- May 5, 2018
- Reaction score
This tends to be one of the big issues with point buy. In part I think this is more an issue in practice than it is in principle (not entirely, but I think mostly).I like mostly-random character generation because I can start with an archetypal or generic character and get to know them through play, and because it takes me out of my comfort zone by making me adapt to something unfamiliar. With non-random character generation I feel like I have to know everything about the character before play starts (their background, their personality, all of their quirks and distinctive bits) which is not how I like to play, plus it usually means that I end up falling back on one of a handful of "stock" characters, which creates extra frustration because the system usually doesn't give enough points to create the character as-envisioned (or requires deep system familiarity to know how to do it - including pre-planning an advancement "build") so you have to compromise and create a character that's not quite what you wanted to play, which to me feels like sort of the worst of both worlds.
For some reason there's a distinct tendency to be parsimonious in the points given. In part I think this comes due to long standing assumptions about gaming. The idea that you need to protect niches*, and you need to leave space for development. However, it often means neutering the strengths of the very approach to character generation you have chosen to use.
*Which in itself I think comes from a lot of unstated and unexamined assumptions about gaming.