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Ladile

Making the most of a BG2 playthrough (Mod NPCs)

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Hey all, I've been bitten by the BG2 bug again (usually happens once or twice a year) but my time is a little more limited than it used to be and there are so many mod NPCs and party combinations that I want to try and so little time! Any suggestions for a few party compositions (including Bioware NPCs like Nalia + Auren) to get the most bang for my buck when I play? I'm interested in the following, in no particular order of preference:

 

Gavin (new BG2 romance/friendship/evil redemption; I've already done a married-in-BG1 run with him)

Xan (nonbonded/friendship; I've done a bonded path run)

Haer'Dalis (romance mod)

Keldorn (romance mod)

Sarah (dabbled a bit)

Auren (dabbled a bit)

Faren (dabbled a bit)

Tyris (dabbled a bit)

Ajantis (never played)

Amber (never played)

Angelo (never played)

Kivan (never played)

Darian (never played)

Nathaniel (never played)

The Luxleys (never played)

Nephele (never played)

Ninde (never played)

 

I've got Kelsey and Keto installed and enjoyed both mods enough that I'd be happy to include them in parties if they have interesting crossmod/synergy with other mod NPCs. Needless to say, I've also got the current version of the Crossmod Banter Pack. Any ideas on who to pair with who (or who not to pair) would be fantastic. Oh, and ToB content is -nice- but not vital to me at this point. Thanks! :)

 

*Edit* I'm also bad to take Minsc on every run and I feel like an ass if I ditch Imoen once I get her back :(

*Edit* Reformatted post to be a bit easier to read

Edited by Ladile

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Angelo, Kivan, Xan, Haer'Dalis romance mod, an NPC of your preference - Minsc or Imoen, for one. These have crossmod, Angelo is a good NPC/friend/romance, Kivan is one of Domi's best mods, Haer'Dalis's romance may run in parallel until very late ToB. Check out Dace - quite a lot of voicing and content; Sarevok friendship/romance is also worth a shot.

Ninde is good, from what I hear, but rather male-oriented(romance), and silent; Tyris is voiced, but from what I saw, she's primarily a romance for males, too; Sarah and Auren have crossmod, but Auren works best with Naila; Amber has no ToB content; Keldorn romance is still in beta, may need bugfixing first; Luxleys are two NPCs, and not sure about crossmod - you may want to do an extra playthrough with them and/or Nathaniel.

 

Kelsey has some crossmod; Xan, Luxleys, Nathaniel for sure - check Crossmod's readme(not the website, it's outdated). Needless to say, you don't want more than five NPC mods installed, if you aren't playing with them - too much override space. And, yep, same for other NPCs you don't install.

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Ninde now has a friendship track for female NPCs as of the last release, so she can be played with a female NPC as well.

 

I'd second the recommendation for Dace; I put her together for Tess, and honestly, she's one of my favourite mod NPCs. So much fun. I'd also recommend Adrian for sure, he's excellent.

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Ive played both Tyris and Amber , both where outstanding mods.....*wishing* someday Amber will have TOB content as I romanced her. Depending on what types of romancing u want to do I would also recommend Tsujatha if you've never played him. Another good mod is Sarileth. I dont know if ppl have a favorite reg Bioware Npc , but I do ,,,, Jaheira I take her in every party I make.

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We *need* voicing in Adrian. I love Rhaella's writing, myself, but I can't play if he doesn't even have a soundset. I think agressive search for a voice is what this mod really, really, really needs, because, I, too, like it a lot.

And crossmod for Dace, yep.

 

(With Ajantis, by the way, same advice - he lacks ToB; since he seems to be in active work, I would wait until jastey finishes him - he's got crossmod and everything, but no ToB, alas. And speaking of BG1 NPCs in BG2, I recently read my own Coran's dialogue for version 1 and found an abysmal number of typos, so please don't try version 1 for this playthrough - I'm going to finish a Russian translation and release a version 2, proofread, in a few days).

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Not sure how one wld make Ajantis since he dies in the game story, but i guess theres always a way. As for Dace , must be a new mod nvr heard of it.

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Ack, you guys were supposed to give me suggestions for the NPCs I've got on my list, not add more! ;)

 

In all seriousness though, I do appreciate the additional NPC recommendations. I've been kinda bad to stick to playing stuff from modders I'm familiar with (Domi, Kulyok, berelinde, jcompton) so I've been trying to branch out more, hence several of the SHS NPCs being on my list of mods I'm interested in playing.

 

As far as my preferences go, I do prefer to play NPCs that have ToB content but since it's uncertain if a few of them will ever have any (Amber, Keto) I figured I may as well enjoy what content they *do* have. However, since Ajantis ToB is actively being worked on, I can wait a little longer and try other NPCs in the meantime. I'm less picky about voicing, though I will admit that at least having the usual selection sounds and such would be nice. I have no problem playing NPCs that are male-romance only, as long as they have a friendship track for non-eligible PCs. Normally I avoid evil NPCs since I almost always play with a good-aligned PC, but Ninde sounded cool enough that I wanted to give her a try :)

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Amber is an excellent mod, and Kivan is arguably the best NPC mod ever :) For interaction with other NPCs, Kivan is a great choice, especially if you include Aerie in your party...and Kivan has ToB content (but I haven't played him that far into the game yet, myself).

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Amber (never played)

Angelo (never played)

Kivan (never played)

Have only played with half (give or take) of the NPCs in your list, but those are the ones I liked best.

 

Others I liked that haven't been suggested so far: Solaufein, Tashia, Fade.

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I didn't want to add to the list, but Solaufein is always in my installs. First mod I ever played (under Mac OS 9.x, to boot!), but never finished. Very cool and capable character!

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Well darn....I read up on both Dace and Adrian so now that's two more NPCs that I want to try :D

 

Nothing personal against Tsujatha/Saerileth/Yasraena, Solaufein, and Tashia (and the people that enjoy them) but they don't really sound like they'd be to my tastes; Fade sounds interesting but is another NPC stuck in ToB-limbo.

 

I like the sound of the party Kulyok suggested, so that one will likely be done. Otherwise, I may do well to simply prioritize which NPCs I'm most interested in first and save the ones that I'm only just curious about for later (I like making lists).

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I have to put a vote in for Kivan as well: he's my favourite NPC mod. Very high quality writing, and he integrates almost seamlessly into both the party and the storyline. Apart from the slight differences in talk presentation that indicate that he's a mod (and a couple of bloopers/typos), I wouldn't be able to tell that he wasn't in BG2 to begin with. On top of that, he has both ToB and crossmod content and a beautiful romance (although I wouldn't advise running it in parallel with another one). Be warned, however, that if you don't romance him, you'll either lose him at the end of SoA or you'll have to add Deheriana to your party as well. I've never done this, but I hear mixed opinions about her.

 

Kulyok mentioned Coran, which you could also try out once she releases the new version. He doesn't have as much content as Kivan or Xan, but I did like what was there (and he chats a few times with his former BG1 comrades, so if you have Kivan and Xan in the party, they should blend quite well).

 

And you've played with Xan already, so I don't need to tell you how good he is.

 

Hmm...I guess these recommendations don't really help in terms of steering you towards different authors :p

 

On the other hand, I would advise against Solaufein. I scrapped a character because of him: he broke immersion and suspension of disbelief so much that I dropped my playthrough and uninstalled him. The writing, in and of itself, is fine, but, IMO: 1) the real-life poetry quotes and endless philosophising are extremely jarring (mostly because I'm familiar with most of the authors, and I just can't combine them with a fantasy setting), 2) his personality is nothing like the vanilla Solaufein that exists in the game, 3) the romance is stilted and rather bland; this is probably due to the fact that it's available to both genders, so the talks are as neutral as possible, basically.

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By the way, I played with Kivan several times, and I managed to get him to ToB without romancing him or bringing Deheriana back. The key is, I believe, ignoring April entirely in Spellhold, which is very easy to do - then there's no Deheriana and he does not leave.

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Well darn....I read up on both Dace and Adrian so now that's two more NPCs that I want to try :D

 

Nothing personal against Tsujatha/Saerileth/Yasraena, Solaufein, and Tashia (and the people that enjoy them) but they don't really sound like they'd be to my tastes; Fade sounds interesting but is another NPC stuck in ToB-limbo.

 

I like the sound of the party Kulyok suggested, so that one will likely be done. Otherwise, I may do well to simply prioritize which NPCs I'm most interested in first and save the ones that I'm only just curious about for later (I like making lists).

 

Excellent idea you have there, to make lists, as it helps :) What I do is keep a folder of "stable" mods, and another folder of "questionable" mods, and add only a few questionable mods in an installation, test by playing, then move questionable mods to the stable folders when I'm satisfied that they play nicely with other mods (and with the vanilla game).

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It's easy enough for others to recommend mods we enjoy, but we can make better recommendations if we know more about what you look for in mods to add to the playing experience :)

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