In this r.g.r.d. thread, "Cuboidz" asks:
"Maybe we should drop the notion of preconceived character development and try to allow for maximum adaptability. Your character would be shaped by the Random Number Generator, in a way, because you choose your abilities based on the items you find, and the hurdles you have to overcome."
Much interesting discussion follows. It has also sparked an idea of my own.
Currently, I have planned that Kharne will have a conventional character creation system in which skills and abilities are determined (at least in the beginning) by race and class (albeit with an option to allow for randomly choosing a race and class).
But what about giving the player the chance to change these mid-game? Or even have changes thrust upon them? For example: potions that allow you to swap skills and powers. environmental subsections of dungeons that suppress one skill and boost another temporarily. Monster attacks that change your race (think a super-polymorph spell).
Whilst I do think this would be a worthwhile addition to the completed game, where is the line between giving the player additional gameplay options and driving them mad through too much choice?
Incidentally, later in the thread Ray Dillinger comments:
"There are a lot of ways to handle it, not just shops. I think the preferred way ought to be themed dungeon branches. If you've got three different ways of getting from level 20 to level 30, and one leads through a dragon's nest, one through a goblin city, and one through a Temple to the Great Old Ones, you're effectively giving your players a choice."
That's exactly what I have planned with Kharne. There will always be at least two different dungeons for each level range, with loot tied thematically to each dungeon.