Back in the day of 3rd edition, epic level was something that characters could do. It spanned from 20th level to 30th, and it came with its own supplemental rule book called the Epic-Level Handbook.
Good name, huh?
In this tier of play, you were expected to be fighting gods and mythical creatures and plane-shifting at least once a week.
It was a time when you got to be more powerful than Marvel superheroes.
Now, in the days of 5e, you aren’t expected to go beyond 20th level, and that is fine! Instead of doing all of those epic things at 20th and above, you are expected to do them at 17th-20th.
There’s a slight problem with that, though. At 20th level, you can be a legendary hero.
But legendary heroes can still be overrun, still be defeated, and still have to worry about little things like zombies taking a swipe at them.
Above 20th level in 3rd edition, you could destroy zombies out to a range of 30 feet without even taking a reaction. They just died.
So, for those of us who want to play in mythic games, not as heroes but as gods, we have to rely on Epic Boons.
What Is an Epic Boon?
An Epic Boon is an ability you get in lieu of a class ability after you have already reached 20th level yet continue adventuring.
Epic Boons are granted every time you amass 30,000 xp beyond 20th level.
If you run a Milestone-based system, these are abilities you gain after severe hardship and accomplishment, either at the end of quest or after an intense roleplay scenario where your character learns something about themselves or others.
What follows is a complete list of Epic Boons, the best Epic Boons for each class, and then a note on how to use epic Boons at lower levels since games above 20th are so rare.
Complete List of Boons
Boon of Combat Prowess
When you miss with a melee-weapon attack, you can choose to hit instead. Once you use this boon, you can’t use it again until you finish a short rest.
Boon of Dimensional Travel
As an action, you can cast the Misty Step spell without using a spell slot or any components. Once you do so, you can’t use this boon again until you finish a short rest.
Boon of Fate
When another creature that you can see within 60 feet of you makes an ability check, an attack roll, or a saving throw, you can roll a d10 and apply the result as a bonus or penalty to the roll.
Once you use this boon, you can’t use it again until you finish a short rest.
Boon of Fortitude
Your hit point maximum increases by 40.
Boon of High Magic
You gain one 9th-level spell slot, provided that you already have one.
Boon of Immortality
You stop aging. You are immune to any effect that would age you, and you can’t die from old age.
Boon of Invincibility
When you take damage from any source, you can reduce that damage to 0. Once you use this boon, you can’t use it again until you finish a short rest.
Boon of Irresistible Offense
You can bypass the damage resistances of any creature.
Boon of Luck
You can add a d10 roll to any ability check, attack roll, or saving throw you make. Once you use this boon, you can’t use it again until you finish a short rest.
Boon of Magic Resistance
You have advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Boon of Peerless Aim
You can give yourself a +20 bonus to a ranged-attack roll you make. Once you use this boon, you can’t use it again until you finish a short rest.
Boon of Perfect Health
You are immune to all diseases and poisons, and you have advantage on Constitution saving throws.
Boon of Planar Travel
When you gain this boon, choose a plane of existence other than the Material Plane.
You can now use an action to cast the Plane Shift spell (no spell slot or components required), targeting yourself only, and travel to the chosen plane or from that plane back to the Material Plane.
Once you use this boon, you can’t use it again until you finish a short rest.
Boon of Quick Casting
Choose one of your spells of 1st through 3rd level that has a casting time of 1 action. That spell’s casting time is now 1 bonus action for you.
Boon of Recovery
You can use a bonus action to regain a number of hit points equal to half your hit point maximum. Once you use this boon, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.
Boon of Resilience
You have resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons.
Boon of Skill Proficiency
You gain proficiency in all skills.
Boon of Speed
Your walking speed increases by 30 feet. In addition, you can use a bonus action to take the Dash or Disengage action. Once you do so, you can’t do so again until you finish a short rest.
Boon of Spell Mastery
Boon of Spell Recall
You can cast any spell you know or have prepared without expending a spell slot. Once you do so, you can’t use this boon again until you finish a long rest.
Boon of the Fire Soul
You have immunity to fire damage. You can also cast Burning Hands (save DC 15) at will without using a spell slot or any components.
Boon of the Night Spirit
While completely in an area of dim light or darkness, you can become invisible as an action. You remain invisible until you take an action or a reaction.
Boon of the Stormborn
Boon of the Unfettered
You have advantage on ability checks made to resist being grappled. In addition, you can use an action to automatically escape a grapple or free yourself of restraints of any kind.
Boon of Truesight
You have truesight out to a range of 60 feet.
Boon of Undetectability
You gain a +10 bonus to Dexterity (Stealth) checks, and you can’t be detected or targeted by divination magic, including scrying sensors.
The Best Epic Boons for Each Class
For Artificer: Boon of Skill Proficiency
Artificers are paragons of Arcane support. Their tool use and crafting abilities allow them to take any skill and support the party as they go through the plot.
By taking this boon, they can be masters of downtime progress, researchers par none, and crafters exceeding all expectations.
For Barbarian: Boon of Magic Resistance
While Raging, Barbarians already receive significant damage resistance. In addition, they make great targets for enemy spell casters.
With this Boon, they become even more dangerous and harder to take down.
For Bard: Boon of Fate
Already as a Bard, you are the master of mysterious fortune. You both Inspire your allies and curse your foes with equal proficiency.
With this boon, you have become so adept at doing what you do that you don’t even have to think about it or use an existing spell slot or Bardic Inspiration Die. You just change the outcome of their roll because you want to.
For Cleric: Boon of Spell Mastery
For Druid: Boon of Quick Casting
At 20th level and above, you will be using your Wild Shape fairly regularly since you can now cast spells while transformed.
While in Wild Shape, you’ll want to be able to use the actions in your chosen form’s stat block as well as cast your spells.
Therefore, the Boon of Quick Casting is for you. You can cast Fog Cloud and then use Keen Scent to locate your prey or Wall of Fire to lead them into your waiting jaws.
For Fighter: Boon of Irresistible Offense
Fighters excel at fighting, duh. But without magic or any inherent elemental abilities, a fighter needs to keep it simple.
The Boon of Irresistible Offense takes everything back to square one, where you and your weapon can not be denied. Why get fancy? The truth is always simple.
For Monk: Boon of Speed
Yes, Monks are already fast, and they can already dash as a bonus action by spending a ki point.
With this Boon, they don’t even need to spend the ki point, and they can now disengage. What’s faster than a Monk? A Monk with the Boon of Speed.
For Paladin: Boon of Recovery
We get it. You are in there, pushing against the evils of this realm and beyond, yaddah yaddah. Your healing abilities are taxed by keeping your trusted allies alive, etc.
This Boon will allow you to hold back some healing for yourself, and you won’t even be called selfish for it because the rules say it can only be used for you.
For Ranger: Boon of Truesight
You’re a hunter, regardless of what your subclass says. You are a predator like the world has never seen.
It would be pretty embarrassing if a low-level spell like fog cloud suddenly stopped you in your tracks, huh?
With this Boon, your prey will not escape your sight.
For Rogue: Boon of the Night Spirit
You’re so stealthy that all of reality bends to keep you hidden.
You are automatically invisible when standing in dim light or darkness, which means you can stealth like nobody’s business. This is funny because, if you’re stealthing, you’re probably all up in someone else’s business.
For Sorcerer: Boon of Spell Recall
You’re a sorcerer with few spells but lots of spell slots. This Boon lets you get a bit reckless with those spell slots, meaning you can cast any spell you know for free.
Unlike other spellcasting Boons, you can choose which spell slot you use for this one, thus giving you your signature flexibility for your signature magic.
For Warlock: Boon of High Magic
Sorry, Warlock, but for a 20th-level character, you don’t have many spell slots.
This Boon will give you one more at your highest level, which is what Pact Magic is all about anyway.
For Wizard: Boon of Spell Mastery
This Boon is in line with your other Tier IV Wizard abilities, which means you ought to have enough that you won’t have to make any more difficult choices.
Now, you can always cast mage armor, detect magic, shield, magic missile, and expeditious retreat.
Finally, How Can DMs Use Boons at Lower Levels?
There is an easy way to grant these abilities to your party at lower levels.
First, you can take any boon that has a reset of a short/long rest and make it into a feat that grants you the ability available at Tier III.
You should set the recharge to a long rest, however, since these abilities do grant some insane power.
Second, take each boon that provides an at-will ability or a permanent status boost, such as resistance or speed, and make it into a magic item that requires attunement available starting at Tier III.
To make the item Rare, give it 1d4 charges that recharge at dawn. To make it Very Rare, give it 1d6 charges.
If you are considering making the item Legendary or an Artifact, consult the Creating a Magic Item chapter in the Dungeon Masters guide, and make the Epic Boon one of the Major Properties of creating a Sentient or Artifact item.
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I played the game a lot as a kid, back in first edition. Over the past few years since 5e was released, I’ve really started getting back into it. Currently, I run a campaign online for some friends and my brothers, and we also play a side-sesh just to mix things up.