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After much consideration, study, and some exhaustive sifting through all the various arguments on the WotC boards, we're making a simple yet significant change in the epic level system.

Base Attack Bonus and Base Save Bonuses will accrue according to class, even into epic levels.

That means we've tossed out the Epic Attack and Epic Save information (where everyone gains one of each every other level starting at 21st).

Why? Lets go into that.

First off, the theories of why we should not do this:

  • The main argument against this is the fact that you end up with a heck of a lot of attacks at higher levels, which slows down gameplay.

  • The second primary argument against it is that (barring multiclassing), you end up with a large gap between your high and low saves (for example, at level 60, there is a 12 point difference between your high saves and your low saves).

    Now, let's look at the other end of the spectrum:

    With the current rules, epic monsters with a lot of hit dice (not counting any class levels) far outshine the attack ability of even the best fighters. For example, take a 60 HD Outsider. Attack bonus is +60. Now, look at a 60th level Fighter. BAB 20 for first 20 levels, + 20 Epic bonus for his 40 epic fighter levels. That comes out to +40 attack bonus altogether.
    60 vs 40? Hardly fair. Also, along similar lines, in most cases, a Fighter vs something near the range of what he and his party are supposed to be fighting will eventually fall far short of actually being able to hit without rolling a natural 20.

    As for the extra attacks slowing things down, honestly, in our campaign and even in our epic sidequest, it doesn't make much difference. Nobody is into the extreme levels (like around 100) in a pure fighter type class, and we don't see anyone attaining that in the future.
    In the drow campaign, we won't even have any npcs with a higher BAB than somewhere in the 40's, granting about 8 attacks a round at most.
    Not overly time consuming in and of itself, especially considering that once everyone has gone around in order, making their iterative attacks one at a time (or two at a time, as per the way we do Two Weapon fighting), the only ones left with anything to do at that point are one or two fighters with a few leftover attacks. Those fighters can then easily just put multiple dice in one dice string to see if any of those attacks hit (they'd usually need to roll a 20 for those last few anyway).

    Now, to address the gap in saving throw bonuses. First off, this gap only grows so large if someone happens to take a single class throughout their entire career. While it may happen at some point, in our campaigns it has never been an issue. With scores of character levels under your belt, multiclassing is the best (and usually the most enjoyable) route to go. Even if you only multiclass into prestige classes that build on your, let's say, fighter theme, a lot of those have variations in which of the saves are good and poor respectively, in comparison to your base class. So usually you will never end up with the lowest possible save in any category.

    Even if, for some unfathomable reason, you do take only a single class structure and end up with a low save in one category throughout a character's entire line up, so what? At the level ranges we play, the gap isn't that large. Besides, you can easily rectify that by picking up some magic items, and/or taking a feat or two that will cover the slack. With the epic system broken overall as it is anyway, this isn't really much of an issue anyway as spellcasters rule the game no matter what you do (but that's another argument altogether).

    Anyway, that's it. Like I said, a simple rule to implement but it has a significant bearing all the same. Perhaps WotC will give in to demands sometime in the near future and redo the Epic System so we won't have to come up with variations and house rules to cover what they left broken.

    To go along with the change in BAB, we are also altering epic class progressions (as opposed to the cheesey "just add bonus feats" mentality offered by WotC). For now, we're only doing it on an as needed basis, so not all the classes will have the progressions available for view.

    Page Last Updated March 11th, 2006

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