I was showing a friend of mine some of the old school Gold Box Dungeon’s and Dragon’s games on GoG.com when I thought about AOL’s NWN. For me, NWN’s on AOL was the game that lead me down the path to this site. I made friends on there I still talk to this. There have been a few games in my life that I’ve truly loved playing and being a part of AOL’s NWN was something I will never forget.
I started wondering if anyone had ever figure out a way to make the game playable offline or remade it in another engine.
I found both had happened a while back, but I missed them. There was an online version built in the Bioware Neverwinter Nights engine. Sadly, I’m about 10 years too late as the game has come and went. I would have loved to be in that world again, especially on a new engine.
As I kept digging, I found there was an initiative to recreate the original Gold Box version using AD&D Forgotten Realms Unlimited Adventures aka FRUA. If you are not familiar with FRUA, it was an attempt to give everyone the tools to build their own modules. Over time, there has been an impressive set of recreations and over 30 years later, it’s still active.
The AOL NWN version is called Neverwinter Nights – Offline. You can download it as a stand alone module for FRUA, but it’s not nearly as straight forward as I had hoped. It appears that one of the ways designers have tapped into the full potential of FRUA was to hack it in addition to using the built in tools. Because this isn’t a straight forward module, this takes a bit more work than a normal FRUA module.
The first thing you want to grab is Forgotten Realms Unlimited Adventures. I prefer Forgotten Realms: The Archives – Collection Two on Good Ole Games, GoG.com. You get FRUA in addition to a nice collection of Gold Box originals like Pool of Radiance, Curse of the Azure Bonds and Gateway to the Savage Frontier.
Keep in mind that once you mod FRUA as NWN OFFLINE, you shouldn’t make any additional changes or you will risk losing your game. I’m sure there is a way to work around this, but I just started and managed to overwrite everything a few times playing with other modules.
This next part is where I deviate a bit from the traditional modders for FRUA. Since this is new to me, I found the path of least resistance using a newer tool called FRUA Module Manager. You can find the download link to FRUA MM on that page.
Install Forgotten Realms Unlimited Adventures normally. If you install it outside of the GoG folder, make sure you know the path because it’s important to the instructions.
- If you did not install FRUA in the GoG folder, you will need to update the FRUA MM bat file which launches the game. Otherwise, skip this step.
- Right Click on FRUA_Module_Manager.bat and update it to the location where you installed the main Forgotten Realms Unlimited Adventures.
- In my case, that would be C:\Program Files (x86)\Unlimited Adventures\Launch Unlimited Adventures.lnk
It should look something like this.
- Run Unlimited Adventures one time without making any changes, then exit it completely.
- Run FRUA_Module_Manager.exe.
- This will make a backup of the Original FRUA files.
- Click Download module list to grab a list of all the current models.
- If you are alike me, nothing will happen.
- Hit CRTL + D to open Debug.
- Try Download module list again.
- you should experience the following error: Failed to create the file FRUA Module Manager\Data\FRUA_Modules.txt
- The first thing you need to do is create a folder named Data in the FRUA Module Manager Folder.
- Unfortunately, the module list will still fail.
- But if we seed the info, it should work.
Here is how I prepopulated the module list.
- Left click on the Start Windows Icon and start typing Notepad.
- While holding Shift, Right Click and select Run as Administrator.
- Save the File in the new Data folder exactly as FRUA_Modules.txt
- Open the FRUA modules list at http://frua.rosedragon.org/modulelist/export.php
- Click in the Browser page and Select All (CTRL + A), then copy.
- Paste this inside the FRUA_Modules.txt file and click save.
- Now you will see a list of all the modules and it should update when changes are made in the future.
- Find and click on neverwin.zip file or Neverwinter Nights – Offline in the Title.
- Click Download Module.
- Once downloaded, Click Apply module hacks.
- Now you are ready to Play!!!!
- Right Click on NEVERWIN.DSN and it will launch DosBox and the Game.
- Type the number 1 and it will launch the start.
- Click Spacebar a few times.
- Click Play The Game
- Select NEVERWINTER NIGHTS – OFFLINE
- From there you can create new characters, then add them to your party or you can add the prebuilt characters.
- Once Added, Click Begin Adventuring.
Lord Nasher, My old Friend, How I’ve missed You!
I hope you found this helpful and I hope you have as much fun wandering through old memories as much as I am. May you slay the Beholder on your first try and may you remember the best way to fight the Dragolich. Well, at least by the 10th try. 🙂
If you have any great memories about AOL’s NWN, feel free to share them in the comments section. If any part of the instructions don’t see right, please let me know.