Hello, and welcome to Let's Play Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir! The second expansion pack for the Neverwinter Nights 2 computer roleplaying game series from Obsidian, Storm of Zehir is a marked departure from its predecessors. It tries to capture the feel of some of the more 'old-school' CRPG games with a less-flashy story that encorperates more exploration, dungeon-crawling, and player-made parties.
It can be fairly said that they didn't entirely succeed, making Storm of Zehir somewhat of a strange game. Because of these quirks, Storm of Zehir might not be very interesting done as a regular Let's Play. That's where you come in!
-All the accoutrements of a CRPG in the Black Isle/Bioware/Obsidian vein, meaning experience points, levels, gold pieces, wolf pelts, frothy mead mugs, etc.
-A spiffy new overland map with random encounters that lets you wander around, fight monsters, and discover treasure somewhat free of the normal structured RPG format.
-A chance to create up to four characters as the core of your adventuring band, in the style of Icewind Dale.
-Eleven 'cohort' characters you can recruit for some extra firepower, albeit they're much less in personality than the companions of every other CRPG.
-A trading system whereby you make profit via 'trade bars', a secondary kind of currency.
-Some sort of snake-god story I GUESS.
Places to be, people to see.
For our heroic adventure we're going to need six - count 'em, six - hearty heroes. Why six? Because that's the maximum number of characters you can have in a party. It is not, however, the maximum number of characters you're supposed to be able to make. That's four. You're supposed to fill the remaining two slots with cohorts found around the game.
The tragic truth, however, is that these cohorts are flat as pankcakes. These are not the companions of other CRPGs like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect, or even earlier Neverwinter Nights 2 campaigns. They rarely speak beyond the occasional scrap of text over their head, they have no personal quests beyond recruitment quests we can do anyways, and are all-in-all just some extra muscle to help fill out your party.
Instead, I'd like a party packed with heroic and remarkable individuals invented by you, the reader. In order to help you do this, let's go through the character creation process now.
For those interested in having a six-character party in SoZ of their very own, this is for you!
Didja Redo posted:
...you can just open the SoZ module in the toolset and change the party limit to whatever you want.
Go to Plugins, then Campaign Editor. Select "Neverwinter Nights Campaign_X2", then scroll through the box on the right until you find the PartyCreationSize field. Change that to whatever, then click "Save Campaign", just above it. Simple as that.
Thanks Didja Redo for the convenient guide. And sorry for taking a long time to add it!
There are several steps to character creation - your character must have a race, a class and an alignment. There are also a number of other statistics that are worked out in character creation, not to mention you'll need to put some actual character and flair into your submission if you want to make the cut! Let's not get ahead of ourselves yet, though, there'll be plenty of time to explain game mechanics before we set off. Baby steps.
First off, each character has a race. Most races have subraces, at that.
Dwarf: A Dwarf, as found in all fantasy everywhere, split into the bog-standard Shield Dwarves, proud and magically-inclined Gold Dwarves, and grim, evil Duergar.
Elf: Complete with a whopping five varieties, Drow (evil elves), Sun Elves (wizards), Moon Elves (city-livers), Wild Elves (barbarians), and Wood Elves (forest rangers).
Gnome: Loveable and curious scamps, unless they're the humourless Deep Gnomes.
Halfling: Hobbits and don't let anyone tell you different, split into the gypsy-like Lightfoots and the Hobbiton-dwelling Stronghearts.
Half-Elf: Half Elf, Half Human. Thankfully just one subtype, unless you opt for Half Drow.
Half-Orc: Big and strong, yet not quite so dumb as your standard Orc. Still pretty damn dumb though.
Human: You're one! True middle-of-the-road vanilla flavour.
Planetouched: Sort of a supernatural bastard catch-all that includes Aasamir (children of angels), Tieflings (children of devils), and Genasai (children of... the elements?).
Yuan-ti: Snake People. Generally evil and sort of the stars of this expansion, although let's try to save that for later shall we?
Grey Orc: Sort of an off-brand Orc to let you play an Orc without feeling bad about slaughtering hundreds of the totally-unreasonable mountain Orcs.
Next is class. Not everyone has it, but everyone's got one - their job, to be specific. Coming late in third edition D&D's life, there are quite a few available here.
Barbarian: Huge, muscular damage-dealers who can rage to get even stronger.
Bard: Defeating enemies with the power of song and dance, Bards are jacks of all trades.
Cleric: Representing one of the many gods, Clerics are usually healers, advisors, and warriors.
Druid: A guardian of the forest and representative of nature.
Favoured Soul: An untrained cleric who gets by on divine favour alone.
Fighter: Putting the Sword in Sword and Sorcery.
Monk: A disciple of the mind and body who works to perfect both by punching people really hard.
Paladin: A holy warrior who trades the fighter's skills for divine powers. Note, must be Lawful Good.
Ranger: An outdoorsman specializing in archery and animal-management.
Rogue: The right name for any back-stabber, pocket-picker, or lock-breaker.
Sorcerer: A brute-force wizard with an innate taste for magic.
Spirit Shaman: Sort of a freelance Druid who makes deals with spirits based on will and charm.
Swashbuckler: A dashing, debonaire adventurer who relies on speed and cunning to win fights.
Warlock: A demon-summoner with a small range of spells they can cast frequently.
Wizard: Much more conventional. Floppy hat, magic stick, reads books to cast spells.
The most popular topic for quasi-intellectual debate in the Dungeons and Dragons game, alignment is your character's moral leaning. It doesn't come up especially often in Storm of Zehir, but it's still a good element of character.
In brief, the way the system works is this: you pick one each from good/neutral/evil and law/neutral/chaos, with the option of being neutral on both axis as well, to reflect having no particular moral leaning.
Law/chaos represents whether this character generally plays by the rules or not, while good/evil is... well, good or evil let's not start a whole philosophy class here. It is worth mentioning that some classes have alignment restrictions - Paladins must be Lawful Good, barbarians and bards can't be Lawful, and Monks have to be neutral on at least one axis.
Personal character stuff
Right! Time to make your character interesting. Type up a little block to give your character some colour, give them a name, and we're off to the races. My selection process is 100% arbitrary and is as likely to be the first six as the most popular six, so hurry up and submit already! Once again, what I'm looking for is:
So jump to it!
Table of Contents
- Wherein our heroes are introduced in sketch
- Wherein their lives are needlessly endangered by an idiotic writer
- Wherein they adapt to their new home base and recover from their ordeal
- Wherein an informative interlude is taken
- Wherein the wreck of the Vigilant is explored and suspiscious evidence found
- Wherein many Batari are slain to rescue hostages and discover the truth
- Wherein the problems of a gnomish lumber camp are dealt with and maps are misread
- Wherein a village and a mine are saved, at least one accidentally
- Wherein the correct mine is cleared at great difficulty
- Wherein loot is divided and black markets purged
- Wherein private missions for profit are undertaken
- Wherein a Yuan-ti stronghold is liberated
- Wherein saboteurs are brought to justice
- Wherein the party travels to new lands
- Wherein a miniature ally is liberated at great difficulty
- Wherein bonds fray
- Wherein a new force is mustered
- Wherein we get bored stiff by merchants
- Wherein dirty deeds are done dirt cheap
- Wherein dubious decisions are made
- Wherein unlikely liberators emerge
- Wherein everyone talks their problems through and there's almost no fighting at all
- Wherein an elderly cult is stamped out
- Wherein many are taken by surprise
- Wherein missing associates are accounted for
- Wherein confrontations take place
- Wherein a frequently jeopardized town is rescued once more
- Wherein assets are secured
- Wherein personal wanderings yield bounty
- Wherein there's some other stuff and PIRATES!
- Wherein a return journey is made and alliances reforged
- Wherein a temple is infiltrated
- Wherein our story ends
Chance II, officially unofficial illustrator of our adventurers