Rampant Games - Choice in Character Development #3
Colter Cookson wraps up his series of posts on character development with discussion of the player "tools" required to make detailed character development work:
For a game to provide all of the benefits of a character development system, the consequences of different choices need to be clear so players can go after the mechanical bonuses, fantasy, and gameplay style they prefer. The amount of information necessary can range from the formulas behind the game’s mechanics to short descriptions of different classes at the start of the game. For example, a game with both a sorcerer and an alchemist might describe the former as “a natural spellcaster that eradicates foes with fire and lightning” and the latter as “a wandering herbalist who brews potions to give allies the strength and speed they need to overcome the toughest foe.” Despite their brevity, these descriptions convey the classes’ theme and gameplay effect (direct damage versus buffing). Armed with this information, players should be able to tell which character-the powerful destroyer or the scholarly buffer–will appeal to them.