A few months back, I started this thread , wherein I requested recommendations for a computer-based Dungeons and Dragons style game that I could purchase in a box, wouldn’t need other people to play, wouldn’t require me to work too hard (including thinking), and could put away if I didn’t feel like playing. Please note, I have absolutely NO interest in playing on-line, anymore than I have any interest in playing with a group of people in person. I don’t want to have to interact with other real human beings. Not that I have anything against human beings, but that’s not what I’m looking for. Period, end of that part of the discussion, ok?
Out of the recommendations from that thread, I ended up buying Baldur’s Gate (I & II), Dungeon Siege (I & II), and Neverwinter Nights. It turned out to be very much like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Baldur’s Gate simply required too damned much of me, Dungeon Siege required a little bit too little, but Neverwinter Nights was just right (not perfect, mind you, but the right degree of effort needed).
Let me explain. First of all, I’m not the greatest multi-processor around, so I get flustered when I have to handle my henchmen in any depth whatsoever. Hell, I’m not even comfortable playing any kind of magic user when I have no henchmen; again, it requires more thought and effort than I’m looking to put in! I have the brains to do it (or, at least, I used to play a cleric successfully in paper and pencil D&D back in the late 80s), but I’m not interested in working them out so hard when I’m at my leisure. The whole environment and the number of things you had to consider was just too huge in Baldur’s Gate. I gave it a try a few times, and eventually just admitted that it simply wasn’t fun enough to justify the effort I was putting into it, effort being the thing that in general I am looking to avoid at all costs.
On the other hand, Dungeon Siege was just pure hack and slash, and got boring eventually. It wasn’t hard to play, I’ll give it that, but it had almost no plot. I like a plot.
Neverwinter Nights (NWN) seems to hit a happy medium for me. Even in the expansion modules, where you have considerably more control of the henchmen than you do in the original game (for example, you can give them things, and choose what armor and weapons they use), it’s just not as complex or difficult as it seemed to be in Baldur’s Gate. Further, you can get away without playing with any henchmen at all if you are pretty powerful, and that’s my preference. When I have a henchman, I spend all my time worrying like crazy about him or her - watching their health more carefully than my own, and even worrying about hurting their feelings! (Don’t tell me this is stupid. I know it’s stupid. But I’m fifty years old, and at this point in my life, there are some things that are simply not going to change!) Hell, I tried playing it as a Druid once, summoned a Dire Boar as my familiar, and then spent all my time worrying about the damned thing! (His name was Piggie, and I pet him and stroked him and called him George). That lasted a good two-three hours before I realized that this was making me absolutely crazy. Plus computer controlled henchmen can be annoying; they rush in where angels fear to tread, and fight each battle as if it’s their last, so if they have any spells or limited special abilities, they can easily use up all their good stuff on piddle-ass little fights and have nothing left for the real battles. So on the whole, I prefer to adventure alone (you also get better XP). But in Baldur’s Gate, that’s an easy way to die really fast, especially early on in the game.
I’ve really enjoyed NWN, and I was looking forward to getting NWN II. But I’ve read some previews that suggest (very happily from their standpoint) that it’s a lot more like Baldur’s Gate in many ways - a lot more control of the henchmen and what sounded like a considerably greater degree of player complexity. Plus the darned thing is almost 50 bucks, and what with being out of work indefinitely because of dizzy-spells, and looking at a reduced paycheck as a result pretty soon, $50 is way more of an issue for me now than it was back in May when I first asked. Last but not least, there probably won’t be any good walk-throughs or hints available right off the bat for NWN II, and I’m sufficiently pathetic that I need those badly!
I’ll add one more thing. Unlike a real gamer, I am overjoyed when a game is easy to play succesfully, and enjoy nothing more than cutting through a swath of opponents like butter because I’m seventeen times more powerful than they are. My problem with Dungeon Siege was NOT that it was easy; it was that it had little to no plot. I have absolutely no ego invested in my skill as a gamer; I know that I have none, and am unlikely to develop much of any. I just want to enjoy myself.
So what I want to know is, are there other games that require an effort level comparable to NWN and have a good storyline? NWN’s stories weren’t perfect by any means, but they were enough to keep things interesting, and enough to cause me to play through a second time as a male character just to see how the romance part of the story would work for a guy. I don’t mind if it’s a very easy game to play; in fact, the easier, the better! But I do mind if there’s just nothing to it but cutting through a bunch of orcs or whatever, with no real quests or interactions with the NPCs. Oh, please note that while I’m open to other RPGs, my preference is for the D&D based ones. Second choice would be alternate (or actual) history, next choice would be sci-fi (even though I love reading it), and last choice would be contemporary.
Oh, the other question I had was about NWN itself. I know one of its great virtues is that you can develop modules for it (not that I have the slightest interest in doing that), and that a number of people have done so and many of these are available for free or very little money. Only problem is, I have no idea where to find them. Can someone point me at a website or three?
I thank you in advance for your help!