I'm planning a series of sessions that involve, Tales-of-Canterbury style, my players telling each other what made them into adventurers. For example, the first session will tell about our elven cleric's plight between her piety and love of all creatures, and her xenophobic father forbidding her to mingle with humans.
Originally, I was thinking of using monsters to represent each of my characters, and pit them in battle against other monsters. For instance, the player that roleplays the elven cleric could play an elf archer. The longtooth shifter could be an ashbound berserker.
Recently though, Wizards published "A hero's first steps", an interesting article with rules for building 0-level characters. I already built four of the 6 characters using these rules, and they look interesting.
These would be five or six sessions with two combats each, more or less. I want to focus on the story, and have a climactic battle or moment that defines what pushed them into what they are now. I'd be pitting these adventurers against level 1 monsters and minions, mostly (I do have higher level monsters, but they're not supposed to enter combat).
What pitfalls or advantages does choosing each option have, especially referred to encounter balance?
EDIT re Pat's comment: I don't have any problems with the current CB, but it doesn't really cover level 0 characters. I don't want to have level 1 characters for these sessions, they already played with them. On the other hand, I haven't had the chance to test these new builds, although I have heard some good things about them. I haven't played monsters against monsters either. I'm looking for other people's experiences on the matter.