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[Mod Idea] - "Import" BG NPCs in BG2

energisedcamelenergisedcamel Member Posts: 76
Hello! Long time lurker, first time poster.

I've been playing BG since I was about 7 and I used to be an active participant in some of the older forums. I love this community and love that I'm still enjoying the game more than 20 years later, in large part due to the effort of mods that make the game feel fresh and alive.

I've always been full of ridiculously ambitious and unrealistic mod ideas (RIP IWD2 mod with 16 companions), but I feel like this idea is one that many have probably had in the past and I'm surprised with all the amazing people in the community, it hasn't been discussed that much (to my knowledge). Let it be noted that this is more a discussion topic than a serious declaration of intent to complete this.

I'm sure it annoys others as much as me that no matter who you travel with in BG1, only Imoen, Jaheira and Minsc appear in the dungeons in BG2 - it kind of invalidates your playthrough of the first game, and shatters any illusion of continuity. I know Siege of Dragonspear rectifies this a little, but I don't have much experience with it because it wasn't my cup of tea and I felt like it was shoehorning things too much.

Now, bear in mind, I don't know how feasible this is, but here goes:

The idea is that at the start of BG2, (maybe before even the first cut scene) there would be a dialogue box which lets you choose who you were travelling with in the first game. The answers to this would then affect who appears in the dungeon with you. Even if the NPCs were silent, I still think that would be really cool. Obviously, the mod would also have to remove Minsc and Jaheira, if you didn't select them. The easter egg appearances from people like Garrick, Tiax, etc. would also have to be removed.

In an ideal world, all the NPCs would be fully-fleshed out and with the same amount of dialogue as M&J, but I know that would be too much work for any one person. I have almost no modding experience outside of creating a dummy NPC mod with a joining and leaving dialogue about 12 years ago, and proof-reading a few projects (and an embarrassing attempt at fanfiction in my adolescence that I have tried to scour clean from the internet).

I have 2 questions, one practical and one more a fun discussion.

1) For anyone with modding experience, is the dialogue box system of "importing" the NPCs feasible? I imagine it is not, but it would be interesting to hear why not, and what other simple solutions might work.

2) I've been writing dialogue for this mod idea, more for my own amusement than anything, and the more I think about it, the more I think the majority of the NPCs would not stick around after being tortured and captured by Irenicus. Obviously, in this non-existent mod, I'd just leave Viconia, Edwin, Jaheira, Minsc, Khalid, Imoen and Dynaheir as they are (and Imoen would probably need to be in the dungeon regardless of if she was in the party, for plot reasons, although dialogue would need to be rewritten). So with that in mind, who do you think would be in it for the long haul (like J&M)? Who would probably be dissected in an experiment (like K&D)? Who would stick with you until you escape from the dungeon and then bugger off?

From my perspective, I think
Tortured & killed: Eldoth, Ajantis, Alora, Quayle
Abandon you after escaping: Garrick, Coran, Faldorn, Skie, Kaigan, Safana
Stick with you: Branwen, Kivan, Xan (although I'd be tempted to put him in the killed list, with his pathetic constitution of 7), Shar-Teel, Tiax, Yeslick
Already escaped: Xzar & Montaron (I imagine Montaron managing to sneak out, letting out Xzar and then deeming letting out anyone else as too risky)

Anyway, I'd love to hear people's thoughts about this idea, both from a realistic modding perspective (and no doubt why it would be difficult). Sorry for the length of the post and rambling!

EDIT - I'm aware of mods bringing in NPCs, but it's not quite the same, in my eyes

Post edited by energisedcamel on
gorgonzolaJuliusBorisovkaja8

Comments

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    i am not a modder and i mainly play bg2 only, so i am personally not so interested in carrying the npcs of a game that i seldom play.
    but i think that this is a great idea for a mod and i don't see any technical problem in implementing a dialogue that make the npcs spawn, it can be the first dialogue with imoen, when she releases you from the cage. There she can ask you about the bg npcs and you can answer choosing which one to carry or not in bg2.
    then to have them spawning in the free cages probably can be a problem as those cages are also used for a custom party created in multiplayer, but there are a lot of other places in the dungeon where they can spawn ready to be found by you.
    as i am not a modder i can be wrong, but for sure there are mods that do much more complex things, like the reaver mod that makes possible to have a charname that is functionally a 4 classes multi, being technically a dual class, as he can perform thieving, can fight and can cast both arcane and divine spells, and each time the second class levels up the first one catch up increasing also of a level, so you complete the dual let's say at 9-10 but then you become 10-11, 11-12 and so on.
    if such things are possible i don't see a reason why a modder should not be able to have some clones of the bg1 npcs spawn somewhere with a level related to charname's one, as charname's level can vary a lot starting in bg2 or importing from SoD, and according to his choice in the dialogue.

  • energisedcamelenergisedcamel Member Posts: 76
    gorgonzola wrote: »
    i am not a modder and i mainly play bg2 only, so i am personally not so interested in carrying the npcs of a game that i seldom play.
    but i think that this is a great idea for a mod and i don't see any technical problem in implementing a dialogue that make the npcs spawn, it can be the first dialogue with imoen, when she releases you from the cage. There she can ask you about the bg npcs and you can answer choosing which one to carry or not in bg2.
    then to have them spawning in the free cages probably can be a problem as those cages are also used for a custom party created in multiplayer, but there are a lot of other places in the dungeon where they can spawn ready to be found by you.
    as i am not a modder i can be wrong, but for sure there are mods that do much more complex things, like the reaver mod that makes possible to have a charname that is functionally a 4 classes multi, being technically a dual class, as he can perform thieving, can fight and can cast both arcane and divine spells, and each time the second class levels up the first one catch up increasing also of a level, so you complete the dual let's say at 9-10 but then you become 10-11, 11-12 and so on.
    if such things are possible i don't see a reason why a modder should not be able to have some clones of the bg1 npcs spawn somewhere with a level related to charname's one, as charname's level can vary a lot starting in bg2 or importing from SoD, and according to his choice in the dialogue.

    Yeaah, that's what I was thinking. It seems simple enough, although that begs the question why no one has done it before. Maybe it's just me who cares about this sort of stuff?

    I had similar thoughts about assigning cages, etc. I was thinking maybe specific NPCs could be located elsewhere in the dungeon (Yeslick with the duergar, forced to help with smithing), or just suggest in the mod description that it conflicts with multiple PCs in multiplayer games due to space.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678

    Yeaah, that's what I was thinking. It seems simple enough, although that begs the question why no one has done it before. Maybe it's just me who cares about this sort of stuff?
    probably because a very simple version of the mod is not really needed, as you can use EEkeeper to copy and paste and create yourself perfect copies of the bg npcs in multiplayer finding them in the cages.
    then you copy a save from the multiplayer to the single player folder and you play normally.

    but a well done mod of this kind does not only create the bg npcs, but also the dialogues for them, original ones for bg2, the interactions with the bg2 npcs and maybe some sort of quest or mini quest, as almost all the bg2 npcs have one (maybe minsc is the only one lacking of it and only because the planned one, the kidnapping of boo, was cut at the last moment for cd space issue).

    and this is the real work for a modder, to write all those dialogues and maybe create some mini quest is very time consuming. this is probably the real reason why such mod has never been released, the modders interested in creating npcs, that are only a part of the modders as other ones focus on different things, probably want to spend their time for npcs that are completely original instead of already existing ones, there is also the risk that some player does not feel appropriate for the bg1 npc the new dialogues.

  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 1,864
    edited April 2020
    The main reason this was not created yet I think is that making it all full-fledged NPCs that talk and interact is a huge amount of work. All you could offer is silent NPCs that look the same but interest in these kind of dummy NPCs is negligible.
    Thus, every modder interested in BG1 NPCs turning up in BGII made their preferred NPC into a separate mod: there is Ajantis, Branwen, Coran, Tiax, Yeslick, Xan and I'm pretty sure I forgot some.
    Plus, the readiness to alter such set game content was not as present in earlier days as it is now, maybe that's also a reason. The mod you are proposing makes much sense in a BGT setting where the transition of the NPCs would be smooth. It makes less sense for EET unless you include the very last SoD sequence (i.e. PC flees with the NPCs that were in group before, not meeting up with the default crew).
    By the time BGT was available and more than a niche mod for crazy megamod gamer most of the BG1for BGII mods were already finished - with backstories that do not include being kidnapped with the PC.

    Have you checked BG1SoA NPC mod or how it is called? There is a mod that aims at introducing all BG1 NPCs into BGII, although not into ID I think. (They are also rather silent).

    gorgonzola
  • energisedcamelenergisedcamel Member Posts: 76
    gorgonzola wrote: »
    probably because a very simple version of the mod is not really needed, as you can use EEkeeper to copy and paste and create yourself perfect copies of the bg npcs in multiplayer finding them in the cages.
    then you copy a save from the multiplayer to the single player folder and you play normally.

    but a well done mod of this kind does not only create the bg npcs, but also the dialogues for them, original ones for bg2, the interactions with the bg2 npcs and maybe some sort of quest or mini quest, as almost all the bg2 npcs have one (maybe minsc is the only one lacking of it and only because the planned one, the kidnapping of boo, was cut at the last moment for cd space issue).

    and this is the real work for a modder, to write all those dialogues and maybe create some mini quest is very time consuming. this is probably the real reason why such mod has never been released, the modders interested in creating npcs, that are only a part of the modders as other ones focus on different things, probably want to spend their time for npcs that are completely original instead of already existing ones, there is also the risk that some player does not feel appropriate for the bg1 npc the new dialogues.

    Yeah, I guess you're right. It would be a tremendous amount of work for one person, for sure. I guess the demand for completely silent NPCs is very low (plus, if you're desperate, a person could just create the characters in a multiplayer game)

  • energisedcamelenergisedcamel Member Posts: 76
    jastey wrote: »
    The main reason this was not created yet I think is that making it all full-fledged NPCs that talk and interact is a huge amount of work. All you could offer is silent NPCs that look the same but interest in these kind of dummy NPCs is negligible.
    Thus, every modder interested in BG1 NPCs turning up in BGII made their preferred NPC into a separate mod: there is Ajantis, Branwen, Coran, Tiax, Yeslick, Xan and I'm pretty sure I forgot some.
    Plus, the readiness to alter such set game content was not as present in earlier days as it is now, maybe that's also a reason. The mod you are proposing makes much sense in a BGT setting where the transition of the NPCs would be smooth. It makes less sense for EET unless you include the very last SoD sequence (i.e. PC flees with the NPCs that were in group before, not meeting up with the default crew).
    By the time BGT was available and more than a niche mod for crazy megamod gamer most of the BG1for BGII mods were already finished - with backstories that do not include being kidnapped with the PC.

    Have you checked BG1SoA NPC mod or how it is called? There is a mod that aims at introducing all BG1 NPCs into BGII, although not into ID I think. (They are also rather silent).

    I think there are Quayle, Skie and Kivan mods too. You're absolutely right, I think BGT era would have been the perfect time for a project like this, but maybe now people aren't as interested. One person couldn't do all the work, definitely not, but it would have been cool if all the amazing modders had come together in a collaborative project (similar to the amazing BG1 NPC mod) - I think that would have been the only realistic way something like this could have existed.

    In the individual NPC mods (many of which I have played and enjoyed), the authors already thought of and explained why the NPC wasn't captured in the dungeon - otherwise, I might be tempted to e-mail some of the mod authors and ask if they would like to collaborate. I think it would still be a huge amount of work, though, and most people wouldn't want to change their mods. Maybe I'm just overestimating demand for the mod, especially now thate SoD has been released and explained some of the missing links.

    I hadn't heard of BG1 NPCs for SOA before, but I just tried to search for it and it seems it doesn't exist anymore. Cool to know that someone else thought of something similar, though. :disappointed:

    Just for fun, do you have any opinions on which NPCs would stick around with CHARNAME to get vengance/rescue Immy, and who would think, "f*** this," and bail?

  • BambiBambi Member Posts: 4
    Hey guys

    I really shouldn't write anything here .... because I love Npcs mods <3<3<3 and I probably won't stop writing now that I do :D but now so be it

    So i think the idea is great to be able to choose who is in the dungeon. I love Minsc and Boo of course, but it would be nice if you could just decide for yourself who to travel with!
    there are different possibilities to place the individual characters in different places in the dungeon. i think a modder could do it i mean they have already put npc in dungeon adrian for example and some others. maybe a mage could teleport into the dungeon, the attack on the dungeon could break the protection and allow this. but he/she can´t teleport back out of the dungeon or he/she can and thus allows you to overcome the dungeon

    I love the mod "dungeon be gone" because i am not forced to always play the same processes.
    I think it would be great to see how xan and / or coran or wait no Edwin yeah Edwin would be so cool to see how they react when they explore the dungeon and what they have to say. I also have to say that I think it would be nice if there were more dialogues, I think I would have a lot to say in such a situation.

    but I have to praise the dear modders, they made the NPC`s and others mods much better and breathed even more life into them and in the game. i know how much work a mod can be and that they take their time and expand the game for all of us is simply admirable!

    energisedcamel
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 6,738
    Some of the cameos would be easy to change up with a simple name change. Faldorn, Quayle, Ajantis, & Garrick have no dialogue that mentions a past relationship with Charname. Kivan, Kagain, Shar-Teel, Branwen, Alora, Eldoth, Xan, and Yeslick aren't represented at all so they're available too. Any of those NPC's could be in the cages.

    The others would be more problematic. As cringy as the Coran/Safana cameo is, it was written by the original devs. Ditto for Xzar/Montaron and Tiax. The original cage dwellers (Minsc, Jaheira, Dynaheir & Khalid) would either have to left out or added someplace else. It would be interesting if a sub could be made for Imoen, but that would be a tall order (Alora would be the only logical choice and she isn't used by many people - the other thieves are accounted for already).

    I would frankly love a mod like this especially if the NPC's killed by Irenicus were random! However, it would be a Herculean effort...

    energisedcamel
  • BambiBambi Member Posts: 4

    yes minsc and Jaheira would probably have to stay in dungeon because Dynaheir & Khalid die there or you would have to change it completely and that would be way too much work I think. but they could stay in the cage or move to another location in the dungeon to keep the story harmonious
    there was or is also a Khalid mod I have played it once I think it was a long time ago, so I don't remember how the modders solved the situation in the dungeon.

    energisedcamel
  • energisedcamelenergisedcamel Member Posts: 76
    I completely forgot I posted this :sweat_smile:

    Well, my original idea was that a lot of the NPCs wouldn't stick around because they're cowards/not that invested in revenge or the PC's wellbeing, so thinking about it, I don't think it would be toooo much effort. To be honest, even if all of them left you once you got to Athkatla or died in the starting dungeon, I still think it would be a cool mod, because you wouldn't have to suspend your disbelief and "ignore" Jaheira and Minsc because your NPC never travelled with them. You could then have the Athkatlan party of your choosing and not feel guilty.

    When I was having fun jotting ideas down, I tried to at minimum write all the relevant starting dungeon interjections (Reliev's death, meeting the dryads, meeting Yoshimo, reacting to Khalid if Jaheira is present, responding to the Shadow Thief assassin near the exit and the Imoen Cowled Wizards capture). Admittedly I only did it for Garrick (including a "I'm leaving you because I didn't sign up for this " dialogue, 24 hours post escape), Yeslick, Shar-Teel, Coran and Faldorn, but it wasn't so bad. I'd never dream that anyone would be mad enough to write gods know how many fully-fleshed out NPCs. I don't even think that would work thematically anyway. I can't imagine Garrick, Alora or Skie becoming world-shattering ToB level heroes.

    Regarding the original cage people, I think it'd be just easier to just leave them out completely if they weren't part of the party. Same with Viconia and Edwin. No point fixing what ain't broken.

  • BambiBambi Member Posts: 4

    oh if you want characters that leave you in or after the dungeon would that be in my opinion Xzar, Montaron, Faldorn, Garrick, Coran, Eldoth and if you play a man Shar-Teel .
    Viconia, Edwin, Quayle, Tiax and Safana would be willing to go along but might be upset about the situation ;) .
    but you are right one feels obliged to take Jaheira and Minsc with you.
    I also always feel obliged to take Imoen with me, she is the half-sister and has been there from the start.
    it would be great to take other NPCs with you without regrets

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 922
    Balrog99 wrote: »
    Alora would be the only logical choice and she isn't used by many people - the other thieves are accounted for already.

    I always hated that Alora only showed up late in the game, by which point most people already had a party built up. She is actually a cool NPC, and a solid thief, but practically pointless by the time you meet her in Baldur's Gate. This is one reason I installed a mod to move the NPCs so that they would be available early on.

    It's a shame, because I wouldn't mind seeing her as an NPC companion in BG2.

    Balrog99
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