D&D 5E "When I Run D&D 5E, the Arc of the PCs' Adventures is 'Zero to Hero'." (a poll)

"When I Run D&D 5E, the arc of the PCs' adventures is 'Zero to Hero'."

  • True.

    Votes: 55 53.9%
  • False.

    Votes: 47 46.1%


Moderator Emeritus
So the premise is pretty straightforward:

True or False: "When I Run D&D 5E, regardless of the specific plots, the arc of the PCs' adventures is 'Zero to Hero'." (with "hero" meaning one who does bold, courageous, and famed deeds," in the vein of Greek myths - not necessarily morally good - though I encourage people to explain what both terms mean to them).

Special thanks to @Deset Gled for help with this one, whose shared suggestions for poll statements inspired some variations.

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I'm not keen on starting campaigns at 1st level. I prefer around 3rd-5th, so that the characters have some iconic abilities and are settled into their subclasses, and at those levels they're already at least reasonably heroic power-wise.



I have run Zero to Hero, Hero to Super Hero, Local Hero to National Hero, Zero to still Zero, Hero to "Zero", and National Hero to still National Hero.


The PCs start at level 1, typically we go to 20. I've even started PCs as level 0 kids to establish backstory, location and relationships. So 0 to hero for me.


He / Him
I hadn't really thought about it before, but it's true for me. In the last campaign, the characters started as newcomers to the main setting, having to follow the oppressive laws of the vampire lords. By the end of the campaign, they'd recovered a bunch of legendary magic items and were slaying vampires left and right.

I think the rules of 5e lend themselves to this kind of story. I feel like 1st Level characters are defined almost more by their Background than Class. Then as the story continues, they gain incredible power and influence.


False. These days it's hero to Big Damn Hero - even starting characters are reasonably capable, and so aren't exactly zeroes.

(Plus, quite often I do other things entirely, so there's that too.)


False for me - my regular players are not the type who want to play zero to hero anymore. They want to start out as capable and go from there, so for 5e we start at 5th level.

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