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  • File :1244346344.jpg-(83 KB, 458x598, epic.jpg)
    83 KB Anonymous 06/06/09(Sat)23:45 No.4793876  
    'sup, /tg/?

    I run a 3.5 campaign that's about to break into epic levels. I've been looking at the monsters in the epic level handbook and I have to say I'm underwhelmed. While there are a few good ones in there like the Atropal, most are flavorless rehashes and are riddled with poor design and errors in construction. Therefore, I'm looking to redesign many of the epic level monsters as well as add flavor to them.

    Do any of you have experience in designing epic level monsters or encounters? Any advice or examples I could gleam from you? Any help would be appreciated.

    While related, this isn't the place for comments about how broken epic 3.5 is. I've trimmed down the worst(Go to hell, epic spellcasting) and revised the bad. It has it's issues, but let's not distract ourselves from the point of the thread by bickering over it.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)00:01 No.4793990
    Giving this the old bump.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)00:29 No.4794203
    Let's give this another bump and see if anything happens.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)00:36 No.4794276
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    One important thing to keep in mind: just making the enemy bigger and bigger, in terms of both numbers and actual size, is boring...

    ...unless you then treat it like it was mundane. Then you might at least score some SAN damage or something.

    Overall, Epic level combat challenges pretty much have to get away from the old numbers game to be interesting, because things have long since gotten to the point where either your defense against a certain attack is impenetrable or useless. So, focus on strategic-level conflict rather than tactical, if possible.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)00:42 No.4794312
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    From http://www.treasuretables.org/2007/01/how-do-you-sustain-an-epic-campaign


    My experience with high-level play comes from D&D, but I’ll try to be as general as possible.

    When it comes to high-level adventures, “saving the world” is what is all about. Notice how I put that in quotes, however. The world needs “Saving” only because someone else thinks it needs “Fixing”. As the MIB quote states, there will always be someone else who knows better than the rest of the world and will try to save it from itself - whether that means summoning an angelic horde to wipe out all the sinners, blasting off into space and throwing this rock into a star, or preventing someone from controlling everyone like a puppet.

    Make sure there is some spin to why the world needs saving. Even better, make sure that the PCs solution solves one problem but causes 2 more (until you get to a point where everyone want’s to retire - don’t let a loose end hang). There is a reason, no matter how dumb, for why Bad Guy 654 decided to do what he did, and since his plan doesn’t succeed, there should be some kind of concequence. (This is assuming that epic-level evils arn’t stupid. If the threat is a giant space monster that is hungry, well, there isn’t technically a problem if you kill and and stop the planet from being eaten).

    I’m done rambling.


    This approach also helps with the issue of why the players don't just end world hunger and poverty with some Wish spells.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)00:47 No.4794347
    That's from the Eva h-game, isn't it? Angel of Steel, or some such, right? Where Shinji gets a girlfriend, who's an Angel, or something.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)00:50 No.4794371
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    Overall, the best epic level challenges are usually just other characters built like the PCs. The CR ratings on epic level monsters are basically useless, which means that you need a different rubric to determine proper power level. But, a mirror match of the team will always be an exactly even fight. And, with over 20 levels to play with, you can throw in a lot of variation. Then you just pull out or add extra enemy team members.

    This gets around a lot of balance issues, as well.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)00:56 No.4794404
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    I admit that I never finished it, but if there's porn in Girlfriend of Steel, I missed it.

    That said... campaign idea: the epic-level characters are so far removed from mortal affairs that they are wholly transcendent of normal reality. So the players make low-level characters whose job it is to try to get the epic-level guys to fight off monsters. Via telepathy? While riding inside the gigantic avatar forms of the epic characters, projected from whatever far reaches of the Astral that they actually occupy.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:00 No.4794432
    Or maybe switch to a different system entirely? Once they hit 25 level, you pull out Exalted and have them redo the PCs.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:02 No.4794453
    Constant save the world plots are shit. Focus on one and make it epic.

    look at seiken-densetsu 3 if you want a good example of how to constantly escalate the situation. In it, the characters fail to stop the summoning of the god-beasts destined to destroy the world, and are then forced to hunt each one down to kill it (there's quite a few sessions in there already). After winning they find out that the destruction of the god-beasts was really just binding their energy back together to form the epic EEEVIL which, in one of the game's paths, is being used to tear apart the walls of reality between hell and earth. It doesn't succeed, but in your campaign perhaps it does, and the epic level characters are basically the uber heroic norse-saga level figures who have to save civilisation and repair the planar rifts. The story can be less about adventuring and more about controlling armies of the ragtag survivors/being kings or whatever.

    There's a lot that can be done with epic players, but you also need to know when to let it rest. Eventually there comes a point when 'epic' becomes 'silly'. At that time it's best to place the characters in the annals of your world's history, and roll up new ones.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:04 No.4794465
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    Note that whole organizations are often excellent epic challenges, since it really forces players to think strategically rather than just "hit it in the face." I mean, sure, you could just walk in and start stabbing people, but a lot of those guys just work there. Hell, most of them don't even know the big plan. Too much of that psychopathic violence and you're not "The Brotherhood of Valor" anymore, you're "The Enemies of All That Live".

    Suddenly, all those divination and mind-reading spells aren't messing up the game flow, but rather absolutely vital, and the rather alarming epic skills section becomes how you even get something useful going at all.

    Warning: may not be appropriate if the party is Fighter, Barbarian, Int-dumping Combat Cleric, Warmage.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:05 No.4794469
    Epic campaigns should transcend the Prime Material Plane. One of the easiest ways to rebalance things is to leave the Prime behind and let the PCs deal with the real powers of the multiverse. Being level 21 suddenly seems very small when Gods around CR 100-200 exist, not to mention countless hordes of pit fiends, solars, balors and so on. Further ,there's PCs from other Prime Materials reaching out and ready to go.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:09 No.4794495

    Again, don't let published CRs fool you. You're going to have a very very bad time of it if you seriously think a CR 26 monster is going to interact with a level 20 party the same way that a CR 6 monster interacts with a level 1 party. You've doubtless seen the CR system start to break down badly already.

    I have yet to see a CR anything that a level 17 wizard with enough spell access and enough planning couldn't kill flawlessly.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:12 No.4794511
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    Well, menace-of-the-week works okay if you're taking the "Superman" route, but yeah, everything being embedded in a struggle that itself defines the nature of reality... that has some good traction.

    Another route to go is ascension. Pic related.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:12 No.4794513
    Okay, you're nerfing epic spellcasting from the sounds of it? Good. That's the first essential step. Epic spellcasting is broken and ruins the game. Assuming you know what you're doing and didn't make a cockup of everything, thing should be manageable now.

    A lot of a good epic game is the feel. You're doing things above and beyond the mortal tier of battle. It's not about going to a dungeon now. It's not about fighting the dragon. Well, no, it is, but it's a matter of dressing it up so it's so much more. Every monster or creature that can stand up to epic level PCs should be considered carefully. What are they? Why are they here? What makes them interesting? What makes them worthy of being epic?
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:15 No.4794524

    This is somewhat unrelated to the point at hand and may border on trolling. Sorry. Anyway, a wizard in a decent game shouldn't have access to any spell they can get. The DM can and should keep things in check, as well as making sure the wizard gets surprised. No sense giving him prep time all the time, you know?

    Sure, a level 17 wizard might be able to beat almost anything with charopping. A good DM shouldn't let this happen, especially in an epic campaign. Shit is crazy enough.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:15 No.4794529
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    Two corrections: first, it should have been 26 and 21, not 26 and 20. Second, please don't take the level 17 wizard with infinite planning time as spell access vs. CR whatever homebrew beast as a challenge. Please.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:18 No.4794543
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    Epic challenge idea 1:

    Overdiety of all creation goes on vacation, forgets what it really is. You need to deal with it without unmaking reality. This may or may not involve face-stabbing.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:19 No.4794552
    Yeah, even if they aren't even it's still pretty good.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:22 No.4794573
    Epic level encouters involve you making shit up and the players using gamebreaking skills to beat up your completely made up challenges.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:22 No.4794575
    Kyon's the God, not Haruhi.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:22 No.4794577
    Epic Adventure Idea: Asmodeus and Zaphkiel are engaged in a eons long chess match. The latest round involves the PCs as pawns. They get to crash into all sorts of insane plots, some they can handle and some that are beyond their ken. A group of identically leveled NPCs serves the other side in a competition. Both sides try to unraven the other side's plans while protecting their side's plans.

    Due to the two figures involved, simply killing the other side doesn't work. The rules of the game prevent it as long as the mortals are in play for the turn. It's a brain game within a brain game.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:22 No.4794578
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    Idea #2:

    Do you know that there are several spells and abilities out there that allow you to hide yourself from magical detection that even gods can't bypass? At least, until they really start trying. You'd better hope you can stay ahead in that arms race until you can figure out why they want to kill you and stop it. May involve wiping out a pantheon.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:23 No.4794585
    WTF is this infinite spell access and planning bullshit? A wizard's spellbook is guaranteed to be cheaper than the magic doodads a fighter needs just to keep up with the joneses, and wizards are just fine without planning. In every campaign I've been in but didn't DM, wizards never got a chance to plan ahead for specific encounters but still owned. Most DMs just have monsters attack unexpectedly.

    In my 3.5e campaigns, however, the wizard has always been played by hilarious morons.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:23 No.4794587

    zomg spoilers!
    >> Unholy Clown Ninja Maid Anonymous, tl;dr Xom's Champion !!0aKrfPDoCW4 06/07/09(Sun)01:24 No.4794588
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    >> Unholy Clown Ninja Maid Anonymous, tl;dr Xom's Champion !!0aKrfPDoCW4 06/07/09(Sun)01:24 No.4794593
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    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:28 No.4794625
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    Idea 3:

    They kill death itself yet? Almost any reason is a good reason, and virtually anything you can think up is a fine consequence. The rebirth of the world? Necromancer's paradise? Shaun of the Dead?
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:31 No.4794641
    The PCs become minor gods. This requires them to leave the mortal stage of affairs. Like other gods, they must work through plans and far weaker avatars now. They play scaled down characters and spend most of the time manipulating events. For big climaxes, they regain control of their fully powered PCs for God on God or whatever battles.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:34 No.4794662
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    Another thing to keep in mind: save-or-die effects, while still painful, are also trivially dealt with now that True Resurrection costs pocket change.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:35 No.4794671

    Yes. I'd avoid trying to kill the PCs unless it means something. Be it trap the soul, something to prevent normal ressing or whatever. Death is cheap at that power level.

    Remember this applies to the bad guys, too.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:35 No.4794675
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    Have I mentioned that it's never a bad time to go headhunting for avatars of the enemy pantheon of your choice?
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:37 No.4794694
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    In any case, when the game eventually looks like this, it's time to retire. Or embrace it with open arms, one of the two.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:38 No.4794699
    It's never too early to do something offensive to the God or planar lord who was dogging you in your lesser days. That bitch Dispater give you shit? Time to turn the Iron Tower into rust. That whore Malcanthet drown you in curses and PMSing succubi? Time to give her some forced female circumcision.

    Settle the old scores now that you finally can.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:39 No.4794705
    Why the fuck would you fuck with an avatar, man? A deity has like a half dozen of them, they're all almost as strong as the god himself, and if you kill one, the deity loses nothing.

    Anyway OP, you should check out the Immortals Handbook series. It fixes epic level D&D to a great degree and makes it pretty fun, although there are a few specifically broken ones (Abrogate I think?).
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:41 No.4794718
    Epic campaign DCs are overpowered IMHO.

    You get less saves past level 20, and your resistances via items dont really increase(since they cost fuckloads more now). You end up with players of DCs in teh 25-30 range facing off agaisnt DCs fo 45+, for insta kill effects. Sad.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:41 No.4794719

    Bragging right. When you can say that you've kicked the shit out of a divine avatar, you're batting in the big leagues.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:41 No.4794725
    Here's an idea:
    Now that the players are epic, instead of fixing the broken rules, keep them in place and explain that their very existence is beginning to unmake reality. Let the campaign be about them coming to terms with being reality-bending horrors or something. It'd be a bitch to pull off though.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:41 No.4794728
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    At this power level, you might have trouble finding ways to describe things. You might need to convey, for example, that something is so powerful that it doesn't have to Gate or Plane Shift to the Prime, it just sticks its fucking head through the sky. Surrealism may help you here.

    Anyway, things are well beyond mortal experience at this point, so play that up.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:41 No.4794730

    Tone down the DCs manually then. Sounds like a simple enough solution.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:42 No.4794732
    In epic campaigns, you can go totally nuts. How about the PCs go and crush the kingdoms of the earth beneath their sandalled feet, freeing the people from oppressive governments and turning the world into an anarchic utopia, if the party is chaotic-oriented?
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:43 No.4794739
    Read a lot of myths. See all the epic shit that happens in myths? Do that.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:45 No.4794749
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    "It ever occur to you guys that using the Death Star as a primary go-to weapon might have... long term consequences?"
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:45 No.4794755

    Related, you may want to lessen or eliminate the 10x price multiplier that epic items command. This does nothing but inflate costs.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:48 No.4794778

    On a related note, gold doesn't mean anything anymore. You've long since passed the point where slapping around an Efreet and wishing for a mountain of cash was interesting or novel. If you want something you don't have and can't make yourself, you're looking at big boy currency. Like favors. Or the souls of dead gods.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:50 No.4794792
    Flavor everything. The ELH is short on flavor. Make everything fucking epic. Everything new an epic character can do blows a normal character out of the water. For example, holy strike? You're so fucking holy that you bleed and breath goodness. Your touch makes evil scream. Those with darkness in their hearts can't look at you. Dire Charge? You attack so fast that you land four or five blows in a split second. Most opponents are reduced to a fine red mist before your charge ends.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:51 No.4794805
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    So, sometimes a major god goes on a bender and wrecks half of the shit in his portfolio. Who is going to clean that up? Not him, that's for damn sure.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:52 No.4794817

    Yeah. Stop using gold. Epic items can't be bought with mere money. That angel you got to make you a holy avenger+20? He wants to be paid in a barrel of distilled joy and seven good deeds that right a dire evil inflicted onto the innocent.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:57 No.4794868
    The problem is, where are you going to keep all your dead god souls/good deeds/thousand vigins etc?
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:58 No.4794878

    Good question. The PCs should have a hell of a time figuring that out and setting that up. Part of the adventure.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:59 No.4794886

    Genesis, create your own personal dimension.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)01:59 No.4794889
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    Emphasis on this. If the fighter's main weapon wasn't used to unmake a dimension or slay a major god, well, that's the next adventure.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)02:01 No.4794904
    But the soul of a dead god isn't just going to sit around while you shop. It's going to want to escape.

    So do those thousand virgins.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)02:01 No.4794913

    Time to go 'enlist' some incredibly powerful servants to makes sure they stay in place.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)02:05 No.4794937
    You guys are forgetting that level 21 counts as epic and the difference between 21 and 20 is not really that high. A wizard at level 21 can try to challenge a god, but wouldnt even be worth noticing.

    Also monsters with epic DR show up far earlier than +6 weapons due to the massive cost increase.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)02:06 No.4794943
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    What does everyday life look like for people like this? Can they even walk into a bar (on the Prime) without starting a riot or a panic?
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)02:07 No.4794945
    Wear normal clothes. Walk into a bar. Ask for an ale.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)02:07 No.4794952

    Probably not. That should be fucking awesome, though. You show up and shit goes crazy because you're who you are. Every evil who has a half assed dream of glory tries to take you out, while everyone else stares at you like a star, or tries to court favor.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)02:08 No.4794957

    The DC to recognize you with a knowledge or lore check has got to be pretty low...
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)02:09 No.4794969
    Epic Barbarian: When you rage, your enemies' heads spontaneously explode. You never stop raging.
    Epic Bard: you can sing songs that take a shit all over reality. Fangirls/fanboys throw themselves at your foes by the thousand.
    Epic Cleric: You're so fucking holy that you restore virginity in the girls you fuck. Then they donate their money to charity.
    Epic Druid: You control nature so completely you can direct the bacteria in people's bloodstreams to kill them. Also you don't walk, you command SWARMS OF TYRANNOSAURS to carry you places. You can wildshape into animals that aren't even real.
    Epic Fighter: You can fight mountains. And win.
    Epic Monk: People you punch don't get injured. They vaporize.
    Epic Paladin: If you so much as look at anyone evil they say "IT BUUUUUURNS!" Then their head falls off. On its own.
    Epic Ranger: You can track someone who passed through the mountains years ago. If you decide to hunt something, they just lay down and die, because they know they can't survive.
    Epic Rogue: You can sneak into the king's castle, kill the king, fuck his wife, pants everyone, and leave without being seen or detected. They can't even tell the king's dead.
    Epic Sorcerer: You literally eat thunder and shit lightning. You breathe fire when angry and commit genocide with your thoughts.
    Epic Wizard: As sorcerer, but with BOOKS!
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)02:10 No.4794978
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    On the theme of putting power level and balance issues into the players hands, what if the world really would be better off without, say, magic? Or what if magic and other major power sources had to be destroyed to keep the world from falling apart?
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)02:12 No.4794986
    How would they know, unless you advertise your adventures, fame and abilities? Which are really not smart things to do in the first place.

    Yea you may be the imperial battlemage of the Rudan empire, but your average peasant doesnt know jack shit in a far off kingdom.

    Even if they do know the name, they dont know what you look like. This is the age before cameras. Nobody knows what you really look like unless they see you in person. If you look at renaissance style paintings, they dont accurately potray human features at all.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)02:12 No.4794987

    The epic level PCs would either roll with it or try and fix it so that magic can stay and the world is okay too. In other words, go punch Kefka in the nuts and then steal his power instead of letting it go fade away.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)02:13 No.4795000
    Every magic user is gonna go ape shit and blow the fuck up anyone even thinking of getting rid of magic.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)02:14 No.4795004
    Make encounters where might doesn't make right. For example, the party paladin has to out-debate a pit fiend so completely that it breaks down and renounces evil. You're so holy that you can make evil stop being evil.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)02:15 No.4795015
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    This fa/tg/uy has great wisdom. Especially regarding epic anger.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)02:16 No.4795017
    I think your level 21 paladin will be busy fighting for his life.

    CR20 assumes a party of 4.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)02:17 No.4795028
    CR20 assumes a worthwhile challenge for 1 wizard, plus any number of worthless paladins, fighters, rogues, etc.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)02:17 No.4795031

    You're missing the point. The point is for something heroic and awesome, not worrying about any mechanics. Add on a reason to why the pit fiend isn't fighting you off the bat if you like.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)02:19 No.4795036
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    Epic-level pranks make this look easy.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)02:20 No.4795053
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    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)02:21 No.4795057
    that book was for 3rd i believe, which was a rather unbalanced edition to begin with. there should have been a section about epic levels in the dungeon master's guide for 3.5
    and i only know the core books, and i dont count the second player's handbook or 2nd dungeon master's guide, etc etc as a core book.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)02:21 No.4795060

    Yeah. Some of P:T's ideas are ripe for the picking. Look at all the crazy shit the Nameless One did. That's what an epic character DOES.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)02:22 No.4795070
    The main purpose of devils is to punish evil and to corrupt good, not to destroy good. A pit fiend that kills a good aligned PC on sight is as acting out of character as a planetar that did the same.
    >> Arbitrator? Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)02:23 No.4795075
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    Is this how an Arbiter should be played in Dark Heresy? Or more like a detective guy? Does an Arbiter have the right to judge and execute people?

    I ask because I'll be one in an upcoming DH game and I;m trying to get a character concept.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)02:23 No.4795076
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    Over the long span of your campaign, the characterization of the PCs has almost certainly drifted a fair amount. You can use the transition to epic to make a point of this, refocusing towards the future, or you can just not worry to much about it.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)02:25 No.4795096
    The Nameless One talked a man out of existence. I'd like everyone to consider that for a second. He debated somebody into ceasing to exist. I thought my head was going to explode the first time I read that.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)02:26 No.4795102

    Yes. Granted, it's Planescape, where that sort of thing is slightly less absurd. Still, look at it. That is fucking epic.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)02:27 No.4795113
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    Did we mention the thing about going a little crazy with the enemies? It's okay, really.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)02:30 No.4795134
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    No justification for this picture, I just like it.

    Honestly, cloning a god, slapping armor on it, and using it as a glorified tank is pretty epic, mind games and deliberate vagueness aside.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)02:32 No.4795147

    Example: Uvuudaum paladin who serves as a mount to a level 40 awakened adamantine golem cleric.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)03:26 No.4795532
    Another idea: low-level adventures revisited. Let's say some small-time king is about to get his country raided by a horde of goblins. A low-level party would rally the keep's defenses, gather intel, prepare for a siege, something like that. An epic party will just walk straight into the camp and demand that their warlord piss off. Or they'll take the less diplomatic route and just start slaughtering, which means you've got a wuxia-style setup of about three people against hundreds. (You'd have to work out the total damage of a hail of arrows differently, though; otherwise, the law of averages would result in enough criticals to kill the PCs in one round.)
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)03:45 No.4795709
    Check the Fiend Folio and the Monster Manual 3. Those are where the best epic level monsters are. Most epic level monsters are not going to be handing out hit points in damage, FYI - they'll be doing ability damage and ability drain instead.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)03:48 No.4795728
    Also, bear in mind that the monsters in the Epic Level handbook are NOT 3.5 compatible. They're underpowered for 3.5.

    I scared the hell out of my players with an umbral blot, because since it's intelligent, it had feats and skills....and an umbral blot with a skill of 30 in survival and the track feat, along with disintegration finesse and ability focus vortex is not a nice playmate.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)09:52 No.4797329

    Yeah, that's the real point of the thread. Reworking epic monsters to make them not suck.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)09:57 No.4797360
    It's generally very simple.

    Give them the feats and skills that the MM 3.5 says they should get for being of their hit dice and type. Rework their DR to reflect the appropriate types rather than /+1 or whatever. It gives good guidelines in there. Also, MM 3 and Fiend Folio have better epic monsters as a rule.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)11:01 No.4797695
    Also, look at how good high level monsters are designed in 3.5. For example, give the undead Unholy Toughness. Make sure they can hit your party reasonably. Do your work and the rest lines up.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)11:28 No.4797867
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    Resist the urge to pile on lots and lots of immunities on your epic monsters. It's okay once in a while for a monster to be immune to all of the primary tricks of your players, but it shouldn't be the standard (just like at lower levels).

    Unfortunately, far too many epic monsters end up with a stat block that reads: "Immune to critical hits, stunning, fire, electricity, cold, acid, blindness, death effects, negative energy effects, polymorphing, petrification, the kitchen sink, and your mom."

    This does help to rule out 1st turn kills, but at the cost of, for example, making the rogue wonder why he has 12d6 sneak attack written on his sheet, since it never seems to affect anything. That's not to say that a monster can't be immune to a few things, but a monster not designed for a MacGyver encounter shouldn't be shutting out more than one or two players' primary abilities.

    A different approach is to embrace the overwhelming force that your players can bring to bear, and design monsters with multiple lives. This can be via magic; the easy availability of True Resurrection was mentioned earlier. You can also do it as a natural property of the enemy - certainly there are plenty of enemies in myth and epic fantasy that just naturally aren't inconvenienced by having their bodies turned to ash.

    Beyond that, there's numbers. You can also go with the immunities, but make them finite (stop first X spells that force a save to avoid death, stop first Y sneak attacks, etc...) or make them attackable (either magical gear, a body part, or some kind of magical construct that can be undone by damage or the appropriate spell).
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)11:34 No.4797908
    Get the Immortal's Handbook.
    Shit Bricks.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)11:59 No.4798118
    30 headed tarrasque.
    link: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/eo/20070608a
    nuf said
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)13:25 No.4798873
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    Make it huge, give it a weird one-off power, don't call it a kaiju.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)14:00 No.4799169
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    Some good, some fail.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)14:40 No.4799466

    They have a bunch of epic material around. Quality varies.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)15:19 No.4799761
    In my own experience, epic level games seem to resemble WoW. Not entirely bad, if you're into that. But my DM is a fucking genius who hates to go from combat to combat. He is literally smarter than all of us players combined. So he comes up with the complicated plots and puzzles and mysteries that, surprisingly enough, don't give a fuck what level we are. So for most epic level parties I'd just recommend making actual fights fewer, and more challenging either by virtue of the conditions (tight spaces, constant balance checks, fog, whatever) or some godawful fucking monsters, or other high level parties. At 16th level we had a hell of a time fighting a party of frost giants that pretty much had the same levels and quality of gear we did. We won, but it took a long time and more than one of us almost died.

    tl;dr be smarter than MORE HITPOINTS and IMMUNE TO EVERYTHING
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)15:31 No.4799855

    Absolutely. Fight smarter, not harder.
    >> Anonymous 06/07/09(Sun)15:34 No.4799874
    pretty much all this. when you trick an avatar of a god to marry you, nothing really becomes a challenge anymore.

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