Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

RPG Superstar 2015

Epic Levels


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion


Are there any books or web enhancemente coming about this? Those rules are REALLY outdated now, and I never thought they were very well writen anyway.

Thoughts anyone?


It's in the queue to be addressed at some point, but they don't want to screw it up, so it could be a while.

My recommendation? Play 20 levels of a campaign on the Slow XP progression and see if Epic is out before you're done.


To bad I am converting a campaign that's already Epic then... it's gonna be a pain...


There is some mentioning of it on page 406, called Beyond 20th Level


That's REALLY helpful, and VERY different than what we already had, thank you.


Why gee, sorry for trying to help...


I'm sorry that it's going to be a lot of work for you, but it's clear that the old open system didn't work.

Including Epic in the open playtest for PRPG would have been totally insane. Their obligation was to give the core rules a tune up, and I think they accomplished that.

For epic games in the mean time, I'm afraid you're going to have to either use the old rules, or make up some new ones, at least until a decent pathfinder version can be designed. But the fact of the matter is, it would be repeating history if they just threw together a system that looked good without giving it a robust playtest. That's how we ended up with 3.5 epic. When they do it, I want them to do it right.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Here's a link to an existing thread that covers this topic in great detail.


Mad Beetle wrote:
Why gee, sorry for trying to help...

Dude, I was NOT being Sarcastic, it really helped! We used the Epi Level Handbook, and now we will use this! Thanks!

Really, thanks. Not joking here.


Oh, wow, sorry then, glad i could help. :)

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Threadjack:
With the understanding that most people don't like them...

Is there anyone out there interested in a conversion of the old Epic rules? I've been thinking about starting a conversion, if just to see what it would be like.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Arazyr wrote:

Threadjack:

With the understanding that most people don't like them...

Is there anyone out there interested in a conversion of the old Epic rules? I've been thinking about starting a conversion, if just to see what it would be like.

I'd be game to take a whack at it, maybe give you a hand if there's stuff you want another set of eyes looking at.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Kvantum wrote:
Arazyr wrote:

Threadjack:

With the understanding that most people don't like them...

Is there anyone out there interested in a conversion of the old Epic rules? I've been thinking about starting a conversion, if just to see what it would be like.

I'd be game to take a whack at it, maybe give you a hand if there's stuff you want another set of eyes looking at.

Cool. I'm planning to set up a website for it, I'll post here when it's up.


Kvantum wrote:
Arazyr wrote:

Threadjack:

With the understanding that most people don't like them...

Is there anyone out there interested in a conversion of the old Epic rules? I've been thinking about starting a conversion, if just to see what it would be like.

I'd be game to take a whack at it, maybe give you a hand if there's stuff you want another set of eyes looking at.

Ditto, I'd be willing to help as well. Every once in a while, my group take a couple months of a break from the 1st level on up style, and actually roll up high level/epic characters. So I'm interested in something for play beyond 20th, since in about 6 months, my group will be wanting their break...and I'll need something handy =)


Just don't forget p.406! I see the start of a fix in that...


The one problem I see with epic levels is alot of the things that are listed IN epic levels (the skill checks, the non-caster feats, etc) mostly belong in high level play rather than restricted to epic levels.

Seriously, take a look at the list of epic level feats for noncasters, and you'll see that at least 50% of them should be available for anybody with 11+ BAB.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Expanding on what the last poster said, I think a lot of problems with OGL Epic play can be fixed by removing the over-reliance on the term "epic". If a feat should be available at BAB +11 and the only reason it's not is because of the "Epic" requirement, ditch the requirement or fix the feat.

Also, they just used the word "epic" too damned much. The first thing I would do in rewriting the epic rules would be to go through and cross out every superfluous use of the word, making the document about 20% shorter.

I'd rather see a smooth transition than hitting 20th level and suddenly changing gears completely. Whatever book Paizo publishes eventually ought to be a general high-level handbook, with an expanded section on epic levels.


In all fairness Toy Robots, they also put arbitrarily high requirements on the options (Like 26 BAB or 30 skill ranks or such crap) to make it make sense.

But the power level of the abilities themselves is about right where high level non-casters should be performing.


Infact, I just found a feat that should be allowed with just the prerequisites listed. Sure it's a nice feat, but come on people, you have to be 21st level to take This???

As a point of reference, there were three prestige classes (and a 1st level spell) in 3.0/3.5 that removed this issue, because its just not that big a deal.

(Infact, wouldn't you guys agree that dodge and mobility is a pretty hefty set of feat prerequisites for an archer?)


kyrt-ryder wrote:

Infact, I just found a feat that should be allowed with just the prerequisites listed. Sure it's a nice feat, but come on people, you have to be 21st level to take This???

As a point of reference, there were three prestige classes (and a 1st level spell) in 3.0/3.5 that removed this issue, because its just not that big a deal.

(Infact, wouldn't you guys agree that dodge and mobility is a pretty hefty set of feat prerequisites for an archer?)

Yeah. Legolas could do it! Why can't we?

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I do hope they address it as soon as possible. When your trying to bush your own rpg and have missing rules it's never good. Espcially when the solution is to seen your fans to the game your trying to distance yourself from. I never liked the epic Level Book and while the general rules are good and helpful I'm not in a particular mood to build the prestige classess to the Epic Level. The could alwais include in the upcoming Gamemastery Guide imo.

I will say it again it needs to be addressed sooner rather then later. Otherwise they may lose sales because of fans who seeing something missing from the game will decide to pass on PF imo. It's also not helped that they "might" eventually get to it. This soemthing that they need to be more certan about. As it is the game stops you at 20th level. Until the Epic Level Book comes out I'm going to pass on running PF.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Arazyr wrote:
Cool. I'm planning to set up a website for it, I'll post here when it's up.

The site I referred to before is up. Please see my announcment here.

/threadjack


I've been playing epic campaigns for 12 years as a Dm , and, beside the dauntingly amount of math involved in a npc building, and how few really history-building monsters ( no just bashers or tanks, but actual society-shaking able moonsters), my worst nigtmare has always been the same: how the epic level sector of society impacts on the rest of it. Epic characters who could burn a city to the ground all by themselves? fine. Think of them as actual nukes or devastating natural disasters and the ways we treat with them ( mutually-assured-destruction politic among equals, specialized army corps, etc..). Some epic character could charm half a royal court in a wink and take control of the kingdom? fine too, that's why maybe there is a 10th level aristocrats as king of the country, and may be is why a wiser 10th level king seeks loyal 28th level wizards and warriors, priests and thiefs as ministers and counselors. But all of this kind of stuff has always been disdained on nearly every book i've read; therefore , when a master wants to jump to a smoothly-ingrained epic level campaign, he finds he has to improvise a lot of campaign building rules and situations and practically rewrite everything he has worked in his campaign, trying to make this new pcs and npc guys seem old news in the kingdom. And that's absurd. Too many people prefer to return to a lower profile than spend days and days reshaping their worlds to this extent


I don't really think there needs to be an epic book per say, if they ever take it to levels beyond 20th, I hope its a more natural growth then just a tack on product. From what I recall the epic book seemed to brake the mold way to much just because you gained 1 level more past 20th, like the price of things and such.

Maybe it would be better to have a book that would cover lets say the next 10 or even 20 levels so that away the growth and balance may be more easily retained (tested). it dont make sence to me to have rules from 1st to 20th then as nice as it sounds another covering every single level after.

I think doing it this way would make it more easy to balance things like players that want a chance to be a deity even if its a miner deity (demi or so), because if you think about it they are going to already be able to slaughter whole armys, so deity like powers are not so far out there. Oh the other thing I hated was how magic broke down in the epic book, it should continue as is not again brake the mold, just give more slots and spells that are really 10th, 11th, 12th and so on. Anyways thats just a few thoughts on the hole thing. I like levels beyond 20th, just not how it was done.

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Okay.

I can't say that I read ALL 289 posts in the epic thread started by Eric Mona, but I gave it a shot.

I got four general answers out of the lot of them:

1. Epic is silly. Why bother.

2. Epic should be an entirely different game.

3. Epic was cool, but the rules were broken.

4. Epic was okay at low levels (21-40) but unplayable at higher.

As someone who's run an epic campaign since 2006, running the characters from 4th level up through where they are now (ranging from 45-55), I have to say that it's a challenge. An awesome, fun, challenge, but still a challenge. I've estimated we'll end our story arc with the characters between 100 and 120th level, which puts me beyond even the Dicefreaks material.

As it stands, if I were playing with even one player who was trying to break the rules like I've seen at some low-level tables, it would fail. As it is, so much of it can be judgement calls that there is ill will sometimes.

For example, consider a simple spell such as Freedom of Movement and the impact it has on monsters that grapple. Or consider Iron Heart Surge, and what that does to something like a Stone Colossus and its anti-magic field.

I like the fact that the current rules smoothly go from 20 to 21 and above, as that's how I view the campaign. I would not want a game that starts at Epic Level 1, but that's just my preference. I would like to see an epic magic system that's not ridiculous (try creating simple spells like magic missile and see what it gets you).

In reality, I've found it over all to be pretty playable. The story just has to justify having these incredibly powerful characters around. I handle it using three strategies:

1. time pressure - if the characters have no time, then they can't do whatever they want. If you've got a week to save the kingdom, that's only 7 days, folks, and there can be a lot that needs to be done in seven days.

2. limited resources - if they have limited access to magic items, then they don't turn into walking mounds of treasure. And due to limited time, there's no way to make 'em.

3. history and big events - there's a whole lot of subplots and backstory that the characters are unaware of but need to know. Sure, we have battles versus templated primal earth elementals, but we also have inter-kingdom negotiations, long-forgotten portals to Sigil that are watched by ancient organizations, and long abandoned cities with half-legible bas-reliefs containing vital clues.

In short, I don't really need much from an epic system other than general rulings. For example, perhaps all save or die effects allow saves at (level - 20) if you're above 20th level. Simplistic, but that's along the lines of what I mean.

There needs to be a mechanism for dealing with things that come up. No game system can possibly foresee every combination of effects and powers, nor do I want it to.

I don't want it to turn into Chartmaster, but nor do I want a stupid little 1st level spell to bring down my 40th level villian and me to have to nix it with a lame "because I said so." Iron Heart Surge should not be able to automatically negate the anti-magic shell of an Iron Colossus. Demogorgon should be able to grapple you even if you do have freedom of movement running. There should be a way to stop yourself from having your head cut off by a vorpal weapon if you're a 45th-level fighter (especially if you've got a cruel DM who arms a ragewind with vorpal weapons).

Anyway, I found it to be absolutes that break epic stuff the most, so a graceful way of treating non-epic absolutes more cleanly at epic would be the best thing ever.

Now, that is all for my style of play.

There's a whole other camp out there that wants to have vast battles across the multiverse, taking out gods with great blazes of glory. I understand where they're coming from, and if the epic rules support more than one mode of play, that would be really really cool and the book would probably sell even better.

Dark Archive

I use to run epic games as high as 60th level, years ago. As i grew older i began to tone everything down...a lot. As much as I hate to admit it, 4th Ed did give use a really good standard of where to through things in epic.

1-20 (mortals)
21-30 (immortals/epic) where epic characters should end
21-40 (gods)

So, yes, the most powerful thing in the entire universe should be a CR 40...and this is like an all-powerful-all-knowing being that can destroy cities with a spell. This way, even a group of 5 or 6 level 30's would still have a hell of a challenge with a CR 40 as their plot end.

Plus, this makes it "really" easy to balance feats, spells, and skills because we do have and "end". In older books, Asmodious was placed as a CR 32...he's not the most powerful being ever, but even a CR 30 would have a difficult time defeating that.

Now, i do have to agree with one thing gbonehead said above, absolutes break epic games. A simple fix is to simply allow epic characters to bend the rules a little bit around some of these things or to create a series of alternate rules to better support epic games.


I like things simple, but unique. I played second edition and I miss a LOT the fact that when an Ability score was above 18 you gained a nift ability (imunity to some spells, regeneration and so on) I think epic character should have some of that back.

Besides that, I think the simplest the better, sure a 21st level character is stronger than a 20th but it shouldn't be that much so. I despised the lack of balance on epic feats and the absurd difference between an epic caster and a non caster.

One thing I disliked about 2nd edition, but I do realize its good now were the HP rules, about no hp past 10 level, now I realize that although nigh impossible to kill guys like Elminster and such I could land a pretty good hit and end things then and there. I miss this A LOT now, so one thing the epc rules did right was not letting BAB and saves go up like the normal classes, the part where all classes scalated equal was crap though.

I think thats pretty much the gist of it, there is MUCH more on my mind, but I wont get into specifics now.


Sorry this my post is a little late, but This was the first thread that came up in the search, and it makes valid points.

What I would like to see in epic games, is epic advancement for not just classes, but the races them selves.

A 21s level Dwarf Fighter, isn't just a Fighter, its a Dwarf that's Advanced that far, maybe when a character advances to beyond 20th, maybe its racial abilities can grow as well?

Just my thoughts. My RP group are between 32nd level and 35th level right now, they all just took 20 levels in their main classes (Alchemist, Cleric, Fighter, Rogue and Sorcerer, then 10 levels in a prestige class. (we have a house rule of only having one prestige class).Then we made up house rules to govern the next 3-5 levels of advancement's for the 2 who didn't want to take a 2nd core class (the sorcerer and the alchemist).

(First post so HI! I love pathfinder, it brought us all back to D20!)

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I don't think rules for epic play are needed per se. Just keep advancing characters as usual. If someone has maxed out 20 levels in one class, pick up a new class, or a prestige class. Just keep going.


Are there even any monsters currently in pathfinder that can challenge an epic character?


jpomzz wrote:
Are there even any monsters currently in pathfinder that can challenge an epic character?

A pair of well-played solars, or a great wyrm gold dragon and friends.


It is very easy to advance "normal" monster and make them epics.
Balor+20 levels of anti paladin is just one way. =)

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Lots of them. There's creatures in the bestiarys at CRs of 20+, and simple modifications, addition of class levels or HD advancement can easily make them tougher.

Plus, if you avoid the solo monster problem (1 monster vs. multiple PCs) then the PCs don't win the action economy battle, either.


Hmm, random little thought. Absolutes can be very damaging for epic campaigns, but you don't want to make a wizard's lower spells completely useless. I'm of the philosophy that a very cleverly used cantrip can and should be more powerful in some cases than a level 9 spell. If it's used cleverly enough. Perhaps have a range of level/CR difference between target and PC where absolutes still apply (save-or-die probably excepted), but outside that range a save is allowed past level 20 (depending on which is doing the casting)?
A level 43 wizard's version of Freedom of Movement is gonna be DANG more powerful than a level 19 wizard's version, just because of how much sheer magical power they should have to throw behind it.

Just an idea. Also, what's the projection, if any, on the epic rules getting written? Just curious.

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Cerunnos wrote:

Hmm, random little thought. Absolutes can be very damaging for epic campaigns, but you don't want to make a wizard's lower spells completely useless. I'm of the philosophy that a very cleverly used cantrip can and should be more powerful in some cases than a level 9 spell. If it's used cleverly enough. Perhaps have a range of level/CR difference between target and PC where absolutes still apply (save-or-die probably excepted), but outside that range a save is allowed past level 20 (depending on which is doing the casting)?

A level 43 wizard's version of Freedom of Movement is gonna be DANG more powerful than a level 19 wizard's version, just because of how much sheer magical power they should have to throw behind it.

Just an idea. Also, what's the projection, if any, on the epic rules getting written? Just curious.

One of the crucial foundations of any mythic rules will be handling of absolutes. I was thinking about this recently, and whether it's via an ability all characters gain at above-20 levels, whether it's feat or "epic archetype"-based, or whatever, there has to be a way for super-high-level characters to deal with all those "no save you lose" abilities, powers, and feats, for they just get crazy after a point.

As for the projection, nobody's saying.

But my prediction is we'll have an announcement of something at Gen Con 2012, for playtesting in 2013 and release in 2013 or so. I'm hoping some of the messageboard members might be allowed some insight before then - there's a number of people on these boards who have spent significant time playing at high levels (Kain in particular comes to mind, but also DeathQuaker, TOZ and a few others), and coming up with a system without their input strikes me as a lost opportunity.


Xum wrote:

Are there any books or web enhancemente coming about this? Those rules are REALLY outdated now, and I never thought they were very well writen anyway.

Thoughts anyone?

Back in 3.5 days I had drawn out the rules for character levels from 21st to 60th. When I shifted to PF (and noticed that Golarion's deities had no stats), I went to updating the rules for it and had some additional ideas for how to handle characters past 20th.

I'd posted the meat of them on EN World but here's a quick summary.

No core/base classes go past 20. Characters that want to go past 20 need to multiclass or get into prestige classes. The 20 level cap represents "all there is to know" about a class. If the NPC classes are elementary school, the 20-level classes are high school and the prestige classes are college degrees. No one is supposed to stay in high school even to their thirties, so 20 levels in a class means it's time to count yourself "graduated" and move on to a prestige class already.

The 20 level limit also represents a metaphysical barrier on personal evolution. It's a law of nature that few mortals (or creatures) can surpass, and it's part of the gulf that separates the mortals from the deities. If just anyone and anything could advance as far as they wanted, the world would be full of monsters far beyond CR 20, and no civilization would be unattainable.

The secret to achieving epic status is to go on a grand epic-level quest. When the PCs go on the quest, there are certain rules to be followed to avoid 'disqualification,' such as no outside help, having to defeat at least one CR 21+ challenge per questor, and XP earned being held back till the quest is complete. There aren't any judges per se to gauge whether the PCs proved themselves deserving of epic status other than the GM, but once accomplished, the PCs get their earned XP and can progress to epic levels (21st-40th).

Epic characters are more than mortal, but not quite immortal. They run up against 40th level as a second barrier to advancement. Going past this is only possible by attaining immortality i.e. gaining a divine rank of zero, which may or may not be with the consent of the gods (though immortality is much easier to accomplish if you can gain their favor in advance).

The ultimate limit of 60 levels is a divinely-imposed one in order to maintain balance between opposing deities. Anyway when you have countless eternities to obtain new knowledge or develop new class abilities, there's no need to be in a rush; level grinding is for the pitiable petitioners-to-be.

Shadow Lodge

Epic level thread necromancy? I approve!

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
TOZ wrote:
Epic level thread necromancy? I approve!

You and me both, my friend. One of these days you'll be back in the states and we'll join forces at a table, and None Shall Stand Before Us.

:)

Shadow Lodge

PaizoCon?

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
TOZ wrote:
PaizoCon?

I've been trying to convince my gf that Seattle is a beautiful place for a vacation. Given that I'm not going to Origins these days, odds are increasing that I'll be making it to PaizoCon at some point.

And by that point, perhaps I'll have my epic Pathfinder event ready. That would be super-keen.


the topthing on the line for the 20+ levels is a anme change

EPic does not cut the mustard or cheese

Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder RPG / General Discussion / Epic Levels All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.