There is some fun to the current (semi-)random system, as it sometimes gives somewhat comically results.
- Traveling with two thralls (using a mod). Both are real beasts, much stronger than my character. Both gain level 15. Both get the cannibal perk. Both just used up their last food. Both look at my character in this… special way.
- I gave one thrall a drunk emote (using a mod). He got the “angry drunk” perk later. He’s now guarding my base, tossing beers, belching, and ready to punch anybody to death who looks at him funny.
In most cases, though, it sucked. Short-sighted archers, pacifist fighters, or just getting +10 to archery at level 20 for an otherwise promising pure melee thrall. There’s some comedy to that sometimes, but mostly, it’s frustrating.
The perks are unbalanced by design, I assume, to add some gambling component to leveling thralls. However it would be nice if at least some randomness of the leveling system got toned down.
Personally, I’d make attribute gains more or even totally predictable, e. g. by vastly increasing the bonus food gives.
Or one could allow the player to pick between two random perks when they level. Some kind of retraining option would also be fine and probably limit thrall spam. Maybe add a “potion of power”, costing one fragment of power, that lets you select a replacement for one random perk or something like that.
If you’re using Pickup+ or other mods, you can reset the thrall to level 0 by picking them up. That can be worth it if their attributes/perks suck at level 10, for example - that’s quick to get even on slow-leveling thralls.
If not using mods… start using mods. They make the game much, much funnier.