Video Game / A Dance with Rogues
A famous (or infamous) two-part module for Neverwinter Nights
, created by the Neverwinter Vault user Valine who won IGN's module of the year in 2006 for it. As the title suggests, the module is specifically tailored to the D&D Rogue class
and is epic in scope, taking the Player Character
1 to 17-19. It is best known for its expansive and highly praised original storyline that is both Darker and Edgier
and Hotter and Sexier
than the original game's campaign and expansions.
The story starts with a war between the Kingdom of Betancuria
and the Dhorn Empire
. The player character is a Betancurian princess
, and in the opening scene, her family is slaughtered
, her mother commits suicide
, she herself is raped
, and her kingdom is conquered. The now ex-princess
is "adopted" by a Thieves' Guild
, and must now learn the tricks of the rogue trade—from picking locks
to using her sexuality as a weapon
—in order to survive. As she works her way up the ranks of the guild and becomes settled in her new life, the Princess soon becomes entangled in a shadow war
for control over Betancuria's criminal underworld.
The module requires Neverwinter Nights
with both expansions to play. See the ADwR
fan wiki for installation instructions
Compare and contrast Gladiatrix
, another module which is Hotter and Sexier
than the original campaign and expansions.
A Dance with Rogues contains examples of:
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Part of the Princess's lessons is survive traversing through the multi-part sewers. In fact, the Sewer Area Rapid Transit (SART) is the best way to travel across the sections of Betancuria in the least time possible.
- Action-Based Mission: Most of the game emphasizes dialogue and character interactions, but in a few places the player is forced into combat, such as during the finale of the Golden Chalice and Baron of Ravenstower quests, the finale of Part I, and the final leg of the story branch leading up to the Golden Ending.
- Action Girl: The Princess, the female companions and some of the female rogues of the Family.
- Affectionate Pickpocket: During the Seven Lessons, there is a scripted event when returning to the Bear Pit involves a drunken patron trying to pull the Princess onto his lap. You can either break free and flee... or let him feel you up a little and pick his pockets in revenge. Master Nathan is not happy about the latter choice, however—not about you standing up to a molester, mind you, but because stealing from patrons gives his inn a bad rap.
- All Love Is Unrequited: It's apparent that all of the PC's potential love interests have feelings for her, regardless of whether or not she reciprocates them. So, this happens to whichever ones aren't romanced.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Following the Vico or Rizzen romance will bring this trope into play.
- All Just a Dream: Subverted. After the Princess is killed by Hyath near the end of the module, she wakes up in a castle, surrounded by servants... and her father. She's assured by everyone that she was unconscious for months because of a fever that hit Betancuria and everything that's happened to her up to that point was just a fever dream. Later, however, it turns out this was all orchestrated by Arto Benthur in order to force her into marriage.
- All Men Are Perverts: Many males in the game are obsessed with sex in some way or other, and many try to hit on the Princess at some point or other. There are only a handful of exceptions, such as the chaste Ranger Anden.
- All Men Are Rapists: Some of the men the Princess meets will try to force, persuade or blackmail her into sleeping with them.
- All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Near the end of Part One both "The Bear Pit" restaurant and later the sewer hideout are ransacked by Dhorn and many members of the Family and anyone involved with them are either killed or taken prisoner.
- Anyone Can Die: Many significant characters can die for good in some situations, with the death of several of them being part of the game's story and thus unavoidable. You can also kill pretty much any NPC, although that means most of the others may turn hostile and overwhelm you.
- Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Averted; the Princess can bring as many party members as she likes on her sojourns, but they all come and go as the story demands.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Many you meet certainly seem to be. Especially the ruling family of Ravenstower.
- Awful Truth: The Dhorn waged war on Betancuria, because they discovered that the King of Betancuria was planning to weaken them and betray their alliance.
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: In the Golden Ending, the Princess is crowned Countess of Delberg, with every surviving ally cheering her on.
- Back from the Dead: A usual occurrence for your party, especially after finding the Rod of Resurrection, and also an integral part of bringing back Baron Ravenstower and returning to Betancuria as a result. However, there are also scripted deaths that are reversible. Nathan and Chella will both be revealed as dead near the end of Part Two, but they will be brought back later if the Princess accepts the Old Man's offer. Also, the Princess herself will be killed by Hyath later on and then brought alive to Arto, as part of his own deal with the Old Man.
- Bar Brawl: At the beginning of Part Two you wake up to find your companions were arrested because Vico started a bar brawl with Bran and Norah.
- Bare Your Midriff: Some female clothes of the mod are like this, including the ones automatically given to the Princess when she enters the Bear Pit just after the end of the Prologue.
- Beneath the Earth: The Underdark (and the caves above it), where a big part of the second part of the module is set.
- Bestiality Is Depraved:
- In one of the Seven Lessons, the Princess encounters a mastiff who shows great interest in her private parts.
- In order to infiltrate a demon cult in the later half of the game, the Princess must undertake an initiation. She is first required to strip, may drink an aphrodisiac, then enter a cage to "offer herself" among FOUR demon dogs. However, if she declines to drink the aphrodisiac and doesn't say anything to offend the high priest, she'll instead be forced to watch another girl get sexually assaulted by the dogs. Fortunately, there's the option to stop it by attacking and killing the demon dogs.
- Better to Die than Be Killed: The Princess's mother, the queen of Betancuria, who commits suicide in the opening scene.
- Big Damn Heroes: The Golden Ending requires the Princess and her party to be this, by coming back to Delberg and breaking the Orc siege while the Orcs have already begun to Storm the Castle.
- Bigger on the Inside: Many of the buildings in Betancuria have much bigger interiors than their external size would suggest. This is a limitation of the Neverwinter Nights game engine; the toolset usually requires inside areas larger that the outside building, because inside oriented tilesets aren't flexible enough if used to create an area with the size of a small building.
- Bittersweet Ending: All of the endings are this one way or the other. In each one of them, despite how far she's come, the Princess's future is very uncertain, she can never return to Betancuria, and she's still on the run from the Dhorn, most likely for the rest of her life.
- Book Ends: Sort of, in the Golden Ending. The game begins with the Dhorn storming the Princess castle, in the Golden Ending the Princess' party storms an already invaded castle to put an end to a siege.
- Broken Bridge: Several instances of this, two of which are literal (like the one directly leading to Betancuria during the Seventh Lesson).
- But Thou Must!: On numerous occasions you simply don't have the option to refuse doing extremely stupid and naïve things, which always have very predictable results.
- Buxom Is Better: This is actually built into the mechanics of the module, though not entirely how you'd expect. The Princess's body shape (specifically the size of her breasts and bottom) is determined by her Constitution score—and because of the bonus HP, it's always better to have a higher CON in D&D. Also, some NPCs will react more favorably to a Princess with larger assets.
- Cassandra Truth: If you do some exploring around Westwood, you will discover a group of orcs camping out in a cavern beneath an abandoned house. However, if you try to inform any of the guards, they won't believe you, and brush it off as nothing. A short time later, an army of orcs invade the town and kill everyone with little effort (including all the guards, of course.)
- Cast from Experience Points: Late in the game, performing a specific, particularly selfless act (freeing the fallen paladin Luciano from an eternity of enslavement by a powerful demon to give him a chance at redemption) costs you one tenth of all of your accumulated XP, potentially bumping you down a level permanently.
- Chainmail Bikini: Most heavy armors are crafted like plated metal bra and thongs. Inferior chainmail are in the form of nipple chains. There is an actual chainmail armor called "Chainmail Bikini". It adds weakness to cold. Some characters may occasionally lampshade this, especially the party members in the Planes due to the impracticality of the clothes. Ditto the "Armor of the Maiden" (found in the secret passageways under the Bentancuria Castle), which seems to be little more than metal bra and panties, yet offers protection on par with the best plate armor at that point—at the cost of massive weakness to cold.
- Character Alignment: Has little bearing on gameplay in itself, though the Princess's alignment is affected by her choices and actions. However, given the context of the story, it's very difficult to maintain a "Lawful" alignment.
- Character Development: For the Princess and her companions, depending on how you play the game.
- City Guards: They're everywhere, and they reprimand you for breaking minor laws (like carrying an unsheathed weapon in public) and kill you for major offenses (like stealing within their line of sight). Don't bother attacking them, as they are vastly more powerful than you.
- City Noir: Betancuria is a fantasy variation, what with monochrome architecture, rampant crime despite permanent military regime patrols, and almost constant rain.
- Civil War: At the end of each module, The Princess' allies (the Family in the first, Delberg Castle in the second) fall into a schism due to her identity. One side will desire to sell her to the Dhorn, while the other will defend her to the death. Chaos ensues.
- Coitus Uninterruptus: Can potentially happen between the Princess and a few villainous characters, like Jero and Alen during Simon's mission in Part One, and the orc Bagor near the end of Part Two, since these three don't exactly feel uncomfortable having someone watch them while they're coupling with her.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Listing all the examples would take up quite some space, so let's just say the Princess is not the only one thrown into situations like this.
- Coming-of-Age Story: The whole game is somewhat like this, as it's basically the Princess' peaceful life being destroyed and her being forced to survive and become stronger and a more competent leader in a world that throws one bad situation at her after another.
- Crapsack World: Particularly with the earlier versions of the module, but still in effect with the latest ones as well.
- Cthulhumanoid: Rual'thor, an Illithid antagonist in the Underdark.
- Cutscene: A lot of them are long and unskippable (because of limitations of the game), with the Princess's ordeal in the Underdark as the most memorable example.
- Dead Guy on Display: This is the fate of the Princess' parents after the Dhorn take the castle. Their heads are mounted on the walls, while the bodies of the rest of the castle's inhabitants are either burned, fed to dogs and crows, or just plain left to rot inside the place.
- Deus ex Machina: The conclusion of the Betancuria Castle heist quest. The Princess and Simon Lyonson are in the castle's garden, deprived of their clothes and weapons, while there are hostiles soldiers in the castle and their companions are dead. Then a few secret agents of the Dhorn Empire appears and a long dialog appears, in which it is said that they would cover everything and let the heroine flee. And they give her back all her stuff.
- Developers' Foresight:
- Running outside naked or in underwear for too long can make the Princess catch a cold (through the constitution saving throw system of the game), not helped by the always raining weather of Betancuria.
- NPCs have special reactions if the main character is naked or in underwear when talking to them. Friendly ones will usually say something like "Please Put Some Clothes On", Dhorn guards will order her to put clothes on, and eventually may arrest her.
- If the player orders the Princess to touch herself in her home but there is an NPC in her party, she will refuse to do it.
- Near the end of the Golden Chalice quest, there is a dialog which allows the Princess to choose whether she keeps the Black Pearl Ring given by the Shadow she befriended or permanently get rid of it. If the player decides to throw manually the ring before this dialog and then pick it up again, the character will be sent to a special area triggering a game over if the Princess still has the ring when finishing the quest.
- If the player has sex with their love interest, while there are other companions present in the party, they may comment on the couple or snicker afterwards.
- Wearing one of the Family's signature black catsuits (which give bonuses to stealth skills) in public will make every Dhorn guard on the streets chase after the Princess — and woe if they find anything in her inventory with the "stolen" flag on it! Likewise, they will demand that she unequips her weapon(s) while on the streets — unless she is a Guild Ranger (like Anden), in which case they don't mind.
- Wearing clothes including bare feet gives a bonus to the Move Silently skill. Clothes including high heels provide a Move Silently malus.
- Dirty Old Man: Many men lusting after the Princess are much older than her.
- Draco Lich: An optional boss in the Underdark, that can only be encountered if you survived the dark elf ambush without being captured.
- Dragon Hoard: Two of them are available for the picking.
- Driven to Suicide: Trenton Galley, your second patron during the "Nightingale" sidequest, had lost his entire family and his will to live in the Dhorn sacking of Betancuria. If you talk to him, it becomes painfully obvious that he will kill himself as soon as you leave—in fact, the only reason he hasn't done so yet is that the Princess looks vaguely similar to his late wife. If you leave and return to his house later, you will find him dead next to an empty coffin and the coffins of his family in his cellar. Sunshine and happiness for everyone in this game.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Happens to a few characters, notably Caron, Tony and Alfons, with their very sudden and unexpected demise.
- Dungeon Crawling: Several parts of the game are this. Justified, as it is a Rogue-oriented module. Such sequences include the Sixth Lesson (the home of a mage), the Betancuria sewers, the whole Golden Chalice arc, the beginning of the "Pia is Missing" quest (the abandoned Betancuria Academy), the Isle of Prisoners, etc.
- Dysfunction Junction: Vico is a psychopath, who may have fallen in love with the player character and is trying to work out how to deal with it, Pia has had most of her friends slain in the Dhorn purge of the Betancuria thieves' guild, Anden has thrown away his home and his life to follow a woman, who he loves yet believes he is unworthy of, Bran and Norah had their entire clan killed and are on a quest to find the killer (and are the most well-adjusted characters in the party, no less), and Rizzen is on the run from his own family after inadvertently witnessing his mother's embarrassment and is a realistically-played runaway drow besides.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: After the Family rescues the Princess from the Dhorn, she is given a number of choices on how she will decide her fate, which also affects the Family, Betancuria, and all of Delberg. Particularly bad is the Golden Ending, wherein you have to defeat a whopping 200-odd orcs without a moment of respite.
- Elaborate Underground Base:
- The hideout of the Family in the sewers.
- The prison of the Isle of Prisoners.
- Enemy Civil War: One of the missions will involve you helping a Dhorn noble in raiding the Betancuria Castle treasury due to a technicality on the ownership of the king's hoard. The said noble (a son of the Dhorn emperor himself) does not trust the way of the Dhorn in power over Betancuria.
- Everyone Can See It: Norah and Pia quite easily detect the male companions' more serious attraction to the Princess. Especially during the beginning of a romance, even if the Princess and her love interest don't admit it yet.
- Fantastic Racism: Vico doesn't like Dwarves and takes every occasion to say it if he is in the party with a Dwarf, or if he is in the party when talking to a Dwarf. There are also dialog options for the Princess allowing her to show such feelings to Dwarves NPC. Also, nobody on the surface likes Drows, and if Rizzen is in the party when approaching Moonville, the guards will immediately turn hostile.
- Fantasy Contraception: The "Herbal Contraception Tea" potion is this in the lore of the game. It is useless to prevent the Princess pregnancy in the second part of the module, if she pursues a romance with Vico.
- Fantasy Keepsake: The Dhorn try to convince the Princess that she has been sick with fever for months and the events of the game were all just a nightmare. However, upon regaining control of the Princess, you quickly find out that she is still a level 19 rogue with all the skills and combat abilities that go with it—which would naturally be impossible if her adventures were fake.
- Foreshadowing: The Princess can pay a fortuneteller in Betancuria for a reading. The fortuneteller proceeds to have some very ominous and somewhat vague visions of the Princess' future, which, if interpreted correctly, actually do reveal a great deal of the game and possible choices the Princess can make herself.
- Game-Breaking Bug:
- In certain versions of the game, during the "Nightingale" quest, at the third rendezvous, the game becomes broken if the Princess isn't at full health: she is sold to the Dhorn after being left for dead; there is a script which hurts her for her max hitpoints minus one; if she isn't at full health, she dies.
- During the Ravenstower chapter, if the heroes leave the castle just after the battle against the traitors instead of choosing to come back to Betancuria, it becomes impossible to go back inside the castle and then unable to go further in the game.
- If just one of the random Dhorn city guards is killed, all of the guards in the game will permanently turn hostile (even if the killing wasn't witness by anyone else), pretty much breaking the game, because it is then nearly impossible to simply get around the city without being hacked to pieces.
- Going Commando: Technically, underwear is a kind of armor item and character models have been modified to not appear to be wearing underwear (contrary to those of the original Neverwinter Nights), so technically every character is always naked under their armor.
- Grey and Gray Morality: The Dhorn attack on the kingdom of Betancuria was provoked when the Dhorn Emperor realized your father was planning to marry you off to a noble who had been deposed by the Dhorn Empire... Thus giving Betancuria a legitimate reason to attack Dhorn.
- Greater-Scope Villain: There's an unseen being or presence mentioned several times as the Nameless One, which seems to be the ancient malevolent force behind the undead in the Temple of Hyath and the Isle of Prisoners. There's speculation on whether or not the Nameless One and the Old Man are one and the same.
- Grim Up North: Ravenstower, a remote place far in the North of Betancuria, inside mountains and with an arctic weather.
- The Guards Must Be Crazy:
- The way to evade the City Guards' vengeance is just to run a short distance and they'll forget about you.
- The stealth system of Neverwinter Nights being what it is, a character with high-enough stealth skills can walk among large groups of Dhorn soldiers or monsters of hostile animals without being spotted. Even when wearing bright colors.
- There a part in the plot (when failing to stealthy enter the Forest Lodge when she believes Nathan and other heads of the Family are imprisoned) where the Princess is captured and sent into a jail with her weapons (and only her weapons) confiscated. It means that the guards didn't take her lockpicks. In fact it is a subversion of the trope: the Dhorn who captured her intended to use her to make an heist in the Betancuria Castle, so they didn't mind if she escaped her cell: it proves that she has the skill they need.
- Guide Dang It: Many quests will leave little information in your journal, so you may have to try everything and search everything in some areas in order to figure out what the best course of action is. And even then it might not be that clear.
- Gutted Like a Fish: Just one more reason to hate the Dhorn after two of their soldiers do this to poor Caron.
- Hammerspace Police Force: At the end of the first part, the computer will send an infinite number of Dhorn soldiers after the player's party. The most useful way to avoid them is using stealth.
- Even if you actually succeed in killing any of the city guards, it's pointless, as the game will just infinitely spawn new ones.
- Hellhole Prison: The Isle of Prisoners. Most of the second part of the module is about reaching it and then helping members of the Family escape. When there, we discover that it has been built just above a planar anomaly and that anyone who dies there becomes an undead... Every prisoner is executed when they arrive there and every inmate is a zombie.
- Hellhound: The Old Man gives you one as a guide in the Planes. In the Golden Ending you'll get to keep it, as it follows you all the way to the castle.
- Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Only the Dhorn mooks ever wear helmets in this game. You can buy a few helmets for the Princess in the temples but they are all pretty useless to the rogue class (which probably explains why most of the cast—whose preferred class is helpfully stated in the module's title—skips them, too).
- Homage: According to Valine, the characters of the modules take a lot of inspiration from those in A Song of Ice and Fire series, and it shows:
- The Princess is a pastiche of the Stark sisters and Daenerys. She starts out as a Broken Bird princess (Sansa) who later joins a thieves/assassins guild (Arya); she can later learn to use her feminine wiles as a weapon (Dany).
- The pre-generated non-canon character that can be downloaded to play the module is named "Lyanna Stormborn", a name derived from the series. The names "Bran" and "Pia" also appeared in these books.
- Vico could be synonymous with the Clegane brothers, all of them being Black Knights with insatiable bloodlust. He is basically a Composite Character who stands between the brothers in terms of characteristics.
- One of the Mayor's sex slaves is named Sander Gregory, a name subtly derived from the Clegane brothers.
- A subtle reference of Eddard Stark's BFS Ice is the barbarian Bran's BFS named Frost. While not a direct homage per se, Vico's Kinslayer sword sounds close to Jaime Lannister's Kingslayer title.
- Simon Lyonson can be considered the Tyrion Lannister of the game, where both characters being the most likable from the enemy hierarchy.
- The modules' antagonist empire Dhorn is based on the Dorne region in the series, though this similarity appears to be only name-wise.
- Much like the books, gratuitous amounts of nudity and (optional) sex are abound, as well as hints of Anyone Can Die.
- The astoundingly dysfunctional Jerk Ass couple Christano and Myra were apparently a homage to a couple the author met in real life.
- Hope Spot: Just before the Dhorn attack the Bear Pit.
- Hopeless Boss Fight:
- There are two fights in the Underdark which are designed to wipe out the party, triggering their capture and eventual slavery to the drow. The first is an ambush from dark elves and the other is a battle with an endless army of skeletons and a skeletal dragon. Winning both will earn them hefty XP rewards, high-grade loot from the drow corpses and massive bragging rights.
- The fight with Hyath near the end of the game is literally hopeless, as the scripting prevents any way to win it.
- Hot Coffee Minigame: Basically every possible sexual encounter is interactive via the dialogue system.
- How the Mighty Have Fallen: The premise of the entire story.
- Humanshifting: A couple of Ravenstower's relatives are in fact dragons in human form. They regain their draconic shape for the fight at the end of the quest.
- I Call It "Vera": Many weapons in the game are named, but some characters seem to have specially named their weapons to also reflect some of their personality: Bran's greatsword "Frost", Norah's greataxe "Heat" and Vico's longsword "Kinslayer".
- I Fought the Law and the Law Won: You are not going to be defeating the City Guards (the small amount of loot they drop is pretty worthless anyway). You can break into their barracks and rob them blind, though.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: Used many, many times throughout the story. Even during the prologue.
- The Immodest Orgasm: As a game with erotic content, it is to be expected that the participants in the various sex scenes enjoy themselves quite a bit.
- Implacable Man: The Dhorn. Holy crap, the Dhorn. Even though you're really not a threat to them with their immensely powerful army, they just won't quit. Absolutely nothing will stop them from hunting you. Which is why the two "good" endings are still so uncertain, as it's not clear if they will ever leave you alone.
- Infant Immortality: This trope is averted in the game due to the following:
- Vico had a young teenage female friend killed by the Dhorn during the raid on Betancuria castle during the Prologue. It led him to try to murder the Betancuria king to avenge her (as the king was already dead, he decided to rape the Princess, instead).
- After the orc attack on Westwood it's possible to see corpses of children throughout the town, alongside those of adults.
- In the second part of the module, if the Princess romanced Vico, she will eventually become pregnant. Her pregnancy is terminated by the Dhorn, when she's killed by Hyath and then resurrected and given to Arto Benthur as part of his scheme to marry her.
- Injured Player Character Stage: One side-quest sees the Princess slashed across the throat, her entire inventory taken away, and her body dumped in the sewers. She survives with 1 HP and, because health does not regenerate on its own, has to rely on stealth to get out and find help. All of a sudden, a corridor full of common sewer rats becomes a terrifying ordeal.
- Ironic Hell: During "The Golden Chalice" quest, Christiano (who comes off as a massive Jerkass throughout the entire venture) attempts to force the Princess to have sex with him when the party stops to rest in the tombs. If she kills him herself, or allows Hyath to kill him, Hyath imprisons his soul. Much later in the story, even if the Princess did not cause Christiano's death, she will meet him again in hell, only to find that he has been imprisoned in the body of a succubus and subjected to endless sexual and physical torture, a fitting punishment for his ill treatment of women in life.
- It's Not Porn, It's Art: At the beginning of the sidequest where the heroine poses for a nude painting, the painter invokes this when he is busted by the Dhorn. They don't believe him.
- Jerkass: A lot of characters, but especially Vico and Cata among the main ones (Cata will eventually turn to be a traitor in the Family, and Vico will turn against the Princess if she didn't romance him). Also Christiano and the Baron of Ravenstower.
- Kill It with Fire: Arto Benthur seems to love doing this. From burning the house in which the Princess is in to describing in detail the procedure of using a heated cage for torture and interrogation. The drow seem to be fond of similar methods as well.
- Killed Off for Real: Plenty of characters, both main and secondary. Even the Princess isn't immune to this in some cases.
- Kleptomaniac Hero: Playing this way will quickly send you plunging to the Chaotic end of the Order Versus Chaos meter.
- Knight Templar: The Dhorn in general. Even the Betancurian King himself, who is only interested in employing more and more soldiers for his endless wars.
- La Résistance: The Family, a thieves guild founded by an alliance of merchants, criminals and smugglers in Betancuria who control crime by leading it. While they are careful not to tread against the Betancurian king, the Dhorn invasion made things worse as the Dhorn themselves are also interested to seize control of the criminal underworld after the collapse of Castle Betancuria.
- Last-Second Ending Choice: The player can always choose among all but one ending after the Family breaks the Princess out of Greenfork, regardless of their previous choices. The major exception, however, is the Golden Ending, which is only available if you convinced the Count of Delberg to let you go by promising to Bring Help Back in the penultimate chapter.
- Lawful Good:
- ST Ds.Although the game makes it very difficult to stay at the Lawful Good alignment, successfully adhering to it allows the Princess to take levels in the Paladin class, which grants immunity to diseases — including, ironically,
- Anden, a Betancurian Ranger, is one of the nicest guys around. He is distinctly uneasy with any law-breaking activities.
- Christano is technically one (he is a Paladin). He actually has no issue with drugging his girlfriend, then trying to sleep with the Princess (his guide) next to her, in the underground temple during the Golden Chalice quest. If the Princess refuses, he then tries to force her by justifying it with his status. The only way to really repel him is to keep pushing him away and refusing or, for a quicker and more intimidating way, threaten him with a knife.
- Law of Inverse Fertility: Subverted. If the Princess gets together with Vico, she ends up getting pregnant with his baby. Naturally, given the tremendously difficult situation they're presently in, everyone fears for the complications this could cause. Later on, however, she's infected with a demonic plague, killed and resurrected by Hyath and then given to Arto, who has her pregnancy terminated as part of his plan to trick the Princess into marriage, including paying for an operation to make her seem still a virgin.
- Made a Slave: The Princess, Bran, Pia and Vico after being captured in the Underdark.
- The Mafia: Nathan's organization, essentially. It is even called "the Family" by the insiders.
- Male Gaze: Numerous citizens (and guards) will have a special interest in the Princess's prominent bust and bottom.
- Malicious Slander:
- Over the course of the game, it becomes apparent on a few occasions that Vico has been boasting about "bedding" the Princess, without mentioning it was rape, even if he hasn't touched her after that. He'll also viciously accuse her, often in front of others, of being a whore, especially if she rejects him, even if she hasn't slept with anyone up to that point.
- Trissa, one of the kitchen girls, will accuse the Princess of acting like a slut, even if she hasn't done anything of the sort. Later on, she'll say that most of the girls in the kitchen would gossip that the only reason Master Nathan favored the Princess was because he was attracted to her and she was bedding him to rise in the Family.
- Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Mainly if the Princess and Vico are in a relationship. In fact, the Princess herself can ask Vico for a "session" almost about anywhere when he tags along, Vico himself systematically ask when the group is about to rest. Other relationships can only have chaste kisses every now and then, and the intimate moments are done in secluded areas. The most glaring example is when Vico asks the Princess to make love to him after they win almost a nigh endless battle with the undead and a dracolich. They actually have sex on the stone-cold open grounds of the Underdark. And they do it in front of Anden and Pia, who both react in disgust. There is also a sex scene on top of a tombstone in a seemingly endless dusty desert only covered by tombstones, in the Planes.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: Happens to a few of the Princess' mentors in the guild, most notably Caron and Tony, though Alfons may count as well, having been Pia's mentor for longer.
- Mini-Game: The strip-dice game sequence (through dialogs and heavy scripting). And the gambling dice game you can play in Part One with fellow rogues in the sewers hideout.
- Multiple Endings: Lots and lots of them. Many which result from the Princess making a bad decision and getting herself killed. There are also four "true" endings (chosen from a dialog at the end), which mostly verge toward Downer Ending / Bittersweet Ending. Interestingly, three of them announce a (not planned) sequel:
- Downer Ending: The most unambiguously negative ending, the Princess feigns agreement to marry Arto Benthur, then commits suicide at the ceremony in order to release a very deadly plague upon the Dhorn as a final act of revenge. Interestingly, this is the only ending which guarantees retribution against the Dhorn, as it will deal a very heavy blow to their empire, and may very well lead to their fall.
- The Princess breaks down and agrees to marry Arto Benthur, and the module comes to a close with their wedding cermony. Could be seen as a Bittersweet Ending, as Nathan convinced the Princess to do so because she could has an influence on Arto, which is especially interesting because Arto is thought to be planning to take the throne of Dhorn.
- Bittersweet Ending: The Princess chooses to flee Greenfork Castle with Nathan, Anden, and the remaining members of the Family, who depart as fugitives for parts unknown. It can be deliberately chosen on the Greenfork Island; it is also what happens if the player tried to choose the golden ending but failed to protect the Earl of Delberg.
- Golden Ending: This one is only unlocked if the story took a specific turn earlier. In Delberg, if the Princess managed to convince the Earl of Delberg to not sell her to the Dhorn, if the Earl survived the fight which happens then, and if the Princess promises to come back with reinforcements, there is the possibility to really come back with the party and fight the Orcs who are besieging Delberg Castle. If the Earl of Delberg survives the battle, he gives the Princess his title and his castle; the plot then implies that the heroes intend to eventually go back to Betancuria to fight the Dhorn.
- Multiple Persuasion Modes: The mod supplements classic D&D Diplomacy, Intimidation, and Bluff skills with the custom "Arts of Love" skill, which represents the Princess' knowledge of the love-making and sexual experience and can be used to have her way with many, many male NPCs (and some females) when other options fail.
- Mutually Exclusive Party Members: Sort of, after the splitting of the party in the Underdark. Which romance between Vico or Bran was chosen by the Princess determines which of them will stay for the rest of the journey; the other will leave the party permanently. If she chose Anden, Pia, or no romance at all, both are lost forever as party members. Also, if the Princess romances Vico in the Dwarf settlement, Norah and Bran leave the party because they learned where to find their nemesis at the same time; it is possible to convince them not to leave if Vico left the party after the fight between him and Bran.
- Nintendo Hard: The game is rather challenging and success is often dependent on trial and error and lots of preparation.
- No-Gear Level: The number of times your equipment gets taken away is amazing. Including all your clothing.
- No Name Given: There is a god named "The Nameless One" (not this one) in the background of the "Golden Chalice" quest. There is also an important NPC near the end of the game, only designed as "Old Man". Some people believe they are the same being.
- Non-Combat EXP: Heavy use of this, except for some boss fights, especially ones involving dragons. Killing actually gives you measly amounts of experience, while doing rogue-related activities, like picking locks, disarming traps and successful persuasion/bluff give you large amounts of experience points.
- No Periods, Period: Averted.
- When coming back to Betancuria with Anden, after the party has been attacked by wild animals several times, he mentions that the smell of menstrual blood is thought to drive some animals crazy. Later, during the Golden Chalice quest, after being attacked by bats in the temple of Hyath, the Princess has the option to ask Myra if she's on her "Moon blood".
- During the quest of Ravenstower—obsolete version—the mage says that the baron is trying to make Pia pregnant, to give birth to an heir. If the Princess asks Pia if he succeeded, she answers that she knows he didn't, because she's had her period.
- If the player chooses to have a romance with Bran, when the party rests in one of the specific spots, he won't be able to have sex with her because, well...
- During her pregnancy, any dialog with Vico will have him asking if she's had her period yet.
- Less specifically, there are a couple of references to the cliché "periods makes you become moody" in dialogs. For example, in the example above involving Myra, then Christiano asks the Princess why she asked this; the player can choose to answer something like "because she always acts like she's on her period". There is also this gem late in the second part of the module:
Rizzen: You're always acting like you have your period, bard.
Pia: And you're acting like you're about to have your first one!
- Non Standard Game Over:
- The Princess is subject to two loyalty tests in the middle of the first chapter. Failing either of them (selling the thieves' guild to the man in the Mysterious Note quest or going off north instead of returning to Betancuria in Lesson 7) causes the game to end and the standard credits to roll.
- After passing the lessons and tests Nathan will offer you a place in the Family as a rogue. If you refuse, he tells you the alternative would be to leave Betancuria forever, because at this point the Princess has learned too much about the Family and becomes a risk to them if she isn't a member, while still being hunted by Dhorn. You can then accept his offer and stay or firmly refuse and leave the city, thus ending the game.
- If you refuse to summon Hyath but keep the ring, you get a dreamscape cutscene and you die as soon as you leave the Summer Isles.
- When imprisoned by the Drow, insulting Rizzen will force him to leave you in your cell and triggers a Game Over.
- Another one when imprisoned by the Drow: in one instance, the Princess is interrogated by her keepers to know why she traveled through Underdark. She can lie and answer that she is a cleric on a quest to retrieve the Golden Chalice. Then, the Drow asks the question again. If the Princess maintains this version, she is executed.
- If the Princess refuses the offer of the Old Man, he kills the entire party.
- Not Good with Rejection: Many males in the game will not take kindly to having their advances rejected by the PC. Vico stands out as a particularly strong example.
- Not Quite Dead: Handwaved in-universe. The Princess is sent to assassinate a certain Dhorn noble, only to find him alive and well and working with him the next time they meet. It is then explained that the Resurrect spell can revive anyone as long as the physical body is not mutilated.
- It is not true since the latest version, in which the Princess learns that she killed a body-double. Note that the handwave couldn't be coherent, as she beheaded the man after killing him.
- The Nudifier: Boss-level giant spiders, like the mutant in the abandoned mine and the spider queen in the Underdark, have the ability to strip the victim of their armor (and you can't put it back on until the fight is over). Apparently, the developer thought the game needed some more nudity in it.
- Number of the Beast: If the Princess refuses the offer of the Old Man, he insta-kills each member of the party. Everyone suffers from exactly 6666 points of non-dodgeable damages, which is far greater than the maximum hitpoints number a non-cheated player can ever reachs with a level-40 character with a melee-oriented class (at this point the character is somewhere around 15). It is also the amount of damages Hyath inflicts to the Princess when she brings back the statue stolen in Delberg.
- If the Princess summons Hyath and allows him to kill Cristiano and Myra, she can receive 6,666 XP as a reward.
- The Oldest Profession: The Nightingale, Mayor's Mansion and Whore sidequests.
- Only Six Faces: Averted. The modder put great efforts to give each NPC and commoner customized unique appearance and clothes.
- Optional Party Member: Surprisingly, all of them are, as even Vico is an obligatory companion only for part of the module. Nevertheless, recruiting all of them does add to the plot as several companions can play significant roles in the story's progression.
- Optional Sexual Encounter: Extensive use of this trope.
- Surprisingly true to the trope name, despite the whole Hotter and Sexier and "using your charms to your advantage" idea, it is entirely possible to go through the entire game with the only sex the princess had having been the rape by Vico in the prologue. Even Pia's sex scene can be avoided by telling her you're just not comfortable with doing this and/or confessing that you've recently been raped.
- Orwellian Retcon: Updates added to the module change some points of the plot (usually small). Only the latest version can be downloaded on the official NW Vault pages.
- Minor examples: In the latest version, Alen Kley appears during the "Tony the Tiger" sidequest. Also, when he first appears in the module, Anden Goodmanner is met tied to a pole in a bandit camp (outside); in later versions, the bandit camp is replaced by an abandoned castle occupied by bandits.
- Major example: The whole plot of the Ravenstower part of the game is very different in the last version from what it was in the previous. It expands greatly the role of the Ravenstower family. Previously, the only character met was the Baron. It also removes the friendly white dragon and the quest to find a way to free him from his cave, among another changes.
- Our Dragons Are Different
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same
- Our Elves Are Better: Most of the Elves encountered are Dark Elf antagonists.
- Our Orcs Are Different / Our Goblins Are Different: There are Orcs and Goblins as enemies in a few points of the game, especially in the Underdark and during the siege of Delberg.
- Out of the Frying Pan: Quite a number of situations the Princess can get out of just lead her into another disaster. Even in the very beginning, when she's "rescued" by Vico.
- The Password is Always "Swordfish": Played with. The password to get into the sewer entrance is "stinkfish." (Coincidentally or not, there's also a tavern called "The Swordfish", which is located very near the warehouse that houses the sewer entrance.)
- Permanently Missable Content: There are a ton of situations where your companions can die for good or their recruitment and relationships can be derailed. Not to mention the times when you can lose your equipment, especially the surprising dispel Hyath casts on it near the end, which may effectively make your best weapons, armor and potions useless, unless you left them in a companion's inventory before accepting the Old Man's deal.
- Point of No Return:
- In the first part, the quest to find what happened to Pia is a very vicious one. When it seems the person's been found by the Princess, both are teleported by an antagonist to a remote place. Going back to Betancuria is itself a very long quest. When the player eventually comes back to the Bear Pit after returning from Grim Up North, the Dhorn launch a large-scale assault on the Family, causing a few places and NPCs to become inaccessible. More of them disappear when the Princess advances the plot (by making a report to Alfons about what happened in the Bear Pit), which also triggers the spawning of hostile Dhorn patrols in the streets of Betancuria.
- There are a lot of them in the more linear second part of the mod.
- Porn with Plot: For a premise where the female lead has to use her sexuality for infiltration and espionage, it is to be expected. Majority of the plot requires characters to be wearing little to no clothing at all.
- Rape as Drama: Extensive use of this trope throughout the game.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Oh so very much.
- Rape, Pillage, and Burn: The Dhorn Empire attempted to avert this through harsh penalties to rapists among their soldiers. Unfortunately, this only means they slaughter everyone instead.
- Rat Stomp: Subverted in the end of the Nightingale quest: you are dumped in the sewers and have to fight your way through a corridor full of rats to freedom. It would have been easy if not for the fact that you have no armor, no potions, only weak melee weapons, and exactly one (1) HP left after getting your throat slashed, instantly turning your ordinary, run-of-the-mill rats into terrifying monsters that kill you in one hit.
- Recruited from the Gutter: Most of the Family's agents have been rescued from the streets by Master Nathan and his cohorts. For instance, Pia was a Starving Artist before her recruitment as the Family's in-house bard.
- Religion of Evil: Over the course of the game you come across two demon cults, who perform or have performed various atrocities. Pia also mentions a rumor that Vico is said to worship an evil deity, though that is never outright proven. Nevertheless, he does show on occasion that he's very familiar with some demonic writings.
- Required Party Member: Everyone of the party-based sequences of the first part of the mod. Less true in the second part.
- Revive Kills Zombie: Inverted weirdly towards the end of the Isle of Prisoners chapter: the only member of the Family you find, Jacia, has been executed and came back as a zombie, as per normal procedure in that place, however, killing her undead form with conventional methods, then using a Rod of Resurrection on her doubly-lifeless body brings back the original human Jacia of blood and flesh. Sadly, this never becomes a viable option for the rest of the Bear Pit captives...
- Romance Sidequest: There are five possible suitors: Anden, the shy, prudish Ranger; Pia, the playful, bisexual female Bard; Vico, the dark, brooding Blackguard who raped the Princess in the prologue; Bran, the easy-going, flirtatious Barbarian; and the drow Rizzen, the reserved, cunning Rogue/Fighter.
- Ruling Family Massacre: The mod starts with a somewhat interactive cutscene depicting the sack of Betancurian royal palace, wherein the entire royal family is massacred by the Dhorn. Only the youngest princess, who is also the Player Character, escapes with her life by sheer luck (whether it's good or bad one is debatable).
- Save the Princess: Inverted. The princess is the Action Girl, who often ends up saving other characters, including Pia repeatedly.
- Screw Destiny: This is the advice the fortuneteller will give the Princess after reading her future. As the fortuneteller says "nothing is set in stone" and it's up to the Princess whether or not everything that is predicted comes true in exactly the same way. As the game has many possible outcomes and the Princess' actions and behavior can vary greatly, this trope may just well come into play.
- Screw You, Elves!: The Princess and her companions feel a lot of this when they are captured, imprisoned and enslaved by the very nasty and unpleasant Dark Elves during their venture through the Underdark.
- Secret Circle of Secrets: The Golden Chalice quest is set in the abandoned temple of one. There is also the "Cult" in the second part of the module. Both lies heavily on sexual rituals.
- Secret Test of Character: Twice during the Seven Lessons quest: very early on, the Princess is approached by a man who claims to be a loyal retainer of the royal family and offers to take her to safety if she betrays the Family—in fact, he is an agent of the Family sent to test her loyalty, and accepting his offer sees the Princess kicked out, leading to a Non Standard Game Over. One of the Lessons then takes the Princess far outside of Betancuria and, at one point, she can just abandon her quest and walk away towards and uncertain future—this also results in a Non Standard Game Over.
- Secret Test of Thieving Skill: Towards the end of part 1, a Dhorn nobleman looking for a capable burglar for a high-profile heist captures the Princess as she is breaking into his castle and locks her up in a dungeon... without confiscating any of her tools. So, when the Princess makes her way right out of said dungeon, he waits for her just outside with an offer she can't refuse.
- Sequel Hook: Three of the four endings are obvious ones:
- The Princess marries Arto — who aims to become the Dhorn ruler — with the intent of having an influence on his actions.
- The Princess and her companions are still on the run.
- The Princess becomes the new ruler of Delberg and plans to lead a war against the Dhorn.
- Serial Killer: In Part One, following the longer route of avenging Caron's death shows that the two Dhorn officers who killed him seem to be this, complete with a Torture Cellar in South Betancuria, where you find the numerous rotting bodies of the men and women they abused, both sexually and with torture equipment. There's also an optional encounter with a werewolf posing as a man in Betancuria, who will try and lure you in his basement by pretending he needs help opening a chest and giving you payment for it. His basement also appears to be a Torture Cellar.
- Sex Slave:
- A lot of them are seen in the orc camp near the end of the game. If the Princess isn't careful, she can also end up one for a time.
- For a male example, Bran can become one to a sadistic drow woman if he remained in the party during their capture in the Underdark. And in Part One in the latest version of the module, there's Sander Gregory, who's imprisoned and used as this by the Mayor.
- Sexual Extortion: Not surprisingly happens a few times, though it's up to the player whether it is accepted or not, with the most prominent examples being Jero Fetton in part one and the Dhorn general in Moonville in part two.
- Shameful Strip: Every time the Princess gets captured, she is stripped naked from all her clothes and items. Usually happens to Pia as well. This is also usually standard practice among the slaves of drow, especially the new ones, which is seen as a precautionary measure, since it makes it near impossible to hide weapons. It is also more entertaining for the drow themselves to see their slaves like this.
- This isn't the first time a human barbarian and a drow outcast really got along well together, even when both can develop feelings for the princess. To push things even more, employing the said drow along with the black-hearted knight instead will have animosity for their dominance over the princess, much like the rivalry of a certain drow ranger and human assassin in R.A. Salvatore's series.
- The comic relief dwarf you can employ is named Gemli.
- Tony the Tiger. In fact, in earlier versions of the game, Tony Blake can also be a literal tiger.
- The lyrics of the first song Pia sings to the Princess, when they meet, are the poem Alone.
- In the Isle of Prisoners, one of the zombies met in one of the first areas is named Eddie.
- Later in the Isle of Prisoners, there is a unique demon mini-boss named "the Butcher", wielding an unique axe named "the Butcher Cleaver". There is also the Bishop, the Final Boss of that particular dungeon, who is directly to blame for its demonic infestation—much like the Archbishop Lazarus in the Diablo lore.
- There are (probably) at least two Star Wars references. One is when Simon taunts Mortenson's troopers being terrible at shooting (much like the often used joke about the stormtroopers' aiming skills). The other is the part when the Princess is captured by dark elves being almost an exact copy of Luke Skywalker's escape from the Rancor pit in Return of the Jedi. She's thrown into a pit to be eaten by a Grey Render - a large beast that looks similar to a Rancor. She then has to defeat it by luring it near the door and crushing it with the mechanism, very much like Luke Skywalker did in the movie, and the Grey Render's handler also cries for his pet as a result.
- SART is only a word away from the Bay Area Rapid Transit.
- There is a reference to an ancient malevolent being, which is behind the Old Man and Hyath. It is only ever called the Nameless One.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Choosing to romance either Bran or Anden. Also, Pia, considering her good nature, even though she's a female option. This is also true on these characters' part, as the only way each of them can become truly attracted to the Princess is if she acts with kindness and understanding.
- So Beautiful, It's a Curse: The Princess. Seriously, the males in the game that don't leer at her, hit on her, or try to have sex with her can probably be counted on one hand.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Anden and the PC, who he eventually (though unwittingly) betrays to Dhorn. It can also happen between the PC and any of her other love interests, if she chooses to commit suicide or marry Arto Benthur at the end.
- This trope really comes into play in one of the endings, and becomes a major, major Tear Jerker. If the PC agrees to marry Arto Benthur, all of the surviving members of the Family will attend the wedding, wearing various disguises - including the PC's love interest, who will just calmly stand by and watch the woman they love get married to a truly horrible, soulless man...
- STD Immunity: Averted. You can indeed catch STDs from whoring around with sailors. On the other hand, it can be played straight if you're a paladin or otherwise immune to disease.
- Strip Poker: The Princess can play a strip dice game in order to get a set of armor needed to break into a castle.
- Stripperiffic: Most of the outfits the Princess and the other women in the party wear. Unusual as the author is female.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: During the Ravenstower part of the module (not in the last version), there is a part when the player have to buy some "implosion bottles" (a kind of bomb). To try to convince the merchant, it is possible to answer "I wouldn't use them against people". This is true, but the merchant sees it as an example of the trope and refuses to sell implosion bottles.
- There Are No Therapists: So your whole family and everyone you know have been killed and you were raped by your rescuer on the same day? Well, deal with it, because people are too busy sending you on dangerous thief lessons and missions to care and your rapist is too important for the Family for them to just kick him out for one sexual assault.
- There Is Only One Bed: The Princess and Pia in Ravenstower Inn. Also, in the ruined inn at the end of the first part of the module, with the Princess, Pia, Anden, and Vico.
- Thieves' Guild: The Family acts as a thieves' guild in many ways, organizing various types of criminal activity. They practically run everything in the city.
- Third-Person Seductress: The Princess sure knows how to flaunt her stuff.
- Torture Cellar: Many of those are seen in the game. Most seen are used by Dhorn, but there's also a secret one in Betancuria Castle, another one that belongs to what appears to be a werewolf, who's lured other people there before and, of course, in every drow mansion you can enter, which the owners apparently refer to as an "entertainment room".
- Trauma Conga Line: The whole game seems to be one traumatic event and humiliation for the Princess after another.
- Treasure Room: The Betancurian treasury beneath the castle. Also, the dragon hoards.
- The Undead: The Princess encounters several kinds of them in dungeons.
- Dem Bones: Standard skeletons and bone golems.
- Mummy: As the (now undead) inhabitants of the palace built in the place where the Isle of Prisoners was established several centuries later.
- Our Ghosts are Different: There are some ghosts in the outpost near surface, in the Underdark.
- Our Liches Are Different: The undead high priests in the temple sanctum (during the Golden Chalice quest) are implied to be some. There is also Horas the Mighty, a mini-boss met in an optional Underdark dungeon.
- Our Ghouls Are Creepier: Appear in the temple of the Golden Chalice.
- Our Vampires Are Different: There is exactly one vampire in the game, which lies in his sarcophagus in the Isle of Prisoners. The game also contains a reference to vampirism a lot earlier in the game. During a quest requiring to enter in the Dhorn barracks of Betancuria, the Princess finds two notes telling that a "strange illness, as if their strength has been sucked away" is spreading among the soldiers. In earlier versions of the module, there was a crypt occupied by a vampire beneath the barracks; in the current version, the crypt has been deleted but the notes are still there.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Several appear in the game, usually in dungeons. The Isle of Prisoners inmates are all hostile zombies, as the prisoners are immediatly executed since their arrival.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Many of the people, whom the Princess aids during the story, show very, very little gratitude for her help. One such moment that stands out is when she actually brings Baron Ravenstower back from the dead after he was murdered by his court wizard. This makes the few truly grateful NPCs you help that more memorable.
- Useless Useful Stealth: Averted; very little XP is given for killing enemies, while a very generous amount is given for progressing the story, finishing quests, and disarming and unlocking traps and locks.
- Watching Troy Burn: The very beginning of the game. Later there's nothing you can do to stop the Dhorn from taking over "The Bear Pit" and the sewers hideout, killing almost anyone they find within.
- The Women Are Safe with Us: One orc commander's motive for laying siege to a human settlement is to rape and impregnate the women.
- Would Hit a Girl: Due to the dark setting of the game, some enemies are women and plenty of characters have no qualms with attacking both men and women. Or torturing them. Or raping them. Or killing them.
- Reyne and Marric, who absolutely delight in kidnapping, torturing, and killing women. They even have a cellar in an old warehouse that is filled with torture equipment, and the corpses of many murdered women (plus a few men.)
- You All Meet in an Inn: In Part One you meet Pia in an inn, as part of Nathan's lessons, and in Part Two three potential companions - Bran, Norah and Gemli - can all be met in a tavern in Westwood.
- You Can't Fight Fate: The basic journey and horrors the fortuneteller in Betancuria predicts for you all come true. Can be subverted if you make the decision to leave Betancuria or some other choice that will cause an earlier game over and thus cut the journey (and game).
- You Would Make a Great Model: A man on the streets of Betancuria offers to pay the Princess to pose for a nude painting. Should she accept, Dhorn soldiers show up and confiscate the painting, forcing her to sneak into their administration building to retrieve it.