Originally Posted by Anderlith
Let me put this another way maybe? It's all about relative competence
Cop = NPC townguard
Average Soldier (after maybe one tour in war) or a well decorated cop = What I'd like to see as the basis for a level one character
Special Forces = 4e's level of competency of a level one character
I want my player's to feel mortal & like something mundane can kill them. It makes them act realistically to the world & to act a lot smarter about fighting foes.
That sounds fine. My problem is with the idea that low level characters should be afraid of everything because they have so few hit points. Even a low-level character should not be seriously threatened by a giant rat...that's like your soldier coming back from a tour in war and getting killed by a corgi! I'm not a skilled combatant by any means but I'm fairly certain that it'd take a large number of corgis to seriously injure me unless there were some pretty extreme circumstances.
The disease that rats may be carrying, however, is an entirely different matter.