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D&D 5E Levels 1-4 are "Training Wheels?"

Quartz

Hero
IMHO it doesn't matter if they're training wheels or not; what matters is if the players are having fun. It seems that this player is not.

It's absolutely fine to define the tiers as Training 1-4, regional heroes 5-10, and national heroes 11+. Yes, it's a higher power game, but if it's fun it doesn't matter. It's your game, no one else's. If you want an in-game reason, then perhaps the Greyhawk Wars have just finished and lots of people have a level or three.

I used to really like the low teen levels in 3E. Different strokes for different folks.
 

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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Last night a player commented: "Levels 1-4 are just training wheels. The game doesn't even start until 5th level. Unless you're playing D&D for the first time, you should just start at 5th level."

Now, she hasn't been playing for ages - probably just around 5 years. I would expect it to take longer than that to become that jaded to low-level play.

Do you agree? If not, how do you address this? Start at 5th level? Speed through Levels 1-4? House rules to give more power or better options?
Hardly training wheels, but I do find levels 1 and 2 rather dull. We usually start at level 3.
 

ECMO3

Hero
Last night a player commented: "Levels 1-4 are just training wheels. The game doesn't even start until 5th level. Unless you're playing D&D for the first time, you should just start at 5th level."

Now, she hasn't been playing for ages - probably just around 5 years. I would expect it to take longer than that to become that jaded to low-level play.

Do you agree? If not, how do you address this? Start at 5th level? Speed through Levels 1-4? House rules to give more power or better options?
Level 1 and 2 are when you are most likely to die. I have only had 2 5E characters actually die after level 5 and one of them threw himself into a portal to close it and save the world at the end of a campaign.
 


The Lizard Wizard

Adventurer
I can understand someone wanting to start at a higher level. Sometimes you can have a run of campaigns where it ends early and you never feel like you’re getting above level 6.

The term ‘training wheels‘ doesn’t feel quite right to me though, as levels 1-4 are the easiest to die at, (and stay dead)
 


Lyxen

Great Old One
It's absolutely fine to define the tiers as Training 1-4, regional heroes 5-10, and national heroes 11+.
No, it's not, because adventurers having adventures cannot be considered doing "training". This is the basis of my complaint with the term, it's a derogatory term as it's addressed to the players, not the characters, whereas the other two terms are terms for characters.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
No, it's not, because adventurers having adventures cannot be considered doing "training". This is the basis of my complaint with the term, it's a derogatory term as it's addressed to the players, not the characters, whereas the other two terms are terms for characters.
You are training to fight, charm, dodge, or debate dragons.
Which you can't until level 5.
 

I got to wonder how do people deal with encounter building for level1 characters?

3 goblins is considered a ‘hard’ encounter for a level one party. So, if that’s all you get to deal with, then I get why people would think low level is boring and just training wheels.

If low level characters only ever get a steady diet of balanced encounters, it’s going to feel like a monotonous cakewalk.

Toss the idea of balanced encounters and those low levels become more tense and exciting than any other level of play.
 


Dausuul

Legend
I wouldn't have phrased it quite like that, but I agree with the sentiment--the game changes massively when you hit level 5. The martials literally double their damage output in a single level. Casters go from scorching ray to fireball.

If you expect much of the campaign to take place at 5+, then yeah, those low levels will feel like training wheels to players who've been through them before. (If you design the whole campaign to stay in that range, it's different.)
 



ECMO3

Hero
The game is called Dungeons and Dragons.
I would not be surprised than a fan thinks the game has dragon encounters as a major theme.

If it isn't D&D needs new name.
My son says if it does not have at least one dragon then it can't be a good adventure.

That said, you are not training at levels 1-4. Even at level 1 you have extraordinary powers.
 


Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
My son says if it does not have at least one dragon then it can't be a good adventure.

That said, you are not training at levels 1-4. Even at level 1 you have extraordinary powers.

What you you thing you're training. Your extraordinary powers.

Backing the old days, in the long long time ago. youdidn't even really count as a member of the class until you hit a certain level. Both 3e and 5e reinforced than by not giving your PC all their core features until 3rd level and not considering you trained until levels 6 and 5 respectively.
 


You and auto-correct really misspelled "who know how to have an old school good time." really badly.

There are tons of games that have people who enjoy them causally, but have others who strive to develop their skills and seek mastery.

D&D is one such game. Playing D&D is a skill and you can develop it and get better at it. Doesn’t mean any insult to those who just want to play causally.

As I said above, if low level is too meat grinder (which is as disparaging a term as training wheels in my mind)/ boring just start at the higher level that would give you the experience you prefer.

But some people enjoy what you call ‘meat grinder’ play and enjoy the challenge of overcoming greater threats/obstacles beyond what the game considers balanced
 
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J-H

Adventurer
I teach new players at levels 2 or 3.

I've got 2 new recruits to fill open spots in my high-level (currently 16th) game. We'll do a 3rd level one-shot, then an 11th-level one-shot.
 

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