Would You Like Me to Make You Shiny Ones?
The expansion includes, as the FAQ puts it, an add-in and an add-on. The add-in is simply a new location to go to on the map with a rather cool dungeon called Watchers Keep. I don't really even consider this part an add-in though, since it's available in the add-on map as well which would make your level high enough to really do well in there. The add-on is the interesting part for me. The add-on continues the story of the Child of Bhaal on a new world map. The map is in Tethyr, just south of Amn, and has about nine locations on it including Watchers Keep and two towns. The Irenicus story of BG2 that side-stepped the real story set forth in BG1 is over, and we go back to the heart of the story. The children of Bhaal all trying to kill the player, but this time, the strongest five of them have gathered in Tethyr and are slaughtering all others, and everyone else who stands in their way, leveling half of the sword coast as they go.
One of the major improvements in here fixes the one thing that at times makes the D&D games unbearable. Anyone who loves playing with a lot of mages knows that the need for sleep is a devastating and annoying attribute of D&D. In the Throne of Bhaal, that is remedied in a most interesting way. As the story goes, your character creates his own protective plane out of the abyssal plane to test himself as he goes through his journey (I'm mentioning "him" simply because my character was male.) With this ability, the character can teleport to the "pocket plane" any time he wants to rest and be safe from monsters. Most definitely that solves most of the problems of D&D games, where more monsters appear when you sleep and you have to keep fighting and sleeping again. Needless to say it's fun to warp out of a boss room to sleep only to return again to kill them.
Along with the pocket plane, another of the major improvements is available. An imp that once served Bhaal himself floats around up there and will make you "shiny ones" at any point. Similar to how you could combine pieces of items together to make a really good item at the blacksmith in the docks district of Athkatla, your imp will fuse together and improve more items as you find them, and believe me, you'll find far more pieces in the expansion than you ever did in the full game. Things like the Holy Avenger, and Bag of Holding can be upgraded with various things, or a cloak and clasp fused together to make a magical item. In addition to his, ermm, interesting personality, your imp truly comes in handy throughout the game.
There aren't really any new NPCs in the game, except for one. Unfortunately, most players will not accept this NPC into the party due to alignment, but the thought of having this NPC is a rather interesting one, and adds an unusual twist to the storyline of the game. Fortunately, there is a ton of new wonderful music. Once again with cinematic quality orchestrated music, ToB has some of the best music in the gaming universe.
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