E6: The Game Inside D&D - Page 7
  1. #61
    I had this thought, if I remember correctly, while I was walking out of Barnes and Noble tonight. An absolutely outstanding application of the E6 mechanics would be to the Birthright setting.

    First of all, you've got several ways your characters can grow; via feats from the E6 growth, and via bloodline strength, and via political strength. The world itself already assumes a much lower level of magical strength than is common in standard D&D campaigns, so capping it at E6 levels isn't that much of a stretch. For Magicians, bar them from EVERYTHING but Divination and Illusion, but throw in Shadow Evocation and Conjuration at level 3 illusion spells (mimicking 1st-3rd level spells of the Evocation or Conjuration schools, respectively). Bards could maintain their own spell lists, but properly pare them down to enchantments, illusions, and divinations ONLY. Only Sorcerers (using their elven or deific heritage) would be able to be full arcane casters; make additional spell knowledge a blood ability, perhaps, open to Vorynn's and, of course, Azrai's, line (in addition to being an E6 feat). This preserves some of the uniqueness of Magicians as prepared casters, but also allows Sorcerers to harness their blood to get ahead.

    A human power level, ritual magic as part of the background, unique monsters...The setting almost seems like it was BEGGING for E6 to come along.

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    Quote Originally Posted by knight_isa
    I had considered something like that, but "these fun low levels" as you call them aren't as fun for me as 5th-6th, and that progression doubles the amount of time it takes to get to the "really fun levels". Granted, I'm leaning toward E8 rather than E6, too.

    It's important to remember some of the goals of E6:
    1) to maximize playing time within the levels that provide the most enjoyment. If you and your players get the most enjoyment out of lower levels, then this would be great. Personally, I like 5-8th or so best, and I like to get from 1st to 3rd as quickly as possible (or just start at 3rd).
    2) to minimize DM prep time. Remember, in stock E6 you can use 1-6 level NPCs in published adventures/npc wikis/whatever as-is. You only have to change higher-powered NPCs. If you add a feat per level, you have to change every NPC of level 2+ as well as a portion of your 1st level ones. Or assume that everyone takes Skill Focus (some skill that will never impact the game) as their bonus feats. (I should note that I like the feat/level approach in a non-E6 game, since feats are otherwise too scarce. In E6, though, that isn't the case.)

    Just some thoughts.
    1) My issue here is making the campaign as a whole make sense to me and my players. If we want a long campaign with plenty of time for the players to stretch their legs at each level and get to know all the abilities and capabilities at each level, then the "Grimstaff Progression" is definitely the way to go. On the other hand, E6 at standard progression has the charm of being able to run 2 or 3 complete campaigns a year, in essence taking the PCs through a good trilogy of movies or books, and retiring them after 5 or 10 post-6 feats to live happily ever after.
    2) This is a very good observation, I didn't consider that. At 6th level a character will have 5 bonus feats with my progression as opposed to 2, and at 3rd level 2 bonus feats instead of 1. To compensate, I could simply say "only Player characters and major NPCs get the bonus feats", or I could make an easy chart of standard feat adds. Something like this:
    2rd lvl - add Toughness
    4th lvl - add Alertness
    5th lvl - add Iron Will (or other Save feat)
    That way, I can just assume a 5th lvl has +3hp, +2 to Listen/Spot, and +2 to their weakest save and be done with it. No need to even write anything down that way (easyier is better!).

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    Ryan,

    I'm a huge fan of the work you've done here - great stuff.

    I assume you've checked out the Sweet Spot thread that Wulf started. He and I have talked a lot about this subject.

    One thing we talked about is choosing the power range you want (the sweet spot) and then stretching that power range over a larger number of levels.

    The main issue I have with E6 is that if 6th level is supposed to be the level of epic heroes, then how come they get there so fast? Why not increase the time it takes to get there over say, 12 levels instead? You can slow down the rate of advancement while still giving the characters more feats, abilities, whatever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GlassJaw
    The main issue I have with E6 is that if 6th level is supposed to be the level of epic heroes, then how come they get there so fast? Why not increase the time it takes to get there over say, 12 levels instead? You can slow down the rate of advancement while still giving the characters more feats, abilities, whatever.
    This depends a lot on your approach to combat. Even in medieval times, there aren't a lot of people who can claim to have made it out of a 60 situations where their life was on the line (i.e. 60 combat encounters, about what you need to go from level 1 to 6).

    E6 means that if Encounter 1 is "A bunch of Orcs attack you" it's not just what you do between lunch and dinner - it's the minions of Saruman trying to get the Ring from Frodo.

    For my campaign E6 usually means no filler combats. Does that make sense?

  5. #65
    Rycanada, thank you very much for your E6 concept. I run a variant C&C campaign, and your ideas got me thinking about capping things at 6th level in my C&C campaign. (So far the highest level any of the players has achieved was 6th, and that was as an assassin--one of the classes that rises in level the fastest in C&C.)

    I've also studied Gary's old B2: Keep on the Borderlands module, and guess what? The highest level anyone is in that module is 6th level. The Castellan of the Keep is 6th level, and it's all down from there. Further, there is a small bank in the Keep ran by a RETIRED 3rd-level fighter and a 2nd-level magic-user. My goodness, if levels go up to 20, then what in the world is a 3rd-level fighter doing retiring? He barely got started! But (on the other hand) if 6th is as high as it goes (and is vanishingly rare--6th-level guys being the Conans of that world), then deciding to hang it up at 3rd level isn't very strange anymore.

    I really like that vibe: That the Castellan is as good as it gets anywhere, not just in this module because it's for beginners. The 3rd-level evil priest with his 2nd-level adepts and army of skeletons and zombies in the Caves of Chaos are going to stay scary, no matter how long the PCs have been adventuring--because they can't go higher than 6th level.

    I also like the fact that by capping things at 6th level, you don't have to keep upping everyone's levels just so the rest of the world doesn't seem like putzes compared to the PCs. ("Hey, did you ever notice how when we were 3rd level, captains of the guard were around 5th level? And when we were 10th level, captains of the guard were around 12th level? And now that we're 16th level, captains of the guard are around 18th level? What's going on in this world?")

    In short, you've really got me thinking. Thank you.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffrey
    In short, you've really got me thinking. Thank you.
    My pleasure Geoffrey! EN World's been really awesome to me and E6.

    Now, how best to spoil the goodwill? Continue on the Raising the Stakes bandwagon, try to get more playtesters for Conviction and the Death Flag, or cook up a call to arms style manifesto about iconography in the industry?

  7. #67
    The main issue I have with E6 is that if 6th level is supposed to be the level of epic heroes
    FWIW my take on E6 is that 6th level is the realm of all heroes, geniuses, sages, retired generals-turned-farmhands, etc. and the only thing that really truly separates the epic heroes from the other great men is their deeds (and to a certain extent their feats). But I am wrestling with this a bit also. (besides figuring out what I am going to do with prestige classes that involves the best allowed-fun/personal-effort ratio )

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    To Imp, Geoffrey:

    If you want to structure differently, you can say that 6th is "survived some danger and really important dudes" and say, 6th+20feats is "epic heroes"

    I think that's the E6erron approach, from what those guys have said (where are those guys? Where are the E6 campaigns?)

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    I still can't get the pdfs to work. I even tried download from the wiki page. And since no one else has said whether they've successfully downloaded the files lately, I'll assume the problem is at the other end.

    Oh well. E6 looks interesting, but I can't get the rules.

    Quasqueton

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    The .pdf is exactly the stuff on the first 2 posts (I've just downloaded it again to check it. I'm practically certain the file is fine).

    Really, when it comes down to it, E6's rule is "Level normally till 6th, then gain a feat for every 5000 xp. The DM is encouraged to allow some feats from sources outside the SRD."

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