atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#236: Neverwinter Nights

I wanted NWN when it first came out, but I was unemployed at the time and couldn't spend $50 on a computer game. That was sometime in 2000 as I recall; Wizards of the Coast had bought TSR and re-vamped Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) into the rather nicely-designed D20 game system, and NWN was a game designed with the 3rd Edition (3E) rules. Not only that, but it included the toolkit for making modules, and a dungeon master (DM) application, so you could actually play D&D over the internet.

Between one thing and another I never got around to buying it; and in 2006 I saw that they had come out with a "diamond edition" which contained the game and all the expansion modules on one DVD. ...and I didn't buy it when I saw it, because I was buying anime at the time.

As I was leaving work on the morning of Christmas Eve 2006, I perused the software section. I saw Neverwinter Nights 2, nodded ruefully at the hardware requirements printed on the box--it needs a computer with a 21st century processor--and set it back on the shelf.

"Now if we had that Neverwinter Nights collection, I'd be all over it," I said to myself.

And there it was, a few feet down, and it was $19.99; so I snatched it.

It was Christmas Eve; I had things to do that day, and more things to do the following day--and so I didn't get around to installing the game until the 26th.

I have played it a lot since then. It's a great implementation of the D&D 3E rules--the best implementation of any "paper and pencil" role-playing game (RPG) I've ever seen.

But now I'm finding myself not wanting to play as much.

The problem is the plotting of the game. In any RPG the player characters will have at least one "go-to" person--a non-player character--who provides certain necessary actions or services. Usually this person is a former adventurer of great experience who needs the player characters' help, for whatever reason, with the "little stuff"...only the "little stuff" works out to be the "big stuff" as time goes on. In a well-constructed campaign, this "mentor" kind of fades out as the player characters begin to drive the plot designed by the DM.

It's harder to manage that in a single-user computer game. A computer game has to be limited in scope; NWN "Diamond Edition" has a huge game world and weighs in at almost 4 GB--and at that the world feels a bit "tight". But it's a lot of fun, and I've been having a blast, until yesterday evening.

Yesterday evening I learned that my "mentor", a paladin of Tyr named Lady Aribeth (something-or-other-what's-her-face), has become a traitor.

Depressed that her lover was executed for his unwitting role in a betrayal, she herself has betrayed...well, everyone: her religious order, her god, her friends, her adopted country...and gone over to the side of the guys who are responsible for tricking her late lover into doing what he did. least, that's how it looks. I realize that she may be seeking revenge for the death of ler lover by infiltrating the bad guys and assassinating a few choice bad dudes. I don't know. What I do know is that right now, it looks like I'm going to have to kill Lady Aribeth, and that's making me feel even more depressed than I already feel right now.

For a variety of reasons I'm using NWN as an escape from reality, and here the damn game is also making me depressed. *sigh*

So I am hoping that she's just infiltrating the bad guys, and everyone is making it look like she's "gone over" so I (my character, I mean) can't spill the beans. That would make for a well-designed campaign module and I think that would make me happy.

I've written fiction since I was 12; and because of this I've gotten a feel for how stories should flow. Usually there are few surprising plot turns in most stories, and so for me most of the time how the story gets to the (obvious) ending is what entertains me.

Sixth Sense caught me off guard--way off guard. Although I knew something wasn't right through most of the story, the ending was still a complete surprise to me. That is a rarity for me.

So here I sit, playing this game, and I have a feeling I know what's going to happen...and I hate it. Score one for Bioware; NWN is a pretty good game.

  • #7604: Well, she died doing what she loved, I guess?

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  • #7603: Absolutely correct

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  • #7602: Still not gonna take it.

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