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I purchased my NWN Diamond edition like millions of others. I played through the main campaign like most NWN owners and then hit Game Spy in search of more content.

I found some things I liked and many I didn’t. Much of the stuff was amateur at best, so the game sat gathering dust on my bookshelf.

Then one night out of boredom (I had just beat Shogun Art of War for the umpteenth time) I went hunting in, Game Spy’s Action section.

That is when I discovered the best kept secret on the internet

This persistent world is so good, it should be on every gamer’s bucket list of games to be tried, before they pry the mouse from your cold dead hands.

The best part is its totally free!!! Yes if you own NWN you are ready to play right now, and no cheesy asking for money for more content etc, FREEEE.

If you own NWN with all the expansions, or if you are considering buying NWN now, your first stop should be: http://highergroundpoa.proboards.com/index.cgi . Click the getting started button and it will take you through everything you need to do to get into the mod.

BTW This not some sales pitch I have no affiliation with them and they have no idea I wrote this, and yes I am a real person, feel free to drop me a PM with questions, my login is Bad (Bin So Bad) on the above mentioned board.

P.S. if you see me in game (I am on way too often) let me know if I was right or not.

This we my guild is tagging though the abyss in the hopes of returning the wand of Orcus to Pelor. I am appending the run ad i put together.
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I just finished loot split after a failed abyss run.
Gaping Maw, the layer where Demogorgon rules.. we did manage to kill his lackey, Kargoth the Betrayer (an evil death-knight that forces wisdom checks vs "runaway!")
but a nasty random spawn, where the squishies (mage, bard etc) got jumped by a Marilith and some other demons and two Balors (which force high DC DEX checks - my toon is a STR tank) appeared right next to me, was the end of us. i had hoped to get a look at demogorgon, but alas. maybe next time, or maybe we should get some more experience fighting demons first :P

i did manage to get a nice shield I hadnt seen before. stun immunity on it - nice for those few devils in Hell that still sometimes manage to stun my character.

anyways, love that server, been playing there for nearly 6 years now i think.
This is my primary server in NWN as well. The sheer amount of content on HG is staggering.

If I were going to start playing today, these are the 2 links that would make it a breeze.

http://wiki.hgweb.org/wiki/Installation_Guide

A member of HG created a neat launcher program, that will handle all updates, or you can manually download all of them.

http://highergroundpoa.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=openbuild

HG uses a subrace system, with each subrace having unique pros and cons. There are many builds with tons of info done by experienced players for the newbies.

As far as what to make as your first character, it is personal preference. Most classes have a unique roll on HG, not many are overly weak. For melee, weaponmaster or Barbarian are nice choices. Sorcs, druids, clerics are all very strong on HG.
Its been a busy few NWN days for me. I did a great "hell run double" the other day. Two runs back to back which means better loot for everyone, lots of tags and fun. We crashed through with a fun party, jokes on Skype while beating the hamatulas, cornugons and other hell monsters to a bloody pulp.

I have been a player on HG for quite a long time (8+ years on and off). I love the fact that its there when I want, you can do a short trip through the fey wilds for 15 minutes or an epic 5 hour marathon in some distant plane. There is a vast amount of content from the obligatory new character rat killing to battles with almost every D&D monster you ever heard of (and many you didn't). The scope covers far more than the base campaigns, from "just started" to demigodhood (and paragon advances planned beyond that).

I do donate money occasionally to support the server because I like it but there is no requirement to do so and no additional content available as a reward. Its just worth the support because of the community there.
We just got done in Azzagrat Parts 1&2 which is leading up to a showdown with Graztz demon lord and ruler of Azzagrat..

I rolled last in split as always.

But did better earlier today when we fought our way through Gaping Maw and brought down Demogorgon with a party of 8.

Managed to roll third from bottom lol

Attached a shot of me and demo to give everyone an idea of what he looks like.

Hope to cya in game soon,

Bad

http://highergroundpoa.proboards.com/index.cgi
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Post edited June 01, 2011 by binsobad
I'll checked out Locathah Depths this week, an legendary level area (for players 40-60 levels). Very nice and stylish. All underwater. What I've found out so far I've posted in the Wiki of higher Ground. Normally, legendary level areas are better explored with a group of up to 10 people, but I have my fun to try it solo with my staffmaster.
Back to game....
Thursday night was a blast for me on HG, my usual gaming group ran a party of 10 through Gaping Maw 3 which is the area leading up to and encompassing the abode of Demogorgon (Demon Lord) we blew through the place in about 2.5 hours. And everyone picked up their piece of the wand of Orcus.

Having 3 Sorcerers really help speed things up as we just blasted most of the opposition if short order. For those of you that don’t know there is a bigger reason for going after Demo.

HG has 5 quests in the abyss, to give you an idea of how this works I will copy a section of http://wiki.hgweb.org/wiki/Main_Page that best describes the quests.

Background
Orcus is a very old demon. Like many of the most powerful demon lords who struggle for power in the Abyss, Orcus started his existence as a mortal on the Prime Plane. He was apparently a wicked spellcaster of some sort, most probably a priest to some dark deity. After his death, his soul, like the souls of all chaotic evil mortals, went to the Abyss and Orcus began his afterlife as a lowly larva.
Orcus proceeded to climb through the demonic ranks in the next several thousand years, going from larva to mane, from mane to dretch, from dretch to rutterkin, from rutterkin to vrock, from vrock to glabrezu, from glabrezu to nalfeshnee and eventually a balor. From there, he ascended to the rank of demon lord, becoming the Prince of the Undead and ruling the layer of Thanatos, the Belly of Death. Even though there are other demon lords aspiring to the title of Prince of the Undead, Orcus' claim to the title has gone unchallenged for the most part. Ever hungry for more power, Orcus wanted to be recognized as Prince of Demons, a title held by Demogorgon and coveted also by Graz'zt. As a result, he became the arch-enemy of both demon lords. In time, Orcus also achieved true godhood.
However, shortly after his divine ascension, Orcus was slain by the drow demi-goddess Kiaransalee, who took over rulership of Orcus' layer of the Abyss and locked his wand away in the last layer of Pandemonium. Kiaransalee decreed that Orcus's name be erased from all existence.
A peculiar combination of events thwarted Kiaransalee's plans. Acererak's tampering with the nature of the Negative Energy Plane, the last prayers of Quah-Nomag, and the unexpected awakening of some of the sleepers of the demiplane of Moil combined to cause the spirit of Orcus to be reanimated as an undead god. Renaming himself Tenebrous in order to help obscure himself from his enemies, Orcus traveled to ruins buried in the sands of Pelion. There, he discovered the Last Word, an utterance so powerful that it can destroy deities. The Last Word will also eventually kill those who know it unless the being is a true deity. Thus, to restore his lost divinity, Orcus went in search of his wand. During his search, Orcus killed several gods and other powerful entities, including Bwimb, Primus, and Maanzecorian. Orcus' efforts were stymied by a group of adventurers and Orcus was again destroyed, this time by the power of the Last Word.
Orcus was resurrected by Quah-Nomag, one of his foremost high priests and thralls, in a blasphemous ritual enacted in the Astral Plane. Orcus then reclaimed his kingdom and his original name, re-proclaiming himself Prince of the Undead. However, as a result of his second death and resurrection, Orcus has lost his divinity, the ability to use the full power of the Last Word, and is a demon lord once more.

Introduction
Although Quah-Nomag's dark rite returned Orcus from the dead, the power of the Last Word shattered Orcus' wand into five separate parts. Orcus retained his grip on one, the skull, but the other four fled their master into the depths of the Abyss. Since then, they have worked their way into the possession of four of the other demon lords.
The Wand of Orcus is an incredibly powerful artifact when fully assembled, but the component parts have little power by themselves. Four of the demon lords each seek to acquire the complete Wand, which would surely cement their claim to be Prince of Demons. Not only would this turn the tide of the Blood War in their favor, but with the full power of the Abyss at their command, they would be able to strike at the Upper Planes.
The diviners of Pelor have not been idle. Having felt the restless search of the demon lords, they have also begun an attempt to recover the five parts. If the Wand could somehow be brought to the Fortress of the Sun, the power of the Sun would be able to destroy it, and the balance of power would shift to the forces of light. But doing so is fraught with deadly peril, as the risk of the Wand's destruction would bring the warring demon lords together to prevent such a loss.

After this some of my friends went to help 6 newer players start their journey through the 9 hells by running Avernus (Abode of Tiamat and her consorts), followed by Dis (The abode of Dispater).

I went ahead and got a group together for the Arcane Academy so that I could finish my wizard’s proxy (This is a way for older characters to get a chance to get the new accomplishments they missed because those tags were not around when they were created and leveled.)

That’s it for now,

Bad
Friday Night in Zyon

We started by clearing the Plane of Portals (This is the entry to the layers to the abyss).
All went well until we got lost, lol no one had opened a map so we wound up in front of the Azzagrat portal which was not the abyss plane we wanted to take on last night.

We then fought our way to the correct portal, and managed to clear the first spawn.

This is when our druid crashed and lost all his epics. So he decided to run back to Zariels workshop (Most hells and abyss runs start there). While on the way he somehow managed to rest spawn and die.

So half the party had to port back and then run to try and rez him. Luckily we got to him before he limboed. But it was about this time that our ranger took a wrong turn and went to a different map of the abyss even as I screamed “Nooooooo” at him.

Needless to say he ran right forward and spawned quite a bit of the map before the two sorcerers in the party got to him. Once again we rezed him in time, but this began quite a fight between the 3 of us and quite a big nasty spawn.

All this wound up eating up quite a bit of our time so the planned Zyon 1,2,3 (Each abyss layer is composed of 3 maps thus 9 maps to get to a Boss fight with several minis in between.) Had to become a Zyon 1,2

We had a few players that were newer to the abyss, which makes for a fun Zyon, as the main demons there called Ekolids infect players with low saves, causing them to die and hatch more Ekolids!

It was actually quite funny to see the 2nd map of part 2 almost completely crawling with Ekolids. Most of us were down to only 1 or 2 rests by this time.

In the end we won and got the tags, though it was a long and painful run to be sure.
Saturday night in Thanatos,

Thanatos if the abode of the infamous demon lord Orcus. This run starts out in Orcus gate a city of the undead, but quickly transitions into frozen tundra with a never ending blizzard.

These are some of the hardest maps in the abyss due to poor visibility and many overlapping spawn points that keep you fighting though the whole map.

Last night’s group had three sorcerers which helps speed up the run greatly. To everyone consternation we actually wound up doing the run twice as we had one of our regulars come late and miss the tag for part 1 (You cannot attune part 2 if you don’t have a part 1 tag).

This would have thrown off the whole cycle, so we moved servers and redid the run.

Tonight We are shooting for Thanatos 2 and 3, Part 3 is where we confront Orcus as Demon Lord and attempt to wrest a piece of his wand from his cold dead hands.

Side Note: A full abyss cycle consists of acquiring all 5 pieces of the wand of Orcus from the 5 demon lords in the abyss (Roughly 45 layers). This process can take as little as a week (If we show up on time and run fast) to a year or more for players with limited game time.
Thursday and Friday Nights:

Thanatos the abode of Orcus is s a frigid place filled with undead. For the past two nights and with gritted teeth we have worked our way through all 9 layers and into his citadel of Everlost.

Getting in is only the first challenge. Hartoon who is the gate keeper for Orcus is a super Lich who has 7 phylacteries that must be destroyed before you can actually harm him. Over time we have developed a technique that is a kind of cat and mouse game to avoid having to fight the same battle 7 times.

Even using this technique this can still be quite challenging and will test most parties resolve.

Last night’s Orcus fight was quite close. On the surface we won and took him down in under 3 minutes. But having fought him many times as a demon Lord and 4 times as Prince of Demons, I could see the writing on the wall, as players began to go down become incapacitated from the various effects and kick back from the rest of Orcus’ spawn.
Even as Orcus was near death I could see, that the many debilitating effects focused on the party were taking their toll. Plus the Blood winds (Party Kick Back Mobs) where playing havoc with the casters that needed to use Area of Effect spells on Orcus.

As is often the case, party composition is the key to success, often times parties will just not have enough quick damage to take down a Demon Lord before his summons overwhelm them. This coupled with a party’s lack of strategy can be fatal to the overall effort.

I am looking forward to this evenings assault on Zyon 1,2,3 and our showdown with Obox-Ob.
Have you found the +52 sword and armor of invulnerability yet?

It's in the same area that you need to be 756th level to access.
Looks pretty cool. I like some of the custom changes. How's the early game as a low level? Do you find yourself grinding the same low level stuff for an eternity? My tolerance for grinding just isn't as high as it used to be these days.
Low levels can be slow if you are playing solo, but there is a good deal of variation in areas available to you for adventuring. If you happen to join a party, then usually the low level experience tends to go by much faster. The quests available in town (check out the <span class="podkreslenie">Getting Started</span> guide for more details on where to find quests) also send you to many out of the way places.
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NWNDM: Have you found the +52 sword and armor of invulnerability yet?

It's in the same area that you need to be 756th level to access.
I'm with ya Mr. Bundy.
I enjoy lower levels very much, between the questing system and the pre legendary level tags. You never have to grind at anything just follow the tags progression and you will organically find yourself at the immortal fight and beyond.

Honestly, I have the most fun just joining groups running at my level, who have a blast running around the mod and tagging up. Wow it goes so fast, and you make new friends in the process which is the biggest bonus to me.

Now for "Mr Bundy" & Co.

I am always one to try something before expressing an opinion about it.

Otherwise what am I actually talking about?

And more importantly why am I saying anything at all?

Since I have no knowledge about said subject, I will likely say something foolish so I keep quite.

Most importantly what weight or value does my opinion hold on the subject?



Having said the above I would invite you and your friend to come try it before you knock it.
Make some new friends. Come run tags at low levels, try fighting the immortal at the forge, discover the Illithids, and the Toy Maker, Dulvaroth, Locathia and so much more that I would need to write a book.

Most importantly you may find out why people such as myself, love the mod so much they waste their free time letting people know about it.