• Resources are back! Use the menu in the main navbar. If you own a resource, please check it for formatting, icons, etc.

What about D&D 5e levels 21-30?

ad_hoc

Adventurer
What is someone did a Kickstarter? Also, I do not agree that its a guaranteed money loss.
Right, then we're not talking about WotC.

As has been said, DM's Guild or 3rd party publishers in general are your best bet here.

I'm sure you could find someone doing a small scale project out of it.

WotC won't though. Only one adventure currently supports levels 16-20. There is a lot of room for support for those upper levels but there probably isn't the demand for it. I imagine we will continue to see a trickle of support for 16+, basically every now and then as they saturate the lower levels.

The demand for 21+ is minuscule. I don't think it will ever happen.
 

ad_hoc

Adventurer
Tier 4, levels 17-20, is described in the PHB as "...even the fundamental order of the multiverse might hang in the balance during their adventures"

How do you get bigger than the multiverse?
 

Rafael Martin

Explorer
Tier 4, levels 17-20, is described in the PHB as "...even the fundamental order of the multiverse might hang in the balance during their adventures"
How do you get bigger than the multiverse?
Easy you rewrite the Tiers. My idea for the WOTC is to put out an official epic level handbook. I would make it for levels 21-30 and it would include monsters with appropriate CR's. This can happen and I think with enough effort we can convince the WOTC to create this product for us. Have faith.
 

Upper_Krust

Adventurer
Most people don't play past 10 so I doubt there will be anything.
Agreed, although I always wondered if that was simply because 'epic play' (in the past) was not designed to introduce anything new from a fundamental roleplaying standpoint. For instance in AD&D at roughly 10th-level at least one of the PCs is likely to have Lordship over a Keep or similar estate. High-level could mix in political ambition and leadership over vast armies/territories. While epic play could encompass running your own religion.

Also while only a small percentage of D&D players game at high-level that still might be 10-50k players at any one time.
 

Upper_Krust

Adventurer
Howdy dave amigo! :)

There is nothing official past lvl 20, except blessings, boons, charms, and continued AI & feats offered as options in the DMG.

There are at least 2 resources on the DM’s guild, and I have seen more in UA reddit. I hear good things about the DMsGuild products and I think that is in line with what you are probably looking for.

However, I had successful kickstarter this spring to convert the BECMI “Immortal Rules” to 5e and the first issue is coming out in about a month. But my rules are much different than simply leveling up characters, you are playing as demigods and gods.
Best of luck with the project.

Considering a 'small' 5E project myself (an adventury/monster book with a few rules tacked on for Levels 16-20... ;)

...knowing me though it might take a while. :eek:

I think the big problem for someone expanding the rules above Level 20 is that they don't have enough monster options to really flesh it out enough.

Added to which a Level 20 party as it stands probably crushes even Level 30 monsters. You could probably expand the CR's up to 40 to give players (at Level 20) an actual challenge. Meaning if you extend PC Levels to Level 30 even, you'll need monsters up to CR 50.
 

Upper_Krust

Adventurer
It seems to me that it would be really difficult to build compelling, interesting adventures around level 20+ characters who in many cases can change the world with a single action. It's the Superman problem - characters so powerful that you have to either constantly throw them up against god-like entities or you have to invent (and over-use) Kryptonite.
The third option might be to marry epic power with worshippers and with that, things get interesting.

This way you can still have the occasional 'god-like entity' battles but you can contrast that with political maneouvering, territorial disputes, natural disasters, inveigling from other deities/religions etc.

I remember that one of the 'diversion adventures' under the auspices of my Lesser God character was that of a Church Spy trying to infiltrate a Death Cult seeking to overthrow the State religion (ie. my character).

It was the contrast between the Lower Level and Deity-Level play that really made the latter stand out.

The old AD&D rules I played back in the 80s allowed for unlimited levels, but they felt boring to me. The one high-level adventure I read through back then (and it's been many years, so I remember almost none of the details, but it was in... the Abyss, maybe?) actually had to resort to listing a bunch of spells that wouldn't work correctly in that plane of existence. It Kryptonited spellcasters for playability.
AD&D was never really designed for play beyond 18th or thereabouts, but unlimited levels worked because of various 'caps' on the rules.

I find low to mid range characters/adventures (in 5e parlance up to around mid teens) much more compelling in general than the upper level stuff. (That said, I'm probably going to try to take my current campaign up to 20 just to see how it goes.)
5E seems a fairly robust system for levels 1 thru 20.
 

Upper_Krust

Adventurer
It does not discuss levels higher than 20. It suggests XP or epic achievements giving level 20 PCs Epic Boons, Feats, and/or Attribute increases.

The way the game is designed, a level 20 group without Boons can already defeat CR 30 monsters. So for level 21+ PCs you would need to see CR 31+ monsters. Personally I think the game works well as-is, I use the Epic Boon rules in my level 20 Runelords campaign.
Didn't you mention that the CR21+ monsters in the various books were underwhelming in terms of a threat (for Level 20 characters) and also underwhelming in terms of choice, since the majority seem to be comprised of Unique individual enemies rather than stuff you can just 'encounter'?

I vaguely recall you said "...there's only so many times I can use the bloody* Kraken..." ;)

* I added the word bloody myself, re-interpreting your sigh at that juncture.
 

pogre

Adventurer
While I would love to see an Epic Handbook (21-30) the market is just not there to support it. I wish it were different. As someone on the edge of running another epic campaign (PCs in T4), I would love to see more resources for high level play.
 

Rafael Martin

Explorer
Didn't you mention that the CR21+ monsters in the various books were underwhelming in terms of a threat (for Level 20 characters) and also underwhelming in terms of choice, since the majority seem to be comprised of Unique individual enemies rather than stuff you can just 'encounter'?

I vaguely recall you said "...there's only so many times I can use the bloody* Kraken..." ;)

* I added the word bloody myself, re-interpreting your sigh at that juncture.
Then that looks like a challenge to make more CR21+(and eventually CR30+) monsters. The WOTC need to make it happen.
 

dave2008

Adventurer
Howdy dave amigo! :)



Best of luck with the project.
Hello to you as well and thank you!

Considering a 'small' 5E project myself (an adventury/monster book with a few rules tacked on for Levels 16-20... ;)

...knowing me though it might take a while. :eek:
Well, I have been working on this since 5e came out, so I get it!

I think the big problem for someone expanding the rules above Level 20 is that they don't have enough monster options to really flesh it out enough.
That is why I started with making epic monsters first! 5e Epic Monster Updates But those are just first drafts (200+ of them though). They will all have to be updated to my new system.

The real problem to me is what are high level mooks? I think I have basically decided that hordes, legions, host of demons/devils/angels are the new mooks. Of course, ideally when your playing deities, you can find other things to do than fight. I am working on that front too.

Added to which a Level 20 party as it stands probably crushes even Level 30 monsters. You could probably expand the CR's up to 40 to give players (at Level 20) an actual challenge. Meaning if you extend PC Levels to Level 30 even, you'll need monsters up to CR 50.
I have decided to make the players & monsters abilities and stats relative based on their epic rank. So, if you look at Athena's stat block, epic rank 4 (greater god), her stats are for use against other creatures of epic rank 4. However, if she engages a creature of a different epic rank, her stats are modified.

EX: Athena's spear attack does 50 damage against an Epic Rank 4 Titan. that same attack does 800 damage to a mortal creature (Epic Rank 0). Hit Points are similarly relative (she has 1500 HP vs ER 4 & 12,000 HP + resistance to all damage vs a mortal).

I debated whether or not this would be too complex in play, but I think I have done most of the work in the statblocks themselves and it leads to such interesting interactions I think I am going to stick with it.
 
Last edited:

Rafael Martin

Explorer
Well, I have been working on this since 5e came out, so I get it!


That is why I started with making epic monsters first! 5e Epic Monster Updates But those are just first drafts (200+ of them though). They will all have to be updated to my new system.

The real problem to me is what are high level mooks? I think I have basically decided that hordes, legions, host of demons/devils/angels are the new mooks. Of course, ideally when your playing deities, you can find other things to do than fight. I am working on that front too.



I have decided to make the players & monsters abilities and stats relative based on their epic rank. So, if you look at Athena's stat block, epic rank 4 (greater god), her stats are for use against other creatures of epic rank 4. However, if she engages a creature of a different epic rank, her stats are modified.

EX: Athena's spear attack does 50 damage against an Epic Rank 4 Titan. that same attack does 800 damage to a mortal creature (Epic Rank 0). Hit Points are similarly relative (she has 1500 HP vs ER 4 & 12,000 HP + resistance to all damage vs a mortal).

I debated whether or not this would be too complex in play, but I think I have done most of the work in the statblocks themselves and it leads to such interesting interactions I think I am going to stick with it.
I looked at it and it looks really good. There should be no issue with creating monsters with CR30+ to challenge higher level players levels 21-30. Your work shows that clearly. That should be a kickstarter to force the WOTC to take action.
 

dave2008

Adventurer
What is someone did a Kickstarter? Also, I do not agree that its a guaranteed money loss.
As I mentioned I did do a kickstarter. It will fund 1 year (4 issues) of my zine. Which should just about get the player side rules complete and about 15 gods and another 10-15 monsters with stats and about 10-15 epic weapons and equipment.

After I pay for art and printing I should make about $0 to -$200 dollars from the kickstarter. Now, I will put the zine up for sale on DriveThruRPG and I have an offer to purchase 25 copies wholesale from a well known gaming company. So I expect I will make some money. But really, whatever funds I make will go into future issues.

Now I am, at this point, a virtual nobody. So maybe if I get my name out (and the works well received) things can improve, but I'm really doing this because I want to, not to make money. WotC wants / needs to make money. And they want every book to sell 100,000 min. copies - I just don't see that happening with an Epic Level Handbook. I could be wrong, but at this point I hope not - since I'm making my own!
 
Last edited:

Horwath

Explorer
17-20 are epic levels.

i'm only sorry that the didn't put in 10th level spells available at 19th level for full casters.

There will probably be no official rules outside feats/boons for 20+ as there is simply no market for it.

99% of campaigns end before level 15.
 

Li Shenron

Adventurer
In the 5e DMG it discusses levels higher than 20 and it talks about giving Boons. I suggest a actual handbook that has information for levels 21-30 plus the appropriate monsters, magical items, and other stuff needed to play. I don't think it's hard for the Wizards of the Coast to make one. They should.
I think it's not easy at all.

Advancement rules can be super-simple, in fact the DMG rule IIRC is something like "gain one epic boon, ASI or feat every 30000XP beyond level 20". That's it, in terms of rules.

What is not easy, is to create character material, such as specific boons, of which there is a single page in the DMG. They need to be interesting and feel "epic" without being broken, but at this level of the game once you're past Wish and similar powers, it is hard to design stuff like that.

A fully-fledged epic levels system is worse, because in this case it's not enough to design plenty of options and try to balance them against each other. In this case it will be expected that different levels beyond 20 will also offer progressively stronger powers, so that what you can earn at level 30th is stronger than what you can earn at level 21st, just like the case during levels 1-20. You'll probably also going to expect spells of levels higher than 9th.

The 'cheap' way is just trying to inflate numbers, the downside of which is that it results in just an inflated game, where everything is the same as before just 10-20-30 higher numbers. The 'hard' way however also carries the problem of what kind of adventures can withstand the PCs having gamebreaking abilities, considering it's already pretty difficult to design adventures for levels 10+.
 

S'mon

Legend
Didn't you mention that the CR21+ monsters in the various books were underwhelming in terms of a threat (for Level 20 characters) and also underwhelming in terms of choice, since the majority seem to be comprised of Unique individual enemies rather than stuff you can just 'encounter'?

I vaguely recall you said "...there's only so many times I can use the bloody* Kraken..." ;)

* I added the word bloody myself, re-interpreting your sigh at that juncture.
Yes, although this is less of an issue with my Runelords campaign since I can usually just convert the Pathfinder monster stats, and they tend to work out pretty decent.
The standard 5e monsters tend to be severely lacking in offensive punch. Some things I've done:

For Kainos Godslayer, son of Ares-Bane, I used Empyrean with x2 attacks and +5 AC for his enchanted shield. He was defeated by a solo Barbarian-19 (Berserker), to my surprise!

For the blue dragon Cadrilkasta with the Shard of Sloth I used standard ancient blue dragon, move halved, with 5 spell slots, she could cast Shield (reaction) and Animate Objects on her treasure hoard as a bonus action, plus lair action lightning vs everyone on battlefield. She gave a level 19-20 party a tough fight, killing the Druid Quillax in round 1.

For Areusa the Scylla Kraken I simply used Kraken with x2 attacks, and her lightning could hit everyone on battlefield.

I've used a fully manifested Flying Polyp from Sandy Peterson's Cthulu Mythos, with the party ignorant of how to fight it that was ridiculously powerful, more like CR 30 than listed CR 25.

I've also used a Lich, an ancient black dragon (easily solo'd by Barbarian-20), a Demilich with soul trap - again, killed Quillax :D, multiple aboleths as you saw, I used some CR 12 dragon-eel (ToB) based dreadnoughts - one great thing about 5e is that multiple tough foes can challenge even very high level parties. A fire giant squad of say 12 with casters & a commander could take on many level 20 parties.
 

S'mon

Legend
17-20 are epic levels.

i'm only sorry that the didn't put in 10th level spells available at 19th level for full casters.

There will probably be no official rules outside feats/boons for 20+ as there is simply no market for it.

99% of campaigns end before level 15.
A level 10 spell slot could make a nice Epic Boon for a full single class caster.
 

S'mon

Legend
Added to which a Level 20 party as it stands probably crushes even Level 30 monsters.
I think they designed it so a moderately well built 5-PC level 20 party without magic items, feats, or multiclassing could hopefully beat a CR 30 monster. Which is ok, but it means a single CR 24 monster like the ancient red dragon is only a real threat to a solo level 20 PC, unless you give it good spellcasting & really nasty Lair actions. I used a huge ancient black dragon with a nasty lair action - grapple & restrain mangrove swamp roots attack - vs Bill's Barbarian-20 dragonborn (no Feats or Multiclassing), & he still kerbstomped it. Against a solo Monk-20, Rogue-20 or Champion Fighter-20 it might just about have been a real threat.

Generally by far the best way to threaten a level 20 5e group is with an enemy 'party' of 3-6 CR 12-20 monsters, eg a squad of three pit fiends I think would be pretty nasty. Unfortunately the Legendary Action rules are too fiddly to use for more than one enemy at a time (unless they are identical & act on same init), but a single Legendary with a Villain Squad of high CR underlings is good. Even a mated pair of adult dragons with a brood of young dragons could be a decent encounter.
 
Last edited:

akr71

Explorer
Easy you rewrite the Tiers. My idea for the WOTC is to put out an official epic level handbook. I would make it for levels 21-30 and it would include monsters with appropriate CR's. This can happen and I think with enough effort we can convince the WOTC to create this product for us. Have faith.
Five years in and WotC have repeatedly said that surveys and data back up their position. There are not enough people interested in playing that style of game. Anything that they produce would lose money.

WotC said this. Not us.
 

Advertisement

Top