TotalVideoGames.com has published a three-page Q&A with Obsidian Entertainment's Chris Avellone, in which the senior designer answers a variety of questions about the RPG sequel.
Q: For those not au-fait with NWN could you tell us a little about creating a character, and the basic progression line that will unfold?
A: Starting up the game, you have many of the same choices they would make in a Dungeons and Dragons pen-and-paper game - you can choose your race, class, abilities, and customize your character's appearance (along with some other bonus stuff - mentioned below). From there, you emerge into West Harbor on the day of the Harbor Festival engaging in various feats of spellcraft, strength, and even a bit of thievery here and there... as well as getting to know the inhabitants of your village.
Growing up in West Harbor will grant you a selection of unique background traits you can use to customize your character even further (traits such as Bully, Devout, Natural Leader, Militiaman, etc.), but a lot of the weapons and abilities you gain is directly in your hands and vary based upon how your choices during character development.