Some creatures/NPC's wont display an image when selected from the palette

Playing NWN EE build 8193.34 and in the last couple of days I noticed certain standard or custom creatures or NPC wont display and are not placeable within various modules.
These ERF’s were working recently and do work in certain modules but now suddenly wont display.
The creature is in the palette and if I open ‘properties’, I can see the stats, skills, feats etc but when I go to place it into a module, its blank. The appearance also doesn’t show but it’s odd these several creatures work in other modules I’ve edited.
any suggestions?

I saw a very similar question from bdltfrg on Steam yesterday.

To keep it as simple as I can - a creature is defined by a template (containing the stats) and a model (defining the 3d appearance).

The template can be imported in an erf.

It tells the module where to find the model.

Your problem is that the module can’t find the model.

The template specifies a line number in a file called appearance.2da, which in turn contains the name of the model.

If it is a custom model, the module needs a hak file which contains both the custom model file and a version of appearance.2da that points to the model. You can specify this in the module properties Custom Content tab. The module from which you exported the erf will have this hak already.

If it is a standard model, but can’t be seen by a module, the latter has an out-of-date version of appearance.2da, probably contained in a hak. That needs to be merged with the latest 2da from EE (I can tell you how if you’re interested, otherwise move on to another module).

Files in the override and development folders can interfere with the process (especially a rogue copy of appearance.2da) so remove unnecessary files from those folders before proceeding.

Let me know if this isn’t clear.

Proleric - That was me on the other message board as well. I thought I could/had it figured out but when it didn’t work and I found another module with the same issue, I came here instead of reopening that other thread.

1st thanks for the more detailed explanation and the clue about the override file. I started there and did have other files in it so I deleted, restarted and everything is good!

two questions though, where do the 2da files reside? I was going to try T.R.'s ‘Fix2da’ program but can’t find those files…

2nd, if I do download any other custom content and it calls for it to be placed in the override folder, how do I overcome the issue I just experienced with them interfering with the other templates?


The official 2da files are in Neverwinter Nights\data\base_2da.bif. To open that, you need a special program from github called NWNExplorer…

…or you can download an extract which might be slightly out-of-date.

Custom versions of 2da files may be found in haks (see previous post) which you can open with nwhak (a tool that ships with the game .exe files).

The clean way to build a module is to put the custom content in hak and tlk files, which only affect modules that ask for them.

Even if a mod invites you to install it in override, it’s better to put it in a hak (using nwhak) then add the hak to your module.

As a broad generalisation, override is a lazy method that impacts every module, with potentially adverse effects.

There are exceptions. Some GUI mods don’t work in a hak. As a rule of thumb, texture and model overrides are fairly low risk. However, script and 2da overrides are high risk.

When you’re just trying things out, of course, using the override folder is fine, but keep clearing it out to avoid conflict between mods.

Great to know!
Thanks again for your help!