How poweful should a character FEEL at the early levels?

Me personally, I think the game is more fun when you start out inexperiened and weak and develop your character and get stronger as you level up, overcoming challanges and dangerous obstacles despite your  weaknesses.
If your group doesn`t like that, why not start out at a higher level?

So, what do you think? How powerful should a first level and early levels character feel, and is Next doing it "right"?
Since different groups run different kinds of games, I'd rather the "dials" that were spoken of recently be able to handle how powerful a 1st-level PC feels to the group. Starting out at a higher level could rob the group of the joy of learning those initial levels for themselves rather than skipping over them to start at 3rd or 5th or whatever.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

Me personally, I think the game is more fun when you start out inexperiened and weak and develop your character and get stronger as you level up, overcoming challanges and dangerous obstacles despite your  weaknesses.
If your group doesn`t like that, why not start out at a higher level?

So, what do you think? How powerful should a first level and early levels character feel, and is Next doing it "right"?

Since "power at first level" can, should, and will be a dial for the campaign that modules will address, a much better question is

"How powerful should 1st level characters be for people only first getting introduced to D&D through the core rules of D&DN?"

Now insert 6 pages of
"D&D before 4e has always been about being a weak character for the first several levels, easily slain by a goblin", "Don't make it easy like modern video games", "it's easier to just start at higher level if you don't want an easily killed character at the beginning", and a whole lot of "the introductory core of D&D should play how I want it to play".

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

Why do I like 13th Age? Because I like D&D: http://magbonch.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/first-impressions-13th-age/

AzoriusGuildmage- "I think that you simply spent so long playing it, especially in your formative years with the hobby, that you've long since rationalized or houseruled away its oddities, and set it in your mind as the standard for what is and isn't reasonable in an rpg."

Since different groups run different kinds of games, I'd rather the "dials" that were spoken of recently be able to handle how powerful a 1st-level PC feels to the group. Starting out at a higher level could rob the group of the joy of learning those initial levels for themselves rather than skipping over them to start at 3rd or 5th or whatever.



Levels are dials.  I get not wanting to rob a group of the experience to understand the more foundational settings of their character, but I don't see any way around it. 

A level represents the experience, thus, power level of the character.  When the question asks "How powerful should a character feel at early levels?" it is redundent.    
Mechanically speaking.

I want Level 1 to feel competent.

I want Level 0 to feel inexperienced and out of ones league.
The NPC butcher, baker and candlestick maker should absolutely be terrified of a goblin or orc. Should one of them get into a fight with a goblin or orc only a critical hit should save them from death.

First level PCs should be challenged by a goblin or orc. There should be a high probability of death if they try to "John Wayne" it. Care is needed to overcome obstacles posed by the goblin or orc.  
The NPC butcher, baker and candlestick maker should absolutely be terrified of a goblin or orc. Should one of them get into a fight with a goblin or orc only a critical hit should save them from death.

First level PCs should be challenged by a goblin or orc. There should be a high probability of death if they try to "John Wayne" it. Care is needed to overcome obstacles posed by the goblin or orc.  



+1
A level 1 adventurer is a small step away from a commoner working the fields. I refuse to believe that they would get a big amount of hit points just through their initial training in a class when each subsequent level only grants the usual hit die.

The game isn't supposed to be a walk in the park. I'm more worried about new players getting bored with it because they can't immerse themselves in their character than I am of them getting frustrated and quitting, and it seems like the developers are ignoring that possibility. When there is a real danger to your character's life, you care more about them, you use better strategy in battle to avoid injury. Has there ever really been a complaint from new players that the game is too hard? Too hard to learn and play, sure, but too hard to succeed in? That's not the point of the game and they know it.

I agree with those who are saying starting level is the dial for starting difficulty, as well as what challenge rating of encounters the party faces. Game difficulty rests entirely with the DM, no matter what the system is.
It's up to the group playing IMO. For a new group where a lot of time is spent just trying to figure out the rules and the consequences of tactics I say the heroes ought to feel powerful. For a veteran group doing a Lair Assault or a tournament a TPK should be a likely outcome. For any casual play different folks have different desires for level of challenge and it's easy enough to tune any of the versions for that.
It's up to the group playing IMO. For a new group where a lot of time is spent just trying to figure out the rules and the consequences of tactics I say the heroes ought to feel powerful.

Finally a post that wasn't exactly what I said would be in this thread.

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

Why do I like 13th Age? Because I like D&D: http://magbonch.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/first-impressions-13th-age/

AzoriusGuildmage- "I think that you simply spent so long playing it, especially in your formative years with the hobby, that you've long since rationalized or houseruled away its oddities, and set it in your mind as the standard for what is and isn't reasonable in an rpg."

It's up to the group playing IMO. For a new group where a lot of time is spent just trying to figure out the rules and the consequences of tactics I say the heroes ought to feel powerful.

Finally a post that wasn't exactly what I said would be in this thread.



Actually I can`t see any posts like what you predicted..

Being weaker when yous strart out, with a lot to go on, isn`t a early dnd edition thing, it`s a genre convention!
Every good story has some kind of character developement and an adventure hero has to start out with weaknesses, something to overcome. Getting powerful in the future is a fun goal to attain if you started out weak!
 I'm more worried about new players getting bored with it because they can't immerse themselves in their character than I am of them getting frustrated and quitting, and it seems like the developers are ignoring that possibility. When there is a real danger to your character's life, you care more about them, you use better strategy in battle to avoid injury. Has there ever really been a complaint from new players that the game is too hard? Too hard to learn and play, sure, but too hard to succeed in? That's not the point of the game and they know it.



I can't count how many new people i've played with who've quit after their newbie character died in the first combat. Hell, many years ago when i was first introduced to DnD, my low level fighter died in the first combat and i sat around for hours while everyone else got to finish the fighting. My initial impression of RPGs was "wow, that was really lame" because of this, and it was many years before i picked up the hobby.

After all the other people i've seen show up to exactly one game and die, my experienjce has been the complete opposite of what you're saying here: people actually care about their character if it can survive past 1st level instead of dying like a red shirt.
It's up to the group playing IMO. For a new group where a lot of time is spent just trying to figure out the rules and the consequences of tactics I say the heroes ought to feel powerful.

Finally a post that wasn't exactly what I said would be in this thread.



Actually I can`t see any posts like what you predicted..

Being weaker when yous strart out, with a lot to go on, isn`t a early dnd edition thing, it`s a genre convention!
Every good story has some kind of character developement and an adventure hero has to start out with weaknesses, something to overcome. Getting powerful in the future is a fun goal to attain if you started out weak!



The problem I find with that concept is that for new players to a system like D&D the game can be awfully unforgiving and arbitrary played as written. For long term players and those who do more then the average amount of research knowing a lot of the esoteric things and assumptions has the effect of shifting the difficulty curve several notches easier relative to the true noob.

So why not start powerful with forgiving mechanics to act as a hook?  Then as the players progress in their abilities and knowledge of the system crank up the difficulty a bit. I mean you wouldn't throw a group of new guys who never played paintball before to the wolves vs a tournament caliber team and expect them to enjoy the sport?  A beginner in chess would not want to play with a chess clock under pressure. 

Even adventures that are published could have a tiered difficulty system. Green, yellow, and red options for each encounter as an example that would work to accomodate different group capabilities. Ultimately table A and table B are going to be completely seperate from each other so I don't see why there should be much of a debate about the default difficulty if there are clear guidelines on how to manage challenge.

I do think with a modular system balancing challenge is going to be a nightmare.
 I'm more worried about new players getting bored with it because they can't immerse themselves in their character than I am of them getting frustrated and quitting, and it seems like the developers are ignoring that possibility. When there is a real danger to your character's life, you care more about them, you use better strategy in battle to avoid injury. Has there ever really been a complaint from new players that the game is too hard? Too hard to learn and play, sure, but too hard to succeed in? That's not the point of the game and they know it.



I can't count how many new people i've played with who've quit after their newbie character died in the first combat. Hell, many years ago when i was first introduced to DnD, my low level fighter died in the first combat and i sat around for hours while everyone else got to finish the fighting. My initial impression of RPGs was "wow, that was really lame" because of this, and it was many years before i picked up the hobby.

After all the other people i've seen show up to exactly one game and die, my experienjce has been the complete opposite of what you're saying here: people actually care about their character if it can survive past 1st level instead of dying like a red shirt.

Nice turn of phrase.

Level 0 can be the “red shirt” level. 

 I'm more worried about new players getting bored with it because they can't immerse themselves in their character than I am of them getting frustrated and quitting, and it seems like the developers are ignoring that possibility. When there is a real danger to your character's life, you care more about them, you use better strategy in battle to avoid injury. Has there ever really been a complaint from new players that the game is too hard? Too hard to learn and play, sure, but too hard to succeed in? That's not the point of the game and they know it.



I can't count how many new people i've played with who've quit after their newbie character died in the first combat. Hell, many years ago when i was first introduced to DnD, my low level fighter died in the first combat and i sat around for hours while everyone else got to finish the fighting. My initial impression of RPGs was "wow, that was really lame" because of this, and it was many years before i picked up the hobby.

After all the other people i've seen show up to exactly one game and die, my experienjce has been the complete opposite of what you're saying here: people actually care about their character if it can survive past 1st level instead of dying like a red shirt.



I would call that a DM problem, not a system problem, if the DM allowed a player to die in the first combat of their first game, then took hours to finish up a low-level encounter.

I can't count how many new people i've played with who've quit after their newbie character died in the first combat




Really?..
I've found that introducing a noob to roleplaying is best done in a solo session or a small party with only noobs.  That way, the noob gets the DM's full attention, and doesn't get overwhelmed by the veteran sitting next to him offering him a flood of overwhelming yet well-meant advice.  Combat in that session should feel scary, but each encounter should be winnable with some common sense and decent tactics (and yes, running away is a viable tactic).  The system doesn't need to be excessively forgiving, but the DM does (one of the few occasions where no one can complain about fudging a little).

Now, my preference for 1st level characters is that they be somewhat competent yet somewhat squishy.  If you make 1st level characters too powerful, you are eliminating some viable genre options.  For instance, survival horror comes to mind.  Fear is enhanced by the risk of a messy death.  Even in a standard fantasy adventure, a first (or even third) level character should have to consider very carefully before rushing into combat.  I think ninjazombie was dead on in making the point about character growth.

As far as starting at a higher level, most classes in D&DNext frontload most of their class abilities at first level, with a much slower progression at higher levels, so starting at 2nd or 3rd doesn't affect the learning curve for a new build all that much.  I agree that levels ARE the dial.  And yes, to make blacksheep happy: That's how we did it in the old days, Sonny...
I think levels in modern games with all the new options and features one gets add too much complexity to use for a difficulty dial for new players. I would much rather just use slightly fewer monsters then normal and maybe 1/2 damage til they got use to rules etc. People forget that veteran players may have the equivalent amount of time spent reading these books as they may have done in college lol.
A level 1 adventurer is a small step away from a commoner working the fields. I refuse to believe that they would get a big amount of hit points just through their initial training in a class when each subsequent level only grants the usual hit die.


Personally I'm in favor of HP = Con score for non-levelled NPCs such as your commoner working in the fields, and Con Score + HD per level for levelled characters. Then not only is your level 1 adventurer not all the far from the commoner working the fields in terms of how many sword stabs they can endure, but also the level 3 adventurer isn't three times as tough.
The flip side of this is that damage per hit needs to be tuned accordingly.  

The game isn't supposed to be a walk in the park. I'm more worried about new players getting bored with it because they can't immerse themselves in their character than I am of them getting frustrated and quitting, and it seems like the developers are ignoring that possibility. When there is a real danger to your character's life, you care more about them, you use better strategy in battle to avoid injury.


My experience has been pretty consistantly the opposite. If my character is likely to flat out die, I dissociate myself from them and think about them as a simple collection of numbers. They are a chess piece or some other equally meaningless construct. I have to not care about them because they are expendable.
If my character is unlikely to flat out die, I can get really invested in them. I can spend time between sessions filling out their backstory more and more in my head. I can get really attached to them. I can think about their hopes and dreams, motivations and ambitions.
If I make the mistake of doing all that and then they die, it's a little traumatic for me. Which is why I can't do it if I'm in a high lethality campaign.  

   
Has there ever really been a complaint from new players that the game is too hard? Too hard to learn and play, sure, but too hard to succeed in? That's not the point of the game and they know it.

I agree with those who are saying starting level is the dial for starting difficulty, as well as what challenge rating of encounters the party faces. Game difficulty rests entirely with the DM, no matter what the system is.



I find it ridiculous the notion that in D&D the higher your level the lower the difficulty of the game. Level 1 should be -easy-. Level 20 should be much harder. At publication, 4e had some type of nod to this, intentionally or otherwise: as you went up in level, the base numbers were more and more against you, more and more in favor of the monsters. You had the tools to overcome this, and using your powers effectively would still lead to victory, but it wasn't as much a "given" as it would be at level 1. Then they published feats to close the att/def gap and people started complaining about being unable to challenge high level parties. :/

I also find it problematic for mixed-level groups (as the RPGA must support well) when level 3 PCs have basically triple the HP of level 1 PCs. If you give level 1 PCs a decent number of HP (like, say, Con score plus their first HD) you can have a lower slope to HP progression which lets you support mixed-level better at low levels and also gives you a lot better dials for adjusting difficulty at low levels. Maybe that means a goblin deals an average of 10 damage per hit or something. That's enough to one-shot a 10 con farmer, but probably not an adventurer. The level 3 wizard might have 3d6+10 HP, which still makes him wary of the 10 damage goblin. For that matter the level 3 fighter with 3d10+15 can't afford to be swarmed by them.  

Fragility isn't just a question of what HP numbers the PCs have, it's a comparison of those numbers to the damage monsters put out. If PCs start with 100 HP, and goblins hit for 1d20+90, the PCs are pretty fragile. Small numbers just means little room for nuanced variation. When PCs have as low as 4 HP at level 1, there's very little room for varying encounter difficulty. If they have 20-30 HP, you have a lot more room for scaling it up or down, while staying well between cakewalk and TPK.
Actually I can`t see any posts like what you predicted..

Really? From the post right after mine and on.

There are generally two kinds of posts in this thread-again (because this thread has been here before, often, and a lot).

Type 1: Basically says that they want levels to be the scale, because people new to the game should be well aware that their character is supposed to be able to be slain by a goblin right off the bat, in a hit or two - and if you don't like that weak of a character, start your character at a higher level (nevermind that this is completely confusing to a person new to the game, and easy to miss to boot). You can add in "but you're supposed to be squishy at low level" to this group as well (nevermind that this doesn't address the whole concept here of new players).

Type 2: Basically says that they want modules to be the scale, introducing a higher level of lethality into the game, be it at lower levels or across the board, because the game should err on the side of more forgiving for people new to the game.

You can eliminate 90% of the posts in this thread and replace it with "Type 1 is better" or "Type 2 is better".

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

Why do I like 13th Age? Because I like D&D: http://magbonch.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/first-impressions-13th-age/

AzoriusGuildmage- "I think that you simply spent so long playing it, especially in your formative years with the hobby, that you've long since rationalized or houseruled away its oddities, and set it in your mind as the standard for what is and isn't reasonable in an rpg."

Some groups like powerful characters, some don't. That's why a good amount of modern RPGs have settings like Ordinary, Heroic, and Superheroic to let you customize how strong they ought to be.

Let the tables decide! /thread 
My two copper.
A character at level 1 should feel powerful enough to not think "I should have stayed at the farm".

I prefer a 1st level character to be a fresh graduate of Ninja School, a fully trained professional with zero real world experience, and able to reasonably survive the challenge of going into dark holes and killing goblins for loot.
...whatever
They should start very weak and irritating, with grey mages with bad personal hygiene to do a lot of dei ex machina to save them three or for times per session.

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.

A character at 1st level should be compotente to take on low level challanges, but they shouldn`t FEEL very powerful, should they? There is still a big world with worse challanges out there, right? At higher level you can face those chalanges. I`m not talking about game difficulty, that is up to the dm and how the players choose to face a challange, I`m talking about how powerfull a character should FEEL in the world at the early levels of play. 
However, it would be nice to have random encounters that aren`t level appropriate, that lower level characters might have to run from. Why have levels if you already feel like a mighty hero at 1st level? How is that fun?
Ah, the old "hero" vs. "superhero" argument.
Again.

For me (and just me...not taking anyone else into account, or proposing that anyone else thinks the way I do), I prefer squishy level 1 PCs. I want them to become heroes  through their deeds and actions, not just by virtue of having been created. I want a legit fear of any monster (even a lowly goblin or kobold) to be there at level 1. After all, if they were that weak of a threat, the villagers would just kill them themselves and not worry about employing wandering herds of adventurers.

"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H.P. Lovecraft
Scared enough to worry about half a dozen skeletons.  


Level 1 - A goblin critted me, now I'm dead.
Level 5 - An ogre critted me, now I'm dead.
Level 10 - A giant critted me, now I'm dead.

Etc...
Color me flattered.

LIFE CYCLE OF A RULES THREAD

Show
Thank_Dog wrote:

2Chlorobutanal wrote:
I think that if you have to argue to convince others about the clarity of something, it's probably not as objectively clear as you think.

No, what it means is that some people just like to be obtuse.

Level 1 - A goblin critted me, now I'm dead. Level 5 - An ogre critted me, now I'm dead. Level 10 - A giant critted me, now I'm dead. Etc...


Lol, simplicity
My two copper.
Since different groups run different kinds of games, I'd rather the "dials" that were spoken of recently be able to handle how powerful a 1st-level PC feels to the group. Starting out at a higher level could rob the group of the joy of learning those initial levels for themselves rather than skipping over them to start at 3rd or 5th or whatever.



Levels are dials.  I get not wanting to rob a group of the experience to understand the more foundational settings of their character, but I don't see any way around it. 

A level represents the experience, thus, power level of the character.  When the question asks "How powerful should a character feel at early levels?" it is redundent.    



Well, not really. In 3E you can be high level and still feel fragile as hell because you're one save or die away from getting insta-killed. In 4E, you feel powerful even at level 1 because you can take a bunch of hits before you fall.

There's a separate game deadliness which is seaprate from just level.
Well, not really. In 3E you can be high level and still feel fragile as hell because you're one save or die away from getting insta-killed. In 4E, you feel powerful even at level 1 because you can take a bunch of hits before you fall.

There's a separate game deadliness which is seaprate from just level.



Indeed. There can be a lot of leeway to dial up/down deadliness to achieve the desired level of deadliness. A lot of it can simply be encounter/monster design. I've had PCs go from full to negative bloodied in one round in 4e, in every tier of the game.


The question of how powerful your character feels is composed of several parts:
1) How fragile are you, in terms of narrative + mechanics: being able to be one-shotted by a goblin makes you super fragile. Being able to be one-shotted by a giant isn't necessarily quite as fragile. So narrative plays a role in this as far as feeling goes, but a lot of it comes down to how many hits does it take to kill you.
2) How deadly are you, in terms of narrative + mechanics: as above, what you're fighting matters. It's one thing to be able to one-shot an average joe farmer, and another to be able to one-shot asmodeus.
3) What are the breadth of abilities you have?

1&2 change radically for the same PC numbers depending on how the NPCs/monsters/rest of the world are built numerically. It largely comes down to hits-to-kill in each direction. A 30 HP level 1 PC doesn't feel tough because his HP is a mighty 30, it's because it takes the enemy six hits to fell him. Enemies that deal 1d6+7 at level 1 wouldn't leave him feeling too tough, especially if the narrative description of that enemy is "a lowly goblin".
There's also the matter of comparing across levels. The (HD+Con mod)xlevel approach makes level 2s roughly twice as tough as level 1s, and level 3s are another 50% tougher than level 2s. That makes for a massively steep toughness curve at the low levels, which I really don't like, especially when mixed-level parties come into play. 

3 is a little more absolute. A wizard that can cast a couple dozen really distictively different spells in a day is going to feel powerful. A character that can raise the dead is going to feel powerful. A character that can open a portal across continents is going to feel powerful. Etc. These things are about more than just numbers, they're about the breadth and scope of what you can do. Being able to teleport up to 1000 miles is numerically superior to being able to teleport up to 900 miles, but it doesn't feel more powerful. Being able to teleport hundreds of miles does feel more powerful than not being able to at all, or only being able to teleport a few dozen feet.

The scope aspect tends to fall on the casters especially, but it applies to martial characters as well. In 4e for example, the Fighter's "Come And Get It" power adds a distinctive change in scope that makes the character feel decisively more powerful. The same could be said of 3.5's Whirlwind Attack, especially on a spike chain wielder (especially on a spiked chain wielder who is enlarged and otherwise given extra reach).     
I think that characters at level 1 should feel fairly weak and vulnerable, but they should feel fairly weak and vulnerable on their own merits, not because the game is randomly orders of magnitude more lethal at level 1 than at later levels. I enjoy 3.5 immensely, but I feel like the game has to be treated totally differently at level 1 than at later levels because by quirk of design level 1 is incredibly lethal. It really is mostly level 1, too; level two brings a massive survivability increase to every character, while the typical threats are barely any more threatening. Level three is similar. The lethality of the game does eventually creep higher, as threats that circumvent normal PC avoidance and durability become more commonplace, although even then the game has the property that death becomes relatively easier and easier to reverse. There's a reason that the sweet spot is the sweet spot.

I also want level one characters to feel like weak versions of what they represent, rather than incomplete versions of what they represent. I want a level one wizard - at least by default - to feel like a weak wizard, not like a weak crossbowman who can cast a doomsday spell a few times a day. I realize that there are challenges associated with it, but I think that it's best if class-defining features can, as much as possible, be pushed to level one. The majority of 3.5 druid players in my experience are drawn to the class because you can turn into an animal; several levels as a character who can, in fact, not do anything like turning into an animal is a weird way to start out for a class that's most strongly defined by that ability.
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
Early level characters should be diamonds in the rough. They shouldnt feel weak, but should feel flawed compared to vterans or elite indaviduals.

These new forums are terrible.

I misspell words on purpose too draw out grammer nazis.

Now, my preference for 1st level characters is that they be somewhat competent yet somewhat squishy.  If you make 1st level characters too powerful, you are eliminating some viable genre options. 

For instance, survival horror comes to mind.  Fear is enhanced by the risk of a messy death.  Even in a standard fantasy adventure, a first (or even third) level character should have to consider very carefully before rushing into combat.


The option for high lethality is what Level 0 is for.

If you want to feel powerful, just fight weaker enemies. Like 2lv lower or something. 

 
Personally I'm in favor of HP = Con score for non-levelled NPCs such as your commoner working in the fields, and Con Score + HD per level for levelled characters. Then not only is your level 1 adventurer not all the far from the commoner working the fields in terms of how many sword stabs they can endure, but also the level 3 adventurer isn't three times as tough.


Sounds good to me.
Since different groups run different kinds of games, I'd rather the "dials" that were spoken of recently be able to handle how powerful a 1st-level PC feels to the group. Starting out at a higher level could rob the group of the joy of learning those initial levels for themselves rather than skipping over them to start at 3rd or 5th or whatever.



Levels are dials.  I get not wanting to rob a group of the experience to understand the more foundational settings of their character, but I don't see any way around it. 

A level represents the experience, thus, power level of the character.  When the question asks "How powerful should a character feel at early levels?" it is redundent.    



Well, not really. In 3E you can be high level and still feel fragile as hell because you're one save or die away from getting insta-killed. In 4E, you feel powerful even at level 1 because you can take a bunch of hits before you fall.

There's a separate game deadliness which is seaprate from just level.



That's a fringe example.  Insta kills, as any good DM can tell you, are meant to be used judiciously.  This is especially true when you're playing a campaign where the players are playing the same characters each week.  A fun run through Tomb of Horrors via side characters is something else entirely.

As for 4e, it generally took the same amount of hits to kill a first level fighter from a goblin or skelleton than in any other edition.

4e felt powerful due to the plethora of healing surges at low level and the seemingly high damage output of dailies and enounter powers.  Not sure that was true, especially for one shot kills, but it seemed like it.
Early level characters should be diamonds in the rough. They shouldnt feel weak, but should feel flawed compared to vterans or elite indaviduals.


Very much like this phrasing. I also like the sorta phrase of a cut above the commoner. They are not yet heroes, they may not have a lot of experience, but they are competent, they are taking on dangerous adventures but should feel like they can do such a thing. It is expected that level one adventurers will beat a band of goblins, but not garunteed they'll take no losses.

As long as a first level mob cannot one-shot a low level character I'll be happy.

I would call that a DM problem, not a system problem, if the DM allowed a player to die in the first combat of their first game, then took hours to finish up a low-level encounter.



In my case, it was a string of events going on and the DM didn't really want to stop the game for everyone just to help me jump through all the hoops of coming up with a whole other character (though i suppose i could have just made Bob 1, Bob 2, Bob 3, etc.).

In general though, i've seen new people die in the first session plenty of times and my experience is that these people tend to be turned off by the whole experience far, far more often than newbies that end up doing awesome heroics right out of the gate.

When I dm for new players, I tend to take it easy on them for the first few sessions so they can learn the rules. New players tend to( but not always) be shy during roleplaying sessions, but if you make cambat enjoyable so that they stick around, you can draw them out.

These new forums are terrible.

I misspell words on purpose too draw out grammer nazis.

If you want to feel powerful, just fight weaker enemies. Like 2lv lower or something. 

 

How do you propose doing that at level 1? Monsters that are level -2?

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

Why do I like 13th Age? Because I like D&D: http://magbonch.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/first-impressions-13th-age/

AzoriusGuildmage- "I think that you simply spent so long playing it, especially in your formative years with the hobby, that you've long since rationalized or houseruled away its oddities, and set it in your mind as the standard for what is and isn't reasonable in an rpg."

I'm in agreement with just about everything Istaran said.

I want 1st level characters to be powerful enough that I can throw a variety of encounter types at them. Early editions had players fighting three kobolds in a 30'x30' room over and over again because they could only handle very easy encounters. There was no way to introduce complicating factors without threatening a TPK. I want 1st level characters to fight 8 or 10 goblin raiders in a burning farm house, surrounded by fire, collapsing floors, etc. That seems totally appropriate to beginning adventurers.
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