Miscellany: Leveling Up
One feature most RPGs share is "leveling up," but in most pen-and-paper RPGs, the process can get almost ridiculously complicated as time goes on.
A typical Japanese-style console RPG (Final Fantasy) handles most of the stat-boosting automatically, with perhaps a few meaningful choices in terms of character development.
A typical MMORPG (World of Warcraft) allows only minor deviations from the accepted template of a class - there are certain skills and talents that can be developed, but all in all, most Hunters will play the same, most Paladins will be interchangeable, etc.
In Dungeons & Dragons, though, the process can get tortuously complicated. First, you have to decide which character class to level up, and there are literally hundreds to choose from if you count all the optional "prestige classes" and such available from splatbooks. Then, you may have to choose "feats" (permanent benefits to an aspect of your character - say, enhanced swordfighting) - again, there are hundreds to choose from, all with wildly different effects. You add in skill points, which are allocated to one of the dozens of non-combat skills available (although most classes will end up pumping only a few). You have to consult tables and charts to bump up character stats - your base attack bonus may or may not go up, your saving throws may or may not go up, and depending on the level, you may get even more bonuses to your stats. Finally, you roll up some more hitpoints and off you go.
A daunting process, especially for a new player.