Part 1: More High Fantasy Than You Can Shake A Silver Sword At
(wallpaper by Rowedekhelicon)
You may have heard of Neverwinter Nights 2. You've most likely played it; maybe even completed it. NWN2 is a big, long, epic RPG set in the ever-present Forgotten Realms, your basic bog-standard mainstream high-fantasy setting. It's a tough game to finish, mainly because it's so incredibly long and all of the speedbumps come right at the start. If you've rolled a character, set off from West Harbor and gotten about as far as Highcliff before giving up and playing a game that doesn't take years to finish, this LP is for you.
You've probably heard of Obsidian Entertainment. You might even be aware of its tortured and twisted family tree; warped as it is, you can still trace a lineage back to premiere old-school CRPG developers Black Isle Studios. The developers at Obsidian come from a variety of backgrounds, but their RPG experience is extraordinary. Fallout 1 & 2, the Baldur's Gate trilogy, Planescape: Torment, Icewind Dale 1 & 2, Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines... these games (and more) can be linked in some way to Obsidian staff, as former publishers, developers, or both. They are most (in)famous for Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords, which is either the best or worst RPG in recent history, depending on who you ask. I can't promise any astounding insights into NWN2 (because there aren't any) but if you'd like to see what I can pull out of Obsidian Entertainment's second child, or just wait for when I get around to the expansion, this LP is for you.
You've definitely heard of Dungeons & Dragons, the trendiest and most popular dice-rolling, role-playing, orc-slaying board game this side of Milan. You probably participated in your school's D&D team, or attended your local town's D20 pep rally. If you look just read the damn LP already
What about Neverwinter Nights 1?
Oh, right. Yes, in 2002 Bioware released Neverwinter Nights, a shiny new 3D RPG from the creators of the classic Baldur's Gate series. Unfortunately the main campaign was completely forgettable; fortunately it has nothing to do with NWN2 at all and can be safely ignored. Perhaps someday someone will be prepared to critique a sluggish blocky computer game about time-travelling lizards who live in a prehistoric snow-globe... but not today.
So how's about this NWN2 then
NWN2 allows you to create your own character. This is not an understatement: with the two expansions installed, there are two genders; fifteen base classes; a similar number of prestige classes; several dozen different races or subraces; and a million or so different combinations of face, hairstyle, hair colour(s) and skin colour. The different possible permutations are almost infinite so instead of asking you lot to make a coherent choice, I've taken the decision for you.
This is Calliope, our pretentiously-named protagonist. She's a level-headed person, of a sort: consistent and thorough, practical and good with her hands. She's also as impressionable as wet clay. I'm going to need you guys to tell me two things:
Is Calliope GOOD or BAD?
Who should Calliope be FRIENDS with?
If you're familiar with the D&D alignment system, great; otherwise, just tell me if Calliope should be kind and helpful or mean and selfish. As for the second question, I'll ask it again once we actually have some friends to like and dislike. I'll also keep on asking it throughout the LP, so don't stress it if we keep hanging out with that loser dork Casavir when we should be totally smoking cigarettes and lurking around street corners with Bishop, since you might just change my mind.
(The thread selected Lawful Evil as Calliope's alignment - the alignment of tyrants and oppressors - Ed.)
I've heard good things about NWN2, but Act 1 is really long and boring! What do I do?
Don't sweat it - you're quite right, Act 1 is long and boring. Act 2 is much more interesting, though.
Feel free to skip ahead to Act 2 - the Interlude summarises everything that happened in the previous act.
If you want more detail, this update, this update, this update and this update cover the key plot points.
Anything more than that and you might as well read the whole LP. C'mon, if I had to play it then you have to read it!
Calliope - Our protagonist. Fate has plucked her from lowly beginnings as a swamp farmer to... well, you'll find out soon enough.
and Enemies List
Khelgar Ironfist - A wandering dwarven warrior who wants to learn the way of the Monk. Shocking lack of self-awareness.
Neeshka - A tiefling thief and outcast. We like her lust for gold but not her whininess.
Elanee - Elven druidess of the Mere. She's too bossy and moralising for our liking.
Qara - Hot-headed Academy dropout with a penchant for arson. Impulsive, bad-tempered, and no people skills.
Grobnar Gnomehands - Token comic relief character. An absent-minded tinkerer and songwriter. We'll keep him around for a while.
Casavir - A grim-faced paladin with a lonely burden to bear. Carries a torch for us, even though we're ideologically incompatible. Sorry, Cas.
Bishop - Our first (openly) evil companion. Bishop cares about two things in life: getting paid and staying alive. He's got a thing for us too, even if he won't admit it.
Shandra - This beleagured farm-girl is the key to unlocking the mystical knowledge of Ammon Jerro, a deceased wizard of some repute. She's also our protégée.
Sand - The snarky, arrogant, yet strangely-lovable elven hedge-wizard has been revealed to be an agent in the employ of Neverwinter. He's our lawyer in our upcoming trial for murder.
Zhjaeve - A githzerai cleric from another dimension. Her one concern is defeating the malevolent King of Shadows, and we're her last, best hope.
Construct - Grobnar's side-project. A reconstructed blade golem from the ancient empire of Illefarn. No personality but is absolute murder in a fight.