Friday, 10 March 2017

Bedine for Neverwinter Nights 2

Bedine for Neverwinter Nights 2




A campaign for the Neverwinter Nights 2 platform, built by Kamal

Introduction

Kamal's Bedine is a recently released campaign (Jan 14, 2017) - two years in the making - set in the sprawling Anauroch desert of the Forgotten Realms (in which parts of BioWare's Shadows of Undrentide were also set).

In Bedine, the player takes on the role of a nomadic Bedine tribesman of the banu tamin grouping, whom, for the purposes of lore, is assumed to be human, male and of either warrior, rogue, druid or spirit shaman build. At first glance one may deem the build parameters a lil' too restrictive but flexibility in character-building is added by Kamal's custom archetype system, which opens specific background and training feats to all classes, allowing you to do things like create a first level Fighter with a Favored Enemy and Sneak Attack. This system also allows for what Kamal calls "lore-appropriate" characters by organizing feats with prerequisites; for example, a Bedine warrior who wears only light armor and wields a spear. Very, very cool. 

So yeah, Bedine is a campaign that is big on lore. Nothing is stopping you from playing a "lore-less" race, gender or class, but the campaign assumes that your character is lore-appropriate and refers to you as such, regardless of your adherence to the lore. Reasons are given for the build restrictions; for example, due to tribal suspicion of magic arcane practitioners are generally exiled, or worse; and the organized religions of the traditional holy warriors do not factor with the tribes, who instead worship their own deities and nature spirits known as wasa-ey. Lore also affects itemization and examining an item calls up custom lore-based descriptions, which is welcome.

Bedine employs features introduced by the Storm of Zehir campaign, such as the Party Editor (accessible in oasis camps) and the innovative Overland Map (OLM) complete with roaming adversaries and survival skills that are frequently checked, on the fly.


A characteristic of Kamal's releases - from his Inn of Hidden Tales to Crimmor to Path of Evil to the current release of Bedine - is the attention to area design and aesthetics; specifically, placeable density, detailed urban zones, realistic sculpted terrains, and commendable employment of light, shade and texture (see here, here and here). Yes, it's all quite a delight to behold but you will need a decent PC to handle these works; otherwise, your framerate will take hits and the load times will be frightfully long (Bedine loads no less than 65 areas before you can get into the game!)

***

The rest of this post is given over to introductory commentary on the opening phases of the campaign, written in the style of a walkthrough. I have not progressed in Bedine far beyond this point because I ran into a bug - one which Kamal has since been kind enough to look into at my request, and subsequently fix, so don't worry about it.

Somewhere

Talk to the glowing sphere of light that represents the banu tamin collective. You will receive 1,500 XP for heeding its mysticism.


Antelope's Eye Oasis 
(Banu Tamim Camp)


You will be bumped up to second level upon your arrival in the oasis. There is also an enforced item strip to ensure you are not equipped with OP or lore-inappropriate items.


Companions, Party Composition & Equipment. There are three Banu Tamim companions who will happily join you at this point; namely:

Layth Banu Tamim: Human Spirit Shaman (2), Neutral (50/50).
Quarterstaff, Sling, Bullet (x100).
Saalih Banu Tamim: Human Rogue (1) Swashbuckler (1), Neutral (50/50).
Shortbow, Dagger, Arrow (x99).
Khalaf Banu Tamim: Human Monk (1) Fighter (1), Lawful (100) Neutral (50).

The coil of rope on the ground allows you to Summon Your Tribespeople; i.e, compose your own party using the SoZ Party Editor. The Bedine Savage Hunting Dogs may also be recruited, though the max number of companions is four.

Equipment. Loot the weapon rack for much-needed weapons, ammo, armor and poultice kits.

Initial Questing

Quest: Meet With Your Sheik. Aadil Banu Tamim is the Sheik of the Banu Tamim, a small grouping of the greater Bedine tribe. Simply speak with him to satisfy the quest (Completed Quest: Meet with Your Sheik).

QuestMissing Shepherd. Aadil requests that you locate Dawasir, a shepherd who has gone missing in the grazing lands.


You must hit the OLM, travel to the Banu Tamim grazing lands, slay the hostile giants ants there, and recover Dawasir's corpse that is lying among his dead sheep. You then need to bury Dawasir at the nearby Burial Site, overlooking the grazelands (250 XP). 

Now, return to Aadil and report your findings for 500 XP. This caps off the quest.

QuestThe Cause of the Ant Problems. Next, Aadil will refer you to the Banu Tamim Shaman, Khatib. First, inform the Shaman that Dawasir's spirit rides to N'asir's camp (250 XP) and that you gave him a proper burial (250 XP). Now, ask for his guidance on the ant problem and the shaman will advise you to seek out the spirit of the grazing lands, Sabaa Sibaal. 

Return to the OLM and you will see dunes just to the north of the grazing lands. Make your way southeast along the dunes, slaying a few wolves on the way. You will spot Sabaa Sibaal waiting among a circle of stones. She is an immortal dune spirit in the form of a giant ant, who is revered by the Bedine tribespeople.

Note the vast, skilfully-painted terrains. A lot of work has gone into the area design.

She won't say much due to her agitation. But it seems that whatever made the ants hostile has also disturbed the land. The party concludes that a ceremony must be held in order to bring peace to the land and calm the demi-god. Head north to the offering place (a collection of small boulders) and recite a prayer there. A cool breeze will blow over the party to indicate their success. Return to Sabaa Sibaal, who will have calmed down. She will describe the unnatural event of a smoothed boulder, with shrubs atop it, passing over the land and stirring and confusing the ants. She will point to the northeast and warn you against walking there. Return to Khatib and Aadil and report your findings to cap off the quest. Aadil will listen to her wisdom and intends to ask for her again after the winter has passed. Completed Quest: The Cause of the Ant Problems, 750 XP.

He will now give you two errands to run:

Quest: Accept the Marriage. You are to bring word to Haushi Al-Nuaim that Zarud and Da jala of the Banu Tamim have accepted his proposal to wed Da jala. Aadil will hand you a carved stone of acceptance to give to Haushi at the Al-Nuaim encampment to the northeast.

Quest: Soap & Potash Trading. The outlander camp of Al-Qamar happens to be en route to Al-Nuaim. Aadil requests that you sell off Ghaaliya's Banu Tamin soap and potash as you pass through. Speak with Ghaaliya before you leave to have the bags of goods loaded onto your camels (you don't actually see the camels; it's just assumed that you use them to travel and transport goods).

Hit the OLM and make your way northeast to Al-Qamar. 

Al-Qamar
(Ao Encampment)


The trader you are looking for has set up shop in the inner courtyard; a hobgoblin named Musharak. He will give you 30 GP for the goods if you pass a DC-15 Appraise check; otherwise, you only get 20 GP. This caps off the second errand (200 XP). Musharak offers a range of items for sale, most of which are likely to be out of your price range in these early-goings. There is also a prominent Ao temple in which you may inquire about Ao from the priest within. (The priest disappeared after I spoke with him, wtf?)

Side Quest: The Stushan: The Weeping Maiden. You will notice a few D'Tarig (half-dwarven desertfolk) chilling out in the outer grounds, where their caravans are parked. Their leader, the Stushan, has a proposition for you (note the DC-15 Lore check on the trader's rep): he requests that you travel deep into the desert, find the Weeping Maiden Statue, and deliver it to him, intact, in exchange for 2,000 GP. In accepting the offer he will mark its location on your map and give you an advance payment of 200 GP, along with a couple of healing potions.


Ok, let's complete the first errand. Continue northeast to the Al-Nuaim camp.

Al-Nuaim
(Camp of the Al-Nuaim grouping)

You will arrive here to find the camp being raided by a band of gnolls who are seeking to take the oasis water for themselves. Assist the Al-Nuaim in dispatching them. After taking a beating the gnoll ringleader will surrender and be brought before the sheik, Mihran Al-Nuaim, who will show mercy to to it.


Quest: Investigate the Gnolls. Mihran will then thank you for coming to their aid and then request you to investigate the gnoll lands to the south in order to evaluate the threat they pose.

Quest: Haushi Al-Nuaim. Speak with Shaman Shafiq Al-Nuaim to learn the whereabouts of Haushi. He has been sent south to Jebal Metreb to find and slay a sicarius spider for its venom, which will then be used to concoct an antidote to save the life of a boy who has been bitten by one.

Head south to the unnamed hills and make your way to Haushi, a lone scout standing watch by his campfire. Deliver the acceptance to him and he will be overjoyed (Completed Quest: Accept the Marriage, 250 XP). However, he did not join my party even when I had room for him... [1]

A view from one of the hilltops, looking down on patrolling bugbears.


First Treasures. Make your way west and down from Haushi's camp, slaying bugbears as you go. In the far west you will find a skeleton holding Tile of Antidote, Tile of Cure Light Wounds, Tile of Cure Disease, Blessed Grappler's Gloves (+1 gauntlets, Monk only) and Helmet (tba).

Now, make your way south and east to find a Partially Buried Chest holding Tile of Cure Disease, Tile of Cure Critical Wounds, Cold Iron Ingot, Wyvern Scales, Obsidian (x2), Bloodstone, Silver Ring.

At the end of the path you will find a Broken Sarcophagus holding Sheik's Dog Leather Armor, Mutahammis, Maraah Tribal Shortbow, Alchemical Silver Arrow (x99), Payer For Steadfastness Taqiyah (helmet, saves vs. Fear +3), and Cloak (?).

End of introductory walkthrough

[1] This is the bug that stopped me writing this intro but, as I said earlier, it has apparently been fixed, so I may continue my Bedine treatment soon.

***

Well, I hope this post has given the reader enough info on Bedine to know that it's the real deal, and worth the trouble to download and install.

Next post: A Good Prologue is a Short Prologue.

5 comments:

  1. Looks amazing...I wonder if my PC will be able to run it! ^^' It's a pity I never found info on this campaign lenght but I'llanas try it anyway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know how long it is, either (docs don't say). I just know the loadtimes are really long on my laptop. :P

      Delete
    2. 1,21 Gb! I've seen that now... that's crazy! But I'll try it when I can. Sure.
      I remember that I had some stuttering in SoZ on my old Pc, but this time it should work.

      Delete
    3. Yep, Kamal's modules are gigantic... so many files.

      Delete

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