What is it?
In the Heady Days of D&D 3rd Edition, Wizards of the Coast acknowledged that players could take their characters beyond 20th level. The result is the Epic Level Handbook where characters accrue powers and abilities to rival the gods–except for fighters. Fighters really don’t get anything besides more feats.
Why did I buy it?
I found it at Borders (remember Borders?) for $11.99. It normally sold for $29.99, so I thought I was getting great deal. Or maybe Borders realized it wasn’t that great of a book. Unlike many of my other D&D Third Edition purchases, I didn’t buy the book in search of MOAR Options!!!
I was curious. That’s all. And I was getting a deal on a hardcover RPG book!
Why did I sell it?
I would never run an Epic Level Campaign. Never. Ever.
See, it’s like this: D&D 3rd Edition came out in August, 2000. By the time I convinced some people to convert from AD&D 2nd Edition to 3rd Edition it was already 2001–the year the Epic Level Handbook came out and the same year I bought it (in the Fall, as I recall?)
Characters in that campaign were nowhere near 20th level by the time it folded.
The characters in the next campaign made it to around 10th level.
And guess what happened next: D&D 3.5e came out in 2003, which made the Epic Level Handbook nearly obsolete. Wizards of the Coast would push the reset button on the splatbook cycle. Some of the epic rules would end up in later supplements.
About the same time I discovered two things: 1) high level character started to resemble superheroes (except for the fighter, poor fighter–not having as many kewl powerz as the other classes), and 2), running upper level campaigns can cause a headache for the GM.
For the players and the GM to keep track of all those powers and abilities could be overwhelming. It was too much. A chore. Modifier after modifier after modifier. At the conclusion of one of my campaigns, the characters capped out at 17th level, and I didn’t want to GM anymore. Epics level just looked like an epic headache waiting to happen.
I think it ended up on The Used Book Store Pile. Or did it end up on Ebay?
Forgive me. It’s been at least 10 years since I last saw my copy.
But look at this: The book’s art can be found at the Wizards of the Coast Archive.