Character Creation, for me, needs to be smooth, quick, easy to grok, and not intimidate or fatigue new players.
Over the years I have seen how daunting character creation can be- especially for new players and if there is a high lethality to the setting/game.
Challenge One- The info dump. While this can be annoying for veteran players, my greatest concern is for newbies or those with the attention span of a 10 year old who has snorted Pixie Sticks and shotgunned a bottle of Mountain Dew…
First you have the GM’s campaign exposition- all the fluff and backstory and bullshit (the stuff I really don’t do and nix from my games, but that’s a whole different issue/thing and I wrote Hubris in the first place), then there’s the summary of the rules and showing of the dice (and the disclaimer of not to put the fucking things in your ear, nose or anus), followed by the the explanation of the races, the description of the classes, and so on and so forth.
People can become fatigued right from the get go or suffer from decision paralysis.
My main desire is to cut the fat from character creation.
My games tend to have a high fatality rate… when a character died in 3.x the players were CRUSHED- not so much because they liked their character (although they did), but because the sheer amount of work that went into creating the fucking thing… And now they have to do it again. When PCs were dying in my Going Medieval on Yo Ass playtests, it wasn’t such a big deal. They were still bummed their character had their heart eaten out by a giant Dire Booger, but hey- that happens in the Forever Dungeon.
I’ll touch on this more with classes and races, and the other fiddly bits, but I really want these rules to be more “show me, don’t tell me.” I don’t want to pause while players look up rules or get bummed that the ability only activates under certain conditions. I want to capture the players sense of excitement and wonder right out of the box (whether I’ll be successful or not- fuck all if I know…).
Ok… I think I’m done rambling for now.