A Land Far Away: Sea of Swords is a Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition persistent world, based on the D&D 3.5e rulebook and set in the Sea of Swords region of the Forgotten Realms campaign world. We have three linked game servers: Daggerford, Baldur’s Gate, and the Moonshae Isles.
A Land Far Away (‘ALFA’) is a roleplay-first setting, where players create characters that live in a persistent, plausible fantasy world. Our servers strive to create a fun game that emulates the spirit of D&D in a persistent, online game.
ALFA began as an ambitious project to recreate the entire Forgotten Realms campaign settings in Neverwinter Nights 1 (NWN1). Over several years beginning in 2001, servers representing geographic locations within the setting were built 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. Among its players ALFA gained a reputation for high-quality role-playing and difficult, strict gameplay, including permanent death for characters that die, in many cases.
ALFA: Sea of Swords, launched in 2022, aims to continue that strong tradition of story-based D&D gaming using the Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition game platform.
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 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.
The ALFA: Sea of Swords Servers
ALFA: SoS is a world of interesting characters and meaningful consequences unlike anything you will find in a traditional MMO. Forget grinding and instead blaze your own path to glory or infamy in whatever interesting way you can think of… or die trying. As we say: welcome to ALFA and good luck with your second character!
You can access our servers via the in-game server browser; simply sort the list by Name and look for the servers beginning with the word ‘ALFA’.
There are currently three live servers in the Sea of Swords persistent world:
A rugged archipeligo of large, rugged islands far out at sea provide a unique, rural setting for campaigns.
The famous city of Baldur’s Gate dominates the area of the Sword Coast between Daggerford and Amn. In stark contrast to the Moonshaes, It is a cosmopolitan metropolis where all manner of races and creed can be found, and magic is abundant.
The area between the two great cities of the Sword Coast—Waterdeep and Baldur’s Gate—is dominated by the Duchy of Daggerford, a modest walled city that grew from roots as a farming settlement, but which has grand ambitions and grave dangers.
The World of ALFA: Sea of Swords
As of October 2022, these servers are all live and share a common character vault, though they are not currently linked via portals. Because we are a live persistent world, everything that happens on the servers prior to connection will be carried forward into the launched world. Connection of the servers is planned for the near future.
Several systems are in development and testing currently. These include:
- Dungeons and Loot
- Static dungeons provide challenging encounters and rewards. Each player may defeat a dungeon boss once and cash in a loot note for that boss with their party with a DM for unique loot!
- Automated Player Housing
- includes placeable furniture and persistent storage that can be purchased at the furniture shop.
- Available rentals change over time, so keep an eye out for new real estate on the market!
- Mining requires harvesting lumber to build supports as you dig.
- Tunnels dug in mines persist.
- Different deposits have different ore veins.
- Enemies will often appear as you mine, so be careful and bring friends.
- Craft Weapon checks can be used to identify useful veins of ore in mined stones.
- Smelt 10 metal ores into an ingot for use in crafting.
- Will require Brewing feat (caster level 3).
- Will require Craft Wondrous Item feat and Spellcraft skill check.
- Will use components and metal smelted from mined ore.
- Different components will allow for different enhancements.
- Crafting Weapons
- Will require Craft Weapons skill check.
- Crafting Armor
- Will require Craft Armor skill check.