Wednesday, 1 March 2017

The Birthday Walkthrough



Maerduin's The Birthday is a short campaign that should only take you a couple of hours to complete. As with his subsequent Harp & Chrysanthemum, it is beautifully presented and superbly written. This walkthrough does not do the writing justice so you will have to play it for yourself to understand the lore and story. Enjoy!

   T h e  B i r t h d a y   
   I n s t a l l a t i o n   I n s t r u c t i o n s   

Ok, so you want to play Maerduin's The Birthday 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.

• Ok, The Birthday can be downloaded as one archive on neverwintervault.org, which I've linked to directly for your convenience:

Download this archive (birthday_1.03.rar)

• Downloaded it? Ok, use 7-Zip to extract the archive somewhere temporary (ie, NOT in your NWN2 installation folder).

• Done that? Ok, let's go through these one at a time.

• First, Open the birthday_1.03 folder and place the The Birthday folder into your NWN2 Campaigns folder (f.e, C:\Users\-\Documents\Neverwinter Nights 2\Campaigns).  Important : Now, move the module.jrl file from \Campaigns\The Birthday to \Campaigns; otherwise, you won't get journal updates. This isn't mentioned in Maerduin's readme so it's probably just an issue that a subsequent patch introduced.

• Second, place the birthday.mod into your NWN2 Modules folder.

• Third, place the birthday.hak file into your NWN2 Hak folder.

That's it! You have just installed The Birthday. Enjoy! 

—Don't forget to show your appreciation to the author by registering at neverwintervault.org and voting here.

   O v e r v i e w   


• Maerduin first uploaded The Birthday to the IGN Vault on April 28, 2007. So yeah, 10 years ago! It received an average rating of 8.97 from 108 votes, and many pages of mostly positive comments. The module was an entry in Obsidian's first NWN2 contest, which was themed on the Grimm's Fairy Tales.

• The Birthday is balanced for sixth level characters and supports those of either gender, and of any alignment, race and class. The author recommends a Fighter, and I think that's a solid recommendation. I would start with a Rogue level in order to gain a lil' Sneak Attack, social skills (Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate) and Sleight of Hand. Feat-wise, I recommend Power Attack, Cleave and Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization: Longsword in order to effectively wield the Briar-Rose's Thorn (longsword +1, piercing +1, on-hit Slow 6). In an effort to balance the campaign Sorcerers and Wizards begin with the following bonus items: Shepherd's Weeds (robe, AC armor +4, hit points +10, piercing & slashing resistance 5/-) and The Crook of Tityrus (quarterstaff +1, Improved Initiative, Concentration +8).

• Three custom deities have been included but they are just for dialogue flavor: Birch Mother (goddess of woods and streams), Oak Father (god of strength and virtue) and Wooden Crone (patroness of the village of Schafberg).

• Experience points are awarded for questing and killing foes, and for passing skill checks. You will reach seventh level by the finale only if you are thorough in seeking out the content on offer.

• Alignment is dynamic rather than static. That is, your alignment will shift depending on your choices. There are not many alignment shifts, though.

• There are no companions. This is a solo module. As a result, some players will find it quite difficult.

• The absence of companions and a respawn option means that death is final. You will have to reload to a previous save if you die. So save often, and in separate slots!

• Resting is restricted to Matron Holz in Schafberg.

    T h e  B i r t h d a y   
   W a l k t h r o u g h   


Today is a festive day in the small village called Schafberg. A talented foundling, raised by a shepherd and his wife on a nearby farm, has come of age, and now the young paragon's adoptive parents have brought their ward to town to speak to the Matron. Before Schafberg can rightly celebrate the birthday, a coming-of-age tradition known as "the birthday errand" must be honored, and it is the Matron's duty to decide the nature of the task. - DM Maerduin.

   V i l l a g e  o f  S c h a f b e r g — 1 3 7 2 D R   


—The quaint little farming village of Schafberg is nestled in a landscape of gentle hills and winding rivers.

Meet the Parents: Eumaeus & Sarda Yager. Cutscene, Main Quest: The Birthday, 250 GP, 15,000 XP (level-up to six).

Matron Holz. Speak to Matron Holz standing just outside the inn. She requests that you venture into the nearby woods to recover her magical Golden Shears from the seven fairies of Mother Goat, who recently stole them. She further requests that you deliver the seven Fairy Hearts to her as proof they have been dealt with.
(Lore: DC-13) Mother Goat is cruel and devours all intruders to her forest. (100 XP)
Service: Healing and resting.


Karl Ostheim, Merchant. Service: General vendor. Sells basic armors and weapons; also spell scrolls, trap kits, healer's kits and thieves' tools.
(Intimidate: DC-14) Don't talk that way about Schafberg or I'll make you regret it. (100 XP)

Kuchen, a Baker. He is of no use to you at this time but will become important later.

   T h e  F o u r  M u s i c i a n s  I n n   

—Klaus, The Innkeeper. Quest: No Secrets. Klaus can be milked for experience points and gold pieces:

You seem surprised to see me just now, Klaus.

(Bluff: DC-14) What are you talking about? (100 XP).
(Diplomacy) It seems that everyone but me was aware that I had a birthday errand to run-but it doesn't really surprise me that you know, Klaus. You know everything that goes on in Schafberg. (100 XP)

(Diplomacy: DC-15) You would do well to tell me what you know, Klaus. Word could get back to Matron Holz that you are not abiding by village custom. (100 XP)
(Bluff: DC-15) Aye, but Matron Holz actually wants me to find her a mandrake root, not to seek out Mother Goat. (100 XP)
(Intimidate: DC-15) What are you hiding!? Everyone in Schafberg knows not to toy with me, innkeeper! (100 XP)

(Diplomacy: DC-16) No, that is not enough. Don't forget that you are paying for your reputation. (500 XP, 500 GP, Chaotic +3)
(Intimidate: DC-16) No, that's not enough. Hand over 500 gold coins now. (500 XP, 500 GP, Chaotic +3)


Castorp, a TravelerSide Quest: The Seven Treasures. Castorp came to Schafberg seeking treasure in the nearby woods. Here are the seven items you need to find in order to satisfy the quest:

1. Perfect Fit (boots, Dodge AC +1, Tumble +8)
2. Axe of the Woodcutter (handaxe +1, vs. Evil +1d6) 
3. Briar-Rose's Thorn (longsword +1, piercing +1, on-hit Slow 6).
4. Little Recap's Hood (helmet, all saves +1, piercing resistance 5/-, Concentration +1).
5. Amulet of the Mirror (amulet, Wisdom +2, True Seeing).
6. Rapunzel's Band (ring, AC deflection +2).
7. An Old Book.

• You will receive 100 XP for each item located. With the exception of the ring and book these items are all held in chests, found in the woods. The book and ring are just discarded on the ground. The ring is difficult to find due to its small size. You will find it in the southwest of the woods, near a mushroom colony. Return to Castorp for 1,000 XP.

(Sleight of Hand DC-15) Reason (dagger +1, on-hit Dispel Magic DC=16, Magical resistance 5/-). (100 XP)

The drifter, gazing out of the window.

   T h e  W o o d s   


—Navigation of the woods can be difficult due to the towering trees obstructing your view and the elusive custom fey that attack you on sight. The varieties of fey randomly drop custom potions such as Bear's Blood and Trefoil Tincture. The hostile bear in the southeast must be slain for the Bear's Heart if you are to complete the module in the optional way. The answer to the riddle in the Old Book found in the north is "One". (600 XP).


—The house of Mother Goat is located in the north east, up a gentle slope.


• The front door will be locked, but click on it to call up dialogue with little voices from inside.

(Intimidate: DC-15) I don't have time for this. Let me in now. (100 XP)
(Bluff: DC-15) I am Mother Goat, my children! Let me in! (100 XP)

Quest: The Seven Mincemeat Pies. Regardless of whether or not you passed the social checks the voices request that you bring them their promised pies.

—Return to the village baker who will try to charge you 20 GP for the pies. If you pass a social skill check, you get them for free (Bag of Seven Mincemeat Pies).

(Diplomacy: DC-14) Kuchen, it is my birthday. Does not tradition dictate that you give them to me today? (100 XP)
(Bluff: DC-14) The Matron herself has asked me to get these pies. Surely, you would not charge her such an exorbitant sum. (100 XP)
(Intimidate: DC-14) You fool! You would dare charge me that ridiculous sum for seven pies? (100 XP)

—Return to the house, with the pies in hand, and you will be pulled into a "swirling radiance by invisible hands". (100 XP)

   F a e r y l o n d   

—You must now slay six of the sibling fey in Faerylond and loot each of their corpses for a Faery Heart: Eins: Unseelie Prince, Zwei: Unseelie Princess, Drei: Unseelie Cavalier, Vier: Unseelie Beloved, Funf: Unseelie Vizier, Sechs: Unseelie Robber Baron.


—Loot the chest for the Golden Shears and speak with the seventh sibling, Sieben. You now have a choice:

a. Let her slay herself and then loot her corpse for the seventh and final faery heart required to complete your birthday errand.
b. Refuse to allow her to do so (Good +3, 100 XP). You will need to use the Bear's Heart as a substitute to trick Matron Holz.

   S c h a f b e r g   

—Return to the village and deliver the hearts and shears to Matron Holz, the Mother Goat (1,000 XP). She and the people of Schafberg are preparing to sacrifice you. If you chose option a. then there is nothing you can do but accept your cruel fate and die, ending the campaign.


But if you chose b. then Sieben will appear in the village and whisk you away to Faerylond, to the astonishment of all.

   F i n a l e  i n  F a e r y l o n d   

—You will now take on several fey and the Mother Goat in bear-form (441 XP for a lvl 7 char).


—Click on the portal to watch the final cutscene.


The End

I have also written a walkthrough for Maerduin's second campaign, Harp & Chrysanthemum, though at this stage only five parts are complete. Sorry, I'm a lil' pressed for time these days!

Other NWN2 modules I have covered:

• Subtlety of Thay, by dirtywick.
• Shrouded Sun, by Jolly Jenkins.
• The Shadowdancer's Vault, by Jolly Jenkins.
• SoZ "Holiday" Expansion Project, by Chaos Wielder and others.

  E o P  

Next post: Torment: Tides of Numenera Review.

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