I’ve made some breakthroughs in the way I prefer characters be represented in RPGs. Playing Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, where every unit has a class and there is a fictional class system in the fiction of one of the empires, made me starting thinking of class as a permissions gate.
In a game system there are a finite amount of mechanical moves. These are adjusted by various stats, that change due to progress of some sort. Often classes are tied to the fiction, which in my opinion is not as fun for a tactical RPG. For tactics it is more important for me the player to understand the underlying mechanics, stats, and relevant chances of moves succeeding.
For narrative games I prefer modular, component character build; I want to fully explore every facet and decision. For grid tactics games I want to know the essential mechanics of the unit.
So this is both musing on “class” as mechanical gate, and realizing I like the play different games differently.
I am more convinced than ever that I can take the grid chassis from 4e, and tweak it to make a tactics game I’d love!