Epic characters-those whose character level is 21st or higher-are handled slightly differently from nonepic characters. While epic characters continue to receive most of the benefits of gaining levels, some benefits are replaced by alternative gains. A class can be advanced beyond 20th level. A ten-level prestige class can progress beyond 10th level, but only if the character level is already 20th or higher. A class with fewer than ten levels cannot progress beyond the maximum for that class, regardless of character level.