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Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer

aka: Neverwinter Nights 2: Maska Zdrajcy
Moby ID: 30621
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Description official description

After having defeated the final adversary in Neverwinter Nights 2 , the protagonist wakes up in an underground cavern in Rashemen near the kingdom of Thay with the shard removed from the chest. An encounter follows with Safiya, a member of the Red Wizards of Thay, after which the two proceed towards the town of Mulsantir. However, the protagonist soon discovers that he has been afflicted with a strange curse: he feels perpetual hunger, which can only be quelled by consuming souls of spirits. The search for answers leads the party into the shadow realm, which harbors dark secrets of the tormented souls of the past.

Mask of the Betrayer is the first official expansion for Neverwinter Nights 2 and requires the original game to play. In the campaign, divided over different acts, the story picks up right away after the events of the base game. The atmosphere in this expansion has become noticeably darker, with less room for humorous interventions. Interaction with characters and dialogue in general play a significant role. Like in the base game, the player can affect the relationship between the protagonist and his or her companions. Influenced by the player's decisions, the game will move towards a good or an evil ending.

The protagonist's new condition is integrated into gameplay mechanics. The player character has a special "spirit meter" that is gradually depleted and needs to be refilled by devouring spirits. However, doing so increases his or her "craving", i.e. the level of addiction to soul-eating; the higher the craving, the more the protagonist get used to satiating the hunger, and the harder it becomes to raise the spirit level. To counter that, the player can opt for spending some time in the company of friendly spirits, actively suppressing the craving.

Next to the known races, the add-on introduces Planetouched: Genasi, Half-Elf: Half-Drow and Elf: Wild Elf. These can also be used to play the original game. New base classes include Favored Soul and Spirit Shaman, along with the prestige classes Arcane Scholar of Candlekeep, Invisible Blade, Red Wizard of Thay, Sacred Fist and Stormlord. Further additions include new monsters, scrolls, weapons and items. The game requires a high-level character to start (18 or up) and some default characters are available right away. The level cap has been raised to 30. There is also an additional camera view with an RTS-like interface including zoom and drag.


  • Neverwinter Nights 2: Маска предательства - Russian spelling
  • 絕冬城之夜2:背叛者的面具(資料片) - Traditional Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

213 People (138 developers, 75 thanks) · View all



Average score: 82% (based on 31 ratings)


Average score: 4.3 out of 5 (based on 23 ratings with 2 reviews)

How To Deal With Addiction While Befriending Bear Spirits

The Good
Mask of the Betrayer is more than just an add-on. After Obsidian lovingly, yet somewhat carefully put their talents to display in the base game, green light was given to pure creativity in the inevitable expansion. With the engine tested and the gameplay system ready and prepared, everyone can take a pizza break, while the lead writer sits in the office undisturbed and, with a maniacal smile on his face, injects into the game his most daring ideas to be found in his refined and geeky prose.

Judge by yourself: the hero of the game is perpetually hungry. He has to eat spirits, otherwise he'll begin taking damage and eventually die. But not all hope is lost: a female wizard with a shaved, tattooed head and a demonic companion who practices hard English words while cracking locks is ready to help you. Of course we need more companions, so why don't we go ahead and choose a winged female cleric or a sarcastic-womanizing half-hag who will like me only if my responses to him are witty enough? Sounds cool, but I'd rather go with a multi-colored bear spirit with 30+ constitution and three attacks per round. Do we need anything else on our quest? Sure, chatting with masked witches would help; so will pacifying talking trees in an enchanted forest. Let's not forget to make an appointment with a coven of sorceresses, all of whom are sleeping. Never mind, we can just travel into their dreams and do some of the following: beat a bard at a logic game, become a skilled lawyer (how else will we help a poor shmo nullify his soul-selling contract with a devil?), or just fight demonic audience in a theater who attacks you because you don't know your role in an amateur performance. Then maybe we'll understand why dead gods are angry at me.

In terms of imagination, quality of writing, and sheer originality of characters and plot threads, Mask of the Betrayer is the closest possible thing to this game. The game was clearly aimed at a certain type of role-playing fans: those who wants their quests to be unusual and even quirky, and their dialogues witty and well-written. Like Torment, Obsidian's opus is intelligent, intimate, and atmospheric in a very specific way. The sheer weirdness of almost everything you witness in this game is a rare sight among products that follow such a traditional system as AD&D.

Speaking of which: the rules have meanwhile moved to the 3rd edition, which adds 35776 new spells and character classes. You can now play as a cross-dressing half-leopard astral monk/barbarian/taxi driver. No, not really, but you will spend a day or two in front of the character creation screen. And since this is technically an add-on, you will start right off the bat at super-high levels, memorizing tasty spells and enjoying life no matter which class you belong to. Despite the relatively short length of the campaign, there is place for character development, party experimentation, and everything else you'd expect from a game of this type.

There isn't much new here, except maybe the hunger meter, which is a cool idea. You crave for spirits. What will you do: devour all of them one-by-one? Your craving will go higher. The more you eat, the hungrier you'll become. Basically, you're a typical addict, and it's your choice what you do with this addiction. You can bravely "suppress" your craving. It's more boring, but it gives you that warm fuzzy feeling. The game will react to your dealing with the addiction appropriately at all times.

Following the established tradition of its design school, Mask of the Betrayer is flexible and fairly open when it comes to ethical decisions. Almost all its quests can be solved in different ways. There are shades of chaotic, good, evil, lawful, and whatever you want. NPCs and companions react to your decisions, gain or lose influence, get angry, fall in love with you - in short, it's a full package of BioWare-style design philosophy.

The Bad
In terms of core gameplay mechanics, Mask of the Betrayer is essentially the same old thing: a treat for lovers of that particular type of RPG, but hardly a game that breaks new ground. The engine begins to show its age: there is a certain blockiness in the level design that can be hardly concealed in spite of the undeniable artistic quality of the visuals. Perhaps it is unfair to criticize an add-on for that, but the fact is that the campaign is pretty short and there aren't that many places to visit here. You can tackle some side quests, but most of the time the game is fairly straightforward.

The Bottom Line
Mask of the Betrayer is a great game for those who spend hours memorizing spells for their wizard character and love reading heaps of well-written, delicious, philosophizing branching dialogue. There is nothing revolutionary here, but if you worship Planescape: Torment, you can safely prepare a little altar for Mask of the Betrayer in the same temple.

Windows · by Unicorn Lynx (181775) · 2015

D&D Meets Existentialist Poetry

The Good
Unlike Bioware's somewhat predictable expansion packs to NWN1, Obsidian takes us by surprise in Mask of the Betrayer, reinventing that very commercial genre of RPG add-ons from the ground up, and giving us something that is qualitatively and experientially quite different than 'vanilla' NWN2. They're having so much creative fun with their engine, it's a joy to behold.
We are introduced to the concept of spirit-eating, which ends up to be pretty much more than a gimmick or a mere plot point: it partially replaces the fundamentals of the NWN2 mechanics, so that the hero's mysterious affliction becomes the driving force around which everything else revolves. They intend to convey that spirit-eating is not just some fancy RPG "augmentation", but a pervasive condition that both governs and threatens much of the character's running emotional and mental life. And they succeed with flying colors. It lends the add-on an existential and even "alien" feel when compared to NWN2, and everything feels more urgent than in either of the more conventional expansion packs to NWN1.

I gushed about creativity in an earlier NWN2 review; well, this add-on has a creativity overload. To call the plot, the juicy dream sequences, and many of the conversations poetic may be too big a word, but it is close.

The Faras-Enzibur sidequest in particular, a very detailed account of a wizard's contract with an insidious devil, is a gem of intricate writing. As a budding writer, I've sure read (and most probably wrote) so-called literary short stories that are far less intriguing and worsely written. I've also found the Anya-Gann sidequest memorably endearing despite being very short. It takes skillful and imaginative writing to set a quest within the dream of a lovesick farmer girl who transforms into a dragon in a naive attempt to protect her illusory loved one.

Again, the colorful tidbits: the tiny, overlapping "subquests" in the Skein and in the Ashenwood, all with lively dialogs.

The Bad
Criticism of the NWN2 engine and overall gameplay scheme obviously applies to its add-on as well, but if you've played through NWN2, chances are that by now you've at least made peace with the engine. It's still "hands-off", there's not much to explore in the Gothic/Risen sense, but the Aurora Engine is taken in new directions the original NWN2 couldn't dream of.

The Bottom Line
Mask of the Betrayer is a relatively short but sweet experience that, through its gameplay innovations and flawless writing, injects new life into the very framework of Neverwinter Nights 2 which, in turn, was such an improvement over the comparatively stale NWN1.

When taken in isolation from the main game, I regard this add-on as the single tightest and most exciting adventure of the official NWN1-NWN2 canon. It's also the weirdest and most disturbing one. Mind you, that's a compliment.

Windows · by András Gregorik (59) · 2013


Subject By Date
Spirit Meter in Sunken City Unicorn Lynx (181775) Jul 13, 2008
How to kill Nightwalkers? Unicorn Lynx (181775) Jul 10, 2008
Phew... St. Martyne (3648) Jul 6, 2008
UPDATED: Hardcore RPGs scare me MichaelPalin (1414) Jan 10, 2008
Wow, this is great!! The Fabulous King (1332) Nov 26, 2007


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Sciere.

Additional contributors: Jeanne, JRK, Klaster_1, Paulus18950.

Game added October 15, 2007. Last modified March 5, 2024.