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Author Topic: Epic 6 [Fantasy Craft]  (Read 1547 times)
TardyClock
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« on: April 26, 2012, 07:36:31 AM »

For those of you who don't know what Epic 6 is...
http://www.myth-weavers.com/wiki/index.php/Epic_6

I'm planning on running a slightly more down to earth sort of game, where the players are exceptional but never reach the whole "I just took twenty arrows to the chest and lost 1/10 of my health" heights of very high levels. After discovering the Epic 6 variant system for D&D 3.5 I decided I really like the look of it but I still much prefer Fantasy Craft to D&D. How do you think using Epic 6 for FantasyCraft would work? How would I have to change it to make it fit?

The fact that Fantasy Craft's feats are more akin to the kind of things that you'd see as class features in 3.5 makes me think that the players wouldn't feel like their characters weren't progressing even if their Saves and BaB weren't going up.
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SilvercatMoonpaw
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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2012, 08:59:42 AM »

First off you might want to determine if with all the tweaks you can add via things like Campaign Qualities you even need to halt the level advancement.  Remember that in E6 is stops at 6th level because of how magic scales in D&D, but since FantasyCraft is explicitly designed so that you can nerf or remove magic entirely you might be able to get that low magic feel throughout all the levels.

To answer "I took 20 arrows to the chest" bit: remember Vitality isn't supposed to represent direct hits, it represents general combat fatigue.  So Vitality is "I've wrenched my body out of the way of 16 arrows and taken 4 grazes" (there's also a Campaign Quality for lowering it).  It's not until Wounds that you get into direct hits, and you generally have a lower number of them.
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Krensky
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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2012, 09:34:58 AM »

Also, you're seriously screwing over the PCs because that's still in the point where the NPCs usually have a slight numerical advantage on the charts.

E6 is really a solution to D&D issues that Fantasy Craft just doesn't have. You should only need to use it's solutions once you hit level 20 and want to keep going.

Also, most of a classes really cool abilities come in the career level 8 through 14 area.
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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2012, 09:50:12 AM »

First off: Welcome to the forums, and the game.

Onto the topic:  I read though that link, and it seems (to me) that E6 only exists because Dungeons and Dragons (3.X in particular) is just woefully unbalanced at anything above mid single digits.  The big thing is that you don't need to worry about negating many of those factors with Fantasy Craft - the entire game is balanced at all stages.

In regards to the specifics of your problems:  I've played in a high level FC (level 14-16) game where my Mage had 30 vitality, and the group's "Barbarian" had about 70.  I've played in 6th level D&D games where the same archtypes exceed that by 6th level.  That's campaign qualities in action - our DM activated qualities that reduced Vitality and Attribute Points, which mean that we were far more fragile and closer to the "normal guy" level.  You could also reduce the level up rate by increasing XP requirements between levels, as well as use less powerful magic items and generally smooth out power creep.  Sure, you're plan is doable, but I just don't think it's necessary when you're not running D&D - FC just scales infinitely better.


Ninja'd by Krensky and Silvercat while I was typing / reading that link... Dang it.
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TardyClock
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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2012, 10:20:00 AM »

It wasn't so much the caster imbalance as the difference between the most powerful heroes and the weakest heroes. Due to stats like BaB and Defense you're going to easily have high level characters taking on armies and just not caring because hey your attack bonus is so high you're hitting them on a 1 and your defenses are so high they can't hit you. It's also not necessarily player fragility, there's nothing I hate more than Rocket Tag in something as swingy as a d20 system it's more ther difference between a commoner and a legendary hero. But I suppose other than that there'd really be no reason to bother with Epic 6.

A few other problems I've got whilst I'm here and have some attention. How does damage scale compared to health? Looking at the health of enemies versus the rate at which player damage increases it seems that damage scales much slower. Also what am I supposed to do about the fact that as levels increase, crits begin becoming more and more lethal because wounds NEVER increase.
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Sletchman
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2012, 11:10:16 AM »

Ah, I see what you're getting at.  Honestly - it's just not how the game plays at all.

The NPCs "level up" along with the PCs so you don't get into that problem the way D&D does with it's static threats.  50xp worth of goblin can still hit a PC at 14th level (I've put a 12th level pc into "Dying" status with the exact same goblins that they fought at 4th level).  The big thing PCs game in this system is new options - not a bunch of bland +X's.  Mass armies are more of a threat then a single enemy - because some soldier, somewhere, is gonna get lucky and kill you with a critical hit.  Even if they don't get the crit the huge number of attacks will bowl through your vitality pool and you'll end up very dead.

NPCs also use their own system.  Not the class level one.  So there's never any real reason to have a 4th level Soldier fighting a 12th level one.
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TardyClock
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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2012, 11:14:11 AM »

I assumed the scaling NPCs were meant to represent stronger versions of the NPCs that you fought previously. If it's just that the same human commoner is the same threat he was at Level 1 as he was at Level 20 then what's the point of scaling stats?

And still wondering if my percieved issues with the heath vs damage scaling and the lethality of crits are just misinterpretations on my part or if they actually do happen.
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Krensky
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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2012, 11:18:38 AM »

It wasn't so much the caster imbalance as the difference between the most powerful heroes and the weakest heroes. Due to stats like BaB and Defense you're going to easily have high level characters taking on armies and just not caring because hey your attack bonus is so high you're hitting them on a 1 and your defenses are so high they can't hit you. It's also not necessarily player fragility, there's nothing I hate more than Rocket Tag in something as swingy as a d20 system it's more ther difference between a commoner and a legendary hero. But I suppose other than that there'd really be no reason to bother with Epic 6.

Doesn't happen in FC unless you use static NPCs or screwup building them. Don't compare PC classes, compare PCs to NPCs.

The Peasant NPC at TL 1 has a +0 to attack and a first level Soldier has +1 Defense. at TL 20 the peasant has a +12 to hit and a Soldier 20 has a Defense bonus of +12. At the top of the scale the peasant actually has a slightly easier chance hitting the hero then at first level, everything else being equal.

At first level, the Soldier has a BAB of +1, and the same Peasant has a Defense of +1. At level 20 the Soldier's BAB is +20 and the Peasant's defense is +12. So the Soldier's gotten a decent amount better at killing peasants over the course of 20 levels.

Of course, why does it matter? Why is the Soldier killing peasants anyway? More importantly, if the GM wants peasants that are harder to hit, why did he leave their defense at III?

A few other problems I've got whilst I'm here and have some attention. How does damage scale compared to health? Looking at the health of enemies versus the rate at which player damage increases it seems that damage scales much slower. Also what am I supposed to do about the fact that as levels increase, crits begin becoming more and more lethal because wounds NEVER increase.

Not so much. Attribute bonuses are lower. Magic items work differently and aren't as important. The thing with Specials is they're supposed to be hard to kill. Which is why Fencers, club users, or anyone else who can convert to subdual or stress for free has an advantage there.

As for criticals... they don't get more much more dangerous. Of course, critical hits are one of the ways of removing a special NPC without dealing with the metric assload of vitality they have. I recommend grades of Tough, sometimes applied retroactively to make sure the fight isn't over anti-climatically. As for as the PCs go, they don't get exposed to that many. The GM decides when his threats become critical hits and only Special NPCs can score them anyway.
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Krensky
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« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2012, 11:23:39 AM »

I assumed the scaling NPCs were meant to represent stronger versions of the NPCs that you fought previously. If it's just that the same human commoner is the same threat he was at Level 1 as he was at Level 20 then what's the point of scaling stats?

Because the PCs numbers go up slightly faster then the NPCs. Any given NPC becomes less of a threat over time, but no where the same rate as D&D. Goblins are still dangerous at level 20. Not as dangerous as they might have been at level 1, but they'll still gank the PCs if they try to phone it in.

This is also ignoring the Menace level too, so there's a lot of ways to adjust the danger level.

Now, if you want the peasants in Village #1 to be the same power level when the heroes return to take their vengeance, either set them at TL 1, or just make them mooks.
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We can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming. - Werner von Braun
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SilvercatMoonpaw
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« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2012, 12:07:02 PM »

I assumed the scaling NPCs were meant to represent stronger versions of the NPCs that you fought previously. If it's just that the same human commoner is the same threat he was at Level 1 as he was at Level 20 then what's the point of scaling stats?
This isn't an "either/or" situation.  You can use it both ways in the same game.
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« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2012, 12:17:11 PM »

I assumed the scaling NPCs were meant to represent stronger versions of the NPCs that you fought previously. If it's just that the same human commoner is the same threat he was at Level 1 as he was at Level 20 then what's the point of scaling stats?

Because "Level" is an abstract concept that represents experience.  Realistically, a more experienced soldier will just have more options to deal with a threat he's encountered many times before.  He won't be a more evolved being that can just look past the threat.  Scaled NPCs represent this - a moderate threat, is a moderate threat is a moderate threat.  You gain more ways to handle the suitation, you don't become a god like being that can ignore it.*

Because you can have a low/mid level party fight a Dragon, Beholder or other "Epic Monster".  Just the same way as you can have a high level party fight a mid sized orcish warband.  In D&D a mob of CR1 creatures vs a 20th level party is pointless, as is an Eldar Dragon vs a level 6 party.

Because a PC can have an NPC companion that doesn't dominate or become functionally pointless (including mounts, friends, squires, and infinite other things).

Because "level" shouldn't decide how epic a campaign is going to be.  The players and GM should.


*But you can if you want the game to be like that.  Add the right campaign qualities and the game becomes exactly that.  Hell, (as Silvercat pointed out) you can actually have your cake and eat it too with both.
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TardyClock
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« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2012, 12:33:31 PM »

By scaling stats I was referring more to stuff like BaB and Defense boosts rather than the things that give you options like Feats and Class Features. I do get the point that you're getting at though and any discussion on this is moot anyway since the only thing I need to do to get the feel of Epic 6 is to say that the scaling NPCs are scaling because relatively the players aren't getting that much stronger.

Anyway! About crits. The problem I'm seeing is that even if crits are sparse they're still going to be instant death beyond a certain point, crits don't need to happen often to kill the character, only once. Has anyone thusfar come up with any houserules to deal with this or is there something I'm missing about the system that means that crits aren't instadeath?
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Krensky
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« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2012, 12:53:58 PM »

Damage doesn't scale up the way it does in other d20 games. Other then sneak attack, the biggest pop is from some Supremacy level feats and the X Master feat tree (a whopping 1d4).

Critical hits by the only happen when the GM says they do by spending his action dice.

Cheating Death is a very good system, and you can also flip the wounds/Table of Ouch costs to make critical injuries more common then wound damage.

Are you mostly worried about NPCs getting one shotted, or PCs?
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« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2012, 01:03:13 PM »

Average Wounds = 10-12 (for a medium creature)
Average Weapon Damage = 5-7

For PCs: A single crit isn't "bye bye, roll up a new guy".  It's scary for sure, and 2 can about end you (or 1 from a dedicated melee threat).  Remember though, you have to be at -10 wounds to die.  20-22 damage from a critical hit is quite huge - just look over the weapons and see (not many will hit that kinda damage).  So it takes a lot to kill someone outright in a single hit, and even then the GM has to choose to kill you (instead of critically injuring you) and even then there's rules for cheating death (which are great - unless your group has a "dead means dead" mindset, or it doesn't fit the genre you're running).

For Standard NPCs:  They fail a damage save (so are likely dead, barring Tough).  Remember though - Standards are the things you fight on the way to the fight.  Not total mooks (who just die), but the random encounters.  A crit or two should kill them.

Special NPCs are almost identical to PCs in this instance, so the top paragraph covers them.  Keep in mind though, Special NPC monsters can have quite a lot of wounds - so you need not worry about anticlimatic battles (a Huge monster with high Constitution might have 30 - 40 wounds, far more then one hit and dead).

Damn you Krensky - Ninja'd me again...
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« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2012, 01:13:09 PM »

Regarding scaling BaB and defense and saves and whatever else, the point isn't to outpace or be outpaced by the NPCs.  Rather, it's to exaggerate the difference in style and method between the different classes.  So at low levels when everyone has very little experience in the matter, the difference between a dedicated warrior and a book learned scholar mostly comes down to natural aptitude (ability scores).  But after they've both gained more experience, the warrior becomes obviously more skilled at combat than the scholar, while the scholar has learned a number of tricks for avoiding fights altogether.  Meanwhile, the Orc raiders up in the hills still represent about the same level of threat to both of them as they always did, because no one has gotten more powerful, just more experienced.
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