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Neverwinter Nights 2 / Tropes S to Z

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Tropes 0-F | Tropes G-L | Tropes M-R | Tropes S-Z | Mask of the Betrayer | Storm of Zehir | Mysteries of Westgate

Neverwinter Nights 2 provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Unusual in that the Evil Sealed Itself In The Can. The King of Shadows was injured badly enough by Nolaloth's attack that it retreated to the Astral Plane for roughly a thousand years.
  • Sequence Breaking: The game intend you to have killed the cleric in the graveyard before going to Highcliff. There are also others here and there, including in the form of Script Breaking.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop: Unintentional example. The encounters are overall more difficult than Neverwinter Nights, but there are several factors that negate this.
    • AI is much, much smarter. It's still overall bad, but you have limited control over some of its decision making process, it doesn't randomly stop moving or randomly run off to the other side of the map, and, if all else fails, you can manually take control of everyone in your party.
    • Many of the spell lists and classes were closer to their pen and paper counterparts than in the first game, removing some rather arbitrary restrictions. Druids probably benefited most since they didn't even get access to most of their spells, only counting the ones included in the game in NWN.
    • Larger party size meant that you could have a dedicated Skill Monkey, arcane caster and divine caster in the group. This results in a colossal increase in effectiveness of all party members well beyond numbers alone.
    • Better leveling curve. In NWN, early leveling was fairly slow, but in NWN you leveled fairly quickly initially and then it petered off. This is important since a lot of builds are not very effective until level 10 (give or take a couple levels). This meant in NWN, you spent a large amount of game time with characters with under-developed class abilities (especially hybrids) in comparison to NWN2 where you got past those rocky levels fairly quickly.
      • Some of this is the result of the sequel being based on 3.5 D&D rules where the first game was based on 3.0 . The pen and paper game was rebalanced to address similar issues.
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    • Related to the above, this game lets you burn through the first two levels entirely in the tutorial, starting the game proper at level three. This means you won't die the first time any enemy lands a solid hit as you did in the start of the first game.
  • Sliding Scale of Law Enforcement: Neverwinter's Watch runs the gamut from honest and just fighters of corruption (mainly the upper echelon, including Captain Cormick) to guards who want to fight corruption and the Shadow Thieves but are too scared, to guards who are outright on the Shadow Thieves' payroll.
  • Shout-Out:
    Tarmas: (referring to a piece of doggerel he had to put together for the Harvest Festival) Count yourself fortunate for that. I once shared a wagon with a kobold bard. He rhymed "sadder" with "bladder" and sang fondly of his navel.
    • Zhjaeve counts Dak'kon among the great heroes of the Githzerai in one optional conversation.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: It's a CRPG with levels, so that's a given. But the beginning of the game particular;y stands out; it really makes no sense for the githyanki to send such low-level minions and only a single githyanki spellcaster to West Harbor.
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  • Soul Eating: In the expansion pack Mask of the Betrayer, your character is inflicted with a curse called 'the Spirit-eater', which requires them to periodically nourish themselves by devouring spirits. Initially it only works on elementals, fey and incorporeal undead, but you can learn how to direct the hunger at souls and corporeal undead.
  • Space-Filling Path
  • Stalker with a Crush: Elanee for a male Harborman.
  • The Starscream: Garius tries to be this towards the King of Shadows halfway through the game. It doesn't exactly work out.
  • Stock Scream: The sound file is even named Wilhelm.
  • Story Branching: The game offers you a choice when you get to Neverwinter. You can either side with the Watch or with the Shadow Thieves. Either choice eventually gets you into the nobles' section of the city to advance the plot, and gives you different defense options during your murder trial in Act II.
  • Stripperiffic: Parodied. Your more human looking female party members can never be stripped below rather bulky clothing and even the tavern dancers wear long full frilly dresses. But you get one female teammate late in the game who is dressed in something resembling the Princess Leia slave outfit, and she's an old githzerai, meaning she looks like an elderly humanoid salamander.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: Of course! In one notable late-game encounter, you run into a group of bandits who intend to kill you for your magic items and the Luskan bounty on your head. You can remind them that you've already left thousands of bodies behind you. If you pass your Intimidate roll, some of them run off, while the rest charge into pointy death at the Knight Captain's hands.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: The Silver Sword of Gith, full stop.
  • Take Your Time
  • The One True Sequence: Although, unlike the Knights of the Old Republic series, the sequence in which the player finds the many shards is strictly defined by the plot. The various enemies are always after the same shards at the same time. This is usually justified either by you following them or them following you.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Bishop, and Ammon Jerro. Qara could also qualify for her Chaotic Stupid nature.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Bevil.
  • Trading Bars for Stripes: You can choose to recruit criminals to your military unit during the Crossroad Keep construction/equipment phase.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The cinematic trailer, which doubles as the intro movie, gives away that the "mysterious tattooed mage" (Ammon Jerro) isn't the real villain. This destroys a Red Herring running through the second act where several characters think the warlock you're fighting with demonic minions is the King of Shadows. It also makes the origin of the silver shards pretty obvious, since the full sword is prominently shown and explodes at the end.
  • Tragic Hero: Ammon Jerro.
  • Troperiffic: Some may call it a Cliché Storm, but it's clear that the designers largely invoked these tropes intentionally and, as the main page quote shows, often with a fair bit of their tongues in cheek.
  • Uneven Hybrid: Planetouched.
    • Tieflings (humans with fiendish blood) and aasimar (human/celestial) are playable races in the original campaign. Mask of the Betrayer adds genasi, humans with elemental blood.
    • Recurring NPC Light of Heavens and her twin Joy are a pair of aasimar (humans with celestial blood) serving Lathander. Light of Heavens is a Divine Champion of Lathander, while Joy is a dancer.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Crossroad Keep. The game, however, mostly counts on you to continue adventuring, only returning to manage the keep from time to time.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
    • You can walk the streets with a half-demon, a robot, and a velociraptor in tow, and virtually nobody bats an eye.
    • Averted once:
      Grishnak: You're a strange lookin' group. What'dya want?
      Knight-Captain: ... says the half-orc pirate.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: It is possible to break the wash basin and vase of water in the Collector's Mansion with an AoE attack, preventing you from completing that side quest. Thankfully, you're only going to see combat in the kitchen if you decide to kill the servants For the Evulz.
  • Useless Useful Stealth: You might be a stealthy Rogue and take all the feats and all the invisibility potions you want, but you cannot slip through forced dialogue triggers. Which is problematic because after these, a fight tends to break out, and now your party members have teleported in the middle of it. You might remain undetected afterwards, as illogic as that sounds. Also, every enemy in the area that has ever seen you, even if just once, will do nothing but follow you and prance around your general location until they roll a lucky 20 on their Spot check, or you decloak. Roughly a third of the enemies in the game are undead, which makes sneak attacks moot. And in any case there are so many enemies in every encounter it makes almost no difference to single out one of them beforehand.
  • Video Game Delegation Penalty: Letting Sand speak on your behalf during the trial sequence will always work out worse than speaking for yourself; his Insufferable Genius tendencies will almost always result in a guilty verdict (technically it depends on when you ask him to do it since it freezes your trial score and you start in the red, but handing it over to Sand when you're already winning would be an odd choice), and you'll miss the chance to earn the "Master Orator" character trait.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon:
    • In the Original Campaign, the Vale of Merdelain.
    • In Mask of the Betrayer, literally battling for your soul inside your head on the Fugue Plane.
    • In Storm of Zehir, the comparatively much shorter Temple of the World Serpent.
  • Villain-Beating Artifact: The Silver Sword of Gith is the only weapon capable of harming the King of Shadows. Unfortunately, it was broken into several shards the last time it was used, and your character isn't the only person interested in collecting them.
  • Violence Is the Only Option: The trial. It takes up most of the second act and it doesn't matter one whit how well you do in court; the verdict will still be decided in Trial by Combat.
  • Visible Silence: Extremely rare, though, and mostly for comedic effect.
  • Vision Quest: Khelgar has one to become a monk. Which is a possible subversion. While there's nothing stopping the player from going through the motions, Khelgar's stats are suboptimal for a monk. He's one of the best tanks of the game as a fighter but as a monk he loses most of his power. Also, a late-game ancestral Ironfist weapon that he should be able to equip can no longer be done, due to the class change. If you pick the right dialogue options when completing his quest, you can convince him that he can remain a fighter and still retain the Character Development he's gone through, avoiding this issue.
  • Visual Pun: The garrison of Fort Locke is prevented by red tape from doing just about anything to help the surrounding lands. One of the NPCs at the fort is a priest of Ilmater, whose symbol is a pair of tied hands.
  • Warp Whistle: Exit points on exterior maps take you to a Point-and-Click Map in the OC and Mask of the Betrayer. In Storm of Zehir the exit took you to an overworld map instead.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: Some of the antagonists, such as the Githyanki and Ammon Jerro want the King of Shadows defeated as badly as you do; they're just not interested in working alongside you or anyone else.
  • We Buy Anything: Except items worth 0 gold, which you're forced to drop. Also, vendors have a limited amount of cash on hand, and they stop buying when it runs out.
  • We Wait
  • Where It All Began:
    • The sealed ruins just outside of West Harbor for the final bit of the ritual. Perhaps more literally, the final dungeon, which is implied to be directly beneath West Harbor.
    • Plus the dream sequence that houses the final boss fight in Mask of the Betrayer takes place in West Harbor.
  • Wild Card: Bishop. In his first interactions with the player, he makes it perfectly clear that no matter what, he is always on the winning side, loyalties and morals be damned. This comes back to bite you when the King of Shadows gains the upper hand near the end.
    • You can optionally make him desert the King of Shadows, but you can't make him fight alongside you again. Unless you play an Evil PC and choose to side with the King of Shadows yourself.
  • Witch with a Capital B: Punned by Neeshka when Qara calls her "tail-for-brains" in a cutscene.Explanation 
    Neeshka: Okay, explain that one to me.
    Khelgar Ironfist: Well, she said your brains are next to your tail... which would imply that your brains are in your rear end. And that means you breathe through your—
    Neeshka: Okay, okay, I get it, all right? Little witch.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The King of Shadows started out as one of the greatest heroes of ancient Illefarn. He voluntarily underwent a horrifically painful ritual that transformed him into a construct of pure magic so as to make an effective deterrent to Netheril. When the Netherese wizard Karsus tried to usurp Mystryl's place as god of magic, the Weave was interrupted and the Guardian faced destruction. So he drew power from the Shadow Weave to continue his vigil and became the King of Shadows.
  • World of Ham: The pattern for BioWare IPs seems to be for the characters to be Large Hams or Deadpan Snarkers. Sometimes both at the same time. NWN2 is no exception; the majority of the PC voices seem to channel BRIAN BLESSED, never mind all the NPCs hamming it up.
  • You Are the Translated Foreign Word: You are the Kalach-cha!
    • This is subverted in that the Translated Foreign Word isn't translated right away by the people who call you by it. The first attempt to translate it doesn't go so well, though it does count as a Funny Moment for Grobnar Gnomehands:
      Grobnar: Well, it's not Gnomish, Elvish, Dwarvish, Orcish, Goblin, or Draconic — well, unless the 'k' is silent, but that would make it "gizzard stone" or the equivalent.
    • When you finally meet somebody who speaks Gith, it turns out that kalach-cha directly translates as "shard-bearer". With full nuance applied, it means "one who stole a silver sword and destroyed it to hide their crime". Which ironically makes the term more applicable to Ammon Jerro rather than the Player Character.
    • The best part? Such an event has never happened before and they created the Translated Foreign Word specifically to describe you.
    • Well, there was a broken "standard" Silver Sword in Baldur's Gate II. Wouldn't that have made Saemon and CHARNAME both "kalach-cha"?
  • You Have Failed Me: Garius to Lorne.
    • So obviously telegraphed that Garius was amazed Lorne came back at all.
  • You Know What They Say About X...: Khelgar protests the Tyrran monks' accusations of him being racist by saying he travels with a tiefling, "and you know what they're like!"
  • You No Take Candle:
    • Deekin, in his cameo as a shopkeeper.
      Deekin: Yes, Deekin very kobold, last Deekin look in mirror. Deekin not do that much; mirrors usually too high for Deekin.
    • Some of the orcs also use this.


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