D&D 5E Starting level

What Starting Level?

  • 1st. Obviously.

    Votes: 92 73.0%
  • 3rd. Because, archetypes.

    Votes: 32 25.4%
  • 5th. Because, reasons (please explain).

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 2 1.6%

  • Poll closed .

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gweinel

Explorer
I voted for 1st lvl, although i wouldn't minded to start as 0lvl and slowly through the initial story learn the first basics of your class.
 


happyhermit

Adventurer
I voted for first, but I don't think it is necessarily obvious. Some people who really crave mechanical crunch may very well be happier starting at higher level most of the time. That just isn't why we play D&D (5e) the vast majority of the time.

I think that I am no more likely to start at 3 than at any other high level, if we do that it is because of a particular reason, not just to skip lower levels.

5e's 1st-3rd is amazing for any new players imo, and it goes by relatively quickly most of the time. It also makes character creation very easy if optimization and planning ahead extensively is not a major concern.
 

LapBandit

First Post
I voted for 1st but have started adventures at 3rd and 5th. 1st through 3rd is such little XP that the PCs effectively start their adventuring "careers" at 3rd
 

thalmin

Retired game store owner
0 level. The characters are not adventurers by choice, but rather cicumstances have made it a necessity. I have done this since 2E.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Starting level for my 5e games so far have been 3, 1, 5, and 4, so I picked 3 as being the closest. Although I'm thinking of trying out 9th or 11th for my next turn DMing.
 


Bad Fox

First Post
I've only begun games at level 1 so far, but would down with trying out a level 3 start.

For some campaigns it feels like it would make more sense, especially if character backstories include details regarding archetype choices.
 

Mercule

Adventurer
I maybe should have voted 1st, because that's been the universal truth up until 5E. In 5E, they say "3rd is the new 1st" and I think I agree. That's my plan, going forward, unless the campaign setup dictates otherwise.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher

Depends on the campaign.
My next is starting at 10, because it's a mini-campaign.
After that, 1.
The time after that... who knows? Maybe 3, maybe 5.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
My next campaign will start at level 2, so they are a bit more resilient/experienced than 1, but can still enjoy that low level feel :)
 

AaronOfBarbaria

Adventurer
I put in my vote for "3rd" because that is closer to the truth that even a vote of "other" would have been.

Each campaign starts where it should start based on what levels mean in a narrative sense; if we are starting the campaign as apprentices or the equivalent still learning the basics of their class we would start 1st level, if starting the campaign as people genuinely prepared for their first adventure - that kind of prove you can make it without your teacher's help moment - we start at 3rd or 4th level (I lean toward 4th, but my buddy that has just started his first campaign DMing 5th edition elected for a start at 3rd, and I started a campaign at 3rd before realizing I'd much rather start at 4th because it is the very last "apprentice tier" level).

I have an upcoming campaign that will start at 13th level because that is what best fits the narrative of the campaign being what some semi-retired adventures who have saved the world before.

I'll likely start the majority of campaigns that I run with 5th edition at 4th level for that "last apprentice level" narrative, and so that the majority of characters feel "feature complete" from the start of the game, rather than having to wait some number of levels until their "thing" is realized (i.e. the character concept of crack-shot archer not having to wait for the sharpshooter feat), but if I decide to run a campaign that involves a narrative of the uninitiated and under-prepared people forced to act I'll start at 1st level. I also really like the mechanical aspect, from the DM point of view, of starting with 4th level characters because it better fits my DMing style of not tailoring monsters encountered to the party's level and leaving it to the players to sort out when they are in over their heads, because each character is resilient enough to survive the player not being sure if they can handle a stand-up fight or not and trying it out for a round or two before deciding to flee.
 

MechaPilot

Explorer
I'm still in my first 5e campaign, and I started my group at 1st level mostly because I wanted to see how low-level play ran. Now that know, I probably will start future campaigns at 3rd level, so that everyone can have access to their subclasses.
 

Oofta

Legend
I voted for 1st lvl, although i wouldn't minded to start as 0lvl and slowly through the initial story learn the first basics of your class.

For me it depends on the story I'm trying to tell. Are the people in the group children that grew up together? Level 0. People thrown together out of necessity and circumstance? Level 1 (usually). A mini-campaign I think the group will have fun with? Whatever level is appropriate.

But most of the time level 1.
 

77IM

Explorer!!!
Supporter
Level 1, for non-obvious reasons:

Higher level characters are more complex and way too many players will get confused about their abilities, slow down the game by wondering which spell to use, or make really poor build choices and gripe about it later.

Starting at level 1 lets players ramp up to this level of complexity gradually.

Sure, maybe you and I don't face this sort of confusion, as we are the sort of people who think about this stuff and discuss it on the internet. Maybe the people you game with are rules-masters too. But a shocking amount of players -- some of them really excellent role-players or really fun to hang out with -- just aren't interested at all in rules and letting them ease into it gradually is better all around.
 


Daern

Explorer
I prefer to start them at 1st, but last night my players lobbied to play new characters at 3rd. They wanted the hp cushion and the extra stuff.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
. But a shocking amount of players -- some of them really excellent role-players or really fun to hang out with -- just aren't interested at all in rules and letting them ease into it gradually is better all around.

I have a player who still doesn't fully understand his character after a year of play...
 

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