You are here

Title Author Posted Updated...sort ascending
Linael Shepard krighaur 2018-01-30 5 months 2 weeks ago

I am back to modding NWN 2.

The Multiple Hak Pack Phenomenon dwinblood 2015-11-11 7 months 2 weeks ago

Several patches ago Bioware released a feature that should have made disseminating hak packs for your modules a breeze. In fact the end result is that most module specific hak packs should have been around 2 to 3 MB in size. However, I am still seeing the multi-meg hak packs out there for modules. Most people say big deal, I have broadband. Well, it can be a big deal for reasons other than internet speed. I have an opinion that has formed that most of us downloading modules and content fall into the following categories:

A Whole Lot to Say in One Editorial dwinblood 2015-11-09 7 months 2 weeks ago

Well, I had been planning on trudging into the editorial world to discuss what is evil and playing evil characters as was done last month. You know how it is though I got side tracked by all my Neverwinter Nights projects. Then lo and behold a continuous stream of editorials continues to hit the vault discussing epic levels. It is the entire to be or not to be discussion. So, in this editorial I will touch on those two topics and will also discuss some suggestions for making this game “fun” to play.

A Pen & Paper Perspective Migrate Wizard 2015-11-09 2 years 7 months ago

Or: Things a mod designer might wish to think about before opening the toolset...

Beta Be Prepared! Migrate Wizard 2015-11-09 2 years 7 months ago

Picture a scene familiar to many of us - several oddly-clad folk sitting around a table that's always too small, character sheets blanketing the surface, multi-colored polyhedron dice gleaming like gems abandoned by Snow White's septet of dwarves, all eagerly discussing the transformation of a beloved game into what promises to be one of the most amazing computer games ever created. We talk of the upcoming Beta and all hope to be included, but I am struck by the thought, "Are we really ready for Beta and all that it entails?"

If you're as much of a DnD junkie as my gaming cohorts and I are, your immediate response is an emphatic affirmative. Let's consider, just for a moment, all that the Beta test will require of those lucky enough to be selected by the BioWare crew.

Before Final - Module Creation From a Player's Perspective Migrate Wizard 2015-11-09 2 years 7 months ago

I have downloaded and played through quite a few modules now and have observed quite a few common threads, both good and bad, that have appeared in most of the modules. So, in part to aid those module builders out there, here are some things that I think will help you minimize some of the nastier comments I've seen (and made).

Dark Century PW Visit Migrate Wizard 2015-11-09 2 years 7 months ago

The module starts you in the town, and what a town it is. It takes you several minutes to walk across once you know your way around. The maps have been fully explored for you, so you don't have to walk to every corner to see the full town. No area breaches a 256 tile limit, so load times are kept to a minimum. Dark Century also makes use of a Linked Server system. This coupled with a new journal system allow more players to play the game at a time.

An Uphill Battle Migrate Wizard 2015-11-09 2 years 7 months ago

As an old-time Neverwinter Nights player, it is hard to see how the magic of Neverwinter can be recaptured. Here is a small amount of information on the ‘old Neverwinter’ that may put things in perspective for people who never had the opportunity to play.

Customize Me! Migrate Wizard 2015-11-09 2 years 7 months ago

One of the things I'm looking forward to in NWN is the ability to create adventures for my friends. Off-the-shelf adventures can be fun, but it's so much more fun to tailor a game to the things you and your friends enjoy most. I want a game where the tools are provided and I can use my own creativity, my knowledge of my friends' interests and even inside jokes to make an awesome adventure.

Alignment Editorial (Different View) Migrate Wizard 2015-11-09 2 years 7 months ago

Mandos of ALFA recently presented a good view on what he felt the different alignments in AD&D (now just D&D again) meant. However, I felt that much of what he posted were more personal views rather then general rules of thumbs other DMs and players could use for their own information. Therefore, I've taken some time to write this as a "different view" of alignments.

Building a Better Mousetrap - The Villain in Neverwinter Nights Migrate Wizard 2015-11-09 2 years 7 months ago

I recently edited an article written by Michael Barjin at Neverwinter Vault called “The Nature of Villains.” The goal of his article was to describe how a module builder might “create a good villain”. He gave tips on what to think about when creating a villain for Neverwinter Nights: the background (what created the villain); the motivation (what does the villain want); and the play (what to do with your villain).

Even though English is not Michael’s first language, his article did make me think about the opportunity that we will have as creators with Neverwinter Nights. In literature and especially in movies, the reader or moviegoer connects with the villain in various ways. This connection creates an emotional attachment for the viewer (or reader). When done well, the antagonist can raise the level of the work involved to a higher level.

One of the greatest draws of Neverwinter Nights is the opportunity for game designers or Dungeon Masters to create stories that others can play through and enjoy. One of the greatest challenges with Neverwinter Nights will be to create villains that will stir the hearts of our players. What follows is an attempt to address this challenge, and it will be presented in three parts

ALFA - First Steps Migrate Wizard 2015-11-09 2 years 7 months ago

So today was the launch of ALFA and it was a great excuse to get to do some playing thanks to some press passes from the team. After logging in at their website I was taken to the member's page which had links for their hak pack (80MB) and a large list of addresses for their servers. Taking note of the password, I downloaded the file and started off on the server run by Mandos, ALFA's project administrator which covered Arabel.

DMing a Successful Persistent Online World Migrate Wizard 2015-11-09 2 years 7 months ago

Dungeon Mastering is an art, and to be a successful artist you have to know how to weave an intriguing story, make believable, realistic characters, and keep combat exciting for many more people than you would in a pen and paper campaign. Online DMs find themselves not having to take care of dice rolls or the character acting that is the trademark of a good PnP DM, making life a bit easier. Yet at the same time they lack the same environment that is having 6 people in the same room, sharing the energy, and having the body language to make their whole story believable. Online DMs also have a set world, with a set history and set rules in which they have to work with- the story and mechanics are not entirely up to them. PnP and Online games are far from alike, this is clear.

Neverwinter Nights - The Diamond That Awaits Every RPG Gamer Migrate Wizard 2015-11-11 2 years 7 months ago

I wrote this article after realising just how misunderstood Neverwinter Nights was and continues to be but the fact remained that many many players would find a nirvana in this package if only they know the possibilities that await them two and a half years after release. So I hope you find this short essay informative and a door to new horizons.

How To Continue Getting Free Content Migrate Wizard 2015-11-11 2 years 7 months ago

Earlier last month, Rome decided to remove her modules, Tales of Celts because she felt that the only people commenting were those who didn't appreciate the work she had put in. Thankfully Steve Savicki saved the day by bringing it to my attention and I was able to get her to change mind and the modules are back. However I need your help so it doesn't happen again. Here are some things you can do to make sure that you can always enjoy free content.

Neverwinter Connections DM Class Migrate Wizard 2015-11-11 2 years 7 months ago

At 11:55 I received a message from Neverwinter Connections with the password to the DM class scheduled tonight. Jumping into my DM client, I used the direct connect button in the Lan section to get to their server and arrived in a small tiled room with seven chairs forming a circle. Handling the class was Clangeddin Silverbeard, the DM and staff member of Neverwinter Connections.

Modules for the Masses - Headaches for the Designers Migrate Wizard 2015-11-11 2 years 7 months ago

After NWN hits the store shelves, there are going to be three basic types of adventures created by fans: modules for downloading and playing, campaigns designed by a DM for a specific group of players, and persistent online worlds. The purpose of the following summaries is to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of each type, as I see it.

Getting Alignments Straight Migrate Wizard 2015-11-11 2 years 7 months ago

I have a uniquely skewed vision of alignments which I hope some will find useful for creating characters (esp villains) of greater complexity and depth.

Matrix Thoughts Migrate Wizard 2015-11-11 2 years 7 months ago

Last night I saw Matrix Revolutions for the second time and wanted to share my thoughts on it.

Gamers or Whiners? ("Gamers - The Fall of the Gaming Market") Migrate Wizard 2015-11-09 2 years 7 months ago

So I go to one of my local computer store and purchase a copy of Pool of Radiance (PoR).

Judging NWN Migrate Wizard 2015-11-11 2 years 7 months ago

After reading the interesting comments to the review post we made earlier I thought I would expand on it a bit. It may seem that one can review NWN on it's own, but my standing is that the game *is* the community. Let me give you the analogy that I am basing this on.

Rating System Editorials - True Average Migrate Wizard 2015-11-11 2 years 7 months ago

True Means or All We Are Saying, Is Give Means A Chance

Project Dialogue Migrate Wizard 2015-11-11 2 years 7 months ago

A few weeks ago, I was trying to think about how the official campaign could have been improved upon, and I realized there's something that has been lost in the evolution of RPG games as far as BioWare handles it. I'm speaking of the dialogue between NPC characters and the more I think about it, the more I'm beginning to dislike the dialogue box. Yes it works very well, and the conversation editor in the toolset makes it really quite easy, but it's the closed system aspect of it that I think bothers me the most. By that I mean, the limited number of choices steering you through a set path.

Rating System Editorials - Trimmed Mean Migrate Wizard 2015-11-11 2 years 7 months ago

Trimmed Average or Trimmed Mean:

(From my old Statistics book) : Trimmed Mean is a comprimise between (True) Average and Median.

While True Average uses all data points (votes on our case) to determine a representative value for the set of data, Median excludes all values but the 1 to 2 "middle" values and uses this value(s) to determine the representative value. Trimmed Average of a data set excludes the highest and lowest X% of the data points and takes the average of the remainder.

Players - What Makes Them Tick? Migrate Wizard 2015-11-11 2 years 7 months ago

Everyone loves a good story. It's what great DM's eat for breakfast. The stories we write, in a way, reveal to our audience (ie, our players) who we are and what we stand for in this life. The critical path of great stories is the development of empathy, and understanding, of the story's central participants and their varied circumstances. A good story takes us out of our own lives and puts us in someone elses' lives and allows us to come away with a greater understanding of ourselves in the process. But everyone finds their own meaning differently through the myriad of characters portrayed therein, and not always necessarily from the Protagonist, ie: "good guy." We sometimes like a movie, or a book, because of the bad guy. The bad guy helps us to define more clearly why we--for the most part--continue to stay and be good, for he is one more example of what we must never become. (Or, if you're bad yourself, the bad guy allows you to relate to someone.)

Rating System Editorials - No System Change Migrate Wizard 2015-11-11 2 years 7 months ago

The voting system change being proposed by M.O.L.M. (Movement Of the Loud Minority) has rightly received a great deal of attention. I will start my article with why I am qualified to speak on this topic

Persistent Misconceptions Migrate Wizard 2015-11-11 2 years 7 months ago

It seems that everybody and their brother has hopped aboard the rabid, bouncing badger of persistent world-creation in order to have their chance at righting all the perceived wrongs of games such as Asheron's Call, Everquest, Dark Age of Camelot and Ultima Online. What I keep hearing from these worlds is that although they plan to throw in a few modules, most are going to be carbon copies of the above MMORPGs, standing out only because they are following a different ruleset..

Rating System Editorials - Bayesian Method Migrate Wizard 2015-11-11 2 years 7 months ago

In short, the Bayesian method takes into account both the average score a module has received, and the total number of votes counted. Specifically, the more votes a module receives, the more "reliable" we may consider that average score to be (since more people agree on that score).

This doesn't mean that more votes always translates into a higher placement, however: if two mods have the same score and it is a low score, then the mod which has more votes will actually be placed lower in the rankings.

The technical details behind the Bayesian method are at the end of this article, but first let me address the pros and cons of the method.

NWN Economies Migrate Wizard 2015-11-11 2 years 7 months ago

One of my particular concerns in persistent world gaming is economics. Most games of the ilk have trade skills and a monetary system coupled with the sale and purchase of items with scripted game characters (vendors and store keeps). All these systems share something in common with the failed systems of collectivist economies like Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany, to whit; they are centrally directed and controlled.

Raising the Stakes - Tension is a Good Thing Migrate Wizard 2015-11-11 2 years 7 months ago

"Drama is life with the dull bits cut out." -Alfred Hitchcock

Everyone loves a good story, and in a roleplaying game, players get to be part of the story. Good stories, whether on film, in a book, in life or in games, need dramatic tension. By dramatic tension I mean anything that makes our hearts beat faster, and I’d argue that love and sex may do this in life, it rarely works that way in RPGs! So I think dramatic tension comes from having something at stake. When you care about something happening, and it might not go the way you want, you experience dramatic tension.

What To Do Post-HotU Migrate Wizard 2015-11-11 2 years 7 months ago

There is no way I would ever pay per download or pay monthly subscription charges for NWN content. Period.

 

Tales of Games Gone By.... Migrate Wizard 2015-11-11 2 years 7 months ago

I may be dating myself here, but I am one of those old pencil and paper D&D gamers that can remember when the game came with chits (little paper cutouts with numbers on them) that you would use to determine hits and damages. These would later be replaced with the various multisided dice. Those dice have been subsequently replaced by PCs. Editions of both regular D&D and AD&D have come and gone and slowly they have made the transition from the "tabletop" to the "desktop".

What is Evil? Migrate Wizard 2015-11-11 2 years 7 months ago

The word 'evil' is a universally hated word. It speaks of things like the Nazis in World War 2, Terrorism, and the typical Orcs in a fantasy setting. People might know what Evil means, but do they understand it? With hoards of MMORPGs and RPGs being announced daily, players are striving for a good storyline or a good role-playing environment to play in. Unfortunately, they're those who believe evil is nothing more than Player-Killing new players in online gaming, or writers who can't come up with anything better than 'bad orcs' and cliché 'world domination' villains. Here, we will be discussing proper guidelines on creating Evil within your world, as I lead you through the process.

Some Thoughts on Alignment Migrate Wizard 2015-11-11 2 years 7 months ago

An important part of your roleplaying experience is alignment. While a player should never feel pressure to pick a certain alignment; they should be held to their choice and to the logical ramifications of that choice. The biggest challenge facing players and DMs in terms of alignment is confusion over definitions. If you as a player have a very different standard of Lawful Good than I do as DM there will be problems.

Walking with Blinders On Migrate Wizard 2015-11-11 2 years 7 months ago

We've all played a ton of games over the years, with each year bringing considerable advances in the quality and immersive nature of computer games. One of the coolest feelings I can recall involved logging in to Everquest for the first time and being able to run amongst the trees and come face to face with my first orc. Granted, the orc dispatched me quicker than a dog on a dreamsicle, but the fact that I could look the orc in the eye as he pounded me into the dirt immediately took away the sting of defeat.

The Economy of a Virtual World - Thoughts From Behind the DM Screen Migrate Wizard 2015-11-11 2 years 7 months ago

Before I start down the road, I want to first make a few statements of clarification. There is another editorial on NWVault, by Mandos (AKA Major Bill Marcellino, USMC) titled NWN Economies. This is a great editorial, but it deals with persistent world economies and not static world economies, which is the focus of my editorial. The following analysis is almost exclusively relevant to static module design, not persistent worlds. While there has certainly been a boom in the Persistent World "market" (so to speak), I am not a fan of the MMORPG and I have never been. I leave such discussions to people with expertise in that area, like Mandos. On with the show...

Video Games, NWN, and the Free Market Migrate Wizard 2015-11-11 2 years 7 months ago

Standing in the shower one day, I kind of began to think about video games, and how they are, to put it mildly, excellent. I never realized it before, but not only are they fun, but they are also form an industry which would make Adam Smith very happy. As I see it (and remember as you read this that I am as far from an economist as one can be), the video game industry relies on the quality of products and infusions of new ideas to keep it an incredibly competitive one. On top of that, video games seem to be a major reason of the success and continued development of the home computer. I am writing to this site because I believe that Neverwinter Nights and its upcoming CRPG brethren are a perfect example of everything I am talking about.

The Amateur Designers Point of View - Or the Flip Side of the Coin Migrate Wizard 2015-11-11 2 years 7 months ago

As a novice/amateur module designer (Uluvin: Trouble in the Hills, and a follow-up currently in the testing stage), I read Vic Kappel's editorial with great interest. It was a very insightful and detailed read, with a lot of excellent suggestions for budding mod designers. However, in reading the editorial, it brought a few thoughts to mind. So to offer some suggestions to the player from the viewpoint of a designer, I offer the following, as sort of a reverse-rebuttal to Mr. Kappel's fine comments.

Scooterpb vs. Bioware - Initial Thoughts Migrate Wizard 2015-11-11 2 years 7 months ago

First off - let me say this: scooter did an amazing job.

Character Design Migrate Wizard 2015-11-12 2 years 7 months ago

In previous articles I’ve talked a lot about plot, the use of realism, and started some discussion on the use of puzzles in games (which I intend to come back to with a synthesis of the discussion) but let’s get to the front of writing an RPG – characters.

A Player's NWN2 Teething Pains Migrate Wizard 2015-11-12 2 years 7 months ago

So, Neverwinter Nights 2 has officially been out for 5 days now, and the Bioware forums are full of pleas for help and answers/suggestions as what to do for **. ( Help that has been forthcoming from Obsidian and the community at large) . We are a community of players who have become wizards at our favourite game, Neverwinter Nights, and suddenly with NWN2, we are plunged into the deepest of hells, and fumble around just trying to move in this new incarnation of our game, never mind having to learn a totally new interface. Well, OK, so maybe some of you have not felt like that, I certainly see evidence of it in the forums posts proclaiming "It runs like a dream on my system" Some with lower end systems are also finding no problem with the adjustment, and if anything, that gives me heart; for if this is true, then surely I, an avid lover of NWN and all it is, can learn this new system and play my most favourite game?

Why Epic Levels are Absolutely Necessary Migrate Wizard 2015-11-11 2 years 7 months ago

I am very pleased to see that the discussion on this topic has received an epic amount of attention. I must respectfully disagree with my distinguished colleagues who have argued against epic levels.

World of Krynn Preview Migrate Wizard 2015-11-11 2 years 7 months ago

I was recently invited by Arcanius, from Neverwinter Haven, to visit his persistent world Krynn which is based on the Dragonlance setting. My visit to Krynn was done as a DM which offered me a behind the scenes look at how large Krynn is. As many of you might know Arcanius is also the author of "x" in one series of hak packs. What originally started out as a four in one when NWN was just released, has grown to a 25 in 1, which is what the world of Krynn uses. With over 125 areas, numerous tilesets, tons of unique creatures and items, this world is massive.

Why HotU Should Stand for "Hand oUt" to the Community Builders Migrate Wizard 2015-11-11 2 years 7 months ago

I'm a patient guy. It takes a lot to get me rattled. Well, for the most part. Sometimes I get a bit antsy when I'm waiting for something to happen, especially when it's something that I expect without question.

Why Should I Play NWN? Migrate Wizard 2015-11-11 2 years 7 months ago

Here are some editorials from the vnboards answering the question on why you should play NWN. Thanks to Aurora_Rose for the heads up.

View from the Vault - The Passion of thegeorge Migrate Wizard 2015-11-12 2 years 7 months ago

Every now and then I am going to write an article about my observations as site manager of the Neverwinter Vault. While we have many types of spotlights and entries that are requested by community members, these articles will be based solely by my feelings, observations, and slightly askew perspective. Because of this, take them at face value. Articles about Pale Masters are not slights against clerics or people who love to play them, they are merely articles about Pale Masters. Articles about NWN2 are not slights against NWN1, they are simply NWN2 articles.

View from the Vault - NWN Online Migrate Wizard 2015-11-12 2 years 7 months ago

Every now and then I am going to write an article about my observations as site manager of the Neverwinter Vault. While we have many types of spotlights and entries that are requested by community members, these articles will be based solely by my feelings, observations, and slightly askew perspective. Because of this, take them at face value. Articles about Pale Masters are not slights against clerics or people who love to play them, they are merely articles about Pale Masters. Articles about NWN2 are not slights against NWN1, they are simply NWN2 articles.

View from the Vault - Common Sense, Common Courtesy, and Our Community Members Migrate Wizard 2015-11-12 2 years 7 months ago

Every now and then I am going to write an article about my observations as site manager of the Neverwinter Vault. While we have many types of spotlights and entries that are requested by community members, these articles will be based solely by my feelings, observations, and slightly askew perspective. Because of this, take them at face value. Articles about Pale Masters are not slights against clerics or people who love to play them, they are merely articles about Pale Masters. Articles about NWN2 are not slights against NWN1, they are simply NWN2 articles.

View from the Vault - The Persistent World of Avlis Migrate Wizard 2015-11-12 2 years 7 months ago

We've enjoyed Neverwinter Nights for eight years. I still remember the game when I first fired it up. Then I started reading the manual, looking under the hood, kicking the tires of the game. I decided to try the online option the game offered, and I still remember some of the names, some of the places. The City of Arabel was the first server I logged into. My poor old PC could barely manage to run the game properly, but it was severely tested by Arabel and the scores of people constantly logged on. I had to settle for a server with a population and ping that accommodated my situation, but I'll always remember one of the worlds I bypassed while looking for a smaller "neighborthood". Avlis.

View from the Vault - A Matter of Character Migrate Wizard 2015-11-12 2 years 7 months ago

Every now and then I am going to write an article about my observations as site manager of the Neverwinter Vault. While we have many types of spotlights and entries that are requested by community members, these articles will be based solely by my feelings, observations, and slightly askew perspective. Because of this, take them at face value. Articles about Pale Masters are not slights against clerics or people who love to play them, they are merely articles about Pale Masters. Articles about NWN2 are not slights against NWN1, they are simply NWN2 articles.

Pages