Level 1 NPCs

A Gibberlings Three Mod
Authors: Multiple, see below
Project Lead: Nythrun
O
n the web: Home page and discussion forum

Version: Beta 7 - Check for the most recent version
Languages: English
Platforms: Windows and Mac OS X

Notes

Please completely uninstall previous versions before installing this version. PLEASE NOTE: Any NPC you've modified that's joined the party won't revert to normal upon uninstalling the mod: at that point they're permanently stored in the saved game rather than just afloat in the override. You must start a completely new game to make changes.

Components

Loosely based on Gebhart Blucher's "Alternate BG2 NPCs" mod from way back in the day, suggested for update by Azazello, supported by cmorgan and coded/made monstrous by Nythrun (hi there!).

Primary Component

This serves two purposes: the first is that it corrects creatures using the wrong .eff version, the second is that it allows you to "batch uninstall" all components you might have installed by uninstalling it. That's about it.

Optional: Tweak the weapon proficiency rules

When you're altering the joinable NPCs, this mod follows whatever rule set is in place. So if you want mages to be able to use crossbows, and you want Edwin to have to crossbow proficiency, you'll need to change the rules so that this mod will know what rules to follow. Most of the content here mirrors other mods and is presented as convenience, or as an alternative to the many mods that must be installed last.

You can:

Optional: Mod exported PCs

Currently deprecated as it's dangerous to uninstall. Brave users can, if they so desire, undeprecate it, change an exported PC, copy that PC elsewhere, and uninstall this component. Most people who'd consider doing that will probably use an editor like DLTCEP or NI instead :) Since I know of no method that will allow this work both correctly and unintrusively, for now it's staying unavailable.

Optional: Joinable NPCs more closely match the PCs experience

NPCs, upon joining, will have their XP total adjusted to something closer to the PC's. This component is new to the last beta, and I don't much like the implementation at this point. It'll be revised, eventually.

Optional: Mod an NPC

Pick one and go nuts. Or don't :)

Q&A

Q: So, what's this do, then?

A: You're offered a list of the NPCs who can join your party and share your kooky adventures. You can choose to tamper with some or all or none of them. Let's say you've chosen Minsc. You can assign him any class that a PC could have (Ranger Minsc! Fighter/Thief multi Minsc! Sorcerer... erm, Minsc!). After selecting a class, you can assign a kit (if you like). The list of kits you're offered is any kit that's installed in your game that the class you've chosen could select. Thus, if you've turned Minsc into a Fighter/Thief multi, you can give him any fighter kit or any thief kit (Berserker/Thief? No problem. Rather have Fighter/ Swashbuckler? No problem. Weimer's Anti-Paladin/Thief? Well, if you're sure....). Note: you can advance in only one kit at a time and cannot have two. This is hardcoded and will not be changed by this mod.

After, say, turning Minsc into a Berserker/Thief, you get to spend his forty thief skill points that he gets for first level. Put them all in Move Silently if you want to replicate his old ranger ways, or put them into Pickpockets and Detect Illusion if that's more fun. It's your game. Then you get to pick your starting weapon proficiencies. Lastly, if you're a Sorcerer you pick your two first level spells.

Now when you meet Minsc in game, whenever you meet Minsc in game, he'll be a level one Berserker/Thief - but while his level has been changed, his experience hasn't been. So when you meet him in Chateau Irenicus, you'll be able to immediately level him to whatever level his 89,000 experience would allot him, and reap all the usual benefits :)

Q: That sounds complicated and time consuming. Why didn't you just set the NPCs to level zero like I do with Shadowkeeper and skip this long sequence of selection menus?

A: Because leveling from zero to one doesn't give you the correct amount of thief skill points nor weapon proficiencies. If I'd done that, your party members would be permanently short - or - I'd have to pick where to assign this stuff for you, which rather defeats the purpose of the mod, doesn't it?

Q: Isn't the concept here kind of cheesy?

A: Perhaps :) It really depends on what you do with it and where your threshold for cheese lies. For example, I've always thought it silly that Jaheira shows up in BG2 specialized in club just because the game designers wanted to show off their absurd-looking and weak new weapon type. No one likes clubs, and she's carrying a quarterstaff in her BG portrait for crying out loud! If this bothers you, you can change her into a fighter/druid with no kit and put her proficiencies where Ms "Speak Sharply and Carry a Huge Blunt Object" ought to have them.

Q: That's fine. But you can do sillier things with the mod too, right?

A: Sure. It's worth noting that BioWare was quite content to break the "rules" whenever they thought it would make a character more vivid or interesting. Minsc lacks the requisite wisdom to be a ranger. Aerie is a multi-class that elves can't have. Anomen's wisdom is too low for him to have legally dualed to cleric. You're just getting that option now too.

Q: Yeah, but I turned Kagain and Korgan into paladins with your mod, and it was stupid.

A: I bet. Don't do that. I can't tell where you draw the line, so you will have to make your own choices.

Q: What about the NPCs' stuff? What happens to it?

A: All of their "generic" items (e.g. Chainmail, Longsword +1) are removed. They get a new outfit of "generic" items based on the class that you've picked for them. If you make Imoen a Swashbuckler and give her proficiency in short bow and short sword, then she'll show up in Candlekeep with a short bow, twenty arrows, a short sword, and some variety of leather armor.

Signature items are a little more complicated; in the case of, say, Haer'Dalis's Chaos and Entropy blades, he'll keep them, and the weapons themselves will be altered so that he can use them regardless of whatever class he is (Fighter/Mage? Fine, they're Fighter/Mage usable now. Cleric? Uh... okay, he can still use them, and he'll get his special bonus star in shortswords even though Clerics can't normally use this kind of weapon.)

In the case of Monks some difficulty ensues: their offhand slot is permanently occupied because of the kludgy way they're implemented. So it does no good to make a shield Monk usable if they can't ever equip it. Signature items for Monks are converted: two-handed sword becomes katana, shield becomes cloak (shields can be worn over the back ;) ), etc, etc. It's not perfect, but I can't change the way Monks work.

Q: So, it's possible I might get better stuff when I recruit an NPC?

A: Yep. Since it's always been possible to take NPCs on the "Quest to Find What's at the Bottom of that there Woodchipper" and pawn their worldly possessions, I'm not too worried about this. The items they end up with should be fairly close to what a standard NPC gets: if you notice any glaring omissions or errors, let me know :)

Q: Lots of NPCs have special flavor innate abilites, what about those?

A: They're kept; innate abilities are not changed by this mod. Branwen will still have her Spiritual Hammer if she's a Fighter/Cleric. Minsc will still have his headwound rage if you make him a Berserker. NPC-only priest or wizard spells, on the other hand, have to be explicitly assigned. I can make sure that Jaheira always knows Harper's Call if she can cast spells (and in fact, that's already done ;) ) but I have to know in advance that it's a "special" spell. Anything I've missed, let me know :)

Q: What about NPCs added by mods? Keto wants to be a skald!

A: None at this time. While I find it hypocritical for modders to declare their work sacrosanct, there's certainly a contingent who expect to have free reign trampling BioWare's intentions and other modders intentions and the player's intentions while expecting their own work to be pedestaled higher than, say, Shakespeare. So mod NPCs aren't and won't be included without permission. With that said, Wes Weimer won't care if his NPCs are included, and J. Compton will probably allow PPG NPCs to be included if we all buy stock in Broken Hourglass, so it's possible some will show up later :)

Q: Hitpoints?

A: If you're playing on core or below, maximum. If you're playing on difficult, anywhere between half maximum and maximum. If you're playing on insane, random.

Q: Let's talk about install order.

A: I sure don't like mandatory install orders. Install BG2 or BG2 and ToB. Make sure they've got the latest patch. If you're playing Tutu, install the latest Easy Tutu version; if you're playing BGT, install the BG2 Fixpack and the latest BGT version. BG2 Fixpack is gently suggested; if you decide not to include it, I may not be able to help you with any in-game bugs or bugs added by Baldurdash.

Other than that, it doesn't really matter. If you want to assign a kit from a mod, you'll need to install that kit first (otherwise I've no way of telling that you plan to install it later). If you want to use Ashes of Embers or something else that changes the rules for weapon proficiencies around, then that also should go earlier so that this mod will follow the changed ruleset.

Known Issues

Please report any bugs you notice in this release in the Gibberlings Three forum thread above. I'll do my best to improve this based on your feedback :)

PLEASE NOTE:

Any NPC you've modified that's joined the party won't revert to normal upon uninstalling the mod: at that point they're permanently stored in the saved game rather than just afloat in the override. While it's not impossible to mod saved games (just annoying ) it's not in general a good idea, as scanning through a list of saves for altered files is pretty much impossible to do without errors of the game exploding kind. I'm not sure why there'd be a problem with Yoshimo's dialogues, though - it'll be a bit before I'll have a chance to look into this.

Q: Oct 14 2007, 01:03 PM, J Beau:

I had an error installing, thought you would like to know about this.
[./override/HAQUAT.CRE] loaded, 1076 bytes [./override/HARPASS1.CRE] loaded, 1464 bytes [./override/HDRAGRED.CRE] loaded, 2512 bytes [./override/HDRAGSIL.CRE] loaded, 1656 bytes
ERROR: illegal 48-byte read from offset -1 of 1656-byte file HDRAGSIL.CRE ERROR: [HDRAGSIL.CRE] -> [override/HDRAGSIL.CRE] Patching Failed (COPY) (Failure("HDRAGSIL.CRE: read out of bounds"))
Stopping installation because of error. ERROR Installing [Nythrun's L1 NPCs, Beta 6: List party-joinable NPCs (required to install any other components)], rolling back to previous state [lvl1npcs/backup/0/UNSETSTR.0] SET_STRING uninstall info not found
I uninstalled the Revised Hell Trials from the Questpack and then it installed just fine.

Nythrun:

The hdragsil.cre problem is a conflict between Quest Pack and SCSII - you should be able to work around it by installing the Hell Trials bit of Quest Pack after SCSII (and after anything else that might be modifying the dragons); if you don't, taking the evil path in the Pride[?] trial will crash your game. Of course, you won't get the updated AI this way. It's not really an error on anyone's part, but it should be easy enough for Sim or DaveW to work around.

Q: vagrant_winds, Oct 17 2007, 05:47 PM:

After the 1st component of lvl1npcs is installed, when starting a new game and choosing <CHARNAME>'s class, if I chose Assassin, all alignments at the "Alignment" screen would be greyed-out out and non-selectable, meaning character creation was unable to finish with that kit. Until an alignment is chosen, the "Next" button is unelectable to continue on to rolling Attributes... and there's no allignment to select. It's possible that this could be a conflict between 1lv1npcs and Avenger's Rogue Rebalancing. I've had the same issue weather or not lvl1npcs is installed first or near the end, but I do not recall if I've had an install with lvl1npcs that hasn't had Agenger's Rogue Rebalancing on it too.

Nythrun:

Unselectable Assassins: there was a bug in some early versions where I corrected the internal spelling of a few kits in one place and not in another, which left no valid alignments for those kits. If you're using Beta6, it's probably an incompatibility that needs looking into.

Operating System

This is the Windows version - it should be able to run on Mac OSX if the WeiDU .exe that's bundled with the mod is replaced with a Mac build of WeiDU. Linux should work too.

Platforms

Ought to work on BG2, Tutu, or BGT. Has not yet, however, received any testing on BGT and has had incomplete testing on the other platforms.

Compatibility

Ought to be compatible with almost everything.

Installation

If the mod was previously installed, remove it before extracting the new version by running Setup-lvl1npcs.exe, uninstalling all previously installed components and deleting the lvl1npcs folder.

This mod is packaged and installed with WeiDU . To install, simply extract the contents of the mod into your BG2 , EasyTutu or BGT folder.

The files can be extracted from the archive using WinRAR. If properly extracted, you should have a lvl1npcs folder and a Setup-lvl1npcs.exe file in your game folder. To install, simply double-click Setup-lvl1npcs.exe and follow the instructions on screen.

Please run Setup-lvl1npcs.exe in your game folder to reinstall, uninstall or otherwise change components.

Lambs to the Slaughter

Erm, brave Alpha Testers: Miloch, Kulyok, Raven_Song, Padisha, and kimmel. Much thanks!

Legions of Thanks are due to:

Tools Used in Creation

This mod uses WeiDU (created by Westley Weimer, maintained and upgraded by Valerio Bigiani). Get the latest version at weidu.org. Near Infinity (maintained by Fred S. Richardson) was used to browse files. Pocket Plane Group is the place to go to nag the poor guy for updates. Discussion thread has been hosted at the aforementioned Gibberlings Three which has been good enough to not eject me despite my irascible and surly disposition. :)

Copyright

© 2007 Elizabeth Strand (contact Nythrun at the forum above).

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

These are not "fixes from TS." Really.

Version History

Todo

Version Six: Ultimate Beta (Revisited, with new Improved Spellchecking)! (19Oct07)

Version Six: Ulitmate Beta! (31May07)

Version Five: Barely Beta! (31Mar07)

Version Four: Beta! (20Mar07)

Alpha Three (8Mar07)

Alpha Two (16Feb07)

Alpha One (2Feb07)