The Consequences of Accidental Violence (Light Spoilers)

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Edited By grtkbrandon

Since launch, I’ve managed to put maybe twenty hours into The Witcher 3, which is a relatively small amount of time in what is supposed to be a hundred hour game. Meanwhile, there are plenty of players out there who have already trudged through the game and all its glory. Not me, though. No siree. I’m going to be taking a nice, leisurely stroll through the game, and it's moments like described below that explain why.

Warning: This blog does contain slight spoilers for the Bloody Baron's Family Matters questlines.

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The Quintessential "Oops" Moment

Shortly after arriving in Velen for the first time I began wandering around on my horse, Roach, just taking in the scenery. The 1.03 patch had just released and I had also just managed to install ReShade/SweetFX, so the highly intense graphical fidelity that was rubbing its cleavage in my face was really, uh, nice.

Eventually I come across a place called Crossroads. Being a World of Warcraft veteran, I immediately had flashbacks of epic PvP battles and plenty of corpse runs. I moseyed my way about for a while, making sure to loot everything I possibly could, and then ran into the tavern.

As I was making friendly with the bartender a bunch of rowdy bandits poured through the door and started spitting drivel at me about carrying two swords. I’ll admit, by this point I had a fair bit of alcohol in my system so I don’t exactly remember what they were saying, but I played it cool and explained that I was a Witcher. Not sure why they didn’t put two and two together before but they suddenly backed off and the bartender was pretty appreciative of me not throwing body parts around the joint.

After I had finished up my drink I went outside and noticed that the tavern bandits had actually arrived with an entourage who were all hanging around the place -- each with a tongue sharper than the last.

Well, here is where I made a critical mistake. Still being a bit tipsy, I reared my fist up at one but the alcohol had gotten the better of me and my fist never actually stopped, and before I knew what happened, it had gone right up and introduced itself into the nearest bandit’s face.

It was right about that time that shit hit the fan, and I could swear I heard a record scratch somewhere. The bandits began to turn around slowly, witnessing the poor guy I just clocked get up and draw his sword, and suddenly the air was painted red with blood. Those guys giving me lip back in the tavern? They were stumbling over themselves to get a piece of me. Given the infinite life thing, we all know how this ends.

But Wait! The Saga Continues!

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Hours later I find myself galloping for The Bloody Baron’s keep and as I get to the bridge I faintly hear two of the guards mentioned a bunch of idiots getting into an altercation with a Witcher. I didn’t catch the first part and didn’t think much of it until I made it across the bridge into the lower level of the village. Suddenly everyone sees me and starts running for the hills -- screaming about how I was the guy who murdered all of the baron’s guards. (In my defense, their life bars labeled them as bandits)

As I get off my horse to investigate what’s going on an arrow finds my shoulder and all hell breaks loose again. Everyone knows what I did (on a complete whim) and now they’re out for blood.

Thing is, I’m looking for Ciri and this one guy told me that maybe the Baron knew something about her; I couldn’t just give up and turn around. So, naturally, I fought my way to the keep itself where I found myself locked out by a gate. I tried to reason with the guys behind it but they didn’t want to have anything to do with me. Disheartened, I walked back to the village and noticed that there was actually one old man who didn’t wander off like everyone else. After a quick conversation I was lead to an alternate path to meet the baron.

A Fitting Conclusion

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For the sake of spoiling too many things, when I finally manage to get to the Baron I find that he actually has a proposition for me: he needs me to find out what’s happened to his wife and daughter. To be honest, I felt bad for slaughtering at least half the men in his garrison because it all began with a simple accident to begin with, so I agree and I head out to meet with a peller.

Again, hours and many sidequests later, I finally arrive at the Peller's house. As I walk up I see some commotion at the front door and one of the aggressors announces my presence right before we have a short conversation. Turns out the Peller might have given their friend some poor advice and the guy has apparently set up shop in the outhouse. Shitting for days from the sound of it. So, I use a bit of my Witcher charm and begin to calm everyone down until one finally perks up. Apparently Witchers are hard to come by and they finally put two and two together -- I was the same dude that took out all of their friends back at the Crossroads.

Cue another fight.

For those keeping track, this is the third bloodbath to occur because I had done some totally random thing in a town that was completely unrelated to the current quest line I was on. It wasn’t scripted and I never would have imagined that this would have been something that would have totally affected how the rest of the game would have played out.

No Caption Provided

Imagine that I never attacked the bandits in Crossroads. More than likely I would have been able to have walked right in to talk to the Baron and I would have been able to reason with the Baron’s henchmen outside of the Peller's house. But instead, the game understood what I had done and rolled with the punches.

Bethesda should take note because no one ever acknowledged any accomplishment or deed I ever did in Skyrim and here we have full questlines totally altered because of something totally random that happened.

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billygoat117

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This is such a great example of how cool this game is. I actually fought the guys inside the tavern first, but from there it played out about the same. The guys at the gate just turned me away, though, but then it was the same. The Baron himself scolded me for killing his men, though. Either way, it's amazing that things that appear to be incidental or inconsequential can actually have profound repercussions later.

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Teddie

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@billygoat117: Not sure I'd call this a case of "profound repercussions", seeing as the Baron just ignores it and lets you do his questline either way, and the only thing it really changes is whether a couple of guards are hostile or how easily you get into the fort.

There are bigger choices that will be more explicit about having a big impact, but it's hard to predict how that stuff will actually play out, and I appreciate that a lot more.

I guess I haven't seen a lot of "incidental" stuff happening though, and that seems like something that'd work best when it's constantly changing little things, so maybe it'll impress me more later.

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#4  Edited By Karkarov

@teddie said:

@billygoat117: Not sure I'd call this a case of "profound repercussions", seeing as the Baron just ignores it and lets you do his questline either way, and the only thing it really changes is whether a couple of guards are hostile or how easily you get into the fort.

There are bigger choices that will be more explicit about having a big impact, but it's hard to predict how that stuff will actually play out, and I appreciate that a lot more.

I guess I haven't seen a lot of "incidental" stuff happening though, and that seems like something that'd work best when it's constantly changing little things, so maybe it'll impress me more later.

There is a crap ton of incidental stuff based on your decisions in this game. Fortunately most of it is just not retardedly ham fisted like most rpgs and it happens in such a natural way you don't realize it was because of something you did 5 hours ago until after the fact. Some stuff that is seemingly near meaningless has consequences too. For example... did you give that swallow potion to the girl the herbalist was treating WAYYYY back at the very beginning of the game?

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NTM

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#5  Edited By NTM

Actually, two hundred, not a one hundred. I'm about 100 hours in and have done a lot, but I'm only a few hours prior to getting into the Skellige main mission of meeting up with Yennefer if I so choose to do some of the missions before that, which I will (and I think I've done most of what I can so far there). The game will have a lot more to do after it I think too. I try to do all the side content I can before progressing further into the main quest. It's a long game. Also, did you mean 'opps', or oops? As for the choices to be made, yeah, it's impressive. The way things react is pretty great. There are a lot of things that you have to watch out for. For me, it's all about trying to make the world better, so it makes it hard for me at times to be as pacifist as I'd like to be, because I'm not sure who will be good and perhaps even helpful in the future. I saved one that may have been evil to an extent that it won't help me, and this was before I even got to the story section (which is part of the same mission you're referring to, which you help the Baron), but later, like a side mission on Skellige, I killed two people instead of helping them simply because their past was filled with atrocities, and some of that still shined through. I wish I could take the Batman route, and not kill, but in this universe, that's very hard. I take into account what will be good for the places in the game (as I don't want to see towns desecrated by someone or something, as it had once already), as well as what may help me in the journey.

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NTM

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#6  Edited By NTM

@karkarov: Yep, and spoilers it heals her! Later you talk to a guy about it at the Nilfgaard camp, and he thanks you. This is still early in the game too in the large scope of things. It was hours ago that, that happened.

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grtkbrandon

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@ntm: Yeah, I quoted the 100 because that's supposedly how long just the main story lasts. I meant oops, hah. In White Orchard I didn't remember you being able to actually hit any guards, so when I finally got to Velen I figured I would just rear up my fist at them but nope.

I try to do the best good I can as well. I started out somewhat rebellious until I found that in another scenario my actions didn't have any consequences for myself but did for another character in the game. The guilt trip was strong after that.

The lack of a black and white choice is what makes the choices in the game so freaking difficult. At the end of the Blood Baron's questline you're confronted with the choice to kill the evil spirit in the bog or free it. In the end Geralt still gets what he needs but both choices leave pretty shitty consequences. Especially if you choose to kill the evil spirit. You learn that The Crones eat the kids that Anna had been protecting and have been eating kids for hundreds of years. The alternative is that Anna gets killed and when the Baron finds out you can later find him swinging from a tree.

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armaan8014

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@grtkbrandon: I didn't get into a fight in the tavern and yes, there are no issues with the guards later on. You can just stroll in. Infact, I didn't even know those bandits were his guards until I read your post!

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Bollard

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I assume the first sub-heading is meant to say "Oops" not "Opps". Otherwise, cool blog, although I can't help but feel maybe these guys you accidentally messed up at the pub were spawned as part of the quest line, hoping you might start on them? Or had you not taken the quest at that point?

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grtkbrandon

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#10  Edited By grtkbrandon

@bollard said:

I assume the first sub-heading is meant to say "Oops" not "Opps". Otherwise, cool blog, although I can't help but feel maybe these guys you accidentally messed up at the pub were spawned as part of the quest line, hoping you might start on them? Or had you not taken the quest at that point?

You are totally right, I missed that twice. :|

The guards at the tavern might have been a scripted event based on the main questline to find Ciri, but I hadn't accepted any quest that lead me there. I imagine that if you attack the Baron's men anywhere then the same thing might occur though I'm not sure how the game would address that.

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Justin258

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I think you run across those guys no matter what, although I recall avoiding a fight with them. Thise guys at the Peller's house are hostile no matter what. In any case, the event was scripted.

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grtkbrandon

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@believer258: All of the events are scripted and I avoided a fight with the guys in the tavern at first. The guys I attacked just happened to be in the village and I attacked them unprovoked. The fact that the guys in the tavern did end up coming out and fighting is probably what ended up triggering the resulting references, but I thought it was cool nonetheless because it's rare that you see things you've done casually referenced if they aren't part of the main story.

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#13  Edited By ghost_cat

Somewhat off-topic, but I find myself in a few situations where I am taking on a side quest, and the person issuing/initiating the quest often gets killed by enemy npc's, so the completion of the quest stays in limbo forever. OH WELL.

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@believer258: I didn't fight either sets. I bought the buys at the bar a round and the bartender slipped away to answer my questions in private. Then at the peller I told them I would explain how to heal their friend if they left the peller alone, which they agreed to. The go their info and then left. Yes they are scripted, but the outcomes are choices that you can make that affect other things. Just like most of this game.

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billygoat117

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#15  Edited By billygoat117
@teddie said:

@billygoat117: Not sure I'd call this a case of "profound repercussions", seeing as the Baron just ignores it and lets you do his questline either way, and the only thing it really changes is whether a couple of guards are hostile or how easily you get into the fort.

There are bigger choices that will be more explicit about having a big impact, but it's hard to predict how that stuff will actually play out, and I appreciate that a lot more.

I guess I haven't seen a lot of "incidental" stuff happening though, and that seems like something that'd work best when it's constantly changing little things, so maybe it'll impress me more later.

No, you're right. In this case, it's a small thing. But as you'll see, other things later in that questline can go in wildly different directions. I guess it's just the fact that every interaction has the potential to affect something down the road that 's so intriguing.

@ntm: I try to do the best good I can as well. I started out somewhat rebellious until I found that in another scenario my actions didn't have any consequences for myself but did for another character in the game. The guilt trip was strong after that.

The lack of a black and white choice is what makes the choices in the game so freaking difficult. At the end of the Blood Baron's questline you're confronted with the choice to kill the evil spirit in the bog or free it. In the end Geralt still gets what he needs but both choices leave pretty shitty consequences. Especially if you choose to kill the evil spirit. You learn that The Crones eat the kids that Anna had been protecting and have been eating kids for hundreds of years. The alternative is that Anna gets killed and when the Baron finds out you can later find him swinging from a tree.

Dude. DUDE. This is how it turned out for me and, just, JESUS. I'm seriously having a little anxiety about how it all turned out. Between that and what happens to Keira, I guess I've learned that everything matters, or at least has the potential to matter. You can't make any decision lightly. In the end, though, I'm living with the decisions I made, for good or ill. This is maybe the first game I've played that did that this well. I know Mass Effect and the like have stuff like this, but I've never felt so strongly about my errors. And that's the thing, I feel like I have majorly fucked up and made the wrong decision a LOT. Not in sense of mechanically wrong, like I did it incorrectly or inefficiently, but wrong for the world, wrong for the people involved. I'm honestly a little worried about how things will turn out hours down the road.

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#16  Edited By grtkbrandon

@billygoat117: Up until this point Mass Effect was my favorite game that involved choices, though not necessarily for that aspect of it. The thing about Mass Effect is that there was very often a right or wrong choice. Not paragon or renegade, but clear choices to protect your crew or gain a favorable opinion from them. Here so many of your choices are just shit vs. shit (much like real life sometimes) and you often don't get to see the repercussions until way down the road. Sometimes you won't even know that one decision you made will affect another because they're totally unrelated, but the ripples carry far.

At the end of the Baron quest I actually got up and walked off the decision for a little while. I knew the outcome of both because I didn't have subtitles on and couldn't understand all that was being said so I looked it up and I hated both outcomes.

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@sterling said:

@believer258: I didn't fight either sets. I bought the buys at the bar a round and the bartender slipped away to answer my questions in private. Then at the peller I told them I would explain how to heal their friend if they left the peller alone, which they agreed to. The go their info and then left. Yes they are scripted, but the outcomes are choices that you can make that affect other things. Just like most of this game.

I didn't fight the Peller guys either. "Hostile" was the wrong word, I meant that they're itching for a fight no matter what.

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@grtkbrandon: Oh, yeah, talking to the tree spirit was tough because there was a lot of background noise in that scene for some reason, which, when coupled with the weird wispy filter on the voice made it almost impossible to understand. I thought I had the gist of things, but I made my decision based off what the character entry said, rather than look it up outside the game. I guess to keep my choice more "pure"? If that makes sense? I guess I can console myself with the fact that either way turns out shitty, so I shouldn't worry too much about what my outcome was.

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@bollard said:

I assume the first sub-heading is meant to say "Oops" not "Opps". Otherwise, cool blog, although I can't help but feel maybe these guys you accidentally messed up at the pub were spawned as part of the quest line, hoping you might start on them? Or had you not taken the quest at that point?

You are totally right, I missed that twice. :|

The guards at the tavern might have been a scripted event based on the main questline to find Ciri, but I hadn't accepted any quest that lead me there. I imagine that if you attack the Baron's men anywhere then the same thing might occur though I'm not sure how the game would address that.

Ah I see, neat!

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#20  Edited By Choi

OP! Cool to hear. I did the exact same thing.

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#21  Edited By NTM

@grtkbrandon: See, you can do missions before they even come up in the other missions, which is what I did with the tree, and again a few more times within the time I've played (around 130 hours in, and just getting through all of the 'In Ciri's Footsteps' quests, (and now at Kaer Morhen which is awesome, because it's like it was in the first, but expanded, and has interesting story character missions, just like the rest actually. I told everyone I've come across, that I can tell, to go there, so I'm curious if we'll see some character interactions between some of them). I set the spirit free and so when the time came, Geralt just mentioned he took care of it, which may have been a mistake. That said, the Crone Sisters don't like it, so maybe it was good? That's the one so far that I may regret though, and for me one of the first major choices. It destroyed a village, which shows just before you go back to the bog with the Baron. It seems the kids died, though it didn't make it clear, as I felt Geralt (through me at least) would have shown more anger towards them. The hands dangling from ones stomach pouch, and the lack of children afterwards really disturbed me. I later 'saved' Anna by having the Baron take her to a place where she may be healed, and the daughter, which you meet earlier, wanted to go but couldn't since she had other obligations unfortunately, being in the faction she's in.

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NTM

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@billygoat117: What did you do to Keira?... I sent her to Kaer Morhen, but took the note.

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@ntm: Here goes...I killed her. I told her I wasn't going to let her take the notes and I guess she REALLY didn't like my tone, so it triggered a fight and I killed her. I still feel bad about that. I read later that you can convince her to drop it and go to Kaer Morhen to meet you later. I wish I'd been able to do that. I guess that's what subsequent playthroughs are for.

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NTM

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@billygoat117: If you don't mind, and maybe you already know, this is what happens if you let her go to Kaer Morhen, as I did: She gets there and helps out in a battle; saves Lambert as he was about to get a sword from multiple soldiers. That's about all she does, but it was nice to see. After that, there's a point where everyone is standing around, and you can talk to everyone; she says if she had known what she was there for, she wouldn't have went. After that, a few hours into the story, Keira and Lambert leave Kaer Morhen together and are never to be seen again in the game.

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@ntm: Interesting. I wonder if that means no one saves Lambert since she won't be around when I get there. Man, ripples upon ripples with these consequences, man.

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#26  Edited By Ghostiet

My favorite bit of player choice is when you meet Yennefer at Skellige. She actually keeps track of what you're doing and will react accordingly - she'll comment that Geralt looks good in a beard, will scold you for not wearing formal wear to the party, etc. In one of the quests, she'll be hurt if you don't rush to ask her how she's feeling after an arduous task. She'll even teleport you to some bullshit place if you annoy her enough.

It's pretty much for flavor, but they are subtle flags to trigger and most people won't even notice. It's the first game to do little shit like this in an RPG since Alpha Protocol.

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@ghostiet: I have heard that the beard thing happens anyway, tho not sure if it's a bug or just not actually tracked. All those other things you mentioned however, yea I have not had them happen to me since I made other choices.

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@ghostiet: She comments on your beard even if you're clean shaven.

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@thomasnash: So a bug, apparently. The other things work, though - she definitely remembers what you said in conversations.

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#30  Edited By Zeik

@ghostiet said:

@thomasnash: So a bug, apparently. The other things work, though - she definitely remembers what you said in conversations.

I think it's more of an oversight than a bug honestly, unless there's some evidence that there is a different line that is meant to be played if you do shave right beforehand.

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NTM

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@billygoat117: Hm, yeah. I'm not sure. I'll check, and then not tell you since you probably don't want to know right now :P. Also, I recommend saving twice at least, so you can always go back and make another choice if you feel you need to. Sometimes that doesn't work though since it'll be too late, like the romance choices.

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#32  Edited By jerseyscum

One word for those who haven't done parts of the quest yet. Botchling. When this game chooses to go dark, it goes all in.

(I'm hopefully keeping spoilers to an absolute bare minimum. If I'm over the line, sorry.)

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