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I don't really have any interest in a silent companion who doesn't have anything to say or a history to explore.
Are there specific NPCs that have more dialog than others? (for example, I am guessing the canon party is more developed... but for all I know it isn't)
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taltamir: I don't really have any interest in a silent companion who doesn't have anything to say or a history to explore.
Are there specific NPCs that have more dialog than others? (for example, I am guessing the canon party is more developed... but for all I know it isn't)
This depends on what game you are playing and what, if any, mods you have installed.

In vanilla BG, the NPCs are *very* undeveloped and have very little in the way of conversation - with the protagonist or other NPCs. Some scenery interjections on events, but again, very slim pickings. Imoen, unfortunately [and oddly, given how much of a *star* she was considered to be] has the least dialogue.

In BG2 the situation is better and all of the NPCs [again, oddly, with the exception of Imoen] have various interjections, comments and conversations. The most long-winded is easily Jan Jansen. You will of course have a *lot* more interaction with your romance partner [Aerie the least, Viconia and Anomen about tied and Jaheira the most, since her romance is the most involved and longest]. Haer'Dalis has a lot to say on a bunch of topics, and many of the NPCs have extended arcs with other NPCs, such as Keldorn and Anomen, Korgan and Aerie [which leads to unpleasantness], Minsc and Aerie and just about everyone with Edwin during the Nether Scroll sub-quest.
You would have to play BG2 either quite a few times with different mixes of NPCs for long periods of time, or try to take every NPC, with every other NPC, in one game, to see all of the various interactions! For example, if you don`t take Edwin for an extended period of time¸you will miss out on a lot of conversations - but then if you have him, there are a lot of other NPCs you won`t have in your party.... and so it goes.


I don't know how this is altered, if at all, by BGT [never liked it, always played TuTu myself] but I would suspect that the BG1 NPCs are as close-mouthed as they are in vanilla BG1.

There are a number of NPC mods that address just this question, of increased and more developed NPC interactions, comments and story-lines. The BG1 NPC project for one, and a number of other things like Flirt Packs, Banter Packs and the like. Personally I can`t play vanilla BG1 or 2 without this extended and added content after having experienced it. :) Some of these also do a good job of resurrecting dialogue for Imoen which was in the code, but not available to be seen in game because of scripting errors.

Check out the modlist at Pocket Plane for a lot of these mods.
I played most of BG1 with Minsc, Imoen, Jaheria, Khalid and Dynaheir. I heard exactly one banter between any of them, and that was Minsc defending his hamster because Dynaheir said it was a dirty rodent.

Before picking up Minsc and Dynaheir I had Xzar and Montarron, and those two and Jaheira and Khalid said some things about each other but they were all one liners with no reply. "Must you be so...evil?"

I also briefly had Xan and he didn't interact with anyone or say anything extra.

They had things to say upon recruitment and disbanding, and otherwise no one said anything except for little comments on giving commands (Yesss, oh omnipresent authority figure?} and when they were happy with my alignment "Mmmm perhaps this group needs not as much help as I thought".

So, at least that group is pretty silent and not fleshed out. I was most surprised that Imoen was the most silent of all, given that she was my childhood friend.

I played the game using BGT. I didn't add any NPC mods because I didn't want to pile on too much stuff, which I regret now given how no one had anything to say. I won't say they were lifeless because they talked enough during combat that I could fill in their personalites with my imagination.

In BG2's starting dungeon I can already see a big improvement.
Post edited July 22, 2013 by bengeddes
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Lasivern: In vanilla BG, the NPCs are *very* undeveloped and have very little in the way of conversation - with the protagonist or other NPCs. Some scenery interjections on events, but again, very slim pickings. Imoen, unfortunately [and oddly, given how much of a *star* she was considered to be] has the least dialogue.
I may have an explanation. I believe that Imoen was only added to BG late in the development cycle when playtesters complained that the game was too hard without a thief NPC for good-aligned parties. To rub salt in the wound even more, they originally intended to have her only playable in the very first part of BG2; that was only changed when fan polls revealed just how much players liked her.

That said, I'm getting all of this from TVTropes, so take it for what it's worth.
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Lasivern: In vanilla BG, the NPCs are *very* undeveloped and have very little in the way of conversation - with the protagonist or other NPCs. Some scenery interjections on events, but again, very slim pickings. Imoen, unfortunately [and oddly, given how much of a *star* she was considered to be] has the least dialogue.
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Shadowsetzer: I may have an explanation. I believe that Imoen was only added to BG late in the development cycle when playtesters complained that the game was too hard without a thief NPC for good-aligned parties. To rub salt in the wound even more, they originally intended to have her only playable in the very first part of BG2; that was only changed when fan polls revealed just how much players liked her.

That said, I'm getting all of this from TVTropes, so take it for what it's worth.
I'd never heard that with regards to BG1, but I wouldn't be at all surprised. Even Safana, who is Neutral, not Good, can be a challenge to get early on, and Coran, who is a Good thief, is locked away in the unreachable, till later, Cloakwood.

What I *have* read about in the past is the story of her incorporation into BG2 - which is what your story above sounds like. Unless you played a PC Thief or one with thieving skills, you had to wait until you found Yoshimo to have any chance vs traps and locks - which was pretty harsh indeed, especially considering where the key to get to where he was, was secured!

So Immy got put into the mix and yes, she was slighted in terms of her "chattiness". As well, as I mentioned above, there were a number of issues with her script that prevented dialogue, actually included in the game, from occurring.
Again, as mentioned above, there are various mods - tweaks and fixes- that address this shortcoming.

Amazing that she became as popular as she did, being "broken" and all. :) She is consistently right up there with Minsc and Boo in terms of popularity.
Post edited July 22, 2013 by Lasivern
Thanks everyone for the answers.
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Lasivern: What I *have* read about in the past is the story of her incorporation into BG2 - which is what your story above sounds like. Unless you played a PC Thief or one with thieving skills, you had to wait until you found Yoshimo to have any chance vs traps and locks - which was pretty harsh indeed, especially considering where the key to get to where he was, was secured!
I wish I could play a fighter/cleric/theif. :)
I really don't want my main character to be part mage for RP reasons. (and the XP penalty is less of an issue with the XP uncapper mod)
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Lasivern: I don't know how this is altered, if at all, by BGT [never liked it, always played TuTu myself]
You know, I think I have been overestimating exactly what it is that BGT does. I probably should have stuck to BGTT or BGEE and then played BG2.
If for no other reason than to minimize bugs from having too many mods
Post edited July 23, 2013 by taltamir
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taltamir: Thanks everyone for the answers.
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Lasivern: What I *have* read about in the past is the story of her incorporation into BG2 - which is what your story above sounds like. Unless you played a PC Thief or one with thieving skills, you had to wait until you found Yoshimo to have any chance vs traps and locks - which was pretty harsh indeed, especially considering where the key to get to where he was, was secured!
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taltamir: I wish I could play a fighter/cleric/theif. :)
I really don't want my main character to be part mage for RP reasons. (and the XP penalty is less of an issue with the XP uncapper mod)
Well you gotta play what you want! F/Cl/Th is great for soloing, but if it isn't one's cup o' tea... what's the point, right? :)
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Lasivern: I don't know how this is altered, if at all, by BGT [never liked it, always played TuTu myself]
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taltamir: You know, I think I have been overestimating exactly what it is that BGT does. I probably should have stuck to BGTT or BGEE and then played BG2.
If for no other reason than to minimize bugs from having too many mods
Personally, I find BG TuTu superior to BGEE, but that's just me, perhaps. I seem to get all of the graphical upgrades and ease of use on a modern computer, with none of the problems I've encountered on BGEE [and the many more I've heard about.]

Over-modding can be a real problem, especially when trying to track down just what it is that is causing a glitch, and your WeiDo log is a couple of screens long! Myself, I generally stick to one NPC mod and the various chat-enhancing mods for a run-through [Flirt packs, Banter packs, etc]. I'm *very* old school in that I am still using the Baldurash fixpacks and tweaks/cheats. I know that there are lots and lots of options with regards to fix packs and tweaks today, but having tried out various ones, I haven't found any that do only what I want them to do, and not what I don't want them to, like Baldurash does for me.

Two little tweaks I do always add in are the BG style flaming swords [Xan's Moonblade looks too cool in BG 2 with this running] and the Hammers mod, which adds throwing hammers into BG and BG 2. Great fun for all those hammer users who want a decent throwing weapon. :)
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taltamir: Thanks everyone for the answers.

I wish I could play a fighter/cleric/theif. :)
I really don't want my main character to be part mage for RP reasons. (and the XP penalty is less of an issue with the XP uncapper mod)
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Lasivern: Well you gotta play what you want! F/Cl/Th is great for soloing, but if it isn't one's cup o' tea... what's the point, right? :)
The game won't let me play a F/Cl/Th
It only allows 2 triple-class and those are either F/M/Th or F/M/Cl
No F/Cl/Th :(
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taltamir: You know, I think I have been overestimating exactly what it is that BGT does. I probably should have stuck to BGTT or BGEE and then played BG2.
If for no other reason than to minimize bugs from having too many mods
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Lasivern: Personally, I find BG TuTu superior to BGEE, but that's just me, perhaps. I seem to get all of the graphical upgrades and ease of use on a modern computer, with none of the problems I've encountered on BGEE [and the many more I've heard about.]

Over-modding can be a real problem, especially when trying to track down just what it is that is causing a glitch, and your WeiDo log is a couple of screens long! Myself, I generally stick to one NPC mod and the various chat-enhancing mods for a run-through [Flirt packs, Banter packs, etc]. I'm *very* old school in that I am still using the Baldurash fixpacks and tweaks/cheats. I know that there are lots and lots of options with regards to fix packs and tweaks today, but having tried out various ones, I haven't found any that do only what I want them to do, and not what I don't want them to, like Baldurash does for me.

Two little tweaks I do always add in are the BG style flaming swords [Xan's Moonblade looks too cool in BG 2 with this running] and the Hammers mod, which adds throwing hammers into BG and BG 2. Great fun for all those hammer users who want a decent throwing weapon. :)
I was going more for a "the way it was meant to be played" for my first real full playthrough.
I tried a couple of times and quit halfway through (about chapter 4 or so)... this time its different though, I am at ch4 and not slowing down...
this time i cheated and gave myself a bottomless bag of holding via the console+mod and the game got 523% better!
Post edited July 24, 2013 by taltamir
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Lasivern: Well you gotta play what you want! F/Cl/Th is great for soloing, but if it isn't one's cup o' tea... what's the point, right? :)
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taltamir: The game won't let me play a F/Cl/Th
It only allows 2 triple-class and those are either F/M/Th or F/M/Cl
No F/Cl/Th :(
Yeah I know, I was trying to be ironic. >laffs< It isn't even something you can SK in, due to hard coding.
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Lasivern: Personally, I find BG TuTu superior to BGEE, but that's just me, perhaps. I seem to get all of the graphical upgrades and ease of use on a modern computer, with none of the problems I've encountered on BGEE [and the many more I've heard about.]

Over-modding can be a real problem, especially when trying to track down just what it is that is causing a glitch, and your WeiDo log is a couple of screens long! Myself, I generally stick to one NPC mod and the various chat-enhancing mods for a run-through [Flirt packs, Banter packs, etc]. I'm *very* old school in that I am still using the Baldurash fixpacks and tweaks/cheats. I know that there are lots and lots of options with regards to fix packs and tweaks today, but having tried out various ones, I haven't found any that do only what I want them to do, and not what I don't want them to, like Baldurash does for me.

Two little tweaks I do always add in are the BG style flaming swords [Xan's Moonblade looks too cool in BG 2 with this running] and the Hammers mod, which adds throwing hammers into BG and BG 2. Great fun for all those hammer users who want a decent throwing weapon. :)
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taltamir: I was going more for a "the way it was meant to be played" for my first real full playthrough.
I tried a couple of times and quit halfway through (about chapter 4 or so)... this time its different though, I am at ch4 and not slowing down...
this time i cheated and gave myself a bottomless bag of holding via the console+mod and the game got 523% better!
Well... the flaming sword is just a visual tweak, doesn't affect game play, so I can't see the harm.
As for throwing hammers, the game has them, or more precisely, has *one*. Which can only be used by Dwarves. :( Throwing hammers [including a thrown version of the Spiritual Hammer] are something my PnP characters have used in the past, especially my Cleric/Ranger. Game didn't feel complete without them, personally.
But as always, to each their own! :) Glad you are enjoying your run-through. :)
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Lasivern: Well... the flaming sword is just a visual tweak, doesn't affect game play, so I can't see the harm.
As for throwing hammers, the game has them, or more precisely, has *one*. Which can only be used by Dwarves. :( Throwing hammers [including a thrown version of the Spiritual Hammer] are something my PnP characters have used in the past, especially my Cleric/Ranger. Game didn't feel complete without them, personally.
But as always, to each their own! :) Glad you are enjoying your run-through. :)
That isn't what I meant. (this will teach me to post on 2AM) Those 2 mods you mentioned are actually very tame. I meant I was going to get even more mods than that... but when so doing avoid breaking the "feel" of the game. (and I was only saying it as a "let me share too" rather than a "I think you are playing it wrong")

What I meant with "The way it was meant to be played" (+ enhancements) would be:
1. Get all the visual enhancements you can
2. Get all the rule improvements you can.
3. Get ease of use scripts (NPCs go to inns when dismissed, etc).
4. Leave the plot intact (NO: NPC banter, romances, new quests, new NPCs, loot randomizing, enemy rebalancing, early access to zones, etc)
5. Avoid major balance changes.
Post edited July 24, 2013 by taltamir
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Lasivern: Well... the flaming sword is just a visual tweak, doesn't affect game play, so I can't see the harm.
As for throwing hammers, the game has them, or more precisely, has *one*. Which can only be used by Dwarves. :( Throwing hammers [including a thrown version of the Spiritual Hammer] are something my PnP characters have used in the past, especially my Cleric/Ranger. Game didn't feel complete without them, personally.
But as always, to each their own! :) Glad you are enjoying your run-through. :)
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taltamir: That isn't what I meant. (this will teach me to post on 2AM) Those 2 mods you mentioned are actually very tame. I meant I was going to get even more mods than that... but when so doing avoid breaking the "feel" of the game. (and I was only saying it as a "let me share too" rather than a "I think you are playing it wrong")
Don't worry, I didn't read it that way at all! :) All I heard was "Let me share...". :)

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taltamir: What I meant with "The way it was meant to be played" (+ enhancements) would be:
1. Get all the visual enhancements you can
2. Get all the rule improvements you can.
3. Get ease of use scripts (NPCs go to inns when dismissed, etc).
4. Leave the plot intact (NO: NPC banter, romances, new quests, new NPCs, loot randomizing, enemy rebalancing, early access to zones, etc)
5. Avoid major balance changes.
As I said, to each their own. The best advice for new players is a fairly un-modded game, I agree. However, I would slightly disagree about your #4 with regards to banters, romances and new NPCs. Much of this adds to the game greatly, with no change to the plot at all. Having more conversations is simply that, more talking, it doesn't alter the game play or the plot of the game, as far as I can see. The better NPCs also don't change things re: the plot, either significantly or at all, IMO.

Even someone playing for the first time can [but certainly doesn't *have* to] utilize and enjoy some of the better mods, especially for BG2. For example, if someone used and liked Xan, in BG1, they might be very happy to find the Xan for BG2 mod, so that they could adventure with the moody Elf again. Keto is another excellent NPC who integrates seemlessly into BG2 - so well in fact that one would be hard pressed to know that she wasn't an original game NPC!

Other mods, I agree, can change things in ways that a first time player would be best to leave to subsequent run-throughs. But for women, or people playing as female, the core game romance choices are pathetic, in that it isn't a choice - you have one shot at romance with one, not particularly attractive fellow [IMHO] and that's it. Adding in a well done NPC with a romance does much to increase the enjoyment of the game, for those not enamoured of Anomen [Xan is an excellent alternative. I'm running through my first time at the Haer'Dalis romance right now and am very impressed so far.]

However, we are mostly in agreement on new comers being best off experiencing BG2 as it was designed. Personally, I just *really* like well done mods that add to the interplay between NPCs and the PC. This makes the game much more enjoyable for me; I'm not a powergamer or a min-maxer or a "tactical challenge" fan - what I really enjoy is the role-playing. So anything that adds to that aspect of the game is good, as far as I'm concerned. I only wish I had had the choice to take Kelsey, for instance, on my first play through as a female, rather than having to suffer trhrough Anomen as my only choice for lovin'. :)

But again, to each their own. Whatever works for the individual and gets them the most entertainment is the *only* right way to play, right? :)