This is NOT an ambitious project.
I've got 20 years of roleplaying-- back with the red box (got me started drawing-- thank you Larry Elmore!) plus RIFTS and shadowrun, call of Cthulu.... but that is pretty much it.
But DND is my old faithful.
As for 3.x, got 3.oh opening night at midnight at the local bookstore, and haven't stopped. </nostalgia>
Since UA came out, I've been running gestalt. like, 5 years ago?
The team I ran was not hoghly optimized... not like CO or BG is.... some of the crap done with the game we just neer thought of.
Ha! but don't think we didn't crunch the numbers! we used a lot of 3rd party books (okay okay.... probably would never have heard of them if I didn't do art for them and get freebies.... but there is some awesome third party material!)
The biggest revolution to our game was:
--Master of Arms by Second World Simulation (basically, a precurser to what we now know as ToB)
--Four Color to Fantasy (a point buy system to create superheroes that can duplicate literally ANYTHING you can think of... AND it's all pretty LA appropriate for DnD)
I strongly recommend BOTH products.
Between these two books, we would turn out characters that would have 30' natural reach, have full attack sequences that were literally infinite-- think "Killer Instinct"-- eldritch blasts doing d6 per level as rays, cones, bursts, sculpted areas, DR's in the 30's, strength in the 50's, spam any level spell each round with no daily limit... you name it you can do it.
So, we never really gave too much of a crap about the GOD wizard, or DMM priests... but when I found CO boards, I fell in love, because the wotc material offered fantastic options we never needed to think about.. so when we started to play with that, we were pushing into epic levels.
Now, I've honestly never played above 25th level gestalt...but that level of play was for about 2 years, and we went through a lot of character builds and ideas in that time... kinda treating it like a buffet.
Then I moved to seattle, and lost my table top team, and I switched to PbP... awesome! I never played pbp before, but I fell in love immediately. I'm a diplomancer and tactician in game.. so the medium of text lends itself to that style.
The issue of table top mapping was easily resolved with Excel mapping, which I use in all games.
So I always start the game in double digits, and like to se things excel into the 20's.
Ah! but then REAL optimizers started playing! and I realized JUST how bad casters can be when focusing on it. it took a bit of adjusting, but over the past year (see link below.. DDOG gestalt) I"ve started to get a hang of it. Justgotta adjust # of oponents and saves to compensate for 1-3 SoD's per round. (easy enough... essentially just give each SoD combatant a number of oponents to last the length of combat you expect... they sink spells into one shotting while the melee monkeys do what the game was designed to do... hack and slash/blasting)
This game, though is slightly different, in that we are setting limits to how high we can cast... 6th level at 20th, 7th at 25th, 8th at 30th, 9+at 35th. This is actually much more in league with what I have done for the past 5+ years... low GOD, high damage based mortal characters depending more on wit and steel than a spell for every problem. .. well, still plenty of spells to cause trouble below 7th.
Hopefully, this game will carry without any issues.
On the massive plus side, we have some fantastic folks on our team.
FOlks that are honestly MUCH faster with the most recent books than I am.
I am VERY fortunate to be surrounded by high quality players that really make this game look better than I could alone.
If you have gotten this far, thank you for investing your time in the hopes that I/we will entertain you. This is a game, but more importantly to me, this is a funnel for my creative energy. If I'm not writing or ainting, then I find the rest of my life falling a0art into depression. Here I can do both, and spontaneously create connections the players plant.
And to me that is good gaming.