I was inspired by the Hexxat thread and discussion about how any good-aligned charname would really probably just murder her on the spot. Which I happen to agree with. And it got me thinking about NPC conflicts, and how much I like them and they make sense, and also some cases where I hate them and they make no sense.
Copy/pasting from @Mechalibur
in this thread
, here's a list of NPC conflicts in BG2EE:
Aerie - Korgan, Anomen (if test failed)
Anomen (if test failed) - Aerie, Keldorn
Anomen (regardless of quest) - Dorn, Hexxat
Dorn - Anomen, Keldorn
Edwin - Minsc, Valygar, Neera (won't actually fight, but can't be in the same party)
Hexxat - Anomen, Keldorn, Mazzy
Keldorn - Anomen (if test failed), Viconia, Hexxat, Dorn [could anyone confirm if he fights Korgan?]
Korgan - Aerie [could anyone confirm if he fights Keldorn?]
Mazzy - Hexxat
Minsc - Edwin
Neera - Edwin (won't actually fight, but can't be in the same party)
Rasaad - Sarevok (if evil)
Sarevok (if evil) - Rasaad
Valygar - Edwin, Viconia (on speaking to specific NPC)
Viconia - Valygar (on speaking to specific NPC), Keldorn [does this still happen if her alignment changes?]
* Aerie/Korgan makes perfect sense; it's a clash of paradigms, and I love that it doesn't actually come to blows. Aerie basically says you either agree with her worldview or you agree with Korgan's, and that's that.
* Anomen going crazy and attacking excessively good-aligned NPCs after failing his test is one of the most honest things about him, IMO.
* Dorn getting into a fight with the members of the Order of the Radiant Heart is the most "no duh" interaction ever.
* Edwin/Minsc is likewise such an obvious conflict.
* Hexxat gets into fights with lawful good NPCs? Again, such a shocker!
* Viconia/Valygar is actually one of my favorite conflicts. I didn't know about it for years, but I tried it out once, and I've got to say... I totally buy the whole "you've pushed me just a little too far this time" aspect of it. Too often, these conflicts are portrayed as irreconcilable personality differences, as inevitabilities. In this case, there's nothing irreconcileable, it's just that there's a line that one party likes tiptoeing up to and then backing away from, and one time she took it too far and went all the way across. It's nice to see that portrayed, too.
* There aren't a lot of instances among original BG2 NPCs where I think they really should conflict, but don't. I mean, I'm always surprised that every NPC in the game doesn't eventually try to murder Edwin just a tiny bit. But otherwise, I think the writers did a good job at identifying which pairs simply wouldn't be able to coexist and explaining why.
* The Haer'Dalis / Aerie / Charname love triangle is so ambitious and fun. Since BG2, romances in video games have become almost commonplace, but I can't think of another example where the player character actually has a credible rival for someone's affections. Most of the time, the PC expresses an interest in someone and then that person is essentially "claimed" to be romanced at his or her leisure.
The I don't know:
* I've never actually seen the Valygar/Edwin or Rasaad/Sarevok conflicts, but both seem plausible on the surface. I likewise don't know if Keldorn and Korgan come into conflict, because I've never had them both in the party at the same time. (There's only one set of gauntlets of dexterity, yo!)
* I like 50% buy Edwin/Neera, and 50% see through it to "it would be so broken if we let players have both at once, so let's make them mutually exclusive".
* Others have pointed out, and I wholeheartedly agree, that it makes no sense that half the NPCs in the game don't want to murder Dorn and especially Hexxat. Realistically, there's no way in hell Aerie, Nalia, Minsc, Valygar, Rasaad, Jahiera, and Cernd wouldn't try to stake her at first opportunity, or else stake you for not doing it first. I get that the devs had an idea for a cool NPC and didn't want to limit her so she could only play nicely with a fraction of the available choices, but... I don't buy those interactions for a second.
* Keldorn trying to kill Viconia is a big reason why I don't like Keldorn, and it's not just because I love Viconia or anything. He shows so much promise of being more than Lawful Stupid and then he tries to chunk the drow for being a drow. He needs to sit down and take some lessons from Mazzy, who is ten times the paladin that he is.
* Hell, if they really wanted to give Keldorn another nemesis that actually made sense, they should have gone with Haer'Dalis:
Keldorn: "I am the embodiment of law and order!"
Haer'Dalis: "I just want to watch the entire universe descend into chaos and maybe give it a little help along the way."
Keldorn: "Keep it down, Harry, I just realized that swarthy lass we've been traveling with for the last two months is a drow and I must murder her immediately."
So yeah, that's my rant. Vanilla BG2 NPC conflicts are phenomenal and have motivations that make total sense, except for Keldorn/Viconia where the motivation is I guess essentially that Keldorn is a prick.
I like the EE characters a lot as standalone NPCs, but I think they were designed as cool characters with cool stories first and then attempts were made to fit them in among the existing constellation of NPCs, and a lot of compromises were made in the attempt to make sure they still got played. Except for Rasaad/Viconia, which I think is an exceptionally well-handled potential conflict.
Anyone else with thoughts on NPC conflicts? Love them, hate them, love to hate them, hate to love them?
Anyone want to try to defend Keldorn, perhaps?