From The Vault: Maugeter NWN Mod Complete

By Kieron Gillen on March 3rd, 2009 at 8:00 pm.

Sexy Elves

A long time ago, I used to work with a chap called Tim Fletcher (aka Dungard) on a Deus Ex mod called the Cassandra Project. We finished what was basically a demo and then died. Tim went off to do a Phd in games-related stuff and work on a Neverwinter Nights mod called Maugeter. He released the demo in (eek) 2002. I played it, and it was a smart, literate-leaning chatty slice of RPGing with a natty line in interactive dream sequences. Clearly, much like Cassandra, I never expected the full 10-30 hour mod to be completed – being text heavy, it’s a ridiculous undertaking. As time goes by, I became more certain, when I thought about it. Which wasn’t often.

I was totally wrong. I’ve yet to play it, but – as an old comrade in arms – I have to give him a round of applause. Fucking hell. Well done, Tim.

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38 Comments »

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  1. Daniel says:

    Always great to see some NWN news pimped in the mainstream press. Some of the modules released have very nearly hit professional quality. I’ve been following Maugeter for some time, and it is nice to see it released.

    As an aside, If anyone is interested in some juicy NWN PW fun, check out http://www.escapefromunderdark.com.

  2. Xercies says:

    NWN is definitly a game on my must play list that I haven’t yet, and the modding community sounds fun. I’ve always wanted to create my own RPG but even modding a Mermaid city was bloody hard enough in Morrowind so I kind of gave up.

  3. Lorc says:

    This is for neverwinter 1 rather than 2, yes?

  4. Theoban says:

    This might be worth reinstalling the RPG-less-RPG that was Neverwinter Nights

  5. Premium User Badge

    Sagan says:

    NWN is one of the games I never uninstalled. There is always a reason to go back to it.

    I played the mod for half an hour, and so far it has a lot of dialogue which is very well written. I’m enjoying it a lot. But then I got really frustrated because I hit quicksave before I remembered, that that would overwrite my only savegame from another mod. Now I’m lamenting the loss of multiple hours of progress, and am not in the mood to try something new. But I will probably continue playing tomorrow.

  6. the affront says:

    I never cared much about NWN mods because the OC was so, soo shitty and left me completely loathing even the idea of reinstalling it after I had played it at launch for 5 hours and deinstalled right then, even after going to the trouble to get myself a US version, with the cloth map and all.

    Seems like I might have to re-think that position next time I feel bored.

    Also, hats off for finishing this after all this time. There’s probably only a very few select mods with a history this long that didn’t end in ridiculous drama, leaks, and general bullshit which then never even did get finished.

  7. Masked Dave says:

    I’d download it, but I know I’d never get around to actually playing it.

  8. Jaxtrasi says:

    I ROAR IN VICTORIOUS EXULTATION!

    That picture is awesome. From left to right:

    Sacrista looks gormless. Catherey is really, really ugly. Nalani looks like Marilyn Manson. Sara clearly has boobs made of plastic and glued to her chest. Unfortunate. I should really redo it.

    Yes, this is for NWN1. It doesn’t require the expansions (something which has given me no end of headaches over the years) but it’s pretty difficult to get NWN without the expansions these days.

    You should definitely all play it. It’s non-hack-and-slash, high magic but low fantasy, character-based goodness.

  9. Jaxtrasi says:

    One thing I should really mention in this venue is that all the edginess in Cassandra was Kieron’s. I’m about as edgy as a space hopper. If you plotted a scale with Cute Overload at 1 and Todd McFarlane’s Mark Millar at 10, I’d rate no higher than a 4.

    You should still play it.

  10. Saul says:

    “We finished what was basically a demo and then died. ”

    I always suspected you were operating from beyond the grave, Mr Gillen.

    I too disliked NWN with a passion, and uninstalled it after maybe one hour. I therefore will never play this mod, but thoroughly approve of it and hope other less prejudiced people enjoy it.

  11. Z says:

    The modding made NWN. And, alas, my discs are in another province.

  12. malkav11 says:

    I recently reinstalled NWN for exactly this sort of thing. It’s the mecca of all singleplayer campaign modding. Unfortunately, it’s also a really ugly engine with a lot of really dumb design decisions, so you kind of have to suffer through a thick coating of feces around all the mod brilliance. Sounds like this mod aims squarely at the part that doesn’t require you to deal with the stupid design decisions (read: steers away from combat, towards dialogue and questing), though. So that’s a plus.

    Did NWN2 modding ever produce any gems? I’d much rather play that where possible.

  13. DigitalSignalX says:

    Any link to some screens? I’m likely not going to play it (no clue where my NWN media is, would have to pirate it), but certainly would love to examine some of the cosmetic touches you’ve worked on.

  14. Ingy says:

    I’ll probably actually really not just saying it play this module, as I set up NWN’s Linux client a couple of days ago and I’ve been hunting around for interesting-looking modules to try. What a coincidence! Of sorts.

    I know almost nothing of NWN2 mods and modding, having played barely twenty minutes of the original campaign (not for churlish reasons, I haven’t the time!), but it looks like the first module of the much-awaited Planescape Trilogy . It says Planescape on it, so we can assume it’s the best role-playing game ever made. Their website looks nice, like an iPod.

  15. Ingy says:

    Argh, I fail to understand your linking facilities. The bit missing is that it’s going to be released in a week or so.

  16. yns88 says:

    Making a Planescape mod for NWN has got to be one of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard of. Every single person who sees it is gonna compare it to Torment, say “can’t say much, but it’s not as good as Torment,” and then promptly stop playing and reinstall Torment. Didn’t think that one through much, did you Rogue Dao?

  17. kuddles says:

    I’m with Sagan. NWN was a bit of a disappointment when it was first released, but after two good expansions, the premium modules, tons of patches, persistent worlds, and a collection of fan-made modules that came out in a quantity and quality that far surpassed my expectations of the community, I dare say that game is easily the best value per dollar I ever spend, entertainment-wise. It’s one of the first things I install whenever I do a new build.

    It’s kind of sad to think that kind of community will probably never arise again. Even if Dragon Age lives up to the expectations (which is impossible, since it seems everyone has their own specific expectations moulded by BGII nostalgia), the stronger rift away from sales for traditional single-player PC games and the increased length of man-hours required to mod newer high tech games suggests the same spark won’t be there this time.

  18. malkav11 says:

    NWN (and sequel) were specifically designed to create and run fan-created adventures. Has Dragon Age been promised to have that functionality? Otherwise I don’t see any reason to expect it to have any more modding than (at the very most) the Infinity Engine games. Which is, admittedly, more than I was expecting to see for those, but…they’re mostly fixes and tweaks. The actual content packs were pretty dire from what I’ve seen.

    And the Planescape module is the only NWN2 mod I’ve actually heard anything about. I’m sure I’ll check it out if it does in fact release, but I was kind of hoping to hear about new things. ;)

  19. undead dolphin hacker says:

    Vanilla NWN’s OC was terrible, terrible, terrible.

    But its expansions actually impressed me. Shadows of Undrentide was the right balance of D&D tropes, original settings, and general wackiness. Hordes of the Underdark was even better for the same reasons.

    Strange that NWN2 went through a similar evolution. Bog-standard “boring low-level Forgotten Realms where a +2 dagger can make your party ridiculously overpowered” OC, followed by the abso-fucking-lutely incredible Mask of the Betrayer expansion, which dispensed with the dumb low-level low-magic bullshit that damns most D&D cRPGs, instead going straight to the cool shit like the Planes, the Gods, Epic levels, and more.

  20. Jaxtrasi says:

    It’ll have a toolset. I’ve not investigated it in detail because I’ve had my fill of modding where you can’t alter the core mechanics, and I very much doubt Dragon Age will be any better than NWN in that respect.

  21. Nick says:

    Yikes, I recall playing BG2 MP with Tim a long time ago (a few of the other people we played with are/were in Maugeter as npcs iirc) .. never thought it would finish either after all this time. Bravo!

  22. Janek says:

    Cripes, it’s out.

    Bizarrely, just last week I actually went “Hey, I wonder if Maugeter was ever actually released” and checked the website, before assuming it was dead. Wrong!

  23. kuddles says:

    @malkav11: Yes, they already announced that modders will have access to a complete toolset for Dragon Age this time around.

    http://dragonage.bioware.com/gallery_worldbuilders.html

  24. Iain says:

    I guess at least one of the Cassandra mod team is a ‘completer-finisher’, after all. Nicely done, Tim.

    I remember the demo with a great measure of fondness (especially the “don’t be so stupid” rebukes for trying to randomly break into peoples’ houses) – I will reinstall NWN just for this.

  25. roBurky says:

    I’m going to go find my NWN box now.

  26. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    I’m with roBurky. I’d almost forgotten I also have a copy.

    Let us bring on the role-playing. In an RPG no less!

  27. caesarbear says:

    Those who just played the official campaign, completely missed out on NWN. I’ll go copy-paste my nwn primer in the forums, for those who want to learn more.

    And no, Dragon Age will not have a module design toolset like NWN. Modifying Dragon Age will be like modding any other RPG, like Oblivion. The NWN games are a completely different kind of toolset, designed so that anyone can build their own unique adventure. Anyone with enough commitment and perseverance that is. Well done Jaxtrasi.

  28. pharm says:

    caesarbear: You mean NWN was worth playing? I barely got past the Intro before giving up in disgust. Really didn’t grab me at all.

  29. caesarbear says:

    You mean NWN was worth playing? I barely got past the Intro before giving up in disgust. Really didn’t grab me at all.

    No, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying skip the campaign. Go to the NWVault and get the real point of NWN.

  30. pharm says:

    I think that’s what I meant too :)

    Hmm. The triple pack is a whole 7 quid on Amazon.

  31. malkav11 says:

    Comparing the NWN2 OC to the NWN1 OC is to do a grave and dramatic disservice to the NWN2 OC. NWN2’s campaign is by no means as good as Mask of the Betrayer’s or many of the better NWN1 fan modules, but I found it quite enjoyable with some nice touches here and there. NWN1’s OC (which, to my shame, I finished) was -awful-. One of the worst RPG campaigns I have ever played. Absolutely mindless writing, no choices of consequence, incredibly dull main plot that was essentially one rendition of find/kill these three or four foozles after another…yeugh.

  32. Jaxtrasi says:

    The NWN1 OC is an awful single player module.

    In multiplayer, bizarrely, it works really well. We found that in multiplayer you don’t have time for plot or cleverness, and what you really need is a module that doesn’t break. I’m proud of Maugeter’s standard of polish, but by comparison the NWN OC is unbreakable. When one of your friends thinks it’s funny to fireball NPCs and another one is doing his best to break the module by using his familiar to push himself through a plot door, you really need something that solid.

    So. Not saying it’s that much good use of your time, but if the idea of 4-6 player co-op D&D appeals, you could do a lot worse than NWN’s OC. Everything that makes it bad in single player makes it alright multiplayer. Well, everything except the dragging on a bit, but who ever finished a multiplayer coop game?

  33. SofS says:

    NWN1 remains mostly associated with good memories for me due to basically one thing: Adam Miller’s modules. The Shadowlords campaign was quite good, the Dreamcatcher campaign was jawdropping the first time through, and Demon probably took that toolkit to its limits in some ways. I’ll have to dig up NWN from somewhere to give this a shot.

  34. Jonathan Strange says:

    Good timing, I was just finishing up a campaign from another NWN mod and wondering what mod to download and give a try next when I spotted this topic. Already downloaded and installed.

    On a related note I’ve been trying to put together my own mod for NWN2 for awhile now but frankly just don’t think I have the patience for it. I’m tempted to simply push it aside for now, not because the NWN2 editor is bad by any means, but simply because I’ve not the patience to create all the areas I’d want to when there are just so many little details involved with the much more complex areas possible with the second games engine. Creating a beautiful outdoor area? Grand, helps set the mood. But it’s also *hard*.

    I salute those with more patience than I who actually manage to finish mods once they’ve started them!

  35. Jaxtrasi says:

    Good news! In the version I’m working on at the moment (1.0.2), Joranj, Hat Stand, Whykaytee and Lucian nee Hans have been restored to their former glory. Sort of.

  36. Tangotango says:

    Really glad to hear that this has been released; I remember playing the demo a million years ago and enjoying it hugely. If I were ever a developer of RPGs I’d probably steal a load of ideas from it, which I guess is a compliment.

  37. Zoop says:

    Its better than NWN 2 which happens to be plagued with problems after problems, simply put the game has been broken since its release. Doesn’t work right all saves eventually crash the game, the story has to be the worst piece of crap ever to spark an rpg. I have seen worse rpg’s but this takes the cake, just plain avoid NWN2 and its expansions don’t believe me look at their forum for a list of unresolved problems. The editor for NWN2 is BS Obsidian claims its the same stuff they used to create the game, I doubt that very much its full of holes, memory leaks and incomplete or non working assets.

  38. Inayity says:

    As far as I am concerned, if you view NWN as just the campaigns that come with the game you’re missing more than 99% of what Neverwinter Nights is capable of. That’s no hyperbole.

    Whether its the thousands of user-created modules, incredible content packs like CEP 2.2, game-expanding packs like the PRC (which gives you over 100 fully-fleshed-out Prestige Classes), the Online Experience (which provides every possible spectrum of gameplay- from Fearun to Grayhawk to Modern D20 to hardcore BDSM adult erotic servers) or the NWN Toolset which allows you to make your own worlds, on stories, own servers it’s got something for everyone.

    And it retails for $20, no monthly charge or anything else wacky like that.

    Best RPG deal. Ever.