Walkthrough for the NWN2 Expansion: Mask of the Betrayer
Once you’ve defeated the King of Shadows (assuming you exported your character before killing him) you can start the Mask of the Betrayer expansion and import your saved character.
Mask of the Betrayer is an epic level campaign with an interesting story line. Note that the system for enchanting items has changed. Here is a useful guide for you to get a handle on things.
Its most distinguishing feature however is the Spirit Eater status your PC will acquire at the conclusion of Act I of the Expansion. What this means is that a dark presence inhabits your being that hungers for the spirit energy of other beings. Not being able to feed your new hunger will result in your spirit energy decreasing. As your spirit energy depletes, your character will become progressively weaker, resulting in penalties to your ability scores and loss of hit points. Once your spirit energy hits 0 your character will die. Eating more often will increase your spirit energy faster, but it also means your Craving will go up as well. A higher Craving means that your Spirit Energy will deplete faster. It can present quite a Catch-22 conundrum. Learning how to handle your hunger is key to your survival, and there’s more than one way to go about it.
There are however a couple of rules of thumb that can be observed.
The Killing Blow
If you are going to use Devour Spirit or a similar ability on a creature, it is far more beneficial to wait until that creature is "near death" so that it becomes a killing blow. One reason is that whatever hit points the creature had left will be given to you as bonus spirit energy. The other reason is that this will yield Spirit Essences that can be used for enchanting items.
Staying Up Late
An earnest recommendation on my part is that you find or enchant items so that all of your characters have both a very high Armor Class and a decent regeneration rate. The reason for this is for your party to have the option whenever possible to put off resting (along with its subsequent depletion of Spirit Energy). High Armor Class and regeneration can for a lot of fights obviate the need to cast protective and offensive spells. You simply hack your way through and your party recuperates without the need to sleep.
Even with these general guidelines, there’s a lot of room for individualized styles of play vis-à-vis the Spirit Eating curse. I’ll describe a workable good path and a workable evil path.
The Good Path, the Low Calorie Diet
A general principle of your curse is this: When you start the new day, you can use Devour Spirit once on a victim (e.g. Telthor Spirit or Elemental) without increasing your Craving. Anymore than that before you’ve rested, and you’ll increase your craving each time. Resting again however sets you back to your first time freebee for the day.
There is an exception. Early during Act II you’ll be able to acquire the Eternal Rest ability if you handle a conversation with a certain former priest of Myrkul correctly. This allows you to feed off the negative energy of any undead creature, even corporeal undead. You can use it as often as you like without increasing your craving and it also gives you good points. Keep in mind that there are loads of undead in a certain vault in Act II. Beyond that, the pickings can get pretty slim. There are still the odd undead here and there, but for the time being you may have to go on a cycle of devouring one spirit, and then resting.
There’s a chance for more flexibility when you have the chance to confront a spirit known as the Wood Man. If you choose to use your powers to funnel your spirit energy to heal the Wood Man, you’ll get the Bestow Life ability. This allows you to channel your spirit energy to heal one of your comrades. This may not sound like a big deal, and some gamers have dismissed it as useless. Consider however another effect. It reduces your Craving, and often drastically so. If you play your cards right, and in the right circumstances, you can set up a different kind of cycle. Devour, heal a comrade and reduce your Craving, devour again, and so on.
The upside of this path is that you keep your Craving minimized and your Spirit Energy therefore depletes far more slowly. This is not the only approach though.
The Evil Path, the All You Can Eat Buffet
I think that to play in the spirit of evil in the Expansion, you pretty much commit yourself to a maxed out Craving. This can be risky, especially if you need to rest. It is certainly playable though.
The vault that is accessible early in Act II provides an abundance of incorporeal undead, so it provides an abundant food supply when the need arises. I suggest rationing it out until you can acquire other abilities.
The fun starts when you find a group of beings known as Uthraki that live near a well. If you cooperate with their chief, you’ll be able to acquire the Devour Soul ability. This works like Devour Spirit but it is used for humanoid creatures instead. What this means is that you now have more options available to you about what you can eat.
Things really start to pick up when confront the Wood Man. If you choose to devour him, you’ll acquire the Spirit Gorge ability. This basically allows you to use your Spirit Eating ability in a manner similar to an area effect spell like Fireball. It will also work in tandem with Devour Soul, so if a band of humanoids is accosting you, go right ahead.
The downside of the evil path is that you risk having your Spirit Energy deplete very rapidly. The upside is that you have far more options and flexibility for consuming spirit energy. It also allows you to acquire unique essences that perhaps the good character eschewing Devour Soul and Spirit Gorge wouldn’t be able to.
With the mechanics of Spirit Eating explained, it is now time to introduce the NPCs.