Beyond Level 20 Variant Rulesets (5e Other)

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Every edition of DnD has characters going over the constraints of level 20,through legal means.Except 5th edition,this is because of 5the edition's general philosophy of scaling things back and going back to the roots of fantasy.But the idea of epic and legendary adventurers going on interdimensional journeys to save the multiverse and battle the gods themselves is still undeniably romantic,there's something about it that inspires a lot of people,and so a lot of add-ons and transformational rules that frees the heroes of 5th editions from their level 20 shackles into the great big world of epic adventures.

This is an index for such rules,so you have a way to see all of them,and gives you enough information so that you may know which ones may interest you and which ones you would want to use in your campaign. The rules are going to be divided into "Paid" and "Free" add-ons,and within those divisions we will start with the simplest* add-ons to implement and go into the more complicated ones afterwards.

Free[edit]

Epic Boons - Well,I lied when I said 5e doesn't have any over level 20 play,it does have epic boons,which in themselves may be boring,but they bring a sense of individuality to each character.They aren't getting better at what they do,because they're the best in the world.They're reaping rewards from their adventures specifically,and that makes their character more unique and their journeys more personal.With homebrew epic Boons you can get very far.The down side to epic boons is that without a chart for player to look over and fantasize,their excitement in the campaign might dry up faster than with the other options.

Past Level 20 - This one gets the reward for going up to level 50,which is ridiculous,and it just soaks players in Epic boons,asi's and additional subclasses,they're gonna be incredibly resourceful at high levels.The good part about this add-on is that it's quite simple,there's no special rules or new features for class.Everything is an improvement or something that is already in the books,the classes also have dead levels,which may help in some situations.If you're the kind of person who is afraid of ending a DnD game and have friends which you can play with for centuries,this is certainly what you want.The campaign raises the ability cap up to 30 and gives 16 points from level 21 to 50.

5e Epic Classes - This one is interesting,it came out in 2015,when fifth edition was quite new,it gives no subclass bonuses,goes up to level 30,it gives some boons and has an interesting racial boon at level 25.Some of the features seem quite silly and the word "born" is mentioned a few too many times.It has a lot of older dnd influence about it.These rules have actually been an inspiration for other addons.It's an interesting prototype that just tried to expand the class level list up to level 30.It does not raise the ability score limit,but deos give 4 points to spend on ability scores

Epic levels,Ascension,Godhood and Divine Rank - Aside from being a mouthful,this one doesn't just have rules for going above level 20,but it has rules for becoming gods slowly and ascending through divine ranks.It's an ambitious project,and not yet done .The divine ascension is all sorts of complete bonkers ,but the classes are quite tame,you get a lot of epic boons,and some upgrades to your base features. It's also just mixed up enough from 5e Epic Classes to avoid being a copy.Use these rules if you want to give players total breaches to what happens in this world,and you like insane power without insane rules crunch.Just be careful that the campaign doesn't get boring when all your players are invincible gods.

Level 40 Expansion - An interesting project that tries to "mirror" a character's features that they'd gotten 20 levels back to determine its level progression.The rules variant is made with knowledge of bounded accuracy,and it tries to reel things back more than others,upping the stat limit only up to 24,and only giving characters 9 points over 20 levels

Epic Level Characters Level 21-40 - A passion project that spans 20 levels,and usually aims to make classes "Better" at what they do,this is the only version that has all classes gaining subclass features 3 times,which makes up for an incredible amount of effort,currently updated to include every subclass.This is the rules add-on that is completely honest that it is not made with balance as a top priority,most class features either mimick what they got in their non-epic levels,or are just cool ideas,and things do scale quite a lot.It includes new epic and non-epic feats,racial features at level 31,and new Epic leveld Spells,it is a comprehensive book if you want to create characters more powerful than the normal 5e rules would allow

Beyond level 20 - Proficency bonus goes up to +9,ability score maximum is raised to 30,and you basically start another class,it can go up to level 80.If you wanted to multiclass without losing level in your main class you can use this,and technically it can be easily expanded up to level 160,if you want to break a record.It probably doesn't break the game,but you really shouldn't play it with paper sheets for your characters,it is technically the most involved leveling system,you get a lot of stuff at every level,but it's stuff you don't exactly need.

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Epic Options - Goes up to 30.This supplement has different options for character advancement after level 20,some of which include Epic boons,Multiclassing,and of course gaining levels in your class up to the new limit,the class features themselves are good,but do not rock the boat or make the classes make any differently,this supplement will make you feel like you're advancing in power,without changing anything too drastic.It is the only supplement to not increase the maximum ability scores,without taking an epic feat.In total you get 10 ability points from level 21 to 30.The book also contains a few prestige classes that are to be taken from level 21 up to 30.It's also the only book that has rules for upcasting level 9 spells.

Epic characters - Goes up to 30.This book is different in that It tries very hard to stick to 5e's bounded accuracy philosophy,the proficiency bonus stays at +6 up to max level,and your maximum ability scores only go up to 24,with 6 points handed out in total,this is the most "Balanced" rule book out of all of them,and it has the feel of characters gasping out the last of their abilities before they hit a natural limit,there are still new features and fun abilities to get,including Racial Abilities for most races.The book also has "Mythic boons" which come in flavours of passives,active abilities and Spells,but because these have to be awarded by the Dungeon Master,their balance can be measured before they are thrown in the game.Marc Altfuldisch also was involved with the making of another book which contained a lot of content relating to the Shadowfell,including a lot of monster meant to challenge an Epic party,and a table intended to help DM's create and balance their own.

Epic Legacy Player's Guide - Goes up to 30.This is an incredibly comprehensive and rich add-on for 5th edition,it not only adds new abilities that build off characters but completely new mechanics for each class.Ability score max is raised to 30 and classes get 12 ability points.If you do not mind crunch,then this is the book for you,it has great illustration,it is well thought out and it really opens up the classes in a way to make them feel like they've uniquely surpassed their mortal chains.The book also contains Epic Feats and Epic Spells,there is also the Epic Legacy - Core Rulebook , which contains all that is in the Player's guide along with DM guides on running epic campaigns,including epic levelled traps and puzzles,foes,and epic leveled magic items.There is also a Campaign Codex ,that both introduces a new dimensional nexus from which campaigns can start,along with more player options and different rules aimed at epic level campaigns.All in all,if you want a campaign to "feel" epic,then this book may be for you,but the complexity and extra weight that it adds to 5e can't be understated.Without a table that all understands the rules and their character,this can easily turn into a drag.


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