Tuesday, 1 November 2016

SoZ "Holiday" Expansion Project Walkthrough - Part I

   S t o r m  o f  Z e h i r   
   SoZ  "H o l i d a y"   E x p a n s i o n   P r o j e c t   
   I n s t a l l a t i o n   I n s t r u c t i o n s  &  W a l k t h r o u g h   

Part I | Part II
 
The object of these posts is to supply installation instructions for SoZ "Holiday" Expansion Project and showcase the content that it adds to the Storm of Zehir campaign in detail (i.e, a walkthrough).


   I n s t a l l a t i o n   

Ok, so you want to play the SoZ "Holiday" Expansion Project but where do you download it from and how do you install it? Well, this post should help newbies who have never installed a NWN2 module before.

—First things first, read the general NWN2 set up tips and minor tweaks sections in this post. It may save you a lot of heart-ache down the track.

• Done that? Ok, SoZ "Holiday" Expansion Project can be downloaded in several archives on neverwintervault.org, which I've linked to directly for your convenience:

Download this archive (soz_hak.zip), this archive (soz_debugfix.zip), this archive (soz_override.zip), this archive (soz_campaign.zip), and this archive (soz_mod.zip).

• Downloaded them? Ok, use 7-Zip to extract the archive somewhere temporary (ie, NOT in your NWN2 installation folder); the process may take a lil' while because of all the content.
• Done that? Ok, lets go through these one at a time.

• Open the soz_hak folder and place the soz_mod.hak into your NWN2 Hak folder (f.e, C:\Users\-\Documents\Neverwinter Nights 2\Hak). In addition, place the mus_rock1.bmu into your Music folder.

• Next, open the soz_mod folder and place SOZ_MOD.mod into your NWN2 Modules folder.

• Next, open the soz_override folder and place the entire OVERRIDE folder (not just its contents, THE WHOLE FOLDER) into your NWN2 Override folder.
(f.e, C:\Users\-\Documents\Neverwinter Nights 2\Override\OVERRIDE)

• Next, open the soz_debugfix folder and place jet_jester.ncs and jet_jester.ncs into your OVERRIDE folder.

• Lastly, navigate to the following position in your NWN2 installation folder (NOT the My Documents folder - we want the install location of the actual game files, which is normally in Program Files: ..\Campaigns\Neverwinter Nights 2 Campaign_X2) - and backup the following three files to somewhere safe so that you can restore them later, if you need to: Campaign.cam, module.JRL, and nx2_ol_client_enter.NCS.

• Done that? Ok, open the soz_campaign folder and place those three files into ..\Campaigns\Neverwinter Nights 2 Campaign_X2, overwriting/replacing the files (the ones you diligently just backed up) in the destination when prompted.

That's it! You have just installed SoZ "Holiday" Expansion Project. Enjoy! 

SoZ "Holiday" Expansion Project is also apparently compatible with Kaedrin's PrC Pack v1.42.1 as long as you install the contents of this archive.
—Don't forget to show your appreciation to the authors by registering at neverwintervault.org and voting here.

   W a l k t h r o u g h   

SoZ "Holiday" Expansion Project is a collaborative community mod for Storm of Zehir headed up by Chaos Wielder. The mod adds twelve new locations to the Overland Map (OLM): six to Samarach and six to the Sword Coast. These areas need to be discovered just like any other; i.e, by means of exploration of the OLM.

The difficulty of these areas is generally much higher than those of the base campaign, so be prepared to fight beefed up foes and even ones that you haven't seen before, who are stronger and smarter than what you are used to. The dungeons are generally larger, too.

To balance things a bit you will likely find additional recipes & items to help you along in your adventure. All of these I intend to record in this walkthrough.

Note: I play on D&D Hardcore Rules with no other mods. I have a six-person party thanks to the Leadership feat that my Feat-heavy Fighter build took at sixth level (i.e, four player built characters and two companions).

   S A M A R A C H   

You can start tackling the new content as soon as you hit the OLM; however, I would advise holding off until you have gained a few levels and equipped the party with appropriate items; otherwise, your party is probably going to be wiped clean (or at least suffer a gradual, agonizing death). So yeah, complete the initial couple of quests offered by Sa'Sani, Volo & Vadin'ya, for example. These will give you faster leveling and wealth accumulation without taking too many risks. Newbies diving straight in might like to check out this post, too. It talks about the OLM and the initial companions that are available.


Ok, let's move on to the first new location!

Sun-Draped Den (100 XP). From the Shipwreck head south along the shore and follow it around and north a little to find this place. 

There are strange scuffle marks on the ground near this cave. Additionally, a strange sign hangs near the door, its meaning arcane and confused: MikeLM was here.
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• This area is visually quite appealing: dense foliage and sun shafts beaming down from the roof of the dungeon.


• Upon entry you will be targeted by a flock of stirges. Follow the passageway to its end and unlock the door there (OL DC-23). It opens to a flooded section in which Naga slither. Slay the Spirit Naga and loot its serpentine corpse for a Lesser Ice Necklace of Ulutiun (Ice Storm [9] 1 charge/use).

That's it! We are done with this place.


Coiled Cabal Outpost (100 XP). Follow the shoreline southeast from Rassatan to find this dangerous location.
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As you approach the cave, you notice scale marks dot the earth. Strangely, there is graffiti marking the entrance: Wyrin was here.
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• Explore this initial, winding section of the cavern, slaying all the Ophidians that stand against you. Passing over the fetid water requires you to make a DC-16 Fortitude save or be diseased. The Muck Drake unleashes a powerful breath weapon that inflicts lots of magical damage with possible Level Drain (Reflex & Will DC-19), so be wary of that.
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• Loot the Coil of Rope in the nearby garbage pile.


• In the southeast chamber, behind the trapped door, lurk two yuan-ti Coiled Cabalists whose corpses hold the Coiled Cabal Key and Handfang (dagger +1, acid 1d4, on-hit DC-14 Hold and Poison).

• Loot the place for all it's worth.

Crude Alchemy Lab: Giant Scorpion Venom, Strong x3, Wyvern Tail, Wyvern Stinger. Also, recipes of Mild Poison Arrow, Poison Bolts, Mild Poison Bolts, Poison Arrows.
Relinquary of the Coiled Cabal (DD DC-25): If you destroy it (Bash) the cavern shakes and you receive 100 XP.
Sacred Pool: Curse of Sseth x10 (potion, Mass Curse of Impending Blades).
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• Ok, the key unlocks a large gate that opens to a trapped passageway leading northeast, ending in a cavern guarded by a couple of Ophidian marksmen and a yuan-ti wielding the Venom Halberd (halberd +2, on-hit Poison DC-16 1d2 Con drain). At the stalagmite you can use Spot, Listen or Darkvision to scope out the gaping pit in the center of the cavern.
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• Tie the rope around the stalagmite and climb down into the pit..
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• The pit opens up to the abode of the formidable Nightskin, Fang of Sseth. Slay the serpentine monstrosity and loot its corpse for Bracers of Armor +3 and Wicked Union (scythe +1, on-hit DC-14 Stun, Vampiric Regeneration +3).


• Be on alert for the severals fangs of Sseth who flank you from the pit as you take your leave.

This was a great dungeon!

Ancient Ruins (100 XP). These ruins are located just northeast of Tempest's Fury.

Hidden within the swamp plants, you spot a ruined structure of significant age. Bones litter the entrance, as do some rather obvious and absurd attempts to frighten visitors. Scrawled next to the door is a note: Brian was here.

• Upon entry you will be beset on all sides by skeleton warriors led by a skeleton berserker wielding a greataxe. A second later two skeleton wizards appear on either side of a massive gate to make nuisances of themselves. Note the inanimate, giant red skeleton on the ground.

• Unlock the gate (DC-23) and proceed along the red carpet towards a trio of non-hostile yuan-ti, led by Serpentlord Servull. After some brief dialogue they turn hostile. To make matters worse, the Blood Giant comes to life behind you.
Yuan-ti Reaper: Full Plate +1, Adamantine Scythe.
Yuan-ti Cleric: Adamantine Morningstar and scrolls of Animalistic Power, Bane, Divine Favor and Rigor.
Serpentlord Servull: Ring of Minor Electrical Resistance, Scarab of Protection +1.


Underground Temple (100 XP). It's located in the foothills just east of the Lantanese Lumber Camp.

After many hours of travelling through the mountains, you discover a small doorway among the foothills. Close inspection of the ground reveals tracks made from heavy trampling, as well as winding marks that are not quite distinguishable. In the dirt, there's an obscure marking: Dorateen was here.  

Note: There is some lore-rich flavor text in this quest for dwarven party members.

• Disable the DC-20 proximity trap, take the secret door to the right, and descend the stairs to meet Dorateen Helmhood. This dwarf seeks the Chalice of Ever-flowing Eggnog, The Blessed Cup. Agree to help him find it. He also sells some basic gear.

• Now, backtrack and take the opposite secret door and descend to a campsite. Loot the Meat Slab for a Rib Sandwich (quest-critical item) and the bucket for adventurine, phenalope and malachite gems. You can rest at the campfire.

• Descend to the next level.

• Slay the yuan-ti abominations and wraiths patrolling the halls. Ok, head south and then east first. There is nothing in these two sarcophagi, just some flavor text.

• Make your way west. In the southwestern corner is the hostile Spirit of Yule-Tide Future. Slay it.

• Vampire Baron Von Ghoulish can be found standing in her room just here (DC-18 locked door). She gives you the Serpent Key and requests you remove an "item of holiness" (i.e, the Chalice) from the other side of the temple.

• Head north, exploring the chambers. A mummy lord lurks in the chamber just to the north. It does not seem to have a fear aura. Destroy it and loots its sarcophagus for Adamantine Chain Mail. There is another chamber with a mummy lord but the sarcophagus is empty.

• In the next chamber disable the DC-22 proximity trap and enter the secret door to arrive in a hidden room with a trapped chest (DC-20) holding Ancient Document, Battle Axe +2, Heavy Shield +1.

• Tucked away in the northeastern wall is a chest with a DC-99 lock and trap. Click on the Plaque above the chest and grab the Brass Key inside it. This unlocks the metal doors just here.

Fountain Chamber. In here is a single Drowned. Loot the fountain for a Wand of Fire and five amethysts.

• Head south now. Fight off the Weeps in the side chambers and loot each of their corpses for a Ring of Protection +2. The grave holds a Longsword +2.

• In the hall of Ghasts there are four sarchophagi holding nothing but garbage.

• Head east and slay the ghouls, looting their graves for a Dwarven Cloak of Resistance (Damage Immunity: Cold 25% immunity bonus, All saving throws +2, Cold resistance 5/-). This cloak is also a quest-critical item.

• Unlock the DC-18 door at the end of the hall and step through to meet an ancient dwarf.


• A dwarven party member will recognize the dwarf as Balgoin Tinselgrip, "the venerated Dwarf-King". He mentions a Chalice: Only the worthy may drink of the cup.

• Exit the cave to the east and make your way south down the hall, slaying more yuan-ti abominations.

• There is Mosaic Art seemingly blocking your path; however, it is an illusion (50 XP).

• In the next chamber you will meet Camal'sha, a yuan-ti standing over the corpse of another of its kind. It seems Lah'she drank of the cup and kicked the bucket as a result. Camal'sha demands you drink of the cup next. Slay her, instead.

• Place the Rib Sandwich & Dwarven Cloak of Resistance (the two quest-critical items) onto the platform to receive the Chalice of Ever-flowing Eggnog (Greater Restoration [13] 3 charges/use, Superior Resistance 3 charges/use). Without doing this you won't get the Chalice; instead, you will incur 100 damage.

• Deliver the Chalice to Dorateen and he will be grateful and give you a glittering Beljuril, one of the rarest gems in Storm of Zehir. If you now return to the vamp to let her know that the chalice has been removed, she has nothing to say to you. If, however, you bring it to her then she is pissed and disperses. It doesn't seem like you can slay her, either (despite the dialogue suggesting so). Odd..

Anyway, I thought this was a decent dungeon.

Gnome Outpost (100 XP). It's directly east of the Chokemist Cave, on the opposite side of the river to Samargol.

Tucked away in the hillside, you notice a small cave with gnomish supports. A note is hanging on the entrance: The Fred was here.

• Gnome Hideout Level 1. Gilbert greets you at the entrance. It seems the gnomes are converting the caves into homes. Ask about work but he doesn't have any. Talk to Laemeira in the chamber just to the west. Use your Alchemy skill to recommend blue vitriol to her (100 XP). She mentions Xandor and that gnomes are having an issue with shadows.

• Head north into the next chamber to find Kaars, the duergar blacksmith and vendor.

Notable items offered by Kaars: Boots of the North (Damage Immunity: Cold 50% Immunity Bonus), Bracers of Al-Djzim (Fire resistance 5/-, Burning Hands [5] 3/day, Flame Arrow [5] 2/day), Dwarven Mirth (light shield, AC Shield Bonus +1, Charisma +2), Lesser Drow Piwafi Cloak (AC Def Bonus +2, saves vs. Death +3, saves vs. Mind-affecting +3, Ghostly Visage [3] 1/day), Lesser Drow Piwafi Cloak (Damage Reduction 3/Metal [adamantine], All saving throws +1, SR 12, Spider's Skin [1] 1/day), Fist of Grolsh (warmace +1, Keen, Massive Criticals 1d6), Snowball (bullets, Cold 1d4, on-hit Bad Strref Level 5), Barrel of Alchemist Fire x5, Snowflake of Alkaezi (Cone of Cold [9], single use) x2, Snowflake of Alkaezi (Ice Weapon, single use) x5, Snowflake of Alkaezi (Ray of Frost [1], single use) x5. Grab the two barrels of alchemist fire stored in this chamber.

• Now, you will find Xandor (the leader of the gnomes) and Rana in the northeasternmost chamber; however they have very little to say and would prefer that you trade with Kaars, and then just leave. Unlock the DC-30 door and make your way west (Kaars can give you the West Door key, too). Help the gnome guard fight off a shadow spider; then head downstairs. There are two more barrels of alchemist fire just here.

Note: Before heading downstairs be sure to make a separate, named save here as there is a potential bug in this section that was never fixed, even after it was reported on the IGN Vault.

Gnome Hideout Level 2. Make your way east and north, fighting through a wave consisting of Gunkin, Shadow Oozes, Shadow Wolf, and Shadow Spider, being wary of their fear and paralysis abilities. Take out the others in the dead-end chamber, where you will find three more barrels of alchemist fire.

Backtrack and take the passageway southeast and south, fighting through more foes.

You need to make your way south in order to gain access to the central room, the door to which is trapped (DD DC-22).

A gnome wizard named Zak attacks you upon entry, conjuring forth four shadow oozes and a spider. Slay them all and loot Zak's corpse of Potion of Invisibility, Potion of Aid, and the Staff of the Deepinghold (adamantine quarterstaff, Bonus HPs +4, Damage Bonus: Magical 2, Burning Hands [5] 1/day, usable by wiz/sorc). There is another barrel of alchemist fire here, and a chest holding 75 GP, Potion of Cure Moderate Wounds, and Sling +2.

Bug: It may be that the golem attacks and kills Zak before you even enter the central chamber; in which case reload the save-game that I previously advised you to make.

Destroy the Shadow-Powered Blade Golem and loot the bookcases for five books: a Journal, Exotic Weaponry, Wars of the Creator Races, The Doombringers and The Book of Seeing (recipes for Gem of Seeing, Periapt of Wisdom +2 and +4). There are scrolls of Cat's Grace, Darkness, Burning Hands, Cause Fear and Lesser Dispel, too. The chest holds a Potion of Death Armor, Ruby and Dark Steel Ingot.
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Bug? As per Zak's journal, I placed the Darksteel Ingot on the altar, along with a weapon, and cast Darkness on the altar, but I received no enchanted weapon (though the ingot was consumed)? Perhaps I missed something...
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• Return to the main level, where Xandor will now attack you for your meddling. After taking a beating he falls back.
Rana: Potion of Cure Moderate Wounds, Chain Shirt +1, Morningstar +1.
Kenneth: Leather Helm, Cold Iron Short Sword, Light Crossbow +1, Duskwood Light Shield.

• Unlock the "East Door" on the other side of Xandor's chamber (OL DC-34) and head upstairs.

Gnome Hideout: Upper Level. Unlock the DC-22 door and destroy the golem standing on the other side. Wind your way to the other side of the dungeon where you will spot another door that can only be opened by completing the logic puzzle displayed in a pop-up window. You need to rotate the dials so that they all point "up"; i.e, 12 o'clock (250 XP).

• Inside await Xandor and two gnome cultists flanked by a nabassu known as Laet'aexil. Speak with the demon and the two gnome cultists will attack you. Slay them and the demon will be freed. Slay it, too.


Bug: Xandor doesn't even go hostile. He just stands there and repeats his dialogue from when you first meet him. There is no closure to this content.
Oversights: Gilbert and Laemeira just repeat their dialogue from when you first meet them. The latter even repeatedly awards you 100 XP for the Alchemy skill check.

• Anyway, this quest is bugged and the author never got around to fixing it when it was reported to him on the IGN Vault. Also, some ppl guessed the bugs might have something to do with Companion and Monster AI hak 2.2 and/or Kaedrin's PrC Pack v1.42.1, but I can confirm that it has nothing to do with those mods, because I don't have them installed.

The bugs are a pity because this is otherwise a good lil' quest.

Cape of the Wise Man (100 XP)  E P I C  L E V E L  W A R N I N G  . This location is found on the very tip of the western peninsula, south of the Ruins in which the lizardfolk dwell.

Waves crash alongside these ancient, weathered ruins. There is an ominous skull plastered into the stone, along with a note: Chaos Wielder was here.

• Again, a flock of stirges come at you as soon as you arrive. Slay them.

• Make your way down to the beach and touch the tree. A black cloud floats in from offshore and appears on the beach as a giant skull named Saku. It announces itself as "the shapeshifting master of darkness" and calls two Sandstone Colossus golems up from the sand, along with four Minions of Saku.

• This is a three-stage battle in which an epic foe takes on different forms and calls forth high level reinforcements, at-will.

• First up, you will have to destroy the golems before Saku turns hostile and you can harm it (i.e, the golems are Saku's "shield"). Then, once Saku's skull-form has been bested, it will take on the form of a giant undead spider. Lastly, it will take on dragon-form. During all this it will summon reinforcements: ancient & wretched saurians, plus three custom yuan-ti: Spirit Wielder Salistn, Shadow Master Gengun & High Priestess Vestushian. These reinforcements disperse upon Saku's destruction; ergo, focus your attacks on the boss whenever you are free to do so.


• Don't forget to loot what Saku left behind: Saku (amulet, AC Nat. Bonus +3, Damage Immunity: Magical 50% immunity bonus, All Ability Scores +1, Immunity: Level/Ability Drain, Spell Resistance: 24).


Part II covers the Sword Coast OLM!

EoP

4 comments:

  1. Wow, stars really aligned here that I went back looking for this module the same day you posted all the instructions for it. Much, much thanks for providing the link and the detailed install instructions. SoZ is one of my top-ten games, and this community expansion adds a whole lot to an already amazing thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Chris! Let me know how you fare. Storm of Zehir is a great RPG, I agree. And this mod does indeed make it an even better experience.

      Delete
  2. Without this blog I would've never found out about all this extra content, ty.
    Do you remember the underground temple where you need to get the chalice, in the room where the campfire and the meat is, in the back is like a minicave which you didn't report anything about. I thought maybe you need to use the spell that shrinks your character like in alice in wonderland but I play without a wizard so I couldn't test it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oops, must have missed that. No idea, I'm afraid.

      Delete

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