New Player Characters

We had a great time playing 5th Edition D&D yesterday.

For all the old people complaining about how it is too easy or whatever, it is a lot of fun, in the right hands. Our DM, William, knows how to use the system. We have a great campaign.

I think it’s good that 1st level characters are more capable than 1st Edition AD&D 1st level characters were. It’s still pretty easy to die, but your 1st level magic user isn’t uselessly throwing vials of flaming oil at monsters after casting that ONE spell.

I think one reason Dungeon Masters have perhaps been historically hesitant to kill off PCs is that man, you work a long time to level-up your character so it doesn’t die from a bee sting. If your group are all around 7th or 8th level, for example, and your character dies, it kinda sucks to have to start again at 1st level, and to me it always felt like cheating to just roll up a 5th or 6th level character. Well, maybe not cheating, but not satisfying. There’s a satisfaction in gaining those hard-fought-for levels. It feels legit.  The you’re supposed to just roll up a new PC at high level?  Hey – I don’t even know this person! I’d actually rather roll up a new 1st level character and have them tag along with the old group. It feels more right to me. And other than hit points, I think the 5th edition new characters are better able to hang.

As a GM, I worry a lot less about killing off GURPS or Traveller PCs. When you roll up a new Traveller character there isn’t such a dramatic power differential to deal with. Sure, the new PC may not have much money, powered armor, alien tech, or whatever, but the character is fairly well-formed other than that.  I think that’s liberating for both GM and player.

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