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Old 03-28-2004, 12:50 AM   #1
Imrahil
Elminster
 

Join Date: November 4, 2001
Location: North Carolina, USA
Posts: 469
This is an attempt to give a quick overview of all the available MOD NPC's out there. Some of the websites don't give a lot of information, & even then it's sometimes tough to tell whether it's worth the trouble to play through with a certain character. So, I've taken many of them through a game or two to see what they're like.

Some I've taken all the way through the end of Throne of Bhaal, while some (a couple of the One Day NPC's) I just took along on several quests. I've tried mixing & matching with various standard NPC's to get an idea of the banter you can expect as well as how well a character fares as a party member.

I'll just be looking at SoA content here, but I'll indicate whether or not the NPC has a ToB component (& sometimes, if I'm trying to decide between an Overall B or a B-, this can factor in). I'll try to keep Spoilers to a minimum, of course, although I'm taking extra quests, equipment, etc. into account. I will be detailing where the NPC is found, however.

Here's a list of the criteria I looked at in my evaluations:

Characteristics - Race, class, stats, etc.

Personality - A measure of how interesting the character is, as well as how they react to encounters & other NPC's.

Implementation - How "smoothly" the character is integrated into the game. If you can obviously tell this isn't a Bioware NPC, the character gets a low grade (I hope the creators of the One Day NPC's will forgive me for low grades here - they are what they are, after all). Bugs will also factor into this category.

Power - How well does the character survive in combat? A PC Sorcerer would probably be an A+ here, while Thieves generally suffer a bit.

Ease of Recruiting - How difficult is it to get the character into the party? The ToB NPC would obviously get an F in this category. [img]smile.gif[/img]

Overall Rating - Taking everything into account, how much would I recommend using the NPC in question. This isn't an average of the previous scores, though, as the whole can be better (or worse) than the sum of the parts.

If you're inspired to download any of these NPC's, check out icelus's pinned Comprehensive BG2 MOD List post. With that said, let's begin (in descending order of Overall Rating)...


Name: Kelsey
Characteristics: NG Male Human Sorcerer
Str: 12 Dex: 16 Con: 15 Int: 12 Wis: 13 Cha: 14
Equipment: minor in-game items, Kelsey's Cloak (a powerful, but not overly so, item), other interesting but minor custom items found/made throughout the game
Personality: A+
Is it possible for an NPC to have too much dialogue? [img]smile.gif[/img] Kelsey comments on practically everything & banters with everyone, interjecting smoothly into existing banters. Kelsey is a bookish, unsure youth who gradually gains confidence in himself throughout the game. He is romanceable (for female PC's) & will even romance Imoen in the ToB portion. The voicing is very well done, as well.
Implementation: A
Put simply, if you didn't know he was a MOD, you'd never guess. The only real downside is he uses the Elven Mage avatar, but that's a minor nitpick & there's a good reason for it. He occasionally comments that he wishes he could cast Infravision & many levels later you can pick it & he'll still say that, but that's no worse than Nalia's "helping the less fortunate" comment while clearing her Keep. As you can probably tell, I'm really reaching to find anything to complain about. [img]smile.gif[/img]
Power: A
He's a Sorcerer. You can't pick all his spells, but you can pick most of them. The only way he could be more powerful is if he were CHARNAME.
Ease: B+
I have to reserve the A's for those found in Chateau Irenicus, but you can easily enlist Kelsey by walking near the Firecam Estate in the Government District.
ToB: Yes
Overall: A
The best MOD NPC out there, IMO. Highly recommended.


Name: Solaufein
Characteristics: CG/CN Male (Dark) Elf Fighter/Mage
Str: 18/21 Dex: 18 Con: 10 Int: 18 Wis: 10 Cha: 16
Equipment: mostly Drow equipment, which, while powerful, is next to useless considering when he joins up, Wand of Fire, several spell scrolls
Personality: A-
Sola has lots of banters & comments on events. The "-" is just because he doesn't quite "fit" with how he's portrayed in Ust Natha, IMO. He's a wannabe poet (although the poems are actually quite good) who broods a bit too much for the Drow Weapons Master you meet initially. You might not even notice it, though, so still very good in the Personality department. He is romanceable (for male & female PC's).
Implementation: A-
No real bugs that I've ever encountered, although he occasionally says "I have seen no one" for no reason & he has no voicing. His joining up fits in very smoothly with the storyline. A total of 90 ability points is on the high end for any of the NPC's, I guess.
Power: B+
A Fighter/Mage is already a strong multi-class, & Sola comes with a few nifty abilities of his own (although the ones in ToB could be considered overly powerful - a matter of taste, though).
Ease: D
Sola's rating suffers from where he appears in the game (after completing Ust Natha & only if you make certain choices). No matter how appropriate it is that you get him when you do, it's not easy to recruit him & you'll either have to go to Spellhold with an empty slot or kick someone out in the Underdark.
ToB: Yes
Overall: B+
A very well done NPC. Worth the trouble of picking him up to play through with him at least once.


Name: Tashia
Characteristics: NG Female Elf Sorcerer
Str: 11 Dex: 19 Con: 15 Int: 16 Wis: 14 Cha: 12
Equipment: scrimshaw figurine which generates a strong (in certain situations) Summon once per day, Staff Spear, Boots of the North, Ring of Acuity
Personality: B+
Tashia is interesting, but not incredibly engaging. Her banters will have special interest for those who've played Icewind Dale I, as she makes some familiar references. She has several banters & interjections, but it seems like you only get to see most of them if you romance her (she's romanceable for a male PC). She starts off almost as unsure of her own self-worth as Aerie, although in her case it's due to an obsession over a former love. Her riddles are a nice touch.
Implementation: B-
No bugs, but for some reason she doesn't quite "feel" like a Bioware NPC. Some unique voicing may help in this respect. The quest at the end of her romance can result in some ridiculous loot (multiple Amulets of Power, the main bad guy dual-wielding 2 Malakars, etc.), which really hurts her in this category.
Power: A
She's a Sorcerer - see Kelsey for reasons behind the "A".
Ease: B-
She's found in the tavern in Trademeet & has a minimum reputation requirement (10 IIRC). About as easy to recruit as Cernd.
ToB: Yes
Overall: B
Interesting & worth playing if you intend to romance her.


Name: Valen
Characteristics: CE Female Vampire Fighter/Thief
[note: values in parentheses are her Elder Vampire stats]
Str: 18/75 (22) Dex: 17 (21) Con: 9 (9) Int: 16 (20) Wis: 10 (10) Cha: 15 (19)
Equipment: Valen's Claws (+1 (+5) "Dagger", drains 1 (5) levels), Valen's Armor (low AC, undead resistances, regenerates 1 hp/2 sec (2 hp/sec), no weapon immunity (+2 or better to hit)), Boots of Stealth, Helmet of Defense, Gloves of Missile Snaring, various potions
Personality: A+
Personality is where Valen really shines. She forces you to play Evil, choosing the Evil path for you in many instances. She banters well & keeps in character as a bloodthirsty Vampire who'd rather slaughter anything that gets in her way (or even annoys her) than talk her way out of a situation. Her custom script is very impressive, as well.
Implementation: B-
Put simply, she's a bit too powerful, especially later in the game (the stats in parentheses above reflect her as an Elder Vampire at the end of SoA). No bugs that I'm aware of, but you'd be hard-pressed to believe she's a Bioware NPC (especially since she doesn't have a voice). She suffers debilitating weakness under the sun, but even that hardly offsets her power. She triggers a group of Vampire Hunters later in the game (who can show up anywhere, even in the Matron Mother's own temple [img]smile.gif[/img] ) who are a bit over the top & don't help her in the believability department.
Power: A
She's so powerful it hurts her credibility as an NPC, but later in the game she can single-handedly wipe out whole areas of monsters. Draining up to 5 levels per hit while regenerating 2 hp/sec can put down the toughest enemy in no time. She gets an "A" despite her weakness in the sun.
Ease: B-
Not too easy to get her, but no more difficult than, say, Mazzy. Once you've accumulated 15,000 gps & accepted Bodhi's offer, she's immediately available.
ToB: Yes
Overall: B
Well worth playing through with her just for her personality. If you're a bit squeamish about taking the Evil path even when playing an Evil PC, Valen will take up the slack for you.


Name: Chloe
Characteristics: N Female Human Kensai
Str: 13 Dex: 25 Con: 16 Int: 12 Wis: 12 Cha: 14
Equipment: Rage of Acadia (Scimitar), Lathander's Blaze (Short Sword) - start off in the +3/+2 range but get upgraded later
Personality: A
Chloe is extremely interesting. You learn her whole back-story (although the whole "we invented the Kensai style" thing seems a little silly) & your interaction with her can vary depending on your class. She's very mercenary in her attitudes. She's got divine blood, like the PC (which is how her Dex is explained), which makes for some cool conversations. She's romanceable (for female PC's, which is presented in a smooth, understated way) & will (supposedly - see Implementation) romance Imoen if the PC is unavailable. She banters well with the standard NPC's, comments on everything you'd expect her to, & is very well-voiced.
Implementation: C
My computer had a tendency to freeze up for a minute or two while Chloe was in the party (not crash, so if you wait it out, everything resumes). Could be just my PC, but it's my review, so she gets penalized for it. Her interjections tend to replace existing ones, so if you're talking to, say, Renal & Chloe has something to say, you wind up with Chloe's dialogue but the choices to respond to Renal displayed at the same time. It can be a little confusing & would benefit a lot from being able to hit Continue, then seeing the choices you're used to seeing. The Imoen romance never materialized for me, so I'd have to put that down as a bug. The 25 Dex is just silly & almost single-handedly destroys her credibility, IMO, divine blood or not. 20 would be good enough to get the point across (& if you ShadowKeeper her down to believability, she can't use her swords anymore).
Power: B-
As a Kensai, Chloe starts off a little weak, but catches up later. She'll rack up the kills as long as you don't rely on her to be a Tank, but more of a flank attacker. You'll definitely want to get her a Girdle to make up for her low Strength score, though. If you stick with her starting weapons, it will likely take you til ToB to get her 5 *'s in 2 different weapons & 3 in Two-Weapon.
Ease: A
You can quickly pick up Chloe in Chateau Irenicus at the beginning of the Plane of Air section.
ToB: No
Overall: B-
Worth downloading, but I hope some more work is put into her. Chloe has a lot of potential to be a great NPC.


Name: Silver Star
Characteristics: NE Female Elf Assassin (basically)
Str: 14 Dex: 19 Con: 7 Int: 16 Wis: 6 Cha: 14
Equipment: Cryblade - a sentient Short Sword with unknown abilities (she doesn't start with it, but Frennedan in Chateau Irenicus is holding it)
Personality: A
This kid is... demented. Plain & simple - I was fascinated by her. She's so naively Evil (without being malicious - more like a child pulling the wings off of bugs). SS is perfect for Evil parties, but your Good ones may feel the need to keep her around just to keep from turning her loose on the countryside. She has some really good banters with Aerie, but doesn't speak up much past the mid-game (for reasons that are apparent if you check out the forums on her website). Make sure you have her talk to Salvanas in the Copper Coronet, the gravedigger in the Buried Alive quest, & Neeber in Trademeet.
Implementation: C-
No voicing hurts her a bit, & there's some capitalization issues (esp. with the Dryads) that drag her down. You can get 2 Cryblades if you have her be the one to pick it up off the floor when you first find it (a scripting problem which is supposed to make sure no one else can even hold the sword). She uses the anachronistic term "cool", which is a bit out of place with a D&D character. When she banters, it says SilverStar instead of Silver Star. Sometimes it looks like she wants to talk to someone but she just turns & faces them & says "Well goodbye Mommy" (she refers to her Cryblade as "Mommy" if you're wondering why she'd say that).
Power: C
Silver's more geared towards Hiding & Backstabbing than being a traditional Thief, & while that may hurt her in the usefulness department, she can actually be quite capable in battle, as long as you don't try to Tank with her, of course. Still, she's a Thief, so she only gets a "C" for Power.
Ease: A+
I guess you could miss her (you have to open the door to the North of your starting cage), but she's marginally easier to add than Jaheira, even.
ToB: No
Overall: C+
Like Chloe, I really hope Silver Star gets the work she deserves. She's morbidly fascinating & I've taken her along several times on the off chance I've missed a banter. Check out the forums on her (you can get to them through the link on icelus's page) to see the future plans for her.


Name: Kiara
Characteristics: NE Female Human Monk
Str: 14 Dex: 17 Con: 12 Int: 15 Wis: 10 Cha: 16
Equipment: Osan's Monk Robe (+10% MR, +1 AC, +1 ST), Ring of Protection +2, Boots of Stealth
Personality: B
Kiara is an Evil Monk from Kara Tur (although her default portrait doesn't look very appropriate) who was captured by slavers & brought to Amn. She has her own little prophecy to fulfill which fuels most of her dialogues. Her history & the grudge she bears for one of the ToB characters is the most interesting aspect of her personality. She'll urge the PC to take the Evil paths through the game, for reasons that are revealed throughout the course of her banters. She is romanceable (for Good/Neutral Male PC's) & has some very explicit love scenes (described in over-the-top detail through use of the Epilogue screen).
Implementation: C-
You'll never mistake Kiara for a Bioware NPC. Bugs, dialogue loops, a horrible lack of proof-reading, & the graphic love scenes all scream "MOD content". Once KiaraRomanceActive reaches 2, if you try to flirt with her, it says "TO BE DEVELOPED – NOT FUNCTIONAL –". The second time you meet the slaver who captured her, you can get some way-too-powerful ToB-level loot which duplicates numerous unique items. If you're playing an Evil PC, Kiara & Zaiya don’t even appear in the game & if you're Good/Neutral you have to do certain quests before traveling to Spellhold or they'll leave. The linearity of it all makes it feel more like the PC is a supporting character in Kiara's story rather than the other way around.
Power: B-
Kiara is a little weak throughout much of SoA, but makes an effective flank attacker. Her custom script, while impressive, will waste a lot of her abilities you'd rather save for important fights (you can turn it off by talking to her, though). Once she hits higher levels, she becomes a strong member of the party.
Ease: C+
You have to rescue Zaiya, then jump through a few hoops (including a couple of battles that are a little tough for straight-out-of-Chateau Irenicus-level parties) to find out where Kiara is. After that, you can rescue her from a slaver in the Government District to get her to join.
ToB: No
Overall: C+
Kiara-Zaiya needs a lot of work, but adds a lot of good content. It adds a few nice twists to the game, but is far from polished.


Name: Zaiya
Characteristics: CG Female Half-Elf Wild Mage
Str: 9 Dex: 16 Con: 16 Int: 17 Wis: 15 Cha: 10
Equipment: Ring of Acuity, Mage Robe of Fire Resistance
Personality: B-
Zaiya is a supporting character is the Kiara story, & as such doesn't interact with the PC nearly as much. She suffers from a curse (from her Wild Magic) so she has to be near Kiara at all times. Her backstory is interesting & gives her some nice connections with other NPC's like Aerie & Nalia (although she mentions the Roenalls before Nalia does). She has a few comments about the SoA world, but gets lost in Kiara’s shadow.
Implementation: C
Zaiya suffers from the same proof-reading issues that Kiara does (about every other banter/interjection has an error or two), but doesn't have all the other problems (granted, they're from the same MOD, but most of the problems are with the Kiara part). It's a bit puzzling why the slavers let her keep her equipment, though.
Power: B+
Other than the times when she's cursed (when Kiara's not around – initially, kidnapped by Bodhi, etc.), she's as powerful as you’d expect a Wild Mage to be.
Ease: B
Zaiya is being held by the slavers in the Slaver Ship in the Slums, so it's fairly easy to get to her. You just have to be ready to go looking for Kiara right away, though.
ToB: No
Overall: C+
Kiara-Zaiya needs a lot of work, but adds a lot of good content. It adds a few nice twists to the game, but is far from polished.


Name: Ghareth
Characteristics: LN Male Human Fighter->Mage
Str: 11 Dex: 15 Con: 17 Int: 15 Wis: 11 Cha: 13
Equipment: Longsword +1, Bracers AC 6
Personality: C
Ghareth is a One Day NPC, & despite being head & shoulders above the other One Day-ers, he still lacks the depth of the NPC's ahead of him. The banters he has are very well done, but compared to Minsc, Korgan, etc., he only talks about 25% as much. He has some very interesting interactions with some lesser-used characters though, such as Lady Yuth & the Priest in the Oghma temple. It would be nice to get some exposition, though, after the banters, along the lines of "Sorry about that, CHARNAME, allow me to explain...". Still, a fun & unique NPC to have along. Very well-voiced, btw.
Implementation: C+
Some minor grammar mistakes, but smoothly implemented. If you didn't know he was a MOD, you'd basically just be wondering why he doesn't talk very much. Exposition on his encounters, such as his comment with Tolgerias, would help a lot.
I initially compared the One Day NPC's to BG I NPC's & that was an unfair comment, as Ghareth proves.
Power: B
Picture Nalia if she had Fighter levels instead of Thief levels. He'd probably rate a little higher, but when you meet him he's only a Fighter (3) -> Mage (4), so it takes a while for him to be useful. At later levels, you can get him up to GM in Crossbows, making him an effective sniper as well as a powerful mage.
Ease: B+
Ghareth can be found at the City Gates & will wait around if you don't feel like picking him up when you first meet him.
ToB: Yes
Overall: C
An interesting character, but still a One Day NPC. Of the ones I looked at, Ghareth is by far the best, but you can tell the difference between him & the Bioware NPC's or the MOD NPC's who have spent lots of time in development (in terms of interaction with the SoA world, not bugs).


Name: Horace
Characteristics: LG Male Skeleton Bone Collector
Str: 17 Dex: 13 Con: 18 Int: 13 Wis: 16 Cha: 9
Equipment: none
Personality: C
Horace is a Skeleton, & as such several NPC's ask him "what's it like", etc. He's fun to have around, but doesn't seem to talk a whole lot. The banters he does have are fairly worth seeing, though.
Implementation: C-
I had a few crashes while Horace was in the party. Some unexplained & unrepeated, so I'm not positive it was due to Horace. If you equip certain weapons, the game will crash because the .BAM file can't figure out what to do (the ReadMe seems to imply that a list of off-limits weapons is given, but I didn't see any list). If you stick to weapons he can be proficient in, you'll generally be safe (although stay away from the Flame Tongue sword). Occasionally NPC's would try to "speak" (although I should point out that he has no voicing) to Horace when he wasn't even in the party - you just get a pane of dialogue, hit Continue, then it goes away.
Power: B
The Bone Collector kit looks interesting. I haven't taken him to the point where he gets HLA's, but the ReadMe implies there's some custom ones. You can equip Horace like a Fighter & have him Tank for you, so he can generally hold his own in combat.
Ease: C
Horace is found in the Trademeet Crypt, meaning you have to do the whole Druid Grove quest to get to him, so he's middle of the road in ease of picking him up.
ToB: No
Overall: C
Average at best, I'd say. He could use some more banters & you have to be very careful when changing his equipment, but Horace is worth a try if you've gotten bored with the standard NPC's.


Name: Vanim
Characteristics: NE Male Half-Elf Assassin
Str: 15 Dex: 18 Con: 12 Int: 14 Wis: 7 Cha: 12
Equipment: Vanim's Ring (undroppable, +5% MR)
Personality: C-
Vanim was kind of bland, in a wannabe Evil kind of way. He doesn't banter much and only takes you on one minor, seemingly irrelevant little assassination that nets you not much more than a 2 point drop in Rep.
Implementation: C-
He doesn't have a voice & his picture seems a little fuzzy for a Bioware NPC. No bugs, but you'll hardly even notice he's there.
Power: C
Much like Silver Star, Vanim is more of a Hide & 'Stab kind of Thief, which makes him slightly more useful in combat than a regular Thief.
Ease: B
Vanim can be found in the Temple District, to the south, near one of the statues. He's a little hard to see even if you're looking for him, & won't join if your Rep is too high.
ToB: No
Overall: C-
If you're looking for an Evil Assassin-type character, Silver Star has Vanim beat.


Name: Alassa
Characteristics: NE Female Human Thief
Str: 10 Dex: 15 Con: 9 Int: 14 Wis: 12 Cha: 16
Equipment: Short Sword +1
Personality: C-
Alassa is a One Day NPC, so there's obviously not going to be a lot of banter, but she's intriguing. She comes across as an adventure-seeking youth & I kind of hope she gets fleshed out a bit more. She doesn't comment on much & doesn't talk to the NPC's very often, though.
Implementation: D+
Sorry, but most of the One Day NPC's have to suffer here. They're all going to be only marginally better than a secondary character created by the player & this category not only measures bugs (none encountered), but how close the character "feels" to a Bioware NPC. All of your standard NPC's & most of the better MOD NPC's will talk ten times more than Alassa. One of the standard tests I give NPC's is Salvanas in the Copper Coronet, & he had nothing to say to Alassa. Still, nice voice, good portrait.
Power: C-
She's a Thief, so her power isn't all that high. Still, for Evil parties (although other than being a bit of a liar, Alassa didn't seem all that Evil) in need of a Thief with a few banters, she'll do.
Ease: A-
Alassa can be found in the Slums (in the street in front of the Jansen home), which is one of the first areas you visit, so it's easy to pick her up (however, you have to do it when she first asks, otherwise she walks off ).
ToB: Yes
Overall: D+
Cool character who I'd like to see More Than One Day put into.


Name: Cassius
Characteristics: NG Male Human Skald
Str: 16 Dex: 17 Con: 13 Int: 16 Wis: 9 Cha: 15
Equipment: Studded Leather +4 (with a +15 Lore bonus), Light Crossbow of Speed, Long Sword +1, Cassius' Cloak (+20% Pick Pockets), other minor items
Personality: C-
Cassius doesn't banter much, and when he does he sounds like English is his second language. He never commented on some of the more obvious events (the Playhouse, meeting Haer Dalis', the Harpers quest). He talks to you about turning into the "ravager" long before it’s even an issue.
Implementation: D
I understand why some very skilled MOD'ers may view designing an NPC in One Day as a challenge ("how much can I cram in?"), but it seems like too many people use the One Day concept as an excuse to turn out an unfinished product. Cassius is one of the latter ones, with numerous spelling & grammar mistakes, little banter, & poor equipment choices (his over-powered Studded Leather disables his Wizard spells & he has no proficiency in Crossbows).
Power: B-
A Skald is an interesting choice for a character, but not high on the power scale (which isn't a bad thing). I wound up using Cassius as a support mage & had him singing in the background during a lot of fights, which helped indirectly.
Ease: A-
Cassius can be found in the Mithrest Inn in Waukeen's Promenade, so he can be added right after Chateau Irenicus.
ToB: Yes
Overall: D
Definitely needs More Than One Day.


Name: Gozaloth (Goo)
Characteristics: Male Floating Eyeball Fighter
Str: ? Dex: ? Con: ? Int: ? Wis: ? Cha: ? (sorry, didn't write 'em down the one time I tried him out, well before I decided to put this together)
Equipment: Goo's Mouth, a... Dagger (as far as the game's concerned) with unusual properties
Personality: B
Can I base my review off of one banter? If so, Goo's banter with Jan is worth the download all by itself.
Implementation: D
He looks like a Gauth, so equipping certain items will cause crashes. Also, I got a dialogue loop when I approached him - he repeatedly asked to join even if I declined, so I had to add him to the party or kill him. His garbled voice is kinda fun to hear from time to time, though.
Power: C+
He's a Fighter with equipment restrictions. His Mouth is a decent weapon (& droppable when he's killed [img]smile.gif[/img] )
Ease: D+
Goo is found in the Planar Sphere in the same area as the first set of Dark Sun Halflings you run into.
ToB: No
Overall: D
I just thought I'd include Goo in this, 'cause he's kind of cool, if really limited. As I said earlier, you should install him at least once just for the Goo-Jan banter.


Name: Hessa
Characteristics: NE Female Half-Elf Thief
Str: 15 Dex: 16 Con: 16 Int: 13 Wis: 12 Cha: 10
Equipment: some minor +1 items plus an item, simply called "Arrows" which appears to function like unlimited normal arrows
Personality: C
Hessa's intriguing, has an excellent voice set, & a really cool portrait, but it seems a little odd for her to be in charge of her own little thieving racket & still want to join up with you (leaving her Flunkies behind to tell you to speak to Hessa, even). She hires you for a little minor quest, complete with its own new area (& unique item), then joins up if you ask her. It seems a little strange, but I won't hold it against her personality. Instead, I'll hold it against her...
Implementation: D-
In addition to the drawbacks of all the One Day NPC's, Hessa's story doesn't fit as well as the others. Also, due to the added area, you have to start a whole new game to try her out (i.e you can't install her with a party that has a CN Anomen - see below - & go pick her up). She doesn't banter very much, & the creator admits she's a sneak peak at a larger MOD, & it shows (she even "breaks the 4th wall" & tells you this is the end of the One Day NPC Quest).
Power: C-
I guess someone (or several someones) noticed the lack of Evil Thieves. Well, now there are a few of them & they all get C's or C-'s.
Ease: D
Meeting Hessa is more like an Easter Egg than a true NPC. You have to have Anomen fail his test (actually, just meet with his father after seeking revenge), then go to the City Gates.
ToB: No
Overall: D
It was too much build up (waiting for the whole Anomen thing to play out) for too little reward. The unique item is kind of cool, though.


Name: Neh'taniel
Characteristics: LN Male (Wraith) Elf Undead Hunter
Str: 16 Dex: 14 Con: 13 Int: 11 Wis: 19 Cha: 17
Equipment: Relic Amaunator (basically a Flame Tongue Sword with some extra abilities - can be upgraded by Cromwell), Full Plate +2, The Sun's Gift (Shield +4 with some extra abilities (minor Healing ability, casts Fire Shield))
Personality: D-
Neh'taniel is a long-dead follower of Amaunator who has been at unrest for hundreds of years. His back-story is very intriguing, but at the moment, Neh'taniel has no personality, as his creator is adapting his banters to something new about WeiDu. Still, he's an original character who shows a lot of promise.
Implementation: D-
No banters at all hurt him tremendously at the moment. When trying to upgrade his Sword with Cromwell, there's a bug which will put 2 upgraded, undroppable Swords in the PC's inventory. He starts off at Level 15 (which, while plausible given his history, is very high on the power scale & can trigger the highest Tactics City Encounters before the rest of your party is ready for them). Plus, he starts off with a better Shield than anything you could get in vanilla SoA.
Power: B
Think Keldorn without the Inquisitor abilities but with Cleric spells. He starts with no proficiencies in Two-Handed Sword, so it may take you a few levels to take full advantage of his power. If you can get to him early enough, though, he makes for a strong addition to any party.
Ease: C+
Neh't is located at the entrance to the Temple of Amaunator, in the Unseeing Eye Quest in the sewers below the Temple District. If you have Tactics Alwys Toughest Spawn installed, that means you have to fight a pack of Beholders to reach him, which isn't easy.
ToB: No
Overall: D
A very original concept & a powerful addition to any party, but at the moment he's only slightly better than a player-created secondary character. Once he gets the work he deserves, I look forward to re-rating him.


Name: Ninafer
Characteristics: LN Female Elf Fighter/Mage
Str: 15 Dex: 19 Con: 12 Int: 18 Wis: 9 Cha: 11
Equipment: Vigilance (+3 Longsword, +2 Fire damage, +2 Electricity damage, +4 vs. Evil), Short Sword +1, Elixer of Health x5, Elven Chain +1, Nina's Ring (unknown properties, but unequippable)
Personality: C-
Ninafer is an Elf with a grudge against Irenicus, but she doesn't talk about it very much. She has a few banters with the PC & Imoen, but ignores the other NPC's for the most part. An Elf hunting Irenicus is a good concept, but it needs a lot of fleshing out. Decent voicing, although the portrait looks derivative of Viconia's.
Implementation: D+
Nina doesn't talk or comment on events nearly often enough. When she does, there's some spelling errors & some major punctuation issues - there's not a single comma in any of her dialogues (e.g. "A good lesson in battle to.") In her dialogues with Imoen, Imoen sounds very formal & stilted (no contractions), & Nina's response is "Haha your humor never cease to amaze me.". Plus, 'Salvanas- has nothing to say to you'.
Power: B+
Nina is a Fighter/Mage with a +3 weapon right off the bat, so she'll make a strong addition to any party.
Ease: A-
Ninafer approaches you in the Copper Coronet, one of the easiest areas to reach, so adding her to your party is very easy.
ToB: No
Overall: D
She's a One Day NPC with a good concept but subpar implementation.


Name: Anishai
Characteristics: CN Female Human Monk
Str: 14 Dex: 17 Con: 10 Int: 13 Wis: 9 Cha: 16
Equipment: Anishai's Dagger (+3, inflicts Poison damage, +2 attacks/round)
Personality: D-
Anishai is already in the game as a flirtatious member of Mae'Var's Guild on the 2nd floor. Turns out she's a spy for Renal & will join up with you (only if you accept her offer right away, though, otherwise she walks around a few seconds, then vanishes). I thought she'd be an interesting character, so I took her with me back to Renal (nothing), through the De'Arnise Keep (nothing), & through the Umar Hills quest (nothing). I can't really comment on her personality, since I never saw it.
Implementation: D-
She has BG I proficiency slots. 'Nuff said.
Power: B-
I tried to think of what I'd rate a PC Monk & drop it half a grade.
Ease: C+
Slightly tougher to recruit than Edwin.
ToB: No
Overall: D-
If you want a Monk, I'd suggest creating one from scratch.


Name: Azrael
Characteristics: NG Male Elf Archer (Ranger)
Str: 14 Dex: 17 Con: 14 Int: 12 Wis: 14 Cha: 11
Equipment: Elven Chain +1

Name: Mike
Characteristics: N Male Human Fighter
Str: 16 Dex: 14 Con: 16 Int: 17 Wis: 6 Cha: 12
Equipment: Two-Handed Sword +3, Crimson Chain +5, Kiel's Helmet, Boots of Speed, Gauntlets of Extraoardinary Specialization

Personality: F
Other than when they join up, Mike & Azrael have no personality & never talk to the other NPC's or comment on events. Azrael has Kivan's portrait & Mike has Cernd's. Despite reviewing them together, they can be added separately.
Implementation: D-
Neither will crash your game, but they serve no real purpose other than to occupy a slot in your party.
Power: B
Both start at level 2, but Azrael has 40 hp & Mike has 84 (& some powerful equipment), so I guess they could wind up being useful.
Ease: F
Mike & Azrael have to be CLUA'd in as far as I can tell - I've never run into either one in game (& Mike even references being "summoned" in his joining up dialogue).
ToB: No
Overall: F
I'm not sure what purpose Mike or Azrael is meant to serve, unless you don't feel like rolling up your own character. Hardly worth the time it takes to download & install.


Hope people find these useful, as I had very little to go on when deciding which NPC's to download (you can't even get a decent description of most of the One Day NPC's without downloading them). I'm open to comments & people disagreeing with my ratings. It's all just my opinion, of course.

- Imrahil

EDITS - corrected Ghareth & Alassa ToB Indicator, added voice/no voice to all, corrected some word choices & grammar, added Sola "I have seen no one", emphasized problem with Chloe's Dex, added "cool" comment to Silver Star & "SilverStar" in dialogues, retracted "BG I NPC comment" (left the initial statement so people would know what we're talking about later on), added Hessa "4th wall" comment, dropped Vanim's rating to a C- after realizing he's not much better than some One Day-ers, dropped Horace's Personality to C since after including him in my Neh't game I've realized he really doesn't talk much at all

MORE EDITS - Moved Ghareth up to a C, added detail to Alassa review, added Neh'taniel & Ninafer

YET MORE EDITS - Added Kiara & Zaiya, Cassius, Mike, & Azrael, removed some of the bugs from Neh'taniel's entry

[ 04-18-2004, 09:09 PM: Message edited by: Imrahil ]
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Old 03-28-2004, 01:35 AM   #2
krunchyfrogg
Red Dragon
 

Join Date: February 14, 2004
Location: NY, USA
Age: 45
Posts: 1,516
Awesome.

Howabout a follow-up post telling us where we can download these NPC's. I've never played with a "new" NPC, but your review of Kelsey is having me think differently.
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Old 03-28-2004, 05:56 AM   #3
IranicuS
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Join Date: April 26, 2003
Location: this forum
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wow..i can only say...great work(Y)
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Old 03-28-2004, 06:26 AM   #4
debiler
Red Wizard of Thay
 

Join Date: May 6, 2001
Location: Stuttgart, Germany
Age: 41
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Awesome work. [img]smile.gif[/img]

I'm thinking about downloading Kelsey right now, but there's one big problem: I simply hate his picture! He looks like a dork... Are there alternative portraits for him?
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Old 03-28-2004, 10:55 AM   #5
icelus
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Join Date: February 28, 2003
Location: Albuquerque
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Kelsey comes with several alternate portraits, and there are several more available here: http://webpages.charter.net/kelseynpc/kelseypics.html
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Old 03-28-2004, 03:30 PM   #6
debiler
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LOL, these are no real alternatives, are they? Not that his portraits look bad or something, but imho he just doesn't look very SOA-ish. But I guess I'll still have to try that mod. [img]smile.gif[/img]
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Old 03-28-2004, 03:33 PM   #7
Lord
Ma'at - Goddess of Truth & Justice
 

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Age: 36
Posts: 3,302
Quote:
Originally posted by debiler:
LOL, these are no real alternatives, are they? Not that his portraits look bad or something, but imho he just doesn't look very SOA-ish. But I guess I'll still have to try that mod. [img]smile.gif[/img]
You could just give him a custom picture of your own if you want.

Nice work on the review [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
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Old 03-29-2004, 12:59 AM   #8
Pirengle
Symbol of Cyric
 

Join Date: April 20, 2003
Location: Sarasota, Florida, USA
Age: 38
Posts: 1,101
Quote:
Originally posted by krunchyfrogg:
Howabout a follow-up post telling us where we can download these NPC's.
Didn't Icelus type up some sort of mod thread or something?

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Old 03-29-2004, 12:04 PM   #9
jcompton
Elminster
 

Join Date: May 29, 2002
Location: USA
Age: 44
Posts: 453
Very thorough job. I just wanted to make a couple of quick comments:

- There's no way for Kelsey to legitimately obtain Infravision, as his 1st level spell slots are full when you meet him. You must have installed some sort of "extended" spell table if it was possible for you.

- I feel like you let the "One-Day" designation write a bit too much of your reviews of those NPCs, without actually giving the content an even shake. F'rinstance, Ghareth has something like 13 SOA banters plus 4 TOB banters, which I would hardly consider BG1-esque by any measure. I actually wouldn't be too surprised if, size-wise, his dialogue didn't compare pretty favorably to Valen's (although many of her dialogues are admittedly "meatier" and more memorable, often because they end with her killing somebody nice.) Also a little surprised that the One-Day NPCs (and Goo, for that matter) didn't fare better in the "Implementation" category as they all have original voicesets, something even some of the highest rated NPCs such as Valen, Solaufein, and Tashia lacked.

Also, Ghareth DOES have TOB content, including an epilogue.

[ 03-29-2004, 12:08 PM: Message edited by: jcompton ]
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Old 03-29-2004, 12:27 PM   #10
SimDing0
Dungeon Master
 

Join Date: January 21, 2004
Location: UK
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Quote:
Also, Ghareth DOES have TOB content, including an epilogue.
As does Alassa, although in both cases the ToB content is less extensive than that in SoA.
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