Sunday, January 22, 2012

Converting NWN2 modules to campaigns

With Neverwinter Nights the standard way of developing an adventure with the toolset was to develop a "module". A module is a collection of areas, scripts, conversations, blueprints for items and creatures, and effects. The early modders of NWN developed many modules and when NWN2 came along the early NWN2 modders did the same, possibly because many of them had learned first on NWN.

NWN2 however also has what are called "campaigns". A campaign is a collection of modules and shared resources which can include scripts, blueprints, and conversations. Just as a module can have properties, a campaign can have properties, and some of those properties are required in order to implement certain game features. For example, in order to allow the creation of a party, as is done in the Storm of Zehir expansion, you have to use a campaign because the campaign property PartyCreation must be set to True and PartyCreationSize must be specified.

Of course many of the modules produced for NWN2 will never be converted to campaigns by their authors because those authors have moved on to other games. But for those who want to use party creation to play those modules there is a solution, and that is to convert the module to a campaign. So here are the instructions:

These instructions may not be perfect, but I have tested them with the module Tomb of Horrors Revisited and I believe they should work for most community authored modules.

Steps for converting a module to a campaign:

These steps require the NWN2 Toolset, and so this cannot be done on the Macintosh.
Sample module Tomb of Horrors Revisited Final

1. Acquire module and unzip if necessary to get the .mod file.
2. Copy the .mod file into ../My Documents/Neverwinter Nights 2/modules
3. Open the toolset by launching NWN2 and pressing the Toolset button.
4. If this is the first time you have used the Toolset then select the menu option View:Options and under the General tab change "Autosave" to False and click OK. This will turn off the autosave function. This is a good idea because relying on the autosave feature can lead to module corruption.
5. Select menu option File:Open and open the module. If the module is opened successfully then the name of the module (in this case ToH Revisitedv2) should be visible in the Toolset title bar.
6. Select menu option Plugins:Campaign Editor to open the Campaign Editor plugin dialog
7. In the right side of the dialog click Add Campaign.... This will create a "New Campaign" at the bottom of the campaign list on the left side of the dialog.
8. In the campaign list click on the "New Campaign". This will display the campaign properties in the right side of the dialog.
9. Under the Appearance tab populate the Description, DisplayName, and Name fields with the name of the campaign. Generally the name of module is acceptable. In this case use "Tomb of Horrors Revisited". (You can also use the descriptions from the Module properties)
10. Click Save Campaign and then in the save dialog click OK.
11. Close the Campaign Plugin
12. Select menu option Plugins:Campaign Editor to open the Campaign Editor plugin dialog. At the bottom of the campaign list you should now see the campaign with the name you entered (in this case Tomb of Horrors Revisited).
13. Click on the campaign you created (in this case Tomb of Horrors Revisited).
14. You may want to change some of the default campaign properties.
- If you want to allow companions to level up and select any class then set AllowUnrestrictedLevelUp to True
- If you have SoZ and want to use the Party Editor in the new campaign then set PartyCreation to True and PartyCreationSize to the number of party members you wish to create (the main PC counts as one).
15. Click on the Add Files button and select the new module
16. In the properties set StartingModule to the name of the module WITHOUT the .mod suffix (in this case ToH Revisitedv2)
17. Click save Campaign and OK.
18. Click "Set Module to Use Selected Campaign" and OK
19. Close the Campaign Plugin
20. Select menu option File:Save
21. Close the Toolset.

If the module has journal entries then they will need to be converted to the campaign journal. This can be done using these steps:

1. Open the toolset by launching NWN2 and pressing the Toolset button.
2. Select menu option File:Open and open the module.
3. With the toolset open, navigate to the ../My Documents/Neverwinter Nights 2/modules
4. In the folder there should be a temp folder. This folder's name will start with "temp_" and will end with the module name (in this case it will be something like temp_ctHEcsKtqkuZYU1x3+Q4MA==_ToH Revisitedv2). Open this temp folder.
Note: If you cannot find the temp folder described it is possible that it is located elsewhere. To find it, in the toolset select menu option File: Open Conversation/Script. The dialog that is opened will display the locations of conversation and script files associated with the module. The location path should indicate where the temp folder was created by the toolset.
5. Move the file module.jrl to the desktop
6. Close the toolset without saving
7. Open the folder ../My Documents/Neverwinter Nights 2/Campaigns
8. Drag the module.jrl file from the desktop into your new campaign's folder (in this case Tomb of Horrors Revisited) replacing the existing file.
9. Open the toolset by launching NWN2 and pressing the Toolset button.
10. Select menu option File:Open and open the module.
11. Select menu option View:Journal->Module. This will display the module journal entries.
12. In the journal toolbar click Collapse All
13. Select all of the journal entries and click the Delete key to delete them (click OK when asked if you are sure).
14. Close the Journal window.
15. Select menu option File:Save
16. Close the Toolset.

If you want to access the Party Editor then download the Deck of Trumps ( from the Silverwand Sundries, unzip it and and copy the bb_it_partyeditor folder into your new campaign's folder. For instructions on using the Deck of Trumps in game see its read me file.

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