I've always wanted to do a Let's Play of the greatest mod compilation of Baldur's Gate II. Good mods, bad mods, all mods. A celebration of the work that has been going into this game and this community for about 10 years now. And I started doing it on the Something Awful forums. It's actually still in progress there, but I realize that not everybody can access it. So I wanted to re-post it here and let more people read it. Let's get started!
Let's Play Rules
I want to set down some ground rules to make the game more interesting.
1. Semi-hardcore mode: What happens, happens. I will only reload if I die. I don't expect to be able to do this Ironman style, although that's my goal. But if Minsc gets disintegrated, then he's gone. But this mod brings in so many additional NPCs that replacing a dead one is no trouble. In fact, with enough treasure we can bribe random dudes on the street (or even animals, golems, beholders, dragons...) to join our party. As long as one NPC lives in the Sword Coast we will never be without
3. Class-changing characters: There are approximately 100 classes total now in this game, and while some of the characters that can join our party have been changed to new classes, some still haven't. Also, sometimes you just think a character would be great as another class. So sometimes I will change a character's class when I first meet them, or I will select some possibilities and let the thread vote on it. The three characters I've got in mind right now for modifications are Montaron becoming a Thug, Xan becoming a Bladesinger, and Coran becoming a Swashbuckler. You can brush up on the available classes by reading this 200 page PDF. Also, I will give full class descriptions during each vote.
4. Party Membership is a Democracy: The mechanics of this modded game allow us to tell almost all the characters we meet to go wait for us in a major inn, such as the Jovial Juggler in Beregost, or the Copper Coronet in Amn. Periodically, such as after 2 or 3 major quests are completed, we will have a party composition vote in the thread. Each thread poster has 5 votes, which they can use to either vote FOR or AGAINST any character to be a party member. You can use all 5 votes for one character, or spread them out. You can vote both positively and negatively. If you vote too many times, only the first 5 votes are counted. If there is a tie, the character with the least amount of negative votes wins. If there's a tie in both positive and negative votes, I'll flip a coin. After voting is closed, the top 5 characters will join the party until they die.
5. Resurrection Rest and Relaxation: All party members get resurrections on the party dime if they die, and we can afford it. However, after being resurrected, party members are required to have some rest and relaxation at the party inn. They will be kicked out and replaced with the next-most-popular character. This will give them time to get over their horrifying ordeal of death and let the other party members work through their guilt at letting them die. Best solution all around. In this way we will be able to switch out characters more often and showcase them all. (Don't worry about spreading the total xp too thin. There's enough xp in this game to open an xp shop.)
6. Game mechanics and commentary: I will transcribe everything that happens in-game into thread updates (I use OCR, don't worry about my fingers) in italics. I will describe what happens in tactical encounters as a kind of play-by-play commentary, also in italics. Finally, I will also include my own roleplaying stream-of-consciousness thoughts in italics as well, to provide motivations for what I do in-game. But when it's time to comment on the game itself or talk extensively about mechanics or bitch about the plot, I'll do that in normal text, and I'll preface it by saying "Gameplay note."