D&D (2024) Level Zero


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Vikingkingq

Adventurer
At level 1, you're already just starting out as an adventurer, and you're only level 1 for a single session. By that logic, level 0 is what...a few minutes of gameplay?
 



Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
At level 1, you're already just starting out as an adventurer, and you're only level 1 for a single session. By that logic, level 0 is what...a few minutes of gameplay?
I think this is all highly dependent on the individual game.

If I were running level zero characters, I would milestone level them up after the initial adventure most likely.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
Crawford talks about that particular bit of shortsighted design on in an older video. Something along the lines of "what we found out is that some people don't see it that way and will go along many sessions at the same level enjoying themselves letting things develop and we didn't forsee that".

I say it's short sighted because it's easy to start at a higher level or advanced quicker but when the whole system is designed around supporting a training montage being played with the intention of skipping it ASAP it's a lot more work to rebuild the support needed to fill in the meat that's lacking when not skipping it
 

Yaarel

He Mage
My campaigns aim to zoom thru the low levels.

Student Tier
From level 1 to level 2: 4 encounters
To level 3: 7 encounters
To level 4: 10 encounters
To level 5: 13 encounters

Professional Tier
To each next level: 16 encounters

Master Tier
To level 10: 16 encounters
To level 11: 13 encounters
To level 12: 13 encounters
To level 13: 10 encounters

Grandmaster Tier and Legend Tier
To each next level: 10 encounters


The above schedule is a rule of thumb, and being between sessions can influence a decision for everyone to level up.

With the above schedule in mind, it is easy for me to make it routine for a new campaign to start with one session for level 0 characters, with at least one meaningful encounter. If the session spills over into two sessions for level 0, thats fine too.

An "encounter" is often a combat encounter, but can also be a social encounter or exploration encounter or skill challenge, or anything else that feels meaningfully challenging.
 
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Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
I am definitely down for a return to the optional Level 0 rule. I recall at GenCon someone from this board back then ran a level zero dungeon and it worked great. I think someone had inherited a sword from his father so that was the one PC with a real weapon. The rest of us made do with simple weapons or stuff we found during the adventure. And nobody has real armor. It really upped the danger level. Very fun.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Level Zero Character

Species
• All Traits
• [Hit Points: Size (Medium 1d8 or 5) + Constitution]

Abilities
• Standard Array (or 4d6 Drop Lowest or Point Buy)

Languages
• Common plus two languages of your choice (typically one relating to your species and one to your background)

Background
• Level Zero Feat of your choice
• Ability Improvements
• Proficiency with two skills of your choice
• Proficiency with one tool of your choice
• Starting equipment

Combat Training
• Proficiency with all simple weapons (or one cantrip, or one martial weapon, or one simple weapon with shield training)

Saves
• No save proficiencies, but apply ability bonuses
I would be careful on the starting equipment. Part of the fun of a level 0 PC is they don't have their full equipment.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
I would be careful on the starting equipment. Part of the fun of a level 0 PC is they don't have their full equipment.
I was just following the UA playtest for background equipment (50 gp). But for a session that says that Afli has to use his aunts blacksmith equipment, and cant take it with him on an adventure, is fine.
 

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