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NWN2 News September 7, 2007

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Rob McGinnis

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Will Project X be a good game?  

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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.

 

Requirements

  • 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

 

LegionBlade.jpg

 

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

 

Moongates

 

Moongates.jpg

 

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

 

CharVFX.jpg

 

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.

 

MomentsPeace.jpg

 

 

Silver Marches: (formerly known as Luruar) The confederation of the Silver Marches consists of it

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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:

 

MoTB seems to be pretty heavy on the spellslingers.

 

Where's the love for the warriors, man! :bat:

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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.

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Very good news, thx Rob. :)

 

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.

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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.

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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:

 

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.

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