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    Canonfire :: View topic - Epic Greyhawk: off the Prime or on the Prime?
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    Epic Greyhawk: off the Prime or on the Prime?
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    CF Admin

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    Tue Oct 05, 2004 9:24 pm  
    Epic Greyhawk: off the Prime or on the Prime?

    In your Epic games, do you travel the planes much at all? Or do you keep it on the old stomping grounds? How do you see powerful NPC's reacting with someone bearing an ancient relic of power or having dealt the killing blow to the Demonqueen of Spiders? Inquiring minds want to know?
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    Tue Oct 05, 2004 9:56 pm  

    Oh boy...an Epic GH forum. Here we go... Shocked

    My Epic campaign (now on hiatus) took place in the Flanaess tenuously around Ket and GHC. I also did my fair share of planar hopping. The abyss to face Demogorgon, the Astral Plane to find a junkyard containing an Abomination, I even used an epic-ized Chaos Spire from Dragon magazine (issue idk) which contained a gargantuan ooze and many pseudonatural things. I also made up my own version of the fabled 'Lost City of Elders' from Mordy's Fantastic Adventure, imagined as an epic city akin to Sigil or Union. That place is how I kept my Epic PCs in line, but inevitably they went back to Oerth which is clearly better suited for 1-20th level play IMO.
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    Tue Oct 05, 2004 10:05 pm  

    I would say that it should have a good mix of both, there are always things that your characters can do on Oreth when it comes to roleplaying.
    Mortellan has some nice ideas on how you can mix it up a little bit.

    In the epic campain where I play, we deal with events that are large enough for us to *work behind the scenes* without effecting the populace too much. But there is always room for taking care of that epic challenge, be it a sinister demonlord or a lich who has buried himself with ancient power.

    Mortellan, is your epic campain still up and running ?

    And hey, this is my first post so hello to everyone here !
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    Tue Oct 05, 2004 10:20 pm  

    Quote:
    Mortellan, is your epic campain still up and running ?


    Welcome brodan. My Epic group is on hiatus for two reasons. One they got too big ego wise and were becoming more a threat to Oerth than my villains. Four of them are now trapped in an Epic Temporal Stasis that removes them from history and memory as well as time. You would need good history knowledge or bardic knowledge to recall their exploits as a result.

    Two, one of my better players joined the army, so we hung it up for now and advanced the timeline 20 years to do a 2nd generation campaign using the children of some of their epic characters.
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    Tue Oct 05, 2004 10:28 pm  

    I can definately see where that is interesting. Ive made some characters that were the children of my *main* as I would call it. Ive actually got the chance to roleplay them too, its kind of interesting to have the reputation of your former character with you wherever you go in the world.

    I think i remember reading something about how you thought some of your players were not ready for epic play. And or didnt have good backgrounds for thier characters so they would be rooted into the game world properly.

    Did you start them from level 1 and work up ? Ive found that it helps me be alot more humble in the way that I percieve the world that I grew up in as a maggot ;)

    Maybe its just me, but I dont try to cause my dm too much trouble. Im sorry you had some players who wanted to abuse epic power. You kind of have to have a little bit of restraint when you walk into the non epic parts of the world. But I think that even Mordenkanen has to do this sort of thing too as an NPC. Most of the commotion you make should be in an appropriate environment to your epic playing style.
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    Wed Oct 06, 2004 11:32 am  

    I think this is the key issue in establishing a good epic level campaign. You want verisimilitude.

    If you go off plane too much, you loose some of the "reality" of the setting and even some of its flavor. It is, thus, my thought that a 50/50 prime/off-planar mix is probably the most you want to go off plane over a given campaign.

    The off-planar part is easy, as it likely has no preconcieved lower level component.

    The prime is the tricky part. Fitting in with the low level majority of the populace. For my part, I do not see epic level play as that much different from other sorts of play in this regard, except when it comes to killing monsters obviously. I generally set the epic monsters in more out of the way areas to explain why they have not killed the entire County of Urnst, for example. Then it is a matter of plotting so that the PCs are drawn to these lesser travelled paths of the Flanaess.

    My two cents.

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    Wed Oct 06, 2004 4:50 pm  

    Your absolutley right GVD, most of the epic level monsters would devour a whole city of commoners itself. If one of those got around the normal populace, then bards would sing of it for a century or more.

    I like the city of Union too, it allows travel to a city where you can strut around in epic style, and feel at home there when need be.

    They actually put quite a bit of information about Union into the epic level handbook. So it doesnt seem that hard to Incorporate into a campain.
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    Fri Oct 08, 2004 4:31 am  

    Dethand, first congratulations for the initiative. Both the forum and this topic seem very promising.

    I have contemplated a reason for the existance of few directly interloping epic characters in Greyhawk. As in Oerth there is a kind of "militant neutrality"(IMO), it's possible to have a mutual consensus between the gods that the actions of extremely powerful mortals in the planet can be almost as damaging as a divine intervention. So, if we put in a scale of power and attitude, could be like this:

    Level/Challenge Rating : Divine reaction to this character

    1-15 : Little opposition and not noticed in a major scale unless there is direct interest / opposition at the mortal's actions

    16-25 : Cautiously observed (depending on the mortal's nature, actions and influence), but a very strong active hand in the prime can estimulate an answer not only from the opposed god/philosophy but also from neutral/impartial/aloof powers. Ex: The Canon Hazen is the patriarch of Rao (I would put him as a Cleric 20/Hierophant 5) and utilized a major artifact (The Crook of Rao) to banish most fiends from the Flanaess. Normally , such action could mean a quick reaction from some gods, but the ascendance of Evil (Iuz, Scarlet Brotherhood, etc), there was a consensus for this action.

    26 -30 From the moment the oldest and mightiest dragon can be defeated without great effort, it's a good sign for the gods that the PC's actions came to an alarming point, depending also from the character's intentions. To retire in great style or limit themselves to an specific area without causing to many disturbances are perfectly viable options. Some examples: The demilich Acererak rests in the Tomb of Horrors in the vast swamp and kills only the fools who dare to invade his dungeon. Rary is mad, but his actions are only local for now - the Bright Desert. Some gods can also belong to this power level such as Wastri (it could be a good reason why his racist crusade never leaves the vast swamp - it could mean a forceful intervention ; meanwhile Sunndi continues to build castles for the impending invasion ;-) ). The Earth Dragon limits himself to the Drachen Mountain. Sure, Iuz is way too troublesome, but that may be a reason for the gods conspire to kill him while not interfering directly.

    Now, if the character still wants to have a roaming and very meddlesome active life, I imagine three good solutions: he can serve as an agent for the balance of the Flanaess (even being selected without knowing). Mordenkainen can be a good example for that. The second option is to leave Oerth, volluntarily or not and then emugrate to another plane(perhaps receiving some omens and indicatives that he should leave, such messages becoming gradually more blatant ; Iggwilv may have problems staying in Oerth and this could be a good reason for her invasion plan in "Return of the Circle of Eight" fail). This approach can be a good plot for introduction of the character to the previously unknown and non-active-in-prime City of Union (cf. ELH). The third solution is sponsorship for divine ascension, an approach that was repeatedly used as characters of such power can be recognized for his usefulness and talent. Ex: Kyuss, Dalt, Ye'Cind, Murlynd, Heward, Keoghtom, Zagyg, Kellanen. As an OD&D ardent fan for the paths of immortality, I'm glad there are some immortal products being devised:

    http://www.immortalshandbook.com/

    http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/home/detail.php?qsID=538&qsSeries=

    31+ Even an agent for balance see his own presence as destabilizing (perhaps a way to eventually retire old Mord?) and have the option to retire or try divine ascension (if there's a god willing to sponsor). Ex: The Lich Lyzandred the Mad exists in a demiplane that affects Oerth in a very minor way (I put his character sheet in the villains topic, but his power can be reduced to 26-30 if you are unconfortable with the thousand+ year lich). Characters of such caliber will hardly have place in Oerth, unless the DM wants a more visible impact of Epic Level Play in the planet.

    Finally, an example of epic level character (D&D 3.0) who achieved immortality. I tried to be faithful with the little canon data I knew about him. The rest is just my personal view:


    Keoghtom - Hero Deity of Planar Heroism
    Divine Rank: 0 male human Wizard 19 / Planeshifter 10 th AL: NG

    Armor Class 39 (+5 natural, +6 deflection, +6 dexterity, +8 armor, +4 haste)
    Hit Dice: 29d4 + 203 (339 hp)

    Speed: 60 ft Face/Reach: 5x5/5' Initiative: +6

    Attack: +16/+11 Ranged touch +17/+12

    Special qualities: Immune to polymorphing, petrification, any form-altering attack, energy drain, ability drain, ability damage, mind-affecting effects, damage reduction 35/+4, SR 32, Fire Resistance 20, ageless, need not drink, eat or breath

    Str 15 Dex 23 Con 24 Int 38 Wis 20 Cha 22
    Save: Fort +24 Ref +23 Will +27

    Skills: Alchemy +24, Concentration +46, Spellcraft +46, Knowledge arcana +46 Knowledge the planes +46, Knowledge Religion +26, Knowledge architecture& engineering +32, Scry +46 ,Diplomacy +20, Bluff +16, Gather information +20, Search +20, Intuit Direction +20, Wilderness Lore +10, Spot +10, Listen +10, Intimidate +15, Hide +15, Move Silently + 15, Speak Language (5).

    Languages: Ancient suloise, old oeridian, flan, common, undercommon, dwarf, elf, auran, aquam, terram, ignam, infernal, abyssal, celestial, draconic, slaad, druidic, rhopan, keolandish, ferral

    Feats: Craft wondrous item, spell penetration, greater spell penetration, quicken spell, silent spell, still spell, craft rod, eschew material, innate spell (magic missile), spell mastery (18th lvl- 6 spells: dimensional anchor, gate, banishment, timestop, power word stun, maze) , spell focus (abjuration), scribe scroll

    Epic Feats: Automatic quicken spell, Multispell, Epic Spell Penetration, Epic Spellcasting.

    Caster level: 27, Spell Penetration: +33 Save DC: Lvl + 24

    energy Immunity: Fire
    Permanency: see invisibility, comprehend languages, read magic.
    Contingency: greater dispelling if helpless
    Chain contingency: greater dispelling, teleport, plane shift if less than 20 hp

    Epic spell(3/day): dreamscape, let go of me, epic mage armor, ruin, balor's bane

    Balor's Bane
    Necromancy [Death]
    Spellcraft DC: 55
    Components: V,S
    Casting Time: 1 action
    Range 300 ft
    Area: all creatures in a 80 ft radius sphere
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving throw: fortitude partial
    Spell Resistance: Yes
    To develop: Seed (Slay 25), change target to area (+10), change area to 20 ft radius (+2), increase radius to 80 ft (+12), affects extra 80 HD (+8), change casting time to 1 action (+20) . Mitigating factors: Ad hoc: affects only evil outsiders (-5), backlash 7d6 damage (-7), burn 1000 xp (-10)

    This spell was conceived not against demons alone, but all evil outsiders. It snuffs the life of any evil outsiders (and only evil outsiders) within the area, to a maximum of 160 HD. Those who succeed the save, only take 3d6+20 hp

    Spell Penetration: +33 Save DC: 24 + lvl (+2 if abjuration)
    Spells:4/12/8/7/7/7/7/6/6/6 (all with eschew material)

    1 - Shield x2, Magic missile x8, Feather fall, grease
    2 - Mirror image x2, web x2, invisibility, daylight x2, knock,
    3 - Fireball x2, Lightning bolt, haste x2, displacement, fly
    4 - Ice storm, Otiluke's resilient sphere, Evard's black tentacles, acid orb x2, still gaseous form, rainbow pattern
    5 - Cloudkill, cone of coldx2, wall of stone, dismissal, ghostform, xorn movement
    6 - Chain lightning, mislead x2, true seeing, still teleport, silent teleport, greater dispelling
    7 - Power word stun, teleport without error, energy immunity, spell turning, silent greater dispelling, banishment
    8 - Horrid Wilting x2, maze, Otto's irresistable dance, Still teleport without error, Great Shout
    9 - Timestop, temporal stasis, imprisonment, meteor swarm, wish, prismatic sphere

    Magic Items:
    Staff of Planar Might
    Robe of Stars
    Ring of Freedom of Movement
    Ring of Wizardry I
    Greater Rod of Quickening
    Wand of sonic orbs
    Amulet of health +6
    Boots of Natural Armor +5
    Bracers of armor +8
    Vest of epic Resistance +6
    Headband of epic intellect +8
    Gloves of dexterity +6
    Girdle of many pouches
    Orb of True Ressurection (1/year)
    Gate key
    Heward's handy haversack
    Murlynd's spoon
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    Victor Caminha
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    Fri Oct 08, 2004 5:27 am  

    Quote:
    Dethand, first congratulations for the initiative. Both the forum and this topic seem very promising.

    Thanks! And same to you Wykthor. Very good topical conversation all around!

    I like the scale you posted. One its reasonable to set limits as to how a powerful character impacts his world and two, its good to make things have a relative scale that you can work with. I would differ on your posting for releative power ratings of the PC's by about 5-10 levels on the higher end..say 25-35 and then 35 to 40+ being asked by the deities to kind of move kindly along, but thats me. Wink
    I scale the opposition too be about equal to the PC's, but then its hard to justify a lot of Epic monsters/challenges being around without an Epic level party to show up and beat them down all the time. But, on the otherhand I hate retiring a character when theres things to be done, like demon lords and arch-devils, which for the most part I feel are too low can be scaled to become more challenging pretty easily.
    The main challenge is keeping it fun and tough, and I think its working at my table right now with the players reaching about 30th level. I planon raising Rary and Robilar and throw in a few epic dragons in remote or forbidden areas to throw in some flavor now and then but, I want to keep it Greyhawk for as long as I can. However, I realize there is a certain point when an epic group outgrows the campaign world and then has to move on. Epic play tends to morph into something like in the ELH, but I would like to keep it in GH for as long as I can. With some of the ideas here and things like this though I might be able to utilize the Epic GH group quite a long time, as adventures like the plottings of Iggwilv, Paladin in Hell, a more epic version of the Isle of Woe and the Incursion(again with a higher challenge rating on the lower rungs of Githyanki society) campaign thread from Dragon and Dungeon magazines present themselves.
    Heward and Keoghtom seem to have the right idea, and after all is said and done that may be the way to go, I would like to see a good game go on for as long as the players have interest in playing those characters.

    And good post on the links too, I wasnt aware of the Mongoose Immortals book, looks like I will have to look into that too.
    And on that thought heres something on RPGNow for some epic monsters

    http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=2793&

    Great Job on Keoghtom btw Cool
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    Fri Oct 08, 2004 12:28 pm  
    Cool

    These epic boards are great! Just the forum I have been looking for. Yes the power level scale is very useful. I also posted about my game and having some characters I do not think are really "epic." This scale helps place where they should be in world events. They are in the mid to high teens, and I am trying to decide wheather or not to continue the campaign. Thanks for all the ideas.
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    Fri Oct 08, 2004 2:14 pm  

    > I like the scale you posted. One its reasonable to set limits as to how a powerful character impacts his world and two, its good to make things have a relative scale that you can work with.

    Yes, I knew the scaling would differ more or less from DM to DM. My original scale began at 1-20, you prefer a bit more strech for the upper levels. But in the end, no matter how you epic you want Oerth to be, the only work needed is allocating the numbers to level / CR.

    > I scale the opposition too be about equal to the PC's, but then its hard to justify a lot of Epic monsters/challenges being around without an Epic level party to show up and beat them down all the time.

    Personally, I think it's harder to find a group of hardened mortals that reached epic level than conceiving the existance of epic races and creatures. So, in the end, there's enough space for the antagonist survive and the adventurers'victories.

    > But, on the otherhand I hate retiring a character when theres things to be done, like demon lords and arch-devils, which for the most part I feel are too low can be scaled to become more challenging pretty easily.
    The main challenge is keeping it fun and tough,

    I completely agree. I feel its too frustrating to force retirement when you began to really be a mover and shaker of epic things

    > However, I realize there is a certain point when an epic group outgrows the campaign world and then has to move on.

    Yes. But with, say, 30 levels of gameplay, there is plenty of time to enjoy the Flanaess :-)

    > Incursion(again with a higher challenge rating on the lower rungs of Githyanki society) campaign thread from Dragon and Dungeon magazines present themselves.

    Yaay! the lich queen's beloved is a real jewel

    > And on that thought heres something on RPGNow for some epic monsters

    I had read about Avadnu before, but I wasn't that interested because it seems to be a specific campaign-centered book. Did you buy it?

    > Great Job on Keoghtom btw

    Thanks :-) My players will have a meeting with him soon..and they'll together (in the beggining only) try to sneak into Grazz't Argent Palace.

    Anced math: I'm glad the scale helped. I remember some of your posts about ending the campaign or not. If it's still fun and you can manage to deal with epic pc's it will be a memorable experience.
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    Victor Caminha
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    Fri Oct 08, 2004 6:07 pm  

    Quote:
    Personally, I think it's harder to find a group of hardened mortals that reached epic level than conceiving the existance of epic races and creatures. So, in the end, there's enough space for the antagonist survive and the adventurers'victories.


    Very true and while it maybe grinds me, I hardly let it get in the way of a good game! Wink


    Quote:
    > And on that thought heres something on RPGNow for some epic monsters

    I had read about Avadnu before, but I wasn't that interested because it seems to be a specific campaign-centered book. Did you buy it?


    Yes I did..the .PDF in anycase, but I did get to talk with the designers at Gencon and they seemed quite interested in getting feedback from gamers in using those monsters in other settings. In truth there is little binds them to a setting, they have solid stats and seem quite tough. Although their 'good' beings are very alien in concept and I have a hard time placing them per se, but again thats me!
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    Fri Oct 08, 2004 7:29 pm  

    Dethand: Perhaps someday I will buy this pdf (but at the moment those others immortal products are my priority). Returning to the first questions in the topic, I was thinking in some epic sites for adventuring in Oerth (especially for more prime characters, such as druids, rogues, fighters) without disturbing the setting:

    - East to Solnor Ocean - The tales about a land where the sun sets, the graveyard of bronze dragons, perhaps even the original birthplace of the aerdi folk (obs: i don't remember if that is already detailed in canon sources)

    - The Island of Fire: In an isolated corner of the world, this large island was only visited recently by a group of barbarian explorers. Who knows what lives there?

    - Western Oerik: I down own D&D Miniatures, but I've heard about this area be a large battlefield where multiple factions struggle for claiming the resting place of a martial god related to Hextor and Heironeous. Perhaps some warlike epic chjaracters could turn this area to their batteground, each vying to be the next god.
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    Tue Oct 12, 2004 10:18 am  
    25th level play

    My characters have spent most of their career around a self created town called Fairhill, in the northern edge of Farvale, Gran March. They know all of the PC's, and have developed a real bond with the populace, who look upon them as the their saviors.

    Our paladin died in truly heroic fashion before the gates, and the city raised statues to him.

    Anyway, I was thinking of taking the adventure to them. Rather send them out to defeat someone, have the someone come after them. Headline of Fairhill Trumpet "Assasin attacks and fails, but flees with the Heros in pursuit; while they are in pursuit Goblin Horde assaults Town. Hundreds Die." Result: No XP and your henchman died doing your job.

    It is much harder to save all the little children than it is just to survive. Most of my characters will play ball with such a scenerio, but the few that won't will be retired. I am thinking changing over xp to only story based objectives at this point. Great, you slew the balrog, but you also broke the bridge he was guarding and you needed.

    Change the objective, and only with success do they get XP. How does that sound?
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    Thu May 15, 2008 8:00 am  

    I know this is an old thread but I would like to make an argument that if PCs are adventuring for wealth gains at epic levels, most adventuring would have to be off the Greyhawk prime material plane. There may be a few dragons of epic power and epic treasure within the forgotten areas of Oerth, but in order to constantly give the characters gains financially, they would most likely have to go to other planes. If they did spend epic treasure hoards, the entire financial stability of a country and perhaps the whole flanaess could be endanged.

    If the focus of the group is not material wealth (which I recommend), then the PCs will base their adventuring on objectives and interests which they could pursue anywhere whether it be Greyhawk or beyond.
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