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While Frayed Knights developer Jay Barnson was understandably busy preparing a demo of Frayed Knights II: The Khan of Wrath for Salt Lake Comic-Con, he still found the time to write a blog post explaining the decision he made to go with a pre-generated party for the series. Here's an excerpt:
The bottom line is, this is a game ABOUT these particular characters. Their personalities, their roles, their backstories. it's their game. And it's a story-heavy game. It's about a dainty half-elf warrior with a chip on her shoulder, a show-off adrenaline-junkie rogue, a nature priest who chose the nature-worshipping lifestyle to avoid the stress of, say, adventuring, and a ditzy but cute-and-perky sorceress with a scary violent streak.
You can't change the characters without having a completely different game. You may as well ask, (Why don't you have randomized dungeons in this game?) Or, (Why isn't it a science-fiction game set aboard a space ship?) Okay, I guess that if we consider the early Might & Magic games, the latter one *is* possible without fundamentally changing the game. But you see the point. These are great game ideas. I mean, you can play Sword of the Stars: The Pit, and make your own character, play in a sci-fi setting, and have randomized dungeons all at once, and it's a great game! But it's very, very different. And I've got a couple of ideas for games kicking around in my head that are begging to be made that do involve creating your own characters from scratch (and one involves randomized dungeons), as that's something I really enjoy, too.
I think that in response to this, I kinda went overboard on the customization options in Frayed Knights: The Skull of S'makh-Daon. I spent a great deal of time and effort making it so that the characters could really expand beyond their roles. In practice I don't know that anyone beyond the testers really did much with it. Was it wasted effort? Should that time have been spent in other places to make the experience for the vast majority of players better? I dunno. While I'm not emphasizing that so much with the revamped system in the sequel, it's still part of the legacy of the series, and there's still a ton of options for expanding or specializing the role of each of the characters in the party. You can still turn Dirk into a spellcaster if you choose.