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88 votes
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Mechanically speaking, why does level 1 seem so different from level 2?

Welcome to Rusty Dagger Shanktown! What you have noticed is very widely commented upon—1st level is often called “rusty dagger shanktown.” It’s hyper-lethal, rather than the kind of heroic fantasy ...
KRyan's user avatar
  • 353k
84 votes

What is the precedent for what happens to a warlock's character levels if their patron dies?

A warlock is defined by a pact with an otherworldly being. Why would they think that killing the patron ends the pact? Sadly for your warlock, the obligation comes from the pact, not the patron. No ...
Dale M's user avatar
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75 votes

A player made a 4th-level character for our new game and didn't tell me. Now what?

Some miscommunication must have happened to cause this situation. Did you tell the player to make a 1st level character, and they brought a 4th level character anyway? Or did you simply assume they ...
MikeQ's user avatar
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73 votes
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What is the point of level 20 features?

First, your level doesn't determine when the campaign ends, the story does. You could reach level 20 while in the final leg of the campaign, but before the end. So you could use those awesome ...
Xavon_Wrentaile's user avatar
71 votes

Is this house-rule removing the increased effect of cantrips at higher character levels balanced?

No, this makes the current system less balanced. The current system for cantrips gaining damage at regular intervals is the magic users' equivalent of the "Extra Attack" feature that other ...
JDM7's user avatar
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65 votes

Do PCs understand the leveling system and its experience requirements?

Not really, but that doesn't leave them entirely in the dark The concept of experience points is an abstraction. As said in the 5e basic rules and on dndbeyond (emphasis mine): As your character goes ...
Adam's user avatar
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54 votes
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Do you "gain" your 1st level?

You don't "gain" your first character level The rules for creating characters define what "gaining a level" means in the beyond first level section: Beyond 1st Level As your character goes on ...
Sdjz's user avatar
  • 36.4k
52 votes

Are there any rules on how characters go from 0th to 1st level in a class?

There is no 0th level D&D 5e expects players to start at level 1. NPCs don't have player class levels, so there's never such a thing as a 0th level character. A NPC fighter doesn't actually have ...
Theik's user avatar
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50 votes
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What is the precedent for what happens to a warlock's character levels if their patron dies?

Nothing happens, at least in 5e. The Pact only initiates your power; you don't need the Patron after that. The answer to the question you linked was wrong. Becoming a Warlock is a one-time infusion of ...
nick012000's user avatar
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48 votes
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Is Bard level 20 utterly worthless, mechanically?

Yes, it is particularly underwhelming. Suppose your table actually runs what the Dungeon Master's Guide calls The Adventuring Day: Assuming typical adventuring conditions and average luck, most ...
Thomas Markov's user avatar
47 votes
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Do you lose or keep your experience when you lose levels?

There are no monsters or effects in 5e which drain levels/cause loss of experience. Most of the monsters we'd have once associated with XP drain now have attacks which will drop one's maximum HP. ...
nitsua60's user avatar
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46 votes

Do wizards' spells gained per level just appear in their spellbook?

Yes, as soon as the wizard levels up, those two spells are found in one of his spellbooks and he can prepare them the next time he prepares his spells. They do not require time or money to scribe, ...
KRyan's user avatar
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45 votes
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What are the consequences of giving an ASI or feat every 4 character levels instead of every 4 class levels?

It tips balance towards multiclassing Delaying the ASI or feat bonus is one of the detriments of multiclassing. It balances out the benefits of multiclassing. Giving ASI or feat for every 4 total ...
GcL's user avatar
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43 votes
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How can I tell how many damage dice to roll for an NPC's cantrip?

Spellcasting For the Spellcasting trait, you use the listed spellcaster level as read on page 10 of the Monster Manual: The spellcaster level is also used for any cantrips included in the feature. ...
David Coffron's user avatar
41 votes
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I am using milestone leveling, what happens when a character dies?

Ignore the level loss. It was a bad idea to begin with. D&D 3.5e handles split-level parties extremely poorly. The power gained in a single level can be unbelievably immense (typically, when a ...
KRyan's user avatar
  • 353k
39 votes
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Will it cause any balance problems to have PCs level up and gain the benefits of a long rest mid-fight?

This should make the fight easier You are correct that the xp allocation is similar between four 3rd level characters and eight second level characters. Be careful of things that could kill a 2nd ...
goodguy5's user avatar
  • 21.1k
37 votes

Why does the experience-to-next-level not change between some levels?

According to the game designer Mike Mearls the change in xp needed to the next level after 10 dips on purpose. The goal is that since according to their research most previous campaigns tended to stop ...
GMNoob's user avatar
  • 32.9k
37 votes

Is Bard level 20 utterly worthless, mechanically?

It's useless, if you mainly use Inspiration in combat This might seem like a strange statement, since Superior Inspiration triggers upon entering combat, but it's important to keep in mind how this ...
1600hp's user avatar
  • 6,422
37 votes

What does "An adventure for players levels 1-3" mean?

Your second statement is correct. The module expects that the player characters will start at 1st level and finish the module at 3rd level. Normally the module will provide guidance on how the players ...
Andrendire's user avatar
  • 11.9k
37 votes
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How is cantrip damage determined when cast by NPCs?

Use Challenge Rating. The introduction to the Monster Manual has a rule on page 10, under "Innate Spellcasting": [...] If a monster has a cantrip where its level matters and no level is ...
Thomas Markov's user avatar
36 votes

A player made a 4th-level character for our new game and didn't tell me. Now what?

The simplest solution for you would be to scale down their character to level 1. Here's how: Ability Scores. If the player took an Ability Score Increase at level 4, make them decrease those ...
daze413's user avatar
  • 28.6k
35 votes

Is this house-rule removing the increased effect of cantrips at higher character levels balanced?

This is not a good way to solve the problem you're trying to solve. What you're effectively moving towards is a "fun tax." You're balancing X% of gameplay at an overpowered level against Y% ...
AceCalhoon's user avatar
  • 45.3k
35 votes
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Is there a mechanic for lowering a character's level for a new campaign?

It's your character, just make it part of your story I don't think you actually need a true mechanic, which is good because 5e has no actual mechanics for XP loss or level drain. But the good news is, ...
NotArch's user avatar
  • 125k
34 votes

Are there rules for creating level 0 characters?

No, there are no such rules There are no official rules for this (yet), and it is also hardly the safest thing to do. You mention that there were plenty of opportunities for TPKs. This holds true for ...
Theik's user avatar
  • 36.4k
33 votes

Milestone leveling for a party of players who drop in and out?

Missing a session sucks. Falling behind because I missed a session sucks even more. When I DM for a group, at Session Zero I lay out this crucial principle: We all want to be there, so missing a ...
Thomas Markov's user avatar
32 votes

Do PCs understand the leveling system and its experience requirements?

The rules don't say. Specifically, let's note that "Beyond 1st Level" (PHB p.15) is really inconsistent in whether it's addressing the character ("increase your ability scores," ...
nitsua60's user avatar
  • 102k
32 votes

Are there rules for creating level 0 characters?

The Commoner I discovered this supplement published by the Wizards of the Coast for the adventure Hoard of the Dragon Queen that details the stats for a Commoner which may fit perfectly with your ...
NotArch's user avatar
  • 125k
31 votes
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Can certain classes replace cantrips with other spells when they level up?

RAW: No*, you can only replace spells of 1st level or higher *Unless you use optional rules from Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, see down below. Spells Known of 1st Level and Higher [...] ...
Rubiksmoose's user avatar
31 votes
Accepted

Are there rules for creating level 0 characters?

Yes, in an Adventurers League product DDAL-ELW00: What's Past Is Prologue uses pregenerated "level 0" characters, and offers guidelines useful for creating them. What follows is visible through the ...
Luka Itude's user avatar

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