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E6: The Game Inside D&D

Gilladian

Adventurer
Sounds like a plan! I look forward to hearing about it.

I'll certainly comment here about how the players enjoy E6 once they've been 6th level for a while.
 

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DireWereTeddy

First Post
I was wondering if anyone had worked on including prestige classes in E6? For the most part I've found that you need to hit 7 before you can think about taking one. Are there any feats that would allow for the reproduction of prestige classes?

Something I've considered doing with prestige classes, is lowering the entry requirements, making them a little more generic, and running them like advanced classes from d20 Modern. Most of those where 3rd or 4th level entry.

My thoughts were make the classes generic so that they represent more of an archetype or role than the usually more specific prestige classes. d20 Modern had things like Soldier, Martial Artist, Field Scientist, and Celebrity as advanced classes. Give the class two or three levels, and then provide feats that mimic the remaining class abilities, within reason.

Something like that should work for prestige classes. I'd probably limit the class to one level (most can't be entered until 6 at the earlier anyways), and then feats to mimic the specific class abilities, but for some of the generic prcs there's no reason you can't treat them like advanced classes or even base classes (Duellist...I'm looking at you).
 

Madstone

First Post
I'm currently running an E6 game.
My players said it sounded like a fun variant, and I was intrigued with the idea.

Despite that, there have been a few snags. Spells of level 4 or higher are sorely missed, and I do pine to make use of the hundreds of prestige classes I've accumulated.

Also, the DM first needs to decide exactly how hard it is for an NPC to get to level 6. In my campaign, it's a little like WoW: getting there is hard, but enough make it, and once you do there's a lot of stuff that needs to be done.

We're currently at level 3. The campaign is going well, and I'm compiling a document with most of the good feats I want accessible to my players.
I am first time GM since 2nd edition. I have been running a game every other week. It took them a little over 8 months to get from first to 6th level where they are at now. I have since gone to milestone level ups so they will not level up until they finish "Into Quabus." After reading this, I will throw out the idea of trying this E6 idea to see how it plays out. My game is a back up game for our normal group. My game allows all type of content before allowing new content into my friend's main game. The main game players have been playing together for 15+ years.
 

Rune

Once A Fool
I am first time GM since 2nd edition. I have been running a game every other week. It took them a little over 8 months to get from first to 6th level where they are at now. I have since gone to milestone level ups so they will not level up until they finish "Into Quabus." After reading this, I will throw out the idea of trying this E6 idea to see how it plays out. My game is a back up game for our normal group. My game allows all type of content before allowing new content into my friend's main game. The main game players have been playing together for 15+ years.
I’d be very curious to know how it works out in 2e. Especially considering 2e doesn’t have feats. (Or maybe Skills & Powers had something like feats? I don’t remember.)

Edit: I believe I misread you. You aren’t currently running 2e, I presume. I’d still be interested to know if E6 could be done in 2e, though.
 

kevin_video

Explorer
I am first time GM since 2nd edition. I have been running a game every other week. It took them a little over 8 months to get from first to 6th level where they are at now. I have since gone to milestone level ups so they will not level up until they finish "Into Quabus." After reading this, I will throw out the idea of trying this E6 idea to see how it plays out. My game is a back up game for our normal group. My game allows all type of content before allowing new content into my friend's main game. The main game players have been playing together for 15+ years.
Experience over milestone once everyone is level 6 is almost mandatory. Knowing when you hit 5000 xp so the players can take a feat, and every three feats is another equivalent level. It's like not like a standard game where you just get a level once you hit a certain story progression, once you get to that point. Just something to be wary on.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Experience over milestone once everyone is level 6 is almost mandatory. Knowing when you hit 5000 xp so the players can take a feat, and every three feats is another equivalent level. It's like not like a standard game where you just get a level once you hit a certain story progression, once you get to that point. Just something to be wary on.
Why doesn't milestone work?
 

Rune

Once A Fool
Experience over milestone once everyone is level 6 is almost mandatory. Knowing when you hit 5000 xp so the players can take a feat, and every three feats is another equivalent level. It's like not like a standard game where you just get a level once you hit a certain story progression, once you get to that point. Just something to be wary on.
I guess that depends on the form milestones take. Should work fine if you base them on the completion a predetermined number of major or minor missions (especially those set by the party), rather than at specific points of a “story.”

Similarly, gaining a feat after a set number of sessions played should work fine, as well. Assuming a regular schedule for play, at least.
 

kevin_video

Explorer
Why doesn't milestone work?
I haven't heard of anyone successfully pulling it off where they didn't just up and abandon it because they weren't able to adjust the milestone to be 1/3 of the story instead of a specific point. I suppose if a GM really wanted to, that person could keep standard milestone leveling and just hand out three feats all at once, but that seems a bit much.
 

kevin_video

Explorer
I guess that depends on the form milestones take. Should work fine if you base them on the completion a predetermined number of major or minor missions (especially those set by the party), rather than at specific points of a “story.”

Similarly, gaining a feat after a set number of sessions played should work fine, as well. Assuming a regular schedule for play, at least.
Regular schedule is likely a larger part of it. GMs in the past have noted that it was just easier to do XP. 3.5 in general does XP spread very well, and in E6, even if you get an abundance of XP, you're not suddenly uber powerful. Those three feats might just be Skill Focus, Toughness, and Weapon Focus. Not exactly game breaking compared to earning a 9th level spell when you're still getting used to PCs who only have 7th level spells.

It's likely a YMMV factor, and it's probable it might work, but the success stories for E6 milestones don't seem to be shared nearly as much as the "Fail! Went back to XP." But, again, it might be an irregular schedule could be a contributing factor.
 

I’d still be interested to know if E6 could be done in 2e, though.
I took a good long look at replicating E6 in 1E. Doing it for 2E would be about the same. Problem is that 3E is structured differently and helps tremendously to make E6 actually work. PC's stop advancing at 6th level but get regular improvements in the form of feats, while their skills improvement basically halts. There are almost no other changes that need to be made to the rest of the 3E rules. That just doesn't hold true for 1E/2E. For starters the xp table is different for every class and there isn't a single level that makes a good stopping point for all of them. Beyond that, there isn't anything like feats in 1E/2E to continue to reward PC's with. Closest you could get would be NWP points but they make a poor substitute and I felt they'd start to imbalance the game in ways that feats wouldn't.

What I DID do was to come up with a variation for 1E where all PC's cease advancing entirely at a total of 700,001 xp. That puts different classes at different levels but makes a good stopping point nonetheless as the PC's are fairly comparable at that point despite the level differences. I then made some tweaks to the classes to better fit the fact that PC's would stop advancing altogether. Essentially something like the "capstone" feats that E6 set up. And I wanted to address how the level cap affected the casting ability for rangers and paladins. The really important part, however, was to pick a point where the major spellcasting PC's would cease getting higher level spells. That was a HUGE factor in making E6 work was in limiting spells to 3rd level. I eventually decided that once any spellcasting class was able to cast a 5th level spell their spellcasting ability would cease. That still left a few key spells wanting/needing to be backdoored in - reincarnation for druids, stone to flesh, and restoration. I left open the possibility to have a few other SELECT high-level magics used on a highly limited basis, but for the most part that felt to me like it cut out the worst of the high-level spell imbalance.

One of the other easily overlooked factors is that in 1E/2E, demihumans were able to multiclass but at the cost of being level-limited. That didn't work well in 1E/2E because of the fact that unlike the days when 1E was new, nowadays most players would not retire a PC at "title/name level". That left a severe imbalance between human and demi-human PC's. But, with an xp cap of 700,001xp that stops even humans at or immediately after "title/name level" and actually makes the demi-human level limits FIT and generally make better sense.

Last thing to mention is that I wanted the 1E Players Handbook to otherwise still be accurate and reliable for the players use - they wouldn't need a massive set of house rules. With all the changes I made (including a much shorter, clearer initiative system) it was only about 20 pages of rules to make it work. I almost think that for 1E/2E it's just the IDEA that PC advancement can't continue forever, and that there is a significant limit placed on the power of spells that is the most important part of the concept. It really colors how you look at the game in the long-term, even if the level cap is more like 10th-12th than 6th.

It's at:
if you're interested. And obviously, anybody will want to tweak what THEY want to tweak about it. That link is simply where my thinking and my preferences led me.
 

NotZenon

Explorer
I took a good long look at replicating E6 in 1E. Doing it for 2E would be about the same. Problem is that 3E is structured differently and helps tremendously to make E6 actually work. PC's stop advancing at 6th level but get regular improvements in the form of feats, while their skills improvement basically halts. There are almost no other changes that need to be made to the rest of the 3E rules. That just doesn't hold true for 1E/2E. For starters the xp table is different for every class and there isn't a single level that makes a good stopping point for all of them. Beyond that, there isn't anything like feats in 1E/2E to continue to reward PC's with. Closest you could get would be NWP points but they make a poor substitute and I felt they'd start to imbalance the game in ways that feats wouldn't.

What I DID do was to come up with a variation for 1E where all PC's cease advancing entirely at a total of 700,001 xp. That puts different classes at different levels but makes a good stopping point nonetheless as the PC's are fairly comparable at that point despite the level differences. I then made some tweaks to the classes to better fit the fact that PC's would stop advancing altogether. Essentially something like the "capstone" feats that E6 set up. And I wanted to address how the level cap affected the casting ability for rangers and paladins. The really important part, however, was to pick a point where the major spellcasting PC's would cease getting higher level spells. That was a HUGE factor in making E6 work was in limiting spells to 3rd level. I eventually decided that once any spellcasting class was able to cast a 5th level spell their spellcasting ability would cease. That still left a few key spells wanting/needing to be backdoored in - reincarnation for druids, stone to flesh, and restoration. I left open the possibility to have a few other SELECT high-level magics used on a highly limited basis, but for the most part that felt to me like it cut out the worst of the high-level spell imbalance.

One of the other easily overlooked factors is that in 1E/2E, demihumans were able to multiclass but at the cost of being level-limited. That didn't work well in 1E/2E because of the fact that unlike the days when 1E was new, nowadays most players would not retire a PC at "title/name level". That left a severe imbalance between human and demi-human PC's. But, with an xp cap of 700,001xp that stops even humans at or immediately after "title/name level" and actually makes the demi-human level limits FIT and generally make better sense.

Last thing to mention is that I wanted the 1E Players Handbook to otherwise still be accurate and reliable for the players use - they wouldn't need a massive set of house rules. With all the changes I made (including a much shorter, clearer initiative system) it was only about 20 pages of rules to make it work. I almost think that for 1E/2E it's just the IDEA that PC advancement can't continue forever, and that there is a significant limit placed on the power of spells that is the most important part of the concept. It really colors how you look at the game in the long-term, even if the level cap is more like 10th-12th than 6th.

It's at:
if you're interested. And obviously, anybody will want to tweak what THEY want to tweak about it. That link is simply where my thinking and my preferences led me.
Cool I did a similar thing with second edition except capping characters at level nine. It worked fine mostly. I tried the xp cap at 300,000 but it didn’t quite work as the Druid xp table is kind of… odd. My solution was either a hard cap at level nine or making Druids use the cleric xp table.

Second edition does kind of have a natural cap around level 9 / 10 when players stop gaining HD etc, and really extending that to include spells and thaco wasn’t really game breaking. Although allowing the wizards and clerics to cast higher level spells as one off rituals with a bunch of time and money spent on research was a welcomed addition.
 

NotZenon

Explorer
I should also note I had some weird system where characters could spend XP to gain NWP/WP and thieves/bards could continue to improve thief skills - it was probably overly complicated. And looking back I think bards/thieves were capped at level 10. Basically once you stopped gaining HD you were capped.
 

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