log in or register to remove this ad

 

5E Running High Level 5E is more fun than I thought it would be.

Reynard

Legend
A while back my IRL group finished Out of the Abyss with 14th level PCs. Since social distancing and Stay Home has begun, we put our current campaign on hold and moved to Fantasy Grounds and I started running (since I have the ultimate license, etc). We decided to pick up those OotA characters and get into Dungeon of the Mad Mage (I had separately run Dragon heist, so the players -- if not these PCs -- are aware of the various factions and things in Waterdeep).

I have to say, so far the epic nature of 14th level 5E has been a blast. I expected it to be a bit of a slog, but it has been great. When crits go off they are truly epic and the characters and villains both are capable of some pretty mind blowing stuff.

I had been expecting to move to more low-key adventures after my regular Avernus campaign ends but I might have to stick with those characters (assuming they survive) into the higher levels just to see what it's like.
 

log in or register to remove this ad



Flamestrike

Adventurer
Levelling goes fast (particularly after the 6-11 sweet spot). 15-20 go past really quick.

I'd totally recommend doing it. So many DMs rage quit at mid levels and consequence have no experience dealing with high level shenanigans. Accordingly when their next campaign hits mid level and someone pulls a high level shenanigan... they rage quit again.

You've gotta run a few at high level to get used to it.

It's truly epic. IME players love getting a character to high levels, and playing them as epic heroes.
 

dnd4vr

Tactical Studies Rules - The Original Game Wizards
In our main game, we've played from level 1 to 13 and when we can meet again we will continue. I see it going to 15-16th maybe, but I don't know if we'll reach tier 4.

I think the "over-the-top" nature of 5E does lend itself to more epic styles of play. While that is fine and dandy, I prefer "heroic", not "epic" or "super-hero"-like.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I've done high levels in 5E, we had a blast. Pull out all the big guns and have massive throw-downs. Yeah, sometimes the PCs are incredibly powerful, but isn't that half the fun? That and it gives PCs a chance to really have an ongoing impact on the world. Since I've been DMing the same campaign world for decades they know that some day their PC's names may be among legendary heroes of the past.

I enjoy all levels from different sides of the DM's screen for different reasons.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Supporter
I'm enjoying our high-level game too, except for Etherealness, which thankfully didn't make an appearance in the last session :) But my players really love exploration so just giving them fresh environments to interact with keeps them interested
 

darjr

I crit!
The power of the PCs allows me as the DM to push the petal to the floor. I think there are several key reasons, tops are how tough they are, how many ways a character can be brought back to live even in a TPK, and most of my players who get to that level through play have lost a character or two or more.
 

Reynard

Legend
In our main game, we've played from level 1 to 13 and when we can meet again we will continue. I see it going to 15-16th maybe, but I don't know if we'll reach tier 4.

I think the "over-the-top" nature of 5E does lend itself to more epic styles of play. While that is fine and dandy, I prefer "heroic", not "epic" or "super-hero"-like.
I largely in agreement, but this experience anyway has made me rethink my "no play past 9th" rule.
 

lkj

Adventurer
I'll add a vote for high level play. Have DM'd a group of characters to 20th, and it has been really fun. And easy. I've been able to run sessions on the fly. I know that doesn't sound like a big deal, but after 3rd edition, the fact that I can just wing a high level campaign is like a dream come true.

And I second the 'you can take the training wheels off' sentiment. You like demon lords? How about three demon lords! Oh my god, that's fun. And epic.

I have not had trouble keeping my characters fearing for their lives.

AD
 

dnd4vr

Tactical Studies Rules - The Original Game Wizards
I largely in agreement, but this experience anyway has made me rethink my "no play past 9th" rule.
It all just depends on your tastes. When a single 20th-level Wizard can defeat the Tarrasque, that goes beyond what I want for myself. Still, I think it is awesome that the game is capable of playing to such a varied level of tastes.
 

Reynard

Legend
I think it halps that I am running using Fantasy Grounds. It keeps track of conditions and concentration and adds all those damage dice and overall takes a lot of the heavy lifting off me as DM so I can concentrate on trying to murder the high level PCs with horrible monsters from beyond time and space.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I also think 5E is easier to run high level campaigns than previous editions, and I ran my 4E campaign to 30th and to the teens in other editions.

But I do have some house rules that minimize the effectiveness of certain spells. Planar travel only occurs at gateways for example. So unless you're a god you have to find a gate to get to Jotunheim. You have to cross cross the Bifrost bridge to get to Asgard. Creating a gate is not simple so you aren't going to be sending that demon back with a simple Banishment spell unless you are close to a gate. You also aren't going to just plane shift back home if you're in Jotunheim to fight that demon on his home turf.

In large part I did that because of other campaign reasons and the same logic applied to previous editions as well. It has the side effect of limiting the capability of PCs to permanently send monsters away with the snap of their fingers.

High level play also feels different, but I think it should be. At high levels, the PCs are some of the greatest heroes in the world and the campaign should reflect that.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Supporter
It all just depends on your tastes. When a single 20th-level Wizard can defeat the Tarrasque, that goes beyond what I want for myself. Still, I think it is awesome that the game is capable of playing to such a varied level of tastes.
A tarrasque is waiting for my party (encased in an object they want to retrieve). Fortunately the wizard is not with the party. It should hopefully be interesting.
 

dnd4vr

Tactical Studies Rules - The Original Game Wizards
Well, without the wizard I am sure you'll have a good time! One thing I can't believe they didn't give the Tarrasque is regeneration. Like 20 or 30 points at the start of it's turn would be reasonable IMO.
 

TheDelphian

Explorer
I ran a one through twenty campaign two years ago and it was a blast.

I did make sure that the campaign climax was after they gained twenty so they could have fun being 20th level for a session or two before the end. I have been in games were you maxed out right before the big bad fight at the campaign end and didn't get to play with your new toys you had waited so long for..

I did craft a lot of monsters but that was more tailoring the game to current plot. I needed big threats to challenge the players and nothing in the books was all that useful at the time. I built paragiants which was taking what a Mephit could do and applying it to a giant (I think stone was my base) It worked out very well and was easy to create without taking to deep a dive into CR and all.
 

Unlike the last several editions, high level play is actually fun in 5E. The last edition that did this IMO was 1E, because it was designed to have unlimited levels. I ran a 1E campaign to levels 30-36 (xp varied by class), and I've ran a 5E campaign to level 18. Both were a lot of fun, and both took several years to achieve (the 1E one was longer, obviously).
 



TwoSix

The hero you deserve
Supporter
Yea, I think the concern over high level going to the "OMG" point is a little overstated for 5e, especially in tier 3 (levels 11-16). Casters only get 1 6th, 1 7th, and 1 8th level slot by 16th, and while those spell levels are very strong, certainly encounter warping, none of them are trivializing (with the possible exception of simulacrum).
 

Most Liked Threads

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top