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What is your approach to recruiting NPCs?
People have varying playing preferences - both in terms of favourite NPCs and reloading policy. Most modders strive to make their custom NPCs available early on to suit those who like to gather their party before venturing forth. One can have easily a full party before entering Friendly Arm Inn, without any detour on the way. On the other hand, it's nice to meet other NPCs on the way, and SoA certainly lends itself to temporarily recruit NPCs only to do their respective quests. I am wondering if there would be any interest in joinable NPCs who were by design temporary: they were specifically intersted in doing only their quest and would not normally stay with the party for long. Or were specifically scripted to leave the party/meet their demise under specific conditions, potentially always.
I think it would be really cool and added to the realism if NPCs didn't like Kagain randomly decide just after setting out with you that their quest is hopeless and they'll just hang around with you. If I'll ever manage to do an NPC mod, I would like it if something happened that made them temporarily or permamentrly unavailable - I really liked that in Jaheira's quest in SoA. One seed of idea for how to implement it without affecting severly the gameplay introducing several NPCs in the mod in a way that a new one becomes available soon after your becoming short, perhaps in consequence to the same event. Take the following premise as an example: you learn as events unfold that a member of your party commited a vile deed. You can decide to loyally defend them, or turn on them (perhaps to collect the bounty?). The NPC who broke the news offers their help in thanks, or maybe local law enforcement/other organisation (harpers, cowled wizards) decide they want to watch you closely and assign an escort.
This is an awfully composed poll, I know, but I'd like to gauge interest, maybe exchange some ideas. For the purpose of this discussion let's assume that hypothetical chatty/bossy NPCs aren't of the Saerilth/Chloe variety.
What is your approach to recruiting NPCs? 27 votes
I like to compose my party early on and stick to it. NPCs leaving annoy me and I would normally reload/abandon the game on their death.
I start the game with a specific composition in mind, however I don't rush to recruit them as early as possible. If they die/get chunked/imprisoned I recruit someone else.
I may change the party members during play, but I normally would never abandon a member in favour of someone else later on/I wouldn't recruit an underleveled character.
I have a smaller core party and recruit other NPCs to do their quests or if it otherwise it makes sense in the story; they are usually abandonned as soon as their job is done..
I have many mod NPCs installed and change party composition several times during the game to try out as many of them. I don't like however if they talk too much, try to usurp your position in the story and would hate it if they left of their own accord.
I love NPCs who have their own affairs, don't follow me blindly, and are not below speaking their mind and opposing me. I love inter-party banter and like extensive story content/chatting - providing it's well written.