Friday, September 6, 2013

Apprentice not wanted.

Another week and another "new" Mearls article that Crwth sent my way (he's better than an RSS reader). New in that it's new to me, despite it being from April 1st.

Anyways, Mr Mearls gives some insight into the tiers of 5e and in a backhanded way, offers up a reason for the Circles and Paths not starting to level 3. Something I've expressed my disdain for.

So, okay, Circles don't open up until 3rd level because the first two levels are an apprenticeship. I can live with that up to a point.

That point is any time I want a character who's back story is anything other than farm boy or serving girl wants to go adventuring.

As an example, my current character was envisioned as a former gladiator (because I saw that path and thought it looked like fun). He escaped or earned his freedom and wandered north to a quiet little town where he could settle down and live a quiet life as a preacher.

Naturally, I knew that the game would drag him out of 'retirement'. What bugs me is that he's a grizzled veteran but he's gotta go through an apprentice phase all over again. Granted, fighting monsters with swords and spells isn't exactly like riding a bike. I'm sure skills get rusty, swords and armor get heavier, and all that.

"Well, gotta go smite some evil. Good thing I still have my armor and blades from all those years I spent in the arena. Too bad I suddenly can't remember how to do all those special moves. Oh well. I guess they'll come back with time (and levels)."

It just seems like an unnecessary roadblock to have a character outside the cliche farm boy.

Yes. I can start at 3rd level. I'm just not sure how the rest of the guys I game with will feel about that. Maybe I'll just tell 'em to take it up with Mike Mearls and WotC.


Venger Satanis said...

Apprentice or not, level 1 is level 1. It sucks. It should suck. You're not supposed to be a fantasy superhero when you start a campaign... unless you're actually playing in a higher level campaign.

Personally, I think the first couple levels should be kind of like an apprenticeship.

Griff said...

I don't have any issues with the strength/weakness of the first couple of levels.

In fact, I fully agree that characters should "suck" (objectively). Hitting a goblin an axe or shooting a dire rat should be a big deal and feel like a real accomplishment.

My issue is with how the concept of opening skill trees at level 3, as opposed to level 1, restricts character concepts and background stories.

I'd rather see skill trees from the get-go, but make the first few weak to keep them in line.