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Best NWN Modules according to Greg (A.D. 2019).

Hi NWN folk, following your encouragement I have prepared the 2nd edition of "Best NWN modules according to Greg" originally posted back in 2017. The hand-picked selection of modules below offer long, mostly polished, well written and rewarding gameplay - because these "modules" are in fact standalone new games made in Neverwinter Nights Aurora tooleset. They will be enjoyable for any RPG fan interested in profund and polished gaming experience. Many years ago I was looking for something like this myself on Neverwinter Vault and I was only partly satisfied. That is why I am posting such list now. Thanks to your valuable comments the list has been reworked, updated (new modules) and extended (longer mini-descriptions) to give you a feel of experience you'll get without too much babbling.

So... Let's repeat this is a subjective list of best modules available on neverwintervault.org A.D. 2019, a follow up of my 2017 ranking. I played all of the modules listed here and reviewed many of them on neverwintevault.org more extensively. The ranking reflects my age, gender, education an interest in morally, philosophically and aesthetically developed games. I also value good writing, epic scope, length of gameplay (short modules excluded a priori), use of custom content and original ideas over standard modules with a lot of roleplaying possibilities.  I also prefer stories that feature under-the-open-skies travels at least in places from the stories limited to hectic and boring dungeon crawling.

The stuff below is really finely crafted and deserves your attention. Beware: you could easily sink hundreds of hours – if not a thousand! – on these.

Some of the games were written by promising writers, but writing is at least decent in all of them. ALL of them are recommended, offer tons of fun and could in general function as standalone games. What is more, last I checked they are all available in Neverwinter Vault to download and enjoy... so happy browsing, I hope this list helps tyou o make an informed choice as to what's worth playing.


 

--THE EPIC PODIUM (MUST-PLAY)

1A/ Aielund Saga (a classic with great visuals, nice story, and lord-of-the-ringuesqe epic scope complete with custom music, good for starters, as it will set your expectations as to how great module should look like);

1B/ Dance with Rogues 1&2 (roleplaying abused woman created by a single authoress in the course of many years, gloomy and ethically touching, although explicit sex scenes; gameplay is hard but rewarding, so it’s good if you know NWN a bit before trying it; one of the best interactions between the henchmen I have experienced in NWN module, expect psychological complexity and in-depth personalities); the game is actually capable of improving your real-life empathy level regarding women which is a spectacular achievement)

2A/Bastard of Kosigan (quasi-historical setting of medieval Europe! outstanding, peppery writing by medievalist writer Fabien Cerutti that makes you laugh and lament; great custom music, court intrigue, epic battles, plot twists and so on, so on, so play on);

2B/ Prophet Series (this must be simply played: book-like story, enjoyable fights, henchmen freaking out on discovering your fate, necessity to weigh lives of “countless unborn”, profound philosophical reflection on free will as well as… branching universes; according to many this series beats “Pillars of Eternity” storywise; of note is immersive choice of music and graphic boons like steep mountains or elven city)

3/Tales of Arterra Series (novel-like characters, moral dilemmas, “grey” ethics, well written dialogues and psychological depth of companions (like Persey) and some Planescape: Torment touch later on)

4/The Accursed Tower (classic RPG adventure "on the road" with snow creaking and fire cracking, quite linear, light but very enjoyable; with a lot of emphasis regarding esthetical dimension; recently updated by caring author Udasu to feature beautiful winter Wilderness tilesets)

 

--OTHER GREAT SERIES/MODULES YOU’LL LOVE

*/Lankhmar Nights (another great module by Udasu, aesthetically rewarding compilation of adventures in Leiber's universe with multitude of henchmen, collections of loose, city-based stories with a few major overarching plots, great fun suitable for few-quests-per-day approach)

*/Bloodright – The Blood Royale (bastard’s ascension to the court of his father, featuring court intrigue, upcoming election, destabilized city and interesting henchmen; early example (2004) of great NWN module; should be enjoyed by all, including Bastard of Kosigan fans) 

*/Swordflight – although the story is unfinished, with 4 chapters already released (out of 5-6) by RogueKnight it may count as a saga already, so I list it here as well (for more on Swordflight see section on stories under development below)

*/ Hunt Through the Dark (roleplaying drow!, convincing story, suitable for Arcane Archer and fighter/mage builds, interesting lore regarding drow evil philosophy of life and their wicked goddesses; the author has also made both a remake and a well received sequel to the story for Neverwinter Nights 2)

*/Gladiatrix trilogy (made by female author, featuring female fighting, visual eroticism, epic scope and length, very believable personalities of the henchmen; it gets better as you progress; if you liked Dance with Rogues, you should become a fan)

*/Harper’s Tale (roleplaying Harper, the roleplaying setting makes it tempting to play as Bard or Druid, very nice “on the road” adventure consisting of a few chapters, featuring the idea of village fools’ contest and usual royal intrigues)

*/Return to Ravenloft + Beyond the Gate (great 2-module story for divine fighters, quite linear, in Ravenloft setting packed with undead (no, it’s not a dungeon crawler, the realm is an isolated rural sphere, like in Gothic series); in spite of a cliché story with vampires in background, the execution is exceptional and there is some custom content like crafting or fast-traveling; there even exist some foes that cannot and should not be killed, which I count as advantage).

*/Crimson Tides of Tethyr (epic module for fighter types, travels, inter-racial alliances and plot twists as well as custom music; the author became a fantasy writer later on, which should count as a recommendation)

*/ Deja Vu (class-specific cleric module with nice story related to undead menace, great priestly feel that allows you to repel almost endless waves of undead at some point and choose either evil or good path)

*/ Honor Among Thieves (a great rogue-oriented module with many, many missions and nice roleplaying opportunities, mostly non-linear)

*/Saleron’s Gambit (5 chapters of genuine fun: you’re starting as an orphaned pooh-farmer, finishing as saviour of the world… sort of, because ultimately it is Saleron that makes history and you’re only playing your rightful part (I love this “inversion” of perspective); epic scope, dynamic story with dramatic moments that affect gameplay);

*/Runes of Blood (the graphic tile-sets used might be basic, but the plot centered around a bandit-haunted town and a troubled city is meaningful, with your choices and diplomatic approaches affecting environment and NPCs)

/* Lords of Darkness (a dynamic, long, mostly hack-n-slashy saga (4 modules) with romance, difficult battles, as well as quite predictable and linear story, which – surprisingly! - does not hinder overall enjoyment; it features some custom content like landscapes, well selected music, interesting gear and wind in your hair in the spirit of run-run-save-the-world narrative (as opposed to let-us-ponder-on-your-moral-dilemmas).

 

--OTHER NICE SERIES/MODULES YOU’LL LIKE:

*/Darkness over Daggerford (a balduresque and colourful story at the Swords Coast that allows you to furnish your own HQ in by the cozy Helm’s Hold; main plot is a bit too short, but there is a lot of side quests (mutually unrelated, though); suitable for less experienced NWN players);

*/Wyvern Crown of Cormyr (a truly medieval story of squire turning knight, featuring medieval contests including jousting!, great visuals but shorter main story, i.e. non-epic)

*/Shadows of King's Justice (standard great-war-between-the-races story but with a nice execution, very nice use of additional tilesets;  featuring balduresque world map, like Darkness over Daggerford)

*/Shadowlords/Dreamcatcher/Demon Series – I was impressed much less than the others by this trilogy but it is still worth noting, as many are very positive about it; the last part features stunning Sigil tileset and “standalone” fantasy card game.

 

--GREAT MODULES, WITH SEQUELS UNDER DEVELOPMENT (!):

1/Swordflight, Chapters 1-4 (classic series to feature 5-6 instalments in total, with many roleplaying choices, stunning visuals, tons of custom content and extreme, very hard, but enjoyable fighting that de facto necessitates druid/cleric levels with their buffs to survive; less emphasis on depth of writing, more on class and alignment related roleplaying, still, the plot progression makes you wait for the next instalments.. the auhtor RogueKnight333 has recently published chapter 4, with more comming in the future!);

2/Dance with Spies (great module, finished, yet constantly improved and developed story of, presumably, male rogue/fighter, state service, vulnerable females and even marriage issues that have consequences; it has its own editors’ team that constantly work on it to extend it); the feel based deliberately on Dance with Rogues, but with male protagonist; features your own home as an important place of interpersonal soap-opera styled interactions)

3/ Sanctum of the Archmage (a story of – a bit of a cliché - desperate escape with interesting romance that promises diplomatic missions and epic scope in chapter 3; currently there are 2 chapters, the latter of which ends with a cliffhanger, but the author should prepare new ones after release of Beamdog’s enhanced NWN edition; suitable for warrior/mages due to equipment that is available)

 

-- VERY GOOD SERIES, BUT WITH STORY UNIFINISHED (ABANDONED)

1/Orcs: Awakening & Return to Al-Dha (roleplaying orc! a very nice change of perspective with orcs as humiliated “native Americans” of fantasy world; two modules);

2/Twilight & Midnight (roleplaying paladin, the author was hired by professional studio after these modules, which by itself sounds like a recommendation);

3/Hex Coda (alternative world with magic as quasi-science and capitalist order a'la Brave New World, the author is a writer and did his best to make a “virtual book” out of this module, which worked very well; although there is no conclusion of the story, there is a text file that summarizes subsequent fate of the characters);

 

--IN THE WORKS (currently checking if these modules are worthy of your attention!)

*/Agrenost

*/Maugeter

*/Secret of the Founder

*/Almravien +Shadewood

______

Read more:

Feel free to compare my list with Werelynx/Sawark list: https://neverwintervault.org/article/reference/campaigns-and-module-series-list-nwn1

...or Lilura’s module list: https://lilura1.blogspot.com/2017/12/Core-Neverwinter-Nights-Adventure-Modules-and-Campaigns.html

First Release: 
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Isewein

Oh, I just realised one absolute pearl you are still missing is the Auren trilogy (with part 3 still in the works, so it could be added to the "Sequels still in Development" section, even though that might be wishful thinking at this point), as by far the best implementation of "Adventure"-style gaming and a wizard-class specific module in NWN.

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greg

Auren trilogy... You must mean Almravien + Shadewood + third promised module? Almravien is amazing (best exotic city ever made for NWN, I still remember the sandy cluttered lanes of your home district, and nice story) but I didn't make it through Shadewood (the atmpsphere of seclusion and dabble-in-fossils-to-progress questline IMHO resulted in lack of dynamics and made me quit at some point under the pressure of real-life obligations). But you're right, it must be added to the list of the stories under development as it is undoubtedly epic.

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