D20 Computer Gaming

Ryan Sonnek bio photo By Ryan Sonnek

Neverwinter Nights is still one of my favorite games. It was one of the most community focused games I have ever seen. Not only were people able to build cool little mods for the game, some developers have built adventures that rival the original game’s content.

There are two new D&D games coming out soon that I have taken interest to. The first is a MMORPG called Dungeons & Dragons Online. The other is a real time strategy game called Dragonshard. I don’t know too much about these projects, but I have found out some gameplay information that I think is pretty sweet. One of my gripes with the original Neverwinter Nights was how they implemented spell memorization. It was very cumbersome at higher levels, and the fact that you had to rest in order to regain spells was a major slowdown for gameplay. That is why I was so glad to hear that Dungeons & Dragons Online has decided to use spellpoints instead of spells per day. I strongly believe that the spellpoints magic system is much more usable for computer gaming than the traditional spells per day.

I fully plan to implement both traditional and spellpoint magic systems into shard. There are several other optional rules, like the Star Wars Wound System, that make sense to add to shard as well. Increasing the flexability and options for shard will increase the number of places that it can be used. It is completely feasible that a game like Dungeons & Dragons Online could use shard for it’s underlying gaming engine.

And in case anyone is wondering if I copied the Dragonshard name for my shard project, I can assure you I did not. Shard started out as a custom RPG engine I wrote, but never released, way back before d20 was released. Once d20 emerged, and I saw how well done the system was, I changed the focus of my old project to be what it is today and kept the same name.