The Gamemasters

The Gamemasters
What Manner of Game

Bruce Nielson | 6 Sep 2005 12:05
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Max Steele's article, "Don't Roleplay the Bugs," in issue four of The Escapist, sparked a lot of conversation among the Neverwinter Nights community. One of the members of this community came to us with a response to Mr. Steele, putting a more positive spin on his experiences. We listened to his ideas - and here's what he had to say.

I remember fondly the day I discovered Dungeons and Dragons. I was in the fifth grade when a friend of mine attempted to describe D&D to me. I have to admit, I was very confused. I probably stared at him like he'd grown another head as he tried to explain a game that has no game board, no turns, and no game pieces. I was half convinced he was kidding. It really required playing D&D before I understood - it was no ordinary game. It was something completely new.

Just as a pen-and-paper (PnP) RPG was a new type of game that had evolved from an older type (in this case turn-based, game - board-based strategy games) Neverwinter Nights (NWN), with its built-in toolset and Dungeon Master client, is an evolution of both PnP RPGs and computer RPGs. Indeed, I would contend that it is really a new type of game altogether.

Perhaps it is not surprising that people try to fit NWN, into familiar molds. Looking at massive NWN fan projects such as "Hardcore Rules," which attempts to rewrite Neverwinter Nights to be closer to PnP D&D, or the myriad of NWN online persistent worlds, it's not hard to see that NWN has a large following from people that want it to be the same as a PnP RPG. It's hard for them to see it in any other light.

Trouble in Paradise
CorWyn stood in the temple of Soladon, holding the Seeing Stone carefully in her hands. Centuries ago, this relic of her people's history had been lost. With the help of these strange humans, she had recovered it.

"My Sovereign, we have recovered the Seeing Stone from the ruins of Mauglin," she stated boldly, holding out her treasure for all to view.

The Sovereign failed to keep his composure. "Can it be?" he asked, not willing to believe yet, "But how? Our best warriors failed to retrieve the stone."

CorWyn trembled slightly at what she had to say next. "My Lord, the humans, they have strange powers ... their leader," she motioned to the one named Samuel Meladon, "claims to be of the race of the ancient emperors, a Veranite." CorWyn paused before continuing, "My Lord, I believe I died and his power brought me back from the dead."

A guffaw from next to the Sovereign reminded everyone of sheriff KyMin's presence.

"Don't be foolish, CorWyn, you know the Veranites were of our race, and there have been no Veranites for over 1000 years. And certainly there is no being alive today that can bring people back from the dead," the sheriff chuckled.

Matteo the ranger interrupted, "Why not let Samuel give it a try and let the Seeing Stone determine what he is or is not?"

Stallos reached for his sword, but was waved off by Samuel. Anade shifted nervously, content to let Samuel work this problem out with the elves.

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