Karma Rules

Karma Summary

The Karma system is a point based system that rewards players for support of the game outside of traditional “show up and play”. This system is based off the player’s actions (usually channeled through their character) and is not an immediate character reward. Thus, Karma points can be transferred from one character to another, should one character die or retire. It is the player’s responsibility to keep track of his Karma as well as inform the DM when he wishes to spend points. NPCs do not typically gain Karma.

I. How to Earn Karma
Karma is a reward to players and designed to encourage the roleplaying aspect and player support of gaming. In most cases combat is worth more XP than roleplaying, and while XP is given out for both, this system balances the experience combat offers with alternative paths for character improvement. Below are the possible ways to earn Karma:


  • Writing Submissions (Minimum: 425 Words / 2,000 characters is a really loose guidepost). The key here is to focus your journal entry on the character. This person is experiencing something: let that be known as if you were really writing it.

    • Character Background

    • Psychological Profile

    • Character Journals
  • Roleplaying

    • o Roleplaying is what make this game what it is. I run a dynamic, meta-campaign style game and as such the complexities of roleplaying will not only be evident, but hopefully very fun as well as beneficial in using this system.
  • DM Discretion

    • o If I determine an action or set of actions, by one or more player characters, makes for excellent gameplay, promotes a story arc or event (this DOES NOT imply artificial promotion will work), or enhances party interactions in a highly rewarding manner.

II. Adjusting Your Character
Karma can be spent to make corrections on a mistake you made with your character. Refocusing to swap character aspects takes from one day to one month of reflection or rest, depending on the nature of the change. Character background and psych profile descriptions makes this process easier to understand and as such reduce that time typically (this is, as usual, ALWAYS a DM call).

Character Aspect Effect Karma Cost
Class Feature Exchange on class feature/option for another 2
Feat Exchange one feat for another for which you qualify 3
Level Trade a class level or substitution level for another of either 6
Skill Trade ranks between two skills 1 per 2 Ranks
Spell Exchange one spell known for another 1*

III. Possible Ways to spend individually earned Karma
Activating the below abilities within combat is a standard action unless noted otherwise.

Karma Cost

Benefit

1 Karma Happen across a cure potion/cure affect. The potion’s/affects power is determined by character level, according to the chart below, with the minimum caster level. If my campaign is set during the time when divine magic is absent, this option is unavailable.

  • 1st – 4th: Cure Light Wounds
  • 5th – 8th: Cure Moderate Wounds
  • 9th – 12th: Cure Serious Wounds
  • 13th+: Cure Critical Wounds

Your character is walking down the winding dirt road and on a stroke of
luck notices an unbroken bottle tucked, almost hidden, beneath the shade
of a large tree.

1 Karma Gain a temporary +1 to attack rolls. This effect lasts for one gaming session. You may discharge this bonus at any time as an immediate action to gain a bonus equal to your character level on one critical hit confirmation. Additional karma may not be expended to stack this bonus in either of the afforded options.
As you raise your arm to strike a blow, an unseen force (perhaps your own will) guides your hand to strike more accurately.
1 Karma Recover a spell or spell slot already expended. This effect works only up to third level spells.
Your Fireball wreaks havoc on the approaching mob of enemies, sending many to the ground burnt or on fire, and an equal amount running for the hillside with screams of terror. You pause for a second, realizing the spell did not dissolve from your memory. It is time to finish this battle.
1 Karma Gain a temporary +1 to AC. This bonus stacks with all other AC bonuses. This effect lasts for one gaming session. You may discharge this bonus at any time as an immediate action to gain a bonus to your AC equal to your character level against one attack. Additional karma may not be expended to stack this bonus in either of the afforded options.
1 Karma Gain a temporary +2 to a skill. This bonus stacks with all other skill bonuses. This effect lasts for one gaming session. You may discharge this bonus at any time as an immediate action to gain a bonus on one skill check equal to the current ranks you have in that skill.
1 Karma Reroll any one die roll. Rerolling a save must be declared before the save is determined to have failed. Rerolling an attack must be made before an attack is declared a miss. For example, if you rolled an attack and the number was “3”, you are fairly sure that misses and may decide to reroll, as long as the DM has not officially declared the roll a miss. This may not be used to reroll hit points or on other Karmic abilities.
2 Karma Gain a temporary +1 to your lowest saving throw. This effect lasts for one gaming session. This is a universal bonus and thus stacks with all other save bonuses. This effect lasts for one gaming session. You may purchase this same bonus multiple times in one session for a cumulative +1 per additional buy. You may discharge this bonus at any time as an immediate action to gain a bonus on your lowest saving throw equal to your highest saving throw’s base save, up to a maximum of +10. The additional purchase(s) does not allow stacked discharges.
2 Karma Add a temporary +1 to the DC of spells you cast. This effect lasts for one gaming session. You may discharge this bonus at any time as a swift action to gain a bonus on your caster level equal to one half your caster level for one spell, up to a maximum of +5.
2 Karma Gamble up to 15% of earned XP; double or nothing. The maximum you are able to gamble is limited to a thousand experience points per character level. Gambling will occur as a roll-off with percentile dice: highest wins, best three out of five rolls. The rolls will be made by the person spending the karma and the DM. The person spending the karma must also be the person who is receiving the XP. You may only do this one time per session.
2 Karma Gain a temporary +2 to initiative rolls. This effect lasts for one gaming session. You may discharge this bonus at any time as an immediate action to negate an attack of opportunity against you.
2 Karma Reroll a hit die you rolled during level up. The new roll is only capable of rolling your maximum hit points -1, and there is no 25% minimum buffer. You may spend an additional Karma when purchasing this ability to perform a normal reroll with the 25% minimum buffer. You may only use this once per level.
3 Karma Gain a temporary +2 to one ability score. This effect lasts for one gaming session. You may only do this one time per session. For a while, you are physically stronger than your usual, a benefit probably resultant from the adrenalin of that last battle.
3 or 6 Karma Use an ability (Su, Ex, Sp, etc.) outside of your turn in combat as an immediate action, even if that ability would normally not count as an immediate action. For (6) karma a normally considered full-round action (be it an action or move-action equivalent) may be taken as an immediate action.
4 Karma Gain 1 skill rank in any one skill. This can allow you to exceed the normal rules maximum.
20 Karma Learn any one feat for which you meet the requirements currently.
25 Karma Choose one ability score such as strength, dexterity, constitution, and so on. Increase your stat in that score by 1, permanently.
500 Karma Your character becomes a God. You are a Karma whore. So you can win D&D afterall!

IV. How to Earn Story Karma

This different form of Karma is used by the entire group as a unit to purchase abilities that augment the group as a whole. The cost listed is a total cost and can only be purchased with Story Karma. Story Karma is a group reward based upon how well the group roleplays and works together in a manner keeping with the group dynamic, as determined by the DM.

The group dynamic is described as the overall functioning of the group relative to the intricate and complicated relationships of the individuals and how those relationships are manifested in terms of the nature of each person.

Story Karma can be earned in the following ways:

  • Writing Submissions – Group Incentive (all players have their character write-up’s completed by three days prior to the next gaming day: if you don’t know the next gaming day, it is your responsibility to ask and know)
  • Group Dynamics
    • It is important to understand the nuts and bolts of this. I am not looking for cohesion as much as I am looking for the realistic play of each individual in a group setting.
      Example: A captured soldier may possibly hold life-saving information regarding an as well captured companion. One person may feel that savagely brutal torture is appropriate and not an issue of morality or ethical concern whatsoever whereas another person in the party may be. I expect to see consistent and realistic roleplay as a group in dealing with these kinds of situations.
  • Gaming Resources
    • Supplying food/drink for everyone at a session
    • Donating a gaming aide to the group (communal book, initiative tracker, etc.)
    • Painting miniatures or bases on behalf of the DM
    • Assisting in some other manner not described above, but clearly beneficial to the game and its DM/players to some significant degree (as approved of in advance by the DM)

V. Possible Ways to Spend Story Karma
Activating the below abilities within combat is a standard action unless noted otherwise. These purchases must be decided upon by a simple majority of the group.

Karma Cost

Benefit

2 Karma Eliminates random encounters while the party rests overnight (8 hours); pre-made encounters are unaffected. You heal at double the natural healing rate while resting during this period. You sleep through the night, a welcome silence.
3 Karma Improve the weather by one step for up to a week. Unnatural conditions are unaffected.
5 Karma Ask whether an action will have a good or bad outcome, as the Augury spell, with the exception it always succeeds and can read into the future 12 hours. One character must be the subject of this ability and that character will receive the answer from their deity. You look to your nearest companion and ask him, “Won’t going into this cave be a bad idea in our condition?” Before he can answer, an echo – perhaps in your mind or perhaps from the active wind – answers “weal”, and you know then it will be a good idea.
6 Karma Increase the amount of treasure gained from a treasure roll by approximately 20%. This includes any situation in which the DM rolls (or pre-determines) treasure. Percentages added increase the likelihood of magical items found in a horde.
14 Karma Automatically win a battle, either by the monster retreating or outside means interfering. No experience is gained. DM’s discretion. This ability is instantaneous.
18 Karma Eliminate the cost of a Raise Dead or Resurrection spell being performed on a fallen party member. This covers the cost of the material component and the spellcasting service. A caster capable of performing the magic must still be located.
25 Karma Summon a powerful ally to assist you in a task of the group’s choosing. The ally’s CR is at least as high as the highest level party member. He stays as long as it takes to complete the task, within reason. The DM has final say over whether a creature would respond to your summons.
38 Karma Gain the benefit of a companion spirit.
55 Karma Spend all your remaining Karma. Rewind to the beginning of the current battle with a premonition of how the battle just went. Use this insight to sway the second battle, or avoid it completely.
80 Karma Give the DM permanent fumbleitis. All monsters now fumble on a natural 1 and on a natural 2. NPC’s (not monsters) pertinent to the storyline are immune to this disease.
125 Karma Gain a Halruaan Airship with a minimal crew and items capable to fly the ship on board, mounted and ready to use with the proper person capable of using them
150 Karma Gain a fully furnished Huge Castle worth 1,000,000 gold.
200 Karma Gain a town (or larger) with you as the leader. Population between 500 and 5,000 and includes a small retinue of guards, heroes, adventurers, and a variety of buildings. The population can grow. A fixed income can be established depending on tax levels introduced. Detailed construction and most specifics will be handled by the player. Funding for equipping guards with scrying or adding walls will be up to the player. NPCs will be rolled randomly, but they will fall within the average alignment of the contributing party. This city comes with one furnished mansion and tower worth a total of 150,000 gold or one furnished keep worth 150,000 gold.

Karma Rules

A Troubled Economy cpthero2