My gaming group got to talking at our last game about how long we've been playing. Most of us were at 20+ years. I asked them if they'd ever played a 20th level character, and the answer was a...
My gaming group got to talking at our last game about how long we've been playing. Most of us were at 20+ years. I asked them if they'd ever played a 20th level character, and the answer was a unanimous no, so that's something we're going to remedy with the next campaign.
I got to fiddling around with characters and noticed that 5e caps itself out nicely once you hit 20th. No matter what you create, the limits on action economy, maximum spell/attacks, stats/scores all give rise to a nice plateau. The hit points getting huge is the biggest change, so you just end up trading healing word whack-a-mole for characters that can actually take some real punishment and using power word heal. Needs a wound mechanic so that going down has lasting consequences even if you get right back up, but that's easily workable.
I was bored and threw another twenty levels on for a 40th level character, and then another 11 for a meaningful dip into a third class. Just cap the character's proficiency bonus at +6/20th and nothing really changes except you have a far larger bag of tricks at your disposal. Twelve feats is like candyland. I'm anticipating some of my players are going to get ferret shock trying to keep up with their spell lists during combat. Too many choices, they'll make a hilarious mess out of it and it'll be fun. I have a tiny hourglass sitting on the table to keep the pressure up, I'm sure that'll get some use.
I told them to pick their favorite character they've played over the years that they want to revisit and make the best version they can, complete with character history, holdings, etc. They also have to explain everything on their sheet - every level, feat, item, holding, etc all have a story attached. You're a monk? Where and when did you get that training, etc.
Then one of my players turned me on to the epic level book for 5e from 2c gaming. It's perfect, plugs right into the limits and takes them up a bit, but also adds all sorts of epic madness. Every class/archetype gets its own ten level epic prestige class. That's the 'real' 21-30 I can use for their advancement. I can also torment them with the prestige evolutions from the campaign setting we'll be using. There's plenty of advancement to be had this way despite already being at 51st level. I'm working in all of their existing characters from adjacent games as well, so we've got a ready made pool of henchmen.
I have a feeling there's going to be a lot of spelljamming and planar travel in this campaign. There's probably a gods war in there somewhere too. I have my 2nd Edition monster manual binders right here, and a third of the critters in them can give these characters nightmares for days. I'm figuring I'll be making heavy use of Illithids as one of the main threats, that trailer for Baldur's Gate 3 has them back in vogue again. Psionics is such a wonderful foil for magic.
So what kind of character would you build if you were making a character that's already the master of his/her/its? tiny corner of the D&D universe? What do you do with those 51 character levels?
Any races allowed, of course. Racial abilities are the least of it at this point. Origin can be from any campaign setting, past or present.