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NWN2 News September 7, 2007

Posted by Rob McGinnis , 07 September 2007 · 6066 views

NWN2 News
Neverwinter Nights 2 Community Update
September 7, 2007

Today's Community Update brings us a look at the Arcane Scholar of Candlekeep prestige class in the upcoming Mask of The Betrayer expansion. We will also get a look at some community-made Visual Effects packs and the Persistent World Spotlight is here again. Also, in case you didn't know, the 1.07 beta patch has been released, so we talk about that a very little bit.

Beta Patch 1.07 "Premonition" Released!

The 1.07 Beta patch, which we are calling "Premonition," was released on Wednesday this week. There are a lot of great features in this patch and, being a beta, those features need testing. We would especially appreciate it if some Persistent Worlds could check it out and let us know how things go. You can find the beta patch and the thread for reporting issues here.

Mask of The Betrayer

Today we will take a look at another one of the Prestige Classes for Mask of The Betrayer.

Arcane Scholar of Candlekeep

Arcane Scholars seek to raise the study of magic to the level of an academic discipline. Their interest is not in researching new spells or finding more specialized uses for their craft, but in understanding the fundamental processes of magic and the inner workings of the Weave, which is the fabric that underlies all magic.

The first Arcane Scholars emerged from the dusty libraries of Candlekeep, where they pored through the writings of a thousand long-dead mages, seeking the unifying principles that underlie all magic. But even the archives of Candlekeep have their limits, and not all practitioners of magic have the means or desire to record their experiences with the Art. So Arcane Scholars dispersed into the wider world, observing and recording all the various expressions of magic they could find. Their tradition has gradually spread, and some mages who have never set foot in Candlekeep have adopted their disciplined and systematic approach to magic.

By gaining a deeper understanding of magic, and by discerning its underlying principles, arcane scholars become specialists in metamagic. Their spells are more powerful, last longer and can be cast more quickly than those of their peers. Arcane Scholars have also become especially adept at explaining the workings of magic to ordinary folk. Those who travel with Arcane Scholars gain the benefit of their considerable knowledge and are better able to avoid hostile magic.

Arcane Scholars do not limit themselves to studying particular sorts of arcane magic. To truly understand the Art, they believe that one must understand all its expressions. Thus all arcane casters are equally welcome to join their fellowship. Indeed, the insights of sorcerers and bards are particularly prized by Arcane Scholars, as such casters rarely have the patience to discuss the deeper workings of magic.

  • Skills: Spellcraft 8 ranks.
  • Feats: Empower Spell, Skill Focus (Concentration), and Skill Focus (Spellcraft).
  • Spellcasting: Able to cast 3rd-level arcane spells.
Class Features
  • Hit Die: d4.
  • Base Attack Bonus: Low.
  • High Saves: Will.
  • Weapon Proficiencies: Arcane Scholars gain no weapon proficiencies.
  • Armor Proficiencies: Arcane Scholars gain no armor proficiencies.
  • Skill Points: 2 + Int Modifier.
  • Class Skills: Appraise, Concentration, Craft Alchemy, Diplomacy, Lore, Search and Spellcraft.
  • Spells Per Day/Spells Known: When a new Arcane Scholar level is gained, the character gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as though he had gained a level in whatever arcane spellcasting class gave him access to 3rd-level arcane spells. If the character has more than one applicable arcane spellcasting class, he must pick one to improve.
  • Bonus Metamagic Feats: At 1st level, the Arcane Scholar gains the Maximize Spell feat. At 5th level, he gains the Quicken Spell feat.
  • Spell Knowledge: At 2nd Level, the Arcane Scholar and any party members gain a +1 bonus to their saves versus spells. This bonus increases to +2 at 8th level.
  • Improved Empower Spell: At 3rd level, the Arcane Scholar becomes especially adept at empowering spells. Empowered spells now only use a spell slot one level higher than the spell's actual level.
  • Improved Maximize Spell: At 7th level, the Arcane Scholar becomes especially adept at maximizing spells. Maximized spells now only use up a spell slot two levels higher than the spell's actual level.
  • Improved Quicken Spell: At 10th level, the Arcane Scholar becomes especially adept at quickening spells. Quickened spells now only use up a spell slot three levels higher than the spell's actual level.
Custom Content Contest

As many of you know, we have a contest underway for the Custom Content creators. If you are a modeller and would like to try your hand at creating buildings, clothing or whatever for the NWN2 Community, now's the time to jump in. Submissions to the contest do not need to be elaborate and there is a category for all levels of expertise.

Here's an example of one of the entries:

Legion Blade, by joeboy

This is my first go at making something for NWN2, really just a trial to see how everything works.

The Legion blade is a microcosm akin to The Infernal Battlefield of Acheron.

Forged by the son of Hextor to have ultimate victory against the righteous and noble paladins who opposed him.

As he he sliced threw their mortal flesh he looked into their eyes and he saw no fear.
The paladins knew that their noble acts would give them passageway to Mount Celestia where their spirit would rest.

The son of Hextor had grown to hate Acheron. The endless, pointless warfare had made him thirst for victory.
Legion would give him his victory over the paladins by trapping their spirits within the blade for eternity.

Hextor saw the sword as an insult, to him the victory was not important, only the battle mattered and it infuriated him that his son did not see this.
Hextor destroyed his only son and the blade passed into the mortal realm.

over the ages countless spirits have been trapped within the blade. It is said that the sword derives its power from the constant battles within.

You can find this model here, at NWVault.

Community Works


The creator of this VFX pack, JasonNH says:
These placed effects are inspired by the Moongates from the old Ultima game series. They were originally intended for use in Ultima based worlds but may be of interest to anyone else looking for a different kind of portal.

Here is a little ultima lore from MokahTGS describing the significance of the different colors:

Blue - These will transport one across the world. Moongates appear in places where moonstones are buried (traditionally, there are eight moongate locations near each of the major cities), and the destination of the travel is based on the phases of Trammel and Felucca, planet Britannia's moons. One moon determines when the moongate will be visible, while the other determines the target moongate. It should be noted that the behavior of blue moongates isn't consistent in games; For example, in Ultima VII, all moongates are constantly visible.

Red - Requires an Orb of the Moons. Only two Orbs are known to exist, one carried by Lord British and the other sent to the Avatar by the gargoyles. Activation allowed for travel to any destination, which was determined by where the Orb was used. These allow the traveller to travel across worlds, most notably between Earth and Britannia. A red moongate was also used to exile Lord Blackthorn to Serpent Isle at the end of Ultima V.

Silver - A rare form of moongate. It allows time travel. The Time Lord was able to create them and they were involved in the pursuit of Minax in Ultima II. It is also possible to create them with the Orb of the Moons, as done in Martian Dreams

Black - Black Gates allows travel through space and dimensions. They can be produced by electrically charging blackrock. These moongates were needed by Guardian in order to invade other worlds.

Special thanks:

To Hellcow, whose Cobweb effects I used as an example to figure out how to package these.
To MokahTGS who encouraged me to get these on the vault, and for reminding me of the silver and black moongates.

you can find tthis VFX pack here.

Character VFX Pack

This pack of "equippable weapons and other objects was created by SilkD. You can find the VFX pack here, on NWVault.

Persistent World Spotlight: Moonlight & Shadows
- By Soulfiend

Darkness descends, falling night
Walk with me in the pale moonlight.

From humble beginnings to tales of great
It is yours to discover, your blood written fate.

Over the lands above, or in the darkness below
Follow your path through moonlight and shadow.

Silver Marches: (formerly known as Luruar) The confederation of the Silver Marches consists of it’s capital city Silverymoon as well as Everlund, Sundabar, Mithril Hall, Citadel Adbar, Citadel Felbarr and some minor towns and villages, including Quaervarr in the Moonwood, Deadsnows and Newfort. It is bordered by the Anauroch desert to the east, the High Forest to the south, the Savage Frontier to the west and the Spine of the World mountain range to the north.The heart of the Silver Marches is the upper and lower valley of the River Rauvin. Winding for hundreds of miles in the shadow of the Nether Mountains and the Evermoors, the Rauvin marks a narrow ribbon of civilizations and security in an otherwise inhospitable land. Along the Rauvin lie the farmsteads and settlements that feed Silverymoon and Everlund, and its swift cold waters carry trade from Sundabar all the way to Waterdeep

We use the PnP book The Silver Marches and it’s map to build against, our plan is to add as much as possible of the the towns, cities and dungeons, as well as The Underdark with Menzoberranzan in all it’s somewhat dark glory, a convenient foil for Silverymoon.

  • DMFI 1.4
  • NWNX 4 (Database)
  • Persistent Banking.
  • Persistent Storage vault
  • PC tools implemented so you can pitch tents, start campfires, use many emotes like sitting on ground drinking beer, playing a lute and many more
  • A Player Guild System. Create your own guild, private guild housing available
  • custom spawn system to reduce lag and make spawns random location as well as type
  • Jasperre's NWN 1 AI semi updated to NWN2 and implemented
  • Lots of quests
Most, if not all of our staff are themselves roleplayers, our goal is to make a PW that brings The Forgotten Realms to life on the player’s computer, as if they were writing their own hero’s story. Despite the relatively short time Neverwinter Nights 2 has been available, Moonlight and Shadows has amassed a number of genuinely excellent roleplayers.

We have rules and regulations, but are always willing to listen to players suggestions on possible improvements on subjects we may have missed.

Moonlight and Shadows is a mature server, but we expect players to stay within the guidelines set within the server rules
When it comes to building, our goal is to produce areas that players will want to stay in rather than run through quickly to get from A to B.

Player quotes
I am but a simple player, thus I have no genuine “dog in this fight” so to speak other than this is a server I have grown to love. I once was; however, a lead DM on an NWN1 server, so I have quite a bit of experience in module building and management under my belt to draw from when evaluating this or any other module. The following is my personal review of Moonlight and Shadows:

1. This server is definitely a role-playing server. By this I mean if one wishes to simply make a character without putting a lot of thought in him or her, this is not the server one should choose. On the other hand, if one wishes to craft a story about a character using the in game happenings of Moonlight and Shadows in conjunction with a well thought out character background, then this is definitely a server worth checking into.

2. Moonlight and Shadows is indeed a “rule heavy” server. However, each rule has been put in place to enhance the tone and feel of the module, instead of simply creating rules to “control” player behavior. As an ex-server leader, I know first hand that any DM Team has to set some sort of ground rules at the forefront. Otherwise, one ends up with a server filled with juvenile acting players concerned only with l33t loot and roxxoring stats. Also, without at least a modicum of basic race and class rules, the server will quickly fill itself with Leet Drow Red Dragon Disciples built strictly for power-gaming instead of genuine role-play.

That is not to say that I personally agree with every single rule. The rule of five, for instance, is not a rule that I personally care for. My personal opinion and past experience has led me to believe that a rule of three would grant players with more personal liberty, while still stifling power-builders and power-gamers. Alas, it is not my call to make, and I am willing to abide by the rules set forth by the administration.

3. The builders, scripters, and DM’s here are constantly working to improve the overall form, function, and playability of the server. Issues such as creating a new spawn system to protect lower level characters from spawns left over from higher level characters is but one example. Another excellent example of the willingness of the team to listen to its players is the simple fact that the message board associated with Moonlight and Shadows has a Rants Section, and Raves Section, and an Other Section in plain view to all comers to give feedback and suggestions for improvement. Each post is answered in a timely manner, and explained thoroughly to the player community.

Even the loudest and most obnoxious complainers are treaded with respect and dignity by the staff when it comes to complaints. No, a player does not always get his or her way, but the player is at least guaranteed the opportunity to state his or her case. Evidence of this can even be seen on this rating session. Nay Sayers here are given frank answers to their gripes, and in most cases the staff member does so in a polite way. Most cases at least.

4. The death system, in my opinion, is one of the best I have seen in a NWN persistent world. It is based on the amount of times you have died; therefore, it deters characters blindly rushing into situation without forethought and careful planning. Combat is essential to any genuine role-playing environment, and the current death system gives a player and his or her character a healthy respect for death and dying. It is by no means a perfect system, and it probably could use a little tweaking, but all in all it is one of the best I have seen in a long while without implementing hard core rules and permanent death. With the server still in Beta; however, I fully expect this death system to be modified to work even better in the future.

5. The over all landscape of the module and its building and scripting team is excellent. It is obvious that the building team has gone though great efforts to make the tone and feel of the server as close has possible to pen and paper as possible though an online medium. It is not perfect, of course, but as previously mentioned the server is still in beta status. Improvements are being worked on daily.

6. The player base at Moonlight and Shadows is one of the better I have ever role-played with. Unfortunately, as of right now the player base is not enormous or consistent. There are evenings in which I see the player count into the teens, and there are other evenings that I am the lone player on the server. This; however, can be attributed to several different factors. Persistent worlds are in their infancy in NWN2. The vast majority of players are in a “try and see” phase right now. Players are playing on several different servers looking for the best fit for their own personal play style. I have done this, and am still doing so. I spend the majority of my playtime with Moonlight and Shadows, but if I see another server that I think may be interesting I give it a try. Thus far, I have always returned to Moonlight and Shadows. I have yet to find a better role-playing server to date.

One observation I have noticed; however, while trying other servers is that bigger is definitely not always better. There are several servers that routinely have thirty plus players. Yet the quality of role-play is very much lacking to put it politely. I prefer for the community to grow slowly if it will continue to recruit only well mannered people who can role-play their characters with forethought, talent, and realism.

If you are looking for a world set in the Forgotten Realms and are a fan of The Silver Marches, Moonlight and Shadows is the PW for you.

Moonlight and Shadows is sponsored by Scratch telecom : http://www.scratchtelecom.com/

For PWCs and HAKs visit our site. ( Be sure to register before trying to download anything.)

Roleplay section
Mod name Moonlight and Shadows

That's the end of this Community Update. See you again next week!

Holy balls! Why would an arcane caster NOT take 10 levels of Arcane Scholar? Full spell progression, plus free metamagic and improved metamagic feats. ermm.gif

MoTB seems to be pretty heavy on the spellslingers.

Where's the love for the warriors, man! bat.gif
Great Sword! But I hate it trapped so much spirit of paladins! I want destroy it! :D
Sep 08 2007 01:57 PM
I'm really happy with the Arcane Scholar. I really thought that us good-aligned mages would be left out in the cold again, but we have an awesome PrC now =D

@ Conan2010: Warriors already have plenty of PrCs - weapon master, divine champion, blackguard, dwarven defender and frenzied berseker. Arcane casters had pale-master and RDD, which both hurt spell progression and are more suited for hybrid characters. It's about time we get dedicated caster PrCs.
Sep 08 2007 02:22 PM
Very good news, thx Rob. original.gif

Nice work on the custom class, ASoC. You avoid the tide of expectations by not claiming to implement a D&D class. Good to see you guys are expanding the spell system. I'm not a D&D expert but ASoC seems to fit within the D&D system. So, ASoC covers three bases, well, as far as I can tell. We get more, it's with in the D&D frame work, and expectations are not upset.

Just don't go over board with the custom classes, etc., or the game may lose it's D&D feel, let alone the fact that some people are very partial to D&D, and D&D being a rich system has a lot to offer, aim high go far and all that.
Wow, the candlekeep mage looks fabulous! Reminiscent of the Incantatix, but more balanced. (As much as I liked my Incantatrix in PnP, I had to admit he was abusive)

Does this mean the Bugs with Quicken Spell might be fixed? I'd love to see the timing work right. Even if not, a very cool PrC.
I can't decide if this is overpowered or not. The party-wide +2 save DC against spells seems a bit much. How many different ways to improve spell saves do Wizards need? On the other hand, at least you'd be forced to wait a few levels to grab spell focuses, I guess.

Say hello to Brickwall, the shield dwarf Wizard 10/Arcane Scholar 10 with 23+3 ranks of spellcraft. +5 from spellcraft, +2 from arcane scholar, +2 from being a dwarf, +9 save versus spells total. ermm.gif

Would be more palatable if they toned down spellcraft's bonus against spells I think, or alternatively made it only apply to party members. It feels like the Arcane Scholar double-dips an already questionable bonus. Arcane Scholars are already getting a beefy bonus vs. spells from their high spellcraft. Why then do they have another bonus that's supposed to reflect their high spellcraft?

edit: The Arcane Scholar is sort of balanced for Wizards I think, but is a little overpowered for Sorcerers. One reason is that a Wizard gets bonus spell feats as he levels. A Wizard who takes 10 levels of Arcane Scholar is going to be sacrificing 2 of his bonus feats, so there is a definite opportunity cost for a Wizard: he will have much less choice and control over his final feat spread, while a pure 20 wizard will be able to grab more specializations like Greater Spell Focus.

The Sorcerer on the other hand lacks the Wizard's bonus feats. By taking 10 levels of Arcane Scholar, he is able to poach one of the advantages of the Wizard to a small degree. Sorcerers will actually make stronger Arcane Scholars than Wizards, particularly since they can take better advantage of the meta-magic bonuses with their ability to spontaneously cast.

When you combine a Sorcerer's ability to spontaneously cast meta-magic, and their lack of bonus feats, the Arcane Scholar is a huge no-brainer for a Sorcerer, while it is more of a sacrifice for a Wizard. IMO, Sorcerers should not have access to Arcane Scholar, although I suppose this is how it's gonna be. You're going to be seeing a whole lot of Sorcerer/Arcane Scholars though.

March 2019

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