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Is the Epic Level Handbook worthwhile?

Discussion in 'Dungeons & Dragons + Other RPGs' started by Astin X, Dec 26, 2002.

  1. Astin X Gems: 6/31
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    I am thinking of buying a new 3rd ed book, maybe The epic level book, or the books dedicated to warriors or mages etc. What is a good value for money purchase?

    I already have the PH, DM Guide and Monster Manual.

    [ December 26, 2002, 19:54: Message edited by: Taluntain ]
     
  2. Oaz Gems: 29/31
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    Well, this is quite stating the obvious, but if you intend to run an Epic Level campaign (20th level and above), then I suggest checking it out. I've glossed over it, and I don't think it's fantastic, but if you have the money, and you want to play at an Epic Level, it's worth a try. Sword & Fist and Tome & Blood are nice, but I didn't think they contained anything interesting; a few feats here, a few Prestige Classes there, worth a read, but not that important.

    If you just want to buy them to read, I suggest Manual to the Planes, Psionics Handbook, or Oriental Adventures; they're a bit more interesting, IMHO.

    Epic Level Handbook is designed the same way as the PHB - thick cover, pretty decent artwork, and fairly long (about as long as the PHB). It should cost in the same area of the Monster Manual or Dungeon Master's Guide.

    Sword & Fist and Tome & Blood aren't as long or as well-designed as the Epic Level Handbook. Each is relatively short - only 80 or so pages. The artwork isn't exactly the best, and the pictures are black and white. Not that interesting for reading. It should cost somewhere around 15 dollars.

    At Amazon.com, Epic Level Handbook costs $27.97 (slashed from $40). It has a User Rating of 4/5. Tome & Blood and Sword & Fist cost 13.97 (slashed from $20). It has a User Rating of 4/5.

    Epic Level Handbook reviews
    Sword & Fist reviews
    Tome & Blood reviews

    No, I don't work at Amazon. ;)

    [ December 26, 2002, 17:36: Message edited by: C'Jakob ]
     
  3. Lokken Gems: 26/31
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    it isn't worthwhile. Buy another book, if you're running a campaign in faerun some of those books might be interesting. Personally I find very few beyond the core books interesting, except for different sort of campaign worlds. Book of Vile Darkness though, is an exception. It is a really interesting utility that can add some really evil spice to any game.

    Of course if you want to play Epic levels, it should be considered, but if not, I think it stinks. Monsters with 100 attacks... zzzzzz
    Calculator play for the one interested.

    [ December 26, 2002, 17:33: Message edited by: Lokken ]
     
  4. Astin X Gems: 6/31
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    Thanks, I'm mainly going with an alternative style of gameplay. Epic level Handbook would be mainly for alternative monsters and high level abilities, but I don't feel like sitting with a calculator.
    I am ending a campaign where characters will reach a couple of levels below epic level, but I may allow one character to remain and go even higher. I guess I'll probably make it up then.

    My new campaign will be darker, with no clearly good guys, more survival, and lots of chaos. Book of Vile Darkness sounds interesting, how effective is it with a not-really-evil (more neutral) group of characters. Monsters, however, will be the worst of the worst.
     
  5. Oaz Gems: 29/31
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    If you wanted to use the Epic Level Handbook for monsters - I agree; don't bother. The monster part of that book is probably the worst - you can do plenty of fun stuff without some Colossal, 2,000 Hit Point, 50-attacks-per-round Monster.

    I looked over the Book of Vile Darkness - it seems fairly good. A few Prestige Classes to tinker around with. Use them on the villians, and you have an interesting - and deadly - NPC. Also, seeing as how your party is going to be slightly below Epic Level - they might be able to take on a Demon Lord or three. I believe Demon Lords and other powerful infernal characters are listed in the Book of Vile Darkness.
     
  6. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
  7. Lokken Gems: 26/31
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    the demon princes and the nine dukes are listed in the book. The book of vile darkness is really more for the DM to make the campaign.. vile :D as the book states. For a neutral group there's the usual new feats and weapon abilities. Else it's a good addition to make detailed evil action for your npc's. And of course it can give one many ideas how to make the villain try and whack the pc's ;)

    prestige classes are ok, but they're really mostly for the incarnated believers and followers of their demon or devil masters.

    Some things included.

    Rules on Sacrifice (sacrifice this many or this good and recieve this from your evil overlord), a lot of new cursing (spell). DC's on drug crafting (pc's could make drugs, or you could make the pc's addicts).
    New spells, new feats, new prc's. new diseases and monsters. Information about using souls as item component (imo very weak ruling), or how to capture and store souls.
    Guidelines for running evil games or how to add the contents of the book to your game.

    a note, this book really is for the more mature audience.

    As for epic levels, why bother? cap core class at 20, if they want beyond that, just take prestige classes? That's the thing I use, else I take the guidelines from Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting that covers epic levels briefly.

    [ December 27, 2002, 03:27: Message edited by: Lokken ]
     
  8. Astin X Gems: 6/31
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    Book of Vile Darkness, yeah, I'll probably go for that - Thanks for the info.

    @Tal - Of course, I wouldn't dream of getting it through any other means.
     
  9. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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