Aran Whitehand

This mod adds the new NPC Aran Whitehand to Baldur's Gate II - Shadow of Amn, Baldur's Gate II - Throne of Bhaal, and Baldur's Gate Trilogy games.

The Mod Concept
NPCs work in many different ways, based primarily on the original BioWare model. What happens, though, if we try a more 'self aware' NPC, allowing player choice for some of the fundamentals? Is an NPC's character his class and stats, or is it really a personality? Can an NPC still be true to himself, even when a player chooses to turn them into a new class combination? This mod explores the idea that jobs may come and go, and in the heart of an accountant may lie a lion, even if the body doesn't quite show it off. The NPC should be able to adapt to being a new class or kit combination, while retaining his core personality. As a side project, the intent is to post code in the forum to eventually tie to tutorials and provide insight into the decisionmaking process when turning an idea into functional code.

Aran Whitehand is functionally a Companion mod. He has a minor optional quest with a new area, but comes with no special weapons or upgradeable items - his specialty is in interacting with the members of the party and adapting to situations. For him, the job is paramount, and his job is supporting the player. He is no stranger to having to carry out orders which bend morality, though he hates doing so. It should be noted that this mod is designed by adults for adults, and should not be installed unless you are comfortable with Faerunian swearing, occasional adult themes, and NC - 17 to R rated content in the Romance portion.


The Companion NPC
Aran Whitehand is a human fighter and scribe for BG2, dual classable, so that he can be Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy... whatever your party needs. Basically, a human utility player taken along for the friendship/cuddling. "Specials" include creation of scrolls through dialog and timer when in a party with another canonical mage. Primarily a male friend who can grow into an extended courtship/romance, romanceable by female PCs, Aran has his own sense of humor and specializes in bringing others into the conversation.

Statistics

"Warrior" configuration [player options on install, fighter]

  • 17 Strength
  • 16 Dexterity
  • 15 Constitution
  • 12 Intelligence
  • 13 Wisdom
  • 12 Charisma

"Poet" configuration [player options on install, for Cleric dual class]

  • 16 Strength
  • 13 Dexterity
  • 15 Constitution
  • 12 Intelligence
  • 17 Wisdom
  • 12 Charisma

"Thinker" configuration [player options on install, for Mage dual class]

  • 16 Strength
  • 13 Dexterity
  • 15 Constitution
  • 17 Intelligence
  • 12 Wisdom
  • 12 Charisma

"Survivor" configuration [player options on install, for Thief dual class]

  • 16 Strength
  • 17 Dexterity
  • 15 Constitution
  • 13 Intelligence
  • 12 Wisdom
  • 12 Charisma

Friendship

Aran will befriend any protagonist of any race or alignment,though how he reacts to situations will definitely let the player know how he feels. A rough - around - the - edges man, accustomed to mercenary sevice and caravan work both in front of and protecting the books, Aran hires on as a scribe or accountant as well as protection. He has learned to work with practically anyone not Drow, and chase any female within arms reach. His language is rough, his approach unrefined. And if you don't like it, he will gladly tell you exactly what your opinion is worth.

Folks he would like and respect:

  • Keldorn -
    [KELDORN] You have a gap on your right side.
    [ARAN] Pardon?
    [KELDORN] When you swing, you have an opening in your defenses on your right side.
    [ARAN] (sigh) I thought I'd fixed that. It's the lower right, exposin' the knee?
    [KELDORN] Yes. It is a common mistake for those trained as shield infantry. Flaming Fist?
    [ARAN] One campaign, Regulars. Then three with the Moonshea Shield Company. But there I wasn't on the wall. I got moved to subaltern.
    [KELDORN] The Iron Throne fiasco?
    [ARAN] Guilty as charged. Lots of men and women well past revivification when that mess was over. Battle of Cloakwood. Manticore's Point.
    [KELDORN] Ninety percent losses. You took both dragonstrike and a complete failure of gryphon support.
    [ARAN] Could have been worse. Could have been in the Third Division. They saved our arses, at a terrible cost. Not enough scrolls of Stone to Flesh in the whole bloody Sword Coast, an' then the Cyric-buggerin' Throne bastards started tossing boulders among the petrified, just out o' spite. Can't revivify someone who's been pulverized. Where were you?
    [KELDORN] Commanding the Third Division.
    [ARAN] Next inn, I am buying. An' you want me to do anything, anything at all, my sword is yours.
  • Minsc - "Mad Minsc. That's not quite right, though. Make it Magnificent. I'd take him 'side me on a shield wall any day o' the week, 'giant space hampster' an' all."
  • Ajantis - "Ajantis, laddie. There's fightin' fair, an' then there's winnin'. See, if you shine your armor like that, they knows you are an officer, an' the archers take you out first. Aint' no honor in dying before you can swing yer sword."

Folks he would like and understand a little:

  • Aerie - "Hey there. Come over here, girl. I have some drills you can do what's to strengthen your lips. Called 'kissin', I believe, among th' fair folk."
  • Imoen - "You doin' all right, Imoen? You got someone troublin' you, let me know. Never met an argument I couldn't solve, thogh I do admit some were by fist an' sword instead o' words. Aww, who am I kiddin'. Who needs swattin'?
  • Nalia - "I don't quite understand you, Nalia. But you are a fine lookin' young women. You like dancin'?"
  • Jaheira - "Awww, quit motherin' me, Jahera. Here, I got these for you. They'll do fine in that stew you like to cook. Here, let me cut 'em up for you."
  • Gavin - "Hey, watch it.... damn. Lathander's Golden Poop, Gavin, you gotta stop that backswing. Here, let's go work on it. I'll teach you to not knock me silly when I'm on the battle line with ye, and you argue wi' me about my immortal soul. Fair trade?"
  • Sarah - "I don't blame ye for likin' the womenfolk, lassie; I sure as hells do! Say, next inn, let's go bar hoppin', an' I'll watch your back, you watch mine. If they swing your way, I steer 'em to ye, and vice versa. Sarah? Sarah? Mask's Left Hand, where'd that lassie disappear to..."

Folks he would not like, but would respect and back up:

  • Korgan - "Alright, ye black hearted Son o' Cyric, pass over those dice. You are cheatin' again."
  • Valygar - "You are fine with a blade, friend, but magic is a powerful weapon. Why do you hate it when it'll save your arse nine times out o' ten?"
  • Cernd - "Look, Cernd. Stop with all the talk, an' let's get down to brass tacks. What do we have to kill, an' how do we do it?"
  • Saerileth - "Are you kiddin' me? A fifteen year old? I wouldn't kick her out o'... well, she's fine, I guess. But she don't know squat about livin', let alone fightin' proper. Tyr's Blasted Buttocks, don't send a child to do adult's work"
  • Xan - "Doom an' gloom, all talk and no action. Shut up, ye pansy arsed jackass. Grab that Moonblade an' use it right proper, now - we got business to attend to."
  • Tashia - "Look, you are an eyeful, an armfull, an' just about the best sorceress I ever met. But when are you gonna get settled down an' take things serious? We aren't on a picnic, an' you already cost us pretty dear draggin' all that baggage onto th' party. Get with the program, lassie."
  • Sarevok - "You made your play, an' lost. You backin' now? Fair enough. Just make sure you're on th' right side o' th' shield wall. I don't take kindly to triple crosses."

Folks he would dislike and not trust:

  • Jan - "You talk too much, boyo. An' you keep blatherin' 'bout all those inventions. Ain't never seen a turnip soup worth eatin', neither. Keep out from underfoot, shorty."
  • Amber - "You can take th' girl out o' the hells, but you can't take the hells out o' the girl. Only thing I can say for her is she aint' a drowess."
  • Chloe - "I ain't sayin' nothin'. I am just here to do the job. Keep her ahead o' me, an' we'll be fine."

Folks he would hate:

  • Tsjuatha - "Stay away from me, necromancer. Y'ain't natural. I respect the Tel'Quessirim, but anyone be dabblin' in the dark arts is not to be trusted."
  • Viconia - "Move one step closer, drowess, an' you are a dead woman. Sorry, a dead spider. Didn't mean no offence to women by associatin' you with 'em."
  • Edwin - "Come on, Edwin, it ain't that bad. At least in that dress, your legs look good. In fact, that's about the only thing redeemin' about not kickin' you out in front o' the dragon, an' having you scout forrard."
  • Anomen - "The worst of the officer class. Give me a sword, an' turn the other direction - I think there's gonna be an accidental 'friendly fire' incident."
  • Faldorn - "Hey, wolf-girl. Get your smelly arse out where I can see you. An' keep your hands away from that spellpouch. Wouldn't want to have to disturb *your* balance, by loppin' off one o' your legs or arms, or such."

Romance

Aran will romance any female protagonist of any race save Drow, or any alignment. Again, how he reacts will definitely let the player understand his position. Good men fall for bad women as quickly as for good ones, and sometimes opposites really do attract. But romance on the trail is awkward, with a group of adventurers around, and the road to romance is both rocky and complicated. Exactly how does a strong man feel when his significant other turns out to be infinitely stronger than he, on so many levels? Can the two of you negotiate the attraction into something of an equal relationship, or is this destined to fail? For a sample of lovetalks, please visit the forums.

When Aran Whitehand meets the party, he is looking for work having dropped from the rolls of a mercenary regiment.

Soundset Samples

  • SAY INITIAL_MEETING ~[c-aws001] Now, there be an idea... joinin' up on an adventure.~ [c-aws001] c-aws001
  • SAY MORALE ~[c-aws002] Helm's bones - RETREAT!~ [c-aws002] c-aws002
  • SAY HAPPY ~[c-aws003] Aye, 'tis a fair group. 'Tis better than a clear day on Trade Way.~ [c-aws003] c-aws003
  • SAY UNHAPPY_ANNOYED ~[c-aws004] By Tymorra's bright coin, you make some strange decisions. I don't rightly agree.~ [c-aws004] c-aws004
  • SAY UNHAPPY_SERIOUS ~[c-aws005] I gave up some serious opportunities to travel with you. Wasn't expectin' this kind of 'adventure'. Stop this, or I'll dissolve th' contract.~ [c-aws005] c-aws005
  • SAY UNHAPPY_BREAKING_POINT ~[c-aws006] I'll see you in the hands o' Kelemvor, but not one second before.~ [c-aws006] c-aws006
  • SAY LEADER ~[c-aws007] I'll lead, but 'tisn't my strong point.~ [c-aws007] c-aws007
  • SAY TIRED ~[c-aws008] Time to make camp. This gear be startin' to chafe.~ [c-aws008] c-aws008
  • SAY BORED ~[c-aws009] By Torm's Blood, are we beggin' to be ambushed? Standin' 'round with our swords up our...~ [c-aws009] c-aws009
  • SAY BATTLE_CRY1 ~[c-aws010] Archers to th' rear!~ [c-aws010] c-aws010
  • SAY BATTLE_CRY2 ~[c-aws011] Spellcasters die first!~ [c-aws011] c-aws011
  • SAY BATTLE_CRY3 ~[c-aws012] By Tymorra's Luck!~ [c-aws012] c-aws012
  • SAY BATTLE_CRY4 ~[c-aws013] By Sune's Bottom!~ [c-aws013] c-aws013
  • SAY BATTLE_CRY5 ~[c-aws014] Send 'em to Kelemvor's Scythe!~ [c-aws014] c-aws014
  • SAY DAMAGE ~[c-aws015]~ [c-aws015] c-aws015
  • SAY DYING ~[c-aws016]~ [c-aws016] c-aws016
  • SAY HURT ~[c-aws017] Send the rest o' them to hell for me...~ [c-aws017] c-aws017
  • SAY AREA_FOREST ~[c-aws018] Need less trees, more road. Too many places for enemies to hide.~ [c-aws018] c-aws018
  • SAY AREA_CITY ~[c-aws019] Civilization! Some trade, then some drinkin', then some sleep... or more drinkin'.~ [c-aws019] c-aws019
  • SAY AREA_DUNGEON ~[c-aws020] I gave up comfortable inns an' guardin' simple caravans to poke around this dank musty place. I'm a bloody idiot.~ [c-aws020] c-aws020
  • SAY AREA_DAY ~[c-aws021] Lathander's fat arse is up at last. 'Bout time he shed some light around here.~ [c-aws021] c-aws021
  • SAY AREA_NIGHT ~[c-aws022] Bloody dark. Good for coverin' enemies an' ambushes. Someone light a torch, eh?~ [c-aws022] c-aws022
  • SAY SELECT_COMMON1 ~[c-aws023] Yep?~ [c-aws023] c-aws023
  • SAY SELECT_COMMON2 ~[c-aws024] What's to be done?~ [c-aws024] c-aws024
  • SAY SELECT_COMMON3 ~[c-aws025] Do I needs lead?~ [c-aws025] c-aws025
  • SAY SELECT_COMMON4 ~[c-aws026] Aye?~ [c-aws026] c-aws026
  • SAY SELECT_COMMON5 ~[c-aws027] Yes?~ [c-aws027] c-aws027
  • SAY SELECT_COMMON6 ~[c-aws028] I'm listenin'.~ [c-aws028] c-aws028
  • SAY SELECT_ACTION1 ~[c-aws029] Got it.~ [c-aws029] c-aws029
  • SAY SELECT_ACTION2 ~[c-aws030] Sune's sweet cheeks, I heard.~ [c-aws030] c-aws030
  • SAY SELECT_ACTION3 ~[c-aws031] On it.~ [c-aws031] c-aws031
  • SAY SELECT_ACTION4 ~[c-aws032] Understood.~ [c-aws032] c-aws032
  • SAY SELECT_ACTION5 ~[c-aws033] Sune's Bosom, I'm movin', already!.~ [c-aws033] c-aws033
  • SAY SELECT_ACTION6 ~[c-aws034] Ilmater's Blood. I said I'd do it.~ [c-aws034] c-aws034
  • SAY SELECT_ACTION7 ~[c-aws035] Less talk, more action.~ [c-aws035] c-aws035
  • SAY SELECT_RARE1 ~[c-aws036] Watch where you point that thing.~ [c-aws036] c-aws036
  • SAY SELECT_RARE2 ~[c-aws037] Aye, I'm here.~ [c-aws037] c-aws037
  • SAY CRITICAL_HIT ~[c-aws038] Good.~ [c-aws038] c-aws038
  • SAY CRITICAL_MISS ~[c-aws039] Cyric's Black Heart!~ [c-aws039] c-aws039
  • SAY TARGET_IMMUNE ~[c-aws040] Bounced off. Damn.~ [c-aws040] c-aws040
  • SAY INVENTORY_FULL ~[c-aws041] I'm already carryin' more than my share.~ [c-aws041] c-aws041
  • SAY PICKED_POCKET ~[c-aws042] Hey, look what I found.~ [c-aws042] c-aws042
  • SAY HIDDEN_IN_SHADOWS ~[c-aws043] Huntin'...~ [c-aws043] c-aws043
  • SAY SPELL_DISRUPTED ~[c-aws044] Never did get that one right...~ [c-aws044] c-aws044
  • SAY SET_A_TRAP ~[c-aws045] Try that, you bugger.~ [c-aws045] c-aws045

Alternate Portraits Component
Here are some alternate portraits!

aranw_aware

To activate additional content and cross-mod-added-NPC banters with several other mods, a separate add-on mod is available.

aranw_aware is a separate package designed to go at the very end of your BG2 SoA and ToB install, after any mods you want Aran to be able to acknowledge. Current content coverage is as follows:

  • in progress...