1 How many NPCs do you usually include (for solo, 0)?
I usually have a full party ASAP, and then fiddle around to add other NPCs along the road (for instance, if I dont have Yoshimo around I will usually go to Spellhold minus one slot so I can haul Imoen up)
2 Do you prefer a themed party (all good, all evil, all mages, all wizard slayers, etc.) or do you prefer a balanced party in terms of class and alignment?
Ideally I aim for either good or evil party depending on my character's alignment. Of course, I constantly screw up, like adding Edwin & Keldorn together, or Kagain & Coran, because some characters are too powerful or too interesting to miss. Class-wise my party is usually perfectly balanced. I will always have at least one thief, cleric/druid, mage, and fighter.
3 Does NPC personality influence your party composition?
VERY much. For instance, in a run of BG, I almost always have Tiax in the party. In BG2, I almost always have Jan. They are just so funny I cant leave them out (though their abilities are rather mediocre). In contrast, I usually dump Jaheira out as soon as I can get a replacement because she gets on my nerves.
4 Does an NPC quest influence you party composition?
Kind of. Not THAT much. I get annoyed by Nalia's quest so I avoid her a lot...
5 Does NPC power influence your party composition?
I wish I could say that I am a pure role player and power doesnt influence me.... but the god awesome powers of Edwin, Viconia, Kagain etc are just so tempting... poor Anomen never has a chance to win his lady's love, because Viconia kicks him out of the party, and I dont have need for two clerics.
6 Regarding your PC (player 1), do you single-class, dual-, or multi-?
I do a lot of multi-classing, and occasionally single for interesting classes such as Bard or Archer. I dont ever do dual, just because it's a pain in the a** to level him/her up again.
7 How powerful do you want your PC to be in terms of the challenges posed by the game?
Before, I rather powergamed my way through. These days, I'll be content if as long as I dont have to reload a whole lot of times.
8 How powerful do you want your PC to be compared to the NPCs?
Not that I intentionally do so, but unless my character is a mage the PC has like 40% kills in the party Before, I had the bad habit of giving all the best items to the main character and give the leftovers to the NPCs. Now I even allow an NPC to eat up some of the stat-raising tomes!
9 How do you utilize multi-classed characters?
I love multi-class. The PC is usually multi-class because it seems so boring to be just a normal fighter or a normal mage. (I'm particular to Fighter/Thief or Mage/Cleric combo) And I love multi-class NPCs like Aerie and Jan. Since its hard to sqeeze every class in because not everybody is a fighter/mage/theif/cleric, and since I want at least 2 or 3 capable fighters in the front line, multi-class is the way to go.
10 How do you use 'specialty-class' characters (bards, monks, specialty kits)?
There are some 'specialty-class' that I really dig, and so I stick one or two in the party (another reason why some characters just have to be multi-class). Favorites are Bard, Paladin, and Sorcerer. For some reason, I never liked Monks and Barbarians.
11. Do you play with add-on NPCs, and if so, how many at a time, and why
I always include in my standard install of BG2 Solaufein, Valen, and Kelsey. I dont add custom NPCs in my BGTutu, because there's many more NPCs in BG anyway, and I havent seen any mods that catched my interest yet. Out of the 3 mentioned, I usually play Solaufein the most (esp if Im playing a male character... )