Easiest way to learn the systems of old school PC RPGS?

#1 Edited by Gnomicidal (92 posts) -

I've always been hypnotized by the old school RPG and it feels like I'd really be into it if I could penetrate the learning curve. I know back in the day obviously these games came with huge manuals that explained a lot of the intricate systems.

Fast forward to today. Only game I've really worked through was Dragon Age Origins which I loved. I've attempted to start Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, and Neverwinter Nights 2 all at different points in my life and never really made it past the prologue areas without feeling overwhelmed.

What's the best course of action? Are there good YouTube start out videos that someone can recommend? Just reading things? Any specific version that's best to start with first that will give me my base?

#2 Posted by CorruptedEvil (1826 posts) -

Those come from an era where the manuals were crucial, they were closer to board games in that respect than modern video games. Every game on GoG comes with the manual so I would recommend checking that out.

#3 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11495 posts) -

Manuals are key when it comes to understanding the anachronistic stylings of old D&D.

#4 Posted by Veektarius (4640 posts) -

It's really not that complicated. The hardest thing about the infinity engine games is that the designers thought it was totally okay to kill your character based on a bad dice roll even if you did everything right. That's particularly true in the early game. Basically gotta save before every encounter. No idea what's tripping you up about NWN2 though; that's a pretty easy game.

#5 Posted by Gnomicidal (92 posts) -

Thanks for the advice guys. Guess I'll start reading some virtual manuals.

#6 Posted by Raven10 (1736 posts) -

On GOG today they are selling a massive D&D collection with Baldur's Gate 1 and 2, Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2, Icewind Dale 1 and 2, Planescape Tournament, Temple of Elemental Evil, and a couple others for only $20. All come with comprehensive manuals and will work on modern computers without any issues. If you want to get into old school CRPGs I'd highly recommend that bundle. It has pretty much every mid 90's and forward D&D game you could want.

I think it's worth noting, though, that even with manuals old PC games very much expected you to figure things out through experimentation. It was very easy in old PC RPG's to simply make a bad character. Not every choice was a good choice as far as upgrading went back in those days. You could very easily screw yourself over from the very start by choosing a bad mix of classes for your party. Most PC RPG's I played in the 90's (let's not even talk about 80's RPG's here) I had to restart at least three or four times before I nailed what I needed to do. These were hard games that would punish you for your mistakes. Don't expect an easy time no matter what but with a manual or online guide you can get through it.

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