Let’s Play: Baldur’s Gate

(With a shed ton of mods)

Welcome to yet another Let’s Play of Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition Trilogy! Inspired by the classic Let’s Play by Vorgen, I’m going to do an updated Let’s Play using the Enhanced Edition Trilogy and lots of mods.

For this installation I went with as many mods as I possibly could, mainly focusing on NPC and quest mods. I also installed a bunch of tactical mods to make the game more challenging – hopefully this will lead to some entertaining battles. I didn’t install Sandrah Saga, but as much as I could of everything else has been dumped into this installation.

I agree with Vorgen’s assessment of Baldur’s Gate 2 – even 22 years later it is still the best RPG ever made. I’m excited to play this thing with mods and get to diving into poorly written dialogue and overpowered items. But first…

Ground Rules

I’m gonna set myself some rules to try and make the game more immersive. Obviously you’ll recognise these rules are based heavily on Vorgen’s LP, but I’ve altered them slightly to suit my own playing style.

1. Hardcore Mode (ish)

I will be playing the game on Tactical difficulty. This means enemies should use most of their abilities intelligently, and magic users will pre-cast some spells. I won’t change this difficulty throughout the playthrough.

I won’t reload unless <charname> dies. Whatever happens, will happen. If Jaheira gets gibbed, she’s out of the game for good. This should make the game a little suspenseful since we won’t really know what to expect.

2. No cheating/cheese (mostly)

I won’t cheat, however I may use console commands or save game editors to get around some bugs/other minor issues – it’s almost necessary in a modded playthrough where bugs are inevitable. But I will keep within the spirit of the game and not use this power to give myself any unfair benefits.

I will also try to avoid any cheesy tactics. As an example, in my last playthrough I was able to use my Chaos Sorcerer to spam high-level summons to attack enemies off-screen. Not only does this feel like cheating, it will also make for a very boring Let’s Play, so I will avoid it as much as I can.

3. Character Creation

When I create a character, I will roll only once. In addition I will keep the rolled ability scores, and will only allow myself to swap the scores with eachother. I won’t just redistribute the points and minmax (e.g. if I roll 11 STR, and 17 INT I can choose to swap them so I have 17 STR and 11 INT, I can’t change them to 18 STR and 10 INT).

The reason for this is I pretty much always min/max (honestly who doesn’t?) so I’m hoping this will make for a different kind of character to play, and likely a slightly more challenging game. A lot of low stats can be mitigated with equipment so this probably isn’t as much of a hindrance as it seems.

4. (Mostly) Blind Playthrough

I’ve already played a megamod version of Baldur’s Gate using a different set of mods, and I’ve read other Let’s Plays of modded BG, so I have some idea of what to expect. However there is a lot of content and I don’t know all of it by heart so a lot of this playthrough will be blind, stumbling and learning as we go.

5. Class Changing Characters

There are a lot of mods that install class kits, and with only a single character it’s impossible to explore them all. The mods already update the classes of several characters, and there is a mod that helps you upgrade kits in-game without the use of a save editor. However this isn’t quite enough for some characters so I’ll need to use a save-game editor to update the class (this is one of the exceptions to rule 2 – I’ll modify the class but I won’t give myself any unfair advantages). Doing this will allow us to explore more of the kits in the game, and will also add variety to the playthrough.

As a minor addendum I will try and play a different character to what I normally choose. I usually like to play a Wild Mage, but Vorgen already did that better than anyone ever could so I want to do something different.

6. Party Composition

Mods add a lot of NPCs. And I mean a lot. I want to explore as many NPCs as possible, so I will rotate party members at regular intervals. Every time I encounter a new NPC with a full party, I will kick the NPC that has been in the party longest.

In addition, whenever a party member dies, I will resurrect them, then kick them from the party. They will be replaced with the NPC that has been away from the party the longest.

When a party member is kicked, they will get to keep all of their equipment (resurrected NPCs will be re-equipped). This should achieve a few things:

  • NPCs will be more unique since they will come with specific tools
  • Inventory management will be easier
  • I won’t get too overpowered too early in the game

The main reason for this is the overpowered equipment. In one playthrough Imoen was still at level 1, but has 25 Dexterity, over 150% in lockpicking, and no thief skills at less than 85% purely because of equipment. I’m hoping that NPCs keeping equipment will make this less of a problem.

That’s All Folks!

That’s it for now! The groundwork has been laid – next time we’ll get into creating a character and what my though process is for this playthrough.

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