Neverwinter Nights 2 Preview

IGN's Neverwinter Nights Vault has posted an extensive preview of Neverwinter Nights 2, based on what they learned about the RPG sequel during a presentation at GenCon. A snippet about character creation and prestige classes:
1) One aspect of character creation of which I was not aware is the ability to select a background template for your character. There seemed to be close to a dozen different options (including, Bully, Farmer, and Ladies' Man). Each background offers modifiers to certain skill checks, and they are also integrated into the conversations. They are particularly well-integrated into the starting locale, where the NPCs in the town will make reference to your background.

2) Most of the character creation process is pretty straight forward. There are a five or six options for customizing your character once you pick a head (eye color, hair color, skin color, hair highlights, etc.). With the click of a button, you are able to zoom into the character's face to scrutinize the configurations that you are choosing.

3) I was already aware of most of the available Prestige Classes, with the exception of the Arcane Trickster and the Shadow Thief of Amn. All of the NWN Prestige Classes were present, with the exception of the Shifter.

4) One of the Prestige Classes we focused in on was the Warpriest. This class gains several buffing options (morale bonuses) that affect companions and a Fear Aura effect. The Warpriest also gains Mass Cure spells, including Mass Heal at higher levels. Every 2 levels that the Warpriest gains add Spells per Day levels to the base class. Primary requirement is being able to cast 4th level divine spells, so Druids qualify and (although at a much higher level) so do Rangers and Paladins.

5) I talked to Feargus about overcoming the NWN limitation where Prestige Classes were really unable to add caster levels (for Spells per Day) to an existing class. He indicated that while a Prestige Class could add caster levels for Spells per Day (Arcane Trickster, Eldritch Knight, Warpriest), a Prestige Class cannot have a custom spell list.