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Your favorite NPC for personality alone? + NPC mods discussion

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  • QuartzQuartz Member Posts: 3,851

    *crosses fingers it's a female chaotic good dwarven skald*

    Wrong gender wrong alignment wrong race wrong subclass. Nice try though! I'm done now :P

    Yeah Khalid and Jaheira are probably the most realistic characters in BG1. I appreciate that about them. I'll be honest, their dynamic as a couple makes me cringe, but that is also realistic!

    NonnahswriterCaptRory
  • NonnahswriterNonnahswriter Member Posts: 2,520
    Quartz said:

    *crosses fingers it's a female chaotic good dwarven skald*

    Wrong gender wrong alignment wrong race wrong subclass. Nice try though! I'm done now :P
    Drat! *snaps fingers*

    Can't blame a gal for trying. :P

    QuartzCaptRory
  • TuthTuth Member Posts: 233
    That's an amazing idea for a mod and I must agree that I'm always worried about such mods that some of the dialogues would be forced, too romance-esque, or generally show the character differently than I imagine him/her to be.

    Anyway, the two NPCs that have not been mentioned that I really like and are polar opposites:

    - Montaron. Yes, Xzar is much more fun out of the duo, but something about that psychotic halfling is truly fascinating to me. One thing is that his theme is reversed to the usual easy-going presentation of his race (almost like many characters in Planescape: Torment are reversed and twisted e.g. Fall-From-Grace). His backstory is shrouded with mistery and it seems he'll not share it with anyone. Even though he shouts about rivers running red, some other of his quotes caught my attention. When you choose him as a leader, he actually says that he prefers to work alone, similarly when you select him many times, he says that he likes to be alone. This is quite surprising, given that he's working with Xzar and won't leave him. Obviously these two are forced to work together, but when you only have Montaron while talking with Niemain (in Sorcerous Sundries) he says that the halfling is not important compared to Xzar. This leads me to the question: why do they need him then? Maybe as a quiet assassin, or Xzar's bodyguard (even though he would like to murder him AND Charname, if he'd ask too many questions).

    - Ajantis. A squire paladin, young and naive, but values honour and justice. Seems like he's yet to experience some of the more cruel and ambiguous chocies in life and it would be interesting to see whether it would enforce his devotion, or cause some doubts in him e.g. when he finds out about Charname's heritage. As he is though, he's the kind of character that would inspire those that are in a bad spot, looking for the light no matter how grim the situation. I always root for those that are fighting in an uphill battle and Ajantis seems to me like the one would not give up, no matter what. He would stand up for the weak and for the justice and I respect such attitude, even though that is not such an easy task (some Vhailor vibe here).

    These are my interpretations/explanations of the characters that I find the most enjoyable in Baldur's Gate and agree with @typo_tilly that "memorable" doesn't mean having a lot interaction/dialogue.

    JuliusBorisovQuartz
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,811
    I can also suggest looking on this discussion: http://forum.baldursgate.com/discussion/32439/what-would-you-like-to-see-in-an-npc-mod#latest I also think that @Ravenslight can share her thoughts based on the information she gathered during that and other discussions: the thoughts that can be helpful while making a BG1 NPC.

    Quartz
  • SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,498
    Quartz said:



    Should I just go along with the BG1 NPC project, assuming most people who will download my NPC mod will have that installed as well? (I must admit I don't like the idea of leaving "vanilla" players in the dark.)

    I wouldn't make that assumption if I were you - if anyone else here is (unfortunate enough to be) like me, then they like for one or two characters to spice things up with extra dialogue, while still allowing the majority of the NPCs to remain somewhat shrouded in mystery.

    Speaking personally, my suggestion for a "happy medium" would be to make any interactions brief and superficial, without attempting to add depth, enlightenment, or perspective to them (i.e.: don't have Shar-Teel open up with intimate details about her upbringing, or Kivan or Xan suddenly decide that they want to enjoy life again) - just stick to what the characters actually show. Also, be careful not to insert your own interpretations of the characters into the dialogues - for example, don't portray an NPC as an idiot because that's how you interpret them, if it isn't already clearly shown in the game.

    QuartzMortiannatypo_tillyNihilus
  • shawneshawne Member Posts: 3,239
    edited April 2015
    One thing you may want to take into consideration - and, I believe, the main reason BG1NPC is as popular as it is - is the mod was meant to bring BG1 up to the level of BG2 in terms of characterization and depth. When you're playing the series straight through (as many do), that provides a sense of consistency, especially if you're using EE characters who have more banters and personal quests in the first game than any other NPC.

    AstroBryGuy
  • QuartzQuartz Member Posts: 3,851
    edited April 2015
    @bengoshi Yeah, that thread is mighty helpful. I stalked it a lot when @Ravenslight brought it into existence. I should probably review it, frankly. Thanks for posting it.

    I wouldn't make that assumption if I were you - if anyone else here is (unfortunate enough to be) like me, then they like for one or two characters to spice things up with extra dialogue, while still allowing the majority of the NPCs to remain somewhat shrouded in mystery.

    Yes, well, truth be known, I'm like you.

    Speaking personally, my suggestion for a "happy medium" would be to make any interactions brief and superficial, without attempting to add depth, enlightenment, or perspective to them (i.e.: don't have Shar-Teel open up with intimate details about her upbringing, or Kivan or Xan suddenly decide that they want to enjoy life again) - just stick to what the characters actually show. Also, be careful not to insert your own interpretations of the characters into the dialogues - for example, don't portray an NPC as an idiot because that's how you interpret them, if it isn't already clearly shown in the game.

    This is very good advice. Thank you.
    shawne said:

    One thing you may want to take into consideration - and, I believe, the main reason BG1NPC is as popular as it is - is the mod was meant to bring BG1 up to the level of BG2 in terms of characterization and depth. When you're playing the series straight through (as many do), that provides a sense of consistency, especially if you're using EE characters who have more banters and personal quests in the first game than any other NPC.

    At the risk of going too far off-topic … Yes, thank you for bringing that to my attention. However, BG1 and BGII are different games in almost every way besides gameplay. The stylization, characterization, and even plot development patterns are all completely different … even with the NPCs that are in both games -- sure, they are the same basic characters, but the methods in which their stories are unfolded are entirely different. I intend to respect that difference between games, because I appreciate both BG1 and BGII, not just one or the other. Bluntly put, I have no desire to create a Neera or a Dorn, who feel like fish out of water.

    JuliusBorisovtypo_tillyMortianna
  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,611
    @bengoshi
    What, you want words of wisdom from me? (chuckles) I’m just fumbling through this like Quartz is. But here are my thoughts.

    @Quartz
    As you can tell from the posts that you have already received within this thread, not everyone sees the NPCs in exactly the same way. Nor does everyone agree on how much, or what kind of interactions they like added to the game. So, if your goal is to please everyone, your task will be tricky indeed. :) There does seem to be a general overall consensus regarding the NPC’s personalities, which can be helpful. But it is inevitable that your take on one of them won’t match every other players interpretation. I have seen discussions more than once where a player didn’t like how one of their favorite NPCs were handed in the very popular, BGI NPC project.

    Personally, I think it is very important to take into consideration how the NPC you are creating sees the other NPCs. How does he perceive them? Just as not everyone here on the forums sees the individual NPCs the same way, your NPC will have perceptions of his own. How he reacts to them will be colored by his own personality and past life experiences.

    The way I am going about it is to keep the generally accepted personalities in mind, but try to see them through the eyes of my mod NPC. What would he think. What would he want to say to them. Would he have anything to say to them? Would he avoid contact with them or confront them. Look up to them, become friends, or simply accept an uneasy truce with them while he follows the protagonist. From there, I just let it happen.

    Try having your NPC start a conversation about something he would want to talk about, and then with the general personality of the other NPC in mind it’s not as hard to figure out what they would say in return.

    Unless you are trying to expand the other NPCs personalities, like the BGI NPC project does, your focus only needs to be on your own NPC, with the game NPCs reacting to him based on their general personalities.

    The only other thing that I personally feel is important is to try to not let your own personal perceptions of an NPC end up showing that NPC in a bad light. Especially if you don’t personally like that NPC.

    As far as wondering whether most players will be using the BGI NPC project at the same time as your mod, I personally am assuming that the majority of players will be.

    QuartzNonnahswriterJuliusBorisov
  • shawneshawne Member Posts: 3,239
    edited April 2015
    Quartz said:

    At the risk of going too far off-topic … Yes, thank you for bringing that to my attention. However, BG1 and BGII are different games in almost every way besides gameplay. The stylization, characterization, and even plot development patterns are all completely different … even with the NPCs that are in both games -- sure, they are the same basic characters, but the methods in which their stories are unfolded are entirely different.

    Those were technological limitations, though, not artistic choices. BG1 characterizes by inference because it had to, so all you really have to go on are the character's background profile, what they say when they join you and a handful of stray one-liners (ie: Xan finding Eldoth distasteful). If that's the standard you want to stick to, more power to you; just keep in mind that that approach invites ambiguity and multiple interpretations (as you can see in this very thread).

    Post edited by shawne on
  • QuartzQuartz Member Posts: 3,851
    shawne said:

    Those were technological limitations, though, not artistic choices. BG1 characterizes by inference because it had to

    Do you have any evidence for this claim? I'd be curious to know.

  • haniatri72haniatri72 Member Posts: 25
    Boo!
    No explanation necessary.

    MhamzaGrum
  • VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,417
    Alora!

    Alora is one of my favorite fictional characters of all time, let alone BG1.
    So a lot of what I'm about to say is what I've projected into Alora and not what's in game >_<

    She's derpy and adorable but still strong. Clearly she's been doing this thievery business for a long time and behind that ditzy smile is a genius. She may have low wisdom but it's offset by her actually pretty good intelligence. She uses her derp adorablness to get out of bad situations and play innocent all the while she's stealing everything she can. It's not even the money of selling whatever it is that matters; what matters is, "Can I steal it?" The question is not why she should do something but whether she can do something.

    Alora is great because she combines child-like wonder with high skill and cunning. With a Dex of 19 she's probably one of the most agile and most nimble person in the city of Baldur's Gate.

    Skill and cunning wrapped up in a facade of adorableness. <3

    She makes a great duo with my Val'myr character because they're both driven by whimsy. I always thought Alora should be Chaotic Neutral though.

    JuliusBorisovQuartz
  • QuartzQuartz Member Posts: 3,851
    Sweet Susan, an Alora fan. Perfect! PREPARE YOUR INBOX.

    VallmyrJuliusBorisovTuth
  • ArnaeusArnaeus Member Posts: 90
    1 tiax
    2 imoen
    3 virconia
    4 dorn
    Will have to consider who gets 5th

    Skatan
  • GoturalGotural Member Posts: 1,229
    Baeloth. I find his lines really fun and the voice acting is amazing.

    Quartztypo_tillyJuliusBorisov
  • QuartzQuartz Member Posts: 3,851
    edited April 2015
    @Gotural Honestly, Baeloth was my favorite addition to BG:EE, so I feel that. His existence was less jarring and less front and center stage than the other NPCs who seem to stick out like sore toes. Despite the fact that he very much desires to be front and center, he's just kind of pathetic. Funny stuff.

    Goturaltypo_tillyJuliusBorisovFenghoang
  • MhamzaMhamza Member Posts: 228
    Quartz said:

    @Gotural Honestly, Baeloth was my favorite addition to BG:EE, so I feel that. His existence was less jarring and less front and center stage than the other NPCs who seem to stick out like sore toes. Despite the fact that he very much desires to be front and center, he's just kind of pathetic. Funny stuff.

    Agreed. Shame that he wasn't in BG2. I would have at least liked to see him in Ust Natha, trying to promote his latest business venture.

    QuartzGoturaltypo_tillyJuliusBorisov
  • shawneshawne Member Posts: 3,239
    Mhamza said:

    Agreed. Shame that he wasn't in BG2. I would have at least liked to see him in Ust Natha, trying to promote his latest business venture.

    While I understand the argument that by chapter 5 you're probably not looking to change the makeup of your party (especially if you had Yoshimo before going to Spellhold, and had to take Imoen as a default replacement) - the Underdark really, really needs at least one recruitable NPC. Solaufein, Baeloth, a svirfneblin or duergar...

    Quartzhowmanyhours
  • typo_tillytypo_tilly Member Posts: 5,702
    edited June 2015
    It's the way I would go about it. Less jarring, absolutely.

    And I'd honestly count the number of lines per vanilla NPC and the type of lines (eg. 1 line for happy, 1 for dungeons, 1 for cities). Then I'd base any new NPC in BG1 around that range. Same for BG2's ranges, if I was bringing the NPC into BG2.

    QuartzCrevsDaak
  • TuthTuth Member Posts: 233
    I'm very happy about the route that you've chosen and I would gladly play with your mod as opposed to the BG1 NPC, which as you said feels like a medicore fan fiction. It's more about quality and not about quantity of dialogues. Can't wait to try this out on vanilla BG.

    QuartzCrevsDaak
  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 5,129
    I had completely missed this thread. Browsing through it I saw only one other person voting for Tiax, so I just wanna add to the convo that I think Tiax is the most interresting NPC in the game. I have many times planned for doing a playthrough with Tiax as my CHARNAME, converting him to a player character and to be the baalspawn. Imagine Tiax in this role! It would be GLORIOUS! :smiley:

    QuartzCrevsDaakJuliusBorisovtypo_tilly
  • CrevsDaakCrevsDaak Member Posts: 7,152
    Tuth said:

    I'm very happy about the route that you've chosen and I would gladly play with your mod as opposed to the BG1 NPC, which as you said feels like a medicore fan fiction. It's more about quality and not about quantity of dialogues. Can't wait to try this out on vanilla BG.

    *IF* I can get it to run in the original BG... It's a totally different port, and implies lots of work, but yeah, I also wanted to make it run in BG. Maybe not originally but at some point compatibility could be added.
    Quartz said:

    The writing process is going very well as of late. Hopefully my dear friend @CrevsDaak can keep up with subsequent programming. (NO PRESSURE BRO)

    Heh, don't worry. I'll give it a go tomorrow ;) building dialogs is a pain in the a**.

    QuartzTuthJuliusBorisovtypo_tilly
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