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You have a point on some aspects, Diego, but I'm afraid I'm still not sold on the proper adjutication of this spell's level. Especially on the magus case. Let me explain it as a general case first and then in the case of the magus ( and somewhat less, the Inquisitor's). As a generic case, comparing it between both spells (a touch, quickened spell in a 6th level spell slot - to balance out spell slots and kind of action- Vs decapitate) you have to consider:

  • Our generic spell requires the following rolls to fully work: any succesful hit roll and a saving throw. On the other hand, Decapitate requires an specific subset of the possible "succesful hit rolls" results and and another succesful hit roll ( the critical confirmation roll) plus the same kind of saving throw ( Vs fort, same dc, so no difference to consider here). That implies that in the second case, unless crits are somehow automatically succesful, your chances of using decapitate any one round are less than those of our generic one. As you said yourself, you can achieve to make, more or less, one crit every other round as an impresively good rate, and I'm sure you're character is build for them. Meanwhile, a magus without that spell would have cast one generic spell each round: that implies any two succesful hit rolls ( still, these are better chances than one succesful and one critical), posibly critical hits by themselves. That means two spell effects plus twicenormal combat damage for the attack ( while decapitate only would add one time) plus twice the possible special effects as poison, flaming/frost/shock... Even if you cast one generic spell the first round, and make a crit the second one to cast Decapitate, you have less chances to acomplish both (the crit confirmation roll again), losing some things along the way. On the long run, a couple of 6th level spell slots spent on Decapitate spells are less useful than a couple of quickened frigid touchs, for example .
    Diego Rossi wrote:
    Disintegrate: sure, if you have taken Close Range. AFIK a magus hasn't so many nice ray spell to make that a mandatory choice unless you build your character around it.

    I concur that there is no so many ray spells to make close range an enticing option at low and middle levels, per se. But once you get the disintegrate spell, well, let's say you and almost every magus in the world would be very happy to take "close range" as your next Magus arcana.

    Diego Rossi wrote:
    Note that decapitate can be cast in addition to disintegrate, you cast disintegrate as part of spell combat, decapitation as a reaction after scoring a critical.

    At first I thought that this might be the one and only reason for me to agree on setting decapitate as a 6th level spell: both competing for the top level spell slots to avoid such a combo. But since spellstrike clearly says that spell crit is always x2, disintegrate makes you dust no matter if you saved or not when you have zero or less hps left... I still can't see the need to spend high level spell in such conditions ( the extra 4d6 not as base, multipliable-on-a-crit, damage).

    Diego Rossi wrote:
    BTW, on a critical disintegrate is a minimum of 64d6. If I am fighting a magus and have access to greater spell immunity I will select it as one of the warded spells.

    Ups, sorry, I miscalculated that. And at these levels, it's a very sensible thing to do to ward yourself against disintegrate, in any case.

    Diego Rossi wrote:
    "Finger of death or slay living" are standard action casting time spells. Comparing them to a immediate action spell is comparing two widely different things.

    No, no, no... I'm afraid that you might have misunderstood me. What I was trying to say is that Decapitate , as a 5th level spell is quite more interesting to them than to magus ( and, obviously, wizards ), specially since they don't have spells of the likings of slay living or finger of death: deadly and dramatic. Again, my bad, sorry.

  • Diego Rossi wrote:

    1) Generally extra dice are never multiplied.

    2) If the target fail its save it increase your critical multiplier and that can be a lot of extra damage.
    3) Magus 6, immediate action, cast after you confirm the critical. About 30% of my magus attacks are a potential critical. I confirm most of them, so calling it "a rare occurrence" is misleading, it is reasonably common, With a full attack I get a critical at least every other round.
    4) if the target save the spell do little, as most spells. Normal.

    "losing their heads it no big deal"
    1) You don't die until you get as many negative hp as you have constitution, so it can be a big deal;
    2) breath of life. Even if you go under constitution it can revive you, but it will not reattach your head.

    Spell level: turning a spell into a swift action cost 4 spell levels. Immediate actin is even better than that. So we are speaking of the power level of a level 2 standard action spell.

    • I'm afraid I cannot agree with such an optimistic point of view, at least with the magus. Even for a Magus hellbent on making as much crits as possible, the benefits of this spell pale before the usually accepted touchstone on single-target damage-dealing spells: disintegrate. That's a spell you can use via the Close range Arcana for your spellstrikes. Assuming you are the lowest possible magus level ( 16) to cast it , you are giving up an inmediate action ( this is, a quick spell with its normal melee damage -via spellstrike-) and 32d6 (112 points on average)/5d6 (17.5 ) and the absolute destruction of the target in case he fell to zero or less hit points no matter the S.T roll( so no breath of life either). On the other hand, according to your opinion, Decapitate gives you plus one time your normal melee damage and 4d6 (plus beheading if the target's reduced to 0 or less hp) on a Failed save, or 4d6 (and no beheading at all, no matter target's hp). All things considered, I'm still losing 28d6/1d6 and the advantage of he enemy being turned to dustif he falls below 0 hp, plus another posibility of inflicting other effects via another attack ( let's say another posibility of poisoning), all made every round ( as long as you have 6th level spells, same with Decapitate) instead of once every two at most.

      From my point of view,It's only interesting in case you are an Inquisitor ( mainly due to the scarcity of damaging spells on their spell lists). They don't have anything comparable to finger of death or slay living ( which , by the way, also have the advantage of being death efects, with all that it implies)

    • I'm not so sure we should measure the fact that It is an inmmediate action so literally as you suggest. After all, feather fall is also an inmediate action, and following that line of reasoning would put it at lower than a zero level spell!!!. Joking aside, In this case I think it's because there's no other option, since "as part of an attack" it's not a standard Casting time line.

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    If the target fails the saving throw and has a discernible head, the attack deals an extra 4d6 points of damage and the critical multiplier of the critical hit increases by 1. If the critical hit then brings the target to 0 hit points or fewer, the target is instantly decapitated and dies unless it can survive decapitation.

    Does that mean that you add 4d6 to your base damage ( and thus multiply it accordingly)? Or you should add them up AFTER calculating the bonuses? In the latter case, the spell is in my opinion wildly overpriced ( It's at the very least a 5th level spell, dependant on a relatively rare condition - to score a critical hit-, with an insignificant increase of damage implied, and a secondary efect very spectacular but not so useful, in the end : They are already dead or dying, so unless you are a vampire, losing their heads it no big deal)

    There's actually an small issue with your construct: rapier isn't one of the accepted weapons on the list of Perfect strike ;only kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, and siangham are allowed to perform a Perfect strike. Check it with your DM if he wants to expand the list of allowed weapons to include rapiers and other non monk-typical weapons.

    In my opinion, one main problem for many people who try to play at high levels is that they don't understand that pc are not longer underdogs in the greater scheme, but also that their opponents aren't either. Somewhere it was said that with your resources, the bad guys doesn't have a real chance, because, for instance, the massive use of commune will inform you of anything you might need to know. It's just an example, of course, but, the logical conclusion would be that your opponent would also use it massively, and react accordingly to it, basically knowing what you know and invalidating your knowledge by making the adecuate corrections: not need to put clearly unfair stuff like the mindblank spell into play ( which, in the long run is not as useful as you might think it is). The lich could relocate his philactery, for example, when his priestly acolytes warn him of the danger they foresought coming from the pcs, making the pcs readings meaningless after ten minutes. The point is that for every easy move you can make based solely on raw power, there's a logical countermaneouver to it that surely is on play, as a simple matter of ssurvival. It takes time to imagine most of them, of course, but other seems to be pretty straigtforward
    Also, both sides play in a field where they have to develop a high degree of finesse, mastering at very least two or three roles from the typical panoply ( a wizard, for instance, could be your typical blaster and as skill-wise as usual, but at this level they have the resouces to be, I don't know, maybe a second healer? many summoned creatures can heal a great deal, specially when they work in tandem... and, of course, the heal spell is a 5th level spell for adepts, so you could always be there for your fellow comrades in case of dire need). With this in mind, Trying the old routine of making your Pc or Npc a very powerful one-trick-pony is preposterous, one of the usual traps that makes high level games a dull exchange of (very spectacular but ultemately boring) rolls. At high levels it's the time you must be particularly creative and try to think out of the box

    I, being a DM, have to face a few other problems with this kind of automatic bonuses system: Nowhere says what kind of bonuses should you apply for a NPC or those few monsters with an equivalent treasure.

    • If you simply give them the bonuses expected for a character of their level, they are obviously quite more powerful than the older versions without this boost (who only had around 20-40% of the equipment for a character of their level). CRs for NPCs and NPC-like creatures should be recalculated ( by an utterly unknown CR amount)or not apply them the automatic bonus progression. On the other hand, it stretches anyone's sense of reality that this kind of innate power only apllies to a few characters, namely the pcs (who, by the way, are now more powerful in combat than before, deepening the relative power breach breach between them)

    • As the Unchained book says, players tend to be clearly more powerful just by giving them all the upgrades for free. They are not even much less versatile, due to the huge amount of money they formerly had to spend to pay for the older versions and the number of slots they were forced to use with them ( around 60-80%). So cutting their budget in half doesn't seem enough to keep them on par with the older versions. This is really a problem, because all monsters' CR are designed with the old standards in mind. Even if you agree to keep PCs and NPCs even, monsters without NPCs treasure suddenly became weaker than expected for their CRs; but then, if you give them full pcs bonuses for their level, they improve spectacularly. Maybe some sort of template made for them to compensate, carefully measured to tailor the improved specs, would be a good idea

    I've tried giving all NPCs half NPC treasure but full pc bonuses and pcs stats for just +1CR( that is, Level=CR), and it seems to work, but I'm still unsure of what to do with other creatures. Any Idea?

    I've trying for years to implement some sort of fey wars, but unfortunatedly most of the fey they put into the previous bestiaries were not only physically feeble ( that was something you could easily accept and work with) but laughably lacking of any kind of "wonder" or real capacity to be any kind of menace. It's very difficult to think that something that instilled so much fear in our forefathers heart could be just a few tinkerbells-like sprites. So I'd like to see some heavy-weights like the old 3.5 hoary hunter or my favourite, the leshay, with at least some sort of proper introduction to the seelie/unseelie court system and society. (The thanes and the like are more endgame monsters, instead of social creeatures the player could interact). Following that chain of thought, i'm also quite partial to the idea of creating around them a really living, magical forest, full of intelligent plant creatures and magical beasts ( for example the coltpixie, something I took from my old ADD books: the mount of fey nobles, able to ride twelve times as fast as a horse no matter its size -they could shrink to a mouse's size in a blink, with or without their riders-).

    I also would like to sugest to put a few more asuras ( wonderful idea, indeed: ascets of destruction hellbent to destroy what they perceive as the failures of the Gods) and something that may help with the old problem of having long standing guardians of someplace without having to always resort to mindless undeads and constructs ( if you play a few dungeons on a row, your players end preparing only for those kind of threats, which is boring as hell). Maybe some sort of semisentient plants or intelligent oozes ( I'm actually making a good deal of use of mezlans)

    I'm not so fond of cheating rolls or defenses in the middle of the encounter, 'cause it defeats the whole purpose of randomly generated values for a battle. Besides, you'll be unjustly punishing your players for being good at it ( inventing new tactics, trying new spells...).

    But let's go to the point at hand.

    Since Pc are tailor-made and standard monsters usually aren't, it usually ends in the "walk in the park" scenario more often than not when you don't have the time or the skill to work it out a bit before the actual game session(bit of advice: change the feats and spells of your monsters, 'cause they only use the core rulebook ones -in case there's someone without access to new materials or srd- making whole species clonics and thus boring as hell) . When you try to apply the few basic rules they give you to optimize "on the fly" an encounter (basically, the templates on the bestiaries), you may found you still fell short or did a massacre because the two basic concepts involved are so meagerly expressed: ECL and CR. ECL is an average, cr it's an estimation of the danger and level of resource depletion it involves. The difference tells you the level of the encounter, along with the appropriate xp reward they deserve. But at least one of them (ecl) is blurry ( as I said, tailor-made pcs tend to be out of the standard... there's nothing wrong with that), so you have to fine-tune the cr to acomplish the adecuate level of danger. You have the basic ecl, the stated CR of the monster, and then add or substract a few new conditions to modify the difference. There are the usual fast templates (under monster advancement in the basic bestiary) a few under "designing encounters" in the gamemastering section of the core rulebook ("ad hoc adjustments") and a few other that can be extrapolated from the very system or experience. It's what I call the "1/2 level tuning" rule

    Here there are a few basic 1/2 level ecl modifiers:

    • level of magic: every step up or down in the magic level of your campaign ( It determines the general level of equipment they own) not counting the extra on a fast advancement play . +1/2 or -1/2.
    • every pc beyond 4. +1/2
    • every pc less than 4. -2/2
    • Higher than average stats. That's difficult to ascertain, but you may say that for every 4 extra points of bonuses (beyond 4) on average amounts to +1/2 to ecl. Check over your players pc's .

    And here we have a few basics 1/2 level cr modifiers:

    • Adding +4,+4,+2,+2,+0,-2 to the monster's stats ( the same that if you were giving him a Pc class) +1/2
    • ambush conditions: monsters got surprise round (+1/2 or -1/2 when they are ambushed)
    • readiness: +1/2 if they are fully prep beyond their normal conditions ( the ones they say are already counted on their stats)
    • equipment: for every step up or down on the listed treasury for that level (if they can actually use it) +1/2 or -1/2.
    • "0 or +1 cr" templates. Add 1/2 intead of 0.
    • extra feats: this is tricky and have to be carefully considered, but you can add 2 feats for a +1/2. Some feats are more potent than others, obviously, so if it feels too good a combo to be true, it probably is. I usually recommend using two of these( all feats without prerequisites): improved initiative, toughness, combat reflexes, dodge, greater fortitude, iron will, lightning reflexes, fleet, magical aptitude, skill focus and the like, weapon focus, vital strike... but you can use anything you think would be addecuated and plausible ( it's your group, you know them better than anyone)

    How all this works? What is important it's the difference between cr and ecl. (0 diference amounts the pxs of a unmodified average encounter for their unmodified ECL, +1 for an unmodified challenging etc, etc...) Let's say that you allow your five players ( +1/2 to ecl) play with high average stats (+1/2 to ecl), your campaign is one level richer than the standard one ( +1/2 to ecl), all of them 5-level characters. We are actually talking of an ecl of +3/2 ( for a total of 6.5 ecl), so you need add that amount to CR to compensate on your encounters. Take the basic Cr of the creature listed in your printed adventure, and for example, add the advanced template ( +1) and perhaps improved initiative and tougness (+1/2). If this was an average combat, you will give them xp for an average combat of their level for a four pcs' group ( take the px amount given in the monster and divide it by four: every pc must win this ) no matter if the monster was actually a cr 6.5

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    My two cents:
    -More asuras ( the rebels against Gods's mistakes, very juicy plot)
    -I concur with many of berselius's. Especially the Tulany, and many of the angels: good guys make the best bad boys, sometimes.
    -Leshay, old faery lords, survivors from a reality that was made imposible to exist by their selfish meddling into its natural laws.
    -Some kind of Faery lords. Fey, generally speaking, would be also most welcome
    -A full type of Dream creatures, preying on mortal's psyches from the fringes of the Vigil, pressing boundaries to get into reality. They may be themed by the mind states and illness( calmness, happiness, schizophrenia, delusion...) that afflict the mindscapes where they prefer dwelling/preying
    - More soulless abominations from outer space.
    -Parangon creatures: template for the mythic blueprint of the perfect specimen that nature had in mind when created their lesser forms. Not necessarily the most powerful ones, though. (Animal lords are somewhat limited... but it's a start)
    -Really powerful hags: their unholy cunning, wickedness and bizarre debauchery would always be a refreshing draft into any stale hack-and-slash campaign. Don't be stingy with the ambition and greed overnotes, please, so they´d be comfortable taking on whole realms and cults with their lesser brethen. They can even be made into Mithic ones, like the wicked old witch of the West, from The Wizard of Oz storybook, needing rare and peculiar ways to permanently dispose of them ( like dropping a house on her, or dressing her with her sister´s clothes... )
    -Dance Macabre: that is a name that can inflict some serious horror into the most dour Pcs. It would make a perfect Hammelin's Piper.
    -Black Phoenix: the other half of the Phoenix soul. Maybe that'd be why they can't die easily ( you need to kill them both), or maybe one it's the male and the other one the female of the species
    -The soul-depredatting Daemons need a few more specimens to be a real player in the big leagues
    -Revisiting some of the children tales's characters and monsters, we can try some new approaches to old themes. Let's take, for example, the Grey Gentlemen from Michael Ende's Momo : an entire species of Parasites preying on free Time. They can be made into a kind of outsider, bringing riches into the cities but draining years and/or charisma ( willforce) of their citizens. There's a few more things, of course, but their main role sounds new and old at the same time.


    Kthulhu wrote:
    leandro redondo, your classification system is interesting, but it's flawed for the Pathfinder setting. Iomede is of a greater power gp than the Four Horsemen, but they are far more multiversal powers than she is. She's not even widely known across Golarion.

    That only means that she has much more influence here than they have, so probably she is a local goddess or a multiversal goddess on the wane. No body says that local gods can't expand beyond their lands, usually when a certain culture expands too. Iomede is actively worshiped here, but probably the four horsemen keep just a few cults, rather more interested in the power of Daemons servants and allies than anything else. They can be catalogued as multiversal demigods ( more powerful here and there, with a rise in status in some worlds) and she could be a local goddess of higher status, but only in some worlds ( as golarion). Making a cheap comparison, you could say the same to a big company( say a diamond mining company), but quite local, and a world widespread one with just a few business in the same place( say a newspaper publisher). This local company can have obscene profits with some quiet an discreet kinds of bussines, while the other one works in another line of bussiness, maybe even with less profits on the whole.

    Simple: I allowed the magic item middle-man. Then I roll in the cities the magic items that appear for salling ( at random): they can rent the services of finder agents ( explaining in some way why are so costly to buy those objects) in many cities, so when the one they want appear, they can buy it. Many of them are quite usual, but the rarest of them they have to find them in other ways ( treasures)or make'em. I don't like the idea of the magic mall, it's cheap and cheesy, with no glamour in it whatsoever, so no magic shops, just collectors and middlemen

    In my opinion, you are a little bit overreacting. Don't worry, It happens a lot with newbies, and it's nothing to be ashamed ( many people gets angry when they are ashamed, cause no one likes to be ashamed and being critisized): for me , your problem was that You were playing as DM as you were playing as a Pc, when the goal of Dming it's a completely diferent one. Usually, pcs play to win, but DM should play for the play AND the audience, so the terms win or lose are of a secondary importance.

    They weren't a group prepared to fight, so? when something like that happens, and happens a lot, what you should clearly impress into their minds it's that they must play to their strengths, not their weakness. You said you helped them building their characters, because none of them were very used to pathfinder, so you should have made it very clear and provide with the resources: instead of fighting , they could have sneak out of the scene via invisibility or flying. Or use some silent images to deceive them with false walls and the like. They´ll need to be extra resourceful in the future, that's all.

    I'm not a fan of DM-omming pcs, but not of being hostile to them, either: given time, they usually adapt quite well to a unusual situation and thrive. Just try not to shove them too hard into your ways or they will be resentful to you. Give them some "training wheel" sessions until they get used to the new system and to their comrades, adjust some of their spells, give them some wands or allow'em feats like the old reservoir feats of 3.5 to avoid the "quickly depleted and useless" situation and your next day should go smoothier. But don't rob them the control by impossing something they don't want at all, like a npc tank fighter ( a Deus ex machine solution type than would make'em feel they don't deserve any merits in the outcome of the adventure) And be patient! after all you are learning, too, to be a DM.

    Maybe, like the wall of force spell, forcecage needs to be unbroken to be formed. This reflex save means you could put your arm, a weapon or whatever while it's forming and partially or completely prevent it from coalesce. Obviously, it would mean that the force cage it's destroyed ( again, partially at least), but it's a solution to the pesky question on extra movement actions ( even when you are out of them) to avoid it.

    It depends on how you imagine the spells works. Personally, I think the spell wording means that the sparking part doesn't depends on whether you are or not invisible, that is, It sheds some sort of light on their own (albeit minimal, but light nonetheless), not mere reflections of the surrounding light. That's why it imparts penalties to stealth checks, no matter lightning ( even being in complete darkness)

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    I see people has many problems with what I call the "upper top reference limit" problem, that is, there has to be something that, no matter how powerful you are, it cannot be defeated or ignored. It's deeply ingrained in occidental culture, permeated as it is by our main religions traditions of an all-powerful God. It's fine, but this is just a game, not a religious campaign. "Gods" can be whatever we want them to be. With that in mind, may I suggest some ways to deal with the problem without creating any problem with your subconcious?

      there are three kind of gods:
    • primeval gods ( demiurges, creators of multiverses, removed from them just not to destroy them by their pure Magnificence. They are what Absolute power means, the Gods of Gods themselves) They don't mingle with their own creations, just watch them. If so, they work through their agents and foremans ( the rest of the gods)
    • Multiversal gods: they are the wardens of creations itself, maybe creator of one or two world or planes, living manifestations of some force or concept like Death or Demonkind. In some places they are stronger than they are in others, but they are represented across the entire cosmos in one or another way ( Greek god Poseidon probably would be never heard of in a Dune-like world, so he at most would be considered a quasigod in there under another name). Working with diferent levels of power and forms depending on the place, means they only can work with local representations of themselves ( avatars, powerful enough to destroy contries, but quite more on the league of extremely powerful Pcs or parties than their practically unkillable true essences - they are the sentient part of some fundamental constant of the Cosmos, remember-). A god can be forbidden by ancient primeval laws to manifest themselves in a world where they have been "killed", i.e, their avatars banished or destroyed, their followers decimated... especially when some other god takes on the power vacuum left quickly ( think about it as a god "losing" a franchise in a place against a more voracious rival, and that it can be a temporary or permanent lose depending of, I don't know, number and will of his followers? Some forgotten rite? name it ).
    • " local" Gods: Think about them as incarnations of local concepts ("protector of the Sacrum Imperium or something along that line) or managers of the local franchise of a greater concept. Usually ascended mortals, they depend on their followers to keep the flame of faith on more than the former gods ( with followers across the universe). Their limited scope make them more vulnerable to mortal interference than their more all-encompassing brethren, so when someone manages to "kill" them they are definetively dead. That in no way mean that they can't be obscenely powerful, even more than second type gods when they are on their own fiefdoms, but it's easiest to destroy a nation of followers than expurge fire or love themselves from Cosmos.

    There would be a fourth kind, individuals born or gifted with a spark of divine essence, basically mortals with a touch of divinity imbued. Think of special Solars, Pit fiends, Draconals, mortal heroes... Individuals on their path to Ascension or boosted by gods to better serve them, with just the faintiest hint of their Glory to keep them apart from the average mass of their kin.

    This is how I managed to solve the conflicting ideas and sensibilities of my player's group, and worked out surprisingly well.

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    being honest, It's quite irritating reading some people demanding and forcing other people not to play whatever they wanna play. They even claim they are bad RPs 'cause they don't wanna give up they favorite characters at some artificial point, and accusing them of weak-minded powermongerism and.... well, It seems of everything possible. How they dare to deride someone for not to change their stuff, when they won't dare to change their own campaign level reference? Do you really think that epic levels are just being the alpha male of a small country? That would be ridiculous. Campaigns need to grow up in scope as much as in deepness, renovating they challenges or otherwise It's just a jail for everyone's imagination. Planes are just one posible way to play in the major leagues without upsetting your homeworld, as are other worlds or even deep space ( those charming lovecraft settings of deep darkness full of dark gods and cruel abominations , mmmm). Someone told that everybody would succumb to dread and angst just of knowing of such powerful people roams free in the world, loosing their will to be an adventurer and yadda yadda... Well, It seems logical to me that people tend to work with those of comparatively equal power ( what's the point in fighting a puny 1st level kobold, being you of 16th level? It's just a waste of time, and probably your true enemies would be 16th or so, too): being epic, you just move to a diferent arena, and left many things behind.

    Many people claims that epic level rules were broken, and just too improvised to be of any use past a certain point: well, that's why you need a solid new set of rules, well balanced and fitting for the system. Epic monster manual are handy as well, as a way to provide for help for the always-too-busy master, and in many cases as a inspirational source too ( my! Asuras and rakshasas have became an axis for my campaign since I fell in love with the Idea behind the topic).

    On the other hand, I'm not sure mythic campaign tiers will be a solid adition to rules. It seems to me like reward system running in parallel to regular one, making the diference between regular characters and "mythic" ones a quite deep chasm: if you play a 2nd mythic level bard and wins more opportunities than a plain second level old bard, everybody would take mythic, needing a complete review of the sistem just to fit them in.

    An afterthought: I don't know why people are so fixed on the "epic = godskiller" idea. Gods are what DM want to make them. He/she decides if gods are fair game or not. In Chinese mythology, gods can and actually die quite regularly, and norse mythos aren't so contrary on the idea. You may actually mix invulnerable gods and "lesser" other quite-not-inmortals ( local gods, maybe, depending on few worshippers to mantain their status)

    jpomzz wrote:
    But then I'd be just making them a slightly weak full caster... Warlock is more like a blaster with a bunch of utility

    I suggested using words of power because you can alter them in many ways on the fly, transforming their blast in the old ways of the blast shape and eldritch essence invocations without using any kind of feat.

    Besides, the elemental effect word are quite blastersome. Take as an example electricity words: you will shoot rays causing 1d4/level up to 5th, then you'll change next word and start to inflict 1d6/level up to 10th, then you'll change to next word and inflict 1d8/level (maximum 15d8 to one target + 1/2 that damage to any other targets included in the effect)... on a burst-, line-, cone-, even barrierlike-, shape, whatever suits you at the moment, again and again and again...
    If you are looking for something more physical, try this: substitute DR for a slightly modified Arcane strike (allowing them to use powerword caster level as caster level equivalent) as a class feature, and do the same with heavy armor and arcane shield

    Instead using the old 3.5 invocations, you could use some of the words of power from Ultimate magic. I don't know, perhaps when they get another invocation, they can choose from a list of words, or try to make another word combining the ones already in existance ( as per usual rules, in a very personal combination that they could name after themselves, like Marmoretto's Grave Breath instead the plain Selected Ice Blast Life Leech ). Be picky with the effect word types you allow them to choose, 'cause they could cast'em at will, and don't allow them to spontaneously mix effect words ( the only combos of effect words, again, would be when they get a new invocation). Lose the arcane blast, and give them progresively more powerful attack words instead ( elemental words are a perfect solution).
    You can rule that not every effect world family could be pursued up to 9th level ( I recommend only one or two, plus one elemental as I said, and 5 or six up to 6th) for every kind of warlock, and rule out some groups or specific effect power words. ( healing words, foremost)
    There'd be too many bonus feats, then, if you mix this and your template: 1/5 would be more than enough to cope with the rest of the mixed spellcasting types, and it would be preferable a short list to choose from to a free selection.
    Last, giving them DR and heavy armor would be, in any case, too much

    I've played epic campaign for 10 or more years, and loved every minute of them, but at the end, I found it was a tad bit like the Cold War era's arms race. Classes' balance started to spin off out of control, because the system was only oriented to create simple projections of their initial bare mechanics without minding their interclass balance: that made'em unique, of course, and most memorable, but made very dificult to make up a fair and clear challenge to everyone. So I came with the Idea of , insted making every class scalate , put a few common paths with very similar basics (2/3 bab, for example, for everyone) but with a new array of posibilities for everyone to explore. New options to explore outside your class of choice, not always combat oriented ( for instance, there was your typical lonely ranger who developed a very promising career as singer in faeries court when he started developing something like bard's music, enraging the woods's denizens against civilization's defiling of nature and so on). I was only able to put four of them together ( I 'm a bit lazy, sorry) using bits from other classes, but they don't really need to be like this. Let's say that'd be in the Pf spirits if you made your paths with some cool, original and fixed array of characteristics ( I dunno, maybe something thematics oriented, like elemental themes, ) and like oracles and witches do, a body of feats-powers-whatever to choose outside base mechanics (for instance, some of the bards songs in the aforementioned example).
    Obviously, paths won't go on forever. I put a cap on 16 levels before they end ( I was playing the old world of 1st edition, mystara, and used a 36 level system in their npcs), but was more than enough to create Pcs and Npcs unique and not so much overpowered as to shadowing gods and the like.

    Possesing creatures like Gho'auld from the Stargate series, so you can have your favourite evil mastermind Change bodies and be always be a fresh and surprising challenge. Psionics would be handy, of couse, or innate magicks, for such bodyswitching beings
    Hivemind intelligent creatures, like the abeils were in 3.5, with social structure
    One of my favourites, the leshay, with their sad history of ubermonster outcasts that destroyed their own universe. Following that, more fey lords
    More limnorns
    more asuras

    Glendwyr wrote:
    That said, I'm kind of thinking that "I hope the DM allows my trick for bypassing the 5' range limitation on holly berries and I assume that AM fails half his saves because otherwise it isn't fair" is... well, you're a druid 20. Surely you're the last person who should be talking about things being unjust!

    Just a few clarifications maybe in order to explain my position on this topic, the necessity of DM's Good will to allow my "little trick", or the necessity to make a specificaly made character-contraption to win this little bet of ours.

    Holly Berry Bombs: You turn as many as eight holly berries into special bombs. The holly berries are usually placed by hand, since they are too light to make effective thrown weapons (they can be tossed only 5 feet). If you are within 200 feet and speak a word of command, each berry instantly bursts into flame, causing 1d8 points of fire damage + 1 point per caster level to every creature in a 5-foot-radius burst and igniting any combustible materials within 5 feet. A creature in the area that makes a successful Reflex saving throw takes only half damage.

    As You see, there's no ironcast 5' range limitation implied´: you can put them wherever you like, but you can't toss them further than 5' because they are too light. Removing that condition ( adding some weight to their container) , in my humble opinion, doesn't call for a ground-breaking, soft-hearted DM's pronouncement, , just some common sense ( and, yes, I'm assuming common sense is somehow involved in a live, person-to-person, emulation of reality, but maybe I'm wrong).

    Another of my seemingly wild guesses: that I have a fighting chance. Assuming that my opponent can be affected by my spells at least half of the times ( maybe a little more, maybe a little less, depending how the dice roll, of course) I firmly believe it's a good definition of it. Otherwhise, why bother? You can just rule out that your opponent wins, that you're dead, and so you can now join the always-winning team and play a new copy of your RAGELANCEPOUNCE, as all of your friends, to fight RAGELANCEPOUNCEs as you ( the only worthy opponents around, as it seems).
    I don't know what's the issue you have with high level druids ( I dont like'em too much, either: they're probably the best fantasy equivalent to a mass destruction weapon) but I resent your insinuation of taking only overpowered classes. In fact, pure Fire oracles, and somewhat tweaked sun or light clerics, or even sorcerers with one level of those classes and the expanded arcana feat ( cause now you have as yours both class lists, like when you're using a staff or some other magic items)can achieve to get this spell with enough free slots to use it this way. Are all of these classes unjustly powerful? Maybe they are, I don't know.

    JMD031 wrote:
    I didn't wish for victory, I wished to do infinite damage which wins the contest but likely doesn't kill AM BARBARIAN because I didn't specify where the damage happens. But killing AM BARBARIAN isn't the point of the thread.

    Yes, it is. Destroy him or any other RAGELANCEPOUNCE like him, dealing enough damage to blow him to pieces in just one round before he makes his fancy combo.

    Aelryinth wrote:

    And fire resistance 30 completely bolloxes the Fire Seed idea, as well as Evasion.


    Of course. Maybe a nice touch with the elemental spell feat would made thinks a little more appealling, don't you think? changing to two or three completely diferent kind of energies?

    And I'm supposing this caster is as good at increasing DCs as the AM barbarian is at Ref saves ( otherwise, I'm certainly fighting my betters, and it would be totally unjust, don't you think?), so he would fail half of his throws. A quarter of 2400 are 600, more than enough to char batty bat ( unless he, of course, also has fire/cold/electricity/acid resistance, just in case), and our barbarian friend

    Well, have you ever heard of the Fire Seeds mini-nuke? Fire seeds it one of those few spells that you can actually add up without limit, because it last a lot ( so you can carry a lot of them precasted, maybe within a few sacks with stones to add just enough weigth to be tossed beyond those sad 5 feet the spell says are holly berries reach), target is the bunch of berries ( a very cheap component) and no spell turning can affect them, 'cause they are area -albeit a small one, 5 feet radius- spells.
    Well, lets do some maths:
    - Any caster of 20 level can easily prepare 10 fire seeds spells ( this is, caster with the spell in their list: druids, some clerics, some oracles). Spell perfection, spell specialization and one of the ioun stones bring your caster level up to 25. This amounts 8 ( max amount of hollyberries) x 10 ( number of spells) x (1d8 +25 = aprox 30) = aprox 2400. With the extend spell feat, they will last 500 mins, more than 8 hours, so you can say that they are your basic megaweapon-of-the-day and cast them everyday. Spell sunder is of little or no use (even if he could ascertain the nature of the danger -he is raging, after all, so no INT skill-) because he could sunder just one of them ( yet I don't see how, if they are in a bag or something like that). Your familiar/ companion etc can carry or toss the bag to the pesky individual as a readied action... when you'll bring down the annoying AM field.
    P.E: AM means Anti Magic, isn't?

    Trinam wrote:
    EvilMinion wrote:
    DeathSpot wrote:
    AM BARBARIAN wrote:
    So, AM is willing to travel to my personal demiplane? Foolish.

    Why bother with a demi-plane? If you find a way to reliable plane shift him, just send him to the positive material plane, and watch him explode.

    He could cut himself. EMO BARBARIAN.

    Unfortunately, you have to sleep, my dear EMO BARBARIAN. Otherwise, negative energy plane also its also a nice place anytime of the year

    The plane hasn't been destroyed, it still exist, so why you should be ejected from it? you are not different from any of the plane features ( rocks, falls, bushes...), unless you especifically rule otherwise.

    Well, maybe it's just a disturbing idea, but, when you sunder this damned demiplane, where would you go? there's no magic directly on you,holding you in-place but the gate opening magic it's been suppressed. Why should anyone rule that you're logically expelled into your own plane? and how do you supress a plane and all its contents? Turning it into a non-dimensional space, with all the stuff inside it ( i.e turning everything into a point into a larger plane), like trees, air or dust? Then our beloved barbarian would be still trapped inside when the effect passes

    Basically, anything that does nothing but give you a plain pluss. Magic items have to be, at least, a little bit amazing, not just another way to cast an unknown spell ( that's what scrolls are for), or just boost what you can already do ( the annoying evergrowing DC Vs. ST, At Vs Ac - theme). Ok, you must have those infamous six , but they are just the magical version of our quotidiane gadgets, and everybody will agree that without some cool stuff in it, a mobile can be very boring and no one would look twice to some plain trainers..
    By the way, I've been Dm for 25 years, and one of the most loved /hated things in our campaign has been this reviled deck of many things. My players hate it, but after a while, they'd go out of their ways just to find one of them, complaining about the dangers of using it, swearing that "just one or two, and that's enough" .
    And no one has ever picked less than five cards out of the deck, in more than 40 different scenarios ;)

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    prismatic wall and illusionary wall covering it, Always a laugh when you know it's probable someone would try to climb it,

    Lets take for granted some assumptions:
    a)Has your master ruled the dragon to be undefeatable? The answer can be "yes, absolutely", "yes, until something specific happens", or "not at all". You can actually find yourselves changing from one to another ( let's say, for instance, that she has to take the dragon all the way up to a certain point of the plot, but she can ressurect him if it is killed, or substituted it by an equally powerful rival dragon: then she can change her mind from a "yes, until something specific happens" to a "not at all"). Lets assume that the answer is one of the last two.

    B) you are currently travelling, in the open most of the time, so it's difficult to hide

    c)The dragon is an ancient red one( implying fire breathing and fire inmunity, powerful blindsense and smoke sight, amazing flying rate but pityful maneuverability, gargantuan or colossal size, high AC and SR, and cold vulnerability), and a powerful sorcerer ( so It can cast Limited Wish spontaneusly many times)

    d) It has some method to keep an eye permanently on you, probably using magic.

    e) It has the means to kill one or more of you in a single round with just an action ( fire breath, powerful physical attacks...), so you can't retaliate effectively after that.

    f) you have enough firepower to inflict it some serious damage ( you can see some ideas above) so you can make it rethinking attack you so recklessly.

    Well, first of all, you must try some methods to compensate your vulnerabilities and its strengths, so you have time to put a decent fight ( or run). I'll try to use only low level effects so you can save the big ones

    1) Red dragon's breath if a fiery one, so wind wall and control winds can take care of it, if wisely used.

    2)A cheap and secure acommodation ( even from most of divinations)for camping is the rope trick spell: put some around the fire camp, and keep them apart enough to avoid a single dispel magic effect to destroy them all. keep some of them empty ( may be one or two). Keep people changing from one to another regularly to avoid pinpointing by divination magic ( most of them requires to select one person to spy on, and unless it teleports inmediatly after the divination, it risks losing the intel on you). Most divinations don't even work across the interdimensional interface, so it have to compensate this deficiency with expensive spells ( i.e limited wish would be de obvious solution). Of course, the dragon can still attack your camp, but you have already bought some time to make up your options

    3)If you have someone specialised in fighting dragons, make sure he can achieve all of his potential: summon some petty birds to help him by using the aid other option ( enough of them, paying a +2 attack bonus, can override the High AC of dragons), and make sure he can be adecuately protected and healed ( sacred bond spell is good on this)

    4)keep some guardians around you, at a distance, So you can get some forewarning of its arrival. If you get some flying beings ( usually more birds) with enough perception and/or the scent quality to compensate the dragon's invisibility, you can link them with you cleric with a status spell no matter how far they are. Three or four friendly/charmed/trained eagles would do.

    5)Quench spell is a must-have in this case: A third level spell with No ST, no SR, same range of damage as fireballs, and with a huge area that allow to put out fires at the same time that you are hurting the dragon.

    ]I'm not sure where this falls in the Dragonlance timeline, but at different points there were no clerics and no divine magic whatsoever. Later I think there were evil clerics only for a while, then finally good clerics. There are no friendly priest to go pay for a resurrection. Once they return, all clerics in the game world are low level with evil ones being slightly ahead on the level curve. This may take place after all of that so that this is not an issue, not sure.[/QUOTE wrote:

    apparently, druids can reencarnate people, cause he reincarnated their ranger

    ]The druid reincarnated the party ranger later on, leaving only one party fighter permanently killed (the spirit refused to return).[/QUOTE wrote:

    By the way, If you have a kind druid , then you should remind him the excellences of spells like wind wall and control winds, such an asset in the "diverting dragon's breath" bussiness. I assure you it can make wonders on pcs' health in these situations. ;)

    ]We encountered the dragon's "rider" and slew him in one on four combat. Now the dragon wants revenge for his (master's?) death.[/QUOTE wrote:

    [quote=]When I asked where the GM where the dragon was getting all the money for the material components he simply said "he's a dragon who has conquered half the world and taken many other dragons' hoards--he has millions of steel pieces" (the module's standard, effectively gold pieces).

    So he's not only CR 19, he's CR 19 with effectively unlimited resources.

    Why is the ruler of half world trying to deep fry a bunch of punny pcs, if he can reencarnate his rider whenever he likes with his unlimited resources? is it on purpouse, or just a hole in the plot? think on it. Or you just should resurrect him and hold him hostage against the dragon, until you fin a suitable solution.

    [quote=]Tonight he ambushed us on the open plain, using invisibility, Flyby Attack, and his breath weapon to put half the party in the hurt locker before we could even respond. Luckily, we all passed our saves and we weren't killed outright. Furthermore, the monk and and eldritch knight had evasion (the latter from a ring) and took no damage. The dragon took his time mauling us with Greater Vital Strike/Power Attack melee attacks.

    My spells bounce off this guy like I'm shooting spit balls. We've only been able to hit him with the ranger's favored enemy (dragon) dragonbane bow on a natural 20

    Let's see... Invisibility gives you +20 stealth check bonus , but it's a -12 for being gargantuan ( you can't be very silent and stealthy when you are ten stories tall and you are moving , at least, four times faster than a regular horse). Your ranger is adept at fighting dragons, so I think he probably has maxed her preferred enemy bonus vs this kind of fiend, so it should be another, let's say, +6+ 2 ( from wisdom bonus). Then it's just a matter of ranks in stealth on both sides. Asuming your ranger has 10 ranks, and the dragon 20-25, it's a check vs 10-15... but you're failing time after time the check. It sounds kinda foul play, doesn't it? how does a dragon get to be so good at ambushing?

    We shouldn't forget that, in a savage fantasy world, with so many creatures, the shape is an important matter when you're developing your own racial style. Dragons surely would develop a very agresive and hard stile, with little or no regard on defensive movements ( huge natural AC), but with some serious use for their wings and tails. Mariliths have 8 arms, a long, serpentine body: surely theirs would be an undulating, deceptive, flanking style, more aboundant in parrying and then making one final blow ( or four) than just showering you with blows and letting you land your three or four supermaximized blows vs their poor AC.
    And the list goes on. Enviroment, society, research of new power sources... all of this imprint their own unique necesities and oportunities on the would-be martial arts to be born.
    With so many possibilities, I think is preferible develop a system to create martial arts instead of a list of individual martial arts ( so DMs and players alike can develop their unique styles from a serie of elements). I still remember fondly the system of martial art creation that was used in the Oriental Adventures, DD 2nd edition. Obviously, this kind of system would surely throw off balance of the game, so it has to be compensated in the way of costs, so I'd recommend a mix of feats- and skill point- cost : may be one or two feats as prerequisites -that'd be the style basis- and investing points in a generic "martial artist" skill that would mark the level of techiques that you would achieve, i.e with 5 skill points in the flying monkey style( 1 feat to acces the base style), you could achieve the "cute-but-deadly asskicking blow of Amelio", and investing five more you could take one of the next level techniques or just use them in another style to get another low level technique.
    Oh, and by the way, we are thinking in fantasy martial art, isn't it? In the low levels they should be pretty common stuff, but in the top levels, they should evoke the wonders of those bad b-movies we all love. Blasts, fire, flying... all that funny stuff.

    maybe is just a bit dificult, with all the legal problems, but I really liked the three core classes that appeared in the "book of nine swords". Fighters with combat powers not directly related to magic, with interesting effects in the usually mechanic fight, or even out of the battlefield ( the shadow hand school vas very useful to thieves). May be it can be called "martial artists", or some other fancy name, and made diferent from the monk in some other way, allowing them to acess to those roles the figter group has avery dificult time to acces ( healers, providers... that kind of things).
    In a more magical side of the question, beguiler was a fine choice: a sorcerer who lived by his wits, mixing the roles of rogues and magic users, without stteping into the rol of the merry bards.

    FiddlersGreen wrote:
    Some of this can be achieved just by thinking outside the proverbial box. For instance, between wall of stone and stone shape, a 10th level sorcerer could raise himself a fort in days, and repair it in the midst of a siege too.

    hey!!! I didn't say they were completely useless. Just that they're more dangerous than helpful. Even for their own companions, and they are suposedly their mystical providers of tricks and comodities. I've been playing as DM a magocracy for nearly 20 years ( where only arcane magic was allowed), and I've played more than one wizard -"out of the box" ideas (i.e Energy Transformation Field, from 3.5 WoTC spell compendium, plus a witch providing 1 heal, 1 remove curse,1 regenerate, 1 restoration... plus any witch casting hexes to charge it as needed, and the city can provide tho their citizens and adventurers a nice health-care facility for the ages to come. Now, you don't have to have allways a temple of powerful holy men in your pc home town, just some old ruins from beyond memory and and creepy old low-level witch, for example. The spell was thougth as a trap to deny magic-users their powers and blast them with some nasty spell, although). Spells like that are my favourites, but a +5 to something is just boring. And wizards, and sorcerer have many more spells from the later class, I'm afraid. A few more of this useful spells it's what I would like. You don't have to memorize them every day, but that's the beauty of classes like wizards, witches and clerics, that you can afford to know a few non-kaboom spells.

    Sorry for the misunderstanding.
    By the way, I wish good luck to your sorcerer living in this one-story fortress( engineering checks would be a terror with such a hurry), without glasses, decent doors or porticulis, and reparing 2-inches thick outer walls in the middle of the siege ( 55 square feet of them at a time, I mean). I would advice her to forget her 4th and 5th spells for good if it ever came at that point.

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    Front the point of view of someone playing an epic warlock, I can assure you I was not undepowered in anyway at all. As a matter of fact, I was perhaps the mass destroyer of the group, and had my fair share in many other roles ( mine is a group where we believe that we have to be able to cope with as many roles as posible, just to be safe). Even I WAS de main healer!!! ( thanks to an epic feat for warlocks, Shadowmaster, that allows you to cast Shades at will, and so, summon as many hollyphants - a summonable monster with 1 heal/day- as you wish: what a shame that this same power made me inmune to the shade power -and thus the healing, sigh-).
    This was the sequence: Quicken spell-like ability (e.blast)plus lord of all essences ( you can apply two essences per blast -obviously eldritch glaive and hideous blast-) plus eldritch sculptor ( when you cast your blast, two of them go off, hideous blow doesn't provoke aoO and all of your aoO includes hideous blow damage) And still you can make all your attacks and, on top, cast an negative energy blast around you. These are three touch attacks ( X2 blast damage each) plus perhaps a few opportunity attacks ( idem) plus an area blast ( quicken spell-ab), with the usual magical aids (spell pluses, some onjects... the same as a fighter would use, or nearly) and we're talking a potentially 70/80 d6 per round plus magical effect bonuses...
    It's true that in the middle-high level range you were comparatively aggraviated by the other classes ( when your primordial weapon can be basically copied by any spellcaster who take one reseve feat -as invisible needle, winter blast or thunder bolt- and you find yourself that you've got a very few playing options more in front of a ton of different options of theirs in form of different spells or feats... you feel agraviated), but in the lower levels you can keep the pace of your comrades without problem.
    How to addapt it to a pathfinder style? Well, in my opinion the best way would make it a class option of the witch ( in the same way as in the antipaladin), give him some diferent hexes to match the old invocations, and adapt the epic feats to use in a non- epic level. As the reserve feat still stands for every one to use, keeping the spell casting of the witch is not a big problem (with it's own flavour, of course). Instead of gaining a new list of spells with his familiar, he could win some new essences or shapes or just plainly powers, thematically linked. One of the most interesting things the warlock has, their ability to make magic items using other classes spell list, should stay, probably in the form of the master craftsman feat or some variant of it.
    Here's is the link to the epic warlock feats from Wotc
    Epic Warlock Feats

    I've always very partial to the faery. One of my favourites, from the old epic handbook was the leshay, almost eternal people with a lot of power and a good-and-decent sad history behind.
    This is 'cause, with a bit of research, you can see that modern faerytales are just sugar-y versions of a very scary body of myth. In the Middle age, fae were synnonim of madness, fear, pain an delusions, and people were really afraid of them.
    In other order of magnitude, I will choose ( alone or assorted as you wish)
    1 Titans and elder titans
    2 Vampires
    3 Angels
    4 Modrons
    5 Dopplegangers
    6 Spellweavers ( oh, I really love those!!!)
    7 treants and elder treants
    8 liches ( this old pal that always is going to be with you)
    9 beholder and beholder-kin
    10 Succubi :)

    Obviously, we're used to play epic campaigns

    For me, there's enough battle spells around to keep all the spellcasters killing themselves for years without getting bored. My! when a high level druid can nuke a town with just one mid-level spell ( control winds, at higher levels, is really a "cold nuke", if used wisely) you just don't need seeing anything else.
    With the actual ratio of battle spell/other spells, it would be totally unwise to let any magic at all in any half-functioning society, specially in the arcane side of it. Wizards and sorcerers, top most exponents of this art, show a pitiful lack of any socially redeemeable stuff: they know how to kill you in a thousand ways, but it's very difficult for them to magickly make a decent meal, a functioning sewer or, on a more player -oriented way, anything but destroy or barr destruction.
    I think what Pcs need are options, specially in their lower spell levels. Perhaps a spell to enchant a mirror, so you can later see what had it reflexed? a great spell for spying, that'd never grow old, even if you are a 20th level wizard. And what about a feat/spell that would allow anyone what your low-level detections are showing you? your figther would praise your name in his morning prayers when he could finally discern the dopplegangers from the other thanks to your humble detect evil.
    Beside that, most of the spells are made just thinking in terms of plusse/minuses, and/or exception to a rule. It's easier to invent spells if you do that, but at the end, you'd end with just a bunch of spells in many disguises. To create really new stuff, you have to stop thinking only in that way. So, what about a spell that protect something giving it the faculty to walk and actively hide? you have some bonus use ( ruling about the steath skill it'd have) but it's not just the bonus use ( "you have a plus X to use steath to hide something"): the item could move, cold hide or could run.

    Two things:
    Point one: I think you should talk to him. Does he want a hyperoptimized option to exploit? Fine. As time passes it's boring like hell, to be "the one-option guy" of the group, but if he likes it go on, then. But you must to make him clear that this isn't a general rule, but a one time exception, so he must ,in some degree, pay for it to balance the group and the game. May be it's an interesting side-effect of a special condition( a divine blessing/curse...), but not the only one: work it a little, make it fitting and interesting, and try it. If he doesn't want to pay for this special treatment of his character he so badly desires, he doesn't play for fun, but to elevate him above anyone else ( conciously or not) and will make your game a living hell. I suggest you to look the Tainting rules in the heroes of horror of WotC 3.5, if you are looking for some ideas of special twists and condicions
    Point two: this is just a mean idea of how you could get rid of a character , in a perfectly fitting way ( I can´t help it, I´m a bit mean , I´m sorry): make your party befriend a group of teleporting-able creatures. Put hem in a figth with some enemies of this same creatures, powerful enough to kill them all ( may be a lot of mind illithids or drows), and then make their friends teleport in and teleport them out... but not all of them. Kill the one who were going to save the character in the last volley of enemies' arrows or spells ( maybe your pesty character player is a juggernaut of hp or/and saving throws bonuses, but nobody can tell everyone must be the same, is it?), and let hin alone with all the enemies in front of him, smiling nastingly. To make sure that he can't be resurrected ( and giving you/him a second chance to think on the matter) he must be captured and confined, no just killed. Who knows, maybe his next adventure might be to rescue her former character ;) ...

    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

    this three: titans, phoenix and powerful fey.