Neverwinter Nights 2

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Daerred: Now, I know you didn't have any jobs for an adventurer last time in Neverwinter. But we searched the city for opportunities. After that we took to the road, and I found an old lady and rescued a cat. We each got an apple.
Shandra: Well, if it had been the Captain doing it, the cat would be lost, the tree burned down, and the old lady would be traveling with us now.

Neverwinter Nights 2 is what happens when you ask Obsidian Entertainment of all people to make a heroic fantasy game. Released in November 2006, it is the sequel to the 2002 RPG Neverwinter Nights by BioWare. It is set in the Forgotten Realms (more specifically, along the Sword Coast) and uses the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 gameplay system.

As was the case with Obsidian's previous project, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, this sequel, despite being set after the events of the original game, barely references them; unlike KOTOR II, it does not allow the player to choose the ending of the previous game (partially because it was wrapped up in an expansion pack).

Unlike the previous game, the plot does not begin in the eponymous city. The protagonist is a new character, an orphan living with their foster father Daeghun Farlong in the village of West Harbor, which is invaded in the beginning of the game. Realizing that the enemies are after the mysterious silver shard kept in the swamp ruins, Daeghun tells his adopted child to recover the shard and bring it to Neverwinter, to his brother Duncan, who possesses a similar shard. However, the path from West Harbor to Neverwinter is dangerous, and once there, the adventure is far from over: the shard-bearer has many enemies, all with different motivations.

Aside from traditional RPG Elements like fighting and completing quests, there are some deviations of note. At one point, the player is framed for slaughtering an entire village by a cabal of Luskan renegades attempting to spark civil disorders in Neverwinter, and must spend a significant portion of the second act gathering evidence and questioning witnesses to be able to prove their innocence at a trial (although even if the player is found guilty, the situation will resolve itself anyway.) Also, after defeating the game's (not literal) Dragon, Black Garius, the player is rewarded with control over his hideout, Crossroad Keep, and can (but is not required to) spend a certain period of time rebuilding the worn keep, seeking workers, recruits and merchants throughout the world, managing the garrison and using it to pacify the surrounding lands - all of this in preparation for an enemy attack.

In the end of the convoluted (albeit linear) plot, the player faces the final enemy, the King of Shadows, and can either defeat or join him. The player is then presented with the fates of the locations they visited (Fallout-style), which are dependent on the player's choices throughout the game.

Unusually for Western RPGs (particularly the earlier efforts of the same developers,) NWN2 has very few optional quests and players who attempt to stray from the pre-determined path will find their way blocked by doors with Plot locks and other uncircumventable obstacles.

The original game was plagued by the same problems as KOTOR 2: storyline of debatable quality, rushed development, very buggy programming, and poor enemy placement. Added to these problems is an engine with serious graphical issues and massive slowdown even on relatively modern computers. Later patches and expansion packs have removed many of the bugs and improved the engine, but it's still rather a hardware hog. However, the original campaign in NWN2 also has a surprising amount of tongue-in-cheek humor from most characters, while not quite Genre Savvy, results in a campaign with an unusual amount of deadpan humor from party members and NPCs alike, including poking fun at the game's own cliches and plot, as exemplified by the example at the top of the page.

An expansion pack: Mask of the Betrayer follows the same character into an unfamiliar land (Rashemen) and a more personal struggle. It is shorter, less linear, and has been praised for the choices offered to the player in the style of Planescape: Torment. Indeed, many reviewers have wondered how the same company could have written the (at the very least cliche) plot of the original campaign and the dark, atmospheric and original one for MotB.

A second expansion pack, Storm of Zehir, was released in 2008, it "hearkens back to the days of the Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale franchises by including full party customization, dungeon crawling, and free exploration of a non-linear game world via an Overland Map". Reviewers, however, have compared it to being more like a high-end third-party mod.

An Adventurer Pack called Mysteries of Westgate was released in 2009. It was developed by Ossian Studios with the plot having no ties with the previous storylines.

Since then, while there have been no plans in sight for a Neverwinter Nights 3, the MMO Neverwinter is slated to be a sorta-sequel set 100 years after the events of the NWN games.

Tropes used in Neverwinter Nights 2 include:
  • Affably Evil: Mephasm, an Always Lawful Evil Devil who is soft-spoken, helpful to the player, and not even interested in making you sell your soul to him. He even responds to Ammon Jerro's slaying of his own granddaughter Shandra with seemingly genuine regret and no avarice at all.
    • And is implied to be Neeshka's grandfather.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Bishop's popularity with the fans.
    • So much that a mod was created so that he could be a romance option.
      • He was originally intended to be a romance option, but it got cut before the game shipped.
  • Already Done for You: The fifth statue of Illefarn, blessing claimed by Ammon Jerro.
  • Always Close
  • Anti-Grinding: Enemies never respawn. There's nothing to grind.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit
    • This gets even more egregious in Mask of the Betrayer. You get a maximum of four companions and a party limit of three, which means you always have to leave one behind. This is unusual since the party limit for the last half of NWN2 is four.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Oh yes...
  • Awesome but Impractical
  • Bag of Holding: The original version. Hey, it's D&D; what did you expect?
  • Bag of Sharing: Sort of.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Neeshka resists The Dragon's mind control before the battle with him claiming that "[she] won't betray the only person who's ever been nice to [her]" if Relationship Values with her are decent at the end of the game.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Bishop and the female player character. He was supposed to be a romance option but for time constraints.
  • Big Bad: The King of Shadows for the first game, the Spirit-Eater Curse for the second, and Zehir for the third.
  • Blackmail Is Such an Ugly Word: Only the ugly word is "bribe".
  • Bragging Rights Reward
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: The Blessed of Waukeen feat included in the special and gold editions.
    • One of the poorer examples of the trope. The feat only allows you to purchase additional magic items from a few merchants. By the time you get access to these merchants, you should easily be able to craft much better items for virtually nothing.
  • Broken Bridge: Closed access to Blacklake District.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Khelgar's backstory features him picking a fight with a group of traveling Sun Soul monks. Anybody who's read the lore of the setting knows why this is an incredibly bad idea. Long-story short, they beat the ever-loving crap out of him.
    • Hey, Amie, don't you think it might be a bad idea to piss off a wizard that's giving your master a hard time?
  • But Thou Must!
  • Cannot Spit It Out: The premise behind influence checks.
  • Chekhov's Armory: The guns hang in bunches. There's the other old ruins outside of town, the fact that the Gith seem to think a shard's in town when you're around, the talk of Cormick and Lorne...
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Shandra Jerro.
  • Clear My Name: The trial arc has Neverwinter's longtime rival Luskan accusing you (at the behest of Black Garius) of massacring an entire village. Nobody in Neverwinter actually believes them, but the law must be upheld so you're charged with murder and put on trial.
  • Cliff Hanger
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Neeshka will act like one if the player character is male.
    • That's because her romance plot got cut. She gets less clingy further into the game as a result.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Aldanon.
    • Grobnar, too.
  • Color-Coded Elements: Fire, electricity, cold, acid, sonic, magic, divine, negative energy, positive energy (white colored).
  • Continuity Nod: The game frequently references that Neverwinter is still recovering from the plague and the war with Luskan that the city suffered from in the previous game. Also, Deekin, the most memorable companion from the two expansion packs Shadows of Undrentide and Hordes of the Underdark, appears as a shopkeeper and references events from both expansions -- albeit in a way that only those familiar with them will have any idea what he's talking about.
    • Also, a reference outside the plot but within their universe: at one point, Zhjaeve actually talks about Dak'kon, who apparently is an almost legendary figure.
    • Storm of Zehir features glimpses at events that should be very familiar to those who know what happened in the Realms between 3.5 and 4th edition D&D rules. You see a scrying vision of another plane, where a beautiful woman lies dead while a hawk-headed man stands over her. You also get to meet an illithid who apparently read the mind of a seer and saw the murder of Mystra. He is Driven Mad by the Revelation.
  • Cool Sword: Make that Cool Swords, plural (and you can even design your own). This is Dungeons & Dragons, so the trope is to be expected, but the Silver Sword of Gith takes the cake. See the Trope Page.
  • Creepy Child: Marcus.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Neeshka.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Canonically, Qara dies no matter what she ends up doing in the ending while Sand is implied to survive if he's on your side.
    • This will also happen to Casavir and/or Elanee, regardless or whether you romanced them or not.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sand in particular, but most characters, including non-party members, have a moment or two.
    • One memorable incident at the inn is a three-way insult contest between Khelgar, Neeshka, and Qara.
  • Deconstructive Parody / Stealth Parody: Possibly. A fair portion of the wider NWN/Obsidian fanbase wonders if that's what this campaign really is, since it mocks certain types of characters (the ridiculously over the top nature-loving elf as a start), horribly designed areas in fan-made mods from the first game (the Orc Caves), and long and at first seemingly compelling sections of gameplay that end up not mattering (like your trial), and the script has a propensity to veer into the openly snarky at times (such as the page-quote). The whole thing ends up having a bit of a Forgotten Realms-ala-Slayers feel to it. It may also have just been a fairly by the numbers production, but knowing some of the people involved and what the expansion ended up being...
  • Destroyable Items: Destroying a chest has a chance to destroy its contents too.
  • Determinator: Ammon Jerro. It takes some serious will to do everything he does, while refusing to excuse any step of it as being even a sliver righteous. He's a monster, he knows it, and to stop the threat that would unmake the world, he has damned himself for eternity without a moment's regret... Well, until he realizes he's gone too far being The Determinator, and his granddaughter dies because of it.
  • Determined Homesteader: A famed trait among the citizens of West Harbor. No matter how many times their village gets utterly destroyed, they will return and rebuild.
  • Did You See That Too

Khelgar Ironfist: Just to make sure my eyes aren’t lying to me –- a huge suit of armor did smash through here, attack the githyanki –- and us –- then we drove it back to the portal? Because if my drinking is catching up to me, then I'm stopping right now.

  • Diabolus Ex Machina: See Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies.
  • Doomed Hometown: West Harbor, although this is played with. An attack on the town starts the story as per tradition, but the town and most of its inhabitants actually survives (your initial goal is actually to bait the attackers away) and can be visited later. Then it really is destroyed by a completely different enemy at the end of Act 2.
    • You can visit the village again during the 2nd expansion, Storm of Zehir. Guess what? It is now under siege by dragons. West Harbor is the Butt Monkey of the Sword Coast, seriously.
  • Door to Before (Straight and averted)
  • The Dragon: Garius.
  • Dronejam: Worse: the 3.5 rules let you pass through an ally, but the game makes party members jam doorways anyways.
    • Of course, that could be the difference between doing it on paper, where you could handwave it as one player sidling past the other, and doing it on a computer, which isn't quite as flexible.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him, Kill'Em All (i.e. Dropped a Temple on Them, see Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies)
    • Mask of the Betrayer thankfully rectifies this by revealing that over half the party managed to survive.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?
  • Dummied Out: Time constraints resulted in a lot of stuff getting cut, like Neeshka and Bishop's romance plots, an encounter with the animus elemental Sydney summoned to murder Qara, why Casavir left Neverwinter, an exchange between Sand and Qara indicating she's actually holding back a considerable amount of power...
  • Dysfunction Junction: All of the party members have some sort of severe mental baggage or messed-up past (if not both), all of the party members regularly bicker and annoy one another, and all of the romances are dark, strained, and doomed. This can mostly be laid at the feet of Chris Avellone, who has a severe aversion to straight-played romances.
  • Edge Gravity
  • Either World Domination or Something About Bananas: Grobnar Gnomehands' attempt to translate "kalach-cha". See You Are the Translated Foreign Word, below.
  • Enemy Mine: Casavir and/or a paladin Knight-Captain would literally not be allowed to work alongside evil teammates Bishop and Ammon Jerro in a pen-and-paper game. It's a violation of the paladin code of conduct and they'd lose their powers over it. Thankfully NWN2 paladins don't have that class feature or the game would be Unwinnable By Mistake.
  • Escort Mission: Sometimes NPCs being escorted can be told to wait or survive at 1 HP no matter what hits them, but when they aren't, it's fun.
  • Everything Fades
  • Fairy Battle
  • Face Heel Turn: Bishop, as well as some of your other non-Good party members, depending your influence over them.
    • Special mention goes to Sand and/or Qara, as it is literally impossible to keep one without the other turning.
  • Fake Difficulty: How much easier would this game be if you combat was coded competently, or even if your party members had half competent AI?
    • Not much. With fan made add-ons, the AI gets smarter... and so do the enemies. As buggy as the combat is, it's somewhat in your favor, given that you're generally outnumbered.
    • The most effective tactic in D&D 3.5 is to buff your party to the point they are almost untouchable and just beating everything down with your damage augmented weapons. The AI is almost completely irrelevant for this tactic since it is smart enough to attack the closest enemy.
  • Fallen Hero: The King of Shadows.
    • Also Ammon Jerro. As the game points out, there's a reason that he and the King of Shadows get mistaken for each other.
  • Fantastic Racism: Neeshka seems to be a regular victim of this to the point that the PC is labeled as the only person who has ever been nice to her at endgame if you have stable Relationship Values.
    • Deekin, as well, complains about how often he has to tell people he's not dangerous and means them no harm. This would almost make him an Extreme Doormat, when Fridge Logic kicks in. After the events of Hordes of the Underdark, this groveling, unassuming little kobold shopkeeper should be about a 30th-level bard/dragon disciple.
  • Feelies
  • Figure It Out Yourself
  • Flavor Text: Any equipment has his little story to tell.
  • Foregone Victory: Performance in the initial Ember trial is irrelevant, as you will still have to face Lorne in trial by combat.
  • Freudian Excuse: It's heavily implied that the reason Lorne betrayed Neverwinter and joined Garius was that he never got over his humiliating defeat to Cormick in a previous Harvest Cup, as well as his cowardice during the war in the first game, so he joined Garius in a bid to become stronger than ever.
    • Subverted with Bishop. He's got the perfect setup for one, but he's just responsible enough not to believe it.
  • Game Mod: Like the previous game, NWN2 comes with a toolkit for building new modules and even entire campaigns. They run the gamut from lousy and cliched to really damn good (rivaling or surpassing the official releases in a few cases). A good source is NWvault.
  • Genre Savvy: Used and lampshaded in the same sequence if the player was Genre Savvy -- just before the end, Garius will notice if the protagonist previously removed all gear from the characters who joined him, noting "Nice try, but ultimately futile" before giving them equipment.
    • Though this also happens if they're still carrying all of their original equipment by the game's end.
  • Going Through the Motions: Character gestures are pretty much taken wholesale from Knights of the Old Republic.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Pretty much the entirety of Act Three.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: The silver shards.
    • Although actually, you've just Gotta Catch Enough.
  • Green Lantern Ring: The Silver Sword of Gith has some aspects of this.
  • Grid Inventory
  • Guest Star Party Member: (Amie and Bevil, but most prominently various NPCs involved in escort quests)
  • Heel Face Turn: Ammon Jerro and, optionally, Torio.
  • Hello, Insert Name Here
  • Heroes Want Redheads: The only romanceable female companion, the druidess Elanee, with auburn hair. In addition, two other early companions who aren't romanceable: the half-demon rogue, Neeshka, and the ginger sorceress, Qara. If the player starts the game with a redheaded close-combat character, it's possible to create a well balanced party of four redheads.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Callum
  • Hero of Another Story: More than a dozen, including every single one of the major villains. Not surprising, since deconstructing the idea of heroes is arguably the main theme of the story.
  • Hidden Elf Village: Probably wouldn't be Dungeons & Dragons without it.
  • Hiroshima as a Unit of Measure:

Grobnar: No one really knows how big the Wendersnaven are. They could be thousands of Khelgars high!
Khelgar Ironfist: What did I say 'bout usin' me as a unit of measurement?!
Grobnar: Er, right, several Neeshkas high.

  • Hostage for McGuffin: The Player Character him/herself.
  • Improbable Power Discrepancy
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests
  • Infinity+1 Sword
    • Averted somewhat, the Infinity+1 Sword pales in comparison to some player-made items in terms of damage and is useless to half the classes, although its special powers are somewhat useful so your mileage may vary.
      • It doesn't help that the weapon doesn't have a type, so even if you are playing a fighter type, none of those useful feats that you've picked up along the way will apply to it. Though I have found it useful when playing a mage.
    • Even worse is the Hammer of Ironfist, which you pick up at about the same time as you complete Khelgar's quest to become a monk. It's still usable, though, if you have either a dwarf Knight-Captain or a high Use Magic Device skill.
  • Inn Security: Played straight ... most of the time.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Due to the player's inability to jump. An extreme example is a small fallen log blocking access to a burned barn.
  • Interspecies Adoption: It doesn't matter what race your character is, your father is always the same.
  • Interspecies Romance: With the number of species available to the player, it's almost a given if you choose to pursue a romance at all.
  • Interface Spoiler: In the first area you visit outside of your Doomed Hometown -- the road to some seemingly-unimportant swamp ruins -- the minimap reads "The Mere of Dead Men". Now, the player character knows the apt name of the creepy swamp their home village is built on, but the player isn't supposed to know that yet. Also, one of the initially greyed-out prestige classes is Neverwinter Nine, potentially spoiling the offer Lord Nasher makes to you much later in the game.
    • Also, since the developers didn't bother/weren't able to make it possible to change the names of NPCs on-the-fly and weren't willing to outright lie to the player, you can tell that someone's going to try and deceive you about their identity if the overhead label that appears when you mouse over them says something vague, like "Man", instead of their actual name.
      • Similar to above, while walking through town, you can cursor over various NPCs. Citizen, Citizen, Citizen, Thug ... gee, I wonder which of these will try to ambush me as I walk past...
      • Mask of the Betrayer and certain fan modules prove that it is in fact possible to script a character name change (the MotB instance being Kaelyn the Dove adding a similar Animal Moniker to your name), so we can probably put this one down to Obsidian not caring enough.
    • Similarly, you are told to rescue an envoy but that his name is unknown... however his name shows up in your Journal straight away.
  • In-Universe Game Clock
  • Irrelevant Importance
  • Item Crafting
  • It's Up to You: Sometimes it seems the player is the only member of the City Watch who is actually ever assigned any tasks of significance.
    • This is actually explicitly true.
      • Justified in that much of the Watch is corrupted and the player is assigned to find them and report them.
  • Kangaroo Court: Luskan justice is described as being like this. (This is also a Call Back to a sequence in the book Spine of the World.)
  • Killed Off for Real: Amie, rather anticlimactically, and Shandra.
  • Knight Templar Parent: Hoo boy, Johcris. The guy is willing to betray his own city to its worst enemy in order to kill Qara, just because she insulted his daughter.
    • Johcris's anger makes more sense if you choose the conversation route that does not stop the fighting. If that occurs, you end up killing his daughter -- which is a slightly bigger offense, no? Oh, and there is no way you can not kill his daughter if that happens. They sort of just start fighting you.
    • Also potentially Sand. Sure, Qara's not safe, and on her current path would no doubt turn out to be a major problem for anyone who crosses her. On the other hand, maybe that's a conversation we could have after we, y'know, defeat the Omnicidal Maniac before he rewrites reality.
  • Lampshade Hanging: If you win the trial, Torio forces it to end in a trial by combat, same as you can if you lose. Kelgar then goes into an epic rant about how unfair this is and how pointless the trial was.
    • The name of the "Blessed of Waukeen" feat. Waukeen is the goddess of money and wealth. You paid an extra $10 to get this feat, and it's calling you a rich bastard.
  • Leaked Experience
  • Let's Play: There is an awesome one by Lt. Danger that can be found here.
  • Like a Badass Out of Hell: Ammon Jerro.
  • Limited Special Collectors' Ultimate Edition: First there was the Special Edition, which added the aforementioned "Blessed of Waukeen" feat to the Knight-Captain. It gave access to a couple of special shops, as well as a minor bonus on some dice rolls. Then there was the Gold Edition, which bundled the Special Edition with Mask of the Betrayer. After Storm of Zehir came out, they added it to the Gold box and created the Platinum Edition; it is this version that is available on Steam.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: The King of Shadows himself, to the annoyance of many.

Player Character: I remember being disappointed that the fortress's structure wasn't more architecturally sound.
Ammon Jerro: Yes. That powerful and evil beings insist on causing destruction even as they die is an unfortunate habit.

Tarmas: (referring to a piece of doggerel he had to put together for the Harvest Festival) Count yourself fortunate for that. I once shared a wagon with a kobold bard. He rhymed "sadder" with "bladder" and sang fondly of his navel.

    • Volo's Guides are notorious in Canon for being an awful mix of brilliant investigations and silly hearsay. Elminster notably hunted down and destroyed every copy of Volo's Guide to All Things Magical, partly because it exposed a number of wizardly trade secrets, and partly because the first edition contained a lot of recipes on how to kill oneself in new and exciting ways. In the Opening Narration to Storm of Zehir, Volo mentions that Elminster judged his most recent book, Volo's Complete Guide to the Behavior of Nymphs, to be "too naughty for print."
  • Named Weapons: And armors, and rings, and magic staves, and so forth.
  • Nature Hero: Elanee.
  • Nerf: Unlike the previous game, knockdowns no longer cause damage and now have a cooldown between uses.
  • New Game+: Officially exporting characters lets you take them to a new module on the rare chance you find ones with end level and start levels that match up; unofficially it allows you to repeat the campaign at level 20.
  • Never Found the Body: Zhjaeve is the only party member that isn't confirmed to have lived or died during the collapse of the Vale.
  • Non-Lethal KO: Only in the first game and Mask of the Betrayer. Storm of Zehir plays it closer to the pen-and-paper rules: if a character reaches -10 HP, they're dead and have to be resurrected with a spell.
  • Obvious Beta: Obsidian has a well-deserved reputation for this. Despite not looking much better visually than KOTOR, NWN2 is somewhat of a hardware hog, and it suffered from memory leak issues and a lack of polish. Then both expansions managed to break the previous campaign on release.
  • Only Idiots May Pass
  • Optional Party Member: The Construct.
  • Pardon My Klingon: Zhjaeve uses "illithid" as a curse.
  • Parental Abandonment: Your biological father's a question mark, and your mother is dead.
  • Pausable Realtime
  • Plot Tumor: Starting with the Ember Trial, a lot seems to happen to sidetrack the player from the Jerro Estate.
  • Point of No Return: Act transitions.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Both Zhjaeve and Ammon Jerro are guilty of this.
    • Those two are also guilty of it due to poor game mechanics, as they refuse to teach anyone how to use the Kryptonite Factor during the final battles, even if the storyline makes it clear the PC should be just as capable as either of them.
  • Prestige Class: With both expansions, there are 23 in all. It's possible to add even more with mods.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: This being D&D...
  • Pure Magic Being: The King of Shadows is a creature of pure Shadow Weave magic.
  • Pyromaniac: Qara has touches of this -- though this was made more explicit in some of the content that was Dummied Out.
  • Railroading
  • Recurring Traveller: Guyven of the Road.
  • Relationship Values
  • Reverse Mole: Torio.
    • Also potentially the Knight Captain. This troper had him as a bard/Harper/Shadow Thief/Neverwinter Nine at the end, with choices publicly opposing Neverwinter, while privately undermining all its enemies. Due to a badly-written ending, however, this actually backfires. Despite the Shadow Thieves being cell-structured and having only two people in town who know enough members to lead them, at least one of whom dies canonically if the player joins the Thieves, killing both somehow causes the Shadow Thieves to be stronger and better organized.
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: The ending. The REAL ENDING. I wish I was making this up.
    • Notably left ambiguous. There had to be an expansion pack, after all.
    • While you can alter the dialogue in the expansion a bit, only Bishop, Qara, Elanee, and Casavir actually die. Bishop and Qara usually die before the ending occurs, though it is possible for them to survive until the ending. Elanee and Casavir were not well liked and killing them off was probably done just to justify them no longer appearing.
      • Zhjaeve is the odd woman out. It's never confirmed whether she lived or died.
  • Rolling Pin of Doom: A couple of different clubs are rolling pins.
  • Romance Sidequest
  • Rules Are for Humans: Lorne has the Deathless Frenzy ability from the Dungeons & Dragons version of his Frenzied Berserker class. Players can also become Frenzied Berserkers, but never get Deathless Frenzy.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop: Unintentional example. The encounters are overall more difficult than Neverwinter Nights, but there are several factors that negate this.
    • AI is much, much smarter. It's still overall bad, but you have limited control over some of its decision making process, it doesn't randomly stop moving or randomly run off to the other side of the map, and, if all else fails, you can manually take control of everyone in your party.
    • Many of the spell lists and classes were closer to their pen and paper counterparts than in the first game, removing some rather arbitrary restrictions. Druids probably benefited most since they didn't even get access to most of their spells, only counting the ones included in the game in NWN.
    • Larger party size meant that you could have a dedicated skill monkey, arcane caster and divine caster in the group. This results in a colossal increase in effectiveness of all party members well beyond numbers alone.
    • Better leveling curve. In NWN, early leveling was fairly slow, but in NWN you leveled fairly quickly initially and then it petered off. This is important since a lot of builds are not very effective until level 10 (give or take a couple levels). This meant in NWN, you spent a large amount of game time with characters with under-developed class abilities (especially hybrids) in comparison to NWN2 where you got past those rocky levels fairly quickly.
  • Sliding Scale of Law Enforcement: Neverwinter's Watch runs the gamut from honest and just fighters of corruption (mainly the upper echelon, including Captain Cormick) to guards who want to fight corruption and the Shadow Thieves but are too scared, to guards who are outright on the Shadow Thieves' payroll.
  • Smith Will Suffice
  • Space-Filling Path
  • Stalker with a Crush: Elanee for a male Harborman.
  • The Starscream: Garius tries to be this towards the King of Shadows halfway through the game. It doesn't exactly work out.
  • Stock Scream: The sound file is even named Wilhelm.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: The Silver Sword of Gith, full stop.
  • Take Your Time
  • The One True Sequence: Although, unlike the Knights of the Old Republic series, the sequence in which the player finds the many shards is strictly defined by the plot, the various enemies are always after the same shards at the same time.
    • Slightly justified in that there are several groups looking for the shards. It's not just the player and X enemy -- it's the player and X, Y, and Z factions -- some of which may be more friendly than others but all of which would much rather have the shards all to themselves.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Bishop, and Ammon Jerro. Qara could also qualify for her Chaotic Stupid nature.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Bevil.
  • Tragic Hero: Ammon Jerro.
  • Troperiffic: Some may call it a Cliché Storm, but it's clear that the designers largely invoked these tropes intentionally and, as the page quote shows, often with a fair bit of their tongues in cheek.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Crossroad Keep. The game, however, mostly counts on you to continue adventuring, only returning to manage the keep from time to time.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: You can walk the streets with a half-demon, a robot, and a velociraptor in tow, and virtually nobody bats an eye.

Grishnak: You're a strange lookin' group. What'dya want?
Knight-Captain: ... says the half-orc pirate.

  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: In the Original Campaign, the Vale of Merdelain.
    • In Mask of the Betrayer, literally battling for your soul inside your head on the Fugue Plane.
    • In Storm of Zehir, the comparatively much shorter Temple of the World Serpent.
  • Violence Is the Only Option: The trial. It takes up most of the second act and it doesn't matter one whit how well you do in court; the verdict will still be decided in Trial by Combat.
  • Visible Silence: Extremely rare, though, and mostly for comedic effect.
  • Warp Whistle
  • We Buy Anything: Except items worth 0 gold, which you're forced to drop. Also, vendors have a limited amount of cash on hand, and they stop buying when it runs out.
  • We Could Have Avoided All This: Ammon Jerro -- even lampshaded in a dialog choice.
  • We Wait
  • Where It All Began: The sealed ruins just outside of West Harbor for the final bit of the ritual. Perhaps more literally, the final dungeon, which is implied to be directly beneath West Harbor.
    • Plus the dream sequence that houses the final boss fight in Mask of the Betrayer takes place in West Harbor.
  • Wild Card: Bishop. In his first interactions with the player, he makes it perfectly clear that no matter what, he is always on the winning side, loyalties and morals be damned. This comes back to bite you when the King of Shadows gains the upper hand near the end.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The King of Shadows started out as one of the greatest heroes of ancient Illefarn. He voluntarily underwent a horrifically painful ritual that transformed him into a construct of pure magic so as to make an effective deterrent to Netheril. When the Netherese wizard Karsus tried to usurp Mystryl's place as god of magic, the Weave was interrupted and the Guardian faced destruction. So he drew power from the Shadow Weave to continue his vigil and became the King of Shadows.
  • World of Ham: The pattern for BioWare IPs seems to be for the characters to be Large Hams or Deadpan Snarkers. Sometimes both at the same time. NWN2 is no exception; the majority of the PC voices seem to channel Brian Blessed, never mind all the NPCs hamming it up.
  • You Are the Translated Foreign Word: You are the Kalach-cha!
    • This is subverted in that the Translated Foreign Word isn't translated right away by the people who call you by it. The first attempt to translate it doesn't go so well, though it does count as a Crowning Moment of Funny for Grobnar Gnomehands:

Grobnar: Well, it's not Gnomish, Elvish, Dwarvish, Orcish, Goblin, or Draconic -- well, unless the 'k' is silent, but that would make it "gizzard stone" or the equivalent.

    • When you finally meet somebody who speaks Gith, it turns out that kalach-cha directly translates as "shard-bearer". With full nuance applied, it means "one who stole a silver sword and destroyed it to hide their crime". Which ironically makes the term more applicable to Ammon Jerro rather than the Player Character.
    • The best part? Such an event has never happened before and they created the Translated Foreign Word specifically to describe you.
  • You Have Failed Me...: Garius to Lorne.
    • So obviously telegraphed that Garius was amazed Lorne came back at all.
  • You Know What They Say About X...: Khelgar protests the Tyrran monks' accusations of him being racist by saying he travels with a tiefling, "and you know what they're like!"
  • You No Take Candle

In addition to the above, the first expansion pack, Mask of the Betrayer provides examples of:[edit | hide | hide all]

  • A God Am I: Well, not so much a God as an utterly unnatural god-killing thing that has declared war on the planes by its very existence, but this is your reward if you're aiming for the evil ending.
  • And I Must Scream: The Wall of the Faithless. Turns out to be the final resting place of former Token Evil Teammate, Bishop.
  • Animal Motifs: Kaelyn the Dove and her half-celestial siblings call themselves the Menagerie. The other members you meet are Efrem the Stag and Susah the Crow.
    • With high influence, Kaelyn may induct you into the Menagerie, after which you can add a similar moniker to your name. If you ask her what she thinks would be a good fit she suggests "the Wolf" after the telthor wolf you ate during your escape from Okku's barrow.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: More Egregious here since the limit is only one different than the member of followers you can accumulate in the game.
  • Artificial Human: Safiya.
  • Badass Adorable: Kaelyn the Dove, full stop.
  • Bag of Spilling: At least you keep character levels and equipped armor.
  • Bald of Awesome: Safiya is a rare female example. Depending on your actions, she could also become a Bald of Evil.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: The fight against the man-shaped fire elemental thingy in the Ashenwood, which is the source of the flames.
  • Bittersweet Ending: One of the Multiple Endings.
  • Blessed with Suck / Cursed with Awesome: The Spirit-Eater Curse, depending how you play it. While it's entirely up to you to decide whether it's either a horrible dog-raping curse or the most awesome ability ever, it's absolutely certain that about every NPC you come in contact with will disagree with you.
    • Arguably, your situation is not great. Yes, you just beat an incredibly powerful avatar of the dark side of magic, but your close friends and followers may well be dead. The shard that has been inside your body for all your life has been removed (but not very well), you didn't get crushed to death at the end of NWN 2, but you are thousands of miles from home, trapped in a country full of beings who would gladly kill you. Oh yeah, and you are afflicted with a curse that has ALWAYS killed all previous victims, will turn you into a ravening husk along the way, and will mean that your soul will automatically be taken to the Wall of the Faithless.
  • Body Surf: The spirit-eater.
  • Bonus Boss: The badger spirit and Myrkul after possessing One of Many.
  • Boxed Crook: Gann's initial reason for joining you.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Akachi's Scythe can be combined with Myrkul's spirit essence to make an Infinity + 1 Scythe called Spiritual Evisceration. It'd be nice if you actually had something to use it on; instead you get it after you've probably already got your character at 30th level, designed for a different weapon class than scythes (which are rarely seen since Heroes Prefer Swords), and one short dungeon from the end of the game.
    • A couple of different fan modules have an Infinity+1 Sword as an end-of-game reward. Modders, next time you decide to give out an Infinity+1 Sword, give the player something to use it on. (I'm looking at you, "Temple of Torm".)
  • Cute Monster Guy: Gannayev the Hagspawn. Lampshaded when he jokingly denies that he's a Hagspawn simply on the basis that he's way too pretty to be one. Gann looks so beautiful because his mother actually loved his father, whereas other hags/nighthags are incapable of love and thus give birth to hideously ugly hagspawns.
    • Actually, some of the hagspawns born from night hags have an appearance more like that of their father.
  • Casanova / The Charmer: Gann. He banged so damn many girls that they locked him in prison.
  • The Corruption: The Spirit Eater curse.
  • The Dandy: Gann is entirely aware that he's probably the only attractive Hagspawn out there -- a fact which he feels he must constantly broadcast to all the world.
  • Darker and Edgier: And arguably all the better for it.
  • Dark World
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The good ending for Kaelyn the Dove implies that Kaelyn becomes a fallen angel. Even so, a good majority, especially the souls on the Wall of the Faithless, still consider her a hero.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Okku, if you don't devour him.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The Plane of Shadows.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: There are several changes to dialog over the course of the game if your character is a priest of Kelemvor.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Did You Just EAT Myrkul?
    • Did You Just Arm Wrestle An Iron Golem?: An NPC Berserker will offer to arm wrestle you, and is tough enough to beat a player transformed into an Iron Golem when he is at full power. To win, you need strength boosts on top of the transformation.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Kaelyn always talks in a soft, motherly tone, which can be a bit disturbing when she's supposed to be angry, such as whenever she talks about the Wall or if you side with Araman in the endgame.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Surprisingly averted... well, unless you have One of Many and regularly go out of your way to gain Influence with it, given the darker tone of this installment. There's a bit of banter back and forth, and Gann certainly likes teasing Kaelyn from time to time, but the party feels much more cohesive and calm compared to the OC gang.
  • Early Bird Boss: Okku, because you lack a real tank in your party.
  • Estrogen Brigade Bait: Gann, full stop. He's one In-Universe, too; see the Casanova entry above.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Founder.
  • Everything Is Worse With Bears: Especially when said bear happens to be a bear god. With an army. Which includes ghost bears.
  • Evil Tastes Good
  • Executive Meddling: Chris Avellone notes that Gann was originally going to be Bi, as "that felt true to how he perceived love". Given that the same company has no issues with Bertram and lesbian flirting, I guess Hasbro thinks gays can only be minor characters.
  • Fallen Angel: Kaelyn the Dove can be considered one, being barred from entering Celestia. She becomes a real one in the ending as well.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Rashemen is based partly on Slavic myths, particularly ancient Russia.
  • Fatal Flaw: Kaelyn's obession with destroying the Wall of the Faithless.
  • Five-Man Band
  • Flat Earth Atheist: Gann, even after meeting a god in person. This only becomes more interesting when you realize that he's a divine spellcaster -- a type of magic which, by definition, requires belief in a higher power.
    • Fanon jokingly insists that he worships himself. Granted, there is an actual explanation (he puts his faith in spirits. It's best not to argue with him on the semantics), but why spoil the fun?
  • Game Breaking Bug: The initial version broke the "go to the swamp to retrieve the silver shard" quest early in the OC.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Kaelyn is genuinely heroic, but she tends to get... angry when the topic of the Wall comes up.
  • Good Versus Good: The crusade involves celestials fighting paladins to the death.
    • Or even paladin versus paladin, if the player is one.
  • Guide Dang It: Not bringing Gann to Skein makes it impossible to complete the romantic subplot with him. Of course, the game decides to hint at this only after it's too late.
    • Why would you ever not want him with you in the first place?
      • Because <Charname> is a druid or Spirit Shaman and then Gann's redundant?
      • He's only redundant if you make him. As a druid, his anti-spirit stuff is still useful. And I know people who make another spirit shaman as the PC for more anti-spritness, plus they change the spell list... so he's only redundant if you want him to be.
      • Being a hagspawn and going to an area filled with hags should probably set off some pretty big alarms that maybe Gann might have some connection to the place.
      • He also, specifically, asks to join you. That should be a huge hint that he's going to have storyline options there.
  • Genius Loci: In the Ashenwood. It's even called one.
  • Hannibal Lecture: Myrkul will lecture Kaelyn and Gann.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Kaelyn, Gann.
  • Hero Antagonist: Araman and Okku.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: If you're male and had romanced Elanee, Ammon Jerro reveals that she took a piece of the King of Shadows' Collapsing Lair that would have struck you.
    • This is also how Casavir died.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Crispin Freeman as Gann.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners / Ho Yay: A male Player Character with a very high influence with Gann can begin sharing his thoughts and memories with him. They become extremely close and in some endings they go Walking the Earth as true companions.
  • Intellectual Animal: Okku.
  • Interspecies Romance: Guaranteed if you romance Gann. Near-guaranteed if you romance Safiya (if one assumes that Player Characters are divided equally among the playable races).
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: The Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
  • Killer Rabbit: (The badger spirit, again)
  • Last Villain Stand: Provided you proceed with the invasion of the Fugue Plane instead of defending against said invasion, Araman pulls this after the battle when Kelemvor has already agreed to let you try to get your soul back. Factor in that your party probably consists of four 30th-level characters by now.
  • Let's Play: Lt. Danger carries on with the same character into this part, and it's if anything more interesting now that there's a genuinely interesting story to critique. Found here.
  • Level Up At Intimacy 5
  • Light and Mirrors Puzzle
  • Love Conquers All: One of the possible endings, and appropriately enough the hardest to achieve.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: The Founder to Safiya, and the insane Night Hag in the Skein to Gann.
  • Multiple Endings
  • The Multiverse: You visit several other planes, more are mentioned.
  • Many Spirits Inside of One: One of Many.
  • Mundane Utility: According to Gannayev, the best use for being able to travel through dreams is to get laid.
  • Narrator All Along: Kelemvor.
  • Nature Spirit: Quite a few, but Okku most notably. This is arguably Rashemen's hat.
  • Not in This For Your Revolution: The expansion pack is praised for giving a motive that is believable for all characters -- saving yourself from a curse that is slowly killing you -- over the "Save the world" that the original game forced the players into. So even if the player character has no reason to stop what has been plaguing the lands for decades, they still have a reason to finish the main quest.
  • Ominous Fog: Lampshaded.
  • Optional Party Member: One of Many is an odd example, as you can get either him or Okku, depending on if you consume Okku. Similarly, Araman can be obtained if if you side against the Third Crusade in place of Kaelyn (who will attack you if you meet the conditions for him).
  • Pardon My Klingon: Subverted by Kaelyn the Dove:

Kaelyn: You ... you are a ... Oh, I don't know any curses. How embarrassing.

Gann: I noticed that... your eyes are like mirrors, which makes them doubly pleasing to me.

  • Point of No Return: The Betrayer's Gate.
  • The Power of Friendship: The player and his/her respective followers can get some really powerful feats and buffs when they have a high positive influence.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Potential which Gann gleefully abuses.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Okku has many elements, most noticeable when he encounters carrion-eating spirts at the coven.
  • The Punishment: Akachi. Poor, poor, Akachi.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: You can actually take either side.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Consisting of you, a somewhat Machiavellian wizard, a Hagspawn casanova, an exiled half-angel, and either an undead abomination or a giant talking SPIRIT RAINBOW BEAR.
  • Rainbow Pimp Gear: Lampshaded with the item Rainbow Armor, which according to the item description was made by a color-blind mage.
  • Reincarnation Romance: [[spoiler:Male Player Characters can enter into one with Safiya. Females could as well before ExecutiveMeddling.
  • Road Cone: The expansion assumes the player did not join the King of Shadows at the end of the OC.
  • Self-Deprecation: There REALLY is a lot of self-deprecating humor.
  • Sequence Breaking: Getting Gann's influence high enough before the end of Act I will tip you off to the spirit eater curse before you're supposed to know about it.
  • Soul Jar
  • So Beautiful It's a Curse: Gann is apparently so damn pretty that they had to throw him in jail to keep him from banging every girl in Rashemen.
    • The amazing part is, they actually pull the trope off without making it seem utterly ridiculous; he's a pretty hagspawn, so none of the local humans trust him worth a damn and the only reason they don't kill him is out of fear that he'd overpower them and take their daughters anyway, and he's a pretty hagspawn, so all of the hags find him legitimately abhorrent and not actually "beautiful" at all. Even his mother takes a while to come around, and even then...
  • Sociopathic Hero: One of Many.
  • Speaking Simlish: One Of Many is a dark twist, he speaks with a "call of the dead" that any mortal creature can understand.
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: A male PC with a high enough Charisma stat can catch Gann in one of these moments when they first meet.
    • Likely an artifact from when Gann was going to be Bi.
  • The Three Faces of Eve: Safiya (Maiden), Lienna (Mother), and Nefris (Crone) were created by the Founder with this in mind. Ironically, even though the Founder identifies Lienna as the Mother, it's the Crone that actually acts as one to the Maiden.
  • Token Evil Teammate: One Of Many, an insane Hive Mind that Kaelyn openly states "should not be".
  • Truly Single Parent: The Founder
  • Ugly Girl's Hot Son: Gann. Full stop.
  • Villains Never Lie: (Myrkul. The player character can even lampshade it to Kaelyn. Later subverted when Kelemvor reveals that though he wasn't lying to her, he was lying to you and to the founder.)
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Kaelyn is on the verge of being one.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: With souls!
  • You Are Worth Hell: If you choose to stay on the Fugue Plane in order to bind the spirit eater there, your love interest will go as far as pledging their soul to the God of the Dead so that you won't have to be alone there.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It

In addition to the above, the 2nd expansion pack, Storm of Zehir, provides examples of:[edit | hide]

  • The Bad Guy Wins: One the Multiple Endings if you choose to retire before defeating the Big Bad.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The 3 merchant cartels' rooms are colored blue, green, and red. Guess which ones are good, neutral, and evil?
  • Continuity Nod: Several companions were mentioned in previous campaigns -- Septimund is the Doomguide Nya from Port Llast fell in love with, while Finch, a bard known for losing his best hats, finally shows up. Ribsmasher also appeared in the Original Campaign.
  • Easter Egg: One possible encounter is a man trapped in a beartrap. You can free him or kill him (standard stuff), but if you have a cleric of an evil deity, you can sacrifice him, with unique dialogue for each deity. Annie Carlson notes that she found writing this to be fun.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: This expansion added two dinosaurs (as monsters), and lets druids have a dinosaur animal companion. This can't be anything but Rule of Cool.
  • Game Breaking Bug: The initial version had an infamous one that made MOTB literally unplayable if installed after it.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Crossed with a Continuity Nod. An NPC illithid in the Underdark Market apparently read the mind of a seer who foresaw the deicide that shepherded in 4th edition in the Forgotten Realms. His brain couldn't process it.
  • Hellfire: Storm of Zehir adds on the Hellfire Warlock class, which simply lives off this trope.
  • Hero of Another Story: While the Knight-Captain was busy dealing with Akachi, the SoZ protagonist was busy saving the world from an evil god.
  • Lighter and Softer: Zehir swings strongly back toward the "Slayers-esque" kind of D&D play similar to the NWN2 original campaign, after how deep and dark MotB was. Granted, the guys at Obsidian were upfront about it from the start this time and deliberately set out to make a game that was, at times, aggressively silly. And occasionally awesome.
  • Nature Hero: Averted. Umoja is meant to be easygoing "and not to be all 'blah blah blee bloo balance' all the time, but to just be awesome". He also cracks jokes pretty regularly.
  • Opening Narration: Volo explains over a brief montage why the party is traveling to Samarach with him, then tells of the storm that shipwrecked everybody.
  • Pardon My Klingon: An early Fetch Quest has Volo send you to find him a parrot. Turns out the parrot's previous owner taught it a wide variety of handy Dwarven expletives. Cue Volo making the inevitable "fowl language" pun, and the player characters calling him on it.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The enemy in this game, both to the xenophobic Samarachans and to the player, are the snakelike yuan-ti. Not played completely straight, seeing as how the player can create a yuan-ti and make them non-evil.
    • Oddly, local Yuan-ti hunters won't notice unless you're dumb enough to explain it.
      • This actually makes sense In-Universe, as the player-usable yuan-ti form, the "pureblood", is meant to be able to blend in with standard humanoids.
  • Shout-Out: Umoja the druid has a dinosaur named Yushai.
  • World Map: They even added modding options for it.

In addition to the above, the adventure pack, Mysteries of Westgate, provides examples of:[edit | hide]