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What party you use to play?

I recently read something that made me a little discouraged, but it's something I've known since playing BG2. Apparently there is a "specific team" for the game, the Canon NPCs, Khalid, Jaheira, Minsc and Dynaheir (Imoen too but she's is your conection with everything so whatever). This is not noticeable in BG1, but in BG2 is evident. It's even inconsistent with your version of the CHARNAME story. For exemple, if my party is evil obviously i'll not use the canons, because they aren't compatible with my... "ideology". You are not required to take these npcs with you on BG2, I know, but I still think it would be much better if they do not quote you as a acquaintance and friend, a travel partner that you have never been.

My party considering the NPCs I like the game and the ones I wanted to have:
CHARNAME (Berserker)
Fighter (created)
Rasaad - Is too weak in BG but very powerful in BG2 (especially against Clay Golems)
Priest of Lathander (created)
Imoen - best thief in BG1 (Alora is too late) and, with some mods, a good thief/mage in BG2
Neera - i simply love Neera

BG (with NPCs)
CHARNAME (Berserker)
Ajantis (everywhere has a sense of evil about it to him)
Rasaad - same, he's a good NPC
Branwen - By Tempus's shield!
Imoen - same
Neera - same


  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,882
    every play through i have i change my parties up, whether its a whole created custom team, or just different joinable companions

    in the last bg 1 team i had i believe i had;

    my guy ( a cavalier )

    and in SoA with that same character the team i would have had would have been;

    my guy
  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 770
    edited November 2019
    I like using different parties, seeing how they synergise in terms of power and how they get along. I would only ever use the one player created character, working with the npcs you have is much of the fun and Icewind Dale is there for creating your own characters.

    First time through, I finally used a mage pc, Imoen, Yeslick, Ajantis, Dynaheir and Minsc, though up to the Cloakwood Mines I had Khalid and Jaheira but Jaheira moaned on about my good rep too much in the original version of the game (not an issue anymore). That party was fun but I like npcs with better dexterity in BG1 and these guys had sucky dexterity apart from Imoen.

    Now I quite like using the unpaired pcs as I don’t like metagaming to split them pairs. Kivan is nice as you get him really early and he slots into good groups very well. Likewise Branwen can be found very early. Coran is cool as you can dual Imoen to a mage around when you get him so he covers thieving at that time. I rarely use Rasaad as I find him a bit bland and in BG he is very weak.

    I am currently running:

    Imoen - dualled to mage at level 4

    I am enjoying it (have never used an F/M/T before), Ajantis and Xan interact well, and I am planning to continue using this party in BG2 with mods

    The canon party of PC, Imoen, Khalid, Jaheira, Minsc and Dynaheir is a good one and makes sense as you are directed to the Friendly Arm at first and Minsc is then easily found in Naskel, although it doesn’t have any powerful ranged characters unless you build Khalid for it, he can be awesome in that role though
    Post edited by ilduderino on
  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 1,278
    My favourite/canonical BG party consists of:

    Me (Generalist Mage)

    I usually prefer having single classes, but Yeslick's utility as a secondary tank/healer was just too useful to pass up. It didn't hurt that I also like having a multi-racial party that also includes elves, dwarves and halflings. (If I could find a way to squeeze in Alora, I would!)
  • PaiN_VIPaiN_VI Member Posts: 28
    they are good team compositions of yours. @sarevok57 A little curious your decision to keep Garrick in the group. In Icewind Dale pure bards are very good, in BG and BG2 very bad. @Zaxares I too like Yeslik, but he is too far in the game.
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 7,269
    Evil power!

    Shar-Teel (dualed to thief)
  • OdinGOWOdinGOW Member Posts: 6
    Ive been realising the Must Haves for me are

    Charname = Some type or mix of Fighter, Currently Dwarven Figher/Thief

    Imoen -- Right hand (Wo)man
    Dorn -- His special abilities and 19 strength make him a Beast
    Coran -- His illegal stats and proficiency make him powerhouse
    Edwin -- His extra spells are awesome but due to his attitude I always curse him with the girdle of gender change, Much easier on the eyes and just hilarious.

    Healer = usually Branwen, but I think Ill just start making custom one.
  • ZackelZackel Member Posts: 20
    In This Lawful Evil Run I Have:

    -Charname (Fighter will be dualled to mage)
    -Dorn : My favorite character in this franchise, and strongest with 40 crit at lvl 2 lol + elven armor for me. ?
    -Montaron : Best Backstaber later in the game, meanwhile he just open locks and use Slingshot, Will be swapped for tiax later
    -Xzar : Don't like made characters like him and minsc so he will be kill... I mean swapped to Bealoth Later
    -Viconia : Tanky/meaty , Supportive , and most of all a Latina, My Favorite Combination ?
    -Kagain: Secondary tank, but I don't like his personality, A thief would fit him better, will be swapped to Shar-tel when I get to her to help her deal with her daddy issues ?

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,882
    @PaiN_VI as i said before i like changing my parties up, and sometimes i like having a bunch of "weaker" party members on the team, and even with that said, the way on how my team is built up, he fits in quite well

    imoen can dual class at level 6 and still become a level 9 mage, and at level 6 she can hit 90 in open locks and 95 in disarm traps, which is enough to get through all the traps and locks through out all of bg1 ( except for the 1 trap in durlag's tower, but then i can just use kiel's buckler at that time )

    so with that being said, garrick helps make up for this with his handy dandy pick pocket skill, and there be lots o' good stuff that can be pick pocketed in bg1, plus that lore ability of his, is actually quite nice, and at level 10 he hits 100 which is enough to identify any item in the game, plus he can use wands, which is also pretty coo

    what i find interesting is the love for ajantis, i very rarely use this guy because his 3 main stats are all trash, even though that str is 17, in 2nd edition it might as well be 10, his CON is okay at best, and his DEX is also trash

    khalid, kivan, minsc have bad scores as well in some areas, but it only requires 1 item to get them up to speed ( mits of DEX or ogre power ) but ajantis has garbage STR and DEX and since i never use rasaad, ajantis just doesn't cut it for me
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 1,090
    Historically I went for the canon party in BG1. A few times I tried slight variations, but the pairing generally meant taking Dynaheir to get Minsc and Khalid to get Jaheira. Until I figured out that Khalid is actually a pretty solid NPC once you get him tooled up. Dynaheir? Let's just say I'm not all that upset that she didn't make it. I imagine keeping her from getting killed was more than enough to drive Minsc nuts even without that hit to the head.

    On my current run, however, I have mostly mod-added NPCs. Aura, my PC (female elven sorcerer), Eilrie, Imoen, Isra, and Tenya. It's a weird crew, but they work. Mostly. Aura has taken the place of Dynaheir as NPC that needs helicopter parenting. (This shouldn't be taken as an attack on her, though. She is incredibly useful and has an awesome side-quest) Ironically, Tenya has turned into one of the party's tanks.

    In BG2, I tend to always take Jaheira and Minsc for old time's sake, but beyond that, I switched it up a lot more. I've always had a soft spot for Mazzy and Valygar. I either take Nalia or Jan, depending on how much thieving is required. (Jan is the better thief, but Nalia is the better mage). I almost always drop them when heading to get Imoen, though. I've tried Anomen and Keldorn, but got tired of their mess.

    Probably my favorite BG2 party (with original NPCs), and the one I first went through ToB with, was my female PC conjurer, Imoen, Jaheira, Aerie, Minsc, and Valygar. My last party that ran through both SoA + ToB had one mod-added NPC; my female PC conjurer, Aerie, Imoen, Isra, Jaheira, and Mazzy.

    Mazzy is incredibly underrated as a tank, as is Jaheira. Along with Isra, they were bringing it, while my PC, Imoen, and Aerie were filling out the rear ranks with spells and arrows.
  • PaiN_VIPaiN_VI Member Posts: 28
    edited November 2019
    I've been looking at Jaheira. I always find the Khalid "reasonable", but I never really liked Jaheira (Strength that is nonexistent for a warrior and Wisdom for a druid), but she has something that is useful unlike other spellcasters: extra attacks. I made some changes to the game and now she's got two points in clubs and two in slings. Also did with Khalid, now he has no more longbows and axes and has 2 points in Sword and Shield. This may seem like something out of the game, but let's combine the NPC point distribution is a truly piece of shit. I did the same thing with Ajantis, he now uses Two Handed Swords...I found it a little weird at first, but he became extremely more effective.
  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 770
    I agree that Ajantis has bad stats but his con is passable. First time I played I wanted a paladin onboard, now I only use him rarely.

    In his defence though, Keldorn’s combat stats aren’t much better, it’s just Keldorn can do a lot more as an inquisitor and BG2 has more npcs with better dexterity so Keldorn can more easily have the gauntlets, and also there are more strength items.

    I also feel bad for Minsc in BG2 as for Ajantis in BG. There are so many items that mean npcs can match or better Minsc’s strength but few items that let him match the dexterity or constitution of others.
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 1,090
    Turning Khalid into a front-line tank is a mistake IMO. The guy is an unbelievable archer, and given BG1's penchant for making archery almost overpowered, I would lean towards letting him keep his bow. The problem, of course, is that you still need a tank, and until your mage/cleric gets some decent summons, that means one of your party members has to stand in. Which is why almost everyone takes Minsc, as Jaheira needs a bit of help (and several levels under belt) to really tank well. There are a few items which can help, but I've long felt she is better used as a "psuedo-cleric" in the first game.

    That said, Jaheira, with the right equipment/buffs, can tank in BG2, and she can do it well. In the "all-girls" party I ran last time, she was right there beside Mazzy during the battles holding her own.

    Ajantis? I never could get past his attitude, which is right in line with Anomen and Keldorn. I almost invariably play chaotic good PCs, and they never get along with these holier than thou knaves - even if they are good with a sword.
  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 1,278
    Sadly, I feel that a lot of writers do not write paladins correctly. They have this assumption that paladins are all holier-than-thou warriors who look to smite evil first and ask questions later. There ARE paladins like that, but ironically such paladins usually wind up falling from grace at some point because their pride or arrogance leads them to falsely condemn someone. There was actually a Baldur's Gate comic that was released in conjunction with the launch of BG1 in which Ajantis was the protagonist, and I feel that that comic portrayed Ajantis much better as a representative of LG ideals than what the game did.
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 1,090
    edited November 2019
    Yeah, I remember that comic, and it was spot-on.

    I will say that the mod-added paladins are much, much better. I have played with Isra quite a bit, and love her character. Of course, being a paladin of Sune means she is much more militant about makeup and perfume than evil, which is awesome. It doesn't get in the way of her being a great paladin and front-line fighter. I've also picked up Sirene, and she is amazing as well. Quiet, gets the job done, and her side-story has been subtle but interesting.

    If the original paladins had been more like them, I probably would have had them in more parties.
  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 1,278
    A paladin of Sune? Interesting... As a Chaotic Good goddess I'd have thought her teachings wouldn't really fit a Lawful Good character, at least if we're sticking with the "worshippers have to stay within one alignment step of their deity's alignment" rule. Still, it's a workable concept, I suppose.
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 1,072
    It doesn't make a whole lot of sense that if a deity sees chaotic goodness as the best alignment, they'd give extra powers to a follower who disagrees. However that is what the FR sourcebook says Sune does for some of her lawful good adherents.
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 1,090
    I consider it a missed opportunity that you can't pick a patron deity during the character generation process. I mean, sure, you sort of do if you roll a paladin and pick a certain alignment, but it would be cool if you could literally choose a deity at character generation and have that be part of your PC's bio.
  • velehalvelehal Member Posts: 299
    I usually change party members for each playthrought, but my favourites are Coran, Yeslick and Imoen.
  • monicomonico Member Posts: 571
    edited November 2019
    I recently did a BG1 run with what I would consider a "canon" party.

    Turned out I switched a lot:
    - started with Imoen, recruited Xzar & Montaron, then Khalid & Jaheira
    - soon, my PC discovered Xzar & Monty's real allegiance and we ditched them right after killing Mulahey (roleplayed it as Xan recognizing them from his own investigations)
    - Khalid & Jaheira also parted ways with the group after clearing the mines of Nashkell (since it was their initial purpose when joining, although obviously they are after more than just that and are supposed to stick with Gorion's ward as their friendship with Gorion aligns with their own mission from the Harpers)
    - Imoen & PC then set on their journey to investigate the bandits plaguing the region : recruited Xan, Branwen (who's out for revenge against Tranzig, roleplayed keeping her around until Bandit Camp as if she had been part of that precise bandit camp, which is somewhat hinted in her description), and Kivan who's also out for revenge against Tazok, and finally Ajantis who's also on a mission to investigate the bandit activity in the region
    - After clearing the bandit camp and reporting to Officer Vai, Branwen and Ajantis left the group, their mission fulfilled.
    - PC, Imy, Xan & Kivan then headed off to Cloakwood, recruiting Faldorn on the way and freeing (and recruiting) Yeslick who wants to foil the Iron Throne's plans to redeem himself (he feels responsible for his naivete)
    - Faldorn left the group after flooding the mines, returning to her shadow druid grove
    - The rest of the group (PC, Imy, Yeslick, Kivan & Xan) then cleared the rest of the game and foiled Sarevok's plans. Also note that this party composition is quite strong and allows your PC to be anything you want.

    I didn't pursue with BG2, since it lacked the same synergy between the storyline and the NPC's personal quests (apart from the ones available in the prologue).

    EDIT : I tried to use most of the NPCs who have a relation with the main storyline. The only ones left aside I think were Kagain (supposed to rescue Entar Silvershield's son, whose dead body can be found in the previous map, ending the quest in 5 minutes anyway) and Minsc & Dynaheir (she traveled to the sword coast to find a Bhaalspawn, but I just did not find any way to fit rescuing her and recruiting the tandem).
  • PaiN_VIPaiN_VI Member Posts: 28
    @monico I had never seen it that way. It seems like a very wide and interesting form of exploration, thanks for sharing. I think I'll try this.
  • monicomonico Member Posts: 571
    edited November 2019
    PaiN_VI wrote: »
    @monico I had never seen it that way. It seems like a very wide and interesting form of exploration, thanks for sharing. I think I'll try this.

    There are many variations of this, but this was the gist of it for me.
    You could also try to manage your "main questline" NPCs to keep 1 or 2 slots open, allowing you to complete also the non-main-storyline NPCs quests. Waaaay back in the day (before EE), I tried a "all-NPC-run". I can't remember how it went exactly, but it was a very fun RP run (not powergamey at all obviously though).
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