For anyone who's ever played an RPG, it brings on ton of mixed emotions. It brings excitement--that first rush of adventure, as kobolds or skeletons fell beneath your sword. It brings fear--memories of being so fragile, so frail, that those very kobolds or skellies might bring you to your knees (oh, the horror!). And, for some, it brings outright frustration, particularly for anyone who played a 1st level wizard, and could be taken out (legitimately!) by a housecat.
It's been absolutely ages since I've actually played in a campaign starting at 1st level. Most of the games that I run, or have been involved in, have been starting at a low-middle level, in what this Age of 4e has been calling "late heroic tier". Mainly, this was to avoid those last two issues: no one wanted to play a game in which you could be ganked by a tiny little lizardman with a loincloth and a stick.
So, when Chris II took over the GMing reins, I was a little shocked and...well, nervous. While he mentioned wanting to start the "actual" campaign at 6th level, he wanted to run a few flashback sessions, starting us at 1st level. It had been so long...and my concept for Cyrid was one for a scarred veteran...and first level sucked, right?
I'm happy to say I was wrong.
Yes, level 1 brings its own challenges, but it's spectacular to go back to it--to the core of what D&D is: setting out on an adventure with your good friends, not knowing what might be around the next corner, finding that first +1 weapon, and having fun.
We just hit level 2 at the end of last week's session, and Cyrid actually came away with the first magic item of the game. (Sometimes it helps to be the only character wearing heavy armor, it seems!) We're marching our way off to the actual Keep on the Shadowfell, and my Valenar warrior already has a vendetta out on a betrayer-elf named Nynerin.
Can't wait to see how it turns out!