Personally, I always did like what Havenstone did with the stat system with Choice of Rebels, something I wanted to incorporate into my own work. But I started thinking, given that you clearly align yourself to a distinct speciality, whether it is necessary to give the player choices in what a player can do when that choice is rather obvious.
Combat is an obvious one. Typically players are going to use whatever their character is best at, what comes naturally; the sword (strength), magic (intelligence), or allies (charisma). You are going to use what you have as the highest stat. You are hardly going to use magic when you are a swordsman. To give the choice appears patronising at worst, and a waste of time at best. That is unless you deliberately wish to lose, which wouldn’t make much sense in terms of story.
When I have been trying to write a story, I try to think as though I were the character, as though I were going through their events and hardships. Thinking about what such a character might think and do. So, why then would a character who is a natural mage even consider using the sword? Surely it goes against their nature, doesn’t it?
So, I came up with a better idea; to write individual paragraphs that relate to the stats, refusing to give the player the fake choices, each one being different and unique to the next. For example, rather than making the player choose what to do in a combat situation, the character will just do as best reflects their stats automatically. If they are a natural swordsman, they will use the sword. If they are a mage, then magic. If they are charismatic, they will inspire the troops. You get the idea. And this would be written in the code to determine the stats, then pick the appropriate paragraph.
Then I thought of even more than that. The character could act and behave differently even when it comes to situations the player has some control, such as conversations with NPCs. If you are ruthless, you will speak and present yourself differently than if you were compassionate, creating unique dialogue in relation to relevant stats. This can also relate to knowledge. A mage is going to know about magic and related topics, where as a swordsman is going to know about weapons and armour and other related military knowledge. Things like that.
What do you guys think? Do you refer to be given the choice, even if it were obvious? Or would you prefer a more tailored gaming experience?