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his is the FAQ section for Annals of the Darkness

Keep in mind that the vast majority of basic questions may be detailed in Bioware's Neverwinter Nights FAQ section.  In this particular FAQ, I'll be focusing more on server-specific information and issues.

1. What is Annals of the Darkness?

Annals of the Darkness  (AotD) is an online community, hosted on a dedicated server available to the public.  Built on the Neverwinter Nights(TM) toolset system known as the Bioware Aurora Toolset, Annals of the Darkness hosts a 100-percent custom-built module called "The Rellon Supremacy." There are many scripting and testing contributors; to see a detailed list, log onto the server and visit any of the many Game Credits stones (located in the starting area and in each village/city).

2.  What is Neverwinter Nights(TM)?

Please refer to Bioware's Neverwinter Nights FAQ page for information.  As a matter of fact, if you don't know what Neverwinter Nights is, you'd be better off at Bioware's Neverwinter Nights site until you get familiarized with the game.  If it's something in which you're interested and you enjoy role playing (and have a sense of humor), please be sure to come back to this site when you've got some hours of local play logged. For a very basic overview of NWN, click here. Note: there is now a sequel to Bioware's Neverwinter Nights game. You can find out more about it at NWN2.com.

3.  What is a NWN dedicated server?

As its name implies, an NWN dedicated server is simply a computer that is configured for and used for hosting one or more modules.  A vast realm, AotD is configured to allow 24 players simultaneously.

4. I'm having technical difficulties with NWN.  Can you help?

Sure.

5. I'm having trouble finding my way around the realm. Are there maps available?

Yes.

6. What is a dungeon master?

A dungeon master, known more commonly as a DM, is an individual who is, if you'll pardon the expression, essentially God while visiting a particular server or realm.  The DM can appear and disappear, create items, spawn and kill creatures, stop time, change difficulty settings, move around the world with ease, transport player characters, give or take levels and gold ... well, you get the idea.  DMs also can hear any party chat even though they are not in your party, so keep that in mind.

Many DMs opt to remain hidden while in a realm while others will administer special events (typically called 'DM Events').  The DMs resident to AotD are friendly, courteous, and helpful.  If you feel as if you have been mistreated in any way by a DM, please report to nightshade7@gmail.com. Note: bear in mind that as of August 2007 there will not be any regular GMs on the server. If you decide to dedicate some time on the server and run into problems, the above email address is checked daily and a GM will certainly help you out. Additionally, if you and some friends dedicate your time to playing on the server, rest at ease: the servervault is backed up weekly.

7. What are buffs?

The term 'buff' is a widely used term in magic-based gaming.  A buff is simply an attribute increase of some sort.  For example, if you are teamed with a cleric and she casts the spell of Aid, you'll notice a green/white/black icon appear along the top of your screen.  Hovering over it, you will be informed that your attack has increased (in this case your Attack Bonus, or AB, has increased by 1).  This is a 'buff.'  Buffs range from ability increases to hit point increases to magic resistance to invulnerability.  Certain buffs stack with others, while some do not.

If one or more icons appear in your 'buffs' area that are red in color, those are not buffs.  Those are ability decreases or penalties of some sort.

8. What is stacking?

In NWN, the term 'stacking' refers to attributes, typically gained either temporarily from spells (buffs) or from a piece of equipment, that will work together with one another.  Let's take the basic Armor Class (AC) types for example.  If you have an item that has a +5 bonus to your Natural AC modifier, another item with a +5 bonus to your Deflection AC modifier will 'stack' with the previous item -- this means that they will work together.  However, if you have three items with a +5 bonus to your Deflection AC modifier and you equip them all, you will get a message that says that you have multiple items equipped with a Deflection bonus to AC and the bonuses will not stack.  This is because you've exceeded the maximum Deflection AC bonus allowed on your character at the time.  However, you may likely equip some armor with an AC Armor Bonus that will increase your AC, because it is a different type of Armor Class.

Along those same lines, some spells will stack with others and some will not.  For example, if you have cast the spell Invisibility on yourself and then try casting Improved Invisibility, the more powerful spell in that line will override the weaker.  You will very seldom receive a message about spells not stacking.

9. What is Armor Class?

Without getting into too much detail here, Armor Class (AC) is a number that determines not only how much damage you receive, but whether you take damage at all.  There are four basic types of AC - Armor, Natural, Dodge, and Deflection.  Detailed information in regards to AC can be found all over the web.  NWN uses the Third Edition rules for D&D, so be sure that you consult Third Edition rules as the First and Second Edition rules handle Armor Class in a different way.

Spell Resistance serves, in essence, as AC against magic spells.

10. What does it mean if an item is 'undroppable'?

Certain items that you may come across will, if you attempt to sell them or drop them or move them into a container, display this message: This item cannot be transferred.  If you receive this message, it's indicating that the item is undroppable, or, as it's commonly known, 'no drop.'  Undroppable items are set this way for one or more of many reasons.  Certain items, like Eternity's Mirror, are undroppable because they pertain to the plot.  In this instance, Eternity uses the mirror to remember who you are so that if you approach her a second time, your options will be different.  Another instance would be Master Tonberries, which are a prestige item late in the game that allow for one of your final tasks to be completed.  In this case, the Tonberries are undroppable so that they may not be transferred to lower-level characters, thus not only exploiting the system but removing much of the challenge.

11. What is multi-questing?

Multi-questing (MQing) can mean a number of things.  In AotD, MQing pertains to doing the same quest multiple times.  If the quest you're MQing is one that gives gold or experience or a nice item or a combination thereof, there's no harm in it.  You'll notice a warning in the quests listing in regards to recommendations against MQing certain quests because the outcome of the completed quest involves an undroppable item.  If you still wish to do the quest, keep in mind that you may end up with two or more of the same item in your inventory.  If this benefits you, so be it.  Either way, it's simply inconvenience and nothing more.

12. What is PKing?

PKing is a shortened term for Player Killing.  PKing is a broadly popular pastime for many online NWN adventurers.  Simply put, PKing is hunting unsuspecting players with your own player, and then attacking.  There are no rules in AotD against PKing, and there are indeed many a ruthless wanderer with special abilities such as invisibility and Hide in Plain Sight (HiPS) that will take advantage of weaker or unsuspecting travelers.

Perhaps the greatest retribution in NWN is the hunting of PKers.  Take, for example, yourself in your younger years, fighting in the Seven Fall areas, when, out of nowhere, comes a high-level warrior who destroys you in passing.  Once or twice is something you can accept, but when it happens over and over, it gets quite old quite fast, to be frank.

But now you have achieved your fortieth season in Histeria, and it's time for revenge.  Using your Improved Invisibility and epic Move Silently and Hide capabilities, you close in on the one who hunted you in your youth.  Waiting until his battle is finished and he begins to rest, you make your move, closing in from behind the cover of shadow.  With only a fraction of his hit points and all of his buffs diminished from his short rest, justice is served.

For mercy's sake, the first several areas in Histeria (including all of the areas south of South Boardman, Ranch Rudolf, Scheck's Glade, Old Supply Road, and beyond) are either No PvP or Party-Protected PvP so that very young adventurers can rest easy knowing that the hunters cannot harm them ...... for now. Also, all villages and cities are No PvP, but if a PKer has you 'locked on' when you zone into a No PvP zone from a Full PvP zone, you can still be killed once inside.

13. What does 'server vault' mean?

There are hundreds, if not thousands of NWN servers hosting various modules.  Each server may be configured in many different ways.  'Server vault' simply means that you must create each and every character that you will have in your list while on that particular server.  The first time you join a server that has its character allowance policy set to server vault you should have a blank list, regardless of how many characters you have locally stored on your computer.

Conversely, if you hear the term 'local vault,' then this means that you can build a character on your local computer and then use that character on the server (or save a character from a different server and use it).  This can be pretty ugly, considering that an expert character builder with access to the Aurora Toolset could make a fantastic build with an extremely high AC and other such statistics.

Updated 3.24.08 Lucid_Reverie

 
 
 
 
   
     
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