Will Pathfinder have 'Epic' levels?


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My question is obvious from the title: Will the Pathfinder RPG support levels beyond 20 (regardless of whether they are called 'Epic levels' or something else)?

The possibility of advancement beyond level 20 does hold some appeal in that I don't necessary want the PCs to retire at that point when we still enjoy the game. Unfortunately, the 3e rules for 'Epic' levels were truly horrid and indicate the kind of ludicrousness that can await at these very high levels. On the other hand, I must say that I like the approach that 4E is taking with respect to 'Epic' levels, where the same systems continue to apply (rather than the 3e approach of changing everything) and the 'Epic Destinies' it created are also a nice idea. Analogous ideas could perhaps be used to create an interesting 'Epic level' system for the Pathfinder RPG.

Liberty's Edge

Roman wrote:

My question is obvious from the title: Will the Pathfinder RPG support levels beyond 20 (regardless of whether they are called 'Epic levels' or something else)?

The possibility of advancement beyond level 20 does hold some appeal in that I don't necessary want the PCs to retire at that point when we still enjoy the game. Unfortunately, the 3e rules for 'Epic' levels were truly horrid and indicate the kind of ludicrousness that can await at these very high levels. On the other hand, I must say that I like the approach that 4E is taking with respect to 'Epic' levels, where the same systems continue to apply (rather than the 3e approach of changing everything) and the 'Epic Destinies' it created are also a nice idea. Analogous ideas could perhaps be used to create an interesting 'Epic level' system for the Pathfinder RPG.

Both JJ and JB have said that some time after the PRPF has been released, if there is enough of a demand for it, they might look into PRPG epic and or epic adventure paths. Neither has promised there will be epic material but have promised to consider it.

While I don't agree with you with either your assessment of 3.xe epic or 4e epic, I also wish to see Paizo's take on the subject.

Sovereign Court

Sweet Monkey Jesus, I hope not. D&D is already a superhero game at the higher levels; Epic D&D can only be ludicrous.


Well, given that demigods can be killed by mortals (and has a CR 30 for the only one that has been stated so far), I think some type of epic level discussion will need to take place eventually.

Liberty's Edge

Thraxus wrote:
Well, given that demigods can be killed by mortals (and has a CR 30 for the only one that has been stated so far), I think some type of epic level discussion will need to take place eventually.

That's a very good point.


I would like to second a Pathfinder Epic support. Being a long-time Dark Sun player, I am especially motivated to see characters past level 20.


If it can be balanced and make sense, I'd love to see it! Especially if it improved on 3.0/3.5. I liked the Epic Level Handbook.


I like the idea of epic levels but I tend to agree that 14+ already gets very super hero-y. Not that I have anything against super hero games. I love Mutants and Masterminds and am looking forward to Wild Talents.

Still, I'd at the very least check out an epic supplement. I'd love to kill me some godlings ....

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Epic level content is a core part of 3.5. The basic rules for epic level play are in the 3.5 DMG. And even if we never do an epic-level adventure... we will, now and then, have epic level monsters or NPCs.

Epic level rules will thus HAVE to be a part of the Pathfinder RPG, but in the core rule book, I doubt there'll be much. If there's enough of a demand and a call, it seems almost like a no-brainer expansion to the rules, in my view.

But that said... our first concern is to make the 1st-20th range work and fun and all that.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

Please do a "Test of Aroden" adventure. I don't think it would fit in just one module, and that's cool. I'll take a two- or three-part story. I just want to see how Aroden (and Cayden Cailean and Norgorber) became gods, and maybe let my epic level pc's become gods as a campaign climax.

Test of Aroden. Soon. Please.

Liberty's Edge

James Jacobs wrote:

Epic level content is a core part of 3.5. The basic rules for epic level play are in the 3.5 DMG. And even if we never do an epic-level adventure... we will, now and then, have epic level monsters or NPCs.

Epic level rules will thus HAVE to be a part of the Pathfinder RPG, but in the core rule book, I doubt there'll be much. If there's enough of a demand and a call, it seems almost like a no-brainer expansion to the rules, in my view.

But that said... our first concern is to make the 1st-20th range work and fun and all that.

JJ,

I've said before and I'll say it again. I would love to see Paizo take a shot at fixing the 3.x epic system. I like Paizo's work, both in adventures (I've run Razing of Redshore for "new to epic" groups three times BTW) and in PRPG. I trust Paizo to make my preferred level of play even better.

Many have sounded off on whether they would buy epic adventure paths/modules/system rules in various threads both before and after PRPG was announced. I would like to encourage you start a poll on the topic when Paizo is ready to consider it. I think I would be safe in saying that epic lovers are willing to wait till the PRPG is completed before we get too fussy.

In short, we'll try very hard to wait patiently, we promise.

Sincerely,
FP

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Vigil wrote:

Please do a "Test of Aroden" adventure. I don't think it would fit in just one module, and that's cool. I'll take a two- or three-part story. I just want to see how Aroden (and Cayden Cailean and Norgorber) became gods, and maybe let my epic level pc's become gods as a campaign climax.

Test of Aroden. Soon. Please.

We'll be doing something with that whole scene eventually, trust me. It'd be silly not to. But soon? Probably not. Let us work up to the truly epic stuff!

Dark Archive

James Jacobs wrote:
Vigil wrote:

Please do a "Test of Aroden" adventure. I don't think it would fit in just one module, and that's cool. I'll take a two- or three-part story. I just want to see how Aroden (and Cayden Cailean and Norgorber) became gods, and maybe let my epic level pc's become gods as a campaign climax.

Test of Aroden. Soon. Please.

We'll be doing something with that whole scene eventually, trust me. It'd be silly not to. But soon? Probably not. Let us work up to the truly epic stuff!

Please, don't take the "epic adventure means fighting creatures with epic stat blocks" approach. Paizo guys can do better than that.


James Jacobs wrote:

Epic level content is a core part of 3.5. The basic rules for epic level play are in the 3.5 DMG. And even if we never do an epic-level adventure... we will, now and then, have epic level monsters or NPCs.

Epic level rules will thus HAVE to be a part of the Pathfinder RPG, but in the core rule book, I doubt there'll be much. If there's enough of a demand and a call, it seems almost like a no-brainer expansion to the rules, in my view.

But that said... our first concern is to make the 1st-20th range work and fun and all that.

Thank you for the prompt answer. If you do decide to make more extensive epic rules, however, please try to make them more integrated into the normal rules than the 3E epic system, which felt somewhat tacked on.


Forgottenprince wrote:
Roman wrote:

My question is obvious from the title: Will the Pathfinder RPG support levels beyond 20 (regardless of whether they are called 'Epic levels' or something else)?

The possibility of advancement beyond level 20 does hold some appeal in that I don't necessary want the PCs to retire at that point when we still enjoy the game. Unfortunately, the 3e rules for 'Epic' levels were truly horrid and indicate the kind of ludicrousness that can await at these very high levels. On the other hand, I must say that I like the approach that 4E is taking with respect to 'Epic' levels, where the same systems continue to apply (rather than the 3e approach of changing everything) and the 'Epic Destinies' it created are also a nice idea. Analogous ideas could perhaps be used to create an interesting 'Epic level' system for the Pathfinder RPG.

Both JJ and JB have said that some time after the PRPF has been released, if there is enough of a demand for it, they might look into PRPG epic and or epic adventure paths. Neither has promised there will be epic material but have promised to consider it.

While I don't agree with you with either your assessment of 3.xe epic or 4e epic, I also wish to see Paizo's take on the subject.

Well, I understand that there were some people who did like 3E take on epic rules. I was not enamored with the system which seems artificially bolted on to the normal rules, and especially not with the spell system using seeds and so on (although it was taken from the True Dweomer system of 2nd edition, so it was a D&D tradition) - it would have been much better to simply continue adding a few more spell levels. Epic levels needn't be infinitely scalable - I think 3E's attempt to make them like that is what ruined them for me.

Although I dislike some of the directions 4E is taking and thus do not plan on converting, I still think that 4E is taking a better approach to epic levels, because the underlying mechanics being used are the same or at least similar as before and it has recognized that infinite scalability comes at the price of madness. An epic cap at level 30 or perhaps 40 would, I think, also be appropriate for a Pathfinder version of Epic levels.

And yes, just like you I would trust Paizo to come up with a good approach to epic levels.


I hope Pathfinder RPG proposes some rules for "epic" levels. I do not want it to use the Epic Level Handbook rules, however (regardless of the fact these aren't OGL). These suck. Royally.

I would rather look at what Monte did with Arcana Evolved and levels above 20, for instance, for inspiration on that regard. Something that develops the capacities of 20+ level characters based on the base rules principles rather than create a whole new paradigm for them.

If they make high level play easier to run and manage, there's no reason not to go the whole nine yards and go for simpler, more coherent rules for epic level play. That's my hope, anyway.

Liberty's Edge

Roman wrote:

Well, I understand that there were some people who did like 3E take on epic rules. I was not enamored with the system which seems artificially bolted on to the normal rules, and especially not with the spell system using seeds and so on (although it was taken from the True Dweomer system of 2nd edition, so it was a D&D tradition) - it would have been much better to simply continue adding a few more spell levels. Epic levels needn't be infinitely scalable - I think 3E's attempt to make them like that is what ruined them for me.

Although I dislike some of the directions 4E is taking and thus do not plan on converting, I still think that 4E is taking a better approach to epic levels, because the underlying mechanics being used are the same or at least similar as before and it has recognized that infinite scalability comes at the price of madness. An epic cap at level 30 or perhaps 40 would, I think, also be appropriate for a Pathfinder version of Epic levels.

And yes, just like you I would trust Paizo to come up with a good approach to epic levels.

Some aspects of 3.x epic level gameplay were very much "tacked on" rules, like the stunted BAB progression for characters but not monsters, or the x10 multiplier for epic magic items. Like you, I would also like to see these aspects as well as feats streamlined into PRPG core system.

I also noticed that the epic spell system was almost ripped, word for word, from 2nd edition's High Level Challenges. My players and I have personally enjoyed the epic spell system, though it needs some fixing just as the rest of the epic material does. There were some 2nd edition examples of 10+ level spells in Forgotten Realms, but I think making such high level spells is a little harder to quantify and evaluate than the epic spell system is. Nevertheless, I could be persuaded to employ such a system if Paizo offered some spell design guidelines with the PRPG epic rules.

As for the level cap, here I will respectfully, but emphatically, disagree. One of the wonders of the 3.x epic system was you could play that character until their story was finished, not until you ran out of levels. One of the factors for my group used in our decision not to switch to 4e was that we could not play our 35th level, 5 year old, campaign. Having a hard cut off, as opposed to just not a lot of official support beyond a certain point, would be a big minus for a lot of epic fans I know.


Forgottenprince wrote:
Roman wrote:

Well, I understand that there were some people who did like 3E take on epic rules. I was not enamored with the system which seems artificially bolted on to the normal rules, and especially not with the spell system using seeds and so on (although it was taken from the True Dweomer system of 2nd edition, so it was a D&D tradition) - it would have been much better to simply continue adding a few more spell levels. Epic levels needn't be infinitely scalable - I think 3E's attempt to make them like that is what ruined them for me.

Although I dislike some of the directions 4E is taking and thus do not plan on converting, I still think that 4E is taking a better approach to epic levels, because the underlying mechanics being used are the same or at least similar as before and it has recognized that infinite scalability comes at the price of madness. An epic cap at level 30 or perhaps 40 would, I think, also be appropriate for a Pathfinder version of Epic levels.

And yes, just like you I would trust Paizo to come up with a good approach to epic levels.

Some aspects of 3.x epic level gameplay were very much "tacked on" rules, like the stunted BAB progression for characters but not monsters, or the x10 multiplier for epic magic items. Like you, I would also like to see these aspects as well as feats streamlined into PRPG core system.

I also noticed that the epic spell system was almost ripped, word for word, from 2nd edition's High Level Challenges. My players and I have personally enjoyed the epic spell system, though it needs some fixing just as the rest of the epic material does. There were some 2nd edition examples of 10+ level spells in Forgotten Realms, but I think making such high level spells is a little harder to quantify and evaluate than the epic spell system is. Nevertheless, I could be persuaded to employ such a system if Paizo offered some spell design guidelines with the PRPG epic rules.

As for the level cap, here I will respectfully, but emphatically, disagree....

Well, it appears that our desires on what to see in an epic system are not so dissimilar after all.

The only issue where we actually differ is the one of an eventual level cap. Even there I can certainly understand your position - if level 20 is not the final limit, why should level 40 or level 1000 for that matter be the final limit?

The problem I see with having no level limit whatsoever is that it makes effective design of the ruleset much more difficult. Consider, for example, the design of classes, where in order to make them interesting and unique, they have to gain new class features. In an infinitely scalable system, this is impossible to achieve: rather you have to rely entirely on old extrapolated progressions as you advance in level. 3E attempted to get around this by using the epic feat system instead, but this added to the tacked on mechanic feeling, since it changed the class paradigm and resulted in the blurring of the classes at higher levels - it essentially (well, not fully, but to a significant extent) sacrificed the class system.

Yet, I do understand your predicament and I can see why you would desire infinite advancement. You yourself recognized, however, that significant support for infinite advancement is impossible. Given that you require only minor support, it is actually not unfeasable to make a system that satisfies both sides. The answer is to make a proper system for another 10 or 20 levels and at the end of the book to provide formulae for the extrapolation of various progressions for those who want to continue advancing, alebeit with the understanding that there are diminishing returns to such advancement beyond that point.

Liberty's Edge

Roman,

I think we have two interrelated points of difference. Namely, the point at which a character "level caps" and what constitutes "tacked on" rules.

My biggest issue with a level cap for epic rules has already been stated. A story line that spans more than 20, 30, or 40 levels should not be prematurely terminated just because the rules do not provide for further advancement. I do not claim to be the world's best DM, but with help from Paizo's own epic materials and 2E library I have plans for my PC's to face a CR 100 enemy who¡¦s plagued them from the beginning. After 5 years, my PC's are 35th level, so as you can see they have quite a way to go. This does not mean I demand a rule system allow for 1,000th level PC's. While having nearly limitless game play is an awesome concept, even I would balk at having to DM a game with 150 level PC's. It would become just too much I'm afraid, thought I'd love to be a PC in that game. Simply put, I want an epic rule set that I could use to tell the stories I want to tell. If I could have an epic rule set that "capped" or extended the "sweet spot" to 100th level I would be a very happy DM.

Tied into this concept is my dislike of the speed of advancement for 3.x characters. Like many on these boards, I started my gaming days with 2E and really grew attached to the characters I made in that edition. This was true partly because of the lethality of 2E rule set and partly because of the slower advancement rate. PRPG has already offered a partial solution to this with the different advancement rates and I'm eager to try it out the next time I run a non-adventure path campaign.

What I think we really differ on is what constitutes a tacked on rule set. I feel the pricing of epic magic items is "tacked on" because acquiring or making some of them is too hard even for 35 level characters and the justification seems rather thin. I feel the static BAB bonus for all character classes is "tacked on" because monsters continue advancing their BAB due to type. I feel the epic monsters themselves could use a very careful overhaul because there's no way a LeShay is a mere CR 28.

What I don't really consider "tacked on" are the derived class features from non epic levels. Instead, I see these as a necessary consequence from have potentially limitless advancement. It is far easier to determine new class features when there is a hard cap, but by setting a hard cap you then prevent campaigns like my current one. Going back to my hypothetical level 100 cap, I could not imagine making poor Jason come up with unique class features for 80 additional levels across 11 core classes and expecting them to be balanced. If he could derive patterns, however, that would allow for balanced progression then I think we'd be better off in the long run.

I will freely admit that many people enjoy playing a character for 20 or so levels and then starting a new one. I cannot and will not find any flaw for this style of play because they are having fun. For others, like me, developing a character for a longer period of time is more rewarding and the preferred style of play. For a very small number, where I intend to cut my game off would just be the beginning.

I'm not sure what the answer is to our different points here. You'd like to see unique class features for 10-20 additional levels, I'd like a system that is balanced much further than 3.x epic currently is. So here's hoping the wonderworkers of Paizo can find a happy medium that would allow us both to tell the stories we'd like to tell.

Sincerely,
FP

Liberty's Edge

Bhalzabahn wrote:
I hope Pathfinder RPG proposes some rules for "epic" levels. I do not want it to use the Epic Level Handbook rules, however (regardless of the fact these aren't OGL). These suck. Royally.

My understanding is that the SRD is OGL, and the epic rules are in the SRD which has made my efforts to rebalance them much easier.


Forgottenprince wrote:
My understanding is that the SRD is OGL, and the epic rules are in the SRD which has made my efforts to rebalance them much easier.

Man, this is correct. My apologies for the inaccuracy there.

Liberty's Edge

Bhalzabahn wrote:
Man, this is correct. My apologies for the inaccuracy there.

No need to apologize friend, I was just curious if I was operating under an incorrect conclusion when I thought they were OGL.


Forgottenprince wrote:

Roman,

I think we have two interrelated points of difference. Namely, the point at which a character "level caps" and what constitutes "tacked on" rules.

My biggest issue with a level cap for epic rules has already been stated. A story line that spans more than 20, 30, or 40 levels should not be prematurely terminated just because the rules do not provide for further advancement. I do not claim to be the world's best DM, but with help from Paizo's own epic materials and 2E library I have plans for my PC's to face a CR 100 enemy who¡¦s plagued them from the beginning. After 5 years, my PC's are 35th level, so as you can see they have quite a way to go. This does not mean I demand a rule system allow for 1,000th level PC's. While having nearly limitless game play is an awesome concept, even I would balk at having to DM a game with 150 level PC's. It would become just too much I'm afraid, thought I'd love to be a PC in that game. Simply put, I want an epic rule set that I could use to tell the stories I want to tell. If I could have an epic rule set that "capped" or extended the "sweet spot" to 100th level I would be a very happy DM.

Only a small minority of even epic players are likely to continue playing at such astronomically high levels. Given that notion, would a system that extends the levels to 40 in a proper manner and gives advancement options beyond that level only on the basis of the extrapolation of progressions and class features not be satisfactory?

Quote:
Tied into this concept is my dislike of the speed of advancement for 3.x characters. Like many on these boards, I started my gaming days with 2E and really grew attached to the characters I made in that edition. This was true partly because of the lethality of 2E rule set and partly because of the slower advancement rate. PRPG has already offered a partial solution to this with the different advancement rates and I'm eager to try it out the next time I run a non-adventure path campaign.

I would recommend ignoring the experience system entirely - which is what I do in my campaigns. Pathfinder makes this even easier by abolishing XP costs of magical items. Thus, I can attune the speed of advancement to my campaign and simply tell the players that their characters level, when I consider it appropriate, while dispensing with the entire headache of tracking experience points and worrying whether the speed of advancement will be right for me and my group.

Quote:
What I think we really differ on is what constitutes a tacked on rule set. I feel the pricing of epic magic items is "tacked on" because acquiring or making some of them is too hard even for 35 level characters and the justification seems rather thin. I feel the static BAB bonus for all character classes is "tacked on" because monsters continue advancing their BAB due to...

I agree that both of the instances you mention are indeed examples of "tacked on" rules.


cappadocius wrote:
Sweet Monkey Jesus, I hope not. D&D is already a superhero game at the higher levels; Epic D&D can only be ludicrous.

Spoken like someone who has never played with a DM that has real skill at Dming for higher levels. I run epic level stuff all the time, and it's really not that big of a deal. Most Dms see the word epic and it makes them flinch. but there are plenty of things out in the world that require epic heros, and not just fighting the gods.


Forgottenprince wrote:

As for the level cap, here I will respectfully, but emphatically, disagree. One of the wonders of the 3.x epic system was you could play that character until their story was finished, not until you ran out of levels. One of the factors for my group used in our decision not to switch to 4e was that we could not play our 35th level, 5 year old, campaign. Having a hard cut off, as opposed to just not a lot of official support beyond a certain point, would be a big minus for a lot of epic fans I know.

I agree. It has that feeling of 'Shoot for the stars, but not to high or you'll have to start over.' I have players who have been using the same characters for 16 years or more. At this stage, they are way beyond the scope of what the game considers epic. ELHB was the first suplement that I have ever bought that I was able to run the monsters in it as is without major modifications against higher level characters. To see Pathfinders twist on this would be awesome! (Rune Carved Tarasque anyone?)


As one of the founding members of Dicefreaks, I can definitely say I like epic levels, play epic levels, design for epic levels and anything else you can think of. And I certainly look forward to a Paizo approach to epic levels.

A few things have come to my attention with my extensive experience in epic play though. The first is the level cap. While I strongly prefer the lack of a cap, the reality of the situation is that without a standard, additive (non-multiplicative) system of advancement, across all areas, no-cap epic play turns mechanically messy. The d20 system simply cannot hope to offer infinite advancement when it has varying rates of save/BaB advancement for racial HD compared to class levels. Player power levels (determined by modifiers) also varies wildly due to the uncapping of magic items, presence or lack of optimization and a non-set standard. It may be ok for your reflex save to be one half of the party's best when you have a +3 and they have a +6. But once you start gapping by 10 or more, nonsense ensues.

As such, I've come to the conclusion that a cap needs to exist. And what I'd prefer is for a system that allows epic levels up to the cap (which I prefer at 50th level)...and then a 'soft advancement' that can carry your story on, without ruining any semblance of relationships between your modifiers and those of your foes.

A tighter standard of player power per level also needs to be enforced, probably from level 1, if you want to go far in epic. It doesn't matter if your party's saves diverge by 10 or more points at 28th or 8th or 80th level, it is the fact that they do that is the problem. It is just more likely to occur into epic levels than low levels. Players should have some expectation of what sort of Armor Class, saves, attack bonus (touch attack bonus in the case of spellers), DCs, etc they should be pumping out at their level. More than 5 points lower in too many areas means the player isn't really ready for their suggested level's CRs. More than 5 points higher in too many areas means they are probably over optimized and should be given higher level threats to accommodate. I don't want to go a 4e route and take away any diversity, but I do think that you need to have a good understanding of where your character falls in comparison to the "characters" that were used to calculate CR and such.

The above probably means doing away with epic items meaning nothing more than higher modifiers. In fact, it probably means doing away with epic items having higher modifiers. A +50 sword sounds cool, but the reality is that it breaks the system...everyone around that level needs to start toting +50 swords.

And really, the cosmology needs to accommodate the expected level of play. If your world has CR 40 demon princes and CR 50 gods (in a cosmology where little threatens the gods), then you really shouldn't expect much in the way of 185th level play. Honestly...I think that if you are playing an 185th level character in any cosmos, new options from your class and new magic items shouldn't be what you are going for anymore. I'm not saying you shouldn't be playing the character, but that your goals should have grown and changed from level 1-5's "ooh a magic weapon!" and level 15-20's "omg, 8/9th level spells!"

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

If you allow infinite advancement by simply extrapolating the experience tables beyond level 20, all kinds of weird mathematical anomalies start to appear as your level increases. The d20 system wasn't originally designed to handle that kind of power level. This is the reason that WoTC introduced a clear distinction between normal and epic levels. The problem is that this transition at level 20 feels a bit artificial. There are a couple of ways that this might be addressed:

Option 1: Rather than having a hard cap between normal levels and epic levels at level 20, make the transition more gradual by spreading it out over a couple of levels. Allow characters to gradually 'unlock' epic abilities as they move beyond level 20. Try to make the transition feel a bit more 'natural' by making it a bit more gradual.

Option 2: Modify rate of character progression beyond level 20 by ensuring that the experience tables are exponential. Under this option, as the characters progress into epic levels they face a law of diminishing returns - they can continue to advance as before, but it gets harder and harder to go up levels as they rise above the realm of normal human achievement.

I'm sure that there are other ways that the transition between normal levels and epic levels could be handled better than it is in the official 3.5 ruleset.

There are other issues that also need to be addressed to have a more effective system for epic level games. For one thing, the epic magic system needs an overhaul. And epic-level combat needs to be more streamlined.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I wanted to express my support for Epic Pathfinder.

I have run a game over years up through about 30th level, and actually enjoy the Epic Level Handbook rules. That's not saying they can't be improved of course.

Liberty's Edge

I certainly wouldn't mind seeing epic material for PRPG.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

I do agree with the notion that Epic level play is only as good as its GM. That's more or less true of ANY level of play. If you have a GM that gets TOO obsessed with the rules, In My Experience, he's not as good a GM at epic level unless two things happen:

1) All his players are rules obsessers.
2) All his players are willing to let the GM's interpreation of a rule stand without putting up a big fight that derails the game.

I'm not sure that combo can exist, so it's best to have a GM who stays flexible and isn't afraid to gloss over some parts of the game. For example... don't bother having characters roll skill checks for mundane stuff; they'll make the roll automatically anyway, so why waste time rolling in the first place?

ANYway... again, Pathfinder is likely to, at some point, try out an epic-level Adventure Path. (Such a campaign would be likely to go from level 15 to 25 or 30 or something like that.) But not for a while. It's far more likely to see an epic-level Pathfinder Module sometime in the next few years, and CERTAINLY not until we've figured out what to do with epic play in the Pathfinder RPG.

Liberty's Edge

James Jacobs wrote:

I do agree with the notion that Epic level play is only as good as its GM. That's more or less true of ANY level of play. If you have a GM that gets TOO obsessed with the rules, In My Experience, he's not as good a GM at epic level unless two things happen:

1) All his players are rules obsessers.
2) All his players are willing to let the GM's interpreation of a rule stand without putting up a big fight that derails the game.

I'm not sure that combo can exist, so it's best to have a GM who stays flexible and isn't afraid to gloss over some parts of the game. For example... don't bother having characters roll skill checks for mundane stuff; they'll make the roll automatically anyway, so why waste time rolling in the first place?

ANYway... again, Pathfinder is likely to, at some point, try out an epic-level Adventure Path. (Such a campaign would be likely to go from level 15 to 25 or 30 or something like that.) But not for a while. It's far more likely to see an epic-level Pathfinder Module sometime in the next few years, and CERTAINLY not until we've figured out what to do with epic play in the Pathfinder RPG.

If you do it, it would be cool to pick up where Rise of the Runelords left off. Let the PCs pick up from the point where they're standing over Karzoug's corpse.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Timespike wrote:
If you do it, it would be cool to pick up where Rise of the Runelords left off. Let the PCs pick up from the point where they're standing over Karzoug's corpse.

That's certainly one option... but remember that by the time we'll get to even seriously considering something like an Epic adventure path... there'll be several other APs who might need or justify sequels as well...

Liberty's Edge

James Jacobs wrote:
Timespike wrote:
If you do it, it would be cool to pick up where Rise of the Runelords left off. Let the PCs pick up from the point where they're standing over Karzoug's corpse.
That's certainly one option... but remember that by the time we'll get to even seriously considering something like an Epic adventure path... there'll be several other APs who might need or justify sequels as well...

<sarcasm> And that would be just awful. Honestly, I don't know how I'd bear it. </sarcasm>

I'm sure whatever you guys come up with would be fantastic. I also have a feeling RotRL will be considered a classic for some time...

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Well, it seems like some of the characters in Golarion practically demand Epic rules. Geb and Nex would have to be Wish-smiths of unprecedented mastery to pull off some of the stuff they did without Epic spellcasting, for example. (Then again, you could always explain the absence of Epic spellcasting nowadays with aftereffects of the death of Aroden.)

And I've toyed with the idea of making the steps of Razmiran's acolytes being directly equivalent to character levels, which would suggest that he himself is 31st level. That'd give most any mage sufficient power to make himself at least appear as a "Living God".


Yep. Epic level is a must.

As I've said before, for me, 1st thru 20th is just character development.

Besides, after reading throught he Gazetteer, it appears that there are many areas that are just screaming for an epic interpretation to flesh out.


James Jacobs wrote:
Timespike wrote:
If you do it, it would be cool to pick up where Rise of the Runelords left off. Let the PCs pick up from the point where they're standing over Karzoug's corpse.
That's certainly one option... but remember that by the time we'll get to even seriously considering something like an Epic adventure path... there'll be several other APs who might need or justify sequels as well...

But the Runelords just scream Epic Level! I'm running RotRL with a group that is slighly higher than suggested levels (They were established characters that were between 4th and 6th level) so, I've boosted the game quite a bit. I've actually contemplated having the death of Karzog be a final act of Wrathstrong enough to resurrect Alzanist (sp?) and create a new more powerful enemy for they now 20th level characters. I like the idea of the PCs being the instruments of Alzanist's revenge on her killer.


Particleman wrote:

Yep. Epic level is a must.

As I've said before, for me, 1st thru 20th is just character development.

Besides, after reading throught he Gazetteer, it appears that there are many areas that are just screaming for an epic interpretation to flesh out.

I agree. Ancient Thesalon reads like Netheril on steroids. Awesome Epic material!


James Jacobs wrote:
Timespike wrote:
If you do it, it would be cool to pick up where Rise of the Runelords left off. Let the PCs pick up from the point where they're standing over Karzoug's corpse.
That's certainly one option... but remember that by the time we'll get to even seriously considering something like an Epic adventure path... there'll be several other APs who might need or justify sequels as well...

Fighting rest of the awakening Runelords would be so awesome!.

Also other APs would make nice epic sequels, but Runelords.. .. .
x)

Also it would be nice to see all iconics/player characters grow more, maybe some cosmetic changes to show the epic feel. (Seoni's tattoos glowing, etc..)
:)


I dont think epic levels should be included in the rule set. it just starts to get either improbable or plain annoying at epic levels. just go to 20 then roll another char for another adventure.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
Romani wrote:
I dont think epic levels should be included in the rule set. it just starts to get either improbable or plain annoying at epic levels. just go to 20 then roll another char for another adventure.

I dunno. So long as the rules for epic levels don't take up too much space, I have no problem with their inclusion. Some people really do play to level 30+ and would find these rules useful.

But on the other hand, it would be nice to see the epic rules get a book of their own. It may be the only way to do them justice. The Epic Level Handbook was one of the weaker releases from WoTC and it would be nice to see Epic levels done again right.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Prime Evil wrote:
The Epic Level Handbook was one of the weaker releases from WoTC and it would be nice to see Epic levels done again right.

The basic mechanics were OK, but the product suffered from poor editing and lack of consistency between sections (or even with the 3.0 core rules). It's best used as a resource, rather than a rules expansion.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
Dragonchess Player wrote:
The basic mechanics were OK, but the product suffered from poor editing and lack of consistency between sections (or even with the 3.0 core rules). It's best used as a resource, rather than a rules expansion.

I would argue that this creates an opportunity for Paizo to revisit the topic of epic levels, cleaning up the existing material.

I am gradually coming to the conclusion that epic-level play should get its own book once the main Pathfinder RPG rulebook is out. Epic level play is not to everybody's taste and it will take a fair amount of space to rework the existing material properly.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Prime Evil wrote:
Dragonchess Player wrote:
The basic mechanics were OK, but the product suffered from poor editing and lack of consistency between sections (or even with the 3.0 core rules). It's best used as a resource, rather than a rules expansion.

I would argue that this creates an opportunity for Paizo to revisit the topic of epic levels, cleaning up the existing material.

I am gradually coming to the conclusion that epic-level play should get its own book once the main Pathfinder RPG rulebook is out. Epic level play is not to everybody's taste and it will take a fair amount of space to rework the existing material properly.

Epic level stuff appeared in the DMG, but it was little more than a hint of how those rules work. I suspect that the final PF RPG will have something similar, if only so that there will be guidelines and rules in place for 19th and 20th level adventures to have stuff to build boss monsters out of. But a full-on rehaul of the epic level rules is beyond the scope of the PF RPG. If/when we do anything like that, it'll be handled the same way we'll handle psionics—as a separate book.


I wouldn't mind seeing Paizo throw out some Epic material and revisions... If anybody can fix the bugs in the Epic system, it's the staff at Paizo. Of course, as Mr. Jacobs stated previously, Paizo needs to see some more show of hands in favor of the Epics.

At any rate, Paizo has kept 3.5 up and running and made it more interesting and enjoyable to play, I have confidence that they could do it with the Epics.

Liberty's Edge

I know for a fact that I would love to see some Epic Level rules. I will need them badly with how I'm plotting my campaign for my players. The first portion of it will require them to be at least 35th lvl to have chance of winning. After that the next portion will require them to get even higher to win. So I could use the rules badly to sort out how to handle this problem. We switched to Pathfinder just last game session after it was brought to my attention and I fell in love with the rules. Here is hoping us Epic Players and DMs get what we want and need even if its just a rough idea of how to go about it.


James Jacobs wrote:


Epic level stuff appeared in the DMG, but it was little more than a hint of how those rules work. I suspect that the final PF RPG will have something similar, if only so that there will be guidelines and rules in place for 19th and 20th level adventures to have stuff to build boss monsters out of. But a full-on rehaul of the epic level rules is beyond the scope of the PF RPG. If/when we do anything like that, it'll be handled the same way we'll handle psionics—as a separate book.

This seems very sensible to me. A full epic system clearly needs its own book, but a few guidelines in the core book would be handy.

Let me also say: if Paizo does publish an improved ELH, I'll be a very happy camper indeed. Buy it? I'll bite their hands off. I've spent years adapting the ELH so that 1) the classes follow on fairly closely to their level 1-20 progression instead of all just getting bonus feats 2) it's not completely broken 3) whole classes are not made obsolete (eg Rogue, Evoker, Illusionist). I hope Paizo can do better (and I think they can).

As for a level cap, I think it's probably necessary, but I think level 30-40 is too low. Somewhere in the region 50-100 seems sensible to me; players can still face truly cosmic menaces, without introducing all the problems which infinite scalability brings (I know there are few people out there who like level 1000 characters, but I don't feel they're really playing the same game as the rest of us).


On a related topic, Sense everyone is talking Epic,How does everyone feel about a Deities and Demi-Gods Type of book, with rules that include Deity Stats and divine ascension.
I would also include any planar information in this book as well if it was possible.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
sacerd wrote:

On a related topic, Sense everyone is talking Epic,How does everyone feel about a Deities and Demi-Gods Type of book, with rules that include Deity Stats and divine ascension.

I would also include any planar information in this book as well if it was possible.

I don't believe a god should be a combat encounter for PCs at any level. Deity > Mortal. If I ever had a party seriously try, they'd get slapped around until they gave up, or squished if they actually had a chance to accomplish it.

That being said, I'm all for divine ascension stuff. PCs becoming gods is a traditional element. I would probably pick up a book such as this, even if I only ever used a tenth of the content.

Back to epic play, I would buy a PRPG Epic handbook. I want to play my 36th level monk again. ^_^


TriOmegaZero wrote:
sacerd wrote:

On a related topic, Sense everyone is talking Epic,How does everyone feel about a Deities and Demi-Gods Type of book, with rules that include Deity Stats and divine ascension.

I would also include any planar information in this book as well if it was possible.

I don't believe a god should be a combat encounter for PCs at any level. Deity > Mortal. If I ever had a party seriously try, they'd get slapped around until they gave up, or squished if they actually had a chance to accomplish it.

That being said, I'm all for divine ascension stuff. PCs becoming gods is a traditional element. I would probably pick up a book such as this, even if I only ever used a tenth of the content.

Back to epic play, I would buy a PRPG Epic handbook. I want to play my 36th level monk again. ^_^

So perhaps this would be the point where "Primal Order" could/would/should be rebooted and slipped into the system.

Thom. . .

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Thom Vinson wrote:

So perhaps this would be the point where "Primal Order" could/would/should be rebooted and slipped into the system.

Thom. . .

I'm not familiar with this. Link? Wiki? Term paper?

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