5E E6 in 5e

Wulffolk

Villager
Quoting that Reddit post was just my attempt to take a short cut explaining the concept of E6. There wasn't any intent to insinuate that 5e had the same problems as 3e. I did also post a link to the original post by [MENTION=8314]Ry[/MENTION], but I guess that I probably should have just quoted some of what he wrote instead of quoting the Reddit post.
 

Wulffolk

Villager
Someone else brought up the issue that, without dead levels, there's a lot going on in classes we'd like to see. Such as, if I was playing a wizard, I would like to see getting my hands on the level 10 subclass ability. Or an eldritch knight being able to do the teleport when spending an action surge. Those are fun, often iconic abilities. A paladin might want to get their subclass' aura. A monk or sorcerer want to increase their class points, while a battlemaster would want more martial dice, even if they don't get more sides on the dice. How are we going to address this?
Yup, it would probably be a good thing to condense some of the interesting abilities into the dead levels. It would take work, but might be worth it. Once I start house-ruling things I tend to get out of control, practically re-writing the game. Maybe I will get around to re-writing an E6 version of 5e, or maybe I will be lazy and wait to see what [MENTION=6783882]Nevvur[/MENTION] comes up with.
 

Alexemplar

Villager
I suppose I worded that poorly. In my anecdotal experience most role-players are also computer gamers. Most of this category of people that I know are younger than I am. Many of those computer gamers play MMO's, and are highly concerned about how much fun the "end-game" is to play. I have heard similar concerns about D&D: it takes too long to get to 20th level, there's nothing to do at 20th level, games end before 20th level or shortly after getting there, etc.

My point was that using E6 gives a sense of "end-game" that a group can enjoy for an extended period of time. New characters can join in without being completely over-shadowed by higher level characters. This makes it possible for players to come and go, or replacement 1st level character's to get involved after an old character dies, without needing to skip levels. You could have a veteran player that does not want to quit playing his old character team up with a new generation of heroes for the next campaign without him being a one-man show.
I see it more like most non-D&D RPGs that don't use a leveling system. You make your character that operates at a given scale/power level and largely stays at that scale/power level, with only marginal improvements by expending XP. That's mostly how it works in the Storyteller system, the Silhouette system, Dogs in the Vineyard, etc. There is never really that sense of having to struggle to survive in the early levels to being god-like in power at the end game. I mean, you certainly get better, but the changes in scale and power remain about the same.

The idea that you regularly gain levels and will always gain increasingly fantastic in power/strength is the more videogamey concept to me- and I recognize that it came almost entirely from the early influences of D&D on videogames, so it's also the more D&D-y concept for me.
 
The idea that you regularly gain levels and will always gain increasingly fantastic in power/strength is the more videogamey concept to me- and I recognize that it came almost entirely from the early influences of D&D on videogames, so it's also the more D&D-y concept for me.
And 5e is deeply committed to being 'really D&D.'

Yet, BA is at odds with that D&D-y '0-to-hero' narrative, so hps/damage balloons, and spells still range up to the heights of Wish &c.

Quoting that Reddit post was just my attempt to take a short cut explaining the concept of E6. There wasn't any intent to insinuate that 5e had the same problems as 3e.
There's no need to insinuate anything that obvious. ;P

5e consciously returned to designs, like spells/day progressions, that conveyed more of the classic (and, almost coincidentally, 3e) feel - and they brought back some of the same problems, as well. Heck, such 'problems' are a big part of the feel.

Making E6 all about blaming spellcasters is just annoying. No, its not set at level 6 because of 4+ spells.
Polymorph famously broke 3e in half. E6 is no coincidence - banning Polymorph was simpler, but cutting off 7th level spells (even though it leaves another favorite, invisibility + fly) is pretty obviously gunning for it.

E6 was devised in such a way that you can play in the "sweet spot" of 3rd edition leveling, before numbers got completely gonzo. This includes the number of attacks made, spells cast, your save proficencies, and skills going everywhere.
Also a factor, at 6th good & bad saves, in-class & cross-class skills, BAB, and, most significantly Save DCs & save bonuses, haven't had a chance to diverge to the point of overwhelming the d20. That can happen really fast in optimized 3.x, but it's not inevitable for a good 10 levels or so, at least. So, I doubt it was as critical an impetus as Tier 1 caster power.

The point of E6 is ... letting you extend the "sweet spot" of the game.
And the thing about 5e is that, unlike 3e & 4e, the sweet spot doesn't start at 1st level. It might not really get started until 5th.

E6 would be starting too late and kicking in too early. I can't think of a pithy designation for it, but starting at 3rd or 5th and doing an E6-style freeze at level 8 or 10 or 11 or something might work?
 
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Mephista

Villager
Polymorph famously broke 3e in half.
Perhaps I should have been more clear. Its not JUST about spellcasting. It was part of it, sure. But there were numerous factors in play here, so pretending its just spellcasting is disingenuous. The entire E6 idea was to take the tiers of gameplay and focus on the first two of the four available. We broke off at the start of the second tier (level 6) and then leveled in a way that kept the game in the second tier for a longer time than usual. This is good for long games where you don't want people to ever break past the power level of 10 and into the next tier, when everything goes to hades in a handbasket.

And the thing about 5e is that, unlike 3e & 4e, the sweet spot doesn't start at 1st level. It might not really get started until 5th.
Umm... sweet spot in 3e didn't start til after level 1 too? For third edition, it was about 3 to 8. E6 still started at 1, because people like playing those levels for some reason. Even in 4e, when they started you a bit more powerful than a traditional level 1, they made apprentice levels for people interested in weaker pcs.

There's just a demand for starting off at level 1 power level, and working your way up to the sweet spot.

5e is kind of nice, because the tiers of play when everything starts going gonzo is actually hard coded into the game design. I tend to start games at level 3, so everyone has their subclass (the swap into some subclasses have a BIG change on playstyle).
 
Perhaps I should have been more clear. Its not JUST about spellcasting. It was part of it, sure. But there were numerous factors in play here, so pretending its just spellcasting is disingenuous.
Sure. The point about skill rank disparity is also significant, for instance. But it would be equally 'disingenuous' to pretend the power of Tier 1 casters wasn't the most significant of those issue, arguably by far.

Umm... sweet spot in 3e didn't start til after level 1 too? For third edition, it was about 3 to 8.
Maybe it just feels like the sweet spot of 3e started at 1st, to me, because 1st was so much more tennable than it had been in the AD&D I'd played so heavily in the 80s - and because it seemed, in retrospect, less problematic than 1st is, once again, in 5e.

Point is, the 5e sweet spot starts later, no early than 3rd, possibly as late as 5th. Skipping the earliest levels'd could also be a good idea.
 

Mephista

Villager
Sure. The point about skill rank disparity is also significant, for instance. But it would be equally 'disingenuous' to pretend the power of Tier 1 casters wasn't the most significant of those issue, arguably by far.
That's nothing more than your opinion. Yes, the writer of the original E6 rules did state they felt that level 6 was the best point for class balance (not just tier 1, but all classes), but also for balance against the CR system as presented, as well as a point when magic items were at a level the writer and his playtest group felt comfortable with. This was chosen as the point where everything just clicked on multiple levels, not because of CoDzillas hate.

I'm sorry, but I don't take anything but what the author of the E6 rules outright says as anything other than speculation. We know, for a fact, there are multiple reasons for picking this level. We don't know that the fan-made tiers are the major decision for it. If you want to say that it was, feel free to back it up with something official, like the original article about E6 that I read on the matter.

We know, or a fact, the entire system is based around the ideas from the old article "Gandalf is a 5th Level Wizard" and the idea of playing a game around that level for a long term period, as per the author. It goes on to talk about how this way keeps low level monsters relevant against experienced PCs; something that 5e attempts as well with bounded accuracy.

Irregardless of how things were in 3e, however? That should have no bearing on that reddit post, designed for 5e. Its still blaming everything on spellcasters despite being heavily reigned in from previous editions. As a result, it comes off as outdated, misunderstood, and failing to address the core premises of the game hack.

Maybe it just feels like the sweet spot of 3e started at 1st, to me, because 1st was so much more tennable than it had been in the AD&D I'd played so heavily in the 80s - and because it seemed, in retrospect, less problematic than 1st is, once again, in 5e.

Point is, the 5e sweet spot starts later, no early than 3rd, possibly as late as 5th. Skipping the earliest levels'd could also be a good idea.
And my point is that many people want those early levels, irregardless of edition. Suggesting that anyone skip them is done on an individual table basis.
 
That's nothing more than your opinion.
I didn't make up Tier 1 or E6. It's just an observation.

, but also for balance against the CR system as presented, as well as a point when magic items were at a level the writer and his playtest group felt comfortable with.
CRs that Tier 1 caters could increasingly trivialize at higher levels, and items they could make?

This was chosen as the point where everything just clicked on multiple levels, not because of CoDzillas hate
S'OK. I think you're 'protesting too much' about the rating of Tier 1 classes being 'hate.' Those classes were what they were.

Irregardless of how things were in 3e, however? That should have no bearing on that reddit post, designed for 5e.
I agree, which is why I think E6 wouldn't be ideal for 5e. It starts and caps too low. 5e starts working later than 3e did, but hangs onto it's sweet spot a bit longer.

Its still blaming everything on spellcasters despite being heavily reigned in from previous editions.
To be fair, spellcasters in 5e have returned to a design more like that of prior editions such as 3e.

And my point is that many people want those early levels, irregardless of edition. Suggesting that anyone skip them is done on an individual table basis.
The sweet spot concept is that the game is at its best withing a range of levels, in the case of 5e, there's a lower bound as well as an upper one, that's fairly typical. I'm sure there's plenty of folks who would like to play the game at levels outside that range, in spite of them being less than ideally implemented.

5e, though, does speed through the first few levels, of course. It also speeds up advancement at the higher levels. In effect, seemingly acknowledging a sweet spot from levels 4 or 5 through 10 or 11. An E6 style extension of the sweet spot should probably try to do something with the low end, too, for 5e, unlike 3e which held together pretty well at 1st level, IMHO.

For instance, in this hypothetical play variant, you might start all PCs with 3 HD, even at first level, gaining their 4th HD at 4th. Giving some advancement normally gained up to a certain level, up-front would be a reasonable addition to stopping most advancement at a given level, to extend the sweet spot between those two given levels.
 

Nevvur

Explorer
Please share your work here, if or when you complete it. I would be very interested to read your take on E6.

I can understand how you feel about losing control of your world. Part of my problem with higher level play is that it stretches my suspension of disbelief as I have to add more and more super-powered antagonists to the setting to challenge the players. I find myself wondering why, if there are so many such creatures or villains in the world, did they not just over-run everything ages ago. Why are they a problem now that the character's are 20th level, and not back when the character's were 1st level. Where did so many dangerous foes come from, and how was there ever room in the world for ordinary life. Those kinds of things tend to bug me as a player and a DM.
Level progression in my overhaul is highly dependent on the other systems I modify, so it's not really suitable for adaptation in an otherwise standard 5e game. I will share it eventually, but it's a long way off from being playable.

Spellcasters are really the people I'm talking about when I wrote about the 'bag of tricks.' I'm not surprised they've been a focal point of the discussion elsewhere in this thread. Incidentally, I originally set out to remove PC spellcasters from the overhaul entirely. I started developing them in my latest burst of work, but, mechanically speaking, they're a lot closer to 4e spellcasters than 5e.

The other part of standard level progression that irks me is how quickly PCs (can) gain power compared to NPCs. I haven't run any of the official APs, only skimmed their contents, but they appear to span periods of less than one year and provide enough XP to go from 1 to 10 or higher. I tend to regard PCs as 'special' compared to other inhabitants of the world, and this can help to explain their rapid rate of advancement. It still feels like a stretch when the 15th level knight and court wizard have been honing their skills for the last 20+ years, while the farmer took up adventuring just a few months ago and is already level 10. I find this especially problematic for wizards, whose powers nominally come from research and experimentation rather than practical application of their skills.

Mechanics should support the narrative, not be obstacles to it. From my point of view, standard 5e progression spits in the face of a logical narrative. I've experimented with different solutions, but they all create new problems of their own. It's not the sort of problem that undermines my ability to have fun with standard 5e - I can suspend disbelief with the best of them - but it does motivate me to continue work on my own system.
 
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The other part of standard level progression that irks me is how quickly PCs (can) gain power compared to NPCs. ...It still feels like a stretch when the 15th level knight and court wizard have been honing their skills for the last 20+ years, while the farmer took up adventuring just a few months ago and is already level 10...
Mechanics should support the narrative, not be obstacles to it. From my point of view, standard 5e progression spits in the face of a logical narrative.
Heroes in myth/legend/fantasy tend to be pretty young. Adventuring's a young man's game. One thing D&D doesn't deign to model, BTW, is losing ability as you age, stat points, yes, in some eds, but not levels. A middle-aged knight might be 'only' 15th level, because he peaked a decade ago, and is trailing off in spite of keeping up his training.
 

ad_hoc

Adventurer
The 5e equivalent would be e10. Even then the goals would be slightly different.

In 3e 6th level was the perfect point for relative parity between spellcasters and martial characters. 3rd level spells plus a level that doesn't up the spell level (except for sorcerers who were underpowered compared to Wizards) and extra attacks for martials.

In 5e the goal would be just to stay within tier (which the previous e6 did as well).

Both 6th and 10th level are the same tier in 5e.
 

Nebulous

Adventurer
Most younger gamers come from the mindset of "the end-game" due to how MMO's work. E6 let's character's continue to grow while not getting ridiculously overpowered, letting people enjoy the end-game for prolonged periods. It also allows new characters to join established character's without there being too much of a power gap.
As someone is a long time D&D DM, I really like the sound of this. I might go as high as 8th level, but after that the game just isn't as fun for me anymore.
 

Wulffolk

Villager
E6 would be starting too late and kicking in too early. I can't think of a pithy designation for it, but starting at 3rd or 5th and doing an E6-style freeze at level 8 or 10 or 11 or something might work?
Making 3rd level the new 1st level could work. I suppose we could call it E6+2. That would give a 6 level range from 3rd to 8th.
 

EditorBFG

Villager
The 5e equivalent would be e10. Even then the goals would be slightly different.

In 3e 6th level was the perfect point for relative parity between spellcasters and martial characters. 3rd level spells plus a level that doesn't up the spell level (except for sorcerers who were underpowered compared to Wizards) and extra attacks for martials.

In 5e the goal would be just to stay within tier (which the previous e6 did as well).

Both 6th and 10th level are the same tier in 5e.
ad hoc has this exactly right. 5E is written so that levels 1-2 are "apprentice" levels, where you are learning to be an adventurer. Then there are big power bumps at 5th level, 11th level, and 17th level. So really, you may as well cap out at 10th level, because the real jump after 3rd level spells is 6th level spells. Also, level 10 is a good cap off for a lot of character types.
 

Horwath

Explorer
ad hoc has this exactly right. 5E is written so that levels 1-2 are "apprentice" levels, where you are learning to be an adventurer. Then there are big power bumps at 5th level, 11th level, and 17th level. So really, you may as well cap out at 10th level, because the real jump after 3rd level spells is 6th level spells. Also, level 10 is a good cap off for a lot of character types.
10th level is usually a feature for class archetype so it is good "epic" level to stop advancing that class.

and as proficiency bonus(bases attack bonus from old) goes from +2 to +4, rather than from +1 to +10, there is little inflation of the numbers.

and 2 level 5 spells per day should not break stuff too much.
 

snickersnax

Explorer
I am totally excited about 5EE6. It solves almost everything I don't like about 5E. I'm playing it like the 3.5 E6 version with the following changes:

All level 1 characters start with 2 HD for hit points (maxed of course) and a proficiency bonus of only +1. Proficiency bonus increases to +2 at level 3.
After level 6, feat acquisition follows the normal class feature chart (I don't do post-level 6 extra attacks and of course there is no post 6 spell progression). The other way I could say this is hit points, multi-attack and spell progression stop at level 6.

Other rules just because I'm a grinch:)
I've eliminated cantrip progression completely.
I also don't allow +2 ASI post 6 (but you can still take a feat)

Love it Love it Love it
 

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