I'm gonna say Sirene. She feels believable as a tiefling paladin. Her struggles mirror charnames extremely well, without overshadowing them. This also means that she fits in extremely well within the series as a whole as well (barring one minor instantce of tone shift). I think I might have a weakness for well-written paladins.
That’s funny because I feel Sirene-BG1 is my worst writing, where her character feels inconsistent because I personally wasn’t sure of what direction to take at the time, though that’s to be expected from my first released work. When I think of people using that mod and get their first impression of my work I cringe. I’m much more comfortable with her SoD and BG2 writing.
I think Aura’s probably my personal favorite work so far.
I'm taking all of Sirene into account (BG1+SoD+BG2) and the writing does get stronger. This is a personal thing for me, but I put a lot of weight on themes, and internal consistency when it comes to writing, and Sirene does very well in those regards, ESPECIALLY the themes.
I am really liking Aura, but due to game updates, and changing mod loadouts, I have yet to reach Baldur's Gate with her, despite starting about a dozen games with her. When I get everything sussed out (waiting on a certain mod update right now) I'll finish that run. Only then will I really feel comfortable judging her.
I've not been in BG2 in a while so can't comment on that content but overall I would have to say it is the 'future' of the Shadow Magic mod. It's very good now and keeps getting better. We have a whole new and different form of magic, encounters, items, a different type of familiar to name a few things about it. Kryn gives recognition and special access to Shadow Weave users which is nice. I am really looking forward to your work on other NPC's making comments to a PC that is a SW user themselves. It's little touches such as those that will really make it stand out for me. We also have NPC's that can join a party in the making, not to mention a SW specific area in the works. It all adds up to the total package in my view. I also give special mention to the Hivemaster, as your newest changes from when I first played the class really made a difference. As for your work on bards, your making summons able to follow me INTO other entrances was a real surprise and a great addition. I would have to say Drake has been my favorite NPC in BG so far. He is very likeable in the fact that he doesn't mind doing his priest thing in his own style. In other words, he does not seem like your usual priest of what I imagine that order would look or act like, which is great. I always play with your house rules pack as well, as it adds some little (but great) things that makes play flow a little better than the original.
That's alot but there is almost too much to say in a short space here. So great stuff, but improving all the time. Thanks. :)
Big fan of Shadow Magic, both in terms of theme and implementation. It's well written, fairly balanced and adds an interesting take on the classes involved. It also seems to address at least two rather long-standing issues:
1. Charname as a mage, no matter the specialization, has always had a difficult time measuring up to Edwin as there's just not much you can do to attain the same advantages he has. There were already several points weighing against the idea of creating a single-class wizard as your main character, and this was one more.
2. The lack of significant impact of stats on arcane casting.
I've also checked out Aura, though I have to admit I just ripped out the alchemy and automaton-parts (which are also very well-made) and adjusted them to fit the main character instead, to allow for Charname to become something of a tinkerer. This is in no way a complaint towards Aura herself; I just personally feel a bigger need for interesting and innovative game mechanics, themes and abilities to explore rather than more NPCs. And while there are a lot of mod NPCs available, the market for making your Charname something unique is a lot more sparse.
Almost forgot, I also enjoy the Rashemi berserker kit for Minsc. In days past I often changed him into a pure berserker as I find it a more accurate match for his personality than the pure ranger, but this is even better. Well made over all, and nice idea with the bearskin.
I'll double down on the Rashemi Berserker mod. I really like it for the theme it adds to Minsc and for the great armor : it's good, but not op. I did took out a bit of those higher level bonuses of the kit, because I think they're too much, but kept Mighty Blow, the Rage and the Tireless Rage ability. Rage is such a strong skill that in itself is enough for a class and, with Mastery in melee weapons, it's more than enough to make Minsc shine.
For npcs, I do also like Sirene. A tielfing paladin is good idea, and her inner conflicts are well rendered. Really like her. Drake seems also interesting. I tried him for a quick while just to see what he's like and so far so good. It's just that I'm now in an evil playthrough, so there's no place for him. He's on my list for my next good playthrough, though.
I would like to try Aura too, but she's not on the BWS list of mods. Is that because Alien is working on a new tool ? Because otherwise, she'd be on every install I make. I personally find her concept really interesting. I can't wait to try her.
I personally think that you're a very, very good modder : the quality of your mods is definitively something to be respected. If I have a small constructive criticism, it's that sometimes the abilities you give to your npcs are just a bit too strong. But it's nothing too bad, because I know enough about modding to make the small tweaks I want. However, your npcs are well written and thematically original and coherent. That's the sign of quality mods, in my opinion.
Whenever I write something (I like writing stories), I just have myself get immersed in the world, and "let things happen". Of course, being the creator of your own tale, you have complete control over everyone's fate, but it feels nice getting lost inside a world or inside a character and let everything happen spontaneously. No plans, no plots, just an intuitive progression... and anything may happen... And sometimes you feel amazed at the final result, and wonder at the mysterious force that shaped out the events...
Just enjoy the process of writing. Don't worry if the result would be good or bad. :)
Sometimes, it helps to just start writing anything. Anything at all. once you feel like you are getting into that, you can try to go back to what you were having trouble with before. I also sometimes find it helps to read something like what you are writing, maybe spark off some ideas. I mean, everybody writes differently, but both sometimes help me.