Major Story Line Spoilers: (if somehow someone doesn’t yet know the story)
So there is this Delainy MOD in the back half of production @ G3. She’s the werewolf that you get a kiss from if you play it right on werewolf island and will be a romancable Bard. Anyway it had me interested so I devised a team to play through BG1-TOSC to meet/greet and be ready for her in SOA when the MOD is done. This raised the question of what PC (race, sex, alignment, class) makes the most sense with the cannon group through the series. Obviously the game throws Imoen and then likewise Jaheira and Khalid at you from the get go. Then by following the most logical path Minsc and thus Dynaheir are directly planted for you to run into. This is reinforced by starting out in prison with Imoen, Jaheira and Minsc while finding out that Khalid and Dynaheir are dead in SOA. You also can’t avoid at least meeting Yoshimo which is like the game handing you a replacement for Imoen who they are about to take and of course his story line conveniently gets rid of him when you get Imoen back.
In BG1-TOSC your cannon NPC’s provide you this.
Imoen – Thief (I’ve dual classed her before at 7 like SOA suggests and although there is some hassle with no thief skills for quite a while the end result is a much more powerful group having a second mage. Either way she handles all of your thieving needs, is effective at range with a shortbow and can be a powerful mage)
Jaheira – Fighter/Druid (Not one of the best at dishing out damage but a very effective defensive tank and adequate healer)
Khalid – Fighter (Again not an uber powerful fighter at first glance but very good ranged fighter with long bow and more than effective with longsword and shield)
Minsc – Ranger (Misc is a powerful front line tank who probably would have been a barbarian had they had that class when they came out with the game. He is also good with a bow)
Dynaheir – Invoker (Although she cannot cast conjuring spells because of her school of magic she’s a good mage who specializes in the better damage dealing spells that are available to you in BG1-TOSC)
You are basically given everything you need leaving you the flexibility to make the PC anything to go with that group. The only noticeable class missing is Cleric but in BG1-TOSC having a druid to heal your group will get you by without needed a cleric.
In SOA you start with this group:
Jaheria – Fighter/Druid (slightly better stats and certainly better long term weapon options with Scimitars and Clubs. Also the handful of powerful druid spells, sword & shield style bonus’s combined with the TOB shields and HLA of fighters make her an insane defensive tank)
Minsc – Ranger or Barbarian (I usually switch Minsc to a Barbarian because I think it fits him better. Still he is a very effective and versatile front line fighter who can make use of a multitude of weapon combinations)
Yoshimo – Bounty Hunter (He is a passable backstabber, can cause a lot of damage with the right bows and ammo, has some really useful traps and handles all your needed thieving skills.
Imoen – Theif/Mage Dual-Classed (Replaces Yoshimo. She does a decent job with a bow and will handle locks and traps but her real strength is adding another arcane spell caster which are very powerful especially late in the game)
Here you are given enough thieving to get by between Yoshimo-then-Imoen. Minsc and Jaheira provide enough front line tanking and damage dealing to get you through. Jaheira gives you some healing and a handful of really good Druid spells. Imoen gives you an arcane spell caster but not for the early portions of the game.
Alignment: Imoen, Khalid, Minsc and Dynaheir are all good alignments. Jaheira and Yoshimo are Neutral although Jaheira could actually be considered Neutral/Good going strictly by her actions and stances taken throughout the game. I think it’s a safe bet that your PC if going with the cannon group is going to be of some sort of good alignment or possibly Neutral along the lines of Jaheira though.
Sex: 3 of the 4 romances written for SAO (mods not included) are for male PC’s so it figures that the game creators or considering the PC with the cannon group to be a male most of the time.
Race: For an experienced gamer this is usually going to be tied to class. As far as the cannon group and game going starting out in Candlekeep I think and argument could be made that Human would make the most sense although I’m unsure there are any strong indications toward any race.
Class: I’ve previously argued that you can get away with any class through BG1-TOSC to go along with the cannon group. I believe I was a Ranger my very first time without having any clue what I was doing. It’s probably most common to be a single classed Fighter of some sort Fighter/Paladin/Ranger the first time if you’ve never played. That said what makes the most sense with the cannon group through the series?
In SOA you have effectively 2 spots open after counting the PC. I think an arcane spell caster is a must at all times and something that is tough to do without even early in the game before getting Imoen back. Plus when you get her you will then have 2 arcane casters which is great later on especially during TOB. Although Jaheira is a Druid I don’t feel that you can replace a Cleric with a Druid in SOA/TOB effectively. Clerics are especially useful for buffing your group before big fights and countering specific types of magical attacks. They are also great against undead especially a single classed Cleric who advances levels fairly quickly. I think that these three need an arcane caster of some sort to get you through until you get Imoen back and a Cleric of some sort throughout the game.
SOA gives you some options for NPC clerics in Anomen, Viconia and Aerie. It also gives you eirie, Edwin, Haer Dilas and Nailia as arcane casters to choose from. With these NPC options available you can again pick whatever you want with the cannon group as a PC and then fill out your biggest need with the appropriate NPC’s. The game does probably push you toward Aerie and Nalia more than the others if you are with the cannon group and in TOB they all but beg you to take Sarevok along. I like to have at least one spot open through SOA so that you can slot NPC’s in and out for certain portions of the game and for some of their specific quests. I might want Nalia for the Keep because she is familiar with it. I like to let Mazzy help me take out the Shade Lord ect.
None of this of course answers my question. It’s obvious that the game allows for you to use any PC you create with the Cannon group and other NPC’s you want to add while still being able to cover enough skills too comfortably complete the game. In BG1 it would seem a Fighter might make the most sense as a probable fit to the party but in SOA I would think a Cleric would be a better fit especially since you will be adding Imoen back to the party as a Mage. In the end I decided that the most likely PC to parade through the game and fit the best with the cannon party would be:
Fighter dual classed to Cleric at either level 7 or 9.
That said I’m not sure there is an actual answer, anyone have any other suggestions.
And yes, I was bored today. LOL