A pervasive theme I’ve had in this design blog has been providing a framework that allows for a maximum amount of customization for players. This was a main topic in my last post, as well as in my design goals, but you can see the theme all over the place. I recently watched this TED lecture from the author of The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less (thanks to Alexis at Tao of D&D for turning me onto it).
I think there is a lot of truth here. My real life aside, I see the result of “pain of more choices” all the time in 3.5 and Pathfinder. There are so many feats, prestige classes, alternate equipment, sub-races, etc. that players feel like they have to research everything for the perfect choice. And then, once they’ve made the choice, it turns out not to be the perfect one, and overall satisfaction is lower.
I’m trying to provide a framework that still values customization, but in the areas where the game is most customizable, the player creates the choices instead of having to search through volumes to find the choices they like best. Still, I wonder if I have evaluated my design goals appropriately.