Short time reader, first time poster.
I know that BG2 is not a game where typically everything can be seen in a single play-through - and trying to do otherwise can be quite stressful, when you have to scan through global variables in the eekeeper to keep things going. However, there's something quite satisfying about the freedom that comes with knowing what variables do what; and I want to explore the game in a way I hadn't before.
I was wondering with Jaheira and Neera when...
Neera asked me about Jaheira, and I said I only thought of Jay as a friend, but that I'd talk with her in private later about that.[ Then I checked globals and Jaheira's romance was still active. I also noticed a Neera-jaheira-conflict variable, so I decided to mess with that to see what would happen. I've been with both ever since and now they're both at 2 and so far there hasn't been any more complaining. I really enjoy saving time here and getting to experience both romances independently but at the same time.
Then later I realized there aren't too many other romancable characters and they would add up to a relatively balanced party if I had them all. - I would use a multiple-romance mod, but I was told most of them are icky, as they mess with variables that can end up conflicting - and when that happens I wouldn't know what went wrong where. If I do it all manually I think I'd be able to manage.
I've been starting all the strongholds one after the other.
Relatively properly, to get an experience similar to the one intended. So I reclassed my main character appropriately before starting each, then after assumed the next class and reset global variable: playerhasstronghold to 0 once I moved on to the next. The quests rarely require you to continue to be of the same class for long.
I also am trying to see as much of the other NPCs as possible. Sofar I haven't made Jaheira nor Neera wait for me anywhere (and risk breaking the romance) but with the eeKeeper I could fix it.
Plans for party development
I'm currently in Chapter 2 (though I have done more than half of all side quests). Apparently my Charname doesn't like Imoen as much as I thought, or he'd really go rescue her.
- Jay's and Neera's dialogue options seem to be stuck until the appropriate trigger (which is still quite a while from now) so I'm considering throwing them out for now, so while I finish up the side quests I have talkative company. I think Minsk(and Boo) would enjoy becoming Aeries which-guardian, and I'd enjoy taking along the bard to have him romance Aerie. Then reset both of their variables, have her romance me and me defend her from him. When all that is done Minsk and the bard get the boot, and Aerie can tag along until I add Viccy to the mix. Not the other girl, Hexxa... But there's that red-head mod-added bard as well.
Yes what I intend to do seems horrible from a rpg perspective (until you realize that my Charname has charisma score of 22 (18+2 from rose sword+2 from nymph mantle). I always figured with that high charisma there should be way more options than bg2 currently allows. He also has some kind of magical personality disorder where he keeps accidentally tuning into other people's experience. For about a few weeks he first thought he was a cleric and then really believed he was a paladin, and apparently the God he temporarily served thought that too. - I don't mind flipping the alignment around a lot, because although he's actually chaotic neutral, that would make him predictably unpredictable (i.e. you can count on not being able to count on him) - which he's not. You can't even count on that, as sometimes he'll be just fine for weeks at a time. ;-)
Then when it's time to go save Imoen I'll take all the romancable females and Imoen and keep the party together for the rest of the game. Let's see who do we have then? Charname, Imoen (Mage/thief), Viccy (priest tank), Aerie (spells a la mage/cleric), Neera (mage), Whatshername (Bard).
The challenging part here for me will be balancing the different variables and learning more about how they work as problems arise.
A second run through will be more evil, less completionist, and fast. An evil female would date Anomen (chaotic neutral version) and Hexxa and take em go save Imoen (maybe even with the romance mod, and genetically "dad" doesn't contribute too much anyways). Maybe that monk too? I tend to keep a relatively high reputation anyways. Also that sorcerer red head. So Char, Imoen (traps and spells), Anomen (tank-cleric), Hexxa (pure thief), Kay (sourcerer) and R (monk).
Gotta catch em all!