Why D&DN Needs to be more like OD&D/BECMI


Despite all the negativity on the forums I have found the solution!!!! Everyone is so busy riping apart 3rd and 4th ed with a light sprinking of AD&D over the top we have missed the obvious solution!!

 Make D&DN like OD&D or BECMI. Almost no one seems to have played OD&D and it seems likely they can sell it for $140 a pop!!!. BECMI was also reasonably balanced as well. Consider.

1. Wizards did not get level 9 spells until level 21
2. Clerics did not get spells until level 2 and were limited to level 7 spells.

 That solves CoDzilla right there. 

The rules cyclopedia ony had 8 cleric spells of each level, and you could not become a Druid until you hit level 9 as a Cleric IIRC and you needed later D&D materials to be a Druid. One had plenty of options as well. Consider

You could have 4 races and 3 of them were classes!! as well.

There were 4 classes and 3 races to chose from with 3 alignments. That is 21 variables right there and that is before you roll 3d6 for ability scores. Fighter could use a sword for 1d8 damage or a short sword for 1d6 a spear also dealt 1d6 damage and you were more likely to find a +1 spear so it was kinda broken.

 BECMI also had martial healing such as giant be honey healed you for 1d4 points of damage. If one doesn't like martial healing the DM doesn't have to use giant bees.

 Balance was also a key concern and BECMI was even better balanced than AD&D which compares well to 3rd ed. It has the added advantage of no one accusing it of being an MMO, a board game and CoDzilla doesn't exist. It also supports play up to level 36 thats 6 more than 4th ed and 2nd ed!!! You could also become an immortal which is like a demi god. Epic destinies are nothing new pfffff.

 CHeck out these awesome stat blockas as well. Even a gerbil could run this.


Killer Bees (8): AC 7; HD 1/2 or 1; hp 2, 3, 1,
4, 2, 3, 6, 8; MV 150'(50'); #AT 1 sting;
D 1-3 + poison + continual damage;
Save F 1; ML 9; AL N; each bee dies after
it stings

Queen Bee (1): AC 7; HD 2#; hp 9; MV 150'
(50'); #AT 1; D 1-3 + poison; Save Fl;
ML 9; AL N; can sting repeatedly




  Hobgoblins were a bit OP though.


Hobgoblins (8): AC 6; HD 1 +1; hp9,8,7,6,5,
4, 3, 2; MV 90'(30'); #AT 1; D 1-6; Save
F1;ML8; ALC


 See those hit dice? Thats 1+1Hit dice compared to a Goblin with 1-1 HD they were broken but they could errata that monthly  because I think that would be a great idea.

TLDR? No one poo posts BECMI, immune to accusations of not being D&D, no CoDzilla, no skills alinment hardly matters and there are only 3 of them anyway. Its win win win and win some more. We could have a warlord that distributes bee honey for martial healing even!!!

 

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

We already have those systems.
Ahh, so THIS is where I can add a sig. Remember: Killing an ancient God inside of a pyramid IS a Special Occasion, and thus, ladies should be dipping into their Special Occasions underwear drawer.
21 class/race/alignment variables is laughably insufficient for me.  I want over 21 races and over 210 classes.  While I cannot tell for sure, this post seems sarcastic to me.
even though I'm sure this is a joke post, I totally agree and tbh I've felt that the first playtest gave a strong vibe of OD&D to me and my players, later playtests became more and more complex.

What D&DNext needs in order to feel more like old school D&D isn't more character options but more metagame options, such as reaction rolls, moral rules for monsters, followers and henchmen rules and a working economy, the actuall state blocks and fiddly parts should be as unobtrusive As they can be.

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...followers and henchmen rules and a working economy....

Warder 



Yes please. I think it was somewhere in 3.x that I read what the average commoner makes monthly. I just spent like 20 minutes trying to find it...couldn't. But I did find a post on here from 2006 talking about it and mentioned the lowest, unskilled commoners make 1sp/day. Another thing said 3gp/month.

Those numbers are fine with me, but the cost of arming a person is ridiculously high compared to that. In the game I'm running I don't follow the prices listed. A 25gp longsword is between 2-3gp now. I never understood reading published adventures and some farmer would ask you to do something and say, "Well, I don't have very much to my name, but I can offer you 150gp." WTF.

It's really not that hard for me to fix it myself, but I would like to have them overhaul it so at least my players know what I'm doing. This is a hard, because I know there has to be people that prefer the heroic income of 10,000gp+ monthly. I don't think it'll change at all, and I really don't see them making any extra rules for changing it.
I would like a systematic review of the economic model, heck I would gladly buy a complete book centered around micro and macro economies in D&D, I would like something like ACKS level of abstract detail (oxymoron but true). My point is, I'm a lazy DM and I would like WotC to do this for me in a competent matter, there got to be some historybuffs who are also economy geeks and D&D enthusiast that can do this.

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From economy point of view, I don't understand why price of shortbow and light crossbow is the same. Hack, the prices of crossbows should be much higher than prices of bows from economy point of view.

In fact, many commoners use shortbow for hunting. 25 gb is unbelievably high.
Modern players would never be able to have a character survive to level 2 and would give up in frustration.

Also each edition from BECMI to 3.5E has been an evolutionary improvement solving problems with the previous version.  Going back to BECMI would be going in the wrong direction.  We're already seeing that with what they've done with old mechanics in 5E.  I'm just waiting for them to re-introduce THAC0.

@mikemearls don't quite understand the difference

I don't make the rules, I just think them up and write them down. - Eric Cartman

Enough chitchat!  Time is candy! - Pinky Pie

It's all a question of on what you based your gold and what level of social freedoms and technology you got in the game.

For a basic D&D game your gold will probably be based on the price of wheat or other basic food stuff and the level of technology will probably be around the same as the dark ages right a father the fall of the Roman Empire and there are a lot of historical reference on that.

Anyway, having a sound economic model is crucial for a sandbox game, save the DM a lot of headaches.
I'm glad to hear that Mike is working on "world stuff" and I hope that the economic model is one of them.

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As an apiarist, I find your mocking of bees troubling.   Make them giant wasps, drop the queen bee, and then maybe I can get on board.
Anyway, having a sound economic model is crucial for a sandbox game, save the DM a lot of headaches.

Umm...no. That's not required at all. To be perfectly honest, every iteration of D&D has had something entirely laughable for the "economic model".

To say nothing of gender inequality, racism, bigotry, unsanitary health conditions, xenophobia, lack of education, personal hygine (or lack therof) - all the other things that made the dark ages actually really terrible times to live in, not romantic at all.

But seriously, every version of D&D has had something laughable in place of a working economy based upon in-book rules. The DM is assumed to keep the world moving along logically even while the players work under totally illogical fashion.

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

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Actually I loved the Rules Cyclopedia. Wish they would reprint it.
Actually I loved the Rules Cyclopedia. Wish they would reprint it.



I have to agree with this post (although I originally had them in the boxed sets, the single hardcover book simplified things immensely). After 4E, I have long held the Cyclopedia as my favorite edition of D&D. I still love that psuedo-Roman campaign where your primary foe was a normal human with 4 hp and a poisoned dagger (at level 7+ IIRC) where you couldn't just kill the bastard because he was a senater and the government would totally come down on you if you did (and they had all the magic tricks to).
But I did find a post on here from 2006 talking about it and mentioned the lowest, unskilled commoners make 1sp/day. Another thing said 3gp/month.

Isn't that the same? 10 sp = 1 gp, 1 month = 30 days
Those numbers are fine with me, but the cost of arming a person is ridiculously high compared to that.

Well, it was in real life. Just a knights horse was incredibly expensive and then you did not have him in any arms and armor yet.
I never understood reading published adventures and some farmer would ask you to do something and say, "Well, I don't have very much to my name, but I can offer you 150gp." WTF.

That's indeed were it breaks apart.
In fact, many commoners use shortbow for hunting. 25 gb is unbelievably high.

I don't think they actually use the military grade bows for hunting, but weaker, cheaper hunting grade bows

But I did find a post on here from 2006 talking about it and mentioned the lowest, unskilled commoners make 1sp/day. Another thing said 3gp/month.

Isn't that the same? 10 sp = 1 gp, 1 month = 30 days
Those numbers are fine with me, but the cost of arming a person is ridiculously high compared to that.

Well, it was in real life. Just a knights horse was incredibly expensive and then you did not have him in any arms and armor yet.
I never understood reading published adventures and some farmer would ask you to do something and say, "Well, I don't have very much to my name, but I can offer you 150gp." WTF.

That's indeed were it breaks apart.
In fact, many commoners use shortbow for hunting. 25 gb is unbelievably high.

I don't think they actually use the military grade bows for hunting, but weaker, cheaper hunting grade bows





Yep. I realized I typed that wrong hours after. Oh well. Living on the edge! I meant 5gp/month.

Well, it'd be fine if it cost a lot to arm PCs too. I'm not suggesting to have players start with no money for gear, that'd end up just being tedious to most people, even though I like that idea. I've never really played with anybody who explained why they were so young and able to have 60gp worth of stuff, unless their parents were rich.

Oh, also. The thing about new players not being able to get to level 2 if it was like OD&D? Really? New players in '75 were obviously able to get to level 2 and play just fine.
even though I'm sure this is a joke post, I totally agree and tbh I've felt that the first playtest gave a strong vibe of OD&D to me and my players, later playtests became more and more complex.

What D&DNext needs in order to feel more like old school D&D isn't more character options but more metagame options, such as reaction rolls, moral rules for monsters, followers and henchmen rules and a working economy, the actuall state blocks and fiddly parts should be as unobtrusive As they can be.

Warder 

I belive some of these optional rules are coming, or so the devs have suggested - like henchmen and moral rules. not sure about reaction rolls.
even though I'm sure this is a joke post, I totally agree and tbh I've felt that the first playtest gave a strong vibe of OD&D to me and my players, later playtests became more and more complex.

What D&DNext needs in order to feel more like old school D&D isn't more character options but more metagame options, such as reaction rolls, moral rules for monsters, followers and henchmen rules and a working economy, the actuall state blocks and fiddly parts should be as unobtrusive As they can be.

Warder 

I belive some of these optional rules are coming, or so the devs have suggested - like henchmen and moral rules. not sure about reaction rolls.



I think That with the new interaction rules we got reaction rolls covered, in this iteration of the reaction rolls rule the reaction roll should be used to determine the initial disposition of random encountered creatures towards the players and than the interaction rules will do the heavy lifting for the rest of the encounter. 

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You know, every time I see this thread, I have to chuckle, because ironically, the very first time I opened up the 4e books, I was like "Holy ****, they turned it into a Super-hero game" but after the first time I played a session, I was like "OMG, its like playing OD&D/BECMI all over again" as the feel was totally there.

Most people I figure won't agree with me on this, and I'm sure its how they look at things, but to me, anyway, 4e was a refreshing step back into the early past of My gaming experience, because the game got out of its own way in regards to the Role-playing and Exploration pillars...it provided some loose guidelines and suggestions, but worried mostly about how to ajudicate combat, and didn't pretend to be other than what it was, a game.

So when I see a thread like this, I have to chuckle, as there are various ways something like this can be achieved, and not everyone is going to agree on those methods...a direct clone isn't going to work, as people would just play the reprint, however, something like 4e won't work for some either, because they just don't see the similarities that were glaringly obvious to me when I played the game.

if it weren't for 4e's presentation, and just new edition general nerd-rage, and mismanagement of the product line by WotC, 4e would probably still be going strong!

Just my 2 cp worth, mind you 
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That's what I have been hoping for, the core of the game like BECMI, and you can slather crap on top to make it more like X edition.

The 1st packet started off on the right foot, even had some good lore (goblins coming from Faerie), and it had a popular HP system.
 
I do tend to agree the first packets were better than what came afterwards.

I still say the Defender Cleric Dwarf from the initial packet is a better Paladin representation than the current Paladin. I see Paladins more as War Clerics than anything, anyway 
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Modern players would never be able to have a character survive to level 2 and would give up in frustration.



Could just start at level 2-3.

Honestly I dont' know why so many people are obsessed with starting at level 1.

1 is the beginning, the start, the first number. When teaching new people, you want to start them off at first. When kicking off a new campaign, you want to start off at first, its psychologically pleasing.

Apprentice Levels, Tutorial Levels, whatever are just like older 0-level modules, fine as an optional one-off kind of thing, but not part of the regular progression. Yes, Rocket-tag was part of the regular progression, but to a LARGE part of the gaming community, this is one of the things fixed by 4e D&D
 
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Why climb a tall mountain when you can get there by helicopter?

That's what I have been hoping for, the core of the game like BECMI, and you can slather crap on top to make it more like X edition.

The 1st packet started off on the right foot, even had some good lore (goblins coming from Faerie), and it had a popular HP system.
 



+1

I actually posted something like that in the I love DDN thread

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21 class/race/alignment variables is laughably insufficient for me.  I want over 21 races and over 210 classes.  While I cannot tell for sure, this post seems sarcastic to me.

That is just the number of variables from the very core of the game's products though... BECM/Rules Cyclopedia D&D has a pretty sizeable list of options once you start looking at other products for it.

from various shaman classes to race class for a different class that usual (dwarf cleric, for instance), and then tons of race-as-class classes ranging from pixie to treant, with dozens of critters between.

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.

You know, every time I see this thread, I have to chuckle, because ironically, the very first time I opened up the 4e books, I was like "Holy ****, they turned it into a Super-hero game" but after the first time I played a session, I was like "OMG, its like playing OD&D/BECMI all over again" as the feel was totally there.

Most people I figure won't agree with me on this, and I'm sure its how they look at things, but to me, anyway, 4e was a refreshing step back into the early past of My gaming experience, because the game got out of its own way in regards to the Role-playing and Exploration pillars...it provided some loose guidelines and suggestions, but worried mostly about how to ajudicate combat, and didn't pretend to be other than what it was, a game.
 



You're right most people won't agree with you for obvious reasons.  That indicates that your perceptions are... well...  just different and not the norm.
You're right most people won't agree with you for obvious reasons.  That indicates that your perceptions are... well...  just different and not the norm.

Apparently neither are mine.

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."

You're right most people won't agree with you for obvious reasons.  That indicates that your perceptions are... well...  just different and not the norm.

Apparently neither are mine.




Then you should to a good fit on these boards...  At least from my observations...
One of the most brilliant concepts that OD&D had was that each class could do different things. Each had strengths and weaknesses. Heck, the saving throws were a mess logically, but each class had some good ones and some poor ones (remember saves vs. spells, death magic, petrification, etc.) Although this may not have been logical, it did encourage interdependence. I think that is necessary in D&D Next.

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1 is the beginning, the start, the first number. When teaching new people, you want to start them off at first. When kicking off a new campaign, you want to start off at first, its psychologically pleasing.

 



I guess then we should start PCs off at 1 strength, 1 con and 1 dexterity. Lets start them at age 1 too. But we don't do that, because people are okay with having 16 strength and not asking "Why didn't I start at 1?"

There's no magic in the number 1 and while starting level 1 should be a choice, it needs to be accepted that like strength 1, level 1 is the weakest you can get. You are starting at the very bottom of the ladder, and you should expect the game system to treat you as such. At level 1 you are not yet heroes, you're cannon fodder. Those kobolds that heros slaughter in droves are level 1 and you're an even fight for one of them. That's what it means to be the lowest level.

I can understand people disliking playing weak character, but the people who insist on starting at the weakest level and then complaining about wimpy PCs confuse me. If you don't want to be a weakling, don't start at level 1. That's what level 1 means in a level system. It means you suck. You can't get any weaker.
1 is the beginning, the start, the first number. When teaching new people, you want to start them off at first. When kicking off a new campaign, you want to start off at first, its psychologically pleasing.

 



I guess then we should start PCs off at 1 strength, 1 con and 1 dexterity. Lets start them at age 1 too. But we don't do that, because people are okay with having 16 strength and not asking "Why didn't I start at 1?"

There's no magic in the number 1 and while starting level 1 should be a choice, it needs to be accepted that like strength 1, level 1 is the weakest you can get. You are starting at the very bottom of the ladder, and you should expect the game system to treat you as such. At level 1 you are not yet heroes, you're cannon fodder. Those kobolds that heros slaughter in droves are level 1 and you're an even fight for one of them. That's what it means to be the lowest level.

I can understand people disliking playing weak character, but the people who insist on starting at the weakest level and then complaining about wimpy PCs confuse me. If you don't want to be a weakling, don't start at level 1. That's what level 1 means in a level system. It means you suck. You can't get any weaker.


Slippery slope fallacy + oversimplification, and based on how D&D allows you to take ability score and level penalties even at level 1, you can get weaker than level 1 in a level system.

Just because the system defines level 1 as the start of an adventurer's career, then because of poor mathematical considerations makes them more vulnerable to death-by-cat than a toddler, doesn't make level 1 "level suck".  That simply means bad math, not that people don't like playing weaklings.

Levels mean progress, not just power, so level 1 can easily mean both lowest power level and starting point of a character's adventuring progress, which is why psychologically it doesn't make sense for some players to start off at a higher level.

[ Now remove EXP, and have the DM outright state when the players level up, and then we can talk about levels as defining power levels, since there's no EXP — and thus, not as much progress — to track mechanically.  In fact, if the group favors story-based progress far more than character level progress, I could easily run a level 1 campaign from start to finish with no levels granted, and with an epic story in mind, provided that in this setup DC represents environmental difficulty, not just task difficulty. ]

As for the original post, I have repeatedly encouraged a return to OD&D — specifically the Men & Magic book (gawdihateThieves) — for inspiration because a lot of the stuff in there makes sense.  We can update it a bit here and there, but the idea of having Paladins as a special type of Fighting Man who dedicates his life to Law, and the fact that the main appeal of Fighting Men would be how their primary ability scores are THE doorway to improvisation that neither the Cleric nor the Magic User can properly achieve, that is something I can roll with.

Although it seems Monte Cook's Numenera did exactly what I just mentioned.

[ Maybe with the stuff done in the various non-D&D TRPGs, to avoid being accused of being a copycat, the WotC decided to go with what they're currently going for? /conspiracytheory ]
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Just because the system defines level 1 as the start of an adventurer's career, then because of poor mathematical considerations makes them more vulnerable to death-by-cat than a toddler, doesn't make level 1 "level suck".  That simply means bad math, not that people don't like playing weaklings.


Well level 1 by concept means the weakest power level you can get. Yes, there may be level 1 with crap ability scores versus level 1 with good ability scores, but you're still talking about someone who is bottom of the barrel, because they're still the lowest level you can get. That's what level systems mean, unless you want to start doing clunky things like 0 level or negative level. 


Levels mean progress, not just power, so level 1 can easily mean both lowest power level and starting point of a character's adventuring progress, which is why psychologically it doesn't make sense for some players to start off at a higher level.


Why? Plenty of characters in stories start out badass. I don't see the origin story of Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones, he's just a badass when he walks on screen. You don't see Aragorn start out as a low level dirt farmer, he's fighting tons of orcs and Nazgul right from the start. Plenty of fantasy characters start above level 1, in fact the majority of them do. Hell, Drizz't in his origin story is a badass right from the start, before he starts doing any real adventures, and he's a straight up D&D character.

The idea that all characters need to start out level 1 is silly. Characters can and do start out above level 1 and are perfectly accepted psychologically. Did you not accept seeing Legolas appear in LotR because he didn't earn his badassery from grinding levels? Did you somehow say "This character doesn't make sense to me, because I didn't see him grind from level 1?"

Most low level sequences in books and movies are handled with a straight up training montage, of which the D&D equivalent is putting yourself at level 3+ and writing a paragraph of backstory of how you got there.

I believe level is nothing but a power rating.  Level 1 is the lowest anyone would reasonable want to start playing.  Since we have a sizable group that likes starting out with low hit points and high risk, we should make that level 1.  If a 100 years from now no one wants that style of play you can change how 1st level is defined.

All I will say is this... don't bother writing an apprentice level subsystem.  The devs are wasting their time.  I'm not buying that game.  I'm not having my playstyle practically cordoned off into a ghetto.  I'll just spend my money elsewhere.

A clean progression from level 1 to N that represents all power levels that a party might want to play is the logical choice.  Anything else is about telling people their style of game is #badwrongfun.

Edit:
Ability scores represent potential as much as anything.  I don't have an issue with such scores being above average.   I expect my characters to achieve greatness and part of that is good genes. 
And yet, telling us who want higher 1st level survivability to start at 3rd level instead is even more insulting and marginalizing, your basically saying we don't even need a module, we need to suck it up and if we don't like it, skip those levels.

double standard much. I say, start with a HP total about half way between what the two camps want, and then include a modular dial that allows you to change that total if you like. I don't care how that midlevel point is achieved, mechanically, whether its my recommended 2Max HD+Con Mod, gain 1HD+Con Mod each Even level, or if its Add Full Con Score @ 1st level, and no Con Mod at level up, or if its a 10hp kicker added to all 1st level PCs and yes, I'm okay with the Monsters getting it too. I just want the middle ground, in other words, reasonable compromise, exercised. Then if you want Rocket Tag, you opt to not include the Kicker (or alternate method), and dial HPs down and Lethality up. If someone from 4e wants the higher totals like in 4e, they dial HPs up and lethality down, so the minimum HPs is more around 20 at first level. 

Try to make everyone happy, without marginalizing their wants and needs, and we can all play the game we want. There are much bigger hurdles to try and jump in the whole compromise endeavor, this one is relatively an easy fix, lets embrace the fix, and not keep up the bloodshed for bloodshed sake 
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Just because the system defines level 1 as the start of an adventurer's career, then because of poor mathematical considerations makes them more vulnerable to death-by-cat than a toddler, doesn't make level 1 "level suck".  That simply means bad math, not that people don't like playing weaklings.


Well level 1 by concept means the weakest power level you can get. Yes, there may be level 1 with crap ability scores versus level 1 with good ability scores, but you're still talking about someone who is bottom of the barrel, because they're still the lowest level you can get. That's what level systems mean, unless you want to start doing clunky things like 0 level or negative level. 


Levels mean progress, not just power, so level 1 can easily mean both lowest power level and starting point of a character's adventuring progress, which is why psychologically it doesn't make sense for some players to start off at a higher level.


Why? Plenty of characters in stories start out badass. I don't see the origin story of Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones, he's just a badass when he walks on screen. You don't see Aragorn start out as a low level dirt farmer, he's fighting tons of orcs and Nazgul right from the start. Plenty of fantasy characters start above level 1, in fact the majority of them do. Hell, Drizz't in his origin story is a badass right from the start, before he starts doing any real adventures, and he's a straight up D&D character.

The idea that all characters need to start out level 1 is silly. Characters can and do start out above level 1 and are perfectly accepted psychologically. Did you not accept seeing Legolas appear in LotR because he didn't earn his badassery from grinding levels? Did you somehow say "This character doesn't make sense to me, because I didn't see him grind from level 1?"

Most low level sequences in books and movies are handled with a straight up training montage, of which the D&D equivalent is putting yourself at level 3+ and writing a paragraph of backstory of how you got there.


Why do you say that those fantasy characters start above level 1?  Because as far as I can tell, from the hybrid 2E/3.5E game I played, you can definitely fight tons of orcs and Nazgul — although in our case we were fighting Persians by the thousands — right from the start.  Or maybe that's just the result of poor game mechanics, where even though OD&D states that D&D was designed for players to start off playing like Conan (and you can even see it from level 1 being defined as Veteran, and not "private"), the mechanics didn't effectively deliver what was written?  Because if it's just the math, then there can definitely be something done to fix it, e.g. the "start with 3x your hit dice" houserule in OD&D.
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57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
And yet, telling us who want higher 1st level survivability to start at 3rd level instead is even more insulting and marginalizing, your basically saying we don't even need a module, we need to suck it up and if we don't like it, skip those levels.



I don't understand why you feel this way.  I really don't.  1st level is not a hero.  3rd level is closer to a hero and probably fits your idea of it.   

I suppose another option would be to say that those who like can play with 3rd level hit points starting at 1st level.  They just don't gain anymore until they hit 4th level.

So nothing else about level bothers you.  The fact that 1st level characters will start with few options isn't an issue.  It's all about the hit points. 
And yet, telling us who want higher 1st level survivability to start at 3rd level instead is even more insulting and marginalizing, your basically saying we don't even need a module, we need to suck it up and if we don't like it, skip those levels.



I don't understand why you feel this way.  I really don't.  1st level is not a hero.  3rd level is closer to a hero and probably fits your idea of it.   

By whose definition?


I suppose another option would be to say that those who like can play with 3rd level hit points starting at 1st level.  They just don't gain anymore until they hit 4th level.


Or maybe adjust the hit point gaining math so that those who want to start frail can do so and eventually gain enough hit points to match (or slightly exceed) the hit points of those who want to start with more HP and gain less HP per level.  It's all a matter of math.


So nothing else about level bothers you.  The fact that 1st level characters will start with few options isn't an issue.  It's all about the hit points. 

When it comes to level 1 characters only, that's pretty much it I suppose; after all, all editions of D&D had characters starting with few options.

However, take note of the game's dynamics as well: what is the main appeal of frailty and low HP, and what can be done to cater to that appeal?  What is the main appeal of lots of starting HP, and what can be done to cater to that appeal?

Mechanics alone aren't enough: they have to interact with other mechanics in such a way that they create the dynamics needed to deliver on the game's core aesthetics, which are what players REALLY look for in a game.

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57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
And yet, telling us who want higher 1st level survivability to start at 3rd level instead is even more insulting and marginalizing, your basically saying we don't even need a module, we need to suck it up and if we don't like it, skip those levels.



I don't understand why you feel this way.  I really don't.  1st level is not a hero.  3rd level is closer to a hero and probably fits your idea of it.   

By whose definition?



"By whose definition?".  Noone's.  It's defined by the game system in use.  If you start with more than one hit die in a system designed around a one hit die start, there is a possibility of unbalancing, or over-complicating, the basic game system.  While I can see the point of being "cheated" out of the initial levels, I think varying starting levels to cater to different campaigns, which is something many groups have done throughout the history of the game, will do a better job of maintaining the balance of the game.
And yet, telling us who want higher 1st level survivability to start at 3rd level instead is even more insulting and marginalizing, your basically saying we don't even need a module, we need to suck it up and if we don't like it, skip those levels.



I don't understand why you feel this way.  I really don't.  1st level is not a hero.  3rd level is closer to a hero and probably fits your idea of it.   

By whose definition?



"By whose definition?".  Noone's.  It's defined by the game system in use.  If you start with more than one hit die in a system designed around a one hit die start, there is a possibility of unbalancing, or over-complicating, the basic game system.  While I can see the point of being "cheated" out of the initial levels, I think varying starting levels to cater to different campaigns, which is something many groups have done throughout the history of the game, will do a better job of maintaining the balance of the game.


In other words, Gary Gygax wrote how the game allowed you to play as Conan, but then designed the game in such a way where it was impossible to play as Conan until you earned enough EXP to be him?  Because as far as I can tell, that's bad system math.

I mean compare that to, let's say Dungeon World, where an Adult Dragon has only 16 HP.  In that setup it's acceptable to have low hit points, since the system level math allows everything to be appropriately scaled.
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57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
Yeup, a game sucks when I have to start at 3rd, 5th, or 10th level to start playing a fun character. "Oh, you wanna play a character who jumps through shadows? Start at 10th level."
And yet, telling us who want higher 1st level survivability to start at 3rd level instead is even more insulting and marginalizing, your basically saying we don't even need a module, we need to suck it up and if we don't like it, skip those levels.



I don't understand why you feel this way.  I really don't.  1st level is not a hero.  3rd level is closer to a hero and probably fits your idea of it.   

By whose definition?



"By whose definition?".  Noone's.  It's defined by the game system in use.  If you start with more than one hit die in a system designed around a one hit die start, there is a possibility of unbalancing, or over-complicating, the basic game system.  While I can see the point of being "cheated" out of the initial levels, I think varying starting levels to cater to different campaigns, which is something many groups have done throughout the history of the game, will do a better job of maintaining the balance of the game.


In other words, Gary Gygax wrote how the game allowed you to play as Conan, but then designed the game in such a way where it was impossible to play as Conan until you earned enough EXP to be him?  Because as far as I can tell, that's bad system math.

I mean compare that to, let's say Dungeon World, where an Adult Dragon has only 16 HP.  In that setup it's acceptable to have low hit points, since the system level math allows everything to be appropriately scaled.



Irrelavent to my comments.  People enjoy certain things about the current level setup.  Some people would enjoy starting at a more power point in the character's development.  You can change the setup; upset a "traditional" crowd.  You can attempt to cater to both mechanically which can have some issues, as I outlined in my post.  Or you can point out an alternative that has worked for many groups since OD&D. 

I don't care about the merits of "good" game philosophy in this particular case.  DnD is an existing IP that needs to respect the history of its IP.  If that means it needs to limp along with some "bad" math, then it can limp along with "bad" math.  I'm pretty sure this "bad" math you refer to is more than capable of selling books.  Actually, the "good" math didn't prove to be significantly better success than the "bad" math version financially...   
And yet, telling us who want higher 1st level survivability to start at 3rd level instead is even more insulting and marginalizing, your basically saying we don't even need a module, we need to suck it up and if we don't like it, skip those levels.



I don't understand why you feel this way.  I really don't.  1st level is not a hero.  3rd level is closer to a hero and probably fits your idea of it.   

By whose definition?



"By whose definition?".  Noone's.  It's defined by the game system in use.  If you start with more than one hit die in a system designed around a one hit die start, there is a possibility of unbalancing, or over-complicating, the basic game system.  While I can see the point of being "cheated" out of the initial levels, I think varying starting levels to cater to different campaigns, which is something many groups have done throughout the history of the game, will do a better job of maintaining the balance of the game.


In other words, Gary Gygax wrote how the game allowed you to play as Conan, but then designed the game in such a way where it was impossible to play as Conan until you earned enough EXP to be him?  Because as far as I can tell, that's bad system math.

I mean compare that to, let's say Dungeon World, where an Adult Dragon has only 16 HP.  In that setup it's acceptable to have low hit points, since the system level math allows everything to be appropriately scaled.



Irrelavent to my comments.  People enjoy certain things about the current level setup.  Some people would enjoy starting at a more power point in the character's development.  You can change the setup; upset a "traditional" crowd.  You can attempt to cater to both mechanically which can have some issues, as I outlined in my post.  Or you can point out an alternative that has worked for many groups since OD&D. 

I don't care about the merits of "good" game philosophy in this particular case.  DnD is an existing IP that needs to respect the history of its IP.  If that means it needs to limp along with some "bad" math, then it can limp along with "bad" math.  I'm pretty sure this "bad" math you refer to is more than capable of selling books.  Actually, the "good" math didn't prove to be significantly better success than the "bad" math version financially...   

If you're referring to 4E in particular, I would have to state that 4E's math, while "good" in some ways, still had its issues, and the guy in charge of the mechanics then is the guy in charge of the mechanics now.  So there's that.

As stated in the thread regarding the 1E to 2E turnover, even then the devs had concerns regarding a lot of D&D mechanics, including the anti-social aspects of the Assassin class, which means that "balance" — not necessarily good math even — was, and still is, a goal.  The issue here that I'm stating isn't whether the classes are balanced 4E-style, but rather if the game math reflects what the devs stated.

If Gary Gygax outright stated in the 1974 rulebook that adventuring started at level 5 and everything prior to that was essentially the pre-adventurer years, then I would've agreed with the sentiment where players started with low HP PCs that died easily.  So far the only precedent we have of such intent in design is the infamous Gygaxian saying that you aren't even supposed to name your PC until level 5, and that is something that should've come as a warning label.

Again, to make it obvious: I'm not stating classes be balanced, I'm stating that whatever is written in the books is actually systematically supported.  Conan didn't have levels, and from the first to the last book he was successfully able to defeat powerful opponents, and there were no prequels about Conan where he was one of dozens of frail-yet-promising warriors that eventually earned the name "Conan" after all others failed to do so... so mechanics aside, why is D&D not reflecting what was advertised in the introduction of the 1974 book Men & Magic?  
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57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging