Anyone else want to play one power source campaigns?

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Originally I accidentally posted this in the classes forums:

I think that an all martial, all-divine, all-arcane, or all-primal party and/or campaign would be very interesting.


The nation's wizard's guild have sent 4 of their best to investigate unknown magical surges in a distant land. It turns out to be a super race of arcane warriors who are on the rampage to destroy the world.

the party: a Swordmage, a Warlock, a Wizard, and a Bard.


Civil war has torn apart the nomad tribes of the Northern Wastelands. The only hope is to destroy the Warlord Madoq who has some sort of supernatural charming hold over his people and who is also raising his dead warriors to fight as undead. The other tribes gather together and choose four of their best to fight Madoq and his army:

the party: a Barbarian, Primal Blaster (striker), Sorceror (primal controller), and a Druid (primal leader)

Just sounds like this kind of campaign makes some very interesting ways to put certain characters together.

What do you all think?
I had just posted it in the Warlock thread as something to show how laws and society are part of pacts. But could work very well here too.

A society/Kingdom where everyone at the age of 15 goes into a pact with a twin Infernal being. This pact-making is done while being watched over by a mentor and using a traditional pact agreement.

You could in this world then have a society of all Warlocks, which would make sense.
I think it's a great style of play.

Even if you went all one class it would be VERY interesting. Let's say.. all mages.

- A mage who wanted to be a stronger warrior would take things like toughness, and weapon, armor, combat feats.

- One who wanted to be stealthy might take Skill Focus: Move Silently, Hide in Shadows.

- One who wanted to go pure magic would take the standard wizard feats.


My only word of caution is that you should be very aware of the dangers you set against this party. You're changing the system fairly radically. Combat encounters would have to be tweaked appropriately.. and DCs would have to be adjusted to account for the fact that a wizard could never have non-Class skill equivalent to a class that possessed it.

Also, since it's going to be 4th Edition given your terminology. It seems like any class will be allowed to take a kind of Skill Set that allows them to dip into other classes. I'm not sure how it will work exactly (there might be more learned forum goers that do) but it could create Wizards with "Cleric Skill Set" allowing for even a healer, or fighter, or rogue "type" for your party.

You would still all be wizards, or all be part of the arcane power source, but dipping would make it so the characters could seperate themselves even further apart while maintaining the theme.

Good stuff, and good luck.
I would suggest that this would be acceptable to do after the first splat book for the power source and enough classes with different roles was represented.

This type of all one class of campaign was done in 2e with the Wizard, Cleric, Thief, and Fighter series of modules.

The key is to have enough variety for the group of players to feel that they can still branch out and choose something that appeals to them to play and not create a series of almost duplicate copies.

For example, the Arcane power source will start with the Warlock and Wizard. You would want the Bard and the SwordMage to round out the group of choices plus possible alternate choices to the initial selections that you might find in an Arcane power splat book.

For example, I am thinking something along the lines of the complete Mage book that offered ways to modify several of the classes to give them a more magical feel or usage. It also provided a few different starting packages and options.

Still, the idea is quite workable and could be very fun.
I don't think you are really changing the system to play a campaign or party with one power source because your party could still have a character to fill each role.

Of course as was posted, it will become more viable once the appropriate splat book comes out for that particular power source.
My only word of caution is that you should be very aware of the dangers you set against this party. You're changing the system fairly radically. Combat encounters would have to be tweaked appropriately.. and DCs would have to be adjusted to account for the fact that a wizard could never have non-Class skill equivalent to a class that possessed it.

It wouldn't touch the assumptions because each power source will have the full spectrum of roles.

And yes, i can't wait to do all divine and all psionic games.
I am seriously considering the possibility of using martial power source only. And everything else will be avalable through multy-classing/class training according to campaign events (you find a magic book - you can learn a rite or a spell or a prayer, you can make a pact in some forgotten temple, your god can give you power to work miracles for you great faith and so on).
I'd love to run a game of that nature. Particularly the Arcane, Martial and later Psionic. There is an awesome thread with theories on martial controllers. Check out the ideas for the 'Dragoon.' A reach weapon specialisit. I think the idea has merit.
We are right now playing in a 3.5 gestalt game where the PCs all have wizard or sorceror as one half their gestalt build (we are the faculty at a wizard's college).

So a single power source game would be a good update to that game, and would be really cool. Once we have the Swordmage and some arcane leader (possibly the Bard) then we'll be pretty good (though the two wizard/druids and the wizard/monk might need to change their concepts slightly to adapt).

But it sounds a lot more viable than in 3rd edition or before. An all arcane party in 3rd ed needed a Hexblade or Duskblade, an Arcan Trickster/Unseen Seer/Spellthief and some sort of arcane healing (Bard or Arcane Disciple feat). And even then the party was poorly arranged for certain encounters that should be easy. But in 4th ed, each role will be filled by a class made to fill that role, so we'll be good.

Except, of course, that the designers don't intend to fill out the chart with every possible combination of role and power source. They've stated that a martial controller is unlikely to ever be published by WotC, for example. And in the 1st PHB we only have an arcane controller.

It is possible to remove either martial or divine characters from the game, with just the 1st PHB. You could have a party with Warlord, Fighter, Rogue or Ranger or Warlock and a Wizard but no Clerics or Paladins. This will help if you have a campaign world with gods who are less hands on, or want a more swords and sorcery style. Removing martial power source from the campaign world would help those people upset by how Tome of Battle defies real world physics, as everyone's powers would be based on magic instead of action movie like superhuman levels of skill.
Yeah, single power source campaign might have excellent purpose and character driven-ness by the amount of PC-to-PC connection.

A Divine power source "crusade" would be possible, a truly martial band of mercs or bandits or wandering swordsmen can now be possible. Psi will be cool, Shadow would be cool, Nature or "Primal" would be cool, Ki would be cool.

Really, this is due to two factors:
1) each power source will (eventually) have at least 1 Defender, Striker, Controller, and Leaders. So, regardless of the power source chosen, there is diversity. This allows players to feel unique about their PCs capabilities and "mesh" well in having their PC support the broad needs of a party.

But mostly...
2) Healing surges. Everyone has healing now.
With 4e rules being even more elegant than 3.x in structure, these kinds of campaigns should only be easier to run.

You could do it before, sure, but now there's some things now that really make it more practical from a "running the campaign" perspective.

The presentation of multiple power sources, all on even playing fields, stronger low level characters, and healing being significantly more available make these sorts of campaigns simply more playable, especially a martial campaign, which was probably the weakest, mechanically, pre-4e.

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I like that idea quite a lot.

In 3.5, I would always argue with my players that they shouldn't tell each other what class they intended to play when we were starting a new campaign and creating new PCs, because I knew they would not select the same class twice , and would make sure that the party was 'balanced' to cover all possibilities. As much as it is fun to have a fighter-wizard-cleric-rogue party or variants with equivalent classes, as a DM it would be nice to run games from time to time when the party consists only of bards, or maybe at least only spellcasters, for example.

Unfortunately, it will be difficult with the PH1 to create a party based around only 1 source power such as the OP suggested, but the low number of available classes might improve the chances of having a party consisting of many of the same classes.
The only issue I can see with this is the fact that WotC isn't going to fill all possible roles. If you are comfortable homebrewing classes, however, it should be fine. That said, waiting until the PHB2 and several Power books have been released might be a good idea, if only to widen the areas that different source/role combos can cover.
Since I prefer my campaigns to be low-magic, the idea of a Conan-esqe martial campaign would be very, very well as putting wizards back in their place as power-mad, demon-summoning bad guys.
I must say, I am also on board with the whole one power source idea. I probably won't do it on my firs campaign, but I definitely will keep it in mind. And thus far, I can't think of a power source I don't want to try. I think my first **** genius game will either be a martial "mage mash" or a "divine crusade." The would both fit into my world I'm creating quit nicely.
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