E6: The Game Inside D&D - Page 51
  1. #501
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    New Year

    It's been a while. How's everyone's E6 campaigns coming along?

  2. #502
    Quote Originally Posted by CapnZapp View Post
    From a 4E perspective, would you (you all, not only Kunimatyu) agree this is a fair summary of "death flags":

    * Normally, you aren't killable. Whenever you fall to minus your bloodied value, fail three death saves, succumb to the final state of disease or monster powers etc etc you simply stay in the Dying state. All other rules apply normally (meaning that you revive at the end of each encounter per the regular rules for Dying).
    * The player and DM are encouraged to cooperate in explaining what happened and why "fate" allowed the PC to escape death.
    * You can "raise your death flag" enabling your character's death. This gives you 6 bonus Action Points to be used as you please during the day (before the next Extended Rest) - no restrictions (if you're level 11+; you could spend them all to gain six more uses out of your paragon path's action point ability during one and the same round, for example)
    * You can "lower your death flag" by spending 6 APs; or you can simply tough it out until you take an extended rest.
    * I don't have to add this rule is primarily geared towards campaigns where the Raise Dead ritual is unavailable or at least much more of a Big Deal.
    Sounds good to me, CZ. I particularly like the idea of having to "pay" your AP back to reset your flag before an Extended Rest.

    It's also worth noting that Dying PCs my have items broken or semi-permanent injuries inflicted - the Death Flag prevents outright death, but it's not a free ticket to prevent Bad Stuff in general.

  3. #503
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    I like the idea of Pathfinder E6, but I've been tied up with finishing up my 1st to 20th gonzo campaign that has been interrupted months at a time by having children.

  4. #504
    I've been doing a sort of weird hybrid E6 campaign for the last three months or so. Here's the scheme:

    Party starts at level 4, can take up to 3 LA (so would start with one HD).

    Characters advance until they have 6 HD as per normal (so that would be 9th level for someone who started with 3 LA).

    Characters may then buy feats (2500xp) or may begin to buy gestalt levels starting with their first level. The cost of this is as if they had continued to level up normally, so a 3 LA 6/6 character would be at ECL 15 as far as xp costs AND xp gained from combat. The consequence of this is that LA and so on don't penalize you forever, but you do earn feats at a slower rate than the rest of the party due to the reduced xp from combat. Obviously if I stayed around CR 8 encounters, the ECL 15 guy would be earning 100xp here and 100xp there while other party members would be earning a feat a session, so I use a slightly normalized xp chart and a number of flat xp awards for plot stuff.

    I'm also using Advanced d20 magic, which replaces Vancian casting with a 'roll a saving throw to cast a spell' sort of mechanic. Level 9 spells with no costly components are around DC 51, whereas level 3 spells are DC 30 and level 1 spells are DC 20. You can do various things to get bonuses (using a verbal component is worth +5, using a focus is worth +2, spending a full round action to cast is worth +5, spending XP on the spell or gold or a long time or taking backlash also give bonuses ...). When a spell is cast it causes nonlethal damage to the caster which grows weakly exponentially with the spell level, so it starts at 1d6 for a 1st level spell and gets up to 16d10 in the case of something like Wish. You do need to have the minimum stat of 10+spell level to cast a given spell, and with no stat boosting items and only one +1 from level, that means that someone who wants to cast level 9 spells in this campaign needs to start with at least an 18 in that stat.

    It's also hard to maintain multiple spells at once in this system, so casters can't layer buffs so much (its an escalating Concentration check that goes up in DC by 10 for each spell currently up)

    As a result there are two major limiting factors to throwing around very powerful spells trivially in battle: cast something too powerful and you risk knocking yourself out or even killing yourself. Secondly, you're going to have a nontrivial failure chance when you do something beyond your means, so if you don't take the time to do it well you could end up wasting several actions setting up for something that eventually doesn't go off. Double drain on a failed casting attempt combined with a higher failure rate makes this particularly brutal when you overreach. So the big spells are available but usually only when the party has time to set them up and do a day-long ritual, or if they're willing to blow 2000xp for the +20 casting bonus to pull it off.

    I've encouraged Book of Nine Swords and custom maneuvers to help the melee people keep up with casters in this system, though the gestalt levels mean that most of the party is in one way or another both fighter and caster of some sort (we have a very complicated Marshal/Paladin/Sorceror/Wizard fellow, a Cleric/Crusader, a Ranger, a Bard, and the exception a half-dragon Monk who puts out the most damage of the party by far)

    The raise dead/etc spells are banned for plot reasons, but in place instead of 'dead at -10' its 'begin taking Con drain at -10 and dead at 0 Constitution'. Additionally, save or die spells allow the party one round to cast a healing spell on the victim to have them stabilize at -10 rather than die. Obviously some encounters are still very nasty with this system (Con damage poisons, things like shadows which kill via strength drain, etc).

    Right now the party is ~ECL 8, and I'd expect them to do reasonably against a CR 12 or 13 encounter. I have a particular CR 20 encounter in mind for the finale which they should have plenty of information to prepare for. I think they'll be able to take it within this system despite not having more than 6HD if they plan for it appropriately. SR and HD-dependent spells like Cloudkill, Blasphemy, and Enervation (Maximized empowered enervation is kill on touch for example) are the major sticking points with the system I think.

    I don't get the impression that the lack of stat boosting items or better than +2 resistance, weapons, or armor is much of a hindrance for what its worth. I suspect that AC will be a losing game for the party as the campaign goes on, so it will be more of a matter of finding ways to soak up, evade, or heal through hits (Displacement, etc). I also think that they won't have much trouble hitting humanoid foes but may need to adopt a policy of true strike and touch attacks against large monsters who have a lot of natural armor.

  5. #505
    Quote Originally Posted by NichG View Post
    I'm also using Advanced d20 magic, which replaces Vancian casting with a 'roll a saving throw to cast a spell' sort of mechanic. Level 9 spells with no costly components are around DC 51, whereas level 3 spells are DC 30 and level 1 spells are DC 20. You can do various things to get bonuses (using a verbal component is worth +5, using a focus is worth +2, spending a full round action to cast is worth +5, spending XP on the spell or gold or a long time or taking backlash also give bonuses ...). When a spell is cast it causes nonlethal damage to the caster which grows weakly exponentially with the spell level, so it starts at 1d6 for a 1st level spell and gets up to 16d10 in the case of something like Wish. You do need to have the minimum stat of 10+spell level to cast a given spell, and with no stat boosting items and only one +1 from level, that means that someone who wants to cast level 9 spells in this campaign needs to start with at least an 18 in that stat.
    I've actually been wanting to create a very similar system, myself. Do you have a link to a more detailed description?

  6. #506
    NichG, that magic system is very similar to how sorcery, miracles and alchemy are handled in Barbarians of Lemuria.

  7. #507
    It's a sourcebook by Guardians of Order for BESM d20, but its pretty rare these days. Another version of it is reprinted in the Slayers d20 sourcebook, same company, but you'd have trouble converting the standard spells since I don't think they include those rules (a bunch of modifiers for casting time, components, what to do when different classes get the spell at different levels, etc).

    For what its worth, I replaced Fort saves (from the book) with Will saves for casting in my campaign, since otherwise wizards are penalized far too much compared to clerics, who already get every spell and through proper domain choice can cast cleric spells and all wizard spells 6th level and lower (using Limited Wish from a number of domains).

    Do be aware that there are some ridiculous things that can happen. In principle there's a tipping point where someone in the party will be able to cast Wish without XP cost; they won't be able to do it on successive rounds, but everyone will be sporting a +1 inherent on everything at that point. If your campaign allows raise dead and the like, the party will always use True Ressurection since all it costs is taking extra time to cast. Its probably also a good idea to make it so that only half of the drain taken from casting spells can be healed magically, otherwise clerics can always pop a Heal to get back to full.

    Long dungeon crawls tend to be much harder in this system (the casters cast themselves to exhaustion and end up walking around with their total hitpoints minus 5 in nonlethal damage). Casters are enhanced in single-encounter days, much like psions, because they can nova and throw off one ridiculous spell beyond their level at the start that knocks them out from drain (Frostfell, Implosion, Power Word Kill, etc). It also has the sort of neat component that if the party is really feeling threatened they can always start burning xp or even their equipment on spells to do stuff they couldn't normally do, so you can have both normal encounters be challenging and still have key, perhaps optional, encounters that are far more dangerous that the party can step up to if they're willing to sacrifice.

    Don't use their item crafting system however, it's a bit TOO breakable. Additional abilities on the same item only very slowly increase the DC to make the item, and there's basically no cost for trying unless you want to provide a gold component to make it easier, so an item crafter can basically manufacture wealth by creating Rings of Universal Energy Resistance, which are very easy to make in this system since they're based off of five applications of a 2nd level spell, and then sell them for insane amounts of money or sacrifice them as components for the item they really want to make. Even if you forbid that sort of recursiveness, its not all that hard for a 12th level party, say, to be walking around with (a single) item of continuous Freedom of Movement, Deathward, Immunity to Poison, and +4 to two stats.
    Last edited by NichG; Tuesday, 2nd February, 2010 at 08:09 PM.

  8. #508
    any thoughts on mixing E6 with the Generic Classes from UA?

  9. #509
    Quote Originally Posted by wotmaniac View Post
    any thoughts on mixing E6 with the Generic Classes from UA?
    I can't see any obvious problems with doing that.* What, if anything, are you unsure about?

    * Well, except that I feel the Warrior and Expert could do with a bit of a 'boost', kinda thing. But that's a matter of taste, I suspect.

  10. #510
    I thought about doing that for the campaign I just started, but I decided against it. Players need baby steps.

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