Unearthed Arcana: A Hero's First Steps

One complaint false claim levied at 4th Edition "back in the day" was that you could not start out as, say, "a farmer that picked up a sword to fight orcs". Mind you nothing stopped you from stating that this was in your character's history, and in 3rd Edition this could only be done if you used a NPC class (though I do recall optional rules for 0-level characters Unearthed Arcana). Anyway for those of you itching to play a stripped down character while at the same time waiting for validation, well...WotC will meet you half way with an Unearthed Arcana article.

Like normal characters you start out with a character background, and aside from choosing a race in step 3 you do not get a whole lot; you get one at-will and skill based on a power source, you choose from two sets of ability scores instead of point buy, the only feats you get have to come from your race, and you get a smattering of gear with the option of picking one extra thing that costs 5 gp or less. Since you do not get a class, each at-will has a role kicker that you can activate by spending an "experience token", which you get after completing an encounter, making them similar to power points if you could stack them up between encounters.

This is an interesting set of optional rules that some people looking to try out characters that are less powerful than the norm, though "officially" they level up after a single adventure. It could be particularly fun for new players or groups that want to try and play out the pre-game events. If you are not sure, there is also an adventure centered on using these rules.

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