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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.
25%
sarevok57HaHaCharadeNimranOlvynChuruDerpCityZaxaresTrauerweide 7 votes
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.
14%
deltagosemiticgoddessAdam_en_tiumSyndaree 4 votes
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.
11%
FlashburnNoonkanisatha 3 votes
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..
29%
Permidion_StarkSharsekNeverusedleeuxAerakarDragonKingSkatanCabal82 8 votes
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.
0%
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.
18%
Fina92DJKajuruThacoBellQuickbladeIsewein 5 votes
Permidion_StarkJuliusBorisovSkatanAerakar

Comments

  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 4,844
    edited August 2019
    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..
    @polymorphedsquirrel
    You've posted this on the NWN:EE board and I think you were aiming for the Baldur's Gate or General Discussion boards. To save confusion it might be worth contacting one of the moderators to ask them to move it.

    JuliusBorisov
  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,300
    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.
    In BG I like to plan what party I'll have around before I even start playing, so I can have interesting interactions and , though in BG1 I don't think it's mandatory, romances. I don't mind changing npcs during the game (sometimes I even plan on doing so at different chapters) and I usually save a spot in the party for npcs who have their own quests.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 22,017
    Moved to the proper section.

    Permidion_Starkpolymorphedsquirrel
  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 4,844
    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 tend to play BG1 more than BG2 and I like the way the party interactions work there. I'm not keen on romances and generally avoid them.

    I always have Imoen in my party (BG isn't BG without Imoen) and then plan to try different NPCs but somehow I always end up with the same old faces (Alora, Edwin, Kagain, Branwen). However, I do like it when NPCs argue among themselves and really enjoy it when Xzar and Montaron and Jaheira and Khalid have a set to. I also enjoy listening to Viconia and Kivan bicker with one another.

    gorgonzolaAerakar
  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 5,343
    edited August 2019
    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..
    After playing the game a hundred times, NPCs are mostly packrats and/or there to gain access to their quests and items (Dorn for elven chainmail, Neera for the second stoneskin scroll etc). I might keep one or two through the game (I like to have Garrick sing to me), but most times I clear the map solo and then ctrl-j the group to the edge before I exit ("You must gather.. ").

    Rasaad and Neera I have never used for real. Both gives me access to amazing loot though and I don't think I have ever even bothered to give them items or level them up other than to increase their HP. This is primarily in BG1. In BG2 I'm usually less greedy since overall there's more loot to be found without the EE NPCs. I still like part of Neera's questline (except the cats. I. Hate. The. Cats.). Rushing into the red wizards and killing everyone is always enjoyable. Neera herself usually stands around in a corner alone though, heh..

    Edit: Btw, your idea is good. It can be annoying if you have a team in mind and suddenly one of them disappears and you have no replacement. It can be annoying if this same char has a skill you rely on (ie your thief or your only divine caster) but if there's a temporary or new permanent companion filling in for them with a similar skillset, that could be interresting indeed.

    The more I play RPGs the more I like NPCs to be characters of their own and less and less controlled by me. So having them disappear, coming and going as they wish and overall make actual choices themselves is much more appealing to me today than it used to be. Often though this can be based on the fact that I can solo the game and NPCs aren't really needed at all, thus I don't care if they go away or die (as long as they're not carrying 10 ankheg shells that I suddenly no longer can haul to the nearest vendor).

    polymorphedsquirrelAerakarPermidion_Stark
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,210
    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.
    Kind of a mix of each option. I have a concrete party in mind from the start, but I don't rush to recruit them. I like to limit metagaming so I do quests in the order that makes sense for my charname, who I roleplay. I pick up party members as I come accross them, and before having my team finalized, I'll rotate people in and out. Party banter is my favorite part of these games, and I pick my permanent party based on personality.

    Aerakar
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,833
    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 do experimental no-reload runs, so I essentially always plan out which characters I want to use in a party to address the particular challenge. I don't always recruit them at the start of the game, however, because some characters aren't needed early on, or aren't useful until they've gained a few levels.

    A non-RP, powergaming-oriented strategy for BG1, for example, might involve soloing the game until Charname hits 10,000 XP, then grabbing Baeloth to nuke your way through the Nashkel mines, and eventually recruiting a bunch of characters once you hit 32,000 XP, at which point joinable NPCs will enter the party already at 32 grand each.

    gorgonzola
  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 1,262
    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'm a little from Column A, D and F. I generally start playthroughs with a specific party composition in mind and will generally stick with the same group of companions throughout the entire game. However, I'm also a completionist gamer and so I will cycle through as many companions as it takes to complete their side-quests, although I frequently abandon my non-chosen party member as soon as their business is concluded. (Despite that, unlike Skatan above, I will frequently keep all these companions in a central area and return to them regularly to upgrade their gear. In my current ToB playthrough, whenever I find a new magic item that doesn't have a use for my twinked out killing machines, it finds a home on one of the other companions that I'm not bringing along.)

    All that said, I DO like my party members to come across like real people that have their own goals, motivations etc. Party mechanic requirements aside, I usually will try to form a party that I feel would actually travel together and get along well. That's why my current ToB party consists of myself (LG Mage), Imoen, Aerie, Jaheira and a reformed Sarevok and Viconia (I'm just SO saintly I brought them around. ;) It doesn't hurt that they're both extremely powerful characters, of course.)

    gorgonzola
  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 7,810
    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.
    So it’s a kinda of a combination of a few of these options really:

    Baldur’s Gate: I usually have a party in mind when playing a character, but may get bored of a NPC halfway through and switch them out for someone who I know is close.

    SoD: Since a majority of the NPC are close together in recruitment, I tend to pick a party and stick with it. This also still has to do with the newness of the expansion and not trying all possible character combinations yet. Currently it is Edwin, Viconia, Baeloth, Safana and Dorn (actually, I am mulling about in the first crypt. That’s what is planned).

    Baldur’s Gate 2: I pick a party of 5 and rotate the 6th NPC to do personal quests. My next play though (which is in SoD ATM) will have Edwin, Viconia, Yoshimo/Imoen, and Mazzy.

    Aerakar
  • DragonKingDragonKing Member Posts: 1,921
    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'm a simple man with a simple plan. Hit them with a spell, if they survive than they are on my team.

    Balrog99polymorphedsquirrel
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 7,186
    DragonKing wrote: »
    I'm a simple man with a simple plan. Hit them with a spell, if they survive than they are on my team.

    Well there's a good chance they'll survive if you cast 'detect evil'... ;)

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