I already modified the the NE2000 emulation in Dosbox-X to use a UDP tunnel to connect to my cloud hosted virtual switch instead of using pcap to the local lan and it works great. The issue is, it requires a custom compiled copy of dosbox-x, and actually this effort is in fact for gaming, just not of the normal sense so I understand it reaches outside of the main focus of Dosbox. I require the full Novell IPX/SPX stack as some of the games were designed for netware. It is a problem asking somebody to download an unknown exe and run it and I am not close friends with some of the participants, and asking somebody to compile dosbox-x themselves is too much effort for most.
I was able to get the full novell ipx/spx stack running in Dosbox by essentially running a IPX to PD shim, and then the novel PD to IPX shim but of course the dosbox shell does not support the drive redirection so I cannot map any drives... this same method of course is possible with a SLIP to PD shim and the serial port in a dos booted image, but of course dosbox intended use does not make for high speed serial emulation so it is just too slow for my use.
I had just thought, if there was some low level way to access that IPX interface via some undocumented i/o space or emulated bios interrupts (i dont know exactly what I am asking for here) that there was hope I could spend time time and eventually write/modify some form of packet driver that could run in a dos image and low level gain access to the outside world in some way.
Sounds like it is not going to happen, but I will read through the dosbox source code a bit more and once I understand the situation better I will be able to accept the limitation and move on.