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Poll: Why do you like a particular NPC?


Why do you like an NPC?  

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Saw a thread and it got me thinking. That, and I'm a bit bored ATM.


Why do you like your favorite NPC?


I don't necessarily want to know which it is, just why you like him/her.


And no, this has nothing to do with current projects! Just curious.


I'm leaving romance off the list, since if you like the NPC because you like the romance, there's probably a reason you like the romance listed above.

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Basically, I put the personality agreeable to me personally to of the list, because I want the story to be about characters I like and can feel for. Korgan is the bestest tank, has a superb quest and kick-ass wirting - and I will not touch him with a 10-foot pole.


The second and third choices on my list were inter-related: well-developped and talkative. Yes, I know, that brooding, silent characters should not talk much, but heck, within the limits of the games *all* NPCs are silent brooding types in RL standards. So, even if the NPC is a brooder, I want to get it through his dialogues that he is a strong and silent type :D


And well-developed - I see no point to download any NPC mod if the character is not well-developed. For that i have a multiplayer option, lol!


The thing I'd put on as important as the second and third would be the background. Some backgrounds (mostly too over-complicated, hard-to-believe-in ones) stop me dead in my tracks....

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My number one choice was complex personality. I like that in fiction, because it's fun for me to try and figure out their motives and exactly what leads them to make the choices they make. The more complex the better, because I hate it when it is obvious what the character is all about.


Second choice was interesting back story. I'm a sucker for Tragic Pasts, plain and simple. :D I think it ties into the whole complex personality issue too. Chances are, the more tragic or exciting a person's past is, the more complex they end up becoming.


Third choice was well-written and well-developed. A character has to be both of these things to be believable. Also, when a character is well-written and well-developed it is easier to sympathize with (or really hate) them. It makes them seem more real. I hate it when characters are transparent and two-dimensional.

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First. I would like them to be able to defend themselves and not worry that they will get themselves killed. Dead npcs leave my character open to get attacked and killed in combat.


Personality (agreeable to you)

Second. Harmony in a party is when you get along with everyone. Not to the point of butt kissing but a functional party is one that is in harmony.


Complex personality

Third. I like a complex personality, it makes getting to know them a challenge.

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You know, I think I've located one category that did not make it in the list of choices. It's how the NPC fits into a projected party. For example, before I started that last historic run through SoA/ToB, I browsed all forums for an interesting male elven front-line fighter mod - there was none to be had.

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I put Well-written and well-developed first. No matter how good any other factor is, if the writing's trash, I'll be too busy wading through jarring grammatical horror to enjoy the story.



The secondary aspects are the character's in-game story and background. I like something good and interesting and it doesn't matter if the person is one I'd like in real life or not. Then again, I'll merrily go from sadistic Talosian preist to crowned-by-light Paladin without a second thought, so there you go. :D

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Well-written and well-developed is the priority for me. The same for when I'm reading a book or watching a film/TV program. Well-written dialogues in any of these mediums is a must for me.


Secondly, I like an npc to be talkative, I'm usually not playing a game just for the hack n slash factor.


Thirdly, this was difficult, I chose complex personality, although good quest and backstory are just as important to me as well. I like the idea that the npc's are individuals, they have their own lives and problems and everything doesn't just revolve around a particular Bhaalspawn. :D

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I had to think about it for a while before coming up with my own preferences.


Well-written, because otherwise I'll be wondering why I bothered with the download. Agreeable personality, because if the NPC grates on my nerves, there's no point having them along. Complexity, because if there isn't one more thing to find out, you might as well just hit CTRL-I for all their banters and ditch them for someone else.


I forgot "compatible sense of humor" on the list. In-game as IRL, everybody prefers a sense of humor, but not everyone agrees what that means.

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Well written and developed is my first choice, deffinitely. If it doesn't fit in with BioWares dialogue, then it doesn't deserve to be installed, in my personal opinion. I can't stand grammer errors and stuff popping up right when I'm starting to get immersed.


Interesting back-story is my second choice. If a character isn't interesting, he or she isn't going to be in my party; plain and simple.


Third is that it needs a good in-game storyline. While nowhere near as important as the first two, I like it if an NPC has a reason for being with CHARNAME. NPCs who tag along just for the hell of it kind of annoy me. Characters with purpose and motivation are always interesting.

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1. Fits my idea of the Epic Movie I want to experience, so basically good-aligned (and interesting friendship and/or romance potential). It helps if there is a good backstory and raison d'etre, but frankly I just want a good dude/dudette watching my back (in game terms).

2. Well written, and *consistently* written - I too have serious reservations when a character's voice is obscured. I don't have a problem with misspellings and lousy grammar if it is believable as a character voice. ~Mwy yuuu eee pritty t'day, Immmmmoen, prrrt.~ for a Were-Cat might be fine. I love Dynaheir, and her idiosyncratic grammar reinforces the "CSL" (Common is Second Language) feel of her speech even when you fight the urge to correct her through the screen!

3. Talkative. I know how to kill things. I dust off Diablo II, and get cranking. Storytelling is only forwarded by active engagement and discussion.


I personally think that the best NPC mods are one where the modder has done what Bioware (or any company) could ever do because of development pressures. I want an NPC who is a friend from the start of joining party (preferably BG1 portion) until the very end of the story (hopefully the last scene of ToB). What is Frodo without Sam? What is Vlad Taltos without his jherig Liosh? I enjoy the Three Musketeers approach to gaming/storytelling. Imoen could have been that character, but the storyline compells her to swap roles in midstream, going from Three (Six?) Musketeer to Plot Device to background character. Don't get me wrong - I see the necessity, and my biggest punch in the gut was the Betrayal. Note the capitalization. It was a defining gaming moment for me, like when my first Civilization game went south because my cities revolted. I actually replayed SoA from a prior save twice, each time cursing the gods when it happened, and searched the net to figure out how to keep my favorite bounty hunter, only to find it was a major portion of the storyline :D I just want to be compensated (and not by fulfilling some Freudian relationship with a rather abrasive mother figure, Jaheira - go play in someone else's mental sandbox, thank you :) ).

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Good in-game story-line, Well-written and well-developed, Complex personality


The first two being the most important. The rest are just a nice bonus (like complex personality or a great quest) or not important (like being powerful or having an agreeable personality to me).

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Good NPC does not have to be powerfull- there are many examples of this. I personally like

1)well written NPC. I don't like to see bad grammar in mods, ever,or a NPC that does not fit the game somehow, be that by different style of portrait, style of talking or being smarter and more important than everybody, including our Bhaalspawn. It is a story about <CHARNAME> after all.


2) well developed NPC's with a strong personality. Edwin may not be the most beautiful, or the nicest guy- but he has a sharp tongue and a brain. He always says what he wants and thinks.


3)A NPC that has a good reason to join <CHARNAME> . "Hi, I have nothing better to do please let me join you, pwetty pwease??" it is not realistic.


4)NPC that wants to be a friend and not only a companion. This is why I will always like Minsc and Boo more than Korgan. Minsc is with you from the beginning of the game when you were weak child from Candlekeep untill the very end.


The rest are nice details that may be present but are not nessesary.

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Hmm, some options overlap a bit.


I selected enjoyable personality primarily because to be really enjoyable it requires good writing, and because characters that grate on my nerves don't stay in the party long. Personality always makes or breaks a character's future with me.


Second was good writing, just to emphasize my first point. With that I also expect good grammar and accurate spelling, which many seem challenged to use these days. Seeing bad writing in forum posts is one thing, since it's casual, but seeing it in a so-called finished product (game, mod, whatever) is ridiculous, especially if I had to pay for the product.


Finally I selected not talkative, because chatterboxes drive me nuts; all talking, very little thinking. Quieter people tend to provide more intelligent conversation. I don't like people who are too quiet though. If you're about as exciting as a corpse, I'll look elsewhere for a good time.


Since NWN2 is more recent in my memory, I'll specify Elanee, Khelgar, Grobnar and Sand as a few of my preferred NPCs. I also enjoyed several of the NPCs who couldn't be party members.

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(I like maybe four of the NPC mods available and would unconditionally recommend only one, which might be more stringent than usual)


If it's not well written it gets installed immediately in the recycle bin, just as it would if it broke the BG2 install. Life's too short to read bad writing.


Barring that? Pretty much anything is worth it once :D While I don't find Korgan simpatico, were he to be an NPC mod I'd be happy to give him a try once. And while I don't like the Kelsey romance (and the Kelsey - Imoen romance makes me queasy) he doesn't destroy the game in any way. Agreeable personalities are more likely to get a replay though :)


Picked in-game story line for third. It's okay to not have A Quest of Ones Own if the NPC is seamlessly involved in the preexisting world as it is. And finding a place where other NPCs don't have anything to say but a comment is appropriate is particularly good ("Cernd, did you ask the nice rabid town-destroying Shadow Druids if they wanted to look after your baby, or did we just leave them a tasty and tender snack?").

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