E6: The Game Inside D&D


Note to mods: E6 was born in House Rules, but I ran the idea of posting in General past Piratecat a while ago, and it’s finally ready for the bigtime. Thanks!

This is E6’s sixth major incarnation here at EN World; in this thread I hope to talk about preparing E6 games, how to talk to skeptical players about E6, and your actual play experiences with E6. The E6 and Raising the Stakes .pdfs are attached to this post. Enjoy!

E6: The Game Inside the World’s Most Popular RPG

What is E6?

Earlier this year a fellow named Ryan Dancey suggested that d20 has four distinct quartiles of play:

Levels 1-5: Gritty fantasy
Levels 6-10: Heroic fantasy
Levels 11-15: Wuxia
Levels 16-20: Superheroes

There’s been some great discussion at EN World and elsewhere about how to define those quartiles, and how each group eventually finds the quartiles that suit them best.

E6 is a game about d20’s first two quartiles, and focuses on continuously delivering exciting heroic fantasy, even in a very long campaign. Like d20, E6 can be adapted to a wide variety of settings, from high-magic action-adventure where magic takes the place of technology to low-magic worlds where sorcerers are spoken of in frightened whispers and dragons are the stuff of legend. E6 keeps all the benefits and familiarity of low-level d20 games: Fast-paced combat, quick prep, and an incredible wealth of third-party material that can be used with the game. E6 has been playtested extensively, and its rules that can be explained to veteran d20 players in under a minute.

How E6 works

Like d20, E6 is a game of enigmatic wizards, canny rogues, and mighty warriors who rise against terrible dangers and overcome powerful foes. But instead of using d20’s 20 levels to translate characters into the rules, E6 uses only the first 6. E6 is about changing one of d20’s essential assumptions, but it doesn't need a lot of rules to make that change.

To understand E6, imagine the perspective of the average medieval peasant in a d20 game. This person has the stats of a 1st-level commoner, and while they might not know their stats explicitly, they know their relation to the rest of the world. Our peasant knows that he can be killed quite easily by maurauding raiders, enemy soldiers, or even wild animals. He’s not mighty, he’s not organized, and he doesn’t have any special skills to bring to bear when danger strikes. He worries about drought and flood, and the welfare of his livestock. His extended family likely all lives within a mile of his birthplace. To him, a trip to a town ten miles off is an expedition into the unknown.

Imagine you are this peasant, and you meet a trio of 6th-level adventurers. When you address the wizard, you are speaking to someone who could incinerate your home and slay all your livestock with a few words. The fighter has prevailed against a dozen orcish skirmishers and slain them all – and he could do the same again. The cleric is a man so holy that the gods themselves have granted him the power to cure the sick and heal the wounded. These are epic heroes.

Now consider the powers of a CR 5 manticore. To the peasant, the appearance of this manticore near the village isn’t a nuisance: the beast can, and likely will slay you in seconds if you draw its attention. You, your livestock, and your entire family are in immediate danger of violent death. Even if you were well armed and gathered a large peasant militia, your village faces heavy losses and no guarantee of success. Against such a creature, adventurers may be your only hope. E6 recognizes that 6th level characters are mortal, while reframing the game’s perspective to create a context where those same 6th level characters are epic heroes.

What levels mean in E6

Levels 1 to 6 are a period when a character comes into his own, and a crash course in action and danger transforms them from 1st-level commoners to veteran adventurers (or corpses). Once transformed by their experiences, a character’s growth is no longer a continuous, linear progression. Instead, they specialize or broaden their abilities: There are still major differences between the master warriors and the veteran mercenaries, but it's not a change of scale. This change in progression, which we see frequently in fantasy literature, is modeled through the acquisition of feats.


Character progression from level 1 to level 6 is as per d20. Upon attaining 6th level, for each 5000 experience a character gains, they earn a new feat. A diverse selection of feats should be made available in any E6 campaign, however, feats with unattainable prerequisites under this system remain unattainable.

For the purpose of experience awards, treat each 5 feats as +1 CR (or level), to an upper limit of 20 feats. After this, it becomes more and more difficult to bring all a character’s feats to bear in a given situation; although they continue to gain feats, 6th level characters with more than 20 feats can continue to be treated as if they were level 10 for experience and challenge purposes.

Monsters and Items in E6

Just as level 6 parties in d20 aren’t expected to tangle with monsters higher than CR 10, the mighty monsters of E6 require special consideration for presentation in-game. E6 characters aren't intended to go up against high-level d20 threats under the same circumstances as high-level d20 characters; those creatures, if they are defeatable at all, require the kind of resources and planning far beyond the typical d20 dungeon encounter.

In terms of raw rules, CR 7-10 monsters are an excellent guide for what 6th level characters can handle. As a party approaches 6th level plus 20 feats, that range also increases, and PCs are able to fight monsters with base CRs in the range of CR 9 to 12, or larger groups of lower-level monsters. If a campaign continues beyond this point (and congratulations, because that’s a lot of gaming) a GM should take monsters in the CR 7-12 range and use feats (and to a lesser extent templates) to advance them. Hit die or class-based advancement beyond CR 12, or base monsters above CR 12 should generally be avoided as straight-up fights in any E6 campaign.

Of course, not every monstrous encounter is a straight-up fight. For example, insane horrors from another age might be a reason to run, and there is little a character could do in the face of an angry Titan. But these situations don’t call for direct confrontation, except with some special resource or amazing circumstance. Perhaps, in a special ritual with the presence of 20 mages, a Titan can be bound to the mortal realm (lowering its stats to a Hill Giant with the spells of a 6th-level sorcerer), with whom the players can do battle. Again, that's far from a straight-up fight with a CR 20 creature, but we can console ourselves with the fact that it's probably a very memorable encounter.

Items follow a similar approach. If, as a result of the restrictions on items, an item cannot be created, then it should not be distributed as normal treasure. Like high-level monsters, such items should be placed carefully and built to make sense in the context of your game. For example, a +4 sword is an amazing artifact in this setting, perhaps even made by the gods: It's a sword no mortal could make.

[sblock=Benefits of E6]1. Very fast play at every level of the campaign.
2. Focus on planning, not levelling. To defeat the black dragon Zolanderos, the CR 10 terror of Staunwark Island, the heroes will need help, special resources, and information. I want to further encourage party-directed adventuring, and if the heroes want to take on something 4 to 6 CR above them, then that's what they will require.
3. A low magic game that everyone knows how to play.
4. Never a need for meaningless encounters. The players can be involved in a dozen or so major combat scenarios (perhaps more than one encounter each) and have proven themselves and made a major accomplishment. See Lord of the Rings movies, or most fantasy novels.
5. Classic monsters stay classic throughout the campaign; Chimeras and Aboleths start scary, and stay scary. Dragons are always exciting encounters.
6. Even legendary heroes remain mortal; while a 6th level fighter who has taken toughness several times can take on a good mob, he isn't invulnerable. The sorcerer's 6d6 fireballs are phenomenal, but not so powerful that he can destroy a village and not fear retaliation.
7. Quicker prep. Make a 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 6th version of a sorcerer, and now you have a whole sorcerous dragon-cult that can last you through your whole campaign.
8. You can put what you've learned of the rules to good use. It's hard to know every 4th through 9th level spell out there; they're the ones we see the least. But we've seen 0th through 3rd level spells many, many times, and mastery over them is relatively simple.
9. E6 is a great system for on the fly GMing. If you’re reasonably familiar with what a 2nd level threat looks like, power-wise, you can probably get away with running it without stats handy.[/sblock][sblock=E6 vs d20]
Here's how I see E6 vs standard d20, in terms of power levels.

Character advancement in d20 is an upward sloping curve; levels are a linear, but the feats and magic items that get added on top makes the progression even faster. As players get better and better combinations of items and feats and class abilities, they can combine them in better and better ways. This leads to levelling out of the Heroic Fantasy quartile (6-10) and into the Wuxia quartile (11-15). The Wuxia quartile is also more complex, which is another mark against it for some.


Levelling in E6 is like d20 till 6th level, and a character never stops advancing. But feat-based advancement is naturally slower than level-based advancement, and while you keep getting closer and closer to CR 10 power level, you're getting there more and more slowly; feats always add a mechanical benefit, but the combinations and permutations of the feats and items you've acquired don't "crack the top" of CR 10 power level.


E6 will always inherit d20's balance issues at the same level, especially issues that result from scenarios where those characters d20 characters have long periods of downtime. The best approach is to be cognizant of these issues when considering what feats to allow in your E6 game.[/sblock]Extra Feats

There several philosophies on what feats to allow in an E6 game, but in any long-running E6 game some expansion feats should be made available for players to continue to grow their characters in different ways.

Which feats you allow depends on what you want for your own game. Some GMs want to encourage single-classing, others are happy to tell their players to work within a framework, choosing only those feats that match the style of their campaign. Some want to see more gestalt-style characters and allow feat chains towards specific classes’ abilities. Many GMs make a real-world decision, allowing feats from publishers they trust, or all feats from the books the GM owns. The original E6 campaign allowed feats on an ad-hoc basis; players were encouraged to develop various aspects of their characters rather than linear power, but were allowed to suggest feats if they couldn’t find something that worked in the available rules. Ultimately, the decision on what feats to allow belongs to the GM, and should naturally vary from one E6 campaign to the next.

All of these feats should be considered suggestions – each E6 game is different and it is always up to the individual GM what they want to allow.

[sblock=For Ability Advancement]Ability Training (General)
You spend time honing one of your Abilities: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma.
Benefit: Choose one Ability; treat that Ability as having a +2 bonus to that Ability Score whenever you are making an Ability Check. This bonus does not count when making a skill check or for any other use of that ability.
Special: You can gain this feat multiple times, its effects do not stack. Each time you take this feat it applies to another ability.

Ability Advancement (General)
Your training pays off, and one of your Abilities increases.
Prerequisite: Ability Training in the same ability.
Benefit: Choose one Ability. You gain a permanent +2 bonus to that ability. This bonus does nto stack with the benefit from Ability Training.
Special: You can gain this feat multiple times, its effects do not stack. Each time you take this feat it applies to another ability.[/sblock][sblock=Capstone Feats]Martial Veteran (General) (comrade_raoul)
Prerequisites: Fighter level 6th.
Benefit: You may select feats with a requirement of up to fighter level 8, and with a Base Attack Bonus requirement of up to +8.
Special: A fighter may select Martial Veteran as one of his bonus feats.

Roguish Ability [General]
Prerequisite: Rogue 6
Benefit: You learn one rogue special ability.
Special: This feat may be taken only once.

Barbaric Resilience [General]
Prerequisite: Barbarian 6
Benefit: You gain DR 1/--

Skill Beyond Your Years
Prerequisite: Level 6
Pick a skill. Your max ranks rise from Level+3 to Level +5.

Holy Strikes [General]
Prerequisite: Paladin 6
Benefit: Your melee attacks are considered good for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Mighty Wild Shape [General]
Prerequisite: Druid level 6
Choose 1 Large animal. You can wildshape into that animal.

Bardic Inspiration [General]
Prerequisite: Bard level 6
The bonus granted by your inspire courage ability increases to +2.

Extra Domain Power [General] (Shazman)
Prerequisites: Wis 18 +, Cleric level 6, Knowledge (religion) 9 ranks, Skill Focus: Knowledge (religon)
Benefit: You gain the domain power of one additional domain associated with your deity. You may only take this feat once.

Extra Domain Access (General) (Shazman)
Prerequisities: Wis 18 +, Cleric level 6, Knowledge (religion) 9 ranks, Extra Domain Power, Skill Focus: Knowledge (religion)
Benefit: You gain access to the domain spell list of one additional domain assciated with your deity. This domain must be the same one as that chosen for the Extra Domain Power feat. You may only take this feat once.

Restoration (General)
Prerequisites: 6th level, ability to cast 3rd-level divine spells, Wisdom 18, Healing 9 Ranks
Benefit: You can use Restoration, as the spell (paying the material component), with a casting time of 1 hour.

Swift Metamagic (Metamagic) (Kunimatyu)
Prerequisite: Metamagic feats (see below), Caster Level 6
Benefit: When you take this feat, select a metamagic feat. As a swift action once per day, you may apply this metamagic feat to a spell you cast with no adjustment to the level of the spell cast.
Special: You must have a number of Swift metamagic feats equal to the level increase of your chosen metamagic, minus one, to take this feat. For example, Empower Spell, which boosts the level of a spell by 2, has a prerequisite of 1 Swift feat. Split Ray, which has an increase of 1, would have no prerequisites. This feat may be taken multiple times.

Caster Training (General) (Khuxan)
You become a more accomplished spellcaster.
Requirements: Character level 6, caster level 1 or greater.
Benefit: Your caster level increases by 4, to a maximum of 6. Note this only affects Caster Level (i.e., more dice on your damage, no new spells or slots).

Expanded Knowledge (General) (PoeticJustice)
Prerequisite: Character Level 6th
Benefit: Choose a spellcasting class in which you have levels. You gain an additional spell known at any level you can cast from that class's spell list.

Expanded Casting (General) (PoeticJustice)
Prerequisite: Character Level 6th
Benefit: Choose a spellcasting class in which you have levels. You gain an additional spell slot at any level you can already cast.

Stone to Flesh (General)
Prerequisites: 6th level, ability to cast 3rd-level arcane spells, Intelligence 18, Craft (Alchemy) 9 Ranks
Benefit: You can use stone to flesh, as the spell, with an expensive and secret magical ingredient with a market value of 1000 gp and a casting time of 1 day.

Excelling Flurry [General]
Prereq: Monk 6
Benefit: You use Flurry of Blows with no penalty to your attack bonus. In addition, you qualify for feats that a Monk may take as 6th level bonus feats.

Step of the Wild lands
Prereq: Ranger 6
Benefit: You gain the Woodland Stride and Swift Tracking class abilities.

Wondrous Rings (General)
Prerequisites: 6th level, Craft Wondrous Item
Benefit: You treat rings as wondrous items for the purpose of meeting item creation prerequisites. You must still meet caster level requirements for any ring you create.[/sblock][sblock=For Villains]Mental Domination (General) (Lord Tirian)
You're able to subjugate certain people's mind.
Prerequisite: Having charmed humanoid with HD equal or less than your caster level.
Benefit: Choose a humanoid with HD equal your caster level or less, you have currently charmed. Treat charm person as dominate person against this person.
Special: This feat can be taken several times. It applies to a different humanoid each time.[/sblock]


Raising the Stakes.pdf

This will be my last revision of E6 for a while; the idea has clearly gotten across, and now it’s time to play my home campaign and work on some of my other design priorities. Thanks to everyone who’s asked questions, set up your own campaigns with E6, and challenged me to improve E6’s writing and presentation. You guys are the best.
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FAQ, Play Aids, and Links

FAQ, Play Aids, and Links

[sblock=FAQ: Using E6]Q: So characters just stop levelling at 6?
A: That’s right. Characters who have reached level 6 have proven themselves, but this extremely rapid growth does not go on forever. Instead, they master specialized techniques, or become more versatile. This stage of a character’s development is represented by gaining new feats.

Q: Does E6 change the stacking rules? For example, can I take Weapon Focus twice and have it stack? Can I take Skill Focus twice and have it stack?
A: The stacking rules remain the same as in standard D&D.

Q: What if I want there to be a higher level magical effect, but still use E6?
The rules for rituals in Unearthed Arcana are an excellent fit for E6, to support things like opening portals to another dimension, higher-level divinations, and so on. When a spell is a 3-day event requiring 20 mages, it’s more of a plot point than a spell itself, and that maeks it a great a springboard for challenging the players.

Q: As a DM, I like running things on the fly. Can E6 support that kind of play?
A: Absolutely. A DM that knows how to estimate the abilities of enemies in the low-level range can use that knowledge throughout the campaign. Likewise, familiarity breeds mastery – and for feats, spells, and monsters, there is more chance for a DM to become familiar with abilities in an appropriate range to the PCs, even if he is using a diverse selection of monsters. Furthermore, Dungeon Masters can get much more mileage out of their previous work: The stats of a 5th-level sorcerer written for 4th level PCs is still a useful tool months of gametime later against characters who are 6th level +10 feats.

Q: Can you make high-level items as a low-level caster in E6?
A: No, caster level requirements for magic items are treated as hard requirements.

Q: If a character took multiple classes, or Prestige Classes, suddenly you've got a guy with saves that are seriously out of whack. Is this a game-breaking issue?
A: If you multiclass that much, you're probably doing it to get the saves. In that situation, your saves are your special ability. Moreover, saves are passive abilities; the player doesn't control when their character uses a save, which gives them limited appeal compared to stuff the player can control. So if a player goes after them like crazy, and succeeds in having really exceptional saves – let them have their fun.

Q: I prefer stopping at around 8th level, does that work for this system?
A: The system will probably work about as well at 8th level, but note that “Epic 6th” characters do end up being more powerful than regular 6th level characters. Epic 6th may be what you want for a game that sits at the power level for Level 8, and Epic 8th may cater more closely to Level 10 style play.

Q: Does E6 work with a slower progression to level 6? Does it work when characters are created at 2nd level?
Yes and yes. I've tried both during my playtesting period. I'll be starting my new game at 3rd level.

Q: I’m not a big fan of experience points. Do you need a strict XP system to make E6 work?
A: An ad-hoc "gain a feat" approach would work absolutely 100% with this system. I used to do that with other systems (power up when the story makes it appropriate) and given the fact that the upper end of the power curve flattens off, that method should go very smoothly with E6.

Q: Can you use Prestige Classes with E6?
A: I’d recommend taking the same approach you take in your regular D&D game. If you allow Prestige Classes there, feel free to allow them here. Of course, characters capped at 6th level can usually take at most 1 level of a Prestige Class.

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

Thus, +LA races should start with zero LA, but use the point buy listed here. Keep in mind the difference between LA and racial hit dice (the two combine to give starting ECL).[/sblock][sblock=FAQ: Why is E6 designed this way?]Q: Where did E6 come from?
A: E6 was inspired by the article Gandalf was a Fifth-Level Magic User by Bill Seligman. The article was published in The Dragon (which became Dragon magazine) in issue #5, March 1977. When I first had the concept of E6, where we used the first six levels for the whole game, my very first step was pitching it to my players. Some thought it was a great idea, and the rest were willing to give it a try, so I gave it a shot. E6 worked really well for our tastes, and we've done lots of playing inside E6 since then. Back then E6 was a lot more convoluted than it is now: there were intricate quasi-gestalt rules and several other little things that weren’t so much about the cap as they were about my group’s thoughts on D&D class balance. Over time, we found that the only rules we were really using (on both sides of the screen) were the feat rules, and that was producing a great play experience. So when I returned to E6 just recently, that’s how I wrote it up: As it was actually played.

Q: Why 6th level for the cap? Why not 12th, or 20th?
A: My experience in D&D is that at around 6th level the characters are really nicely balanced, both in terms of balance against other classes, and against the CR system. Also, there was an element of setting assumptions; each class is strong enough that they're well defined in their role, but not so strong that lower-level characters don't matter to them any more.

Q: How did you arrive at the cost of 5000 xp per feat post 6th level?
A: Originally, I considered that if I wasn’t giving level 7, maybe 2 feats for the same price would be a good comprimise (3000xp / feat). That way they would have this great feeling of advancement without popping the top off the power level." But in play, the players found it was so fast that they did not have time to enjoy their new abilities. There just wasn't time in-game for their characters to grow, so I upped the cost to 5000 xp, and it works like a charm.

Q: Why not use [system of character points / experience purchases / incremental gestalt rules] instead of E6?
A: Feats, if they don't work out in a particular case, are less controversial to tweak than, say, the XP table. If you find out that the XP table, or stats, or whatever else you've changed doesn't work for some players, it's a big deal to change it because it then affects everyone - and sometimes has effects that cascade through the system.

I have found that if a feat is too good, it's not that big a deal to say "Hey Ned, I think the feat I made for you is too good, but I don't want to take it away from you. I think it should have a prerequisite, like Skill Focus (Knowledge - nature) instead of being straight-up available. I'd like to leave you with it but say that your next feat needs to be that knowledge thing, rather than take it away now. We could do that, or if you want you could swap it out for something else. What do you think?"

It's important to me to keep the rule changes minimal, because players really don't want to read a lot outside of the game and they get frustrated if there's too many house rules.

2 years ago (before E6 was called E6) I worked up these complex gestalt XP-buy rules, but eventually my players and I realized that with all the options available all that was really getting used were feat purchasing, because they were so easy to approach.

Q: Why not just stop advancement at 6th, and have characters just not advance after that, or slow experience down so much that you can game for years and never get higher than 6th level?
A: In my experience, players prefer to have characters that can grow – and have that growth reflected in the mechanics of the game.

Q: I like high-magic, high-powered campaigns. Is E6 for me?
A: Probably not. Just as D&D can’t be all things to all groups, E6 caters to a specific set of tastes.[/sblock][sblock=E6-related links]The OGC E6 Wiki

D&D Calibrating Your Expectations

mfrench's (mostly) free stuff E6 campaign

Netbook of Feats
http://datadeco.com/nbofeats/ [/sblock][sblock=Quick Templates for E6]These templates up the CR of existing creatures quickly and easily by adding blocks of 5 feats. These essentially add +1 CR to the monsters.

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

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

Improved Natural Armor x3, Toughness x2

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

Ability Training (constitution), Ability Advancement (constitution), Improved Toughness, Endurance, Diehard[/sblock][sblock=Khuxan’s discovery]Khuxan discovered that D&D Miniatures are well suited to E6. The vast majority are CR <10. In fact, it's quite fun to look through the above-sixes and work out where each one belongs in a E6 campaign:
the CR 11 Stone Golem that guards the entrance to an ancient kingdom...
the CR 8 Warforged Titan whose creation ended a border dispute between two nations...
the CR 9 Aspect of Orcus isn't an Aspect, it's the Orcus...
the CR 8 Efreeti you hope stays in its lamp - because if it broke free, it could raze cities...
the CR 7 Yuan-ti Abomination which heads the empire-spanning Slithering Cult...
the CR 7 Bulette that destroys every caravan to venture through the Wastes...
the CR 13 Huge Red Dragon that is the first dragon, the dragon from which all others sprung...
the CR 8 Treant which is the heart of the deepest forest in the land...[/sblock][Sblock=Evilhalfling’s list of Wondrous Items]Here is a list of all minor wondrous items that require only spells 3rd lvl or lower to create,

Elixir of love 150 gp
Unguent of timelessness 150 gp
Dust of tracelessness 250 gp
Elixir of hiding 250 gp
Elixir of sneaking 250 gp
Elixir of swimming 250 gp
Silversheen 250 gp
Elixir of truth 500 gp
Bag of tricks, gray 900 gp
Hand of the mage 900 gp
Bracers of armor +1 1,000 gp
Cloak of resistance +1 1,000 gp
Pearl of power, 1st-level spell 1,000 gp
Phylactery of faithfulness 1,000 gp
Salve of slipperiness 1,000 gp
Elixir of fire breath 1,100 gp
Pipes of the sewers 1,150 gp
Dust of illusion 1,200 gp
Brooch of shielding 1,500 gp
Necklace of fireballs type I 1,650 gp
Dust of appearance 1,800 gp
Hat of disguise 1,800 gp
Pipes of sounding 1,800 gp
Amulet of natural armor +1 2,000 gp
Horn of fog 2,000 gp
Robe of bones 2,400 gp
Sovereign glue 2,400 gp
Boots of elvenkind 2,500 gp
Boots of the winterlands 2,500 gp
Candle of truth 2,500 gp
Cloak of elvenkind 2,500 gp
Scarab, golembane 2,500 gp
Necklace of fireballs type II 2,700 gp
Stone of alarm 2,700 gp
Bag of tricks, rust 3,000 gp
Chime of opening 3,000 gp
Horseshoes of speed 3,000 gp
Rope of climbing 3,000 gp
Dust of disappearance 3,500 gp
Lens of detection 3,500 gp 57
Bracers of armor +2 4,000 gp
Cloak of resistance +2 4,000 gp
Gloves of arrow snaring 4,000 gp \
Restorative ointment 4,000 gp 68
Pearl of power, 2nd-level spell 4,000 gp
Circlet of persuasion 4,500 gp 7
Slippers of spider climbing 4,800 gp
Bracers of archery, lesser 5,000 gp
Helm of comprehend languages and read magic 5,200 gp
Vest of escape 5,200 gp
Eversmoking bottle 5,400 gp
Sustaining spoon 5,400 gp
Boots of striding and springing 5,500 gp
Wind fan 5,500 gp
Amulet of mighty fists +1 6,000 gp
Horseshoes of a zephyr 6,000 gp
Pipes of haunting 6,000 gp
Gloves of swimming and climbing 6,250 gp
Circlet of blasting, minor 6,480 gp
Horn of goodness/evil 6,500 gp
Bottle of air 7,250 gp
Periapt of health

Medium Items
Bracers or armor +3
Amulet of NAC +2
Boots of haste
Cloak of Arcadia
Minor cloak of displacement[/sblock]
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First Post
Contemplating world-building in an E6 game... how would folks suggest structuring 'what levels exist in the population'?

I realize the answer is 'however you want for your campaign,' but it might be worth poking at various designs and the effects that would have on the game.


First Post
I'll be starting my E6 game in the next few weeks. It's something of a "science fantasy" game using the Sorcerer supplement "EncyclopediaDictionary of Mu" (that was up for a few Ennies this year, I heard). I think E6 will work especially well for a lower-fantasy dying-world pulp setting like Mu, and I'm eager to get started.

While the setting has humanoids, I'm pushing for an all-human party, using the Background rules from Iron Heroes, with a few custom backgrounds appropriate to the setting.
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Nice. This will be in the running for the next time I run my "standard campaign", which is a fairly low-powered game.




Will said:
Contemplating world-building in an E6 game... how would folks suggest structuring 'what levels exist in the population'?

I realize the answer is 'however you want for your campaign,' but it might be worth poking at various designs and the effects that would have on the game.

When I dreamed up E6, the idea was that 6th level characters were the major named characters of the setting: the Elronds, Gandalfs, Aragorns, Theodens, Eomers, and Faramirs. There's another viable approach, which makes the playing field much more even: that's Evilhalfling's approach in this thread.

One thing to keep in mind here is the difference between level demographics in the background and level demographics in the foreground.

You could structure two campaigns the same way in terms of encounters: The players speak with a 6th-level cleric, who implores them to do battle with a wyvern living in the nearby hills while he takes the pass beneath the wyvern's lair to a town in need of his healing magic.

Under my approach, the cleric is described as a Very Important NPC. He might be Raulim, wandering mystic, servant of Fiutiel, the Angel of Virtue. The towns the players are helping are made up of 1st-level commoners and a few 1st-level experts and warriors. The head of the local militia is a 3rd-level warrior (he's been around a bit).

Under the other approach, the cleric is Raulim, the town cleric. He hasn't travelled much and although he's quite skilled as a cleric, his life is just as local as the peasants in his flock. If he's important to the story, it's because the PCs are familiar with him and have seen him before. In this case, the town probably has quite a few levelled characters; maybe the head of the town guard is a 6th level fighter, and many of the townsfolk are 3rd level commoners.

Here's the point about background and foreground: In terms of playability, since only Raulim, 6th level cleric, is getting involved in combats near the PCs (foreground), there's very little difference between the two approaches (background).
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Kunimatyu said:
I'll be starting my E6 game in the next few weeks. It's something of a "science fantasy" game using the Sorcerer supplement "Encyclopedia of Mu" (that was up for a few Ennies this year, I heard). I think E6 will work especially well for a lower-fantasy dying-world pulp setting like Mu, and I'm eager to get started.

While the setting has humanoids, I'm pushing for an all-human party, using the Background rules from Iron Heroes, with a few custom backgrounds appropriate to the setting.

Kuni, could you give me the coles notes version of Encyclopedia of Mu? I'm not familiar with it at all.


brehobit said:
Nice. This will be in the running for the next time I run my "standard campaign", which is a fairly low-powered game.

Thanks Mark! One thing E6 has going for it is that players don't have to learn a thing, and you can tempt them with feats. Another thing E6 has going for it is that I've playtested it and there's now several games of it running.


First Post
Great ideas. Actually, with E6 I could be tempted to once again run a 3.5 campaign (provided I had the time and opportunity)...

I would probably use some of the rules found in Unearthed Arcana as well, expanding on "ritual magic", using variant rules for acquisition of prestige classes so they could be gained at 2nd or 3rd level, etc.


First Post
rycanada said:
Kuni, could you give me the coles notes version of Encyclopedia of Mu? I'm not familiar with it at all.

Sure - the setting is a dying desert planet, full of the ruins of failed civilizations, while the remnants of humanity dwell in the remaining cities or ride the Red Wastes. You've got decadent but technologically powerful Atlanteans living in crystal spheres, warlocks and sorcerers rallying behind the banners of the Witch-King of Lemuria, nomads riding the wastes until the Khan of Khans comes to lead them, and the righteous hordes of Hy-Brasil uniting behind their Damsel Messiah. Pyramids dot the landscape, filled with the lost technologies of the past - some pyramids even contain the means of transit off the dying world of Marr'd and into the welcoming arms of Urt...provided you have enough blood for their engines...

The setting has bits of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom, D&D 2e's Dark Sun, and Jack Vance's Dying Earth books scattered throughout, and for newer gamers, there's a something of a Secret of Mana/Crystalis/Chrono Trigger/Illusion of Gaia influence(though I suspect it's merely due to parallel inspiration from the above works). It sounds like a fun, if bleak, setting that I'm going to enjoy playing around with.

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