Baldur's Gate 2: Edwin, Edwina, Eddie.

Playing BG1 and BG2 in one nice long swoop. Unfortunately my BG1 crashed irrevocably and I was unable to finish it, one scene away from Sarevok no less.

So anyway, imported my save files and moved right on to Irenicus.

I still remembered my last attempt at playing BG2 with terribly fond memories. So I loaded up my favorite mods and just jumped right back at it; with a couple of new exceptions.

Naturally, not touching that piece of trash Solaufein mod. I'd much rather keep the one that lives in my head unviolated. One day I'll write him out and unleash him quietly to the world. He'll be unassuming, of few words, bookish and written specifically to throw guilt trips at the player. He'll be needy and selfish. You can try Therapy on him and he'll change, but it won't be for the better.

At the end, he'll leave you a mess. Well done, girls, you've just been used by an NPC! (I suppose there should be an option to kill him when he dumps you but that's a bit borderline psycho) And then people will cry and bitch and write mods to "fix" him or to play The Gary Stu and I'll just shrug.

This is a roundabout way of saying I installed the Edwin mod by Spellhold Studios and I think it is a flawed piece of work. And not in the good way either, like when you say she's written a deliciously flawed character. This is flawed because it seems to be OOC for Edwin.

I'm not saying Edwin couldn't be sweet because he can be (as evidence by Bioware's chick in the dockside inn). But you have to remember what he did: he spent one night in her bed and then afterwards pretend he didn't know her.

Edwin is Lawful Evil. A lot of people, mainly little fangirls trying their hand at writing, don't seem to understand what this means. People who are evil are not nice people. Edwin is not a nice person. It's such a pity because Edwin comes pre-packaged with a wonderful set of flaws to begin with and they've managed to mess it up by removing them altogether.

They're tried to dissect this behavior where he's rude and abrasive into he pushes everyone away because he's afraid of getting hurt.

BULLSHIT. Girls, that is not right.

Edwin is rude, proud and arrogant because he's a egotistic, self righteous asshole. Not because he's misunderstood. Your real task was to give him good qualities that might make a girl decide okay, "I can forgive his flaws because he's got other aspects." You could make it so that his pride extends to you as well. If anyone speaks rudely to you, he'd be the first one to defend you.

Not to say this whole mod was a complete failure like the Solaufein one. I particularly like the one where Edwin says something about how his mentor, although sarcastic, has always been there for him.

You could play on that, but ultimately don't forget that Edwin stabbed Mae'var in the back as well. Edwin ultimately serves himself, which is what being Evil is all about.

Have you ever been in an abusive relationship? He's constantly putting you down, hurting you emotionally? Questions your values by undermining them? He uses harsh words to exert his dominance over you?

That's Edwin. That's what he does to the rest of your group. And that is why he's not a nice person.

The hardest part of this task was to find out why psychologically abusive people still manage to score relationships and the whole shebang. Part of it is that the victim is usually emotionally weak and it gets fostered into a dependance on the stronger party. Is the PC weak? Can you make a PC weak? How would a player react against it?

Edwin has the benefit of being the most powerful mage in the game. Already the player has some dependency on him and attraction to him, a feature external of his personality.


I had this flash of inspiration on the bus home. Personality is how. Alignment is why. The two are actually separate things, but personality before alignment when making a character. Personallity determines what he says, but alignment is how he reacts in a situation.

This is where it gets difficult because Edwin's personality is clever and witty. This has nothing to do with his alignment, because you can be charming and still be Lawful Evil. It's very difficult to write a likeable and genuine villain - although I don't believe Edwin is supposed to be likeable to your PC.

This is because Edwin is a ShitStirrer. He jabs at people to see them flinch. He gets a satisfaction from it because hurting people proves that he's stronger than them.

He's blinded by hubris. He's proud (this can extend to an organization he's part of ie. Red Wizards). He is intelligent but not wise. He lacks foresight and caution, believing himself to be invincible. He is not cunning (cunning and wisdom are two sides of the same coin) but he thinks he is.

He's a male chauvinist. His order of ranking would probably be something like this: Himself > powerful male caster ie. Irenicus > powerful female casters > cats > everyone else > dogs > barbarians > female barbarians

He's a bit on the shallow side when it comes to women. He likes beautiful women. I believe this should mean CHA15+ is more important than INT. After he becomes a woman, he'll start to value the mind more.

He's quite short tempered. This is more noticeable when he's a woman.

He ran away from something to do with the Red Wizards. I believe deep down, he's a bit of a coward. He'll get other people to do his dirty work, if he can.

Unfortunately, that's a shitload of character flaws. Now we need to think of the good.

He's quite funny, although considerably less so if the wit is directed at you.

We are told he has a "sweet side." I'm assuming this means he can be charming when he puts his vast intellect to it. I am going to hazard a guess and say he's also lonely (although I don't think this is a bonus). He's loyal as long as you don't hurt his pride. I think he'd never cheat on you, although this might be out of fear of getting caught have having his limbs ripped off.

He's obviously more vulnerable than he pretends to be. But unlike fairy tales, it's unlikely he'll appreciate you pointing this out.

I can't think of any more. Why do people like him again? Oh yes, cause he's funny. He's the only one in the game that takes a potshot at the NPCs for you. He's like the geek avatar of the Player, and says all the clever witty shit that your character can't break the 4th wall to say.


A lawful evil character methodically takes what he wants within the limits of his personal code of conduct without regard for whom it hurts. He cares about tradition, loyalty, and order but not about freedom, dignity, or life. He plays by the rules but without mercy or compassion. He's comfortable in a hierarchy and would like to rule, but is willing to serve. He is loath to break promises, and he is therefore very cautious about giving his word unless a bargain is clearly in his favour.

This reluctance comes partly from his nature and partly because he depends on order to protect himself from those who oppose him on moral grounds. Some lawful evil villains have particular taboos, such as not killing in cold blood (but having underlings do it) or not letting children come to harm (if it can be helped). They feel these personal morals put them above unprincipled villains.

People in this group believe that structure brings into power those who deserve to rule over others, simply because they are better for whatever reason that may be whether they are powerful warriors, intelligent statesmen or a powerful mages. They enjoy a clear distinction between the classes in their society and believe all should know their place and act accordingly. If people suffer because of whatever laws that benefits these creatures that is tough plain and simple.

So he needs a code of conduct to behave within. Well, let's list what we know:

He dislikes physical violence. He's not against the idea of violence as long as it serves a purpose and gets the job done. He just doesn't like doing it himself.

He is not good at lying (evidenced by his attempts to throw the Red Wizard off his track) He's better at evading. He generally will not break his word unless he thinks he can get away with it and only it's better for him if he does so (he would only betray Mae'var once he was sure you came from a higher power).

He likes being in power, he likes power. Does he like being in control? I would say yes if only because of this: "it's about time you monkeys realized who should be leader."

Question. Does he like powerful women? Unsure. I think the answer is 'yes' if only to say that he believes he deserves the best. In general, I think he would not care, as long as she was beautiful. After he's been changed to woman and back, he'll probably start looking for an intelligent woman as well as beautiful.

Does he know how to share? Hmm, in a conversation with Nalia, he demands that she return his reagents but graciously allows her to keep the bat guano, on account that he never liked touching the stuff. So I suppose the answer is... "no." It's not really sharing if he loses nothing and Edwin is far too selfish to share.

He does not like fighting women. I think this is tied to his dislike of physical violence, but I've noticed he does not tend to stir up the women as much (atleast, it never escalates to a fight) He's quick to pick fights with the men, but even with Jaheira, he doesn't really fight her (although I believe he taunts her about Khalid)

He is loyal up to a point. If it's profitable for himself, he may be pursuaded to do otherwise. He does not mind working for someone else.

His ultimate goal is to gain power for himself. Edwin is a selfish creature.


The biggest question we're trying to argue here is: does he know how to love?

Does an evil person know how to love? I have come across a hurdle, you see and I don't know the answer. Can they have a love that is not abusive in any way?

In essence, this comes down to what is "love". I googled it because I can't be fucked trying to write out a complicated issue and I think this sums it up quite nicely:

People fall in love because they want to offer someone something good that they have. They want to be with someone not as to depend on him or her but to share their life with them. They have something good to offer and they want something good in return.

Wow. Okay. So do you think Edwin is capable of that?


Can we make him become capable of that and still be Edwin?

I... do not think so.

This is not solely because of his alignment, this is because of his character - he is selfish.

One of the most destructive types is the selfish person. This is the person who only cares about himself and thus ends up having no one else care about him, except himself. But in the meantime, he will drag you down, destroy your self-confidence and indirectly teach you to doubt your self-worth.

That does not say Edwin is incapable of any kind of love, just not "true love," as they say.

Sorry, girls. I like creating realistic characters. Selfish people like Edwin cannot be "fixed" because they don't realise anything is wrong.

At first he'll care about you (maybe even genuinely), but in situations where it's himself or you, he'll always pick himself first. Your friends or his? Your goals or his? Your way or his? Your morals or his?

That's the nature of selfish people. The trick is how to write that into the game?


It's a bit hard to take this whole Edwina thing seriously, because Bioware never expected you to. Edwin was an amusing side character, a comic relief. No one expects comic relief to suddenly develop a personality.

No doubt this is what the author of the mod realized as well, because I noticed Edwin underwent a very serious and dramatic character change around this time. He's no longer evil. He's not even irritatingly loquacious. He's just... funny, I suppose. Or I would find it funny if I wasn't constantly remind of how out of character everything is.

I would have thought that being written by a woman, they could write a female Edwina significantly better, but looks like I was wrong.

I like how he commented about how he thinks differently, even though he's smart as ever. That and the social insight where he noticed men treat him different are the gems out of this segment. The rest, the crap about chocolate and hysteria is just garbage stereotypes about woman.

A woman is no different than a man. The only difference is that she doesn't think with her balls anymore and she's thinking with her brains (80% of the time as opposed to 50% of the time). I'm almost inclined to say during this period, Edwin should be asking more piercing, intelligent questions and be colder in response if the PC is stupid. This is largely because he's not physically being distracted by boobs (except maybe his own).

I have nothing wrong with him being emotional and crying. I don't think it should be sad, weepy crying though. I think he should just flip out one day and go fucking apeshit, throwing fireballs everywhere, sort of a WHY-ME, angry crying. "I feel their stares! DIE DIE DIE!"

Any comfort from the PC should be met with distain and disgust (mostly at himself) - he'll tell you to "leave me be!"

A few things to note for modders in general:
1. Refrain from using **** to emphasize. If you're doing it every sentence, you're doing it wrong. If it's important, we'll notice it. You don't need to bold every second word. If you do, rewrite the sentence so you don't.

2. PC responses HAVE TO BE be short and succinct. Multi-line line rants is ridiculous. This is because you want to capture the general idea of what the line should say, not word to word precision. Half of the response is left to the player's imagination. I keep getting this problem where I want to say something but it's not there, or this line is so close to what I want to say but the tone sounds hysteric and stupid so I don't want to say it. Ranting responses are pathetic. Keep the fangirl out of it. I'm not doing a soliloquy here.

The other stuff about his mentor and his mother and all that. Uh... Whatever. I don't mind that so much if only it was done in character. Edwin is about... 27? 28? At least? I think the story actually places him more around early to mid 30s. He's not a teenager and he certainly shouldn't act like one. It's frustrating to watch.

Also the fight with the lich is too difficult. I saw the thread in their forums and thought it was just someone complaining, but then I reached it and it's true. I don't care that Melissan is just as hard - that's not the point. She's a epic level, final boss of Throne of Bhaal. Your stupid lich is part of a romance of some fucking NPC. What the hell are you thinking to make the encounter as hard as the final boss when a PC is only around level 14? The fight should be as hard as anything the PC might have to encounter with Jaheira or Anomen. Your mod is not some stupid special little butterfly that requires me to reset my party and fine tune all my spells especially for this one goddamn encounter. This pissed me off more than anything.

Even your STUPID MINIONS are wearing +1 everything in their equipment slots, plus a bag load of potions. There is NO encounter like that in SOA, barring end level fights or special optional fights. I don't know what was going through these people's heads when they design encounters that are so obviously unbalanced that even Bioware don't force you to do it.

On the plus side, I'm not completely repelled. Unlike Solaufein's Mod Which Must Not Be Named, I don't have an impulse to vomit and uninstall it right away. I'm still fond of Edwin enough that I want to keep him around and see what's going to happen.

As an aside, RE's Teos mini addon is very good. I actually think whoever wrote it should apply the same thing to Edwin here, but with more wit. Teos basically makes sweet, sweet magical love to you and then says goodbye. You can tell him you want to see him again, but he'll say something along the lines of "We both have busy lives, I suggest you forget me as soon as possible. I know I will be doing the same" although he expresses some miniscule amount of regret. He also says the very charming little line "Have you ever been kissed while teleporting?" right before he teleports you around. That is exactly the kind of sweetness I'd expect from Eddie and then the abrupt dismissal from Edwin.
I happened on this on a random search, I hope it's okay to leave a late comment. I really enjoyed reading this analysis! I like your take on Edwin, especially the selfishness that's crucial to his character. And I reckon he's more than just "a bit of a coward"--his conversation with Korgan shows he really doesn't like getting his own hands dirty! And despite having the experience of being female, in his ToB summoning he's shown not treating a lady of negotiable affections terribly well; his history generally doesn't show a terrific ability to learn from past mistakes. I like Edwin, it's just I feel a bit allergic to Edwin in leather pants.

Your alignment discussion is also interesting--I think alignment is more an after-the-fact classification slapped on a developed character, chosen out of the options available because it's the closest description rather than because the character has to match it all the time. Lawful Evil isn't a straitjacket on Edwin's character, but he's evil because he's selfish and he's lawful as an approach of mind. (He spends a lot of both games betraying various people--the PC if the reputation climbs over eighteen, whatever he did to annoy the Red Wizards, Mae'Var. I'm not sure he's all that lawful.)
Oh wow, I'm glad you enjoyed my ranting. @_@ I generally write things here I never expect anyone to see so pardon if sometimes the language seems a bit harsh.

I think Edwin is an amazing evil character, but that's because he's cruel, evil and still /likeable/ - in fact, you can't help but like him. That makes a fascinating combination so Edwin in Leather Pants just completely dismisses the complicated nature of his relationship with the PC. That makes me sad :(

Lawful Evil is a very hard alignment to analyze: even Wizard of the Coast agreed and scrapped it completely. You're right in that we don't really know if Edwin is actually lawful or if he just doesn't like things to be "messy" - I mean, a strong belief in caste systems, peasants knowing their place etc, doesn't necessarily mean he's willing to follow or obeys laws.
Hmm, that was weird! I don't know why LJ marked me as spamming for one small link in the above comment. Ah, well. :)

Edited at 2012-04-26 05:28 pm (UTC)