Preview: Immortal Tier

Posted on September 13, 2010

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I should just point out that the cool image used is from Grant Morrison’s graphic novel 18 Days, which I believe is due out this Wednesday 15th of September (16th in the UK I imagine). Its basically his retelling of the Mahabarata in condensed form. I think there is also talk it may also be brought out as a feature film in the very near future. When I get the book I’ll give it a review. The art alone looks incredible, certainly fit for the gods. But what is this Immortal Tier I hear you ask?

The Immortal Tier

The Immortal Tier is what Eternity Publishing have collectively named Levels 31-40 in 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons. For those who have followed my forum on ENWorld, you might remember that this group of levels was to be called the Legendary Tier. However, I have made a few changes since then so from now on consider it called the Immortal Tier.

As its name suggests, this tier of play will have PCs in the role of gods and demigods. The Epic Destiny’s your characters chose were not the means to an end, but the means to a new beginning. A transcendence from mortal to immortal, a pulling back of the veil that clouds the minds of mortals, letting them walk among the gods as equals. While not every Epic Destiny inexorably lead to divinity, they did all lead to a form of immortality. It is this path we now follow, whether demigod or demon prince, archlich or artifact, a host of wondrous options await. But what does all this mean in terms of the game itself?

Mechanical Aspects

  • Class Levels will continue in much the same manner as previous tiers. So you’ll gain access to new At-Will; Encounter Daily and Utility powers. 
  • Paragon Paths will be replaced by Portfolio Paths. So if you want to be a god of war, or demon prince of death you can take on these aspects. Each Portfolio Path will have four variants; one for each role (Controller, Defender, Leader and Striker). But you don’t need to adhere to any single Path role, nor do you need to adhere to any single Portfolio Path. You may start as a god of war, but then , for your next power you might want to draw upon the fire Portfolio pPth.
  • Feats will be replaced by Divine Abilities. Characters will still gain feat slots at the same rate prior to Level 30, but they can instead chose to take a Divine Ability (at the cost of 2 feat slots).
  • Magic Items will remain, but obviously deities should be able to wield Artifacts. To keep the game balanced, artifacts under the control of the wielder will take up multiple magic item slots.
  • With Legendary Ability Scores, you can bend the rules of the game.

The Immortal’s Handbook

The Immortal Tier rules will be detailed in a forthcoming book called the Immortal’s Handbook. This book will feature:

  • Rules for different styles of Immortal play.
  • Immortal Tier class progression for all the Player’s Handbook 1 classes (8 Classes)
  • 8 Portfolio Paths (including War, Death and Fire, among others) each with four different progressions
  • 4 New Races (including the Grigori: Fallen Angels; and the Devoids: Anti-gods)
  • Lots of Divine Abilities.
  • New Items and Artifacts.

…In the immortal tier, your character stands as a peer of the gods, if not one of the gods themselves. Your class still applies, but your most impressive powers spring forth from your portfolio path as well as legendary ability scores allowing you to transcend mere human limitations. You cross the thresholds of reality to take the fight to the doorstep of unruly immortals and their strongholds of power, battling unseen menaces such as the savage Gigantes, who battled Hercules himself; ferocious Godslayers, such as Ma Yuan – punisher of the Celestial Bureaucracy; truly gigantic Megasaurs; evil Daemons like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse; bloodthirsty Disir, chrono-vampiric sisters of fate; fearless Archangels ready to purge your sins; rampaging million strong Demon Hordes; the crafty Sidhe or Arch Fey; sinister Great Old Ones intent on drinking your sanity and even the gods themselves as pantheons make war upon one another. The Dragons you face will be Space Dragons from the outer reaches of the cosmos.

So its like the Epic Tier…only more epic?

Yes, but the immortal tier is not simply the dials turned up to 11, it also introduces some new concepts that don’t necessarily appear in the lower tiers:

  • Legendary Ability Scores: What if your character wants to do something truly legendary, like lift a mountain, or steal the sun down from the sky, drink the ocean, catch the wind, ride the lightning. Now you can.
  • Super-Bosses: Gargantuan just isn’t big enough. But what would it actually be like to fight a monster 30 stories high? Or one that circled the Earth? Or a monster that could swallow planets? Or a being so big it uses a galaxy as a shield? Want to go beyond gargantuan, beyond solo monsters. Now you can.
  • Unit Rules: New army rules so when you take on Asmodeus in the Nine Hells he can actually pit the legions of Hell against you: companies of Pit Fiends, battalions of Barbazu. Ever wanted to set your PCs against an army of millions! Now you can.
  • Hyper Shifting: Don’t want to be attacking the 300 foot tall monster’s big toe all day? Just run up the side of the tower and spring off landing on its head then and fight from there. Enemy leader is hiding behind his 10 mile thick amassed army ranks. Plow through them like a bowling ball in an instant. Don’t let the scale of the game slow you down.