The official NWN mods thread

Per popular request (haha), I present to you the official NWN mods thread. Please use this thread to post mini-reviews, mini-previews, impressions, or just general information about mods for Bioware’s Neverwinter Nights computer role-playing game. Please note that this thread hereby supercedes the “which NWN should I play first?” thread as the definitive source for all things NWN mod related.

NWN Mods??? Why do you say such things, when you know I will kill you for it!

KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!!!

The Aielund Saga fans: According to the author’s webpage the second part of Act IV is very near release.

Wasn’t there a persistent online world using a NWN mod? Can anyone point me to that one?

Avalice? Avalize? something like that.

You can find a bunch right in the in game browser, at least when I used to play.

Neverwinter primer:

Neverwinter Nights (NWN) had two expansion packs, first Shadow of Undrentide (SoU), then Hordes of the Underdark (HotU).
NWN Gold edition bundles NWN and SoU.
NWN Platinum edition bundles NWN, SoU and HotU and is either CD or DVD.
NWN Diamond edition bundles NWN, SoU, HotU, and 3 of the 4 current premium mods: Kingmaker, ShadowGaurd, Witch’s Wake remake and is only DVD.
NWN Kingmaker “expansion” bundles Kingmaker, ShadowGaurd, and Witch’s Wake remake on CD.
the newest premium mod Pirates of the Sword Coast is still only available by download.

To play a premium mod purchased through the BioWare Store requires an on-line verification just like attempting a multiplayer game.

OC stands for Original (or Official) Campaign and refers to the campaign that came with the original release of NWN, the story involving the much discussed Aribeth. It is generally considered a mediocre campaign.

The popular character of Deekin is introduced halfway into the SoU campaign and can be your henchman. He also appears in HotU and again, can be your henchman.

SoU and HotU are not sequels of the OC, although they do make reference to some of the events in the OC. SoU and HotU are very loosely tied together. There is a gap between a character’s ending level of XP in SoU and the required starting level for HotU. HotU will instantly add the appropriate levels to your character or the XP gap can be “filled” by any mod(s). There are a few “bridge” modules specifically for this gap.

A mod refers to a module, not a modification like other PC games. A module is the file that contains the area, dialog and script information for an adventure, and they are created using the Aurora toolset included with NWN.

A hak is a file that contains custom content information like tilesets and models. In multiplayer the mod is only required on the server, but haks are required on the server and clients. Make sure you download any required haks before attempting to connect to an online or LAN server.

CEP stands for Community Expansion Pack and is actually a very large hak. It includes a lot of content from many different haks into one hak file. It is endorsed by Bioware, but it is not maintained by Bioware. It is a must download since many mods now require it. download here

Most mods and hak files as well as other files like custom portraits and scripts are located at IGN’s Neverwinter Vault.

PW stands for Persistent World. Sometimes also called Gameworlds, these popular on-line mods offer some of the features of old Multi-User Dungeons or Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games.

The Player Resource Consortium (PRC) pack is an additional package in the vein of CEP that adds a substantial amount of content for players including 75+ new player classes and prestige classes (PrC), 50+ sub-races, new spells, feats, etc. It is often used in PW settings but can be manually applied to compatible SP modules.

Neverwinter Connections is a useful on-line mathcmaking service where you can find listings of PWs and Dungeon Master (DM) controlled games.

other info links:
Kip’s Guide to Neverwinter Nights
Deth’s guide to multiplayer
Nathrock’s Unofficial Premium Content FAQ
Easy fix to NWN Diamond edition and failing disk check
NWNWiki project

NWN2 is being developed by Obsidian (KotOR2, some former Black Isle devs) and is being co-produced by Atari and Bioware. It is planned for a later 2006 release. NWN1 mods will not be compatible.

The Collective is a website that has reviews and information on PWs. It also features the Server Gnome which automatically tracks the server status of many PWs.

I think these mods have all been mentioned elsewhere, but a couple of quick recommendations from me:

HeX coda: first in an ongoing series (hopefully!). Well-written and funny, with a cool time-travel / paradox storyline in a “steampunk fantasy” world of the author’s creation. It is fairly linear, which is fine by me, but I know some people prefer a more open-ended experience. One of my personal favorites, largely because of the original setting and witty writing.

Runes of Blood: A decent-sized low-level “mini-epic,” with a solid (if predictable) plot and a fair bit of subquesting. The writing’s not as strong as HeX coda IMHO - especially the NPCs - but it’s longer and more open-ended. Also worth checking out.

A Dance with Rogues: haven’t played it myself but several people have recommended it to me. Story-based mod where you play a princess who is forced to become a rogue after her kingdom is conquered and her family’s been slaughtered. Fun!

Tired of the epic expanse of Cyrodiil? Looking for short well written role playing mini-adventure?
BioWare has announced the winners of their Writing Contest for NWN.

Top Five Judged Modules
The top five modules as selected by our panel of judges. These modules were hand selected after every single module submitted to the contest was reviewed from the 313 submissions.

  1. Myranni’s Magic by Mat Jobe author if the excellent mod Dastards Morrow
  2. The Realm Below by Chris Amos
  3. Aspects by Neilan ‘Darric’ Naicker
  4. A Moonless Night by Kevin Chan author of Tales of Arterra The Lost and The Awakening
  5. Ghosts of the Past by Illemira/Aedalena

Top Five Community Modules
The top five as voted on by the community (excluding any modules already selected for the top five by our judges). These rankings are based solely on module final rankings according to NWVault at the time the contest closed:

  1. Firestarter by Adam Miller author of the Shadowlords, Dreamcatcher, and Demon campaigns
  2. Walking with the Ghost by Chris Tihor
  3. A Hero’s Death by Thad Boyd
  4. The Badger, the Cat and the Book by Chris R. Deatherage author of other contest mods Angel of Death and The Summoning
  5. Find the Fish! by nereng creator of the builder’s tool The Animation Lab

Complete List of the 300+ contest entries.

Looking for some action? Progress a new or experienced character through this series of modules, some featuring balanced tough fights.

The Sunless Citadel level 1
UK2 - The Sentinel level 2-5
CC1: Gates of Myth Drannor level 5-10
Threat to the Spine level 8-10
FK The Shadow Relic level 12-17
Heart of Winter level 18-22
Some Distant Shore level 21-23

anyone have any recommendations for any dark/gritty modules? Something with well written evil characters and world akin to the setting of the thief games?

Honor Among Thieves is a good one, but maybe not exactly like the Thief games.

ee2 - excrucio eternum is probably one of the darkest and grittiest mods I’ve played and it has several villains and some excellent victims as well. This module is right up there in quality with the best commercial CRPGs and I highly recommend it to any CRPG fan.

Of course, you wouldn’t wanna start with the second game in a series, so you might as well try out ee1 - elegia eternum as well. It’s a very good mod too, but pales compared to its successor.

I played both ee1 and ee2, they are my favorite mods. I probably should have mentioned that. Is there anything similar in tone to them?

Are there any co-op campaigns or mods worth playing?Some of these look great but they’re all single player only.

Take a look at the search engine over on the NWN Vault using category = Twisted/Dark or something along those lines. I got quite a few promising hits doing that.

I have played a few other dark mods sorta like the ees, but I can’t recall any names off the top of my head. Seems like a few were pretty decent, but nothing of the magnitude of ee2.

Some dark and gritty atmosphere suggestions:

Valley Of Shadows
Ravenloft, Beyond the Gate
Bone Kenning I: Art of the Thanaturge
Surviving Horror 1 2
Vampire – Heaven Defied
A Dance with Rogues
Glorious Rejuvenation
The Picture in the House
and the most Thief-like The book of Shaddowe

The famous Shadowlords, Dreamcatcher, and Demon campaigns can be played multiplayer.
The Light Reborn series 1 2 3 4
Hythum I II
The Aielund Saga with newly released ActIV part2
The Lord of Terror - The Diablo Campaign
Eye of the Beholder
An Ancient Heart I II
Scourge of the SlaveLords I II
The Pratchetty Penultima series
to name a few…

Fuck everything. This starts out with the player character being raped.

Also, that Ancient Heart shit has Drizzt in it. This is only slightly less insulting than raping my character in a fucking prologue.

Indeed and there are other controversial elements to that one. While I have yet to play this one myself I’ve been told that the writing is not juvenile. The author herself warns that if you are offended by the material that you shouldn’t play.

It’s trite. It is beyond trite. I am utterly fucking sick of fantasy heroines, usually in novels, starting out being raped and having to overcome. It’s offensive because, duh, it’s fucking rape. But it’s also offensive in that it’s a played-out stereotype.

They’re just raping a dead horse by this point.