Category Archives: Sanctum: The Modules

Posts related to the Sanctum of the Archmage module series

Sanctum Modules Remake Nearing Release!

I’m pleased to announce that the long-awaited v4.2 remake of the Sanctum of the Archmage game modules is nearly ready for release! Testing is complete and the only remaining tasks are to update the documentation and to package and upload the files. It should be available on the Neverwinter Vault sometime during this weekend (the last of September).

Version v4.2 represents a significant update to the Sanctum of the Archmage modules. It combines a number of new features in The Sight with a major remake of the previous (v3.4) version of The Quest. Formerly released as “The Miracle Worker: Act I,” The Quest has been unavailable in any form since the loss of the IGN Vault in 2014. Version 4.2 is the first release of Chapter 2 that is compatible with version 4 or later of The Sight.

With the v4.2 update, Sanctum 1 and 2 now use the same custom content architecture and can be played as a unified campaign. As a result, I am releasing them together on my current page for the saga on the Neverwinter Vault. Chapter 2 has been re-written to add new areas, quests, and dialogs, and lore from the Sanctum of the Archmage novels.

I will follow up with another announcement — hopefully in another day or two at most — once I’ve finished releasing theupdate. I hope you’ll enjoy the new version, and thank you very much for your interest!

Tony Donadio (Andarian)
Author, Sanctum of the Archmage

 

Sanctum Remake Coming Soon

I’ve now finished a full playthrough of the soon-to-be-released remake of the Neverwinter Nights module series, Sanctum of the Archmage: The Sight and The Quest. I found a handful of bugs and issues that I still need to resolve, which I’ll need to plan time for over the next few weeks. After one more playthrough to ensure they’re worked out, I should be able to release the remake sometime this summer.

The Sanctum v4.2 update will include a number of new and updated features to The Sight. More importantly, though, it will include a complete remake of the second module in the series, now titled The Quest. Originally released in 2007 as “The Miracle Worker, Act I,” it has never been published in a form compatible with the v4.x remake of The Sight. And it has been unavailable in any form since IGN’s Neverwinter Vault died in 2014.

The second module in the Sanctum series was very well received by the NWN player community of the time, receiving the Bronze Award for Module of the Year and the Golden Dragon Award for Best RPG in 2007. I’m very happy to finally be making the soon to be released (and I think, greatly improved!) version of it  available to the Neverwinter Nights player community.

Work on Sanctum 2 Resumed

I’m pleased to announce that after a three year break to focus on my career and on writing my novels, I am returning to work on completing the remake of my NWN adventure module, Sanctum of the Archmage 2: The Quest.

Formerly released under the name Sanctum of the Archmage 2: The Miracle Worker, Act I, the second chapter of my adventure module series has been unavailable for the last two years since IGN’s Neverwinter Nights Vault went off-line in the spring of 2014. The most recent version, v3.4, was also incompatible with the v4 remake of Chapter 1 that I released in 2013. I had wanted to release a remake of Chapter 2 as well, but was forced to put that work on the shelf to focus on re-booting my career, and on writing the saga’s novels.

I have worked sporadically on the remake over the last three years, though. And there is still some additional re-work that I want to do, particularly in re-making the “flying areas” at the end using the wonderful “Sanctum Flying Skyscape Tileset” that Estelindis built for the series. But I’ve decided that can wait for a future update. And without those changes, I think that another month or so worth of work would bring it close to a releasable (or at least beta-testable) state. So I’ve decided to move forward with that as a plan.

With that said, my work on the series over the next months should be as follows. In June I expect to be finishing work on The Quest, and completing my full edit of Dawn of Chaos. In July and August I hope to get the novel out for a professional edit and to finish production, and to set up a beta test for the module remake. In September I’m hoping to be able to release both to the public.

After that, I’ll work on remaking the flying areas for The Quest, and getting started on my next projects: producing an audiobook version of Prologue to Chaos, and starting work on my second novel: Wrath of the Peregrine King.

I’m thinking that should keep me busy for a while. 🙂

Fall 2015 Update

It’s been a while since my last post about the status of my writing projects, so I thought it was time to offer a quick update.

As of this morning the word count on Dawn of Chaos, the first full-length novel in the Sanctum of the Archmage Saga, stands at eighty-eight thousand, six hundred and seventy one (88,671) words. After some chapter and scene restructuring that I realized was needed to not rush the climax, that puts me in the middle of Chapter 17 out of 24, with fifteen out of a planned total of sixty-one scenes left to write. Since the chapters and scenes tend to shorten as the story moves into the climax, I’m estimating that this will probably involve another twenty to twenty five thousand words, with the final manuscript ending up somewhere in the range of a hundred and twelve thousand.

Another item of good news is that some of the unfortunate work-related distractions that were taking my focus away from writing are continuing on a path toward… well, not doing that quite so much anymore. I finally managed to complete a career change this summer into a position working in Data Science. As I settle in to that, I expect to be able to devote more of my spare time once again to my writing projects.

As for when Dawn of Chaos should be ready for publication: I think it’s likely now to be sometime early next year. On the one hand I’ve gotten much better at writing quickly and well, and can probably turn out at least a scene a week going forward. On the other I’m recognizing a need as the story evolves not to rush the climax, and I still have to figure out how to provide for a final editing of the book. I’ve gotten very good at being my own editor, but I’m not certain I should trust myself to do the full job on my own.

As for my modding work: I’m still planning to finish the v4 remake of The Quest (formerly The Miracle Worker, part I) after Dawn of Chaos is complete. Sadly, though, I think that will have to be my last foray into modding the story, at least for some time.

Work on the Game Modules is Suspended Indefinitely

Dale just asked (on my 2011 post of the opening scene) whether there was any news on Sanctum 3. Since my comments on the status of the game modules is probably somewhat scattered throughout my blog over the last couple of years, I thought I should probably clarify the situation here. I added the following about this last year on the main modules page:

*As of summer 2013, further work on the game modules has been suspended until further notice, in order to work on completing and releasing the initial Sanctum of the Archmage novels. This includes the unfinished v4.2 update of Chapter 1 and remake of Chapter 2, as well as completion of Chapter 3 and work on Chapters 4-7.

Since there’s not a great deal of work left to do on the Sanctum 2 v4.2 remake, I do expect to be able to release it early next year. That will probably be just after I publish the first of the Sanctum novels, Dawn of Chaos.

At this point, however, I’m afraid I have to admit that it’s not clear to me when or even if I’ll be able to complete Sanctum 3 (much less the rest of the series), in module form. I very much want to do it, and if it were my only project I’m confident that I would be able to. Unfortunately, though, it’s not. As I wrote in the post when I announced that I was resuming work on the novels,

I’ve also had to take a hard look at my somewhat ambitious plans for the module series, given a realistic assessment of my other goals and the amount of time I actually have to work on it. My “real life” career as a computer scientist demands most of my time and attention, and I have plans for developing it further that will require additional focus on learning certain new technologies. Both writing and modding are things that I can only afford to do in my (unfortunately, not especially plentiful) spare time — which I need to be more hard-nosed about rationing. Some reflection has consequently forced me to the conclusion that while I’m not quite ready to give up on Sanctum as a modding project just yet, that I need to make more time in my schedule for other efforts as well.

I haven’t yet cancelled work on the modules. They remain in my mind as projects that I want to find time to get back to, when and if I can. At this point in my life, however, I simply have no choice but to put other priorities ahead of them. And at the present time, those have to be the demands of my career (and of striving to remain employable in today’s dysfunctional economy), and publishing Sanctum of the Archmage as a series of novels.

Sanctum 2 v4.2 Remake

I’ve had some inquiries about the status of the Sanctum 2 v4 module remake, so I thought it would be a good idea to re-consider my plans for it and to address them on my blog.

I’m currently about halfway through my original plans for the remake. Unfortunately, as I announced here, I had to put finishing that work on hold in recent months in order to allow time for other projects and priorities. Modding and writing are both things that I do in  the spare time allowed by my career — and finishing and publishing the first book in the Sanctum series, The End of the Beginning, and completing the Sanctum 2v4 remake, were both competing for that time. Given how much more work was still left on Sanctum 2v4, I felt that I could no longer delay starting to get the novels ready for publication.

But I do miss modding, and after a few months away from it I think that I may be able to fit in the time for a more limited module update for Chapter 2. The good news is that most of the important work — especially the custom content implementation and the linkages from Chapter 1 — are already done. Most of the rest of the work I had planned centered around an extensive new quest sequence that I was going to add. If I skip that, then it shouldn’t take me too long to get the rest of the remake ready for release.

So I’ve decided to go ahead with that, splitting time on Sanctum2 v4 with my novel writing. Aside from one new encounter that I’m already halfway through, the only thing I really still have to do is to re-build the flying areas at the end with the new Sanctum Flying Skyscape tileset. So fingers crossed, it should be possible for me to get the update out for beta test by the holidays.

Sanctum at the NEW Neverwinter Vault!

After our recent scare, and in the face of growing uncertainty about continued availability of IGN’s Neverwinter Nights Vault, I have gone ahead and created a new project page for the “v4” remakes of Sanctum of the Archmage – The Sight on the New Neverwinter Vault:

Sanctum of the Archmage – The Sight at the New Neverwinter Vault.

I strongly encourage everyone who wants to download, play, comment, and vote on the V4 releases of the Sanctum of the Archmage modules to do so here, or to use the project’s new page on the New Neverwinter Vault.

The old (v3.4) versions of Chapters 1 and 2 will remain available for now on their historical pages on IGN’s old Neverwinter Nights Vault.

NWN Vault Down

UPDATE: The Vault is back online, at least for the time being.

If you’ve tried downloading the Sanctum of the Archmage (SotA) game modules, or visiting its (or any other) pages on the Neverwinter Nights Vault since yesterday afternoon, you’ve probably seen the ominous “server not found” messages from that are now coming from http://nwvault.ign.com. I’ve been keeping an eye on this since I became aware of it last night, and I’m hoping that it’s something simple and temporary like a DNS error. However, there is some talk going around through the NWN modding community that this may in fact be a permanent (and not entirely unanticipated) shutdown of the site that has been so central to the NWN modding community for so many years.

As a result, those parts of the SotA module downloads that reference files on the NWN Vault won’t work until it either comes back up, or an alternative is provided. I’m going to wait until this weekend to see if we get more definitive news about the Vault’s status going forward. If it continues to be unavailable, then I’ll take steps to set up new downloads for those files. Hopefully within a week at the latest, players who want to download  and play SotA should be able to do so once again.

As far as the future of the Vault is concerned, I don’t know anything more than is currently going around the “rumor mill” on the Bioware Social Network (for example, here and here), or on some other CRPG related sites (for example, here and here). The good news, though, is that thanks to the heroic actions of Rolo Kipp and his band of minions from The Vault Preservation Project for NWN1 and NWN2, the that data has been archived and won’t be lost:

“Pain & Tarot, Werelynx & Henesua. Others. A lot of people have been working hard over the last two months saving stuff.
We have archive of all the project files through last Sunday. We have copies of the meta data and copies of the download counts and award tags and at least the first page of comments.
We have archives of most of the articles and tutorials. We even have the surviving “top ten” lists… The library may be burning, but the books are safe.

“Not everything works. Not everything works right. But the new place is starting to come together.”

So a new Neverwinter Vault to replace the old one is being stood up as we speak — and once the dust settles, module pages for the Sanctum of the Archmage series will be available there. 🙂

Hellman Family Values

“The Fire Elves long ago rejected the values of love and family. Everyone is property of the state. Hellwomen compete for the attention of males, paying dowries for their sexual attentions. If they conceive and give birth, the child is taken to be raised in a communal education center. The mother is paid for her contribution to society — and the greater the status of the father, the greater the payment.”

 — A’Lindra Ta’Lin, Sanctum of the Archmage: The Sight

Sanctum of the Archmage: The Future

I’m pleased to announce plans for the very first work in the saga, tentatively titled “Sanctum of the Archmage: The Beginning,” to be released later this year as a Kindle novella. It will serve as an “introductory prequel” to the rest of the series…


Now that the final remake of my game module, Sanctum of the Archmage 1: The Sight has been released, I thought this would be a good time to discuss some of my future plans for the Sanctum of the Archmage writing projects.

When I first discovered “game modding” with Neverwinter Nights years ago, I made a conscious decision to put aside work for a while on the Sanctum of the Archmage novels. Newly fascinated by the idea of telling stories through the medium of computer-based role-playing games (or CRPGs), I took some time to explore developing part of the backstory to the novels in that form instead. My goals were both to teach myself the new and fascinating art of interactive storytelling through computer games, which I’ve always liked, and to try to help build an audience for my writing at the same time. I think by now that I’ve managed some success at both — and while time-consuming, I found that challenging myself to develop ever better storytelling games was something that I really enjoyed. There’s no question, though, that that effort has turned out to be a substantially longer diversion from my core fiction writing work than I’d originally intended.

I’ve also had to take a hard look at my somewhat ambitious plans for the module series, given a realistic assessment of my other goals and the amount of time I actually have to work on it. My “real life” career as a computer scientist demands most of my time and attention, and I have plans for developing it further that will require additional focus on learning certain new technologies. Both writing and modding are things that I can only afford to do in my (unfortunately, not especially plentiful) spare time — which I need to be more hard-nosed about rationing. Some reflection has consequently forced me to the conclusion that while I’m not quite ready to give up on Sanctum as a modding project just yet, that I need to make more time in my schedule for other efforts as well.

I’ve also become aware of some recent developments in the publishing industry that have an important bearing on my prospects for continued work on the novels. These include the dramatic rise in electronic and indie self-publishing, which has opened up exciting new possibilities for authors that didn’t exist only a few years ago. One writer friend of mine is now publishing her work in this form, and has even written a Kindle book on Step by Step Kindle Publishing. Fantasy author Terry Goodkind deliberately published his latest novel, The First Confessor, solely in e-book form, and his comments on that decision are thought-provoking. And readers who have played his NWN modules may know that Stephen Nowland (aka Savant) has been adapting the story told in his Aielund Saga and publishing it as a set of Kindle — and most recently, indie paperback — novels.

These are all considerations that I can’t ignore any longer, given that my main goal has always been to publish Sanctum of the Archmage as a novel series. So I’ve decided, after releasing the re-make of my first module, to turn the main focus of the project back to that effort. I’m therefore pleased to announce plans for the very first work in the saga, tentatively titled Sanctum of the Archmage: The Beginning, to be released later this year as a Kindle novella. It will serve as an “introductory prequel” to the rest of the series, telling the story of the massacre of Lannamon, and the opening scenes of The Sight up to fleeing Blackwing Lodge.

This is a project I’m very excited about starting, and I hope that you are too. I’ll be posting about it again soon and as it develops, so stay tuned!