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Alternate Epic Rules - Any published (even non-WOTC)?


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Flynn

First Post
I started another thread on this topic a month or so ago, but I don't have the capacity to search for it. There are a few, one in a Sword & Sorcery product "Advanced Player's Guide":
http://www.amazon.com/Advanced-Players-Guide-Sorcery-Studios/dp/1588469611

Unearthed Arcana/Evolved simply take the game up to 25th level and then stop there.

Apparently, Upper_Krust wrote some alternate epic rules some time back, but I don't know what happened to them.

That's about all I got,
Flynn
 

paradox42

First Post
Flynn said:
Apparently, Upper_Krust wrote some alternate epic rules some time back, but I don't know what happened to them.
If you mean the Immortals Handbook, then he's still writing them. His "core rules" book, Ascension, which contains rules for how to reach divinity (and states beyond), is more or less text-complete but is still mostly without illustrations. He's working on the art now, and presumably when that's all done the book will be released as a PDF- with a print version under Mongoose's Flaming Cobra hopefully soon to follow (they did the print version of the Epic Bestiary).
 

Wik

First Post
The Advanced Player's Guide, by SSS, has some. From what I remember of 'em, they weren't very good. I did a review of the book, if you want some more information.

EDIT: Checked out my review... turns out I said the nicest things about the Epic progressions. Go fig.
 

I have a 10-15th level spellbook coming eventually. It's about 1/4 done. Not sure if I'll actually provide advanced classes along with the spellcasting updates to wiz/sor/clr and drd.
 


ColonelHardisson

What? Me Worry?
Flynn said:
Unearthed Arcana/Evolved simply take the game up to 25th level and then stop there.

I think you mean Arcana Unearthed, which is Monte Cook's "alternate" PHB. Unearthed Arcana is a WotC book of optional rules which, if I recall correctly, doesn't have any epic rules.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
This is a bit of a deviation, but Distant Horizons Games's d20 point-buy book Eclipse could easily be used to make epic-level characters and threats. Many of the examples given are of epic levels, and it has a wealth of epic-level spells, using an extension of spell levels 0-9 - the new spells here go from 10th-level spells all the way to 24th-level! :eek:
 

Varianor Abroad

First Post
ColonelHardisson said:
I think you mean Arcana Unearthed, which is Monte Cook's "alternate" PHB. Unearthed Arcana is a WotC book of optional rules which, if I recall correctly, doesn't have any epic rules.

Correct. Arcana Evolved (the expanded color version of Arcana Unearthed with new goodies) has different rules for characters level 20-25 than Epic Level Handbook. A brief summary of this:

*BAB and saves continue past +15 and +6/+12
*there are 10th level spells
*the 12 core classes have additional abilities for above 20th level
*numerous "epic" items, ie very costly near-artifact level items, are included in Magic
 

jdrakeh

Adventurer
Alzrius said:
This is a bit of a deviation, but Distant Horizons Games's d20 point-buy book Eclipse could easily be used to make epic-level characters and threats. Many of the examples given are of epic levels, and it has a wealth of epic-level spells, using an extension of spell levels 0-9 - the new spells here go from 10th-level spells all the way to 24th-level! :eek:

I've been meanig to ask: How did you like Eclispe? I've been fairly impressed despite the lackluster layout and stupid (yes, stupid) art captions -- I just don't have enough free time to write a review (or much else, really).

I really liked the fact that it uses a point pool based on INT, rather than awarding new characters a big block of XP up front (which, IME, tends to knock the numbers for everything else -- from CR to level advancement -- out of whack).

This, of course, presents the issue of making INT much more important in actual play that it is by default, though that honestly does't bother me much (it typically being a distant second dump stat following CHA).
 
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Alzrius

The EN World kitten
jdrakeh said:
I've been meanig to ask: How did you like Eclispe? I've been fairly impressed despite the lackluster layout and stupid (yes, stupid) art captions -- I just don't have enough free time to write a review (or much else, really).

I've been meaning to write a review of it. It's an interesting system, in that unlike other point-buys it reinvents the wheel for quite a few things. While a lot of books would screw that up pretty badly, Eclipse actually ended up pulling it off quite well. While at first I wasn't impressed with how spend you CP (character points) on things like hit dice increases or additional skill points, but when they got to special abilities, I admit I was wowed. Reinventing most feats and class features (among other things) as special abilities was impressive, but the way they made them have subsets was even more impressive. Things like the metamagic theorems were a great way of redesigning basic d20 staples.

The epic spells were great, as mentioned, but the work with deities and Godfire doesn't seem quite as impressive when compared to U_K's mechanics for divinity for the IH. It still works pretty well though. I was a bit annoyed that the epic monsters were just descriptions with no stats, though.

As you mentioned, the layout wasn't that great. Even with the table of contents and a glossary, I still find it a bit hard to navigate through the book. The art captions weren't that bad...not compared to the commentary the author, editor, and Grod do in DHG's other book at Lulu, Practical Enchanter.

I really liked the fact that it uses a point pool based on INT, rather than awarding new characters a big block of XP up front (which, IME, tends to knock the numbers for everything else -- from CR to level advancement -- out of whack).

This, of course, presents the issue of making INT much more important in actual play that it is by default, though that honestly does't bother me much (it typically being a distant second dump stat following CHA).

It seems to be implied more than outrightly stated that GMs will simply declare when characters gain a new level, earning a new lump-sum of CP to spend, rather than carefully doling out and charting XP to see when their totals hit pre-determined amounts. This works well for the system as presented, except that the book is still based on the 1-to-20 (and then epic) style of standard d20, and the aforementioned way of levelling seems a tad too freeform for a rigid step-progression of power.

It also doesn't give extra CP based on Intelligence; you gain extra SP (skill points) that way, not extra CP (which are 24 per level, and 12 per level once you become epic).

It's a very good book, and I'd probably give it pretty high marks all-in-all. It's not perfect, but it gives you a point buy character creation system that's surprising in how freeform it feels while still being d20.
 

jdrakeh

Adventurer
Alzrius said:
It also doesn't give extra CP based on Intelligence; you gain extra SP (skill points) that way, not extra CP (which are 24 per level, and 12 per level once you become epic).

D'oh! You're absolutely right :)

It's a very good book, and I'd probably give it pretty high marks all-in-all. It's not perfect, but it gives you a point buy character creation system that's surprising in how freeform it feels while still being d20.

Concerning level progression, I simply assumed that one was intended to calculate XP per the core rules. I think, in that regard, the only thing that Eclipse is intended to change is what happens when a character gains a level (as opposed to how levels are gained). Or, at least, that's how I plan to use it ;)
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
jdrakeh said:
Concerning level progression, I simply assumed that one was intended to calculate XP per the core rules. I think, in that regard, the only thing that Eclipse is intended to change is what happens when a character gains a level (as opposed to how levels are gained). Or, at least, that's how I plan to use it ;)

Hm, you could be right about that. I think that'd make XP pretty superfluous, but at least it'd keep the rate of PC progression at a constant.
 


Yair

Community Supporter
Aus_Snow said:
Apparently Mongoose has some stuff, too: Book of Immortals - I'm not familiar with this one though, so can't vouch for it.
It doesn't really provide epic level rules. I wrote a review of it here. The book essentially provides a new track for character advancement, completely unrelated to XP and levels. It is flavorful, but the system is a mess of baroque complexity and unbalanced. It is intended to work alongside the epic rules, not to replace them.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
I don't know how "official" it is, but in the 3.0 FRCS sourcebook there are some simple rules for levels beyond 20th. They were added because FRCS predates ELH, but I think the two are somewhat different (the FRCS rules being anyway very limited, not a full set).
 

Li Shenron

Legend
By the way, it would be great if someone would post in this thread a small, compact description of the concept behind each epic-level rule set :cool:

No need to reveal much just the basics, such as:

"The Epic Level Handbook" by WotC
- its rules are based on extending the normal xp progression with no level cap
- spell progressions not extended (no 10th+ spells provided), but 10th+ slots available through feats
- added new separate ruleset for epic spellcasting
- BAB and save progression unified for all classes
- class features with regular progressions keep increasing, others don't
- class-specific feat progression, 'epic feats' available at 21st+ level

so that we could take a glimpse at different approaches by different books...
 

Aus_Snow

First Post
Yair said:
It doesn't really provide epic level rules. I wrote a review of it here. The book essentially provides a new track for character advancement, completely unrelated to XP and levels. It is flavorful, but the system is a mess of baroque complexity and unbalanced. It is intended to work alongside the epic rules, not to replace them.
Ah, thanks for clarifying that one. I had pretty much no idea, as you could probably tell. :)

As for totally different, complete and comprehensive epic rules for d20, I'm not familiar with *any* atm.
 

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