A number of people online have remarked about the superiority of playing Badur's Gate II in the multiplayer mode - which allows you to create all six members of your party rather than using the available NPCs. While this method certain allows you to generate six characters which are superior in both stats and compatibility - it lacks something for me which was an important aspect of the game (and any real RPG): character interaction.

As anyone who has played traditional paper and pencil RPGs will tell you - the ability of the players to work together and be compatible is nearly as important as your relative power and combined abilities. In a paper and pencil game this obviously extends beyond the mechanics of the game and is the reason why people who play together tend to also be friends - you're donating countless hours to something which is really nothing more than a glorified and goal oriented form of hanging out.

Baldur's Gate II has made a great effort to allow for different NPCs to react and interract with both one another and you (the player) in order to simulate a similar environment. In that sense, one of the most enjoyable aspects of the game for me was forming a party that I would have enjoyed spending time with - and balancing that with the need to make a party that would have the combined skills that would allow me to accomplish what needed to be done.

This can be hard. Many of the more powerful NPCs simply don't like one another. Some of them will even come to blows with one another if you allow things to get out of hand.

Further - all of the NPCs have quests that can only be accompished or started with them as part of the group. These quests not only add much needed experience to the party (accomplishing quests in BGII accounts for the majority of the experience points in the game) but also add important magic items to your arsenal. And we all know how much magic toys mean to all gamers.

One way to get around this problem while still playing the multi-player game is to only create five characters and allow the sixth slot to remain open for picking up an NPC, doing their quests, and casting them aside. For some reason the idea of using this method leaves a sour taste in my mouth - it seems a little too contrived given that the game is supposed to be a role playing experience.

To this end: I'd suggest playing the game through at least once in single player mode. If the addiction sets in far enough - play it again in multi-player.

Below is a list of all available NPCs in Baldur's Gate II:

NPCs who helped you in Baldur's Gate I as well:

Entirely new NPCs: