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In praise of BG1 NPCs

I've played Bauldur's Gate since it first came out on OS9 back in '99 or '00. My most common companions are probably Imoen, Khalid, Jaheira, Branwen, and Kivan. I had never or rarely played certain NPCs, generally if they didn't fit or were tough to get to. After reading this forum, I've made a few runs where I blitzed to Chapter 5 so I can pick up some of the others, and they are largely worth it. My current party has Quayle, Skie, Yeslick, and Faldorn, plus CHARNAME (swashbuckler) and Kivan.

Alora is awesome, now that her rabbit's foot works. I let her pick off enemies with a bow or throwing daggers, or have her sneak in for a backstab. (I always imagine her saying "Tickle tickle!" as the dagger plunges in.) Plus, with her pickpocket scores, she could steal the underwear off a caffeinated ogre that's on guard duty. And her personality is great, the opposite of what an adventurer's expected to be. Add a couple pop culture references, including Ren and Stimpy, and I'm sold.

Skie, it turns out, is a darn solid thief. No one can beat Alora, but she's on par with Imoen and Safana, if not precisely their equal. I also find her spoiled rich girl talk funny, but then we live in the 1%-er school district and it's deliciously sarcastic to me. *bacstab* "I broke a nail." *backstab* Yep, that sounds like this suburb. The only points against her are that she can't dual to a mage (not a big deal to me, YMMV), she shows up late, and is tied to Eldoth.

Eldoth is, IMnsHO, not worth it. He's not much better than Garrick, statistically, and of course Garrick can be obtained way earlier. Also, being evil, Eldoth can put a crimp on your reputation score to keep him around if you happen to be playing a paladin. His poison arrows are nice (whenever he generates them, I hear Martin Fry of ABC croon "shoot that poison arrow through my hea-ea-ea-eart!") but his THAC0 is poor enough that he *needs* them. And his personality grates on me. There is no humor in his comments, unlike other NPCs. Not long after recruiting Skie, I had him dump inventory and check out the rumor of a basilisk in a warehouse, and oops, oh well.

Faldorn rocks. Jaheira may be better in power gaming terms, but Faldorn in ankheg armor, throwing darts at mages to disrupt spells or summoning insects, is great. Her special summoning is quite useful, even late in the game, the shapeshifting helps if someone sneaks past the tank, and she is great as a healer/summoner. With a spear she makes a decent second-line fighter. Those level 5 spells make a big difference late in the game. Plus her broody bitterness matches my own personality.

I wish you could get to Yeslick earlier. I understand why he is where he is, the plot being the plot, but he is a great companion for a good party. He's a damn good tank; his cleric buffs and shorty saves rock. I wish his strength were higher, but you can't have everything. He also has some funny comments, which I always find a plus. (References to Tennessee Ernie Ford *and* The Three Little Pigs? Sign me up!) Unfortunately his low intelligence means he can't use wands or scrolls, but he's easily the equal of Branwen; if only he mentioned strapping buttocks.

i've often used Coran, as have many, so I will just reiterate that he is an awesome archer, has funny dialogue with Safana, and is my go-to for hierarchy if I dual Imoen.

Quayle is great although his personality is not everyone's cup of tea. In my current run I have him using the wizard's ring and had him using the cleric's ring. He could never get through all the spells. There are better wizards, there are better clerics, but there is no better *spellcaster* in the game. His low intelligence means you must be careful what he scribes to his spell book, and being specialist (illusion) does limit him, but he's a handy NPC to have around. Plus he can annoy other party members, which is fun.

I haven't tried Tiax yet, but I'm looking forward to it. I plan on my next run being evil-aligned just so I can add him, and maybe Xan and Shar-Teel, whom I haven't recruited in a long time.

If you haven't tried them, make a blitz for some of the late gamers. They aren't always the most OP characters, but they add a flavor you might have missed before, and that's half the fun, isn't it?


typo_tillyOrlonKronsteenKilivitzSkatanJuliusBorisovGallowglassDJKajuruloliendeltagoAyiekiesarevok57CrevsDaakTM5000NightingaleLoldrupPermidion_Stark

Comments

  • GallengerGallenger Member Posts: 316
    I can't really say I've met a BG1 NPC I didn't like lol. Plus, so many of them have so many options once you get into dual classing talk. Or the way you choose to build the thieves etc.

    I even like Eldoth.

    Another thing to note is how often players miss the NPC conflicts - yeah it can be annoying to have members of your party murder each other, but it's fun to see it happen all the same since invariably in a game of *real* d&d there will almost always be a party conflict that almost or does actually come to blows lol.
    tbone1OrlonKronsteenJuliusBorisovCrevsDaak
  • OrlonKronsteenOrlonKronsteen Member Posts: 302
    edited December 2016
    Yeah, it's too bad some of them are available so late. There's no reason you can't switch people out, but it's hard to give up characters you've spent a lot of time developing.
    Gallenger said:

    Another thing to note is how often players miss the NPC conflicts - yeah it can be annoying to have members of your party murder each other, but it's fun to see it happen all the same since invariably in a game of *real* d&d there will almost always be a party conflict that almost or does actually come to blows lol.

    It's been a long time since I did a $#*& disturber run, and I think I'm due. I used to love putting certain characters together just for the fireworks, particularly
    Xzar and Monty with Jaheira and Khalid
    .

    JuliusBorisovtbone1
  • KuronaKurona Member Posts: 743
    Eldoth, Shar-Teel, Quayle, Tiax and Garrick.

    You need to kill off Skie for this line-up but it's a fun combination.
    OrlonKronsteenJuliusBorisovtbone1God
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 372
    Did you use npc project mod ? The more banters and mini quest were good addition.
    tbone1
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 903
    Danacm said:

    Did you use npc project mod ? The more banters and mini quest were good addition.

    No, I'm playing on an iPad so that shot really isn't on the board. I would like to try them on the computer when I get time (Ha!), particularly the Branwen mod for BG2. She might have been my favorite character in the first game.
  • For the run I am doing now, I have Alora, Minsc, Ajantis, Kagain, and Dynaheir. I absolutely LOVE Alora! Her banter is so funny. I "summoned" her at the beginning of the game so I could use her.

    "Someone needs a tickle! Someone needs a tickle! Smile already, yeesh!"
    "I'm so sweet, I've got rotten teeth and gums!"
    "Hey there, hi there!"
    tbone1
  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 597
    edited December 2016
    I never play BG1 without the classic and widely regarded npc banter project, but I have to agree here, BG1 npc's are gold. I just finished a playtest runthrough for my bg1 npc mod with alora, skie, eldoth, tiax, and mod pc. just because i've never taken those ones in all my past runthroughs. always a different experience in BG1 it seems. much more freedom and non-linearity.

    try taking kivan and viconia, eldoth and shar-teel in one party. fun stuff.
  • DrHappyAngryDrHappyAngry Member Posts: 233
    I love some of the banter from the mismatched companions. Ever try taking Minsc and Shar-Teel?

    Minsc: You Travel with Minsc, you toe the line! I'll not suffer slackers while I'm busy hero-ing!
    Shar-Teel: You're such a funny man! That's why I'm gonna kill you last.


    Eldoth and Shar-Teel are pretty great too, but it generally results in Eldoth's death. It went something like this.

    Eldoth: Your lot in life is to bake cookies and bear children.
    Shar-Teel: Die!


    At that point they fight, and there's no way that spoony bard's going to beat Shar-Teel. I think the likelihood of them fighting goes down the higher your charisma is, since they never fought when in my blackguard's party.

    There's some great conversations in BG2 with Edwin. Try bringing Minsc and Anomen along with Edwin sometime.
    Anomen will ask for piece of Edwina's robe, I mean dress, to wear on his shield on the tourney field.


    I did a chaotic neutral playthrough awhile back, trying to gather all the fellow crazies on the sword coast, and wound up picking a lot of companions I'd not normally use together.
    FrancoisGallowglasssemiticgodtbone1
  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    ^ This. That's pretty close to how I play too.
  • PentiumDPentiumD Member Posts: 62
    Viconia > Garrick Banter best ever imo, cause having neutral / evil party is fun. Kagain also has funny banters with Garrick.
    thespacetbone1
  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 1,221
    @Necroscope @Gallowglass

    Yep, that's the best way to play IMHO. You're able to enjoy every NPC and creates tons of RP reasons to change your party. Pretty fun! :D
  • CaradocCaradoc Member Posts: 92
    @Necroscope

    I do like your approach. :smile: I tend to make up similar story reasons for switching party members. Otherwise I just end up with the cannon party.
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,230
    Mixed parties are definately the way to go, (though I can't not take Edwin, meh, he has some of the best lines both at and from good NPC's so it's all good).

    I just restarted a run, not because I didn't like my Charname but because the party wasn't much fun IMO.

    Mind you, it helps if you don't like any of the cannon NPC, or at least them in pairs, when it comes to trying out the others.
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 903
    edited March 5
    Might I be allowed to update my own oldish thread? I know that might qualify as autonecrorevivification, but ...

    I added the NPC project mod and I now see what all the fuss is about. I haven't tried all the characters yet, let alone alone all the combinations, but dang, it's almost like playing a new game. Great job, everyone who contributed to that.

    I played through with Tiax, and he was great fun. He is not the most OP character, though his summons is quite nice. In gameplay terms, as a cleric/thief, he ticks two boxes and can open up another slot for another NPC. He's not a great backstabber, but better than I thought - his strength is low and there really aren't many cleric-usable weapons that are good for backstabbing. However , with DuHM and Sanctuary, he's a heck of a lot better than I expected. His interactions with Quayle are great, too. He's not everyone's cup of tea, but I found him fun and need to make another speed run to try him again.

    I hadn't played Shar-Teel in a long time, but she was a dashed good damage-per-second front-liner. Her low constitution keeps me from giving her a perfect rating. One critical hit and I had to rush Viconia or Tiax up to heal her. It was tempting to have her use a shield, but her dual-wielding is what made her such a great frontline fighter. I did not switch her to thief, so I need to try that next, but she is good for power gaming, particularly if you have Kagain tank, and she has some good interactions with other characters.

    Xan is always fun. I like his gloominess and the challenge of his mage specialization. The first time I played him, years ago when the world was in black and white, I dismissed him. No magic missile? Not even Fireball?? But Xan makes you think and explore other spells. Chromatic orb, I knew from my PnP days, became powerful at higher levels. Skull trap, I discovered, was possibly better than fireball. He's not the most OP mage in the game, but he is effective if you know your stuff, and his gloomy depression cracks me up. Is there a better battle cry than "Onward! To futility." in the series?



    Post edited by tbone1 on
    BelgarathMTHsemiticgodCrevsDaak
  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 597
    That's great that you liked the NPC project mod! I agree, it is very well done, they clearly put a lot of time and effort into keeping everybody in character.

    Alora, Eldoth, Garrick, Skie, and Tiax is a fun party.
    tbone1Mantis37
  • Woolie_WoolWoolie_Wool Member Posts: 156
    I don't know how anyone can stand Coran. I'm using him as replacement thief while Imoen earns back her levels dual-classing, and I want to strangle the creepy, sexist cretin. If Coran lived in the modern day he'd be wearing a fedora and working on his "game".
    tbone1
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 903
    edited March 5
    @Woolie_Wool I hear you about Coran. He's a creep, but he's a damn effective creep. I prefer Safana as a temporary Imoen replacement when I dual her, but sometimes it's easier to get Coran
  • PaulGreystokePaulGreystoke Member Posts: 54

    I don't know how anyone can stand Coran. I'm using him as replacement thief while Imoen earns back her levels dual-classing, and I want to strangle the creepy, sexist cretin. If Coran lived in the modern day he'd be wearing a fedora and working on his "game".

    I have a similar reaction to Safana - her blatant use of sexual manipulation really puts me off. If she were a bit more subtle about it I might enjoy having her in my parties, but working with people who think they are manipulating me because of my gender isn't my idea of fun. In my 2nd run through Siege of Dragonspear, Safana ended up in my party to replace Imoen, & I elected to keep her since I had used Glint on my 1st character's run - & I gritted my teeth every time she opened her mouth. Perhaps her SoD romance reveals a more appealing side to her character? I wouldn't know since I didn't pursue it. Does the NPC Project make her more interesting?

  • BigfishBigfish Member Posts: 365

    Perhaps her SoD romance reveals a more appealing side to her character?

    It doesn't. It really doesn't. I romanced her just because someone made a big issue of how they wanted to add some depth to Safana's character, but the only thing it added was more crap about how she's a manipulative, terrible person.
  • Papa_LouPapa_Lou Member Posts: 264
    edited March 6


    Does the NPC Project make her more interesting?

    The NPC Project does a really good job of giving each NPC more dialogue that sticks to the original character's personality.

    So, does it make her more interesting? Absolutely. But does it lessen the amount of sexual tones in her dialogue? No. But that's the kind of character she is, much like Isabela in the Dragon Age series.

    I personally find Safana to be an interesting character, and she's actually one of my favourite NPCs. I think the lack of real loyalty to the Bhaalspawn is a nice change of pace compared to a lot of the other NPCs like Imoen, or Jaheira & Khalid.

    Her romance in SoD certainly won't make you like her character any more, though. If she's not for you, it's best to just avoid her altogether. :D
    tbone1PaulGreystoke
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 903
    I go back and forth on Safana. (Yeah, I know, "Phrasing!") She is a good single-class thief, is easy-ish to recruit, is reachable early, etc. Her personality probably would have been more appealing in my younger days, but I look on her as a farce on the seductress archetype, which makes her more palatable. (Seriously, are we not doing "phrasing" anymore? 'Cause I, like, never got the memo.)
    PaulGreystokeArctodusCrevsDaak
  • ZilberZilber Member Posts: 231
    I usually EEkeeper het into a bard, I can't stand the other two, and she'd make a good film noir night club singer.
    tbone1CrevsDaak
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 903
    Zilber said:

    I usually EEkeeper het into a bard, I can't stand the other two, and she'd make a good film noir night club singer.

    Ooh, that's a thought. I have stayed away from EEkeepering NPCs, but enough of these two dead keep accumulating that I'm nearing a tipping point. I might have to try it some time
    CrevsDaak
  • ZilberZilber Member Posts: 231
    tbone1 said:

    Zilber said:

    I usually EEkeeper het into a bard, I can't stand the other two, and she'd make a good film noir night club singer.

    Ooh, that's a thought. I have stayed away from EEkeepering NPCs, but enough of these two dead keep accumulating that I'm nearing a tipping point. I might have to try it some time
    I EEkeeper NPC's all the time, often to push them back into more believable stats.
  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 335
    Level 1 NPCs is a useful tool for changing npcs without problems.
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