System Reference Document

CAMPAIGN POWER LEVEL 

Roleplaying games are storytelling tools and reality simulators. While words like “campaign” and “power level” certainly resonate with roleplaying’s roots in tabletop wargaming, what this choice is really all about is what kind of story you want to use the DicePunk System to tell and what flavor of reality you want it to simulate. 

These factors will change from campaign to campaign, but once a GM decides on them for a given campaign, they shouldn’t be changed over the course of that campaign. Additionally, all PCs should absolutely be created at the same power level, so the GM and the players need to get on the same page about this before character generation begins in earnest. 

If you’re the GM, you should choose the Realistic/Literary Power Level if you want to run a gritty, low-level campaign where combat is extra lethal, failure is not uncommon, and the capabilities of human beings cleave closely to their real world equivalents. If you want to run an action-packed, over-the-top campaign where people are dodging bullets and jumping out of explosions, and where the laws of biology and physics are really more like suggestions, you should choose the Comic Book/Anime Power Level. If you want something somewhere in between, or you’re just not sure, the Cinematic (Default) Power Level is the best choice for you. 

If you’re familiar with Phantasm(2010), you know that it uses a modified version of this table where character power varies even more widely with “Badass Tier”. If you’re familiar with Psionics, you’ll notice that Espers are built at the default Cinematic (30 AP) power level, but with only one Technique Pick. 

Campaign Power Level

Starting AP

Starting Technique Picks

Base Unarmed Damage

Realistic/Literary

20

One

Strength (Subdual)

Cinematic (Default)

30

Will/2 (Round Up)

1d6 + Strength (Subdual)

Comic Book/Anime

40

Will

2d6 + Strength (Subdual)