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[spoilers] Things to watch out for when importing a custom character into BG2EE?

TaylanTaylan Member Posts: 19
I played through BGEE with a half-elf fighter/mage main char using exclusively bows. I'd like to continue with this character in BG2EE except:
- I'd like to skip SoD.
- I'd like to modify the character to be an elf instead, plus correct some mistakes in my initial choice of stats.

With that intent I exported my character from before I killed Sarevok and was playing around in the .CHR file, seeing how to modify its race and stats before importing in BG2.

Questions:
- Does it make a difference whether I import a character, or play through SoD to have it automatically imported to BG2EE?
- Can I simply change the race byte of the exported character and get the correct bow and sleep/charm resistance modifiers, or are they saved in different sections of the file?
- Any discrepancies that may happen due to the fact that I export my character *before* killing Sarevok and import it in BG2EE, vs. playing through SoD with the automatically transferred character?
- Also: I noticed my end-game character having some effects set in the exported .CHR file which don't appear in a freshly created and immediately exported character. Some story mode variable called "OHSMLOC". Does the presence or absence of this effect in the .CHR file make any difference when exporting/importing?

Thanks in advance. As you may notice, I'm quite the perfectionist when it comes to such things; I don't want to lose any gameplay content (dialogues etc.) just because I didn't want to play through SoD...

Comments

  • BorekBorek Member Posts: 99
    Sounds like you should check out EEKeeper, it's a character editor and would make a simple race change super-easy as well as changes to stats.

    SoD is a great game, but as i am sure you know it was tacked on way later, the original Trilogy didn't include it so going from ToSC to SoA is assumed to be the normal path as far as BG2 is concerned. There's a couple of items from SoD that can potentially be imported into BG2, but there is no dialogue or quests related to SoD in BG2.

    The assumption in BG2 is that you did indeed kill Sarevok, but how often it is mentioned depends on which NPC's, if any, you party up with, and i seem to remember in most cases you can simply reply that you don't want to talk about it.

    BG2 has you starting as a captured slave, so ultimately you begin with nothing except perhaps known mage spells if you are a mage, this means any continuity is mostly irrelevant as far as the game is concerned.
  • DetectiveMittensDetectiveMittens Member Posts: 232
    edited March 12
    If you play through SOD the main difference is your PC will have considerably more XP (Up to 500,000 XP).

    Additionally, if you complete SOD and have certain items on your PC, they will be carried over into BG2. However both of these can be addressed through modification of the save by setting specific variables/Globals.

    I can't tell you about the converting Half-Elf to Elf. But you should have made an elf in the first place! (Unless this is an RP choice) :o)

  • dunbardunbar Member Posts: 1,124
    If you've removed the XP cap you don't need to play through SoD just for the XP as there is plenty available in BG/TotSC.
  • TaylanTaylan Member Posts: 19
    The Baldur's Gate Wiki says: "Certain scripts and dialogues occur when using an imported character, but the biggest change is that a character begins play at the same level as their original game ended."

    What scripts and dialogues are these, and how exactly does the game determine whether they should take place? (E.g. having used the import function at all, or some flag set in the imported character's data, etc.?)

    I tried EEKeeper but apparently it doesn't work on Wine. I'm currently playing on Debian GNU/Linux...

    I really should've made an elf to begin with, that's true. I didn't think it through and it was kind of an RP choice but now I really want that bow and dex bonus. :-P

    I guess I'll give my char some extra XP after starting the game. I gathered almost all XP there was to be gathered in BGEE, and I hit the cap at some point. Does anyone know approximately how much XP you can get in BGEE with a 6-character party?
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 2,324
    With a full party of six, you can still easily hit the xp cap at 161,000 and have many quests left over.
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 639
    Taylan said:

    The Baldur's Gate Wiki says: "Certain scripts and dialogues occur when using an imported character, but the biggest change is that a character begins play at the same level as their original game ended."

    What scripts and dialogues are these, and how exactly does the game determine whether they should take place? (E.g. having used the import function at all, or some flag set in the imported character's data, etc.?)

    IIRC, the game doesn't actually import any "flags" from your BG1 run, so it has no idea what happened. Most of the dialogue with returning characters includes liberal use of lampshading to allude to this fact. As a for-instance: your journey may cause you to cross paths with Xzar, the crazy Zhentarim mage and potential companion from BG1. He asks you to do a favor for him, and your potential responses basically include choices to the effect of "sure thing, stranger, sounds good", "Xzar, don't you remember me, we traveled together for months?", and "Wait a minute, aren't you dead?"

    Critically, those options are always exactly the same regardless of how BG1 played out, or even if you created a new character from scratch without ever playing BG1 in the first place. You can kill Xzar without ever speaking to him, then when you run across him in BG2 pretend you were bosom buddies who saved the entire Sword Coast from war together. And the game will never know, because it didn't save those flags to import across the series.

    There is one exception I know of where your actions in BG1 get "remembered" and carry consequences in BG2.
    If you killed Drizzt, you will eventually run across a group of adventurers who are none-too-pleased about this fact. But, and this is key, since the game has literally no way of knowing whether you killed Drizzt, (outside of humorous self-selected dialogue options), it uses his gear as a proxy for his death.

    If you import a character who was equipped with Drizzt's armor or one or both of his scimitars, the game assumes you killed Drizzt... even if you didn't, and merely pickpocketed them from him in the first place. Or, more importantly, you can kill Drizzt, piss on his grave, and chuck his gear into the ocean, (or, you know, give it to one of your party-mates, or drop it immediately before importing), and the game has no clue. It just assumes you *DIDN'T* kill him, though again, there are conversation options, and one of them involves you admitting that you killed him.


    It's possible I'm overlooking something, but dialogue-wise, that is literally the only difference I have ever noticed in BG2 based on my actions in BG1.

    Practically speaking, the only thing importing from BG1 allows you to do is:
    1) Control which 3 pieces of starter gear you wind up with in Irenicus' dungeon, (otherwise it's selected for you)
    2) Bring an extra pair of pants.
    3) Potentially start with more experience.
    4) Potentially benefit from the stat-increasing tomes.
    5) The thing I mentioned in the spoiler tag.
    ThacoBellTaylan
  • TaylanTaylan Member Posts: 19
    Ah, thanks for the clarification. This satisfies my perfectionism. :-P

    In that case I'll carry on with a custom character that I created anew and buffed with tomes, as if I had played through the game with that character and attained those tomes... which I did with my original character, so the ultimate effect is as if I had played through the game with this character.

    I wish I knew how much XP I "wasted" in BGEE due to the XP cap. I'd give it back to my character now. But meh, it shouldn't be too much relative to how much XP one gains in BG2.

    Different question: can I "import" the weapon proficiencies I had assigned to Minsc and Jaheira, or would I need to use EEKeeper or such for that? Sucks how Minsc got two pips in long bow and doesn't even have two-weapon style maxed out at the start of BG2. And Jaheira has pips spent all over instead of focusing on one or two weapons plus weapon-and-shield.
  • PaulGreystokePaulGreystoke Member Posts: 54
    Yes, you can use EEKeeper to adjust Minsc & Jaheira's proficiencies.
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 2,324
    You will need to EEKeeper the npc proficiences back. They get a default set.
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 639
    Taylan said:

    Ah, thanks for the clarification. This satisfies my perfectionism. :-P

    In that case I'll carry on with a custom character that I created anew and buffed with tomes, as if I had played through the game with that character and attained those tomes... which I did with my original character, so the ultimate effect is as if I had played through the game with this character.

    I wish I knew how much XP I "wasted" in BGEE due to the XP cap. I'd give it back to my character now. But meh, it shouldn't be too much relative to how much XP one gains in BG2.

    Different question: can I "import" the weapon proficiencies I had assigned to Minsc and Jaheira, or would I need to use EEKeeper or such for that? Sucks how Minsc got two pips in long bow and doesn't even have two-weapon style maxed out at the start of BG2. And Jaheira has pips spent all over instead of focusing on one or two weapons plus weapon-and-shield.

    No, the only way to "carry over" companion stats from BG1 to BG2 is to edit them via EEKeeper. Like I said, the game doesn't really remember anything about the BG1 game-state.

    This is true for proficiency pips, but also for thief points, (though the BG2EE Imoen spends hers pretty wisely on her own), and known spells, (poor Edwin gets pretty forgetful when I let him out of my sight). Other things that will require EEKeeper: if you dualed Imoen at a different level, (or refrained from dualing her at all), and if you gave any stat-enhancing tomes to a party mate, (though many returning party-mates get stat buffs automatically in the second series to make them more competitive with the new NPCs, who almost universally got higher rolls at character creation than the BG1 crew).

    Jahiera gets an amazing Dex boost, (+3 points, every one of which gives a bonus, making it by far the biggest upgrade of the bunch!) while Minsc gets +1 Dex and +1 Con, which makes him a bit more survivable but is less useful for someone who typically isn't a front-liner like Jaz.

    Viconia gets +3 Wisdom, which results in +1 extra 2nd, 3rd, and 4th level spell, and her Magic Resistance jumps from 50% to 65%. Edwin gets a nearly-useless extra point in both strength (+20 carrying capacity, woo!) and Wisdom (+10 Lore, woo!). (Edwin has nothing to complain about, though; his already-broken Amulet of One Extra Spell Per Level becomes an even-more-broken Amulet of Two Extra Spells Per Level, turning Edwin into a one-man* arsenal.)

    Imoen gets nothing; she already had the highest starting roll in the game, and the general theme of BG2 is "how can we make life miserable for Imoen", so I guess it fits.

    As for your plan to quickly generate an imported character... one of my saved character files in BG1 is essentially just a pack mule with 8 tomes (one for each stat plus two extra for Wisdom), the Chain Mail +3, the Golden Pantaloons, the Claw of Kazgaroth, and a couple of the better importable weapons. That way, I can create a character, give him his stat boosts, select which gear I want to import, and send him on to BG2. You could easily add a piece of Drizzt's gear to that basic list if you want to see the change firsthand.

    I don't always use that option, but it's nice to have it on the table. If you're interested, the list of importable items is available here, and the list of importable weapons is on page 8 of the 1.3 patch notes.


    *usually
    Taylan
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