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NPC character concept - half-orc cleric-thief


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In another BG community I frequent, consisting of mostly non-modders (such as myself), a neophyte modder recently asked for suggestions for a NPC concept for a very simple mod. The following concept is one I rather liked, though it turned out to be beyond the modder's current ability (instead he preferred a NPC without a quest). I figured I'd share the character concept here in case someone with the skills to realize it decides they want to use it.


For my taste anyway, the combination of class skills for a Cleric-Thief is a total blast. The NPC persona and history I wrote for him is almost window dressing for that awesome multiclass addition to the BG2 NPC ranks. But I do think the character's persona and quest would be very satisfying. To my knowledge there is no mod out there that features a cleric quest, nor one that offers a cleric-thief NPC.


The character is offbeat and rather 'against type' for a half-orc, and as such could offer some fun banters. His personal history and quest are directly inspired from canon material (Lands of Intrigue and Drizzt's Guide to the Underdark).


Eldarian Jhezair



Lawful Good


Str 19

Dex 16

Con 14

Int 10

Wis 16

Cha 9


Find Traps 50

Hide in Shadows 80

Move Silently 80


Mace *

Quarterstaff *

Two Handed Weapon Style *


Special Ability: Draw Upon Holy Might


Location: Temple Ruins area



Favoring human much more than orc, though facial features are still prominently orcish. Barrel chested and of powerful physical stature, Eldarian stands at a towering 6'8" and weighs a lean 250 lbs. Owing to his orc lineage, Eldarian's shoulder length main of hair is jet black and coarse. However his skin tone lacks an orc's greenish hue, and in fact is bronzed from much of his life spent working the fields at the family farm in Purskul, an Amnian city of grain farmers.* Eldarian wears the garb of Purskul's Chauntean clergy. His clothing primary color is rose red, and the secondary color is gold. (Chauntea's symbol of a rose blooming amid a field of golden grain.)



Eldarian is something of a goody-two shoes. He is genuinely kind, unassuming, humble, respectful, polite, and gracious. A gentle giant. He is however overcompensating for his orcish side, striving to demonstrate that half-orcs can be prosocial, peaceful, highly civilized, and productive members of greater society as evidenced in Purskul. Eldarian utterly rejects the Chaos and Evil of his monster race lineage. Honor bound perhaps to a fault, his word is his bond. Eldarian is ever seeking to nuture, assist, support, etc. Such traits were strongly instilled by his half-orcish farmer parents, both worshippers of Chauntea. Hence the powerful affinity for Chauntea. Eldarian is a sincerely devout cleric of that faith. He is completely devoted to spreading its dogma and upholding its ethos.



When asked about his past, Eldarian's massive brow becomes slightly furrowed and his words convey a sense of loss and quiet frustration. In a gentle, low rumbling voice he explains that he has spent the last three years investigating the mysterious deaths of his fellow priests at Purskul's Rose House, a temple of Chauntea. The parish's seven clerics died within a week of the same unknown illness. They developed a fever which plunged them into a nightmarish delerium. In the throes of their delerium they mumbled incessantly for days in an obscure tongue that no local could understand. A visiting scholar was summoned who recognized it as an ancient dialect of the dwarves of Deep Shanatar, a mighty civilization that died out some eight thousand years past. The passing stranger reported that the delerious clerics uttered dark and sinister prophecies of a world bathed in blood. When the seventh priest died, Chauntea's Font, a stone fountain in the shape of a rose situated at the temple's gate, suddenly issued what appeared to be blood instead of water, and the temple's plantlife shriveled. Subsequent efforts to revive the grounds' gardens have failed, and the site is believed by locals to be cursed by some fell magic. The temple still lies vacant and in disrepair to this day.


Eldarian states he was an acolyte with the Rose House at the time, and was only three days shy of ordination as a cleric at the Rose House. Due to his favorable reputation amongst Chauntean clergy, Eldarian was ordained weeks later instead in nearby Crimmor by Trueseed Rillifar Barleman and Harvestmistress Senora Barleman of Chauntea's Cradle, the Earthmother's temple there. However, in exhange Rillifar and Senora tasked Eldarian with solving the mystery of the Rose House's demise, and returning it to its former health. To this Eldarain says he gave his solemn vow.


Since that time Eldarian has wandered the land seeking leads on the only clue he has, the lost subterranean civilization of Shanatar. For one year prior to departing in his quest, and periodically during return visits to Purskul, Eldarian has received training from Purskul's Shadow Thief Guild Master in the arts of moving silently amidst the shadows and disarming traps, both necessary to exploration of any ruins Eldarian could find. Eldarian's travels have led him to a dark and densely choked wood at the foot of the eastern Cloud Peaks, following rumors of buried ruins there.


NPC Interactions

Quite positive on the whole for the Good and Neutral aligned characters. Both druids, Cernd and Jaheira, would have highly favorable reactions. Keldorn and Mazzy would respect and admire Eldarian's quest and especially his vow to complete it. However, initially Keldorn would harbor a heavy mistrust of Eldarian as a member of a monster race. Eldarian will gradually earn his trust. Anomen is probably too self-absorbed to care. Valagyr would approve. Jan would be happy with anyone with a green thumb, given his turnip fixation. Haer'Dalis, a stage actor and story teller, would appreciate the mystery and sleuthing aspects of his quest. Minsc and Nalia would have favorable reactions, if not much to say. Yoshi would shake his head at the notion of someone learning thief skills for entering dungeons for other than looting.


The relationship with Viconia would be extremely tense, as Eldarian has encountered drow scouting parties in his explorations of the Underdark, and the drow are pretty much the antithesis of everything his faith holds dear. All three Evil NPCs would pretty much despise him.


Banter could play up the fact that Eldarian is an enormous bruiser of a half-orc, and a male, who is a cleric in a faith dominated by women and devoted to farming and gardening, nurturing things to grow, and even midwifery, etc. Imoen would adore him, but engage in friendly teasing along those lines to try to fluster him. Korgan would have nothing but contempt for him, and bust his chops relentlessly.


Eldarian's Quest

Eldarian's nemesis will be an enclave of clerics and mages descended from Clan Azerkyn of the ancient, lost dwarven civilization of Deep Shanatar. The ancient dwarves of Deep Shanatar's Xothaerin kingdom were a learned and scholarly race. And Clan Azerkyn excelled at magics related to the use of fire. They specialized in forging powerful magic items in the lava tubes deep within the bases of the Small Teeth's twin volcanoes, Kossuth's Eyes.


Eight thousand years ago when that civilization died out, this clan of pyromancers crossed over to the Plane of Fire. To do so they opened a Gate. But ironically they have since been prevented from returning by one of their summoned fire creatures intened to guard the Gate. A rogue Fire Elemental Prince and his minions (including efreeti) currently inhabit their holdings and block the clan's way back with their own powerful magics.


Now with the supernatural energies released in the Weave by the Bhaalspawn War, the Azerkyns see an opportunity to return and reclaim their holdings in the Prime Material Plane. The runemasters of this clan have foreseen that the protagonist Bhaalspawn would be able to defeat these creatures and reopen the Gate for Clan Azerkyn's return. Their runes have indeed foretold that he will do so. But the future beyond that is hazy, which they interpet as shapeable.


The mysterious affliction of Purskul's Rose House is an elaborate ploy designed to place an adventurer within the protagonist's party. It is intended that Eldarian will lead the Bhaalspawn to the Gate to defeat its gaurdians. (More later on how they were able to effect their magics at the Rose House, given that they are on another plane.)


Of course once the Bhaalspawn defeats the Gate's guardians, the Azerkyn pyromancers will appear for an even bigger showdown. After the quest's conclusion, Eldarian will express his gratitude for lifting the evil magic blight upon his temple in Purskul Eldarian by pledging to aid the progaonist in completion of his or her quest.


As a corollary, fire is eschewed by clerics of Chauntea. So Eldarian would be uncomfortable with the use of fire magics by the party. He could be reasoned with however, and would not leave the party on that account. He'd just grumble about it. Cernd and Jaheira would remind him of the balace that the destructive power that forest fires bring within nature, and eventually Eldarian would agree, though still uncomfortable with fire.


I think there are probably enough recyclable underground areas to make this quest feel satisfying enough.


* Purskul is a town in north central Amn featuring a population of 29% half-orcs who have become integrated into society. Half-orcs are accepted there as well as any other race, though this is the only such community in Amn where this is the case. Purskul's history with half-orcs dates back to the Year of the Black Horde (1235) and the Year of the Lost Lady (1241). This period saw massive military campaigns to erradicate orcs from the nations of Amn and Tethyr, resulting in orcish near-genocide. Surviving orcs were rounded up and sent to Purskul where they were put to work as slaves. Over time the half-orcs of Purskul gained the locals' trust, eventually intermarrying with poor females and widows, and gaining their freedom.

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If I may offer my opinion on feasability, you are looking for a coder who can do areas, edit the worldmap, and is comfortable with staging quests, in addition to vanilla dialogues. That's a proficient coder.


What you have though is no more than a character concept. Basically, your concept is not dissimilar to a "standard" mod. You add an uber NPC, and NPC has some uber-powerful group after him, so you prompt PC to travel to a new location made from the re-used maps, and deal with the evil-doers. There are flavors to it, and it is solid, but it is not overly unusual or promisses a great novelty or a re-wamp of BG2 playing experience. But it is a concept that requires a lot of men-hours regardless.


To be honest, despite the work you did put in the concept, I think it is a bit too late to start something like this for BG2 especially if you cannot recruit a full-time coding support (and I doubt you would); it's just by the time you are finished, even if you've found your coder, you will risk not having much audience, and it can be dissappointing.


If LI was booming I would have suggested that you tried to tie your char into their quest spread, or add your quest content to what they already have in that area - perhaps losing your cleric as a *joinable* NPC, leaving him as a cameo character, a quest-giver.


Or, if you want a stand-alone mod, you can try to develop it just as a quest with a joinable NPC becoming a quest-giver. I think you stand a better chance there. It both reduces the load, plus it can attract interest of the players that can't see anything that is connected to "new joinable NPC!" and complain that there are not enough new QUESTS!

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Ah okay, I had no idea what sort of investment of time and energy something like this would take. Not that I'm surprised to hear that it would be an immense undertaking.


It was just fun to play with the canon material and try to come up with a novel NPC. I enjoyed it regardless.


I suppose he could be a NPC without a quest, then its only banters. But I suppose even that would be more work than anyone cares to do. Usually people will be more driven by their own personal creations if they're going to dvote that much time and energy into something like this.


From a play balance perspective, I do have a more general question relating to NPC character creation. When I rolled this charater I gave him 14 Con, but that seemed too low for an extremely strong and dexterous half-orc who has worked the fields his entire life. Think the stats are too high, all told, with a Con of 18?


Or maybe he could have some affliction that accounts for 14 Con? I would want for the character to be have high Str and Dex, though, whatever else.

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I don't think that you're in danger of having anyone say that he is underpowered with 14 Con, no. And seeing how he favors his human side, 14 Con can be just because he is a half-breed. After all, crosses do not have to take on only the best. Yes, he lucked out with his Wisdom from a human parent, but he has little endurance/health, because of how the bloods play, how his body had formed, how he was born etc.

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You're right, I was basing that on 3e. 3e does allow for LG. Faiths and Pantheons states allowable alignments for Chauntean clerics are CG, LG, N, and NG.


But wasn't it also one alignment shift allowed in 2e as well?


Not that it matters much, he could just as easily be NG.

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Just an afterthought, here.


A character concept that offers something a little out of the ordinary, and a fairly simple, straightforward BG quest is all this is... It's not intended to wow people with originality, just to add a bit of fun by including a cleric-thief in the NPC lineup.


What I've come away with here is that it's really a shame that it takes so much time and effort to mod with the IE engine. I guess I've been spoiled by NWN, where a quest such as this wouldn't be hard at all. But for the IE engine if something like this would take a year plus, and with a team no less, then good grief! Yikes.


Hats off to you guys for all the hard work you've done. I'm even more impressed than ever.

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I'm trying to find a suitable portrait for this character, and not having much luck. If anyone knows where I can find a half-orc portait that looks somewhat more human than orcish--and especially if it has tanned human caucasian skin and facial expression isn't dark and menacing--'twould be gratly appreciated. I doubt that such a portrait exists, but ya never know.


Someone directed me to this one:




which has the right mix of human and orcish features (a rare find in that sense), but Eldarian is a LG cleric of Chauntea, he's very pro-social, etc. So it doesn't really work.

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Switching the subject here to playing such a half-orc cleric-thief for the PC...




Unfinished Business

Quest Pack

Banter Pack

Flirt Pack

Song and Silence

Divine Remix

BG2 Tweak Pack


I ended up giving him the following stats:


Str 19

Dex 18

Con 16

Int 10

Wis 18

Cha 9


Pretty fun character. It's still early in SoA, and I'm doing standard 58 damage on backstabs when buffed with Righteous Magic and Draw Upon Holy Might (which boosts Str to 25, Dex to 21, Con to 19), wielding the Staff of Rynn. When buffed up as such the PC has 2 attacks per round. A recent backstab critical hit delivered 124 damage.* THACO is pretty low when buffed (now at 2, IIRC). AC is at -5 with black dragon scale mail. He's performing the all the regular thief duties of scouting, disarming traps, and picking locks, so he's at least earning his keep within the party in that respect if nothing else. He currently has 26% of the kills, and that's with Korgan and Mazzy in the party.


The main shortcoming for this character is the low attacks per round, and I'm not sure there's much I can do about that...


Is there anything you guys can think of to get the most out of this character? As a cleric, he's limited to backstabbing with a quarterstaff and club, as far as I know. I recall that late in ToB a pair of gauntlets that adds a 1/2 attack per round becomes available--but that's a long ways off. Because he's a cleric, he can't wield Belm.


Would it make any sense to put a prof into two weapon style, and have him dual wield enchanted clubs? Or is he better off just using the quarterstave (he has a prof in two-handed weapon style)? As far as I know he'll never get more than one prof in anything.


With Song and Silence installed for this game perhaps there will be a thief item available at one of the thief stores that will help him...


* Edit: Lol! Yowza! Just got 140 on a crit buffed only with Draw Upon Holy Might.

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Sounds like you're getting an awful lot out of the character already. With all the buffs, cleric/thief is a powerful combination. If you can get him dual weilding the clubs with a halfways decent THACO, Blackblood combined with the splintering one (whose name escapes me) could be a real winner. Aside from the intial hit form the backstab, the continuing damage would be hellish.

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