High Level Play with D&D
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    High Level Play with D&D

    I am currently running my group with the Adventure Path, Age of Worms, and the characters are around 10th level, now this is the highest that my players have ever played with me as a DM, normally we restart around this level. As such they do not have alot of experience with the high level play. I am looking for some suggestions that I can give them about what to expect, hints to help, etc. NOw I am not looking for hints and such specific to Age of Worms, but general High Level play. Some examples that I have thought of are:

    1) Know what is coming: Take advantage of the higher level divination spells, scry your opponents, gather whatever information you can, it will allow you to survive longer. This leads into

    2) Buff Buff Buff: With Higher levels you have to be prepared and protected, with Save or Die spells, High Damage, Energy Drains, etc flying around, you have to be ready with spells to protect yourself before its too late. They are starting to do this, and have a set list of spells they cast each day.

    3) Summoning is your friend: Some of the higher level Monster Summoning and Planar Allies can help alot. The higher level things you can summon are not only good for combat but have spells and such that aid the party outside of combat.

    Anything else people can think of?

    Thanks

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    4) Know your character sheet inside-out. Normally, if you levelled-up your character in-game, you should be able to use his/her abilities and not spend forever deciding on your actions in game. This is to be expected at the game table, and if you wait for too long, your turn is skipped. Your character hesitates in-game.

    5) Touch attacks are efficient against many tough adversaries. Use them to your advantage, particularly when speaking about spells.

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    6) Manuveuriablity is very important. Don't be afraid to telport out if you need to, regroup, and teleport back in. Fly is great for people that need to stay out of melee.

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    7) Use wands for attak spells like MM, INV, and fireball. Use your spell slots for utility spells.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Odhanan
    4) Know your character sheet inside-out. Normally, if you levelled-up your character in-game, you should be able to use his/her abilities and not spend forever deciding on your actions in game. This is to be expected at the game table, and if you wait for too long, your turn is skipped. Your character hesitates in-game.
    Agree here, and can't stress it enough. Players of mid- and high-level characters need to not be lazy and do research so they'll know exactly what their characters are capable of. This means reading and re-reading combat rules, spell rules, spells, feats, skills, and synergies of these factors. It's not the DM's responsibility to know what you're capable of--it's yours. The mid- & high-level DM has enough on his plate. Help him out and know exactly what you can do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Balgus
    7) Use wands for attak spells like MM, INV, and fireball. Use your spell slots for utility spells.
    I have to disagree with this one- wands are usually no good at truly high levels because the save DCs are too low. Now, with Magic Missile and certain other spells that doesn't matter much or at all, but with spells like Fireball it makes a big difference- particularly if you get wands at the base caster level and are thus doing less damage anyway.

    Staves, OTOH, since they use the wielder's save DC, can work well in this light. So I'd say: use Wands for quick buffs and no-save spells, and use Staves for major attacks like Cone of Cold or Disintegrate if you don't want to spend spell slots on them.

    8) When you get high enough, make sure you get Mind Blank and keep it up at all costs. High-level foes can and will scry/divine to find you too, and nothing's worse than having enemies drop in on your campsite when you've just gone to rest and recharge after a day of hard fighting that stretched your resources.

    9) Don't underestimate the value of battlefield control effects like Wall spells or Black Tentacles. When facing groups of foes, taking them out one at a time tends to be much easier than facing many simultaneously. Also, if you get ambushed, these can give you the critical few extra rounds you need to buff and/or escape.

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    8) Its not always about what you know, its about what you can find out. When your 10th level, you know people. Have the players feel free to ask if they know a guy who cast X or knows the secret language of Y etc. Let them make up NPCs that owe them favors, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane_Leahy
    I am looking for some suggestions that I can give them about what to expect, hints to help, etc. NOw I am not looking for hints and such specific to Age of Worms, but general High Level play.
    Read JollyDoc's Age of Worms in my sig below. We just finished Kings of the Rift and the avg character level is ~18.

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    Players of mid- and high-level characters need to not be lazy and do research so they'll know exactly what their characters are capable of. This means reading and re-reading combat rules, spell rules, spells, feats, skills, and synergies of these factors.
    Agreed. To play my horned devil which was at the end around ECL 14, I had made some "cheat sheets" of rules like Grapple, Feint, Bull Rush, Disarm, Sunder, copied all my feats from d20srd.com or other sources. I had everything ready at hand and could just quote stuff on the spot, which would just cut through the chase and get down to the gaming instead of having the DM flip-flip-flip through this or that book.

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    Solid tactics and teamwork are even more critical for success than at low levels. The latest post in the story hour gfunk pointed out (JollyDoc's Age of Worms) has a brilliant example of tactics, where the party used solid fog, a tentacle-type spell, and freedom of movement to cut their enemy to ribbons while taking very little damage in return. Encourage your players to talk about how they can combine their powers to create a potent team, rather than focus on what each can do individually.

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