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D&D 3E
I was just curious of what PC/console games are closest to the D&D… 
19th-Jul-2003 12:22 am
I was just curious of what PC/console games are closest to the D&D setup? Also, I don't understand the difference between regular D&D and Advanced D&D which I've seen a few places.

Any help?
18th-Jul-2003 09:26 pm (UTC)
Way Back When, Gary Gygax created Dungeons and Dragons. its been through several incarnations. For a while, there were 2 products, a siomplier, condensed version of the rules (DnD), and a more complex version (Advanced Dungeons and Dragons). With the 3rd edition, the simpler version was dropped and the line was rechristened Dungeons and Dragons. There isn't a current version of AD&D, so don't bother buying one of the older games.

19th-Jul-2003 12:44 pm (UTC)
Don't forget Dave Arneson. The original Dungeons and Dragons was made by him and Gary Gygax, but Gygax later followed up with most of the advanced materials.

(Deleted comment)
18th-Jul-2003 11:24 pm (UTC)
Here's comes my two pence.

Neverwinter Nights does use the D&D (3rd edition) rules and lots of people like it. I, however, think it sucks eggs. The plot is linear. You start at(a) go to (b) fight (c) go to (d) fight (e) go to (f) and fight (g).

Baldur's Gate is older, uses the old rules, but is better. You can amble around the plot in any order, ignore bits, explore bits, try to do things when your character is woefully under-powered, kick ass when you find your character is nicely over-powered for an area, talk to people, annoy people and help people. So on.

There's Baldur's Gate 2, which I've not played, and I think that uses the old (2nd edition, AD&D) rules.

There's Icewind Dale. This is in between between Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights. It uses the old (2nd edition, AD&D) rules and is basicly a hack'n'slash combat quest version of Baldur's Gate (hence why I think it's the go between for Neverwinter Nights).

The best of the bunch is Planescape: Torment.

All the previous games are set in the Forgotten Realms. A hotch-potch of high fantasy. Planescape: Torment also happens to be high fantasy but it's not such a hotch-potch. It's wonderfully crafted. Planescape uses the old (2nd edition, AD&D) rules and you play a man who, it appears, can not die. You can get the crap beaten out of you and wake up in the mortuary - but you can't die. In fact, the game starts with you waking up in the mortuary and with no memory of who you are.

If you're new to roleplaying in anyway then there is no better computer game introduction to roleplaying than Planescape: Torment. Why? I'm bias. I'd happly roleplay without rolling a dice. For me it's all about character interaction, politics, drama. For other people the thrill is building a character and taking part in orc slaying quests. Don't get me wrong. If I get a game with character interaction, politics, drama and a nail biting combat against an orc horde or a roof top katana fight against an assassin then that's even better. I feel the Torment CRPG is the one which offers the best of all of this.

No. I'm not done yet.

It's not D&D and it's awfully slow to start but consider Arcanum. This is a steampunk game (mixing magic with Victorian era technology) by Troika. This is another one that's very good with reguards to a non-linear plot and providing enough diplomatic to keep elite snobs like me happy. There is a D&D connection. Troika are the people putting together the D&D MMORPG (massively multi-player online roleplaying game) which will be ready in 2005.

There are also D&D (3rd edition) MUSHes but let's not go there.

Oh. Don't buy D&D (3rd edition) unless that's exactly the one you want. The latest D&D is the newly released 3.5 edition.

Sorry you asked? Apologies to davedujour if this data dump on the end of his helpful comment isn't appreciated.
19th-Jul-2003 12:59 am (UTC) - Torment is very, very good
I second the recommendation of Planescape: Torment. It comes the closest of any computer RPG to having all the elements of a classic game of D&D — real decisions about whom to befriend and/or whom to betray, a well-crafted overarching plot and a lot of relatively freeform side quests, a compelling main player character, and lots of style. Play it, you won't regret it.
Baldur's Gate is also extremely good. It's in many ways more "typical" than Torment; the setting is classic high fantasy and there's a certain formulaity to the plot and characters. Still, it's a fine example of the genre.
Neverwinter Nights is designed for multiplayer, with a DM. The single-player experience is all right, but it has nothing on any of the Infinity Engine games (BG I & II, Torment, Icewind Dale I & II). In multiplayer, as with paper D&D, everything depends on the quality of the DM, and their familiarity with the medium. The computer frees up the DM in some ways and limits them in others; it's a different framework for world-building than a paper game, with its pluses and minuses.
Icewind Dale and Icewind Dale II deserve mention; they play much like Baldur's Gate, but they're generally smaller, more linear games. IMHO, they're "as fun" as BG, but they're less memorable in the long run.
Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor looks interesting. Like all the above, it is an official D&D licensee, but I believe it's by a different company than BG/NWN/ID/Torment. I have only played a few minutes of this one on a friend's computer, but it has good looks and an excellent setting. I don't know much about the mechanics of gameplay. It's based on one of the better early Forgotten Realms books, and is a sequel to a much older computer game (one of the classic D&D "gold box" titles).
19th-Jul-2003 01:07 am (UTC) - Re: Torment is very, very good

In NWN's defence it's good that you can write your own module and then use it to play D&D with your friends over a network. I'd not encourage people to buy it just for the engine though. The engine isn't that good - it can only make decisions based on what the character is carrying, that's why the plot's so linear. Roleplaying and Computer Geekery seem to go hand in hand :)
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19th-Jul-2003 12:47 pm (UTC)
I would imagine it wouldn't be that hard for them to release NWN versions of the other games like Planescape: Torment and Baldur's Gate.

19th-Jul-2003 01:22 pm (UTC) - Gold Box!
By far the closest computer games to any version of [A]D&D are the classic SSI core Gold Box titles. They're also arguably the best computer RPGs in existence and were developed by the company that owns the strategy computer game market to this day. You can pick up a collection of all the Forgotten Realms Gold Box games for under $10, and if you're lucky, you can find the DragonLance games as part of the Interplay Silver Collection (IIRC -- I bought them almost a decade ago on floppies, though, so I can't say for certain).

Neverwinter Nights uses a lot of the 3.0e rules, but it breaks them (purposely) in many places... and combat is entirely different from real D&D. Baldur's Gate and Planescape: Torment bear some resemblence to AD&D 2e, but totally abandon the combat system as well as playing loose with the other rules; at best one could say they have the "flavor" of AD&D. Pools of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor is drivel that's probably not worth your time. The Eye of the Beholder games are merely mediocre. SSI/WizardWorks/Interplay also released a few quirky titles that aren't rightly part of the Gold Box line, including Hillsfar (arena minigames), a Campaign Tool, and a first-person DragonLance aerial combat game.
20th-Jul-2003 03:11 am (UTC) - Re: Gold Box!
The Gold Box games were fun, but it's going to be hard for anyone who's played more modern games to put aside their overall datedness. Graphics, sound, interface are all very much from a different era.

I spent many, many hours with the original Pool of Radiance, but when I tried playing it again circa 2000, it just wasn't as fun anymore. Maybe I'm just not as imaginative as I was when I was 9...

20th-Jul-2003 08:29 am (UTC) - Re: Gold Box!
True, the graphics and sound don't hold up well, but the gameplay's as solid as ever. ;)
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