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randomhero00
2010-11-22, 02:47 PM
Happening atm in my game. Best way to balance it? Melee really seem to get screwed. They can get like a +4 to initiative (8 if they haven't taken improved already) or a +2 to stats or a +4 to saves. Whereas casters get EPIC freakin spells. Seems so unbalanced to me. But I haven't played epic much. Any ideas? What do you do?

Vizzerdrix
2010-11-22, 02:59 PM
Umm... Don't play in Epic?

Tael
2010-11-22, 03:01 PM
If in normal D&D, casters are 10 and melee is 3, in Epic, Casters are over 9000 and melee is 4. Seriously. Don't play Epic.

randomhero00
2010-11-22, 03:01 PM
Umm... Don't play in Epic?

lol, unfortunately that isn't an option at the moment. So I'm trying to convince my DM to homebrew better epic feats. Any ideas, or has anyone done homebrew epic feats for melee types?

I mean, come frikkin on, improved toughness, +20 hps?! wtf was WoTC thinking.

Glimbur
2010-11-22, 03:04 PM
Become a caster. Ur Priest from Complete Divine or Sublime Chord from Complete Arcane get you to 9th level spells faster than a base class could, but the Sublime Chord is probably unfeasible unless you're already a bard. See if you can retrain feats to qualify for Ur Priest next level. Then you'll... still suck compared to the full casters, sorry.

Take levels in ToB classes? It's still not much compared to Epic Spellcasting, but it's something.

Use your pile of WBL and superior system mastery. This assumes WBL and superior system mastery, so your mileage may vary.

Psyren
2010-11-22, 03:06 PM
You could give them ToB class levels, and then homebrew some Epic Maneuvers. They still wouldn't stand a chance, but they'd at least be able to do ccol things.

Otherwise, you could "melee" with classes like Epic Binders, Warlocks, Totemists etc.

Eloel
2010-11-22, 03:08 PM
Make melee swear loyalty to casters, and be their personal guards.

Not that the casters need them, but still...

DarkEternal
2010-11-22, 03:09 PM
You could give them ToB class levels, and then homebrew some Epic Maneuvers. They still wouldn't stand a chance, but they'd at least be able to do ccol things.

Otherwise, you could "melee" with classes like Epic Binders, Warlocks, Totemists etc.


This is a pretty good suggestion, which I will probably adapt since my party is getting close to epic as well(level 16, quite on their way to 17 at the moment).

Now the next, grand question is, any good homebrewed epic schools-feats that the fine gents on this and other forums made that would make melee better(not necessarily wizard level, but still fun to play)?

AstralFire
2010-11-22, 03:11 PM
It's not going to happen without outright banning epic spellcasting as presented.

Corwin_of_Amber
2010-11-22, 03:13 PM
Perhaps giving the melee characters access to high-level ToB maneuvers. You could allow them to choose X number of disciplines upon becoming epic and allow them to take any maneuvers from one of those schools whenever a spellcaster would normally gain an epic spell. There might have to be some rules in place for bypassing prerequisites/determining initiator level.

EDIT: Wow, so many people ninja'd me with ToB.

Lans
2010-11-22, 03:16 PM
Let Melee spontaneously gestalt? Restrict the gestalting to T3 and lower for perceived balance issues?

Eldariel
2010-11-22, 03:21 PM
This thread may offer you some assistance (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=122765). Still, it's of course a whole different ballpark.

randomhero00
2010-11-22, 03:22 PM
Wow that's funny how many mentioned ToB. I actually already asked this of my DM, that I could use an epic feat to bypass all the prereqs for high level ToB maneuvers. He turned me down :smallmad:

Psyren
2010-11-22, 03:24 PM
Wow that's funny how many mentioned ToB. I actually already asked this of my DM, that I could use an epic feat to bypass all the prereqs for high level ToB maneuvers. He turned me down :smallmad:

Let him know that you'll be over there playing Xbox until he can think of a way for you to meaningfully contribute.

Eldariel
2010-11-22, 03:31 PM
Wow that's funny how many mentioned ToB. I actually already asked this of my DM, that I could use an epic feat to bypass all the prereqs for high level ToB maneuvers. He turned me down :smallmad:

Retrain into full maneuver progression, homebrew epic maneuver system, go to town.

Toliudar
2010-11-22, 03:36 PM
Absolutely ban epic spellcasting.

There was a homebrew Epic Hero prestige class, 3 levels long posted here a while ago. Each level gave one of a grab bag of really big powers. This might be useful, if made open only to non-casters.

Or, as was suggested on a similar thread, just skip epic levels altogether, and start giving players levels in a second class, as if they were slowly becoming gestalted.

randomhero00
2010-11-22, 03:39 PM
Retrain into full maneuver progression, homebrew epic maneuver system, go to town.

Sorry, what? I don't get that. You mean rewrite my current class to a ToB class? I already said that my DM ain't letting anything like that happening. He hates ToB unfortunetally. Even though its probably the most balanced book out there :smallsigh:

AstralFire
2010-11-22, 03:41 PM
No ToB, epic spellcasting is allowed? If you really like your group, at that point I'd just resign myself to not being effective and focus on RP alone.

Eldariel
2010-11-22, 03:45 PM
Sorry, what? I don't get that. You mean rewrite my current class to a ToB class? I already said that my DM ain't letting anything like that happening. He hates ToB unfortunetally. Even though its probably the most balanced book out there :smallsigh:

Retraining = taking class levels and replacing them with other class levels. Retraining into full warrior caster type like Cleric or Wizard-base Gish would be the best bet then; you'd be better warrior than you're currently while also getting to play Epic.

randomhero00
2010-11-22, 03:49 PM
No ToB, epic spellcasting is allowed? If you really like your group, at that point I'd just resign myself to not being effective and focus on RP alone.

Indeed :( I'm about to.

Luckily I'm good at convincing (high cha IRL lol) and I think maybe I can bring her around. Definitely not ToB level, but I might be able to get some SLA type deals.

TeqSun
2010-11-22, 03:50 PM
1. Switch characters to be a caster.

2. Play 4e. Though your DM seems to hate balance, so this is mostly a rhetorical suggestion. Still, 4e is the only edition where epic levels are remotely balanced.

Zeful
2010-11-22, 03:54 PM
Let him know that you'll be over there playing Xbox until he can think of a way for you to meaningfully contribute.

Epic in a nut-shell. If you don't posess Epic Spellcasting you are worthless.

SurlySeraph
2010-11-22, 04:13 PM
You basically need a way to emulate spells that become really hard to do without, like flight, protections against magic, a way to dispel enemy protections, teleportation, and True Seeing. You can do this with a good UMD check, a well-designed intelligent item, and/or tons of magic items.

Intelligent items (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/intelligentItems.htm) and even more so their epic equivalents (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/epic/magicItems/intelligentItems.htm) can be very handy, since they let you use a lot of spells and you can set up their dedicated ability to be pretty much always in effect. Free feats, not needing to breathe, free skill ranks to cover what you're bad at, True Seeing at will, free Astral Projection, Gate, long-term Haste, Greater Invisibility, Dimension Door at will, and free True Resurrection 1/month are some of the better abilities.

Melee gets some things at epic that would be really nice with less prereqs and if they still worked on epic-level enemies.
Death of Enemies and Devastating Critical (used with Keen Kukris and lots of attacks) would be great, if it wasn't trivial to be immune to critical hits at epic levels. But a Swift Hunter ranger might be able to get around that, and weapons crystals of Truedeath and whatever the construct-killing ability is might be able to get around that.
Exceptional Deflection + Infinite Deflection = immune to ranged attacks, including ranged touch attacks. And you can buy an (animated) shield that does this for you. Adding Reflect Arrows is nice as well; you basically have permanent Spell Turning vs RTAs.
Self-Concealment is good, especially stacked with other miss chances.

If your DM is giving you the ridiculous amount of wealth they require, epic items can be pretty useful.
Armor of Great Reflection is excellent. Spell Turning against everything, no questions asked.
The Mantle of Great Stealth is pretty good
The Mantle of Epic Spell Resistance would be good if enemy casters didn't have Assay Resistance and such to easily ignore it. (But if your DM doesn't have them easily overcoming SR 40, then it's a pretty cheap way to give yourself a fair bit of protection).
Weapons of Unerring Accuracy, added to the epic feat that negates total concealment, come in handy.
You can carry around a bunch of +1 Everdancing Weapons for 162,000 gp each to flank with and get more attacks in.

Also, no ToB + epic casting allowed means that silly, highly specialized builds are probably going to be the best way to contribute. An AoO build with the Mage Slayer line can do alright if you can get huge amounts of reach, a charger build can vaporize anything vulnerable to swords, etc. You won't be on the level of the casters, but if the DM's monsters are fairly dumb you can contribute.

molten_dragon
2010-11-22, 08:44 PM
Honestly, by the time you hit epic, you're already well into the part of the game where casters are heavily overshadowing non-casters. As long as your group is handling it okay, I see no reason that they should not continue to do so.

Crow
2010-11-22, 08:57 PM
The casters are getting 2 epic spells by the time they hit 21. They are also having to burn xp and a good amount of gold to get them.

If you've been managing fine up to this point, those two epic spells aren't going to change a whole helluva lot unless your DM is allowing serious epic cheese. I mean let's be honest here, your melee became irrelevant levels ago. Come back in a few levels when it's *really* a problem. ;)

But all joking aside, is there a reason you guys can't retire these characters? If half the group isn't having fun anymore, that should be a big indication that it's time for a change.

Otodetu
2010-11-23, 12:04 AM
Just, just, don't play epic please.
Playing epic is like trying to hurt the world.


The best games have after my experience been up to the level 10 mark with low wealth and no tier 1 classes.

faceroll
2010-11-23, 12:29 AM
Unless you're DM is allowing players to gaterape solars and make up whatever silly epic spells they want, it won't be too bad. At this level, finding and selling a +8 item, while keeping your non-epic version will give you so much wealth, you'll be able to pick up those really sweet items, like 200,000 gp grafts and a whole stack of items that mimic necessary spells.

Psyren
2010-11-23, 12:36 AM
Epic in a nut-shell. If you don't posess Epic Spellcasting you are worthless.

Hell, even the lowly Improved Spell Capacity lets you pull off some amazing shenanigans. (One I've always wanted to try is Empowered Gate.)

faceroll
2010-11-23, 12:41 AM
Hell, even the lowly Improved Spell Capacity lets you pull off some amazing shenanigans. (One I've always wanted to try is Empowered Gate.)

You can already do that stuff with sudden metamagic and metamagic rods, though. But I agree, improved spell capacity is better than whatever melee gets.

tyckspoon
2010-11-23, 12:44 AM
Hell, even the lowly Improved Spell Capacity lets you pull off some amazing shenanigans. (One I've always wanted to try is Empowered Gate.)

No actual variables in the spell, so Empowering it does nothing. Might get some mileage from Extending it if you really need something to stick around and fight for you for more than 20 rounds already.. mm.. if you're really feeling like dropping a ton of rectangular building materials on somebody, you could go Quickened Gate + Twinned Gate.. needs rather a lot of levels to get to, tho.

Eloel
2010-11-23, 12:47 AM
Hell, even the lowly Improved Spell Capacity lets you pull off some amazing shenanigans. (One I've always wanted to try is Empowered Gate.)

Empowered Gate is just like normal Gate, using up a higher slot, there's no variable effect for Gate. Try Extend.

faceroll
2010-11-23, 12:49 AM
No actual variables in the spell, so Empowering it does nothing. Might get some mileage from Extending it if you really need something to stick around and fight for you for more than 20 rounds already.. mm.. if you're really feeling like dropping a ton of rectangular building materials on somebody, you could go Quickened Gate + Twinned Gate.. needs rather a lot of levels to get to, tho.

Not with chaos shuffle. =/

Safety Sword
2010-11-23, 12:49 AM
My suggestion would be to get intentionally level drained back down to level 1 and start having fun again :smallcool:

Godskook
2010-11-23, 12:49 AM
Hell, even the lowly Improved Spell Capacity lets you pull off some amazing shenanigans. (One I've always wanted to try is Empowered Gate.)

You aren't trying hard enough if you think that's an epic goal.

On the other hand, how would an empowered gate work?!?

AstralFire
2010-11-23, 05:27 AM
Empowered Gate makes an additional 50% of non-primary casters spontaneously break into tears.

Runestar
2010-11-23, 05:30 AM
You could start considering templates. Fighters get only 1/2 bab at epic lvs, but the str bonus from templates is not subject to similar constraints.

I am thinking that at epic lvs, monsters tend to have such inflated saves that melee just might become useful again.

Eldan
2010-11-23, 06:09 AM
Not really... in epic, you're long since in the territory where casters laugh at saves. There's enough spells without them.

JaronK
2010-11-23, 06:28 AM
Epic Spellcasting MUST be banned. It's so completely broken that if you basically make anything better than a 9th level spell (which is the point) you're almost sure to make something off the charts silly.

After that... well, it depends on your group. If the casters aren't creative, maybe you can keep up. But non casting Epic Feats are mostly pure trash. Take War Hulk levels, perhaps? That's quite good as an epic melee class.

JaronK

Psyren
2010-11-23, 12:07 PM
You aren't trying hard enough if you think that's an epic goal.

On the other hand, how would an empowered gate work?!?


No actual variables in the spell, so Empowering it does nothing. Might get some mileage from Extending it if you really need something to stick around and fight for you for more than 20 rounds already.. mm.. if you're really feeling like dropping a ton of rectangular building materials on somebody, you could go Quickened Gate + Twinned Gate.. needs rather a lot of levels to get to, tho.


Empowered Gate is just like normal Gate, using up a higher slot, there's no variable effect for Gate. Try Extend.

You go from a 40HD limit to 60. This allows you to bring in abominations such as a Hecatoncheires.

AmberVael
2010-11-23, 12:43 PM
You go from a 40HD limit to 60. This allows you to bring in abominations such as a Hecatoncheires.

Er...


All variable, numeric effects of an empowered spell are increased by one-half.

Saving throws and opposed rolls are not affected, nor are spells without random variables.

There are no random variables in gate, and the effect in question isn't a variable numeric effect anyway.

Empower does nothing to Gate.

Orzel
2010-11-23, 01:33 PM
When melee gets to epic, their only choice is to get more magic allies. Go do favors for enough epic mages til your favors, followers, and christmas tree effect do all the work.

Trebloc
2010-11-23, 01:42 PM
My group plays epic without any real complications, but it does require a whole group effort to make sure fun is to be had all around.

For reference, we use PHB 1 & 2, DMG, ToB and MIC, and the group is level 26 atm. We also run with very few houserules.

We currently have:
Warblade/Dwarven Defender
Cleric/Heriophant
Wizard/Archmage
Barbarian/Swordsage

The casters use their broken toys, but also buff the group & debuff the baddies. The melee have some dips into ToB classes to add mobility and hard hitting maneuvers.

Probably the biggest part of running epic is to force the group onto a strict timeline and throw a ton of encounters at them -- run those casters low on spells or make them think about casting instead of going nova. Also, the baddies have to be prepared and smart. The non-combat encounters have to be varied so that different spells/items/skillsets are(n't) useable. The strict timeline is so casters can't call timeout and teleport away.

No, we don't have anyone going to a plane where time flows differently either to get around the strict timelimits.

Psyren
2010-11-23, 01:51 PM
There are no random variables in gate, and the effect in question isn't a variable numeric effect anyway.

Empower does nothing to Gate.

A variable effect is one that changes with caster level. If you can empower a fireball above its 20d6 cap to 30d6, why can't you do the same to Gate?

AmberVael
2010-11-23, 01:57 PM
A variable effect is one that changes with caster level. If you can empower a fireball above its 20d6 cap to 30d6, why can't you do the same to Gate?

I knew you would say this, which is why I highlighted the other part.
"nor are spells without random variables."

Gate has no random variable. You can argue that it has a variable, but not that it was a random one. There are no dice to be rolled- therefore, it cannot be empowered.

AstralFire
2010-11-23, 02:01 PM
A variable effect is one that changes with caster level. If you can empower a fireball above its 20d6 cap to 30d6, why can't you do the same to Gate?

Because you're not rolling above its cap - you are rolling as normal and then multiplying. Technically, anyway. I know a lot of people just roll more dice.

Psyren
2010-11-23, 02:08 PM
Fair enough. I'll settle for Twinning Gate instead. :smalltongue:

My underlying point - that Improved Spell Capacity can also "feel epic" - remains.

Doug Lampert
2010-11-23, 02:44 PM
Happening atm in my game. Best way to balance it? Melee really seem to get screwed. They can get like a +4 to initiative (8 if they haven't taken improved already) or a +2 to stats or a +4 to saves. Whereas casters get EPIC freakin spells. Seems so unbalanced to me. But I haven't played epic much. Any ideas? What do you do?

Back when the 3.0 Epic rules came out there was a thread on Usenet discussing Epic casting.

The challenge was made to name ONE spell in the entire rulebook which actually followed the Epic casting rules, just one case where the authors actually USED the pile of crap they were publishing to produce the epic spell in the book.

No one came up with one. EVERY SINGLE EXAMPLE was not only in violation, they were so blatantly in violation that no one was even willing to try to defend any of them. It didn't require reading the rules in detail or while looking for flaws, just read the rules and try to design a spell to do that and you'd realize their example didn't work that way.

This could not have happened had the published system EVER been playtested, at all, by anyone.

Note that they really didn't change the epic spellcasting rules for 3.5, so it's still the same COMPLETELY UNPLAYTESTED MESS it was for 3.0.


It's not going to happen without outright banning epic spellcasting as presented.

And that should actually be enough.

If the game was working at level 20 with some degree of ballance (I don't see how, but if it was), then without Epic Spellcasting the casters really don't get that much out of epic. Enhanced spell capacity is rather meh compared to an actual level of new spells (and the game survived the casters getting nineth level spells, it survived them being able to metamagic them with reducers, it can survive them having an actual level 10 slot).

I mean granted, by level 30 the casters can be casting 4 nineth level spells per round (automatic quickenx3 + multispellx2), and they even have an extra feat available for improved spell capacity. But is this really that much worse than what was happening at level 17?

SurlySeraph
2010-11-23, 03:06 PM
Part of the problem is that epic levels mean, obviously, more levels. And casters get a lot more useful levels available to them than melee types to.

You usually have to plan a lot to get powerful melee builds, starting with race; Goliath or Half-Ogre for Hulking Hurler (it's fair, you're competing with epic-level casters here) or to use Knockback, Changeling for an effective Warshaper, Elf for an Eternal Blade, feat chains as prerequisites, etc. Good caster PrCs usually just require a couple feats, many of which can be granted by other good caster PrCs like Incantatrix, Mage of the Arcane Order, etc.

Now, melee classes probably aren't going to run out of useful levels the way core Fighters run out of useful feats, at least not before really high levels. But it's a lot harder for them to get as much out of epic levels as casters can simply because it's hard for them to incorporate new options. Making a tripper build or an ubercharger build gain the other's capabilities takes a lot of feats, and might require permanent stat increases so you can get Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, etc. Other than Shadowcraft Mage, there aren't many caster routes that are closed off by race to the degree that melee builds are.

plllizzz
2010-11-23, 03:35 PM
Epic Melee Chars should be able to cut/bash/punch everything

space, time, spells... yeah, that -would- be actually Epic

Susano-wo
2010-11-23, 03:38 PM
I'm surprised no one has mentioned this, but since you are basically godlike, how about receiving divine ranks? kinda op to the GM, but hey, you're above 20th lvl, you are officailly in that power bracket, and its probably the only way to keep up. (and I'll second the no ToB, but Epic spellcasting is go? Maybe you could ask him/her now, since you are, as I said, litterally in god territory here)

randomhero00
2010-11-23, 04:11 PM
I'm surprised no one has mentioned this, but since you are basically godlike, how about receiving divine ranks? kinda op to the GM, but hey, you're above 20th lvl, you are officailly in that power bracket, and its probably the only way to keep up. (and I'll second the no ToB, but Epic spellcasting is go? Maybe you could ask him/her now, since you are, as I said, litterally in god territory here)

I totally agree with this, funnily enough already suggested it. It was a no go :(

But that probably would be the easiest way to balance it. salient divine abilities rock.

plllizzz
2010-11-23, 04:39 PM
It looks like your DM pretty much wants you to suck it up and stick to the casters as their pet

randomhero00
2010-11-23, 04:55 PM
It looks like your DM pretty much wants you to suck it up and stick to the casters as their pet

sigh :( pretty much. For revenge I plan on playing a caster next campaign and not holding back :) Show her a thing or two.

Susano-wo
2010-11-24, 04:18 PM
Does does DM agree that you will basically be useless and irrelevant?

If so, then I'd sit down and have a nice chat about how this is supposed to be fun for all parties
If not, then perhaps that is the point that should be brought home?

Tael
2010-11-24, 05:03 PM
Ban Epic Spellcasting, Auto Quicken, pretty much every single other MM reducing feat, and Multispell, and you should be fine. Maybe. But probably not.

Flickerdart
2010-11-24, 05:05 PM
Start taking Wizard levels.

TheGeckoKing
2010-11-24, 08:03 PM
Epic Melee: Big, well trained Dog
Epic Casters: 3 Miniguns mounted on a T-Rex, while on fire.

Guess who wins. Guess.

randomhero00
2010-11-24, 08:41 PM
Epic Melee: Big, well trained Dog
Epic Casters: 3 Miniguns mounted on a T-Rex, while on fire.

Guess who wins. Guess.

lol


flickerdart- but that'd take forever to catch up. The campaign isn't going much farther than mid 20s. And you need to be able to cast 9th level spells before you get epic spell casting.

I can't believe there hasn't been more discussion or homebrew for this. Casters are essentially picking between things like +20 AC (epic mage armor or whatever) and melee are shifting through crap like +2 con at EPIC levels.

Epic levels should be levels where I can swing my sword like they do in the animes. I should be able to cut a bridge in half with a single strike. There should be some kind of feat for that (ignore all hardness and DR or something for ALL attacks).

There should be feats that let me keep up with my casters, like you've practiced so hard at sprinting you can skip 100 feet as a swyft action. That kind of stuff at the very least. Or you can power attack up to -10 for free (so in other words +10 when power attacking) Not +2 strength. :smallmad:

JaronK
2010-11-24, 08:48 PM
Epic Melee: Big, well trained Dog
Epic Casters: 3 Miniguns mounted on a T-Rex, while on fire.

Guess who wins. Guess.

You forgot, the T-Rex has a Green Lantern Ring and the intelligence of Batman. Also, somehow his tiny arms are actually fully strong, and he knows kung fu. Plus he has wolverine regeneration. And he can transform at will into the death star (but he also has the ability to put a grate over that stupid vent).

JaronK

randomhero00
2010-11-24, 09:06 PM
Does does DM agree that you will basically be useless and irrelevant?

If so, then I'd sit down and have a nice chat about how this is supposed to be fun for all parties
If not, then perhaps that is the point that should be brought home?

No! And I can't understand how she doesn't see it! The campaign will be ending soon anyways and she agrees that epic levels are unbalanced. So I'm like why not try some experimentation and throw melee a bone? Her answer? I don't want to mess it up anymore.:smallmad:

PS lol Jaron ^

JaronK
2010-11-24, 09:09 PM
Sounds to me like the issue is everything's already overpowered, so she doesn't want it getting any worse by making the melees stronger. This is completely valid... she just needs to make the casters weaker. Removing all epic spell related feats is a good start. Those are basically the only good feats.

JaronK

AstralFire
2010-11-24, 09:17 PM
Sounds more like she's using that as an excuse because she doesn't want to deal with the work and/or possible realization she's wrong.

randomhero00
2010-11-24, 09:29 PM
Sounds more like she's using that as an excuse because she doesn't want to deal with the work and/or possible realization she's wrong.

+1, that what I think she's doing. I've talked to her about it extensively. The casters themselves control armies. Us melee are like, err. The armies alone could probably take us out.

Sang Real
2010-11-24, 09:56 PM
No! And I can't understand how she doesn't see it! The campaign will be ending soon anyways and she agrees that epic levels are unbalanced. So I'm like why not try some experimentation and throw melee a bone? Her answer? I don't want to mess it up anymore.:smallmad:
DM the next epic game yourself.

Doesn't solve your current problem, but the best way to educate is by example.

randomhero00
2010-11-24, 10:30 PM
DM the next epic game yourself.

Doesn't solve your current problem, but the best way to educate is by example.

Possible, but it'd be a one off. Already have the next non epic level campaign planned. Will be years before I get a chance like that.

Quietus
2010-11-24, 10:52 PM
No! And I can't understand how she doesn't see it! The campaign will be ending soon anyways and she agrees that epic levels are unbalanced. So I'm like why not try some experimentation and throw melee a bone? Her answer? I don't want to mess it up anymore.:smallmad:

PS lol Jaron ^

Then ask her to ban Epic Spellcasting. I don't see a big problem with Enhanced Spell Capacity, used for higher-level metamagicing, and auto-quicken/multispell will kill the caster's spell slots ridiculously fast. But drop Epic Spellcasting if your casters are optimized, that is - if they aren't, then Epic Spellcasting might be used as intended, which generally doesn't get effects nearly as powerful. 40d6 energy damage (acid/fire/electricity/sonic) at spellcraft DC 90, with 10d6 backlash and 200 XP drain? Really? This is what they thought would make a good Epic spell? If your party's casters stick to effects like this, then you'll be fine. If they start chaingating permanent solars to mitigate spell DC's.. then you start running into issues.

Sang Real
2010-11-24, 11:14 PM
Possible, but it'd be a one off. Already have the next non epic level campaign planned. Will be years before I get a chance like that.
In that case, might I suggest a one-shot end boss?

Io, the True Dragon
Io appears as the biggest dragon youíve ever seen. I know I say that about every dragon, but I promise I wonít say it again. Itís extra true this time. His scales are flawless mythril plates of draconic perfection. Howíre they different from Bahamutís platinum scales and a silverís silver scales? I dunno, theyíre more shiny. Or something.

Really Colossal Dragon
Divine Rank: 25
Domains: Destruction, Luck, Trickery
Hit Dice: 60d12 + 1,920 (2,640)
I Go First: No, really, I have Supreme Initiative (+16)
Speed: 60 ft. (12 squares), fly 300 ft. good (60 squares), swim 60 ft. (12 squares), burrow 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 131 (-8 size, +12 Dex, +25 divine, +32 deflection, +60 natural), touch 71, flat-footed 119; 75% Miss Chance
Base Attack/Grapple: +60/+133
Mm, Tasty Adventurer: Bite +109 (6d6 + 32)
I Slice and Dice Too: Bite +109 (6d6 + 32), Claws +109/+109/+104/+99/+94 (4d8 + 16), Wings +109/+109/+104/+99/+94 (4d6 + 16), Tail Slap +109 (4d8 + 48)
Space/Reach: 30 ft./30 ft. (40 ft. with bite)
Special Attacks: All-the-Other-Breath-Weapons-Were-Taken, Crush, Frightful Presence, Tail Sweep, Spells
Special Qualities: Blind Sense 60 ft., Damage Reduction 50/+10, Fast Healing 45, Iím Immune Sucka!, Keen Senses, Pffft I Donít Even Have to Roll, Spell Resistance 50
I Laugh at Your Tricks: Fort +89, Ref +69, Will +89
Donít Hate Me ĎCause Iím Perfect: Str 75, Dex 35, Con 75, Int 75, Wis 75, Cha 75
Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better: Bluff +120, Concentration +120, Diplomacy +120, Escape Artist +100, Hide +100, Intimidate +120, Knowledge (Arcane) +120, Listen +120, Move Silently +100, Search +120, Sense Motive +120, Spell Craft +120, Spot +120, Use Magic Device +120
Feats: Heighten Spell, Improved Initiative, Improved Multiattack, Improved Rapid Strike (Claws), Improved Rapid Strike (Wings), Large and in Charge, Multiattack, Power Attack, Quicken Breath, Quicken Spell, Rapid Strike (Claws), Rapid Strike (Wings), Silent Spell, Still Spell
Epic Feats: Dire Charge, Epic Spell Casting, Improved Metamagic (3), Multispell (2)
Salient Divine Abilities: Alter Reality, Alter Form, Alter Size, Area Divine Shield, Battle Sense, Clear Sight, Control Creatures (Dragons), Divine Blast, Divine Celerity, Divine Dodge, Divine Fast Healing, Divine Glibness, Divine Spell Casting, Mass Divine Blast, Divine Shield, Free Move, Instant Counter Spell, Instant Move, Power of Luck, Power of Truth, Rejuvenation, Shape Change, Shift Form, Supreme Initiative, True Shape Change
Environment: Adamant Mountain
Organization: Silly Mortal, They Donít Know What to Do With Just One of Me
Challenge Rating: 40 + Divine Ranks = You Canít Beat Me
Treasure: Youíre Wearing My Newest Delivery
Alignment: Neutral, So You Canít Smite Me, Mwahahaha!

All-the-Other-Breath-Weapons-Were-Taken: 80 ft. cone; 40d12 minty fresh damage; Reflex half (DC 72).
Crush: See MM, page 68; Huge or smaller foe; Reflex DC 72; 6d6 + 48 damage.
Frightful Presence: See MM, page 69; 600 ft. radius; Will DC 72.
Spells: Io casts spells as a 40th level sorcerer with the metamagic specialist feature. Because heís extra special, Io has access to any spell list he wants. Spell DCs 42 + Spell Level.

Epic (6/day): True Contingent Resurrection:
True Contingent Resurrection
Necromancy [Healing] Ė (Silly mortal, conjurations that heal are stupid.)
Spell Craft DC: 92
Components: DF
Casting Time: 1 quickened action
Range: Touch
Target: You or touched creature
Duration: Contingent until expended, then instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)
To Develop: Seed: life (DC 27). Factor: quickened spell (+28 DC), activates when subject dies (+25 DC), no somatic component (+2 DC), no verbal component (+2 DC), no remains required (+4 DC ad hoc), no level loss (+4 DC ad hoc).
Effect: Iím back, biatch!

Spells Iíll Never Run Out Of:
32 (2/day)
31 (2/day)
30 (2/day)
29 (2/day)
28 (3/day)
27 (3/day)
26 (3/day)
25 (3/day)
24 (4/day)
23 (4/day)
22 (4/day)
21 (4/day)
20 (5/day)
19 (5/day)
18 (5/day)
17 (5/day)
16 (6/day)
15 (6/day)
14 (6/day)
13 (6/day)
12 (7/day)
11 (7/day)
10 (7/day)
9 (12/day): Freedom, Imprisonment, Mass Heal
8 (13/day): Dimensional Lock, Greater Spell Immunity, Moment of Prescience
7 (13/day): Blasphemy, Greater Arcane Sight, Greater Restoration
6 (13/day): Antimagic Field, Disintegrate, Heal
5 (13/day): Break Enchantment, Raryís Telepathic Bond, Telekinesis, Wall of Force
4 (14/day): Bestow Curse, Greater Invisibility, Neutralize Poison, Superior Magic Fang (SC)
3 (14/day): Contagion, Haste, Magic Circle, Slow
2 (14/day): Bark Skin, Bearís Endurance, Bullís Strength, Protection from Arrows, Wraith Strike (SC)
1 (14/day): Feather Fall, Mage Armor, Magic Missile, Shield, True Strike
0 (6/day): Who cares, honestly?

Tail Sweep: See MM, page 68; Large or smaller foes; 50 ft. radius; Reflex DC 72; 4d6 + 48 damage.
Damage Reduction: A weapon ignores 5 points of Ioís damage reduction per enhancement bonus it has.
Iím Immune Sucka!: Ability Damage, Ability Drain, Banishment Effects, Cold Damage, Death Effects, Disease, Disintegration, Electricity Damage, Energy Drain, Fire Damage, Imprisonment Effects, Mind-Affecting Effects, Paralysis Effects, Poison, Rebuking, Sleep Effects, Stunning, Transmutation, Turning
Pffft I Donít Even Have to Roll: Seriously, even if my bonuses werenít crazy high, Iím a freakiní overdeity. That means Iím treated as rolling a 20 on any check, saving throw or attack roll. Roll those attack rolls anyway though, I might get a critical threat! Oh and I always deal maximum damage Ė whether physical, breath weapon or spell. (Though, as if I would use a direct damage spell Ė theyíre so nooooob!)


I'm sorry, you wanted a balanced adventure?
:smallbiggrin:

Rawn
2010-11-25, 08:36 AM
Have you looked at epic destinies (http://web.archive.org/web/20080502142725/http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drfe/20080428&authentic=true)?

Don't have much experience with these, but some of them look useful. You might be able to talk your DM into giving you one for free to offset the advantages of the casters.

Frenchy147
2010-11-25, 08:48 AM
I don't know anything about epic really, but it seems like you could just remedy it by hombrewing some ridiculous magic items.

Susano-wo
2010-11-25, 02:56 PM
Have you looked at epic destinies (http://web.archive.org/web/20080502142725/http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drfe/20080428&authentic=true)?

Don't have much experience with these, but some of them look useful. You might be able to talk your DM into giving you one for free to offset the advantages of the casters.

not related to OT, but those actually look pretty cool, though I only glanced at them

Roderick_BR
2010-11-25, 05:29 PM
To start, some epic feats for meleers should be pushed down into non-epic.
The only way to try a smidth of balance, is to ban epic casting. Let casters pic extra slots, epic metamagic (Still, for example, as it allow them to wear armor). Just avoid anything with actual epic spellcasting.

TheGeckoKing
2010-11-25, 05:46 PM
@Sang Real

Nooooooo! You've given it stats! You don't give Io stats! Things with stats can die! THEY CAN DIE!
...................
But seriously, just ban Epic Spellcasting and force/beg/hypnotize your DM to homebrew/approve homebrewed feats, and it might work.

Sang Real
2010-11-25, 06:32 PM
The funny thing about epic spells is that they'd be more balanced if the ELH just said "Use other spells as a baseline, and use your best DM judgment to approve 10th+ level spells." Because the guidelines we have now are either ignored by DMs who know how broken they are, or they lull inexperienced DMs into approving bad spells--whether under- or over-powered.


@Sang Real

Nooooooo! You've given it stats! You don't give Io stats! Things with stats can die! THEY CAN DIE!
Haha, if I were crazy enough to let my players beat Io, I'd concede the game to them. They win D&D. Let's play tic tac toe!

Myth
2010-11-25, 07:27 PM
So does your DM let the casters sit around for months developing said Epic spells? If not then the issue is not Epic Spellcasting in itself but rather qadratic Casters vs linear non-casters. Why anyone would roll a non-caster for an Epic game is beyond me (or stick with one instead of retiring him/her and rolling a new one). I had one guy try to roll a Fighter 20 for my Deicide game. I had to facepalm in real life...

If you are dead set on play "hit it with a stick", ask to continue getting more iterative attacks from higher BAB, and a BAB increase every level. And build an Ubercharger or something.

Endarire
2010-11-25, 07:37 PM
Advice from Hood (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19872838/Little_Red_Raiding_Hood_A_Tale_of_38_Guide_to_the_ 35_Dragoon) regarding epic levels:

-Get magic.
-Gish it up.
-Win initiative.
-Survive.

Andion Isurand
2010-11-25, 10:42 PM
I would try to get the DM to allow you to borrow from Pathfinder material to help boost the non-casters.

Moose Man
2010-11-25, 11:10 PM
SARCASM MODE: ON
epic melee on par w/casters, look into lightning warrior
SARCASM MODE: OFF

Keinnicht
2010-11-26, 01:20 AM
Here's my take on things:

Once upon a time, I played a Fighter/Barbarian in an epic level game. Sure, the casters were fancier than me, busting out maximized fireballs, plus the freaking psion who opened every combat with two quickened disintegrates followed by a normal disintegrate spell, but I managed to get by by keeping one simple rule in mind. One you should remind your GM of.

The laws of physics don't mean crap to an epic character. In any way, shape or form. Epic level rogues can walk on clouds, and epic level monks can climb up a perfectly flat surface like spider-man. Think different - whatever insane plan you think of, do it. You probably can if your GM understands this principle. For example, the above Fighter/Barbarian sundered a castle. Took his sword, cut that baby in half.

Is it total unreasonable for a five foot long sword to inexplicably cut through every stone wall in a five hundred foot wide castle? Is it any more unreasonable than a quickened maximized widened meteor swarm?

For maximum awesomeness, try to convince your GM to let you sunder spells like they were weapons. Come on, like no hero has ever blocked a fireball with his sword?

Kantolin
2010-11-26, 02:09 AM
Not that it compares to epic spellcasting, but...

Spellcasting harrier is a useful feat. So is Exceptional Deflection plus Infinite Deflection - that helps your defense quite a bit. With a lot of reach, that helps.

Then Legendary Dreadnaught and Guardian Paramount both have cool abilities therein. ^_^ Not worth it, mind you, but neat.

Psychic Warrior, expansion and a reach weapon, spellcasting harrier, exceptional deflection, and infinite deflection. Working fine - perhaps too well, actually - in our very low-optimization game.

Of course, once again, our low-op game has also banned epic spellcasting, so hey.

Myth
2010-11-26, 04:53 AM
Here's my take on things:

Once upon a time, I played a Fighter/Barbarian in an epic level game. Sure, the casters were fancier than me, busting out maximized fireballs, plus the freaking psion who opened every combat with two quickened disintegrates followed by a normal disintegrate spell, but I managed to get by by keeping one simple rule in mind. One you should remind your GM of.

The laws of physics don't mean crap to an epic character. In any way, shape or form. Epic level rogues can walk on clouds, and epic level monks can climb up a perfectly flat surface like spider-man. Think different - whatever insane plan you think of, do it. You probably can if your GM understands this principle. For example, the above Fighter/Barbarian sundered a castle. Took his sword, cut that baby in half.

Is it total unreasonable for a five foot long sword to inexplicably cut through every stone wall in a five hundred foot wide castle? Is it any more unreasonable than a quickened maximized widened meteor swarm?

For maximum awesomeness, try to convince your GM to let you sunder spells like they were weapons. Come on, like no hero has ever blocked a fireball with his sword?
Maximized fireballs? Disintegrate? Meteor Swarm? Is this a joke? You are basically saying that all your casters ever did was throw HP damage spells at the baddies which is by far the weakest way to use a 20+ full caster and his actions per round. And yet your fighter/barb still felt inadequate.

What if they used actually good spells, like Planar Binding, Gate, Timestop, Wish, Miracle, Polymorph Any Object, Shapechange, Irresistable Dance, metamagicked crowd control spells, metamagicked Ray of Stupidity or Enervation... The encounter would open with Celerity+Timestop and by the time your guy ever got in place to use his +6 stick it would be over (one way or another).

Sundering a castle is called DM fiat and it's like giving a candy bar to a crying child to help ease the thought that it's going to the dentist. If he wetn RAW/RAI you would have to wail on that thing for the next year or so with an Adamantine weapon.

Crow
2010-11-26, 12:00 PM
Maximized fireballs? Disintegrate? Meteor Swarm? Is this a joke? You are basically saying that all your casters ever did was throw HP damage spells at the baddies which is by far the weakest way to use a 20+ full caster and his actions per round. And yet your fighter/barb still felt inadequate.

Direct damage is one of the better ways to go at high epic.

Sindri
2010-11-27, 02:08 AM
1. Get Leadership
2. Get Epic Leadership
3. Max your leadership score.
4. Go to town with your pet caster, massive army, and diplomancer abilities when all else fails.

With enough power behind them, it doesn't matter who's in front. You really think Hitler would have beaten a single french soldier in a fistfight?

grimbold
2010-11-27, 09:33 AM
fight anything that features an anti magic ray