Greater than 20th Level ie Epic

sarum

Mongoose
Hi all,

When a B5 character gets past 20th level do the characters advance with the normal rules or should you use some form of 'Epic' style rules?

Regards
Dave
 

lastbesthope

Mongoose
You'll havre to go some to get Epic. Even sheridan is only 20th level in the Crusade supplement !5th level Fleet Officer, 5th level Diplomat.

LBH
 

mthomason

Mongoose
Of course, if you did start working your own Epic rules in, you should really consider applying Epic Levels to the aforementioned Mr. S, amongst other notables.
 

Perturbatio

Mongoose
I wouldn't suggest using the Epic Level Handbook for this since it's really designed for fantasy games.

I'd be tempted to either make up my own epic level rules or simply follow the standard progression BUT not allow stat increases (or alternatively slow down stat increase progression i.e. 1 per 8 levels).
 

slingbld

Mongoose
Actually, I think that since this game is more set around what the GM feels is fair xp to dole out after each adventure, rather than a set formula based on te number of creatures you defeat, you can set it up where character advancement slows quite a bit after say level 5-6. This would allow you to run 4-5 seasons worth of games before reaching level 20.
And personally, I feel at that time, the characters should be retired and some new ones made.
 

sarum

Mongoose
slingbld said:
Actually, I think that since this game is more set around what the GM feels is fair xp to dole out after each adventure, rather than a set formula based on te number of creatures you defeat, you can set it up where character advancement slows quite a bit after say level 5-6. This would allow you to run 4-5 seasons worth of games before reaching level 20.
And personally, I feel at that time, the characters should be retired and some new ones made.

I was more intrested in creating a 20th Level plus NPC. We are a bit off PCs getting that far yet. I can wing it of course, but it just made me wonder if there was any guide lines. It is the edge conditions that push the boundaries of rules.

So far I have not give out any real xp in my game. They started at 6th Level and I gave them a level after the first block of adventures which was 7 sessions. We are at session 10 of the second block now and I am just starting to 'think about it'. Looking at the NPCs they tend to go up 1 to 3 levels per year so I am planning that over a game year I will give them 2 to 4 levels.

Regards
Dave
 

scottmage

Mongoose
Bester is in the catagory of Epic after Wheel of Fire, as he is a 10th Level Psi-Cop/10th Level Telepath.

I would like to see how they work this, since most of the main characters would be Epic level anyway, especially the way Telepaths are done.
 

KaosDevice

Mongoose
scottmage said:
Bester is in the catagory of Epic after Wheel of Fire, as he is a 10th Level Psi-Cop/10th Level Telepath.

Gah..now that is terrifying. A near Epic level Psi-Cop, kind of makes the Agents in the Matrix look like sour milk doesn't it?
 

redlaco

Mongoose
slingbld said:
And personally, I feel at that time, the characters should be retired and some new ones made.
I agree with this opinion, I'd make them top at level 20 and make it match with the end of their "story". It also prevent PCs to become so uber they won't be afraid of combat anymore, which is kind of wrong from my point of view. Got to keep it realistic.

That being said, I can understand the need for epic levels for some types of B5 campaigns, especially if the PCs are Rangers, Telepaths or Techno-mages...
 

scottmage

Mongoose
redlaco said:
I agree with this opinion, I'd make them top at level 20 and make it match with the end of their "story". It also prevent PCs to become so uber they won't be afraid of combat anymore, which is kind of wrong from my point of view. Got to keep it realistic.

I thought that is what makes Heros...someone that has fear, but faces it and does what needs to be done reguardless of the cost.
 

redlaco

Mongoose
scottmage said:
I thought that is what makes Heros...someone that has fear, but faces it and does what needs to be done reguardless of the cost.
Exactly, that's why there won't be "Epic levels" in my game.
If a character acquires most of the skills and feats, he just won't need the rest of the team and he becomes a James Bond. In my book, B5 revolve more around stories than individual characters with almost supernatural powers. As to everything else, "to each his own", I say.

Cheers !
 

lastbesthope

Mongoose
You can always give Epic Characters epic problems that they have to "understand they're way out of".

And then make an end to their story, I mean take what happened to Sheridan as a good example.

LBH
 

omegar

Mongoose
in my mind 20th level characters become NPC's. At least in B5.

and should only appear once in awhile, possibly as a mentor to the former player, or an ally, or so on....
 

Serenn

Mongoose
umm.. i hope not.. at the rate the Campaign serenn is in.. i'll be epic at the age of 24.. 0_0 i CANT retire that early, its just wrong....although.. i'll be running my fith class by then, and still guarunteed death is arround the corner.. if you go epic, you just become a bigger threat to those around you, so more gets thrown at you!

Death is inevitable.. but you gotta enjoy the character.. if you cap at 20 with alot to do.. how the heck are you gonna get things done??

on a more helpfull note:
How about setting it so you can /only/ take prestige classes post 20th?
 
Remember, each major character gets (I think) 2 levels per season. They ar in the thick of things. Just base it on that.

As for retiring at level 20 - bah humbug! Let the characters become senior members of the ISA or their home governments! Look at the epic feel of B5 and find a place for them to continue to affect thier galaxy and story. At that point the characters can do what they WANT to do - but it doens't mean they can do it through attack rolls. They have the opporunity to make massive decisions on how to administer their governemtns and lead fleets.

There are plenty of stories right there.
 

Dastari

Mongoose
Since we're using D&D rules except for those things specifically changed for B5, I would just recommend doing what the Dungeon Master's Guide suggests. Progress as normally except that you get Epic Saving throw increases instead of the normal progression.

The only problem with this becomes determing how often each major class gets a free feat (to counter act the fact that most classes don't have features that advance after 20th level). Also, it would be nice to have some Babylon 5 style epic feats that epic characters can take. I really think that someone ought to release an epic guide for B5 base classes and prestige classes to help out with this.

Like most people, I think it's probably wise to retire characters after they become epic, but they should still be usable as NPCs and so I think that we still need rules for above level 20th characters. Then those who want to use them as PCs can as well. I personally want some epic villains to give my PCs a run for their money...
 

Morden

Mongoose
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I think the rapid advancement of characters and then differentiating between levels 1 - 20 and above is a fundamental flaw in the design of 3E. In my opinion, epic becomes too powerful, and if anything, epic should slow the progression of characters way down. Characters should not be able to increase in power to the point where they become mortals with the power of demigods. This is one of the things that the Babylon 5 RPG does right - it keeps the power down to believable levels (even if I do think they lowball the hit points!).

That said, this is the system within which we must work, so differentiating between levels 20+ becomes an unavoidable evil. Listed below is how I would handle advancement beyond level 20. Keep in mind that this is not the advancement method listed in the 3.5 DMG, nor is it intended to give you a great deal of incentive to continue to advance your character. What it does is simply make it so that an "epic" character is not explonentially more powerful than a standard high level character, which keeps it playable within the confines of a game designed for levels 1 - 20.

Hit Points continue to increase by class (in my game, each class gets 1 more hit point per level than what is listed in the book, but would drop down to the increase listed in the book by class after level 20).

Skill Points increase by your Intelligence modifier or 1 (whichever is greater) per level.

Base Attack Bonus continues to increase, but at a much slower rate.
Characters with a good attack bonus (increases increase at a rate of 1:1 on levels 1 - 20) now increase at a rate of 1:5. Characters now gain +1 to attack at levels 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50....
Characters with a moderate attack bonus (increases at a rate of 3:4) now increase at a rate of 1:7. Characters now gain +1 to attack at levels 27, 34, 41, 49, 56, 63....
Characters with a poor attack bonus (increases at a rate of 1:2) now increase at a rate of 1:10. Characters now gain +1 to attack at levels 30, 40, 50, 60, 70....
No additional iterative attacks are gained after level 20.

Saves also increase at a slower rate for all characters. Your character's good save continues to increase, but at a rate of 1 point for every 5 levels. Your character's poor saves increase at a rate of 1 point for every 10 levels.

Class abilities, feats, and powers do not increase beyond level 20. Because characters no longer gain class abilities or feats, they are considered to be advancing in a core class they had previously taken and bases his advancement (as outlined above) on that class.

Like I said, this isn't a progression that greatly rewards characters for continuing to advance, but it does allow you to continue your game beyond level 20. A 100th level character is not 5 times more powerful than a 20th level character.
 

lastbesthope

Mongoose
Baraendur said:
That said, this is the system within which we must work, so differentiating between levels 20+ becomes an unavoidable evil. Listed below is how I would handle advancement beyond level 20. Keep in mind that this is not the advancement method listed in the 3.5 DMG, nor is it intended to give you a great deal of incentive to continue to advance your character. What it does is simply make it so that an "epic" character is not explonentially more powerful than a standard high level character, which keeps it playable within the confines of a game designed for levels 1 - 20.

2 things:

1) Why must we differentiate between levels below and above 20, it seems like an avoidable evil to me, but let's see what the do in 2E.

2) B5 RPG is based of 3.0 not 3.5. A subtle point, but one to bear in mind nonetheless.

LBH
 

Morden

Mongoose
lastbesthope said:
1) Why must we differentiate between levels below and above 20, it seems like an avoidable evil to me, but let's see what the do in 2E.

To keep power levels realistic, and to keep from having to design a completely new game to support high level play. If you continue to use the same advancement, by level 35, your officer will have an attack bonus that would be +35/+30/+25/+20/+15/+10/+5. That's just so many attacks that it strains believability. Saves also go off the charts very quickly, as do skills, etc. At 20th level, you're already at a point where the old challenges just aren't that scary anymore. Why compound the problem by maintaining the same rate of advancement?

2) B5 RPG is based of 3.0 not 3.5. A subtle point, but one to bear in mind nonetheless.

True, but the epic level advancement in the 3.5 DMG is identical to the advancement listed in the Epic Level Handbook. I am simply assuming that more poeple have the 3.5 DMG than the ELH.
 
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