Shadows of the Sword Coast (SotSC) was a Second Edition hardcore rules persistent world server by Vamp Team, with a perma-death system in place, full PvP, and high-quality roleplay. It was discontinued sometime in 2010 after much controversy.
The guilds of SotSC are player run organizations that are based around a guildhall. These guildhalls are a guild-only area containing a merchant and portal system. Guilds are completely player controlled and ranks, promotions and guild tasks are issued by the leader of the guild.
Although the diplomacy fluctuates with shifting alliances, generally the good guilds and evil guilds are always at war with each other but through RP things can change instantly.
Based in Athkatla, the Cowled Wizards were the very first evil guild to properly establish themselves on SotSC and probably the most feared guild on the server to this date. Despite the name of the guild, the Cowled Wizards will recruit all manner of classes but are strictly an evil guild, perhaps allowing chaotic neutral alignments to join.
The Flaming FistEdit
A mercenary group turned defenders of Baldur's Gate, The Flaming Fist were the largest of all the good aligned guilds and was less involved with PvP, instead concentrating more on RP. However, the guild was regularly forced into PvP by the evil guilds and usually came out badly.
The Dark RuneEdit
The Dark Rune was the private army belonging to the leader of the evil empire of Amn. Even though The Dark Rune were allied with the Cowled Wizards, they did not always see eye to eye with each other in their early days and it was not uncommon for skirmishes to be held in the streets of Athkatla. The leader of The Dark Rune was ultimately the Emperor of Amn, but in the absence of an Emperor the General of the Dark Rune had the power of martial law over the realm of Amn.
The Shadow ThievesEdit
A secret organisation located somewhere in Amn which is lead by a shadow. The Shadow Master is never seen in public and is only ever seen by the Shadow Thieves upper leadership, during which time orders are passed down. They were primarily an evil guild, but it was not uncommon that some of their members were of a neutral alignment and who would only serve to advance their own fortune.
Force Grey were a good aligned guild based in Waterdeep who offered support to the Flaming Fist during times of trouble. The leadership of Force Grey were made up of the Lord of Waterdeep and its members were the most elite and most powerful champions of law and order in the realms.
History of the moduleEdit
The server was initially created by J.Anderson, aka Vamp FlashRam, as an arena world and not a typical Neverwinter Nights persistant world. A full PvP enabled city was created for players to roam around in and hunt each other. Players were able to create level 20 characters and purchase basic magical items from a vendor before entering the city, an idea that players enjoyed briefly before moving onto the more popular worlds at the time. There was a brief rivalry between Shadows of the Sword Coast and the other popular arena world Bastions of War before Vamp Team's change of direction. FlashRam and X-Unknown were the only DMs at this time.
In March 2003 it was decided that a PvP server wasn't the type of world Vamp Team wanted to run. A team was put together using members from their old Baldur's Gate 2 modding group in order to create a fully functional perma-death server complete with PvP, Roleplay and a full DM controlled storyline. During this era SotSC was still a relatively young server but it was attracting 10-20 players. The DM Team was small during this period and the PW retained many of the characteristics of the arena period, such as indiscriminate killing and exploiting in some areas. This was slowly toned down. Two guilds were created in the two main cities: the evil Cowled Wizards based in Athkatla, and the honorable Baldur's Gate defenders The Flaming Fist. PvP and Roleplay were both at an all time high during this time and the DMs were extremely active in the politics and storyline of the world. This era was dubbed by its founder as the "glory days" of the module, despite its later popularity.
DM team: Lead DM Confuzion, DM FlashRam, DM X-Unknown, DM Democritus, DM Myrkul
The server was offline for roughly 2 months shortly after the release of Hordes of the Underdark in order to rebuild some of the older areas and add several hundred new areas. The module was rebalanced and several of the rules had to be modified to restrict certain "overpowered" abilities being used to exploit. It was during this time after its re-release that the server exploded in population, numbers during this time ranged from 30-40 players and the server capacity had to be increased from 32 to 64. Several new DMs were added to the team to cater for the new players. Two new guilds were added to the evil faction in an attempt to attract more players to play evil characters, this era was dominated by the Flaming Fist ingame.
Initial HotU DM team: Lead DM Confuzion, DM FlashRam, DM X-Unknown, DM Sykskar
Unexpectedly during this time, SotSC exploded in popularity, attracting 50-60 players during peak time and with the departure of FlashRam from the DM team to concentrate on modding, DM Confuzion was left in charge of things briefly before she left the team due to joining the army, finally handing of the reigns to X-Unknown. Areas were being added on a weekly basis and the storyline was heavily controlled by player created politics, the main plot was very dark with the evil guilds literally destroying everything good in the world. PvP was at its highest during this time with many players complaining about the severity of the perma-death system, complaints which fell on deaf ears.
DM team: Lead DM X-Unknown, DM Sykskar, DM Zyc, DM Ellisio, DM Plexus
In early 2005 FlashRam took an extended leave of absence from modding, leaving X-Unknown in charge. During this time the server became insanely high magic, many new areas were added which were intended to cater for the small number of "powergamers" on the server which in turn caused certain players to become literally invincible to the regular player base. Many players left the server during this time citing favoritism as the major factor behind leaving. Numbers during this period ranged from 30-35 but continued to fall slowly.
DM team: Lead DM X-Unknown, DM Zyc, DM Ellisio, DM Orion
FlashRam returned in late 2005 to an unhappy server and in turn X-Unknown was removed from the Development and DM Team. DM Tannarris was caught cheating as a DM and was removed from Vamp Team. This combined with the final word that Confuzion would not be returning to the Team due to personal issues in 2006; things were looking bad for Vamp Team internally. DM Myrkul had finally returned as a DM after a 2 year hiatus, but did not stay long (either removed for causing too many storyline conflicts or resigned after personal conflicts with FlashRam, depending on whose side of the story is to be believed). In the end FlashRam opted to make DM Zyc the Lead; a fresh set of hands for the job.
DM team: Lead DM Myrkul, DM Zyc, DM Ellisio, DM Orion, DM Tannariss
After the 2006 fiasco, the server never really recovered from the string of management errors and to make things worse, the player base was still decreasing due to the age of the game. The DM Team of this era were probably the most caring and pleasant, probably in an attempt to keep the players coming back. DM created events and storylines were a common occurrence during this time period with twice weekly events catering for all. The rest of the DM team during this time period were peacekeepers and ambassadors more than developers and storytellers. The player base ranged from 10-20 during this time.
DM team: Lead DM Ellisio, DM Orion, DM Niticity, DM Mundo
DM Ellisio stepped down in late 2007 and the player base dropped to just 5-10 players shortly after. The new year brought more bad tidings for the server, 2008 saw the server numbers at an all time low and with that Vamp Regen decided to try and spice things up again, to no avail. The player base was barely reaching 5 players and towards the end of 2008 there were no new players joining the server. The server was brought up periodically up until mid-2010, when afterwards it disappeared for good.
Lead Developers: J.Anderson (FlashRam), Donald Campbell (X-Unknown)
Developers: Mike Henson (Vorporal), Muirwen, NatBlaze, James Abrahm (Democritus), Exstatic, Ellisio, Grim, Regen
Shadows of the Sword Coast was found in the "Roleplay" section in GameSpy. No password was required, but hak paks were, and players were to check the official home page, especially the FAQ and rules sections.
Some basic information:
Level limit: 40
Player limit: 64
Game mode: hardcore
Vault type: server vault
Enforce legal character: yes
Item level restriction: no
PvP mode: full PvP