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My own characters vs. characters in-game...?

I am very new to Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, and I have heard that the character situation is a bit different than Icewind Dale, as in its possible to make my own characters as well as recruit ones that I find in game. My question is.... how many characters should I make pre-game, and how many character slots should I leave open for characters found in game?


  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,437
    The "standard" style is to make one character - the Bhaalspawn. Every other party member will be someone you pick up along the way, from Imoen approaching you right out of Candlekeep to characters that you can't even meet until chapter 5. I've had some concepts that called for a second PC (like my werewolf run), but I've never gone beyond that.
    There are special perks that go only to the first character you create - abilities earned after the end of each chapter tied to that divine heritage. On the flip side, if that character ever dies, it's a game over. Other characters can die and be raised as many times as necessary.

    These recruitable NPCs interact with each other and have some of their own quest content - less so than in BG2, but there's still some. The EE characters (Dorn, Neera, Rasaad) have more quest content, including unique areas in the latter two cases.

    To make things a little easier on you, all NPCs you recruit in BGEE get a catch-up trigger on first joining, increasing their XP to 2000, 4000, 8000, 16000, or 32000 - whichever benchmark your protagonist has passed. You don't need to worry about new recruits falling too far behind the rest of the party.
    (Or, alternately, you could game the system and play solo up to 32K XP, then recruit a party and face the rest of the early content with a level advantage. Not recommended until you know more about where the easy XP is, but it's powerful.)

    It's also normal to trade characters in and out. Maybe you want to travel with Montaron and Xzar early on for safety, but you're uncomfortable with their evil and let them go in favor of Minsc once you reach Nashkel. Sure, go ahead and do that sort of thing. You can always pick them up again if you change your mind ... unless your reputation is too far out of whack with their alignment. Evil NPC recruits storm off if your reputation reaches 19 or more, generally leaving permanently. Good NPCs storm off if your reputation is 2 or less. Neutral NPCs storm off at reputation 1.
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 1,072
    edited November 2020
    I'd add that the characters you create in BG1 will generally be much more powerful than the ones you recruit in-game, mainly because you can cheese ultra-high physical stats like 18/00, 18, 18 on all your front-liners. And related to this, you can give everybody some fighter levels before dual-classing them to the class you actually want them to be (for example taking 5 levels of berserker before dualing to mage), which dramatically ramps up their hit points and APR compared to the joinable NPCs.
  • SelerelSelerel Member Posts: 130
    I agree with everything jmerry said. One of the great things of BG is switching up party compositions between playthroughs or during the same playthrough. NPCs also have some scripted interactions with each other, depending on which ones you keep in your group at the same time.

    Also worth noting, it is just as feasible as any other way (although left to experienced players) to play BG with 1 just one solo character. Other players will always have a full 6-person group. Personally I tend to average 4-5 total in my parties.

    I don't like the concept of the "canon" team, but it is indeed a concept, and it includes using:


    (More or less, this is the party that the game is "written" to be played with, mostly having to do with the opening scenes of BG2)
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