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For the first time I have picked up 'Icewind Dale' after playing Baldur's Gate 1 & 2. At the starting screen of Icewind Dale it gives you the option to create up to 6 starting characters.

Is this how the game is supposed to be played? Are there still NPC's throughout the story line that enrich the story by joining your party or are you best left creating your initial party?

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IIRC you can also create all 6 party members in the Baldur's Gate games as well. Of course that if you fill all 6 you won't be able to join with any NPCs. –  Oak Jan 10 '11 at 22:17
    
@Oak so are there still NPC's that join your party in icewind dale? –  Aardvark Jan 10 '11 at 22:19

3 Answers 3

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In Icewind Dale, there are no NPCs that join your party. I've seen people try to beat the game solo, but have difficulty due to various spells that can disable a single character. The game is somewhat balanced if you have less than a "full" party, as the xp and gear will be split over fewer party members

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I've never played Icewind Dale, however according to the user me0w on gamebanshee.com, when asked about the differences between Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate 2:

The differences lie in that in IWD you create your whole party.

Other users in that thread confirm that, so I guess that answers your question - yes, that is how the game is supposed to be played.

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I can't say for IWD 1 but for 2 iirc there are no NPCs that join you, IWD allowed you to create all characters, giving your party your own unique flavor IMO this is way better then being forced to play a pre-roled char that you can't change the stats on that is constantly getting killed because of bad AI and bad stats :D.

Yes (IMO) this is how the game is suppose to be played.

They do give you pre-built parties and characters (at least in IWD2)

In both 1 and 2 you can play multiplayer, so each of you create x number of party members.

Also this allows for solo play for those that enjoy it, try beating the game soloing a mage, or warrier etc...

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