One of the things I really like about this is how races have been incorporated into look. I think it’s the correct amount of prompting to indicate that race is something the player should care about but is also flexible.
My favorite innovation about this is that you pick an advanced move during character creation. I love the way this opens up character building options and makes starting characters both more varied and more focused. I’d actually like to see this expanded upon, maybe some classes could have fewer starting moves and more starting advanced move choices.
However, these two things together got me thinking–what’s the point of Background moves? I know they’re a replacement for race moves but, beyond that what purpose do they serve? Why should they be set aside instead of included as a starting move with options, or just included in the advanced moves as potential choices? Some of the backgrounds are mutually exclusive (an argument for them being set aside) but most aren’t.
I think background moves also miss something that the best racial moves can bring too. Although most of the racial moves aren’t like this there’s a few like Dwarf Cleric, Dwarf Fighter, or Human Druid, which really add a lot of flavor to what it is to be a particular race/class combination. Of course it’s really hard to come up with a move for every race/class combination that’s that good, most are pretty boring.
I have not had a chance to pick up the recently released Xanathar’s Guide to Everything yet but the reviews mention that there are a lot of class specific backstory tools like superstitions and tattoos for Barbarians or temptations and a nemesis for Paladins. This sounds very interesting and I’m wondering if something like this could make a better background than just some moves that you have to pick from.