Are all adventurers destined to become instantly wealthy?

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I'm starting a new campaign shortly, and I want the starting characters to begin with almost no equipment whatsoever.

1. Do I have to give every melee class a starting weapon?  I'd like at least the first encounter to be down to throwing punches or rocks.

2. What is the absolute minimum gear I can give a level 1 arcane class?   I'm going to assume a spellbook, but what else?

3. What is the absolute minimum gear I can give a level 1 divine class?   I'm going to assume a deity symbol of some sort, but what else?

4.  I don't want the party to start off with more than a handful of silver amongst the whole group.   Are there any official lists for prices of mundane items? (a room in a tavern, a meal, basic adventuring supplies, etc)

5.  According to the DMG, even a level 1 party deserves a parcel of magic items for it's first adventure.   Even the lowest level magic items have a value of around 500 gold.    It seems that an economically poor party could simply sell their first magic item and remove any and all money woes.

Notes:  Of course, I intend to provide for them.   Their very first adventure will take them into a small tomb where they can find some rusted armor and weapons.    I just want to have a little fun with making them do a fight or two with fists or underpowered gear, and then slowly ramp them up.   I might be using old school thinking for 4e, but I don't want them to go from 'brand new' to everyone having a magic item or two within the first two adventures.    However, according to the 4e rules, I'm concerned they might be underpowered if I don't do this.  

Thoughts?

They should definitely have weapons, that's a no-brainer.  Unless they're monks, they AREN'T going to go out and risk their necks unarmed and unarmored.  That would just be stupid.  If you want to do this, just narrate it or have it be part of the PCs' backstory.  1st level PCs aren't country bumpkins that just fell off the turnip wagon; they are special people, they are heroes.

Not all arcane classes use spellbooks.  Warlocks need armor and an implement, Swordmages need armor and a sword, bards need armor and a weapon or implement, and so forth.

Divine classes are going to need armor, implements, and weapons like everybody else, depending on the class.  Avengers don't need armor, for instance, but clerics certainly do.

The prices for mundane items are in the PHB.

Yes, they could.  Of course, that's because the game is supposed to revolve around heroic action and adventure, not 'can we scrape up enough money to eat on'.  If you don't want to hand out a lot of magic items, use the Inherent Bonuses system in the DMG2.




Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
1) The weapon classes will likely be rather inferior to their spell casting cousins with just unarmed attacks.

2)Only wizards need a spellbook, oddly enough this is somewhat given to them via class feature. (The wording is "You have a spellbook")

3)You dont need a holy symbol to cast divine abilities. However you need one at higher levels for its enhancement bonus.

4) the PHB has a list of mundane gear, Adventurer's vault might have added some too.

5) If you really want the party poor for some reason, you could always simply lower the money value of all magic items.
Well, you can make the PCs as poor as you want starting off. Implement users in general get nothing out of their starting non-magical implement, though they could have a feat or even 2 that key off it. Even so level 1 PCs aren't terribly equipment dependent. The weapon users are more so than the implement users, but even worst case a level 1 fighter punching with his fist is still getting STR bonus, and a level 1 creature is nominally AC 14. You're unlikely to see a character swinging with less than +3 to-hit. PC armor class for heavy armor types will be horrible, but it all boils down to the degree of challenge. If the encounters they run into while penniless are bar fights and wrastling some kobolds, well, that's fine. They'll just be weaker than the expected baseline so a full up level 1 encounter might be tough, but still probably doable by most groups.

And yes, it is true, even low level treasure is fairly rich by the measure of ordinary peasants. A 500gp item is probably several years of a dirt farmer's income. OTOH the 20% sale price is 100gp, still a good chunk of money, but not really the kind of cash you can just retire on.

I'd just give the PCs a good reason to want to do whatever is in mind to be done beyond monetary reward. There are always ways to keep the PCs near the edge of financial viability too. You could use story reasons, maybe they've incurred some huge debt. Maybe they need their money to support their village, or pay off something, or for bribes to the dragon to prevent it eating their family, or whatever. Also, if there's no real market for items then it is all well and good that they may have these magic swords and whatnot that have big sticker prices on them, but when you go into the tavern for an ale and all you can do is hock your +1 magic sword for it that's going to provoke some feeling of desperation on the player's part. They'll FEEL poor.

You can always give out mostly non-monetary sorts of 'treasure' too. You could have the local lord give them a reward like "OK, your uncle can run the mill" or "I'll forego your 40 days of obligatory military service for that" or whatever.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
They should definitely have weapons, that's a no-brainer.  Unless they're monks, they AREN'T going to go out and risk their necks unarmed and unarmored.  That would just be stupid.  If you want to do this, just narrate it or have it be part of the PCs' backstory.  1st level PCs aren't country bumpkins that just fell off the turnip wagon; they are special people, they are heroes.

Not all arcane classes use spellbooks.  Warlocks need armor and an implement, Swordmages need armor and a sword, bards need armor and a weapon or implement, and so forth.

Divine classes are going to need armor, implements, and weapons like everybody else, depending on the class.  Avengers don't need armor, for instance, but clerics certainly do.

The prices for mundane items are in the PHB.

Yes, they could.  Of course, that's because the game is supposed to revolve around heroic action and adventure, not 'can we scrape up enough money to eat on'.  If you don't want to hand out a lot of magic items, use the Inherent Bonuses system in the DMG2.





Thanks for the quick reply.

I've no intention of keeping them from thriving and succeeding, I just want them to have to 'scrape' for an adventure or two, no longer.

Why can't a brand new, say, fighter, start off as a country bumpkin with no more than a rusted dagger?   Why couldn't a poor person decide to try their luck as an adventurer and just head out into the wilds?    What happens from level 0 (if such a thing even exists in 4e) and level 1 that makes all adventurers both geared and "special"?

   Surely a hero is someone who has proven themselves time and again, or at least in a very heroic fashion under special circumstances.   I don't get how someone can complete a single adventure, and suddenly they are head and shoulders above the average joe.
What you are describing is their backstory.  Stuff that happens before the game; their 'origin story' if you will.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I think 4E default assumes that players are "superhuman", as is reflected in the 4E stats (point buy) versus previous additions (rolled). The average joe doesn't usually walk into the kobold den or survive the wagon assault.

I have to agree that money in 4E is a confusing thing. There seems to be huge piles of wealth everywhere. I think devaluation crept in, and that gold pieces in 4E are much closer to silver pieces in previous editions, more like GP, Gil or Rupees in a video game.
It's totally doable.  Wizards need the spellbook to regain and select daily powers.  Otherwise no 1st level PC needs equipment.  For the martial characters, if the martial character has specialized in a type of weapon, you should make an improvised weapon available to them.  So if someone is a rogue and his powers require them to wield two daggers, allow them to weild two rocks, or a rick and a pointy stick as if it were two daggers.  They don't get a proficiency bonus for using an improvised weapon, but it should allow them to use powers that require specific weapons.

The only issue is if one of your players requires a weapon that's hard to improvise, like a bow.  Cross that bridge when you come to it.  Chances are, you'll have to get them a bow pretty quickly, or they will be relatively useless.
Why can't a brand new, say, fighter, start off as a country bumpkin with no more than a rusted dagger?   Why couldn't a poor person decide to try their luck as an adventurer and just head out into the wilds?    What happens from level 0 (if such a thing even exists in 4e) and level 1 that makes all adventurers both geared and "special"?

   Surely a hero is someone who has proven themselves time and again, or at least in a very heroic fashion under special circumstances.   I don't get how someone can complete a single adventure, and suddenly they are head and shoulders above the average joe.


Characters don't start at level 0. They start at level 1. If you want, you can have them start at level 0. It would take some house ruling and some careful design, but it's doable.

The default assumption of 4e is that the characters are already accomplished individuals. The fighter wouldn't know how to use Tide of Iron and the wizard wouldn't be able to shoot off Magic Missiles if they weren't accomplished. The first adventure your playing is simply where the players' interest in the characters begins, while the campaign world could well have been interested in them for quite some time before.
If you use the inherent bonus system outlined in the DMG2, you don't have to give them any special items at all ever, until the armored PCs begin to need masterwork armor.  At that point, you can just start adding inherent masterwork bonuses on as well.
Why can't a brand new, say, fighter, start off as a country bumpkin with no more than a rusted dagger? Why couldn't a poor person decide to try their luck as an adventurer and just head out into the wilds? What happens from level 0 (if such a thing even exists in 4e) and level 1 that makes all adventurers both geared and "special"?

Surely a hero is someone who has proven themselves time and again, or at least in a very heroic fashion under special circumstances. I don't get how someone can complete a single adventure, and suddenly they are head and shoulders above the average joe.


Characters don't start at level 0. They start at level 1. If you want, you can have them start at level 0. It would take some house ruling and some careful design, but it's doable.

The default assumption of 4e is that the characters are already accomplished individuals. The fighter wouldn't know how to use Tide of Iron and the wizard wouldn't be able to shoot off Magic Missiles if they weren't accomplished. The first adventure your playing is simply where the players' interest in the characters begins, while the campaign world could well have been interested in them for quite some time before.



There actually are now optional rules for starting at Level 0. I think it's not a bad way for OP to go.

edited to add: it also includes baked-in bonuses for weapon attacks, since you won't be getting any proficiency bonuses, and none of the implement powers require an actual implement.
Why can't a brand new, say, fighter, start off as a country bumpkin with no more than a rusted dagger?   Why couldn't a poor person decide to try their luck as an adventurer and just head out into the wilds?

Sure, you can just downgrade the fluff of everything.
A "longsword" is a rusty, oversides kitchen knife,
A "gouge" is the blade from your plow.
Sharpened sticks are "spears".
Shields are made from doors.
"Scale armor" is some roof tiles you put together (includes a pot for a helmet).
"+1 longsword" is an actual cutting weapon.  Something a local smith put together out of scraps.
"+2" is an actual weapon/armor.
"+3"  is millitary issue.  You know, good, but cheap stuff.
ect...

Of course, in a world like that, 1 gold isn't worth much.

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Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

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Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

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Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

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Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

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so, just a word of warning:

I keep hearing what you as the DM want to do to hinder and make the characters less heroic than 4th edition sets out to be...I haven't heard what the players want.  Will your players want to play country bumkins, or heros?  Something to remember.
I'm starting a new campaign shortly, and I want the starting characters to begin with almost no equipment whatsoever.


    There are major balance issues involved, and a serious chance of a TPK.  You have to do some major revisions that the very fact you posted here suggests you don't know how to do [which is superior to thinking you do, but still means you have to do a lot of work for little benefit.]

  I just want to have a little fun with making them do a fight or two with fists or underpowered gear, and then slowly ramp them up. However, according to the 4e rules, I'm concerned they might be underpowered if I don't do this.  


    The thought is not unreasonable, but all you are really doing is increasing their adventuring career by one adventure, at the low end of heroic where there are the most complaints.  That's not a great reward for the effort needed.  [And as noted, your having fun is not a prime goal.  Your goal should be to make sure the players have fun.]
I'm starting a new campaign shortly, and I want the starting characters to begin with almost no equipment whatsoever.


    There are major balance issues involved, and a serious chance of a TPK.  You have to do some major revisions that the very fact you posted here suggests you don't know how to do [which is superior to thinking you do, but still means you have to do a lot of work for little benefit.]



I don't really think so.  They should be able to clobber some dudes with some rocks and crap easy enough, especially if they start with pre-racial 18s.  Dial back the encounters a little bit maybe and it should be fine.  If anyone is a monk they'll make everyone look bad, though.  You probably shouldn't

  I just want to have a little fun with making them do a fight or two with fists or underpowered gear, and then slowly ramp them up. However, according to the 4e rules, I'm concerned they might be underpowered if I don't do this.  


    The thought is not unreasonable, but all you are really doing is increasing their adventuring career by one adventure, at the low end of heroic where there are the most complaints.  That's not a great reward for the effort needed.  [And as noted, your having fun is not a prime goal.  Your goal should be to make sure the players have fun.]



Doing something new could be lots of fun!  Best way to find out is to try.  I thought low heroic is where the game tends to be the most fun and where all the support is at.  It's certainly the only place you can really have a go at unarmed PCs.
It's totally doable. Wizards need the spellbook to regain and select daily powers. Otherwise no 1st level PC needs equipment. For the martial characters, if the martial character has specialized in a type of weapon, you should make an improvised weapon available to them.  So if someone is a rogue and his powers require them to wield two daggers, allow them to weild two rocks, or a rick and a pointy stick as if it were two daggers. They don't get a proficiency bonus for using an improvised weapon, but it should allow them to use powers that require specific weapons.

The only issue is if one of your players requires a weapon that's hard to improvise, like a bow.  Cross that bridge when you come to it.  Chances are, you'll have to get them a bow pretty quickly, or they will be relatively useless.

Great advice. I may have to use that for a future campaign. Thanks.

They should definitely have weapons, that's a no-brainer.  Unless they're monks, they AREN'T going to go out and risk their necks unarmed and unarmored.  That would just be stupid.  If you want to do this, just narrate it or have it be part of the PCs' backstory.  1st level PCs aren't country bumpkins that just fell off the turnip wagon; they are special people, they are heroes.

Not all arcane classes use spellbooks.  Warlocks need armor and an implement, Swordmages need armor and a sword, bards need armor and a weapon or implement, and so forth.

Divine classes are going to need armor, implements, and weapons like everybody else, depending on the class.  Avengers don't need armor, for instance, but clerics certainly do.

The prices for mundane items are in the PHB.

Yes, they could.  Of course, that's because the game is supposed to revolve around heroic action and adventure, not 'can we scrape up enough money to eat on'.  If you don't want to hand out a lot of magic items, use the Inherent Bonuses system in the DMG2.

Thanks for the quick reply.

I've no intention of keeping them from thriving and succeeding, I just want them to have to 'scrape' for an adventure or two, no longer.

Why can't a brand new, say, fighter, start off as a country bumpkin with no more than a rusted dagger? Why couldn't a poor person decide to try their luck as an adventurer and just head out into the wilds? What happens from level 0 (if such a thing even exists in 4e) and level 1 that makes all adventurers both geared and "special"?

Surely a hero is someone who has proven themselves time and again, or at least in a very heroic fashion under special circumstances. I don't get how someone can complete a single adventure, and suddenly they are head and shoulders above the average joe.


Sounds like you may want to consider joining the light side and checking out HackMaster 5e. PCs start out as slightly better than nothings and claw their way up to awesomeness. It's designed to have an old-school feel with modern mechanics. Besides lethality, two things really set it apart from other fantasy games: opposed rolls and real-time combat. Nearly every roll you make is opposed by another player (usually the GM) instead of just rolling against boring old AC and company. Combat takes place second-by-second with everyone able to act on every second. The two combine to keep combat so engaging that it completely eliminates "I'm getting a drink. Call me when it's my turn." syndrome. No one is ever bored.

For what it's worth, it's actually the only class-based game I really like. We've enjoyed 5e so much that we converted my HM4e game. Of course, I prefer 5e so much that I won't run 4e anymore so the players didn't have a whole lot of choice. D&D 4e is finally tolerable enough that I actually run Encounters every week. I really am glad to finally have an edition of D&D that I can stand to run and play.


Even if you don't play the game, the HM4e Gamemaster's Guide and HackMaster Basic both have great advice on running low-wealth low-magic campaigns (although it sounds like you only want them to start out poor).


My players know they aren't getting lots of treasure so they truly treasure every piece they get. When we paused my campaign while we acquainted ourselves with the new edition, the PCs had just claimed a dragon hoard that contained a previously mythological magical element. The artificer in town had been researching the element and years ago had designed an airship that would be powered by it even though he didn't think it actually existed. The PCs were so excited by the prospect that they spent almost their entire fortune to construct, provision, and man the ship.


So now they're level 5 and have less than 200 silver each to their names (HM5 is on the silver system). They did, however, have enough money leftover to comission two non-magical +1 items each. So, flat broke once again, but far better equipped than when they started, they set off in search of treasure and adventure.

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As far as I know and can remember, the only class powers that are non-functional without equipment are:

1) Powers (probably mostly Fighter and Paladin) that require shields
2) Seeker powers that require bows
3) Hexblade weapon-and-implement powers require the implement (not the weapon)

Other than those, weapon powers can be done with improvised weapons, and implement powers can be done without an implement. 

However, many classes and powers have huge advantages when using certain weapons/implements as opposed to other weapons/implements or improvised weapons. Rogues in particular are looking at a short list of weapons to qualify for Sneak Attack damage, and for some of their other powers - and you don't want to let them use improvised weapons for that, unless you can come up with a reason why *these* improvised weapons work and the ones they might use next month don't.
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It's worth noting that the economy in D&D is basically non-functional.  A mid-level magic sword would buy a kingdom, if you translated it into what a peasant earns, or a king takes in taxes.

If you're concerned about that aspect of the system, your best bet would probably be to run a game with Inherent Bonuses - then you don't need to give out ludicrously expensive magic weapons, because the enhancement bonuses which make the game maths work are baked right into the characters.
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There actually are now optional rules for starting at Level 0. I think it's not a bad way for OP to go.

edited to add: it also includes baked-in bonuses for weapon attacks, since you won't be getting any proficiency bonuses, and none of the implement powers require an actual implement.




This really is your best bet. What you're wanting is pretty much already built into the Level 0 rules.
Definitely some good advice here, thanks.

I'd like to clarify I have been DM'ing since Keep on the Borderlands, and in particular I have a lot of experience with these players.    I've only run one 4e campaign so far, so I asked the question out of concern there might be a balance issue.

One rule I stick heavily to, is one from page 1 of the original DMG, which says that the DM should pick and choose the rules he (and his players) enjoy.    I'm a strong proponent of this.

I've just about completed this party's first adventure, which features some mostly minion zombies, and several coffins with rusty weapons and old, well-worn armor.   I'll do a bit of testing, but I think my poorly geared level 1 party will do fine.   

I'm having none of them start with any armor or weapons (save for one homemade sling).   Personally, I couldn't care less what the rule books say about this.    I strongly disagree with some of the magic item parcels the DMG wants me to hand out.   Four magic items to a level one party in their first adventure?   Not bloodly likely.  

I also don't much care for the notion that level 1 adventurers are already 'heroes' and are 'special'.    They are brave, sure, and rare compared to the many commoners that inhabit the D&D world, but there are plenty of other heroes of various levels in the game and any group I run will have to prove themselves a few times before the rabble will consider them special.

I've no worries that my players won't enjoy the game, as I've DM'd them many times.  I've little patience for rules lawyers, although I'm always willing to hear their arguments and change my mind if I think I've egregiously wronged them.

The world is composed of minions if you want it to be or not if you dont... Dave Arneson actually suggested in his original notes that the player characters be heros of 4hd compared to normal soldiery of 1hd and minions are a great tool for the DM... quite useful and there are classes whose forte do not involve focused damage but rather dispersed.
 
At some level hit points may just be heroic luck not something you can see... I can design characters and present there abilities as a farm boy with natural talent... but the game has resurrection at level 8...and teleporting Eladrin and Swordmages at level 1, so there is some highly magical assumptions involved. But If I build a Crimson Legionaire in Plate with a mingling of Paladin and Warlocks other worlds bindings and so on... I think the ahem "little more than a farmhand" has been scrapped. Basically its a player buy in issue.

The game has inherent bonuses as already mentioned which allows you to have magic items be not significant to your characters mechanics... or you can just  temper your encounter designs the same as you tempr their equipage. Boons and Grandmaster training allows you to have heros with magic items and those without any at all (I highly recommend DMG2).

I see no reason to overshadow the players characters with NPC heros of any kind myself the pcs are the center of the story.

  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
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Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

An excellent reply, thank you.

All I am really seeking is to have players go from nobodies to heroes, instead of from heroes to 'bigger heroes'.
An excellent reply, thank you.

All I am really seeking is to have players go from nobodies to heroes, instead of from heroes to 'bigger heroes'.


Flavor is a big element (which is why I mentioned player buy in - there character design and presentation of there powers can have an impact)
One thing to remember everyone is as awesome as there adversaries.... and as the DM the enemy and how bad ass it feels to be is under your control.. ... if you present a band of 6 kobolds and they are all standards not minions...then 3 levels later in the same style of encounter 12 of them as minions and the heros mow them down.... the progression is huge


 
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Definitely some good advice here, thanks.

I'd like to clarify I have been DM'ing since Keep on the Borderlands, and in particular I have a lot of experience with these players.    I've only run one 4e campaign so far, so I asked the question out of concern there might be a balance issue.

One rule I stick heavily to, is one from page 1 of the original DMG, which says that the DM should pick and choose the rules he (and his players) enjoy.    I'm a strong proponent of this.

I've just about completed this party's first adventure, which features some mostly minion zombies, and several coffins with rusty weapons and old, well-worn armor.   I'll do a bit of testing, but I think my poorly geared level 1 party will do fine.   

I'm having none of them start with any armor or weapons (save for one homemade sling).   Personally, I couldn't care less what the rule books say about this.    I strongly disagree with some of the magic item parcels the DMG wants me to hand out.   Four magic items to a level one party in their first adventure?   Not bloodly likely.  

I also don't much care for the notion that level 1 adventurers are already 'heroes' and are 'special'.    They are brave, sure, and rare compared to the many commoners that inhabit the D&D world, but there are plenty of other heroes of various levels in the game and any group I run will have to prove themselves a few times before the rabble will consider them special.




Then 4e may not be the game system for you.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.


Then 4e may not be the game system for you.



Why?   I enjoy many, many aspects of the 4e system, from power cards to class balance and roles, skill challenges, etc.   Do you feel it's an all-or-nothing set of rules?   I have to accept every single one or I shouldn't be using any of them?

Definitely some good advice here, thanks.

I'd like to clarify I have been DM'ing since Keep on the Borderlands, and in particular I have a lot of experience with these players.    I've only run one 4e campaign so far, so I asked the question out of concern there might be a balance issue.

One rule I stick heavily to, is one from page 1 of the original DMG, which says that the DM should pick and choose the rules he (and his players) enjoy.    I'm a strong proponent of this.

I've just about completed this party's first adventure, which features some mostly minion zombies, and several coffins with rusty weapons and old, well-worn armor.   I'll do a bit of testing, but I think my poorly geared level 1 party will do fine.   

I'm having none of them start with any armor or weapons (save for one homemade sling).   Personally, I couldn't care less what the rule books say about this.    I strongly disagree with some of the magic item parcels the DMG wants me to hand out.   Four magic items to a level one party in their first adventure?   Not bloodly likely.  

I also don't much care for the notion that level 1 adventurers are already 'heroes' and are 'special'.    They are brave, sure, and rare compared to the many commoners that inhabit the D&D world, but there are plenty of other heroes of various levels in the game and any group I run will have to prove themselves a few times before the rabble will consider them special.

I've no worries that my players won't enjoy the game, as I've DM'd them many times.  I've little patience for rules lawyers, although I'm always willing to hear their arguments and change my mind if I think I've egregiously wronged them.




Almost-not-D&D is totally the best D&D.  The more you add to it and go off the guideline paths the more memorable those sessions are gonna be if you do everything right.  If you're not leaving them running around naked for like five+ sessions they'll probably think it's fine, maybe fun.  If they keep almost dying or something you might wanna toss 'em some silverware at least.

Follow your heart with going off the guidelines.  Let us know how everything goes, I'm curious how this will turn out.|

Salla, you really gotta cut it out with the "Go away if you're not playing it like me" crap.  People can explore it and figure out how to make it work for them on their own.  If their way to make it work isn't like yours it doesn't mean 4E isn't for them, it means they care about something different than you do.
I see no reason to overshadow the players characters with NPC heros of any kind myself the pcs are the center of the story.

I'm going to somewhat side with the OP on that one. He hasn't been talking about having the PCs be overshadowed. He's talking about the PCs being the center of a particular story set in a universe where NPC heroes - that could overshadow the PCs, at least in the early days - also exist.

The Epic-level NPC can enter the story of a low-Heroic PC... provided that he strides through, out the other side, and keeps going. Or he can hire the party or refer jobs to them, on the basis of "I may be Epic, but I can still only be in so many places doing so many things at one time." Or he may be the early introduction of a late-game villain, rival, or ally. Or some combination of the above. Or he may be distant scenery - the party hears tales of his exploits fighting demons several hundred miles away while they think "Demons! YEAH... um, maybe we should stick to goblins for now?"

NPCs more comparable to the party can pass through the story, be friendly rivals, be recurring villains, be occasional allies. Maybe when the party is having trouble in a combat encounter an NPC party bails them out (an alternate way to fix an overly-difficult encounter - don't use it often)... and a level or three later the party hears sounds of  combat and runs up to find the same NPC party in trouble, and bails them out.

Here's an example.

Anne McCaffrey's book Moreta is about a woman who is one of the leading figures of her world. She rides a dragon. When she speaks, lords listen carefully. She is the hero - of that book, and in her world as it deals with a plague. Hundreds of years later (we learn from other books in the same universe) the songs about her are used all over that world to teach honor and courage.

In a couple of scenes in Moreta, sort of in the background, is a young woman named Rill. She works as a maid, cook, and nurse. There may be something that hints she wasn't born to that role, but that's it.

Anne McCaffrey's book Nerilka's Story is about a young noblewoman who runs away from a rather oppressive father and eventually creates a place for herself in another noble estate as it is devastated by, and begins to recover from, a plague. In two hundred year she'll be an entry in a list; there will be no songs about her. But there is no doubt that she is the hero of this book.

In a couple of scenes in Nerilka's Story, a dragon-riding woman named Moreta passes through. She is a commanding presence. When she shows up the lord of the estate immediately makes time for her. But a page or three later she's gone again. She is a hero - but in this story she's scenery.
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
I see no reason to overshadow the players characters with NPC heros of any kind myself the pcs are the center of the story.

I'm going to somewhat side with the OP on that one. He hasn't been talking about having the PCs be overshadowed. He's talking about the PCs being the center of a particular story set in a universe where NPC heroes - that could overshadow the PCs, at least in the early days - also exist. 



I have seen DMs favorite character enter the stage and steal the show emphasizing the existance of the awesome NPCs without doing so is trick and usualy comes off tacky...Its rather the issue of people using literary settings.

I have had PC choices and actions inspire NPCs .... and that is the kind of thing I like to see.  Recently my daughters robinhood/zorro style rogue inspired an npc assassin towards making more heroic goals... than being the puppet of money and politics. 
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 



Then 4e may not be the game system for you.



Why?   I enjoy many, many aspects of the 4e system, from power cards to class balance and roles, skill challenges, etc.   Do you feel it's an all-or-nothing set of rules?   I have to accept every single one or I shouldn't be using any of them?



The game is very flexible 

That said... heavy armor users defenses are really dependent on their armor take it away and there is problems.... some classes have issues if all the encounters are full of minions and swarms (a good way of doing a war scene and can be a way to make strikers humble)... other roles end up feeling less useful if you never use such thematicallly lesser enemies.   Martial types are dependent on weapons but spell casters arent nearly so much.

There were some zero level rules in a recent dragon article you might be interested in something like that might give you more of your base line.... but diverging the game before you are really aware of how its elements interact is not that great of an idea.
 
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

An excellent reply, thank you.

All I am really seeking is to have players go from nobodies to heroes, instead of from heroes to 'bigger heroes'.

I think the way 4e presents PCs by default is a result of player experience over time mostly. AD&D and other pre-d20 versions of the game had fairly weak starting PCs. The real issue IMHO was that there was both slow progression and high lethality assumed. It wasn't a great combination for most players. It could be interesting the first couple times through the meat grinder, but it paled fast.

So the 'competent though not incredibly powerful' low level 4e heroes is somewhat of compromise. It gets you past the more tedious aspects of the game, and also avoids the "why would anyone rely on these level 1 hicks" sort of issue that always existed in AD&D. OTOH you generally relegate the "rising above mediocracy" portion of development to backstory, which can be less interesting.

I think your approach will work fine. Just make your more capable NPCs at least the equivalent of level 1 PCs and start everyone out with minimal resources. Sounds like you got that down! The PCs will be feeling quite heroic by level 5, or sooner if you want, but in the meantime they can do the gritty clawing their way up thing, and you still get the 4e benefit of less random death.

You can also certainly try out the 0 level rules that were in Dragon last month. I think they're more useful as a way to play out the initial backstory than as a mode of play you'll stick with. They seem pretty well built with that in mind, the PCs advance to level 1 after 1 adventure for instance, there's no XP involved per-se. IMHO for a more meaty 'gritty start' level 1 really works better, with proper setup.

One idea I've used is to toss in a mentor. The mentor can be a low level leader Companion Character for instance. One that will let the DM give out some play hints, act as justification for the PCs advancing the first level or two, and can then either be a plot hook or a patron, etc. from then on. This works especially well if you have some players that need a bit of prodding with combat stuff to begin with. "Sarge" can suggest tactics, etc.
That is not dead which may eternal lie


Then 4e may not be the game system for you.



Why?   I enjoy many, many aspects of the 4e system, from power cards to class balance and roles, skill challenges, etc.   Do you feel it's an all-or-nothing set of rules?   I have to accept every single one or I shouldn't be using any of them?



Not specifically, but what you are asking for does not really exist without heavy houseruling of the basic system, which could cause major problems down the road.  Have you taken a gander at the level 0 Unearthed Arcana in Dragon 403, and the coresponding level 0 adventure in Dungeon 194?  I had a friend recently show me them, and it really seems to be more what you are looking for than trying to bend the system to do at the beginning one of the many things it was not designed to emulate at all. ;)

"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
fun quotes
58419928 wrote:
You have to do the work first, and show you can do the work, before someone is going to pay you for it.
69216168 wrote:
If you can't understand how someone yelling at another person would make them fight harder and longer, then you need to look at the forums a bit closer.
quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
Not all adventurers become instantly wealthy.  The great majority of them become extremely dead.

But DnD is a story about a particular group of adventurers that go on to become legendary heroes.

In other words - let your players play heros.


Then 4e may not be the game system for you.



Why?   I enjoy many, many aspects of the 4e system, from power cards to class balance and roles, skill challenges, etc.   Do you feel it's an all-or-nothing set of rules?   I have to accept every single one or I shouldn't be using any of them?



Not specifically, but what you are asking for does not really exist without heavy houseruling of the basic system, which could cause major problems down the road.  Have you taken a gander at the level 0 Unearthed Arcana in Dragon 403, and the coresponding level 0 adventure in Dungeon 194?  I had a friend recently show me them, and it really seems to be more what you are looking for than trying to bend the system to do at the beginning one of the many things it was not designed to emulate at all. ;)





Quick, check your books!  Are there rules for unarmed strikes or improvised weapons?  Not really to be a jerk, but there's not really any houseruling involved.  All he'd have to do is maybe dial back the fights slightly, a couple less monsters than usual.

Low-level characters can survive a day or two without a real weapon.  They do enough damage on statics where they'll make it fine.  Their defenses will be a bit weak though so nothing that hits real hard, run the monsters kinda stupid.  Any houserules he does find necessary can easily be dealt with by forgetting them as soon as the players get proper stuff.


Then 4e may not be the game system for you.



Why?   I enjoy many, many aspects of the 4e system, from power cards to class balance and roles, skill challenges, etc.   Do you feel it's an all-or-nothing set of rules?   I have to accept every single one or I shouldn't be using any of them?



Not specifically, but what you are asking for does not really exist without heavy houseruling of the basic system, which could cause major problems down the road.  Have you taken a gander at the level 0 Unearthed Arcana in Dragon 403, and the coresponding level 0 adventure in Dungeon 194?  I had a friend recently show me them, and it really seems to be more what you are looking for than trying to bend the system to do at the beginning one of the many things it was not designed to emulate at all. ;)





Quick, check your books!  Are there rules for unarmed strikes or improvised weapons?  Not really to be a jerk, but there's not really any houseruling involved.  All he'd have to do is maybe dial back the fights slightly, a couple less monsters than usual.

Low-level characters can survive a day or two without a real weapon.  They do enough damage on statics where they'll make it fine.  Their defenses will be a bit weak though so nothing that hits real hard, run the monsters kinda stupid.  Any houserules he does find necessary can easily be dealt with by forgetting them as soon as the players get proper stuff.



Not a jerk, no, but you are commonly antagonistic in your approach to posting.  Nevertheless, there are such rules, for unaramed or improvised attacks, yes, but not for less than starting armor; My suggestion for level 0 rules is because it fits better with what he is proposing to do, not because the normal 4th ed system can't "handle" what he wants. Between "it fits with slight tweaking" and "it fits", I'd usually take "it fits".  And so I was another voice championing the use of the system add-on that does more of what he's looking for than the original system and it's conciets of "automatic heroes".  In the same way that I would suggest for his kind of game that magic items be more sparse, and that he use inherent bonuses and alternative rewards, as they seem to fit the flavor he is looking for as well.  Because he came here for suggestions, or so I have been lead to believe by him posting here.  And that's all I'm giving, suggestions, not mandates.
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
fun quotes
58419928 wrote:
You have to do the work first, and show you can do the work, before someone is going to pay you for it.
69216168 wrote:
If you can't understand how someone yelling at another person would make them fight harder and longer, then you need to look at the forums a bit closer.
quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
1. Do I have to give every melee class a starting weapon?  I'd like at least the first encounter to be down to throwing punches or rocks.



You probably should.  Melee classes generally rely on their weapons to have reasonable damage and accuracy.  A melee classed character relying on improvised weapons is looking at being dealing only 1d4 damage (which hurts) and being down 10-15% in accuracy due to lacking the standard proficiency bonus (which hurts a lot more).

And on a similiar note, heavy armor users are going to need some appropriate armor as well.  Light armor users can have serviceable AC just from their stat bonus, but heavies are probably going to be looking at an AC of 12 at best.  Especially bad if you're a defender.

2. What is the absolute minimum gear I can give a level 1 arcane class?   I'm going to assume a spellbook, but what else?



See below.

3. What is the absolute minimum gear I can give a level 1 divine class?   I'm going to assume a deity symbol of some sort, but what else?



At the absolute minimum, most implement-focused classes don't need any equipment.  Non-magical implements are mostly decoration unless you specifically have class features or feats that require an implement.  And the proficiency bonus for implements is already baked-in by targeting NADs.

However, many divine and arcane casters are also melee-based or have melee-based builds.  In which case they need the same kind of equipment consideration as any other melee class.

4.  I don't want the party to start off with more than a handful of silver amongst the whole group.   Are there any official lists for prices of mundane items? (a room in a tavern, a meal, basic adventuring supplies, etc)


The cost for all those things are listed in the PH.  That said, the PH doesn't list much more than that.  So if you're looking for an official list to base something resembling a functional economy on, you're out of luck.  Though you may find the unofficial Rod Noddenberry's Emporium of Niggling Details useful.

Though if you want the PCs to have little money at the start, one idea is to simply reduce the amount of starting gold characters start with.  With 50gp instead of 100gp, for example, a character would be hard pressed to afford anything beside the most basic and necessary equipment; most heavy armors are out of their reach and even your standard adventuring kit would be considered extravagant.

Another idea would be to simply not allow he players to start with any money.  Any gold left over from buying equipment is simply wasted and replaced with a small allowance of silver, if that. 

Or combine both ideas. 

5.  According to the DMG, even a level 1 party deserves a parcel of magic items for it's first adventure.   Even the lowest level magic items have a value of around 500 gold.    It seems that an economically poor party could simply sell their first magic item and remove any and all money woes.



Not necessarily.  In addition to using inherent item bonuses and similar options, as a DM, you have control over the market.  Selling a +1 Longsword would allow a party to eat well for a long time if they can find a buyer.  But how many people would actually be the market for such an item, let alone even have the money for such an expensive and risky investment?  Your regular commoner and craftsmen have no need for extra sharp swords.  Likewise, most standard merchants would not be interested in such slow moving, high-theft merchandise either.  Selling high profile goods could require obtaining connections to a high profile buyer in a large, prosperous city

Without a buyer, they could still get their fair money's worth out of the item by "melting" it down with the Disenchant Item ritual.  But you can't eat residium.  Or at least it probably wouldn't be a great idea.

Of course, I intend to provide for them.   Their very first adventure will take them into a small tomb where they can find some rusted armor and weapons.    I just want to have a little fun with making them do a fight or two with fists or underpowered gear, and then slowly ramp them up.



On method would be to restrict the initial available weapons and armor slightly.  For example, you could initially restrict weapon users to simple weapons and maybe a few select martial weapons (such as the handaxe and throwing hammer).  Nothing says amateur adventurer like fighting with sticks, bigger sticks, pointy sticks, kitchen knives, and farm tools.  And the difference between fighting with a longsword and a quarterstaff is nowhere near as great as between a longsword and nothing at all.  Likewise, light armor could max out at leather (representing a thick leather jacket, cold-weather hunting gear, low rank militia equipment, construction safety gear etc), and salvaged metal pieces grafted to a leather to make a crude mail (read: chainmail). 

That would at least allow the melee classes to function pretty near expected levels while still preserving the amateur adventuring flavor.


Thinking about creating a race for 4e? Make things a lil' easier on yourself by reading my Race Mechanic Creation Guide first.
OP

My weekely Dark Sun group has maybe 250 silver between them, at level 6.  They had to sneak into Alteruk because they couldn't pay the entrance fee, then got "robbed" of 50 silver from a guard that caught them.

They have a combined 3 generic magic items (6 players) with no bonus powers beyond the basic enhancement.  I do use the inherent bonus, they think life is hard and I'm pleased by this, but at no point are they actually hindered.

"The turning of the tide always begins with one soldier's decision to head back into the fray"



Then 4e may not be the game system for you.



Why?   I enjoy many, many aspects of the 4e system, from power cards to class balance and roles, skill challenges, etc.   Do you feel it's an all-or-nothing set of rules?   I have to accept every single one or I shouldn't be using any of them?



Not specifically, but what you are asking for does not really exist without heavy houseruling of the basic system, which could cause major problems down the road.  Have you taken a gander at the level 0 Unearthed Arcana in Dragon 403, and the coresponding level 0 adventure in Dungeon 194?  I had a friend recently show me them, and it really seems to be more what you are looking for than trying to bend the system to do at the beginning one of the many things it was not designed to emulate at all. ;)





Quick, check your books!  Are there rules for unarmed strikes or improvised weapons?  Not really to be a jerk, but there's not really any houseruling involved.  All he'd have to do is maybe dial back the fights slightly, a couple less monsters than usual.

Low-level characters can survive a day or two without a real weapon.  They do enough damage on statics where they'll make it fine.  Their defenses will be a bit weak though so nothing that hits real hard, run the monsters kinda stupid.  Any houserules he does find necessary can easily be dealt with by forgetting them as soon as the players get proper stuff.



Not a jerk, no, but you are commonly antagonistic in your approach to posting.



And commonly I can be civil.  It really depends on how disrespectful people are being.  When people are all actively discouraging someone from experimenting (especially after I hear so much about ignoring guidelines when people complain the system is too strict!) simply because they're ignoring RAW, you should not expect someone to back you up.  That such a stance can have so much support says less about the stance and more about the community.

You might be taking the smart-assed remark a little too harshly but I'll probably be able to get over that.  The rest of my posts in this thread were either being relatively civil in my disagreement or calling out a jerky passive-aggressive comment.

Here, you are giving him incorrect advice in that it would take heavy houseruling, when it would not.  Where he would likely need to make adjustments is in encounter difficulty, and perhaps make a concession on some manner of armor for the classes who do not have primary or secondary DEX/INT, otherwise they will probably be too easy to hit.  I point to Dark Sun as an example of not needing level-appropriate gear.

Nevertheless, there are such rules, for unaramed or improvised attacks, yes, but not for less than starting armor; My suggestion for level 0 rules is because it fits better with what he is proposing to do, not because the normal 4th ed system can't "handle" what he wants. Between "it fits with slight tweaking" and "it fits", I'd usually take "it fits".  And so I was another voice championing the use of the system add-on that does more of what he's looking for than the original system and it's conciets of "automatic heroes".  In the same way that I would suggest for his kind of game that magic items be more sparse, and that he use inherent bonuses and alternative rewards, as they seem to fit the flavor he is looking for as well.  Because he came here for suggestions, or so I have been lead to believe by him posting here.  And that's all I'm giving, suggestions, not mandates.



You were another voice shutting down his idea because RAW, instead pointing to a Dragon article that appears to be behind the pay wall.  I don't see a dragon thing under his name so that would indicate he can't even see the article (I have no dragon and cannot see it, so I have concluded that one causes the other).  He's not talking about running a fighter with a saucepan helmet and a broken table leg from 1-30, he's talking about running a couple fights with less-than-ideal stuff.

Pretty much every post against his position has been "don't do that, do this instead, because 'cause," when it should be basically fine if he's careful.  I'll agree that OP probably needs to make a concession or some kind of temporary house ruling in regards to armor for armored classes, but that does not constitute "heavy house ruling with problems down the line."
Definitely some good advice here, thanks.

I'd like to clarify I have been DM'ing since Keep on the Borderlands, and in particular I have a lot of experience with these players.    I've only run one 4e campaign so far, so I asked the question out of concern there might be a balance issue.

One rule I stick heavily to, is one from page 1 of the original DMG, which says that the DM should pick and choose the rules he (and his players) enjoy.    I'm a strong proponent of this.

I've just about completed this party's first adventure, which features some mostly minion zombies, and several coffins with rusty weapons and old, well-worn armor.   I'll do a bit of testing, but I think my poorly geared level 1 party will do fine.   

I'm having none of them start with any armor or weapons (save for one homemade sling).   Personally, I couldn't care less what the rule books say about this.    I strongly disagree with some of the magic item parcels the DMG wants me to hand out.   Four magic items to a level one party in their first adventure?   Not bloodly likely.  

I also don't much care for the notion that level 1 adventurers are already 'heroes' and are 'special'.    They are brave, sure, and rare compared to the many commoners that inhabit the D&D world, but there are plenty of other heroes of various levels in the game and any group I run will have to prove themselves a few times before the rabble will consider them special.




Then 4e may not be the game system for you.



Because of a few minor changes, hardly.

I completely agree with the OP, its a more traditional D&D view, rather than the 4e rules lawyer view.

 
Definitely some good advice here, thanks.

I'd like to clarify I have been DM'ing since Keep on the Borderlands, and in particular I have a lot of experience with these players.    I've only run one 4e campaign so far, so I asked the question out of concern there might be a balance issue.

One rule I stick heavily to, is one from page 1 of the original DMG, which says that the DM should pick and choose the rules he (and his players) enjoy.    I'm a strong proponent of this.

I've just about completed this party's first adventure, which features some mostly minion zombies, and several coffins with rusty weapons and old, well-worn armor.   I'll do a bit of testing, but I think my poorly geared level 1 party will do fine.   

I'm having none of them start with any armor or weapons (save for one homemade sling).   Personally, I couldn't care less what the rule books say about this.    I strongly disagree with some of the magic item parcels the DMG wants me to hand out.   Four magic items to a level one party in their first adventure?   Not bloodly likely.  

I also don't much care for the notion that level 1 adventurers are already 'heroes' and are 'special'.    They are brave, sure, and rare compared to the many commoners that inhabit the D&D world, but there are plenty of other heroes of various levels in the game and any group I run will have to prove themselves a few times before the rabble will consider them special.




Then 4e may not be the game system for you.



Because of a few minor changes, hardly.

I completely agree with the OP, its a more traditional D&D view, rather than the 4e rules lawyer view.

 

Now, now.

Rules lawyering was a pre-4e things even more, if you play this game; confusing, half baked rules with lot of exceptions and all... 

I feel the biggest concern of starting characters off with nothing would be character parity. Take for example a fighter and a wizard. The wizard with no equipment is working at pretty close to full efficiency. The fighter however is significantly weakened. His AC is way below where it should be. His damage is less than said wizard, and probably to just one target. His attacks are going to miss more. His mark is unimpressive, since his to hit and damage will be so low. His whole role as a defender is undercut. This situation can easily make that player feel inconsequential to the game. Many players will get quickly frustrated when they feel they are not making a meaningful contribution.


I feel the biggest concern of starting characters off with nothing would be character parity. Take for example a fighter and a wizard. The wizard with no equipment is working at pretty close to full efficiency. The fighter however is significantly weakened. His AC is way below where it should be. His damage is less than said wizard, and probably to just one target. His attacks are going to miss more. His mark is unimpressive, since his to hit and damage will be so low. His whole role as a defender is undercut. This situation can easily make that player feel inconsequential to the game. Many players will get quickly frustrated when they feel they are not making a meaningful contribution.




If combat is the main meat to the adventure - but at that level I would expect more roleplay than meaningful combat.