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Single Best Mod NPC? Suggestions?

In honor of BG3 news coming out recently, and current events keeping me in my apartment, I've booted my BG2EE back up and started killing my time with different permutations of the game.

The next one I want to do is what I'm calling a "maximum plot party". One consistent party (except for Imoen shenanigans, leaving space for required cameos for certain plot-lines like Valygar, Neera, or Rasaad) with a party that's either as tightly knit as I can manage, or filled with fun interactions, preferably both.

The one rule here is only one mod-introduced party member. This does not include mods that augment BG2EE characters (like Wilson, Bear Paragon or the NPC Flirt and Banter Packs). It's really hard to get good party interaction with multiple Mod NPCs, as they tend to ignore each other for the most part, but one can serve as the glue and the spice that makes everything else work.

The question is, does anyone have any suggestions on the NPC? It doesn't need to be a romanceable character, just one that adds a lot to the story and really brings a party together.

Isewein

Comments

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 1,049
    I'd vote for Sirene, though Kelsey and Isra would also be solid choices.

    ilduderino
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 942
    Sirene or Isra would be my choices as well. It's really a tough call between them, as they are both very well done.

    Isra probably has the more interesting side-quest, and she gets turn undead (though at the reduced Paladin level). She also is one of the more unique character types, exploring one of the lesser known faiths.

    However, once she gets Carsomyr, Sirene becomes a siege engine all on her own - and she actually becomes a very nice NPC companion one you get through her tough shell. You do miss out on all but the most essential divine magic (she has four innate abilities), but she can tank with the best of them.

    I haven taken both from BG1 to BG2 (haven't made it to ToB yet) and I now consider them essential party members.

    megamike15
  • CalemyrCalemyr Member Posts: 238
    Kelsey... huh. Haven't played the old merchant mage in a long time. Long before the EE versions, that's for sure. Has there been any new content with him, or just compatibility upgrades? I might break the rule just so Imoen has someone else to tease.

    I've taken both of the Paladins up to Spellhold, but not further. Both are excellent. Other ones I really liked were Sheena and Tyris Flare. Honestly, Sheena is awesome with her dragon form and would be my go-to if she weren't SoA-only and her romance didn't leave her life-linked and low CON.

  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 749
    edited June 2020
    Maurvir wrote: »
    However, once she gets Carsomyr, Sirene becomes a siege engine all on her own - and she actually becomes a very nice NPC companion one you get through her tough shell. You do miss out on all but the most essential divine magic (she has four innate abilities), but she can tank with the best of them

    I think Sirene can use paladin spells but cannot turn undead or use ranged weapons.

    https://artisans-corner.com/sirene-npc-for-bgee-and-bgsod/

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 942
    edited June 2020
    In the version I have installed, her magic button is grayed out. However, she has as innate abilities Detect Evil, Dispel Magic, Protection from Evil, and True Seeing. She can't turn undead, but she can used ranged weapons - she currently has the Giant Hair Crossbow +3 equipped with a Case of Plenty +2.

    That said, I believe you get a couple of options for which kit she uses. I believe I selected inquisitor instead of martyr.

  • CalemyrCalemyr Member Posts: 238
    Yep. When you install her you can pick any of the four kits (including generic). There's also the option of Divine Champion, which trades Spellcasting and Turn Undead for an alignment agnostic kit with divine rage and 4-pip specialization in any weapon. I think that's what I'll be doing.

  • IseweinIsewein Member Posts: 400
    If you care most about availability through the whole trilogy, Xan and Isra should be the best candidates. Both have terrific writing, seamless integration and lots of content. In terms of maximum plot engagement, you might also want to consider some guest stars such as Xulaye or Iylos, which are tightly tied to their respective main plot sections and make them feel more involved.

    ilduderinoborntodiemegamike15
  • CalemyrCalemyr Member Posts: 238
    I don't know much about Xulaye or Iylos. Looking up on them, however, they seem to be "window" characters, only viable for a small section of the plot and frustratingly during points where there's a lot of competition.

    I don't know if I'm really interested in doing the entire trilogy over yet again. BG1 is pretty dull and requires heavy modding to be interesting, while SoD is a frustrating shaggy dog story where the adventure is built on a lie, the resolution is unsatisfying, and the conclusion manages to be even more blatantly railroad-y than a pre-sequel like this would naturally require. Only saving graces SoD offers are Corwin and M'khiin, and they are not so much as mentioned in post 2.0 BG2EE. As such, I tend to just use EEKeeper to augment my BG2EE character as if I'd gone through them again (250k XP, stat boosts from the books, golden pantaloons). I might do so if the character is worth it.

  • SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,555
    Calemyr wrote: »
    The question is, does anyone have any suggestions on the NPC? It doesn't need to be a romanceable character, just one that adds a lot to the story and really brings a party together.

    If you ARE willing and able to romance an NPC, I would highly recommend FADE. Her mod adds a LOT of content and dialogue to quests like the Guarded compound, the Underdark, Firkraag's dungeon, and the Bodhi abduction. She also makes for a highly efficient backstabber, especially if you choose the option to maker her a shadowdancer.

    A few words of warning though:
    -I don't know how much of said content would still be available if you don't romance her.
    -She doesn't become available until Chapt. 3, and you MUST side with the Shadow Thieves in order to get her.

  • SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,555
    edited August 2020
    Maurvir wrote: »
    In the version I have installed, her magic button is grayed out. However, she has as innate abilities Detect Evil, Dispel Magic, Protection from Evil, and True Seeing. She can't turn undead, but she can used ranged weapons - she currently has the Giant Hair Crossbow +3 equipped with a Case of Plenty +2.

    That said, I believe you get a couple of options for which kit she uses. I believe I selected inquisitor instead of martyr.

    There's been a few updates to the mod that have changed her base kit as well as other options for what to install her as.

    This was the description of her kit when I played her:
    yxsf1nlpa1e7.bmp
    1oxj4r3o8714.bmp

  • rainsprenrainspren Member Posts: 1
    Adrian has become a staple member of my play-throughs and is very well-written if you're looking for a sorcerer/mage companion. I would definitely second Isra as well.

    Faren wasn't bad either, but wouldn't be my first choice.

  • minsc4prezminsc4prez Member Posts: 105
    edited August 2020
    My favorites are Xan and Solafein, although Solafein is extremely broken gameplay wise.

  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 1,985
    minsc4prez wrote: »
    My favorites are Xan and Solafein, although Solafein is extremely broken gameplay wise.

    @minsc4prez I guess you mean Weimer's Solaufein (not mine), and it's "broken" because Weimer's mod wasn't converted to EE yet.

  • minsc4prezminsc4prez Member Posts: 105
    jastey wrote: »
    minsc4prez wrote: »
    My favorites are Xan and Solafein, although Solafein is extremely broken gameplay wise.

    @minsc4prez I guess you mean Weimer's Solaufein (not mine), and it's "broken" because Weimer's mod wasn't converted to EE yet.

    nah it works in EE, its just broken because Solaufein is overpowered af. Like he just destroys everything in his path and any sense of challenge goes out the window. But God help you if Bodhi gets him lol

  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 1,140
    edited August 2020
    I am fond of Kivan in BG2. He’s not right about everything like some npcs for one thing.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,009
    Aura is one of my favorites, but doesn't have BG2 content yet. An interesting unique kit that offers a lot of utility and some of the best npc writing really makes her stand out.

    Clara from the "All things Mazzy" mod was surprisingly good imo. The mod lets you kill Hexxat and revive Clara, and she can join you. She starts at a really low level (3), and the party basically acts as mentors to her. She has dialogues with everyone but Wilson (so far) where different party members reach her different things. These interactions give her better stats and some special abilities. As far as I know, there isn't another NPC that has this dynamic.

    megamike15
  • borntodieborntodie Member Posts: 199
    Lots of interesting suggestions. Thanks to this thread I have tried both Isra and Sirene, both are really nice additions to the game. Isra is thoroughly unoffensive and stylish. With Sirene I found the bg2 art adorable, but she is a little too insecure to my taste.

    Next on my list to try will be the Angelo mod.

    SharGuidesMyHand
  • SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,555
    edited August 2020
    borntodie wrote: »
    Next on my list to try will be the Angelo mod.

    This is a MUST install mod for anyone.

    Aside from the fact that Angelo himself is a colorful character, he also offers you a VERY useful item when you meet him (which you can keep even if you don't let him in) AND it installs a pair of merchants in the Temple District who sell some very useful stuff as well.

    Post edited by SharGuidesMyHand on
  • SkitiaSkitia Member Posts: 704
    edited August 2020
    I need to try Isra when I have time to actually play again and not "mod-play" (Which is going around with godbows to find NPC names for writing interjection lines, or jumping from area-to-area to test triggers.)

    Angelo too, though not for his item. I remember reading his first meeting introduction and I was already hooked, and the writing was great.

    Sirene is mentioned, and I already read a lot of her writing and always been a fan of the mod author, especially their skill with technical mechanics in classes. A good choice if you've played her BG1 with her for the complete playthrough experience.

    Kelsey is a good pick from older mod choices. But it is also an older mod, and I find the character a bit uninteresting compared to others.

    I don't like normal Clara, so it's hard for me to recommend the opportunity to use her from All Things Mazzy. But if you've wanted to explore more of the character through another author's vision, it could be another choice. I don't like all the mods writing, situations, or content choices but the writing excels when handling character to character banter, and probably has some of the best I've seen.

    One day I'll write a full review for some of these mods.

    Personally though, I'd pick an original character over an expanded old/new character for a single NPC mod slot, just for the experience.

    One solution to multiple Mod NPCs is to find mods from the same author, as they tend to have crossmod with eachother. But I actually agree with a mix as well for SoD/BG2. For BG1 I would probably lean to an all custom NPC mod party.

    ThacoBell
  • SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,555
    Skitia wrote: »
    I need to try Isra when I have time to actually play again and not "mod-play"

    Be advised that if you intend to romance Isra, there's a LOT of requirements - good alignment only, at least 13 char, and a high rep that you need to keep building higher, just off the top of my head.

    She'll romance a character of either gender, though.

  • SkitiaSkitia Member Posts: 704
    Interesting. I will have to see how that rep requirement works when I get a chance to look at their code.

  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 2,630
    if i remember right isra's romance does not really start until 2. bg 1 is just a friendship track.

    SharGuidesMyHand
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,009
    @Skitia "I don't like all the mods writing, situations, or content choices but the writing excels when handling character to character banter, and probably has some of the best I've seen"

    Agreed. There's a bit of cringy homebrew stuff pulled off a wiki for some halfing, uh, "racial behaviour".

  • SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,555
    megamike15 wrote: »
    if i remember right isra's romance does not really start until 2. bg 1 is just a friendship track.

    This is what I've heard too. Same is true of Sirene I believe.

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 942
    You can flirt with both of them in BG1, but it never blooms into a true romance until BG2.

  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 2,630
    megamike15 wrote: »
    if i remember right isra's romance does not really start until 2. bg 1 is just a friendship track.

    This is what I've heard too. Same is true of Sirene I believe.

    sirene's starts in sod.

    DanacmThacoBell
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