RE: Henchman Selection Options for My SP Module

I’m finally on the final step of my SP module before releasing it for testing and I have a general question for players that use henchmen:

What class do you find to be a good multi-purpose utility henchman that is useful for all classes (assuming one class fits the bill)?

I’m leaning toward Bard, but that seems too obvious and I’m worried I might be overlooking the utility of other classes for such a role. The module is for levels 2-7.


Bard is the jack of all trades class. How about just make him a jack of all trades adventurer that’s had to pick up a bit of this and that, and remove the music playing class fluff? He’s the village’s local hero, but as the only one in the village with any real adventuring talent, he’s had to learn bits of this and that as needed to resolve issues. Now there’s an issue bigger than his ability, so he’s doing what he can to help someone with more ability, ie the PC.

Multiclass rogue/fighter (or rogue/ranger) will give you some thieving and some fighting ability. Multiclass is probably the way to go for multi-purpose henchman.


I’ve got a bard scoped out for the first playthrough. We’ll see how that does with the main archetype classes (Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard). Then I can tweak from there and maybe add in additional variants of the henchman with different classes.

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You could just make a few minor variants of the same henchman, and just include the one that best complements the main PC. I.e. thug rogue for a mage/sorcerer PC; cleric for a rogue PC; burglar rogue for a fighter/bard PC.

Ed.: Whoops, posted right after you made the same suggestion.


Variations of bard seem like a good call. You might also look at ranger. stealth, ranged combat (melee option too but ranged is perhaps the better call for supporting class), area knowledge for useful exposition and can use a wide range of the gear found that the player character doesn’t want to use.


Bard with Able Learner feat could be given some Open Lock and Disable Device skills, if that’s important.


I’ve completed testing with the bard variant and will definitely need to add a fighter-type variant for players that choose sorcerer or wizard as their main class.

The AI didn’t seem all that bad - bard song active from combat start in all cases and she was casting spells at enemy targets. However, although she was armed with both a missile and melee weapon, the bard always opted for the melee weapon, so the AI definitely has a preference there.

For the fighter-type variant, I’m probably going to go with a straight fighter as I feel that class might be the best choice for a sorcerer or wizard PC. I’ll post a general overview of that playtesting when I’ve finished.


If I’m not mistaken, even if the AI is given the choice it might prefer the melee weapon when it deals more damage than the ranged weapon.


You could be on to something there, as I recall reading a long time ago that the default AI chooses the best weapon. Maybe I can tweak the AI a bit to have her prefer ranged combat.

I know @Shadooow 's CPP greatly improves the default AI, but I’m not sure how hard it would be to pull that AI into my module as I’m fairly certain that his AI tweaks also include 2da modifications in spells.2da and feat.2da.

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Normally, npc should stick with the weapon you give it untill the weapon is lost or ammo is depleted.

If npc changes it weapon it is either bug in vanilla AI or it is possible that you gave the npc some AI prefferences with scripting.

It is not a good idea to provide npc multiple weapons of same type. The function to choose the best weapon is hardcoded and very poorly written, it often equips the worst option. There is also a bug with monks that I ran into on my server where this function causes monks to sometimes unequip very strong kama to fight barehanded.

As for how to install CPP AI, installing CPP will automatically install the AI unless you have these scripts modified in your module:

The more of them in your module the lower is the chance you get it working properly. Merging would be needed.
AI doesn’t need 2da tweaks, but yes there are tweaks in feat.2da to disable some problematic feats to be used by npcs and to enable them to use some. All 2da changes can be installed automatically with embedded auto 2da merging tool.


Thanks for the quick reply. I’ve modified neither of those scripts you mentioned BUT the henchman does use the XP1 Henchman AI, so the behavior tweaks are most likely occurring there - something to explore further in any event.

Given what you said about weapons, I don’t have a weapon equipped by default so the AI is always picking which weapon to use when combat begins, unless I go into the henchman’s inventory and manually swap it myself during game play. Therefore, the best recourse is to probably leave the weapon selection to the PC.

As for the monster AI, I’ll definitely have to try your nw_c2_default* scripts as some of the monsters behave just plain stupid.

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if you don’t install CPP as a whole you will also need to rip these scripts:
this should be enough, although there is dozen of includes that I modified as well but since the scripts are precompiled, as long as you don’t recompile it (which for these two will fail since you will be missing 70_inc_ai) it will work without it

the full list is just too big - installing CPP completely is a better option

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Thanks for the reply. I’d rather leave CPP as a player-side option and not make it a requirement to play my module. Since returning from hiatus, I’ve firmly come to believe that any custom content specifically used in a module should be a part of the module itself. Anything else - such as CPP, LoW hands, Project Reforged etc. - should be up to the player whether or not they want it on their system.

That said, I’ve had some success tweaking the henchman’s ai with the existing functionality and by being a little more careful with equipment selection. The player still has to give the henchman instructions but overall, the performance isn’t so bad as to make them useless. Being an SP module also helps with this, in that the player can just pause the game as needed to issue commands.

That was never happening. You would specifically have to add patch172.hak to your haklist to force that and the readme says that you are not obligatory to do that.

Actually, it would happen because I’d be tweaking encounter numbers due to the improvements to the AI made by CPP. When I played around with CPP under 1.69, I found that, at least for me, I needed to turn down the game difficulty and tweak encounters (placed and random) downward in difficulty as I was getting my ass-kicked in my own module. Thus, I’d be creating adversaries based off my testing with CPP installed, possibly giving players without CPP an easier pass through the module. It should be the other way around - players using CPP will get the tougher pass through.

That’s for NWN1, but this thread is in the NWN2 section?

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Ummmm…no, its not :smiley:

Thanks for pointing that out, the whole NWN2 listed before NWN1 things gets me every time. All fixed now.