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D&D 3E
low level PC / high level party 
13th-Dec-2004 03:46 pm
i'm dm'ing for a party of players who will soon be 6th level. at or about that time, i'll be passing the reigns to one of the players so he can take a turn DMing and I can take a turn playing. i'm glad of this because i much prefer playing, although i enjoy both. anyway i want to play a bard and when i play a new character i prefer to start at first level. he says i can start at 6th level to match the other PC's or first if i prefer. i can't decide. my puny first level bard would die pretty fast once the arrows start flying in an EL6 encounter, but i like to grow into my character and if i do survive, i'll level up pretty quickly compared to the others, because of the high level encounters. i can't decide what to do. i suppose i could try to avoid fighting as much as possible. i still think i'll die almost immediately, but i want to try it. not sure. what do you think?
13th-Dec-2004 08:59 pm (UTC)
Split the difference? Start at level 3 or 4 to give you some survivability (especially when the level 6 guys shower you with good gear), but that will still give you some range to grow the character organically.
13th-Dec-2004 08:59 pm (UTC)
What about a monster with an Ecl 5? Then you could play a 1st level bard but be compatable with a 6th level party.
13th-Dec-2004 09:02 pm (UTC)
well, i'm not really worried about the math. EC5, 6, 4, even 3, point is, if i fight what they've been fighting as a first level PC, i'm toast.
13th-Dec-2004 11:36 pm (UTC)
You could poison the other characters and kill them, so everyone is starting off at first level. (Although you might gain a level for knocking off the whole party :P )

Seriously, why not start your character at 4th-6th level, but write up all of his "past exploits"? I usually have my players do that regardless of how high their level is. Your DM will appreciate all of the story hooks :)
14th-Dec-2004 12:10 am (UTC)
They're level two spells, but I had a bard who cast Invisibility and used Silent Image to make a decoy of himself.
14th-Dec-2004 12:32 am (UTC)
You can try to keep your head down in EL6 encounters, with a cooperative party you should be able to survive. But you'll be a drag on the party's ability to fight and enough themselves to some degree.

You can develop your character to a great degree by working up his background. Getting as detailed as you want. Work out what major BBEGs he fought along the way to get to 6th level, and how he changed at each level, and such.
14th-Dec-2004 10:27 am (UTC)
Here is a thought:

First create your PC as a first-level character. Then roll your hit points for the additional levels. But instead of getting added to your normal hit point pool, they are added to how deeply he can get into negative hit points before he dies. So if he would get, say, 27 hit points for five additional levels of bard, he would die only if he reached -37 hit points, as opposed to -10. Once you increase your level by one, subtract those additional hit points from your "negative pool" and add them to your total hit points.

This means that your character will get knocked over soon (and the other PCs will make lots of jokes about it), but the chances of him actually dying are very low indeed...
14th-Dec-2004 02:44 pm (UTC)
i like that idea a lot. another idea presented to me by one of the players was, i should multi-class. I want to start my bard at first level. she says i should take several levels of fighter and one level of bard and start from there. that actually works with my character concept so i think that might be how i do it.
20th-Dec-2004 08:15 pm (UTC)
In the game I play in we had this situation and really it worked out fine. With a bard you could just stand back and inspire courage and give everyone else bonuses. Take shield spells and such to drop on the higher level players and just be a sort of assistant for a while. I think it's interesting to role play, because the other characters will get in their head that your 1st level char is a wimp, and have to chage their opinion once you catch up. So it's an interesting internal drama within the party.
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