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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default The Non-Casters and Epic Territory

    [Note: this is about D&D 3.5]

    Okay, so I've run quite a few games that hit epic, and one of my players and a respected friend of mine has pointed out time and again that when you hit epic, non-casters run into some fairly serious problems.

    Basically, when casters hit epic, they say to themselves: FINALLY! This is what it's about. Now, do I want to get Epic Spellcasting first? Hm, I might not have enough money to make any decent spells. Improved Spell Capacity? Sounds good. Ooh, but what about enhance spell? That's a good one too. Multispell? An extra spell per round...sign me up. I'm not sure which I want! Once past the first few feat selections, casters have even better feats to choose from...Improved Metamagic is amazing, and automatic quicken spell is ridiculous. When you're done taking those two, go back to taking Improved Spell Capacity and Multispell over and over. You'll never run out of feats to take.

    Then their non-caster brethren hit epic. Paladins are alright, they have great smiting to carry them. Barbarians...well, they have a number of rage feats. These are mostly lackluster. And by mostly I mean all of them, really. None of them are things that you would really want to do (Yes, let me be better at sundering a weapon...um, wait, how much would that weapon sell for? I want to break it? Seriously?) or things that you can't easily duplicate (like having a low cost special ability on your weapon). Fighters have...Epic Weapon Focus and Specialization? Combat Prowess? Strength +? Every one of these is complete garbage compared to the likes of Automatic Quicken Spell, Imp Metamagic, and even Mutlispell and ISC. They do have a few very good feats. For example, Perfect Two Weapon Fighting - well done Wizards of the Coast. Dire Charge is likewise a good feat. But none of the decent feats are repeatable.

    Well what about the critical feats? Well, they're not amazing on their own, and they are destroyed by the exact same thing that rogues, the other non-casters are killed by long before someone hits epic: For 36,000 GP anyone can become immune to critical hits and sneak attacks. A +1 armor of full fortification is 36k and anyone in their right mind gets it right away. Suddenly, rogue's offensive abilities (and anyone who relies on criticals) are right out the window.

    Lets also go ahead and point out that a melee-oriented character basically starts crying when hitting epic. He suddenly isn't even progressing as quickly as he used to. His attack progression just got reduced to that of a wizard, and he'll never get a new attack again (whereas the wizard, stuck at one standard action spell and one quickened spell for his whole career now has only to take a feat to gain another spell per round) and he gets...more feats? From the selection WotC provides? He just wants to stay non-epic for his entire life.

    So I've created a feat list as my players have hit epic. Each time I've introduced a new feat, I question: Is this too powerful? I answer it with: What about Automatic Quicken Spell? Then I usually say no. But the new feats that I'll be posting here over the next few days are definitely more powerful than the ones in Epic Handbook. That's obviously intentional.

    The intent wasn't to make melee as powerful as casters. They shouldn't be; after all, casters are supposed to be on a higher power curve (weaker at lower levels, stronger at higher levels). So an equal level fighter should lose to a wizard. But not in a two-on-one fight. I play wizards myself when I'm a PC. I like wizards more than melee. But some rule changes have helped my campaign out when hitting epic: My non-casters look forward to leveling up.
    -the S-Man

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    Milskidasith's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Non-Casters and Epic Territory

    Okay, so I've run quite a few games that hit epic, and one of my players and a respected friend of mine has pointed out time and again that when you hit epic, non-casters run into some fairly serious problems.
    Epic is entirely broken, and non-casters are screwed far before epic.

    Basically, when casters hit epic, they say to themselves: FINALLY! This is what it's about. Now, do I want to get Epic Spellcasting first? Hm, I might not have enough money to make any decent spells. Improved Spell Capacity? Sounds good. Ooh, but what about enhance spell? That's a good one too. Multispell? An extra spell per round...sign me up. I'm not sure which I want! Once past the first few feat selections, casters have even better feats to choose from...Improved Metamagic is amazing, and automatic quicken spell is ridiculous. When you're done taking those two, go back to taking Improved Spell Capacity and Multispell over and over. You'll never run out of feats to take.
    Automatic Quicken sucks (It's reprinted in C. Arcane, and it only works one spell level per feat (except the first time, where it works on 1st level spells and cantrips)). Also, epic spellcasting is terrible unless you mitigate the costs to zero.

    Then their non-caster brethren hit epic. Paladins are alright, they have great smiting to carry them. Barbarians...well, they have a number of rage feats. These are mostly lackluster. And by mostly I mean all of them, really. None of them are things that you would really want to do (Yes, let me be better at sundering a weapon...um, wait, how much would that weapon sell for? I want to break it? Seriously?) or things that you can't easily duplicate (like having a low cost special ability on your weapon). Fighters have...Epic Weapon Focus and Specialization? Combat Prowess? Strength +? Every one of these is complete garbage compared to the likes of Automatic Quicken Spell, Imp Metamagic, and even Mutlispell and ISC. They do have a few very good feats. For example, Perfect Two Weapon Fighting - well done Wizards of the Coast. Dire Charge is likewise a good feat. But none of the decent feats are repeatable.
    Melee always sucks compared to casters. Epic is no exception.

    Well what about the critical feats? Well, they're not amazing on their own, and they are destroyed by the exact same thing that rogues, the other non-casters are killed by long before someone hits epic: For 36,000 GP anyone can become immune to critical hits and sneak attacks. A +1 armor of full fortification is 36k and anyone in their right mind gets it right away. Suddenly, rogue's offensive abilities (and anyone who relies on criticals) are right out the window.
    Full fortification is useful but not a "get right away" kind of thing, compared to stuff that negates being hit, like contingent celerities.

    Lets also go ahead and point out that a melee-oriented character basically starts crying when hitting epic. He suddenly isn't even progressing as quickly as he used to. His attack progression just got reduced to that of a wizard, and he'll never get a new attack again (whereas the wizard, stuck at one standard action spell and one quickened spell for his whole career now has only to take a feat to gain another spell per round) and he gets...more feats? From the selection WotC provides? He just wants to stay non-epic for his entire life.
    Lets also go ahead and point out that non-epic melee characters start pulling so significantly behind as to be useless in combat at level 7 or 9 (maybe even level 5) if the caster is optimized, and only a few levels past that if the caster is fairly smart with their spell selection.

    So I've created a feat list as my players have hit epic. Each time I've introduced a new feat, I question: Is this too powerful? I answer it with: What about Automatic Quicken Spell? Then I usually say no. But the new feats that I'll be posting here over the next few days are definitely more powerful than the ones in Epic Handbook. That's obviously intentional.

    The intent wasn't to make melee as powerful as casters. They shouldn't be; after all, casters are supposed to be on a higher power curve (weaker at lower levels, stronger at higher levels). So an equal level fighter should lose to a wizard. But not in a two-on-one fight. I play wizards myself when I'm a PC. I like wizards more than melee. But some rule changes have helped my campaign out when hitting epic: My non-casters look forward to leveling up.
    You'd need to completely redo the entire game to make melee playable. Many have tried. It doesn't work.

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Non-Casters and Epic Territory

    Now, to the meat of this topic. My introduction is a rule change dealing with fortification so that it's still a useful ability, but rogues can still be the melee threats they are supposed to be.

    Fortification is now a special ability bought in grades of +1 through +5 (or higher for epic) that match the item cost. Applied to an armor, fortification grants a bonus to AC during threat rolls and against sneak attacks. For instance, a +1 chain shirt with +3 fortification would grant a +3 bonus to AC during threat rolls. Likewise, a rogue sneak attacking would have to hit an AC three points higher than standard to inflict sneak attack damage. If he hits the normal AC, he still lands the hit, but the sneak attack damage is blocked by the armor.

    Fortification is further improved by the class of armor to which it is applied. Medium armor doubles the fortification bonus, while characters wearing heavy armor fear little from critical hits because the fortification bonus is tripled. Therefore, a +3 Full Plate with +5 fortification would grant its wearer a +15 (the +5 fortification bonus, tripled) to his threat AC and as a threshold for a rogue to deal sneak attack damage.

    This does mean that heavy armors are more desirable for characters wishing to buy this special ability. Mithril is not quite as useful using this variant, because it reduces the armor grade. However, class abilities that reduce the grade of armors do NOT lose the added effect of wearing heavier armors: The character has merely learned to be more efficient in his or her armor; the armor itself is not lighter.

    This rule change means that a rogue can still sneak attack many targets and criticals will still land at higher (and epic levels), but people can buy protection from it.
    -the S-Man

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    Default Re: The Non-Casters and Epic Territory

    Now, to the meat of this topic. My introduction is a rule change dealing with fortification so that it's still a useful ability, but rogues can still be the melee threats they are supposed to be.
    This seems like a fix specifically for rogues instead of one for melee.

    Fortification is now a special ability bought in grades of +1 through +5 (or higher for epic) that match the item cost. Applied to an armor, fortification grants a bonus to AC during threat rolls and against sneak attacks. For instance, a +1 chain shirt with +3 fortification would grant a +3 bonus to AC during threat rolls. Likewise, a rogue sneak attacking would have to hit an AC three points higher than standard to inflict sneak attack damage. If he hits the normal AC, he still lands the hit, but the sneak attack damage is blocked by the armor.
    Why would you ever buy fortification when you can just increase the AC of the armor?

    Fortification is further improved by the class of armor to which it is applied. Medium armor doubles the fortification bonus, while characters wearing heavy armor fear little from critical hits because the fortification bonus is tripled. Therefore, a +3 Full Plate with +5 fortification would grant its wearer a +15 (the +5 fortification bonus, tripled) to his threat AC and as a threshold for a rogue to deal sneak attack damage.
    Ah, this makes it better, so the above can be ignored. However, what about Mithral? It's counted as lighter, but still as good an armor as the one above, so it should probably still count as whatever type of armor. Still, fortification is all but useless on light armor.

    This does mean that heavy armors are more desirable for characters wishing to buy this special ability. Mithril is not quite as useful using this variant, because it reduces the armor grade. However, class abilities that reduce the grade of armors do NOT lose the added effect of wearing heavier armors: The character has merely learned to be more efficient in his or her armor; the armor itself is not lighter.
    Again, you already have my complaints addressed, but I still see no point in making mithral weaker. It's just as strong as other armors, but lighter. That's the point.

    This rule change means that a rogue can still sneak attack many targets and criticals will still land at higher (and epic levels), but people can buy protection from it.
    And, while possibly a good change, still does nothing to make casters less dominating, epic or not.

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Non-Casters and Epic Territory

    Milskidasith, I agree with most of the things you've said, esp. about non-casters falling behind pre-epic. Still, I have managed to make my games fun; not completely balanced against casters, you're right that would require an entire rules revision. I don't even particularly see the need for everyone to be as powerful as casters, just that the game still be fun. I've shared my changes on fortification - I'll be updating this thread with new feats I've brought into my game to make it enjoyable for non-caster classes (though I have created a few feats for casters as well).

    I do disagree that auto-quicken spell as rewritten (thanks for the update btw) sucks. Especially with multispell, if you take it a few times, having an extra couple of fireballs every round is not completely worthless. But when I make a caster, I tend to go the Imp. Metamagic route as opposed to the automatic route. To each his own.
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    Default Re: The Non-Casters and Epic Territory

    I do disagree that auto-quicken spell as rewritten (thanks for the update btw) sucks. Especially with multispell, if you take it a few times, having an extra couple of fireballs every round is not completely worthless. But when I make a caster, I tend to go the Imp. Metamagic route as opposed to the automatic route. To each his own.
    It's a nine feat investment. That's far worse than improved metamagic. It's not even worth it at it's original version, because improved metamagic works on quicken and everything else and does the same thing. Plus, all swift action spells means that you lose your standard action casting for the round by RAW.

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    Default Re: The Non-Casters and Epic Territory

    Quote Originally Posted by Milskidasith View Post
    Automatic Quicken sucks (It's reprinted in C. Arcane, and it only works one spell level per feat (except the first time, where it works on 1st level spells and cantrips)). Also, epic spellcasting is terrible unless you mitigate the costs to zero.
    Books published subsequently to Complete Arcane (Power of Faerun, Waterdeep) appear to use the old version.

    That, and people who say "if a feat is published in both the SRD and a sourcebook, only the SRD version is right" will point out that SRD Automatic Quicken is the old, un-nerfed version.
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    Default Re: The Non-Casters and Epic Territory

    Please be advised that Enhance Spell is utterly, completely, painfully useless.

    Do you really want to cast a 20d6 fireball as a 7th-level spell? The spell level guidelines don't put it that high, for a start.
    Last edited by lesser_minion; 2009-12-03 at 05:25 AM.

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    Default Re: The Non-Casters and Epic Territory

    Quote Originally Posted by lesser_minion View Post
    Please be advised that Enhance Spell is utterly, completely, painfully useless.

    Do you really want to cast a 20d6 fireball as a 7th-level spell? The spell level guidelines don't put it that high, for a start.
    I always wondered about that one. Not that i've ever seen it in play...for a +4 meta effect and an Epic feat slot, i'd kinda expect the limit to be removed entirely rather than just +10 dice.

    I've personally found that the divide truly kicks in about 11th level between casters and other characters. I think part of that is the fact that the CR system seems a little squiffy [it assumes the casters will be doing all the work and being bufftastic so the ACs are far higher than seems reasonable a lot of the time] and part is the fact that the spells of planar level are really just on a different scale [probably because you were originally your party's chauffer with those spell slots so trading out a valuable trip home for a blasting spell had to be worth it].
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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Non-Casters and Epic Territory

    Whoops, you're right I forgot Enhance Spell worked like that, though with Imp Metamagic it's still not a terrible feat. I typically go with Energy Admixture; Enhance Spell is useful (but not overly so) for things with a force effect.

    OK, Milskidasith, I do realize the new fortification rules is mostly useful for rogues, although I've seen plenty of characters take crit feats, put maiming on their weapons, get a rapier instead of a longsword - basically plan for a career set up around critting, so it helps other melee out. Also, mithril was more of an asthetic choice for me, though it does help nerf casters just a touch because a mithral medium armor still acts like a light armor for them (and a lot of the time they're the one's using it for the reduction in spellcasting failure) when they use fortification. But I wouldn't have too much of a problem making it so that the armor acted like it's heavier counterpart.

    Now, a few of the epic feats I've used in my campaigns:

    Blinding Attack [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Dodge, Mobility, Dire Charge
    Benefit: As a full round action, the character can take a full attack and move half his movement.

    Defensive Reaction [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Improved Toughness, Great Fortitude, Constitution 20, Charisma 13
    Benefit: When you are struck by a critical hit that deals at least 20% of your maximum health in damage, your damage reduction increases by 10/- and you gain regeneration 5 for a number of rounds equal to your charisma modifier.
    Special: Multiple triggering of this feat extends the duration but does not stack the effect.

    Defensive Slip [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Dodge, Dexterity 25
    Benefit: Once per round, the character may take half damage from any effect or attack requiring an attack roll from the target of his dodge.

    Epic Armor Specialization [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Proficiency with selected armor type, Armor Specialization with selected armor type, Epic Save Bonus +2
    Benefit: When wearing armor of the selected type, the character’s damage reduction increases by 3/- and adds the enhancement modifier of the armor to his touch AC and fortitude saves as long as he is not flat-footed.

    Epic Blind Fight [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Blind Fight, 24 Ranks in Listen
    Benefit: An enemy’s concealment can be completely negated by a character with this feat. The character makes a listen check once per round. If this check is higher than the move silent check of any character with concealment (or DC 10 if the target is not trying to be quiet), he may discern the exact position of the target and attack without a miss chance. The DC increases by 5 for every 5 feet the target is from the character.

    Epic Critical [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Weapon Focus with selected weapon, Improved Critical with selected weapon, Epic Attack +4
    Benefit: The selected weapon’s threat range doubles. Remember that a double of a double is a triple, and so on.
    Special: This feat can be taken multiple times. Each time it is selected, it applies to a new weapon.
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    Default Re: The Non-Casters and Epic Territory

    I don't think these feats are powerful enough, though I applaud the attempt and the time you're putting into this.

    Blinding Strike? Quicksilver motion, a martial manuever in ToB, is better. (Sorry, you don't get a full attack with quicksilver. I'd say pump it up a bit, though. Provide at least a full-move action.)

    Defensive Slip is basically Evasion and Mettle combined, but with a slightly broader range of action.

    You nerfed the epic listen feat with 5' range increments. An invisible wizard is going to sit back and spam you from 50 feet, and you'll never get close enough to hear where they're at.

    I will say, I do like Epic Armor Specialization, since it helps protect you from casters. On the other hand, most of these other feats don't help you very much against casters, or at least, don't help you against casters specifically.

    If I were you, I would shoot for epic feats that help martial PCs fight casters. Feats that provide protection from their spells, counters to their time stops and celerities, that type of thing.

    One of my favorite epic feats for a monk is the ability to Dance Between Moments, aka, you punch the wizard in the face while he's trying to cast delayed blast fireballs while in a time stop. Surprises 'em every time.
    Last edited by Barbarian MD; 2009-12-03 at 04:14 PM.

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Non-Casters and Epic Territory

    Here is the next set of epic feats.

    Epic Defense [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Dodge, Dexterity 20
    Benefit: The character gains a +8 dodge bonus to Armor Class.

    Epic Divine Armor [Divine] [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Divine Armor, Divine caster level 10th, ability to turn or rebuke undead
    Benefit: As a swift action, you can expend a turn or rebuke undead attempt to increase your damage reduction by 10/- and grant yourself a +5 to your natural armor class.

    Epic Expertise [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Combat Expertise, Improved Combat Expertise, Epic Attack Bonus +1, Int 16
    Benefit: The character can expertise his epic attack bonus as well as the bonus provided by the combat prowess epic feat and the enhancement bonus of his Strength modifier (to a minimum of +0).

    Epic Fighting Challenge [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Fighting Challenge Class Ability, Dodge, Epic Attack Bonus +2
    Benefit: Increase the effect of your Fighting Challenge ability by +2. Once per day, issuing a Fighting Challenge can be done without expending a use of Knight’s Challenge. Your Fighting Challenge bonus applies as a dodge bonus to your armor class against your chosen opponent as long as he is the target of your dodge.

    Epic Ki Blast [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Dexterity 20, Wisdom 20, Charisma 15, Fier Fist, Ki Blast, Improved Unarmed Strike, Stunning Fist, Epic Attack Bonus +2
    Benefit: You can expend two daily uses of your Stunning Fist feat as a move action to summon a number of orbs of raw seething ki energy equal to your charisma modifier. You can then throw the seething orbs as attack actions with a range of 60 feet. This ranged touch attack deals damage equal to 3d6 + your Wisdom modifier. The ki orb is a force effect.
    If you fail to throw any orbs before a number of rounds equal to your charisma modifier, they dissipate harmlessly.

    Epic Lunging Strike [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Lunging Strike, Epic Attack Bonus +1
    Benefit: On a given attack you may extend your reach by five feet by taking a –10 penalty on attack rolls. You may still use the lunging strike feet as normal.

    Epic Penetrating Shot
    Prerequisites: Strength 25, Point Blank Shot, Far Shot, Epic Point Blank Shot, Epic Attack Bonus +3
    Benefit: When you make a ranged attack with a projectile weapon, you an instead choose to unleash a single, mighty attack that blasts through multiple opponents. This attack requires a standard action and your shot takes the form a 120-foot line. Make a separate attack roll against each creature in the line. If struck, creatures along this line take damage from your shot, and extra damage from sources such as sneak attack or a flaming weapon applies against each eligible target. You may only critically miss on the first attack, though any other attack that would be a critical miss stops the effect past that point.

    Epic Point Blank Shot [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Point Blank Shot, Far Shot, Epic Attack Bonus +2
    Benefit: Increase your point blank range by thirty feet. On a single attack per round when attacking a target in point blank range, you may double your critical threat range.

    Epic Power Attack [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Power Attack, Strength 25
    Benefit: The character can power attack his epic attack bonus, as well as the bonus provided by the combat prowess epic feat and the enhancement bonus of the weapon he or she is wielding.

    Epic Power Surge [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Power Surge class feature, 26 ranks in Concentration
    Benefit: You may increase the strength bonus a power surge provides by +4, but this increases the DC of your next concentration check to manifest a power surge by an additional +3.
    Special: This feat can be taken multiple times. Its effects (including the increase in concentration DC) stack. The prerequisite ranks in Concentration increase by 4 every time this feat is taken. A character may choose not to use any given instance of this feat.

    Epic Precision [Epic]
    Benefit: The character gains a +5 bonus to all attack rolls

    Epic Shield Specialization [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Shield Specialization with selected shield, Shield Ward, Epic Save Bonus +2
    Benefit: Increase the shield bonus to AC provided by Shield specialization with the selected shield by +2. As a free action when it’s not the character’s turn, he may grant the entirety of his shield bonus to one ally within his reach for a single attack as long as the character is not flat footed. Once per round, the character may make a free shield bash attack of opportunity against an enemy who missed on a melee attack against him.

    Epic Signature Weapon [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Signature Weapon class feature, signature weapon with at least a +6 enhancement bonus, Weapon Focus with Signature Weapon’s type, Epic Attack Bonus +1
    Benefit: When the character wields his signature weapon, he considers the weapons enhancement modifier 1 point higher than it actually is and an additional +1 for every 5 points of epic attack the character achieves (therefore, at level 21, the character would consider his +6 longsword a +7 longsword; at 29, when his epic attack bonus reaches +5, he would consider it a +8 longsword, at 39 he would consider it +9 and so on). The effect of this feat cannot increase the weapon’s effective enhancement bonus higher than twice its actual enhancement bonus.

    Epic Spring Attack [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack, Bounding Assault, Rapid Blitz, Epic Dodge, Blinding Attack
    Benefit: You can designate additional targets for your Spring Attack feat. In addition to the additional attacks gained from Bounding Assault and Rapid Blitz, you may take a number of additional attacks as available to you in a full attack.

    Epic Stalwart Defense [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Combat Reflexes, Hindering Opportunist, Stalwart Defense, Epic Save Bonus +2
    Benefit: When an opponent you threaten targets one of your allies with an attack or spell, you may give up one of your attacks of opportunity to attempt an aid another action. The target of your foe’s attack gets the benefit of your action in the form of a +5 bonus to AC, saves, ad DR /- against the attempted attack or ability. You cannot use this feat against the same opponent more than once per round.

    Epic Toughness [Epic]
    Prerequisite: Epic Save Bonus +1 (see description)
    Benefit: The character gains 20 hit points.
    Special: This feat can be taken multiple times. Its effects stack. Its prerequisite save bonus and effect double each time it is taken (therefore, the second time it is taken, it would provide 40 extra HP in addition to the 20 from the first time; the third time it would provide 60 in addition to the 60 from the first two times and so on). Remember that a double of a double is a triple and so on.

    Epic Unarmed Strike [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Improved Unarmed Strike, Epic Attack Bonus +2
    Benefit: When striking with an unarmed attack, you gain an increase in the damage die by one step and on a single attack per round you may ignore any dodge bonus your target has to AC.

    Epic Weapon Finesse [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Weapon Finesse, Dexterity 20
    Benefit: Replace strength modifier with dexterity modifier on damage for light and special weapons.

    Epic Weapon Focus [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Proficiency with selected weapon, Greater Weapon Focus with selected weapon, Greater Weapon Specialization with selected weapon, Weapon Focus with selected weapon, Weapon Specialization with selected weapon, Melee Weapon Mastery with weapon type of selected weapon, fighter level 20th, Epic Attack Bonus +1
    Benefit: The character gains a +10 bonus to attack with the selected weapon. This stacks with the benefits of feats that this requires as a prerequisite.

    Epic Weapon Specialization [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Proficiency with selected weapon, Greater Weapon Focus with selected weapon, Greater Weapon Specialization with selected weapon, Weapon Focus with selected weapon, Weapon Specialization with selected weapon, Melee Weapon Mastery with weapon type of selected weapon, Epic Weapon Focus with selected weapon, Improved Critical with selected weapon, Epic Critical with selected weapon fighter level 20th, Epic Attack Bonus +3
    Benefit: The character gains a +10 to damage with the selected weapon, as well as a +1 bonus to the weapon’s threat range (added after any multipliers) and a +1 to the weapon’s critical multiplier.

    Extra Shield Ally [General]
    Prerequisites: Improved Shield Ally class feature, Dexterity 13, Base Attack +16
    Benefit: The character may use the Improved Shield Ally ability two times per round.
    Normal: Improved Shield Ally can only be used once per round.

    Extra Swing [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Epic Attack Bonus +5 (see description)
    Benefit: The character can take one extra attack in a full attack. This attack is made at the character’s lowest attack bonus.
    Special: This feat can be taken multiple times. Its effects stack. However, its prerequisite attack bonus doubles each time it is selected. Remember that a double of a double is a triple, and so on.
    -the S-Man

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    Default Re: The Non-Casters and Epic Territory

    I like most of these, but some could use a bit more power and/or more ability to scale.

    Epic Defense is fine, though it might be better to have it scale (giving a bonus equal to 1/3 your character level rounded up or so) and note that it doesn't stack with itself.

    Epic Expertise isn't very useful. The reason Power Attack is so useful is because you can easily make it so the bonus you get to damage is much higher than the penalty you take to attack. Therefore, changing it so every point of attack penalty you take gives you +3 or so to AC might be better.

    Frankly, I'd have Epic Fighting Challenge let you make FCs without expending Knight's Challenge uses. Your other knight abilities are better uses of them, and challenging someone should be something an epic knight should be able to do with minimal effort. Having it affect multiple opponents might also be a good idea.

    Ki Blast is a very underpowered feat, and so is Epic Ki Blast. I'd get rid of most of the prereqs, especially the Charisma requirement since CHA and INT are the only dump stats monks have, and make it a full-round action that deals damage equal to your Unarmed Strike damage. Possibly usable at will. I'd also add an additional feat take that makes Ki Blasts an attack action instead of a full-round action.

    Lunging Strike and Epic Lunging Strike are very weak. There are non-epic feats (with prereqs, granted) that give you +5 foot reach for -1 attack, permanently. Letting you extend your reach by 5 feet on any attack is the minimum this feat should do, and I'd probably have it do more.

    What kind of check does the Aid Another action for Epic Stalwart Defense require? And how much DR does it give?
    Quote Originally Posted by Thespianus View Post
    I fail to see how "No, that guy is too fat to be hurt by your fire" would make sense.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Non-Casters and Epic Territory

    Quote Originally Posted by mhvaughan View Post
    I don't think these feats are powerful enough, though I applaud the attempt and the time you're putting into this.

    Blinding Strike? Quicksilver motion, a martial manuever in ToB, is better. (Sorry, you don't get a full attack with quicksilver. I'd say pump it up a bit, though. Provide at least a full-move action.)

    Defensive Slip is basically Evasion and Mettle combined, but with a slightly broader range of action.

    You nerfed the epic listen feat with 5' range increments. An invisible wizard is going to sit back and spam you from 50 feet, and you'll never get close enough to hear where they're at.

    I will say, I do like Epic Armor Specialization, since it helps protect you from casters. On the other hand, most of these other feats don't help you very much against casters, or at least, don't help you against casters specifically.

    If I were you, I would shoot for epic feats that help martial PCs fight casters. Feats that provide protection from their spells, counters to their time stops and celerities, that type of thing.

    One of my favorite epic feats for a monk is the ability to Dance Between Moments, aka, you punch the wizard in the face while he's trying to cast delayed blast fireballs while in a time stop. Surprises 'em every time.
    For Blinding Attack, one of the reasons it's half speed is that usually by epic more or less everyone is flying, so half speed is still faster than your typical person can move and make a single attack, but I don't think making it full speed would be a bad thing.

    One of the things I should mention is that the feats as a whole weren't necessarily geared towards making warriors as strong as wizards - the balance issues are kind of deep - but to make epic levels actually a rewarding experience for non-caster classes. I haven't made too many feats that are direct counters to casters.
    -the S-Man

  15. - Top - End - #15
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    Default Re: The Non-Casters and Epic Territory

    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    I like most of these, but some could use a bit more power and/or more ability to scale.

    Epic Defense is fine, though it might be better to have it scale (giving a bonus equal to 1/3 your character level rounded up or so) and note that it doesn't stack with itself.

    Epic Expertise isn't very useful. The reason Power Attack is so useful is because you can easily make it so the bonus you get to damage is much higher than the penalty you take to attack. Therefore, changing it so every point of attack penalty you take gives you +3 or so to AC might be better.

    Frankly, I'd have Epic Fighting Challenge let you make FCs without expending Knight's Challenge uses. Your other knight abilities are better uses of them, and challenging someone should be something an epic knight should be able to do with minimal effort. Having it affect multiple opponents might also be a good idea.

    Ki Blast is a very underpowered feat, and so is Epic Ki Blast. I'd get rid of most of the prereqs, especially the Charisma requirement since CHA and INT are the only dump stats monks have, and make it a full-round action that deals damage equal to your Unarmed Strike damage. Possibly usable at will. I'd also add an additional feat take that makes Ki Blasts an attack action instead of a full-round action.

    Lunging Strike and Epic Lunging Strike are very weak. There are non-epic feats (with prereqs, granted) that give you +5 foot reach for -1 attack, permanently. Letting you extend your reach by 5 feet on any attack is the minimum this feat should do, and I'd probably have it do more.

    What kind of check does the Aid Another action for Epic Stalwart Defense require? And how much DR does it give?
    There's another epic feat I have that makes expertise 1-1/2 for one, I'll post it in a bit; it has this epic expertise feat as a prereq. I have another that does the same for power attack based off the feat here.

    As for lunging strike, I had no idea there were other such feats, but I agree after looking at it I should probably go without the penalty on the epic feat.

    The aid another action for epic stalwart defense is the same as the original feat in PHB 2...I forget right now and I don't have my copy with me, so I can get back to you. It increases your unbeatable damage reduction by 5/-; so it's not worthless if you already had better DR.

    As for Ki blast, I'm not sure. I'll have to think about it some more, but the issue at hand is that monks don't have a good ranged capability because they get a movement speed increase. If you can force them to fight at range, then they're kind of supposed to be at a disadvantage. Then again, it's an epic feat, so I can see it removing that disadvantage. All in the cards, I haven't actually had this one come into play.

    And everyone, thanks for the comments so far, they've been helpful.
    -the S-Man

  16. - Top - End - #16
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    Default Re: The Non-Casters and Epic Territory

    The next set of epic feats are:

    Greater Dodge [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Dodge, Dexterity 18, Epic Save Bonus +1
    Benefit: You gain a +5 Dodge bonus to your armor class against the target of your dodge as well as a +5 insight bonus to saving throws put to you by the target of your dodge.

    Greater Fortitude [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Great Fortitude, Epic Fortitude, Epic Save +3
    Benefit: Once per encounter you may succeed on a fortitude save you otherwise would have failed.

    Greater Fighting Challenge [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Fighting Challenge Class Feature, Dodge, Epic Fighting Challenge, Epic Attack Bonus +4
    Benefit: Increase your Fighting Challenge bonus by +1. As long as your chosen opponent is the target of your dodge, you may negate any dodge bonus to your armor class against him to make a counterattack once per round when he attacks you or an ally within your reach.

    Greater Expertise [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Combat Expertise, Improved Combat Expertise, Epic Combat Expertise, Epic Attack Bonus +4, Intelligence 20
    Benefit: When the character uses Combat Expertise, the number added to his armor class is 1-½ the damage subtracted from his attack roll.

    Greater Reflexes [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Lightning Reflexes, Epic Reflexes, Epic Save +3
    Benefit: Once per encounter you may succeed on a reflex save you otherwise would have failed.

    Greater Shield Ally [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Improved Shield Ally class feature, Epic Save Bonus +1, Dodge
    Benefit: Whenever you use Shield Ally or Improved Shield Ally to protect an ally from the target of your Dodge, you take only half the damage you normally would if the target would have missed you on its attack roll.

    Greater Spring Attack [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack, Bounding Assault, Rapid Blitz, Epic Dodge, Epic Spring Attack, Blinding Attack
    Benefit: Instead of selecting multiple opponents you may use your Spring Attack feat to move between targets and attack the same targets multiple time as long as you change targets between each attack.

    Greater Will [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Iron Will, Epic Will, Epic Save Bonus +3
    Benefit: Once per encounter you may succeed on a will save you otherwise would have failed.

    Improved Crossbow Sniper [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Proficiency with a crossbow, Weapon Focus with a crossbow, Epic Attack Bonus +3, Point Blank Shot, Far Shot, Epic Point Blank Shot
    Benefit: When using a crossbow for which you have the weapon focus feat, you gain a bonus on damage rolls equal to your Dexterity bonus. Furthermore, when firing in point blank range for such a crossbow, increase the bonus gained from Point Blank Shot to +5 to attacks and damage.

    Improved Crushing Strike [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Proficiency with bludgeoning weapon, Weapon Focus with bludgeoning weapon, Weapon Specialization with bludgeoning weapon, Weapon Mastery (bludgeoning), Crushing Strike, Epic Weapon Focus with a bludgeoning Weapon, Epic Weapon Specialization with a bludgeoning weapon.
    Benefit: When you use a full attack action while fighting with any bludgeoning weapon, each attack that connects beats down your foe’s defenses, granting a cumulative +3 bonus on attack rolls until the end of your current turn; furthermore, if you strike with a bludgeoning weapon at least four times, the target must make a fortitude save (DC 10 + ½ your Hit Dice + you Strength modifier) or be stunned for one round.

    Improved Driving Attack [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Proficiency with piercing weapon, Weapon Focus with piercing weapon, Weapon Specialization with piercing weapon, Weapon Mastery (piercing), Driving Attack, Epic Weapon Focus with a piercing Weapon, Epic Weapon Specialization with a piercing weapon.
    Benefit: If you use a full-round action to make a melee attack with any piercing weapon, increase your critical multiplier by three. Using the option granted by Driving Attack does not negate the benefit of using this feat.

    Improved Penetrating Shot [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Strength 25, Point Blank Shot, Far Shot, Epic Blank Shot, Epic Penetrating Shot, Epic Attack Bonus +4
    Benefit: Your standard ranged attacks are penetrating shots out to 60-feet.

    Improved Power Attack [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Power Attack, Epic Power Attack, Strength 30
    Benefit: When the character power attacks, the number added to the damage roll is 1-½ the damage subtracted from his attack roll, or 3 times the damage if the weapon is being wielded two-handed.

    Improved Slashing Flurry [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Proficiency with slashing weapon, Weapon Focus with slashing weapon, Weapon Specialization with slashing weapon, Weapon Mastery (slashing), Slashing Flurry, Epic Weapon Focus with a slashing Weapon, Epic Weapon Specialization with a slashing weapon.
    Benefit: You no longer take an attack penalty for using the slashing flurry feat.

    Improved Telling Blow [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Skirmish +4d6/+4 AC or Sneak Attack +8d6
    Benefit: When you score a critical hit against a target, you deal your skirmish or sneak attack damage in addition to damage from your critical hit. The effect of your sneak attack or skirmish ability on a crit increases by 1d6 +1d6 per two points of Epic Attack Bonus attained.

    Improved Two-Weapon Rend [General]
    Prerequisites: Dex 25, Two-Weapon Fighting, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Greater-Two Weapon Fighting, Two Weapon Rend, Perfect Two-Weapon Fighting
    Benefit: When you execute a Two-Weapon Rend, the damage is 1d12 + 3 times your Strength bonus.

    Locked Gauntlet Hand [Epic]
    You never drop your weapon.
    Prerequisites: Epic Attack Bonus +3
    Benefit: The character may decide before making an attack roll to reduce his critical threat range by half (a character with a threat range of 20 has only a 50% chance of threatening a critical hit upon rolling a 20 when using this option) to eliminate the possibility of critically missing that attack. A natural one still denotes an automatic miss.

    Mighty Shot [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Strength 25, Epic Attack bonus +4 (see description)
    Benefit: Add 10 to all ranged attack rolls made with a composite bow of any type or 15 to melee damage rolls made with thrown weapons or 5 to ranged damage rolls made with a sling.
    Special: This feat can be taken multiple times. Its effects stack. However, its prerequisite attack bonus doubles each time it is selected. Remember that a double of a double is a triple, and so on.

    Mighty Swing [Epic]
    Prerequisites: Strength 25, Epic Attack bonus +4 (see description)
    Benefit: Add 10 to all melee damage rolls made with a weapon wielded in one hand or 15 to melee damage rolls made with a weapon wielded in two hands or 5 to melee damage rolls made with a weapon wielded in the off hand.
    Special: Individuals taking this feat deal an amount of extra damage on natural attacks appropriate to the pattern above; therefore, secondary natural weapons only deal an additional 5 points of damage, while primary natural weapons deal an additional 15.
    This feat can be taken multiple times. Its effects stack. However, its prerequisite attack bonus doubles each time it is selected. Remember that a double of a double is a triple, and so on.
    -the S-Man

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