For a variety of games, you can present character creation as walking the path of life. As long as no “weak build” is possible, this looks just like a win-win to me : those who want verisimilitude will find it, and those who don’t want it can look at the whole tree of choice and pick what they want anyway.
For games with class based creation, or point based creation, the rules also break down the big choice of “character role” into lesser choices. I believe that’s a positive, for all playstyles.
But then most of the character evolution rules I see are either qualitative (remixing drives), or an increase in efficiency (stats or powers). They don’t bring complexity. Alright, new powers open up new choices since D&D level climbing. But consider the leap from generic moves to class based moves in PbtA : the stress is not on efficiency. And yet even PbtA makes access to new moves relatively slow, and synonymous with an increase in efficiency. Does it mean that the “new toy” moves benefit from sugar coating ? or is there a problem with restricting play possibilities and “unlocking” them step by step ? Alright again, in most games I see, complexity increases not only with new powers but also with a closer scrutiny on resource management, a wider NPC network, and simply new facts getting framed by now past facts produced at the table (Fort the Queen), etc. But what strikes me is I don’t see, among games that use a character sheet (unlike FtQ), more games where you start with fewer tools, then have more options as you learn to manage them, from generic to specific. A bit like Hubs and spokes in character sheet form.
I know these games are out there : what are they called ?
Is the character sheet not the best tool for the job ?
Or I am making too much assumptions on how complexity is managed at a table ? I might because I don’t want too big a scope to frame my questions.