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E6: The Game Inside D&D (new revision)

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Kunimatyu

First Post
White Whale said:
I think the E6 idea is interesting, but like some other posters I feel the advancement beyond level 6 may be a bit dull.

How familiar are you with the eight-book Complete series, the Races series, the Spell and Magic Item Compendiums, Player's Handbook II, Heroes of Horror/Battle, the Dragon Compendium, and Dragon Magazine?

I find that many of the feats and spells in these sources offer a tremendous amount of variability, far more than higher-level class abilities. While Core-only E6 could get dull, I think, E6+additional WotC material could keep the game going for a very long time.

For instance, let's take Complete Scoundrel's Luck feats. Ordinarily, they're pretty neat, but not really possible to get more than 1-3 of unless you're giving up some very key feats. With E6, you can take almost the entire chain, and be the Luckiest Hero Ever. And then, if you want more to do, you can learn the Spring Attack chain, or pick some some tactical feats, etc, etc. That seems way more fun than a few additional BAB and some minor always-increasing abilities, AND it doesn't become impossible to DM well, like D&D's higher levels.
 

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HeinorNY

First Post
I'll playtest my slower progression to see what comes out of that. I'll tell if it worked well or not and how.
See you next year :D :p
 

joela

First Post
E6 Video games

I don't play video games or on-line rpgs, but from what I understand from those who do and comments on this thread, E6 actually is closer to emulating those games than DnD. How? Apparently in many of those games, your PC stops leveling up like E6 and you have to rely on magic items to power up. In E6, feats seem to represent said items, though such items continue to exist. Standard DnD, on the other hand, has PCs with Dragonball Z increasing powers AND magic items.

Thoughts?
 

Kunimatyu

First Post
joela said:
I don't play video games or on-line rpgs, but from what I understand from those who do and comments on this thread, E6 actually is closer to emulating those games than DnD. How? Apparently in many of those games, your PC stops leveling up like E6 and you have to rely on magic items to power up. In E6, feats seem to represent said items, though such items continue to exist. Standard DnD, on the other hand, has PCs with Dragonball Z increasing powers AND magic items.

Thoughts?

It's hard to provide a catch-all term for RPG videogames. Some, like World of Warcraft, have a level cap and advancement beyond that is limited to items. Others have a levelling system that will likely not be maxed out by the game's end, unless you specifically devote a lot of time to levelling up.

In comparison to most RPGs videogames, D&D spells are far and above more powerful and gamebreaking. A higher level spell in a videogame typically just does more damage, whereas D&D spellcasters can create impermeable walls of force, create waves of Con-damage green slime, or summon extraplanar creatures more powerful than they themselves are.

While I don't want to see D&D become overly videogamey, I do think that R&D could stand to kick higher-level spells in the teeth so that things aren't so ridiculous.

-----

All that being said, I don't think E6 has more in common with videogame RPGs than bog-standard D&D. Videogame RPGs are notorious for always-increasing stats, such that boss monsters in the early game will often become standard enemies later in the game. In E6, since the power curve is smaller, you won't have nearly the disparity.
 

joela

First Post
Jumping from E6 to E7

I don't remember who mentioned it, but if the DM wants to change the E6 campaign level to E7 or higher, s/he might consider having the PCs undergo the Test-Based Prerequisties over at UA.Let them defeat a 7th level fighter or wizard or whatever within a certain time frame. Or perform quests worthy of such a level. Maybe a E6 cleric/druid's deity requires them to defeat that "vengenance duplicate' from BoED or something. In any event, moving up a level is a major event, one that stresses the PC, and probably shouldn't happen more than once a campaign year (aka DM's approval).
 

White Whale

First Post
Kunimatyu said:
How familiar are you with the eight-book Complete series, the Races series, the Spell and Magic Item Compendiums, Player's Handbook II, Heroes of Horror/Battle, the Dragon Compendium, and Dragon Magazine?

I find that many of the feats and spells in these sources offer a tremendous amount of variability, far more than higher-level class abilities. While Core-only E6 could get dull, I think, E6+additional WotC material could keep the game going for a very long time.

For instance, let's take Complete Scoundrel's Luck feats. Ordinarily, they're pretty neat, but not really possible to get more than 1-3 of unless you're giving up some very key feats. With E6, you can take almost the entire chain, and be the Luckiest Hero Ever. And then, if you want more to do, you can learn the Spring Attack chain, or pick some some tactical feats, etc, etc. That seems way more fun than a few additional BAB and some minor always-increasing abilities, AND it doesn't become impossible to DM well, like D&D's higher levels.
I guess it's a matter of preference. Clearly, the E6 system will give more feats than the system I outlined. I don't know what you mean with "minor always-increasing abilities", but my gut tells me that adding a levels worth of abilities is usually more powerful than a feat. Also, with my system I would give a feat every third level as usual. And yes, I'm familiar with several of those books you mentioned.

I don't see how this system becomes any more impossible to DM than the E6 system. Please share your thoughts, as I am very interested to hear them. I have not actually tried any of these variants, so I'm probably overlooking something :)
 

Ry

Explorer
ainatan said:
I'll playtest my slower progression to see what comes out of that. I'll tell if it worked well or not and how.
See you next year :D :p

Yes! That's what it's all about: less talk, more play.
 

Evilhalfling

Adventurer
joela said:
I don't play video games or on-line rpgs, but from what I understand from those who do and comments on this thread, E6 actually is closer to emulating those games than DnD. How? Apparently in many of those games, your PC stops leveling up like E6 and you have to rely on magic items to power up.
Thoughts?

Guild Wars [mmorg] does this, with the level cap at 20, which you reach after ~30% of the game. After that you increase in power with minor changes to magic items (ie getting a weapon that gives + 30 hp instead of +27 (to a base of 450 hp) and getting new elite spells (stolen from the dead bodies of boss monsters, although you can only bring 1 elite spell with you at a time)

In some areas every monster you face is lvl 24-28, teamwork, preparation and tactics are the only way to triumph. It is very much like E6.
 

Ry

Explorer
One thing that should work in E6 is quick 5-feat "templates" that add +1 CR based around particular themes, i.e.

Biter
Ability Training (Strength), Ability Advancement (Strength), Weapon Focus (Bite), Power Attack, Improved Natural Attack (bite)
 
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Kunimatyu

First Post
rycanada said:
Yes! That's what it's all about: less talk, more play.

I'm not going to be able to do that until September, when I move to Davis and find a new group. I may see about running a few playtests of E6, where I make 6th level PCs with 10-12 feats and see how they play versions a range of CRs.
 

Shazman

First Post
rycanada said:
One thing that should work in E6 is quick 5-feat "templates" that add +1 CR based around particular themes, i.e.

Biter
Ability Training (Strength), Ability Advancement (Strength), Weapon Focus (Bite), Power Attack, Improved Disarm

Wouldn't Improved Natural Attack (Bite) fit the biter theme better than Improved Disarm?
 

Ry

Explorer
Oi, yeah, good idea. I forgot about that feat; I thought of improved disarm because I think of the best animal-vs-human fights as ones that temporarily even the tool-use odds.
 

Shazman

First Post
Well if you go strictly by the book, there aren't too many things that have a bite attack that can pull off the 13 int to qualify for improved disarm. If it's a racial thing like the wolf's trip attack, that's a different story. Usually grappling is the tactic used by monsters to neutralize weapon use.

Here are some more feat templates:

Tough: Ability Training (constitution), Ability Advancement (constitution), Improved Toughness, Endurance, Diehard

Brute: Ability Training (strength), Ability Advancement (strength), Power Attack, Improved Bullrush, Improved Sunder

Thick-skinned: Improved Natural Armor x3, Toughness x2

Quick: Abiltity Training (dexterity), Ability Advancement (dexterity), Combat Reflexes, Dash, Improved Initiative
 
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Ry

Explorer
Nice!

If only I had a legion of Shazmen; then my plans for world domination would be complete.
 

joela

First Post
Selling E6

Kunimatyu said:
I'm not going to be able to do that until September, when I move to Davis and find a new group. I may see about running a few playtests of E6, where I make 6th level PCs with 10-12 feats and see how they play versions a range of CRs.

When you do, could you share how you're "selling" E6 to potential players? That's been one of my biggest obstacles so far with the variant. While some of my fellow DMs have found it intriguing, they've pointed out that DnD players, both within our group and in general, are going to see all those nifty high-level abilities in the PH and other books suddenly out of reach.

What have y'all done to sell E6? Personally, I'm thinking moving my offer to E9.
 

joela

First Post
Section

rycanada said:
One thing that should work in E6 is quick 5-feat "templates" that add +1 CR based around particular themes, i.e.

Biter
Ability Training (Strength), Ability Advancement (Strength), Weapon Focus (Bite), Power Attack, Improved Natural Attack (bite)

Does this go into the E6 Feat thread as well?
 

tvar

Explorer
rycanada said:
Q: With only 6 levels, how do races with a level adjustment work?
If you use races with a level adjustment, the 6th level cap is a big issue. Use the point buy rules in the DMG as follows:
LA Point buy
+0 32
+1 25
+2 18
+3 10
+4 00

I was looking for this rule in the DMG and couldn't find it. Does anyone have a page number?

I mean, I think I can figure it out. These are the same points as used to buy attributes, right? So if you are LA0 you get 32, if you have LA1 you only get 25, etc. Is that how this variant works?

EDIT: Based on my interpretation, it seems like you would probably have a lot of players opting to be half-dragons (and maybe half-celestials/fiends too). As a half-dragon who buys the LA3 with points you could have these stats: str 18, dex 12, con 14, int 10, wis 8, cha 10, which would normally cost you 30 points (so you're only really losing 2 points) and you gain all the other benefits of half-dragon, like +4 natural armor, immunities, breath weapon, natural weapons, etc. Am I misinterpreting these rules?
 
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Ry

Explorer
Oh, BTW, session 1 of the new campaign went great, but it was really about Raising the Stakes more than E6 (as the characters were all first level).
 

Ry

Explorer
tvar said:
I was looking for this rule in the DMG and couldn't find it. Does anyone have a page number?

I mean, I think I can figure it out. These are the same points as used to buy attributes, right? So if you are LA0 you get 32, if you have LA1 you only get 25, etc. Is that how this variant works?

EDIT: Based on my interpretation, it seems like you would probably have a lot of players opting to be half-dragons (and maybe half-celestials/fiends too). As a half-dragon who buys the LA3 with points you could have these stats: str 18, dex 12, con 14, int 10, wis 8, cha 10, which would normally cost you 30 points (so you're only really losing 2 points) and you gain all the other benefits of half-dragon, like +4 natural armor, immunities, breath weapon, natural weapons, etc. Am I misinterpreting these rules?

No, that's a correct interpretation. When I say "by the DMG" all I mean is to use the DMG's point buy rules (like page 2 or something, don't have the book with me). The rule I put here is not a DMG rule. This isn't a perfect fix; just the closest I could get with what I had to work with. Feel free to suggest another, but this is the one that comes up on top when alternatives to LAs are tossed about in the rules forums.
 

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