Baldur's Gate: NPC Rundown
The majority of NPCs in Baldur's Gate 1 are lackluster in the stats department. With very few exceptions, player-made characters even with the same stat rolls would be better if only because we could allocate them better. However, many have special abilities you cannot get yourself were you to make your own extra playable characters, and those that do not can be utilized effectively with the proper gear and buff spells.
Note that these special abilities of the different NPCs, like your Bhaal powers, come with an almost instant casting time, which makes them even more useful than they already are. This is especially the case with Quayle's Invisibility, Dynaheir's Slow Poison, Yeslick's Dispel or Faldorn's and Tiax' summons.
Furthermore, all of the different NPCs in the game have a number of different starting levels when you meet them for the first time, which are derived from your own experience points. If you aim to train a character yourself, invite him into your party early. Otherwise, you can power game a small party to decent levels before picking them up to save the headache of splitting XP among more toons.
NPCs are arranged in order of when you can acquire them and secondarily by ease of doing so when two are in relatively similar areas.
Many NPCs come with a certain requirement you need to fulfill, like being together in your party with another character, or having you perform a certain quest in time. They will notify you of their pending leave timely but will if you keep ignoring them.
For characters who are attached to another NPC, there are multiple methods to get just one in the party. The most straightforward way is to simply kill the guy you don't like then kick them out of your party. However doing so means you'll never be able to use that NPC at a later date. The best method for removing a person you don't want in the party but still might want in reserves in case a whole lot of guys get gibbed is to kill the one you actually want to keep, kick the other out of the party, and then revive your new buddy.
Lastly, if you use any mod to run BG:TotSC through a BG2 engine, many times the NPCs are given fundamentally different skill points. We consider it kosher to use hacks to restore a character's skill and proficiency points more in line with how they come in BG:TotSC. (Sandman's note: I want to list the default proficiencies for both vanilla and modded BG1 and BGtutu, but as of now it just BGtutu values. Apologies for any confusion this might cause.)
Good-Aligned NPCs will leave your party if your reputation drops too low. They may also get into fights with Evil-aligned NPCs. For instance, Jaheria will provoke Montaron and Xzar into fighting. Or Edwin will attack Dynaheir. If this happens, their circle goes purple and you cannot control them until they finish fighting.
Special Abilities: None.
Starting HP & Proficiencies: lvl 1: 8 hp, shortbow
Required Actions: None.
Location: Walks up to you as you leave Candlekeep
Imoen joins with you immediately after you leave Candlekeep and wouldn't you know it, she's easily one of the best NPCs in the entire game. She has perfect stats for a thief (max dexterity, max constitution bonus) and can dual-class into mage. She's arguably the game's best mage as she's got 17 intelligence and more HP/equipment options from her thief levels. If you want to maximize her thief level while still leaving it viable to dual-class, you can manage to reach level 7 of thief while barely hitting level 8 as a mage. You can get to level 6 as a thief to maximize her mage prowess, alternatively. You won't get your thief abilities back for quite a significant period of time, however, so picking up spellcasting at around 4 or 5 is typically preferred for Hardcore runs. If you do decide to go further into thief, Coran is an excellent backup thief for while she regains her levels, as you usually encounter him around the same time she'd want to drop out of thief assuming you have a party of 4 or more up until that point.
Special Abilities: Worthwhile stats!
Starting HP & Proficiencies: lvl 1: 13 hp, bastard sword
Required Actions: Keep Jaheira in your party if she's alive
Location: Northwest inside the Friendly Arm Inn.
Khalid joins up with you inside the Friendly Arm Inn should you want him and his wife, Jaheira. He is one of the best tanks in the game as he has the second highest constitution, good dexterity and passable strength. Good-aligned parties will probably run either Khalid with the Gauntlets of Ogre Power for a damage tank or Ajantis with Gauntlets of Dexterity for a more finesse tank. You can do both if you really want because it isn't like they are mutually exclusive options. Khalid will be more potent in terms of damage from the 18/00 strength and fighter weapon mastery while Ajantis will be more elusive with 18 dex from the gauntlets of dexterity and +2 AC from protection from evil.
It's worth noting he comes with a rank in bows in BG:Vanilla but that is curiously replaced by some weird dual-wielding bastard sword build for BGtutu. Assuming you are running BG:TotSC or hack him to his original game values, you can turn Khalid into a very powerful archer by game's end. Kivan and Coran already serve the archer role extremely well and neither of them can tank as good as Khalid can, so generally speaking it is not necessary to do this for a hardcore run.
Special Abilities: None other than natural Paladin abilities. (And good stats!)
Starting HP & Proficiencies: lvl 2: 20 hp, two handed sword; lvl 4: 32 hp, war hammer
Location: Central South in the Farmlands/Ankheg area.
Ajantis is the best tanking character for a good-aligned party behind Khalid. He's got relatively good stats for BG1, comes with high charisma which gives you a decent discount at shops, and has the fairly useful paladin abilities. Remember Protection from Evil simply gives a bonus to AC. There is no check in the Infinity Engine titles against alignment, so it always boosts his ability to avoid damage against any enemy. Ajantis with the Gauntlets of Dexterity is therefore the most difficult NPC for enemies to land hits against.
Special Abilities: None other than natural Ranger abilities and elven bonus to bows.
Starting HP & Proficiencies: lvl 2: 16 hp, longbow, halberd; lvl 4: 27 hp, two handed sword.
Location: Central in the High Hedge area, just north of the building.
Kivan is a ranged beast. Good aligned parties will want to pick him up quickly, load him up with arrows and watch him do work. The advanced thac0 of rangers + two points in bows + elven bonus to bows makes him a deadly sniper. Leaving him in leather or studded leather means you can stealth him and utilize him as a scout from the get go, leaving your thieves more room to focus on trap-finding and lock-picking early game. As a final bonus, he can tank in a pinch should you give him heavy armors due to his naturally high dexterity and strength. With BGtutu installed, his early game is further bolstered by the inclusion of Composite Longbows.
Special abilities: Berserk once per day and natural Ranger abilities.
Starting HP & Proficiencies: lvl 1: 11 hp, two handed sword; lvl 6: 52 hp, mace, axe.
Location: Central South in Nashkel, east of the bridge.
Required Actions: Save Dynaheir in the Gnoll Stronghold and keep her in the party, do not have Edwin in the party
Minsc hits like a truck as he's got the best natural strength of any character in the vanilla game. He can also berserk. It works like the berserker ability for the most part, except you can't directly control him. Just make sure to keep your distance if you do end up berserking him unless he forgets you are allies and kills you. Something fun to do with Minsc is to berzerk him in the middle of a bunch of webbed/entagled enemies while equipped with the Spider's Bane or under the effects of Free Action. However, strength is his only significant attribute and you're forced to rescue and then bring along Dynaheir. Also note his space hamster takes up a quick item slot. Not a big deal but somewhat annoying.
Special Abilities:Slow Poison once per day.
Starting HP & Proficiencies: lvl 2: 11 hp; lvl 6: 31 hp.
Required Actions: If Minsc is already in your party, you need to keep him. Edwin cannot be in your party.
Location: In the third pit in the Gnoll Stronghold area, Central on the map.
Dynaheir is saddled with the worst mage specialization in the game as it is the only one with TWO opposed schools. Did I mention those two schools are both super important? She cannot cast enchantments (no sleep or charm spells) nor any conjurations (say goodbye to Armor and Monster Summoning.) Despite that, she still manages to be a worthwhile addition to the party. She has good intelligence and has all the constitution you could want in a mage, plus is still a freakin' mage. She'll fling fireballs all over the place at your command.
It's also worth noting you can dual-class her to a cleric if you dump 2 of the game's 3 Tomes of Wisdom on her. The max level of mage you can obtain while leaving enough XP to regain those skills is only 6, however, meaning she'll only have up to level 3 mage spells. If you are arcane heavy, it could be worth it. Maybe.
Depending on her starting level she comes with Magic Missile and Fireball in her spellbook already, among others.
Special Abilities: Unnaturally high dexterity, racial bonus to bow thac0, 3 pips in Longbow (BG:TotSC/BG1EE only).
Starting HP & Proficiencies: lvl 3/3: 27 hp, longbow, two handed sword; lvl 5/5: 39 hp
Required Actions: Kill the Wyverns in the cave in 4th area, bring its head to the Beregost Temple.
Location: Northwest in the first Cloakwood Area.
Coran is theoretically the best NPC archer in the game at level cap. His unnaturally high dexterity and his unnaturally high proficiency in bows (multi-class should be limited to 2) make him pretty deadly from afar. Dexterity and Charisma are his only stats that offer bonuses but they happen to be enough to make him viable. The biggest strike against him is that he joins so late in the game that his thieving skills are spent wonky. His low HP is also a deterrent but it's manageable. If you pump up his stealth and equip him with the gauntlets of ogre power, he's easily the most dangerous thief from a melee combat perspective too.
For reasons unknown, BGtutu decided to change his race to half-elf and remove his bonus bow proficiency. Feel free to hack them back to how it should be, because it's what set him apart from other characters.
Special Abilities: Dispel Magic once per day.
Starting HP & Proficiencies: lvl 4/5: 56 hp
Required Actions: Flood the Cloakwood Mines
Location: Southeast on the second level of the Cloakwood Mines.
Yeslick is great tank/damage dealer with a little preperation. His unique dispel magic unique ability frees up a spell slot and it casts instantly at least in TotSC. Equipping him with the Gauntlets of Dexterity and juicing him up with strength spells turns him into a capable, dangerous tank. Just make sure you bring gear with you into the Cloakwood Mines specifically in mind to give to him because he won't have any on him and there isn't any splint mail or better lying about in the dungeon.
Special Abilities: Equipped with "Lucky Rabbit's Foot" item.
Starting HP & Proficiencies: lvl 6: 19 hp
Required Actions: Raid the Hall of Wonders.
Location: Between 2-5 am in the Hall of Wonders, BG Central West, prior to going to the Candlekeep Cats.
Alora suffers from being the most superfluous character in the game. She's the dead last possible recruit in the game, meaning her skill points are all jammed into hiding and pick-pocket rather than open locks and find traps. She has +3 to saving throws due to being a halfling but is still super squishy due to an abysmal HP pool. You can technically get her dexterity up to 21 with the Tome of Dexterity and Kiel's Buckler equipped but that'd also assume you aren't using the tome on yourself. If for some reason you've managed to burn through the 6 other thief characters permanently and would rather leave Shar-Teel, Branwen and Xzar in their native classes, then use her.
It's worth noting her lucky charm is supposed to keep her under the effects of luck but is bugged. There's probably some mod out there that fixes it if you want to hunt one down. The item is fixed in Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition. The foot now provides:
Armor Class: +2, Saving Throws: +2, Find Traps: +10%, Pick Pockets: +10%, Move Silently: +10%, Hide In Shadows: +10%, Detect Illusion: +10%, Set Traps: +10%, Luck: +2.
The Lucky Rabbit's Foot makes Alora by far the best thief in terms of thieving skills.
Neutral-Aligned NPCs will stay with you regardless of your reputation, making them viable for any party you can scrounge together.
Special Abilities: None.
Starting HP & Proficiencies: lvl 1/1: 12 hp, club.
Required Actions: Keep Khalid in your party if he's alive.
Location: Northwest inside the Friendly Arm Inn
Jaheira is rather underwhelming in Baldur's Gate 1. At least they make her viable in Baldur's Gate 2 by giving her 3 more natural dexterity. Her only redeeming grace is that she's got high constitution. Something of note is Jaheira comes with an invisibility potion, which can come in handy so early in the game. Khalid is definitely the stronger of the two.
If you decide you just can't break the pair apart, Jaheira is yet another character in desperate need of Gauntlets of Dexterity. I don't see why'd you give it to her over Ajantis, Yeslick or Minsc, but it IS possible to turn her into a semi-decent tank.
Special Abilities: None.
Starting HP & Proficiencies: lvl 1: 6 hp, crossbow
Required Actions: Kill his superior, Silke.
Location: Central in Beregost.
Garrick is the single most useless character in Baldur's Gate 1, which is quite an astounding task. Only manages to garner a +2 bonus from Dexterity. His intelligence is too low to reliably scribe scrolls into his spell book, his constitution is bad, his strength doesn't add any bonuses, and his Charisma doesn't even net discounts from shops! His only purpose in life according to the PIH staff is to be gibbed by Drizzt in the attempt to get Drizzt stuck on the lake. He is the sacrificial lamb of choice for suicide missions.
Special Abilities: Charm Person once per day.
Starting HP & Proficiencies: lvl 4: 19 hp, dart; lvl 6: 25 hp, dagger.
Required Actions: Raid the Flesh Golem Cave northwest on the map.
Location: Central in the Lighthouse Area.
Safana is in a really odd spot. Like Alora, she suffers from being part of the most represented class in the game. There are a billion thieves. Her strengths apart from the others is that you can recruit her pretty early on so you are more or less free to manipulate her skills as you see fit, she has Charm Animal (not the greatest extra skill ever but it's handy against bears and spiders), and she can dual-class to mage if you throw the INT Tome her way. If you want to go the mage Safana route, you'll probably want to pick her up and get her to level 4 or 5, drop her off until you actually get the tome, then go about dual-classing her. Only CHARNAME bards and mages care about intelligence so there is a good chance you won't really need it for yourself.
Special Abilities: Spiritual Weapon once per day.
Starting HP & Proficiencies: lvl 2: 17 hp, war hammer; lvl 5: 38 hp, mace, sling.
Required Actions: Cast Stone->Flesh on her.
Location: Southeast in the Nashkel Carnival
Branwen is your best bet as far as divine spellcasters go early on. It's pretty much between her and Jahiera for quite awhile with Branwen easily being the better NPC. Buy a scroll of Stone to Flesh from the Beregost Temple before heading to Nashkel's fairgrounds to save yourself some money in freeing her. Her wisdom is tied with Yeslick's and she has pretty good dexterity so she can avoid hits fairly decently and she at least has Constitution in the black. Her unique ability to summon Spiritual Weapon once a day is handy until you pick up a magic hammer simply because normal iron tends to break frequently here on the Sword Coast. She benefits greatly from a mage throwing Strength on her.
It's worth noting you can dual-class her to thief should you for some reason decide to give her the tome of Dexterity. I don't know why you'd waste such an important item for this endeavor considering how many thieves there already are and she makes a pretty crappy thief besides, but it's still worth mentioning.
Special Abilities: Equipped with "Moonblade" (+3 shortsword, 1d8+3 damage. Also grants +1 AC and 50% fire resistance)
Starting HP & Proficiencies: lvl 2, 7 hp.
Required Actions: None.
Location: Inside Mulaheys den in the fourth level of the Nashkel Mines.
Xan is super mega buffer man. Lots of people dislike him because Enchanter's opposed school is Evocation which means most of the biggest and baddest damage spells are not available to him at least directly from his spell book. Don't stress too much about the lack of fireballs and lightning bolts as both are available in bulk through wands. Instead, load up on charm spells and buffs.
His sword is pretty great and makes him an odd but deadly target for steroid spells. Just make sure to load up on potions of Fortitude before sending him on any extended forays into melee because he's tied with Xzar for squishiest NPC.
Special Abilities: Summon Dread Wolf
Starting HP & Proficiencies: lvl 5: 22 hp, club, spear.
Required Actions: Kill Davaeorn to end the Cloakwood Mines threat.
Location: Northwest in the third Cloakwood area.
Faldorn is another character in an odd spot gameplay-wise. If you could get her before you were already halfway done with the game, perhaps she'd be a more prominent character. As is, she joins really late and in an awkward spot so you'll probably have a full party.
That said, she has decent wisdom and makes a pretty capable summoner combining Summon Animal I and II with her built in Summon Dread Wolf. She also doesn't really require a lot of equipment because if she's going to participate beyond slings and spells, you'll want to drop into some sort of shapeshifting.
It's worth noting as a single class druid, she can reach level 10. Single class clerics quit progressing at 8, so from a pure numbers standpoint, she's the most capable Divine spellcasting NPC. She's the only divine spellcaster who can reach level 5 divine spells. You're limited to just Animal Summoning II and Cure Critical Wounds while running in BG:TotSC but people in BGtutu will have a wide array of powerful spells.
Special Abilities: Invisibility 1x/day.
Starting HP & Proficiencies: lvl 6/5: 24 hp, mace
Required Actions: None.
Location: Northwest in the Baldurs Gate Bridge Area.
Quayle is the only guy that can compete with Edwin for sheer amount of spells per day. Ignore the AD&D rule that bestows a divine spellcast failure on anyone below 13 Wisdom because that is not implemented in Baldur's Gate despite the manual's claims otherwise. He is a pretty capable mage in and of his own right. The biggest struggle Quayle has is limited equipment options. Despite the cleric levels, he can still only really utilize clubs, quarterstaves and slings. He can't even equip the mace he has proficiency in once you apply BG2 rules, with minimum strength values and such.
Quayle (BG:EE version)
Special Abilities: Invisibility 1x/day.
Starting HP & Proficiencies: lvl 6/5: 24 hp, club
Required Actions: None.
Location: Northwest in the Baldurs Gate Bridge Area.
Quayle magically gained another dexterity point, which seriously improves his viability by making him tied with Xzar and Xan. Also due to being a cleric, he can wield a shield (though it'll have to be a small one) to improve his AC further. Lastly, his mace has been replaced with clubs and now that there are magical clubs in BG:EE, it makes him significantly better. It's funny how Quayle went from being that guy you never felt like using because his "stats suck" to being really, really good just by a single extra point in dexterity. This is proof of just how important dexterity is.
Special Abilities: None.
Starting HP & Proficiencies: lvl 6: 28 hp, shortbow.
Required Actions: Save her from the Silvershield estate with Eldoth, and keep him in your party.
Location: On the 2nd floor of the Silvershield Estate, northwest in BG Northwest.
Skie is yet another thief. Her dexterity and constitution are better than Safana's so she makes a better raw thief but lacks the ability to learn arcane spells if you really want. She's also saddled with Eldoth who, while okay, is another mediocre NPC. She's another character that only ever sees playtime in a hardcore run if everyone else is dead.
It is advisable to keep all your characters out of sight while saving Skie, by means of invisiblity, sanctuary and the like, to avoid the guards speaking to you.
Evil-Aligned NPCs will leave your party if your reputation goes above 18.
Special Abilities: None.
Starting HP & Proficiencies: lvl 1: 4 hp, dagger.
Required Actions: Go down the Nashkel Mines. Keep Montaron in your party if he's alive.
Location: Central East along the path on the first map when you leave Candlekeep.
Xzar is capable as a mage as he's got decent intelligence and can actually carry things without being overburdened, and is the only default mage other than Xan with a positive dexterity modifier so he's slightly deadlier than typical mages if he just sits back and hucks daggers/darts/rocks. However, his low constitution leaves him with piddly HP. Joining as early as he does allows him to be fairly flexible, and he's another character who can dual-class should you throw tomes his way. You can turn him into a thief if you decide Montaron isn't enough, or better yet you can dual-class him into Cleric. Doing so at level 6 is your best bet and makes him comparable to Quayle in terms of spells per day once you manage to regain your arcane spells.
Special Abilities: None.
Starting HP & Proficiencies: lvl 1/1:9 hp, short sword.
Location: Central East along the path in the first area when you leave Candlekeep.
Required Actions: Go down the Nashkel Mines, and keep Xzar in your party if he's alive.
Montaron is a a pretty capable melee damage dealer and an okay tank, and a pretty good thief due to him joining as soon as you leave Candlekeep. Throwing Strength spells his way or equipping the Gauntlet of Ogre Power makes him really strong, allowing him to assassinate from stealth with extreme prejudice. Keep in mind he gets +4 to saving throws due to high constitution on a halfling, something most the other good tank characters wish they had.
Special Abilities: Unnaturally high Constitution.
Starting HP & Proficiencies: lvl 1:15 hp, axe
Required Actions: Hear him abandon his search for the missing caravan. Usually this happens when travelling in an area where bandits are present.
Location: Central in Beregost, inside the house just north of Feldeposts inn, you cannot see the door, but hover over it for the icon change.
Kagain + Gauntlets of Dexterity = Tank. The guy can just plain take a hit. His strength could be better, but it's not that big of a deal. His constitution is so high that he regenerates HP. This is rather handy as he'll regain all his HP upon sleeping and traveling most of the time. If only he was good-aligned with proficiency points in Scimitars.
Special Abilities: equipped with "Edwin's Amulet" (read description)
Starting HP & Proficiencies: lvl 1: 6 hp; lvl 6: 27 hp, dart.
Required Actions: Kill Dynaheir in the Gnoll Stronghold, as such, he cannot be teamed with Dynaheir and Minsc.
Location: Central South in Nashkel, on the bridge to your west.
Edwin's Amulet isn't removable, but that doesn't matter overmuch because the amulet secretly confers to him extra spell slots. It's not possible to make a player-made mage that can cast as many spells as Edwin can. Give him the Ring of Wizardry and you'll have a grotesque amount of 1st level spells. Note that, if able to cast them already, Edwins spellbook already contains the important spells Mirror Image and Haste. An important note in case you need to use Dynaheir, Minsc and Edwin in one game (for instance in a non-raising game), is that you have to use the other two before Edwin in order to not miss out on anyone. As such, if you fear not having enough party members to finish the game, always use up Dynaheir and Minsc first.
Special Abilities: None.
Starting HP & Proficiencies: lvl 2: 17 hp, longsword; lvl 6: 46 hp
Required Actions: Beat her with a male character in a one-to-one fight.
Location: Northwest in the so-called Basilisk area, east of the Beregost Temple.
Shar-Teel is one of the more adaptable heroes in the game. Need a thief who's pretty capable in melee? She can dual-class into that. Need an archer? She can handle that pretty well. Want a skirmisher? She can do that well, too. Dropping potions of fortitude grant an extra 4 HP a level, too, so she gets a lot of use out of them should you need her to take a hit.
Just make sure you don't accidentally kill her while trying to recruit her!
Special Abilities: 50% Magic Resistance (inherent)
Starting HP & Proficiencies: lvl 2: 12 hp; lvl 4: 18 hp, war hammer, mace, sling.
Required Actions: Kill the Flaming Fist near her, take a -2 reputation hit.
Location: Northwest in Peldvale.
Viconia is probably the best cleric in BG1, despite her low wisdom and strength. Her magic resistance just can't be overlooked (assuming you are playing in Tutu, or using fixpacks that make it so it doesn't accidentally negate your own spells!) If you know where to look, there's good heavy armor that is also light and usable by people with low Strength, such as the +3 Plate Armor in Durlag's Tower or the +2 Ankheg Armor. She's mean with a sling. Her tanking prowess is taken down a notch due to the low con however.
Special Ability: Create 5 Poison Arrows once per day
Starting HP & Proficiencies: lvl 5: 24 hp, shortbow, spear.
Required Actions: Save Skie from the Silvershield estate once you enter BG, and keep her around.
Location: Central South in the 3rd Cloakwood Area.
He's a better bard than Garrick, although that's not saying much. He's still too stupid to reliably scribe spells. Thankfully, he's got a rather useful special ability. Poison Arrows are amazing for fighting casters as the poison tick can cause their spells to fail, AND you can craft them for free with nothing but time spent in the process. The arrows sell for mint, so you can craft a bunch of them to basically print money. It's just a shame you have to bring Skie with you and he's yet another character that desperately wants Gauntlets of Dexterity to remain viable.
Special Abilities: Summon Ghast.
Starting HP & Proficiencies: lvl 5/6: 47 hp, qstaff, club.
Required Actions: None.
Location: Central West in the BG Southwest section, in front of the door of the Flaming Fist Compound, prior to heading to the Candlekeep Catacombs.
Tiax is kind of bizarre. He can't cast as many spells as other clerics due to his low wisdom, but they still help. He's a passable thief, as well, although he has his skills spread evenly when you get him. What makes him really shine and stand out is his Summon Ghast ability. It's especially useful when going against basilisks as it's immune to the petrifaction effect. Against most humanoid opponents, it's worth summoning to have another body to target as well as a chance to paralyze opponents when they are struck. Remember you CAN backstab with quarterstaves or clubs so you'll want to use those.
Enhanced Edition NPCs
The recent release of BG: Enhanced Edition added 4 new NPCs. Rather than include them where their alignment falls, I thought it'd be more prudent to separate them so people rediscovering the original don't assume they can pick these guys up.
|16||16||14||11||14||14||Human||Sun Soul Monk||Lawful Good|
Special Abilities: None. Equipped with Moonlight Walkers: boots that grant +2 AC wearable only by Lawful Good Human Monks.
Starting HP & Proficiencies: Level 1: 8 HP, one pip in Katana and Scimitar/Ninja-to/Wakazashi. If you pick him up later on, he'll have a pip in slings as well.
Required Actions: Just talk to him. Fulfill his quest line.
Location: Just outside the Nashkel Inn.
Ugh. Just ugh. What an abysmal NPC. Monks are really bad at low levels, even at the max level obtainable in BG1. He also has horrendous stats, and if you pick him up pre-level 4 he doesn't even have a proficiency in a ranged weapon so you can keep him safely in the back and at least contributing to fights. He brings nothing to the table outside of new dialogue and a quest line that yields some very good gear. The gauntlets of ogre power are a must so he can actually land a hit in melee and deal some decent damage. If you're looking for a character that's actually useful in battle, skip him because he's bad, bad, bad, bad, bad. As of version 1.2 he has been made into a Sun Soul Monk. I wouldn't recommend using him in a hardcore run still. He now has a few decent abilities like Sun Soulray (which he can use to hit multiple enemies from range) and Flaming Fists. But overall he still comes with most of the problems monks have.
|11||17||14||17||10||11||Half-Elf||Wild Mage||Chaotic Neutral|
Special Abilities: None. Equipped with a +1 staff that has a 10% chance to deal +1 fire damage to the enemy or the wielder. Also comes with a gem bag, a welcome addition in BG1.
Starting HP & Proficiencies: Level 1: 4 HP, Proficient in Quarterstaff. If picked up at level 6, 19 HP and also proficient in slings.
Required Actions: Rescue her from her attackers.
Location: In the streets north of the Red Sheaf Inn and Burning Wizard Tavern in Beregost.
Neera is a welcome addition. She's got the highest natural dexterity of any single-class mage (Imoen still wins this category) and she's tied with everyone else for 17 intelligence. Her constitution isn't high enough to grant bonus HP but she seems to roll naturally well on her own if you pick her up later unlike Xan and Xzar. As a wild mage, she can accidentally deal a lot of damage to your party if you try to use her as a buffer or if you lob spells at enemies while your party members are also around. She can also occasionally do wonderful things, like accidentally deal a lot of damage to enemies. Unlike when if your PC is a Wild Mage, her accidental surges that cause her to become petrified don't end your run so she's the only viable way use a Wild Mage in a hardcore run. Utilize her mostly as an AoE damage bot and her wild surges won't be a hindrance as much as they could be. Just make sure you never sit on large sums of gold, because she'll occasionally eat away your stash.
Special Abilities: Illegal race-class combo (Half-Orc Paladin). Comes equipped with a +1 Greatsword that becomes +2 after he lands a killing blow.
Starting HP & Proficiencies: Level 1: 10 HP, two pips in two-handed sword and two-handed style. If you pick him up later on, he'll have a pip in crossbows.
Required Actions: Talk to him in the Friendly Arm Inn. He'll join if you choose to help him during an encounter that takes place when you try to enter the Nashkel Mines zone. You'll lose 2 reputation for picking him up into your party.
Location: Friendly Arm Inn (sort of.)
Dorn is a freakin' hoss. 19 strength on an NPC is absurd, and he's also got good dexterity at 16. While his constitution doesn't grant a bonus to HP per level, he's still a warrior class so he's still fairly durable in plate mail and with the d10 HP a level. His blackguard abilities enhance his already absurd power by letting him poison on attack (works with ranged weaponry!), and debuff the thac0 and damage of large groups of enemies with Despair Aura. His quest line also produces some really swag gear. If you're playing Evil, he's worth bringing into any group.
Special Abilities: 50% innate magic resistance. Equipped with a cursed ring that grants him 2 extra level 2 spell slots, and 1 slot for levels 3 and 4. Equipped with a Robe of the Evil Archmagi, Quarterstaff +1, and 10 Darts of Acid.
Starting HP & Proficiencies: Level 6: 36 HP, Proficient in Quarterstaff and Dart.
Required Actions: Kill the gibberlings near the tower in Larswood and if you are the proper level he should appear. You'll lose 2 reputation for taking him into your party.
Location: Southern part of Larswood near a stone tower (only available when main character is level 5 or higher.)
Baeloth is a very powerful character introduced in the Enhanced Edition with an affinity for alliteration. He has a large number of spells known by sorcerer standards including fantastic spells like Fireball, Sleep, and Haste. His constitution grants him a bonus to his HP and while his dexterity is low he starts out with both Shield and Mirror Images so defenses shouldn't be too big of an issue for him. The only real downside with him compared to a mage is that he doesn't get access to level 5 spells. Still, considering he has 55% magic resistance, a large spell book to work from, and can cast level 4 spells that would be otherwise unavailable to mages (because of a lack of scrolls for them) he really has very few downsides. Strongly consider him as an alternative to Edwin or even take both of them for arcane armageddon. Either way he is a very capable character to have in a hardcore run.
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