I had a fun day digging through the 13th Age playtester reports this week. For a change I wasn't looking for comments or problems, this time I was hunting for playtester names, working to complete the credits.
But along the way I decided to make a last-moment change to the character creation rules in chapter 2.
So many people asked us to give all character classes 8 points of backgrounds instead of our pseudo-traditionalist route of giving the rogue and ranger more backgrounds and the fighter and barbarian less. Reading the playtest feedback again I had to recognize that Jonathan and I were mistaken about our earlier rule. We were wrong telling some classes they weren't as worthy of having rich backgrounds. I talked with Jonathan. He agreed.
The rule is now that every character gets 8 points of backgrounds. The sidebar which formerly explained our separate-and-unequal decision now explains the move to equality while providing the old system as an optional rule for GMs who want to play with varied points.
Chris is at-this-moment finishing the second draft of the layout of Chapter 2: Character Rules, so the change came just in time.
I have to say "Thank you" to the playtesters who repeated their assessment of the earlier rules and "I'm sorry" since it took us so long to respond.
Oh. I guess I also have to say "I'm sorry" to bards and rogues and rangers in existing campaigns whose GMs might now screw them out of two background points. The bard in our game ditched his two points of "Former target of bullying," but not everyone will have such an easily-erased background. I'd say that characters who have been with us through the playtest process deserve an extra benefit and should have the two extra background points grandmothered in.
And fighters, barbarians, paladins, sorcerers? Happy Two Background Point Awards Day!