• The window for editing your posts has been extended from 48 hours to about two weeks or so. Please report any problems with this in Trouble Tickets.

Epic 6 4th Edition D&D?

GM_Michael

Registered User
Validated User
#1
I am finishing up my current RPG campaign. Recently I have been running games in "theater of the the mind" mode and part of me is itching to run a more tactical "gamey" rpg. Say what you will about the negatives of 4th edition D&D, but it makes a great, well balanced tactical miniatures game. If players use cards to keep track of powers and spells then all the combat information is right in front of them as well, which helps to lower the frequency of looking up rules.

One of the biggest things I dislike about 4E is the power curve. I like being able to pull monsters from across all levels of D&D to make things interesting. I also find the wealth of choices for higher level D&D characters slows game play as analysis paralysis occurs and we look up various effects more often. To mitigate some of my personal negatives about 4E I was thinking of running it in Epic 6 mode. Has anyone here done that? Do you have any recommendations thoughts, etc?
 

Sosthenes

Oiled Greek Wrestler
Validated User
#2
This might only be tangentially related, but one thing I always wanted to try was running a group consisting of "Companion" characters, a rule from the DMG2. Those pick a role (striker, defender etc.) and a rather limited subset of powers from one of the regular classes (IIRC one at-will, one encounter, one utility if below lvl 10). So there might be some paralysis picking that one (if you allow that at all and don't start with a random or fixed one), but during play it's a lot easier. Of course, these characters are way less powerful than regular folks and you'd have to re-evaluate encounter difficulties.

But it would make for a rather simple experience, a bit like TFT. Leveling up wouldn't have a very big effect, as you don't grow exponentially. And instead of the rather meh endgame of E6, where you just pile on feats, you can stick at a certain level for a while and just make being able to swap to new powers part of the game. Hand out power cards as experience.
 

Eklev

Registered User
Validated User
#3
Two options.

Limit the game to 1-10, which is closer to the E6 experience than straight up 1-6. Neverwinter Campaign Setting was written with the idea of running a heroic tier game but including paragon tier (11-20) things too, so you’d get a heroic-paragon experience in just ten levels.

Another more radical option is to remove the half-level bonus on everything.
 

ezekiel

Follower of the Way
Validated User
#4
Yeah, running Heroic-only is probably better than trying to force an "E6" mold on things. And over that span, the half-level bonus is only a total of +5 at the very last level, when you should be doing campaign wrap-up style stuff, which should mitigate most of the feeling of treadmill.

I'm not sure there's a way to keep 4e balanced-as-such and give unbounded access to new feats. Even with Paragon+ features/feats off-limits, that sort of thing is gonna lead to...well, for one thing, everyone will probably pick up all the staples, but for another, stuff like power-swap feats may become expectations rather than anathema. Probably will produce some headaches.

So...see about running a strictly 1-10 game. Characters at 10th level have reached the pinnacle of heroism--the types who, in Antiquity, would've gotten hero-cults after their deaths. With the level-6 to level+4 range, you can have threats from middle-ish Paragon down to low-Heroic and still produce challenging, interesting fights.

(You can also reskin. Reskinning is crazy important in 4e, if you want to provide a feeling of continuity--you don't fight "level-appropriate goblin fighter," you fight goblin black-ops teams at 10 instead of the goblin footmen you fought at 1 because you are a bigger threat, of course they send their good troops to fight you. But I assume you've already thought of and dismissed reskinning, which is unfortunate but de gustibus non disputandum est.)
 

junglefowl26

Registered User
Validated User
#5
About the power curve, I always found shifting a monster's stats to the appropiate level pretty easy. I mean, I suppose I mostly used online tools which just let me hit level down and level up buttons, but even without the online tools, I think one could easily use the monster manual 3 on a business card thing to determine what the base stats are for the level and roll you want, then just give them the special abilities based on the originals.
 

Borogove

quiet desolation
Validated User
#6
My experience is that 4e plays best if you pick a tier and play within just that. I'll second the recommendation for the Neverwinter Campaign Setting, which feels like a full campaign but plays out entirely from 1-10.
 

Constantine XI

Registered User
Validated User
#7
This might only be tangentially related, but one thing I always wanted to try was running a group consisting of "Companion" characters, a rule from the DMG2. Those pick a role (striker, defender etc.) and a rather limited subset of powers from one of the regular classes (IIRC one at-will, one encounter, one utility if below lvl 10). So there might be some paralysis picking that one (if you allow that at all and don't start with a random or fixed one), but during play it's a lot easier. Of course, these characters are way less powerful than regular folks and you'd have to re-evaluate encounter difficulties.

But it would make for a rather simple experience, a bit like TFT. Leveling up wouldn't have a very big effect, as you don't grow exponentially. And instead of the rather meh endgame of E6, where you just pile on feats, you can stick at a certain level for a while and just make being able to swap to new powers part of the game. Hand out power cards as experience.
I've used the idea of PCs built as Companion characters with the addition of Racial powers and bonuses, Themes powers and bonuses and Background bonuses only. It works really well in practice and tends to foster a more narrative approach in my experience
 
Top Bottom