Wednesday, February 21, 2007

2006 NWN1 Module of the Year Award

Maximus has posted an initial list of modules that will be eligible for voting in the 2006 Module of the Year Award. Kudos to Maximus for getting this process going in a timely manner.

I have to say that I'm surprised at how few of these modules I actually managed to play! I usually think of myself as being a fairly prolific module player. But between operating my other blog (massive time investment during baseball season), helping to organize the reform of NWVault's voting system (HUGE time suck scattered across several months), taking a leadership role in the Overlooked Module Project (from which I've now stepped down), and, of course, switching exclusively over to NWN2's OC/modules from November onward, I didn't play many modules (oh yeah, I guess I also had a baby, which affected my play time). In fact, it looks like most of the ones I did play were those that I reviewed for the Vault!

Here are the ones I did play:
  • AL3: Tyrants of the Moonsea - Great, well-developed characters and nice visuals, along with a good story--though unfortunately (due to its cancellation as a premium module) a fairly truncated ending that prevented it from being what it could have been. My review.
  • Darkness Over Daggerford - Stunningly beautiful, with genuinely revolutionary gameplay that enabled exploration to an extent unmatched by any module or D&D game since BG1. The story was good, though unfortunately there were some execution problems that hampered the plot in places. My review.
  • The Island - A short, visually stunning, and entertaining little module for epic-level characters. I played a version prior to the major reworking of the ending, which should have addressed most of the issues I encountered with it.
  • Wyvern Crown of Cormyr - A good story with very well-balanced, challenging combat to go along with great visuals and many new systems, especially the horses and jousting. My review.
And that's it. I'm sure I played a few other modules, but they didn't make the list.

I also wanted to comment on some of the other contestants, as I'd still like to play them (or at least finish them):
  • Almraiven - I actually put about 8 hours into this module and found that it bordered on brilliant. Very open-ended gameplay in an interesting, albeit confusing, city filled with fascinating NPC's. Includes a custom city tileset by the module's author as well as a bunch of novel mage-specific features. I stopped playing to get one of my reviews done (see above) and somehow never continued it. I still have my saved game though.
  • Art of Death: Back in Black - By some accounts this is my pal Hugie's finest module, and even, if I recall, might include an easter egg area with me as an NPC. :) Has been on my playlist since it came out, and yet somehow never got played. Bah.
  • Rose of Eternity, Chapter 2: Cry of the Beloved - While the initial release of chapter 1 in this series by Challseus had some problems in terms of its dialog, it nevertheless was a groundbreaking module due to its unique design--it's basically a console rpg (giant swords and all), realized in NWN1. The second has been the highest rated module on the vault since it's release, and is almost certainly better due to the team of people that Challseus has working for him now.
  • Saleron's Gambit, Chapter 5 - One of my favorite module series thanks to its interesting design and extreme low-magic, low-gold, low-xp design, I somehow never got around to playing the fifth part in the series.
Crikey. Maybe I'll try to finish Almraiven in the coming weekish so that I can include it among those for which I'll vote. So many modules, so little time...

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