Neverwinter Nights basic mechanics.
Ok, a few words about Neverwinter Nights having slagged it off before, doing it a grave injustice. It's a great game. A little about the mechanics of it. Neverwinter Nights uses a rule set based on Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. A board game, using dice. So everything in Neverwinter Nights uses dice (the computer deals with the calculations). It refers to them (as in AD&D conventions) as D. So when it talks about a D20 or a D10 or a D6 it means literally that. A 20-sided dice (so a number between 1 and 20 inclusive) a 10-sided dice (1 and 10 inc.) and a 6-sided dice (between 1 and 6 inc.) and so on. Other's being D4, D12, & D100. AD&D uses two ten-sided dice (2D10) to simulate a D100 taking one to be the tens the other one units (they have to be different colours). D12's are often replaced with 2D6.
This means that when your sword (look at it in your inventory and right click) tells you it can do 1D6 + 1 damage that means a number between 2 and 7 inc. damage. You may have bonus' (plus or minus) on top of that based upon your statistics, items, spells, potions etc. You can check this at any time by pressing 'c' or hitting the icon below your picture (top right hand corner) to see your character sheet where all that information is stored.
So, D means dice (plural) or die (singular). The first thing that happens in an encounter (fight) is an initiative roll. Whoever gets best, plus or minus any bonus, goes first. They roll to hit using a D20 plus or minus any bonus against the AC or Armour Class of the defender. Any dodges, parries, shields or whatever are calculated then.
Then the damage is rolled, then on to the player/monster/npc with the next highest initiative until the end of the round. Where more than one protagonist has the same initiative the common convention is that whoever has the highest Dex (dexterity) goes first. When the Dex is also identical then another roll is typically performed for just these two (or however many) to choose first action/reaction. Then again from the beginning for another round.
All these actions are performed by your pc in fractions of seconds depending on what you tell it to do by clicking on this or by pressing on that and you do not need to know it to play the game. It helps to know what all that yellow writing means that flits past in your chatbox though. It gives you an indication of how the battle is going and what exactly you are up against. If you are only hitting on a roll of 20 on a D20 you are out-classed and should run unless they are only hitting you on a roll of 20 as well.
The game D&D has been going for decades and Neverwinter Nights benefits greatly from the vast resources that have been created for this over the years by professionals and fans alike. To say there's a wealth is an understatement. A huge amount is available through their own site Neverwinter Vault and the community here. If you like role playing games this is a wonderful platform for you to indulge in giving options for creating your own worlds (modules) to play in or downloading and playing the hundreds of modules available.
It's a great game and I love it and will be posting much more on it over the time to come. Like Freelancer, it's an open-ended game that can run and run.
I would suggest though, if you're thinking of going out to buy it, get the set giving the first two expansions (Shadows of Undrentide and Hordes of the Underdark ) with the game and play each one through before you go looking for modules as very few work fully using just the basic NWN's install.
As a final note. This is an online dice simulator.