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What the good NPCs to SoA/ToB?

So I'm thinking of creating a team for SoA, with good or neutral alignment. I don't like to randomly recruit the NPC and then kick them out of the team. I think since I'm playing a role in the game, it's kind of weird to kick team members out of nowhere. I already find it annoying to have to expel Jaheira, even though I don't like the obligation the game "imposes" on her and Minsc. So I want to have a team right in mind. I leave two fixed spaces: Minsc and Neera. I've read a lot about Aerie, but my character's romance is with Neera. I wanted to see if there is any way and move her on the team without having to start a romance.

CHARNAME is a fighter



  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,009
    Mazzy, Keldorn, and Aerie are probably the most good npcs in the game. Aerie can be recruited without romancing her, but it can be tricky, as the game defaults to romance prgress and you have to actively end it. Either be kinda rude to Aerie early on, or you can kick her out of the party if she starts batting eyes at you. Then you can immediately re-recruit her, and the romance will be broken.

  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 741
    Mazzy is one of my favourite npcs.

    If you take Minsc and Neera then you could do with a thief, for a good and neutral party that means taking Yoshimo, Jan or Nalia. I would take Yoshimo as Nalia takes some micromanaging and I find Jan irritating and very unfunny. Yoshimo has some good story development.

    A healer would also be handy, this means Jaheira, Anomen, Aerie or Cernd for a good / neutral party. Any of these can work fine. Aerie is powerful, especially at higher levels, the only issues you may have with her are slow spell progression and you have to be horrible to her or drop her to stop the romance, so much so that often when I have no intention to romance her it still proceeds. So remember to kick her out and re-recruit. Cernd is dull and gets a lot of stick for a lack of power (somewhat unfairly perhaps). Anomen has a very painful personality but ends up being pretty powerful at least in SoA, I think he will flirt with Neera which may or may not irritate you. Jaheira can be very powerful, as she can tank, fight, heal, disrupt spellcasters and lots of other helpful things. She has lots of great story content and from
    memory it is easier to stop romancing her naturally than it is with Aerie (in fact her romance can break even if you want it to proceed).

    Keldorn deserves special mention for being a cool and powerful character but one that I rarely take permanently for story reasons (hard to talk about without spoilers and it is perfectly possible to take him along if you so wish). He is great against mages and Jaheira can fulfill a somewhat similar role.

    So you could go PC, Minsc, Mazzy, Neera, Yoshimo and Jaheira / Aerie / Anomen depending on your preference. Otherwise if you want a druid and a cleric or two clerics then sub out Mazzy to have two of Jaheira, Aerie and Anomen.

  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 1,041
    If you are playing a role, why do you not pick up the characters based on your impression of them, and possibly kick them out based on what they do or say while you are traveling with them?
    Other characters have very significant plot points for leaving your party (depending on how you do their personal quests).

  • PaiN_VIPaiN_VI Member Posts: 28
    @ilduderino I know about Keldorn, and I always let him go. It seems wrong and selfish to force him to stay in the party :D .

  • PaiN_VIPaiN_VI Member Posts: 28
    I've completed the game once, a long time ago, so don't be afraid to tell me some spoiler, unless it's from Aerie and Anomen. I'm thinking of taking this team: charname, Minsc, Rasaad, Jaheira, Yoshimo/Imoen and Neera.

  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 741
    Rasaad becomes a late trilogy powerhouse and he levels fast. I have taken him a few times and find him a bit bland now. You may need to plan around the lack of a cleric and have a game plan to deal with undead, how to deal with level drain etc. Make sure characters with anti level drain items lead into combat.

  • PaiN_VIPaiN_VI Member Posts: 28
    I changed the Protection Against Negative Plane time to be more (or near) useful. Now it has 1 turn. I also changed some spells based o Icewind Dale to make Jaheira no useless as a protector. Now she has remove fear and protection from evil i level 1, and hold person in level 2.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    thief: if you plan to use him only to open doors and find traps nalia is perfectly fine, if you don't have problems in swapping some rings.
    but if you want a real thief joshimo or jan are the way to go, backstabs, traps, later on detect illusions that reveals hidden enemies without the need of true sight spells...
    i would go for jan, if his personality does not annoy you, because he has items and shorty bonuses that make him as good as a sigle class, but is also a mage.

    healer: my healers are the potions, the regeneration items and the wand of resurrection, i think that the divine casters can do more useful things then heal, and anyway spells that heal are slow to cast so not reliable while in combat.
    jaheira (i have her DW with the speed scimitar in the OH) has the very useful insect spells, that prevent the casters (and dragons) from casting. she has also the iron skin that let her tank better.
    anomen is super strong as fighter as he has spells to get a fighter like thac0 and to rise the str up to 25, so he does not really suffer from dualing at low level, give him the flail of ages and a good OH weapon and he will be effective even in late TOB. this being basically also a single class cleric, so will make lesser undeads vampires and later even liches explode, he will also have high level divine spells, things like blade bareer or globe of blades to make him more effective fighting or damaging spells like harm that bring the enemy to 1hp or implosion.
    aerie, my beloved aerie, imo the most powerful npc, that can do wonders both casting and fighting if correctly used. see to get some tips on how to make her shine.

    neera: she rooks, she is possibly the ultimate caster in the game, if you know how to deal with a wild mage.
    because surges happen, not only when you use dwehomers, can happen also when she cast regular spells.
    and imo to reload if a bad surge happens is quite lame, it defeats the sense of playing a wild mage.
    that told i never had to reload using her, but only because i have a strict policy about how to use her.
    ie i NEVER use her to cast spells on the party and as soon as i can i use only her PI to cast at all.
    and i also keep the amount of gp at the minimum, as i have them i buy something and i keep all the valuable gems and items that i plan to sell. it is annoying to see all your money vanish for a surge...
    this way i can use dwehomers quite extensively, casting adhw (scroll got from fighting cowed wizards instead of paying the licence) early in chap 2 and dwehomers let you cast more spells in a single round way before you have access to improved alacrity.
    but having neera in the party mean that you count on the power of reload or that you have at least an other mage to cast those protection and haste spells on the party, you don't want to haste a fighter and get instead a bun helper...
    this is what in a party with neera make me find jan and aerie so interesting compared to other alternatives.

    mazzi and keldorn are very good and strong toons, she is a very good fighter and excel when ranged tactics are used, he has the super powerful dispel magic and can use a very special sword.
    but don't overlook haer dalis, that using 2 speed weapons and his spins can fight pretty good, even if is hungry of boosting equipment as lacks of a proper fighter's thac0. being an arcane caster, and having the defensive spin, he can be your better tank, defensive spin+stoneskin+mirror images and he can tank for a long time without damage. and he can haste himself as well as the other frontliners, with neera you need secondary mages. later on his improved song is a great buff for all the party.
    also valygar is a strong option if you opt for nalia or imoen as thief, as can cover the scouting and stabbing role, while you will probably equip minsc with an armor that don't let him hide.

    you have so many options but i like this one:
    charname, fighter (why not berseker?).
    neera, lover and main mage (super powerful but with some limitations as i told).
    minsc, probably is the weakest of them all, but you want him and after all is not bad, has his own power.
    jan, thief and support mage.
    aerie, can cover almost any role, arcane and divine caster, mixing the 2 magics in sequencers, mlee with he correct buffs, her arcane protections, fighter like thac0 (trough divine spells) and 25 str (+7 thac0 and 14 dmg bonus) trough buffs. and she is also a very good ranged support, with her buffs the melf minute meteors actually hit very often and the sling gets str damage bonus.
    anomen, undead killer (by explosion :) ), very strong fighter and high level divine caster at once.

    having both aerie and anomen in the party let you build crom, that can be used by charname or minsc, to have 3 people at 25 str in the same moment. a lot of mlee power as you have up to 4 toons that can crush skulls with no problem, and a lot of magic power as you have 3 arcane caster and 2 1/2 divine ones (rangers count only half :D ).

    jaheira can replace anomen in this setting and haer dalis can replace aerie.
    you should have almost no need to buff for the minor battles, but when you start to really do it....

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