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I've been playing for a few years now (I know I'm green) but I've been planning on running a game with intentionally "Over-Powered" PCs. This is the style of play I would like to try:

My idea is to let them be epic heroes and feel that way, then over time bring the monsters/challenges up to just below their abilities. I know the risk of failure can and usually brings excitement to the game, but I want to see If they would have fun without being an underdog for a change.

In this setting I like: All D&D 3.0, 3.5, and Pathfinder options. Some sword and sorcery + other d20 compatible. (With some limitation, like no MechWarrior stuff -- at least at first!).


These parameters of my campaign will be final, so please, no editing!

  1. Gestalt Characters from Unearthed Arcana (as per the rules within).
  2. All base ability scores will be 18s, not including modifications from class, level, race, etc.(They are the elite statwise as well).

What I would like help with mostly are:

  • Examples of what modules to run. Preferably something well known; we don't have too much problem with meta-gaming in this group. Non-Epic. I'm thinking between 5-15th-level module for 15-20th level gestalt characters.

  • What problems I may run into, with solutions. I have a couple MONTHS of prep time, so no hurry. I own a large multitude of books, and even more .PDFs, so resources are at hand. (And if I don't have the reference, I'll get it, so feel free to give me sources from miscellaneous books. Please provide full titles in your responses.) This is not for never-ending examples like Pun Pun, but for legitimately powerful builds -- wizard/factotum, swashbuckler/factotum, swashbuckler/+ any number of Int-based builds -- and examples of what to possibly expect.

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Is this actually a constructive question? It's asking for modules to run with no criteria (other than capable of being played by powerful characters, which is all of them)? The problems that might exist in a high powered campaign and how to deal with them may be a good question, but it's a different question and the two don't need to be asked together. –  Jonathan Hobbs Mar 18 '13 at 9:02
    
Related questions: High level adventures and Making high level 3.5 games more manageable –  Rob Mar 18 '13 at 9:17
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PCs are only overpowered in relation to something else. There's no difference between all 18s and all 8s if you make the monsters, skill checks, etc the appropriate difficulty. Seems like it would be easier to just start them at level 20 or what have you and go from there! –  corsiKa Mar 18 '13 at 15:37
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A piece of advice: I would recommend against the "all 18", as it reduces differences between characters; give them a high amount of points to share between stats instead. –  Scrollmaster Mar 18 '13 at 16:37
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"Sword and sorcery with some d20 compatible stuff". Just arm your hobgoblins with AK-47 and RPG and prepare an ambush. –  MrJinPengyou Mar 18 '13 at 19:45
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1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I'll leave the question of modules to folks more versed in them than I. With regard the challenges you might encounter - the biggest one is going to be providing meaningful challenges to these characters. That said - I think it's entirely possible to challenge a group no matter what their relative power level is to their environment. In particular you might want to consider:

  1. Moral challenges: have the characters face choices where their chosen solution is easy to enact (due to their power level) but where there is some significant moral choice to be made, with repercussions either way (e.g. do they back the oppressed rebels who carry out terrorist attacks or the oppressive state that claims that the rebels are just a bunch of thugs hurting the common people).
  2. Mental challenges / investigations: have the characters work towards providing a solution to a problem that requires more of a cerebral approach (e.g. How do they leverage their resources to provide a lasting solution to community which suffers regular crop failures).
  3. Social / political challenges: have the characters placed in an environment where there are severe consequences to upsetting the wrong people but rewards if they can fit in well (e.g. invited to the Court ball, they must find a balance between seeing to support the barons and being loyal to the king. Not mention making sure they don't upset either the princess or her over-protective aunt)

In all of the examples above the PCs should be able to use their uber-powered abilities readily to help solve the challenges but they're unlikely to be sufficient to just solve everything with a single spell/ability check. The general approach I'd want to take is to provide challenges that the players had to think about but which could be used to showcase their characters' abilities.

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On some level, this is side-stepping the issue rather than addressing it: it's basically saying that if their mechanics are overpowered, don't put them in situations where the system provides mechanics, so they're just like everybody else. Of course, run by the rules, #2 and #3 are supposed to be handled by ability/skill checks, though I doubt anyone plays that way since those rules are boring and frequently don't make sense. –  KRyan Mar 18 '13 at 13:51
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I disagree here - I think that skills and powers can be used in all three of the above scenarios but require more thought than doing so in a standard fight. But it does depend a lot on how you set things up and how you run things. –  Gaxx Mar 18 '13 at 18:36
    
Thank you, I had a friend help me with the Social/Political aspect of the game (He is a 15-20 year World of Darkness (I think he said White Wolf a time or two) Veteran and It was 4th wall breaking and ridiculously fun for all but one (He is just a lousy critic) but all in all went smooth till the "Paragon Tarrasque of Legend" showed up... –  Michael Annan Apr 29 '13 at 22:04
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