While playing the official campaign I got fed up with the henchman’s poor behaviour in combat and started to research what can be done. I started a thread at rpgdungeon.net which discusses improving henchpersons. I write a bit about henchmen in my NWN Playing a Paladin article, which was my first, but for the later games, it’s mainly here. Also Wikipedia has a very comprehensive article on the henchmen. This page talks about the AI mods, Sharwyn, , Mischa Waymeet & Dorna Trapspringer and the last battle in the Official/Original Campaign.
Henchman Inventory & Battle AI Mod
I started to look at NWN Vault and found references to the following pages.
I have installed Henchman Inventory & Battle AI mod v1.07, its readme file is on the ‘net here…. It comes with a binary installer for XP, and there’s a shell installer for Linux. Seems quite good, although in my first fight after installing Linu dies straight away. 4 Nov 2006
I’ve been playing this for a month and half now. It really makes a difference although there remain some bugs.
- Do not place items straight from your character inventory straight into the “in use” slots.
- Do not seek to replace items in the “in use” slot, the mod does not copy them back to the backpack, you loose them.
- I lost all Sharwyn’s gear when transitioning from Chapter Three, to Four. I assume that the published games upgrade scripts, that awards new gear on the change of chapter overwrites the NPC possessions list.
There are a number of dimensions that that mod allows you to tune, magic before combat, aggressive use of magic, reluctant use of magic, melee vs missile, frequency of heal, help with traps and locks. You can give a magic user scrolls and they get used. Fantastic! You can use the henchman’s Lore, but sadly not specifically ask for a bard song, nor will Sharwyn use a harp, although maybe I couldn’t tell, or they won’t powerfull enough by the time I installed the mod. So some limitations in the AI mod,
- Sharwyn won’t use a harp
- Linu seems to have problems with potions of Heal in the Last Fight, see below.
There are also a couple of pretty hard fights in which the henchmen die. One may need to be a lot cleverer.
- Does setting the action mode to Guard make a difference?
- You can set for aggressive use of spells and combat weapons. What is best for fighting the Balor Lord, Klauth and Morag and her entourage? NB Linu survived the Balor Lord fight.
I am not a very subtle player, I tend to maximise the buffs, then hit them as hard and frequently as possible, using high energy spells if a spell caster i.e. fireball, cone of cold etc. Its time to think.
It seems they start at Level 4 and will level up at the same time as you, once you reach sixth level in the Official Campaign.
How can you influence their weapon proficiencies? Linu was unable to use a number of great blunt weapons because she didn’t have the proficiency. I have tried ensuring they are in her inventory when she levels up, but no good.
At high levels, with Henchman Inventory & Battle AI mod v1.07 installed, she becomes really useful, rings, belts and better weapons all help, becoming an archer helps her survive and using scrolls is really helpful. “Planar Binding” produces a bolt weilding Slaad, although she still died in the fights with the Balor and Kaluth. I still reckon she doesn’t sing enough and so her greatest support power is limited. High level bard songs should be pretty powerful. Might be fun to give another run. Because she’s an arcane spell caster, her armour is poor, so some concentration here might be useful. She was the companion to my Paladin.
Mishca becomes available in a fan authored module posted in the Vault, and explained on the Bioware Forums. This is an add-on to Shadows of Undrentide. She is a, not very bright, Paladin but so far good fun to travel with; she opens the paladin specific quests in the module. She owns a two handed practice sword which can act as component to “The Tinoman”, a magic great sword that can be made in Drogan’s home. She is alignment aware. She is particularly unhappy about bad behaviour in the Elven tomb, but I was experimenting with the Altar in the penultimate room of the Tomb of the Kel-Garas, in the desert and she doesn’t blink an eyelid if you pray at the evil altar. I must have been pretty good on the way over. Maybe she’s just happy about the armour and shield she got from the elven tomb.
She’s a Cleric/Thief. The AI Mod gives a fair amount of control on the thieving abilities allowing you to instruct her to detect and disarm traps, open locks that you can’t and search rooms for treasure. She is dual classed Cleric/Thief, which is cool. You can via conversations control the way she reacts with traps and finds things, like secret doors and also how she progresses by level. I have taken her several times although finished with her just the once. Despite the usual way that blunt weapon restriction works with Clerics, Dorna can use axes, at least. She’s the obvious utility companion in a game with only one companion.
I have now done this twice, the first time with Sharwyn, the 2nd time with Linu. They’ve died both times.
No Stone of Recall, and no resting place as far as I can tell. I have tried a second time with Linu, and got her to the door to the final room having used virtually no spells. Despite having a load of heal potions she doesn’t seem to want to use them, even to keep them alive and we don’t get the chance to Raise Dead or Resurrection in the O.C.
I have now finished the last fight with Linu, who survived, see Dello in Neverwinter.
Is there anywhere to rest on this level?