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NwN - The Sunless Citadel Mod Review

Discussion in 'Mod Reviews' started by olimikrig, Dec 23, 2005.

  1. olimikrig

    olimikrig Cavalier of War Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    3rd Edition Adventure Series - The Sunless Citadel
    Creator: Jeff "Dueeliz" Weaver
    Scope: Part of a series
    Sequel: "The Forge of Fury"
    Requires: NWN v1.28
    Players: 1-4, single and multiplayer available
    Review first posted on: 23/12-05
    Last updated on: 26/01-06
    Download location: http://nwvault.ign.com/View.php?view=modules.Detail&id=48
    Hackpack: http://nwvault.ign.com/View.php?view=hakpaks.Detail&id=6118

    Index
    • Game Rules Information
    • Content
    • Gameplay
    • Difficulty
    • Bugs and Oddities
    • Summary
    Game Rules & Information

    The creator of the unofficial Neverwinter Nights module "The Sunless Citadel", Jeff "Dueeliz" Weaver, has tweaked the game rules some. The most important changes are as follows:

    Death
    If a player reaches 0 (zero) hit-points, he/she will begin bleeding to death. Each round there's a 10% chance that the player will stabilize and regain 1 hit-point; otherwise he/she'll loose one hit-point. Allies can stabilize the player through either healing kits or spells. Should that not be enough to bring the player above 0 hit-points, the player will receive 1 hit-point per round until he/she reaches 0. If a player ever reaches -10 hit-points or below, (s)he will die.

    Respawning will, as always, cost you gold and experience points. Furthermore you will be transported to the nearest healer, and there's no easy path back to your comrades... you will have to walk.

    Resting
    Resting is allowed once every fourth game hour (8 minutes of real time). This can be disabled through a device called the "Orb of Configuration" that can be found in your personal chest, located within the room where you start.

    Note that if you cancel your rest or are interrupted while resting you will have to wait four hours of game time before you can rest again.

    Experience
    Experience in "The Sunless Citadel" is calculated using the charts from the official Dungeon Master's Guide. This results in the displaying of two experience awards each time a creature is slain; the first one will always be 0 as that is the one using the original NWN experience award system, while the second one will display the real experience award that you get.

    Stealing
    Looting items from containers within the view of NPC's will result in them turning hostile. Mind you that non-hostile kobolds are also NPC's!

    NOTE: You can always look up these rules tweaks in-game through a book called "Rules of the Realm". This book is automatically placed in a personal chest that is located in the very room in which the module begins!

    Content

    Why should anyone travel the cracked cobblestones of the Old Road? The fortress that once cast its shadow across the road does so no longer - some whisper that the earth swallowed the fortress whole in an age long past. Four brave adventurers resolved to discover the truth and set off down the Old Road, but they never returned.

    After a short intro movie, you find yourself standing in a room on the second floor of the Ol' Boar Inn, a small tavern in the remote village of Oakhurst.
    At first glance the village seems ordinary, and no different from any other small-town village you've ever been to. But as they say, things are not always as they appear to be! Oakhurst is indeed very unlike most other villages...
    Garron, the local Inn bartender, is the first to tell you tales of strange happenings, and before you know it you find yourself sucked into a story of brave adventurers walking paths on which man has not set its foot in ages; a mad druid who has left the path of nature and now works to manipulate and twist what he once protected to better fit his crazy dreams.


    "The Sunless Citadel" is more of a dungeon crawl than anything else. The plot is pretty standard, travel through the ancient dungeon and dispatch the evil, which lurks within. But unlike many other dungeon crawls out there the creator has made a good job out of making each area unique. I never got any of those annoying déjá vú experiences that especially the OC holds loads of.
    Most of the levels are pretty straightforward and easy to figure out, though there are quite a number of pits that will send you into small holes from which you will need to climb back up again. That tends to be a little annoying, but nothing that ruins your fun all too much.
    The module is built for level 1 characters, eventually climbing to the heights of levels 3-5, thus you will mostly find yourself facing foes such as bugbears and goblins. Be that as it may, I was thrilled to see that unlike original Neverwinter Nights I found no plain goblins carrying vorpal greatswords of disentigration (or said with other words: no +1, 2 or 3 items). Eventually you will most likely end up carrying only a couple of magical items (which you've probably bought from the village Blacksmith).


    Gameplay

    "The Sunless Citadel" uses Pausanias's Inventory and AI Mod ( http://nwvault.ign.com/View.php?view=community_news.Detail&id=191 - It is included in the "The Sunless Citadel" module; no need to download it). Pausanias's Inventory and AI Mod holds various tweaks (some major, some minor) to how henchmen behave. Amongst other things it implements an Inventory Control System that allows you to not only control which items your henchmen should use, but also to give them new ones. It also improves quite a few aspects of the henchmen's combat AI.
    There are four (well, actually there's five) henchmen in the "Sunless Citadel" module:
    Lidda, a Halfling Rogue, Tordek, a Dwarven warrior, Mialee, an Elven wizard, and finally Jozan, a cleric of Pelor (the fifth "henchman" that I'm referring to is found very late in the module, and he will leave you as soon as you take him out of the Sunless Citadel - basically he only comes along so that you can help him escape the dungeon). I'd suggest bringing at least a couple of these along with you... you will probably need them. All of the four henchmen can be found in the Ol' Boar Inn, and shouldn't be too hard to locate. You're allowed a maximum of four henchmen at any time. Whenever a henchman dies he or she respawns at the same spot immediately. You will then have to talk to them, and cough up 100gp to get them to re-join you. The only annoying thing about this is that they tend to start attacking what killed them immediately, and should they kill it you won't receive any experience.

    Overall most of the gameplay ran smoothly. There were a few strange glitches, but those were mostly associated with graphical errors spawned from improper corpse decay configuration. Once I got that settled everything ran as it should.


    Difficulty

    "The Sunless Citadel" module is basically as difficult as you make it. With four henchmen it tends to get a little easy, but on the other hand if you solo it you will most likely run into quite a few difficult fights. So difficulty-wise this mod is for both experienced players and the inexperienced ones.


    Bugs and Oddities
    • If you try to level up while bleeding to death (below zero hit-points) this will result in your character getting stuck in the unconscious animation. Obviously you do not want that. This is a know issue, and is descriped in the .txt file that comes along with the module, which is located in your NWN/Modules folder. There is no known solution to this problem.
    • You should make sure that you configure the corpse decaying function properly by using the Orb of Configuration. If the Corpse Decay function is improperly set (you will have to fiddle a wee around with it seeing as this problem is associated with the resources available to your computer) it may result in objects not appearing on corpses, scripts running incorrectly or dead creatures suddenly speaking. Alternatively you can also simply destroy the corpses by bashing them, in order to free up system resources. Again, this is a known issue, and is descriped in the .txt file that comes along with the module, which is located in your NWN/Modules folder.
    Summary

    To wrap it all up I found myself to be rather fond of the "The Sunless Citadel" module, and I would definitely recommend it to everyone out there! It's a great mod, period. As for how well the conversion from PnP to CRPG is made, I'm afraid I cannot answer that question for I have never played the PnP version of "The Sunless Citadel".

    [ January 26, 2006, 13:20: Message edited by: olimikrig ]
     
  2. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran

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    Thanks for the detailed review. Sounds interesting.
     
  3. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    There is a couple of bugs more but perhaps they only show on my computer. Sometimes the character ends up stuck in the looting animation for prolonged periods of time after looting is finished until you give different orders and sometimes it takes even a sequence of orders. Sometimes I also get stuck between small placeables and it's a pain to get out from behind or between barrels, packs, kegs and the like.

    Next, there is a monster with permanent draining ability early on and there are no scrolls or potions of restoration. It's a pain if you're a solo warrior character whose combat gear already weighs a lot and end up drained of your strength. I really don't look forward to walking all the way to the nearest healer.

    Otherwise, I like the module and I appreciate the fact it isn't cluttered with things like pointless mazes of dungeons and/or tons of quest items.
     
  4. olimikrig

    olimikrig Cavalier of War Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    That should be correctable by configuring the corpse decay via the Orb of Configuration. I too got stuck in lotting sequences until I altered the corpse decay.
     
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