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It's not a bad idea to consider the D&D ruleset as a basis for your RPG. You'll have the advantage that more people will understand your rules, as they will be familiar with them. Personally I think pen and paper RPG rulesets aren't the best to convert religiously to the computer (the computer do many more complex probability calculations and hide stats that you just can't do with dice), but it's a good starting point.

Be forewarned that you can't just use Dungeons and Dragons IP without their permission. That means you can't set your game in the Forgotten Realms, or use some of the more personalised monsters. However, you can use a version of their ruleset as that's not protected by patent. Have a look at the d20 system webpage for the open gaming license for d20 games, it will help you with your game design.

Good luck!

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If you're interested in games that use the DnD systems, look at Temple of Elemental Evil, Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, Neverwinter Nights.

The DnD system is nice and all, but its not the greatest for computer RPGs. Then, on the other hand, its not as easy as you might think to create a RPG system. I would recommend the d20 system (which has already been said.) The Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 1 and 2 use this system.

As a side note: Thanks Trapper Zoid, I had planned on using DnD in my first game. This is good information!

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In fact, I would look at Temple of Elemental Evil as a case against the d20 system. Note how religous that game is the the ruleset and how god damn unplayable it is because of it. I know it can be played, but who really wants to reroll characters until they get that just right group to actually survive?
I'd go with your own system that might have some similarities with d20 combat, but that's about it.

<edit> If you have a problem with what I am saying here then why don't you actually discuss it? You know who you are. </edit>

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