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There are a bunch of games out there (Neverwinter Nights, Baldur's Gate, many Bioware and Obsidian games in general) that use AD&D, D&D 3.5, D&D 4 or other Pen & paper Role playing systems as a foundation for their gameplay. For example, Neverwinter Nights 2 has a rather faithful implementation of the D&D 3.5 rules with a few minor changes involving spells that are changed or removed because they don't fit the gameplay.

There are certain subjects here, like the setting (several games are set in the Forgotten Realms setting or other settings originally from gaming) and questions involving mechanics (like character development, spell interaction and other things that work the same as in the original ruleset) that wouldn't fit Arqade well due to too specialized, but would be a decent fit for RPG. However, videogame related questions appear to be off-topic here.

is this kind of videogame question still off-topic? When going deep enough, they're still RPG, just in a digital setting.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Wait, there's a video game based on 4e? I'd be interested to try that. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Aug 29 '14 at 12:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Miniman looks like I was mistaken. I thought one of the expansion packs for Neverwinter Nights 2 implemented 4e, but apparently they're all 3.5e. \$\endgroup\$ – Nzall Aug 29 '14 at 12:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Miniman There is a MMORPG called Neverwinter (sometimes Neverwinter Online or NWO) that claims to be 4e-based. I say claim because encounter powers are just on a timer, dailies are on a "action point" recharge bar, the way you gain powers and select your active ones is totally different, there's no chance to miss attacks (you avoid them by moving around) and despite using the six ability scores they just add to different typical mmorpg scores according to your class (e.g. Str adds to Power for fighters, to Critical Chance for archer rangers and so on). Very not 4e, unfortunately. \$\endgroup\$ – Zachiel Aug 29 '14 at 12:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Zachiel Yeah, Neverwinter is just another MMORPG unfortunately. (Musn't start my MMORPG rant.) \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Aug 29 '14 at 12:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is a question/discussion that can get very wide and unfocused fast as you can trace a lot of the game mechanics in modern video games back to concepts born out of D&D. Most level systems have evolved from how D&D used levels. Heck, even classes like sniper, medic, heavy weapons found in multiplayer FPS such as Battlefield is based on the party structure of D&D. Almost all video games (baring sportgames) today can trace their origin to MUDs and MUDs was heavily based on D&D. \$\endgroup\$ – Chryckan Aug 30 '14 at 19:30
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If you're asking about RPG-based video game content, you're probably better off asking Arqade, not us - or finding online communities still discussing these games.

Basically it comes down to this: RPG-based games adapt the story and mechanics, and alter them to serve video game purposes, and it's hard to know where the line begins and ends. We know about Planescape and the city of Sigil, but I can't tell you which parts of Planescape: Torment are exclusive to the video game. The Neverwinter MMO features a modified version of D&D 4e's rules to make it work better for the MMO framework. Baldur's Gate has almost certainly simplified or dropped various AD&D features, just because a lot of features absolutely rely on having a DM and common sense (not available in video games).

Let's assume there's a 50/50 chance you'll ask about something exclusively related to the game, or something that isn't, and which is actually in common with the stuff we know about.

  • If you ask it on here: 50% chance of us having no idea what you're talking about, 50% chance of it being something we can handle.
  • Ask on Arqade: 100% chance of it being something they can handle, because it showed up in the video game. You just also might need someone who knows the broader setting.

In any case, Arqade will probably be able to provide you with a better answer, because you'll be able to explain the context of your question in the video game, and people there who've played the video game will actually be able to respond to that context.

If you know without a doubt that this is something in common with us, you can probably ask here too. Just that you're probably better off just asking on Arqade because of the above.

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Yes, but...

The kinds of video game–derived RPG questions that will be on-topic here are very specific, and will be more about "under the hood" stuff in a video game. But in order to know that your question is on-topic here, you have to know that the mechanic in question is actually relevant to the RPG. And if you know that much about what exactly the video game is doing under the hood, you often know enough that you don't need to ask.

So yes, questions about RPG mechanics are on-topic, but rarely will you be able to ask a question about RPG mechanics in a video game that is clearly on-topic here and is a question you don't know the answer to.

We actually have two examples of that kind of question here already:

  • What effect does the size of a shield have in AD&D 2nd Edition?

    This question is a good example of a very narrow mechanical question, but that is still a question. The interesting thing about this one though: it was asked on Arqade first, and was only asked here after Arqade said "we can't answer this, ask RPG.SE."

  • Can you help me understand the RPG rules behind Planescape:Torment?

    This question is a bit of a trick example. In appearance, it's about Planescape: Torment. But in substance, it's actually directly about certain mechanics of the AD&D RPG itself that are cryptic to non-AD&D players of P:T, so P:T is only the background motivation for the question, not its subject. It's on-topic because the subject is the RPG AD&D.

No, but...

So in practice, no: for all but the most obvious examples (like the P:T question), you're almost always going to be better off asking at Arqade anyway, and only asking here if it turns out their help is lacking.

But in theory, yes, some questions will be on-topic here. Ask yourself, "is my question actually about the RPG system itself?" If we don't need to have video game knowledge, and it's about the actual RPG itself, then it's probably on-topic. But those questions are rare, and if its "aboutness" isn't super-clear to others, having it get put on hold is a definite possibility.

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