Quote Originally Posted by Cheiromancer View Post
Level 20 is pretty much the end point of the campaign, given how wonky the epic level rules are. If a character is broken at 20th level, that's fine; he can show off in one last epic boss-fight and then the campaign is over.

If you make the dead levels *really* dead levels (i.e., not advancing any spellcasting or manifesting at all) then it will slow down a caster by exactly 3 levels. You might want to make the dead levels come earlier and more regular; one by level 7, another by level 13, and the last by level 19.

If this rule is introduced, it should not be presented as a challenge to players. They'll still be able to make a broken character. What it does is make it less likely for the game to be broken by accident. Characters will also have more options. After all, a power-gamer will probably not want to waste the dead levels, and so will get a little competency in an area other than spellcasting. And that means he'll have something useful and fun to do than break the game with magic.
Thing is, we are going epic... so the DM gave us non-casters a way to keep up called "Aether" influence where we basically just start to embody an aspect of the universe... (life, death, change, order, energy, matter, void, hate, fear, valor, etc, etc) But that's beside the point. The point was that mages/ clerics/ Psions/ Druids/ etc do NOT need level 9 spells to be OP, and can easily pull nasty stunts without 1-shoting BBEG and hopelessly overpowering all martial classes forever. Even access to level 6 spells will put you leaps and bounds above people with no spells, after all, and the DM won't have to break things so that mundanes can keep up.