I love classes. I really do. It might not be so obvious in everything that I’ve published under my name so far, but if I’m looking for a serious in-the-game type system with abilities and spells I want categories. How silly, you might say. “Why?” you might challenge. Well let me tell you why . . .
- Character classes keep authors from winging me with deus ex machina. Now, don’t take to your soap boxes yet. I like a little dash of deus ex machina every here and there if it helps thrill my heart and jumpstart the old and sluggish blood in my veins. But stories shouldn’t be willy nilly. And too often they are. I don’t like it when stuff happens just because the author needed it to happen. I like to see stuff grow naturally and come to being in a way that makes sense. And that is the absolute number one strength of crunchy LitRPG done right. The authors have to balance the numbers and stay within the rules they set out for the system. The stricter the crunch, the stricter the rules. And you can’t get much stricter than character classes.
- Character classes add pinache to the world setting and give a sense of what it is and what the developers were thinking. When I picked up Primeverse for the first time, I was enthralled not just by the choices available, but also what they meant about the world. I picked up a sense that this land was going to be quite virgin and that the player characters of this world were going to have to start from square one all without the author having told or shown me anything about the big wide world. The same with Fragment of Divinity – finding out that farmer was a class that could reach phenemonal level heights and combat abilities really wove the setting for me. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words – character creation in that world was worth ten times that. Are there knights in your world? Are there ninjas? Cyborg mages? It gives me eager expectations and keeps me reading.
- Character classes are just plain fun for someone like me who likes to create characters in their own games. That screen pops up and I roll through the options, thinking about what else I might pick. Now I have to say that this isn’t me asking for a million word crunch character creation — that would be awful. But just enough options with just enough feasible paths pins me to the chapter and sets my mind alight with their possibilities. And, perhaps very importantly in this genre, it makes me heartily wish that I could play the game. I love litrpg books that are set in games that I want to play!
I guess what I am saying is — give me more of those character classes! And have a wonderful weekend!