Follower of the Way
How so? If you have a system that is already quite functional and works exactly as intended, adding uncertainty is extremely easy. If you have a system where the numbers already work to favor one side, all you need to do is add bigger numbers to the other side and you've already increased the difficulty.The exact opposite is true in every milieu I've evern seen it done: it is much easier (in terms of getting along with people) to remove difficulty than it is to add it. It's also generally easier at the design level to remove difficulty than to add it.
Having a system that is brutally hard is very, very difficult to turn into something that can be easy if you want it to be. Having a system that is easy is MUCH easier to turn hard, because you just add hard things to it.
You must remove hard things from a hard structure in order to get an easy structure. Removing, in almost all cases, is much harder than adding. It's like salt.
I did not say it would drive everyone away. But it sure as hell would drive most players away. Hardcore gaming is simply not as popular as casual gaming, and never will be.There's about 49 years worth of old-school players who might take issue with this statement.
Why should everyone be absolutely bound to only having stories that start with incompetent rubes? Why should everyone be absolutely bound to only having challenges where they have almost no tools to deal with them? Why should everyone be absolutely bound to only having possible worlds where genuinely no people start a career that they already have some experience doing?Yes, and rightly so; and the idea that not everything is going to go well on your first try is also perfectly valid. I mean, absent beginner's luck, is there any endeavour at which people can expect to even be competent at the first asking?
Whatever your preferred game style, there are perfectly valid reasons for starting at a level other than 1st. But many, many, many, MANY DMs out there think that you absolutely, positively HAVE to start at 1st level. Even if it would be detrimental to the game to do so. Because it's first, and first is where you start. As I said, I would know--I've experienced it firsthand. Three times now.