mickey65
 member, 40 posts
 Long-time PbP player
 Love several systems
Thu 13 Jul 2017
at 16:12
what do people think of Epic-6?
Here's a link to a description of Epic-6:

https://www.myth-weavers.com/wiki/index.php/Epic_6

What do people think of it?

This message was last updated by a moderator, as it was the wrong forum, at 20:00, Thu 13 July.

GreyGriffin
 member, 96 posts
 Portal Expat
 Game System Polyglot
Thu 13 Jul 2017
at 17:54
what do people think of Epic-6?
I *really* like Epic 6, especially the philosophy behind it.
swordchucks
 member, 1403 posts
Thu 13 Jul 2017
at 18:09
what do people think of Epic-6?
Conceptually, it's interesting, but I'm not as sure that D&D is the best system to use to achieve those ends.  You could just as easily run a game in a different system that's a little more geared toward the level cap and get the same theme.
witchdoctor
 member, 148 posts
Thu 13 Jul 2017
at 19:48
what do people think of Epic-6?
I've liked the idea since I read the article a year or so ago.  That's the type of fantasy game I usually run and enjoy.  It fits the worlds I enjoy cooking up as well.
mickey65
 member, 42 posts
Thu 13 Jul 2017
at 20:26
what do people think of Epic-6?

This message was deleted by the user at 20:31, Thu 13 July.

DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1143 posts
Thu 13 Jul 2017
at 21:53
what do people think of Epic-6?
Personally, I prefer splitting advancement into power and options instead.

E6 has the disadvantage of limiting versatility and class options, not to mention denying prestige classes.

Advancing hp, hd, bab, dmg progressions, etc separately from class levels is far more flexible than e6, and can actually allow a lot more advancement while keeping things gritty, alternatively, it allows starting out as untrained superheroes with great power but not much experience or skill.
mickey65
 member, 43 posts
 Long-time PbP player
 Love several systems
Thu 13 Jul 2017
at 22:07
what do people think of Epic-6?
In reply to DarkLightHitomi (msg # 6):

That sounds very interesting. Can you elaborate or provide a link?
Egleris
 member, 160 posts
Thu 13 Jul 2017
at 22:47
what do people think of Epic-6?
quote:
E6 has the disadvantage of limiting versatility and class options, not to mention denying prestige classes.

That's not really true - it takes no effort at all to break classes (both prestige and not) into their class features, and then make those among said class feature that the GM feels like allowing available as extra feats (or even feat chains) with special requirements.

Personally, I think that E6 is a great idea, because it allows the player far more and more flexible customization, while allowing the GM far greater control and, more importantly, allowing for vastly more coherent worldbuilding.

But it's a matter of opinions in the end - for certain types of stories, E6 just isn't a good fit, but 3.P high-level play isn't for everybody either, and if one doesn't like it, then going with E6 or some derivate adaptation of the system is usually a good idea.
Godzfirefly
 member, 480 posts
Thu 13 Jul 2017
at 23:43
what do people think of Epic-6?
My personal opinion (and I'll emphasize that it's ONLY my opinion) is that E6 is a limited attempt to fix the faults of the deeply flawed 3.5/Pathfinder system.

It takes some good steps in the right direction...it helps balance classes a lot (but perhaps not enough,) it makes it easier to have a more well rounded character concept using a broader range of feats than are normally available, and it helps reduce the effect of the massive number of splat-books that bloat that system.

But, it doesn't really do enough to limit the power-creep that exists in the later releases of both 3.5 and Pathfinder.  And, since those issues exist as much at 1st through 6th level as at 20th, it wouldn't be able to.  In addition, it doesn't at all address the issues with unnecessary complexity, which leaves the issue of needing to slow the game to look up how to do anything that isn't essentially a normal attack action.

All-in-all, I'd say that if you really like 3.5/Pathfinder, you should just play it with whatever house rules your group is comfortable with to make the game playable for you.  If you don't like 3.5/Pathfinder and want to find a way to drastically change the game to make yourself like it, maybe you should look for another system altogether.  Perhaps a system like 4th or 5th edition D&D, FATE, Dungeon World, Burning Wheel, or others that might just fit your needs better.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1144 posts
Fri 14 Jul 2017
at 05:19
Re: what do people think of Epic-6?
mickey65:
In reply to DarkLightHitomi (msg # 6):

That sounds very interesting. Can you elaborate or provide a link?


I don't know where to find any already existing on the internet. I am building my own version of the concept, but it is not complete (and is sidelined at the moment, but I could be convinced to make it an active project again).

It'd take a while, but I could digitize what I have so far and share it.


quote:
... to break classes ...


Essentially you are proposing to houserule the e6 rules.

The ability to houserule an issue into a non-issue does not negate the fact that the issue exists in the rules.

In any case, there are two things here, first, class features are often balanced by when they are obtained and what else is obtained at the same time. Both of these factors are bypassed by simply allowing class features to be cherry picked. Further, in some cases, achieving certain combos of abilities requires significant investment (by needing to gain several levels in different classes and suffering multiclass penalties [implicit rather than explicit in PF, but multiclass still usually falls behind straight classes in raw power]).
GreyGriffin
 member, 97 posts
 Portal Expat
 Game System Polyglot
Fri 14 Jul 2017
at 05:29
Re: what do people think of Epic-6?
Godzfirefly:
My personal opinion (and I'll emphasize that it's ONLY my opinion) is that E6 is a limited attempt to fix the faults of the deeply flawed 3.5/Pathfinder system.

I'm sure this is the case, but I'm also fairly confident that its thesis has legs.  A lot of the problems that d20/Pathfinde have are related to scaling and stacking bonuses and effects that tend to pile up once you have access to certain spells or abilities.  Epic 6 contains a lot of that by simply removing the tools necessary from circulation.  Sure, you still have some moderate power creep (especially in Pathfinder's base classes), but Epic 6 deliberately focuses on the narrow slice of d20 gameplay that actually works, specifically the lower-mid levels.

Epic 6 also makes world building much, much easier.  If adventurers have 20 levels of potential, you really have to assume that there are 20 levels of "content" out there.  Epic 6 pulls the rug out from under that assumption, capping the capabilities of "normal" people into merely blowing up houses or wading nigh-unimpeded through hordes of orcs.

Honestly, a lot of my experience with 5e convinces me that Epic 6, or at least some convergence of evolved thought process behind it, played a major role in 5e's math.

Epic 6 does limit the possibilities of the PCs, that is true.  But by definition, the rules are trying to scale back the power of PCs.  RAW, Craft Ring is right out.  But given that it's a mod whose rules can be explained in about 3 paragraphs, I think there's plenty of room to build back up a desired player archetype.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1145 posts
Fri 14 Jul 2017
at 05:50
Re: what do people think of Epic-6?
Godzfirefly:
My personal opinion (and I'll emphasize that it's ONLY my opinion) is that E6 is a limited attempt to fix the faults of the deeply flawed 3.5/Pathfinder system.


It is less of a flaw, and more of being diffierent from popular desire.

The core d20 design is centered on naturalistic balance rather than gamist balance. Primarily because it was dssigned to be played similarly to how Gygax and Arneson played, which is quite different from the popular use of the rules.

A major part of that touches on your worries about complexity. It is a sad fact that many, if not most, players see rules as constraints, and while houserules are generally accepted (if minor. Major houserules are avoided like a plague.), having more rules generally makes players less accepting of twisting those rules during play, even when the rules are spevifically designed to be twisted, such as with d20.

D20 was not designed for rules to be seen as constraints, nor was it designed for rules to be what players can do, instead, it was designed for rules to be a supporting framework, for the rules to be how players can do something. Following the intended use, you could have a table of players who never see character sheets, rules, or dice, and have them play almost freeform style telling the gm what they do, and the gm could any action (that makes sense within the world milieu. I.E. no turning off gravity in a contemporary setting.), run it through the system and get reasonable and sensible results.

Strangely, even though the rules were designed that way, few players want to play that way.


That is one reason splats tend to get power creep. The designers of splats are usually not those who designed d20, and so they design for what players want, which is options and to feel powerful.

Additionally, is the issue of advancement, which is d20's real flaw in this case. D20 has set up a case where advancement grows in both power and versatility combined (and not much versatility gain, unless a caster). That is an issue mostly because players like advancement.

To use an example, Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings, is basically a lvl 5 from start to finish. Trying to get players to play through an epic saga of that scale and scope without any advancement would likely result in a new gm and a new game.

You can't just blame the system. The player's expectations and how they use the system is as much a factor as the system's design.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1146 posts
Fri 14 Jul 2017
at 06:20
Re: what do people think of Epic-6?
GreyGriffin:
Godzfirefly:
My personal opinion (and I'll emphasize that it's ONLY my opinion) is that E6 is a limited attempt to fix the faults of the deeply flawed 3.5/Pathfinder system.

I'm sure this is the case, but I'm also fairly confident that its thesis has legs.  A lot of the problems that d20/Pathfinde have are related to scaling and stacking bonuses and effects that tend to pile up once you have access to certain spells or abilities.  Epic 6 contains a lot of that by simply removing the tools necessary from circulation.  Sure, you still have some moderate power creep (especially in Pathfinder's base classes), but Epic 6 deliberately focuses on the narrow slice of d20 gameplay that actually works, specifically the lower-mid levels.

Epic 6 also makes world building much, much easier.  If adventurers have 20 levels of potential, you really have to assume that there are 20 levels of "content" out there.  Epic 6 pulls the rug out from under that assumption, capping the capabilities of "normal" people into merely blowing up houses or wading nigh-unimpeded through hordes of orcs.

Honestly, a lot of my experience with 5e convinces me that Epic 6, or at least some convergence of evolved thought process behind it, played a major role in 5e's math.

Epic 6 does limit the possibilities of the PCs, that is true.  But by definition, the rules are trying to scale back the power of PCs.  RAW, Craft Ring is right out.  But given that it's a mod whose rules can be explained in about 3 paragraphs, I think there's plenty of room to build back up a desired player archetype.



I'm not sure I agree with much of this.

Worldbuilding is largely an issue of player expectations. Players seem to think that low level characters can only deal with small localized problems, and saving the world from utter destruction, for some reason must be a high level task.

As for stacking up lots of things, mostly this is because the core design was for something different from how it is commonly played. The core concept was that the rules would be for how things can be done, instead of what can be done, thus problems arise from that, and frankly, I don't see how resolve that particular issue, cause you either deny the ability to do certain things for purely arbitrary reasons that will not make sense within the world milieu, or you have exploitable cases that require either a certain playstyle or gm intervention to keep in check.

 In truth, power itself is a problem only in two cases, competing characters of vastly different power levels mechanically that are supposed to be of similar power in the story, or when the numbers are tied to certain meaning in the story but there is a mismatch between achievable numbers and what makes sense in the world.

Otherwise, power is meaningless. Dealing 100 dmg per attack is nothing to an enemy with 100 million hp. Thus if atk and def grow at the same rate for opponents who grow at the same rate, then power actually remains the same, with merely an illusion of growing power (due to larger numbers).

What really makes higher levels an issue, is that options exist that allow players to bypass barriers that are intended to act as both balancing factors for power, and to allow gm control of the pacing of the campaign.

For example, magic is limited by how often it can be used. So, the gm is expected to make how long players must fight before regaining spells a constant issue. When players can get away with blowing all their spells on each encounter though, it is gaining extra power with no consequence. Normally, this is due to a poorly experienced gm, but at higher levels it becomes a system flaw because players gain the ability to bypass that timing limitation regardless of how the gm tries to enforce those limits.

Another factor, which is often blamed on the system but is really gm or module design, is that higher levels can bypass encounters, such as by using flight magic. Flight magic shouldn't be allowed to bypass having encounters, rather it should simply change the type of encounters. Many gms and module designers don't do this, and instead blame the system.
GreyGriffin
 member, 99 posts
 Portal Expat
 Game System Polyglot
Fri 14 Jul 2017
at 10:00
Re: what do people think of Epic-6?
If you are dismissing the impact of power on world-building and adventure design, I think you're missing the point of Epic 6.

The core thesis of Epic 6 is that a 6th level character's abilities are epic.  A wizard can explode an entire house with a single spell.  A fighter can stand at the head of an army and dissect a small tribe of orcs with martial prowess alone.

However, Epic 6 characters never transcend those baseline challenges entirely.  The math simply doesn't let them.  A level 6 party can rout a tribe of orcs, but they never cease to be a factor entirely.  Getting into the mechanical grit, orcs will still have an impact on the party's resources.  Getting into the narrative grit, orcs will never cease to be at least a minor threat.

By extension, creatures like manticores, ogres, and giants retain some teeth.  As an adventurer, you can never simply dismiss these creatures by sheer virtue of your character's very high numbers.  This also makes dragons and their ilk genuine existential threats, the objects of adventures, requiring cunning, wit, planning, and perhaps allies an ancient magic macguffin to overcome, no matter how buff your character is or what age category it is.

This lack of continual transcendence contributes to a consistent tone.  Your characters overcome their initial weakness, and rise above the common.  They become epic at 6.  However, at that point, their climb slows down tremendously.  They have time to linger in that place, to use their new power in interesting ways, with a real sense of accomplishment and impact, since, as the DM, you don't constantly have to change adversaries' rosters to meet an ever increasing CR, robbing players of a sense of accomplishment, since the opposition just scales to them.

No matter where you are in the game, you can always dip back into the pool of orc tribes your PCs pissed off in their climb to 6, and have them come up with a credible threat, even if it is just more of them.  Plus, they get to feel badass, because they can whup way more of them than they could at level 3.  Maybe this time they summoned a demon!  They might have a demon, but they also don't have to inexplicably have all of their warriors be 4 more levels higher to be a credible threat, just because the PCs haven't faced them in a year and the algebra results in boring encounters.

In short, the flattened math allows you to use more of the Monster Manual at every point in the PCs' careers, giving the DM more flexibility.  It lets kings threaten the PCs with arrest and execution.  It lets goblin sieges become and remain real problems that don't have Elminster-esque solutions.  And it allows the setting's "boss monsters" to retain their status as dangerous and frightening, without having to rely on a sliding scale of "boss monsters" that eventually get demoted to annoyance.

(Age categories for dragons are actually one of the most interesting and most telling issues that I think Epic 6 addresses.  The fact that you need to continually scale up your dragons for them to continue to remain relevant is symptomatic of a power curve that makes a narrative difficult to sustain. It is not terribly elegant game design, but I digress.)

This was an explicit goal of the flattened math in 5e, and I can attest (having played 5e from 1-7, and a handful of one-shots at higher levels) that it does have this effect to a degree.  (High level 5e is a bit trippy.)

Limiting the power of spell magic also keeps the PCs from ruining world economies because of weird spell interactions.  (Or worse, from having to cast spells with incredibly wonky language explicitly to prevent wizards from breaking world economies that makes them less fun, impactful, and useful.)

Epic 6 also prevents the Shonen feedback loop of beloved and fun abilities, tactics, and spells being gradually ground into obsolescence by sheer weight of math.

Epic 6 specifically targets continuous flight (overland), Combat invisibility (Greater), long-distance teleportation, long-distance scrying, and the worst of the save-or-die effects (Hold Monster, etc).  It argues that those abilities fundamentally alter the game in ways that make it less fun.  If the core of your opinion is that Epic 6 doesn't allow those abilities, and you want to have them?  Then that's an irreconcilable difference of opinion.
Egleris
 member, 161 posts
Sat 15 Jul 2017
at 00:02
Re: what do people think of Epic-6?

Also, as I said, some high-level abilities can be made available, if the GM and player agree that it makes sense/would be cool to have that ability around.

For example, a very useful spell when fighting outsiders is dimensional anchor, which is normally unavailable to lv 6th characters; but it takes no effort at all to reduce the spell's range from ray to touch, give it a save, and maybe shorten the duration to round/levels. Now the spell is vastly weakened, so it might be accettable to give it to players at a lower level - and you have a cool ability around.

Or one can do insert a ritual system that allows players and to access high-level spells to be accessible, but requiring vast amounts of interaction with the setting and NPC in it: if your ritual rules require that the spell's caster level is equal to the number of casters, and you need to meet the necessary caster level for the ritual to work, suddenly a powerful spell like Teleport is gonna require over ten magicians working together to be cast, which means the players have to look for allies and engage the world to use these effects in one-of-a-kind situations.

And the mere existence of the high-level material saves work on prep for campaign-shaping situations, too - a GM can easily use CR 20+ creatures as gods and 9th level spells like Gate as world-endangering threats, so that wealth of high-level material can still be in the game, just in a different context which makes it both more impressive when it shows up and less disruptive for the game experience as a whole.

Basically, the key advantage of E6 is that it allows for a much greater balance in the running of a setting, without invalidating anything of what people like from 3.p (merely repurposing it), while still allowing players to progress as they play, which is a core part of the experience. It also makes it easier to actually fulfill a character concept, by achieving it at 6th level and then spending the rest of play fine-tuning it, instead of requiring twelve levels of play to see a build properly take form.
mickey65
 member, 48 posts
 Long-time PbP player
 Love several systems
Sat 15 Jul 2017
at 00:14
Re: what do people think of Epic-6?
In reply to Egleris (msg # 15):

What I'm getting from the discussion here is the old MMO notion that "the game begins at max level." Some people are interpreting E6 as having a max character level in the same sense as an MMO does, and the bulk of the material that the game designers put real effort into creating being available only to max-level players. I suppose that's to be expected in 2017, after more than a decade of entrenched gamer culture that sees max level as the only "true" game. Yet I think the developer of E6 (who says they playtested extensively before releasing their model to the public) has a subtly different vision. E6 is not about turning 3.5e/Pathfinder into a tabletop MMO, but about reinvigorating interest in the core rules, which D&D players rarely stick to these days. E6 makes the core rules motivating, and I think that is its strength.
Egleris
 member, 162 posts
Sat 15 Jul 2017
at 00:36
Re: what do people think of Epic-6?
In reply to mickey65 (msg # 16):

I wouldn't know about MMO - haven't played one in my life, and I most certainly don't plan to start anytime soon.

However, it is a fact in 3.p that a number of character builds "come online", for whatever definition of the term, around level 12 or thereabouts. Also, many players, when creating their character, plan for the whole 20 levels, and this creates assumptions where the players harmstring themselves for a number of levels in order to achieve whatever concept they're shooting for at later levels. Later levels which, in many play-by-post, they might well never see.

What E6 does is remove the motivation behind this mentality; now, the players will just plan for the six levels, which they will reach faster, and have much less reason to compromise for.

Also, when discussing E6, discussing the gameplay after characters reach level 6th is sort of the most important part, becasue the gameplay before that isn't something interesting or new - it's the first 6 levels of 3.P, which haven't really changed much since 1998, and thus mostly everybody interested in the concept of E6 knows how they work. Which is well. What more is there to say about that? :)
mickey65
 member, 49 posts
 Long-time PbP player
 Love several systems
Sat 15 Jul 2017
at 00:48
Re: what do people think of Epic-6?
In reply to Egleris (msg # 17):

I think you answered your own question. If players are focused on that future level 12 character they really want their character to be, and they, in your words, "hamstring" their character at character creation and lower levels for the sake of that Level 12 future, that prevents the familiar first six levels from working as well as they should. That could be part of why E6 should reinvigorate interest in those first six levels, which also means interest in core-rules play. From what I've seen, you don't need to compromise your fresh Level 1 or Level 3 roll for the sake of the max-level, Level 6 hero. I hope that makes my meaning more clear.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1147 posts
Sat 15 Jul 2017
at 01:07
Re: what do people think of Epic-6?
Reply to message #14

On the contrary, I am saying the worldbuilding issue is impacted far more by the gm than the rules. Your example draws a world from the rules, rather than drawing a world and using the rules to represent it.

For example, goblins and kobalds can be a problem for higher level characters, if used right, straight out of the book, but the other thing to remember is, that if the pcs can get high level, then so can everything else, which means not just that pcs can encounter higher level goblins and kobalds but it also means that everyone in the world knows about level 20 and prepares ti handle them. Vaults will be built to prevent teleportation, castles will be designed to protect against those who can fly, the guardsmen of towns will have ways of handling higher level troublemakers, etc.

So while E6 allows lazy world design in terms of monsters and challanges (the good or bad of that is mere opinion), it isn't really that big of an advantage compared to the disadvantages.

Besides, my main point against worldbuilding was the scale. Common player expectations see low level pcs as being suitable only for small scale threats, such as threating a small frontier town. The idea that level 1 characters shouldn't go on an adventure to save the universe from collapse has nothing to do with system.

Now, to address overland flight, invisibility, etc, these are not about raw power, and their value can't be measured from them alone. There plenty of ways that these can be handled to integrate them into the story without fuss, though some lateral shifts in thinking and expectations may be required. For example, if the players can fly, then it is a high point of stupidity to rely on encounters that don't account for flight. That is a gm/module designer mistake and not a system flaw.

At the same time, e6 is not the only way to deny these options if you don't want to deal with them.

I am not claiming that these spells should be allowed. What I'm saying is that the trouble with these spells is not in raw power, but in the gm's ability to creatively handle them without it seeming like a cheat, and therefore, whether they be allowed or not has nothing to do with whether you play e6 or normal.

As for ruining world economies, that problem exists at all levels, again because of player/gm expectations rather than system. Most don't think the consequences of an ability all the way through to how it affects society and the world, so they make assumptions based on real world or stereotypes, then when someone comes along that does think further on the consequences of an ability, it seems breaking, but the truth is, some abilities just would not exist without world-changing effects, and therefore, a world with those abilities should be designed with those world changing effects in place.

For example, teleportation. This has a drastic effect on moving people and goods from one place to another. Do you honestly think that a world with teleportation would not make use of that? Of course teleportation would be used. In fact, it would likely be in high demand with many wizards providing that service alone. Communication and trade would use it extensively. It wouldn't break the economy because the economy would be built around it. The economy breaks when the gm tries to have an economy without teleportation in a world with teleportation. That is then a flaw in the design of the world, not the rules.

###
In any case, I was not really trying to say e6 was bad or shouldn't be used. I merely pointed out a few weak points and an alternative concept that addressed those weak points.

###
Another alternative is to cap class levels at 6, but allow character level to be unlimited (or some higher limit at least), but with the caveat that bab, base saves, etc do not stack between classes, thus a ftr6/wiz6 would be capped at +6 bab, 5+con fort save, etc.

This keeps the power level low, yet characters can keep growing in versatility much simpler than using xp currency like e6.

###
Anyone who would like a copy of what I've got for splitting levels into power vs versatility, send me a pm and I'll digitize and post it, and send you a link.

This message was last edited by the user at 01:08, Sat 15 July.