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"Epic" progression after 6th level

Ry

Explorer
gamecat said:
While a 6th level cap doesn't appeal to me, I find the epic rules kinda wonky - a 20th level cap would be kinda cool.

If 6th seems too low, you might be interested in trying 12th. From reading all these discussions of the "sweet spot." there are a lot of campaigns that get bogged down just after that, or because the GM is getting burned out trying to build a world that goes past that.
 

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Ry

Explorer
mhensley said:
Why didn't you allow wizards as a class? What feats do you consider overpowering that made you cap skill ranks at 9 and bab at +6? Sorry for all the questions, but this idea has really sparked my interest. :)

Sparks good - sparks lead to fire, fire being actually sitting down at the game table more often.

At the time, I didn't allow wizards as a class because wizards can just keep learning spell after spell w/o any xp. But in practise, I didn't actually enforce that limitation, and it was never a problem. The PC wizard wasn't overpowering, and he didn't hog the spotlight, even when he'd been at 6th level for quite a while (I think he's sitting at 12 feats past 6th now, with many PCs still around 4th or 5th level due to character retirements and new players).

The reason I don't let skill ranks past 9 and BAB past +6 is because feats that are built around higher BABs and Skill Ranks are feats built for higher-level D&D. Just like 7th level spells aren't what I'm trying for, the feats designed to appeal to high level fighters don't match the 6th level thing.
 
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Ry

Explorer
GreatLemur said:
This sounds--in theory--like something I keep wishing for in both pen-and-paper and computer RPGs: Character progression that's more about gaining options and abilities rather than raw power. This seems like a weird kludge, but extremely interesting. I'd really love to see the whole idea developed more. It could make a great PDF product.

You know, I'd be really tempted to do it as a $1 PDF if I could get some kind of art for it. Mostly the PDF would be "how to have fun with this" and some examples, since the rules are such an easy hack.
 

mhensley

First Post
rycanada said:
If 6th seems too low, you might be interested in trying 12th. From reading all these discussions of the "sweet spot." there are a lot of campaigns that get bogged down just after that, or because the GM is getting burned out trying to build a world that goes past that.

8th level looks like an interesting cap as well. That's the cut off before world altering spells like raise dead.
 

Eolin

First Post
But at 6th, you only have 3rd level spells, everyone just got a feat, and fighter-types -- and only fighter types -- just got an extra attack.

At 8th level, clerics and rogue's have a second attack as well... and there are fourth level spells.
 

mhensley

First Post
rycanada said:
The reason I don't let skill ranks past 9 and BAB past +6 is because feats that are built around higher BABs and Skill Ranks are feats built for higher-level D&D. Just like 7th level spells aren't what I'm trying for, the feats designed to appeal to high level fighters don't match the 6th level thing.

I'm guessing that the feats you're talking about come from outside the core rules. I only see two or three feats in the phb that require >6 bab and none that require high skill ranks.
 

mhensley

First Post
Eolin said:
But at 6th, you only have 3rd level spells, everyone just got a feat, and fighter-types -- and only fighter types -- just got an extra attack.

At 8th level, clerics and rogue's have a second attack as well... and there are fourth level spells.

True, 6th level is probably about right. Looking through the MM last night, I could see that around 90% of the monsters are usable (up to 10EL) with this. Once you get much past that, you have to start bringing in demons and stuff to challenge a party or else start adding class levels to everything. Capping parties at 6 would make running games a lot easier.
 

Ry

Explorer
mhensley said:
I'm guessing that the feats you're talking about come from outside the core rules. I only see two or three feats in the phb that require >6 bab and none that require high skill ranks.

Absolutely - but adding splatfeats was a handy selling point for players in my campaign. The players still have fun tweaking up their characters.
 

Ry

Explorer
mhensley said:
Capping parties at 6 would make running games a lot easier.

You get the added benefit that the players never think of an aboleth as something they'll outgrow.

"AAAH! An ABOLETH!"

Watch them run. So good.
 

Darklone

Registered User
Eolin said:
But at 6th, you only have 3rd level spells, everyone just got a feat, and fighter-types -- and only fighter types -- just got an extra attack.

At 8th level, clerics and rogue's have a second attack as well... and there are fourth level spells.
I'd go for 8th level as cap because the medium BAB guys get their second attack. IME fightertypes still benefit greatly from the extra points to hit at that level and their advantage concerning hitpoints starts to show more and more. 4th level spells are great... I do think most game breakers come at 6th level, some at 5th level but Raise Dead is usually too cost intensive.
 

Ry

Explorer
Darklone said:
I'd go for 8th level as cap because the medium BAB guys get their second attack. IME fightertypes still benefit greatly from the extra points to hit at that level and their advantage concerning hitpoints starts to show more and more. 4th level spells are great... I do think most game breakers come at 6th level, some at 5th level but Raise Dead is usually too cost intensive.

Personally, I've never been that enamored with 4th level spells... but it's nice to see people talking about different caps rather than what's wrong with having a cap. I'd love to hear actual play experiences most of all. Go forth and play!
 

mhensley

First Post
rycanada said:
You get the added benefit that the players never think of an aboleth as something they'll outgrow.

"AAAH! An ABOLETH!"

Watch them run. So good.

You know this is probably the main reason I'm running WFRP instead of D&D right now. The concept of high level D&D pc's killing rooms full of giants bothers me to no end. A troll should always be scary, not something you could knock over with your pinkie.
 


According to the sixth post, 500xp * the target score (raising STR from 17 to 18 costs 9000xp, for example).

As if this is "correct" or not, it does simulate pretty well an ability cap -- it gets more and more expensive as you increase your bonus. Remember, the XP bonuses for monsters parks at 6th level, so it takes progressively more adventures to raise attributes.
 

I have this system copied into my HR folder for Eberron, altho I was planning at capping at 10th level.. it fits in with the world setting better...

But my group never made it past 4th level :(

Damn real life interuptions!
 

Lopke_Quasath

First Post
A cap at 8th level would also allow fighters to get their precious Improved Critical feat. Something that would certainly set them apart from the other classes.

Barbarians could get their Damage Reduction 1/-, and Rage 3/day, very cool.

All spellcasters get 4th level spells. Still appropriate for a low-level magic campaign.
(Bards get 3rd level spells)

Druids get Large wildshape and can change their animal companion

Monks get better unarmed damage (1D10)

Rogues get Improved Uncanny Dodge, also very cool.

Other than that, keeping the skills capped at 9 or 10 ranks sounds good.

I am going to steal this idea and present it to my players. See what they think of it. We just started a new campaign and they are almost 3rd level. If they want to try it, we shall experiment.

Cheers
 




Ry

Explorer
Epic Progression after 6th level

Here are my Epic 6th level rules, which Khuxan called Ry20. I have playtested the system extensively with my crew, and I can say that it works as intended. Previous discussion indicated that this approach has some appeal for others, so I've revised it to show it here on free RPG day.

Do you have complaints about D&D's high level play? Sure you do. Well, don't go burning those rulebooks just yet, because there's a secret game hidden inside of D&D.

This game has fewer rules, lower magic, and it is quick and easy to prepare. But you don't need 3D glasses or a degree in cryptology to find this game. With a single rule, you too can find the secret game hidden inside D&D.

The Rule:

Character progression from level 1 to level 6 is as per D&D. Upon attaining 6th level, for each 5000 experience a character gains, they earn a new feat.

Note: Feats with unattainable prerequisites under this system remain unattainable.

[sblock='Benefits']1. Very fast play at every level of the campaign.

2. Focus on planning, not levelling. To defeat the black dragon Zolanderos, the CR 10 terror of Staunwark Island, the heroes will need help, special resources, and information. I want to further encourage party-directed adventuring, and if the heroes want to take on something 4 to 6 CR above them, then that's what they will require.

3. A low magic game that everyone knows how to play.

4. Never a need for meaningless encounters. The players can be involved in a dozen or so major combat scenarios (perhaps more than one encounter each) and have proven themselves and made a major accomplishment. See Lord of the Rings movies, or most fantasy novels.

5. Classic monsters stay classic throughout the campaign; Chimeras and Aboleths start scary, and stay scary. Dragons are always exciting encounters.

6. Even legendary heroes remain mortal; while a 6th level fighter who has taken toughness several times can take on a good mob, he isn't invulnerable. The sorcerer's 6d6 fireballs are phenomenal, but not so powerful that he can destroy a village and not fear retaliation.

7. Quicker prep. Make a 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 6th version of a sorcerer, and now you have a whole sorcerous dragon-cult that can last you through your whole campaign.

8. You can put what you've learned of the rules to good use. It's hard to know every 4th through 9th level spell out there; they're the ones we see the least. But we've seen 0th through 3rd level spells many, many times, and mastery over them is relatively simple.[/sblock][sblock='Using outside feats']To provide lots of selection and preserve the fun of character building, I allow all WotC books as sources of extra feats. I also allow feats from Phil Reed's Book of Unusual Feats, and the Books of Eldritch Might. Other feats would be approved on an ad-hoc basis, but so far I've never run into players that have been unhappy with this selection.[/sblock][sblock='Conviction']This is a totally optional rule that I find goes very well with the Epic 6th level rules, and I use them in my game to reduce lethality and make sure that the PCs are the stars of the show.

This rule also runs very smoothly when Players Roll All the Dice, which I recommend for all campaigns, Epic 6th level or not. :)

Conviction

Player Characters have a pool of Conviction, which functions like Action points. All PCs get 5 Conviction. Conviction is replenished whenever the party has a night of complete rest.

A character can use 1 Conviction re-roll any d20 check they make, or to make an opponent re-roll any d20 check made against them. 2 Conviction points can be spent to take an extra move-equivalent action on the player-character's turn, 3 conviction for a standard action, and 5 Conviction for a full-round action.

When a player spends Conviction, they're saying "Hey, this is important to me. I want my character to have been the one that pulled this off - or at least, put everything into trying."

The Death Flag
As an Immediate action, a player character can choose to raise his Death Flag and gain 5 Conviction instantly (even if this brings their total Conviction pool above 5).

When the death flag is raised, the normal rules for death apply. If the death flag has not been raised, then the character, if killed, is treated as reducing the player character to 1 hit point above death. The Death Flag can be lowered by spending 5 Conviction.

When a player raises the Death flag, they're saying "This is worth staking my character's life on."

[/sblock][sblock='Level Adjustments']If you use races with a level adjustment, the 6th level cap is a big issue. Use the point buy rules in the DMG as follows:
LA Points
+0 32
+1 25
+2 18
+3 10
+4 00[/sblock]
 
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