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If NPCs were added... what class would you want and where should they be placed?

booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
I was thinking, on @kamuizin‌ 's poll about NPCs, if they were to add joinable characters to the game, where would they be placed?

Many people seem concerned about when they could join the party. I understand they wouldn't want to mess with their party's build in midgame, but with Heart of Winter and Trials of the Luremaster, I actually wouldn't hate NPCs that join later.

I had a couple ideas...
1. A gnome illusionist/thief who knows Oswald. He'd be interested in traveling with you to the Temple of the Forgotten God to go "treasure hunting" and experience adventuring. Maybe also to gather some ingredients for his buddy Oswald's potions or flying ship. Since he is also from that area, he'd have an interest in saving the Ten Towns as well.

2. A ranger trying to free the prisoner's from Dragon's Eye. Seems like an ideal quest for a ranger with Favored Enemy: Yuan-Ti or Lizardmen. A ranger would also be down to follow you on your quest for obvious reasons. Still early enough in the game for him/her to join and still be useful. Maybe also an elf with some knowledge about the region, which could add info when you get to the Severed Hand. Would have interesting banters with my 5th suggestion

3. Alternatively, this is one of the few spots I think an existing NPC might become joinable, and that is Mother Egenia. She'd be a fine cleric NPC, and has already shown a willingness to adventure on behalf of others, and it would therefore make sense for her to help the ten towns.

4. Hjollder just be chillin' in Kuldahar like it be no big deal. What up with that? He is on a mission, but kinda sad to see him just wait it out for a few months just to recruit someone for the expansion. Maybe he can get some more significance in the first game by offering you the services of one of his close warriors, a barbarian from his tribe. This guy will help make your first adventure a bit easier (and Hjollder hopes, quicker), so that you can finish up and then help the barbarians with their problems in Heart of Winter.

5. Dwarven Defender seems like the PERFECT fit in this game, when you consider Dorn's Deep as a major area. Unfortunately, Dorn's Deep is rather late in the game to add a new member... BUT there is an interesting work around. So there is this dwarf hanging out in Kuldhar on a mission from the Dwarves who are chillin' outside Dorn's Deep. He is searching for information about it's history, being a history buff and all. Perhaps there is a cut-scene where you meet him asking Orrick the Gray for some information, or trying to buy a book about the region off of Gerth (remember, Gerth LOVES buying books, so it makes perfect sense). He can say that his king wants some adventurers to help him explore the area around Dorn's Deep in order to get a better feel for the region for when they eventually recover the Deep. This gives him a reason to travel with you before, and would eventually get to Dorn's Deep. I'd actually make him a dwarf with incredibly high constitution but also intelligence, since he would clearly be the adventuring professor Indiana Jones of the dwarves!

6. Lots of undead areas. Vale of Shadows, Severed Hand and more. Ideal place for an Undead Hunter. It is not hard to imagine what his/her goal would be, and why this character would join in on the adventure. Maybe even have this guy in Easthaven.

Final idea, for a druid. But major SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST GAME BELOW

7. Finally, I know druids are technically supposed to work alone (particularly the arch-druids like Arundel), but why not one of Arundel's pupils in Kuldahar? Would have clear reason to follow you, as he/she would like to prove themselves to the Archdruid. Would not have to even be in Kuldahar, but could be introduced as Arundel's messenger to Easthaven... which would give the major baddy extra incentive to cause the avalanche. Would probably add a few more "feels" to Arundel's eventual demise, and would be a very nice replacement Archdruid for Kuldahar, which would be a satisfying end to a character arc once they reach level 14. They would still travel with you into Heart of Winter and beyond, since they'd still want to "restore balance" to the region.


I'm sure there are more, but I don't have time to spit extra characters out right now, but I would love to see some suggestions/opinions.

DanathionBlackravenJuliusBorisov

Comments

  • SapphireIce101SapphireIce101 Member Posts: 866
    @booinyoureyes‌ - Your #7 sounds a lot like Nella from the IWD NPC Project. IWD NPC Project spoilers in the spoiler box!
    Nella introduces herself as a messenger from Kuldahar, and later on she calls herself Arundel's pupil. Sometimes she even goes farther and calls him her father figure. So, yes, there's definitely some feels going on when Arundel dies, and it does give her a lot more motivation to help out Kuldahar.


    Here's my NPC idea.

    1. Half-Elven Ranger/Cleric - This goes with the Undead Hunter. If their racial enemy is any form of undead it'll work awesomely. Not only that, but you also get Turn Undead, as well as access to druid spells, well some of them, and cleric spells. I would put this one in Kuldahar like, right out side of the entrance to Vale of Shadows. So, yeah, undead hating Half-Elf.

    booinyoureyesBlackraven
  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    OP: all these suggestions have a major problem. All the dialogue in the game is written assuming the player controlled character is a stranger.

    I.e "stranger, let me explain to you what is going on and where you have to go next" rather than "I've known you for years, so I don't need to tell what's happening."

    Given that you are dealing with small communities where everyone knows everyone else it would be very difficult to add characters anywhere but right at the beginning.

    There is also the problem from the point of view of good aligned players that any character being kicked from the party is effectively being abandoned to die.

    elminsterjackjackmashedtaters
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,188
    A pygmy Remorhaz teenager with the Dark Moon Monk kit. He/she/bieber/it could be found within the Vale of Shadows and play tag with a couple of Crypt Things.

    or

    A mute Wailing Virgin Dirgesinger, jobbing as a maid in Kuldahar's only inn. No reason behind it at all, but I'm sure it would be interesting to see.

    booinyoureyesjackjackNimran
  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    Fardragon said:

    OP: all these suggestions have a major problem. All the dialogue in the game is written assuming the player controlled character is a stranger.

    I.e "stranger, let me explain to you what is going on and where you have to go next" rather than "I've known you for years, so I don't need to tell what's happening."

    Given that you are dealing with small communities where everyone knows everyone else it would be very difficult to add characters anywhere but right at the beginning.

    There is also the problem from the point of view of good aligned players that any character being kicked from the party is effectively being abandoned to die.


    1. The "Player Character" is simply one of your original characters, so the first concern you raise is not really an issue. The leader is still a stranger. As far as characters more familiar with the region being added, other than Egenia (who joins LONG after the initial parts) and the druid (who is young) all those suggested are new to the Ten Towns as well. So its not like they are not also in need of being updated on the region's lore. The only character who would be experienced joins long after you visit Kuldahar, so there is absolutely no problem with her being a "stranger", since by that point you have already visited Kuldahar and Easthaven.

    This was handled fine by the Icewind Dale NPC Project. I see no issue.

    2. Well, to start with characters kicked out are not left to die, they can simply go back to Easthaven. But even more importantly, you are missing a major issue: all these character were already out there by themselves to begin with, so I hardly see that being a major issue.

    JuliusBorisovmashedtaters
  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    edited September 2014




    1. The "Player Character" is simply one of your original characters, so the first concern you raise is not really an issue. The leader is still a stranger.

    Isn't IWD like IWD2, where ANY member of the player team can initiate dialogue? Why wouldn't the a certain character say "I see you have my apprentice with you, I'm sure they will fill you in"? What happens if there are NO original characters left in the team?

    2. Well, to start with characters kicked out are not left to die, they can simply go back to Easthaven.

    No they can't, the plot prevents it.

  • Twilight_FoxTwilight_Fox Member Posts: 448
    From my point of view it could be nice to simply add 4-6 voiced characters in the "import character" section with something to identifying them as "special npc". Once in game these npcs will occasionally have interaction with each other and will comments on many aspect of your journey, they will sometime speak to the party leader directly (you).

    Of course they may have different background and even their own quest but ultimately, their initial journey bring them in the same inn as you at the beginning of the story.

    But yeah, i don't mind either if they are scattered on the map.

    booinyoureyes
  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    edited September 2014
    @Fardragon‌
    Fardragon said:

    What happens if there are NO original characters left in the team?

    Seriously man? Clearly that would not be allowed. I can't for the life of me imagine why you would assume that
    Fardragon said:


    2. Well, to start with characters kicked out are not left to die, they can simply go back to Easthaven.

    I meant to say Kuldahar, obviously.
    Fardragon said:

    Why wouldn't the a certain character say "I see you have my apprentice with you, I'm sure they will fill you in"?

    I already explained this. You meet them all after Kuldahar. Only 2/3 characters are related to existing NPCs. One of the NPCs is a blabbermouth (Oswald) who will tell you things anyway. The other is an existing NPC from LONG after you visit Kuldahar. The last is a young druid who is also new to the region.

    JuliusBorisov
  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    @Twilight_Fox‌ that is clearly a simpler way of doing it (and the way that the BG1 NPC Project did it) but that isn't the most interesting discussion :)

    Dee said that it was possible to make NPCs like in Baldur's Gate (in game), so that is what I'm interested in discussing. I wouldn't mind either way, as long as they make sense.

  • MathsorcererMathsorcerer Member Posts: 2,728
    NPCs could be anywhere with only a modicum of explanation. The excuse "I was part of an adventuring party but we got overwhelmed and I barely managed to escape into hiding here" always works, even if that is a lie--they could have double-crossed their former party members but things didn't work out like they had planned.

    booinyoureyesjackjack
  • CamDawgCamDawg Member, Developer Posts: 3,394
    I'm surprised no one's mentioned some of the easier existing NPCs as possible JNPCs--specifically Accalia and Hildreth, who already travel with you on the expedition out of Easthaven, or Erevain. All three meet ends within the game, but that's pretty easy for a mod to undo.

    Never thought about Mother Egenia or Hjollder. The former would be an easy addition (need to knock together a Painbearer kit) though the latter would be troublesome story-wise when you hit HoW.

    booinyoureyeselminsterdustbubsyJuliusBorisov
  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    CamDawg said:

    I'm surprised no one's mentioned some of the easier existing NPCs as possible JNPCs--specifically Accalia and Hildreth, who already travel with you on the expedition out of Easthaven, or Erevain. All three meet ends within the game, but that's pretty easy for a mod to undo.

    Never thought about Mother Egenia or Hjollder. The former would be an easy addition (need to knock together a Painbearer kit) though the latter would be troublesome story-wise when you hit HoW.

    Hey @CamDawg‌ I never mentioned them because they all died :/ sad. Would have liked to see Erevain, but it might also take away from the cool bit of lore about him being related to Xan (maybe being doomed runs in the family...)

    Also, it wasn't Hjollder I mentioned, but another member of his tribe

  • GrammarsaladGrammarsalad Member Posts: 2,488
    edited September 2014
    I never use NPCs, but a wildmage/berserker pair might be fun. The berserker has been subject to too many wild surges and has gone insane--this is the source of his rages. The wild mage feels terribly guilty about the whole affair and thinks of himself as his friends keeper.

    Edit:They could be fellow passengers/survivors (?--been a while) on the boat.

    booinyoureyes
  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511

    @Fardragon‌

    Fardragon said:

    What happens if there are NO original characters left in the team?

    Seriously man? Clearly that would not be allowed. I can't for the life of me imagine why you would assume that

    n.
    How would you prevent it? Unlike BG, none of the IWD heroes are the "main" hero. Ergo they should all be replaceable.

  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    Fardragon said:

    @Fardragon‌

    Fardragon said:

    What happens if there are NO original characters left in the team?

    Seriously man? Clearly that would not be allowed. I can't for the life of me imagine why you would assume that

    n.
    How would you prevent it? Unlike BG, none of the IWD heroes are the "main" hero. Ergo they should all be replaceable.
    Easy. You code in a rule: you can't have less than 1 original custom character in your party.

    It is not that hard. Of all the issues with adding NPCs, a little rule like that is the absolute least of my worries.

    Have you played Temple of Elemental Evil? It would work exactly like that. That game had absolutely zero problems with a mixed party of custom/NPC and required 1-3 custom PCs

  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    edited September 2014

    Fardragon said:

    @Fardragon‌

    Fardragon said:

    What happens if there are NO original characters left in the team?

    Seriously man? Clearly that would not be allowed. I can't for the life of me imagine why you would assume that

    n.
    How would you prevent it? Unlike BG, none of the IWD heroes are the "main" hero. Ergo they should all be replaceable.
    Easy. You code in a rule: you can't have less than 1 original custom character in your party.

    It is not that hard. Of all the issues with adding NPCs, a little rule like that is the absolute least of my worries.

    Have you played Temple of Elemental Evil? It would work exactly like that. That game had absolutely zero problems with a mixed party of custom/NPC and required 1-3 custom PCs
    But from a philosophical point of view, why should you code such a completely arbitrary rule? If ANY player character is replaceable, then they ALL should be.

    Also, why would kicked adventurers sit around in a location awaiting impending destruction? Wouldn't you expect them to form their own party and set out to save the day themselves?

    Post edited by Fardragon on
  • dustbubsydustbubsy Member Posts: 244
    I think a Barbarian NPC like Hjollder would be cool. The class is perfectly suited to the game, and they could fill you in on barbarian life, seeing as the conflict between the town folk and the barbarians is quite central to the region's history. I find the barbarian beliefs and customs especially interesting - like their rituals over the Burial Isle that apparently involve sacrificing virgins (!) and it would be cool to learn more about that.

    The only downside is barbarian is quite a boring class, but if it's Hjollder he'd be more of a cleric I guess.

    booinyoureyes
  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    dustbubsy said:

    I think a Barbarian NPC like Hjollder would be cool. The class is perfectly suited to the game, and they could fill you in on barbarian life, seeing as the conflict between the town folk and the barbarians is quite central to the region's history. I find the barbarian beliefs and customs especially interesting - like their rituals over the Burial Isle that apparently involve sacrificing virgins (!) and it would be cool to learn more about that.

    The only downside is barbarian is quite a boring class, but if it's Hjollder he'd be more of a cleric I guess.

    Yeah, Hjollder is actually a barbarian shaman, which would make an interesting kit for clerics.

    The reason I suggested a barbarian member of his tribe is because Hjollder could cause some problems in the story by joining your party (lets say he dies). I agree that barbarians are fairly boring mechanically (though far less so than fighters and not that different from any other melee class) but the roleplaying opportunities from being a barbarian are many and could add a lot of flavor to the game.

    I'd also love some barbarian-specific items or quests.. Like a special store in the camp that only barbarians can shop at, or some unique dialogue that only barbarians can access.

  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    As I have said before, IWD needs multi and dual classed barbarians (more than it needs joinable NPCs). But if you do have jNPCs, there is no reason you can't make them illegal multiclassed Barbarian/Clerics.

  • recklessheartrecklessheart Member Posts: 691
    edited September 2014
    I don't advocate the creator of NPCs by the developers, but sure, I'm game for some NPC RPG speculation!

    Lawful Neutral Human Monk (M) - found at the beginning or end of the Forgotten Temple quest, where he joinS your party to investigate the occurrences that brought upon the destruction of his order.

    Neutral Good Half-Elf Bard (F) - found standing outside the Severed Hand, having travelled this far to learn more about her elven heritage, but disturbed by the sight and unwilling to venture further alone.

    Chaotic Good Half-Elf Stalker (F) - approaches you in a way-laid area before you reach Dragon's Eye, requesting admission into your party to aid in the rescuing of the Kuldahar villagers.

    Chaotic Neutral Human Barbarian (M) - anywhere. everywhere!

    Chaotic Neutral Human Dragon Disciple (F) - found with the captives in Dragon's Eye, being kept aside from the innocents for additional 'testing' with Histachii brew, due to her innate powers.

    Lawful Good Human Undead Hunter (M) - helps you battle the Tundra Yeti that arrive in Kuldahar once you get your first mission from Arundel. Seeks to aid you.

    Lawful Neutral Dwarf Dwarven Defender (M) - wants to reclaim items regarding the history of the Dwarves of Dorn's Deep. Can be found in Easthaven as an early frontline addition to your party.

    Neutral Good Elf Conjurer (M) - a worshipper of Labelas Enoreth, who seeks to reclaim items regarding the history of the Elves from the Severed Hand. Can be found in Easthaven as an early arcane spellcaster for your party.

    Lawful Evil Human Shadowdancer (M) - fleeing Luskan after the collapse of his Thief Guild at the hands of a stronger organisation, this dry rogue can be found in Easthaven as an early utilitarian addition to your party.

    Neutral Good Halfling Cleric (F) - a servant of Yondalla who aids in agricultural development around Kuldahar. She can be asked to join your party after receiving your mission to go to the Vale of Shadows, acting as an early divine spellcaster for your party.

    10 party members, so that even if you only create 1 character you can still do 2 whole playthroughs with a completely different party composition. The latest you would complete your party would be an the entrance to the Severed Hand, where you can pick up a Bard. 6 males, 4 females; all races represented except half-orc and gnome.

    booinyoureyesjackjackDrugarJuliusBorisov
  • ThelsThels Member Posts: 1,334

    10 party members, so that even if you only create 1 character you can still do 2 whole playthroughs with a completely different party composition. The latest you would complete your party would be an the entrance to the Severed Hand, where you can pick up a Bard. 6 males, 4 females; all races represented except half-orc and gnome.

    But you have 5 good characters, 4 neutral ones, and only one evil character. If you want to do exactly 2 playthroughs, the parties are entirely fixed.

  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    edited September 2014
    If you must have jNPCs, I think there should be some reason to include them in your party beyond being a little more talkative. On the whole, any ordinary NPC you meet is likely to be less effective than the reroll-till-you-get-90 PCs. Any jNPCs should have abilities not normally available at character creation.

    For example, the Yeti character discussed in another thread. They could be abnormally intelligent for their kind, and able to communicate with ranger or druid characters. Hidden away somewhere in the wilderness, they would make a nice easter egg. And they clearly wouldn't have any ties to Kuldahar, and if you kicked them they would have a home to go to.

    Post edited by Fardragon on
    booinyoureyes
  • recklessheartrecklessheart Member Posts: 691
    @Thels These aren't rigorously thought-out suggestions, so if there is a lack of balance it stems from that post being more past-time than project. Although the plot of IWD is so linear that it really doesn't matter if you are good or evil; it won't change anything or how any particular part of the story plays out (you will still kill Yxunomei, receive Larrel's aid, rescue Easthaven etc.). The most it does is dictate some classes that you can play, or inform which Divine spells your Cleric will be able to learn.

    Personally, I dislike playing parties of uniform alignment anyway - it's more interesting to have a mix of different personalities and idealogies.

    Grimo88jackjackbooinyoureyes
  • Grimo88Grimo88 Member Posts: 191
    I'd like them all in Easthaven and Kuldahar, with some more powerful ones hidden around later areas.

    I'd want an Uthgardt Skald with a death-wish who is composing the ballad of his own heroic death.

    BTW... if any enterprising modders are on this forum, I would be more than happy to lend my pen to an NPC mod. I am an experienced writer with a BFA in Creative Writing (not that that really counts for anything, but, you know... I'm keen)

    booinyoureyes
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