This is a concept that has surfaced in another thread, and I felt it should be explored in its own.
Some players like to play their games strictly as heroes, wielding awesome power from the beginning of their character's life. There is nothing wrong with that at all and it is certainly fun to leap right into the fray.
There are others that believe the story of the hero begins long before he gains that power. The character is forged from inexperience, faces trials and tribulations, learns about themselves and finds the path to adventure, all long before the character acquires that power. Origin stories are tried and true, and have interested many a fan of famous people throughout history, mythology, legend, and even comic books. Many of us want to know exactly how the hero came to be. Even the origins of villains are explored and expounded upon (I am looking at you, Prometheus). Zero to Hero is an attempt to bring that story to life.
Zero to Hero is a concept for an optional module that allows players to play characters before they are core D&D characters. This concept is in its infancy and its mechanics have yet to be determined. The design goal is to integrate this module seamlessly and unobtrusively to the core game. In other words, if you don't want to play this type of character, you don't have to. Also, playing this type of character will not infringe on those that chose not to.
Imagine a 1st level character sheet, filled to the brim with all of your character's attributes, skills, powers, feats, racial abilities, equipment, etc. This character sheet represents the final goal of your Zero to Hero character. Once you have finished this journey, your adventures have just begun.
Conceptually, the amount of time that it takes the character to reach that hero status is completely up to the DM and the player(s). It can take as short as an hour or two, as moderate as a standard adventure (2-4 sessions), or as long as a mini-campaign (8-10 sessions). The choice is completely up to the group and the amount of background and game world integration that you want to establish for your character.
Example plot hooks might include:
- a priest looking for answers and finding his faith
- a young ranger's family is murdererd by a band of maurading bugbears; his favored enemy is determined
- a wizard taking his final test in the mage academy
- a young elf carving his own bow and learning to master it
- a fighter stumbling across his father's shield and learning how to use it
- a warlock's lifelong torment by the supernatural until finally succumbing to the tempation
Anyhow, this is all conceptual at the moment, open to constructive discussion. Detractors of this system should keep in mind that this module is completely optional and does not impact your game whatsoever. The discussion is not a forum on whether you think the option is crap. Please contribute constructively.
One question has surfaced, and that is how this module should be handled with regards to level. Please share your opinion. The options are:
A. Zero to Hero runs from Levels 1-5. Core levels begin at Level 6.
B. Zero to Hero runs at Level 0 (sublevels track progress). Core levels begin at Level 1.
C. Zero to Hero runs from Levels 1-5. Once the character is a hero, he begins anew in core at Level 1.
D. Other (provide suggestion)