CHOICE FOR YOUR PC
NWN2 resembles the Baldurs Gate series in that you create a single character around which the story revolves, and recruit controllable NPC companions along the way. There are several considerations to account for when creating your PC. Follow this link for more details on the NPCs.
A qualified truth of the game (more on this later) is that you can build a steady nucleus of companions who will be with you for much if not most of the game. In that respect NWN2 is very much a party based game. Building a team that works well together is essential. And teamwork depends on your party members filling various functions or roles. Here is a description of some notable roles that can be filled within your party:
Tank - Somebody whos going to stand toe to toe in physical confrontations with the opposition. Ideally, the tank will not only be able to cut the monsters down to size, but will also interject himself between the monsters and a more vulnerable party member and survive the blows that follow.
Healer - Somebody who not only heals the wounds of the party members, but also removes the various maledictions that can afflict her comrades.
Offensive Caster - Somebody who torches, or debilitates, the opposition with spells - preferably from afar.
Buffer - Somebody who bolsters the partys defences, or combat abilities, with spells. In Dungeons and Dragons rules, classes that fill the Healer role also come with spells that fulfil the Buffer role.
Thief - Somebody to bypass the traps, locks, etc. that get in the way of treasure or making it to the next level.
Discoverer - Somebody who discovers useful information that allows the party to progress through the game world. This can involve a variety of methods. The role can be performed by a scout with the appropriate skills. It can also be performed by a spellcaster with divination spells.
Item Creator - With the implementation of feats like Craft Wondrous Items and skills like Craft Arms and Craft Armor, who in your party will create the magic items you desire?
Dont consider this list as exhaustive. It is simply meant to encourage you to think about what it is you want each of your characters to accomplish for the party.
You therefore need to think about what role(s) your PC fulfills, along with the roles to be played by the NPCs. There are two ways of approaching this. One way is to decide upon a personal preference for what kind of PC you want to play as, and then from there decide upon future NPCs who will fill other roles. A self-appraised roleplayer for example may decide that a Paladin PC makes the most sense for the NWN2 Official campaign story. That may then leave little room for Casavir. The other way is to decide which NPCs youd prefer and then build a PC that fills in the gaps.
There are certain points in the story where you have to go it alone, or at most with one or two companions. These solo situations can be pretty combat intensive as well. It well behooves you to construct a PC that is durable and able to handle doing the lone wolf thing, even against multiple adversaries. You may want to think twice before deciding on a single class Rogue or Cleric. That is just my honest opinion though. Use your judgment.
A People Person
A cold hard fact of NWN2 is that your PC is going to do most of the talking. The engine obliges it, so you usually cant select a NPC to handle the dialogues for you. There are three people skills available in NWN2, Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate. During certain dialogues, an option is available that is preceded by a skill name appearing within squared brackets. When you select that option, a skill check is performed. Success means that your skill level was enough to persuade the speaker to your benefit. You can finish the game without having to build up people skills for your PC. It is however desirable that your PC develop at least one or two of them.
A number of Prestige classes are available in NWN2 which either provide unusual benefits beyond what is available to a single class character, or allow a character to blend together a composite of abilities from more than one class (much like 2nd edition multi-classing). Something to keep in mind is that with the exception of Khelgar none of the NPCs are open to changing their classes. Your PC is your one and only chance to avail yourself of a prestige class if thats what you want.
Im including this simply for reference for how I proceeded with the rest of the game. My PC was Valarian, an Elven Arcane Trickster. My reasoning is as follows, a single class Rogue in my opinion has trouble hacking it during the later stages of the game, so I try to collapse damage casting and thieving skills almost seamlessly into one character.
That having been said, it is now time to provide an overview of the NPCs.