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 thinkTortured & killed
: Eldoth, Ajantis, Alora, QuayleAbandon you after escaping
: Garrick, Coran, Faldorn, Skie, Kaigan, SafanaStick 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, YeslickAlready 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