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Overview

Flush from the very successful Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II games, developer Bioware abandoned their former 2D, isometric perspective design roots, and began work on a brand new, 3D RPG set in the Forgotten Realms universe. After years in development and several delays, Bioware released Neverwinter Nights on the PC in 2002. Using the AD&D 3rd Edition ruleset, Neverwinter Nights shipped not only with an excellent, 50 hour long campaign, but also a robust campaign editor to let players design their own Dungeons and Dragons' campaigns and share them online. The game also allowed players to complete the campaign in co-operative online mode, as well as play any of the player created modules. The extensive campaign and incredible create-a-module features helped the game build a devoted fan community that still creates and releases content years after the game's release.

Intense!

Beyond the game's incredible size and the steady stream of new content during its life cycle (including two expansion packs), Neverwinter Nights made huge strides in accurately delivering a Dungeons & Dragons experience to the PC. A simple, elegant and new interface made selecting abilities, casting spells and using feats much easier to access, even for RPG newcomers. The game had a faster pace than Baldur's Gate and that helped bring the RPG genre to many new players who were never interested in character sheets and rolling dice. Neverwinter Nights also reduced its scope in several key ways: the player only controls a single character (plus usually one henchman) instead of up to 6 to 8 different party members. This greatly reduced the amount of inventory and class micromanagement, streamlining the RPG elements and making them easier to cope with. All this combined with the intelligent writing and the clever quest and level design that Bioware has always been known for, Neverwinter Nights has been hailed as an RPG triumph, and arguably the finest CRPG released since Baldur’s Gate.

Plot

The campaign itself is split up into 4 chapters plus a prologue; each of which providing a unique overall objective to the player while never derailing the story from its purpose.

Prologue

Left- Fenthick Moss Right- Desther Indelayne

The Prologue takes place in the Neverwinter Academy and while being a tutorial-introductory level, it also sets up the story and briefly introduces some of the story’s main characters to the player, who is striving to complete his/her training and make their way to see Lady Aribeth to graduate from the Academy in order to help fight off the Wailing Death, a mysterious plague of unknown origins that is crawling all over the city and killing thousands or citizens. However, things don’t turn out quite as well as the Academy members would expect, since an attack on the Academy grounds results in the great majority of the Academy’s students and teachers being killed—this audacious attack is led by a group of unidentified assassins and mages.

The player manages to survive the first wave of assailants and is then told to make his/her way to the stables of the Academy in order to protect Neverwinter’s only hope of a cure: four monsters sent from Waterdeep who may be able to provide the ingredients for a cure. After fighting their way to the stable, the player discovers the Academy has been completely defeated and perhaps even worse, that the Waterdhavian Creatures have been released and have fled. The player also finds out that he/she is the last survivor of all students in the Academy.

Chapter One

In the Temple of Tyr, in Neverwinter’s City Core, the player is properly introduced to Fenthick Moss and Desther Indelayne, two men in service of Neverwinter—Fenthick is an easy going chap who is also Lady Aribeth’s lover, and Desther is a priest of Helm. It is then explained that Aribeth is in dire need of an adventurer to track down the Waterdhavian creatures and their respective ingredients to the cure. Eventually she assigns the adventurer to this task. The 4 creatures are: a Yuan-Ti, a Dryad, an Intellect Devourer and a Cockatrice and the player leaves Neverwinter in search of them.

The Yuan-Ti can be found in the Beggars’ Nest, where the player needs to deal with a raised army of Undead before being able to take down the Waterdhavian creature and retrieving the first reagent to the cure and present it back to Lady Aribeth.

Aribeth de Tylmerande

The Intellect Devourer is to be found in the Peninsula District, where it possessed the mind of the local head-jailer and made him release all the prisoners in the local prison. The player needs to fight his/her way through the waves of criminals in order to reach the Waterdhavian creature, defeat it and returning yet another reagent to Aribeth.

The Blacklake district is where all the nobles live and it is still relatively safe from the plague. However, all is not well, seen that the Dryad has charmed a local wizard (Meldanen) and is causing him to withhold almost all of the city’s food, leading the populace to a near-starvation state. The player needs to gain access to Meldanen’s estate and once again fight his/her way to the Dryad, who is surprisingly willing to give the player a lock of her hair. The reagent is then, as usual, returned to Aribeth.

The fourth Waterdhavian creature is located in the Docks District; a nasty and violent area where gangs have been fighting each other. It turns out that one of the thugs’ leaders—Vengaul Bloodsail, head of the Bloodpirate thugs—is auctioning a Waterdhavian creature, while Callik, his lieutenant, is attempting a coup. The player ends up defeating Callik, gaining Vengaul’s and obtaining access to the Cockatrice and therefore to the final reagent. When the player delivers the last ingredient to Lady Aribeth, she invites him/her to witness the process of the cure’s creation.

The ritual is successful and the cure is created, but Desther escapes through a portal with the cure and Fenthick goes in pursuit. Aribeth uses her magic to keep the portal open and asks the player to bring Desther to justice, while also trying to figure out if Fenthick’s somehow involved in this turn of events. The player enters the portal, and ends up in Helm’s Hold. There, he meets Fenthick, who says he had nothing to do with his friend’s treachery and was only trying to get him back. Final ly, the player discovers Desther performing a ritual to raise his power to a whole new level. Upon defeat, Desther surrenders . The first chapter ends with the hanging of both Desther and Fenthick, who, even if innocent, was charged as guilty for having “collaborated” with the priest. Aribeth, broken hearted, moves to Port Llast and takes the player and any possible henchmen, with her.

Chapter Two

Maugrim

This chapter begins with Aribeth asking the player to help locate the cult behind the attack on Neverwinter. The player naturally agrees to help her and after having followed a couple of leads from Aarin Gend—Neverwinter’s spymaster—, ends up recovering a cult member’s diary, which leads to yet another diary, containing a note that seems to point to the city of Luskan as being the cult’s center of operations. Aribeth wants to play safe though, and tasks the player with finding definitive proof of this. After a few trials and tribulations in the Neverwinter Woods, the player finds a couple of more notes, both signed by “Maugrim”. Upon his return to Port Llast, a half-Orc named Vardoc attacks the player. The player kills him and discovers

one final note from that same Maugrim. Aribeth reads the missive and finally confirms that Luskan is indeed where the Cult is located. The player is then tasked with gaining access to Luskan and with the help of Aarin Gend, he/she does so.

Upon entering the Temple of Tyr in Luskan, the player comes to realize that Aribeth has gone ahead of him/her and is already in the Tower of the Arcane Brotherhood, the rulers of Luskan. After dealing with the adversaries in the Tower and finding his/her way to the Pinnacle—the Tower’s top floor—the player sees Maugrim, the Dreadqueen Morag (the Queen of the Old Ones) and the even the now fallen Aribeth, colluding. They escape and the player returns to Gend to report of Aribeth’s betrayal and also of the cult’s newly found plan of retrieving some relics of old magic called the “Words of Power”, with which they seek to destroy Neverwinter.

Chapter Three

Aarin Gend, the Spymaster

Seen that Morag already possesses one of the Words of Power, it is up to the player to get the other three before the Cult does. All the action in this Chapter takes place around the town of Beorunna’s Well. Aarin Gend points the player to Haedraline, who knows more about the Words of Power than anyone; she will help him/her get them all back.

The first Word of Power is in a chest that belongs to a Dragon that lives inside a snow globe in a Wizard’s lab, where there’s a war going on between immortal Druids and Dryads! As usual, the player has to fight his/her way up to the Wizard’s Lab and then touch the snow globe in order to enter its realm. There, the player ends up finding out that the Dragon is ultimately responsible for the war and after killing it, retrieves a Word of Power.

The second Word of Power lies in some very ancient ruins, south of Beorunna’s Well. Here you will meet a lizard-like race called the Old Ones. There will be a lot of puzzles for the player to solve in this part of the Chapter, but ultimately it all ends up with the player reaching the ruins’ Vault and having to confront a Balor Lord in order to get to the Word of Power.

In order to obtain the third Word of Power, the player will have to traverse the Moonwoods, to the west of Beorunna’s Well, until he comes across the entrance of the Fire Giant Lair. There’s a lot of fighting for this part of the Chapter, but eventually the player will reach Klauth’s Lair. Here, a great Wyrm will tell you that he has the Word of Power and that he is willing to trade it for you in exchange of some dragon eggs. It is up to the player to either make a deal with him or to just kill him. Either way, the Word of Power will be acquired.

The player then goes back to Aarin Gend and this ends the Chapter.

Chapter Four

Morag as seen in one of the game's cutscenes

Haedraline wants you to retrieve the last Word of Power, the one in the possession of Morag, but Neverwinter is under siege at the hands of the Luskan army and prior to anything else, the player must free the city from its subjugators. After killing the Half-Dragon Balor responsible for the attack, the player will be able to open a portal to Maugrim’s lair.

Here, an inevitable confrontation with Aribeth will arise and upon having her surrendering to the player, she can either be redeemed and convinced to turn herself in (if the player has completed a certain side-quest, that is) or killed. Next you’ll have to defeat Maugrim in order to take the last Word of Power from him and also to gain access to the Source Stone, which is actually a portal leading to the realm inside it, where the Old Ones sleep. Using the four Words of Power, the players opens the portal and confronts Morag in the game’s final battle. When she dies, both the Source Stone and the world inside it will explode, but Haedraline will be able to create a small portal for the player to escape.

Gameplay

Bioware bundled the full 3rd Edition Dungeons and Dragons Manual along with the gamers to help players who really wanted to get into the nitty-gritty aspects of DnD. However, creating a character was as easy as choosing a race, class and then letting the game itself pick what abilities were best suited for the player by clicking a "Recommended" button which made the character creation aspect of the game much easier than most other RPGs where it tends to be somewhat intimidating to newcomers.

Standard RPG leveling up and grinding gameplay apart, some unique side-quests and player created experiences provided great relief from the more subdued nature of the main campaign in addition to providing some unique items and spells unavailable in the main game. Bioware also provided players with the ability to multiclass their characters which gave experienced DnD players the chance to create some truly innovative mix of races and classes as well as adding to the overall replay value of the game.

Neverwinter Nights had a classic RPG hotbar at the bottom of the screen to which abilities, items, spells, and feats could be mapped to. The action could be paused at any time, allowing the player to queue up actions to perform on a target. In addition to the aforementioned hotbar, it also had a radial menu that could be accessed by right clicking the character or any NPC. This allowed the player all the options possible to perform on themselves or the targeted NPC.

Neverwinter Nights was presented in 3D and, as such, new controls that differentiated from Baldur's Gate and its sequel were necessary. The character could be moved either by either using the WASD keys or by clicking on the spot the player wished the character to move to. Three different camera modes were also available:

  1. Top Down
  2. Chase
  3. Drive

Attacking a hostile NPC was as simple as clicking on them, while attacking a friendly NPC required use of the radial menu.

Expansion Packs

Two expansion packs presenting a whole new story were released for Neverwinter Nights:

Races

HUMAN

Human

Humans are the most adaptable of the common races.

  • Ability Adjustments: None
  • Favored Class: All
  • Special Abilities:
  1. Can choose an extra feat at first level
  2. Gains 4 extra skill points at first level, plus one additional skill point at each level up

DWARF

Dwarf

Dwarves are known for their skill in warfare and their ability to withstand a great deal of both physical and magical damage.

  • Ability Adjustments: 2 Con, -2 Cha
  • Favored Class: Fighter
  • Special Abilities:
  1. Stonecunning
  2. Darkvision
  3. Hardiness vs. Poisons & Spells
  4. Offensive Training vs. Orcs, Goblins & Giants
  5. Skill Affinity -- Lore

ELF

Elf

Elves are known for their love for poetry, songs and magic, but when threatened they can show a great deal of skill with weaponry.

  • Ability Adjustments: 2 Dex, -2 Con
  • Favored Class: Wizard
  • Special Abilities:
  1. Immunity to Sleep
  2. Hardiness vs. Enhancements
  3. Bonus Weapon Proficiencies -- Longsword, Rapier, Shortbow, Longbow
  4. Skill Affinities -- Listen, Search, Spot
  5. Keen Senses
  6. Low-light Vision

GNOME

Gnome

Gnomes are adept alchemists, inventors and technicians.

  • Ability Adjustments: 2 Con, -2 Str
  • Favored Class: Wizard
  • Special Abilities:
  1. Hardiness vs. Illusions
  2. Offensive Training vs. Reptilians & Goblins
  3. Defensive Training vs. Giants
  4. Skill Affinities -- Listen, Concentration, Spell Focus
  5. Low-light Vision

HALF-ELF

Half-Elf

Half-elves have both the curiosity and ambition of humans and the refined senses and love of nature of Elves. They are however seen as outsiders by both cultures.

  • Ability Adjustments: None
  • Favored Class: Any
  • Special Abilities:
  1. Immunity to Sleep
  2. Hardiness vs. Enhancements
  3. Partial Skill Affinities -- Listen, Search, Spot
  4. Low-light Vision

HALF-ORC

Half-Orc

Half-orcs are short-tempered would rather act than think and fight rather than argue.

  • Ability Adjustments: 2 Str, -2 Int, -2 Cha
  • Favored Class: Barbarian
  • Special Abilities:
  1. Darkvision

HALFLING

Halfling

Halflings are capable and very resourceful survivors. They are known to be curious and show an audacity that many other taller cultures can't match.

  • Ability Adjustments: 2 Dex, -2 Str
  • Favored Class: Rogue
  • Special Abilities:
  1. Skill Affinities -- Move Silently, Listen
  2. Lucky
  3. Fearless
  4. Good Aim

Classes

Neverwinter Nights offers the player the opportunity to choose to play between one of 11 different classes, each having their perks and handicaps.

With the addition of the Expansion Packs, these could now also be "upgraded" to what is called the Prestige Classes, as long as the player met the necessary requirements for them (check both the Expansion Pack's wiki pages to know more about Prestige Classes).

BARBARIAN

Barbarian

Barbarians are brave and reckless and their warrior skills make them well suited for adventure.

  • Alignment: Any nonlawful
  • Hit Dice: d12
  • Proficiencies: All simple and martial weapons, light armor, medium armor, and shields
  • Skill Points: Int Modifier x 4 at 1st level; 4 Int Modifier each additional level
  • Spellcasting: N/A
  • Prestiage Favored Classes: Blackguards, Dwarven Defenders, Weapon Masters

SPECIAL ABILITIES

NameDescriptionGained atBonusesHandicapsUsage
RageBarbarians can throw themselves into a murderous furylevel 14 points to Strenght and Constitution
2 to Will saves
-2 to ACActivated
Greater RageSame as Ragelevel 156 points to Strenght 6 to Constitution
3 to Will saves
-2 to ACActivated
Fast MovementAdds 10% to their movement speedlevel 1Passive
Uncanny DodgeThey react quicker to danger than otherslevel 2this ability improves as the player gains levelsPassive
Damage ReductionAbsorbs some 1 point of damage takenlevel 11absorbs 1 extra point for every 3 levels gainedPassive

BARD

Bard

Bards often serve as negotiators, messangers, scouts and spies.

  • Alignment: Any nonlawful
  • Hit Dice: d6
  • Proficiencies: Simple weapons, light armor, medium armor, shields
  • Skill Points: Int Modifier x 4 at 1st level; 4 Int Modifier each additional level
  • Spellcasting: Arcane (Charisma-based)
  • Prestiage Favoured Classes: Shadowdancers, Harper Scouts, Dragon Disciples

SPECIAL ABILITIES

NameDescriptionGained atBonusesHandicapsUsage
Bardic KnowledgeThey're able to identify items more easily than other classeslevel 1applies Bard levels as a bonus to Lore skill checksPassive
Bardic MusicThey're able to sing songs to give their allies a boostlevel 1Activated

CLERIC

Cleric

Clerics act as intermediaries between the earthly and the Divine or Infernal.

Clerics can heal wounds and powerful Clerics can even raise the dead.

  • Alignment: Any
  • Hit Dice: d8
  • Proficiencies: All simple weapons, all armor and shields
  • Skill Points: Int Modifier x 4 at 1st level; 2 Int Modifier each additional level
  • Spellcasting: Divine (Wisdom based)
  • Prestige Favored Classes: Champions of Torm, Blackguards

SPECIAL ABILITIES

NameDescriptionGained atBonusesHandicapsUsage
Spontaneous CastThey're able to replace any spell and do a Healing variety of the same spell insteadlevel 1Passive
Turn UndeadThey can cause the Undead to fleelevel 1Activated
Remove DiseaseAllows them to remove diseases from themselves or their companionslevel 3Activated

DRUID

Druid

Druids gain power not by ruling nature but by being one with it.

  • Alignment: Any neutral
  • Hit Dice: d8
  • Proficiencies: Club, Dagger, Dart, Sickle, Scimitar, Spear, Sling, Quarterstaff, shields, light and medium armor
  • Skill Points: Int Modifer x 4 at 1st level, 4 Int Modifier each additional level
  • Spellcasting: Divine (Wisdom based)
  • Prestige Favored Classes: Shifters

SPECIAL ABILITIES

NameDescriptionGained atBonusesHandicapsUsage
Nature SenseThey gain a 2 bonus to all attacks in wilderness areaslevel 1Passive
Animal CompanionThey can summon an animal to their aidlevel 1Activated
Woodland StrideThey can walk through any kind of obstacles without hampering their movement speedlevel 24 points to Heal and Move Silently when in the wildernessPassive
Resist Nature's LureThey can avoid most common natural dangerslevel 42 points to all Fear saving throwsPassive
Wild ShapeThey have the ability to shapeshift into various animal formslevel 5upgrades with levels gainedActivated
Venom ImmunityThey're able to resist most poisonslevel 9Passive
Elemental ShapeThey have the ability to shapeshift into various elemental formslevel 16upgrades once after 3 levels gainedActivated

FIGHTER

Fighter

Fighters can be many things, from soldiers to criminals.

Some see adventure as a way to get rich, others use their skills to protect the innocent.

  • Alignment: Any
  • Hit Dice: d10
  • Proficiencies: All simple and martial weapons, all armor and shields
  • Skill Points: Int Modifier x 4 at 1st level, 2 Int Modifier each additional level
  • Spellcasting: N/A
  • Prestige Favored Classes: Blackguards, Dwarven Defenders, Weapon Masters, Arcane Archers

SPECIAL ABILITIES

The Fighter gains a bonus feat at first level and then again another one for every two new levels thereafter, chosen from a sub-group on the entire feat list.

MONK

Monk

Monks are versatile warriors, skilled at fighting without weapons or armor.

Good-aligned Monks serve as protectors and evil Monks make ideal spies and/or assassins.

  • Alignment: Any lawful
  • Hit Dice: d8
  • Proficiencies: Club, Dagger, Handaxe, Light Crossbow, Heavy Crossbow, Kama, Quarterstaff, Shuriken, Sling
  • Skill Points: Int Modifier x 4 at 1st level, 4 Int Modifier each additional level
  • Spellcasting: N/A
  • Prestige Favored Classes: Shadowdancers, Champions of Torm

SPECIAL ABILITIES

NameDescriptionGained atBonusesHandicapsUsage
Flurry of BlowsThey get an extra attack per round when fighting unarmed of with a Kamalevel 1-2 to attackActivated
EvasionThey're able to escape potential deadly situationslevel 1Passive
Monk SpeedThey move quickerlevel 3Improves with leveling upPassive
Still MindAdds 2 points to mind-affecting saving throwslevel 3Passive
Purity of BodyThey become immune to common diseaseslevel 5Passive
Wholeness of BodyThey become capable of restoring HP equal to twice the number of Monk class levelslevel 7Activated
Improved EvasionSame as Evasionlevel 9Passive
Ki StrikeWhen attacking creatures with damage reduction abilities, the Monk's unarmed attack is seen as being that from a weapon with enhancement bonuseslevel 10Passive
Diamond BodyThey become immune to all natural and most magical poisonslevel 11Passive
Diamond SoulThey become capable at repelling almost all magical attackslevel 12Passive
Quivering PalmThey're able to deliver a quick death with an unarmed attacklevel 15can only be used once a dayActivated
Empty BodyAllow them to fade from sightlevel 18Adds a 50% Concealment bonuscan only be used twice a dayActivated
Perfect SelfThey become able to avoid ordinary weapons and many spells as welllevel 20Immunity to all mind-afecting spellsPassive

Bonus Feats:

  1. Level 1 -- Cleave, Improved Unarmed Strike, Stunning
  2. Level 2 -- Deflect Arrows
  3. Level 3 -- Knockdown, Improved Knockdown

Specialty Weapon: The Monk retains his unarmed attack bonus when fighting with a Kama

Monk Armor Class Bonus: Monks add both their Wisdom Modifier and their Dexterity Modifier to their Armor Class.

PALADIN

Paladin

In the heart of the Paladin, even a mundane task is a personal test, an oppurtunity to demonstrate bravery and to find ways to do good.

  • Alignment: Lawful good only
  • Hit Dice: d10
  • Proficiencies: All simple and martial weapons, all armor and shields
  • Skill Points: Int Modifier x 4 at 1st level, 2 Int Modifier each additional level
  • Spellcasting: Paladin Spells, Divine (Wisdom based)
  • Prestige Favored Classes: Champions of Torm

SPECIAL ABILITIES

NameDescriptionGained atBonusesHandicapsUsage
Divine GraceThey gain bonuses to resist to various forms of attacklevel 1Adds any positive Charisma modifier bonus to all saving throwsPassive
Divine HealthRepells most diseaseslevel 1Passive
Lay on HandsUsed to heal woundslevel 1also cure HP equal to their positive Charisma modifier x current Paladin levelcan only be used once a dayActivated
Aura of CourageImmunity to all fear spells and effectslevel 2Passive
Smite EvilUnleashes a holy attack upon evil enemieslevel 2only works once a day, and on evil-aligned foesActivated
Turn UndeadDestroys Undeadlevel 3useable 3 times a dayActivated
Remove DiseaseAllows them to remove diseases from themselves or their companionslevel 3can only be used once a dayActivated

RANGER

Ranger

Rangers are skilled stalkers and hunters who make their home in the woods.

  • Alignment: Any
  • Hit Dice: d10
  • Proficiencies: All simple and martial weapons, light armor, medium armor, shields
  • Skill Points: Int Modifier x 4 at 1st level, 4 Int Modifier each additional level
  • Spellcasting: Divine (Wisdom based)
  • Prestige Favored Classes: Arcane Archers

SPECIAL ABILITIES

NameDescriptionGained atBonusesHandicapsUsage
Trackless StepThey move stealthily on wooded areaslevel 1Adds 4 points to Hide and Move SilentlyPassive
Favored EnemyThey study a specific class of enemies, finding their weaknesses. This is updated every other 5 levels thereafterlevel 1Adds 1 point to Listen, Spot and Taunt
Adds 1 damage point another one with any upgrade
Passive
Dual WieldThey can fight using two weaponslevel 1can only be used with light armorSustained
Animal CompanionThey can summon an animal to their aidlevel 6Activated

Bonus Feats: Rangers automatically gain the Improved-Two Weapon Fighting feat at level 9.

ROGUE

While some are stealthy thieves, many serve as scouts, spies, investigators, dimplomats or even simple thugs.

Rogue

Rogues are versatile, adaptable, and skilled at getting what they want.

  • Alignment: Any
  • Hit Dice: d6
  • Proficiencies: Club, Dagger, Dart, Light Crossbow, Handaxe, Heavy Crossbow, Mace, Morningstar, Rapier, Shortbow, Short Sword, Sling, Quarterstaff, Light Armor
  • Skill Points: Int Modifer x 4 at 1st level, 8 Int Modifier each additional level
  • Spellcasting: N/A
  • Prestige Favoured Classes: Assassins, Shadowdancers

SPECIAL ABILITIES

NameDescriptionGained atBonusesHandicapsUsage
Sneak AttackThey study the weaknesses of their opponents and use this in deadly sneak attackslevel 1Passive
EvasionThey're able to escape potential deadly situationslevel 2Passive
Uncanny DodgeThey react quicker to danger than otherslevel 3Passive

Special Feats: Upon reaching level 10, and then every three levels thereafter, the Rogue can choose a bonus special feat from out of the following:

  • Crippling Strike -- any successful sneak attack automatically deals two points of Strength ability damage to the target
  • Opportunist -- the player automatically gains a 4 bonus to attack rolls when making an attack of oppurtunity
  • Skill Mastery -- the player has a lot more success using the Disable Trap, Open Lock or Set Traps skills, even in combat
  • Slippery Mind -- if the Rogue fails a saving throw against a mind-affecting spell, he gets to make an automatic reroll
  • Defensive Roll -- if the Rogue is hit by a potentially lethal blow, he can make a Reflex saving throw and if successful, he only takes half the damage from the blow; can only be used once per day.
  • Improved Evasion

SORCERER

Sorcerer

Sorcerers are arcane spellcasters that manipulate magic energies with their innate talent rather than through studious discipline. They have no books, no mentors and no theories.

  • Alignment: Any
  • Hit Dice: d4
  • Proficiencies: All simple weapons, no armor or shields
  • Skill Points: Int Modifier x 4 at 1st level, 2 Int Modifer each additional level
  • Spellcasting: Arcane (Charisma-based)
  • Prestige Favored Classes: Dragon Disciples, Pale Masters

SPECIAL ABILITIES

NameDescriptionGained atBonusesHandicapsUsage
Summon FamiliarSummons a small creature to aid in combat or scoutinglevel 1can only be used once a dayActivated

WIZARD

Wizard

Wizards are arcane spellcasters that take their magical knowledge from intensive study.

For Wizards, magic is not an innate talent, but rather a difficult, rewarding art.

  • Alignment: Any
  • Hit Dice: d4
  • Proficiencies: Club, Dagger, Light Crossbow, Heavy Crossbow, Quarterstaff, no armor or shields
  • Skill Points: 4 x Int Modifier at 1st level; 2 Int Modifier each additional level
  • Spellcasting: Arcane (Intelligence-based)
  • Prestige Favored Classes: Pale Masters

SPECIAL ABILITIES

NameDescriptionGainet atBonusesHandicapsUsage
Summon FamiliarSummons a small creature to aid in combat or scoutinglevel 1can only be used once a dayActivated

Bonus Feats: The Wizard can select a bonus feat from the Metamagic Feat list at every other 5 levels.

Traits

The basic characteristics that help define who your character is are divided into six abilities. Each represents a unique aspect of your character and skills that derive from these traits are put into action depending on how you score in them.

Certain classes naturally favor certain traits over others, and their effectiveness is intrinsically dependent on the player having a high score in their respective key areas.

Strenght

Strength obviously refer to muscle and physical power. Fighters, Barbarians, Paladins, Rangers and Monks benefit especially from this skill, because it helps them a great deal in combat.

Dexterity

Dexterity measures agility, reflexes and balance. This ability is essential for Rogues, but also for characters who traditionally wear light to medium armor, such as Barbarians or Rangers or even none at all, which is the Monks, Wizards and Sorcerers' case. This trait is also a key characteristic for any character willing to become a skilled archer.

Constitution

Constitution represents health and stamina and therefore a high Constitution increases the number of HP a character has, which ends up making this trait important for all classes, but especially for those who like to meet their enemies head-on.

Intelligence

Intelligence determines how smart your character is and how fast he learns. Intelligence is essential for for Wizards because it affects how many spells they can cast, how strong they are and how difficult they will be for enemies to counter. Intelligence is also important for any character who wants to have a strong varied assortment of skills. Increasing your Intelligence during the game will not grant the player with any bonus Skill points, though.

Warning: An Intelligence score of 9 or below will result in your character to be unable to speak properly!

Wisdom

Wisdom has a direct influence on a character's willpower, common sense, perception and intuition alike. Wisdom is crucial for Clerics and Druids, as it affects the strength and sheer number of the spells they can learn. Wisdom is also quite a significant trait for both Paladins and Rangers.

Charisma

Charisma indicates how strong your personality is, how persuasive you can be, your ability to lead others and even your physical attractiveness in the eyes of NPCs. Charisma is fundamental for Paladins, Sorcerers and Bards, but it is also very important for Clerics, seen that it affects their ability to Turn Undead.

Warning: Remember that Sorcerers do not use the Intelligence trait for casting spells-- they use Charisma instead!

Skills

There is a wide array of skills in Neverwinter Nights, way too many for a character to master. The player should focus his/her character on the skills that best fit its capabilities.

SkillDescriptionAbilityClassesUsageRequires
Training
Animal EmpathyAllows a character to charm or dominate certain wildnerss creaturesCharismaDruid, RangerActivatedYes
ConcentrationUsed whenever a character is being distracted from the task at hand
Also important to avoid the Taunt skill's effects
ConstitutionAllPassiveNo
Disable TrapAllows a character to perform disarm trapsIntelligenceAll (but only Rogues can disarm certain traps)ActivatedYes
DisciplineAllows a character to resist the effect of combat featsStrenghtAllPassiveNo
HealAllows a character to heal and cure poisons/diseasesWisdomAllActivatedNo
HideAllows a character to hide from enemiesDexterityAllPassive in Stealth Mode *No
ListenAlerts a character to any nearby hidden creaturesWisdomAllPassive in Detect Mode **No
LoreAllows a character to identity unknown magical itemsIntelligenceAllPassiveNo
Move SilentlyAllows a character to sneak past an enemyDexterityAllPassive in Stealth Mode *No
Open LockAllows a character to open locked doors/chests, etcDexterityAllActivatedNo
ParryAllows a character to block attacks and to occasionally deal a counter-blowDexterity AllSustainedNo
PerformAllows a character to perform the Bard SongCharismaBardActivatedNo
PersuadeOpen new dialogue optionsCharismaAllPassiveNo
Pick PocketAllows a character to steal from NPCsDexterityAllActivatedYes
SearchGrants a character the ability to spot trapsIntelligenceAll (but only Rogues can detect certain traps)Passive in Detect Mode **No
Set TrapGrants a character the ability to lay down trapsDexterityAllActivatedYes
SpellcraftAllows a character to identify spells and also to perfom counter-spellsIntelligenceBard, Cleric, Druid, Sorcerer, WizardPassiveYes
SpotAllows a character to find hidden creaturesWisdomAllPassive in Detect Mode **No
TauntAllows a character to provoke an enemy into dropping its guardCharismaAllActivatedNo
Use Magic DeviceAllows a character to be able to use any of the abilities of a magic item as if having the required Class, Race or AlignmentCharismaBard, RoguePassiveYes

* Stealth Mode

The Hide and Move Silently skills are included in the Stealth Mode. Characters automatically enter Stealth mode when they become invisible. Characters in Stealth mode move more slowly than others, but are also naturally harder to spot.

** Detect Mode

The Listen, Spot, and Search skills are all included in Detect Mode, which, when active, reduces the player's normal movement rates, but allows the character to automatically perform Search, Spot and Listen checks.

Feats

Feats can roughly be divided into 4 major groups:

  1. Combat Skills -- those that will help your character improve his/her combat prowess
  2. Defensive Skills -- those that will help your character to avoid danger, be it in combat or otherwise
  3. Magic Skills -- those that will improve your character's magical abilities
  4. Miscellaneous Skills -- those that, while augmenting your character's general performance, do not really fit into any of the aforementioned categories
Combat SkillsDefensive SkillsMagic SkillsMisc Skills

Ambidexterity

Blind Fight

Called Shot

Circle Kick

Cleave

Great Cleave

Dirty Fighting

Disarm

Improved Disarm

Divine Might

Expertise

Improved Expertise

Extra Stunning Attacks

Improved Critical

Knockdown

Improved Knockdown

Point Blank Shot

Power Attack

Improved Power Attack

Rapid Reload

Rapid Shot

Improved Unarmed Strike

Stunning Fist

Two-Weapon Fighting

Improved Two-Weapon Fighting

Weapon Finesse

Weapon Focus

Weapon Proficiency: Exotic

Weapon Proficiency: Martial

Weapon Proficiency: Simple

Weapon Specialization

Zen Archery

Armor Proficiency: Light

Armor proficiency: Medium

Armor proficiency: Heavy

Bullheaded

Deflect Arrows

Divine Shield

Dodge

Great Fortitude

Improved Parry

Iron Will

Lightning Reflexes

Luck of Heroes

Mobility

Resist Disease

Resist Poison

Resistance to Energy

Shield Proficiency

Snake Blood

Spring Attack

Strong Soul

Arcane Defense

Combat Casting

Courteous Magocracy

Empower Spell

Extend Spell

Maximize Spell

Quicken Spell

Silent Spell

Spell Focus

Greater Spell Focus

Spell Penetration

Greater Spell Penetration

Still Spell

Alertness

Blooded

Extra Music

Extra Turning

Improved Initiative

Lingering Song

Silver Palm

Skill Focus

Stealthy

Thug

Toughness

Schools of Magic

Schools of magic are sets of spells that work in similar ways. Hence, a Wizard that chooses to specialize in a particular school of magic gains one additional prepared spell per level on that school, but loses the ability to cast spells from one other school-- the one opposed to it, to be more precise.

A Wizard does not have to specialize, though, thus keeping an open access to all spells in the spell tree-- a Wizard that follows this path is commonly known as being an adept of the Universal School.

The available schools of magic are:

ABJURATION

Abjuration spells are used to shield the caster from magical and physical attacks.

  • Prohibited School -- Conjuration

CONJURATION

A Conjuration specialist can summon creatures to aid him.

  • Prohibited School -- Transmutation

DIVINATION

Diviners are capable of anticipate what will happen next by taking a peek into the future. These spells are mostly useful for gathering information, but several divine spells can actually help the Wizard during combat situations.

  • Prohibited School -- Illusion

ENCHANTMENT

Enchantment spells usually involve gaining control over another creature, or infuse special properties onto a recepient.

  • Prohibited School -- Illusion

EVOCATION

These are spells that manipulate energy or allow the player to create something from nothing. Many of the best offensive spells can be found within this school of magic.

  • Prohibited School -- Conjuration

ILLUSION

These are illusion spells that alter perception, such as the invisibility spell.

  • Prohibited School -- Enchantment

NECROMANCY

Spells that manipulate, create, or destroy life.

  • Prohibited School -- Divination

TRANSMUTATION

These spells transform the recipient, either subtly or obviously.

  • Prohibited School -- Conjuration

Spells

  • Blindness

Blinded creatures have a 50% chance to miss you entirely and a -4 penalty to all attack rolls.

  • Charm

A charmed NPC is unable to initiate offensive action.

  • Concealment

Anyone attempting to attack the affected target has a variable percentage chance of failing their attempt of going into combat even before they ever actually attempt an attack roll.

  • Confused

While confused, the targetted creature will do one of three things: wander aimlessly, stand still and do nothing or attack the nearest visible target, be it friend or foe.

  • Curse

The affected target has one or more trait scores reduced by a predetermined ammount. Curse effects are generally permanent unless removed by powerful Clerical spells.

  • Damage Reduction

This represents the targetted creature's ability to ignore a certain ammount of melee damage (bludgeoning, piercing or slashing) from a single hit. Weapons with higher enhancement bonuses can however work around this spell.

  • Damage Resistance

Creatures with this ability are able to ignore damage of a specific type up to a specified ammount. Furthermore, this spell cannot be overcomed with weapons with a higher enhancement bonus.

  • Darkness

The target surrounded by magical darkness cannot see other creatures but is also invisible when other creatures attempt to see him.

  • Deafness

Deafened creatures are unable to make Listen checks; they also have a 20% chance to fail any Arcane spell cast.

  • Dazed

Dazed creatures are unable to initiate attacks, cast spells or use feats; they might flee from combat.

  • Domination

Creatures affected by this spell will temporarily join your party and will fight and even die for you; only one creature can be dominated at a time.

  • Entangle

Entangled creatures are unable to move.

  • Frightened

Creatures struck with fear will flee from the source of fear and lose the ability to control their own actions; they will suffer a -2 penalty to all saving throws while under its grasp.

  • Haste

Hasted creatures gain a 50% bonus to movement speed and a 4 Dodge bonus to AC as well as an additional attack every round; furthermore, all spellcasting times are cut in half for the duration of the spell.

  • Immunity

Characters will temporarily become immune to any of the negative effects of disease or poison, for example.

  • Increase Attack

Increases the number of base attacks a character is capable of making.

  • Invisibility

Invisible attacks get a 50% Concealment bonus against enemy attacks and can actually ignore the Dexterity modifier of any opponent, unless that opponent has the Uncanny Dodge feat.

  • Magic Immunity

The target will obtain or gain specific immunities to magical spells and spell-like abilities from Individual spells, Specific Spell Schools, etc.

  • Miss Chance

When this effect is applied, the target has a percentage chance of missing any attack rolls before his or her normal attack roll is made.

  • Movement Speed Modifier

Increases or decreases the target's movement speed by a given percentage.

  • Paralysis

Paralyzed creatures are unable to move or take any kind of action.

  • Regenerate

This allows the character to heal a certain amount of HP over a given period of time.

  • Sanctuary

Sanctuary allows a character to go silent and hidden for as long as those around him fail a Will saving throw.

  • Silence

Creatures under the effect of the Silence spell will make no noise whatsoever while moving but are also unable to hear anything; Spellcasters are unable to cast spells with verbal components if silenced.

  • Slow

Slowed creatures will move at 50% of their current speed. They will also suffer a -2 penalty to AC, Reflex saves and attack rolls, along with the adition of a loss of one attack per round; the slow spell can be countered with the Haste spell.

  • Spell Resistance

This is the equivalent of armor, but versus spells; a caster level check must equal or exceed the spell resistance score or the spell will have no effect.

  • Stunned

Stunned creatures stand helpless in a motionless gaze.

  • Summon

Temporarily summons an ally to your side (what is summoned depends on your character progression).

  • Temporary HP

This is a temporary bonus to the character's current Hit Points. It is possible to have more HP than maximum Hit Points via this method, but it is impossible to heal them back after they're lost.

  • Stop Time

All motion and action stops for everyone except for the one that has activated the time stop effect.

  • True Seeing

Allows a character to see all creatures otherwise hidden by invisibility, sanctuary or stealth.

  • Turn

Turned creatures are considered frightened and flee from the spellcaster for 10 rounds.

Potions and Healing Kits

  • Cure light wounds: heals up to 10 hp of damage
  • Cure moderate wounds: heals up to 20 hp of damage
  • Cure serious wounds: heals up to 30 hp of damage
  • Cure critical wounds: heals up to 50 hp of damage
  • Potion of Heal: heals all of your character's HP
  • Potion of Antidote: cures your character of any kinds of poison and removes its negative effects
  • Potion of Aid: temporarily give your character extra HP, increases your character's attack rating and increases saving throws
  • Potion of Bless: temporarily increases you character's attack rating and saving throws
  • Potion of Bark: temporarily raises your character's AC
  • Potion of Clarity: temporarily makes your character immune to all mind-affecting spells; you can also drink this to remove the effects caused by a mind-affecting spell
  • Potion of Speed: temporarily makes your character's base speed increase to 150%
  • Potion of Invisibility: makes your character invisible until you either cast a spell or make an attacking move
  • Potion of Bull's strength: temporarily raises your character's strength
  • Potion of Fox's Cunning: temporarily raises your character's intelligence
  • Potion of Eagle's Splendor: temporarily raises your character's charisma
  • Potion of Cat's Grace: temporarily raises your character's dexterity
  • Potion of Owl's Wisdom: temporarily raises your character's wisdom
  • Potion of Endurance: temporarily raises your character's constitution
  • Healer's Kit 1, 3, 6, 10: a successful use will cure your character or companion of any poisons and/or diseases, also removing any negative effects caused by the former; this kit also heals lost HP regardless of whether you're poisoned or diseased

Reagents and Gems

Reagents

Reagents are required by Wizards and Sorcerers to make magical items; they can also be used to complete a few rituals scattered across the Neverwinter world.

  • Dragon Blood
  • Adamantine
  • Fairy Dust
  • Special Holy Water
  • Bodak's Tooth
  • Gargoyle Skull
  • Fire Beetle Belly
  • Fenberries
  • Ironwood
  • Quartz Crystal
  • Slaad's Tongue
  • Belladonna
  • Rags
  • Ettercap's Silk Gland
  • Large Bone
  • Skeleton Knuckle

Gems

Gems are required for the manufacture of rings and amulets, to magically enhance armor and weapons, or simply to complete certain rituals.

  • Diamond
  • Ruby
  • Malachite
  • Sapphire
  • Amethyst
  • Fire Opal
  • Topaz
  • Phenalope
  • Aventurine
  • Emerald
  • Greenstone
  • Garnet
  • Flourspar
  • Fire Agate
  • Alexandrite

Alignments

Alignment reflects how your character relates to the ancient concepts of Good and Evil, Law and Chaos. It can also affect how NPC's react to the player within the game and will on occasion determine whether an item or a magical weapon can be used or not.

Good

  • Chaotic Good
  • Neutral Good
  • Lawful Good

Neutral

  • Chaotic Neutral
  • True Neutral
  • Lawful Neutral

Evil

  • Chaotic Evil
  • Neutral Evil
  • Lawful Evil

Premium Modules

In late 2004, two years after NWN's release date, Bioware began releasing DLC for the game, which they dubbed "Premium Modules." These were seperate adventures with stories unrelated to the original campaign. They continued releasing these DLC for 2 years, until 2006, when coinciding with Patch 1.69, the final NWN Patch, all support/ new content for NWN was discontinued. Six Premium modules were released in all.

Kingmaker- Kingmaker was Bioware's first Premium Module released. It required the Neverwinter Nights expansion "Hordes of the Underdark" to play, and was released in November 2004. The official blurb on the website describes it as such:

In a party with a cowardly Wererat, a scarred Nymph, an exiled Rakshasa, and a quick-tempered Azer, you seem to be the only normal one... but are you? Embark on a journey to face your nemesis outside the embattled ramparts of the Keep of Cyan. It is a journey that will test your loyalties and cause you to question the very bounds of life and death. Evil lurks in the war-torn keep and it's up to you to unearth it. To learn the truth, you must win the throne.

It went on to win the Academy of Interactive Arts and Science's "PC RPG of the Year" award.

Shadowguard and Witch's Wake - These two Premium Modules were bundled together, and are remastered versions of community created modules. ShadowGuard, the creation of community member Ben McJunkin, follows the story of a character who draws interest from the titular group of elite agents, the ShadowGuard, after the protagonist's work at the Imperial Academy in the non-canon location of the city of Ghaarak, within the Shakhara Empire. Witch's Wake is a remastered version of Rob Bartel's same-name story driven module. Waking up after a huge battle, you are caught with amnesia, and only have the words of a dead prince to go on; yet you do not know where to report them.

Pirates of the Sword Coast - A swashbuckling adventure released by Bioware in June 2005, it started in the city of Neverwinter and had characters start at level 5.

Infinite Dungeons -Released in May 2006, the module is comprised of randomly-generated dungeons, suitable for any level of character. This added some much needed content for high level characters.

Wyvern Crown of Cormyr - The last Premium module for NWN was released later in 2006 and implemented the Community Expansion Pack (CEP) which had at the time only recently been released. Benefits of this inclusion were numerable, incuding the addition of fully rideable horses and jousting. This DLC overall took place in a more medieval feeling setting, and was developed by community developer DLA.

Aurora Toolset and Community Modules

Screenshot of Aurora Toolset

Neverwinter Nights shipped with the Aurora Toolset, the toolset actually used by the developers to create the game. It allowed the user to create new "modules", or adventures, as well as edit the original campaign and both expansions after completing them once. New modules could be of any length, and all the tools used to create the original game are within the toolset, allowing, in theory, a module as high quality and epic as the original campaign and its expansions. Users could post their creations on the website NWVault.

Besides modules, community modifications were released in the forms of "Hak Packs" (essentially Texture Packs), and .erf files (modder's resources). ".erf" files added items, tilesets, and general resources to the toolset, allowing them to be placed into community created modules.

The Aurora Toolset/Engine was used in other games, as well. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and it's sequel both run off of a modified version of the Aurora engine. The Witcher is based on the Aurora Engine, as well. Bioware also used the Aurora toolset to create prototypes of different areas and scenarios in Dragon Age: Origins.

Tutorials and other, more detailed information can be found on the official NWN site.

CEP (Community Expansion Project)

By far the largest user-modification for Neverwinter Nights is the Community Expansion Project, known as the CEP informally. The CEP is a large amount of .hak and .erf files for NWN, and is the most commonly used modder's resource for Neverwinter Nights, having even been used by Bioware themselves in the Premium Module "Wyvern Crown of Cormyr." The CEP does not modify anything in the original campaign, and is purely a modder's resource. It is widely used by most servers, and largely single-handedly kept NWN alive far after it was released. The latest version is v2.1 and can be downloaded here.

Multiplayer

Neverwinter Nights is probably more fondly remembered for its multiplayer than its single-player campaign. There were two variations on the single player mode-one for players, and a seperate client for Dungeon Masters (DMs). Upon launching the standard player multiplayer client (separate from the singleplayer client), the user was greeted with a fairly standard PC server listing, from which they could choose the type of game they wished to play (Hack-n-Slash, Role-Playing, Social, etc.). The player could choose the server they wished to join, but many servers either required custom content or membership into a guild. The custom content are the .haks and .erfs (see section above) that were used to build the content on the server. The server also let the creator password protect their game, meaning either only friends or members of the guild were allowed to join. Becoming a member of a guild could be done through the official Neverwinter Nights website. Many servers also had cloud based saving of characters, meaning that the character was not only saved locally on the player's computer, but on the server's record.

Not all servers hosted custom content, however. Many hosted chapters of the original game or its expansions, enabling them to play through the campaigns cooperatively with friends or strangers.

DM Client

The Dungeon Master (DM) Client allowed the owner of a server, or anyone else with the password to log onto that server as a DM, to control the world and essentially be a director of the action within the game. The DM had many "God Mode" powers, such as invincibility, invisibility, ability to kill anyone, ability to fully possess and control any NPC in game, ability to kick or ban any player, and the ability to spawn monsters and items. Though the DM controls a character (simply to have a physical presence in the world), that character does not level up or gain more skills. The Dungeon Master is in full control of the entire game, allowing users to create or modify quests on the fly.

Soundtrack

Artwork for the Soundtrack's Front Cover
Artwork for the Soundtrack's Back Cover

The soundtrack for Neverwinter Nights was composed by the acclaimed composer Jeremy Soule and is only available for purchase on the Neverwinter Nights Collector's Edition.

Track No.Song Title
01Main Theme
02Castle Theme
03City Night Theme
04Crypt Theme 1
05Crypt Theme 2
06Docks Day Theme
07Docks Night Theme
08Dungeon Theme
09Evil Dungeon Theme 1
10Evil Dungeon Theme 2
11Evil Temple Theme
12Forest Day Theme 1
13Forest Day Theme 2
14Forest Night Theme
15Good Temple Theme 1
16Good Temple Theme 2
17Market Theme
18Mines Theme 1
19Mines Theme 2
20Noble House Theme
21Nobles' Theme
22Rural Day Theme 1
23Rural Day Theme 2
24Rural Night Theme
25Sewer Theme
26Slums Day Theme
27Slums Night Theme
28Store Theme
29Battle Aribeth
30Battle City 1
31Battle City 2
32Battle City 3
33Battle City Boss
34Battle Dragon
35Battle Dungeon 1
36Battle Dungeon 2
37Battle Dungeon 3
38Battle Dungeon Bonus
39Battle Final
40Battle Forest 1
41Battle Forest 2
42Battle Forest Boss
43Battle Lizard Boss
44Battle Rural
45Ending Movie

Editions

  • Neverwinter Nights Gold - Neverwinter Nights Gold bundled the original NWN with the first expansion, Shadows of Undrentide.
  • Neverwinter Nights Platinum - Neverwinter Nights Platinum bundled the original NWN along with the two expansions on one DVD-ROM, or four separate CD-ROMS.
  • Neverwinter Nights Diamond - Neverwinter Nights Diamond contained everything in Platinum in addition to the Kingmaker, ShadowGuard, and Witch's Wake Premium Modules.
  • Neverwinter Nights Collector's Edition - A standard "Collector's Edition" of the game, with collectibles in addition to the game, including the game's soundtrack.

The video game collections Atari Collection: Rollenspiele, Neverwinter Nights 2: Lawful Good Edition, Neverwinter Nights 2: Chaotic Evil Edition, Ultimate Dungeons and Dragons, Rollenspiele: Deluxe Edition, and Neverwinter Nights 3-Pack all contained copies of NWN and its two expansions.

Deluxe Edition System Requirements

ProcessorPentium 2 450 MHz (minimum); Pentium 3 800MHz (recommended)
Windows98/XP/VISTA
RAM128 MB (minimum); 256 MB (recommended)
Video Card16 MB OpenGL 1.2 (minimum); GeForce 2 or higher (recommended)
Sound CardDirectX8.1 Compatible
Multiplayer56K modem required, broadband connection recommended
Other8x DVD-ROM drive; 2GB hard disk space

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