Zero to Zero

“Zero to Hero” is a common genre fiction and gaming trope. It’s shorthand for the Hero’s Journey, the plot beats that every epic fantasy story is required by law to hit. Dungeons & Dragons hits this trope especially hard, with many gamemasters and players threatening a full-scale revolt if level 1 isn’t full of weak and frail characters.

There’s folks who clamor for a level-0, where player characters are even weaker. The hell is up with that?

Sometimes this comes from players, who like the Zero to Hero path, who want to feel like they’ve earned their skills and powers. Which is ridiculous on the face of it. You put yourself through the misery of incompetence and failure so you can write “+better at killing” on a piece of paper?

Look; the level title (remember those) for the Fighter nee Fighting-Man in Original Dungeons & Dragons is Veteran. The player characters are by default larger than life.