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.