Wednesday, December 3, 2014

5e Musings: 0-Level Characters

Although I haven't played it as much as I would like, I absolutely love Dungeon Crawl Classics (DCC). I love the tone, the craziness, and how lethal the game is. Part of the charm of DCC is the character funnel, where each player randomly generates four 0-level characters which they run through a funnel. Most of the characters will meet a grisly fate, but one or maybe two will manage to escape the dungeon alive and possess enough experience to reach 1st level in one of the seven classes.

Because I find this element of DCC so entertaining, part of me wants to work a similar method for character creation into 5e. These rules are a rough attempt at doing that. I haven't playtested them yet, and probably won't be able to for awhile seeing as the next game on my GMing docket is a Fate Accelerated game. However, I thought I'd go ahead and post them here so others might give them a try. Feel free to use them in your games and give me some feedback. 

Using this method, characters begin with no class level. Instead, they start as simple individuals who have just started down the path of the adventurer. When creating a 0-level character, use the following rules:
  • Generate your ability scores using one of the methods listed in the D&D Basic Rules PDF or the Player's Handbook
  • Select one of the races listed in the D&D Basic Rules or the Player's Handbook
  • Select one of the backgrounds listed in the D&D Basic Rules or the Player's Handbook
  • Start with 4 hit points, modified by your Constitution modifier. 
  • Start with a +1 proficiency bonus, training in the skills associated with your background & race, and any weapons associated with your race. 
  • Automatically proficient with daggers, darts, slings, quarterstaffs, & light crossbows. 
  • Start with the equipment associated with your background and any other equipment you can purchase with the gold given to you by your background. 
Once you've gained 100 XP, you obtain 1st level in a class of your choice, gaining the benefits of that class. Your proficiency bonuses becomes +2 and you receive a number of additional hit points based on your selected class' hit die (+2 for d6, +4 for d8, +6 for d10, & +8 for d12).