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A thread dedicated for discussing the Pillars of Eternity game series, as well as anything related to the Project Eternity setting.


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I am making this thread since I have finished PoE1 and 2 in quick succession a few weeks back. I have to say, this is probably the single best fantasy RPG story experiance, and the only reason I am adding "fantasy" is because Disco Elysium exists. Not only does it create a fully fleshed out world, setting, a fantastic story and great characters, it also has one of the best plots when viewing from a purely leftist perspective. It has issues (meh-to-bad combat, very slow-boil start for like a half of PoE1 and the fact that if you aren't using post-Soviet methods the DLCs will probably cost a lot (not that I would know :^) ). But, if that isn't a turn-off, I highly recommend you play them both and don't check this thread until you're finished, as I will be spoiling it all just to gush, using the thread as my post repository. I'll probably write these pieces on PoE periodically, so this might not be the most active thread.


idk, i like iso rpgs, used to love Temple of Elemental Evil and Icewind Dale, but i dont like how newer ones like POE and Pathfinder discourages building your own party by having the presets be such an important part of the story with character interactions and romances and whatnot. I get why that's maybe a dumb gripe but in these kind of gonzo fantasy games I'm just not gonna get that invested into whether the edgy half-half half-gnome assassin falls in love with the slutty troll cleric while theyre fighting demons and giant spiders, lol.

not saying my preferences should shape the game but i rather have party building/minmax/exploration dungeon crawl fantasy with silent protaganists, or have good characters and narrative in a setting that isnt a 14 times derivative version of LotR as filtered through the Forgotten Realms. for me those are pretty mutually exclusive


couldn't even finish the first. Fighting gameplay wasn't fun enough (I blame the retard dev obsessed about balance in a single player rpg which made everything feel low impact), and story was ok but there was too much low quality shit you were forced to read


The Setting of Eora and the cheeky bait and switch

I think its best to start this series of what I hope will be akin to a review by overlooking the setting of PoE it self. I have to say, its probably the most original and unique fantasy setting I have ever encountered, with only rivals being Arcanum and Tyranny. First, it falls for basically none of the main fantasy tropes. The closest it gets is by having dwarves and elves, but even they aren't trope-ey, but rather highly varied culturally depending on their ingmhabited enviroment. This could be held uo as critique, but in my view, if you change all the races to just be different groups of humans, it wouldn't change anything, as none of the races really are "the evil / smug / greedy / dumb / super intelligent / poetical ones" who are characterized by this one trait. So the different races just add more flavour to the world, while not playing into tropes.

Then, the bigger reason why I believe this setting is great: it is 100% rational, hard magic setting. Perhaps it is my taste, but I love ot when a setting sets up and then maintains self-consistant lines. And Pillars does this without sacrificing on flavour either. Just because magic is just a natural phenomena, it doesn't mean that it isn't varied. I guess I should explain - in Pillars, all forms of what is considered magic are forms of soul manipulation. Thats right, souls also are material, real things here, the workings of which make perfect sense. It is given to understand that the world of Eora, underneath the dirt and all, is one huge network of a stone called Adra - the vessel of souls which enables the cycle of reincarnation. Going back to magic, those practiced enough can tap into this soul power, and through it alter reality, by using it as a force. By the way, I will probably be talking more in depth later on. I will try to use parts of this post as a jump off point for further posts.

However, here is why PoE1 is quite genious. It frontloads none of this. For the most part, it actually tries to trick you. At the very surface level, the setting at the start feels very much like your boring old DnD: Pantheon of Gods screwing over mortals, semi common use of magic that feels unexplained, backwards medieval setting that has stagnated for thousands of years and a demonization of any that would mess with "the natural order of souls". It wears this mask so well, that it can even turn you off before showing its true face. For instance this happened to me. I had a really hard time getting into this game series. I think I first tried it right after Tyranny came out, and only finished it for the first time a month back. But in my last attempt before this, I quit at the Readric castle, where you meet your first animancer (that is a researcher of souls), who was fucking comically evil doctor Frankenstein. This made me believe that the setting was full on the basic good vs evil DnD mentality. But by god was I wrong, as most ALL of these gripes are addressed and explored in depth if you continue forward.

Sadly, I don't have time to go on further today, so I'll continue some other time.


I'd recommend trying out your casters for a spin. Durance is really useful and so is Kana with his summoning spells. Also I'd say that you can safely turn down the difficulty, as in my view its not the main gameplay element, which instead is reading dialogue and going throuhh the story.

Also, what are you reffering to by low quality shit you need to read? If you mean the little soul readings, then they are fully skipable and moat sidequests can be passed off by only focusing on the mai plot, which has the best payoff in the end.


Aight, so last time I talked about how on the surface level the world of Eora seems like your typical DnD dark-ish fantasy, however, now I'd like to talk about how it subverts these expectations.

So, to get a little bit more into it, PoE1, when you first start it, seems rather biblical in its setting: grim land, religious cults, ancient temple long deserted, storms that rip your soul, barbaric feudal lord hidding behind his god, religious purges, a god who possesed a messiah to spread his will, only to be beaten and killed, through which the land is cursed by all newborns being born soulless etc. But this is very missleading. The first real crack at the fascade you get is by learning of the nature of how reincarnation works. It gets demistified as a natural process of ones souls "life". Then, you see the capital of Dyrwood, which turns out to be a rather regular late renaisance era city. But more importantly, in the city you properly learn about animancers. You see that they are just scientists. Early scientists, sure, as akin to alchemists of our world, but not some evil or unnatural magicians. And then you see that the cult you were pursuing, the onea you saw making human sacrifice at the start of the game - they are trying their damndest to smear, kill and destroy animancers. You finally start seeing the glimpses of the truth - in this setting, its gods versus humanity. Other elements start falling into place. That curse of souless babies? Its not because the god of rebirth went kaboom boom, but because the cult are the ones that, with the aid of the machines from the ancient ruins of civilizations long gone, are sucking up the souls for their own ends. And then, finally, you learn the great lie. The gods are false. They are nothing but creations of that long dead civilization, the idealized version of their own ethics and morals, idealism made material. More than that - they were made purely through animancy, hence why the cult wants to destroy it. Ever think why the world was stuck in time for millenia? Because it was stopped from moving forward. All due to the actions of one man, empowered by his "godess", who is the single most interesting villain I've ever seen in a game. But that is a story for another time.


im this anon >>8218 and ok you got me this actually sounds really cool. still wish it wasnt so encouraged to use presets instead of having your own party


I started playing the game again on your recommendation OP and am really enjoying it. My complaints about having a prebuilt party were misplaced because the interactions between characters and the relationship building mechanics are actually very interesting. Normally I'm not too partial to high fantasy but what I'm saying here >>8218 was really cynical, the setting is very cool, I like the marriage of 18th century colonial era inspired politics and tech with the existence of real but not all powerful gods. Also just as a little note I like how the Vailians(?) seem to be almost all black but are also a colonial power, avoids the eurocentrism of most fantasy without shoving in weird liberal idealization of nonwhite people even in an entirely different universe


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come back OP i want to talk about the game now lmao


Sorry for being away. At first I was planning to do it as a bi-daily thing, but a lot of IRL crap came up that meant I had little time to post. I'll try to rectify it, perhaps on Monday.
Anyway, did you finish the first one or both of them? And is there something in particular you wanted to discuss more about? I was planning to do Thaos>Engwith>Gods>PoE2


oh i was just fucking around anon no worries. i didnt play the 1st one and im maybe halfway thru the 2nd, got 60 hours in it so far, party level 11 and doing side quests before doing the He Waits In Fire Quest.

not sure how long the main eothas quest is or how long the faction quests are, but so far my faction priorities have been Deadfire Huana > Principi > Rautai Hauna Trading Co. > Vailia Trading Co. , with the big exception of freeing the dragon from the Watershapers Guild.

really loving the game so far. ive been playing with the turn based combat beta bc i prefer turn based in iso games, but it does make combat a little tedious because the game was obviously designed for real time combat. not sure if i made a mistake in selecting turn based but ill just play it through like this anyway, nbd.

like i said in my original misguided posts im normally not really into high fantasy or attempts to subvert it but this feels less like a subversion and more like a proper realization of high fantasy, really impressed with the overall balance of tone they accomplished. feels like a sword & sorcery pulpy dungeon crawl and also feels like an unusually compelling contribution to fantasy as a genre

idrk about Thaos at all besides dialogue with Aloth bc i havent played the first one, the Engwithans and their becoming the gods is very interesting to me though.

is there any significant gap between the gameplay of the 1st and 2nd? loving the 2nd enough that ill probably go back and play the 1st anyway but hoping its not much of a downgrade (tho i say this after having just finished a playthru of Temple of Elemental Evil from 2003 lol)


The combat in first one is a bit more annoying. Basically all your good spells are on a per-rest basis and not a per-combat one, but also are more powerful. Also you get a bigger party size than II. This means some companions are more equal than others, especially the chanter who is a builder-spender summoner and the priest who, at least in my experiance, had some of the most useful spells in game.

Base stats matter a lot more for dialogue, so I'd recommend getting more will/perception and some int (although you can Disco Elysium it because some gear gives base stats).

Since you're doing PoEII, guess I'll talk about their factions. Maybe I'll start with Huana. Oh, btw, you should totally explore what lies at the far-east side of the map (specfically the inconspicious floating flotsam). Are you doing the DLCs by any chance?

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