This week I weigh 13 Stone and 8lbs. I am down 5 lbs since Monday.
Inspired by some of the games we played in Scotland I want to put down some of my thoughts on epic level play.
most interesting thing for me about Epic Level Play is it’s scope and
the things that characters are capable of. High and Epic level
Characters (at least in D&D) can Teleport, Raise the Dead, Travel to
other Planes, Heal and Deal vast amounts of Damage along with a host of
of the downsides to High level play is that the variety of options
available to Players and Monsters can bog down combat. For my Pathfinder
Game I added some additional House rules to make it go faster. I had
extra attacks all have the same (the highest Attack modifier) to speed
things up and make them more relevant. I also re wrote a lot of the
monsters and opponents to only include relevant information, (making
them look a lot like 4th edition Monsters)
think the most telling part about running Epic Level Games is the
mental gear change it requires. As was reflected in early editions of
D&D as you began to reach High and epic levels the rules granted
players the opportunity to create Fortresses, gain followers and start
organisations, changing the game from the immediate environs of the
players to one where they work towards a civilising goal.
Recently I played a spin off game where a character from our main campaign run by Gavin Smith
wanted to undertake a crazy Viking plan invovling gloriously dying,
planes travel, death, undeath, the collection of an equally crazy crew
to help him out and in the end a suitably epic ending. I am being vague
on purpose to avoid spoilers for those who are still in the long running
also find it interesting the different ways games handle it. In Exalted
you essentially start in an Epic Levels environment, even if your
freshly awakened Exalted isn't ready for the things he has to deal with.
In the first session of The Exalted game that Rob ran for us we were
given a City, but told that in getting it we had annoyed a bunch of
people who were coming with an army to take it back, so we should get to
work finding allies and Magics to help us protect our city.
Whereas in Savage Worlds, Characters become more capable but just as fragile as they advance.
What counts as Epic is another interesting Question E6
suggests a fantasy world where the level cap is 6. Making 6th level
effectively Epic limits the resources of the Characters but does make
for a much more gritty game. Inspired by a suggestion that as you go up
in levels the tone of the game changes, often Epic level play feels like
playing fantasy Superheroes, and a just as interesting but very
different game could be had by expecting your players to deal with the
same type of things with the limited resources of a lower level cap or
lower magic game.
A lot of my inspiration for High level play comes from these two Story Hours on EN World:
Sagiro’s Story Hour has been going for years and has some spectacular examples of High level play:
While Sepulcherave’s campaign is very different in tone. (EN world is down as I write this so I will link to this blog post is from another fan of The story hour and has loads of links as well as PDF’s he made of them.)
What is your favorite Game for Epic Level play?