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Title  The Cave of Songs
Author  Baldecaran
Submitted / Updated  04-27-2003 / 01-18-2009
Category  Dungeon Adventure
Expansions  HOTU-1.61
Setting  The Runelands (custom world)
Gameplay Length  5-10
Number Players  Recommended for small group of level 1 characters
Language  English
Level Range  1-3
Races  All (pure-blooded elves are rare in this part of the world)
Tricks & Traps  Medium
Roleplay  Medium
Hack & Slash  Light
Classes  All (stealthy characters will be particularly effective)
Scope  Small
DMNeeded  No DM Required
Single or Multiplayer  Single Player or Multiplayer
Max Character Level  03
Max # Players  04
Min # Players  01
Min Character Level  01
Content Rating  Teen
Alignments  All (the primary motivation is that of a treasure seeker or explorer)
Gameplay Hours  10
It is said that the dark forest of Grimwood is home to the most foul of creatures, and few who enter its gloomy depths ever return. Those who have speak of horse-sized wolves with eyes of glowing embers, of giants whose footsteps make the very earth tremble, and yes, even of dragons that breathe fiery death. But most famous among these tales is that of the Cave of Songs, a howling abyss where even the beasts of the forest dare not enter. It is said that within the cave lives a spirit so ancient as to predate the mountains themselves, a spirit mad with sorrow and hatred. No one knows what riches may be found within its lair. Until now, only the bards have explored the mysteries of the cave, but only in songs and poetry.

A Japanese version of the module, translated by NamaYake, is available here: Link
A Chinese version, translated by lisha_sun, is available here: Link


DateReviewerFinal ScoreQuick ProsQuick Cons
2003-08-26Expresso8.7outstanding writing, beautiful visuals, atmospheric environments, non-linear, fun multi-player battles, runs fast on slower systems, less than 2 MB custom content, certain battles can be tough for a single player.


2006-07-21Hall of Fame Interview - Baldecaran (All His Modules)Steve Savicki
2005-06-30Hall of Fame Interview with Baldecaran (The Cave of Songs)Maximus


Submitted: 04-27-2003 / Last Updated: 02-29-2004
Submitted: 04-27-2003 / Last Updated: 02-29-2004
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Comments (391):

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Posted by Kaotiqua at 2012-06-28 01:39:40    Voted 10.00 on 06/28/12
Nearly a decade has passed since I first DL'ed this module, my first Vault experience, and at the time I was very new even to NWN, and had no clue about voting, nor about the NWN community as a whole.

Just a few days ago, I finished playing through Prophet, and had to have more, so I downloaded the most recent update here, injected it heartily with CEP 2.4 (which seems to work marvelously in CoS, by the way,) and took another run-through for old times' sake. It deserved my vote then, and never recieved it. As a module, it's lovely, as a telling of a tale, engrossing, and as a visual, personal experience, gripping. Even with an override full of heads and widgets, it flowed perfectly, and I never hit a single bug. As has been the case with all Baldecaran mods, NWNCQ also functioned perfectly to enhance the creator's already-beautiful world, and I cannot recommend Cave of Songs enough for anyone who has played, or plans to play, Prophet!

There were a few things which irked me slightly, but they were each things that could be boiled down to my personal tastes, and to the limited abilities of the toolset at the time of CoS's creation. This mod is terrific, even a decade later!

I would have liked a bit more dialogue from Llarien, but then, for it's time, even that was more general than mods tended to be. I didn't care for the hench death system, which essentially required me to die in order to retrieve my poor hench any time I failed to keep him alive. (And this is also the very first mod I have ever played where the OHS system would not function at all.)

"There's no religion but time & motion-
No religion, just tribal scars."

Posted by werelynx2 at 2012-06-23 12:56:06    Voted 8.75 on 06/23/12
Interesting story. Played with Ranger/Rogue - combination of stealth and animal empathy is really good strategy for this module. Still there were moments I had to run.
- it would be neat if my henchman could use animal empathy as I did
- or level-up as I did
Thanks Rolo:)

Posted by TimG at 2012-05-17 10:23:26    Voted 9.75 on 05/17/12
Very good stuff. This module would be ripe for a cosmetic refresh using some of the newer content available. Even so the game play and story holds up great against newer stuff. For those who haven't played it don't let the age of this mod deter you from giving it a try.

Posted by __doug__ at 2011-12-11 18:05:35    Voted 9.50 on 12/11/11
Very well done! An interesting story that was well executed in the module. I am looking forward to playing the other modules by this author. The only issue I had was there seemed to be a random/scaled encounter algorithm that sometimes produced foes that were way too difficult in the Cave&Tomb (and another time encounters that were just fine).

Posted by ra0313 at 2011-10-15 06:31:31    Voted 9.50 on 10/15/11
Solid module, really enjoyed playing this one! Great job!

Posted by Niemroth at 2011-10-03 11:04:00    Voted 9.50 on 10/03/11
A fine starter module for level one player characters. It has interesting encounters and a very good story for a dungeon crawl.

Posted by Berliad at 2011-08-12 11:51:25    Voted 9.50 on 08/12/11
My score: 9.5 - Excellent, Recommended to Anyone
Character: Began w/ lv. 2 rogue/ranger, ended level 6 (barely)

I'm a sucker for a great story. And that is a big part of what makes Cave of Songs so great. Not only is there a brilliantly creative concept at the heart of the tale, but the execution of that concept is terrific. You begin in a small tavern in a small town near the Grimwood forest, where you hear tales of a mysterious Cave of Songs. Everyone has heard a different story about what can be found there, and the stories only get more interesting as you make your way through Grimwood and into the cave itself. This is one of those stories that I will remember for years, at least in its general essence.

Beyond this, the atmosphere is just terrific. True to its low-level nature, I found myself scared to death throughout most of the module. A halfling rogue/ranger isn't a particularly formidable foe before he gets his AC up a fair bit (and gets weapon finesse), which took until about half-way through the module...and even then, he was basically just adequate. Even by the module's end, my character really couldn't take on some of the tougher baddies in the forest by himself. And by then, the henchman--who was invaluable early on--was starting to lag behind, becoming less useful as we went. Added to that sense of fear was an extremely creative setting, with neat twists on visuals, and good use of sound and music. Finally, the writing was top notch...concise, but provocative and descriptive.

In many ways, I was reminded of Torslunda, which was a classic, relatively short, low-level mod that was published several years after Cave of Songs. Both have a fairly linear but interesting story with sidequests, and are ideal ways to get that low-level experience. I recommend Cave of Songs to anyone.
My NWN Blog
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Posted by Neilium at 2011-07-24 18:45:15    Voted 10.00 on 07/24/11
After being disappointed recently with some of the newer mods I've played, I'd forgotten all about this mod until I looked deeper into the Vault. SO glad I did, enjoyed it very much! My 1st lvl Paladin made it to lvl 5, and I didn't encounter any bugs except the ones I killed! :)

Thanks for a solid fun adventure! :)

Posted by Faramir_Storm at 2011-06-30 13:39:50    Voted 10.00

replayed the module again after a couple of years. brings back a lot of good memories! :) there is a glitch however, perhaps you will find the time to fix it?

spoiler alert:

when you make the wish for $1M gold, you get to fight the golden golem. however the golem triggers the teleport and you never get a chance to fight the golem for the golden skin armor. the only way around this is to stand right in front of the golem so he doesn't move off the teleport spot and use cheat code "cowsfromhell" and drink plenty of healing potions (if you can't run and pepper him with arrows, how are you ever able to get a chance to win?).

Posted by Mirgalen at 2011-02-13 17:36:41    Voted 7.75 on 02/13/11
Worth a try.

I replayed this one in January with a Dwarf (Ranger/Bard) level 3 and gained three levels before retiring. The other scout did not make it.

The Cave of Songs is in a way a 2 in 1 module. This time I pretty much completing the cave before exploring the entire forest. I would not say that this module is class specific but a druid, ranger or rogue may have a slight advantage. There is certainly a unique approach to gameplay that is rewarding if used properly. The alternative would be to simply skip the forest.

I overlooked the scouting ability (a key feature in this module) when I first tried this adventure (back in 2007) and may have encountered a faction bug. I am not the only one, WeAreAllKosh (I found many of his posts hilarious) had similar problems.

This time around (could a 1.69 fix) scouting did work and the creatures in the forest did fight each other but there is a delay for that. In other words if you run into a bear, and bandits and orcs they will all attack you but if you hide or run and come back later you will only find the survivors of the fight between them which is another neat feature.

The fun part of the module is really the cave system and what you will find deep below.

7: A good module with some issues, but worth the download for almost anyone.

Posted by Forrestwolf at 2010-05-23 14:03:42    Voted 10.00 on 05/23/10
Amazing how this module still stands up to more 'modern' offerings. The lack of custom content makes little difference once all the various little stories tucked away in different places start showing up. It has a slow start, and then builds to an incredible story that unrolls as you move along. It really does have the feel of a pen-and-paper style module, and would do great multiplayer, though I had plenty of fun single-player, too. Thanks so much!

Posted by edosan at 2009-09-14 13:53:24    Voted 9.00 on 09/14/09
This is an excellent low-level module with a good story. I played a rogue and went straight from this to Baldecaran's next mod, "Honor Among Thieves," which I can't recommend enough.

Posted by shuurai at 2009-05-25 08:29:36    Voted 9.50 on 05/25/09
Just played this one again after a year or so it still stands up with the best of them. Great story, great area design, and attention to detail.

Posted by Elkor Alish at 2009-05-25 00:02:53    Voted 10.00 on 05/25/09
I'm knocking the dust off my old NWN titles as I heard a rumour that a third in the series is due to be released in the next year or so. Oddly, I prefer the first line of games over the second, but its the modules that really make it special. Particularly ones like this.

I started off with a first level Fighter. Usually, I prefer Rogues for their wide skill selections or sorcerer/Dragon Disciples for power gaming, but I wanted to start your Prophet story arch and from what I could gather from the synopsis of all, Fighter seemed most appropriate. I realise this module isn't part of it, but in the comments someone mentioned that it flowed nicely into prologue, so I figured why not try it.

I am not one for sneaking, and found I was able to clear everything (including the Giant, love the book he drops despite its general uselessness, but I can just picture a giant sitting the woods making random marks in blank journals and creating his own literature to pass the time, it only required choosing targets tactically -kill what you could and return to what you couldn't later when you are bit better outfitted and more seasoned. Mostly, I would enter parry mode while the henchie picked them off with his bow if they were over powered, but once I found the Half Plate armour and the tower shield I found even 'over powered' engagements an even match.

In any case, I've been downloading modules and found most tedious and non-sequitur where they were not completely random, but this was very, very well done.


It was the details that made this delightful. Like finding the Orc head amongst the Bug Bear loot, and then stumbling over the Orc Camp and finding the message from a scout concerning the bug bears and a possibility of easy loot. That was merely one of a hundred tiny details that made this a perfectly symmetrical and thoroughly enjoyable module. The ambiance was beautiful, and the entire thing elegant in its simplicity. I certainly hope the Prophet series measures up as well as this to my expectations.

Posted by Delf at 2009-03-24 04:50:37    Voted 9.75 on 03/24/09
One of the best low-level mods around. Great story, tough fights, and loaded with atmosphere.

Posted by snowdog at 2009-02-09 05:50:15    Voted 9.50 on 02/09/09
Very nice dungeon crawl with story/puzzles. Good feel. Nice that you can't just kill everything and have to choose your battles.

I kind of went straight into the dungeon so I probably missed some side quests.

I think I may take my character into Prophet Prologue from here (finished with 6th level F/Rogue).

Posted by Jamro at 2009-01-02 16:00:56    Voted 9.75 on 01/02/09
Seems to work fine with 1.69. Played this solo with a ranger rogue, seemed an ok combination.

The module was great, the main plot exemplary.
I didn't guess at all what's down there, until getting that far.

Side plots were ok and there should have been a proper indication of when the module was over. I suppose I'll retry HAT next, since I now have a decent character for it.

Posted by Steve_Savicki at 2008-10-30 07:11:29    Voted 10.00
Replayed this again this time taunting the two dwarves into fighting eachother.
Always something to learn.
Steve's Characters - please don't forget to vote on them if you play them.


Posted by Copperhawk at 2008-07-01 22:43:23    Voted 8.00 on 07/01/08
The story is interesting...but only after you entered the cave. The beginning is very boring. Playing the recommended lvl 3 character in the beginning to kill kobolds & goblins is even more boring. When I used a lvl 14 character to rush through the beginning to the cave, I started to enjoy the game.

In the end, I tried to make a contract with the devil but I got no "heavy price". I waited and went to town and even rested a bit, but didn't find anything special.

Posted by wurm657 at 2008-03-19 04:02:02    Voted 9.25 on 03/19/08
Very entertaining adventure by one of the great mod-builders of NWN.

Posted by shuurai at 2008-01-27 17:01:35    Voted 9.50 on 05/25/09
Very nice module; loved the storyline. Well balanced too, I played as a rogue and all of the fights seemed just right.

Posted by Randalish at 2007-11-30 11:16:24    Voted 9.25 on 11/30/07
I just finished replaying the Cave of Songs, and realised I had never voted for it the first time around. Time to rectify.

A lot has been said already in the many years since this module was released, so I'll just add a few short notes of my own.

Firstly, despite using no custom content whatsoever, the module is incredibly atmospheric and still very good looking, particularly the Grimwood. Unlike just about any forest area I've seen in NWN, it feels like a real place, a real forest, vast and dangerous. Only a few tricks of lighting and scripts for the animals are used, but the end result is remarkable.

Secondly, the story and writing still are excellent. The module does not feel aged at all, unlike some other famous older modules. The story is low-key, not a world-shaking plot, not really about your own character at all, but it is a pleasure to find out about it nonetheless. (Though be aware that the story only starts once you have found the cave itself.)

Thirdly, this module is about adventure at its purest. Very rarely have I enjoyed simply exploring the world so much, travelling to find out what lies around the next corner or to learn the truth behind an old legend. The world feels larger and more alive than it is.

Fourthly, you should bring Llarien with you and try to keep him alive. He adds a lot to the already remarkable atmosphere. He isn't one of NWN's most memorable henchmen, but he's believable and his comments add just that little touch of companionship in single player mode. My first character playing the module, an evil rogue, used him to distract a giant and explored the cave without him... this time, I kept him around and that was more fun.

Fifthly, the difficulty was about right both times I played for a level 3 character in single player mode. (First time a rogue, second time a sorcerer) Lower levels may be doable but may be frustrating depending on your tastes. And sticking close to the road and not going near dangerous animals (stealth or no) is essential to survive. I enjoyed this aspect of the module, though it did take some getting used to.

To summarise: the Cave of Songs is a non-epic adventure. It tells its story very well, is very atmospheric and has that feel of travelling into the unknown to it that simply makes it a pleasure to play. There are better modules out there (including later work by the same author) but this one is still in my top 10.

Finally, a spoiler note. Do NOT read unless you have finished the module!

The bargains you can do with the demon lord are absolutely great. (if bad for your health, mostly.) I spend a lot of time trying the options just for laughs. Everybody playing this should keep a savegame just before the end and try the various negotiation options with the demon.

Posted by WeAreAllKosh at 2007-09-25 09:58:26    Voted 1.50 on 09/25/07
I gave up after three forest areas. I'm tired of dying, reloading, dying, reloading, dying, reloading. I suppose people find that pattern fun. Or they have some secret 'intelligent' way of playing this game that is unknown to me.

I'm not really sure what 'intelligent' gameplay is anyway in a D&D game that isn't played over tabletop, so I just did as the readme suggested.

First suggestion was be stealthy and avoid fights. Okay. Doesn't seem too intelligent to me, just another way to approach an encounter. I press the sneak button and hope for good rolls. Sort of the same as pressing the attack button and hoping for good rolls, no? And I can do it in any other module anyway. Difference in those modules is that if I fail, death is not guaranteed because the encounters aren't overpowered. There I have options. Which always seems more intelligent to me. But whatever, I just followed the guide. This meant remaining in sneak mode practically the whole time (the first couple of fights taught me it was the best mode to be in). This strategy worked well. Every creature I got close to succeeded on its spot check on either me or the henchman and proceeded to come over and kill us both. I suppose that's what's supposed to happen? So, yeah, it worked well.

Second strategy was to lure creatures of one type toward creatures of another. Okay. If you want to call that 'smart.' I prefer to call it either 'incredibly stupid' or 'arcade-gamey' and stick with the sneak around everything strategy. But as previously mentioned, that strategy pretty much always fails. So I have an Overpowering Grizzly Bear chasing me and my companion. Why not lure it over to that Challening group of hostile NPC's and let them all kill each other? The Grizzly Bear will surely attack them instead. But, no, the Grizzly Bear just ignores them and keeps chasing me. And to boot the hostile NPC's attack me (conveniently ignoring the Grizzly Bear as well; I guess they have some sort of monetary arrangement in place). So at the same time (when either alone would be bad enough) I have a Grizzly Bear attacking me and a spellcaster lobbing fireballs at me. Did I mention I'm a 2nd level character? Fireball = Instant Death. Too bad this strategy failed spectacularly too.

Afer repeated failures of these types I found myself wondering what to do. Druid wants me to go kill the bugbears and goblins. Sounds fair. Only those encounters will probably be more difficult than what I've faced already (Sneak Failure and Fireballs and Bears, Oh My!). And the Cave of Songs (if I can luck upon a path that's nice and free of Overpowering encounters and find the thing) will probably be more difficult than all of it. This leaves me at a mental impasse. So I utilize the one strategy that will get me past this ordeal of a module the quickest and easiest -- export character, close game, delete module.

1 1/2 point for good writing and storytelling, which I'm sure persists throughout the story. Too bad it's completely ruined (like so many modules) by ridiculously amped up difficulty ... even if 'teh smartz0r' strategies are recommended.

Posted by hmdai at 2007-09-07 19:44:11    Voted 9.00 on 09/07/07
Baldecaran, thank you for creating such a good mod for us. The story is really good and it tells us how destructive if love goes to a wrong direction. I'm really sad about the relationship between Suthaire and Arcanion have to end like this.... seems like I have miss out the "House on legs" side-quest...Anyway, I will take my character to continue adventure in Prophet Series...
Overlooked Module Report February 2009 | Master List | Forum Thread
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Posted by Morgennes at 2007-08-20 05:17:25    Voted 8.50 on 08/20/07
Not bad at all.
But I played "Prophet" before, and found both interesting and frustrating to visit (and at the same time, not...) the same universe than the one depicted in Prophet...
I played with a lvl 1 LG elven Monk, and ended at lvl 6.
The dialogs are, as always with Baldecaran, excellent.
Few oddities with my henchman. He didn't level up, and didn't obey orders (for example, use only his bow).
But it's a good mod!
Thanks a lot,


Posted by Nelson The Geek at 2007-08-12 19:41:27    Voted 8.50 on 08/12/07
A very good module by one of the more prolific authors, Baldecaran. Very limited magical treasure, which was a change from most other mods. Very limited dialogue as well - little that was not plot-based. I also noticed that the starting location was the same as another of his modules. Nice whimsical touch. Played through in about 5 hours total.
Fun - 9, Layout/Design - 8, Dialogue - 7, Originality/Creativity - 8, Quality Control - 9, Overall - 8.5

Posted by herrjeff at 2007-07-05 08:57:33    Voted 9.00 on 07/05/07
Good medium-sized module which provides many hours of entertainment through its extended background lore and an excellent use of NWN tilesets. My main complaint would be the limited usefulness of the henchman, which script doesn't allow to level him up or view his inventory. I look forward to export my PC to play other Baldecaran's modules.

Posted by Miluangwaith at 2007-06-10 15:17:32    
hi again Baldecaran ;) well, Ledenika is a cave near my hometown Vratsa, which is in Bulgaria, in the Balkans, south-eastern Europe. it's pretty high up in the mountains, so it's great for a bike ride, being a pretty tough course. anyway, i hope the work on the Prophet is going along well ;) cheers to ya and best of luck :D

Posted by Baldecaran at 2007-06-10 13:33:40    
chrisboote, Catitude, qirien:

Thanks! I hope you'll try my other mods as well.


Yep, you got it! It was in fact from the Polish version of the legend. I couldn't help it when I saw that "house on legs" tile in the caves tileset... So where is Ledenika? That sounds very cool!

Posted by qirien at 2007-06-04 22:50:53    Voted 8.75 on 06/04/07
Wonderful, clever scripting and a story that was deeper than I thought it would be. The forest area was pretty big, but that was kind of realistic. More stores would have been nice (since low-level characters often want to carry around lots of heavy equipment to sell).

The different options for the ending were great, too. Thanks!
Time Becomes a Loop - short, story-driven time travel mod!

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