Power vs Edge

I am not sure what terminology others use for this, but I will use Power vs Edge.

In a Power based campaign, there’s a distinct power difference between characters and their foes. Frequently planning is unnecessary, and the characters can rely on their power and simply out-classing their opponents.

There is a distinct difference, with the PCs being “different” to their targets. For instance in DnD characters have Player Character Levels which are superior to NPC Levels or Monster Hit Dice…enemies in a Power game are simply not in the same league as the PCs.

Example: Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi is a freakin’ Jedi and the Stormtroopers are just not a match for him.

A Power based approach would suit games such as:

In an Edge based campaign, characters have only an edge only not an overwhelming power advantage. Such campaigns have a built in disincentive for combat since combat is deadlier, healing times longer, etc. Characters are “on the same level” as their foes.

The edge includes things like freedom to choose their own combat style, their own gear (not only standard issue), and so on…in other words things that make the characters interesting individuals. Planning and tactics are much more important in such a campaign, as well.

Meanwhile the NPCs are constructed using the same rules and game mechanics (but maybe less options and less points).

Example: The characters in the remake of Battlestar Galactica. A few get wounded and need actual medical treatment and recovery time. Some die. Some have lasting injuries. Some have trouble coping with the psychological impact. Awesome-sauce all the way.

An Edge based approach would suit games such as:

To me both campaign types have value. However there is the problem of one player used to one or the other needing to adjust. A character laying intricate Shadowrun style plans for a Pathfinder game is just wasting time. Similarly a character used to Power style games would fare poorly in a game such as Albedo where combat can be exceedingly dangerous, and most characters are “out of the fight” after a single hit.

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Power vs Edge

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