NWN2 the official campaign

Here are my notes for the first run through. I am playing a barbarian which I will switch to druid after a time to get the Dire Bear shape shift. I am inspired by Lux the Barbarian from the film, D&D II and the Epic Guilds Berserker build, which I document here. This build may be weaker than optimum in the social skills for the Official Campaign. Also, I am not a fan of crafting and its possible I should have spent more skill points on one of the crafting skills for this run, some tests are against crafting and you might want to make some armour, weapons and magic items. Late research suggests that this is important and effective. I started to play the game in 2015, nine years after its release; the community is now pretty weak and I am unsure how useful it’ll be but it clearly remains a development platform.

Virtue and the command console

The influence and alignment management is new. Having an alignment counter is good, Alignment is shown on the character display box. I’ve only had to worry about Paladin’s before and that’s easy. Perhaps I should stick to them. See below for managing alignment, the class build I am aiming at has quite strict and two dimensional alignment requirements.

The interface does does not show influence. This thread at Iron Works forum discusses how influence is stored and can be read. Influence can also be displayed & changed using console commands, see Gamefaqs, NWN2 cheats page.

How to use the console interface to read & amend influence

  1. enter the console mode, press the enter key, the section of the screen below the feedback panel becomes dark and becomes the current keyboard entry box
  2. type ##DebugMode 1
  3. type ##rs kr_influence, – this opens a dialog, selecting to change influence, wiill ask you which NPC you want to change and will tell you the current state; you get the option to make no change

A mod has been built that allows Zhjaeve’s avatar to be armoured, the default is not. I discuss this in an article called Zhjaeve Unveiled on this wiki.

The NWN2 User Manual is on-line, here….

My (partial) walkthrough.

When you kill or destroy monsters, they often leave body parts. These should be kept. I didn’t check out the Craftmaster in Fort Locke’s store to see if he had anything useful. I assumed you can buy any weapon/armour you need, but moulds might be useful to make admantium or mithril weapons and armour; you get the metals separately. If there’s a pestle and mortar and you plan to enchant weapons, then nab it.

If one takes the City Watch path through Neverwinter, it’s very easy to trip a number of lawful triggers which move one’s alignment, this is particularly true for me as I often have difficulty in in telling the difference between chaotic and bad. I understand that law and justice can be wrong, but spontaneous moral contrariness I find a bit tricky.  However the classes I like both mandate a location on the chaotic / lawful spectrum. Also the alignment metric is not displayed on the Dashboard. Anyway, the Citywatch path may add some Lawfulness to your alignment, however there is a robbery in Neverwinter in Act 1, while clearing up the docks that adds +1 to Chaotic and the Jenks quest in Blacklake in Act II adds +10, which maybe too much if seeking to be Neutral Good, which would be my wont. While clearing out the Collector’s kitchen, letting the servants live is deemed ‘chaotic’; see what I mean about being good. Think I’ll replay that bit and pick the Collector’s pocket this time. Critically, depending on the class, having the mandatory alignment is more critical at “level up” than at other times.

After the Ironfist caves, do not sell the Ironfist Gauntlets, they’re amongst the best you’ll see and you’ll need them later.

Only four, or 4 + Shandra party members, which makes choice harder and we want to run more companion stories as we get XP. This isn’t easy, particularly as one gets to like certain characters; there are conflicts built in. Some of the companions seem to have more closely aligned stories to the protagonist’s quests and of course the choice of protagonist class determines the utility of the NPCs. Casavir seems to be less useful since I am running a Barbarian, and doesn’t seem to be needed and Shandra is compulsory. Sand & Qara both compete for the same slot.  While looking for the codes to check my alignment, I came across this page, NWN2 Using Cheat Codes , which documents how to change a bunch of things, including party size. One might need to be careful since I am unsure how summoning impacts party size and availability. The summoned almost certainly take a party membership slot. The control code ##rs kr_roster_edit opens the party membership dialogue. The code ##rs ga_party_limit(6)amends the party size limit. I have created a snip that documents this.

The game relies on the social skills, diplomacy, sadly is more useful than intimidate; because for a Barbarian intimidate is a class skill, diplomacy is not. Wish I’d known when I started. Anyway, it’s better than lumping it all in with Charisma.

There is an intimidate route through the Trial.

I did the Battle of the Bards last night. I am not that musical and so I cheated and used the walkthrough codes at Gamebanshee. Due to hints I had included Grobnar in my party since I have a Barbarian with a zero perform skill. He wasn’t very helpful; actually he didn’t help! It would seem that this is one of those ‘puzzles’ that test the player and don’t use the skill or feat tests; unlike, (say) the Shadow Hart or Sphinx episodes in Shadow of Udrentide.

It may just be that my influence with Grobnar is wrong, I didn’t take him to the Neverwinter Archive, which really needs to be done. (I think this should be hinted at!)

The first part of Act II is a bit tricky with respect to the companions.

You have to take Shandra, although you have an extra place for her. Neeshka is needed to finish her quest in the Collector’s mansion in Blacklake. Grobnar wouldn’t play for me at the Trial, it seems from a review of the walkthrough, I should have had him with me in the Neverwinter Archives; he gets impressed with library research but you need him in the Glowstone Caves to progress his quest. You need Sand to research your innocence in this early part of Act II although he can’t cast spells in Duskwood, and Elanee is probably crucial in Duskwood as she neutralises the dire beasts and that bear looks tough. Sand can use wands and rods in Duskwood. The werewolf fight was tough; I should have concentrated on Elanee and Sand who died.

During the trial, I chose to fight myself, and despite being a better fighter, I had to wait for Lorne’s frenzy to abate before he sought to surrender; I couldn’t deliver the coup de grace until it finished. I used a potion of haste and ran around a lot. I also used a potion of healing and several potions of cure critical wounds. Grobnar didn’t play for me, an influence thing again, I assume.

On returning to the Temple of Tyr, I sought to keep Khelgar as a fighter. The conversation is unsatisfactory, but it seems that the general advice is that it’s best to leave him as a fighter. Here’s one version of the advice, although it’s fairly common said and still easy to find with google. It’s hinted that the choice will impact the quests in Act III.

I continue to get the choice between Grobnar and Neeska wrong. Song & Spells vs. Traps. Locks and backstab. When attacking Aldanon’s house I tooled up with sleeps and daze together with Tasha’s hideous dance and crumbling mind looking to immobilise the thugs before they could fight but even with the bard’s song, I couldn’t get the taunts in, they saved and so I had to fight it out with swords.

I have written about Crossroads Keep on a separate post.

I have just done the Gem mine, a pain to get right, but good when you do. Kill the undead and by doing so clear a route for each spirit to return to the tree. Turn the Ghost lights back on after they are passed to stop the spirits returning i.e. doubling back; there’s a danger that you might loose them in the mines. The spirits stop at each ghost light barrier to ask for instruction i.e. they need to be ‘used’ to continue. Some of the undead attack the mind, and the saving throws are based on wisdom. I am unclear of the impact of the Barbrian’s Rage on mental attacks, it seems that this is level/feat based. The early levels, it gives STR & CON, at later levels i.e 11+ when the feat is augmented, as Greater Rage it gives an additional bonus on will Saving Throws.

chella-actii-1

I have now completed Grobnar’s quest, again a hint that some investment in Crafting was a good idea might have been worthwhile. I undertook the next quest, the Temple of the Seasons and the 5th statue with the following party. Me, Shandra, Zhjaeve, Grobnar & the Construct. (Grobnar is hard to play and suffers from the Aerie Syndrome, in that while he can do a lot, they all have casting times (and require concentration), i.e. with Grobnar, there is a serialisation problem, he can only do one thing at a time.  Also I am coming to the conclusion that Sand needs a lot of supervision).

chella-actii-2

Some more on Party construction; different NPCs are mandatory at different times. In Act II, Shandra is compulsory and some other areas have additional requirements. There’s not much room for Khelgar & Neeska in Act II. In the early parts of Act III, Zhjaeve seems to be pretty necessary. Also since she’s the only Cleric offered, pretty useful, although the ‘coming to’ of otherwise dead party members, reduces the necessity of the Cleric and it’s free Heals and combat cure wounds that they become useful.  The forgotten realms wiki has an article on her here…, they don’t rate her as a fighter.

I have commented on the order in which quests should be undertaken in the first part of Act III in my Crossroads Keep article. I advise to concentrate on the economics of the keep first, before looking for Allies in the war. I also suggest that you pursue “Light of Heaven” and her sister, Joy by travelling to Neverwinter, and then to Port Llast and then onto the “Strange Clearing” to finish the Wendersneven quest. Don’t be taken by surprise in the “Strange Clearing”, this is a harder fight with half your party ‘dazed’. Don’t forget the Ore, nor to finish the sister’s story.

Don’t forget to guard your mind, I have found my party nearly crippled through fear and magical confusion; potions of owl’s wisdom help as do other wisdom boosting magic. In both the fight after the persistent poet’s corpse and one of the fights in the Gem mine, I found that one or both of my fighter’s were dazed and rendered immobile. Barbarian Rage, it seems does not protect your mind against magical confusion, but at level 11, Greater Rage does.

Also in Act III, there is a main quest episodes that requires Qara. She should be properly equipped, possibly before she’s needed again. Frankly I don’t like her and so have ignored her and her equipment. Also equipment allocation to companions, not within the Party is not possible. (I have used the control console to change party members to allow the equipping and treasure sharing.)

Moving on to recruiting the Dwarves and Tholapsyxan ancient Red Dragon. We are looking for the Belt of the Ironfist Clan so we can recruit the Dwarves to the Neverwinter Alliance. This is started at the Ironfist stronghold where we get more of Khelgar’s back story. I don’t get Ivar’s quest, but Tholapsyx is a Red Dragon and a mighty one too. This article at Sorcerer’s place offers their advice, which involves buffing including maximising spell immunity to Fire, (wonder if Qara has those) , and using Greater Spell Breach early; at some point she goes invisible which makes her hard to hit. More advice at the Steam User’s forum suggest that Isaac’s missile storm is good, and Game Banshee recommends arcane spells. This advice comes from GameFaqs, the right immunities, “Fire”, the right attacks, arcane and melee. Not yet won this fight, it’s the most difficult of the game so far. (I have Elannee, Sand & Khelgar as my companions).  eventually,

I cheated… ## dm_god It’s not very satisfactory but better than giving up, I had tried this countless times, over many months.

I also discovered that my 17th Level Barbarian with +27 to hit finds hitting her really hard. This fight is a bitch. A lately discovered piece of advice is that Sand’s shapeshift into a Horned Devil makes for a spectacular and allegedly successful fight.

It maybe that, for a fighter, one should craft a +5 weapon and maybe some fire resistant armour before the fight with Tholapsyx , in which case you’d better have picked up a pestle and mortar (if available) in the earlier acts or you will need to rescue Caelryna Seerar from the Fire Giant Chief. i.e. maybe you should do the Chief and the Dragon in a different order to me. Here’s a link to an article on how to make a better weapon, It talks of crafting and magic. The weapons can be enhanced to be life force stealing, just better, vs alignment, undead or beasts, and with extra elemental, holy or poison damage.

I decided to create a post specifically about this fight, some of the words are the same. I have also set up a separate post on Crafting, so I need to edit both this and that post to ensure that I talk of the campaign here, and the feats and actions there, but it’s easier said than done.

nwn2-dragonsend-w650

For all the research on Crafting, I had no magicians that could enchant the weapons and you reform the Sword of Gith in the next part of the adventure. As a fighter type, this is +5 to hit and hurt.

You then return to the Keep. There is a bug in the fight at the keep. The fight is in three parts, “On the Wall”, “In the courtyard” and against the final Shadow Reaver. In this final part of this battle, a critical monster and event may fail to spawn.  This thread at bioware forums discusses the bug and how to overcome the bug.

Just about to finish the Vale of Merdelain, which I find to be a complete pain and over the top. No resting, but a pointless, excessive dungeon crawl with a level drain trap with no clues, except I suppose that you’re fighting undead. The first room is a real kitchen sink which consumes the spell caster’s spells if fighting on AI; perhaps I haven’t equipped the henchmen with the right gear. It’s mainly undead and Zjaeve has limited turning in terms number of turns / day but at late teens she should be able to turn most things, but seemingly not. I discovered how to invoke Elanee’s shape change, should probably have remembered that Mummy Lords don’t like fire, but basically I gave up and cheated. An alternative source of advice is at the new bioware forums. The simplest piece of advice is to give everyone rings of regeneration. Otherwise optimise your clerics for heal and buff. Learn how to use Ammon Jerro.

Firstly I used the invincibility cheat, [¬`|] to open the console,  then type DebugMode 1; dm_god. Some of these were tough to hits even with an 18th level barbarian so I cheated in scrolls of restoration and cure blindness. I found the console commands and the international keyboard translation for ~ here, including the code giveitem. I found the item codes here, at gamefaqs.com.

Code Item
nw_it_spdvscr701 Greater Restoration
nw_it_spdvscr401 Restoration
nw_it_spdvscr301 Remove Blindness

When you change areas, you lose the invincibility, when fighting the shadow reavers, don’t forget to use the True Name scrolls, which only Zjaeve and Amon Jerro can cast; so keep ‘em alive.

I have moved on and am planning to cheat some more. It’s not very good, but once you start,, it’s hard to stop. This answer to a thread in the bioware forums, called why am i so bad at this game has some interesting advice, not the least being that you want/need arcane spell casters. This page at NWN Wiki talks about AC, which is important, but my problem is hurting things, I think I need to study the weaknesses as advised.

I have been advised to make a character save as one reaches L20.

ooOOOoo

Meta Gaming

We are closer to the BG play style with explicit instructions for other party members which is good.

Intimidate depends on Charisma. (I have a charisma of 10, I quite like the fact that there’s a lot of speaking skills tests, maybe I should invest some of the free points on CHA & DEX. )

Here’s a new Bioware forums thread on Crafting, I can’t be arsed with it, but it seems this story rewards it and I should note that I generally have skill points free. I say more about Crafting, obviously time to change my mind. (Maybe I need a build section.) In order to use crafting to enchant weapons, the provider of the spell component of the enchantment needs “Craft Magical Arms & Armour” feat, which requires spell casting at level 5. So I shan’t be getting it for a while, and I may have left it too late for Sand or Elanee, but not Qara since I haven’t used here as much and she has a feat earning level-up to come.

I talk about the feat Power Attack in my post on fighting Tholapsyx.

The game banshee walk-through is here, which has a Companions page here.

The NWN2 site at wikia.com is very helpful.

Here is my linkroll;

ooOOOoo

See Lux in action, she wants a map.

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8 thoughts on “NWN2 the official campaign

  1. In September/October 2015, after the fight with Tholapsyx, I did a bit of reading and experimenting about the fight and crafting. I created two new posts, on the fight and crafting. I added some comments on the fight and on crafting specific to my playing of the O.C. These changes include some advice in optimising the character build for the O.C. and to look out for crafting components.

  2. The workround for the Courtyard battle bug is to use the console to issue the following command.

    ##rs 3541_death_nwalker

    It’s held in the bioware thread referenced, but they’ve been known to disappear.

  3. I have left this a while and got stuck in the Vale de Merdelain. As mentioned above, I haven’t been concentrating on Sand, but neither have I done so with Elanee. The whole reason for Druid’s is their shape change and Hierophant powers; she can shape change now, has elemental form and can wild shape into a Treant. One unpolymorphs by right clicking on the character button, but like ‘bash’, the menu may require that the right button is held for longer than windows has taught us to expect. These forms should be powerful, the Treant seems so.

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