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%

Yaarel

Mind Mage
I said True, zero to hero. Because I like the "apprentice tier" to feel approximately like reallife college or its equivalent.

That said, I dislike level 1 characters that are too fragile. I welcome the recent development of the cultural background feat to beef up the survivability of the apprentice tier.
 

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false, as I do not run dnd I play.
Wish it was true but 5E isn't like that. Big Heroes with Big Numbers to back them up. Much prefer the zero to hero path.
since when have our fantasy heroes been without great ability since the beginning, Conan was a classic and that guy would have nuts abilities scores in dnd, no twenties but high.
 







Yaarel

Mind Mage
It's funny, when I think about characters at the start of my campaigns, they are "zeroes" not because they're weak or incapable, but because they have limited influence in the world. They haven't made important connections with NPCs, found valuable treasure, or learned world-altering magic. It's not that they're in danger of being killed easily (though that can be true too), it's that they're newcomers to the setting or story.

I guess I think of "hero" in the Greek Mythology sense... Heroes are those who can do MORE than others. As characters in my campaign progress, they can do more: influence politics, raise armies, start towns, take down tyrants, attain powerful magic items...

To me, the Zero to Hero journey is all about gaining the power to influence the setting.
I mathematically determine how influential a character is:

fame = 10 ^ level/2

This formula approximates a 3,10,30,100,300,1000, etcetera pattern while leveling.

At level 2, a character is wellknown by about 10 people, often a sizable group of family and friends.

At level 6, a character is wellknown by about a million people, often a national hero or criminal.

At level 20, ten billion is the entirety of planet earth. Levels beyond involve the multiverse.

And so on.



This sense of progression helps determine the tone of each tier, quantifying about how recognizable and influential a character is because of their reputation.
 
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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I want to see the characters be shaped by their struggles into something greater than what they began as.

This can be done as Heroes though.

Most of Spiderman's major struggles in all forms of media come well after he becomes a well known NYC crimefighting hero.

I think a big issue is that many don't know how to tell stories of challenge with extreme weakness in the protagonist and people aren't always willing to allow vulnerabilities in their played heroes.

The powerhouse with weaknesses is a story not told enough or told in the same way too often.
 


DarkCrisis

Legend
false, as I do not run dnd I play.

since when have our fantasy heroes been without great ability since the beginning, Conan was a classic and that guy would have nuts abilities scores in dnd, no twenties but high.
Tell that to the 2 HP Wizard with one spell a day.

AD&D 1st level heroes were def not anywhere near as powerful as they are today.

As for Conan. Funny enough Gygax was a huge Conan fan and preferred it over LotRs.
Conan in the books wasn’t a level 1 and he had amazing stats. He also was a story character and not an RPG character.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Yes. But. I want to see a moment, when the players realize that a creature that was so formidable a challenge when at a lower tier, is now a cakewalk at a higher tier.
Sure, but this can be done from any 2 points, not just Zero and Hero.
You can struggle with something at Tier 2 and destroy it at Tier 3.
And you can deal with something at Tier 3 that when you were in Tier 2 you couldn't and would be babied with at Tier 2 by the DM.
 


True - but because the last three campaigns I've started were level zero in which the PCs didn't even have a class or stats in the first session. Instead most stats and skills came out of how they played.
 

I mathematically determine how influential a character is:

fame = 10 ^ level/2

This formula approximates a 3,10,30,100,300,1000, etcetera pattern while leveling.

At level 2, a character is wellknown by about 10 people, often a sizable group of family and friends.

At level 6, a character is wellknown by about a million people, often a national hero or criminal.

At level 20, ten billion is the entirety of planet earth. Levels beyond involve the multiverse.

And so on.



This sense of progression helps determine the tone of each tier, quantifying about how recognizable and influential a character is because of their reputation.
I'm mobile right now, but you could you do the math for the first level of each Tier as well as 20?
 


Trueish. In D&D I prefer the levels to actually matter and the scope of adventure and influence of the characters to change as they progress. I dislike if levelling is just the numbers getting bigger but basically nothing really changing in the fiction like it often is in MMOs.

I have nothing against games where the characters start out as competent badasses, and do not massively increase in power and the scope of their adventures remains roughly constant, but I don't play D&D for that, there are other games that do that sort of thing better.
 

I don’t think the Zero premise apply to DnD.
Even at level one, a PC has the scores of an establish npc like the Veteran or the Knight.
The PC also benefit from a hidden supernatural rule, the Xp budget encounter, which almost guarantee them a high survivability.
and because they are the PC they will be in the middle of an important plot or story line which will not make them totally zero.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
I'm mobile right now, but you could you do the math for the first level of each Tier as well as 20?
It is simple, and easy to remember. (Round off the 3.16... to 3.) Use as approximations of clout.

Fame

Student Tier (Apprentice)

L1: wellknown by 3 persons
L2: 10
L3: 30
L4: 100

Professional Tier (Adventurer)
L5: 300
L6: 1000
L7: 3000
L8: 10,000

Master Tier
L9: 30,000
L10: 100,000
L11: 300,000
L12: 1,000,000 − small nation or large metropolis

Arch Tier
L13: 3,000,000
L14: 10,000,000
L15: 30,000,000
L16: 100,000,000

Legend Tier
L17: 300,000,000
L18: 1,000,000,000
L19: 3,000,000,000
L20: 10,000,000,000 − planet Earth
 

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