Wednesday, October 12, 2011

everybody else sucks too

So I guess while I've been hitting the books there's been another "1st level MU's suck" flare-up.  I find it very hard not to blame these attitudes on some combination of poor DMing and poor play.  (I.e. Either the player isn't playing as smart as they need to and/or the DM is too harsh.) But on the other hand, I currently use a specific ruleset that is pretty unfriendly to the other classes. To whit:
  • Elves need 4000xp to reach 2nd level.  Sure, you rule the school at 1st level, but you still reign over first level when half the party is rocking out at third.
  • Clerics don't get a spell at 1st level.  I don't even like clerics and I think that's harsh.
  • Thieves only get d4 hit points.  Poor bastards.
  • Fighters get only d8 for hit dice, no d10s like in AD&D and no d12 barbarians running around either.
  • No weapon specialization.
  • Two-handed weapons make you lose initiative, so most fighters only do d8 damage at best.
Also, with 3d6 in row, that d8 fighter may have a Con penalty.  And everybody always rolls hit points in my game, no max at first level, no wiggle room for a low roll.  A one hit point fighter is a distinct possibility.  Then add in that I don't use platemail in fake England circa 1140 AD and the ACs for clerics/fighter/etc are pretty poor as well.  But that's a campaign house rule and doesn't necessarily enter in here.

So DMs, before you agree that 1st level magic-users suck, ask yourself whether the 1st level versions of the other classes in your campaign suck hard enough.  How easy do you really want first level to be?  (That's not a rhetorical question.)