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Epic Level Handbook [Hardcover]

Andy Collins , Bruce R. Cordell , Thomas M. Reid
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 1 2002 D&D Rules Expansion
The complete sourcebook for running high-level campaigns.

The Epic Level Handbook provides all the information that players and Dungeon Masters need to continue playing above and beyond the limits of the core rulebooks. With complete information for epic-level character building, spellcasting, monsters, skills, feats, and more, the Epic Level Handbook ensures that gamers can continue playing almost indefinitely.



Product Details


Product Description

About the Author

ANDY COLLINS writes and edits roleplaying games for the Wizards of the Coast R&D department. He lives in Washington state.

BRUCE R. CORDELL, an Origins award-winning author, has written over a dozen products, including Return to the Tomb of Horrors and The Sunless Citadel. He lives in Washington state.

THOMAS M. REID has written numerous articles for Dragon Magazine, edited numerous RPG products, and written the Greyhawk novel The Temple of Elemental Evil. He lives in Texas.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Baba Yaga. Conan the Barbarian. Cu Chulainn. Elminster of Shadowdale. Elric of Melnibone. Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. Gandalf. Gilgamesh. Hiawatha. Odysseus. These are names of power. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, if you like that kind of thing... Jan. 27 2003
Format:Hardcover
Fist off, let me say that the Epic Level Handbook is well written and thought out, and gives great amounts of information on how to play your Dungeons & Dragons game up long past 20th level characters. The rules are clear and easy to follow. Overall, I suppose it's a really good book.
But.
Perhaps it is my personal bias, but I am of the thought that characters that adventure past 20th level have something wrong with the world they live in. How is it possible, for example, for someone so powerful so as to fight great dragons before afternoon tea, to live in the same world as those people who struggle to keep the wild dogs from stealing their chickens? How would a character in this world rise above his or her station in life and find a career in adventuring, when there are beasts and other oppositions out there that are able to challenge the likes of Hercules and other larger-than-life figures? It doesn't make much sense, and tears away from the entire effect role-playing has to me: a believable fantasy world.
I am the sort of guy who believes that, no matter what level of skill and power a person attains, he can still be killed by a speeding bus.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars High-Level campaigns just got fun again.... July 18 2002
Format:Hardcover
A genuine gripe of Third Edition D&D was its tendency to create seriously powerful player characters who were (to use the phrase) "All powered-up with nowhere to go." Having climbed sunshine mountain, high level PCs were given little to do but build a stronghold and start writing their memoirs.
Well, put down the inkwell, Hrothgar, a 200 foot tall spider just ate half the city.
The Epic Level Handbook opens up a universe of possibilities for established heroes, and gives Dungeon Masters rules they can run with. Six chapters of pure brain candy, plus three crunchy Appendices to wash them down. Oh, this is the book your high level characters have been waiting for...
The book starts off with the character progression rules and Epic Prestige classes. The rules are straightforward, clean, and thoroughly explained. Full marks to the "Behind the Curtain" segments in this chapter - explaining the whys behind the rules is very important when your telling a 21st level barbarian why his base attack bonus will never increase again. Epic versions of the standard classes are provided (ho-hum), but new prestige classes (like the Agent Retriever) are also provided. These new additions provide not only new paths, but (more importantly) examples on how to make your own prestige classes. Custom classes can define campaign worlds as well as campaigns - and the tools provided here are the building blocks of anything you could want. I'll just mention one of the many Epic Feats: Permanent Emanation (make an emanation spell of yours permanent...ah the possibilities...).
The chapter on epic spells provides the rules for creating magic that does things that Archmages would sell their quasit for.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Progress is Good Aug. 12 2002
Format:Hardcover
I have to laugh at the people who become offended and upset at the way another group of people they don't even know play a fantasy game. People are always going to play games differently. Some people put invisible men on base in backyard baseball. Some people play Monopoly with two boards or with $1 bills as $1000 dollar bills. Some people play Truth or Dare and lie. So people play D&D differently. Some gamers like to worry about a group of orcs over the rise, how long their rations will last and if the thief can make that roll to sneak into the orc camp. That's great. Those are fun games. Some folks like to charge into the dragon's cave with a character that barely has a name, and fight him tooth & sword down to the last hit point and haul out treasure heavier than they can carry if they survive. Those are fun games. Some people want to plot an elaborate take-over of the Planes of Hell with subterfuge, political intrigue and lots of discussio between players and DM. Those are fun games. They are all fun.
Epic level games are fun. They are different from low level games, and similiar as well. The way this book is presented a 21st level character is very similiar to a 1st level character. many of your current abilities don't count for a lot and you see a whole horizon of challenges with abilities far superior (ones that do matter!) I think this is a great system for story book type adventures (or movie adventures if you will), where the characters are quite formidable, but always challenged. The advancement for characters is good (with characters chosen feats providing their primary power and differentation from each other). It's possible to have to 40th level fighters who differ from another as much as a fighter and a wizard did at 1st level.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Breaching the 20 barrier July 18 2002
Format:Hardcover
Now we finally know what's on the other side of the 20th-level wall.
This sourcebook, a mammoth tome if there ever was one, is all about D&D characters after 20th level. It includes character information, new magic, new items, advice on running epic-level games, new monsters, and a new campaign setting designed for epic-level play.
The heart of the book is the character section, detailing all sorts of options for people to try after 20th level. They've looked at classes, core *and* prestige (from DMG), and tried to find patterns to extrapolate from. Those that don't have easily extrapolable abilities get more feats than those that do. It does seem that they try to ignore some things...rogues, for example, get no more special abilities, though that's clearly a pattern starting at 10th level. They also include suggestions on how to advance other prestige classes not in the DMG.
Next, we have epic skills and feats. Well, the epic skill section is a list of new possible checks to make, such as the Balance DC-120 check to walk on a cloud. The epic feats are a mixed bag; some are really cool, others aren't. They do tend to assume that people play in a certain pattern...for example, druids are assumed to focus on shapeshifting, and clerics to focus on positive/negative energy channeling. It's written conservatively, with suggestions that if you want to change something, do so.
Next, we have epic spells and magic items. Epic spells require research and experience to create, and a Spellcraft roll to cast, but are often worth it...like Nailed to the Sky, which puts the target in orbit, or Contingent Resurrection, which resurrects the target if s/he dies. Epic magic items are also interesting; most of the wondrous items and weapons are extrapolations from previous items (i.e.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I don't Agree to them
Perhaps you guys didn't really read/understand the epic rules. Of course, you can still get spells from 0-9. Read more
Published on March 14 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Many useful things, with some fluff.
Let's just say that it's welcome to have balanced high-level play. For years I struggled with a high-level 2nd edition game, using the High-Level Handbook of that edition and loads... Read more
Published on Feb. 14 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent !
This product is an excellent addition to the D&D 3rd edition, giving rules for characters over 20th level.
The new classes,feats and Epic spells and items are great. Read more
Published on Dec 4 2003 by The Guardian
4.0 out of 5 stars Actually, not as bad as I first thought
I thought when I bought it, "great, now I'll play at higher levels." After 20th level, though, the rule really stink. Read more
Published on Sept. 4 2003 by Thomas F. Hooker
1.0 out of 5 stars It might just be me but...
Does anyone really see a point in playing an Epic Level game? I thought the fun was getting there, not being there. Read more
Published on July 1 2003 by Johnny Truant
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, great, and greater
This is my favorite Dungeons and Dragons book so far. With this, you can become truly powerful. I didn't really like the epic prestige classes, but the spells and magic items and... Read more
Published on June 17 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars The Quintessential Quide for Characters Beyond Basic
First of all, I want everyone to understand just how unlikely it will be for most characters to get this high of level and not be done with your possibly year-long campaign. Read more
Published on June 11 2003 by "baconography"
3.0 out of 5 stars weak character development but interesting on the whole
I must admit that the Epic Level Handbook was a bit of a dissapointment at first. But it grew on me. The development of Epic characters is really verry limited. Read more
Published on March 28 2003 by C. Blood
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes me want to speed up my campaign
I started getting ideas for epic adventures as soon as I started reading this book. It is really cool to see the descriptions of what the base classes look like beyond twentieth... Read more
Published on Jan. 22 2003 by Jeffery A. Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic Level Handbook (Dungeons & Dragons supplement)
Expected New, got new, expected by 12/24/02, got by that date. Very satisfied. Would do and Will do business with seller in future.
Published on Dec 26 2002 by Charles Gallagher
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