On the one hand, the expanded character classes suck ass.
The feat are okay, some even really good. But jeesus, this classes are so PLAIN. ESPECIALLY the casters. I expected casters to get higher level spell slots automatically as they leveled, and a bunch of new spells to go in those slot. Instead, you have to spend feats on getting higher level slots which aren't good for anything but metamagic feats. Or you can spend feats to buy "epic" spell slots, the system for creating said epic spells is just gawd awful.
On the otherhand, the epic monsters were really cool. I really thing Shadow Dragons should have been listed under the Epic Dragons though instead of in Monsters of Faerun. I really liked the winterwights, made me thing of Warcraft 3.
Also, the magic items were really nifty. I just liked them.
Anyway, I still hated the character classes. Nobody got any "new" unique powers. All the got was bonus feats and coninutations of powers they had before that were progressive. I've come to the decision that there is really no point taking a regular class beyond 20th level or a prestige class beyond 10 and you get alot more just by multiclassing to other classes.
aye actually leveling past 20 is boring now. just got my first character since I started 3rd edition past level 8 to level 23. it's really not as entertaining as it should be and I suspect my little monkey is going to go off to a monastary somewhere and retire. back to trying to get a crit so I can finish off that goblin who ambushed me! 1 Crow bad news
2 Crows myrth
3 Crows a wedding
4 Crows a birth
5 Crows for riches
6 Crows a thief
I allways thought that AD&D was best at levels 3-7. At that point it meant you were higher than the 'slightly unfortunate dice roll kills you' level but still below the 'hmm ...yes we'll carry on as this encounter can't kill us' thresehold.
I haven't explained that well, but i imagine you know what I mean.
I'm also talking about 1st ed as i still haven't played 3rd. Allthough i do have a playing group that are gearing up to have our first game of it in a couple of weeks.
I mean, I get what they were doing with the epic spells, though I'm not a big believe in design-your-own-spells, and I can understand the epic spells taking a feat for each epic spell slot.
What I DONT understand is making character us an epic feat for each REGULAR spell slot over level 9. Slots that aren't good for anything but metamagicing your existing spells. Thats way to much character development to sacrifice. Casters should get those slots automatically as they level beyond 20.
Fablar, in general, I agree with you. 3 to 7 is a good range to play in, though if you are a Wizard you're fairly limited at that point (Average 5th level wizard has 14 hp -- also known as one good non-crit by an orc.)
Telurinon Aelvenborne, 52nd Rake of Black IsleMangore Orcsplitter, 40th Warrior of Black IsleDewin gan'Bran, 28th Wizard of black Isle Skating away on the thin ice of a new day.
Looking at 3rd Ed things may have improved, but the very construction on 1st worked on the assumption that a fighter was the most powerful character at low level and the magic-user at higher levels.
Oh, the glory days of the 'one-spell-wonder'.
Don't know how that adds to the conversation, really. Sorry.
I've just been reading an old 1st ed supplement, called:
Monster and Treasure Assortment.
Now .. not only in the old days did we buy rubbish supplements that were just loads of encounter tables, but they had rocking names. I mean .. compare the titles .. Epic Handbook vs Monster and Treasure Assortment (assortment? assortment? is it a box of biscuits?)
I had typed a long reply, then lost it when I hit the backspace (#$@!#!@) so here is a quick, yet less precise response =/
3E is open ended. It is set up for "infinite" progression from the base rules. That is why there are no "special" abilities (non feat/skill) learned post 20.
Spell slots beyond 20. It is to keep the balance of the game intact. If a level 30 Wizard (any "pure" caster divine or arcane) continued to gain spell slots, they would have too many spells at their disposal for "free". I do not know about you, but being able to cast 4 ( plus whatever bonuses they may get) 9th level spells is bad enough, let alone 8 . Time stop, time stop, time stop. Bleh. Another 9th level spell beats the fighters new 1d10 hp to death and back, and back again =)
Epic spells do NOT take a feat for each spell. You only need to take Epic Spell casting once to gain access to Epic Spells (at the rate of your knowledge score/24 spells per day). The cost to develop is the limiting factors (250k gp and 10k xp for the easy ones is pretty rough), along with the fact you can only develop a number of Epic Spells = to the aforementioned number per day you can cast (knowledge/24).
Spell slots above 9. Metamagic is too good to pass up. Once again it is a balancing issue with the core mechanics to keep the game intact. Quickened escape spells are brutal (POOF, hehe). Stilled spells get around the armor penalties. Silent spells are wonderful for the surprise value =) Maximized spells (shudder). The spell slots above 9th are meant to be a reward for those who choose more spell power. Think of it this way, if they didn't do that, then all 21 and higher casters would be from a cookie cutter. How many Simbuls do you want running around? Party: Oh, another wizard? Ok, they can only do this, this and this. No problem. Let's all reroll level 1's =/
Summary of my lost summary =/ Magic is much trickier to balance than melee. A snap of the fingers blowing everything up needs more balancing than melee attacks (Wish DAoC would learn this).
Edited by: Sillis Spineslicer at: 8/19/02 9:02:51 am
"they would have too many spells at their disposal for "free""
So what's all that exp doing, if not "buying" the privilege of being a more effective n/pc than at lower levels? Not to claim the status of a "real professional" in any one endeavor has been a small price to pay for the many benefits and pleasures of trespassing. ~Leo Lionni
true but high level is where the wizards/sorcerers shine and can destroy a melee in a round, as opposed to first level where one fighter can kill off a pair of wizards in a round ( assuming he took the power attack/cleave feats).
Besides which by that level most melees have a LOT of spell resist gear and items to counteract finger wagglers.
That xp is "buying" the ability to gain the Epic Feats, to make magic items, to get stat increases etc. The feats allow for a much more effective character, however, it keeps it from flying out of control. Gaining xp, then spending it to make magic items, scrolls, potions, wands etc can really help also.
Not allowing the "free" gains keeps Wizards (and other major magic casters) from becoming Godlike in a few Epic levels. However, the Epic Feats are brutal enough to still give a nice goose in power, without throwing blanace out the window. I personally shudder to think about a Time stop, followed by a quickened Time stop, followed by a Time stop (in round #2) and a quickened Time stop until that level 40 Wizard runs out of level 9 (and 12 or is it 13 for the quickened Time Stop) slots.
IMO "free" spell slots had to stop or the high end game would become a total, utter joke. The combination of spell slots higher than 9 and continuing the "free" spell gains would just be too much.
Maybe its just me, but I think that too many powers people should get at high levels automatically, are feats instead.
Okay, so every class gets alot of bonus epic feats. So basically they make you feel like your making a choice about what powers you take, when you really don't.
As an example, bards get new songs, but they are all feats. The songs should come automatically as their perform goes up to epic levels. Most bards are gonna take the song, cause your a bard, thats what you do. But making them feats gives you an illusion of choice.
Take rogues for example, as they level, they gain 3 things, more sneak attack damage, higher saves vs traps, and bonus epic feats(which everyone else gets, just at different rates).
But you get NO cool new rogish powers. In fact, if you a level 20 rogue, and you want GOOD and INTERESTING new powers, you are much better off going though the first 10 levels of a prestige class instead of another 20 levels of rogue. This is especially true of the epic prestige classes. While assassins and shadowdancers add some cool powers, the really nice powers that actually FEEL epic come from prestige classes like the Epic Infiltrator or the Perfect Wight.
My problem is, the powers that those 2 prestige classes get, should instead be given to high level rogues.
Yes, while some people will feel like they are stuck picking certain options, it really depends on what type of character you are playing. Just because you are a bard doesn't mean combat oriented feats (Battle-Bard) or of no use, or even feats to increase spell ability (Caster-Bard). Just using them as an example. There are several feats I would choose over the Epic Song Feats. If you want I will list a few =) Granted, the Epic song feats are nice and deserve first look (as you said, it's what they do).
I just rechecked the Bard Epic Feat selection. Looks like even though they are a combat hybrid (15/10/5 at 20) they do not get much in the way of combat feats. Strange...
Think of it this way. Up until 20 there was a structured school or natural way for a class to develop. Wizards went to their mentors, fighters to trainers, barbarians just became naturally meaner, bards to their college, etc. But now, where do they go? They might have to seek out some hermit in the middle of nowhere, just naturally develop a skill, or have a divine encounter. No one is there to maintain that structure, it is more freelance.
The Epic feats are potentially so game altering they need to be limited in the amount that show up. It was either continue to give them structured skills at certain levels, or go with the Feats. Both would be bad. I liked the feat answer, myself. While you contend it is an illusion of choice, I think there are plenty of choices. The way you develop a character is yours alone.
The prestige classes have limitations involved into accessing them. Not all DMs even allow them. There is a reason you get different abilities with prestige classes. It is in the name itself. They are a class with nifty abilities at the cost (usually) of straying away from the main class. If there weren't some neato perks, no one would take them.
Remember, this in an open ended system. They can't suddenly at a certain level (21 in this case) start giving new and nifty (and random compared to before) abilities. Otherwise the core mechanics will fail. They kept to the patterns to keep the balance. This was a game intended only to go to 20. The Epic level rules allow you to circumvent that. But it has to stay within the core mechanics, otherwise it falls apart.
Simple solution, make some house rules to do what you want =) Incorporate the new rules. Be forewarned, it may cause some imbalances (see previous posts about my opinion on pure casters).
Sillis Edited by: Sillis Spineslicer at: 8/20/02 11:45:09 am
That's the whole point - Epic levels are drastically reduced in power-per-level compared to levels 1-20, because your character development essentially caps at level 20. They EXPECT you to burn through ten levels to gain ten feats to do that one nifty thing you want, because at that point you really don't care what it takes. That's what being an epic level character is all about - putting extraordinary amounts of effort into gaining JUST ONE THING. As the rulebook says, people that aren't obsessive about their personal powers and abilities don't need to progress beyond 20th level - epic levels are solely for those characters that could already conquer the world with two matches and a goblet of wine while blindfolded and paralyzed and at the same time being forced to balance a full fishbowl on their heads at spearpoint while whistling 'I wish I was an Oscar Mayer Weiner.' Epic level characters are just the logical continuation of stupidly, obsessively, relentlessly driven perfectionistic characters. Think of it in Everquest terms - epic levels are AAXP levels, not fullblown levels in your class. Of course it's going to take a lot of epic levels to get good stuff, the same way it takes no fewer than 24 AA to get Chaotic Stab.
On another note, there is some really sick @#%$ in that epic book under gear. /drool -- Marauder Arafain Entreri, 60 Assassin
-- Arafein Soulstriker, 54 Champion Relic
-- Arafax Kokorozan, 20 Monk Giantfriend
-- Formerly of Requiem of Souls, now of Crusaders of Plilo
-- Formerly of The Rathe Server, now of Zebuxoruk [i]"Once, in the old west, a gentleman shot a professional gunfighter in the back. When asked why he didn't give the other chap a chance to draw, he replied, 'Well, he's dead and I'm alive and that's how I wanted it to be." -- from <u>Red Planet</u>, Robert A. HeinleinEdited by: Arafain at: 8/23/02 10:47:32 am