Classless Skills & Powers
Appendix B - Level 0 PCs
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Some players and DMs enjoy beginning their characters even earlier in life, before they have gained the considerable battery of skills that form a first-level player character. It can give players additional depth and reasoning behind their selected skill set, creating a more realistic and enjoyable character. Here is a set of optional rules for level 0 PCs using the classless character point system.
Zero-level PCs begin with 100 character points, plus the CP bonus for high Intelligence. From this number they should purchase their Racial Abilities and Required tree abilities. They can start low in the Required tree (40 CP minimum), because they can improve those skills before they reach first level, after which they are fixed for life according to the rules for the Required skill tree. Any leftover CP can be used to purchase other skills from early childhood, or saved for use during level 0 play. Players should purchase all the skills they will want from the Racial Abilities section at this time, as they will not be able to revisit that section later. At this point the character also gets their bonus CP for high Intelligence.
The PC then begins play with these skills. The player should roll hit points according to the level of Hit Die they purchased with their 100 CP. Play proceeds as normal - the DM simply takes care to scale the adventures such that a level 0 character can succeed. The Level 0 PC needs a total of 1000 XP to reach first level. For each 10 XP they gain, they earn a character point. Thus, after gaining the entire 1000 XP and reaching first level, they will be a normal 200 CP character (they began the process with 100 CP, remember).
During this period, the character can purchase skills from skill trees as usual. Additionally, they can upgrade their Required Tree skill purchases by simply paying the differential costs involved - for example, going from Rogue Hit Dice (20 CP) to Priest Hit Dice (30 CP) should cost 10 CP. Reroll hit points if the character's Hit Dice improve (the character should never lose hit points, however).
Remember that skills take time to learn - about a week per character point of dedicated training, according to the rules. Depending on how much of the character's skill improvement is self-achieved and how much is due to expert instruction, the Level 0 phase of the PC's career should take at least 1-2 years, even longer if they are slow at gaining XP or goof off instead of training.
When the character reaches first level, they should get the usual 20 CP award for gaining a level. This means that PCs played up from level 0 will start with 20 CP above what ordinary first-level characters would, fair recompense for the additional work done and experience gained. In all other ways, the characters grown from level 0 are identical to ordinary leveled characters in all respects, with the only exception being the increased sense of understanding and ownership the player has of their character after the experience.
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