100th Level Characters

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100th Level Characters

Postby Havard » Sat Oct 29, 2016 11:19 pm

So the Bloodstone Module series allowed the PCs to take the roles of so-called 100th Level characters. Has anyone tried to incorporate those rules into proper advancement beyond 20th?

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Re: 100th Level Characters

Postby Cthulhudrew » Sun Oct 30, 2016 1:37 am

As I recall, there really wasn't all that much more to the 100 level characters from the H series beyond 1E's 20th level cap. I think about all you could do with it would be to advance the progression of character abilities (thieve's skills, spellcasting) to whatever their cap was- which I believe they arbitrarily cut off at around 30th level or so. Beyond that, I think you were just gaining extra hp.

That said, I don't know that I've ever seen any tables advancing those class abilities past level 20 for AD&D, at least not that I can recall offhand. 2E did it, but I don't think 1E did.
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Re: 100th Level Characters

Postby ripvanwormer » Sun Oct 30, 2016 2:24 am

One of the first characters I ever played (my first was a 1st level elven or half-elven fighter/mage/thief) was a first edition 30th level character. A friend I met in community theater when I was in fifth grade had an issue of Dragon Magazine (I think) with rules for high-level characters in it, and we built a party of 30th level characters to fight Demogorgon or maybe one of the archdevils (Belial? Moloch?). I remember we used Oriental Adventures character classes too—I think my character was a kensai? This was 1988.
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Re: 100th Level Characters

Postby Dartamian » Sun Oct 30, 2016 3:56 am

1e did not have level limits (other than for the druid (PHB 14, UE 23), monk (17), assassin (15), bard (23), and certain race/class combinations), but there were no new or special abilities.

The racial/class limitation table even had U for unlimited as a level max "U appearing in a race column indicates that a character of the race in question has no limitation as to how high the character can go with regard to level in the appropriate class."

Both the cleric and magic-user spell progression tables extended to 29 level and the illusionist table to 26 level.

But other than more hit points (1-4 per level depending on class) and spells that had variables based on class level (and I don't believe effects were capped by level) nothing special was gained once a table was maxed out (unless of course it was house ruled to extrapolate the table to higher levels).

As for any rules that might be in the Bloodstone module series I don't have a clue since I've never had any of these products.
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Re: 100th Level Characters

Postby Khedrac » Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:00 pm

It's also worth noting that the "100th level" characters in H4 were both 2nd Ed and very unimaginatively put together.

100 Fighter / 100 Paladin dual class.
100 Magic User / 100 Illusionist dual class
100 Cleric / 23 Druid dual class
100 Thief / 7 Illusionist Deep Gnome multi-class.

I don't recall how 2nd Ed worked dual-classing, but wouldn't the 100/100 ones have real problems with using the abilities of whichever class came first?
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Re: 100th Level Characters

Postby Cthulhudrew » Mon Oct 31, 2016 9:23 pm

IIRC, you only had to reach a level equal to your primary class, and then you could use the abilities of both classes equally from then forward. So presumably, they hit level 100 in their primary class, and then went to 100 in their second class. Considering about the only thing you keep is your HP, that's actually quite a feat (the wizard forgoing all his high level spellcasting and just casting from 1st level as an Illusionist, for example.)

I'd hate to be the party adventuring with that guy. "Cast wish! Or at least a fireball!!!" "I can't, I'm not high enough level yet."

It would be like the campaign had to be reset to 1st level all over again. These massively powerful characters fighting kobolds because they refuse to use their major abilities.
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Re: 100th Level Characters

Postby BotWizo » Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:21 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:IIRC, you only had to reach a level equal to your primary class, and then you could use the abilities of both classes equally from then forward. So presumably, they hit level 100 in their primary class, and then went to 100 in their second class. Considering about the only thing you keep is your HP, that's actually quite a feat (the wizard forgoing all his high level spellcasting and just casting from 1st level as an Illusionist, for example.)

I'd hate to be the party adventuring with that guy. "Cast wish! Or at least a fireball!!!" "I can't, I'm not high enough level yet."

It would be like the campaign had to be reset to 1st level all over again. These massively powerful characters fighting kobolds because they refuse to use their major abilities.


So in 1e, what you describe above is a character with 2 classes. The character progress up to a level in class 1 then drops the class and progresses up to a level in class 2, once those classes are equal progress as a normal multiclassed character, or never pick up the first class again.


so if he started out multiclassed he could advance to 100/100 without the drastic swing, it would just take a metric ton of xp since you divide xp when you are multiclassed. best case scenario is to start as lvl 1/1.


edited... these are 1e rules I am stating.
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Re: 100th Level Characters

Postby Cthulhudrew » Tue Nov 01, 2016 12:01 am

D'OH! I forgot that H4 was written under 1E rules, not 2E. I really don't recall what rules 1E had for dual-classing, though BotWizo is right about the multiclassing as far as I can recall.
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Re: 100th Level Characters

Postby Big Mac » Tue Nov 01, 2016 12:07 am

I've always wanted to start tabletop PCs from 1st level (I've had a couple of GMs who want people to skip a few levels) but the high level stuff is something I also find interesting.

If computer games, like World of Warcraft, can spin PCs out over dozens of levels, and BECMI D&D spun PCs out over 36 levels, I've always thought it strange that someone would want to put a cap on how high an AD&D game was allowed to go.

But the lower level stuff is easier, so I guess you need to put more thought into designing this sort of adventure.

3rd Edition went with an Epic Level Handbook and I've always wondered if that was an attempt to go back to the sort of BECMI expansion logic. (I would have liked to have seen 3rd Edition get a specific epic campaign setting, to go with it.)

4th Edition was divided into tiers.

I think that 1st and 2nd Edition lumped everything into one system (possibly to make them feel "legally" different from BECMI and it's different boxed sets).

I pretty much missed 1e, so I'll be interested to hear about anyone who played post-20 1e adventures. :)

Cthulhudrew wrote:IIRC, you only had to reach a level equal to your primary class, and then you could use the abilities of both classes equally from then forward. So presumably, they hit level 100 in their primary class, and then went to 100 in their second class. Considering about the only thing you keep is your HP, that's actually quite a feat (the wizard forgoing all his high level spellcasting and just casting from 1st level as an Illusionist, for example.)

I'd hate to be the party adventuring with that guy. "Cast wish! Or at least a fireball!!!" "I can't, I'm not high enough level yet."

It would be like the campaign had to be reset to 1st level all over again. These massively powerful characters fighting kobolds because they refuse to use their major abilities.


That seems a bit wonky.

Why couldn't a PC use their old abilities?

What was the out-of-character effect? Would they loose XP?

What was the in-character logic? Was this supposed to be some sort of abstinence?
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Re: 100th Level Characters

Postby genghisdon » Wed Nov 02, 2016 3:36 am

They were "1.5e", AD&D with unearthed arcana, etc.

They are awful BTW, existing only as an example of what NOT to do to play "L100". There wasn't really any rules involved, just suggestions/advice for very high level play, much of which were ALSO terrible/bad advice. Certainly look elsewhere for such (2e DM's option: high level campaigns, for example).

One certainly can play with the idea of "off the charts" characters easily enough. The first rule of high level (let alone very high level or off the charts) AD&D is that XP is the yardstick, the all important determinant, NOT level.

Want to play H4 (or similar) with an off the charts group? Try 15 million & 1 (base) XP. (That is 16,500,001 with a PR bonus). You'd get a group like:
cleric L74/80
fighter L68/72
MU L50/54
thief L76/83
illusionist L75
ranger L55/59
paladin L50/54
cavalier L59
thief acrobat L72/78
barbarian L34

of course, the game pretty much cannot be played long before/around there, as training costs will end any progress.
1-4 weeks of (ie x 2.5 or so to)
cleric 74 to 75 is 148,000 gp/week (148-592k)
fighter 68 to 69 costs 68,000/week (68-272k)
thief 76 to 77 costs 152,000/week (152-608k)
MU L50 to 51 costs 200,000/week (200-800k)
which means characters will likely be earning more XP than they can get before (self) training costs can be covered. Progress will become really slow, not that levels will mean too much, save perhaps for spell casters (no spell damage/duration caps BTB, unless one adds them.) fighters/warriors are still going to advance pretty well right as this point, actually, the only ones that will. Actual play would probably have tighter levels between fighter & the cleric/thief. Illusionists SHOULD be advancing at a clip, but training costs, if not adjusted, would kill them/anger/frustrate the player (right from the mid teens on).

Regardless, the wide variance gives one an ACTUAL idea of what it would be like. Don't worry, the L50 or 54 MU is probably the most powerful anyway.
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Re: 100th Level Characters

Postby Khedrac » Wed Nov 02, 2016 4:16 pm

genghisdon wrote:They were "1.5e", AD&D with unearthed arcana, etc.


Are you sure? I only bought H4 (I did not have Battlesystem so I could not use H1-3) but it is very much in the 2nd Ed format.
I could go and check dates, but H4 never struck me as being remotely hybrid - I also didn't think it came out that early after 2nd Ed itself.

I personally would not even call Unearthed Arcarna 1.5, a fair number of 1st Ed products post date it (Wilderness and Dungeoneering Survival Guides).
A genuine 1.5 book is Greyhawk Adventures which actually has a mixture of 1st and 2nd Ed material (on deities and clerics) because they knew 2nd Ed was nearly there.

Unearthed Arcarna is 1st Ed
H1-4 is 2nd Ed - or is it?

That's all there really was to it.

Interesting - just checked Wikipedia for publishing dates and it say 1988 which would put it as 1st Ed not 2nd, that actually makes sense for the Battlesystem link of H1-3. I will have to go and take another look at my copy. Perhaps what I am thinking of as the 2nd Ed cover design is really just Forgotten Realms design?
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Re: 100th Level Characters

Postby genghisdon » Wed Nov 02, 2016 8:11 pm

1.5e is simply a term I/some use to divide up 1e. The game has many changes at/after the unearthed arcana...it plays as much differently as another edition would/did.

The entire H series begins peppering in UA (1.5e). Cavalier? 1.5e/UA. Weapon specialist? UA/1.5e. doubling HP for god like beings on their home plane? MOTP/1.5e, etc

You do not need Battlesystem for the prior 3 adventures BTW, only parts of some of them.

H1...pre UA/1.5e all the way that I can tell. one chapter of 6 would use battlesystem
H2--only one battlesystem part again, UA/1.5 shift begins. Pregen Palaldin becomes a cavalier-paladin, etc. pregen MU/thief becomes a MU/thief-acrobat. Comliness scores. Very little in the way of items, spells, etc, outside the pregens, and it's is called out when the few things ARE UA:
"an elixir of health; a potion of fire breath; a rod of alertness; a set of bracers of archery (These last four magical items are all from Unearthed Arcana. Describe them in ordinary terms— “two potion bottles, a rod, and a set of bracers”—and let the players discover their properties.)
"a piece of horn ¾’ in length set in some sort of handle or grip. This is a hornblade, dagger-sized, + 2 (another Unearthed Arcana item)."
clearly these are last minute additions/changes
H3 more battlesystem heavy than before, but still a fair bit without it. NPC's have comeliness scores (but not all of them). NOTHING else 1.5/Ua/etc, except for the pregen pc's at all.
H4 I've already commented on a bit (double hp gods on home plane). There is a sprinking of 1.5e/UA, but it's not wholly embraced (no doubt it was made without it then adapted). The lich/witch king, for example, has not a single UA spell. UA style magic items tend to be placed in clumps. 1.5e becomes more apparent for chapter 2 on (lots of manual of the planes, more UA magic items, etc)

The dates also make it clear as to the how/why of it all, too. H1 1985, H4 1988, UA 1985, MOTP 1987, etc. It is actually among the fastest adaptions of 1.5e in TSR, as most old school authors didn't incorporate ANY of this stuff for years, a few to none EVER did so fully. Pretty much only second gen TSR guys were forced to or wanted to do so (like Niles & Dobson)

If you want to call it 1e, fine. It certainly is not 2e as someone said. It's not like "early" 1e at all either though. 1.5e I will call it, as no better short hand has ever been presented by anyone.

As to the "L100 pregens". Pretty much all are like L200...being dual class 100/100 (& apparently break the rules being able to function in both classes despite not exceeding the old level?!) UA stuff: a deep gnome PC, hierophant druid, cavalier ability, it's clear UA based garbage, which is actually unfair to say, it's garbage on a whole other level, an order of magnitude worse. Don't touch that filth, don't even look at it.
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Re: 100th Level Characters

Postby Khedrac » Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:01 pm

Yes, when I stopped and thought about it I realized it had to be 1st Ed and I had totally forgotten that it wasn't. Silly me.

I've never met 1.5 as a term for post UA before - interesting. Yes, thinking back I think the UA rules generally weren't used in modules - probably as they knew a lot of people hadn't adopted those rules.

As for the level 100 character - I totally agree that they were terrible. I don't blame UA for them, I think they would have been just as bad without it thrown in!
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Re: 100th Level Characters

Postby genghisdon » Thu Nov 03, 2016 2:04 pm

Sorry, I've been using it (& trying to push it's use) for some years now; the difference between AD&D (which we call 1e) & AD&D 1985 on (unearthed arcana, oriental adventures, manual of the planes, dungeoneer's survival guide, wilderness survival guide) is greater or as great as the differences between 3e & 3.5e, and so forth. They just didn't have that notion from software yet, or didn't use it.

Anyway, it's a light touch of it in H1-3, and even in H4 (but certainly is present in H4, via manual of the planes). It isn't a question of good vs bad per se, but one of differences/changes (although I'm well known for a disliking the UA). 2e AD&D is actually worse to try and group; one has a core rules period, a "splat book" era & then a "player's option" era.

Yeah, the L100 characters...ugh. Not L100 for starters. Thankfully, they aren't the least bit important the the adventure.
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