D&D computer adaptations

Sarafan

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RPG genre is full of great games, but many people consider D&D based computer RPGs the best in the genre. Just look at Planescape Torment and Baldur's Gate 2. This thread is not about favorite RPGs however (there's already one), but rather about faithful D&D adaptations. In the 90s and 2000s we've seen a lot of noteworthy RPGs that used the D&D ruleset (for a full list check this Wikipedia article). BG3 is just around the corner and it ignites the players dreams about a true ttRPG experience on computers. That's why I'd like to ask which computer game you consider being the best when it comes to adaptation of D&D ruleset.

My favorite here might be a little surprising. I'd pick Neverwinter Nights 2. It's based on the 3.5 version of D&D. It's not the best D&D computer RPG that's available, but I consider it being the best adaptation. Sure, it's real time, so this disqualifies the game in the eyes of many, but the ruleset is implemented so good that this argument becomes obsolete in my opinion. The game offers plenty of classes and races to choose from and its gameplay is faithful to D&D rules (yes, apart from real-time combat ;)). It also offers decent adventures (with masterpiece Mask of the Betrayer) and a powerful editor.

Now I'm waiting for someone to point Temple of Elemental Evil. ;)
 
Jun 26, 2020
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Baldurs Gate is probably the only series that sticks out in my mind. I played a bit of neverwinter, but it didn't click with me back in the day. I mostly think I just hadn't come across many d&d driven RPGs other than the BG series, which now that I think about it strikes me as a bit odd, because I love the systems involved. I'm really stoked for BG3 and Solasta, though.
 
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OsaX Nymloth

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Temple of Elemental Evil, the game loved by few and hated by rest. I never ever managed to finish it, everytime I would nope out in the Temple itself. And I never even used like 20% of available options the game offers.... probably.

My favourite would be Baldur's Gate series as I adore these games and for in retrospection, they managed to do well enough with their implementations of D&D. Was is problematic? Sure. Was it fun and worked? Sure! Do anybody remembers what THAC0 does?

IMHO best implementation of D&D that I had fun with was probably first Neverwinter Nights. I loved creating characters, leveling them up, gearing them up etc. What I didn't love was grinding the boring single player campaign (expansions are better, but I had other issue with them). I finished main campaign once but I made like 20+ characters over the years.
 
Jan 22, 2020
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So great to see everyone reliving the trauma of ToEE. I party-wiped in the first dungeon a few dozen times when it first came out and haven't been back since.

Despite the lack of party control and lacklustre base campaign I still carry a torch for Neverwinter Nights the first. I still play from time to time thanks to some top quality modules that have been made since, and like @OsaX Nymloth I also got hooked on building characters. I enjoyed NWN 2 as well, but my experience at the time was spoiled by my out of date PC and what I recall as a buggy release and I never got around to checking out the expansions which I heard great things about.
 
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Sarafan

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I've only played the first Neverwinter Nights game, which was okay, but it sucked to play as a caster on low levels.
Casters on lower levels are weak. I agree with that. But when they level up, they become a really heavy artillery. Nothing can match a high level Sorcerer. It's even possible to solo BG2 using this class. This tells a lot about the power of this class.

Baldurs Gate is probably the only series that sticks out in my mind. I played a bit of neverwinter, but it didn't click with me back in the day. I mostly think I just hadn't come across many d&d driven RPGs other than the BG series, which now that I think about it strikes me as a bit odd, because I love the systems involved. I'm really stoked for BG3 and Solasta, though.
Baldur's Gate was fine when it comes to D&D adaptation, although it uses an older version of the system than NWN1 and NWN2, so it offers less possibilities. I strongly suggest you try NWN1 and NWN2. These are true gems when it comes to computer D&D adaptation.

Temple of Elemental Evil, the game loved by few and hated by rest. I never ever managed to finish it, everytime I would nope out in the Temple itself. And I never even used like 20% of available options the game offers.... probably.
I had the same problem. The game is too hard in the Temple when you're playing as a good party. I appreciate the great turn-based aspect of combat however.

My favourite would be Baldur's Gate series as I adore these games and for in retrospection, they managed to do well enough with their implementations of D&D. Was is problematic? Sure. Was it fun and worked? Sure! Do anybody remembers what THAC0 does?
And we have to remember about negative armor class. When I launched NWN1 for the first time, I was wandering why a better armor gives a worse armor class. :) Then I noticed that the system is more logical than in AD&D.

IMHO best implementation of D&D that I had fun with was probably first Neverwinter Nights. I loved creating characters, leveling them up, gearing them up etc. What I didn't love was grinding the boring single player campaign (expansions are better, but I had other issue with them). I finished main campaign once but I made like 20+ characters over the years.
When it comes to adaptation of the D&D ruleset NWN1 is almost equal to NWN2. Also it has a better online aspect. But if you don't have anyone to play with, NWN2 takes the lead.

Yeah, I'm one of those people who liked The Temple of Elemental Evil. But the Gold Box games, particularly Curse of the Azure Bonds, also felt pretty D&D to me.
ToEE is a nice game, but it's balanced quite badly. In the beginning of the game there's a lot of dialogue only quests which don't give enough experience points to justify the hard work that has to be put to actually finish them. And in the end there's way too much combat, if you're playing a good party. These unbalanced aspects of the game overshadow the adaptation itself. But I have to agree that combat is very satisfying.

I enjoyed NWN 2 as well, but my experience at the time was spoiled by my out of date PC and what I recall as a buggy release and I never got around to checking out the expansions which I heard great things about.
The game was patched and is in a very good state. It's worth playing solely for MotB expansion. It's Obsidian's masterpiece. Many compare it even to Planescape Torment.
 

OsaX Nymloth

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Casters on lower levels are weak. I agree with that. But when they level up, they become a really heavy artillery. Nothing can match a high level Sorcerer. It's even possible to solo BG2 using this class. This tells a lot about the power of this class.
Well to be honest, you can solo BG1/BG2 with any class provided you know what you're doing ;P
But in general I agree, magic classes suffer a lot early on but once they get their footing and level up to around 20, they become walking devastation personified.

When it comes to adaptation of the D&D ruleset NWN1 is almost equal to NWN2. Also it has a better online aspect. But if you don't have anyone to play with, NWN2 takes the lead.
Somehow I never finished NWN2 no matter how many times I tried. I liked what Obsidian did with the game and I appreciate that the campaign for single player is actually there, but for some reason I will always give up nearing the end (I think). Not sure why.
Maybe I should solo it. Wait, could you actually "detach" the companions?
 
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Mar 17, 2020
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I remember the persistent worlds people made for NeverWinter Nights that you could connect to and play on. Some of them were a great experience and hands down better than some current MMORPGs.
 
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Sarafan

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Somehow I never finished NWN2 no matter how many times I tried. I liked what Obsidian did with the game and I appreciate that the campaign for single player is actually there, but for some reason I will always give up nearing the end (I think). Not sure why.
Maybe I should solo it. Wait, could you actually "detach" the companions?
After you reach The Sunken Flagon in Neverwinter you can get rid of companions. Sometimes you're forced to have one in your party however due to story requirements. I never tried a solo playthrough of NWN2, but probably it's possible. The game isn't too hard even on very hard difficulty level.

I just remembered about Eye of the Beholder for the GBA, which was actually pretty fun for a short dungeon crawler.
EotB is a legendary dungeon crawler. I tried to play it a few moths ago, but the outdated gameplay scared me off. Especially painful is the lack of minimap. You have to draw it yourself. Without it it's impossible to finish the game. Later on I've found an automapper tool, so I'll probably return to the game some day.

Neverwinter Nights 2 & Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn. Honorable mention to Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire, even if it does not use the D&D ruleset.
Pillars of Eternity series is clearly inspired by D&D ruleset. It features very similar mechanics, so it's not a surprise for me that someone mentioned it here.

I remember the persistent worlds people made for NeverWinter Nights that you could connect to and play on. Some of them were a great experience and hands down better than some current MMORPGs.
The online aspects of NWN1 and NWN2 are very good. The first game is even better than the second, when it comes to online play (and the Enhanced Edition has a working online lobby). I agree that it's very enjoyable. As of now it's probably the closest thing you can get to a real session of RPG in a computer game.
 
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Mar 17, 2020
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After you reach The Sunken Flagon in Neverwinter you can get rid of companions. Sometimes you're forced to have one in your party however due to story requirements. I never tried a solo playthrough of NWN2, but probably it's possible. The game isn't too hard even on very hard difficulty level.



EotB is a legendary dungeon crawler. I tried to play it a few moths ago, but the outdated gameplay scared me off. Especially painful is the lack of minimap. You have to draw it yourself. Without it it's impossible to finish the game. Later on I've found an automapper tool, so I'll probably return to the game some day.



Pillars of Eternity series is clearly inspired by D&D ruleset. It features very similar mechanics, so it's not a surprise for me that someone mentioned it here.



The online aspects of NWN1 and NWN2 are very good. The first game is even better than the second, when it comes to online play (and the Enhanced Edition has a working online lobby). I agree that it's very enjoyable. As of now it's probably the closest thing you can get to a real session of RPG in a computer game.
It has been awhile for me, but does the enhanced version still allow custom and persistent worlds?? I would love to make a wheel of time server or dragonlance.
 

Sarafan

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It has been awhile for me, but does the enhanced version still allow custom and persistent worlds?? I would love to make a wheel of time server or dragonlance.
Yeah, there are some persistent worlds online. You click on the multiplayer mode in the menu and the game automatically shows all available servers. Also you can create a custom server and allow access to it for anyone who owns EE. Beamdog did a good job in refreshing the online mode of NWN1.
 
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EotB is a legendary dungeon crawler. I tried to play it a few moths ago, but the outdated gameplay scared me off. Especially painful is the lack of minimap. You have to draw it yourself. Without it it's impossible to finish the game. Later on I've found an automapper tool, so I'll probably return to the game some day.
Speaking from experience, I can assure you that it's not impossible to finish the game without making a map. You might be running in circles for a while, but eventually you can figure it out.
 
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Apr 21, 2020
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Baldur's gate 1 & 2 (with shadow of Amn), ice wind dale, neverwinter's night (complete version) were the only D&D games that i've played on PC, I've played Pillars of Eternity and Divinity Original sin 2 that are great RPGs games. I do hope Baldur's Gate 3 will use the best mechanics from DOS 2 into BG3.
 
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Sarafan

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I have been playing Pillars of Eternity, and will play the second one when I finish the first. I do need to go back and get baulders gate 1 and 2 and Icewind Dale.
I can really recommend the Enhanced Editions of both BG and IWD. A lot of people are complaining about the new content they add to the base games, but it's not that bad in my opinion. The EE add a few important tweaks which make the game more accessible for modern players. I especially like the zoom feature (almost a must, if you're planning to play in Full HD) and a refreshed inventory screen which includes important information regarding character and item stats. If you want to play BG or IWD these days I strongly recommend the EE.

Speaking from experience, I can assure you that it's not impossible to finish the game without making a map. You might be running in circles for a while, but eventually you can figure it out.
Not with my space orientation. :) Every square looks similar in this game. It's very hard to find your way when there's no map. I'll probably check the automapper. This might be the thing I'm looking for.

Baldur's gate 1 & 2 (with shadow of Amn), ice wind dale, neverwinter's night (complete version) were the only D&D games that i've played on PC, I've played Pillars of Eternity and Divinity Original sin 2 that are great RPGs games. I do hope Baldur's Gate 3 will use the best mechanics from DOS 2 into BG3.
BG3 might be a very good combination of features from D:OS2 and D&D elements. Whether that will be enough to justify its title is to be seen. I'm fairly optimistic after the last gameplay and probably will buy the game on its release date. The game might be indeed the best computer adaptation of the ruleset.
 
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Apr 21, 2020
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BG3 might be a very good combination of features from D:OS2 and D&D elements. Whether that will be enough to justify its title is to be seen. I'm fairly optimistic after the last gameplay and probably will buy the game on its release date. The game might be indeed the best computer adaptation of the rule-set.
D:OS2 had a good crafting system although a bit limited compared to D:OS but good! i wish they will improve the system and make every single thing "craftable".
 
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J_Th4ng

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I can't remember the full name of the game, but there was an adaptation of the D&D Dark Sun setting in the mid 90's that I really loved. Hmmm, google tells me it was called Dark Sun: Shattered Lands. Really enjoyed that game.

And Planescape: Torment of course, but everyone knows what a great game that was.
 

Sarafan

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D:OS2 had a good crafting system although a bit limited compared to D:OS but good! i wish they will improve the system and make every single thing "craftable".
I used the crafting system in D:OS2 only briefly, so can't say too much about it, but there are some serious chances that we'll see something similar in BG3 (although it'll be most likely based on D&D).

For me, the Masterpiece of "D&D turned to PC" is Owlcat's "Pathfinder: Kingmaker"
Technically it was based on Pathfinder ruleset which is based on D&D ruleset, but I think it qualifies. I didn't have a chance to play Pathfinder: Kingmaker yet. It's waiting in my library for its turn. I'll probably wait until they implement the turn-based system into the game (somewhere near August).

I can't remember the full name of the game, but there was an adaptation of the D&D Dark Sun setting in the mid 90's that I really loved. Hmmm, google tells me it was called Dark Sun: Shattered Lands. Really enjoyed that game.
And you can get it on GOG along with its sequel if you want to. :) I heard it's a great game. It's in my library like Pathfinder: Kingmaker, but never played it. But this will change some day I guess... :)

And Planescape: Torment of course, but everyone knows what a great game that was.
It's a wonderful game, but a mediocre D&D adaptation. There's a lot of differences when you compare it with AD&D ruleset. It's not necessarily a bad thing in overall, but we're talking here about the best adaptations. :)
 
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Mar 4, 2020
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I've enjoyed a ton of D&D games over the years. Although when I DM, I like to keep things very close to the rules as written, some of the games I've enjoyed the most have been fairly loose adaptations. The one I've certainly put the most time into is Dungeons and Dragons Online- one of the first western F2P MMOs and also one of the first MMOs I ever played, DDO has been a game I keep coming back even after more than a decade. Tales from Candlekeep was a fun adaptation that I thought could use a bit more of the core rules but overall was an interesting concept and played quite well- though I don't think it's a classic. That said, I love the more authentic games as well- Neverwinter Nights has a special spot in my heart, along with Baldur's Gate 2. And, if we're just talking about systems, the original Knights of the Old Republic runs on a modified version of the d20 system that actually stays pretty close to the mechanics of D&D itself, so even though it's a Star Wars game by setting, it is also an excellent D&D game if you're looking at gameplay and not setting (which, in my opinion, is fair game because there are a ton of D&D settings). I know that's a bit of a stretch, but to be honest, I've enjoyed it alot. I also enjoyed Pathfinder: Kingmaker, which is basically just 3.5e since Pathfinder 1e became the very thing it swore to fight, so if you really want to stretch things I think it's worth including both of those.
 
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Jun 26, 2020
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Oh yeah I just remembered there was a Dungeons and Dragons game on the Sega Genesis that I played SO much when I was a kid. Warriors of the Eternal Sun, according to Google. I don't remember much about it, other than finding a spot to keep resting to fight bears to level up, and a fairly long path through some lizard infested swamp that I had a pretty rough time with. I loved it though, but I was pretty young and didn't know much if anything about D&D.
 
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