A Land Far Away is a persistent world, meaning that the game never ends even when you log off. Players can and do log on at any time that works for them. Make friends or enemies with other players and NPCs, explore deadly dungeons, or uncover secret plots.
Our Dungeon Masters bring the world to life so that you can tell your story. Player characters build ALFA’s world in very direct ways thanks to responsive DMs that keep things interesting by presenting an endless array of challenges for players to overcome.
Explore the Realms
ALFA: Sea of Swords is set in the Forgotten Realms, in the cities and surroundings of Baldur’s Gate, Daggerford, and the Moonshae Isles. Keeping true to the spirit of D&D, these areas have been recreated based on canon and enhanced with the builders’ creative talents. Dungeons and lairs of all manner of beasts wait for brave parties to discover and conquer them with or without a DM. Though take care when you go alone as many dangers lurk for those who are careless.
Custom Crafting & Skill Systems
ALFA: Sea of Swords supports a robust custom crafting system that allows players to brew potions, craft weapons and armor (currently in development), enchant items (currently in testing). The heal skill allows players to patch others up between battles. There is even support for climbing, flying, jumping, and swimming.
ALFA: Core Philosophy & Rules
Roleplay First, Mechanics Second
As a roleplaying server, ALFA strives to create a plausible representation of what life would be like for adventurers in the Forgotten Realms setting. We play the game primarily as a means of exploring character concepts and the world around them. This works out to something like writing fantasy fiction, but as collaborative storytelling, which is more reactive to a world that is beyond your own control.
ALFA players generally enjoy seeing new and interesting concepts for characters and exploring the world. We care more about a character’s motivations and goals than we care about how much damage they can do.
ALFA is a Game
While roleplay is the primary focus of the server, ALFA is still a game. Part of the fun is the mechanics and discovering new and interesting ways to overcome (or fail to overcome) challenges. One should keep in mind, however, that as a roleplay-first server, that does not mean that all game mechanics that exist because of the platform are fair game.
Our DM team has worked hard to provide fun, high-quality static content, but exploits will always be around. If something feels like you shouldn’t be able to do it in real life–like finding some way to keep hostile mobs from chasing you that wouldn’t plausibly happen in ‘real life,’–then it’s probably an exploit. It is your responsibility to report such issues to the DMs. To keep advancement equitable, players that abuse exploits will be sanctioned at DM discretion.
ALFA: Sea of Swords is a permadeath server. While in-character resurrections are available according to the rules of D&D, rezzes are handled on a case-by-case basis by DMs, and while new players of low-level characters may be given some leniency, experienced players of high-level characters may find rezzes harder to come by, especially if they are imposing upon the grace of the gods with frequency.
ALFA players tend to take varying approaches to resurrections when they are made available. Some players make characters that will not come back to the world once they have passed on. Others will bring characters back if given the chance. How you want to play is up to you, but know that it is the DM team that has the final say on whether your character returns.
DMs will facilitate good and bad consequences for characters based on their or their player’s actions. Examples of out-of-character contributions are things like helping to report bugs, testing game mechanics when a DM asks for help, or adding to player guides. In-character contributions would be things like adding dynamic content, such as writing a song and posting it in the Library on the forums, or organizing a player event. Examples of out-of-character offenses are things like exploiting game mechanics or going against a DM’s directive if told to do something. An example of an in-character offense would be making a drow and walking around on the street. Drow are kill-on-sight in Waterdeep.
Solo & Parties
In the spirit of D&D, ALFA has been built to encourage group play. Many static encounters have elements that require various skill sets to tackle optimally. That said, soloing is not against the rules. Of course, the consequences for solo failure can be very permanent as no-one will be able to take your character’s corpse back to a temple.
Risk & Reward
Risk can be very real when playing on a permadeath server. DMs prefer to see characters taking risks, and reward characters better who do so and succeed. DMs try to make challenges appropriate for player level, and actively discourage high level characters from aiding low level characters too much. As well, the concept of ‘farming’ is frowned on. If you find yourself going back to the same easy-to-do static content over, then you may be considered farming by a DM, who may let you know to back off. If you’re not sure how much is too much, just ask a DM or ask in Discord. We want the game to be fun, and we want people to use the content we’ve made, but we don’t want unfair advancement either.
Welcome to ALFA and Good Luck with Your Second Character!
It’s our motto for good reason. This isn’t WoW. ALFA is intended to be very challenging, and players who enjoy serious challenges, risks, and consequences will enjoy it here. There is a wide variety of play from players who enjoy pushing the limits and rolling up new characters to players that are extremely cautious and keep their characters around for years.
Background: the history of ALFA
A Land Far Away (ALFA) began as an ambitious project to recreate the entire Forgotten Realms campaign settings in Neverwinter Nights 1 (NWN1). The project began to take shape before the game was even released. Then, over several years beginning in 2002, servers representing geographic locations within the setting were put in place and maintained by Head Dungeon Masters (HDMs) for each server. These servers were linked by portals so that one could travel between servers and play with a diverse set of players and Dungeon Masters, in a persistent world that spanned a huge portion of the Forgotten Realms setting.
Among its players, ALFA gained a reputation for high-quality role-playing and difficult, strict gameplay, including permanent death for characters that died, in many cases.
With the release of a sequel game, Neverwinter Nights 2, in 2008 ALFA moved fully into the new game and ceased supporting the NWN1 platform.
2017 Revival on NWN1
Then in 2017, two of the most popular NWN1 servers—Waterdeep and Daggerford—were revived as ‘unofficial’ ALFA projects by former DMs. Several former players found their way back and began to play, with a player base primarily consisting of former NWN1 players who gradually returned.
In 2018, those unofficial servers moved to the newly-released Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition, an updated, modern-system-compatible version of the classic NWN1 platform with new graphics, new means for customising of the engine, and a bevvy of new content for builders and players to enjoy.
2022: ALFA Sea of Swords launches
Finally, in 2022 ALFA: Sea of Swords was released, bringing to life for the first time on NWN: Enhanced Edition the old vision of multiple ALFA servers linked together by portal. Sea of Swords comprises three linked servers; Daggerford, Baldur’s Gate, and the Moonshae Isles. Characters can travel between the three ALFA: Sea of Swords, traversing vast portions of the Forgotten Realms setting. Sea of Swords is an entirely separate project to the Waterdeep server.
What is ALFA in the 2020s?
ALFA’s official platform still remains NWN2, but a large number of ALFA members and non-members play on the ‘unofficial’ NWN: Enhanced Edition servers discussed on this website.
In NWN: Enhanced Edition, while the ALFA community still prides itself on high-quality role-play, and permanent death and difficult gameplay are still in place, there are a few notable differences from the official ALFA rules and gameplay:
- Levelling time has decreased, particularly at very low levels. This has led to a game that focuses on levels 5 – 10.
- Rules are more relaxed due to a smaller and more mature player base. The game is still challenging, but the spirit of the game is valued more than the letter of the rules.
- Static dungeons are common, and running static quests is encouraged.
- Scripted crafting and skill systems have been put in place, such as Brewing, Trap Making, Scribing Scrolls, Swimming, Armor and Weapon Crafting, and even Construct Crafting.