View Full Version : Variant Paragon (p.e.a.c.h)

2007-05-24, 01:32 AM
Paragon: n. a model or pattern of excellence.

The paragon template as described in the Epic Level Handbook is one of the most frequented topics dealing with epic level play. The majority of the time these conversations deal with the level/CR adjustment the template offers, or its usefulness in creating power builds. However it is generally accepted that the template works fairly well, and as intended, which is to boost the CR of creatures to allow more options for epic level play.

Not to diminish the current template, I am offering this variant to fill the same function (but to a lesser degree), and to match more precisely with what I perceive as the ramifications of the flavor text presented in with the original template.

Paraphrasing the flavor text in the Epic Level Handbook: A paragon creature is the finest member of its species, the panicle of perfection. This creature is likely the result evolution over a great length of time, or the mold on which all of its kind were formed. what I construed from this is that a paragon represents the absolute potential a member of its species can hope to strive for, across all possible categories simultaneously. Conversely, while a paragon is able to perform at peak for a member of its species its does not actually exceed the maximum “out-put” for its kind in any one area.

This brings me to the point of my contention with the original template. When I applied the template to a basic human, rather then the result being “the absolute potential for a human” I got something much more akin to a “super-human”. Not satisfied I decided to crunch some numbers (out-lined bellow) to generate something more to my liking. Please examine the operations and offer any comment that would be constructive.

Establishing a baseline:

Key assumption: Olympic quality/ professional athletes represent approximately peak physical performance for Human beings.

Note: if you disagree please comment on such before moving on to the rest of the article.

To start this analysis, let’s begin at the most easily quantifiable characteristic of a character in dnd, its ability scores. Standard humans have a stat array consisting of 11s and 10s as per the srd, normally in the following configuration 11/11/11/10/10/10. However to use this as a baseline would be incorrect as all paragon creatures would in fact be “elites” having better than average base ability scores. Using a 27 point-buy to generate an analogous array we get: 13/13/13/12/12/12.

The most easily quantified of the ability scores is strength, mostly due to the carrying capacity table being dependent only on size and str. Current world records for the clean and jerk (life over head) and dead lift (lift off ground) are about 500lb and 1000lb respectively. According to the table this requires a strength score of about 22. Applying simple subtraction 22-13 = 9, the paragon should have an adjustment to his str score of +9 (this is an odd number, but this is forgivable as the original template also has an odd adjustment of +15).

The real difficultly comes with the other ability scores, as they are not as easily quantified and have many interdependencies, but seeing as Wotc simply applied +15 to all ability scores originally, this implies equivalence between all the abilities. Following suit I do the same and apply +9 to all yielding: 22/22/22/21/21/21 this I find satisfactory.

Speed is another category that is friendly to this kind of analysis. World record speeds are some where in the range of 11 meters per second for instantaneous velocity which translates to 11 * 3.28 ft/meter * 6sec/round ~ 215 feet per round. Now assuming that most Olympic runners are benefiting from the run feat that leaves our athletes with a base speed of 215/5 = 43 feet. However our paragon will need to be able to run that seed without the run feat so its speed will be 215/4=53.75 and rounding to the nearest 10 will be 50 feet base speed. Just so this template will allow speed to grow proportionally we will say the base creatures speed increases by a factor of 1.5 rounding up i.e. 30 to 50, 40 to 60, 50 to 80 and so on.

The remainder of the necessary adjustments is far more difficult to perform as they are mostly dependent on abstractions, such as hit points. That being said if we look at the proportion of increases due to this template compared to the original template we may gain some insight into how they should be adjusted. 9/15 = .6 proportionality or rounded for convenience, one half.

Applying this metric and omitting any overtly supernatural qualities we have the following results:

HD: paragon creature always receives maximum hit points per HD; they also gain an additional 6 hit points per hit dice.
AC: paragon creatures gain a +6 insight and a +6 luck bonus to AC.
Attacks: paragon creatures make all attacks with a +13 luck bonus.
Damage: paragon creatures have a +10 luck bonus on all damage rolls.
Special attacks: the special attacks of paragon creatures have a +7 insight bonus to the DC of and any save or check made to avoid them.
Special qualities:
Fire, cold, electric, acid, and sonic resistance 5 unless the base creature has an extraordinary weakness to any of them, in which case it does not receive the appropriate resistance.
Damage reduction 10/epic.
Spell resistance equal to CR + 5 (approximately 25% of spells resisted)
Fast healing 10
Saves: paragon creatures gain a +5 insight bonus on all saves.
Skills: paragon creatures gain a +5 competence bonus on all skill checks.
Feats: a paragon creature receives a bonus feat

This seems reasonable, given that none of these are observable in real humans. However I am debating as to weather the damage reduction, spell resistance, and fast healing truly belong in this write up considering the original intent. Then again, Dnd human are already slightly outside to bounds of actual humans, it may be an appropriate contrition to allow them, and still maintain a consistent fiction.

One additional thing also comes to mind. A paragon creature should not age as a normal one does, and should retain all its physical and mental capabilities until just before death, when it experiences a swift decline before passing on. To that end a paragon is considered to have the timeless body class feature whenever it would be beneficial for it, and it is considered to have rolled the maximum result for maximum age (110 years in the case of a human).


In conclusion this template offers a way to augment existing creatures as “paragons” with some regards to reality, this new creature while not necessarily the most powerful of its species will have the most potential and will quickly gain experience and advance in hit dice/character levels to become a powerful friend or dangerous enemy.

2007-05-25, 03:32 PM
Just one bump.

2007-05-25, 04:17 PM
Just one bump.

This is an interesting template, the captain america template if you will, but it I don't think it's what paragon is supposed to be. The misuse of evolution/the bit about being the mold suggests it is supposed to be "super"-whatever the creature is. It's the ultimate pinnacle not of what is possible in the corrupted world, but of what that creature could potentially be.

Captain america, as referenced above, is your template. He has the strongest possible muscles, the fastest reactions, etc... to the limit of human abilities. But that's not a paragon. A paragon animal is supposed to be the version that would descend, perfect from heaven. It's not magical, but it's far enough removed that it beats even the best of the best of the base (in the original sense of the word) creature of that type.

Yours might be the "perfect" template or the "ideal" template, but paragon is, as i understand it, meant to be a level above that.

Baron Corm
2007-05-25, 07:54 PM
i think either the PHB or the DMG says that the best a normal human can get in any score is an 18. it lists human olympic-level athletes, geniuses, etc. under the example of an 18 in that ability score. this may not accurately reflect real life, but DnD sometimes goes for simplicity. i can't name all the rules you would have to rewrite if you wanted complete real-to-life accuracy. so as far as ability scores go, i would increase all scores of the creature by 8 (the average human, the one listed under the entry for human, has 10 in all scores). not sure why you first did 27 point buy.

as far as speed goes, this is another thing that isn't completely true to real life. an olympic-level runner is probably the only human which would have the Run feat. runners also have high Dexterity scores, because in a race between equal speeds, a Dexterity check is made to see who wins. i forgot where i read that but i'm pretty sure it's a rule. perhaps give the creature the Run feat; but then again, why not give him all feats, if he is ideal? it's kind of hard to draw the line.

the spell resistance, the luck bonuses to things; none of these represent an ideal. they are arbitrary additions. max hit points at each level of course keep, and i like what you did with aging. giving a bonus feat for the creature to do whatever he wants with makes for variations on the perfect form of a creature, which just doesn't make sense. as the creature gains levels he will vary from other paragon creatures of his race, but at their minimum possible levels they should all be equal (except skill points, that's hard to equalize).

a human with this template would have 18 in all scores, 1 level of humanoid, 8 hp, and perhaps Run and Endurance as bonus feats? the bonus feats are all i'm not too sure about. i am sure that you'd want to give the human a humanoid level instead of a class level, because which class level could you choose that represented an ideal in all areas?