What is an Epic Boon in One D&D?
One of the changes is the One D&D playtest is the addition of Epic Boons — special feats available to specific class groups at level 20.
How do Epic Boons differ from other feats? As of the Expert Class playtest document, we have some ideas on how they are unique.
- Epic Boons are only available at level 20.
- You can only gain an Epic Boon if you take level 20 in a class, meaning that you will not be able to gain access to an Epic Boon if you multiclass. They replace the former capstone abilities, which characters now gain at level 18.
- Epic Boons grant powerful abilities that are significantly stronger than other feats, as fits an ability that you gain at level 20.
You will only ever have one Epic Boon, as you gain them at achieving level 20 in a single class. However, there is a suggested option for Level 20 characters to be able to continue to gain new Epic Boons as bonus feats once they reach level 20, as a means by which level 20 characters could progress instead of gaining new levels. From the Expert Classes playtest document:
A DM can use bonus Feats as a form of advancement after characters reach 20th level, a way to provide greater power to characters who have no more levels to gain. With this approach, each character gains one Feat of their choice for every 30,000 XP the character earns above 355,000 XP. Epic Boon Feats are especially appropriate for these bonus Feats, but a player can choose any Feat for which their 20th-level character qualifies.
But what can I do with Epic Feats?
At present we only have thirteen Epic Boons to look over, as one might expect from a feature in a playtest aimed at the Expert Class group. All of these are available to Experts — Rangers, Rogues, and Bards — but some have no prerequisite at all. Still others are available to Experts and either Mages or Warriors. So far, the Epic Boons allow for things like casting Misty Step at will, gaining Resistance to any type of damage, just saying “I hit anyway” when you roll a miss on an attack, or even just being proficient in every skill.
We don’t know what further Epic Boons will be like, but here are the ones we currently have from the playtest.
- Epic Boon of Combat Prowess — Prerequisite Expert or Warrior Group, Not Repeatable – When you miss with a Melee Attack, you can hit instead. Once you use this benefit, you can’t use it again until you roll Initiative.
- Epic Boon of Dimensional Travel — Prerequisite Expert or Mage Group, Not Repeatable — You can cast the Misty Step spell without expending a Spell Slot. Once you use this benefit, you can’t use it again until you roll Initiative or complete a Short Rest or a Long Rest.
- Epic Boon of Energy Resistance — No Prerequisite, Not Repeatable — You gain Resistance to one of the following Damage Types of your choice: Acid, Cold, Fire, Lightning, Necrotic, Poison, Psychic, Radiant or Thunder. Whenever you finish a Short Rest or a Long Rest, you can meditate and change that Damage Type choice.
- Epic Boon of Fortitude — No Prerequisite, Not Repeatable — Your Hit Point maximum increases by 40. In addition, whenever you regain Hit Points, you regain additional hit points equal to your Constitution Modifier. You can regain these additional Hit Points no more than once per round.
- Epic Boon of Irresistible Offense — No Prerequisite, Not Repeatable — The damage you deal always ignores Resistance
- Epic Boon of Luck — Prerequisite Expert Group, Not Repeatable — Immediately after you roll a d20 for a d20 Test, you can roll a d10 and add the number rolled to the test. Once you use this benefit, you can’t use it again until you roll Initiative or finish a Short Rest or a Long Rest.
- Epic Boon of the Night Spirit — Prerequisite Expert of Mage Group, Not Repeatable — While within Dim Light or Darkness, you become Invisible as an Action. You remain Invisible until immediately after you take an Action or a Reaction.
- Epic Boon of Peerless Aim — Prerequisite Expert or Warrior Group, Not Repeatable — If you make a Ranged Attack against a target in range and miss, you can cause the attack to hit instead. Once you use this benefit, you can’t use it again until you roll Initiative.
- Epic Boon of Recovery — No Prerequisite, Not Repeatable — You can use a Bonus Action to regain a number of Hit Points equal to half your Hit Point Maximum. Once you use this benefit, you can’t use it again until you finish a Long Rest. In addition, you succeed on every Death Saving Throw that isn’t a roll of 1.
- Epic Boon of Skill Proficiency — No Prerequisite, Not Repeatable — You gain Proficiency in all Skills.
- Epic Boon of Speed — Expert or Warrior Group, Not Repeatable — Your Speed increases by 30 feet.
- Epic Boon of Undetectability — Prerequisite Expert Group, Not Repeatable — You can’t be seen or heard by any means — magical or nonmagical — while you are Hidden.
- Epic Boon of the Unfettered — Prerequisite Expert or Warrior Group, Not Repeatable — As a Bonus Action, you can take the Disengage Action, which also ends the Grappled and the Restrained Conditions on you.
How the game may change at cap with Boons
Just by themselves, that one Epic Boon you get at level 20 will give you a significant boost — being able to just end a Grapple or Restrained Condition with a simple Bonus Action and also getting the benefit of Disengage preventing the enemy from getting an Attack of Opportunity on you is amazing for a Rogue, for example, as would be the ability to become completely undetectable while Hiding. Now, combine it with the optional rule to gain further Epic Boons as bonus feats for level 20 characters, and you could see a Rogue with the Epic Boon of Speed, Epic Boon of Undetectability, Epic Boon of the Unfettered and the Epic Boon of Combat Prowess or Peerless Aim, creating a Rogue who can hide immune to any detection, get out of most means to control their movement, move an easy 60 feet a round without even using Dash, and hit you even if they would normally miss.
This essentially creates something akin to endgame alternate progression in an MMO, except it’s permanent — you never level past 20, you just keep gaining Epic Boons. Keeping in mind, of course, that this is a playtest document and hasn’t gone live yet — there may be changes to this before it finally arrives as part of whatever One D&D ends up being called once it’s actually out.
At least right now, Epic Boons are an interesting way to add player customization to your capstone ability — instead of just getting whatever the class gets at level 20, you get to choose how to empower them. And with the potential to gain more Epic Boons as a kind of progression past level 20, the sky isn’t even the limit — only your creativity is.
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