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D&D General Character Generation, Advancement, and Tasha's

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
Thing is, Tasha's didn't "remove" ability modifiers it just made them entirely floating. So actually, some races (mountain dwarf and Half elf in particular) become even more attractive to optimizers not less. Tasha's changes the decision math it does not remove it.

Non optimizers will be happy because they can pick a race and not be subject to strict ability guidelines. Optimizers will be happy because they can optimize even further. People who don't care just take the default. In theory everybody wins. Also in theory the secondary characteristics of the races become that much more important in the decision process.
Fair enough, and not arguing with your broader point. They didn't so much entirely remove ability modifiers as separate them from race.

I am amused to notice, on thinking about it, that the system I use in my campaigns does the same thing, differently, because I wanted non-obvious race/class combinations to be ... as playable as obvious ones.
 

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prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
There's definitely been a move towards making chargen rules more flexible so that people have an easier time realizing their vision, but not a similar move towards making the game point-buy instead of using classes. Classes definitely provide some utility, but I think a complete theory of why they're popular is difficult. I think it's because starting with a blank slate for a character is harder than riffing from a known concept.
Yeah. Total point-buy is something that works better if you have obvious directions to go, and if character concepts don't correlate to classes. I've found that Supers games at a minimum don't work too well with class/level type constructs--though I'm willing to believe there's a game I haven't played that combines them well.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
There's definitely been a move towards making chargen rules more flexible so that people have an easier time realizing their vision, but not a similar move towards making the game point-buy instead of using classes. Classes definitely provide some utility, but I think a complete theory of why they're popular is difficult. I think it's because starting with a blank slate for a character is harder than riffing from a known concept.
I think players generally have two competing desires - for their characters to belong to familiar archetypes, and for their characters to feel unique. Pure class based systems satisfy the former desire but not the latter, and classless systems satisfy the latter but not the former. In theory, having classes that define advancement broadly, and individual choices like subclasses, feats, etc. to let players differentiate their characters within the space defined by their class could satisfy both desires. The tricky part is finding the right level of balance between them. The right amount of restrictive for classes to be, and the right amount of flexibility for those more specific choices to allow.
 

J-H

Adventurer
I generally agree. Non-game aspects aside, the Tasha's rules do remove meaningful choice from character generation & building for little benefit, and this does take away from the experience.

I'm sure most of us on this forum have about 5x as many characters built as we've gotten to play...
 

Scribe

Hero
I'm a 'restriction breeds creativity' disciple from before Magic design shifted to the current (well current when I quit last year) design and development theories, which suck BTW.

Lineage should be just as important as Class should be just as important as Background should be just as important as Culture.

The update with Tasha's absolutely decreases that level of importance in Lineage, and for my money ruined the measure of the ingredients to a point where I wrote up an adaptation of a different approach.

I 100% agree that chargen is critical to the success of D&D and I sure hope they don't throw the baby out with some of what they deem dirty water.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
I'm a 'restriction breeds creativity' disciple from before Magic design shifted to the current (well current when I quit last year) design and development theories, which suck BTW.
What changed there? I haven’t kept up on Magic design in a while.
 

Scribe

Hero
What changed there? I haven’t kept up on Magic design in a while.
Ooo boy. There was an article they pushed out a year or 2 ago, where (paraphrased) they wanted to go big, splashy, and of course leverage the digital success that they lucked into. I have COMPLETELY checked out, sold my collection, but they decided to push cards to a point where their nonrotation formats completely broke down, cards had to be banned from competitive play with essentially every release, and this was hitting people for $100s of dollars.

They broke fundamentally sound rules that have kept the game strong and growing and then Covid hit.

I can't speak to the last few sets, but I think anything following perhaps Dominaria had something that was flawed, to flat out broken.

They also refused to acknowledge it at all at first, and really just failed a number of the formats players.

I'm actually super annoyed typing this out on my phone, but let's just say I wouldn't buy Aaron or Maro a drink.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
If you had a class-less, pick an ability system, I think you remove a lot of the restrictions and tradeoffs that make it interesting for many players.

Have you played many classless systems? Because, usually you still wind up with restrictions and tradeoffs, because in most such systems, there are still limits on what you can take, and their costs. In general, they are designed with the concept that you cannot be good at everything, so you have to make choices, and those will generally restrict viable choices for you going forward. If you want to be good at fighting, you have to put your build points into the appropriate stats or skills, and that means you probably won't also be good at slinging spells, or whatever.

Many classless systems still have elements that you have to buy into at the character generation step, and there is no way within the rules to change that choice once play begins. I classic Deadlands, for example, if you don't buy into being able to use magic at character generation, you cannot pick up use of magic later.
 

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