Since the first release of Neverwinter Nights, many have created a variety of Persistent worlds expanding the widely known world of Dungeons and Dragons with a vast set of customized "House Rules" to give players a chance to experience their work as a digital form of storytelling.
Building on this great tradition, the Tabula Rasa NWN2 PW Template will be a Persistent World template that is designed to implement a specific set of "House Rules" which can be tweaked and through which your own world can be built. This project will be open source and the resulting NWN2 module will be made available to the general public so that anyone can use this baseline to create their own worlds for many to enjoy. -- Enigmatic
In designing and building this template, the following goals were kept in mind.
GOAL 1 : To focus on the Role-Playing aspect of the game above all else The ultimate goal of the template is to provide a world where Role-playing is the primary focus, and where both meta-gaming and "real life" concerns are kept to an absolute minimum in favour of maintaining a high sense of atmosphere and immersion.
GOAL 2 : To Reduce the Suspension of Disbelief It is already implicitly understood that when playing a Role-Playing game, you have to have a certain level of "Suspension of Disbelief". This means that there will be times when certain things are too hard to believe, or skirt close to the border of being unbelievable. If you hold onto this disbelief you will ultimately ruin your enjoyment of the game because you get too caught up in those things which are beyond imagination and don't let some things slide for the sake of having fun. Thus it is a goal of this project to try and minimize the need for this wherever possible.
GOAL 3 : The world should be TRUELY persistent One of the biggest reasons why it is hard to keep "Suspension of Disbelief" is because the module itself doesn't have a sense of "time" or "place". How can it when the calendar gets reset every time the module is, or if the seasons dont seem to match the appropriate times of the year?
How can you believe this is a real world when you remove a trap only to find its back again after a reset has occurred, or when there is an unlimited supply of potions available yet the alchemist never seems to actually go away and make them! All of this detracts from the telling of the story, from the validity of the world and from the feeling that it is in fact a world that REALLY exists and is not just a world that seems to be caught in a special time loop.
Therefore the goal here is to try and make the world as persistent as possible, to make it so that the world has a feeling of marching forward and that this progression is not stopped by the reset of the server. Where possible, things should be persisted so that they remain consistent even though they never remain constant. If the village was about to be burned down before the reset, then it should be about to be burned down AFTER the reset.
GOAL 4 : To allow players to greatly influence the world The actions of players should have an impact on the world itself. While the world may happily continue to turn over, it should be possible in all aspects of the module to have the player's actions influence direction and outcome in some way. Whether this means they are able to influence the economy of a city, or to choose to save or destroy a village, a player should have the capability of doing so providing they overcome the obsticles in their way.
GOAL 5 : The world should be fun to play, not a chore Taking into consideration all of the other goals, ultimately the game should be fun to play and should not involve a high level of boring or mundane tasks. The purpose is not to have it reflect real life to the point where you have to work through every aspect of your life (ie manually eat, sleep for 8 hours, take toilet breaks, oil up your leather armour and use a whetstone on your sword) and thus it is acceptable to include some "abstractions" of life through mechanics which automate some of these less appealing things.
All of the goals which have been stated so far should be tempered with this last philosophical desire, that it is sometimes ok to suspend the disbelief or to "gloss over" something providing that it ultimately keeps people immersed in the world and keeps them having fun.