NWN2: the Harp & the Chrysanthemum

I decided to play this. I downloaded it from its home page but the game has been updated. Here are my  notes, which talks a bit about version control but also includes some hints. For more, including the play hints, see below/overleaf.

Install

Maerdin has updated the module, I need to apply the update to my game, now done and remove my mirrors. The update is hosted on its home page. I initially made a zip file and hosted it on my google share, this is no longer useful and so I have amended this index entry i.e. I now longer point at it. Detailed install instructions are held in the .pdf  Read Me., which itself is deprecated, there is now a .doc version.

Thoughts

Yup! Fights are hard, but here’s my party about to leave “Drawn Swords”. (I) am a fighter/magic-user, trying to recreate my first ever character.

Walkthrough, Notes & Hints

I found a partial walkthrough at Lilura’s blog, and a further review at Belariad’s blog, which reinforces the positive comments on its beauty.

She offers the following advice, “Set Puppet mode to ON and set Party AI to OFF. This gives you full control of what your companions do in combat.”

Another of her pieces of advice is to stock up, she talks of healing kits, and arrows. I’d add acid vials, spells and flame spells, the trolls implement the rule that unless scorched by acid or flame, they regenerate. Nasty. Don’t sell the great sword that does fire damage.

This needs some study, both for Trolls and Treants, both spell casters need to maximise their fire damage, and probably have their AI turned off so they only cast it when the Trolls are vulnerable. I have been watching Critical Role and note that they change their spell caster’s spell books to optimise for specific enemies, undead, drow, daemons etc. Perhaps I need to do this, my normal style is to select the most damage dealing spells available to me irrespective of damage type. (This may no longer work as well as I’d have hoped).

Other spells required are buffs, for instance, the wyverns have no specific vulnerabilities, you just have to keep standing and smashing until they die, I need to concentrate on increasing armour class (or dex) and the to hit score.

I also believe you are punished for sleeping too much, this is tough, especially for spell casters.

There’s some frustratingly odd stuff, the side quests offer significant and useful treasures, these side quests include the Backland Barrow, (Lilandra’s walk-through explains this), as does the pop-up below, and the Dryad’s Fire, in the Northdark Woods (North) which has a frustrating moral dilemma, only the violent route yields the loot. At the end of the Castle Joyous side quest, close the Crypt door, and speak to Oudin.


The Tomb Guardian quest involves another hard fight, which includes a Clay Golum. For more hints, including the monsters inside and outside the Tomb, press the button below


The Harpers

What to do about the Riddle of the Harpers? Do I want to be a Harper? It seems you do!

Buy the “Code of the Harpers” from Oudin, and when they approach you, remember that they are neutral good, they’ll ask you three questions and offer four answers, these are neutralish, good, bad and bollocks. Get them right, i.e. the neutral ones and your in and they’ll offer you clues, necessary clues, as to how to continue on the main quest. (This is also not good, there are puzzles, which seem mandatory 😮. Not good!)

Voeae the Dryad is located in the Northdark Woods North on the south side of the river in the northern part of the map. I entered from the south i.e. the western part of the Map, crossed the river, and then walked north along the bank to find her.


Keyword: “Harp & Chrysanthemum”

SURL: https://wp.me/pauVx4-199, I corrected a spelling mistake in the title

18 thoughts on “NWN2: the Harp & the Chrysanthemum

  1. How strange? A fight I was stuck on and had left for months, against the Guardians of the Dove’s portal suddenly became easy. I wonder why? Might have been proper preparation, might have been that the only casualty of their fireball was a summoned dire wolf. So back on the road!

    I wonder if I should start this again, I have forgotten so much of what I have done and their journal notes, and the one I made are not so good.

  2. I decided I wanted Lilura’s comments on the Backland’s Barrow incorporated on this page, but hidden and available only on request. I used the code from this page at w3 schools. It opens a lovely clean ‘modal’. The script has to succeed the text, and it looks like the script is tightly bound, by naming, to the button and text. If I want another one, I’ll have to study the HTML and script name references. I think it’s cool as it is.

  3. I returned to this today, and made a lot of progress, but the fights remain very hard. Not sure how much more of this I can take. There are two hints to joining the Harpers above, which seems to be what you want to do.

  4. The treasure in the barrow included a necklace of flamestrike, so will be helpful against the Treants. There were, unsurprisingly in retrospect, a bunch of undead guarding the treasure in the barrow and the door dance is stupid; I would never have got it without help. It’s skilful programming but makes the game hard and not so enjoyable. These puzzles are great when you get them, but unenjoyable if you don’t. They are better with a party with more minds to solve them. I approached the barrow with AI off, so that the lower level undead are weakened by turn undead and the 3rd level spells are available for the fight in the barrow. The boss is allegedly a named mummy and so vulnerable to fire, wish I’d known.

  5. I have adopted the practice of doing the side quests before the main quest, one, because you have to, but secondly because I want the side quest treasure to help with the fights, which remain hard. I regret multi-classing my avatar. I hope that the barrow treasure will help.

  6. I have the Dryad, the Tomb guarded by Wyverns and the main quest to pursue. I might buy the “Ace of Coins” from Oudin to see if I can win the card game, “War” in the cave outside Castle Joyous and get the treasure there.

  7. I sold the Admantine warhammer, that might have been a mistake. Is this a thing, that special magic items have a purpose. Mind you the Treants and Wyverns went down easily once I turned AI off, Ilanth used her flamesword and the Cleric used a flamestrike. One really must concentrate on the monster’s vulnerabilities. I went back and got the admantine warhammer. (See above)

  8. I was hoping that I could make progress, but I have just returned to the Zhentarim Camp and again the fight is hard. Some comments on the vault suggest cheating; here is a console guide, which doesn’t work for some reason, I documented the NWN2 console in my article on the official campaign. I used ##givexp 7000 which adds 7000 to the xp levels held. Obviously, a larger number will do the same i.e. add that number.

  9. Much of this comment has been moved from being a hidden comment in the main article.

    I have joined the Harpers, (see above) accepted the quest from Sinna the travelling tinker, found Brother Anslem’s body and both the documents, I have returned to the Northdark woods (North) on Brother Anslem’s murderer’s trail but at night there are lots of Ghasts, and I have no cure disease, it seems that Lay on Hands does not do this, although resting does. I do have two NOCs who can turn them, maybe. I should do the three side quests to pick up XP before proceeding on the main quest and maybe get another level for everyone.

    So I did the dryad finally, and the Elven Tomb and got another level. Possibly I did the Barrow from when I wrote the above para which mentions three where I picked up the flamestrike focus for Odin. I got another level but it’s still not enough. I have arrived at the Zhentarim camp and need to check my social skills. Seems I have occasionally invested in bluff, I used my cheated level to increase that, let’s see if it makes a difference. N.B. In the talk before the fight there is a social skills chat, and so something might be useful.

  10. On character development, I wanted to run a fighter/magic user, this may not be an appropriate game for such a character class. Collective wisdom is that you need an arcane caster and you start at level four and I have got to level nine, (at the return to the Zhentarim camp) so again you have a choice of bard/sorcerer or wizard. It seems fire spells are pretty useful, and you need fire or acid to kill trolls, so acid may be your best secondary damage element.

    At these intermediate levels, sorcerer maybe better than wiz, as may bard. (Bother, I run this game after I return from my obsession with Bards to F/MU, just in time to get it wrong. I write elsewhere about the disadvantages of multi-classing in DnD 3+.

    Using the recommend skills button, may also be suboptimal as with my class choices, I get no social skills which are tested at points in the game and with the fights being hard, passing social skills maybe critical and some thought with Charisma attribute maybe worth investing in.

  11. An author calling themselves “AhTravesty” has created a youtube series on the game, sadly not in a playlist and probably incomplete, but here is No 19, as they enter Northdark Wood South for the first time. This means he’s been playing it for over 6 hours although, sometimes, he’s about telling us his story, not the protaganist’s. Here is No 21, which includes the fight at the camp on which I am stuck. At least, I think so.

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