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Weiser_Cain
2013-09-28, 04:50 AM
Ok, so I love DnD 3.5, but I'm never happy until I get to lvl 15 or so because I like being super powerful (and sometimes that's when wonky character builds finally make sense). Is there a system where you start off (and end up) more powerful?

Black Jester
2013-09-28, 05:08 AM
that is pretty much the point of Exalted, if I understood that game correctly. Mutants and Masterminds or Gurps Powers/Superheroes also work, obviously

Rhynn
2013-09-28, 05:20 AM
HeroQuest (ex Hero Wars) is intended for Glorantha, and does perfectly at modelling a world that includes heroes whose powers rival the gods. RuneQuest can bend to this, too, but isn't really meant for that level of play.

As an example of the epic style possible, the great Gloranthan novel King of Sartar describes a battle where Harrek the Berserk (one of the "Super-Heroes" of the setting, originally in the Chainmail sense...) and his boon companions are struck by a magical attack marshalled by hundreds of sun priests; Harrek's control over magic reflects the attack back and blinds the priests, and only half of his band are incinerated and melted... that's what HeroQuest is meant to model.

Both systems only give you what you put into them, though; they don't produce specific results in the same way as Exalted or Dungeons & Dragons do.

Also, starting your characters out at heroic levels doesn't work too well in either HeroQuest or RuneQuest, because they end up lacking the most important thing at that level of play: solid connections to the world, which are best developed during play.

paddyfool
2013-09-28, 06:15 AM
Fantasy Craft is a slightly higher general power level, aside from spellcasters who get a bit of a nerf (the only core spellcaster, the Mage, works out quite similar in relative power-level-to-other-classes to 3.5's partial casters, such as the Duskblade or Beguiler, and the plan is to keep the 8 new base spellcasting classes due out in the Spellbound expansion to the same power level).

Arcane_Snowman
2013-09-28, 07:46 AM
There's Mythender (http://mythenderrpg.com/), which is free, it's all about you going around bringing doom to various deities, whilst you yourself resist the temptation to ascend to the position. Haven't actually played it yet, but the premise looks cool and the system is pretty simple.

137ben
2013-09-28, 07:47 AM
I'm gonna second Exalted, but...

I will say that there is nothing stopping you from starting a 3.5 game at level 15. Or higher.

skyth
2013-09-28, 07:56 AM
I would say Champions might give you what you want :)

Weiser_Cain
2013-09-28, 08:00 AM
I can't seem to figure out how Exalted works. Are there classes?

Grod_The_Giant
2013-09-28, 08:48 AM
If you're looking into Exalted, I'd wait until the new edition comes out next month-- 2e is kind of a mess.


I can't seem to figure out how Exalted works. Are there classes?
...ish. There are a few levels of character sorting:

First, there's the type of Exalt you are. I guess you could think of it as a class, even though fluff-wise it's more of a race. Solars are generic heroes, Lunars are wilderness shapeshifters, and so on.
Secondly, there's your caste. That gives you your anima ability, and a bunch of your... well, let's say class skills. It certainly suggests a role-- a Twilight caste is usually a healer, a scholar, and/or a mage-- but it's not restrictive.

After that, it's mostly point-buy-- you earn experience points while playing, and you can spend them to buy new ranks of skills and abilities, new charms (fancy super powers), and everything else on your sheet.

The Rose Dragon
2013-09-28, 08:48 AM
I can't seem to figure out how Exalted works. Are there classes?

Nope, but there are different types of characters with different kinds of powers, and most of them have different subtypes (like Castes and Aspects) that specialize in different parts of their powers.

The Grue
2013-09-28, 04:06 PM
Nope, but there are different types of characters with different kinds of powers, and most of them have different subtypes (like Castes and Aspects) that specialize in different parts of their powers.

So that's a yes then.

Grod_The_Giant
2013-09-28, 04:18 PM
So that's a yes then.
Not so much. It's more like favored classes. A Twilight caste gets all the wizard-y skills as "class skills" (they're cheaper), but you still pick another handful of "class skills" independent of caste. As I understand it, you could totally make a Twilight-caste warrior, or a Dawn-caste sorcerer.



Though I'd still recommended M&M over 2e Exalted any day, from a mechanics point of view.

Hiro Protagonest
2013-09-28, 04:41 PM
I can't seem to figure out how Exalted works. Are there classes?

...If you're looking for classes, you're going to have a lot of trouble with pretty much any system that isn't D&D or someone's variant of D&D.


So that's a yes then.

No. Every Caste has access to every ability and every Charm of their exalt type (so long as they meet the ability/attribute and Essence prerequisites), which is so broad that it can't be called a class any more (even wizard defines your base attack bonus and saving throws). The only thing Caste does is pre-set half your favored abilities/attributes, and give you a minor ability.

Keep in mind, though, that Exalted is only epic because you're comparing yourself to the masses of mortals and rolling lots of dice. You don't get to be Big Damn Heroes (what do you mean you're just using the mechanics and not the setting? Nobody plays Exalted for the mechanics!).

Burn Legend might work.

Delta
2013-09-28, 04:45 PM
So that's a yes then.

It's still different from the classes you're used to if you only know D&D. Save for the one caste ability, every Exalt can learn anything, it just gives them a kind of focus. A Dawn caste will always have the potential to be a great fighter, but nothing's stopping you from making him just as awesome a scholar as a Twilight (of course then he'll be a much worse fighter than the Dawn that's completely battle-minded), it's a LOT less restrictive than most class systems, even though yes, they still can be called character classes.

Yuki Akuma
2013-09-28, 06:17 PM
Very, very broadly, you could sort of consider individual types of Exaltation as 'classes', if you squint hard enough.

But honestly, Exalted is not a class-based system. Within your chosen Exalt type, you can do anything another of your Exalt type could do. Most games focus on only one type (the huge crossovers, popular though they may be on the Internet, are pretty rare all told).

Lord Raziere
2013-09-28, 06:42 PM
I wouldn't call Exalts classes. There can be Solar fighter, face, smart guy, stealth guy and ranger…but there can also be Lunar versions of all of those as well, and Dragon-Blooded versions of all those, and so on and so forth.

an Exalt could be any DnD class you care to name, they just have additional powers on top of that. except wizards or clerics. Exalted doesn't have normal spellcasting like them, the classes they can emulate are largely physical fighter types, or rogues or a non-spellcasting bards, martial artists, things like that

actual Sorcery in Exalted is more like ritual summoning, since summoning is really the only useful spell, the rest are either spells completely useless for small-scale combat or utility, and all them are rituals.

so yeah, Exalts, not classes, but their power cover a wide range of classes, clerics and wizards not included, because Exalted doesn't like those classes.

Yuki Akuma
2013-09-28, 10:02 PM
An Exalt can play very much like a D&D Wizard, honestly. Maybe not a Solar, but a Dragon-Blooded or Green Sun Prince can pull it off with their charms. Lots of charms are very 'spell-like'.

Remember, Wizards in D&D cast their magic in six seconds. Most charms also take about six seconds to perform. Sorcery is its own thing - more like epic spells by D&D standards.

erikun
2013-09-28, 11:38 PM
I'm not sure you're looking for epic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_poetry) as much as simply high-powered.

Mutants & Masterminds comes to mind. You aren't as powerful as a 15th level wizard, but even starting characters get a handful of good abilities that make them feel really powerful and capable.

Exalted has already been mentioned. Nobilis also comes to mind; here is a thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=299598) discussing the things the system can do. There's also Scion: Hero, another White Wolf system similar to Exalted but with a "mortal humans with few god abilities" starting point. It's also a bit more awkward of a system to use.

Some other White Wolf games, notably Mage, can give you some pretty crazy capabilities.

Lord Raziere
2013-09-28, 11:45 PM
oh quit with your original definition nonsense. I'm really getting tired of "dur you actually mean this" it doesn't actually help anything and is just being pedantic for the sake of pedantry.

Xefas
2013-09-28, 11:59 PM
There's Mythender (http://mythenderrpg.com/), which is free, it's all about you going around bringing doom to various deities, whilst you yourself resist the temptation to ascend to the position. Haven't actually played it yet, but the premise looks cool and the system is pretty simple.

I'm going to second this. Although, the system isn't that simple. At first, anyway. It's very front-loaded. Once you begin to dig into it, it's going to seem weird and complex, but unlike a game like D&D, where things get progressively more complicated the longer you play, things stay roughly the same level of complexity from the get go. I still mix up Thunder, Lighting, and Storm dice :smalltongue:.

But, yeah, I've been looking in to using it for a Magic The Gathering style setting, as your starting characters can already very well be planes-hopping badasses capable of pulling power from whole worlds, summoning armies, raining elemental doom over staggering portions of geography, and counterspelling an uppity god's apocalypse.

Delta
2013-09-29, 03:14 AM
oh quit with your original definition nonsense. I'm really getting tired of "dur you actually mean this" it doesn't actually help anything and is just being pedantic for the sake of pedantry.

And especially when I look at the definition of the word epic


An extended narrative poem in elevated or dignified language, celebrating the feats of a deity or demigod (heroic epic) or other legendary or traditional hero.

Save for the "poem" part, that's not really THAT far away from your typical Exalted campaign.

137ben
2013-09-29, 04:52 PM
And especially when I look at the definition of the word epic



Save for the "poem" part, that's not really THAT far away from your typical Exalted campaign.

From now on, anything said by an Exalted character or GM must be said in verse!

ShadowFighter15
2013-09-29, 05:44 PM
As others have said - Exalted gives you some of that super powerful feel right out of the gate by having you start as a being roughly comparable to the demigods of ancient myth (Hercules, Gilgamesh, etc). I would avoid 2nd edition, though, the mechanics are... well I think Jade Dragon's comment about not playing Exalted for the mechanics summed it up.

3rd edition Exalted is in the works now and should be coming out soon (original planned release was October but I think it's since been changed to "October at the earliest") and, thankfully, the designers handling the mechanical side of it were the ones who wrote the errata for 2e, so they know exactly what 2e did wrong. That and the combat system's sounding simpler (not that hard to do, to be honest) and more awesome (always a good thing for Exalted).

Every other game I can think of that you'd be looking for has already been mentioned by someone else - was a pretty short list anyway; M&M and Nobilis. I just felt with all the mentions Exalted had gotten, someone needed to point out its upcoming third edition.

Grod_The_Giant
2013-09-29, 05:56 PM
I just felt with all the mentions Exalted had gotten, someone needed to point out its upcoming third edition.

If you're looking into Exalted, I'd wait until the new edition comes out next month-- 2e is kind of a mess.
Yo.

Actually, there are a bunch of White Wolf games that operate-- or can operate, at least-- at a pretty high power level. Scion, Aberrant, Mage, Werewolf... I don't have personal experience with them, though, so I couldn't tell you if they work any better than Exalted.

Hiro Protagonest
2013-09-29, 06:01 PM
3rd edition Exalted is in the works now and should be coming out soon (original planned release was October but I think it's since been changed to "October at the earliest") and, thankfully, the designers handling the mechanical side of it were the ones who wrote the errata for 2e, so they know exactly what 2e did wrong. That and the combat system's sounding simpler (not that hard to do, to be honest) and more awesome (always a good thing for Exalted).
Actually, original planned release was December. 2012. But then, that was like, nine months after they announced it (although they had been working on it for an undisclosed amount of time beforehand). I thought release was going to be December this year, though.

Yo.

Actually, there are a bunch of White Wolf games that operate-- or can operate, at least-- at a pretty high power level. Scion, Aberrant, Mage, Werewolf... I don't have personal experience with them, though, so I couldn't tell you if they work any better than Exalted.

...


Scion,

Gah!


Aberrant,

Eh?


Mage,

Noooo!


Werewolf,

Which one?

Arbane
2013-09-29, 06:20 PM
From now on, anything said by an Exalted character or GM must be said in verse!

I've seen one Exalted fanfic where one entire chapter was written as a Beowulf-style alliterative heroic epic.

Another game to toss in the mix: Legend of the Wulin. It's designed to play like a wuxia story, along the lines of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or Storm Riders. Magic is a LOT less powerful than D&D magic (it's mostly for predicting the future or cursing people), but kung-fu experts (read: everyone in the setting worth mentioning) can chop anvils in half with a single blow, leap tall buildings in a single bound, paralyze with a touch, and set people on fire by punching them really hard.

Knaight
2013-09-29, 09:16 PM
Another game to toss in the mix: Legend of the Wulin. It's designed to play like a wuxia story, along the lines of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or Storm Riders. Magic is a LOT less powerful than D&D magic (it's mostly for predicting the future or cursing people), but kung-fu experts (read: everyone in the setting worth mentioning) can chop anvils in half with a single blow, leap tall buildings in a single bound, paralyze with a touch, and set people on fire by punching them really hard.

Weapons of the Gods, by the same people, is even higher in power level. It's also wuxia, but it's wuxia of the sort where the characters in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon would be unskilled hacks.

That said: You might want to look into Nobilis. It's a game about gods, which are representative of entire aspects of existence. It is also a very odd game with very odd conflicts.

Hiro Protagonest
2013-09-29, 09:19 PM
Weapons of the Gods, by the same people, is even higher in power level. It's also wuxia, but it's wuxia of the sort where the characters in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon would be unskilled hacks.

That said: You might want to look into Nobilis. It's a game about gods, which are representative of entire aspects of existence. It is also a very odd game with very odd conflicts.

Nobilis takes the conflicts from "epic" to "alien".

Knaight
2013-09-29, 09:22 PM
Nobilis takes the conflicts from "epic" to "alien".

That pretty much sums it up, yes.

To contribute yet more games, there's always the super hero genre. Wild Talents can be pretty epic, as can other ORE games.

Yuki Akuma
2013-09-29, 09:26 PM
The newest edition of Nobilis can totally be used to play a more 'normal' epic game - because it actually has resolution mechanics for mundane actions now.

A group made up entirely of high-Aspect Nobles could be pretty neat.

ShadowFighter15
2013-09-29, 10:56 PM
Yo.

Should've known I would've missed a mention of it. Always happens. :smalltongue:

Suppose that's what I get for checking the forums early in the morning.

Sith_Happens
2013-09-30, 09:55 AM
Eh?

Aberrant is White Wolf's attempt at a superhero game. From what I've heard, you start at "Thor" and go up from there.

Terraoblivion
2013-09-30, 10:28 AM
Nobilis comes off as both weird and high-powered. However, I'm not sure everybody is looking for that much weirdness in their high-powered games. It's quite amazing and a plain good read all on its own though. I highly recommend it, but it might not be what you're looking for in this specific case.

Also, Legends of the Wulin might fit the bill. Especially since no real rules or benchmarks for what different levels of success actually means, so you could make it high-powered simply by lowering the difficulties for more impressive feats. Also, it flows very well, has interesting narrative mechanics and is surprisingly balanced once you poke around a bit and learn to avoid obvious mismatches.

I'm less enthused about Weapons of the Gods. It's a good system, don't get me wrong, but everything it does Legends of the Wulin does better and the higher power level can in no small part be sidestepped by messing with difficulties in LotW. Also, unlikely LotW it's possible to genuinely suck at something in WotG, while you'll always be guaranteed a base level of competence in LotW.

Black Jester
2013-09-30, 11:04 AM
Werewolf
Which one?

I can't say much about the nWoD version ( I have no interest whatsoever in that game), but the original Werewolf is actually really good at introducing really big bad evil guys. Even the mid-tier servants of the Wyrm like the maeljin Incarna (personifications of emotions like desperation, hate or greed) are basically gods. Most of the really good Werewolf games I played had a combination of epic heroic tales (with a hint of futility, hybris and stubbornness while facing the inevitable doom, and what is more epic than defiance on such a grand scale?) with rather mundane conflicts and problems. Good werewolf games have the characters as classic, sometimes quite tragic heroes, who are also terrorists who are also saviors who are also monsters who are also just people. Combined with the strong focus the game puts on the group as a whole (the pack), the same orientation and characters roles of a class system without the restrictions (same as Exalted) and some very unique character concepts (like sapient wolves as PCs) it has all the ingredients for a really good game.
Unfortunately, it also has a bit of a pretentious note and can be a bit heavy-handed in its ecological protection message and social commentary attempts.

TheTrueMooseman
2013-09-30, 11:16 AM
Scion, yo. I'm in a scion game right now, and it gets more fun the higher power you are. If you're looking for balance, though, you're SOL. Our GM re-balanced and home-brewed a load of stuff, but there's still some utterly broken combinations and straight-up unfair situations.

Delta
2013-09-30, 11:24 AM
Scion, yo. I'm in a scion game right now, and it gets more fun the higher power you are. If you're looking for balance, though, you're SOL. Our GM re-balanced and home-brewed a load of stuff, but there's still some utterly broken combinations and straight-up unfair situations.

Scion in its current version shouldn't really be considered a working game system. You have to houserule a TON of stuff just to get the system to work once you get beyond the lowest power levels.

Thankfully, there will be a second edition sometime next year and Onyx Path seems to have a bunch of guys with a very solid grasp on how rules actually works, unfortunately none of the people who designed Scion had that. (I'm not kidding, if you want combat beyond a legend rating of 3, you basically have to force all the players to have identical Legend AND Epic Dexterity stats, because in Demigod level, even a difference of 1 point in that attribute can be the difference between "I autokill him with a single hit" and "I got no chance of ever even touching that guy")

CarpeGuitarrem
2013-09-30, 01:33 PM
Thirding (or fourthing?) Mythender. The various Gifts give you a decent level of crunch, and the capabilities of your characters are awesome and stretch your creativity in new ways. The whole dynamic of the struggle that your character has when interacting with the mortal world is cool too--very World of Cardboard.

Yuki Akuma
2013-09-30, 08:22 PM
God damn I want to play Mythender now. Damn you all.

Fable Wright
2013-09-30, 09:52 PM
Just read Mythender rulebook. To be honest, I'm not quite sure if that's what you're looking for. It's epic in scope and leads to some fascinating role-playing scenes, but it's much less crunchy than D&D, and you don't really advance in power. (Well, technically, you do, but you can advance to the highest power levels with minimal effort, and the only real trick is coming back down from the power high.) There's also no real defining archetype or roles for you to play, and the only thing differentiating your combat actions with everyone else's is how you fluff them. It's definitely an interesting premise, but it really only runs around 3 kind of games, and the mechanics, while interesting and good at what they do, are very limited in what they can simulate and are highly abstracted.

veti
2013-09-30, 10:45 PM
I would say Champions might give you what you want :)

Or its fantasy-genre cousin, Fantasy Hero.

It's a point-buy system, but your points don't just go into stats, they can also go into spells, inherent powers, 'feats', whatever. You can choose your starting power level just by setting the number of free points given at character creation.

Geostationary
2013-10-01, 01:30 AM
Another thing to note about Nobilis is that it has fairly little in the way of numerical/mechanical character advancement. I mean, it can be done, but it's not really the point. It is very good at what it does though.

The thing to remember about Legends of the Wulin and Weapons of the Gods is that Legends is the spiritual successor to Weapons with better mechanics, as I understand it. This thread also reminds me that I really need to get around to reading Legends of the Wulin.

I've also only heard good things about Mythenders.