"With his perpetual shadow of facial hair and rugged physique, Bishop is rather handsome even if his demeanor is thoroughly unwelcoming. Late into his twenties, this veteran of the wilderness has scars and burns across his skin. Constantly on the look out, sniffing the air and checking what’s behind him, Bishop’s hands are always on his weapons. Every time you look over to Bishop, he’s looking right back at you."
Like many NPCs, Bishop's base statistics are better than a PC can have legally (Str 16, Dex 16, Con 15, Int 11, Wis 14, Cha 11, point buy 40). Bishop will automatically increase his dexterity during level-ups. The earliest he can be recruited is level 4 - an exceedingly difficult (and tedious) achievement. If you acquire him at level 7 or earlier, you may wish to consider raising his intelligence to 12 while leveling up to 8 since this results in an extra skill point to use, or save, at every level-up to 20 (12 total). Doing this still leaves him with up to 3 improvement points to allocate while leveling up, enough to raise his Dexterity to 20 at level 20.
By default, his favored enemies are Humans (1), Beasts (5) and Undead (10). However, should you somehow manage to get Bishop at level at level 4, take advantage of the opportunity to select either Undead or Outsiders as favored enemy at level 5 instead of Beasts, as these two types are far more common in the original campaign. His other starting feats are Improved Initiative, Point Blank Shot, Weapon Focus (longbow, at 3rd level) and Power Critical (longbow) at 6th level. Should you acquire Bishop before level 6, consider delaying power critical to level 12 and selecting Improved Favored Enemy (humans, outsiders or undead) instead.
Bishop has chosen to specialize in archery rather than two-weapon fighting and earns many bonus archery feats as he advances in the Ranger class. Improved Critical (longbow) is an important feat for him to select as soon as it's available at level 9, since there is no other way to increase the critical threat range on a bow. It's advisable to give him a custom-made, enchanted Shederran or Duskwood bow to take full advantage of his high strength and the Holy Weapon recipe enhancement, since it's available early in the original campaign, most enemies of note are evil and are vulnerable to the extra 2d6 damage it provides. Items that boost his strength and/or dexterity are also recommended to make him more effective in combat. His Manyshot ability is useful for eliminating enemy mages and other 'soft targets' quickly.
All-in-all, Bishop is able to dish out large amounts of damage when equipped with a powerful bow, especially to his (improved) favored enemies and anyone vulnerable to critical hits. Against undead, golems, and other creatures immune to critical hits, he is less effective.
The PC first meets Bishop in the Sunken Flagon in Neverwinter where he tells the PC to sod off. Later, when the Flagon is attacked and Shandra is abducted by the Githyanki warlock, he participated in the battle and noticed that duskwood twigs were on the attacker’s clothing and realized that they probably came from deep within Luskan territory. Initially, he was unwilling to help the PC track Shandra down until Duncan called due his "debt" and forced him to help the PC. After rescuing Shandra, he decides to stick with the PC much to the protest of everyone else in the party.
Bishop is somewhat of a chauvinistic pig and often makes rather inappropriate comments towards the female members in the party, especially towards Elanee and Shandra, though he even makes some comments to Neeshka or the PC (if female). He has a strong dislike for Casavir who is his complete polar opposite, and sees Grobnar as nothing more than arrow bait (though he is not alone in that sentiment). His only genuine emotion though is his strong hatred for Luskans, whom he has captured and tortured on his many scouting paths along the Luskan border while traveling with another ranger named Malin, whom he was involved with. He once served as one of Luskan's soldiers and performed exceptionally well that they kept drafting him into rougher and rougher areas until he decided to quit before his assignments eventually got him killed.
Later on, when Grobnar tries to reactivate the Construct, he manages to trick Grobnar into giving him the override commands. He also helps Elanee and the PC track down the remaining druids of the Circle of the Mere. During the siege on Crossroad Keep, he deserts the PC and joins Black Garius, but not before destroying the gates and allowing the hordes of undead to come flooding into the keep.
Before the final battle, he reveals what his debt to Duncan was. Prior to the events of the game, he was given an invitation to join a secret Luskan assassination squad, the very same squad that Lorne Starling had membership. The initiation involved the destruction of a Neverwinter village of his own choosing. Having grown up hating his home town, he decided to pick his own village to burn down. But his hatred for the Luskans was even greater so he devised a plan to set a trap for the Luskans by setting his village on fire and at the same time kill the Luskans that were watching over him. Before razing the village however, he had a change of heart and tried to warn his fellow villagers to flee, but none heeded his warning and they died along with the Luskans. Bishop was struck down by arrows while attempting to make his escape. It was here that Duncan found him dying and decided to take him back with him and nurse him back to health. He stated that he finally felt free as he laid dying in a pool of his own blood, only to have Duncan come at the very end and rob him of peace, something that he has resented Duncan for ever since. In exchange for Duncan's silence about Bishop's involvement in the destruction of the village, Bishop would owe him a 'debt' that he could collect at anytime.
Bishop's fate at the end of the game is determined by the PC's choices. If the PC's alignment is good and has strong influence with Bishop, he will leave Black Garius' side and refuse to fight the PC, but also refuse to fight for the PC and simply leaves stating that Garius is a dead man. If the PC's alignment is good but has weak influence with Bishop, he stays by Garius' side and uses the override commands to make the Construct fight for him. If the PC (regardless of alignment) has a high influence with Bishop, but a even higher one with Casavir, Bishop will be bitter at the two of you and side with Garius. If the PC is evil and opts to join with the King of Shadows, Bishops joins the PC and helps him slaughter his former comrades.
Mask of the Betrayer
In the Mask of the Betrayer expansion campaign, Bishop is revealed to have died either at the hands of the player character or in the aftermath of the defeat of the King of Shadows, crushed in the collapsing Vale. The player can either be sympathetic to his fate, or mock him. Because he was a Faithless, he eventually went into the Wall of the Faithless after death.
During the dreamscape sequence at Coveya Kurg'annis, the player will see Bishop in the Wall of the Faithless. He states that he has finally found the peace he has always sought in the oblivion of the wall, but many others desire to be freed and can be heard screaming within the walls. Eventually, Bishop goes silent, and the player finds piece of the Mask of the Betrayer in his hand as he fades into the Wall.
Later, when Speaking with Kelemvor, he will state that Bishop has been devoured by the wall, and what you saw were his last moments.
Note: This campaign assumes the player did not join the King of Shadows at Merdelain.
- In a deleted conversation, Bishop reveals that his home village was a Mere village called Redfallows Watch. Redfallows Watch is mentioned by Elanee as being swallowed by the swamp and it is also where Sir Nevalle was knighted. This would then technically make Bishop a Harborman just like the PC and it gives a deeper meaning to the constant comparison Bishop has between him and the PC. He often states that looking at the PC, he realizes what he could have been if he had chosen to go down another path in life.
- There's another deleted and very humorous conversation path with the Githyanki sword stalker at the entrance of the Githyanki caves. A deleted conversation path brings up the githyanki apparently being mostly female and matriarchal, with low opinions on males (with numerous remarks from companions). If the PC is female, one of the responses, that "men have their uses," leads to the githyanki offering the player a "painless death" if she offers Bishop as a pleasure slave, much to his horror. Were the PC to decline the offer, she'd gain influence with Bishop and he requests that if he ever became that desperate to just "go ahead and kill him."
- Bishop was originally planned to be a romance option if the PC was female, but was not implemented in the final release of the game due to time constraints. However, see below:
- Bishop was voiced by Asa Seigel in the official campaign, and Dave Walsh in a cutscene in Mask of the Betrayer.
- Bishop does not have a patron deity listed in his profile, despite the fact NWN2 requires Rangers choose a nature deity, and he is still able to cast his Ranger spells. Though deities were not added to the game until very late in the development cycle, this was likely done for storyline reasons (particularly in Mask of the Betrayer, given his fate).
- His animal companion is a wolf named Karnwyr.
- During the Rite of Tyr, if the PC is female and has higher influence with him than Casavir, Bishop will visit the PC and offer some interesting information about Lorne.
- Though Bishop is not considered a main romance option (Casavir being the option for female players) it is evident that he was intended to have a romance option. If your influence is very high early on (best achieved with a chaotic evil character) he will extend offers to run away with you. Bishop and Casavir also fight over your character's affections, as well as in the final battle upon the stronghold, Bishop keeps offering to run away from the mess with you, "offering" your character essentially the opportunity to flee what he's about to do. When you coax the story out of Bishop during Black Garius' influence checks, he can admit feelings towards you that hint towards love and/or affection. Although deleted from the final release of the game, curious players may download a mod to incorporate Bishop's romance option here.
- Also previously noted, should you choose to join the King of Shadows, Bishop will help you slay your former comrades.