The Importance of Interesting Character Advancement (and Hammercalled's next playtest focus)

in gaming •  last month

One thing that I need to audit for Hammercalled is how often improving a character feels significant.

Specializations probably feel important (because you buy +5 intervals, which are fairly significant), but attribute improvements happen at a glacial pace.

Having more talents, affinity trees, and the like should make this better.

One of my gripes with other games is that they don't strike a good balance between coherent characters that develop logically (i.e. not gaining random skills) and characters actually developing at a reasonable pace.

D&D, for instance, is way too slow if played properly (since you don't want to go all the way off the chart), but something like Shadowrun works pretty well at achieving this balance. Generally games with incredibly incoherent character development don't do well, but Degenesis has this in a couple of its cults as characters reach points where they would logically need to double back and build up skills they don't have to qualify for their next advancement and it's pretty solid overall.

Basically, as it stands the raw number increases are boring and I want to see exactly how often they happen, and if other people are bored by them. I think it'd bore me, but I have system-maker privilege to come up with solutions to that problem that a lot of players don't get their GM's to sign off on.

Also, gear is a really big part of characters in Hammercalled, and not having custom gear in Segira makes the game feel a lot shallower, but it's not realistic to put it in. Also, Segira's not supposed to be super deep but rather a proof-of-concept.

And it's supposed to be finished. I should get back to that.

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