31. What is your preferred method of character improvement and why?
[Alternate question from BrigadeCon’s list. The default question for today was: “What is the best piece of advice you were ever given for your game of choice?” but it didn’t shake loose any ideas.]
For me, the question of character improvement has become less about “advancement” and more about “growth” over the years.I like getting rooted in plots and organization, forming relationships with characters, seeing a player character mature and change.
A number of modern games offer characters that are very competent from the start and playing them over a long time means not so much accumulating skill points and treasure, and more becoming integral to the story of the setting, whatever its scale.
A number of systems offer ways to modify your drives, motivations, descriptors, relationships, and so forth rather than just increasing ratings: games based on the PDQ, Fate Core, PbtA or Burning Wheel engines, for example. Alternately, some more traditional games are exploring options like “partial levelling” and more narrative rewards; I’m thinking of 13th Age and The One Ring, for example.