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Embassy of Time

Character generation, like in the olden days

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I am sure that others in here are like me, in that they grew up with old school pen-and-paper roleplaying games, perhaps long before RPGs were a computer thing (I still remember Champions of Krynn. I did not like it...). These days, there seems to be a narrowing gap between character creation in many games (even some non-RPGs) and the old character sheets of pnp RPGs. But I still have a hard time finding something with the true feel of tweaking skills and abilities. I was wondering if anyone knows of a website or article or the like that compares some of the more advanced character creation systems of RPGish games of today, and maybe even compares them to RPG character sheets of ye olden times?

Alternately, what do you, personally, feel about character creation systems of modern games? Do you have favorite or pet peeves? Do you see parallels or the lack thereof to old-timey pnp RPGs, if you ever got into that gaming hobby, and which of those did/do you play? Any other thoughts on the matter are also welcome, I'm in a philosophical mood :)

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Have you tried looking at games where skills and abilities are tweaked during the game as a reward for advancement, rather than at the beginning?  Personally I prefer this; and the same goes for appearance customization.  It's just not good game design to front-load all customization on the beginning of a game.

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Have you tried looking at games where skills and abilities are tweaked during the game as a reward for advancement, rather than at the beginning?  Personally I prefer this; and the same goes for appearance customization.  It's just not good game design to front-load all customization on the beginning of a game.

I tried some that may be like that, not entirely sure. Do you have examples?

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Have you tried looking at games where skills and abilities are tweaked during the game as a reward for advancement, rather than at the beginning?  Personally I prefer this; and the same goes for appearance customization.  It's just not good game design to front-load all customization on the beginning of a game.

Such front-loading isn't only a matter of taste: complex preparations (of any kind) before playing might be unpleasant, but requiring premature choices that a novice player isn't informed enough to make is a concrete problem.

Customizing characters as they advance, in the middle of the game, also provides variety (the player gets to learn how to play with the "before" and "after" versions of the character, which might be tactically and strategically very different) and adaptation to the player's strategy and taste

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Have you tried looking at games where skills and abilities are tweaked during the game as a reward for advancement, rather than at the beginning?  Personally I prefer this; and the same goes for appearance customization.  It's just not good game design to front-load all customization on the beginning of a game.

Such front-loading isn't only a matter of taste: complex preparations (of any kind) before playing might be unpleasant, but requiring premature choices that a novice player isn't informed enough to make is a concrete problem.

Customizing characters as they advance, in the middle of the game, also provides variety (the player gets to learn how to play with the "before" and "after" versions of the character, which might be tactically and strategically very different) and adaptation to the player's strategy and taste

This is very much the 'growing character' concept I like. Are there games that do this well?

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