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A pair of numbers-based issues: how do you all handle them?

Rhuarc

Explorer
Hey again mate!

The point is the game needs a ceiling on levels (in my opinion*) so it may as well be Level 20.
I wholeheartedly agree that there needs to be a cap, just that level 20 is too low for my personal taste. For one, there are just too many nice toys to play with and enjoy in epic and higher tiers before you reach the divine to simply skip them in my opinion.

I also see a clear divide between level 20 characters and even the lowest of deities, but that comes down to personal preference I guess. At level 20 you got a Balor as a nice reference monster. There needs to be quite a gap between them nice fellows and a Demon Lord, putting the ruling class of the demons (or devils or other equivalents on other planes) quite a bit higher than CR 20 (maybe 25-30). In turn, there always has been a power difference in D&D between a Demon Lord and even a Lesser Deity, so we need to go higher than 30 to even start with the whole divine ascension path.

But as said, that's simply how I like to run it :)

Continuing the Levels above 20 is self defeating in that the further from L20 you diverge the more of the existing monster pool you abandon. Additionally the top of your levels (whether you cap at 30, 40 or 50 or whatever) will be completely empty of content.
Well, that's only true if you don't have any personal content. My current monster list (which is far from complete) has about 5.850 entries, with more than 1.900 of them being CR 21+ (and some 270 of CR 50+). So no, I won't run out of monsters to challenge my players with ever :D

How many monsters are in this Epic Legacy book? I couldn't find a detailed review online.
There are 15 stat blocks for epic monsters in the book.
 

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Rhuarc

Explorer
Also, sorry for hijacking this thread here. Maybe we should continue any further discussion in a new thread.
 

S'mon

Legend
I also see a clear divide between level 20 characters and even the lowest of deities, but that comes down to personal preference I guess. At level 20 you got a Balor as a nice reference monster. There needs to be quite a gap between them nice fellows and a Demon Lord, putting the ruling class of the demons (or devils or other equivalents on other planes) quite a bit higher than CR 20 (maybe 25-30). In turn, there always has been a power difference in D&D between a Demon Lord and even a Lesser Deity, so we need to go higher than 30 to even start with the whole divine ascension path.
This is the 3e (& 2e) approach, but 5e goes back to the 1e approach of having pit fiends and minor dukes of hell similar in power, even interchangeable. In MToF

Bael CR 19
Geryon CR 22
Hutijin CR 21
Moloch CR 21
Titivilus CR 16
Zariel CR 26 - Zariel seems a bit of a Special Snowflake. :D

I definitely think any 5e material intended for commercial publication should stick with the game's existing power scale, Bounded Accuracy et al.

That said, I'm not totally against Epic PCs eventually able to get their Proficiency Bonus to +9, just as the DMG Epic system suggests allowing them to increase stats to 30. The main thing is to not go outside the number limits in the official game.
 

Beefermatic

Explorer
Hey UK! Good to have you back bud.

I suppose I just disagree with the level cap thing. Mechanics to allow infinite growth is what kept this forum alive. I think the giant jump in HD was my only real complaint, the rest of it was usable, more or less and I think that had the entire world not taken a financial nosedive 10 years ago we'd all be doing waaaay better.

Just saying, I don't think your mechanics were off or there needs to be a level cap, you just needed a fucking break. Imo.
 

S'mon

Legend
So, the current official 5e game as written, for actual play badly needs more foes in the CR 26-30 range. If you want to make a bit of money I suggest focusing monster building efforts there, and PC-side efforts on stuff that expands rather than contradicts the official rules.

Re PCs, one possibility I've been mulling is a Tiered Epic Boons system, where eg a certain number of Boons opens up a higher Tier of more powerful Boons. I've also been thinking of Boon of Mastery raising Proficiency from +6 to +7,+8 and +9 at each new Tier. With a Mastery Tier being the equivalent of a level Tier at 1-20, say 10 Boons opens up a new Tier, you get an effective 40 virtual levels of play. They could also involve divine ranks:

Epic Tiers
I Proficiency +6, 10 Epic Boons, quasi-deity rank (NPC CR 17-20) eg Hutijin
II Proficiency +7, 10 Epic Boons, demigod rank (NPC CR 21-24) eg Bael, Geryon
III Proficiency +8, 10 Epic Boons, lesser god rank (NPC CR 25-28) eg Orcus, Demogorgon
IV Proficiency +9, 10 Epic Boons, intermediate god rank (NPC CR 29-30) eg Tiamat

So you get 40 virtual levels of play, a decent sense of progression, PCs who can eventually individually equal any official monster - and it remains fully compatible with the published system & 'bounded accuracy'.

Of course Tier IV can be left open ended with unlimited boons - eventually the character will have all the Feats, all stats 30, and Boons of increasingly marginal utility. Or a Tier IV character with 10 Boons could gain the 11th Boon, ascend to Greater Divinity and be removed from play as their consciousness spreads out across the Multiverse. :D
 
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Upper_Krust

Adventurer
Hey again mate!
Hey Rhuarc amigo! :)

I wholeheartedly agree that there needs to be a cap, just that level 20 is too low for my personal taste. For one, there are just too many nice toys to play with and enjoy in epic and higher tiers before you reach the divine to simply skip them in my opinion.
There's nothing a Level 30 character can have you can't bolt on to a Level 20 character.

All your adding with extra levels is more math and a fundamental breakdown of the d20 mechanic.

I also see a clear divide between level 20 characters and even the lowest of deities, but that comes down to personal preference I guess. At level 20 you got a Balor as a nice reference monster. There needs to be quite a gap between them nice fellows and a Demon Lord, putting the ruling class of the demons (or devils or other equivalents on other planes) quite a bit higher than CR 20 (maybe 25-30). In turn, there always has been a power difference in D&D between a Demon Lord and even a Lesser Deity, so we need to go higher than 30 to even start with the whole divine ascension path.

But as said, that's simply how I like to run it :)
S'mon already explained this. The difference between A Balor ('almost a demigod') and a Demon Lord is meant to be slight.

Now what you can always do is have a Home Realm/Layer/Plane multiplier for the Demon Lord/Prince so maybe Demogorgon (for instance) has double hit points and double damage while encountered on his home plane.

Well, that's only true if you don't have any personal content. My current monster list (which is far from complete) has about 5.850 entries, with more than 1.900 of them being CR 21+ (and some 270 of CR 50+). So no, I won't run out of monsters to challenge my players with ever :D
Lol true. That said I do like an illustration with my Monsters. ;)

There are 15 stat blocks for epic monsters in the book.
Out of curiousity what are their CR's? The reason I ask is that for a book that goes to Level 40 (AFAIK) would need monsters up to around CR 60 (IMO).
 

Upper_Krust

Adventurer
Hey UK! Good to have you back bud.
Beefy mate! Good to hear from you buddy. :)

I suppose I just disagree with the level cap thing. Mechanics to allow infinite growth is what kept this forum alive.
A Level Cap doesn't remove the potential for infinite power.

I think the giant jump in HD was my only real complaint, the rest of it was usable, more or less and I think that had the entire world not taken a financial nosedive 10 years ago we'd all be doing waaaay better.
3E tied HD to so many mechanics that it was a big problem at epic levels.

Just saying, I don't think your mechanics were off or there needs to be a level cap, you just needed a fucking break. Imo.
I think my 3E epic/immortal mechanics made the best of a system that was never designed to be pushed that far. But its in designing those mechanics that you get to appreciate the simplicity of 1st Edition and the Immortal Rules we used; where individual levels became almost meaningless and divinity was far more important.
 

Upper_Krust

Adventurer
So, the current official 5e game as written, for actual play badly needs more foes in the CR 26-30 range. If you want to make a bit of money I suggest focusing monster building efforts there, and PC-side efforts on stuff that expands rather than contradicts the official rules.

Re PCs, one possibility I've been mulling is a Tiered Epic Boons system, where eg a certain number of Boons opens up a higher Tier of more powerful Boons. I've also been thinking of Boon of Mastery raising Proficiency from +6 to +7,+8 and +9 at each new Tier. With a Mastery Tier being the equivalent of a level Tier at 1-20, say 10 Boons opens up a new Tier, you get an effective 40 virtual levels of play. They could also involve divine ranks:

Epic Tiers
I Proficiency +6, 10 Epic Boons, quasi-deity rank (NPC CR 17-20) eg Hutijin
II Proficiency +7, 10 Epic Boons, demigod rank (NPC CR 21-24) eg Bael, Geryon
III Proficiency +8, 10 Epic Boons, lesser god rank (NPC CR 25-28) eg Orcus, Demogorgon
IV Proficiency +9, 10 Epic Boons, intermediate god rank (NPC CR 29-30) eg Tiamat

So you get 40 virtual levels of play, a decent sense of progression, PCs who can eventually individually equal any official monster - and it remains fully compatible with the published system & 'bounded accuracy'.

Of course Tier IV can be left open ended with unlimited boons - eventually the character will have all the Feats, all stats 30, and Boons of increasingly marginal utility. Or a Tier IV character with 10 Boons could gain the 11th Boon, ascend to Greater Divinity and be removed from play as their consciousness spreads out across the Multiverse. :D
That's a LOT of Boons.

I think one problem is the flat XP cost on a single Boon juxtaposed with the ever-increasing XP rewards for higher and higher CRs.

Currently a Level 20 Party CAN take on a CR30 monster and win. One you start throwing multiple Boons into the mix you make things even easier - thus requiring greater challenges which nets greater XP rewards and thus the spiral continues.
 

Rhuarc

Explorer
Out of curiousity what are their CR's? The reason I ask is that for a book that goes to Level 40 (AFAIK) would need monsters up to around CR 60 (IMO).
The book only goes to level 30. Also, they change their personal rating of a monster over level 20 into 'Mythic Ranks', which goes from 1 to 10. They have a whole small subsystem (pretty easy but can't remember from the top of my head) about what a party of certain character levels is challenged well by what mythic rank. But the most powerful monster (Hastur) is meant to be a boss level threat for CR 30 character from what I can tell.
 

S'mon

Legend
I think one problem is the flat XP cost on a single Boon juxtaposed with the ever-increasing XP rewards for higher and higher CRs.
Yup, that's why I stopped using XP in my E20 game. The PCs can earn Epic boons either through 5 sessions of online play (about 12-15 hours) or through an Epic achievement - but the latter gets harder and harder. Eg a solo PC with 0 boons can earn a boon from defeating a CR 20, 1 boon CR 21, 2 boons CR 22, and so on up to 10 boons needs to solo a CR 30.
 

Upper_Krust

Adventurer
Hey Rhuarc amigo,

apologies for the slow reply. Busy with work the past few days.

The book only goes to level 30.
Okay.

Also, they change their personal rating of a monster over level 20 into 'Mythic Ranks', which goes from 1 to 10.
I wonder did they ever read Pathfinder Mythic.

They have a whole small subsystem (pretty easy but can't remember from the top of my head) about what a party of certain character levels is challenged well by what mythic rank. But the most powerful monster (Hastur) is meant to be a boss level threat for CR 30 character from what I can tell.
I'll probably pick it up after I release my own stuff. I always like to support epic material.
 

Upper_Krust

Adventurer
Yup, that's why I stopped using XP in my E20 game. The PCs can earn Epic boons either through 5 sessions of online play (about 12-15 hours) or through an Epic achievement - but the latter gets harder and harder. Eg a solo PC with 0 boons can earn a boon from defeating a CR 20, 1 boon CR 21, 2 boons CR 22, and so on up to 10 boons needs to solo a CR 30.
That would certainly help but I can't see you keeping track of potentially dozens of Boons for high powered NPC deities.
 


Upper_Krust

Adventurer
Sure, NPCs get whatever abilities look appropriate.
Absolutely, but in principle, it might work better having fewer more powerful abilities than 10, 20, 30 or even 40 Epic Boons.

One thing that might help is if every even numbered Epic boon must be an Ability Score Boost.
 

Beefermatic

Explorer
As someone who regularly runs IH campaigns with a dedicated group, we know that IH basically has a lot of flaws but with estimations and knowledge of what abilities to take and what counters what, it's easy enough to be workable. It's true the basic d20 rolls become less and less used and it more becomes a basic thing of 'you can't beat his check, but see if you can roll a nat 20' and knowing what abilities they have and how you can with allies take an enemy down and keep them dead. I've said it before, it becomes more of a chess match than dnd in the traditional sense but, the epic combat/ story and the character growth from a basic person to a truly infallable Divine being is really where this system shines and the giant numbers and being a God of Paragons and such make it very shiny. At least for my group. Anyway, I hope this helps.
 

Upper_Krust

Adventurer
Hey Beefy mate! :)

As someone who regularly runs IH campaigns with a dedicated group, we know that IH basically has a lot of flaws but with estimations and knowledge of what abilities to take and what counters what, it's easy enough to be workable. It's true the basic d20 rolls become less and less used and it more becomes a basic thing of 'you can't beat his check, but see if you can roll a nat 20' and knowing what abilities they have and how you can with allies take an enemy down and keep them dead. I've said it before, it becomes more of a chess match than dnd in the traditional sense but, the epic combat/ story and the character growth from a basic person to a truly infallable Divine being is really where this system shines and the giant numbers and being a God of Paragons and such make it very shiny. At least for my group. Anyway, I hope this helps.
I think the main thing is everyone is having fun.

From a design perspective, if two systems accomplish the same goals then the simplest one is best. But if you are already used to the more complex system then learning the new one might seem counter productive.

As a designer, I don't want to get bogged down devoting hours to detailing dozens of feats, abilities, spells and skills; most of which are not that important in the grand scheme of things.
 

Hey Beefy mate! :)



I think the main thing is everyone is having fun.

From a design perspective, if two systems accomplish the same goals then the simplest one is best. But if you are already used to the more complex system then learning the new one might seem counter productive.

As a designer, I don't want to get bogged down devoting hours to detailing dozens of feats, abilities, spells and skills; most of which are not that important in the grand scheme of things.
Thats an interesting part of the controversy eith 5e vs 3.5/pf. Simplification of the system has its benefits but some players (my group) enjoy the customization of characters in a level by level basis. One great example of this that 5e lacks is equipment. For pathfinder or 3.5 there is an endless combination of weapons and equipment that give different bonuses. Some people would consider this a downside but not all. My players dislike the"cookie cutter" feel of 5e since the system has been boiled down to its bare minimum. Dont get me wrong though it is drastically easier for new players and community stat developers.
 
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Upper_Krust

Adventurer
Hey Akira mate! :)

Thats an interesting part of the controversy eith 5e vs 3.5/pf. Simplification of the system has its benefits but some players (my group) enjoy the customization of characters in a level by level basis. One great example of this that 5e lacks is equipment. For pathfinder or 3.5 there is an endless combination of weapons and equipment that give different bonuses. Some people would consider this a downside but not all. My players dislike the"cookie cutter" feel of 5e since the system has been boiled down to its bare minimum. Dont get me wrong though it is drastically easier for new players and community stat developers.
Are you saying 5E doesn't have as many items? It would be interesting to compare the core rulebooks on that. Certainly capping the bonuses at +3 instead of +5 has aided numerical complexity (for its own sake).

Or are you suggesting that because 3E/Pathfinder have so many sourcebooks that there are far more items (of course with a greater number of items - with potentially higher bonuses you increase the chances of more broken items).
 

Beefermatic

Explorer
See that's what's funny. My group has tried 5th Ed, we didn't hate it but we played one campaign with the starter pack and played it out for a while but we stopped and went back to 3.5/PF soon afterwards. We like the complexity and uniqueness 3.5/PF/IH provides.

My current group feels it's kind of like DBZ in the sense that where they started was epic but where they end up in unfathomable in the beginning of the series.

I agree it's about fun but I also believe different people like different things in a campaign. My best friend for example doesn't like high level intergalactic campaigns and more just wants to be a guy with a sword killing things and perhaps becoming a king. My wife on the other hand can't get enough IH and ten years after our first campaign only wants to game IH.

Different strokes for different folks I suppose but ultimately I love the IH system and feel it's the only system that really embodies what fighting a sentient black hole or star God or anything that we actually in real life may attribute to God would be or feel like. All the other systems either make them too OP in broken choppy ways or way too weak.

¯\(ツ)
 

Upper_Krust

Adventurer
Hey amigo! :)

See that's what's funny. My group has tried 5th Ed, we didn't hate it but we played one campaign with the starter pack and played it out for a while but we stopped and went back to 3.5/PF soon afterwards. We like the complexity and uniqueness 3.5/PF/IH provides.
I disliked 5E when I first played it.

Also I think it has, hands down the worst Monster Manual of any edition.

But I think mechanically it does a few things right that make the fundamentals better than 4E or 3E.

My current group feels it's kind of like DBZ in the sense that where they started was epic but where they end up in unfathomable in the beginning of the series.
KAME-HAME-HA!!!

I agree it's about fun but I also believe different people like different things in a campaign. My best friend for example doesn't like high level intergalactic campaigns and more just wants to be a guy with a sword killing things and perhaps becoming a king.
See with the worship points system he could have both - RP'ing the servants or key worshippers, etc.

My wife on the other hand can't get enough IH and ten years after our first campaign only wants to game IH.
Give her a big kiss and a hug from me! xo

Different strokes for different folks I suppose but ultimately I love the IH system and feel it's the only system that really embodies what fighting a sentient black hole or star God or anything that we actually in real life may attribute to God would be or feel like. All the other systems either make them too OP in broken choppy ways or way too weak.

¯\(ツ)
One of these days I'll do a better system...probably..maybe. ;)
 

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