In many ways, the virtue of good role playing games is that they transcend gaming. Most games give you fixed abilities that continue to the end of the game; good RPGs transform your characters into something vastly more powerful and mature than they were when the game began. Most games give you 10-20 hours of mayhem; good RPGs serve up a journey that can span 50 hours or more. Most games have saccharine plots that are just excuses for more action; good RPGs tell such good stories that you actually feel you're experiencing a fine work of literature.
Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that the genre is without problems. Role-playing is almost as old as gaming itself, and because of that some of its more archaic conventions continue to haunt the present and handicap potentially great games. In the spirit of progress, then, here is a partial list of suggestions to improve the genre: