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5E E6 in 5e

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Informing new edition players about E6 is certainly good and well.

However, I'm not the first one to argue that many (but perhaps not all) arguments for instituting it have fallen by the wayside.

3rd edition was genuinely a Monte Cookian game where spellcasters were allowed to do pretty much everything with pretty much zero restrictions and limitations.

5E is very far removed from that game.

(I won't go into details since that's irrelevant for this thread. I guess I want to say - power to you if you need it in 5E, but I certainly don't because 5E is a clearly superior game to 3E in nearly every aspect - overt as well as subtle ones. My players might long back to the d20 days, but I, the DM, most certainly do not ☺)

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dave2008

Adventurer
Informing new edition players about E6 is certainly good and well.

However, I'm not the first one to argue that many (but perhaps not all) arguments for instituting it have fallen by the wayside.

3rd edition was genuinely a Monte Cookian game where spellcasters were allowed to do pretty much everything with pretty much zero restrictions and limitations.

5E is very far removed from that game.

(I won't go into details since that's irrelevant for this thread. I guess I want to say - power to you if you need it in 5E, but I certainly don't because 5E is a clearly superior game to 3E in nearly every aspect - overt as well as subtle ones. My players might long back to the d20 days, but I, the DM, most certainly do not ☺)

Sent from my C6603 using EN World mobile app
However, what I do think 5EE6 could help with is a particular issue you are having CapnZapp. If you cap HP, Attacks, and spells at PC level 6-10. I think the higher CR monsters would be more relevant as is.
 

killerklown

Crazy blogs creator
On my side I want to test two things in my new campaign:

And then I had to think about this level cap. I first thought of an E8 and i explain on my blog why : DREAD's rules: Level Cap at lvl 8
But i had a few exchanges with people with more rules acumen than I have and changed it to an E9, and explaind here why : DREAD's rules: on second thoughts, Level Cap at lvl 9

I hope this brings something to the discussion
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
On my side I want to test two things in my new campaign:

And then I had to think about this level cap. I first thought of an E8 and i explain on my blog why : DREAD's rules: Level Cap at lvl 8
But i had a few exchanges with people with more rules acumen than I have and changed it to an E9, and explaind here why : DREAD's rules: on second thoughts, Level Cap at lvl 9

I hope this brings something to the discussion
I think your thought process makes sense. (I also like the monster drugs, as tying progression to concrete events within the narrative is something I've been noodling around with also.)

I might argue for a level cap at 10. A lot of classes get something akin to a mini-capstone at 10, but with little spell progression or the large power bump that comes at 11. It also allows for multiclassers to do 5/5 splits that are decently powerful, and don't get overshadowed by the power-bump at 11. (I'm a fan of even split multiclasses rather than 1-2 level dips; I just find them more elegant.)
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
I'm running my first Pathfinder 2 sandbox campaign right now.

I'm testing out gold-for-xp which so far works great!

In the sense that it reinforces the gold Rush vibe of my "home town" (Sandpoint) - the focus is less on one long plot (to save the world) and more on exploring the landscape in search for "business opportunities". It sets a "live everyday like it's your last" mood (like Conan, you gain xp by spending gold on wine, women and song...), supported by the fact new faces fresh off the ships continuously get in over their heads and not returning to the taverns...

Of course, PF2 has far more robust support for spending gold on adventuring-useful stuff like magic weapons, so I really don't have a good answer why I didn't think of this during my many years DMing 5th edition...
 

snickersnax

Explorer
And then I had to think about this level cap. I first thought of an E8 and i explain on my blog why : DREAD's rules: Level Cap at lvl 8
But i had a few exchanges with people with more rules acumen than I have and changed it to an E9, and explaind here why : DREAD's rules: on second thoughts, Level Cap at lvl 9
I run two types of level capped campaigns now: E5(low magic) and E10(medium magic). What is working well for me is to use the full 5E proficiency bonus spread for for both. So in E5: level 1 is +2 and proficiency progresses by +1 every level up to +6 at level 5 and in the E9 version level 1 is +2 and proficiency progresses by +1 every 2 levels to +6 at level 9/10 . In both systems hit points progress by proficiency bonus as well. So 1st level hit points is 3 HD, in E5 at level 5 its 7HD, or in E10 at level 9 its 7 HD. I also give everyone (including monsters) proficiency bonus to armor and all saves. For my groups the balance is much better and solves world-building problems of high magic and also problems with impotent solo BBEGs at high levels
 

Flamestrike

Explorer
I dont get whats wrong with powerfull PCs.

Going toe to toe with a Demon Lord and winning is fun. Being Elminster or Mordenkainen is fun.

It's not that players prefer low level play that low level play is common; it's that most DMs cant properly run games in mid to high level, and quit the campaign at that point.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
I dont get whats wrong with powerfull PCs.

Going toe to toe with a Demon Lord and winning is fun. Being Elminster or Mordenkainen is fun.

It's not that players prefer low level play that low level play is common; it's that most DMs cant properly run games in mid to high level, and quit the campaign at that point.
Good point. It is very demanding and challenging to create (at least) somewhat believable story-lines for 15+ levels, but that has been the case in every edition. I've run a few, but even for players sometimes the challenge of getting there is really more fun.
 

Flamestrike

Explorer
Good point. It is very demanding and challenging to create (at least) somewhat believable story-lines for 15+ levels, but that has been the case in every edition. I've run a few, but even for players sometimes the challenge of getting there is really more fun.
Ive never seen a group of players that have come to the conclusion that playing past 6th level 'isnt fun' - the reason most games end at that point is almost always down to the DM not being able to competently run mid-high level adventures.

The players advance to a level the DM is unfamiliar with, new abilities come online that the DM hasnt seen in play before (and hasnt turned his mind to in creating the adventure) and promptly the DMs well though out adventure gets crushed in a single spell, and the DM (feeling frustrated) quits the campaign citing 'DM burnout'.

That's what happens in most cases IME.

Like I always say to DM's - you gotta run a few campaigns to 20th to get the hang of them. We've all run games to low level. We know those levels and are comfortable DMing those levels.

You've gotta get comfortable with high level play, and you only get that with experience.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
Ive never seen a group of players that have come to the conclusion that playing past 6th level 'isnt fun' - the reason most games end at that point is almost always down to the DM not being able to competently run mid-high level adventures.

The players advance to a level the DM is unfamiliar with, new abilities come online that the DM hasnt seen in play before (and hasnt turned his mind to in creating the adventure) and promptly the DMs well though out adventure gets crushed in a single spell, and the DM (feeling frustrated) quits the campaign citing 'DM burnout'.

That's what happens in most cases IME.

Like I always say to DM's - you gotta run a few campaigns to 20th to get the hang of them. We've all run games to low level. We know those levels and are comfortable DMing those levels.

You've gotta get comfortable with high level play, and you only get that with experience.
I didn't realize we were talking about 6th level since you were talking about high levels of play (which to me is 15+). Our current game is 10th level and going strong.

But, I have seen several games where players want the thrill of lower levels again and have new concepts they want to play out.

DM "burnout" has never been an issue in any of the tables I've played at. What ends up happening is a player wants to run a game/adventure, to gets his turn as DM for a while, then it changes hands again.

At any rate, I find your idea of running "a few campaigns to 20th" a bit laughable. It takes a LONG time IME to get from 1st to 20th in any edition, several months to years in real time. Your pace must be greatly accelerated compared to what I am used to!
 

Flamestrike

Explorer
At any rate, I find your idea of running "a few campaigns to 20th" a bit laughable. It takes a LONG time IME to get from 1st to 20th in any edition, several months to years in real time. Your pace must be greatly accelerated compared to what I am used to!
I've been playing weekly for 35 years since BECMI and AD&D, so have had my fair share of high level campaigns!
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
I've been playing weekly for 35 years since BECMI and AD&D, so have had my fair share of high level campaigns!
LOL I've been playing for 40 (not that it's a contest...) and have played in about a half-dozen or so that have reached levels of 15 or higher.

But most players, especially those new to D&D as of 5E, like most the people at our current table, have not played nearly that long and so I would not expect newer DMs to have the experience and skill to run a high-level campaign well. Now, given 5E's advised "Pace of Play", I think a group could get to 15th or higher in about 1-2 years. I expect our group will get there probably next summer sometime.

Anyway, give younger/newer players and DMs another 10-30 years, and I am sure they could handle it if they wanted. A lot of people simply enjoy the sweet spot of gaming (5th to 15th) where most things can still be used as adversaries and most types of adventures are still applicable.
 

BlivetWidget

Explorer
Good point. It is very demanding and challenging to create (at least) somewhat believable story-lines for 15+ levels, but that has been the case in every edition. I've run a few, but even for players sometimes the challenge of getting there is really more fun.
Agreed, the high levels are far less predictable and require good improvisational skills, particularly for a group with magic users. At low levels, most classes rely on their at-will abilities, so it is easier to plan encounters ahead of time. But by the time even 4th and 5th level spells come into play, a single Polymorph or Wall of Force can be the difference between an easy encounter and a deadly one. Since the DM can't know when those will be used, they need to be flexible and accept that not every encounter will need to go as planned.
 
Has anyone brought up a level /floor/ for 5e?
I could see capping 5e at about 10, maybe 11 so the poor fighter can have his extra extra attack and finally feel a bit better at fighting than the Ranger/Paladin/War-Cleric/Valor-Bard/bladesinger (seriously?).
But, seriously, 5e works a lot better by 3rd or 4th than it does at 1st. So for 5e E6? Shift it two or three levels. E4-9? 3-11?
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
Has anyone brought up a level /floor/ for 5e?
I could see capping 5e at about 10, maybe 11 so the poor fighter can have his extra extra attack and finally feel a bit better at fighting than the Ranger/Paladin/War-Cleric/Valor-Bard/bladesinger (seriously?).
But, seriously, 5e works a lot better by 3rd or 4th than it does at 1st. So for 5e E6? Shift it two or three levels. E4-9? 3-11?
IME the first few levels happen so quickly that, especially for experienced players, skipping levels 1 and 2 so everyone can begin in their subclass would work fine. However, the other side is that because they happen so quickly, it doesn't take long to get through them so you might as well just keep them in and not worry about it.

Either way, you know? :)
 

killerklown

Crazy blogs creator
As i said on my blog (DREAD's rules: Level Cap at lvl 8):
My practical observation is that at higher levels (10+), the outcome of encounters seems to become much more random, since saves then become so much more important and decisive. If you fail your first save in the first round of combat, then you're out. If more than half the party fails the save, then the encounter is doomed to be mortal (sometimes even for the whole party). Since i'm a very unfortunate player, I tend to sit more than half of the time at the table side without being able to do anything. And that's a fun killer, in my opinion. And I blame the growing importance of Monster Abilities at higher level for killing the fun of a part of the table...

Concerning E9 or E10, i'm still inclined to go for E9.
The Bard is in my opinion the only one losing a lot (Bardic Inspiration (d10), Expertise, Magical Secrets) and i can accept that (not a big fan of the Skalde 🙃 )
 

S'mon

Legend
5e is certainly much better balanced than 3e IMO. But level 17+, and especially 20th level play, certainly tends towards a superheroic feel. I think if I were to cap below E20 in 5e, it would be to keep a B/X or OD&D feel, which means limiting spells to 6th level. That implies an E12 cap, making 11-12 the Endgame levels and Proficiency capping at +4. That gives Fighters 3 attacks/round, and other non-casters get cool capstone abilities to match caster level 6 casting. It also means I can use the full range of monster CRs 1-20, with only ancient dragons & the Tarrasque remaining semi-unstoppable threats.
 

killerklown

Crazy blogs creator
It also means I can use the full range of monster CRs 1-20, with only ancient dragons & the Tarrasque remaining semi-unstoppable threats.
I actually intend to use the full Rage of CRs also with my E9 campaign...
Some unique monster will stay out of reach of a party of adventurers, sure, but that's why you should recruit henchmen, or better yet, build up fiefdoms and raise armies...
 

S'mon

Legend
I actually intend to use the full Rage of CRs also with my E9 campaign...
Some unique monster will stay out of reach of a party of adventurers, sure, but that's why you should recruit henchmen, or better yet, build up fiefdoms and raise armies...
I suspect a well built & well played party of 6 level 9 adventurers actually probably could take on a level 24 red dragon. It's certainly hittable, breath attack not too bad. You need a Paladin for countering the fear* effect, either a Barbarian (preferably Bear Totem or otherwise fire-resistant) or an Eldritch Knight for tanking it, and a Cleric or Bard for healing the fallen and getting them back into the fight.

*IME the dragon fear + claw/claw/bite on same round is by far the worst thing about Legendary dragons. The fear makes an army of limited use.
 

S'mon

Legend
Or for keeping the game at an AD&D type level, E16 avoids all the Justice League/Avengers Superhero level powers like Infinite Wildshape and keeps the game to the equivalent of 4e Paragon Tier. E16 just feels a little odd though. E14 has the advantage of tradition - matching Moldvay B/X. The core E20 game is more Elric-level IME, PCs battling demon lords & ancient dragons solo.
 

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