Campaign Power Level
Setting your campaign power level is a subtle decision, that will have large impacts on play at lower levels and noticeable impacts even at upper levels. Better stats for player characters are basically like campaign-wide permanent buffs. The very low stat point settings, such as the Low Fantasy game, tends to punish classes that benefit from lots of different good stats, while rewarding classes that rely mainly on a single stat. For example, Fighters want a good to excellent Str, Dex, Con and Wis. Wizards, on the other hand, want a superb Int and a little Dex.
To reflect the fact that there are two different tribes of classes, we have pre-built two classes of 'example' stats below. The 'Balanced' stat array has some good stats and some dump stats, but the buy points are 'spread around' to get as much good stuff as possible. The 'Specialist' stat array goes for the highest high stats, and dumps everything else.
As a point of order, we have carefully chosen and analyzed all of these power levels! 43 points for ManaPunk is not just a random number, and was chosen as a good balance point between high and low stats. Even the 'scary good' Industrial Magic power level still has very definite dump stats, although the other goodies more than make up for it!
The 'balanced' and 'specialist' stat arrays were included as examples, and if referees prefer, they may be given to players to use for their characters. This lets players skip the 'choosing stats' step of character creation, and assures that nobody is going to make any 'whoops' mistakes. All arrays below are built using the 'basic' racial mods of +2 on two stats and -2 on one stat. In addition, when we 'bought down' a stat to gain back some stat points, we did not buy down the same stat we applied the racial modifier against.
Caution! As a result of these design decisions, all of the arrays presented here are built with fairly heavy dump stats! The design goal is to assure that characters are both capable and mighty, but also flawed and interesting to play. If players don't want dump stats this heavy, they should assign their own points!
Contents
Using Power Levels to Adjust Game Difficulty
Campaign Power Levels are a subtle way in which referees may 'fine tune' the difficulty of Epic Path. The 28 point Epic Fantasy power level assumes you have experienced players of D20 system games who are interested in being combat effective, but not necessarily a table full of power-gamers who haunt the optimization boards. IE, the standard level of Epic Path players are assumed to be experienced players who like a variety of things.
If you have a table of highly experienced gamers who ARE all interested in being as mighty as possible, you can 'handicap' them a little by instead having them use the 'Low Fantasy' array of stats. This will effectively lower all stat-affected aspects of play by 1 or 2. This will handily challenge such highly optimized players and keep the challenge rating about where it should be. If you're really worried about a crew of power gamers overwhelming the game system, remove the use of action points. This sets the game to SERIOUS hard mode, so be ready!
If, on the other hand, you have a table of new players who forget to have anybody play a healer, you might want to be merciful and let them roll using the Manapunk set of stats, or even higher. This will effectively give the entire party five +1 items 'baked in' to their stats. Epic Path played in such a way will allow even very 'fluffy' tables of players get all the role-playing they want while also letting them tackle the crunchy combats of Epic Path without fear of wiping out every time. It is also strongly recommended that less experienced players use the Action Point system, and you should remind them to use the action points frequently. A new set comes with every encounter, so use them freely!
Note: These settings are not punishment for the players, by the way. We want Epic Path to be FUN, first and foremost. Ask your players about it! If they want to have a delightful romp with less risky moments, then by all means, increase the power level a bit! If they want a bit of 'survival horror' in their adventures, then turn it down a little. Remember: The goal is always to have fun.
The Grim World
Existence is a wretched struggle, poor nutrition and little to no magic meaning nobody thrives, physically. To be a hero in a Grim World campaign is a big deal!
- Stat Points: 6
- Players may buy one stat below 10 and adjust one stat below 10 with racial modifiers.
- Players may not buy a stat above 18, but may modify a stat above 18 with a racial modifier.
- No Player Character stat may go below a 7 or above a 20 at campaign start.
- Balanced Array: 14, 13, 12, 10, 10, 7
- Racial adjustments typically reach: 16, 15, 12, 10, 8, 7
- Specialist Array: 16, 10, 10, 10, 10, 7
- Racial adjustments typically reach: 18, 12, 10, 10, 8, 7
- Array analysis
- Balanced Array with racial mods has a max bonus of +3, total bonus of +6, max penalty of -2, total penalty of -3, and a Net Strength of +3
- Specialist Array with racial mods has a max bonus of +4, total bonus of +5, max penalty of -2, total penalty of -3, and a Net Strength of +2
- SPECIAL NOTE: With no odd numbers in any positive stats, the Specialist Array will not benefit from improved stats until level eight.
Low Fantasy
The world is new, magic is rare, life is brutish, nasty, and short.
- Stat Points: 10
- Players may buy one stat below 10 and adjust one stat below 10 with racial modifiers.
- Players may not buy a stat above 18, but may modify a stat above 18 with a racial modifier.
- No Player Character stat may go below a 7 or above a 20 at campaign start.
- Balanced Array: 14, 14, 13, 11, 10, 7
- Racial adjustments typically reach: 16, 16, 13, 11, 8, 7
- Specialist Array: 16, 13, 11, 10, 10, 7
- Racial adjustments typically reach: 18, 15, 11, 10, 8, 7
- Array analysis
- Balanced Array with racial mods has a max bonus of +3, total bonus of +7, max penalty of -2, total penalty of -3, and a Net Strength of +4
- Specialist Array with racial mods has a max bonus of +4, total bonus of +6, max penalty of -2, total penalty of -3, and a Net Strength of +3
Standard Fantasy
Heroes are rare, adventures are grim affairs, magic is common but usually small in effect and has...downsides.
- Stat Points: 15
- Players may buy one stat below 10 and adjust one stat below 10 with racial modifiers.
- Players may not buy a stat above 18, but may modify a stat above 18 with a racial modifier.
- No Player Character stat may go below a 7 or above a 20 at campaign start.
- Balanced Array: 15, 14, 14, 12, 10, 7
- Racial adjustments typically reach: 17, 16, 14, 12, 8, 7
- Specialist Array: 18, 12, 10, 10, 10, 7
- Racial adjustments typically reach: 20, 14, 10, 10, 8, 7
- Array analysis
- Balanced Array with racial mods has a max bonus of +3, total bonus of +9, max penalty of -2, total penalty of -3, and a Net Strength of +6
- Specialist Array with racial mods has a max bonus of +5, total bonus of +7, max penalty of -2, total penalty of -3, and a Net Strength of +4
- SPECIAL NOTE: With no odd numbers in any positive stats, the Specialist Array will not benefit from improved stats until level eight.
High Fantasy
Heroes are not rare, adventures and the world are techni-colored and vibrant. Magic is common and powerful, wizards and monsters stride the earth like titans. .
- Stat Points: 20
- Players may buy one stat below 10 and adjust one stat below 10 with racial modifiers.
- Players may not buy a stat above 18, but may modify a stat above 18 with a racial modifier.
- No Player Character stat may go below a 7 or above a 20 at campaign start.
- Balanced Array: 16, 15, 14, 12, 10, 7
- Racial adjustments typically reach: 18, 17, 14, 12, 8, 7
- Specialist Array: 18, 15, 10, 10, 10, 7
- Racial adjustments typically reach: 20, 17, 10, 10, 8, 7
- Array analysis
- Balanced Array with racial mods has a max bonus of +4, total bonus of +10, max penalty of -2, total penalty of -3, and a Net Strength of +7
- Specialist Array with racial mods has a max bonus of +5, total bonus of +8, max penalty of -2, total penalty of -3, and a Net Strength of +5
Epic Fantasy
Heroes are common, magic is everywhere, epic battles happen most summers, adventures spill into other planes, the world bursts with awesome. The assumed 'default' level for Epic Path. Choosing lower or higher levels WILL impact your play experience!
- Stat Points: 28
- Players may buy one stat below 10 and adjust one stat below 10 with racial modifiers.
- Players may not buy a stat above 18, but may modify a stat above 18 with a racial modifier.
- No Player Character stat may go below a 7 or above a 20 at campaign start.
- Balanced Array: 16, 16, 15, 14, 10, 7
- Racial adjustments typically reach: 18, 18, 15, 14, 8, 7
- Specialist Array: 18, 17, 12, 10, 10, 7
- Racial adjustments typically reach: 20, 19, 12, 10, 8, 7
- Array analysis
- Balanced Array with racial mods has a max bonus of +4, total bonus of +12, max penalty of -2, total penalty of -3, and a Net Strength of +9
- Specialist Array with racial mods has a max bonus of +5, total bonus of +10, max penalty of -2, total penalty of -3, and a Net Strength of +7
Magical Adventure
Magic becomes as commonplace as electricity. Surprisingly less extravagant because it's so common, but when the fighting begins, watch out.
- Stat Points: 35
- Players may buy one stat below 10 and adjust one stat below 10 with racial modifiers.
- Players may not buy a stat above 18, but may modify a stat above 18 with a racial modifier.
- No Player Character stat may go below a 7 or above a 20 at campaign start.
- Balanced Array: 17, 16, 15, 14, 10, 10
- Racial adjustments typically reach: 19, 18, 15, 14, 10, 8
- Specialist Array: 18, 18, 14, 10, 10, 7
- Racial adjustments typically reach: 20, 20, 14, 10, 8, 7
- Array analysis
- Balanced Array with racial mods has a max bonus of +4, total bonus of +12, max penalty of -1, total penalty of -1, and a Net Strength of +11
- Specialist Array with racial mods has a max bonus of +5, total bonus of +12, max penalty of -2, total penalty of -3, and a Net Strength of +9
- SPECIAL NOTE: With no odd numbers in any positive stats, the Specialist Array will not benefit from improved stats until level eight.
ManaPunk
Like steam punk/victorian age/gaslight adventures, only with magic. Magic isn't just as common as electricity, it's as common as electricity and better at everything.
- Stat Points: 43
- Players may buy one stat below 10 and adjust one stat below 10 with racial modifiers.
- Players may not buy a stat above 18, but may modify a stat above 18 with a racial modifier.
- No Player Character stat may go below a 7 or above a 20 at campaign start.
- Balanced Array: 17, 16, 16, 14, 14, 10
- Racial adjustments typically reach: 19, 18, 16, 14, 14, 8
- Specialist Array: 18, 18, 16, 11, 10, 8
- Racial adjustments typically reach: 20, 20, 16, 11, 8, 8
- Array analysis
- Balanced Array with racial mods has a max bonus of +4, total bonus of +15, max penalty of -1, total penalty of -1, and a Net Strength of +14
- Specialist Array with racial mods has a max bonus of +5, total bonus of +14, max penalty of -1, total penalty of -2, and a Net Strength of +12
Industrial Magic
Like Star Wars. With magic. Flying ships are the norm, teleporters in houses, miraculous healing is readily available, weaponry is fearsome, there is little want.
- Stat Points: 51
- Players may buy one stat below 10 and adjust one stat below 10 with racial modifiers.
- Players may not buy a stat above 18, but may modify a stat above 18 with a racial modifier.
- No Player Character stat may go below a 7 or above a 20 at campaign start.
- Balanced Array: 18, 16, 16, 15, 15, 10
- Racial adjustments typically reach: 20, 18, 16, 15, 15, 8
- Specialist Array: 18, 18, 18, 12, 10, 8
- Racial adjustments typically reach: 20, 20, 18, 12, 8, 8
- Array analysis
- Balanced Array with racial mods has a max bonus of +5, total bonus of +16, max penalty of -1, total penalty of -1, and a Net Strength of +15
- Specialist Array with racial mods has a max bonus of +5, total bonus of +15, max penalty of -1, total penalty of -2, and a Net Strength of +13
- SPECIAL NOTE: With no odd numbers in any positive stats, the Specialist Array will not benefit from improved stats until level eight.