Epic Level Basics
Epic characters – those whose character level is 21st or higher – are handled slightly differently from nonepic characters. While epic characters continue to receive most of the benefits of gaining levels, some benefits are replaced by alternative gains. A class can be advanced beyond 20th level. A ten-level prestige class can progress beyond 10th level, but only if the character level is already 20th or higher. A class with fewer than ten levels cannot progress beyond the maximum for that class, regardless of character level.
Epic Save Bonus: A character’s base save bonus does not increase after character level reaches 20th. However, the character does receive a cumulative +1 epic bonus on all saving throws at every even-numbered level beyond 20th, as shown on Table: Epic Save and Epic Attack Bonuses. Any time a feat, prestige class, or other rule refers to your base save bonus, use the sum of your base save bonus and epic save bonus.
Epic Attack Bonus: Similarly, the character’s base attack bonus does not increase after character level reaches 20th. However, the character does receive a cumulative +1 epic bonus on all attacks at every odd-numbered level beyond 20th, as shown on Table: Epic Save and Epic Attack Bonuses. Any time a feat, prestige class, or other rule refers to your base attack bonus, use the sum of your base attack bonus and epic attack bonus.
Epic Save Bonus
Epic Attack Bonus
Class Skill Max Ranks: The maximum number of ranks a character can have in a class skill remains equal to his or her character level +3.
Cross-Class Skill Max Ranks: For cross-class skills, the maximum number of ranks remains one-half the maximum for a class skill.
Feats: Every character gains one feat (which may be an epic or nonepic feat at the player’s choice) at every level divisible by three. These feats are in addition to any bonus feats granted in the class descriptions.
Ability Increases: Ability increases continue as normal, with the character gains a +1 increase to a single ability at levels 22, 26, 30, and so on. At levels 24, 28, 32, and so on, the character gains a +1 increase to all six abilities.
Note: For multiclass characters, feats and ability increases are gained according to character level, not class level.
Many, but not all, class features continue to accumulate after 20th level. The following guidelines describe how the epic class progressions.
- A character’s base save bonuses and base attack bonus don’t increase after 20th level. Use Table: Epic Save and Epic Attack Bonuses to determine the character’s epic bonus on saving throws and attacks.
- Characters continue to gain Hit Dice and skill points as normal beyond 20th level.
- Generally, any class feature that uses class level as part of a mathematical formula continues to increase using the character’s class level in the formula. Any prestige class feature that calculates a save DC using the class level should add only half the character’s class levels above 10th.
- For spellcasters, caster level continues to increase after 20th level. However, spells per day don’t increase after 20th level. The only way to gain additional spells per day (other than the bonus spells gained from a high ability score) is to select the Improved Spell Capacity epic feat.
- The powers of familiars, special mounts, and fiendish servants continue to increase as their masters gain levels.
- Any class features that increase or accumulate as part of a repeated pattern also continues to increase or accumulate after 20th level at the same rate. An exception to this rule is any bonus feat granted as a class feature. If a character gets bonus feats as part of a class feature, these do not increase with epic levels. Instead, these classes get bonus feats at a different rate (described in each epic class description).
- In addition to the class features retained from nonepic levels, each class gains a bonus feat every two, three, four, or five levels after 20th. This augments each class’s progression of class features, because not all classes otherwise improve class features after 20th level. A character must select these feats from the list of bonus feats for that class. These bonus feats are in addition to the feat that every character gets every three levels. The character isn’t limited to selecting from the class list when selecting these feats.
- Characters don’t gain any new class features, because there aren’t any new class features described for these levels. Class features with a progression that slows or stops before 20th level and features that have a limited list of options do not improve as a character gains epic levels. Likewise, class features that are gained only at a single level do not improve.
Although most of the tables shown in the epic class descriptions only show information up to a certain level (often 30th), that level is by no means the limit of a character’s advancement. It can be generally assumed that any patterns on a particular table continue infinitely.
Adding a Second Class
When a single-class epic character gains a level, he or she may choose to increase the level of his or her current class or pick up a new class at 1st level. The standard rules for multiclass characters still apply, but epic characters must keep in mind the rules for epic advancement. The epic character gains all the 1st-level class skills, weapon proficiency, armor proficiency, spells, and other class features of the new class, as well as a Hit Die of the appropriate type. In addition, the character gets the usual skill points from the new class. Just as with standard multiclassing, adding the second class does not confer some of the benefits for a 1st-level character, including maximum hit points from the first Hit Die, quadruple the per-level skill points, starting equipment, starting gold, or an animal companion. An epic character does not gain the base attack bonuses and base save bonuses normally gained when adding a second class. Instead, an epic character uses the epic attack bonus and epic save bonus progression shown on Table: Epic Save and Epic Attack Bonus.
Epic Psionic Class Progressions
Epic level psionic characters follow the same epic progression as non-psionics epic characters, except as noted below.
- For manifesters, manifester level continues to increase after 20th level. However, a manifester’s power points and powers known at each level do not increase automatically after 20th level.
- The powers of psicrystals that are based on the creator’s level continue to increase as their owner gains levels.
- Bonus feats for epic psionic classes can be chosen from among any epic feats for which the character meets the prerequisites or any psionic, metapsionic, or psionic item creation feat, as normal.
No Epic Bonus Power Progression
Epic psionic characters do not gain additional bonus power points above 20th. They may still gain more power points as their key ability score increases.
Psionic characters can take the Improved Manifestation feat, which grants them additional power points each time they take the feat. Epic manifesters can also take Epic Expanded Knowledge or Power Knowledge, which give them access to additional powers, and Epic Psionic Focus, which allows manifesters to use more than one metapsionic power each time they expend their psionic focus.
Epic Class Progressions
- Epic Barbarian
- Epic Bard
- Epic Cleric
- Epic Druid
- Epic Fighter
- Epic Monk
- Epic Paladin
- Epic Psion
- Epic Psychic Warrior
- Epic Ranger
- Epic Rogue
- Epic Sorcerer
- Epic Soulknife
- Epic Wilder
- Epic Wizard
Epic Prestige Class Progressions
- Epic Arcane Archer
- Epic Arcane Trickster
- Epic Assassin
- Epic Blackguard
- Epic Dragon Disciple
- Epic Duelist
- Epic Dwarven Defender
- Epic Eldritch Knight
- Epic Horizon Walker
- Epic Loremaster
- Epic Mystic Theurge
- Epic Shadowdancer
Epic Prestige Classes
These are classes that characters cannot pursue until they have already become epic characters in some other fashion. Characters add levels of epic prestige classes using the same rules as when multiclassing into a new character class at epic levels. As with other epic classes, a character can take as many levels in an epic prestige class as he or she desires.