E6 -- Basics (5 posts)

thread created on 11/2/15 at 22:17

Basics - General Feat/Rules Changes - Alternate combat rules for damage - Re: Alternate combat rules for damage - Antequethera Campaign Traits

E6 DM, 11/2/15 22:17

The basic idea behind E6 is that d20 DnD starts getting too complicated for it's own good somewhere between 7th and 10th level. To stop this, the level cap is put at 6 instead of 20, after which characters earn "epic" abilities of additional feats, some of which are custom to an E6 campaign. The original E6 rules set was designed for 3.5e, but I feel the concept and most of the rules will hold up in Pathfinder as well.

In addition to the E6 rules, we'll be using an alternate set of Pathfinder rules that I found which simplify things and attempt to do away with "feat tax," the idea that some feat chain prerequisites aren't worth the end feats due to game designers thinking they'd be more useful than they really are. We'll also be using the Background Skills optional rule, such that all characters get an additional 2 skill points per level that can only be spent on a specific list of skills. Please click the following link for full details on background skills: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/skills/background-skills

In this thread I'll post up all modified/removed feats and the new feats available at/after 6th level. Unless otherwise stated, all the normal feats are also available with their normal prereqs; some of them will therefore be unattainable.

Edited by: E6 DM on 11/2/15

E6 DM, 11/2/15 22:39
General Feat/Rules Changes

Any feat that normally applies to a single weapon instead applies to all weapons in that weapon group, such as Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization.

Combat Expertise, Deadly Aim, and Power Attack no longer exist, and are removed as a prerequisite for any other feats. Instead, the benefits of these feats are combat option open to all characters.

Point Blank Shot no longer exists; any feat which lists it as a prereq now requires Precise Shot instead (except, obviously, for Precise Shot itself.)

Weapon Finesse is no longer a feat; instead, all weapons the feat would normally apply to gain the 'finesse' quality, which allows a wielder to use their Dex bonus to hit if they so choose.

Agile Maneuvers no longer exists; instead, one adds their Dex bonus to their CMB when using a finesse weapon, and their Str bonus on all other weapons.

Dodge now gives the benefits of both the Dodge and Maneuverability feats; as such, Maneuverability is no longer a separate feat.

Deft Maneuvers (new!) replaces the Improved Trip, Improved Disarm, Improved Dirty Trick, Improved Feint, Improved Reposition, and Improved Steal feats, granting a +2 bonus on checks with these maneuvers and becoming the prereq for the relevant Greater combat maneuver feats.

Powerful Maneuvers (new!) replaces the Improved Bull Rush, Improved Drag, Improved Overrun, and Improved Sunder feats and functions in a similar manner to Deft Maneuvers above.

E6 DM, 11/6/15 21:09
Alternate combat rules for damage

My idea is to remove weapon damage rolls altogether; instead, weapons will deal damage equal to the amount by which you bested your target's AC +1, up to a maximum of its damage die type.

For example, you swing a longsword twice at an opponent whose AC is 15. Your total rolls to hit are 16 and 23. The 16 would deal 2 damage (16 - 15 + 1), while the 23 would deal 8 damage (23 - 15 + 1, capped at 8 by weapon's die type). Critical hits will be threatened and confirmed in the usual manner, but will provide a static bonus to damage equal to 1/2 the die type per crit multiplier; so a critical hit with a d8 x2 weapon gives +4 damage, a d8 x3 gives +8 damage, a d8 x4 gives +12 damage, etc. Weapons with multiple damage dice, such as the falchion's 2d4, will get a bonus to base damage equal to the number of additional dice it deals; in the example of the falchion, a roll of 16 to hit against 15 AC would deal 3 damage instead of 2 (16 - 15 +1 + 1). A weapon which used 3d4 would deal 4 damage in this scenario.

Sneak Attack damage will be determined as if the sneak attack dice were an attack with a separate weapon at the same roll to hit, then added to the overall damage for the attack; i.e. it counts as a separate attack only for determining the extra damage it deals, not for the purposes of overcoming DR and such like that. So in the 16 to hit vs 15 AC scenario, someone adding 3d6 sneak attack damage would deal +4 damage. Thus, a 6th level rogue with no strength bonus sneak attacking with a longsword and getting the 16 to hit against 15 AC deals 6 damage instead of 4-26, while a second attack at 23 to hit would result in 17 damage instead of the 4-26; if that 23 was also a confirmed crit, it would deal 21 damage instead of 5-34.

After the above calculations, other bonuses to damage will be added normally.

Spells and effects not requiring a roll to hit will roll for damage as normal.

This will cut down on dice rolls, is a quick and easy calculation, and removes those situations where you roll an amazing hit except that you do lousy damage. It should increase overall survivability, and while it obviously swings the premium from damage bonuses towards to hit bonuses, I think it won't be unbalancing at the levels we'll be playing at, given the fairly low cap on bonuses to hit when we're maxing out at +6 BAB. While it will make any enemy's AC very apparent, the whole metagame of narrowing down an enemy's AC over the course of a combat is quite tiresome.

I'd like to give it a try, and if we don't like it, we can just go back to the usual methods.

Edited by: E6 DM on 11/6/15

cook, 11/11/15 07:06
Re: Alternate combat rules for damage

I'm up for it.
Some consequences that I thought of, to think about:
- Touch attacks get better (i guess it's ok)
Touch attacks will pretty much be just grenade-like missiles, which is fine, and spells, which is all the more reason to fear magic.
- True strike gets better (probably ok)
Well, it couldn't get any worse; maybe it'll actually be worth using!
- Devalues power attack (i think that's good)
As do I. It'll still give better damage bonus if you hit at 2/1 rather than 1/1, but now there's a reason not to use it.
- AC is worth more (I guess it's ok? I don't know.)
I think it's okay. My thought is that the trade-off between movement and AC with medium and heavy armors will be a tough call in an urban campaign.
- I think it widens the gap between full BAB and 3-quarters (e.g. rangers vs rogues or fighters vs monks) (i think that's bad since rogues and monks already sort of suck) -- maybe it will matter less in a low level game.
Hopefully this campaign will increase the value of skills vs combat ability; also, at 6th level, there will only be a +2 difference, which I think will be fine given rogue's sneak attack and monk's everything else (I can see slow fall being especially handy.)
- I'm a little worried about what it means for those medium CR melee monsters with huge attack bonuses. But I guess they would be power attacking anyway. Maybe doesn't matter in a low level game.
Actual monsters will probably be more boss-type fights than common encounters, but I can see your point. To even things out I'll probably just exclusively use blood hags.

Fucking blood hags

Edited by: John Smith on 11/25/15

E6 DM, 11/13/15 22:53
Antequethera Campaign Traits

Please choose one of the below campaign traits to provide you with an "in" for the campaign; if desired, we can flesh out the specific details for them.


Student of Anthropology. Overhearing a conversation on the street, you casually assisted a stranger with some piece of esoteric colonial lore; while but a passing trifle of trivia to you, you were later surprised and a bit flattered to receive a letter thanking you for your service and offering you permanent employment within Antequethera should you ever seek it. Strange, though, is that you don't actually remember ever mentioning your name...Benefit: You receive a +2 trait bonus to all Knowledge Local checks.

A Friend in Low Places. While in the depths of the First Ward you assisted a stranger who had become disoriented and lost within the morass of noise, stench, and darkness that typifies the ward. The stranger was amazed when you pointed out the relevant signage and landmarks you used to navigate your way out of the ward, and praising your powers of observation, offered you permanent employment in the Seventh Ward should you ever desire it. Benefit: You ignore the penalty to Perception checks normally applied in the Lower Wards.

On the Payroll. Several years ago, you were hired by a man to perform some duty relevant to your area of expertise. Your performance and secretion captured his attention, and he hired you many times throughout your career, sometimes even for jobs away from your home, always paying your expenses and compensating you well for your time. You haven't heard from him for almost a year, but recently he offered you a permanent position of employment. Benefit: Your previous hard work paid off, giving you an additional 150gp of starting wealth.

Lesser Scion. You belong to one of Antequethera's noble families, but your family's fortunes have been in decline, leaving you little after your elder siblings' entitlements. Whilst drunkenly lamenting your fate in an Upper Ward bar, a stranger paid your tab and informed you that he could offer permanent employment to a person of your breeding, if you ever so desired. Benefit: Your birthright is evident to those who share it; you ignore the penalty to Diplomacy checks made to Gather Information in the Upper Wards, and gain a +1 trait bonus to Knowledge Nobility.

Auspicious Birth. You were born during a very rare stellar alignment, a fact which you may or may not be aware of; regardless, the state wasn't aware until after a recent erroneous tax assessment due to your official birth record being inaccurate. Two weeks after you had the matter corrected, you received a letter offering you permanent employment in Antequethera, if you should desire it. Benefit: You carry the blessing of Kel; choose either evil or chaotic alignments; you receive a +2 bonus on saving throws against effects with this alignment's descriptor or generated by creatures of this alignment.

Chance Savior. You happened upon two strangers engaged in a potentially lethal alleyway fight - one, a respectably dressed man from the Middle Wards, the other, a naked man wearing a wooden mask carved with spirals and wielding a rusty cleaver; strangely, a number of people nearby were simply standing and staring at the events unfolding. You sprung to the defense of the saner looking fellow and together fought off the lunatic. The man seemed quite surprised at your assistance, and offered you permanent employment, if you ever desired it. Benefit: Your resolve grants you a +2 trait bonus to saves against mind-affecting effects.

Cielian Enthusiast. You have a passion for the fringe science behind dirigibles and other Cielian artifacts, and are a familiar site at the Floatyards; a few months ago you expounded upon your knowledge to a fellow curious onlooker, who was more than happy to hear all you had to say. Two weeks ago you received a letter mentioning the incident, and offering you permanent employment, if you ever desired it. Benefit: You have gleaned much information through your regular visits to the Floatyards and chatting up the Cielians there; you gain a +2 bonus to Knowledge Engineering and Local checks in matters regarding the Cielian people and their technology.

Edited by: E6 DM on 11/14/15

Basics - General Feat/Rules Changes - Alternate combat rules for damage - Re: Alternate combat rules for damage - Antequethera Campaign Traits