Karma Points

Should have spent a Karma Point!

Karma Points are a renewable pool of points that you can spend to automatically succeed an upcoming check or redo a failed roll. Each adventure, you receive a number of Karma Points equal to your base Karma Pool plus one-half your character level (to a minimum of 0 Karma Points). This pool of Karma Points ‘refreshes’ at the start of each new adventure session.

Only PCs and significant NPCs will possess Karma Points. Most creatures and NPCs (including henchmen and retainers) do not have a Karma Pool.

Base Karma Pool

A character’s base Karma Pool is determined by adding together all his Ability Scores and the total compared to the value on the table below. A character’s raw scores are used for this calculation, prior to any modifications for race, mutations, level benefits, etc.

This method for determining the Karma Pool helps to keep characters balanced with one another. In game terms, PCs with significant deficiencies have had to rely on Karma for their success. Conversely, particularly gifted characters may have been ‘forced’ into a life of adventure because of various mishaps.

Karma Pool Modifier *

Ability Total Karma Points
63 or under +5
64-65 +4
66-68 +3
69-71 +2
72-75 +1
76-79 0
80-83 -1
84-86 -2
87-89 -3
90-91 -4
92 or above -5

* Base Karma Points are equal to one-half character level.

Most characters will start with a few Karma Points. A negative modifier to your base Karma Pool indicates that the character will need to gain levels before being able to spend Karma Points. A PC with a base Karma Pool of -3, for example, has to reach 8th level before gaining a Karma Point.

Experience level bonuses to Ability Scores do not impact a character’s Karma Pool. Nor do modifiers for race (for a Pure Human, for example) or mutations. Permanent changes to Ability Scores from other sources will affect a character’s Karma Pool, however, which is then recalculated at the start of each adventure session.

Using Karma Points

Karma Points can be used in the following circumstances:

  • A character can spend a Karma Point before making an Attack, a Saving Throw, Technology Roll, or Ability Check. When a Karma Point is spent prior to the roll, the check is considered an automatic success.
  • A Karma Point can also be spent after a failed check to force a reroll. You may take the best result, but you don’t get an automatic success when a Karma Point is spent in this way.
  • When an opponent makes an Attack or other roll which directly affects the player character, you can spend a Karma Point to force the referee to roll twice and accept the worse result.

Note: Generally, in the online game the referee will automatically assume that you will spend a Karma Point if it will prevent imminent character death. In less dire circumstances, you can ask to spend a Karma Point as part of your comment to a post. The referee will either apply the result to the previous post or incorporate it into the next post (depdending on circumstances).

Regaining Karma Points

A character’s Karma Point pool refreshes each new adventure session. Characters may sometimes also gain Karma Points as reward for good play during an adventure (at the referee’s discretion).

(The Expedition to the Barrier Peaks is considered a single adventure session for the purpose of Karma Points. Karma is a fairly rare quantity in the game – be careful how you spend it.)


  1. As I mention elsewhere, this is a house rule that I’ve used in one way or another for all my online games. Karma Points help balance PCs and are also used to ensure that the story moves along in a compelling manner.

  2. I might just be that it is quite late. But I was checking the Karma Points of everyone and several the values don’t add up with the table.

    Apollo has 6 Karma, by my calculations he should only have 4. Level 6/2 = 3 + 1 (from 72 Ability points) = 4

    Am I missing something here? Some of the other character appear to have too little.

  3. Nope; Apollo’s good at 6 Karma points.

    Karma Points are calculated using your *base* ability scores (from 1st level), before adjustments for race or level. So Apollo uses 68 instead of 72 (since he gained +4 points from levels).

    (There is a reason for this system: Otherwise Pure Humans get screwed for Karma Points, and you get ‘penalized’ for ability score increases compared to combat bumps from the level bonuses.)

  4. Doh! I’m sorry for mentioning it. I completely forgot about the Ability Points increases from leveling up. :-p

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