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Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer
Nwn2motbboxart

Developer(s) Obsidian Entertainment
Publisher(s) Atari
Engine Electron engine
Platform(s) Windows
Release date(s) Template:Country data EuropeSeptember 27 2007[1]

Flag of the United States October 9 2007
Flag of Australia November 1 2007

Genre(s) Role-playing
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer
Media DVD
Input methods Keyboard and Mouse

Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer (NWN2:MotB) is a computer role-playing game developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Atari. It is an expansion pack for Neverwinter Nights 2. The game has been designated the codename NX1 by its developers. [2]

Official campaignEdit

Plot summaryEdit

The story for Mask of the Betrayer is set immediately following the events in Neverwinter Nights 2. The main campaign is set in Rashemen near the kingdom of Thay. The Red Wizards of Thay are a driving force behind the campaign story.

For the official expansion campaign, the player may import their character from NWN2 or create a new character. If player character is less than level 18 at the beginning of the game, the character will automatically be raised to level 18.

Act IEdit

Shortly after defeating the King of Shadows, the player finds himself painfully lying inside a warded stone circle in an unknown cavern far from Neverwinter, not sure of how he arrived there. The shard in the player's chest has been torn out. Immediately after the player's awakening, Safiya, a Red Wizard of Thay, appears and asks to escort the player to Lienna in the nearby town of Mulsantir. While heading out of the cave, they are confronted by various spirits who were disturbed by the player's presence. While the player was initially weakened, he is able recover his strength during a strange discourse with a wolf spirit. During this discourse, a monstrous entity bursts out of the player's body, devours the wolf spirit, and replenishes the weakened player. Immediately before leaving the cave, the player defeats Okku, a bear spirit god who resided inside the cave.

After arriving at Mulsantir, Safiya identifies herself as an instructor at the Academy of Shapers and Binders. She explains that her mother Nefris, who is also the headmaster of the Academy, instructed her to bring the player to Lienna. They learned that Lienna works in the Veil, the local theatre. Much to their surprise, the Veil is under attack by Red Wizards from Safiya's Academy. Defeating numerous hostile Red Wizards and venturing into the back room of the Veil, the party found a portal leading to Shadow Mulsantir in the Plane of Shadow. This plane of existence contained a shadow reflection of the Prime Material Plane. In the shadow Veil, the player encounters Khai Khmun, an instructor at Safiya's school. Khai has just killed Lienna and tells Safiya that Araman, a master instructor, has started a revolt at the Academy and that Safiya's mother Nefris has perished. With the player's help, Safiya defeats Khai and other Red Wizards who attacked the Veil.

Upon returning to the Prime Material Plane and exiting the Veil, the player's party is confronted by the witches of Mulsantir. Witches are the authorities of Rashemen. They inform the player that Okku the spirit god has brought an army of spirits to fight the player outside the city gate. After mustering enough companions, the player's party confronts Okku and defeats Okku's army. After his second defeat, Okku reveals that the player is a spirit eater, a cursed being that hungers for and devours feys and elementals. If the player ignores this hunger, he will ultimately be consumed by it himself.

Act IIEdit

After defeating Okku, the witches of Mulsantir release the Veil workers who were under their protection and custody. Madga, the manager of the Veil, gives the player a key to a room in the shadow Veil. In that room, the player finds four portals. While examining the portals, the player meets a group of gargoyle like creatures. They reveal that their master Lienna ordered them to kidnap the player from the Sword Coast. They also reveal that Lienna got this idea from the Sleepers. The Sleepers are the hag oracles of the Slumbering Coven located on Lake Mulsantir east of Mulsantir.

Arriving at Lake Mulsantir, the location of the Coven, the player realizes that it is nothing but a sunken ruin. Waiting for nightfall, the player's party finds a portal leading to the Plane of Shadow, just like in Mulsantir. In the shadow Coven, the player finds many beings from various realms queuing to consult the Sleepers. The player manages to become first in line to meet the Sleepers after dispatching all other visitors either peacefully or violently. However much to the player's dismay, the hags perceive spirit eaters as a threat and do not allow the player to meet the Sleepers. As such, they trap the player's party in the Skein, a place where the hags banish those they despise. The player's party manages to escape the Skein and consult the Sleepers against the will of the other hags. The sleepers reveal that Lienna and Nefris are both involved in his current dilemma. At the end, the Sleepers tell the player to search the Academy for Nefris' motive.

Arriving at the Academy, using a portal in the shadow Veil, the player finds that the Academy is mostly under Araman's control. While guards and some of the students will attack the player's party on sight, some of the faculty and golems will still assist the player's party. Soon after arriving, the player learns that Araman is trying to scour every inch of the Academy grounds for the Founder of the Academy. A door in Nefris' room still remains sealed to Araman. However, the player's party is able to open this door with hints left behind by Nefris. Araman and his cohorts confront the player as he opens Nefris' sealed door. Araman leaves the player be, while his cohorts engage the player's party.

After killing Araman's cohorts, the player's party ventures through the door and finds themselves in the Boneyard on Astral Plane. In that plane, the player's party meets Myrkul. Myrkul is the former god of the dead who is supposed to have died after losing his power. Myrkul reveals that the spirit eater condition is his punishment for Akachi the Betrayer who started the First Crusade. A thousand years ago, Akachi saw Myrkul as an unjust god and started a Crusade against him, it ultimately failed. The player received the condition after he was placed in Okku's barrow. Now Akachi's soul resides inside player's body and player's own soul is on the Wall of the Faithless in the Fugue Plane serving Akachi's place. The player may also learn that Myrkul's true intention is to use this as a tool to sustain his power after losing his place. Myrkul also informs the player's party that the Astral Plane connects two locations of the Academy, and during the conversation, Araman has led a group of his follows through to hunt for the Founder.

Act IIIEdit

After tailing Araman and defeating him, the player's party meets the Founder. Safiya immediately realizes that Lienna, Nefris, the Founder and herself are splinters of the same soul: the soul of Akachi's lover. The Founder reveals that while Lienna, Nefris and herself all knew their identity, this was hidden from Safiya for her own safety. The Founder also admits that she is responsible for player's suffering because she wishes to free Akachi from his punishment. The Founder returns the Sword of Gith to the player, which is the key that can open the Betrayer's Gate that leads to the Wall of the Faithless and the Fugue Plane.

With the Sword of Gith, the player is able to open the Betrayer's Gate and travel to the Fugue Plane. Just beyond the Betrayer's Gate lies the City of Judgment where the current God of the Dead Kelemvor Lyonsbane rules. The Wall of the Faithless is its city wall, it is also a remaining symbol of Myrkul's unjust rule. There, the player mets Zoab, a fallen solar, Rammaq, a demilich, and Sey'ryu a blue dragon. They are the Akachi's captains of the First Crusade who have waited for his return. Kelemvor has dispatched a parleying party to meet the player at the Supplicants' Gate, the entrance to City of Judgment. At this point, the player must choose to either lead the Third Crusade or oppose it. Either way, player must assault or hold three key positions around the City of Judgment. After the battle is complete, player will learn where his own soul is located.

At The Wall, the player meets Kelemvor Lyonsbane who will only allow the player to retrieve his own soul from The Wall, not destroy the Wall. After claiming his soul from the Wall, the player is pulled into a dreamscape where he must battle Akachi's avatar, The Faceless Man, for control of his own soul.

After defeating the Faceless Man, Kelemvor then narrates the ending, which varies based on the player's choices throughout the game.

Companions in Mask of the BetrayerEdit

Six companions are featured in Mask of the Betrayer, although only four may be acquired in any given play-through. Also, three companions at any one time can be brought along with the player character.

Also, should influence be raised to a suitably high level, each follower can grant a unique blessing to the player character through conversation.

  • Safiya - Safiya is a Red Wizard of Thay who is encountered at the very beginning of Act I. Safiya is the potential love interest for a male character. She has the ability to craft magical weapons and armor, and has a familiar capable of Rogue feats (Unlocking doors/chests, and removing traps). [3]
  • Gannayev (short, Gann) - Gann is a hagspawn Spirit Shaman. Gann has a quite capricious personality and is the love interest for a female character.
  • Kaelyn the Dove - Kaelyn is the Half-Celestial Cleric of Ilmater who is encountered in the death god's vault. Furthermore she exhibits none of the self-righteous attitude that is often associated with Aasimar or Half-Celestials, preferring to follow the humbler path of Ilmater.
  • Okku - Okku is the bear god spirit who is to be defeated at the end of Act I. However, if the player character chooses to control his or her hunger, Okku will offer to join. Okku's class is that of a pure Fighter, and if he joins, One of Many will not be able to.
  • One of Many - If the player character devoured Okku's soul, when gaining access to the lower level of the death god's vault, the option will be presented for One of Many to join, inhabiting Okku's skin (if you have it in your inventory). One of Many starts as a rogue, but with influence gain, the option to change its class becomes available, including Warlock, and Barbarian.
  • Araman - Should the player betray Kaelyn's Crusade, and side with Kelemvor in defense of the City of Judgement, Araman joins up to assist after Kaelyn abandons the group.
  • Ammon Jerro - The Warlock from the original Neverwinter Nights 2 official campaign. He is not directly controllable by the player, but he will tag along for a time if the player buys his soul from the two Pit-Fiends (Devils) in Academy of Shapers and Binders.

New FeaturesEdit

GameplayEdit

The level cap has been raised from 20 to 30, allowing for epic level characters. Consequently the ten new levels entail new epic spells and epic feats that a player may achieve. The game retains Neverwinter Nights 2's limit of 4 classes maximum per character. [4] Prestige classes remain level capped at 10 or 5 depending on class, as is usual in the Dungeons & Dragons rules that Neverwinter Nights 2 is based on.

The game engine now allows two new camera angles. The first is described as a "3rd Person" over the shoulder type camera where the mouse and keyboard control movement and the camera follows the view point of the controlled character. The second is described as an RTS style camera view, which allows the player to zoom out and control the characters as though they were units (using shift-click, dragging boxes, etc).

RacesEdit

Mask of the Betrayer features all of the races from Neverwinter Nights 2, as well as introducing the wild elf, half-drow, and genasi.

  • Genasi - Genasi are a group of new planetouched races. There are four Genasi races representing the four elements, air, earth, fire, and water. "...basically humans with a touch of the elements." [5]
  • Half-drow - Half-drow are half-elves with drow heritage instead of high elf heritage. They act as normal half-elves with darkvision instead of low-light vision.
  • Wild elf - The wild elf has all of the standard elf features. However, since they are more tribal in nature than high elves, they are dexterous but have slightly lower intelligence score.

ClassesEdit

Mask of the Betrayer contains 2 new base classes and 5 new prestige classes.[6]

New base classes:

  • Favored Soul: The Favored Soul has been described as a "sorcerer version" of the cleric. In addition, "...as they level, The Favored Soul gets better with the weapon their deity favors."[7]
  • Spirit Shaman: The Spirit Shaman has been described as "sorcerer version" of the druid. In addition, "The Spirit Shaman can turn undead and even transform themselves into an undead."[7]

New prestige classes:

  • Arcane Scholar of Candlekeep: The Arcane Scholar is a prestige class designed in-house by Obsidian specifically for Mask of the Betrayer. The class focuses on streamlined use of metamagic feats.[8]
  • Invisible Blade: The Invisible Blade has been described as a rogue-like class that allows the trading of sneak attack damage for other effects such as bleeding wounds.
  • Red Wizard of Thay: The Red Wizards of Thay are extremely specialized wizards. They gain attack and save bonuses to their chosen specialisation school amongst other benefits.
  • Sacred Fist: Combining devotion to the divine and a dedication towards physical perfection, the Sacred Fist grows in divine favor and martial prowess, advancing as both a monk and a divine spellcaster.
  • Stormlord: A master of the elements, the Stormlord commands the forces of nature to act as he desires. Stormlords are traditionally nomadic, preferring to roam the world as the wind would. They often have short tempers and a stormlord's mood can be seen in the weather that surrounds him. [9]

Critical ReceptionEdit

The game was generally well-received, garnering praise for its plot and gaining an average score of 82% (at the time of this writing) as calculated by GameRankings. Of special note is the praise from the site RPG Codex[10].

Cut contentEdit

Although Obsidian Entertainment generally managed to meet the release schedule, it was necessary to cut some content to finish the work in time. One significant loss was a quest in Mulsantir called "Patron of the Arts", which was meant to develop the subplotline concerning the antagonism between the Veil and the Sloop actor troupe. The quest never made it into the game itself. [11]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Neverwinter Nights 2 - MotB - Atari web site
  2. "GameBanshee" (2007-04-13). "Neverwinter Nights 2 @ GameBanshee" (in English). http://www.gamebanshee.com/interviews/maskofthebetrayer1.php. Retrieved 2007-04-13. 
  3. "Game Review Only" (2007-11-30). "Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer" (in English). http://gamereviewonly.com/pc/4/neverwinter-nights-2-mask-of-the-betrayer/. Retrieved 2007-11-30. 
  4. "GameBanshee" (2007-07-21). "Mask of the Betrayer Update 7" (in English). http://www.gamebanshee.com/news/static/EElVpkllyZeHqVvbkB.php. Retrieved 2007-07-23. 
  5. "GameSpot" (2007-07-14). "Mask of the Betrayer stage demo video" (in English). http://www.gamespot.com/video/939027/6174801/videoplayerpop?. Retrieved 2007-07-16. 
  6. "GameShark" (2007-07-24). "Gameshark Lead Designer Interview" (in English). http://www.gameshark.com/pc/features/339/Neverwinter-Nights-2-Mask-of-the-Betrayer-Q&A.htm. Retrieved 2007-07-26. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 "IGN" (2007-07-12). "IGN E3 Mask of the Betrayer Preview" (in English). http://pc.ign.com/articles/804/804483p1.html. Retrieved 2007-07-16. 
  8. "IGN" (2007-08-10). "IGN Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer Interview" (in English). http://rpgvault.ign.com/articles/811/811996p3.html. Retrieved 2007-08-12. 
  9. "Official NWN2 forums" (2007-08-17). "MotB Community Update #8" (in English). http://nwn2forums.bioware.com/forums/viewtopic.html?topic=580665&forum=121. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 
  10. rpg codex > putting the 'role' back in rpg > www.rpgcodex.net, NOT .COM!
  11. "CRPG.ru" (2007-12-11). ""Patron of the Arts" Cut Quest - Extract from the Design document" (in English). http://www.crpg.ru/sections.php?op=viewarticle&artid=2250. Retrieved 2007-12-12. 

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