone mad from a cursed idol and had killed several of her subordinates) had, in her last entry, speculated on the possibility of using the Huana of Tikawara to charge adra, rather than mining the luminous, having been inspired by the Engwithan murals. When we get back, we are given the opportunity to give these journal pages to either Vektor, the ranga, or the priestess. Whoever we present it to, however, we present it as though it was the plan of the Vailian Trading Company all along, and only Pallegina points out that they were no such thing, being only the speculations of a madwoman in the last days of her life. Beza never got the opportunity to present this idea to anyone in the VTC, much less get official approval of such a plan. No one listens to Pallegina about this very reasonable objection. The ranga will hush it up, which is perhaps reasonable, if not ethical, but it's treated in the dialogue as him being naive and overly trusting of foreigners. With no great way of approaching this (or at least, no way that matches the way I'm inclined to approach it), Ryndara elects to simply set sail.

    Shortly after setting sail, we spot a slaver dhow. Remembering the depredations such scum have wrought upon Tikawara, we elect to intercept them actively; they, in turn, see us only as easy prey. Our ships engage in a gunnery duel for a bit, the Defiant having a decided maneuverability advantage. The dhow is under-gunned for its size, so its volleys are no more destructive than ours, while the Defiant can get volleys off faster by jibing quickly. We work our way to boarding range and begin the fight, which is tough, for Maia can't get clear of the enemy gunners (I really hate how the fights always spawn you in the worst possible location on the ship) and falls rapidly. Still, Ryndara and her crew come out victorious, and we win much plunder from the slaver ship. The Defiant is damaged and some of its crew injured in the battle, however, so we decide to put our journey to Motare o Kozi on hold and instead go back to Neketaka. Xoti wanted to pray at the Temple of Gaun there in order to ease her spiritual burden, and indulging her might lessen her nightmares, so we might as well go there.

    At the Sacred Stair, Pallegina mentions that she wanted to meet an animancer friend of hers, one who had treated her when she was very young. Apparently, said animancer partly decoupled her essence from that which Hylea instilled in her, which led to her physical symptoms lessening, making life more bearable for a young girl often mistreated on account of being different. Pallegina hopes to check up on this animancer, and so asks if we can pop in. When we do so, we meet on Flaure, who explains that the man Pallegina seeks is working in the Gullet for some unknown reason. However, in Sacred Stair, the animancers are working on a teleportation principle, using the power of luminous adra to achieve effects similar to that of certain rogue abilities, but on a much larger scale. Ryndara offers to help test the machine.

    However, instead of sending Ryndara and company to another adra pillar some distance outside the city, as planned, the party's souls are sent to a realm in the Beyond, a cold and cruel realm belonging to Rymrgand. After fighting through some of the local creatures, Rymrgand confronts the adventurers and threatens to destroy them. The degree to which the Beast of Winter desires to obliterate souls seems to be inconsistent. He threatened to do so here and advocated for destroying the Hollowborn souls, but he steadfastly refused to do so when his worshipers were literally begging him to. Ryndara calls his bluff, saying that he wouldn't do it on account of divine politics, and though Rymrgand says he doesn't care what Berath thinks, he very pointedly doesn't follow up on his threat. He does leave us with two dire warnings. The first is that future experimentation along these lines will be met with oblivion, and that the animancers don't understand what they're working with. The second is that Eothas' plan is likely to cause the end of everything, that the grand new age the god of light is trying to bring will be short-lived.

    Ryndara is somewhat skeptical of the god's warnings. The gods can and do lie--their entire self-presentation to the world is a lie--so any information they give has to be suspect. Moreover, Rymrgand just tried to bluff her and kept doing so even after she called his bluff. On the other hand, Rymrgand's warning about the consequences of Eothas' actions matches well with Xoti's visions of impending doom. That said, her visions presumably come from Eothas, which would imply that Eothas foresees that his actions will backfire.

  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    I'd just like to point out that, between PoE 1 and 2, Rymrgand will absolutely kill you without hesitation on... I think its the three? different occasions you have cause to interact with him, if you invite him to do so in some way. Its actually pretty funny in a couple of them, because you can really go out and call him out on exactly how awful he is. Its worth looking up those points and saving just before them if you can, just so you have the option of really expressing yourself at him.

    Also, he has a particular bug up his butt with regards to the pale elves, for some reason. He absolutely refuses to entropy their souls, and every single pale elf is unfailingly reincarnated as another pale elf. All his followers who wanted to be disintegrated in PoE1 were pale elves who were Awakened by a watcher that met with them and discovered this fact.
    Last edited by Keltest; 2019-10-28 at 07:45 AM.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  12. - Top - End - #42
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    I mean, again, why would you even make a god of entropy? Who on the design committee thought, "Hmm, the inevitable decay of the universe needs an advocate"?

  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Quote Originally Posted by VoxRationis View Post
    I mean, again, why would you even make a god of entropy? Who on the design committee thought, "Hmm, the inevitable decay of the universe needs an advocate"?
    The gods we ended up with were based on some of the more prolific deities that had been imagined by the various cultures the Engwithans encountered. They felt that it would be the easiest transition.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Would it really have caused anyone to rebel or reject the new order if they didn't get their lazy but malevolent ice-cow?

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Quote Originally Posted by VoxRationis View Post
    I mean, again, why would you even make a god of entropy? Who on the design committee thought, "Hmm, the inevitable decay of the universe needs an advocate"?
    This strikes me as a question based on an extremely backward premise: that the more fundamental something is, the less it should have a representative god.

    (Or possibly the unstated premise is, instead, that all the gods were planned to be benevolent--to which my response would be, "...have you met Thaos?")
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  16. - Top - End - #46
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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    This strikes me as a question based on an extremely backward premise: that the more fundamental something is, the less it should have a representative god.

    (Or possibly the unstated premise is, instead, that all the gods were planned to be benevolent--to which my response would be, "...have you met Thaos?")
    Given what gits the Engwithans were, it's surprising any of the gods they built turned out nice at all.

    Having a god of entropy strikes me as the sort of thing only a culture that had advanced far enough to put a name to the concept then decided to build the sort of gods they thought should exist would have.

    (A thing almost certainly common-or-universal in constructed fantasy pantheons, which tend to be less "humans writ large" where the things the god is associated with got bolted on later and more "embodied functions" where the function game first, then the god was created out of it.)

  17. - Top - End - #47
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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    I would guess that the purpose of Rymrgand was something like instilling a fear of death and oblivion into kith, or something similar. Or provide an "escape hatch" from the continuous cycle of reincarnation. Engwithans wanted the gods to guide kith society along the lines they deemed correct, after all.

    I really need to unlock the conversations with Woedica. I you get the book after visiting Neketaka for the first time, but I'm not sure how it works on a save that's already far past that point.
    Last edited by Morty; 2019-10-29 at 09:37 AM.
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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    This strikes me as a question based on an extremely backward premise: that the more fundamental something is, the less it should have a representative god.
    No, I'm going to stick by the premise, for the following reason. The gods are there to guide kith and ensure the world works the way it should (or at least the way the Engwithans thought it should). If something goes awry, they intervene, either directly or indirectly, to bring corrective action. Woedica's Steel Garrote makes sure people keep their promises. Hylea advocates for all the little children (and birds). Even death, which is mostly inevitable as well, sometimes needs a little push because someone finds a way to get out of it, as with those two druids in Twin Elms. But entropy is completely inevitable. Any course of action anyone undertakes will increase it, and the only way to minimize its increase is to cease activity. Having someone around to boast about its inevitability and inconsistently screw around with people in the name of entropy doesn't actually secure that concept, because it's already 100% secure over the long haul. Rymrgand is a waste of resources; they could have put those souls into making the other gods better, or maybe allowing that Huana crocodile-faced god into the group, or something else.

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Quote Originally Posted by VoxRationis View Post
    No, I'm going to stick by the premise, for the following reason. The gods are there to guide kith and ensure the world works the way it should (or at least the way the Engwithans thought it should). If something goes awry, they intervene, either directly or indirectly, to bring corrective action. Woedica's Steel Garrote makes sure people keep their promises. Hylea advocates for all the little children (and birds). Even death, which is mostly inevitable as well, sometimes needs a little push because someone finds a way to get out of it, as with those two druids in Twin Elms. But entropy is completely inevitable. Any course of action anyone undertakes will increase it, and the only way to minimize its increase is to cease activity. Having someone around to boast about its inevitability and inconsistently screw around with people in the name of entropy doesn't actually secure that concept, because it's already 100% secure over the long haul. Rymrgand is a waste of resources; they could have put those souls into making the other gods better, or maybe allowing that Huana crocodile-faced god into the group, or something else.
    When you go into Rymrgand's realm, and especially in the Beast of Winter DLC areas, you see that entropy actually isn't at all automatic or inevitable except that he goes out of his way to make it happen. If you took him away, kith souls would be almost completely unchanging through the wheel. Awakenings, in particular, would eventually spiral horribly out of control without him, as seen with that group of Pale Elves, which is presumably why all the other gods don't just kick him out of the pantheon and destroy him.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    (I haven't gotten to the Beast of Winter stuff yet.)
    There was entropy before Rymrgand existed, though. The basic idea of how energy works and is made unavailable applies without direct intervention by a body. To think he's required for it to work suggests that the Engwithans managed to alter the very laws of physics in that world, which is a whole other level of fundamental power than that suggested by the rest of the stuff that they did.

  21. - Top - End - #51
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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Quote Originally Posted by VoxRationis View Post
    (I haven't gotten to the Beast of Winter stuff yet.)
    There was entropy before Rymrgand existed, though. The basic idea of how energy works and is made unavailable applies without direct intervention by a body. To think he's required for it to work suggests that the Engwithans managed to alter the very laws of physics in that world, which is a whole other level of fundamental power than that suggested by the rest of the stuff that they did.
    The degree to which soul entropy specifically existed before the gods isn't really stated, but the creation of the gods dramatically normalized everything and made it far more consistent. Before the gods, hollowborn and soul maladies were extremely common because the system was wild and unmanaged. Berath and Rymrgand, in particular, are responsible for the management of that system, to make sure nothing goes horribly wrong for no good reason.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  22. - Top - End - #52
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Part 12:
    Spoiler: Errands in Town
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    We head to The Hole to find this Giacolo that Pallegina wants to see. The bartender is unhelpful, so Ryndara goes upstairs, where she remembers seeing some animancy equipment when we were convincing Orron to give up his berth. However, the room in question has been ransacked, and Giacolo is nowhere to be found. We ask the bartender again in light of this new information, and she casually mentions that he was borne away by a gang of pirates, all godlike, who dragged him off into the Narrows. This raises troubling implications. First, Ryndara resolves never to rest in the Hole again, given the bartender's cavalier attitude towards the physical security of her patrons. Second, what do they want with him? Do they desire treatment in the same way that Pallegina received it? Are they angry with him for side effects of previous ministrations? Or did Giacolo tell them that he, too, was a godlike in order to convince them not to carry off his daughters, and they only now have learned the truth?

    We rush off to Delver's Row after switching out some party members for some additional street smarts. It's too late, however; the pirates are gone by the time we arrive. Fortunately, however, we find the body of one of them that was unfortunate enough to mishandle one of Giacolo's devices. Her spirit provides us some crucial insights; this is being done at the behest of one Captain Tatzatl, who may be found in Dunnage. Setting sail for there seems like a good next step.

    First, we report to Onekaza, telling her of what happened at Hasongo and where we know Eothas to be going next. She tells us that both we and Eothas shall meet heavy resistance in the form of the Rathun, a hostile local people who are the favored of Magran. She then asks us for a favor. The watershapers are the most critical defensive advantage Neketaka has against Rauatai, but the leader of the guild has not reported back at the queen's request. She sends us to investigate. Just as she ends the conversation, she lets slip by accident a thought of deep concern.


    Spoiler: The Watershapers' Guild
    Show
    Not wanting those representing foreign interests to be present for this, we go to the Luminous Bathhouse in Periki's Overlook and switch out Pallegina and Maia for Tekehu and Eder, and head over to the Watershapers' Guild. Here we find bodies, both of watershapers and of naga. Apparently, they came up through the subterranean waterways under the guildhall, and Mairu is driving them back below. However, strange tremors keep rocking the building. We go to search.

    We come across a group of naga, apparently a couple, who talk about wanting to go join in "her" (presumably Mairu's) torture. Perhaps the idea was that using a watershaper in this fashion would cause waves to damage Neketaka. We quickly dispatch them and press on, finding Mairu wounded in the next room. Mairu is dying of the many wounds she's sustained, though she adamantly insists that she gave better than she got. She says something incoherent about how her rod, the Rod of the Depths, was taken from her, and that using it, along with the "words," we can restore a ward and prevent "it" from escaping. She dies, and her spirit, no longer laboring for breath, clarifies a little before it passes on to the Beyond: the stone door near the entrance of this area can be opened using this rod and the prayer to Ngati that is inscribed on the fountain upstairs (a lament about the myth that she's in love with the moon). Once beyond this door, we are to strengthen the wards, "no matter what it tells [us]." We explore this door, which has some sort of protected locking mechanism, and bears the inscription that the "watery covenant" with Ngati is kept by persisting in deserving it.

    (It bothers me whenever in RPGs we find someone dying or seriously injured and can't do anything about it. We have bags full of healing potions, skilled healers, spell repertoires brimming with healing magic, and we regularly get ourselves back to peak condition after being stabbed, but we don't even have the option to try to stabilize Mairu, even with mundane solutions like tourniquets. The fact that she was able to squeeze out so many words before dying suggests to me that we had a decent shot at saving her, if the option had been presented in dialogue.)

    We examine the room in which Mairu died, which appears also to be the tomb of Periki. A fragment of her essence clings to her statue, which appears to be lamenting in some fashion (it actually cries at one point). From it, Ryndara is able to examine an old memory, one of Periki returning home from a voyage, her sense of victory marred by something. She's bringing something home to Neketaka, something that she is concerned about controlling but represents a gift. This something seems to be a large sea creature.

    Periki's tomb has an engraving that seems to have been deliberately marred at some point, bearing little that remains coherent. Some mention of a "guilty soul" suggests that Periki did something her successors wished to keep quiet. Ryndara starts to put the pieces together. There's some creature (very likely a sea serpent or something similar) bound in these catacombs, one which is trying to escape, and Mairu has charged us with restoring the wards which prevent it from doing so. It's probably the source of the tremors we're feeling. Binding this creature may be the source, somehow, of the power of watershaping.

    The party slays the last of the naga in the area, finding the Rod of the Depths, and Ryndara uses it to open the lock on the ancient door. We hear tremendous roars from the dark and narrow passageway before us, but proceed anyway.

    We come to an old chamber, and as our eyes become accustomed to the gloom, we learn that Ryndara was right in every aspect except one: the creature imprisoned here is not a sea serpent, but a sea dragon. This creature, who calls himself the Guardian of the Isles, reveals an awful truth to the party (including Tekehu): the watershaping practiced by the guild today is not the same art as was practiced in ancient days. It was originally much stronger, but was contingent on maintaining a compact with Ondra Ngati, and part of that compact included keeping foreigners out of the Deadfire, protecting the isles, the adra, and Ukaizo. Yielding pieces of the Deadfire to foreigners has weakened the art of watershaping, and to compensate, Periki made a different pact, one with this dragon, in order to produce an alternative form of watershaping, one that could maintain its strength even in the face of geopolitical concessions. (Presumably, this is why the final watershaping form is not passed down; it was one Periki wasn't able to make a facsimile of.) The dragon doesn't mention what foreigners are specifically the subject of discussion here, but the impression Ryndara gets is that they're an older set than the Vailians and Rauataians that the Huana are dealing with now. Originally, the pact between Periki and dragon was consensual, and was for the purposes of responding to a threat of the period, but Periki later imprisoned the dragon, forcing him to remain bound beneath the Watershapers' Guild. Ancient wards here draw off bits of the dragon's essence in order to empower the watershapers, regardless of their adherence or lack thereof to the terms of Ngati's pact.

    Understandably, the dragon desires to be freed, and insists that we use the Rod of the Depths to dispel the remaining ward binding him. He claims that if we do not, he will break himself free, as he has almost done, but that he would prefer not to do so, as it would damage him. This presents Ryndara with a choice whose repercussions may yet be felt through the Deadfire (and possibly elsewhere) for many years to come. Clearly, binding a sentient creature here to feed off its essence is immoral, yet the dragon might wreak destruction upon innocent Huana who know nothing of their forebears' crimes as it frees itself. Moreover, the power of the Watershapers' Guild is the one thing which gives the Huana military parity, or something close to it, with the Rauataians. Were they to lose the power they gain from imprisoning this dragon, Neketaka would be near-defenseless and would likely be overcome by the imperial ambitions of the ranga nui. Fortunately, Ryndara is a learned and skillful person, well-versed in metaphysics, and discovers a compromise of sorts. She draws off a significant but survivable portion of the dragon's essence, one sufficient to power the watershapers for a time, and stores it in the wards while at the same time breaking their hold over him. He escapes with a fearful roar and much clamor from outside, gratefully promising aid to Ryndara, should she be imperiled on the high seas.


    Spoiler: Aftermath
    Show
    We head back up the mountain to report to Onekaza. The news isn't good, but having stored away enough power to keep Rauatai at bay for the moment softens the blow somewhat. She resolves to unite the tribes of Huana and treat with the Rauataians as an empire in her own right, and to do this, she needs to "fill the seas" with an aggressive, isolationist group of Huana who are known to suffer no outsiders. This group is known for cannibalism and kith sacrifice, but hopefully, we will be able to gain at least a flag of truce under which to treat by greeting them with a phrase she teaches us. Ryndara holds doubts and reservations about this for several reasons. Firstly, it seems as though her intentions of principled neutrality may fail in the future. If Onekaza asserts herself against the Republics and the Brass Empire, the crew of the Defiant will likely be forced to pick sides. Secondly, Ryndara isn't entirely certain that a Huana empire is a side she wants to be on, even as much as she wants to help defend the native peoples of the Deadfire from foreign imperialism. The Huana caste system is oppressive, institutions like the Guild are corrupt, and if part of the solution is to get a bunch of regressive cannibals who take seriously promises made to the gods on board, a unified Huana state will rapidly start showing some unpleasant sides. Thirdly, she's not entirely certain getting these isolationists behind Onekaza's banner will actually allow Neketaka to repel Rauatai's aggression. War canoes can be numerous, and their complements fierce warriors, but they're still going to struggle against armadas of high-walled junks filled with cannon and manned by gunhawks like Maia.

    Ryndara speaks privately with Tekehu, who turns out to be newly confident in a more sincere way than his usual boastfulness. He has come to believe that his purpose is to find Ukaizo and restore the old forms of watershaping to the Huana. This triggers another vision from Ondra, who seems pleased with him, and this gives Ryndara another realization. This pact which gives the Huana the strength to repel invaders with a much greater technological base is the Deadfire's equivalent of the Engwithans' pact with the Glanfathans. It's meant to give them both motive and means to drive people away and prevent anyone from fiddling with anything that might yield insight into or interfere with the gods and the spiritual infrastructure associated with them. This realization makes Ryndara more reluctant than before to find Ukaizo and help Tekehu, yet her hand is already forced. By freeing the dragon beneath the Guild, she's overturned a sand glass on the continued independence of Neketaka, and so an onus falls on her to make sure the Huana keep military parity with Rauatai. If the trump card of the watershapers is not maintained, then Onekaza and her successors will only be independent so long as they can play the imperial powers against one another, which is an unstable equilibrium that can probably only last for a couple of generations at the most.

    However, one thing we've noticed thus far is that the Vailians, though sometimes presenting problems in their own rights, are not referred to by anyone as an immediate military threat. People worry about the mining operations being extractive and the trading contracts unfair, but in the immediate term, people aren't expecting the Republics to flat-out invade. Onekaza has only referred to the role of watershapers in repelling the Rauataian navy, not the Vailian one. With that in mind, Ryndara gets an idea. Perhaps the best way to handle this would be for Neketaka to get ahead of foreign annexation by preempting it. If Onekaza offered to bring Neketaka into the Vailian Republics as a sixth republic, equal to the others, the Vailians could get preferential trade and the Huana could secure military aid against Rauatai without losing sovereignty (or at least, only losing the same amount of sovereignty each republic has already in joining the federation). In order to do this, though, we'll have to increase Neketaka's strength so that it appears like an asset and not a liability, while at the same time improving relationships with the Republics.

    With this in mind, we head down the mountain to Queen's Berth with the intent of meeting with the leaders of the VTC. On the way, however, we are stopped twice. The first is a minor matter; Oswald, drunk again, vomited on the shoes of some rough-looking men, and we peacefully intervene in smoothing things over. The second is a burning building in a middle-class neighborhood of Neketaka. We see signs of arson, but put the fire out with the water and frost magic that Ryndara and Tekehu have. We move inside and see bodies, slain with daggers and crossbows, and an open door beyond. Following it, we get into a fight with a group of Dereo's men. We tear them apart rather easily, but find no sign of what the significance of their mission was. Shrugging (and hoping no one will report this to Dereo and complicate things for us next time we are in Delver's Row), we proceed to Queen's Berth.

  23. - Top - End - #53
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Spoiler: Future Politics
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    Its interesting to me that the Huana are nominally the "good" choice for the Deadfire, in as much as good means "not leading to military conquest of the natives", and yet they are also above only the pirates in terms of quality of life of their citizens. I legitimately cant tell if this is just because they neglected to make the benefits of Huana rule clear enough, or if they deliberately wanted us to consider the trading companies viable "good guy" alternatives.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  24. - Top - End - #54
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    I thank you for wrapping discussions of such things in spoiler tags. Also, I'm really very thankful that people reply and discuss things. I felt compelled to write the first post on account of having things I wanted to say about the first bit of the game, but I feared that I would just be shouting into the void. I'm glad others find interest in this.

    Part 13:
    We head to the VTC headquarters and discuss the teleportation experiment with the governor. He directs other inquiries to Director Castol, one of his subordinates on the second floor. Castol gives us a long spiel about how the VTC pays better than serving the ranga nui. Ryndara puts on a polite face during this rant; she fully expects the majority of her income to come from selling the weapons and armor of people who tried to kill her, like it was in Dyrwood. Then he tells us that a rogue RDC captain is meeting with a pirate in the Luminous Bathhouse. Our mission is, he says, to go find out what one of the VTC's spies has found out about it.

    Ryndara doubts that this will go anything near this smoothly, since it's far too trivial a task at first glance to give to the likes of her, but it's not the sort of Company work that would cause her to lose sleep or anything, so she undertakes it.

    Brizze, the Vailian spy, says that Tola (the pirate) and Quarno (the company man) are meeting tonight, and have reserved the whole floor in order to ensure their privacy. Bathhouse attendants will be there to serve them, but Brizze is known to Tola and needs someone else to eavesdrop on their conversation. Therefore, the job falls to Ryndara (apparently). This seems like a questionable personnel choice. First of all, Ryndara is a moon godlike, and while she's not the only one in the city, it still makes her rather more conspicuous than is desired in this situation. Secondly, almost everyone she's met here recognizes her on sight as the Watcher of Caed Nua. If that's the job, though, that's the job.

    The party strips down to the scanty uniforms of bathhouse attendants. Brizze already told us that Tola has a weakness for drink, so we go to her first, bearing rice wine. It's easy to get her to spill the beans. Quarno is selling her cannons so that she can raid VTC ships and steal their cargoes of luminous adra. We rush off to tell the director this information.

    On the way, we meet one Degnos, who laments that he left behind an important satchel in the bathhouse, that he is not being permitted to go back for it, and that without it, his captain will throw him overboard. It doesn't seem like he's lying (our group collectively has a pretty good Insight score), so we run in and grab it.

    On our way from Periki's Overlook to Queen's Berth, we're stopped by a rough-looking group of Principi, who start inquiring about this Degnos. Our attempts at getting by fail, beginning a fight that quickly becomes one-sided in our favor. When we get to Queen's Berth and meet up with Degnos, we talk to his captain, who pulls out her seal and some sort of letter from the satchel. Degnos runs off, and the captain thanks us for saving her life, paying us some money. (I reloaded and tried through this quest in several different ways, and none of them really got down to explaining precisely what was going on. One's available dialogue options frequently seemed to jump to conclusions with no evidence.)

    We talk with the director, who thanks us for the warning and directs us to see one of his Principi contacts, a Captain Ferrante who is having some trouble with a contact on the isle of Crookspur. Ryndara is wary of what this is about (Crookspur was the home port of the slaver ship we fought), but Ferrante is in Dunnage, so with two objectives in that pirate port, we head off there.

    On the way, we encounter a derelict Vailian ship. Raiding it for supplies arouses the ire of a Vailian privateer, who believe that we are responsible for a pirate attack on it. Outgunned and not wanting to actually fight our current employers, we make use of the Defiant's speed and retreat, only to be soon after chased by a pirate dhow.

  25. - Top - End - #55
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    Flumph

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Quote Originally Posted by VoxRationis View Post
    On our way from Periki's Overlook to Queen's Berth, we're stopped by a rough-looking group of Principi, who start inquiring about this Degnos. Our attempts at getting by fail, beginning a fight that quickly becomes one-sided in our favor. When we get to Queen's Berth and meet up with Degnos, we talk to his captain, who pulls out her seal and some sort of letter from the satchel. Degnos runs off, and the captain thanks us for saving her life, paying us some money. (I reloaded and tried through this quest in several different ways, and none of them really got down to explaining precisely what was going on. One's available dialogue options frequently seemed to jump to conclusions with no evidence.)
    I'm p. sure if you right click Degnos' satchel in the inventory you get an option to open it and you get the rest of the story. (He's planning to sell out his captain to the Principi because she's strictly authoritarian and favours harsh punishment).

    There are a couple of quest items you can interact with in this way.

  26. - Top - End - #56
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    See, I thought that might have been the case, but I didn't see the prompt to open it when I right clicked it.

    Part 14:
    Arrogance gets the better of Ryndara. After her previous successes in gunnery duels against pirates, she believed the Defiant capable of overcoming anything less than a galleon. However, the Principi dhow turns out to be fully manned with an experienced crew, using more advanced cannon than the hognoses on the Defiant, and several crew members are injured and the hull severely damaged before, in a desperate act, Ryndara closes to board with the Siren's Song. The boarding action goes as well as the gunnery duel went poorly; the pirates are numerous, but most of them seek to swarm over the boarding ramps, and Eder and Pallegina are able to hold them in place while Ryndara drops spell after spell upon them. Tekehu and Serafen clear out the enemy aftcastle, while Maia snipes off enemies from the forecastle. We seize much booty, including a Vailian hullbreaker cannon (though, rather irritatingly, not the battery of Imperial long guns that we clearly saw used against us). Still, fearful that we might do poorly against another pirate attack, Ryndara orders Principi colors hoisted as we make for Dunnage.

    In Dunnage, we find Captain Tatzatl easily enough. We see that he's holding Giacolo, but Ryndara, aware of the danger to the hostage and inclined by nature to talk rather than fight (or at least talk before fighting in order to assess its necessity), opens dialogue. She defers mostly to Pallegina, who gives a very impassioned speech about how they need to hand Giacolo over or face the wrath of the Republics. Tatzatl responds by giving us a questionnaire, and when we finish, he says that he considers our answers to have made his decision. Giacolo is to be released, but his work (which threatens godlike, in particular death godlike, on account of allowing them to be detected in utero, possibly exposing them to selective abortions) will be destroyed. Fortunately, Ryndara has a silver tongue as well as a silver brow. She points out that Giacolo is a good man and a prudent one, and that he is wise enough to keep his work from being mishandled. (She doesn't point out the practical objection to their plan, which is that destroying the technology would likely only delay the deaths of those godlike children by somewhat less than nine months; they'd be killed at birth rather than before it.) Pallegina and Giacolo share a touching moment before Giacolo points out that the pirates did have a reasonable concern, and the game's attempts at teaching us civics in a Socratic method continue. Giacolo says that many animancers are not responsible, to which Pallegina says that that's not really his problem. We're presented with a choice of arguing for regulation of animancy by the people, by rulers, or by other animancers. Ryndara, an aristocrat who saw the riots in Defiance Bay firsthand, is only too aware of the obvious dangers of letting popular rule dictate policy towards animancy, but the inability of animancers (or most groups) to effectively police themselves is also apparent. Her go-to guess would be that rulers should dictate animantic policy, but the dialogue option says to "limit" animancy in this fashion, rather than "regulate" it, so that probably wouldn't go over well, so she says that animancers should try to hold each other accountable.

    We explore Dunnage, trying to find Captain Furrante. In the tavern, we find a pirate who's desperately trying to pass a large gemstone he swallowed when panicked. We make a note of this before moving on to find Furrante. We find him in the pirate court of sorts, recognizing him as the man who spoke with us earlier and foisted Serafen on us. Furrante says that we are go to the island of Crookspur, where he is trying to get the slavers to follow his banner. Serafen reacts to the mention of the island with horror and betrayal; one imagines that the trade done there is how he came to be under Furrante in the first place. Ryndara is increasingly certain that we won't like whatever it is we're being asked to do in Crookspur, but as long as all she's being asked to do is talk with a succession of people, she'll play along.

    We head back out to our ship. On the way, we see an ogre assembling a pirate crew. He matches the description of one of the officers of a notoriously cruel and rapacious pirate who was slain some time back; we've accepted bounties on those officers (the rest of whom are in Neketaka). We go up and announce ourselves; we are promptly dispatched thanks to a ranger on an overlook position, outside of anyone's effective range of reprisal; this sniper continuously interrupts our spellcasters while his wolf flanks us to harass our delicate sorts.

    Loading, we cluster around this ranger and his wolf, kill him first, and then fight the ogre from the high ground. It's still a tough fight, as almost every one of our enemies is over-leveled for us, and the ranger's low-ground companion continues to give us trouble from outside of the realm of our vision (darn isometric fog of war), but we carry the day.
    Last edited by VoxRationis; 2019-10-31 at 03:14 AM.

  27. - Top - End - #57
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    Flumph

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Quote Originally Posted by VoxRationis View Post
    See, I thought that might have been the case, but I didn't see the prompt to open it when I right clicked it.

    Part 14:
    Arrogance gets the better of Ryndara. After her previous successes in gunnery duels against pirates, she believed the Defiant capable of overcoming anything less than a galleon. However, the Principi dhow turns out to be fully manned with an experienced crew, using more advanced cannon than the hognoses on the Defiant, and several crew members are injured and the hull severely damaged before, in a desperate act, Ryndara closes to board with the Siren's Song. The boarding action goes as well as the gunnery duel went poorly; the pirates are numerous, but most of them seek to swarm over the boarding ramps, and Eder and Pallegina are able to hold them in place while Ryndara drops spell after spell upon them. Tekehu and Serafen clear out the enemy aftcastle, while Maia snipes off enemies from the forecastle. We seize much booty, including a Vailian hullbreaker cannon (though, rather irritatingly, not the battery of Imperial long guns that we clearly saw used against us). Still, fearful that we might do poorly against another pirate attack, Ryndara orders Principi colors hoisted as we make for Dunnage.
    The ship combat is the one thing I found didn't really work in Deadfire. There's no real way to deliberately get into a raking position against an enemy and no counterplay to them being about to shoot you, and so the best thing to do (especially in the Defiant) is just Hold-Fire-Jibe-Hold-Fire-Jibe and just repeat until the enemy is dead. (And if that doesn't work nothing will anyway).

    So in the end I just boarded everything. Boarding actions are more fun anyway with people jumping the decks and generally causing chaos (and 2-3 standby party members and sidekicks get to join in, so cycle them in to apply their level occasionally).

  28. - Top - End - #58
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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    The ship combat is the one thing I found didn't really work in Deadfire. There's no real way to deliberately get into a raking position against an enemy and no counterplay to them being about to shoot you, and so the best thing to do (especially in the Defiant) is just Hold-Fire-Jibe-Hold-Fire-Jibe and just repeat until the enemy is dead. (And if that doesn't work nothing will anyway).

    So in the end I just boarded everything. Boarding actions are more fun anyway with people jumping the decks and generally causing chaos (and 2-3 standby party members and sidekicks get to join in, so cycle them in to apply their level occasionally).
    It was also reportedly a considerable resource drain, since it uses completely separate assets from the rest of the game.
    Last edited by Morty; 2019-10-31 at 06:16 PM.
    My FFRP characters. Avatar by Ashen Lilies. Sigatars by Ashen Lilies, Gulaghar and Purple Eagle.

  29. - Top - End - #59
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Part 15:
    On our way out of port, Eder talks to Ryndara, confessing that he's having a hard time understanding and respecting Xoti's earnest devotion to Gaun. After all we've seen, he explains, he can't really hold that sort of view anymore or consider it anything other than the youthful naivete he once had. Ryndara, internally leaping with joy, soberly tells Eder that he shouldn't hide his opinions on the matter from her; if she can't handle the truth, that's on her head.

    Before we head up to Crookspur, it might be good to go to Fort Deadlight and do away with Benweth. We're roughly in the area already and it might help yield some insight into Serafen. We speak with him on deck to formulate a plan. Apparently, Fort Deadlight has very powerful defensive guns that preclude a direct approach. However, with Principi colors (which we happen to have in great number), we should be able to make port. Once there, we'll take the stealthiest group of our party into the fort, sneak about, kill Benweth in some subtle way, and leave.

    While we're talking, however, Maia asks if we could make some stops. Apparently, her superior, Atsura, gave her two missives to be sent, containing Company business. Ryndara's a little skeptical of this, however. Maia apparently knows both of the recipients of these messages personally, and a high-ranking sniper on board a non-RDC ship seems like an odd choice of messenger.

    ...

    Okay, so I accidentally closed out of the reply editor while still composing this (since I tend to jot things down as I play over several hours). The above was all that I still had. I'll put forth a quick summary:
    • We kill Benweth by sneaking past everyone and then shooting him for ludicrous damage. It is with regret that we missed the opportunity to kill him via exploding harpsichord until it was too late.
    • We look for Remaro, Serafen's old mentor, who is gone. We follow some leads. One Undyne pointed us to a port where he's making to head off.
    • We took one Principi ship and two slaver ships, sinking the latter in a close-range gun duel.
    • We go to Crookspur without talking to Aeldys first, but go along with her plan once we get there. We sneak in, free the Deadfire slaves, then go upstairs, bid on the slave at the auction to stop him from being carted off before we talk to Master Kua. We refuse to kill the Wahaki leaders for Kua, at which point he attacks us, we kill him, and we leave. (Tough fight.)
    • We return to Neketaka and steal the tablet from Arkemyr, giving it to Netehe. I didn't see a prompt to copy the tablet, unfortunately.
    • Arkemyr summons us and chews us out a bit, though he appreciates that we took a subtle approach and didn't just wreck the place. (I think the fact that we had killed Concelhaut and Llengrath left him with a healthy respect for us.) He gives us a mission to find some research notes from a likely-abandoned observatory.
    • We talk to the Director, who takes the fact that we killed his business partner fairly well.

  30. - Top - End - #60
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Part 16:
    It's done! After selling most of the weapons seized from the pirates and slavers she's fought, Ryndara has scraped together enough coin to purchase a newly-built galleon from the shipyards of Neketaka! The Caed Nua sets sail with the whole complement of the Defiant aboard. First, though, we gather up the three bounties of the pirate officers in Neketaka. The wizard in Sacred Stair is notable in that her construct guardians are much, much tougher than she is and significantly over-leveled for the party. The wizard goes down almost immediately, because circumstances allow us to begin the fight as we desire. Serafen uses domination to keep the big one on our side for much of the fight while Aloth does the majority of the damage (the rest of us can't really do much more than scratch with our normal attacks). Pallegina (who also has the upgraded Zealous Endurance healing aura) and Tekehu, both half-chanters, carry the day through sheer endurance over a long battle, about half of which is fighting the steel construct by itself.

    While we're on the Sacred Stair, Ryndara takes the party to the temple of Berath on a lark. We speak with the high priest of Berath, who seems terribly impressed with us. He's dying, and he wants our help with something before that point. Apparently, only a death godlike (or the Herald of Berath, who metaphysically has some similarities) can open the doors of the Hanging Sepulchres, wherein are interred champions of ancient-ish (the one he wants specifically is only 200 years old) days. We're supposed to go in and get the Eulogy of Ym-something (in all honestly, I as a human being am terrible with names, both in games and in real life), which contains various liturgical knowledge which is lost to him because there were a couple of generations (including his) with no death godlikes. Though adventuring in search of old knowledge is usually something Ryndara would be up for, this knowledge in particular seems of little consequence, isn't even that old, and constitutes in a sense another favor for Berath, so we decide to nod politely and leave.

    We deliver those messages to Maia's contacts, who appear to be spies of some sort. Both aren't terribly good spies. The man in Tikawara got caught with coded messages by the villagers, and the woman in Port Maje was being actively monitored by a different spy. Maia assures us that if we just trust her (and, by extension, Atsura), everything will be fine. Ryndara is less than assured, however; Maia's attitude towards basically anyone who isn't Rauataian speaks poorly of the benevolence of her organization.

    We explore a bit, finding an island with a marsh called the Maw of Tangaloa. Trudging through it, we seek paths of high ground, and are largely successful, but the day still comes when the hideous moaning that has been following us through the marsh catches up with us. The party makes their stand on a piece of high ground as skeletons and rotghasts rush at us from all sides. It's probably one of the more entertaining fights thus far. The ambience is sold very well; since we lead into it from the storybook mode, we don't have a lot of time to prepare ourselves or find ways to undercut the fight's difficulty. Fortunately, Eder keeps a hammer equipped as his sort of off-weapon, and Ryndara knows Binding Web, which helps to keep the incoming flow of enemies under control. We explore the rest of the island and find a crypt filled with guls and fampyrs (as well as ogre revenants). Believing the current party setup to be suboptimal for such foes, we hasten back to the ship to come back later.

    We work our way west in the Caed Nua, collecting the head of the drake Purakau as we do so, until we reach Fort Deadlight, as Aeldys wants to speak with us. Once we get there, she's somewhat less friendly than she gave off in her letters, but a little firm honesty earns her respect. She offers to employ us as a spy, paying us for information we can bring her about Furrante. Having no particular loyalty to him, we tell her that Furrante was the one who gave us the information we needed to kill Benweth, but we don't mention his connection to the VTC, because we're still working with them. Neither Aeldys nor Furrante seems to really understand that Ryndara has no particular interest in the Principi's welfare or in the power struggles between the factions.

    Shortly out of Fort Deadlight, we come across a Principi dhow. For the first time, we see a pirate ship turn away from us, rather than towards us, but we manage to catch them anyway. The ensuing battle doesn't go particularly well. For the first time, we have the slower ship, and it takes us multiple turns to make any maneuvers. The dhow easily slips past our effective range, the same tactic we'd used so many times in the Defiant, and boards us post haste. We win the ensuing battle, being rather over-leveled, but the naval battle was a stark reminder that we'll have to change tactics in the future. (The lack of chase guns on any ships but the voyager continues to irritate me.) Then, it's to Dunnage to turn in those bounties.

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