When 5E D&D was announced and the D&D next playtest became available my group jumped on it. We've played our fair share or it. We really enjoy the underlining system, there is a great deal of what we like. It was even the first game that I got a chance to be a player in a very long time.
But there has always been something about 5E that doesn't sit right with me.
I am currently running a 13th age campaign, a game I really enjoy and my players all find very enjoyable. I also recently read through the newly released Pathfinder 2nd edition. And I feel like both games have really shined a spotlight on one of the things that I like the least about the 5th edition of dungeons & dragons. The lack of customizability and options at level 1.
The first three levels of 5E, along with character creation are so unimpressive. Much like character creation are very uninspiring. Besides a few minor choices all characters look pretty much the same, any two characters of the same class have very little that distinguishes them. Sure they may have different a racial ability and different backgrounds, a few skills and possibly a feat different. but by and large characters of the same class feel pretty much the same for the first three levels of play. so much so that it has actually been recommended that players start at level three or four, even hinted at by the designers of the game.
As has been pointed out many times, most D&D games do not make it past 12 level. I would say in our groups experience this is true. And I will admit to my personal bias to enjoying lower level play. While I run my 13th Age game I plan to do some changes to 5E, make the game I plan to run when/if (and I'm sure we will) my group does jump back to play 5E D&D.
One of my ideas is to condense all the fifth edition down to only 10 levels, but that is a different blog post.
There are two unearthed arcana articles, that are critical to my new design choice. One is the release of the racial feats. The other is skill feats.
All characters at level one get a general feat. All characters at level one get a racial feat. All characters at level one get a skill feat that makes sense to either their racial heritage or their background.
That's it. I believe this is enough to add a greater degree of character customization. Making beginning characters more interesting and unique. It does add a small amount of power to the characters, but not much in my opinion.
As always, comments and criticisms welcome.