Neverwinter Nights (NWN) is an PC CRPG game originally released in 2002, developed by Bioware.
It takes place in the Forgotten Realms (the DnD world used in the Baldur's Gate, and Icewind Dale series), and uses an adapted version of the 3rd Ed DnD system.
The game has a wealth of dialog and combat to see as you progress through a slowly unfolding storyline, set in the city of Neverwinter in the land of Faerun. You are accompanied by one of 5 NPCs with their own personalities who join your quest and provide their strengths for the situations you encounter, as well as ask for your help in their own quests, which range from finding a recipe for Leaven Bread, to the Lost Song of Love, to the Star of Calimshan.
You are allowed actions of both good and evil, though like most games it seems that there is a leaning towards the good path.
The game has two expansions, Shadows of Undrentide (SoU) and Hordes of the Underdark (HotU), which begin a new story and add Prestige Classes, new monsters, and new NPCs. It also has a sequel, Neverwinter Nights 2.
Neverwinter Nights begins with your character attending the Neverwinter Academy at the request of Lady Aribeth de Tylmarande herself. At the time, a plague has swept the streets of Neverwinter, and rumors abound that something sinister is afoot. Lady Aribeth herself has been charged with finding a cure, however all too soon that cure is lost when an army of goblins attack the academy. They leave but a handful of survivors.
The last hopes for a cure, four powerful creatures, have escaped into the city to wreak havok and devastation, and on top of the already disastrous plague, the city of Neverwinter is almost at its knees.
You are tasked with finding the reagents for the cure, by scouring the quarantined city. However, as you do, a plot unfolds that is far more sinister than the destruction of one city...
Modding is done through the Aurora Engine Toolset which ships with the original NWN. Bioware has made several official single player mods which, although shorter than the original campaign, are definitely worth checking out (more info here).
A very large variety of fanmade mods have also been made, with arguably the most notable being the Community Expansion Pack. A number of others can be found at Neverwinter Vault, and soon we hope to build a databse of Neverwinter Nights mods here at SHS ourselves.
Shadows of Undrentide (SoU) is the first expansion pack for the Neverwinter Nights (NWN) game. You require a copy of the original game to play. You start the game with a 1st level character.
Rather than continuing the original games story line, SoU starts a new campaign in a different region. Your character will explore a variety of locations including snow-covered hills, elven crypts, ancient tombs, parched deserts and the ruins of a Netherese city in the course of the story. You will encounter enemies including kobolds, skeletons, manticores, mummies, dragons and golems as well as other creatures. There are three henchmen who may accompany you, though only one at any time. In the course of the game your character will ride from 1st to 12th level.
SoU introduced several new elements to the game. Prestige classes allow your character to specialise in certain areas. Some new skills were included, as well as other new abilities. Builders options were increased as new creatures, items, and types of terrain were added to the game. All these option were fully backwards compatible with the original NWN campaign.
Hordes of the Underdark (HotU) is the second expansion pack for the Neverwinter Nights (NWN) game. You require a copy of the original game to play. Your character shoulf be approximately 15th level at the start of the campaign. The HotU campaign is written as if your character had completed the Shadows of Undrentide campaign, but it isn't necessary to have played that to enjoy this.
You begin the campaign in the city of Waterdeep. In the course of the adventure you will explore parts of Undermountain, the Underdark, and the Outer Planes. Enemies you encounter include drow, duergar, undead, illithids, beholders, devils, and others. You will meet several characters from the original NWN campaign and well as one from the SoU expansion campaign. Some of these characters will accompany you as henchmen, and there are other characters that may also join with you. Unlike the original and SoU campaigns, in HotU you may have two henchmen at a time. A 15th level character will reach at least 25th level in the course of the campaign.
HotU added numerous elements to the game. Rules for characters higher than 20th level appeared for the first time. Crafting of magic items also made an appearance. More prestige classes also appeared, as did new spells and other abilities. Many new creatures, objects, and environments became available for builders. These options also became available to players of both the original NWN and the SoU campaigns.