I’m Your Zero
Recently I have begun a new play by post campaign. I did thinks differently than I have ever done in a face to face campaign and decided to start all the PC’s as 0 level.
I know there are some references for 0 level characters in Greyhawk Adventures, the Treasure Hunt module, and the Unearthed Arcana (for mages) but I don’t have those supplements and decided to come up with my own simple rules on how to handle 0 level.
First I had the players roll their characters as normal (I did specify they must be human for this campaign so race selection wasn’t part of the process). I then had them pick their class as if they were going to start as normal 1st level (I used the human multi-class rules I presented in my more human than human article ). By choosing a class ahead of time it gave the players an idea of how to place their stats (I allow stats rolled to be placed as desired). However I made sure to let them know they can freely change the class selection once they reach enough XP to become 1st level. I then assigned each PC a XP of -500, this would allow them to track their progress toward reaching 1st level. This was all the easy part. Next I wanted to make sure the characters were for the most part viable for play, and give them something that would be a reward once they did reach 1st level, and at the same time make them less powerful than a true 1st level character would be.
Hit Points – To do this I gave each character 1d4 hit points. While this makes generally low hit points for every class outside of magic-user keep in mind that we have yet to reach first level. Now the boon here is that when the characters do reach first level they will be allowed to roll their normal hit dice for HP. That will be added on top of the initial 1d4, possibly giving these 1st level characters higher than normal hit points. I know many people simply give 1st level characters max HP so I don’t see having them roll what is in essence their HD plus 1d4 that big of a deal.
Proficiencies – I assigned each character one weapon proficiency. Rather than having the players pick a weapon I assigned one that made sense to me as part of their background. So for the most part it was a weapon that can double as a tool such as a dagger, hand axe, or short bow. While this limits them at first the boon later will be that this weapon will not count towards their initial level 1 total. So each character will have an addition weapon proficiency. In addition if any non magic-user uses one of the proficiencies they receive when they reach 1st level on the same weapon I assigned them, I will allow them to receive a +1 to hit with that weapon.
Equipment – Instead of rolling for gold and having players buy equipment I assigned starting gear and a few gold that I thought fit into the character background and situation.
The characters all grew up in the same area and knew each other. As the old friends were meeting in the local tavern there was a commotion as the blood covered stranger was helped into the bar by a local guide.
And adventure began…
If you’ve ever started your players out at 0 level let me know how you handled it.
The Looking Glass
Coin Purse of Plenty XP: 200 GP: 1000
This is a small leather coin pouch the size of a standard gold coin. While it looks as if it could hold no more than 2 or 3 gold pieces in can in fact hold up to six hundred gold pieces that are held in an extra dimensional space. The coin purse can not hold any items other than coins, but those coins may be of any type.