Firstly, I'd like to propose that cross bows are added to the list of weapons that do extra damage in a thief's hands. As I recall from my reading, the cross bow was the assassins weapon of choice once it was invented... like the modern sniper rifle.
Thieves should apply their Int bonus to reading scrolls, as other ability modifiers are applied to other skills; I need to actually put that in writing.
Interesting comments on ability modifiers by alignment. DCC RPG deliberately takes a path of character design that involves less "player customization" than many more modern games. When I started playing D&D, there was no customization except for choice of equipment and alignment. And even alignment might get overruled by the DM if you acted out of your stated alignment! DCC RPG makes a decision to go back to "the good old days" in the element of player customization.
In a DCC RPG 0-lvl funnel you don't even get to choose that much. I remember those games too, after 4 or 5 modules they always boil down to hack-slash-loot-repeat... yawn... or; you arrived at the game and wondered vaguely if you would survive the DM's latest attempt to vent his/her anger issues... and if you're really lucky there might be a couple of magic items. Though, not enough for everyone, which brought on the inevitable b*tch fest over who got them. Of course you solved that last problem in DCC RPG. Since all magic items carry the "ire of the Gods" then no body's going to want them.
As for your player's comments, I'll break out the two issues I see:
First, related to the thief class, I like the suggestion of limited customization by alignment. I'm trying to integrate alignment more thoroughly into DCC RPG game play, so I believe there should be some mechanical implications to choosing an alignment. But, to your point, it could be "choose to modify some skills from the following set of options" rather than hard designations. As long as it can be done in a scope of customization that's no more dramatic than a wizard choosing his spells (which currently is the most extreme character customization recognized by the game), that might work. I'll have to think about it some more but I'm open to the idea.
double plus wooot:
My suggestion is to simply add up the ability points awarded for 1st lvl (16 for all paths) and let the player place up to 3 points in any abilities that draw their interests. The difference between abilities at 1st & 2nd level is (18), so they spend these points on the abilities and nothing can be higher than 5, etc.
I don't object to the addition of alignment to the mechanic, but to the narrowness of the choices available: Thug, Assassin, Swindler. Setting aside for the moment that these words have a lot of baggage & preconceptions that comes along with their use; a whole new world of possibilities opens up if it were instead explained thusly:Lawful thieves
belong to a guild or organization of criminals. There are many types of thief employed by these syndicates; corrupt lawyers and officials, lock breakers, demolitions, cat burglars, guild beggars, prostitutes, and assassins negotiating & executing contract hits... (pun intended)Chaotic Thieves
are independent agent style thieves who poach territory under the noses of the guild-thieves. They have all of the same possible styles of skulduggery, it's just that they recognize no one but themselves as master. Neutral Thieves
tend to be spys, smugglers, confidence artists, circus performers, but could easily find a position within a criminal syndicate or as a free agent.
... DCC RPG deliberately involves more player ownership of the non-mechanical elements of the character and less player impact on the mechanical components.
but that means her assessment is in fact correct... (speaking from a player point of view)... a player only ever gets too build their story out of the elements that they are provided: by the game; by the DM; by the world (game or DM both). It's fine in theory, but most of those elements are going to be randomly generated/found and that's not much different than showing up at a game and having the DM tell you what you are going to play. Especially when the "slot machine" system spits out: cherry/ eight-ball/ lemon.
"I'm glad your player gave it a shot, and it may not be the right game for him if he enjoys the "meta-game" of character customization. I definitely acknowledge the feedback, and this is one area where DCC RPG has to retain its current approach; allowing more customization will start to turn it into a game.
Um... If it isn't a game then what else could it possibly be? I disagree entirely with the idea that wanting to have your character "think" its way through development is "meta-gaming" and therefore some sort of detriment. A PC is an analog for the player to explore a carefully constructed fantasy; as such it has free will, just like any other creature does.
That said, feel free to adjust according to your own house rules and players. I've said this before but since there are new members of the boards, it's worth saying again: DCC RPG is like a map with certain areas well-defined, and other areas quite "unknown." For example, the skill system is deliberately simple, not just because I like it that way, but because I'd like it to be plug-and-play with individual DMs' own skill systems; skills seem to be one of those area where many people sub in their own house rules. Other parts of the game will be that way as well. The recipe for DCC RPG: start with "100% as written," add house rules, mix well, and play as needed!
I totally get the idea that the DCC RPG is supposed to be the seed or grit at the center of a snowflake; no 2 are the same, but all formed by the same process. However, if you're going to respect a DM's right to create their own version of the game, then why not require that the system/DM extend that same curtsey to the players... without whom the DM is just a weirdo sitting in a room talking to him or herself...?
The last thing anyone wants is a possible return of the DM tyrant.