As I mentioned on Herculine's blog the other day, her post about OHS for Neverwinter Nights sufficiently tempted me that I had to download and give the game a try with my girls.
I created the necessary portraits from the latest decently-lit set of Skyrim shots I had -- assuming Skyrim to be more NWN friendly than one of the Fallouts -- and created them as PCs, then converting to companions via OHS' instructions.
It's literally a five minute procedure. Create the character as a PC as normal, rest, enter a command in the chat window, select a couple dialogue options, and that's it. They'll be ready to call in another game from then on.
Once into the main campaign I rested to get the "link boy" on my own character, and then summoned my companions. I was expecting to have to pay a fee to hire them based on the OHS documentation... but my girls were apparently having none of that and asked for no payment to accompany me.
Mystery-chan continues to scare me, even in NWN. She got Great Cleave at level four or five, and has become the fist of an angry God. Her record thus far is seven kills with one attack.
I had hoped to install better heads; but almost immediately remembered what a pain NWN is to mod the official campaigns. It refused to acknowledge the HAK unless it was added to the module in the toolset... which while possible is a bit of a pain. So I extracted the HAK into the override directory... and they still didn't show up. At this point I remember how many hours I had to fight with the game to get such things working before, and decided that with as shitty as the camera in NWN is, I wouldn't be looking that closely at their heads anyway; and just picked default ones. Natasha got a ponytail (albeit a short one) and Maeva got horns... and elf ears. Fucking D&D.
Sadly, they never updated the original campaign to sell metal and cloth dye... so we're pretty much stuck with whatever Pride Parade colors the armor comes in. Since we're at the start of chapter two and haven't done any quests yet, I'll probably export my character, pop into another module, and pick up a few items like that.
Playing with them along is fun; but I have to admit I'm developing serious ambivalence for OHS itself. There's no variation. Both Mystery-chan and Maeva are fighters, and both get the exact same feats -- thus far they're being shoehorned into longsword specialization and focus. This irks me, as Mystery-chan is supposed to use a bastard sword (and got the exotic weapons feat during character creation) but is having feats wasted on longsword. Maeva is supposed to use a greatsword, but is similarly being shoved directly into genericville. If they were taking divergent paths -- one going longsword, one going warhammer or something -- I could accept it as just the way they were evolving in that game... but they're going to be totally identical apparently, as OHS only has one advancement path for each class.
It's been awhile since I scripted in Aurora, but I remember the thing having random number generators or something similar, so I would have thought something more like "if #=1, path 1" "if #=2, path 2" et cetera. Something so that multiple followers of the same class wouldn't level up as clones of each other. Then again, as I said I haven't scripted in Aurora in years, so that may not have been feasible.
There's no method for manual level up from within the campaign. Your two choices are autolevel and get cookie-cutter perk lists, or don't level at all. If you don't have them level at all, they save up the experience; and you can convert the character from a follower back to a player; take them into another module, level up with your choice of feats, and then re-save them as followers. I didn't know the method off the top of my head, so I just let them autolevel to see how it went. Clearly, I am going to have to familiarize myself with the manual level up procedure -- even if that means removing and re-adding them as followers every level. Which will be a pain.
Natasha is a sorcerer class (since I didn't even want to think about the automated mechanics of learning specific spells and such) and while the spells are going okay... she for some reason got the "Brew Potion" feat awhile back. Which would be okay I guess except that I can't find any way to have her brew potions... so it's a complete wasted feat -- and I wouldn't have thought sorcerers get enough to waste. Gods apparently forbid she get combat casting or maximized spell or spell focus or something else actually useful. Also, for the life of me I can not find a way to get her to summon her familiar. I remember being able to do that with normal game henchmen.
So, much like in other games, the existing companion systems just aren't doing it for me... but I suppose I'll have to learn to deal with it since I don't want to learn how to script in Aurora all over again. Hopefully, exporting, leveling, and re-importing the girls every level won't be a huge pain in my ass.