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SharranAes Profile
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Registered: 02-2013
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Re: Epic Levels: Do we need them?


Personally, I don't think the actual level has too much to say;
One of my own favorites was "only" 18th, and I had a blast for years

Levels doesn't need to be the be all/end all, IMO

Do I think Andrune should lower their own levels?
Not necessarily; I assume that'd be cheap for anyone who is above said level (Not sure exactly how many are, but I know Numos and Fraydoc are, at least)

If a cap will be placed though, I agree that 21st is a good level, for the same reasons Totems stated above

-Aes
3/29/2013, 7:06 pm Link to this post Send Email to SharranAes   Send PM to SharranAes Blog
 
Sabella Profile
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Re: Epic Levels: Do we need them?


Numos, I was thinking more about your want of immediate threat characters. There's something else standing in the way though.

Let's take your orc example. For a chaotic evil orc to be threatening it must have a certain level of power. But to reach that power level the orc is going to have to do a lot of adventuring over time with others -- which causes the fear to wear off.

So, here's an idea for you. What if there are two kinds of player characters? Regular characters, like we all are playing now, and plot advancement or "flashpan" characters.

This second kind of character would have several major differences:

* They cannot be raised outside of a DM raise. When they are dead, they are usually gone for good unless for reasons of plot a DM decides otherwise.

* They have two varieties: common (normal player races, able to enter civilized towns and cities) and monster (with a variety of sensible skins, unable to enter cities as they're presumed killed on sight).

* They start at a high level (16+) because no one wants to grind for levels on a character whose purpose is to permadie.

* They have assignable buff bonuses (stat, damage) not tied to gear, and are unable to be traded with and do not drop anything when dead (this is just abuse prevention).

I'm just describing the mechanics, not the controls. You can have these be DM approved characters if you're worried about abuse. But I think this might create what you're hoping for.
3/30/2013, 8:29 am Link to this post Send Email to Sabella   Send PM to Sabella Blog
 
everf Profile
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Re: Epic Levels: Do we need them?


Is that technically possible inside the system? A curious idea indeed. Adds a bit of danger and experimentation possibly.

---
Kedri Senderthen- The Spring Storm
Fredegar Bumbleroot - A Happy-go-lucky Halfling
Pug - Half-Orc Dock Worker
3/30/2013, 10:12 am Link to this post Send Email to everf   Send PM to everf Blog
 
Ortlindegal Profile
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Re: Epic Levels: Do we need them?


From a DM's perspective…..
 
It's really hard to DM day to day for anyone over the level of 21. Period.
 
Numos for example, has reached the level or archmagery and has interests transcended above that of interestes of mortals. As a DM I have to think of some epic, earth shattering, kingdom threatening story every time I DM for +21s. "Go deliver this book to Lord Pinafore, but beware the Tuathans on the way" is an errand far below their station.
 
Additionaly from a combat point of view, there are very few creatures that I can spawn on a party with +21s that’s going to pose any sort of threat. Unless I wanna spam monsters and kill the rest of the party, Its gonna be really hard to create a combat challenge for an epic warrior such as Haze or fraydoc.

Last edited by Ortlindegal, 3/30/2013, 10:40 am


---
"Opiferque Per Orbem Dicor"
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ASlapForJoffrey Profile
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Re: Epic Levels: Do we need them?


Epic levels are neither here nor there for me. There is a very good case to make that they do disarm a lot of dramatic tension. I like to call it the "Dragonball Z" effect: The PCs become so powerful they're only left with each other and world-shatteringly powerful things to challenge them. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it takes a hell of an effort on the side of DMs to invent regular stories to cope with this. Personally if Vera were to find her way to epic levels I'd expect her to have a powerful villain/hero to confront once every six months, and that's being generous. Then again I'd also expect her to have probably died by then.

Either way the thing to consider from my perspective is the impact on RP and story, which is the gravity of the setting itself.

---
DM: CR 40 Housecat
PC: Vera Smith
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ExplodingRunes Profile
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Re: Epic Levels: Do we need them?


I tend to think that an epic level badass is winding toward retirement anyways. It's cool to pull them out and bask in their accomplishment for a while, but unless the campaign itself is meant to be epic in scope, they should be retired for all intends and purposes. So, what do you do when you hit 22nd level? Here are three suggestions:

Make a new character

It's time to see what else you've got bouncing around in your head or heart. The story of your archmage may be done, but perhaps you might find yourself interested in seeing how a barbarian youth just freed from slavery in this land far away from home will fare. You've seen just about everything there is to see as a blackguard, why not give a paladin a try and figure out your motivations for being one.

Downgrate to a more manageable power level

You're not done with your character yet? You feel there is a whole lot more deeply moving personal story growth ahead for him? Well then, maybe you hit epic levels too fast. Maybe you should experiment with your character losing some of what he's accumulated; his got grows angry with him and strips him down to 10th level, theives make off with some of his extraneous gear and two thirds of his gold. Perhaps you can just say "Naw, there's no way he's had deep enough an impact to be 21+ already, bump him back down to 16 nice and quietly". Perhaps invest his extra gold and gear to build a town or keep, and equip his guards.

Retire as an NPC

This one kind of goes along with the first suggestion really: have your old character converted into an npc, perhaps a quest giver for younger characters, perhaps a merchant. Work with the admin to design a conversation for your former pc that reflects his personality and focus. Perhaps your villain has achieved the wealth he wants, and starts up his own high class resort and gladiatorial arena. Your hero starts an order of knights or a small kingdom of their own somewhere nearby. Perhaps you can enslave a tribe of humanoids of some sort and run your own dungeon, where your old pc is a merchant at the end of it who can sell some specialized selection of gear (and give quest award xp for reaching her.)

Anyways, these are just some of my thoughts.

---
Creator of A Tale of Bone and Steel.

Cloak and Dagger
3/30/2013, 5:23 pm Link to this post Send Email to ExplodingRunes   Send PM to ExplodingRunes
 
The Wids Profile
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Re: Epic Levels: Do we need them?


Or what about taking the epic character's focus away from hack-and-slash to something more sociopolitical?

By the time your character reaches Level 21, he (or she) has likely attracted a variety of friends, allies, servants and enemies during the course of that climb; a number of people in places high and low have become indebted or beholden to the epic character through those deeds, while envious sorts might conspire to undermine him or prove before the masses that he's not so great after all. A baron or two may seek his counsel or ask for his aid and protection, or the epic hero (or villain) may have become a baron himself.

But in the political game, even a Level 5 merchant prince with enough pull in his social caste can pose a threat, and with enemies like that, marching into his manor and splitting his skull will probably create more problems than it solves. So the conflicts which the epic character faces become less hack-and-slash and more cunning and maneuvering (and if your Level 21 Fighter doesn't have the Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma to stay afloat in these waters, then he might work better as the right-hand man to someone who does). Less killing dragons and taking their gold, more undermining Baron Smith's powerbase and disgracing him so that Baron Jones can take his land.

The sociopolitical game can get pretty complicated for players and DMs alike, but you might be surprised at how some players eat it right up. And the DMs are still free to send the occasional arch-behemoth to threaten the nation and provoke the epic character into more overt action if they ever wish to take a break from that.
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Numos Profile
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Re: Epic Levels: Do we need them?


This really has nothing to do with generating content for epic PCs, or with what epic PCs should or could be doing. Some epic have turned themselves into driving forces on the server, and some spend all day killing 2nd level kobolds.

The issue is purely mechanical. Its very difficult to enter conflict with PCs who are very old and impossible to kill. Crunching our level range, just a bit, is intended to make things a bit more even. Maybe not perfectly even. But even enough that if you gather some friends and plan a clever ambush you can kill anyone that's been causing you trouble. I just don't like the idea of someone creating a good antagonist, gathering allies, being scary... and then suddenly a 24th level paladin with giant numbers comes out of retirement and nothing can be done to stop them from squishing said antagonist.

Last edited by Numos, 3/30/2013, 9:08 pm


---
Characters:
Numos: Shapeshifting wizard
Taevis Bentham: Woodsman
3/30/2013, 8:56 pm Link to this post Send Email to Numos   Send PM to Numos
 
ExplodingRunes Profile
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Re: Epic Levels: Do we need them?


Mechanically, closing up the gap is pretty cool. It could also be done with a slightly higher expected average level, if the xp starts cutting off at a later point. But that may not be as tidy as simply eliminating levels beyond 21.

---
Creator of A Tale of Bone and Steel.

Cloak and Dagger
3/30/2013, 9:24 pm Link to this post Send Email to ExplodingRunes   Send PM to ExplodingRunes
 
Aero Silver Profile
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Registered: 03-2013
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Re: Epic Levels: Do we need them?


Hope it is not too late to post a comment on this topic.

If the level cap is lowered to 21, then only the regular classes will manage to acquire one epic feat. All exotic classes that have ECL will be left below the level cap. Is there a way around this?

---
Snacks are of course incredibly important to the roleplaying experience. Being part of a balanced diet, it's essential to have representatives of all four basic food groups: sugar, salt, fat, and caffeine. ~Irregulars - January 02, 2011.
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