5E What IS a level 1 Fighter?

When I say "Level 1 Fighter" what image first comes to mind?

  • A farm hand picking up a sword to go slay goblins

    Votes: 7 7.9%
  • Someone who just started training with weapons

    Votes: 12 13.5%
  • A veteran who turns his skills with weapons toward adventuring

    Votes: 47 52.8%
  • Something else entirely

    Votes: 23 25.8%

  • Total voters
    89

aco175

Adventurer
I seem to see the problem is with 5e and backgrounds. older editions allowed for anything you made up about your background and now with 5e there is something you need to explain. If I have a fighter who used to be in the military, then he must have some sort of skill and it can explain how he gained the skills to be a fighter. What if he was an entertainer or a hermit? The farmboy story works fine in older editions, but I feel that 5e makes you choose paths that are geared to PCs that have experienced some life before and not are ready to adventure.

We could talk about wizards and their story. Most have some sort of mentor and years of training, but could there be other stories, or do we make them be warlocks and sorcerers? Same with the rest of the classes.

I kind of picture all the classes needing some amount of training before they become 1st level. You could be a farmboy, but the local militia trained you some and maybe your grandfather showed you how to use his sword from the last war. A thief should have gotten some sort of training as well as the rest of the classes. He would need a mentor or spend some time in the local guild.

Some of the total power at 1st level is hard to explain without a lengthy training. Knowing how to use all weapons and armor would normally require being a page and squire before becoming a fighter, but some things need to be hand waved.
 
I seem to see the problem is with 5e and backgrounds. older editions allowed for anything you made up about your background and now with 5e there is something you need to explain.
In 5e, you're supposed to be pretty free to come up with new backgrounds. And, in prior eds, there were starting ages by race & class that strongly implied certain classes (like Magic-User) involved years of training to get to 1st level, while others, (like fighter or thief) hardly any at all, because you could start much younger.
 
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aco175

Adventurer
In 5e, you're supposed to be pretty free to come up with new backgrounds.
Agreed, but the original post was talking about what makes a first level fighter and I kind of expanded it to all first level characters. 5e does seem to make some assumptions that other editions did not. Also, I would think that some new backgrounds that get made up involve power creep. I could make a army scout background and give him perception and investigation skills.

This would be cool, but still shows how 5e assumes certain things and how the fighter or 1st level PCs need to have come from someplace and not just the turnip patch.
 
shows how 5e assumes certain things and how the fighter or 1st level PCs need to have come from someplace and not just the turnip patch.
So, long before there were backgrounds in 3e & 4e, or a commoner class or craft skills or 0-negative levels in 3e, there were 'secondary skills' random-rolled out of the 1e DMG, that spoke to the PC having some past profession (or maybe family business or something). They were mostly crafty skills, IIRC.
And, again, the old starting ages really strongly implied quite a lot of training to get to level 1.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
Not read it, so can't venture an opinion, sorry.
Nuts. The trilogy's author Joe Abercrombie gets his name bandied about in grimdark discussions quite a bit.

So much so that a while back some fantasy authors noticed a correlation between writing grimdark (or at least being accused of writing grimdark) and their location to Joe Abercrombie's house. Like if his house was hit with a nuclear explosion, if you were caught in the initial blast, you're probably writing grimdark.
 

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