As any hardcore role-players out there are no doubt aware by now, the 3rd Edition of the ever-popular Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rule set was recently released to a clamour of dice rolling and pencil erasing across the world. Amongst the first computer games to use the new rules is Neverwinter Nights from Bioware, and according to lead designer Rob Bartel "the primary philosophical difference [between the 2nd and 3rd Edition rules] is one of choice".
"Where the 2nd Edition typically limited your options as a player (clerics could only use blunt weapons, dwarves could never be paladins, etc), the new rules allow you to do these things... provided that you're willing to suffer the consequences", Rob explained in an interview with GameSpy. "The neat thing is that all of these new options actually make computer games, such as Neverwinter Nights, a whole lot easier to code. As developers, we're able to spend more of our time providing our players with real choices rather than trying to limit them through a series of arbitrary and complex restrictions."