I've recently found myself back in the mood to play Neverwinter Nights, and in returning to the game I've realized that I've never gotten around to posting more about it here despite the fact that it's one of my favorite games. I won't waste your time or mine doing a lengthy review of the game; it's been around long enough now and enjoyed enough popularity in its day that most gamers should already know what it is -- and if they don't, more info on this Dungeons & Dragons game can easily be found. In this post I want to instead focus upon what is perhaps my favorite mod for Neverwinter Nights.
Like many of my other favorite games, one of the things I love about NWN is that there's a modding community that has produced for it more custom content than you can shake a +1 Longsword at. However, it took me a while getting around to enjoying the game and its massive library of mods because I thought that it was exclusively a MMORPG. While I might enjoy playing such a game with a few of my close friends, our schedules and interests rarely align to make such things possible; aside from that handful of gamers, everyone else I've met on the internet has proven to have drastically different ideas about gaming and it's likely we'd be unable to cooperate long enough to play an entire chapter of NWN, let alone complete the entire story. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that NWN has a single-player mode in which one can complete the entire game!
But there was just one catch: while there is indeed a lot of single-player content for the game, many of NWN's most popular award-winning mods are designed for multiplayer gameplay and thus would be drastically imbalanced for a single player. If only there was a way to create a party of AI-controlled companions...
This is where the OHS Henchman System becomes invaluable to players like myself. While the default game limits the number of cohorts a player may have and restricts the player's level of interaction with said cohorts, OHS allows the creation of a party of as many custom cohorts as the player is willing to keep track of. Furthermore, no modding tools or knowledge are necessary to accomplish such a feat; everything is handled in-game through dialog that avoids breaking immersion as much as possible.
The mod comes with a variety of pre-made cohort characters that can be summoned from the start of (almost) any module, but I prefer to play with a party of characters of my own creation. The easiest way I've found to do this is to use OHS in conjunction with a character-creation module like PGC3 (and there are several others) to create player characters, save them in the local vault and then register them as henchmen which can be summoned whenever I need them. While these cohorts are not as advanced in AI or as varied in appearance as the companions we've created and enjoyed in many newer games, they are sufficient to fill any roster vacancies in one's adventuring party. Most importantly, the behavior, equipment and level progression of OHS companions can be controlled and managed entirely by their party leader (that's you). I've been so pleased with the performance of my OHS companions that since discovering the mod I've never again used any of NWN's provided cohorts. In fact, I've become so accustomed to adventuring with sisters Dolci and Danuta (a barbarian and a rogue, respectively) that at times I forget that they aren't a natural part of the game.
So if you need an adventuring party for Neverwinter Nights but all your friends are playing Modern Warfare, or if you're just tired of Tomi Undergallows and Boddyknock Glinckle, I highly recommend that you check out the OHS Henchman System. OldMansBeard has done an exceptional job with the mod and deserves all the praise he has received. I feel that OHS has added a new dimension to my NWN experience and I'd wager that you'll enjoy it as much as I have.