Hello! I started playing BG:EE a week or so ago. I just finished Nashkel Mines and the Bandit Camp - I rushed from the Mines to the Bandit Camp to keep Kivan from storming off. Now that things have settled down, I've been thinking about trying out some different party members. In RPGs I like to use all companions more or less equally so I can experience the widest variety of gameplay, but I hesitate to do so in Baldur's Gate.
Firstly, I hear that companions don't level outside of your party. A Garrick abandoned at level 1 will still be level 1 when you return with a level 8 party. And secondly, it just seems like so much of a headache having to worry about more than six characters. Swapping gear around, having to get new gear because the new guy is some weird new class that uses weird new weapons...
My current group is the main character (fighter/thief), Imoen, Khalid, Jaheira, Neera, and Kivan. I like them all, personality-wise, though if it were possible I would drop Khalid off in some garden and tell him to just relax.
So I like my party, but I also don't want to miss out on some of the better (gameplay and plot wise) good-aligned characters. So I guess I don't really have a question, I'm just venting about my inability to make up my mind - do I keep my cozy, familiar party or do I throw caution to the wind and replace them with a bunch of new faces? Maybe I can strike a balance and just replace one or two of my party members, keeping the core intact. I hear Minsc is a riot. Any suggestions about who should stay, who should go, and who should join?