Neverwinter Nights 2 (NWN2) is a computer role-playing game developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Atari. It is the sequel to BioWare's Neverwinter Nights (NWN). Where NWN was based on the Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition rules, NWN2 is based on Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition rules (also known as the Revised 3rd Edition), changed to adapt to real-time gameplay. It was released in North America on November 1, 2006. Reviews of Neverwinter Nights 2 have been generally positive. Gamespot and IGN both rated the game favorably.
Comparable to the first NWN, gameplay starts by creating a character. Options include choosing the character's gender, race, class, appearance, and name. The player can also customize statistics and abilities.
The official campaign in NWN2 provides a pool of 12 NPCs who would join the player's party. In addition, the player can now gain or lose influence with party members, which will dictate outcomes to certain quests or even set strife inside the party. The crafting system from the original Neverwinter Nights has been revised, and players can now craft weapons, shields and armor, mix up potions, or create magical items with special "workbenches" scattered in towns and shops. Players will also be able to acquire a stronghold during the course of the campaign.
The game's locations include the city of Neverwinter, a new village named West Harbor, and the Mere of Dead Men. New NPCs include Jalboun of the Two Blades and the King of Shadows; Lord Nasher Alagondar returns from Neverwinter Nights.
The official campaign is set around the city of Neverwinter, although it will not be a continuation of the NWN campaign. It has been stated that a character playing through the official campaigns of NWN and its two expansion packs will have reached around level 30, so there is little that will be a credible 'challenge' to those players. In the NWN2 campaign, players start from level 1, and there is a level 20 maximum and the option to multiclass the player's character up to 4 classes (3 regular classes in addition to 1 prestige class). The official fact sheet says:
|“||Bards sing tales of heroes from ages past, but never have the Forgotten Realms so desperately needed a champion. Years have passed since the war between Luskan and Neverwinter, almost enough time for the wounds of war to heal. But the brief peace the Realms have known may be at an end. Tension growing between the mighty city-states means the Sword Coast again teeters on the edge of open war. Unnoticed, a greater danger stalks the City of Skilled Hands. Unbeknownst to the denizens of the North, deep in the Mere of Dead Men, dark forces from across the Realms have been rallied under the banner of a legendary evil. If left unchallenged, all of the North is doomed to fall under its power. Even in this darkest hour, hope remains. A mysterious relic is borne to Neverwinter in the hands of a lone hero so that its secrets may be unlocked - secrets that carry the fate of all the North. So begins an epic tale of shattered alliances, noble acts and dark deeds to be told across the Realms for generations to come.||”|
The main plot of Neverwinter Nights 2 centers around a powerful force of evil named the King of Shadows and an artifact that can ultimately defeat the arch-foe. The protagonist starts out as a resident of the tiny village of West Harbor, which long ago served as a titanic battleground where the King of Shadows was thought defeated by most. The player character's fate is intricately tied to this historical battle, where the character's parents were killed, resulting in the infant character coming under the foster care of the elven ranger Daeghun. As the game begins, these events are long in the past, and the infant has grown to a young adult, never having left West Harbor.
The plot kicks off with the sudden invasion of West Harbor by extraplanar creatures called Githyanki and their hordes of minions. The Githyanki seem to be searching for something, and through cryptic exposition by the player character's foster father Daeghun, we are given to understand that there is something special about a particular silver shard found years ago at the King of Shadows' defeat, and that this object should not fall into the hands of the planar creatures. Daeghun sends the protagonist away from West Harbor with the silver shard, ostensibly to remove the object of the invaders' search from the village and thus prevent any further invasions. The player character, the "shard-bearer", embarks on a journey from West Harbor towards the city of Neverwinter, where Daeghun's brother possesses a similar silver shard, which might hold the answers as to why these shards are so important.
On the way to Neverwinter, the player character needs to go through a number of minor quests, and during them meets the first three companions -- Khelgar is a dwarven fighter who wants to become a monk, Neeshka is a self-interested tiefling rogue, and Elanee is an elven druid discovering that evil is spreading over the land and destroying her druidic circle. These three will be the player's only (and mandatory) companions until the party reaches Neverwinter, at which time the player gains more control over the party composition.
Ultimately, these early quests are completed to such a point that the party arrives at Neverwinter and talks with Daeghun's brother Duncan, which moves the plot forward by introducing a number of minor plot elements, most importantly the necessity of talking to Aldanon the Sage, who might be able to divine more about the nature of the silver shards. Unfortunately, Aldanon lives in a quarantined district, and in order to gain access, the player has two plot avenues open -- choosing to join the City Watch, or to work with the thieves' guild. Both routes have a number of minor quests before access is gained to Aldanon. During the Watch/Guild quests the party continues to be pursued by the Githyanki and their minions who wish to retrieve the silver shards, and additional NPCs/potential companions are introduced and join the party.
Eventually, the party works their way through to Aldanon, and discovers that a key character to unlocking the secret of the silver shards is one Shandra Jerro, a farm-woman the party met briefly on a minor quest prior to Neverwinter. The Githyanki, however, are one step ahead, kidnapping Shandra and using her as bait to lure in the player character. This sets the stage for the final confrontation of Act I, where the party ventures to the Githyanki lair to save Shandra and defeat the Githyanki once and for all. In this final confrontation it turns out that the silver shards are fragments of a powerful weapon, and it is discovered how the player character is tied to the shards in a very special way. With the Githyanki defeated once and for all, Shandra rescued, and a greater understanding gained of the silver shards and the player's part in them, Act I concludes.
Some weeks later, Shandra joins the party, as it has been decided that since she still holds a key to unlocking some further mysteries regarding the shards, she remains in danger, and she will be safer with the party than without them. She becomes a mandatory party member for most of Act II, expanding the party size to five -- the normal party of four, plus Shandra as well.
This act is perhaps the least combat-intensive of the three acts. With the Githyanki threat routed, a new enemy now becomes evident -- a more insidious one, as the Luskan ambassador to Neverwinter, one Torio Claven, frames the player character for the massacre of a Luskan town. By low justice, a commoner accused of such a crime would be extradited to Luskan to face trial in that evil city, but the authorities of Neverwinter concoct a plan for the protagonist to become the squire of a Neverwintan knight, thus becoming subject to high justice and able to hold trial in Neverwinter. A significant part of Act II is taken up by non-combatant investigation as the party gathers evidence to prove the protagonist's innocence, leading up to a very lengthy trial sequence heavy with social skill rolls. The investigation and trial sequences heavily showcase the party member Sand, a sarcastic intellectual elven wizard who for personal reasons takes enjoyment in foiling the Luskan framing plans.
Torio's scheming is ultimately undone, the protagonist is cleared, and the plot moves on to chasing down Torio's master, the evil wizard Black Garius who is in league with the King of Shadows. The party barely manages to interrupt a ceremony where Garius planned to betray the King of Shadows and take the evil entity's power for his own. Garius is thus defeated -- seemingly so, at least -- and the protagonist is awarded Garius' stronghold, Crossroad Keep, by the Neverwintan ruler Lord Nasher, making the player character a landed noble. Continuing with Act II's emphasis on non-combat matters, the protagonist goes on to spend significant time rebuilding the keep and pacifying the lands around it.
Act II then races towards a conclusion, with Garius and his minions Torio and Lorne all defeated. Shandra's subplot now picks up, as the party heads to a hidden stronghold of Shandra's ancestor Ammon Jerro, where Shandra's blood should theoretically open the way into the haven, where answers could be found regarding the silver shards. In a way, this indeed works, however upon entrance into the haven, Shandra is separated from the rest of the party, and discovers the haven to contain a number of trapped demons.
This climactic sequence features Shandra, guided by the suspiciously altruistic demons, discovering her ability to teleport within the haven, and trying to learn to control it. At the same time, the party races against time to try to make their way to Shandra before the demons get what they want out of her and the proverbial shoe drops. Alas, the party instead runs into the master of the haven -- Shandra's ancestor Ammon Jerro, whom the party may assume to be working for the King of Shadows. The confrontation turns volatile, with the party fighting Ammon, who is at the peak of his power within the haven. He is about to slay the party, when Shandra chooses to free the demons who were Ammon's power source. Bereft of vast power, Ammon becomes vulnerable, flees from the party, and slays Shandra in retribution, only realizing that she is his descendant when she is already irrevocably dying. Act II concludes with Shandra's death scene at Ammon's hands, and Ammon subsequently surrendering to the party once he realizes what he's done.
Act III picks up with the party's composition finalized. Many party members are in shock from Shandra's death, and some desire vengeance upon Ammon Jerro, however this cannot be fulfilled as Ammon has completed a ritual which makes his presence mandatory if the King of Shadows is to be defeated. Thus, Ammon takes Shandra's place as a party member despite most peoples' loathing for him.
The main antagonist of this act is the King of Shadows himself. A darkness is spreading across the land, undead minions rise, forming a growing threat, and this final act consists of recruiting help against the King of Shadows. Improving Crossroad Keep, finding allies and convincing them to join arms against the King of Shadows are the main thrusts of Act III. Ultimately, after enough power-gathering quests have been done, the enemy lays siege upon Crossroad Keep and has to be rebuffed. With the siege defeated and the enemy's army on the run, it is finally time to take the battle to the King of Shadows himself.
Armed with the reforged Silver Sword of Gith, the protagonist and the entire party invade the dark stronghold of the King of Shadows, where the entity is finally confronted. Some ill-treated party members might be enticed by the King's offers of power and might turn on the party during the final battle, and even the protagonist himself or herself may be tempted to join up forces with the darkness. Whether light or darkness ultimately prevails, depends on the protagonist's choices in this last encounter.
As with the original NWN, NWN2 supports multiple players. Players are able to control parties with up to 3 non-player characters. The party system has been revised to include 'companions' rather than 'henchmen'.
Claims for character creation include advanced character customization, scaling of characters and monster, and deeper equipment customization. The game supports subraces in addition to the primary races. Static 2D portraits have been replaced with 3D avatars.
All of the base classes from NWN are present, and the Warlock base class has been added. Characters can choose up to four classes, up from the three supported in NWN. One of the four classes is reserved for a prestige class. All prestige classes from NWN are present in NWN2 except for the Shifter. New prestige classes include Arcane Trickster, Neverwinter Nine, Shadow Thief of Amn, Warpriest, Duelist, and Frenzied Berserker. More closely following Forgotten Realms terminology, Champion of Torm has been renamed Divine Champion and Harper Scout is now Harper Agent.
Characters are limited to 20th level.
NWN2 provides some form of support for many of the deities based on characters alignment, race and class.
NWN2 has a more complete crafting system based on appropriate skills than NWN. This system can be used to customize the visual appearance of weapons and armor, but only when the item is created.
Production Team Edit
- Chris Avellone - Creative Director
- Frank Kowalkowski - Lead Programmer
- Josh Sawyer - Lead Designer
- Ferret Baudoin - Lead Designer - Left March 2006 to join BioWare
- Tramell Ray Isaac - Lead Artist
- Darren Monohan - Producer
- An expansion pack for NWN2 was announced on 12th April 2007 and released September 27th of the same year. It was called Mask of the Betrayer. It continues the story of the protagonist from the original game after they are kidnapped from the King of Shadows' stronghold and wake up in a cave, soon revealed to be located in far off Rashemen. This expansion introduces epic levels and a new item crafting system among other things.
- The first Premium module for NWN2 called Mysteries of Westgate was announced shortly after Mask of the Betrayer had been released, being developed by 3rd party team Ossian Studios who had made Darkness over Daggerford, a mod originally intended to be a premium module for the original Neverwinter Nights that proved incredibly popular with fans when it was released for free. The module is set nearly entirely inside the city of Westgate and involves a plot revolving around a cursed treasure and the Night Masks organization. The mod was delayed due to Atari's opinion that it lacked proper copy protection, which caused an outcry amongst fans, and its release has been slid back into 2009.
- A second expansion pack named Storm of Zehir was revealed to be in development at E3 2008. The game's selling points are supposed to be going back to the Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale features of a fully customizable party, non-linear plotline and overland map. The plotline involves traveling to Samarach by ship with Volo, when a severe storm hits the ship is destroyed and your party, with Volo are washed up on a beach and attacked by Batiri. Volo lives up to his reputation and you eventually come into conflict with a particularly militaristic group of Yuan-ti. The expansion was released on November 18, 2008 in North America, and December 4, 2008 in Australia.
- Ammon Jerro • Bishop • Casavir • Construct • Elanee • Grobnar Gnomehands • Khelgar Ironfist • Neeshka • Qara • Sand • Shandra Jerro • Zhjaeve
- Important Characters
- Black Garius • Daeghun Farlong • King of Shadows
- Arren • Blaine • Branson Marlek • Bruneil • Cormick • Deekin Scalesinger • Drunk sailor • Dulahey • Edario • Fenthick Moss • Flinn • Galen • Garret • Georg Redfell • Gera • Grishnak • Ian Harman • Jacoby • Jorik • Juni • Kalas • Kaleil • Lazlo Buckman • Lewy Jons • Lewy Jons' hog • Liza • Mayne • Merring • Mozah • Naloch • Naevan • Nasher Alagondar • Nolaloth • Orlen • Pap • Par • Pierson • Pitney Lannon • Retta Starling • Tann • Tarmas • Teelah • The man in green • Thunderbelly • Tor Millows • Trent Vendall • Vallis Anton • Vashne • Ward Mossfeld • Webb Mossfeld • Wyl Mossfeld • Yaisog Bonegnasher • Yarek • Zachan
- Referenced only
- Aawill • Acarius • Beregost Hamish • Bertrand • Castter De'wess • Eisneid Clume • Falataer • Garth Lannon • Henna • Hiskoln • Jagen Marsk • Jeraboam Cantor • Khelben Arunsun • Marrok • Natnea Chesh • Nulbish • Polt Henrikson • Resino • Soggy Nurkel
- Playable Races
- aasimar • dwarf (duergar, gold, shield) • elf (drow, moon, sun, wood) • gnome (deep, rock) • half-elf • half-orc • halfling (lightfoot, strongheart halfling) • human • tiefling
- badger (dire) • bear • bladeling • boar • bugbear • chicken • cow • demon (balor, imp, succubus) • dog • dragon (black, crystal) • fire giant • ghast • ghoul • githyanki • githzerai • goblin • golem • lizardfolk • lizardling • ogre • orc • pig • pixie • shadow • shadow reaver • spider • spirit • tiefling • troll • umber hulk • vampire • wolf (dire) • zombie
- Buildings & Sites
- Crossroad Keep • Githyanki hideout • Grobnar's camp • Vale of Merdelain
- Inns & Taverns
- Alliance Arms Inn • Moonstone Mask • Phoenix Tail Inn • The Sunken Flagon • Weeping Willow Inn
- Arvahn • Ember • Fort Locke • Highcliff • Neverwinter • Port Llast • West Harbor
- Duskwood • Glowstone Caverns • Maiden's Glade • Mere of Dead Men • Mount Galardrym • Neverwinter Wood
- Sword Coast North
- Referenced only
- Anauroch • Beregost • Bogen's Pass • Darkfall Pass • Glade of Eternal Twilight • Hillsfar • Luskan • Moonshae Isles • Mulhorand • Nine Hells • Ruathym • Shining Knight Arms & Armor • Thay • Turmish • Unther • Vaasa
- Magic Armor
- belt of guiding light • boots of hardiness • boots of tumbling • bracers of archery • bracers of swordplay • cloak of protection versus evil • gloves of concentration • gloves of spellcraft • gloves of the Long Death • robe of energy • robes of the Shining Hand • skin of the forest
- Magic Items
- amulet of health • amulet of will • Fochlucan bandore • fife of blasting • Mac-Fuirmidh cittern • periapt of wisdom • ring of clear thought • ring of fortitude • ring of insight • ring of protection • ring of resistance
- Magic Shields
- goblin shield of Nulbish • shield of the wisp hunter
- Magic Weapons
- Harbinger Kin • Hierarch's Blade • Storm • Sword Saint Legacy • Writ of the Vizier
- elixir of Horus-Re
- acid fog • acid splash • aid • amplify • animate dead • assay resistance • aura of glory • aura of vitality • aura versus alignment • awaken • Balagarn's iron horn • bane • banishment • barkskin • battletide • bear's endurance • beguiling influence • beshadowed blast • bestow curse • bewitching blast • Bigby's clenched fist • Bigby's crushing hand • Bigby's forceful hand • Bigby's grasping hand • Bigby's interposing hand • blade barrier • blackstaff • bless • bless weapon • blindsight • blindness/deafness • bombardment • brimstone blast • bull's strength • burning hands • call lightning • camouflage • cat's grace • cause fear • chain lightning • charm monster • charm person • chilling tentacles • circle of death • clairaudience/clairvoyance • cloud of bewilderment • cloudkill • color spray • cone of cold • confusion • contagion • control undead • combust • create greater undead • create undead • creeping doom • crumble • crushing despair • cure critical wounds • cure light wounds • cure minor wounds • cure moderate wounds • cure serious wounds • curse of despair • dark foresight • dark one's own luck • darkness • daze • death armor • death knell • death ward • deep slumber • delayed blast fireball • destruction • detect undead • devil's sight • devour magic • dirge • disintegrate • dismissal • dispel magic • displacement • divine favor • divine power • dominate animal • dominate monster • dominate person • doom • draining blast • drown • eagle's splendor • earthquake • eldritch chain • eldritch cone • eldritch doom • eldritch spear • elemental shield • elemental swarm • endure elements • energy drain • energy immunity • enervation • enlarge person • entangle • entropic shield • entropic warding • ethereal jaunt • ethereal visage • etherealness • Evard's black tentacles • expeditious retreat • false life • fear • feeblemind • find traps • finger of death • fire storm • fireball • firebrand • fireburst • flame arrow • flame strike • flame weapon • flare • flee the scene • flesh to stone • fox's cunning • freedom of movement • frightful blast • gate • Gedlee's electric loop • ghostly visage • ghoul touch • globe of invulnerability • glyph of warding • grease • greater dispel magic • greater fireburst • greater heroism • greater invisibility • greater magic fang • greater magic weapon • greater planar binding • greater restoration • greater shadow conjuration • greater spell breach • greater spell mantle • greater stoneskin • gust of wind • hammer of the gods • harm • haste • heal • hellrime blast • heroism • hideous blow • hold animal • hold monster • hold person • holy sword • horrid wilting • ice storm • identify • implosion • improved mage armor • incendiary cloud • inferno • infestation of maggots • inflict critical wounds • inflict light wounds • inflict minor wounds • inflict moderate wounds • inflict serious wounds • invisibility • invisibility purge • invisibility sphere • iron body • Isaac's greater missile storm • Isaac's lesser missile storm • joyful noise • keen edge • knock • leaps and bounds • least spell mantle • legend lore • lesser dispel • lesser globe of invulnerability • lesser mind blank • lesser planar binding • lesser restoration • lesser spell breach • lesser spell mantle • light • lightning bolt • low-light vision • mage armor • magic circle against alignment • magic fang • magic missile • magic vestment • magic weapon • mass blindness and deafness • mass camouflage • mass charm monster • mass cure critical wounds • mass cure light wounds • mass cure moderate wounds • mass cure serious wounds • mass heal • mass hold monster • mass hold person • mass inflict critical wounds • mass inflict light wounds • mass inflict moderate wounds • mass inflict serious wounds • Melf's acid arrow • Mestil's acid breath • meteor swarm • mind blank • mind fog • mirror image • Mordenkainen's disjunction • Mordenkainen's sword • neutralize poison • noxious blast • owl's insight • owl's wisdom • phantasmal killer • planar ally • planar binding • poison • polar ray • polymorph self • power word, kill • power word, stun • prayer • premonition • prismatic spray • protection from alignment • protection from arrows • protection from energy • protection from spells • quillfire • rage • raise dead • ray of enfeeblement • ray of frost • regenerate • remove blindness or deafness • remove curse • remove disease • remove fear • remove paralysis • resist energy • resistance • restoration • resurrection • retributive invisibility • righteous might • sanctuary • scare • scintillating sphere • searing light • see invisibility • shades • shadow conjuration • shadow shield • shapechange • shield • shield of faith • shield other • shocking grasp • shroud of flame • silence • slay living • sleep • slow • song of discord • sound burst • spell mantle • spell resistance • spiderskin • spike growth • stinking cloud • stone body • stone to flesh • stonehold • stoneskin • storm of vengeance • summon creature I • summon creature II • summon creature III • summon creature IV • summon creature V • summon creature VI • summon creature VII • summon creature VIII • summon creature IX • sunbeam • sunburst • Tasha's hideous laughter • tenacious plague • Tenser's transformation • the dead walk • true seeing • true strike • undeath to death • undeath's eternal foe • utterdark blast • vampiric touch • vine mine • virtue • vitriolic blast • vitriolic sphere • voracious dispelling • wail of the banshee • walk unseen • wall of fire • wall of perilous flame • war cry • weapon of impact • web • weird • word of changing • word of faith
- wand of frost • wand of missiles
- Bonegnasher Clan • Church of Lathander • Church of Malar • Church of Tyr • Circle of Blade • Circle of the Mere • Clan Ironfist • Cult of Arval • Eyegouger Clan • Many-Starred Cloak • Red Wizards of Thay
- Referenced only
- Bedine • Harpers • Imaskari • Order of the Long Death • Scarlet Mummers • Shining Hand
- Harvest Mead
- Exotic Weaponry • Fundamentals of Abjurative Enhancement • The Wondrous Potions of the Brothers of Ilmater
- pork jerky
- alexandrite • amethyst • aventurine • diamond • fluorspar • garnet • malachite • obsidian • phenalope • quartz
- bandore • flute
- Metals & Alloys
- copper • darksteel • gold • iron • mithral • quicksilver • silver • steel
- belladonna • duskwood • garlic • swamp moss
- alchemist's fire • holy water
- Double Eagle
- F. Wesley Schneider (June 2006). “Neverwinter Nights II”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #344 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 20–23.
- Bobby MacPherson (2015-06-11). D&D Videogames (Web). In Matt Chapman ed. Dragon+ #2. Wizards of the Coast. p. 6. Retrieved on 2017-07-16.
- ↑ Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved on 2007-01-17.: 100% positive reviews, average rating 8.5/10, 6 reviews considered. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2007-01-17.: average rating 82/100, 39 reviews considered. Game Rankings. Retrieved on 2007-01-17.: average rating 82/100, 45 reviews considered.
- ↑ "Neverwinter Nights 2" at GameSpot. (2006-11-01). Retrieved on 2006-11-17.: 8.6/10, "Great".
- ↑ "Neverwinter Nights 2 Review" at IGN. (2006-11-03). Retrieved on 2006-11-17.: 8.6/10, "Great".
- ↑ ToTheGame - Neverwinter Nights 2 (PC) - Previews, Reviews, Interviews, Screenshots, Cheats, Release Date. Retrieved on 2006-03-17.
- ↑ Nwvault article
- ↑ 
- ↑ 
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