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).
This is a post I’ve meant to write for awhile, but in writing the foundation of Lost Worlds, it just didn’t seem like it was quite time. The following comment on my post about classes got me thinking a little bit more about the topic:
I think I would prefer the idea of build points being used to create classes.So as not to overwhelm players that don’t have the time/energy to go pick from massive lists of options a set of ready to go classes can be available. Essentially just build points allocated to recreate any one of the above mentioned classes.
To start, I want to give players lots of options, in fact, it’s my number 1 design goal. The question is, what’s the best way to accomplish it. The obvious, if somewhat dull answer, is to add more classes, more races, more feats, etc. Clearly that would provide more options. I could also move in the direction of what the reader above suggests, which is to break all the mechanics up into pieces and assign them a value – then allow the players to reassemble them into any permutation. As he pointed out, you could certainly leave class structures in place for ready-made themes, but allow players who really want to customize the ability to mix and match to their heart’s content. The third method, and this is the method that I’m really championing, is to provide a clear structure for adding an unlimited amount of custom content.