The next character creation trend.

DeathbyDoughnut

a.k.a. Mr. Meat Popcicle
Validated User
Classes. Point buy. Disparate pieces coming together. Even lifepaths have come and gone.

D&D 5e touches on it a bit, but hasn't leaned far enough into it.

Race+Backround+Class+Subclass, or similar structures where character creation is done in large chunks. It's definitely the happy medium between classic class based where your class is all you get, but more restrained than free-form narrative defining, or point buy.

The ability to choose which different chunks come together is quick but still offers a large amount of customizability. The prime example is D&D 5e of course and already is apparent compared to say 3e. A 3e wood elf ranger looked like any other wood elf ranger, typically before feats (which are an entire other can of worms). But a "wood elf soldier ranger hunter" is much different than a "wood elf hermit ranger beastmaster".

IMO that's a really cool way to simplify character creation givigg the game ease of access, while still giving veteran players meaningful choices, and interesting combinations. However, it's not opening up character creation completely making players control every minor bonus and ability a character may have like a point buy or narrative defined system which in my experience causes more choice paralysis and frustration than the sense of freedom they intend to promote. Restrained meaningful 3 to 5 choices for character creation feels about right.

Just thought I'd share some insight about the next big trend for the fantastic developers here. Keep being awesome.
 

SMHWorlds

Registered User
Validated User
I am leaning more towards species and culture having an effect, but separate from one another. Then having:
What I apprenticed to do
What I ended up doing
The vocation I then chose (ie Class)

So an Elf, raised in the Gnome Hive City, a glassblower by trade, got into religion and spent years as a glass blowing hermit, and finally chose the vocation of cleric. And from there, allow the character to build out the cleric abilities they want to focus on
 

ThornyJohn

Registered User
Validated User
Making character creation easier and more fun, by whatever means, is always the moving target. I don't mind race+bkg+class+sub as an option, so long as the special cases (as SMHWorlds's Elvish cleric with Gnomish glassblower roots illustrates) are covered, or at least not disallowed, which is sometimes an issue with race-class systems.
 

kingSpaceLizard

Registered User
Validated User
Race+Backround+Class+Subclass, or similar structures where character creation is done in large chunks. It's definitely the happy medium between classic class based where your class is all you get, but more restrained than free-form narrative defining, or point buy.

The ability to choose which different chunks come together is quick but still offers a large amount of customizability. The prime example is D&D 5e of course and already is apparent compared to say 3e. A 3e wood elf ranger looked like any other wood elf ranger, typically before feats (which are an entire other can of worms). But a "wood elf soldier ranger hunter" is much different than a "wood elf hermit ranger beastmaster".
Personally I find 5e character generation leads to cookie cutter characters. Sure, I can play any character I like but the stat options that indicate what I'm good at are limited. Mathematically the total number of combinations is small and the number of options that combine a profession with a class in a realistic manner is smaller still.. The concept of packages is a good one but it needs more of them, and smaller ones, than what 5e allows for.
 

1of3

Registered User
Validated User
Race+Backround+Class+Subclass, or similar structures where character creation is done in large chunks.
5e extends this idea into its feats. If you want to be a Sharpshooter, consider the feat of the same name.

Of course, size is relative, so it's hard to say what a "big chunk" is. I would say it like this: There should always be at least two reasons to pick an option. So I can pick Elf, because I like Elves or I can pick Elf, because I want that free cantrip.

The other big trend, namely Playbooks a.k.a. Classes Revisited, does it similarly. Do you want those moves? Do you like plothooks? Do you like the flair? Many reasons to pick a playbook.
 

Pteryx

Simulator & Spellcaster
Validated User
Personally I find 5e character generation leads to cookie cutter characters. Sure, I can play any character I like but the stat options that indicate what I'm good at are limited. Mathematically the total number of combinations is small and the number of options that combine a profession with a class in a realistic manner is smaller still.. The concept of packages is a good one but it needs more of them, and smaller ones, than what 5e allows for.
I consider an additional problem of the 5e system to be that D&D classes, for the most part, are focused on combat... and its skill system is a bit lacking for filling in noncombat roles. There's room for having both a combat class and a noncombat class as big, scaling chunks, on top of the race+background smaller, nonscaling chunks and any later customizations like subclass.
 

DeathbyDoughnut

a.k.a. Mr. Meat Popcicle
Validated User
What would a non-combat character do in D&D?

D&D is a fantasy heroic combat roleplaying game. Most of the pages in the D&D are for fulfilling combat. I feel like if a group wanted to run a combat demphasized, highly social fantasy roleplaying campaign then there are games that fulfill that style of play, but D&D just doesn't lend much support.

Even though I do agree with you. I made a reddit post the other day about how cool it would be to have court intrigue classes and rules.
 

Pteryx

Simulator & Spellcaster
Validated User
What would a non-combat character do in D&D?
My point isn't to have a combat class or a noncombat class, but a combat class and a noncombat class -- a class that determines what you do when you're fighting, and a class that determines the primary way you help the party between fights. In my own experience, D&D is more than a pure combat simulator in how people actually try to apply it. Unfortunately, from what I've seen, D&D classes vary wildly on their support for noncombat activities; some are flexible, some are pigeonholed, and some just don't provide anything. Building a system around letting you pick both a combat class and a noncombat class would mean you could both fight effectively and have spotlight moments between fights.
 

DeathbyDoughnut

a.k.a. Mr. Meat Popcicle
Validated User
My point isn't to have a combat class or a noncombat class, but a combat class and a noncombat class -- a class that determines what you do when you're fighting, and a class that determines the primary way you help the party between fights.
Isn't that what the backgrounds are for in 5e? That's why they fill out the character roleplaying bits with traits, bonds, ideals, and flaws plus some skill and tool proficiencies plus a background feature that is very much a non-combat ability.
 

Octiron

Pariah
Validated User
I forget if you are the same person who proposed this earlier, but I will repeat what I said there. I really like the idea of everyone kind of double classing in a traditional combat-oriented class AND a non-combat class. It gives characters more depth and makes you feel less straightjacketed by your class focus. I've seen like zero published games that actually do it however.
 
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