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Feedback about her characterization

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#1 -gne-

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 08:41 PM

Let me start by thanking the creator of this mod - it's very well done, and you generally captured her personality well. Since I almost always bring Viconia with me, even when I'm playing a female PC, this mod is essential for enriching the gameplay across multiple playthroughs.


I have a few critiques regarding the initial characterization, however -- that is, how Viconia behaves during the first few friendship talks (with a female PC). Her personality is well written later on, but I found her to be a bit out of character at first. 


Also, for what it's worth, I've also had Viconia in the party in BG1, with the bg1npc mod installed - and I really liked her characterization in that mod. So most of my criticisms derive from my opinion of what her personality should be like, according to what I'm seen in that mod (and what I've seen in her vanilla interactions with other characters). :)


Viconia is evil, there's no doubt about it - she's proud of her drow heritage and bitter about the loss of her home, and she certainly doesn't care about coming off as cruel (as evidenced in the vanilla banters between Viconia and Aerie). This is one aspect of her personality that your mod really excels at capturing.


However, Viconia isn't stupid. With a wisdom of 18 and an INT of 16, she's smart enough to know that if she's going to survive on the surface world, she needs powerful allies. And the easiest way to get allies is by manipulating them. Why would Viconia antagonize the PC, when the PC is her strongest ally at the moment? The first few friendship talks make Viconia seem really openly arrogant, and derisive of the PC, which I find to be OOC for her. I'm not saying she would act deferential or (Shar forbid) grateful to the PC - but she should be smart enough to act like she has some modicum of respect for PC, at least in the beginning, in order to manipulate the PC into keeping her around. If the PC is of a good alignment, then she'll abuse the PC's bleeding heart (ahem, sense of compassion) by acting like an oppressed, unjustly persecuted creature who's "done nothing wrong". When you meet her in the gov't district, she proclaims that she was just minding her own business in the marketplace, and that she's the victim in the situation. While this is true, Viconia's obviously not a benevolent person. If she had the power to kill weak, pathetic surfacers in the streets (and get away with it), she definitely would. But she purposely spins the story in order to get the PC's sympathy, or something like it.


Now, Viconia's manipulation of the PC obviously doesn't extend to the PC's allies. She treats the other party members (especially good-aligned ones) with little respect, which is how I'd expect her to treat the PC if she didn't need the PC's help. So what I'm trying to convey is that, at least in the beginning, Viconia shouldn't be openly antagonizing the PC (which she does, extensively, in her dialogue) or coming off as super arrogant. Even if she has no respect for the PC (which is probably true), I see her as someone capable of holding her tongue for the sake of self-preservation. She will say whatever she wants with the other party members, because she doesn't need anything from them. I remember in the bg1npc mod, there were several banters where Viconia played the "helpless persecuted drow" card with several elven members of the party (Coran, Xan, Kivan, etc), and when they didn't buy it, and called her out on her thinly-veiled attempts at manipulation, she quickly changed her tune and openly antagonized them.


So my suggestion is to have Viconia maintain a facade of respect until a) the PC is rude to her, in which case she knows that "playing nice" won't work, and she'll openly antagonize the PC (and end the friendship) - or b) the PC actually earns her respect, in which case she'll drop the facade and shows her true colours. 




Sorry about the essay-length piece of feedback...